Monday, March 23, 2015

Swap

"Nah man, you just don't understand and you are just going to hate it when you do."
Jesson leaned over the cool metal table so his eyes met the eyes of Mason Flores. "I''m going to ask again," he said making sure his breath, heavy with the smell of old coffee, filled the wrinkly gray bearded face in front of him. 
The eyes, so pale blue they looked gray, just turned up on the sides. Jesson pulled back to take in the whole face. Mason blinked as he adjusted to the new distance of his interrogator, then returned to the up turned smile. Those eyes matched the nearly flawless smile. A face that would have looked fatherly and kind but was ruined, turned dark by the pale skin mottled with pink splotches and blue veins.
"Where is Doogan?" Jesson asked.
"Man, I've told you Doogan is dead. I didn't do it. You could ask Deely but after torturing him you just let him die." 
There was something knowing in the way this creep spoke. Jesson believed fully that Flores was telling the truth, but only part of it. He wanted Jessen to figure it out. 
"You know I'm telling the truth. At least as much truth as these gray walls tell of safety” Mason's smile widened. "Take some time I can leave when I want. For now it suites me to remain. I like the way you struggle to see what’s in front of you the whole time."
"Your boy, Deely, he said the same thing. He told me to his dying breath that we didn't have a hold on him."
Mason Flores just laughed.
"Fine, stay here I'll be back."
"You lost him?" The deep voice of Tanner Tate sounded as the door clicked.
"Lost? I never had him." Jesson said.
“That good?" asked Tate.
They began to wonder down a hall colored a lighter gray than the room Jessen had just left. Their shoes beating out a rhythm. A tip tap, tip tap. It sounded to Jessen like a heartbeat. 
"No, maybe, but not now. He knows something and wants us to put it together. ourselves."
"Why are you letting him play with you?"
"I'm not, he's omitting something but never lieing."
"He's not? I believe I heard him say we killed Doogan."
"We must have. Doogan's devices bordered on magic. How do we know he didn't teleport with a fly or something."
"Funny Jessen, We don't need sci-fi. We just need plain sci. Doogan's sci."
"I'm working on it. Did you know anything about Deely?"
"D-block, executed for killing three officers."
"Who knew about that?"
"You, me, Prescot, and the three dead men."
"And apparently Flores."
"How did you get that?"
"He knew that Deely was tortured."
Tate stopped. He looked at Jessen his eyes cold. "We don't torture."
"Yes." Jessen knew not to fight it. He knew that many of those interrogated saw it as torture. He didn't like that his boss thought there was a difference.
Tate turned back the way they came and waved for Jessen to follow. At a door like many others they crossed into a white room. Red lines ran along the walls about two feet from the top and two feet from the bottom. 
"Do you know anything about Doogan's work?"
"He invented the Vibe Phone."
"Well." Tate paused shook his head. "Anything else, like his primary theory?" Jessen shook his head, "Nevermind. Over the last ten years, he became convinced in the human soul."
Jessen just looked at Tate, a smile ready for the brain to understand the joke. 
"Ah, I see." Tate continued. "Doogan began to do some creepy stuff with the human condition. The weapons he made were beyond fantastic."
Jessen didn't see how a weapon could be fantastic.
"He created a death ray. An actual true to Sci death ray. It caused death, in humans. …and cats."
"Sir, I'm not sure what this has to do with Flores or Deely?"
"Doogan's death ray, in layman's terms removed the soul from the body."
"I'm sorry sir but this sounds more like science fiction. Unless."
They raced back to the room. The mottled man looked big eyed and nearly started laughing. "I see you're starting to get it."
"Doogan, where is your tech?" Tate was insistant.
"Ha!" The man was almost crying he was so enjoying himself. "You're only have there."
"You're not doogan." Jessen said. "You're not Mason Flores either, are you."
"Ding Ding. Tate, this one needs a promotion."
"Who then damn it."
"When you jump, the body can reject you. Like a transplant. It's slower, painful."
"Who are you!" Tate demanded.
"Mason, who were you?"
The man just looked at him, a sadness melting into his face. 
"Deely." Jessen whispered. "You were kicked out."
"You can still feel your body. You know what is happening to it."
"Do you know where Doogan is?" Tate asked, still angry.
The man looked through Tate.
"He was telling the truth. We killed him."
"He could just jump out. isn't that it?"
"No, A body needs a soul. Loves it craves it. Doogan's machine was able to convince the body that it had two souls. The conscious one, you, can then jump out. ride another body. The body only needs one."
The man looked at his interrogators. "One soul. it won't let go. My body wasn't in the machine. I was the test pilot. I could almost leave my own body. I was getting sick. energies and explanations I won't go into. He was my mentor but he was becoming a mad scientist. The mob wanted this tech. Doogan was going to sell it to them. I couldn't let that happen. 
I’d jumped so many times I knew how even toss out an old soul. I still needed a machine. The prototype still worked. I left my body and found my way to the transaction. I wrecked the truck it was shipping in. Most people are so distracted from their bodies they don’t know when something’s not right. It’s easy to take over. 
Doogan found out and removed my body from the machine. I felt it. I felt the body dying. 
I tried to get back but he jumped into it. His body was gone too. He'd removed it from the machine. An empty, living body, it needs a soul. 
Mason was robbing a convenience store, I was loosing it, drifting. I needed a body. I took his and got caught. That’s when I felt my body and the pain. You people suck.
“Do you expect me to believe this shit?” Tate said.
“When your body stopped so did Doogan?”
Mason/Deely shook his head. “Thanks for confirming. This guy is nearly dead and I need to go.” He turned to face tate. “Tate, I was just a kid trapped in a world that wouldn’t let him leave. Some of the things you did, the ones I could understand, To hell with you.” He yawned and collapsed
Tate yawned. “Damn I hate that yawn effect. Come Jessen”
Jessen jolted, looked at the body and turned to follow. “He’s dead.”
“Probably. Let’s get out of here. We still have a body to find.”
Jessen nodded, after all that they still needed to find Doogan’s body. “I’m sure it’ll keep until after lunch.”
Tate just looked at Jessen, “You get’n callous Jessen?”
Talking quietly but loud enough for Tate to hear, “I’d prefer not to answer.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Smile and a Chin

