The countdown started. Ten, nine, eight… Byron looked around him. There were at least fifteen people crammed into this little apartment for the party. Seven, six, five… He had always wanted to kiss in the New Year. There was never a better time than the present. He knew he would taste good. He already had half a bottle of champagne and a couple large snifters of brandy under his belt. He just knew this was going to be his year. Four, three, two… Byron grabbed the tall blonde next to him and planted a good one. Then the microwave beeped.
I found a writing prompt on reddit to write an acrositic poem based on mythology or proverbs. I decided to go in a slightly different direction. :>) For those of you that don’t know…
Acrostic: An acrostic is a poem or other form of writing in which the first letter, syllable or word of each line, paragraph or other recurring feature in the text spells out a word or a message.
Until Nancy pressed the trigger, I didn’t think she could do it
Nancy was always the good girl
Faithful, loving, caring, never hurt a fly
Always the person who would go the extra mile
I watched as Eveline’s body pumped dark red blood onto the rug
Too surprised to do anything, I just sat there and recorded
Her soul leaving her eyes, those perfect emeralds
Furious, Nancy turned the Colt 45 toward me.
Until that moment I hadn’t regretted what I had did.
Lust ended as our two pools of blood intermingled on the carpet
Harry was half listening to his mandatory job training. His current one was on working in a drug and alcohol free workplace. Harry thought this was a total waste of time, then he realized he could use it as a writing prompt. Harry began brainstorming what he could write about. Should he try to write about an angel who was addicted to devil’s food cake? How about a demon who was addicted to Mexican soap operas? As the training droned on and on Harry knew one thing, he wasn’t going to even think about addiction. The training killed his buzz.
Liza’s screams never traveled farther than the lid of her coffin. She pounded on the top again until her bruised flesh gave away to the bones underneath her knuckles. How could she have trusted him? He had seemed so nice. She brought him back to her house for a bite, but that’s when it got fuzzy. He must have somehow drugged her. She could barely remember his rants about his brother and what she had done as he beat her with a silver cross. It didn’t matter, she was a vampire and she had eternity to dig her way out.
A fib is a poem where each line must contain the appropriate number of syllables for its entry in the Fibonacci series. The Fibonacci series starts out with the numbers zero and one; successive entries in the series are formed by adding the previous two (so the Fibonacci sequence starts out like 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…). So this is my try at a fib.
I loved you,
And yet you dumped me.
All because of my choice of cheese,
Or my inability to cook a four star meal.
Though to be honest, I think it was that guy who fed you lies, but you said it was me.
Marvin dug through his grocery cart. He knew he had that gift there somewhere. He finally pulled out the single pink glove. He handed it to Charlotte. “Merry Christmas,” he said, his smile highlighting the many lines on his weathered face.
Charlotte took the glove and held it tight. She gave his cheek a brief kiss. “Thank you,” she said. She tried to slip it onto her swollen hand, but it barely covered her crooked fingers. “It’s perfect,” she said, “but I’ve got nothing for you.”
“I’m used to nothing,” said Marvin. Charlotte looked like she was about to cry. “But I’ve got a whole lot now that I’ve found you.”
With that he held out his hand and Charlotte grabbed it with her pink gloved one. They began to dance under the stars to music that only they could hear, trying keep warm in a colder and colder world.
Christopher donned his white garb and covered his face. This was supposed to be the hardest test yet. If rumor was correct, this was the last one as well. All he had to do was slip into this McMansion on this cold winter’s night and deliver a small silk wrapped figurine into the master bedroom and onto the nightstand. If Christopher could do all of this, and get away without getting caught, he would pass. The compensation for the job he was auditioning for was in the seven figures, so Christopher knew he was against tough competition, but they only selected the best of the best, and Christopher always believed in being that.
As he approached the wall from the downwind direction, Christopher placed a small listening device into his left ear. Suddenly the mostly silent night exploded into sound. He pressed his ear against the wall and closed his eyes. Centering himself before attempting an insertion was one of the ways he earned top spot in his class as a Navy Seal. Three breathes in and he could almost map the sounds from inside the compound. There were at least three dogs wandering. The hum of electricity spoke of cameras nearby. He figured there must be at least two people, but they were on the far side or inside a structure since their voices were so muffled.
