The butterflies sit in his hair, the field around him a sea stretching into infinity in either direction. He hasn’t moved in hours, and the only passing motion is the opening and closing of wings, the silent ripples that the breeze creates in the lush grass.
He can feel his partner’s approach even before he comes into view, a dark figure that parts the tide with his gait. When he kneels in front of him, he takes one of the fragile things on a finger, and it flees to the wind.
The meditation is over, but the break is welcome.
The owl sees everything.
It watches when the young man brings his son into the barn on his shoulders, introduces him to each animal by name.
It regards the expression on the boy’s face when he gets old enough to come in here and hide from the other children who don’t understand why he’s so quiet.
It turns its head as the adolescent counts how many times he strokes the horse’s bare back.
Its unblinking eyes take in the vacant expression of the silent man when he comes into the stable and falls to his knees sobbing.
The owl knows.
When someone started using Jenny’s printer at work, she put out a simple memo telling them to stop. Since it was on the network, the ID was just a string of numbers, and she didn’t want to get HR involved. They weren’t using much anyway.
When she came in the next morning, there was a single sheet paper with one line of text: I didn’t know how else to say hello.
At the end of her shift, she responded and printed: Maybe we could have lunch instead?
The following day, another page: Printers aren’t great at lunch dates, I’ve found.
“I’m trying to decide if I want to kill you tonight.”
“Oh yeah?” John asked, sipping his Merlot, licking his lips to keep them from staining purple. “How would you do it?”
“Maybe a blow to the head–”
“This isn’t the movies, Paula. You’d need something more than that.”
Her blue eyes froze on him, juices pooling under her rare steak. “You didn’t let me finish. That would be to disorient you. Then I’d strangle you.”
“With your hands…?”
If that wasn’t an invitation, he didn’t know what was. “I’ll get the check then,” he finally declared.
Each cupcake required an hour of work to decorate. While other bakeries made slapdash, hurried attempts to get their confections presentable and on the shelves for sale, these were works of art. Gold flakes sat perfectly atop white chocolate pools, while candied cherries created the perfect centerpiece for a buttercream basin. Doilies provided the delicate stenciling for powdered sugar snowflakes atop dark chocolate peaks.
When the bakery was robbed, the safe sat untouched, and the only damage was to the locks on the glasses cases. The owners could only forgive the bandits. Wherever they were, they must have been happy.
She had gone to the store to pick out a gift for a baby shower, and when she returned home, the house was in flames. She couldn’t tear her eyes away, the smoke rolling around her flip-flopped feet, the fire casting orange light against the yoga pants she was only going to wear out that one time.
She got back into the car and took stock of her belongings: her wallet. A tube of chapstick. Her keys. A scratchpad. A pen. A soft teddy bear, which she buckled into the passenger seat.
“Okay,” she said as she started driving again.
When Holly tried the unmarked door at the end of the hallway in her building, it opened like it had been expecting her. She carefully placed the pile of papers in her arms on the floor, copies of a report that meant nothing to her.
A wind blew in excitedly, traveling up her pinstripe skirt, and a honeysuckle scent tickled her nose. Sunlight caressed her sandaled toes, even though she had walked through the rain not long ago that morning. Birds sang softly. Someone called her name.
Holly slipped inside, the reports forgotten, the stack tipped over onto the carpet.
I’ve been doing this thing off and on that you all may have noticed if you’ve been here a while. If I’m feeling awesomely motivated, I try to set tasks at the beginning of the month that are ’30 (fill in the blank).’ This month, I’m doing these things:
- 30 doodles on Instagram
- 30 quirkyalone things I love on Twitter
- and 30 pieces of microfiction here!
Let’s get started!
“Be kind to people. That’s what I’ve done for three hundred years.” Sergio stuck his hands into his jean pockets, fingering loose change.
“That’s all you’ve done with your immortality?” Charles asked as they stood on the bridge, watching the water below, and he pulled his collar around his sneer. “What a waste.”
Sergio shrugged. Fog covered the cityscape, leaving them suspended in a dream of white and gray. “It’s what I would have done with my mortal life, too. Take it or leave it.”
Maybe after a hundred more years, Charles might change tactics. He would wait and see.
Have some microfiction!
One of the symptoms of sleep paralysis is the sensation of a creature sitting on your chest. Please tell me what it means when I wake up in the morning and it’s still there.