Alexandra felt certain that the heat was literally melting her flesh from her bones as she sat in front of the wheezing fan. This summer had been particularly brutal and the weatherwoman predicted no break in the heat on the horizon.
“Seriously, Grandma Jean, can we turn the freaking AC on?” The fan distorted Alexandra’s voice making it all the more pitiful.
“Language, young lady.”
“Freaking isn’t a curse,” she muttered under her breath.
“It’s the intent. And that’s all the more important given our abilities.”
“Yeah, yeah. Like I’m going to start a fire by saying freaking.” She’d heard the speech far too many times in the last year living with her grandmother. “About the AC?”
“I’ve managed to survive living here without air conditioning for a decade, I think you’ll be able to survive your next few years.” Continue reading
“What is life?” She asked the question then threw her hands up in the air. She hated dumb. Stupid. Idiocy. Needy. All of it.
“What now?” Cameryn peered over the top of her phone and stared. “Jericho? What?”
But Jericho was lost again, spinning her hands around and had no idea she was doing it.
Its not that she was evil. Well, not totally. She felt great guilt if a heart was broken and it was her fault. Mark Stinson. Now she dumped him in a shameful manner – text message. Two years ago and she still felt very embarrassed about it. Cody Reese. She told him she loved him, then later that night found herself saying the same thing to another boy, the name slipping her mind right now and that is why she felt such shame. She did the right thing, and told Cody she was not ready for the commitment and that she was terrified of her own words. No, she did not mention the cheating aspect, but details are not needed when guilt is genuine.
But the others, now they were not her fault. Continue reading
The dew of the early morning soaked the chenille corpse beside her. Polyester stuffing drifted down the alley in the wind. Izzie squatted and considered the remnants. It was a clean kill. She’d cut the belly open from stem to neck and severed the head from the teddy bear, just to be sure. She didn’t want the poor bastard waking up still alive. She wasn’t that kind of monster.
Moonset wouldn’t come along for another ten minutes. She was patient. She could wait.
She ran her knife along the plastic charms on her bracelet, making them swing. It was a cheap thing she’d bought on a whim from one of those kitschy places made for teens in the mall. She was way too old to be in there without a child accompanying her, but she couldn’t pass it up. Three little teddy bears dangled from it: two brown and one pink. Three down. She hunted a fourth now. Continue reading
The black S shaped mark on her arm gleamed like obsidian as she ran water over her hands. Mienka put the last dish away and sighed, drying her hands as she turned away from the sink. Vailan watched her from the table, his chubby baby face breaking into a smile as she walked over and picked him up. She smiled back as she smoothed a hand over his brown hair and held her baby close, her heart light and full as she looked at him.
* * *
Each charm was different. To anyone else, they would have looked like pieces of junk, most of them. A broken piece of stained glass, a tiny wreath-shaped coil of wire, a shell, a few pieces of different colored rocks, some beads, even a couple chips of bone. They all hung, clustered closely together, from a loop of braided fabric around her wrist. Despite their oddness, to Mienka they meant far more than any bought jewel could.
She added a charm to her bracelet for every life she took. Her fellow officers thought her obsession with keeping a memorial to each life she ended strange, considering her specific line of work. She had already been working in the police force for many years, but about seven years ago she had taken a sudden interest in magickers, and had become the town’s leading specialist on their habits and control.
They are pretty, aren’t they? This bracelet is my very favorite thing. It has taken a long time to collect these charms. Each one is a very special memory of someone very dear to me. Everyone deserves to be remembered, don’t they? Especially beloved friends.
Do you see these baby shoes? They’re not for a baby. But she loved babies. Any time a friend had a baby she would be there, holding the wee thing, playing with it, entreating its smiles. She and her husband fixed up their nursery as soon as they were married, and then they waited. It was only a matter of time, she thought, until they filled that nursery with babies of their own.
When the doctors finally told her, she was devastated. Her husband found her in the rocking chair, a receiving blanket in her lap.
This Christmas star. He had everything a man like him could possibly want. The important job, the lovely wife, the kids so accomplished at school and in sports. They lived the picture perfect life. Continue reading