Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2021/04/04 (Week 193)

It was another week before I got out of the hospital. Something about life threatening injuries, broken bones, internal bleeding, something like that. All I knew was it hurt like hell.

Deborah had explained everything to me, during that week.

“You remember where we were?”

I didn’t.

She’d held up a picture. “It was a pretty little place.”

I did recognize the picture. “The old Hamlin building. The one they want to make a historical site.”

“Not any more they don’t.” Deborah held up a picture of what was left of the building.

“Holy shit. What the fuck happened?”

The entire front of the building was gone. I had no other way to describe it. The rest of the building was damaged. There was no fixing this building.

“I remember you said it was too late.” She’d nodded. “Then everything went black.”

She nodded again, “And the wind screamed.”

I thought about it, trying to remember, “Yeah. The wind screamed. I’ve never heard anything like it.”

“Me neither.”

“What was it. Bomb? Gas line? Some kind of space laser from up there somewhere?” I’d waved at the ceiling.

“No one knows.”

“What?”

“No one knows. There’s no focal point, no point of origin, for the blast.”

“Can’t be. There has to be a point of origin.” My head had started to hurt. I didn’t need to be thinking that hard, and I knew it.

“Normally, yes. There’s no blast pattern either. No place on the front of the building with more damage than any other.”

“Can’t be. Uniform damage across the diameter of the blast doesn’t happen.”

“I know.”

“Then was it some kind of planned thing? Where everything was planted, and set to go off, and do the same damage everywhere?” I was thinking a planned demolition would have done the same damage across the entire front of the building.

“Harvey. There are no traces of explosives. None. Of any kind. Plastic. Thermal. Nothing.”

“No explosives?”

“None. They even called in the feds. And the feds found nothing.” Her eyes told me to stop asking what caused it. “No one can explain what happened.”

“Then how’d the building blow up?”

“Look, OK. Look at the picture. The building didn’t blow up.”

She was right. The damage was catastrophic, but was exactly the same kind of damage all the way across the front of the building. Nothing beyond the front of the building was destroyed. Knocked over. Jumbled. Glass broken. Papers blown toward the back of the building. Looked like you could clean everything up, and have a building someone had used a big ass saw on to lop off the front, so you could see a cross section of the interior.

“That’s not possible.”

Deborah had nodded. We’d sat there, neither one talking, for a while. I’d finally looked at the picture again, “And yet. There it is. It obviously happened.”

“It’s like your injuries.” She’d nodded at me. “Like how they describe your injuries.”

“How do they describe my injuries?”

“You don’t remember?”

I’d just frowned at her.

“OK. Let me tell you what they said.” She’d paused, to organize her thoughts. “They said it’s like a uniform shock-wave hit you.”

“Uniform?”

“Yeah. The same strength top to bottom, left to right.” She’d paused again. “Almost like you got hit by a wall of some kind. The doctors said it was like a wall of air ran into you. And because you were in the way, the air hit you, and didn’t reach me. Like you punched a hole in it that I fit through.”

She’d paused again. I’d looked at the picture again, and something snapped into place in my brain. “Crush damage.”

“What?”

“The damage to the building. It looks like crush damage.”

It was her turn to stare at the picture.

“Deborah. It’s like someone stomped on a soda can. And crushed the entire front of the building.”

She’d looked shocked. Then her eyes had lit up. “That’s it! That’s what I was feeling!”

There I was, once more wishing I could understand what she felt. She was an empath, yes, but also something more. Sometimes I thought she could feel what the world around her felt.

“Harvey! That’s it!”

“What?”

“It was a wall of air that crushed the front of the building!”

All I could do was stare at her.

727 words
@mysoulstears


The 3rd part of a story that’s writing itself, and telling me what to put on the pages. I have no idea where this is going. Part 3 is for Week 193 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 73 : Was It Worth It?

It took a while, but I finally convinced myself I’d been asleep long enough, and should wake up, and get back to doing whatever needed doing. I opened my eyes, and looked around.

I was in a bland looking room, with beige walls, a flat white ceiling, and a floor I couldn’t see. Because I was also in a bed, flat on my back. Without looking, I managed to figure out I had something stuck in my right arm, held in place by tape.

Deborah noticed I was awake, “Oh! Welcome back, sleepy head!”

I would have said something, but I hadn’t remembered how vocal chords worked at that point.

“Glad you’re back among the living.”

