Christmas Apocalypse

There’s nothing quite like having a small apocalypse for Christmas. I’m not talking about world-wide devastation.

No.

No alien attacks.

No melting ice caps wrecking havoc with our weather and lives.

No exploding bombs and heat seeking missiles.

No. I’m talking about the small apocalypses that tend to happen this time of year. Like, the time my older brother Fred decided to cut his own hair. With the electric razor. Two hours before midnight mass. And he wound up with a half-shaved head.

There was also the time my kid brother Henry came down with a bad blood infection. Mom spent Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day in the hospital with him, leaving Dad and the rest of us to fend for ourselves. All of us were too worried about Henry to open our presents. Dad had no idea how to cook the turkey. He gave up after a couple of hours. We had cookies and chocolate milk for supper that night. And then the power went out. And Mom was still at the hospital with Henry.

Then, there was the Christmas where Mom tried to make chicken soup from scratch. It was her first time and she was following her old great grandmother’s recipe. She was all excited about it. She was convinced that it was going to come out perfect. We all got food poisoning and had to spend Christmas in the emergency room, hooked up to IV’s.

Now that I’m married and have my own kids, I still worry about what sort of apocalypse is going to tsunami us. And we have had our fair shares. Some were unavoidable mishaps. Others were acts of sheer stupidity.

But I consider myself blessed. All of our apocalypses have been small.

No world-wide devastation.

No aliens attacking.

No melting ice caps.

No bombs or air raids.

Just the small, ordinary apocalypses of every day life.

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Bloodthirsty Blazing

Author’s Note: Now for something completely different.  😉

Bloodthirsty Blazing stood on the hill overlooking the town. His long scarf blew in the wind. He readjusted it to cover his nose and mouth. He squashed his crimson fedora onto his flame-colored hair before his hat could blow away again.

It would only be the hundredth time that night.

He watched the town below.

Such a sleepy, little place.

Nothing ever happened there.

But it was his job to watch over it and keep it safe.

A pale woman approached him. Rubies decorated the cuffs and hem of her floor-length white gown. “What good do you really think you can do all the way over here?” Her voice was a tempting purr.

He pulled out his old-fashioned binoculars and continued to watch the town.

“If trouble comes knocking, you won’t be able to stop it in time. You know this, Blazing darling.”

He did a slow pan with the binoculars.

“You should move closer. No point in sitting all the way over here. It’s too far.”

He focused on a rattling garbage can. A raccoon scrabbled out and scurried away.

“Blazing. Love, why don’t you speak to me? Don’t you like me? It isn’t nice to ignore a lady. Blazing, please. Just look at me. For one second.”

He frowned.

The raccoon was long gone, but the garbage can was still rattling.

This can’t be good. he thought.

The can went still.

Dark shadows spilled out, like soup escaping a boiling pot.

He pulled out his flaming sword. In less than a heartbeat, he was down by the garbage can. His sword flared bright in the darkness.

The shadows shrieked as he sliced through them, banishing them back to their homeland.

Soon enough, the shadows were gone.

Not another one in sight.

Bloodthirsty Blazing put his sword away.

And just like that! He was back up on the hillside, watching his town. He readjusted his fedora and scarf.

The pale woman scowled at him. “Look at you. Always so obedient to the Master. He tells you to sit up here. You sit up here. He tells you to ignore my voice. You ignore my voice. He tells up to protect that worthless speck of a town. You protect that worthless speck of a town. You never question him. You never think for yourself. You never do what you want to do.”

He bit down on his lower lip. There was so much he wanted to say to all that, but he thought about the Master. He released his lip and smiled.

“One of these days, I will get the better of you. I will make you talk. I will make you disobey. Then, you’ll belong to me. You’ll be one of my black shadows, scurrying about at my every command. I will command you. Just you wait.”

He pulled out his leather-bound binoculars and watched the town. He knew when she left, but he did not acknowledge it.

He watched his town all night.

 

February Writing Prompts

Dedicated To Denial

I happen to like denial.
I know, some do and some don’t.
But I like it. It’s easy.

So easy.

“I didn’t do it.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I wasn’t there.”
“He never hit me.”

So very easy.

I used to be honest. So painfully honest.

Then, I met him. He taught me the ease of stretching the truth. He taught me that sometimes it’s better if the truth isn’t spoken. Not necessarily a lie.

A denial.

“It wasn’t me.”
“Don’t point fingers at me. I had nothing to do with it.”
“He would never do such a thing. I know him. I know.”

