I pushed aside the canary yellow silk curtains and looked out over the city through clear modern panes of the balcony doors.
My balcony was made of black, wrought iron, like every other balcony in this city, decorated with fanciful shapes of flowers and butterflies.
Beyond the edges of my apartment, steel and brass towers speared into the sky. They were silver and dun gold, like drops of metal fallen from the sky. On the eastern shores of the island, barely visible from here, were several equally tall and massive trees. Some sported hundreds of flowers; others had only plain dark green leaves; and one bristled with sharp, piney needles.
Hotels, businesses and homes, they housed the most powerful covens to claim a place in this city. Less powerful ones contented themselves with steel and bone-wood homes.
My permanent home, now. Somewhere in the teeming mass of people was my soul-bonded. He wouldn’t welcome me, that I knew. I’d betrayed him. My fingers tightened on the cool silk curtains.
It hardly mattered that the betrayal wasn’t what he thought. I didn’t deserve his forgiveness.
The balcony door panes blurred with water droplets. I glanced up at the sky. Still a clear, hard blue.
I jerked the curtains shut. I didn’t need to see this, didn’t need to think about this. There were other things in my life, now.
I wrote this real fast and I’m not sure how it came out so . . . here you are!!!
She eyed the mob screaming on the palace steps and fingered the gold ring in her skirt pocket.
Oh, this was bad. Very bad. Not that she could understand what they was saying, but it couldn’t be good.
Good thing she wasn’t responsible for this; she’d only arrived in the country just three days ago.
She rubbed the distinctive flat head of the ring. It was all good, she reassured herself. Everything was fine. She would get out of this.
“What they saying?” she asked. For a boy who thought they was twins, he sure was stupid.
He smiled at her, happy as a child with a handful of sugar. “Do you recall the temple we visited yesterday? A . . . an artifact, I suppose you would call it, disappeared from there yesterday.”
Horrified, she looked up into his bright purple eyes. How had they discovered it so soon? She had stolen it only hours ago, right before dawn. “But I thought . . . guess you was wrong about only the royal family being able to touch it. Just silly folktales afterall.”
He smiled, shook his head. “Come. You were stolen so young, you still don’t understand our ways. Your ways. Mother wishes to see you.”
Snow covered the tumulus. Scraggly, bare brown branches rose above it, providing meager shelter against the weather.
Not that she needed shelter anymore.
Drifts piled up against the edges and the steps were impossible to see.
I sank in to the knee on the first step. Wet and cold seeped in past my pants and trickled down my bare skin.
I pushed my hands through the snow for something solid to brace my hands against. The snow was soft and white as my hair. Perfect.
I crawled up to the top of the tumulus, slowly and with great care. Cold seeped into me until I felt as though my bones were made of ice and my belly filled with rock pellets.
Gray edged my vision and my breath made foggy puffs of wind in the air. Snow started to fall again. It dotted my black coat like a white fungus. My face heated under the falling flakes and I laughed.
The sky was white, a glorious white, beautiful as my absent wife. It warmed me as she did. This snow, it was better than the softest wool blanket.
I stood at the top of the tumulus, panting. Blood covered my fingers, but all I felt was burning. This burn didn’t hurt, couldn’t compare to the ache in my chest.
I sank down under the nearest tree. Snow crusted my pants and shoes and shirt. But I didn’t care. The tree’s slender branches bracketed the sky and I knew I was home.
She chortled and spun the hard black lace. Sweet, delightful air rushed past her wings.
She grinned and hopped backward, watching. It spun and spun!
Oh! Such fun!
Below, her provider paused and looked up. Now he would see.
She jumped and grabbed hold of the pretty blackness and yanked, wings beating furiously.
It was off! It spun faster and faster, until she hardly needed to make it go. Wind pushed her forward, glorious, speedy air. It was better than her provider’s big metal den.
“Sofia!” Her provider stood below her, waving his hands. “No! No, Sofia. Sit.”
Concerned, she let go and drifted down. He only sounded like that when some danger tried to cut off her wings.
“Good girl.” His hands cupped her back, warm and comforting. “What were you doing up there anyway, huh? We’ll get you some sugar and you can play in your cart, okay? But stay away from the mill.”
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.