The Girl With No Tattoo

Free stock photo of black-and-white, pool

Every person is born with a unique tattoo on their body.
Imagine a birth mark, only everyone gets one, and each is unique.
Then imagine that you gain a tattoo every time you fall in love with someone.

That was what my mom told me. I was 7. I had only every seen my own tattoo on my body, and now there was another. I was sacred. I didn’t understand what was going on, what was happening to my body.

She said that I must be falling in love with someone. Maybe a girl at school, she teased. But there wasn’t. And I wasn’t gay, so it wasn’t the tattoo of any of the guys. Where was this tattoo coming from? Continue reading “The Girl With No Tattoo”

The Mystery Door (Extended Version)

 

As Alfred began to turn the door knob, this thought flashed in his mind. Is it safe to enter? He hesitated and let that thought linger. Is it safe to go into this room, if it is a room?
His fingers slid away from the door. Was it safe?

He looked down the hallway. His bedroom on the left and his office to the right, that was all the rooms that the upstairs had. Had, until this door appeared. He didn’t understand how it got there, where it came from, and where it lead.

Are you sure you’re awake? Could this be a dream, or a nightmare?
Alfred breathed deeply, and gave his arm a pinch. The pain reassured him he was awake. But that reassurance didn’t help the real issue. There was a mystery door in his house.

What if there is something on the other side? Can I defend myself?

A step back seemed to be Alfred’s answer to his own question. As a paper pusher, he wasn’t overly athletic or physically fit. No match for whatever could be waiting for him.

He looked down as he reached into his pocket for his phone.

The door knob rattled.

No. That did not just happen. The door knob did not just rattle. I’m tired. It’s late. My mind is playing tricks on me.

His bottom lip began to quiver. Logic was not helping the situation, because as true as his statements were about his feeling exhausted and the hour being late, the pain from his pinched arm reminded him of what was truer still.

A mystery door had appeared in his house. And yes, the door knob did rattle.

Alfred carefully pulled his phone out of his pocket, both eyes still fixed on the door knob. Could he ring the police without looking? Did he dare look away?

A panicked breath and Alfred looked down at his phone. 9. 1.

Click.

Alfred froze. His eyes clamped shut. Every muscle In his body locked up.

That did not just happen it. That did not just happen. The door is still closed. The door is still closed. Maybe it was the sound of your phone, he told himself trying to calm his racing heart.

It could have been your phone…but it would have made a noise when you pressed 9.
Another anxious breath, and Alfred knew that was true. That could only mean it was the door knob. Did he dare open his eyes to confirm that?

He licked his lips, trying to ease his nerves. It didn’t help. His mouth was dry from the heavy breathing. His hands however were beading with sweat. How could this be happening? And why to him? A simple guy that never bothered anyone; why would this horror plague him?

A deep gulp was the only sound he heard. Everything was still. No freaking of the door opening. No floor boards moving. Just his steady breathing and the occasional gulp. Seconds dragged on into minutes. Minutes into hours. What felt like days for Alfred passed.

I can’t keep doing this. I can’t just stand here anymore.

Alfred gathered what little courage he could muster, and began to open one eye. It was a slow and calculated move, tilting his head to the right as if to dodge an oncoming punch. The door blurred into vision.

Oh, God no.

The door was open. Just a crack. Just enough to overwhelm Alfred’s heart with dread.

Did something come out while I had my eyes shut? Is there something in my house now? Do I close the door? What if that traps it in here with me? Would it be safer for me to go in there if it’s in here? What if there is more than one? What if all this is a trap?

He winced, and turned away from the door altogether. He was starting to get a headache from the limitless possibilities. What was he going to do now? Should he just leave the house? Forget the door even exists?

That thought brought some relief to his soul. Yeah, I could just walk away from this. From this door. From this house. I could leave and never think about it.

The door creaked.

Oh no. No. No. No. No.

The labored breathing and panic was back. Alfred grabbed onto the staircase failing to brace himself. That and something to hold onto if he started to get dragged away.

Again he was left waiting, and wondering. Time slowly passed until Alfred started to loosen his grip.

Maybe there is nothing behind the door. Maybe there is no monster, no reason to fear. But reality again hit him. There was still a mystery door in his house. And it opened. By itself.

Alfred leaned heavy on the railing. A exasperated blink, and then he had decided. It was time to go through that door.

He put one foot in front of the other. For a man that was rarely curious, he wasn’t sure what to expect. Should he dare to be bold and fake some grand authority? Be the hero that he secretly wished he was?
Another step forward. Then another. His foot hit the threshold of the door. He looked down. The door was open, just enough that he had to move it to get in. It was taunting him, teasing him into pushing it wide. Who knew what would happen then?

Alfred looked straight ahead. He took one last deep breath to calm himself, and looked down. The door knob was waiting for him. He reached out his hand, and grabbed it. The cold metal handle reaffirmed that this was all real. Whatever Alfred found behind that door was just as real as his house. Just as real as he was.

