I Regret to Inform You

I just received a short story rejection from a literary magazine that I adore. This is the third story they have rejected and at this point, I’m determined more than dejected—which wasn’t always the case. Three years ago this would crush me. Rejection is a hard thing to get used to, at least, it was for me. (I’m rather sensitive and fairly uptight.) A core event in my career was when I changed what rejection meant to me; I was able to change it from something that gnawed at my confidence in my writing into something I did for my writing.
When you think about it, rejection is something quite simple, but it easily holds magnitudes. Rejection is part of it. We need it. Writing isn’t about easy, or shortcuts. So why would readying the project for the world be any different? Writing is a labor of love, a result of obsessive behavior. I love it, and it is absolutely me. I wouldn’t choose another profession, not in a million years—well, actually, professional coffee drinking is something I’d like to explore—but, some days it doesn’t come easy.
This a big year for me. This is the year that I transition from being a part-time writer to a full-time writer. It has been quite a journey so far, and honestly, I’m still in the thick of it at the moment. Something I release I’m lucky for. I find it is important to be aware of the phase we are in because everything is just that. A phase, a fleeting period of time, a memory in the making.
I have been scribbling down made up stories since the third grade. That was a big year in my life. My mom had attempted to commit suicide for the first time, and my father detached from reality, kind of forever—that was, at least, a markable point at the start of his decline. But in reality, the true cause probably far outdates me. It was also the year that I read Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. That was the very first time a book left me breathless. I knew that I wanted to make people feel that way with stories I made up. So, that was me, the girl that knew exactly what she wanted to do before age nine. This was, of course, a bittersweet pebble thrown in my life pretty early on.
School was was difficult for me, well that is every other subject than English classes.
Somehow knowing that I wanted to experience life and write about it made doing time in my dysfunctional housed both easier and impossible. I started reading more and writing more after that point. It was a way to escape my reality. It worked, it got me through till I was ready to leave. Joining characters on their journey, helped give me strength and hope, whether it was reading about them or creating them.
Now, that is all behind me, and I have a healthy family of my own. Writing became my career and no longer a tool or a hobby (Even though it’s still sometimes are those things.) I’ve learned to develop a different relationship with my writing. I would sell it short if I said my writing is less personal to me now, that’s not it all, but my expectations of what each piece means. Keeping my readers in mind helps me separate what I write for me and what I write for others. I found it important to keep both going.

My Something of Significance

I reach the park. It’s been more than ten minutes. When I went back to the house, everyone was still sleeping. I wrote a note for Tristan and Brody letting them know I went to get food. This should give me some time. I considered not coming, but I really can’t risk that guy coming back.

He is sitting on a bench under a tree. A young mother pushes her son on the swings to my left. An old man with a cigar tucked between his lips walks a small, white dog at the other end of the park. Other than that, it’s empty.

I slide onto the bench. Not looking at him, I tuck my legs up under my chin. “Who follows someone who almost kills them?” I ask. My voice is low and careful. I’m not sure what I’m doing. “Someone who is obviously a criminal.”

“You have superpowers like in comic books.” His voice matches mine.

“What is it that you want from me? Money?” I look at him. His brown hair is shaggy and longer than it looked under the hat. Then again, I wasn’t really trying to get a good look at him the other night. I was trying to kill him.

“No, not at all.” He moves his lip ring back and forth with his upper lip.

“Then, what?” The clouds start to thin. Sunlight breaks through very small pockets. I wrap my arms around my legs.

“I’ve been searching for something of significance. I haven’t been able to shake the feeling it might be you.” His eyes hold no malice. The wind picks up my hair, swaying it gently around my head.

“That’s crazy.” I shake my head.

My words don’t land with him. “What isn’t crazy?” He shrugs. “Why did you let me live?”

His question hangs over me. I rest the side of my head on my knees, tucking my legs in tighter. My eyes stay on him. I’m so tired and not at all up to dealing with this. But it’s my mess. How do I clean it up?

“I wasn’t able to kill you.” I shook my head.

He raises an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

“I heard you thinking. I felt your fear.” I shrug my shoulders. “I wasn’t able to work past that.”

“But you usually can?”

“No. That was the first time that happened.” I scope the area. Nothing much has changed. The old man and the dog are almost completely out of sight, and the mom and son are now by the sandbox.

