Monday, March 25, 2013

Issue Eight, Volume Five

From the Desk of the Editor;

Hello and welcome to the last Larks Fiction Magazine... for now. After a long debate with myself and staff it has become aparent that we haven't been able to give the time the magazine and it's creative contributors need. So for now we will be closing down.
This isn't good bye forever—just for now. We feel that when we can fully give the attention that a magazine needs we will start afresh.
What this means right now is that if you have not recieved any letter or response back from our editors (outside of the automatic response) please consider your story, poem, art, or other creative work open for submitting else where.
We will still strive to create the artist bio page, finish the emagazines, and a few other small projects that we promised to complete. There will still be a Larks Media, but for the time being no magazine.
Thank you for the wonderful time we shared. I will personally never forget the tales I have read and the friends I have made.
Daniel J. Pool
Ex-LFM Editor

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Issue Seven, Volume Five

From the Desk of the Editor;
     Hello and welcome to another issue of Larks Fiction. Sorry about the late post. We have been extra busy here at the office. Please enjoy this fine helping of indie literature!
Daniel J. Pool
LFM Editor

Breaking The Cycle
By Alan Hlad

Trisha adjusted the mirror in the foyer, the one that always seemed to hang cockeyed, and finally decided to walk through the door. She buttoned her coat and took a deep breath. The cold air smelled fresh, despite a thick layer of leaves decaying in the yard. Looking back at the house, she recalled how her day began. And how another weight was added to their out of balance marriage, tipping the scale over for the last time.
It had been like many other mornings. She had been sitting alone at the table, reading a book, and sipping lukewarm tea, when she heard the creak of his footsteps coming down the stairs. He had stayed up late working and hadn’t made the effort to come to bed, instead choosing to sleep on the leather sofa in the study. It had become a habit. And she had gotten used to having the bed to herself.
Obsessed with making money, Damon spent excessive hours at the office. The only time he wanted to be around her, it seemed, was when he wanted sex. He would often come home late from work, the sour smell of malt scotch on his breath, and announce he wanted to go upstairs. There was no how was your day, honey? look pretty, sweetheart… or even I missed you, darling. It was just let’s go upstairs, as nonchalant as ordering a cheeseburger and fries from a drive-through window. Considering there was never any foreplay, going upstairs usually lasted all of five minutes, and that was if he even made the effort to take off his pants. Afterwards, he would roll off her and leave. No words, no cuddling, just the sound of him doing up his zipper and the study door closing behind him. She always relented to his requests, praying to God that someday their love would be rekindled, and that he would return to the man he once was, or had pretended to be, before she had said the words…I do.
She buried her intuition, replacing it with affirmations of lies she repeated to herself…he will change someday…he will change someday…he will change someday. But deep down, she knew the truth.
Damon went straight to the refrigerator. He rummaged inside, popped a can of Red Bull, and gulped it down where he stood.
“My doctor appointment is this week,” she said.
He tossed the empty can into the garbage. Opening the pantry, he stuffed his hand into a box and pulled out a fistful of cereal, not bothering to get a bowl.
“They’re going to run some tests to find out why I’m not getting pregnant.”
“You’re too damn uptight,” he barked around a mouthful of cereal. He overtly ignored the wet piece that flew from his mouth and landed on the floor.
She bit her tongue, trying to avoid another argument. Staring into her tea, she saw the reflection of a woman she no longer recognized. “Will you come with me? I don’t want to go alone.”
“I’m busy. Somebody needs to make the money around here.”
“What if they can’t find what’s wrong?”
“I’m not the problem. There’s no way I’m shooting blanks.” He smirked and went upstairs to shower.
She felt like she was going to vomit. Closing her eyes, she envisioned herself on a runaway train, headed down a track towards certain tragedy. There was no suppressing her reality any longer. She had made a huge mistake.
Trisha glanced one last time at the white house with the picket fence that was to be their fairytale castle. Her dream to live happily ever after had become a nightmare. Her heart pounded. Butterflies swirled in her stomach. Carrying her suitcase filled with childhood photos and a few changes of clothes, she gathered her courage and opened the taxi door. She got in and sat down with her luggage on her lap.
“Where to?” the taxi driver said, his dark eyes peering at her from the rearview mirror.
Trisha fiddled with the handle, her hands shaking. She noticed the familiar smell of pine coming from an air freshener stuck to the dashboard. “Drive.”
The driver nodded and pulled away.
She watched her house disappear, then slumped back in the seat and closed her eyes. A warm tear slid down her cheek. She made no effort to wipe it away.
An hour later, the taxi stopped, its brakes screeching like nails on a chalkboard. She paid the driver and got out. Walking up the steps, she opened the door, and adjusted the mirror hanging cockeyed. She carried her suitcase up the stairs, feeling as if it were filled with lead, and unpacked.
The card to the taxi service was still in her hand, its edges worn, but she held the names of each of her drivers in her head. She slipped the card into her wallet, knowing she would retrieve it again in a few weeks, and again a few weeks after that, like a perpetual lunar cycle, only to drive as far as the city limits and turn around. And each time she would convince herself the pine-scented air inside the taxi caused chronic reconsideration, or limbo. One, or the other.
She felt an invisible ankle bracelet scraping her skin raw, as if she were an inmate on house arrest. But there was nothing there, only a stubborn voice whispering lies in her ear. He’ll change.

