Don’t Tell Mom

 

 

Please don’t, I’ve been out too late.

You’re wrong, I can and will eat that cake.

You said you were sorry, and wouldn’t do it again.


You lied to me, lied to her, we both lied right then.

What do we do, they’re stuck in pretty tight.

I know, I know, I won’t, yes cross my heart.


It’s not my fault I stayed out all night.

Maybe when she kicks the bucket she’ll find out about . . . Everything.

But for now, don’t tell mom.

A Cast Spell

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Crush the rock and wet the stone.

Fill the bowl with crimson.

Light the twigs and breath the smoke,

The day is fast now ending.

Place the skull and draw the lines,

Bring forth the words serrated.

Friends For Days Tag Award

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It’s a beautiful day to get your blog tagged! I was nominated by the Honey Lemon Blog to participate in the Friends for Days Tag created by the Pink For Days Blog. I am delighted to be nominated and am excited to nominate seven other bloggers for this tagging award. Go check out the Honey Lemon Blog! It’s got some fun energy and interesting insights with life, the universe and everything! I believe the writer is based out of Thailand and I love hearing about life from around the world. She is a fun read.

This tag allows for new and upcoming blogs in the WordPress community to be featured and have wonderful things said about their blog. It’s also a way for each of us writers to lift those around us and give back to our immense writing community.

Here Are The Rules:

• Say who create the Tag and provide a link to their blog
• Do a blog post showing your Tag;
• Add the logo to the post;
• Always thank the person who nominated you, provide a link to their blog and, if you like, say something positive and supportive about their blog;
• Choose 5 bloggers that you don’t know very well or that are just starting their blog;
• Go over to their blogs and read a few posts, leave them a few likes and comments;
• Say 3 things you love about their blogs; (3 things for each blogger);
• Those 5 bloggers are automatically nominated to do the same!
• Nominate two bloggers who have been doing this for a longer time! (you get 7 nominees). Don’t forget to let them know you’re nominated them!

My Nominees:

Unbolt Me Uncensored–  I love the feeling of their blog. It feels so real life and raw with their insights and stories. Also Tetiana and Tony both have a unique and genuine story to tell. I recommend reading their poetry and prose. Seriously, just go check out all of it, they are amazing.

XP Nuggets–  If you need inspiration to keep your chin up not only with your writing but with life check out this blog! It is full of wisdom and positive thinking that can really help you if you’re in a funk. I love how this blog introduces goodness into the world and seeks to build up those that follow it. Come and take a look.

Eyes+Words– Eyes+Words is like a portal into the world of poetry and writing! There are so many avenues of education, promotion, and feedback one almost feels dizzy with the opportunities! I love how visually pleasing their blog set up is as well. I can’t wait to submit some of my own pieces and be given the chance to publicize my work over the internet!

Metamorphosis– This blog gives readers quite the transformation through real life experiences and personal experiences. I was drawn in by the writer’s words and wish to hear more thoughts about working through depression. As you read through each post you can feel a metamorphosis happening. It’s quite moving.

Make It Ultra– Eric. C has created a visually stunning blog with an aim towards health discussion of mental health and ways to keep one’s self positive and supported. I have recently been acquainted with his work  and find it very interesting, uplifting, and insightful. If you need a pick-me-up or someone positive to interact with come visit this blog!

Poems and paragraphs– I’ve followed Kindra from almost the beginning of my blogging experience. She has a powerful way of writing that draws you in and leads you into her world of darkly beautiful poetry mixed with splashes of her own life events. She is a refreshing read every time and I whole heartedly recommend a visit to her blog!

The Feathered Sleep– The poetry found on this blog is exquisite. I can’t help but scroll to the next poem, and the next and the next! I love how my emotions are pulled in all directions, and I feel so raw after reading their words. Come here to help your mind pause and deep think.

I hope those of you that have been featured here take the time to reach out to those blogs you are fans of, as well as those less known. You never know what kind words and encouragement can do for our fellow writers until you do something. Happy reading!

