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Tag Archives: understanding

Fiction: Hating the Wait (533 words)

All River could do now was wait. They had fortified their defenses. Her army was at her it’s strongest yet. They had a good position around their base—and she was fairly confident that the could outlast any siege that the Brotherhood could bring around them.

But now they were just waiting.  They had to wait for the Brotherhood to decide to come and attack them. They all knew that it was only a matter of time—but they didn’t know what length that time would be.  She paced around the front room of the little fortified base, trying not drive herself crazy, or anyone else crazy. David was standing near the door to the barracks, leaning against the wall and watching her walk herself around in different circles and squares, and any other shape that her mind could create, as a pathetic attempt at a distraction method.

“Are you going to do that until they show up?” David finally asked when River finished was he was pretty sure was a five point star. “It could still be a couple weeks before their army is at our door. Your legs are going to get tired.”

“Hardy-har,” River replied in a monotone, starting a new shape around the border of the room.

“Seriously though, Riv, you’ve got to calm down. You’re going to drive us all batty sooner rather than later if you keep running around like that.” David answered

“I’m going to drive myself crazy if I sit still, Dave. I can’t just stand around waiting to be attacked.”

“Well, there is a poker game going on in the barracks. I’m pretty sure the chef can always use help in the kitchen. Or, if you’re thinking a little bit more one-on-one, I’m pretty sure there’s a nice little supply closet we can disappear to for a couple hours or so,” David waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

River stopped in her pacing to give David a look. “Really? That’s what you’re thinking about? With everything going on?”

“Well, of course—“ David shrugged with a smile. “It took us so long to get together. If we’re going to be under siege, I might as well try and get as much as I can before it’s all war all the time.”

The anger and tension slid out of River in one quick wave as she shook her head at David. “You are utterly ridiculous. You know that?”

“I am aware. I’ve been told a time or two. Mostly by you, in fact.” David pushed up away from the wall, but didn’t step forward. He raised his arms just slightly, like inviting River forward for a hug. She rocked back and forth on her heels for a second, before walking forward into his arms. He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist as she rested her head against his collarbone.

“I love you,” She muttered into his chest, “Just in case I haven’t said it enough.”

“I love you too,” He murmured into her hair. He waited a whole additional fifteen seconds before added, “So, that closet…yes or no?”

She gave him a half-hearted shove in the chest. “You’re ridiculous.”

“See?” He laughed, “There you go again.”

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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in River's Story, Stories

 

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Fiction: Unintentional Change [Part 1 of 2] (518 words)

Cindy sat on a chair in the basement.  Matthew was pouring over book after book, comparing the blood that she’d given him under the microscope to the pictures covering his pages.  James sat slumped on the futon in the corner, trying to act casual, but he kept glancing back to Cindy to make sure she hadn’t moved. It broke his heart not to trust her. She had been such a good friend to them, for so long—but he didn’t know who she actually was. He wanted to believe that she didn’t know either. He wanted to believe she was just as shocked as he was to wake up after what should have been a fatal blow to the back of her head and neck.

But what if she wasn’t shocked? What if she was something he didn’t know, and he was there to hurt him, to hurt Matthew? What if she was the thing that Matthew and he had been drawn here to protect against?

He saw Cindy shift uncomfortably in her seat, and he realized he’d been staring at her for a while. He turned back to look at Matthew, who now seemed very still. That meant he was close. He’s almost figured it out and now he was just ironing out details before he presented his ideas to anyone else. James subconsciously relaxed. Matthew would have an answer soon. Whether it was good news or bad news it would be good to finally just have a concrete answer.

Slowly, almost like he was coming out of a trance, Matthew stood up straight at his work table.  After a moment, he turned to look at James, almost like he was in a daze. “James. I need to speak to you in the hall.  Now.”

It was the sharp tone in Matthew’s voice that caught James off guard. Matthew wasn’t the sharp-voiced type. It was that distraction that made James follow Matthew out of the room without thinking about the fact that they were leaving Cindy alone with several means to escape.

They had barely gotten into the hall when Matthew swung the door shut hard behind them, and pointed an accusing finger to the room. “Do you love her?”

There were two beats of silence, then James blinked and said, “No.”

“I’d advise you not to lie to me,” Matthew retorted, in full professor voice. It wasn’t often that James thought about the fact that Matthew was technically nearly double his age.  That was the problem of being immortal in a mortal world. Sometimes he forgot that he lived in a way that was unlike those around him.

