Friday, August 31, 2012

The Book Lover's Wife

Edward cringed at the squeak of the opening cellar door and the accompanying dry rasping scratches of his wife's footsteps. Her soulweight, for it could be nothing else since she weighed so little, made the wooden makeshift stairs creak.

He set down his collector's edition of the Fellowship of the Ring and turned to catch her flouncing the last few steps toward him.

"Is my little dove hiding from me?" She reached out with a hand, blackened from the smudged newsprint. Other parts, especially the photo of him and her that had been run in the obituary molded just a little off center over her left breast, weren't as smudged.

He rubbed his forehead to keep the migraine away. Whether it was some allergy he'd developed to newsprint or just her fiery temper, he didn't know. But, it would be better not to answer her question. "Were you looking for me?"

She tiptoed to look over his shoulder. "Books. Should I be jealous?"

She didn't wait for an answer, but pulled him from the bench. Her newspaper dreadlocks brushed against him. He'd managed to capture her body so well, but it turned out hair was something that couldn't be rendered from the cut out stories of the serial killing. He missed the texture of her mid-shoulder blonde strands.

She raised an eyebrow and licked a lip in the way that he'd found so attractive when they had met on the blind date. But after marriage it had disappeared. Until he'd raised her. The newspaper had kindled a passion horny teenaged boys yearned for in their dreams. Unfortunately, dreams skimmed over inconvenient facts.

"I need a man to fill my bed." The dark empty pits of her eyes crinkled. "And other things."

He squirmed to escape her arms. Passion led to only one thing. Papercuts. "I can't."

"But, I need you."

He grabbed his copy of the Fellowship of the Rings and held it between them like a shield. The sacrifice had been difficult to contemplate before she'd descended the stairs, but her presence made the decision easy.

"The book is useless to me," she said.

"Not useless." He tried to stifle the jealousy from his voice but knew he'd failed. She'd never read the book, but had loved Viggo Mortensen on the silver screen. "I can make another one, like you." Aragorn had been his favorite character in the books, but he wouldn't think of the man the same after molding him into life.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Bill squinted against the glare of the magelight that lit his path towards Billy's bedroom. His son's scream caught and died away when Bill pushed the door open.

Billy's face, red and puffy, indicated he'd cried for a while before becoming worked up enough to scream. Bill was the king's mage and his son should understand illusions. Not get worked up over things that went bump in the night. He tried to hide the annoyance he felt. It wouldn't calm the boy if he let it show.

"What's wrong?"

Billy leaned over the side of the bed and pointed underneath. "Something's down there."

Bill sat on the edge of his son's bed and stroked his fingers through the child's hair. Waiting for the child to calm. He was going to be too awake after this to fall back to sleep. He'd already begun to think about the pyrotechnics the king had asked for tomorrow's battle.

Once Billy's shaking stopped, Bill took his hand. "Look, there isn't anything under the bed."

"No, I'm not getting off the bed."

"I'll be here. I'll be with you." Bill tugged at the boy's arm, but the boy dug his feet into the boards holding the side of the bed. He was getting too heavy to lift.

"It's hiding."

"Look." Bill took a deep breath, stopping himself from what he was going to say. "I'm sorry." He pointed under the bed. "It's not what is down here that matters. But what is in your mind."


Bill sighed. It was too early to teach the boy his heritage. Instead, he dipped his fingers into his bag of specially prepared powder and breathed on it, creating illusory bugs that scattered over the bed. Large bulbous things lit like jack-o'-lanterns with circles and triangles and other shapes swirling on their sides.

Billy's eyes grew wide and he crept towards one of the bugs. "What is it?"

"A bedbug. They eat monsters." He smiled at his son and ruffled the boy's hair. "Now go to sleep."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Management: Travelling

Yes, I haven't updated in a while. I've been traveling. In Scalzi fashion, here is a view from my hotel window.
I'm currently in Mumbai (one of the parts of India that is not having power problems) and enjoying monsoon season. Yes, there are cows in the foreground of that camp.

I hope you all are good and I'll see you in several weeks.

Have fun!