Posted in Fiction

The Keychain (Part IV)

“Well,” said Stella, before I throw any ideas out there, are there any rules to using this gemstone?”

“Rules?” asked the man. His brows furrowed, not quite understanding.

“You know. Things like, are there any rules against the types of things one can change? For example, I changed that starfish to a seashell. But what if I wanted to changed something bigger than that, something much much bigger. And do I have control as to what I change said object into? Or is it a random process?”

“Ah ha! No. There are no rules. But…”

“Wonderful!” exclaimed Stella not giving the man time to finish. “Stay right here. I’ll be back in a bit.”

The man started to speak, but Stella ran off before he could get any words out. He faced the water and watched the waves roll over the sandy shore. To no one he said, “Now I know I told her I can’t be more than ten feet away from the gemstone.” He shook his head as he vanished and reappeared in the back seat of her car.

Stella glanced in her rearview mirror and saw the man smiling back at her. She jumped and gasped, jerked her head around to see he was actually there then jerked it forward again. “What are you doing here? How did you…?”

“How soon we forget, miss. I can’t be more then ten…”

She finished his sentence for him. “Yeah, yeah. Sorry. I forgot.”

“Where are you going?” asked the man. “And what are you going to do once you get there?”

“Work. And none of your business.”

“But there is something you should know…”

Again she cut him off. “Look, I don’t need any help. I got this whole change thing. I’ll be just fine,” replied Stella.

“Ok.” The man smiled. Under his breath he said, “But you might be sorry.”

“What was that?” asked Stella.

“Hm? Oh. Nothing.”

Ten minutes later she pulled into the parking lot of the home improvement store she worked at. A few minutes later she was walking down the main aisle and glancing down each side aisle looking for the two nasty ladies she worked with. Just as she was about to walk past aisle ten, they both turned down that aisle at the other end. Stella halted her step, turned down the aisle, and made a b-line straight toward them.

“Ladies,” said Stella with a smile.

Both ladies turned to her and gave her lazy response in return. “Oh, hi. Isn’t it your day off, Stella?”

“Yes. But there is something I wanted to show you. I found it at the beach.”

“Seriously?” asked lady one. “You came all the way over here to show us something? Why couldn’t you have waited until tomorrow when you come to work? It makes no sense.”

Stella was going to enjoy this. Instead of responding to the lady’s comment, she took out the gemstone hanging from the keychain, held it up, and caught the glint of the light.

The man stood ten feet behind her and watched the scene unfold.

The gemstone sparkled and threw out beams of light toward the two ladies. Stella thought of two rags, and the two ladies each changed into a rag. Stella chuckled, picked up each rag, and held it in front of her next to the gemstone. Then something unexpected happened. The gemstone grew to a size much larger than herself and a tint of blue appeared across her vision. The two rags dropped from her hand in the process and landed back on the floor. She turned her attention in all directions and spied the man behind her, but he was huge, much taller now. “What…what happened?”

The man bent down and picked up the keychain. The royal blue gemstone swung this way and that, and inside of it Stella sat in her new environment. “I tried to tell you. But you wouldn’t listen. You can’t change a human. Doing so will suck you into the gemstone and free me. He put it in his pocket. The two rags on the floor changed back into the two ladies. The man bowed before them. “Ladies? You have a good day.” He walked away to begin day one of his new found freedom.

(The End)

Posted in Fiction

The Keychain (Part III)

Stella gave the man a blank stare and blinked three times. If she didn’t know any better, she could have sworn she heard him say the gemstone hanging from the keychain is his home. Rather than give him a response, she backed away several steps, turned on her heal, and ran down the beach in the opposite direction. After a good five minutes, her lungs hurt, so she stopped and bent over. Her heart hammered as her adrenaline continued to fuel the rush of blood through here system.

She stood up and intertwined her finger behind her head, hoping that would calm her breathing. Aloud to no one she said, “Damn, I really need to work out more.”

“Yes, you do,” said the man.

Stella gasped and turned to see the same man from before. “How? How did you…? But I…”

“You what? Thought you left me up the beach? Not likely. As I said before, that gemstone you are carrying is my home. You can think of me as a genie in a bottle but not really. I don’t grant wishes.”

“How were you able to follow me?” asked Stella. She didn’t care about the gibberish he was spewing at the moment. She wanted to be rid of him. A breeze picked up momentum and flung her long brown hair across her face. She swiped at it, hitting her nose in the process, which fed her irritation even more so.

“It isn’t important how I followed you.” He paused, then turned and took a couple steps. Shaking a finger at her he said, “You aren’t nice. You should be nice to people.”

