Annie On Writing

June 22, 2016

Little Wing by Phil Rossi

Filed under: Twisted Tales,Writing Tools — Annie Evett @ 3:11 pm
Conrad stood before Mrs. Newmar’s third-grade class, ready to brag about his daddy. Most of Conrad’s schoolmates had spoken by now, pitching their dentist, firemen, and architect fathers.
“While we’re asleep, my daddy goes out, and catches all the bad guys. My daddy’s a superhero,” Conrad said.
Conrad hawked over the stunned and silent classroom. Every mouth wide open, eyes bugged-out. A jilted Mrs. Newmar remained silent.
“What’s your daddy’s name?” a boy asked Conrad. Another pause as Conrad scanned the class.
“The Raven,” Conrad said.
“Aren’t superhero’s supposed to be secret?” a girl asked.
“My father’s a policeman, and he says superhero’s are only in comic books and movies,” said the patrolman’s son.
“Everybody knows superhero’s are make believe,” said another girl.
“I need you to get the school psychologist,” Mrs. Newmar said to Miss Saunders, the teacher’s aide. Miss Saunders left the classroom to do as told.
“Are you sure you’re not confused? With a dream, maybe?” asked another classmate.
The audience agreed, rising against Conrad and his claims. Conrad refused to back off, determined to double down on the truth he believed.
“How do you know all this?” another classmate asked. Every eyeball zoomed in on Conrad, and he felt them all.
“I’m his sidekick,” Conrad said.
“You’re a superhero?” asked a girl.
“What’s your nickname?” another classmate asked.
“Little Wing,” Conrad announced, puffing out his chest. A raucous burst of laughter rocked the classroom. A few students spilled from their chairs and tumbled to the floor, hamming things up like kids do.
Conrad wished he had the power to share the images in his mind. To show them on the lesson monitors for all his classmates to see. The crime fighting and rounding up the chaos. Catching the criminals for the police to take away. The Raven and Little Wing are for real. Very real, and not some make-believe fairy tale.
“That’s all for today. Whoever didn’t get to go, will have their turn tomorrow,” said a nervous Mrs. Newmar, rushing up the aisle. Just as she reached Conrad, the dismissal bell sounded and the children scattered. Mrs. Newmar called out to the fleeing students, reminding them of their assignments.
“Conrad. Would you mind staying behind for a moment?” Mrs. Newmar asked.
“Is something wrong?” Conrad asked.
“No. We just want to talk to you,” she said.
“You don’t believe me? That’s why Miss Saunders left the room, isn’t it?” Conrad asked.
“Conrad…, it’s just..,” Mrs. Newmar said, careful as she struggled with her words.
“You’ll see, Mrs Newmar. Soon, the whole world will know all about the Raven,” Conrad claimed and ran from the classroom. Mrs. Newmar pleaded as Conrad dashed off, racing through the school’s empty hallways. In Conrad’s wake, Miss Saunders returned with the school psychologist.
“His father’s whereabouts are unknown. Dead, prison? We don’t know for sure. In Conrad’s case, we have no records,” said the psychologist.
“It’s my fault. I should have never let this happen,” Mrs. Newmar said.
“Legally we can’t disclose personal information, even if we have it. As far as Conrad, the child is compensating. It’s only a phase,” the psychologist said.
“Conrad is such a nice child. Very considerate and well-behaved. It’s the fallout from the other children that worry me,” Mrs. Newmar said.
Blocks from the school, Conrad entered a quiet nook of town and stopped running. Once he turned a corner, Conrad came upon a retro muscle car with tinted windows, racing stripes, and mag wheels.
Conrad ripped a triumphant smile as he gazed at his reflection in the dark glass, too deep to see inside. Conrad reached for the chrome handle of the passenger door and entered the tricked-out vehicle, custom-made for a crime fighter.
“Ready to go to work? There’s some bad guys who need to be stopped,” said the Raven, dressed in full superhero regalia. The Raven shifted gears and punched the gas as Conrad reached for his Little Wing uniform and sidekick disguise.
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Retail therapy by Keith Gillison

Filed under: Twisted Tales,Writing Tools — Annie Evett @ 2:30 pm
“So, I went to the shop to get food for my tarantula and came home with food for my tarantula – and an Asian Jungle Scorpion,” Helen said, from her comfortable position lying on the leather sofa.

Dr. Miller nodded and gestured for her to continue.

“She’s called Nyx, after the Greek goddess of the night. All my invertebrates are named after Greek goddesses.”

“And how did your husband react to this?” asked Miller.

Helen frowned.

“Not too well. He’s unhappy about me turning the spare room into a tropical arachnid and reptile house. We had another row.”

“Because of the tarantulas?”

“It’s an Asian Jungle Scorpion, and no it wasn’t because of that.” Helen sat upright on the sofa. “I bought some other items while I was out.”

“Aha,” said Miller. He placed his reading glasses on and sat poised with pen and notebook. “And what did you buy?”

Helen scrunched her face in thought.

“I was on such a high from the Asian Jungle Scorpion purchase that I felt like rewarding myself, so I popped to M&S and bought this lovely black dress. It’s gorgeous, reduced to £200. They were practically giving it away.”

Dr. Miller sighed and shook his head. He adjusted his spectacles as he made notes. It was something he’d seen therapists do in movies.

“After I got the dress I was buzzing so I treated myself to some new heels.”

“And how did that make you feel?” Miller may have only been practising psychotherapy for a few years since graduation, but he was a firm believer in the maxim ‘if in doubt, ask a question.’

“Amazing! I felt fantastic,” Helen beamed as she fidgeted with her hands. “So I popped to the jewellery counter and got myself a pair of silver earrings and a pearl necklace and then…”

Dr. Miller scribbled frantically on the pad. He couldn’t keep up with his patient.
“I bought a bottle of perfume,” Helen panted. “Wait, it was two bottles.” She jumped to her feet.

Dr Miller stopped writing. He recognised the signs.

“OK, I think you need to try and calm down. Can you sit down please and we’ll practice your breathing exercises.”

“Oh sod that. I feel incredible. I could just do with nipping to the shops now; get some crickets for the scorpion, a mouse for the snake and then pop into Next – they’ve got a sale on.”

Dr. Miller placed his hands on Helen’s shoulders.

“Breathe with me now, in…and out…in…”

“I don’t want to,” Helen yelled, pushing him away. “I want to go shopping. The thought of all those shops – God it turns me on so much. I feel like running out, grabbing the nearest man and…”

“Whoa. Stop there, please. I’ve been through this with you before; we’re here to talk about your shopping problem. If you need a sex therapist I can recommend some very good ones.”

“Huh,” Helen snapped. “You’re such a prude. Every time I talk about sex you try and get rid of me. Shopping turns me on, you can’t ignore that.”

“No, no,” Miller bleated. “I’m not going there. I think it’s best you see another therapist.”

Helen jumped in front of the door, blocking Miller’s attempt to usher her out.
“You ungrateful… Your practice would be tiny if it wasn’t for me sending all my mad friends here. And what thanks do I get? Well, I want to talk about sex. Why won’t you let me? Why?”

Miller blushed and took a deep breath.

“Because I only agreed to these stupid sessions to stop Dad going bankrupt over your crazy spending, that’s why. If you carry on like this you’ll lose the house, Mum, and you’re not bloody well living with me!”

Helen Miller shrugged and looked at the floor.

“I suppose I could take the scorpion back.”

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