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They Took Everything—Except One Odd Thing

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts.

There’s been a break-in at your apartment. The robbers took everything—your couch, your clothes, your toilet paper—except for one odd item that they left right in the middle of your living room. This item, though meaningless to the police, is a clue that you recognize and it will lead you to the culprits.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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168 Responses to They Took Everything—Except One Odd Thing

  1. nelleg says:

    The Lost Manuscript

    One afternoon Lisa gets a call from her landlord telling her that her apartment had been broke into and the police had already been notified. Lisa quickly leaves work horrified at the thought of strangers going through her most intimate stuff. She arrives shortly after the police. As Lisa walks up she is greeted by a tall police officer with brown hair, cut military style and beautiful green eyes.

    “Hello ma’am. Are you Lisa Dunway?” He says in a wonderfully yummy voice.

    “Yes.” Lisa squeaks out.

    “I’m afraid I have some bad news, the robbers have completely cleaned you out except for one item ma’am.” Oh that voice, Lisa had a hard time even focusing on what was going on.

    When she was able to come back to reality she asked “What was it?”

    “This ma’am.” The Lisa could see how tone his arms were as he handed her a small notebook

    All of a sudden Lisa turn ghost white as stared at the little red notebook. How could this be? What was going on? Am I in a weird dream or something? Thoughts raced through Lisa’s head but nothing made sense.

    “Are you okay ma’am? You do recognize this don’t you?” The heavenly masculine voice snaps her back

    “Uh, Yeah. I recognize it, it’s just…” Lisa stops. She doesn’t even know what to say next.

    “What is it Lisa?” Oh how nice it is to hear her name come from such incredible lips.

    “I haven’t seen this since I was eleven. It is a silly little story I wrote called The Crouton Kid. I was going to turn it in as an assignment for English class when it was stolen out of my locker.” Lisa felt the redness in her cheeks as the embarrassment filled her.

    “Do you know who took it?”

    “No, everyone thought I was making it up as an excuse for not having my assignment.”

    “Well hopefully we can use it as a clue to figure out who did this. Is there a place you can stay? They really did a number on your door; I don’t recommend you stay here.”

    “Yeah, my friend Marcy will let me stay with her.”

    “If you can think of anything you let me know. My name is Scott Goodwell, here is my card.”

    “Thank you Officer Goodwell.”

    “Please call me Scott. Let me walk you to your car.”

    “Sure, Scott”

    “The Crouton Kid?” questioned the officer with a smile. “You like salads?”

    “I guess.” Lisa said with a shrug

    “Well I was just wandering if you would like to get one with me for lunch tomorrow? We could discuss the break in.”

    “Okay.” Lisa said while still wondering if this all must still be a dream.

  2. bubblywriter says:

    “Ohh Dani, I just LOVE him. Michael is the sweetest guy ever.” sighed my best friend Carly, standing next to me, as she threw her head back, and close her eyes; a huge smile on her face.
    I turned to look at her, and when her eyes opened and she saw my face, her expression changed dramatically. Her lips fell from a smile into a slight frown. Her eyes widened with concern, and her laugh lines were no longer visible.
    My face, I knew, was red. My normally blue eyes were red and puffy, and I had tears falling out of them. Mascara was probably streaking my face with tiger-like stripes.
    “Dani.” Her tone had changed, her voice was now softer, lighter. “What’s wrong?”
    “I-I don’t…nothing. I-it’s nothing.” I said.
    “Dani. Tell me.” She came closer.
    “Nothing, Carly. I’m just…it’s just…my allergies. There’s a lot of pollen out here.”
    “A lot of pollen my ass!” She shrieked. She came even closer, now I could smell her strawberry hand sanitizer, which she used religiously and carried three mini bottles of everywhere. “Danielle Grace Kennedy, what is wrong?”
    She wasn’t going to give up. “Michael…” I began slowly.
    “Michael what? Spit it out!”
    “I slept with him.” I blurted.
    “What?” she spat, standing back.
    “I’m sorry Carly. It’s just…last night…when you left, he and I were alone and I’d never even met him, so I thought a couple drinks would make it less awkward. One thing led to another, and…well.” She just looked at me. That’s it. She stood there glaring at me for what felt like an eternity, and then she turned around and walked away.
    I thought about running after her, but decided against it. She needed time to be alone. She’d probably be over it by tomorrow, like she’d gotten over every other relationship that had ended in disaster.

    ***
    The next morning, I went to the mall. I was having lunch when I got a call from a blocked number.
    “Hello?” I said through a mouthful of lettuce.
    “Danielle Kennedy?” I heard a male’s voice ask.
    “Yes. Who’s this?”
    “Officer Clark from the NYPD. We are in your home right now, and there has been a burglary.”
    “What?”
    “It seems they have taken everything. All your furniture, all your clothes, even your fridge is empty. The fridge seems to be the only thing that was left here. Except, the thief did leave one thing, in the middle of your living room, but it doesn’t seem of much importance.”
    “Well, what is it?”
    The phone vibrated, and I looked down. It was a text. From Carly. It said, “Hiding a spare key under the Welcome mat? You basically invited me in.”
    “A mini bottle of strawberry scented hand sanitizer.” Officer Clark laughed, “It smells pretty good.”

  3. Miss Alex says:

    “What is this?” asked the cop named Dick. Of course right? Bald head, badge hanging from a chain around his neck, bulge the size of my leg protruding from his trousers. Dick… perfect. He was a you know he’s a cop when you seem him kind of guy. It’s a goddamned letter Dick. What in the hell do you think it is? My six thousand dollar TV? No. My German shepherd? No. My fucking manuscript? No. It’s that letter that I have been avoiding for weeks. Her letter. And now I wanted to read it, but it was in Officer Dick’s hands now. She wanted this to happen because I wouldn’t deal with it. I wouldn’t deal with her.
    “A letter, nothing important. Obviously it is my last possession Mr. Dick.” He started to hand the pink folded up piece of paper over to me and then jerked it back with a wry smile. It was the sarcasm, he was getting ready to hand me the letter, but I had to open my mouth. What did she have to say? I didn’t know. I had gotten drunk instead, shoving it between the couch cushions, night after night, putting it off until later. I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction. She was going to make sure I read it. Wanted to make sure I dealt with the problem at hand. I went for a beer and then remembered that I didn’t have a refrigerator. That bitch.
    “Dear Jack. That’s your name right?” I had to deal with her now. Right now. No beer to hide behind and no dog to bicker with. God I loved that dog. And now here’s Dick, standing in front of me with the letter.
    “So that’s how it is Pauline? You going to take everything from me so all that I have is your fucking letter? Way to go Pauline. Nice work. Good job you crazy bitch.” Officer Dick raised his eyebrows obviously passing judgment and shook his big head. He returned his eyes to the letter.
    “Dear Jack: I know you killed Fran. I just want to be with you Jack. If you come to me now, I will let it all go. I want you to love me Jack (like I love you). I want to be with you. I want to be your wife, your lover, your friend. I can be better than my sister was. Please Jack don’t make me do it. Come to me and let me love you. P.S. I got that knife you used to slice my sister up with in my safe with your bloody fingerprints and her DNA. So what is it Jack? What will it be? Love, Pauline.”
    It was worse than I thought. She’s got me. Got me real good.
    “I didn’t even know she had a sister.”

  4. clillianjohn says:

    Fallen leaves prance along the pavement in a victory dance, unaware that the price of their freedom was death. The warm autumn breeze caresses them, moves them along in front of my car as lemmings to the ocean, not knowing what is ahead but knowing it is their destiny. We all exist now and anticipate the next minute, but life gets in the way and we readjust, turn that corner, take a different path.

    Yesterday morning I left for work in the usual rush, coffee sloshing all over the place because I didn’t secure the lid, me not minding because I had run out of creamer anyway and would freeload on the coffee at work.

    The day passes as always, conference calls, interviews, last minute meetings, dressing downs, pep talks, and lunch somewhere in between. Human Resources is a fancy term for “WTF is going on in your department.” Eventually the turmoil ends, and I head home.

    Pulling into my driveway I remain in the car. Slightly ajar, the front door welcomes any being, human or animal, into my safety net. Narrowing my eyes, I consider the possibility that I did not lock up. But my doors are locked 24/7, whether I am home or not. Other people in this neighborhood do not bother, but they do not live in fear.

    Breathing again without realizing I had stopped, I carefully approach. I know who might be in there. If it is who I think it is, he brings my death, but not without a fight.

    At the threshold I pause. This may actually be a plain old robbery. Relieved, I note the missing front hall table first and push the door open wider to see nothing. They even vacuumed.

    I race around, checking every room, laughing hysterically. No bed, no sheets, no cat box, no cat, floor shined, toilet sparkling but no toilet paper, floorboards dusted, even the paper clips I left on the kitchen window are gone. Clean. Fresh. Fresh start.

    If he found me, then the other will find me soon too, so time is short. Fifteen years have passed, and I never dared write down the code but meticulously reviewed it with every coin that passed my palm. Beginning around the circumference of each room, I run my hand between the carpet and the floorboard upstairs. Nothing. Twenty minutes later desperation in the way of perspiration is pouring out of my skin.

    Flipping the switch illuminates the living room to my great joy, never so grateful for a light bulb. And then I see it. A tiny plastic brown piece of a toy. No children live here, no children visit. This is it, clever man. I was expecting a penny, nickel, or dime.

    Grabbing the Lincoln log I race to the car.

    Dawn pushes through the darkness in the Missouri early morning. I have driven all night, and contemplated the possibility that death will be waiting for me at the end.

    But for now, I am free.

  5. bugaboo2 says:

    “Come on Sadie, you know you want to!”

    Carol’s voice filtered through the phone line. She was a sweet girl, but when she got an idea stuck in her head she could be more annoying than a barking chihuahua. Sadie pursed her lips together to keep from lashing out at her friend whom she knew meant well. Sadie tried to gather her thoughts as she searched for her apartment keys in the bottom of her purse.

    “Of course I would like to go, Carol. Who wouldn’t want to just drop everything in their life and live somewhere exotic for a year, while getting paid just to teach people English? There are way too many things going on in my life right now. I cannot just up and leave everything. I have more responsibilities than that.” Sighing, Sadie managed to get the door open and go into her home. She had a long day at work and was ready to go to bed early.

    “Name them.”

    Sadie actually looked at the phone, and then put it back at her ear. “Name what?”

    “Name them,” Carol said again. Her voice was startlingly quiet, very unusual for her. “Name all of your responsibilities that are keeping you from going with me to China.”

    “Fine. Number one is my job. You know that place I go so they can pay me so I can pay my bills? Number two are my bills, which I seem to have entirely too many of for just one person. All of my family lives on the other side of the country so I guess the only other things would be my apartment and all of my stuff in it. Why?” Even though she answered the question she was now really confused about how Carol had asked it.

    “Just wondering!”

    Just like that Carol was back to her regular, annoyingly chipper self. Sadie wondered if her friend had bipolar disorder. She finally got Carol off the phone and settled in for the night.

    The next night Sadie was slowly sipping her mocha inside the closest fast food restaurant to her house after filing paperwork with the police. Yesterday everything seemed so good! In just 24 hours she had lost her job, lost her apartment, and to top it off everything was stolen out of the apartment before she got home. Everything! The weirdoes even took everything out of the bathroom! All that was left when the police came were the chopsticks she had from last week’s Chinese takeout. They were left on the floor in the living room, and she was spinning them around mindlessly as she tried to figure out what to do. Her phone vibrated on the table and startled her back into reality.

    “Hello?”

    “Hey, Sadie! It’s Carol. Are you ready to go to China now, or are there more responsibilities you have to take care of?”

  6. Paint Words says:

    He stands there, and a salty tear drop falls from his eye hitting the coffee table making a splash. That only he could hear. A cool breeze hits him coming from the smashed window where the robbers made their entry. Shivering from the breeze he noticed something glaring from the sunrays the shined through the split glass. He looked down at the coffee table to see the picture of his daughter that had recently passed, and his daughter was pointing in this picture with a huge smile. He looked in the direction that beautiful arm was pointing. It pointed to his old run downed desktop. He thought to himself as he laughed. Who would want to steal this old thing, it’s not worth anything.
    He turned on his desktop, and it took forever to start up. Finally, he’s able to log on. It’s been forever since he’s been on this old desktop. He notices a shortcut icon, and under it says For My Daddy.
    He starts to cry, and another tear drops from his eye. This time falling down his shirt then onto the letter T on the keyboard, and the impact of the tear cleared some of the dust that was built up on that key.
    He clicks that icon, and the first thing he sees is the words I Love You Daddy. Then the video starts to play. It’s his daughter and him outside in the front yard throwing around a soft ball. If someone was standing behind him, they would see the huge smile of his glaring off the computer screen.
    He keeps watching the video, and it’s his daughter all dressed up for her dance recital. She asks him, daddy to a look pretty. He responds by saying, no baby you look beautiful. She also mentions to him, daddy thanks for being there with me through my cancer. He says, baby girl I would never leave your side.
    The video finally comes to the end. Then some more words pop up. They say, Daddy Thank You for Everything. I Made This Video To Show All The Wonderful Memories We Had.
    He turns his head looking out the window that is broken. Looking at that tire swing as it swings in the wind. He screams out Oh Missouri it wasn’t supposed to be like this honey. You had your cancer beat, and there was nothing going to stop you from your dreams of becoming a Doctor. He looks back at his desktop and leans over to turn it off from the back, and as he does this he smells the lotion that she would wear. He smiles brightly.
    Then in an instant a flash overcomes him. They’re both in the car, and he’s holding her. Repeatedly telling her I will never leave your side, I will never leave your side.
    He comes back to reality, and punches the computer screen. Screams out, she overcame cancer god, but why did that dumb man have to drink that day.

  7. Stumpo's Daughter says:

    Charlie lay on the bare floor with only his white, cotton boxers to cover the little dignity he had left.

    “Thank God” he smirked, thinking of how humiliating it would be to have to sneak into his neighbor Jim’s house to borrow a pair of underwear.

    The afternoon sun glared through the window illuminating the emptiness and his headache. He sat up in the middle of the room and scratched himself. His head was pounding but he considered it doubtful that he’d find any pain-killers.

    As the blood rushed to his head, he looked around the measly apartment.

    “Without all the crap it actually looks decent”, he thought for a second. “Someone could really turn this into a nice home someday.”

    Charlie pushed himself up off the floor and made his way to the toilet, hoping that someone hadn’t managed to rip that out of the ground as well.

    As he stretched his aching body, he noticed the mirror Angie bought at the flea market was still in the same place. There was something written on his forehead. He looked at his reflection closer and smiled.

    “Screw you.”

  8. SodaCityWriter says:

    I walked up to my house and immediately got a bad feeling, eyeing the outside to see if I saw anything out of the ordinary. As I went up the steps to my townhouse, I saw my neighbor Ms. Walters peering from behind her lace curtains. I went to wave and she quickly closed the curtains, obviously hoping that I had not seen her. This confirmed the feeling I had, which made my stomach plummet.

    I unlocked the front door and turned on the hallway light. The bench where I laid my coats was gone, the small glass table where I’d put my purse and keys had vanished, and the round, lavender rug my mother had purchased when I first moved in had disappeared. I walked towards my living room listening to the echo of my footsteps moving across the wood floors and the only thing left was a small, pink envelope sitting in the center of the room. This validated what I had already known; I would not be able to live in any peace or comfort as long as I had her. I rubbed my stomach and the tears welled up in my eyes. There was no use in crying. This was just the way that it had to be.

    I opened the envelope that had the seal of The Center in red wax. There was a light pink card that said “She belongs with us”. I threw the card down and slumped onto the floor. I had hoped that I wouldn’t be found but that’s what I get for wishful thinking. I pulled my cell phone out of my purse and dialed Dr. Thompson. He quickly answered and whispered calmly, “Hello Sophie”. I could tell by the sound of his voice that he had probably gone through the same thing earlier in the day and was now at The Center. “Dr. Thompson, I really do appreciate everything that you have done for me”, as I tried not to sob, “but I really do not want to do this”. There were a few moments of silence on the other end. “I understand Sophie. I have tried to help so many people in your situation but there is nothing left for me to do. They have confiscated all of my files and that’s how they found you and others”. As he let out a long sigh, I could hear women sobbing and I knew that would be my fate. “Well, I’m going to hang up now”.

    I hung up my cell phone and pulled out a small picture of my mother. I do not think I would ever know how she did not end up at The Center herself. I wiped away more tears and grabbed a peppermint in hopes that it would settle my stomach. As I went to put the empty wrapper in my purse, I could see headlights through the living room window and I braced myself for what was next. I had met my fate.

