Sunday, January 15, 2012

Issue Three, Volume Three

From the Desk of the Editor:
Hello and welcome to Larks Fiction Magazine Issue Three, Volume Three. Today we have Three stories of contemporary fiction. They do not have anything to do with threes however.

The art, entitled "The Ooze", for Larks Year One by Tristan Hodgetts is ready--check it out! The collection should be available for free soon for electronic devices everywhere.

In other news follow us at @LarksMedia for news updates, indie literature news and writing prompts.

Thank you again for reading and I hope you enjoy it!

Daniel J. Pool

The Good Pastor Tom
By Tess Pfeifle

I look haphazardly at my ticket and the seat in front of me. Well, I guess it’s right, seat 12b.
The woman next to me was scantily clad in what looked like a few colored tissues and some sort of elaborate lace work. Which, when all together combined an outfit.
I straightened my tie and began to feel the sweat beat against my brow. I’m a married man, father of four; I shouldn’t recognize this harlot, this harpy…this beautiful…. 
What am I thinking! I am a pastor for goodness sake!
 I felt her ice blue eyes staring me down, going from my belt to my face, back to my belt. Oh, no, it couldn’t, not now. Oh God, I’ve done so much for you, please do not let me get a woody.
Breathing a sigh of relief and closing my eyes, I felt all temptation pass, I saw my wife in her long, yellow housecoat, my four children’s green eyes gazing up at me.
I sat down and turning to my right I saw that abomination of a woman sitting next to me.
She extended one, overly tan arm, “Hi, I’m Jenna Jameson, it looks like you’ve seen my work”
I hastily pulled out my right hand from behind me, “Hi, I’m tempted…. I mean Tom,”

The End

About the Author:
Tess Pfeifle is an aspiring tv writer who enjoys strawberry smoothies, The Velvet Underground, and zombies. Learn more about her and her writing on her website

