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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Fiction: Yellow (227 words)

“Yellow. Why in the hell did she pick yellow?”

My usually effortly goregous sister did a quick spin around–and I chuckled.  She looked jauniced.  And I took a sick little pleasure in that. It’s hard to constantly be over shined by your younger sister. “I have never been happier to not be picked as a bridesmaid in my entire life.” I muttered apparently not enough under my breath.

Gracie turned and scowled at me. “What does she have you wearing?”

I shrugged, trying to keep the smug smile from creeping on to my face. “She said I can wear whatever I want, as long as it’s not white, or off-white, or eggshell, or any other slight variation of white.”

Gracie glared at me. “So you’re going to wear red, look amazing, and I’m going to look like I need to go back to dialysis before the reception is over.” Gracie turned to look at herself in the mirror again. “How come you get to walk her down the aisle?I’m her cousin too.”

“Because I’m older and I paid for her to go to college.  I get to be the maternal figure and you get to be the Maid of Honor.” I answered, even though I knew Gracie didn’t actually care.

Gracie just eyed herself in the mirror a bit longer. “Why did she have to pick yellow?”

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Posted by on September 30, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Oranges (240 words)

“I am so sick of vitamin c.”  He griped, rolling over on the couch and kicking vaguely at the empty orange juice carton on the arm. “I never want to taste citrus again.” He declaredly before launching into a sneezing fit that sent tissues flying off his lap.

“I’m sure you don’t. But you told me to get you back on your feet, no matter what. So your protests have been noted, and then ignored.” She handed him the blue solo cup, “Drink up.”

“I hate you for listening to my hyperbole and taking it to heart.”  He took a big gulp and then made a face.  When he looked up at her and saw her scowl he sighed. “And of course I love you for being concerned about my health and wanting me to be better.”

“That’s what I thought you said.”  She sighed, staring pointedly at the cup until he took another sip.

He took a few more sips of the drink before he narrowed his eyes suspiciously at her. “You put something in this.”

“Just an antihistamine. To dry you out a little. To help you sleep.” She shrugged.

He glanced wearily from the cup back to her, then back to the cup.  But then he swallowed the rest of it down in one gulp. “Goodnight.  And no more citrus when I wake up.”

He heard something like “Hm, we’ll see” as he faded off to sleep.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Red (240 words)

I never imagined that seeing red was a literal expression until I heard what they were saying about my little sister. I always thought it was just one of those colorful (literally) phrases that someone created way back when in order to make human emotions seem more poetic than the tangled mess that we usually are.

But when they told me what they were doing to my sister, what they were accusing her of… I literally saw red around the edges of my vision. I was so angry that I had to sit down, hard.  “I thought they were here to protect her. I thought they were like family to her. I thought—“

“They don’t believe her,” my brother answered calmly. He’d known about this a lot longer than I had, which I believed was the only reason why he wasn’t having such a hard time with this. After all, he was known for being the level-headed member of this family, and I had the temper. “They don’t believe her word and it’s not like there can be any concrete evidence that she didn’t do it so—“ he trailed off with a shrug.

I buried my face in my hands and pushed against my eyes until all I could see was red. “I hate this. I hate this so much.”

My brother sat down next to me and put a hand carefully on my back. “I know. I do too.”

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Good Luck (99 words)

I feel so much better now that you’re here, you know that? I know it’s silly, and that just because you are here it doesn’t mean we aren’t any closer to our impending death, and one extra solider isn’t actually going to make or break this campaign. But, I just can’t help myself. You are my good luck charm, always have been and hopefully always will be. So, yeah, I do feel better now that you are around.

After all, if you aren’t the good luck that I think you are, it’s not like we’ll be around long anyway…

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Rant (326 words)

Look.

No, no, you stay quiet. It’s my turn to talk. It’s my turn to be heard. Okay? And no, that wasn’t really a question. So just be quiet.

I understand that you are grieving. I get that. Even though he was only your uncle, that man was like a father to you. I understand that you feel lost and scared and you are only lashing out from a place of fear. Or at least that’s what the internet told me when I googled how to deal with this.

But here’s the thing. I’m grieving too. I’m not blood, I get that. But I was six when he took me in. And even though my mom got clean and I was lucky with that, he was still my family.  For the last twelve years he has been the only constant in my life. I love my mother, but I know that at any given moment she could fall off the wagon again. But Chris was always there. No matter what happened, I could call him and he would be there for me. No matter what. And I loved him for that. And now he is gone.

I get that he was your family. I understand entirely that you have claims to him that I never could.  And I don’t want to step on the toes of your grieving. I never want that.

But stop treating me like I’m not heartbroken too. Stop stepping on me when I’m already down. For the love of all things good and holy, remember that Chris touched a lot of people’s lives in strong and profound ways, and they are feeling his loss just like you. It’s possible that have just as much right to grieve their loss of him as you do.