  9. Laycrew says:

    I looked at the mail as I absentmindedly opened the front door to my house, I flipped the light switch on, but nothing happened. My jaw dropped to the floor. I froze as the blood drained from my arms and legs when I saw that everything was gone, the fish tank, the piano, the furniture, gone. I searched through every room to find nothing, nothing at all. Who could have done this? And how did they do it so fast? It would have taken me days, with lots of people, to empty the place.

    As I walked across the hardwood floors, the flipping and flopping of my flip flops echoed off the walls. Everything was gone, all the junk in the garage, even the dogs, I sank to the floor in disbelief.

    That is when I saw it, the plastic spoon, near the front door. Angered swelled inside me when I saw the plastic spoon that had been my torment for the past week. The spoon game was what it was called. I nearly had several heart attacks over the course of the week because of episodes of the spoon game. When I dropped a boy off at his home, I was scared to death when kids with spoons jumped out of a truck in the dark to tag him. The poor kid never had a chance as he ran around a building and back to his house only to be cornered and lost.

    Boys with spoons had stalked my daughter the next day outside the house and she locked us all in. Later she ran all the way home when they waited for her down the street. The next day they were out of the game and that was when the real torment began. The new boy with the spoon nearly got her out but she escaped by telling him she had to use the bathroom. Then the paranoia all over again, locking us in the house once more because all he needed to do was touch her with that spoon and say her whole name to win the game. While I picked her up from band practice the other night, I was sure he was crazy when he jumped on the hood of my car as he pressed the spoon on the windshield trying to convince her that it counted while we held up traffic in the parking lot. All the cars behind me started to honk when he gave up. He said it wasn’t over yet.

    But this, he had gone too far to win the spoon game. Taking everything from my house to win a game, it was too much. The teacher who started this game was about to hear from me. I would see to it that the boy and the teacher replace every last item, every last fish, to its rightful place. Because of this, I would make sure my daughter won that blasted game. And maybe we should start locking the front door.

  10. BleuVenom says:

    He closes his eyes at the sight before him. David now realizes how much trouble he’s in. Unfortunately, he didn’t care one bit. His arrogance wouldn’t allow him to feel sorry for himself while its twin ego refuses to show any sign of remorse.
    David walks the thick plush midnight blue carpeting into each of the three bedrooms. One he used as an office where he hacked into people’s banking accounts. Where his desk sat, the pile of carpeting was higher.
    The second room, a playroom for the man-child, was full of video game systems and two futons where he hosted friends when something new came out. They would have showdowns until sun up. Where he placed the futons were the only spots the nape of the carpet stood up in an otherwise heavy traffic area. This room now lay bare.
    The master bedroom, he entertained his love du jour or someone else’s was now a ghost of his sordid past. He had one heck of a time getting the parts to his oversized king bed into this room. A big square patch of smoothness replaces the area of his bed. Nothing but emptiness resides here now, perhaps like him.
    After checking every room, closet, cabinet and drawer, David came to the same conclusion. He was stripped of everything. His self-proclaimed title: The King of Fun came to an abrupt end.
    Looking around closely now, he notices the square shadows on the walls. The small nail holes he’d fill in when he moved out in order to get his full security deposit back. The sofa and lamp impressions left reminders too.
    He burst into laughter. “You bastards! You could’ve at least wiped the place clean!” In all his observing, he noticed everything that wasn’t there but not what was there now.
    A white business envelope glows from the carpet. He walks over until the paper lies between his expensive shoes. He looks perplexed. He crouches to retrieve the faced down intruder. He flips it over. Immediately, he knew what happened. He stood up quick and angry. He was about to rip the envelope.
    “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a voice warns.
    Before David could turn around, the voice is at the back of his head.
    “I didn’t hear you come in,” David’s breath catches.
    “Of course you didn’t. It’s the carpeting.” The suited man said.
    “What do you want?” David asks.
    “In all of your arrogance, you have the nerve to pretend you don’t know why I’m here. You have to know that sooner or later we’d catch up to you. It didn’t matter how many times you moved, we would find you. We will always find you. The debt is always paid”
    He remains behind David.
    David carefully reaches into his pocket and turns around slowly.
    “Will you take a check?”
    “Are the funds readily available?”
    David sighs: “yeah.”
    “Before we do this, I must remind you that this is an attempt to collect a debt.”

  11. radioPanic says:

    This was a lot of fun, and a unique take on the prompt. Especially liked that the main character didn’t immediately know what the ‘one odd item’ even meant. Also, I’m a bit of a dialogue fanatic, and yours has a very natural, realistic flow.

  12. brandongd says:

    As I hung up the phone and scanned the area outfront of my house I noticed how quiet it had been in my neighbourhood. Almost a perfect night for a robbery it seemed. I stepped back into my home and started to take inventory of my belongings.This particular situation would typically call for a drink, but seeing my liqour cabinet has been cleaned out I would have to pass on that thought. As I proceeded up the stairs to see what damage had been done I thumbed my husbands office number into the cordless phone. But befor he could answer I caught glimpse of somthing laying in the middle of my living room floor. Something that dident belong to me. Something I had never seen before… As I found myself standing over the foreign object, I went down on one knee to investigate a bit closer.. I picked it up between my index finger and thumb and held it up to the light. A key. But not just any key. It was one of those specialty keys cut to resemble the shape of a teddy bear. “Hmmm seems odd. A burgaler that has a soft spot for teddy bears and 30 year old cognac? That should narrow it down.” Also the inscription G.L on the side of the key. “Who is this G.L” she asked herself. As she processed her discovery she heard a voice. “Hello? Hello? Hunny are you there?”…

  13. JR MacBeth says:

    “Mr. Raines, I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. Who takes old bars of soap, and rolls of toilet paper?”

    “So — what am I’m going to do? Officer? An empty apartment…Shit! I’ve got nothing!”

    “Well, not quite nothing. You got that odd ring. I don’t want to sound insensitive, but, are you absolutely sure that doesn’t mean something to you?”

    “I’m sure. It’s obviously not valuable. I got it when I was a kid.”

    “Okay.  Well, you hang in there.  We’ll be interviewing the neighbors, hopefully someone saw something. We’ll let you know.”

    “Thanks. Oh, and might as well call my cell, seeing as I have no phone here now. Plus, I’ll be down at Maloney’s. Do me a favor and try not to arrest me if I should stagger back here drunk.”

    “Like I say, hang in there buddy. We’ll come up with something.”

    —————-

    “Holy crap, Elizabeth? You must be slumming it, down here in a place like this. Been a long time…”

    “Too long, Jim.”

    “You alone?”

    “Sort of,” she said, stirring her drink. “I was expecting my date, but he just called. He’s got a work emergency. Again. Now he says he’ll meet me at my apartment…”

    “Sounds serious.”

    “Yeah. No! I mean, at my age, I guess I just try to make things work…”

    “You’re a friggin’ psychologist Liz. Where’d you meet this guy? On the couch?”

    “Interesting..You jealous?”

    “Fuck no! Listen, I just got robbed! The bastards took everything, and I mean everything. Well, except this.”

    “The ring! Let me see.”

    “What do you mean ‘the ring’?” He handed it to her.

    “You don’t remember, do you?”

    “What are you talking about?”

    “Well, maybe you don’t remember. We worked for almost a year, hypnotic regression. We probably should have kept going…”

    “Well, my divorce got in the way, if you recall, and even though you gave me some freebies for a while, even you got tired of me.”

    “That’s not true Jim! Shit…I shouldn’t have come down here anyway…”

    “Stop. Liz? I’m sorry! Hey, can we just forget about, well, everything? For a while? I’ve got an empty apartment around the corner. Ever do it on carpet?”

    “You’re friggin’ crazy!”

    “Ouch! Coming from you, that hurts.” They both laughed.

    “Here’s your Star Ring. Let’s go check out your carpet.”

    The kiss they shared was electric. Within minutes they were back at Jim’s apartment.

    “Holy shit…” Liz looked around, emptiness everywhere. Now she knew.

    “Key word Jim…gotta say it. Ready? Skyfriends…”

    “Sky friends?” Jim blinked. He was remembering now.

    “The ring,” she said, “it was the sign.”

    It all came back, just like that. His abductions, the promise.

    “Liz…this means…”

    “Yeah, they’re back. Maybe the end really is here…”

    “And you believed me?”

    “In a way, yeah. I just know that the things you said changed me. I’ve never been the same. Even now, why do you think I’m here?”

    “Damn. So they’re coming then? Tonight? 12/21…Guess it makes sense.”

    “I’m supposed to go with you. They’ve already packed for us…”

    “You too? Robbed?”

    “Shh,” her soft finger to his lips, “For now, let’s just…wait. Together.”

  14. rapidbutterly says:

    Evy hadnt thought of him in years. He had faded into the darkest recesses of her memory and became nothing but a bad dream yet there she was standing in the middle of her empty apartment with his name on her lips. He had taken everything from her, everything she had built for herself was gone. All except a small silver statue of a fairy she had gotten as a birthday present a life time ago.
    Like always he had gotten his point across without so much as a word. She had nothing, would be nothing without him he would make sure of it. The fairy lay on her bedroom window, beautiful and taunting. Her shattered blue irridesent wings sparkled from the light of the street lamp that stood outside her bedroom window.
    Evy picked the fairy up tracing its delicate features with her finger, its smooth metal so familiar in her hands. She smiled cold and humorless, remembering the last time she had seen her husband. The small statue had been in her hands that night. They had been fighting, his jealousy had gotten the best of him. Instead of a few slaps and his usual ” I do it because I love you” routine he had thrown her into their dresser. She had lain on the floor, the small fairy besides her, her solem face pitting Evy.
    She flung the statue at his head. Evy never had good aim, she missed her mark instead hitting the guitar collection encased above his head, the guitars cascaded down, Evy ran. She headed out the front door grabbng her car keys and wallet on the way out. She had driven only a few minutes before she realized how useless her escape attempt had been. They had moved miles from her family and she had no money, her husband was the only one who knew the pin to her debt card.
    Frustration took over, tears welled in her eyes, her vision blurred and before she knew it she had skidded off the road into a bank of trees. She had met Conner that night, he had pulled he out of the wreck that had once been her car. Conner had been off duty, a cop had come to her rescue. He helped her fake her death and go into hiding. It had taken so much to get away from him and now he had found her. Evy’s husband had come to bring her home.
    Evy placed the fair back on the window. She had done enough reminising for one night, it was time for her to go. She dug her cell phone out of her pocket as she walked out the door. The voice on the other end sounded urgent
    ” what happened?”.
    “He found me Conner, i dont know how but he did.” Evy rounded the corner of the block colliding with a tall slender man. She stared up at his face terrified
    “Conner…”
    “No baby its me, I missed you”

  15. TD_Memm says:

    The light bulbs were overlooked. I found that when I flicked the switch and the fixture illuminated my hovel of an apartment. Empty. Thank God for the lights but there was nothing to shine on. Dirty carpet was the only thing staring back at me. Outlines of where my ragged furniture used to sit were etched like chalk outlines.

    I rubbed my eyes from fatigue throughout the night, but now it was to be sure I was seeing what was (or wasn’t) there. What did I do? Call the cops? Theft in this neighborhood was a daily occurrence. I was one of the lucky ones for not having my apartment broken into that whole first month of living there. What would the police do for me? No, this emptiness was in collaboration and fit perfectly with the general and distinct downturn my life was experiencing. I lost my job. I lost my house. My lost my girl. Now I lost my furniture. Except I didn’t lose it, it was taken. Who would want my furniture? A sunken and ripped couch, a tube television and a broken recliner; what a haul.

    The bedroom light went on as well. At least I can see my misery. I thought to myself as I noted the absence of my bed. Were my clothes gone too? Opening the closet door solved that mystery. Yes. I was completely cleaned out. I didn’t bother checking the kitchen or the bathroom. I didn’t need to see more vacancies.
    With a short, sharp shout I relieved what frustration I could without putting my fist through the back of the closet. I clenched and unclenched my fists and shifted weight from one foot to the other. That’s when I felt it beneath my feet. The heel of my worn canvas shoes pressed down on something that wasn’t carpet. Leaping back as if I just saw a spider, I looked for what I stepped on.

    A chill came to join the emptiness. Lying on the floor was a bear; a teddy bear: atypical and used. I had seen that bear before. The chill whipped through my body and was chased out by flushing cheeks. It was the one the boy held. My mind flew back to the night it happened. I saw myself in the room. I expected to find his father in that room but it was just the boy. I remembered the panic. I did what instinct told me to do. Not instinct, reflex. The boy shouldn’t have been there. I was told it was only the father in that house. I don’t even remember squeezing the trigger. It happened so quickly. He couldn’t have known it was me. I left before he came back. But how did he find me?

    Someone gave me up. Someone else from the job. And now there was the bear, left on the floor in my home just as I left it in his. He took everything from me but he wasn’t finished.

  16. pagelett says:

    I stood in the midst of the empty apartment, shocked that the thieves had actually taken everything I owned. Not just what you’d expect thieves to take, like the flatscreen, computer, and jewelry, but my furniture, my curios, my clothes, even the food in my fridge was gone.
    Nothing was left—or almost nothing. In the center of the tile floor was a clock. It looked like the knob of a bedpost, dark wood on a tapered base, and belonged on the mantel above the fireplace. The time was wrong.
    I picked it up, watching the red second-hand tick around the face as if nothing had changed, and knew who had broken into my apartment. I also knew that the clock was a message that said I had less than an hour to get the thief what she really wanted. Calling the police would be pointless. They’d find no fingerprints, no forced entry, no witnesses, and no security footage from the cameras. This thief would never have been so careless.
    I took a deep breath, surprised at how much the thought of giving her what she wanted made it shudder in my chest. But she wouldn’t stop with cleaning out my apartment if I didn’t.
    Setting the clock on the mantel, I took one last look around the barren room, shaking off the metaphor to my life it suddenly inspired. It would take at least thirty minutes to get to the café where she’d be waiting, and I didn’t want to risk being late.
    At the café I sat at my customary patio table and ordered my usual coffee with a half-shot of cinnamon liqueur. The edge of the envelope on the inside pocket of my jacket jabbed against my heart as I took a sip. She appeared beside the table in jeans and an ivory tunic blouse and slid into the seat across from me with slender grace. She’d cut her hair since I’d last seen her; the short, dark layers framed her face with a jagged wildness.
    We sat for a long moment, neither saying a word.
    “Leaving the clock,” I said. “Nice touch.” It had been the first gift she’d given me.
    She shrugged. “I had to get your attention.”
    “And you thought an empty apartment wasn’t enough?”
    Her cold eyes met mine and I wondered if she was forcing them to appear impassive as I was mine.
    “You brought what I want?”
    With stiff fingers I reached inside my jacket and pulled out the envelope.
    She removed the sheaf of papers that finalized our divorce and flipped through, carefully checking each page.
    “They’re all signed.” I cupped my hands around my coffee. “No tricks this time.”
    She pushed a slip of paper across the table. It was to a storage facility where I would no doubt find my belongings.
    “Goodbye, Daniel.”
    She was nearly out of sight before my throat finally released the words. “Goodbye, Cherise.”

  17. ajay64 says:

    I usually write mini stories above 1000 words but here is my try : -

    A wave of uncontrollable fear ran through my worn out body, leaving me paralyzed at front of my broken apartment’s door. It was barely holding on. My lather bag fell from my right hand; breaking the laptop within it. Scared that one of my worst fear had become reality, my heartbeat rose as I slowly stepped toward door.

    ‘They found me.’ My mind screamed. ‘How did they found me?’

    Under the heavy dose of anxiety and fear, I pushed the door with great force and stormed in. The door had made loud creaking sound, but I was to focused to notice or care about it. The apartment was filled with moonlight coming from the unbroken windows. It took my eyes few minutes to adjust themselves but finally, I could see.

    My nightmare had became reality. From chair to book, from television to couch, they had taken everything. My bargain chips were now gone and with it, all my dreams were gone to. All those records, which were going to be my ticket of freedom, were gone with all my stuff. But one thing I didn’t knew was how did they know where I was? Or better, why did they only stole things? Why didn’t they set this apartment on fire?

    Slowly and with great cautions, I went through every room, looking into every place where I had hid the discs containing the secrets of New Dawn group. They always claimed to be whiter then milk type of group but after few years of espionage and lots of bribing, I had found the skeletons they were hiding in their closet. The deal had been made and in few days, I was going to meet them to get my money and guaranty that they will not come after me.

