Spicy-Sweet

   I have been noticing Sly seeming pretty bummed out these days, even more so than usual. He looks stressed and hasn’t slept in ages. Despite his tired out appearance, he did his best to keep his smile and I admire him for that. He used to rarely smile and even now he still isn’t exactly all smiles and cheeriness but once you get to know him you can tell if he’s happy. 

   He is always happy around his friends. However, lately he seems tired. I thought maybe it might be a good idea to cheer him up, so I made him a cup of my favorite tea. It’s always been a great pick-me-up for when I’m down. 

   I knocked on the door to his office before barging in. He was resting his head on his desk and, taking a good look at him, I could’ve sworn he had bags under his eyes. I knew why. Everyone knew why. Everyone knew about Sly’s “mission”. 

   “I made you some tea”, I said, placing a steaming mug down onto his desk.

   “Thanks”, he mumbled, not opening his eyes. He barely moved after that. He looked almost dead. I don’t know but at the moment I thought small talk would be a good idea rather than just leave him alone. 

   “You know, the tea I made, it’s a really expensive and rare kind of tea. I’m lucky I got my hands on this bag. A friend got it for me this time.”

   Sly paid no attention to me. I continued to talk.

   “It’s from this fancy teahouse called The Elysian TeaHouse. The tea leaves themselves are super sweet but I like adding spices and milk when I’m brewing them just so I can, you know, balance out the flavor and give it a bit of a kick.”

   Still no response from him.

  “Well, give it a try”, I coaxed, “Hope you like it.”

   He sluggishly raised his head, pulled the mug close to him and took a sip. I watched as his face froze for a moment. His expression showed he was savoring the flavor of the tea. After a brief moment he finally said, “It’s good”. I was brimming with delight. And I was even happier when I heard him say, “Thanks, Remy”.
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tea/

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Feeling feverish. 

Been sick all day. 

Wrapped myself in my quilt.

My drink was on the nightstand, half finished, I couldn’t finish the rest.

My book lay on my lap, spread open, pages face down, half finished, I couldn’t finish the rest.

My head pounded. 

My body trembled.

When will this sickness go away.

Coming and going of nausea.

A shadow creeps along my bedroom floor. I know who’s it is but I don’t know what they will do.

Not now. Please. I’m too exhausted.

Would you reap my soul?

– Hey! Look, Gav! Wait, do you mind if I call you Gav?

– Sure. Jack calls me that all the time.

– Actually, I learned that from Jack.

– Really? You a friend of his?

– Yeah, sorta. I mean, yeah.

– Cool!

– So, yeah, I made a doll that looks like you. Here, look!

– Awww! You made this? It’s amazing! But why is there rope hanging around my neck? It makes me seem like I’m being hanged to death.

– Oh, well, I kinda like morbid stuff- you know, with me being a reaper and all. Comes with the job. Anyway, I thought the noose was nice touch. I didn’t mean to imply I wanted you dead or anything! I mean, I really like you and I’d feel pretty bad if you died. I even checked my schedules to see if I’d reap your soul one day and I’m glad it’s not me!

– If it were you, would you still reap my soul?

– …It’s my job…

– Alright, if a reaper were to take me, would you stop them?

– Gavin, you know I can’t do that.

– Ask them nicely?

– Alright. That’s okay. I get it. I was only messing with ya.

– …I’m sorry

– It’s fine! I’m not mad or anything. That’s just the way things’ve gotta be, right? Who can help it?

– Right! Well, let’s think positive and talk about happy things before you pass away! Come on! Pick a happy topic!

– You make it seem like I’ll die in five minutes.

– You might die in five minutes.

– Please don’t ruin my mood.

– Sorry.

Reap

I was planning on writing something to do horror or thriller genre but… well, have you ever come up with a character you eventually fell in love with to the point you want to pick on and maybe even torture? Yeah, I think I want to bully Gavin a wee bit more before throwing him into something more hellish.
“My stomach hurrrrts”, moaned Gavin as he lay on the couch, his back turned to the tv.

“I know. You said that already. Fifty times”, Jack grumbled.

“It hurts!”

“Well, what do you want me to do?”

“I dunno. Make it feel better instead of sitting around being useless?”, Said Gavin shrugging.

Jack glared at Gavin for a moment then a smile spread across his face.

“Want me to make the pain go away?”, said Jack with a hint of malice in his voice.

