Category Archives: Fiction

May We Mourn

Tombstone with epitaph of sleep taken from us by the alarm clock

Mourning the Start of the Week

Still working on some content, mostly Monday related (of course) but in case you’re a little more in need, check out my Pinterest for some Monday Humor or take a look back at my previous Monday poems. And, if you’re feeling a little nostalgic, check back at this poem published last year on / around this date.

Pavlov’s Pups and A Call for Collaboration

Image for Pavlov's Pups poem

Pavlov’s Pups

We’re all just
Pavlov’s pups
rising to chimes
falling to clocks

______________________________________________________________

Poetry Collaborations: OPEN

Hey, folks. If you’re a regular around here, you might have noticed a new page up there on the tool bar. I’d love to get some work going with other bloggers. I’m currently thinking anything from writing poems back and forth with either a certain topic or prompt to just featuring the work on our blogs in a steady sort of flow. If you’re interested and want to give it a go, see if the criteria below fits your interests and then post a message here and we can start hashing things out.

Things You Should Probably Know:

  • I post normally 3 times a week but would consider adding an extra day just devoted to features
  • Most of my writing is either sarcastic or down right silly
  • I’d like to keep things light aka I’m not looking for any dark or sorrowful tones here
  • I do like using imagery when I actually write seriously so this is also an option (but I wouldn’t get your hopes up)
  • Alcohol + Me = A certainty (if this subject is touchy for you, probably should move along)
  • I, in no way, will condone or affiliate with writing that can be taken as hate speech against ANY group
  • I’m as chatty as a liquored-up lark  so get ready for some communication
  • I write because I love it and because I’m too lazy to pick up another hobby so let’s keep things fun

Alright, if you don’t have a problem with any of that above go ahead and post here and we can start talking and I look forwards for the opportunity to work with you!

Mornin’

Grumpy Cat Real

Sometimes I
wonder how far I’ve wandered
but, mostly,
I just wander
amble about in shades
of tawny blue and
forget to ask the questions
I don’t really think
I
just move.

_______________________

Ugh, Monday again, isn’t it? One of those mornings where I just kind of sit here and try to get around it. Still, I suppose if I’m up I better just stay and hope I can keep going with the right amount of fuel. Of course this one above is yet another Monday poem, written to let you know you’re not alone in all your shambling about.

 

As always, here’s to hoping that your day flies by and that you’ve got something cold and on the rocks waiting for you when you get home tonight.

 

Applicable

It's The Truth

It’s The Truth

This seems a bit applicable, don’t you think? At the moment I’m getting through the end of a quarter so you’ll have to bear with me while I make it through the end of it. Till then, feel free to posts links to poems below in the comments. I could use some good reading while mucking through my work.

A Good Book

Book sculpture

Good Book

You’ve gone

There and back

Again

And you’re all

The better for it.

 

Wandered through

Lands unknown

With

Unsavory souls and

Those heroic

 

But now you’re home

Last page turned

Spine closed  and

Now

The real journey begins.

___________________________________________

Mornin’, folks.  Just finished a novel about a few minutes ago, and I felt this poem applicable and one that might sit well with you as well. Getting to the final page of The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett gave me one of those good ‘novel euphoria’ feelings. You know, the ones where you just sit there holding the book after you’re done, enjoying the mood it’s put ya in.  Hopefully, it’s one that you can relate to and, if you can’t, I suggest you go on a book hunt and get yourself a good one.

Well, here’s hoping that you’re day goes quickly by and that you’ve got something cold and on the rocks waiting for you when you get home tonight.

2000+ Thanks You’s (w/poem)

Thank You

Honestly, thank you.

It’s happened, folks. Over 2000 of you awesome individuals clicked the follow me button and, well, I am mighty grateful for it. Honestly, I can say how much I appreciate each and everyone of you who took the time to even stop by for a brief moment and look over a poem or two here.  Now, if you just wanna read my thank you poem, I suggest skipping to the end. If not, then let me fill you in on a little bit of the exciting news going on around here.