Brian, 46 a little to fat to be called heavy, but not so fat as to be called fat, unless of course you're Gay in Denver, or any other city. He didn't like clubs but it was time to get over it. Time to finally do the thing he'd been running from for almost 20 years. He was going to get shit faced.
He knew he'd be sick for days, knew that it could do some irreversible damage but learned that it wasn't going to be much worse than all the bread and sugar he ate. Tonight however he was going to push the edge of what he wanted to do. He was going to get drunk. 
Life didn't matter. What does a life mean if you can't succeed at anything? And when you are one of the non succeeding you find someone to laugh at the bleak existence you've created for yourself. And don't ever fool yourself into thinking it's not you're choices that put you there. You don't always know what you're choosing but you are. Brian chose poorly. So here he was alone, at a bar with no wingman nor a wingman to none. No hag — is that even an accepted term anymore? — and looking around no acquaintances to whom he’d be friendly. 
He drove to this bar because ten years ago it was his last hope when the friend he called his best friend responded with "Why would I go there. There's nothing for me there." to Brian's question of "Will you go with me?" He went alone that night too. He called several people, everyone was "busy" doing, he found out later, things like staying home and watching TV.
Like normal he didn't know what to do. Mostly people spend way too much money on beverages that quenched common sense rather than thirst and talk catty to and about one another. While never actually going up to a boy they were interested in. And yet somehow hooking up with so many. 
He parked, took in a deep breath and after turning off the car sat and played with the emergency break. Just holding it up and pushing the button. He could hear a hundred voices telling him he didn’t have to do this, but they were wrong. It was time to accept it was over. He was doomed to struggle through life failing at everything he did and never being with anyone who just liked him. Liked him, capital L perhaps even loved him. Thought he was worth the time because Brian was Brian. Not because Brian made them feel good, hopefully true, not because Brian was something to be put on a pedistal, but because Brian was… Brian. 
A couple of jock types crossed and made some rude comment, he remembered the years of trying to just be friends with some of these guys. Not tight but a hike. He wasn’t good at sports or anything athletic. So they never invited him. He’d watch. All he needed was for a smile and a chin. That little gesture guys do when they wave by quickly pointing the chin. It say’s “you”. 
And that’s the problem. He didn’t fit. Anywhere. His people were D&D, LARPing, MTG players. He didn’t like them. He didn’t masturbate to the TARDIS, he could tell you what it meant but didn’t accept that it made sense. Brian believed he was different than those ‘__ers, ‘__ees, and ‘__vians who drooled offensively on content of others living their dreams. 
His inward spiral broke when someone placed an empty beer can, a primer for the bar he guessed, on his car. He got out and said “excuse me, can you remove that?”
The skinny, already drunk, if not high, queen turned and said, “Fuck you bitch. It isn’t gonna hurt your shitty car.”
“yeah, well it’s my car.” 
The tight shirt, chestless, latina with his makeup, french tips and four inch platforms turned to the queen and said “girl he’s a looser, and this bitch needs a cosmo”
Brian lifted the can and tossed it at them. They laughed because he missed. He wiped his hands on his pants locked the door and followed, at a distance, the uber flames, those whom he hated the most about clubs, Into the bar.
He walked in, the bouncer asked for his I.D. which he politely handed over. With a swipe of the card through a machine, not even looking at the read out, he handed the I.D. back to Brian and let him pass.
Nothing had really changed. The boys were younger the, music louder, but it was just him. Further evidenced by the fact that the same men danced in their underwear, a newer model but still over cute and looking like they hated the world. The same Bears in their clicks and sub genres. He never did figure out all the names, but there were the biker bears who were so light in the lofers as to be twinks with bulk and beards. The burly bears, the muscle bears, silver bears and of course the chubs. 
He did a round. Same Tom of Findland posters. Same back bar with smoking on the deck. The public trough/urinal was still there. Men with the bigger penises the only ones not afraid to use it. They took the benches down. Too many blow jobs he guessed. The disco room was updated but still several years behind in house music. Then back to the main room with the big bar. 
Brian started to head to the pool tables, but he was already feeling overwhelmed and needed to get his drunk on. He recognized the bar tender. A friend of a friend’s boyfriend or some such he’d met at several parties. He turned and smiled, held up a finger, finished with a customer and came over
“Hey Tom.” Brian said, giving his best chin. was that bad chin work?
Tom looked a bit off balance for just a blink. He didn’t recognize Brian, nor did Brian expect him to. Still it would have been nice.
“Beer?”
“No, I’ll have a Madori sour.”
A blink, a slight turn of the head then a smile. “Right up.”
