Seasick

It’s short story writing prompt time!  Normally when I post one of these I post the prompt that it came from before the story itself, but this time the prompt includes a spoiler, so it’ll be at the end.

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A tall woman with light brown hair sat on the floor of her cramped bathroom, resting her head on the toilet. Her eyes were heavy as she stared at the wall, hoping the nausea she felt would subside long enough to allow her to get something that might wash away the horrible taste in her mouth.

‘Go on a cruise, Laurie; it’ll be so relaxing!’ She thought bitterly. ‘You need to get away and pamper yourself!’

It had been fun at first. She’d gone to see some of the shows, and had enjoyed tanning on the deck. Her room was small and cramped, but she hadn’t planned to spend much time in it anyway, so that hadn’t bothered her. At least not until the storm, which had forced everyone inside. She’d been in her room ever since, regretting the cocktails she’d had with lunch.

After a while, she pulled herself up off the floor and steadied herself. She stayed still for a few moments, making sure the rocking of the boat had stopped and that her stomach was going to let her move without rebelling. When she felt comfortable that both of those were the case, she left the bathroom.

She still had a few bottles of water left over from the stash she’d collected from the dining hall on her first day on the ship, so she grabbed one of them and chugged it. She sat on her bed and thanked God that the water didn’t come right back up, then took a few sips of a second bottle and laid down, setting the rest of the bottle on her nightstand before falling asleep.

A few hours later, she woke up and finished the bottle of water. She still felt terrible, and now her head was pounding on top of everything else, so she decided to go see if there was anywhere on the ship that still had some anti-nausea medication available.

‘Did the power go out?’ she wondered, as she wandered the dark halls. ‘The ship doesn’t feel like it’s tossing and turning anymore, so the storm can’t still be going… What happens to a cruise ship when the power goes out? CAN the power go out?’ She looked around, hoping to bump into a crew member so she could ask what was going on.

She eventually made her way to the dining hall, where she found a few people sitting at tables with candles lit before them. She went up to an old couple sitting at the table closest to the door and asked, “Excuse me, do you know what’s going on? Why are there no lights on?”

The couple looked at her quizzically. “The power’s been out for hours. Did no one knock on your door to let you know? We’re waiting for search and rescue to come collect everyone,” the woman answered.

“I got seasick during the storm and fell asleep. I guess I missed them knocking. So we’re just waiting here to be rescued? Have they said why it’s taking so long?”

“Well, the last I heard, the storm was heading to shore, so they must be having a hard time getting to us,” she said with a shrug. She didn’t seem too concerned, which made Laurie feel a little better.

“Okay, well, thank you for the update. I’m going to go see if I can track down some anti-nausea meds.”

“Good luck!”

She grabbed another bottle of water before heading out of the dining hall, then headed off to the area she remembered seeing the doctors in the day before. As she walked, she saw a few more people wandering the halls, a lot of whom had clearly spent at least some of the last few hours at the bars. The thought of alcohol made the nausea churn in her stomach again.

She finally found the doctor’s office, but didn’t see any sign of any of the doctors, so she looked around a bit to see if she could find any Gravol.

“What are you doing?!” A voice behind her shouted. She jumped and spun around to see a doctor standing in the doorway.

“Sorry, I’ve just been massively seasick since the storm, and I wanted to get some nausea meds. No one was in here, though, so I just looked around…”

“They’re right here,” he said, grabbing a box off the shelf and tossing it to her. “Now go back to your room and stay there.”

She looked at him, confused. He looked pale and scared.

“Is something wrong?”

“No, everything’s fine, it’s just that the storm is still going and you’re better off staying in your room.”

“Oh, I thought it had ended. The ship doesn’t seem to be rocking much anymore.”

“The waves aren’t as big, but it’s still storming pretty badly out there. Stay in the dining hall or your room.”

“I guess that means the rescue boats are going to be a while getting here.”

“Rescue boats? Oh, yes. They’ll take a while to get here. Yeah.” He looked at her with sympathy, and she looked back at him, still confused. “Just head to your room. The Gravol will help you sleep.”

“Okay…” She gave him one last confused look before heading out.

On the way back to her room, she noticed the stairs to the main deck on the other side of the hall and felt an intense curiosity rise up inside her. She figured the storm must be really bad to make the doctor seem so concerned, and she just had to know what was really going on. She looked around to make sure no one was nearby, before darting up the stairs to the deck.

