Monthly Archives: February 2016

Fiction: It Finally Happened (141 words)

Well, it’s finally happened.  Colin finally messed up and got somebody pregnant.  Well, it was only a matter of time with the man’s complete and utter inability to keep it in his pants—between the on again and off again with Mara and his rebound fucks with Diane—yeah—it was a statistical inevitability.

But, goodness, am I glad it was Mara.  This seemed to be a grounding point—maybe they’ll have a real relationship now.  If he had knocked up Diane this would have all become way too soap opera for me.  Besides this team has more than its fair share of drama.

But no, it was Mara.  So Colin’s leaving the team to be a father.  I’ll be sad to see him go—but I’m glad he’s not leaving the way that Mara did.  That would be too tragic.

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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Stories


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Legal Theft: Art Gallery (177 words)

“Are those tentacles?”

Gracie squinted and tilted her head to the side. “Maybe?” she tilted her head the other way.  “It might also be water hoses.  I’m not really sure.”

Margaret sighed and threw her hands in the air.  “Art is weird and I don’t like it.”

Gracie rolled her eyes. “We are only here so that you can impress a boy, Mar. If you want to go home, we can go home.”

Margaret looked around weighing her options.  There were about twelve more paintings for them to stare at blankly.   They had already looked at six.  Maybe she could bullshit enough through the six that he wouldn’t ask too much about the last twelve. Besides, she didn’t want him thinking she was “crazy” about art exhibits and bringing her to them all the time.

“Okay. Let’s go home.” Margaret declared.

“Yay!” Gracie smiled, linking her arm in Margaret’s and headed as quickly she could towards the door, “Let’s get ice cream on the way home.  To help erase the memory of tentacles.”

“Or possibly water hoses.”

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Posted by on February 26, 2016 in Legal Theft Project


Fiction: A Good Year (99 words)

All I want for Lot is a good year.  One good year where she doesn’t have to deal with some major tragedy in one form or another.  Is that too much to ask?

Apparently so, because her I was at her mother’s funeral, the only parent Lot really had, who went from diagnosis to death in less than four months.  And she was trying so hard to be brave about it now…

God, it just broke my absolute heart to see her like this.  Come on, world, fate, God, whatever. Can’t you just cut the fucking girl a break?

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Posted by on February 25, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: One Last Try (567 words)

Emma and Owen waited in silence. They had forty-eight hours to change their minds if they were going to, and because of that, everyone had decided that Emma and Owen should spend that time together.  There were only two people in the world who could talk Emma and Owen out of anything, and they were Emma and Owen.

But they continued to wait in silence, because both Emma and Owen knew that this was the only way to make the best out of a bad situation—and as much as they didn’t want this to be the outcome, everything else would be so very much worse.

So, they stayed quiet, but stayed close, enjoying their time alone together.  Until.

“If you don’t want me to do this, I won’t.”  Emma said quietly.

Owen had felt it coming, so he just held her closer and kissed her on the top of her head. “What do you mean?”

“This arrangement works out so much better for me than it does for you. I won’t remember what I’m missing.  You’re the one who suffers.  And if you don’t want me to go through with it, then I’m sure we can find another way.  If not a better way, then at least a way we can share the burden.

Emma tried weakly to pull away, to look Owen in the eye. But he couldn’t let that happen.  If he looked her in the eye, then he would want to cave.  He would want to take her idea and run with it, and not make the sacrifice he knew he had to make.  He appreciated her wanting to do right by him, but they knew this was the very best option.  He had to stick to his gun this time.

“I’m stronger than I look, you know,” He added quietly, trying to turn it into a bit of a joke, “I can handle a bit of weight.”

“Owen,” Emma whined, letting Owen know that a change of moods would not be accepted.

“I know, I know, Emma. This is the bet plan.  We’ve run all the options, and we’ve done all the math and this I hand down the bet plan,” Owen remind her, “I’ve still got the notebooks and notebooks of research and math, you know, if you’d like to go over them again.”

Owen could feel the shudder go through Emma’s body.  “No. I really don’t want to look at those notebooks ever, ever again.”

“Okay. Then we have to accept our own judgement. This is the best option, and we can’t change our mind out of personal selfishness.” Owen thought that maybe if he said it with enough conviction, that he would really start to believe it himself.

“All right,” Emma sighed, “I just had to give it one more try, you know?”

“I do know,” Owen let her pull away now, just enough so he could kiss her properly, “And I love you for trying again.  But the facts haven’t changed.  We’ve got to do this.

Emma kissed him back, then let herself mold into his side again.  “We do. But we still have,” she paused to take a quick glance at her watch, “Sixteen hours before we have to do anything.  Let’s enjoy ourselves, yeah?”

Owen felt his face break out into a smile in spite of himself, “Emma, dear, there is nothing I would like more.”

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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: Before You Go (183 words)

Of course, Beth Anne would be the one to notice that Liam was thinking of leaving.  He wouldn’t have been at all surprised to learn that Beth Anne knew he was thinking of leaving before he even realized that he was thinking of leaving.