The Romance Miser
By Claire Englewood

Corporal Thomas Marshall leaned against the bulwark of the USS Uruguay, reflecting on the last six days at sea.  This is the “dream duty”, is it?  I wonder if those dogfaces back in Germany had any idea what this would be like, escorting fifteen American-born women back home on a trooper with three hundred or so discharged wounded soldiers! Of course, everyone wants to get back home, and it’ll good to see Mama and the family again, but this feels like I left the job unfinished.  I’d rather be in Nuremburg with the rest of the staff preparing for the trial. 
 Tom glanced to the left upon feeling a tentative tap on his shoulder.  Ensign Jenkins, the ship’s purser, standing at attention with an agonized look on his face. “Yes, Ensign?  What can I do for you?”
 “Sir, sorry to interrupt your thoughts. I came to request permission to ask your ladies to the movie tonight.”  Holding his salute, the Ensign’s right foot was tapping anxiously.
“At ease, Ensign.  Now why would you ask that?  You know my job is keep eyes on these women, make sure all you eager beavers keep your distance.  Which one has caught your fancy?”  Tom finished the cigarette and tossed it overboard, grinning at the nervous Ensign. 
“It’s not just one, Sir.  They’re all top notch. My buddies and I thought we’d get a group of three or four of them and we’d all go together.  That way, it wouldn’t really be a date, Sir, would it?”
“Well, I’ll give you that, most of the gals are lookers.  You guys have been just like bees circling the hive ever since we boarded, determined to land.  Never actually thought intelligence work meant being a chaperone!  But we’re due to land in New York in a few days, and I guess a group that stays together – you hear that, son?  No couples splitting off, got it?”
Ensign Jenkins broke into a broad smile and his foot stopped tapping.  “Yes, Sir.  Absolutely, Sir.  Thank you, Sir!”   
Tom returned his gaze back to the horizon after a brusque “Dismissed”  to the Ensign.  At least that gives me a few hours to myself to work on their files and get away from all these endless annoying questions! The frogs keep asking whether they’ll be able to get Gauloise cigs, the Dona Isabellas are worried about finding domestics, and the dagos are going through grappa withdrawal. The one case that is still pending needs more attention; I’d better get to it.
He went back down to his bunk to review the file of the one woman who was still a mystery.  She had been born in New York, but she spoke better German than English, with an accent that was clearly Austrian.  The rest of the women spoke constantly of the families waiting for them at home; little fraulein didn’t mention anyone. 
 Her name was Elsabe Perliner.  Unusual for an American-born gal to have such a traditional name.  The intell was her father took his family back to Austria in 1931, seeking better medical care for a gangrenous leg.  He died before the war broke out and her family was broken apart in the following years.  After the armistice, she walked into the American Consulate in Vienna with her passport and birth certificate, a calm but persistent twenty-year-old saying she didn’t know if her mother and sisters were alive or dead.  She wanted out of Europe, as soon as possible.  
The troubling intell was that she had been part of the film industry run by the Nazis, a certified technician who operated the projector at the public movie house in Graz.  She had also spent eighteen months in a Hitler Youth Camp in Sankt Polten.  It’s certainly possible she’s had been indoctrinated and is a Nazi propagandist.  Other records showed several Perliners in the SA and the Luftwaffe.  She could be related to those soldiers and may have some knowledge that would be helpful to the tribunal in Nuremburg.
 As he thought more about it, he found it hard to reconcile the soft-spoken, hesitant young woman with the Austrian Nazis he had come to know.  They were usually arrogant and loudly vocal in the position that they were Hitler’s first victims, not willing accessories to the war crimes.  She won’t even discuss the war or Austria when I tried to draw her out, just looked at me with wide eyes and then made an excuse to go back to her bunk.  His instinct told him the file was not as accurate as it needed to be.
A knock at his door forced him to quickly hide the file in the satchel below the bed.  Standing there was the woman from France, Leona.
“Darling Tom, do you have a fag you could spare?  My pack is empty, and my supply for America is down in the hold in my steamer trunk.  I just don’t know how I’m going to get through the next few days!” Speaking in a manner meant to be seductive, she drew out her words and looked at him through lashes that could have been sleeping caterpillars.  Tom knew he was only an object of a test flirtation.  Leona’s natural prey would have a title of some sort, preferably with a large bank account. He suspected her time in Europe had been spent working the nightclubs and cabarets.  She was what the men called a “round heeled girl”.
        “Sure, Leona.  Let me get mine and I’ll treat you up on deck A”.  While there, he’d check on the rest of the gals to make sure none had disappeared behind a soldier’s closed door.  Headcounts every few hours was routine now. 