When she took hold of the door, she braced herself for the wind to grab it. She took one last look around for anyone passing by, then pushed open the door and closed her eyes, prepared for a face full of rain…but nothing came. She opened her eyes just in time to see a fish swam by her face. Her eyes went wide as she walked out onto the deck.

Panic set in as she looked around, they were on the ocean floor.

The ship looked completely different from the outside; she could see the evidence of what had happened. Some of the lifeboats were missing, it looked like at least some of them had broken off the side. There were busted windows, so why wasn’t there any water inside the ship? Why didn’t she remember the ship sinking? Surely she would have noticed… Surely someone else inside the ship would have noticed even if she hadn’t.

She walked further out onto the deck. She couldn’t feel the water, she wasn’t struggling to breath. She kicked at something that looked stuck to the floor, it didn’t come off. She looked closer, was that a barnacle? How long had the ship been underwater? She turned around and saw the doctor standing on the deck behind her, looking at her sadly.

“What’s going on? Why can I breathe?” She asked. He just looked down at the floor. Her eyes widened as she finally realized what was happening.

She sank to her knees on the deck and cried.

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A sick woman learns something disturbing on a ghost ship.

A Long-Dead Mother is Kidnapped.

So I was looking at a writing prompt site, and one of the prompts that appeared was ‘A long-dead mother is kidnapped.’ And I couldn’t resist writing the following:

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A middle aged man sits alone in his living room reading the paper. He reached one hand up to push his glasses back up the bridge of his nose and turned the page. His cell phone sitting on the coffee table begins vibrating.

‘Who would be calling me at this hour?’ he wonders. He picks up the phone and frowns that he doesn’t recognize the number or even the area code.

“Hello?”

“I’ve got your mom! I’m going to slit her fucking throat if you don’t show up at Wembley Park tomorrow at midnight with 500 grand in cash!” He could hear a muffled woman’s voice crying in the background coming from the other line.

“My mother died four years ago. I think you have the wrong number.” He answered dryly.

“What? Seriously?”

“Fraid so.”

“Shit… Your name isn’t Carl?”

“Francis.”

“Dammit… Sorry to have bothered you!” The caller hung up.

Francis looked at his phone with a small frown and a raised brow. He set it back on the table with a sigh and returned to reading his paper.

Minor Delay and On the Road

Yes, I know, I was supposed to have my summary of Twilight up today, but my computer crashed AGAIN yesterday and lost several chapters of progress, so I had to start all over. Thankfully, though, reading and writing about Twilight doesn’t make me feel like I’m putting myself through a special level of hell, so losing that progress didn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out…it just made me want to punch ‘autosave’ in the metaphorical balls.

I will say, though, that I’m going to make a slight adjustment to the plan. When I was writing the summary, I realized that trying to do the whole book in one post was probably a bit ridiculous; while most of the chapters are legitimately too dull to go chapter by chapter (even the longest I talked about any of the chapters I’d completed before I lost my work was less than half the length of my shortest reviews on The Host), there is still way too much for one post. So I’ll be breaking it up into 3 or 4 parts instead, and posting accordingly. The first post (barring another crash/save loss) should be up on Thursday. In the meantime, here’s a short:

 

 

The road had always stretched out in front of me for as far as I could see. All my life, I could see where I was going. I never liked it, but I knew where I was going. Occasionally there were choices to be made, but they were always easy; one way looked terrifying, the other looked clear and manageable, and I always chose the latter without even needing to think about it.

The road went on and on. I walked so far all alone, but occasionally someone would come along for a while…and then disappear again. I just kept going. I didn’t even know why most days; I just kept following the pavement. It had to be leading somewhere.

One day, I found myself making a turn I hadn’t even noticed was there. I went down the wrong way, and I panicked. I’d gone off the road! I was lost. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going. I couldn’t even see the road anymore! Where was I? What had I done?! Should I go back? Could I go back? Which way was back?!

I stumbled along, every tree looking bigger, older, and closer to the ones beside it. I was getting deeper and deeper into the forest, and more and more lost. Weren’t you supposed to stay still when you were lost in the woods? Someone would surely come find me…no, most likely no one would. I would probably just end up curling up into a ball and starving to death in a place where no one else was stupid enough to go.