Eight dollars, with the two dollar (and he was being cheap) tip and he had his favorite drink to whet the palate. 
He continued to watch through his third drink. Switched to Long Islands because they were cheaper. More alcohol and cheaper. So he sat there and drank all the time knowing people saw him. Knowing they judged him. These fags were just like any breeder, superior acting to hide that they too were scared and confused. 
He would try to interact but somehow he turned people off. He didn’t know how but he did. He tried to become aware of what he was doing as he did it but over time just gained a new level of neuraticism making his repulsive nature even more powerful. In his mind he saw the pointing and the laughing. 
A tear fell before he even knew it was forming. He was out of Tea. It had only been an hour. “Tom!” He said a bit loud. “Wow that was loud. I’m talking loud.” 
Tom came over. “You okay?”
“No, I suck.” He looked at his phone. “Shit I’ve been her barley 90 minutes. 87 to be exact.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out his keys. “I can’t drive but I need more tea.” He put the keys on the bar. 
“I can’t take those, but I can call a cab.”
“Can’t afford a cab. But I can afford another Tea.”
He didn’t drink this one so fast. 
An hour passed the room was spinning a little and he needed the bathroom. So he stumbled to the trough and dug out his micro wonder and peed. Let them know he was not what they were looking for. Fuck them.
Back to the bar, he’d pissed off three people by running into them. “I’m drunk. It’s been 27 years. Whew.”
By some fluke his seat was open. Tom wasn’t there. The angry one sold him another drink. A nice looking guy in a ball cap sat next to him. “Having a rough time?”
“Nope?”
“Looks like you’ve been crying.” 
“Just sad is all. And fuck them. I’m here to get shit faced and leave all of this.”
“The bar scean?”
“No…” He sipped and a tear fell out of his left eye. He wiped it, “sorry. No man Gay shit.”
“Really?”
“You’re smiling. You got it all wrong. I’m gay. You gay?”
“Yes.”
“Good, you’re cute, but I’m drunk so Quasimodo would look good. Not that your ugly, my perception is just hindered. Why am I talking weird?”
The guy just laughed.
“Any way I’m tired of wanting this.” he wave to the room. ‘I know.” he paused and looked at the men laughing and dancing. “I know I’ll always want it but this.” he pointed to the glass. “This will remind me that I’m UGLY.”
“What?”
“No, no, Really. Listen. I’m ugly. Not old lady with cats ugly but people don’t like me.” Tears started to fall. 
“I just wanted to have someone to be friends with. A buddy. Sure I want sex. I always want sex, but that’s not all there is. I wanted a friend who would be brave for me and I’d be brave for him.” A voice somewhere deep inside was telling him to stop but Tea was in charge and he went on. 
“I wanted a best friend, hell I’d be Sancho, I didn’t care as long as I could be his Don qui-whatever.”
“I’d love a lover but I can’t even get past ‘see you at the next party where we don’t have to actually connect. You’re funny and beyond that go away.”
Brian didn’t even see the guy anymore. he knew he was there but he was lost in his words. His tears dried and he spoke the pain. Pausing only to offer him a drink every few minutes.
Brian put his drink down and looked at its contents. To Dave he said, "This glass seems full but what is in it isn't what we want in it. Most of what is here is water cleverly held at bay by a lack of love. And water’s the good stuff”
The man looked and smiled, something that disrupted Brian's maligned thinking.
"I don't drink you know. I told the, thingy person." he pointed at the bartender, "To hold my keys. Thanks for listening to me. I'm sorry for being so sad."
The man took off his cap and just smiled and waved to the tender and got Brian's keys from him. "The car will be safe till morning?"
It was Tom. A cap, maybe there was something to Clark Kent after all.
Tom helped Brian up and coaxed him to his car. 
"This your car?" Brian asked. "S'nice." His unsteady feet didn't quite agree on how to circumnavigate but he made it around the beige Juke. "I want one.”
“I’m taking you to my apartment. You need someone around just in case.”
“Thank you. I don’t drink. I just wanted to say good bye. Move to boulder and some how get my heart to accept love isn’t in the cards.”
“I don’t think you’re ugly. I’ve liked you for years.”
“You remember me?”
“Yes. You talked to me one night. Made me think. I’ve been in art classes. Slow going, but I felt seen by you.”
“I get that a lot.”
“I think it scares people.”
“Being noticed?”
“Come on you and me a breakfast date?”
“I’m gonna throw up.” Brian jumped out at the next stop and did exactly that.
“I have a tooth brush.” Tom said when Brian got back in.
“I don’t get it. I’m drunk and not that has ever stopped me but here goes the scare people off stuff. If we like eachother after the first date and I’m sober I’ll be scared and…”
“Stop. I’ll stop you when you need to stop, how’s that. Other wise your candor is a wonderful break from, what did you call it the GayGay?”
“Oh man I’m so gonna regret all of this in the morning. I was a mess wasn’t I?”
“Well yeah. I trust it though. Can’t say why, but I’ve always trusted you.”
“Okay then when the world stops spinning we’ll have brunch.”
Tom didn’t say anything so Brian looked at him. Tom just smiled and gave him an amazing chin.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Our First Fight:SCU

