Curveball

Truths and Lies: Part Three

Submitted by C B Wright on
Thorpe Island

David Bernard shivers slightly as he steps into the large gym. It’s large, and mostly empty—most people are at work, and the few who are there are sticking to the stationary bikes.

It’s a well-provisioned gym. There are the traditional stationary bikes, ellipticals, free weights, bench weights and weight machines, as well as some devices David recognizes as specific to physical therapy and rehabilitation. He hadn’t used any of them—healing from the concussion came first—but they were all in his future, once upon a time.

Not any more. Creepy magic island took care of that.

Truths and Lies: Part Two

Submitted by C B Wright on
Robert Thorpe's Office

Robert Thorpe’s pain is real. The pain’s location isn’t.

He feels pain because his nervous system is damaged. The kind of pain changes: sometimes he has headaches, sometimes he has muscle cramps, sometimes he has sharp, stabbing pain going up and down an arm, or a leg. Today his pain is in his lower back, and it’s more severe than usual.

There’s never anything specifically wrong with the part of his body that’s suffering at any given time, but he feels the pain all the same.

Truths and Lies: Part One

Submitted by C B Wright on
South Bronx, Morrisania

Years ago the sight of a young black woman sitting alone at Elliot’s Diner might have been cause for concern. Morrisania was once considered the worst the South Bronx had to offer, and the Diner was the unofficial stomping grounds of the Red Sevens, a gang with a reputation for ruthlessness and cruelty. Back then, anyone who wasn’t a Red Seven would immediately be marked a victim if they dared set foot in the place—and a young woman would be considered particularly vulnerable, no matter who she was.

That was before Jacob Dupree bought the place. Before his niece and nephew moved in. Before the Bastions claimed Morrisania as their own.

Cracked Foundations: Part Four

Submitted by C B Wright on
Thorpe Island, Fishing Pier

CB watches the ocean as he smokes.

The island has a mid-sized town, the town has a small marina, and just off to the side of the marina is a long pier. CB sits at the end of the pier, trying to figure out if he can feel the island floating. It’s an artificial island, after all, and since it’s out in the middle of the ocean he’s pretty sure it doesn’t go all the way down, so it has to float. It’s not so much an island as it is a boat that looks like an island: boats float. Boats also move, and since Robert built it, CB’s convinced that not only does it float and move, it can probably submerge itself. At this point, he’s not willing to dismiss the idea that it can fly.

But he’s focused on trying to feel the island float. On the boat-island proper he can’t feel anything—it’s indistinguishable from solid ground as far as he’s concerned—but out here there’s… something. Maybe it’s just his imagination, but he thinks he can feel the slightest hint of a bob.

The air rustles in a not-quite-natural manner, then something thuds on the pier behind him.

“Hello Roger.” CB doesn’t turn. He flicks cigarette ash out into the water.

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