“Gomen nasai!“ It’s a reflex, really. I shouldn’t have…
I hold out the single warm glove, I pick up. The old lady turns around and stares in many shades of confusion playing around her eyes. I must have spoken Japanese. Her brows shoot up, seeing her glove in my hand.
„Thank you laddie! Bless you.“ I smile and bow slightly. Bright sunshine warms my back. The heavy tarry feeling on my hand stays, like mud on boots. The old lady turns away and hobbles down Park Lane. Her grey tweed jacket flickers with shadow and light, as she passes under the canopy of the trees nearby.
No matter how hard I try, the sadness stings in my throat, burns behind my eyes. I rip my eyes away from her back.
The old lady dies.
Today… Continue reading “Shadow Duties”
„Today’s the day! The day you’ve been waiting for: ‚LOSE THE KINK OR LOSE THE LIMB‘!“ A pleasant male voice booms through a bright space. Applause and deafening cheers wake Una from her slumber.
Her mouth feels fuzzy.
She doesn’t remember going to bed. Instead, she remembers doing seventy on the interstate ninety-five, just past Trenton. She is on her way to the most important test screening in her carrier. Evening news, here she comes! That job has her name written all over it. Una Hawthorn, the new face on ABWD.
Continue reading “lose the kink or lose the limb”
I bring in the tray with a steaming teapot and two gold-rimmed cups. John throws me an amused looked. „Tea? Really?“ He’s happy to throw me out of my house. I’m just a joke to him.
„Courtesy. One last time. Before…“ I put down the tray on the coffee table. Tears sting in my eyes. I cannot force them back down.
„You brought it on yourself!“ He does not hide his annoyance. I nod and pour in the hot liquid into the cups. He takes a sip. „Mmm, good.“
I do not drink it, I just stare. „It’s monkshood.“
The tiger folded his paws, cuffs slipping, showing monograms on his golden cufflinks.
Peterson shuddered. The bureau was huge, bigger than his house.
It made the boss look even more elegant and sophisticated, then before.
The white marble-topped table was impressive, the tiger enthroning the big black leather chair looked like a king holding court.
“Peterson. Do you think, this impresses me?” The tiger snorted and laid his ears back. His golden eyes pierced the weasel sitting in front of his desk. “Do you think this is ENOUGH?” The growl in his voice made the glass of the windows tremble.
Continue reading “Mr Burke”
“Right behind you!”
That’s all I need.
Alec’s leather suit creaks, as he leans over to shut off the master inhibitory signals on our implants. The log-tunnel lights up.
Protocol, protocol. My babysitter-in-time is a babysitter-by-the-book; dutifully complicating my plans. He’s the best. He’s the best I can buy. His missions are like good thrillers, never lost anyone – neither in combat, nor on a time trip. Alec is going to be so pissed, when he finds out I switched coordinates. Continue reading “War Time Tours”
Old age was a curse.
Anyone old enough could relate.
It marked the slow end of abilities, and the beginning of limitations. But this was a world made of limitations, wasn’t it? Old age was an abomination, a fence, an unscalable wall, but only if you ignored your abilities all your life long. Within those boundaries, anyone could roam freely.
My name is Rose, like the flower. My short-lived husband, Carl, loved my bloom, my thorns, my venom. He called my sense of justice, venom.
Continue reading “Thorns and Rose”
The metro reeks of sweat and wet dog.
Her expression is empty.
It always is. Holding that old crutch of hers, she walks. She walks slowly, and looks miserable too. But that isn’t hard with those exposed, burnt and broken legs of hers.
“A cripple has nothing to lose,” her father says so, before burning her. He says it, before he breaks her ankle and knee. First her right leg, then the left.
She stretches out a hand, hovering in front of her, like a small cloud over a desert; white and calm, waiting to dissolve into the blue of space. She doesn’t look at the faces. People are easily annoyed. No eye contact. That’s the rule.
There is nothing to see. She tells herself. Although… There is something worth looking at, maybe even staring at. Continue reading “Nothing”