Murder at the Manor, Part 4

My family is off on various outings—my father at a meeting, Sebastian playing a croquet game, and Evangeline and my mother at a luncheon. That is how Ms. Burton—Cass—ends up searching the parlor of the manor as I sit in the library. The memories of that night are still too fresh, so I attempt to distract myself by reading a particularly thick novel to no avail. I end up nervously fidgeting before the fireplace for a good bit of time before she enters, holding up a lantern. She is obviously prepared.

“Elliot,” she says, “You should see this. I believe I know how the murderer came in.”

She shows me out into the parlor, leading me to a wood-paneled wall. There, she gestures to a small gap in the wood. I have never noticed it before—the manor is too large for me to notice fine details such as that.

Rocking forward, she presses her hands against the wall. With a springing sound, a rather small door pops open. I gasp as I peer into a long, dark passage. It is very dusty, and there are cobwebs covering the walls, yet it is evident to me that someone had been there recently. There are footprints in the dust, and the cobwebs have been mangled as if someone walked through them. I never knew that my home has passages like this, but it is very old, so none of its inhabitants can be sure of what the walls held.

“What do you say?” Cass asked, raising an eyebrow in challenge. “Should we go in?”

Terror swirls in the pit of my stomach, but still, I nod. Being impervious to fear, Cass enters first, extending her arm so that the lantern shines into the passage.

The air grows cold and damp, and it begins to stink of mildew and rot. The passage is quite narrow, and cobwebs brush against my shoulders as I continue on after Cass.

The passage is short; perhaps ten meters. Cass stops, brushing more cobwebs aside as she steps into a small rectangular room, which a small wooden ledge encircles. She draws in a quick breath and takes an object off of it. I peer down into her hands. It’s a tiny brown glass bottle. She smooths back its label. Braccodin, 50 ml, it reads.

“Braccodin!” Class gasps. “That is one of the most fatal chemicals known to man. One milliliter can kill a human, and”—she pauses to inspect the bottle in the light of her lantern—“it looks like your sister was poisoned by all fifty.” She looks quite petrified.

 The shock of the realization is almost too much for me to bear. Margaret was beyond saving. She was dead the moment the glass was set in front of her. I blink back tears in time to hear Cass whisper, “And I think I know who did it.” 

“What! Who?” I exclaim.

“His name’s Bailey. Thomas Bailey. He’s an exterminator, and he happens to be the only man in town who has access to this poison. He probably found this way to access your house while he was working around the outside.” Now that she mentions it, the name Bailey sounds familiar.

Cass’s eyes scan the walls of the small room. Almost immediately, she finds a small latch that blends in with the rest of the wall’s grooves. As she lifts it, a door swings open, revealing the side garden. “There we go.”

We rush to the stables, where Cass mounts a tawny stallion. I clamber on behind her, and she leads us at an outrageous pace to town. She dismounts the horse and tells me to keep a hold on its reigns as she approaches the door, chips of dark paint clinging to weathered wood. The sign hanging on the small building reads Bailey Extermination. She barely gets out a knock before it’s opened by a tall, handsome man in a ragged brown overcoat. There is something familiar about him, probably because he has worked for my family.

“Cass?” he asks, smiling. His reaction is unexpected—I thought that he was an acquaintance of Cass’s, but he must know her fairly well to call her by her first name. “It is lovely to see you! And who is this, your husband?” he asks, gesturing to me.

“Drop the act, Thomas,” she spits, pulling a pistol from an unseen holster inside her coat. Her face is intense as I have ever seen it. Mr. Bailey’s eyes widen as he gasps. “We know you murdered Margaret Murray. Confess.”

“I—I don’t know what you mean,” he whimpers. He hangs his head. “I had no reason to. I . . . loved her.”

My pulse rushes, and my brain begins to work furiously. I know where I’ve seen that coat before. The gala. With that woman who looked like Margaret. That was Margaret. She must have been in love with a poor man but could have never married him. My heart breaks for her all over again; the unfairness of it. Could he have really poisoned her? But then . . . why?

Suddenly, it all comes in a rush. Cass was at the gala. Cass told me that she spent all her time at the pub but looked so out of place there when I visited her. She found the passage unusually quickly, and she knew a strange amount about Thomas Bailey.

