Friday, April 16, 2010

Building Freedom

I looked out at the city behind me, my view from the top of my apartment building. The roof was quiet, and a warm breeze swept by me. It brought the scent of the sea. I listened to the whisper of traffic far below me, and the occasional airplane above me. Venus and a nearly new moon lounged in the western sky, and the water looked like a blanket of pitch.

I wasn't depressed with my life, but I wasn't content, either. My apartment had become barren, a place only to sleep, eat, and work. I'd quit my job, hoping to finish my last project before what little money I'd saved ran out. I'd spent the last month building freedom, and after many midnight tests, I thought I had the final product in my hands. It was lightweight, luxuriously soft to the touch, and flexible in the right places. After so many failed attempts, I knew this had to be the one that gave me my freedom. It had to be, I said, because I couldn't afford any more tries or wasted time.

I stood on the edge of the barrier that kept stupid people like me from falling to their deaths. If I'd had friends who cared, friends who visited me, they would have grabbed me and pulled me back. "You idiot!" They'd say. "You have so much life ahead of you! Are things really so bad?"

"No," I'd respond, "They're just so average."

With what I hoped was a graceful leap, my feet left the building. My heart seemed to stop in my chest, and I imagined it trying to leap back up to the safety of my apartment's rooftop. I left my life behind me as the wind whipped through my hair and pulled at the skin on my face. I turned my watery eyes from the ground rushing upwards to the unmoving sea.

I spread my wings and flew away.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Broken Bird

Molly looked up from her gardening to see her four year old, Adrienne, approaching. Her daughter looked concerned, and held something cupped in both her small hands.

"What's wrong, honey?" Molly asked, taking off her thick, leather gloves.

Adrienne opened her hands, revealing the lifeless body of a small bird.

"It's broken... can Daddy fix it?" She sounded hopeful. Molly wasn't sure if Adrienne was too young to understand death, but she and Adam had made a promise that they'd never lie to their children. She carefully took the bird, and placed it on a mound of dirt beside her.

"No Adrienne, I'm sorry."


"Because Daddy can't fix everything."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Straight For The Heart-Brain!

Greetings! This is but a piece of the multi-part Choose Your Own Adventure, Multi-Blog tale started by Barry J. Northern. It makes little sense to start here, so please feel free to check out the beginning of the story here! The previous choice that led to this blog can be found here! at Too Much Gun, Aaron's page of guns, cowboys, and everything else.

Your Choice: Pull out the baseball bat and make a mad dash for the heart-brain?!

Michael pulled the bat from his back and leaped from his seat. His companions looked shocked.

"Michael, what..." he heard Latoya start, but heard no more as he rushed towards the heart-brain.

It seemed as if time slowed a little bit more with each step he took toward the pulsing, alien thing. The rust smell was almost over powering, and he saw Mendigans turning their heads to stare at him as he ran. None of them reached out or jumped up to stop him, a fact he dismissed in his focus to attack the giant body part.

He swung the bat backwards, then forwards with a power that would put any little league player to shame. The weapon made contact with the heart-brain, and time seemed to stop. He saw the ripples of the impact, and the smell of rust was so strong he could taste it when he breathed.

As if a rubber band had been snapped, time sped back up to normal. He heard a wail in his mind, and was thrown away from the heart-brain. His bat disintegrated in his hands, covering them in sawdust. Instead of crashing to the floor, time seemed to be speeding up now. He was still flying backwards! Why hadn't he hit a wall, or his friends, or any Mendigans who might have moved behind him?

Everything became a blur, and he had to shut his eyes before he lost the contents of his stomach. And he definitely didn't want to be captured by aliens covered in puke. Besides, what would Latoya think? A cute girl couldn't ever like a guy who was covered in partially digested waffles. How did he even have the time to think all this through? Was he going to ...

Time returned to normal and he was dumped unceremoniously onto a pristine white floor. The walls around him, also white. He checked himself to make sure he wasn't wearing any sort of padded jacket, and also to make sure he wasn't missing any limbs, or hadn't grown any extra limbs.


A Mendigan appeared before him, wearing a very nice business suit. It had a strange hat on the top of its head, and what appeared to be a long white beard.

"Hello, Michael."

"How do you know my name?!"

"We know a lot about you. And we are most displeased that you would attack our *******."

The last word it uttered was spoken with a strange garbling noise that seemed to come from its tentacles. Michael guessed it meant the heart-brain.

"You invaded my planet! I had to do something."

"We were so hoping for a quiet, peaceful melding of Humans and Mendigans. You are not the only person causing disharmony. I believe you can be rehabilitated, however. Unfortunately, I cannot physically stop you from your course, I can only present you with a choice."

"You're stopping me pretty good right now, it seems."

Its tentacles fluttered, producing another strange gurgling noise. Was it laughing at him?

"This is temporary. I am a visual representation of the *******. We have no more time to chat, I'm afraid. You can return to your course of action, and deal with the consequences and a room full of angry Mendigans. They will protect me at all costs, and I highly doubt you and your friends will get away with the assault. Or, I will open a door for you."

Michael decided that it was a good time to get back onto his feet.

"What kind of door? Where does it go?"

"It goes to a place you have never been, and you will perhaps be able to reconsider attacking the ******* and lead a pleasant life among the Mendigans."

The Mendigan added two doors into the room with a sweep of its arms.

"The door on my right is the way to your present course of action. The door on my left, to a life you do not know. Which will you take?"

Choice 1: Return To Bashing The Heart-Brain!

Choice 2: Go Back In Time And Pretend Everything Is Normal!