RSS

Tag Archives: loss

Fiction: Legal Theft Project– Unhealthy

There was no hiding from sleep. I could avoid it for a little while—with a steady diet of coffee, sodas, and on the more extreme days, Kroger brand “Stay Awake” caffeine pills. But in the end, sleep always got me. Which is probably for the best, I guess, because they tell me that if you don’t sleep you die.

I digress.

And really, the truth of the matter is going to sleep isn’t the problem. Asleep, I dream.  And when I’m dreaming, everything is fine. He’s not dead yet, I’m still making money, and everything is okay. It’s nice to be happy and okay again.

Waking up is the problem. Because no matter what, I do wake up, and always sooner than I’d like.  And I’m alone in bed again. And in ways that I cannot properly explain unless you’ve felt it too—that sucks.

I know it will get better with time. I know that every morning that I wake up I will miss him—but eventually, it will get to the point where I don’t hate laying down to sleep, eventually it will get to the point where waking up isn’t the worst part of my day. But for now…Well, I’ll run from sleep as best I can.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

Tags: , , ,

Fiction: Team (518 words)

“I do not like you.” Amelia was quick to make sure that he knew where he was in her opinion right from the start. She didn’t want there to be any confusion that her agreement to here and to help had at all changed her thoughts about him.

Evan nodded like he had expected as much, with that condescending look that set Amelia’s hair on edge and brought out the worst of her temper.  “You don’t have to like me. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of you. But Lindsey wanted us to work together. Because of that, our dislike for each other has to stay between us.”

“I know,” Amelia snapped at him quickly, before taking a deep breath. She continued in a much more civil tone, biting down on her temper as hard as she could. “I mean, I know. We have to act as a united front for Donald. It’s what Lindsey would have wanted.”

Almost subconsciously, they both turned just slightly to look at the silver urn on the fireplace, carved with a rose, next to a picture of the most important woman in both of their lives, Amelia’s sister and Evan’s wife.  Amelia felt the temper drain right out of her. Lindsey would hate to see her like this. She really had to work on that whole being the person my sister would want me to be promise she had made herself at Lindsey’s funeral.

“We are all he has now,” Evan said quietly. “We can’t pull him apart by trying to turn him against each other. That’s not fair.”

“I promise,” Amelia said quickly. When Lindsey had been alive, Amelia had never hesitated to make her distain for Lindsey’s husband known. Evan had always treated her civilly, even kindly, in spite of how Amelia acted to him. If he ever spoke bad of her it was in private. If anyone had to make the commitment to change, it was going to be here. “I promise, that from here on out any complaints I have of you will only be made in private to my friends when Donald is not with me, or to you directly if it is a concern with our—working relationship for a lack of a better word—when we can discuss it civilly with Donald being aware.”

For a second, Evan looked like he was sucking on a lemon, but his face returned to a neutral expression as he nodded. “Okay. I will promise the same. From here on out, we are a team.”

Only by thinking of Lindsey watching her, could Amelia stomach the thought of being on a team with him. Only by focusing on her love for her little nephew, Amelia swallowed down the bitter taste in her mouth and repeated back. “From here on out, we are a team.”

“Good,” Evan nodded, even managing to smile at her. “So. Let’s discuss the weekly schedule, shall we?”

Evan pulled a cleanly printed booklet out of his bag, labeled “Donald’s Weekly School/Play Schedule” on the front, and Amelia tried very hard not to scream.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 14, 2017 in Stories

 

Tags: , , ,

Fiction: TV Time (529 words)

She just sat there, continuing to watch TV, as the boy pulled himself up onto the couch, and curled himself into a little ball in her lap.  Once he’d finally settled, resting his head on her knee so he could see the TV too, she looked down and ran her fingers through his jet-black hair, scratching lightly at his hair as she went.

“This is nice, isn’t it?” he said in his soft little soprano.

