She ran to the bleachers and sat down. For the past two weeks, this had become her usual spot. Her dad didn't understand why. There was no game playing or anything at all. The field was empty.
Dad: mama don't you wanna go play by the slides?
Daughter: no I wanna watch the game.
He frowned. It worried him to hear her say that. He'd always encourage her to use her imagination when making art or playing with her toys, but this was taking it too far.
Dad: mama come on. There's no game. We're not pretending right now. Go play.
Daughter: daddy the game is right there.
He sighed. Now he was beginning to lose patience.
Dad: listen if you don't get down from there, then we're leaving.
She shook her head.
Daughter: no daddy. I wanna watch the game.
Dad: there's no Game! There's nothing there. Stop making things up.
Daughter: daddy that game.
Dad: what are you looking at mama?
Daughter: grandma. She's playing.
He froze. It had been almost a month since he lost his mother. It hadn't hit him fully yet.
Dad: you see grandma?
Daughter: yea she's right there. She's throwing the ball.
He sat next to her watched the empty field.
Daughter: you see? She's always playing a game. She tells me to sit here where she can see us.
Dad: she sees us?
Daughter: yea. Look, she's waving.
He looks up. His mother did play baseball when she was young. After some time, he shakes his head.
Daughter: you're not trying daddy.
He looks again. This time he sees a figure slowly appear. He freezes. There, waving back, is his mother.
Daughter: told you.
THE WIND CLIMBER
The harness hung her off the side of the wind turbine. Yesterday's lightning storm caused minor damage to the blade and it was her job to fix it. She ran the sander over the damaged fiberglass, careful not to crack the surface.
Most people would call her nuts to make a living hanging off wind turbines. It was a dangerous job. One not meant for those with fear of heights. But as a veteran rock climber, for her, it was just another day at the office.
She put the sander away and checked her work. It looked good. Suddenly, a giant gust of wind knocked her off the blade. She swung freely off the edge. She held on tight to the harness as the wind continued to push her around.
Then, the harness loosened and she began falling. She tried desperately to stop it, but the fall combined with the wind made it difficult to do so. Finally she took control and caught herself mid air. She hung there helplessly.
She shook her head. "damn it"
She began climbing back up. The wind was silent for the better part of the day, so it surprised her to see it change so sudden.
Then she saw why and her eyes widened. She pulled as fast as she could, desperately trying to reach the top. She needed to bail, because closing in on her... was the forest fire.
He brushed his teeth and checked himself in the mirror. Tonight had to be perfect. She was finally coming. His love. A thirty year infatuation finally going the next level. This was his chance to finally tell her how he felt.
One would think him to be creepy, a stalker even. And maybe they're right. He did watch her grow since middle school. He was there when she lost her virginity, when she got married, when she had kids. He saw it all.
But don't get him confused for those crazy stalkers. He would never have hurt her or her family. He loved her too much to ruin what she had, even if she did marry a guy he thought to be two sided. He never liked him, but he was her choice.
He walked into the room. There she was, asleep on the table, the blanket draped over her. He knew it was her by her toes. He always thought she had cute toes.
Mortician: I thought that when I finally had you alone I'd know what to say, but now I can't seem to find my words. So here it goes... I love you. I've always loved you. And I will continue to love you, until my last breath.
He let's out a giant breath of relief. He stares at the blanket a long while. Tears well up in his eyes.
Mortician: I'm sorry I couldn't save you. I should've been there. I want you to know that your kids will be safe. I'll watch over them. I won't fail this time.
He pulls the blanket back to reveal her pale face. They said she committed suicide, drug overdose, Citalopram.
He stopped. That can't be right. That's a serotonin drug, used to treat mental illness, something she was not. But he knew who was... the husband.
THE RECORDING ARTIST
The beat blared through her headphones. The mic was hot. She stepped up, but nothing came out. There was something on her mind and singing wasn't it, he was.
He was all she could think about. The cheater. She had given him three years of her life. They were great years, or so she thought. Never did she expect to be humiliated, used even.
