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A Perfect Life

Bill Wexler woke at six, as he did every morning, and kissed his wife.

“I’m going for a run,” he said.

She didn’t reply.

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Conscience

“Nothing says good morning, Monday, like a cup of boiling hot cocoa with crunchy marshmallows.” Joshua spoke between gentle slurps. He sat on an ice-cold concrete bench wrapped in layers of coats and sweaters, accessorized by a scarf and tie.

Lucy examined Joshua’s perpetual scowl for any hint of humor. Steam drifted off the cup warming his hands. She rewrapped her scarf for the hundredth time and resumed pacing in an attempt to keep warm.

“Joshua, I never know when you’re being serious.”

He sipped his cocoa audibly crunching down on a marshmallow and almost managed a smile, but reverted back to pure scowl as his gaze fell on the concrete chess tables across the park. The tables started filling this time of the morning, and stayed somewhat full most daylight hours.

“Our murderer is here.”

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Mesmerist

He leaned in, intruding on her personal space in a familiar way she only allowed her mentor. Lucy felt his words as heated breath on one ear more than she heard them.

“Be evasive.”

His lips and breath withdrew, leaving her questioning his intensions. They stood on an empty tube platform. No cars. Above, concrete and countless feet of dirt. Below, rails in a six-foot deep pit.

She put a hand on her stomach to settle it.

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Geese Fly

Gary ducked into the pressure suit locker pulling it shut behind him. The stench of sweat and disinfectant pushed him back against the locker door. He shoved himself into the claustrophobic space at the back of the locker’s rack where a third suit normally hung.

His rapid heart beat made him shake. If any of the officers saw him, he’d be scrubbing urinals with his tooth brush, or worse. He just couldn’t do the drills today. Not today. They were dropping tomorrow and he needed alone time.

Gary slumped down in the dark as much as the cramped locker allowed. His back pressed against one wall with his knees painfully jamming the locker wall in front of him.

“It won’t be that bad when they shut off grav,” Gary reminded himself in a mutter.

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Airi

Andy sat on the edge of his bed, hands cuffed behind him. Uniformed police finished carrying the last folders out of Andy’s apartment. His computer, all the contents of his filing cabinet, and even his checkbook left with the last of the uniformed officers.

A suit-clad detective made one last sweep of the apartment. He spotted the phone sitting in its cradle by Andy’s bed.

“Almost forgot your phone.” He grinned at Andy. “Not that we need it after what we found on your computer.”

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Posted in Horror, Sci-Fi Tagged with: , , , , ,

Petition

One knock sounded on his door at 12:01 AM on the first of November, as it had for 250 years. Anthony hesitated, even though the request was familiar. He glanced out the kitchen window at the moonwashed cliff of Beachy Head and the Channel beyond. Then a million knocks, a billion, pounding away in unison, a coruscating knot of sound that quaked his small home. The knocking made dishes rattle in their cabinets and his glass of whisky to dance and crash to the floor.

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Valediction

Greetings fellow graduates, parents, and faculty. No one is more surprised than me that I am speaking to you tonight. When we first walked through the big glass doors of Happy Valley High four years ago, did anyone imagine that this budding goth girl might one day be valedictorian of the class of 2014?

So many students studied more than me. So many worked harder than me. So many were smarter than me. Yet somehow none of them survived the high school gauntlet, so here I am. I didn’t even take any AP classes. In hindsight, that was probably lucky. Otherwise I might have suffocated on the chlorine gas Mary Llewellyn mixed from those mislabeled ingredients in chemistry lab. Or perhaps I would have suffered acute radiation sickness in AP Physics after that unfortunate typo on the laboratory supply form. You probably wouldn’t have found me in AP Biology though. My strict vegetarian principals made me uncomfortable dissecting fetal pigs. Who could have guessed that my squeamishness would save me from contracting flesh-eating bacteria? There’s a lesson about the importance of sticking to one’s principles in there somewhere.

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The There-It-Is Store

The bell over the door jingled and Claire hastily tucked her book under the counter. It was one of her favorites and she’d just gotten to the best part. She didn’t want a customer to come in and claim it.

An older man, probably twice Claire’s age, entered the store. Actually, he really more danced his way in. The man turned this way and that, his eyes trained on the ground, all the while patting his pants, alternating front pockets and then back. Claire suppressed a giggle at the sight of his search dance – as it was fittingly known in the trade. The man gave up the floor and scanned the shelves by the door, muttering to himself while patting his breast pockets. “I swear I just had ’em. I was walking out the door…” He passed over boxes of buttons, jars full of jewelry, several large sacks stuffed with socks, and a pail packed with pocket watches before stopping in front of a particularly large crate nearly overflowing with keys. He gave a low whistle, eyeing the huge box with trepidation.

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Skeleton in the Closet

“Dad, I’m feeding the skeleton in the closet.”

My seven-year-old daughter stated this. She wasn’t asking permission.I had to sit up in my arm chair and set down my Kindle.

“Really?”

“Yes. He likes donuts.”

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Free to a Bad Home

You now have the chance to adopt your very own hellhound puppy!

Due to decreasing demand for eternal damnation over the last two millennia (yes, we’re looking at you, J.C.) we’ve been forced to downsize our staff. That means we no longer have the demonpower necessary to take care of our four-legged friends. And you have the opportunity of a lifetime.

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