I saw him resting under a tree, my tree. Or at least everyone called it my tree since the incident. But since it was being called my tree, however spitefully, I would claim it as such. So I’d say my bit and I’d kick him out from under my tree. Then, I’d watch him lumber off and I’d take a nice nap. It was a good day for a nap too, balmy and quiet. Much like the day that ruined my life. Just thinking of it made me bristle with anger. But I called upon that to fuel my speech and I scampered on over to him.
“I need to talk to you.” He slowly craned his neck to look up at me. He blinked his beady little eyes at me, and slowly, ever so slowly, opened his mouth. His mouth hung open for a few seconds before it closed with a click. Then he opened it again. And closed it. And opened it. This time, a tongue slid out and tasted the air. Then, back in. And he shut his mouth again. God, I knew he was always a mouth-breather but he could at least give me the courtesy of a response.…
I’m having a lovely time at Clockworld. At noon yesterday, three hundred grandfather clocks chimed at once. I had to cover my ears, it was so loud. They have clock-themed books, analog and digital clocks, and an entire room dedicated to Mickey Mouse watches. They even have pocket watches like the one your grandfather used to carry. I considered buying you one, but decided against it.
I know you forbade me to bring another clock home, but I did. I did it for me.
“How long will I live?”
The doctor’s office is painted sickly green, and the fluorescents above make it only look sicker. The doctor himself has a tie with cartoons on it, lurid yellow and bright red, that draws Theo’s eyes even after he’s asked the question that has weighed on his mind for so long.
“Well.” The doctor looks up into his brain for the answer, finding only the ammunition for a dozen or so questions. “Do you smoke? Do you drink? Are you sexually active? Do you exercise? How many hours a week? Do you sleep well? Do you like yourself? Do you drive a nice car? Who are you dating? Do they have dyed hair? How much red meat do you eat every week?”
“Um,” Theo says.…
My neighbor is a spider farmer. Spiders settle on the plants by his living room window. “I’m harvesting their silk,” he explains. “It’s as strong as steel.”
“What will you build?”
“A shield over my heart. A patch over the hole in the sky.” His wife had been high up in the Towers. He points at the bare skyline out the window. “I’ll drape a web over the city that will blind the sky with its own sunlight, so the next plane will splinter against the wall of webs.” He scratches his head. “Or a parachute to jump from the next burning building. Do you know that many spiders can make parachutes?”
I don’t know this. I watch a spider parachute from his ceiling. If I squint closely, it looks like a tiny lady falling from the sky.
– Courtney McDermott…
Barricading himself and a hostage in the Super 8 was not the best decision Tommy had ever made, but he couldn’t face the cops who waited in the pouring rain. He couldn’t face anything outside, couldn’t even face the mirror. He had screwed it all up; he had spun and dodged and dickered with responsibilities all his life, his father’s shadow hooping his hopes and dreams. He was so afraid of being like the old man he didn’t have a chance of becoming anybody else. “Baby, don’t peek through the blinds,” he said. “I can’t let you out. I need you. You’re all I’ve got.”
“What are you going to do?” Michelle wanted to know, and her voice blended with the thunder and lightning. At first, she had shaken all over and cried when he wouldn’t let her leave. Now, her fear had dissolved into a kind of stony, controlled fury. “You’re trapped like an animal, and you’ve got me in the trap with you. I don’t want to die when the cops start shooting in here!”
He coughed and said nothing, but his anxiety increased. “What does the mouse do when the cat is at the hole?” he thought. Retreat.…