Posted in Short Stories

The Perfect Woman (Part III)

“Don’t baby me,” said Raya. “You’re married.”

“No, I’m not,” said Bryson.

“Mmm. Yes, you are. I just received a call from the receptionist downstairs. Your wife is on her way up.”

“Ex-wife. She can’t get it through her head we’re divorced.” He ran a hand through his blond hair then turned and headed back to his desk. “I can’t get rid of her.”

“How do I know I can trust you?”

“We’ve been going out for six months now. Have I ever given you cause to not trust me?”

“Hmm, let me see.” Raya put a finger to her lips in thought then stepped a few steps into his office, shut the door, and locked it.

“Come on, don’t play like that. You know you can trust me,” said Bryson.

Raya smiled and tossed his keys to him, then she sauntered over to his desk and sat on the corner facing him as he sat down in his chair. “Relax. I’m just messing with you.”

He smiled and picked up her hand, leaned in and kissed her fingers one at a time.

“Jean has the hots for you, you know,” said Raya.

“Jean? Jean who?” asked Bryson.

Raya gave a quick description Jean.

Bryson released her hand and sat back in his chair with wide eyes. “I think that was the lady I saw at the elevator a little while ago just before I came back for my keys.”

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At that moment the door handle jiggled. Bryson put a finger to his lips to indicate not to make sound.

Raya nodded in agreement.

Bang, bang, bang. It was his ex-wife knocking at the door. “I know you’re in there,” she yelled.

Bryson arose from his chair, snatched his cellphone out of his pocket, and walked to the far corner of his office. He dialed Jack, the lawyer in the office on the other side of the secretarial pool, hoping he was still in his office. In the meantime, his ex-wife continued her knocking on his door. The call, after four rings went to voicemail. Then he heard Jack’s voice outside his door. Damn, Jack had a key to his office. He hoped he didn’t let her in. Please, don’t let her in. He glanced at Raya’s worried expression then back at the door. His ex-wife’s irritated tone of voice grew louder.

“Sorry,” said Jack’s muffled voice. “I can’t let…..”

Bryson didn’t hear the rest of what Jack said as his voice trailed off. His ex-wife’s voice faded as well. Bryson expelled the breath he was holding in. “Damn, that was close. Too close.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Short Stories

The Perfect Woman (Part II)

Jean relaxed once the elevator door closed. Bryson’s close proximity to her, as the two stood waiting for an elevator, sent her heart racing. Words escaped her. He said hi to her. All she had to do was say hi back. In her mind the response was there, but her tongue wouldn’t do anything. The easiest response was to get into the elevator and not deal with it. She sighed as the elevator glided down to the first floor. What did he think of her now?

The elevator reached the first floor, dinged, and opened. Jean stepped out in time to hear Bryson’s name being mentioned by a woman coming from the direction of the reception desk. Jean turned in that direction and slowed her pace.

“Excuse me,” said the woman. “I’m here to see Bryson Taylor.”

“May I ask who is inquiring?” asked the receptionist.

“His wife, of course.”

“One moment.”

Jean’s heart sank as she sped up and moved toward the front door. Great. The good ones are always taken. At least she didn’t feel so bad for not responding to him earlier. She exited the office building and caught the first taxi she saw. Home and a hot bath sounded soothing right now.

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Bryson realized he’d forgotten his car key’s in his office and walked back to retrieve them. Upon entering his office, something wasn’t right. The air was off somehow, yet everything remained as they were. “Hmm. I must be tired.” He opened the top right drawer of his desk, reached in to grab his keys, but they weren’t there. With a quick toss of his sports jacket over the top of his desk, he rummaged through the remaining desk drawers then felt in his pants pockets. Nothing. “Damn. Where did I…?” He glanced up and stopped mid-sentence.

“Looking for these?” asked Raya.