“It was you,” I hiss.

Cass whips around, brown eyes alight. “What did you say?” she asks in an eerie calm, barely restrained fury beneath the surface of her face.

I want to pretend like I never said it, but the words, usually so hard to find, rush out in a flood. “You killed my sister, Cassandra Burton. You did it. I don’t know why, but you are a wicked, conniving slug.”

In an instant, she leaps to me, the barrel of the pistol against my temple. “Wrong choice, Mr. Murray,” she says quietly, grinning as her finger against the trigger. The reigns loosened in my grip, the horse spooks and gallops away. “You have no idea how much I hated your sister. How much . . .” In a moment of weakness, her chin trembles and she swallows. “Thomas meant to me. But he never really cared. He was intent on running away with Margaret. The idiot.” Her creepy smile returns. “So, I decided to kill Margaret and frame Thomas for it. So that they both would pay. But I guess I could have him kill you and then turn the gun on himself, a minor adjustment to our story.”

“Y-you’re crazy!” I squeak out, sensing the last moments of my life rapidly approaching.

“At least I —” Suddenly, Cass gasps, and her eyes roll back in her head. She collapses on the ground. Trembling, I step back. Thomas Bailey stands behind her, a tiny needle in his hand. 

“Phaxant,” he says, looking me straight in the eye. “A potent sedative. That should keep her out until we get the police.”

He heaves a sigh, and shadows gather around his face. “Cass and I were good childhood friends. I never knew that she had feelings for me, and the fact that she would . . .” He brings his hands to his eyes, overcome with sorrow.

In the days following, it is very hard for my family to learn that Margaret truly was poisoned. I think that my mother’s and Evangeline’s tears are genuine. The good of it is that Thomas becomes like a brother to me; a shoulder to cry on when I miss Margaret. Sometimes, he will stand next to me, silently, steadfastly, just as Margaret had done.

Murder at the Manor, Part 3

The days following were an indescribable combination of regret and anger. If I had stopped Margaret from drinking the poisoned water, she would have still been alive. I hated both myself and the perpetrator of her death. 

Her funeral was held a week prior, and hundreds of people attended. My mother and Evangeline sobbed dramatically as if it was their duty as the women of the house to display grief. It made me angry; everything was just a show with them. They had never cared for Margaret, they only were concerned about themselves. 

Above all, it nags at me: what had Margaret meant to tell me before her death? Would it have changed anything? Why was she poisoned, and was it related to what she had wanted to say? It bothers me more than anything else.

The biting winter wind shocks me from my reverie. I make my way down the winding street, the clop-clopping of horses’ hooves fading in and out as carriages make their way across the dark cobblestone. The sky is a mournful grey, and there is no sun to be seen despite it being midday.

I pause, looking up to make sure I am at the right destination. The Iron Pub, reads an old wooden sign that creaks as the wind blows it back and forth on its hinges. Bracing myself, I enter through an equally creaky door.

Sure enough, the smell of liquor, erratically flickering candlelight, jaunty music, and raucous laughter assault my senses. On the far left of the pub, there is a counter that is serving beer, greasy food, and the like, and throughout the rest of the space, there are tables and chairs seemingly placed at random. Pulling my hat low over my eyes, I wander through the crowd of people and furniture, scanning it the best I can.

When I just begin to lose hope and believe I won’t find what I’m looking for, I see her in a nearly empty corner. Ms. Burton, pint in hand, leaned over a game of chess. Odd for such a rowdy pub, I think. But the woman is nothing if not odd. Across from her sits a white-haired old man, his wrinkles deep creases in his face. He has clearly had more to drink than her, as his movements are loose and his cheeks are rosy.

“Oi, look at this young fella!” he slurs much too loudly, pointing in my direction. I stand over a metre away, but he seems to know I am looking at him. “Dressed rather formal for a pub, i’nt he?”

Ms. Burton’s attention snaps to me. And, being too sharp for her own good, her recognition is instant. “Ah, Mr. Murray!” she exclaims. “How nice of you to join us. Come, come, draw up a chair.”