Teri and I decided to head over to the art district of Morshon Peak, the High City built on the place of the War of Morshon Lutrice. We weren't given license to practice the art out of campus or the campus town so if Teri were to convert which sometimes happened, she could be arrested and then a night of convincing the authorities would commence. So she wore her protection. It made her sick and couldn't drink but she wanted to see Zinshun's dynamic art. 

We had to arrive seprately, and she showed up in a form fitting dress that did things with her breasts that made me jelous. She walked up to me with exposed shoulders and a smile that out made me melt. The lights1 around the cafe seemed to dim. 
She came to me and kissed me on the cheek. 
"Um." I said. "Wow." I said. 
She turned around giving me a full taste of her filling out the front back and sides of a dress determining in vain to expose any flaw. 
"Did they wrap that on? Who do I thank?"
"Shut up." She hit me with a small clutch. "Help me put this on" She unfolded a piece of cloth that had very subtle straps sewn into it. A wrap covering the socially offending shoulders but worn like sort of like a jacket. Thank you, and she kissed me and slapped a wrist band on me. I could feel all labido leaving my body. 
"You give off a lot of energy, I didn't bring enough for drag face, besides I always have to shave right away." More to herself she added, "how does one appear with a day's growth already."
"It's hot. That's how." We turned tward the deep lilting voice to see Joseph White in all her fantastic glamour. "Ladies, how are my little sparrows?" 
"Seph, how have you been." Terry jumped up to hug our intruder. "You look fantastic."
"Of course I do darling. I see our Prince Valiant is looking underdressed." She said.
"I didn't know it was to be a Coat and Tie affare." I said truthfully.
"That's okay, you're so cute no one will take offence." She kissed me and turned back to Terri. "Speaking of hot, why isn't lovely Mr. Terry here? With this one I'd think we'd never be bless with this fantastic body." She indicated Terri's body.
She held up her wrist with the protective band. "I wanted to give my man here a night of pure hetero indulgence"
"That is just fantastic." Joseph leaned into me. You are one lucky dog. All the joys of both sides" and walked off.
"I hope he's okay," I said when she was flirting with her next sparrow.
Terri turned to look, "Why."
"Didn't you feel the stubble?"
"yeah, but I thought it might be me." I saw relief and concern in her eye. "Let's go inside."
I led her in and immediately felt out of place. I'd had decided on my nicest button shirt and new Jeans. I even polished my shoes. None of it even got close to the couture of those in attendence. Teri led me to a magicians table, she handed him tickets to which he pulled off the stub portion and handed the other halves and two pairs of glasses back to here. She put a bill down and leading me to the bar handed me on pair of specticles.
"What was that?" I asked inspecting the glasses.
"We need the glasses. Only those on the list get to see the main exhibit."
I looked at the walls covered with paintings and sculptures ranging from amazing all the way to pretenious. "These aren't the exhibit?" The ones I could see had the calligraphic Z and scribble that indicated it as Zinshun's work.
"This is all old work" She handed me the tickets and waved to get the attention of the bartender.
I looked at the tickets and choked on my spit. "Three hundred?" I said a bit louder than I expected. She turned to me a drink in one hand. "Each." I said a little quieter.
She profered the glass. "What of it?" She smiled.
"I don't…" words just got stuck in my mouth. "I can't…"
"Can't what?" She seemed to be challenging. It was times like this I needed a dude and my current best friend was hiding somewhere behind the two most perfect breasts on the planet. I knew I shouldn't get so involved in Terry's friendship.
"It just cost so much, for art. Can you afford this. I'll pay you back I promise."
"I don't need your money."
"It's just…" I staired at the Three zero zero
"Just take your drink." She practically threw it at me.
We walked around looking at some of the most intense images I'd ever seen. There were Moltens (pictures painted with metal made liquid at just above room temprature) and Photo realistics and pure abstracts. I'd done something but wasn't quite sure what and when I brought it up she coldly but politely changed the subject.
Finally I saw Joseph White. 
"So you think he's doing okay."
"Seph will be fine."
"Look I'm sorry if I embarassed you. I'm guessing it's about the cost of the ticket. Is it?"
She didn't look at me she just staired forward at the painting. "Look at this one." She said.
I did, it made my eyes water. I could tell it wasn't an abstract but I just couldn't figure it out. Every time I thought I was capturing the image, figuring it out, my focus was forced to the other side of the painting. We stood there for a long time until I started getting dizzy. I hoped using some grounding practice would help so I began a open Zoan. Terri smacked me.
