It has been a while since I dared to make a wish.

It has been a while since I dared to make a wish.
For I know the bitter truth.
Of this world I never made.

It targets dreams and wishes.
Strangles them.
Beats them.
Carves them into parts.
Before your very eyes.
Because you dare to dream
Of a better world.
Of a kinder life.

Sometimes, I know, it’s better,
And so much easier.
To be silent.
To not make any wishes.
To not have any dreams.
To keep them buried.
To keep them safe.
From this world I never made.

But today…

Today I heard that small, quiet voice.
The one that lives inside my soul.
The one that whispers quietly.
The one that never lies to me.
The one that knows the truth.

That voice…

The voice of my heart…

And I know.
I know.

There is a wish I have to make.
Before I can ever sleep at night.
In this world I never made.

Come at me once again, you demons.
You shadows in the dark.
Strike from the corners,
Where the light doesn’t shine.
Where you hide.
And wait.
Until I speak the truth.

I know then you always strike.
But you can never win.
Never silence.
That small voice.
That quiet voice.
That never lies.
That speaks the truth.

Today I make a wish.
For friends.
For friends I do not know.
Friends I will never meet.
Whose hands I will never get to hold.
Whose hugs I will never know.

Today I make this wish.
For them.
And for me.
May it shine a bit of light
Where it needs to go.
Into the dark corners,
And the darker hallways.
Of this world I never made.

I saw the words of a wounded soul today.
Impersonal words.
Black, digital patterns.
On a field of white.
It was a cry for help.
So very obvious to me.
Like I could hear the words.
Cried out by a heart.
Left too alone, for too long,
In this world of dark, and cold.

And I found I wished an old wish once again.
But in a different way.

I have always wondered if perhaps,
I should get a chair.
A wheelchair.
Not a fancy one.
A simple one.
That I’d have to push around myself.

I have always wondered if perhaps,
I should find such souls.
In the dark.
And in the cold.
And grant them simple wishes.
Wishes I know they don’t receive.
Make dreams come true for them.
In a world that’s stolen everything.

Perhaps someday I should.
Get that chair.
And take my car.
And drive.
Drive to where those wounded are.
And ask them,
If they would care
To take a walk with me.
Through the flowers of a garden somewhere.
Along the boardwalk of a beach.
In a bookstore filled with books.

Or if they have somewhere,
Someplace they dream of going.
That the never go.
That the never see.

And give the gift to me.
Of giving that to them.

It would mean
They wouldn’t be invisible.
They wouldn’t have to live alone.

So, there’s my wish,
World that I never made.
I may never see the day
When I strive to make that wish come true.
There are too many parts of me,
Too many parts of my soul.
That are long gone.

But I know.
Even writing down the words.
Making my wish known.
In this world I never made.

Is a dangerous thing to do.

And perhaps.
My heart is only trying to tell me
What I know I should really do.

I do not know.
I only know.
What I wish for on this day.
In this world.
I never made.

Come at me world.
I know you will.
I know you have to kill.
This simple wish I’ve made.


#ThursThreads Week 289 : I’m A Danger

It was Sunday night. Barbara was on her way home from work, after the store she she was a manager at closed. It made her nervous to walk on the street, alone, after dark. Especially since Michelle had been murdered. With a previous legal name of Bart, Barbara knew it was a risky thing.

That night, right outside the apartment building she lived in, three men surrounded her. They all had ski masks on. They had bats, and knives, and guns.

Barbara knew it was the end. She knew she was going to die, just like Michelle had. That’s when a voice from nowhere spoke, “Go home, little boys. Before you get hurt.”

Barbara looked around, trying to see who spoke. Given I was invisible in the armor, she failed to see me. The men, thinking it was a joke, raised their bats. I shot the left one in the left leg, and then the right leg. The other two froze. “I’m a danger, little boys. Go home.” They drew their guns to shoot at anything. I kicked one in the groin, hard enough to lift him off the ground. I punched the third in the face, leaving broken teeth, busted lips, and a broken jaw.

“I wondered when they’d try this.” I had the armor call the police. “Barbara. Tell the police what happened when they get here. Tell them I said I’ll do what they won’t.”

I believe Barbara stood there until the police showed up.