I managed to turn my head a bit to the left, toward her, and my eyes the rest of the way, so I could see her.

“Don’t worry about talking. I know.” I don’t think I ever mentioned how much I loved her smile. “Just like I knew you’d wake up when you were ready.”

Someone appeared next to her and shined this bright damn light in my eyes, and checked my pulse. “We were a bit concerned when you got here.”

That’s when I remembered how to say one word sentences. “What?”

“Do you remember any of what happened?” I realized Deborah was holding my hand. “Or have you blocked it out?”

“Boom…” That’s all I could say.

“Yeah. That sums it up.”

I pretended to smile, “OK?”

“I’m dinged up,  a few bruises, and a concussion. But OK.” She held my hand a bit tighter. “You made sure you got in the way.” Her eyes looked nervous. “Was it worth it?”

“Yes.” It was time to try more than one word. “Keep you safe.”

298 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 73 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. Hard to write when you’re running on empty. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#ThursThreads Week 457 : Did You Feel It?

“Did you feel it?”

I looked at Deborah and shook my head, “There you go again. Asking me if I felt something that’s invisible, not the wind, not the air pressure, not the temperature, not the ground shaking.” I shook my head, “I didn’t feel a damn thing, and you know it.”

“I…”

I cut her off. “You know I have you around to feel all the stuff I can’t. ‘Cause I can’t ever feel it.”

“I know.”

“Crap.” I’d have hugged her, and told her I was sorry, but I knew it wasn’t that time, or we didn’t have that kind of time. “What’s coming?” I did the simplest thing I could, and put my hand on top of hers. “What do we need to get ready for?”

She was quiet. Too quiet. I knew from her eyes, and the way her jaw was clenched, she was thinking, trying to figure something out. “This is new.”

“Crap may be too weak of a word?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never felt this.”

There were times I wished I was an empath, and could feel what she felt. But I knew, if she couldn’t identify what it was, didn’t know what it was, it couldn’t be good.

“I’m not taking any chances.” I stood up, and started to the door, dragging her with me. “We’re getting out of here.”

“Too late! It’s here!”

The sky went black, the building shook, the windows exploded, the wind screamed.

I woke up days later.

250 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 457 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Trying to break the ice that’s encased my writing. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2021/03/29 (Week 192)

“Um. Zed? Is there more than one galaxy?” I had this bad feeling there was.

“They’re like marbles. They’re everywhere.” I guess my facial expression caused him to continue, “Why do you ask?”

“Um. Turtles.”

“What kind of turtles?”

“Big? And covered with mosses?”

“The space turtles from Orion?”

“I don’t know. I’ve only seen the one.”

He pushed a button on his desk, and a hologram displayed between us. It was of a turtle. At least 10 feet long. Covered in green mosses and lichens.

“Yeah. That’s what it looked like.”

“They come from Orion. Some of our residents keep them as pets. You almost never see one. They tend to keep them on the bottom of lakes in swamps. Like the one in under the muck in Lake Drummond, in Virginia.”

“Oh.”

Zed did the math himself, and I didn’t have to explain why I’d asked. “You mean you saw a space turtle? And a galaxy?”

I nodded, “And the turtle ate the galaxy.”

Zed pushed another button, and J and K answered, their holographic selves hung over his desk. “We have a problem, guys.” Zed pointed at me.

J was the talker, and started first, “Hey, Epsilon! How’s the training coming?”

K glared, like always, “Shut up and let him explain.”

Zed tapped his fingers on his desk, “Well?”

Not knowing what else to say, I explained, “I saw a space turtle.”

“Those are ugly, aren’t they? All covered in green slimy stuff. Like that Swamp Thing from the comic books came to life, but uglier.” That was J. Always talking.

K cut in. “What did the turtle do?”

“Um. He ate a galaxy.”

“Oh, dear.” That’s all K said.

Zed took over, “We’re gonna need you boys to find that turtle, and get him off planet before his dinner is digested.”

J looked at K. “Is this a not good thing?”

K nodded. “It’s good if you want to swim in turtle shit 100 feet deep around the entire planet.”

J nodded, “So this is definitely a not good thing.”

K nodded at Zed, “We’ll handle it, Zed.”

“I’m counting on you, boys.”

The holographic display of J and K vanished. “I do hope they find that turtle in time.”

“Turtle shit 100 feet deep around the entire planet?” I had to ask.

“Well, Epsilon. It did eat an entire galaxy.”

