Raptor

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 Photo Copyright: Douglas M. Macllory

Mike scratched his head. “Is that a metal raptor? Since when, are you into modern art?”

“Would you believe it’s my security guard,” said Connor.

“How does a sculpture guard anything?” said Mike

Connor snapped his fingers. “Raptor, security test.”

In a blink of an eye, legs emerged from the statue complete with sharp claws. Skin covered with green scales replaced the metal. One yellow eye stared at Mike. As the raptor moved closer on its hind legs, Mike lost his bladder.

“Raptor, end test.” He glanced at Mike. “Do you believe, I’m a wizard now?” said Connor.

Mike remained silent.

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Water

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 Photo Copyright: Santoshwrite

Sabo said, “Today, I would like four volunteers to perform a difficult spell.”

No one dared to accept.

“If you succeed, you’ll receive a passing grade for my class. If you fail, well, try not to fail.”

Everyone stared at their desks in silence.

With a snap of his fingers, Sabo and four boys disappeared.

A moment later, the woods surrounded them.

One of the boys asked, “What are we doing here?”

“Today you will turn into a drop of water and land on this leaf,” said Sabo.

Unable to reform, the boys remained water throughout the weekend as punishment.

La Ramblas

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Emily sipped her café con leche, as she watched the crowds pass by La Ramblas.
Nathan asked, “Where would you like to go next?”
“I want to drink from the La Rambla fountain and see the Miro circle,” said Emily.
“Con permiso,” said the waitress, as she placed a bowl of Natilla in front of each diner.
“After three years of saving, I’m up for anything,” said Nathan.
They strolled past the artists and street vendors. A man pulled Emily’s purse from her shoulder, as he ran past.
Nathan broke into a run after the thief. He yelled, “Basta, Basta!”

The experiment

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Photo Copyright: Douglas M Macllory

There was a knock on the door. Marissa peered two men though the peephole.

“Can I help you,” Marissa said to the closed door.

“Marissa Romanello, were from Synergy,” bellowed one of the men.

The door opened a crack. “I’ve been selected,” said Marissa.

“If you are still interested, we need to leave in ten minutes,” said the man in the suit.

They rode the elevator in silence. As she stepped into the van something sharp pierced her hamstring.

She awoke in domed structure with four other women and one man.

“Welcome to six months of isolation,” said the man.

The call

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Photo copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

With a double bourbon on the rocks, his medicine of choice, David stared at the maze in the distance. His reverie cut short by the ring of his phone.

“David,” he said.

“Thanks for making my job so easy,” said the caller.

“I will find you. Enjoy what little time you have left,” said David.

“Until then, have another bourbon, ” said the caller.

David scanned the maze, tables, and picnic area. Three men were using their phones.

“It won’t be that easy. Nice try…” The line went dead.

David threw the drink at the column. I’ll, bury him alive!

Maze garden

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“David, I need a break, “ said Brandi.

“Sorry, if trying to keep you alive is boring you,” said David.

“It’s not, but there’s a plantation in Suwannee, Georgia. I’d like to visit.”

“Sounds nice, if you’re into old building and boredom.”

She ran her hand up his leg. “I promise you’ll enjoy it.”

“Sure, why not.”

David was bored ten minutes after arrival. While waiting for a room to be cleaned, they walked through the maze of shrubs. David noticed something small sparkle in the distance.

“That’s weird, Brandi…”

Brandi slumped forward. Brain tissue and blood soaked David.

 

 

 

Georgia

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 Photo Copyright: Georgia Koch

The money was moved to a new duffel; before, they switched cars and headed south.

She sat silent, until twenty minutes past Atlanta, Georgia.

Brandi said, “I’m still mad, but…I remember the metal ramp from the picture.”

“What?’

“It’s High Falls Lake in Forsyth, Georgia. My dad took me there every summer.”

“Is it a resort?”

“No, and don’t laugh. We went there to fish. I hated being in that boat. It was so boring.”

“Sorry.”

“There’s a painting of a boat in the rental office. Painted in eighteen-fourteen by the original owner.”

“Sure, that you remember.”

 

The buyer

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Photo Copyright: Jan Wayne Fields

David knocked on the door three times before it opened.

A Latin beauty in a skintight black dress said, “He’s expecting you. Please wait by the window.”

With his attention on her David never noticed the two men, until a muzzle poked his back.

The man facing him said, “If you don’t have my merchandise, I’ll torture you and your girlfriend in Starbucks, before you die.”

David said, “It’s in the duffel.”

The man unzipped it to reveal an ancient statue of a Roman solider. He handed David a briefcase and said, “Leave.”

The bullet he expected never came.

The trip

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Photo copyright – Jean L. Hays

David parked in between two spaces in front of Starbucks.
“Why are we in Illinois? Please tell me, we’re not here for a tour of Route 66,” said Brandi.
David responded, “No sightseeing. I need to make a delivery.”
“What are we delivering?”
“We’re not. I am. You’re going to get a coffee and wait.”
With an icy glare Brandi said, “The hell I am.”
“Brandi, The guy I’m meeting doesn’t care for strangers.”
“He’ll have to get over it.”
“No, he’ll kill you. Wait here.”
“Fine.”
David grabbed the duffel from the backseat. “I’ll be back in ten minutes.”

The dream

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Brandi awoke with a jolt. “David, behind you!”

In one fluid motion David’s eyes sprang open the forty-five retrieved from under his pillow and raised it to a firing position. This was all done in the space of a few seconds.

“Brandi, no one’s here.”

“Sorry, bad dream.” Before David had time to object Brandi threw back the curtains. As she did something landed in her hair. With a quick shake of her head it landed on the sill. “I’m not staying here one more minute, let’s go.”
“What’s wrong?”
“A dried out dead roach fell in my hair.”