Portrait

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 16-09-2014

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“History can bestow a romantic quality on the undeserving, of course,” Mr Caportini said to the tour group, leading them into the portrait gallery. “Our Miss Borden being an excellent example.” He paused before the famous face. “While, certainly, her most violent crimes deserve their notoriety,” Caportini continued, adding, “Oh, and don’t trouble yourself with guilt versus innocence. Lizzie was acquitted solely because the courts at the time did not believe women clever enough to plan or strong enough to commit ghastly murders.” His eyes twinkled as someone gasped. “So unfair, no? To my original point, yes, it IS unfair! Lizzie Borden does not deserve to be legendary while the cannibalistic Crockers and their dear Betty – an accomplished serial poisoner – are remembered drolly for cakes and pies.” Caportini grinned slyly as he saw a young woman touch Betty’s portrait with newfound affection and understanding.

Choice

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 15-09-2014

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When the moon was full, Evie turned into more of a werecoyote than a wolf. Thin, small, and straggly, she was not accepted into hunting packs (that considered her a liability) and had zero chance of finding a mate. Falling asleep under a dumpster after digging for old cheeseburgers, Evie was trapped by an animal rescue, then bathed, fed, and cuddled. “We have no choice but to change at the command of the moon, but can always decide not to turn back,” Fenrik had said to her before the bite. “Eventually, we forget our human ways.” Evie reflected on this, drifting in and out of sleep in her cage surrounded by blankets and toys. “My life was a non-stop crap circus anyway,” her human brain said in words and pictures. “No big shakes if you resign.” And so she did, with zero notice.

The Undercryptic Lexicon: Nightmare Haiku #3

Filed Under (Undercryptic Lexicon) by Tansy on 14-09-2014

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Please complete this haiku according to your druthers.

“Alone in the night; darkness wins …”

(Illustration by Edward Gorey)

peeling

Tansy’s answer: “Crackers and Cheez Whiz.”

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Dreamscapes

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 13-09-2014

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“It was a night of strange dreams,” Thor began, joining the others for breakfast, “where I, in an opulent and maze-like city, was besieged on all sides by unseen foes.” “I was an elf ranger fighting off orcs – straight outta Lord of the Rings,” Hawkeye shared. “I went to sleep redesigning the artificial heart,” Stark added, “and then it took on a mind of its own and replicated other parts to make a Frankenstein.” “I received a telegram informing me that all of the people I’d assassinated were coming back to life and I needed to fly home to Russia,” Black Widow said. “So, basically, we all dreamt about our actual lives?” Captain America asked, laughing. “I ordered a sandwich at Subway and they put eyeballs on it instead of turkey,” Bruce Banner interjected softly. They all turned to stare at him and he shrugged. “No way my dreams can be weirder than my reality.”

Broken

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 12-09-2014

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“That stuff about seeking and finding,” Patrick began, handing the angel a segment from the orange in his school lunchbox. The angel responded softly, “What about it?” “Well, it’s broken, for one thing,” Patrick said. “I seek for plenty of things and never find them.” “Maybe seeking is the whole point?” the angel offered. “Seek and you’ll just keep seeking forever, so I hope you like seeking?” Patrick asked, looking at the angel slyly. “I’m in third grade and even I can see that’s totally lame.” The angel snacked and pondered, wondering if he’d get in trouble for saying the boy had a point.

Notice

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 11-09-2014

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Russell noticed that the rook was flying level with the car – just outside of the driver’s window, like a police escort. It was joined by another on the passenger side, then another at the rear of the car. “Wow,” he said to himself. “That’s weird.” Rooks gathered above, forming a canopy over the vehicle, their cries almost deafening. Coming into town, someone at the bus stop stood up and shrieked, “A new king will be chosen!” Russell tried not to stare. “Must be a full moon or something,” he whispered. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something big was about to go down.

Capture

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 10-09-2014

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The color plate slipped from the iris of her left eye, allowing Linda’s scanner to access the cards. “You are not Henry A. Jacobs nor are you Ping X. Piu or any of the others in this stack.” She slipped a captivity loop around his right foot which tightened as he tried to run, knees slamming against the concrete. “I’m not really interested in a fake ID as much as taking you in,” Linda said, her chip receiving confirmation of processing action. “And I’ve had my card numbers stolen three or four times now; huge pain in the ass,” she added from her human thought and speech center. “If I find my name in any of these piles, I’ll be tearing something off as a souvenir.”

Spite

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 09-09-2014

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“Well, you’re a b … b … bi … bit misunderstood!” Spitefork shouted, trying to be mean. The other demons laughed and he slunk off to the lava pits to be alone. “The boss is going to have my pointy tail for this,” Spitefork pouted, ashamed that he was a complete failure at name-calling and the other important arts of verbal abuse. Try as he might, he simply couldn’t stop seeing something to like in others – even if they couldn’t see it themselves. He looked up from the lake of fire to see Bricknoggin trying to be glum on the far bank. “He has a nice smile; I wish he wouldn’t hide it,” Spitefork whispered before groaning at his own ineptitude once again.

Zoo

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 08-09-2014

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She hid her face behind the stuffed bear, self-conscious as he wheeled her into the zoo. “Look!” he said, showing her the cheetahs. “Those guys have freckles, too!” “That little guy is slow as molasses,” he said, pointing to a sloth, “but slow and steady wins the race!” “Wow!” he said, laughing at the monkeys. “I think it’s better to have no hair than crazy hair like that!” She giggled, sitting up a little straighter and tugging at the soft cap that hid her baldness. “I used to be scared of bats when I was little, thinking it must suck to have wings and not be a bird,” he shared. “But bats are more like mice with wings, and that’s cool – to be … like … a megamouse … and Halloween wouldn’t be the same without them … and … and … “. He stopped talking, the weight of the last few months suddenly crushing, the hoping and the fearing not quite over. “It’s okay, Dad,” she said quietly, taking his hand and holding it tightly. After a few moments, she whispered, “I like bats, too.”

The Undercryptic Lexicon: Nightmare Haiku #2

Filed Under (Undercryptic Lexicon) by Tansy on 07-09-2014

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Please complete this haiku according to your druthers.

“It’s opera night; a howling growling is heard …”

(Illustration by Edward Gorey)

opera

Tansy’s answer:  “My blind date is here.”

(Post your own answers and read the genius of others on the Tansy Undercrypt Facebook page.)