Finish That Thought, 2-8

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2014 by drmagoo


“I’m sorry, sir, but I believe that’s your briefcase.” I looked up from my phone to see a blur of grey carrying what, indeed, was my briefcase. Taking a moment to consider what the thief had with them, I shrugged and went back to playing 2048.

“But sir, aren’t you worried? That man stole your stuff!” The valet was just trying to be helpful, I knew, and really, most people would have been panicking right about now, of course. But I wasn’t most people, because I knew something they didn’t. I pushed the button to turn off the screen on my phone and motioned for the man – Rick, his name tag read – to sit down next to me.

“The truth is, Rick, there’s nothing in that briefcase.”

“But…why would you be carrying an empty briefcase?” Rick was a young man, and despite my knowledge that he’d never live to be as old as I was, I still felt the compulsion to pass on wisdom to the next generation.

“Some men might say habit. You get used to carrying something like that for as many years as I have, it’s hard to put down. But that’s not me – I hated that damned thing, filled with folders and files and pens and business cards. The detritus of a life on the road.” I paused, looking out over the lobby. Lainie would have loved this hotel, had this been one of the trips she came on with me. There were too few of those, to be sure, what with the kids and all. My eyes misted over a bit, and I wiped them with the back of my hand.

“No, Rick, it wasn’t habit.” My voice had gotten rough, and time was short. “The briefcase was empty because I failed. I had a job, and I didn’t do it, and so I didn’t get to pick up what was coming to me.”

“Was…was it important?” Rick’s voice cracked. Maybe he was even younger than I’d originally thought – a college kid on a summer job. Aw, hell.

“You could say that.”

“But why did that man steal it? I mean, if nothing was in there. Did he know that?”

“If that was who I think it was, no. He assumed that I’d done my job, because I always had before. He’ll get to his safe place, open it up, and find out the truth. Maybe. Maybe not.” I pushed the button and checked the time on my phone. There might be just enough time for a miracle.

“Do you need to be somewhere, Rick? I mean, other than working?”

“No. Not today. My mom will be working late herself.”

“Well, if you’re up to it, what do you say to heading over to your boss and asking for the rest of the day off? I’ve got a hankering for some lobster, and I hate eating alone. And I can tell you what was supposed to be in that briefcase, if you’re up to it.”

Flash! Friday 2:37

Posted in Uncategorized on August 22, 2014 by drmagoo


The tide crept out slowly, pulled on by the heavens in a dance as old as the planet itself. One step up, one step back. I stared at the spot where the water had been, the beach cleansed anew, leaving no trace of what had gone before. I’d been a fool to think that she would change, that I could make someone like her love me. Night would come soon, and with it fog, and it would be time to head back to the dreary thing I called a life. Out on the sand, we’d danced, sipped champagne, made love, I’d said my goodbyes. Up there was a wife and a kid and a job where I moved papers from one box to another seven hours and twenty-five minutes a day. Maybe I should stay here, near the water, in the fog. One day they’d find me, but they’d never find her. The tide had taken care of that.

VisDare 75

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2014 by drmagoo


Mommy’s strength was almost gone, but she found the will to hug little Ulie once more. “I know you’re sad, sweetie, but this isn’t goodbye. I’ll be with you everywhere you go.”

She wasn’t with Daddy. He was sad all the time, and took to drinking more of ‘Daddy’s special juice’ every night and falling asleep on the couch.

Janie said she still saw Mommy, but Ulie knew she meant the family photos on the phone that never left her hand.

So Ulie learned not to tell her family when Mommy appeared to her. She felt Mommy’s arms around her in bed at night. She heard Mommy singing her favorite songs whenever Ulie was sad. And when Daddy came home from work at the end of the day, Ulie would run out and kneel down in front of the chrome wheels of his car. Mommy got a welcome-home kiss too.

Finish That Thought 2-7

Posted in Uncategorized on August 19, 2014 by drmagoo


Two vials lay before me, the fate of dinner in my hands. It wasn’t that the stew was bad, but it sure wasn’t special. And it needed to be special, what with my fiancée’s boss coming over for dinner. I was so lost in thought that I didn’t know that Callie had entered the kitchen until I felt her wrap her arms around me and kiss the back of my neck.

“She’s going to love it.” I just grunted and continued staring at the vials. Of course she’d say that, it was her job in times like this to keep me from flying off the wall. Callie stepped back, grabbing my arm, using the leverage to turn me around. “Okay, what’s the problem? Does it need salt?”

I shook my head. “No. You know I’ve got a sixth sense for that kind of thing.”

“Oregano? Thyme? Fresh parsley? No? What is it, then?”

Tears came to my eyes. “I don’t know if I can do this, Callie.”

“Oh, Mark. I know you can.” She wiped a tear from my cheek and kissed away the salt. “We’ve been planning this for so long, and we can only make it work together. You’re my guy.”