M.E. Inkowl

April on The Ink Owl

Well big surprise, I’ve fallen off the face of the earth by the end of the month, and now a new one is here. I’ve been wrapped up in submitting a project to a Scholastic Books competition and haven’t had much time to do anything else.

And now that that’s all done, I’m going to do my own version of NANOWRIMO for the next month. Except it will be LOCAPWRIMO (Local April Writing Month)  For the past few years now April seems to be my bad news/ bad everything month. Let see if that can change.

So this month I think I’ll keep it simple, four posts, one per week. We’ll see what comes of April! Happy reading.

-M.E. Inkowl

March on the Ink Owl

20160316_185728March is almost upon us! I’m always reminded of an activity in Kindergarten I did when I was a kid. We would decorate a paper plate in the shape and color of a lion or a lamb. Whichever we though the month’s weather would be like on the first day.

Then we cut another plate into a spiral tail and stapled them together. Using paper clips my teacher, Mrs. Olsen, hung each one from the classroom lights.

I remember sitting back in my chair and looking for the lion I had made. The rest of that class day was spent watching it spiral round and round and round. I’m pretty sure every other kid on class did it. That day probably was a free-for-all.

This month on the blog I think I’ll do something different. I’ve tried having a monthly theme, which has been fun and challenging, but it’s time to have something new. For the month of March the Ink Owl will feature a free-for-all of posts. Who knows what will come up. What I do know is there will be several featured stories by unpublished writer friends, continuations of several stories from last year, mainly Greenwood and The Grave Dancer. So sit back, prepare yourself for a blast of inconsistency in posting and enjoy the wild ride that will be the month of March!

-M.E. InkOwl

Love in a Mist (Part 5)

 

