Current Events: Literary Cleveland, INKubator, and More!

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Greetings!

Since the #FridayFlash community seems to be slowing down, I will post flash fiction every other Friday. However, I will still read #FridayFlash via the links posted under the Twitter hashtag as well as on the FaceBook page. On the “off” Fridays, I will post about other things such as books I am reading, online resources for free fiction or writing advice, etc.

For any writers in the Cleveland area, on Saturday, July 30th, there will be a free writers’ conference at the Cleveland Public Library. The Cleveland writers’ group, Literary Cleveland, organizes this free event as well as several writing classes in the Cleveland area. If you would like to support the group financially as well as in spirit, there will be a fundraiser next Friday, on the 29th of July. The fundraiser will be held at Bop Stop (2920 Detroit Ave., Cleve. OH 44113) and cost $35 for non members. The group may also be found on social media such as Twitter and FaceBook.

The Writers’ Conference itself, INKubator, is held at the beautiful Cleveland Main Library and costs nothing, though registration (HERE) is required to gain access to the classes. There is a parking garage directly across the street that generally costs $5 for the entire day on Saturdays if you come early in the morning. Throughout the day, there will also be creators selling their wares, so if you’d like to show your support you can buy a book of poetry from a local writer! I like to bring my lunch so I can sit in the Eastman Reading Garden and meet local writers. There will also be poetry readings and an open mic period. Last year’s event was educational as well as inspirational.

To that end, I have begun submitting my work for publication again. If you know of an agent that’s interested in quirky and humorous science fiction, please let me know! Other than my ongoing agent search, I have been submitting a great deal of poetry to paying markets. One of my poems has been published in Poetry Quarterly this week, and I have sold another to a different periodical. If you would like to read my published poem, “Windings,” you can find it in the Summer 2016 issue of Poetry Quarterly here. Another poem, “tercet #3,” has been published by Three Line Poetry; the issue (#38) can be found here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and come back next week for some #FridayFlash fiction. Maybe I’ll even see you at INKubator next week! If not, have a lovely week.

 

Flash Fiction Day 2016!

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This week I will be redirecting you to another blog and a survey for the 2016 Flash Fiction Day! Annie Evett is running a People’s Choice contest for this year’s Twisted Tales flash anthology.  All the entries will be gathered into a Twisted Tales  PDF ebook made available for free from Raging Aardvark. The print version has a projected publication date of November 2016.

So if you would like to read some great (and free) flash fiction, please visit here. My story, Mirror, can be found here, and if you’d like to vote for the People’s Choice, the form is here.

Thank you, and Happy Flash Fiction Day!

 

 

Friday Flash: Tempting Fate

The following story also appears in my short story collection, An Optimist’s Journal of the End of Days and Other Stories, published via Venetian Spider Press.

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Clotho inhaled, enjoying the heady aroma of roasted beans and caffeine that permeated the small coffee shop. The temptation to step inside and grab a cup was irresistable. She didn’t know if mortals could actually smell caffeine, but it gave the goddess a deep sense of satisfaction–almost like the burnt offerings humans used to offer the gods in the past. But not now. Now, if they burned her coffee? Well, she’d be pissed.

What’s the worst that could happen?

A little chime sounded on the Fate’s cell phone. In the old days, there had been an actual tiny bell that would appear and disappear, but she savored the advancements that came with the passage of time, just as she savored a good cup of joe. She also liked the little bell sound. Best of both worlds, really.

And why not? She wasn’t trapped by linear time the way mortals were, but she enjoyed watching its passage from their perspective. She sipped her coffee, sighing with pleasure. The little bell chimed again.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Long ago, she’d put a filter on the alert, only taking note of those “great ones” who tempted Fate with those fateful words. Great ones? Ha! Just another term for “more fun to mess with.” As if politicians and celebrities held more sway over the tapestry of life than she and her sisters–or even wandering beggars in the right circumstances. Just pull the right thread, snip another, and whole swathes of cloth would unravel, only to be rewoven in the pattern of their choosing.

Even the gods themselves knew not to tempt Clotho and her sisters, for while they could be generous, they also found a challenge hard to resist.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Let’s see. Buddha and Christ had both been beggars who changed the world for the better. Would she be that generous this time? She checked her notifications to see who had tempted…er, challenged her so often in the past few minutes. Upon seeing the name, she scowled and decided that perhaps this time, she and her sisters would not be kind.

