Because the Night

Night brought Gregory the freedom to produce his craft. Only under its darkness, when the light shut off and the city slept, could he peak into the windows of his secret obsessions and take a photo – no flash – for posterity.

Gregory needed the night. Without it, the store fronts and classrooms, the living rooms and ballrooms, would never empty. Without the night, the prescribed time for all humans to be in bed, Gregory would never find the serene moment of objects untouched, televisions off, seats empty. Behind his lens – no flash – Gregory lived for the moment when he, all alone, existed because of the night.

Inspired by The Daily Post.

Same Bed, Different Dreams

Lela loved her feathered comforter. She loved the way the cotton brushed against her skin, how its heavy weight kept away the cold. But Lela did not have her feathered comforter.  It was wrapped around her husband’s body, held there by the unyielding strength of a sleeping man.

In the darkness of their room, in the dead of night, with only the lamplight casting across their bed Lela realized, she wanted the comforter more than her husband.

Herman loved his life. When he placed his head on the pillow every night it was simple – he was happy with his wife, his choices, his bedding. Even though the comforter was well-worn and had belonged to Lela back before they were married, it smelled like them mixed together. He breathed in the sweet smell with every REM cycled breath.

In the darkness of their room, in the dead of night, with only the lamplight casting across their bed Herman realized, in the depths of his sleep, that he wanted to keep this comforter and the mix of their smell forever.

Inspired by The Daily Post’s Third Rate Romance

Empathy Over Espresso

“So what was my birth like?” Leela asked over the rim of her mug.
Amber sat back into her Starbucks chair, picking up her own coffee to steady her hands. “That’s your first question?”
Leela shrugged, her teenage apathy falling away as she bit her lip. “It seemed like a good place to start.”
“Well, it was pretty traumatic actually –”
“You had already decided you didn’t want me then, right?” The teen interrupted.
The words gutted Amber. They weren’t correct, or, if they were, they didn’t convey the magnitude of her decision.
“I wanted you to have the best life you could have.”
“And that didn’t include you? My birth mother?”
“You’re 18?”
Leela nodded.
“I was 16.”
Leela thought about it for a moment, her own self only two years younger. Those two years had changed so much, she had matured into someone….but she still had so much more growing to do.
“I think I understand.” Leela whispered into her espresso.
And a weight lifted off both of their shoulders.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Delayed Contact.”

On-board

“Teddy,” Linda demanded.

“What?” My half-packed suitcase lay open on the bed next to it my three year old, who kept trying to sneak her teddy bear inside its leather confines. “There’s no room, Linda. In my suitcase and on the ship.”

“Me?”

“We can’t put you in the spacecraft?”

“Why not?”

“Because then I’ll never see you again.”

Linda’s eyes widened. “No!”

“Exactly.”

The three year old preceded to think, “What about teddy?”

“You don’t want teddy to stay with you?”

“No. With you. So you remember me.”

“I don’t need a teddy bear to remember you.”

“So space remembers me!”

A chuckle escaped me and Linda knew she won.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Simply the Best.” – NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?

I Will Never Be Lost Again

“I miss getting lost,” I tell the empty car.
“Turn right at the next intersection,” It replies.
I know my hands will turn the wheel even as I wonder what will happen if I continue driving straight.
In this decade, I’ll always know my way; I’ll always know which route is faster or cheaper or more scenic or less so.
I look at the mountain range ahead, framed by a late summer sunset. I can make out a tiny structure on one of the peaks. Is it a home or a restaurant or a getaway?
I turn right, just as I was told too. I drive away from my questions because my trajectory is written, the voice directs me, and I will never get lost again.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Going Obsolete.”

Miami Summers

A drop of sweat dripped down my neck before I even exited the air conditioning. Once the sliding glass door opened, the barrage of humidity caught in my throat and made it hard for me to breathe. A single step outside the airport terminal was enough to remind me why I left this city in the first place.

Miami in August was not kind.

When I first left my hometown my hands peeled. The flakes falling from my palms caused my head to rush with all sorts of ideas – illnesses, allergies, maybe even a curse.

It took a month for me to realize that my body missed the humidity. It had grown accustomed to the wet heat I now resent. Without it, my skin sang a parched lament in the form of peeling hands. The cracks on my legs and itch along the creases and folds of my body soon followed.

I was a Miami baby down to the cells of my skin, but still the humidity caught in my throat and suffocated me whenever I returned.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In the Summertime.”

Tea Time with Erika

“Now, you sit right there. We have to wait for my mommy to bring the tea out.”

Erika the doll sat at the miniature mosaic table, waiting. She kept an impatient eye on her own mother.

