Month: July 2012

Return of the Granny Ninjas

Every year I get two’s and sometimes three’s of requests to bring back a particular character from a past story and this year is no different. If you would like to read the original story from which this character originated, you can find it here. Enjoy.

Most September evenings, when the heat of the day had been swept aside by the cool breeze rolling in from the mountains and more often than not the Cubs had thrown away a lead in last few innings, I would often meander out to my third floor balcony to watch the world from above. It was on one such night that my imaginary walls of safety were demolished, exposing me to the true danger of the world in which we live. But more importantly, it was the night I had the best snickerdoodle I have ever tasted.

Thinking back, I cannot remember a single detail that would have hinted that the night ahead of me should be any different from the 9,524 nights that had passed before it. Shortly after the last tendrils of sunlight released their grip on the city, an Eastern wind announced its arrival through the branches of a large birch that scraped against the side of my apartment. My sliding glass door shifted and knocked against its track as if to confirm the wind’s entrance into the city. With Chicago leading by four runs, a tiny flame of hope danced wildly inside me as if the breeze outside my windows had a secret passageway to my heart. Over the next hour I would witness the inevitable collapse of my team in 52 inches of glorious color and pain. (more…)

The Switch

Two quick knocks were answered from behind the large oak door by a curt, “Come.” Anderson Hill took a deep breath and turned the steel knob. The sensation of walking the plank struck him as he entered and saw the Pacific Ocean stretched across the horizon just beyond the windows that filled the furthest wall. He struggled to focus on what he had practiced as he approached the enormous desk where his boss sat shuffling through a small stack of papers.

“Sir, I have the footage for the latest episode. But it is… a bit different.”

James Vandenbaugh did not enjoy unnecessary preambles. The direct approach was Anderson’s only hope of coming away from this with his job. As Mr. Vandenbaugh looked up from the document he had been reading he removed his glasses and glared at the man who had just told him the one thing he had never let happen during his tenure as Producer. His blue-grey eyes seemed to darken like the ocean with a storm on the horizon. One finger rose and lightly stroked his temple. He studied Anderson for a moment letting silence fill the space between them.

“Explain.”

Anderson held up the disc that he carried in his left hand.

“It might make more sense if I show you…” He tried to sound confident, but still it came out like a half-question. (more…)

Obey

Maribelle was drawn to the water the moment she saw the warm rays of the sun broken into a million tiny diamonds on its surface. It was a sheet of sparkles for as far as she could see and the perfect place for a princess to play.

Dorian was just trying to make the best of the situation. The long hill of fading grass that stretched toward the lake was a wonderland of potential. And along the edge of the water he supposed that there were all sorts of magical discoveries to be found.

Maribelle knew from the moment their parents had met for brunch that she liked Dorian. He was quiet, but intelligent eyes roamed the countryside and kept a constant watch. He still had not looked her in the eye, but had a gentle way about him like the knights in her favorite bedtime stories. Slowly, he seemed to accept that they would be spending the day together and as they wondered off to play he began shouting in excitement new discoveries along the way, though she was still uncertain as to whether his words were for her or just to himself. (more…)

Bait

The sharp crack of a door jam exploding snapped me out of a lovely dream and into the darkness of the cheap apartment I had occupied for the past week. Muffled orders preceded more doors being kicked in. Each one echoed down the hallway as they cleared every room en route to mine.

Throwing the covers aside, I rolled onto my back and wove my fingers together in a makeshift pillow behind my head. I knew what the risks were when I accepted the assignment. And there was no escape now.

As my door frame shattered into a hundred pieces, the instructions that I had spent the last six months learning ran through my mind. A soft hiss and the thud of a dart sent me quietly back to dream land. (more…)