    The answers of all my questions hit me like ton of bricks when I reached my living room. I had somehow ignored that little thing laying on floor but now, under the moonlight, it stood out like white pearl stands out in group of black pearls. It was a small gray round badge with a wood colored sword cutting red moon. It was not the New Dawn which had found me, it was the other group.

    My shaking right hand went toward my cell phone. I licked my lips and took a large gulp of air. I knew that the trouble had reached a point where I alone would be able to do nothing. Slowly, I dialed the number of only person whom I knew could help me. After few rings, he finally picked up but before he could say anything, I interrupted him.

    “Eric, We got a major problem.” I said in nervous tone.

    “And what might that be?” He asked in monotone, showing that he was clearly not interested.

    I swallowed another gulp of much needed air and in low voice said “Night wolves has all the discs now and I am sure they are coming after your group.”

  18. bl4kr0z3 says:

    I switched it up a bit and made it that the robber, rather than left something behind, took something that would point to him being the person.

    *********************

    The man watched as the culprit opened his door, and stepped in. The click of the door closing soon following.

    “Did you not think that I would realize it was you? Did you think you could just get away with it?” The man spoke calmly, his voice filled with incredulity. He was seated on a sofa chair, his legs crossed, his fingers intertwined in front of him. The dim room blocked the man’s features from the culprit, who had jumped at the sound of his voice. He stared at the man, eyes wide in terror.

    “S-s-sir, I h-h-have no idea w-what you’re t-t-t-talking about.” The culprit stuttered in reply.

    The man smiled a smile the would scare even the cheshire cat, cocking his head slightly to the right as if to study the culprit still standing by the door. “You must think me a fool. Is that what it is?” He stood up walking menacingly towards the culprit. The man’s demeanor his usual eerie calmness; that was what had terrified the culprit the most. In attempt to stay as far away from the man as possible he backed up walking around the kitchen island. “Did you think that I would not have figured out it was you that took her? But I must say, staging it as if it were a robbery was a brilliant idea. I underestimated you.”

    “I-I did no s-such thing, Master. I as-s-sure you I h-h-have no id-d-dea what you’re t-t-talking about.”

    The man laughed a humorless laugh. It was the laugh of a man who had nothing to lose, which is what he owned at the moment. But it wasn’t the loss of his possessions that made him the way he was, the man was naturally unstable. However, the loss of one particular “thing” that he laid claim to had tipped him over. The man’s eyes shone with glee as the culprit he had just cornered shook with fear.

    The man opened the door but before stepping out he turned his frightening gaze back at the culprit. “Return her to me or a worse fate than what happened to your beloved will befall you.” His tone of voice holding a promise of what was to come.

    A feeling of dread chilled the culprit’s spine as he flicked the switch, finally, brightening up the once darkened room. Turning around, he collapsed as a deep red painted the off-white walls in splatters. Tears slid down his cheek and into his lap. What had he done?

  19. lenawyn says:

    Stepping out of my car, I was put on alert as I noticed the back door was swinging with the wind. I whipped out my cell phone as my eyes swept the carport leading out to the driveway. I almost couldn’t get the words out as the 911 operator asked what was wrong. I told her my back door was open and I was afraid to go into my house. The voice on the other end went silent for a moment before she asked, “did you see anyone suspicious?” “No ma’am,” I replied. Her voice immediately sounded like a recording when she told me she would have someone come check it out. I waited on my front porch until my curiosity got the better of me.
    When I stepped through the threshold, the noise was all wrong. I heard the clip clop of my heels on the hardwoods where I normally would’ve wiped my sneakers on the blue and white striped rug. My body was in that fight or flight mode, so the absence of a welcome mat seemed to be the least of my worries. I resisted my heightened sense of fear as I walked further into the house that was once my home. All the pictures I took years to hang were gone. The lamps I painted white instead of buying new ones, gone. Everything was gone. My pulse quickened as I ran room to room in a panic. I felt as though I had been stripped naked and left to sit on the concrete cold and alone. Someone had stolen memories of 10 years of marriage, the sweet dreams my children have every night, the sense of security I had built in this place had vanished. Who would do such a thing? I didn’t even realize how attached I had become to the stains left on the couch by spills and peanut-butter hands. My heart was dripping sorrow when I spotted the one thing the robbers left. Sitting on the floor where the dining room table used to reside in glory, was an envelope. A simple white envelope. Upon further inspection, I saw my name written in cursive. I immediately recognized the handwriting as my husband’s. I was so confused why these people would have stolen everything in sight, but left a letter from my husband. I opened it to find these words: My dearest Kate, I know you are upset that all of our things are gone. I am sorry to have to tell you that we no longer live in this house. We moved years ago and the house has since become vacant after the former owners moved. The police have contacted me and I will be there soon to pick you up. Please try to remember, we have moved to a house 30 miles away, the kids are grown and we all love you very much.

  20. RosebudMarie57 says:

    This is super-short, but I was afraid if I got started, I wouldn’t be able to stop. LOL
    __________________________________________

    The door stood slightly ajar, but it didn’t seem broken to me. I’m no detective, but I think I would know if a door was forced open. This one swung open and closed just as easily as it always did. The fact that it was open at all was my first clue…something wasn’t right.

    I plopped the groceries on the porch rocking chair and entered. As I expected, it was empty.

    What surprised me at first was how empty it was. Everything was gone, all the furniture and electronics, sure, but the linens, even that plastic tupperware dish of leftover chili was gone.

    In the center of the living room was one thing he’d left. An apple. A single, perfect red apple. I burst into tears.

    When the police came, they searched and fingerprinted, asking me questions as they went. When they came to the apple, they looked at each other as if I was from Mars, and I’d planted the apple myself.

    “George.” I said gently, “George Peterson put it there. He took my stuff. Our stuff…him and his cronies.” The police stared at me wide-eyed.

    “Big G? He took your stuff? But how do you know that?”

    I shook my head, fresh tears falling from my eyes.

    “Because I loved him.”

  21. Victor Resendiz says:

    Sept 14 7:32, Journal 13
    I’ve arrived home to discover my docile in ruins. The front door has had its handle systematically removed. The window above the sink has been destroyed, and my counter is now covered in glass. From the entrance view, under the doorway, I can see they’ve removed all of my casual furnishings. The living room recliner is gone, the portraits of my family – gone, my father’s antique Winchester, which was recently mounted above the fire place, -gone. However, there is an old box of mine tossed aside on the living room floor. Without too much divulgence, it is my college collection of work and notes. It is an object I have not touched since my graduation; I must assume it had no value because, at a looking glance, everything seems to be there that should be.
    Sept 14 8:23, Journal 13 – cont’d
    I assume this attack is random, and has nothing to do with my current situation. The thief or thieves seem to not know my identity; I make this assertion because my clothes and other personal belongings are all missing. A person who was truly after me would have only wanted my research, but I must say that my faith in federal protection has been restored. It is interesting though that my college collection would be in the living room. The peculiarity of a thief taking the box from where it was located, in my closet underneath other youthful valuables, dropping the contents in the living room only to discover it contained nothing of worth to him. Especially considering the fact that my room is located up stairs, and anything of real worth would have been located in my study, downstairs beyond the living room.
    Sept 14 8:40, Journal 13 – cont’d
    My earlier curiosity concerning my college box’s journey to my floor aroused my thoughts to my study. Upon entering I see that everything I expected to be missing is, in fact, missing. My study is in dismay. I see that my recent workings are all gone, the result of a stolen desk, and my shelves have been cleared of all my references, encyclopedias, and entertainment novels. Luckily, the perpetrator, or perpetrators, will have no understandings of my work – not to mention that the desk itself is locked, the key I carry with me. I do curse that the desk was taken, the work will take months to assess and reproduce, but maybe the reflection will give me better insight. I will return to this room later, the glass on my counter is very disorderly and I feel an itch to clean it.
    Sept 14 9:50, Journal 13 – cont’d
    After an hour examining the remains of my bedroom I can say it was wrong of me to assume hope under federal protection. My life seems to have re-entered the playing field, and now I am once again in peril. During the task of cleaning the broken glass I pondered the front door. Why, if the door handle had been removed, did the attacker break this window? The answer came with the aid of my neighbor. At 9:00 pm sharp, the lights from my neighbor’s roof illuminated my kitchen, past the walk-in, and into the living room. I had turned the light on when I entered, and I had turned it off as I walked into the kitchen to clean. The light unveiled the darkness of the living room and highlighted my box. On instinct, I shielded my eyes from looking straight at the box. After this reaction had occurred my heart sunk into my chest, my eyes dilated, and I became instantly over-comb with fear. I had remembered what was inside that box. I had remembered why I have not touched it in years. This attack on my home was not out of violence. This attack was a cry for aid. Nothing further can be written, I am being watched.

    • Victor Resendiz says:

      Uh.. yeah . I don’t know if I’m as good of a writer as I try to be, but my friends love it. Oh, my grammar is terrible, but we don’t read for the English right? Its all about the story.

    • Victor Resendiz says:

      for clarity, this story is not related to anything else of mine or any previous writings on this site. I just went with what I felt… and also wrote the word ‘that’ about 25 times.. … yeah…..

  22. jparker1 says:

    After a long day at work, I already knew what I was going to do when I got home. I pulled up in the driveway, turned the engine off and stretched as wide as I could in my Toyota Camry. I got out the car and then grabbed my briefcase which felt like a bag of bricks to my exhausted body. I walked in and swung my jacket hoping that the rack would catch it, but my coat rack was gone. I dropped everything including my heart and ran through the house terrified. I didn’t see any furniture, nothing in the bathroom, bedrooms or kitchen. I flopped down in the living room floor, confused, scared and upset. There was no need to call the police because there was no evidence or anyone home to witness anything. “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I thought quietly.
    I sat there with my head in between my knees trying to think who, what, when, and where. I slowly lifted my head and saw a locket from a necklace lying in the middle of the floor. I jumped up at this time feeling there is a chance this could be a good start for my investigation. The locket was gritty, the letters were extremely small. I squinted my eyes together to see if I could read what seems to be a name. After I realize my eyes weren’t going to cooperate, I just opened the locket and it was an older lady. She could’ve been at least 75 years old but she had a beautiful smile and she looked so graceful. I had a hard time trying to figure out who could have been the suspect of something so suspicious and have a locket of what looked to be an angel. I finally went to get my cell phone to make a call. I decided to call my boyfriend, who was a banker. He didn’t have any experience as an investigator, neither did I so I figured there was nothing to lose. The phone rang three times before he answered. “Hello” he said with bass in his voice. “Casey I have been robbed and there is nothing here but a locket” I told him anxiously. “Ok calm down, don’t leave and I’ll be there shortly” he said. I hung up the phone and sat back down on the floor staring at the locket.
    I looked out the windows a few times but I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Fifteen minutes passed and I heard the keys hitting the door while Casey unlocked the door. I rose up from the floor stumbling because I was moving so fast. Casey swung the door open. “Oh my God, what kind of robbery is this?” he asked. “I don’t know “I said as I shrugged my shoulders. “Here is the locket I found” I added. He looked at the locket and his eyes got big as if he had seen a ghost. “Baby, are you ok?” I said softly hoping he would stap out of it. As soon as I said that there was a knock from the door. Casey turned with fear in his eyes and then looked at me. I was hesitating about opening the door but he was frozen solid staring at the door. I ran towards the door and open it. A guy dressed in a black tailored suit. He leaned and looked pass me with a grin on his face. “Casey you thought I wouldn’t find you. You have been running from me for a long time and all those checks you wrote, well they all bounced” the man said calmly but his words spoke loudly. Casey stood their sweating and shaking. “Baby what is he talking about?” I asked stuck in the middle of what seem to be bad blood. “Casey and I had an agreement, and he broke the agreement. Now I’m coming to take everything he has including his precious little soul”. The man then reached in his jacket and pulled out a shiny silver handgun. So Casey how do you want to this?

  23. Bumblebee83959 says:

    Blood dripped at the edges of the glass, where the culprit must have slit himself while ramming a first through my window. Yes, I could tell that it was a man who had broken into my house. No woman would have the decency to do such a thing while still holding their head high. That, and a man would need muscles to be able to lift and carry everything out of my apartment, and down a flight of stairs to the ground floor. The sight had given me quite a shock, when I walked in. Like a desert, my apartment was bare except for one single thing, sitting directly in the middle of the carpet. I gingerly walked towards it, casting an anxious look around as my heart rammed inside my chest, a furious beat that increased with each step.

    The police were already on their way, probably due to the way the hysteria clung to my voice. Just because I wasn’t a detective on the squad didn’t mean I couldn’t investigate myself. After all, I already knew who the culprit, or should I say culprits, were. The clue they left me rang loud and clear. I crouched down on the floor and studied it carefully, fingers hesitantly hovering over the object.

    Before I could reach down and grab it, the police charged in with guns pointed in my direction. I raised my arms over my head, and the police relaxed as they realized who it was. The head of the squad walked towards me, pen and paper in hand. He asked me the standard questions, and I answered them while my gaze flitted over the object. The other officers didn’t even see any importance in the object by my feet. They simply did a once over and shook their heads. Clearly, it was out of their hands.

    I soon realized that calling them was a mistake. I didn’t need their “massive intellect” to solve the case. I already knew who it was. I gingerly reached down and grasped the small diamond, slipping it into my pocket. “Thank you, officers,” I murmured softly, flying out of the door while leaving questions in my wake.

    I ran down the stairs and out the door, across the busy street and into the jewelry store. The man behind the counter glanced up from his work, a lazy grin spread across his face. “Ah, Miss Jewel. I see you understand the message quite clearly,” he spoke in a drawling voice. I stood on the other side of the shop, hand on the doorknob just in case. He rose to his feet and strode over quickly, until his hand rested on mine. I shivered as he looked at me.

    “Mr. Adams, if this is to win my heart over once more, you have failed. Though, I would like my things back,” I retorted. He just laughed in response.

    “Believe me my dear, soon nothing else will matter but me.”

  24. Fedoraman94 says:

    A quick note: the child in this story is around 8 years old, but he has a very good vocabulary. My last story people were confused about the age of the narrator

    I awoke to the sound of breaking glass. I heard voices downstairs and several objects being moved about.After several minutes of shouting from downstairs I became scared and ran to my parents’ room. I knocked on the door and they finally opened it, not looking very pleased.
    “What’s wrong, son?” My dad asked. The sound of silverware falling from downstairs answered his question. He ran back into his room and came out with a bat. He told me to stay upstairs and with my mom. He started runing downstairs and I heard shouting. A shot was fired and then there was silence except for a car driving away from the house.
    I ran downstairs. My dad was looking around in horror. Everything in the living room and kitchen had been taken. The television, DVD’s, silverware, plates, everything was gone! Everything except for one iterm in the middle of our living room.
    As my parents were running around trying to figure out what was left, my mom called the cops. A few minutes later the cops were surveying the scene, looking for clues. They also noticed the object in the middle of the living room, but took no notice of it. A stuffed animal is of little concern to a detective.
    The stuffed bear was a toy that I had seen before at school. My friend Johnny brought it with him everyday. I knew it was Johnny’s bear; his bear was missing an arm, the left arm to be specific. The bear in our living room was also missing the same body part. I tried telling my parents about it, but they were too busy talking to the police. I walked over to a man that was brushing our broken window and told him about the bear and whose it was. He stopped what he was doing, looked at the bear, then took it to the detective. The detective listened as the brush guy told him what I told the brush guy.
    The detective walked over to me, knelt down, and asked me about the bear. I told him whose it was and he then walked away to talk to the other officers.
    Several of the officers got back in their police cars with their sirens on and drove away. I hoped that they were going to go tell Johnny that he lost his bear and that we found it.

  25. zo-zo says:

    I still hadn’t gotten used to a house abandoned by James. That’s why I kept my mind sprinting as I approached the front door. I had so much to do. Spar’s new advertising campaign, my flight in two hours to Cape Town, and the name of Marie Kleinhart’s potential client.
    Then I walked inside.

    I realised two things in that second: everything was gone, and I’d been gritting my teeth something terrible since lunch. Perhaps I was delusional, I thought as I crossed the polished floors. Too many 18-hour days without James nagging at me to ‘be unfaithful to the office’. The sunlight glinted on the floors, winking at me as I walked into an empty bedroom. It was cold. Colder than normal.

    I lay down on the floor where my bed used to be and tried unsuccessfully to cry. Then I slipped my hand into my bag to phone James, but after a seconds thought, let it fall back onto the floor. He’d walked out on me forty three days and seven hours ago. I threw my high heels against the wall, and that comforted me. I liked the sound of crashing.

