#ThursThreads Week 341 : Why Does It Matter?

On that third day, the town woke to the local news being flooded with a note. There were no voices, only a note. And one picture. Of Michelle, before she was murdered.

To those who ask, “Why does it matter?” Would you think differently if she was your daughter? Your sister? Your parent? The person you love? Would it matter if it was your best friend?

The truth is, you say murdering people not like you doesn’t matter. But in the past few weeks, you’ve seen, and experienced, what it means when those around you, someone you know, someone you care for, someone you love, is shot dead before your eyes.

It’s murder, isn’t it. It’s not about “us and them”. It’s not about, “good and evil”, or “Christian and heathen.” It’s about people. Remember that. Always.

I’ll be watching. If things change for the better. I won’t be back. If they don’t, this will happen again. And again. And again. If necessary, I can do this until everyone is dead.

There, I ended the note. There was no need to say more. I knew this was only the beginning. After all, I’d answered violence with violence. And violence breeds. Those who hated Michelle, and other transgender people? Their hatred had grown. To them, this had become a war. They would respond accordingly.

I shrugged. “Bring it, people. After all. I am the violence.”

234 Words
@mysoulstears


And, it’s over. Turns out, this is the last part of the Armor 17 story. It’s Week 341 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

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#MenageMonday 2×09

Given I’m the judge this week, this doesn’t count. But I felt like writing something anyway. So, I did.

We stand near the edge of the cliff, between it, and the ancient tree. One of the oldest left on this world. And we remember.

There was a time the world spoke of us, called us warriors, called us men. Real men. Not the pretend men of the West. Nor the religious zealots of to many religions to name. But that was forty centuries ago. Now, we are but a memory. A story the world tells its children. We hear their words in our sleep, in our dreams. We know the confusion of today all too well.

“Genghis Khan was a violent, brutal leader,” they say, as they mistake him for our leader, and mistake us as the warriors of his empire. They do not know. “Toxic masculinity,” the topic they speak of. They do not know.

We learned from the wolf. Walk with pride, and with strength, unafraid to make mistakes, unafraid to learn from then. The wolf taught us to hunt, and to care for our family, your pack.

We were nomads, in a hard, uncaring land. A land no one wanted, save for us. We slept under the sea of stars each night. Endured the snow, and ice, to reach what little warmth spring brought.

We mourn, as we hide from the world the West has made, where there are only boys, pretending to be men, as they take what they want, rape, and pillage, destroying everything, everywhere.

Like the spoiled, little children they are.

We remember.

250 words
@mysoulstears


I wrote this for week 2×09 of Cara Michaels‘s #MenageMonday flash fiction challenge. You can read about #MenageMonday here. Please, go read all the short tales from this week. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing. (Mine doesn’t count. I’m the judge this week).

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/11/21

“I know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s ours.” I pointed at mine. “That one’s mine.” I pointed at Jim’s, “That’s Jim’s.” Our small group started to cheer. “We own these, people! We own them!”

What did we own? A bunch of old metal phone booths and out houses. None of them more than a four foot by four foot floor-space. Hell, we even had to sleep in them sitting up, no room to stretch out. No water. No plumbing. No electricity. Nothing. Just a four by four box, with a door that didn’t lock. And lots of missing parts, like how most were missing windows.

But, damn. We owned them.

It was a baby step. We all knew that. Going from living in the warehouse where we worked, to having our own little town of boxes. We didn’t have to sleep at work anymore. We had real work schedules, finally. With time off, time we could use for whatever we wanted.

“Let’s celebrate, people!”

We all ran to our little boxes, looked them over, top to bottom, checked the doors, checked the floors, and roofs. The phone booths were empty inside. Not even a place to sit. The out houses at least had a place you could sit. Yeah, there was a big hole in it, and it took half the floor, but a little cardboard over the hole, and you had an actual chair.

The inside of mine had a couple of sharp metal edges where the phone had once been. No one had needed to take care of them, they ripped the guts out of them, phones, wires, everything. And the two little windows on the top of one side were gone. Only the holes where they’d been were left. A bit of cardboard and some tape, and I could seal them up.

We had paint. Different colors. Red, blue, black, white, green. Left over containers of paint, from where they didn’t use it all at the warehouse. “You guys can have this.” I could see us with a rainbow colored neighborhood.

