A Choice.

The man is old.

The itch the cold left behind is taken away by a running of his fingers across his head, and those same fingers reach down and trace someone’s name in the window against the fog the snow had left the evening before.

Light.

He laughs like a bottle of aged whiskey. The preciousness of life is there when you feel his presence, look into his eyes or… hear him enjoying the thought of that name.

His fingers brush against the window,

We made it,

He writes and stares at me, before jumping with more energy than he really should have…

And kissing me on the forehead.

Just like always.

Phantom’s Disjune. Dismay was last month.

Phantom woke up just like every other day, shaved that one recurrent pitch black, needle-like hair by setting himself on fire and scratching two diamonds together in a way that would make a human hold both sides of their face in their hands and release an “eeeeeeeee” sound, poured himself a bushel of uncooked oatmeal, and tried to figure out how he would eat his daily human.

Then, he went to the sacred cabinet, turned on a filthy looking machine, poured some dark brown powder into it, and waited for an even darker brown liquid to come out. The humans called this coffee, but Phantom called it flarpminpo which roughly translates into “true love” in human verbiage.

Phantom lived a life of mundane existentialism, and flarpminpo was his escape from this trivial existence. He drank two gallons each day. Why he did this exactly, was a secret that Phantom kept closely guarded, and refused to let the world know about… but he took pleasure in doing like the TV shows and books he sometimes watched and read, and telling his daily human meal before they were gobbled up.

“Yeeeeeeeeeeeejickkkkkkkkkkkkinflapppppp,” Phantom yawned.

He moved his seating to the window viewing side of his breakfast table, and looked to see if any movement was coming from the human trap he had set the night before.

The table wobbled as his fists came down on top of it, angry that the humans were walking into the hole less and less often. He would have to think up a new way of catching them soon, and that would require thought he didn’t want to spare. It was taxing for a half-immortal being like Phantom to be thinking too much. Just let the thoughts come as they do, you know?

The funny thing about being half-immortal is that your life lasts for half of an infinite amount of time. And given that there is no end to an infinite amount of time, it’s rather hard to tell how long half of that is. When he was a younger being, Phantom had been told that one day death might just come… or not. He never would know until it either did or it didn’t. And it would usually not, because if it did, it would be too late to know.

KNOCK KNOCK.

Phantom’s lips curved up in a coffee tinted smile. His human trap being empty wouldn’t matter now, because his faithful steed was here.

Sammy the Unicorn had been Phantom’s best friend for fourteen years, and during that time they had gotten plenty of human meat to eat together. They both had the curse on their heads which is only natural when dark spiritual beings choose to spend a vacation of a few hundred years or so on a planet like Earth. And together, they usually would be able to find humans to eat if they couldn’t apart in their own respective human traps.

They didn’t get along in every sense though. Sammy the Unicorn had a bad habit of wearing skinny jeans and listening to popular human music, which Phantom found distasteful at best. But each to his own.

Phantom reached for the door handle and opened the door with half of a smile before it was ripped away and replaced by a smile three times bigger.

Instead of Sammy the Unicorn, there was a bright red human child. A suitable meal for a dark spiritual being such as he. He was surprised, but not too surprised to be rude lest he chase this food away, so he said what any self respecting phantom would say.

“WHY HELLO THERE SMALL EARTH BOY”. Phantom reached out his arm and patted the child’s head.

“Hi,” said the child, grinning. “Are you a Mister Phantom?”

“WHY YES I AM SMALL MORSEL,” Phantom said with glee all over his voice.

“I’ve just cut your unicorn friend’s head off and I won’t put it back on unless you pay,” the child said.

Phantom gasped.

Down Under the Way.

The wobbly old road down that side of the way was wreathed with moss and buggage in the form of some spider webs and some wormies when it rained. This place was called the way. Stephen was the youngest of ten children who lived there in the way, and he was the wisest of them all.

Some wise people think that covering things up with unnecessary elaborateness is what makes a fellow wise. Stephen knew it was more straight to the point. The truth with no sugarcoating.

He touched his foot against a rock and felt the moss brushing up to it. The old lady said the moss had healing power. Stephen didn’t agree.

“Come here Bach,” Stephen asked softly. Soft because if not soft the fish would be scared away.