 

And I guess that’s it. I guess I don’t have anything else to say. The most I can hope for is that you take my words to heart.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Saturday at the Cafe (472 words)

Saturday afternoons were her favorite shift to work. They were always fun for people watching, because on the week days they always got their regulars. Saturday mornings they got the overachievers and the strange actually wanted to be awake then people.   But Saturday afternoon, they got anyone and everyone.

Her personal favorite today—the hangover duo.  She couldn’t tell if they were friends or sisters or lovers or what, but they were definitely hungover.  The red head was clearly worse off. Her curly hair was pulled into a messy knot of a bun on the back of her hair, and her clothes were the kind of sweat shirt and yoga pants that looked like they had been in a ball on her floor for a least a little while now.  She had on very dark sunglasses and a scowl on her face that only got deeper every time the blonde asked her a question. She ended up with the most basic of caffeinated beverage, no cream, only one sugar.  She said a grand total of five words the entire time she was in the store.

The blonde was less obvious about it.  There were circles under her eyes, and she winced every time the timer went off to switch the coffee brewer.  Her clothes looked a little rumpled too, but more like she’d slept in them, less like they’d come out of the laundry basket. She tried to smile though, and seemed to be working to be overly cheery in contrast to her friend’s crass and cranky mood.  She ordered something with a lot of caffeine and a lot of sugar and a healthy amount of whipped cream on top. She also ordered a very greasy over cooked bacon and egg sandwich, looking at the display sandwich like it was mana from heaven.

After they had placed their orders, they stepped to the side to wait, and carried on a hushed, but rapid fire argument with each other.  That was why she wasn’t sure what exactly their relationship with. As they argued, they did seem annoyed, but at the same time there was a careful familiarity and a kindness in their words.  There was no physical intimacy or causal touches, which made her think that Lovers was less likely than friends or family–but then again, it could just be something as small a pair that was anti-PDA and didn’t want to show anything off in front of this room full of strangers.

Eventually, their drinks were called out and the blonde picked them both up, leading the way out of the store, the red head moving behind her at a much slower gait.

Truly, it didn’t seem like much, but they were the biggest mystery of the afternoon, and therefore her favorite customers of the day. Mysteries made the time fly by.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Hangover Mornings (514 words)

The sun seemed to be up earlier than usual. Perhaps it was just the hangover—but it was unusually bright today as well.  I pulled the pillow up over my head and twisted to face the wall.

“God, no.” A voice groaned behind me, and I realized that someone else must have been using that pillow for sun protection before me.  I tried to feel bad, but then I realized it was my pillow, so they could suck it.  I may have said so aloud.

“Annabelle, you are the worst of the worst, and I want you to be acutely aware of this.” Nancy gripped scrapping desperately for the blankets to pull them up over her head in defense.

“Nan, I could have left you to sleep on the nasty floor downstairs without the protection of a locked door from my early bird of a sister and her exercise videos.”  Nothing woke me up as quickly as a good little argument in the morning—or afternoon—whatever time it was.

“What I meant to say,” Nancy’s voice was muffled now, coming through many layers of blankets that had been pulled free of both our legs. “was of course you are the best of the best and I love you whole heartedly with every inch of my soul.”

I laughed into the pillow. “I thought that was what you said.” There was a shuffle of blankets and a shift of weight on the bed.  Nancy was sitting up now, and that did not bode well for me. “What in the world are you doing?”

There was a moment more silence then, “Holy crap, Annabelle. It’s 3:30 in the afternoon. We have literally slept the day away.”

“Yeah, well, we drank until 5 am. Where you expecting us to go out to brunch?”

“No—but,” I felt a tug on my pillow, and renewed my grip on holding it to my head. “Come on, Annie, we’ve got to do something with our day. At least a little productive.”

“No, we really don’t.” I flipped over, so the pillow was pinned under my body weight, and everything went even darker. “We can stay in bed all day and call it good one.”

“Annabelle, I cannot understand you when you do that.”  She gave another tug on my shoulder, this time pulling a little bit harder. “We’ve got to do something—anything. Even something small. Please, I’ll never be able to go out drinking with you again if we don’t get something done.”

I finally relaxed and let her flip me over, the light bright red behind my eyelids. “Fine,” I groaned through the splitting headache. “Fine. But whatever it is, it better be a small kind of productive with no heavy lifting or loud noises.  Or next time you are sleeping on the couch.”

“Deal,” Nancy agreed quickly, and I felt her jump up off the bed with ridiculous bouncing and speed.  I was in for a rough afternoon, and I made the mental note to only drink with people whose hangovers were equal to or worse than mine.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Stories

 

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