Archive for September, 2015

Flash! Friday Vol 3, Week 40, story 2.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2015 by drmagoo


Aloft on wings of fire
287 words
Character: Rapunzel
Setting: Castle (of a sort)

Rapunzel’s hair was fire, bound with rings of ebony into the most beautiful braids. She worked on the 95th floor, kept away from the world not by a wicked enchantress but by crushing student loans and a childhood of rejection and bullying.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair to me

The windows didn’t open, not this high off the ground, but the force of the impact shattered the glass. Rapunzel raced to the windows with the rest of the office staff, straining to see the world below, but trigonometry and distance defeated them.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair to me

The reports came in then, of stairways engulfed in flame, smoke as thick as molasses. There was no way out, none that did not lead into the world of the dead. Her coworkers raced to their phones and made their calls, calling the people that you call when embarking on a journey from which there is no return. But Rapunzel had no one to call, so she stood at the window and listened.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair to me

Her boss was the first to choose the quicker way out, hurling a chair through the window and shouting his love into the sky. Some followed him, with bravado borne of fearful desperation. Some hid in the corner and soiled themselves. But Rapunzel stood alone in the window, disentangling her hair slowly from its braids.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair to me

Rapunzel’s hair was on fire, wafting in the smoke billowing from below and behind. She let it out the window, down towards the voice. And she fell, carried away on a journey, alone, forgotten.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair to me.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2015 by drmagoo


I lose all control in my sleep. In the light of day, I can pretend that she is still here, that she hadn’t made the call to tell me that the tower was on fire, that she hadn’t told me how I should tell our daughter she would never see her mommy again. There is work to do. Laundry to fold. Food to cook. Stories to read. Birthdays to celebrate. Air to breathe.

Our daughter knows I’m not okay. Sixteen now, and busy with her own life, I see the worry in her eyes when we pass in the hall rushing to get ready in the morning, hear the concern in her voice as she checks in on me before she goes to bed. I’m fine, I tell her. Just tired. And I am tired. But I don’t tell her that every line of her form, every peal of laughter, every touch of her arms as she hugs me goodbye in the morning is a test for me to pass, to see if today is another day I will keep from going insane.

But my dreams betray me. Without the will to build my reality as I see fit, I lose my anchor. Allowed to forget, I am no longer consumed by grief. In my dreams I drive my daughter to her soccer games and cheer with the other parents. We go out for ice cream and celebrate a win or drown our sorrows in whipped cream and hot fudge. As my eyes dance in REM sleep, I see my wife’s beauty echoed in our daughter, but I see me, too, a combination which she carries with a grace that takes my breath away. While the moon and stars cavort overhead, I am happy.

And every morning the grief returns. The anger rises with the sun. By the time I am dressed, and shaved for work, and see my daughter loading up her backpack for school, I am in control again.

But I am not okay.

336 words

Mid-week Blues Buster, 3.15

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2015 by drmagoo



He’d outrun the wolves, though not by much, and he’d made it to the cathedral, grey and black against the azure sky. Martin had been baptized in this cathedral once upon a time, and he’d heard stories of redemption and vengeance shouted throughout its close as long as he could remember. But the priests had been the first to leave when the wolves had come, followed by the police and the mayor. God had no place in a world with the wolves, and neither did man, it seemed.

Martin had always been a loner, even as a kid, and he’d survived the wolves not by being faster or stronger, but because he was camping in the mountains when they came, and it took weeks for the wolves to move beyond the cities. Wolves were natural herders, though, and rather than hunting down stragglers one by one, Martin, and anyone else who’d been out on their own, had been forced to come back to the jetsam of civilization for their reckoning.

Running from the wolves was an exercise in instinct and action, not thought. There wasn’t time to formulate plans or consider strategy. You just went where your gut told you to go as fast as you could. And Martin had come to the cathedral.

The face on the Sanctuary knocker mocked Martin. It promised salvation, but how could salvation lie within when all the world was death? Snarling, the wolves closed in on him, cutting off all avenues for escape save through a massive wooden door that he couldn’t hope to move. He almost gave up, but the instinct to survive was strong, and pounding the knocker against the door at least didn’t feel like surrender.

The wolves howled at the sound of the knocker and grinned at him when he began calling for sanctuary. But their howls turned to whines when the door swung open, allowing Martin to scramble inside.

Transitioning from the afternoon sun to the gloom of the cathedral blinded Martin temporarily, and the only sound he could hear was his own rasping breath. Who had saved him? Who was left to even bother?

As his vision returned, he saw the outline of a woman in front of him, indistinct and hazy in the light refracted by the ancient stained-glass windows. She moved without a sound towards him, her legs motionless, and he screamed when she floated through a railing.

Now he could hear her, a polyphonic laugh which rang through the cathedral without joy. And as she drew closer to him, he realized he could smell her as well, a mixture of cloves and rotten meat. The wooden door was as solid behind his back as it had loomed in front of him while trying to escape from the wolves, and Martin wept. But only for a time. When the damned give you sanctuary, you no longer have a need for tears.

486 words

Flash! Friday, Vol 3 week 40

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2015 by drmagoo


Once Upon a Today
300 words
Theme: Transformation
Setting: Humble village (of a sort)

Princess Alesha sat on the stoop and ran her fingers over the cracks in the cement. When she was a kid, she liked to imagine them as a passage to somewhere else, but the only thing below the stairs was the super’s apartment, if they’d had a super, at least, and rats. Alesha didn’t know that she was a princess. Her mom had smoked something she shouldn’t have, and died of a cerebral hemorrhage when Alesha was only two, and her dad had died after being brought in for “questioning.”

She knew lots of kids without a mom and tons without a dad, but not many without either. When Alesha thought about that, she got sad. But she didn’t want to stay sad, and today was the day she was going to do something about it.

James Kingman’s Range Rover was as black as the super’s apartment, and gleamed even at night. The stories on the block said that he’d once shot a man between his legs for leaning against the car. But King was also reported to be generous to those close to him. They said he treated them like family, even the hustlers and the whores. And Alesha wanted a family.

She’d seen how the men slowed down as they walked by, heard them call her name, ever since she stopped being a little girl. Her hair was her best feature, long and silky, and she’d brushed it for hours overnight, until it gleamed like the Range Rover in front of her, tying it in a long braid which swung behind her as she walked.

Alesha climbed into the royal carriage without hesitation, and rode off to earn her place in the court. She’d never be princess of a kingdom without a name, but she’d have a family.

VisDare 112

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2015 by drmagoo

The monsters had all been defeated, and the Lady wanted to play. It was her birthday, after all, and the real Queen had made her Queen for the day. The sun sparkled on the quartz in the stone, waking the fairies, as the Lady and her closest companions, Sir Knight of Next Door and the Princess of the Courtyard, darted through the secret tunnels to the Party Room. On any other day, the secret tunnels would have been too scary, inhabited as they were by gremlins and goblins, but the monsters were gone and the fairies were awake. Nothing could hurt the Lady on a day like this, and nothing could hurt her companions. When the Lady was older, she would remember darker days and greater pleasures, but no day quite as marvelous as the day the fairies guided her to the Party Room through the secret tunnels.