Those Eyes! A few of his many eyes flashed a baleful red.
They often flashed red, especially when he felt someone was following him too close.
He was a big guy, but in truth he was also paranoid. Maybe because of his size.
If someone stepped on his shoes, no matter whether he was moving or not, his eyes turned red for quite a while.
His shoes were a possible saving grace. He felt his shoes all the time. Many didn't pay them any attention.
Why are you following me this close? he'd think and his eyes would flash red again.
They were bright red, sometimes the only thing others could see about him in thick fog or other inclement weather.
Some thought him a demon of some sort. Others were just annoyed.
Ignore me at your peril, he thought.
He sometimes wondered if he was a demon, too.
The main thing he knew for sure was that he'd killed people in the past, a nasty business. It might happen again anytime.
That didn't improve his mood at
Another Take The human I live with calls me "Tommy Gun." Or "Kitty." Sometimes "Cat." Yeah "cat," but I'm really an alien. Though we got here first and are highly evolved, humans insist on calling us all these names. I think it's because they're unable to call us what we call each other. They can't hear us talk most of the time. We usually use what humans call "telepathy," except in extreme cases. We try other ways to talk to humans. Use "meow" umpteen ways and you'll see how hard it is.Another Take2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I like my human. She's a beautiful girl calls herself "Mimi" when she's on stage. Yeah "Mimi," and she's definitely human. She's a belly dancer and an excellent one. She can enchant a room full of old humans without even a drum, without even taking off any of her very many veils. She sort of undulates, like a wonderful snake might. But snakes I can eat. Mimi is way bigger than me, plus I want her to live. I won't kill her. She feeds me so I won't bring a dead sn
On the Northside of TimeOn the Northside of Time4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was a good day for the dogs and a bad one for the rabbits. I heard the big black dog howl his chase call through most of the afternoon, sometimes near and sometimes far. His little white shadow yipped along behind him. There were long pauses between yips heard. That little dog had short legs and needed extra wind and effort just to keep up.
The air outside was cool and sharp. The dogs ran under the last autumn leaves I could spot out there, out past the meadow. Some of those old trees in the grove stayed green the whole winter long. Most never did. The hunt through the big grove must have been exciting for the dogs. Not for smaller and younger animals.
The dogs came back when the setting sun put sof
THAT Woman First they said, "No wind chimes outside the cottages. Three warnings will be given, then you are subject to eviction."THAT Woman2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My Granny said, "Humph. I like my old bamboo windchime. I can't even reach it no more to take it down. It's gonna stay, dammit, and I will too."
I told Granny, "Not if they evict you, you won't. I can take it down."
She looked at me over her reading glasses, with that Look she has.
"If anyone's evicted, you can go with em, Sonny. I'm stayin put. Me and that damn windchime."
I said, "Granny, I don't even live here. C'mon. It's just a windchime."
She said, "And we're just a buncha old senior citizens in a QUOTE retirement community END QUOTE, and I, for one, am gonna keep whatever I want right here. Me included."
I sighed. I know Gran
Fight in a Hospital They said she was too old to have a baby.Fight in a Hospital3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Doctors said she'd die if she had a second one.
Lettie thought different about that. Lettie thought different about a lot of things other folks said and thought.
Doctors said she'd die when she had her girl Jaycee ten years ago too, but Lettie was still very much alive.
Well, she almost died, but 'almost' didn't count with Lettie.
She did as she pleased and she had since a young age. That didn't do a world of wonder for her health, but she was happy with Jaycee. Her daughter was a good one, as smart and independent as her mom.
Now Lettie wanted a son because Jaycee wished for a brother.
Jaycee never mentioned a wish before. Lettie thought one wish was the least she could do for her girl.
Caught in Battleby LJCaught in Battle3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Lately I've been doing a lot of not sleeping at night.
That is to say, I fall asleep fine, but about one in the morning the dreams turn to thoughts and I'm not asleep anymore.
I just lie there, thinking too much to even close my eyes.
My eyes feel bad in the red mornings, so tonight I light the oil lamp and sit up.
I might as well write what was requested by a friend a few days ago, at dinner together.
It doesn't kill dream memories, though.
At that dinner, my friend said, "They're nice stories and nice paintings you do, but they're not you, you know."
I protested. "They certainly are."
But she protested last.
"No, they aren't. They're other people's. You should write or paint yourself, for once."
I made a joke then, and said I'd do a self-portrait of me asleep. I'll write now instead.
