Her eyes froze me. I had never met someone who could say so much without a single word. Thoughts played like pictures across two small blue screens. The slightest lift of her eyebrow could convey things more clearly than most of my dim-witted friends and it is no wonder. They had willingly traded in the treasure of words for the sake of fitting in. How am I expected to know the true feelings of a person who would rather say “LOL” than share the actual joy of laughter with me?
But it was not what she could say to me that chilled my soul, it was what she could read. I felt naked when her gaze held mine. (more…)
Valerie Michaels hoped that March 7th, 2045 would be a special day. And even though it was her eleventh birthday, she would always remember it for another reason.
The ceiling in her room began to illuminate as the soft sounds of classical music signaled that it was time to get up. Her step-mom would be in soon to help her. Until then she stretched and listened to the music drift down like snow upon her. A smile crept across her face as she recognized the soft song. It would only be the first of many surprises from her father. Christine opened the door just as a cello finished the last “Happy birthday to you.” (more…)
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.
Being in an interrogation room did not scare Sam. Seeing no cameras concerned him a bit, but he would not go so far as to say that scared him. What scared Sam was the fact that he had arrived there through the back of a maintenance closet, down an elevator that he never knew existed, and into a floor that was not on any set of blueprints he had ever seen. If he had been kept in the dark about all this after 12 years as Chief Engineer, what other secrets did CoreTech hold?
“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.
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.
The high-pitched scratch of chalk assaulted DeMarcus’ ears as Mr. Wainright finished writing the quote on the blackboard.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
DeMarcus was well acquainted with fear. His education on the subject began with the first steps of his life. Though his understanding was shallow in theory, life in the Bronx provided depth in experience. Sleep was elusive without the echo of gunshots off the crowded stacks of high-rises and sirens fading into the night. Silence always struck a much deeper note of fear in the concrete jungle.
Nick leaned against the passenger side window as his mom backed out of the driveway and tried fall back into the world of sleep he had been forced to abandon. His scruffy brown hair was just long enough help block out some of the morning light. If the judge had told him that waking up at 8:30 each Saturday was part of the deal, he might have opted for the jail time instead.
A constant jostle of stops and starts kept the dream world at bay, but thoughts of the day that denied him his sleep filled his mind. His dress shoes squeaked noticeably from lack of use in the quiet of the courtroom. Fear struck him like a sledgehammer to the chest when the bailiff would not let his mom join him in the front. That was the moment he knew the judge was going to treat him like an adult even though he had just turned 17.
Ian’s voice trailed off as he rubbed the stubble that flecked his chin. Gloria half-expected that her cubicle wall would fall under his enormous weight, but it seemed determined to withstand the pressure. Ian had stopped by her desk on his stalk around the newsroom. It was his jungle.
Not much had had changed about Ian in the 19 years that Gloria had known him. He was wearing plain slacks that matched his brown hair and eyes and a button up shirt that might have been the same ones he had on when she first started. She doubted if the top two buttons had ever been closed and the sleeves had permanent creases where they had been rolled up before lunch each day. (more…)