Each week we feature a story written by one or two of our group members at one of our meetings. For this week's featured stories, Erik gave the group an inventive series of questions to answer, beginning with "what is/was your dream job." Our main character was to be an expert at that job, and be in the process of going through items of their lost significant other. The twist - through the process, the main character discovers that significant other was leading a double life. From there, questions led through a series of prompts that determined whether the significant other would be alive/dead, good/villian, and the impact that had on the actions of the main character. We had twenty minutes to write.
Here are two stories chosen from the bunch this week:
By Ian Vawter (Dream Job: Superhero)
You know those days when everything around you is falling apart ... crumbling to reveal further destruction you hadn't seen noticed before, and despite all of it you're fine? You have confidence it will be all right; the kind that will carry you through with your head held high, and energy in your step.
I had that four days ago when my wife was alive, when the last person I was worried about was her. I did my job day after day, people needed me – I didn't know that day she needed me too. The accident I couldn't stop.
Then I come to find her two long weeks later standing in front of me, alive, breathing, but unrecognizable. Her form and energy were different, alien to what I had come to expect when I saw her. I should have seen it coming really; the story of return and treachery is told around the world. Pages are filled with that story that I dismissed, because it was a story I could never imagine happening.
Coming home to find the house empty was hard. Coming home to find the house with less than what was I had come to expect hurt me the most. Her favorite coat was gone form the closet next to our bed – the closet I opened every day to pull my suit from. I kept it next to her coat just smell her perfume in the morning.
I did what most men would do faced with this loss, I drank. I know it won't effect my body the same as any one else but I leave the house with the intent to run up the largest bar tab this city had ever seen. The alcohol came and went and I threw my card on the table before I turned to many heads. Declined. She won't even let me attempt to drown myself. I'm sure she planned it, her last way of getting to me.
The perfect trap, breaking spirit, not body. Ripping apart my being from underneath the suit and skin. I realize she has broken me, did what was impossible, broken the unbreakable man. So now I stand in front of her as the most vulnerable, invulnerable hero to exist.
By Marcy Mahoney (Dream Job: Ballerina Space Cop)
Brenna toggled the auto-door on the closet open and stared into the abyss.
Colors washed over her - more colors than in the clouds of the nebula that filled the space of the nearby window. Trilly always preferred to stand out. Her side of the closet was a sark contrast to Brenna's; a rainbow of fabrics and textures compared to the pale pink and black of Brenna's regularion uniforms. And the shoes! Sequins, rhinestones, heels ... no combat slippers, no anti-grav pointe shoes.
Brenna's breath caught in her throat as she choked back a sob. She couldn't bear to look at the vibrant cacophany any longer. She grasped the garmets and ripped them from their hangers, tossing them into the recycle unit a handful at a time. The machine whirred and beepd as it broke the sparkling, frilly items down into their basic molecular compositions, eliminating them from physical existence. Just like Trilly, she thought, wiping away furious tears with the back of her hand.
There hadn't been much left of Trilly when they'd found her ... just hot pink shreds of fabric soaked in blood. Brenna and her squadrom tracked down the wild moon dog that was responsible and left him in much the same state. But it didnt' bring Trilly back. Nothing would.
She upended a shoe bin and began tossing them into the recycle unit. A shoebox fell from the bin and topped on the floor, it's lid falling askew. Brenna picked up the jumble to recycle it and stopped cold staring at the shoes in her hand.
Tap shoes, well worn and scuffed with use.
"No," Brenna breathed. "I would have known –"
"That I'm a Tapper?"
Brenna whirled in a defensive pirouette to face the voice behind her. There stood Trilly, bedecked in the tuxedo bodysuit and tights uniform of a Tapper, right shoe raised and ready to strike.
"Terrorist, Tapper, Whatever you want to call it," Trilly gave a mock bow. "Didn't see that coming, did you, Lieutenant Prima-donna."
She brought down her right shoe and the room went boom.