Friday, May 30, 2014

Corncob and Michael Visit the Old Folk's Home - Part 3

Photo by Thomas Wolf via Wikimedia Commons

The linen room’s lighting was more yellow-gray than white, and the same could be said for the linens. Carts of sheets, pillow cases, and towels lined one side of the room next to a bank of washing machines built into the walls. Dryers on the adjacent wall leaked enough waste heat and humidity to make the room a bleach-scented sauna. The room’s only recommendation was its lack of staff and its location across the hallway from the medical supply room. Corncob wiped his forehead and tried to focus on the problem at hand.

“It’s one of those card reader locks, the easiest ones to fool,” he said.

“Yeah, if we weren’t trying to fight with both arms tied behind us,” Michael said. “I’m never agreeing to dampen my magic for even five minutes if we get out of this.”

“Big if. Tommy’s probably calling the cops right now.”

“Maybe he’ll figure we left on our own.” Michael tugged at the front of his t-shirt a few times, trying to coax in some cooler air.

“When did you become the optimist?” Corncob asked. Michael glared, but didn’t have any other response.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Corncob and Michael Visit the Old Folk's Home - Part 2

Photo by Thomas Wolf via Wikimedia Commons

“Get away from there. That’s very expensive stuff. Expensive,” Tommy said.

“What’s he on morphine for?” Michael asked.

“Can’t tell you.”

Michael raised a hand to his eyes, getting as far as looking between the middle and ring finger before he remembered that he couldn’t scan Tommy’s thoughts.

Tommy scowled. “That some kind of fancy way of flipping me the bird? You flipping me the bird?”

“It’s a nervous tic he has,” Corncob said. “We’re Erasmus’ nephews. Can’t you tell the family why he’s on this stuff?”

“You got a POA?”

Corncob looked at Michael, who seemed as perplexed as Corncob felt.

“No you don’t,” Tommy said. “If you did, you’d know.”

“What’s a POA?” Corncob said.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Corncob and Michael Visit the Old Folk's Home

Photo by Thomas Wolf via Wikimedia Commons

Black grease coated Corncob’s hands, forehead, and now his neck as he rubbed at a spot just below his hairline. He looked at the broken Chevy as man would a rabid dog. The car’s grille lay scattered across the trail like broken teeth, fluorescent green liquid puddled underneath the radiator. Michael sat on a stump and arched an eyebrow at his friend.

“Weren’t you a car mechanic for twenty years?” Michael said. “Can’t you fix it?”

Corncob scooped up a glob of mud and chucked it at the smaller man, who had already sensed his intention and leaned left as soon as the mud left Corncob’s fingertips.

“Maybe if I had a full shop with tools instead of being stuck out here with nothing but rocks, sticks, and a skinny moron, I could do more,” Corncob said.

“Would it help if the skinny moron gained weight?” Michael leaned to his right as another mud clod sailed past his ear. “Well now that we’ve got that out of the way, I suppose we’ll have to go on foot.”

“We should call a wrecker. I can fix this.”

“It’s a rental. We’ll leave it and let ‘em know where to pick it up.”

“You going to tell them about the deer?” Corncob asked.

“I won’t if you won’t,” Michael said.

“You were driving.”

“Me? Drive? I should hope not. The judge took away my license long ago, my friend. That’s why I reserved this car under your name.”

Corncob’s jaw worked. “Mine? But you had to show the girl behind the desk an ID.”

“I did. Yours.”

Friday, May 9, 2014

Should've Seen That Train Coming - Part II

By Bettyann Moore

Despite all the information and questions swirling in her head, Andra actually fell asleep after going just a few miles. Her dreams were peppered with images of faceless beings trying to drag her off, but every time they tried, Desiree pulled her back. She awoke when the soothing rhythm of the road noise stopped. Another potty break, Andra figured.

“Hey, sleepyhead!” Desiree said. “We’re here.”

“Here? Here where?” Andra sat up and rubbed her eyes.

“We made it all the way to Council Bluffs. I’ve stayed at this hotel before,” Desiree said, nodding at the double glass doors they were parked in front of. “I am so in need of a shower, a drink, some dinner and a bit of gambling. In that order. How ‘bout you?”

Friday, May 2, 2014

Should've Seen That Train Coming - Part I

By Bettyann Moore

Andra Lewis stood patiently at the car rental counter. All the paperwork was done; she just needed the key and she could be on her way. Her clerk, who was also the manager as it turned out, had been pulled away and was engaged in a heated discussion with another woman. Andra tried not to eavesdrop, but there was something about the woman’s voice that kept drawing her attention, a certain cadence that sounded vaguely familiar.

The woman was old, like Andra, though Andra’s daughter kept insisting that at the age of 57 she most definitely was not old. Since turning 35, Sophia didn’t like to be reminded that she had an aging mother. That’s what Andra figured anyway. And maybe she wasn’t that old. After all, here she was getting ready to drive across three states – alone – to attend her 40th class reunion, something she both dreaded and looked forward to. Andra was afraid of flying. Sophia insisted that her mother rent a car, though, and not chance driving her 1994 Toyota all that distance. It was fine for tooling around town, she said, but not all the way across the barren Nebraska landscape. Since Sophia put her money where her mouth was, Andra didn’t argue.