“Tom, do bring your sweet little flask as well, won’t you?  It is nearly time for an aperitif, you know.”  Leona threw him a look over her shoulder as she began her walk down the corridor, a good bit of leg showing through the slit in her tight red skirt.  “I’ll see if I can hoodwink the galley hands out of some ginger ale.  See you on deck A!”
Tom took the long way to deck A, checking to see if anyone had gotten separated from the group.  At the top of the stairs, in a chair facing the eminent sunset was Elsabe, wrapped in her alpine flower shawl and a red and white headscarf.  As always, her nose was in a book as she struggled to read English.  He chuckled at her choice of textbook, Dashiell Hammett’s classic detective novel, The Thin Man.
“Now, is that the sort of book a lady like you should be reading?”  His broad smile should have told her he was kidding, but she stiffened and hurriedly put the book behind her. 
        “Perhaps a lady should read all sorts of books, to be ready for speaking in a new country.”  Elsabe was matter of fact and prim, but not willing to give up her naughty pleasure.  “It is to help me learn the right words, how to speak English conversation.”  She was so formal he almost expected her to rise and bow to him.
        “I don’t think you’ll get that from this book.  Nick and Nora Charles are swank Britishers, living in high society New York.  You won’t be speaking with their sort, unless you have a trust fund hidden away in Switzerland.  Do you, Madame?”  He was still trying to provoke a smile, but he was also curious to see if she’d reveal how she was going to survive in New York.
        After a long pause searching for the words to reply, Elsabe switched to German.  “No, I have no trust fund.  My family lost all they had even before the war.  I must find a job as quickly as possible.  If I cannot find my Aunt in New York, I must go to my Grandmother in Philadelphia.  I would rather stay in New York.”
        “Tell me about your Aunt in New York.  Maybe I can find her for you, or get help from some of my Army friends.  I’m pretty good at finding people.”  Tom said.
        Again, Elsabe paused.  She looked at him quietly, steadily.  Tom got the feeling she was trying to see behind his eyes to find out the cost of his offer. 
“Perhaps they would be offended, to find that the Army was searching for them.  They would be angry with me for turning them in.”
        “Elsabe, you’re not in Nazi Germany any more.  It’s perfectly all right to ask where someone lives, what they do for a living.  It’s just part of conversation in America.”
        “No, thank you.  It is best I try by myself.  My mother always taught me, stay quiet, say nothing.  That’s how I survived, both Nazis and Russians.  I was told that in New York there are factories for jobs and boardinghouses for women only if I can’t find my family.  You are kind, but I will be fine.”  Elsabe’s firm resolve was quite evident. 
        “Well then, at least come and walk with me.  I must find Leona, I promised her a cigarette.  Would you like one?”  Tom held out his hand to help her up out of the chair.
        “I’ve never smoked a cigarette before.  You’ll have to show me how it’s done.”
 For the first time since boarding, Tom saw Elsabe smile at him.  The smile changed her eyes from rainy day gray to flashing ice blue, and as she stood, he was suddenly aware that Leona’s curves had nothing on Elsabe.  She must have been quite a Bavarian dish in one of those fetching dirndls. 
        The last remaining days at sea didn’t leave Tom much time for conversation with Elsabe after that. In addition to keeping the women separate, preparing the documents that would release each one from his custody, and wiring his Lieutenant that there seemed to be no information of any value from any of the women, he had to prepare the reports on which women were likely to go home with a discharged soldier. It’s been so long seen these galoots have seen a woman, it wouldn’t take much for one of the gals to wind up going home to meet sonny boy’s mother. 
Then on May 8, the eleventh day of the journey, they could see Lady Liberty.  Both soldiers and women were ready to leap from the deck just to set foot on free soil.  Cheers and lots of rushing about from one end of the ship to the other continued as they edged into the dock.
        As the last of the women walked off the pier and into the embrace of their families, Tom stood by the gangplank and thought, This has been one long day.  I got a goodbye hug from everyone except Elsabe.  She picked up her carpetbag, handed the book back to the seaman who had lent it to her, and walked off to a cab.  She didn’t even look back at me or say goodbye.  I’ll have to try and find her in a day or two.
As he disembarked, the Captain shook his hand, thanked him, and handed over a telegram from his brother in New Jersey.  Mama very excited making Thanksgiving dinner in May STOP  cash for you at Western Union STOP hurry home asap STOP
