Posted in flash fiction

Glitch

This is a piece of a draft … but I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve really been able to come up with anything.

It started with the email screen.

“What … What do you … Do you want?” It spluttered through stalled clicks and flashing screens.

It’s happening again.

Without another word I scooped my jacket from it’s resting place and headed towards the door. A pair of heels clicked quickly behind me.

“Hi, where are you going?”

Fuck. “Look, something’s come up. I just have to go.” The lights in the hall flashed as the rain started pouring over the asphalt outside. “I really just have to go.”

The heels clicked impatiently. “Fine. I hope you feel better.”

The rain pounded against the leaves, beating them from branches and sending them spiraling through the wind. Their colors changed rapidly, red, orange, brown, red again, as they jerked from one spot to another.

No choice. I broke from the safety of the covered patio to race raindrops to my car.

They won of course. They always win.

I started the count down in my head.

10 minutes. 5 to get home. 5 to not mess this up.

The engine roared to life, giving only minor feedback.

Don’t do it old girl, don’t give in.

As we barreled through the wide avenues traffic flashed in and out of view. How I wished I could simply move through them but I learned some time ago: these obstacles are real.

I couldn’t be sure when the mainframe gained that sophistication. 

Anything to stop me. You should know by now … I shook my head as the traffic light sputtered then blinked into darkness. 

The sideways rain parted for a matter of seconds to reveal a clear path ahead.

Is it possible? I have help?

There was no time to wonder. I laid on the horn, a lame duck noise barely enough to warn off the oncoming wind escaped, but it worked. I could speed ahead.

The obstacles were of course meant to slow me down. Anything to keep me from saving the world again.

Not this time. Not anytime.

My foot fell heavy on the gas, confident in my path. They may slow the journey but they still would not win.

 

I made it to base with mere seconds to spare.

Part B must begin immediately!

The door hinges let out their tell-tale squeal as I hurried through.

“I understand. I think he just came in.”

No!

I could just see the reflection of my old confidant, my partner, strolling the rooms. 

Is it possible? She’s been compromised? 

My stomach sank at the thought of what would inevitably come next. There was no way to maintain our partnership if she was influenced by the mainframe. 

Flashes of light tore across the skyline. 

There’s no time! I have to go!

“Josh? Is that you?”

I scrambled from my hiding spot, lurching down the long darkened hallway.

 

“Jesus.” Lydia tapped the psychiatrists number into her cell. 

“Hi, Dr. Smith, it’s Lydia. Yeah, he’s home now … No, he hasn’t said anything. In fact, he hid. Mmhm. Then he, like spider monkey ran down the hall. Now he’s holed up in the office banging away on the computer.”

Lydia circled the kitchen looking for anything her husband may have dropped. 

“I don’t think he has anything and I don’t think he was hiding anything.”

Finally her eyes fell to a full bottle of pills on the counter.

“It’s done!” Josh emerged from the office, hands in the air but as his gaze fell on Lydia his face contorted in rage. 

“You … You’ve become a glitch!” Her husband jabbed her shoulder. “You’ll just disappear like the rest, it’s what glitches do.” His low growl echoed off the kitchen walls then he was gone, leaving the walls shaking from the force of the door slamming shut. 


Posted in Word Prompt

Maybe if he …

Talisman

I wish I could write about your love.
I wish I could tell the story of how we fucked it up.
I wish you believed in second chances
The way I believe fate
Believes in us.
I don’t guess you do.
I guess that’s fair.
So I scribble our story in the sand.
I watch the waves wash it away
But they never take it
Far enough to rip it from my soul.
Maybe it’s good.
Maybe it’ll make for a damn fine death
When the water finally
Rips it away
And we realize we were meant
As more than “maybe if he” and “maybe if she”.
Maybe that’s the talisman,
The good in failed meant to be.
So we carry it,
Like we carry one another,
A secret too good to be true,
Too bad to relive,
Too sad to see those two …
Always losing themselves
In each others eyes.
Maybe that’s the talisman,
The good in failed meant to be.

 

Posted in friday fictioneers

Friday Fiction

When I was a little girl I pressed my nose against the glass of my dad’s old Volkswagen as we passed under bridges in the city. I puffed great smokey blasts of fog to draw little hearts and “hellos” in as the sleeping men tossed in their bags.

“Dad, why don’t we help them?”
“They have to help themselves first.”

There was a woman beneath the bridge today snapping pictures of our homeless communities. Preserving our tents and bags in rough black and white photos for exhibit.

“Don’t you want to help yourself?”

