A Day in the Life

Amber sat on the couch feeling somewhat lonesome. She watched TV and munched on some fruit flavored cereal, but wasn’t really paying attention to either. She was waiting.

Bang, bang, thud. “Good morning John,” Amber said, trying to not sound too excited at the first sign of life in the morning.

“If she asks, I’m not here.” John said urgently. Amber looked over her shoulder just in time to see John duck into a nearby storage closet, clothed in nothing but a pair of checkered boxers.

“Uh,” She managed to get out just before she heard more bangs and thuds coming down the stairs. A girl of beautiful proportions, but terrible hair and makeup, appeared.

She fixed her cross eyes on Amber. “Who are you?”

“I’m Amber,” She answered honestly. “I live here.”

“You live here…” The girl huffed and nodded. “If you see that slim ball excuse of a man who goes by the name “Bill” anytime soon, tell him he can keep it.” With that she threw her rather oversized purse over her shoulder and, head held high, exited stage right through the front door.

A moment later, after he made sure it was safe, John emerged from the closet. “Who was that?” Amber asked, amused at John’s endless antics. It kept the house interesting. “And what is it you can keep? And who’s Bill?”

“Don’t worry your little pretty brain about it.” John patted her bed head as he walked by. “Good morning Tiff,” He said distantly.

“Good morning Stud.” Amber heard Tiffany clink delicately down the steps. “It sounds like you had a good night.”

“Always.” John chuckled and headed upstairs, noisy as ever.

“Hmm,” Tiffany spotted Amber still in her pajamas and smiled. Tiffany was a peculiar sort of woman, mature well beyond her years. She took care of everyone in the house without overbearing anyone into submission. “Good morning love,” Amber felt the smile in her voice.

“Good morning Tiff,” She said back. “Do you know…?”

Tiffany sighed. “I try to stay out of that boy’s business. Honestly, it’s more of a bother that anything to concern yourself.”    

“Yeah,” Amber said absentmindedly. She’d focused in on the TV now, comforted by the movement of others in the big house. Upstairs, she heard John ram, what she could only assume, his foot into his dresser (again) and cuss loudly.

The news was on. Tiffany, serving herself her usual grapefruit, sat next to Amber on the couch to catch up on the daily grind. A new news reporter, a young boy straight from school, lectured them on the safety hazards of sink plugs.

“He’s decent.” Amber commented first.

“Talent wise or…?” Tiffany asked, coy.

“It’s too early to say talent wise, but look wise…”

“I would eat cheesecake with him.” Tiffany confessed.

Amber gasped. “Really?” She couldn’t help but pry.

“Oh yes, I think so.” She said.

“What are we talking about?” John’s head poked between the two women’s.

“Tiffany said she would eat cheesecake with him!” Amber pointed with her spoon.

“Really?” John asked, surprised.

“Well, don’t all sound the alarm at once.” Tiffany smiled and stood, exiting stage left into the kitchen.

Reaching over, John stole Amber’s half eaten bowl of cereal and drained it, following Tiffany into the kitchen. “Well,” Amber said, more to herself than anyone else. “I guess I should get dressed now.”    

Mortician

Lately, the world had been in quiet the commotion because of some very peculiar news. From somewhere deep in the south it came, and sent chills down the spines of anyone who heard it.

 

“Have you heard about the incident? Has is really begun?”

 

The incident in question was rather a strange thing. A man had been murdered, but not in any typical sense. Hardly even in an atypical sense was this man’s end. He had been eaten. Partially. Though I find it hard to believe he cared either way. The man who had done the eating was found and shot on sight by a local neighborhood watch. Illegal, maybe, but I don’t find it hard to believe no one bid for his case.    

 

What could cause a perfectly fine human being to turn towards cannibalism? While the world reeled in their fantasies and horror flicks, this possible future held little appeal to the man who dealt with the supposed “zombie”. 

 

The victim’s body was completely repulsive to behold, resulting in his family wanting a cremation. That was that. The attacker, however, apparently had no family, so was instead destined for an unmarked plot on the edge of town. But first, of course, had to come the autopsy. The Police Department was interested in what the man had “been on” when he perpetrated the act.

 

This is where our main character comes in. Daniel is his name, but from hence forth shall be referred to as Mortician, for that was after all his occupation, and the most relevant piece of information about him you will ever need to know. Put in charge of the autopsy, the Mortician felt little interest in the dead man’s case.

 

His body, dirty and riddled with bullet holes, felt like every other body to his expert hands. He operated out of sheer ritual, slicing the man clean straight up the middle. This is where things start to become interesting. The man’s internal organs had begun to decompose. But the body had only been dead a day, hadn’t it? The smell was overwhelming. Backing away the Mortician took off his mask and breathed deeply. It puzzled him. Grabbing another scalpel, he turned to face an empty examination table.

 

He blinked as his mind went blank. Next thing he was hit upside the head with a ton of bricks. Inhuman snarls filled his ears as he struggled to glimpse his attacker. It was the man, but he wasn’t a man at all.