        There was more than just Thanksgiving dinner waiting for him in Riverside, N.J.  Mama had painted his old room and put up new curtains.  His sister Janet surprised him with an engagement ring on her finger and a tall, strong, carpenter named Bernard in tow.  Little Henry, his younger brother by 7 years, had set up three job interviews for him under the assumption that Tom was home for good.  It was hard for Tom to find a way to tell them that he was thinking about re-upping with his unit to get back to hunting Nazis. However with Janet planning on setting up housekeeping with Bernard soon, his mother was expecting him to live with and provide for her.  Within a month he had accepted a job with a commemoratives supplier in New York, Keuffel & Esser.  It was a well-paid sales job that wouldn’t be hard to get used to, lots of freedom and out of the office most of the time.      One Friday afternoon after several weeks of settling in, he got another telegram, this time from Nuremburg.  Important see Col. Peterson NYC Army Adjutant office STOP  Civilian assignment possible STOP Ltn McAlistair”
        “Col. Peterson, I’m Tom Marshall.  Lieutenant McAlistair in Nuremburg contacted me, said it was important I see you.”  Tom stood as if at attention out of habit and shook hands with the Colonel.  Hopefully this is the summons to return to Germany I’ve been waiting for, he thought.
        “Welcome Tom, welcome.  Glad you came so quickly.  Seems you made quite an impression on Army Intell over in Germany.  They’ve forwarded your file and asked me to find out how well connected you might be with the German-American community here at home.  They believe a  number of Nazis may be hiding out here.  What was your rank and clearance, son?”  Colonel Peterson had walked around his desk and sat down.
        “Sir, my rank is confidential and I am not outranked in this room, sir.”  Tom gave him the phrase that OSS agents had used to identify their status as connected directly to Patton’s staff.  “Honestly sir, I haven’t got any connections.  My mother emigrated from Vienna and became an American citizen long before I was born.  All our friends and family are long established in New Jersey.”  Tom was puzzled.  Could he continue to be attached to the General’s office here in the US?
        “According to the file, you’re fluent in German, you were able to go deep cover in Germany and be accepted as native-born.”  Colonel Peterson raised one eyebrow, and stared straight into Tom’s eyes.
        “Yes sir, my father emigrated in 1897 and met my mother here.  I was born in Baltimore and lived in the German community there for the first eight years of my life.  I spoke German at home, English at school.  We moved to New Jersey when I was ten years old.”  Since Tom knew these facts were in the file, he wondered where the conversation was going.
        “And what of your father now?  No ties to the German community in New Jersey?”  Colonel Peterson’s eyebrow seemed stuck in that elevated position. 
        “My father died just a year after we moved to New Jersey, sir.  My mother’s family came to the USA shortly after she did.  Everyone’s been naturalized since before WWI.  My family are as American as apple pie, diehard Jerseyites through and through.”
        “Well, here’s the deal, Tom.  We want you to make those connections, put yourself in touch with as many German speaking groups as you can. Develop a social life within these groups, try to learn as much as you can about any Nazis that came through the Odessa chain.  Are you married?  Would your wife fit in as well as you?”  he jovially asked.
        “That shouldn’t be hard for me to do, sir, but I’m not married.  Haven’t really gotten into any kind of social life yet, in spite of my mother and sister’s interference along that line.”
        “To make this assignment permanent, son, you’re advised to follow your mother’s advice.  A married man is much more secure, more reliable, when it comes to undercover work here in the States.  Army Intell is reorganizing into a stateside organization, and you’re on the short list.  Interested in picking up where you left off in Germany, tracking down Martin Bormann?”  Colonel Peterson was smiling broadly; the profile said this recruit would leap at the chance.
        “Sir, are you offering me a chance to get back in the game?  Could Bormann be here, in the States?”  The thought of capturing the criminal was sending Tom’s heart rate up.  After eight months trailing Bormann in Europe the chase had become personal to him. 
        The discussion between the two men went on for another forty-five minutes, as they crafted an agreement that would allow Tom to keep his day job and still search for information through contacts he would make.  “Actually,” Tom mentioned, “as a salesman, I can go to all the Germans I can find and sell them custom made cufflinks, rings, medallions for their fraternities and social clubs.” 
The first lead was the Friends of America, founded by Masonic German-American businessmen who had been denied reciprocity in the States.   He reconnected with his Uncle August, who liked to frequent the German drinking clubs and such.  He was whistling as he left the building and walked toward the subway, not seeing where he was going, until he smacked right into a young woman bent over her bags of groceries, shifting their contents.
