Flash Frenzy, round 39

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11, 2014 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://theangryhourglass.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/flash-frenzy-round-39/

I set the arrow in place and pulled it back. Breathing deep, I willed my hands to steady, and sighted in on my target. Lumpy and orange, the pumpkin wasn’t a threat –but there were real threats not that far away. The thump of the arrow told me my aim had been true, and I walked across the field to retrieve my kill.

“Make sure you clean that arrow, Wil,” Robin called, “and then come help me break this down. We’ll have pumpkin stew for dinner.”

I had the job of protecting what was left of our family, but Robin’s job was probably the harder one. Our mother had tried to teach her how to cook and take care of us, but there just wasn’t enough time. And now we three were on our own.

The stew was ready by the time I’d cleaned and sharpened my arrows, and Robin was trying to get Little John to eat some of it. He was just one, and adjusting to food other than goat’s milk, so there was an awful lot of orange goo flying through the air. Robin grimaced. “I’m never going to get this out of my hair, Wil.”

Her eyes were sad, and I knew she was talking about a lot more than the pumpkin. “It won’t be much longer, Robin. We’ll be sleeping in beds and wearing warm clothes before the snow starts to fall.” I gave her what I hoped was a gentle smile. “And you’ll have your hood up tonight, so no one will make fun of your hair.”

We’d timed it right, and Robin and John were in the middle of the road just as the carriage was coming around the bend. If they recognized her, they’d run her over, but that’s what her hood was for. And, if everything worked out, they just needed to stop for a minute.

Up in a tree on the side of the road, I set an arrow in place and sighted in on my target. This one was a threat, but if I didn’t think about it too much, I could pretend his head was just a pumpkin.

MWBB, 2-23

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10, 2014 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://thetsuruokafiles.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/mid-week-blues-buster-week-2-23/

Kelly hadn’t said no. She hadn’t said yes, either. She hadn’t said much of anything, actually, but had merely picked up her fork and resumed eating her Cobb salad. I stirred my bisque, afraid to lift it lest I spill pureed tomato on my only suit. And we both ignored the shiny ring in the center of the table.

We didn’t talk the remainder of the meal, other than muttered pleases and thank yous to the wait staff. The champagne sat unsipped, though there was a part of me which desperately wanted nothing more than to pass out and hope this was some sort of a dream. And then without so much as a throat-clearing or deep sigh, she spoke.

“Five years ago, I would have said yes in a heartbeat. I was younger then, and I still believed in miracles. Five years from now, I might say the same thing. There will come a point when it won’t matter anymore.” She stopped, tightening her lips. “That’s not what I mean. It matters. You matter. I matter. But I don’t know how much I matter to you.”

“A lot. You matter a lot.” I spoke because it was my turn, not because I was expecting my words to change anything. But there was a rhythm to this kind of conversation.

“I know you think I do, or you want me to, but I’m not sure. There’s too much of you locked away in that cabin in your mind for me to really know what I mean. I’ve always hoped you would let me in, but I don’t think that will happen, not now. Do you?”

And now I paused. Too long, and she’d think I was stuck in that cabin. Too little, and she’d think I wasn’t being serious. The thing was, she thought she knew what she was asking. We’d talked about honesty, intimacy, all the things loving couples shared, early in our relationship. And that was when I’d told her about the cabin.

There was too much in the world that shouldn’t be shared. We each had those thoughts – the things that were best left alone inside our heads. The fantasies about coworkers. The nightmares about our deaths. The hate. The loneliness. The lust. The fear. Those weren’t things that good people shared. But too many people let those things out, and that led to misery, and heartbreak. My parents told me that complete honesty was crucial in relationships, but they’d died on opposite coasts, surrounded by no one.