This is the last part of a series of
five, click here to read previous post. Or click here to start from the beginning.
Remember. Thoughts whispered in my mind. Time is of the essence, and there isn’t much of it left.
Gravel crunched underfoot as daylight waned. All around us the sounds of nature grew.
“Can you hear that?” I asked, pausing in mid stride so that next to me Glenn had to stop and listen.
He did, face turned to me as we both listened to our surroundings.
He always listens.
All around us, well-tended gardens stretched into the horizon. A long stand of pine and willow trees cut off any sign that civilization was a few hedges away.
Remember.
Unease tugged at my emotions, but I tried to bury the feeling. Between us the air grew thick, forcing an invisible mass between us. It’s because of me. I thought, knowing it was true. It was unavoidable.
“How did you find this place?” I asked, focusing on the plants around me. Glenn looked around the garden, a smile touching his lips.
Amazing. Here I am again, in yet another exquisite garden with this guy.
Glenn gave a hollow laugh, “We use to come here as a family every Sunday, mostly in the summer. It was our place to come and think before we started a new week.”
“Your family really has something for growing things don’t they.”
“Yes they do.” He said, with a pause. Silence lengthened that pause, filling me with guilt. I shouldn’t have gotten this far with him. My thoughts shifted to the other night, to those all too perfect words I wanted to hear, but dreaded when he said them.
“I love you.”
Blinking back tears I looked ahead of us to a large willow tree beyond a stand of aspens. I was about to ask Glenn about them when he grabbed my hand and set off through the aspens, pulling me along. Their leaves hissing with the cooling air. Off in the distance a truck passed along the highway.
Hurry. Whispered the night air.
We meandered our way through tended rose hedges and under an arbor of hanging wisteria vines. The night was cool, cooler than it should have been. Mist gathered around our feet, shifting between the vegetation. Before us loomed the aged willow tree.
Glenn stopped before the line of hanging limbs. He looked up at the silver tree and squeezed my hand. “I haven’t been here in ages.”
“Yeah? How come?” My feeling of guilt increase as I watched his face tighten with emotion.
Don’t tell me, don’t tell me.
“This was my mother’s favorite spot here.” He motioned to the small rise we both stood before us. “We would come here every Sunday when the weather was good. For as long as I could remember every Sunday was our Willow Sunday.”
He faltered, going silent. I reached a hand toward him, my heart feeling as if it had physically left my chest. Mist traced around our feet, twisting up our ankles. The sensation brought a familiar cold to my skin. It’s coldness prompted me to speak, “What happened?”
Tears had fallen onto his high cheeks, staining his skin. He looked at me, with those soulful eyes. Turning from me he pointed to the ground beneath the willow. White flowers caught scattered moonlight between leaves. They were the strangest looking flowers I had ever seen.
Crouching down I pointed to a flower waving in the wind, “What are those?”
“Love in a Mist. My mother’s favorite flower.” Glenn crouched down as well, fingering the soft curving petals. Their fern-like leaves tickling his finger tips. “We had huge bunches of them throughout our garden and she would take their seeds and plant them under the willow tree. She made this her special place, our special place.”
