Category Archives: Erika Lance

Bubbles by Erika Lance

For Sasha, thank you for this amazing starter.

I don’t remember dying.. but they all say I have.

As she listened to all of the people standing around the casket, she finally realized they were speaking about her in the past tense.

What had happened?

Was that a casket?

She was dead?

She remembered the spotlight being on, the music playing, singing the new number that Jimmy had written for her. What the hell was going on?

Bubbles had known she was going to be a dancer for as long as she could remember. She had dreamed of twirling on stage with some of the best dancers in the world.

Growing up, she had taken ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, everything she could think of until she had puberty hit and the gods had seen fit to give her the largest set of melons she had ever seen.

Although she still practiced all the time, her dream had changed from one of dancing to one of entertaining.

Bubbles had become a world renowned burlesque performer. Her shows were sold out every night.

The memory started coming back to her; she was 90% done with her routine when she suddenly slipped on a loose feather in her amazing peacock costume.

Well, it couldn’t have been that amazing, since she was looking up at a crowd now gathered around her.

Their lips were moving and they seemed frantic about something. She couldn’t understand them over the ringing in her ears and the distant beating of… something.

What was it?

She couldn’t think of it. This was silly. She was normally very good at distinguishing sounds.

She tried to move and couldn’t.

The faces above her were becoming more frantic.

They looked like her mother did the first time she did her routine on the parallel bars. Well, the first time she did her routine and fell off the parallel bars.

Wait, Did she fall?

She tried to open her mouth to ask a question but found she couldn’t move.

This wasn’t good.

She also noticed she was getting cold; that it, the cold, was seeping up under her body.

It might be because of the stage, or because she was wet… why was she wet?

It began to get dark then, so dark and so cold; they looked so scared, the faces.

She looked down at the casket now. Finally able to focus.

Her boobs still looked huge, even from here.


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Complete Dark by Erika Lance

For my friends Lisa and Tracy… Welcome to the Darkside!

Nothing could have prepared me for this… literally nothing!

She looked shocked. Maybe confused and possibly a little sick.

I would love to tell her that I warned her about what this was like, but I would be lying.

In truth, I am glad she is shocked.

Sometimes it takes a person truly seeing what man is capable of in order to value what they have in this life.

I don’t think this is one of those moments.

When she had told me what he had done to her, that part of me that we all hide or most times ignore came to the surface.

That part of me is complete darkness.

A plan, the plan, had come more quickly than I suppose it should. I knew what to do and how to do it.

I had to know she was sure of the choice she was making. Actually, I knew she couldn’t make that choice. She wasn’t capable… Most people were not.

It took me only a week and I had ensured every detail was taken care of. When you think about it, there are so many open areas in any state; for us, there were swamps with all manner of hungry creatures.

The only instruction I had given her was to not bring her cell phone. Actually, I had dropped mine and hers at a friend’s party we had stopped by for a little while to make sure plenty of people had seen us there. When we showed up later, the remaining party-goers would be so drunk the missing time will have evaporated.

As I unrolled the tarp containing the body, containing him, I handed her some gloves and I put some on myself as I picked up the hedge trimmers to begin the project of making him into bite size portions for the wildlife. Can’t have a gator dragging around an entire arm.

I didn’t give her any tools. Her job was scattering the pieces.

In under two hours we were done. We hadn’t spoken the entire time. The only noise she had made was when I used the hammer to mash his skull into little bits under the skin. Harder to piece together if it came to it.

After burning the clothes and tools, we got in the car and headed back to the party. She got out of the car and only said “I’m hungry” and entered the party.

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Hunting by Erika Lance

For Mandi, who has been inspiring since the day we met.

She put it in her mouth, trying not to think of the song “long thin slimy ones, short fat juicy ones….”

Marla looked down at the pile of leaves, twigs, berries, and grubs she had managed to forage.

She wasn’t sure, but she thought she was probably the only one left alive at this point.

When they had first been all dumped together, they had numbered eight. There had been five males and three females.

The “hunt” did not start until the fifth night. She remembered the exact moment she realized what was happening and that staying together was not an option.

