The Case of the Missing Legos – Alternate Ending #2

In response to my coworker, Deia, who has asked me to write another alternate ending, I am now presenting yet another alternate ending to the serial I’ve published, The Case of the Missing Legos.  I have graciously accepted the task.  I also want to say thanks to my readers, specifically Obscured Dreamer, and her ongoing writing with her serial Fading Fae which has been an inspiration and our mutual challenge to explore alternate endings. 

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 I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and headed about doing my normal morning routine – I made breakfast for the boys before retiring to the porch with a cup of coffee and my laptop.

As I opened the laptop, something caught my eye, something out of the ordinary.  Something moving.  Something that seemed to be a reflection from the sliding glass door.  I was a bit scared to look, and when I finally did, I realized why.

Staring back at me was the reflection of what I could only deem as an unholy creature of the night.  A black, foreboding cape dangled around its body.  Red, fiery eyes met mine through the reflection.  I looked behind myself, but nothing was there.  It was only through the reflection of the window that I could see the being, which happened to be holding something that looked a whole lot like Luke’s Lego set.  Suddenly it changed form, into a young man of average stature and looks.

“Hello,” I said boldly to the shape-shifiting creature in the reflection, “Why are you standing behind my reflection?  What do you want?”

The being looked back at me and then I heard, in my head rather than aloud, the response from the dark being.

I have come to return the Legos that were stolen from you.

“Um…” I was a bit speechless, but that just happens sometimes.

I was intrigued by these things you call Legos and decided to study them, to ascertain their purpose.

“They’re just toys that kids play with.”

I did not know.  So, does this belong to you?

“No, not me, my son, Luke.”

You do not seem old enough to have a child.  I did not realize that this is how you were treated… perhaps we will meet again someday, once you have escaped this prison that you are in.

“Prison?”

Oh, yes, I probably should not have mentioned that. Just forget it.

“So, you mean to say that I’m in some kind of prison?”

Yes.  The souls of the damned of the Land of Stars are sent here to live in this world, never consciously knowing that they are actually here.  Once they have done penance, they are released from the prison and reintegrated into their society.  I am not of that place, so know very little about their customs.

My thoughts were racing a mile a minute.  I just couldn’t believe that I was somehow in some type of hell, if what the being said was true.

“But that would mean that…”

Yes, you are not really human.

My mind felt like it was ready to explode, a memory was triggered and images flashed before my eyes.  I fell to my knees in pain.

Forgive me.

Those were the last words I heard from the being before it disappeared and I blacked out. 

I came to later, my husband (if I can even call him that now) apparently left his briefcase at home and found me on the back porch.

I stared at his face, but it almost seemed unfamiliar, as though the life we had lived together no longer existed.  I just could not believe that this was me, that this was where I was.  That this was my prison.

I looked beside me at Luke’s Legos and laughed.

The Case of the Missing Legos – Alternate Ending

This is an alternate ending to a serial that I published – you can see part 1part 2 and part 3 here.  I also forgot to mention that I did this, in part, as a challenge to Obscured Dreamer as she had an idea for an alternate ending for her serial Fading Fae – just click the links to read – part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.  I really enjoyed her alternate ending!

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I woke up the next morning, ready to start the day out right.  I climbed out of bed and began my morning routine.

After making breakfast and wishing the boys goodbye, I got my cup of coffee and went out on the back porch to have a moment to myself.  While settling myself into my chair, I heard a shuffling in the bushes near the the stairs. I looked over quietly and saw something quite surprising – Rodney’s father attempting to hide his expanding beer belly in the bushes.

He turned around and the Legos were in his hands.

He looked pretty embarrassed to be caught in the act.

“So, you came into my house to steal my son’s Legos?”

“Wel… I um …. well…”

He trailed off, eyes peering down at his shoes, mustering the courage to continue.

“Well, I’ve been out of a job and stuff’s been hard and Rodney really likes Legos and always talks about how Luke has them and he just wanted some and I saw the door open and I just came in and took them.”

He stated this quickly, still looking at his feet and shuffling a bit as he stood there.

