Monthly Archives: November 2015

Wind Town 3.7

            The window rattled as the wind blew stronger and then faded. Matt drew a deep shuddering breath and collapsed against the wall. How had he done that? Could you do magic without knowing? The idea made his skin crawl.
            “Matt…” Sarah’s hoarse whisper made him turn his head. She looked as wild-eyed as he felt. “How did… What did you do?”
            Matt stared at her and felt ice trickle down his spine. He’d been half hoping it was something Mom told them about, but then, Sarah would’ve known. He shook his head helplessly. Halfway through, he froze, staring at the window.
            “I wished.”
            Footsteps rang out hollowly from the porch. Matt and Sarah jumped as one. In a mad rush, they lunged up and scrambled for the table. Their panic made them clumsy, and they ran into each other trying to get out of the kitchen. The collision sent Sarah into the wall. Matt tried to catch himself but only managed to knock over the spice rack on his way to the floor. Jumping up, he was frantically trying to right the bottles when the doorknob turned.
            “Go!” he hissed at his sister as he replaced the last one and raced after her. He slid into the room as the door opened. It was too late to sit, so he grabbed the papers and held them up, trying not to pant.


50 Word Short Story: The Big Game

This story was written for a 3-word prompt: pickles, turtles, & chickadees.

            Two teams faced off. On the land side, the turtles tensed, their faces intent inside their helmets. On the air side, the birds were all aflutter. The chickadee fired them up with one last rousing song. Then, he bent, held the pickle at the ready, and waited for the whistle.

Deathwalker 5.5

            Having killed what little appetite I had, I was tempted to call up another vid – something that was pure entertainment. Something that would take my mind off of what I’d seen. Instead, I forced myself to keep looking. I needed to find out enough about Caldlings to be able to keep from doing something I’d regret.
            After a while, however, all my effort felt about as useful as wheels in space. Sure, I’d gotten a better handle on Caldlings at first, but now, all I was finding was tourist babble. Knowing their musical innovations or favorite foods was hardly going to help me stop an argument.
            It began to sink in that I didn’t know enough to search anything else. The two Caldlings were the only crew I’d seen. For all I knew, the rest could be from an entirely different system. Which meant I’d run into a wall as far as finding out about who I’d be dealing with on the trip. The next logical step would be to go down to the common areas and see what else I could pick up.
            For a long moment, I didn’t move but stared at the glowing screen between my fingers. Finally, I sighed and clapped it closed. I might’ve tried to put off going out if my body hadn’t been reminding me that there were several functions I couldn’t take care of here.
            Like it or not, it was time to leave my bunk.

Deathwalker 5.4

            The decision felt good, but it was definitely time to stop psychoanalyzing myself and get to work. Suddenly energized, I raised the screen and entered my best guess at the make and model of the ship. Options popped up immediately, and I began the painstaking chore of sorting through them and trying to narrow it down.
            It took time: much more than I’d hoped. The longer it took, the more my nerves frayed. Frowning, I gave up on finding the ship with a basic search and added impatience to the negatives. When I shifted my focus to Caldlings, I ran into more luck. Well, more information, anyway.
            One of the first things I learned was that the captain wasn’t a he. He was a she. Probably. Apparently, the lighter shade of the scales was more common to females. The “more common” made me nervous, and I quickly made a mental note to avoid pronouns for the captain until I knew for sure.
            I also found out that what I had taken for a natural coloring difference on Gri’s neck was actually a tattoo. One that Caldling men traditionally get at adolescence. Curiosity had me cuing a vid of that process, and in the seconds it took me to get it shut down, I saw way more than I cared to. It reminded me of some of the horrible things I’d read about humans doing to themselves back on Earth, and the idea of it made just as little sense to me now.

Remembering To Be Thankful

They’re generous and kind.
They’re nagging and needy.
They’ll give ‘til they’re empty.
They cling and control.
But if I need them, I can call them.
If I’m in trouble, they’ll come.
They’re wonderful and awful,
And I love every one.

Sleep Lost

First, the fog
Not drifting but drenched,
Weighting down thoughts
In a clinging web of thick paste.
Then, the wind burns through
A sizzling fire of a quick fuse
That sears the glue into rubber
Or maybe flubber – thoughts
So energized that they bounce
In erratic scatters of showers:
A constant, bubbling babble.
Too soon, the heat is gone,
But the once energetic balls
Are left scorched and jammed,
Hard and unmoving, into the
Walls, floor, ceiling, and void.
Around them, the murk is so
Thick it should be an ocean of
Flickering fish, but no such luck.
Movement is slow, laborious,
Haphazard, and hazardous.
Until at last, it simply
Stops completely.

Adoration of Greed

All bow before the gods,
Their platters gleaming, steaming, teeming
With meats and sweets – delectable treats
Of cheeses and creams:
Bestowing tasty dreams for those
Who worship and believe.

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