Tag Archives: #fss

Quantum Hearts

Image: Unknown | Graphic Design: Greg Glazebrook @ GMGCreative.

Quantum Hearts

Barely aware of the universe swirling around me. I am seized in the glow of such exquisitely simple beauty. Forever fixed to her coordinates, attuned to the pull of every movement. Entangled across time and in this space where everything else that ever existed falls away. Strawberry strands set against radiant bands of light, broken only by a wrinkle in the fabric of a warm smile. Every moment catalogued in the dark matter recesses of my mind. Always twenty-seven to the right and six steps behind. Never closer and still light years away.

In the night she waits for me. Playing on hazy celluloid loops projected on the horizons behind my shuttered eyes. Her vibrations bristle against the imaginary strings raised along the surface of my skin. There is no escape from the sickly sweet atmosphere that consumes us. Our bodies pulled by gravity, crashing against each other until we lay shattered in a heap.

Still, I wake alone. Our wavelengths continually overlapping as our lives run parallel to each other. I remain six steps behind, hoping that on a premonition you glance back and notice me but like the particle-wave duality of the sub-atomic, our worlds will never touch.

My dream of a life together with you has faded and I realize my love for you is unrequited. I knew the only thing left to do was blink from existence.


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Send Me an Angel

Unknown

Send Me an Angel

Eloise missed him. He had always been there for his little Angel. He dried her eyes when she had skinned her knee or bumped her head. He’d soothed her broken heart when she caught a glimpse of her best friend Jeannie and her first boyfriend kissing by the lockers in tenth grade. He buoyed her confidence when Harvard rejected her application, telling everyone she was too good for them anyway. He reminded her that plenty of other schools would be knocking down the doors to have her attend. He was right, she was more an MIT girl anyway.

She could believe it had been five years since he’d passed on. He’d been riddled with cancer, and she couldn’t bear to be there for him like he’d done for her so many times. It hurt too much to see him suffering and she feared living in a world without him.

The last six months had been the shittiest she could recall. The Chinese firm that had bought out her employer immediately fired the senior management team and 500 others. Employment Insurance didn’t cover the rent and it was overdue. It was only a matter of time before the landlord came to collect/evict.

Worst of all there was a heaviness in her heart. She couldn’t shake it off. It consumed the very blood pumping through her veins, turning it into a gloomy gray sludge. It weighed her legs down and zapped any reserved energy she may have had, leaving her helplessly paralyzed.

She thought she heard his voice in the hallway outside her apartment, so she immediately ran to the door. Several of the neighbour’s kids stopped playing hall-ball and looked at her. She stared through them to the window at the far end hoping to glimpse him. Of course, he wasn’t waiting there. She was about to turn and go back inside when a little boy tugged at her hand.

“Miss, are you sad?” he asked.

Overwhelmed, the tears began to roll down her cheeks as she nodded at him.

“Would you like a hug?”

Her eyes scan the corridor finally fixing on those of the little boy’s Mom. She smiles back in approval so Eloise kneels down to face the child at his level.

“I’d love a hug,” she replies through her tears and forced smile.

In an instant, this tiny yet surprisingly strong creature wraps his little arms around her and whispers in her ear, “Don’t worry Angel, everything is going to be alright.” After a short pause he continues, “That’s what my Daddy says when I’m sad.”

“Mine too,” she said, holding him for a moment longer but wishing it could be forever.



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The Retreat

The Retreat

It couldn’t have been more perfect. He had managed to hit every note for our 13th anniversary. It was odd, he wasn’t very good at dates, gifts, or surprises. In fact, he’d forgotten the last three anniversaries and remembered only one of my last five birthdays. I swear he’d forget Christmas if I didn’t remind him.

I guess I shouldn’t complain. This place had everything, massage, nature, food and drink, recreation, and relaxation. Then there was the zen Kamasutra love thing he orchestrated. It had lasted so long that we had to order room service just to replenish our spend shells. I know I said it already, but it was perfect.

He eyed me with that smug masculine air. You know the one where he knows he’s nailed it. The kind that would buy him enough romantic capital to blur indiscretions of the past and leave plenty of extra to spend on the fuck ups yet to come. He wasn’t wrong I’d bitten down hard – hook, line and sinker.