James didn’t say anything else. He wasn’t stupid enough to lie again when he’d been warned. Matthew nodded his head sagely. “Well, why ask the question if you already knew the answer?” James countered, starting to get annoyed now. He had no idea what all this was about, and he didn’t appreciate the third degree in the meantime.

“I knew the answer, because if you love her—you did this to her. She’s immortal now—because of you.”

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Subliminal Love (517 words)

“So, I’m pretty sure that our mothers want us to get married,” Thomas said out of the blue. Suzanna almost chocked on the apple she’d taken a bit out of.

In her most unladylike fashion, she spit out the chuck of apple, coughed for a moment and then turned to face Thomas. “What?”

“I think our mothers want us to get married,” he shrugged, stubbornly not looking Suzanna in the eye.

“Why do you say that? Has your mother said something to you?” And then a worst thought crossed her mind, “Has MY mother?”

“No,” Thomas shook his head, “They haven’t said anything per se. I think they—or at least my mother—is hoping we’ll come to the conclusion ourselves, so they don’t have to try and blatantly coerce us. After all, my mother hated her arranged married and we can see how well it worked out for your father so—“Thomas trailed off with a vague motion of his hand, not wanting to mention out right that Suzanna’s mother was not the woman that her father had been promised to since childhood.

“Well, coercing will have to occur,” Suzanna said resolutely, Taking another large bite out of her apple, and chewing it almost defiantly.

Thomas sat and watched her chew, waiting for her to swallow before he spoke again. “Would it really be that bad? Being married to me?”

This time, Thomas did look her in the eye. She held his gaze as she put down the apple and took his hands in hers.

“No, Tom, being married to you would not be terrible. It might even be fun. But I absolutely do not want to marry you because it’s what our parents want us to do, or because it’s just a thought that your mother put in your head. If you can promise me right here and now that marrying me is something you thought about before you realized it was what our parents wanted, then I promise you I’ll try to be open minded about it. But I don’t want to be tricked into thinking I love someone and I don’t want someone to be tricked into thinking that they love me, okay?”

Thomas pulled his hands out of Suzanna’s while he shrugged, then nodding. Suzanna considered him for a second, before crossing to the other side of the room to stare out the windows, scooping up her apple as she went.

“So, what do you think? Horseback riding tomorrow? Might be nice to get out into nature for a little while.” Suzanna asked, taking another bite.

“I do think I love you,” Thomas offered in a small voice. Suzanna pretended not to hear him, turning to look back at the forest outside their windows, as if she was trying to decide the best path to ride tomorrow.  Thomas was gracious in the denial. He came up next to her and looked out at the paths too. “It would be nice to get other there. It’s been a while since we rode.”

“Yeah,” Suzanna smiled at nothing in particular, “Tomorrow will be nice.”

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Did He Know? (907 words)

Aurora sat alone in her room. She was always alone in her room—or almost always anyways—at least since her parents died. No that she minded too terribly much. She did have some access to the internet, and her father’s large collection of classic television, so she had plenty to amuse her time. The workers were nice enough to her, often bring her games or new movies to watch. And sometimes, when she was really lucky, John would come by.

John had been visiting Aurora since she was about six years old, even when her parents were still alive. He came because he figured that Aurora might like someone to call a friend who she wasn’t directly related to, and she wasn’t likely to meet a lot of people as long as she was under “observation” here—which was very likely to be for the rest of natural life. On top of that, he was the only international member of the team here, and he figured he was Aurora’s only chance to meet someone who wasn’t American. When she was young, she was enthralled by is accent, and would often come up with ridiculous things for him to say, just so she could giggle at the difference between the way they would say it.

When her parents died, he was the only one who actually went in to  her room to comfort her, rather than just offering condolences. To hold her tightly and let her cry and treat her like the mourning twelve-year-old she was. And when she started to develop her “moods,” they always called John in to talk to her, and get her into a better mood.  He had been a good friend to her. And a surrogate father in the last seven years since she lost her real family.

But she had never asked for him to be brought to her before. Today, though, she needed to know if he knew. She needed to know if she had been so thoroughly betrayed. And if she hadn’t, if he didn’t know, she needed to warn him.

She went to the wall where she knew the door was, and knocked against it sharply. “Excuse me. I would like to see John please. If someone could get him, I’d appreciate it.” She called out.  There was no response.  She waited a few minutes to see if someone would answer her, but she didn’t expect them too. Finally, she crossed back to her bed and sat down. She’d give them a little while to bring him, and if they didn’t, she knew how to fake a hissy fit and get them to fetch him themselves.

