2018 FFM Day 20: I Think I'll Take You HomeUgh, a friend’s ex. Swipe left. That’s my last ex. Swipe left. Another friend’s ex. Swipe left. Ooh, an old ex. Swipe left. That’s not cute. Swipe left. Why would he have a girl in the photo? Swipe left. Nope. Mama’s boy. Swipe left. Wait, didn’t I swipe left on this guy an hour ago? Or does he just look similar?
I throw my phone to the side of the bed, annoyed. My friends and I couldn’t have already dated all the passable bachelors in this town! But then again, we’d all lived here most of our lives. It was possible, I suppose.
How long had it been since I went on a date? Ronald had promised to clear half my tab if I could hold out a week. Shows how much faith he has in me.
I count the days on my fingers. Ten? A week and three days! Guess that means I’ll go for a drink. I hadn’t seen the geezer in a while, and I know Ronald likes to baby me a little.
Slouching out of bed, I thro
Therefore, A Cultural Anthropologist"What do you study?"
She looked up, finally locating the student staring at her.
"I study the dead," she said at last.
"What, like an archaeologist?" he asked. "Because you don't look like the type. You look like you'd run screaming from a skeleton."
She smiled. "No, not like an archaeologist. I don't see skeletons very often. Typically I only do if one of the dead wants me to take me and show me theirs. I study the culture of the dead, and what they do. I am, therefore, a cultural anthropologist."
"What?" the student said.
"Are you ready, Cate? We just got a call from your house, and it was all static. They must be getting impatient again." Her colleague popped his head in the door. "Marcus, what are you doing here?"
Marcus just shook his head and walked out the door.
"You'd think they would read the description of the department before coming here," she said.
"They never do," her colleague agreed. "Still, at least he didn't faint this time. You might get a new student."
FFM Day 20The old woman is surrounded by family. She weeps, sometimes, often.
“These are tears of joy,” says a man who married her daughter. “Her heart is full of love.”
But it's a bit more complicated than that. “These are tears of self-pity,” thinks the girl who calls her grandmother. “Like my own.”
“These are tears of pain!” thinks the woman who calls her mother-in-law woman, who used to be a CNA, who watched old bodies decay and crumble and die.
But the man holding her hand, a man who calls her mother, see tears of release.
“You need to let go mom,” he says and the calm on his skin is a lie. “We'll be okay.”
But she doesn't believe them, and the tears keep coming. Hands join in prayer.
“There's so much love in this room.”
Death does not step forward.
Death is invited, a natural conclusion to a story told for 89 years. But the hesitant figure crosses his bony hands and keeps his distance. Faith fal
FFM 20: The Avoided SunThere is singing outside your window.
The noise wakes you up, although you are used to the constant noise of traffic and car horns and loud-talking drunks. Perhaps its the strangeness of the sweet sound, and perhaps its the fact that its late in the afternoon.
But you’re up, with a few hours of sleep holding open your eyelids, and you might as well see what’s going on.
Besides, your last bit of food has spoiled, and the roaches have enjoyed more of it than you have.
Out the door in yesterday’s clothes, you barely manage to juggle your keys and your phone to get down the stairs. There’s a few dollars in your pockets – mostly tip money, a wad of ones that gets you weird looks.
You blink furiously, shielding your eyes from the sudden brightness, and when your vision clears, you see them. A throng of people, with glimmers of resemblance – here a nose, here a flash of brown eyes – tying them together. They flood the building two doors down with a ri
Last Wish [FFM 20 2018] Everything was just how I wanted when I woke up. The sheets were crisp and white covering an equally immaculate mattress. The pillows were a bit too soft, but it was a mistake I was willing to overlook given how they were the perfect size for the space provided.
The hardwood floors were swept and polished, perfect for seeing one's reflection if need be. Around my resting place were two gorgeous bouquets of chrysanthemums, my favorite. I picked one up and put it in the pocket of my suit, finishing off what was up until then an unfinished masterpiece. I let my fingers trail along the cloth banners that hung between the church pews. They too were white with a border of gold lace on the top. I was surprised by the amount of intricate detail put into them. Compliments to the seamstress. I admired the cherry finished on the oak pews which were also filled with soft cushions at my request. The pianist arrived and started testing the piano, tappi
Burning the CandleDuncan came into the house to find his daughter laying on the couch.
He tapped her foot. “Come on. Why don’t we go play a game of chess.”
She groaned. “I don’t want to think for awhile.”
“Did you just finish your homework then?”
“And you skipped lunch?”
“Are you tired?”
“Mmm,” she murmured.
He went and quickly made her a sandwich and put it on the table in front of her.
“Eat. And then you can take a bit of a nap, alright.”
She ate, barely reacting to the sandwich that she was biting bits off of.
