RSS

Monthly Archives: May 2015

Fiction: Early Mornings (627 words)

Everything was quiet.  That was Piper’s favorite part of waking up early.  It meant that everyone else was still asleep, and she could look at the world completely unobserved. Almost like Piper had frozen time, and now the whole world was hers for the taking.

It was especially nice after nights like last night.  She’d had fun with everyone at her house, marathon-ing movies and going toe to toe on random entertainment trivia that would get none of them any further in their lives.  But even though her apartment was packed with sleeping party guests on every comfortable surface, it was quiet and still.  Almost too still.  After a night like that, she wasn’t usually the first one up.

Piper did a quick head count and found that Candace, her friend and fellow quiet early bird wasn’t in the living room where everyone had crashed for the night.  Piper tried to calm the ball of unease in her chest.  They had all been drinking last night—had piper not noticed Candace go? If she’d gone—where did Candace go and did she arrive safely? Piper peaked out the window to see that Candace’s car was still out there—so at least she hadn’t driven anywhere. But it wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities that Candace had wandered off for a walk and fallen asleep somewhere outside.

Vince.  Piper had one desperate last thought of her roommate. Vince wasn’t drinking much last night, so if Candace decided she wanted to go home, maybe he offered her a ride.  If he didn’t take her home, he’d still make an excellent addition to the search party rapidly forming in her head.  She knocked urgently (but quietly—no point in waking everyone else up just yet) on Vince’s bedroom door.  It seemed to take forever, but then the door opened slightly to reveal a sliver of bed head, bleary-eyed, thankfully wearing at least his boxers, early morning Vince, who greeted her with a “shh!” and a “What?!”

“I’m a little worried,” Piper confessed.

“Why are you a little worried?” Vince leaned his head against the door frame, closing his eyes again already.

“Because I can’t seem to find Candace, but her car is still here. I’m worried that she had too much to drink and wandered off somewhere.”

For a second, Piper thought Vince looked guilty, but it went back to sleepy just as quickly. “Candace didn’t have too much to drink. She’s fine.”

“Did you take her home when I wasn’t paying attention?” Piper pressed.

Vince hesitated for a second. “No.”

“Then how do you know she’s fine.”  Piper set her hands on her hips and was prepared to not walk away without an adequate answer. She took the safety of her friends very seriously.

Vince opened his eyes, looked her over, and seemed to realize this.  He sighed, turned to look back into his room, and then took a small step back away from the door.  Piper could see his bed, and sitting on it was a bare shouldered Candace, clutching a sheet to her chest, offering Piper a timid smile.  “Sorry to worry you,” Candace offered.

“Oh. No. Don’t, uh, er…Don’t worry about it.” Piper rubbed and hand nervously on the back of her neck.  “Congrats, uh, I guess,” she added because she didn’t know what else to say.

Vince raised an eyebrow. “Thanks?  If you don’t mind.  I’m going to shut the door now.” Piper nodded like an idiot as he swung the door slowly shut, not stopping until the latch clicked into place.

She stared at the shut door for a couple of minutes longer before heading back to the kitchen to make a strong cup of coffee.  She had a feeling that today she was going to need it.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Stories

 

Tags: , , , ,

Fiction: Truth and Fiction (709 words)

I reached out to touch his cheekbone with the tips of my fingers.  He didn’t flinch away, although I couldn’t have blamed him if he had.  “I don’t want to hate you anymore.” I whispered.

“I know,” his voice was clear and steady.  Last time I’d been this close to him, I’d stabbed him in the stomach.  A loud part of my brain still wanted to stab him—repeatedly.  But he wasn’t afraid of me.  Maybe he should have been.  “I don’t even care if you want to hate me.  I just want you to think completely for yourself again.”

I’d been convinced of facts that weren’t facts.  I had memories of events that had never actually happened.  They’d wanted me to destroy people who used to be my friends from the inside out.  To be perfectly honest, at this point I didn’t know if I would recognize when I would be able to think for myself again—I’d always be afraid that someone was making me think it.   But more than anything, I wanted to know what I used to be like.  “Did I hate you before they messed with my head?”

“No. No, I don’t think you did.”

“How do you think I felt about you?” I asked, although I knew already from the way he had always looked at me.

“I hope that you loved me.”  He raised his hand, resting his thumb along the back of my jaw, wrapping his other fingers gently, lovingly, around the back of my neck.

