Archive for January, 2013

#WIPFlash week 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 18, 2013 by drmagoo


Simon was on his ninth sake. Or was it his tenth? Maybe eleventh. He hadn’t quite realized how hard it was going to be to drink Marcus into some sense of forgetfulness about his desire to be in charge of the umbrella. On the contrary – the more they drank, the more Marcus talked about what he would do if only Simon would give into what was only natural. His voice kept getting louder and more strident, and Simon was grateful that the New Year’s Eve festivities were loud enough that they didn’t stand out in the throng.

“You know I’m right. You know it! And that’s the crappy part – you won’t fuckin’ admit it to yourself, much less me. Okay, so you found it. Great! But I know so much more than you – a hundred years more! There’s a whole shitload of stuff you don’t understand about the way the world works…”

It had been going on like this for hours. A rough, rough night. Simon tuned out Marcus’ arguments for a bit and took some more time to look around the bar. Giant TV screens covered the walls, showing the world celebrating the changing of a number. Parties, riots, kissing, and the odd shots of the war in Nigeria – he thought it was Nigeria – which was threatening to spill over into much of the rest of West Africa. It was sometimes strange to know so much about places which were barely rumors to him most of his life. Focusing again on Marcus, he could tell that nothing had changed since he’d last been paying attention.

“…you think that it’s somehow a plan, all part of the plan, or some shit, that you found this umbrella. Whose plan? God? Why the fuck would God be making umbrellas that travel in time? It was some whacko, and that means anyone could have found it. What makes you so special?”

“I don’t know, Marcus. But…”

“You’re damned right you don’t know. Because you’re not. I mean, you’re not a total fuckup, you haven’t…”

Simon tuned out again, drinking some more sake. Tomorrow was going to be a tough day, but maybe he needed to drink himself into unconsciousness, if Marcus wasn’t going to cooperate.

As was often the case when his mind wandered, he started thinking about Emily. He’d thought about looking her up when they’d gotten here, but there’s no way she’d still be around – not eighty years later. And he figured she was furious with him for stranding her in a time that wasn’t her own. He hoped she’d found a way to be happy.

Ah, now he was getting maudlin. More of this, and he’d start crying, and maybe give Marcus the umbrella out of self-pity.


VisDare 3: Third Eye

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 18, 2013 by drmagoo


Lightning flashed as the trio Flickered, and they were struck by a hard, cold rain. The street ahead was dim in the grey of an afternoon storm, and they looked around for shelter. None of the buildings were lit up, but some had awnings, which provided at least partial cover from the rain. As they got closer, they realized that not only were the businesses dark, but many of the windows were boarded over, and the ones that weren’t had been broken. The sheets of plywood had been nailed up haphazardly, and looked like they’d been clawed at by something tall and strong.

“Something’s very wrong here. And I don’t think we should be out here once the sun goes down – I don’t want to meet whatever did that to those buildings.” Emily’s voice was unsteady as she looked around for someplace safe.

“You might be scared, baby, but you just let ol’ Marcus protect you. I ain’t met a motherfucker yet who can take me in a fight.” Marcus pulled the gun he kept tucked in his pants and made a show of cocking it. “Not like Mister Simon here, Simon who no one can trust.”

“Not now, Marcus. Please. Let’s just get inside.” Emily knew the time was coming soon where Marcus and Simon would fight – over her, over the umbrella, heck, over anything – and she was genuinely worried about what would happen if Marcus won.

Lightning flashed again, striking a tree no more than a block away, splitting the wood and setting the limbs afire. The thunder was intense enough that it rocked them where they stood. It was in that strike that the stranger appeared in front of them. In the glow of the burning tree, Simon saw what at first glance appeared to be a large man in a dingy overcoat. He opened his mouth to say something in greeting, but the words died in his throat. As the figure stepped closer, Simon noticed that it couldn’t be a man – not walking towards them on four legs. And where the man/creature’s stomach lay under the overcoat was a writhing bulge, pushing the fabric taut in twitches and fits.

