Friday, March 28, 2014

A Goddess All Made of Words

Once upon a time there was a goddess in the shape of a girl, who danced barefoot in moonlight while the words of the worlds swirled around her and through her. From sunset to sunrise she would dance, and when her dancing was done and her hair and her body were limp with her sweat, the words would be scribed upon her skin, black lines on pale skin, all the words in all the worlds traced fine as spider silk upon her, and each day the words would fade in the sun only to be redrawn by the light of the next moon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chasing Time

They sold us the time machine with promises that we would see the dead again. We bought the vision, and we bought the machines. They got very, very rich. But they never told us the real price we'd pay.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Act Three When the Footlights Fade

On a warm September day, in the full sunlight of bright afternoon, Millie Rennart was enjoying a mid-afternoon walk with no timecard to punch when she was accosted in the middle of the Main Street crosswalk by a man with shaking hands and a set of teeth too regular and too white to be anything but false.

"You," he snarled in a low voice like rust and dark spaces.

Millie was raised to be polite, but he was being so very rude, and they were in the middle of the street, for Pete's sake. So she walked on, trying not to limp. She was no spring chicken, but she was twenty years the man's junior, and outweighed him by a good hundred pounds, and that was before lunch at Harry's, where that good looking Howson boy liked to smile at her as if she was half her age. (She'd like to rip his clothes off right in the freezer, is what she'd like to do. But that would be to forward by half, wouldn't it just?)

The old man reached out a wrinkled hand, too slow. She was past him.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Revolution of Small Things

It began with a toothbrush. A pearly blue Smith ProGlide, gripped in the hand of a nine-year-old boy.

When the police came knocking, Adam Scott Bell came to the door with a Smith ProGlide and a mouth full of suds. His parents were next door at the Harry's place, but they'd always trusted Adam to do the right thing. So he'd never open the door for a stranger. But this was the police. Adam swallowed the suds (good for the teeth, bad for the belly, he knew that well enough but he wasn't about to spit in the umbrella canister, was he?) and climbed the stool to look out through the little window. Two policemen, red-faced in the cold. Hands on the butts of their guns, with the little leather snap unsnapped. That, Adam decided, was cool. Definitely something he'd tell Zach about at school the next day.

He unlocked the door.

"Hey, kid," the taller of the policemen said. He had a voice like a steam engine, loud and foggy. "Your parents in?"

Adam was never to tell a stranger where his parents were. But these were the police. "No," he said.

"They left you alone here?" the smaller cop said. He was a quick little man with a face like a shovel, flat and almost featureless but for a humorless crack that passed for a smile.

"They're just next door," Adam explained. "If I need them, I have the number. I was getting ready for bed."

"Yeah," the bigger of the two said, wiping his nose on the back of his hand as he stepped in. "That's not going to happen, kid."