And I had a memory of him.  And it felt real because it came in a rush and in a moment and I could practically feel the blanket I was laying on, and it was almost blurry around the edges, like it was something I was supposed to experience, not just something I was supposed to remember.

Most of all, it wasn’t the fear, hate, and anger fueled moments that had I become so used to over the last couple of years. It was something so much more complicated.

He laid next to me, younger, his hair longer, his hand rested against my jaw and neck.  I felt warm and safe, and laughed as I reached out and lifted a lock of hair away from his face.

“You’re going to have to cut your hair soon,” I said with a laugh, “I don’t think that I have a stable enough ego to have a boyfriend with hair longer than mine.”

“I thought you said you liked the long hair,” he teased, lifting himself and leaning over me slightly, tickling my nose with his hanging hair.

“I do.  Increased sex appeal, very nice.”  I blew out a little puff of air to make his hair swing away from my face. He wrinkled his nose adorably as the air hit his face, but then dropped back down to his elbows, leaning in a little closer, casually, like he’d done this a hundred times before.  He was going to kiss me.

This man had committed atrocities.  This man had killed many helpless people.  This man had tortured people weaker than him and he had taken pleasure in it.  This man was a big part of what was wrong with the world.  I shoved him hard in the chest, breaking the contact from his hand to my neck.  He stumbled back, almost falling but managing to keep himself upright.

“I hate you,” I could feel myself screaming, and I went to lunge at him but someone caught me by the arm.  I wheeled around and took a swing at Mittan, but she was stronger than me and had my arms pinned behind my back before I could even blink.  So, I screamed, ranted, railed, and threw every obscenity I could think of in Lio’s direction before Mittan injected something into my wrist and I slowly lost my ability to do that too.  I watch Connal approach Lio who was still rubbing his chest from my sudden hit.  Together, they watched me fall back in Mittan’s grip, and when my eyes were shut but my mind wasn’t completely gone yet, I heard Lio mutter, “I thought this time. I thought for sure.”

“I know,” Connal reassured him quietly, and then I was gone.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Stories

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Fiction: Psychic Biology (856 words)

“What if you were gay?” Maggie asked.

Arthur put a hand on her hip and rolled her over so he could look at her face.  It was a question after about two hours of silence, so he wanted to see where her head was at as she asked.  “Well, if I were gay, hopefully I wouldn’t be in bed with you, for both of our sakes.”

“No, not you you.  But you as a Male psychic.  If every psychic has to produce a same gendered child or they’d go insane—well, women can have a sperm donor, have their own. But what about gay men? Do they just have to wait until they lose their minds enough to overcome their sexual preference?”

“Well,” Arthur laughed, rolling away from Maggie, less concerned.  It wasn’t a self-doubting question, it was an intellectual question.  Those were easier to deal with. And he was more than well prepared to deal with this one.  “I suppose that a gay psychic has a son anyway, tries to raise him the best he can, and have their son end up using their abilities to become a con man on the streets of London.  But I will say that I am probably not the best product of my upbringing and you shouldn’t judge my father for that.”

It was Maggie’s turn to roll over and look at her bed mate skeptically.  “What?”

Arthur propped himself up on his elbows.  “You’ve listen to me talk for ages and ages about my Dad, but I never mentioned a Mom.  You are a paranoid genius and you never noticed that?”

“I asked Danny about it ages ago, and he got real serious and told me not to mention it.  I thought she’d died or abandoned you or something and that it would make you sad or angry or whatever.  You had two Dads?”

“Not for long, but yeah,”  Arthur felt that bubble of discomfort that he always got when he thought about his under six years, but he’d brought it up, and he supposed it was only fair that he tell her.  “It was Dad and Poppa.  When they decide to settle down, they had me through a surrogate who knew about the whole psychic thing.  Where do you think I found Abby from so easily?  I asked the group that helped my Dad if they knew anyone in the states.”

Maggie settled in tight to Arthur’s side, her figurative curiosity sated and her personal curiosity at an all-time high. “Okay, so you talk about Dad—what happened to Poppa?”

“Well, I guess he loved Dad, but not enough to stay loyal.  Rose tinted glasses—Dad ignore the gut feeling for years.  But when I was four or five I started pointing it out, not realizing that it was not something to discuss or flaunt.  Dad couldn’t overlook it anymore.  He told Poppa to walk the line, and relied on me to help keep him honest, even though he never told me that. Dad walked in one day to find Poppa threatening me if I ever told Dad what I knew, and Dad kicked him out on the spot.  I never saw the man again.  That was when Dad taught me about emotional panic, as a psychic, I could feel a panic if someone I loved was in stress, or would be soon.  Daniel and I have use that to save you a time or two.”

