Sunday, 20 July 2014

He's My Superman

It’s been a busy night for him.

And I sleep in my bed knowing he’s running around the city and the world keeping everything safe for us all.
Everyone loves him for saving their lives, for being there for when they need him, at the just the right time.
But what you don’t know, it can be lonely when I roll over and he’s not there for me to snuggle up to; when he’s off helping you people.  Yeah, he’s so caring and wonderful and has the most intense hearing I’ve ever come across.

But that can be a curse too.

I can’t plan a surprise party for him because he’ll hear me whispering about it to our friends.  Or he’ll see the note – and what’s written on it – when I hand it to our friends from across the room or across the street with that super sight he’s got.  Great stuff, but really that’s just cheating!  But I do love him.  There’s led, but you see lining envelopes with that stuff is not only expensive, but a damned nuisance for the postal system and courier services… so I’m better off telling him what’s going on and not keeping too many secrets from him.

Besides, he’s the most gentle man I’ve ever come across… but when I first met him, he easily destroyed the remote to my television by pressing the buttons on it.  No worries!  He managed to race out and replace it – and I mean race! – he was back in a gust of wind with a better remote with fresh batteries and it was ready to go before I could mourn the loss of the last one.

Dating a man like Superman has its perks… he’s well built, can move anything around the house (I mean moving house is a synch!  The removal guys sit back and just watch grinning that they don’t have to do any work and let Clark have all the fun).  Then, there’s gardening… he loves to uproot a tree once in a while… and planting one is just as much fun.  And yeah, we have the most gorgeous garden and there’s wasn’t a bulldozer in sight!
However there is a few worries on my mind about him – as there is with every woman who is in love with a super hero.  I constantly wonder if he will ever retire.  And will he look as distinguished as I think he will as he ages?  I hope so… I really do.
I often remember fondly the first time I saw him at Smallville High School.  He was on the school newspaper there, covering the sports pages.  The coach of the football team wanted him to try out, but Clark didn’t – he wasn’t interest, well, so he said.  We worked on a few articles together while the cheerleaders swooned over him and then I didn’t see much of him after that.
The next time I saw him was in university.  We had a few classes together and even then, we didn’t hang around with each other.  He did his thing – and it was then I noticed he did his vanishing act once in a while; and missed out big on the fun occasions – but then, I didn’t really have an interest in him.  By this time, his folks were getting on, and he was visiting them a lot… but then his Dad died.  This really hit him hard; and it was the first time I found out his was adopted.
I was working in Metropolis at The Globe when he showed up and started working for Mr White; and he remembered me!  Jeez, it had been about five years since we last saw each other, how did he remember me was beyond me, but then, he and I got together at the Christmas Party.  We’re both not really into crowds and so I found him outside in the freezing cold and we got talking, finding we had a lot in common.  Clark and I ended up chatting all night just inside the door, in a little corner, just hidden away enough to be private, and yet in view of everyone for nobody to start up gossip.

It’s been two years now, and we’re happy to live together, love together and enjoy each other’s lives.  I know his complete history and have been to his secret places on Earth – the place he built in the coldest area of the north – and he knows all my secrets too.

We’re happy.

I roll over as the moon has woken me up, to find his warm body is back in bed with me.  The safety of his arms cocoon me and I love his smell – but I do sense smoke in his hair of where he’s been, “Mmmm, hello there.” I whisper.
“Well hello there.” His voice mumbles close to my ear, “I missed you.” His mouth finds mine, “I tried to shower out the smell, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it.  You’re back safe with me, that’s all that matters.” I look into his eyes and see the soft silver there that nobody sees because they don’t get close enough to see it in the dark; otherwise to everyone else those eyes are an ocean blue.

Yes, he’s my Superman…

But then, he’s everyone’s Superman too…

He’s mine in a much different way. 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Post Mortem

Chuck has us using Twitter - something I don't have - but I jumped on the site and used the YouAreCarrying line and it came up with some funny stuff. Mine was:  Deidrie's Necklace, A magazine, the second clue, a tourist brochure, the second contact, a maid's note.... and the below is what I did with it. 

I hated doing this kind of thing.  The crime scene was bad enough, having to work through the blood and guts of the whole thing with the forensics there along with the police and reporters just off there in the background… but I hated going through their pockets and bagging up everything in readiness for what the family needed to pick up.

But this guy had some weird stuff on him, so I decided to wait until the cops looked at it all before giving it back to the family.  I labelled it carefully and had everything ready for inspection, along with my report all e-mailed to the right people after I worked the guy over – and the cause of death didn’t take long… a gunshot wound to the head!  I mean, jeez, who didn’t see that killing him?
I noted everything carefully:
‘Deidrie’s Necklace’ – it was in a box and labelled with a card.
‘The Strand Magazine’ – something he had collected from the post office and had bought on ebay… this magazine had been out of business for yonks.
A card from the game of ‘Clue’ – it was the second clue to the first clue of the game, he had cheated on the game as I had found it in his front pocket.
A tourist brochure of San Francisco – and yet we were in Boulder.  Strange.
A contact lens box with only one contact lens in it … ah!  There’s the first one… in his left eye, “Hang on…his eyes are green, the lens’ are blue… okay…”
From his jeans pocket I pulled out a maid’s note: a shopping list on one side of paper and a list of house hold chores to do.  A few of the chores had been crossed off.

I thought this was a strange lot of things to have on a guy.  But I  bagged each item up and lined them up for the cops to look at, just in time for them to show, look at the things, take the report – with the photos and everything inside the folder – and the let me know it was time to let the stuff go back to the family.  I thought that it was over, as I pushed Mr Mullens into the locker and closed the freezer door.

Two weeks to the day later, I had another guy come in with exactly the same things on him.  The cops – as well as me – thought this was the beginnings of a copy-cat serial killer and started up a file on this, trying to piece together what these two have in common.

There was nothing.

Well, except this person was a woman – Mrs Mullens.

I put her body away and wondered if the person who did away Mr Mullens was the same person who did away with Mrs Mullens.  I really tried not to let this bother me as I closed up the Morgue and went home.

Then it hit the news, there was another murder close to my home – down the street, actually – and so I was called to take in the notes and work on the body.
I walked into the crime scene and found it was almost a duplicate of Mr Mullen’s murder… right down to where the furniture was place.

I got a shiver up my spine, “Wow.”
Sergeant Cole nodded, “Yeah, it’s a duplicate, eh?”
“Creepy.” I stepped up to the body with my booties on my feet, costume on, hair gathered up and gloves on my hands, “I’ll need to do tests for this one… they weren’t shot.”
“No.” Cole said from the front door, “Poisoned.”
Back at the morgue, I found the same lot of things on this person.  This was getting to become a regular thing as I scooped up everything, bagged it all up, photographed it all and made it ready to be seen by the police. 
Then, I noticed the maid’s note:  it was the same, but different.
Grabbing the other two murder files, I pulled out the photos of the maid’s notes and found they were the same lists but different.  On Mr Mullen’s list, three of the ten chores were crossed out – shopping, vacuuming, clean the bathroom.  On Mrs Mullen’s list, five of the ten chores were crossed out – shopping, vacuuming, clean the bathroom, make the bed, laundry.  I looked over at the new list I had and found there had been a new one added – making it eleven things on the list – but all but five things had been crossed out:  shopping, vacuuming, make the bed, dusting, laundry, ironing. 
This made me wonder, how these lists were made, who made them and how did the murder know exactly what these people did in their lives to get these things done.  I tried not to think about it, as my long day had come to an end and I packed up everything to go home.

My house was in darkness as I arrived home, I was looking forward to a nice quiet night alone to watch a bit of television and read a book.  Yes, it had been a long day.  As I walked inside the door, I found that my fuse box had gone.  So, I picked up the torch on the way through to the hallway – where my fuse box was – and switched it on.  I only caught a fleeting glimpse of the Sergeant Cole’s face as something hard and cold hit my face.
I came to on the floor.  From the position I was in, I realised I was in the same position as the others who had been murdered.  My glasses had been removed and only one contact lens had been shoved into my left eye.  All the things I had found on the other two bodies had been place on me – Deidrie’s necklace, a magazine (of some kind), a second clue from the game of ‘Cluedo’, a tourist brochure (from San Diego this time), the box with the second contact lens in it and a maid’s note… all of which had been carefully place on my person by Sergeant Cole.
My head hurt from where he had hit me, but I managed to whisper softly, “They will catch you.”
His face leaned in close, “No, honey, they won’t.”
I smiled, despite the pain of my shattered cheekbone, “But they will.  I sent all the reports, the lists, the names to your Captain with my suspicions of why they were picked.”
He sat on the floor grinning, “And what did you conclude?”
“The Mullens’ were your neighbours when you were young.  They’re Jewish; and you hated them.” I said, “You had a good reason to hate them… you loved their daughter, Deidrie.  You dated her for a while, bought her a necklace and proposed to her.  But when her folks didn’t want you in their family, you hated them with such a passion you never forgave them.  Deidrie married somebody else.”
The grin had slid off his face, “How did you know that?”
I looked at him, “Well, you see, Sergeant, you were looking only at Deidrie, weren’t you?”
“Well yes, of course.”
“You never considered that she had a little sister, did you?”