“That was the first time you couldn’t kill someone?” His hand fidgets on his leg.

“No. It was the first time I heard anyone’s thoughts and felt his fears. Why aren’t you freaked out that I tried to kill you? And with powers no less. Why aren’t you surprised or put off?” This whole thing is off-putting.

“I’ve asked myself that, too. I haven’t thought of anything but you since the other night. Your eyes are beautiful.” He sighs at himself and looks away. “I thought you were gonna kill me. You didn’t. You seemed so uncomfortable with all of it. I saw you standing with the big guy. I saw the other guy actually move through the door. It was crazy. I couldn’t take my eyes away. It was like a comic book was unfolding right before my eyes. But then when you took hold of my throat, I felt so close to you. I guess that’s how I’d explain it. I really don’t know how to articulate this. I just needed to talk to you—to get to know you more. So, I guess I want to be friends?” He brings his eyes back to me.

He wants to be friends. Not only did I spare someone I shouldn’t have, but also now he’s enchanted with my superpowers. I bite my bottom lip, still holding my legs close. He saw so much. “We can’t be friends.”

“I figured you’d say that.” His eyes glance at the ground. “My name is Charlie.” He brings his eyes back to me. A smile sandwiches between his two very pronounced dimples. He’s cute.

“Charlie, I am a dangerous person. Just because I didn’t kill you the other night doesn’t mean we have a special connection. It means I was surprised by a change in my abilities.”

His mouth flattens to a straight line briefly. “I think it does mean we have a special connection.” He nods to himself. “Has it happened again? The different reaction?” His eyes are so focused me. I feel uneasy and free at the same time. There is kindness in Charlie I’ve never come across before. “What if this was meant to happen exactly as it did?” Charlie’s brow furrows. His head tilts to the side. “Do you ever watch the news?”

“Occasionally, in the early morning—never on purpose.” I shake my head at all of this. “Why?”

“Well, last night there was this whole piece about Captain Matter. It was fairly entertaining. I’ll admit that I’m disappointed he isn’t a legit hero for our fine city, but you also can’t blame the guy.” The breeze sweeps Charlie’s light brown hair to the side. Large maple leaves turn over to let the sky see their bellies.

“He’s the masked vigilante, right?” I crack my knuckles.

“Yeah. Although, it turns out he’s really just a guy with an ego and a thing for talking to the press.” Charlie’s eyes wander away again like he’s stealing a moment to gather his thoughts. It’s obvious I make him nervous, but I wouldn’t call it uncomfortable.

I ask, “What were you hoping he would be?”

“A real hero,” Charlie says. He leans back in his chair.

I roll my eyes. “Do you really think some person would step up and stop crime for the good of the people?” Well, maybe that thought shouldn’t be so crazy to me.

“I can hope. I’ve spent too much time reading comic books—like, countless hours. There’s one thing that’s in each universe. Even if at times it’s just a glimmer, it’s there.” His eyes widen with each word.

“What is it?” I look down at my dad’s silver ring on my thumb. I scooped it up the day after he was shot. I wanted to get it before my mom pawned it. The good old days.

“Hope. Because no matter what is happening—no matter how dire the situation seems—you know the hero will conquer it. I just think the real world could use that kind of hope.” That’s beautiful. Goodness is under-appreciated.

“Sorry Captain Matter couldn’t provide that for you.” What do I say to that? Who is this guy? “My crew is gonna expect me back. I can’t just sit on a park bench and talk to you for hours.” I stand.

His warm hand grabs my arm. His skin is soft. “Can you tell me your name?”

I shouldn’t add any more wood to the fire. I sure as hell don’t need to. His eyes are so honest, so deep . . . it’s disarming. He knows so much already. Him knowing my name won’t do any more damage.

“Ruby,” I say. My voice is barely above a whisper.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Charlie whispers back, smiling.

“You’re crazy. Listen, I don’t live in that house and really bad people are there a lot of the time. Please don’t go back there.”

“Okay.” He nods and stands.

“I’m going to go now, Charlie. Don’t follow me this time.” I can’t help but smile at him.

“Okay.” He looks disappointed, but there isn’t a thing I can do about that. I start walking away. Part of me wants to look back, but I won’t let myself. Curious . . .