“Mr. Murray?” exclaims the old man. “Ain’t that the tyrant who works children like mules?”

It would be a lie to say that I am not shocked at the insult to my father. Being surrounded by the upper class for my whole life, I have heard little criticism of him. But I am appreciative of this man’s honesty. It’s refreshing to hear after all of the lies people have told me—it’s no secret that my father is a wicked man. I remember how he would beat me as a child when I escaped to the library rather than enduring his budget meetings or tutoring lessons.

“Otis!” chides Ms. Burton, giving him a pointed look. “That is this man’s father! I’m sorry,” she says, turning to me, “he is quite a bit drunk.”

“It’s alright,” I whisper. And, seeing no way out of it, I grab a chair at a nearby table and set it down at the one where Otis and Ms. Burton sit. 

“What brings you here today?” she asks politely, folding her hands. I am once again struck by how out of place she seems here.

“I—um—” I take a deep breath and continue. “I wondered if you could—could investigate my sister’s murder.”

“Murder!” shouts Otis. “Blimey!” A few turn to look at him, confused at his outburst.

She shoots a look at Otis, and when she turns back, her expression is profoundly disturbed. “Yes, yes, a horrid thing that happened that night. My sincerest condolences, Mr. Murray. I intended not to mention it unless you did. 

“I am curious, though—why would you hire me to investigate the murder, of all detectives?” 

“My family refuses to—to believe that my sister was . . . murdered. They think it was . . . an accident. I—I know that if I were—were to go to a police detective . . . the word would get back to them . . .” I swallow. It is painful to get the words out.

Sensing my discomfort with speaking, Ms. Burton finishes my thought. “But if you hire a private detective, they’ll never know. You are a sharp one, Mr. Murray,” she grins. “And I assure you I am the right one for this job.”

“You—you can call me Elliot,” I say quietly.

“Well then, Elliot, if we are on a first-name basis, I insist that you call me Cass,” she says. “Would you like me to begin the investigation today?”


Every day, we look forward to something good happening in our lives. Something that will motivates us to get up and do something we want to do. We always believe that if we try hard enough, whatever we are searching for will eventually find its way back to us. That the opportunity of a lifetime will walk through front does of our homes hoping to find its way into our lives. However, that’s when we’re wrong. As Madam C.J. Walker said, “Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, go out there and create them!” The key to not losing opportunities is to act before they are lost. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Opportunity is defined as, “an occasion or situation that makes it possible to do something that you want to do or have to do, or the possibility of doing something.” In our daily lives, there are many opportunities that are all around us, but we never really seem to make an effort to capitalize them. It doesn’t matter if it is staring right at us; we don’t do anything about it. Why? It’s because we’re afraid that once we’ve taken the chance, we may lose it, even if it’s something that we’re passionate about. Yet, we never seem to understand that even if we lost an opportunity, we can still go and create something new. Only if we let the opportunity go, and don’t take any action to secure it, will it be gone forever.


Have you heard the phrase, “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, you don’t want to miss it.” Probably. As you can see that, even with just this phrase, it’s opening you to the possibility of a world of unlimited possibility of a world of unlimited opportunities, and not just one that are given. As soon as we have the chance to be able to do something we love to do, we need to take advantage of it. Life isn’t full of rainbows and unicorn; it’s full of obstacles and tragedies that we may encounter along the way. In life, we only have one chance. With that one chance, we’re able to do something we love to do, because the moment that chance passes, everything that we have worked so hard for in order to get to the place in our lives that we accomplished or to be given a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity, will have been for nothing. In the words of Eddie Kennison, a former American football wide receiver. he says, “When opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it.” It is only once in a lifetime that we are given an opportunity that we will never forget. Don’t let that chance pass you by. Hold on to what you want and don’t let go. It’s up to you if you want that chance, so don’t hesitate and don’t wait to take it.

In the Fields

A small laughter arose in the colorful fields, filled with flowers. The wind danced around the small child and leaves were picked up by the wind, swirling in a magical way. A dark figure stood still behind the vast forest that surrounded the valley. It was quite a strange sight to see. Why was the child alone?