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Due Date

Chuck didn't give us a prompt this week... actually it was overdue the due date... thus the name of my flash fiction this week. Enjoy.

She ran along the streets with the sheaf of paper in her hands.  It was becoming late – almost too late; but she had finished her work and had printed it out and was on her way to handing it in.
If she didn’t make it on time, there was going to be dire consequences.  Michelle wasn’t sure what those were, but from what she heard from others, when past students handed in their assignments late, they were never heard from again.
So, she had to make sure she got this in before the doors of his office were locked against the dying day of the beginning of the weekend. 

Michelle watched with a knotted stomach as the corner store closed its doors for the day, as did the fruit shop next door.  She rushed past them as the people went about their business of rolling down the large, steel grates against the darkening skies and the street lights flickered on.
She didn’t have far to go, now.
Just around the corner and along the pathway to the building on campus and then she’d be inside the place – first door on the right.  She climbed the short flight of stairs, pushed opened the large glass door (which nearly didn’t give for her) and then turned to the immediate right and …
…his door was closed!
Tears filled her eyes, “No.  Not now.” Looking down, she unfolded the assignment.  She had put so much work into this thing and she wasn’t going to let him just fail her… no, she wasn't.  Michelle raised her fist and knocked on the door.  The sound of her three knocks echoed down the empty hallway and she stood there for what seemed like an eternity before the locks turned and the door opened just enough for a small face to appear: “Hello, there.”  She said to the tiny, older woman who had answered the door, “I’m here to see, The Professor.”
“The due date had come and gone, Michelle.” The woman said, “You are too late.” She turned and closed the door.
“No!” Michelle shouted dropping her assignment on the floor and punched the door in time with what she was saying next, “I’m not too late… the sun is still setting, you old bitch!  You get your arse out here and take my assignment!”
The door opened slowly – wider this time – and older woman stared at her, “Well, aren’t you the little shit.”
Michelle didn’t really care what the woman called her, “Yes, I am.  Now, you take my assignment, because I’m not too late.  I arrived just as the sun vanished below the buildings.” She picked up the papers and shoved them into the woman’s hands, “I’m not leaving until you take them for The Professor.”
She looked down at the folded assignment.  The woman really shouldn’t have taken this off her, but she did, “Wait here.  Take a seat and just wait.” She closed the door and turned toward the fireplace, “I told you she wouldn’t leave.”
He sat forward from the large winged chair, puffing on his pipe, and looked around at her, “Give me her assignment.” She handed it to him and he ran his right hand over the front page, nodding, “Well-written… she put a huge amount of work into this – as usual.” He half-turned, “Let her in.”
The woman opened the door and looked at Michelle, “He wishes to see you.”
“Oh?” she stood and walked through the doorway and into the room where The Professor was sitting by the fire with her assignment in his hand.
“Michelle Sanders, please take a seat.” He said gesturing to the other large winged chair across from him, “Coffee, hot chocolate or tea?”
“Um… hot chocolate please.” She sat down across from him, “You’re not mad at me?”
“No.  I’m happy with your work – as usual – and how you dealt with Delta, there.  Most people get discouraged at her ways, but you don’t.” he smiled, “And I’d like to offer you an opportunity.”
Delta placed the hot chocolate on the side table by Michelle’s chair, “Thank you, Delta.  What kind of opportunity?”
He removed his glasses and looked at her, “I’m looking for a researcher and you have the guts and determination and intelligence to be mine.” He smiled, “However, I’m visually impaired and need somebody who will also stay here with me and be my eyes and ears for me… my carer.  Delta isn’t young anymore; and so you will be filling big feet.”
“Can I think about this?”
“Of course.” He smiled, “Please drink your hot chocolate… Delta makes a killer one. I love it.”

After downing the most beautiful hot chocolate she’d ever tasted, Michelle headed home.  She walked to her place to find there were police cars outside her place and her family had been worried sick about her.
Molly, her neighbour, spotted her coming home, “There she is!” and came running up to her, “Michelle!  Where have you been?”
“I met up with The Professor to hand in my assignment.  It was overdue.  He offered me a job.” She shook her head, “Why are the police here?”
“Oh, Michelle, he got to you like he did the others.” Her mother burst into tears.  Her father comforted her as all he could do was stare.
“Molly, what’s going on?” Michelle asked, “I’ve only been gone a few hours.”
The middle-aged woman shook her head as she produced a mirror from her handbag:  “Michelle, you’ve been gone longer than that… much longer.”

Michelle looked into the mirror and found the face staring back was one of a very old woman… and not just any old woman – the face staring back at her was Delta’s face!  She wondered exactly what was in that hot chocolate, and if handing in her assignment was really all that worthwhile.