So, he read over the note again.  The note he had found in his closet, sitting where his bag should have been, written in Beth Anne’s careful neat hand writing.


I am not going to stop you from going if that’s really what you want to do.  But I am going to insist that you explain why you are leaving and give me the chance to talk you out of it.  I’d definitely feel that I’ve earned that much from you.  Wouldn’t you agree?

I promise you can have your suitcase back once I’ve had the chance to say my piece.

I’ll talk to you soon.

Beth Anne”

So, Liam took the note and headed off to find where Beth Anne had gone. If anyone at all could talk him out of leaving, it would be Beth Anne.

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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: Driving Away (438 words)

Grace drove for two miles before coming to a stop.  She sat and rested her head against the top of her steering hell as she waited for her passenger to join her.  She sat up straight when she heard the door open, but did not look over.  When Grace heard the seatbelt click, she pulled back onto the road and started driving again.

“So—was that as bad as you thought it would be?” The Passenger asked.

Grace readjusted her grp on the steering wheel before answering.  “Harder.  That was harder than I thought it was going to be.”

“This is your first reassignment, isn’t it?” The Passenger asked.  Grace didn’t bother to answer her.  She knew very well this was Grace’s first reassignment.  The first time she was going to have to cut and run and leave everything behind.  “Well, if it makes you feel any better, you’ve got some options this time.  We can let him thing you’ve just abandoned the whole thing and left him in the lurch, or we can fake your death for you.  Your choice.”

Grace took a long time to consider her options.  “I think it is best if we kill me.” She finally announced.

“Oh?” The Passenger was surprised by that answer.  First timers usually wanted to keep the options open, foolishly believing they might be able to come back, finish the mission quickly and return to the significant other.  “Why do you say that?”

“I think it will be easier for William if I’m dead.  Sure, there will be grief and that whole ‘life is too short’ complex that he could develop, but it will be finite, and he’ll have the closure of me being gone.  If I just appear to have up and left, then he doesn’t know why I’ve gone or where I’ve gone.  He might decide to try to look for me.  He might try to have me declared a missing person.  He might blame himself for my going.  He might be unwilling to move on without me.  No, I think it’s just nice and cleaner if I’m dead.  It’s the best for all of us.”  Grace nodded with her decision and let her grip relax a little on the steering wheel.

The Passenger gave a little laugh.  She’d underestimated this new recruit.  Grace might just grow up to do some great things.  That was a nice treat.  “Very well.  We’ll create a death for you.  It will all be taken care of within the week.”  The Passenger watched Grace for any further reaction, but Grace just gave a small nod.

“Thank you.  I appreciate it.”

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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in Stories


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Legal Theft Project: Firelight Woes (619 words)

Every woman in Evanston over the age of twelve owned a red dress. The Fire Lighting Festival was the biggest party of the year, and they all showed up to dance and sing and just in general relax and enjoy. The men always stayed home, with the boys and the girls too young to be in skirts yet.  The mothers, the aunts, the older sisters, all of them, got to relax from sun down to sun up in their red dresses and amongst their lovely ladies. And when people really started to let go, those red skirts spinning and twisting, made them women themselves look like fire.

Marena put on her red dress and tied a ribbon in her hair even though she knew she wouldn’t be able to dance.  Her aunt helped her get to the party and found her a good spot to sit, safely out of the way where no one was going to step on her and Marena could keep her knee stable, but where she could still watch all the dancers, and still feel like part of the fun.   Her aunt had spent a week trying to convince Marena that everyone would understand if she felt like sitting this Fire Lighting Festival out, but Marena was insistent that she go anyway. She hadn’t missed once since turning twelve and didn’t intend to miss one until the day that she died.

She tried to hold on to the that determination and that smile as she watched all the women swirl around, and tried very hard not to think about why she wasn’t up and dancing.

Marena didn’t even notice Brisa approaching until she fell into a ball next to her. She was panting and sweating from the dancing, but clearly smiling and happy with the way the night was going.  “How ya doin’, Mar-Mar?” She asked with a smile, “Enjoying the view? Do you need anything? I can get you a drink if you want.”

Marena silently held up the drink that her aunt had already gotten her, trying not to laugh at her friend’s enthusiasm.  “Having a good night, hm?  Glad to have an evening without your little boy?”

“Lysander is the light of my life and the best little toddler a mother could ever ask for,” Brisa said easily, “But, god, yes, it is so nice to not be worrying if he’s getting too close to any of the fires.”  She made a little gesture, and Marena handed her the drink to take a sip. As Brisa handed the drink back, she trapped Marena’s hand in hers, and looked her in the eye.  “Seriously, are you okay? If you want to get home, I have no problem helping you get there. Everyone would understand if you’re tired.  Physically or emotionally.”

Marena leaned forward and gave Brisa a little kiss on the knuckle. “I promise. Right now, I am fine.  If that changes, I’ll find a way to get your attention, okay?”

