Category Archives: Short Stories
Back to the wall, his favorite Spiderman T-shirt tucked into the top of cerulean blue spandex shorts, Felix peaked around the corner separating the dining room from the kitchen, his thick-lashed, still-soft-from-sleep eyes scanning the room for signs of possible discovery.
The mission? To obtain one, no two, better make it three, mouth-watering, stomach-growling, gotta-have-still-warm-from-the-oven, chocolate-chip cookies.
Cookies whose vanilla and semi-sweet-chocolate aroma had less than ten minutes ago slipped beneath his bedroom door and woken him from a dream filled with his favorite cartoon characters. With his cloak of invisibility in hand, Felix had eased out the door of his bedroom, past the nursery – where mommy was busy with the wrinkle-faced, smells-like-milk, looks-like-a-monkey, crying-pooping-peeing-all-the-time alien life form – and down the stairs.
Up until now, Felix could find no viable reason to keep such a creature in their home. Not with the way it cried at all hours of the day and night, occupied his special place on the couch next to mommy and, even if it wasn’t in the same room, could use its supernatural powers to command every adult within range of its voice to do its bidding.
Yet, taking into consideration this newest development – with mommy occupied with the alien, he, Felix, was free to do, go, say or be whatever he wanted – it might not be a bad idea to allow the creature to stay. At least for a while longer.
Calling upon his own considerable powers, he shot strands of super-powered-spider-like cords of plasma to the back of the stool closes to his target. Then, with all the stealth of a true super-hero, swung-ran from the doorway to the stool, ducking down between it and the island’s taller-than-he-was wall, covering himself with a cloak of invisibly (like Harry Potter) to hide his presence.
A moment later the hell-hound Dodger stepped into the room, its heat-seeking eyes sweeping the area for any trace of Felix’s scent. Heart racing, body trembling, the boy held his breath. If discovered, there wasn’t the smallest doubt he’d be overpowered, covered in a slime powerful enough to deactivate even the strongest cloak of invisibility, then forced to endure hours of fur-shedding-wet-dog-smell attention.
He pulled the cloak tighter. Unless he was willing to forfeit the mission, discovery was not an option.
Closing his eyes, he sent the hound an image of the neighbor’s cat jumping over the fence into their backyard. Moments later, the kitchen erupted as Dodger skittered across the floor, bounced off the laundry room wall, and disappeared through the plastic covered hole in the back door and out into the yard beyond.
Felix resisted the urge to run to the window to see how long it would take for the beast to stop looking for a cat that really wasn’t there. But he didn’t. Experience had taught him where one hell-hound was, the other was sure to follow.
True to form, within moments a second beast, this one named Ruby, burst into the kitchen, hard on the heels of the first hound.
Felix waited a few more minutes before easing out from behind the stool, careful not to let the cloak slip from his shoulders. As long as he remained invisible, not even the alien, with all its super-natural powers, would be able to detect his presence.
Hand over hand, he began climbing up the stool, his bare feet searching for just the right purchase, leaf colored eyes fixed on a point several feet above his head. Inch by inch, little by little, he pulled, pushed and squirmed his way up, drawing on all his supernatural strength, fully aware that the window of opportunity given him was closing fast. Alien life-forms and overprotective hell-hound aside, he’d forgotten to go pee before beginning his ascent. If he didn’t capture the cookies soon, he’d either have to abandon the effort or wet his pants.But Superheros didn’t wet their pants or abandon their cookies.
He considered pinching himself to keep from having an accident . . . A familiar liquid warmth spread out across the front of his shorts. Felix lower lip trembled as he reminded himself, big boys, especially ones with superhero powers – Do.Not.Cry.
Taking several deep, shuddering breaths, he resumed climbing until at last he was draped over the stool’s seat. A brief rest, then a little more maneuvering and he was able to get first his knees, then his feet under him – his tummy now level with the island’s shiny, black counter-top.
Trembling, his ‘accident’ all but forgotten, Felix pushed himself as tall as he could go, reached for the plate of cookies and – found only empty air, the prize still inches from his fingers. Pools of moisture gathered in the corners of his eyes as the futility of the situation began to reveal itself.
But superhero’s – Do.Not.Cry.
They use their super-smart powers to figure out another way.
Felix swiped a hand across his eyes, scrunched up his face, and thought very, very, hard.
He could try willing the plate to himself.
What if he used the same trick on himself, as he had the hell-hound?
What would Spiderman do?
Grinning, Felix thrust his hand towards the plate, released a web of plasmic rope, then watched as the dark filaments attached to the plate’s rim. Giving the cord a gentle tug, he watched as it slide to stop right beneath his hand.
