I Love Sofia

“Profundity?  That’s a big word,” John smirked.

Sofia’s hackles went up. “What’s that supposed to mean?”


“Is it because I’m a woman?”

“Don’t be silly.”

“Is it because I’m from Brooklyn – and not the trendy, hipster Brooklyn?”

He shook his head.

“It’s because my dad was a construction worker.”

“This is getting out of hand.”

“Is it?  Why can’t I use words like ‘profundity’.”

“It sounds like a word Nero Wolfe would use.  Or one of the many vocabulary words you’re forced to learn for a standardized test, but never actually use in a sentence.”

“I went to an excellent college.”  Better than the one he went to, in fact, but she refrained from saying so, determined to take the high ground.

“That’s true.”

“I have an excellent job.  I was the youngest Vice President in my department.”

“You don’t have to prove yourself to me. I love you.”

“Do you?

He frowned at her.

She pouted.  “I know, but you can be condescending.”

“I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to be. You’re adorable, and intelligent – smarter than I am.  I wouldn’t have married you if you were just another pretty face.”

She felt somewhat mollified by his words, and smiled.  “I love you, too, John Green.”

He took her hand and they remained in companionable silence.

After a few minutes, they heard sirens approaching.

“So, are you going to tell me how you got your head stuck in the bannister before the Fire Department arrives?”


“You’ll have to tell them.”

“I don’t think so.”  Sofia bit her lower lip.  In her sweetest voice, she said, “My love, about those pictures you took when you found me, I’m going to need you to delete them.”

“Never!  You already have a thousand likes on Instagram.  You’re going viral, baby.”





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The Dirty Old Man

“Not again,” Lisa muttered before turning to the man tapping her shoulder.

She looked him up and down.  What was it about her that attracted middle aged men?  At least this one seemed to be in decent shape.

Still, he could be her father’s older brother.  Another dirty old man.

“Look, sir, I’m sure you’re delightful.  The ladies at the club must fawn over you.  You’re certainly not unattractive – for a man your age.  But I must wonder why you’re here?  Are you trying to impress your buddies?  Prove your sexual prowess is more than a legend?”

He opened him mouth, but she shook her head.

“I’m sure you have a great job, a hefty bank account, and the means to support me.  I’ve heard it all before.  I could pretend that I’m flattered, but I’m not.  Let’s face it, you want eye candy and a nice roll in the hay.  Maybe you’re willing to be my sugar daddy or turn me into your trophy bride.”

She paused, and sighed.  “I want more.  I’m twenty-four-years-old – I’m sure you have ties older than I am – with a promising future.  I’m entering law school in two months.  Eventually, I’d like to get married and have a family.  I don’t want to change my baby’s diaper and move on to my husband’s.”

She shrugged.  “Sorry if I sound cruel, but it had to be said.  Not just for me, but for all women.  Now, why don’t you go and find someone age appropriate.”

She turned away and took a sip of her martini.

“Nice speech.  I came over to tell you that your skirt is stuck in your underwear.”  He said.

“Oh, thanks,” she called after his retreating form.  Mortified, she fixed her skirt.  How long had it been that way?

The Junkyard

“America, that trellis your father constructed out of reclaimed wood killed all of my roses.”  My mother stood at the window, shaking her head in frustration.

“I told you it was a bad idea to get garden supplies out of that nasty old abandoned junkyard.”

“You told us not to go there because it’s haunted, not because it has contaminated wood.”

“How do you think the wood got contaminated?  Residue from all the ghosts.”

Mother signed.  “Aren’t you getting too old for this?”

“I didn’t realize there was an age limit on one’s beliefs,” I said, pushing my shoulders back and holding my head up high.

My mother stared at me for a moment, then burst out laughing.  “So serious!  You had me for a minute!”

“I’m not joking, mom.”  I crossed my arms.  “Grandma said you wouldn’t understand.”

“When did you speak with Grandma Carla?”

“Grandma Mary.”