Brisa considered her for a second longer, then let her hand go.  “Okay.  You know you are stronger than I could ever hope to be.”

Marena’s smile came easily for the first time all night. “Yes, yes I am  And don’t you forget it.”  She nodded at the dancers. “Go, have fun.  Come say bye before you leave.”

Brisa stood and stretched, before stooping down to kiss Marena on the top of the head.  “Have a good night, Mar-Mar.”

Marena watched the dancers as the music picked up a faster tempo and a yell came out of the group as they switched to a more popular dance.  Marena swore that next Fire Light Festival she would be dancing again.   No matter what.


Posted by on February 19, 2016 in Legal Theft Project


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Fiction: Orbits (130 words)

Annie sometimes wondered if she had too much baggage and bad memories with Nick for them to form a happy and healthy relationship.  But almost as soon as she thought it, she realized it was a pointless question for her to even consider.

She and Nick were never going to stop rotating around each other in the weird orbits that they just couldn’t pull themselves out of whether it was healthy or not, Annie and Nick would spend the rest of their lives in and out of relationships with each other.  And no amount of wondering why it was or wasn’t going to work would really change anything at all.  It was just the way that the world worked, and Annie and Nick had long since gotten used to it.

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Posted by on February 18, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: Time Off Work (708 words)

William loved when Grace came over, and absolutely hated the moments when she had to leave.  He always walked her out to her car, to stall that little bit longer before they had to be apart.  He would kiss her as she sat down in the driver’s seat.  He wouldn’t watch her drive away though—that would have been too much, too cheesy even for him.

But he liked having her around because she brought some normal to his world.  He felt like a regular twenty something in the throes of a fresh love, and that silly desire to run his hand through her hair whenever he got the chance.  For those moments, he could be silly and stupid and no one could fault him for that.

But as soon as she left, the world resorted to what he’d been raised to know.  It was top secret and code words and encryptions that would take years and years to crack.  It was missions and puzzles and things that the rest of the world could never know about.

The TV flickered to life, and the stern face of his older sister appeared on the screen.  “Are you finally back?” She snipped.

He wiped an angry hand over his mouth and tried not to get openly hostile with his sister.  She could make his life absolutely hell if she set her mind to it.  “I have thirty free hours a week, to spend how I like, Stacey.  Since I’m not actively on a mission, you can complain only when I go over my free time allowance.”

Stacey considered him in silence, but they both knew he was in the right here.  After all, Stacey used her thirty hours a week too, and just because she disapproved of William’s fraternization with a civilian, that didn’t give her the right to deny him his free time.  “Do you have the codes?”

“Of course,” William sighed, pulling up the files on his tablet and sending them to his sister, “I don’t slack off,” he added, for good measure, digging the little knife into his sister’s side, just to drive the point home.

Stacey reviewed the codes, and found nothing to complain about in her brother’s work. But she couldn’t just leave well enough alone.  “One of these days you’re going to get another proper assignment,” she pointed out.

William let himself flop onto the couch, fidgeting with his tablet, already working on another task.  When his girlfriend wasn’t there, he really didn’t slack off.  “Your point?” He asked, barely rising to her bait.

“Well, what are you going to do about her then? When you have to be somewhere else and someone else? Do you think she’ll just roll with that?” Stacey pried, “She can’t know the truth, you know.”

William let out a slow, low, sigh.  He put down the tablet, sat up properly, and met his sister’s eyes on the screen.  “Stacey. I swear, I know my duty, and I know my place.  Grace and I aren’t engaged.  I think it’s even safe to say that Grace and I are barely in love.”  He took a deep breath. “I like her. A Lot.  But I’m not giving up the family name or my birthright, for her.  When the time comes for me to have another proper assignment, I’ll deal with it accordingly. Until then, let me have my thirty hours of freedom without question, and I’ll let you have yours, okay?”

Stacey wanted to warn him.  She wanted to explain how it was going to be so much harder than he thought it was going to be.  She wanted to reach through the screen and shake that self-assured look off his face and tell him to run—now.

But they were his free thirty hours, and they were his mistakes to make.  And his work was always done well and always done on time—so she had nothing to say as a sister or as a superior.

“Very well,” she said curtly.  William, confident in his victory, went back to work on the tablet. “Let me know when the next code is done.” William made a vague non-committal gesture with his hand, and Stacey disconnected the video feed.

Time would tell.

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Posted by on February 17, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: The End? (148 words)

They both knew it was ending.  They had a month left, maybe two.  They just weren’t compatible anymore.  The things that they wanted were slowly drifting further and further apart.  Soon, they wouldn’t be able reach while they were still holding hands.  They’d have to let go.

Neither of them had been in this position before. They’d had heartbreaks and break ups and relationships that were all the better for their ending. They’d had people they were bad for and people who were bad for them.  They’d never felt themselves drifting away, and still be in love, still desperately want to cling onto each other.

So, they didn’t know what to do.  They didn’t know where to go from here.  All they could do was try to love each other as much as they could now, and hope that the whole situation would change—one way or another.

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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Stories


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