Archive for February, 2013

And…that’s a draft

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 27, 2013 by drmagoo

Completed the first draft of (part I) of The Time Travelling Umbrella. I think I’ll wait for some feedback and work on other stories for a bit. Feels good, though.

#VisDare 8: Listening

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 23, 2013 by drmagoo


The train was nearly empty, this late at night, and they rode on through the darkness, none of them wanting to talk and reveal their secrets to strangers. When the car stopped to let the last other passenger off, Marcus could finally take it no longer. “You two look so good together, y’know? Maybe you should just stay here. It’s nice – I can give you some money, you can get married, have some little white kids, do whatever the fuck you want. But me? Naw man. It’s time for me to get back to the twenty-first century, where I can have some real fun. What do you say – wanna give Marcus the umbrella? You give it to me, I know it will play nice.”

Emily gasped. How could this man ask Simon to do that? Didn’t he know the umbrella wasn’t just some toy, to be passed on like that? It had found Simon for a reason. She was sure of it – had been ever since she’d first heard the story. And it wasn’t to just give it away. She looked at Simon and saw something unfamiliar, but not unwelcome, in his eyes. Anger.

“Marcus. We’ve been through this. Didn’t the umbrella make it clear to you that it doesn’t want anything to do with you? It’s mine, or at least it thinks so. I can’t give it to you, and I wouldn’t even if I could. Stop asking!”

Anger flared in Marcus’ face, and he stood up, towering over Simon. “Fuck you! Fuck. You!” He raised his fist, but instead of punching Simon, he turned and hit the wall of the train car, denting it and knocking down a sign that had hung over the door. The only thing that kept him from pulling his gun and killing Simon right where he sat was that he knew that the umbrella would just reject him again, and that wasn’t acceptable.

Watching Marcus rage against Simon, Emily was reminded of a story she’d read as a child, where men would throw a bunch of alley cats in a box, shake it up, and bet on which one of them would come out of the box alive. As the train rattled through the night, she knew that the three of them were trapped in this car, just like those cats, and just like those cats, they wouldn’t all get out alive. Unless she could find a way.

Come read more about Emily, Simon, and the Time Travelling Umbrella here:

#FlashFriday, week 12

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 22, 2013 by drmagoo


Stumbling over roots and bushes, they finally made their way to a less dense part of the forest, and they could see daylight ahead of them. They burst free of the last branches, and found themselves in what once had been a municipal park. There was a bandshell off to their right, fronted by rows of empty chairs for an audience, although the days in which music played here were long gone. Some of the chairs had broken and collapsed, and those that remained made the bandshell look like a gaping mouth filled with rotting teeth. The yells and the shouts grew louder, until Simon and Emily saw the fight break free of the trees. There were dozens of monsters, pursued by a small band of men carrying large hunting rifles. In the forest, the creatures had clearly taken huge losses, but here, in the open, they suddenly turned and rushed the men en masse. The air rang with gunshots and snarls, and Simon and Emily fled through the park, knowing now that their only hope lay in the enigmatic choices of the umbrella.

Come read more about Emily, Simon, and the Time Travelling Umbrella here:

Five Sentence Fiction – Abandoned

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 21, 2013 by drmagoo


The air was crisp and clean – it was early morning on a summer’s day that would be warm but not hot, without the humidity that could spoil an afternoon in the sun. Glad just to be alive, Simon and Emily walked hand-in-hand along the riverbank, traveling with the water as it flowed downstream. They walked in silence as the sun rose in the sky, and were starting to get hungry when they happened upon the bridge. It had once been a mighty steel-and-concrete structure, but it had long since collapsed into ruin. Marveling at how such a large creation could be abandoned, they set about looking for a sign that might tell them where they were and which way they were going.

Mid-week Blues Buster Challenge, week 1

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21, 2013 by drmagoo


Marcus peppered Simon with questions as they sat in a seedy-looking bar a few blocks away from where they’d met. He was fascinated with Simon’s stories of 2008, and told him that he’d been taking a computer class at the city university. “I already know more than the fuckin’ teacher, but that’s cool. They let me do whatever I want in there. I keep telling ‘em that one day computers are going to run the world, and I guess I’m right. Ha! Man, what I could do if I could get my hands on those machines. That would be sweet.”

Simon generally glossed over talking about Emily. The pain of leaving her behind was sharp, and too recent, and while he’d begun to think that Marcus wasn’t a bad guy, he wasn’t ready to share that, not with a man he didn’t really know. He hadn’t hidden that he’d traveled with someone for at least some of his journeys, and Marcus got very excited at that thought. He really wanted to join Simon the next time he Flickered, and he made it clear how he thought things should go. “We’d make a hell of a team, don’t you think? Marcus and Simon, the time-travellin’ dudes. You’re a rich white guy, and I’m smart as fuck. Especially if that thing took us to 2008 again – or even further! I’d run things then, that’s for damned sure.”