Maggie kissed him gently on the shoulder.  “You have?”

“Of course,” Arthur kissed Maggie on the top of the head, “I’ve never loved anyone quite as much.  It’s easy to save you.”

He was getting too sappy for Maggie, so she flicked him on the hip, and redirected to conversation.  “So, it was just you and your Dad from there on out?”

Arthur shrugged as best as he could while laying down and with a Maggie on his shoulder. “For a while, yeah.  Dad dated here and there, met some good guys.  But when I was fifteen years old, he met Charlie.  Good guy. Took care of Dad after I went all teenage rebellion and refused to come home. Despite not being psychic, he was amazingly good at keeping tabs on me.  Found me when Dad got sick, made us kiss and make up even though both of us were still pretty stubborn. Stayed by his side until Dad died.  Real good guy, Charlie. I still call him up every once in a while, make sure he’s still doing alright and what not.”

Arthur was dragged out of memory lane when Maggie spoke. “That’s good.”

“What’s good?” Arthur asked, lifting his head to get a better look at her face.

“That your dad got a mostly happy ending. I mean, I know cancer sucks—but he had Charlie.  And you two made up.  I think I deal with emergencies so much that I forgot that people like you can live calmly enough to get to die of cancer.  That sounded wrong—I mean…”

Arthur held her tight, and she stopped trying to come up with an explanation.  “It’s okay. I know exactly what you mean.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Maggie's Stories

 

Tags: , , , ,

Fiction: The Impossible Question (472 words)

“Do you think what we’re trying to do is impossible?” I asked, rolling over in bed to get a better look at David’s response to the question.

“What? Raise a family? Yes, I’m pretty sure that is impossible no matter how you spin it.  But everyone has done their best before us, and I’m sure our kids will be okay too.”

“I don’t mean raising a family, and you know it.  Do you think that going up against the order is impossible?” I asked.

“That is not The Order,” David answered in a knee jerk reaction.  That was a discussion we had many times before. Yes, these people were referring to themselves as The Order, using some of the hierarchy that had been put in place by the true order before them, but David was insistent.  The Order had been put here by The Gods, the proper system, the true way to do things.  This group was a strange bastardization of the whole ordeal, and did not deserve the respect that the name Order was supposed to carry.  I sometimes forget how strongly he felt about that.  I sometimes forgot how much he still considered himself to be a part of that Order, the true and proper order.  I forgot that before this whole thing came about to bring us together, we stood on opposite sides of the how seriously are we supposed to take religion debate.

“Right. No, of course it isn’t. Sorry.  But them, anyway, is it impossible to go up against them and win? Are we fighting a losing battle here?” I amended quickly.

“It can’t be.” David answered as he turned on his side to face me as well.  “Or, I guess, it can be. It could be, it easily could be.  But, I can’t even entertain the possibility, Rivs, or I’d just give. After losing all that we have, after Jack, I’m hanging on by a thread here.  And it I even briefly consider that it might be impossible, then I’m going to give up. And that doesn’t do any of us any good.  That assures that it would be impossible, completely so.  And we can’t handle that, okay?”

I nodded, and reached out to touch my husband’s face, as gently as I could. “Okay. It’s not impossible. It’ll just take a while, it will take time and energy, but it will be done, Gods be willing.”

David laughed and gave me a quick kiss.  “Good to know.  Do you think we can get some sleep now?”

“I don’t know, I can certainly try.   I will try. And if we can’t get some sleep, then I think I can think of something we might be able to do to kill time.” I waggled my eyebrows, and David kissed me again.

“Mrs. Smitant, I love the way you think.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Stories

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Fiction: Safety (377 words)

“I’m jumpy? Are you jumpy? How are you not jumpy?” Brian paced back and forth across the living room.

Thomas leaned back on the couch, tucking another pillow up under his head. He tossed a little hacky sack up in the air and caught it again.   He wasn’t jumpy, but he knew the way Brian felt.  “Brian, you’re going to make yourself sick if you keep that up.”

