Insignificant Thing

It has lived in the darkness for years. Flitting from mind to mind. It giggles hysterically at it's play things.Its a small thing, insignificant mostly.

It plays with your head,alters your memories, fills that space behind your eyes with imigianedslights and faults.

Some minds are not right for it, will not harbor it, and soon it iscast out to flit and flitter its way to a new mind, a new chance totake root.

Occasionally it finds a home. A perfect match. A mind already fullof rot, a soul ready for suggestion.

Then it begins.

The nightmares, the visions, the pain. It never ends.

Sometimes there is insanity. Sometimes there is murder, but alwaysthere is the thing, small and mostly insignificant, unless it finds the right host.

Season of Harvest

When autumn finally arrived, the towns children were buzzing with excitement.

In their evenings they no longer played video games or watched television. They all gathered in the gazebo at the town square and stuffed the scarecrows.

There wasn't any laughter, not any joking and very little talking. The air was full of the sound of corn husks and the tangy and almost unpleasant smell of the same.

To the few people who were strangers who passed though that little town square, the children looked somber, not excited. But the townies knew better.

The adults watched their children, with small smiles on their faces. Some of the children’s relaxed enthusiasm rubbed off on them.

They felt the joy of the coming of autumn, but sadness as well, because they knew that the scarecrows were not for the fields.

By the time the last of the leaves fell from the trees, hundreds of scarecrows were in the gazebo, and surrounding it. Even the gazebo's roof was covered with the stuffy men.

Autumn was easing into winter, and the night had come.

Bonfire night.

The children stood in a huge circle around the scarecrow filled gazebo, gazing at it with hungry smiles in their eyes, as the youngest of them walked up and was handed the gift of a burning stick.

Fire. Most days of their lives they were told to never play with it. On this night they got to use it.

The youngest would touch it to the foot of the nearest stuffy, and soon they all lit up.

When the fire was nearing its peak all the children were sent to their homes, but the adults would stay by the fire.

The children never complained, never tried to stay, because the fire, once large, frightened them, as did the screams they sometimes thought they heard as they lay in their beds, trying to sleep while shadows from the stuffy bonfire danced on the walls and ceilings of their rooms.

Life has four seasons, they are taught.

Spring is the newborn babies, fresh and new.

Summer is the children, still young with plenty of time left in their year, but no longer fresh, no longer new.

Fall is for the adults, aging, fading, growing dry and discolored like the leaves on the trees.

And then there is winter, when you die.

When fall finally arrives, winter soon follows.

Every night, after the stuffy fire, the children watch their parents sweep up the ash and rebuild the gazebo, already preparing for next years harvest of those in the winter of their lives.

Nothing had changed....

Nothing had changed, except for everything.

The misty morning sunset wasn't as romantic as it ought to have been.

"I'm sick of the whole lot of it," she said, waiving her hand to indicate the whole English cottagy feel of it.

The mailman was perplexed, but she didn't feel like explaining it to him.

"Finnigan has his reasons, of course he does," she said, then turned and walked back inside leaving the cat to explain it for her.

They were beginning to call her queer.

Quite right, she thought. Rather queer than eccentric anyway. Eccentric is only one step away from crazy. Queer is just unique.

Unique just like the whole of the world is supposed to have been, but had forgotten to be.

"I suppose I'd best be going now," she told her petunias. "I'll leave the luggage. You can use it as you wish."

She paused for a moment to look down in the basement.

So thats where I left me, she though. Oughtn't leave the door open, but its too late now.

The golden ladder was in the closet where she had left it, and as she climbed her only regret was that she had forgotten to feed Finnigan before she left.

The Uninvited Guest

"You know him?"

"Nope. I ain't never even seen him before. When I got up this morning he was there, just like that."

"He's got a black eye."

"Yep. I noticed that."

"I wonder where he come from?"

"I wonder that too. Thats why I called you, you know. I thought maybe you could do somethin
about it."

"Don't know what it is I could do about him."

"But he ain't supposed to be here. Ain't there sumthing you do with these wanderers?"

"Yep, there is, but I dont rightly know if I want that to happen to him. He looks like he's lived a hard one."

"So just wake him up and send him on his way."

"I can't rightly do that either. If he stuck around, caused any trouble like, it would be on my shoulders, you know?"

"Yeah, I know. I know. But what am I gonna do."

"You thought about keepin him?"

"Keeping him? What on earth could I do with him. He looks damn near useless."

"He does. He does. But ain't your Thelma been wanting one?"

"Well, I guess she has at that."

"Seems to me that it was meant to be. Now you got one without all the added expense, you
know. What do you think."

"Well, I think maybe I will keep him. I'm sorry I called you out here for nothing."

"If you call Thelma out so I can see the look on her face when you show him to her, I'll call us even."

"Alright. I think I can do that. THELMA! Come look at this cute little kitten I found sleepin in my truck this morning!"

Gift of the Heart

He was sitting on her throne, and had a box in his lap.

"What is the meaning of this," she demanded.

He leapt to his feet, smiling unapologetic, and his eyes danced with a delicious wickedness. "For you." He told her, lifting the box.

"For you always. For us. For him, if you prefer."

He held the box toward her, wanting her to reach for it, for him. When she didn't he turned and sat the box down on her husbands seat. Then he moved past her.

He paused just before leaving and said, "Open it. Know what your heart knows."

When he was gone she relaxed. That man had a way of unnerving her.

So did that box.

It shimmered, even in the dark room. It radiated emotion, intriguing, unreal.

Somehow she had crossed the room and had the box. One hand clutched it, her other traced around the lip of the top.

She could crack it open, peek inside. No one could know.


She wanted to throw the box, but didn't. Throwing it would open it, opening it would show what she should never know.

It was hers now.

Hers to keep, to hide, to suffer.