Friday, July 31, 2015

Sudden Short Story 87

He looked out of the window at the rain, as he often did during this time of year. 
"It's really coming down, isn't it?" his wife asked. 
"That's right, you grew up down south, didn't you?" he asked her, rhetorically. 
"Not too far south, mind," she replied. "But I know enough not to be surprised when it rains in the middle of the rainy season." 
"Well, back in my day, January in western Pennsylvania wasn't the rainy season:  it was the middle of winter."  He turned back to look out the window.  "The driving was terrible, but at least you knew what time of year it was." 

Sudden Short Story 86

Q'alya al-Orn was wandering once more through the desert, when he was overtaken by a vision.  From every horizon, a mass of water, so great that it rose above each dune and had no gaps, encroached upon him, until the dune on which he stood, which seemed itself to be rapidly dissolving, was the only land around.  The water was so very deep that he could not see the bottom anywhere. 
Before him, a great alien god sat within the water, its tentacles writhing, lashing out at any ship that dared be upon the water's surface.  A corpse from one of the wrecks floated to Q'alya's island.  "We were glad when it took the deserts," it spake, "for we had more fishing, and we lost nothing.  The deserts did not sate it." 
An enormous tentacle came and took the corpse to the god's mouth.  Then, another tentacle came and seized Q'alya, whose island finally gave way.  As he was raised into the air, he saw nothing but water in all directions.  As he fell into the god's enormous maw, he was engulfed by darkness, which was completed as it shut its mouth. 
Q'alya awoke with an enormous mission before him:  He must somehow find and somehow stop the great alien god from turning the world into an ocean.  He headed toward the nearest city, and hoped that it was friendly to elves. 

Sudden Short Story 85

Propped up against the pillows, he held her as she read.  She dwelt too long on these pages, though, because her thoughts distracted her from reading.  He noticed this, and thought that now might be a good time to ask. 
"May I ask why you were crying the other day?" 
She put down her book, turned into him, and wrapped her arms around him, burying her face in his chest.  Neither of them expected this. 
"It's because you're so good to me," she began.  "You're loyal and kind and helpful, and you always care about my happiness, even though you don't love me," she said, saying aloud what usually stayed unspoken, "and sometimes I just can't take the contradiction." 
She did not cry this time; she didn't even know why she'd cried the other day, as nothing was new. 
He held her, but was silent; he couldn't think of anything true to say, and he could not lie to her. 

Sudden Short Story 84

They stared up at the stars that night, their futures before them, though they did not know it.  She put on her lip gloss, as she was wont to do, and he, with nothing to do, thought for a moment.  His future came to his mind, unbidden, and to him a thought occurred. 
She put away her lip gloss, leaned back into the crook of his arm, and rested against him, to stare back up at the sky.  But then, spontaneous as couples are wont to be, they kissed briefly, then felt silly for doing only that, but resumed staring up at the sky. 
He could not leave his thought unspoken any longer.  "Hey, tomorrow, do you suppose that we could try it without the lip gloss?" 
"Huh?" she asked.  "But, it's your favorite flavor." 
"I know," he said, before she filled in, but then he needed to fill in.  "But, could we just try without it, anyway?" 
"Sure," she said with a smirk, "tomorrow."