Friday, April 30, 2010

Cruisin' - #FridayFlash

Chronos and Death took the week off while I pick my marbles back up...

Debra leaned against Tom as they stood on deck, watching their ship sail out of the harbor. There wasn’t much to see in the dark, since their departure had been delayed for several hours, but they were finally on their way now. Some of the passengers around them continued to mutter about the inconvenience. Debra couldn’t understand their attitude. Whether the ship moved or not, weren’t they still enjoying the amenities?

“Are you having a good time?” Tom slipped his arm around her, smiling.

“It’s all wonderful.” Debra inhaled the fresh sea air, filled with happiness.

They’d had to delay their honeymoon for six months. This was the first opportunity to get away. The minor snafu with the missing passenger during the evacuation drill hadn’t dampened her spirits at all. After listening to the loudspeaker call for a ‘Mr. Anderson’ to report to his assigned station for half an hour, the Captain announced a short delay in their departure time. Now they were finally underway and two blissful weeks of sailing across the Atlantic stretched out before them. Debra looked forward to every second of it.

A small knot of crewmembers blocked the doorway as Tom and Debra made their way back inside. They exchanged cheerful smiles and the usual greetings, but Debra thought the crew seemed nervous. She dismissed the thought almost immediately. Maybe they were new members, unsure of themselves.

Seated for a late dinner, they both admired the ambiance of the formal dining room. It was their first cruise, so Debra had nothing to compare it to, but she found the tasteful elegance impressive.

Tom leaned towards her and whispered in her ear. “Have you noticed how the crew keeps wiping everything down? It’s almost obsessive.”

“I’m glad,” Debra replied. “They’ve had their share of viruses running rampant on these ships. Maybe that missing passenger was ill. I’m going to go to the ladies room before the waiter comes by.”

The cavernous restroom echoed as Debra entered. Its opulent décor looked more like a lounge. Just as she entered the stall, she heard footsteps approach from the far end.

“Did you hear the latest on that sick passenger?”

No one answered. The person must be on a cell phone, Debra thought.

“Well, he died. Doc thinks the virus might be spreading too. A couple more people have already been in to see him. He said we’ve got to keep wiping everything down. If this gets out of hand, we’ll all be out of a job.”

Debra snuck a peek under the stall door. A pair of deck shoes stood in front of the sink, just like the ones that the crew wore.

“You’re down there now? Oh, good. Ask Doc…what do you mean the body’s missing? I’ll be right there.” The shoes hurried out the door, leaving Debra to wonder what was going on.

Their table companions were seated just as Debra returned, forestalling her chance to relay the disturbing conversation to Tom. The older couple chatted amiably, explaining that this was their 30th cruise in the past ten years. The man, Albert, died right after the soup was served, falling face-first into his bowl. The crew unobtrusively whisked him away. Despite his wife’s cries, the diners on the other side of the massive room had no idea what took place. Debra tried to remain philosophical about the incident. Albert hadn’t seemed ill at all. The man most likely had a heart attack, quick and hopefully painless.

After being unable to eat the night before, Debra woke up starving, banal as that seemed. She and Tom hurried up to the top deck for breakfast, passing a legion of crew busy cleaning. Last night’s conversation came back to her in a rush. She looked out at the vast ocean. The sun sparkled off the small whitecaps formed by the ship’s passage through the deep water. Debra could well imagine this ship being the only thing left on earth…bobbing in an endless sea, never reaching land again. The thought made her queasy.

“I’m suddenly not feeling well. Maybe I’m seasick.” Debra tried to make light of her condition, but the notion bothered her. She’d been out on smaller boats in the past, never experiencing any kind of problem.

“I’ll take you down to the infirmary,” Tom said. “They’ll have something for you to take.”

“I’m perfectly capable of finding my own way. You stay here and enjoy your breakfast. I’ll meet you in the room later.”

Debra gave him a kiss and walked to the elevator, past crew wiping down every surface in frantic abandon. Maybe she picked up a virus, like the one that other passenger had.

The infirmary was a small area, currently standing room only with several other passengers who looked a bit green. Debra passed out in the confined space, waking up later on a metal table. Two other tables had patients on them, unmoving and wearing toe tags. One of them was Albert, the man who’d died during dinner the night before. Was she lying in the morgue? Debra passed out again before she could formulate an answer.