"What are you doing?" she hissed
"I just wanted to clear my head.” 
“Stop it your fake field shows.”
That hurt. We don’t talk much about it. I can do most things naturals can. I’m even as strong as most. It does take me a bit longer to build a field but even in a crisis I can cast, and incant like a natural. We know that anyone should be able to take on magics. Till now Terri didn’t ever bring up my handycap. 
It’s not. A handycap that is. It’s a minor disability. I never knew it was on her mind. She is right I do have a glow that can’t be hidden, but fake field?
I started to protest but Joseph White leaped on to the stage and began. “Well.” She said dabbing her head with an orange cloth that perfectly clashed with her purple dress. “Isn’t this a special night. So many fine faces.” She presented herself with open arms. “And so much money.” The crowd laughed.
“Okay,” I said to Terri under my breath. “Now I know something is wrong with him.”
She noticed my slipped pronoun. “What’s wrong with him then?”
I was too hurt by the “Fake” comment. I’d almost lost my scholarship, that first year. I had to fight to get a release from enchantment. I couldn’t be an artificer it didn’t work for me.”
“Joseph, never sweats. Joseph is positivly dripping now. Look at his…”
“Her.”
“Fine, HER dress.”
“You are just being a jerk.”
I just stood there. I began to wish for Terry, I even snuck off my bracelett. Terry seemed to understand when I was confused. He didn’t hold things like this against me. I know I and Y are the same person but there are subtle and not so subtle personality shifts too. 
“A jerk, I don’t remember attacking your condition.”
“Would you have accepted the ticket if I had my dick?”
“Oh please, is that what this is about?”
Over the susurrous of our argument we heard. “Because I know I came here to see some magnificent work of a man who knows how to turn this crank, I’m guessing some of us came here to make it about them?”
The crowd gathered had turned to watch us. 
Terri didn’t growl at me. I know she didn’t but the look she gave sounded like a growl. 
“No?” Joseph asked us. “too shy to perform anymore?”
My face was very hot and every scolding I’d ever gotten started to echo in my head. I smiled and let out a small laugh and put my arm on Terri’s shoulder. She jerked herself out of my arm and stepped forward.
The Tosser half back in drag continued his rather impressive introduction and then lowered the main attraction. Eight disks of marble settled to the ground. With a flourish he put his sparkly glasses on and told us to do the same.
On the marble platforms stood in a material so fine, so delicate, were eight statues. The glasses let us see the pieces in how the light was changed as it passed through the figures themselves.
I recognized one. It somehow captured the essence of my Terries. Both I and Y. The statue seemed both male and female. An expert telling, if you will, of the person who right now was so pissed at me that I feared physical harm.
“I’m sorry to inturrupt but can you step back. Your Szu is interfering with the statues.” Joseph seemed very sorry for having to ask and he took a small piece of the stable Szu and had others wave their hands through it. One was a master Mage, a professor from the college. Then me. It sparked and flashed in visible light. When I pulled back there was a piece missing.
Twice, in one night? 
It was amazing to look at though. 
I found Terri and she said she was going home.
I tried to go after her but she refused and left. I went back in and sat at a safe distance and looked at the statues. They were pleasant and eerie and so detailed. The one of Terri flooded my vision every time I looked at it. Maybe this is why she bought those tickets.
“So what do you think?” All drag persona gone.
“I love them, of course I’m taken by ‘Cerberus’ Folly’.”
“Yeah,” he said with a sigh. “You are a very lucky man.”
Then it made sense. 
“Did you give her the tickets?”
“I have no idea what you are talking about. This is a charity event.” Before my eyes he mentally put the dress on and she ended up flitting away to scandalize another potential buyer. 
“Hey, why Cerberus?”
She turned and said, “Why? Honey they may not be visible all the time but that magnificent human being has three heads.”
I stayed until I realized I was watching the door more than the pieces of art.
  1. The synthetic Loshin venom used to create these shone much brighter than the old natural kind. Milking the beast was very traumatic for the thing and LU was instrumental in finding a synthetic that would work as well. Potions masters and Artificers were pissed. They believed they could make a light source that would end the need to harm creatures but it turned out to be the Sciences. They created a liquid that absorbed light then would vibrate at a frequency that somehow caused the synthetic venom mix to glow. I don't know how but I find it facinating 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Shushing of the Wollap

