Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Truth About the Birds and the Bees #fridayflash

“My Queen,” Bzedward said, lowering the front half of his body in an awkward bow.

“You may rise,” the Queen said, shaking her wings. Bzedward obeyed.

“I am honored that you would consider me for the mating flight.” It was hard for him to think straight this close to the Queen. Her scent filled the small chamber and it took all of his self-control to keep from mounting her where they stood.

“Turn,” the Queen said. Bzedward obeyed. “You are an acceptable specimen. The mating flight will be in one hour. Dismissed.”

“Thank you ma'am.” He bowed again and backed out of the chamber, careful not to turn his back to Her Highness. The next suitor stepped up to take his place.

“My Queen,” Bzedward heard him say before the chamber doors were shut behind him by the worker bees.

Bzedward rushed deeper into the hive to find Bzamy steadily scooping up wax and shaping it into honeycomb.

“I'm in! I'm taking part in the mating flight, at last!” Bzamy stopped scooping and turned to look at him.

“You can't!”

“What are you talking about? Of course I can, it what I'm made for. I'm a drone.” Bzamy stood staring at him for several moments, then scooped up a large mound of wax and angrily slapped in onto the honeycomb.

“You're right. Of course. No reason for you to stick around here. Go on some kamikaze sex mission. See if I care.”

“Bzamy! What's gotten into you?”

Bzamy only kneaded the wax with her tarsi with a little more force than necessary.

“Don't be like this. Come on, you know I can't help what I am.” Bzamy's wings drooped.

“Yeah, I know. I'm happy for you, really. I'm glad you got what you always wanted.” He reached out and caressed her wing with his. At first she kept still under his touch, but after a few moments she relaxed into the contact and rubbed her wing back and forth in response. “I'll miss you, you big jerk.”

“I'll miss you too. I'd better get going or else I'll miss the flight. Wouldn't want to be the last one there.” He flew off back in the direction of the Queen's chamber and she watched him for a moment then got back to work.

Bzedward arrived back at the chamber and waited impatiently for the flight to begin. Several other drones were in the chamber with him, all vibrating with nervous energy. Finally, just when he didn't think he could stand the suspense any more, there was a flurry of movement and suddenly they were all flying out of the hive and into the open air. His senses were immediately overloaded. A brilliant light filled his ommatidia and the scents of heady perfume of blooming flowers dazzled and confused him. Above all that, however, he could smell the Queen. Her scent drew him to her and he saw her beautiful form slowly spinning in mid-air. He rushed to her, mounted her and suddenly his whole being was suffused with joy. He was deep inside his Queen, filling her with his seed. She shuddered in ecstasy and then shook him off. He felt a rip in his groin and the pain made his wings falter. He began to fall to the ground in a tailspin. Ground, sky, ground, sky, over and over. As the sky came into view one last time, he saw the next drone remove his severed penis from the Queen and insert his own.

The soft grass broke his fall. The world still seemed to continue spinning even though he was on the ground. His vision was blurry and he was losing blood fast. He saw a yellow blur and felt the soft brush of wings on his face. Bzamy came into focus and he smiled at her.

“Thank you for coming to see me off,” he said weakly.

“Of course. I love you, you idiot.” Bzamy curled her glossa around his.

“Oh Bzamy,” he sighed and curled his glossa around her's in return. “You've made me so happy. Now that I've done my duty, I can tell you without shame that I love you too.” His head fell back, breaking their kiss. His eyes were glossy and empty. Bzamy cradled his head in her wings as one by one, the bodies of drones fell onto the grass all around them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sirens at Dawn #fridayflash

Henry rolls off of me and lies on the other side of the bed, facing the wall. Cool air hits my sweaty skin and I shiver in the absence of his warmth. The mattress creaks as I get up and go into the bathroom, shut the door and turn on the shower. Once the water is as hot as I can stand it, I step in and let the water fall down on me, rivulets snaking their way down my back. The steam gets so thick that the miniature bottles of shampoo and conditioner sitting on the shelf are blurred and my skin turns pink. I turn off the water and notice that my skin still has Henry's scent of sweat and old cloth and the faint lingering smell of leather. A dark shadow in the mirror mimics my movements as I wrap a towel around me and re-enter into the room. Henry is now lying on his back and his wedding band is once again on his hand. He doesn't look at me as I sit on the bed. I watch water drip from my hair, forming clear beads on the polyester blend bedspread that slowly disappear leaving only a dark spot behind.