Christopher looked at his watch. His diversion should kick in three, two, one. He was over the wall before the lights had fully gone out due to lack of electricity. He took out a small crossbow and fired off one, then reload and fired a second shot. The smell of roast beef carried into the night. Christopher ran the other way, turning down the listening device, but he didn’t shut it off. Two dogs seemed to be running towards the free meal, but he could hear one coming his way. Whether the animal could smell him, or Christopher had ran into the dog’s most likely path, he couldn’t be certain, but he reached for his favorite dog toy. The Doberman came around a bush and Christopher triggered his ultraviolet flash, blinding the animal temporarily. Christopher threw his last helping of meat in front of the dog as compensation before running as silently as possible to the window.
A few magnets were carefully stuck to the outside window casing and two laser diodes trained at the photodetectors to defeat the alarm system should it come back on. A quick layer of tape over one of the panes and then a swipe of a glass cutter took off the first layer of glass. Another cut and more tape took out the second layer. He quickly opened the latch and let himself inside. He fixed the windows with a bit more tape to stand up to a cursory inspection from the guards that were undoubtedly roaming the compound because of the loss of power.
Christopher military crawled on his elbows an knees out of the room and towards the staircase. He didn’t have long before… and there it was, power was back on. The cat jumped back from Christopher crawling up the stairs. He had noticed the cat when he had done his reconnaissance two days ago. The cat guaranteed that as long as he stayed less than two feet off the ground that the alarm shouldn’t trigger. That and it was badass to talk later about military crawling a marble staircase, especially without pads. At the top he reoriented himself to where the master bedroom should be. He stopped in the first bedroom on the staircase and left a present of his own. Once the package was delivered he continued down the hallway.
The master bedroom was closed. Christopher put his ear to the door and listened, one person breathing in and out, slightly out of unison with something else. Damn! He didn’t think anything else would be there. There could be another cat, but Christopher hadn’t seen anything other than the cat he already encountered. Flashlights flashed above him from the floor below. The guards must have found the dogs’ treats. Well, fate favors the bold. He pulled his feet underneath him into a crouching position. The alarm must be off if the guards were in the house. He pressed the button on his belt, opened the door and rolled into the room and to the right. He tucked himself behind a chair as the alarms went ballistic. An older man jumped out of bed, his white hair looking comic with a severe case of bedhead and his beard covered in drool. The old man ran through the door among shouts from the guards down below. The small dachshund that had been sleeping with the man blinked in the sudden light, but didn’t move from the warm pillow it had been sleeping on.
Seizing the opportunity, Christopher jumped out of his cover and ran to the nightstand, placing the figurine in place. Glancing at the bed, the dachshund seemed to almost be smiling at him. Christopher snapped himself back into the now and looked for possible cover. With none to be had, he quickly slipped out onto the porch off the bedroom. He slung himself down from the railing and fell the story to the ground below, rolling as he hit. Christopher came up and tried to run, but found out he had twisted his ankle on landing. He began to limp as best as he could, but the flood lights came on lighting him up.
“Hands above your head or you won’t have one,” called a deep male voice from the porch.
Christopher put his hands over his head and turned around. He wanted to go for his pistol, but he was told no wet works under any circumstances. There was the old man with a sniper rifle pointed straight at Christopher. Christopher was impressed. The man held it like someone who had many hours of practice with the weapon. “Look,” said Christopher, “this is all a misunderstanding.”
The old man actually ho ho hoed. “Misunderstanding young man? I know who’s been naughty or nice, and you were definitely naughty tonight,” the old man said. “Putting a fog grenade in a spare bedroom was brilliant. the perfect diversion. Something I might have done back in my day.” Christopher bowed but didn’t say a thing.
The old man paused, thinking. He then threw the figurine, still in the silk cover, to Christopher who caught it with one hand. “You forgot this.”
“Thanks, but I believe I was supposed to leave it with you,” Christopher admitted.
“Well, you earned it. You made it farther than any of the others,” the old man said.
Christopher looked from the figurine, to the old man, and back to the figurine. “What do you mean old man?” he asked.
“Open it if you want the job,” the old man said, a twinkle in his eye.
Christopher opened the drawstring on the silk bag and looked inside. It was impossible to see what it was. Christopher looked back at the old man. “But I failed,” he said.
The old man whistled and out waddled the dachshund. “There was no chance you could have won. Not unless you had some magic of your own,” the old man said. “Besides, Blitzen here has taken a liking to you.”
Christopher laughed and dropped the figurine out of the bag and into his hand. It was a small statue of the man in front of him, winking with a finger alongside his nose. Christopher held it out to old man. “Okay, what’s next?” he asked.
