Archive for November, 2013

Flash Friday, week #52

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2013 by drmagoo


Alison made her way to her assigned desk and sat down on the worn wooden seat. The room smelled of Murphy’s Oil Soap and books, and was silent except for the sounds of breathing and turning pages. She picked up the volume sitting on the desk in front of her – an unpublished novel by her favorite author, the one he had been writing when he had lost his battle with cancer. Running her fingers over the name and title on the spine, Alison thought back to what the man at the gate had said and smiled. “Any book you want, ma’am.”

This was indeed Heaven.

Five Sentence Fiction – Letters

Posted in Uncategorized on November 20, 2013 by drmagoo

Grandpa Roger had only died a few weeks ago, but he’d been gone for much longer than that; Alzheimer’s is a relentless bitch, and it had taken him away from us years ago. He’d been too far gone for me to get to know much about him, other than the stories from my dad and his siblings – stories of life on the farm, stories of he and Grandma Margaret laughing over private jokes at Thanksgiving, stories of the war, and the foreclosure, and finally, stories of the home where he’d rotted from within and without. I was the closest family member left in town after the funeral, and I was tasked with collecting the debris of his life and doing god-knows-what with it. The closet in the nursing home smelled of cheap detergent, antiseptic, age, and – hidden in the bottom – the must of cardboard kept in an enclosed space too long. The box was heavy, and nearly coming apart at the seams, but it held together until I got it out into the open, falling apart like its former keeper, spilling thousands of letters written in a blocky script, the story of a life.

Finish That Thought, Week 20

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2013 by drmagoo


“Daddy, why is the snow red?” Lannie almost jerked my arm out of its socket when she stopped. I really hadn’t been paying much attention to her, other than making sure her hand didn’t slip out of mine. We were running late for the party at my boss’ house, and it had been one of those days where everything had taken twice as long as it should have. Four year olds were prone to those days. I’d been fairly dragging her through the snow – ankle-deep on me, it was nearly up to her knees, and she just wanted to play snow fairy. I hadn’t planned on bringing her to the party – it wasn’t that kind of event – but my wife had been called in for an extra shift at work, and I’d judged the awkwardness of bringing a child to an adult’s party would be less than that of missing the event, not when I was angling for a promotion.

I didn’t even turn my head in the direction she was pointing, but just tugged on her arm a bit harder, knocking her off balance. “It’s just a Christmas light shining through the snow, honey. Now, c’mon, we have to go. We’re already late.”

“No, daddy, it’s not. I know what that looks like!” Insulting a four-year-old’s intelligence was not a good idea, at least not this particular one. She didn’t know many things, but what she knew, she knew. I didn’t want to have to drag her the entire last block to the party. Bringing a toddler to this event would be one thing, bringing a snow-covered toddler screaming bloody murder would be another. I took a deep breath and tried to summon as much calm as I could into my voice.

“Show me, honey.”

“There, daddy! On that big house!” Lannie’s little mittens were aimed straight at my boss’ house, and when I finally looked, I felt a stab of fear in my gut. This wasn’t some tame glow through a coating of snow; all of the snow on his lawn was a deep red. And it wasn’t just the snow on the ground – the flakes falling from the sky were the same shade of scarlet, piling up in drifts that were already yards deep. His neighbor’s yards looked normal, but Mr. Thompson’s house was encircled by what looked like the spoor of Hell.

Tearing my eyes away from the sight in front of me, I looked down at Lannie, now as subdued as she’d been all night. But she was reacting more to the look on my face than the red snow itself. Kids look to adults to interpret the unknown, and at her age, there were lots of unknowns. Trying to steady my voice, I smiled down at her, hoping it didn’t look as creepy as I felt. “It’s a party, sweetie. Mr. Thompson has decorated the snow for the party. C’mon. Let’s go see what else he has in store!”

I really needed that promotion.

Race the Date, week 3

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18, 2013 by drmagoo


Saul’s hand shook as he reached out for the drink the bartender had brought. The glass was dirty, the table was filthy, and the Denebian warlord sitting across from him was the most disgusting creature Saul had ever run across. But there wasn’t a germ in the known universe which could kill him faster than the device sitting on the table in front of him, so he downed the shot of whatever they’d distilled in the jungles outside the bar and tried to ignore the fear.