    I sat down with myself and the silence for a while before I heard it.

    A whirring noise coming from the lounge. I scrabbled for a mace-spray in my handbag as I tiptoed closer, ready to scream. But my body slackened when I saw the culprit. A hamster, running furiously in his wheel. He didn’t stop when I approached, he didn’t even notice me. All the little blighter did was run.

    And the revelation was immediate. I dropped to my knees, gasping for air. Then came the sobs, so loud they echoed back at me from the empty walls, and the sound only increased my despair.

    After I couldn’t cry anymore I stared at the hamster. Running all alone, going nowhere fast. I smiled ruefully.

    That’s when I called. It rang only once.

    ‘You’re crazy,’ I said, pressing the phone to my ear, hungry to hear his voice. ‘But you know exactly how to make me listen.’

    Silence.

    ‘Do I really look like- I mean, that’s a little harsh-’

    ‘Closest thing I had to a mirror.’

    I closed my eyes and opened my mouth, about to fight, about to defend myself.

    Then he said it, always one step ahead of me. ‘I’ve missed you.’ I squeezed the phone even tighter.

    I gazed around at the empty flat. A smile touched my lips.

    ‘Does this mean…’ I let the pause hang between us, trying not to sound too hopeful. ‘That you’d think of coming-’

    Then he started laughing, and that gawdy laugh made me cry I’d missed it so much. ‘Do you bloody think I’d go to all that trouble if I didn’t want to try again?’

    I shrugged. ‘OK, well.’ I pressed my hand into the wire pattern. ‘I’ll take the hamster out of her cage.’

  26. MCKEVIN says:

    I felt a lingering spirit as I entered my home. My eyes followed imaginary footprints and silhouettes of something not there. Yet, in my empty house, I heard it’s invisible sounds. Everything I’d owned and worked for, gone! 911 promised to send police but the neighbors swear they didn’t see or hear anything. Violated, I wanted to lash out, but at whom? The only thing left was the “Love Changes” CD from Doug. The case was cracked like ice that someone intentionally crushed. The CD, perfect! Police played with flashlights as they entered and they questioned me as the culprit.

    “Do you live alone?” Officer Friendly asked.
    “Yes…”
    “Are you having problems with someone or with your neighbors?”
    “Not that I am aware …”
    “But none of them saw or heard anything right?”
    “That’s what they said…”

    Silence!

    “That doesn’t strike you as odd? Your house was cleaned out except for a CD you think has significance! The thief’s familiar with you and your neighbors. What else would explain it?”
    “I don’t know. But, why would they leave it?”
    “Sir, they didn’t leave it, they dropped it! Here’s the report and we’ll leave the detective’s information. He’ll contact you. Be prepared for him to explore your background and question people you know.”

    They left looking like I’d lied. Doug was the only person in my life with issues. I called him immediately because I knew this was the work of his nutcase wife…

    “No…”
    “It was Robyn Doug!”
    “Tracy, Robyn’s angry with me, not you.”
    “You can’t be that naïve! Hell knows no fury like a woman scorned.”
    “You’re over reacting and when the detectives investigate, you’ll see it wasn’t her.”
    “It was her! I’ll call you when I get proof and I’m pressing charges! She left the CD to send a message.”
    “I don’t believe she’d do that!”
    “I can’t believe you’re this stupid!”

    I hung up on Doug because he believed after 15 years of marriage, he knew her. She thinks hurting me is hurting him. My proof and exit came through a simple phone call.

    “Hello, Robyn?”
    “Yes, Who-”
    “I know you had my house robbed!”
    “Why are you calling my home?”
    “You should’ve answered, No I didn’t!”
    “ Haven’t you’ve done enough already?”
    “You’re problem is your husband!”
    “No, it’s you not respecting our vows.”
    “No, it’s Doug not respecting you, your family and marriage.”
    “He did until you came along.”
    “So, you robbed me thinking this would change what?”
    “He doesn’t love you! Please, just leave us alone?” She cried.
    “So, how and when did you do it Robyn?”
    “You’ll never know and I’ll never tell!”
    “Detective Murdock, are you getting this?” I said.
    “I sure am! I sure am! Police should be there shortly”

    I hear sirens in her background. One down and one to…

    Rinnnng…
    “Hello, Doug?”
    “Yeah.”
    “Go home and check on your kids, because their mother is on her way to jail. And Doug…”
    “What!”
    “Fuck you!”
    Click!

  27. onaway says:

    Every week they stole everything we owned so we decided not to buy anything anymore. We needed a roof over our heads at times so we stayed in the old house when it rained in the summer. We had argued over the weather that night and I wanted to sleep under the stars but she insisted a storm was coming so I lay down in the field alone. When the thunder and lightning began, I ran back to our home to be with her.
    From the flooded street I could see the kicked in door. No one was there not even Melissa. The walls were dark and the halls were dirty and everything was very loud in the downpour of the storm. The rain soaked through the holes in the roof and dripped from the light fixtures. Water ran down the inside of the windows and pooled on the old wood floors. I touched three steps as I ran to the second floor. This bedroom empty. That bedroom empty. It felt very dark.
    Then I found her. Sleeping straight and relaxed on her back with her arms at her sides, her wet hair flowing like she is underwater. Her eyes are shut tight- she’s having a nightmare. I want her to be asleep so I can wake her, but there is more blood outside of her than inside of her.
    It rained all night and all week and it’s still raining and always dark. I don’t know how long I stayed there with her. At first I thought maybe she would come back to me but she never did. She was gone and this was all that was left. I carried her down the hall and down the steps and through the living room. Her blood dripped slowly from the light fixtures and ran down the insides of the windows where it pooled on the floor.
    I saw that terrible red color where I never dreamed I would see it. I saw it in her blonde hair and on her smooth white arms. I can see the tiny drops of red in her eyelashes. I saw the red blood turning black in the hollows of her eyes and I can see it falling from my hands to the ground as I walk down the steps to the tree in the yard. The storm clouds were now red for us, and the bright blue lightning made the grass look pale. The thunder whispered something to me and the tree cried. I can see the dark red pools in the wet mud at the bottom of the hole I placed her body in. I see that terrible red color all over myself, so tonight I’ll fill the streets with it and then we’ll be together again.

  28. SMKrafty says:

    I just stared at the police officer standing outside my slightly ajar apartment door; my heart raced with my thoughts as to why this woman was asking for me by name. I stepped forward and she took a step to block me from entering. Something on her back clicked on the metal door and pushed it open several inches.
    “Are you Bronwyn Ellerby?” she asked a second time.
    I opened my mouth to answer and then caught a glimpse of the room behind my door. I pushed passed her with a hoarse, “Yes.”
    A flush of dread washed through me as my hand slid the door open the rest of the way. The watercolors paintings that I had painted for the past ten years had been taken from my walls, only the small holes where the hangers used to be remained. The living room echoed with its emptiness. The morning sunshine streaming in through the naked sliding glass doors was a shining arrow to the only thing left sitting on the bare wooden floor, a six inch tall blue glass vase with three white daisies.
    “Your neighbors called the police earlier this morning when they heard shouting coming from your apartment. When we got here, this is what we found. They said you were away on a business trip?”
    I nodded.
    “We will have an investigation team in here within the hour to go over the place and see if we can find any clues, other than that, as to who did this.” She pointed to the solitary vase.
    I nodded again, absorbed by the site of that vase.
    “Ms. Ellerby? Does the vase mean anything to you?”
    The daisies lying to one side on the lip of the glass, just like his blonde hair, told me exactly who had done this, but I knew he was too good to leave any clues for the police.
    “I bought it last month at Save-Mart. It was on clearance.”
    I swallowed hard as I looked around; trying to get my brain to comprehend that he had taken everything. I heard the woman talking to me, but her words didn’t register until finally she placed a gentle hand on my arm.
    “Do you have a place to go?”
    I looked into her concerned eyes, bit my lower lip and nodded. “Yes. I have some place to go.” Yes, I knew exactly where to go and who I wanted to find.
    “Can I have someone take you there?”
    I glanced down at the vase again, wanting to kick it across the room and then turned and hurried from my apartment. “No thank you, I know where I’m going.”

  29. wilson hara says:

    Well, there are some fun stories this week and this is another, as usual, I really enjoyed this, great writing, radio panic and I like the feh’yenn! I would love to read more…also liked that he/she shoots her finger(s) off; this is completely irrevelant but if I was given the choice between having my fingers sliced or shot off, would go with sliced….(‘scorched blood and bone settles’)finally, the sherry is funny and the nail polish…intriguing. Gruesome.

    • radioPanic says:

      Wilson, JR, thanks! Yeah, this probably won’t actually be included in the B.P., but it fun to write something that takes place in that universe. Already expanding two of these things into it, the cab one and the skeleton one, and fitting this in would make it an even Bigger Project. I appreciate your comments!

  30. radioPanic says:

    Tried to go a little ugly this time. Just to forestall any confusion, the feh’yenn are a species of hermaphrodite aliens starring in the Big Project I’m working on. They’ve been here long enough to spawn a second generation. They like to paint their claws. So…
    __________________________________________________________

    Janice’s sherry slides down my throat as her front window blooms with headlight. I set the glass down and pick up the gun. Moonlight is plenty. An engine rumbles in the driveway, goes quiet.

    Maybe one more quick drink.

    ****

    After the third canvassing of the house to confirm they’d taken everything, after trying Kah’uah’s cell for the fiftieth time, I knelt in the living room to investigate the single item they did leave. I undid the clasps and opened the lid of the little marble chest Kah’uah and I keep all our nail polish in.

    Five colors remained: black, brown, yellow, white, blue.

    E.F.H.

    I closed the box.

    If they’ve hurt Kah’uah … they’ve made a big mistake.

    *****

    The front door closes, keys clatter on a table. Janice steps through to the kitchen, opens the fridge, grabs a bottle of juice.

    “Howdy, neighbor.”

    She yelps, whirling. The bottle shatters on the linoleum.

    I reach back, flip the light switch. “If that’s the most valuable thing gets destroyed tonight, count yourself lucky.” I motion with the 22/45. “Sit.”

    *****

    I finish on Janice’s middle fingers with the blue, left-handed, apologizing again for the sloppiness. She has kindly shaken and opened each bottle for me. “E.F.H.,” I say, tightening the blue’s lid one-handed. “Earth For Humans. Tell me: what have you ever done for the Earth?”

    “I was born here!”

    “So was Kah’uah,” I say. “So your answer is: nothing.” I sip her sherry. “And the feh’yenn gained citizenship ‘bout the same time the E.F.H. sticker vanished from your bumper.” I sit back. “You people. First it’s the coloreds, then it’s the gays. Now you got a perfect target, don’t you?”

    “They’re animals!”

    I nod. “Leave a lot of humans in dumpsters with their throats cut open, do they?”

    Janice looks away and I stand, waving the muzzle over her fingers. “So, which color’s your least favorite?”

    She shivers and something drips to the floor, the smell of urine joining the fragrance of mango nectar. “Th-the black.”

    “Big surprise, there.” I grab a dishrag. “Here’s the deal: for every hour from the time you walked in that I don’t see my friend alive and well, you lose a color.” I look at my watch. “It’s been one hour.” I press the muzzle to her left thumb and pull the trigger.

    I hold the dishrag over Janice’s mouth until she’s done screaming. A high tang of gunpowder and scorched blood and bone settles atop the room’s bouquet.

    “Whoa. Hey there,” I say, shaking her shoulder. “You really wanna stay conscious, here. Right? All right.” I sit back down and she clutches the dishrag around her thumb. “Now: You have some people to contact.”

    Janice grunts and snarls through clenched teeth, spraying spit, just shy of hyperventilating. Stammering past tears and snot in a shaky rattle, she says, “And w-what… if he’s not… a-alive and well?”

    I shrug, draining the last of the sherry. “I’ve got three more fully loaded magazines. So…”

    • JR MacBeth says:

      Very creative, kept me going. While a bit confusing for me at times, I can see it being part of something much bigger, so good for you on your Big Project! I suppose anytime you have to begin with an explanation, it’s a sign that the story might not quite stand alone, but if this is just part of a bigger picture, then I’m sure it will be great when all put together. Some awesome description, and again, a super creative take on the prompt.

  31. Icabu says:

    This story uses characters and references from two previous prompts: 3/13/12 – Best Friends Need Your Help & 5/29/12 – Lipstick Message
    #######################

    Even in the dark, when Captain Sandy Walker stepped into her apartment, the echo of her heel on the wood floor told her something was terribly wrong. In a single, swift motion, she crouched, pulling out her service revolver, and moved to her right. Listening closely, she flicked the light switch – nothing. She grabbed the small LED light on her key ring, sweeping it around in front of her.

    Shocked, she stopped in mid-step. Her apartment was empty. All furniture, pictures on the wall, even her plants were gone. The curtains were gone. She pulled open the closet door and found all her jackets and the umbrella gone. Not even a hanger remained. She aimed the light up to the ceiling; not even a lightbulb.

    A search of the kitchen and bedrooms upstairs netted the same results. All furniture, appliances – everything, gone. The shock settled into a smolder that began in the pit of her stomach. Striding across her barren living room, the weakening light beam glimmered against something in the middle of the floor. Cautiously, she bent to inspect the only item remaining in her home.

    Shock returned as she recognized her friend Gwen’s tube of lipstick. The garish red tip was smashed and misshapen from when it had been used to write a provoking message to her on a bathroom mirror when her ex-husband had kidnapped Gwen. This was after he’d shot two of her other friends in their car. Now, it appeared, he’d stolen her home. Blake was insane with his need to take from her – killing and kidnapping her friends, now removing everything from her home.

    Standing, the burn in her stomach returned ten-fold. She’d followed Blake to an abandoned mine from the lipstick message. He’d managed to push her into a pit, but she’d gotten a good shot off. She heard him, knew the sound – he was hit. It was enough to send him running without Gwen. Sandy was sure she’d still be in that pit with her dislocated hip if two of her officers hadn’t tracked her down. She was almost healed, but Gwen was still hospitalized after the beating and abuse she’d taken.

    She knew Blake would have to try for Gwen again. Grabbing a tissue from her purse, Sandy folded it around the lipstick and headed out the door. She didn’t bother locking it. As her tires squealed around the corner, racing for the hospital, she saw the fireball rise and the concussion rocked her car. Now she had no home if she found her belongings. But she still had Gwen, she hoped. She pressed harder on the gas pedal.

    • JR MacBeth says:

      Nice icabu! I think it’s amazing that you can create characters that have so much stamina. You must be incredibly organized to keep it all straight! Loved your opening paragraph, superb visuals, movement, sound. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday I found these stories all woven together, right in the pages of WD!

  32. humblebee says:

    In the game of life the Devil will let you win a hand to keep you at the table.
    So when I saw what was left, I knew what soon would be taken.
    I moved my haggard old body over to the middle of the now empty dining room, and picked up the cool, blue poker chip.
    Only one person, if you could call him that, would leave me with nothing but these two weary legs, and a cold, usless piece of clay.
    All of our personal belongings were gone but that didn’t matter now.
    I knew it was only a matter of minutes before he returned for me.
    This time I was older, wiser, and equipped with the hand that only love can deal you.
    I made some mistakes in my past, I was young and foolish, but much has changed this old man’s soul since I last tangled with the man in black, and this time I would not fold.
    My darling Ellie had walked through the pearly gates ten months ago, and my tired heart promised to meet her there. I would keep my word.

    It was his scent that alerted me to his presence before I saw him. The smell of dampness and dirt, that only comes from existing in a dark place.
    “I’ve come to collect.” his voice boomed behind me
    “I’m ready.” I replied as I turned to face him
    I raised my hand, one thing I knew for sure about ol grey eyes was that he could not resist a good bet
    “Before we go how ’bout one more go for old time sake” I said, tossing the chip up in the air
    “Winner takes all.”