Our last night here, sitting at the best table on the lakeside deck, candles lit as we sip our second spectacular bottle of red. The sun was setting over the lake, painting the sky in a mix of orange and gold, and the air was filled with the sound of crickets singing, when suddenly the lake began to ripple, and then like a raging fire something broke through the surface tension.

Rising from the water, maw gaping as it crawled onto the beach. It may have been the light, but its silhouette seems larger than life. Doug sunk down in his chair, that smug look morphed to fear. Sweat had begun beading on his forehead and his hands were visibly shaking. I was trapped like a deer in the headlights.

It was coming right for us, or should I say Doug, its fangs bared in the throes of a terrifying guttural roar. A barrage of indiscernible sounds growing louder and more aggressive with each step closer.

It produced a weapon that had been concealed in the dark as it entered our sphere. With a final lunge, it drove the pointed rod through Doug’s neck. The impact was so violent that his chair stuttered sideways until it caught on the deck boards, spilling his frame onto the floor. His face contorted in pain and terror as he lay on his side, paralyzed and gasping for air.

Its eyes bulged and as if it were spitting venom growled, “Really, the fucking week I’d planned, you brought her? In one motion she pulled the harpoon from his neck and as his limp body rolled onto its back she drove it through his heart. He drew one last breath and fell still except for the blood seeping from his wounds.

Then like Jekyll into Hyde she transformed into almost ordinary. She surveyed the mood of shocked onlookers seated around us as she picked up the fallen chair. Sitting across from me, our eyes meet for the first time as she swallows the last of the wine left behind in his glass. She was his mistress and his killer, but at that moment I wanted her more than anything I’d ever wanted.


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The Second Revolution

The following is in response to Fandango’s Story Starter #71. The idea came after reading an article that appeared in The Guardian titled These are conditions ripe for political violence’: how close is the US to civil war? It paints a terrifying future for America should it continue down the path it is currently on. More alarming is the fact that a second civil war may be inevitable. The fictional story posted below depicts how such a conflict may start.

Content Warning: The work contains violence and explores extremist political ideology. It is a piece of fiction and does not reflect the views of the author.

The Second Revolution

Craig sat in the garage looking at the box on the table. A collection of memorabilia from the 2016 presidential campaign. He wasn’t political by nature but belonged to that segment of white America swept up in a populous wave of enthusiasm. Clinging to a promise of the coming storm that would cleanse an America on life support.

He was a slice of middle America. Born and raised in the heart of the rust belt where he had managed to build a respectable blue-collar life. It had not always been like this. He had made some bad choices in his youth. A penchant for drunken violence and prison time for a string of robberies he committed had left his life in tatters. After serving his time he met Sarah. She was his saviour along with his parole officer who put him on to the job opportunity at the engine factory. Together they helped turn his life around.

The auto industry was once the backbone of this country and would help him fashion a life for his family here. Sure, the Koreans, Japanese, and Germans had up their game while the Big 3 wallowed in their own fat and complacency. With sales dropping like a stone and consumers apathetic to lagging quality or seeking more energy efficient foreign models it was clear the halcyon days of the Motor City were over.

The time had come to make his mark. America was faltering and he was part of the solution. Craig had to choose a path, but given his history of making poor decisions, he cast his vote for Donald Trump. Besides he couldn’t let the cold and heartless Clinton become president.

Back in his garage he looked at the box, his MAGA hat covered in dust, the promises to ‘Make America Great Again.’ cut short by an election the establishment stole. Not that his 2020 vote was tampered with, he didn’t even bother to cast one. His layoff from the plant was at 21 months and beginning to look permanent although he didn’t know it. Who had time to vote when it was hard enough to put food on the table? The election may have been stolen, but not from him.

After Trump’s defeat Craig would take a trip to the capitol to protest. His life would drift for the next couple of years while he bounced from job to dead-end job. His wife worked hard to keep the family together, shielding the children from their father as he slipped further and further to the right of centered. Alcoholic haze, conspiracy theories, and other crazy ideas filling his free time. It was time for a new revolution, he would call it America’s reckoning.