        “Oof, Jesu Maria and Josef, watch where you walk mister!” The woman caught herself before she toppled over the groceries, then straightened up to glare at him.  She then did a double take as she recognized his face.  He was puzzled, however; this woman dressed in a too-large maid uniform with her hair pulled back into a bun was not recognizable to him.
        “You!  Only two months ago, you were mocking the book I was reading.  Where is your Army uniform now, Corporal?”  Elsabe had a quirky little grin on her face, teasing eyes dancing over his suit. 
        “Good grief, Elsabe! I never would have recognized you.  I see your English is getting better.  And I guess you found a job?  What about your Aunt?  Did you find her?”  Tom reached over and took one of the grocery bags, indicating she should continue to walk and he’d go along with her.
        “Please.  Call me Ella now.  It’s easier for the Americans to say.  And yes, I did find a job and my Aunt.  I live with her and her family, a nice Polish husband who works as the super in their building and their two little girls, my cousins.  I’m bringing the groceries to them tonight.  There’s the building, just down a bit on Dyckmann Street.”
        Tom and Ella walked along, quickly catching up with each other’s lives.  He felt easy in her company, able to speak simply with her, unlike the kind of girly flirty talk he had to put up with on the blind dates his sister had arranged.  She seemed just as easy in his company, knowing that anytime her English faltered, she could switch to German without any judgment on his part.  When they parted he asked for a phone number and promised to call the next time he was in the city.  Tom went on to New Jersey a very self-satisfied man with a plan for his life’s work and the possibility of a future date.
        The contacts worked.  He was an affiliate of the Friends of America within a month and through his day job had surfaced contacts with four other German-American associations in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.  He was so wrapped up in working the case as well as selling commemoratives he forgot about his promise to Ella.  There was no reliable info that Bormann was in America.  But he kept at it and one night left home for an evening in the city at one of the German beer gardens in the Lower East Side.  Uncle August had said it was a klezmer band contest and Tom thought if anyone would have information about Nazis in hiding, it would be the Jews coming for the music.  When he told his mother where he was going that night, she set her lips in a grim straight line and glared.
        “How will you meet a girl decent enough to go to church with us, in the company of Uncle August?  He only likes the beer halls that remind him of the old country.  The only people you’ll meet there will be “alter kockers”, old men with old tales to tell.”  his mother said. 
        “Mama, I enjoy their old tales.  And the beer is cold, cheap and good.  I’m sure there will be some nice girls as waitresses, or maybe the old men will bring their daughters.”  he protested.
        His mother’s hand went up to caress the cross on her necklace.  “Tom, I was very proud of you, chasing the Nazis the way you did when the war ended.  But I’m not getting any younger, and neither are you.  It’s time you started thinking about giving me some grandchildren. That’s your job as the eldest son.”  She sighed, took her hand off her cross, and looked serenely at Tom, who was dumbfounded.
        “I just … I… don’t know when I’d have the time to take someone out, all that social fol-de-rol.  You know I was never much for going out with the girls, Mama. Besides, Janet’s about to get married and they’ll have children soon.” Tom felt like a child again, being reprimanded for forgetting to take out the garbage.
        “Yes, I know.  You should take lessons from Henry.  He has become quite a favorite with the ladies.”  Mama was so calm, so matter of fact. “But Janet and Bernard plan to wait for children until he can build them a house, and that will take several years.  You, on the other hand, have a good income and we have plenty of room right here for your wife and children.”  She had clearly thought this out.   Tom, on the other hand, felt as though she was pushing him through a brick wall.
        “I don’t know what to think Mama.  I’m surprised you’ve been thinking about this.”  Tom couldn’t tell her that tonight was part of his assignment with Army Intell, it was top secret.  “But Uncle August is waiting for me, and I must go.  We’ll have to talk about this later.”
        As Tom was walking from the subway in New York on his way to his destination, he was preoccupied with thoughts about his conversation with Mama and the advice Colonel Peterson had given him.  Marriage was the price of an enticing permanent assignment with the new stateside agency.   He chuckled to himself as he realized it was Mama who taught him to keep an intense focus on gaining an objective.  She wouldn’t give up on this until he was walking down a church aisle. 
Once again, he was walking straight into the path of a woman who seemed to recognize him, at least she was waving at him.  As they got closer, Tom’s heart seemed to leap into his throat.  It was Elsabe, or rather, Ella. 