“Wait!” he calls. I turn. Charlie runs up. He pulls his wallet out of his pocket, flips it open, and pulls out a small, white card. “Here.”

I take it cautiously. Charlie Parker, Owner of Over the Moon Comics. 10941 East Pine. 206-555-4306. “You’re giving me your business card?” I ask, feeling a smile form on my face.

“I won’t go back to the house. I’ll try really hard not to follow you. But if you need anything or change your mind about being friends, you know where to find me.” He smiles widely, making his lip ring wiggle.

I shake my head. “Thanks, I guess.” I tuck the card into my back pocket. I’ll throw it out later before someone finds it and asks questions. “Bye, Charlie.” I walk away quicker this time. What a big mess. I hope the snake girl has better sense and stays the hell away from me.

*An Excerpt From The Highly Capable 

Review Opportunity

Hi all,

To start off thanks for reading, you guys are awesome.

As you’ve probably caught on, I’ve recently released urban fantasy novel, The Highly Capable. Ruby is the troubled, telekinetic protagonist. She demanded that I write a series about her.

I am offering a complimentary ebook of The Highly capable in return for an honest review posted on Amazon and Goodreads by February 12th.

It’s first come first serve. I will send ebooks to the first ten readers than contact me.

message me on Facebook or comment below.

Thanks in advance!

-Jayme

Greed World: An Unlikely Companion

Jeremy, Kaya, and I make our way quietly along the bridge under the awning. An awful feeling settled in my stomach. Somebody was tracking us; I could just feel it. My eyes wandered over to Jeremy. He looked so much older and harder than I remember him. He and my brother in their baseball uniforms with rosy, proud cheeks flash in my mind causing the hole inside of me to widen and ache.
“We knew each other when we were kids,” I whispered. “How do I know I can trust you?”
Kaya’s side grazed my leg as we walked. She senses what I did. Something was wrong, and we were in immediate danger.
One thing I learned in world full of darkness was what it felt like when someone was watching. Those who see first have the upper hand.
“I guess you don’t, but I’d like to think you could,” Jeremy said in a matter of fact tone that brought me back again to when we were kids. When the world was different.
“I know a place we can hide out for the night, but tomorrow we should split ways.” I ducked into the first alley off the bridge. The wind rustled my hair causing goose bumps to blanket my skin.
The hair between Kaya’s shoulders puffs out as she curls her lips with a growl.
Jeremy grabs onto my hand briefly, then lets it drop.
Odd.
There is deep, throaty chuckle behind us.
Shit.
I turn around to find a man with wide-set shoulders in red and gray armor. His beady, soulless eyes gleam with delight as he looks me over.
My stomach twists.
Kaya flexes her haunches, permitting a single warning growl.
“Traveling with a dog? You’re my kinda girl.” He looks at me with hungry eyes.
“Keep moving,” Jeremy warns, he slid a sword out from behind his back.
I hadn’t noticed he was carrying one.
“Or what pretty boy?” The raider’s eyes widen with anticipation of tearing us apart.
“Fall Down,” I yell.
Kaya runs between the raider’s legs. He turns to look where she’s going without realizing it.
Human nature is what is killing us all.
I pull the knife from my side and dug it into his throat.
Kaya falls back to my side.
“Shall we keep going?” I ask Jeremy, smiling as his wide eyes look at me with amazement.
“I’m impressed Chloe.” Hearing my name spoken, the name my parents gave me brings a wave of desperate sorrow over me.
I have to ask.
“Have you seen my brother?”
“Not since the summer.”
It was nearly winter now.
“But you have seen him since the city fell?”
“Yeah.”
My heart drops.
“We traveled together for awhile. He came and found me after your house got taken.”
“I had a feeling he made it out. Did he say anything about my parents?”
“They didn’t make it out of the house.” Jeremy’s voice was soft now.
I shake my head, in hopes of knowing all these unwanted thoughts out of my head. I give Kaya a pat on the head.
I point to a large black building. “There should be some good spots up in the building for us to stay the night. Tomorrow we go separate ways.”