She swallowed hard and took a deep breath to keep herself steady. He’d caught her off guard. She remembered, all those years ago, sitting on this very couch with this boy’s father. He wasn’t small enough to form a ball in her lap, he was all limbs and gangly, so he spent their TV time stretched out along the couch. But he would always turn and twist himself so he could rest his head in her lap, so when something dramatic happened in the show he could look up at her eyes wide and ask her if she saw that too.

But more often than not, he’d just lay there and enjoy her fingers raking through his hair, nuzzling his face into her calf, and ask her “This is nice, isn’t it love?” They spent many of their weekday evenings like that, and her answer was always “Yes, yes it is.”

 

The little boy noticed the silent from his mother, and twisted himself in his lap so he could look up at her “Mamma? Are you okay?”

She smiled, brushing his bangs out of his eyes, and gave him a little pinch on the tip of his nose. “Yeah, baby, I just miss your Daddy today.”

He pulled himself up, using her t-shirt as leverage, and wrapped his arms around her neck. “I miss Daddy too,” he told her hugging her tightly, “But he’s still here, right?  Nana says that Daddy is still with us in our hearts as long as we still love him.  Do you still love Daddy?”

Her eyes filled with tears as she wrapped her arms around her son. “Yes, Baby, of course, I still love Daddy.  Do you still love Daddy?”

“Always and forever,” he answered, using the words his father used to say when he tucked him in at night. “And I think he still loves us. Wherever it is he is.”

“Yeah, I think you’re right.” She squeezed him a little tighter, planting a purposely sloppy kiss right on his cheek.

He made a groaning noise and cried “Mamma!” trying to squirm away from her. She let him go, and he squirmed himself right off the couch, making faces up at her. “Why, Mamma?” he complained, wiping furiously at his cheek in the process. “That’s gross.”

“Sorry, Rascal.” She laughed, holding up her hands in mock surrender. “Do you want to watch a little more TV, or do you think it’s time to get ready for bed?”

He squirmed back up onto the couch. “A little more TV please,” he smiled, curling back into his usual ball on her lap.

“Okay. One more episode, and then bed.”

“Thank you, Mamma. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Stories

 

Tags: , , , ,

Fiction: Legal Theft Project–Broken (535 words)

His magic had never failed him before, and now a boy was dead.  He stood there, numbly, his hand still outstretched, fingers spread.  The shield had come down. He hadn’t been strong enough. He hadn’t been able to hold it all together.

Mark hadn’t even turned around yet. He only knew that Chad was dead because of the screaming behind him. Sarah was crying “No, no, no,” and Shaun’s unnervingly calm voice declared, “It was a direct hit. He’s gone.”

Mark stared at the empty spaces between his fingers, seeing straight through them without the crackling of magic running between them. He’d been able to face down any enemy before. Very few people could even manage to make him sweat. No one could beat his defensive magic.

Mark let out a strangled noise, somewhere between a sob and a laugh, and let his arm fall to his side. He couldn’t really say that anymore, could he? Someone had beaten his defensive magic when it mattered the most.

Chad was dead.

He wanted to turn around. He wanted to try to apologize to Sarah though he knew he would never be able to make up for the loss of her brother. He wanted to demand that Shaun explain to him what went wrong—how had the shield failed him. He wanted someone, anyone, to tell him that it wasn’t his fault—even though it was most definitely, unerringly his fault.

He couldn’t move though. Lowering his arm seemed to be the last movement he was capable of. He couldn’t turn. He couldn’t run. He couldn’t do anything. He was petrified by fear and grief and blame and guilt.

But then there was a hand in his. A small, soft hand, so gentle that it was almost like it wasn’t there. Mark turned to see Adam there, standing next to him, his back also turned to the horrors behind them.

“They don’t need us here right now,” Adam whispered, his words almost drowned out by the commotion behind them. “Let’s go get you cleaned up, okay?”

Mark let himself be led away from the battleground. He let Adam guide him into the tent. He let himself be stripped down to his underwear, and the dirt and grime and (oh god) blood be wiped off his face, and the back of his neck and away from his arms and hands.

