Sunday Stories: Broken

I was at the Sci-Fi on the Rock Convention yesterday and didn’t have my laptop so I had to hand-write my V entry. I’ll post that once I have some time to type it up. In the meantime, here’s my Sunday Story.


The plate had belonged to her grandmother.

It was foolish to have so much invested in a piece of ceramic, but things have meaning and this one did and now it was gone. And it wasn’t even gone for good reason. It wasn’t like there was a fit of fury or a sweeping of the counter for a grand passion. The plate was just cracked down the middle in some sort of inherent fault line. It had been fine, and then it was gone.

Serena remembered sitting at her grandmother’s table, eating a tea bun from that plate. The fading roses on the china, the shine gone off of the gold trim. The bun was warm and the butter melted and it seemed like the moment was going to last forever. Nan was sitting with her tea, too much milk for any modern person to actually drink it. Carnation poured in like the cup was empty to start. Her Dad used to say that Nan liked milk, not tea, but couldn’t bring herself to just heat the milk like she was a child.

She got the call from her Dad the next morning. A stroke, Dad was there in minutes but it was too late, she was gone. Some people are just inherently vulnerable to these things, so one minute she was there and the next she was gone.

No one else’s tea buns tasted like Nan’s, even if Serena ate them off the roses plate. And now she didn’t even have the plate to hold on to.

Sunday Stories: Dance. Party.

Sunday is a day off from the A-Z Challenge, but I’m posting Sunday stories to keep up my posting momentum. 

Dance. Party.

She could feel the music pulling her towards the spot in the centre of the floor, where the light was.

Her body wanted to be there, her mind disagreed. Her arms longed to be over her head her hips were swaying, her feet weren’t even really touching the floor. She wouldn’t have been surprised to be look down and see that she was actually floating over the ground. The thought itself was disconcerting, her brain didn’t like it. It rebelled against the whole notion of getting into that circle of light. No matter how much her body wanted to be there, her brain was driving this project and it was keeping her firmly in place.

She wondered what it would be like to be one of those people who rushed in, rushed toward that spotlight. That was never her way, she couldn’t even imagine what that would feel like. To have that freedom. To just do without the weighing in beforehand. To leave the questions out of her brain. To silence that chatter in her skull, to just be open. To have her arms spread towards the light, toward the new.

She didn’t work like that. She was in the small steps, the careful ones. She thought that some time she might like to take ballroom dancing, something where the plan was predictable. Where your body would move in the way you expected it to. You’d get the pleasure of the movement without the challenge of the unpredictable, without the uncertainty. Without the feelings that messed everything up, the ideas that popped up, the sweatiness, the wild eyes, muscles throwing your limbs out in all directions. You wouldn’t take up all the space in the spotlight, sure, it wouldn’t be just you. You wouldn’t have to show everything, all your insides spilling out right there for everyone to see, everything you had hidden.

You couldn’t keep any secrets if you were out there with everything on display. People would know how you could move, they might be able to infer things you wouldn’t want them to know. She knew that she didn’t want to pull up other ideas in people’s minds. She didn’t want to take responsibility for that. She didn’t want them walking through her mind, peering in through all the spaces where she kept the details.

She wanted those for herself.

Sunday Story: Damn It All

Sundays are a day off from the A to Z Blogging Challenge so to keep my posting momentum I am posting a piece of flash fiction I wrote.

Damn It All

I don’t want to talk about it anymore. The truth of it is that I am all talked out. I’m sick of talking, I’m sick of the sound of my voice in my ears and I am sick of the feeling of it in my throat and I’m sick of the vibration in my tongue and in my teeth and in my brain and I am sick, sick, sick of the whole damn thing. I don’t care what you think about it and I don’t care what you think about me, I only care to lay my head right down here on this table and breath in and out really slow.

That’s all I can do right now is concentrate on my breathing. I don’t think it is fair of you to ask me for anything else because I just can not do it. I cannot do anything else but sit in this chair and put my forehead on this table and breathe in and out. Frankly if you had asked me five minutes ago then I’m not sure I could have even done that. So that’s a kind of progress right, to go from not being able to do something to being able to do it? That’s a way of improving or at least of moving? I’m not sure if I am moving forward, it might be forward, but it is definitely moving and it is not moving backwards because I feel like I am getting somewhere, I’m not getting worse at it so I must be getting better. A kind of better at least.

But I won’t keep getting better if you are going to make me talk about it. I can’t imagine talking about it right now. I can’t imagine forming my lips around the words, I can’t imagine that they will come out of my mouth. Instead I will have a big pile of words hanging around in the back of my throat and then I will choke on them and you will feel terribly guilty because you were so determined to make me talk all about it. And I don’t want to talk about it, not one bit. I don’t know what else I could say to make you understand and I don’t know why you think that making me talk more about it will be any sort of solution. I understand that we are all supposed to buy into the idea that talking will make it all better but I am not purchasing that. I will return that to the store, I will sell it to someone else. I do not want to own that.

I want to just sit here.

I want to sit here with my head on the table.

I want my forehead here on the table, I want to breathe in and out. And I want to do that slowly and I want to feel a bit more calm with each exhale. Breathe in, breath out. Warm forehead on cold table.

Damn it all, I just want some quiet.

Sunday Story: Flying Aunts

The A to Z Challenge doesn’t run on Sundays so I’ve decided to post a piece of flash fiction every Sunday instead. Enjoy!

Have you ever noticed how unsettling it is to see a flying ant? There’s something truly disconcerting about seeing a creature that is supposed to be small and insignificant be suddenly huge and in-your-face. It’s a bit too much for the mind to handle. That’s why no one ever extols the beauty of a flying ant.

Let me tell you though, no matter how much you dislike the creatures, the horror of the flying ant pales in comparison to the horror of a flying aunt.


I can still remember the twist in my gut the first time my aunt Marjorie peeled off her shirt in the backyard and started rolling her shoulders to start the process. At first, I was just appalled at seeing a grown-up discarding their clothes so casually in front of me. But revulsion kicked in when the movement cascaded down her back, like ping pong balls rolling between her skin and her shoulder blades – knots of muscle and flesh rippling along in what I would come to recognize as a distinct pattern.

All three of them could do it. Most of the time their wings hid beneath their shoulder blades, curtained behind skin, but they could call them forth as needed, taking off their shirts in the sunshine, letting the heat warm their backs. I don’t know if it was necessary, but it seemed to help ease the process somehow.

It looked like it should be painful, but no strain ever crossed my aunts’ faces, no sign that there was a problem. Indeed, there was no sign that anything out of the ordinary was taking place at all. They would have casual conversations about the weather,or about their work, even as the skin split to reveal the webbing of their wings beneath. There was a horror in that as well,the casual nature of the process, the pretense that this was the way of things. I recognized, even then, that they should be distressed, that the transformation should be disturbing in some way. Their ease was an abomination in itself. My seven-year old self knew that they shouldn’t be standing shirtless in my backyard switching forms, they should have been more covert, more hidden.

I may have shouted something of the sort at the time. I don’t really remember. All that comes to mind is the sun on those dragonfly wings, the casual conversations, and their laughter at my horror. I can see Aunt Elizabeth leaning her round, ruddy face towards me and grinning, reminding me that I had a brother, and that one day, I too, could be an Aunt. That’s when everything on the edges of my vision blurred, and when I came to, I was lying in the grass watching them dip and swoop in the sky. I pressed my fist to my lips to keep from screaming.


Scott’s son is due next week.

My shoulders are itchy.