So I’d made this place for me to store my demons, far from the vulnerable bonds between people which, when severed, could never be repaired. I could visit the cabin when I needed, or when the demons needed, to release the dark when the pressure got too much. My parents were interred there. And my first girlfriend. And Marlene, who I’d thought I might marry but who hadn’t been able to keep her darkness to herself. And over the years, I’d perfected it, so that I could love and be loved without the risk of letting things out, and no one had been the wiser.

But once I began to think that Kelly might really be the one – someone who didn’t share her dark places, as I did not, I told her about how I was able to be the man I was. And she tried to steal that from me.

She wanted into the cabin, to walk through the pines and the birch, past the willows, and to feel the heavy oaks surrounding her. She wanted to walk barefoot on the rough-hewn floor, and to smell the decay that never left old-growth forests like this.

It had been a mistake to let her know about the cabin, I knew. And I’d hoped she’d forget about it, or decide that she loved me enough to not know all my secrets. But that wouldn’t happen.

I didn’t really have a choice anymore – I would have to let her in.

It was a shame, I thought as I hefted the shovel into the loamy soil. I did so love her. But at least this way she’d always be with me.

Flash Friday, 2-44, entry 2

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10, 2014 by drmagoo

Some Children See Him

Tommy had only seen a clown in person once before, at Mitchell’s birthday, but he’d seen a lot on TV. He didn’t think this was a make-you-laugh kind of clown, however, despite the big red grin painted on his face. For one thing, Tommy knew he was still asleep – the doctor had told him that the medicine would keep him that way until the surgery was over. And for another, this clown was glowing.

“Hi Tommy.” His voice was friendly, though his eyes were sad. “Do you know who I am?”

Tommy hadn’t before, but with the asking came the knowledge. He swallowed, at least as much as someone in a waking dream swallows, and nodded. “You’re here to take me with you.”

“I am.”

“But…”

“The doctor tried her hardest, Tommy, but sometimes that isn’t enough.”

“Will I be able to see daddy again?”

“Someday, Tommy. Someday.” And as Tommy started to glow, there was a faint, extended beep.

Flash Friday, 2-44, entry 1

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10, 2014 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://flashfriday.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/flash-friday-vol-2-44

Mikey knew mommy didn’t want him to know she was crying, so he waited until she’d left before wiping her tears from his cheek. Rachel was too little to be left alone all night, and he was nine, so it’d be alright. It’s not like he was alone – there were nurses and doctors and the little red and white button if he needed anything.

But Mikey didn’t think he’d push it. The operation had gone well – as well as could be hoped, the doctor’d said – and he wasn’t in much pain. Besides, the medication made him sleepy.

But there weren’t nurses and doctors around, not in Derry General, and not so late at night it was really morning. Not enough to notice the figures floating down the hall. And Rachel would’ve slept fine at Missy’s house, so Mikey’s mommy could have stayed with him, after all.

At least that way she’d have heard him scream when the clowns started eating.

MWBB, week 2-21

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2014 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://thetsuruokafiles.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/mid-week-blues-buster-week-2-21/
“Well, if it ain’t Jimmy Fuckin’ McKinley. You got a hell of a lot of nerve coming here.” It had been a decade since I’d seen her, but she was still hot as fuck. A little more mature, a little rounder, but damn, in all the right ways. And with a mind to match.

“Hey Betty. I see your name is on the sign outside now.”

“Lots of things changed while you were vacationing in Statesville.”

“You coulda visited me.” I hadn’t sat down, and she hadn’t reached for the sawed-off under the counter. Meaybe we were going to be kinda mature about this.

“Ha! In your dreams. So you’re out, visiting the old haunts or something? This ain’t a place for you to hang out anymore. It’s respectable-like, with Robbie gone. We even get tourists.” I looked around at the nobody who’d been here when I walked in, and she scowled. “Well, we had a guy looking for the El who was lost. But he bought a beer, so that counts. Anyway, why are you here?”

Now I sat down. “I’ve always liked you, Betty.”

“Don’t give me that shit, you bastard. I know how men like you like women like me, especially after ten years with no one but Rosie to keep you company. In all the time I knew you, you never said boo to me unless you were drunk or setting Robbie up for some half-assed robbery.”