“Yeah”, whined Gavin but then took notice of Jack’s tone, “wait, no. Hold on a sec.”

“Don’t worry. I got just the thing.”

Jack left the room.

“Oh, no. Jack?”

“Now where did I put my scythe?”

“Oh, shit. Is he really gonna kill me? Never mind. I feel better now.”

“But don’t you want to end all your suffering forever.”

“I’m actually fine now. Thanks for your concern”

“This won’t hurt a bit”

“Wait! No!”

End. (For now.)

It’s late and I’m typing with my eyes almost closed. Might rewrite this or turn it into a comment but for now I’ll just leave it here.

There is no Arin

WARNING: Vulgar language.

   “There is no Arin!”, Max yelled as he pushed Sly to the ground. “There is no Arin! He died! Hell, he never even existed so stop wasting your time and give up!”

   Max snatched the letters from Sly was holding and tore them up as the red-eyed blond stared helplessly.

   “What are you doing?! Those are from Lucien!”

   “I don’t care!”

   “Stop! I need to give those to Arin!”

   “Fuck Arin!”, Max screamed. He continued to rip up the letters until he felt a fist collide with his face and he fell, curled up on the floor. He slowly sat himself up and as pain spread across his face, he semi-consciously put his hand on his jaw and stared at Sly standing above him, his eyes wide with shock. As the pain grew, rage built up in his body and he immediately jumped to his feet trying to attack Sly who constantly dodged his attacks. Since fighting didn’t work, Max snatched the sack carrying all the letters Sly had and flung it at him.

   “You know what? Take your stupid fucking letters to fucking Arin!”, he shouted as he marched off. He stopped in his tracks to spit out more of his rage. “You’ll fall down dead before you fucking find him, you angel-beast wannabe! Piece of shit, fucking human nobody! I hope you find out the truth one day, it’ll shock you so bad you’ll kill yourself! You know what else? Lucien doesn’t even give a fucking shit about you!”

   And with that he stormed off. Sly fell to his knees in a pile of torn up letters. His eyes began to water and before he knew it he was sobbing. It took him three fucking years to try and find this Arin guy to deliver the letters from Lucien, his mentor and and individual he strongly idolizes, only to have them torn apart in front of his face. And now the guy he considered his closest friend- no, a brother- walked out on him screaming profanities at him as though he didn’t care what Sly went through.

   “Fucking angel-beast wannabe! Piece of shit fucking human nobody!”

   Sly had been called a wannabe or a fake or pretender. He was even told he was trying to be something else because was a failure at being who he is. They bugged him but he shrugged them off. However, coming from Max’s mouth, the words cut him deep.

   “I hope you find out the truth one day, it’ll shock you so bad, it’ll kill you!”

   Sly sobbed harder. His best friend just told him he hoped Sly would kill himself. He never thought he’d hear those words from Max. He felt like he had lost everything. He felt his life no longer had meaning, no purpose. Everything he worked hard for turned to nothing. He just sat there in the piles of paper crying his eyes out.

The cat p.4

   “Here, kitty, kitty!”

   Gavin smiled as he stood there watching Sly play with Mitzi just outside the building he lived in. Mitzi was a hyper cat but outside the apartment she was too shy and nervous to make sudden unpredictable moves. Sly believed there was no harm in letting her out every once in a while as long as they kept a close eye on her. They looked so cute together his heart started to ache as he remembered Jack’s words. It’s today, he thought. Today is the day Jack takes her away and I still haven’t had the heart to tell him.

   “Gavin, what’s wrong?”, asked Sly, “lately you’ve been spacing out pretty often. And you seem glum.”

   “I’m tired. I haven’t been able to sleep well lately”, replied Gavin.

   “Well, take care, okay?”

   Gavin nodded. He wanted so badly to warn Sly about Jack but he felt like it was a little too late and Sly might throw a fit for not being warned earlier. He scratched the back of his neck aggressively; Sly caught him doing so and realized Gavin was agigated about something but decided to keep quiet. Maybe it was best to leave him be but Gavin’s constant nervous habit started to rub off on Sly.

   “Alright. What is wrong?”

   “Nothing”, answered Gavin.

   “Don’t tell me it’s nothing! I can see you’re nervous as hell. Your head’s in the cloud for the past few days, you’ve got that gloomy look on your face, and now you’re scratching your neck like you want to tear the skin off. Mind telling me what’s up?”