Firstly, I’ve had the honor of getting my poem “Indecision” freshly pressed. I can’t tell you what an awesome surprise that was, and it was an amazing pick me up. A little bit of an ego booster, so to speak.  There’s nothing like seeing something I put myself into actually get such a good deal of attention.  Secondly, I have been nominated by several of you for a handful of awards, all of which I completely honored and floored by. Those will all get their own post, and I’ll be mentioning you for the sake of being awesome enough to think of me.  Third, I’ll be launching my new facebook page soon, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for that folks, as I’ll be able to connect a bit better with all of you.

chocolate cupcake with pink frosting and sprinkles

Just in case you weren’t aware, for every 500 followers I get, I normally write a new poem….and I get myself a cupcake. Win-win, right?

Finally, I just have to say that, between getting freshly pressed, the sheer number of you amazing people, and the chance to actually connect more with everyone, that this has made the best birthday I have had in a very, very long time.  I honestly can’t remember a time when I’ve felt this good about life in general, nor when I’ve been this motivated to keep on, keepin’ on. Though it’s not officially till Sunday, I couldn’t possibly think of any other present that could make me feel so swell.

Thank you, honestly, for ever single second of your time. I can’t think of a single thing I value higher nor anything I’d rather have more.

As for the post, I’ve got a possessive little poem that’s just for you. Yep, you and only you. Think of it as my little ‘thank you’ for helping me limp my writing along. I really do appreciate it and, now, without further ado:

Us

Your gaze,
my words,
our thoughts,

just, in this moment,
there is nothing
but us.

We exist
only in each other’s
presence,

my rhymes ghost
and your lips
lap this sentence:

that we are us,

an intimate assembly,
essences who flicker
in mutual envy

of our minds.

For me,

you will always be
audience enough.
________________________________________________

Once again, thank you kindly, folks. I couldn’t do it without ya.

Where Your Heart Is (Friday Fictioneers)

decorative bar with abstract painting

Where Your Heart Is

They say it’s where your heart is. The place where you love to rest your head.

Sure, I’ve got a box in a picket fence down on Main Street where I park my car at night, and have one sided conversations about my day or hers. But it’s nothing like here.

Here I’ve got Remmy, Jack, and Jim. Here I’ve got Saul’s long face on the wall. I’ve got color and mood lighting, comfortable seats, and jokes I’ve never heard before. And here, if I ever run out of heart, there’s always some waiting for me.

You see, I am home.

_________________________________________________________

wpImg

I finally got back on schedule enough to do another Friday Fictoneer’s post! I love these little 100 word prompts so much. They’re fun, and a bit challenging, plus getting to read what everyone else does is equally as awesome. Basically, each week brings you a new picture as a prompt, and you have 100 words to tell a story in. Like I said, fun but challenging.

Well, here’s to hoping that your weekend is awesome and that your Monday takes a while to get here!

Death By Analysis (Ch. 1)

Death By Analysis

Death By Analysis

Chapter 1.

He dodged the third vase that had been launched into the air, moving to hide behind the door as it smashed into the wall beside it. Giving it a second, he leaned hesitantly around the door.

“Lily! Lilllyyy, common. You have to- oop!” He slunk back behind it just as the fourth and final vase in the room shattered to jagged bits against the wooden frame. Good. She was out of ammo. Groaning, Sam took in a long deep breath and closed his eyes. The reaction was expected. He could deal with this. They just had to take it one step at a time. Grey eyes opening back up, he looked to the side as he leaned his head against the door. “Lily? You good now?”

Good? Good?! She was most definitely not ‘good’. Scrambling back onto the bed in the middle of the room, she teetered sideways as she stripped off one heel, holding it poised as her final weapon. Chest heaving, her long black hair splayed over her shoulders and over the top of the grey evening dress, her frazzled state a stark contrast to its elegant folds as she took a defensive position.

A disappointed curve twisted Sam’s lips when he received no reply, knowing from the sounds of the room beyond that she was once again using the bed as a strategic high ground at which to attack from. Running one hand tensely through his short black hair, he gave her one more moment before he fixed the collar of his white dress shirt and stepped out from behind his shield.

-Two weeks prior-

Red jowls flapped in their flurried cadence as Talyor Hartaway, a sparely bearded pudgy fellow and Lily’s 2 o’clock appointment, paced around the room in his usual flustered manner, fervently explaining the prejudice cast upon him by his mother.  His words had turned into a garble of accusations and undue bias that had become a white noise as Lily kept her eyes locked on him, head gently tilting in a knowing nod; a puppetry show that she’d perfected over time. In truth, Lilly White didn’t care what Mr. Hartaway had to say, nor was she listening in the least.

