Category Archives: short stories

Time

Oh future where are you? Who are you? Why are you ever changing? What factors am I partaking in that will lead me to you? You are always on the run fleeting no matter how clever, well planned I am you are always one step ahead. Oh why do I spend time obsessing over you when in reality we will never catch each other even on my death bed there is eternity which I cannot fathom because its outside the parameters of time. Then there is you past, you always catch up to me, you always follow me. It seems you define me. I can’t ignore you and pretend you never happened, but what good is that? If it were not for your occurrence, face it who would I be now? Sometimes you’re my best friend that makes me content then you are my enemy, reminding me of what could have been? But is that really so or do I take you for granted since I believe everything happens for a reason. Then present you are by far the most complex and trickiest. You get neglected and ignored, pushed to the side and taken for granted. Who are you? Who am I? We are always together we are soul mates until the day I leave this earth. Its like a marriage to death do us part . Through my trials and errors you are always there as a reminder time hasn’t stopped life goes on. You are my alibi and my mirror. Where I go you are there whether I want to face you or not, we are one. You sometimes feel like a gift and other times a curse, but either way like a film I’m watching for the first time you bring out all my emotions and deepest thoughts. We aspire and grow by the second. Time is a conundrum that is overlooked, misunderstood and taken for granted its not linear. No humans are linear beings.

 

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The Cab Ride Part II: The Interrogation

“We made it.” I smiled at her.

“Thanks.” Her mouth curved into a grin for the first time.

“You’re welcome, and good luck…?” I paused as I realized I hadn’t bothered to learn her name.

“Angel,” she said, closing the door behind her. I watched her plod away, and I wondered what would become of her. Just as my hand reached for the gear shift, the screech of tires caused my eyes to tear upwards.

A car with tinted windows was right beside her. She didn’t seem to notice as she meandered along with headphones in her ears. The windows of the car rolled down, revealing a group of masked men with guns drawn. A cry rose in my throat as the sound of gun shots led to her collapse.

The car sped away, and hot tears filled my eyes as I rushed out of the cab and took her limp body into my arms. There was no response as she bled out. My head dropped as I muttered.

“You were almost free.”

A breeze rippled my copper waves, and even with the bomber jacket I wore I shivered as the smell of burnt tires filled my nostrils. Sirens wailed with me as a swarm of police cars encircled the crime scene.

A soft hand enclosed around my broad shoulder and I lifted my head to see a female police officer dangling her badge in my face.

“Horus Isles, I’m officer Mays and you are under arrest for the murder of Angel Rogers.”

“What?” I shook my head, confused as tears streamed down my pudgy face.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have read to you?”

“Yes,” I nodded as she handcuffed and ushered me to the back of a police car.

As I sat there, my eyes met the officer May’s hazel eyes. Her lips pressed into a tight line, and I tore my eyes away from hers.

* * *

When we arrived at the police station, I was taken in for questioning. They asked if I wanted to make a phone call, but I declined, figuring just like I had managed to talk myself out of trouble for rigging poker games with weighted dice, I could do so here.

I clasped my hands on the table as I sat across from officer Mays. Now that I directly faced her, I could see the bags under her eyes. Based on her sallow complexion and wild dark, hair, it looked like she hadn’t had a decent sleep in weeks. If I selected my words carefully could work to my advantage.

“Horus, what was your relation to Angel?” she said.

“I was her cab driver,” I answered.

“If you were only her cab driver then why were you clutching her corpse?”

“I panicked. The poor girl was alive one minute and dead the next. She just wanted to clean up her life, and these heartless thugs killed her.”

“Clean up her life?” She narrowed her eyes.

“She was a drug dealer”

“Is there more?”

“What more do you expect me to know?”

“How about her connection to Paradise Road?”

“What the hell is that?” I scratched my sweaty forehead.

“A drug ring stemming from the dark net,” she said. I leaned back in my chair, causing a creak and folded my droopy eyelids shut, as I pondered on what all she had spoken.

