365 Ficlets – Day #300 ~ “Morning Run”

The sun had only been up for an hour or so, but already the sand felt warm beneath his feet. The quiet lagoon was indeed paradise, just as she had said it would be. The waves were barely lapping at the beach, even though he could see much heavier breakers out beyond the reef, and the copse of palm and other smaller trees on the western border of the lagoon was an effective windbreak from what was at least a fresh force four.

He took another mouthful of water from the canteen and then bent down to slip his feet into the running shoes, gently batting any little bits of sand away. He enjoyed the ritual of even little things and putting on his trainers was no different; these were the last few habit-formed things he would do before he would indulge in another daily habit.

Feet safely ensconced he took one more slug of water, placed the can on the ground and walked down to the wet sand. Once there he picked a spot to run to on the eastern side of the lagoon and began to put one foot in front of the other; to run.

365 Ficlets – Day #301 ~ “Underground”

The sunlight coming through the street level vents looked for all the world like ladders up out of the tunnel as I wandered along the disused tracks. A few people had warned me that there might be homeless people down here that would not take kindly to an interloper from the surface world, and might move from displeasure to hostility once they realised that my cameras might buy them some food or whisky. Even so I had not seen anyone for about forty minutes and I was starting to think that I had found a real treasure, that there was a good chance I could persuade Sophie to model down here for me.

I started to look for landmarks that I might be able to use to remember places and things that I wanted to use as backdrops; this piece of graffitti, that broken column. I never heard him coming, I was so engrossed in my work.

“Sir, put the camera on the ground and get down on your knees with your hands on top of your head.”

I flashed a look over my shoulder and was amazed to see a cop with his weapon leveled at my back.

365 Ficlets – Day #299 ~ “First Duty”

The pine needles under my knee feel slightly scratchy, but I have been schooled repeatedly that I must not flinch until I am spoken to, and I must not lift my eyes until my presence has been acknowledged. It is the first time I have been given the honour of carrying news to the throne, and along side the swell of pride in my bosom there are nerves aplenty.

“Rise and approach good messanger, we would hear what news you bring to our ear.”

I look up and see the Night King, resplendent in his finery upon a throne of wood and bone. He is everything that I have been told he will seem to be; authoritative and beautiful. I am awestruck and though my moment’s pause is appropriate, it is in no way calculated. Slowly and carefully I rise to my feet and slowly approach the throne, and the King gestures to a seat by his left hand where it is clear that I should sit. I take my seat and he leans close to me so that I may whisper my message into his ear.

“My lord, the words of the forest are in my keeping for your ear alone…”

365 Ficlets – Day #298 ~ “Cruising for a Hit”

“Excuse me, but can you tell me where I would find Kings of Leon, please?”

I thought about telling her that I was not a member of staff, but she was fairly clearly somebody’s Mum, rather than a fan, and I didn’t have the heart to throw her on the questionable mercies of the actual staff. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit attracted to her as well.

“Er, yeah sure. Just come this way and I can point them out to you.”

She smiled and relaxed, she seemed relieved to be led to the Rock section of the store.

“So, are you a fan?”

I asked as we weaved in and out of other browsing customers. She smiled and laughed nervously;

“No, I’m more a Girls Aloud and a bit of Aleesha perhaps. No this is my punishment for getting myself a younger man. It’s his birthday and I wanted to get him something he really wants, which was fine until I had to walk into a record shop.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at myself on the inside as this admission trickled out of her; my good deed for the day was not going to be rewarded with a phone number.

365 Ficlets – Day #297 ~ “We Could be Heroes…”

“Hi. Listen, I know that this looks bad, and you have every right to call the Police or just run like Hell, but I didn’t believe your assistant that you had seen my request for an appointment to meet with you, and well…”

I was aware that if I kept talking I could well be accused of trying to do too much; that tailing off and not belabouring the point might indeed serve me better than sounding too desperate.

It’s not often that one of your literary heroes catches you shinning over their garden wall on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but I had been getting desperate. As a solution, having worked out roughly where DeLacey was living, I had spent Friday evening buying drinks in the village pub until the actual location of his house was shaken loose. Now here I was, on my knees in the camelia bed, gesturing a little wildly with a notebook and hoping that perhaps the greatest novelist of my lifetime was going to be amused or at least curious rather than angry.

“Get up, young man. Would you like a cup of tea perhaps?”

365 Ficlets – Day #296 ~ “Moondancer”

The cold clear water of the brook feels good in my hands, clean and fresh in my mouth. It is a fine night, here in the high country under the moon and stars, far away from the sights and sounds of man. Even the hikers whose camp I can see below the waterfall are enjoying the wilderness with a sense of respect. I can see no litter and their food has been properly secured off the ground and away from the camp. They are sitting around their fire with a guitar and heavy blankets, singing quiet songs and from the smell of things enjoying a joint.

I watch them for a while, drinking until my thirst is slaked. I remember being tied to their world, and a pang of jealousy does strike at my heart. Even with the life of wonder I now lead I miss the simplicity of a normal human life – Starbucks, Chipotle, The Movies, videogames and the internet. Still, I have my night’s work ahead of me, no time left to linger. I say a brief prayer to the Owls “watch over these innocent souls” and disappear into the woods, unseen, unheard.