The figure stepped into the clearing, revealing a half bandaged face and clothes of a tattered warrior. The little one stopped spinning around the flowers, now, a curious gaze upon the strange warrior. The warrior stilled as the child walked up towards her. With a tense figure the warrior closed her eyes, awaiting the cry and angry parents appearing before her.


The tattered clothes waved in silence. The warrior shift her gaze up, and hesitantly reach to her pocket. The child waited expectantly, as if it did not bother that the unknown warrior looked quite strange. The warrior pulled out something from their pocket, crumbled and wrapped. She shoved the crumbled mess into the little one’s hands. Worried the child was going to be afraid, the warrior smiled behind the bulks of hidden bandages.

The child looks at the little package in his arms and unwrapped it. A small scent of aroma flew from the unknown gift. The child looked up happily, “Thank you Miss! Thank you!” Yet the child was hesitant to take a bite out of the warm bun that rested upon its hand. The warrior nodded, in fact, she noticed how the child was almost to skin and bone.

“Miss, are you sure you would not like the bun?”

The warrior shook her head. The child’s eyes brightened as they dug into the bun with a smile on their face. The warrior turned around and one of the bandages that was badly wrapped, fell onto the ground as she looked up at the sky.

“Miss! Stay here, I will go grab some herbs for your injuries! Momma had some before she left“.

The warrior flinched slightly, but nodded carefully at the ground. She watched as the child’s small figure disappeared behind the dark, green forest.

The child ran quickly as they did not want the kind Miss to wait. Her injuries seemed severe and mother has always taught them to treat the sick with care, especially when the warrior had seem to given them her only source of food for the child.

“Miss ! Miss! I’m back !” The child ran back into the field. But there, silence greeted the little one. A small bag of the same, sweet aroma was left behind, as the child peak into the ragged bag. Pork buns! The warrior had left a few behind as a gift. “May your journey be safe! Your kindness will always be remembered..” The child shouted out to the empty forest, and a soft wind blew across the field in response.

5 year later…

A dark cloaked figure sat in the corner of the busy market. Another figure approached the ragged cloaked elder.

“Excuse me? Would you like some pork buns?”

The figure looked up. A scar ran across the eyes of the old woman cloaked; the younger greeted the elder with a big smile. The old lady smiled warmly, taking the buns and bowing her head slightly as a thanks. The young lady stood up and bowed to the elder and started to walk away. Behind her she heard a a small whisper come from the elder. “May your journey be safe little one. Your kindness will always be remembered..”

The “Impossible” Mission

“Everyone come over to the rug to hear this story I found in the back of the book shelf! Not sure how this got there, but lets find out what this is about.” the teacher said while grabbing a seat in her rocking chair.

“Once upon a time…”

Deep in the woods, there was a mysterious cabin with sticky cobwebs in every corner. The voice of a man echoed in the forest. “HA! HA! HA! Stay there or it will not end well!” he said smiling. A young lady named Val was tied up in a chair in the middle of the room. Tears falling from her eyes, she struggled to cry for help…

“Liam! Go to the headquarters, grandpa wants to talk to you about something really important,” said Liam’s father.

“Ugh, what does he want. He never talks to me.” Liam stated. There was a bright town up above in the clouds named Cloudland. This was the land of peace and mission. Liam always wondered what the mission part was about, but was too busy looking down at all the animals on Earth.

As Liam walked over to his grandfather, he was shocked by the look on his grandfather’s face. He was actually being serious. “Everyone must complete a mission in Cloudland to help the people below on Earth. You will receive one today son. Your mission is to save this girl from this evil man who has escaped from Cloudland’s prison with all the power. No power should be taken down below at all costs. This power is stored in a special orb which is in the hands of the man… Muhammad.

“I can’t do that grandpa, if he has all the power, can’t he just kill me in a snap? I’m not doing this!” Liam screamed. He began to run to his father, immediately telling him the news. Shortly after, he realized that his father has already been through these missions. “Son, it is going to be okay. Without you doing this mission, everyone here would be sent to Earth and live without the powers God has sent to us. This is all up to you.” Liam’s father said while grabbing his shoulders. Liam’s face lit up thinking about all his friends calling him a hero.