About the Author;
Alan Hlad’s work has appeared in The National Underwriter, Claims Magazine, and Property Casualty 360. He is an insurance executive in Akron, Ohio, a frequent conference speaker, and a member of the Akron Writers’ Group. He is currently working on a novel.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Issue Six, Volume Five

From the Desk of the Editor;
Hello and welcome to the sixth issue of volume five. We apologize about this being a week late. I was out of town—then Jess and I miscommunicated. But we are back now!
In this issue returning Larks author Quentin Pongratz is joined by returning poet Charles Bernard in a Larks Hall of Fame Edition.
In news our new headquarters got its old roof removed and new one stuck on! Also we have released a tiny video tour of our officebuilding online. It is pretty rough but you can see what we have been doing for the last year.
Lastly we are hoping to release Quentin's first novel Del City Nights as the first ever Larks publication! We are just waiting on cover art and formatting.
Thank you for reading and enjoy,
Daniel J. Pool

An Africa mother’s Advice
By Charles Bernard

Tonight witches shall gather
Soon the sun will go to bed
Ndubisi my son come home
Come lay in your mother’s arm
Let my love protect you
Under my bosom you will dwell
Till dawn in my warmth

Come my son
The moon is full tonight
Let me tell you stories
The morals you must hold
Close to your heart all your life
Let them guide your thoughts
Leading you through life’s path

My son
You’re a prince
Like an ant be wise
Let your judgment be sound
Let your heart be filled with mercy
Give alms to the poor
Give food to the hungry

Fear the woman
Her love is sweet
Her heart is dark
Keep your strength
For the love you shall find
And you shall be fruitful

My dear son
I have watched you grow
Your temper is quick
I fear it would destroy you
Hold it in check
Say but a few words
Let them be your bonds

My son
Your are my strength
Do not forget me when am old
Remember the breast that fed you
Let my old bones cling unto you
Let my dry skin feel your warmth

My son soon
I will be gone from here
Uphold your father’s name
Let not his legacies die
Do me proud in your deeds
From the spirit land I will smile
For even in death I will watch you

About the Poet;
Charles Bernard is a poet, writer, and engineer from Abuja. His new work, Trapped, is currently undergoing revisions. You can follow him on Twitter @chalzz619 and see his blog at

