Wow. This is such an exciting day!
I could scream! I literally could SCREAM!
I have to say, life and work is a balance so often lost in the mires of mediocrity and sometimes, it’s like a mud that drags your feet down deeper and deeper and one can’t escape it all the time but … that said, to counter it, there are just days, just events that come to pass that completely banish away the tiredness that sometimes feels so overwhelming. And those days are such a joy!
This hasn’t been an easy beginning of the year, but a day like today is filled with hope, full of excitement and things that really feel like it’s propelling your cause further in life.
My wonderful day is the beginning of the #MyFPNominee Project over on Twitter for the next month, wherein we nominate our favourite author for interviews every Monday for the rest of 2018. It’s going to be huge and exciting, and I can’t wait to share a bigger, more involved and engaging Musae Mosaic with all of you.
In case you haven’t yet seen or heard of #MyFPNominee, everything you need to know is in this link.
#200WT today is one of the reasons why after a hard beginning to the year, the light is finally beginning to shine through. It’s a day of sharing and storytelling, and to us, what could be more perfect, right? 🙂
Today signifies more than a clean slate, or a new beginning, it’s a concrete feeling of finally being on the right track with things in life. And I have a feeling that just as #200WT today will surely be a huge success, tomorrow, the day after, and the lifetime henceforth will be magical one.
And we want to thank you for being part of it 🙂
In honor of that sentiment … allow us to present the Magical Things #200WT Edition!
The Austrian pt 1
By Thomas Thayer
The gun weighed like an anchor dragging a derelict to the lake bottom. Yet he could lift it. He manipulated it stoically, feeling the index finger of his left hand on the trigger, the molded caress of the sandalwood inset on the grip, the icy steel of the barrel winking back at him from a few inches away. That wink meant one thing. Choose.
Davis placed the unregistered deathbringer on the dash of his car and took another long draw from a half-full bottle of Crown. Halfway to hammered and handling a hot handgun ain’t smart, bud, he thought. But he also thought Fuck it, this shit ends tonight one way or another. He smiled at the thought of an end – a road diverging in the mist, with no idea what lay beyond. Do I go right.. or left?
“Well whatcha do is you walk right in thurr an’ bussa cap in that mothertrucker,” he slurred. Mr. Crown’s waking up and he thinks he has the answers. But Mr. Crown ain’t the one who’s 80k deep in hoc to a bookie with bad manners.
Davis knew it. He also knew if he didn’t merc buddy tonight, he’d be dead tomorrow.
The Austrian pt 2
He eyed the cannon again and again between swigs. There’s a bullet in there with a name on it. Davis knew it. He polished off the last of Mr. Crown, tossed the empty into the backseat, grabbed the metal from the dash and exited the 80s automoboat. Caprice Classics, man, they don’t make ‘em like these anymore.
He tucked the gun into a concealed padded pocket in his winter jacket and made for the side door of the bookie’s establishment. The pawn shop was quiet. 2 a.m. will do that, but he knew the Austrian would be awake in his office counting his day’s take. He also knew that the Austrian would have one or two heavies around to stand watch in case any funny business sparked off. This was going to have to be quick and dirty, but if executed correctly, he’d be able to slip away easily. He rapped the entrance code on the side door – Two-quick, three-long, four-quick, one – and held his breath for a response. Latches began to slowly click open on the inside of the steel door.
“Game time,” he whispered to himself. “One way or another, it’s time to wipe the slate clean.”
The Austrian pt 3
Two heavies. The Mario Brothers. You can’t make this shit up. Italian FOBs with forged documentation both named Mario, no relation. Both 6-and-a-half-plus and borderline 300. Mario #1 let Davis into the narrow corridor while Mario #2 felt him up for any funny business. Finding none, Davis smiled inwardly. It was a good thing because as he was turning down the corridor, #2 pinned him against the wall and placed one fat cannelloni finger in his face.
“No funny business,” he warned in heavy Italian. Davis gave an imperceptible nod and was ushered down to a door with a wooden name plate. There was no name, though. Just an outline of the political boundaries of a county. Austria. Buddy’s got ego.
#1 lifted a lunchbox of a hand and rapped on the door before entering slowly. The room was small and surprisingly austere. An outsider would never know that the Austrian was running a bookie and fentanyl ring out of here. But that was kind of the point.