She texted Atropos and Lachesis about their latest challenge. Their reply?
This will be FUN.
Clotho chuckled to herself. Two more mochaccinos suddenly appeared on the counter in front of the startled barista; the goddess grabbed the white styrofoam cups, tucked her cell back into her earth-friendly tote, and headed out the (now) automatic doors.

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

2016-04-29 Update

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As National Poetry Month concludes, I am concentrating more on finishing up the poems I’ve created throughout April. If you subscribed to my blog (you two know who you are) you may have noticed I didn’t post my daily poems this year, as I have in the past. The reason is simple: I want to make them more marketable. The truth is that I’ve been lax when it comes to submitting my short work the past couple years, and I want to start actively trying again.

I am currently searching for an agent for the novel I rough drafted during Nanowrimo 2012; yes, I’m an Olympic level procrastinator aka coward. But I am working actively toward both short- and long-term goals. I still want to keep up with weekly postings for #FridayFlash, but I am skipping this week to finish up on my April poetry goals.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, tomorrow is Tabletop Day! So play lots of games with your family and friends this weekend!

If you would like to read my latest flash fiction, A Dream Life is the post immediately before this. You can also check out my one poem I blogged this month, a parody of Green Eggs and Ham called I Do Not LIKE Facebook.

Thank you, and have a great week!

National Poetry Month 2016: Day 13

I Do Not LIKE Facebook
(parody of  Green Eggs and Ham  by Dr. Suess)

I do not like Facebook, you see.
I do not like it. Let me be.

Would you use it here or there?

I have used it here and there.
I have used it everywhere.
I do not like Facebook, you see.
I do not like it. Listen to me…

You could use it in a house.
You could use it with a mouse.

I have used it in my house,
on my laptop, with my mouse.
I am using it today,
certain friends insist I stay…

Have you used it with a boat?
Using WiFi with a goat?

I have not used it on a boat,
nor with a WiFi-using goat.
Nor am I some kind of druggie.
I do not like Facebook, you see.

Would you use it on a train?
Would you make Friends in the rain?

I might use it on a train.
I would not use it in the rain.
Electronics and water!
Are you insane?
I just don’t like Facebook, you see!
Why won’t you, won’t you, listen to me?
I do not like it. Let.  Me.  Be.

You do not like Facebook, you say?
Why not try it, and you may!

I have tried it, you stupid person!
Yet this conversation continues to worsen!
I post on Facebook every week
and check on my friends, as we speak.
I often I use it in my house,
on my laptop, with my mouse.
I am using it today,
certain friends share photos that way.

But I have not used it on a train
nor with a goat–I’m not insane,
Though I suspect you may be mad.
Seek some help. You may be glad.

So you’ve tried it?  Don’t you see
how awesome LIKING posts can be?

Go away. You bother me.

I do not play those Facebook games,
called Candy Crush or other names.
I don’t like their clunky interface,
nor wish to add to their electronic database
so they can target advertise.
I do not really like those guys.

Yet I still use it, you see,
for certain contacts. So let me be!

Don’t you think it’s better than Twitter?
Don’t you think you’ll reconsider?

No,  I do not  think it better than Twitter!
You are the one who should reconsider.
One is static, allowing comments,
the other’s dynamic–not full of nonsense.
While both can post both good and bad,
fun and informative, or just sad,
Facebook posts are shouting at a pack
of people, trying to see if they shout back.
But Twitter’s an ongoing conversation
across the world, not just your nation.
Though sometimes they may advertise,
they do also let you organize
your follows into different lists,
you save your searches, and look at this!
Hashtags let you tag your posts
and follow subjects that interest you most.
There’s scheduled chats and shared links
and photos, games, and some highjinks…

Only one hundred forty characters
may seem a somewhat small parameter,
but that’s because there’s give and take
in dialogue. Make no mistake.

It’s your own fault, Twitter’s detractor,
if you fail to take in these other factors.
If, for instant communication, you see no use
across the nation–just call a truce!
Leave me alone, don’t Friend  me, no!
I’m blocking you now. Stop trolling, and go.

I can’t believe I commented back.
Who’s crazy now?
Crap, I’ve been hacked.
Dammit.

