Saturday, March 19, 2016

Of Blue Cats, Lost Socks and Missing Time Flash Fiction

I’d had enough of losing socks. The plain white ankle socks – okay, I could still make up pairs. But my Laurel Burch Blue Cats socks from a trip to Universal Studios Citywalk??? NO!!!! When I moved the wet laundry from the washer to the dryer and could only find one of these precious blue babies, I was upset.

Leaning over, I searched the cavernous recesses of the washing machine. Leaning just a little bit too far over the lip, I realized I was falling…..falling……curiouser and curiouser.

I landed on a shiny gray surface with a thump and took a moment to catch my breath. The smell of laundry detergent fumes was strong and perfume-y. (I thought the brand I used was perfume free?) Rising to my feet, I trudged toward the only pile of color anywhere in sight – a gaily hued pyramid, rising to the dark sky.

When I got there, the pyramid was composed of thousands of socks in all shapes, sizes and colors. Baby socks, doll socks, military green socks, socks with dogs and cats and penguins and Santas and anything and everything you could name. I was dizzy gazing at all the choices! Was this every sock I’d ever lost in my entire life? For I observed there was only one of each.

There! My Blue Cats sock was beckoning to me from the top of the pyramid so, greatly daring and determined, I started climbing the pile. But socks shifted under my feet and I couldn’t make progress and finally the entire structure fell apart in an avalanche of color, like spilling dozens of paint cans at the same time. Remembering all the stories I ever read about avalanches, I swam with the flow and clawed my way to the top. Seeing my Blue Cats sock floating close at hand, I grabbed it and nearly drowned. A moment later the sock and I washed up on a bare spot.

Clutching it, I looked back to where the pyramid had been. Now an ivory, blue and gold timer stood there, revealed by the avalanche. Could this be where the missing hours went as well? Drawn to this strange other dimension by the same mystical power that steals single socks and hoards them? Every time we foolish humans in parts of the USA “sprang forward” and sacrificed an hour of sleep to the gods of lost time and socks, the fleeting moments came here.

Eureka, I’d unlocked a secret of the universe!

Now to get home and tell the world of my revelation. Hmmm. Now to get home indeed…I looked around the barren gray wasteland of the washing machine innards.

Suddenly a beautiful humming bird hovered above me. “I’ll take you home but you must swear never to reveal the secrets of this lost place.”

Ulp. Ok! I jumped onto the saddle, holding my sock for dear life.

As we rose, I seemed to hear the voice of Rod Serling in my ear, telling me I was leaving The Twilight Zone.

But it was actually the voice of my daughter. “Mom, Mom! Are you finished washing yet? I need to do my gym clothes.”

I put the second Blue Cats sock into the dryer and twisted the dial. Yes, I’d keep my secrets.
One thing I won't keep secret is my release of HEALER OF THE NILE: A NOVELLA, last week. This story was previously released in the Here Be Magic box set but is now a standalone. Here's my pretty cover and the story is below:
The story: 
1550 BCE
When Pharaoh sends injured warrior Tadenhut home to die, his noble family asks Mehyta, the local healer, to ease his path to the Afterlife. Mehyta discovers he’s trapped between Life and Death, caught in the dreamspace. Touched by his fighting spirit and will to live, Mehyta vows to use all the powers Shai, god of fate, gave her. Together Tadenhut and the brave healer battle to overcome his injuries, as well as threats from devious family members. While struggling to rescue her patient, Mehyta comes to realize he matters more to her than any man ever has before. But even if his life can be saved, what do the omens say about a match between a highborn soldier and a simple healer?
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