Once upon a time there was a very special Pudding Wollap. She was special because she was the softest fluffiest Pudding Wollap in all of ChewChew Grove. Her name was Wuvwee and her pink fur on her round pink head and round body was the envy of all the land. She even triied to un cute by putting the most adorable lime creen bow in her hair. It was sooo cute. 

One day while skipping through the Tralala Forest little Wuvwee happened upon the shiniest most sparkly of all plants. It was a Kittle Blossom. Which if you know your ChewChew plant lore you know how silly of a name that is because it isn’t even a blossom. That’s right it’s a fungus, a mushroom.
This one was a deep happy blue with extra shiny pink spots. Little Wuvwee crouched to look at the special little plant and giggled. She decided to pick the plant and show it to all her friends. Pookiepie and Happyshines would scream the best. Pookiepie would most definitely do her wigglely dance. She carefully picked it and nearly crushed it in her very large very soft hands. 
Officer Tickleshine, slim and smooth with no fur special or not, saw Little Wuvwee with her very special plant. Tickleshine was a little upset. She was sad because the pink and pretty Pudding Wollap with the brilliant green eyes and special happy smile coudn’t wait for the plant to melt. And it did.
Wuvwee slowly stopped skipping and then the world began to dance. She could her the trees talking. They were so happy being trees and standing in the sun and giving people shade. 
This very special Pudding Wollap woke up to the singing. She was in a hole in the ground somewhere. Then she saw a thin green shiny Wollap. She had patches of soft fur stuck to her furless form. She saw a very thin and shiny Pudding Wollap with soft brightly colored fur stuck there her body. Wuvwee looked down for the first time. Grey furless Puddings lay there. A basket lowered and Wuvwee was instructed to put the conditioner in the basket.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Preston

Is hope something you misplace or is it something that gets consumed. Is it like an overworked organ that eventually gives out. Could it be something like a reservoir that once drained takes time to refill. Can someone who's hope has gone get hope back. Preston Reginald Craig had lost his. He didn't know what happened to it. 
Until his mid thirties he'd always had hope. When life did something he couldn't quite navigate without getting smashed against the rocks hope always seemed to patch him up and let him sail on. 
Now he seemed to be aground. Wrecked really. Slowly taking on water and didn't have a bucket. Sometimes, those rare good days it felt like he was just becalmed and hope was wind that just didn't blow today. Those were the good days. 
Preston wanted other. He'd ended up in this dead water slowly running through his supplies and had no hope he'd get out. A lagoon called "a job" with no way of growing. Money always tight and getting tighter and after all this no one in his life to laugh with. 
With all this Preston knew he was in a blessed position. Every day he heard of people starving, dying of disease, crippled in accidents. And reinforced by those ass holes who shamed with terms like "First world Problems". So he knew that looking at the guy in the coffee shop who was working diligently on his whatever and nearly seething with envy was silly. But he still wanted.
He got up yesterday and did all the same boring and time pressing crap he had to do. At the same time listened to the last of six days worth of Sandersen novel. He knew he shouldn't the noise ditracted him a little too much at times. When he needed to file or sort he should turn it off but most of his job didn't require that part of his brain. So he could just drift in the land of Sandersen's Spryn (Sprin? Audio didn't give spelling) or Butcher's Wizard Detective. And he fretted about what he should do for lunch. What would best serve him?
He talked sports with the guys who actually cared about such stupid stuff. How could so many people not see how they were being played? He wanted it though. That insecurity that led to an odd certenty. He even bought two squares in some give money and play some sort of Bingo game. 
It left him even more empty to try.
Why does it matter to be more like those he didn't understand. Hope might help him with the aswer but he knew that he didn't have the woody-woo-woo or whatever to make real frieds. 
He did it because it was a salve. A tiny thing that for moments allowed him to be in the other of things. 
The day was almost over and out the window he saw a sad… thing. It was about four feet less because of the hunch, it's baggy clothes looked like they were made of blanket. It walked through the bushes picking up wrappers and licking them. 
Preston had eaten half of his 6" meatball, — food the only time joy broke through the cloud that hope used to burn off — and realized that he could do without the tiny bit of joy today. He cut the bite bits off wrapped it up and walked out.
The thing was nearly invisible in the bushes. He almost gave up looking for it/him…/it. He found the thing licking an old soda can. The guys on the third floor were pretty persistant in not using the trashcan.
"Excuse me, but are you hungry?” 
The look. Preston didn't like this look. It was a look of bitter condescension. How dare he seek to help the thing. there was shame. Shame in sharing his sandwich.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend.”
The thing nearly leaped at the sandwich and ran back into the bushes. There were sounds. Very uncomfortable sounds. The half sandwich Preston had eaten wanted to make a reappearance. 
thing dressed in clothes — a robe Preston could now see — that looked like they were made from a blanket, came from behind the bushes. A little less hunched and licking a hole in the paper.
Apparently it had forgotten about how it had come in to such wealth, because it looked surprised to see Preston standing there. It looked at him. Grayish skin like a rhinoceros, thick looking and speckled with thick grey hairs. It’s eyes were big and it’s nose and lips merged like a soft beak. It blinked twice then held out the hand with out the wrapper. 
“Sorry I don’t have anything else.” Preston said. 
The thing thrust its out reached hand further. 
Preston shook his head and held his hands palm out. “Sorry, no more.”
The thing crushed the paper in its left hand and let out a “humph”.
Preston was a bit taken aback by the “humph”. “I can give you money.” he said and pulled out some bills from his pocket. He had a one and two fives. One can’t buy anything but five can get enough to fill you at a fast food place. He separated a five and handed it to the thing.
It practically ripped it, it pulled it from his hand so fast. It looked at it confused for a moment, sniffed it and wrinkled its face before letting the bill go. 
Preston quickly grabbed bill and said, “No you buy food with it.” Maybe it was more animal. It seemed smart enough.
It grabbed the bill again and took off.
Last week it was a floaty green-blue thing that, as best as he could figure, wanted to give him a blow-job. That didn’t happen. 
Preston watched the grey thing zoom around the corner and just shook his head. He went back to the office and found a book in his library he hadn’t listened to for a long time and settled in to his routine. A little after, Johansen walked in to tell everyone about his new all-wheel hybrid sport utility and Winchell went on about his child’s first joke. 
Preston Reginald Craig got off work, sad. He didn’t have much. Money was always tight. Johansen’s wife pulled in almost twice what he did and they did all sorts of neat things. His check was for fun. Granted his old car was rear ended but this was an brand new vehicle. Winchell always complained about his doting wife and excitingly normal children. Their lives just seemed to good. He worked at a place that bored him to tears but what else could he do?

