The Other

Jacques was contemplating the ethics of change and its ironies while strolling through the gardens at Versailles late one night. The statuesque hedges were as well-groomed as were the nobility that owned them, and as elegant as the enlightened thoughts of the unheard voices outside the gates, in backrooms and cafes across France. A shallow pool reflected the clear night sky. Jacques was as ready for what was coming as he was ready to abandon his white wig and silken garments for, even though he had a certain penchant for the ostentatious, anything could become tedious.

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This is experimental. It’s also fan fiction but you may not recognize that in the story.

Aidan tossed the script onto his desk and glanced outside. There were no window coverings. Nothing to hide behind, no drapery to keep out the night, no blinds to dissect sunlight. Just a large bare pane of glass as cold and fragile as a human mind.

He woke his laptop then went to his email account, opening one from an old friend first.

“I think this will interest you,” it read, followed by a link.

Aidan clicked on it.

A black page dominated the screen as the word Erotica invited him in while increasing his heart rate. Centered beneath the page title was a video link titled 20160429_100816.MP4. His virus protection hadn’t sounded any alarms and the link had come from a friend so, he thought it was probably safe. But still, Erotica? Their tastes were divergent to say the least.

He followed the link. Continue reading

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I like animals.

Animals are better than people. They’re real, not phony, two-faced or superficial. They’re just themselves, take it or leave it, now feed me.

I had a Rott for a while. For ten years she was my baby. Her name was Tasha and she was the smartest dog ever. But she got sick and died as purebred dogs tend to do. Cracked my heart wide open.

Afterwards, I got some kittens. Couldn’t bring myself to get another dog. They seemed kinda silly at first but they grew into excellent mouse catchers. That’s important where I live out here on my own, south of town. Ain’t no one around for miles. Hidden by some hills, my property affords me the privacy I like and yes, I do own a gun to protect that privacy.

Weird crap happens out in the world; people do stupid things. Can’t leave well enough alone. I don’t like none of it.

One day I hear this snuffling sound round the back door. I opened it and saw what I had never seen before. Well, not in person so to speak. No bigger than me and green with the widest mouth. It didn’t belong. Not in this part of the world, not in this millennium times one hundred thousand. But some idiot brought it back into this world. Probably wants to experiment on it. Just a baby, really.

That’s when I noticed the cats were missing. Have to get more. Mice won’t be enough.

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The Word Collector

There was a steady movement of leaves towards the house like thoughts seeking shelter. The young man didn’t know why he noticed them except that their passage was a distraction from his relentless introspection. They stirred his mind with soft declarations of concern and patterns of motion that reminded him of dancing.

He never danced. It wasn’t a part of his life, not even in high school since he’d always been so much younger than everyone else. He had left to attend the university long before any of his classmates. Still, he never danced. Continue reading

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A Wonderful Life

I know what I deserve and it’s not a poke in the nose with a rusty fork.

Walking into the old neighborhood was like walking into the exclusion zone of Chernobyl. I was just waiting for my brain cells to implode and the skin to start peeling away from my flesh. Of course, then I’d fit right in with these derelict buildings.

The crumbling structures cast overlapping shadows, an abstract penumbra made from the amber glow of the streetlamps. Turbulent city noise crept in, it’s anger tempered by distance, for this neighborhood held quiet vigil on this darkest night. The stars were remote; no moon looked down upon the world.  The street was empty of traffic and life. Whether the inhabitants cowered in their hovels with loved ones or their drugs of choice did not matter to me. A cold wind blew on this autumn evening but that didn’t bother me either.

Did anyone even live here anymore? Of course they must. They had no choice. Where else could they afford to live? Third world problems in the first world. My childhood home swept under the carpet with all the other unmentionables. Wouldn’t want people to know what reality looked like.

But who am I to talk about deception. It’s been my calling card for the last forty years though no one would believe it. No, not with my fresh face all radiant with youth. I am in truth the ultimate unmentionable. Continue reading

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