The Reptile Man

The Reptile Man

Candace sucked on her lips and stared at the foggy glass doors, willing them to open. She turned her glare on the woods, her puffy jacket rustling when she shivered. This high up in the mountains, the fog clung stubbornly to the tops of trees even well after sunrise, giving the tiny shack on the side of the freeway an air of extra creepiness. The flickering, droning sign with the alligator on it didn’t help. She’d been on some field trips in her life, and this was shaping up to be one of the stupidest. Candace pulled her phone out...

Eloise

I spread my arms wide and smiled, twirling around. The air was sharp, but not with an edge that would cut me. My skin tingled, invigorated, and I soaked up most of the available energy, while being careful to leave a little behind to regenerate in the atmosphere. I watched it sparkle its crackling color, the one we called Ruby, with a capital R, like it was a name rather than a label. It was nothing like the color of the shiny ruby in Teresa’s necklace, the one she wore every day, which dangled pendulously between her large, squishy breasts....

Fairly Bad Mother

                       “It’s that time of year again, folks! Time to move your family away from that dinner table and dust off the dinner trays and watch as Gardenville’s finest singers compete in the annual VOCE Idols competition. A three-hour showdown of talents hosted by last year’s winner, Babby Winters. And just like last year, the committee has selected twenty contestants from your thousands of video auditions, and tonight, right here on channel three, those twenty contestants will battle it out for the chance to win the grand prize: a two-year...

The Space Between

The Space Between

Cindy should have been suspicious when Ronnie stopped her before third period asking for help with a “personal issue.” Nobody ever came to Cindy with issues, personal or other. So when Ronnie asked for help Cindy jumped at the chance. They were to meet in the northeast girls restroom 10 minutes before the ending lunch bell rang. The location couldn’t have been more appropriate for the eventual utter humiliation the Honey Hive inflicted on Cindy; a run-down, rust encrusted little-used room of waste elimination. The actual event of shame was so run-of-the-mill. So ordinary. So basic.  She should have seen...

The Axedental Antecedent

The Axedental Antecedent

You know that saying, when you have a big decision to make, that an axe is hanging over you? I used to say it all the time. But you know what? That feeling is nothing like having a literal axe hanging over you. Trust me. Let me back up a little bit––or a lotta bit––while I can. See, about five years ago, something happened. No one ever fessed up to the hows or the whys. Or the whos. Names were bandied about. Blame was thrown at anyone who reeked of involvement. But in the end, it was done. Magic. Actual real magic. Not advanced science...

Love Me Fender-Bender

Love Me Fender-Bender

Glida poked her Mazda Miata’s snout over the sidewalk and checked the oncoming traffic, a cheeseburger clutched in her mouth. While she waited for the city bus to roll past, she glowered at the gathering storm clouds. Just her luck—she’d put Betsy’s top down moments ago, so of course it was going to rain. Any tips she pocketed today would go to upholstery repairs—not culinary school. She rested her hand protectively on the bag in the passenger’s seat, which was labeled “The ‘Craft Store” with its distinct pentagram-of-wands logo. On second thought… Glida rested the bag in her lap instead....

Meanwhile in Florida

Meanwhile in Florida

Restarting in a moment “That’s nice. Except for the part where I didn’t ask you to restart. I asked you to print my spreadsheet.” Charlie’s left eye squints in disapproval as he watches the six white balls pull themselves around in a spinning circle on the screen. They dance around themselves, mocking his attempts to accomplish anything before the doors open and the inevitable sea of witches and wizards flood the waiting room of the Department of Reversals and Repairs of Palm Springs (DRRPS). Or, as Charlie likes to call it, “Derps”. It’s a sign. Coffee. Charlie grabs his mug...

Blessed Be

Blessed Be

The old man’s classical flamenco guitar echoed off the walls of the ancient passageway, mixing with the sharp stench wafting up from the ground. The smooth cobblestones glistened red in the moonlight snaking into the narrow alley. Small chunks of pineapple and pear filled the crevices between the stones. Fighting back the urge to vomit herself, Allison listened to the scrape of chairs around the corner and pictured the bar patrons moving tables. “How the hell did we get here, Connie?” Connie answered with another round of purging, barely missing Allison’s new purple and green espadrilles purchased just that afternoon...