This is just a slice of life story about life in a small town. It feel like it could be a prologue to a much large peice, but when I tried to write a continuation, it didn’t really connect, so I have made the choice to post this on it’s own.

Margie was dumb. Okay, that wasn’t really that nice, but she wasn’t slow, she didn’t have a learning disability, or have an especially low IQ. Margie really was just dumb. So much so that other people really should have found it frustrating talking to her, but they didn’t. Because Margie, sweet Margie, was something akin to the little engine that could as she tried so hard again and again. The thing was, Margie would more aptly be called the little engine that couldn’t, because the trying never really amounted to anything.

Most people would give up, but not Margie, and that seemed to be why people liked her so much, nothing ever really got Margie down. Its also how despite perpetually failing at life, Margie was doing as well as she was. People, did a lot for the silly girl, mostly out of a sense of pity, and a bit of guilt at their own ill will towards her sometimes.

So Margie had a job at the grocery store, as a greeter. She had started as a stockboy, but had been confused, as she was not a boy. She labeled things wrong, and put them where she felt they belonged rather than where they actually belonged causing more harm that good.

No one thought that Margie would be able to handle cashier, so they tried her on bagging next. AS much as the other town residents understood Margie was as she was, Margie could only pack so many bags poorly before it was suggested that maybe Margie not do that. After all, people wanted to get their food home, relatively undamaged, and there were too many loaves of bread being squashed under canned goods for people to abide by Margie.

Greeter wasn’t a real title, not at a store this small, but everyone smiled when they saw her, and Margie made sure to stop and greet every person that entered, if they wanted a greeting or not. That said, everyone liked seeing Margie taken care of, and she was a fairly sweet girl and she did try, so people who didn’t usually shop at the store made a point to stop by now and then, just to say hi to Margie. The increase in business wasn’t huge, but it did rack up to a little more than a greeter salary a month, so they kept her on.

That was the odd thing about small towns, people cared. Okay, they didn’t really care, people were not inherently better in small towns than the city. In small towns though, one didn’t have the veil of anonymity to hide behind. Everyone in a small town knew who you were and what you did, and who your parents were, and what they did. There was a sense of being watched that some found comforting, and many found invasive. If you were rude to the greeter, you would be hearing about it from your own mother within the hour, so you better mind you manners.

This led to a sense of obligation to be a better person that one actually was at heart. In a small town reputation was everything, and you couldn’t be the only person in town that didn’t stop by and say hi to Margie, so you did it. For all they are portrayed to be more “real” and “down to earth” in small towns, you had to wonder if they were actually just spending a lot more time being really good fakes.

In the city you could have a work personality, a home personality, and for some, a friends personality. Which one, if any, was you, was a choice, and rarely did they overlap enough to worry someone might foul the waters. Meanwhile in small towns, home, work and friends would see the same thing, and it would be distributed far and wide, and why most of us had a sneaking suspicion that Trevor who helped Ms. McAvoy with her groceries was not as nice as he seemed.

Its why, when they found the body, it was both more and less surprising than it would have been in the city. It certainly gave everyone something to talk about other than the weather, and for many, that made the murder the best thing to have happened in years.

What a Difference a Day Makes

Welcome to this weeks response to the Friday Picture prompt on The Writer’s Mess! With Halloween on the brain, and this weeks image being that of a full moon, it doesn’t take a genius to realise where this weeks prompt was heading.  Follow the story of our narrator, who get’s in a car accident the week of the full moon…

Getting in a car accident sucked.

Getting in a car accident and healing so fast that they thought they mixed up her scans with another patients, really sucked.

Getting in a car accident, and being in a coma for an indeterminate time, that sucked the most.

Losing track of time wasn’t that big of an issue for most people, but when you turned into a bloodthirsty monster on the full moon, keeping an accurate calendar was key.

She only realised that the moon was rising full, when her bones started to snap, startling the nurse who was taking her vitals.

They thought it was tetanus, and so they ignored her pleas for them to leave.

They all died. 

The doctors, the nurses, the other patients, all of them died in that hospital, because she had a brain injury and couldn’t remember the day of the week.

It was a massacre, plain and simple. 

It the morning she called the council, and explained what happened.

The hospital burned, the investigators were bribed to look the other way, and the survivors didn’t retain the title long.

She was tried, and found innocent in a court of law, despite the body count. 

The judge looked at her with sympathy as the verdict was delivered, because she would have to live with the weight of what she had done for the rest of her life.

She never lost track of her dates again.


This is this kind of story I call horror of a different type, as it tells the story of a little girl learning the hard way that stranger danger only accounts for 1% of all child adductions. Its based on that line from Criminal Minds, and my own indoctrination of “Stranger Danger” from school, where they mostly taught us to not take candy from a stranger.

I heard a line once in a show that the concept of stranger danger had made people aware of the man in the white van, but that was only 1% of all abductions. That most children knew those that took them. I certainly did.