   Gavin struggled to find words. He cleared his throat a couple times, took a deep breath and then spoke in a shaky, stuttering tone.

   “Mitzi’s gonna die today. Jack’s gonna reaper. He told me that.”

   Sly was at a loss for words. His brows furrowed, his mouth hung opened, his pained expression was difficult for Gavin to watch. Gavin shifted his gaze to the ground and continued.

   “I knew about this four days ago-”

   “And you didn’t say anything?!”, Sly yelled, his face twisted into an enraged expression. 

   “I-I wanted to! I really did! B-but-”

   “But you decided to keep it to yourself.”

   Sly squeezed his eyes shut as if to shut out pain and pinched the bridge of his nose as he turned his back to he kid standing awkwardly.

   “You could’ve asked Jack to spare her.”

   “I did. He won’t listen.”

   “Have you tried convincing him? Or maybe even bargain with him?”

   “Jack isn’t someone you bargain with!”, cried Gavin, desperately trying to defend himself. “And you know when he’d never bend the rules, not for anyone’s sake! Not even his own!”

   Gavin could hear Sly letting out a frustrated sigh. Mitzi, however, payed no mind to any of this. She continued to claw at a certain spot on the ground. All sudden, distracted by something, Mitzi jumped and took off, running right into the street with cars zooming by. 

   There was nothing they could do. She sprinted away before they two had a chance to react. She got hit before they even got anywhere near the road and she was taking her last breaths. The traffic lights turned red and the cars were still making it the opportunity to pick up the dead cat. Sly held Mitzi’s limp body in his hands and felt something within him crumble and break. He felt like a black hole inside him was eating him inside-out. He dragged himself to the door of the building and flopped down. His body stiffened, his expression was blank.

   By the street where Mitzi died, Jack stood there stroking a glowing orb, Mitzi’s soul. Gavin walked up to him.

   “It’s a shame”, Jack sighed, “I really liked this cat.”

   Gavin felt like there was a large chunk of metal lodged in his throat and he swallowed trying hard to get it down but it didn’t help. Jack continued.

   “It’s inevitable. That’s just the way things go. Maybe it’s good that I reaped her otherwise she might have suffered. You know, we’re only told who or what to reap and when. We are never told how they die. It really sucks that this is the way she had to go.”

   Gavin never really considered how a reaper felt after reaping. Heck, he never thought a reaper would feel anything after reaping. But maybe that wasn’t the case. Maybe it just might be as tough for a reaper.

   It just so happened that Darren was walking by. The sight of Sly sitting by the building looking dazed left him with a dark, terrible feeling. He slowly went up to the boy and saw the dead kitten in his hand and there it was, that old feeling of losing something precious. His eyes teared up but he couldn’t let himself cry. He picked the cat up from Sly’s arms. 

   “We should go bury Mitzi. Give her a proper funeral.”

   Sly nodded his head slowly as if he where overcome with exhaustion. After the had buried the cat, the three walked home. Darren tried to console his friend who was now in tears. Sly reached his building and stood outside feeling bitter. Darren gently patted his back then said good-bye. Gavin and Sly were alone now.

   “Maybe it’s for the best. Maybe if she hadn’t died she would’ve suffered”, said Gavin in a very low voice.

   “Maybe if you’d warned us about Jack earlier we could’ve done something!”, Sly scowled.

   “Oh, so it’s my fault. Ok.”

   “Why didn’t you say anything?! We could’ve figured out a way to keep her alive!”

  “From a grim reaper? Are kidding me? How are you going to keep her from the reapers? You know that if she’s going to die then she’s going to die.”

  “Screw this. And screw you, Gavin”, grumbled Sly as he marched to his apartment. Gavin just watched him, feeling a sort of resentment.
End.

(I’m going to end this story here. I find it funny how a story about enjoying iced tea ends up being a story about a dying cat. Also, Jack is in this. It’s been a while since I wrote a supernatural element into a story, or at least an obvious one. This story might have ended but I will continue to write about Gavin, Darren and Sly and others.)

The cat p.3

   “Dude”, whispered Sly to Gavin after Jack had left, “You don’t think Jack is gonna kill the kitty? He is a reaper after all.”

   “Nah, Jack doesn’t kill. He just reaps, you know?”

   “No, actually, I don’t. Isn’t that the same thing?”

   “Nope. They’re totally different. Like, you can reap to kill but you don’t have to kill to reap, get it?”

   “No not really.”

