She had witnessed more of them being put down than anyone should; the televisions played it constantly. They were everywhere; being so small, they could hide in sheds, behind rose bushes, inside of mailboxes. Exposed, they were caught on a billion camera phones, their last moments a blur of pink and red, of whistling screams, of the slightest punch that rendered them inert.
Like popping bubble wrap, Sheila said.
Joy shivered, and hoped she would never find one on her own.
Pirates in bowties: A new thing. They swirl among us, apes at the party. We laugh, feed them speared salmon on silver forks, but really, at the end of the night, who wants them there? When the servants are cleaning up, and the last guests are leaving–only these “guests” stay. Don’t they realize they’re entertainment, not guests? I will tell them. Their captain. I will tell them and they will leave.
Here I go.
The occupancy rate of Twoheart Towers is now eighty-three–eighty-one more than the building can bear.
Deep in the caverns of the seventh floor, a furnace sputters out. The residents all feel an immediate chill.
Within moments, it is too much to bear. The Towers spit them out, until only two remain. The doors click shut, lock, and they are they, in the lobby, behind enormous glass windows. He turns to her. Without waving goodbye, they take the stairs up, up, to the fortieth floor, where there is warmth and coffee and the slightest vibration of a happy, purring building.
We’ve gone and plugged the meter again. Won’t happen after today–well, not likely, anyway. Wendy likes her coffee revved, you see, and after a few extra-strength jitterbugs, she can’t hold a dime to save her life. The officers are sorely tired of it, but me, I don’t mind. I like the way the meter grins, and the way she shimmies into the car, as we make our way into a four o’clock world.
She was striped, shoulders to thighs, white on black but for the tips of her wings: those were black-green, like spreading streaks of oil.
She put a finger to her lips.
Carrie closed her eyes tight and wrapped her arms around me. I stared back at the harpy.
She put a hand to the window, and tested the glass.
A talon, then three–the harpy had landed. Her feathers rustled like dry paper. We shivered.
The shingles on the roof began to fall. Another talon, a feather drops, black as oil.
I shut the window slowly, quietly.
A lock of hair drips down. A face, homely, eyes two different colors. The harpy cocks her head.
“I see you.”
A trifle more was all she needed. A smidge. A touch…
He moved into place against her. Breathed across her neck. Almost…
Her finger grazed his jaw, just enough to turn his face to hers. He opened his eyes.
The demonstrators have reached Haig Street. We watch them from second story windows, radios in hand. What weapons do we possess? While they are replete with grenades and guns. In the morning, this will all be over, we tell ourselves. Whispers between radios in bedroom windows soothe: this will all be over soon.
Now that the vampires have stopped confiding in him, Stan is feeling somewhat bereft. Centuries of secrets–oh, little things, but still! He was almost party to them. Almost there at the moment Mina broke the vase and refused to admit it. Almost there when Count D forgot to tip a bellhop, and bathed in shame, cannot return to that hotel in Central Park. How mundane they’d seemed, how petty. But now they’ve told him all, and what more use does a vampire have for a small time bookie? They’ve lost a few coins, true, but more precisely: unburdened the place where their souls used to sit. Now there is room for something else, but what, they will not tell him.
And on another starlit night, she might’ve said yes. But not this one. Not when Kya still held the bell: glowing, golden, dust like dancing ferries falling from it. No. She couldn’t tell her yes, not when the bell was still missing from their mother’s cupboard. Not when their mother yet cried, waiting, waiting, for the return of the thing.
Welcome. We strive to make this a perfect, happy place. Perhaps you misunderstand our intentions. Perhaps you do not appreciate what has been given to you. That is common, and we are here to help. We know that in time, whatever it takes, you will come to be grateful for what we provide. We know that your last words will be, “Thank you.”
I bounced off the walkway like a smashed, flattened tennis ball and fell to the side like an unwanted, scrapped steel beam. Refocusing my mind, I realized this wasn’t as bad as it felt. A #sentiment of relief took over. I climbed to my feat, looked around and found a clear path through the field of wondering elephants. #OneWord #OzNolem
I pushed through the entry way, not really wanting to face the admiral. I’d really rather face his execution, because I know his #orders are going to turn me into an execution, and if that happens I’m not sure what will happen with my sacred contract. #OzNolem #OneWord
Flying through the wind, neither with it or against. Underneath it. The gravity #sill glides along unknown and not felt by reality, traversing webs of probability and dodging event after event until it settles into form within the other side of the wind. #oneword #oznolem
I’m in one. No kidding. Not many people would think to write a letter, all while being crammed and contorted inside a freezer, but I figured why not? Something to keep me busy as the blue glow of the sky fades to white and then to dark. I don’t want to watch that happen, no one does. #freezer #oneword
Inward towards the slightly caving attitude he continually projected in his life, was a falling revenue of hope. Like flecks of snow falling through the summer sky to be singed by a stream of hot tropical wind. #revenue #oneword
Inward towards the slightly caving attitude he continually projected in his life, was a falling splatter of hope. Like flecks of snow falling through the summer sky to be singed by a stream of hot tropical wind.
Slipping into the vid screen before she knew it: a shadow, replacing that tree. She knew nothing, but he felt… everything. Every blurred image, every click of channel chasing, every breath ghosting across his unknown face, every second.
I seemed to have gotten off in the wrong trench. I couldn’t even here the other squirrels chattering. I just kept going and going. And then it fluttered into my mind. I used to be in love with them, fellow corn nibblers, cuddly cousins. Hello! Hello out and over there!
is waiting for a definition.
The in-betweens of
one woman’s finger’s from the next,
a man plays music
by their candle-lit table,
and they look into each other’s
eyes and just as all the room starts to sway
from the jesting of diners
- pointing with their forks -
but when they stand up to leave
(the bill was split)
it is a hug with one arm
(the weight of purses in priority)
and when they begin to walk
it is in different directions
forks breaking the skin of steaks.