#ThursThreads, week 546

I’ll think of something else.

Something happy. 

I’ll think of my kids, laughing and running to me. 

The swirl of snow on the open road, dancing in eddies that disappeared into the night. 

My wife, looking up at me and telling me yes. Yes. There’s so much power in that little word. Yes. 

All these things come into my mind. I know they should make me happy. 

All these things leave my mind, pushed aside by the sadness that is always there. 

Okay, I say. Talk to me. What do I not know that you are trying to tell me?

But the sadness doesn’t speak. It demands. 

So I sit there as if happiness was an option. 

It waits. It knows me. 

It knows that I’m going to light a fire. Grab a drink. Try to lose myself in my senses. 

But I don’t hear the crackling of the wood. Don’t smell the smoke or taste the burn of the whisky. 

They’re there. I just don’t have access to them. 

The sadness won’t let me. 

It just sits there. Impassive. Unyielding. Blue. Formless and rigid. Waiting. 

I don’t cry. Not really. My throat gets tight and my eyes well up, but crying comes with its own release, its own catharsis. 

The sadness doesn’t want that. 

It wants me just where I am, sipping my tasteless drink by a fire that casts no heat in a room that provides no shelter living a life offering no respite from its demands. 



#ThursThreads, week 545


“You didn’t tell me you were going to do…do this.” I could barely get the words out, my throat was so tight. “Not this.”

“Had to look real.” Janie snorted. “You got what you asked for, didn’t you?”

My eyes could barely focus on any one bit of carnage, there was so much. The bodies. The crimson splatters on the wall. And – oh god – were those…bones on the floor?

I couldn’t make it to the sink before everything that I’d ever eaten came up from the depths of wherever we store such things. It made an awful, thick splattering sound when it hit the floor, and Janie cursed.

“Asshole! Keep it together! Now you’ve left DNA all over the place.”

“Sor…sorry. This is my first…what is this exactly?”

Janie was moving around the room like a cat, somehow not stepping in any of the mess she’d made. “The news will probably call it a ‘massacre,’ but I prefer ‘ritual disemboweling.’ Did you bring the stuff?”

“The stuff?”

“The spell components. The glowing ball. The whatever you magicians use to make reality go all wonky.”

“I’m not…” It didn’t really matter that I wasn’t, technically, a magician. I was, or at least had been before I ordered a massacre, an accountant. It had been my desire to figure out why the numbers were off in the books that led me to discover that magic was real and that a great evil was coming.

“Oh. Right here.”

“Then let’s get started!”


#ThursThreads, week 543


“Thank you for volunteering, Mr. Bear,” Annalisa intoned as she tightened the straps on her old highchair-cum-time machine. “You will go to places and times undreamt-of by stuffies everywhere.”

She picked up her parents’ iPad and swiped to the Kids Corner folder. Building an app that controlled a time machine and hiding it from Mom and Dad was almost more difficult than building the time machine in the first place, given that they had to authorize all installs, but her partners in Africa built a workaround. 

After firing up “Count With Me, 1-2-3,” Annalisa waited for the smiling ducks to stop singing and then selected Settings>Read EUA. Nobody ever read those. 

The EUA appeared, stayed on the screen for ten seconds, and then vanished. Its replacement was a simple control panel. Not the one Annalisa wanted, but she had the fingers of a four-year-old human. It didn’t matter that she could think in eight dimensions if her body couldn’t perform the necessary movements. 

It was a shame that she had to use Mr. Bear for this assignment, because he was the cuddliest of all her stuffies, but he was also the only one large enough to contain the messages she was sending home. They were encoded on polyfill, but there were so very many she had no other options. 

The tears started as she thought of never seeing his smile and big dark eyes again, and Annalisa wrapped her arms around him for one final hug. 

It was go-time.