Stained Glass

It was in a nondescript flat, wooden box in the basement, a leftover from previous tenants now long gone. Or the tenants who came of left before the last couple who lived here. Rosalind couldn’t really tell, nor was she particularly interested in dragging that heavy box upstairs to take to the corner for trash day. Something about the box piqued her curiosity, though, especially the light that seemed to shine through one of the uncovered edges.

It took her an hour to pull and drag the box up the wooden stairs.

After finding a hammer, she flipped it to the prong side and began pulling out the nails, carefully tossing them in a neat pile. The wood seemed old, and gave way to her strength as she pulled out a large, round pane of stained glass. Looking at the wooden walls in the living room and dining room and the square window panes, it occurred to Rosalind that this could not have been installed in the house because it was too big for any house. It belonged to a church, perhaps a church long gone.

As she studied the design and colors, she noted the familiar image of the Virgin Mary and Child, how the pane seemed to capture the sunlight coming into the kitchen as if to store its ray like a solar panel. The room began to fill with a warm glow, and the air was suddenly fragrant with the smell of fresh roses. As Rosalind began to fill with a certain and familiar quiver of her state of “tipsy,” it occurred to her that no church would have commissioned such a work for their sanctuary, for it would not have been deemed acceptable for the masses.

What was once thought to be basement junk was now a center of attention in her living room as found art to outsiders who visited her as it hung on her wall seeming to have its own source of light even as the sun set outside.

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#ww470 #30days Never Ending Light

Waiting for night’s rest became useless about a year ago.

To be honest, I’m not sure my existence here is proof that I am alive. I could be in some sort of Purgatory. Food and water tends to be whatever I find on this island, and the cave I use for rest is warm–though strangely empty of inhabitants I would expect in a dark place in the wild.

But no one else and nothing else living beyond plants exists here. The sun never fully rises or sets. It hovers, as if time itself is waiting for something.

I remember life before the here that is now.

I remember falling asleep at night, waking up to go to campus for a meeting, and seeing/feeling heat as if the sun itself had landed in the middle of town. I remember the crush of debris and white-hot air as the megaton warhead exploded and my skin began to boil–then there was here.

Waiting.

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Revenant #30days #ww470

It was cold to his fingers when he touched the edges of the canister.

He expected to see a candle when he crouched to the ground to pick it up, but no, it was a free standing flame inside a lattice patterned canister in the middle of the park at night. The flame seemed to dance back and forth as he picked up the metal frame as if to speak to him. He looked at his German Shepherd companion keeping him company during his night walk and noticed the hair flailing out from his tail as he slowly backed away as if in silent alarm. The man returned the light to the ground and also began to back away, suddenly feeling dizzy and slightly panicked. The light began to ascend from its cage like a firefly and inch its way toward the man and his dog as they turned back to the narrow path towards home. Both wind and feet rustled through the forest as they fled from uncontrolled flames that now consumed dry branches and leaves left in their wake.

Viral Image #31 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Viral Image #31

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

viral
The pictures on my walls started moving and talking last month.

It’s a virus, something that traveled through several layers of probable realities as a result of an experiment launched by a group of physicists in Switzerland.  The word “virus” is about as close a term as one could use to refer to or at least approximate what has happened to digital photography, film, music, and sound.  The “virus” has somehow rendered our actuality more porous than its previous state of stability, reworking digital codes of compressed audio and visual data into multi-dimensional portals.

Infected computers have been quarantined at a secret facility near the port, but as the virus is already in the cloud, the virtual world is taking on a version of reality not yet understood by most physicists or IT specialists.  Every single picture, movie clip, and sound clip is now subject to the virus’ rewiring of its nature into a separate actualization.  Worse, some of these realities are pushing into our reality.

I have seen long-dead relatives appear in my living room, wearing the same clothes they wore when the photos were snapped.  They aren’t quite flesh, but more than ghosts.  My grandmother encountered a much younger version of herself in my hallway, much to her own shock.  I have ex-boyfriends fighting each other, fading in and out with each emotional flare-up.

My car is now gassed up for a long trip, something I should have done when my neighbors escaped from a slightly psychotic uncle with a penchant for knives.  I just have to find a way to use my driver’s license without my previous version of myself sliding out from my purse.

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“Fractal Hant” #30 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Day) #30Days

“Fractal Hant” #30

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Day)

#30Days
coppersulfate
You find a strange blue crystal on your driveway one evening while picking up the newspaper.  You take it inside and placed it in a glass of warm water, thinking it to be a nice stone to use in your endless collection of homemade jewelry sitting in your bedroom.  It sits on your window shelf over the kitchen sink for about five days, upon which you, after forgetting its existence, glance up at the glass while washing dishes.   You almost jump back at what you see.

