Responsibility of Blood

Alicia fastened her seat belt and took deep breaths to calm herself as John, her newly wedded husband pulled out onto the highway pushed the speed limit. Instead of heading north to start hiking part of the Appalachian trail, the honeymoon as they’d planned for the past year, they drove south.

She closed her eyes and remembered what her mother had told her so many years ago, “It’s a blessing and a curse.”
Alicia was only nine at the time and didn’t understand. They were sitting together in the back of a police car, speeding to the local emergency room.

“Are you sick?” She asked her mother.

“No, dear,” was the response. She’d heard that before and wanted to believe it was true. She only remembered going with her mother a couple of times, but not since she was six or so, in the afternoon on a weekend, her dad was there then. But this time Dad was away, an engineer advising on a new bridge construction in Brazil. It was 2:00am, and no sitter was available, and it was an emergency. She’d awaken when the phone rang in the hallway. She’d listened as her mother spoke quickly, “Oh, of course … I’ll bring Alicia with me … fifteen minutes, we’ll be ready.”

Alicia wore her heavy coat over her pajamas. Her mother had quickly dressed in sweats.

“You might be able to get some sleep while you wait for me” her mother said as both watched out the window as they passed the emergency vehicles and glimpsed the mangled cars and the over turned semi. The hospital was less than twenty miles away.


Microbe Mike

It was 2 am when I picked up the ringing phone. “We need you again,” said the voice on the other end. They needed me all the time.

I got up from my warm hospital bed, pulled on yesterdays’ scrubs (they weren’t too bad yet), and shuffled down the quarantined half of the hallway. (more…)

February Stories at the Confabulator Cafe

Welcome back, reader. We hope your 2018 has been wonderful so far and that our stories may have the smallest something to do with that.

This month, the Confabulators wrote to a prompt about a phone call: The phone rings. The voice on the other end says, “We need you again,” then hangs up.

We hope you enjoy the tales spun for this prompt. Also, please give a warm welcome to our new guest author Lea Orth! Her debut story will go live on Monday, February 12.

Here’s the rest of the schedule for February!

Monday, February 5: “Microbe Mike” by Emily Mosher
Monday, February 12: “Responsibility of Blood” by Lea Orth
Monday, February 19: “Psychic Call” by Eliza Jaquays
Monday, February 26: “Plausible Coincidences” by Neil Siemers

The Mage

Though I knew I had to steal the key, my conscience still smote me brutally. It wasn’t like it had been my idea after all. The hall was black-dark, but it wasn’t hard to flick open the lock on the tiny box and remove its contents. I could feel everything through my thin gloves, black as the shadows, as if they were a second skin.

The lock snicked shut as I closed the metal box. Ghosting over dark velvet floors, the massive ornate door in view, I was already triumphant. I would get my pay, and he would get his key. The authorities wouldn’t find who’d stolen it; they never did when I was involved.

“Going somewhere?” The chuckle froze me by the door. Light spilled from a slit in the hall panels, an emerald eye peering through it. I stared back through the dark mask across my face. I held my breath, waiting to see what she would do. Not that she knew anything was missing. Yet.


Intergalactic Clown Thief

I realized that I had made a terrible mistake. Well, maybe more than one, if I was being completely honest with myself. I never should have agreed to the parameters of the heist job in the first place. Dress up as a clown, they said. It’ll be an easy score, they said. Well, they can kiss my ass. I hate clowns, for one. Dressing up as one was hell. The face paint felt like shower grout and the wig itched worse than lice.

All that aside, being dressed up as a clown put a giant target on my back for every little kid within a thousand miles. Do kids have clown sonar, or something? Two even followed me to the bathroom when I went to shuck my disguise and crawl through the vents to get to the heavily guarded room with all the jewels.

“I hid a bag of candy back at the party. Look for something red, and you’ll find it.” That made them leave me alone, thankfully. And no, I didn’t feel bad, lying to kids. Not when I was about to rob the damn place.

Ok. Maybe I felt a little bad. I decided to buy them a whole candy store once I robbed the place blind and fenced all the goods. (more…)