He paused, drawing in breath.
“It was here, the last time we ever come as a family. Just like any Sunday we set up our lunch under this tree.” His hands should as they pointed at the tree. “I was sitting right next to her when it happened. Her body just froze.”
A sixth sense leapt within my skull, buzzing between my eyes. You need to go now, run. He is too connected to you, to this place. He’s going to find out.
But I couldn’t move, captivated by his moving lips, and gesturing hands. Not to mention I felt pierced through the heart by his gaze. We were connected, whether I liked it or not. I felt his chest rise and fall as he steeled him for my reaction to his next words. And as an inopportune knock on a door, the thought struck me: I love him.
Words tumbled from his mouth as he pushed onward, “She fell back, her hair just spilling all around. Love in a Mist tangled all around her, as if holding the last bits of her life on earth. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes. This sort of dead surprise and . . . longing.”
I get it. I get him. That’s why, for all this.
“Glenn.” I started, wishing he could be inside my head, but he waved me quite. Behind his head mist ran between hanging branches. We both stood, watching billows of mist raise around us. He stepped close to me, eyes shining with hope. Reaching out he clasped both of my shoulders as we turned to face one another.
“Please Mische, I need to say this out loud to you. I need you to hear this. I watched my mother die. I saw the exact moment when her spirit left her body.”
Mische, you’re in trouble, get out of here now. The mist dulled my own minds urgency. Chills ran through my limbs, willing me to move. But at that moment, it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered, except for what was happening between us. We changed, and I knew he felt it as strong as I. “I wanted to tell you this Mische, because I’m in love with you. I want you to know all my secrets. I know you have secrets of your own. They kept you from saying what you want to say.” His voice cracked with emotion as he moved closer to me. “I-I want you to feel like you can tell me all of yours.”
My soul sang as I heard his words. I leaned into his body as our mouths met. Waves of energy washed over us as our emotions merged, For an instant I felt as one, whole and complete. With that kiss I told Glenn my feelings, my thoughts. I love you. But that was all I could do for now. Mist clung to my legs and arms, pulling me away from the man who held my heart.
“Mische? Mische, what’s wrong?” His voice clung to my hair, the force of his breath rippling through my body. Even as I squeezed him close, I could feel my strength, my substance ebbing.
“I-I, I can’t Glenn. Not right now.” I’ll never forget the look of raw anguish, bewilderment etched on every line of his perfect face. “I knew it would come to this, Glenn, and I am sorry. But you and I will never be together. It is a physical impossibility.” He didn’t even notice the mist wrapping itself around the two of us. Looking down at my feet they disappeared  into the mist. I noticed an all too familiar glow coming from the grass.
“What do you mean?” He said, his consternation growing. Glenn looked down. “Why are you glowing? Mische what’s going on?”
“Love in a Mist.” I said as my form dissolved into the night.
-M.E. Inkowl