The dream tonight was about the time I sketched a picture of him in the hospital. It was the last time I sketched him or was in a hospital wi
Flights of Fancy Nature is best seen through a window. Cars are nice, but televisions give a better view. The important thing is to keep a window, any window, between you and wilderness. This is my strictest maxim, a rule of comfort I put aside only once, years ago. I spend most of my life expressing shock when friends say they're going on a hike or planning to camp out.Flights of Fancy2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It took two hours for Leon to convince me to accompany him on a short ride to the hills. I thought it would be safe. Leon was a good friend. Though he knew that particular day was my day to hit the mall and hang out with the girls, in the end, I still went with him. He said we'd have plenty of time and I could do both. Hah! I was ignorance personified.
Leon worked for a group of nuts who said they save peregrine falcons. He said they protect wild falcons from other nuts who shoot the birds and that his group "manipulates" falcon nests at the
A Long End to a Brief Life I didn't know it was illegal to move a person's ashes from the spot you said they'd be (my garage) to multiple others. I put Mom-in-ashes in the trunk of my car because I thought we'd find a place for her soon, but Mom and I went hither and yon while my sister looked for a real "resting place."A Long End to a Brief Life1 month ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I even forgot Mom was there, and we went shopping, to the movies, out to eat. Was it disrespectful? It didn't feel illegal.
When I thought about it, it seemed kind of cozy.
There came the day though, when my sister Jocelyn found a good mausoleum to put Mom at a full stop, the final resting place. I went with Jo, and that's how I found out it was illegal to move Mom beyond the shelf in the garage to the mausoleum -- it was supposed to be a direct line between the two places. Of course I didn't tell the man Mom had been all over town with me.
We had to pick out an urn to put at least part of Mom in (the whole of her was too big,
But We Always Sing Together There The "old man" was maybe forty-nine, since that's the median age range for US American Indian males' longevity.But We Always Sing Together There3 months ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
He seemed like an old man to me. I was only about twenty and terrified.
He was going to run a meeting I was supposed to attend.
I'd already heard about him.
He was said to hate seeing a woman in tipi meetings and he hated any white person there.
He hated to hear a woman sing there even more.
I was a young white woman who sang a lot in tipis, but this time I planned to skip the singing.
It would be enough just to be there.
It was my husband's fault. He was going and wanted me there with him.
We always went to meetings together and sang together, too.
Other Indians said we sounded "real good" together and that's what my husband wanted to show that old man.
In other words, he wanted to show me off as a white woman who sang there.
As a display, I wasn't very happy.
"But why do I have to go?" I asked.
"Don't you want to?"
The Black Bag The problem was simple, really. I was a little too drunk. Me and my buddy Jake though, we found it simple to walk with a stagger and laugh a little too loud, a simple problem. The day was pretty good, pretty drunk.The Black Bag3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The hours passed easy until Max came out of his pawnshop. Max never leaves his pawnshop. He looked so worried and strange I had to squint to be sure it was him. He got us interested, walking toward my buddy and me with trouble written all over his face. Trouble is something a man can relate to from time to time, somehow.
Max walked right up to us and put his hand on my shoulder, thowing me off balance for his remark.
"I need your help, boys," he said.
Jake laughed. "Hey, Max needs our help!"
I nodded and tried to look serious to hide the surprise that made me want to laugh too. I thought it could b
Word War Brian meant to lose the game, though he knew Dad wanted him to win. He often won, but he didn't want to now. Brian was twelve and tired of playing kids in his group, mostly girls. Tall, clear-eyed girls, awkward, and much more competitive than Brian. He won anyway.Word War3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Are you studying the OSPD?" Dad said.
They were going to the auditorium.
"Of course," Brian said.
Though he held the book, he'd gutted the 'Official Scrabble Players Dictionary' so it held the slimmest Gibson book he had. A few clean pages of word lists stayed, in case Dad looked.
Brian wore glasses, used big words and got called a 'geek' by other kids.
Dad called his glasses 'spectacles.'
Not a good Scrabble word. Only three letters coun
Penned or Released?Writers write,Penned or Released?2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
but not always right.
Mirage ReduxMirage Redux2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It's the Summer Powwow, and I feel like a little kid let loose in a toy store.
Other women put silverwork, beaded belts and more in booths that circle the empty dance area.
Under canvas-rigged shade, chairs are saved for Indian elders.