What Lights Through Rafters Break
By Jessica Rowse

By Quentin Pongratz

Hey Daniel. How’s it going? Haven’t talked to you in awhile. How is everything going with the house? I heard you guys were going to be laying down some tiling soon. That sounds fun. The reason I’m messaging you is I have this story idea, or maybe a book idea. I’m not sure. I’ve been setting up this whole world in my head but I’m not sure where I should start or what the scope of the narrative should be. I was thinking I could lay out some of my ideas for you and you could give me some feedback. If you aren’t too busy, let me know and I’ll lay it on you.
Oh hey, Q. Yeah, the house is going along nicely. All the tiling caused a story idea to pop into my head that I might have to bounce off of you once I spend a little more time thinking it up. But yeah, go ahead and send me some of what you were thinking and I can tell you what I think. That is, of course, if you’ll let me put the story in my magazine. =)
Alright, so the world is post-apocalyptic. Yeah, I know that’s really overdone at the moment, but I’m not even sure it’s something that will actually be in the story, maybe only hinted at.Well, the reason the world is post apocalyptic has to do with the main character and his creation. He’s this amalgamation of life and death. Somewhat like a zombie (also extremely overplayed but I think this one’s okay because he’s not really a zombie.) I think I should mention at this point that my main focus on a lot of this is the names.
This creation, this creature of life and death, is called a chira, or maybe kyra. I’m not sure how much I want to obscure it, but it’s because it’s a chimera but instead of being a combination of two creatures, it’s a combination of two different states of being: life and death. It’s missing a me because it’s missing a me. In order to combine the two states, the personality is removed... or the me. Following me still?
So our main character is one of these Chiras, possibly the only one. Here he is in this far future world. Humanity has banded together in small pockets and resembles a medieval feudal system. You got kings, knights, castles, the whole deal. I’m not sure how fantastical I want to go with it at the moment, but there’s potential for mutated lizards being dragons and other animals becoming typical fantasy creatures. So, I’m thinking a sort of dark ages plus a bit of fantasy, or fantasy lite.
Now you may be thinking, what about magic and wizards? Well, that’s when we look to our main character. So he wakes up in this world with no memories or anything. He has had his me removed, remember? Haven’t thought about where I’m starting, so I’m not sure how he goes about discovering it, but he has these light based powers. Stuff like he can shoot light beams out of his hands and he can ride upon the light to have a flight type ability.
Now this may sound like it’s veering into superhero territory and you’re right. I’m trying for this medieval type world with superheroes. A sort of smash between two genres. Every kingdom has their own superhero. I’ve thought out some besides just this light guy, but not enough to go into too much detail here. So our main character finds a kingdom without a superhero through some circumstances and they take him in and start calling him Light after his powers and it’s not like he can correct them with a different name.
I’m think I’m going to head to bed now. Let me know what you think of just that much and I can get you more tomorrow.

