#SwiftFicFriday Week 77 : Practice Your Music

Deborah had tried to talk me into staying at the hospital a few extra days, “Just to be safe.” I wouldn’t have it. A Fruit Loop out there somewhere able to crush buildings with air wasn’t a good thing, and I couldn’t let such a being run wild. Besides, they’d dinged me up, and tried to kill Deborah. Even though everything still hurt, I got out of the hospital. They made me sign a waiver, not for the first time.

Of course, she knew. She knew I was angry, and worried about her, and about air being used as a sledge hammer. Just like she knew she’d never talk me into staying in the hospital until the doctors let me out.

She drove. I knew better than to demand I drive. I knew she sensed every ache and pain I felt. It was that empathy thing. Something about her I could never figure out.

After we got home, she made me take a nap on the sofa, with the TV playing some random program, hoping I’d sleep. I remember I did drift off to dreamland, but the dreams didn’t go well. Something about watching a solid wall of air crush people that made me wake up.

She was right there, next to me when I woke. “Here. I know what you need.” She helped me to my feet, and led me to my piano. “Practice your music.”

I did. Like I said, she knew. That empathy thing, you know. She understood the music healed me in more ways than medicine ever could. It even cleared my mind, so I could see the pictures, hear the words my brain wanted me to. So I could understand what I needed to understand.

“Practice your music. I’ll bring you dinner in a bit.”

300 Words

It’s Week 73 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. I’m wondering what the heck is going on with this story. There seems to be only one way for me to find out. Anyway. 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 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

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.

#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

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.

#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

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

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.

#SwiftFicFriday : Week 37

My camera turned itself off, and I knew the battery was drained. As I wasn’t done taking pictures of the damage yet, I pulled the drained battery out, and put in the last of my spares. Six batteries, drained, taking pictures of this site.

“There’s a pattern in the damage,” was all I could think. “A pattern that repeats.” Pictures tend not to lie, especially unedited pictures, captured straight to film. Not like digital images where you can change everything. It’s why I used film for the research.

“Same damage as the other seven sites in the state.” The tension in my jaw made my teeth ache, and I wondered if I’d crack another tooth from the stress. “Breathe, damn-it. Breathe.”

The damage wasn’t to destroy the structure, or the framework of the building. It was designed to lower the value of the building. To make it ugly, and unmarketable. It was always focused on surfaces. Taking down walls, leaving the maximum amount of debris, destroying stair rails, but leaving the stairs in place, pulling down the ceiling, showing the framework, cables, pipes, and insulation.

The framework of a building was the least expensive part, relatively speaking. What made it expensive was the appearance. Wreck the appearance, and the price of the building plummeted.

A second aspect of the damage, people stopped visiting the damaged places. Business inside went under, closed, left. No one wanted to shop amid the damage. No one wanted to watch a movie, or a theater performance in a wrecked place. Didn’t matter how big the place had been. The damage killed it.

With enough pictures, from enough sites, I hoped to show the damage was deliberate. Someone wanted the framework to use for themselves. That was obvious. What was not obvious was who.

298 Words

It’s Week 37 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Kathryn J. Avila. I’m trying this fiction writing challenge out for the first time. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday, and if you like a story, click on the like button.