“Leave him,” the Austrian said without looking up. Davis slipped away from the heavies into a corner of the room as the Mario Brothers turned to leave.
That’s when things went sideways.
The Austrian pt 4
The Mario Brothers didn’t expect the gun. They had patted him down and everything and were usually very thorough, but the custom pocket in the bulky jacket hid the shape and weight of the cannon perfectly. They had their backs to Davis as he wheeled around, peeled the gun from inside his right breast and blasted two shots a piece into the backs of the Italians. There was definitely a bullet in there with a name on it.
The Austrian’s eyes widened in horror. The carnage, it was unfathomable but real all the same and there was nothing he could do to slow the momentum. #1 was slumped awkwardly against the doorframe, struggling to breathe while #2 was half in the hallway in a pool. Very dead.
Davis held the gun steadily in his left hand, smile spreading across his stubbly face as he slowly shifted his gaze to the Austrian. “Alright, mothertrucker. You’re next.”
The Austrian moved to reach for the top drawer of his desk which held a sawed-off pump shotgun but was stopped immediately by a warning shot punching through the top of the desk. That’s when Davis heard another bang and felt his side heat up.
The Austrian pt 5
A white hot agony ripped through his right rib cage and it was suddenly harder to breathe. Mario #1 had been mortally wounded, yes, but not dead, and he had managed to free his .38 and put a bullet between two of Davis’ ribs into his right lung. Davis shifted his attention to #1 for a split-second so he could finish the job, but this left the Austrian free to retrieve his own boomstick.
Suddenly, Davis knew his plan was cooked, just as he was. Turning back, he saw an ominous sight. Two stubby barrels of a gunmetal grey shotgun levelled directly at his face. A cold sweat rippled across his back and down his legs as he clutched his right arm to his wounded right side ever tighter.
“Who’s the mothertrucker n– ,” the Austrian started but was unable to finish. He had intended to splatter the rear wall with Davis’ grey matter as he finished the question but the gun wouldn’t fire. Davis promptly regained composure and levelled his own pistol again. His warning shot had blown away the trigger mechanism on the Austrian’s shotty. The Austrian knew.
“Okay,” Davis coughed. “You’re coming outside with me. Let’s go.”
The Austrian pt 6
Davis’ plan was toast. He had intended to waste the Austrian with the gun he had stolen earlier from his pawn shop. He would’ve been able to sneak away; the gloves he wore would protect from print identification. But Mario #1 had shot that to shit. Literally.
Davis forced the Austrian through the backdoor and onto the sidewalk. 2 a.m. Dead calm. His cough was worse now. Every hack produced blood. Mortal wound. Little time. Davis pulled out a burner phone.
“I’m gonna make a call and– “ He coughed loudly and buckled. Searing pain ripped through his abdomen and yet, he managed to keep the gun on the Austrian’s back. “ –and then I’m gonna end this.”
Davis dialed three soft beeps: “Hello … yes, I’d like to report a murder… white male, early 40s, shot to the head, non-responsive… Dundas and Richmond.”
The Austrian heard the click of the phone. It was quiet. He knew what was next. Or so he thought. But then, inexplicably, Davis forced the gun into the Austrian’s hand then quickly retracted it. He stepped back two paces and levelled at his own temple.
There’s a bullet in here with a name on it.
Author: Thomas Thayer
A Touch of Spring
By Lara Savine
The picture of serenity … nature the way the poets envisioned it, gentle and sweet.
But amidst all blossoming words and sentiments, lingered the subtle bite of menace and foreboding. And though my garden was awash with flowers, sweet as peals of a child’s laughter, menace lurked amidst the delphiniums.
I smiled serenely, my sarong barely covering the full flesh of a new season on my body.
I picked up his finger. It was so fresh, it still bled and I gave it forth to earth as it nourished his fading life.
What the mortals thought of as beautiful was violent. Changing seasons, every year a new successor and now, as the last winter was dying, his body was repurposed into spring.
Poetic. But violent.
‘Fascinating, isn’t it?’ I whispered, heedless of his blood-soaked sighs, limbs littering his living grave. ‘That life is born out of death, and where the icicle dies, the flower survives. I, too, will die someday, give way to the summering suns … funny that I actually yearn for it …’
I stroked his mutilated face.