She couldn't understand why. She did everything a loyal gf would do. She cooked, she cleaned, she kept him happy in the bedroom... wait... did she? If that were true he wouldn't have betrayed her trust and slept with the other woman.
She began thinking. Was she not sexy enough? She didn't have big boobs or a giant ass. She's all real, but maybe that's it. Maybe he wanted the fakeness.
She shook her head in frustration and wiped the thought from her mind. She wasn't like these women out here with plastic skin. When the next man comes around, he's gonna feel her, ALL OF HER! Not plastic, not Silicon, her.
She couldn't help but laugh at thought of him chasing these other fake women. A flawed man seeking a "perfect" woman.
It was at that moment her confidence returned. She wasn't gonna let him affect her life anymore. Because she realized something... What he wanted is what he's not.
And so she sang.
EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY
Julie enters the building ecstatic. Her boyfriend of three years finally proposed and she was over the moon. She waved at Hank as she makes her way to the control room.
Hank wanted nothing more than to be at work. Last night's argument with his teenage daughter ended with a couple of "I hate yous", words neither of them meant.
Trevor: hey boss, ready for a good day?
Hank: every day is a good day, if you make it.
Trevor: way to be positive boss.
Hank grins as Trevor, the youngest in his team rushes to the Tank Farm, where they worked. He passes Sal on his way, looking over some reports.
Trevor: Big Sal! Wassup baby!
Sal: don't wassup me. I know you put oil in my shit.
Trevor: what you talking bout. I ain't do that.
Sal: I'm on to you mothafucka.
Trevor laughs and runs off.
Trevor: I got you Big Sal.
Sal: I hope your ass falls and breaks your two front teeth you little shit!
Sal worked in the lab and he was not a big fan of Trevor, who was like an annoying little brother no one wanted to hang around with.
It looked to be just another day for these four people, but little did they know their lives will change. Because before they knew it, the tank farm exploded... and the building collapsed.
EXPERIENCE THE MOMENT
He looked up at those three giant words in awe. This wasn't the usual visit. He wasn't used to seeing so much high tech hardware. Everything was alien to him. The drones, the robotics, the components of a computer. They were like toys not permitted to be touched, and he wanted to so bad.
He saw the people. For so long he thought you had to be some sort of business man dressed in a suit to work at places like this, but then he saw workers wearing beanies, sweats, colorful outfits. Some were tatted up like his uncle Leonard, some had piercings on their face, and others were clean cut. It was a very diverse group of people for sure. Groups he would normally see together at carnivals or shopping areas.
Then one worker, wearing a backwards hat, shorts and blue long sleeves, sees him and stops. He approaches the boy and hands him a small gadget. A rugged pen compute stick hybrid with the words Intel Inside. The boy looks up at the worker, who winks.
Worker: when you're ready, we'll be waiting.
School teacher: Manito time to get on the bus.
The boy runs to her.
School teacher: what's that?
Manito: that guy gave it to me.
School teacher: very cool.
Manito looks back at the building once more.
Manito: I'm gonna run that company one day.
The teacher smiles. Then the bus doors close and drives away.
Wife: that looks good
Husband: take it.
Wife: no I just wanna taste it
Husband: no go ahead and take one babe. I'm good.
Wife: no I really just wanna taste it. I have a big bowl of soup right here.
Husband: just take it love.
She does. They both take a bite. She looks over and sees his gordita half way through after one bite.
Wife: that's not gonna fill you up. Here eat the rest of this one. I'm gonna finish my soup.
Husband: just eat it. When we get home I'll fix myself something else if I'm still hungry.
Wife: then at least order rice.
Husband: no love I'm OK.
Wife: you're gonna be hungry later.
She almost sounded annoyed. He smiles and leans in closer to her.
Husband: it's not that I'm hungry. It's that for so long, I've been selfish with everything I do. My health, my career, our kids, you. I always do things that benefit me and me only. I've neglected you and the girls far too long. So no, I don't want that piece. You eat it. For once enjoy the spoils of today, and I'll enjoy the spoils of tonight.
He winks at her. She doesn't respond just smiles and sits back. Then she picks up the piece and bites into it.
Wife: you're such a dork. ...For my beautiful wife @abitofchic