“She said she had been a drug dealer for five years, and wanted out.”

“Why now? Officer May’s voice dropped a few octaves.

“She was tired of the lifestyle”

“It’s strange Angel would tell a complete stranger so much information if she was on the run. Don’t you think Mr. Isles?” officer Mays folded her wide arms over her chest.

“I guess she had to get it off her chest somehow,” I sighed.

“What happened with the criminals that killed her?”

“When I dropped her off, a black car full of masked men pulled up, shot her and sped off.

“How many of them were there?” “I don’t know; I’d say about four.”

“What type of car were they driving?”

“A Ford Focus.”

“When you were driving Angel, were you under the impression she was being followed.” She leaned forward.

“She seemed paranoid when she got in the cab.”

“How so?”

“She kept glancing behind her as if she were waiting on someone.”

“Did she tell you someone was expecting her?” “No, she said she was supposed to deliver six pounds of cocaine”

“Very odd, there were no drugs on her when we searched her possessions”

“That’s what she told me, at least,” I rubbed neck.

“If she wanted out, why didn’t she go to the police?”

“A state trooper pulled me over for driving with my fuel door open, and I advised her to tell him about her situation, but she refused.” My voice cracked, as another whimper burst from my lips.

“Did she say why she refused to get help if she were in such danger?”

“She said something along the lines of “the less I talk the safer I am.” I brushed a tear from my lazy eye.

“That’s unfortunate. Well, Mr. Isles, I’m sorry you were caught in the middle of such a horrific event. You’re free to go,” officer Mays said, staring at me as I stood.

“Thank you officer Mays, and I hope you find whatever scumbag did that to that poor girl.”

“Likewise, have a good evening,” she grinned, then instructed another officer to escort me out. From a distance, I could overhear officer Mays speaking to another officer.

“You really think he’s innocent?” a male voice asked Mays.

“He seemed sincere enough, but the forensic evidence will tell the story.”

“I don’t trust the guy.” he said. Mays chuckled.

“Most cab drivers are oddballs.”

Their voices grew faint as I breathed in the evening autumn air and the pink sunset captured my eyes. Everything that occurred in the past couple of hours raced through my mind: Angel, her killers, and the police. In a matter of seconds, I had been thrust into the middle of a crime scene.

I smirked to myself, as I slipped my hand into my faded jean pocket, retrieving my keys. One of my old weighted dice rolled onto the dusty pavement. It was never my intent for Angel to die, but when she failed to deliver for Paradise Road-the website I founded. Her fate was sealed the minute she opened her mouth. The hit I ordered on her didn’t go according to plan. My henchmen acted faster than I anticipated leaving a trail I was unsure I’d be able to dodge. I would’ve been better driving away, but it was too late for regrets. For now, I’d enjoy my last days cruising the crowded streets as an unassuming cab driver.

Burning Fields

A breeze gusts over the rows of empty fields lined with untrimmed grass obstructing his path. He plows through until a light comes into view. Burning bright consuming the village he once called home leaving it in charred ruins. From afar, he sees the outline of an army of mighty men brandishing swords and breast plates pillaging the remains. He pivots around sprinting away, but the edge of blade meets his chin. His eyes move upwards to meet the face of a man glaring.

“There will be no survivors.”

Blubber

My tummy rumbled as I dashed to the wooden table beneath the cool shade. Mother had packed lunch for our day at the zoo. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Although I wasn’t a fan of jelly, in that moment it would satisfy my hunger. I took a seat banging my knees together. She withdrew a container with five sandwiches, and handed one to each of my siblings.

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http://observationdeck.kinja.com/friday-night-dinner-challenge-1703219901

 

As I removed the crust from the sandwich, the vibrant feathers of a peacock arrested me. The beautiful birds were the only animals the zoo allowed to walk freely, and they had taken note of us lunching.

