1 02 2010

One more from my 6s account,http://sixsentences.ning.com/profile/Jared

I wondered if maybe the doorway was warped, once I replaced the heavy old cracked door with a new lighter one and it continued to swing open and closed at its convenience (or more precisely my inconvenience).

I woke one night, to hear “s” and “p” sounds cracking from below the hum of the wee-hour darkness that painted my room. I couldn’t make out the words, though the quiet conversation–or at least half of a conversation–was occurring not more than three feet from my ear.

My voice resisted for several hyperventilated attempts before it finally mustered, in a cowardly faux baritone, “Hello?”

The whisperer ceased in mid-sentence, then a drumroll of what sounded like very small feet trilled against the floor and out the doorway, the door opening itself as usual.

As my heart swung back-and-forth from chest to shoulder blade, my darker half joked, “At least I don’t need to buy another door.”


My Amber Eyed Monster

31 01 2010

(Another one from http://sixsentences.ning.com)

I didn’t want to know, but I’d kept count: thirty-four tries. The hateful amber light which should have glowed green still blinked uncooperatively as the computer refused my order to come to life.

I felt beaten and betrayed as if one of my arms had leaped from my body and slapped me before running off with my wife.

In a move born from the marriage of my stung vulnerability and inherent refusal to be dominated by a machine, I found myself standing over the disemboweled hard drive tower which was sprawled across my dinner table like a poor geek’s Frankenstein’s Monster. The caveman inside me marveled at the fragile components, crisply green and silver, exposing themselves as if a potential mate coyly revealing her flesh “accidentally” to catch my attention. I approached it with the same nervous meticulousness of a rookie lover, following step-by-preordained-step, and escaped the encounter similarly, relieved to have made it out alive and strutting like a peacock.

Ninety Degrees of Fortune

31 01 2010

This is a series of six-sentence stories (from http://sixsentences.ning.com/ — highly recommended social network for writers), more to come shortly.

Part 1: Ninety Degrees
“What’s atcha got there, lil’ fella?” Raverus asked, trying not to sound or look as anxious as he was.

The little boy turned around holding the hourglass sideways in front of his face, its fluorescent aqua inhabitant shining his glow onto the young man’s broad, toothy swoop and revealing to Raverus and the crowd that he was one of those filthy, poor, unruly miscreants from the Outerlands.

“Won’cha go on an’ give that over t’me, kid?” he said, not working nearly as hard to soften his words now.

“No, I found him!” the boy shouted, taking a step back as he shook his head and turned the hourglass vertical. The genie swirled down slowly, granting the boy’s silent wish. Raverus was angry, probably the angriest of all those in attendance, but he knew better than to insult the Emporer.

Part 2: Penance
“It’s quite a long fall, is it not Raverus?” asked the High Witch, whose chuckle-laced words might have been mistaken for frog croaks–particularly given the gangrenous forest green hue of her rotting skin–were Raverus not already familiar with the sound from previous encounters he had wished to forget.

“A boy, one of the Outerlanders, found one of the Three Genies,” he said, sliding his jaw from side to side, grinding his molars in disgust at the humbling act of imploring a Witch, no matter how “High” the reprobate may have esteemed that kind of magic.

She croaked through another slimy rattle of laughter, “They’re Inlanders now, Outlander.”

Raverus’s chest slowly inflated with an indignant sip of the squalid Outerland air as he stood at the foot of the mountain separating the two lands. “I need you to change things back before my people suffer these conditions any longer,” he hissed tempestuously, though careful not to offend her.

She faced him, her natural eyes replaced by empty sockets that peered deeper into him than their former residents would have been capable, and said slowly “Nothing has changed for me to undo.”

In the Shadows on the Lake (Clarity of Night Contest submission)

28 01 2010

It didn’t place but I got good marks and a warm reception. Too much fun.I’ve actually written a good deal more to this and will post when I’ve had time to really reread some of it.

The big man pressed on ahead, without giving notice to the shadows around us. I followed, watching the twin strips of bare earth revealed from years of curious souls on the same path.

My wingtips and suit were ruined, I saw in the lantern’s light. My companion looked as if he’d never been anything besides muddy, in his high-water boots and overalls.

“Gonna make it this time?” he snorted.

I looked at him curiously. He continued walking.

“I remember you,” he said, stepping out of my light.

I hurried to catch him. “I’ll be fine.”

“Like last time?” he sneered.

“I was very young then.” I first came after my grandfather’s funeral. We were very close, his death was difficult. He was the one who told me about this place, this man. But I was much younger, not hardened properly yet. “I’m ready for this now.”

He snorted. “Sure, fella.”

We stopped at the edge of the lake. Many years had passed, it was pitch dark around us and the foliage had grown thick. I still could’ve spotted the lake from a mile off.

He pointed at the water. More shadows. The boat was coming across, slow, unreal. Just like last time. That same damned cloaked figure in front, and in back… it was her.

“Can I talk to her?”


“Can I…”

He gave me a dirty look.

I could just watch. I knew without asking. We’d been over it before. Now, all I could do was watch.