*–posted for 30 Days of Poetry from Cuyahoga Library’s day 13 prompt 

April: National Poetry Month!

Due to family issues, I haven’t been able to blog as regularly as normal. However, April is National Poetry Month, and I am still participating in the Cuyahoga Library’s 30 Days of Poetry. Visit the above link if you’d like to subscribe to get a poem and a prompt each day. If you are feeling particularly ambitious, you can post your work and share the link on Twitter via the hashtag #readwritepoetry.

Go forth, and create beauty with your words.

Friday Flash: Ziggy and Helga

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The door wouldn’t open.

The yawning void of space beyond its metal barrier was nothing compared to the look on Helga’s face as she wielded the torn box he’d given her. Bits of red cellophane still clung by small pieces of tape on its cardboard surface. Lightning flashed in the depths of her eyes, her voice echoed like thunder in the small cargo bay, and her scarlet cape billowed behind her as she approached. The small room had absolutely no wind, not even a small breeze from the air-conditioning vent, but she managed to make it billow just the same.

Ziggy tried the door once more, pounding on the big red button repeatedly, but the fail-safe refused to be overridden while the ship’s AI detected life-forms within the chamber. Then again, the AI wasn’t married to Helga.  Why did he buy his anniversary gift from Hans Olof of all people? Smugglers weren’t known for their expertise in romance, but since they both were in love with strong women…Valkyries weren’t that different from princesses, were they? They both had high standards, were tough as nails, and looked great in brass bikinis.

Still, for all her bravado, no matter how short Hans fell in the romance department, his beloved was still a diplomat whose displeasure would not result in physical violence upon his person. Valkyries were not known for diplomacy. Helga was a warrior maiden, servant of Odin, and kick-ass starship pilot, so her displeasure was an altogether different matter.

“What in the name of Asgard is this?” screamed Helga in the voice that had made lesser men turn to jelly, and she threw the box with deadly aim at Zigfried. It hit the thick metal door, just to the left of his head, and left a large dent.

“You missed,” he said. What the hell was he thinking? He watched her sparkling eyes, the way her nostrils flared, her ample hips and heaving bosom. She was not a tiny woman; her presence was intimidating. Was it any wonder he had fallen for her all those years ago?

“No, I didn’t,” corrected Helga, her voice low with terrifyingly sweetness. “We vowed ‘Til Death do you part’, and I’m not done with you yet.”

Ziggy, adrenaline singing, desperately tried to control himself as he bent to pick up the shattered remnants of his substandard gift. “It’s my anniversary present to the most beautiful-”

“Cut the crap. You know what I want,” said Helga. Then, in a throaty whisper, she added, “You always know what I want.”

Holding the demolished fragments of the ancient sword, Zigfried tossed them aside for the ship’s autobots to clean later. “Fine, you know what I want too.”

“That’s right, baby,” said Helga, quickly stripping down to her brass lingerie. “I do.”

##

Later, in the warm afterglow of post-coital bliss, they discussed other activities and adventures for their second honeymoon. Odin had given her two full weeks off, and they intended to make the most of it. After all, millennial anniversaries were special. Helga’s accrued vacation hours were more than enough time to visit the pleasure planets on the outer rim, as well as battle a few space-pirates along the way. What better way to spend a romantic getaway?

 

 
*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

Books I Read in 2015

The end of the year is a time when we look back at what we’ve accomplished, as well as look forward to find our goals for the coming year. Last year, my goal was to read more nonfiction. Now, I realize that different people have different ideas of what qualifies as books, but I count all fiction and nonfiction and do not discriminate against any particular format. So while one of my friendly local libraries does not count graphic novels as “books” when it comes to reading contests, other libraries actually put “read a graphic novel” as one of the squares on their reading bingo cards (yes, that is a thing). I’m happy to say that I’ve more than reached my goal for 2015.

In fact, I discovered something odd. I tried something new this year, in that I put down reading many more books that didn’t engage my interest quickly enough for my taste. I don’t believe in forcing myself to read a bad or boring book when there are so many good books that I’ll never have the time to read, and even then I still reread my favorites! By deciding to do this, I gave myself permission to break out of my literary comfort zone because I didn’t feel guilty about not finishing a book that didn’t grab me. I also began experimenting with reading more than one book at a time, even though I was worried about dividing my attention between more than one storyline. And do you know what happened? I read more books this year than before! I discovered others that I might not have tried because they would have been too daunting, and some I even decided to read further and found out I liked them after all.