Was it her job to care? It was supposed to be, but what good was there in  listening to someone who didn’t want to be fixed and, upon aiding in any way, would storm out only to return again the next week, explaining the same thing he did before. No, Lily had given up on him long ago. Given up on him, the nooner before him, Mr. Headington, and given up on her other two Monday moaners, Mrs. Janell and Mr. Rathwod, as well (a term that Jane, her secretary, had lovingly given them).

Once Hartaway went into his normal ending tirade, facing the windows while he ‘spoke’ to the world, Lily’s icy gaze turned towards the various certifications and degrees on the wall. Sure, they looked great adorning it, but the tiny pieces of paper could do little for a therapist who’d lost all hope that there was any chance of doing real good for her patients. Years ago, when her cliental had still been people scraping together money to pay her fees, the story had been different. They had struggles and real issues and, most of all, they all wanted help. To change. To become better people.

Now, however, as her eyes disdainfully returned to Hartaway, she was vividly reminded that, as the amount she was paid went up, the amount she cared about the work had gone down. The cliental had changed, her reputation raking in people who could afford to page the high wages of the Windy city, and who were all too willing to give it to her at weekly intervals. Sure, there were a few people who need help and came to her, but the vast majority that visited her each week were people with too much time on their hands and too few social skills to figure out what to do with it.

Lily let her eyes wander to the clock, straightening her position in her chair as she realized it was already 3:45, fifteen minutes over Hartaway’s normal time.

“Yes,” she broke in, not hesitating in the least to make a comment though she hadn’t been listening, “well, I believe you’re getting things on the right road, Mr. Hartaway. From what you’ve expressed to me this afternoon, I can say you’re making some pretty good progress. I suggest that, for next week, you look back over your reflections and really think about what you’re feeling. Write them down, and then bring them in so we can go over them together.”

For the eleventh time.

Sputtering to a stop, Hartaway went to verify the time on the clock before giving a hurried nod. “Yes. Yes. You’re right. Self reflection should undoubtedly answer my questions.”

He was quite the expert, wasn’t he?

Fumbling with his jacket, he straightened it out as he headed towards the door, shooting Lily a smile and a mock salute.

“Same time next week and you can bet I’ll be thinking on those things, and I’ll have a novel for you no doubt!”

Lily smiled warmly, motioning to the door. “And please leave it open this time, if you would, Mr. Hartway. I look forwards to next week.” Her calm, warm composure that existed by default never failed to leave her clients with a positive feeling, and Hartaway gave her a wider smile before he shuffled quickly out the door.

Puffing the breath into her cheeks, she slowly let it escape her lips as she rose to walk across the room to her desk. Plopping down behind the glass desktop, she stuffed Hartaway’s untouched file in the bottom drawer, fingers dancing across the name tabs as she ran further back into the alphabet, stopping once she reached the blue tab marked with the letter S.

A smile curled warmly across her lips as she reached for one of the files. Picking it up, she splayed it open on her desk as her eyes ran over the typed case notes. A shimmer returning to them, Lily White felt a small surge of rejuvenation enter her bones as she flipped through the pages; she was about to reach her favorite part of Monday’s. After a few moments of looking over last week’s notes, her eyes danced to the clock on her computer screen and, as one more single moment flipped over to 3:55, her gaze turned expectantly towards the doorway.

Impeccably on time, in strode the man whom Lily felt held the world in his eyes, one Mr. Samuel Oliver Guise. Sam was the iconic philanthropist playboy, the type that movies fought to portray and yet somehow cheapened. Unlike the silver screened depictions of his stereotype,  Lily had been surprised to find a man who spent a great deal of time avoiding the spotlight all while completing actions that should have placed him within it. The last charity dinner he held had raised over three million in a single evening from a small crowd who had enjoyed the full moon on one of Hawaii’s most illustrious beaches. Of course he had played modest while regaling her with the story, but it wasn’t hard to tell just how extravagant of an venture it had been.  However, despite the numerous things he had done, in the end his life had delivered him to her and, each week he spent on her couch had only further revealed two things:  One, Samuel Oliver Guise felt there there was something missing from his life and, two, that he desperately wanted to  fix the problem.

