Thursday, May 4, 2017


"Look Danny! Its starting!" Laurel quickly sits with her popcorn in hand. "The Little Mermaid", she whispers. "Remember Maura used to show us this!" The moon shines softly on the grass outside. Almost flickering like a little candle-flame.

"You know we didn't always used to be this you Danny. I'm sure you remember most of all.  You know I would've done anything to make Maura understand. Well... If she could understand. You're mu brother Danny. My twin brother. You know I'll do anything for you. Through thick and thin, we have each other. I know you love your flowers Danny. I love them too, the real ones, but you have to let go of these people."

Laurel turns to Danny, who is blankly staring at the projector screen.

"We have to bury their hands Danny. This isn't right. These are people we're talking about... we're going to get caught. Maura deserves this. She was our mother. We killed her."

The moonlight flutters in Laurels eyes, as her tears begin to well up.

"We killed her Danny. I feel so guilty. We killed our own mother."


Laurel carefully placed one last flower in her pot. "Finished!" she squealed happily. It fell over stiffly. She sighs. She ties a ribbon around this 'flower' beautifully. She turns around and shows it to Danny, lying upright in the corner. "It looks beautiful, right Danny?"

"Absolutely sister," he replies.

She smiles pleasantly, and paints the flower's short stubby nails. "What do you think... a purple or maybe a mandarin-orange color?" she turns looking over her shoulder at the stuffed animal spattered with blood.

"A lilac would be nice, or how about a nice baby blue..?"

"Perfect!" she paints the boy's stubby nails and straightens out the bow. "It's so unfortunate you know, he just wanted a friend." She sighs, a wicked smile on her face. "But you know I can't let anyone else have you, Daniel." She hums to herself, dancing with the planted hand. She spins and twirls whispering "Kagome, kagome." She opens her floral refrigerator and places the hand with others, beautifully arranged. Names are plastered on each pot. "Linda, Sarah, James.... Maura" She smiles, and places him right next to her. "Oh mama," she sighs. "I brought you another flower, I know you're not proud..." She paces the wooden floor. "Mama, mama, you hated when I used to rip up my dollies, didn't you? Hmph. Well..." She turns to face the refrigerator again. "You can't tell me what to do now can you Mama?" Laurel shuts the refrigerator door and covers it once again with the black tablecloth beautifully decorated with FLOWERS printed on the front.

Thunder booms in the distance.

"Shoot! We gotta eat something!" Laurel cleans up the scraps of tissue and wipes away the blood.
Danny stares blankly, "Okay, I'll order pizza!"

Monday, April 17, 2017

Fear Garden pt. 1

It’s a beautiful Thursday morning and Laurel is out delivering sterling white roses to her neighbors and friends. She hands off a few to Gaia Lux and Harvey who asked for 7 specific plucked roses. She obliged and handed them right over. After all her deliveries were made she usually goes by the creek in the back of The Victorian. As she approaches she gasps.
“Its all colorful!”
She leaves her cart behind and plunges into the multicolored stream. She splashes and plays and suddenly she chokes a bit of the color-swirled water.
“Ew gross,” She coughs and sputters.
She coughs up a quarter sized ball of Crayola shavings.
“Ewwwww… What the-,” She looks up to show Danny, he white dress speckled with wax shavings in every color.
“He’s gone.”
She hops up out of the water and scrambles to her feet. “WHERE COULD HE BE?!” She thinks.
She searches her cart frantically, calling his name. “Danny, Danny, DANIEL?!”
She checks under and over the entire cart, the jumps in the water to search if he had fallen in. Laurel splashes and searches the water. She lifts up heavy rocks and uses her feat to search the bottom of the creek. Anything and everything that it’s possible he could’ve been. Even places impossible.

