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Category Archives: Maggie’s Stories

Fiction: Bad Week (513 words)

Maggie sat alone in her kitchen, elbows on her knees, staring blankly at an empty spot on the floor, holding an unopened bottle of beer.  It wasn’t like Maggie to have an unopened drink in her hand, but she was so distracted she hadn’t even noticed that she’d come into the kitchen, let alone that the drink was still unopened. Arthur was back in London, working on some project with a friend from his teenage years. She didn’t even have good connections to the researchers in the area—so she couldn’t vet any of the intel he was receiving. On top of that, she hadn’t heard Daniel’s voice in nearly eight months, and she was beginning to wonder if he was ever coming back. And on top of that Jase was still lying unconscious in her spare bedroom, his silent watchful wife sitting at his bedside.  If Jase didn’t wake up, that was a whole list of complications that Maggie would have to deal with on top of everything else.

Maggie lived in her life in a constant state of “It’s been a bad week” but this had been a bad week even for her. She was exhausted.

There was a tap on the kitchen door leading outside, which brought Maggie back into the present. She considered the unopened bottle for a second with a furrowed brow. She stood up, using the edge of the kitchen counter to pop off the top of the beer as she went to see who was at the door.  She took a long sip as she looked through the peephole, trying to determine who was outside without letting them know she was there. She couldn’t see anyone, and decided she was too tired to try to make any further investigation into the matter, so flipped off the outdoor lights, and turned back to the kitchen table, going to take another sip of her beer.

She froze, the bottle only half way to her lips and her body only turned half way to the table. There was another bottle of beer sitting on her kitchen table—a brand she didn’t have in the house—weighing down what appeared to be a white envelope. Only one person could get in and out of this house without her knowing. Only one person could have been in this room at the same time as her without giving himself away. But why wouldn’t he have said anything? Why wouldn’t he tell her what he was doing? Shouldn’t she be angry at him for leaving her in the dark for so long?

She decided she didn’t care—and rushed forward to look at the envelope, spilling some of the beer in her hand. Sure enough, it was Daniel’s cramped thin handwriting on the front of the envelope, reading “Maggie, My Love.”  With all the patience of a six-year-old on Christmas, Maggie tore into the letter to see what he had to say for himself. It had been a very bad week, but if Danny was back—it could only go up from here.

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Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Maggie's Stories

 

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Fiction: Last Night Together (407 words)

I knew what she was asking me to do. I didn’t have to be a psychic-I just had to know the logic of the situation.  Anyone who did what she wanted me to do…well, they weren’t going to survive the ordeal.  So she was basically asking me to die.  I knew it was for the greater good, but it was still a tough pill to swallow.

“If you want to break up, there are much easier ways to do it.”  I pointed out, trying to be causal about the whole thing.  The look Maggie gave me said clearly that I hadn’t quite pulled it off.  Well, I was contemplating my own mortality.  Heavy, heavy stuff.

“That’s not what I want,” Maggie said coldly, “Of course that’s not what I want.  I don’t want any of this.  But there isn’t another way to do this.  I don’t have anyone else to ask, Arthur.  There isn’t much else that can be done.  I don’t even know if you can do it, but we have no other choice, okay? No other choice.

“If we’re being honest,” I sighed, “I don’t want to do this.  At all.”

If I was expecting another romantic-adjacent outburst from Maggie, then I didn’t know my girlfriend very well.  One and done. Now, we were back to business.  “But you will do it.” She clarified.

“Yes,” I sighed, “Yes. If you ask me to do it, I will do it.”  I both hated and loved that she had that kind of power over me.

“Okay,” Maggie nodded, “Then I—“

“No,” I threw up my hands to get her to stop, “No, wait.  When you ask me to do this—really properly ask me—then everything has to change.  So-don’t ask me yet.”

“What? King, look—“

“No, Maggie, listen.  Are we going to fight any battles tonight?”

Maggie scoffed. “No, of course not. You need more training first.”

“Well, are we going to start training me tonight?” I pressed.

“No, we have to wait for Simpson and Danny to come back with the intel.”

“Then wait,” I repeated, “Ask me in the morning.  Please, one more night before everything has to change.  Ask me in the morning.”

Apparently, Maggie was still a little soft-hearted from her romantic-adjacent outburst. Her face softened, and she reached out to lay a hand on my arm. “Okay.  I’ll ask you in the morning.   In the meantime, let’s go to bed.”