A stray bird broke from the group and waddled closer to us. Glancing around, to see who was watching I scooped up a piece of crust and tossed it to the bird. It pecked at the grassy knoll with delight.

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https://www.pinterest.de/explore/information-about-peacock/

 

“You shouldn’t be feeding the peacocks,” my mother scolded.

“I know, but they are so cute,” I said.

“Just because they are cute doesn’t mean they aren’t harmful.”

“I guess,” I sighed. If she turned her head I planned to cast another crumb or two to the bird.

Fifteen minutes later we stretched our legs and arose to continue exploring the Henry Doorly Zoo.  We hadn’t made it to my favorite part yet. The penguins. When was old enough to work, I hoped to get my dream job at the zoo.

“I can’t wait until we see the polar bears,” my little sister said.

“I know, Isa but the penguins are cooler.” I laughed. Isa folded her tiny arms over her chest and my younger brother Tony chuckled at what I had said.

“What’s so good about birds that can’t fly,” she said.

“That’s what makes them so special.”

“Whatever.” She shook her head.

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https://patch.com/new-jersey/westorange/vet-njs-turtle-back-zoo-will-help-protect-sea-lions-california

        Blaring music interrupted our exchange and my two brothers scurried ahead to see what all the commotion was about. Isa and I followed behind them wedging through the throng of onlookers gathered around the sea lion complex.

“It looks like they’re having a show,” my older brother, Nate said.

“Yay!” Tony cheered.

“Good thing we are just in time,” my mother said. Her phone rang, and she walked away to take the call.

Down below a young woman with a whistle directed a group of sea lions. Some would balance a ball on the tip of their noses or do a flip for a treat. The sun glistened against their rubbery flesh. They had a slight odor to them like all of the other animals. One stood out from the rest as he shifted his weight, flopping behind the others. I’d seen him before and he grew to an object of my laughter. I had nicknamed him fatso, and watching him filled me with joy.

Without a second thought, I pointed at him and shouted. “Look at fatso!” He meandered along. My younger siblings joined in the jeering of the animal. I nearly collapsed from chuckling so hard.

“You all should be ashamed of yourselves,” an older woman grumbled. I ignored whoever made the remark continuing to snicker, but Nate gripped my shoulder.

“Dani, you made that woman cry,” he interrupted my merriment.

“Who?” I asked confused.

“The woman behind you,” he said. I swiveled around to see a large woman with tears gathered in her eyes. Her face was bright red as she stared directly at us. Another woman placed her hand on her back, but she pulled away. “She thinks you were calling her fatso.” My brother said.

“I’m sorry I was talking about the sea lion,” I shouted at the two women. Both women seemed unmoved by the apology. The crying woman rushed away, unable to contain the whimper that broke from her lips. The woman with her rushed after her, and turned and shook her head at us before catching up to her.

I cast my eyes to the ground as the pain on the woman’s face was etched in my mind. Who thought a silly nickname could do so much damage. Although, the name fatso was never meant for her it still had ruined her day.

The sea lion show was coming to an end and people were starting to leave, and now I no longer found calling the heavy sea lion fatso amusing.

“Mom” I darted over to her just as she was getting off the phone.

“What is it Dannie?”

“I did something awful today,” I looked down at my tennis shoes.
“Awful like what?”

“I made a woman cry.”
“How so?”

“I was making fun of a sea lion and this lady overheard us and thought it was about her.”

“Did you apologize?”

“Yes, but she ran away.”
“I’m sorry that happened, but you can’t change the past.”
“I feel so cruel”

“Dannie, rather than focusing on the past, the best thing you can do is be better person from now on.”

“How?”

“By being thinking about the impact your words can have on others,” She said, patting my shoulder.

“You’re right,” I smiled, as I saw that day different than I had before. While, I wished I could take back what I had done from then on I would consider the feelings of others when I spoke.

Dreaming on a Subway

From the corner of her eye, a shadow darts by.

She speeds her steps, struggling to catch every fleeting

glance and ebb of pedestrians.