I kept trudging forward, certain eventually I would stumble and be unable to get up. ‘Just keep walking’, I told myself. I had already been going for so long; surely I could keep going a little longer…though why I did, I had no idea. What was the point? What difference would it make if I died in one spot, or 50 feet away? No one would find me, and I would die, exhausted and alone, because I had made a wrong turn. It was almost dumb enough to make me laugh.

I felt sick. The forest was probably trying to kill me; it was probably full of germs, and the shit I was eating was probably poisonous. Perfect. I would die alone, exhausted, and retching. Just fucking perfect.

I kept walking anyway. Why did I keep walking? Why didn’t I just lie down? I knew I’d die; I didn’t care! I was tired! So tired…

I looked at the ground, trying to find a good place to lie, and noticed a dirt road beneath my feet. I looked behind me. Had it been there this whole time? I didn’t remember there being a road, I just remembered trees. Where had the road come from? I decided to keep walking. I stumbled a bit, but I kept walking.

The road ahead was paved. There were cars, and I could see people…not many, and a lot of them didn’t look very friendly, but maybe some of them could help me anyway. Maybe I could find somewhere to stop for a rest, or call a friend to come help me out…but did I even know where I was? Someone would surely tell me. There were people there! They could point me in the right direction! I would be okay.

The Thinking Man

Hello!  I am still working on the next post.  It’s coming along and short of something going terribly wrong, it should be up tomorrow.  But in the mean time I decided to post something I’ve had done for a few months and just didn’t post because I felt bad working on a short story instead of the posts I was so far behind on.  But I decided that that was stupid since it’s already done, so it’s not like posting it is going to cut into my time to write.

So here is a quick short that I wrote a while back specifically to post here.  Most of my writing is from the viewpoint of the villain, and this is no exception.  I hope you enjoy it!

 

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A tall, lean man stood before a group of ten men arranged in two straight rows, all who wore heavy combat gear. The man’s face was half covered by a dark mask, a trench coat hanging loosely from his shoulders, and a black bowler cap atop his head. He wore fingerless gloves on his hands, one of which held a two-way radio a few inches from his face.

“Alright, people, listen up! This could score us enough to install that pool you’ve all been asking for, so let’s do it right and fast! Team A, are you in place?” He pressed a finger hard against the ‘talk’ button as he spoke.

“We’re in place, sir! Ready to go at your signal,” came the reply from the radio.

“Are we ready?” He asked the men standing before him, speaking loudly enough to ensure that everyone could hear him.

“Yes, sir!” They replied in unison.

The man smiled proudly. “Team A, proceed when ready!”

He turned away from the men in the room and looked to a large building visible through the window behind him. The darkness of the building’s rooftop above the dull streetlights made it hard to see, but he could still make out some movement, which let him know that his people were doing what he’d ordered. He watched the shadowy figures move across the roof, then turned back to those in the room with him.

“Team B, file out!”

The squad made an about face and marched briskly out of the room. The man in the bowler hat followed behind them, his stride much less urgent than theirs as they moved out of the building and into the one across the street that Team A was stationed on.

The building had a Roman design, the entrance flanked with large marble columns, and huge banners displayed the themes of the different exhibits in the museum inside. The men passed through the main doors, walked past all the unmanned ticket stations, and continued straight ahead to the ‘Featured Exhibit’ section. As they made their way to their destination, they could see the ticket booth’s cashier, tied and gagged, panicking on the floor. Her cash drawer was open and empty.

“STAND AGAINST THE BACK WALL!” The men shouted at the small number of patrons scattered throughout the exhibit, drawing their various weapons and pointing them aggressively at anyone who dared move in the wrong direction.

The man in the bowler hat strode in behind them, the same proud smile still on his face. He looked around, finding the number of patrons present to be quite odd. He had planned his raid for around closing time because he knew the crowds would be thinner then, but he had still been expecting more people; as it was, there were hardly more civilians than he had men. That was good news. He continued to survey the room, looking first at the security cameras, and then studying the pieces that were on display around him. His eyes widened with momentary panic, and his mouth set to an angry grimace as he looked around the room, taking in all the things that his brain told him he should not be seeing. The featured exhibits in the museum were always dimly lit to highlight the pieces, but he should have noticed right away that something wasn’t right.

He ran to the closest patron and grabbed his face. The poor man twitched, letting out a small, strangled squeak of surprise before he froze completely, his eyes lighting up with terror. They darted around frantically, from the face of the man before him to his own still limbs, and then to the people around him, who were all staring at him with expressions of confusion and fear. It took him a moment to realize that his eyes were the only part of himself that he could still move.

