There are times when dealing with those pesky humans that we find their expectations are so contradictory to our own, we wonder whether we live on the same planet.  My theory has always been that reality is entirely subjective and each of us lives in our own little universe.

The reason I have good ol' Randy Travis serenading you is because I am planning an anthology based on songs.  I've already If I detect some interest, I will open the anthology to my loyal writers and readers first before opening the anthology to the general public.  Contact me if this is something you'd be interested in.  Also let me know if you'd be willing to participate in a #MotivationMonday Anthology
Now, on to the contest!

The Judge

One of my favorite writers and contest hosts has won the right to judge, after writing a gripping story last week,  so bring your "A" game.

Lisa McCourt Hollar resides in Ohio with her husband and children. You can read her bolg, Jezri's Nightmares, at Her short stories and collections are available on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords. She is currently working on her first novel.

The Prompt

How did you expect [me/us/them/her/him] to react?

The Rules

  1. The story must start from the prompt.  This means the prompt must be the
    first words in the story.
  2. No more than 500 words (not including the prompt).  No less than 100 words.
  3. Any genre (in fact an unexpected genre will get you more points.)
  4. Entries must be submitted by Tuesday Noon EST
  5. The winner of each week's competition will be invited to judge the following week and post the winner's badge similar to the one on the right.
  6. Have fun!

Sample Story

By Wakefield Mahon

How did you expect her to react?  It doesn’t matter who started the fight.  It always starts over something trivial.  You know she’s not the rational one, but instead of defusing the situation, you have to stoke the flames.

I WAS the one who through the cat at her when she wouldn’t stop screaming.  It wasn’t until after she threw the cat at the wall and I screamed at her for abusing the cat that I realized just how irrational I was being.  I finally realized I should apologize before things got even more out of hand.

Unfortunately, she disappeared.  I spun around at the sound of metal against metal.  She carried two swords in the room and tossed one to, or rather at me.

“Let’s settle this once and for all!”  She spat more than spoke.

I lifted my sword and did the only rational thing that came to mind.  I ran the sword through my own belly.

@Wakefield Mahon
159 ineligible words from a dream I had two nights ago.  

(Feel free to psychoanalyze or to pontificate on whether dreams should be made into stories)

8/13/2012 01:39:28 am

Judges entry: Not eligible

By Lisa McCourt Hollar

“How did you expect him to react?”

“I thought he’d handle it a little better than he did. He’s my husband for Pete’s sake.”

“Was your husband,” Kelly said, reaching out and touching my hand, before pulling back and shuddering.

“He’s still my husband. Nothing’s changed.”

Kelly snorted, stubbing out her cigarette and giving me the stink eye. It was the same look Grandma Ewa gave people when she was about to tell them something they didn’t want to hear.

“You’re dead Katie.”

I returned the stare. Wysock women did not back down. “If I were dead, would I be sitting here?”

“Katie, stop it. I was at your funeral. I know how devastated Randy was about the accident. We all were, but Grandma had no right to bring you back.”

“I’m not dead,” I repeated, my stubborn streak kicking in. Kelly just stared at me. “Ok, maybe I died… a little, but Randy didn’t have to lock me out of the house.”

“You scared the crap out of him. Good grief Katie, take a look in the mirror. You were in the ground for three months before Grandma managed to come up with all the ingredients to bring you back. She should have left it alone. Beyond a few days the body is too far gone, even for magic. She’s getting senile in her old age though.”

“Do you know I caught him in bed with another woman?”

“He could be in bed with multiple women and it wouldn’t matter.”

“It matters to me.”

Again, she touched my hand, this time not pulling away. “Katie, you have to go back.”

“Go back? INTO THE GROUND? There are worms there and… other things. I won’t do it.”