Two crystals now occupy the glass, and two others are now sitting on the shelf.  You pick up the glass, and, using paper towels, scoop up the other crystals, panicking at what seems to be an impossibility.  Each crystal is equal in size and each one now seems to cast a reddish hue when close to each other.  You dump it all into a small plastic bag, including the glass of water.  You dump it all into the green garbage container you’ve already rolled out to the curb for the early morning garbage guys.  It takes four men to lift the garbage container into the truck to dump out the trash.

Kneeling on your couch cushions, you peek through your living room curtains to see them step back at the container’s contents mixing with the neighborhood’s trash:  dozens and dozens of crystals that seem to glow like fireflies.  You close the curtain and slowly stand up, as you turn around to see something you don’t want to see:  a single crystal sitting in the middle of your living room carpet, turning red, then black as it levitates up to the height of your face.

Turn around.

And run.

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“Guardians” #29 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Guardians” #29

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

angels_here
The elevator stood at the far end of the ticketing and refreshments area of Gideon Cinema, a movie theater housed on the seventh floor of Galleria Fantasia.  The room was filled with movie goers eager to depart into the night after being subjected to two hours of non-stop shooting, bombings, exploding body parts, as well as an endless stream of completely gratuitous and unnecessary use of expletives.  For Margo and Jack, the movie was background noise to the real purpose of their presence in the theater, which was discussing strategies for battling the Phorzhicoa and taking back their territory.  The sounds of the movie and the audience’s consumption of sweet and salty junk food masked the telepathic exchange.

Margo and Jack stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for the Street Level.  The other moviegoers stood back from the elevator car, staring at Margo and Jack with more than a little trepidation.  The doors slammed shut, and the elevator quietly slipped down the shaft towards the Street Level.  Margo opened her mouth to ask Jack what just happened, but hesitated before closing it  and deciding to wait until leaving the building.

The doors of the elevator opened, and with that, Margo and Jack stepped out onto the marbled floors of the shopping center’s entrance.  A six-year-old boy who had walked a few steps up from his mother pointed to the space behind the couple and giggled, as he said, “Pretty!”  Margo and Jack smiled and waved as they walked past to the exit.

After seeing them walk through the revolving door, the boy turned to his mother and with a smile he said one sentence: “the people behind the boy and girl got wings, Mommy!”

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“Rehab” #27 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Rehab” #27

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
junk
So, I’m on a plane headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Mind you, I’m in my traveler’s coffin, the one with the tacky sky-blue lining and extra pillow to help me sleep (I have neck and back issues).  I don’t want to go, but my vampire posse staged an intervention and threatened to kick me out of the group house and report me to my maker, something I fear more than being homeless in a city known to be hostile to derelict vamps.

My drug of choice is heroin, or more accurately, heroin addicts’ blood.  The first time I got high I was at a party and I ended up feeding on this frat boy who I thought was drunk.  I didn’t realize he’d snorted some heroin/oxy party powder in the kitchen earlier.  I almost puked the blood out the first time, but after a few minutes I felt like I was floating into space.  He didn’t even feel me biting him again, but I was careful not to drain him.  I wanted to keep my drug cow healthy enough to keep me high.

It worked for about two months.  He’d score the drugs, and I’d pay him to let me feed on him after he snorted or injected himself.  Then, after a two month run, the frat boy dropped dead from an overdose.  According to one of his frat mates at the frat house where they found him, he thought he could do more of the drug and not get sick because he believed I was sucking away his addiction.  Maybe I was, but if I did, I ended up with an itch that burned through my core stronger than my urge to drink blood all by itself.  It set my hunger on thermonuclear, and made me a danger to not just humans, but other vampires who smelled like they recently fed on addicts.
opium
When my friends found me I was staying at a motel with a recently deceased prostitute who, like my frat boy supplier, OD’ed after spending two weeks with me on a heroin binge.  He sat on the toilet with a glassy-eyed stare, the needle still stuck in his arm.  I’d already fed on him, but I guess he wanted to top off his waning high to augment what my feeding had done to him.  He looked disappointed, a corpse not happy to be a corpse.  The vamps quietly wrapped him in sheets and dumped him into the river.

Clearly, I am not the only one dealing with this issue:  human junkies have been showing up in ER with gaping bite wounds and severe loss of blood by the dozens over the last six months.  The human authorities still don’t know we exist, but it’s only a matter of time before that changes.  If that happens, the Vampire Council will put me down like a rabid dog for sure. That’s why right now I am packed away in the baggage area, waiting for the plane to land so I can be transported to the vampire rehab facility just outside of Santa Fe.

I hear detox feels like you’re being exposed to the sun.  So not looking forward to that.

No bloody sunscreen.

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