“I am nice. You’re frightening me is all. How do you expect one to behave, when you behave as you are right now? Maybe I wouldn’t be as scared if you’d tell me a little about what’s going on. How were you able to follow me so quickly?”

The man nodded and licked his lips. “Ok. That’s fair. As I said before, that gemstone you are holding is my home. I live in it, or let me put it another way. I am cursed to it. I can’t be more than ten feet from it. So, when it moves, I move whether I want to or not. I go with it.”

“How did you get outside of it?” asked Stella.

“When you changed that starfish into a seashell, I was extricated from it. So, thank you. It’s been quite a while since I breathed fresh air. And the more you use the gemstone, the longer I get to stay outside of it.”

“Use it? You mean change things?”

“Yes, among other things,” said the man.

Stella was going to ask him to go into detail but thought better of it. An idea began to form. The corners of her lips turned up as a devious plan took shape. “Change? You say?”

“Yes. Wait.” Now it was the man’s turn to smile. He rubbed his hands together as he said, “What do you have in mind?”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Keychain (Part II)

Hanging from the keyring encompassing her toe was a precious gemstone. The odd thing about it wasn’t that it was hanging from her toe or that she found a precious gemstone on the beach. Stuff like that was found on the beach more often than one would think. The weird characteristic presenting itself as Stella removed the keychain from around her toe was the continuous change the gemstone appeared to be displaying. Not only that, but the shape of it also changed. Each time it changed a sparkling glint emitted from it.

She reached a finger up and glided it across the surface of the gemstone. At the moment it was in the form of a royal blue pyramid. She brought her finger up for another pass along its surface when a feint blue beam of light surged from one of its points and hit a starfish wriggling in place on the wet sand. A second later the starfish morphed into a seashell of approximately the size of a quarter. Stella reached down, retrieved the seashell, and turned it over in her fingers. The inside displayed various hues of blue. The outside was pure white.

The gemstone changed shape and colors a moment later. This time it took on the shape of an oval with faceted edges, and the color was light pink. Stella dangled the now pink gemstone above the seashell in her hand.

“Hmm. I wonder what it will do now,” stated Stella.

“Must you stand there?” said a male voice behind her.

She turned to see a middle aged man with a tiny goatee and a light mustache about a head taller than herself. “What?” asked Stella.

“Are you deaf? I asked must you stand there?” asked the man.

“Why? Am I in your light or something? All you have to say is, ‘excuse me, could you please move aside?'” She turned and continued her walk down the beach. The key chain dangled from her right forefinger and the seashell sat in the palm of her left hand. She had only taken about ten steps, when the feeling of a presence from behind her caused her to stop an look over her shoulder. The man stood a few paces to her rear. She spun around. “Why are you following me?”

“I’m not following you, miss. I’m following that keychain dangling from your finger. I cannot be more than ten paces from it.”

She eyed the man standing before her from head to toe. There didn’t appear to be anything odd about him. Something in his eyes drew her nearer to him. “What is your name, sir?”

“What is yours?”

“I asked you first.”

“I asked you second,” said the man.

“Look, I’m not playing that game. Just tell me your name.” His eyes went to the keychain in her hand. “This is mine. I found it. You know the rule of any beach as it relates to finding something,” said Stella.

“What rule is that?”

“Finders keeper.”

“Not if it belongs to someone else, and they had lost it. You do the good deed, and give it back to them.”

“How do I know this belongs to you?” asked Stella.

The man took two steps forward. “That gemstone is my home.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Keychain (Part I)

Stella wriggled her toes in the soft, warm sand as she stood on the beach. The smooth roll of the waves toward the shore served to calm her nerves from an otherwise nasty, busy day at work. She inhaled the fresh salty air blowing in from the Pacific and then exhaled. At least tomorrow was another day. In her mind no two days were the same, so she never worried about encountering the same problems as the day before. And, if the same issue or issues did arise, she would handle it differently. The walks on the beach helped her to gain some perspective on the days events, so a better solution could come to light. It was a great way to relax and prepare. For the most part that strategy worked.

Being a merchandiser on a merchandising execution team at a home improvement store came with its challenges, but for the most part the job was fun. Most of her teammates were great. She was one of the guys, and they treated her with respect and she them. The challenge came with the other two females on the team. Most of the time they worked on other projects, so she never saw them. But at times, when they were around, the atmosphere could be rocky. Like today. The two of them were out of sight of Stella, but she could still hear their conversation regardless. And they knew it. Most of what they said was about her. How did she know? Her name was mentioned. They talked about how she wore her makeup and how she hung out with the guys then followed up their statements with a few choice names calling her a whore and a lost puppy dog.

