It was finally here. The call to arms Vasilis had been waiting for since he’d been inducted into the army as a lad of seventeen. And boy, was it beautiful: the usual black-coffee-baritone of the General now closer to a treble in his emergency shouts, the comrades he’d been having his lunch with until about fifteen minutes ago now taking up their positions in the bailey as if gathered by some automatic force yet to be invented, and most of all— the stone curtain. Oh, what a queen, that towering wall devouring all light that fell on it as though it was its only sustenance, that majestic piece of art running all around the citadel that sat within.
Biologically, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary’s death was in no way unusual. One might even say that she’d overstayed her welcome on this planet by living to be 97 years old until the Grim Reaper finally decided to cash in her chips for good.
Politically, though, it caused a huge kerfuffle because of the inconvenient fact that she was the queen of a small but influential island that liked to call itself ‘Great’ Britain.
The cat’s familiar (2/2)
‘The Shack’ was a wholly inaccurate name for the witches’ place. It was a bungalow covered in vines because of course it was, and it didn’t appear as big on the outside, but it was huge on the inside. Labyrinthine, almost— maybe it was my dizziness from the broomstick ride but… oh god, the broomstick ride.
When I was all dressed up, had locked my apartment’s door and come outside, I’d seen the five women with three vehicles. Stella leaning with her shoes crossed against her light-devouring black, evil-looking motorbike, Isha killing time reading a book balanced on the steering wheel of a pretty car with a blue-and-green gradient finish, Camila riding shotgun with a cigarette between her long carmine nails, Jenny in the back with her elbow resting on the window, absorbed in the few flowers in my building’s small front garden and Magistera Seleni checking her pocket watch, her other hand holding a broomstick, and Catpurrnicus sitting solemnly near her feet.
Stella straight away refused to let me ride her bike. Jenny offered me to sit in the back of the car. Magistera didn’t say anything but her expression indicated the broomstick was open, but not the best choice.
Of course I picked the broomstick. Continue reading
The cat’s familiar (1/2)
The Secret Garden
(About 1000 words)
“You sure you’ll be okay, honey?”
Danny looked up from his copy of The Secret Garden. Again. He smiled and nodded. Again.
“Come on, Winnie! The market closes in an hour and a half!” His dad called from the other room.
“Coming!” She looked at her son. They’d be back in an hour or so, sure, but this was the first time they were leaving him alone. She had every right to be worried.
“There’s some leftover meatloaf in the microwave if you get hungry,” she said for the twentieth time, “and remember—”
“Don’t let in strangers, don’t go out into the backyard, and if Doormat barks, only check from the balcony. I remember, mom.”
Winnie smiled. Her little boy was growing up fast. It seemed like yesterday that she was teaching him to say his name.
Meanwhile, John came in. “Winnie, let’s go.”
“I was coming, just—”
“Danny’s a big boy now.” He went in and ruffled his son’s hair. “Almost eight, am I right?”
“Yes, daddy.” He smiled.
“You be good, Dan.”
Danny saw them off and bolted the door. Their deep blue Chevy screeched away and finally, for the first time ever, he was alone.
(About 1000 words)
“Uber for Mark?” the handsome middle-aged passenger peeked through the front window. The driver took one look at him and almost fainted.
“You’re… you’re Mark Romero, right? Agent Mark Romero?”
Romero sighed. It had been fun at first, but now it was starting to get seriously annoying. Damn that Tina for convincing him to get on TV.
“That’s the one.”
If the driver could’ve jumped, he would have.
“Omigod, sir, big fan, sir, big fan—”
“Thanks, now, I need to—”
“The way you busted that coke ring, sir, saw it on TV sir, heroic, absolutely fantastic.”
“Yes, thank you, flattered; now listen to me—what’s your name?”
“Kevin, sir, at your service.” The man actually saluted.
“Look, Kevin, I have my nephew’s wedding to get to, now, and Juárez’s nearly three hours away. I’m running an hour late already, so I’ll make you a deal– you step on it, and I’ll tell you about that cocaine ring on the way. How does that sound?”
Kevin took a second to take the panicked man’s information in. “Very good, sir, very good. Hop in.”
Contrary to movie funerals, it was not raining. In fact, it was a bright sunny day with sparse clouds.
But can a churchyard ever be sunny? With mourners decked out in black and the only smiles around sad ones, a stormcloud seemed to hang over the churchyard itself.
Breaking and Entering
(600 words, approx)
Yuto peered at the sign hung inside the window. “It is written ‘looked’.”
Cynthia shook her head. “It says ‘locked’, not ‘looked’. Besides, we don’t need a sign to know that, do we?” She went back to picking the lock. He was a foreign exchange student, here till next September, but still getting used to the English language.
Yuto frowned. “I think this, what we do, is wrong.”
‘Say the word and there is light, say the word and dead bones rise…’
Nick turned it off. What a load of crap. This was the exclusive, yet-unreleased music Ralph was going on about?
He took his earphones out. Why was he listening to it again? He’d already listened to it once, been appalled by it, and was now replaying it. Gabe, Mike, Ralph- they’d all be proud of him if they knew what he was listening to, but Nick didn’t want them to be proud. All he wanted… he let go of that thought. He’d been over it multiple times. It was clear they weren’t going to listen to him.
Nevertheless, he walked over to where Big G was tinkering with his toolbox. Not to try and tell him- not now, anyway- but to get something to do. He was bored, and he couldn’t listen to the crappy music on Ralph’s Walkman anymore.
Mel has met a person on the internet who claims to be from the planet Hagfar orbiting Centaurus Lambda in the Carina-Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way galaxy. She’s been chatting with him for a while, and he is tired of trying to convince her of his alien-ness. Finally, she decides to stop bothering about it, because even if he’s trying to prank her, he’s a nice person to talk to, as she’s learnt in the last twenty minutes.