I started to cry then, except that nothing came out. My tear ducts were clogged by maggot goo and other crusty stuff I didn’t want to think about. It was also at that time that my bottom lip, which had begun to quiver, fell off, landing on Kelly’s hand. My sister jumped, nearly falling out of her chair. Wiping the back of her hand on her pants, she looked around. We were sitting in a dark corner of the bar, which was a good thing, since people were now staring. One guy in jeans and a muscle shirt was heading our way. I pulled the hood up on my coat and looked away.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, just fine,” I said, avoiding his gaze.

“Umm…Katie…” My sister’s voice was shaking.

“I know someone who can help you with this.”

I looked to see what he was talking about. He was holding my lip out, waiting for me to take it. Slowly I looked up into his eyes. His glazed over, dead eyes.

“Decomposition is a bitch,” he said.
“Yes, it is.”

“Care to join me?” He nodded towards a table on the far end of the room. Kelly reached out to stop me as I stood to follow him.

“What about Randy?”


Word Count: 500

8/13/2012 03:30:47 am

“How did you expect her to react, Mom?”

The elderly woman was silent, watching her youngest daughter doubled over, retching in the driveway. Patricia knew this wasn’t going to be easy on any of them, including her mother and her younger sister, Erin, but it had to be done.

The city had called Patricia earlier in the week saying the house would be condemned unless immediate action was taken. And she was surprised that it had taken them this long. The house, from the outside, appeared mostly normal save for the numerous plastic containers on the front porch and a few bad spots in the front and back yards.

But inside was a completely different story.

Her mother’s downward spiral of self-loathing and guilt, piled on by years of failed relationships and marriages, were most likely to blame. Mom had become a hoarder, refusing to let go of anything that she acquired. She also, apparently, hadn’t paid for or used a garbage man in quite some time as well. Garbage littered the floor from one end of the house to the other and, in certain spots, rose to over three or four feet high.

It hadn’t helped that both Patricia and Erin lived several states away. And Mom would always visit them, always saying her house was a mess and that she’d feel more comfortable traveling. Patricia hadn’t actually seen her childhood home for five or six years, and Erin even longer. They had no idea it had come to this.

Aside from years of trash, the noxious smell of garbage and rot and death of one unfortunate animal or another was completely overwhelming. And the house was filled with cockroaches and rats. When Erin had attempted passage into the kitchen, climbing over refuse and risking her life, at least a handful of the disgusting, disease-spreading bugs crawled onto her hand, sending her reeling back and out the door. Patricia thought her sister was acting a bit overdramatic, but then again, this was all so emotional.

How had her mother allowed herself to slip so low? Patricia just hoped the therapist would be able to help. They could clean it up, sure, but without treating whatever disease her mom had, it’d just end up that way again.

Erin was crying, and Patricia walked over to console her. Her younger sister just stared back at her mother with anger and contempt.

“Erin, it will be OK. We’ll get it cleaned up, and we’ll get Mom help.”

“You don’t understand, Patricia. The mess, the bugs, the rats—none of that matters.”

“I know,” replied Patricia, rubbing her sister’s back.

“No you don’t! You don't! Did you even go into the kitchen? You have no idea!”

“I didn’t, no, but I figured it was just as bad as the other rooms.”

“Patricia! They are in there! Bill, Greg, Richard. Dad! They didn’t leave her! Dad didn’t abandon us! Their mummified bodies are all in there, sitting in chairs at the kitchen table!”

500 words

8/13/2012 03:34:12 am

"How did you expect it to react?" I hated lab accidents. If it wasn't radioactive rottweilers, it was mutant arthropods. I spent a fortune repairing and cleaning my body armor. So I wasn't in a particularly charitable mood when I arrived. I may, in fact, have taken it out on Jackson Davis' desk, which now bore a decidedly fist-shaped dent.

The geek in the lab coat had immediately backed away and started temporizing. "For one thing, the existing research was inconclusive. For another, I wanted to avoid confirmation bias."

"That's a very professional way of saying you had no fucking idea, Jackson."