I wondered if I should press charges for breaking and entering, but instantly decided not to.  It would serve no purpose except to embarrass the already humbled man further – being unemployed is bad enough.  Rather than this, I decided that something else was in order.

“Mr. Fronker, I must say that I am quite taken aback by your behavior.  Entering someone’s house when they are not around is not appropriate, especially for a man of your age.  In the future, I suggest that, should you see the door open, that you kindly avert your eyes and continue walking, otherwise I may have to put in a call to the police.  Taking into consideration that your actions were those of someone in desperate circumstances I will forgive you, but if it happens again, you are now forewarned of the actions I will take.”

Mr. Fronker looks at me, irritated, aggressive, afraid.

He places the Lego set on the stairs and walks away, only turning around once to glare at me.  I give him my friendliest smile and wave him off.

Once he’s out of sight, I get out my laptop – time to find a more reliable security system!

I am the Phoenix

I watch as the woman born of ashes separates from me. She glows, bright, fire surrounds her, heat stroking every motion of her body. She is on fire – this woman of beauty. Her brilliance is unmatched – it dazzles me as I look closer and closer. No hint of self-hatred or remorse appears upon her brow, but rather a singular happiness at being born again. She lives.

I look at my hands – grey, dead. Strangled from loss, pain, suffering – yes, the blood supply had long ago dried up. The heart in my chest beats faintly. I watch as I tap my fingers together and they crumble under so small an impact – I watch as the grey cracks spread up my arms and reach my shoulders, as they appear all over my body. They encompass my torso. The only thing left is the brilliant orange-red heart, barely beating. Barely alive. Yes, it´s there. I can see the cracks obscuring my vision as the bright one comes ever closer, her fiery beauty blinding me, searing my optical nerve. I can feel her heat coming closer, as though her hand is reaching towards me, to take from me something that she desperately needs.

No, I try to cry out. But my mouth is dust, dry and cracked. Don’t take my heart. Don´t take my memories.

But she doesn’t hear my pleas – my anxious thoughts do not reach her. I hear the heart beat, slowly, ever so slowly. I feel the scorching presence of her hand reaching into the pile of ashes – yes, the pile of ashes that I have become – and pulling my heart from the grey dust. I am no longer conscious of what is happening except that the heat does not leave me. It surrounds me and passes through me, becomes me.

After an infinite second, I open my eyes. I look at myself, flames surrounding me. I am the Phoenix.

Tale of a Rainy Day – Writing 101, Day Twelve

I peer up from my book at the words that reach my ears.

“Mom, can we go to the pool today?”

My stomach feels pretty bad, so I’m thinking probably not.

“No, honey, I don’t think we’ll be going to the pool today.  It’s still looking somewhat stormy outside.”

My son gets up from the floor, where he has been sitting playing his 3DS and looks out the window.

“I guess you’re right mom.”

He’s sad, so I try to make it better.

“Don’t worry, if next weekend is nice, we’ll go.  Remember that we would also invite a friend?  Who do you want to invite with you?”

“Oh, I dunno… I wish Dylan could come, but he’s with his dad every other week…”

“Yeah…  There isn’t anybody else that you’d like to invite?”

“I dunno… Mom?”

He looks at me with his big, grey eyes.

“Yes?”

“I’m bored.  Do you want to play Uno with me?”

“No, I’m sorry.  I don’t feel that well.”

I’m laying on my back.  Keeping the bile from rising, I slowly turn to look at him.

“Mom, why do you always feel bad?  You’re not a lot of fun to be around.”

“Sorry.  I just don’t feel well.”

“Maybe we could play Go Fish?”

I only say yes because I hate feeling like I’m not a fun person.  But, to be quite honest, I’ve grown into quite a grouch.  I also try to keep in the forefront of my mind that my son is getting older every day – there will come a time in the future when playing Go Fish with mom may not be that much fun anymore.

I deal out the cards.  He goes first.

“Do you have an eight?”

“Go fish.”

Our game continues like this for some time.  I really like the cards we’re using – they are a set of night sky playing cards that I got from Amazon.