Simon backed up involuntarily, and moaned as his back struck the storefront behind him. Emily grabbed his hand, shivering from more than the cold rain, but Marcus saw his chance. He pointed his gun at the newcomer. “That’s close enough, asshole. Stay away from her, or I’ll make some holes in your nice coat.”

The man took a queer half-step/jump forward, stopping mere inches from Marcus. He had a vicious grin on his face, and he hissed, spraying flecks of thick mucus over Marcus’ face. Marcus screamed, dropping the gun, which hit the ground and fired, launching the bullet harmlessly into the storm. The man’s hands pulled at the waist of his coat, and Simon saw a dull red head emerge from the man’s stomach. It turned to face him, one lidless eye centered over a mouth filled with fangs. Faster than Simon would have imagined possible, the head thrust towards Marcus and tore a huge chunk out of his abdomen. His wild scream ripped through the night, and Emily and Simon fled. As they ran down the street, Simon took one look back to see three other creatures joining the first. Marcus’ screams rose again, and then ceased.

Five Sentence Fiction – Forgotten

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 18, 2013 by drmagoo


The city they’d each grown up in had the same name, but was a very different place in their minds’ eyes. Simon looked out at the scene before him and thought of horses pulling him and his friends through the streets, surrounded by a patina of soot from ten thousand coal furnaces, and the chatter of a hundred thousand immigrants, still trying to hold on to their faraway homelands. Emily’s city had done away with the horses (except for the romantics in Central Park), but had added even more chaos, dirt, and lives in transition from one world to another, and sometimes back again. Neither of them was quite prepared, then, for the sight of a city half-underwater, the great buildings fallen into ruin, coated in algae and gulls’ nests, and half primeval forest, hiding once-brightly lit thoroughfares behind branch, leaf, and vine. The megalopolis was nothing but a memory on the verge of being forgotten, and they both wondered the same things – what had happened, and just how far into the future had they come?

#ThursThreads – week 54

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 17, 2013 by drmagoo


The forest had been so confining that they hadn’t even realized they were nearing the clearing until they stepped into it. Not only had the trees concealed the open sky, but it had kept them from noticing the smoke rising from the cabin that lay in the center of the meadow. Simon and Emily hadn’t seen another person for so long that they had given up hope of finding anyone left alive this far into the future.

The man sitting on the porch of the rough-hewn cabin waved them on, and stood to meet them. He looked at the umbrella Simon carried in his hand, and he smiled.

“Oh, it found someone! I’ve been wondering for so long…”

Simon felt like he’d been struck by lightning. “You? You made the umbrella? How? Why? Why me?”

The man nodded, and brought his hands together in front of his chest in an expression of childlike glee. “I did, I did. As for how, and why, I would love to share that with you. Please, won’t you join me? I have some stew that’s been cooking since this morning, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve shared a meal.

“As for why you, why it found you, ah, that will remain a mystery, I suspect. But you are here. It works. And that is what gives me hope.”

VisDare 2: Resolute

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 9, 2013 by drmagoo


Emily spun around, laughing. For the first time since Simon had laid eyes on her, she looked truly happy. He didn’t know if the message she’d left at her corporate headquarters would be read, much less believed decades from now, or do anything to stop the crisis that had left her so despondent, but just making the attempt had unburdened her. Her skirt flowed around her like a snow devil, and Simon found himself transfixed, unable to see anything else. She stopped, reached a hand out to him, and smiled. He’d been attracted to her before that moment, but he was now well and fully smitten. “Simon, dance with me?”

“Of course, my dear.” He took her in his arms and began leading her around the gazebo, both of them falling into a waltz which they’d each learned as a child. The sun had finally set, and the warm August night was aglow with the light from the waxing moon. Simon and Emily danced to their unheard symphony without words until, by unspoken agreement, they came to a rest. Simon gave thought to leaning in for a kiss, but Emily twisted away, giggling, and ran out of the gazebo into the surrounding park.

