#ThursThreads Week 277 : Nothing Is What It Says It Is

Having caused sufficient chaos where Michelle once worked, it was time to spread the chaos to the rest of her social world. Starting with the church she’d once been a member of. A church that had disowned her.

Churches always have leaders. These are usually called pastors. This one was no different. The pastor’s name was Greg Bishop. It was most entertaining to listen to his prayers to God for several nights. “Thank you, God, for removing that vile, evil demon from our presence, and protecting the good people of this world.” Of course, the other half of his prayers were just as entertaining, “Please, God. Find the foul, vile spawn of Satan that is blowing up cars, and ruining people’s lives, and bring that demon to your justice.”

Ah. Christians. So predictable. Most of them, anyway.

Of course, Pastor Greg wasn’t happy at all when his prayers started showing up on social media. Word for word, thanking God for murder, and asking God to stop vengeance. Pastor Greg had a bit of explaining to do on that Sunday morning, when people at his church started asking why he thanked God for someone’s murder. Although they did kind of understand, since Michelle had been, obviously, a vile, evil person.

Of course, I’m certain Pastor Greg had much more difficulty explaining why the church burned to the ground that Sunday night. “Nothing is what it says it is, Pastor. Like how you’re not a man of God.”

246 Words

I finally got around to writing part 13 of the Armor 17 story I started in Week 239 of #ThursThreads. I really should write more. It’s Week 277 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.


#FlashMobWrites 1×38 : Up In Flames

There was a time I needed those books, depended on them, used them. Before everything ended, burned to the ground, turned to ash. “You work for something, fight for it, build it, protect it, grow it.” I remembered the lost nights, tearing the contents of the books apart. How TCP/IP worked. Securing data files generated by applications using libssh to encrypt them in memory, before storing them to files. How to configure network firewalls using iptables, and when to use a whitelist or a blacklist.

And in one day, it all ended.

I hadn’t touched those books in over five years, and I knew I’d never touch them again. They’d been collecting dust on my bookshelves all that time. Once, I’d had a use for them, needed them. They were part of how I survived in my job, the work I once did. The work I’d loved so much.

Until the day everything burned.

A simple sentence, “They don’t want you to come back.” That’s all it took. That was the end of everything. People I’d worked with for over a decade were gone when those words were spoken. The fires erupted that day, I couldn’t think, couldn’t talk, couldn’t sit still, couldn’t focus on anything. It was like creeping along the edge of a cliff, knowing one slip would send me plummeting to the ground, hundreds or thousands of feet below. One slip, and I was dead. Creeping on the edge of that cliff, all I could do was watch the fire burn. And pray. Pray it didn’t reach me, it stopped, and left me a strip of ground, bare rock, by the cliff.

A few days later, I knew the fire wouldn’t stop, with another simple sentence, “No contact with any of the people you worked with.” I was in free-fall, the fire pushed me off the edge.

I’d put every book on a shelf. And never touched them for five years.

Until now. The first time I’d put a fire in the fireplace. It had been expensive, we’d had to have a chimney sweep out to clean it. We had to put in a grate, and screen, and add tools, then buy a cord of wood.

She’d gone to work, like she always did. I had Wednesdays off, didn’t work. It was snowing outside, the weather report said the temperature was in the teens. “Stay inside if you can.” I could.

That’s when I decided to do something about the books from the life I’d had. The leftovers. I’d gone outside, got some wood, and started a fire. And I watched the books burn, one book at a time.

And finally, I was free.

447 Words

I wrote this for #FlashMobWrites 1×38, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites 1×38. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?