Window of Happiness
“You are certain?”
She stood there, face pressed against the glass window. The lights of the other life shone in her eyes.
“Yes”, she breathed. “That one.”
The stilled imaged showed a woman similar to her in face and form, if a bit more trim and taut. She had her arms around a man, smiling down fondly at a towhead toddler playing at her knee.
“That’s my life.” She turned to the technician. “This is the one.”
The technician nodded, typing a notation into the computer. “Very well, Mrs. Evans, the Life Replacement counselor will be in to meet with you shortly.”
“I don’t need a counselor,” she said to his retreating back, “ I … “ She turned and looked in the glass window again. “I want this.”
The door closed softly. She didn’t notice when it opened again.
They gave me one water skin and a hard roll filled with dried fruit; reckoning if I needed more I would have failed, anyway.
The mountain was not steep, at first. In the bright morning I passed a pleasant hour or two climbing the various broken trails dotted with romping sheep, chattering birds and later, stern-eyed mountain goats. The wildflowers gave the mountain side a vivid purple hue, a haze of heavenly beauty come to earth.
At midday I stopped to rest, sitting against a moss strewn outcropping of rocks overlooking my village.
Home. Continue reading
It was a small thing, really, to misplace an invitation. But when the error was discovered, it was with cries and horror as the party attendees witnessed the slighted sorcerer curse the Kingdom, it’s land and all it’s inhabitants.
He held out his arms and decried:
Listen all, to all the Kingdom
listen to your fate.
Heed me now,
all that scorned me
none shall escape.
Hunger and pain,
shall be your pillow.
Pestilence, your very bed.
You will all die alone, in anguish,
living despair and dread.
The King and Queen, hearing the deathly terms of the curse, begged a private conference with the sorcerer. For the love of their Kingdom, they pleaded, offering all they own.
When the Day was Done
I woke to the sound of my heart pumping slowly.
I felt my lungs take a couple of ragged breaths. My eyelids, sticky with blood and crust, were swollen shut.
I was laying on my side, my hands bound behind me. I felt the cold dirt floor scratch roughly against my cheek.
I laughed briefly, coughed, and laughed again.
I was alive!
I heard him move. Continue reading
“Did you do a Google search?”
“Of course I googled it! I did every search I could think of – I got nothing.”
“Shit. It’s almost 5’o’clock.”
“He’s gonna be here any second!”
“I know, Jerry, let me think!”
He started tapping the sill of the window, a nervous habit that drives me crazy.
“Okay, look.” I turned around and grabbed him from the window. “Jerry… Jerry! Chill, okay? Just go look in the kitchen and see if he’s here.”
His eyes widened. “How would he have gotten in here without us knowing?”
I avoided answering and turned back to the computer. “It’s a trick of his,” I mumbled. “He likes to show up in unexpected places.”
The clock on my computer reached 5:00pm and Continue reading
Always and Forever
Oct 17, 2021 4:43pm
You used to say I was the strongest person you knew. That I had the strength and patience of a Russian Tiger. That it would take a hell of a lot for me to just break down.
Oh, if you could see me now – hurling through space in a windowless box little larger then the size of our closet.
Tell the children mommy loves them. And I am so sorry.
Will they ever forgive us?
I love you so much.
Oct 21, 2021 11:53am
So here I am, still in pieces. It took four days for the energy panels to recharge. I guess that was about four months you didn’t hear from me.
I’m so sorry.
I took the time to go over the manuals on the computer again. A lot of it Continue reading
I remember two loud sounds. BOOM, BOOM. Then searing light and brief, flaying pain.
Then I was here.
If a place could have no value, no structure, no features – does it exist?
We called it Noplace. And by we I mean the millions of others who were here with me, around me, through me, in me.
And by “called” I mean we agreed without speaking. A general consensus of the few minds who were not too busy screaming in dislocated horror.
Though I must admit I had a turn or two of screaming myself.
When he/she/it, (for redundancy sake let’s call it Sheit), when Sheit appeared it was a shock to the senses… such as they were. Sheit’s skin was green, and we could perceive it was green – it did not shift back and forth along the color spectrum like everything and no thing in this place seemed to do. This Noplace, I mean.
It’s eyes were blue and large, segmented into 50 or so rectangular irises. It’s mouth was upturned and protruding. It’s nostrils elongated and taking up a good portion of it’s face.
There was no body to speak of.
A few million more minds began to scream. Continue reading
I was cold all the time. When I slept, it was with my back in the corner, my legs tucked under me. I woke often to the furious shaking of my body.
It took me three days to learn how to build a fire. Sickly and small, I fed it the thin blue twigs I found on the forest floor.
At night, snuffling creatures would snarl and bump at the door and I would scream nonsensically, howling and growling with a garden spade in my hand.
In the daylight I would forage. Nothing was familiar but I learned the bitter yellow berries were safe to eat while the red nuts that smelled like cinnamon made me sick with fever and swelling. The small purple berry on the pink-leafed bush was a hallucinogent of sort and I hoarded those jealously.
