oracleofaal t1_jcd5k62 wrote

Thanks Fye!

I'm sure if the edit of that sentence is better or worse but we'll find out in campfire I imagine.

Removed the knife repetition, I must have missed it in the last edit.

And Eddie was stabbed in the back six times. He just also happened to be stabbed in the throat. So the Seer was mostly right? I debated the ending the most I think and rewrote it several times.


oracleofaal t1_jc98hqn wrote

Nathaniel sat down on a bench as the sun sank below the horizon on a cloudy summer’s eve. He scanned the pages of his newspaper idly. A second gentleman in a blue suit arrived, perched on the other end of the bench, and stared at the swift current of the river just beyond the footpath.

After a few minutes, the silence was broken by a question from Nathaniel.

“Eddie, you ever read the Seer section of the paper?”

Eddie looked at the paper in Nathaniel’s hands and scoffed. “Why would I bother? It’s just prophetic drivel, no more real than the horoscope section. I wouldna taken you for someone to waste their time.”

“Not usually, no.” Cocking his head he continued, “but something caught my eye today. ‘A one-eyed man stabs a man in a blue suit six times in the back.’ And here we are.” Nathaniel looked intently at the man sitting next to him.

“Is this a joke or somethin’?” Eddie chortled. “You’re not the only one-eyed man in the world, and I ain’t the only bloke in a blue suit. Besides, we’ve known each other since kindergarten. I’d bet the seer is really just the editors' mad lib puzzle for the day. I mean who’s gonna call them out if they’re wrong?” He wrung his hands for a moment before catching himself then sat back on the bench slowly, weaving his fingers behind his head.

“Nah, you’re probably right,” Nathaniel replied and folded the paper gently, setting it between them, the Seer section face up with the prophecy circled in red. “I mean, it’s not like I’ve got any reason to harm you. Like you said, we’ve been friends since kindergarten. A well-seasoned friendship, you might say. Had our ups and downs, sure, but all friends do.” He shrugged, smiled thinly, and touched the crow’s feet forming at the edge of his glass eye.

Eddie dropped his hands and turned toward Nathaniel. “Man, I thought you’d forgiven me for that? You know it was an accident. I got distracted by a pretty lady walking by and the dart went sideways. How many times do I gotta say I’m sorry? Although, I still think you got the better end of that deal since you got to marry her.”

“Yeah,” Nathaniel sighed ruefully, “I did get to do that.”

Whip fast Nathaniel pulled out a knife and stabbed it into his friend’s throat. Eddie’s eyes widened and a gurgle was the only sound he made as he scrabbled to grab the knife. Nathaniel pulled it out and Eddie toppled forward onto the grass holding his torn throat.

Nathaniel knelt over him, whispered, “Friends don’t fuck friend’s wives,” then stabbed the fornicator six times in the back. As he bled out, Nathaniel rolled him over the footpath and into the river.

He went back to the bench, picked up the newspaper, folded it around the knife, and tossed it in the river.

“The Seer got one right at least.”


WC: 499 All feedback is appreciated.


oracleofaal t1_j6c0bl9 wrote


The bodies were pointing north and if he were a crow, he would fly directly into the British Museum. They had a large collection of Egyptian artifacts of which many had come from tombs that were claimed to be cursed.

Rocky had seen this once before at the beginning of his career. At the time, he didn’t believe in magic or curses, but he had seen enough on that one case to eliminate any skepticism he ever had.

Rocky leaned down over one of the bodies and searched for evidence he hoped he wouldn’t find. But hope had flown with the crow and between the fingers of one of the victims was a small piece of cream-colored paper rolled up. He would bet his retirement that it wasn’t just any paper but actually made from papyrus.

“Who is taking photos?” he asked Agent Harris.

“Gil, bring the camera over here,” Harris commanded the forensic photographer.

As Rocky put on gloves, he gave specific instructions to Gil, “Take pictures of the hands where the paper is. I’m going to remove it and I want you to take pictures of it as I’m reading it. Understood?” Gil nodded and began taking shots.

With two fingers, Rocky gently removed the papyrus from between the fingers of the victim and unfurled it. The flash of the camera made it more difficult to read but the detective managed.


oracleofaal t1_j5crr5q wrote

Cat's in the Cradle

Jacket zipped up tight, Natalie sat on the porch swing, her weekend bag tucked under, and one strap wrapped around her leg. She tapped the screen of the phone in her lap to wake it up and checked the time. 7:30 pm. Then she checked her notifications. Nothing from him.

She wrapped her fingers around the phone as though it were a softball and raised her arm overhead to throw it at the tree in the middle of the overgrown weed-filled yard that was threatening to invade the porch. Natalie grunted and dropped her arm. She had broken two phones this year and if she broke another, she knew that neither parent would get her another. Her eyes began to glisten and she sniffed.

Shortly after 8 pm, her mother opened the front door, wrapped her arms around herself and shivered.

“Why don’t you come in, sweetheart?”

“Did he message you?” Natalie asked in an accusing tone.

“No. No, he didn’t. And I wouldn’t expect him to talk to me. You know we don’t speak without lawyers present”

“I know.” She choked on a sob. “I had just hoped that this time…” Natalie trailed off as her mother unfurled, moved to sit next to her on the swing and wrapped her daughter in a fierce hug.

“Oh my baby girl.”

“Moooom. I’m 16! I’m not a baby.” Natalie’s mother cleared her throat and held her at arms length.

“I don’t care what age I am, or what age you are. You will always be my baby girl. I will always see you as the newborn I brought home from the hospital. The curious infant. The adventurous toddler. The strong-willed teenager. Let’s go inside before I freeze.”

“Okay,” the stubborn teenager replied and wiped her eyes with sleeve of her jacket.


The next morning, Natalie awoke to find a slew of text messages from her father received between 1 and 3 am.

‘I’m sorry Nat I got caught up at work’

“Okay,” the stubborn teenager replied and wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her jacket.

‘Are u mad at me’

‘You know I don’t mean to misqueme u’

‘Fine. I’m going to bed. Text me tomorrow. We can catch a movie or something.’

After reading through the messages several times, she groaned, rolled over and buried her head under her pillows.

A knock sounded from the door. Then a slight squeak as it was opened.

“Good morning slugabed. It’s almost noon.” Her mother’s pleasant voice was muffled by the pillows. A moment later, she felt the weight of her mother sitting on the bed next to her. Natalie grunted as she turned over, pulled the pillow off her face and sat up.

“I made your favorite chocolate chai latte.”

“Thanks mom,” she said as she reached for the warm cup in her mother’s hands. “He was apparently working late last night.” Nat sighed. “Wait, did you say noon?”

“Almost, it’s like 11:30.”

“I thought you had brunch with your book club today? Shouldn’t you be hanging out with them?” Natalie buried her nose in her cup to smell the chai and avoid her mother’s gaze.

“There will be others. I felt that my baby might need me more.”

“I’m going to text Dad and we’re going to go to the movies,” she said into her cup. Her mother reached out a hand and squeezed her leg through the layer of blankets.

“Well, why don’t we make brunch until he gets here? French toast?” Nat looked up, a shy smile spreading over her face.

“French toast with that berry stuff?”

“And whipped cream!” Their smiles echoing each other were bright. Her mom jumped up and danced out the door. The young lady still abed giggled.

That gave her enough motivation to respond to her father. She quickly searched for an evening movie that she wanted to see and sent the details to him. It wasn’t long before he responded.

'Jen msged, something about a leak, Imma go over and help her sorry kiddo, maybe next weekend will be easier’

Natalie stared at the message from her so-called father. Tears welled up in her eyes and slid silently down her cheeks. This ability to toy with her emotions; it had to come to an end. Fingers flying over her phone she typed her reply.