“It’s not like that, honest. You were Robbie’s girl. He’d have shot me twice if he’d thought I liked ya – once in my balls, and once in my throat. I saw what he did to Paulie, and all he did was say your ass looked good in your jeans.”

Betty laughed. “That wasn’t Robbie’s doing. He was a pussy when it came to that kind of thing. I always had to defend myself. But it got him more dough if people thought he was tough. Anyway, that was a long time ago. No one gives a shit about me or my ass anymore, and that’s the way it should be.”

She turned away from me and grabbed a beer from the cooler, popping the lid off and letting the head rise just enough. I’d been a decade without a cold one, and I would have been happy with bull piss, but this was some real microbrew shit. I sipped it in silence, feeling a buzz building way too quickly. I was a lightweight now.

Letting the warmth move through me, I worked up the guts to ask. “What happened, Betty?”

She sighed, grabbing a bottle of bourbon from the shelf, and then setting it down, unopened. “Ah, hell, Jimmy. I don’t like to think about the old days this much. You got popped, Robbie should have – he was a right bastard, we all knew that – and it was time to move on. But he wouldn’t, and he got loose with his dick and his fists. I’m not that kind of girl, and I took care of things. The DA bought that it was self-defense. Who wouldn’t have, with Robbie’s rep? I got probation and the bar. I thought the past was dead.”

I took a chance and reached out for her hand. To my surprise, she took it. “Not dead, babe. Just locked away for a while. And I’ve had more than enough time behind bars for this lifetime. I mean, I’m no Mr. Straight and Narrow, but that sucked balls.”

“So, what then?” I could see her getting skittish, and she pulled her hand from mine.

“I don’t rightly know. But I wasn’t lying before. I’ve always liked you. I ain’t got nowhere else to go, no one who even knows me. Would you mind if I hung around, at least sometimes? We could talk, or stuff.”

Goddamn, her tits looked good when she laughed. “Or stuff, indeed. You always had a way with words.” Betty paused, and looked me over – stem to stern, as it were, but mostly staring in my eyes.  “We’ll talk. Talk.  And if you’re going to be here, you might as well be useful. It does actually get busy in here ‘round five.”

Flash Friday, 2-42, story 2.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2014 by drmagoo

Jenna’s little maid’s skirt was the only thing that either of them were wearing, and it flared fetchingly around her bottom as she hopped off the bed and headed to the closet. Marcus’ head was swimming – from the sex, sure, but also from whatever she had slipped in his drink.

It took Marcus a moment to realize that the dangling thing in her hand was a pair of handcuffs. No woman was going to do that to him, not without paying a price. As he tried to sit up – and couldn’t – Jenna deftly slipped the cuffs around his wrists and the headboard.

She reached down under the bed and grabbed the mask she’d ordered online. The poison she’d put in the drinks was getting to her, too, but the antidote was an aerosol, and she didn’t want her sister’s rapist to accidentally inhale any of it. That the rubber straps pulled and pinched his skin was just a bonus.

Flash Friday, 2-42

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2014 by drmagoo

Prompt: http://flashfriday.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/flash-friday-vol-2-42/

Molli was tired of peering through cloudy plastic, living in a bubble which made a dead world even more lifeless. She wasn’t a fragile flower to be kept in a hothouse for fear of frost. If the fog was to be her end, then Molli needed it to be on her own terms.

Artifacts from when the sun still shone and the human race hadn’t gone sterile drew Molli to dark rooms as soon as she was old enough to explore on her own. Locked in a killing jar, she ached to experience beauty.

It was difficult putting on such thin clothes after a lifetime of fear, but when she smoothed the black and white socks over her legs, she’d smiled.

Her first breaths outside without a mask were sweeter than expected. Though this was a journey from which she could not return, Molli strolled leisurely along the beach. There was beauty still to be found, even in death.

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