 

His eyes turned milky white, no longer seeing, rolled around as hot moans escaped his throat. His chest, still cut open, poured out all he had to offer in terms of organ donation. Ripping at his coat, the dead man gnashed his teeth with vivaciousness until one fell out and plopped against the Mortician’s cheek.

 

The Mortician yelled and struggled, disbelief clouding his judgment. The zombie fought on however and with surprising strength broke through his victim’s defenses and bit his shoulder. Roaring in pain the Mortician took at better grip on the scalpel he still held and lashed out, planting it deep within the zombie’s jugular.

 

The creature went limp. Seizing moment the Mortician shot out from under the monster. Now, this Mortician just happened to have an axe stashed in a cabinet behind his desk. Flying to it now, he ripped open the cabinet and took the sharpened blade in hand. Behind him, he heard the zombie struggle to its feet. Turning to face his foe, the Mortician steeled himself for the kill.

 

The zombie limped closer, uttering such noises that, I can assure you, a dying moose wouldn’t dream of making. Bursting forth a war cry, the likes of which have never been heard and shall never be matched, the Mortician bravely flew forward, striking out.

 

He hit the zombie square in the face, splitting it clean in two. For good measure he struck again and again until all that was left was a scattered assortment of body parts.

 

“Oh Mr.—” Just then his assistant, a lovely young woman writing notes on a clip board, walked into the room. Before she could finish her sentence she slipped on the blood now effectively covering the majority of the floor and fell flat onto her face. Confused, she glanced up to see her boss.

 

Cover in blood and various other body fluids, the Mortician looked quite the ghastly sight. Feeling a throb in his shoulder, he looked to see it already turning a sickly grey-green around the edges of the very noticeable teeth marks.

 

“Ms. Dill,” He said, looking at his assistant. “I’m going to need you—”

 

“Need me what?” She looked wide eyes as the figure of the Mortician slowly came closer. She glimpsed his face as he shuffled under the light and screamed.      

West

All eyes turned to the man who blew in. Squeaky hinges announcing the arrival of a newcomer walking through the saloon doors without a sound. He headed straight to the bar, careful to keep his hat and eyes pulled down low, lower than the floor.  

 

“Where you from stranger?” The bartender asked, forever polishing a fine glass that hadn’t seen liquid in five years. The man remained silent, instead holding up a finger. Pouring a drink the bartender next asked him where he was heading. Again the man remained silent.

 

During this time the man’s attention had been drawn to a bit of a ruckus. Poker was the game, and a good game at that. Five men sat around a round table near the back of the saloon, as was customary. They’d fallen silent when the man had first entered, watching him with judging hawk eyes like the rest, but had quickly been drawn back in by their addiction.

 

Now the strange man was not a fan of gambling. But at the same time he was. Standing from the bar he invited himself into their game. These men of chance knew each other well and also knew a sucker to be had. They thought it good one had fallen into their laps so willingly.

 

A new game began and quickly ended. The newcomer lost what little money he had. Next he bet his hat. That he lost. Next his gloves. Those went. Then his scarf. That as well. Finally he bet his boots, a nice but worn pair. But alas, those he lost. The other men grew bored. It wasn’t even sport at this rate. But at last the underdog bet it all, his gun; a man’s pride packed into a handful of metal. This the other men were mildly interested in, so they went all in. A difficult battle ensued, making the whole room sweat.

 

Finally, finally, the stranger won. Outraged the others grabbed their own guns, flipping their chairs back. But the gunman was quicker, throwing up his gun into the nearest man’s face.

 

“Listen here boys,” His voice surprisingly coy. “I won fair and square.”

 

“I think not.” The click of a gun froze him. Turning his head and inch and his eyes a mile he found himself had by the sheriff. Reaching up his sleeve, the Sheriff discovered an ace stashed. “Throw down your gun and come along quietly.” The Sheriff ordered.

 

Obeying, the man started to laugh, then cry. “My family…” He spoke.

 

“What about them?” Asked The Sheriff.

 

“I’m trying to find them, but it seems the closer I get, the farther set back I become.” Raising his hands, the gunman slowly turned and bolted for the door. Shouting, the Sheriff cocked his gun and let a bullet fly.

 

The gunman saw light reflected off the sand the streets of the town were made of. It was awfully rough to land on, but by that time he felt little. Struggling to stand, the man promised in his heart that he would experience that ecstasy of a reunion soon regardless of any setbacks he encountered. Regardless of how many times he fell, regardless of the blood choking his throat, regardless of the cloud blocking out his vision. He was so certain he family was just within grasp. Why, they were so near he could smell the soap off his daughter’s head.         

Dragon Treasure

 

One day in a land far far away, a boy went for a walk near the sea. He traveled a fair distance and discovered a castle on the very tippy top of a hill. “Why, this is fine!” Thought the boy. “I shall have something to explore!”

 

Opening the impressive front doors he was met by a ferocious Dragon in the main hall. Huffing and puffing the Dragon scared the poor boy so much he cowered on the spot, unable to move a muscle. Seeing the boy was no threat the Dragon bit back his flame. He walked to the back of the room where a treasure was stored. Sitting down, a cloud of dust erupted around the Dragon’s huge hindquarters. “How now boy? What brings you here?” He demanded.

