Friday, October 16, 2015

The Roommates

Image by Fanghong via Wikimedia Commons
Author's Note: The first part of this story was previously published on the blog. You can find it here.

Back at the house, I managed to pass through the door on the third try.

"So was I killed here? In the house?" I asked Darius.

He flopped to the floor and stretched out. His tail thumped against the floor in a manner I took to mean he was thinking.

"Yes, I believe you were. I wasn't around at the time."

I stared at him for a moment, waiting for him to go on. He stared back at me.

"And?" I prompted.

"And what?" he said.

"And where were you?"

He sighed. "I was out doing business. It's not like I have any obligation to see what you were up to at all hours of the day, Roy.”

"What business was it you were doing?"

"My own." He gave his tail a mighty thump.

"Okay. But I was alive when you left?'

He sighed. "You had gone out. When I arrived later, you were transitioning into a Monad in the bathroom."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tiny Mercies

By Bettyann Moore

Rare, progressive and untreatable.

Ardys White repeated the words over and over.

“Rare, progressive and untreatable,” she said, then gave a wry snort. “Reminds me of that old movie with the kid and the scarecrow. “Lions, tigers and … what was that other one?” she mused. “Right, lions, tigers and bears, oh my. Rare, progressive and untreatable, oh my!”

Talking to herself was just something Ardys did. There was no other human in the house, no cat, no dog, and there never would be.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Vikings Aren't Dumb: A Tale of the Afterlife

Image by Sven-Steffen Arndt via Wikimedia Commons

Author Note: This story is the first chapter of a novel. 

I was surprised to wake up in the bathtub because I only took showers. Events would overshadow this first fact of the day, and its significance would only come back to me later. I found myself fully dressed in my only suit, the one that served for weddings, interviews, and funerals. The wedding ring I had buried at the back of a dresser drawer fit loosely on my left hand and an old watch was strapped around my wrist. At least I was dry.

I tried remembering my last thoughts before waking, but everything seemed far away. I wasn’t even sure if I had gone to bed the night before. Was I dreaming? I didn’t think so. Hallucinating? Not likely. I lived a pretty clean life: no drugs, no meat, and hardly ever alcohol. What time was it? My watch said 10:10. Where was my phone?

I got up and stomped my foot farther into my shoe. It wasn’t tied with my slip-proof knot, just a normal shoe knot that I had abandoned at the age of 12. And as I moved around, my underwear was slightly twisted and there were sock wrinkles trapped under my feet. I looked in the mirror, expecting to see a moustache, kitty whiskers, or profanity drawn on with marker. My face was unblemished, apart from the hooked nose that I could blame on no one but my parents. My hair wasn’t even mussed, and the circles under my eyes from too many nights at the office had faded. I had to admit that I looked better than I had in months. I winked at myself in the mirror and opened the bathroom door.

I stumbled and scraped my knuckles on the doorjamb. The cat at my feet had long grey and black fur, and was the size of a small dog. It rolled to its back and looked up at me.

“Darius?” I said. This wasn’t right. Darius had died of leukemia, and was buried in the back yard.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Boy in Love

Image courtesy WikiCommons
Image courtesy WikiCommons

By Bettyann Moore

On the first day of kindergarten, Porpoise McAllister fell in love. That’s to be expected when a boy leaves his mother’s side for the first time, but it wasn’t his teacher, Ms. Pride, he fell for, though plenty of the other boys, and many of the girls, did. And it wasn’t little Jeannie Hesacker, the doe-eyed brunette whose pink fake fur coat hung on the peg next to his. It wasn’t even a boy-crush on Jason Moyer who towered at least a head above the other 5-year-olds and who had “Most Likely to Break Many Hearts” written all over his face.