8/13/2012 03:34:12 am

“How did you expect me to react with a confession like that?” she demanded. “I’m very angry that you didn’t tell me before. I really loved you or thought I did. Was that something you forced on me?”

“I can’t do that,” he pleaded. “You should know that.”

“Really? I should, should I?” Her tear-filled rage grew. It was not so much the fact of what he told her, it was that he chose now to tell her, after she had given herself to him both physically and emotionally. Had she known this before she could have made a rational, informed choice. She did not go into things blindly—it was not how she was, full disclosure always with everything.

“Let me explain.”

“Explain, really? I don’t think you need to explain. I fully understand what you are. What I want you to explain is where they are. Why can’t I see them now that you’ve told me your little secret?”

“Because they are gone, it was part of my punishment.”

She glared at him and turned back to the window. In the reflection, she could see that her mascara ran making her eyes look like blue and black butterfly wings. She laughed at the thought of wings. He misread her laughter and stepped closer to him. She saw his pale movement in the glass and turned around quickly.

“Don’t come near me.” The tears burned her eyes. He stopped. His face filled with grief. “You should’vee told me this at the beginning before I…”

“Would it have made any difference?”

“Yes, I would’ve stayed away from you, knowing that any second you could be taken back into the fold.”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.” He grimaced, glancing over his shoulder. “Besides they don’t grow back and I wouldn’t be able to fly home.”

She fought the smile that wanted to brighten her face.

“It’s just not something that you should’ve kept from me, asshole.” Her mood began to soften. “It does explain some things though.”

340 words

Bronwyn Sciance
8/13/2012 03:34:43 am

The Price of Failure

“How did you expect him to react?” Hugo raised an eyebrow. “Did you expect him to say, ‘Oh, you poor men, didn’t you find that naughty hero? Never mind, come on inside, sit by the fire and have a warm cup of cocoa?’”

“Well, he’s always going on about employee wellness,” Jake said defensively. “I sure didn’t think he was going to whip out his gun and shoot somebody!”

“Not ‘somebody,’” Hugo corrected him. “Lieutenant Sanbourne. He was in charge of the patrol, after all. It’s his responsibility. Was.”

“Oh, yeah, just rub it in, why don’t you!” Jake shouted. “It wasn’t his responsibility, that’s the problem, and if I’d been given a chance to explain then I’d be the one dead and not the Loot!”

“Do you want to die? Is that what this is all about? Do you have some kind of freaking death wish?”

“No! But I’m the one who screwed up. I tried telling the Boss that and he wouldn’t listen. I’m pretty sure the hero was hiding right around the corner and we would have caught him, except I missed my step and sent a big chunk of rock tumbling down the side of the mountain. The guy must’ve heard and scarpered. It’s my fault we lost him, not Lieutenant Sanbourne’s. And the boss didn’t even want to hear it!”

Hugo was interested in spite of himself. “What exactly did he say?”

Jake dropped his chin to his chest and imitated the deep tones of their boss. “’And this is the price of failure.’ Then he whipped out his blaster, aimed it at me, then turned and squeezed off a round at the Loot. He went down like a ton of bricks.”

Hugo sighed. “Thanks for letting me know. I’ll have to make him to reread Peter’s Evil Overlord List.”