Simon mostly nodded and made non-committal noises when Marcus spoke. He’d never been one for fighting, and he was sure that Marcus wouldn’t just go away quietly. He took another sip of some dreadful beer and listened while Marcus talked.

“I have got to go with you, and that’s that. I’m trapped here, you know? This brain won’t do me much good as long as I’m a poor black dude, not in New York in the 70’s. There ain’t no jobs, anyway. But the future’s got to be different.” He drained his beer and laughed. “Fuck, can’t we just go now? There’s nothing worse than sweating your ass off in August in the city, and you’re going to melt in that stupid suit.”

“Well, it doesn’t just work that way. I don’t think so, at least. So far, the umbrella has Flickered just when it has – I didn’t do anything.”

“Give it to me, then! I’ll bet I can make it work better. C’mon, just let me see it for a minute!” Simon was very uneasy about handing the umbrella over. He hadn’t even let Emily hold it, although she’d never asked, and he certainly didn’t want it to Flicker and find himself stranded here, with no chance of finding her again. He was trying to figure out how to turn Marcus down without a fight when he felt the umbrella start to vibrate. He looked down and saw the umbrella start to flicker in and out, just as it had when he’d first found it.

Marcus noticed it too. “It’s doing it, isn’t it? Fuckin’ A, let’s go!” He grabbed Simon’s arm, and for the second time in a very long day, Simon Flickered, this time bringing Marcus with him.

Come read more about Emily, Simon, and the Time Travelling Umbrella here:

#VisDare 7: Secret

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 19, 2013 by drmagoo


The hidden room Emily had found was small, no more than ten feet on a side. It had clearly been the playroom of a little girl who turned it into her own fairyland. The shelves on the walls were lined with princess dolls, and the center of the room was dominated by a toy castle, meticulously crafted to allow her to transport her dolls to another world. In the flickering of the candlelight, the castle looked like it was bustling with activity – Simon could imagine knights riding out to protect the kingdom, or maybe pennants flying the breeze on a festival day. Set in the side of the castle was a small brass key, handcrafted and almost indescribably beautiful. Emily reached out to touch it, gently brushing her fingers over the metal, and then let her hand drop to her side. The child who had been so loved by someone as to have this world created for her was long gone, and there was no sense in seeing whether the key would stir the restless ghosts of the house, or, worse yet, call to the monsters outside.

(Slightly over the word count, this time!)

Come read more about Emily, Simon, and the Time Travelling Umbrella here:

#WIPFlash, week 4

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 15, 2013 by drmagoo


Emily clutched him fiercely, pressing her face against his chest until the tears stopped, then dried. When her eyes were clear, she loosened her grip and took his hand in hers. “Well, then. If we’re going to find out why we’re here, we can’t just wait around, can we? Which way do you think we should go?”

Her half-smile was heartbreaking, because he knew that she was trying hard to fight off the fear, and he was proud that she was willing to make that effort for him. “You know, I’m not really sure. I think we might want to ask our companion, since it went to all the trouble to bring us here.” Simon lifted the umbrella and held it out in front of him, motioning Emily to hold it with him. “Do you want to ask it where we should go?”

Emily felt a bit of her old whimsy coming back as she looked at the umbrella and said, with an exaggerated and forced accent, “Oh, wond’rous parasol of travel throughst time, whilst thou guide us on this, the most important day so far of our quest?” Nothing happened, and she was worried that somehow, she had insulted this most odd of inanimate objects, when suddenly, she felt the umbrella pull her to her left. She looked at Simon, her eyes wide, and they let the umbrella guide them in a circle until they were pointing southwest, overlooking a large, densely-grown forest, which stretched over hills and out past the horizon. It glowed briefly, and then tugged them forward, just enough to get the message across – it was time to go.

Emily gripped Simon’s hand tightly, and they started off towards the forest. Both by Simon’s love for her and by the seemingly never-ending wonder that was the umbrella, she started to feel the truth in what Simon had said. This couldn’t be the end, not yet. Not even in a world where the rest of the human race appeared to have vanished. There was still hope.

As they reached the edge of the forest, she paused, lifted herself up on her toes, and kissed Simon briefly on the lips. “I love you too. Now, let’s find out what’s in this forest that’s so important.”

Come read more about Emily, Simon, and the Time Travelling Umbrella here: