A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE
Celtic druids celebrated Alban Heruin, or the longest day of the
year. It was the crowning glory of the seasons--an apex of
light--with more sun than any other day. In the summer ahead,
crops would be bountiful and people could frolic at will.
don't celebrate the solstice. We sure don't frolic
want shorter days, not longer. We'll pass on the light;
nothing here we care to see. And as for the crops we've
it would be just as well if they didn't flourish.
only caused us grief so far.
A fair and speedy trial by a jury of one's peers: they say that's the
means to find the truth and to arrive at justice for all.
Jesus said, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you
Free. That's not how it works for most of the men who
arrive—with their truths—in OZ.
me, in an odd way, I suppose it did. I'll credit Him that much, and I
don't hold a grudge. But I do think the Almighty could have been a bit
more forthcoming about some tiny details.
DON'T FEAR THE
no!" Augustus lunged. There was no pain;
his legs were young and alive!
reached for him like a terrified child. How odd that their
roles should be reversed.
are many ways to escape from Oz, Augustus once thought. In a
coffin, for one. He just couldn't work out the details.
he can. He sees everything and is--for once--neither sad nor
murder. He's made good. An eye for an eye, they
The scales are even; he'll claim his reward. Don't fear the
reaper: why should he? Augustus Hill is finally free.
Double Or Nothing
(B/K Double Drabble for a Double Dare)
"Tell the truth," Keller, said as he sopped off his abs with Toby's
sheet. "Was it you who shanked me?"
Toby rolled off toward the wall. He laughed—possibly only to
himself. "Which time?"
Keller clamped fingers around Toby's balls and squeezed. "Tell me,
Tobe. It's all behind us now, but I deserve to know what kind of a man
is fucking me."
'It's all behind us,' Toby tried to wrap his brain around that logic.
Only a lifer could lie here this way and not consider those words
Keller's fingers dug harder, relentlessly coercing a response. Toby
cleared his throat. "If it's truth time, you go first: tell me, Chris,
which answer would make you hate me more?"
Keller's face twisted into that smile that was the last thing many men
ever saw. "I couldn't hate you, Tobe; I love you." He let loose the
balls, but the psycho gleam remained. "Remember that." He kissed Toby's
cheek. "And you're right; it doesn't really matter."
Keller yawned and closed his eyes, apparently content to remain in
Toby's bunk. "Sleep well, babe."
"Right. You too…babe." Toby slid one hand down behind the
mattress. As his fingertips hit plastic, he smiled.
CURTAIN CALL (Double Drabble)
Coming back to Em City was like never having left. The only
thing that ever changed was the assholes in it. Everything
else was the same: the paint, the lights, even the
smell. And like always, Chris Keller was watching
him. Toby pulled his belongings a little closer to his chest
as he started up the stairs to his new pod.
Keller's eyes followed his every step.
"Toby!" McManus leapt up the stairs two at a time.
"Welcome back." He paused. "With all he chaos, I
never got the chance to say: I'm sorry about
Unbidden, Toby's eyes shot to the last spot where they had
stood. Even the railing was the same. The blood
below--and the body--was gone.
"That makes one of us, then." In six years, Toby's false smile hadn't
changed much either.
"You don't mean that." McManus grabbed his wrist.
Special projects or not, he was too smart to touch many inmates.
Toby jerked away. "Yeah, I do. It's better this
way. Better for both of us." The sane and sensible
half of his brain realized that was true; the other
half just wished that someone would make those
fucking eyes stop watching him.
Story of Your Life
"Story of your life," she thinks. Though she's been married to God for
longer than she was married to man, the loneliness has never regressed.
You can't see God. You can't touch God. He asks you to believe based on
nothing. In return, He offers you everything and has the nerve to call
Chris Keller she can see, hear, smell and--oh, God—touch. He
is real and near and taunts her every day. She clutches the pillow to
her breast and thinks of her husband, but it's Chris's face she sees.
Story of your life, she thinks.