Dark America, Part 41 – A Chat With the Wife

Continued from Chapter 40, here.

No. Not possible. This couldn’t be happening.

Standing just in front of a couch, in a room that shouldn’t exist and didn’t seem quite real, I stared at the woman who had just walked in through the front door. There were a handful of situations when i remember being too stunned to speak, but none of them could compare to this one. Those were gentle brushes compared to this current mind-fuck.

“Alexis,” I croaked out, my lips barely even able to shape the name.

The woman smiled at me, a slightly uncertain smile that I recognized intimately, instantly. That was the smile she gave me when I first swept her off her feet, promised her that I’d treat her like no one else ever had.

“Hi again, Brian,” she said softly, and I swear I heard the ripping sound of my heart being torn in two. Continue reading

Out of my league…

With apologies to Terry Pratchett.

I slammed down the empty beer glass, staring morosely at the suds sliding down its sides. “It’s no use,” I said aloud. “I love her, mate. For strewth.”

“Strewth,” echoed Davey, off to my side. “Trev, it can’t work, though. She’s in a whole other league, you know? She cheers for Dolly Sisters, an’ we’re born Dimwell fans. Hell, you know what they’d do to her if they saw someone like ‘er in our place, wearing those colors?”

“‘Course I do,” I snapped back at him. “But what am I supposed to do ’bout it? I love her, Davey. You don’t know what it’s like!” Continue reading

In a universe where everyone monologues, one man is free…

Normally, I wouldn’t ever have the courage to approach him, much less to speak with him. He was an A-lister, after all, and I barely managed to hold onto my own meager C-list position. I was a rookie, dwarfed by his all-star shadow.

Still, it was a Friday night, and I already had a couple beers pooling in my stomach and lightening my thoughts. What was the worst that could happen? And he always seemed friendly enough, if a bit distant. I gathered my half-finished beer, summoned up my courage, and approached him.

“Er… Impulse?”

He turned at his name, looking over at me. His frown smoothed out, replaced after a second by a smile. “Firebolt, right?” he replied, pointing a finger at me. Continue reading

Go West

He started at the sight of her, leaning casually back against the wall of the station platform. He recovered, but his foot missed a step, catching against the rough wooden boards of the station’s floor, and he had to move quickly to turn his stumble into a quick two-step.

When he looked back up, he saw her smirking. “Startled?” she asked, her voice slightly raspy.

He shrugged. “Wasn’t expecting anyone else. This train’s usually all but deserted.” Continue reading

“Sorry, I’ll be dead that week. Can we do the week after?”

Carson frowned at me, his glass of scotch halfway to his mouth. “What?”

“I said, I’m sorry, but I’ll be dead that week,” I repeated. “So I can’t make the golf course. Can we do it the week after?”

He set the glass back down, shaking his head. “You’re going to be dead,” he stated.

“That’s right.”

“Like, dead? Really dead?”

I shrugged. “For all intents and purposes, yeah. So no golfing, no fancy dinners out, nothing like that.”

“But you’re coming back next week.”

“Right. I’m only dead for a week.” Continue reading

The Maiden In Distress

“Hail, good woman! Might I trouble you for directions?”

I jerked up in shock at the sound of the unexpected voice, and my pruning shears closed a centimeter from taking off the tip of my thumb. Cursing, I hauled myself up to my feet, dusting some of the dirt off of the knees of my old jeans.

I turned around to see who had spoken to me – and felt my mouth drop open as I stared up at him.

Them, perhaps I should say. Continue reading

I have a friend I’ve never met.

Hey, uh, you mind if I share your seat with you? Bus is crowded this morning, and I’ve got, like, 30 stops until mine.

Thanks. Sorry about the bag.

What? No, I don’t have a phone charger. I usually charge mine at the office. Sorry.

Cute? Who?

Oh, on my Facebook. Here, let me scroll back up – her? Yeah, she is kind of cute, I guess. It’s a weird story with her, though. I’ve never actually met her, or really talked to her at all. But we’re friends.

No, it doesn’t really make sense. But it’s sort of an interesting story. If you don’t mind listening. I mean, if you’d rather just go to sleep for the rest of the bus ride-

Okay, I’ll tell it. Continue reading

“Do you honestly think that this will work?”

“Just another minute, so that I can rig the generator!” I shouted over my shoulder at my pale-faced assistant, Dave. “We can take out the zombies and bring down the source of the brain wave generator, all at the same time!”

Dave stared back at me, struggling to hold the lab’s door shut against the groaning, mindless bodies throwing themselves at it from the other side. “Jerry!” he yelled.

“What?” Connect the wires, being careful to avoid the live ones. It’s like Operation, but lethal…

“Do you honestly think that this will work?” Continue reading

Let me sell you this pen…

Sir, sir, don’t go walking by! Oh boy, it’s your lucky day – I’ve got a hell of an opportunity for you!

Yes, I knew that you’d stop. I see it in your eyes – you have that drive, that desire to be the best. You, sir, are a man of great taste, of conscious fashion, of wanting to have all the best things in life – but not be over the top about it, no sir. Am I right in my assessment of you? Do I have the right man?

Yes, I see that glint in your eye. You are a man who will succeed! And that’s why you need this. Continue reading

A Hatred of Chocolate

In retrospect, after midnight on a Friday evening in college is not the best time to make a deep, mind-shattering discovery about your best friend.

“Are you serious?” I howled across the table at Barry, pelting him with Hershey Kisses. “You don’t like chocolate? Man, what’s wrong with you!”

Barry did his best to block the shower of small projectiles, but he didn’t want to let go of his beer bottle, so several of the little foil-wrapped chocolates pinked off the glass container. “Nothing’s wrong!” he insisted. “I just don’t like the stuff, okay?”

“Nuh uh, not okay,” I said, shaking my head vehemently back and forth. With all the booze sitting in my stomach and pestering my liver, the head-shaking gesture made the room spin unsteadily, but I clamped both of my hands over my ears until the wooziness passed. “Who doesn’t like chocolate?” Continue reading