But then.

He changed.

He had some denials of his own.
Denials he spoke to me.

“I was at work the whole time.”
“I would never do something like that. Don’t you know me at all?”
“It wasn’t me! QUIT ACCUSING ME OF SUCH THINGS!”

I saw the holes.
I saw through them all.

And it hurts.
And it burns.

I know him too well now.

I look at the match in between my fingers.
The flame is rushing down to my fingertips.
I could blow it out.

Or I could drop it on these papers.
These papers soaked with gasoline.

I make my choice.

And I’m ready to deny it all.

 

February Writing Prompts

Sophie’s Shadow

Some days I’m free.

Free to be myself.

Free to do what I want.

And I am happy.

Then, she comes.

Then, Sophie comes. And I am not happy. I am not me. I am not free. She holds me prisoner with the brilliance of her eyes and the flirtatious lilt to her laugh. She makes me feel dirty and cheap and out of shape and out of sorts.

But I adore her.

I adore Sophie with her brilliant green eyes and her laugh that seems to come from the sun. I walk in her shadow, hoping for a touch of her light. She sees me and she lets me follow her. And that is all that I want.

Until she leaves.

And she is gone.

Sophie is gone with her light and her glory.

I am no longer confined to her shadow.

I am bright.

I am brilliant.

I am beautiful.

I am happy.

Then, she returns.

Then, Sophie returns. And I am again her shadow. Her ugly, malformed shadow. I long for her to look back at me and see me and acknowledge me. When she does, it’s like God smiles at me. I live for those moments, but they are always too short. And she never stays

Sophie.

Sophie always leaves.

And she sets me free.

She sets her prisoner free.

Free to just be me.

Me without her.

Until she returns.

I Have Problems

You think you have problems? Ha! You’ve got it easy.

Yeah, you heard me. Eeeeeassssy.

Now, you want someone with problems? Well. Just look at me. I have problems.

I mean, it’s bad enough my dad’s Harry Potter. That’s a lot to live up to. But then he had the “genius” idea to name me Albus.

Albus.

As in Albus Dumbledore.

So, yeah. The whole wizarding world is expecting big things from me.

Tough on them. They’re gonna be disappointed.

After all, I wasn’t born under a lucky star, a malevolent moon, no one Avra Kadavra’d my parents, and to top it off — Get this: There is no prophecy stapled to my wee little kid head.

Oh, yeah. No magic powers too.

I should be able to lead a perfectly normal muggle life without any interference from ghosts, goblins, specters, werewolves, witches, or what have you.

That would be nice.

But I’m Harry Potter’s kid with Albus Dumbledore’s first name.

Sigh.

I have a bad feeling my life is NOT going to be perfect or normal.

So, go on. Feel bad for me and my problems.

I need the pity.

So bad.

Peter Is Dying

“I’m sorry, Peter. You’re dying.”

Everyone is doomed to die. Some will be old. Some will be young. Some will never take their first breath. Yet, despite that fact, I never expected to hear those words said right to my face.

“I’m so sorry. There’s nothing I can do.”

And, just like that, I’m dying. Suddenly, everything seems so frivolous and inconsequential. Arguments. Road rage. My hatred of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Peter looked down at the diamond pattern on his hospital gown.

What should I say? I guess I should be upset. This is one of those moments where being upset is not only understandable but also acceptable. And expected. I could wail, “Why me?” fifty-five hundred times and not be called a drama queen.

But all he could say was, “Oh, really?” in a mildly disinterested voice.

The doctor frowned. “Peter. If you want to wail and weep and—-”

“No. I don’t. I’m fine. I guess I’m not fine, but no. I’m good. I’m. Yeah. I’m gonna go home.” He shook the doctor’s hand. “Thank you.”

The doctor gave him a long list of names and numbers, but Peter had no idea who they all were much less why the doctor thought he’d call any of them.

“And if you happen to have a bucket list, this might be the time to start—”

A bucket list? Me? Why would I have a bucket list? That’s for people in their seventies and eighties. That’s for people who are dying.

I’m dying.

I’ve never thought of myself as a dying person. I always thought of myself as vibrant. Alive. Strong heart. Strong head.

But I’m dying.

Peter shivered.

I’m dying.

“Do you have any questions?”

Yes.

Will it hurt when I take my last breath?

Will I know that it’s my last breath?

Will I be counting them down inside my head?

