Friday, January 31, 2014

761. 30 ragged minutes

They sat across the table from one another.
Neither said a word.
She spoke first.
She had taken the money; all of it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

760. Up

Two oh six.
Three fourteen.
Four twenty-six.
It was going to be a long day.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

759. Freak weather

A rabbit emerged from its warren to find the ground covered in snow - a perfect winter scene.
The rabbit was brown.
The snow was fake.
They were filming a Christmas movie in August.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

758. The next big thing

The professor pulled a pocket knife from her lab coat.
With it, she cut another notch into her lab bench.
She cupped her chin in her hands and watched the shape growing in the test tube.
This next creature would succeed where the rest failed.

Monday, January 27, 2014

757. Truth serum

He was secured at the wrists and ankles.
Despite his struggles, the syringe delivered its payload into his arm.
They started asking for answers.
Then an idea struck him - he told them a truth.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

756. I'm sorry to bother you at work

There were spiders in with the fruits and veggies.
Everything that was once frozen was melting.
The tags had been ripped off every mattress and pillow.
On the manager's desk was a note: "This is only the beginning."

Saturday, January 25, 2014

755. What happened by candlelight

The sputtering candlelight gave the aura of a church.
She crept upstairs with murder on her mind.
Peering at the crude map she'd drawn, she edged down the hall.
At the last room, she nudged the door open, knife glinting in the candlelight.

Friday, January 24, 2014

754. Spice of life

Pride is an interesting thing.
It can spur people to greatness.
It can also lead them to profound stupidity.
Like these two idiots; cramming habaneros into their faces until one of them breaks.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

753. The Olde Fashioned Soda Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

It started in 1961.
The contract with the CIA was technically a memorandum of understanding.
They would add trace amounts of a special additive to each soda.
It was part of something called: Mind Control Experiment 2015.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

752. Tumbling

Her key slid in with a familiar tension.
She flicked her wrist - the same flick that had worked a thousand times before.
This time, the key snapped in her hand.
She could feel the warmth of the house through the door's tiny window.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

751. Z

It was a deep-down-in-the-bones kind of tired.
Her pulse drummed against her eyelids as she pressed both palms to her face.
It was too much.
She hadn't slept - not one minute - since 1984.

Monday, January 20, 2014

750. State

One day it wasn't there. 
Then one day, it was.
A new island had risen off the coast of New Jersey.
The lead man on the lead dinghy was holding the Stars and Stripes to plant in the sand.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

749. Flames of rebellion

The safest spot was down by the south end of the gymnasium.
Teachers never checked there.
One by one, they drifted back behind the dumpsters.
They smoked stolen cigarettes lit with wooden matches.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

748. Asymmetry

The bathroom is freezing and smells of shit immemorial.
But, it is a place for hiding - and for hoping.
He still has little expectation of either.
In another life, he is in church bathed in the warm glow of the Father's love.

Friday, January 17, 2014

747. Selenography

The sound systems were identical - down to the angle of the speakers.
Instructions had been downloaded from the Internet and meticulously annotated.
Dark Side of the Moon was cued up.
As the first notes played, they synced perfectly with the other copy of Dark Side of the Moon.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

746. There is a book

There is a book that is different for every person who reads it.
Each person's story is an adventure unto itself.
Except for one woman.
For her, the book is empty.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

745. Something in the air

For the first time in a long time, there were birds in the sky.
They were just there, wheeling from thermal to thermal.
There were birds in the sky again.
And that was sort of a hopeful thing.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

744. Vice

Professor Simon was writing a book on the history of smoking.
It was to be the most exhaustive study ever carried out.
She visited even the most obscure of libraries.
Unbeknownst to her, the affluent thief was always one step ahead.

Monday, January 13, 2014

743. Mittens The Harbinger

The cat was yowling incessantly but no one was listening.
It was a warning.
The space creatures were coming.
What stupid, stupid humans.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

742. Joints

The pain in his hand was worse today.
It didn't used to be like this.
He was stronger once.
We're all just tin men, rusting apart at the seams.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

741. Of note

It came from the thrift store on Main Street.
The jacket was well worn with thick sheep's wool for lining.
A faint hint of old smoke clung to it - perhaps from a pipe.
Every single pocket was stuffed with handwritten notes.

Friday, January 10, 2014

740. Really good at math

There were thirty-seven simple variables.
Those variables were the key to unlocking the wormhole at the edge of our solar system.
That discovery changed everything.
It was made by a twelve-year-old girl named Susan.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

739. In Ink

His back told the story of four years in a prison in Beirut.
The length of both arms - from shoulder to fingertip - hid scars from a lifetime of battles.
His left leg was a catalog of souls lost and remembered.
There was a bare spot above his navel that he was saving for his final adventure.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

738. Jingle Jangle

"Jingle jangle," the old woman would cackle as she shook a battered leather pouch full of rat bones and  coins.
Night after night, she'd slink through the city in service of a sinister purpose.
She was the final piece in a plot a thousand years old.
The only person who could stop her wouldn't be born for another hundred years.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

737. Buy one, get one

The card was battered from a month in his wallet.
Ordinarily, he'd have thrown it out, but his local coffee shop was offering a promotion.
He was going to get his money's worth.
With the purchase of a mere sixteen thousand and eighty medium lattes, he'd be the proud owner of a stingray farm (stingrays included).

Monday, January 6, 2014

736. This is Denver

Welcome to Denver.
We grow fruit - oranges and melons of every sort.
People skied here once, but not anymore.
This is Denver. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

735. Music in the walls

Normally, the company of the television would have drowned it out.
But, on this particular morning, I was up early reading.
The crinkly music sounded like something from a music box.
My elderly neighbour was listening to old sadness or old joy - maybe both at her age.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

734. The 31 names for God

He drew the ancient shape of the covenant in the dirt.
Taking ash from the fire, he traced lines of protection on his body.
There were many foes set against him but he was strong with the Lord.
He picked up his war hammer and faced the darkness.

Friday, January 3, 2014

733. The Second Coming of Matthew Lazarus

Life crept back to him slowly.
Then, it came all at once.
The Eternal Stakeholders weren't ready to let him rest - not yet.
He was back and he had work to do.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

732. 6 X 6

By the time they realized their mistake, it was too late.
Even as a dozen shovels bit into the dirt, they knew.
Six feet down, they found the stone-cold body of a six-foot woman.
The inside of the pine coffin was ragged with scratches.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

731. Wet wool

The new snow crunched underneath her boots as she walked toward the lake.
Her father's rifle banged against her shoulder with each step.
At the lakeshore, she stopped and breathed moist, warm air through her mitten.
She scanned the sky, hoping for the season's last geese.