Without a word, Bryson moved around his desk and strolled over to her. He grabbed for the keys she dangled in front of him, but she yanked them back in time for him to miss. He smiled, “Very funny, baby. Give me my keys.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Short Stories

The Perfect Woman (Part I)

“Isn’t he beautiful,” stated Jean.

“He who?” asked Raya.

Jean elbowed her friend in the side. “Really? Who have I been talking to you about since last Tuesday?”

“Oh. Yeah well. I’ve seen better,” replied Raya. He’s a new guy. You always think the new ones are gorgeous.”

“Yes, but Bryson is different.”

“You also said that about the last new guy. Hey, do you ever ask any of them out?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Fear of rejection, I guess. My last relationship ended in disaster, so I admire from afar,” said Jean.

“You’ll never find that right one unless you take a chance.”

“Maybe so, but right now I’ll just look.”

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Jean stood, shouldered her purse, and exited her workspace, heading toward the elevators. She pushed the down button and waited.

Bryson strolled over, stopped a little ways over to her right, and waited for an elevator. He slung his sports jacket over his left arm and ran a hand through his wavy, dark, brown hair. A sweet lavender scented perfume wafted across his nose, so he turned in the direction of where it came from and saw a petite woman with a dark blond bob. He smiled.

Photo by Michael Morse on Pexels.com

“Hello,” said Bryson.

Just then the elevator bell chimed. The door to the far-left elevator opened, and Jean hustled in that direction, stepped inside, and pressed the door close button without saying a word to Bryson.

“What a snob,” Bryson mused aloud.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Short Stories

The Mine Shaft (Part IV)

People don’t just combine into one person. I have to be dreaming. Damn, this is so real. I continued staring at Derek who was now just one person and not two. Words failed me as I blinked once, then twice. He took steps toward me, and I backed up. He stopped, and I stopped with my hand raised in the stop position.

“D-don’t,” I stammered, “don’t come near me. I don’t know what just happened, but I want no part of it.”

“Daisy, it’s ok,” said Derek as he took one more step anyway.

“I said don’t…..come any closer.”

“It’s the mine. The mine did it.”

“Did what?” I asked.

“Spl–.” But noise from the opening of the mine shaft drew our attentions.

One by one the others in our group exited the mine shaft. Except…..instead of the five additional people who originally went down there to begin with, there were eleven. One of whom looked like me. Of the others, five of them were doppelgangers for the other five. They now stood in pairs of five. My double sauntered over and stood next to me.

“As I was trying to say, the mine shaft splits people into two,” explained Derek.

Everyone stared at me smiling, but I wasn’t smiling. I didn’t want to be two people. I didn’t like this at all. “So we just snap out fingers and everyone goes back to normal?”

“Well, yeah. That is, if you want to. There’s fun in being two,” said Derek’s best friend Todd. He looked around at everyone and said, “Ready guys?” The other ten people snapped their fingers in unison and they became five again.

My double refused to snap her fingers. She pursed her lips together and folded her arms across her chest. “I’m staying a double.”

“No,” I said.

“You don’t have a choice,” said the other me. “I don’t want to combine. I enjoy being a double.”

This was going to be more difficult than I thought, so I had to play along. But how does one get someone else to snap their fingers at the same time if that person knows the repercussions if they do? Then I had an idea.

“Hey,” I said to my double, “you know what happens if you don’t combine back?”

“Daisy, don’t,” said Derek. A worried expression playing across his face.

“Don’t stop me. She needs to know,” I said.

“Know what?” asked the other me, nervous eyes glancing from me to Derek and back.

I didn’t know what Derek’s game was, but maybe he knew I was making something up to get my double to go along and snap her fingers. Maybe he was playing along.

“It’s the mine ghost. He will come at midnight tonight and kill you if you don’t combine before then,” explained Derek.

“B-but I don’t want…..”

“Look,” I said, “it’s not like we can’t become two again. All I have to do is reenter the mine. It’s that simple,” I stated.