When they had taken out the first person, a girl–her name was Tiffany or something very cheerleader like–they had done it using a cross-bow. Then they strung her up by her foot and left her there for all of us to see.

That was the moment Marla decided that she was going to find a way out.

She had heard a rumor about games like this one. Rich men usually paying a bunch to hunt humans for sport. She never understood it. Unless you chose humans that were armed and had the skills needed to be good prey, then what you were really doing is hunting something a little more skilled than a cow?

After she and a couple others had broken off from the group, she had only seen one other person alive. The first couple of times she had come across the strung up bodies of the others, she had used that area to sleep.

She was very sure that they wouldn’t come back to that specific spot since that was how they displayed their trophies and the hunters would not assume that the prey would sleep next to a dead body. Most probably would not.

As she looked down at the grubs wriggling in her hand, she wished she could bring herself to eat some of the dead meat that had been hanging around. But for starters, she couldn’t figure a way to get the meat off the corpse. She didn’t have any knives and most importantly, she didn’t want to be a cannibal.

She stuffed the grubs and leaves in her mouth and chewed quickly. She was constantly hungry but never starving. Then she drank a little from one of the streams she had found and made her way into the trees to find tonight’s sleeping spot.

She never slept in the same place twice. She was also careful never to leave a trail. She made sure not to break branches and to cover any footprints.

When she had chosen what direction to go, she had chosen left. There was no science; she had to choose a way to go and she chose left.

Marla had also found a branch she could use as a staff and a club if needed. It was interesting the relief she felt when she held a weapon in her hand.

It was late and Marla had been sleeping for a while when she first heard the noise. Whenever she was woken, the first thing she would do was hold her breath and listen. She heard the noise again. It was something large moving near her.

Most of the time, the hunters were in at least pairs if not a “hunting party.” She had seen them several times and had remained hidden through all of it. She stole a look this time and this one seemed to be alone. She wondered if he had gotten separated.

She watched him. He pulled out what she could only assume was a compass and turned around several times. It was funny to her when she discovered that most people thought using things like a compass or a map were easy.

As she watched him fumble, she realized that he must not have a cell phone out here. This caused her to smile. She did the only thing she could. She followed him farther. She wasn’t sure the total time she had actually followed him; with no watch, she couldn’t be certain and she also had to be careful. She couldn’t alert him to her presence.

She waited until he stopped, slung his rifle over his shoulder, and unzipped his pants to pee.

That moment she moved out, swinging her branch. She knew the first hit had to count and had to at least knock him down. That is exactly what it did. Then she bashed his head in until it was a bloody pulp.

She then removed everything of use from him. Even though he was much larger than she, she took his slightly bloodied jacket and all of his supplies. She even opened his wallet and removed the cash and his driver’s license. His name was Jim.

She smiled as she walked away. Now it was her turn to hunt.




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Best Day Ever by Erika Lance

For my friend Lisa Zeien, you are truly an amazing princess!

The entry theme of Star Wars hummed through his head as he entered the boardroom.

Today was the day he was finally making it to the top. Brian knew had an idea that would revolutionize the company. He had run the numbers, and it was a guaranteed success.

It had taken him a few months to convince his Vice President to propose it to his Senior Vice President, who then proposed it to his Chief.  As he opened the door, a small knot formed in his stomach, nerves, he took a deep breath and continued to walk in.

Brian had arrived over an hour before the meeting was to begin. He wanted to ensure that nothing went wrong during the presentation. One technical glitch or ill placed slide could take away from his credibility and he knew it.

He set up his presentation at the far end of the room near the projector. He carefully laid out the booklets containing the proposal at each of the seats. He ran through the presentation, each slide reciting his prepared speech. He was even ready for questions. As the time finally arrived, he was 100% sure he was going to nail it.

As the board members and other important executives arrived, Brian greeted each one of them. His confidence was at the highest point it had ever been. He knew, truly knew, that this day would change his life.

As he began the presentation, he could see that there were skeptical, if not almost disinterested, looks on most of the faces. The exceptions were the people who had already seen the presentation and he could tell from the looks on their faces that they knew something the others did not.

