fragments of me
Space (75 words)
Emergency lights flickered. Astronaut Jack Archer stared out the cracked window to find a yellow pin prick of light against the black velvet universe.
He knew the risks when he volunteered, he didn’t care.
Pluto couldn’t be any colder or more desolate than living on Earth without his late wife.
He clipped her photo to the dashboard. Her face would deliver everlasting peace. He didn’t need anything more.
Humming engines died.
Darkness engulfed the spaceship.
This is a little throw back to my fiction roots. A short story originally, written in 2016, I now converted it into 100 words.
The Sorcerer’s Wife
Our writhing bodies glistened with perspiration when he stormed in.
Most betrayed husbands would savagely behead the passionate lovers. Not the evil Sorcerer, he denied me the most exquisite finale of all; death in her loving arms.
He tossed a mystic powder. A purple dust cloud transformed Isabella into a doe.
Next, the Sorcerer converted me into the most loathsome predator; the hyena.
Now, I watch her grazing in the ominous forest; moving with a familiar grace.
For years I coveted beautiful Isabella.
Oh, the bittersweet irony.
As foul spittle drips from my hungry fangs, I crave her even more.
“Time can heal the broken heart, but it can also hurt the waiting heart.”
Darius rested underneath a weeping willow. His disheartening journey has lasted longer than time.
Five thousand years ago, he adored the woman he protected; the Pharaoh’s young bride. It started innocently, exchanging forbidden smiles and glances.
Until, one day Aziza lost her balance and fell into his granite arms.
A week later they feasted on grapes; as they made love on the banks of the Nile beneath the radiant moonlight.
News of their secret romance reached the Pharaoh.
Pharaoh ordered his magician, “Poison my disloyal wife. Reward her with the gift of eternal reincarnation.”
Beaten within moments of death, Darius pleaded with the Pharaoh. “I prefer to die a thousand deaths than to live a day without my beloved Aziza.”
“Let Darius live forever. He can suffer through eternity watching her die ten thousand deaths.”
Through the centuries, Darius walked the Earth alone. He found her soul in women of different colors and lands. He buried her a thousand times.
Since Columbus discovered the New World he has yet to see her.
He may never find her again.
Time can heal the broken heart, but it can also hurt the waiting heart.
Image taken from Google.
I posted “The Pharaoh’s Bride” back in June 2016.
During my absence from blogging, I fleshed out this short story. Working in small blocks of time, I researched the ancient Egyptians and reincarnation.
In my manuscript, Darius, the immortal, attempts to help Angelo (a grumpy war veteran dying of cancer) find his long lost love, while sharing his tale of undying love.
Currently, I am ten chapters deep into the story.
A Better Life
A flash of light introduced a thunder clap.
Rising to his feet, he found himself in the janitor’s supply room; two floors above his intended location.
Every second counted. Jack burst out of the closet, dashing into the nearest stairwell. He only had one chance to prevent this horror. If he didn’t stop it now, the moment could never be undone.
Tripping over his feet, he tumbled down the stairs, smacking into the hard concrete wall. Head spinning like a carousel, he wobbled to his feet. Bolts of pain streaked down his leg.
His desperate eyes glanced at the time.
Stumbling away, he ignored the burning currents that tormented him.
Was he too late?
He limped onto the second floor. Seventy feet separated him from his destination.
He didn’t want her to be scarred forever.
Ignoring an out of service sign, Jack hurled himself at the bathroom door.
Clutching a torn white dress in his hand, the janitor stood over nine year old Josephine. Huddled in the corner, she wept.
Before anyone could react, Jack crushed Janitor against the wall and slammed his head against the sink.
Hobbling past the unconscious predator, Jack handed Josephine her clothes. “Did he hurt you?”
She pressed the ripped dress against her quivering body. “No.”
Jack turned away.
“Who are you?”
“That doesn’t matter.”
“I remember your face. You caught me last month before I fell down the stairs.”
Jack sighed. Preventing that fall spared Josephine from a wheelchair, leading her down a new life path.
“Are you my guardian angel?”
Guardian angel sounded better than time traveling soul mate. “Can you do me a favor?”
“After I leave, count to ten before screaming. Tell everyone he slipped and banged his head. Tell them what he wanted to do to you. Can you do that?”
She nodded. “Will I see you again?”
He knew the heartless rules of time travel. Amend the past, you change the future. Rescue the girl, you alter the woman.
“I hope so.” He staggered away. Seconds later, he leaned against the stairwell wall.
How many times will he transform her life? Will each new path lead her back to him? He peeked at a photograph of Josephine on his cell phone. He admired his future bride standing in a white wedding dress. She sat in a wheelchair in the original photo.
Jack knew the dangers of playing with her past. Saving Josephine from tears may destroy their destiny together.
Will she still love him in her reconstructed future?
Only if they were meant to be. If not, he had to be content knowing he gave her a better life.
Photo taken from Google Images.