305 words {without title}

8/13/2012 03:38:37 am

The Spider Jeopardy
by S Jayanth


“How do you expect me to react idiot? How would you, if I did the same to you? With a bigger and more vicious looking spider!”, Tess barked at her younger sister after she woke up screaming to a hairy tickle caused by a palm-sized dessert spider. She jumped back from her bed in panic and fell over the floor, hurting her head.
Only after this freaky moment did she notice her sister standing at the bedpost and more frustratingly, laughing at her.
“I wouldn’t freak out like you”, said Jane, still unable to control her laughter.
“Well, you are such a disgusting little prick”, Tess hissed and walked out of her room. This fun-intended prank by her sister has not only frightened her but also led to an even more awkward fall resulting in a smack on her head which left her dizzy which felt more like something-more-than-just-a-smack as her pain did not go away even after an hour. She has been walking in the veranda all that time, nauseated by visions of evil spiders and pangs of pain at her head. It was 6 in the morning and Tess knew this day was going to be long, as is the feeling left by any pain that goes off inside us early in the day and continues for too long.
After deciding that resting would help more than walk in loops like a bird which flew in circles, thanks to an unexpected bowl of gin that she drank from. This thought made her laugh out loud, but the pain it caused cut her short. She cursed under her breath and walked to the door. She closed the veranda door behind her and turned on the light in the hallway. To her goosebumpy surprise, a spider was lying on the floor ahead, though its hair color looked different. This got her temper to peaks that it seemed the red on her cheeks would spread to her blonde hair. She stomped the two feet that separate her from the spider and picked it up with her whole palm and stormed into her sister’s room, this time, she was so damn sure she would slap her.
Turning on the light in her sister’s bedroom, Tess pulled the blanket away and shook her sister who fell asleep when she was struggling with the post-‘pranks gone wrong’-bruises. Her sister sat up unwillingly, eyes still closed.
Tess said, “How many of these are still there in the home?”
“What are you talking Tess”, Jane said, yawning. She was now awake completely, thanks to her sister’s loud voice.
“That isn’t my spider, Tess”, she said, rubbing her eyes.
“What do you mean by it is not………”, Tess broke off as the spider in her palm moved.
“ I THOUGHT WOMEN ARE AFRAID OF SPIDERS. BUT YOU SEEM TO BE BRAVE “, the spider spoke, in a deep and weird voice.
The sisters looked at each other, then screamed like hell broke loose.

497 words

Robin Abess
8/13/2012 03:56:49 am

Re-submitting to begin from prompt.

Curl Up and Dye

“How did you expect me to react, when that witch ruined the most important night of my life?”

It had all started when Margie heard the front door of the shop open and silently cursed to herself. She’d not had time to lock it yet, nor turn the sign around. She finished washing her hands, and exited the back room, calling out “I’m sorry, we’re closed…” The words died on her lips at the sight of the young woman standing by the door, brandishing a gun.

“Tracy? What in the…”

“Shut up Margie. Look at this.” The girl yanked off the knit cap she’d been wearing with her free hand, releasing a mass of curly locks…that were green. “What do you have to say about this?!” Tracy looked deranged.

Margie’s blue eyes widened. “What happened?”

“Cindy. Cindy happened,” the girl spat out, her dark eyes shooting sparks of rage.

“Cindy did this? Calm down, and let’s see if we…” She was interrupted by Tracy’s scream of rage.

“I want you to call her and get her down here, so she can fix this mess.”

In a few moments, the call was made, and Cindy was on her way. Satisfied to some degree, the angry young woman told how she had been invited to her boyfriend, Gary’s, house for dinner to meet his parents. “If things went well, we were going to be engaged. I had Cindy touch up my hair so it would look its best, and she touched it up alright. I had to cancel my plans, and because of that, Gary’s parents were so angry, he probably won’t be seeing me again. She’s ruined my life!”

At that moment, Cindy breezed in the door. “What’s so important…”she began, then stopped at the sight before her. “Whoa…”

“Lock the door, witch.” Tracy waved the gun at her, and Cindy complied. “Now, get over to your station and fix my hair.”

Exchanging a glance with Margie, Cindy did as she was told. She began mixing chemicals and lathering them on Tracy’s hair. Margie fixed Tracy a cup of tea, which she drank, all the while watching Cindy work. After a bit, Tracy slumped, sleeping in the chair.

“Nice job, Marg,” Cindy smiled. “Let me finish up her hair, then you can take care of the rest.”

“This is what she gets for stealing the man I love…” Margie’s face was a mask of rage now. As soon as Tracy’s hair was the correct shade, the woman wrapped the girl’s fingers around the gun and dragged her out back, still sleeping. A shot rang out.

