My Microstories

Everything here is stuff I just wrote for fun and don’t intend to publish anytime soon.

Water Musings:

Fresh water tears seep from her cuticles to pool on her fingernails where they drop off the slender tips like heavy dew on tree leaves. With a flick of her hand, the lady sends them scattering into the air. She draws her arms around her protectively, tucking her hands away to hide the leaking that flows with every pulse of her heart. She drapes the thick fog around her face, veiling herself in its intangible eddies. Even though the sun shines brightly, the area surrounding her carries the chill of a cave. From the outside, the effect is stunning—the water droplets have reflected and refracted the sunbeams into flirtatious rainbows that dance along the blanched sidewalk with a merriness in sharp contrast to the overcast expression etched on the features that they hide.

The temperature drops a degree with every step until the mist has turned into swirls of feathery snowflakes that cling her amber hair, each a miraculous new permutation of crystal. Suddenly, the ashen butterflies evaporate instantly into steam with a “ttsss” as she crosses over a shimmering threshold of heat. The molten wave threatens the substance of things not seen. The lady quickens her pace towards the shade of a willow tree and on parting the leafy waterfall, is relieved to find the invisible moisture in the air return to her skin as dew, gathering on her arms and trailing down to pool at her feet if she lingered long enough.

Playing With Fire:

Her appearance was misleading. Sitting cross-legged on the floor of her cell, purring softly with contentment, it was easy to forget that that this woman had just sent three men to the hospital. As long as she stayed firmly controlled, she was more than happy to provide them with whatever they wanted, but at the faintest flicker of absentmindedness, she would pounce towards the opening and make a break for freedom. It wasn’t cunning on her part, but pure instinct that drove her. When harnessed, her power could save lives instead of ending them, if only they could find a way to keep her ravenous hunger at bay.
It was time for another experiment, but this time they were ready. The bronze lamp was struck with a stone and the woman cocked her head to one side as if listening to a call. With languid grace, she reached above her head to grasp the wick, which she slid up like a snake. On reaching the outside, she perched on the stem, swaying hypnotically. “What do you desire?”

They all averted their gaze, knowing that just as staring at the sun produces blindness, so would the sight of her skin burn their eyes. Throwing a bag of sand at her feet, they told her to turn it into glass. She did so, producing an elegant punch bowl. They nodded their approval, avoiding her with their eyes. From the church across the street, the bells tolled the hour, and they all instinctively checked their pocket watches. In a flash, the wild sprang into her blind eyes and with a crackling growl, she leaped for the door and was loose. They all ran towards her, shouting for backup. Despite crashing into the walls, she never slowed her speed down the hall. Once or twice, she would sense her pursuers behind her and turn to run at them. Terrified of the pain contact would bring, they scattered to avoid any connection. Just as quickly, she would spin back around and fly towards the end of the hall.
Then, from around the corner, a figure stepped into her path. A lady cloaked in cloudy grey with a veil across her face. The clawing blaze clumsily streaked towards her, not even aware of the newcomer’s presence. She slammed into the grey lady, but there was no impact. She just melted into the thick folds of cloth and both disappeared into the air with a hiss. The men dashed back into the room they had just so hurriedly departed and bent low to look at the lamp. Inside, the motionless body of their experiment lay in a heap as if dead. She would remain that way until the next time they wished to rekindle her power. For today, they would just leave her there.

The Day the Earth Stood Still:

With a mild grating noise, the mailbox allowed its jaw to be pried open. Placing a single white envelope into the metallic mouth, the man proceeded calmly back up the driveway. The dozen or so unconcealed snipers dotting his front lawn drew their weapons and began to fire. Bullets of all shapes and sizes struck him at every angle, but he did not slow his pace. They did not penetrate or even ricochet, but contacted the skin only to have their kinetic energy completely absorbed, causing them to slide or sometimes roll off of him onto the tarmac. Not breaking his stride, he reached the halfway point to his house and came to a halt just as the silver hailstorm petered off. The men simultaneously threw down their weapons, took three steps towards him and drew knives from their jackets. Throwing them with practiced accuracy, they sent the blades pointing directly into him. Yet again, the missiles touched the man, but left no marks except for a few tears in his shirt. An involuntary shudder rumbled down his spine as the potential energy stored inside him urged him to take a step forward. Instead of giving in, he locked his arms at his side and nodded to the group. One by one, the black clad figures approached the man and delivered a punch or a kick to his body. He didn’t even stiffen as each blow connected, but had no effect. There would be no bruising. The man’s jaw was clenched as he waited for the last attacker to withdraw. Then, with a burst, he sprang forward with inhuman speed, covering the distance to his doorstep in a blur of movement, barely being able to stop himself before he would have slammed into the wood. He stretched out a hand and requested that one of the knives be brought to him. Once he held it, he extended his left arm and carefully ran the edge of the blade over his palm. A rivulet of blood appeared to fill the crack he had just opened. The remaining pressure in his body eased as it found an escape route.

A Change in the Wind:

A cold front is pushed through and a lake freezes over. An ember from a cigarette is tickled by a puff and blown into a monstrous blaze. The tall grass ripples and trees sway. He is invisible—only seen in the effect he has on our world and most only think of him when they feel the pain that his absence causes.

“Do you know why I asked you here?” I ask him. On the outside, he looks like a seven year old boy, but he never ages.

“Because you can’t control me” His deep brown eyes blink up at me. “Because you’re afraid of me.”

“We’ve observed you on the testing grounds and find your abilities impressive. I would even say that out of our four participants, you are the most powerful. You walk by and a man wins the lottery. The day of her debut on Broadway, the lead singer gets laryngitis. A child’s life is saved when an anonymous donor provides a kidney.  A man meets a girl in line at the grocery store who he ends up marrying. They don’t see you, but you’re always there.”

“I can’t decide what happens.”

“I know. The results are also unpredictable. Just because you walk behind someone when they get a lottery ticket won’t guarantee that they will win. They might trip and sprain their wrist instead.”

The boy nods, expressionless, but some of the tension in him relaxes, reassured that I’m not intending on exploiting him. He has no alliance—neither good nor bad.

“People try to run from me, but they can’t. They try to case me, but they can’t.”

I let him talk, knowing that this will be the only time I will ever speak to him. “I am sent,” he says. “I go where I’m sent. They can’t choose if I come, but they can choose their reaction to what I cause. Whether they sink into depression, give generously to those in need, or write a bestselling book about it.” Rising from his chair, he reaches out to shake my hand, even though I haven’t given any signal that we are finished. “I must go, but I’m glad I could help you with your study.”

I stop him right before he gets out the door. “Who do you work for?”

“The only one who can control me.” He jerks his head up at the ceiling. Seeing that I don’t understand, he shrugs. “It’s not a secret. If you want to know, you’ll figure it out.”

And then he was gone.

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