That sound pretty fun actually. I like the whole premise of the fantasy superhero thing you’ve got going. You plan on having a sort of JLA type organization, or are they purely rival type things? As far as where to focus the story, I’d say just start from him waking up (or whatever it is that he did to become conscious of not having any personality or memories) and just go from there. Amnesia is always a good starting place because the character will be in the same spot as the reader. Just send me some more and I’ll send you some more feedback.
I was thinking about having a superhero group type thing. I’m not sure exactly the details but allied kingdoms would definitely have the same sort of alliance between their heroes. I was also going to put all sorts of other nods to different comic book tropes. Like the one where good guys when first meeting each other always have to fight before they’re allowed to team up and fight the true bad guy. In this society that might even be an actual law for them to test each other before being able to ally different kingdoms.
The reason I’m not so sure for starting at the beginning is it seems kinda boring. I feel like it’ll be a lot of origin story for him to figure out the world and his powers, but I’m still torn because it’s a lot of info to have just there and the reader figuring out. That and there’s a long time between him starting out and what I consider to be the more main plot with his rival.
So, sometime in his initial travels and adventures he gets this note from a seer type of person. I’m thinking in a cave because that seems pretty mystical, but it’s not too fleshed out yet. He’s told that this note will tell him who he used to be, but there’s a catch as there always is with people who give you what you want and live in a cave. The catch is that anyone who reads this note will die. That is besides one person. Which one person, he might ask.
But a man that lives in a cave is more often than not, completely cryptic in his conversations. He would say something like, the one who can read this is a princess. Then he reveals nothing more. So, Light with his note of death, is in search of a princess that can read who he used to be. He’ll search some and end up killing a few princesses. This leads the remaining kingdoms to employ a new hero that has popped up. The begin calling him L which is short for Life.
Life because he’s trying to figure out and stop what is causing all these deaths. His name is shortened because of Light. Life and Light are similar sounding names and to keep from any confusion people just start calling Life, L. That and it’s another sort of pun her with L sounding like hell which L ends up being for our main character Light. Speaking of names and their extra meanings, the princess that eventually is able to read the note is Misa. (Misa = Me-sa = Me-saw)
So, I’m thinking I want that to be the main plot, but I’m not sure exactly how far back to start, or how I’m going to fill in the readers of this world. A short story would be hard, but I’m not sure I have enough for a book without having the pacing being very weird and choppy. Let me know what you think when you get a chance.
Lol. Are you serious?
I know I don’t have the ending really thought out the moment yet, but yes I’m serious. I think the story is pretty good for what I have so far.
The story isn’t the problem, it’s the names.
I spent a lot of time of time on the names so I could make most of them be puns. I mean, I can change the spelling on some to obscure them more if you think it’s too obvious.
You going to have Ryuk and Rem show up too?
I don’t know how you knew but they’re in my notes for a couple of the other heroes. Rem is a person that can control your dreams and sleep. Ryuk is a zombie.
Here’s the thing I thought of for him. He was a superhero before the world changed over to this new thing. He was like Captain America, but for the United Kingdom. Re-U.K. eh? It’s weird you knew my characters names though. Did I tell you about this idea already?
No. It’s all from an anime series called Death Note. You’re not messing with me? You really came up with all these names without knowing about it?
Oh my god.
So, what now?
Well, I finished it.
The story?
No. I watched all of Death Note. Every single character I have in my notes is a name from this show. I had a set of twins. Where one of them would become a extra strong and full of rage when he wasn’t near his twin brother.
He was calm when the other was in close proximity. He was Mello(w) when the other was Near. And now I can’t get the anime out of my head. I tried to think up more stuff for my story universe after watching it and then my plot starts becoming the other plot. I don’t think I can work on this story anymore.
Just try writing something else completely different. Get your mind off of this and then maybe you can come back and come up with a solution. I don’t think you should drop this story because at it’s core it’s really fun. You just have to change it up some for it to be different.
Well, I tried writing something else and this is what came out...