Breathlessly, she emerges from the creek, muddy and covered in a wax film. She heaves a few times and then throws up… “More water,” she says as she spits. She calms her breathing down and then begins to cry. “No… NO!”
“Daniel, where did you go…. You know you can’t run off from me…. You’re my brother.”
She shakes off as much water as she can, and hops back on her bike that carries her cart. “Mother’s going to KILL me…” She looks across the patch of grass between the creek and the apartment complex. She sees a little boy about her age. She looks in his arms studying him up and down.

The boy looks back at her frantically, and runs off. Just before he turns the corner she sees something in his arms… “DANNY!” She hops up and chases him on her cart. She turns the corner sharply, flowers fall out of her basket and onto the cold grey pavement. Laurel rushes quickly, peddling as fast as she can, but the boy is too far. “He’s so fast….” she whimpers. She stops at a halt, breathless. Tears well up in her eyes and her face turns a shade of crimson red.

“You know what,” she breathes.. “It's all going to be fine” she says as a wicked smile spreads across her face like margarine on toast.

Friday, March 3, 2017

#4 Laurel and Daniel

It's about 6 o'clock in the morning, Laurel's sound asleep with Danny by her side. A rolling fog fills her open window, casting her room into oblivion. The musky fog wakes her up with no regard.

"Huh?" she says. Laurel wakes and goes to find the light. "W-why is it so foggy in here..?" She glances at the open window. The soft rumble of a train passes by. She pauses for a moment, turning on her fan, and breathes in the black stench of the air. Suddenly she bursts into tears onto the floor... She feels Danny watching. "Shut up!... You know I miss her too.." She glances under her bed. She crawls to the side of her daybed where there's something underneath the bottom. She reaches urgently grasping a laminated piece of something. A photo. He sobs break. "Us," she whispers. She looks at Danny. "Did you know this was here..?" She chuckles.. "Oh you.. So you mock my blindness, well let me tell you mister!" She stands proudly, pretending to be some sort of general. "I am Captain Jack, captain of this his ship and you will not disrespect me!" She laughs.. slowly fading into sobs again. "Yeah.. you always did Captain Jack better.."

She walks to the wall of photos, finds a tack and places the photo on the wall. She glances at the photo of her family. A mother, only around twenty-two. She holds two infants in her hands, and on the side of the photo an etching of two names. "Laurel and Daniel," she says.  She smiles softly. "Hey thats us!" She turns around and points at the photo facing Danny. "Daniel, Daniel, Daniel," She excitedly sings as she hops over to the bed, plopping herself down next to him. She picks him up holding him to her heart. "You had such a nerdy name..."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


She slams the door. Reluctantly she turns back, looking at the solid wood frame. " I should have been more polite."
She turns and looks back at Danny. "Danny! I'm home!"
She shoves the jugs into a corner and moves along with her day. She picks up a tray of fresh lily plants. "Maybe I suck at human interaction." She trims a few lilies and places them in a pile. She slowly places the heavy tray back on her windowsill and picks up another of violet carnations and rare blue marigolds.
"Maybe if I make him something, it'll make up for my attitude."
She works carefully and quickly using ribbons and bows and lots of glitter. She finally screams, "Done!" in her usual high-pitched excited scream. She rushes out of her studio and into the foyer. She grabs her coat and flies into the cold barren hallway.
She pauses for a moment. She thinks to herself, "Okay. Stay calm. You can do this."

She walks cautiously through the hallway to the elevator. She presses the number five button and waits.

She walks out of the elevator and into the hallway right in front of door 504. She gulps. "Okay, let's get on with this" She goes to knock, bus as soon as her fist connects with the door it flies wide open. Laurel falls onto his carpeted floor.
"Oh no! Are you alright?", he exclaims.

"Oof, yeah I think I'm alright." She gets up and brushes herself off. She looks in her hands. A crumpled flower bouquet went to waste. "Aw man!", she sighs.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?"
Laurel blushes, embarrassed over the ruined bouquet. "I-it's nothing mister. Sorry for bothering you." She turns to leave, but he grabs her shoulder turning her around, a full 180.

