Wednesday, May 25, 2011


"Quentin said there was this place...a way station. Do you know of it?"

The old codger wiped his hands in his haggard beard, a thoughtful swipe. He stared at me for a brief eternity, wondering if my question was an interrogation.

"Well, you know Quentin," the Keeper began, "said a lot of wild things. Said we was goin' to hell. Always drummin' up some noise about this here rapture."

"What do you know of this...rapture? Do you believe?" I continued.

"Don't know what I believe. Ever since the Creed was declared, I ain't been sure of nothin'."

"But what is this place then? All these chairs.
Quentin spoke of this too. That this was..." I was interrupted by the old man, completing my thought.

"...this was where the angels came? Quentin was censured by the committee. Shouldn't have been speakin' his mind like that, I'll tell you!"

"Why do you just sit here old man? What is your purpose?", I asked, making the first query of interrogation.

"I am just minding my mind" he replied. "You sought me out, Intellectual! "

He saw it. Through my wrapping and gilding, the Keeper saw it. The Intellectuals were the first to depart. Quentin was an Intellectual. Our ilk posed a threat. The geezer knew.

"Did I miss it?" I asked of the rapture.

The Keeper's grin was ominous. His laugh hideous. I simply grasped his cloak to establish control. His neck snapped with the slightest of pressure.

Quentin always spoke the rapture; of us going to hell. I propped the limp shell of a man into one of the chairs, and prayed we weren't desolate. For I was not sure if we were too late for the exit, or bound here to this hell.

Either way, I was screwed.


Another holiday.

You wait all year and you make your preparations. Halloween. The witch's Christmas. My mother was being difficult. And my outfit was all wrong.

I took off the hat. The pointy top was making my face look chubby.

"If you're going to be a witch for Halloween," my mother said. "You should really wear the hat."

I turned on her. "Uh, I'm already a witch every day and you don't see me running around with a broomstick, do you? I really don't think we should play into stereotypes by wearing ridiculous costumes."

There was more to it than that. But really, the hat just made my face look chubby.

For every insistence my mother had, my power against her will was challenging. But my mother always got her way in the end.

"I'm not wearing it!" I finally announce, turning for the stairs.

"Fine, have it your way", my mother called.

There was a flash of light behind me. It made my head tingle.

Back in my room, I got ready for the celebration. I felt empowered. Mother didn't pursue with her usual persistence. And I removed my hat.

"MOTHER!" I cackled, "how could you?"

The image that returned its gaze from my vanity mirror was hideous. My head was the exact shape as my hat.

"Something wrong, sweetie?" Mother mocked.

"Look at my head" I yelled. "How could you?" I repeated.

"At least your face isn't chubby anymore," Mom smiled, "Now, it's long! And pointy"

"What am I supposed to do now?" I cried.

"Wear the hat, dear! No one will even notice your head!" Mom smirked.


A black cat crossed my path.

I saw him lurking there as I entered the room. His wide piercing eyes stared me down as I approached. The tension in the air was palpable. You could see the trepidation in his gaze. I felt the slightest tremble in my hands.

He caught me off guard when he jumped up on the piano and stumbled along the keys making a dreadful noise. I was relieved when he stepped down off away from the piano, giving me the opportunity to take my seat, still under his watchful eye.

Then he smiled that Cheshire cat smile of his. You know the one that stayed with you long after you parted company?

He ducked from sight for a brief moment, that grin still hanging in the air above him, only to re-emerge clutching his horn. Malcolm Jenkins played a smooth trumpet. His riffs were flawless, his passion was off the charts; his soul reached into the depths of hell to slap the devil into paying attention to his muse.

And as I began to tickle the ivories, Malcolm followed my lead, only to abruptly take charge and bring me along for the ride. We jammed until the wee hours of the morning, and when we were done, the devil and I were on a first name basis. Like I said the Dude was smooth.

A black cat crossed my path.

And it was apparent, that cat could blow!


Prompt from Flashy Fiction:

Donal was not amused. Once again, someone in the Guest Care office (Mrs. Cooks!) thought it would be funny to photoshop his head onto a drawing. Of Donald Duck. Because that never got old.

Once again, someone in the Guest Care office (Mrs. Cooks!) thought it would be funny to Photoshop his head onto a drawing of Donald Duck, because frankly, that never got old. Donal was not amused.

He sat patiently, hands still lightly gripping his steering wheel. "Twelve and two", he smirked inwardly as he waited. Three squad cars and the S.W.A.T. team flashed their semaphore behind him. The show of force afforded Donal some importance.

"They should see this, then they'd know not to laugh", he thought, his hands clearly visible.

An officer approached on either side of his vehicle, pistols drawn as Donal's breathing remained slow and rhythmic. He pressed the button on his power window, as it lowered fully open. Donal smiled.

"Problem officers?" he cracked, but the patrolman was far from playful.

"Get out of the car, Scumbag, and keep your hands where I can see them!" the cop shouted at Donal as the officer's partner rounded the front of the car, revolver still trained on Donal's chest.

He slowly pushed his door opened and stepped out into the crisp morning air, closing the door behind him. Officer Creedy and Patrolman Habib rushed the calm assailant, harshly pressing his face against the dust encrusted glass of his passenger window. Habib gave his handcuffs an extra twist as he slapped them around Donal's wrists.

The two took turns shoving Donal toward their squad car. But at one point, Donal hardened his stance, glancing back at his car. Through the rear window she stared, her designer sunglasses covering her eyes. A grotesque smile was fashioned across the stiffening lips of Mrs Cooks decapitated head, which Donal had "pasted" on the rear shelf above his back seat.

He knew he would always remember that smile as he entered the police car harshly. In his mind, it would never get old.