Something for the Weekend: Free Short Story – Twisting the Night Away

 

Available FREE this weekend for the Kindle.

Twisting the Night Away

(Short story – 5,000 words approx.)

If you want to get an ex-girlfriend back, what could be a better way of impressing her than a magic carpet ride through the night to a romantic evening together in some alternate dimension?

[…]

I looked at my hands, they didn’t look that powerful. I had trouble opening a new jam jar with them, let alone creating a world out of nothing.

Morgan took my right hand in his, holding it just below the wrist. ‘Relax,’ he said.

I tried to relax as he manoeuvred my arm around, outlining some weird shape in the cold night air.

I felt something in the air change, as though the air around us had grown thick and heavy, then an instant later the feeling was gone. He jerked my hand back with a short sharp tug and let my arm drop.

‘Ah…’ he said.

The duck quacked.

Up until then there had been only the two of us standing up on the cold damp roof.

Now there was the two of us… and a duck.

The weather may have been suitable for ducks, but the duck itself seemed far from happy. It quacked and stared up at us.

‘That….’ Morgan said. ‘That doesn’t usually happen.’

I was staring at my hand. It had done a lot of things that hand, sometimes some very strange things, but this was the first time it had produced a duck out of thin air. I didn’t know how I expected my hand to look different, just that I was disappointed it didn’t.

Meanwhile, Morgan was walking around the duck with the cautious air of someone half-expecting the waterfowl to explode. He glanced up at me, keeping half an eye on the duck ‘It’s definitely a duck,’ he said.

I raised my eyebrows….

‘Sometimes a duck is not a duck,’ Morgan said with a tone to his voice that suggested his caution about the possibility of the duck exploding was based on some personal experience.

I took a step back. ‘What are we going to do with it?’ I said, watching the duck carefully. ‘Can’t we send it back?’

Morgan looked at me. ‘Back where?’

‘Back where it came from?’

‘Do you know where it came from?’

‘No… I thought….’

Morgan raised a hand, while he stroked his chin with the other. ‘Tony,’ he said in a universe-weary sounding voice. ‘It is not that simple.’

‘Oh….’ I said, knowing it wouldn’t be…. Nothing ever is.

Morgan stepped back from the duck and moved his hand in a gesture that seemed to slip sideways out of this universe and into some other place.

The duck looked at him. ‘Quack?’

‘Bugger…,’ Morgan said. ‘I thought that might be it.’

I pulled my sleeve up. ‘Maybe if I….’ I tried to copy Morgan’s gesture as well as I could. I glanced over at him and noticed he was cowering back away from me with both arms crossed in front of his face.

He warily opened one eye and looked over his protecting arm. ‘Yes,’ he said, letting his arms fall and standing up straighter. ‘Now take hold of the air around the duck and turn it as thought the night is some large sheet or blanket you want to fold into another dimension.’

I nodded, even though I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. Then I felt the night twist.

‘Quack,’ said the duck. The woman didn’t say anything, just stood there staring from me to Morgan and back again as she tried to cover her nudity with a completely inadequate towel.

Morgan sighed. ‘An improvement on the duck, I’ll give you that.’

The woman stared at me, eyes widening. ‘T… Tony?’

Quickly, I tried to recreate the gestures I’d used to somehow bring Suzi here from what looked like her shower.

I felt the night twist again.

‘Quack,’ said the duck.

‘Shit,’ said Morgan.

‘Bollocks,’ I said.

‘What the fu…!’ Suzi stared down at her towel, which was now a nan bread and covering much less of her. She glared at me.

I recognised that glare. I did the thing with the night again, this time as fast as possible. Suzi was a martial arts expert.

The night twisted.

‘Quack,’ said the duck as it waddled over and began nibbling on the nan bread that had fallen to the ground when Suzi vanished.

[…]

[Twisting the Night Away – Free for the weekend – here (UK) or here (US)]

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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