My double creased her brows and stared at the ground, deep in thought. She lifted her head and sighed in resignation. “Fine, let’s get this over with.”

My double and I stood next to each other and snapped our fingers in unison. I became one person once more. I breathed a sigh of relief as I gazed over the opening of the mine shaft. The opening disappeared as though it was never there.

My eyes went wide as I stared at Derek.

“Aren’t I sneaky?” snickered Derek.

(THE END)

Posted in Short Stories

The Mine Shaft (Part III)

Unable to move at the realization that it wasn’t Derek behind me, I continued staring down at him. I forced my head to look away, but fear continued to hold me in place.

“What are you stopping for?” he asked.

My breath caught, as I listened to the male voice below me. It sounded just like Derek’s. How? He called me from further into the shaft. I decided to show no signs of alarm, for doing so could jeopardize my safety. I’ll pretend he is Derek, at least until I get out of this hole.

I cleared my throat. “Sorry, baby. For a moment I felt a little faint. Perhaps it’s the height. I’m ok now.” I moved upward toward the exit. When I reached the top, I scrambled out of the opening, dusted myself off and turned to watch who was coming out behind me. It was Derek. I cocked my head and creased my brows but didn’t say anything.

“What’s wrong, Daisy? You look turned around or something.”

“Um. I uh.” I gave my head a quick shake. “Sorry. It’s just that…..I thought I heard you calling me from further down into the shaft as we were climbing out, so I thought it was someone else who was climbing up behind me.”

“I didn’t hear anything,” replied Derek.

“Maybe I’m hearing things. It was so real. Given that someone grabbed my wrist while we were down there, I thought maybe you were whoever that was. I thought that person followed me and prevented you from following me out. Then I saw your ball cap and…..” Derek sauntered up to me. Concern written all over his face.

“Daisy, someone grabbed your wrist?” asked Derek.

“Well, yes, you were there. Remember? You helped pull my arm away.”

“I did?”

“Yes, and we both fell to the floor of the shaft.” Derek continued to look at me like I was losing my mind. “How can you not remember?!” My legs felt like jelly. I was truly losing it. Then movement out of the corner of my eye coming from the direction of the opening to the mine shaft, took my attention off Derek. It was the top of a head wearing Derek’s same baseball cap. Another guy was coming up from below. But Derek was the only one wearing that ball cap. The others in our group hadn’t worn anything on their heads. The person finished coming out of the opening. He hadn’t looked up but was looking downward at himself while brushing himself off. He wore the same clothes as Derek. Then he looked up at me, and I froze. He looked just like Derek.

“Daisy, didn’t you hear me calling you down there?” said the Derek who just climbed out of the hole. He looked over at the other Derek and smiled. The Two of them did a fist bump, hugged, then released.

“What the hell is going on?” I asked. “Which one of you is the real Derek?”

In unison they said, “We both are.” They snapped their fingers and the two became one.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Short Stories

The Mine Shaft (Part I)

Down, down, down we descended into the dark, dank mine shaft of long ago. Will he sense we’re down here? I followed Derek and the rest of our group. Soon the light from the opening above was out of sight, and everything turned pitch black. Making a wrong turn would be fatal. As we inched along the unseen passage, the walls drew closer together and a narrowness corralled us into a line. At least that was my perception. The passage way, with the walls as narrow as they were, didn’t allow for any other type of movement.

As I hung on to Derek’s left hand, without thinking, I reached my other hand up and glided it along the wall. A perspiring dampness seeped through it pours. I was just about to snatch my hand back when it glided over something soft. Instinct forced me to snatch it away, but something latched on to my wrist, pulling me back. I gasped. My other hand squeezed Derek’s with a tightness that meant terror loomed.

“What? Daisy, you ok?” asked Derek. To the others he called out, “Hey, guys. Stop.”

