February 12, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Hope #20

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used: “What did he/she just say?

Hope #20

I hurled myself through the door, and at least had enough common sense to put Shane down on the floor before I knelt in front of the toilet and retched. Death spell echoed in my mind in a constant loop, one I couldn't find my way out of.
I was dimly aware of Shane standing next to me, pressing up against my side. Somehow the physical contact helped. Even though he was in the wrong body—too small, too much fur, too... just too different—he was alive.
It took me a while to stop retching and shivering. When I managed, I flushed the loo, staggered to my feet, and brushed my teeth. My reflection showed a white face with way too large eyes.
Maybe I'd heard wrong. Maybe I was going off the deep end. Maybe—
I cut my rambling self-doubts off and instead turned around to stare down at Shane. He was sitting on the floor, gazing up at me with the saddest expression I'd seen in a long time. After swallowing several times, I asked, “What did she just say?
I said that I'm assuming a death spell went wrong,” Marisa said. She leaned against the door frame, pity edged in her features. “I told you that you have a hard time understanding.”
You can leave that look of pity off your face, I'm not some fragile doll,” I snapped.
She straightened up. “I think you're exactly that—too fragile to deal with who Shane is and what being his lover entails. You'll be in as much danger as he is if anyone realizes Shane is still alive.”
Shane barked, then jumped up and down my legs. I bent down to pick him up, unsure how to respond to Marisa's words. Sure, I could flip—and honestly that option sounded the most tempting at that moment—but it would fit into her image of me. I'd never been called fragile!
Fragile,” I muttered into Shane's thick fur when I pressed my face into his neck. “No one has ever called me...” I trailed off. Shane nudged my nose with his cold and wet one. Shane had. He hadn't used fragile, rather delicate and sensitive.
It had bothered me in the beginning, but when he explained how much he loved my sensitivity, it became an endearment not an affront. Shane's forepaws dug deep into my clavicle as he kept staring on me; not with the sad expression from before, rather with a great deal of kindness mingled with mirth.
My lips curved into a lopsided smile. “All right, all right, but you have to admit that sensitive sounds much better than fragile.”
Shane barked and wiggled closer. I cradled him in my arms, securing his head on my shoulder. When I turned back to Marisa, a newly found confidence filled me. “Maybe you're right. Maybe I'm not cut out to deal with who Shane is, but he is my lover and I'll do anything to get him back.”
Marisa's face hardened. “You have no idea what anything entails—absolutely no idea, Gil.”
Then talk to me. Explain! I might want to wet my pants but I will do whatever is necessary to get Shane back. I was about to commit suicide, do you really think there's much to lose for me?”
Marisa gasped, whereas Shane keened, then frantically licked my face.
Hey, stop it!” I patted Shane's head, trying to thwart him from slobbering all over me, but he ignored my words and all my gentle prodding. “Shane, I won't do it, no matter what happens.”
Shane slowed his movements but the whine didn't stop. Marisa stepped into the bathroom and rested a hand on my arm. “I'm sorry, Gil. Why don't we move back to the living room and I'll try to give you the whole information.”
I nodded and followed her. Shane draped himself all over me as soon as I sat down, panting and whimpering occasionally. Marisa observed me with a steely gaze that spiked my heart rate, then she started talking.


  1. I love the word use in this story, Chris T Kat. The "humnaness" of the characters. Being called fragile does seem like a put down and saying you might pee your pants, but still do what you have to do connects with readers. Oh by the way, still LOVING this!

    1. You got exactly what I was going for, Dizzy. :) Gil is a very sensitive guy and his emotions are close to the surface, which puts him into a vulnerable position. Shane knew that and loved that specifically about him.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!