A Flower For My Love

I waited, deliberating over the explosion of flowers that lay before me. Overwhelmed isn’t a strong enough word to begin to describe the situation.
Hmmmmm. I thought, looking from plant to plant to plant. Reds, pinks, purples, yellows, every color shouted, “Pick me! I’m the one!”
But they weren’t. Not a single one.
“Errrrrrmmmmm . . .” I felt my eyes widen as my mind ground to a halt. All around me others moved around me, busy on their pre-Valentine’s day shopping spree.
“Can I help you sweetie?” Someone called from within the depths of the flowers. I hadn’t been called sweetie by a stranger since elementary school. All the teachers just called everyone that.
“Um . . . yes, I’m here to buy flowers.” Yeah it was lame. I was lame. It was the day before Valentine’s day and I was blanking on what kind of flowers to get the love of my life.
Stupid, come on. Think!
A woman popped up from behind a clump of green filler. She smiled at me and wove her way between the piles of flora.
“Well, I think you came to the right spot than mister.” She turned away from me and gestured at a gigantic cold room with freezer doors.  “Can I interest you in some of our pre-made arrangements?”
They were beautiful, placed perfectly every way you looked at it.
It’s too easy.
I shook my head and took a step closer to the mess of colors. “Naah, can I build a custom bouquet?”
The woman paused, lingering by the cold room door, as if to say, “Are you sure?”
Oh I was sure. I was going to be a man and build my own custom bouquet, just for my Valentine. I nodded.
“Okay what would you like to start with?” She began pointing out different flowers. Then the different filler. And then the different colors you needed to make to help the bouquet fill out.
My jaw dropped open. “Uuuuuhh”
What are you a caveman? I yelled in my head. Pick something already!
There was a pause.
“Let’s try those pink roses there, and then maybe some spider mums, some of those button thingies.”
The woman picked out each flower, fingers moving through the assorted field. All the while she kept up a running commentary. She told me how much I was spending, how the colors matched, and how much my true love was going to enjoy this bouquet.
I looked at the bouquet, and felt my heart drop.
“What? What is it?” She asked, noticing my crest-fallen face.
“It’s not right.”
She nodded her head and then obliged me.
“Don’t worry we’ll get it.” She said with a smile.
Three bouquets later I was in a bind.
“I’m so sorry. I am so so so sorry. I just can’t get this.” I shook my head and stepped back from the numerous displays. I could tell she was on the brink of exasperation. It was embarrassing.
“H-How, how am I suppose to pick out a bouquet for a woman I’ve been married seven years to, who’s given me two beautiful kids, and pushed me through heaven’s knows what?” I said it more for myself than the employee. It was one of those all too often moments of opening my mouth and speaking what I was thinking.
Something changed within the woman. She stepped closer to the flowers, looking intently at each container. “Well what does she really like? What kind of flower would she be if she was one?”
I looked at her, dumbfounded.
Duh! Think!
I scoured the flowers, mind trying to race. My eyes settled on bright yellow pedals. “She’d . . . she’d be a Lily. She isn’t like any other woman out there.”
The woman nodded, pulling out a glowing cluster of lilies.
“And she hates roses, no offense, but she think’s they’re cliche.”
The woman held her hands up, “Not offended at all, they’re always overpriced.”
Really?” I said, eye a bunch of long stemmed roses.
“Yes, but that’s besides the point. Go on.”
Blue caught my eyes as I settled on narrow looking flowers, “She loves irises. She’s always telling me about how she wants a clump to put in our yard, just to have them bloom for her under the window.”
A few Irises found their way into her hand.
Encouraged I continued to think out loud. “In our wedding bouquet she had some of those small white flowers. Are those Dahlias?”
“Nope, button mums, those will work perfectly. Keep going.” She was really getting into it. Her eyes almost picking out the flowers before I did. Her fingers positions each flower, filling her hand with a textured mix of beauty.
“How about throwing in this nice purple Stock?” Flowers were shoved under my nose and a complex aroma filled my nose. It was almost delicious.
“Yes, put it in. And maybe some of that pink filler . . .  stuff?”
She smiled at me, “You got it sweetie. I think that brings it to your price right?”
“Yup it does.” I said with a nod of relief, it was done.
“Good, we’ll see you tomorrow then.”
Unfortunately for them they would, “Yes. I’ll be by to pick them up. Thank you so much.
“You’re welcome. You know, she’s got a pretty good man by her side.”
Her words weren’t flirtatious, just observant. I smiled and said, “Well I can’t rightly say that I’m pretty good, but I do know I don’t deserve her.”
With a modest smile the woman shook her head. “Sounds like you both got lucky finding each other.”
I couldn’t help my grinning from ear to ear. “You have no idea. She is my life.”
She appraised me for a moment, looking from the flowers on her table to me. “Good. Get home and make sure you tell her that.”
“Will do.” I said paying for the flowers. I stepped out of the shop thinking about my wife and smiled.
-M.E. Inkowl

