• Imagined Snippets,  Red

    Of funny things he said

    They pass several minutes in silence. Joshua’s trying to think of the strongest memories from his childhood, of funny things he said that his mom would recognize and no one else would remember. Nothing’s coming to mind. He’s very tired.

    After Joshua’s fifth yawn, Dominic speaks. “You should go to sleep.”

    “What about dreams and my accidental powers?”

    “I can make sure you don’t dream.”


    “Have you seen movies or shows with vampires?”

    “Yeah…” Joshua doesn’t know why this is relevant.

    “I can compel humans.”


  • Imagined Snippets,  Red

    Secret agent life

    “That’s sweet of you.”

    Dominic raises his eyebrows at the word ‘sweet.’

    Joshua ignores him. “But none of this is actually your fault. You couldn’t have known how things were going to go down. My mom though… If I could get a message to her that no one else would recognize as being from me… would that work?”

    “Perhaps. What do you have in mind?”

    “I don’t know. Let me see if I can think of something. Unfortunately, I haven’t been leading some kind of secret agent life where I created code words with my mom.”

  • Imagined Snippets,  Red

    Fix this

    Joshua’s mouth thins to a hard line as he reads the posts plastered on his mom’s Facebook wall. Her friends are very concerned about the explosion that happened in the apartment building where her son lives. The news pieces can’t say the cause of the explosion – the police investigation is just starting – but Joshua builds a narrative that makes sense.

    “When they ambushed you at home there must have been a separate team waiting for me at my place, except I wasn’t there because I was on my way to check  on you. With rush hour I knew it’d be faster to walk so I left my car at home. The explosion happened hours ago and since she hasn’t heard from me she’s terrified I died when my building went up in flames.” He recites this litany in a monotone, like it’s ancient history about people he never knew.

    “I’m so very sorry to have gotten you caught up in this,” Dominic whispers, eyes focused on the carpet at his feet where Tsubasa has stretched out. “I will fix this.”

  • Imagined Snippets,  Random Ramblings,  Red

    Of course there’s WiFi

    This weekend I went to Rohnert Park (in the Bay Area) to visit my mom and uncle and celebrate my mom’s birthday. It was a lot of fun and I loved seeing them. I’d fully planned on posting yesterday evening but then I spent an hour looking for my favorite ring, which I put in a “safe place” when I moved. Hilariously, and rather predictably, I found all the other jewelry that I don’t explicitly remember putting in a “safe place.” 

    Today’s gotten a bit away from me too so this will be really short.

    “It’s a safe house in 2019. Of course there’s WiFi.”

  • Imagined Snippets,  Red

    There’s WiFi!

    “Shit. Shit. Shit,” Joshua chants after listening to the message from his mom. “She thinks I’m-“

    “Dead,” Dominic interrupts. “Yes, I know.” At the look of confusion that flits across Joshua’s face, he adds, “My kind have very good hearing.”

    “Of course you do. Why does she think I’m dead?”

    “I heard the same message you did.”

    Joshua’s gaze hardens to a glare. “You’re gonna have to try better than that. My life didn’t turn upside down until you walked into it. She said she ‘heard what happened’ and had to call because she ‘can’t believe I’m really gone.’ Where would she have heard…? She can’t possibly have heard ‘what happened’ because it’s not like anything that’s actually happened to us would be on the news or anything so…”

    “I would tend to agree. But watching the news may not be a bad idea. If she heard something there we can find out what it was.”

    Joshua returns his attention to his phone.

    “Do not call her,” Dominic commands quickly.

    “Yes, sir. I was actually going to check online for news. I was paying attention all of, what – six minutes ago? – when you said it’d be safer for my family if they don’t know anything. Hey! There’s WiFi!”

  • Imagined Snippets,  Red

    The implications of that

    Joshua’s iPhone vibrates in his pocket, where he’d forgotten it. He pulls it out and sees that it’s survived the accident without damage. It’s lit it up with the word ‘Mom’ and a photo of her. It’s very late for her to be calling – past 2:00am – so something must be wrong.

