Shimmer #44 – “Broken Toys” (Part 3)

“Are you alright?” she asked for the millionth time.

“I wasn’t okay the last time you asked, and I probably won’t be okay the next time you ask.”

We sat in silence as I pulled my knees to my chest and stared at the dashboard. A town block had come and gone before Tanya opened her mouth again.

“You know your Mom’s an ass#$%&, right?” she said.

Instead of feeling validated I exhaled and buried my head. Knees made a hard perch, but at least I didn’t have to face the world.

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Shimmer #43 – “Broken Toys” (Part 2)

“I told you to stay out of my room!”

The Mom-creature rolled her eyes, pursed her lips and perched the bridge of her nose against her fingers. What was she trying to say; that she was disappointed in me, or that she didn’t want to start another fight?

Stacks of clothing landed into the suitcase, enough to last a week, along with pair after pair of shoes. They had to take up the most space, and I still hadn’t packed the vitals; make-up, toiletries, school books. It was bad enough that I had to leave my computer at home.

“Would you please be reasonable for one minute,” she pleaded. “You’re blowing this way out of proportion.”

I stopped, flailed my arms and squawked at her. “You came into my room without my permission! While I wasn’t here! Do you have any idea how violated I feel right now?”

“Justin, please stop acting like it’s the end of the world.”

“And stop calling me that! My name is Kaira! Kai-ra! Okay!?”

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Shimmer #41 – “The Reign of Cats and Dogs” (Part 11)

As the sun set human life returned to Milestone City. The air was filled with a collective sigh mixed with the bitter tang of caffeine. Owners set out in search of their pets, on foot, in cars, and called out from all corners.

Through it all Max stayed by my side, never once going stray and always burying his face whenever I stopped. He looked up time and again, smiling through his drooping jowls; and something else, as though he knew…

Tanks rolled down the main drag as the national guard piled into their trucks. They along with the police dismantled the barricades, letting through the animal control groups whose work was only just beginning. If only there were more I could do to help.

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Shimmer #32 – “The Reign of Cats and Dogs” (Part 2)

Twenty miles from Milestone is a reservation. On nights like these when stargazers flee the city the locals open their gates and share the celestial wonder; that and, you know, bring in tourist dollars.

On the other side of the hills the city was a memory, and in its place was rolling plains, rivers and pine trees. If it weren’t for the shacks lining the highway and the string of traffic you might have forgotten about humans.

Tanya and I lounged in the back seat of the SUV with Angie, her little sister, strapped between us. We’d spent most of the trip playing ‘eye spy’, a game which is harder when one of you can’t spell.

Somewhere around nine we found a parking space and started to unpack. Tanya’s mom loaded my arms with folding chairs, picnic blankets and a grocery bag filled with snacks. Never let it be said that she wasn’t prepared.

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Shimmer #31 – “The Reign of Cats and Dogs” (Part 1)

Anyone who’s been a teenager knows money is hard to come by, and it was no exception for me. What passed as allowance had suddenly dried up, probably because my parents thought I would spend it on reassignment surgery or something; who knows? They weren’t really talking about it.

Still, if I was going to have any kind of life I needed a way to make cash.

“Dog walking, huh,” Mrs. Hirschfeld grimaced.

“Are you sure? Queenie can be a bit of a handful,” Mrs. Thompson hummed.

“I can’t afford to pay you very much,” Ms. Simms reasoned.

“I’m juggling three kids and the hubby isn’t home ‘til nine,” Mr. Gonzales exclaimed. “Honestly, a dog walker would be a godsend!”

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Shimmer – Christmas Special 2014 – “The Krampus is Coming to Town”

Shimmer ChristmasPart 1

Do you want to hear a story?

It’s a very special story, so you have to promise not to tell anyone.

Do you promise?

Okay, I’ll tell you.

My name is Kaira. I’m six years old, my favourite color is green, my favorite food is pizza, and bunny rabbits are the best, even if my Mommy won’t let me keep one.

Sometimes I’m also a superhero called ‘Glimmer Girl’, and I rescue people.

One time I rescued Santa. That’s what this story is about! (Shhh, but don’t tell!)

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Shimmer #30 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 30)

GlimmerGirlI’d only ever been to one funeral before; my Nana, on my Mom’s side of the family.