We’d made a square of them. Kept the middle of the square empty. That’s where we’d put our garden. Try to grow some tomatoes, corn, and beans. Not much, of course, we were starting up. And we had to learn how to garden. But, it would be our food. We could eat it without having to work four hours for another burger and fries. Oh, we’d still work. We’d have to. We couldn’t feed ourselves. At least not yet. But maybe someday.

I stared up at the sky, and the bright dot of light I knew was the station. They told me it was a giant ring, that spun slowly, so it could feel like it had gravity, and you’d feel like you did on the ground. That’s where all the rich people went. The ones that owned the factories, and warehouses. The ones that owned everything.

They left, when the air started killing people. When the fires burned everything to the ground. When all the animals died. They left. Went up there. They tell me the ground up there is green, with something called grass. And they have a blue sky.

I didn’t really care. That was all dreams. I liked what was real. What I could touch. I liked my tiny four by four box. We were all spending the night in our boxes, for the first time. Our boxes. We owned them.

It was a start. It was a dream come true. Maybe one day we’d be able to stop working at the warehouses. Maybe one day, we’d be able to have families. And children. And lives of our own.

It was certainly worth dreaming about.

625 words
@mysoulstears


Saw the picture for week 81 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge and my mind went blank for a week. Until last night, when it said, “This!” You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

#ThursThreads Week 339 : You’re Not Even My Type

Three days after they found Jimmy’s body, the police found a vocal recording at their station. I’d made it just for them.

“The law is the law. It applies to all people. You didn’t follow the law when Michelle was murdered. Because you didn’t like Michelle. Thus, I didn’t follow the law, and removed people I didn’t like. Karma. Justice. Murder. Call it what you will. Remember. Violence breeds violence. And if violence continues here, it will draw me back.”

“I will be watching. Pray to your gods I don’t have to return. Stop the violence, and I will stay away.”

I left a picture of Michelle from before she was murdered, and another from after. I wanted them to know I was watching. I wanted them to know, if the violence they condoned continued, I’d be back.

“Ah, Michelle,” I mumbled as I watched the police force come to terms with my warning to them, “You’re not even my type, you know. But. You were human. And what happened was wrong. I hope now, you’re soul may find some peace.”

In three days, I had another warning to make. In the meantime, I could finally rest.

197 Words
@mysoulstears


Only 2 parts left in this Armor 17 story. It’s Week 339 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/11/11

The old couple stood among the bricks, and stones. When we first came across the place, they told me this had been a cobblestone road, whatever that means. Just looked like someone went to a lot of troubled to put bricks out in a pattern to me. “A road leading nowhere, you mean?”

The old man shook his head, “You never knew. Never saw.”

The old woman smiled, “They get to start over. If they want. Change the world, if they want.”

“I know.” He knelt down, put his hands on the old rocks, “But it is good to remember how things were, isn’t it?”

We all started walking again. That search for food thing did that. Made people walk. You couldn’t stay put. If you did, you became someone else’s food. If you kept moving, you kept safe. So, we kept moving. Followed the bricks for a time. At least it was a flat surface, we could make good time.

There were remains of structures, buildings, homes, all over the place. Long since picked over, people looking for things they could use. Clothing, mostly. Anything cloth. Anything fabric. Didn’t matter if it came off a dead body. Didn’t matter if it was full of holes. It beat the hell out of nothing.

I think that’s what drew me to the old man and woman. They weren’t dressed in left overs. In scraps. No. They wore different things. Hand made, most of them, from animal skins. Hides, stitched together with rough thread. They looked a lot warmer than what I had on.

I didn’t know what it was about them, really. Why I would want to tag along with two old people. Everyone pretty much ignored them. Old people weren’t worth much. Didn’t have anything worth stealing. Mostly, they were ignored, and left to wander around until they starved to death.

These two were different. They knew how to find things to eat. Sure, it wasn’t meat. It wasn’t animals. But, it was good. Stuff off bushes, and trees. Not anything they could find in a can. Cans were running out, you know. I hadn’t seen one in days. But, they always found something to eat. And always where no one ever looked.

I figured I’d tag along with them, so I could learn something. Maybe not starve. Maybe not have to kill someone else, and eat them.