“This is it. My time to prove everyone I am capable of saving a life and making sure everyone is happy in Cloudland.” As soon as these words left his mouth, a sudden darkness appeared in Liam’s eyes.

As Liam awoke, the sight of a bright light deep in the forest caught his attention. As he got up, a leaf fell down from the tree and landed in his hand. The leaf had writing imprinted on it. It stated, “Val the name of the girl who you must save. Follow the bird to lead you to the next clue.” As Liam was heading towards the light, there was a black crow following him. Liam immediately got started, but remembered the note. He continued on the path to the light, but it suddenly started to become dim. As time went by, the forest became pitch black and the light in the distance began to fade away. Liam decided to take a break and take the time to gather up his thoughts. “The girl is named Val…the crow is my friend?…a lost girl…guy?…powers…crickets…crickets…zzz…”

Awoooo…bark….awooooo. The howls from a wolf startled Liam and woke him up. He began to tip-toe around in the woods looking for a safer spot to stay, but the howling continued. He took a couple steps forward while looking off in the distance behind his footsteps…

Crunch…crunch…crunch… “AHHHHHH!” Liam screamed as his face glided against the belly of a wolf…WHOOSH, wind began to blow faster and faster towards Liam’s face as he sprinted away from the wolf. A few steps behind him was the giant claws of a wolf scratching the bare ground. As he continued running, the footsteps began to slow down behind him. Liam began to think of ideas on how to escape this horror, while hiding behind a tree. The ground was covered in dry dirt and leaves. The night was pitch black. Liam began to sneak around and try to find the wolf to relocate where he should hide. The sound of panting began to echo closer and closer to where Liam was standing. Liam grabbed a handful of the leaves and dirt and threw it in the wolf’s eyes. He knew that he could not hide forever as the wolf had better hearing than him. As he ran for his life, he came across a strange wooden cabin.

As he stopped to catch his breathe, the black crow he saw earlier passed him and continued to sit over the wooden cabin and started to screech. Liam tried to signal to the bird to stop, but he kept on screeching. A couple minutes passed and a man came out and started to try to hit the black crow with a broom…

Liam got startled at first, but found this time to take in some information. “Hm… an evil man named Muhammad kidnapped Val…then why isn’t he – ” All of a sudden the broom from Muhammad’s hand turned into a staff. “The orb!” Liam shouted. He finally understood his mission. “I must get that staff away from Muhammad. Without the staff, he’ll only have the power of physical strength without the use of powers.” Suddenly, a bolt of lightning got stuck down, almost hitting the crow. The crow flew away just in time and was standing on top of the tree Liam was standing under. All of a sudden, A leaf began to fall down and it said, “The mission must be complete by midnight tonight. If not completed, your life will end, and Cloudland will suffer.” Liam knew that he had to make a move quick. As he took steps closer to the cabin, the crow began to fly over and screech again. Muhammad came out one more time, but this time without his staff… this was the moment Liam had to make the next move…

As the crow started to distract Muhammad, Liam began to tip-toe into the cabin. “Oh no! Are you okay? Here, I will help you escape, I just need you to be very quiet.”

“Mhmmmm Mmmmm…” Val’s lips were duct taped together and the sounds of mumbling was only existent. Liam began to search around the whole cabin for the orb, but it was no where to be seen. “He must have taken it out with him,” Liam thought. He began to rush outside making a lot of noise, forgetting Muhammad was out there. Muhammad’s head began to turn and the staff magically appeared in his hands.

“Who are you?! What are you doing here?!” Muhammad screamed, taking a step back. “You are not supposed to be here!”

Suddenly, the wooden cabin began to cover up with vines. The only hope Liam had was to get rid of the staff. “HAHAHAHAHA!!” As Muhammad was laughing out of joy, Liam stepped up and quickly grabbed the staff out of his hands.