The old man dropped the sniper rifle on the table and threw himself off the balcony. Christopher tried to move to catch the old man, but his ankle failed him, dropping Christopher to the ground. The dachshund morphed into a reindeer and lightning quick took flight and caught the old man before he had dropped five feet. The two of them glided to a stop a foot away from Christopher. The old man held out his hand to help Christopher up. “Welcome to the corps,” the old man said.
Christopher stood and felt his ankle mend immediately. “Are you Santa?” he asked.
The old man ho ho hoed again. “If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question I would be rich,” the old man said. “Actually my name is Stanly. You just became a part of the Santa Corps. People have screwed it up for so many years we decided to just keep the Santa Claus moniker. Makes us seem even more mysterious, a single guy doing something miraculous.”
“How many are in the Corps?” asked Christopher.
“I know you have many questions, but I’m hungry, so let’s go get a bite to eat. The elves should have something ready by now,” Stanly said.
“My private security. One can never be too careful,” Stanly said as he dismounted Blitzen. “How do you feel about beards?” He began walking back to the house. Christopher fell in beside him.
“I don’t mind them,” Christopher said. He looked at the house again. “Why did you have me break into this place?”
“What can you do if your magic ever fails? We need capable men and women,” Stanly said.
“Men and women?” asked Christopher.
Stanly put his arm around Christopher. “It’s just the beginning. I’ve got forms you need to sign, and we need to get you some training, but let me tell you the fringe benefits are awesome.”
Christopher let himself be led inside. “But what of the pay?” he asked.
Stanly smiled. “I can tell you it’s not just milk and cookies.”
Carson always liked flames. He would joke Carson rhymes with arson. Carson believed his red hair gave him a mystical connection to the fires he played with. He always had a lighter on him, even though he didn’t smoke. It wasn’t just a piece of crap Bic lighter either; it was a silver Zippo with diamonds set in the shape of the constellation of Orion on a black lacquered oval. When asked about it, Carson would tell a different story each time about the lighter’s origins. My favorite one was that he had won it from a space alien doing skateboard tricks. To be honest, thinking about how clumsy Carson was, him skateboarding was more unbelievable than the space aliens.
Last week I wanted to try something. I don’t know what I was thinking, but you know how it is. Once a teenager gets an idea in his head, either they will act on it or it will drive them insane. Or both could happen, which was my case. Look, how much trouble could I get into trying to mix dry creamer and black powder. I figure since they both burn so well separately, that the two together would be awesome. Imagine the number of hits I would get on my YouTube channel. I would be a rock star, at least for like four hours.
So I wanted to be safe, right? I decided to put the mixture of black powder and creamer into a rubber glove. I then pulled the glove down, tying it to a large stone. I had a sword I ordered from a catalog that I would swing at the string, cutting it from about four feet away. That seemed a pretty safe distance. Swinging the sword low would also keep me below the fireball. I was rather impressed with myself thinking of safety first. The glove would then snap upward, throwing the two powders into the air. I just needed an ignition source. Then I remembered Carson and his lighter. I gave him a quick call and poof he was there, just like a genie out of a lamp.
I proudly showed Carson my setup. He was impressed, especially with the safety features I had built into the system. I showed him where I thought he would place the lit Zippo on an old crappy birdbath. I figured the flame would be gone in a flash and the lighter, being metal, would survive the flame. I mean, it has a flame coming out of it like all the time. What could a fleeting fireball do to it?
Carson was all in, except for one small thing. Since he was risking his lighter, he wanted to be the one who slit the string with the sword. I told him never mind. I would get a different ignition source. He then pointed out that I could take a better video if I was holding the camera. He was right. That whole shaky cam thing is so cool, especially when dealing with fire. I agreed.
I primed the glove and checked everything a second time. You can’t be too safe, right? Carson lit the zippo and set it on the birdbath. I then handed Carson the sword and stepped back. I made sure that everything would be in frame and yelled action.
Carson’s backswing of the sword was a thing of beauty. The swing forward had issues though. I forgot how clumsy Carson was until that moment, and by then it was too late. The sword pushed against the string at first, changing the angle of the glove, before finally shearing the strands. By then the glove was pointed more at Carson, who didn’t have to duck as much since he was shorter than me. The powders came flying out of the glove and ignited at the touch of the Zippo’s fiery kiss. The flames continued forward and upward, engulfing Carson’s surprised face for a moment before the swoosh announced the fireball’s demise.