Will I feel the tug-of-war between death and life?

Will my life really flash before my eyes?

And, most important of all, what comes after that last breath is exhaled? After my heart has stopped beating? When the light leaves my eyes, what will I see?

Peter shook his head. “I just want to go home.”

The doctor reiterated the purpose of the phone list of mystery people and etceteras.

Peter didn’t hear any of it.

***

By the time Peter came home, night had fallen. There was no moon and the stars were hidden.

He hung up his coat, shluffed of his shoes and went up to bed.

But he didn’t go to bed.

He changed into his sensible, comfortable pajamas and walked out onto his balcony.

I’m dying.

How many nights do I have left?

He looked up at the night sky, searching for a familiar face.

A long forgotten pattern in the blackened sky.

But the stars were hidden and the night was cold.

He sighed.

What am I doing out here? What am I thinking? What was I expecting? It’s been too long. Although I’m not that old, it has been too many years.

He sighed again.

Oh well. Time for bed.

He turned to go back inside.

The balcony doors were shut.

And a yellow ball of vibrant light stood fiercely on the door handle.

A well-sharpened sewing needle shined like gold in her hands.

Her?

Her.

Peter gasped.

Her!

“It’s you!”

She floated up to his face and spoke in her chime-like voice.

“It’s really you. Tink. What? No, I can’t.”

She insisted.

“But…look at me. I’m too old. I’m dying.”

She eye-rolled and called him a derogatory term for a donkey.

He smiled.

Her glow brightened.

“Okay. Let’s give it a try. If I fall, I fall. If I don’t, I fly.”

She blew him a kiss and some of her glow covered him.

He closed his eyes and thought of his happiest memories.

He didn’t think about ifs or tries. He trusted that it would happen. He had faith.

He could no longer feel the ground beneath his feet.

Peter opened his eyes and he saw it.

He smiled as he saw it.

“The second star on the right and straight on till morning.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Help Here??

“Hi, Gwendolyn. I need you to meet me at a secret location.”

“Hi, Doofus Lord.”

“Hey! That’s not my name and you know it.”

“Yeah, whatever. What do you want?”

“I…just want to see you again.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Oh, come on. Don’t say it like that. I really do want to see you again.”

“Before or after you make out with Dentyne Barbie?”

“That’s not her name and you know it.”

“Psh!”

“Come on, Gwen. Just one more time. I can make things right. I can do things right this time. I swear I can.”

“Yeah, you can swear all right.”

“Gwen, please.”

“Please what? Give you another chance? Really? Because I don’t see that happening. Do you have any ideas how many of our dates you bailed out on?”

“Well, I had something—-”

“YOU LEFT ME STANDING AT THE ALTAR JUST SO YOU COULD MAKE OUT WITH DENTYNE BARBIE!”

Silence.

“So, no. I don’t want to patch things up with you. I don’t want to give you a second chance. I sure don’t want to meet you at some cheesy secret location. So, yeah. Tough on you, Doofus Lord!” And Gwendolyn hung up the phone.

***

Dufus Lord looked down at his cell phone.

“Call ended.”

Dentrice Varnon smirked. “Looks like you lose again.”

He frowned at her. “You won’t get away with this.”

“Oh, I will. And no one will come to your rescue.” Dentrice tossed her head back and chortled as her henchmen tied Dufus to the chair. “But really. It’s all your fault. Being too subtle. That always was your problem. Your fatal flaw.” She chortled again. “And in a few minutes, it will be your very fatal flaw.”

He shrugged. “I’ve escaped from more hopeless situations.”

“You won’t escape this one, Dufus. There is no cavalry this time. You are going to die.”

An eerie, hollow laugh illed the air.

Dufus’ hair stood on end.

Dentrice pointed her Abrablaster in all directions. “Who’s there?”

The air next to Dentrice shimmered and shined. “It is I!” A short, overweight man in tight yellow spandex appeared and snatched the gun out of Dentrice’s hands. “Deus ex Machina Guy! Hahaha—” He knocked her out with one punch. “—hahahahahaha—”

Her goons charged at him.

“—-hahahahahahahha—-”

He one punched her goons into unconsciousness.

“—-hahahahahahahahaha! Haha!” He released Dufus from his bonds. “All righty then! Time for you to kiss and make up with Gwen!”

“I don’t know if I can.”

“If all else fails, I’ll step in and make it all right. For I am….Deus ex Machina Guy! Hahaha!”