Liam began to yell, “You have disobeyed the rules of the powers and powers on Earth, and must suffer!!” Liam screamed while pointing the staff at Muhammad. Muhammad began to shrivel up and turn into dust. “This is it! I have completed the mission and beat the evil Muhammad!” Liam said out of excitement. Out of no where, Liam started to hear screaming for help. At this moment, he realized it wasn’t over yet. He must save Val. He started to push his way through the vines causing cuts to form all over his body, but fought through the pain. The chair started to become visible to Liam and he began to cut through the vines faster. He noticed it started to get darker outside and time was running out. His body was gushing blood but he managed to get to the girl. He untied Val from the chair and as he held the hand of Val, everything went dark…

Awakening, Liam returned to Cloudland just as the clock hit midnight. “Well done son. You have completed the mission and will now receive the power of intelligence. You may return home to your father, but must never speak of this adventure.” The grandfather said standing above Liam in his throne.

“Wait! But what about Val?” Liam questioned.

“Val has returned home safely and memories were erased. Now go on, and get some rest as I decide who the next missioner will be…”

“The end.” The teacher said as the bell rang.

“Mrs. Val, can I go to the bathroom please?” A student said standing up.

“Yes of course u can… Muhammad.”

Why Not Judge a Book by its Cover

Why can’t you judge a book by its cover?

I mean people judge books by their covers every day, 

If someone didn’t, they would look at every book in the store. 

Not judging a book by its cover means spending too much time looking at the details.

No one has that kind of time. 

Did the saying come from some scholar that thought it made sense? 

If that’s true, that scholar clearly wasn’t very intelligent.

Or could it have been from someone who wasn’t smart at all,

That tends to be how almost everything is created nowadays, 

But they were popular?

Maybe it started then. 

Why couldn’t the saying be something about a mirror or a window? 

About how at first glance the window looks dark

But with a closer look, there’s more detail.

I wish sayings were spread not because of popularity, but because of accuracy. 

It would make the sayings actually have a clear meaning, 

And it would keep people from dilly-dallying around what the saying means. 

Why can’t you judge a book by its cover?

The Turtle’s Birthday: A Sestina

The kids scattered around the yard, laughing with their friends

Some of them ran like an emu

But they all had loads of fun while they played

The birthday turtle’s favorite song

Blared from the speakers, as his mom

Provided directions to the people handing out candy.


The turtle’s best friend Bob squawked that he wanted the candy

Immediately. He was told to wait, but the young child was impatient just like his friends.

No one seemed to be paying attention to the turtle except for his mom. 

But also his friend Ellie, she’s an Emu. 

Children giggled as they heard the opening song

of the main entertainment at the party, a play. 


This was a play 

Where a princess eats candy

And turns into a warthog with the power of song

But the issue is solved because of the Princess’s friend

Who may be an Emu

Just like Ellie, this detail was added by the turtle’s mom


After several your mom

Jokes, Bob, and Daphne tired of playing

Pranks and games on The Turtle and Ellie the Emu

So, Bob decided to go get some candy.

The Turtle’s mom told Bob that he needed to be more friendly

With The Turtle since it is his birthday. Bob decided to sing him a song.


It was time for a song.

Since the stage was finally set up by the workers and The Turtle’s mom, 

All of The Turtle’s friends 

Took a break from playing

And sat down with the bribe of candy.
At the end of the play, everyone was saved by the magical emu. 


Unfortunately, Ellie the emu

Was offended by the song. 

So The Turtle’s mom gave her extra candy.
For, the Turtle’s mom

Understood how she could be offended by a play.
Ellie got over it fast, she went and played with her best friends. 


Ellie the emu ate and her problems were solved, she would’ve had this much fun if The Turtle’s mom hadn’t helped. 

The song began to play towards the end of the party, signaling it was time to leave. 

Everyone was given candy and The Turtle had a blast with his friends. 

Happy 2023!

As we bid farewell to 2022 and welcome 2023.

I hope this year is filled with happiness and prosperity.

I hope we can experience new things that we haven’t done before.

I hope that we take each day in this new year one step at a time and enjoy it to the fullest.

We deserve it.

Happy 2023!

The Fisherman and The Assassin

Eric stood alone in the rain, hands pressed against the moist and smooth grass. Looking up he saw a man. The man was gangly, unruly and had an almost comical smirk on his face.

Eric rose his head more as his eyes widened in recognition, breathing in the odor of the rain hitting the ground with a force similar to that of falling into a slumber, “You, you’re still alive, I-“.

