Stronger and stronger
as the evenings grow shorter
the shadows, longer.
Yellow, red and gold,
mulchy, slippery and cold,
fiery ice on tarmac.
Autumn (fall) is going to be a theme of my upcoming stories and poems.
The scream from the alley drew Xander’s attention. A smile tugged at one corner of his mouth. And here he thought it was going to be a quiet night in the big city.
He moved closer, flitting from shadow to shadow. The scream echoing down the alley was reflected inside his head, bouncing around his skull, a wordless cry for help.
A woman’s cry, and then a sound of flesh hitting flesh. Sobs. A man’s voice. “I’m going to show you what I do to people who double-cross me, bitch.”
Xander reached into his pocket, fingers brushing against something cold, something metal. He pulled out the coin and held it between his finger and thumb. What do I want to be today? Good, or evil. Naughty, or nice? Saviour, or passer-by?
The coin flashed through the air, coldly glinting against the streetlight. He caught it on its fall, and slapped it against the back of the hand. A shiver of excitement rippled down his spine. This was always the best part. That moment of anticipation. Of not knowing what was going to come next, or who he was going to be until the next toss.
He pulled away away his hand, revealing the heads side. Another smile graced his lips as he reached into his other pocket and grasped the handle of his switchblade.
Sometimes, being good could be as much fun as being evil.
I’m a little late to Chuck Wendig’s Good vs. Evil story party this week. I went for brevity, and hope you enjoyed it!
Three days without sleep was the least of my worries. The three dead bodies on the floor? They were a worry. The three cops who bust into the apartment and found me ankle deep in said bodies? Considerably higher up my list of concerns.
They do say these things always happen in threes.
Unfortunately for me, the cops were human. Killing them was off the cards. I couldn’t explain to them why I was standing in a room with recently slaughtered corpses, either. Discretion, I’d been told. Cluing in the mortals… they wouldn’t have believed me. Tell a man you’ve killed an angel, he’ll think you’re nuts. Tell him you’ve killed three, he’ll think… well, the same, but with an added mass murderer bonus.
It was raining on the day I was seen for the first time in over a year. One of those muted, heavy rains that dampens sound and mood. A rain that trickles down the back of your collar no matter how high and straight you pull it, and soaks right through your only blanket. A rain that washes away the stink of the vomit coating the sidewalk—a memento left by last night’s socialites who went home to their warm, dry beds to sleep off their weekend hangovers.
I sat against the marble façade of the bank, my head bowed against the downpour. Feet passed. Loafers and brogues, sneakers and sandals, derbies and Jimmy Choos. From time to time, I glanced up, checking in case anybody had seen me. But their gazes were fixed on some invisible point right in front of their faces, heads held high; snooty, almost. On sunny days, they hide their gazes behind expensive brands of aviators. It’s harder for them to not see me, in the rain.
It was just before lunch time when I felt eyes watching me. A thrill of excitement jolted through me, coupled with a pang of icy fear. Somebody saw my friend Casper, last week, and he’s still in the hospital. Between being noticed and being noticed is a knife-edge ridge, perilous to walk.
The eyes moved towards me, a large black nose thrusting down towards my face. I glanced up and smiled at the yellow lab giving me the once-over while its oblivious owner stood in the shelter of the bank’s awning, checking her messages on her iPhone, or something. The dog had almost reached the limit of its leash, and still it came forward, snuffling and sniffling. Its eyes didn’t slide past me. Its feet didn’t move on. When I held out my hand, it licked at my fingers.
Dogs are better than people, I’ve realised. They don’t judge you. They don’t care about the troubles spread across your past like a connect-the-dots picture. They don’t wear aviators, or step over you with their Jimmy Choos. They don’t paint the streets that are your home in whatever they ate and drank last night, then go back to their perfect houses and go on with their perfect lives.
Thirty seconds after I made a new friend, its owner moved on, calling, “Come, Holly.” Holly watched me until she turned the corner, and then I became invisible again. Maybe later, I’ll head down to the bridge where the addicts hang out, and see if there’s a litter of puppies around. I think I’d like to be seen more often.
For some real and genuine stories from people who live on the street, visit this site: http://www.gottafindahome.com/
The featured image is courtesy of Pixabay.
Greetings, Earth-peoples, it’s me, Glorken!
Yesterday, I bought The Urban Spaceman a super cool bag for carrying scientific equipment around, and thought I would share with you the item’s baffling care instructions!
1. Leather: Keep it from Mars
But it’s okay to take it to Venus?
2. Cotton fabrics: Not exposure in the sun
3. Knitting, Lace Clothing: Stored separately from different depth color, prevent the shadow color or turning yellow.
But what if it’s already yellow?
4. Fur, leather, etc: Avoid the sun and the rain.
Only use indoors or on dry, cloudy days?
5: White Clothing: Put the clothes separately with other clothes when washing.
A complex enigma!
Do you Earth-peoples have any other examples of baffling instructions to share?
An irregular drumbeat filled the air, a series of staccato thuds that set Anneka’s heart racing. She felt it in her chest, in her mind, caressing her skin, filling her from head to toe, making her body twitch as she swayed to the primal pulse. As she reached for the door, the trill of a flute joined the beat of the drum, its melody intertwining around the heavy staccato. A smile tugged at one corner of her lips. The place sounded in full swing tonight.
Inside Xanadu, the main lights had been dimmed. A rainbow of spotlights aimed at a large disco ball sent firefly reflections dancing around the room, skimming over walls and patrons alike, painting them all the same regardless of skin tone and gender. Here, they had more in common than they did in difference. They were all artists. All criminals. All risking their lives to express themselves.
My name is Glorken, and I’m The Urban Spaceman’s best and only friend! I help TUS with scientific experimentation and reports to the Homeworld.
Today I’m reporting on something that is super important to human beings: Friendship!
There are many different forms of friendship that human beings engage in. These range from colleagueism (a predominantly work-based friendship in which humans may only tolerate, or pretend to like, each other) to BFFism (Best Friends Forever). There is also bromance (a close friendship between brothers, though human beings often call a person “brother” even when there is no blood relationship) and sisterhood (a place women can go to hide out from their murderous mafia boyfriends).
Here are some examples of great friendships:
Date: 23rd March, 2096
Journal Log: Dr. Marsden
This will be my final journal entry. Earlier today, I powered down the facility’s generator. The battery back-up will last an hour, maybe two. After that, the computers will go offline. Oxygen will cease to be recycled shortly after. Last to go will be the lights, but I intend to be gone before then. I may very well be the last human on the entire planet, and the thought is… sobering.
Fox came upon a family of crows circling an old oak tree. Head cocked, he barked up to them, “Crows, why are you circling around up there?”
“We’re waiting for our next meal!” the carrion-eaters cawed back.
Farmer sighted down his gun, saw a bushy red tail with a creamy-white tip. Gently, he squeezed the trigger.
The chickens will be safe tonight.
Mama Crow called her fully fledged chicks back down to the branches of the oak. Their work was done, and now they settled in for a long wait.
Later, there would be scraps.
This has been a Fox & Crow story inspired by this #writephoto prompt from Sue Vincent. Check out Sue’s blog for other wing-related stories.