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Best Love Never Had

Wendy called again. This was the third time she called this week. How. Just how did he ever get so lucky. This girl was so sweet. She liked Wharhammer, roll playing and even Larped on occasion. And with her pictures, she assured him were recent, she was the best thing that could ever have happened to him.

He finally found a dating sight that seemed to have people really wanting to commit. Wendy was, as she put it ready to find her knight. Bob waited till the third ring and answered.

“Bobby.”

“Hey you. I can’t talk long, I’ll need to go in to the office in a few but I wanted to see how my hobbit was doing?” hearing the voice on the other end was like drinking cool liquid. He almost missed the Hobbit remark. He knew he was short but he never got as mad with her.

“You know up to the cool comforts of home. It’s been snowing for three days straight.”

“Three, you are so lucky. They say it’s going to snow here but unlike Colorado the snow here is just rain that gave up on love.”

“Ouch.”

“Right?”

They talked for twenty minutes when she realized she was late and said she had to go. Bob went outside to enjoy the dry fluffy snow for the both of them.

The snowy March melted into a week of April rain. He called her and she called him. Skype was out of the question. She didn’t have a decent connection and didn’t want to use her company computer for personal work.

Bob put together a playlist for her, wrote her poems and she would write him fantastic stories and leave him singing messages on his answering machine. Her near encyclopedic memory of old cartoons and 80’s television made spending time with her more fun than he had with anyone.

Two days before she was supposed to come home from Tokyo, they decided to ship her to Nagahama. A smallish town that housed one of her companies bigger clients. It’d be another two weeks. 

Then she had to go to New Zealand. She’d send pictures. She was horrible at taking them. The lens was dirty or motion blurred. But always pictures of where she was at. 

He went to work one day and Stella, his manager, called him into her office.

“Yes, boss?”

“Don’t call me that.” She said.
“Sorry.”

“Jeff tells me you’re in a relationship?”

“Yeah, she’s great.” He slipped out his phone and showed Stella a picture.

“A cutie.”

“I can’t wait to meet her.”

“So you haven’t met in person?”

“No her work keeps sending all over the world.”

“What does she do?”

“She works for a tech firm she trains and coaches people on their product.”

“Impressive.”

“I know I thought too good to be true, but her Japanese is wonderful and clunky.”

“You speak Japanese?”

“No, I watch a fair amount of anime.”

“Ah.” She paused and put a pen she was playing with, down and looked right at him. “I’ve had a few of your coworkers tell me they’re worried for you.”

“That’s nice but I know she might be a sharlitain, but it’s been three months and she hasn’t asked for money.”

And she hadn’t until she lost her plain ticket and was too embarrassed to tell the company. She needed to be with her direct superior it was going to be 5thousand.

He almost did. But they’d never met and never even skyped. 

The heat of summer dropped into a blizzard jumped up to the 80’s then sub zero and winter arrived. It was snowing. As time passed his attempts to get in touch with her slowly spread out and then stopped. But today the start of the third day of snow he made a valiant trek to the market to get a blue rose like the ones she would send him.  Made it home made a romantic dinner. Set the table for two, went to his Spotify account and pulled up the play list he sent her and sat down to a nice dinner. 


