No Ordinary Mouse

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“Run! Run! Run!”

“We’re not gonna make it!”

“We will! Move your tail, soldier!”

Crofton jumped first, landing solidly on the floor of the moving boxcar. Nina leapt after him, grasping the handle of the partially open door and swinging into the car beside him.

Paul ran as fast as his four feet would carry him down the station platform, his heart racing like an eight-cylinder engine at full horsepower. Continue reading “No Ordinary Mouse”

The Friend Zone

the friend zone graphic

“One Hoboken special and a turkey club, no onions.” Mia’s voice rose over the sound of the crowd outside the food truck.

A warm California breeze blew in through the open window, smelling like fried onions and saltwater…and Mia’s orange blossom perfume.

Ben flipped two filets of chicken on the sizzling griddle before moving to work on the sandwich order. With a glance out the window, he saw it belonged to their last customer.

Relieved, he finished up the order, and fifteen minutes later, he was slouching into a folding chair at the back of the truck. He ran his fingers through his hair, let out a long sigh, and propped his feet up on a cooler. Mia pulled off her baseball cap, and her coffee brown curls tumbled around her shoulders.

Ben’s breath caught, and he studied his shoelaces like they held all the world’s secrets. Did she see the blush heating up his face? Continue reading “The Friend Zone”

Become New

Leona stared, unseeing, at the small grungy duplex. Her eyes fixed upon the fading gray door and penetrated through the walls to her past. That night so long ago came rushing back like a tidal flood and nearly drowned her once again in the pain of it all. She could see the others—homies, out for a good time and looking for themselves. They couldn’t abandon her fast enough when the cops showed up. Continue reading “Become New”

Not Quite Done

Photo “Irish Independent” taken 9/27/13 by Thomas Leuthard. Made available at Flickr.com under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Chicago. March 17th, 1960

 

Mrs. O’Toole set the newspaper down on the table beside his steaming mug of coffee and Doran glanced at the headlines. Something about three women from Riverside being murdered and Eisenhower endorsing Nixon. He turned away from the paper with a sigh. Continue reading “Not Quite Done”

Stand Up

prayer-close (1)Shawna sat against the hard, brick wall of the school, her head in her hands. It was a perfect, California day full of sun and warm, sea breezes. Everyone around her was eating or talking with friends in the outdoor cafeteria area. But Shawna was in no mood for any of that right now. Ever since the phone call from Jamie’s dad last night, it felt as if someone had stabbed her heart with a red-hot poker. She still couldn’t believe her best friend had tried to Continue reading “Stand Up”

Level Up

Photo by Jeffy Can. Made available at Flickr.com under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.

Photo taken 2005 by Jeffy Can. Made available at Flickr.com under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.

 

“Logan, lights out; it’s time for bed!” Beth called out from the hallway.

“Yeah, I just have to level up!” Logan yelled above the noise blasting in his ears through the headphones.”

His thumbs moved furiously across the game controller. His avatar did his bidding on the screen and fought his way with a lightning-powered saber past an army of alien soldiers and a giant, winged, acid-breathing serpent. Continue reading “Level Up”

Third Window from the Left

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net

There it was. Third window from the left, five floors up. The white lace curtains still hung down from the silver rod like a veil concealing the treasure behind it.

He could still see Larisa standing there that day eight years ago. He’d turned back one last time and cast a glance up toward her window. She stood, curtains parted, looking down at him with a look that sent shards of longing and remorse through his heart. Yet he’d gotten in his car and driven away. Continue reading “Third Window from the Left”

Playing with Fire

playing with fire pic 2He’d seen her coming down the hall that morning, saw the invitation in her eyes. She’d been flirting with him for months and he’d done nothing to stop it.

He’d been happily married for eighteen years with a beautiful wife and two kids. He should have been content in his life. He should have turned down the lunch invitation. He never should have ordered an alcoholic beverage. He hadn’t had a drink for nine years. He’d never cheated on his wife. Continue reading “Playing with Fire”