“I-I don’t know,” I said. “There’s…” But my words died in my throat as hot, stinky breath singed my cheek and a whisper crept its way into my ear.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Boyfriend (Part V)

“You see,” said Gabe, the woman you met is an enchantress. The moment you and her spoke for the first time, whether on the phone or in person doesn’t matter, she cast an enchantment on you.”

“I’m not into that magic stuff. It’s nonsense,” I stated.

“Nevertheless, it’s real to your boyfriend…..or ex-boyfriend. Sorry.”

“So I’m cursed? Is that what you’re saying?”

“No. No. Not exactly a curse. Let’s just call it a homing beacon. It doesn’t matter where you go. You can be extra careful in covering your tracks. He will always know where you are.”

Gabe encircled an arm around my shoulders and guided me to my car. Wait, how did he know this was my car? I asked him that, now. Peering down from a good 6 feet in height, he smiled at me and cupped my cheek with his palm. “Do you have a park nearby where we can sit and talk?”

Caution gripped my insides. After what just happened with my ex-boyfriend moments ago, I remained on edge. “I-I don’t think so. We need to part ways. I don’t know you, and you want to go to a park and talk? Really? Uh-uh. Nope.”

“It’s ok. We can stay right here if you like. It is not my intention to scare you. You see, I am an angel, and I was sent to protect you.” At that moment a pair of white translucent wings appeared on his back as a light emanated around him.

Realizing my mouth was open, I closed it. I glanced around to see if anyone else was seeing this angelic spectacle. Two people walked by. One, a woman, walked by me smiling but never looked my way. The other one strolled by toward the store front with a scowl on his face. He, like the woman, walked by me without giving me a second glance. I reached for Gabe’s hand, picked it up by his fingers, and held it. Clearing all thoughts out of my head, I closed my eyes and made him my focus. An easy feeling filled my heart, and I cradled his hand to my chest’s center. “I feel your goodness, now.” I looked up and met Gabe’s eyes. They transitioned in hue from a light blue to a deep blue and glistened.

“You’re an empath, Julia,” said Gabe. He brought his other hand up and took her hand now his own. “I promise you this. Nothing will happen to you. Now come, let us go.

I nodded and smiled in response, turned to get in my car, but it wasn’t there. In fact, the parking lot was gone. The whole of everything had changed. Green, lush grass displayed in front of me and under my feet. A clear blue stream trickled water off to my left and rolling hills of flowers sat in the distance. “Where…..?” I turned around. Then I saw it. Behind me and off to my right a scene with my body lying on the pavement of the parking lot began to fade.

Gabe stood next to me watching my every move. I peered up at him now and blinked twice. “I’m-I’m dead? But, I don’t…..”

“Remember? I took that memory away from you the moment you saw me. Shortly before your ex-boyfriend, Jeff, left, he killed you.”

“But…..but.”

“You are safe now.” Gabe looked over my head and behind me and smiled.

I followed his gaze, turned, and found Jesus standing face to face with me.

THE END

Posted in Fiction

The Boyfriend (Part IV)

“How do you know him? My boyfriend, I mean,” I asked Gabe.

“Let’s just say he’s dabbling in something he shouldn’t. He has gone down paths from which there is no return. It’s sad, really. He was doing so well, and then…” Gabe paused and stared at the pavement of the parking lot.

“I don’t follow. He has always been controlling, jealous, and possessive. I’ve known him since I was a sophomore in college. I’ve never known him to be any other way. And how do you know him?”

“Oh, he and I go way back. But never mind that. You see, when his mom died…”

“Wait. Hold on a minute. When his mom died? His mom didn’t die. I’ve met her more than once.”

“When was the last time you were with him? Before you left, I mean?” asked Gabe.

“Two years ago. Just before I left, I spoke with his mom,” I replied.

“Spoke to her or saw her?”

“Spoke to her, and prior to that I saw her…at her house.”

Gabe reached behind him, pulled out his wallet, and flipped through the photos. He stopped at one of them and turned it so I could see it. “Is this her? Is this the woman he said was his mother?” asked Gabe.