She’d been false the whole time. He in his late thirties had never had a serious relationship and no one made him feel that way. He wasn’t mad. Dissapointed sure but not mad. She’d given him something that he’d always treasure. He fell in love. So hard it took two months to stop crying. But today he knew that the feelings he had with her were real. Falsly based but real. He poured a glass of sparkling cider and celebrated some of the best memories a guy could ever have.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Malcolm Shield

China dug through his plastic action figures looking for the black one with silver trim. The one that looked like, but due to licensing restrictions couldn't be called Malcolm Shield. He took the figure to his desk, a plain door on file cabinets type that span a whole side of the room. Large but mostly unusable because of the sheer volume of paraphernalia used to mimic his favorite Defender.

His parents wanted China to be a researcher or even weapons engineer. They wanted their only son to live on. Too many children died young. Many in an action on the enclave. China was special in that he had no siblings. An odd thing in a time when keeping women pregnant meant survival. 

Malcolm Shield was old for a Defender. Almost 36. Most had the honor of death in battle. Malcolm had honor of wins. He could kill a squad of men or Shoan with his blessed blade. Admittedly it was unfair but to be honorable Malcolm Shield always attacked from the front. Before pulling his sword the wanted to look the enemy in the eyes. 

Malcolm Shield was a god among men and China wanted to be him. He was speaking at the market today. To tell the people of the Jantwe subclave to send more sons. A meaningless call but one to keep people believing they had a choice. They didn't. Even China knew this. Sending sons and barren daughters to battle was compulsory for the survival of the people and also it was the law. No one broke the law. They all knew what was at stake. 

Jantwe bordered the outer wall. They had front row view to the battles and he personally saw his hero Malcolm Shield on the battle field. He dug through his desk drawers found the extra gluey glue and stuck the figure that legally was not Malcolm Shield to a board counted to thirty-dead-like-a-Shoans, tucked it under his arm and ran to the meeting field. 

It was spectacular. Malcolm Shield seemed brighter and bigger in real life. People cheered and hooted. They were as ecstatic as China. Then a scream. Three figures could be seen sliding down the inner wall. A Shoan and two of his human pets. Malcolm leaped off the dais and ran to intercept. The crowd made it impossible for the Defender to defend. China watched him try to circle people and how he had to keep picking people up so they wouldn’t be trampled. 

He wanted to be Malcolm so he was going to act like him. He had no fighting experience but he could help pick people up. He chased after Malcolm and did his best to help. 

The venom of the Shoan was fast. People would with in seconds start to fight their own kind. You could see the fear in their eyes as they did. China had never been this close. Children not trained in control fell fast to the call and started attacking. Malcolm didn't wait he began cutting them down. He had to. They would continue to kill or capture for the dark creature. This one was a rare red. A female. It was going to make a nest. It needed solders. 
It infected several dozen before Malcolm could reach the first. China had stopped trying to help and just followed. The two humans that came with the Shoan were long infected. When other defenders started appearing they fought back. Able to fight with awareness they killed without remorse. They used people as shields and as weapons. The few strikes taken by the possessed didn’t seem to even phase them. 

Finally Malcolm Shield was able to reach the fight at the Shoan Queen. She had no more fodder to infect and no more patience. She leaped at the Defenders ripping them apart. No weapon seemed to touch her. Malcolm Shield went first to the possessed he sheathed his sword and fought them hand to hand. 

The most noble thing to do for the long fallen. Fight them with honor. He finally killed the second man but as he did the Shoan Queen landed on him. Her ichorous blood dripping freely and she bit. China saw his hero’s eyes go wide then fall. 

China was over this. He never wanted to see another battle much less be in one. How did just one Shoan do so much damage. No he wanted nothing to do with any of it any more. Then he saw the Queen turn towards him. He had no where to go running wouldn’t take him anywhere. Then Malcolm turned on the queen. The possession was fast and he was fighting it. Malcolm took out the sword starred at the queen and let her come to him. He lifted the hilt and she ran into the blade and fell.

China ran to Malcolm he could see the fear and the struggle. “let me help” he said. That’s when Malcolm did something unexpected, he relaxed. 

Malcom relaxed and handed China the sword. The sword had no blade… no blade at all. Hundreds of people were cut down. So afraid of the sword and the word of the man, who was a good fighter China saw first hand, they succumb to the the blade of instant death. 

China hesitated but saw blood dripping from Malcom’s mouth. He was bitting his tongue. China took the hilt. Malcolm grabbed China’s face. Hard. He stared in China’s eyes and the hilt got heavy and warm. China shoved the hilt to Malcolm’s chest feeling the blade cut through sinew and bone. Malcolm’s eyes rolled back and he died.

Other’s cleaned the mess. The bodies, now infected had to be burned and disposed of out side the walls. This was matter that couldn’t be returned to the cycle. But China just sat there. Sword of instant death in his hands and his hero next to him. Gone.