Eventually, Adam led him over to one of the identical little cots and be tucked away under the little blanket.  Mark felt so empty, frozen, but he had to say something. He caught Adam’s hand as he tried to walk away, and pulled him close to the cot. “I don’t…I didn’t mean…I’m sorry.  They need—Someone should say…I’m sorry.” The sentence fragments came tumbling out of his mouth, and he knew he sounded like a madman, but it was the best he could manage.

“It’s okay. I know. They know. It’s okay.” Adam reached out and brushed a piece of hair away from Mark’s forehead. “Sleep, Mark. Sleep.”

Mark didn’t know if it was his own emptiness or Adam’s gentle magic, but his eyelids grew too heavy to stay up, then he was asleep.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 21, 2017 in Legal Theft Project

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Fiction: Five Years (515 words)

Right after we got out of school, Aden was given his own command, a military ship designed to go from base to base carrying intel and to occasionally to mount small recon missions on its own. It was deemed a low risk situation—and Aden was permitted to bring any legal family over the age of fourteen. He hired his sister as the medic, and married me. My only official job was to be a captain’s wife, but I’d never been the homebody type—so I spent a lot of my time teaching anyone who wanted to learn to shoot better, and even spent some time one-upping Aden’s best men in the shooting range.  It was especially fun to beat the rookies who thought I was just an arm candy wife who’d hitched my wagon to a military star.

We were a good little family, Demi, Aden, and I. Aden I decided to wait until we were stationed in a city to start a proper family of our own. I thought our life was perfect. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I should have known that it was never going to last. Aden, as the captain, spent a lot of time on the ship ordering other people around—but he was still young and strong headed and occasionally restless. Because of that, when a recon mission was determined to be the lowest risk, Aden liked to handle it himself.  To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t even worried.  After all, he’d always come home to me—why should I worry about his abilities now? He left in midmorning ship time with a kiss and an I love you, and an I’ll see you soon.  I beat three newbies in the shooting range, took a run in the gym, and ate dinner with Demi. My thoughts as I crawled into bed were I hoped that Aden showered before getting in bed because I didn’t want to wake up covered in secondhand dust from a sandy planet.

I didn’t wake up in secondhand dust. I woke up to Demi shaking me away, and Aden’s side of the bed still empty.

They had received a mayday and a rescue team had gone in—but all they could find was a lot of blood and part of a leg. They were going to keep looking and put out feelers for hope against hope—but Demi was honest with me. They’d found too much blood in one area. No one could survive losing that much blood. I didn’t really want to hear it, but I appreciated not having false hope.

We had to wait six months. It was standard procedure for an assumed death with no proper body.  But then, he was given a proper funeral—paid for by the military—with a staggering number of servicemen and women there to pay their respects.  He’d touched a lot of people in his short career.

So—I was twenty-two years old, widowed, and left without a home or income. I didn’t know what to do.

 

I never expected him to come back.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 6, 2017 in Stories

 

Tags: , , ,

Fiction: Skye’s Journal, Jan 8th (545 words)

Sunday, January 8th:

Well, Cameron and I did our usual church trip today. Since it’s a new year with a new journal, I guess I should explain what that means again, in case only one journal gets passed on to my family, or I become so old and senile I don’t know what any of this means again or—whatever. Visiting our church—It is not what you think of when you think of a church trip—but it’s ours.

See, when we were small, Mom was insistent that we all go to church as a family, so every Sunday we were all there, sitting in the same pew every week, Dad, Cameron and I more asleep than anything else at the early mass—but there nonetheless. After Mom and Dad died, Cameron and I tried to keep going, we really did.  In fact, we did keep going.  For about six months we were there, every Sunday, dressed nicely and as patiently as possibly enduring the “oh you poor dears” and the “your parents were good people”. But then the case went cold.  We were essentially told that they weren’t any closer to finding my parents killers then the day they died, and that they were giving up.  Since they told us that, I haven’t stepped foot inside the sanctuary.

