Friday, June 25, 2010

A Missed Flight

Stars twinkled overhead, dulled much by the city's light pollution. It seemed worse than usual, and the smell of garbage overtook the man standing in front of his apartment complex.

"God... I hate this city," Steve muttered to himself. He checked his watch, impatient for the cab he'd called fifteen minutes previous. The cab was the first step to a glorious vacation; a cab ride, an airplane, and then all the tropical drinks he could stand. He was excited, too, for he was going ahead of his wife to surprise her. The thought of the clues he'd left behind to lead her to her ticket cheered him considerably.

The cab pulled up in front of the building as if his complaining had teleported it from locations unknown. The driver stepped out, a small man with a large bald spot on his head, and an almost obscenely bright orange shirt.

"Evening, sir! Can I take your bag?" The man asked, sounding pleased to be of service. Steve smiled, handing the bag to him. He walked around to the left side, letting himself into the back seat. He wasn't sure how he hadn't noticed, but there was another man slouched in the seat next to him. The smell of too many air fresheners made Steve's nose burn slightly. As the driver returned to his seat, a flurry of chaos hit the car.

The man next to Steve, with one deft movement, dropped a black bag over his head. He struggled in vain, for the bag reeked of something that was causing him to feel as if he were swimming through molasses. The driver was shouting something unintelligible in the front seat, and the man to his left was also shouting. Steve thought he heard the words "wife", "money", and "gun". He felt the barrel of something cold press against his neck, and his already pathetic struggles ceased.

"I don't have much money..." he said thickly, getting the taste of whatever pungent chemical they'd used in the bag all over the inside of his mouth. This caused another chorus of yells from both strangers in the cab.

He felt the car take many twists and turns, and found himself praying to a God he wasn't sure existed. All he'd wanted to do was take a vacation with his wife! Would he ever see her again? The car stopped, and Steve was pulled unceremoniously from the cab. He was marched a few feet, dropped into a chair, and had his ankles and wrists bound. He heard the distinct sound of a knife being sharpened, and his heart pounded with a fear he'd never known in his life. Not during any horror movie, or stupid stunt when he was a kid, had he ever been so frightened.

Now it sounded as if 20 men were yelling at him, and he heard the sound of a metal door being pulled shut. The bag was yanked off his head, and he shut his eyes against the light pointed directly at his face.

"Please, please! I have a wife, I don't want to die, I'm too young..." Steve was shaking from head to toe, and was thankful that the ropes binding him weren't cutting into his skin. He felt as if he were about to lose his dinner.

"Die, Steve Geller? You won't be dying here tonight. But... you will be on CANDID CAMERA!"

The light shut off, and he found himself staring into the grinning face of a tall man in a business suit. There was a crew behind him, laughing and cheering. He noticed the two cameras, one in front and one to his left. The camera's red lights blinked, taking in the wet spot on his khaki pants, and the lack of color in his face. The taste of that chemical was still in his mouth... and Steve threw up all over the front of his nice Hawaiian shirt.

Candid Camera: Extreme Edition, was terminated after the pilot was previewed by a select panel of viewers. Steve Geller won his lawsuit, and is now living comfortably with his wife on his own private island. The show's host Martin Adams sustained only a fractured arm and a bruised cheekbone once Steve had been untied.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Forest Full Of Lies

I still believe in love at first sight, because I experienced it when I was too young to be a cynic. Most people would call it puppy love, or infatuation. But no; at age 11, I saw a glimpse of the future I was meant to have. Could have had. Maybe in a different life time we'll meet again and things will be different.

I can count the times I've seen you on both of my hands, and maybe a toe or two. The times we spoke, however, would require a lot of other people's digits to count. The times you were honest with me, maybe just one hand. I think you did love me, in your own way, but you were too broken to know it and too entrenched in the mire of your own making to see that I would have been the best thing for you. I would have done anything for you, short of dying for you. I wouldn't have done that, because I wanted to live for you.

It took me two years to tell you how I felt about you, and at 13, I didn't really have the words for it yet. Some flowery poetry about passion I had no idea about, phrases from books I probably read and mimicked. The love was genuine though, and I treasured the times I saw you more than you can know.

You jerked me around, you used me, and you took away things that were precious from me. You made me the cynic I am today, you were the first heart-breaker, and even somehow managed to steal what was meant for you that day in your bed. I offered it willingly, so how did I come away feeling robbed and empty? But it's easy to ignore that sort of thing when you love someone, isn't it?

The last time I saw you, I finally saw first hand the damage you'd done to other people, and the damage you'd done to yourself. A woman, pregnant with your child, who was a year younger than me and crying because she was so alone. That could have been me... and I would have allowed it, too. I saw what was on your computer, and got her to admit to me that she'd known for much longer, the things you looked at when you thought you were invisible. When she went away to work, you visited me in the guest room and told me you loved me. You said the things that took me back to being 13 again, standing in the forest, looking up into your guileless eyes and seeing what should have been.

I find myself thinking about you all the time, and my heart aches every time I do. I've burned the bridge between us; burned it, got rid of the remains, and stand on the other side of it longing for you still. I see you over there, destroying yet another life, and I hate myself for how I feel. I should have left when I heard the first lie cross your lips. There's a place in my heart for you still, and I have a feeling I won't really ever say good bye.