Light traces his finger around the edges of L’s lips. “How did I not know?”
When Light’s finer gets to the middle of his top lip, L gives it a small kiss. “I’m not sure. You’re reasoning skills are almost on par with mine. You really should have seen this coming.”
“Maybe all the Kira stuff just clouded my mind. I couldn’t see what was right in front of me this whole time.”
L rolls his body towards Light and places his hand on his bare chest. “You should have seen this coming just from my obsession with sweets.”
Light huffs out a small breath of what might be considered laughter while the edges of his mouth twitch upward for half a second.
“You can smile, you know. Here with me. There’s no need to be so serious all the time.”
“One doesn’t have to smile to be happy. Content.”
“No... They can show it in other ways.” L’s hand moves from Light’s pecs to Light’s abs. His hand moves down his abs then back up again before diving further downward.
“We don’t have anywhere else to be, do we?”
“We could be looking for Kira.”
“I could already have Kira in the palm of my hand.”
“We’re here... Like this... and you still think I could be Kira?”
“There’s still a small possibility. It’s less that I think you are and more that I think you were. Don’t be offended, If we never put on these cuffs, we could have never gotten ourselves into this situation.” L squeezes.
“I just wish you could trust me. I’m here, an open book for you to read.”
“A book with a few missing chapters in the middle. Things that don’t make sense. Until they make sense, I...”
“You can’t trust me?”
L’s hand trails up to Light’s face. L puts his hand on Light’s cheek and looks up into his eyes. “I’m sorry. I hope you can forgive me one day, but surely you can see where I’m coming from.”
“I’m all yours for when you’re ready.”
L’s hand goes from Lights cheek to his left hand. “This hand?”
Light squeezes L’s hand. “This hand.”
L moves his hand up. “This forearm?”
“Is yours.”
L’s hand moves up Lights arm. “This elbow? This bicep? This shoulder? This collar bone? This neck?”
“Yes, yes, yes, yes. It’s all yours.”
L reaches his thumb from the side of Lights neck to cross the front of it. “This adam’s apple?”
Light’s adam apple moves out from under L’s thumb as he swallows. Light blinks. “Yes.”
L takes his hand off of Light. “I’ve asked you before, but I think now is an appropriate to bring it up again. Does the phrase Shinigami love apples have any meaning to you?”
Light averts his eyes from L. He turns his head. “It shouldn’t... but... I can’t shake this feeling.”
“What sort of feeling?”
“There’s this sort of pang of loss when you touch me there and ask me that. There’s nothing that I can recall or connect with anything I know on a reasoning level, but on a primal level, I feel that it means something.”
“What do you think this means?”
“I think it means you were definitely Kira at some point.”
“Does that mean you will never be able to fully trust me?”
L traces Light’s lips again. “I’m not sure. Maybe. Maybe not. But we don’t need to fully trust one another to still have some fun.”
A black hand touches Light’s adam apple unnoticed by both before their bodies move and intermingle and someone or something says a word that neither of them seem to hear. “Juicy.”
I just can’t get them out of my head. Everything I write is just going to be these Death Note characters now. I’m ruined. I’m forever ruined by some anime I hadn’t even heard of until just the other day. I don’t think I can ever write anything untainted by this anime again.
That sounds... rough. I’m sorry to hear all that, man. Not sure what I can suggest. Maybe if you write enough about it you’ll write it all out or something? That’s the only thing I can think of. I’ve never really had that problem, so I don’t really know what to tell you.
Daniel stared at his screen for a bit. The vertical line after his name blinking in and out of existence. He looked down from the screen at the tile floor below his socked feet. “Oh yeah,” he said out loud.
“What’s up?” asked Kate.
“I just remembered a story idea I had about this tile.”
“What’s it about?”
“I haven’t really worked out much of the plot.”
“Well, just tell me what you have?”
“Well, I haven’t really worked out any of the plot.”
“And you’re sure it’s a story idea?”
“I’m not sure. Just something about that tile makes me want to write a story.”
“I guess you’re the writer.” Kate shrugs and goes back to looking at the magazine in her lap.
Daniel looks back at the screen and the blinking line. He moves his mouse over to the send button and clicks. He closes the window and opens uphis word processor and starts typing...

About the Author;
Quentin Pongratz is a writer, vlogger, and mathematician from Oklahoma City. He enjoys writing quirky fiction with an eye for puns. His first book, Del City Nights, will available soon. You canfollow him on Facebook HERE.

Thank you for joining us tonight! Make sure to come back and see more great indie literature! Also check out this blog by Larks writer Sheila Johnson--cause awesome!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Issue Five, Volume Five

From the Desk of the an Editor;

Hello and greetings to this issue of Larks Fiction Magazine! In this issue we explore the weird world of inanimate objects and their lives.

In big exciting news, our editors will be running the Luchador 5K Run in Tulsa, Oklahoma to benefit underprivileged children afford summer camp programs. If you are near Tulsa near the end of March come out and chat us up whilst eating our dust! Here is the website:

Besides charity we are continuing to read submissions. We should be nearing the end of the backlog so expect the new submission email address soon!


Jessica Rowse

LFM Editor

Concerning Lost Buttons

By Daniel J. Pool

On a Monday in June I hung low from a single thread; bobbing in time with wet tennis shoes. I stared at the shoes; so smug as they paced the wet earth. I felt loads shift and an arm scuffed me. I fell.

Hitting the ground, I yelled. I yelled to the coat, to the trousers, even the smug tennis shoes—but they did not or could not care. I lay on the bitter earth, alone and thread-less.

In anguish I cried out for no one; just for myself. My life was over, what is a life without a button hole and thread? What is a button alone?

“Shut up,” said a smoky of a voice from nearby.

“Who’s there?”

“You think you have it rough bud?” asked the voice, completely ignoring my question.

“Well yes, all of my life is now useless; I am without a place or stitch in this world. No one would give a darn about me now,” I lamented.

“How do you think I feel? I was loved. I was important, and then they used me, and threw me out.”

