Michelle Rose Diehl
A Bowl of Pears
Hot, sweaty and irritable is no way to end the day, Buster McKeaton thought as he eased his considerable bulk onto the cot he leased in the ramshackle “apartments” of the Haitian landlord. He pulled the light cotton sheets up to his chest, feeling the need to be covered rather than lay exposed, despite the sticky heat.
Allegon and the Green Man
The snow blustered, swirling thick as wool through the air. Allegon staggered through the forest like a man blindfolded, blundering into tree branches and stumbling over fox holes. A gust of wind like an arrow strike drove him to his knees; cold immediately seeped into his bones, winter’s skeletal hand reaching to pull him toward his grave. Allegon struck a gloved fist into the snow with an angry shout. His panting breaths raised clouds of freezing condensation, every swallow of air like a handful of needles down his throat. Despite the misery of his circumstances, Allegon grit his teeth in an expression more grin than grimace, for the object of his quest must be near. Never in the long course of his search for the king’s scepter had Winter thrown such might against him.
Coffee Shop Inspirations
“And God said, ‘Let there be light.’” A field of white illumination filled his vision, but the muttered words of original invention failed to summon an answering almighty creative ability in the mind of the young man who’d uttered them. Staring at the blank expanse of new document spread across his laptop screen, D’Angelo heaved a sigh. With a sharp inhalation, he recalled the breath and settled his fingers upon the keyboard, producing a clacking glissando of determination.
Lora didn’t own a scale. She didn’t even own a full-length mirror. Not that she didn’t care about her appearance; she didn’t want to be seen as the type of person preoccupied with looks. Lora knew what she brought to the table, and it wasn’t her physical attributes. With a chin too square to complement her plump cheeks, and hazel eyes set a fraction too wide to be considered appealing, the sum of her features didn’t add up to striking or cute, much less beauty. She wasn’t skinny, but she wasn’t fat. Standing at a scant 5’4”, with short limbs and stubby fingers, Lora had never been interested in athletics, considering herself clearly unfit for them. The logical niche for someone with no beauty and no athleticism was academics, but Lora didn’t have the patience for endless book learning or the effort required to assimilate complex subjects. Besides, becoming nerd simply because she was unattractive was too cliché to suit her tastes. No, Lora had one standout quality going for her. Call it determination or tenacity, it was the trait around which she’d fashioned her whole identity. Anyone acquainted with Lora Reinhardt knew that she was a person who always went after what she wanted – and got it.
Hidden Worlds Petting Zoo & Reserve
The ancient barn stood on a field of young grass, crescented on its sunset side by a half-moon sliver of sylvan forest. Filling a dip in the land to its east, a limpid pond, lake-like in its depth and sparkling clarity, cupped the morning sunrise.
There was a face in that bush. Diana Winstead stared at it, scratching her head with the tip of a gloved finger. It wasn’t so much that there was a face IN the bush as much as the bush WAS the face. Like some sort of made-up creature from her childhood, the mouth of the low evergreen shrub gaped a great half-moon smile at Diana. She had been standing on the path, waiting for her team to catch up, eyeing the bush and trying to decide if her imagination was in one of its overactive stages or if the features she observed were legit. Gordon would be able to tell her, once he and the others caught up. Gordon was good at reality.