  33. Chilaili says:

    “Something is wrong.”
    I was busy at the office, had someone waiting on the other line, and was trying to respond to an email, all while worrying about my aging mom. I had spent the night with her the night before because she had fallen. The last thing I needed was my perfectionist neighbor Carrie, with her perfect blonde hair and petite figure calling to tell me “something was wrong” – most likely one of the blinds in my window was crooked, or my dog had messed in the courtyard of my ‘small pets (barely) allowed’ apartment complex.
    “Something is REALLY wrong,” she said. This time the urgency in her voice drew me out of my frustrated distraction.
    “What do you mean?” I imagined Cody, my little Terrier, lying in the road…
    “I went to let Cody out for you, and…Liz…everything in your apartment is gone. Everything. Even Cody.”
    I couldn’t understand what she was saying. There was no way.
    It was true, though. I saw it for myself, an hour later, after driving home as fast as I could through morning rush hour. Police were there already.
    I barely recognized the place as my own. It was empty – completely empty. My couch, my new T.V., my worthless (except to me) pictures my niece colored for me in Sunday School, my pricey shoes. Even the sliver of my bar of soap was gone.
    “It’s like it vanished into thin air,” Carrie sighed.
    “But it didn’t,” I answered flatly.
    The police told me I would have to go down the to station. I was almost glad – standing in what used to be my home and was now an echoing, empty space. The only thing it held was a bunch of questions.
    When I got to the station, an older officer seated himself across from me at a desk, and set an evidence bag on it. “That’s all we found,” he said as he started digging in a drawer beside him. “It was just laying on the floor in the living-room.”
    One look at the bag and my heart started pounding. My little bear, a brown, fluffy, soft toy, was in the bag. It was my favorite when I was little. I could remember the day I got it…26 years ago.
    I was 5 years old. My mother’s boyfriend was hardly the best man I’ve ever met. As a social worker, I’ve met some pretty awful men, but he was the first awful man. He was the reason I became a social worker.
    My birthday. My mom was poor, but I had seen one wrapped present and I was dying to open it when she got home from work. Her boyfriend didn’t care about my birthday, though. He only cared about his sick, perverted desires, and I was his way to satisfy them. He always had some sort of threat for if I “told anyone”. That day, it was my present.
    “That bear your mommy got for you? I’ll kill it, cut it up. And then, I’ll ruin your life.”
    Those were his words, what he would do, if I ever, EVER, told anyone. He ruined my birthday surprise and kept me captive to his secret with those words.
    I opened my present later, and fell in love with it with all my five year old heart. Maybe more than I would have if I hadn’t felt a need to ‘protect’ it from him. And now, even 26 years later, I still had a subconscious thought that if my bear was safe, it meant I was safe, too.
    I had never told anyone, until a few weeks ago, when I had finally realized that I had the same right to freedom from fear and secrets that all the children in my social work cases. There was no way he could know, though!
    I looked through the clear bag and my heart sank. He knew.
    Across my bear’s old worn out neck was a long, clean slit – it had clearly been cut with a knife.
    I was terrified.

  34. hedwigy13 says:

    sorry if it’s not the best. I’m only thirteen. But then again, I hate my age dictating what I can and can’t do.

    Oh hell. Oh hell, oh hell, oh hell. It’s all gone, everything. The couch, the TV, all of it. I bolt upstairs, holding onto a faint hope that everything else was still there. My heart drops when I fling myself into my room and find nothing. They even took my bed. Why would someone do this? Or how could they even manage? My head swam with questions that might never be resolved. I race back downstairs, panting.
    “Why me?” I mutter to myself. I return to the living room. Staring at my feet, I realize they didn’t just clean out the house, they cleaned it up, too. Inerasable stains, gone without a trace. They vacuumed, too. I fall to my knees and scream. Crap. Dad’s still at work. What do I tell him? “Hey dad, I came home from school and our house was empty. See you soon.” That wouldn’t go over well. I climb back to my feet and start pacing, a nervous habit I inherited from my father. “Maybe it’s the wrong house,” I whisper. I run outside and check the address. It’s my house alright, 611 Chestnut Street. “Cops. I should call the cops.” Okay, maybe that’s what I should’ve done when I first walked into my completely barren house. So I shuffle back into the house, my head hung low. I’m just about to hit the 9 when the open pantry door catches my eye. I remember my mom used to leave that door open, and it used to drive my father crazy. Although in the end it was her that went insane. And now she’s off in some institution somewhere. I don’t even know if it’s in the state. I sigh and slink towards the pantry door, again wondering if I’ll find anything. To my shock, I do. A single object occupies the closet. The phone slips from my hand. “Mom?” I stutter, gawking at the straitjacket hanging from the ceiling.

  35. sean miron says:

    I scattered her teeth on the linoleum floor of the community bathroom, and made for the door.
    Scrambling down the hallway I pulled the fire alarm, and headed for the closest exit.
    I felt the calm creep in, as I fell in line with the others, marching delicately in a single file down the dimly lit stairwell, dressed in nothing but my robe.
    Busying myself, I tied the drawstring around my waist, fidgeting with my glasses…avoiding all eye contact.
    There was urgent chatter all around me:
    “Oh, we haven’t had one of these in years! What do you think it is?”
    “I’d almost forgotten the nearest route! Could you imagine?”
    “It’s just a drill, of course…nothing but an exercise in safety.”
    “That’s right ladies, keep it together…nothing but an exercise,” said the large nurse, in his baby blue scrubs.
    I hustled through the door of floor three, hoping I hadn’t been noticed, as I fumbled through the keys I found on the floor of my empty apartment earlier that morning.
    I moved about as fast as my legs would allow, the robe flowing openly as the drawstring fell away around me.
    Finally finding the key with my feeble fingers, I stood in front of door 313.
    I commenced to turning the knob.
    Ah, I thought, finally.
    I stepped lightly on my feet, feeling the soft carpet under my toes, and made way toward the back of the small apartment.
    “I knew that crotchety old fart was up to something,” I said loud enough to hear myself. “Hehe, I can’t believe she left her key.”
    I dropped the nightgown down around my ankles, and pushed open the door to the loo.
    “There you are,” I said giggling. “Oh, oh…there you are indeed.”
    The bidet sat alone on the far wall of the bathroom.
    I sat down, and went about my business.
    I was smiling all the while as the delicate stream washed my backside.
    “They think they can move me around this hospital?” I snickered. “What?…an old man can’t get by on his own? He he. I’ll show them.”
    “Nurses,” I laughed.
    “Nurses,” I laughed and laughed.
    -
    “Mr. Carson,” said the voice.
    “Mr. Carson, your room is ready…oh, but I see we’ll need to clean your sheets.”
    “It’s time to get up now; let me get your chair.”

  36. Erick Jacobs says:

    I pulled into the apartment complex and around to my building. It had been a long, hard two weeks. I couldn’t wait for a hot shower, few cold beers, and my lay-z-boy. Tonight was the game of the week, all the better. My stomach growled.
    I turned the corner and slammed on the brakes. The car jerked still. Three squad cars dotted the street, and a constable stood in the middle of it holding his hand out, as if I understood sign language. Ok, this time I did so I rolled down the window and asked the officer what had happened. He, of course, asked me who I was and where I lived. I told him. He asked for proof and then told whoever was on the other end of his radio, I was here.
    Constable John, I didn’t know his name, but his badge read Addams, told me to park the car and follow him. I obliged. John Addams led me to my apartment. Glass and debris littered the walkways and grassy areas. My door looked as though the Hulk had knocked twice.
    “We tried to call, but no one answered.” The complex superintendent said.
    “Yeah, I’ve been out of town. What a welcome home.” I replied.
    ‘‘I could think of better ones.”
    “I moved you to building B, temporarily. I wouldn’t stay here tonight. I’ll also have the security company do extra patrols.”
    He motioned through the remains of the doorway and handed me the key.
    “The detective wanted to speak with you.”
    We shook hands as the detective approached.
    “Mr. Tate, don’t know what they were after, but it appears they took everything. We checked the cameras and these guys weren’t ordinary fly-by-night criminals. My experience says you were targeted. ”
    “Targeted?” I repeated, “as in not random?”
    He asked if I knew anyone. I said plenty of folks.
    “We’ll they cleaned up nicely.”
    “How thoughtful.”
    “I mean…”
    “Relax detective, I know what you mean…no prints, and they didn’t leave a trace.”
    The officer nodded, “We’ll be in touch.”
    He departed with squad cars in tow. The room was eerily quiet, save for the Hulk smashed door creaking as the breeze swept past. I walked the apartment hoping to find something the police overlooked. I scoured every room, the patio, the porch, and came up empty. Disgusted, I walked into the bathroom and ran some water to splash on my face. I reached for a … damn, they even took the towels.
    I heard a screech of tires through the broken window – my heart jumped. I flicked on the light to the living room and noticed a folded piece of tapestry towards the center, looked Navajo. In fact, it looked exactly like what the guides showed me during the excursion. I unfolded and read the note inside. I read the last line twice.
    “Secrets don’t like to be discovered nor told.”
    I got up and walked to the doorway, then noticed my car was gone. Bastards.

  37. Leah Bella says:

    Saturday night came to a close and I felt like the best food critic in New York City! 3 restaurants, 3 great reviews! With everything ending so perfect I knew something was about to go wrong……

    I struggled to unlock my apartment door; keys jingling, hands fumbling, all while gripping a box of leftover nachos and a bottle of Pepto Bismol. I stumbled down the hallway into the living room and that’s when I screamed at the top of my lungs…. “O-M-G!” I was in such a state of shock, that I dropped the bottle of Pepto Bismol. It busted open, creating a pink puddle of antacid that was quickly absorbed into the carpet.

    I didn’t care, because I only had 2 thoughts in my mind… One: “Did I just yell “O-M-G” out loud? That’s embarrassing, I sounded like a teenage girl!” and Two: “I’ve been robbed!”

    The robbers took everything! My clothes, the couch, (Ha! Jokes on them, that couch had the worst case of bed bugs I’d ever seen!) My stomach began to turn, a sour taste in my mouth erupted like Mount St. Helens, but it wasn’t because I was robbed….nope, it was the tacos that I tasted test an hour ago….Damn you, Joe’s Taco Shack! I darted to the bathroom, and to my surprise…..they even stole the TOILET PAPER!”

    It took the police two hours to arrive and two seconds to take down my info. The thing that puzzled the cops the most is why the robbers left a large, silver, SPAGHETTI STRAINER!?!?! HUH? Why would they leave a single cooking utensil?

    Then, like a meatball covered in cheese, it hit me! I gave a horrible review on Mario’s Italian Villa! Their slogan is: “Grandma’s Secret Sauce is a tradition we love to share!” In my review I wrote: “Secrets out……Grandma’s Sauce Sucks!” Mario has hated me ever since!

    Then, just like in the movies, I heard sound of footsteps creeping up the fire escape. I saw a shadow of a tiny man standing on the landing…. Phew! It was just Donnie, the apartment superintendent! And with his deep New York accent, he said “Yo Tommie, sorry bout your apartment, we had to take everyting! Da whole place was infested wit bedbugs, GEEZ Tommie, they waz even on your toilet paper! Oh and there musta been a rat living in your couch, but don’t worry we trapped him in your SPAGHETTI STRAINER.”

    I fell to my knees, praising the heavens, Mario didn’t want to kill me! I did a small celebratory dance right in the middle of the kitchen. Donnie, startled by my odd reaction; quickly made his way back down the stairs, but before he disappeared into the dark alley, he looked back up at me and said, “Oh yeah, when we waz moving your stuff out, two scary, tough Italian guys came looking for ya, they seemed real mad Tommie, real mad.”

    Pure panic consumed my whole body, and all I could mumble was………. MERDA!

  38. lhollowell says:

    As soon as I walked into my apartment, I knew what had happened.

    I don’t keep my placein any form that could pass for neat. Generally, unless the piles of clothes, books and magazines reached a critical mass, they tended to be left alone unless something I needed resided therein. So being confronted with a nearly bare apartment was quite a shock. The police had been helpful, dutiful in writing down everything that I told them was missing, although I could tell by their manner that they never thought that I would see any of it again, and their bland expressions as they left furthered that impression.

    However, I say the apartment was “nearly bare” because one item remained, sitting in the middle of the living room like a duck on a car roof. I hadn’t needed to look around the apartment to figure out that everything else was gone.

    Except for that one thing. The tiny stapler.

    I hadn’t seen one like it in twenty years. An old Swingline Tot stapler, 1960’s vintage. Its red plastic top and little steel pushbutton at the back brought back memories. There was no need to let the police know it wasn’t mine, as simple thievery was not the point of the emptying of my apartment.

    It was much more ominous than that.

    They were letting me know that they were together. And it was time.

    I picked up the stapler, pushed the button and opened it up. It looked like about seven staples were missing from the row. I closed the stapler, swung open its base to the tack position. And I placedthe head against my middle finger and pushed.

    The tiny pinch felt new, almost as if I had never felt it before. I looked at the staple sitting vertically near the end of my finger, how it sat there, with no blood leaking around it. And I remembered the pact the nine of us had voiced, those many years ago.

    Metal for blood, blood for metal, bind us together and test our mettle, pain for a second, pain for a life,
    bring us together as an avenging knife. In death we trust, in death we are bound, hold us firm and stand
    our ground, truth be told, truth be wise, defend each other against all eyes.

    Someone had discovered the truth of Joel’s death. And we needed to do something about it.

    I picked up the stapler and placed it in my pocket as I walked out the door to the meeting place. We would need it when we contacted our next member.

  39. Dud says:

    “Yes, sir, practically everything is gone.” Hunched over with my palms on my knees, similar to Kobe Bryant in the fifth overtime of an NBA final, I surveyed the officer surveying my property; or lack thereof. “Please, once again I work for a living,” stated the sir matter-of-factly, “and I’d appreciate being called ‘Officer Daniels’ rather than ‘sir’ if you wouldn’t mind.” Standing upright I assured him that it’d absolutely never happen again. Officer Daniels not Sir Daniels seemed okay with that and left the room. I decided that beer would lessen my fury towards the thieves; I’d drink it as soon as OD(nickname that I had just made up but would never say out loud) finished a tour of my apartment and the proper paperwork. Although well past the legal drinking age, the idea of consuming alcohol directly in front of a man or woman in blue never appealed to me. Lost in thoughts of hops and barley, wandering aimlessly around the kitchen, I kicked a keychain into my bottom left cabinet beneath the sink. A keychain attached to an alligator or an alligator attached to a keychain. I-Z-Z-Y was scribbled in three hundred point font on its back. Three hundred? Well, that’s how it appeared to me. Right away, it hit me. My friend turned enemy(of course it was over a woman, I can’t remember two guys, best friends, ever becoming enemies over anything BUT a woman…okay, maybe money,,,but I digress) Chris O’ Brien(Irish lad. ABSOLUTely had no problem drinking directly in front of a policeman/policewoman) and I were huge “Miami Vice” fans. We had some great days! Our great days ended just about the time ole President Billy Clinton was getting out of office, however. Haven’t seen him in over a decade. He always said he’d seek revenge on me over “The Woman.” Today he got it. “IZZY” was the name of leading man “Crockett’s” informant on the show. Crockett owned an alligator. O’Brien’s goal: move to “Crockett’s” domain and enjoy the sun and surf. Running or walking fast(I live in a seven hundred and fifty- foot apartment), I approached Officer Daniels and blurted, “Officer, s.., I mean Daniels, Officer Daniels, I thank you for your time. I know who did this. It’s a long story but it involves Chris, Crockett, an alligator and a boat. I’m headed to sunny South Beach to resolve this and again thank you for your time.” OD looked at me and calmly stated, “Good luck, son.” Shaking his head he added, more to himself than to me, “A few more calls like this and I’m going to say ‘Screw the pension’ and head to South Beach myself.”

  40. CJKEats says:

    My first clue that something was up was the blue and red flashes of light that made the block into a strobe light show at a rave. The second was my neighbours gathered around the foyer of my apartment building.
    Although the sick feeling in my stomach that everyone gets when confronted by a scene such as this had already taken hold, I still did not really expect whatever had happened to relate to me personally. I led a dull boring life after all; no one knew who I was or what I did. I had taken great pains to make it that way.
    Those neighbours with whom I had a nodding acquaintance turned their faces in my direction—eyes wide, brows furrowed in sympathy but otherwise carefully devoid of expression—and began shifting their feet, uncomfortable at my sudden arrival.
    Oh no, I thought.
    A police officer met me in the foyer.
    “Excuse me sir, are you … David Smith, of apartment 312?” The cop, polite and professional, checked his notebook, face and tone of voice as bland as tapioca, as neutral as the Swiss. His nametag said “Jones”.
    Appropriate, I thought, Smith and Jones.
    I nodded.
    “Well, sorry to say sir, your apartment has been robbed. I wonder if you could come with me and have a look, answer some questions?”
    I nodded.
    I followed him to the elevator, experiencing an odd combination of claustrophobia and the feeling of falling into a wide chasm. My ears began to ring, and I became increasingly light-headed as we ascended.
    “Are you all right, sir?” Constable Jones asked; his tone worried.
    I nodded.
    “This won’t take long, I promise.”
    Jones led me to my undamaged door. Another cop was standing guard. He opened my door for me. Taking in the state of my home, I understood why Jones could promise that this wasn’t going to take long.
    There was nothing there.
    Literally, there was nothing—not a stick of furniture, not an appliance, not a phone, not a book, not even a roll of toilet paper—left in my apartment.
    “Looks like they took everything,” offered the guard cop lamely.
    I nodded.
    “Oh, ” said Jones, ” with the small exception of that.” He pointed to the middle of the living room floor, where there had once been an expensive hand-woven Persian rug. Instead there stood a small yellow cone, with the number ’1″ black-lettered on it. Beside the yellow cone was something glinting silver in the light that now shone in unfettered from the streetlamp.
    I walked closer.
    “Please don’t touch it, Mr. Smith.” Jones said hastily. “We’re waiting for the Ident unit to come in. It’s the only visible clue we have right now.”
    I wasn’t going to touch it. I just needed to see what it was.
    I drew closer, and stopped.
    Oh no, I thought again.
    It was a plain silver paper clip. But it was more than that. It was a message.
    They had found me

  41. smiles2much says:

    Empty. The house with a thousand memories was empty, except for the echo of my voice. “Hello? Is anybody there?”

