Monday, September 26, 2011


I am a fifty foot giant, traipsing around the supermarket where I earn a regular paycheck, and the grocery aisles are arranged like a maze for laboratory rats. I can see the shoppers, racing around, finding their prizes and ringing their bells. They're stocking up on the must-haves and arguing over the want-it-bads.
This woman needs her roast; there's been a death in the family. That woman needs her cake; her granddaughter is turning five. That man has to have the Official Dallas Cowboy beer cooler; the game starts at three.

Each person's event is the most important event, and if we don't meet their needs, their lives will crumble.

I am a small ghost. I slip in between them and fill their carts.They don't see me. They don't hear me; even if they do, they don't recognize me. They don't need to.

I am a person. I need three o'clock. If it doesn't come soon, my world will crumble.

Friday, September 9, 2011


"This doesn't seem right."

I knew, not just in my heart but with every muscle in my body what was right and what was wrong. I understood that later I might have to answer to a more powerful, more vengeful authority, but standing next to you, I couldn't seem to pull myself away from the act. You were the only one who seemed to matter at that moment. I had craved your affection for so long, and now, here you were, looking at me as if I were beautiful. I clicked the arrow into place and raised the crossbow to aim.

"They're just puppies. They don't have souls."

Your breath blew against my hair, tickling my cheek, warming my ear. Your fingers had rested on the curve of my hip. I was completely aware of how close you were to me, and I never wanted you to move away.

It took me a few seconds to line the first one in my scope. He was so cute, so cuddly, a big ball of energetic, clumsy, black fluff. He jumped around in the group with his pink tongue sticking partway out of his mouth. I didn't want to kill him. I wanted to scoop him up and take him home with me. I wanted to rescue the entire bunch.

"What's wrong?"

"I can't..." An unexpected tear rolled down my right cheek. The cheek you couldn't see. I didn't want you to be disappointed in me, but I couldn't bring myself to do this. This was wrong. I knew it in my heart that we shouldn't be randomly choosing things to kill. I didn't care if a puppy had a soul or not.

I had a soul, and that's what mattered.

"You can. Just squeeze the trigger." You seemed so sure of me. I wondered if you had ever known me at all.

Maybe you were the one without a soul.

I squeezed the trigger, just as you asked, but the arrow went wild and embedded itself into the trunk of a tree, just above the cluster of puppies. I watched the puppies jerk back in surprise and fear. They scattered at first and then decided on a leader among them. They disappeared over the hill, presumably to the safety of their mother's teat.

I didn't sigh with relief until you were halfway to the tree, cursing at my bad aim.