In other news, I’ve done a few other personal projects. I’ve helped edit a charity anthology, finished editing my 2012 Nanowrimo novel for submission to an agent (just need to finish that final bit of formatting), and contributed to a few other sites. I began recording readings for Librivox, which was another one of my resolutions from last year. If you are unfamiliar with Librivox they are a site, run by volunteers, that makes free public domain audiobooks available for download to the public. If you don’t want to read, you can also volunteer to do other things such as be a proof listener or organizer. It’s great!

As always, I rely heavily on my local libraries. Another library service I’ve used heavily this year is the Overdrive app for downloading digital library materials. It’s completely free. Just install the app onto your phone (at no cost), find your library (or in my case, libraries), type in your library card, and search their online database! It’s incredibly easy, and the downloads I didn’t buy were mostly checked out via this service. Another way I’ve discovered to consume your local libraries’ online content is via Hoopla. However, Hoopla also offers movies and television shows!

Since the list is longer this year, I’m simply going to write the titles of the books. I know there are plenty of people that have much longer lists, but I’m pretty happy with the literary content I’ve consumed this year, both for quality and quantity. Most of these were downloaded online, though a select few were physically checked out from the library. For your visual ease, I am color coding according to how I consumed the book.

Ebooks (novels, non fiction, & graphic novels): Red

Audiobooks: Blue

Physical books: Green

So without further ado:

 

  1. Unbound (Magic Ex Libris) by Jim C. Hines
  2. Engines of War (Doctor Who) by George Mann
  3. Afterlife with Archie: volume 1  (graphic novel)
  4. Marvel Civil War (graphic novel)
  5. Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons
  6. Ragnarok by C. Gockel
  7. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  8. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
  9. The Fire Bringers by C. Gockel
  10. Hair Raising by Kevin J. Anderson
  11. The Walking Dead and Philosophy by various authors
  12. The Clockwise Man (Doctor Who) by Justin Richards
  13. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  14. The Universe in a Single Atom by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  15. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
  16. Dead Air (Doctor Who) by James Goss
  17. Old School by Tobias Wolff
  18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  19. Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams
  20. The Blood Cell by James Goss
  21. Silhouette (Doctor Who) by Justin Richards
  22. The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
  23. Overclocked by Cory Doctorow
  24. Shada (Doctor Who) by Gareth Roberts, based on material from the Douglas Adams screenplay
  25. 1984 by George Orwell
  26. The Buddhist Catechism by H. S. Olcott
  27. Don’t Mess with Travis by Bob Smiley
  28. A Honeymoon in Space by George Griffith
  29. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  30. Counter-Clock World by Philip K. Dick
  31. Blink (beta read) by Larry Kollar
  32. Descent (The Walking Dead) by Jay Bonansinga
  33. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  34. Gather Blue (The Giver series) by Lois Lowry
  35. Messenger (The Giver series) by Lois Lowry
  36. Son (The Giver series) by Lois Lowry
  37. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott
  38. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
  39. Revolutions of Terror (a Doctor Who graphic novel)
  40. Dark Disciple (Star Wars) by Christie Golden
  41. Pest Control (Doctor Who) by Peter Anghelides
  42. The Last Voyage by Dan Abnett
  43. The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
  44. Juliet’s Nurse by Lois Leveen
  45. The Abundance of Nothing (poetry) by Bruce Weigl
  46. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  47. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day
  48. Flush by Carl Hiassan
  49. Fairest: Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer
  50. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  51. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
  52. Short Non-Fiction Collection, volume 038 by various authors
  53. The Walking Dead, volume 1 (graphic novel)
  54. The Walking Dead, volume 2 (graphic novel)
  55. The Walking Dead, volume 3 (graphic novel)
  56. The Walking Dead, volume 4 (graphic novel)
  57. The Walking Dead, volume 5 (graphic novel)
  58. 100 Favorite English and Irish Poems, edited by C. C. Strowbridge
  59. The Walking Dead, volume 6 (graphic novel)
  60. The Walking Dead, volume 7 (graphic novel)
  61. The Walking Dead, volume 8 (graphic novel)
  62. The Walking Dead, volume 9 (graphic novel)
  63. The Walking Dead, volume 10 (graphic novel)
  64. The Walking Dead, volume 11 (graphic novel)
  65. The Walking Dead, volume 12 (graphic novel)
  66. The Walking Dead, volume 13 (graphic novel)
  67. The Walking Dead, volume 14 (graphic novel)
  68. The Walking Dead, volume 15 (graphic novel)
  69. The Walking Dead, volume 16 (graphic novel)
  70. The Walking Dead, volume 17 (graphic novel)
  71. The Walking Dead, volume 17 (graphic novel)
  72. The Walking Dead, volume 18 (graphic novel)
  73. The Walking Dead, volume 19 (graphic novel)
  74. The Walking Dead, volume 20 (graphic novel)
  75. The Walking Dead, volume 21 (graphic novel)
  76. The Walking Dead, volume 22 (graphic novel)
  77. The Walking Dead, volume 23 (graphic novel)
  78. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
  79. The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
  80. The Walking Dead, volume 24 (graphic novel)
  81. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  82. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
  83. Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
  84. Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
  85. Wonder Woman: Volume 1- Blood (graphic novel)
  86. Dragon Magic by Eric J. Krause
  87. Wonder Woman: Volume 2- Guts (graphic novel)
  88. Wonder Woman: Volume 3- Iron (graphic novel)
  89. Wonder Woman Unbound by Tim Hanley (nonfiction)

