Tag Archives: fiction

The Meeting in the Produce Section

(This story is part of a series. Go here to see a list of all the posts in this series.)

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I awoke with a yell and the bitter taste of bile in my mouth. I fumbled at the cup of water on the nightstand and knocked it over. With a sigh I rolled out of bed, tossed a towel on the spilled water and made my way to the bathroom. I rinsed my mouth with tap water and spit it into the toilet. It was reddish. I flushed.

I splashed water on my face, scrubbed and rinsed. I kept my eyes shut and the water running. I did not want to see if there was blood on my lips too. I blotted my face dry with a towel and tossed the towel halfway between the pile of dirty clothes and the trash. I would decide later whether to trash it or wash it, but I was leaning toward trashing.

I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked like hell. Continue reading


Hands in the Earth

Heavy-lidded, he crawled to the window. Outside, they still waited. Colorless and translucent. Sharp and immobile.

Back in the room, her scent lingered: cherries and tobacco mingling in the air. He breathed it in and the craving for a cigarette was sharp and sudden. It, in turn, made him want her.

Outside now, he breathed in the frozen air and shuddered. They danced around. He dropped to his knees, driven into the shards of pale bitterness by the weight of their gliding. The skin of his knees was pierced a hundred times. He looked down to watch his lapis blood color the shards. They melted as it coated them, revealing steel pins.

He clawed through the shards and found the dirt beneath. It was warm, welcoming. He sunk his bleeding fingers into it and sighed. The earth welcomed his fingers, coaxed them deeper. He pushed at the earth and its resistance became an embrace.

The dancers became frantic. They flew at him. Through him. Each piercing was excruciating, like bitter cold acid inside him. He grasped the earth and pulled himself into it. Maybe he would suffocate in the ground, but even that would be better than the alternative.

The earth drew him within. Still the dancers tried to stop him. Dirt had clogged his mouth and he could not draw breath to cry out. The earth’s pull continued. Roots and rocks shredded his clothes. Then he was falling. He tried to spit out dirt and yell at the same time, but only choked.

Someone caught him. Several someones. He opened his eyes, but could see nothing. Whether blinding by darkness, pain, shock, or dirt he had no idea. He coughed dirt as hands passed him to other hands. He heard and then felt water. Hands and water cleansed him.

Finally he understood. He was safe. He was home.