Luckily, she didn’t have to resort to that measure. About an hour after she had knocked on the door, it opened just a crack, just enough to see a brown eye peeking in at her. She laughed in spite of herself, and John came into the room, all wide smiles. If they knew she’d figured it out—they hadn’t warned him. “You wanted to see me?” He questioned dropping into the chair that was meant for her desk.

“Yeah,” She scooted to the end of her bed so that she could look him in the eye, “Do you know?”

She saw his confusion, still amused, wondering what kind of game she was playing now. “Do I know what?”

“About my parents. Do you know?”

He didn’t stiffen, or panic. But the amusement was gone. He knew she didn’t like to talk about her parents. He didn’t understand what she was playing at. “What are you going on about?”

He didn’t know. She’d never felt so relieved in his life. She closed her eyes and counted to three, before opening them to look at John. He looked at her quizzically before his eyes widened. “You’re getting stronger, aren’t you?” He asked quickly, “Stronger than you’re letting them believe.”

“Yes,” she answered simply, “But that’s not what I needed to know if you knew.”

“What then?”

“My parents died in a car crash. But it was not an accident. My parents wanted to pull me out of here, thinking these people were going to do me more harm than good. And they died because of it.” She informed him blankly. “I am stronger than they know, and they are going to suffer for that.”

“Aurora. No. Don’t do anything rash.” John said softly. She believed that he actually had her best interest at heart—he wasn’t just trying to save this company—he cared for her. But—she’d made up her mind, and that was that.

“Leave, John. Get out of here before breakfast. After all this is said and done, maybe I’ll come find you. But if you stay.” She gave a little shrug like saying it wasn’t her fault what happened.

John nodded slowly. She’d been out of control her whole life. It was time for her to be in charge. He hadn’t known about he parents, but he wasn’t surprised. “I’ll leave,” he said quietly, “If you promise that you’ll come and find me. Promise me.”

Aurora didn’t even have to consider it. After all, who else did she have? “I promise.”

John stood to leave and Aurora closed her eyes again. No one would know they had this conversation. Now, he just had to act normal until he got out of the building. Aurora would take care of the rest.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Understanding (100 words)

She never really understood why it was so much easier for her to understand strangers more than anyone else.  She’d listen to them talk for hours and hours, and she’d give them back advice and she’d heard again and again how she saved their lives or that she knew exactly what to say to make them feel better.

But with her own friends, with her own family, with her own life. She didn’t have a clue. What she really needed was a her who was not her, someone one who could give her the advice she gave to other people.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2016 in Stories, Uncategorized

 

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Fiction: Yellow (226 words)

“I thought we could wear yellow,” Emily suggested weakly, holding out the flyer for the mother daughter tea that Nancy had left stuck to the front of the fridge.  “You always say I look good in yellow.  And our coloring are so similar than that must mean you look good in yellow too.”

It was a peace offering.  It was Emily meeting her mother half way after weeks of back and forth bickering.  It was maybe the last moment of peace that Nancy was going to get until Emily finally hit her mid-twenties and stopped this whole war against her mother.

And now Nancy was left with a dilemma. Did she just ignore the mistreatments that had happened by her daughter in the last couple of weeks, in favor for this peace offering? Did she appreciate the calm in the eye of the storm, and let things lie?

Or did she make her daughter face what she’d said, what she’d done, to her mother over the last couple of weeks?  Did she push back against her daughter and make her understand that this was a peace offering too small, that she needed a better apology to make things better?

To be honest, Nancy didn’t know what the right answer was.  No one had ever prepared her for this kind of thing in all their parenting advice.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Geneva’s Lies (240 words)

I didn’t tell Jason wat we had decided.  I didn’t tell him that even though we had trained Arthur to have his very best chance, we all knew he wouldn’t make it out of this alive.  It wasn’t a slim chance that he was coming back—this was no chance that he was coming back.  And we all knew that completely when we decided to ask Arthur to do it.

Jason wouldn’t be able to handle that.  He couldn’t send a man to his definite death.  Even though it was t only way to save the rest of the world, Jason wouldn’t be able to just sit with it.  He would insist we find another way, as if we hadn’t spent the last several months trying to come up with literally any solution at all.  Jason would insist we find another way, even if it meant we all sat here and died while we looked for it.

So, no, I didn’t tell Jason what we had decided.  It’s the biggest secret I’ve ever kept from my husband.  And no—I don’t feel good about it.  But I don’t feel good about the fact that I sent Arthur to his death either. However, I am not as soft hearted as my husband.  I can do what needs to be done, regardless of how I feel. So I will continue to lie. With relative ease.

And I am not changing my mind.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Stories, Uncategorized

 

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