Step. Step. Step.
Gasp. Step. Gasp.
She staggered inside, shuddered as the heat of the store made its way under her jacket, sweater, shirt, thermals and scarf.
She ignored the roars and rush of the crowd.
Instead, she clenched with her numb, worn gloved fingers a yellow ticket: small, badly printed, but the answer to her dreams.
The check-out line grew long behind her, wove around product displays and was full of loud chatter.
She ignored it all.
The small slim box the checkout girl handed her was wonderful. Perfect. Others wouldn’t think so, but she could type now. Write whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted to. Watch videos, even.
She no longer needed to wait on the school’s computer labs.
Gentle reader, I was present at the Olde Circle yesterday evening when an astonishing thing happened.
“2900! 2900! Who wants to go for 3000? 3000, people. Going once, going twice, gone! The gentleman in the yellow hat has won the antique robot!” A small woman whispered in the auctioneer’s ear. “Ah! Forgive me, I meant to say, the honored hemorphidite in the yellow hat has won the antique robot.”
A shocked titter begin in the upper gallery and spread down to the peons in the lower seats. Who could blame them? No one has seen a hemorphidite in such marvelous surroundings in, well, decades.
A brightly dressed, tall hemorphidite descended from the upper gallery and walked to the stage. But before – she? he? it? – could reach the stage, a woman handed him a trolly with the robot on it, staring sightless ahead. The robots’ power switch was turned to off.
It, we shall say, offered the woman a card; it was a black card, but I regret I was not close enough to see which credit company it preferred.
The honored hemorphidite, gentle reader, gathered the trolly to its impressive bosom and made off with it.
No one knows where it went. All I know, gentle reader, is that somewhere in this city is a hemorphidite with an old robot.
Perhaps it decided to assuage its loneliness with the stark, broken lights of a robot.
It wasn’t true. It couldn’t be.
We lied. We’re married.
She circled the punching bag to the right and jabbed at it. Step, hit, step, step, hit.
We knew you wouldn’t approve so we lied. But we both want you, we really do.
Sweat beaded down her face and under her tank top. She threw a punch at the bag. It rocked back.
It’s not cheating. You have to understand.
She stripped off her gloves and threw them at the bag. They thudded on the wooden floor.
We both love you.
She screamed. Loud and high, her voice exploded from her.
She turned. They both stood by the door, anxious and eager. Mark and Eric, black and blond, looked as different as day and night.
Her boyfriend, floppy black hair, earnest brown eyes, tried to smile at her. His husband – husband! Not best friend! – stood mute next to him.
“How could you?” Her voice broke. “How could you?”
“We are sorry.” Her boyfriend hugged her tight.
Eric closed his arms around them both. “Please forgive us. Please.”
My first friday flash in a couple of weeks. Didn’t feel like writing one today either, but thought: I should.
The full moon rose above the tree line, big and round and dirty white, like someone had smeared dusty fingers across it.
She looked away, not wanting to see it. Terrible thing.
Flowers buried their heads in their petals all along the lawn. When she was little, she used to think they slept and sang them a lullaby in the evening.
She knew better now, didn’t she?
She bent to pick a bloodroot. Its white petals were tightly furled and soft as a newborn’s head. She picked one and let it drop on the dark green grass.
I will die.
Another petal floated to the ground. He will die.
A third petal joined its siblings. I will die.
A wolf emerged from the copse of woods and padded closer. His blond fur gleamed in the moonlight.
The fourth petal drifted down to rest on her sandaled foot. He will die.
His fur wavered and rippled under the full moon.
A fifth white petal wafted away in a gust of wind. I will die.
A man rose from the grass, tall, naked and skin like brightly polished copper.
The sixth petal landed on his black hair. He will die.
“We need to talk, babe,” he rumbled.
They did not.
The seventh petal circled down to land on the ground between them. I will die.
She pointed the gun she had taken from our locker. It held silver bullets she had especially commissioned. “There is nothing left to say.”
The last petal drifted away, out of sight on the wind. He will die.
The shot missed him, smacked into the ground behind him. He never even flinched. Bastard.
He took several steps forward. “Come on, babe. You don’t want to shoot me.”
She turned away. “I want you gone.”
His arms closed around her waist. “I am sorry. It won’t happen.”
His heat seeped through her clothes. “No. It won’t.”
“I can make it up to you.” He blew a breath in her ear.
“You can’t. My mother’s crystal! You can’t replace it.”
“Give me a chance. Please.”
She huffed out a breath.
This post is a little weird. It comes at the end of a spectacularly shitty week. At first I wasn’t even going to write one, but it is Friday evening and I thought why not? It’s mostly incomplete sentences and almost random images. It is a little strange and a new thing for me to do. I am not sure it works.
Arms raised. Turn. Turn the other way. Look up. Look down.
Gentle fingers probe a soft, flabby stomach, move up to bare, sagging breasts.
Avoid the large protrusion on the bottom left joint. Wipe off yellow pus and red blood.
Get up, dress in a hospital gown and clutch the back with one hand. Lie down on a hospital bed. Get wheeled to a room.