“No,” I said. “That’s nothing like the woman I met. I’ve never met the woman in the photo. I peered up at Gabe and took a few steps backward.

“Please. You don’t need to be afraid. I am here to protect you.”

“Then explain to me what this is all about. Now,” I demanded.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Boyfriend (Part III)

A lady on her right stared at her then shot her eyes in the direction of her boyfriend and stared. It was rather odd because the others who claimed they didn’t see him behaved as though they didn’t. Yet this lady stood and focused on him. After a minute, the lady glance back at me and said, “I don’t see anything either.” But how could that be? The lady looked right at him. I studied the lady’s face as she continued to stand in the parking lot. Her grocery bags piled high inside her cart.

“Can I help you?” I asked as I scratched an itch on the back of my neck. Then it happened. I think. Did I see right? Or was I mistaken? I could have sworn the lady now wore a feint smile. “What are you…?” I started to ask as my boyfriend faded. I looked back at the lady. She now wore a full smile, turned away from me, and continued walking.

It was obvious to me my boyfriend wasn’t here. Just a projected image of him. Maybe he caught on to where I was and maybe not. I couldn’t take the chance. I had to move, but where would I go? His abilities would allow him to find me no matter where I went. And what was up with that lady? She lied when she said she hadn’t seen him. Her body language told me as much. I glanced around to locate her. Maybe she knew something, but she was no where in sight.

I felt like a caged animal with the world being my cage. I had no choice but to stand and fight. For now I would go home. I turned in the direction of my car but came up short as I walked full force into someone. I stepped back and looked up into deep blue eyes belonging to a shiny, golden haired man around my age.

“I-I’m sorry. I should watch where I’m going next time. Excuse me, please.” I stepped to my right to move around him. As I did, a hand warmed my shoulder, so I stopped and peered back up at him.

He gave his head a gentle shake, as he smiled down at me. “My name is Gabe.”

The deep melodious tone to his voice struck me without words for a moment. Then I gave my head a quick shake and responded, “I’m Julia. Um. Hi.”

His kind eyes continued focusing on me. A kind of warmth penetrated my heart, and the fear from my experience with my boyfriend earlier subsided.

“It will not always be like this, Julia,” said Gabe.

“How do you know? I just met you.” I glance up at the sky, inhaled, and let it out slow. “You don’t know him.”

“Oh, but I do.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Writing

The Boyfriend (Part II)

I reached the front of the grocery store and ran outside. Before I could run across and down the aisle to where my car was parked, a hand grabbed my bicep, yanked me back, and spun me around. It was him. He grabbed my other bicep with his other free hand and jolted me with two hard shakes.

“I told you I would find you,” he snarled.

“H-how?” I asked with a shake to my voice I hadn’t intended.

“In my sleep. How do you think? You know what I am capable of.”

“J-Jeff…..I-I. I know. You told me the abilities you have. Th-they scare me. It isn’t that I don’t love you. I do. I…..it makes me uncomfortable. You know…..the things you can do.”

He shook her two more times. “I told you I would never hurt you.”

“Y-yet here you are grabbing my arms and shaking me. AND hurting me. L-let me go.”

“Only if you promise to come with me. If you don’t, I’ll drag you kicking and screaming. You have no choice.”

I reached up with my right hand to push his left arm away from me, but my hand went through it. I froze and stared up at him. He wasn’t there. He was using his ability of astral projection to find me, so he wasn’t there at all. I peered down at his grasp on my arms. How, if he wasn’t here?

“I see you’re learning,” sneered Jeff. “There are things about me I haven’t told you.”

Movement out of the corner of my eyes caught my attention. I glanced to my left then right. A handful of people gathered around and threw scrunched eyebrow looks at me. One lady shook her head and walked away. I asked them, “You all see him right?”

“See who?” asked another woman guiding her child in the opposite direction.

(To Be Continued)