Mouths to Feed

You want to leave work early after that asshole, Jeff, spouts off about the state of your station, but you know better. You clamp your lips shut against the torrent of profanity in your brain and grab the mop. He’s not worth it.

You have mouths to feed.Read More »

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Pineville

Geoffrey sat cross-legged on the floor. His little sister and her friends sat in a semi-circle around him. They waited raptly for him to begin. He took a swig from his water bottle and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand while staring into the eyes of each one in turn. The candle in the center of the circle flickered and danced, sending shadows scampering across their eager faces. Finally, as their unspoken desire reached its peak, he spoke in a low husky voice.Read More »

Ghost Train

The cars of the train are silent, although the seats are filled.

Should a man find himself stepping up from the platform, through the doorway into this car, he will no doubt recoil at the chill in the air. The atmosphere stifles all joy and light that dares approach and leaves one gasping for breath.Read More »

Rules pt 20 (final)

Miss Karen’s shoes tapped efficiently on the sterile white hospital floor.

“I’m sure I don’t know what got into Mrs. White, just taking off like that, but it’s a pleasure to see what a caring, bonded little family she’s created.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Ada said. She walked with Rex and Todd on either side of her. They remained silent. Since Mrs. White’s ‘disappearance’ they had refused to speak to anyone but Ada, Melissa or Niki. Behind them, Melissa rolled her eyes at Niki, who frowned back at her.Read More »

Rules pt 19

“Girls.” Ada spoke loudly from the entryway. “We have to call a doctor for Everett.”

Niki stood and held out her hand for Melissa.

“They are going to take me away when they see what I’ve done,” Ada continued. When Rex and Todd began to protest, she held up a hand. “No, I should be punished. I did a terrible thing.”Read More »

Rules pt 18

They arranged Everett on the cushioned bench in the front hall with his head resting on a folded jacket. Ada grabbed Mrs. White’s large, woolen shawl from its hook and draped it over him. “We have to call an ambulance,” she said. Again, Niki and Melissa shared a look.

“I don’t think Mrs. White—”

Ada looked up abruptly, the flash of fire in her eyes cutting Melissa’s protest short. “I already told you. She won’t be a problem. Not for any of you, anyway.”

Niki went over to her. “What do you mean?”Read More »

Rules, pt 17

Niki must have dozed with her thoughts because a noise from far above them woke her up.

“What was that?”

“What was what?” Melissa’s voice was thick with sleep. She stretched, her legs bumping Niki’s.

“There was a noise. Like a thump. Or a thunk. I don’t know, exactly. I was mostly asleep.”

“I didn’t hear anything.”Read More »