“Good Evening, Lily,” he chimed as he sauntered in, taking off his jacket to throw over one arm as he approached the suede couch. “How is my favorite shrink today? Seems like you might have have a tough one,” he smiled, grin always the same no matter how much he complained of feeling worn thin. Pointing behind him, he gestured towards the door. “The walrus seemed particularly red-faced today. Sure you don’t need a few moments? I’ve got a new game and a high score that’s just dying to be beat.”

Politely smiling, Lily shook her head with a small laugh. “I’m fine. And, no, that is quite alright. Some people just tend to get a little…heated more so than others when letting things out. It’s like the way peppers get the blood flowing. Ranting just lets the mind open up.”

Sam took his seat as Lily gestured to it, sinking into the couch and leaning back, a soft sigh escaping past his lips; a reminder to her that he truly enjoyed coming here. Each and every time the man sat down on the couch, it seemed as though his mind began to relax, shoulders releasing from their perfectly held poise. The bright look in his eyes retired to its quarters, replacing itself with the tired true gaze he held only for behind closed doors.

Knowing his routine, her eyes flickered to his pocket an instant before he reached for his cell phone, turning it off before shoving it into the inner pocket of his jacket. It was her cue to begin. She rose from her desk, moving over to the chair seated just three feet away from the couch to the left. Her hands folded gently in her lap as she leaned back, eyes running over him one last time before raising up to slowly meet his gaze.

“So, how was Venice?”

“Oh, you know, terrible. I mean, all the extravagant buildings, the culture, the fact there’s water everywhere,” Sam replied sarcastically, infectious grin spreading across his face. “Nah, it was lovely. When is Venice not lovely? Well, it has its days, I’m sure but even when I lived there it always has its charm”

“You lived in Venice? That’s a new one.”

Nodding his head, Guise replied, “Yeah. It was a while back. Right before I ended up moving back to Colorado.”

She chuckled. “I can’t imagine what it was like, going from scenery like that to-“

“To mountains and far less moisture? It set well with me at the time, believe me. Always been a fan of snow myself.”

“I see. So it was a welcomed move. Well, did you head to any places that held fond memories? Maybe somewhere you liked to haunt back when you lived there?” Lily shifted forwards, leaning on the arm of her chair.

The man who had his heart open to everyone seemed to keep himself, both physically and emotionally, at a distance. His movements, even while subtle and calculated, couldn’t evade Lily’s trained gaze. As she shifted to the right to lean on the arm of the chair, he gently shift how he was sitting to maintain a perfect distance. Hiding it as though he intended to face her more, it was something she had figured out nearly a half a year back, noting that even while his emotions were loosened, he stuck to his guns on his rules for personal space.

“Yeah. I took your suggestion and tried to…reconnect with places I had been before. Think back to how I felt then and how I feel now.” He paused for a few moments, eyes gazing across the room as he tried to summon up the words he wanted to find. “I went back to a few places and, yeah, they were good reminders of different places in my life. Nothing like getting nostalgia for younger years, right?”

She smiled warmly but stayed silent, knowing that pensive look in his eyes. He had more to say.

Eyes resting on the coffee table in front of him, he continued “It was strange, but I remembered little things that I thought I’d forgotten. Things like how people’s steps sounded against that old ground. How the murmur of certain accents were more appealing to my ears. That smell in the air when a good strong breeze comes riding in. There was this one corner I used to always walk along and, even though it’s been built up after all these years, some of the same buildings are still there. If I raised my head up and gazed towards the sky, I got this feeling like I was back there again. Back in time to those earlier years. And I just stood there and the memories came flooding back to me. Faces, voices, images of late nights strolling the streets and days sitting at cafés.” Guise closed his eyes, summoning the sensations back to him that he’d bottled up just to bring back to Lily’s office.

Lily leaned back as she listened, allowing Guise to move forwards a little as he elaborately explained emotions that he felt attached to certain things, not knowing why he specifically felt that way about them. He told her of the summoned memories, and how some of them had made him feel distant rather than closer at odd intervals. He felt as though part of his time had been lost and could never be recaptured and yet he regained a small shard of hope, a youthful ideal as he called it, that lifted his spirits.