Guest authors are invited

Hey all of you following my blog! Check out this intriguing opportunity to post your writing on another blog and expand your readership!

Yashovardhan's thoughts

Hey there!

As you already know, I’m just starting out. Being a student as well (and all my exams filling up my schedule for the next couple of months), I don’t find enough time to keep my blog updated.

I’d love to have you, a fellow blogger, write content on my site. This way we all gain! You get to meet a new set of audience, while I can keep my small blog ready and updated!

so what are waiting for? Read the Guidelines here and apply as a Guest author here

Happy blogging!

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Midnight in the Garden (Part 4)

Here is a link for the previous post, or start from the beginning of the story here.
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I believe it’s your turn grandson of mine.” My grandmother held her cards in one hand, and sipped at cup of water with the other.
Evening had fallen around us and shadows danced from a near by fire pit.
“Yeah Glenn, quit holding up the game.What’s so distracting.” Mische looked up from her cards, with a smile.
Blushing I looked away, placing a skip card onto the table.
“What?” Mische exclaimed,”I was going to finally win this round!”
Grandpa shook with silent laughter, his eyes disappearing in creases of mirth.
“Oh you’re terrible, give the girl a chance son!” Grandma waved her hand at me.
“Nah, just wait. She’ll get us on this next round.” I winked at Mische who just looked at her cards and shook her head.
We sat in my grandparent’s garden. The scent of more than a dozen flowers tossed themselves around our table with the wind. Half a tray of homemade blackberry crumble sat in a tray. The tart juice of the berries still lingered on my tongue.
This, this is what life is about.
“So my dear, what do you intend to do with your life?” Grandma looked at mische, a smile still on her face.
She approves of her. I thought, a satisfying sensation filling my body.
Mische switched a few cards in her hands and replied, “I’m going to be a math teacher.”
“Oh really? Very good!” Said Grandpa, his face shining in the firelight. “I have a lot of respect for educators. What made you choose that?”
“It was really interesting actually,” Mische chuckled, “I was planning on becoming an engineer.”
Both of my grandparents sat back in their seats, curiosity peaked.
“Yeah, I sat down with the adviser with the university and she asked me what wanted to do. And I opened my mouth to say engineer, and educator came out.”
Grandma gasped, “Well, could you believe that!”
I looked at Mische again, trying not to catch her eye. Her smile was perfection. I couldn’t look away from the curve of her lips, or the way her eyes crinkled at the sides when she did. The evening air shifted bringing to me a new smell, Mische’s smell. It was different, unlike any other woman, or flower I’d smelled before.
Glenn listen to yourself, you sound like a freak. Stop smelling the girl.
The conversation continued, and I watch all three of my companions interact over the tops of my cards. Something within my chest rose as Grandpa threw back his head  with a laugh, hand on Mische’s shoulder.
Is this even real? Does this kind of thing actually happen outside of books and movies?
“Oh Glenn, you need to bring her around more often. She’s funny!” Grandma caught my eye again, and mouthed; She is a keeper, keep her!
Mische looked over at me, a thrill running down my spine as she did. She said, “Well your grandson isn’t half bad himself. Hopefully I don’t scare him away any time soon.”
Both of my grandparents looked at me, their arms folded.
“Oh she’s scary, but not scary enough to make me run away.” Mische hit my shoulder in mock outrage while the others chuckled.
“See what I have to put up with?” Mische said, looking back at my grandparents for support.
My hand closed around hers and I looked her in the eyes. “I’m kidding! Mische I couldn’t run away from you even if I tried.”
She was looking intently into my eyes, firelight reflecting like tiny stars in hers. The night grew around us, holding our table and chairs in comfortable darkness. The garden pressed in on us, green life beating to the drum of my heart, our hearts.
My finger pressed lightly on the inside of Mische’s wrist. I could feel her heart rate quicken.
I smiled, “I’m hooked.”
“Well I’ll say you both are,” Grandma said,tapping her cards against the table, “what happened to our game? Mische weren’t you going to beat us all this round?”
“Oh that’s right, I was.” She smiled at me again, her eyes lingering on me as I hunkered back down behind my cards.
The game ended too soon, and Mische won. It was nearly midnight when we said our good byes. My Grandfather and Grandmother both giving Mische long hugs and asking us both to come back soon.
We walked back to my car hand in hand, disappearing into the night. All too soon I was pulling into the parking lot of Mische’s apartment. We walked slowly up the stairs to her front door, number 34.
Mische turned around, a smile touching her lips, “I had so much fun tonight Glenn, really. I’ve already adopted your grandparents, you do realize this?”
I laughed, ” Of course! Did you see how they couldn’t let go of you when we left?”
“They’re adorable. I love them.” Mische reached out and touched my arm. Electricity raced through my body. “Glenn I love going on these adventures with you. I love spending time with you, there’s no other place I’d rather be. There’s no other person I’d rather experience all of this with.”
I looked in her eyes, they spoke to me more than her words ever could. I felt myself reach out for her cheek, fingers cupping under her chin. Silence rang between our bodies, yet our minds were anything but silent.
We kissed, our bodies melting into each other. She fit so well within my arms, as if we had been to halves to one whole. I felt her heart beat as the world around us turn.
Glently we pulled apart, staring into one another’s eyes.
“Mische.” I said, heart pounding in my chest.
“Yes?” She said, blinking slowly.
“I love you.”
To read previous posts about this story follow these links:

-M.E.Inkowl

 

 

 

When Books Strike Back (Part 3)

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This is continuation of another post, check out it out here, or start from the beginning here.
“See it was this flower that I was telling you about, Glenn, remember?” Anna pushed closer to me as I stood near the checkout counter. Her phone outstretched, showing me the pink wildflower.
“That’s a nice picture.” I said lamely, trying to gather a stack of books large enough to excuse myself from the conversation.
Anna pushed herself closer. Her glasses sliding down her nose. “You really think so?”
I could see my face reflected in her lenses as her intense blue eyes tried to stare deeply into my own.
“I-Yeah, you should go out there again and get more shots.” Things were feeling uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. Around us the library bustled with it’s quiet movement. Patrons moved from stack to stack, absorbed in their own little worlds.
No one caught my imploring glances, not even my right hand reference librarian, Kara looked my way. I could see her shoulders shaking with suppressed mirth.
I’m going to kill her.
Anna continued to prowl forward, boxing me between a shelving cart and the desk. “I was planning on going back out there this weekend. Are you on shift?”
“Well yeah, I’m here right?” I said, distract by a staff member depositing a large stack of books and DVDs onto the desk.
Anna blinked, regarding me with her flashing glasses. “Well, obviously Glenn, but I mean this weekend.”
She pushed her frames up with a well manicured turquoise fingernail, “I know you don’t really have a social life outside of here, and you probably could use the company-“
A spluttering cough came from reference and Kara stood up, coughing into her elbow. Distracted Anna turned towards her. I slithered between the cart and desk grasping the large
“Oh gash Kara, are you alright?” Genuine concern etched itself into Anna’s thick eyebrows as she hovered.
Clearing her throat, Kara looked over at me with a wink, “I’m quite alright Anna, really. Thank you.”
I disappeared into the stacks, weaving as much distance between me and Anna as possible. It wasn’t that Anna wasn’t a nice person, or that I’m some kind of jerk. But she just was . . . well Anna. Looking down I saw that my stack contained some language and prep test books with a smattering of fiction classics.
Thank goodness, I’ll be out here for a bit.
Setting myself to work I bobbed between patrons and stuffed books between more books. I reorganized the dewey decimal numbers on book spines and pulled books to the front of each shelf.
Nice and tidy.
Suddenly a book slid out of my grasp and crashed to the floor. The other books, feeling left out of the excitement, followed their fellow to the floor.
“For crying out loud.” I muttered under my breath, as I squatted down to pick them up.
“Glenn!” Hissed a voice behind me, making me jump and kick the books down an empty isle.
It was Kara, short hair waving around and face flushed with excitement.”She’s here! She’s here!”
I looked up and down the empty isle. “Um . . . who?”
Eyes rolling in exasperation to the ceiling Kara clicked her tongue, “Scanner Girl! Scanner Girl is here, and she’s headed your way!”
Scanner girl!
Heart leaping into my chest I froze, unable to think. It had been a few weeks since Scanner Girl had come in and I had, unfortunately, taken her down with my barcode scanner. . . and face. Since then I’d been avoiding her like the plague, not wanting to assault her again with deadly library force.
Cogs began turning in my head, “Where is she? How do you know she’s coming right to me? What did you-“
“Never mind that,” interrupted Kara, “Take this, it’s the book she’s looking for.”
My eyes goggled at the book, a GRE test prep paperback. “What? Are you crazy?”
Kara flipped her hair and gave me a cool look, “You can finally impress her. Heck, you can finally talk to her.”
“But . . .” My thoughts revved inside my head. What should I say? What would she say? Does she even want to talk? Wait, did I bathe today?
“Okay hurry up, she’s going to be in that section any minute. Move!” Kara yanked the books I still held in my other hand and pushed me towards the adult non-fiction section.
“What should I say?” I said over my shoulder.
“Hi, of course!” hissed Kara as she bent over to retrieve my fallen books.
In a dream I walked down the center isle, my hands starting to sweat.
Okay, breathe, you can do this. Breathe. Just say hello, ask her how she’s doing and then shelve the book and walk away. Okay? Make it nice and simple.
I read the dewey decimal numbers on the end of one of the stacks. It was hers. Heart now pounding in my throat, I cleared my throat and stepped around the corner.
“Glenn!! Oh this is fantastic!” Called Anna, her voice rending the very fabric of space. Anna stood there, as if she’d been waiting there all along. “Daddy come here, there’s someone I want you to meet!”
Is this some kind of joke? I’m going to kill Kara! Wait did she say daddy?
A short, balding man stood behind my co-worker. He had the same piercing eyes, and even glasses. Sporting a bushy  mustache that all but took over his upper lip, cheeks and mouth, he regarded me for a second.