“Of course I’m alive, Eric,” The tall man leaned inwards, the items on his belt and straps wobbled as he stared into Eric’s eyes, holding a Longbow at his side, “Like you said, you have to work hard to get somewhere in life, and the more of your self is work, the more of your life has value”

“That’s not exactly what I said-” Eric stopped as he was firmly interrupted.

“I am paraphrasing, Eric” The tall and lanky man sighed as he rolled his head back, completely unaffected by how cold the rain was, even when it slowly made it past his hair, all the way down his forehead, and into his almost chemically hazel eyes, “But now It’s my turn to tell you something, my friend. Are you listening?”

Eric slumped himself back against the boulder and rubble behind him, looking up at the man he knows as Oliver.

“Now, let me tell you a little story, if that’s alright.” Oliver said with a soft yet scratchy voice.

Eric adjusted himself, arm rested on his knee, “It’s not like I have a much better to do”.

“Good.” For someone so chaotic, he was still polite at least,”So there were two men, a fisherman and an assassin. You see both of them were well acquainted with each other as they had been neighbors for about a year now. And since they both prided themselves on their skill and proficiency in their jobs they decided to switch for a day. Now the Assassin didn’t like fishing. He didn’t like the waiting, the tension. You see, he liked being in control. He didn’t like the idea that the fish couldn’t simply swim away, not one bit. But, on the other hand the fisherman loved this job. Maybe it was something about the control. Maybe it was something about the way he could just hit a target. Maybe, just maybe, he thought that fishing wasn’t too different to shooting another man in the head.” He stopped looking down at Erics face which seemed bored and puzzled. so he leaned down to grab Eric by his read hair moving his face only a few inches from his staring him down into his core. Eric didn’t move nor did he say anything. He just looked him in his face with eyes widened.

“Now I need you to listen here…” Oliver didn’t blink, “Allow me to finish the rest of my story here”. He let go of his hair, “Now, as I was saying, the fisherman wanted to keep the assassin’s job and he didn’t want to switch back. This of course made the assassin made and so the two fought over whether or not they would switch back. Of course the assassin came out on top concerning that he was more experienced and had more skill than the fisherman. Now, the next day the assassin went to work and as he had his eyes on the target and his finger on the trigger the target was shot dead. He was shot dead not by the assassin but by the fisherman”.

Eric looked up. He didn’t quite understand if this was just another of Oliver’s ramblings or if this was actually significant. Either way he knew it meant something.

“Now what the hell is that supposed to mean?” Eric sat with a sort of disdain as if he was annoyed or uncomfortable.

Oliver looked down at him, with that comical smirk now immediately gone. “You really. don’t get it do you” Oliver replied as he squatted down in front Eric, with his arms rested meticulously on his knees.

Suddenly Oliver’s plain expression changed to an unnaturally wide smile that seemed to stretch the skin on his face mildly, truly allowing his just widened eyes to gaze with full force into Eric’s soul. When he smiled he didn’t typically show his teeth.

“There is something truly wrong with you” The words almost spilled out of Eric’s mouth.

Oliver promptly bursted out in laughter. This wasn’t the type of laughter one would produce when someone told a pretty decent joke, no, this was more unhinged. It was loud and sharp form of uncontrollable, blood-curdling cackle. But Eric couldn’t move, he was too injured. He could only watch as Oliver mentally broke in front of him.

Word Generator Short Story – The Death

Denial, braid, grandmother 

My grandmother is dead. She’s gone. She’ll never drive down from Chicago to visit us ever again. I’m still processing it, a car accident. She just wanted to go to the grocery store, but no, a drunkard with multiple arrests and warnings hit her out of nowhere. Now she’s gone.

I’ll miss the feeling of her being around most of all. When she would sit next to me and rub my shoulders. When I was little, she would braid my hair, she’s the one who taught me how to braid in the first place. Why does death have to exist? It isn’t fair for anyone, especially when there’s no illness or suffering involved. 

My family’s in denial, they seem to think she’ll just magically appear at the door. But I don’t, I want justice. This random person took my grandmother away from me, I want them to pay, I want them to suffer. They deserve to rot in jail for the rest of their miserable life, it isn’t going to make up for the life they took from me, but it is a start.