Friday, March 29, 2013

Need You Like

The water accepts me, wraps around me, accommodates me.  Every surface is matched to my own, curves and planes and angles. There are bubbles, at first, but those separate and drift away, and we are left together, no difference between my body and the outline in the water, myself and my simulacrum.  And that's love, isn't it?  That's what love is.  That's what it's like.

I open my eyes.  Everything is blurred and shadowy.  I open my mouth.  Air rushes out, racing for the surface. 

Soon I will breathe in, and there will be no differences at all.

Only love.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What We Don't Talk About

“Breakfast!” Mom trilled.

The horror opened its misshapen jaw as the bowl of porridge passed.  Green sludge dripped between its crooked, needlelike teeth and spilled with a hiss into the vessel.

“Mom...” said Harriet. 

“Shush!” Mom said.  She turned away, deliberately not looking at the horror’s spiked tail as she stepped over it.  “Eat your food.”

“But I can’t.  It’s...” Harriet paused.  The horror was staring at her, tense and readyAll she had to do was acknowledge it, just once...  “I don’t want it.”

“Well, you have to sit with us until we’re done,” Mom said.


The horror waited.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Success in Your Chosen Field of Endeavor

"Aha!" said the Great Detective.  "I see that the murderer was a tall man, imposing and likely popular with the ladies."  He hefted the great brass candlestick, the blood yet dripping upon his sensible leather shoes.  "That this crime occurred recently is obvious, but what is less obvious is the motive.  In truth, even I - are you listening?  Are you listening? - even I might find it difficult to unravel were it not for the crucial, one might even say the crowning insight of my career."

He leaned in and whispered, "It's easier to solve them if you do them yourself."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sunday, Early Morning

Trash day.  Simon heaved a sigh and smiled.  All down the street, the lumpen gray-green trash bins stood sentry beside his neighbors' driveways.

"C'mon, Bugsy."  Simon rattled his dog's leash and walked on, enjoying the pre-dawn chill.  But Bugsy whined and held back, refusing to step onto the grass to do his business.

"What?" Simon asked.  Abruptly, he heard a peeping sound.  He leaned closer to the garbage bin.  "It's only a frog, Bugsy."  He considered trying to let the poor thing out, but he had no idea how he'd find it.  This wasn't even his bin.

The peeping returned, more forcefully.  There must be several frogs, two or three.

Louder.  Perhaps ten...

Louder.  Twenty?

The sound kept increasing.  Simon stepped back, Bugsy cringing at his heels.  There were deeper croaks, now, the sounds of larger frogs.  He almost expected the bin to start vibrating with the force of the voices within.

Something bumped Simon's back and he jumped with a shout before he realized he'd run into the bin across the street.  Then he heard the peep behind him.  And another.

One by one, all down the street, the frogs - the things in the trash bins - began to call.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In the Dark and the Wet

At first, Ida thought the child was crying, slouched on her knees in the road, covered by an oversized raincoat.  He could see her shoulders shuddering, gleaming wet in the streetlamp's glow.  There was a dark lump on the road before her, visible as a gap in the yellow lines.  Had someone run over her dog?

He slowed when he heard her chanting.

When he saw her hands rise to her mouth, he stopped.  With a grunt and a tearing sound, she began to chew.

By the time he realized it wasn't a raincoat at all, it was too late.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Nearness of You

The walkway offered one of the most magnificent views in one of the most architecturally rich cities in France, but Nicky's eyes stared out, unseeing.  She kept her feet moving forward, one after the other, and didn't stop to look down for fear she might find the prospect tempting.  This wasn't how she'd wanted the trip to end.

The cold stone of the elaborate gargoyles passed under her hands; sloping backs, rough and weather-pitted rock, a brief bristle of sparse and wiry hairs...

Nicky paused.  Hairs?  She whirled.

Nothing was there.  All around her, the night was silent and still.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Naomi kept her distance, unwilling to sit.  The gleaming black eyes of the furred predator flashed at her from within Sam's jacket.

"It's not like he wants to kill you," Sam said.  "It's a mutually beneficial relationship.  I get rid of waste and excess, and he ensures a steady food supply.  He only eats what I don't need."

Naomi tried and failed to keep her eyes from drifting toward Sam's left hand, where two fingers were sheared off at the knuckle.  A bandage peeped out from beneath his shirt when he moved.

"You'd be surprised what's actually necessary," said Sam.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Playing to Win" at Penumbra

My flash fiction "Playing to Win" appears in V2 Issue 6 of Penumbra Magazine.  It's the tale of a man and his chess opponent.  Also jerky.

Check it out; the whole issue is Space Opera themed, so spaceships and lasers and aliens all around!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fifty Cents a Play

The earth-movers rumbled along the road.  The wire cables, thick as tree branches, stretched up and back, humming like guitar strings.  The vast disc ground slowly forward, the ridges along its edge cutting furrows deep as a man's waist into the dirt.  Ahead, their goal loomed, its top lost in the clouds. 

"Another week and we'll be at the base," said the general.  "We can begin lifting operations then.  The cranes are already in place."

"Soon," said the president, shading her eyes against the flaring neon of the Jukebox, "soon the whole world will know what it is... to party."