Brian showed the final slide. There had been a few questions throughout, but overall he had seen the reactions change from the mostly negative to very positive.

Brian was pulling his chair out to take a seat when he heard the first spray of shots. They were so loud and his first reaction was to cover his ears. Then he felt the sharp pain as something hard and sharp hit his back and he tumbled forward.

He lay there wanting to feel for where the pain was but he was having a hard time breathing. He continued to hear shots and screaming for a couple more minutes. He looked to his left and saw one of the executives, the COO, laying with several shots in the chest. His face looked as if he was looking into the distance.

Brian tried to focus and looked back to the right and saw one person still walking around. They were wearing black khaki pants and boots. Black spots were beginning to form on Brian’s vision. In some distant part of his brain, he knew he was in terrible pain but the shock seemed to be keeping it at bay.

As the person who seemed to be the only one still moving got closer, he would hear one shot here and there, and as they came around the corner he heard a familiar voice. “Brian, fuck dude, what are you doing here? Shit!” It was Mark.

Brian had worked with him as a project manager until a few months ago when he was let go. Brian had heard rumors about spending company money for escorts and drugs. The story everyone had been told was the department was downsizing. Brian guessed that Mark didn’t take that very well.

Mark was still talking and he felt his body being moved as the blackness consumed him. He smiled a little as the Star Wars theme began to play again in his head.





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The Captain by Erika Lance

To DeAnn, one of the most amazingly creative people I know.

“What do you mean, you have no idea how it works!?”

The Captain towered over her, blocking out the light from the emergency alerts still flashing above.

She sighed, and calming herself, replied, “I am not the engineer. I don’t even work in engineering. I work in Astral Navigation. So, NO, I don’t know how this works…sir.”

This had not been what Brea thought space exploration would be like. When she was making her required career choice, she chose Astral Navigation because it was how you really saw space when you were on board a vessel. Otherwise, you may catch glimpses of space, but there weren’t really windows in the ships like they made out in most shows you watch.

Space was a dangerous place; most vessels were armored for the many things you could simply run into while out here–meteors–or come into contact with–an exploding star.

Of course that was why Navigators were needed. They guided the ship to avoid such issues. I bet he now thinks this is somehow my fault, she thought.

“Navigation?” he asked.

She simply sighed. Having conversations like this one never tended to go very well for either party.

There was another explosion that rocked the ship causing the Captain to almost land on top of her.

“What was that?” he sputtered out.

This wasn’t going well at all.

“I think we are under attack,” she stated. She didn’t look up from the components she was tinkering with. It was the shield, or at least what Brea thought was the shield. At this moment, she wished she had paid a lot better attention in her mechanics classes.

There was suddenly a loud noise that sounded very much like metal being ripped apart. The Captain spun around just in time to hear the screams from the crew members on the desks above this one.

“Is the ship being ripped apart?” he asked to no-one in particular.

“How long have you been a Captain?” Brea asked to the sound of more screams from above.

“This is my first mission,” he replied looking around almost frantic.

Brea stood up, patted the Captain on the shoulder and started making her way down the corridor.

“Wait! Where are you going?” he shouted as she walked away.

“Escape Pod. We’re being boarded.” She continued to move down the corridor.

“Boarded?” she heard from behind her. Great, he was following.

“Yes, boarded,” she said to the sound of a small struggle, then a scream, followed by the sickly sound of wet flesh being slammed into something hard.

“By whom?” his voice was almost a whisper which seemed difficult given the current circumstances.

Brea wondered what a person had to do to be named “Captain.” She had always assumed it was taking several missions, moving up in rank after proving they can handle the responsibility. Apparently that, however, was not the case.

Brea made her way to the Escape Pods. As she began to ready the unit, she also initiated the self-destruct sequence.

One of the things that had fascinated her at the academy was that there was a self-destruct mechanism near the escape hatches. When she inquired as to why that was, she was informed that the ship should never be allowed to be taken by hostile forces and sometimes this would be the only option any crew member had.

Her instructor had said this scenario had only happened on three occasions. Well, now four.

She climbed in the pod and the Captain looked back at the ship. “I am not sure what to do,” he said sounding totally confused.

Brea smirked a little and as she hit the pod closure device she said, “Go down with your ship.”

The explosion was actually quite beautiful as the ships were both destroyed. She wondered how long before her rescue would arrive as she grabbed a protein bar from the stores and made herself comfortable.

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Cheating by Erika Lance

To my sidekick Nobbits; without you, I would be a terrible superhero.

“I’m Alive!” Jimmy screamed triumphantly.

Jimmy dusted himself off and decided he had this all figured out. He knew today was the day, but he didn’t believe in prophecies, or fate, or any of that mumbo jumbo that the Oracles had said.

He looked down the street in both directions. The bus had nearly run him over, and he wasn’t taking a chance it would try again. He had four more hours before this day was complete. Then all of the silliness of his death would be behind him.

Jimmy weighed his options; he could go inside somewhere. His house was out of the question since a smoke detector had caught fire this morning which woke him up.

He had also tried the coffee shop around the corner from his house and that had been held up at gunpoint. Luckily, he had been in the bathroom at the time and had snuck out the tiny window, which had torn his shirt.

He thought that going to work might help; after all, he worked in a hospital as a lab tech. When he had arrived late, he noticed all the people in hazmat suits going in and out. When he asked someone what was happening, it turned out that a container had broken in the lab releasing a fast moving flesh eating bacteria into the air. Three had died in the lab before they had contained it. Jimmy decided to find shelter elsewhere.

The more Jimmy thought about it, the more he wished he hadn’t gone to ask the Oracles anything on that Saturday afternoon. His best friend Paul had told him that he most likely didn’t want to actually know what his fate would be. Jimmy’s logic had been he could then live his life to the fullest, which of course, was until whatever day in his ripe old age he was to finally pass into the great beyond.

So, Jimmy was of course stunned when they gave him four days to live. That meant he would die on Wednesday. Jimmy hated Wednesdays. They were simply in the middle of everything and nothing good happened on Wednesdays besides his inevitable demise it seemed.

On top of everything else, Jimmy was given this terrible news from the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. He had expected the Oracle to be an old grandmotherly type. He expected wrinkles and grey hair. Instead she was radiant. Her name was Opal, which was an old person name, but instead of making her appear older, it seemed to simply be a description of the color of her eyes. They shimmered and changed between blue and green as she looked into the swirling glass orb in front of her.

Her dark hair fell in curls that were pulled back from her fair skin. Even without make-up, her long lashes and rosy lips made her seem as if perfection in a person was possible. Then she said those now infamous words: “Jimmy, you will die in 4 days.”

He shook his head, clearing the image from his mind. Jimmy had renewed purpose in the fact he would survive. Tomorrow he would go see the Oracle again to show her that he was strong and a hero. He had cheated death and that made him a superhero. He imagined she would fall immediately into his arms, and he would be kissing those pump soft lips. He shook his head again and looked at his watch: 8:24pm.

He needed to go somewhere safe. He had no idea where that could be, so he headed to the only place that he knew would offer him comfort: the park.

Jimmy arrived at the park at 9:13pm out of breath. This was after a near miss by a cab and a downed power-line that suddenly appeared in his path. He decided to stay in the open areas away from trees that could fall on him or swing sets that might suddenly collapse.

He kept his eyes out for storms full of lightning and meteors headed towards the very spot he was sitting in. He was excited when he checked his watch for the millionth time and it said 11:57pm. He had only 3 minutes.

That is when he saw the figure coming towards him in the darkness. He prepared to run. He was so close; he wouldn’t let some random mugger take him out. It was then he noticed the figure was shorter and more slender than he was. Jimmy was stunned when the light from the moon showed the face of the person approaching and it was Opal.

“What are you doing here?” he blurted out.

“I am here for you, Jimmy,” she replied and continued her approach.

Jimmy smiled; he would get his reward. He checked his watch again 11:59pm. She was standing right in front of him now.

“I am sorry Jimmy. This will hurt.” And she pushed her lips into his.

