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Tag Archives: warnings

Fiction: Returning Home (227 words)

He could feel her glare burning into the back of his head.  He was used to it, that burning hatred, but it was always heartbreaking to feel it coming from his own mother.  “We’ve been over this,” he sighed, not even bothering to turn around.

“I don’t like it when you come back here,” his mother spat the familiar refrain.

“If I don’t come back here to see her every now and then, she will come looking for me. We both agree that’s a bad thing, right?” Malcolm finally turned, leaning against the counter, crossing his arms across his chest.

“Yes.” His mother agreed begrudgingly.

“Look, I’ve been making the visits further and further apart so she’ll stay longer and longer without getting anxious about me.  I will only stay as long as I have to.  I have taken the necessary steps to assure that she will never meet our father. I am the lesser of two evils, and you know it. So, please, suck it up.”

As a boy, he never would have imagined talking to his mother that way.  People around here were raised to respect their elders, especially their parents.  But then his father’s true nature was revealed. It was too late for Malcolm, he was already a victim of his father’s influence, his father’s nature.  It also didn’t help that he was nearly his father’s spitting image. But, Agatha, his little sister, she could still be saved.  He and his mother didn’t agree on anything but saving Agatha.

“I just don’t like it when you come back here.”  His mother repeated.

“Yeah—well,” Malcolm turned back to the sandwich he was making, “Neither do I.”

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Changing the Future (357 Words)

It always felt like a shock. Not a little static shock, but like the time he accidentally touched an uncovered wire for a second—that wave of energy rolling up his arm.  It didn’t hurt, per se, but it didn’t feel good. Daniel always seemed to notice before Arthur’s brain could even fully recover from whatever happened.  He’d steady Arthur easily, and whisper “Who was it?” as if it was ever anyone else these days.

“Maggie,” Arthur would dutifully respond, and Daniel would abandon him.  Of course, Arthur never minded.  If he had the power to help her, he’d have abandoned Daniel in a heartbeat.  She was both of their top priority.

And it was all due to Daniel that those shocks were so small, not the crushing pain Arthur had felt before—knowing the worst had happened to someone he cared about.  Daniel could move fast enough just quick enough to stop it before it could get too bad—sometimes before it happened at all.

So slowly Arthur made his way back home, sometime taking hours to get to that house in the woods, sometimes days.  But no matter what, it was worth it.  To be greeted at the door by Maggie—to have her wrap her arms around him and say “Thanks, King.  I owe you another one.  You’re always saving my life.”  To which of course Daniel would always get mock huffy and complain that he does all the heavy lifting and Arthur gets all the praise, but in the end everyone’s okay and they order pizza that Daniel always has to go pick up because Maggie doesn’t want to give out her address to people she’s never met.

And it takes a while, but Arthur finally admits—he’d rather get shocked every day, he’d rather take all the weight of every crushing pain he’d ever experienced at once than let one bad thing happen to Maggie. And he is so grateful for Daniel that he doesn’t even know how to start to say it—and then as if he’s the psychic, Daniel gives him a wink and a smile and says, “Don’t worry, you’ll figure out how to tell me.”

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Stories

 

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Fiction: In Through the Window (481 words)

I heard the window open, but I didn’t react.  In the smallest motion I could manage, I tightened my grip around the little knife hidden under my pillow.  If whoever it was made a single move I didn’t like, I would make sure they would come to regret it.

“Me, Mara.”  It was Colin’s voice.  I relaxed my grip on the knife but still didn’t turn to look at him.  There was still a fair amount of bracing myself required to have an interaction with Colin these days.  It was terrible that it had come to that, but what else could be done?

I let out one more slow breath before rolling over.  Colin hadn’t forgotten his manners, facing the wall so that I could get myself ready if I wasn’t decent.  I wonder if he crawled in backward too.  I wrapped my bathrobe around me and sat back down on the edge of my bed. “Okay.”

Colin turned around—and for the first moment, there was that knee-jerk reaction that I’d had since I was seven.  My heart skipped a beat and my head filled with that fog that always showed up when Colin was around.  I wanted to jump up and throw my arms around him.  I wanted to hold him tight and promise him everything would be okay.  I wanted that ‘we can take on the world together’ feeling back. For half a second I was that girl who formed a secret team with her twin brother again.  But—

“Andy will be coming by tomorrow,” Colin said carefully, and the fog cleared. I remembered who we were now.  “He’s going to present a compelling argument. Don’t accept We don’t need you on this one, in spite of what he says. Don’t let him guilt you into coming back if you don’t want to.”

