Unfamiliar Stars–Alexis

       He was furious, veins pounding in his temple. Every muscle in his body was taut. He was clenching his jaw tightly. Frozen in this aggressive stance, hand held at face level. Like a cobra, he was poised to strike at any moment. His eyes, the same deep hazel brown as mine, glared down at me, burning with a vengeance.

     Oops, I reprimanded myself silently. I shouldn’t have let him get to this level. His fuse is short, especially with us undesirables around, but I could have avoided his rage… this time. Usually, I am smart, tip-toeing around the demon inside him whenever possible, but when he threatened my little brother, my protective instincts exploded.

I stood up quickly, jerking my young brother out of our father’s grasp, and I stood in front of him, his forever shield. Nothing and No one will get to him. My quick tongue initiated this conflict; my quick tongue needs to find a way out of it.

“Donnie,” I said hardly moving my mouth. “You need to go.” Continue reading

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Fountain Under the Stars–Alexis

I waited for her outside the old building, the building that was known for being old and nothing more, named after people long since forgotten. I leaned against the steep, cracked stairs and read my statistics book, which if you’ve ever had statistics you know was uncomfortable and dull. I heard the door open and her laughter filled the air like music. I instantly smiled, an involuntary reaction, kind of like a moth flying toward the fire, knowing that it’s danger but not being able to stop its wings from taking it there.

And that’s Katrina Elizabeth George, my fire, my blindingly dangerous light.

I looked up from my book when I felt her standing in front of me. There she was, large brown eyes waiting expectantly.

“So,” she began. “Do we have a plan for this evening?”

I shook my head, “I guess we can just go out or something.”

“No, we always do that… Let’s not decide right away. We can walk down by the riverfront and go from there?” Continue reading

A Serrated Blade – Stacy

Horatio gripped the wooden handle of the knife in his hand, sweat beading on his forehead. With one deft movement, he thrust the blade toward Agador. The sharp point shot through the small man’s hair, just missing the top of his scalp by a fraction of a millimeter, and plunged into the wooden board behind him.

The crowd cheered.

With eyes shut, Horatio released a small sigh of relief and quickly threw the remainder of the small knives at Agador’s bound body. One, two, three, four… Each blade met the flimsy board with a satisfying THWACK!, and formed a neat frame around the captive who remained motionless and silent, careful not to breathe too heavily so as not to throw off the rhythm.

Horatio only opened his eyes when the announcer’s weighty voice boomed through the megaphone. “La-dies and gen-tlemen! The great — the amazing — the fantastic Horatio! — the most daring knife thrower in all the world!” The audience blurred, all the faces blending with the lights into one mass of color and static. To the side of the stage, Agador was untied, and with a flourish, he bounded forward, arms raised triumphantly to the air as indication that he had escaped unscathed. The audience erupted into applause and whoops of laughter. Horatio gave one modest bow and retreated from the stage.

Back in the comfort of his small room, he poured a glass of bourbon, settled into his armchair, and smoothed his inky mustache. The din outside had begun to fade into the black as spectators stumbled home, eyes wide and sparkling with the magic of the night, fists clutching leftover bags of popcorn and fairy floss. As the crowds faded and the cicadas hummed in the trees, Horatio pulled out a small, metal frame from the desk drawer. With his eyes closed, he ran his fingers over the cool filigree that surrounded her face.

Helena.

He didn’t want to look at her lips curled into that sweet smile, because he could feel her eyes burn through him. It had been two months since she left, the wheels of the wagon car rolling in rhythm as he sharpened each knife over and over until the night and the road fell quiet. He didn’t blame her for leaving. After all, he was cursed. Continue reading