The second time she woke, Albert was gone. A new body had taken his place. This one wasn’t dead, not yet anyway. The woman didn’t look very good; she seemed to be having trouble breathing. Where were the doctors?

Debra noticed the tag attached to her own right toe as she sat up to go find help. Pulling it off without comprehending, she noted her name and time of death written on it. Sloughing off a chunk of skin as she idly scratched her arm, Debra decided to go back to her room. She felt fine now and they were obviously short on beds down here.

©2009 Laura Eno
Published in Twisted Dreams Oct 2009

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nine Words

This came to me in an e-mail and, although some of them are phrases, I'm not going to change any of it.


(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3)Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying GO TO HELL

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Night Of Splendor - #FridayFlash

The night of the Goddess Ball found a reluctant Chronos, resplendent in his tux, following Death into the ballroom to mingle with their peers in the cosmos.

"Why are you squirming so, my friend?" Death said. "Didn't you take the time to have your tux fitted properly?"

"It fits fine, I guess. I just don't like these soirees. They seem pointless."

Death's jaw dropped down in a chuckle. "Of course they are, but let's make the most of it, shall we?"

As soon as they had drinks in hand one of the minor goddesses rushed up to them, her light hair fluttering behind her.

"Thanatos, I've been dying to meet you."

"No need to be formal, my dear. My friends just call me Death."

Chronos hid a smile behind his drink. Death didn't like his name, said it had too many syllables for his easy-going personality. His hand clutched the glass tighter as he spotted her descending the marble steps and glide into the ballroom. Midnight hair swirled about a gown made of starlight.


Chronos couldn't catch his breath; his knees turned to jelly. Death slapped him on the back, breaking his trance.

"Breathe, my friend. Just whistle if you need me." He laughed and walked away with the blonde, leaving Chronos to sway like a mesmerized cobra.

Nyx locked her fathomless eyes on Chronos, a smile gracing her pouty lips as she glided over to stand next to him.

"It's been awhile since you've come to visit me."

The lilt in her voice vibrated through him. He stammered as he tried to reply.

"I-I've been terribly busy. Not enough hours in the day lately. You're looking b-beautiful."

"I'll expect a visit soon."

She blew him a kiss and walked away, leaving a scent of night jasmine to trail behind her. Chronos slid his arm across his damp forehead, snagging the small hourglass cufflinks in his hair as he did so.

Death strode back over, tossing peanuts into his eye sockets as he walked. One landed in a champagne glass being carried on a tray. The butler sniffed at the faux pas and handed the offensive glass over before continuing on. Death shrugged as he took it.

"I guess since he's already dead he thinks I can't do him any harm. It's a good thing I'm so easygoing. But what about you? How'd your chat with Nyx go?"

"Pretty well. She moved on to mingle with the other guests. Where's your new friend?"

"That silly little thing? She's way too young for me. Besides, she's allergic to peanuts. It would never work out."

Chronos nudged Death in the ribs. "Look who just arrived."

They watched the altercation at the top of the staircase with interest, wondering if the doorman would burst into flames.

"Lucien must be in a good mood tonight," Chronos murmured as they watched Evil knock the man down the steps without incinerating him.

"Greetings, Evil." Death waved him over and grabbed a drink for him.

"Some of the hired help here are rather stuffy, aren't they?" Lucien downed his drink in one swallow and waved for another. "He had the audacity to inform me that I wasn't welcome."

Death shook his skull and tossed another peanut. "The nerve. But enough about bad manners – you're looking great in that red cummerbund. The color suits you."

"Thank you. May I say that…"

Death and Chronos both looked in the direction that Lucien was staring at, wondering why he'd gone still as a statue. Lachesis stood by the buffet table, her golden gown a rival to the sun itself.

"Excuse me, gentlemen." Lucien absently handed his drink over to a bemused Chronos. "I see someone I need to talk to."

They watched the moth approach the flame in amusement.

"I didn't realize that Lucien had a thing for Lachesis," Chronos whispered.

"Oh, he's talked about her for months now…ever since she threw potato salad at him during the spring picnic. I guess he likes a challenge."

The ensuing melee around the appetizers had diners scattering as Lachesis flung the shrimp bowl at Lucien. He wandered back, dabbing cocktail sauce off his shirt.

"What did you say to her?" Death asked.

"I only had a chance to say hello."

"I suppose that was enough." Chronos grinned at him. "You have a shrimp in your pants."

