Good Intentions

The word of the week is guard, and I ended up going with the definition as in a person whose occupation is guard. It went a little off after that, and even I wasn’t sure what required a guard until I got there. Definitely a great creative exercise!


I always thought that people who ended up in this kind of situation knew that they could end up here, and could look back and pick out the choice that led them to their inevitable end.


It was only as I sat in the small room, with a 24/7 guard outside the door, that I began to realize that this wasn’t always the case, and I knew because that wasn’t the way it had gone for me.


If you were being nitpicky, you could point out that I knew when I called in a bomb threat on a public building that this was a possible outcome, but getting to that point, the point where I called in a fake threat wasn’t just a single choice affair.


It would be easy to say it was my parents divorce, joining science club, watching a chunk the size of Rhode Island fall off of a glacier, but it was none of those things, all of those things, and a thousand other little incidents that led me here today.


Maybe it would only have taken a single change for this not to be where I ended up, or maybe all of everything could change and I would still end up here, a product of fate, or just genetics.


The important bit was that I called in what I thought was a fake bomb threat, 37 innocent people died, and I would have to live my entire life knowing that if I had taken my part of the “hoax” a little more seriously, that I might not be sitting accused of domestic terrorism.

When is a Dream, not a Dream?

It’s been almost 20 years since Final Destination 2 came out, but I got stuck behind a log truck on the highway and it might as well have been yesterday. What happens if you can see the deaths of people before they happen, could you deal? Will Alex?


Alex wasn’t sure when it had started. After all, at first she wrote them all off as dreams. Can’t really blame her through, can you, it wasn’t the first time a person had ever dreamed of getting up and going to school and then it happened exactly the same way when they actually got up.

Cause, well, you know, people had routines, and your subconscious was weird like that. I mean, sometimes you dreamed that you lived in a castle, but your room was the same as your childhood room that you hadn’t lived in for a few centuries, but I digress.

So Alex, was dreaming things, and they were happening exactly as she dreamed them, and she didn’t really pick up on it because her life was so boring and mundane, and predictable that it kind of made sense she could tell what was coming next. She was a good girl, followed the rules, studied hard, and was well on her way to graduating top of her class.

She should have been more popular than she was, based on her looks and achievement, but well, Alex was a bit if a bitch. Most people had been been born with a filter that went between their brains and their mouths, but not Alex. What she thought came out, and with a dark sense of humor, and a little on the caustic side in terms of personality, she alienated most people quite quickly. I couldn’t blame her, people are pretty stupid.

Alex liked to pretend that she was completely fine with being relatively unknown. Ok, I admit, she actually was fine with it most of the time, because she wasn’t willing to make the effort to try and reign herself in, to be more liked. But like most of us, Alex had those moments of self doubt and anxiety that made her wonder why anyone liked her at all. She had a few friends, and a larger group of “friends” who mostly sat together to hold a table in an overcrowded cafeteria. In the summers they had pool parties, like with chips and swimming, not like they are in the movies. There were ten people there max, and there were no bikini’s or hook ups, or alcohol.

So, all in all Alex had a good, if not a little boring of a life. Her plan, was of course, like all high school students was to have a life later…You know, when she graduated and went away to university. She always felt like that she needed to have a little more room to grow, explore, and that wasn’t going to happen with her mother looking over her shoulder and catching every mistake before she made it.

So, Alex was trudging along, playing average high school girl when she had the dream that her science teacher had died, from tripping on a marble, falling down the stairs and breaking his neck. She woke up gasping, at the incredible vividness of it, she couldn’t shake the intensity of the dream, even as she walked through the front door of the school. The sound of the crack as his neck snapped echoed though her memories as she started her day.

Then she saw a cute boy, and poof it was gone. That is, it was gone until she was on her way to her last class and looked around to the strangest sense of deja vu. The class nerd, it was a small school, there was only really one person who met the criteria, was walking down the hallway with what looked like a kids toy. A peg board with a bunch of toggles on it. Andy, the class asshole, tripped him. I don’t really need to explain that one, do I?

Anyways, nerd went flying, toy went flying, and when it hit the ground, about a dozen marbles exploded out of it rolling across the floor, and down the hall. People mostly just watched, or I guess they didn’t watch, in that way that people become incredibly interested in their fingernails when they don’t want to have seen something. You didn’t want asshole Andy on your tail, and so reporting him, not an option.