A minute later Felix mouth exploded with pleasure as, with one hand fisted around three-medium-size-discs-of-chocolaty-goodness, he used the other to hold the one he’d chosen for immediate consumption.
Mmm . . . just one more thing he’d be adding to the list of what made mommies so special.
By the time he’d licked the last of the evidence from his each of his ten fingertips, he was giving serious thought to the fact he no longer believed three cookies would actually be enough. Taking an additional three more for good measure, he elbow-pushed himself off the counter, bare toes once again finding the smooth, flat surface of the stool’s seat, and froze.
It had taken both hands to crawl up here. Hands that were now full of chocolate chip cookies.
Should he put the cookies back?
Not an option.
Drop them on the floor?
Possibly. But if the hell-hound got to them before he did, there wouldn’t be anything left for him.
Shove them in his pockets?
Superhero pants didn’t have pockets.
Twenty minutes later, his soft-little-boy features covered in tell-tale signs of hastily eaten contraband, Felix waited only long enough for his toes to touch the floor, before racing towards the bathroom, chocolate stained fingers and immature sphincter clenched against a re-enactment of the day he’d found his parents stash of Halloween candy.
If he could just reach the potty . . .
“There you are . . . ”
An hour later, bathed and seated in front of the TV watching his favorite superhero cartoon, Felix refused to acknowledge the alien life-form imprisoned in the car-seat carrier next to him. If not for her, he, Felix, would not have had to go into the nursery and explain the stains on his face and shirt, thus delaying his ability to do business in the toilet, instead of his pants.
As punishment, mommy had put him in charge of watching it while she, mommy, made more cookies. It seems the story about cookies, hell-hounds, and cloaks of invisibility, hadn’t gone over as well as he’d hoped. But that was alright, because come tomorrow, he’d use his newest superpower and simply teleport them from the kitchen to his bedroom instead.
After all, being a superhero was hard work, requiring a minimum of at least, one, no two, no better make it three, chocolate chip cookies per day.
By SSpjut, 2014
All Rights Reserved
Jumping down from the trains dark interior, I peered through the steady downpour. Even as thorough as I’d been about masking my scent, I knew it wouldn’t take the Guardians long to know I was here. To my right I caught a glimpse of something dark slip beneath the shadows of the loading dock.
Good. I thought. The council had decided to get right to the point and not waste my time.
Tipping my head back, I let the rain cascade over my face, water tickling the hairs on my muzzle, the leather on my nose. Each drop supplying me with what I would need for the battle. When I was finished, I turned and headed towards the gravel parking lot.
I’d chosen the open rather than the tighter quarters of docks and buildings to let my opponent attack me. Guardians might be faster than werewolves, but our natural ability to know when and where the enemy will strike often gives us the advantage. As a mage wolf, I was counting on it.
On silent pads I trotted across the lot careful to avoid puddles. Water is a powerful conduit and I wasn’t about to give the Guardian any advantage if I could help it. Between the gloom and the heavy rains I was forced to rely upon my sense of smell, hearing, and taste.
The pungent scent of pheromones told me more about the jaguar than the Councils earlier briefing. Approximately my height, next to one hundred fifty pounds, and female, not male. Interesting! They’d sent a breeder rather than a warrior to kill me. Interesting. Males tended to be less calculating and easier to predict. Female assassins on the other hand-made up for their lack of size through stealth and skill.
I’d calculated on the open space and the assassins knowledge of my impairment to draw the attack to the left, giving me the advantage and letting me use her weight and speed to help carry her up and over me.
I should have listened to my earlier intuition. Instead of landing where I wanted her, she twisted in midair, throwing her body to my right. Then, like a battering ram she used her shoulder to propel me off my feet and onto my blind side, momentarily disorienting me, exposing the vulnerability of my belly to her claws.
But I hadn’t lived this long without learning a few tricks of my own. As she followed me across the gravel, razor-sharp claws extended, jaws wide, I shoved a foot into her open maw and growled ‘avativacn’.
Her eyes widened moments before the implosion.
Once I was back on my feet I shook off bits of rock and animal debris from my coat. Then, picking up the obsidian remains of the Guardian with my teeth, I headed back to the waiting train.
Leaning over, Arturo pried the relic from between my teeth. “Staying or going governor?”
“Staying. It seems there’s been a recent vacancy in the Guardianship that may need filling.”
It was called Zelda’s. Third entrance on the left and the only one of its kind to offer true pleasure at a subterranean level.
An underground French bakery with just enough avant-garde to make me feel as though I was never less than the center of the universe and the ruling attraction of eighty-eight hundred square feet of confectionery bliss.