Tracy was found the next day outside the beauty shop where she had apparently committed suicide. No one was more surprised or horrified than Margie and Cindy. Curl Up and Dye became an overnight sensation, thanks to the media coverage.

Not long after, both women were found dead inside the shop…their hair a ghastly shade of green.

497 words {with title}

8/13/2012 05:27:25 am

«How did you expect me to react?” Cayla said, and sat down on the velvet-covered chair.
“I don’t know, but I didn’t expect you to be upset about it,” Bren answered.

He’d worked out all his life and knew he looked good; add the fact that he was a Sabretooth in his other form and you had a desirable mate – at least, that’s what he thought.

“Oh, don’t look so offended,” she huffed and got up to see him, “It’s not you, it’s me. I just have a lot to think about, and you know that.”
She placed her palms on his chest and looked into his brown eyes. He was a prime specimen of the male race, but finding out you’re not human - or from the world you thought you were from, was not an everyday happening.

He sighed and took her wrists, and then planted a kiss on each of them. Her skin was so soft, like the petals of the Aireloes flower.
She tilted her head and looked at him intently, wishing she could decipher him as well as he did her.

“Tell me what you’re thinking,” she demanded.
He smiled broadly and shook his head. “Perhaps if I remain a mystery I’ll be more alluring. I do, however, have something to show you. Come on,” he said and took her hand.

They ran down the golden-bricked hallway and Cayla’s eyes were nearly popping out. The beauty of everything surrounding her was astounding, and she wanted to stop and look at every little detail.

She wasn’t moving fast enough for his taste, so in one swift move, he’d launched her into the air and phased just before she landed; perfectly on his back.

Just like when we were kids, he thought.
Jesus Christ I can hear what he's thinking, Cayla panicked.
I don’t know who this Jesus is, but I’d rather you didn’t think any other man’s name while we’re connected. Now, hang on tight!

They jumped the fence at the end of the hallway and ran down a rather steep mountainside, avoiding the path next to them.

Such a show off, she scolded, but she was thrilled nevertheless.

His giant paws thudded heavily on the rocks and grass underneath them, and she did remember doing this as children. He started skidding to stop their decline, and it wasn’t until she saw the cliff that she really panicked.

“We’ll never make it!” she screamed, and pulled at the scruff of his neck, yanking off pieces of his fur as she did.

He turned his head and growled loudly, but she didn’t stop – they did, however, and it was an embarrassed and shaken Cayla who climbed off his back.

Do you remember this view? He thought, and turned his giant flat head towards her. Her hand was still on his back.
Yes, she answered, and took a deep breath as she recognized the city Lockireth and her childhood home.

Word count: 492


Graeme Clark
8/13/2012 05:57:53 am

My Silver Lining
by Graeme Clark

How did you expect me to react? I’m looking out the window into the cold, wet night. Raindrops dribble down the glass, they start as one and unite with others then continue their slow descent; a descent that ends in a puddle at the bottom of the frame, just like the blood on the windscreen.
I can see my reflection staring back, a ghost like figure, a shadow. I look gaunt, tired and guilty. I try to find redemption in my tear filled eyes but I can find none. I can still hear the screeching of rubber, the crash of metal on metal, the smell of the smoke billowing into the night sky and worst of all; I can hear my wife’s screams. I have nothing left to live for. How would you react?
Feeling a gentle tug on my shirt tail, I turn around.
‘Daddy? You ok?’ It was enough for me to know I was wrong.
158 Words

8/14/2012 07:52:29 pm

You've written a very moving story in only a few words-not at all easy to do. Well done!

8/13/2012 09:32:00 am


<i>How did you expect us to react?</i>

“I didn’t say anything! I promise!” Miyu fell to her knees, clutching her head and sobbing.

