Dark Secrets

“It’s not that bad this time, I swear.”

“Oh yeah? Well, I guess that could be true. I mean, compared to last time, anyhow. That was really bad.”

“It wasn’t—!—it wasn’t that bad,” I finished, my fire downed down as I mumbled the words.

Really, last time had been awful.

Just not as awful as it could have been, that’s all.

Which didn’t matter. Not now, not then, not in the future. Bad is still bad, right? And, either way, Howard didn’t know how bad it could get.

He just knew this was bad. Continue reading “Dark Secrets”

Simply Doomed

I don’t know what it wants. And I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know what it is or where it goes.

All I know is:

I get the feeling.

Sparks that gently kiss the back of my neck. That make my hairs stand on end. That make me look over my shoulder.

I get the feeling and then I know.

It’s following. Continue reading “Simply Doomed”

Moonsong

There is a sound that loss makes.

A sound that echoes.

It isn’t loud. Not at first. It rings quite gently, at first. You hear it loom over you, and then it repeats.

Over.

And over.

And over again.

And then, when it stops, you’re left with the sound. A hollow ringing. A broken sound. A sound of once-was.

Nothing.

That is the sound that loss makes.

Silence.

Thick, heavy. A blanket that covers. A fog that consumes. A mist that conceals. One minute, you’re walking around, and then next, you’re not. You can’t. There’s nothing there to see anymore. Nowhere to go. How can you move forward if there’s nothing to move forward to?

That is the sound of loss.

And I know it well.

Which is why I know that the sound I hear now isn’t the same. It doesn’t equate to loss.

You’re still out there.

You’ll come back.

I know you will.

That’s why you sing. Continue reading “Moonsong”

Safety First

The first complaint my dog made was not about food. Which was shocking. Considering how big he was on begging at the table, I thought that was for sure what he’d want to complain about.

But no.

Right off the bat, my dog was excited to be able to talk. Excited to not be a dog anymore. And then, once the excitement had died down, he’d made his first complaint.

Which was:

We don’t all sleep in the same room. Continue reading “Safety First”

Glass Apartment

“Hey Britt, did you forget to clock out the other day?”

“No, I don’t think so. Why?”

“Well, the system says you were here overnight, all night, working.”

“Last Tuesday?”

“Yeah,” my supervisor, Aaron, says. Clearly, he’s surprised that I would be able to pick a day out. Surprised because that means I most likely did stay the night.

I nod at him though, confirming. “Yep, then the system is right.”

“You worked all night?”

“Yes.”

“And all through the next day?”

“Yes.”

He’s baffled. Easy to read, and very clearly baffled. His brain tries starting up a few times before the tires finally hit the road with some traction. He’s able to blink again, and he asks, “Why?”

As if working through the night and into the next day were the weirdest thing in the world.

“Because life sucks and I wish I could move to a mountain with a colony of Bigfoot monsters so no one will ever bother me ever again?”

And now his glass-like face reflects surprise. And confusion.

And discomfort. Continue reading “Glass Apartment”

Calling Out Chameleon

Have you ever thought about how well you know a person?

I mean, how well do you really know anyone, right?

If someone came to you, looking like someone you know, would you fall for it? Would you be able to tell it wasn’t them? Or would you need to question them? Ask them things that only the two of you would know, or ask about their personal goals or favorite things. Would you need to verify that it is or isn’t them? Or would you just inherently know?

To most people, I suppose the question is actually inconsequential. Doesn’t really matter. Because, think about it, what are the odds someone is going to approach you and look exactly like that other person, right? Odds are, there’s going to be something about them that they can’t replicate. Like their eye color, or their hair color. Sure, they might look like them, but there’ll probably be a major flaw somewhere in the facade. And, even if there’s not, what are the odds that that person—who is pretending to be the person you know—is going to use that to their advantage? Right? Because, who would do that?

Who would make themselves look like the person you know, and then actually try to convince you that they are that person? That’s insane.

Insane.

…right? Continue reading “Calling Out Chameleon”

Jumping Experience

Looking over the edge, I realized it, but way too late:

I was way in over my head here.

“You scared?”

I startled a little bit, which was answer enough for her.

She laughed, good-naturedly. “It is pretty scary, isn’t it?” she said, peering over the edge of the cliff with me at the water below.

I’d heard that people had jumped from this cliff before. The girl standing next to me claimed she’d done it time and time again. Thousands or hundreds of times, she’s stood on this cliff, looked over the edge, and leapt.

How brave.

That’s what I thought.

Until she spoke again.

“It’s scary every time.” Continue reading “Jumping Experience”