    Dusty shapes, shadows of furniture that had not been moved in decades, lay scattered about the living room. Although Peter had moved into his own apartment even before graduating from blind school, I left the arrangement as it was. I hoped that one day he would forgive me and return for a visit. He never did.

    I stepped carefully around the squares and circles—out of habit, out of respect for the dead.

    Pausing at the fireplace, I called again. “Hello?” Who was I expecting to answer?

    My eyes jumped from the naked mantle to the papered walls, where rectangles of color were all that remained of each year’s school and family portraits. Everything in between had faded with time. I now moved along the patchwork walls for safety. The light filtering through the floral curtains did little to illuminate my way, and I was surprisingly unsteady.

    I shuffled down the hallway towards my refuge: the kitchen. I hesitated with my hand on the swinging door. How many jars of jelly and pickles and salsa had I canned? How many Christmas turkeys had I basted to golden perfection? How many? Why couldn’t I remember?

    I pushed, and the swinging door protested. I must have told Henry to oil those hinges a dozen times. He never does what I ask…

    The counters, once neatly lined with canisters, were bare. No pots dangled from the ceiling. No pot holders or towels hung from the little hooks that my husband had screwed into cupboard doors. I breathed deeply but could detect no hint of percolating coffee or rising sourdough or baking cookies, odors that ensured we never lacked for visitors.

    It must be about time for the cuckoo bird to sing… I looked up at the clock. No clock. No calendar either. That’s why I can’t remember. They stole my time.

    Shaken by this revelation, I stumbled back to the living room. Wait. What is that? I squinted through watery eyes at the object on the floor. A turkey baster? What was that doing here? My joints creaked like the door as I bent over to pick it up.

    The room spun, and voices whooshed around me.

    “Nurse, take that away from her! Where did she find a syringe?”

    “I don’t know, Doctor!” Switching from a sharp to a soft tone, the voice said, “Janey, put that down. You don’t need it.”

    “I…” Someone snatched the baster, and I stared at my empty hand, wrinkled and veiny. The years… Where had the years gone?

    “Doctor, it’s time.”

    “You!” I shrieked, shaking a crooked finger at the people in white. “You stole my time!”

    They advanced towards me and all went black.

  42. wilson hara says:

    “Sacre bleu! But I have been an imbecile! Quick Hastings! There’s not a moment to be lost.”

    Poirot and I arrive at the town address of the Honourable Frederica Upton and ring the bell. Inspector Japp opens the door.

    “Poirot! Captain Hasings. What are you doing here?”

    “Ah. It is as i feared, I am too late.”

    “Well, it’s a gruesome sight alright” says Japp as he leads us to the bathroom. The door has been smashed in and the Honourable Frederica Upton is lying on her back, her beautiful face ravaged with pain. Next to her, lies Murray Smith, also dead.

    “My God.”

    “Looks like a break in, the thieves have taken everything. How they killed these two though, I don’t know… poison I reckon, though it seems odd.”

    “Everything?”

    “That’s right, the lot. Well, Wilson here did find a shopping list, scrawled on a piece of butcher’s paper.”

    “Be so kind as to show it to me.”

    “Here.”

    Poirot and I read the list

    thyme
    viz.
    dover sole
    jif
    brew
    fish
    curry
    tomato
    liver
    dough
    water
    brew
    mustard
    bath salts
    broom 4

    “Looks like she was going to make liver and mash with a hint of curry for dinner. And then do a spot of cleaning… the quality of brooms has gone downhill since the war, why, only last week…”

    “No, Hastings. Within this list there is a message. Look.”

    He reads it out to us.

    “Time is over so if you wish Murray to live do what you must. Bathroom 4.”

    “I say Poirot, you don’t think that’s rather far fetched?”

    “Alas my friend, the Big Four has struck again.”

    “The Big Four? Surely you mean the Big Five, Poirot?”

    “Indeed Hastings. But I believe one member defected… Frederica Upton! Let me explain. Frederica Upton leaves the organization known as the Big Five, perhaps taking some incriminating evidence with her. The Big Four search her house, they find nothing. They return, most probably disguised as removal men and take all her possessions back to their lair, to continue the search. They leave behind a ‘shopping list’. Frederica Upton and her lover come home. She sees the list and immediately gets the message.” Poirot gives me a rather withering look. “The Big Four know her one weakness… her love for Murray Smith. As directed by the message, she goes to the bathroom, where they have left a poison pill. She locks the door and crunches the pill beneath her molars. She dies.”

    “But Poirot, what about Murray Smith? The message said he’d live.”

    “He hears her choking and breaks down the door. His beloved is writhing in agony… she stops breathing. He tries to resuscitate her and administers the kiss of life. The poison is so potent that the residue on her lips is enough to kill him too.”

    “How tragic.”

    “Yes, mon ami. No one deserves to die like this. But I, Hercule Poirot, will avenge their death and bring down the Big Four!”

  43. penney says:

    Skeleton in Your Closet 2

    As soon as I cleared the day with my boss I couldn’t stop thinking about what to do. I had twenty-four hours to pull off a prank. I called a few sorority sisters for information on Patty then sat down with my coffee, sore toe and still aching boobs. I sat in deep concentration and Muffin Kitty rubbed my leg.

    I knew what she was thinking. “Feed, and clean up the mess you made.”

    I cleaned up when it stuck me like lightening. “Clean up!” I almost yelled it across the apartment. How freakin’ ingenious.

    The sun was rising and glared from my living room, time was ticking. Patty apparently has been conveniently out of town and returning tonight. Jen, after her own attack of the skeleton, had all the contact information. So, I dialed up Patty’s boyfriend, Jim, hoping for a friend in arms.

    “I’ll tell you when I get there, don’t worry.” I tried to convince him.

    “It’s nothing illegal, is it? Or, painful?” Jim’s sounded really uneasy.

    “Oh no. At least, I don’t think so.” I hung up and snickered to myself.

    After that, I called up the Student Moving Company and met them and Jim at Patty’s apartment. Jim was livid when he found out the plan but even boyfriends can be bribed with the right thing. The two floor tickets to the Lakers game my boss got me, I relinquished with a few tears of my own. But, back to business.

    We spent most of the day carefully packing every last bit of Patty’s apartment and storing in the truck, even the toilet paper. Then I placed “it” in the bedroom booby trapped to go off the minute she opened the door.

    “Lady, you are devious to say the least,” one of the guys said leaving. “Don’t let me have to cross your path again.”

    I laughed and replied with my best Jessica Rabbit impersonation, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way,” and walked off.

    I waited and watched for Patty. I cleared my fogged up windows again, as a taxi pulled and Patty headed for her door.

    Patty searched her purse for her keys. Straddling her suitcase, she pushed up the door and went in. She reached for the light to be greeted by absolute empty abyss. There was nothing left in her apartment, nothing.

    I creped around the outside just in time to hear it.

    “What the flying fuck!” Patty’s heals could be heard clicking. “Where is all my shit?!” More clicking. And, one, two, three….

    “AAAAHHHHH!”

    “That Old Black Magic” chimed from the apartment. I knew what was happening. Hanging in the bedroom booby-trapped to go off the minute the door opened was the sorority sister skeleton. I’d set it to tap dance like a string puppet. With a final, “Cha, Cha, Cha…Gotcha!”

    Sam was rolling in the bushes with hysterical laughter. This was the best day she’d had in a long corporate mile.

    • penney says:

      there are definite typo’s but its still readable, but unless you know of the other prompt about skeletons in closet you might not get it, so there’s your reference point. thanks to anyone who takes the time for this.

      • wilson hara says:

        Yes, so I did get a little confused (wasn’t around for the skel. In closet prompt but should have realised this was a follow up from tittle). Read no. 1 and now all makes sense and very funny! Cha cha cha…I can just see that…these girls sound like fun!

  44. wolfman141 says:

    The cops were there when I got home. The Super called them when he found my door open with the lock busted out of the frame. The place had been cleaned out, and I mean completely: they took my furniture, my laptop, my medical books, my black bag with the stethoscope and other tools of the healing trade I was no longer supposed to use, my dishes, pots and pans. They even emptied my closet. They took my other suit and both pairs of shoes.
    They left a dead bird in the middle of the bare living room floor. One of those yellow ones people keep in cages.
    “Hey, Doc. This your bird?”
    “Poor Sammy,” I said. “He never hurt anybody. Why’d they have to go and kill him?”
    “They took your cage, huh?”
    I scowled and went to the window. It was blowing out there. Rags of newspaper and dead leaves. But I knew Chicago had suddenly become too hot for me. I knew who did it, but that didn’t matter. The message was clear enough. Don’t make like a canary. The thing is, there was nowhere to go that was beyond their reach. They’d never let me disappear. Besides, I liked the Cubs, even when they stank up the entire north side.
    After the cops left, I went for a stroll. I found a working pay-phone, pumped in a few coins and arranged a meeting.

    The boys thoroughly frisked me before they let me in the door.
    Manny was sitting behind a desk the size of a small aircraft carrier. His three goons were eyeing me like I was a slab of Kansas City ribs and they hadn’t had a decent meal this month. What did they think I was going to do, leap across the desk and try to strangle the guy who signed their checks?
    “What can I do for you?” Manny’s lips barely moved.
    “I want to turn in my resignation.” I unbuttoned my suit jacket and opened it slowly. “It’s in my pocket. Maybe you can have one of your assistants hand it to you.”
    The nearest thug, upon getting the nod, reached two fingers into the indicated pocket, pulled out the envelope and handed it across to Manny, who produced a spring-loaded knife and slit the end open. He pulled out the note and spread it on the desk. The note was printed in the smallest type my computer could manage, so Manny practically had to put his nose to the paper to read it. It said, “If you can read this, you’re close enough to be breathing the anthrax powder I dusted all over the page. Have a nice funeral.” Manny turned green, clutched at his chest and keeled over.
    While the boys were yelling and trying to administer CPR, I managed to replace the first note with one using ten point Times Roman. It said, “I respectfully offer my resignation as your physician. If you wish, I can recommend another cardiologist.”

  45. rob akers says:

    The Captain, Jimmy, JoJo, Rick and Paully D are taking the week off to remember September 11th. I am not a poet, please forgive my mistakes.
    rob

    As far as we knew, it started with an assassination in the mountains of Afghanistan

    But walking in our mist were 19 imposters, planning evil deep in their heart

    Hiding behind a religious fervor, they are murders on a grand scale

    Boarding AA 11, UA 175, AA 77 and UA 93 bound for terror, innocent people went about their day

    The jets were only minutes into the flight, everything that was known would never be again

    The sun rode high in the deep blue sky, the President reading a book as children sat by

    The first jet found its mark, changing the way to world turns

    The Nation thought the same thought, this has nothing to do with me

    They were soon to discover, we are all united in this day of terror

    We made a choice that day, jump, burn, run, hide, call, pray, wait, watch, look away, go in, fight back

    A second jet finds its mark, a nation knows it is under attack

    Live on TV the news spreads fast, somewhere in Kandahar Bin Laden knells in prayer

    A city stands silent watching its landmarks burn, a jet circles the Nation’s Capital unable to find its target

    The first pair went to the city, the third found an office building while disregarding its most prized structures

    In the skies the few get the word, hang on everybody….”Lets Roll!”

    The regain control only to find, their sacrifice will save those they would never meet

    The South Tower falls first, the North will follow soon

    A hole in the Pentagon and a farmer’s field, it was only beginning

    So many lives wasted because of one man whose hatred ran deep

    That single misguided, perverted, brilliant leader plunged the world into a war of attrition

    That war cost so much blood and treasure, it had to be done but it was never fun

    In the city that never sleeps, a void was left deep in the sky

    That man who dreamed of the destruction of the great satan, died a lonely death when justice rang

    Leaders squabbled but finally agreed, build a single solitary act of quiet determination

    2,977 people lost their lives, presiding over them is 1,776 feet of finger in the sky

    • Jeanie Y says:

      Hi Mr. Rob,

      I hope you see this…little behind on my commenting…a lot behind actually.

      Thank you for posting this. It was a day I will never forget, should never forget…and you have brought it back for me to contemplate. It really was a day that changed the world.

      I hug my kids tighter and appreciate more since that day. If anything, it made me realize how fleeting is our time here.

  46. T says:

    ‘Look, kid. It only took one case to make me an old timer. It will be the same for you.”
    Yup. I lucked out with the old guy for a partner. The partner with all the stories. He also drank too much.
    “Joe,” he raised a hand to the bartender, indicating two fingers. Then he glanced over at me, like he was checking to see if I could handle his story. Then he grinned. “Yeah. I’m your partner.”
    “Should we be drinking at the beginning of our shift, sir? Because, ah, I think they mentioned in the rulebook somewhere that we couldn’t drink on the job.”
    “Think of it as lunch.”
    Great. My life was going to be a cop show cliche. Yay.
    “See, here’s what I’ve never gotten, even after 22 years on the job – what’s your name, again?” “Joe, sir.”
    He thought that was uproariously funny. After he wiped his eyes, he face when all slack, except his eyes – not dead. Deadly.
    “I don’t get it when punks rob old poor people. Not just poor. Old, too. They got nothin, and still, some punk will think they’re easy pickoffs.”
    “Yes, sir. I can see how that would bother someone.” I turned to find him staring at me. “Umm, bother you.”
    “Yeah, well. That was my case.’The’ case. We got called to a robbery of a ground floor apartment. You could tell by the front of the building no one living there had much to their name.” He lighted a cigarette then, squinting his eyes, smoke coming out his nostrils before he exhaled a little too harshly and too close to my face.
    “You see, they robbed this old guy who didn’t have a damn thing to his name but some furniture. Some books, maybe. But they took it all except a chair and that they smashed up against the wall. When we got there he was outside weeping, mumbling to himself.” He sighed. “Yeah, that’s the kind of stuff that gets me.”
    I’m thinking this guy has got to have seen more heinous stuff than that, but I nod.
    “So we go inside with the guy and he walks around the room. There wasn’t even a picture on the wall or a newpaper. But he stops where the chair is against the wall all smashed up, and bends down and pulls something out from underneath the wood seat.” He stops and looks at me. “The old holds up one of those dreamcatcher things you get for free from those Indian schools out west. And then he clutches it to his chest. Then he turns to hand it to me. I didn’t want to touch it but he keeps it held out to me so I reach into my pocket for an evidence bag and I used my pen to take it. But he says no, I have to hold it. So I take it into my hand,” he holds up his right hand. “And all of a sudden I can’t see anything but a flash and then–” He stops and tosses down the shot the bartender had put in front of him. “And then I see in my mind who robbed his place. I mean, I saw their faces, I knew their names.”
    “Shit, man. That was wierd.”
    “Yeah,” he smiled. “Wierd. So my partner comes in and he goes to pick it up but I tell him to put on gloves so he did and he slides it into my evidence bag. He finishes up the report and I kinda stagger out of the place.”
    “So, did you catch the guys?”
    “Yeah. They were just punks. They heard the old guy has something stashed in the place and that’s why they took everything. They knifed his stuff open, but didn’t find anything. They went to court but there wasn’t anything of value stolen so the DA cut it down.”
    “So what happened to the old man?”
    “I don’t know. I went back a couple days later to give the guy the dreamcatcher. It was still in the baggie. But he was gone. Social Services took him to some shelter. But I couldn’t throw the damn dreamcatcher away.”
    I watched him reach into his jacket pocket and he pulled out a tattered leather dreamcatcher. The beaded feather still danged from a leather string.
    “Why do you still have it?”
    “Because whenever I hold it, I know who did it.”
    Oh, boy. “You mean, any crime? You know who did it?”
    “Yeah. I’ve solved more cases than anyone in that precinct. Hell, in the whole freakin city.”
    “Wait, you’re not –”
    Yeah, I’m that guy.”
    Hell, this guy was a legend. Wow. And he’s telling me some cheap kid toy thing helps him solve crimes.
    “You’re punking me, right?”
    He hands me the dreamcatcher. I don’t want to touch it. But he pushes it into my hand. And I feel hot all of a sudden and then a flash of blinding light. I drop the dreamcatcher on the floor underneath the stool. He gets up and bends down to get it. I’m gribbing the edge of the bar now. He holds it out to me. “It’s all yours now, kid.”
    “No way.”
    “Take it.”
    I didn’t want to, but I reached out and took it.
    He smiled. Well, sort of.
    “Come on, kid. Let’s go to work.”

