The older bald man sits in a light-rose wingback chair. What look like two security guards stand behind him, motionless. They haven't taken off their sunglasses yet. It doesn't look like they're going to.
In the clearing ahead, the brush rustled and the pebbles at the edge of the stream registered the sound of hooves. As the blood in his veins turned as black as the evening shadows, he steeled himself for the shot. And for his final choice.
About twenty-five years ago, my parents bought several acres near the edge of Pulaski County, Arkansas, a forty-five minute drive from downtown Little Rock. The property is beautiful, most of it wooded behind a small pond where my parents have... Continue Reading →
Sitting in the seat of the big Cadillac, he clicked the freshly loaded clip back into the Beretta and checked the safety, slid it comfortably back into the holster, like a hand going into a waiting pocket. He was glad the running was over, glad that he would be able to ask for the bonus without any guilt this time.
The Praetorians will take me, I’m sure of it. One last walk down the low-lit red corridor to the mess hall to be with my girls.
A big part of having the kids around is feeding them. Most nights I try to cook healthy meals for them, complete with vegetables and fresh fruit. Sometimes I hit a home run -- pasta is usually a winner, tacos always work, chicken and veggies. Sometimes it's a miss. I made a great black bean soup the other night, and the kids just weren't down with it.
They hit the switch, there was an electric crackle, and all I could see was hazy white out the window. I felt myself drifting, and then I saw nothing but blue. No other colors, not even close.
I’d gone to the place of the hermit not too many years before expecting the usual. Dusty brushes with horse hair at the end of a stick, ash from an old cigar and some crushed shell thrown around the room, the Ace, the Queen, the Five of Hearts and Two of Spades on the table next to a glass ball and a chicken foot.
He had found it almost by accident, the strange stone monkey, an artifact worth a lot to an old guy in Chicago. Three days later he was on a cot in a hut in Fortaleza in the depths of something a lot like malaria. It was the monkey – the Gypsy Monkey, they called it – and it spoke to him in his twisted dreams. Make your choice, make your sacrifice.