So, all twenty-four of The Walking Dead graphic novels made a huge chunk of my list, but I’m happy to say I’m completely caught up with the series–with the exception of the individual printed comics that will be included in the next graphic novel. However, that doesn’t come out until next year! I’m not worried; there’s plenty more material from the franchise to consume while I wait. I also joined Audible this year, so in addition to listening to free audiobooks I’ve also begun listening to some that would have otherwise been hard to acquire.

Another binge that my libraries have helped me indulge in is Wonder Woman. I began reading Wonder Woman Unbound, a nonfiction book about the history of Wonder Woman: her history as a comic heroine, her social influences, her historical impact, and her status today as a feminist icon. Wonder Woman has always been my favorite heroine, because she’s the only one that isn’t a direct product of a male hero. I can remember playing Wonder Woman as a little girl, even though my cousin had a really cool batman belt, because I didn’t want to be Batgirl– I wanted to be Wonder Woman. Anyway, I’ve always found her comics hard to get into because I never knew where to start reading, so I thought the nonfiction book would clue me in. And it did. I am currently reading Wonder Woman Chronicles: Volume 1, and plan on continuing my Amazonian binge well into the new year!

I would have liked to hit an even hundred on my list, just because it’s an even number and I’d like the bragging rights, but I have things to do today; I doubt I’m going to finish eleven more books by midnight! However, I am halfway through listening to Stephen Batchelor’s Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, I just started listening to Robert Repino’s Mort(e), still dipping into a paperback reread of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher, and reading an ebook copy of The Autobiography of James T Kirk.

I don’t have any reading resolutions for the new year except to keep up the pacing and diversity of my new reading schedule. As far as other resolutions, the only thing I can think of is to not let my craft room pile up like it did this year. I’ve spent the past three days cleaning it, and my back is not happy about that!

What did you read this past year? What do you plan to read in the next? Do you have any resolutions? Please share them with me, and have a Happy New Year!

 

Friday Flash: Miracle

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I lost my grip on the wheel, the car spun out of control and slid along the ice toward the thin, wooden railing. I closed my eyes, the wooden rail broke, and the car teetered over the edge. I waited for the inevitable fall, holding my breath, afraid a single exhalation would send me plummeting to the icy depths below. A minute passed. My face reddened and my cheeks puffed until I was forced to exhale, gasping for another breath.

Another miracle.

I didn’t die.

In the rearview mirror, I saw the relative safety of the road rise and fall as the car swayed with each gust of wind. My heart pounded, the wind fought me as I eased the door open and leaned out, but the abyss yawned below. I steeled myself. I could make it–the cliff’s edge was a mere foot away. I took a breath. I could–would–make it. I took another breath…one last, deep, sweet breath before taking the biggest leap of my life.

I missed.