        “So, Corporal.  I see I have to track you down in the streets in order to see you again, eh?”  Ella was smiling, but her arms were crossed and her eyes were flat, uninvolved in that smile.
        “Ella, I’m so sorry.  I’ve been working long hours and haven’t been in the city all that much.  I know I said I’d call you, and I apologize.  Are you on your way home?  Why don’t you let me buy you a drink to make up for it?”  Tom turned on all the charm, the slightly tilted head and a soft hand on her arm, his eyes looking deeply into hers.  His voice was deep and he made her feel like he had missed her company.
        “I’m on my way to the Old Stein Haus to meet with some friends of my Aunt and Uncle.  There are plenty of German-Americans who go there, so they can speak German and sing the old songs, without stirring up any anger with the Americans.  Lots of soldiers go there too, or ex-soldiers I should say.  Why don’t you join me?”  Ella blushed, looked down at her feet and thought, ‘This will be a surprise for Aunt and Uncle, when I show up with an American next to me.
        “That, my dear, is exactly where I’m going.  So it seems I’ll be escorting you once again.  How fortunate for me.”  Tom realized that Ella could be his introduction to the younger crowd who frequented the place, and his Uncle August would connect him to the Jewish group as originally intended.  Ella was turning out to a help with one of his objectives, and maybe even his mother’s objective.  Her experience in Europe had been cleared by the Army, and she would be an asset in getting accepted in the German-American community.  He placed her arm through his, and they strolled to the Beer Garden.
        Over the next three months, he seemed to run into Ella everywhere he turned. Colonel Peterson continued to add pressure for Tom to get married.  Peterson pursued further investigation into Ella’s Nazi involvement, and determined she had neither collaborated nor resisted, just survived.  Tom’s office at Keuffel & Esser was blocks from her aunt’s apartment, and her path crossed his as she was going to the subway.  Several times, K&E sponsored meetings and displays at the hotel where Ella worked day shift as a housemaid, night shifts as a waitress.  They didn’t actually date, but whenever they crossed paths they would have coffee together, or spontaneously go out for dinner and a movie.  He found himself finding lots of excuses to come in to the city on his days off and eager to find a reason to book a room in her hotel.  One Saturday, on his way to see Colonel Peterson, he happened to see Ella quickly step into a small bookstore. In that instant he made the decision that it was time to take the hill.  He followed her in, and from behind placed his hands over her eyes.
        “Guess who?”  Tom tried to change his voice, but she giggled.  Obviously it was him.
        “Fine, Tom, I saw you walking towards me on the street.  I didn’t think you saw me.  Why do we keep running into each other, are you tracking me, using your Army tricks again?”
        “No, doll.  Fate just seems to want us together.  Maybe we should follow the flow, just stick together.”  Tom twirled her around to face him.  She obviously wasn’t sure what he meant.
        “Are you trying to compromise my virtue, Soldier?” 
        “Not at all.  Your virtue is sacred to me.  I just think we should get married and quit running into each other by accident.  Would you like to get married, Ella?”  Tom leaned against the book shelf, looking at his nails as if he had just asked her to recommend a manicurist.
        “Are you teasing me?  What should I think about a proposal between the shelves holding my detective stories?”  Ella was still brushing this off as a joke, friendly teasing.
        “I’m dead serious, Ella.  Let’s get married.  You can quit working these lousy jobs in the hotel. There’s room in my Mama’s house for us while we save up for a house of our own, and you can become an American house-frau.  Doesn’t that sound like a good idea?”  To Tom, this was a good solution to several problems. If I want this assignment to continue, I’ll need to be away from home, possibly out of the country.   With Ella as my bride, I’ll have the secure home life the Army prefers and she’ll take care of Mama.  We get along well, like the same things, marriage should be pretty easy.  He didn’t have to think about it anymore than that.
        Ella stood there thinking.  She didn’t really care for being a housemaid or a waitress, but it was all she knew.  She hadn’t met anyone else yet, and truthfully wasn’t interested in anyone else other than Tom Marshall.  What else did life have to offer her?  He was good looking enough, had a good job, took care of his Mama.  Compared to the war years in Europe, this seemed like a golden ticket to security.
        “Yes, alright then.  We can’t seem to stay out of each other’s way, so we’ll get married.  You know, Tom, the romance in my detective stories is never as short, sweet and to the point as it has been with you.  Are we having lunch today? By the way, do I get a ring from you before I buy a wedding dress?"

