Category Archives: Inspiration Monday

[Inspiration Monday] – Cloaking Device

Inspiration Monday – Cloaking Device

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“I worked with her for 3 years, and now she doesn’t see me,” Tony said to himself as he walked by her in the hallway. “Him, too,” he nodded at the guy with the shaved head. “Huh. Didn’t have a shaved head when I worked with him.”

Today, like every day, nobody saw him. He walked faster, brushing shoulders with people that refused to see him.

Sometimes he lashed out and they seemed to notice where he was. Or where he wasn’t. Tony couldn’t be sure if this was just some elaborate hoax.

As he made his way out of the cafeteria and up the stairs to his office, he stopped and turned around. There was a black-haired girl staring at him. AT him, not just near him. Tony smelled eggs, narrowed his eyes, looked at her face and walked towards her.

“You lookin’ at me?”

She laughed. “What makes you so special?” She pushed herself off the wall and walked closer to Tony, arms folded, a defiant look on her face.

“I’m not special. I think I’m dead. Or something,” Tony sighed.

“You’re not dead,” she said as she came closer. “You’re almost dead.” She laughed and vanished in a puff of black wisps.

*************

“I used to work with him; he was a backstabber,” Tony said as he sipped on his coffee. He thought about yesterday’s encounter with the woman that could see him and he shook his head, leaned over, and knocked a coffee out of someone’s hands. “THAT bitch took all the credit on our last project!”

“Do you always talk to yourself this much?”

Tony jumped and saw her standing next to him. Her hair was fiery red and wore a black business suit.

“Jesus! You scared the shit out of me!” Tony’s eyes were wide and she just laughed at him and pushed his arm.

“Stop laughing at me, it’s creepy,” Tony was breathing harder. “And what’s with the hair?”

“Did I have black hair yesterday?” She asked, raising a brow and cocking her head.

“Um, yeah, you don’t remember? You told me I am almost dead and you had black hair.”

“Listen, Tony, don’t talk to her,” she said matter-of-factly and kept walking.

“You mean don’t talk to YOU?”

“That’s not me.”

“You’ve got a twin?”

“Sort of. But she’s not my sister.” She gave a sly smile and hooked her arm through Tony’s and grinned.

Tony pulled his arm away from her, grabbed her arm, stopped, and faced her. “What the Hell is going on, lady, and how did you know my name?”

“First,” she started and looked at his hand, “First, we keep our hands to ourselves… K?” She looked up at his face and down at his hand again. He let go.

“Second, if you want to stop being half dead, you’ve got to kill her.” Her eyes glowed the same fiery orange as her hair and he felt heat coming from her.

“I’m not killing anyone,” Tony insisted.

“Then you’re already dead,” she said and and disappeared in a flash of light.

“Damn it, not again.”

***********

“Motherfucker was like my best friend 4 years ago when we worked together,” Tony smiled in the man’s face as he passed, and the man passed through him. Tony looked at his hands, eyes wide open, looking around. “Shit, that’s never happened before.”

“So, Tony Baloney, I hear you’re gonna kill me.”

Tony jumped and turned around, finding the black-haired woman against the wall. “What’s up with you? You gotta stop going around scaring the shit out of people like that.” Tony moved to the wall next to her. “And don’t call me Tony Baloney. What are you, 8?”

“You have to kill her. She’s tricking you into killing me. I think she knows you’re a sucker for redheads.” She licked her lips, grabbed his collar, and pulled him close.

“You smell like eggs,” he pulled his face back, rolling his neck fat up under his chin.

She let go of him and sighed, looking up. “It’s sulfur, genius,” she drew out the word “sulfur” while shaking her head and getting loud. The people walking in the hall were lighter, somehow translucent. Someone walking in the hall looked over at them.

“What’s up with that? They can’t see us, can they?”

“They can see me if I want them to, but they can’t see you. Anymore. You’re mostly dead.”

“Stop saying that! I’m not -”

“Oh, shut up. Take this – ” she reached into her pocket and handed him a dagger. “Kill me.”

“Yes, kill her,” the woman with fiery hair appeared in a flash of light. This time her hair was actual fire.

“No, I WILL NOT K-”

“Yes, you will,” they said in unison. The black hair was now floating like she was in water. The fire hair was blue at the bottom and the heat made Tony move back a step. The dagger glowed faint blue.

The people in the hall were fading faster. They whooshed through him and he felt nothing now. The dagger was getting cold.

“KILL HER,” they shouted in unison and took a coordinated step towards him. The dagger glowed white inside the blue and seemed to be getting heavier.

Tony stood in defiance, raised the dagger and slit his own neck with it.

**********

“Hey, Tony, haven’t seen you for a while – where ya been?”

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Author’s Notes

I saw “cloaking device” and I immediately thought about a different kind of situation where you were there but nobody could see you. I could have gone Harry Potter with the magic cloak or Star Trek with actual cloaking devices, but what’s the fun in that? Let’s have a guy that’s bitter and ignored that actually becomes invisible, not just ignored on purpose, and then let’s have him go a little crazy and force him to make a decision.

Exactly as it Seems [Inspiration Monday]

Exactly As It Seems

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“There’s no action,” Phil said and looked around, glancing at his watch, and taking another long, slow, drag on his cigarette.

“What do you mean? ” Sherry never knew what he meant. He cut his eye at her and thought for a moment that he never did like that perfume that she was wearing.

Phil pressed the cigarette between his lips, rolled the window down a half-crank more, and blew his smoke out of the corner of his mouth, aiming it at the window crack.

Phil cut his eye at her again and let a wan smile pass over his face. He dropped down 2 gears and hit the gas pedal, rocketing them up to 80 mph… 90… 100…

“Phil… Phil! Knock that shit off! You’re SUCH a child.” She had one hand pressed against the dash, her fingertips white, and the other hand on the flip-down handle above the door.

“I’m tired of you, Sherry,” Phil said through clenched teeth, jogged the steering wheel to the right, unbalancing the car, threw it back to the left, throwing the ass end of the car forward on the right-hand side, wheels screeching, Sherry screaming. Phil cranked the wheel back so the wheels were pointed in the direction of travel, but too late to straighten the car before it hit a telephone pole.

Sherry was killed immediately and Phil was saved by the air bag.

“Bitch.”

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2 Years Earlier

“I don’t know why I put up with you, Sherry-Lynn,” Phil chuckled at how endearing Sherry-Lynn was to him. He reached for his pack of smokes hidden in the hotel room night stand and thought twice.

“Hey, baby, I really like the smell of that perfume,” Phil was looking up at her as he was fumbling for his glasses.

“Thanks, I know you like it.” She gave him a soft smile and went back to doing her hair and idly singing “On Top of the World” by The Carpenters.

He leaned back and dug into his pocket for his car keys, pulling them out and looking at the clean, shiny logo, turning them over and grinning to himself. “You done good, Phil… you done good.”

***********

Author’s Notes

I struggled with this one. I had about 4 false starts but the stories just seemed too contrived, too predictable.

I gave myself an extra challenge today – I often resort to the supernatural in my writing. Hey, I’m a product of my youth. This time, I vowed not to go there, instead sticking with human relations.

If I always write the same story, I’ll never improve.

This story is about that feeling that you get after you’ve been with someone for a long time, the little things that were so endearing have become annoying. “Exactly as it seems” just seemed right for this. Things were exactly as they seemed, no matter the circumstance.