 

 

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https://autodo.info/pages/c/crowded-new-york-city-street/

 

When she reaches the eighth Avenue subway line,

her eyes widen at the subway cars flying by. Having

seen nothing like it back at home.

 

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http://gifrific.com/subway-train-flying-by/

 

She boards the subway car and holds onto the

stanchion pole riding to sixth Avenue line.

A gentle gust of cool wind caresses her skin and

a polar sense of warmth and frigidness indwells

her chest. Chromatic bursts of lights flicker

across the car. Her eyes pull shut. Shimmering

images of his sculpted countenance, and

iridescent eyes invade her mind. His firm,

measured voice speaks to her in haunting

whispers, and she tightens her fingers around

the sleek metallic pole.

subway_newyork_sm_500

https://massappeal.com/train-spotted-woman-pole-dances-with-discman-on-subway/

 

The voice quiets and sense of presence vanishes. Her

eyes pry open to the crowded subway. An elderly

woman watches agape and returns to knitting when

she notices her watching back.

 knitting GIF

https://giphy.com/search/checking-watch

 

She glances at her watch, noticing she almost

missed her stop at the Columbus circle station.

Under Construction

http://secondavenuesagas.com/2008/07/17/an-entrance-opens-amidst-the-columbus-circle-mess/

The Watcher

Behind a rubber tree a cloaked figure watches

her maneuver between fallen trunks scattered

across the forest floor.

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http://pixdaus.com/rainforest-night-magic-forest-night/items/view/190715/

 

The glint of his iridescent eyes beyond

the woods captures her attention. She

looks up at the outline of the tangled

trees beyond the clearing. She meet’s

his gaze and shivers. A malevolent

current of  energy oozes from the entity.

 

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http://sparhawks.info/queminfo-mysterious-hooded-figure.html

 

She recoils but a powerful wave of energy

mounts her feet to the ground. Her heart

thumps quicker. Goosebumps flood her

limbs. A gust of wind wraps around her

ankles and wrist like a ribbon, lifting her

off the ground. Her fingertips ring with

pain and a stark volt of electricity surges

through her veins venturing up the nape

of her  neck prickling her skin.

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http://mymodernmet.com/jenna-martin-conceptual-photography/?context=tag-photo

 

She lifts her head with the sound a faint whisper

echoing in her ears, rotating her head she tries to

keep up with the voice. Shivers cascade her spine

and her palms from another voltaic wavelength.

 

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http://jpgmag.com/photos/2529859

 

Lying on her back her uneven heart beat drums

faster. A deep shadow alerts her that the phantom

now looms overhead. Shuttering, her eyes draw

upward, and she beholds him.

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http://weheartit.com/entry/16862371/via/Schitzopheliac

 

The Cab Ride

I wove through the congested streets on the lookout for a new customer, but so far not a prospect in sight. Then I spotted a young woman as thin as the lamp pole she stood beside, gesturing for me.

The cab slowed to a stop at the curb. She squinted from the glare of the afternoon sun and shoved a gaudy, purse up her arm. The corners of my mouth pulled upward as our eyes met, and I unlocked the door, but her red, lips remained in a tight line. Her head jerked back as if she were looking for someone. She turned back to me, and pulled the door open, and dropped change in my hand.

“Where to?” I asked

“The airport,” she said softly, as she smoothed the wrinkles out of her black skirt.

“How are you today Miss?” I asked. Her mouth didn’t move as her gaze stayed fixed ahead. I looked away from the reticent woman with the realization that there would be the sole sound of the radio blaring for the rest of the ride. She sniffed, which took me by surprise. “What’s wrong?” I glanced back at her.

“You wouldn’t care.” She shook her head with tears brimming in her honey colored eyes. Although, I wasn’t one to pry, the fact that I had gotten her to talk intrigued me.

“Lay it on me,” I said, glancing back at her as she twiddled her thumbs.