“Daddy this is Glenn, my co-worker I’ve been telling you all about.” Some how Anna was clutching my arm, like a Chinese finger trap. I strained ever so slightly against her pull and her fingers bit into my arm.
I could feel the air around us thicken as Anna’s father looked me up one side and down the other. The hair on my neck and arms performed the wave as I heard myself gulp.
“Errr . . . Hi.” My throat had gone dry.
Father? I’m meeting Anna’s father? What is this, are we engaged? Woah, why is he still looking at me like that?
 Anna looked from me to her father, her smile faltering for a minute. “Oh sorry, that’s me being stupid! Glenn this is my dad, Kent. Daddy, this is Glenn.”
I tried to say, “please to meet you”but nothing came out. I just sort of nodded my head as I shook the man’s proffered hand. Kent stared, his handshake leaving much to be desired.
Something please fall from the sky right now.
Anna plowed through her father’s obvious discontent at my presence, “Anyway, Daddy, Glenn was just talking about taking me to that beautiful thicket we found the other day up the canyon. Remember? With those wild corn flowers?”
I offered another nervous smile to the man who clearly thought this potential match for her daughter was living up to none of his standards. It was at this moment that she came around the corner. Dark hair hanging around her beautiful face. A notecard clutched between her fingers.
Scanner Girl.
Our eyes met. Mine went wider as she stopped in her tracks.
“Anyway, so my dad works for the military. He’s a civilian on base working on engineering a new type of cockpit style. It’s probably something you two could talk about for hours. I mean-“
Whatever else Anna was saying droned into the background as I watched on in horror. Scanner Girl’s eyes move first over Anna’s father and then the girl herself. Her eye shifted back to me. With a face forming an inaccurate understanding of the situation she took a step back.
No! It’s not what it looks like! I’m not meeting her father! I’m not even interested in her! Holy fire, why did you have to walk around the corner now.
My eyes were looking at here, imploring her help without realizing it, and she saw my desperation. Her face flushed and she quickly looked down at her paper, then to the stack of books in front of her.
“Well? Glenn?” Anna’s voice brought me back to the awkward, real-life situation.
“I’m sorry, what?” I said, avoiding Kent’s continued stare. It was like he was trying to force me into the ground with just his vision.
Anna blinked, “Um . . . Were you not listening?”
Behind them both Scanner Girl continued looking for her book, desperate to leave us all behind.
It dawned on me that she couldn’t go anywhere. Her book was in my hands. I looked down at the bold GRE title and took a breath.
Come on, you’ve got to get it to her. I scolded myself. And then, at the sight of Scanner Girl just out of reach something inside me snapped.
“I’m sorry, I need to shelve this book.” I said, suddenly moving forward.
“What? Glenn, wait.” Anna grabbed my other arm, trying to pull me back into a conversation that I was not ready to have, least of all with her father. I did the only think my brain could think to do: I kept walking.
My foot caught the tip of Kent’s shoe, that combined with Anna pulling on my arm threw me off balance and into the bookshelf.
“Oooomph.” I said as I connected with the metal shelf. There was another second where time stopped, and I was able to look right at Scanner Girl. And then a cascade of books fell on top of me, her and Anna’s father.
“DADDY!” Wailed Anna as her father disappeared under a flow of pages and breaking covers.
Scanner girl gave out a soft cry of surprise and was knocked onto her backside. A large thesaurus bounced off of my head as an ACT prep book slammed into my face. I went down, hitting my head on the opposite shelf. Stars exploded in my eyes.
Anna screeched again, “Daddy! Are you alright?”
In a minute all the books had emptied themselves from their perch. A flock of dust bunnies drifted down on all four of us.
A voice spoke over me as I got on hands and knees, “Oh my gosh, are you alright? I’m so sorry, are you hurt?”
The library was shifting around, and I could hear rushing feet headed towards us.
“What’s happened?”
“Is everyone alright?”
Scanner girl crouched by me, her hand on my shoulder, “You aren’t bleeding, are you feeling alright?”
My face and head throbbed but I nodded and started to stand up. Behind us Anna had extricated her father from a volume set of mathematics and was staring at Scanner Girl, her face growing scarlet.
“Thank you,” I said trying not to sound in pain, “But I think this is the book you’re looking for.”
From around both sides of the book shelf came several librarians and a janitor.
“Is everyone alright? Glenn, are you okay? Anna, did your father get hit?”
Scanner Girl ignored the newcomers and looked down at the proffered book.
“How did you-? Um, thank you.” She looked bemused and confused at once.
I smiled, guilt making my face hot. “I’m sorry, it’s involved. But I think that one should help.”
One last book fell from the shelf and toppled down onto Anna’s foot. She screamed.
“I’m Glenn.” I said, sticking my hand out to Scanner Girl. She took it slowly, trying to hide a smile, but failing miserably.
With a laugh she shook my hand and said, “Hi Glenn, I’m Mische.”

-M.E. Inkowl