Mr. Greier ran out of his classroom, demanding to know what was going on, and when he saw Andy heading towards the stairs he went after him. It was strange too, because Mr.Greier was usually way more mellow than that, but nerdy Steve was his favorite.

Alex watched, in what felt like slow motion, her dream unfold. She almost said something, but like, what could she say, no, don’t, a death marble. She would be a laughing stock. She wished he hadn’t been so afraid of being laughed at, when her eyes met Mr. Greier’s. She could see the shock, the horror unfolding as his foot slipped, as he was propelled back, and then his other foot met nothing but air. They both knew he was in trouble, and then he hit the railing and there was a moment of relief, before his eyes widened again and his momentum sent him over.

Everyone else seemed to be moving towards the stairs, but she was stuck, and this time she didn’t see the fall, or the landing, but even from her position at her locker she heard the resounding crack that would haunt her for the rest of her life. God, this one was so melodramatic, like this wouldn’t even be the worse thing she saw this month. The rest of her life, teenagers, what ca you do?

So Alex stood there, in shock, and the ambulance was called, and classes were canceled and counselors were brought in. They kept telling her it was understandable, it was terrifying to see witness such an event. She was one of the ones who got booked for multiple follow ups, because some kids just took that kind of thing harder than others. Alex was not an idiot though, and did not tell them the truth. That the reason she was so upset by the event was because dreamed it the night before.

Six weeks later, she didn’t tell them that the reason she was upset about watching those two men get in the car accident was because she dreamed it to, and did nothing to stop them from getting in their cars, even though she was on the scene early enough that she could have. Well, or at least she could have tried. Who knows if they would have listened.

Alex became haunted all right, not by the cracking noise, as she had predicted, but by death. Death followd her everywhere, and even if she changed her plans to avoid the bank the day the armed robber shot a bank security guard when she would usually be depositing her pay cheque, she still saw him die the night before while she slept.

She didn’t date, she didn’t go to college, Alex languished in her small town. Afraid of what horrors she would dream if she dare go somewhere as crime ridden as the a city. When the day dawned, the ten year anniversary of her special dreams, she felt burdened by the realization. When she lay down that night to sleep, and dreamed of herself, dying of a brain aneurysm in her sleep, she awoke relieved.

It was only 3am, but she went to the kitchen, grabbed a pen and paper, and wrote a hand written will. She continued writing, letters for her family, and for the few remaining friends that hadn’t bailed she got weird. She cited a sense of impending doom by the reasoning, I know its a little on the nose, but apparently its a thing.

She took a long shower, shaving her legs, grooming herself, making sure her eyebrows were just so. She saw the clock now say 7am, and she made sure to text her work to tell them she was on her way, just running a few minutes late. Sent another to her sister, asking if she would give her a call around 9am to discuss something semi-urgent.

She put on her best nightgown, the one from the dream, unlocked her front and back doors, and crawled back into bed. She willed herself back to sleep, eager for the nightmares to be over.

The Mysterious Case of the Bloody Staircase

Another one of my flashfiction February prompts, this one where I needed to show a character attribute without actually naming in. No idea how I did on it, not my favorite. It was based on the title, and was a demo piece to explain how the challenge worked.


When the scream rang out, she ran towards it. She paused only to grab a first kit from the wall when she saw the bloody hand-prints on the railing. She yelled of calling the police as she ran down the staircase, and ignored the fleeing figure when she saw the crumpled body on the landing. She staunched the bleeding where she could, glad for the sound of sirens growing louder with every passing moment. She herself to relax once the paramedics took over, she may have saved someone, even if two others didn’t make it. Today, was a good day.


The attribute was bravery, which in this case borders stupidity, as there is a killer involved, but it’s a fine line….

Order

Ok, so it looks like I am officially doing weekly posts for the Microfiction Mondays, please note that like the short stories this could lapse into biweekly at any time. This microfiction was to base a story in an apartment in the middle of the afternoon. it got dark, fast, and its got a death warning.


The apartment was clean, excessively so.  Everything was perfectly arranged so that it could double as one of the spreads in the neat stack of magazines sitting on the fingerprint free glass top of the coffee table.  The bed was made, the dirty laundry in the hamper, and the breakfast dishes already washed sat drying in the rack by the sink.  The only item out of place was a lone travel mug of coffee on the counter, whose insulation would keep it hot for hours longer than the body in the living room would stay warm.