    He starts sliding his finger across the screen to answer but before he can, Dominic snatches it from him.


    “It’ll be much safer for your family if they don’t know anything about where you are or what’s happening to you.”

    “You mean the people after us will send people after them too?”

    The call goes to voicemail. Dominic doesn’t hand the phone back to him. “They will spy on your family. If you don’t make contact with your family then they shouldn’t have any reason to harm them.”

    “Except as bait to draw me out.”

    Dominic shakes his head. “Not if they don’t find out about the power you have. Right now, you’re only in danger because of your association with me. They’re unlikely to use your family as bait because they know it won’t get them what they currently want – me.”

    Joshua frowns as he thinks through the implications of that – that Dominic wouldn’t help Joshua save his family if his family was put in danger because of this mess of a situation.

    The iPhone lights up again, this time with a voicemail notification.

  • Imagined Snippets,  Red

    Do you have any good news?

    “How do I learn how to control it?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Well, shit. If you don’t know then who does?”

    “Joshua… I don’t know if anyone does. You may be unprecedented.”

    Joshua shakes his head. “What about another creature from the in-between?”

    “We’re already being hunted. If they find out what you are… They’ll want to kill you and take your power.”

    “Greeeeeat. Do you have any good news?”

    “We’re safe here.”

  • Imagined Snippets,  Red

    No one could sleep after that!

    “You should go back to sleep.”

    “You have to be joking! ‘Hey Joshua, my dog who was murdered is alive because you brought her back but it’s no biggie so go to bed.’ No one could sleep after that!”

    Dominic doesn’t say anything for a long time. “You’re a human with the power of a creature from the in-between. You didn’t grow up with this. You were never meant to have it. I don’t know how it came to you. But I do know the power is yours and you don’t know how to control it. If you’re very scared, if you’re very angry, it’s going to manifest. When you’re dreaming you’ll have even less control.”

    “Then shouldn’t I stay awake?”

    “Yes, of course, just never sleep, why didn’t I think of that?” Dominic deadpans. “Your being exhausted isn’t going to help anything. Do you meditate?”


    “Now’s a better time than most to start.”

    “But…could I hurt people with this power?”


  • Imagined Snippets,  Random Ramblings,  Red

    You brought her back

    This weekend I went to Fresno for a wedding. Between that and being sick, I haven’t had the time/energy to post. I mostly seem to be down to a cough and I’ve caught up on my finances tonight (rent is obscenely expensive) so I thought I’d continue Red:

    “Were you dreaming?” Dominic asks he’s own question instead of answering Joshua’s.


    “What about?”

    Joshua tells him.

    “She’s alive because you brought her back.”

    What!? No, I didn’t. How the fuck would I bring her back? Back from where?”

    Tsubasa returns her attention to Dominic, nosing against his hand. Dominic finally greets her, scratching behind her ears and petting her snout. “It’s good to see you, Tsu. Sorry about the ambush.”

    Tsubasa barks once, wagging her tail.

    Joshua sighs. Loudly. Exasperatedly. “You know I don’t talk to exercise my voice, right?” 

  • Imagined Snippets,  Red


    “Joshua!” It’s Dominic, shouting from the doorway of a room Joshua doesn’t recognize.

    In less than a blink, Dominic is next to him. “You need to calm down.”

    The low-pitched gentle words catch Joshua off guard.

    “Breath in. Hold it. Breathe out. Come on, breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out.”

    Closing his eyes, Joshua matches the pace of his breathing to Dominic’s words.

    “Breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out. Good.” Then after several repetitions, “Okay, open your eyes.”

    Joshua does. The red light is gone. That’s all he notices before something large and black comes between them. It’s Tsubasa, and she’s wagging her tail hyper fast and licking all over Dominic’s face. When she turns to Joshua he instinctively tries to shrink away but she’s faster, nosing against his hands. She feels…normal. Just like a dog.

    “Dominic, how is she alive again?”

    Dominic doesn’t answer. He’s gone completely still, watching Tsubasa.