the loophole

She held the surrogate’s hand, she was a pretty young woman willing to carry a child that was not her own, her husband held hers. They were in the delivery room waiting for their little bundle of joy to come into the world.

The doctor coaxed the little one into the world, and handed him to his mother.

They arrived. The witches, there were three of them, standing looking confused about why the others were there.

The mother clutched the baby closer as she recognized one as Ssamdol, the witch she had promised  first born child for the gift of song.

The father recognized one as Fasd, the witch he had promised his first born child to for love.

The surrogate laying exhausted on the bed recognized the last one as Hajilkem, the witch she promised her first born child to her to survive a car accident.

The three witches looked at each other and in unintentional unison, “I’m here for the baby.”

“Who’s baby is it?” Ssamodol asked, her claw of a finger outstretched toward the child.

“Well, its ours.” The two parents said. “But we didn’t give birth to it.”

“So its your first born child?” Hajilkem planed her lender hands on her leather clad hips.

“Sorta, but biologically its not mine.” The surrogate said sleepily.

The witches looked between themselves. Fasd sighed, “Where does that leave us?”

“We should have written down what we did last time this happened.” Ssamodol rubbed her nose. “We alternated, I don’t remember the schedule.”

“The last schedule sucked, having to fly it back and fourth every week was exhausting.” Hajilkem tossed her blonde hair over her shoulder. “What if we did months this time?”

“How do we do holidays?”  Ssamoldol shook her head.

“We usually celebrate together.”

Fasd nodded in agreement. “These mortals thinking they can get out of promises with more promises.”

“Who gets him first?”Ssamodol reached out her arms for the baby, plucking it out of it’s mothers arms.

“Who gets him last?” Fasd suggested. “You take him for now, I’ll fetch him next month.”

They disappeared in a cloud of smoke leaving the parents befuddled.

 

 

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Agent 0

It was like a plague erupted, the disease spread like fire. The hunger, the hunting the innocents, something needed to be done. Nox knew something needed to be done, researchers were furiously trying to get the disease under control. With so many infected, it would be nearly an impossible task.

He listened to his cohort of government interns, giving outlandish suggestions. Mass murder, camps, isolation, prisons, evacuations, massive military involvement, letting it burn out. There was opposition for every suggestion, nothing was getting accomplished.

Nox nearly stormed out of every meeting that was held. They usually found him in the research labs arguing with the scientists. His suggestions were just as silly.

“Nox you need to leave, you’re just getting in the way of research.” They shoved him out of the labs.

He went home at night, government housing, fearing an attack. His pistol never left his hand until his door was dead bolted. They would need to take action soon, or it would become a problem for the rest of the world. As it was the other countries refused to acknowledge there was a problem, the american president had laughed himself out of his chair.

That night he decided, there would be no more debate. He marched into the Minister’s office.

“Something needs to be done before our whole country is consumed by this plague.” He met the eyes of the man sitting behind the desk. “I will do something if no one else will.”

“What do you suggest we do?” The Minister’s expression was cold as steel.

“We need to fight them.”

“Are you volunteering?”

“Yes, I will fight them alone if need be.”

The Minister folded his fingers together. “That’s what I like to hear. Assemble a team, you will be in charge of training and getting this outbreak under control. You must do this quietly, we do not want any of this reaching the public, or other governments.”

“It may be too late for that already.” Nox muttered as he walked out the door.

He had an idea for the team, but they would need to agree to join him, He couldn’t risk someone turning him down. There were a select few individuals he trusted to begin with, of those maybe one could be trusted with this task.

He stopped by the research labs, they quickly shooed him out.

“I need to talk to Dr. Solen.” He insisted, “Its urgent.”

She came outside a few minutes later. Her hands on her hips. “What do you want now.”

“I need to know how to kill these monsters.”

“You know I can’t give that information out. We’re working on a cure.”

“You’re working on a vaccine, preventive, not a cure.”

She folded her arms. “Of course we’re working on a cure.”

“Dr. Solen, I really need your help on this.” He pleaded.

“Help with mass murder? I don’t think so.”

“Its preventive, if we can get the infected under control, there might be a chance of curing them before it becomes a global problem.”

She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Nox, you know it already is a global problem. The virus lays dormant for seven days before people start showing symptoms. People have already traveled, and who knows if they were infected.”

“All the more reason to do something.”

