Short Story Sunday: Fall Garden

 

So I’m digging away, trying to put in some sort of flower beds in my rocky garden. It is foggy. It is cold. And I am not amused. That is what happens when you live in a house built on gold mine tailings. Rocks. Nothing but river rocks coated in a tiny bit of dirt and a shit load of weed seeds.

I’ve got the pick ax out, and I’m jamming the shovel in a hole, with the cold nose of a ninety pound German Shepard in my face, when I FINALLY get the last rock loose before I can plant a small dwarf lime tree. The dog goes nuts. I push her away and pull out the rock.

It isn’t a rock.

It is a skull.

A human skull.

Shit.

My son comes out with a fresh cup of coffee for me (did I mention it was cold.) He looked at the skull and then calls up to the house.

“Hey Dad, she found another one.” Then he turns to me. “This one is small. Man, woman, or child?”

I toss the skull in my garden gloved hands. “It might be a woman but you never know.”

“Want me to put it with the others?”

“Sure,” I said, handing the skull to my sweet teenager.

I could hear him in the side yard opening the 50 gallon Rubbermaid storage container, and dropping in the skull.

He came back to me after about a minute. “Hey Mom, the container is almost full.”

I took a deep breath. “That’s a lot of skulls.”

He gave me an uncomfortable look. “It sure is. Who do you think they are?”

I put my arm around his waist and gave him a hug. “I have no idea. But thanks for the coffee sweetie. Let’s go in. I think I’m done out here today.”

 

~ End

 

Tangled Tales

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Fallen

Fallen

“Oh man, I wish we could turn into bats like in the movies. That would make things a lot easier.”

Max leaned against the kitchen counter listening to his friend Pierce. It had been a rough night for the hunters of shadows – the Vampires who were dedicated to keeping their world safe for both Vampires and those they lived among.

“Do you think she’ll be alright? I didn’t say anything in the car. You know how sensitive she is.”

Max poured himself another glass of wine. “She’ll be fine, eventually. I’ve seen her through worse. Mehitabel has seen herself through worse.”

“Mehitabel won’t tell you if anything is wrong. Come on Max, she took on…” Peirce paused.

“A fallen angel. Sure, and some people call us fallen angels. They have no idea. We’re just physically different. The fallen angels are pure evil.”

“So is the poison that entered our friend, your lover.”

“We’re just friends.”

“Bullshit Max. That is total and complete bullshit.”

The sound of the shower upstairs turned off. Max put down his glass and went to check on his friend.

Mehitabel sat on his bed, her hair dark and wet around her shoulders. She wore one of his robes, a burgundy colored brushed silk.

“Hey, how do you feel?” he said stepping close putting his hand on her cool cheek.

“Not good. Sort of weird, like someone broke my heart, but I don’t know how or why or who. It wasn’t him.”

Max started to pull the robe open.

“Not tonight Max. Please I don’t want to have sex with you or anyone right now, alright.”

“Mehitabel, I don’t want to… I… just let me look.” He pulled open the robe to see the large gash going from the top of her left shoulder down her arm almost to her elbow. The ugly wound had sealed but it was far from being healed. She winced as he touched it. An ugly blackness outlined the edges of the tear.

He put his hand over the wound. At first she tried to pull away but as he whispered words in an ancient language of their people the pain started to leave her arm. Then he bent over and kissed her shoulder. The blackness turned to a pale red. “I came to give, not to take.”

Tears filled her eyes as she lay back on the bed. Max lay next to her and put his arms around her. “Sleep. It is the best thing you can do. I’ll be up later. Nothing can hurt you here, not while Pierce and I are with you.”

Downstairs Pierce had turned on the TV. “Giants lost today. How is she?”

“Not good. I’m going to sleep with her tonight. Just sleep and be there.”

Max and Pierce stayed up to watch ESPN to get their minds off of the past 48 hours.

Mehitabel lay in bed, her fangs ready as she looked out at the creature standing on the window ledge. “You cannot hurt me here. You cannot have me.”

It looked like a man, but she could see the flicker of the forked tail in the dark and the fold of leathery wings above his shoulders.

He smiled an angelic smile of pure bliss and beauty, then mouthed the words, “You’re mine. You. Are. Mine.”

At the sound of the door opening the dark being vanished. Max crawled under the covers bedside her. “Just because, just because we’re the way we are, and because I can’t give you… it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”

She didn’t respond. She was too busy watching and waiting as she looked into the darkness outside the window.

~ End

Short Story Sunday: A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart

The Demon sat on the roof of the house wondering what to do next. She looked around wondering how they put on the roof with such a steep pitch. 12/12 she figured. Standing up she stretched out her leathery wings and brushed back her hair with claw tipped fingers.

It wasn’t like she didn’t know her job. It wasn’t like she wasn’t trained right. It wasn’t like everything she was ever to be was to be wasn’t drilled into her head for centuries.

Flying to the next yard over she found, the handsome Vampire sitting in a chair, with a goblet of blood and his Nook. She knew him. He would know what to do. He would help.

“I don’t want to do this anymore,” the Demon told the Vampire.

“What do you mean?” He glared at her with no light in his eyes.

“I am so frustrated with everything. I want to open an art gallery, the kind with pictures of seascapes and sunflowers. I want to paint and draw, all the while promoting up and coming artists. I’ve got a knack for marketing so I know I could make it work.”

“What sort of stupid trick is this?”