248 Words

This is Part 17 of the Armor 17 story. It’s Week 289 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.


#ThursThreads Week 260 : Are You Alright?

Ginger finished work at 1700 hours that afternoon, and she hopped in her car, and raced home. She was ready to have some fun. She didn’t know, of course, I was in the back seat. That’s the thing with being an Armor. We’re kind of invisible.

I followed her inside, and at 1800, I turned on her TV, and tuned it to the evening news. You can imagine her surprise when she saw her picture on the screen. “Ginger Magee, who lives in the local area, may have played a part in the recent murder of Michelle Harmon.” Ginger looked like her cat had just died. I managed not to laugh. The TV report displayed the actual message Ginger had sent, with the words boldly visible along the bottom, “Can someone please rid the world of this thing?”

She stood there, transfixed. “How?”

“The police have not responded to our questions about this new evidence in the murder, nor has the city attorney. But we will keep asking for further information, and we will provide that as it becomes available to us. We hope to have more on this unfolding story on the late news tonight.”

I smiled. It was fun to watch her stand there. “Are you alright?” I tried not to laugh. “No. I don’t think you are.”

On my way out, I stopped at her car, opened the gas cap, and slid a small high explosive into the tank. As I walked away, the car exploded.

249 Words

This is part 8 of the Armor 17 story I started in Week 239 of #ThursThreads. It’s Week 260 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.

And as always. Thank you for keeping #ThursThreads alive, Siobhan.

#ThursThreads Week 249 : Can’t Take You Anywhere

Michelle worked for Northrop Dynamics, a major defense contractor. She’d worked on-site, at the local US Naval facility. She’d worked there for a decade. I parked my car outside the facility, in the local shopping center parking lot. “Arm.” Its security systems kicked in. No one but me, alive and breathing, could open the car. Attempted forced entry guaranteed the car exploded. Didn’t matter if it was the police, the Navy, or a petty thief.

I muttered, “Active” as I walked from the lot. The armor kicked in, and I vanished. No heat signature. No radar signature. No air currents. Nothing. I walked to the secured gate, and watched the armed Marines check the stickers and badges of each vehicle that entered.

I walked in. Followed the same path Michelle had always followed to work, examined the parking space she would have parked in.

The doors to the facility were actively guarded, and required two factor authentication to get past. I watched people cross through the two door arrangement, and decided who to tag along with. When he opened the first door, I stepped in behind him. When he opened the second, I tagged along.

No one knew. No camera saw. No weight sensors registered my presence in that room. I was not there.

I chuckled, looked at the guy I’d slipped in with, “Can’t take you anywhere, can I?” Then, I watched him wander off to his job.

It was time to find out more about Michelle’s life.

249 Words
Mark Ethridge (I’m not on twitter, you know)

This is part 5 of the Armor 17 story I started in Week 239 of #ThursThreads. It’s Week 249 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 x 46 : Victorious

Bob and Charlie, that was there names. Bob was the nervous one, the one the blonde told Charlie to take out for drinks. I wasn’t worried about the blonde that night, she’d sleep well in her bed. Bob and Charlie, on the other hand, wouldn’t sleep that night. They wouldn’t sleep for a long time.

Charlie picked the place, Boneshakers, a bar and grill, heavy on the bar. Country music boomed from the speakers of the entertainment system, and some country star cried his heart out to the music on a giant theater screen on one wall. I ignored it all, the crowd, the dancing, the drinking. I wasn’t interested in that. I watched Charlie and Bob.

Charlie ordered the first round, “A couple of Buds!” He patted Bob’s shoulder, “You OK, buddy?”

“I keep seeing her stuff everywhere.”

“I know what you mean. I see it everywhere too.”

Bob chugged half his beer, “Yeah, but you sleep at night.” His thumbs pressed against the sides of the can, almost bent it before he caught himself, and pulled them back. But his fingers couldn’t stop moving, and pressed against the can, making little “clack” sounds as the can popped back into shape each time his fingers shifted. “I haven’t slept in days.”

“That’s why we’re here, buddy. We both need to relax.” Charlie waved at the bartender, “Another round over here.” Bob drained his first can, then let his fingers crush the sides in. The bartender walked over with two fresh cans, put them down. Bob nearly choked, Charlie stood up, “What the fuck?” Darla’s picture was on the side of each can, another picture was on the bar.

