Like Any Other Night
Her breath rose in small bursts of grey, dissipating quickly, becoming just another billow of fog forming about the dark, sleepy street. Lydia stopped abruptly, her heart quivering within her slight chest. Turning slowly, she gazed hard through the oppressive stillness, listening for what might be there – hoping that there was nothing.
Greeted by silence, she laughed, a small, sardonic sound, which rang hollow in the midnight air. Surely it would not come to this neighbourhood; how ridiculous to think such things. Yet, she continued cautiously, attempting to quiet the clatter of her shoes upon the red brick darkening from the settling mist, toward her destination: Safety…
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Tweetmeister was a funny little bird. All lemon yellow and unripened banana green, a crook beak, and beady, empty black eyes. Larry did not trust that bird the moment he saw it.
“Maddy, honey, why did you have to bring it home?” He asked his wife.
Maddy replied, “Tweetmeister was so lonely all by himself in the pet shoppe. Did you know, they didn’t have any other birds? I was just going in to buy Kurfuffle a cat toy, his is so demolished. When I saw how sad Tweetmeister was, I just fell in love with him, and he immediately took to me. Is it alright, Mr Lawrence?” She batted her eyes at him and pouted a little.
Larry couldn’t help but smile. He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, “Whatever makes you happy, love. You can keep it.”
She squealed and put the cage down on the floor to wrap her arms around him. “I promise you will not regret this! I just know you two will get along splendidly!”
That night after supper, Maddy showed Larry how Tweetmeister would sit on her shoulder and preen her hair. It made her giggle, and it made Larry happy to see his wife having so much fun with her new pet. When the preening was done, and they settled into watching their favourite show, Larry happened to glance over. The bird was just staring at him. It was unsettling, but he shrugged it off. However, after three nights of it, he could not shake the cold chill that crawled up his spine when the bird would fix him with its gaze…
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Here There Be Monsters
The door was locked. Yona tried again, knowing it would be no different; for she had already tried half a dozen times. She pressed her ear to the thick door to try and hear something clearly but knew she would not. She wiped the stained-glass on either side of the door with her long, pouffe, cream sleeve and strained to see through them; though she knew she would see nothing. She could only hear muffled low voices on the other side; only see vague dark shapes milling about, but she could make out no words, no faces.
She paced over the wooden planked floor, tall boots tapping with each step. Her sea legs had grown lazy over the last weeks. She had to steady herself as the entire room shifted; waves undulating beneath her.
In the mirror above the dresser, her reflection gawked at her. Black skin, as dark as pitch, long silver hair falling freely from a dishevelled braid. She ran a shaking hand over her pointed ears; her earrings having been taken.
It infuriated her to see the creased brow of uncertainty, the stern frown of bewilderment upon her full lips. Fear stared back at her through large lavender eyes. What kind of Sahra’une was she to be so afraid?…
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