It was the first time I’d ever realized that life ended. You’d have thought the revelation would be shocking for a kid, but I was able to accept it; maybe because none of it felt real. The body in the box had her shape, but to me it looked like plastic, like it was a dummy.

Mr. Drew’s funeral was exactly the same. It wasn’t that he had passed; he was just somewhere else, and he was fine, even if he’d never come back. The emptiness was there, but I don’t know; it didn’t feel as final as it should.

Tanya and I went together, as had half of the senior class. It turns out Mr. Drew didn’t have much family to speak of, but he had a lot of friends, colleagues, and former students who cared enough to pay their respects.

My fists balled in my lap; I wished I had some kind of cherished memory to hold onto. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel like such an imposter.

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Shimmer #29 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 29)

GlimmerGirl

It was 11:39 when I pried my eyes open; pm.

Tanya’s car had pulled to the curb, and my neck was stiff from sleeping upright. Still, there were worse things, like the million and one aches, scratches and bruises scattered across my body. Hopefully the long skirt and cardigan could hide them; there wasn’t enough energy in reserve for answering questions.

The engine sputtered and groaned to silence while Tanya and I sat. What was there to say? Words didn’t compare to the night we’d just lived through; no matter how many times I would tell the story it wouldn’t cover the danger, the confusion, or worst of all the uncertainty of what would come the next day.

Was this the way things were going to be from then on?

Tanya leaned forward and rested her head on the steering wheel. “Are you okay?” she whispered. She knew the answer, of course, but you know how it is; sometimes you need to say things out loud.

“I guess so, yeah. You?”

She nodded. Her body collapsed back into the driver seat and she sighed.

My eyes were over by the front door of my home, or what remained of it. The lights were on and there was movement behind the living room curtain; thank the gods my parents were okay. No doubt I’d get inside and they’d tell me all about what happened, as though I hadn’t been there.

“Go on,” Tanya urged. “I’ll text you in the morning. We can do something real chill as a reward for saving the city; maybe go see a movie if there’s anything good on.”

I smiled and gave a nod. Tomorrow; gods, I had no idea what tomorrows even looked like anymore.

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Shimmer – Halloween Special 2014 – “Cracks in the Mirror”

Part One

You’re never too old for trick or treating, but having a sister in grade school helps.

Angie shuffled with the other kids, knocking her pumpkin bucket with each step. She explained to the old woman at the door the meaning of the princess gown, silver skin and clothes hanger antenna, received her treats and clunked back to where I was waiting by the sidewalk.

“What did you get, kid?”

“She was giving out whole candy bars,” she beamed. “Not just the fun size ones; big ones!”

“Real candy bars?” I echoed. “Damn, you’re getting spoiled!”

We looked to make sure the traffic was clear, but there was nothing save kids and their parents. Most of them were wearing costumes off the rack; some weren’t even trying at all (especially the adults).

“Come on. Let’s try the houses across the street.” I held out my appendage for her.

Angie squealed and flew back. “Tanny!”

“If you don’t want to hold my tentacle then you need to get on my other side,” I teased.

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Shimmer #27 – “Starlight, Star Bright…” (Part 27)

GlimmerGirlI shook my head to make sure I wasn’t delirious, or seeing things, or something; because what stood before my eyes just wasn’t right. Could it really be her, sneaking around the hideout of a nigh omnipotent supervillain, and coming to my rescue? To think, of all the weird things that had happened the last few weeks this was what took me off guard.

“What are… you doing here?” I whispered. “How did… you find me?”

Tanya poured over the benches and brushed tools aside in search of something; a key, maybe? Not that there were any locks on Dr. Vortex’s machine. I was bolted in tight; letting me out was probably never an option for him.

“You know you’re internet famous, right?” she laughed. “The Glimmer Girl hashtag is pretty hot right now. People have been posting sightings since you started. All it took was a search engine, registering accounts to some networking sites I’d usually never touch, and voila!”

“That’s… the stupidest thing… I’ve ever… heard…”

The sounds of destruction bellowed nearby; sirens crackled into silence, and shots fired. Dr. Vortex had started his rampage anew, and he wasn’t wasting any time.

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