Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
This is part of a short story I'm writing. A stand-alone scene. Not a final draft, but good enough to stick on the internet. It will be in There Must be Something in the Water.
- - -
On a farm backed by a wood, under the second full moon that month, with the wind holding a chill of winter, a man was tucking his farm in for the night. His dog, older and silvered around the ears much like the man, went rigid. Its nose pointed toward the wood. Normally a quiet dog, it rumbled a warning growl and stood.
“What is it, pup?”
The farmer turned, but could see nothing in those trees. He bent down to scratch the dog’s scruff.
“We’ll go in soon, pup. Then maybe I’ll have some of that Ford woman’s brew, eh? What is it?”
The dog had started another growl, but it had turned to a whine almost as soon as it began. The hairs along its back were all raised up. Its stare had never moved. It shook a little, and its white-tipped tail curled under its body.
The man read this, and his face turned grim. He walked back to the barn and, after a few moments, returned with a shovel. He watched the trees and the two stood there for a few minutes, waiting.
Then he heard, from a wood he knew had only game trails, the soft jingle of tiny bells and horses. His grip whitened on the shovel as he listened to the sounds of hooves and bells grow.
His dog, utterly quiet now, leaned against his leg.
Under the moon, the grass was suitably phantom like. Very clearly, he saw a number of riders break cover and spill, like different coloured beads, across his field. They rode ponies, and they moved in sync like a flight of sparrows. Most made for the gate, though some jumped the low stone wall that bordered the road. One broke from the group toward him and stopped, watching.
Quietly, slowly, the man laid down his shovel.
When all the group had passed into the next field, the remaining rider sheathed his sword and moved on. His dark pony crossed the road, trotted out of sight, and the night went back to being real again.
His dog made a noise, almost like a sigh. The man bent down to scratch its ears.
“I think it best we stay inside, old pup.”
He picked up the shovel and leaned it against his truck. The dog kept watch while the man finished his chores, but nothing else disturbed the field. When he was done, the dog was watching the place where the riders were last seen. He scratched the dog’s ears again. Then he looked, too, squatting next to the dog.
“You know pup, I think I’ll keep my head tonight,” said the man after a few minutes. He glanced at the moon, hovering beyond the world, out of reach.
“I think it better to leave that brew outside, anyway. Tonight.”
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
She followed a star on the edge of the sky. It was a pretty star, burning a twinkle in the pink sky, but it was a dumb thing to be looking at. Or following, for that matter. Stars didn’t have to worry about trivial things like tripping or traffic. They were much like following wishes. Or fishes. But at least one could swim with the fishes. Even catch them. Kitty had yet to find a way to, reliably, swim in the sky. She wondered if one could employ the same methods for catching fish as for catching wishes. Or stars. A whole new meaning to ‘fly’ fishing might surface.
Anyway. Following stars is all very romantic and all, but not when you trip and go sailing into someone’s ass. Fortunately for Kitty, she was much too tall to fall into her companion’s ass, so she happily settled for his shoulder. As far as asses went, he had a fair decent ass, and Kitty wouldn’t even be the first to say so. Except that the the fair decent ass’s person could be an ass.
The man, tall and blond, was used to sudden Kitty. Besides, she didn’t weigh that much. It took more than that to move him. He didn’t even look back as she righted herself again. He was beginning to have a new motto: It was Kitty.
He didn’t even ask anymore. At least she’d managed to keep quiet while he booked their room. And she carried her own bag. Actually, she was rather protective of the bag. She didn’t let him touch it. She almost bit him when he tried to carry it for her. He didn’t ask anymore.
The first thing she did, upon entering the room, was walk over to the kitchenette and stick her nose in the fridge. After a moment, it came out and the rest of her face pouted at him.
“Someone ate all our food.”
He sighed, set his bags down on the floor, then turned to her. His face was very grave.
“All of it?”
She nodded, her hand still holding the refrigerator floor. She’d turned around and, from this angle, it looked like she was about to sit in it. He tried not to smile.
“You know, Kitty,” he said, annunciating very clear and slow, as if he were thinking it out, “I think I can find them. How about you stay here and guard our stuff while I go hunt them. Just in case they come back.”
She nodded very solemnly.
“It’s about time you did something, anyway.”
He gave her a quick smile.
“Was there anything special they ate that you were fond of?”
She nodded again.
“They ate my spaghetti.”
“Right. I will go get them.”
With his wallet. At the nearest grocery store.
He still wasn’t sure why Kitty had these roundabout ways of telling him when it was his turn to do something, even if it was something as mundane as buying groceries. But he was beyond questioning it now: It was Kitty. He didn’t ask anymore.
The guards slowed and fanned out around her in a half-circle.
“Hi,” she said, a grin betraying her innocent face.
"You're under arrest." Said one.
"Am I really? What for?"
"Harbouring criminal intent."
Well, she certainly harboured plenty of that.
"I don't think you have the power to arrest me," she said, the trickster smile getting the better of her.
"We have the power to arrest anyone we want in this airport. Stay there, and take your hands away from your pockets, lady.”
“Lady?” She said, and slumped her hands into balls in her pockets. She pouted.
The pout didn’t last long. Suddenly there was something sticking in her skin, and it tickled. It had wires jerking back from her chest. She looked down at them.
“What the fuck?” Said one of the guards. Belatedly, she realized that it was probably a Taser.
They all waited a few seconds. Then Kitty pulled a hand out of her pocket and reached for the darts. One of the guards flinched.
A second set of them hit her thigh.
“Are you guys dumb?” Said the man as he, luggage hefted over his back, joined them. He stood behind her, and slightly to the side.
“Apparently,” she said, “you about ready?”
“Uh huh,” he said, and she pulled the darts out. He glanced around. “Cameras. Don’t make it obvious.”
“Could just be a Taser malfunction? Nasty things, these...” She said.
She flung them at the guards but, in a great anticlimax those men could really appreciate, they fell short. The man behind her sighed. He was tired. She took the hint and tapped her foot.
In the next moment, the guards were unconscious on the floor. One of them twitched. A small arc of electricity crackled around her smile.
“You got a car, I hope.”
“I’m driving,” she said, and pulled the keys out of her other pocket. There was a pink frog keychain attached to them. She made it squeak.
Friday, September 3, 2010
"He found it in a quarry..."Okay, okay. That wasn't much of a quote.