395 words
@mysoulstears


I pretty much had to write this, when I told Miranda, “OK. So, MIB hasn’t done this one yet, where some giant moss covered turtle eats a galaxy…” And then she answered me with, “Write it for me!” How could I say no? So, for week 192 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge, we get a fan-fiction story about Men In Black. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 69 : Abhor

In my experience humans abhor a mystery. When presented with something they can’t explain, they make shit up, or they wave their hands and proclaim, “It’s the work of God!”

Among my favorite human comedies is the story of face masks, which illustrates resoundingly well how humans abhor what they can’t explain.

Face masks are not perfect. Imperfection is expected where fallible, excitable, emotional, exhaustible humans are concerned. As humans can’t agree on basic definitions, such as what intelligence is, I find it surprising how well masks work. They do an amazing job of stopping viruses and bacteria spread through the invisible drops of moisture in their breaths. The masks stop most of the drops, though not all of them. If the masks stopped all the drops, they would also stop the flow of air, killing those who wore them.

I found it striking how humans had physical confrontations over whether or not to wear a mask. Some humans don’t understand how viruses and bacteria spread through the moisture in their breaths. They concluded the spread was caused by the motion of air currents.

The humans who could not comprehend that water droplets in the air can be removed from the air, with no adverse effects on people, went out and made up explanations for how masks work.

They used infrared and wide spectrum cameras to observe the motion of air when people breathed with and without masks on, proving masks did not stop the motion of the air.

Lacking an understanding that masks effectively stop most water droplets without stopping air flow, these humans declared masks didn’t work, they refused to wear them. Which explains why so many of them died of a simple, airborne virus.

They made shit up. It was wrong. Some of them died.

298 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 69 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. Hard to write when you’re running on empty. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#ThursThreads Week 452 : Could Happen To Anyone

Bria sat next to me on the sofa, as I watched some random program on TV. I don’t know how long she’d been there. Probably as long as I had, I figured that’s how I worked.

“I know you’re not real.”

She smiled, and those green eyes lit up, and told me everything was OK. “I know.”

“I know you’re my brain cells writing up a fictional character based on a real person named Bria.”

I always forgot to be miserable when she laughed, which she did, “I know.”

“You know, there’s a lot of people who’d call me nuts, crazy, Fruit Loops…”

“And all the other words they use, yes. I know.”

“Someone like you could happen to anybody, you know.”

She shook her head, and that smile melted everything inside me, “No. Not anybody.”

“I’m not special, you know. This could happen to anybody.”

Again she shook her head, “No, it can’t. It won’t. It doesn’t.”

“Why?” I asked the question, even though I already knew the answer.

“You remember. You don’t forget. You haven’t forgotten me, even though you’ve tried.”

I wondered what it meant when someone that didn’t exist anywhere but in my mind talked to me, took my hand in hers, and squeezed it.

“I’m not real. But, I’m part of your heart. Part of your soul.”

Maybe I should have told her to go away, but I didn’t. Because, she could speak all the words I couldn’t. Words I didn’t know how to say.

250 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 452 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Trying to break the ice that’s encased my writing. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 66 : Midas

“Would serve them right if I let the whole thing crash and burn.”

Anyone watching, listening, would have sworn I was talking to myself. They couldn’t see Bria. Couldn’t hear her either. Not like me.

“You won’t.”

“I know.” I sat there, staring at the screen, the lines of text on it. 50 lines out of thousands. “I know.”

I’d always wondered what it was like when the spirit, the soul of someone, sat with you, talked with you, put their hand on your shoulder, as she did. “I knew that when I took the job.” My eyes looked at her hand on my shoulder, followed her arm to her face, and found her green eyes, and magic smile.

“You have that magic.” It used to disturb me when she appeared and talked with me. Not anymore. I think I knew it wasn’t really her, not her body. not her physical presence. It was our hearts talking.

She put her hand on my cheek, “You’ve got that golden touch, that Midas touch, with this stuff. Where all the problems come unravel, and magic happens.”

“It’s a gift. One I have to use.”

Her smile fractured as she looked at me, “It comes with a horrible price doesn’t it?”

“I wish I could fail.” That’s why her smile had fractured. She knew my heart. “One time. Just once.”

That magic light in her eyes spoke words not in any language. “Then, you wouldn’t be you.”

“And our hearts couldn’t talk, could they?”

“No, they couldn’t.”