“That’s what they all say” She laughed, although the timbre of her raspy voice oozed sarcasm.

“Well, I’m not the rest,” I chuckled.

“Ah, fine.” She chewed on her bottom lip before her mouth parted. “I was supposed to deliver a package, but bailed at the last minute.”

“A package?” My brow rose.

“Six pounds of cocaine,” she said so casually, as if it were no different than a package of textbooks.

“Cocaine?”

“Yeah,” she sighed, pushing her elbow against the window. In that moment I realized I had picked up a drug dealer on the run and just the thought had my stomach aching. What if one of her criminal friends caught me driving her around, and she had the drugs on her,

“You can have your money back. I’m not getting involved.” I said as my foot eased onto the break at the stop light.

“Please don’t do this to me,” she pleaded.

“Give me one good reason why I should get involved.”

“I’m trying to get out of town and live a clean life.” Her voice cracked.

“Oh, don’t cry.” I said. But her whimper resurrected memories of how I had failed my own daughter, when she tried to escape her abusive boyfriend that murdered her because I was too late getting to her.

“Fine” I sighed.

“Thank you.” She perked up as I continued to drive.

“So how long have you been a drug dealer?” I asked.

“Since I was fifteen,” she said.

“And how old are you now?”

“Twenty”

“Well, I hope today you can leave that life behind.”

“Me too,” she muttered.

“Say what made you decide to deal drugs?”

“I needed to feed my son.”

“Where is he?”

“With my mother in Boston.”  The airport was coming into view, when I noticed a state trooper driving behind me. My pulse lurched as I tapped the break hoping he wouldn’t stop me for going five miles over the speed limit.

I looked back at the woman. Her face was a blank slate again as she twisted her matted hair around her finger. When I glanced at the rearview mirror, I noticed the officer signaled to pull over. With a gulp, I stopped on the shoulder of the road just a block from the airport and rolled down the window.

“Maybe you should tell him about your situation and he can help,” I whispered to her. She shook her head against it and I sighed at her unwillingness to get help.

The officer hobbled around to the side of the cab and leaned into the window.

“Good afternoon folks,” he said. The edges of his dark hair were graying and his breath wreaked off black coffee.

“Good afternoon” I said. She didn’t utter a sound instead she looked down at her dirty, sneakers.

“You know that you’re driving with your fuel door open,” he snickered.

“Oh, I am?” I laughed as beads of sweat trickled down my neck. The car felt as if it the temperature rose with each second the officer stared at me with his piercing green eyes, despite it being mild outside.

“I must have forgotten when I pumped gas this morning.”  I said, remembering how I had been in a rush. The officer’s smile faded and his eyes moved from me to the woman in the back. Her eyes remained fixed on the window, ignoring him.

“It happens to the best of us.” He laughed breaking the silence.

“Thank you for pointing it out,” I said.

“No problem,” he said then started to walk back to his car. I got out and closed the fuel door and waved at him.

“Nice day to you,” he said.

“Same to you, sir,” I hollered back as I got in and drove away.

“Why didn’t you want to get help?” I asked her.

“The less I talk the safer I am,” she said. Her words tightened the knot straining my stomach.

Three minutes later I swung into the parking lot of the airport.

“We made it.” I smiled at her.

“Thanks.” Her mouth curved into a grin for the first time.

“You’re welcome, and good luck…?” I paused as I realized I didn’t know her name.

“Angel” she said, closing the door behind her. I watched her plod away, and I wondered what would become of her. Just as my hand reached for the gear shift, the screech of tires caused my eyes to tear upwards.

A car with tinted windows was right beside her. She didn’t seem to notice as she meandered along with headphones in her ears. The windows of the car rolled down, revealing a group of masked men with guns drawn. A cry rose in my throat as the sound of gun shots led to her collapse.

The car sped away, and hot tears filled my eyes as I rushed out of the cab and took her limp body into my arms. There was no response as she bled out. My head dropped as I muttered.

“You were almost free.”