"I'm sorry," Henry says. "You know I love you, but…"

"No," I shake my head. "Leave all the 'buts' and 'if onlys' for another time. We have until morning to not be sorry and not be sad."

Henry looks at me and extends his arm out toward me. I lay down beside him and he pulls the towel off of me and throws it to the floor. We lie there, skin to skin, and watch the sky as it turns from black to grey to pink to golden.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

#fridayflash Under the Sea

Maria tried to drown out the sound of her roommate knocking on the bathroom door by sinking further into the tub and letting her ears fall below the water line. She could hear the blood in her ears circulating with a woosh woosh woosh, but the now distant sound of knocking still came through.

“Maria, are you OK in there?” Judith called through the door. Maria closed her eyes and waited for her to leave. “You're going to be late for work.”

“I'm not going,” Maria shouted. “I hate that place. If one more person cusses me out, I might just slit my wrist. I can't take one more person blaming me for the fact that they have liability-only on their vehicle and now their car is totaled out and we're only paying for the other person's vehicle. I'm sick of being punished because people don't know how to read their fucking insurance policy.” Judith sighed.

“Ok. I'll tell them you're sick or something.” Maria tracked her movements through the sounds she made: the clicking of her heels which faded slightly with every step she took, the jangle of keys as she picked them up from the coffee table, and finally the soft thud of the door being closed.

Maria turned on the faucet again. Hot water slowly crept up to mix with the water that had grown lukewarm during her long soak. The water reached dangerously close to the lip of the tub, so she turned off the faucet and turned to float face down. She felt something brush her feet and opened her eyes in alarm to see a bed of sea kelp. Green tendrils rose up from the sea bed and swayed gently in the currents of the ocean. She looked up and through the murky water, she could still see tiled ceiling of her bathroom and the shower nozzle. A clown fish swam right by her nose. She swatted at it and gasped. Rather than choking as water filled her lungs, she breathed in the water quite comfortably. She grabbed the fish by the tail and let it whisk her through the kelp.

Once out of the kelp forest, they came upon a sprawling city populated by merpeople. Some swam around in a rush while others lingered in the streets to talk to one another, swishing their tales occasionally to keep themselves stable in the gentle currents. Maria let the clown fish go and swam closer to the city. A merman spotted her and swam over to her.

“Let me guess. Human?” Maria nodded. “I thought so. Why don't you follow me.” He swam off and Maria had difficulty keeping up as her spindly legs were no match for his fins. He stopped in front of a white building with columns on the front.

“Go in through the third floor entrance, third door on the right. Tell them you're new.”

“Thanks,” Maria said and he swam away. Maria followed his instructions and opened the door to see a middle aged mermaid swimming around the room filing papers. She turned when Maria swam in.

“Human?” she asked. Maria nodded. “You have a choice, you can go home to your human dwelling or you can become one of us and live here on the ocean floor.”

“This place is magical! Of course I choose to live here.” As soon as the words left her mouth, Maria could feel her legs fusing together into a fin. She swished her tail experimentally and was projected to the ceiling. The mermaid sighed.

“You'll get the hang of it. Now, we need to find you a job.”

“Job? Why?”

“Well how else do you think you're going to make a living, silly. You're in luck, a position just opened up this morning. A citizen had an unfortunate encounter with a motor boat while on his way to work. You wouldn't happen to have any experience in insurance, would you?”

Sunday, May 9, 2010


"Hey man," I said as I opened the door to let Pip in.