“Colin, would you tell me if the team did need me? Would you be honest about it if you really needed a fifth man to complete the job, or my expertise to get something done?”

There was silence.  Colin shifted his weight from one foot to the other as he thought.  I counted slowly in my head, and at eighty-six, he said, “Yes. Mara, I wouldn’t lie to you, even if I wanted to.  If we need you back, I’ll tell you.”

“Okay. Then I won’t let him guilt me.”  Colin nodded and turned to leave, but I said his name. He froze, hand on the window sill, but he didn’t turn around.  I wanted to ask him to stay—to ask how he was doing—to ask if he thought I could be that girl in sundresses and wedges again, or if I’d ever be able to forget—but as usual, all I could manage was “Stay safe out there.”

His shoulders slumped just slightly as I heard “I always try to,” and he disappeared out the window.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Open Communication (617 words)

So Diane finally had the chance to meet the legendary Mara.  She had this fear that she hadn’t started their relationship off on the right foot.  Perhaps accusing her of being out of shape and out of practice was not the way to start on the right foot.

But then again—Tensions were high.  Andy had been kidnapped, everyone was concerned—Diane herself was scared and worried and she could only imagine that Mara was completely and utterly terrified.

Maybe now that Andy was safely in their medic room—Now that they were all safe—Mara would understand, right?  Even still—maybe she shouldn’t mention the sleeping with Colin part.

It wasn’t hard to figure out where Mara would be.  She hadn’t left Andy’s side since they brought him back.  If Diane ha a brother—she expected she would do the same.

Mara just looked up and gave Diane a nod as she entered. That was—promising?  “I just wanted to apologize—“ Diane said quietly, “For accusing you of not being good enough.”

“I don’t think you accused me—“ Mara’s voice was a bit horse, but still gentle, “I think you just implied that I was out of practice.” She turned around to face Diane properly, dropping Andy’s hand back onto the bed for perhaps the first time since they brought him home.

“Well, then I’ sorry for implying.  I know you’re good.  I just expect that I was jealous.  Territorial. I know my spot is technically yours.  It was a knee-jerk reaction.”

“I understand,” Mara actually smiled at that, and Ava’s description came back to Diane. Mara’s a very good heart who has been forced to do some really bad things.  “No, I really do.  And to put you at your ease, I don’t want to take your spot away from you.  I didn’t come here to make your life difficult—I just wanted my brother back.  I forgive you for implying, and…” There was a pause and Mara dropped her gaze back to her hands.  Diane noticed she was fidgeting with a small piece of ribbon and wondered where that had come from. “And—it’s okay that you’re sleeping with Colin.  Not that either of you needed my permission or anything but, just, clear the air and—Yeah.”

Diane didn’t blush easily, but this was an awkward situation all the way around. “Oh. You know about that.”

“I recognize the looks, yeah,” Mara shrugged, “Colin doesn’t know I know—I mean, at least not yet. I’m going to tell him too, it’s just a bit more—complicated with him. But, I’m okay with it.  Well, I’m not okay with it, but I understand.  Does that make any sense at all?”

“Yeah,” Diane shifted her weight slightly.  Diane had done a lot of stupid and awkward things in her life, but this was the worst so far.  “For—well, for what it’s worth.  Colin and I are just physical, you know. I mean I think he still—“

“Don’t!” The word came out of Mara like a punch.  Diane actually took a step back.  “Don’t say it. Don’t think it. Don’t even.”  Mara shook her head and pulled the smile back on her face. “It’s complicated—let’s just leave it at that.”

“I’m sorry,” Diane wasn’t sure what she was apologizing for, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the moment.

“It’s okay,” Mara sighed, picking up Andy’s hand again, “You don’t know the extent of it, I’m willing to bet.  Do me a favor, huh? Grab Ava.  I want to talk to her about what she’s got Andy on.”

“Sure,” Diane turned and headed out of the med room—not sure if they were on better or worse terms than when she went in there.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2014 in Stories

 

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