Saturday, September 21, 2013


I love him, I say.

You don't, is the reply.

I do, I insist.

You can't. He's not real.

He is.

Yes, but not to you. He exists, but the he you love is a figment of your imagination. And the he that exists, doesn't know you're alive.

He does!

But not enough to reply back.

That's cruel.

That's love.

Then why do I bother?

Because he is safe, and can never reject you.

But he did!


So it's love?

Only in your mind.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Sweetest Thing

She was bent over a stack of cakes and pastries when she felt a presence next to her.  She raised her head, ready to put on her fake customer service smile, when she realized who was there.  He smiled,  slightly disheveled in a wrinkled oxford shirt and old jeans.  They had reconnected via social media (didn't everyone) and he had mentioned he was moving near where she was living now.  She stood and tried to think of something intelligent to say.

"My God."

"No.  Just his emissary."

"I always thought you'd make a good angel of death."

She looked down at her hands, cringing at her uniform of apron and company cap.  She gave an embarrassed shrug.

"I look a mess."

"You look tired."

She smiled. He always said the obvious.  There was never any subterfuge with him. Straight and to the point.

He  put his arms around her, enveloping her in a big hug.  She sunk into his embrace, surprised how the tension in her body dripped away.  The two of them stood there, oblivious to the crowd and activity around them.  She didn't care if her supervisor saw them.  She put her head on his shoulder,  wondering why she never realized before how well they fit together.

"How's your boyfriend?"

She jumped slightly and looked up at him.  He really was quite handsome, his beard and hair lightly flecked with grey.  She remembered how scrawny and awkward he had been in college; he was definitely someone who improved with age. She pulled away and crossed her arms in front of her.  The tension began to creep back into her shoulders.

"How did you hear about that?"

"You can't keep anything from me.  I am omnipresent.  I know all."

He said the last bit in a funny, mock scary voice, but his easygoing manner was clouded by his eyes.  A look of concern filled them like tears.

She tried to laugh it off, but the pain was still there.

"Then you must have heard.  He's in a relationship.  Seems everybody else knew.  I spent all summer hoping we'd take it to the next level and he's all ready done that with someone else.  I'm not getting any younger, I can't afford to waste time with men . . ."

She stared off into the distance, her voice catching slightly.  She took a deep breath and gave him a cynical smile.

"At least I didn't sleep with him.  I guess I'm not so dumb after all."

He looked at her with such sympathy.  How could anyone as wonderful as her think she was stupid?  He'd give her the moon and the stars, walk barefoot through coals to make her happy.  He moved closer to her, letting his lips brush gently against her ear.

"It's a known fact, my darling, that you have lousy taste in men.  At least, American men.  I think it's time you came over to the dark side, and gave in to your desires for a slightly worn, but devilishly sexy Englishman."

She laughed, the first happy sound from her soul in months.  She wondered why she hadn't seen this earlier.  Maybe she had, and been too afraid to accept such a loving gift.

"I'm done with my shift in ten minutes.  Can you wait?"

He smiled and took her face in his hands.  For once his desire wasn't overshadowed by fear of rejection.

"I've waited twenty years, love, I can wait ten more minutes."

"You know that sounds like a cliche, don't you?"

"God, you're a pain in the ass.  Let me have my leading man moment, just once."

"I'll let you have it what ever you want."

"Now who's being a cliché?"

He kissed her, right in the middle of the bakery section, amongst the cakes and pies.  It was the sweetest thing he'd ever tasted.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Full Wolf Moon-Conclusion

"You look like hell."

"I'm dead.  What's your excuse?"

The two men stared at each other, then burst out laughing.  Cassandra shook her head.  She walked over and examined the wounds on Pryor's body.  Deep holes pocked his body; some of the bullets had gone clean through, leaving an exit wound, others were still lodged deep in the flesh.  A strange, pungent liquid oozed from each.  Its viscosity was thicker than human blood.  Cassandra wiped a drop up with her finger tip and brought it towards her nose and flinched; a quick taste made her spit.  It tasted rancid, like poison.  She spit again and looked towards her companions.

"We need to leave."

The two men looked at her and composed themselves.  Glover reached his arm out towards Pryor.

"Can you walk?"

"Not sure."

Pryor moved his stiff legs over to the edge of the slab.  He rose to his feet, trying to find his balance.  He felt hollow.  His hearing and sense of smell seemed sharper.  He looked around the room until his gaze fell upon Edwards.

"What happened here?"

Glover spit and started to walk to the door. The sooner they left this place, the better.  They needed to finish the mission and meet up with the others.

"The little man knocked him out and hooked him up."

Pryor walked over and looked at his commander.  Edwards' body twitched.  He pointed to Glover's face.

"Did he give you that?"

"Yea, he was trying to help me find you.  Cassandra!  Move out!  Place explosives in the corner's of the room and let's get out of here.  We've got a work to do."

Pryor reached out and grabbed Glover.

"What are you doing?  We can use these men.  This is an unstoppable army."

"This is an unpredictable mob.  We don't need any more trouble.  We need to finish what we came to do and get the hell out of here."

Glover turned and started for the door.  Pryor moved in front of him and started to growl.  Glover maneuvered his weapon into position.

"We've run out of time, Pryor.  The others have broken camp and moved on.  We need to finish what we were sent to do and then try to rendezvous with them."

Cassandra appeared at his side, nervously looking at Pryor.  He looked like something out of the stories her grandmother used to tell her, stories about the dead walking the earth.  She started to move towards the door, calling back over her shoulder.