By the time we’re done, my son has beaten me – he has 7 sets, I only have 6.  Oh well.  My stomach churns as I sit up.  I keep on hoping that I’ll feel better soon when my son reminds me of his necessities.

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Food.”  That’s all I can manage to say as I rush to the bathroom.

A Letter to Sorrow, Writing 101, Day 14

Dear Sorrow,

You know that you are a constant companion of mine.  Through the years, it seems as though you and your twin sister, Joy, have been playing a game of checkers in regards to my life.  Don’t worry – you’re winning.   Perhaps you could just give in and let Joy believe that she’s winning (just for a moment, it will be our secret).

Thanks!

The Lone Wolf

Conflictive – Writing 101, Day 7 and Day 8

Sitting in a café, I couldn´t help but wonder at the couple I saw sitting near me. Odd, yes, that is how I would describe them. He was a sallow fellow – very pale skin, wearing clothing that was very well worn, holes in the knees. Light blonde hair, almost white, fell onto his face as he intently read Dostoevsky´s Crime and Punishment. A cruel smile played upon his lips, as though he were the type to find humor in another´s suffering. When he looked up, his dark, beady eyes blinked from recesses in his face.

The girl sitting across from him was his opposite – brunette hair fell down her back, red and gold highlights played in the low light. She was dressed in a pair of skinny jeans, ankle boots and a coral colored tank-top that highlighted her tan arms. She smiled at the boy sitting across from her, warmth and sincerity radiating from her expression.  Where he was dark and cold, she was light, golden, glowing.

She raised a bottle full of smoothie and sipped.  He looked at her.

“I really don’t understand how you can drink that stuff.  It looks disgusting.”

“But it’s so healthy!  And so delicious!”

“Ok.”

He wrapped his hand around a coffee mug and took a slow sip of coffee.

“Mmm… ”

“So, what do you want to do this weekend?”

“Let’s go to the movies.  We can see that new independent film.”

“I’m sick of the movies.  Perhaps we could go to the football game this weekend.”

“You know how I get around groups of people.  If you want to go, that’s fine, but I would prefer not to.  I’ll just stay at home and read.”

“Ok.”

She didn’t seem very happy as she slurped down the rest of her smoothie.

“Well, I’ve gotta go, I don’t wanna be late for class.”

“Ok.”

He waved goodbye to her as she left.  She didn’t see him.

The Case of the Missing Legos, Part 3

I woke up the next morning, ready to start the day out right.  I climbed out of bed and began my morning routine.

After making breakfast and wishing the boys goodbye, I got my cup of coffee and went out on the back porch to have a moment to myself.  While settling myself into my chair, I heard a shuffling in the bushes near the the stairs.  I quietly glanced over and spied a mop of brown hair huddled under a bush.

“Hello,” I said, “Who’s there?”

The figure was completely still.  I looked through the bushes and spied Rodney, my son’s “arc-nemesis” between the bushes, Lego set in hand.

“Rodney, I can see you.  Why don’t you come over here?”

“I’m scared.”

“Why?”

When he turned around, it became clear.  A bruise had formed on his right eye, and, upon closer inspection, I noticed bruises on his arms as well.

“Rodney…” my voice trailed off.  It was almost too much – I had always suspected that his father was an abuser, marked primarily by his mother’s timidity when in the company of others.  By Rodney’s bullying behaviors.  The proof to back up my claim lay before me, but I had never hoped to see it.

“Rodney, I’m not going to hurt you,” I said quietly. “Just come out whenever you’re ready.”

I went back up the steps and sat on the porch.  A few minutes passed until I heard the sounds of his movements.  I didn’t turn around or startle him in anyway – any creature that’s been abused needs a space to grieve and lick his/her wounds.  Instead, I waited for his retreat before glancing back at the bottom of the stairs.

And there was the Lego set, all in one piece.

I picked it up and took it up to Luke’s room.  Then I did what I knew I had to – something that would probably change Rodney’s life forever.  I called Social Services to report a case of child abuse.