"What? Oh…" Evil looked down and pulled the offensive morsel out of his waistband.

"Here comes trouble," Death murmured. "Did either one of you change a mortal's fate lately?"

Chronos spun to see what Death was talking about, just in time to see Atropos bearing down on them. Ares nodded in their direction and surged in front of her to run interference for the three of them while they melted out the back door.

"That was close." Lucien gave a little shudder.

Chronos mopped his forehead again. He'd have to get the tux dry cleaned after only wearing it for an hour.

Death linked arms with them. "Since we're all dressed up, how 'bout we go have some fun, mortal-style? I want to go dancing with people who know how to boogie."

Chronos smiled. "That's fine by me. Lead the way."

©2010 Laura Eno

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Time For A Change - #FridayFlash

The door chimes played out a funeral dirge as Death answered his door. Chronos stood on the front step.

"Why so formal, my friend? Come in. You didn't have to ring the bell."

"The last time I walked in unannounced one of your Furies attacked me, remember?" Chronos shuddered at the memory.

"Just a slight misunderstanding. I assure you, it won't happen again. But tell me, what brings you here? I was about to come over to your place." Death ushered Chronos into the elegant mansion.

Chronos had to admit that the white marble floor contrasted nicely with the black walls and furniture but it still looked like a mausoleum – not a place of comfort like his own house. He wondered if the guest bed still had the rack of nails and sighed.

"I need a place to stay while they're replacing my carpet. Could I spend the night here?"

"Of course, whatever you need. I can't believe you're finally getting rid of that green shag carpet. Decided to update your look, huh?"

Chronos smiled at the dig to his anachronistic way of life. "I decided it was time for a change. Besides, you've lost too many peanuts in it. The vacuum can't find them all anymore."

He spotted a new curio cabinet over on the far wall and walked over to see what new items Death was collecting. Expecting shrunken heads or the like, its contents puzzled him.

"When did you start collecting tuning forks?"

"Do you like them?" Death opened the glass door and brought one out. "I've noticed that mortals collect those little spoons when they travel so I thought I'd collect forks instead."

"But these aren't eating forks."

"No, these are even better – they make sounds. I can use them to tune my motorcycle too."

A Fury flew through the room just then, diverting Chronos' attention. The beautiful woman flexed her claws in his direction before disappearing upstairs, her laughter skittering down his spine and shriveling parts below.

"Uh, they won't be in my bedroom, will they?"

"I can have them stay away, if you'd like." Death tossed a peanut in the air and caught it in his eye socket. "But tell me more about your redecorating. Are you putting down wood or tile?"

"No," Chronos said, a pleased smile on his face. "I'm going with a gold shag carpet this time."

©2010 Laura Eno


Reflections run deep
The shadows within
Gentle soul shimmers
But lets no light in

Little girl no more
Dismissed with a sigh
Some tears in the night
But no one sees why

Child, now woman
Grew up just too fast
She let go her heart
Now innocence past

Deeply burns passion
But hidden the soul
Within do not look
So vulnerable

Naive and trusting
So easily torn
Another to love
No longer forlorn

©2010 Laura Eno

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Just wish upon a star
O so easily done
But the wish in my heart
Is for two to be one

The shadows around me
Beckon, calling "Sweet Child,
Just lay down your head
And come dream for awhile"

As I sit all alone
In the gathering gloom
Light streaks through the window
And you enter my room

Your body soft to touch
Caressing mine freely
So full of desire
You penetrate deeply

O, if this is a dream
Let me never wake up
But the shadows call back
"Sweet Child, time is up"

©2010 Laura Eno

Saturday, April 10, 2010


It seems that it's National Poetry Month, or something like that. I don't write poetry, or at least I haven't for the last 30 years. Maybe I'll subject you to some of that ancient stuff on another day.

This one popped into my head as I was falling asleep last night - never a good sign.


Blood red lips
A delicate ear
These are things
That I hold most dear

Now that you're gone
I treasure them more
Under the glass
For me to adore

©2010 Laura Eno

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Death on Wheels - #FridayFlash

The rumbling started just as Chronos propped his feet up on the coffee table to settle in for a bit of TV. Startled, he glanced around the room but couldn't find the source of the noise.

As it grew louder, he could feel the vibration through the soles of his feet when he stood up. The hourglass on the credenza shook, scattering time in waves that would affect the mortal population on Earth.

