Archive for the Things Break Down Category


Posted in Things Break Down on January 23, 2009 by jeereg

Keith’s message glowed on the screen, an image dug out of a Flickr account at the end of a long chase.  It hissed through Cardine’s head, seemed to undulate and grow.  She felt dizzy.

When the knock came, like bones clacking, she almost thought she’d dreamed it.

Through the peephole Steph’s head looked distended, her forehead huge, her eyes too far apart.  There was something else, but Cardine’s mind swam.  She opened the door.

“Steph.  Hey.  What time is it?”  She blinked, squinted.  “You ok?  What’s with your eyes?”

Steph rose, her feet leaving the ground, and the air crackled.


Posted in Things Break Down on November 18, 2008 by jeereg

Sharon woke up.

She flailed against the sheets, kicked them off so they didn’t try to smother her again.  The walls blurred and fuzzed and then settled into the shapes of her room.  Steph sat in a rocking chair by the window, something hidden in her hands.

“What’s going on?” asked Sharon.

“Way, way too much,” Steph breathes.  She doesn’t look at her.  “There’s something coming, Shar.  And something else’s already here.”

“Why are you here?  I haven’t seen you in months, and then you -”

“Things are breaking down, Shar,”  Steph turned, her eyes starry black pools.

Sharon woke up.


Posted in Things Break Down on November 3, 2008 by jeereg

Kelly ran.

She wasn’t far from Chris’s place, but the streets had changed shape, were conspiring against her, and she was getting lost in her own neighbourhood.  She tried calling Chris as she ran, and a preternaturally calm woman told her the number wasn’t in service, and also that Kelly would light the way for the Great Coming.

Ahead of her, a man stood in the middle of the street, glowing softly.  Kelly could smell burning meat.

“Herald,” he wheezed.  Gouts of black escaped from his mouth.  “It’s your time to burn.”

With a shudder, smoke burst from his skin.


Posted in Things Break Down on September 18, 2008 by jeereg

The first time she met Keith, she came this close to killing him.

“I left you a tip,” he told her.  “But you’ve gotta figure it out.”

She’d been covering for Carol, one of those rare serving shifts.  Keith, as a customer, was hell – he kept ordering things and then changing them, sending things back.  He left a folded newspaper, open to the crossword.

She almost threw it out, until she saw all the wrong answers.  Even when she broke the code, it didn’t make sense, but at the end of the night, she found a fifty in her pocket.


Posted in Things Break Down on September 4, 2008 by jeereg

Kelly left Steph’s house, and the trees along the street leaned a little towards her.  The streetlights flickered as she passed, casting shadows in portentous patterns.  She was sick of this bullshit.

The conversation with Steph had been bad enough, the messages from whoever the fuck she was Herald for.  She wondered who else was going to become a mouthpiece.

Her cell rang, the display read “Chris,” and her heart jumped into her throat and then down to her feet.

She picked up. “Hey you.  Tell me something nice.  I’ve had a long night.”



Posted in Things Break Down on August 31, 2008 by jeereg

Kelly left eventually.  Steph couldn’t tell her anything about what had happened, because she couldn’t remember.  Plus, something she’d said must’ve weirded Kelly out.

She got in the shower and let the water soak into every inch of her.  She loosened, melted, liquefied, disappeared down the drain.  She just wanted the day to end.  By the time the hot water ran out, she was feeling better.

Then she looked in the mirror, and someone else stared back at her.  There was something wrong.  The glass began to crack, and the jagged scars became letters.  She read them, and blacked out.


Posted in Things Break Down on July 8, 2008 by jeereg

Chris knew, the first time he saw the commercial, that one day he’d get bored enough to try it. He was a sucker, just one smart enough to know it.

So he texted CHRIS + KELLY, and tried to forget about the $1.50 charge and the ongoing blah blah blah. Worst case, it said they were incompatible and he could continue hating the whole thing.

The response was quick: LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU.

He hadn’t even really finished reading it before he ducked. Something rushed by his head, and whatever was holding it snarled low.

Hah! thought Chris. Who’s the sucker now?