He put his right foot forward, stepping into the blackness. It enveloped him. Alfred turned back to see his safe haven, but it was gone. There was nothing.

Oh, what have I done?

The Christmas War

Trees

People of Earth are used to the migration of animals. It has become a part of their lives since they first observed and understood that during different seasons, animals would move to different parts of the globe. This has not bothered them, in most cases, it is used as an indicator of the shift in seasons.

But this is not the case for the recent inhabitants of New Terra, the latest in the terraformed planets that humanity has conquered. There are no migration patterns of animals for them to map. The trees migrate. Continue reading “The Christmas War”

A Sip Of Freedom

Coffee

Greg stared out the window of his office, wondering what it would be like to fall from the 34th floor.

He sipped some more coffee, followed by a weighed sigh. It was sweet enough for his liking, but also the only real highlight of his day. Within the next 15 minutes, he expected to be fired, or “have his professional relationship with the company ended.” That was the joy of a recession. Everyone was getting fired as companies looked for ways to pinch pennies. Greg knew that his termination was coming. It just seemed to be the way things were going in his life. Everything was ending. Continue reading “A Sip Of Freedom”

Greetings, Mr. President

Desk with Laptop

I sat down behind the desk. My desk, the one that I had handpicked. Every President gets to pick out the desk that they work behind. I liked mine, a sturdy oak desk. Plenty of drawers, a large working space for all the things that I wanted to do as the latest POTUS.

I breathed deep the smell of the freshly cleaned carpet and upholstery cleaner. Hmmm. Starting something new. Something fresh. Something powerful and life changing. That had been what I ran my whole campaign on and now it was time to start delivering.

I slid my chair back so I could grab a pen and legal pad. Time to prioritize the madness of the day. Who really needs my time and attention right now? I pulled the top drawer open, discovering no pen or paper. Instead there was an envelope, addressed to me.

To the New President

I didn’t touch it, only stared at it. Confused, I called to my assistant.

“Marilyn, did someone leave me a letter? Clinton or her husband, they didn’t drop something off?”

She poked her head through the door, glasses almost falling off. “No, Mr. President, nothing. Were you expecting something?”

“No, no. That’s alright. Thank you Marilyn.”

As she closed the door, my eyes darted back to the open drawer and the mystery envelope. Who left this for me? How did they get it into my desk, without anyone noticing? I hesitantly picked it up. Was it safe? Was this a terrorist attack? Was Anthrax still a threat? To my surprise, it was heavy. There was something in there, more than a letter for sure.

I opened it quickly, trying to end the suspense. I had stuff to do. I was responsible for so much now. I didn’t have time for this kind of foolishness. I was the President of the United States of America.

The content of the envelope slid out onto the desk. I was right, there was more than just a letter. A old brass key clunked against the wood, while a small note gently fell. I snatched the note up quickly.

Greetings Mr. President. Please report immediately to the lower basement for training by your superiors.

Superiors? What lower basement?

I dropped the note and picked up the key. It was old, not a modern key by any stretch. But there were markings on it as if it had been used recently.

I looked back at the note. Had this key been used by the former president? What about the one before that?

I almost gave Marilyn a heartache when I poked my head  out of the Oval Office and into hers.

“Oh my, Mr. President, you frightened me.”

“Sorry about that.  I just had a question. Umm, you’re sure no one left anything for me? They didn’t’ drop something off in Office for me?”

“No. Like I said Mr. President. No one has dropped off anything.”

This didn’t make sense. “Alright, thank you Marilyn….” I slowly started to slip back into the office, when I had another thought.

“One more thing Marilyn, how do I get to the lower basement?”

Marilyn had given me the strangest look when I asked that. She said that there was only the one, based on her knowledge. Unless there is something the Government doesn’t want me to know. She laughed about it, while I mustered a smirk for her. This note and strange key had me rattled.

Who were these superiors that were going to train me? Who could be superior to the Master and Chief to the largest army in the world? What would they want me to do?


The elevator dinged, announcing that I had arrived at the basement.

The door opened, and I cautiously stepped out. As soon as my foot hit the floor, the entire place light up. I was blinded momentarily, but it was nothing sinister. The lights were motion activated. Probably an energy saving move by the previous administration.

I started to walk around. There weren’t any Superiors that I could see. A lot of boxes from the move to the White House. A furnace and hot water tank in one corner. The Great White House Christmas Tree in another. I stopped when I reached the middle of the basement.

This was ridiculous. What was I even looking for? It wasn’t like there was a door somewhere here that would take me to the Superiors. And why did I care? I was the President. I could do whatever I wanted. I didn’t answer to anyone.

I pulled the note from my pocket, crumbled it up, and threw it into the old packing boxes. Screw the Superiors. I reached for the key. I began to pull it out, when it got stuck. I looked down. What had it gotten snagged on in my pocket.

There, in the floor, was a lock. An old, brass lock to a cement door.


I slowly made my way down the cold stone steps. The door to this lower basement may have been cement, but as I continued I realized that there was an older structure below the White House. How long ago was it built, I couldn’t even imagine. But I continued going down.