   The kitten began to claw playfully at the leg of Sly’s pants and all three boys let a long “awwwww”.

   Mitzi grew up to be energetic and a tad mischeivous and though she caused frustration at times, the trio loved her to death. Sly was particularily fond of her and treated her with all the love and care he could give and she became his closest companion.

   The setting sun dyed the city gold. Gavin marched down the street, making his way home from Sly’s place, when he came across Jack. Jack stared back at Gavin eagerly as if wanting to say something but decided against it.

   “What’s up, Jack?”, said Gavin. After a brief moment of silence, Jack decided he may was well speak his mind.

   “You know what? I’ll just say it. I know I shouldn’t tell you this but I felt you should know. That cat, Mitzi, she’s going to die in four days and I’ll be the one to reap her soul. I knew it the minute I laid eyes on her, I just never had the heart to tell you.”

   Gavin felt a strong pressure against his chest like he was being crushed by a machine. He stood there in silence unable to form words.

   “I’m sorry”, Jack added, “Just thought you should know.”

   Gavin tried to speak but all he could manage was a small tiny squeak.

   “Why?”

   “It’s my job. It’s what I have to do.”

   If heartbreak was audible Jack would’ve heard a loud crack by now.

   “I’m sorry”, Jack apologized once more, “I wish it weren’t me but…”

   “But she’s just a baby kitten!”, Gavin protested, “And we just saved her! Please delay her death for a bit longer! Please!”

   “Gavin, you know I can’t do that.”

   “Why not? Aren’t you a reaper? Don’t you get to decide?”

   “The decision is not mine. She has to die and that’s that. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have told you but I felt like you needed to know.”

   Gavin lowered his head.

   “Yeah, okay, I get it.”

Iced Tea Weather

The time of year when the air is hot and sticky and iced tea tastes so much sweeter and it cools you down during the summer heat. He calls it ‘Iced Tea Weather’. Gavin knows how to make his own iced tea but the one at the cafe is always better, plus the ambience adds to the whole experience of having a chilled glass of tea and daydreaming of random things.

But it’s not just summer. Fall, his favorite time of year is also iced tea weather season. The coldness of the drink adds to the chill or so he says. However, he calls this weather ‘Fizzy Juice Weather’, a weather made for fruit juice mixed with sparkling water. He mostly drinks still iced tea though so technically he’s cheating.
It’s summer now and he is walk home at sunset. He enters his apartment and flops down on the living room couch. There are several empty boxes from take out food he ordered and he hadn’t bothered cleaning them up. The past two weeks had been lonely and dull. According to him, everything was wrong. He even stopped visiting his favorite cafe.

Laying on the couch, he still could faintly taste the overly sweet taste of the canned iced tea he just bought earlier. 

“I should make me some good iced tea”, Gavin said to himself, “It is iced tea weather after all.”

The cat p.2

   A week after taking the poor tabby to the vet, who prescribe a ton of medication, and keeping a close eye on it, the little kitten was doing better than ever and was able to cope with having a leg missing. They named her Mitzi and they kept her at Sly’s place where he treated her with all the love and care he could give it.

   One day a close friend of theirs dropped by and they decided to show off Mitzi and how big and strong she had gotten. Darren, upon seeing the kitten, backed away.

   “You don’t like cats?”, Gavin asked.

   “It’s not that. I just…”, his voice trailed off.

   The cat brought back a painful memory of a certain white kitten that made him grimace. Sly and Gavin decided it was best not to question how Darren felt about cats. After the two stepped out of the living room to get snacks from the kitchen, they came back to find Darren teasing the cat with a lengthy piece of string.

   “Maybe he really likes cats”, Gavin smiled.

   Jack, on the other hand, seemed unimpressed by her. A good look at his face revealed slight disappointment.

   “How long are you planning on keeping her?”, he asked.

   “Until forever”, Gavin replied, “Do you not like her or something?”

   “No, no, it’s just-”

   “If anyone’s got a problem with Mitzi then they gotta answer to me!”, said Gavin puffing out his chest defiantly.

   “That’s not what I meant!”

   “Well, what did you mean?”, asked Sly.

   Darren stepped up to Jack and said, “If we don’t like your answer we will get violent.”

   He was joking, of course, and they all began to flex their muscle and strike menancing poses. Jack sighed.

   “Just take good care of her, okay? And keep a very close eye on her.”

   “Oh, you know we will!”, said Gavin in a chipper tone.