“Time to fix this,” I started on the final edits needed to straighten out the problem in the code.

“Yes, it’s time to fix this.” She sat on my desk, next to my keyboard, and watched me, as I worked through the night.

297 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 66 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. Hard to write when you’re running on empty. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 63 : Moonlight

“Go away. Just…” I took a deep breath, like my doctor had taught me to, let it out slowly, then took another. “Go away. I know you’re not real.”

I hadn’t seen her in over 10 years. She was part of who I once was, who I had been, that artificial construct I’d turned myself into. “Go away, Bria. Leave me alone.”

She kept turning up in my life. Always at night, like she was part of the moonlight. I couldn’t escape the moonlight, or Bria. Maybe it was my memories of her, that she somehow knew everything I was, was an artificial construct, meant to keep other people happy so they’d shut up, and leave me alone.

It had been an awful day at work. I got screamed at by some idiot white man, for not being able to install his 20 year old program on his new computer. “Dude. I’ve been doing this for 40+ years. When I tell you it can’t be done, I’m not lying. And I’m not an idiot that doesn’t know anything.” I wished I could have screamed those words at him. Those words, and many more.

You’d think, sitting on the vinyl covered kitchen floor, on the concrete hard foundation of the house, at freaking midnight, I’d be alone. No one to talk to. Just me. In the silence, and the dark.

But there Bria was. That same magic light in her green eyes. That same music in her laughter. “How could you tell me I’m not real?”

“Because I’m the only one who can see you.”

“You mean I can’t be real because our hearts can’t talk with each other? Because our souls can’t touch each other?”

“Go away, Bria, and let me die.”


“No. That’s not what your heart wants.”

299 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 66 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. Slowly starting to find words again. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.

#ThursThreads Week 447 : Do You Know Who It Is?

After Diana slapped me, she screamed at me, “Do you know who it is?” She pointed at the body on the concrete floor of the warehouse, leaking blood everywhere.

“Some dude trying to rob us.” I looked at the freshly dead body, “He didn’t succeed.” I looked back at Diana, “I stopped him.”

“Some dude? Some dude? Seriously? Do you know who it is?” She slapped me again. “You gun-happy ass hole!” She slapped me a third time. Then a fourth time before she said anything else. “Well take a good look at him, you idiot!” She pushed me toward the body.

“I’ll get blood on my shoes.”

“Tough shit.” She pushed me again.

I tried not to step in the corpse’s blood, which formed a growing circle around his remains. I wasn’t too keen on stepping in blood. Diana shoved me toward the body, and I stumbled into the red puddle. Got that shit all over my shoes.

“Take your flashlight, and take a good look!”

I did. “Wait. Wait.” I looked at Diana. “No! This can’t be him!”

Diana glared at me, hands on her hips. “Well, it is him! And you’re one dead motherfucker, you idiot!”

“Holy shit.” I stared at Chipper’s body, dead on the floor, with four big damn holes in it, and blood leaking out everywhere. “Jesus, I’m one dead motherfucker.”

Diana was already on her cell phone sending a live video to Chipper’s boss, “Been nice knowing you, ass hole.”

247 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 447 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Trying to break the ice that’s encased my writing. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 446 : We Will Bring Him Up To Speed

I stared at the list of programs on my Mother’s computer. It was awful. “How much did she install?” I read names for programs, and companies, “And does she even know?” Even though I knew she didn’t know. Most people didn’t. They simply clicked on stuff that got in the way, so they could get to what they wanted to do.

“Can you fix it?”

“Yes, Mom. We will bring him up to speed.”

It’s what I did. I fixed computers owned by bean dips, who had no business owning a computer. “Should tell them to swallow their pride, and buy a fucking Chromebook. Screw that up, and fix it with a simple power wash.”

But, Chromebooks didn’t run Microsoft Word. It was that simple. The Word application on the WEB that was totally free, and did everything damn near everyone ever did in Word, was the perfect replacement. But no one used it. “I want the real Word! ‘Cause, it’s what everyone uses!”

Hell, even Chromebooks were a pain to be honest. They had Chrome on them. Do you know how many stupid extensions people install in Chrome? Even the ones that Chrome and Google flag as malicious, and they install them anyway?

“It will take time, Mom. But we will bring him up to speed.”

It was going to be a long night. I was going to need more than one Sprite. “Go to bed, Mom. I got this.”

241 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 446 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Trying to break the ice that’s encased my writing. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.