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Maggie's Stories

 

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Fiction: Decisions (398 words)

The four of them sat in silence, each of them on one side of the square kitchen table, daring someone else to speak first. Maggie stared across the table at Daniel. Geneva looked across the table at Bart.  No one blinked. No one said anything.  Maggie started to count in her head.  Somewhere around nine hundred and thirty six, Geneva sighed and leant back in her chair.  Of course she would be the first to break—she was the only one with a spouse and children at home—or at least the only one with a spouse and kids at home without the ability to manipulate time.  She’d want a solution to this for certain before she headed home.

“Someone has to do it,” she offered, as if they didn’t already know that.

“But who is going to do it?” Bart asked, leaning forward, elbows on the table, “Who is going to be willing to make that sacrifice?”

Maggie and Daniel exchanged a look, with a careful silent conversation, before agreeing that Maggie should be the one to say it.

“King will do it,” Maggie said carefully, “I’ll ask him, and I’ll tell him it’s important, and even if he understands he’ll still do it for me.”

“But Maggie,” Bart leaned even further on the table, “Maggie, that means that Arthur will…” he trailed off, unwilling to say it.

“Are you volunteering to take his place?” Maggie raised an eyebrow.

“God no, of course not.”  Bart looked sheepish as soon as the words were out of his mouth.  He’d said it too quickly, and everyone knew it.

“Okay, then I’ll ask King. He’ll do it. That’s that.”

For a moment, they all sat and considered what they had become.  That Maggie had just signed her boyfriend’s death warrant, and that only minor protests were being made in response.

But they had to convince themselves, all of them, that they were doing it for the greater good.  The rest of the world wouldn’t know they had sent him to his death.  They would see a tragic accident, and never know just how close they were to complete destruction.  They would see a good man dying to save a few people, and never understand that everyone else had hung in the balance.

And that story would stick, just as long as the four of them kept their mouths shut.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2015 in Maggie's Stories

 

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Fiction: Family Plans (352 words)

“How do you think it went?” Carlos asked as Abby set her bag down on the table just inside of the door.

She sighed. “Maggie is a slightly difficult sort, isn’t she?”

Carlos shrugged, because his wife wasn’t wrong—Maggie was a difficult sort, but she’d also saved his life and many of his friends’ lives a hundred times over—and that wasn’t the kind of person you insulted aloud. Even if it was true.  And even though he was the psychic, Abby picked up on what he was thinking, and moved the conversation along.

“I think it went well,” Abby poured herself a glass of juice and sat down at the kitchen table.  “I don’t think Maggie is officially on board quite yet, but I think that’s mostly just her boyfriend’s kid being carried by someone else.  Even if I knew it was our best option I think I would be a little creeped out by the thought of someone else carrying your child.”

“That’s fair enough, I suppose,” Carlos replied, smiling at his wife as they heard the pat-pat-pat of little running feet upstairs.  After listening to the patting make it’s way through the house, the little black-haired boy burst into the kitchen and wrapped himself around Abby’s leg.

“Do I have a baby brother?  What’s his name? Where is he?”  Oscar rattled off in that speed that only toddlers can properly manage.

“Oh, sweetheart, it doesn’t work like that.  Baby brother’s take a while.  He has to grow in Mommy’s belly for a while, and then he’ll still be too little to play with you for a while.  We have to practice being patient, okay?”

Oscar made a face that told both his parents very clearly that he did not want to practice being patient, but then he nodded. “Okay, Mommy.  I’ll be patient.  But I’m getting a baby brother, right?”

Abby looked up at Carlos, who made a silly, eyebrow raised, come hither look behind his son’s back, and Abby tried very hard not to laugh right out.

“Yes, Ozzy. One way or another, you will get a baby brother.”

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Maggie's Stories

 

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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.”

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

 

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Fiction: Surrogate (777 words)

Maggie eyed this new woman suspiciously.  It was in her nature to mistrust.  But she was fighting it, for King’s sake.

“My Psychic is named Carlos,” She smiled, “and our son is Oscar.  He is an angel of a boy now, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a holy terror once he starts flexing those muscles.”

“Why are you doing this?” Maggie asked, cutting off the thrilling tales from the little Psychic family.

“I thought you would want to know a little about me?”  You know, if you are considering letting me carry Arthur’s kid,” Abby smiled.

“No, that’s not what I meant.  I want to know why in the world you would want to carry the child of a man who is not your husband and another psychic’s child nonetheless, for no money or other worldly benefits, in fact, most likely at your own expense.”

Abby shrugged. “I’m not going to lie to you—having a psychic’s kid is tough.  If we all agree to this, I am going to learn a lot about Arthur that he might not want me to know, and by extension I may learn a bit about you that you might not want me to know.  And I know you are a very private person and I understand that you are weary about this, but,” Abby spun her mug on the table and smiled again.  “When Arthur talks about you, Oscar gets this smile.  Carlos is better, as you know I’m sure, at not giving away what he knows or what he learns, but Oscar hasn’t quite gotten to that point yet.  So, whatever Arthur feels so strongly when he talks about you, Oscar can’t help but light up and smile, and…I don’t know.  I guess it’s hard to explain.”