My Name Is Stone
My name is Stone
It is sad being a cemetery statue
I watch unappreciative people
They come here regretting, weeping, mourning
They come here to say goodbye
They come here to be educated
Death teaches them so much about life
It is once
It is short
It is beautiful
I am not a teacher but
Humans leave here with knowledge
My name is Stone
It is sad being a cemetery statue
Things could be worse
I could have been a gargoyle
Image taken from Google Images.
Adults always complained about time.
Never enough time for this; not enough time for that.
My parents were at a dinner party; while I stayed at my friend’s house. I was summoned to the phone.
Barely eleven, I listened to my mother sobbing. Apparently, my drunkard father slapped her in front of all their friends. “Please check on the house.”
Two flights up, I unlocked the door with a spare key. Moonlight filled the dark apartment.
Terrified, I walked through the quiet living room until I reached the long hallway leading to the back of our home.
The man I hated for all of my young life, the tyrant who abused us, lay on the floor with a gun resting inches from his hand.
Fear, relief, joy, and sadness flowed through me like light through a prism.
Fighting the urge to run away, I approached him. The rise and fall of his back confirmed he lived.
Time for my first adult decision even though I knew it meant a beating the next day.
Dropping to one knee, my trembling hand reached for the gun. The weapon appeared to weigh a ton.
I thought of tucking it in my pants like they do in the movies. Then a odd thought crept into my mind.
Whoever said dog is man’s best friend didn’t have a pee-pee.
Shoving the weapon in my jacket pocket I ran out and didn’t stop running until I reached the black railing overlooking the East River.
Removing the gun from my pocket I stared into the barrel.
Why would anyone want to end their life?
There by the river, in a city of eight million people, surrounded by a magnificent skyline, I never felt so alone.
Making my second adult decision, I tossed the gun into the river.
That little boy stood there another hour, admiring the crescent moon, the river, and the city he called home.
He wouldn’t help but wonder…..
If time was as precious as people say, why do adults waste so much of it on hate and violence.
Tyler remembered driving through the heavy storm. Rain covered his windshield like a thick blanket of dripping wetness. He had no recollection of how he arrived in the hospital. He just knew he had to survive until…she arrived.
Too many strange faces before him. They brought little comfort; only she could provide relief. He ignored the weak signal of the electrocardiogram knowing the inevitable moment was upon him. He faded in and out of life. Then, suddenly she appeared.
he felt a familiar comfort
looking at that best thing
that ever happened to him
he admired her loving face
why was life terribly unfair
one lifetime wasn’t enough
time to be in love with her
staring at the best of his life
he suddenly felt tranquility
as he took his final breath
He saw eternity in her eyes
Photo taken from Google Images
Jack steered the car onto a quiet side road. He hit the brakes as a streaking cat shot by.
What a freaking day.
His boss was in a foul mood. Computers systems were down all day. The deal he was expecting fell through. The money for the car repair meant no summer vacation. And his cell phone fell in a puddle.
He watched the wipers clear his wet window, certain it only rained on him.
Staring at the broken umbrella on the car floor, he shrugged. Why bother. He was already soaking wet.
Why he put up with all this crap. There had to be a better way. Is this all there is to life?
Stepping out of the car, heavy rain pelted him.
He hurried to the door. Fumbling with the keys he dropped them and cursed Murphy and his stupid law.
He entered the house and walked past his pretty girlfriend, grunting a cold hello.
She stood there happy to see him, but disappointed by his tone. Obviously, he wasn’t in the mood to notice her new dress or hairdo.
Jack dropped onto the recliner and sighed. He saw his girlfriend disappear into the back.
Leaning forward, he rested his elbows on his knees and buried his face in his hands. What were all these damn sacrifices for?
He looked up to find his naked girlfriend. She handed him a stiff drink. Ice cubes clicked, but she had his undivided attention.
She sank to one knee, unlaced his shoes to remove his wet socks.
Still resting on one knee, she looked into his eyes, opened her palm to reveal a wedding band.
“Jack will you marry me?”
He smiled; the first smile of this glorious day.
Photo courtesy of Google Images.
The Little Dress
Fidgeting in his chair, he watched her try to squeeze into the dress. The little dress he so adored. The little dress she refused to acknowledge no longer fit.
“Just a little tug here and there,” she groaned.
He felt awful. Why did he suggest that dress?
She look at him with determined blue eyes. “I need help with the zipper?”
He stood behind the woman that changed his life. The woman that gave him children.
He stared at the stubborn zipper that would never close. How could he tell her she wasn’t a size six? Perhaps, she would never be a size six, again.
He kissed her pale back and sighed. “Honey, I was thinking, let’s not go to the party.”
She spun around. “You said this event was important.”
You are more important, he thought.
“What about the baby sitter?”
“Babysitter’s paid for. Let’s change into our jeans. Drive around. Maybe park in that little spot we used to park in to make out.”
“Are you sure?”
Uncertain he was doing the right thing, he embraced her. Across the room he noticed their wedding photo hanging on the wall.
His doubts evaporated, “Absolutely.”
Photo borrowed from google images.