My chair's in full sun, but I don't care.
I prepared for that with sunblock. It's hot and though I'm kind-of Cheyenne, it's a very small part. The outside of me is quite fair, though in the winter my hair is dark. I'd be sunburnt in seconds since today I wore a halter top and shorts.
The master of ceremonies is just like the M.C.s all powwows seem to have.
He tries the microphone.
"Testing!" he shouts. "One, two, three! Testing! Heya, everybody! Gonna be great day, early birds! We got four drums com
It Can Be So ElusiveOn the reservationIt Can Be So Elusive9 months ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
and all that jazz
I am always hot inside,
a dinosaur in the garden.
But life, like a tunnel
if out at night,
in a whisper
I remember the good things.
Not the machine evangelist.
In the Chill of the DayMolly, what are you doing under a draped green tarp over frozen white ice with such black water flowing fierce beneath it?In the Chill of the Day2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Why did you cut a hole in the ice and shiver under layers of thermal clothes covering your probably beautiful freckled skin?
Why do you have a fishing line dropped with a dead-weight sinker down in that hole you stand by; why are you so hungry?
My ears are warm in a knit cap that covers my head and gets me out of the house so I can carefully slide up toward Molly.
I see her mouth smile wide in a silent "hi" and the wind just howls over this black-and-green and frozen slick white ice lake.
I shrug small shoulders in my big down coat 'cause I'm not hungry, except when I look at Molly and always blush too much.
Who arrives next and pushes me hard on the pearly ice and into black water that splashes on me and in me; who does it?
I fall and fill up fast with water-weight that rushes in my head and spreads outward in my lungs and hurts, it hurts so much.
Molly grabs my h
Storm Music It's raining and a park ranger's around, so I sit inside a tree. I always have to hide no matter where I go.Storm Music2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
But I found a notebook and pencil at the amphitheater here. And the notebook is completely empty! I can write pages and pages of stuff! I can write what happened before and why I'm in this tree now and everything. I'm almost happy.
I'll go back to the beginning.
Well, what Dad said about it. I don't remember being born. Who does? Dad said when I was born and put in Mom's arms, both Mom and him got totally freaked out, like I was a ghost of a boy people always watch and fear. And it's true.
Maybe I should write more about that.
I was born on a Zuni reservation. The Zunis are Pueblo Indians and live in the Pueblo, or they live in houses made partly of adobe and mostly of concrete. That's what Dad said. He said we lived in the Pueblo. I don't remember it, of course.
The reason my Dad and Mom got freaked is 'cause I was a freak the very mome
LandingWhen a butterflyLanding8 months ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
pauses on your freckled nose
so does the summer.
Three in Five MinutesDream one was a bright white flashThree in Five Minutes1 year ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and sounds of things breaking
I opened my eyes and saw it all.
Now I think that it was me.
Dream two was my child yelling
"Where are you? Where are you?"
I opened my ears and heard it all.
Now I think that it was me.
Dream three was a sudden knocking
on the door in deepest dark.
I opened the door and saw nothing.
Now I think that it was me.
The Music in the Water Hank told her not to put her tent by the creek, but she did.The Music in the Water1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He figured the young girl wouldn't listen to him, whether she was his cousin or not. He was just an old man by her reckoning, and Hank knew many young folks rarely listened to old men.
Hell, Hank was an old man by his own reckoning.
Every winter morning told him that.
The cold said, "You're an old man who can barely get out of bed. It hurts too much to move. Will you make it today?"
He had so far, though sometimes it was dicey.
But Dinah arrived on a beautiful spring morning.
The meadows were alive with wildflowers, bluejays, bees and long grasses fringed with pale seeds.
She drove a borrowed truck packed full of camping gear and boxes.
Dinah showed him the same paperwork that the town lawyer had showed him a week before. She'd inherited two acres from their great-uncle and she'd come from some far away eastern city to claim them.
She was a pretty girl, educated way past
Fancydancingby LJFancydancing4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He stood in an empty horse stall at the Cow Palace. His large fancydance costume allowed no sitting on the floor of a recently vacated horse stall. Emmett's feet were planted wide for illusory stability. The Cow Palace teemed with people, animals and noise, none good for Emmett's current preoccupation.
He was, as others called it, drinking the hair of the dog. An Indian in full, multifeathered and beaded costume is, if he's Emmett, required to stand and get drunk before he dances for one hell of a lot of cowboys. Emmett wasn't the only Indian hired to put on a show here, but he was the only one who always got drunk before he danced.