The wave of anguish the words create, forced me to turn over, to see next to me was Cigarette Butt.

Wallowing in a pool of grief he cried, “There is no point to being without being useful, and for us sir, we are no longer.”

“But then why am I left? Just to fade in the sun and bide my time till I am dust?”

His filtered silence answered me, for us there was only waiting left. Waiting to not be, and we might as well never had been. A cancer of silence grew between us. A light rain fell.

Breaching the void, a drizzle of a voice said,”Don’t listen to him, if we can wait we can live. It is not our usefulness that will save us, but our outlook on ourselves.”

Cigarette Butt rolled his eyes, “Stay out of this Condom.”


About the Author;

Daniel J. Pool is an author, blogger, and reporter from the Southern Mid-West. His work has been featured in Indigo Rising, the Fringe, and the Scarlet Sound magazines respectfully. In his spare time he is training to become a luchador warrior.

Twisted Vine
By Jessica Rowse


By Lara Kern

There Finley sat in the sink, dirty again. This was his life now- tossed carelessly in the sink with other dirty dishes in even dirtier water. Didn't these people care about the mess that they always seem to leave behind? Trash was constantly scattered through the small room, and it left behind an almost gut wrenching stench that did not seem to bother the owners of this quaint dorm room. Finley had been taught differently at the prestigious school for young cutlery that his parents had insisted upon. He had struggled for so long to learn how to behave like a young, prestigious piece of cutlery. He was even forced to clean the grit underneath his master’s nails.

Finley had never attended one of the fancy dinner parties that he was promised in school. His owner didn't even take the time to polish him- or any other piece of silver for that matter. All of that time and effort wasted. Instead of attending formal parties, Finley was deduced to the filth of greasy, cheap TV dinners. To add insult to injury his owner decided to use Finley to unclog the kitchen sink on a regular basis.

Finley refused to imagine what his parents would say if they could see him now. What a total disgrace he had turned out to be. The worst part was that Finley wasn't as disgusted as he should have been- like his parents would have been if they had seen their little boy in this place. A college dorm was his parents’ worst nightmare. He hadn't always lived like this though. His family had picked out their house and owners with a great deal of care and attention. They failed to factor into the equation however, that the young boy would eventually grow up and leave that pristine house for something quite the opposite.

The boy, Adam, as the adults called him, had been taken with Finley since he had laid eyes upon him. From the first moment that Finley had been unwrapped from his package, side-by-side with his parents, Adam’s eyes lit up. Finley found out much later on from his father that Adam’s house had no small forks before their arrivial and all of the other forks were simply much too big for Adam's tiny, pucker of a mouth. It only made sense when the grown up Adam moved out to give him the fork he had cherished in his youth. The reason for Adam’s departure from his childhood home was foreign to Finley. He saw no reason to leave but apparently life had more in store for him and Adam.

Finley was glad that Adam had not insisted on taking his family after much thought because he came to the conclusion that his family simply could not handle the young man. Sure, Finley rarely cleaned his spot in the cutlery drawer but what young fork ever does? Finley's mother had insisted that he keep his living quarters neat and tidy and he was relieved to be rid of that burden. Besides, Finley didn't leave moldy pieces of bread out for weeks like Adam. Finley knew that this was his life now and he had to make of it what he could.

When Finley first arrived at the dorm room he was perturbed. Maybe, he thought helplessly, this was a waiting room or something of the sort. A fort night passed and still Finley was stuck in this place. That was when he found out that everything he had been prepared for and had studied so diligently was being thrown out of the window. The other cutlery was unrefined and undignified. They refused to even talk to Finley and so he had found himself friendless and lonely. Finley had begun to notice changes in Adam as well. A small voice in Finley’s head tried to reason that it was merely human nature to grow up.

That voice in Finley's head started out small and turned into something bigger, a shout. The voice yelled at Finley about things that he considered minor. The voice continued on until one day it turned into a need. Finley didn’t know what to think at first so he held strong to the ideals that were instilled into his metal points. In the meantime, Adam was ever evolving into someone of his own design without the limitations created during his childhood by adults. He wore, said, and did exactly what he wanted.