Clergy stood about impotently watching the sudden convulsions of the child in the tattered dress. Each time they patched or replaced it, she managed to wear it down to threads by afternoon. Brother Baldwin knelt to brace the scrawny girl comfortingly.

“Miyu, what’s the matter?”

<i>You thought you could hide from us? You thought we couldn’t reach you in their holy place?</i>

“NO!” the pale blonde pushed Brother Baldwin away and fell on her side. “Please leave me alone!”

The broad shouldered monk stayed by the girl, but didn’t touch her again. She curled into a shivering fetal position and he turned to the others in the chapel.

“Someone bring a blanket! She’s freezing!”

<i>Ungrateful whelp, we spared your miserable existence. We gave you power. Purpose. Now you dare to betray us?</i>

“I didn’t do anything wrong! I-“ Miyu choked, unable to finish.

Baldwin lifted the little girl in his strong hands, guiding her back to a straighter posture with desperate concern in his eyes. Miyu’s own eyes opened suddenly, the right a crystal blue but the left hemorrhaging with murky red. Her tiny hands dug into his cassock with a strength belying her diminutive appearance.

“Look at me. Look at me, Miyu. I’m here. You’re safe. Everything’s going to be okay.”

<i>We have been far too lenient with you. We know why you came to this place. You must be punished.</i>

“No…” The girl retched.

As her protector stroked Miyu’s back and steadied her breathing, a steaming gout of viscous fluid erupted from her mouth drenching him. Unwavering, Baldwin held the child out of her own mess showing no care for his own state. It was then one of the sisters returned with a blanket and the abbot.

“Father! Is there no way for us to get little Miyu a doctor?”

“I’m afraid not until the storm passes. Her fate is in God’s hands now.”

Everything was so dim. Quiet. It felt as though Miyu’s mind had been wrapped in the heavy wool, not just her body. She wanted to sleep.

“Father, her hair’s turned white! As disciples of God, there must be some way we can combat this unholy malady!”

“Calm yourself, Brother Baldwin. It is merely a trick of the light; her hair was quite fair when she came to us. If evil forces were at work she would have been cured upon crossing our threshold. For now, rest is all we can give her.”

The sensation of being carried lulled Miyu’s mind further into darkness. Baldwin would take care of her. Everything would be alright.

“Don’t worry, Miyu. I know you can’t tell me what’s wrong, but I promise I’ll find a way to help you.”

<i>You think this priest can free you from us? How did you expect us to react?

We will have you kill him in the night.</i>

498 words

8/13/2012 09:33:14 am

Aw, and I tried to take extra steps to make sure the formatting translated too. Oh well...

8/13/2012 02:15:22 pm

“How did you expect me to react to your little song and dance?” he asked mildly. The calm before the storm. I could see that storm fast approaching in his eyes, in the white knuckles clenching at his sides.

“Not like a jealous jackass,” I said.

“Prancing around like a trollop—”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I cocked my head, studying his reaction.

His blue eyes flared, shifting to molten gold.

“Exactly what do you think you saw tonight?”

“You.” The word ended on a growl. “And another lycan.”

I rolled my eyes. “Okay, genius. I was there for that part. When do we get to the part making you greener than the Hulk?”

He made a sound that set shivers racing over my skin. The low pitched howl brought my own anger to the surface.

“You secure that shit,” I said, pointing a warning finger. “And God help you if you call me a whore again.”

“You practically threw yourself at him.”

I saw the hurt, I really did. But mine trumped it.

“You think—” I laughed, a hard, ugly sound. “You think I’m a werewolf groupie? Screwing around behind your back?”

I didn’t give him time to reply.

I closed the space between us, my fist drawn back. He lifted his hands automatically and I drove my knee up and into his crotch. He dropped to the floor with a shout, curling into a ball. Gasping, he rolled away from me. I sank down at his back and leaned over him.
“He has a mate,” I said. “In case you’re curious. And you know what? It. Isn’t. Me.”

