Thirty-seven stories. That seems like plenty. I step forward, my toes hanging over the edge. I whisper an apology to my wife before I take that final jump, diving head first, squealing with joy as I rush toward the pavement.
I am at peace for the first time in my life. I have always felt I was different, alone, alien, that I didn’t belong on this Earth. I’m tired of pretending. I hope Lisa understands.
And then I realize the pavement isn’t getting closer; no, I’m headed toward the clouds.
I can’t do anything right, not even suicide.
Author’s Note: I’m 98% convinced that I have the ability to fly. But what if the only way to activate this latent power is to place myself in mortal danger?
“When will I die?” Roger, aged 12, asked the Ouija board.
“Whoa!” said Bernadette, aged 13. “You’re brave!”
They laid their hands on the planchette, and it flew across the board and stopped between the V and the W.
“What does that mean?” Bernadette asked, breathing hard.
“I don’t know,” Roger said. “V is the 22nd letter, W is the 23rd, so maybe I’ll die after college?”
“Or you’ll die in 22 or 23 years,” Bernadette said.
“This is dumb.”
In the year 2045, Roger was crossing 22nd street at 2300 hours when a VW self-driving car took his life.
Author’s Note: If fate exists, I believe it has a sense of humor.
The beach is empty at the moment, but her pockets are not.
She’ll walk into the sea in a few minutes, but first, she’ll enjoy one last glorious sunset. She’s a poetic soul, you see, and she plans to go in a little at a time, sinking away with the sun.
She hopes to find a mermaid society when she gets to the bottom, and maybe it’ll be better than the human one.
Maybe this time she won’t screw it all up.
Maybe this is what heaven is like.
Mermaids and seashells and sunlight.
She has always liked the sea.
Author’s Note: I like mermaids. I often use one as my avatar.
The Goddess Hestia has commanded me in my work.
The garments have once again been rendered pure.
The flotsam and jetsam that ebb from the shores of your beings have been ordered.
The merchants have been visited and only the finest items procured.
All traces of soil have been cleansed from the surfaces upon which you trod.
Sustenance has been prepared until deemed worthy of your palates.
The offspring have been ferried hither and yon and returned to the hearth.
“Alrighty then,” said Charles with wide eyes after a pregnant pause. “So… that was Mom’s day. How was school?”
Author’s Note: Mom’s losing it. So relatable.
It begins innocently enough. He is reading to his daughter, a story about a bunny, and suddenly there it is, the bunny, looking around his daughter’s room in bewilderment. The bunny is easy enough to explain away, and now they have a pet.
But soon he is reading aloud again, this time a story about a troll living under a bridge, and when the troll appears before him, wrecks his house, and proceeds to wreak havoc on the rest of his cul de sac, an idea solidifies in his head.
He visits his local library on his way to work…
Author’s Note: Dull cubicle jobs can make even the kindest of people turn villain.
The archer felt hunger grip him as he drew his arrow and aimed at the elusive buck that he’d been stalking for days. His strength left him and he fell forward, catching his weight with his free hand. He was acutely aware of the energy in his body, the earth, and all around.
Clutching the earth, he pulled the energy up into his arm. He couldn’t miss again. He drew another arrow and imagined it striking it true, the feast to follow. He whispered a prayer and loosed the arrow.
The arrowhead flashed brilliant light and slew the startled stag.
Author’s Note: When doing archery, I always felt a connection to nature. Perhaps it was because the range my father took me to was far out in the bush, but I feel that magic could have come from places like this.
Ladies, please, no giggling at the back. We’re about to start. Spread out. Find your space.
Stacey, can you come to the front here.
And two, three, four. Hands together, twist away, pivot right. Very good Marybelle.
Now left foot forward, like ice on glass. Gently, gently, heel to toe, hands together and… excellent. Well I think we can all see by the flames there that Antoinette has mastered ‘The Enticing Of The Phoenix’.
I need you to practice this one at home ladies but remember to please, please, please take the batteries out of your smoke-alarms before you do.
Author’s Note: You never what they might be teaching at your local night school.
“Must we do this again, Barnhardt?” the Dark Lord said, “And in front of my daughter too? Tell me, who’s the real monster here?”
“You have taken everything from me, Parnith.” Barnhardt said. He fired spell after spell at the Dark Lord, but he deflected them with ease. “What’s it all for?”
“For?” said the Dark Lord, deflecting another spell. “Why does it have to be ‘for’ anything? It simply amuses me that you think you can hurt me.”
“Oh, I can,” whispered Barnhardt. Parnith’s eyes opened wide, as he realised he had deflected each spell toward his precious girl.
Author’s Note: For when you’re so busy thinking about yourself, you stop noticing the people around you.
You begin as an empty canvas:
blank, bland, boring.
I paint in vivid colors,
the red of love,
the white of terror,
browns and yellows seeping out of you
filling up the empty spaces.
I paint in vivid sounds,
the whimper of fear,
the screams of anguish,
grunts and sighs escaping
like whispered prayers
as you succumb.
I paint in vivid touch,
the bite of passion,
the burn of necessity,
each mark a reminder
like string on a finger
of how special you are.
You have transformed into a masterpiece:
grand, glittering, grim.
Only now do I feed.
Author’s Note: She’s not a monster, just an Artist.
Locked in a dungeon, it’s easy to forget you’re a wizard.
Daryn lost track of the days until something stung his eyes: sunbeams slanting through a high window. He hadn’t seen light in so long.
The next day the rays slanted lower, then lower still. The days grew longer, warmer. Finally, Daryn thought if he stood and stretched he could touch it.
His legs shook, but the sun on his palm made his heart pound. He remembered magic. They had suppressed his gift for too long.
He gathered some sunlight into his palm and threw it at his prison door.
Author’s Note: Incarcerating a wizard can be dangerous, especially when said wizard grabs hold of some hope.