Something was coming – something big.

Just as the noise reached an unbearable level, the double doors to his house flew open of their own volition. Chronos stared at the open expanse, wondering what creature was about to pay a visit.

He covered his ears in a desperate attempt to stop the rattling going on inside his brain as an image of flames and chrome filled his vision.

It was Death on a Harley.

"Greetings, my friend. Do you like my new bike?"

Chronos took in the leather-clad spectre, complete with black visor on the helmet.

"Turn that thing off, will you? My teeth are vibrating and I can't hear a word you're saying."

"Sorry, dude." Death turned the key after one last gun to the engine. "I said, how do you like my new bike?"

Chronos cautiously removed his hands, his ears still ringing from the commotion. He smiled at the flames painted on the gas tank. The chopper suited Death.

"It's nice, but did you have to drive it into my living room? It might drip oil on the carpet."

Death looked down at the green shag that hadn't been changed since the '70s, but decided not to say anything.

"Hop on. I have a collection to make but I thought I'd swing by and pick you up. It'll be fun. We'll take the scenic route there."

He tossed a helmet at Chronos. The scythe emblem on the side of it matched the one Death wore. Chronos laughed as he caught it.

"You never cease to amuse me." He slipped the helmet on and straddled the back of the bike.

They wound their way towards the appointed place, Chronos enjoying the wind whipping at his robes. Leaning side to side as they banked into turns at high speed, he settled into the rhythm and took in the scenery.

Too soon, Death turned the bike toward their objective – the island of Madagascar. He let the wheels touch into the surf, spraying water that soaked Chronos' robes.

"Did you enjoy the ride?" Death asked after he made his collection.

"I did, although I can see the advantages of wearing leather." He wrung more seawater out of his robes.

"Good. You haven't really experienced the complete thrill of the ride yet though, my friend. Perhaps you'll allow me to start the engine for the trip back?" Death dropped his jaw in a laugh.

"All right. But if I'm deaf by the time we get home you'll owe me."

"No worries." Death turned the key and the engine roared to life.

©2010 Laura Eno

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Turn Back the Clock - #FridayFlash

"Great news, my friend." Death bounced onto the sofa with child-like glee after walking in the door.

Chronos sloshed the cup of tea he'd been holding while reading the paper when a femur struck him. He shook his head and smiled at Death's enthusiasm for life.

"What momentous thing has happened this time?"

"I have an appointment in a few minutes," Death said. "Come with me and I'll tell you all about it."

They arrived inside of a nursing home. The recreation room held a number of residents who called out greetings to Thanatos with great grim humor. Chronos looked around with interest as Death shook hands with people, working the room like a politician looking for votes. He wondered who was to be the collection.

"Who are you here to collect?" Chronos asked after several minutes of socializing went by.

"No one. I just stop in each week to visit. They consider me an old friend around here. But let me tell you about my news. Cleopatra has consented to finally go out with me."

"What made her change her mind after all these centuries?" Chronos knew that she'd rebuffed Death many times.

"Well, my friend, that's where you come in. I need a small favor. See, I told her about the androids in the beach bar, the time that you traveled 400 years into the future? She said she'd like to go there with me. I need a couple of grains of sand from you to take her though."

"Oh, no. Don't you remember what happened the last time I gave you some? You dropped them on the border between France and England."

Death shrugged and tossed a peanut in the air, catching it in his eye socket.

"I don't think the British mind being an island. They should have called it the Thanatos Channel though. Besides, I'm only asking for two grains this time. You have millions of them. Please?"

"I know I'm going to regret this." Chronos fumbled with his hourglass as he muttered dire consequences for any future mishaps.

He fished out two grains of sand and placed them on Death's outstretched metacarpals. One grain promptly fell to the floor and Chronos dove for it. A metal walker leg tromped on his hand while an orthopedic shoe stepped on the tiny speck.

Chronos and Death both froze as the wizened benefactor blossomed into a beauty, shaving 70 years off her age in an instant. Bemused, they watched the lithesome woman march out the front door dressed only in a housecoat and support hose flopping about her ankles.

"That one doesn't count, does it?" Chagrin colored Death's voice.

Chronos laughed. "No, but why don't I put them in your pocket for you? That way you'll know where they are when it's time to use them."

"A timely suggestion." Death linked arms with Chronos as they left, shouts of farewell following their exit.

©2010 Laura Eno