I set traps daily. The last of my twine was used to set snares against the trees. I dug holes and placed sharpened sticks in them, hoping the bits I remembered from camping and TV would coalesce into a meal. Continue reading
A Study of Judgement
Mr. Jenson ate lunch at his usual spot by the window in De’Lass Cafe. He had a turkey sandwich on dry wheat bread, a small bowl of fruit and a pickle. He read the local newspaper and watched rain trickle down the smudged glass panes and thought generally about nothing.
He didn’t look when the bell announced another patron.
“Is this seat taken?”
Mr. Jenson looked up slowly, his lips pursed in preemptive annoyance.
“Yes”, he said.
The man was dressed in a yellow track suit. He had cornrowed hair, gold chain and sunglasses with yellow rims. He pointed at the vacant chair.
“It looks empty.”
“I’m expecting someone.”
The man in the yellow track suit smiled. His two front teeth were gold.
“Good,” he said. Continue reading
United Harmony – Part I
I poured another drink to the guy with four eyes and a sharp beaked mouth. My bar was in the middle of nowhere on a nothing planet but it always managed to stay full. Might’ve been my exotic drinks, but I suspect it was more because of my allergic reaction to the law – they make my trigger finger itch.
Speaking of the devil, two silver robotics stomped into my bar. They were the avian kind, two spindly feet attached to a wide round base. They looked like big, metal ducks – with gun turrets for beaks.
“Siri”, I hissed to the air, “why didn’t you notify me?” My gun on my hip whirred to life, “I told her to warn you but she said you would overreact. And I said, hey, sometimes one got to issue a little preemptive action, you know what I mean? And she said, this would be a good opportunity for you to learn restraint.” I slapped my gun to silent mode and glared at one of my bar’s cameras.
“I’m going to update you as soon as this is over, enough with this nostalgia tech shit.” Continue reading
To Measure it Empty – part 1
The Arms master thrust the pitcher into the side of my head. “Take this, boy”, he gruffed. He was big and hairy, with sweat leaving sticky trails down his sides and chest.
“I’m not a boy”, I said, ducking his cuff to the other side of my head. He glared at me with little piggy eyes.
“You’re boy unless I say otherwise, boy.”
Someone behind me dragged me to the gear side of the room and begin outfitting me with my suit. The suit was laughably small, a miniaturized, glossy version of the ones I’d seen actors playing war heroes wear.
I held it. It weighed about a pound.
“What is this, a toy”, I asked in pure disbelief.
“It’s enough for your scrawny ass”, someone called out .Most of the bigger kids laughed along, the younger ones looked like they were too busy trying not to puke. Continue reading
When I dream I dream of deserts. Dry dead wastelands, scuttling beetles scraping on molted gray trees.
When I dream I dream of despair.
Deserted cityscapes, angry red skies pierced by jagged metal peaks. Diseased red-eyed rodents, emboldened, angry, formidable.
When I dream I dream of death. Continue reading
This alien abduction crap is starting to tic me off
Lookee here- I know we all got our jobs to do. And I’m not trying to be all in your face and whatnot– but this daggone stealing people in the middle of the night thing is really starting to get me madder’n a bat in a suitcase, if you know what I mean.
I’m sure ya’ll just following orders from your high commander and they fixin to bust your little green balls about your probe quota, or what have ya. But Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick, why Continue reading
Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl named Cindy who was locked in a dark and barren attic. Her father, stepsisters and stepmother lived below, in comfort and style. It was not unusual for them to be away all night in revelry.
Occasionally, Cindy would find a way to unlock her door. She would tiptoe downstairs and stuff herself full of candy and sweets. After gobbling down all the wine she would try to set fire to her family.
For this reason the members of the household wisely took the precaution of having a pail of fine sand in each room. Also, Continue reading
“So, we’re immortal now.”
“Yep”, he said, eyes glued to his video game.
“We’re never gonna die, or get sick or nothin’”, I said as I stood slightly in front of my boyfriend with my arms crossed.
He angled his head around me. “Yeah, dude. It was all over the news. I get it.”
Wet, Warm and Furry
originally published March 15, 2007
“Why hello little thing. Aren’t you just the cutest!”
“Are you lost? Poor thing, you’re soaking wet.”
“Aw, look at that little face. I haven’t seen one like you since I was Continue reading
Fast food killed us… hippies will finish us off
Some say it was in the high fructose corn syrup. Others say it was in the trans-fat, or homogenized whatever.
But it was the meat that killed us.
All I know is when people started dying, I barely noticed. I was too busy scraping for food, finding coke cans for change.
I hadn’t really eaten in two days… just some molded corn nuts to suck on. Continue reading
Fourteen people went into the room. The walls were white and bare. Seven white chairs faced seven black chairs with a small gray table in the middle.
The people were instructed not to talk.
Once, before everyone left, I built a raft made of sticks. The sticks were green, living and sticky with sap. They stained my feet with their berries.
I remember grinning at my parents as they waved supine and lazily, the yellow sun beating gently.
The river was young and strong. I fashioned an oar Continue reading
The car died suddenly. A spectacular death of choking white plumes, shuddering clanks and a small engine fire.
The man in the suit watched it burn, an unlit cigarette between his lips. He hung his suit jacket over his arm, picked up his nearly empty briefcase and started up the wooded hill Continue reading