“I wonder which building was the library? And which was a store?” The old man pointed at different buildings.

“It doesn’t really matter now, does it.” The old woman pulled down his hand, and held on to it. “Let’s just walk. And remember what was. And hope for what might one day be. And forget.”

“You know we’ll never forget, don’t you.” The old man shook his head. “Everywhere we look. Everywhere we go. There are memories of what was. And how it all ended.”

We walked in silence for a time, until she stopped, and pointed at a large puddle of water covering some of the bricks. “Look. You can stare into the puddle, and almost see the history, can’t you?”

“The state capital. And it’s big dome. I got to see it once. Field trip in high school.”

“Oh, Frank. It must have been a beautiful building.”

“Yes, Valerie. It was.” He smiled. It was the happiest smile I ever saw on him. “And then, the world went insane.”

Valerie nodded. “Yes. It did.”

Frank, the old man, started walking again, “Do you think it’s the end of humanity?”

“Only time will tell, Frank. Only time will tell.”

Frank nodded. And I wondered what they were talking about. The end of humanity. If it was, it wouldn’t be so bad, would it? No more wondering if you were going to wake up, of if you were going to be cut into flank steaks during the night while you slept. That wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

657 words
@mysoulstears


Saw the picture for week 80 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge, and this little bit of fiction popped into my head. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

 

#MenageMonday 2×05 : Not An Option

John sang in his underground estate, protected from the chaos on the surface. “I put a spell on you…” He looked at the distant top of the cavern his family had spent generations constructing. “Because your mine!”

He’d spent the afternoon monitoring the news channels as they rapidly flooded with stories of the new plague sweeping through the Norfolk and Virginia Beach areas. “V243 eats red blood cells. It’s a most useful weapon. I’ll have to have more made.” Already 30,000 had died.

Norfolk and Virginia Beach surviving was not an option. John wanted them destroyed totally, so nature could heal the damage caused by millions of humans.

“They will build a memorial to John Paul, the man whose family was blown to bits by drones sent from Norfolk, the man who yielded God’s sword of vengeance.”

John figured another seven million or so dead in Virginia might bring be enough for nature to heal the land. Then his family start growing the population again. That growth mean they would gain more power. More wealth. More control. The families would be even stronger.

He’d smiled at the picture of one female human shown on the news. The way blood leaked from her body, and left speckled stripes everywhere, had been especially lovely. “They’ll ramp up the war.”

“Amazing what a bacteria that eats red blood cells can do, isn’t it?” Of course, the families were safe. He had the antidote.

“I put a spell on you…” he kept singing.

248 words
@mysoulstears


I wrote this for week 2×05 of Cara Michaels‘s #MenageMonday flash fiction challenge. You can read about #MenageMonday here. Please, go read all the short tales from this week. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing. Oh, and… Happy Halloween.

#MenageMonday 2×04 : Support Local Business!

They told me supporting local businesses, small businesses in the town, was a civic duty. That’s what each of the candidates had in their political advertisements. “I support local businesses, they help communities grow.”

That’s where I got the marvelous idea of seeing how much they supported local businesses, and if they were particular about which local businesses they’d support. I marched into Magic Letters Tattoo, and plunked down $100 for gift cards, $50 on each of the candidates. “Yeah. Let’s see how you support local businesses now, you political reprobates! Ha!” I love being the mischievous little devil sometimes. Although at over six feet tall, I suppose I’m not really little.

And then I went to the local offices of the two candidates, and donated a $50 gift card to each of the candidates, with a card attached that asked, “Magic Letters needs your help to stay in business! Please help them out! Support local business!”

I even wrote a letter to the editor of the local news station that explained what I’d done, and how I was waiting to see if the candidates could put their money where their big fat mouths were.

Of course, they didn’t. No Magic Letters on either candidate.

I’m not sorry at all. I knew it was throwing away the $100. But, it was a civic duty, after all, to support local business, and reveal the true nature of the political slimes running for office. Or should I say, running for money?

245 words
@mysoulstears


I wrote this for week 2×04 of Cara Michaels‘s #MenageMonday flash fiction challenge. You can read about #MenageMonday here. Please, go read all the short tales from this week. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.