For a solid hour and a half, the two sat talking back and forth, Sam doing most of the talking though he was one of the rare few who actually stopped to ask questions. Not just “do you think I’m crazy” or “Am I a bad person for-“ questions, but ones that he’d obviously thought over during their time away. He reached out through deep interpretations of his own feelings, always sounding so jaded to the woman who was the same in age. He sat and poured out every ounce of though he could think to give her and Lily sat enthralled through it all, cataloging his comments in her memory in order to access for later reflection.

Sam was so forthcoming with his emotions and yet, in the same way he constantly regulated his need for personal space, there was a piece of him that he always held back. This too failed to escape Lily’s intuitive nature, and as he spoke she noted when he paused or lingered on a word too long. His eyes would search back and forth on the ground, as if trying to carefully choose another word than the one that had popped into his mind first. Occasionally, he’d stall mid sentence  switching over to a similar idea, but obviously not the one he had been going to talk about. Making mental notes of each one, most of Lily’s physical notes on Sam were centered around this guarded mystery of the man who was reaching out and yet refused to touch an extended hand.

So infatuated with his dilemmas and personal introspection, it was Guise who finally leaned back and gazed towards the clock. “Woah. Bit over the clock today, doc,” he smiled sheepishly in an apologetically.

Lily’s eyes snapped to the hands on the wall, giving a soft nod of her head. “It’s quite alright. I’ve got another two hours free before my late nighter stops in. “

“You do those?” he asked. Realizing she had never mentioned it before, she gave a curt nod.

“I do. Many of my clients need to come in during their off hours and I stay a little later than most people work to see that they have someone to talk to. One downside of the job happens to be very little free time.”

“And thus why I decided to help people from afar. Doing good at a distance. It’s best for both parties involved that way,” he smirked as he moved to stand, grabbing his jacket. Sliding it back on, he took out his phone, turned it back on and returned it to his pant’s pocket. Lily rose to stand with him, giving him one of her warm smiles.

“You’re doing wonderfully, Sam. Honest. You’re already making progress and it’s only been about eight months. Had I anyone to brag to, I’d tell them you were my most promising client,” Lily said as she turned around and walked a few steps back, moving out of Sam’s way. “Now, I know I spent most of the time listening tonight but next week I’d like to spend some time going back over a few points that you’ve made. I think there’s quite a few things to work on,” she smiled as she raised her chin, her eyes holding an approving pride for the man’s progress. She really had hope for him.

Sam nodded his head. “Alright, well I’ll be looking forwards to it then and, Lily,” he paused eyes going to her hand for a moment before back up at her. “Thank you. I honestly can say I feel a great deal better since I’ve been talking to you.” He’d said that after every time and, surprisingly, Lily felt it was genuine compliment. As Guise turned, he parted his lips a little bit, seeming to always have more he wanted to say. Though she normally let him slide, wanting Sam to come around without feeling pressured, she decided to give it another shot tonight.

“And I always feel as though I’ve helped you made some progress, despite things that you hold back,” she answered quickly as she paced back to her desk, back facing to him as she reached to mess with the papers that were sitting atop it. “I understand that there are things that just take time to surface, and talking about the issues that make up the walls surrounding  it will eventually help it come out, however, I just want you to realize that I am always here if you decide you need to talk before then.”

Guise watched her with a look of constrained pain, eyes screaming that he had more to say but, as always, he blinked it away with long lashes and choked it back with a charming grin. “Thank you, Lily. I appreciate it. I’ll be sure to call if anything comes up,” he replied, and her lips mouthed the exact words as she faced away from him, settling into a sad smile when finished. She listened as his footsteps headed towards the door and she turned back around, taking a seat at her desk.

Pausing abruptly, Sam stood in the doorway, head tilted to the side before he sighed, eyes dropping to the floor. Spinning on his heels, he turned to look back at Lily who was now rummaging through the files on her desk, having expected the man to leave as planned. His eyes lingered over her for a moment and, as she leaned forward to rest an elbow on her desk, soothing her forehead with one hand, he smiled.

“Lily,” he called softly, though the woman startled anyways, quite accustomed to their normal routine. When she finally lifted her head to look to him, he just let his eyes scan the room and the window as he asked, “Anyway you can pencil me in for tomorrow night? There’s somethings that I’d really like to get off my chest. Maybe rant a little myself. Free up my mind a bit.”