He wasn’t a friend, or a family member, or even a teacher. He was the dude at the park. I know on the surface that this makes it sound like he was a stranger, but he really wasn’t. His name was Charlie, and he lived a few streets over from me. He worked at the same place as my dad for a while, until the lay offs. Thats where I first met Charlie, at a fourth of July party that the company was throwing in their heyday, when the money was still flowing.

Then it stopped flowing, and they let most of the staff go. My dad managed to stay on, he worked at the warehouse, and coordinated the shipping, before from the production, and after from the imports. I didn’t get what that meant at the time, but I could always repeat it to people.. All I really understood was that it wasn’t great, but it was a job, and that was what was important, I guess. He worked a lot more hours after the lay offs, Mmom too, at the time I thought they were just really busy, but looking back dad must have taken a pay cut.

Anyway, Charlie had gotten a few part time things, I saw him around a lot, but nothing stable, because the guy spent a lot of time in the park. The other kids refered to him as the dude at the park, but since I knew him, they never really told anyone about it because Charlie wasn’t a stranger.

He was also, a lot of fun. He brought things to the park for us kids, shovel and kites, and trucks, and sometimes snacks. We all quickly learned that a day where Charlie showed at the park with a big bag of stuff, was going to be a great day.

I think it’s why I wasn’t even remotely suspicious of him when he asked for help picking up some goodies for the day. My friends weren’t there yet, and I was SO excited to see what he was gonna get us ,that I got in the back of that car and did up my seat belt myself.

I knew Charlie, Charlie was fun, and he gave us treats all the time, so I took the juice-box without question. It was my favorite flavor, because unlike Dad, Charlie was great about remembering that kind of thing. He always brought each and every one of our favorites, no matter how weird they were.

I dozed off in the car, and it was something I did a lot back then, I didn’t even realize something was wrong when I did wake up. I wasn’t sure where we were, and it was the same amount of bright out. It felt like I had been sleeping a long time though, and when I looked down I realized I was wearing different clothes. I tried to open the window, and the door, but I couldn’t the handles didn’t move. Even my seatbelt was stuck on, and when I tried to kick I realized my feet were tiedd down. I screamed and cried, and Charlie said nothing.

I finally wore myself out, and just stared out the window a while. It was okay, someone would find me, it hadn’t been that long. That’s when I saw the sign “Welcome to Fort Worth, TX”. I remembered seeing it on a map once it school, when my teacher drew a big circle showing hour far away you could go in a day if you drove the entire time, and my heart sunk. It had been a day, and I was very far from my home, and Charlie didn’t show signs of stopping any time soon.

Eventually I whined I was thirsty, hoping he would stop, but he just gave me another juice box, and I drank it thirsty, and hungry. I felt myself getting sleepy, and I realized that the juice had tasted a little funny, the same as last time.

When I woke up this time, I was in a basement. Later I would discover that we were in San Ysirdo, in south San Diego. I didn’t leave the basement for a long time. Charlie home schooled me, called me his little girl, and taught me to be good.

I did get good enough eventually, to be allowed out. I went to high school there, and Charlie even let me go to South Western when I graduated. There were two rules, I was Shelly Wright, and I had to live at home.

I miss them, from time to time, my birth parents. I think they would be happy for me here though. I had a good life with Charlie, he took care of me, and I loved him like a Father. I wasn’t part of the 1%, but things turned out well enough for me.

Weird add on to this, about the “taking candy from a stranger” thing. In high school, two of my friends actually did get into a strangers van for candy. They were lucky, because this person ended up being a parent, making a donation of candy to the school for Halloween, but I often think back on that, and think how badly two fifteen-year-olds getting into a stranger’s van could have ended…

In Any Universe

Hello Hello, I realized that I wrote this on Monday and then never scheduled it for release, but here is this week’s response to the six-sentence writing prompt of BRANCH by girlontheedge. I am writing this one for Asexual Awareness week, about a Aiya, who is enduring the most boring/out of touch lecture of her life.

Multi-verse theory stipulates that every time a decision is made, there is a branch made for every possible outcome, and so there are infinite universes, with infinite diversity.

That said, sitting in a classroom, listening to a seventy-year-old white guy lecture her on women’s sexuality, Aiya couldn’t imagine that there was a universe where she didn’t think that this guy was full of shit.

Intellectually she understood that humans, as a species, had evolved in ways that meant that the animal homo sapiens sapiens had certain natural inclinations when it came to sex, but that all ignored the effect of civilization on humans as a whole, and she wasn’t having it.

A few students walked when he droned one about “deviant” sexual behavior, but Aiya always enjoyed a good train wreck, and besides, when she did file her complaint after the end of class, she wanted to make sure she had recorded the entire lecture, lest he later pretend that she missed the critical piece.

It was however illegal to record someone in a conversation you were not a part of, so she spoke up, and asked the question about her own orientation, only to have the man just about self-destruct in his rant on how asexuality does not exist.

It wasn’t even the most offensive response she had gotten to the ace question, doctors, therapists, friends alike, all recoiled when faced with someone that simply did not have interest, and it was then that she was saved from hearing more this day, by a member of the administration showing up to stop the man mid-lecture, but she did wonder, what else he was going to say to cover the second half of what would likely be his final lecture at the university.