The Darkness In Him

We pulled up to a small brick building near the school. The whole weight of Pete’s beat up Monte Carlo jerked back and forth in reaction to him slamming on the breaks. I was a sitting in he back of the car for the first time since Pete got his license. I had automatic shotgun, no questions. None of his other buddy pushed the issue, not even C.J, who pushed everything. I was a girl and Pete’s best friend. My spot shotgun in his clunker was mine…until, that is apparently he gets a girlfriend. I suck in a frustrated breath.
The parking lot is crawling with people.
“Everyone from our school I think, El is here an. What a Scene.“ Pete said to me.
I think I even see some from mine,” Molly adds as she grabs Pete’s hand.
My stomach twists.
I wanted to be cool with it. I really, really did. After all, I’m the one that introduced them to Molly, awesome, and loud, and fearless and tall. She could b a model if she remotely interested I was the toll optic of her. Pete, good old Pete. He was going to meet someone eventually.
We piled of the car. The sound of inexperienced musicians playing a bad cover of something awful cut through the crowded parking lot. Different groups clustered around talking to one another.
“If it’s this crowded out here I can’t imagine what it’s like in there.” I said and kind of excited and welcomed the change. The day had dragged on. Saturdays usually did. My dad was somewhere that wasn’t home, and my stepmother was way too in my business. I hated how determined she was to make an influence on me. Fixing me was her obsession. She so focused on the outcome there was very little thought about tact. Everything Danielle did made things worse. I almost felt sorry for her.
I trailed behind Pete and Molly as we walked to the inside of the small venue. A favorite hangout by the whole left side of Route Seventeen.
“Why so mopey?” Pete asked, half smiling, half frowning. He tossed her arm around my shoulder and brought me close to them, close to him.
My stomach twisted.
Great.
“Long day,” I said. “Being Danielle’s hobby is exhausting.”
“Well, in a few months she’ll have the baby and leave you alone,” Pete said matter of factly.
I don’t if that was supposed to make me feel better or worse.
“Well cheer up Elliot. The whole night is ahead of us, and anything is possibly.” Molly’s hazel eyes were wide with excitement. She sloppily shoved her hand into a large floppy bag that she made from a quilt she bought at a thrift store. One of the many amazing things Molly could do. She made most of her own clothes and they were all multi-patterned and bright, totally and completely Molly. Her hand comes of the bag holding an iced tea bottle. “Here, this should help.” Molly shoves the bottle in my hand. “Half vodka,” she whispered.
I figured.
I unscrew the cap and take a swig. A group of girls with tiny tops and low rise jeans were all clustered around a bright blue sports car of some kind. I couldn’t see it enough to know what kind it was. A guy stood next to the car not really paying attention as the girls talked to him. I had never seen him before. Not once. His hair was thick dark-brown curls—his eyes just almost as dark. Stumble covered the lower half of his face. A bigger guy tall and wide that I didn’t know personally, I knew he was Joe DeLucca. He was some wrestling champ that graduated last year before. I had heard he had gotten Janice Fitzpatrick pregnant. Joe walked up to the mystery guy with the nice car comfortably. They started talking. They seemed to be buddies.
I turned my attention to Pete and Molly, who weren’t at all paying attention to what I was, but, in fact, talking to one another with very close mouths. My brain sighed. Frustration with something itself can be frustrating. I had apparently found myself in a vicious cycle.
Great.
“I got you both. Pizza buyers were kind to me last night,” Pete said pulling out his superhero themed wallet.
“You rock, babe,” Molly cooed.
Babe?
Molly grabbed my hand. “Your hair looks so cute,” Molly said for the fifth time that night. My reaction to Pete and Molly hooking up last week was to dye my hair black. I realize that may not have been the best or the healthiest response, but, it was the one I had.
Pete’s hands a twenty dollar bill to this tall, skinny girl with beautiful olive skin and butterflies tattooed on most that of it that was visible.
“Any good bands go on yet?” Pete asked her.
“Come on, you know better man. It’s not ten yet. No band worth anything comes on before ten,” she says this completely monotone, tears the tickets in half. She gives one half to Pete and casually drops the other hopelessly into a rescued coffee can with a slit down the center of the lid. “Raffle is good tonight. Lots of t-shirts.”
Pete turns back to me, “Hear that El, raffle is t-shirts.”
“Sweet,” I said and slid my hand into my hoodie pockets. “I’ve been needing a new haul.” I collected band t-shirts. I had since I was a kid. My mom was so heavily into music, and she made it her mission that so was I. My mom lit up when she was excited about something, so it was close to impossible to not get excited about whatever it was too. I collected my tees alongside her. My mom left me her collection of band tees when she passed away. Igo through stages of wearing them constantly and not being able to even look at them.
“We’ll stay to the end,” Molly said. Her curly blonde hair clung to her face in a way that seemed flawless and beautiful. “You might be in for one of those legendary nights,” she sang.
I took a swig of her crazy concussion. My throat tingles as it goes down. I close the bottle, feeling light-headed.
“Maybe,” I say.

