The Sands of Time

The sunlight streams in through the open window, waking me up three minutes before the alarm went off.  I look over at my sleeping husband, and can’t help but to bask in the warmth of the happy feeling residing in my chest.  We’ve been married for little over a month, but waking up next to him has yet to get old.  Part of me hopes that it never will.  The alarm goes off, causing Clark’s arm to fly out and slam into the offending clock radio until the beeping ends.  “No, dear heart, it’s time to get up,” I say, shaking his shoulder.  Another beautiful Thursday morning.

Once I am sure that he is awake, I slip off into the bathroom.  Partially because I take longer, but mostly because Clark simply isn’t a morning person.  It will be at least fifteen minutes before he is dressed, and another twenty minutes before he needs anything in here.  I beat him to the kitchen, as always, and start a fresh pot of coffee.  I can always guess how bad the night before had been based on how much of the paper I can read before he joins me in the kitchen.  It must have been pretty bad—I make it through all of the local and world news, and half of the sports.

“New case?” I ask, offering him a mug.

“Lord, yes,” he replies, with a weary nod.  He pours a dry bowl of cereal, and pulls the comics page out of the paper.  “Three different missing person cases.  One of the servers in the industrial district went down, and it was utter chaos.  Honestly, we’re lucky to only have three cases.”

“Why would a server crash create a missing person situation?” I ask. (more…)

Maxwell Edison, Werewolf Hunter

Maxwell paced the darkened student med lab, waiting for the DNA results. His prey was a pretty, quizzical biochem major named Joan. She was suspiciously fervid when it came to her studies. There was a good chance she was at the science lab after hours herself. He wasn’t sure what, exactly, she was studying, but he was pretty sure he knew what she was.

The machine dinged and he checked the results. Bingo.

Joan was a werewolf.

He picked up his cell phone and gave her a call. He was actually a little shocked she answered, considering the time.

“Hello, Joan? Max Edison. We have Advanced Biology with Professor Luna together?” He paused while she took a minute to place his name with his face.

“Yes, of course. Hi. I’m glad you called.”

He smiled a predatory smile. He’d spent half the semester manipulating her so that she’d give him her phone number. With his broody good looks and silvered tongue—so to speak—he’d finally won her over, despite her hesitations. He wasn’t one of them, after all, and they rarely dated outside of their pack.

“How would you like to go see a movie with me sometime?”

She giggled and agreed. They picked a day and time.

“Excellent. I’ll pick you up Thursday at nine.” He pretended to jot down her address as she gave it to him. He already knew where she lived.

He already knew everything he needed to know about her. (more…)


“Bernard!” Philip’s voice carried easily across the grungy one bedroom apartment. Bernard knew that tone, knew what it meant, and knew the fear that would be reflected in his eyes would only enrage Philip more.

“You didn’t wind the bloody alarm! Do you want me to lose my job?!” Philip emerged from the bedroom, suspenders hanging loosely from his pants.

“I’m sorry, papa. What can I do?”

“What can you do?” Philip stumbled over an empty bottle. Bernard had a second to duck before the bottle was kicked at his head. “You useless piece of shite!”

Bernard felt a whimper crawl up his throat, and wished he had let the bottle hit him.

“Now I’m going to be even later! What do you have to say for yourself?!” Bernard hugged his knees to his chest as Philip’s kicks seemed to find every sensitive organ.

“Papa?” he whimpered as blood blotted out his vision.

“Stop you’re whining. You have no idea what the real world is like. Your existence should have been ended with a hanger.”

Bernard remained still as his blood dripped slowly onto the floor until he heard the sound of the door slamming. He relaxed and was rewarded with searing pain. Bernard listened to the sounds of human misery as he waited for the strength to get up and clean his blood off the floor. There would be hell to pay if Philip got home and found a bloody mess.

He closed his eyes and listened to babies screaming their hunger to empty rooms, and young children playing with laughs just a little too desperate. The sound of the lock jiggling sent a bolt through him and he attempted to push himself from the floor.

He can’t be back yet! (more…)

June Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

Don’t you love a song that tells a good story?

So do we.

This month, the Confabulators were challenged to write a story based on song lyrics. Let’s see if you can recognize the songs each story is based on!

Here’s the June lineup:

Thursday, June 8: “Mansion” by Anita C. Young
Thursday, June 15: “Maxwell Edison, Werewolf Hunter” by Sara Lundberg
Thursday, June 22: “The Sands of Time” by Neil Siemers
Thursday, June 29: “Black Magic” by Dianne Williams


Arbor Day

Marvin’s war with the squirrels began with the roar of a chainsaw. He stood in his backyard wearing a Budweiser baseball cap, a pair of short shorts, and a farmer’s tan. Red body hair nearly hid a faded “April” tattoo that arched over his round gut. My daughter Tressa watched him front the fence line, as I sweated in to a fresh hole that would soon be home to a young oak tree.

I wiped the sweat from my forehead with the back of my hand and tossed the shovel aside. “Honey, come on back and give me a hand.” Don’t make eye contact with him, I thought. He might come over here.

Tressa wandered back to the hole, weaving across the grass. She seemed to drift rather than walk as her new spring dress swirled in the breeze. “Why does he have the month tattooed on his stomach?”

“I don’t think that is the month, kiddo. It’s a woman’s name.”

“But his wife’s name is Sandy.”

I wasn’t sure where to go from there, so like any good parent, I let the line of questioning vanish. Marvin helped out by cranking up a Jackyl cassette on a beaten-up boom box. He downed a can of beer, crushed it, and then tossed it in a growing pile of aluminum next to his patio door. The King of Beers was lucky to have such a devoted subject. Marvin gunned the chainsaw in time to the music as he laid in to an old maple in the center of his yard. Squirrels fled, leaping from its limbs to a nearby oak or fleeing to the grass to be chased by Red, Marvin’s barking pitbull.

Red snatched a squirrel that had moved too slowly and shook it. Red strutted to Marvin’s side and dropped his prize. Marvin stopped cutting and patted the dog’s head before picking up the squirrel and punting it over our fence. Tressa hurried over to it.

I called after her. “Don’t touch it, Tressa. Squirrels can carry diseases.”

She dropped down to her knees beside the body. “Poor squirrel. He’s a mean man. Why is he cutting down the tree?” (more…)