He was frozen for a second and then gave into the kiss. It was as amazing as he thought it would be with her soft lips and the hunger he thought he felt from her that sent shivers down his spine.

Then he felt it, a slight pinch at first before the pain spread through his chest. It felt like there was a heated metal rod being shoved through his heart and he pulled back from her and looked down to see a pool of blood forming on his chest and the handle of a knife sticking out from under where his rib cage would be.

He tried to think of something to say, some question to ask that would explain what was happening as his knees gave out from under him. He looked into her eyes one last time; there was a single tear falling down her cheek as he was enveloped in darkness.

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The Warning by Erika Lance

To Burgy Boo; without you I wouldn’t love the things that go bump in the night so much 🙂

She had been warned, but now it was too late.

Claudette couldn’t help but wonder if it was truly “too late.”

She looked around the basement again, puzzled. She knew this wasn’t a dream. She also knew this was more akin to a nightmare than she would care to admit.

The basement is something from a 70’s family comedy on TV. The room all the ‘hip’ teenagers hang out in.

A long brown couch with an afghan draped over the back faces one of those TV’s in the wooden case on the floor with knobs to change the channel and an antenna poking up from the back. The record player was on top with speakers and a pretty good size record collection stacked on a shelf just above it.

Wall-to-wall gold and green shag carpeting covered the floors. There were a couple of bean bags to one side with a game of Monopoly set up in between them on the floor.

There was a full size fridge and a card table that would seat four and in the back was a ping pong table. The entire room was perfectly staged.

Unfortunately, it was also staged with bodies. The kind that were no longer living. The kind that created a smell that Claudette couldn’t even begin to describe.

In the movies, they make it seem like placing the back of one hand up against a nose would block this smell. It couldn’t. Covering her nose and mouth with her shirt wasn’t even doing the trick; she could still taste it through the fabric.

Claudette had woken up on the couch to the sound of the record that must have been playing for however long she was out. She didn’t know the name of the band, but it was one of those songs that she had heard flipping through the “oldies” station.

The fact that she watched more of the Brandy Bunch than she would care to admit out loud was the only thing that helped her to identify what some of the items in this room were.

The first bodies she had actually seen were the two sitting in the bean bag chairs; most of the skin had fallen off of them but she could tell they were most likely females. She actually assumed all eight of the bodies she had found were females.

She had tried screaming and pounding on the door at the top of the stairs, but it had been barred from the other side.

She walked over to the fridge and opened it in the hopes of finding some water or anything to drink. Instead she found the parts of what she assumed was bodies nine and ten by the at least two heads on the top shelf.

She screamed again and closed her eyes, hoping this would all just go away.

After a time she made her way back to the couch. She lay down and pulled the afghan on top of her as if it would offer some kind of security or warmth.

She closed her eyes again, unable to block out the images of what was surrounding her. Each body, besides the pieces in the fridge, had been carefully set-up at the card table or the ping pong table to look as if they were playing a game.

She guessed this was what this was: a game.

When she had first met Norman, he seemed like the perfect guy. He was smart, funny, charismatic, and loyal. He made her feel like she was a princess.

She remembered on their third date when he told her that she was “So amazing he didn’t think he could ever let her go.”

That had been the warning and this was their fourth date.

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Raindrops and Running by Erika Lance

To Cliff: You bring new meaning to “sexy beard” and the world thanks you for it.

Little did she know, today was going to be the last night of her life.

Sandy stared out the window at the rain that just moments before had looked like a monsoon and was now simply a drizzle.

“Raindrops keep falling on my head…..” came singing from the kitchen. Sandy assumed it was Margie working on the dishes or cooking one of those terrible new vegetarian recipes that tried to imitate a meat dish. Sandy couldn’t understand why anyone who wanted to be a vegetarian would feel the need to make dishes that tasted like meat.

There were many things Sandy didn’t understand about Margie. However, after six years of living together, she had decided that she didn’t in fact need to know these things as they would not actually make any sort of difference on the outcome of Margie’s behavior towards Sandy.

When Margie had tried to get Sandy to “go vegetarian” as well, Sandy just simply refused to eat the food being presented until Margie relented and went back to the standard fare that Sandy enjoyed.