The man in the bowler hat closed his eyes and took a deep breath, his fingers tightening ever so slightly on his victim’s face as he attempted to control his emotions. He hadn’t intended to paralyze the man, but he had grown too angry to control his power.

“I apologize; I got a little carried away,” he said, forcing an impatient smile. “But would you be so kind as to tell me why there are no Egyptian pieces on display?”

He forced the man’s mouth open so he could speak.

“Please leave him alone!” The woman beside him pleaded. He reached over to her with his other hand and touched her arm, without ever taking his eyes off of the man in front of him. The woman twitched and froze, stuck leaning back in the awkward position she’d contorted herself into as she tried to escape his grasp.

“I am not a patient man. Answer my question.”

“Tha ezibi lef ova tha wee-en,” the man answered, trying to speak as clearly as he could without the use of his lips. Tears of fear welled up in his eyes as he watched the anger grow in his captor’s.

“It left over the weekend?” He seethed.

“Yuh,” the paralyzed man confirmed.

He let go of the man’s face, leaving him and the woman beside him standing frozen in their very uncomfortable looking positions. He didn’t give them another thought as he looked around the room again, appraising the situation. There was nothing in the room worth as much as even the smallest pieces from the exhibit he had planned to raid. He touched a few of the statues that stood around the corner from the entrance, and could immediately tell that they were nothing more than replicas.

“Dammit, Steve!” He yelled, as he returned to the entrance. Steve looked terrified, despite that he was carrying a revolver while his boss was unarmed. “You were supposed to be paying attention to this stuff! How could you miss the end date of the fucking exhibit?! I thought you said you had this shit under control!”

“I-I-I…” he stammered, looking around at the others, trying desperately to find an excuse. “I thought it was next week…”

The boss’s anger deflated into exasperation as he rested his left elbow in his right hand and began rubbing his eyes with his left. He knew he should have double checked the information himself, but he hadn’t thought his second in command would fuck up something as straightforward as when the exhibit was leaving. He was about to speak again when he heard a commotion outside the exhibit.

“Oh, what now?” He asked, looking at the entrance, then at Steve. “What the hell are you waiting for? Make yourself useful and go find out what’s going on!”

Steve jumped and bolted out the door. The boss began assessing the pieces in the exhibit, trying to decide if there were any worth taking. He had spent the last few weeks lining up buyers for Egyptian pieces; they would not be pleased. He had to find something to keep them from abandoning him for the next job, at the very least. Perhaps some of the smaller pieces were genuine and might be worth something.

He moved from the entrance displays to the sculptures around the corner, and then on to the paintings, at which point he heard a thud, followed by something squeaking across the floor back by the entrance. He headed back cautiously, unsure what to expect. Whoever was interrupting his heist had taken a while to beat his minion, so it couldn’t be the city’s main hero, but who else would be dumb or bored enough to bother with his fairly low level job?

When he got back in view of the entrance, the boss was able to see that all the non-paralyzed patrons had backed away from the entrance, where Steve’s twitching – thus still alive – body now lay. His remaining men had their weapons at the ready and were watching the door. Whoever it was seemed to be trying to build tension for his entrance, so the man watched the door, waiting for the nuisance to show himself. He had guessed that it would be a low level hero, but he was still surprised to see a teenager in jeans, a t-shirt, and a cheap costume mask walk in. He rolled his eyes. This job was not worth so much annoyance.

“Jim, Gary, Dave: Go.” Three of the remaining nine men ran from the patrons to the invader. The boss watched, his expression impassive, arms clasped behind his back.

The boy looked at him with vicious glee. He let the first man, Jim, punch him without taking his eyes off the boss. The man’s punch seemed to have no impact at all. The other two men paused before striking, but Jim continued his useless assault, swinging his nightstick as hard as he could into the boy’s stomach. It still had no effect. Confusion and fear welled up in the man, so he stopped attacking for a moment, which was just long enough for the boy to turn and punch him square in the chest, with enough force to throw him to the other side of the room. The other two men took a step back, looking at each other with apprehension. Dave looked down at Steve, noticing that Steve’s gun was still in his hand, while Gary looked to Dave and saw what he was looking at. Both men looked back at their target briefly before simultaneously diving for the gun.