As the icy lake rose to meet me, growing larger with each passing second, a strange calm settled on me. Was this what it felt like to fly? I had lost all control, and there was an odd freedom in that. Your life supposedly slows down just before you die, and I can’t deny that in those few seconds, as the wind laughed and my reflection grew against the shimmering ice, I had time to realize I wanted to see the stars one last time. Buffeted as I was by the mocking wind, I spread my arms wide. An inch above the ice, a fraction of a second before meeting my icy doom, my body suddenly tingled with renewed energy; I felt myself swoop upwards, my arms glittering as I soared toward the stars.

The heavens had never looked so beautiful, but what caught my attention even more, even past my disbelief, my relief, my shivering as I gazed at the cold winter beauty, were the silver sparkles falling from the reindeer that flew a few feet below me. I realized I was coated in tiny silver dots that shimmered against my dark blue cardigan like stars against a cotton sky. I descended slowly into the flying sleigh; its white-haired driver looked me up and down, then told me, “Merry Christmas.”

When my car fell into the darkness below, the explosion lit the heavens like a thousand angels’ wings. Then, without a word, my mysterious benefactor turned the sleigh towards my home.

 

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

**inspired by a text prompt at the six minute story site on December 20th, 2015.

Friday Flash: Gifted

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Delphine threw her arms around Don, grabbed his hair, and pulled him into a deep, heated kiss. Laughing, Don withdrew the oversized Teddy Bear she crushed between them before resuming their passion. Finally, she broke away. “I just can’t believe you remembered!” she said, breathless from their exertions. “I mean, I told you that story months ago.”

“What can I say?” Don grinned and swatted her butt playfully with the giant bear. “I’m the perfect boyfriend.”

Delphine giggled, then pointed at a small box thrown haphazardly onto the bed. “But do you like my gift?”

Her perfect boyfriend put his jacket back on, withdrew the bright silver cuff links from the box and attached them before inspecting his appearance in the nearby vanity. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they make me look even more handsome.”

Delphine guffawed and threw a pillow at him, then sobered. “But do you have to go now?”

He bent down to give her a surprisingly chaste kiss before replying. “Yeah,” he said. “Sorry, babe, but that meeting with the investors can’t wait. I’ll be back later.” Then he picked up his briefcase and walked out the door.

 

#

In the parking lot, he adjusted his tie, beeped his car door, then consulted his phone as he sat down. The nanny cam he’d planted in that stupid bear turned on, and he saw his beloved Delphine as clear as day–clear as black and white, anyway. It was a ridiculous formality, but he dealt with shady people daily; his rules were the key to his survival, and he hadn’t lived this long without following them.

Soon he would have proof of what he already knew in his heart: she was the perfect woman.

 

#

The woman pulled her silk robe over her smooth, dark shoulders, tied the belt, then walked to the computer and sat down. A few keystrokes later, a face appeared on the screen before her. “Is it done?”

“He fell for it, don’t worry. He’s such a clothes horse, he’ll wear those tacky cuff links everywhere. We’ll hear where the deal goes down.”

“Good work, Penny.”

The woman smiled, a grin that faltered with three sharp knocks upon her door.

 

#

“Did you forget something, hon’?” she called. Turning off the laptop, she adjusted her robe off the shoulders, carefully mussed her hair about her face, then opened the door.

Don stood before her, grinning wildly before pushing her into the apartment with a passionate kiss. “Turns out it was rescheduled, the meeting can wait after all.”

The couple slowly made their way to the bathroom, a trail of clothing in their wake. Once the shower was on, steaming the mirrors and filling the small room with the pitter patter of hot droplets, the man leaned in and bit her ear gently before whispering, “Now that we can’t be overheard, I have some things to tell you.”

The woman stiffened in his grasp, but he held her still inside the shower stall. She looked into his eyes, stretching all over like a cat, then moaned. “Oh, I didn’t realize you liked to roleplay,” she whispered. “That’s fine.” She extended the word fine so it ended as a breath in his ear. “What roles are we playing, Don?”

“My name’s not Don.” She smiled, and the man’s grin deepened. “And I know yours isn’t Delphine.”

She looked at him again, her eyes widened almost imperceptibly before regaining her cool. He could feel her mind spinning, trying to decide if he was on to her or not: was it some new fetish or did he know her secret? He knew she would keep up the act as long as possible; she’d had him fooled long enough for him to recognize she was an expert, gifted in the art of deception–just like him.

She was his perfect woman, after all.

 

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com