“No trick. I just…I just don’t know how to be…to get out of my contract. I can’t very well ask my boss about it.”

“Why not?”

“I’d be sent back into the fire as a pitch fork handler. I’d never see the light of day again.” She looked into his ocean colored eyes with her yellow-orange orbs. “You’re a Vampire so you don’t know what it is like to have someone own your very being. I’m not my own creature. The Master of Evil owns me. Damn it. This is not what I want. It is not who I want to be.”

“Do any of your peers feel this way?”

“No. They’re happy. They’re content. Seriously what is wrong with me? Who wouldn’t want to spend the day convincing people to have affairs, feel crazy, commit murder and abuse elderly people and twist the necks of animals until they die a slow and painful death. The rush of it all is exhilarating, like the best sex anyone could every have. I mean who wouldn’t want that? Who wouldn’t want the rush and thrill of convincing someone to sell their soul? That is the ultimate. Damn, do you know how many souls I’ve taken to my Master. Millions. And you know what? You know what Vampire? I’m tired of it. I never liked it in the first place. OK I did for a while but after a couple of thousand years it is getting old. Really old.”

He rolled up his sleeve and showed her an ugly scar. “Demon, this is from your last visit. You nearly took my arm off. I was in bed for three weeks because of your poison.”

“I’m sorry. I really am. You have to believe me.”

He glared at her, hate filled his voice, “I can’t believe a word you say.”

She stood in front of him looking into his handsome face. There was no soul she could tempt. There was no blood she could spill. Taking a step towards him the Demon held out her hand. “You could teach me,”

“No. It wouldn’t be a good idea.”

“I love you.”

“You need to go. Now.”

She stood looking at his face. If she had been created with the ability to shed tears she would have, but she could only stare at him in disbelief with yellow-orange eyes.

“I love you.”

“Go.”

Unfolding her wings she flew off, out over the bay, over the city. There were so much damage she could do to hearts and souls down there, but her own heart wasn’t in it anymore.

Turning towards the ocean she flew out, then upwards towards the night, trying to imagine what it would be like to be accepted for what she was not.

~ End

2015 Juliette Kings

 

Short Story Sunday: Sunday Morning Coffee

Andrew stood in the doorway with a cup of coffee in each hand.

“Rise and shine,” he said to the darkened living room.

On the couch lay his friend John, arms and legs around a woman who was laying on top of John. John said he was in love with this one. God knows how many times Andrew had heard John say that. At least she was like them. What was her name? Olive? Yolanda? Olivia. Her name was Olivia. Like in “Twelfth Night.” Olivia.

Andrew liked Olivia, in her little black dress and her dishwater blonde hair that came down to her waist. The girl could talk and certainly made everyone laugh with her stories and commentaries. She was pretty too. A smart pretty girl was just what John needed. It was what most guys needed for that matter.  John had done well considering he was such a jerk most of the time.

Olivia opened one eye, then the other and smiled. “Good morning sweetheart,” she said to Andy as she crawled off of John. “Let him sleep for a while. He needs it.”

She came up to Andrew, taking one of the cups of coffee from his hand. “Thank you. I really need it this morning.”

“So I take it you haven’t been a Vampire for centuries,” asked Andrew. “I don’t mean to be rude. You just have a freshness to you.”

“1982, a year after I graduated from college. I’d been fired from three jobs. My love life sucked. I hated my life. Then I went out one night and met a guy. It wasn’t like a guy I would sleep with. We just talked. He offered me a job. Then he offered me something else. And that is how I became a Vampire and became the confident successful woman I am today. How about you?”

“I was born into it.”

“Wow, that is so rare.”

“Exactly. I know,” said Andrew. He liked Olivia. Doing the math in his head he figured she was maybe 55 or 56 years old. Oh so young.

He asked her about her life and listened over multiple cups of coffee as she told him her tale. She’d grown up the seventh of nine children in Philadelphia. Her parents were good people but like so many of their generation they’d smoked themselves to death. Her brothers and sisters dispersed. She went to California for college then floundered. One night, at a dark low point her life, she met an interesting man who turned her into a Vampire. From there she moved to Alaska, then ended up in Seattle and eventually back to Northern California.

“I bought the winery before it was overly popular. The owner was retiring and so now I have a hundred and three acres of grapes, an a nice little winery. I even design my own labels,” she told him.

Like most with most Vampires, being self-employed is usually the best route to go.

“How’d you meet John?” Andrew had to ask. He’d been friends with John since they were kids. He’d been the one to convert him into a Vampire in 1872.

“At a party. As soon as I saw him I knew there was something special about him. Of course the fact that we’re both Vampires is a big plus. Do you mind if I use your shower? I have some more clothes in the car.”

Andrew showed her one of the guest rooms with its own bath. As he walked back downstairs he thought about Olivia. Nothing about this woman was mysterious. She was an open book.

After a few minutes she came back downstairs wrapped in a towel. Her hair was dry.

“Um, Andrew, there is blood all over the shower stall. The drain looks kind of clogged. Do you have another bathroom I can use.”

“Sorry, try the bathroom at the end of the hall. You’ll like it better. I have a towel warmer in there.”

“Thanks,” she said. And with a wink and a smile Olivia ran back up the stairs.

Olivia certainly was cute. He hoped it would work out between her and John.

In the meantime, he grabbed a bucket and the mom, along with a gallon of bleach. It was a good dinner party last night. He couldn’t wait until the next one.