Last Resort

Leslie had tried all the other numbers she knew. Nobody could tell her any more about tomorrow’s big project deadline than she already knew herself.

“What a bunch of morons,” she muttered to herself as she paced back and forth across her tidy bedroom. How was it even possible that they, having been in class all week, knew less than she did after being home sick the last three days?

There was no help for it. She only had one option left.Read More »

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Promise Me

“Promise me,” she begged.

“I promise,” he whispered. He pulled her into the warm circle of his arms, where the air smelled of cloves and fresh hay and, best of all, him. This was where she belonged, where she wanted to stay forever.

“How can I trust you?” she asked. “How can I believe your sweet words? Words cost nothing.”Read More »

The Key

If it had been any other storefront, she wouldn’t have hesitated. The key, dangling from the knob on the roof access door, sang a siren’s call. She could already half imagine the shenanigans they would get up to, two stories above the rest of their sleepy little town.

But it wasn’t any other storefront. It was THAT storefront. And because it was THAT storefront, she paused to lick at her chocolate ice cream cone and consider her options.Read More »

Sometimes

Sometimes it was difficult to force her body to move through the sequence of chores. Her feet would grow leaden and her fingers would refuse to grasp. The buckets and barrows that normally danced as she commanded would stand sullen and still as the afternoon light deepened.Read More »

New Leaf

Dylan stood under the sickly light of the neon sign as the bus hissed and heaved itself forward. She checked the time.

Ten minutes late. Her mother’s disapproving tone rose in her mind, unbidden and unwelcome.

“That’s basically ‘on time’ for me, Ma,” Dylan muttered.

And look where that’s gotten you, her mother continued. You can’t show up to your first meeting late.Read More »

What Comes Before ‘The End’

Ding-a-ling!

The bell above the door rang cheerfully and Melisende felt a bit of tension melt away. Surely such a lovely sound could only portend positive change. A woman behind the long counter looked up.

“May I help you?” she asked with a beatific smile. Her plump, matronly body and cats eye glasses reassured Melisende even further. The castle was full of friendly, helpful women who looked just like this one. Melisende had grown up trusting them with her every need.Read More »

Sick Days

On Monday, Karen woke up with a dry mouth. Her eyeballs itched a little and her head felt tight. A check of her calendar reminded her that she had a pre-work meeting scheduled with her boss, she had to call the insurance company during lunch, and it was her turn to bring snack for her daughter’s soccer team. She took two Airborne, drank an extra bottle of water and crossed her fingers.Read More »