We walk into a large auditorium-style room. A stage was in the middle. A small crowd swarmed around the stage. Refreshments and merch tables were in the back.
The poorly tuned electric guitar squealed in the amp. My ears rung.
Molly’s arms slid around Pete’s neck. She whispered something in his ear. A smile played with his freckled face. His blue eyes were so bright. My stomach flipped.
Great.
I hated how all the sudden Pete was all I could think about and it wasn’t about how he was my best friend. I was a toddler with a sharing problem.
Pete nods.
Molly leans in front of him and gently pulls on my sleeve, “We’ll be right back.” She said this as she winked.
Great.
I nod. Of course, it’s not okay.
Pete mouths “Sorry” then they are gone.
I head to the back to check out the merch and my shoulder bump into someone. That was jarring.
I look up to see the same guy hanging out by the blue car. His eye were piercing up close.
“Sorry,” I say.
“It’s packed in here,” he says, his voice raspy.
“Yeah,” is the only thing I say.
He nods and continued his way, leaving me standing there in a trance.

Thirty-One Months Before

31 Months Earlier

All I could focus on was the warmth of Tristan’s hand. Another person’s touch was something I was still getting used to. I was in the back of some beefed-out van holding hands with the boy who could turn invisible—the boy I followed into the warehouse despite all the warnings that went off in my head not to. I wondered how I looked to him and hoped I was starting to mean something to him, for he certainly meant the same thing to me. I looked around, not able to be entirely sure if I was dreaming of being in a van full of misfits with just like me. Everything felt surreal.

I had been on my own for so long. It’s hard to feel on the defensive, always. I pushed everyone away when I found myself on the street my relationship with the outside world changed drastically. My motivations centered only around survival, no longer enjoyment. I didn’t care bout what new movie I wanted to watch. I only cared about where I was going to sleep each night. I had hoped that I

wasn’t the only one wit the ability to do something unexplainable. Now, here was evidence all around me. The world is larger and more diverse than I had expected. For the first time in my whole life, I didn’t feel alone and utterly hopeless. After I had studied the sight of my seemly small hand interwind with Tristan’s, I took my eye to his face. He was almost too cute, with high cheekbones and a naturally pouty mouth. His eyes sparkled, with all these possibilities that constantly flickered through his head. There was a point where Tristan believed anything was possible. He his wonderment made me think of Peter Pan. His infinite hope in the incredible and unexplained was how he so instantly convinced me to meet his as he referred to them. They were, in fact, a crew but Tristan defiantly was not the one in charge. A couple—at least they seemed like they were a couple—seemed to be the ones making things happen. They both had black hair and unreadable eyes. The female was a good six years older than me. Her face held sign’s she was getting near the middle of her twenties. Signs of youth was starting to hide behind the signs of experience and stress. She talked in a tone that was always sounding like she was snapping at people. The driver, and her possible boyfriend (though it doesn’t seem right to use such a proper word), Julian stayed mostly silent. He was clearly the muscle of the group. His face didn’t change from the serious expression he made on his face when Tristan introduced earlier in the evening.

The van screeched to a halt. The street was perfectly paved. Well, maintained craftsmen houses stood in orderly lines. Madison brought us to one of the nicer neighborhoods in north Seattle. My stomach churns with uneasy expectations. I wasn’t convinced that I was somewhere I should be. Sitting on the other side of Tristan was his best friend, Brody. The two of them apparently linked up when they were kids, long before meeting up with Madison and whatever this was. We were all some level of thief. Up until now I’d only gone after pockets and purses, never someone’s home.

But, this is how Tristan afforded a place to live in the city–that;s how they all did. I told myself and Tristan I’d give it a try. As we sat in the upscale neighborhood that housed only the successful and the lucky, only doubt swirled in my head.

“Are you ready?” Tristan asked with wide eyes. A smile took up the lower half of his face, reminding me where I’m there.