Adam began seeing a girl. Finley had never cared to even consider Adam's life. Finley's number one concern was his wellbeing. It wasn't that Finley disliked Adam because that wasn't the case at all. In fact, Finley respected Adam enough to stay out of his business. It did not take Finley long to learn the girl's name, Kathy. He had overheard one of their many late night talks and began to wonder if there was someone like Kathy out there in the big, wide world for him.

Weeks passed by and Finley had begun to ache for someone to share his thoughts with.

As the weeks faded into months Kathy began to spend more time at the quaint college dorm. Then, everything changed. Adam packed up his belongings and lugged Finley just blocks away from the dorm but it felt like miles to Finley. Adam and Kathy had rented an apartment together for the summer. Finley had slipped into a comfortable, predictable life back at the dorm. Sure, his life had not been perfect but who can accept perfection from a twenty year old male? Besides, Finley had loved their late night snacking and random assortment of foods. Now everything would change. They would no longer eat peanut butter out of the jar at two o'clock in the morning.

Finley had liked Kathy. Why was she taking away his best friend? Adam, Kathy, and Finley had been at their new apartment for less than a week and Finley had already sulked up in his place in the drawer. He had even tried to maim a poor, defenseless visitor who reached into the drawer unknowingly looking for a utensil. Somehow during Finley's attack the visitor slammed the drawer closed causing some of Finley's teeth to get mangled. The man took no notice and continued making his sandwich as Finley lay huddled in his corner. He shuddered and tried to will his would-be brilliant, shiny teeth to bend back in their proper direction, but it was no use nothing he tried made any kind of difference.

Finley had stayed huddled in the corner for days. At first, Finley had been furious at Adam for abandoning him so suddenly. Then, he became angry at himself for attacking one of Adam's friends. Finally, Finley had become depressed and hurt by the fact that absolutely no one was there for him. He had huddled in a quaint, dark corner of the drawer alone and uncared for.

Finley was sure that he would not live to see another day. His teeth were cruelly twisted on top of his head as if in a bun. It was the most excruciating pain Finley had ever felt. He just knew he would be left here alone and unloved in his pathetic little corner forever.

A few days later, someone pulled the drawer out harder than expected and Finley, along with the other cutlery, all shimmied to the front of the drawer. Adam began to paw through the drawer looking for something to stir his morning coffee with. It was a relief to Finley when Adam found him. Adam gently lifted Finley out of the drawer and inspected his cruelly twisted teeth. He ran a finger down the deformities and even inspected it further in the light. Finally, Adam carefully bent each tooth back to its original shape.

After Finley had been saved he took a new lease on life. He began to open up more to the other kitchen utensils. The Spatula, Conrad, helped Finley with the transition and they soon became good friends. Conrad had been brought to the small apartment because Adam had nothing to properly flip pancakes with. Kathy was Conrad’s owner; he loved to share stories about when she was only a little girl. Then, very gradually the number of kitchen utensils began to expand. Finley remembered a time when Adam had only two of the basics: two bowls, two plates, two cups, two forks, two knives, and two spoons. Now, combined with Kathy’s things, Finley found it difficult to comfortably lie in his favorite drawer. At night, he was packed into the small drawer with all of the other cutlery, sardine style, and it was hard to breathe.

Finley had become more content with his life than ever before. He rarely got upset due to the lack of use or polishing because his anger never solved the problem. Friends like Conrad had helped him regain a sense of direction in his life. The only thing he longed for was someone to share his hopes and dreams with. He wanted someone who would be there for the good times and the bad.

A few days after his realization, Kathy brought in a cardboard box. When their eyes met over the soapy dish suds it was a serendipitous moment. No words could properly describe the volume of feeling that was tugging a Finley’s heart strings. The oval shape of her head made Finley’s heart swoon. She was absolutely the most beautiful piece of cutlery Finley had ever seen in his life.

Finley awkwardly shuffled in one spot and lowered his eyes to the floor. He nudged Conrad, “Who’s that?”

Conrad laughed cordially, “That, my good fellow, is Petunia.”