“A—a mate?”

“Know what else? You left,” I said. “At the first sign of trouble, you bailed.”

“I didn’t,” he gasped.

“Maybe not physically, sure. But emotionally? You left me high and dry, you ass.” Surging to my feet, I said, “So guess what? You have no claim on me. Goodbye.”

“Wait.” He made it to his knees. “I’m sorry. Wait—”

“Don’t get up.” With a shake of my head I turned away.

His hand wrapped hard around my ankle. Shrieking, I toppled off balance. I threw up my hands and landed.

In his arms.

He groaned, a sound of aching misery.

Wide-eyed, I gaped at him.

“How the hell did you catch me? You should still be in the fetal position.”



“I didn’t want you to break your face.”

“Generous of you.”

“Considering the way my dick feels? You’ve no idea.” His right hand caught me by the hair. “Believe me, I’ve no intentions of moving any farther.”

The kiss took me by surprise. It tasted of anger, regret, and something softer. Sweeter. My body responded, heart and mind. When we came up for air, he smiled.

“Can you just slap me next time I’m a—what did you call me?”

“A jealous jackass.”


“I promise I won’t shoot you.”

His head dropped back and he sighed. “I suppose that’ll have to do.”

500 #WIP500 words

8/13/2012 08:53:16 pm

“How did you expect him to react? Calmly? Reasonably? Rationally?” I flitted my wings, and landed on the roof of the car. “Seriously? Tie-died? In pink, aqua, magenta, and lavender? On a guy’s car?”

Sasha landed next to me. “I was just trying to add some color to his life! He didn’t have to go all Nordic Warrior on me!” She sighed. “Came at me with a broom handle and a trashcan lid, he did! Talk about unexpected!”

I shook my head. “But, Sasha. Turning the guy into a statue for 8 hours?”

Sasha shrugged. “I panicked. Did the first thing that popped into my head.”

I looked at the poor guy. Looked like he was trying to throw a javelin. But where the javelin was supposed to be was a bouquet of flowers. “A flower throwing bandit? Sasha? That just popped into your head?”


I looked at the poor guy. “Oh, gods. Now he’s wet himself.”

Sasha looked down. “I’m sorry. I panicked. But I never really thought he’d be angry, Momma. I really didn’t.”

Ah, the joys of parenthood. My little pixie daughter was sometimes a handful. “I know. I know. It’s not like I didn’t make mistakes when I was your age, dear.” I placed my hand on her shoulder. “What say we clean this mess up?”

There was nothing else to do, but fix the disaster my daughter had made. We flitted our wings, and took back to the air. I looked at the car. It really was a pretty paint job. Sasha had done well. She’d just got the colors wrong.

“OK. Dear. Let’s fix the first mistake. The car. This is a car for a male. You used female colors. What colors would have been better?” Sasha thought a moment. Then she waved her hands, and tossed some pixie dust over the poor man’s car. The colors all changed, becoming basic black, silver, primary red, and blue.

“Very nice, dear. Those are much more appropriate colors for a human male.” We then flew over to the man, statuesque as he was. “And throwing flowers?”

“I know, Momma. I know. That’s not right either.”

“How would you fix that.”

Another wave of her hands, and tossing of pixie dust, and the man turned into a soldier out of one of the human races favorite video games. I believe they called it Halo. I smiled. “Nicely done, dear. Nicely done.” I patted my daughter on the back.

“I’m proud of you, dear. It takes a strength and courage to admit your mistakes.” We started home. “I want you to go out again tonight, and practice some more.”

Ah, the joys of parenthood.

461 Words.

8/14/2012 01:16:11 am

Badges And Burdens

“How did you expect them to react? You blew their only kid’s head clean off…by mistake. I think that’s what really pissed them off was telling them that. Boy, sometimes I wonder how you managed to survive this long on the job? I really do.”