The rain had completely let up a little while later and Sandy decided that she needed to actually do something more productive with her day than sit lazily by the window watching the rain, regardless of how relaxing it had been.

She got up and looked around and decided a little stroll outside would give the needed amount of exercise and then she would decide her next action. It is always better to do one thing at a time to not get too distracted and not finish the one you started to begin with.

Heading out the door, she walked down the little path leading to the gate and then the street where her house sat. It was one of the prettiest sights, especially now in the spring when all the flowers on the trees that canopied the street were in bloom. It was beautiful.

Sandy was so mesmerized by the trees that she wasn’t paying close enough attention to where she was going and was shocked when she heard a deep growl in front of her.

Standing before her was one of the biggest dogs she had seen in real life. Its jaws were slightly open and it had drool running down its teeth. It growled again and she knew she had to run. She turned and began to run without looking back. The barking told her it was right behind her and she decided if she didn’t find a place to hide, she was going to get bitten or worse.

She had only a moment but decided to turn and head across the street to a fence she was sure the beast wouldn’t be able to make it through.

That is when she heard the squealing tires and it all went black.


Margie heard the sound of a dog barking outside and looked to find Sandy was no longer in the spot she normally sat on the window sill. Margie looked around to see if she could spot her anywhere else as she heard the squealing of tires.

She looked out the window and saw beneath the front tire of the stopped car, the familiar look of the white and black spotted fur.

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Careful What You Wish For by Erika Lance

To Glitter Sparkle Cupcake Princess: Without you, I only have two legs of the Trifecta of Doom tripod!

She slowed down her sprint to steal just the quickest of glances downward to examine the damage, the pain in her chest spreading like the scarlet colored stain blossoming across her chest.

She was bleeding more than she thought. Suzy had hoped that it had been only a small wound, but closing her eyes to catch her breath, she felt a twinge with each inhale.

She looked down at the lamp in her left hand. It actually looked more like an overly decorated gravy bowl, but he would argue that it was a palace. The smartest thing she could do would be to drop it right there, in the alley or better yet in the dumpster in front of her. She couldn’t though, she knew that. It wasn’t finished yet.

She heard a crash in the distance and knew she had to move; there would be no stopping. Not yet! She needed to be far enough away that it couldn’t track her before she got help for her wound. She almost fell back against the wall behind her from the wave of pain when she took in a deep breath and started to walk and then run. Within moments, however, the adrenaline kicked in again, and she knew this was the last sprint she could make and headed to the only place she would be safe.

She pounded on the door a third time before the door opened, and Joe stood there looking disheveled and annoyed. He was wearing pajama bottoms and a robe, no shirt. Under normal circumstances she would love to find him in this not quite clothed condition; however, she was barely standing, having no idea how much blood she had lost at this point.

Joe was opening his mouth, about to ask her something when he caught sight of her hand that was trying and failing to cover the wound. Suzy began to speak but then felt herself falling, and before she felt herself hit the ground, there was blackness.

As her eyes began to flutter open, she tried to sit up and found herself unable to. She was sore and when she moved, she felt a stabbing pain shoot though her chest.

“Don’t sit up” she heard his voice say and then she felt the chill of a cold compress against her forehead. She closed her eyes again. She was safe. She could feel it, but she needed to finish, she needed to move. Blinking a few times, she was finally able to focus. As she looked around, she saw that she was on the couch in Joe’s living room. There was a pair of light sabers mounted on the wall above her. She smiled for a moment. Joe was an epic nerd, but he was her nerd and in that she found a moment of solace as he lifted a straw to her lips and she tasted cool water and then he asked her the one question she didn’t want to answer: “What the hell is going on?”

“A… well…” she began. “I…um…It’s complicated,” she finally said, not truly sure where she should begin.

“Complicated?” he asked, arching an eyebrow.

“Yes. Well a little complicated,” she said, trying to use her cute little girl voice sometimes girls use to lessen the impact of her words.

“Explain ‘Complicated,’” Joe said, using his fingers to make quotes in the air.

