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.
Lesley eyed the building while she polished the antiques. Its bleak façade hung like a gaping maw; rotted teeth below empty sockets, and its tongue rolled rock-strewn into the river.
Her gaze returned to inspect the wares on the windowsill; all polished and shiny, ready for another day of business. Lesley knew though, that by morning they would all be tarnished again.
That night, as every night, Hell’s presence rose through the devil’s portal, imparting its ancient malice into the water. Fetid fumes seeped up river banks, swarmed over trees and bled into buildings, coating everything in a dark patina.
Gregory watched from across the street as the second floor apartment burned. He shoved his hands in his pockets and glanced at the growing crowd. Murmurs of concern and questions about the occupants swirled around him. He backed away slowly, nodding, and slipped unnoticed down the street.
Gregory had known Mr. Viggers well. That old twerp had caused so much trouble; always complaining about Gregory’s car and how it got in the way of his precious street sweeper. Idiot had even taken him to court, and got that stupid sign erected.
Well, Gregory grinned, not anymore, Mr. Viggers. Not anymore.
Erica slung the beanbag over her back and declared that she was going to be a hobo and live on a train. It didn’t matter that the beanbag was as big as her, or that it was missing the stick, or that it really wasn’t a sack at all. However, it was purple with white spots and that was enough of a spark.
I stopped washing dishes and looked at her. All she needed was a pair of baggy trousers with old suspenders and a cloth cap, and I laughed; she had a vivid imagination.
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.
Michelle had never liked Tears for Fears; what kind of a name was Roland Orzabal anyway? Here she was nearly three decades later in the music room at her parents’ home, how ironic that it was her responsibility to sort through the rubbish since, well….she dinged a cymbal with her fingernail and chortled.
Her father had belittled her when it became clear that she was not the least bit interested in music; her mother always kept a frigid distance. So Michelle became a lawyer and a very good one, who’d just sent her parents to jail for tax fraud.
He invited me down to the cellar. I felt like the luckiest girl; no-one I knew had a cellar, let alone tennis courts, a bowling room and two pools. Bradley was an all-star and I adored him. The other girls at school were jealous that he chose me to go out with.
He led me toward the racks of wine bottles. Once we were concealed, Bradley punched me hard in the head, and I bounced off the concrete floor. He raped me as my brain bled.
The light over his shoulder guided me away. No more pain. The luckiest girl.
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