I hear they feed you in jail.

camera-ted-strutz
PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

And Friday Fictioneers courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


Go check out The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch

Posted in Word Prompt

Blue Doors

Blue doors stoic against white washed summer walls
What awaits me beyond those carefully curated wooden walls?
Are there candles aglow or choirs angelic?
A return to life which withstood pandemics?
Were every role played
Within the confines of finite memory?
Perhaps there awaits all which we’ve lost.
Tears shed over damp sheets
And fresh mounds of dirt;
Carefully sculpted castles for our bones.
For once I may say, we’ll never truly know.
As my ornate blue doors slide into the distance,
The way our true love fades
From your memories and words,
Meant for another, promised over sun bleached summer days.


A little story time to go with this little poem.

When I was a snotty pre-teen, maybe around 11 or 12, I was giving my mom a hard time as we drove home. I don’t remember about what, it doesn’t matter really but it was a moment for her that unleashed something else. Without saying much she swung her old minivan into the parking lot of a mixed Korean/Baptist church at the end of our street and started crying.

“Maybe one day I just won’t come home.”

I didn’t know how to react. I kept telling her it would be ok but what I really remember is that we were parked right in front of the church doors.

Looking back I’m fairly sure my mom probably suffered from the same anxiety and depression that now plagues me and my sisters in various forms. Coupled with the weight of my narcissistic father’s constant cruelty and I’m certain this wasn’t her only breaking point.

It may not have been a breaking point at all but more of a blip on the radar of constant pressure to provide when the one you’ve promised to walk beside has more or less declared “jokes on you”.

Today’s International Women’s Day and I’ve seen posts all over social media remembering and celebrating accomplishments. That’s wonderful, I embrace it. I also ask that we not forget about the women who are dragging themselves out of bed everyday simply because they have to. The women who have laid awake all night threatened by their own nightmares and now have little people depending on them to function. The women who have gently laid dreams aside or practice them quietly after hours because there’s simply no one else to “bring home the bacon” and the dreams they have aren’t to that point yet. The women who have found themselves trapped and unable to leave for fear, so they trudge through every day the best they can while pretending everything is ok.

Society has come far but society still has a way to go.

Daily Prompt – Uncompromising

Posted in Word Prompt

B-Boy

WordPress Daily Prompt – Meddle

There was something about the smooth green steel that the trash bins were made of. It was smooth, cool to the touch and something about it was strangely comforting. John leaned against one allowing the bin to cool his bald sweating head.

It wasn’t particularly hot that evening but John had been drinking, much like every evening. He’d found himself being walked out of the bar by his favorite bar tender just moments before.

You’ve had too much, you need to go.

John may have paid attention had he had less to drink. Instead he focused on the bar tenders ample cleavage.

You’re so perfect. 

She simply shook her head before thrusting him through the wooden door.

Go home John.

Maybe John would have seen the group of college jocks who watched the ordeal with sly smirks and maybe John would have been aware of the subtle approach of multiple pairs of sneakers but the cool trash bin was easing the pulsing headache he had.

“You’re him aren’t ya?” A sharp kick to the knee sent John tumbling the opposite direction. “Fuck, he can’t even sit up. Jackson. Pull him up.”

A rough pair of large hands hauled John to his knees. A lanky blonde with scattered acne knelt to his level.

“You’re him.” Another hand, smaller than the pair currently keeping John upright, slapped his cheek playfully. “Yeah ya are.” In John’s vision the boy split into two before dancing back together.

“Who am I?” John mumbled. Beyond the blonde more legs gathered though John couldn’t tell if there were truly many pairs or just one moving through his blurring vision.

“Who am I?” A deeper voice chuckled from behind him. “You are. What did they call you?” The blonde glanced behind him as if expecting the answer but received only silence. “Oh yeah, I remember now. You would be so forgettable but how could we forget a name like Bitchboy?” Laughter echoed through the alley.

John tried to measure how many people were laughing, how many voices heckled and bounced the name off the old brick walls.

Without warning the large hands released John’s arms and a dozen kicks from all sides sent him to the ground.

“You know …” The blonde boy came back into view as he leaned over the trembling man. “They say no one could hurt you but I’m pretty sure Bitchboy is crying.” Without pause the blonde boy pushed John onto his back and straddled his waist. A shiny silver switchblade passed in front of John’s face. “Maybe we should just see what it takes to hurt Bitchboy.”

The shiny silver blade leaned against John’s neck as the blonde boy leaned closer to him.

“No one would stop me, no one would care.” The sinister whisper shocked John into some level of soberness. John’s ice blue eyes focuses on the blonde boy’s hazel pair.

“Then do it. You want to impress them then go ahead. Try to kill Bitchboy.” The boy sat back slightly maintaining his smirk. The cool steel blade pushed closer to breaking John’s skin.

“You think you’re badass?” The boy mused. “You think you’re important?”

“I said do it. You wanna kill Bitchboy then kill me.” He gripped the blonde’s collar and pulled him close enough to feel his warm breath. “I’ve tried a hundred times and it’s never worked but by all means, if you think you’re special …”