Until now, she'd never thought of herself as pretty. After all, her parents had named her Agnes. Agnes. That was the name of some fat, frumpy girl. But she stood here at the mirror, the bell had long since rung and students had settled themselves in desks. The comb in her bag would have to do. Maybe something from the haze of hairspray left behind by the other girls would help set the ridiculously high bangs she had crafted for herself.
She threw the comb in her bag and headed out into the hall. It was empty as expected. Agnes...
Sal knew it was too late the minute the whistle blew. That train had been keeping time in Millersville for twenty years and when its screech filled the air, everyone knew it was one in the afternoon. An eclipse could turn the day to night and no one would doubt it was in the PM if the train sounded. Heart racing and pulse pounding, Sal made a desperate dash down the road, passing the stable and skidding to a halt. "Now there's an idea." If some idiot wanted to leave a saddled horse loosely tied to this hitching post just...
It was the fall that surprised me most. Stumbling, suddenly in darkness, in a vile body that felt alien, so different, so limited, so odd - nothing to...before.
They never believed me, never believed what I said, when I tried to explain where I belonged (this tongue is clumsy and cannot say the words I need - I use words like "sky" and "stars" and "above" and "far" but none of them even begin to describe home - home is the closest approximation I have, but it is, I find, unhelpful)
They tell me that such things - I -...
Finally, the door swung open. The light was brilliant and painful after so much time i the dark; not so brilliant as His, of course, but the effect was much the same.
"DO YOU LIKE IT?" His voice boomed. "IT ONLY TOOK ME A WEEK. SIX DAYS, IN FACT."
They stared stupefied. Where there had once been nothing, there was a giant celestial body, a blazing fire fixed in the heavens. Closer, there was a spinning blue-white sphere orbited by a pockmarked satellite.
And upon that globe, tiny things moved about, hunting, gathering, eating, sleeping, fucking.
"What?!" They screamed incredulously....
The results were in: she had earned "third runner up" honours.
"Top five ain't bad!" Jeff said encouragingly.
"It's four spots worse than good," Melanie grumbled. "I don't want to be 'not bad'; I want to win something! I want to be recognized!"
Jeff sighed. "I recognize you," he reassured her. "I recognize you more than anything else, or anyONE else, in the whole world. Why do you think I married you?"
"Chocolate trifle," she sniffed.
"Well..." he grinned. "Ok. You got me. I married you for your chocolate trifle. But AFTER the trifle, you're the most important thing in...
Spinning. Thirteen years old and with my friends in some suburban backyard, spinning. Looking up at the nightime stars and spinning. Spinning until a single star became the axis around which the universe revolved. Spinning until everything made momentary sense and then dissolved away in fits of giggles and pratfalls on the grass.
Spinning, the car catching my rear bumper and turning me in a full circle so that the city became a blur.
Spinning in the pool, three somersaults in a row is what turned the pool into the ocean filled with the giant squid and the great white...
The alien craft exploded invisible to the human eye. The inhabitants had exited over an hour ago, running amazingly fast past the animals lying lazily on the sun scorched land who barely gave them a glance, such was their speed.
Marsha's mom said a second rosary just before going to bed after the long and happy day that was Marsha's wedding. She had never believed that her plain yet loving daughter could have made such a good match. Tom was not only clever, strong and good looking but he was such a homely man, loved helping with the farm, crops...
"Aim for the torch."
"We're gonna miss it."
"I know! I said I'm trying!"
"Ok, forget the torch. Try to land on, uh, her shoulder or something."
"The wind's too strong."
"How about her feet? The balcony? The plaza? ...The field?"
"This isn't my fault. No matter what happens, this isn't my fault."
"We're going to end up in the ocean, aren't we?"
"Probably. No, wait! I could just... Hmm. Yep. We're gonna land in the ocean."
"I don't like the ocean. It's wet."
"Shut up and deal with it."
"Plus all the cash in my wallet is...
Hello city, hello Amy's boyfriend way down there. Hello penny. Let's see if it's so, what I remember from 4th grade about what happens when you drop a penny off the Empire State. On this street we walked and I wanted to yell at people who cat called her and to ask them if they had mother's and shame them. Down by the sudsy Hudson River we laid out and looked at the buildings and talked about Kenya, about the merits of going away and trying to talk ourselves into a compulsion to stay. On that bench she cried at...
The conversation lasted two words: "Fuck You!".
Turns out walking out of a bargin with a demon wasn't quite that easy though. As James turned his back to the demon he'd just crossed and bound, he strode through the doorway out into the street. He wasn't five paces from the door when it exploded outwards fire splinters into the car park, taking his legs from under him.
The demon paced around the fallen man. The demon taunted him with words in a tounge which was painful to hear. Knowing his end to be near James called on energy from his...