She looked around for a moment hoping to think of anything to distract him from this conversation. It occurred to her she had been bleeding when she arrived. She quickly pulled down the throw from the couch covering her to find her bloodied shirt unbuttoned and her chest free of any wounds.

“What happened?” she said as she was still scanning her chest. “You tell me,” he said. “You passed out, and I caught you. When I got you to the couch, I opened your shirt to find you had a hole about the size of a quarter in your chest and just as I was grabbing the phone to call 911, it closed, right in front of my eyes. You have been sleeping for about an hour,” he finished.

Suzy couldn’t help but smile. Although she could tell he was a little mad at her, he was concerned at the same time.

She tried sitting up again and found she was still sore. She still felt the twinge where the wound had been, but she needed not to be here soon. It was almost midnight, if she had truly slept for an hour; she couldn’t believe the time had gone by so quickly.

“You still haven’t explained what happened and why you are carrying around that lamp,” he said again. He wasn’t going to let this go.

She sighed.

“It is a genie,” she said and then looked down at her lap.

“What?” Joe asked.

“A genie, you know like Aladdin,” she said, still not looking up.

When she didn’t hear him say anything, she peeked up to see him sitting with his arms crossed, looking less than amused.

“Ok, well, so… I was with J and E at the beach,” she had shortened the names to tell the story more quickly with the hopes that it didn’t sound as terrible as she thought it would, “and well E saw this under the water and wouldn’t touch it, so I did, and then when I decided to try to rub it to clean it off, a genie popped out.” She said the last words a squeak from using up all her breath.

“Did you just say a genie ‘popped out’ of the lamp?” Joe asked, arms still crossed.

“Yes and well he said I had three wishes,” she continued, “I was SO excited that the first thing I wished for was a glitter cannon. Which was dumb because it appeared on the beach and started firing off glitter non-stop and it eventually got in our eyes and we had to leave the beach with the cannon still firing.” She took another breath and continued, “As we headed back towards the car, we showered off as much of the glitter as possible, but when I tried, I couldn’t put the lamp down.”

Joe still sat there.

“When we got back to the car, I wanted to get dressed and when I did I must have rubbed the lamp again because the genie appeared again and told me it was time for my second wish. I told him I did want a second wish right then. Which made the genie mad, and he made E disappear. When I asked him why, he said that he was going to take from me until I gave him what he wanted.”

“When I refused a second time, he made J disappear. Which made me freak out, so I wished for a Unicorn. A rainbow Unicorn specifically.” She stopped for a moment to gauge the reaction. There wasn’t one. Joe was waiting until she finished.

Suzy took a deep breath and continued “This, the Unicorn, as it turned out, was not a good idea. Apparently, unicorns are not actually nice and don’t want to let you ride them.” Joe chuckled a little.

“So I demanded the genie return my friends and he said ‘Not until you finish wishing’ and this made me mad and then the Unicorn bit me and then it started to chase me, and neither J or E was there to help or tell me what my third wish should be… and then I had to keep running as no matter where I went the Unicorn was there… and….” Suzy had worked herself into tears at this point.

“I was running so much, and then the Unicorn came up to me acting all sweet and I thought that maybe it just needed to get used to me.” The tears were streaming down her face and each word began to be issued through sobs. “Then…It…Stabbed…Me!” and she fell back in sobs.

“So you’re saying that a Unicorn stabbed you, a Genie kidnapped your friends, and you have one last wish to fix all of it?” Joe asked sounding calm amongst the sobs.

“Yes,” Suzy said between the continued crying and sobs.

There was a banging at the front door.

Joe walked over and looked through the peephole just as the door vibrated again from something heavy slamming into it.

“Well, the Unicorn is here,” he said still peering out the door.

“I don’t want to be killed by a Rainbow Unicorn,” Suzy sobbed.

Joe turned and looked back at her and calmly asked, “Why don’t you wish that you never had made any wishes?”

Suzy sat up. Another bang came from the door. She looked down at the lap in her hand and then back up at Joe.

She scrunched her face and then bit her lower lip while shrugging and said, “Oh. Good Idea.”

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