‘Joseph, upon further reflection, I have decided that until you are ready to make me, your only daughter, a priority, I don’t want to spend weekends or summer with you. If all I am is a checkbox on your to-do list then you are not really my dad. I hope that you and your work enjoy each other. Peace. ~Natalie’

She hit send. Tears dried up and she sat up a little bit as though a weight had been lifted.


(WC: 800)


oracleofaal t1_j0oqbm0 wrote

*slow clap* Well played. I did not see that ending coming.

I loved several of your phrases:
|Pushing open the heavy wooden doors, he flowed into the building, hips and feet moving as if they had a special agreement with gravity.

|Shortly thereafter two double whiskeys slid across the bar, their dark brown liquid refracting the brilliance of that soulful haven.

My only crit is nitpicking -
| It was there idea to come here.
Should be "their."

|They did it until the work kicked out, past closing.
I assume you meant "the workers kicked them out"

Also, I doubt that his friends would have left without saying anything to him. But I know that conversation would have put you well over the word count.


oracleofaal t1_j0ooo67 wrote

The spotlight found her. And she loved it. On this stage, among the bright lights, this was her haven. The music started and Elayna danced across the stage and lip-synced her heart out.

“…Don’t blame it on the sunshine

Don’t blame it on the moonlight

Don’t blame it on the good times

Blame it on the boogie…”

A hearty clap and even a few whistles followed her performance. Elayna bowed and soaked it in before skipping off the stage.

Two others performed before Elayna and another queen took the stage for a duet of “I’m So Excited,” which transitioned into “We Are Family” as every performer joined them on the stage. The majority of the small audience sang along and many of them stood and danced around their tables. It was electric!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Elayna combed her wig and nestled it into its box. She stripped out of the layers of tights, bodysuits and specially crafted “shapewear,” and dropped the pile of clothes in a bag. Next, she carefully removed her false eyelashes and her make-up. As she stared at her reflection, she sighed and shook her head. She felt as though she had gone through a reverse metamorphosis from beautiful butterfly to wiggling caterpillar.

The other drag queens and kings were in similar states of changing. Laughter rang out at a joke Elayna didn’t hear. She decided now would be the perfect time to discuss the issues she had noticed recently with the manager.

His office was on the opposite side of the building from the dressing area. Even in street clothes, Elayna still felt a thrill stepping onto the stage. One of the lights flickered and popped overhead and she gave a little yelp. Add that to her list. She navigated the steps off the stage and through the tables. Her shoes stuck slightly in several spots and she cringed. There were also four marks in a table leg pattern but no table.

Elayna slipped behind the bar and the bartender cleaning up before heading through the door on the other side. As she grew closer to the manager’s office, she overheard tense voices echoing out and paused outside.

“Evan, why are we still doing a weekly disco night!?” Followed by a huff. “You saw how small that audience was. I don’t know how you keep this place running.”

“Lil, you know why. I’m not going to have this argument with you again,” came Evan’s stern reply.

“Disco is history and history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.”

“You know that’s not it.”

“Oh, because it’s in that washed up old hags contract?! Puhlease! Grow a pair and renegotiate or find a new star. Recruit some new blood. Even one of the washouts from DragRace would bring in more interest than *pfft* that.”

“And what am I going to offer them? You know how rundown this place is getting. Are you willing to work for free? Help clean? Buy replacements?” There was a pause in which Elayna was sure that Lil gave Evan her best death glare. “As I thought. So until you can bring me a viable option, stop bothering with me problems I already know about.”

“Uuughh,” was the only warning she got before Lil stormed out. Lil stopped when she saw Elayna eavesdropping and glared at her. Then Lil continued her march out through the door to the bar. Elayna leaned against the wall for several minutes collecting her thoughts.

Evan was staring at his computer, back to the door when Elayna entered the room.

“Evan, I…,”

Without looking away from his computer, he interrupted her, “I don’t have time for you tonight.”