Her mind stalled for a moment, the opportunity she had been waiting for all this time coming as quite a surprise. However, she quickly stammered out a “S-sure. I mean, of course. I’veee-“she instantly turned to her computer, flipping up her schedule. “I’m open any time after seven.”

Smiling , Guise nodded softly. “Alright. Dinner it is then. I’ll bring the food, you just bring that mind of yours.” He paced back a few steps with a hesitant worry surfacing within his light gaze. Finally he gave one last nod before spinning around and heading quickly out the door.

Lily’s eyes lingered there for several moments more, heart swelling at the fact that he’d finally cracked. She’d known that, eventually, he’d want to get everything out there. It had all just been a matter of time and Lily had patiently awaited it, nudging him towards it with gentle suggestions and understanding smiles. Rising from her desk, she took in a deep breath as the exhaustion that came every Monday settled in over her body though her mind refused to come down off its emotional high; she was finally going to get the bottom of the mystery that was Mr. Samuel Oliver Guise.

____________________________________________________

Well, there’s chapter one all finished up. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the introduction of these two characters. Truth be told, Lily was a late edition as I swapped out the original therapist for her, feeling as though Guise and here had a bit more chemistry than my first choice. Mind you, this is a work in progress and I am finishing each chapter week by week, so you’re seeing this as I’m writing it. Even though I have the story structure down, I still am a bit apprehensive about posting these rough drafts!   Well, as always, I would love to hear your comments (even though this was a bit brief) and here’s to hoping you have an awesome rest of the week!   Also, as before, you can expect to see Ch. 2 coming your way next Weds!

He’s In the Details (Story 1, Pt. 3)

He's In The Details

He’s In The Details

(Continued from Part 1 which can be found by clicking here. )

(And Part 2 which can be found here.)

“Lonny?” the fuzzy voice wafted in my ears, repeating again shortly after. “Lonny Boy.”

My eyes slowly blinked open as I fought to focus in on the form above me. Only about an inch from my face, our noses nearly touching, was the strange mutated sheep-esc face of Phos. As my mind had not yet solidified his face to memory, there was little I could do at such a terrible sight other than scream, lashing out with two unmanly slaps that caught the equally startled Phos across the face, causing the devil to let out a strange bleating as he scrambled back.

As soon as he was away from me, I  instantly sat up, chest heaving as everything came quickly back to me; however, everything was still a bit hard to take as I gazed about the room, eyes first going to the window, realizing how low the sun must be in the sky for it to be that dark outside. As I began to recall what happened, I turned my head down to the side, checking under the end table and finding that Ninny was still there, eyes still wide and unblinking. The tilting of my head sent a rush of pounding blood to it that it had obviously not requested, making my pulse beat loudly in my ears. Groaning, I reached up and gingerly touched my sore skull, finding a bit of wetness there.

“Well, nearly made a liar out of me, Lonny! Heh. Would have been the first man I killed if youuuu-,” Phos stopped himself, clearing his throat as he decided against finishing his joke.

As I brought my hand in front of my alarmed eyes, I found the blood there to be dark, a sign that it had been dry for quite some while and, thankfully, upon examining my skull, I found it wasn’t cause for panic. With a relieved sigh, I let my head fall forwards into my hands, trying to sooth the pounding.

It was only when the buzzer at my front door began to sound in rapid succession that I came back to the moment, having felt foggy minded since the fall. Standing sluggishly, I slowly made my way to the door. Opening it, I gazed out at the devil who was laughing his head as he continuously pushed his nail into the soft doorbell, ringing it even as it stood there.

“Ha! Bet that is driving you crazy. Well, why don’t you try this on for size?!” He slammed his nail down one last time, making the button stick to cause the ringing to continue.

I slowly reached out, gently thudding my fist against the wall next it. The sound stopped as the button became dislodged. Phos stared at the button, going silent as his nose twitched a few times. I turned around and began to walk back in. The sound of his hooves against the ground followed me in, leaving the door open. I moved back to my chair near the table, turning to look up to him as he walked past me, his eyes going up to the clock.

“Oh, time flies when you are having fun! Going to have to be on my way soon,” he said with a snort before turning and looking towards the box. He reached out, poking it with one hand.