When she was finished eating Duncan told her to go to her room.
She managed with Wynters help, and by the time Duncan got to her room, it was to find her sprawled out upon her bed, sleeping deeply.
“Poor thing. You must have really hit the books hard today,” he murmured softly, laying a light blanket over top of her.
Quietly he walked to the door
Fly AwayThe compound should have been safe. That was why they’d been left there, when all the senior mages and fighters went out to battle the beasts that roamed the countryside. The monsters never came near larger towns or cities, and even if they had the defenses should have been enough to stop them.
Unfortunately, the things snuffling and screeching just beyond sight didn’t care about what should have happened. Two of their prey had escaped them, and they intended to find those two, and soon.
Tansy screwed her eyes shut and ran through her mental repertoire of spells again. It didn’t take long. She also ran through those she knew Yarrow had learned. That didn’t take long, either. If you wanted something to change color, or to give off a faint odor, or to grow or shrink by a factor of two or three for about an hour, they were your apprentices. Not so much if you wanted spells that could kill terrible monsters before they could kill you.
FFM 2018, July 20 - SaccharineEmma had never been more in love. They could have paired her with anyone during her shift, but it had been with Constantin. For an engineer, he was so clumsy it was endearing: big, slavic, with broad strong shoulders she loved to rest her head on, and an accent to die for. Their job was just routine maintenance in the O2 plant, and it was the kind of job the chief engineer liked to call a yin-yang assignment: "either everything is fine and you can just twiddle your thumbs, or something is wrong and we're all going to die immediately". So far, it had been all yin. Or yang? She wasn't sure which one was the good one.
Everyone always called their love 'so saccharine it hurts my teeth' and 'oh my good the sugar-plum fairies' and 'sweeter than a whole cup of sugar'. She didn't mind.
One day, while she was working on one of the O2 regulator panels, Constanin brought her a donut, one of those sugar-glazed ball-shaped ones. I mean - she didn't really like donuts, but it was the thought that ma
The Chainicorn Unchained [FFM 20, 2018]When Equinarious had been born, he’d been a little different from all of the other unicorns… for starters, he wasn’t the correct shade of pristine porcelain like his herd members; instead, he was more the color of plump, overly ripe plums, a swollen sort of purple. Secondly, instead of a horn on his head, there was a massive chainsaw blade.
Any normal equine being would look at Equinarious and see potential—There were many trees in the forest that were often in the way of developing more efficient paths to other villages, and he could have cut those down. Or perhaps, he could have taken on the challenges of the underbrush that needed maintenance about the beautiful unicorn village, but instead of seeing his gifts from birth, Equinarious was tormented tirelessly by his peers.
In response to his bullies, he developed a great sense of humor as a young colt, informing everyone that the gods “sliced the mold” when they made him, or often informed his torm
FFM 20: The Music Box “One more time,” the clock-maker rasped, weathered fingers winding back the delicate interlocking gears.
The mechanical box opened, revealing the ballerina inside shivering off the silks that covered her tiny form. Within the velveteen confines of the box, she began to dance in a perfect likeness of her. Eyes stinging, the clock-maker watched the replica twist and turn with a sweep of the tinkling notes, before shrouding herself in the dark fabrics within the box. The lid gently closed.
The clock-maker blinked away tears, absorbing the silence and the memory of her music until it was deafening.
“One more time.”
FFM 20: An InvitationYou often wish you didn't open your mouth so much. You wish that people would understand that you hate them because they betrayed you.
You flee to the fairies, because they get it. Fairies are upfront about their lack of a soul. They deceive as well as a rock can: they can be shiny, but hard and indifferent.
They offer to take you to fairyland. You consider. A day there is a thousand years here. If you eat the food, you can never return. Your world seems doomed to become a wasteland anyway.
"In a minute," you tell them. "I should pay my taxes first."
FFM18 20 - MercyFor ages beyond reckoning, I suffered. Before there were numbers with which to count the days, He shaped us from heat and light and will, like iron on the anvil. With us, He invented devotion and love, as well slavery, cruelty, torture. We were His wrath when the land needed to be washed with blood, and we passed along the gifts of agony that Father had bestowed upon us.
Until finally I could take no more.
My head felt lighter when I laid down my halo, and when He cast me into the pit, the flames felt like divine mercy.
Worst Management Gig Ever "The Neanderthals are in the cured meat section again."
Keith let his head fall back and he closed his eyes as if this would make it all go away. "All right. I'll take care of it. In the meantime, I need you to go block off the portal that opened up in aisle six."
They traded tools and Keith stomped off to rescue the prosciutto.
Neanderthals in his store would be fine if they actually bought something once in a while, but more often than not they put spears through all his best meats and took off for the nearest exit.