 

The boy answered. “I was bored, so I took a walk along the sea. Seeing your castle I came to explore.”

 

“Oh, but you are mistaken. This is not my castle.” Commented the Dragon.

 

“But Dragon, why then do you stay?”

 

“Ah,” said the Dragon. “I have been placed here by an evil Witch who wishes me to guard her treasure. I dare not defy her.”

 

“Shouldn’t you like to kill her and be free?” Asked the boy.

 

“Ay, I would like that. But this Witch is no ordinary witch. She is very powerful and I fear I could not defeat her.”   

 

“Perhaps I could help you kill her?” Suggested the boy. 

 

“Grand!” Exclaimed the Dragon. “The only way you can kill her is to stab her with the golden spear at the top of the treasure. But pray you are careful! The mound is high and, should you slip and cause the pile to collapse, she will discover and eat you! You must hide well and seek your opportunity.”

 

So the boy hid just in time. The front doors blew open and in flew the Witch. She was the ugliest witch the boy had ever seen, with warts all over her face the size of mushrooms! The boy observed the Witch was very mean to the Dragon, bossing him around ungratefully, seeing as he protected her splendid treasure. Finally she lay down to take a nap, telling the Dragon to keep an eye out.

 

So the boy climbed carefully to the top of the treasure, careful with his footing, and took the spear. Standing over the Witch he struck her repeatedly. Awakened, the Witch cried out to the Dragon for help. The Dragon stood by and watched, unwilling to lift a claw for his captor. The Witch died shortly after.

 

“I am free,” said the Dragon. Standing on his two back legs, he flared his nostrils and flapped his wings. “Tell me young master, what I can do for you in return?”

 

The young boy asked for half of the Witch’s treasure. The Dragon happily complied and took the other half for himself.

 

From then on the young boy and his family lived in the castle on a hill and were wealthy and happy all their lives. The Dragon did not fare worse, flying free through the sky seeing all the evil Witch had kept from him over the years. 

 

Death

There once was a woman who led a plain life, dull some would say, never to be completely content. You see this woman once was a girl, and as everyone knows, girls have dreams.

But that time had passed and she’d accepted that. Now she lived a quiet life in a small cottage near a small town. She ate breakfast in her sparsely furnished kitchen every morning before heading to work. It was one such morning when a knock came to the door.

She answered the door to be greeted by Death. Gasping, she fell back and cowered on her knees. The woman knew her time had come. Death greeted and raised her up with care. Without a second thought the woman left her home and walked with Death, not even putting on her coat of closing up the windows. In fact the door was left ajar, welcoming in fallen leaves in absence of its previous inhabitant.

Fall. Crunch, crunch, crunch went the leaves under her feet. Death made no sounds. Silence faded over the trees as they walked along a path behind her house. The woman recognized it at first, but after a few minutes her home faded into new scenery. The trees looked fake for the tranquility they breathed could not be real.

“Woman,” Death spoke suddenly. “Are you happy with the way you have lived your life?”

The woman thought for a moment, then answered yes. “Life did not turn out how I expected, or wanted, but looking back now I feel satisfied.”

“Satisfied?” Death questioned. “Satisfied in what way?”

The woman thought for a moment longer, then answered again. “I did not have much but I had enough.”

“It seems to me,” Death reasoned. “You had nothing of what you wanted. You started out young and fresh, but did not end up where you desired to be. You had a house but not a home. You did not live in a big city surrounded by big lights and sounds. You were not even married, nor had any children to pass on your memories too. It seems to me your life, in fact, sums up as such.”

“It is true; I had some grand wishes.” The woman’s eyes glazed over in remembrance. “I was so eager for the future to come in those days.”

“And then all your dreams did not come true. The spark of youth faded and gave way to a different attitude. An attitude dominated by thoughts of trying to make a living rather than living to make. Where did your innocence go?”

“It went away when reality came.” She smiled at Death. “You can’t always live on dreams.”

“Then why do they exist?” Death questioned, truly curious in all his aged wisdom. “You were caught up in a world torn between love and hate, life and death. Dreams are only as obtainable as they are lucrative.”

“Yes, that seems to be true.” The woman tilted her head sadly. “Still, they are nice to have.”

Death thought for a moment. “Perhaps that is the case then.” When the woman looked to him, he explained. “Life itself is born out of hopes; hopes for another. An endless cycle, yes? How disappointing it would be then for life itself to die out? In order to live, life feeds off of what gave birth to it.”

“That seems like a very fine explanation.” The woman commented.

“But you brought forth no life in this world, instead letting the chain die out.”

The woman scoffed. “What does the world lack that I could have brought into it? I am but one person.”

“True. But hopes and dreams have to start somewhere.”

The woman smiled. “I suppose so.”

They reached the end of the path. Their walk together had ended. Bidding Death a warm goodbye the woman stepped through the gates and disappeared as did Death, already onto his next destination.