"Why this, is this for me?" Laurel looks down. "Well, I wanted to apologize for my attitude earlier...", she trails off. Howard smiles, delighted. "Why, thank you!" He takes the bouquet happily and smells it. "It smells lovely, where did you find these?"

Laurel looks up smiling, "I grow them, just like my mother taught me. I make arr.. arrangie..." , she sighs frustratedly.
"Arrangements?", he answers.
"Yeah, arrangements."
"Well.. Where is she? Your mother, that is." He asks while putting the bouquet on the desk in the foyer.
Laurel hesitates, trying to fight back tears.
"She's gone"

Monday, October 10, 2016

She tosses and turns restlessly. Squeezing Danny tightly she murmurs, "Maura, come back.... Maura." And suddenly as the morning light seeps in she stops. Her alarm rings softly, like a sweet lullaby. She wakes slowly, wiping the shed tears from her eyes. Another nightmare, another day. She stands up from her frilly daybed and dresses just like Maura taught her. "Now your turn Danny," she shrieks excitedly. She dresses Danny and sits him up on his favorite chair. It's blue.

The mail flap slams shut, and a sheet of paper lands harshly on the floor. "Ellen," Laurel grumbles "...again?" She looks at the notice.

NOTICE: Laura Ilsteson has been reported absent for the last twenty school days. A mandatory 180 days are required to be promoted to the next grade. Laura will be disqualified for school activities, programs, and awards if she is not present TOMORROW, October 11, 2016. This notice MUST be signed and returned the of her re-entry. 

Laurel angrily crumples the sheet of paper and throws it in the waste bin. "Stupid school, stupid Ellen." She plops down next to Danny and sighs. "Danny, Maura wouldn't make her take me. Would she?" Danny doesn't say anything. Laurel looks at the corner. Birthday cards are stacked in a pile. Some are from family members, some friends. Laurel sighs again. "Time to get to work."

There's a loud knock at the door.

She slowly shuffles to the door, pulls up her stool, and looks in the peephole. 
"Who is it..?" A tall man is standing there. "News reporter, ma'am! I'd like to speak with ya." Laurel hops down and slowly opens the door. The man stands baffled. "Uh little lady, is your mother home?" 

She tears up and answers, "No."

The tall man frowns, "Aww it's okay sweetheart. Are you here all alone?" "No," she answers softly sniffling. "Danny's here with me." She opens the door a little more, revealing a fluffy blue rabbit in patched up khakis. He smiles softly, then sighs. "Does an adult live here?" Hesitantly, she answers " M-my step-aunt."

There's a gunshot.

Laurel screams and covers her ears. She falls off her stool and onto her hardwood floor. The man drops his briefcase and all of his papers fly out onto the floor.

“If you are a resident. Don’t move.  If you are a reporter, come out into the hall. Don’t,” another belch echoed in the hallway, “make me cock this trigger another time! 

The man scrambles to pick up his supplies and runs out into the hallway. Laurel sits there hands clamped hard over her ears. Through her tears, she screams, "Auntie Ellen!" 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Laurel screams, " Done!" as she trims the last few leaves from her flowering bonsai tree. She looks at all her flowers laid in front of her. White roses, sweet-smelling baby's breath, and hydrangeas all beautifully picked and pruned. She arranges them into a beautiful bouquet. "Danny, what do you think about this?" she turns around grinning. No answer. "Awww thanks, Danny." He slowly sulks back into the couch behind him. Laurel happily skips over to the large refrigerator where she keeps her fresh cut flowers. Tiredly, she looks over at her wall-length window and sees the sun's fading light. She yawns and turns to pick up Danny, and shuffles to her daybed. She dives onto her pink twin-sized bed. "Danny, do you ever think Maura's coming back?" Danny doesn't respond. "Yeah me too." She slowly fades into a peaceful slumber