    • catbr says:

      That was well done. Good story which held my interest through to the end. The obvious concern for the underdog in society of the main character is very appealing. Some of your descriptions were also very good.

      • T says:

        thanks, catbr. I want to change the ending.
        “Take it.”
        “No! I mean, no thanks.”
        He sighs but he waits. He keeps holding it out to me.
        “Why do you want to give it to me, sir?” I couldn’t stop staring at the thing.
        “Because I dreamed it was you I gave it to, about a week ago.” He pushed it
        into my hands.”Come on, Joe. Let’s go to work.”

    • Heart2Heart says:

      I like the way you have it first. Like catbr I wanted to keep reading.

  47. Heart2Heart says:

    The wind-up radio sat in the middle of the living floor, the one he had gotten in the year 1999 before the end of the world was to come. It was the only thing left. Everything was gone.
    He bought other things – water, a food supply to last six months; the kind of food you wouldn’t want to eat unless it was the end of the world. You know the kind – silver foil packets of who knows what. Nothing good could come from them I decided back then.
    He had a plan for the end of the world. He would come and get me when the computers of the world didn’t work. He had an old truck, the kind you could fix yourself. No fancy computer technology back then when that Chevy came off the assembly line. Simple mechanics, the kind you could depend upon. Tried and true. Mine was a newer model car. You could check whatever was wrong plugged into a mechanic’s computer. Useless at the end of the world, he told me, provided what they predicted came true. I could count on him, he would save me, come and get me wherever I was. He promised.
    Police cars were waiting for me when I arrived home one summer day in 2007. I came home to nothing but the wind-up radio. People stood outside gawking, wondering what I was going to do. Blinds were drawn, closed tight like the neighbors’ eyes and mouths. No one offered any information. No one wanted to be involved.
    “We received a call. Do you know who would do this to you”, the man in black asked me. “The place has been picked clean.”
    “No”, I lied. He was holding my arm as I felt the floor getting closer, knees weak, stomach and head registering the nothingness. I slipped to the floor, right through his arm and the other one reaching for me. “It’s the end of the world”, I whispered to him before I blacked out.

  48. Vanleraywi says:

    It was my sex tape. I knew it would be funny to me years later, but in the moment, sweat shot down my body. The police stood, examining the tape. The bastards must have watched it, realized it wasn’t the girl who had pictures in every inch of the house, and decided to fuck with me.
    My wife clenched our, Moroccan-adopted, four year old. His name was Koonka, and all of his rich, designer, animal toys had been stolen. It made laugh with every particle in my body that our cliche, foreign adopting family had been robbed. The animal thing was funny too.
    It was a Sunday, a dumb day to rob someone, but these guys were ready to pull armed robbery. My new, surround sound, house camera had picked up about five men, with guns, robbing our house.
    The only thing left in our house was a rather pricey, mahogany chair, with a sex tape sitting on it. It was a rather older sex tape. But a good, as far as sex tapes go.
    It was with some intern from my work.
    To be honest, I did feel bad. I loved my wife, as far as love in a twelve year marriage goes. But I was bored, I was bored of life. I was bored of my lucky circumstances. The last time I felt like this I decided to adopt a foreign son, just like the rest of the rich population. Maybe this time I’l get a gorilla from the Congo. The wife probably wont blow me off as much with a gorilla.
    A gruff detective picked up the tape.
    “This will need to be watched,” the detective began, “…down at the station, and will need to be viewed in front of the whole family.”
    Me and my wife nodded along. I whistled cheerfully as I buckled myself, and pulled out of our drive way, following the officer to the station, Roonka and my wife in the back, looking scared.
    Maybe I will name my gorilla Seymour.

    • JR MacBeth says:

      Interesting, some potential I think. Not sure if English is your first language, maybe some editing is in order, apologies if that’s not the case, but in certain places, the flow was not entirely “natural” feeling. Regarding the story, told from the perspective of this spoiled a-hole, it might have been a bit “too much” in that regard, IMO. What I’ve found that works for me are “bad” characters that still have something (anything) likable about them. In fact, I sort of enjoy misdirects, where early in a story a black-hat even appears to be the opposite, awaiting surprising role-reversal, mid-story. Your character was just nasty, from beginning, to end. Not sure if that’s why no one has commented (yet), but like I said, I see potential nonetheless. (Lastly, just a small detail, but names need to stay consistent, “Koonka vs. Roonka”…)

  49. mokingjay says:

    It’s a little on the short side, but here it is

    It was a fall day. The wind was blowing and the leaves where falling. The small white house was still and quiet.

    If a bird had come and taken a look in the front window, he would have been welcomed by a quite comical scene. The bird would have seen a room. There where no pictures on the walls, no funiture, carpets, all decoration had been removed. It was a hollow shell devoid of all emotion and feeling.

    Inside the room there was a young woman. Her blond hair, was ratted and messed, she was pail and looked as if she had been running. She was in a state of shock. They really had taken ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ But the woman wasn’t looking around the room. No, all her attention was focused on the one object in the room.

    It was such a simple little object that if it hadn’t been the only thing in the room it would never have been noticed. It was a small colored glass mushroom that stood only about an inch off the ground. It’s stock was blue and the umbrella was purple with red, and orange spots. It was quite hideous.

    For the bird it would have looked like a way to further hurt and humiliate the victim of the…’robbery’. But it was clear that the woman standing in the empty house saw it as much more. The way her eyes never moved from it for a second; or the way she seemed not to breath; or the way her left hand seemed to twitch by her side all proved that the silly mushroom wasn’t just an ornament.

    Suddenly, the woman broke from the spell, rushed towards the glass piece of fungus, picked it up and hurled it against the wall. She was screaming, loud enough to scare the bird away to a further perch. She reached into her purse and took out a marker. She then commenced to run around the room scribbling 3 words over and over.

    DAMN YOU MARK!

  50. calicocat88 says:

    The Trackers chased her into clean glass building that was her apartment complex. Taylor rounded the slanted corners of the artistic feel of the place, slamming her knee several times into the jagged metal. She could see the heavy silver twenty-four plaque shining like a guiding light on her door, just another number in the system. The Trackers’ boots were closing in on her, their determined pounding behind her like omens dropping from the sky. Despite the titanium beneath her skin, the joints and tendons in her legs were screaming in protest. If she could just make it to the door…
    Just as one of the Trackers grabbed at her arm, she skidded through the door into the foyer, slamming the door shut and not feeling an ounce of guilt at the hideous screams coming from the other side as the metal connected with crunching bones. A laugh bubbled inside her throat—it was hysterical, but laughter nonetheless. She slid down the door, her back tasting the delicious coolness of the icy metal. Relief flooded her body until she took in the ravaged sight of her apartment.
    Everything was gone. The small living room attached to the portion of kitchen—raped to a seemingly clean canvas. A blank floor where the white leather couch with the pretty pale blue pillows and gorgeous lavender throw she had covered with every night instead of huddling in the solitary confines of a bedroom were gone. The expensive flat-screen television she never once turned on, the elaborately carved book shelf nurturing her cherished selection of literature that was hardly found these days and barely living in existence…all was gone. Even the stove she had never learned to use was now a hollow space between the black granite counter tops. It was as if no one had lived there. It was as if she had never been.
    That’s what they wanted. General Black, an appropriate name to match the dense evil in his soul, was finally owning up to the words he had whispered to her at the last training facility gathering. No one will remember you to realize that you’re missing. It will be a clean swipe. Like washing the parasite from the glass plate before slipping it underneath the microscope.
    Taylor crawled across the hard tile floor; she was too exhausted to pick herself up. Whether from the lack of sleep or the lack of mental capacity to absorb the incidents of that morning, she wanted to curl up into a tiny ball and fall into an infinite sleep.
    She closed her eyes and just as she felt her body giving into the false sense of comfort, she heard it. A soft whistling like the wind whirling through the trees during a storm was coming from behind her head. Gingerly raising herself to her elbows she saw resting in the place where her glass roses used to be a small gray box. It looked like a jewelry box from where she was laying, inlaid with precious stones. She stretched out her arm to retrieve it and sat up with the box resting in her lap. Examining more closely she could see that on the cover was a delicate carving of a moon interlaced with a pierced arrow—
    The air caught in her chest and sent Taylor into a fit of choking. Only one person knew to send her that forbidden symbol.
    He had found her.

  51. Garth says:

    What a crappy weekend. Skiing with four beautiful women and all they wanted me to do was act like a boyfriend to keep jerks from bothering them. I had much higher hopes. I was so sure that at least one of them would want to be with me. I should have listened to them though instead, I heard only what I wanted to hear.
    Of course I talked this one up! I told everyone who would listen. I told my co-workers, my boss, the guy sitting next to me in the bar. Hell, I even told the bartender! I just knew that I was going to have a fantastic weekend with four young, beautiful women.
    So, I felt used and abused as I walked up the steps to my door and unlocked it. As I stepped inside, the sight before me was straight out of my darkest nightmare. Everything was gone. The walls were bare. The kitchen was empty. Who ever had broken in, had taken everything I ever owned. They took my couch, my bed, my dishes, my stereo. Everything is gone- even my toilet paper.
    Of course I called the cops before I even stepped inside and I sat against the stoop while I waited for them to arrive. They went through the house pretty quickly and told me it was ok to come in. Now, as I kicked around and saw what was gone, I almost felt like crying. They had even taken the throw rugs from the floor! What a fantastic ending for a fantastic weekend! CRAP!
    I looked down at the only thing the thieves had left behind. My new laptop. The cops were puzzled by why the thieves had left it. Their only explanation was that maybe they thieves put it down and forgot it as they were leaving.
    Now, as I stood and looked down at it, I understood why it was left and who had left it. It was there as a message. It was one of those, ‘because you had such a great weekend, we’re messing up your life,” messages.
    I had bragged endlessly about my new computer a couple weeks ago. I remembered going on and on about how fast it was and the great graphics. My co-workers laughed when I told them the name brand though. They told me I had paid twice what I should have and that it was only going to last a month before it started breaking down.
    The computer had lasted only 2 weeks before it started causing trouble but I was so hyped about the skiing trip, that I almost didn’t mention the computer. When I did, all of the guys said same thing. “We told you so.”
    They are the only ones who knew it wasn’t working. They were jealous of my weekend plans. Maybe they even believed what I was telling them about how it was going to go. Leaving my computer was like an email telling me who did it.

  52. He dropped the bags of groceries at the sound of her blood curdling scream and ran for house. Seeing that the rot Iron Gate at the entrance to the walkway was open he accelerated into a full sprint. Tripping on the step set inside the gate. His face hit the concrete and everything went black. When he came to; he was looking up at a dozen fuzzy, unfamiliar faces bending over him.
    “My names Elaina, sir, I’m an EMT” one of the blurry faced figures said. “Can you tell us what happened?”
    He struggled to sit up, but was unable to overcome the overwhelming pressure of four EMT’s holding him down.
    “Sir just relax, don’t try to move. We’re here to help” the EMT responded.
    “She was screaming. I’ve Got to help; she’s… needs help. Julie; where’s Julie?” he blurted out incoherently still dazed and struggling, fighting to get up.
    “She ok sir, she’s fine. She’s right over there with the police. Were you attacked?”
    “Fell; tripped, need to help, Julie… Where’s Julie?” he mumbled. “JULIEEEEE, JULIEEEE” he began shouting.
    “Sir, please just stay calm, and relax. Julie is fine. She’s unharmed and standing right over there with the police. See!”
    “You almost gave me a heart attack” Julie said to him later in the hospital.
    “I heard you screaming for help. I ran started running and tripped on the step at the gate. What happened?”
    She then informed him of the news that their apartment had been broken into and they had been robbed of everything they owned.
    “Completely cleaned out! They even stole our toilet paper off the roller in the bathroom” she said. “The only thing they left was those stupid Furby’s of yours. Strangest thing they left em right on the floor in the middle of the empty living room with the bag of bingo stuff.”
    A chill ran up his spine and a knot began forming in his gut at hearing this. He knew right away who was behind all this or at least who one of the culprits was.
    “That old bag from the bingo hall we’ve been scamming.” He said.
    For months now after learning of the old hags bingo scam, they had been sabotaging the wrinkly old witch’s bingo scam and capturing the winnings for themselves.
    Somehow they had been discovered. Their undercover bingo operation had been exposed and the real thieves were on to them. After accidently intercepting and capturing the old hags radio frequency and conversation; he and his grandmother had decided that instead of ratting the old bag out to the cops, a better form of justice would be to electronically sabotage their operation by feeding the caller with alternate numbers than that which the old hag needed for their own, and distribute the winnings anonymously to the more needy bingo players. It was a rewarding and noble cause knowing, they were sticking it to the old bag; but now the gig is up and he feared his grandmother, himself and Julie, may now be in danger. This was just a warning!!!

    • jenjane says:

      Im smiling. Love it. My kind of story. Great spin on this and past prompts.

      • JenJane, I actually took the time to edit this one. The first draft I did this morning I thought was much better and in the 1st person tense like part one, but way over the word limit, unfortunately I use the same word document for the revision and lost it while changing it over to the third person tense.
        Thanks glad you liked it :)

  53. jenjane says:

    Violated. Thats what I felt initially. My home had been robbed. Everything  had been taken. Cleaned out. Nothing left. The  police were busy dusting for prints. It seemed a pointless task  considering there wasn’t much to dust, the door, the window, sure they were still there, the robber would have needed a bomb to rid me of those. Even then, they don’t belong to me, every thing I own, someone else now owns. 

    The police queried me if I knew who could have done this to me. They felt it strange that everything was gone, right down to my washing, waiting to be folded. Will the robber fold them? I know my linen pants will wrinkle badly if left too long. How can I be thinking about my unfolded washing at a time like this.

    The police left,  assured I would contact my family. I lied. I wasn’t about to contact my folks. They disapproved of my move to the city from the outset. No, I wouldn’t involve them, it would give them fuel to add to the already blazing fire.

    I spread myself out on the empty floor and stared up at the ceiling. The ceiling fan was still there.  I closed my eyes as I tried to control my thoughts, my stomach was churning, I had a terrible feeling of emptiness. I have been violated. Upon opening my eyes I noticed something red on top of the fan blade. After a few frantic leaps to reach the blade I knocked down a single red rose. 

    “Rob, What’s this?” throwing the rose at him as he opened his apartment door ” I need my independence” 
    Rob smiled as he opened the door wider to let me in.

    Is that my linen pants folded on the table…Is that my table?

  54. The wick in the candle burned merrily, not realizing it was the only thing left in my suite. I stood in the doorway of the empty living room, watching the flame flicker. The scent of apples and cinnamon filled my nostrils.
    There was only one person I knew of that hated me this much. And she had always loved the smell of apples and cinnamon. Only she was dead. Or was she?
    I called Tom from the front desk of the hotel. He was the only one who could help me.
    “Halle, what do you want me to do?”
    I sighed. “Do I have to spell it out for you? Investigate it. You’re the private eye.”
    I could hear him rustle through a bunch a papers. A door slammed and Tom growled something to the door slammer.
    “Look, Halle, I’m busy now. I can’t spend time searching for missing clothes and furniture. Call the cops.”
    “Whoever did it left a apple and cinnamon scented candle. Burning on my floor.”
    The other end of the line was silent. I waited. I could hear his breathing becoming heavier and heavier.
    “I’ll be right over. Don’t move.”
    The phone clicked and was dead. I sighed and leaned against the counter.
    “Can I get you anything, Miss Jenkins?” the clerk asked.
    I shook my head. “I’m just waiting for a friend.”
    I didn’t move to take a seat in one of the provided chairs. When Tom told you not to move, you didn’t. He would look for me here at the desk since I had told him at the beginning of our conversation that’s where I was. That was right after he asked in boredom how I was calling when everything was gone and he assumed that meant the phone too. Sometimes I wondered how he made it as a private investigator in a city as big as Toronto. And yet in spite of, or perhaps because of, his eccentricities he thrived.
    Ten minutes had passed when he entered the hotel lobby. He spotted me right away. No one else would have seen the subtle sign but I saw the slight widening of his eye. He stopped where he was, beneath the shadows of the potted palm. I spared no time going to him. He didn’t say anything, just took my hand and led me out to the car. Once inside he closed the window between us and the driver.
    “Is every blessed thing gone?” was his first question, now all serious.
    I nodded. “Even my toilet paper, my dirty stockings, my belts, that silly purse you won for me at the fair, everything.”
    “And the candle was burning.”
    “I could smell it the minute I walked in.”
    “Was it yours?”
    I shook my head. “You know I hate those kinds of candles. I prefer vanilla and lavender.”
    It was his turn to nod. He knew that. He also knew that I couldn’t stand the smell of apples and cinnamon, not since that day five years ago.