“But…it’s only five o’clock,” I muttered, eyes glancing up towards it was well before back at the demon. “The box says you’re here for the day, right?”

“Awww, hate to cut the date short myself, Lonny Boy, but those are the rules.”

“But the box s-“

“Yeah, yeah,” he muttered, waving me off with a bit of annoyance in his voice. “I know what it says, but damned enchanter was a two bit, so it’s a little off. Do you know how hard it is to get someone to make one of those things? And not even to mention the price of having something engraved again, especially these days! Anyways, noticed you didn’t have any candy for tonight,” he said with a wave of his hand, motioning towards a large stack of candy in a bright green bowl.

“I…where did you get that?” I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to know.

“Good ol’ thunder thighs house. You know she wasn’t going to pass out most of it out anyways,” he snorted with a chuckle.

I shook my head, sighing; I was so sure Mary was going to find out. Never did, but I was on edge for a good few weeks afterwards, avoiding her at every turn.
I slowly arose from my chair, walking over to pick up the bowl of candy, holding it my arms. I couldn’t remember that last time I’d taken part in Halloween. I was always traveling about, forgetting about such things I deemed childish.

As I ran my hand through the colorful assortment of mixed candy bars and little wrapped truffles, I distantly asked, “Like Halloween, do you?”

“Food, fun, and frightened children; what’s not to like, Lonny?” Phos answered with his, by now, signature snort.

My eyes rose from the bowl to the devil who was busy inspecting the box, fingers running along its ominous exterior as he smiled,  silently gloating over how terrifying it looked. I stared at his back, realizing how at ease I felt with him in that moment. There was it, the thing I had been looking for all this time, though it was quite different than I had expected. Sure, he wasn’t about to eat my ears while he made me watch or anything such as interestingly gruesome, but it still it was something more. Something else out there that-

Phos suddenly raised his head, as if hearing some far distant sound, and I could feel it within me, knowing it was time. My eyes briefly raised to the clock, noting the time was exactly five-twelve. It was then that my mind recalled the question I possessed before taking my little tumble.

“Phos! Wait, where do you-“

“No time for questions now, Lonny. Gotta be on my way,” reaching down, the devil placed his hand on the box to open it, though paused, eyes turning back to me.  “Hey, Lonny boy!” I’ll never forget that pose he was standing in. He was looking back over his shoulder as he crouched over the box (hooves slicing into my once flawless wooden table). For a long moment, our gazes met, my green to his yellow,  the silence between us was only accented by the suddenly loud tick-tick-tick of the seconds hand on the clock. Then, the same wide grin I had first seen him with spread steadily across his face  and he gave a hearty, “Happy Halloween”.

Then, as quickly as he had come, he was gone. No flashes of smoke, no dissipating into a cloud of bats. It was just as though he never existed at all. It was a blink of reality shifting, of worlds changing. I slowly brought my gaze down towards the now closed box. I stood there for a long while just thinking, the brisk October wind filling the room as it blew out the firelight. It’s strange how your mind wants to deny what you’ve seen once its gone, tries to change it. Even as I stood there, just moments after he had ransacked my house, that doubting belief crept into my thoughts. What if he wasn’t re-

“TRICK OR TREAT!”

With another squeaky scream, the candy came up into the air before it clattered across the ground in a rainbow rainstorm of sugar and cellophane. At the door, the small group of children and one adult who had gathered were giggling profusely, the leader of their dubious troop dressed in his all red costume that was, what else, but that of the cliché devil. The humor was not lost on me at the time and once I managed to pry myself from the spot, I joined them in their laughs.

“Alright, alright. Jokes on me, come and get your earnings. You can have whatever hit the floor,” which appeared to be half of what had been in the bowl to begin with.

The energetic children all entered in, the accompanying parent watching  as they scrambled across the floor in an attempt to score the biggest share. Halfway through their rummaging, a bright pink fairy stopped in mid grab, head turned to the side. She stood up and walked back over to me, tugging gently on my sleeve. Confused, I silently walked over with her a few feet before she stopped, pulling me down with a point.

