Tag: sad

Votive

Nina flipped up the personal mirror over her seat, placed her chapstick back in the central console, and turned up the radio. The music was new, at least to her. Some band she never heard of, but honestly, pretty good. She liked how it was kind of jaunty, high energy, but without overstating itself. So much new music was trying to be more than it needed, and this, this was just something you could really lean into, follow the groove.

She reached down the side of her seat and leaned it back, pulled out her phone, and checked for updates. 

No messages for the past half hour. That was fine. No reason to get concerned.

She read Rae’s last message again. “hey mom, could you come pick me up from blue oaks? meet you at the park’s front lot, if that’s okay. love you.” 

It was probably fine, only twelve minutes since Nina texted back that she was in the lot.

She adjusted her seat back up, getting ready to pull up Rae’s contact and call her when she noticed in her side mirror that there was a thick fog rolling down the mountains. The park was named after the way the fog made the mountains, more like hills, look sort of blue instead of green. A little further south and the mountains would be described more as smoky. 

Nina looked toward her rearview. “Hope she gets here soon. Don’t want to drive through that.” She looked back down and turned just a little, just enough to get a glimpse of movement. “You sure she said she’s on her way back? You know her, she can get kind of lost in the moment.” Nina saw the girl in the back nod, her hair bobbing.

(more…)

Dragonfly: Diner

Ferg set his tray on the table, sat down, and put on his visor. The room around him was still the same, cold white walls, a white table, and a, well, it wasn’t a bad facsimile of mashed potatoes, but it still wasn’t quite past the uncanny valley. Whatever detail was missed with the meatloaf though, that little detail wrong, made it taste almost twice as good.

He sighed and took a bite. 

A prompt flashed on his visor to close his eyes. He smiled and complied. He said, “Finally.”

He opened his eyes and suddenly the room was completely different. The table was wooden, and across from him was his sister Beatrice, her hazel eyes wrinkling with her smile. “Ferg! It worked!” She took a bite of her eggs, part of a full English breakfast. 

“It’s so nice to see your face sis.” Fergie smiled and unrealized tension left his shoulders. 

(more…)

Bricked

From the window of the station Tony could just make out the outline of South America. With a nearby ding he remembered where he was standing, grabbed two coffees from the vending machine and turned around to see Lynn waving him over to talk with one of the doctors. He quickly crossed the waiting room toward his haggard wife and the well-kept Dr. Zionkowski.

As he bridged the distance, his wife motioned to the doctor. “She says she has news.”

Tony handed one of the coffees to Lynn, who just held the warm cup. He said, “How is she?”

Dr. Zionkowski lifted up the tablet to double-check her charts and then sighed deeply. “I wish I could give you better news, be more gentle. But it’s not looking good.”

Lynn mumbled, “Oh no.”

Dr. Zionkowski continued, “She…she isn’t responsive, not to sound, not to light or vibration. I fear you have only a few hours to make a decision.”

(more…)

A Better Life

Jason took another plate and stacked it on the edge of the table before picking up the whole set and walking to the sink. As he began washing the dishes, his husband spoke up.

Adam said, “Before I head out, just letting you know, I heard some scratching in the wall I think.”

“Could you get some rat traps on the way home?”

Adam stood up from the table and walked up to Jason. He wrapped his arms around him. “Sure. I could get a few from the hardware store.”

“I’ll set them up. It only seems fair if you’re getting them.”

Adam leaned in and gave Jason a quick kiss. “You’re good for me.”

Adam disentangled from his smiling husband and picked up his suitcase. “Hate to kiss and run, but I have to get going.”

“Can you take Danny with you today?”

Adam looked into the living room and saw the little troublemaker watching cartoons. He looked at his watch and then said, “It’s the exact opposite direction.”

Jason turned away from the sink and looked his husband in the eye. He stared with wide pleading eyes.

Adam broke. “Alright.” He turned back towards the kid again and said, “Alright Danny-boy. Let’s get moving! Pop has a tight schedule and I need to get your butt to school.”

(more…)

Dragonfly: Goodbyes

Sean stood in the door frame and crossed his arms. He looked in and stared at the back of Ricky’s head, tried to open his mouth to speak but stopped himself before he said anything stupid. As he leaned against the old wooden door frame, it let out an audible creak. 

Ricky turned around and Sean finally saw his fresh black eye. It wasn’t the first one he’d seen on him. Ricky paused for a second, looking at Sean’s tightened jaw and freshly crew-cut red hair on pale freckled skin. 

The two young men just stared for a second, considering the first words of what would assuredly be a difficult conversation.

Ricky spoke first.

“What are you doing here?” Ricky turned his head so his black eye was no longer visible.

“I…” Sean paused.

“Yeah? Spit it out.” Ricky’s eyes started to dart across the room to find something, anything else to look at than the man in the doorway.

“I…I’m going to leave. I just wanted to let you know.”

Ricky forced a laugh. “Then go. No one is holding you here, Sean.” Ricky flicked his wrist to shoo away Sean as he said, “The door’s that way.”

(more…)

Step Mother’s Note

Dearest daughter,

I know when you went to sleep you still didn’t consider me your mother, but I hope you know that I always considered you part of my family.  By the time you read this, you will have woken up from your rest. I hope that you are feeling better. I know things haven’t been easy, and I hope when you wake things will finally be easier, fairer.

I know that this situation has taken a deep toll on you. It’s taken a toll on me as well, but I don’t mean to make this about me. 

What I am trying to say is, I hope that by the time you wake you can find it within your heart to forgive me. I never wanted to hurt you. I never wanted to do this, but… I hope you can at least understand why, even if you can’t forgive me.

(more…)

Mother May I

Molly entered the kitchen to see Michael already awake and cooking breakfast. “You’re late! Mother will be home soon.” He paused and changed his tone to something more pleading. “Please help.”

“I was still asleep.”

“I would love to sleep in too!” said Michael, losing the softer tone he had before. 

Molly’s eyes flickered to the patches on his skin and quickly walked into the room to help him. “What do you need from me?”

“Could you see if the milk is still good?”

Molly ran to the fridge and opened it. The hinges groaned open and a sweet smell filled the room. “I hate this thing.”

“She tried her best, now hurry up and help.” Michael continued to chop up a carrot, shaking the entire time.

(more…)

The Elf Knight

Sage nervously picked at his knuckles as he looked up the stairs, but he took the first step anyway.

Rosemary peaked around the corner of the hallway and asked, “You sure now is a good time?” Her long ears pointed flat, suggesting disapproval.

“I, I need to see Parsley. Ask him a question.” Sage spoke with a slight shake in his voice. “I really don’t want to wait.”

(more…)

Hoof Prints

On the drive to my new home, I realized that somewhere along the way I lost a button. It wasn’t a jacket button. I would have noticed that earlier, when the wind was stronger and we were packing the boxes into the car. No, it was a button that I found out in the woods one day. It was small, wooden, and had several nicks in it. I sewed the button into the shoulder of my jacket once I found it. My mom always says I’m a bit of a goblin, always picking up and collecting everything I can find.

“Honey, are you okay back there? You’ve gotten a little quiet.” My mom didn’t know about this button specifically, but she quickly realized I was upset by something.

“I’m okay, just thinking about things.”

“You missing the old place already?”

“Sort of, but I’ll be okay. I swear.” I answered her as honestly as I knew how to. I didn’t know how to explain to her about how it all was connected together.

(more…)