Smell disinfectant. Finger is pricked. Swallow pills. Watch blood fill three little tubes.
Sign forms. Dress again in normal clothes. Leave.
Stuff like this comes out of my keyboard when I don’t feel like writing. ;)
She leaned close to the mirror and examined the tattoo. It covered up the scar very well, distracted the eye with intricate whorls and angles of black ink.
Her man appeared in the mirror, right behind her shoulder. His tattoo was white, bright against the inky darkness of his skin. It made a pretty pattern of slashes and dots on his throat and arms.
He put both hands on her shoulders. “Ready?”
She turned, met his red eyes. The eyes of a hunter; the eyes she would soon have. “Yes.” This had been decades in the coming, but she was ready now.
The room was prepared, clean, the knives sharp and the drains cleared.
She stripped and lay down; the paper crinkled under her.
Her maker ran his fingers over her throat. She tracked the movement of his hands when he stroked his knuckles down her arm.
She gasped when he slashed her wrists open. The wound hurt. He held her down, pinned her arms to the table so she wouldn’t move. She flexed her fingers against the steel of the table, trying to block the pain. But soft whimpers escaped from her.
Warm blood gushed down the drains. Her vision went black at the edges. Her last sight was of her man being led in and lying down in the table next to her.
They would be together.
This just came to me. I am not entirely sure about it figured I would post anyway.
Color smeared the sky like a child’s finger-painting.
The colors were reflected in the glass and concrete buildings around. He sighed and sat on the edge of the roof, legs dangling in empty air.
Four stories below, people walked or biked past. Some strolled and many ran as though they were in the middle of a marathon. Poor things. Why did they bother? Nothing was going to happen tonight. Dreams shattered and it didn’t matter how hard you tried. No one cared.
Too bad his building wasn’t taller. He raised his eyes to the too-pretty buildings around him. Like sitting in his micro car and being surrounded by a dozen trucks. He should stay away.
But he couldn’t help but think of ways to sneak to the top of one. Maybe the bridge would be easier.
V danced for the crowd. The red folds of her dress swirled around her, sometimes obscuring her from the crowd, sometimes revealing her.
The crowd chanted her name: Red V. V. V. Red!
The music thrummed through, a counter point to her own nature, named for her. Venom.
The crowd swayed with her.
She twirled over the stage, her bare feet pounding the floorboards. Thump. Step. Thump. Leap.
With each step the venom in her music spread. One by one the people in the crowd crashed like felled trees.
Only one man was left standing. The reason she was here. The reason for these destroyed lives.
He grinned and jumped atop the nearest body. But the music didn’t stop and she didn’t stop moving.
Soon he, too, fell.
She was free! She turned one last somersault and landed on his chest.
Tell me what you think about this story? Is it confusing?
Eyebrows arched high, blue eyes wide and carefully made up to hide the first signs of wrinkles, Ashara posed in front of the crowd. Colorful fabric streamed behind her, a parody of the flags ringing the stadium. Cameras flashed, but the applause was polite.
She turned on her six-inch heels and stalked back across the stage. Her hair swept down her back in long, loose waves; it excited more comment than the flower-print folds of her dress.
Her heels left faint gold marks on the wooden boards, but no one noticed.
The next model was a slim, dark figure in white wedges, a shimmering black crop top and ivory pants. She strode over her predecessor’s footsteps.
The crowd roared and cameras flashed enough to blind anyone unfortunate enough to get caught in the glare. The model kept turning, kept moving. She was rumored to take Ashara’s place as the next top model.
A hush came over the crowd when she stumbled and went down hard. One of the stage crew helped her off.
Ashara came back in a number designed to show off a svelte body, all smooth lines and shining fabric. Whispers flowed like water at her appearance. She looked as if she had lost a decade in the ten minutes she had been off stage.
My J word jinni. My take on it is slightly different.
Only the tip of his nose, lower cheeks and jaw was spared. The rest of his face was covered in shadow as dark as night.
His stared at me with eyes like chips of the sun-drenched sky, given life. I had failed him, I and I alone. Seated on either side of me, the other village elders trembled like leaves in a gale. The villagers gathered around us, shocked speechless.
Oh, but for all the honor we did our dead, had either of us expected this?
I kept my gaze fixed on his face; I didn’t want to look at the rest of him. I knew what I had done too well. “Blessed jinni, what may we do for you this night?”
His mouth opened; broken, bloody teeth shone in the firelight.
I rubbed my knuckles under the table, massaging away remembered pain.
I jerked. He’d been blindfolded. He couldn’t have recognized me.
He turned his burning gaze next to me, on my twin, whose life I had chosen over the fruit of my own blood.
The jinnis’ words came again: “Die.”
The villagers gasped. I looked up to see my son staring at me. His head whipped between me and the jinni of his own dead son. Understanding appeared on his face like a storm, with soft rain and gentle breezes, than with the force of winds powerful enough to uproot whole trees.
He knew I’d betrayed him. I failed to protect his boy from the filth of my twin, as I’d failed to protect him decades earlier.
My son’s anger was a blade sharp enough to let free my lifeblood. And, this time, I didn’t fight him, didn’t try to protect my twin.