You stand in the loading dock of the local Mega Mart, where you work, before the great, white cargo door of the recently arrived transport vehicle. The loading dock is lined a large, empty room, lined with shelves of neatly-placed, white boxes, each ready to be taken to another, more appropriate part of the stockroom. The shelves tower over you and the other two people in the room. One of them, your friend, bears a blue shirt with the name "Rhys" printed upon it. The other person is a man in a white cap and jumpsuit that bears the name, "Bil", the transport driver.
Turning away from them, you stare at the cargo door in front of you. The
Darkness. That's all you see as your eyelids lift from a dead sleep. A warm air chokes you, still and with a faint smell. The smell is almost savory but just a bit off. It reminds you of your mother's chicken cacciatore, on Friday nights. Thinking of your mom's cooking sends a rumble through your gut.
Feeling around, you find the familiar shape of a mattress, so small that your feet hang over the edge. The linen sheet lining the mattress is starched stiff in some places, uncomfortable and scratchy, and set into strange folds. There is no pillow to be found.
Reaching over the side, you pull up some carpet, already matted and ragged.
He looked at you. You feel your heart slow to a
dilapidated pace with deep, resounding beats shuddering in
your ears. Your breath stops.
Across the classroom, twenty feet away and two levels
higher on the bullpit style seating, sits a pale-brown, young
man, his short, straight, black hair hidden by a black
baseball cap and his blazing, hazel eyes staring back into
your own, diminished, blue ones.
Wrenching your neck, you look away. You look anywhere.
The professor is midway through a lesson about Nathaniel
Hawthorne, not realizing that he already gave the lesson to
the class last week. The green chal
A woman in a blue, tiered evening suit sat at the bar of the hotel dining-lounge. People were crammed into booths and collected around small tables, enjoying themselves, and their food and wine. Quite a cacophony of rude jokes, forced laughter, pick-up lines and witty rejections filled the room. People were eating a variety of things. On many of the plates, besides the now eaten greens and meats, remained small sticks of something that reminded the woman of some small metatarsus bones she had seen in India, coated in shredded wheat.
The woman pulled out a small notebook from under the letter opener in her purse and opened it to read the
We bought an electric monkey, experimenting rather recklessly with funds carefully gathered since grandfather's time for the purchase of a steam monkey.
"Who shall I say this is for?" The voice of the monkey clerk sounded like an old owl. Slow and monotone, as he took a long look at us through his spectacles.
"The Khalso family, naturally." My brother bobbed his head as he spoke. He stood next to me, at the shiny glass counter in the small monkey shop. The walls pressed close to us, filled with shelves stocked with accessories, extras and disposable batteries the size of my head.
"This is for you, then?" The clerk's eyes narrowed as h
"So I was talking with another student from one of the other classes and he said that his teacher was very easy. You just do your work and turn it in, no quizzes or other stupid little assignments. Then, he told me that our teacher was the hardest."
John stared at the woman in the flannel shirt and cotton pants, his eyes large and eyebrows peaked and narrow. "Haley," he said, his voice almost diminished by a strong gust of wind that made him pull his heavy coat closer to him.
Haley stopped her tirade and responded, "What is it?"
Drawing his fur-lined hood tighter about his head, John said, "Aren't you cold?"
The woman looked down at he