April stared forlornly at the arrangements. The tall one was a bit sparse and the little one looked like something her Grandmother might have on the dining room table. Still, she longed for someone to think enough of her to send flowers to work.
Imagine her coworkers’ reactions! “She’s just the receptionist.” They’d say, incredulous. “She lives alone with her cats, and wears dowdy clothes!”
Maybe, April thought, she’d fix it so that “someone” did think of her that way.
She continued staring at the flowers, knowing full well that the deception would only serve to make her more miserable.
Jeremy stared glumly down at the city; he could smell the destitution from up here. Another night had passed by on Knob Hill with a stolen six pack, and cigarettes. However at some point, he’d discovered a mannequin head. Her appearance was a mystery but Jeremy had named her Lucy. As his buzz grew, he discovered how easy it was to talk to her.
Sometimes, he’d clutched her tightly and screamed; he’d cradled her in his chest while deep, wretched sobs roiled from him. Sometimes, he’d simply looked at her.
This morning, Jeremy knew he had always had a choice.
She was a shivery thing huddled in the corner, trying to appear smaller to the junkies who taunted and threw stones. Even in my addled state, my heart broke. I scooped her up, tucked her inside my jacket and fled the building with their jeers following.
Fourteen years ago, that kitten saved me; I took on a responsibility and I loved her. We’ve been through a lot but no matter how far down the mental well I tumbled, she was right there to haul me up.
She died yesterday.
Helpless; hopeless, I’ve returned to chase the dragon one last time.
Mr. Briggs loved the old girl but now it was time to let her go. He’d polished her fenders with care, attached the poppy just so and spit-licked the spotlight shiny.
Later, he watched from the other side of the barrier as she passed by, tears brimming, and saluted with one briny hand. Mr. Briggs lingered long after the crowds had dispersed, staring down the road with droopy, rheumy eyes.
He tugged a handkerchief from his pocket and blew his nose loudly before turning away. Perhaps he’d stop at the newsagent and pick up some chicken noodle soup for dinner.
Naomi browsed the display. The shopkeeper had said that each bottle caused a different effect; just read the labels. She brushed aside a strand of hair and chewed her lip. What did she want to change? Did she want to be taller? No; she was just the right height. Did she want to be thinner? Not really; Naomi liked her figure. She plucked the smallest bottle from the top shelf, read the label and smiled impishly before knocking back the contents.
Soon, her friends noticed. “Naomi, you eat ALL the time! How do stay so slim?”
Lily stood, wondrous. Her mother had assured her that the tales were true; fairies did live beneath that stump in the woods, but Lily considered herself too old to believe in her mother’s “fairy” tales.
After her Mother died suddenly, Lily walked in the woods alone; memories of their time together trailing like gold dust. Perhaps it was the beam of sunlight on the stump that made Lily pause on the bridge; she’d never be sure, but there they were – hundreds of fairies waving. Lily stood, wondrous. She wept; wishing she had believed sooner.
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