“I don’t know,” I said honestly.

“Then, maybe you shouldn’t. It will only get easier to do this. If you aren’t sure, don’t,” Brody said, keeping his voice low. Thick black glasses framed his hazel eyes that focused on me. I couldn’t help but feel guilty for being there. But, he was there too—and it wasn’t his first time.

“Leave her be, man.” Tristan said jabbing Brody in the waist with his elbow.

“I’m not being mean. I’m saying what’s real. It’s a choice.” Brody’s raspy voice cracked at the last few words. I was coming to know that Brody’s voice does crazy things when he’s passionate about something. Brody’s lips tightened into a straight line. My knees suddenly felt like a mixture of glass and jelly. I wasn’t sure why Brody was speaking up the way he was. Tristan’s hand around mine tightened, and he shot Brody a look that said drop it.

“Are you chickens ready to make a couple of bucks?” Madison said as she slowly passed a fireball the size of a marble, from hand to hand. Tristan’s skin shimmered, as he slowly faded away altogether. “Yep,” he said. The warmth of his hand was still around mine. The power of invisibility, you can be both present and not simultaneously. Brody’s body faded into the van floor gradually as he said his. Something else I was learning about Brody was he often phased through objects mid conversation. Once he is gone completely, the conversation was over.

The van doors slid open. I waited for a second.

“Come on.” Tristan whispered.

I slowly climbed out of the van the large, fancy houses seemed, even more, massive as I stood on foot. It had been so long since I had been in a true home.

“I’m ready,” I told Tristan.

Brody shook his head. I was annoyed. He barely knew me, and he was judging me for trying something he had been doing for awhile.

Madison was suddenly standing right next to me. I didn’t hear her move, but there she was. A fog of negativity lingered her life overused perfume. Her black hair looked more like a horses mane then someone’s hair. Her eyes showed no warmth. How could someone with the ability to conjure fire seem so cold?

“Don’t get in the way,” she said to me, only further supporting my opinion.

“I plan on helping,” I responded without giving it much thought. “Tristan told me my power would be helpful.”

“Caring too much about someone I worked with was one of the worse things I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot of terrible things.” Her voice slid out in a tone that left me sure of where she was coming from.

“Stay here and wait for the signal. Brody andI are the first to go in,” Tristan whispered in my ear, then released my hand. Without being able to feel his touch, I had no concept of where he was in reference to me.Now-

A sharp breeze grabbed ahold of my hair, forcing it to dance in circles around my head. My thoughts hug my body, allowing me to fall as slowly as I could manage. The second my feet hit the rain soaked cement, I break out in a run. I take the alleyway on the left without hesitation. A perk from watching them from watching them from rooftops. My heart smacks against my ribs as I run. The absence of everything I knew was all around me. Two slots lingered outside a door. The rain was coming down at a good clip and the alleyways are so barely lit but I knew I had found them.

“Stop!” I yelled. Anger was with me since I woke up that morning. Brody was long gone by the time I pulled myself out of the strange bed in place that he meant for us to share. Guilt and disappointed have clawing at my shoulders since. Brody hadn’t even been gone for a full twenty-four hours I had already felt completely lost.

The figures in the alley stop talking in response to my outcry. The larger of the two see me first. I can handle this. I keep walking toward them. I fan out my fingers as my mind twists around both of the strangers, no longer permitting, them to move around freely. I didn’t care about who saw me use my powers. All I care about is finding Madison and stopping her as well as stop people from turning into chemical powerhouses. A flash of Tristan slamming his fists into a table, his disorder eyes held me for a minute. Then I picture his body burning. The same tears that have been on edge all day burn at my eyelids.

“Who in the hell are you?” A gruff voice yells back.

The details of their faces become clear to me now. I had a guy around my age, and a rainbow haired girl closer to Darcy’s age in my control. I narrow in on their eyes and general expressions. Madison’s super strength inducing drug felt like it was all over the city. Misery seems have the ability of spreading quicker than anything else. The guys pupils were almost invisible under a cloudy film that stretched across them. He was definitely a Rift-X victim. Did he know his strength yet, though was the question. At this thought I tighten mental grasp around their bodies. The girl held no signs of the drug. Her skin was flush and healthy. Her pure gray blue eyes studied me carefully.