No one had ever survived a blast from a disintegration ray. It wasn’t like an old ballistic weapon, where a good surgeon could sew up certain kinds of holes faster than blood could seep out of them. When you got hit with this thing, especially the new ones with AI controls and auto-targeting, you were, to put it in the local lingo, royally fucked. And Saul was about to pick up the blaster, point it at his own head, and fire.

When he’d made the bet, Saul had planned on being ten light years away – in any direction – but then he’d met Raina, and suddenly there wasn’t enough time to get his clothes on before his launch window closed. The warlord’s lieutenant had smirked when he’d arrived at Saul’s cabin, and his titanium grip hadn’t released for a second until Saul was in the chair he’d die in.

Licking his lips, he sighed and picked up the blaster. The rules of Russian Roulette hadn’t changed in a thousand years, but you still didn’t want to go first. As he raised the weapon to his temple, Saul caught sight of a familiar face in the corner. Raina winked at him, he smiled, and pulled the trigger.

Triple Visual Dare, week 2

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18, 2013 by drmagoo


She came to me for the same reason they all did. When the physicians said there was nothing to be done, or the judge said the appeals were exhausted, or a lost love left them bereft, they stopped treating the rumors as fairy tales and ascended the stairs to my laboratory. But Marette had a secret even I couldn’t have anticipated.

She was surprised, as they all were, to find out I was a woman. Those whom I’d helped knew not to tell, and it afforded me anonymity. Marette was a beauty, to be sure, and perhaps she had hoped to use the hint of a promise to convince me to lower my price. But she agreed, as they all did.

As I painted the lines on her face that would call forth the illness from her body, she was calm. But underneath her artifice, I knew that her fears were the same as any woman’s – the fear of the unknown that lay beyond the veil of death, and I whispered to her the rites of calming. That the rites of calming opened the door between worlds was something few knew, and even fewer knew how to sound the call for a traveler to come through.

The critical time came, and I drew the symbol for sleep on her brow. But Marette did not sleep. She rose from the divan, casting aside the traveler I’d called as if she was the demon prince, not he, and spoke words of power unknown even to me.

When the mood comes upon her, Marette draws my prison from the bag at her side and gives me a glimpse of the world we once shared. Trapped in the tincted glass, I reflect no light and speak no words, but I am hers to command.

Wordsprint, 11/9

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2013 by drmagoo

Maddlyn pulled the covers up to her face and let the tears come. They came every night now, even on good days. The solitude and the dark brought them out, the emptiness impossible to ignore. She cried for Tim, a thousand miles away in his new life. She cried for the weak, and all the horrible stories she saw in the news every day. She cried for her mom, growing frailer by the day as ALS robbed her body of decades of vitality but left her mind intact. But mostly she cried because she didn’t know what else to do. The world was so wrong, and she didn’t know how to make it right.

Her dreams that night were of a child alone in an early-spring rainstorm. The little girl was dressed in clothing much too thin for the weather, and she shivered as the west wind howled through the trees. She was running, bare feet making wet slapping sounds in the mud, and she was terrified.

Whatever she was running from was hidden in the trees, but was close, much too close for the young girl to pause and consider her situation, even for a moment. So she ran. Maddlyn could hear the girl’s heartbeat echoing in her ears, and feel the goose bumps cascading over her skin.

The dream ended before the girl was caught, but there was no doubt in Maddlyn’s mind that she wouldn’t escape. When the world was after you, it caught you. She pushed the button on her phone, silencing the alarm that had drawn her out of the other reality, and stared at the sunlight reflecting onto her ceiling.

The tears came early that day.

3VisD, week 1

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2013 by drmagoo


Three men there were, though once they were legion. Three men there were, a bulwark against that which came to consume the world. Three men there were, frozen in between moments, waiting until they were needed.

One man there was, a scion of a legacy long thought lost. One man there was, who had learned the lessons of the dark and absorbed their power. One man there was , on a journey of a thousand nights.

The water rippled almost imperceptibly at first, the disturbances building in intensity as the quester neared his prey. The only light came from the hate in his eyes, so he kept them closed, letting the darkness guide him. There was power here, power in the guardians, and power in the dark, but there would be no battle, no clash of theurgies. Not tonight. It had been too long since the three had been called upon to act. Too long since they’d been roused.

Three men there were, all that was left of the army of the light. Three men there were, still as statues, eroding in the water.

One man there was, and the time had come to act. I opened my eyes, and the guardians flinched, moving for the first time in millennia. The age of light had ended, and I brought dark upon the world.