It’s Wednesday, which naturally means that it is time for #1lineWed on Twitter and a snippet here based upon a theme. Today, I’m doing something different. I have three–yes, count them! One, two, THREE snippets. They’re short. They were flash fiction pieces. They aren’t connected. There’s only one Wolf you might recognize–Totem, who is the Nightriders’ Montana Chapter Prez. One is just a bit of fantasy, and one will appear if I ever get around to writing the Moonstruck Mafia series. Anyway, I hope I’m not ALONE in my enjoyment of these bits and bobs of words.
What had I been thinking? Obviously not things through. Nope. Not me. I heard gunfire, saw the kids, and reacted. I snatched up the toddler, snagged the older kid’s hand, and ran. Now we were hiding behind a dumpster that stank of stale beer and rotten food.
“Were your parents in the store?” I hiss-whispered. The boy shook his head. “You were there alone?” He shook his head again. “Who were you with?”
Before my frustration bubbled over, he sniffled. “Uncle Totem.”
Had his uncle been shot? And why weren’t there any sirens? Surely someone called 911. Like an idiot, I’d left my phone in the car. I passed the toddler to her brother. “I need you to stay quiet and out of sight.” He gulped. “Can you do that?” A slow nod.
“Where’re you going?”
“To get help.” I hoped.
I peeked around the dumpster and came nose-to-nose with a giant dog. Nope, not a dog—a ferocious, pissed as hell wolf. I fell back on my butt and froze, not breathing as the animal nosed in, sniffing me. I heard the kids move and I braced, ready to fight.
Then stuff got weird. Popping bones and squishy noises. The wolf changed. A naked man—a totally HOT, naked man—crouched where the wolf had been. I didn’t do drugs so this had to be a psychotic break.
“Hi, Uncle Totem,” the kid said, grinning.
“I need a drink,” I mumbled right before everything went black.
My sister glowered at me. I like that word and personally believe more people should use it in conversation. The expression on her face totally fit the definition.
“You need to grow up.”
I started writing this scene in my head and added a dialog tag. “You need to grow up,” she groused.
She ripped the graphic novel I was holding from my hands.
“Life is not an anime comic book!” She was shouting now.
“It’s not a comic book, it’s a graphic novel.” And my life was so far away from anime that I wanted to laugh to keep from crying. No cute girls in sailor suits or kitten ears in my world, or fierce boys with wolf faces. I would happily live in that world—or any world besides this one. There’s magic in books. Escape. Romance. Adventure. In books, I didn’t hurt, and people didn’t pity me.
The nurse’s shoes squeaked as she came into the treatment room. She scowled—another word I loved—at my sister. “Keep your voice down and be civil or you’ll have to leave.”
Thankfully, she did. Leave. My sister hated me, hated the attention I got for being sick. If she only knew…
Two hours later, I walked out. Alone. The wolf sat across the street, waiting. I shifted my backpack—full of books and my Kindle. I had a decision. I could stay and die or I could walk away and live.
I smiled at the wolf and started walking.
Prisms glimmered in her eyes as the gentle sunbeam peeked through the window, touching those unshed tears. Small, all alone, people pushed past, engrossed in their own lives, their own pursuits and not one of them saw the woman with the broken heart.
He could smell it on her, the broken heart. A combination of scents, of regret and resignation, all wet ashes, dead roses, and almonds on the one hand and damp, moldy earth combined with the musty dankness of an abandoned house on the other. Broken hearts were like abandoned houses. And the grave. The smells were the same.
Smiling at himself, he wondered what the boss would think. He was not a Wolf known for his poetry. No. He was known for his swift executions. Still, this small human woman touched something inside him that up until the moment he’d laid eyes on her had remained encased in steel.
Her head bent, the pen in her hand once again scratched across the page of the notebook in her lap. His wolf watched, anticipating. Knowing. He approached when she paused.
“I saw you writing,” he whispered. “And wondered if the pen truly is mightier than the sword.”
“I don’t know.” Her thumb brushed across a tear-smeared word.
“Can words heal a broken heart?”
She looked up, eyes widening. “I…don’t know.”
He read what she’d written, understood the reason for her tears. “Goodbyes are always hard.”
“Hellos are better.” He held out his hand. “Hello.”
Writers, got any alone words you want to share? Readers, do you want to be alone when you read?