Photo by Sue Vincent
“Why do I feel like I’m being watched?” Gordon asked.
The question was meant to be rhetorical, but Bud pointed across the still water and said, “There.”
“What?” Gordon tried to follow Bud’s finger. All he saw was an old stone bridge.
“Can’t you see it?” Bud asked. “The reflection of the arches looks like a set of eyes watching us. You see it in your peripheral vision and…” He shrugged.
Gordon shook his head and got back to work. Bud was a strange one, a bit of an anomaly. Gordon smiled at himself. “Anomaly” was just the type of word Bud would use.
Bud left as Gordon continued to dig. Gordon knew what Bud was doing, so didn’t think anything of it. This was a routine they’d done a thousand times before. Continue reading
Our captors entered the musty basement room in their makeshift headquarters. Even before they turned on the light, I knew that all eight of the soldiers still on the premises and the commander where in the room. I guessed they were moving us again.
A big guy came over and undid our leg restraints, one at a time. There were only four of us and in total nine of them, but they kept their rifles pointed at us. I smiled inwardly. The reputation of our unit made them nervous. Nervous guards are easier to overcome. I was sure that the commander knew that the only reason he had captured the four of us was we were taken unarmed and off guard.
We were led up the stairs and into a small room. The soldiers spread out so that there was one in each corner and one in the middle of each wall. They kept their guns at the ready. Continue reading
“Give it up, Ray. We’ve looked at this a million times. We see him entering.” Jorge pointed to a figure on a screen. “It matches perfectly. We’re even sure that he has the gun. This is the assassin. We’re sure. But he never left. I think he got through the electrical closet and used the utility tunnel. He had to have a key, so an employee. A maintenance worker, perhaps?”
Ray stayed glued to the screen showing more security video. “Stop,” he said. “Him. Right there.” He pointed to a man on the screen. “He never entered the building.”
“Oh, come on,” Jorge said. “This guy is a good three inches shorter than the perp. Different hair. No mustache. Walking different. It’s all wrong.” Continue reading
Photo by Sue Vincent
I crested a small ridge and the countryside became familiar. It wasn’t anything that could be seen, not any feature or landmark, it had to do with the scent of the air, the feel under my feet and the quality of the sunlight. I inhaled deeply and knew that I was almost home.
I was but a child when I was ripped from my parents’ arms and given an unbalanced spear and loose fitting leather cap. I was told to kill or be killed, that king and country depended on me and my fellow farm hands that were rounded up to be shipped to distant lands to fight for noble arguments none of us understood. Continue reading
Photo by Sue Vincent
After working with the raw materials of life in the charnel houses, I discovered that there was more to the state of being alive than the simple physical constructs of bones, tissue and organ. However, try as I might, I could not place it. Modern science had not given me the secret and my instruments did not give me the power to look deeply enough to discover this secret.
It may seem obvious to the normal person that once a spark of life is created from a seed, be it the seed of a vegetable or the seed of an animal, the growth of that life is somehow predestine. Each and every one is unique and it is impossible to mix and match between species, let alone members within a given species. What is this germ of an idea that makes each life and individual? I am a man of science and say it must exist in the structure of the matter, not just a God-given trait. There has to be a scientific explanation for how this process works.
Yet science failed me. Continue reading
Shore – Photo by Sue Vincent
I looked at the faces around the dinner table. There wasn’t a spark amongst them, they all looked tired and about ready to fall down on the spot. It had been rough going and the future didn’t look any easier.
That was it. Something had to be done to keep everyone upright. After dinner I sat and thought about it.
It was obvious that we as a family were unstable and likely to collapse, and that we as individuals were almost as bad. I knew that I was pretty close to that point where the gravity of the situation might take over. I needed something to hold myself together, to prop me up. I knew that if I was stable, it would be the first step in keeping us all upright. One solid beam could do it.
But how do you fix the foundations of a person and a family? Continue reading
Tortor was a warrior and understood how the world worked. He shook his head as he looked around the earthworks and the stones. He approached the man who was obviously in charge.
“Hey you, what’s your name?”
The man slowly turned and studied Tortor as if he were an insect.
“They call me Tim, Tim the Enchanter. What do you want, Tortor the Stonehead?”
Tortor’s mouth dropped. It wasn’t just the insult, but he had no idea how the man knew his name. Regaining control, he tried to drill holes into Tim the Enchanter with his eyes. Failing that he said, “Look here, Tim, I know a thing or two about defense. The ditch needs to be on the outside of the earthwork, not the inside. What good is this going to do when the defenders can’t reach the wall and the attackers will just climb right over it as if they are out for a Sunny-day picnic?” Continue reading
Consciousness slowly flowed into Seb, like the tide over the sand flats. Nothing is there, and then you notice the waves coming closer. Eventually the water is at your feet. Seb noticed the glow long before he became aware that he was awake. Hearing and feeling, like his consciousness, faded in a bit at a time. First it was a numbness that admitted “numb” was not necessarily “nothing”. It slowly grew to cold and pain, while the slight ringing in his ear grew to a ringing roar.
In the back of the roar Seb could hear the continuing battle. He could feel the ground shake from the concussions.
“But Mother,” Seb said, “You always say things like that. You call me special, and yet every child of every mother is special. If we are all special, then none of us are.”
“Ah, but to a mother they are all special,” she said. “And you are. You, Seb, are extraordinary.”
“No, I am a nothing, a nobody, like everybody else.”
Seb thought back. He tried to understand how he ended up face down in the cold field. Continue reading
Iz frowned at Ty. He was hunched over the steering wheel, grimacing and gritting his teeth. It was bad, very bad.
“Look honey,” she said, “it was only a game.”
“Only a game?!”, he said. “It was the Super Bowl and we lost.”
“You make it sound like it was you playing instead of the employees of a franchise of a multibillion dollar corporation that…” Ty’s glance told her that he was in no mood. She faced forward while he watched the road. There had to be a way to reach him, if only she could figure it out. Continue reading
He stood watching out of the front window, his mind blank. He didn’t know how long he had been staring when he came back to himself.
“What am I doing here?” he said to himself.
He thought about her, about the argument. She’d been missing since the afternoon before. The last thing he could remember was that she’d come home from work and they’d argued. His memories were hazy but he knew she must have left in a temper. At the very least she wasn’t around all afternoon and still hadn’t returned. She’d be back, though, he knew she would. Watching out of the window wouldn’t help, the watched pot effect and all. She was most likely at work anyway, given the time of day. Continue reading