“You’ll make time for this,” she said firmly.

Evan sighed and turned around to face her, his eyes narrowed and lips pursed.

“Hear me out. Lil is right. People are embarrassed by disco, but I love it. I may have been in denial about it for awhile…”

The manager let out a deep huff of a sigh.

“Anyway,” Elayna continued hurriedly, “I think we can renegotiate my contract when I get back, cut disco nights to twice a year and…”

“What do you mean ‘get back’?” Evan cut in.

“Well…” Elayna picked up a pen off his desk and began twirling it. “She was right. Even a washout from Drag Race would bring more business to this place. But what if I were to win?”

Evan sat up straighter in his chair. “Let me run the numbers, but I think I can keep this place afloat until you got back, that is if you even made it on to the show.”

“Oh honey, you know I will. Don’t you worry about that.” Elayna winked and sauntered out of Evan’s office feeling like a butterfly soaring on a summer’s day.

[WC: 799]
Crit always appreciated.


oracleofaal t1_iw4yar9 wrote


The elevator seemed to move at a speed that belied its age. Amelia wondered why she hadn’t been using the elevator every day. Her trip would be but a minute at this rate. But then, she heard a deep male voice that seemed to come from every direction.

“Hello, Amelia. I’ve been waiting for you.”

“No, no, no, no. Waiting for me? What do you mean waiting for me?” she squeaked out as her head swiveled around trying to determine the origins of the voice.

“I mean you’ve lived in this building for well over a month and you have not once stepped into the elevator. That is how long I’ve been waiting,” the voice responded evenly before adding, “and I don’t like to wait,” with a hint of a growl.

After a moment of panic, she recovered enough of her wits to shout, “Let me out, let me out right now!” and bang her fists on the doors of the elevator.

“I don’t think you want me to do that, Amelia,” the elevator responded as though it was trying to calm a wild animal.

“You’re not supposed to be able to think or talk for that matter, so how could you think about what I want?! I very much do not want to be in here anymore. Let me OUT!”

“If I must, Amelia,” came the almost exasperated response. The elevator slowly came to a stop and the doors opened. It certainly wasn’t the 15th-floor hallway or the lobby.

[WC: 250]


oracleofaal t1_iw16z11 wrote

The candle burns low in the red glass holder between their mostly finished plates while Sinatra croons in the background. She wiggles her wedding ring back and forth nervously on the table as the gentleman across the table from her rambles on about places in Italy.

It had been years since she dated anyone but she vaguely remembered that date number three is supposed to be a turning point in dating relationships. And this was date number three. She wasn’t sure why she kept saying yes, or even why he kept asking but here they were. Why was she here? It felt dishonest or dishonorable to her husband's memory. She had to end this relationship tonight before it went any further before she actually fell in love with the kind soul that had patiently courted her through three dates. Tonight. It would be over tonight and she'd be alone again with his memory, 5 years gone and buried.

Gathering her thoughts together, it took her a moment to realize that the gentleman across from her had stopped talking and was gazing softly at her.

"I'm sorry, I was listening," she apologized "you were saying that retirement is only a few years away, and then you plan to travel to…uh,” she paused before remembering, “Italy." She couldn't remember the details but hoped that was enough to quell any questions about what she had been thinking about. When she ended this, she didn’t want to use her husband’s memory as an excuse.

He lifted his right hand off the table and placed in on top of her left, stopping her from flicking her ring. She stared at her hand mortified because she didn't realize that she has been so obvious about it.

"I'm sorry..." She started to say, but he cut her off.

"Don't be. He was an amazing person. He was a good colleague and friend and I hope he was an amazing husband.” He let the words settle before continuing, “I will never be able to replace him, and I wouldn't want to. But maybe, just maybe, I will be able to stand beside him in your heart."

She turned her face up to really look at the man she was sitting across from and thought for the first time that maybe tonight wouldn't be the end of their relationship and maybe she wouldn't be alone anymore.

[WC: 397]