Stage Fright

It’s that beautiful time of year where summer is cooling into fall, and I realized I never posted about the fun science fiction short story I had published in the Moonshot summer issue of Peach Velvet Magazine. So I wanted to get the post up while it’s still technically summer! Check out my story “Stage Fright” and the other space-themed art, poetry, and stories here.

V-Day But No Me Day

Candy hearts, cardboard hearts, cartoon hearts on TV: thudump, thudump. The fourteenth isn’t just V-Day, it’s my birthday. Only a few more hours to go. Will Mom remember her promise?

I’ve left hints. Doodled paw prints on my homework, dived into dog videos on YouTube, perused puppy training tomes.

I dig out Candy’s old leash from the kitchen junk drawer. Nothing left of Candy but this leash and her photo in a silver paw print frame. Now she’s gone, I walk around like a vampire. Stake in my heart. The stake never comes out. I never go poof, I’m walking dust.

The only thing that could save me from being the undead is a puppy.

Mom promised a new dog for my birthday. That was way back in April. Does she remember? Is my birthday even happening this year?

No party plans, no presents beneath Mom’s bed. It’s like my birthday’s papered over in pink and red. I’m forgotten amid chocolate, roses, cheesy valentines. V-Day’s happening, sure, but no me day.

It’s all a ruse. Must be. Part of the big surprise. I’ll wake to a wriggly fur ball squirming on the quilt. Hot, wet tongue. My vampire days done.

Counting down to birthday morning in achey, stakey undead heartbeats: thudump, thudump.