“My mother died before you were born.”

“I know, but that doesn’t stop her from visiting.  She says I’m special, like she was, because I can communicate with the dead.”

“If you’re so special, what are tonight’s winning lottery numbers?”

“I can’t see the future,” I protested.

“No.  You just see things that no one else can.”

“You never believe me.”  I pouted.

“Why should I?  You talk about haunted junkyards and speaking with dead people.”

“But that junkyard….”

My mother cut me off.  “Enough!  Your father and I get things from that junkyard all the time.  Nothing has ever been possessed or haunted.”

Just then, we heard a knocking on glass.  My mother instinctively turned toward the window.  I turned her around toward the mirror.  Instead of our reflections, we saw Grandma Mary smiling and waving.

“Didn’t you get that from the junkyard?”  I asked my mother, right before she fainted.

The Boogeyman

“America is the land of the free, the home of the brave.”

“You’ve misinterpreted the rhetoric, just a bit.  It doesn’t apply to breaking into my home.”  I managed to sound calm, despite my racing heart.  The last thing I’d expected upon returning home from a long day at the newspaper was to find a machete wielding masked man in my kitchen.  “Who are you?”

He waved a finger at me.  “Come on, Mags, I expect better.  You named me, after all.”

Something traitorous and primal in me wanted to scream in terror, but maintaining my wits would be crucial for survival.  “You’re the Boogeyman.”

He smiled and bowed.  “The one and only.”

I felt goosebumps.  “The police are looking for you.”

“They won’t get me.  I’m not a man, I’m a demon.  The Boogeyman.”

“Why’re you here?”  The monster standing before me had terrorized the city since January, sneaking into the homes of young couples and hacking them to death with a machete.

“To tell you my story.  I’ve killed nine couples.  I will claim others.  I’m invincible against human laws and can’t be stopped.  I’ll continue to take victims as the mood strikes me.  I’m offering you an exclusive.”

“You want me to write and publish your story?”

He nodded enthusiastically.

I could tell he expected me to thank him.  Everyone likes to be appreciated, and I didn’t want to end up dead.  “Why me?”

“I read what you wrote.  You saw my genius, and named me.”


“The police constructed a false theory about me.  I’m not a madman.”

Great.  A serial killer viewed me as his soulmate.  I sighed, wondering why I always attracted the crazies.  Still, I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

“Do you mind if I record the interview?”

School Days

“Become a teacher, he said.  You’ll get summers off, he said.  Molding young minds is rewarding, he said.  Except he left out this part of the job.”

“Talking to yourself again, Tom?”  Liam stepped into the room and let out an expletive.  “I was wondering what was taking you so long.  I thought we were going out for a drink to celebrate the last day of school.  What the heck happened?”

“Those brats are possessed.”

“You’re over reacting just a bit, aren’t you?”

“Am I?”  Tom watched Liam gingerly step over a pool of vomit, before sitting on the desk facing him.

“They’re six-year-olds, little more than babies.”  Liam said.

“Except they act more like the plague.”

Liam’s eyes fell on something in the corner.  “Tom?”

“It’s poop.  I’m not sure whose.  They’re little, feral animals, every one of them.”

“Look on the bright side, you’ve two months of freedom.”

“It’s not enough.”

“It’s not that bad.”

“Today, I got kneed in the nuts.”

“An accident.”

“Maybe.  It happened while wrestling the scissors away from Peter, who was cutting Lucy’s hair.  While my back was turned, Angie spit in my drink.”

“Come on!”

“Katie added a booger for good measure.  The class sat giggling as I gulped down the contents of my water bottle.  Robert told me about it as I removed the glue stick he shoved up his nose.  I sent him to the nurse because he put another one in a different part of his body.  Then Jen bit me and threatened to say I punched her if I sent her to the principal.”

“You’re a grown man.  How could you let this happen?”

“The worst part is, this was the best day I’ve had all year.  So, are you going to untie me, or what?”



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