“I can’t sit still, Thom. I can’t. I keep thinking that something bad is going to happen.  Someone is going to burst through those doors and do bad things to us or something.  I mean, don’t you feel it, Thomas. Nothing is safe here, we’re never safe.”

“I’m not saying drop your guard, Bri. I’m smarter than to suggest that to you.  But, I think, right now, we are safe.  We’re the first boys at Girlaldi in a generation, on our first day here, classes haven’t even started.  The whole world’s eyes are on us now. They would be stupid to make a move on us right now, like this.  So, no, we shouldn’t drop our guard completely because that is a sure-fire way to get ourselves attacked, but we can relax some. At  least enough that you can sit down, so I don’t feel like you’re making me seasick.”

“It would be stupid for them to attack us tonight, wouldn’t it?”  Brian sank down into one of the armchairs.  “Everyone is watching.  A good point well made, Thomas.”

“Thanks, Bri. I try.”

“I just feel them out there. Waiting. They want to strike and they want to strike fast.”

“They will always want to get us, Brian. You, and Ciara, and I are a persistent thorn in their side and they won’t want to rest until they put us to bed for good.  But, we need to find the time to relax where we can. Keep breathing and whatnot. Take the moments we can to breath, or else we will go mad. Understand?”

“I suppose.” Brian sighed and covered his face with his hands.  “I’m just not used to not having to look over my shoulder all of the time.”

Thomas cut a glance to the dark windows and felt his heartbeat pick up a step. “You’re telling me.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Stories

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Fiction: On the Boardwalk (675 words)

“Can ya believe it?  I mean here, right here, our grandparents sat here and looked over the ocean.  Fresh off the plane, six months of joy awaiting them.   So young and free, their first time out of the country.  Can you imagine it? The first time looking at this ocean from the other side?”    Hamish wrapped his arms around himself in a self-hug, bouncing up on his toes as he looked out at the waves.

For the first time in this trip, I could see it through Hamish’s eyes. It wasn’t the ocean that I’d seen at least once a week each summer for my entire life.  It wasn’t childhood memories and stupid stories about my little brother. It was a new landscape, filled with wonder and possibilities and the unknown.  Maybe it had ended up rough for Lillian Duncan and Douglas Carson—but it could be anything for Hamish Boyle and Fiona Carson.  Optimism wasn’t usually my deal, but perhaps I’d been spending too much time with Hamish at this point.

“Hey, Hame?”   He turned away from the ocean, resting his side against the railing and smiling down at me now.  I was going to say something else. Maybe thank you, or that I was glad I met him or something like that—but when he smiled at me like that, his best thing in the world smile, I just acted on instinct.  I slide my hand up around his neck, pulled him down slightly as I slipped up onto my tiptoes and kissed him squarely on the lips.   I felt his hand settle in the small of my back, helping to stabilize me as he kissed me back.

For a moment, the world disappeared, until an annoying teenager like I once was catcalled. “Hey love birds. There are literally dozens of hotels around you. Get a room.”

The little group ran off cackling like they were the cleverest group to exist.  I was tempted to flip them off, but they were already gone and the moment was effectively ruined anyway.

I took a half step back from Hamish, but he kept a hand carefully on my waist.  I was glad that he didn’t let me go all together.  I think if he had I couldn’t be sure it had actually happened. I really wanted the confirmation that it actually happened.  “You don’t think this is too weird?” Hamish asked quietly, and I resisted the urge to step away.

“No. I mean–do you?”

“What? No,” Hamish gave a desperate little laugh, “Gods no. I’ve wanted to do that for ages. I just thought for sure you’d find it too weird.  You were the one who said we were–what? Cousins that could have been?”

“Well, we aren’t cousins.  We’re friends.  Our grandparents were never more than friends no matter what they’d once hoped.  And, Hamish, I promise you this right now, I don’t think of you as cousinly in any sense.”

Hamish laughed again, pulling me in just a little tighter with the hand on his hip.  “Cousinly? Is that even a proper word?”

“I’m pretty sure it is.  The adjective form of cousin–I don’t see why it wouldn’t be,”  I repeated the word a couple of times aloud, grinning up at Hamish, “Yeah, Cousinly.”

“Well, Fiona, then I promise you right now, my feelings for you are also not cousinly in any sense.”

“Good.  Because if they were, that kiss would be really weird.”

“I think we’re all in agreement on that.”  Hamish swayed slightly on the spot, using his free hand to grab the railing of the board walk, “Do we want to talk about the complications of this?”