Jacobs rounded on his partner, his expression twisted by emotions. “What the hell are you talking about? I came here to lay this to rest…give them…myself some closure. How, exactly, did I screw-up?”

Shaking his head from side to side, Rizzo grinned, “Wow, you really just don’t get it, do you? Okay, let me break this down for you. Mr. and Mrs. Ortiz, KNOW you didn’t shoot their son on purpose ‘cause cops don’t, as a general practice, just go around shooting 9-year-old boys. So, coming here to tell them it was an accident is pretty freakin’ pointless. They know it was an accident…they don’t care. They know you don’t deserve to be punished for an accident…they don’t care. They know you’ll probably never see another kid running around playing without this all coming back up on you and you know what? They…don’t…care.”

“At the end of the day, what they do care about is this: their son is dead. He won’t get to play football or go to prom or to college…ever. He won’t get a job and a wife and a house and all that kinda stuff…ever. And you know why he won’t get to do any of that stuff, partner? Oh, yeah…I remember now. It’s because you pulled a rookie move and turned the kid’s head into hamburger meat. Is it starting to make sense to you now?”

“So, what do they…do you…want from me, Rizzo?” Jacobs whisper was scarcely audible.

“What does the Ortiz family want? I have no clue what, if anything, will ever make this right with them. But, I’ll tell you what I want. I want you to get in the car so we can drive to that burger joint off Sepulveda. It’s BOGO Friday, remember? The world always looks better with a quart of grease coursing through your veins. I’ll drive ‘cause you look like shit, okay?”

They drove, in silence, for some time before Jacobs spoke, “I don’t think I can do this anymore. I…I think it’s time for me to pack it in. Didn’t they always tell us, at the academy, we’d know when to call it quits?”

“Yep, they certainly did. So you wanna turn your stuff in before or after we eat? Personnel is probably closing up early anyway on Friday. Yeah, we’ll eat first.”

Seeing Jacobs stunned look from the corner of his eye, Rizzo sighed, “Look, I’m not gonna blow sunshine up your ass. If you’re used up, you are. I’ll miss you…maybe a little. But, yeah, I guess it’s time too.”

Unexpectedly, he turned the car around. “Y’know what? I’m not so hungry after all. If we hurry, we can still catch Personnel before they take off for the weekend.”

500 words @klingorengi

Khurshid Khatib
8/14/2012 01:54:42 am

Rob’s Train of Thought

‘How did you expect me to react? It’s a quiet coach, can’t you read? What’s wrong with you peasants?’

These were the words Rob urged to shout out. Commanding them with the authority of a true leader, an accusatory finger directing their humiliated faces to the sign plastered on the rain-dropped window as he ripped up the offending passengers train ticket. Instead he silently cursed them, sighed repeatedly and unnecessarily folded and unfolded his scrawny legs in the only hope that this might knock their bulging seats a little.
The blackness suddenly reflected his unflattering features. Creases forced the narrowing of his wide brow and the murky green in his tiny, hazel eyes flickered with resentment. His newly bought ‘beanie’ hat was two sizes too big for him and sat crumpled by the side of his barely there stubble but he thought it made him look like the coolest member of a boy band; the still-attached label actually made him look like a shop-lifter. The image grimaced back at him and slowly cracked each knuckle along every finger joint. The adjacent stranger shuddered, squinted at Rob and turned the other way in disgust.

The voice was getting nearer. Rob hurriedly jumbled through his rucksack but couldn’t find them. The uniformed man looked him up and down disapprovingly but by now both sleep and tickets had made a premature exit.

‘Oh, sorry’ Rob apologised for muttering an expletive. ‘Urm, I…’
‘I’ll come back in a couple of minutes’.
‘Yeah, yeah, that’d be great yeah. I know they’re in here somewhere’.

The journey continued into darkening skies but left Rob somewhere in the midst of a Yorkshire countryside with all the quiet he’d previously desired. That beanie was to come in handier than he’d ever imagined.

294 words


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