My days were full of catering to the imaginary diets of the wealthy, while my nights were spent indulging their every whim. I became both the confessor of their sin and the purveyor of their desire. I ruled my world like a god. For those who were willing to confess their carnal cravings of the flesh, I was the all-forgiving one. But to those who gave in, I was the monkey on their back, the needle in their veins, the addiction they could not live without.
Or at least I was until Bill showed up.
Bill of the tall and dark.
Bill who’s mouth-watering curves brought back memories of pre-dawn refrigerated trysts, turning even matrons of the staunchest dietary regimes into puddles of carefree ecstasy.
Bill who was a heart attack simply waiting to happen.
When Bill was placed under fluorescent filled lights, a person couldn’t help but find their senses undulated by spice filled bouquets of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and honey; aromas to make even the most resistant palette stand up and yell, “Help me Jesus!”
Bill . . . The epitome of every dream, the impetus behind every longing. A mixture of dark chocolate, creamy butter, more eggs than should go into a single serving and enough cream cheese and Amaretto to satisfy the most frigid of desires.
Bill . . . The agony of my soul and the downfall of my world.
At least the one I ruled.
The one in which I had once been considered tall and dark. Me, who’s curves were whispered to be the essence of mankind’s wildest dreams. A ruler whose power to weaken even the most resilient of determinations, legendary.
I tried being gracious, sharing my place among the racks and glass enclosed displays with an attitude of evenhanded felicity. I even went so far as to allow Mrs. Heilech’s dog, Melba, a taste of Bill’s mouth-watering, “Turkish Delight”.
But no! Bill wasn’t satisfied to share my generosity or remain regent to my throne.
He wanted it all. Every square inch of stainless steel, glass, deep-fryer and gas-powered oven.
His greed knew no bounds as he lured customer after customer into his den of iniquity.
Even to this day, had Bill but shown the least amount of remorse, I would have relented and not pulled the plug on his refrigeration unit. But he didn’t. And so the only evidence of Bill and his “Turkish Delight” is a sign saying, “Turkish Delight Cheesecake” $4.99 a slice, and a 22″ springform pan.
Jonathan had been preparing for this day since he was six years old and stepped through the canvas parted opening of his first Big Tent meeting in a wheat field just outside Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Even now, if he closed his eyes and concentrated, he could still hear the ripple of murmured voices, smell the sweet tang of ozone and rain-soaked earth, feel the crackle of anticipation in the movement of freshly iron shirts, summer dresses, and long, cool, cotton gloves.
The image he saw staring back at him from the floor length mirror he’d installed only last week in his eldest daughter’s bedroom, assured him that the suit he’d chosen was the perfect shade of blue to complement the Icelandic blue in his eyes and the carefully gelled strands of harvest gold hair slicked back from a high forehead. Clare’s suggestion that he wear the red pinstripe tie and gold clip only added to his over all demeanor. Leaning in close to the glass, he drew back his lips, checking to be sure he hadn’t missed any food or bits of snuff.
He smiled in remembrance of his daddy’s advise; “Boy, all the God-given talent in the world ain’t gonna mount to a hill of beans if your mouth looks like it’s filled with nothing but an old, broken down picket fence. Don’t make the Almighty regret His decision to touch ya’ son – do whatever it takes ta keep them there teeth lookin pretty.”
From the inner left-hand-pocket of his double-breasted jacket, Jonathan extracted a much worn sheet of paper, it’s college ruled lines showing signs of wear from the constant folding and unfolding. Stepping away from his reflection, the forty-two year old cotton farmer from Muskogee gently drew back each quadrant until the paper lay open, and the words written with red ink, on evenly spaced lines, was visible.
He’d thoroughly researched everything Mrs. Crabtree, over at the Dewey Creek library, could find on the subject, including the two videos she’d discovered squirreled away on a shelf marked, “Historical Phenomenon and Supernatural Documentation”. Jonathan had even managed to unearth a copy of “Signs, Wonders, and Miracles” his daddy had once subscribed to in the early days, before mamma had threatened to move back to the city if he didn’t stop with what she called, Holy Ghost nonsense.
Now, glancing down out of habit rather than need, Jonathan once more rehearse the oddly pronounced words, careful to use just the right amount of variation, the correct intonation and the perfect modulation. Every vowel, each consonant flawlessly articulated in such a manner as to convey to those listening that what he said was not drawn from any sense of self, or personal exaltation, but was, in every sense of the word, a divine impartation of the Almighty Himself.
Sunday had come, and it was time for Jonathan Michael Foreston to speak to the members of Muskogee’s Free Will Pentecostal-Baptist Church, in tongues and interpretations.