#VisDare 120 : Appearing

4ab61b0827925ab7ecaef465b898db2bIt started with a crack in the wall of my reality. The fabric of reality wasn’t supposed to crack. There wasn’t supposed to be anything beyond reality, reality ended at the wall. The world filled everything inside the wall, there was nothing else.

But one day the wall cracked. And I wondered, “If there is nothing beyond the wall, and the wall is cracked, why doesn’t the world get sucked through the crack, into the nothing?”

Each day the crack grew. Soon it was so long I could not see either end of it. “Is it becoming wider? Is it becoming deeper?” Each day, I shined a flashlight into the crack, and peered inside. For days, there was only darkness, only the blackness of the crack.

Until one day, something outside the wall began appearing.

And I, being curious decided to find out what it was.

146 Words

Another story idea, triggered by Angela Goff’s Visual Dare, Week 120. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge. Be amazed at the magic people can put into 150 words or less.

#FlashMobWrites 1×42 : Graceland (Second Try)

Clara’s tears blended with the steady rainfall as she used her shovel to pack down the dirt on the shallow grave for Eskimo. Eskimo’s grave was next to Tiger’s, Tiger’s next to Stripes’, and Stripes’ next to Hazel’s. Little homemade tombstones stuck out of the ground for the others. She hadn’t had time to make one for Eskimo yet.

“The trouble with living a long time,” she thought, “you get to see everyone that matters die.”

She stood and looked at the graves for her four cats, “Hazel, Stripes, Tiger? Take care of Eskimo.” Clara was soaked, water dripped from her chin, hair, fingertips, and ran down her pants legs to the ground. Her shoes were a total loss to the mud.

“Oh, Eskimo. You died so young.” Eskimo had lived for eight joyous years. “I loved the way you used to sleep on my pillow, propped against my head.” She cried at the memory, her tears washed away by the rain.

“You never did catch the red dot.” Eskimo always chased the red dot the pointer made on the carpet and the wall, as if trying to stop it from moving. Clara giggled, “Tiger will explain the red dot to you,” she looked at Tiger’s grave. Tiger had figured out the red dot, and stopped chasing it.

Clara remembered the times Eskimo climbed into her lap, with that look he got that said, “I know you’re lonely tonight, Mommy. It’s OK. I’ll take care of you.” And he had. He’d given her a family, a friend, a confidant. Eskimo was who she talked with. She told him everything about her life, how her day at work went, how stupid and frustrating men were. Eskimo always listened, and always rubbed his cheeks against hers. He made sure Clara knew how much he loved her.

Eventually, the rain wore her down, and Clara started toward the house. Halfway there, she turned to look at the graves again, “What’s that?” Her jaw dropped, and she took several steps toward the graves. All four of her cats were there, looking at her. Hazel, Stripes, Tiger, and Eskimo. Their purrs, and their voices all told her the same thing.

“We don’t want you to be lonely, Mommy. There’s always room for another family member. When you’re ready we want you to find a new kitty who will take care of you.”

Clara smiled, happy tears blended with the rain, “Thank you, my children. Thank you.”

After a shower, and some hot cocoa, Clara curled up under her blankets, and hugged her pillows. “I miss you already, Eskimo”. She cried herself to sleep because she realized her friend was never going to prop against her head again. “Good-bye, Eskimo.” She hugged her pillow. “Good-bye.”

459 Words

I wrote a second story for #FlashMobWrites 1×42, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites 1×42. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#FlashMobWrites 1×42 : Graceland (First Try)

I stood beside her shallow grave, in the steady rainfall that February night, and made a promise to her, I’d find who put her there and when I was through with them, there wouldn’t be enough left to bury.

It was them, that much I knew. The armor had digitally enhanced the area around the grave, using edge sharpening, and color spreading. I knew there were five of them, from the footprints in the ground, the damage to the grasses, the way the rocks had been displaced. Five distinct footprints.

“They knew who you were,” I spoke the words, though the armor silenced them. “It’s how they got to you.” I knelt beside the grave, used the armor’s scanners to look through the dirt and rock, to see her remains in the ground. “They beat you pretty badly, didn’t they.” The armor recorded the fracture to her skull, the dislocated vertebrae in her neck, the torn skin and bruises on her wrists and ankles. “How long have you been missing?” I had no way of knowing how long she’d been missing, or who she was, without digging her up, and getting a DNA sample, or fingerprints.

“Marker.” A slot on the left forearm of my armor opened and a small, black box with an LED on it popped out. I pushed a button on the box. The LED came on, a blinding red, visible for hundreds of feet. “Test.” The armor tuned a radio receiver to the frequency the box was broadcasting. The signal was a very clear “PING!” I pulled the plastic sheet off the bottom of the box, and put it on the rocks she was buried under. That box adhered to the rock.


I spoke into the phone, my voice altered electronically, “They killed this woman, and they buried her in the woods! Oh, God, they killed her!” I had to explain where, “I have an emergency beacon in my backpack. I’ll put that out.” I gave them the frequency of the beacon. They asked me to stay where I was. “I can’t do that.” Of course, they wanted to know why. “It’s not safe here. They might find me.” I hung up.

I moved into the trees, and waited five minutes. I called 911 again. “They’re after me! They found me!” I fired two shots from my hand-held into the ground. “Jesus, they’re gonna kill me!”

I waited.

Shortly, there were sirens, followed by lights, and several law officers. They found the beacon.

So it began, the next hunt. “Armor 17.” I called headquarters. “Going silent.” That was the signal headquarters knew meant I was actively pursuing a case. They’d wait to hear from me.

I waited in the steady rainfall that night in February, for the authorities to come for her body. I’d let them identify her, and I’d go from there.

“I promise you, I will find them.”

482 Words

I wrote this for #FlashMobWrites 1×42, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please,go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites 1×42. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

The Violence – Two

Sunday after Sunday, he goes to church.
Because it’s the right thing to do,
The thing you’re supposed to do,
Every Sunday.

He watches the other people of the church,
When the stand,
When they sit,
When they bow their heads,
When they close their eyes,
How they pray,
How they sing,
Every thing they do.
He watches it all.
Studies it all.
Memorizes it all.
So he can be like them.
So he can fit in.

He reads the bulletin,
Every word,
And tracks the lines,
Matching them to what people do,
And when they do that.
It’s a handy guide for him.
One he can use like a map,
Stand now.
Sit now.
Sing now.
Listen now.
All mapped out.
He follows it.
So he won’t stick out,
Won’t be different.
So he can be like everyone else.
So he can fit in.

He’s learned,
You see.
He’s learned it’s not what he feels.
Not what he thinks.
No one cares for that.
He’s learned,
You see.
To blend in.
So no one says to him,
“What’s wrong with you?”
“You can’t do that!”
“You can’t be that way!”
So no one calls him arrogant
For looking to heaven when he prays.
No one wonders what’s wrong with him,
When he doesn’t sing.
So he doesn’t do something
Or wrong.

He’s learned,
You see.
The words to say.
The way to dress.
When to smile.
When to frown.
When to laugh,
And cry.

He’s learned.
To fit in.
To belong.

To be one of them.

And he doesn’t care at all.
If all of it’s a lie.
If all of it’s all wrong.
It’s the way things are.
The way he has to be.

So he won’t have to be alone.

So he won’t have to be alone.