Emmett mostly hid from Sunny. He thought she knew many things he did but hoped she didn't know he was a near-nightly drunk. Sunny was new in Emmett's life and amazingly like her name.
Her short yellow hair fanned out like little petals on a sunflower. She often used her beaming and attractive smile. Her wide blue eyes seemed a plac
In and Out of the PinkIn and Out of the Pink3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The nurse let Jaycee look at her new twin brothers, wrinkly-cute in their incubator, a few moments longer. Then she said Jaycee had to go back to the hospital waiting room. Find the woman she and her mom arrived with.
Jaycee didn't move.
"But what about Mom?" she asked. "How is she? Can I see her?"
"I said not today." The nurse was gruff. "Doctor says your mother needs more care. Doctor said not today. I know you're a very young girl, but you must understand. Now find that woman who brought you here and go home. Rest."
Desiree never returned from her first 'smoke break' hours ago.
Jaycee watched shadows lengthen outdoors. She had to get home. Her pony and the chickens needed care. She could do it alone. She had before. Mom often told folks how brave and strong Jaycee was. She kn
Tale of the Teller My ignorance no longer gave me bliss.Tale of the Teller4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My checkbook had a post-it note on the cover: Dude. It's time to fix this.
The Tale of the Teller then commenced.
Her banker's phone-voice was sweet as honey. I never heard her name.
She introduced herself quickly and I can't be blamed.
I really just wanted to ask about money.
"Please, teller," I said. "Tell me where all my money is spent, down to the last cent. I'm not sure and I have to know now. Bills are due and I might be out of rent."
She said, "Do not worry, Sir. One moment. I can tell you every transaction since... since when, Sir? A date, please, Valued Customer of Our Bank." She spoke with capital letters.
If I had better capital, I would have spoken with them too.
"Please tell me all of it thank you," I said. "Start as far back as you can."
"There are many POS expenditures," she began...
I was in the dark. "What is a POS?" I said.
"A point of sale indicating use of your de
Dust Bunny Wars There was a war under the bed. Dust bunnies hid behind single lost socks. They used them as shields against other dust bunnies there. The socks themselves wished the Boy Above would search for them and return them to their mates. Socks had great affection for their lost sock mates. They also hated being used as shields by dust bunnies.Dust Bunny Wars2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The dust bunnies were ruthless. They used old baby socks, the odd white sock and the boy's plentiful dark socks, everyone's favorite, including the little boy. But he was a lazy sock owner, and even more afraid to look under his bed. He knew all about the monsters who lived there, thanks to his older brother and sisters. The boy kept a light on all night because Mom told him no monster could get him that way.
The boy's mother didn't clean under his bed because she was too busy working two jobs to afford the bed itself, not to mention other rooms and the roof over th
How Did That Happen?by LJHow Did That Happen?4 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
We waited awake for our toys to come to life. There was a big moon over the Little Forest, the split tree where our toys played when they woke up. A big moon meant they'd be more likely to play in the tree. Our toys played there on bright nights.
They swung on branches and tumbled down and laughed. They even danced.
My sister and me had both seen them play there before. We'd wake up at the same time. We'd quietly pull up the blackout curtains our Mom and Dad put over our windows. Just like magic, there'd be our toys, every one of them, playing in the Little Forest. It was a wonderful sight and I was so glad my sister always saw them, too!
"Look, it's so bright! It's pure magic tonight," my sister said.
"I can feel it," I said. "It's like light in my head - it's like the moonlight."
And then we were silent, knowing that if we showed too much of us, our toys might put themselves away. I always looked at the toy box when we saw to
The Halfway Hotel Gregory got on the train at ten that night. His gray suit jacket was still crisp, the creases in his pants like edges on expensive knives, and his black shirt was carefully tucked in just right. Well-cut brown hair completed his look of success.The Halfway Hotel2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He carried a deep brown wardrobe bag that held three more suits and five more shirts, dry-cleaned and hanging special hangers. He had a matching leather duffle for other travel items. Both were kept by his side.
He wouldn't need much in the double-sleeper berth on the Coach Starlight for the ride.
Amtrak took good care of customers willing to pay a big price for space they didn't need. They kept rooms well-stocked.
Gregory needed space. To feel his success, he lead a life that revolved around privacy. Sure, he got an inheritance set up before his father died, but it was a dot com company and music