Author: Adam Drake

Blood From Rocks

The roar of laughter from the men surrounding the fire filled the night air. Kuumo shifted uncomfortably in the dirt next to his mother. She smiled a knowing smile, but said nothing. Another burst of laughter soared through the village and found its mark in Kuumo’s heart.

He could feel hot tears of anger and frustration building and willed them to disappear with fierce determination. Warriors do not cry. He forced himself to focus on the dried leaves beside him. Years of practice had given him the ability to weave them into many patterns without much thought. This was just another curse on nights like these.

“Mother…” (more…)

A Thousand Reasons

“That’s weird…”

The high-pitched squeak of Riley’s chair signaled his coming arrival to the top of the grey wall that separated our cubicles. His words arrived a split-second before the top half of his face.

“What is?”

I looked up to see the hazel eyes of my curious co-worker looking down upon me. His short brown was neatly parted and brushed to one side. When I started working here, his habit of looking over our shared wall reminded me of the neighbor Wilson from Home Improvement, but after a few weeks of why Star Trek is more scientifically accurate than Star Wars instead of words of wisdom from obscure tribes in Africa the illusion faded.

“Some girl dialed my number by accident, but instead of hanging up she left a message.”

Riley’s voice rose a bit with excitement. “Oh yeah? Let me hear.” (more…)

Animals

My problem was that I was looking at her face. Her brown hair was pulled back in a single ponytail. She paused for a second to let her blue eyes adjust to the dim atmosphere. As she started walking toward the counter I tried to picture her covered in fur with large ears, but nothing really clicked. That’s when I heard Paul’s voice whisper as he poured a shot of espresso. He never looked my way.

“Duck.”

(more…)

Just A Bit Inside

C’mon man. You’ve waited your whole life for this. All the work. All the sweat and sacrifices. All for that trophy. Breathe. Don’t swing at the first pitch. Watch for the release point, pick up the spin, and see what kind of heat this guy brings.

 

“Striiiiiiiiiike!” (more…)

The Stone

“Hey buddy. How was school today?”

Mother’s intuition was not needed to see that something was wrong. After the dishes had been cleared from dinner Jimmy remained at the table with his chin in his hands.

“I’m never gonna do anything great” he mumbled.

Myra dried her hands and walked over to sit next to her troubled twelve year old. She wanted so badly to ruffle his messy brown hair like she had done when he was younger, but knew it would only arouse his ire.

“Why do you say that? I think you’re great right now.”

He let his hands drop and cocked his head to the side. “You only think that because you’re my mom.” (more…)

The Error

“Many young writers will read this hoping to have the same success you have enjoyed as an author. What advice would you give them in their pursuit?”

Adam looked out the window and stared at the ocean without really seeing it. He relived his years as an aspiring author in the span of a few moments. A smile suddenly cracked his lips followed by the laugh of someone enjoying an inside joke. His looked up again and met the eyes of his interviewer.

“Find an error and fix it.”

Confusion spread over the interviewer’s face, but Adam continued before a follow-up question could be asked.

“Come on. I’ll show you.” (more…)

Tug of War

When I was seven years old my family took a trip to see one of my mom’s great aunts that she hadn’t seen since she was a little girl. It was a two thousand mile identity crisis. Unsure about her future, she made a desperate attempt to find out who she was by “getting in touch from where she came from”. The trip would have passed through my life like a specter had it not been for my father’s suggestion that we spend an afternoon at the beach.

I did not understand my father’s enthusiasm for this little adventure, but was grateful for any opportunity to escape my great-great aunt’s cat fortress. As I crested the small hill that obscured the water from where we parked I froze. In my head I had pictured a larger version of the lake we went to with our neighbors back in Nevada. This was not just bigger. It was wholly different.

The water spread out before me like a tangible twin of the sky. This body compelled my attention. I was in the presence of greatness and suddenly felt very small and wholly insignificant. I wanted so badly to touch every piece of it, but the magnificence of what lay before me cast out any doubt that I might be worthy to feel a single drop on my skin.

It took an hour before those feelings began to subside. I would not go within ten feet of the water’s edge. My family laughed and joked that I was afraid. They were right, but it was not the simple fear they assumed me to have.

When I first approached the water, I came with the awe it was worthy of. I closed my eyes and let the waves whisper to my toes. Entering deeper I learned one of the great secrets of my life. Wave after wave drifted toward the shore with the gentle rhythm of a pulse. They could be seen and felt. Anticipated. But the great waters carried another kind of wave.

The sun, the birds, and the air I took for granted were ripped from my life as the undertow grabbed me and pulled me into the darkness. Salt stabbed my eyes as I was tossed to and fro. Fear and awe swirled inside me as the tug of war between the light and the depths commenced. I was ripped free of any hold the light held on me and swallowed in the grasp of the water. Then, having proved it’s might, I was released.

Freedom became something new to me. At first, I didn’t know what to do with it. Then, as my lungs started to burn, I remembered the light. I clawed up from the deep with all my strength and when I broke the surface the air welcomed me as a mother does a lost son. I rested in that embrace, but could not shake the effect of being so completely held by the waters below.

Later, sitting on my towel and staring at where the sky kissed the water, I still felt the tug of war.

Copyright © 2012 Adam Drake

Another Day

The dream world Josias had found refuge in was sent fleeing by the arrival of a sound that did not belong there. His dark eyes slid beneath their lids, the only movement he allowed himself, as he waited to hear what had set off his internal security system. Each muscle in his small body tensed, ready to strike or flee depending on what news his ears delivered.

The light scratching resumed a few meters away. Josias relaxed slightly. It was just a rat and if he was quick enough, it would also be breakfast. He opened his eyes and let them adjust to the pre-dawn darkness. Though he could not see it yet, the crumpling of trash told him the rat was moving closer. (more…)

All I Wanted

I almost killed him. And I could have done it. I’ve got a hundr… sixty pounds on the little twerp. His big blue eyes were locked onto me until I couldn’t take it anymore.

“What are you looking at Thane?”

His little smile was the kind of evil that is so far from good it doesn’t even know that it’s evil.

“Mrs. Owens, your arms jiggle like the Jell-O mom makes for Halloween. I like Jell-O!”

What would the sentence be for killing a five year old? Life in prison certainly, but would they give me the chair? When I pictured the jury filled with women in their thirties I almost convinced myself I could get away with it. But then I remembered that it wasn’t him I wanted to kill. (more…)

Watching

The room seemed to transform from an oasis of air conditioning to a fiery furnace as soon as the words left Senator Corbin’s mouth and by the look on the Chairman’s face, Robert Corbin was one of the three Hebrew boys. The deep oak paneling of the Committee for Commerce, Science, and Transportation meeting room suddenly felt like being trapped in a jail of wood. And the smell of fire was near.

(more…)