Stella shook her head and let the wind blowing off the Pacific ocean blow the memory of the work day out of her head. She wasn’t any of those things. If anything she treated everyone with respect and remained nice to people. Her mother always told her one could catch more with honey than vinegar, and she was right in a way. But sometimes people were just nasty anyway. She smiled, turned to her right, and started walking down the beach.

The sun began its trek toward the horizon and cast a warm, comfortable glow on the sand making it the perfect time to look for little treasures that might be hidden beneath the sand, such as sea shells. At home she had a glassed in case of them. The ones she collected, she would take home, polish them, and put them the case.

She slid her feet forward in the sand as she continued walking. Then the odd feeling of a ring around her left big toe caught her attention. She raised her leg and grabbed her foot. “What the hell?”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Moving Room (Part IV)

Ed’s attention went from his wife, who ascended to the second floor, to Lily. Her smile as she, too, watched his wife’s ascent, made him scratch his head in wonder. He could understand her being happy that Daisy loved the house, but her smile wasn’t that kind of smile. There was a type of malice there. He liked it.

“Why do I get the feeling you’re hiding something?” Ed asked Lily.

“You sound more intrigued about that than fearful,” replied Lily.

“Maybe because I am. So, what is really going on?”

“Oh, you’ll find out here in a few minutes.”

Ed gave her a thoughtful look. “Is it a trap of some kind?” asked Ed.

“You could say that. But it’s only for those greedy enough to fall for it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Let’s just say your wife will finally have a house she will never be rid of…..ever.”

Daisy stepped onto the landing. The red plush carpet cushioned her every step. She stopped and peered to the left then right then left again. All the doors remained shut in each direction. Then to her left a door popped open on the right side of the hall way, and a light streamed out from within. The beam appeared brighter than usual. Her curiosity up, she hurried to the open door and poked her head in.

The red carpet continued into the bedroom. The walls were a creamy pearly white and shined as such. She reached around with her hand and rubbed it along the wall. The smoothness of it told her it was indeed pearl. “Wow, walls of pearl.” Her attention drew to the left and around the rest of the room. As she did this, she stepped inside the room. It was then she noticed the intricate gold design within the pearl walls. She took two strides to get a closer look and ran her finger along the gold pattern. On the left end of the room sat a four poster bed. It’s frame also that of pearl and with the same golden design. “I love this house. I love this room. I want it. I have to have this.” She turned to run out of the room to go get her husband, but the door wasn’t where it had been before. It was next to the bed.

She must have been mistaken, so she ran out the door and into a hallway with blue plush carpet. There was no hall going left or right as before. Instead the hall way was in front of her. She ran down it toward the stairwell, but there was no stairwell. She turned back toward the room but found herself back in the room without having moved. “How?” She turned in circles but now there was no door in the room. Not even one for a closet. But, oh, how she loved the room. She needed find her husband though. But there was no door leading out of the bedroom.

She banged on the wall’s, “Ed! Ed! Can you hear me? Ed!? Help.”

Downstairs Lily chuckled as she listened to Daisy yell for help.

“Shouldn’t we go help her?” asked Ed intrigued with Lily and not moving a muscle to help his wife.

“You don’t sound very convincing, Ed,” said Lily. “As a matter of fact, I see a tiny smile on those lips of yours.”

“You don’t know the evil that woman up there has put me through, so yeah, I guess I’m just going through the motions of giving a damn about her. But, out of curiosity. What happened to her? Why is she needing help in the first place?”

“She entered the moving room. When a greedy, self-serving person enters the room, there is no way out. The room moves and continues to move. It will display a door on one side of the room making you think you found your way out, when in reality, it leads to somewhere else.” She paused for effect, then, “There is no way out.”

Ed smiled. “I see.”

“Do you want this house, Ed?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Then let’s go.”

Ed and Lily walked out the front door and down the steps. Lily remained standing in front of the house and watched as Ed walked to his car.

Ed opened his driver side door and glanced up in the direction of the house, as he got into his car. But the house was gone and so was Lily and any trace she had ever been there.

(The End)

Posted in Fiction

The Moving Room (Part II)

Shoving his wife out the passenger side door was only a fantasy. He couldn’t do something like that. Simply put, he wasn’t that kind of guy. His wife, Daisy, irritated him to no end, but she was his wife none the less. For better or worse. More for the worst if anything though. He, Ed Thomas, was a stand up guy. At least he thought so. He itched the back of his head as he turned the car into the driveway of their current home.