“Not right now.” I replied earnest.  I could already feel that little part of my brain that was obsessed with logic trying to nudge itself in, and I didn’t want anything to do with it just yet.

“Do we want to follow the advice of those trouble makers and find our way back to my hotel room?”

“God yes.”

“Excellent.  I’m glad we’re always in agreement.”

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Stories

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Fiction: Kick Out (790 words)

“You promised–you little fucker, you promised.”  Michelle wanted to throw something–but she knew that breaking something in this apartment would hurt her more than it would hurt him.  Almost everything in it was hers. Maybe she should have taken that as a sign. “Why, huh? Why could you have given me a ten second phone call to say we were through before you fucked her, huh?”

“It’s not like that, Chell, I didn’t expect it to happen.  I didn’t know it was going to happen.  I didn’t want to lose you.”  Alex was smart enough to stay on the opposite side of the Kitchen Island, but he did lean towards her.  “It didn’t mean anything.  It was an accident.”

Michelle laughed, although she wasn’t sure why. She must have been bordering on hysterical.  “You don’t accidentally fuck someone, Alex.  Someone can shock you with a kiss–or you can get groped or accidentally grope in a crowded party, but you don’t accidentally fuck someone.  It’s just not possible.”

“Please, Michelle, please.  I know I made a mistake.  But it meant nothing, she meant nothing.  You’re special.  I don’t want to lose you.”

That was the second time he’d said that, and Michelle just shook her head in disbelief. “You don’t get it Alex.  I’m gone.  You lost me the second that you fucked her.  All I asked was that you don’t cheat on me.  That was literally my only rule, and you broke it.  We’re done. All that’s left is deciding who gets what and whether or not we’re selling the apartment.  I’m done with you.”

“No,” Alex moved around the Island so fast that Michelle barely had the chance to take a step. He ended up trapping her in the corner next to the sink.  “No, Michelle, please, we can’t be over.  I’m begging you.”

“Back up, Alex.”  Michelle wasn’t hysterical anymore.  Her mind was now crystal clear. “Alex, back up now.”

“Not until you give me another chance.” Alex stepped forward and grabbed her upper arms, holding her fast and hard.  “Michelle, please give me another chance.”

“Let go.” Michelle said as levelly as she could, reaching slowly for a fork on the counter.

“Michelle.” Alex gave her a little shake, and she gasped in pain as her back was pressed hard into the handle of the silver ware drawer.  Alex let her go immediately, backed up a few steps. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Michelle grabbed the fork firmly, prepared to go for the eye if he came near her again. “Get out. Get out now and don’t come back.”

Alex started as if he was going to say something but then seemed to think better of it.  He turned and headed out of the kitchen.  Michelle stayed perfectly still until she heart the front door open and close.

She crossed the kitchen and grabbed a knife out of the block before she went out into the rest of the apartment to make sure he’d actually left.  After checking out the window to make sure that Alex’s car was gone, Michelle went around locking all the doors and windows.  It was amazing the difference a few minutes made.  She went from angry to absolutely terrified.  She’d never been afraid of him before–not like this.

She didn’t even realize that she’d gone for her phone until she heard Adam’s voice saying “Hello? Michelle? It’s almost midnight.”  Adam was one of her best friends–an all-around good guy. She knew he’d be there for her.  It also didn’t hurt that he was six foot four and she’d seen him pick up a drunk Alex and throw him over his shoulder like it was nothing.  “Michelle? Are you there?”

“Adam?” Michelle’s voice cracked, and she realized that she was closed to tears.

“Michelle? Are you okay? Can you hear me?”  Adam sounded a little frantic.

“Alex and I got into a fight. I kicked him out.  I’m afraid he’s going to come back.”  Michelle’s voice was shaking.

“I’m coming.” Adam said, he voice sounded slightly muffled, the way it did when he held the phone in place with his shoulder so that he could do something with his hands. “Do you want me to stay with you or do you want me to bring you back here?”

“I don’t know what he’ll do to the place if he comes back and finds the place empty.”  Michelle admitted quietly.

“Alright.  I’ll bring a bag. I’ll stay as long as you want me to.” Adam reassured her, “It’ll be okay.  I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.”

“Adam?”

“Yes?”

“Don’t hang up the phone.” She wasn’t even ashamed of the fact that she was practically pleading

“I won’t,” he reassured her, “I won’t.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Stories

 

Tags: , , , , ,