I swallowed and closed my eyes. This time when Callie spoke, there was a hint of steel in her voice. “Don’t go soft on me now, Mark. My whole career is going to be affected by how this evening goes. If you couldn’t handle this, you should have told me a lot sooner. It’s way too late to back out now. Buddy, if I could dig a grave without cracking a nail, you can finish this meal. You’re not getting squeamish and thinking of doing anything stupid, I assume.”

“No, sweetie, that’s not it. I’ve just never intentionally killed anyone with my cooking before.”

“So? Why does it matter if it’s a bullet or a stew?”

This time it was my turn to hone the edge in my voice. “Because it does. Because I’m not a marksman, or a trained sniper. I am, however, a James Beard award winning chef.”

“Are you worried that she won’t like it? She’ll be dead. Who cares?”

“I care. I want her last thought to be ‘I’m going to die, but this was the best food I’ve ever eaten.’”

Callie stepped back and smiled. “I do love you, you know.”

“I know.”

“So, how can I help?”

“Here’s the thing. I know how every herb, every condiment, every spice tastes. I know how to weave them together to create masterpieces. But I just don’t know what arsenic or strychnine tastes like, and I can’t decide which one would really complement the other flavors.”

VisDare 74: Normalcy

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2014 by drmagoo


This one’s too long, but I blame Angela. She gave us a great photo, plus a line in the introduction about a tribute to Robin Williams.

Irony Deficient

Ali gasped. Someone was rubbing his lamp! Who could it be? A young boy, with dreams of being king? A fair young maiden, willing to ease his lonely nights? Ralph?

Ralph? “Oh, no, not you! What are you doing rubbing my lamp anyway?”

“No one hides in lamps anymore. It’s the fifties.”

“That’s not the point, and you know it.”

Ralph sighed. “I need help. My lamp got crushed by a garbage truck, and I can’t think of any way to get a new home that doesn’t involve wishes.”

“Wishes?” Ali sputtered. “But you’re a genie! Grant your own wishes.”

“I…I can’t, okay?” Ralph blushed, turning a nice shade of chartreuse. “There was an incident, and I’m on suspension.”

“What kind of incident? Did you do that thing with the dragons again?”

“No! Of course not. They won’t answer me anymore.”

“Then what? War? Famine? Pestilence?”

“I granted a boy the power to be funny.”


“I cursed him. I drove demons into his mind, demons that would cause him to struggle to ever be happy.”

Ali guffawed. “We’ve all done that. There was this one time…”

Ralph interrupted him. “No, you don’t understand.”

“You dared call them forth?” Ali’s voice dropped to a whisper. “They have been forbidden since the first days.”

“I know. I thought if I made him funny enough, I’d get away with it.”

“You’re going to pay a long time for this. Some things were just meant to stay hidden.”

“I know that now.” Ralph paused. “So, can you help me?”

“I kind of have to. It’s in the contract. What do you need?”

“A home. And not some stupid lamp – something modern, and everyday.”

“Okay, a home.”

“And make it roomy – I don’t want to be cooped up for a million years as the powerless genie.”

“Can do. What’s the third thing?”

“Can I have a hug?”

Flash! Friday 2:36

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2014 by drmagoo

drmagoo on August 15, 2014 at 5:35 pm
He Whom the Gods Would Destroy
160 words

Tag groped along the slick granite, searching for the handhold he knew had to be there. His fingertips were numb from the cold rain, and he’d already missed one hole, dangling precipitously from while the wind buffeted him against the rocks. A timely lightning flash had saved him, as he’d seen that his hand was just an inch or two from its target.

He’d thought of letting go, but didn’t want to give Mai the satisfaction. Her laugh as he’d found her in bed with Kal echoed in his mind, louder than the ranting of the thunder gods, and he knew it would be a long time before he would sleep without hearing that in his dreams.

It would be longer before he didn’t hear her begging for mercy, he thought, or the sound of Kal’s head cracking open on the floor. Tag climbed on towards home, the driving rain cleansing the rock of blood. The gods were indeed generous.

Flash Friday Vol 2 – 33

Posted in Uncategorized on July 26, 2014 by drmagoo


Years later, the elders would speak of the storm. There were certain words that weren’t spoken, at least not in polite company, but the subtext was there. Rising out of clear skies from the southeast, when the trade-winds came from the west, the three-master pulling into port didn’t have a chance. That anyone survived the wreck was nothing short of a miracle, much less that the survivor was a woman, no longer young.

She may have been alone after the wreck, but the laws required that she belong to a man. When the elders were approached to find one for her, however, not one volunteered. The ones who already had first wives were warned not to take “that witch” into their home. Since she was beyond childbearing age, the ones without didn’t want their chances of producing heirs to be eliminated.

And so she was allowed to be the first unfettered woman, rejected by all and finally at peace.


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