  55. catbr says:

    “I’m glad that day is over. I thought it would never end. Just want to get into my pyjamas and relax the night away.” said Fran to her always nosy, down the hall neighbour, Bertha.

    “Well, you take care then and enjoy the evening. Maybe I’ll come over later and we could watch a movie together?” said Bertha with those obnoxious glaring eyes of hers.

    “Thanks for the offer but I think I’m going to turn in early tonight. I’m very tired. Good night.” For Christ’s sake that woman is annoying, thought Fran. She just couldn’t seem to take a hint. I shouldn’t think like that. The poor woman probably means well, Fran reasoned. It’s just that lately Fran was feeling very tired a lot of the time.

    After letting herself into her apartment Fran heard the clunk of her keys as they dropped to the floor. She turned on the lights and that’s when it hit her. Her little hallway table by the door where she kept her keys was gone. After investigating the entire apartment she had soon discovered that it was totally empty. All her clothes, furniture, toiletries and even her food…gone into thin air.

    “Oh my God, who would do something like this to me.” She said out loud to herself. Sitting down on the hard cold floor of her living room she cried in disbelief. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted something glittering on the other side of the room. Picking it up in her hand she saw that it was a man’s ring.
    The inscription was still there. “Happy birthday Paul. Love, Fran.” It was a ring that Fran had bought for her husband’s 40th birthday. He said that he would always wear it. But he had died 5 years earlier. She was so sorry for taking his love and just his presence for granted all those years that they were together. If only she could have been a little kinder to him more often. Fran was devastated over his death for 3 long painful years but had finally started living her life again as an almost normal person for the past 2 years and now this. What could it mean, why is this happening, she wondered. She was sure he was wearing the ring when he was buried. It was mind boggling. The ring had to be a clue to something. But what?

    After going over to Bertha’s apartment to borrow a blanket and pillow, Fran ordered a pizza for supper on her cell phone. Holding the ring in her hand brought it all back…the intense suffering over her husband’s death. With tears stinging her eyes she cried herself to sleep on the bedroom floor not long after eating, totally weak and exhausted.

    “Come with me Fran. I’ve missed you as much as you missed me for the last 5 years.”

    “What the … Who are you? Is that you Paul.” Fran was overwhelmed with emotion. There, standing before her, was the love of her life, her husband Paul. She got up off the floor and ran over to embrace him with tears streaming down her face. “I always knew that I would see you again. But I thought that it would be after my death.”

    “Look behind you Fran.” said Paul. There laying on the floor with the blanket and pillow was Fran’s body. Fran had suffered a brain aneurysm some time through the night which had killed her instantly.

    “I don’t understand. Why were all of my possesions taken?”

    “Oh that. I knew how much you liked giving to charity and since you wouldn’t be needing anything anymore I thought that you’d want to give everything to your favourite thrift store. Sometimes we can arrange things like that for good people when they are going to die. I hope you don’t mind?”

    “Oh Paul. No I don’t mind at all. It was the exact right thing to do.” Fran said blissfully grateful, hugging her husband as they disappeared out of sight to go to their new home in heaven, together forever in eternity.

  56. cmfinley1207 says:

    My first thought when I saw the empty apartment was simple. “Oh Crap.”

    The words echoing in my head got stronger as I went through the rooms. The absolute emptiness of them. By the time I called the police, I was sure whether to curl up and sob, laugh hysterically, or curse and throw the scant contents of my purse around the room. I settled for sitting numbly in a corner until the police arrived, and cursing in my head.

    The officers came, asked the standard questions. Had I seen anything? (no.) Did I know anyone who could or would do this? (No. No enemies. Not enough money for robbers, and who wants toilet paper?) Then, at the end of the interview, on officer held up something. “Do you recognize this ma’am? It was in the middle of the living room.”

    A book. Paperback, worn with yellowing pages. ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’. I shake my head. “Nope. It’s not mine, but…” I stop. No. “Wait…my dad gave me a copy…” When was that?

    The officer nodded. “We’ll call you if we get any leads ma’am.” And then they’re gone, and I’m holding a book, the one thing left in my apartment.

    I looked at the book, my brain slowly working again. Then at my door, the unforced lock. It didn’t take much thought for me to grab my purse, and go to my car, then drive through the streets to a nice two-story house. I paused, but there were lights on, so I parked the car, grabbed my purse, and walked up to slam my hand on the doorbell.

    The door opened, framing a handsome face, as well known as my own. “Sis…”

    “Where’d you take it?”

    My brother blinked back at me. “Ummm…what?”

    “My stuff. Where’d you take it?” I held up the book. “When I was fifteen, we had a months worth of fighting over this, and dad declared it family property. Only you would remember how much I wanted it. And NOT know dad bought me a copy, while you were at school.”

    A sheepish grin appeared on his face. “That house…the one you circled in the paper. The real nice one. Your lease is almost up and all…”

    I stared at him. My brother, the up and coming lawyer. “Seriously?”

    He grinned wider. “Well…I thought it’d take you longer but…Happy 30th, sis. And uh…surprise?”

    “Surprise?”

    “There’s a cake, and everyone’s at the new place. We thought you’d come here to crash or something, and I could take you out and just…end up there. Didn’t think you’d catch the book hint.”

    I stared at him a moment longer, in mingled fury and laughter, then grinned and pulled him close to ruffle his hair. “Brat. Thanks. But next time you want to surprise me like that…”

    “Not so dramatic?”

    “No. Just leave the blasted toilet paper.”

  57. Birdee0809 says:

    Hi everybody, this is a continuation from the Follow that Man prompt from a few weeks ago. I actually wrote much more than this but had to cut it for the word count. I am definitely contnuing this story after I finish up a couple others. I hope you enjoy!

    _____________________________________________________________________

    The Convergence, Chapter Two

    The neighbors didn’t hear a thing, nor did they see anybody entering or leaving. It was as if his belongings disappeared into thin air, all except for the book.

    “It’s probably just a moving company who got the wrong address,” drawled Jasper Atkins. He stood with his hands on his wide hips looking at Bob as if that explained it all.

    “But there was no way for them to get in, the doors were locked,” said Bob.

    “Well got in they did,” Jasper said flatly.

    “How am I going to get it all back?” asked Bob, his patience beginning to wear thin.

    “Maybe you should start making some calls to moving companies,” Jasper shrugged, scratching his ample belly and yawning.

    Bob stared at the library book on the floor in the middle of his living room.

    There has to be a reason it’s the only thing left behind.

    Chilly pinpricks crawled over his scalp and he shivered. He walked over and picked it up then bid farewell to Jasper and got in his cab and headed for the library. It should be fairly empty at this time of day and he could make those calls. He didn’t know what else to do.

    It had been two weeks since the meeting with the girl, or with whoever or whatever had possessed the teenager in his cab. She told him he played a part in the weakening of something called the Lives Framework. She said to follow his instincts and listen to the little voice inside his head. At the time, it seemed clear to him what he needed to do but in the following weeks he hadn’t done anything to put those plans into action.

    After returning the library book, Bob walked to one of the reading corners and sat down. Almost immediately a young man sat down opposite him.

    “I see you took the hint,” he said. It was her…him. It?

    “Yeah, not easy to miss in my empty apartment,” Bob said sarcastically. The man’s eyes went wide.

    “They know,” he said, quickly pulling out a little round object and frantically punching something into it.

    The man abruptly unfolded himself from the chair, crossed the small patch of floor and placed his hands on Bob’s shoulders, shoving him backwards into complete blackness.

    They were rushing through the dizzying nothingness. He could feel two hands grasping his clothes, pushing him along to a destination only they could see. The air seemed too thin and Bob was beginning to feel his shock and panic. He opened his mouth wide and the more he tried to draw air into his lungs the less of it there seemed to be.

    The hands were suddenly pulled off him and he heard sounds of a struggle. Bob stood still, his arms reaching out, his body making jerky back and forth movements.

    Whoever this guy is, he’s my only way out, he thought grimly.

    Bob felt a hand on his back; it shoved him hard and said one word.

    “Run!”

  58. In Brickdown City, when bad things happen, it’s either the hand of God or the handiwork of Rupert Crawford.

    Looking around at my cleansed apartment, every single item of my worldly possessions stolen from the carpet to the couch to the cooker, it wasn’t God’s name I was cursing.

    “Is there anything else you’d like to add to your statement?” The police officers looked at me with faux concern. The two officers had arrived 2 hours after I reported the burglary. And so far they’d done little beside offer me condolences.

    “No thank you officer.” Loosely gripping my grandmothers amulet, the only thing in the entire house the robbers left, I stared at it forlornly. Rolling it through my fingers, as though the locket was a set of rosemary beads, I prayed that some of her patience would rub off on me.”Thank you for all your help.” I continued shortly, before fixating both officers with polite smile on my face that held no enthusiasm behind it.

    “Not a problem Ann,” the officer paused, the sound of his voice dismissive,”May I call you Ann?” He continued regardless completely uninterested in my reply. “Maybe it would be wiser for you to stay with family tonight, somewhere outside of this neighbourhood, while we look into this investigation.” The smirk that quickly drew across his face as he finished that sentence told me that these two officers would be doing anything but.

    I stopped rolling the amulet as my anger spiked. Steeling myself I let go of all false niceties. “Should I be concerned for my welfare?” As he opened his mouth to begin to deny it, I raised a hand, talking over him as I smiled curtly. “I’m sure you and your fellow officer can see yourselves out. I need to make a phone call.”

    They both went stock still at that, eyeing each other, before Officer ‘Faux-Concern’ turned to question me.”Who are you calling?”

    Raising a single eyebrow in challenge, I flipped open my cellphone. “My father.”

    I watched as the officer shrank back at the implication.”We are just concerned for your welfare Ma’am.”

    I started to chuckle to myself at the sudden return to formality, “Well,” I nodded briefly, “I’m sure you’ll be just as concerned from outside my apartment. Good evening officer.”

    I held out a hand indicating the front door, watching them glance at one another for a long moment, before they finally turned to leave. Following them to the entrance, I triple locked the door behind them, leaning gratefully against the heavy steel before I began to dial.

    “Annie!” The jovial voice of my estranged father reverberated through my phone after the second ring. “Its been so long since we’ve heard from you,” I listened as chattering began in the background as my father chuckled over the indistinct speech, “your mother worries.”

    “Where are my things Rupert.”

    “Is that anyway to speak to your father? What happened to the little girl who used to call me Papa?”

    “What do you want Rupert?” For a few moments, I heard nothing but cold silence, my pulse spiking at the dead air.

    “What I want,” the abrupt sharp edge of my father’s voice sliced lethally through the phone, “is for you to give the Crawford name the respect it demands.” The sudden loss of all joviality made me hold my breath. “And for you to return home now.

    Closing my eyes in resignation, I tightened my grip on the phone, as I slid slowly down to the ground. “When did it happen?”

    “Your grandmother passed away last Friday.” My father’s voice was low and even. “It is now time for you to take her place in The Order.”

  59. April 21, 1910

    I walked through the parlor, the drawing room, up the staircase and through the bedrooms—but there was nothing left. Not a trace of dust, not a single loose leaf of paper or drop of ink from my writing desk, not a thread from any of the confiscated curtains, linens or clothes remained. Not that the material things mattered much to me, but I did feel a weight of sorrow that the few personal items of my family—my wife Livy’s gloves, my daughters Jean and Susy’s dresses, even little Langdon’s blanket—were gone as well. Perhaps it would have been best to have parted with those things when they departed from this world, but my memory hasn’t been what it used to be lately. Those trifles always helped me hold on.

    When I walked back into the parlor, there was an object at the bottom that I had somehow overlooked. It was a shiny ferry token, and as I stooped down to pick it up, I smiled at the familiar coolness of the coin. All those years of piloting ferry boats up and down the Mississippi…I could recall the smell of the air, the clanging of bells, the rushing of the water through the ferry wheel. I knew why that coin was there, and who might’ve left it.

    I opened my front door wide. There, where my lawn should have been, was a dazzling bright ferry, strewn with twinkling stars. A grand golden wheel pivoted on the side, turning the clouds that poured around the boat like an ivory river.

    “Come now,” I huffed. “It ain’t got to be as fancy as all that.”

    Immediately, the ferry boat became a raft. As I predicted, Huck was on it, smiling as he chewed on a blade of glass, tipping his straw hat towards me. I began to wonder how the boy might’ve looked grown up, if I had ever let him grow. He’d look like me, I suppose.

    “You sure you wanna leave this way?” Huck asked. “All yer stuff was on the ferry. Can’t fit all that on this thing.”

    “Ain’t got much use for all that, where I’m going.” I tossed the ferry token to him. “Don’t mind some company, though.”

    Huck bites the token, and shoves it in a pocket of his overalls. “You ever ride a comet before, Mr. Twain? I ‘magine it’s terrifyin’.”

    I kicked off my shoes and stepped onto the raft. I picked up the steering pole. “I came into this world with this very comet. I’m ready to go out with it now. The Almighty said, no doubt: ‘Here are these two unaccountable freaks. They came in together, they must go out together.’ And Huck…call me Sam.”

    As Huck and I started to make our way down that river to wherever and who knows, I knew the me I left behind—that old man lying in the bed—must’ve passed on with a smile, as Hailey’s comet soared overhead.

  60. slayerdan says:

    I had a fantasy option, mystery option and scifi option. I think this will be a harder prompt for some this week, a la last week. Good luck to all…happy writing.

  61. slayerdan says:

    My breath flees from me faster than I can get it. Running through the house, room to room, half expecting someone to still be there tripled my adrenaline. No one was there. I remain here now, alone. My home no more than a huge, empty storage shed. Everything was gone. Furniture. Clothes. Electronics. Food. Even the dirty linen.

    All gone.

    It was my third trip through the house, once I had slowed down, that I found it. It was in the living room, near the door. In my panic and anxiety, I had missed it. Staring at it now, it all in bronze and steel, there was no doubt.

    It was the upside down arrow insignia of the state. It was small enough that it was certainly a lapel pin. Signifying authority or status. It was in my living room. My empty living room. There was no longer a need to alert the authorities. They already knew.

    They were coming for me.

    Pain gripped my chest and I thought surely I would drop, this was my time. Wiping away the sweat as the bulk of the pain subsided, I used my cellphone to call Trish. In my initial terror, I had not yet called her. Did she know? Was she here when they came?

    Three tries later I managed to fumble through the small phone keys and dial her number. Slumping down against the wall in the kitchen, I feel my sweat mix with my tears. Why me? Why us? What had I done to the state? I worked. My kids were in line. We attended government education.

    “Hello Raymond,” came the sweetest voice I had ever heard. It was Trish. She hadn’t called me Raymond since our second date, 22 years ago.

    They had her.

    Mustering up every bit of strength I had, clearing my throat so those listening would not know I knew, I replied.

    “Hello my love,” I managed to warble out,” where are you?”

    “I’m not sure where we are, there are several of us here,” she said, her voice eerily calm.

    I cried a silent scream, my face twisted in agony as she spoke. Clenching the phone as if it were my last touch of Trish herself, I replied,” I love you Trish.”

    “ It will be okay Raymond, everything will be just fine. We just need a little more education. They’ve assured me it will all be fine,” the eerie calmness continued.

    “I am sorry,” I replied as I closed the phone and turned it off. It smashed into a thousand pieces as I hurled it against the wall. She was gone. And soon the state would come for me.

    The lights from a vehicle pulling into the drive scanned across the walls, alerting me they were back.

    I stood and wiped my brow, tucking in my shirt. The knock came.

    I went to the door.

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