“What’s wrong, guys?”

They didn’t say anything.

“Oh, the cans? Yeah. We got a whole shipment of them with different pictures stuck on them. Some special can. Saw them when we opened the case.” He sighed, “The guy that delivered them was surprised. Didn’t know what it was.” He picked up a can, turned it around, “See?” The can said, “In Memory Of The Unsolved Cases”.

The bartender shrugged, “Pretty morbid thing to do, don’t you think?”

Bob and Charlie sat there, staring at the cans. “She’s haunting us, right?”

“Bob, there’s no such thing as ghosts.”

I stood behind them, invisible in my armor. It was time to sing, in Darla’s voice. I sang along with the song. Bob turned pale, almost white. Charlie spilled his drink, “Shit!”

They got up, left the bar, I tagged along. Darla’s ghost wasn’t done with them that night. Not by a long shot. Their night was going to be long, black, and poisonous. A night they’d never forget.

445 Words

This is Part 5 of a story I’m writing using the prompts for the #FlashMobWrites challenge. #FlashMobWrites is hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites Week 1×46. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#ThursThreads Week 195: I’m Willing To Listen

The woman sat at her kitchen table, a glass of whiskey in her hand. It was 0200 hours, on a Sunday morning. As she sat she began to cry, “No one ever listens. No one cares.” She took a drink from the whiskey, then threw the glass against the wall where it shattered into hundreds of pieces. Her arms found the table, her head rested on her crossed arms, and she broke down.

“Black.” The armor became visible. I put an armored hand on her shoulder, “I’m willing to listen,” my electronically modified voice wasn’t human, but I knew that didn’t matter.

She sat up, shock in her eyes, “Who?”

I walked to the opposite side of the table, “No one of any importance.” I sat. “I’m willing to listen.”

She didn’t move. Didn’t blink. Just sat there, like she wasn’t sure she was seeing something real.

“I can leave if you wish,” I hope she didn’t wish, “Active.” The armor clocked, and I was invisible. I paused, “Black,” and returned to visibility. “I’m willing to listen.”

I studied her face, her eyes. I knew she wanted to talk. To tell me what was going on, tell me about her husband, how he abused her, how he used his daughter, and of the nasty, mean people her husband was friends with.

“Tell me about James.”

She took a breath, “What do you want to know?”


She’d been waiting for someone to listen.

242 Words

I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 195. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

NaNoWriMo 2012, Week 2 Clip – From Chapter 12…

[The second week of NaNoWriMo 2012 has concluded. As with the first week, many of my writing friends are sharing snips of their NaNo Novels, in raw, unedited form. This is such a clip from my novel in progress. From Chapter 12 of the story, written on the 13th of November, 2012.]

After much discussion with Merlin, Sword, and her daughters, Mystica went to warn Eyela what was coming. She called on the machines that were everywhere. “I would talk with Eyela.” The machines heard her request. They set up a completely invisible data transmission network connecting Eyela and Mystica. Each could see the other. Each could hear the other.

To Eyela, this was magic. A few short weeks before, it had been magic to Mystica. Now, Mystica understood it wasn’t magic. It was technology. Technology so advanced it appeared to be magic.

“Eyela. We need to speak.”

“Mystica. Good to see you. How have you been?”

“I am fine. But things are not well.”

“Your daughters are having problems?”

“No. We are all fine. But things are not well.”

“What do you mean?”

“As I said. We need to speak.”

“As you wish, my friend. You know you are always welcome here.”

Mystica called on the machines once more. She thought of where she wished to go. Picturing it in her mind. Then, she spoke one word. “Now.” The machines responded again. In a fraction of a second, they wrapped around her. Capturing every detail of who she was. Identifying every molecule, atom, and sub-atomic particle. Identifying every neural pathway. They took that information, and using quantum mechanics, transferred all of it from where Mystica stood at the lake in the Northern Forest to a space in the room of the castle where Eyela stood. It was as if Mystica had stepped from the lake to the castle in one step. Just a few heartbeats. That’s all it took for the machines to use their technology to move from the lake to the castle.