The team had primarily brought weapons that would be less likely to catch the attention of anyone outside the exhibit who might contact the police, since they were only planning to target and secure one exhibit, but now they regretted that decision. The boss made a note to bring more guns next time anyway, just in case. His men were fairly disciplined as far as minions went; he supposed if they survived this, it was probably time to trust them.

The teen seemed to fear the gun, as he rushed to get it away from the men before they could use it on him. He kicked at the henchman closest to him, but it didn’t have the same force as his punch had had. It did distract the boy long enough for Dave to get the gun, however, so he snatched it up from the floor and pointed it at the teen.

“Stop! I will shoot you! What the hell did you do to Team A?” Dave yelled. Team A were the ones who usually distracted any would-be heroes while Team B made off with the goods, but they weren’t used to dealing with much more than scared civilians.

The teen moved quicker than the henchman’s frayed nerves would allow him to. Dave fired a shot at the boy, but the bullet ended up in the wall. A few of the patrons screamed and covered their heads. The boss made another note to instruct his men to shoot first and ask questions later. He was becoming increasingly annoyed at the spectacle in front of him.

“You shouldn’t hesitate, dumbass! You’re never gonna get me that way!” The teen taunted as he tackled the man with the gun, grabbing the weapon and throwing it out the door. The henchman fought back, kneeing the boy in the stomach. That action had as little effect as Jim’s punch had, but at that moment, Gary came up behind him and struck him hard across the back with one of the metal stanchions that held the ropes surrounding the displays.

“Is that all you’ve got?” The teen asked, picking up the man beneath him and throwing him hard into the man with the pole. Both men ended up on the other side of the room. “Oh, come on; I expected more of a fight than this!” The boy laughed as he brushed off his t-shirt.
The remaining men looked to their boss for guidance. He held up a hand, indicating that they should stay where they were, then walked toward the smiling teen.

“Oh, so you’re finally going to come at me yourself? You think you can do any better than your henchmen? Least they’re wearin’ armour!”
The boss was getting sick of the boy’s cocky grin. He decided to remove it.

“I imagine most people assume your powers are invulnerability and strength; am I right?” His voice echoed around the room as he walked. His men were watching him intently, so some of the smarter patrons took the opportunity to run out the door. The boss didn’t particularly care about them anymore, so he held up his hand again when one of his men moved to chase after them.

“Yeah, that’s right,” the teen replied, puffing up his chest.

“They’re wrong, though, correct?”

The teen looked puzzled.

“That’s not your power, is it?” He asked again.

“What the hell makes you think that?”

“Well, the fact that when you kicked Gary when he was diving for the gun, you didn’t send him flying. The times you did hit with strength were only after you’d been hit yourself. When you came in, you just stood here and let them hit you. You may be just a show-off, but judging from the effort you put into your…uh, disguise,” distaste dripped off the word as he waved a hand at the boy’s outfit. “Well, I’m guessing that showing off isn’t really what you came here to do. No, I think it’s more likely that you collect the kinetic energy of your attackers and use it to raise the strength of your attacks. Am I close?” He mimicked the cocky grin the teen had flashed him only moments before.

The boy looked nervous, but he stood his ground. He attempted to smile confidently, though he wasn’t very successful.

“You’re way off. I just kick even harder than I hit, and I didn’t wanna kill him.”

“Sure you did,” the boss said, now face to face with the boy. He reached out a hand and patted him on the shoulder condescendingly. “Now, do you know what I just did to you?”

The teen twitched once, then froze. Panic filled his eyes.

“Oh, don’t worry, it wears off. That couple over there,” he said, pointing at the man and woman he had paralyzed earlier who were still frozen in place, “I paralyzed them a few minutes ago. They’ll be able to move normally by juuust about the time I get out of here, which will leave you a few more minutes after that. But for now, because I’ve been having a very bad day, we’re going to have a little fun.”

