Growing up in Hollywood was not as glamorous as it sounds, but the education is unmatched in all the country. In class I was taught geometry, history, and biology, but on the way home I learned how to recognize drug dealers and whores. I could spot a hopeful actor or actress from across a restaurant by the script they kept folded in their back pocket. My friend Dickson and I never finished at the top of our class in school, but outside those walls we felt like Einstein and some other smart guy like Einstein.
My family moved to Hollywood when I was still in diapers because my dad was an actor. He mostly did plays, but wanted to be in the movies. He was always talking in weird voices and pretending he was other people. Sometimes he would let me play along with him. We were knights and spies and astronauts. No matter what adventure we shared it always ended with a tickle fight and lots of laughter. After a while we didn’t pretend anymore. He said it was because I was getting older now and it was time for me to grow up. Luckily I got a new best friend right around the same time.
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.
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…)
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…)
Note: One of the greatest things an author can hear is “So what happens next?” I was lucky enough to hear this from an amazing author named Anne after publishing a story titled “Most Guys”. (You can find it here.) I gave her an honest answer and said, “I don’t know.” She proposed that maybe we could find out together. So for the past few months we have been playing tag with the lives of Adam and Emma in order to answer that question. The result was a few tears, a few more laughs, and the story below. I invite you all to go over and check out Anne’s writing here on the condition that you don’t abandon me for her superior stories.
I waited nervously by the door, resisting my desire to check the mirror one last time. Adam would arrive at any minute. The details of our last date, our honesty date, played over and over in my mind, but it was the question I hadn’t asked that taunted me. Did he really not care that I was pregnant? How could he not care? (more…)
Author’s Note: Each week I write for you, the reader. Forgive me, but this one is for me.
“This can’t be right…”
As Dave studied the lush landscape through the spots on his windshield he quickly concluded that he had made an error somewhere along the way.
From a young age Dave had come to acknowledge certain facts about his life. He would never be the biggest or strongest. The things that fascinated all the “cool” people held no interest for him. But Dave had two things that very few people could match, an insatiable curiosity that drove him to learn everything he could about subjects that piqued his interest and a deep hatred for being wrong. This combination was strong enough to key to his rapid rise at Unified Solutions, the top engineering firm in the state, despite his deficiency of social skills. (more…)
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.
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…)
I looked over to the clock on the stove as I dried off my hands. The red numbers glowed 7:03. Only twenty-seven minutes left.
Tonight, everything had to be perfect because she was perfect. Well, maybe not perfect, but perfect for me. Thoughts of the first time I saw her flashed into my mind. I don’t remember it, but she swears I said, “I was hoping maybe meeting me would be nice and you have pretty smile.” Maybe I did. I was so nervous. Mortals have no place in the company of angels. (more…)
The town of Evansville is at war. The Factory did not bring this war to us. We did this to ourselves, but the Factory has created a dividing line. And everyone must choose a side.
I do not know what course of events lead us down the path we chose for ourselves, but everything changed at 9 a.m. on July 12th, 2012. Like a pebble being dropped into a smooth pond, the day The Factory opened sent ripples that would eventually reach every man, woman, and child in our town. I don’t know a single soul who would disagree with this fact, though they would argue whether the change was for the better or for worse. (more…)
Maor drifted through the Hall of Life, keenly aware that a guest had arrived. Visitors to The Library were rare and he took great pleasure in serving each one. A sea of books slid silently into the distance as he made his way down the central aisle until he found his destination.
His visitor stood statuesque, eyes locked onto a single book. Dark brown hair hung loosely over his broad shoulders. He appeared to be young, though it was always difficult to tell. The muscles of a warrior tried to hide themselves beneath the robes that hung down to the floor with about as much success as a mountain hiding beneath a curtain. Maor greeted the angel with a quietness that had nothing to do with their surroundings. (more…)
In my defense, I was desperate. If my mother would have been there she would have pointed out that my desperation was directly related to my lack of patience, but I tend to ignore my mom when she brings up my flaws anyway.
It all started with a craving for a taco. This was no ordinary taco craving though. It was a Seventh Street and Bell, outside the Hard Eight Billiard Club, taco stand taco craving. No one can make a street taco like Jose. (To be honest, I’m not actually sure that Jose is his name. He doesn’t speak English and it’s just easy for me to remember.)