As he sat at a window overlooking the park anger swelled inside, incited by a series of algorithms that he had read a paragraph or two about online but that he’d lumped in with the other fake news because he really didn’t understand it. It sounded more like a Russian or Chinese plot than something an American tech company would do.

He watched the motorcade pull up to the gathering on the grassy hill. The President of the United States stepped from the vehicle and into the crosshairs as his finger moved for the trigger…  


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What Might Have Been

The following was written for Fandango’s Story Starter #66 and is a response to “Bait and Switch” one of the entries submitted to the challenge by Paula at Light Motifs II. I recommend reading Paula’s awesome take first and then coming back to see what happens during a chance meeting years later.

What Might Have Been

Several years later while jumping into the back seat of a Glide she vaguely recognized the driver. “Do I know you from somewhere?” She asked quizzically, “I’m certain we’ve met but I can’t place when or where.”

He grinned, “Remember Mingle, the dating app? We spoke for several weeks through the interface before meeting and then when we did – “

“Fuck sakes…” she cut him off. “You’re the guy who asked for a thousand bucks during our first kiss!” Looks like I made the right decision, she finished the thought inside her head.

There was an awkward silence before he finally spoke, “I was in the data center talking with the techs when I saw your name come across the screen. I wasn’t certain if it was you but I knew I had to take this ride to see.”

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The Point of No Return

The Point of No Return

Jimmy stood six foot two and was handsome with long flowing sandy brown hair. He was already the star quarterback of the Greenville High football team in his junior year. The kind of kid the boys envy and the girls swoon over. Driving an old Ford that he and his father had nursed back to life. Jimmy pulled up to the curb just as I was stepping out the front door.

Me, I’m Bobbi-Jo and I was a sophomore cheerleader with above-average academic ability. My sister insists I was already the frontrunner for Homecoming Queen come senior year. I’d never make it there to find out.

First, we hit the local Sonic outlet for a romantic dashboard dinner. It was where all the boys with licenses took their girls. It may sound all Jack and Diane but no one was suckin’ on no John Cougar chili dogs. After a bite, we headed to the Greenville 3 (because it had three screens) drive-in for the Friday night double feature. I don’t remember what movies were playing but I can still picture the spot where Jimmy parked that Mustang along the back row fence.

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What the Heart Wants

What the Heart Wants

I remember the first time we met. It was the first day of 11th grade, Mr. Grady’s second period Math class if memory serves. My family had relocated from the west coast over the summer to accommodate my Dad’s big promotion. I despised my new home but it got better once school started, in part because of Darlene. She walked right up on the very first day and introduced herself to the new kid in town. Before long I was just another guy in our circle of friends. One of the gang. Hell, Matt and Chad are my blood brothers to this very day.

I know Darlene crushed on me for a few years before giving up the ghost. She never did come out and say it but I knew she was interested. We never dated unless you count me taking her to the high school prom. She’d broken it off with the douchebag varsity quarterback and didn’t want to go alone. Knowing I was going solo, we struck up a deal to make a grand entrance and light the night on fire. She deserved a proper prom, so we went all out on a gown (already purchased for the d-bag), a tux, a limo, the whole nine yards. It was high school romantic as fuck. I think she even tried to kiss me during Stairway to Heaven, but my eyes were fixed elsewhere.

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Good at Goodbyes

Fourteen years, I’m certain she was shocked we’d made it this far and had likely thought about leaving at least a couple of times a week from about year four onwards. I believed I must have some magical powers that kept her hanging in. What else could it be?

Me, I’m just an average guy with an average job. Two nights a week at the local tavern with the boys plus golf in the summer and curling all winter long. Never less than five or six cases of empties waiting to be returned to the beer store and a fridge full of new ones just waiting for me to walk past. Trust me the wait is never a long one.

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Insider Trading

Most everyone has seen me on CNN’s investing segment. A successful investor who built an empire through sound investing decisions. Many follow my investing advice by reading my syndicated column published daily in countless newspapers or through my weekly investing podcast. For many, my philanthropic foundation and the work it does has touched their communities and families.

This story isn’t about any of that; this is the untold story of how it all came to be. It really should have been episode one of the podcast except that what I am about to disclose can never be documented, anywhere, ever. We are all haunted by a past and exposing mine would unravel all the good that has been accomplished since. Continue reading