He watched Daisy as he turned the car’s engine off. Her head bowed to her chest and her bottom lip popped out. He placed a hand on her knee, but she didn’t respond. “Daisy,” said Ed. “We have a nice house. It’s perfect. We don’t need to sell it and buy a new one. This needs to stop.”

Daisy shot her head up and looked her husband square in the eyes. “It’s boring, Ed. This house is boring. There is nothing magical about it.”

“That’s not what you said when we bought it a year ago. You said it had all kinds of magic. That it was just what you wanted.”

“There is always something better out there. Always.”

“How long is this going to go on? Huh? We’ve been married for five years. We’re in our mid-thirties. We can’t continue to move every year. Our funds will deplete as time goes by,” replied Ed.

“Bah,” said Daisy with a wave of her hand. “Not if we use the money we get from the sale of our house it won’t. Besides, baby, you make good money. With the $70,000 a year salary you make, and the $10,000,000 inheritance you gained, we’ll be sitting pretty for a good long time.”

“But you never let me have any money. It’s my money and you never let me have access to it,” said Ed.

“And don’t you forget it, Sweety. Remember what I told you.” Her facial expression turned to ice, and her voice deepened in a gruff, harsh tone. “You will NEVER have anything. It’s mine. All mine. The money. The houses. Everything. Oh and by the way. The other two houses we purchased prior to this one? I still own them.”

Ed twisted his head and shot her a look. He opened his mouth to respond but found himself speechless. After a full minute he said, “But, how? I saw and witnessed the sales transactions.”

“Did you read the documents that were signed?”

“Well, no. I let you take care of…..” Shock invaded his speech once more. “What did you do?”

“Oh, the buyers bought the house. But I had the realtor set up the contract so that ownership of the each of those houses would revert back to me within a six month period of time. The buyers would stay there rent free after that.”

“I’m taking you off the bank accounts. And you no longer will share in my inheritance.”

“Yeah, well, remember what I told you I’d do if you tried to do that,” threatened Daisy, an evil leer smearing across her face.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Moving Room (Part I)

The Sunday morning air cooled the car through the open windows, as Daisy and her husband Ed sped down the country road. Birds flitted across from one side of the road to the other. Trees swayed, as their leaves waved and clapped.

Daisy gazed out of the passenger side window as she lay her head back against the head rest. A slow breath in and out helped to clear her mind as the drone of the car trudged along the gravel strewn road. Her favorite. As they passed each house, she imagined what they looked like on the inside and what life would be like if she lived there. It wasn’t that she and her husband didn’t have a nice house. They did. But there was always a better one out there. Within the last five years they purchased three homes, but they only owned one. After moving in to a new house, she would become bored with it after a year and want a new one. There was always something out there that was better.

Today was no different. Her husband drove as Daisy’s eyes remained on the hunt for that new house that was that much better than what she had. Yes, it was there somewhere. And she would find it.

“This is ridiculous, Daisy,” complained Ed. “Why can’t we just stay in the house we have?”

“There is a better one. I know there is. That diamond in the rough. The one I won’t get bored with. We’ll never know unless we keep looking,” replied Daisy.

Ed glared at his wife. The back of her head faced him has she continued staring out her window. Oh how he’d love to have a remote control passenger side door that he could open with a button. Then he could take a pair of scissors, cut her seat belt off, open the door, and shove her out to the curb, all while driving down the road at high rate of speed.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

Lights of Fantasy (Part III)

I took a few careful steps backwards, not taking my eyes off the moving eyes gliding along in the water from one end of the pool to the other. Then I stopped, scrunched my eyes shut, and shook my head. When I opened them, the floating eyes in the pool were gone. I stood there for another moment scratching an itch on my elbow. She jumped at a noise behind her. It was her mother.

“Lily?”

“Mom, you scared me to death.”

“What’s wrong? You look pale.”

Given her mother’s reaction before when Lily pointed out the weirdness in the pool, she didn’t think her mother would believe her now. “It’s nothing. I think spent too much time in the pool today.”

Her mom checked her watch then looked at her daughter with a creased brow. “It’s only been 15 minutes. For you that’s no time at all.”

“What can I say?” replied Lily with a shoulder shrug. “For now I’m good.” She sped by her mother and into the house.

Later that night, Lily lay in bed reading when a small tap played out a rhythm on her door.

“Come in.”

The door opened, and her grandpa stepped into the room. “Hey, bug,” said her grandpa smiling.

Bug was her grandpa’s nickname for her since she was a toddler. “Grandpa!” shouted Lily, surprised. “When did you get here?”

“Oh, about 20 minutes ago. I couldn’t wait to see the new pool. It took some convincing your mom and dad to have it put in, but they finally caved.”