“I’m looking for Madison,” I bark, “The one with the fire,” I add.

The girl shakes her head, “I don’t know that is,” she says, her voice completely and unnaturally calm. I don’t why but I believe.

“You?” I say looking at the guy. His dark hung stuck out widely on top his head. His chapped lips slid into a smirk.

“I don’t know where anybody is.” He wasn’t yelling anymore, but I knew he’d go after me in second if my thoughts release him.

“I call your bullshit,” I say. My heart flickered in my chest in way that was warning me that my emotions were trying to get the better of the situation. My mind releases his rainbow-haired companion, and tightens around his body. “Who are you buying from?” I demand.

The girl doesn’t run or speak up. She stands there as if I’m still holding on to her.

“What are you cop?”

“Do I look like one?”

Without thinking my fist tightens and my mind responds by squeezing the guy’s body even tighter.

“Now do you remember?” I yell, twisting my thoughts around his throat.

He chokes out. “Lot’s of people,” he manages to push out.

I let back on my mental grip. “Do you remember what they look like?”

He shook his head, smiling at me. I tossed him against the wall.

Suddenly, two hands were on my shoulders. I spun around, losing track of the junkie with super strength. I no longer felt his heart pumping in the center of my mind.

It’s Darcy. She is standing there with a worried looked drawn across her face.

“What are you doing?” Darcy asks as she eyes up the girl who’s stood still as a shadow, and the guy is making a run for it. Before I could stop him, Darcy grabs my arm. “What will this accomplish?”

Darcy seems so much wiser than she did to me yesterday.

Everything was different yesterday.

“I need to find Madison,” is all I’m able to muster up. I’ve been grabbing a hold of every junkie with cloudy eyes I could find. I wasn’t getting any closer to Madison.

“I’m not sure why you are assuming she’s hiding,’ Darcy’s smiles, then her attention turns to the girl still not moving.

“You are free to go,” I say. Her hair is pin straight and hangs to the center of her back—about as long as mine. There several shades of blue, red, green, and purple layer in her locks. She was average height, but very slight. It was clear she wasn’t under the influence any drug that Madison’s had her hands on, but there was something off, something different about her compared to the rest of the street kids I’ve been going through. Not killing anyone, just searching.

An Ending

The sun slowly transformed into a dim orange circle about to illuminate another part of the world. The comforting feeling of night began to fold around us like a soft blanket—perhaps one forgotten in the car, but better than nothing. The ground was shifting under our feet. The impending change was so close that I could smell the uncertainty when the breeze picked up. The same when we could smell cookies who’s trained. The world so over developed, each building built was bigger, better, and nicer. The new structures loomed over their inferior and recent ancestors.

“Everyday can be anything,” he said to me. His eyes looked at the sky, as mine just did. “Some days are just as I planned them, but other’s, the train is off the rails the second I get out of bed. Sometimes before,” Zack continued.

His words held more meaning behind them; I knew that I was just attempting to figure out what they were. Then, after a minute perhaps too long, I said, “That’s life. I realized recently that each day is an opportunity to exist forever,” I pause for a moment taking him in, wishing he would look at me.
“How can a day exist forever?”
He finally looks at me. His brown eyes still care, I can tell. He furrows his eyebrows, and with his lips in a flat line he says, “How can a day exist forever?”
“In the same was a story in a book can. Once something belongs to the imagination, it is infinite.”
He smiles. “Stories can be any size, but they always matter to someone,” Zack added. “Focusing can be hard for me. Life moves all around, and at times need to step away so I can create other lived, factious ones but the decline to do this is how I live.” Zack explains this to me not even close to the first time, but I feel like he’s taking to himself, this time, more than me..
“I’ve must of heard the expression, time heals all wounds, a hundred times. And, it’s true. I see that now. But, not in the sense that our pain goes away. I don’t believe it ever truly does. The pain isn’t always in a the state of raw emotion and mountains of incredible size surrounding you. Human’s adapt. That’s what we do, so when we lose someone that absence and the pain that come with it becomes part of our life,” I said this then looked away, focusing on the sky, something bigger than me, which brings some comfort.
“Transitions,” is all he said.
“It’s called living,” I added.
“Is that your way telling me to accept this?” The hurt in his voice convinces me.
“Pretty much.” I took a step back then, getting ready to leave, to put this small little reality away for now.