‘I pity you. It was your misfortune that I am who I am,’ I whispered. ‘Misfortune that I was chosen to reap you. You Seasons all say spring, oh spring, be she so gentle! Spring, be she so sweet!’ I sighed, the world around me glowing in blood-red light. ‘You never remember that spring murders winter, and for once … Spring just took a few millennia to enjoy it.”
Author: Lara Meone Savine
“Take the cloth, woman. Clean it. It has to be spotless.”
He pointed at the floor.
She bent down, wobbling before her knees touched the floor. Her arthritis made her wince. The cold stone, harsh and unforgiving, mocked her as she started to rub. He could not have thought of a more painful punishment for her.
Time passed. Tendons screeched as she moved down the hall. Tears fell as each movement crushed her will. This was what it was all about. This was the payback for all her sins. How she hated him!
Standing at the back, he watched her. He wasn’t without a heart, in spite of what she thought. Each tear that dripped down, each crunch of bone against bone, each rub of the cloth punished him as well. She had to acknowledge her sins and beg for forgiveness. There was no other way of expiation: it had to be this way.
At last she finished.
“I’m done” she murmured as she collapsed.
“Yes, you are. Thank you. Your sins are…. forgiven.”
She turned her head to look at him one last time.
He nodded. One last sigh and he closed her eyes with his hand.
Down to earth
By Lady Stabdagger
This was amazing; she was getting such a rush. Carrie felt absolutely weightless and she was enjoying every minute of it. She was so happy Julia agreed to come with her or she might have changed her mind at the last minute. Just the sheer sensations she was feeling at the moment was enough to convince her she had made the right choice. She would definitely do this again. It felt like she was flying. Closing her eyes for a moment she could almost imagine herself to have wings, flapping them up and down, gliding through the clouds. She imagined herself being able to fly all over the world. First she imagined herself a swan gracefully taking flight over lakes and rivers. Her imagination took over; now she was a witch defying the laws of gravity, the very elements at her every command. One thing Carrie excelled at was her overactive imagination. It could take her places her books never could; one day she would write her own stories full of all manner of magical things, but for now she would enjoy flying. Julia shouted out to her but with the wind rushing through her ears she couldn’t hear what was being said. Her dreams came to an abrupt end. Lost in her imagination, Carrie forgot to open her parachute.
Author: Lady Stabdagger
A Fresh Start
By Larysia Woropay
Hot water fogged up the shower’s glass, obscuring the feminine figure behind it. She sighed, craning her neck as rivulets ran down her chest. She grabbed the soap and vigorously lathered.
Suds met blood too tenacious for water alone. She scrubbed her skin, knowing she’d have to bleach the tub. The floors. The walls. Maybe tear up the carpet. Replace it.
Not that it mattered.
The house was hers now.
But it might prove suspicious to do the “renovations” anytime too soon. She’d just have to be thorough until the coast was clear.
Her muscles eased under the spray of water. She had been so tense. Feral. She launched at him in a craze, her hand rising and falling with the knife. It felt like a fever dream.
But it had happened.
He was shocked she did something this time. This would be her last black eye. Still, she’d rather not be charged. She wasn’t getting manslaughter because she fought back for once! No. This was her fresh start. He simply “left” her. Vanished. Men did it all the time.
Even though his body was currently slumped over downstairs.
She started, then wiped the fogged glass. Heart racing, she reminded herself dead men couldn’t walk.
But what she saw proved otherwise.
A New Day
By Kieron Circuit
It’s a new day. That’s what I tell myself every morning.
It’s a struggle to open my eyes, not because of tiredness, but to delay the start of a day I know will look and smell like the rest. I repeat my mantra with steady breathing, breaking my concentration briefly to wonder when getting out of bed became such a big thing. Where did my enthusiasm go? I lie here zestless, devoid of zest.
I roll from the mattress onto the floor. I decided a short time ago for some irrational reason that the bed was too high.
My routine is in fact, too routine and I scoff at myself in bathroom mirror. I want to embrace change but I’m afraid, yet I don’t know what I’m afraid of. Every new day is a challenge. The hands of the clock move at the same steady speed as the day progresses. There will be more tomorrows, more chances to change, more opportunities to reset and try this ‘living’ thing again.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll wave to my neighbour, baby steps and all that. I stifle the voice that tells me I’m kidding myself, bullied by my own internal monologue.
When it’s night again I can allow the darkness to swallow me whole, bath in its blackness. It’s my only relief.
Author: Kieron Circuit