Petunia, “Finley let the name roll from his tongue in a hazy daydream voice.

Conrad leaned closer to Finley as if they were discussing a conspiracy on a larger scale, “Petunia was the prettiest thing you have ever seen back in her youthful days. She has become weathered and unused as of late and is frightfully upset about the whole matter. You see, Petuina was Kathy’s favorite spoon. She never ate cereal, soup, or porridge without her and then one day everything turned south. Kathy barely even polishes Petunia anymore.” Conrad clucked his tongue in a disapproving manner.

Finley forced his gaze from Petunia back to Conrad, “But why?” How could someone not see Petunia’s beauty? It was obvious to Finley and he had not even been properly introduced to her yet.

Over the next few days Finley tried his best to get to know Petunia but his efforts were dashed on the rocks. Finley discovered that Petunia was quiet and shy. He never saw her talking with anyone and she barely explored outside of the drawer Kathy had placed her in. She did occasionally take short walks around the kitchen counter but she never wandered far. Finley would watch all of the other utensils trying to talk to her and he was relieved to see she never favored one.

Not too long after Petunia's arrival, Finley got his chance to talk to her. A bunch of other utensils had arrived after Petunia and some of them were not as sweet as she was. One was Billy. Conrad had warned Finley against any type of interaction with Billy. Apparently, Billy was a troubled young man who was recklessly dangerous. He had gotten into so many fights that Kathy's parents had given him to Kathy as a moving present. Billy proceeded to pick on and torture all of Kathy's cutlery and even the kitchen appliances.

Finley was unsure why but Billy made him feel uneasy. Conrad had informed Finley that at one time Billy and Petunia had been a couple. Petunia had ended the relationship when Billy became violent. Finley was displeased to see Billy lurking around Petunia’s drawer in an obvious attempt to get her back. He did that every night and every night Finley lost sleep worrying about Petunia.

Finley had succeeded in keeping his distance until he heard muffled voices. One sounded like Petunia’s melodious voice. Finley had thought nothing of it until he heard a scream and metal hit metal. When he made his way to the noises Finley saw Billy standing over a sobbing Petunia.

You stupid little…” Billy raised his blade to strike Petunia again.

What is going on here?”Finley's voice was tense and full of anger.

Nothing that concerns you,” Billy's dark eyes narrowed at Finley.

Petunia began to sob, “Please Billy stop. Leave him alone.”

SHUT UP! Just shut up Petunia. If you won’t like me then no one will like you after I’m done. Do you get what I’m saying?” Billy’s voice was irate.

Petunia continued to sob but said nothing else.

Billy turned his back to Petunia and rounded on Finley, “What are you still doing here? I thought I told you to scram!”

I don't think so,” Finley had never been in a fight and was scared out of his mind, but he refused to let Billy see his fear.

Finley jumped out in front of Billy and ended up tripping the big, bad bully with his slightly larger feet by accident. Finley watched horrified as Billy took a terrifyingly long fall and landed with a loud clank on the kitchen floor. Billy swore and spat, his blade was bent and his temper was running high but there was nothing he could do to repair his damaged ego or his bent blade.

Finley’s stomach sank. He had never meant to hurt Billy. He had only wanted to protect Petunia. Petunia still was lying on the counter. Finley knelt down and gently patted her head, “Are you okay?”

Petunia stirred a little from her dazed state, “I believe so. Is Billy gone?” Her eyes gleamed with fright.

You’re safe.”

Finley saw relief wash over Petunia as their eyes met.

Thank you,” she replied.

Finley and Petunia finally got the chance to talk about their past, present, and futures. Petunia had experiences like no one Finley had ever met. While Finley had found himself in etiquette training Petunia was out exploring the world with Kathy. He found that he could sit for hours and listen to her beautiful voice. Finley had finally found the one that made him whole and he had never been happier. Finley knew this wasn’t an ending but the beginning to something more.

About the Author;

Lara Kern was born and still resides in Gainesville, Georgia with her husband, two dogs, and cat. She has been writing on for over a year and has currently started a blog entitled Confessions of a Rambling Girl.

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