Down in the way there were veins of water around the wobbly old road. There was a fish big enough to feed the two boys there and Stephen knew the fish wouldn’t be easy to catch because older, big enough to feed two boys kinda fish had survived longer for a reason. But Stephen also knew he was hungry, and Bach would be hungry too.

Stephen pulled up a stick from the ground and asked Bach to look for some leftover wormies from the rain the night before.

Bach found one after a moment’s glance and handed it over, a bit sad that the wormy wouldn’t make it much longer past this, and that it would be Bach’s fault that that particular one had to be eaten by a fish on this day of all days. Bach refused to show this emotion to Stephen as the wormy was taken and placed in the water where the fish rushed to it in a matter of minutes.

The wormy ate the fish and then jumped out of the water, growing to the size of a man.

It was a long worm with a mustache and a pipe and a bit of fish hanging out of its partially open mouth.

It smiled.

That part of the way where the fish had been had deep water. The worm man grabbed the boys by the collars of their shirts and leaped into the water.

They descended further and further until they came out onto a piece of land. There was sky overhead and the sun was much stronger than it had been in the way.

The worm man spoke. “We’re back”

Bach was the first to respond. “Where are we?”

“Where we’ve always been. Come with me,” the worm man spoke. “We’ll get food.”

The two boys walked for about fifteen minutes, staying to themselves behind the worm man.

There was a small Mexican restaurant in the distance, and the worm man mentioned that that was where they were going to stop.

They were hungry, so they just followed him in. Before long they had their seats and menus.

“Order anything you’d like,” the worm man smiled and said as the waiter brought out chips and salsa.

The boys were from a place where there were no restaurants. They didn’t know what anything was so Bach asked the worm man what a taco was.

“Ah!” the worm man chuckled to himself, a bright and cheery chuckle not wormlike at all. “It’s like a flat piece of something that’s almost bread. It has meat on it and sauce somewhat like the salsa the waiter just brought. Why don’t you try some?”

Bach picked the salsa up and took a sip. “AAHHHHHH”

The worm man laughed. “Spicy, is it?”

The waiter came around and the worm man asked for some water for Bach.

Bach liked the taste of the salsa but the feeling was strange. It wasn’t bad enough to make him stop though so he kept eating. This was nothing like anything he’d had before.

“Try some, Stephen” Bach said.

Stephen had been just sitting and watching. Sitting and watching the worm man. How could a worm become so large. It excited him but he didn’t want to show it. For now the worm man couldn’t be trusted. But they would probably be safe to eat at this place. This was a restaurant like the ones he read about.

Stephen reached for his own bowl of salsa and took a chip to go with it. The chip was hard and salty. He dipped it in the bowl and the taste was amazing. He would have to focus at least some on the possible danger and not just the food, he made a note of.

The worm man ordered twelve tacos for himself and asked the boys what they would like to eat.

Bach got tacos and Stephen got nachos.

“Very well,” the worm man said.

When the food arrived the smell was unlike anything the two boys had ever smelled. It was rich and smoky and it made them want to have some very quickly.

The first bite was delicious. And so was the second. They ate their entire meal and it was all wonderful. Rice and beans and tacos and nachos and beautiful red and green vegetables and salsa. They almost didn’t want to go back home now.

Coffeeshop.

Adventures are the best kind of stories. Without them life just sits there. There was a coffeeshop.

There was always a radical tabby who walked along the sidewalk on the street the shop was on. The waft there was the kind of waft you can waft into your nose and smell the smell of not just good coffee but great.

The sidewalks were fragments of an old sidewalk, and there were pieces of brick road on the places cars pulled in. The shop was kind of downtrodden in a hipster looking way, but I guess it was modern and some of the older folk who fancied themselves ‘artistic’ liked that too.

There were two trees near the shop. One was a ginourmous oak tree. Arms out every direction, you know the oak tree type that kids will climb onto and be the king of the world. Another was a Japanese cherry blossom tree. It’d turn bright cotton candy colored pink in the right months.

It was a rainy day when this took place. I mean that stuff was coming down like someone up there had a massive bucket and was pouring it all out. Just like that ‘cause it didn’t last long at all. Before long the sun was coming out. So it wasn’t all rainy or sunny. It just was a day.