Maggie looked down at the table and scratched at the back of her neck nervously. She still wasn’t used to the fact that someone felt a “light up and smile” way about her, and she really wasn’t sure how she felt about the fact that someone else could see that, even if it was just a four-year old psychic boy.  “You know you’d have to raise him—Arthur’s boy, I mean.” Maggie pointed out, not entirely sure why she was still trying to talk Abby out of it.

“I know. Arthur said that for whatever reason you don’t want to raise a family, and I figure that’s none of my business.  But this way, Arthur doesn’t lose his mind and cheat on you, his son gets to be raised in a loving family, with a half-brother to help take care of him, and no poor unsuspecting woman is dragged into a terrifying world of magic and monsters by unknowingly carrying the child of a psychic.   Also, if Arthur wants to be involved in his son’s life, then I’m sure we can figure out a way to make that work too.” Abby took a long sip of her tea to let it sink in, and to let Maggie come up with more objections if she had them. “I wouldn’t dare insult your intelligence, Maggie.  I know you are smarter than two of me combined.  I know that you know this is a good plan.  I also know that Arthur wouldn’t have dared to bring me to your home without your explicit permission to have me know where you live.  From what Carlos has told me and what Arthur says, you do a lot of good for a lot of people who help protect innocents. I know that at least once you had a big hand in helping to save Carlos’s life, and I’m willing to bet you had at least some help in a series of other times that he’s survived. Carlos and I just want to make your life easier, Maggie, and we want you and Arthur to have your happily ever after if we can wing it.  Since this is something Arthur has to do, we want to make the whole experience as convenient as possible. You do enough for others, let us do something for you.  Does that answer your previous question sufficiently?”

She was authoritative, but not challenging Maggie.  She was willing to play pleasantries, but knew where she stood and was going to make sure Maggie knew it too.  She was happily married and didn’t want to conceive with Arthur the “Natural” way.  In spite of herself, Maggie liked this girl.  A lot.

Maggie stood up, and Abby followed suit.  Maggie offered her hand in a shake. “We’ll be in touch, Abigail.”

Abby smiled as they shook.  “I’m sure we will, Margaret.  I’m very sure we will.”

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Maggie's Stories

 

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Fiction: Passing on the Genes (441 words)

“I don’t think it’s fair for me to have kids,” Maggie confessed quietly to Arthur. Arthur tired very hard not to look disappointed by that.  He knew how hard it must have been for Maggie to admit it, how long it must have taken her to build up the courage to tell him, and he didn’t want to seem ungrateful for that work.

“Why unfair? You’re a genius and the kindest heart I’ve ever known.  I think that’s worth passing on to the next generation.” Arthur said carefully, kissing her on the forehead.

“I’m a borderline alcoholic, agoraphobic, hermit, who once literally decided to be sliced across the back by an off balanced hunter with a fishing knife rather than leave my house.  It’s not fair for me to be a mother.” Maggie laid out, not telling Arthur anything he didn’t already know.

“Well, when you put it like that,” Arthur sighed, trying to keep it light even though he knew this conversation couldn’t stay light.  “I just…” Arthur trailed off, opting to ignore the bigger issue, just for a second longer.

“To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I could go a full forty weeks without a drink.  My genius might be worth passing on, but I don’t think the rest of it should go any further than me.”

The silence hung between them, getting heavier by the second. Finally, Arthur voiced the problem, the real issue with Maggie’s reveal.  “I have to have a son,” he whispered.

“I know,” Maggie sighed.

“I mean, eventually it becomes a biological imperative. It will consume me if I don’t. My dad told me how bad it got when he tried not to.” Arthur continued.

“I know the lore, King.” Maggie snapped with a little more fire than was strictly necessary.  “ I know what you are, and I’ve probably read more and retained more about you than you have.  I know what happens.”

“I  know,” Arthur resigned, verbally retreating from Maggie’s anger, “I know that you know but—We’ll figure something out, right?”  Maggie didn’t like how desperately Arthur was looking at her now. She didn’t know the answer, and that made it all so much worse.  “You’re the genius, right? We can figure something out.”

Maggie’s anger dissolved. He hadn’t meant to piss her off.  No one had asked for this situation.  “Of course we will, King. We’ll figure something out.”  But all Maggie could think of was she needed a stronger drink.17

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Maggie's Stories