"What's up?" He plopped himself down on her couch and rested his hands on top of his head, elbows cocked outwards.

"Not much, just came back from your funeral." I sat in the recliner facing the couch and put my feet on the coffee table.

"Yeah? How'd that go?"

"It sucked. You would have hated it. Some preacher kept going on about how you were right with god before you died and about how you'd be there waiting for us when it was our time."

"Probably the preacher from my parents' church. You didn't stand up and call bullshit?"

"No, your mom and girlfriend seemed to be eating it up and they technically outrank me."

"That's not true." Pip picked up an empty beer bottle from the coffee table and rolls it between the palms of his hands. I watch him and try not to think about how I'll never feel those hands running down my bare back again.

"So what are you going to do now that you're officially dead? I mean, isn't there some sort of light you should be moving towards?"

"Not so far. Maybe there is no light. Maybe they won't let me up. Maybe I'm stuck here. Who the hell knows?"

"As long as you're stuck here, you might as well stop by and see me sometime."

He stops spinning the bottle and looks up at me.


The bottle that he had been holding a moment ago falls to the coffee table and shatters.

Friday, May 7, 2010


She left me on a Tuesday afternoon and by Sunday morning I couldn't stand the pain any more, so I took out my heart and chained it to the wall. It watched me with its big doe eyes as I moved about my apartment, suddenly without a care in the world. It was amazing how much I could get done without the nagging ache of my heart to slow me down. I was able to clean up the mess that had accumulated that week, take some old clothes down to the Goodwill which I'd been meaning to do for ages. I went down to the coffee shop and read the newspaper while drinking a latte as I used to do all the time without even once thinking about how this was where we had met. As I got into my bed that night, I congratulated myself for my brilliant idea and happily settled in for what I was sure was going to be the first good night's sleep in days. I could get no rest, however, as all through the night my heart whispered her name and it in the silence of the night it was as loud as an El Train running through my head.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Super Hero

Note: This is dedicated to a friend who is deploying to the Middle East this week.

“Oh, please someone help my Mr. Bigglesworth!” cried Mrs. Markowitz. Mr. Bigglesworth was meowing forlornly from his tree limb as he was too scared to jump down from such a height but was quite ready for his dinner. Suddenly he was scooped up in a flash of motion and placed safely in Mrs. Markowitz's arms.

“Oh thank you,” she exclaimed to the young man who was standing before her who looked rather pleased with himself. “How can I ever repay you?”

“You don't owe me a thing, ma'am. Its my job,” he said. “Afterall, I'm a superhero.” He put his hands on his hips so that the emblem on his chest would be prominently displayed and grinned widely making his teeth glint in the sunlight.

“You are?” Mrs. Markowitz eyed him skeptically.

“Yeah.” His posture sagged. “Can't you tell? I'm wearing my underwear outside of my pants.”

“Oh, I thought that was a fashion statement.”

“No! It's the superhero uniform. Also, I have my superhero initials on my chest.”

“MF? What does that stand for? Mighty Flash? Master Force?”

“Mr. Faulkner.”

“That's not a very good superhero name. Why do you call yourself that?”

“Because its my name.”

“Oh. Well thanks, I guess...”

“Hark! Another kitty cat is in trouble,” he declared and flew off once again.

“What a weird, wonderful guy,” Mrs. Markowitz said. Mr. Bigglesworth meowed in agreement and they went inside for dinner.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Suffer the Little Children

Nurse Rodgers held the child in her arms as he gurgled and tried to squirm out of his swaddling. She worked the graveyard shift, watching over the little angels in the maternity ward. This little angel had been born with crack in its system. Not its fault, of course, but she knew he was destined to become a monster - a murderer or rapist or just another junkie robbing good, honest folk for his next fix. It would be better to keep him like this, pure and innocent. She put her hand over his nose and mouth, swaying and humming a lullaby while she waited for him to stop squirming then laid his limp body back into his cradle, pleased to know that he was on his way to heaven now to be with her other little angels.