When my vision cleared, Carson had become a fire god. His eyebrows were missing and his face was bright red from the first degree burns. He screamed in pain. I put the camera down on the picnic table, grabbed my bucket of water that I had set nearby just in case, and threw it in Carson’s face.
Carson breathed in a heavy amount of water and proceeded to gag and throw up on my sword. He didn’t seem to be on fire though, so I considered it a small victory. When Carson could speak he asked me if I got it. I told him yes, and he danced a little happy dance through the pain.
I am now over three million hits on my YouTube channel and I split the ad revenue sixty five percent for me, 35 percent for him. I think it’s fair since it was my idea, and I had to clean his vomit from my sword. Oh, and we have gotten much closer since we had to do community service together, but that is another story.
Anthony looked back at the prison that had been his home for forty years. He had gone in as a young man, but was leaving someone who qualified for Social Security. He shook his head, drew himself up straight, and continued to walk out.
Jerry, the guard escorting Anthony out, asked, “So do you think you’ll miss the place?”
“Do you miss when you take a dump?” asked Anthony. “I’ve been looking forward to this moment every day since I stepped foot into this hell.”
Jerry smiled. “Yeah, well I’ll miss your humor. Take care old man,” Jerry said.
Anthony didn’t respond, but waved as he continued to walk. There was a taxi waiting to take him to civilization. The taxi driver took what few belongings Anthony had put in a duffle bag and put them in the trunk. As Anthony got into the back seat the driver turned back. “Where you want to be man?” asked the taxi driver.
Anthony pulled out a small piece of paper from his pocket. “I want to go to the Starbucks on Clinton St,” he said.
The taxi pulled away from the curb. “Ah, looking for some of the good stuff. Most of you guys want to hit a bar,” the taxi driver said.
“Most of us guys are stupid,” Anthony replied.
The taxi driver just shook his head and continued to drive in silence. Anthony sat there and watched the scenery go by, sort of like he watched his life go by for the last 40 years. Finally he decided that the silence was more painful. “Have you ever done something for all the right reasons, but paid for it like it was the wrong thing?” asked Anthony.
“Not that I can think of, man, but I’m sure you had lots of them back where you just came from,” the taxi driver said.
“Yeah, well, most of those dopes were animals. They lived on emotion,” Anthony said. “Me, I did it with calculations. I looked at insurances, at what could be done, at what had to be done. I almost got away with it, but that wouldn’t have been right either. In the end I was convicted on a crime I didn’t commit. Now that is story you get a lot back there.”
“Oh yeah? What did they say you did?” asked the taxi driver.
“Kill my wife,” said Anthony, “but you see, I didn’t do it. It was brilliant in a way.”
“You didn’t murder your wife?” the taxi driver asked. “Did you try to prove your innocence?”
“Nope. I didn’t say I was innocent. I just did what I had to do. Now I am a free man. The question is, was it worth it?” said Anthony.
“Man, I am confused,” said the taxi driver.
Anthony chuckled. “So was my wife. At least until I laid it out in front of her. She had to die. It was best for everyone involved, especially her sister.”
“Dude, are you like high? Man, you must be on something. Look, we’re here,” the taxi driver said as they pulled into the Starbucks parking lot.
Anthony suddenly became nervous. He fumbled to take out the faire and a good sized tip. “Thanks for the ride,” he said.
The taxi driver pocketed the money and handed Anthony back his bag. “Man, I think you were the one taking me for a ride. Good luck.” With that the taxi pulled away, leaving Anthony alone and free for the first time in a real long time.
Anthony looked around, trying to find the courage to walk inside. She said she would be there, but would she really come? She had sent the address through his friend Pauley, but it could be one last prank that Pauley got to pull on Anthony the sourpuss. The only way to know was to go inside.
Anthony pulled the door open and let himself inside. The smell of real coffee permeated the room. It was heavenly and an assault on his senses. He looked around and didn’t see her. Stupid Pauley! Still, he didn’t want to look like an idiot. He walked up to the counter to order a coffee, but was confused by the myriad of choices and weird sizing. He decided to take a step back and watch.
Suddenly a woman’s voice from the past electrocuted his soul. “Sorry I’m late. Traffic from the airport was murder.”
Anthony spun around and began to tear up. Right there was Emily, wait no it was Eva. He had to keep that straight, or else forty years could mean nothing. “Eva, so nice of you to come,” he said, stuttering with emotion. “I…”
Eva gave him a hug. “It’s okay,” she whispered. “I’m here Anthony. I’m not going to let you go.”