Friday, June 11, 2010

You Don't Miss It Til It's Gone

Noah's eyes opened slightly, and he winced as a bright light was shone into his face. His arms were bound before him, and he found that he was sitting cross legged. As reality came back into focus, he noticed he was sitting on grass, and what bound his hands at the wrists appeared to be shimmering.


"SILENCE." A chorus of voices spoke in unison, startling him out of finishing the question. He looked around and saw that he was in a ring of mushrooms, out in the forest, and a full moon appeared in the sky high above him. How had he been stolen from his bed without waking up? Why in the world had he been abducted in the first place?

"Noah Avenford, you're here to answer for the death of your Fae companion. What say you?" It was a single voice that questioned him now, and it sounded as if it were directly behind the light. Interrogation tactics, hah! He wouldn't answer the lunatic's questions. Instead, he focused his efforts on breaking apart the gossamer threads that bound him. He found them exceptionally strong, and they were causing his skin to tingle as he rubbed his wrists together.

The light seemed to float closer to his face, causing him to squint. Then the light dimmed, and he found himself staring directly into the face of a small, angry looking man. With wings.

"I must be dreaming." He said aloud, knowing how cliche it was to say such a thing in this sort of circumstance. But what else could it be? Certainly there wasn't a fairy floating a few inches from his face...

"Noah Avenford, this is no dream. The evidence is clear; you murdered your Fae companion. Have you anything to say in your defense, Human?"

"My what?"

The fairy man, more quickly than Noah could follow, had pulled a small knife from his side and poked him in the nose.

"The innocent Fae, Awen-alore, is cold and dead this eve, because of your careless words."

"I don't believe in..."

A loud cry rose from the group of winged people behind the speaker, and the tiny man poked his nose harder to stop him from finishing his sentence.

"That is exactly what got you here, Human. And as you've attempted to murder one of our kind again, there will be no verdict other than the obvious. Guilty!"

"GUILTY!" The voices cried in unison. Noah's heart raced. Would they kill him? If this was real... would they really be so cruel in the face of his ignorance? No one believed in fairies!

"Noah Avenford, for killing your Fae companion, we charge you to a life without a Fae presence. You will receive no replacement companion, you will be as yesterday to us, forgotten and unimportant. You will be judged, once more, upon your death."

He woke up the next morning in his bed, drenched in sweat. He immediately checked his wrists, noticing no trace of the threads that had bound them before. In his dreams? His mouth moved uninhibited, and a quick search of the bed turned up no grass, dirt, or anything else to indicate that he had traveled. He laughed to himself. Fae companion indeed!

But his breakfast that morning tasted like cardboard. No matter how much seasoning he dashed on his eggs, he couldn't make them taste better. He found nothing on TV to amuse him. The sun traveling through a clear blue sky didn't cheer him, or make him feel anything at all, really. When he went out to the city center, people moved around him as if he were a dirty, homeless man, begging for change. He noticed he couldn't smell any of the usual things around him; the bakery, the pizza shop, car exhaust.

Noah returned home, wondering if maybe he had caught a cold. Maybe the dream had bothered him more than he wanted to admit. He decided to lay down and take a nap, hoping that would clear his head. It didn't.

That night, he discovered that he no longer dreamed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

You Think YOUR Job Is Bad...

I felt the pull, the undeniable urge to answer the call.

I closed all of my eyes, and felt my gills flutter slightly on my neck as my breathing slowed. It was effortless for me to enter the state that allowed me to communicate with clients. They were all so different, so interesting! This is what I told myself every work cycle. As long as I sat in my workspace, I was there to help whoever asked it of me.

*Hello? Anyone out there?!*

I trembled at the connection, the fear budding inside me.

*I am with you* I replied, feeling tension build up in my arms and neck.

*WOAH! Someone is moving the glass thing! Okay, ask it a question!*

I sighed. It was either a Nfen, or a Human. No other entities contacted us for answers with such ignorance.

*WHO ARE YOU?* The voice was loud, as if they didn't realize I could hear even a whisper with clarity. They probably didn't.

*Call me Amarha* I responded curtly. Entities who contacted me this way likely weren't prepared for long answers, and I had a feeling I knew what was coming next.


The entity contacting me sounded as if they were shouting directly in my face.

*What is your question?*

*Okay.. okay... DOES DAVE LIKE ME?* I could hear noises that I recognized as laughter. High pitched, obnoxious... the kind of frequency that drove many Communications Experts into madness.

I set aside my annoyance and felt along the thread of this being's universal signature. Yes, they were human. Children, by their reckoning. I pulled more information, looking for a "Dave" in her life. Why didn't parents realize that their children shouldn't be allowed to communicate at such a young age? It caused us nothing but grief.


Squeals of laughter, causing a headache to blossom behind my eyes. I hoped it would be over quickly.

*OKAY! Does Michael like Alyssa?*

I explored more pathways, noticing that Alyssa's pathways lit up in ways that were very rare for a human. She would go on to do great things... provided I didn't manifest through their board and destroy the entire city in which they lived.



The communication ended abruptly, which left me feeling slightly nauseous. Humans, among many other species, didn't know how to properly (and politely) close communication with us. Many of them didn't know to whom they were speaking, not that it mattered much. All of us had access to all of their information.

~I am taking a break.~ I thought to my work mates. Marr, a Sinthe like myself, smiled with her eyes.

~Dealt with a human, did you? I can feel your tension from here. They're a frustrating lot, aren't they?~

~If they asked questions worth answering, it wouldn't be so bad.~