There was a strange blue  light at the bottom fo the stairs. I continued towards it. As I set foot on the floor, i realized that the light didn’t shine out. It only shone in this one spot. Should I keep going? Should I see how far this basement goes? What if it doesn’t go anywhere?

Something inside me urged me to speak, so into the black I asked, “Are you there? You Superiors?”

I expected an echo, but my voice died as soon as it left my lips. I was starting to worry about what I had walked into. Sweat started to bead on my brow.

“Hello? Is anyone there? I got your message.”

Still silence from the black.

“Welcome, Mr. President. We were expecting you.”


Read Part Two here.

Superpower Presidential Debate

“The next question is for Mr. Lucas, and after his answer, you may respond Mr. O’Leary.
“Mr. Lucas, as a man with superhuman strength and skin that cannot be pierced or damaged, how do plan on dealing with threats of terror on our soil? For example, the issue facing Boston, The Fist of English Justice.

“Thank you, Mrs. Dupont. That is a very good question and one that I have thought long and hard about. As an American citizen first, it would be my job as President to ensure that all of us are safe. No one should be fearful of what happens in their home. As President, I would not let fear mongering prevail in our home.
“As a powered individual, I would use my strength and invulnerability as a symbol for the people being effected by terrorism to rally around. I would become a symbol of stability and hope, just as the Presidential Seal is a seal of strength and authority. Those that participate in terrorist activities will know full well where I stand, and who I am standing up for.”

“Mr. O’Leary, your response to what Mr. Lucas has just said. And how would you, as a man with unique vision powers, deal with the same terrorist threats on American soil?” Continue reading “Superpower Presidential Debate”

The Last POTUS

Today will be a day that will live forever in the minds of the America people, a day that will stand as the last page in a long chapter in our political history. And with the stepping down of President Barack Obama, the start of a new chapter.

In a press conference, Obama announced the dissolving of the President of The United States of America. Never again will such a political office exist in this nation.

While these words shook the American people to their core, they could not disagree with what the Last President had to say.

“While the seat of the President has long stood as the pinnacle of power for the American people, it has become a redundant seat in our political structure. We have Senators. We have Supreme Court judges. We have Governors and numerous different offices working to serve the America people in the best way that they know how.

“So why complicate it further? Why add to the red tape and political turmoil that we suffer through everyday?

“Why not alleviate the burden on the people by removing a large financial blackhole? Why not eliminate a figurehead that only signs things or brings in bills that Senators or Governors already want to see passed?

“I believe that removing the position of President can give back the people the equal power and responsibility that they so crave and they so need to grab hold of. Removing the burden from one individual’s shoulders, and giving it to the millions of brilliant and able bodied citizens of this great nation, will empower and give us what we all what our of our government: one made of the people, by the people, for the people.

“It is with the irradiation of the Seat of the President, that I bring to a close the long chapter of irresponsibility in our political system and in our private sectors. Now, you are in charge. You, your governors, your senators, your Supreme Court Justices, you all have the power to shape America in the nation you are proud of, not just one man’s idea. Not just my vision of America, but our collective, powerful vision of America.

“While there will be great backlash, there will be refusal to accept this as reality, this is a plan that has been in motion for some time, and will happen. The baton of power will not be pasted from one President to another come the New Year. Rather I will pass the baton of power and responsibility up to you America.

“This will be my final act as President, and the last act of all the Presidents of the United States of America. The empowering of the people, through a peoples’ government, just as our forefather Abraham Lincoln would have wanted.

“Thank you all, and God bless America.”

With that the Last President stepped down from the podium,. It was a powerful and moving speech, the last of its kind.

What will come in the New Year? What will the face of this New America look like? Only time will tell what we will do with such great power and great responsibility.

A Time of Cleansing..Extended Version

“Let me get this straight. You are saying that the world ends everyday at 3:07 am PST because reality is constantly being rewritten by people going back in time to kill Hitler?”

“It isn’t always Hitler, but yeah.”

I shook my head with disbelief. Time travel. People going back to kill Hitler. But not always Hitler, so who else did they assassinate? And why was my best friend only telling me this now? Or why tell me at all?

“Brandon, I don’t understand. You need to explain this to me.” Continue reading “A Time of Cleansing..Extended Version”

The Puzzle Master

The job is simple. Every day at 8:34 am I get a phone call. I answer it on the second ring and write down the information given. Under no circumstance must I engage in conversation with the caller.

They never told me why when i got the job, but now I do.

It wasn’t right away. I was a few months into the job. Phone call, I’d write down the information, and then I had to go hand deliver it to a guy in a particular bar at a specific time. It was simple and paid ridiculously well. I didn’t have to do anything else for the rest of the day.

The information didn’t seem like anything important. Sometimes it was a bunch of random number. Once it was an equation, another it was a chemical formula for something. I never thought about it.

But on that fateful day, it was something more. Continue reading “The Puzzle Master”