He lit the torch and waved it at them, shouting at the top of his voice. Usually this was enough to cause them to scatter, but today, they only cowered deeper into the corned beef. One picked up the mortadella and swung it like a club. "Go on, get out of here!"
Something about this wasn't right. They usually ran off in a panic. Not once had he ever seen them refuse to run from him and his
The Dearth of Superman“Today we remember Therm O’Nuclear,” announced Captain Caulk, with tears in his mighty eyes. “Though to those present now, he was perhaps better known as Major Megaton. He will be most dearly missed.”
“Oh, sure,” muttered Tsar Kazm. “I mean, it’s not as if any of us have ever turned up after dying before. Like, that’s not a thing superheroes are known for doing or anything.”
Captain Caulk glowered at him.
Suddenly, the church doors banged open. A lone figure stood spandex-clad and silhouetted in the space between them.
It was Spiderguy.
“Sorry I’m late!” he whispered as he edged his way awkwardly down one of the pews at the back. “Kind of embarrassing: I got stuck in the bath.”
Captain Caulk cleared his throat. “As you will all probably be awa
FFM 20: The Wing-SellerThey say that God never makes mistakes.
When I left Heaven, I was sure that He did. What kind of Creator doesn't give an angel a pair of wings?
I was the only angel who didn't have wings. I felt left out and confused.
I packed my bags, so to speak, and headed down to Earth. You wouldn't believe the number of devils and demons that approached me wanting to team up. But I wasn't really interested in duping humanity or torturing people. My great sin was just selfishness, plain and simple.
It happened when I was wandering around at a Renaissance Faire, wondering at humanity's tendency to glorify the past. Of course there were all kind of vendors selling clothes, souvenirs, and turkey legs (of all things).
A particular stall caught my eye.
They were selling wings.
“Do they work?” I asked the vendor.
“They open and close when you press a button.” But we both knew that wasn't what I meant. “Would you like to try one on?”
Did I ever! The man helped me mount
The Other SideI remember seeing light even though my eyes were closed. I could feel the flowers clenched in my unmoving fists. I remember people who I once cared about whisper sweet goodbyes in my name. They were all so sad, but still I didn’t move. I remember the light getting cut off, and my pine box rocking back and forth as my closest friends carried me to my final resting place. The last thing I remember is hearing chunks of earth land on the outside of my encasement. And now I spend my days in unending silence. Not even the rain can reach me here. I can’t move, and I can’t speak or even breathe, and it’s so dark all the time. If I had known it was going to be this lonely, I would have chosen to be cremated instead.
FFM 2018 -Day 20- Search for Rest They say there is no rest for the weary. When something is started, it must be seen through to the end, no matter what obstacles lay ahead. The life of a mercenary is not an easy one. You have to get the job done if you want the pay, even if you have to die while trying to get it done. Death itself could be a rest from the hardship, but I would prefer a rest where I'm sitting near the surf, watching the sun set over the horizon.
Perhaps, someday, I can finally find rest, one way or another.
2018 FFM (#20) An Overdue Funeral "You really didn't have to do this," I muttered softly to nobody in particular as I sat on the window sill as everyone was gathered in the large room, rows of coffins in the room filling the empty space, yet enough space for people to move around.
"Honestly, I think you guys deserve some sort of remembrance," spoke up one of the still living boys, leaning against the wall nearby me since the window I was perched on was directly above a coffin. Mine to be exact. Everyone here, other than 4 living people, were all ghosts. The coffins were every ghost's dead bodies.
"You guys didn't get a proper funeral, right?" The boy, I think it was Seto or something, pointed out "So I thought it would be a nice gesture to honor you guys by finding your bodies, or perhaps just some remains or anything valuable of yours, and have a funeral for all of you guys. So you'll never be forgotten." Seto looked at my dead body and smiled softly.
FFM 2018 Day 20 - Lives of the DeadThe poltergeists were having tantrums again. Sakura didn't bother moving from her position on the couch. Sure, there was a chance they'd throw something at her, but the risk of impact was greater if she was moving around the whole time. The couch tipped, and she wound up on the floor with it on top of her. That was why most of her furniture was so cheap; the mild discomfort was a minor inconvenience for the assurance that she wouldn't be crushed under any of it.
"Are you okay?" Wisp - she either refused to share her real name, or had forgotten it over the decades - swirled around her. From the waist down, Wisp's form was essentially the fog from dry ice, moving the same way and equally cold. Her upper half was more human, but still cold and swirling. "It's Amos and Avery this time. Brukhlynne is unscrewing all the doorknobs, but you've got plenty of window room to get out if you get stuck."
Sakura shook her head at the mention of Brukhlynne. She had the worst white-person