My brother and I use to fish the rivers to the north. We would make a day of it, waking before dawn and driving up in the mountains that further delayed the sun’s rise. The fish are more fierce there, my brother once explained to me when I was young. I had believed him, because to a young child, anything that could survive under the ice of frozen rivers and lakes were more than just a little awe inspiring.
I remember the peace that would come over my brother as he cast. The natural ease in the motions spoke of his devotion to the craft, and it always motivated me to try harder with my own casts. I could never make the line dance like my brother, but he would always smile at my attempts. He always took the time to teach me, to slow down my eagerness to throw the line as far as it could fly. Through his patience I learned so much. Continue reading
“Red is power.”
“Red is love!”
Gale twisted the hem of her shirt between her fingers as her sisters fought. Jeanne, the youngest, refused to agree with their eldest sister, Heather, on the meaning behind the strange glass bottles. There were three vials: red, green, and yellow; and they were set against the twisted root of an old yew tree. Gale had heard the stories around the village about a witch making the woods her home, so while her sisters squealed with delight, Gale stood apart from them and the gnarled tree.
Did he think me gone?
The irksome fool. I may not be where he could see me, accost me, but I would never be gone. It would be too much of a kindness if I merely ceased existing, to let him go on in peace. No, he has wounded me too deeply for me to submit into nothingness. The idea that I do not even trouble him as a passing thought torments me on a daily basis. How can he live in peace while I continue to suffer at the mere sight of him? Continue reading
You have the special ability to see the cause of death of the person you look at. For most of your life, you chose to not pay attention to it, but now everyone you look at has the same cause of death
When I was a child, I thought I saw demons trying to possess people. It only happened when I looked into their eyes, and if my gaze lingered a few seconds too long. Sometimes it looked like I was looking at their present self and their future self at the same time. I could see that person both as a young person and an elderly person at the same time. Those were the tame versions. Other times I would see fire and skin turning black and crack to reveal the raw flesh beneath. I’ve seen faces shatter into little pieces, I’ve seen them spew blood from every orifice. As I grew older I was convinced that some part of my brain was broken and if I told anyone about my hallucinations they would lock me up in padded room and throw away the key.
You go to the supermarket to get a watermelon, but they are all out of seedless watermelons, so you decide “I’ll just get one with seeds and deal with it”. But this watermelon contains something more than just seeds.
“You know seedless is a lie, right?”
I glowered at my friend, wishing for once that Russ wasn’t a cynical bastard at any and every given moment. I drummed my fingers along the watermelons displayed before me from a store’s last attempt to sell them to the public. They were half price, but the catch laid in the fact that they were no longer considered seedless watermelons. Inside the hard green balls before me would be an army of black seeds waiting to attempt to assassinate me by means of asphyxiation. I frowned, an expression I directed at my friend who was in possession of the money needed to purchase the much desired food. “But it’s half off.”
“I don’t care if they were free,” He shrugged and slipped his hands into the pockets of his green pull over while giving the fruit a contemptuous look. “It’ll just end up rotting on the counter.”
I grabbed one of the smaller melons and held it to my breast as if shielding the melon from the careless words, “What if I ate it all today.”
“Out there, in the wilderness, we discovered the bones of a god.”
Arthur couldn’t believe his luck. He never thought he would be given the grant from the beginning, and when the project had been approve to conduct a dig in the remote jungle of the Amazon rainforest. Most of it was protected, but the Brazilian government had given them a very small window of opportunity for him and other archaeologists and somehow Arthur had squeezed out ahead of his competitors. He didn’t even care that he didn’t have high expectations of what he might find, or that his moves were shadowed by men with guns. This project was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it gave him bragging rights over his peers, right he planned to invoke at every inopportune moment in the future.
While Arthur expected to find bits of pottery and tools of past civilizations, maybe even a few skeletons that were consumed by the voracious jungle, Arthur never thought he would find more. At first he thought he might have discovered the skeleton of a dinosaur, but as more and more of the bones were unearthed, it became clear that the skeleton was something else. It was almost human, almost. The feet were split with two toes on either side that appeared to be more prehensile than a man’s. The creature’s back curved forward and the torso produced four arms instead of two. The skull was disturbingly human aside from the fangs.
Prompt: He’d never had trouble on his first day of school before. This year was different. Everything was wrong.
It all began as he stood at the corner waiting for the yellow bus with some of the other kids that lived on the outskirts of town and didn’t have their own means of transportation. Kevin saw his mother jogging up the block in her faded pink evening gown with her night robe flapping out behind her like a chicken frantically trying to take flight. Her hair was still up in rollers, putting her haggard appearance on full display as she huffed and puffed closer to him. Horror kept him rooted to the spot, and he was powerless to stop her short of rushing into the group of his peers, shouting his name. She stood before him, taking a moment to catch her breath, then she held out a lunch pail that actually belonged to his younger sibling. Across the front were the smiling faces of over primped female cartoon characters of his sister’s current fad.
“You forgot your lunch,” She said, then forcefully pulled him into a tight hug and kissed his cheek. “Have a good day at school.”
Prompt: “The butler did it!”
Dinner parties were always dull in my opinion, but my wife loved them. She either hosted them or dragged me along to one of her friends’ house for a night of mind numbing small talk. I loved my wife, I truly did, but for some reason she thought I was gentleman that wouldn’t dare put a whoopee cushions under the elegant seat cushion of one the dining room chairs in a game I called fart roulette. The memory of the mortified looked on my wife’s face when she had sat down on the wrong chair continues still makes me giggle. My wife has yet to forgive me for that one, and she also had not planned another dinner party at our house because of my antics.
I had been a jokester since my days as a young boy. If a desk belonged to a girl, it would eventually house a frog. If someone left their laces undone, they would soon find them tied together. Nothing had changed throughout the years, and even college didn’t dampen my spirit to prank my nearest and dearest. My wife and I had met by the means of a rubber snake and a fishing line, and that was before we even started to date. I loved to play jokes on her. Despite the years that should have prepared her for my weekly pranks, it always caught her by surprise.
Prompt: The story behind how that one random shoe is lying in the road
You’re going to think I’m crazy. Scratch that. I already think I am crazy so it doesn’t really matter what you think. I don’t know how it happened, I don’t know why it happened. All I know is that these events took place and I have the bumps, bruises, scratch marks, and shopping receipts to prove it.
It all started that morning after I walked down to the corner gas station to get my daily Mt. Dew freezie. I wasn’t a coffee person, never would be, so I took my caffeine heavily dosed with sugar. As a young man with the physique of a rail, I felt I didn’t have to worry about the notion of putting on weight. In fact I would have welcomed a few extra pounds to better fill out the shirt that billowed around me like sail.
I stood outside the door, happily slurping my icy beverage when my friend Todd drove up in the old LeBaron that his dad had given to him. It looked about as attractive as a bull in a tutu, but it ran decently enough to get us around and the gas mileage wasn’t too harsh on our allowances. The driver side door creaked in protest as Todd climbed out and affronted me.
“Dude, you won’t believe it.”