By Ben Van Dongen
The alarm on my watch buzzed and beeped. I had a fuzzy recollection of setting it the night before, but at six in the morning, I couldn’t figure out why. Another hour, or dozen, of sleep would have felt amazing, but I relented and got up. I had a cot in a little room of the space I’d rented a few months prior – another fuzzy decision. There weren’t any windows in the room, so I was shocked to see snow on my way to the bathroom.
The building was on a little side street – glorified alley – called Maiden Lane. The scene was undisturbed, picturesque, and unwelcome at such an early hour. I had originally thought of the space for the detective agency because it was sleazy and run down when I was a kid. I figured it would be perfect, but in the years since I’d been there, the area was transformed into a hipster’s paradise. It was a Mecca of fashionable cafes, art studios, independent designers, and boutiques. I had a year lease though, so I tried to make the best of it. (more…)
By Edele Winnie
Sherry first saw the note on her way into the laundry room. She rented one of the second floor units in an old house that had been broken up into six apartments. The units were small but nice- hard wood floors, big closets, and hot water radiator heating that really kept the place warm even in this exceptionally severe winter. She’d only been there for three months, but she liked it. Everyone was pretty quiet, all young professionals except for the old woman downstairs. She gave no trouble either- they put their rent cheques in envelopes and slid them under her door. Sherry couldn’t even remember her name.
By Edele Winnie
Are you paranoid? I’m paranoid. I was freaking born that way- so it’s not my fault. “For example– I noticed the pickup truck right away. It was one of those ones with a cab on the back. Brown, with crappy fake wood panelling. No one on my street has a pickup truck like that. There was some dude sitting in it too. Great, I thought, a new stalker after my sweet little ass. I peeked between the blinds several times. Men have this problem with me- mostly they want to have pets I think, and I’m not a tameable. To the eyes I’m a cute skinny brunette. Also, I’m kind of like a hyena. I‘ll chew your leg off and laugh about it- nothing personal, it’s just the way I am. Don’t cross hyenas, man. (more…)
Paul was more surprised by what he saw at the air field than by the appearance of Kate or the initial call that led to him going outside. A small rocket was sitting on the runway, standing almost as tall as the control tower. The tapered tip flowed into a tube shaped body, with a rounded bump in the middle and fins reaching down to the tarmac. Paul could see small structures surrounding the rocket that looked like everything it would need to actually fly. Thick tubes ran from the ship to the different structures, but he could only guess what they were for. Short buildings, that looked like quick military constructions, were in between where Paul stood and the rocket. When he and the little girl reached the edge of the field, six large men in gear that matched the girl’s, surrounded them. (more…)
The night was cold. Paul thought he knew what to expect having made it through the day, but the reality of it was frightening. He had a hard time keeping his eyes open so he busied himself with keeping the fire going as strongly as possible. The movement kept his joints from stiffening in the deadly cold.
The girl had moved and was now in the arms of the mysterious woman. Paul wasn’t sure if it was from the cold or if the girl was starting to feel more comfortable, or if in sleep she forgot where she was. He tried to figure out his own feelings about Kate. He felt a mixture of distrust and camaraderie. She was friendly and he wanted her to be genuine. Paul tried to not think about it and kept working on the fire. (more…)
by Patrick Firth
The troubles had began when James down the lane had lost his house, Douglas thought as he grabbed a cane from a small barrel by the door. James’s children had sold it right out from underneath him. Douglas spat on the welcome mat just inside the door, and then ground it out with his boot. James had worked his ass off his whole life, thirty something years at the factory, and his life was stolen by his family the minute he had trouble getting in the tub. Now he lived in some Home in Windsor. At their age, life was full of little deaths and losses. Lost friends, cars, wives. Freedom. But rest homes kill, Douglas thought. And James had received his death sentence.
Douglas had watched the new family move in. He used the binoculars that his wife, Margaret, had taken with her to Holiday Beach when she was birding, and he was not. The family, the Wheelwrights it said on their mailbox, seemed industrious enough. The mother and father anyways. They did not sit back and let the movers do it all. The boy, however, let it all pass by. (more…)