Lily’s mouth opened wide, not knowing how to respond at first. Then. “You? It was you?”

Her grandpa nodded his head.

“I wondered why mom and dad gave in so easily when I asked them. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“Your welcome, bug. As a matter of fact, how do you like the special addition to it?”

Lily cocked her head and looked at him. “What special addition?” She had an idea but didn’t know if it was what she was thinking or not. After all, she didn’t want her grandpa looking at her funny like her mom did earlier.

Her grandpa turned off her bedside lamp, walked over to her second story window, opened it, and knelt down in front of it. He motioned her over. “Take a look.”

She sauntered over to the window and knelt down beside him, rested her arms on the window sill and gazed out in the direction of the pool. The tiny round glass lights twinkled up at her like stars in the night sky. She opened her mouth to respond, then closed it, then opened it, then closed it again. Not wanting to take her eyes off the twinkling lights her eyes sat glued to the spectacle as she gave her head a slight turn in her grandpa’s direction. “Ummm. How? I mean, are they glow in the dark?” Given her experience earlier in the day, she figured there had to be some oddness behind the twinkling of the lights now but didn’t want to go there just yet. “Or, they’re electric right?”

“No, my child. They aren’t any of those things,” said her grandpa.

There was a more serious tone to his voice she’d never heard before. “Then, what are they?”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

Lights of Fantasy (Part II)

Tiny little glass bumps sat scattered everywhere. The lining of the pool was filled with them. Hmm. I wondered what they were. I thrust myself topside and popped my head above the water. Before I could say anything, my mom spoke.

“Lily, don’t you think you’d be more comfortable in a swimsuit?”

“Yeah, but wait, what are all the little round, clear bumps all over the lining down here?” I asked

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You put the pool in, and you don’t know what you had put in? Come here. Feel this,” I said, running my wet hand over the side of the pool.

My mom sauntered over and squatted at the pool’s edge. She reached her hand down and rubbed the lining on the inside of the pool.

“What am I supposed to be feeling?” asked my mom in a grim tone.

“What are you talking about? I told you. There are tiny clear bumps all over the side of the pool,” I said.

“No, sweetie. I didn’t feel anything.” My mom stood and turned toward the house. “Go change into your swimsuit,” she called back over her shoulder.

Ten minutes later I dove back into the pool. Like a bullet I shot from one end to the other along the bottom. As I passed over the clear tiny bumps, colors flowed from them. I stopped midway and watched, but when I stopped, the colors stopped flowing. Hmm. Maybe they respond to body heat. I dove beneath the surface once more and swam my way back to the bottom. When I got there, I passed my hand over the tiny bumps. Nothing happened.

Deciding not to let it bother me, I continued swimming a few more underwater laps. I opened my eyes before surfacing, and a light yellow greeted me. I stopped, floated in place, and blinked a few times. I ran out of breath, surfaced, took in some air, then plunked back beneath again. The yellow light was still there, covering the whole underwater environment.

I surfaced, pushed myself up and out of the pool, and stared back at the water. Clear. The only color from above the water was that of the blue lining squiggling from the movement of the water. I jumped in and sank once more then opened my eyes. Yellow light flowed throughout. I closed my eyes and gave my head a couple quick shakes. Upon opening my eyes, the yellow light remained. Ok, time to get out of the pool.

I swam to the stairs and climbed out. The warmth from the sunny pavement under my bare feet sent a comfortable sensation through me, as I clomped over to my towel. I brushed my towel over my long blond hair with a few vigorous swishes and patted my face then patted the rest of me dry. When I finished, I enclosed the towel around my shoulders and turned toward the house but stopped short.

The feeling of being watched and a slight movement from the corner of my eye along with curiosity turned my head in the direction of the pool. Two small eyes blinked back at me from under the water. There appeared to be no body under them, yet they moved from side to side in the pool.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

Lights of Fantasy (Part I)

The pool went in on my birthday. My mom setup for me to spend a weekend away with my best friend and her family. When I returned home, the built-in swimming pool graced our backyard, and floating on top of the water was a huge red happy birthday bow.

Now, even though I was 13, my reaction to the pool was that of a kid much younger. I didn’t care. I loved to swim, and now I could stay home to do this instead of going to the Y everyday. So what did I do upon seeing this golden nugget known as our new swimming pool? I snatched my phone out of my pocket, tossed it to my mom, jumped in clothes and all, swam over to the bow, and sidled it to the side of the pool, grounding it.

But as I dove beneath the water and made my trek from one end to the other, something strange about the lining caught my attention.

(To Be Continued)