The End (or The Beginning)

About the Author:
Samantha Jubilee has been a working mother, a human resources consultant, and a reflexologist.  She has been obsessed with genealogy and historical fiction for a very long time, and has now begun to give voice to the characters that have been speaking to her.  She has had one poem published in Mused. She was previously published by Larks Fiction Magazine in “The Secret Chest” which is the story that follows this one. 

By Josh Freeman

Me: Once, I was walking down the street... I was in a strange area of town... all the houses looked the same, all the children were outside, all of them doing the same thing.... in the same part of thier yards,  jump rope in the drive way, marbles on the front porch... they all looked the same... girls in blue sunday dresses, boys in jeans and a white shirt. Then they saw me......
Me: Hold on, brb
Me: ok, where was I?... Oh yes! They saw me... all of them at once... they turned in unison... they looked stait at me, the jump ropes fell and the marbles stood still... the boys on the porch stood up, the girls started walking toward me... then the boys.... all of them takeing the same steps at the same time... left foot, right, left, right... they came closer... and closer... my heart was beating faster and faster.... one more step and they would all be right next to me...
Me: should I continue more.. or is it getting too scary?
BeccaB228: oh no
BeccaB228: please proceed J
Me: ok, but be warned this part is really bad... are you sure you want me to keep going?
BeccaB228: yes
BeccaB228: im warnded
Mw: ok... they were just a step away from me... I was so scared I could feel my heart beating in my chest... I could hear it too...Thump... Thump thump.. Thump thump thump... thump thump thump thump... faster and faster... and they were all stareing strait at me... thier eyes burning my skin like lasers... the fear was building in me like a rocket about to shoot off... I was about to turn and run in the opposite direction... but I couldn't... I couldn't move... I was too scared...
Me: I was so scared... I couldn't move... one more step and I would be within grasp of the girl at the front of the troops... then all of a sudden... all of the kids feet started to lift up... and almost as if in slow motion, moved up and forward... then slowly started to come back down in front of them... all the feet hit the ground at the same time with a soft thump.... like my heart, going thump thump thump... and then... without any warning at all...
Me: the girl in front of me... she reached behind her back and pulled out in front of her her jump rope... she held it up tightly pulled in her hands.. she held it in front of my face... and then spoke...
Me: and so I played.. I played with them for hours till it got dark..  it was time for me to go home
Me: I said bye and started to walk down the street when all the kids said together that I wasn't going to leave.. I wasn't allowed to leave now... I had to stay... Forever...
Me: ok... they said I couldn't leave... I was going to play with them every day for ever... They grabed me and dragged me inside one of the houses... They stole my clothes and gave me 2 pairs of jeans and 2 white shirts (and other cloth items not mentioned) and shut me in a room, a room they call the bed closet... I have returned to my bed closet every day since... I get up at 6:00 in the morning and go play till 6:00 at night every day... every day the same thing... the same marbles and the same kids to play with...
Me: I did the same thing every day... till you came along... you came walking down the street... we saw you.. and now you are here... here is your dress... that is your bed closet... maybe we can be friends... maybe we can leave some day...
BeccaB228: that wuz a horrible story
Me: Your horrible
--BeccaB228 has left chat. Your message will be sent to her when she logs on.
Rag3noob: I liked it J
Me: whatever John
Me: night

The End

About the Author:
Josh Freemen is a scientist and part-time funny man. He is a graduate of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. You might remember him from such short films as “Climbing Things” and “The Locker Ninja”.

Thank you for joining us once again here at Larks Fiction Magazine. I hope you will join us next week for works of magical realism and teenage angst.

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