“Because- just cause I’m your mommy doesn’t mean I’m big enough to boil water. My mommy said so.”

Erika’s head slumped forward, her eyes automatically blinked closed with the movement.

“I know you want your tea Erika, but you’re just going to have to wait patently like good little girl.”

“It’s patiently, dear.” A voice calls from the kitchen.

“Stop listening, Mommy! I’m teaching her lessons.” She leans in close, whispering into the tiny plastic ear. “I mean patiently, you have to wait patiently. Just like me.”

The weight of Erika’s head, already bending towards the ground, pulled the tiny body off the tiny chair and onto the floor.

“Now that’s very dramatic!”

Erika stayed face down on the carpet, not moving a muscle. A tray of steaming water and tea bags arrived on a metal tray.

“That’s not how a good girl gets her tea.” The mommies say in unison.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Toy Story.”

Oil and Tobacco

“Oil, Jack, you forgot the oil,” His mother stated through gritted teeth. “How am I supposed to cook anything without oil? You can’t do a simple shopping errand correctly -”

He let the front door slam behind him but he still heard her words from the porch. He came to his mother’s house once a week to help around the house and pick up the groceries because he was a good son.

It always ended the same way.

He pulled a pack of cigarettes out from his back pocket and lit his first offender of the morning. His mother’s ranting wafted through the open window and Jack took a deep breath of tobacco.

“Where did you get off too? You better be going to get me oil and not poisoning the lungs that I gave you after hours and hours of birth, young man.”

Jack had turned fifty this year but somethings never changed.

The early morning chill hit his skin as he walked down the steps. He should probably go back and get his coat but he’d rather face the cold weather. The store was nearby anyway and purchasing the oil only took twenty minutes.

His mother’s voice greeted from the porch again. “The wrong soda water, under ripe bananas, what’s the point of procreating if they’re constantly disappointing you?”

He took that as his cue to enter the house again, another slammed door behind him.

“Here’s your oil, ma.”

Jack watched as she fought the smile from her face. He wished it all went differently between them even as she spat, “bout time.”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ingredients.”

Bob’s Good Day

“Bob – come!” I like my spot on the rug, warm under a ray of sun, but my Pa is calling.  Just this bit of attention is enough to make my tail flick. What could he want from me? What could he have for me? Maybe I’ll get to lick the syrup off his pancake plate! That would be the best.

My tail wags as I approach Pa and his tiny litter. He lifts his fist and says “Sit!” and I put my butt on the kitchen tile. I don’t know why he has me sit like this so often, but it always results in fun treats. Today is no different. The runt of his litter squeals in delight as I lick the plate. My Humans are lovely.

“Bob – mail!” I know this word. This is one of my favorite tricks. I get to showoff how well I stand on my hind legs after a fun dive through the hole in the door. A bluejay flies overhead but I don’t let it distract me.

Pa was kind enough to teach me how to step on the lever that tilts the paper from the mailbox and into my mouth. I keep my lips as dry as I can so I don’t taste the ink. Ink tastes like rotten grass and I don’t like it.

The whole litter laughs as I return through the door, victory in my jowls. My tail wags and wags as the litter surrounds me with hugs and kisses, chanting “good boy”.

Today is a good day.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Dog Named Bob.”

Who Would You . . . ?

“Tell me,” my husband demanded. His eyebrows pulled towards his hairline, no longer accepting silence as a response.

“Fine!” I ran my hands over my face, wondering how we got into this fight anyway.  We were supposed to be having a picnic, a nice date in the park without the kids and now, this. “Him, by the fountain.”

My husband’s head swiveled towards the center of the park, where chess tables circled the fountain and people dipped their feet into the water to cool themselves from the sweltering day.

“The douche with the tattoos?”

I shrugged. “I think he looks hot.”

“So you’re telling me, out of all the people in this park, if you could fuck any of them, it’d be him?”

For some reason I felt like I was walking into a trap. “I mean, after you, of course.”

My husband snorted. “Ya, you say as an afterthought.”

“Oh come on! You can’t force it out of me and then put a pout on your face.”

“I can do whatever I want.”

The tattooed man must have noticed our glances, in that way people can feel sometimes and know someone was watching him. His eyes flickered up from the book and found mine. He smiled warmly. I smiled back.

“Oh, come on!” My husband groaned.

“What! I’m just smiling.”

My husband laid back on our sheet, looking at the sky. “You could probably have him, you know? With your fit body and killer rack.”

It was my turn to snort. “Thanks.”

“Whatever.”

I didn’t want to play this game, it was his idea anyway but now he looked so peeved, with his tight lip smile and arm covering his eyes that I had to ask, “So, who would you fuck if you could?”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Truth or Dare.”