At first, Cameron and I would still get dressed up in our Sunday best, and head to church.  We would meet people in the halls, stop and talk, let people know we were there.  But when it came time for the service to start, we would hang out in the nursery with the toddlers, or on particularly difficult days, hide out in one of the lesser used classrooms and possibly talk to each other, or just sit in silence. Somewhere along the line, we stopped going into the building altogether.  We would still get dressed nicely, but we would hang outside on the benches around the church, or sit on the swings at the playground.  Eventually, we stopped dressing up.  We just go out in Jeans and T-shirts and swing on the swings at the church playground, talking, and having true brother-sister family time.

It’s not that I don’t believe in God, or even that cliché that I’m mad at God for taking my parents away from me. I just don’t understand, and I am not in any position to be taught or made to understand, not yet.  Hopefully, someday I’ll be able to walk back into that room, and listen to what they are saying and hear it in English, instead of the pointless gibberish I heard for six months when I was thirteen years old.  Until then, I am perfectly content to sit on the swings with my brother, and stare up at the building that meant so much to my mother.

You know what, I’m going to make a promise to myself right here.  Before the tenth anniversary of my parent’s death, I will give at least two full-fledged tries to understand church again.  In the next six years, I will try to be a good Christian again.   Probably not anytime soon, but some time.

Alright, that seems like a good place to stop for the night.

Love and Such,

Skye Gibson.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 6, 2017 in Stories, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Fiction: And What Brings You Here? (570 words)

I was always grateful to Micah for being the big brother I never had. I mean, I did have older half-sisters on either side of my families, and Micah was technically my cousin–But he had something that neither of my sisters did. He had something special that I needed when I was growing up, that my sisters couldn’t quite pull off.  My Mom said it was attitude. My Dad, Micah’s uncle, said it was regrets.  But I just called it “The Micah Factor.” He got through to me in a way that a lot of people couldn’t, but I wasn’t sure why.

He was my best friend. I know that sounds weird, but he was. When good things happened—Well, I called my mom first because she was my mom and I’d never hear the end of it if I called someone before her. But after my mom had been debriefed, I called Micah. He was always excited for me or angry on my behalf, depending on what the situation called for.  Lizzie, my half-sister on my mom’s side, would get so angry when she learned something new about my life, only to then find out that Micah had known for weeks (sometimes months).

So—it was really hard to watch him get sick.  It changed him—messed with his mind and turned him into someone I didn’t know. And there were days that we went in to see him, and he didn’t know us either. To see a man who once knew everything about you—to have him look at you and extend a hand and introduce himself like you’d never met—that was hard.

He did know us though. When we told him who we were he recognized the names, and you could watch him struggle to get to the memories and understanding that he had with us. I think that was worse than him not knowing us at all. I mean, I know it would hurt for him to not know me, but watching him struggle—I don’t know. Maybe if it were the other way, I would wish it were this way. Grass is always greener and all that nonsense.

Relief is the wrong word. But—release maybe? I don’t know. But I definitely felt something—happier than I thought I should have when I heard that he’d passed.  This was my best friend, my cousin, the closest thing I’d ever had to a brother. And I felt lighter at the news that he was gone. That can’t be right, can it?  I mean—I was heartbroken, don’t get me wrong. I cried for days straight. Even now, something will catch me off guard and I’ll want to call him and it kills me to know I can’t.

But I’m glad—and I know it sounds terrible—but I am glad I don’t have to walk into that hospital room anymore and watch him try to associate me with the girl he knows in his head and watch the two of them not line up. I’m glad I don’t have to watch my Dad’s face fall every time we leave, his heart shattering again. And I know I shouldn’t be, because Micah is dead and I should not be glad.

So, I guess, to answer your question, I’m here because Micah died, and something in me broke. And I’ve realized that I cannot fix it alone.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 15, 2017 in Stories

 

Tags: , , , ,