“C’mon, Simon! Out in the moonlight!” She kicked off her shoes and held her arms out to him, her invitation clear. Entranced by the magic of this night, Simon smiled and began twirling the umbrella around in the air, ever the dapper gentleman. As it spun past his eyes, he realized that it was a blur not because it was moving so fast, but because it had started flickering. Emily saw it at the same time he did, and began running back to him, the panic clear on her face. “Si…”

Simon never heard the end of her call, for mid-twirl, he Flickered. Where once had been a beautiful park in the moonlight was now a city street, lined with garbage, in front of worn and decaying brownstones. He didn’t know where or when he was, but he wasn’t with Emily anymore, and his heart fell. He was alone. She was alone, and stranded in 1947. Simon’s panicked and despondent reverie was broken quickly, however, by a shout from a very odd, very large, very angry man.
“Get out of my way, or I’ll run you down, motherfucker!”

Simon leaped back just in time to avoid  being run down by the man in question – a large black man with large black hair delicately balanced on a two-wheeled bicycle and riding at a high speed towards him. The balance was needed because, unlike most two-wheeled bicycles, this one was lacking its front wheel. The man was looking around for a safe way to stop, but seemingly didn’t see one, and crashed instead into a large pile of garbage bags strewn around a lamppost.

He thought, much later, that the whole episode was weirdly prophetic about his relationship with Marcus.

#TuesdayTales 72

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 8, 2013 by drmagoo


Simon placed himself protectively in front of Emily as he eased the door open. The creatures from last night seemed to be in hiding, but he didn’t know how long that would remain true. But there was no food in the house, the umbrella hadn’t Flickered in two days, and the situation was going to degenerate rapidly if they didn’t get out of there. Holding her hand, they started down the walk, at first slowly, and then at a run. The woods ahead were dense with unseen dangers, but within them also lay their only hope of getting to safety.

#WIPflash – week 1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 4, 2013 by drmagoo

Winner: Honorable Mention!

@caramichaels was nice enough to grace us with a new contest, one that asks the writer to incorporate prompts into his or her WIP. I actually have a WIP, or I think I do, so I entered. Scene 4 of I don’t know how many – The Time-Travelling Umbrella, continued.


Marcus slammed the door and marched over to where Simon lay on the sofa. His uneven temper had been apparent ever since they’d met, but Simon had really grown tired of being the subject of tantrums. He’d been the one with the umbrella, after all, and it had only been his general desire to avoid confrontation that had led him to accede to Marcus coming with him during the next Flicker. Now it was 2028, he was more than 200 years from when he’d been born (although, Simon admitted to himself, he’d skipped most of those years), and he felt like he was old enough to not have to put up with this anymore. He started to sit up and protest, but Marcus was already in full voice.

“Change is coming, Simon, and it’s coming right fuckin’ now! You lord it over me that you’re the one with the special umbrella, but I’m bigger than you, I’m younger than you, and I’m smarter than you, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be treated like your lackey one more stupid day. Now, are you going to give me the umbrella, or am I going to have to take it from you?”

Simon sat up, but didn’t make eye contact with Marcus yet. Truth is, he was afraid, and he’d always thought of himself as more of a lover than a fighter, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that the umbrella had found him for a reason. Marcus was bigger and younger for sure, but he wasn’t nearly as smart as he thought he was. Simon decided that this was a case where distraction and delay would get him more than outright refusal.

“Marcus, you’re right. We need to talk about this, and I haven’t been fair to you. You were uprooted from your home the same way I was, and Lord knows, you’re nobody’s lackey.” He walked over to the window and looked out over the city. There were so many sights that were strange to him, even after all his travels. What his family would say if they could see him now, 140 stories above Tokyo, decades after the rest of them were gone?

“Look, Marcus. It’s a new year, or at least it will be in a short while. Let’s go out, drink some sake, watch the lunar eclipse and some fireworks, and talk about this more tomorrow after our hangovers go away. Whaddya say?”