“Mister,” she muttered softly, and I allowed my eyes to be directed across the wooden floor  into the corner to a dark shadow under the end table. There, still perfectly petrified in a state of eternal poof, sat Ninny still gazing blankly out towards the direction of the living room.  Letting me go at last, both I and the little girl stood up as she thoughtfully , and most correctly stated, “ I think there’s something wrong with your cat.”

She’s never really recovered from that night, you know. Neither have I, for that matter. I spent a good deal of the time after (what wasn’t spent cleaning, of course) walking around in sort of a haze. There were so many things now that finally came into my mind to ask him now that the shock was gone. Well, now that it has lessened, I should say. Where exactly was it that he went to? What else had been here in this world? Who were these other-kinds that he mentioned so vaguely?  What more was there? More maddening than not knowing if there was something more was knowing there was, in fact, something more but not knowing anymore about it! Oh dear,  that sentence is just a mess as the thought itself…

Attempting to be a little clearer and more concrete, I should say that I now had more questions than when I began. There was more than I could have ever imagined possible that came through that solitary, little box. I’d learned that it was possible for objects to hold more than intent, more than what now seemed like meager human emotions. They held worlds. They held demons. They held, above all, endless possibilities.

However, I must also add this: no matter how maddening my questions can seem, I appear to have a leg up over all those philosophers who are left pacing back and forth with no answers in sight. My answers, you see, are only months away. Mere hours, really. Of course it’s June now but, really, what are five months compared to the scheme of things? I mean, I haven’t even moved the box, you see. It’s still there, still is sitting, on that damaged table just feet beyond my favorite chair. It’s right there under that clock, across from that fireplace, just waiting.

Waiting for those twelve strokes to chime and then, for all the questions in my mind to be answered. What else was there? Where did that portal lead? What did Phos mean when he’s said he’d look in on Mary when  he returned? But, above all, there was one question that continued, in my mind, to reign supreme: what in the hell could a demon need with three sets of underwear, fifteen pieces of silverware, a power brick for a lap top, a coffee pot (minus the machine), two light switch covers, the bell off a cat’s collar, and one Men’s Health magazine?

Apparently, my not so dastardly friend had been busy while I was asleep.

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Well, that wraps up the first draft of Lonny and Phos’ first encounter! Yes, I eventually fell as though I will be writing more of these two together, having fun figuring out the scheme of things. However, that’s all for now, folks! This lil’ story here is done, though I must admit I toyed back and forth with which ended I wanted, and ended choosing this one above the other possibilities. Now, for next week, I’m working on a little story called Death By Analysis which isn’t in first person, so that means I’ll be a bit more back in my element. You see, I’ve never really written first person other than this story so the next one might seem a little more coherent. Well, sort of coherent. Besides, how coherent can a story about a therapist and her favorite client turning out to be a- well, I don’t want to ruin it. I guess you’ll just have to come and read for yourself 😉

A Matter Of Perspective (Friday Fictioneers)

two oil lamps on a kitchen table

A Matter of Perspective

Fourteen months ago, things got crazy. Twelve months ago, the lights went out. Two months ago, everything got real quiet. Dead quiet you might say. That’s a joke right there.

People talked about the tragedy. Talked about horror and shame. Sittin’ here, can’t say I see any horror. Definitely no shame.

Ain’t no more light and gas bills. No more work. A man can take what he wants. Like my shopping buggy there. Been staring at that thing for damn near eight years.

Sky’s blue. Road’s quiet. Bird’s are chirping.  Apocalypse-somocalypse.

World seems like a mighty fine place to me.

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Link to Linked

 Here’s my post for the Friday Fictioneers prompt this week! As my second attempt, I can say these things are actually a lot of fun. Gives you something to think about and gives you a little practice. Overall, I think I am going to have to make a habit of this!

For this week’s prompt, I tried to go back to my humorous roots and put a little fun spin on the apocalypse. I mean, to the average person yeah it would suck. You know. Death. Zombies. That sort of stuff. But what about for a misanthrope? Or a survivalist? Common, even a good ol’ country boy might have a bit of fun. This guy here sure thinks it is swell 😉    I mean, just think of all the free time. Not to mention all the free stuff! Ohhh, common you know it’s true. I got a list of places I am raiding first as soon as the lights go out 😉  Sing it with me folks: A lootin’ we will we go, A lootin’ we will go. Hi-ho the dary-o, a lootin’ we will go!

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