He turned to his men, surveying the damage around him. He pointed at two of his henchmen and motioned for them to help their injured comrades. He pointed at two more, then at what he had decided was worth taking. He looked at the remaining two henchmen and smiled.

~~~

“This is the police! Hands in the air!”

The Villain Response Team filed through the entrance to the exhibit, low and ready to attack, and looked around the room. All the patrons had fled, and the villain and his men were long gone, a few of the more valuable pieces from the exhibit gone along with them. The team cautiously lowered their weapons. They were too late.

“Fan out; look for any of them that didn’t get away, or any sign of where they went!” The leader called out. He walked further into the exhibit, keeping an eye out in case any of the thieves were still hiding somewhere, and checking for any injured civilians. He turned to look into the second room of the exhibit, and there, framed perfectly by the entryway, was the teen…seated in the position of The Thinking Man.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I should be working on my Nano novel, as I’m incredibly far behind, but because of the terrible writing in The Host I decided to show a scene where, without knowing anything about the characters, without them telling you how they feel, you can get the emotion of the scene.

 The office was lit with only a desk lamp as the man slumped over the paperwork in front of him.  He rubbed his eyes and looked at the piles of notes in front of him, frowning.  He sighed and continued to pour through the charts and diagrams, writing in the margins.

Footsteps fell lightly on the ground behind him, and a cup of coffee appeared beside him. A pair of arms wrapped around his tense shoulders and he relaxed into the embrace.  He set down his pen and leaned back to rest his head against the woman’s shoulder, a small smile spreading across his face.

105 words.  You know he’s working too hard, she’s probably his wife or girlfriend, and they’ve been around each other for a while and are comfortable with each other.  You know that they love each other, and understand each other.  I didn’t need to have them describing how they feel or what they’re going through, I didn’t have to have them describe the colour of the desk or what shirt he was wearing.  I didn’t have to tell you anything at all about what anything looked like or even describe any emotions.  The story told itself.

I by no means think I’m a great author, I don’t even think I couldn’t improve on that little short there.  But I sure as hell think Stephanie Meyer is a bad author who doesn’t know how to tell a story without the main character telling you what you’re supposed to think is going on.

Are some things hard to write this way?  Obviously!  You can’t get rid of exposition entirely unless you’re writing a very stylized piece or something very short.  Well, I suppose you could, but it would take an incredibly skilled author to pull it off well.  But a lot of the emotion driven scenes should be written with actions speaking for themselves, and The Host just isn’t doing that at all.  Every single page is unnecessary descriptors telling you what to think and how to feel.  Prompts for people who aren’t giving the story enough thought to think and feel about it for themselves.

Anyway that’s my little additional rant for the day.

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween.  It’s a fun holiday where people get to be whatever they want.  They can be themselves, they can be something they wish they were.  On Halloween you can just have fun.  Not to mention all the candy!  So in the spirit of the holiday I wrote a few pieces of flash fiction.  Hope you enjoy them!

Teeth

It was coming for us.  We couldn’t see where we were going, we just had to run and hope we were faster.  Its many limbs grabbed at us, tugging at the edges of our clothing, but we kept running, faster and faster.  Our lungs burned, unable to cry out our terror, gasping for the precious air needed to keep up our escape.

The limbs of the dark trees in the moonless night leapt out at us as we ducked and dove, trying desperately not to lose our pace.  The thing didn’t seem to be slowed down by the terrain at all, but we could only keep running for so long.  He stumbled…I wanted to stop and help, but it got there first.

I ran even harder; I didn’t look back.  I hoped having one victim would satisfy it; maybe I could get away…but it didn’t seem to even slow it down.  I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stop, I couldn’t think, I just ran.  There was nowhere to hide.

My time came soon after.  I tripped on what I can only assume was the root of a tree.  It was on me before I could even begin to get back up. The last thing I saw was teeth.

On Being Dead

It’s weird being dead.  Everything looks fuzzy.  I can’t really touch anything, either.  I get bored whenever the residents aren’t home to turn on the TV or talk.  They keep me company, though I suppose they don’t realize it.

I tried to leave the house once, but I found out pretty quickly that I couldn’t.  My universe just loops around when I go through the front door, and I end up right back where I started.  I haven’t bothered to try again.

Sometimes I get frustrated.  After I’ve been bored long enough – behaved myself long enough – I get angry.  I’m still only human, after all.  I can touch things, then…well, sort of, anyway.  Enough to get the residents’ attention, at least.  It scares them when I do that.  I feel bad afterward.  One family called in a priest once, but I just followed him around making faces behind his head.

Someday I hope I’ll move on.  For now, though, I’ll just keep watching TV with you, hoping one day you’ll talk to me…

Acceptance

Death had come to claim her

She did not struggle or fight

Tears streamed down her face

Fear, trepidation, relief

She took the outstretched hand

She wiped away the tears

They walked away