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.

Finish That Thought 3-5

Posted in Uncategorized on August 4, 2015 by drmagoo


He watched with barely disguised contempt as she took the first dose of poison. They were all going to do it, each of them. But he would hold out the longest. Not because of hope. Because he was stubborn. He’d decide when it was his turn to die. If the rest of the sheep wanted to get it out of the way, good riddance.

Molly’s death was painful, as they all knew it would be. She embarrassed herself with her crying and wailing and the final betrayal of her body’s decency. He wouldn’t let the rest of them see him like that. Not him.

Sam went next, because Sam always went second. He never did anything scary or hard first, but that just made him a coward. He tried to take an extra-large dose, hoping it would kill him quicker, but the system wouldn’t let him. His death was more pathetic than Molly’s, and he cried the entire time.

Then Tammy. Then Allison. Then Kyle. Kyle was more stoic than the rest, but everyone knew he would be. He’d once dropped a sledgehammer on his toe and only muttered curses under his breath. He didn’t even cry when they cut the darned thing off.

And then at last there was one. He looked at his dead colleagues? Comrades? Companions? Not friends – he held them too far in contempt. Collateral damage. That was the better term. He looked at his collateral damage and spat. First on Molly. Then Tammy, just to anger Sam in the afterlife, if there was one. Kyle he kicked until his body made a sound like a scream. Allison he ignored, like he always had.

Then he took his poison and died too. There was no record of how he died. Just the way he wanted it.

VisDare 106

Posted in Uncategorized on August 4, 2015 by drmagoo


“You hear about Bennie?” Lennie knew that Jennie and Rennie had heard about Bennie. Everyone’d heard about Bennie. But what else was there to say? Traffic was slow.

“Ya tink he’ll talk?” Rennie was a ‘fraidy cat. Even Jennie knew that, but she was sweet on him, and Lennie would do anything for his little sis.

“Of course he’ll talk. But what can he say? He only handled the cash, not the product. People coulda been buying cilantro for all he knew.”

“He could rat me out, Lennie. He knows I did somethin’. Don’t think I could handle life in the pound.”

“You’ll handle life in the pound, sis, just like Paw did and just like I did.” Lennie smacked Jennie and Rennie in the heads. Not hard. Just enough. “And just like Bennie will. We gotta protect Mawmaw.”

They’d told Mawmaw you couldn’t train a cat. They was wrong.

Dark Fairy Queen Midsummer Night’s Dream

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2015 by drmagoo

Evidence of Things Not Seen

category: Myths


“It won’t work, you know.” Barry leaned back against the tree and grinned. Not for the first time, Lisa cursed the fates which decreed that they should share genetic material. In the late-evening twilight, his supercilious face was ripe for punching, although she refrained. He wasn’t going to ruin her fun, not on this night.

What are you talking about, she didn’t say, because he continued on without her. She didn’t really need to be there for most of their conversations.

“And it’s the equinox that the myths talk about, not the solstice. Though an egg won’t stand on its end, no matter what day it is.” His fingers, always busy, created grooves in the dirt, exposing the thick lines of a tree root. If he sat there long enough, he’d excavate the whole thing, just because he could.

Lisa’s hands were busy, too, although not aimlessly. It was hard to find all of the leaves she needed this time of year, especially since they had to be willingly shed, but the trees knew their roles, and even the stubborn hawthorn did its part.

When the leaves were arranged just so, she opened her bag and removed the egg. It thrummed in her hands, heavy for its size, and was warm to the touch. She felt the passage of a small rock as it whizzed by her ear, and she turned back to Barry, sticking her tongue out at him. The next one would hit her in the back of the head, she knew, but she wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of acting afraid.

Besides, holding the egg, she feared nothing.

As she’d predicted, the next pebbled ricocheted off her head. Then another off her neck. He’d keep doing it as long as she let him. Lisa barely cared. Barry thought he was so much smarter than everyone else, but he couldn’t even feel the presence of divinity not ten feet from where he sat.

Though slumbering, the dragonling was ready to hatch as soon as Lisa said the words. Lisa knew that if she could see inside the egg, She would be only an inch in diameter, curled at the bottom of Her oblong cradle, the last sign that it was time. Lisa placed the egg on the ground and smiled as Barry gasped in surprise as it balanced on its point. He crawled closer, trying to figure out what the trick was, just as a crack appeared at the tip. Lisa smiled. The dragonling would one day rule the world, but She was going to emerge hungry, and Barry would sustain her for days.