She rubbed her forehead, “I know what you mean, I just don’t think its ethical.”

“Do you trust me?”

“About as far as I can throw you.”

He nodded, “Keep me in the loop please.”

“Fine,” She opened the door, “Anything else you want?”

He shook his head a walked away. She would never leave her research, but she would let him know anything they discovered in  the labs. He needed some field agents.

Over the next couple days he observed his cohort, determining which of them would be the most trustworthy, combat ready, and loyal. He decided on three, who he was positive would say yes.

His first recruit was a man who had completed more combat missions than anyone, he even had a metal for it. He jumped at the chance to fight the monsters. The second recruit was a little more hesitant, but she agreed. She was the best strategist of the entire office. His final recruit told him yes before he had even finished asking, he was the most loyal friend he had.

He told the Minister about his selections, the Minster was pleased. “You have a lot to do.”

 

One hour

They sent me one hour into the future. I volunteered, hoping to witness something amazing. I stepped out of the machine, everyone was gone.

I walked over to the desk where there was a note.

“Thank you for your participation.”

I walked outside everyone was gone. I checked a clock, it was only one hour. The date on the calendar were the same.I ran back to the lab hoping to find some clue as to where everyone had gone. I tore through every drawer looking, maybe something had malfunctioned, maybe I was dead, just something.

I turned over the note. “Suck it bitch, see ya in forty years.”

I thumped my head against the wall. I guess this is what happens when you have a messy breakup with a coworker, who is probably the most brilliant person on the planet.

I went home, expecting the jubilant puppy I just got to bound up and greet me, but only silence. I found a note on the fridge on the back of a picture of her flicking me off while my loyal pooch licked her face. “Suck it again!”

“Son of a bitch!”

Sick

She pulled the blanket up over her head. She was sweating but still felt chilly. A painful cough erupted from her chest, and snot flowed freely down her face no matter how often she wiped it away. Trying to breath through her mouth she felt her mouth fill with saliva signalling she needed to get to the bucket. The crackers she had managed to choke down came back up along with her cold medicine and all the water she had drank. She shuffled to the bathroom and dumped the bucket in the toilet and rinsed it out. She almost crawled back to bed and curled up her head spinning.

She passed out for a while waking up in the darkness drenched in sweat. She puked in her bucket and fell asleep again almost instantly. She woke up again her throat dry her nose clogged with dried snot. She gulped some water down and tried to clear her nose, which was rather ineffective.

She cleared the sleepers from her eyes and ate a couple crackers. She realized she had to pee and ran to the bathroom before the dizziness could seize her. She shivered without her blankets. After washing her hands she splashed some water on her face washing some of the sweat off of it. She went back to bed.

She managed to keep the crackers down, so she moved up to soup. She made herself a bowl pulling a kitchen chair up to the microwave so she could sit while she waited. She ate it slowly moving to the couch to watch some day time TV. She fell asleep half way through her soup.

She woke up and moved back to her bed when she regained consciousness. The sun woke her up and she went to the kitchen making herself another bowl of soup. She managed to eat the whole thing and stay awake for a couple hours before going back to sleep.

She ate more crackers in the middle of the night. She could finally breathe out of her nose again. She changed her clothes that were starting to smell bad and went back to sleep.

A shower washed the dried sweat off of her. She could breath normally again, and she stayed awake all day. She would be right as rain soon.

Another day of rest and soup she felt just fine. She called her boss letting them know she would be able to return to work tomorrow.

 

 

 

Sisters

She felt the weight of the world on her shoulders and the weight of her sister in her arms. She crouched over her tears drawing lines down her dust covered face. She brushed some of her sisters golden curls off of her face. The raid alarms never went off. Their rooms were only separated by a wall, how could this have happened. She didn’t hear any noise from her parents room or the rest of the house. It was silent except for her sniffling. She wished she had gone with them.

She didn’t move while the body grew cold and rigid in her arms. She finally extracted herself from her sister, then the rubble. She crawled through the destroyed town looking for anyone. There was no one left, only her. She stopped crying too hard to continue.

She laid down in the dirt and the rocks, waiting to die. She didn’t want to go on without her friends and family. The helicopter came by and started to pick up bodies. She watched it pick up her family. They came to pick her up thinking she was another body. Panic spread when they discovered she was alive.

“I just want to go home…” She muttered through her whole interview.