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The Answering Machine
I was finally relaxing after a long day of babysitting at the O'Neal's house. It was 9:00 pm, the kids were in bed, and I was reading. The phone rang. I didn't pick it up, I never answer when I'm babysitting. Answering machines are a great thing, so much easier than taking a message. This time I would live to regret my like for that gizmo.
"I know where you are," a voice rasped, "and I'll be there in twenty minutes." The line went dead.
That was more than a little disconcerting to me. I ran around the house and locked all the doors, taking extra time to jam a bar into the handles of the cellar storm doors since they didn't have a lock. After running upstairs to check the kids, I came back down and picked up the cordless phone to call the police. It started to ring right there in my hand. I dropped it, scooting back, afraid of who might be calling. The answering machine clicked on; I scooted farther away. It was Mr. O'Neal.
"Hi, we're going to stay out a little later than ori
Poetic PsychosisIn thirty seconds, the next shell would fall. Every night was the same, but every night Lorenzo experienced it as if it were the first time. His throat felt swollen; breathing was hard. He glanced around at the others; young men like him who had been shipped out in the name of honour and freedom. There was no honour in this, no freedom. Only death behind your eyelids, and a fear so gutting, that it carved out your innards and left you a hollow husk. Lorenzo tried to breathe, tried to assure himself that he was still whole, still made of flesh. They had lied when they told him he was ready.
Matteo ran towards him, arms out, rifle swinging uselessly at his side. He shouted for him to run, but Lorenzo remained motionless, unable to move as his friend’s warning was lost in the constant blare of gunfire. None of them were ready.
“The cycle is repeating. It is not safe.” The voice was soft and weak, yet it carried over the gunfire and battle cries without impediment.
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