"The charges are set for three minutes.  I suggest we finish this conversation outside."

Glover followed,  quickly moving past Pryor.  Pryor charged after them. The fools!  Throwing away an opportunity like this!  Cassandra and Glover were all ready down the alley when Pryor hit the street.  He started to follow them when a burning sensation began to overtake his body.  He looked down at his bare arm.  It was bathed in moonlight.

He doubled over and began to groan.  He dropped to his knees and began to pant, he felt his bones break and reassemble, his skin melt off his body and then knit together, only now it was covered in thick fur.  His jaw snapped and elongated, his teeth extended into sharp points.  Pryor tried to stand up straight but lost his balance; a long bushy tail waved excitedly behind him, trying to steady his equilibrium.

Cassandra started to run towards Pryor, or to the thing that was Pryor, when the charges went off.  The explosion knocked her back onto her ass;  her ears were still ringing as Glover knelt next to her.

"You all right?"

Cassandra winced as she wiped a trickle of blood from the side of her mouth, coughing up dust and grit.  A piece of metal was lodged  in her bicep.  Glover pulled out his knife and dug it out, doing his best to stop the bleeding.  She looked at the wreckage of lab in front of her.  Smoke and flames swallowed up the building, limbs and body parts were scattered amongst the ruins.

"Where's Pryor?"

Glover ignored her and kept working on her arm.  Cassandra pushed him away and tottered to where she had last seen Pryor.  She fell to her knees and looked at the snow on the ground.  Splattered around the piles of flesh and blood were tracks.  Wolf tracks.  Cassandra pointed towards them.

"This way.  He went south, towards the woods.  We have to find him."

Glover walked over and stared in disbelief.  None of this made sense.  He grabbed Cassandra by the shoulder.

"We have a job to do.  We need to finish the mission and meet up with the others."

Glover turned and started back down the alley.  Cassandra watched him leave, then rose to her wobbly feet.

"To hell with you!  To hell with the mission!"

She started to follow the tracks, straining to listen.  Off in the distance she heard a howl.  She moved onward, the light from the full moon illuminating the tracks on the freshly fallen snow.


The fire was smouldering as the lab lay in ruins.  Rubble was piled deep.  A dark figure pushed its way from beneath its premature tomb.  Its clothes were tattered, its skin cut and flayed.  It crawled out to the street and collapsed, gasping for breath.  It lay on its back and looked up at the full moon.  It laid there until the moon began to wane and the sky in the east began to turn pink.  It rolled over and pulled itself to its knees, trying to focus on the two sets of tracks in the snow.  One human.  One lycan.  It took a deep breath, startled at its heightened sense of smell.  Edwards smiled and pulled himself to his feet.  He'd find them.  He'd find them both.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I suppose the point

Is to keep trying.

Even when,

Especially when,

You feel



Complete idiot





Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Cake Lady and The Banana Man

She picked out the wrong cheese.

She crinkled up her nose as she realized her blunder.  What she thought were slices of mozzarella were actually slices of feta.  The thick, white rectangles were all ready crammed into a container and couldn't be put back; she contemplated just leaving them on the ledge of the cheese and olive bar, but felt guilty about wasting food (even nasty tasting cheese) so she dropped it into her basket and moved to the correct fromage.  She was snapping the lid on the new container when she felt a finger softly caress her arm.  She cringed; she hate being touched, especially in public.  She turned her head and found him standing next to her, confusion clouding his face at his blunder.  A bunch of bananas rested quietly in his shopping cart.



"I'm sorry if I startled you.  I didn't realize you were in such deep thought over dairy products."

She smiled.  She liked his cheeky sense of humor.

"I'm hypersensitive to people putting their hands on me.  It brings back bad memories.  I'm trying to get a better handle on it."

He was uncomfortable with her honesty.  He could imagine the bruises covering her face and body.  It made him second guess every move he made around her.

"Done for the day?"

"Yes, no more baking for me today.  I just want to go home and soak my feet."

He thought he should say something else but felt his throat tighten.  The two of them stood awkwardly together, each wondering why the other didn't leave all ready.

"See ya tomorrow?"

"Yea, sure, I'll be in the bakery bright and early.  Those cakes won't bake themselves."

They both laughed at the inanity of that comment, then went their separate way, bananas to the left, cheese to the right.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

He went to rearrange the flower display outside the grocery store and found her sitting on a bench waiting for her ride home.  She smiled at him and said hello; he said 'hi' back, then tried to think of something else to say to keep her engaged.


"It's really nice out today, but I have to watch when it's too sunny, my head burns, because, you know I'm bald."


He turned his attention to a group of asters, disappointed by the lack of a response, when she softly said, "I think bald men are sexy".


The potted plant slipped out of his hand and crashed to the ground.  He crouched to pick it up, a broad smile spreading across his face as she got up and walked towards the car at the curb.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Hey, good morning!"

She forced a smile and mumbled back as he passed.  Three months of  'hey, good morning', EVERY morning.  Nothing more; she waited for him to follow up his salutation with conversation, but he always sailed past her before she could respond.  She kicked her foot against the counter in disgust at her stupidity.  Was she really that desperate for attention that she misconstrued a friendly greeting to be an overture to romance?  An invitation to a relationship?  She finished wiping the counter top and threw a wad of used paper towels in the trash, turning away before she could catch him looking back at her, struggling to contain a pout as he was once again rebuffed.  What does it take, he thought, to get her to engage in conversation?  For three months he'd greeted her, EVERY morning.  He shrugged, and went back to work.