When Eva let him go she smiled and dabbed at one of her tears, then one of his. “Sit, I’ll get us coffees. Black, one sugar, right?”
Anthony smiled. “You always had a great memory,” he said.
Eva left him at a small table in the corner and disappeared up to the counter. Anthony watched her. She looked so good. She looked like a slightly older version of the woman he had married so long ago. The thing that impressed Anthony was the way she carried herself. She was so much more self-assured, so much like her twin sister.
Eva came back to the table and handed Anthony back his coffee. “I just can’t believe it. You’re finally free,” she said.
Anthony stalled for time by taking a sip of the coffee. Boy that was stronger than the crap back at the prison, but so rich. He let it play in his mouth before swallowing. He looked back at Eva. “Finally. To be honest I was worried I was going to die in there.”
“So was I,” Eva said. Now it was Eva’s turn to stall with her coffee. She studied him with those jade green eyes. Anthony almost began to squirm under her gaze. Then she made a decision and put her coffee down. “You’re flying back with me tonight.”
Anthony put his coffee down and steepled his fingers. “Won’t that undo all the things we’ve done? I don’t want to go back there,” he said.
Eva leaned in close. “No one is going to figure it out now. It was too long ago. They just don’t care anymore,” she said in a low voice.
Anthony leaned in as well. He could smell her breath, her scent, and it unleashed so many physical responses, but his calculating side kicked in. “You don’t think bringing home the murderer of your sister is going to raise a few eyebrows?” he asked.
Eva sat straight up like she had been slapped. “Isn’t forty years enough to pay?” Eva asked. “You don’t think we have served enough time.”
Anthony laughed. “You served? Which penitentiary were you in?” he asked.
Eva looked Anthony straight in the eye. “The man I loved and my sister were taken from me in one night. I’ve lived inside those walls since then, not letting anyone come inside, not letting anyone come close, all to preserve a lie. Now you tell me Anthony Fierily, are you going to stick to your marriage vow?”
Anthony dropped his gaze. She was right, but so wrong at the same time. Death had parted them that night. Yet here she was wanting Anthony to come home with her. Forty years of waiting, and now he realized he was scared to be the man he was while she had embraced the woman she had become.
“Okay, I’ll come home,” he said.
Eva quickly gave him a kiss on his forehead. That perked Anthony up and put a smile on his face. “More of that later,” she said. “We need to hit the road. The plane leaves in three hours.”
They both got up and left Starbucks. Eva steered Anthony to a Lexus SUV. “It’s not mine,” she said at his inquisitive look. “Mine is nicer.”
The SUV came to life and Eva pulled out into traffic. Anthony couldn’t wait anymore. “I know I came up with the whole plan, but I didn’t like it. It just made sense,” he said. “I just didn’t see Maurice going for my throat.”
“Yeah, you were smart, but not that smart. You were political hay my dear. Maurice rode that conviction to governor. If he had won and put you to death, well maybe he would have been president,” Eva said.
“To think, my death could have launched a different president,” Anthony mused.
“My sister’s death launched this,” Eva said pointed around the SUV. Anthony’s gaze dropped to the floor again. Eva noticed and placed her hand on his thigh. “She was going to die from cancer. It’s not like now. She was terminal. That damn insurance company would have dropped the policy.”
“And now you’ve made quite the recovery,” Anthony said.
“It’s truly amazing,” Eva said. Tears were now streaming down her face. It was Anthony’s turn to blot them out with a tissue.
“Good thing we never changed who your beneficiary was after we got married,” Anthony said.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Eva said.
Anthony slapped his forehead. “Of course not. I’m sorry.”
Eva grabbed his hand fiercely. “It will be okay. I love you Anthony. Till death do us part,” Eva said.
Anthony gave Eva’s hand a kiss. “I love you too Emily. I just had to say that one last time,” he said.
Eva nodded. “But now it’s time for a new chapter. Eva always had a cooler ring to it anyway.”
If a kiss can tell a story, her kiss told a trilogy. The best part is I had more than a bit role. The bad thing, I could tell I wasn’t the main character. I was okay with that since I could tell I was about to have my fifteen minutes of fame. I mean, who wouldn’t want a part of a goddesses’ saga. I would worship her forever if I could just remember her name. After a drink of that Chateau de Lethe she brought, everything is a huge blur. What’s sad is that the bottle tasted like water.