Friday, March 20, 2015


Welcome readers! I'm back after an unplanned break due to an intrusion from my "day job." That's the trouble with those pesky things... Occasionally they take over life. 

I'm choosing to do something this week I usually don't do, but I have a good reason, so I hope you'll all forgive me. Usually, I don't start posting a new story until I've finished the one I'm working on. HOWEVER... my gorgeous, wonderful, incredible, and very new husband turned 26 this week (Happy Birthday, Brandon!!) and this new story is a gift for him. You all will simply have to deal with my romanticism. What can I say? I'm in love.

Once this story has finished, I'll return to The Forest Lord and finish it up.

Without further ado... a gift for my greatest gift.



By Tucker McCallahan

This is a work of fiction. All rights reserved. © 2015


He ran as if chased by demons.

I tracked him as he streaked down the sidewalk. His hair absorbed the moonlight and glistened like new fallen snow. Obstacles in his path seemed to melt out of his way as he ran.

I stood transfixed. I wasn’t sure if he was guided by skill or luck, but he was the kind of beautiful that hurt my heart.

He was tiny, maybe five and a half feet tall though I was a bad judge of height being blessed with such an overabundance of it. Everyone seemed short to me. His dirty bare feet barely whispered as they padded over the broken asphalt and concrete. A ragged pair of baggy jeans held up by a piece of leather cord hung off his narrow hips and even at this distance I could easily count his rib bones pushing against his thin, translucent skin as he fled from something I couldn’t see.

For some reason he enchanted me. As a matter of fact, the longer I stared at the running boy, the more he beguiled me.

I should’ve gone home. I could’ve made a pot of hot, sweet Stygian tea and gone out to my small aeroponic garden to tend a few of my experiments. I had work. I could’ve pretended to do it. More likely I’d end up hunched over a set of pages at my desk, glasses slipping down the bridge of my nose as I searched for some esoteric or strange piece of information from before the Rising that might provide answers.

I glanced at the beat-up satchel slung across my body. My insane trek into the abandoned ruins of Old Philly had been a complete waste; I hadn’t found anything I needed. Looking up, I saw the running boy had finally stopped and was bent at the waist trying to catch his breath. Staring at his petite form bathed in starlight, I couldn’t help but think maybe I’d found exactly what I needed.

I made noise as I approached. As I expected, the boy nearly jumped out of his skin when he looked up and saw me. Terror was etched into his face. One second before he launched into another midnight marathon, I spoke to him.

“It’s OK. I’m not going to hurt you.”

I spoke the words first in Chinean, then in Spantino, and finally in Mericano. Suspicion rippled across his sharply triangular face. His eyes were the most vivid, captivating and extraordinary blue. “Are you hurt?” Once again, I repeated my question in all three languages, unsure of which he actually understood.

He frowned, those huge blue eyes flicking over me, taking in my worn satchel, boots, coat, and no doubt the bulge of the guns under it. His head cocked to one side like a bird’s, and I realized after he did it that his ear, just visible under his shock of tangled, shaggy, shoulder-length white hair, was slightly elongated. It swiveled, tilting toward me and then back like a long-distance spying device. I swallowed, my pulse kicking into high gear.

He was either Risen, or Altered.

“I’m a doctor. If you’re hurt I can help you.”

 “Not hurt.” He spoke Mericano but with a soft, twangy accent. I’d bet one of my better magnifying lenses it wasn’t his first language.

I nodded and glanced around quickly to check the surrounding streets. I needed to leave. The first patrol would burn through in a matter of minutes. If I didn’t make it out to the safe distance point, I’d end up a pile of ash, and all my work would be in vain. I glanced back at the boy and found him staring holes through me.

Standing to my full height, I extended a hand to him.

“We have to go.”

When he just continued to stare, I took a deep breath and prayed silently for patience. My eyes darted around until I found what I was looking for, and I pointed at it, albeit a bit dramatically.

“Do you see that? If we don’t go, now, we’ll end up just like that.”

The boy’s amazing blue eyes slid the length of my arm and focused on the pile of soft gray ashes about two feet in diameter and one foot high.

“Where is it you wish to go?” he asked.

“My home. You-” My cheeks heated. I couldn’t believe it. I was fifty-four years old. A medical doctor and researcher. Survivor of the Rising. I hadn’t blushed for any reason whatsoever in longer than I could remember. But the notion of having this half-naked boy in my home sent heat flaring through my face. The idea generated heat throughout most of me, actually, it made me stupid.

He cocked his head again in that birdlike pose. “But you did not get that which you came here seeking.”

My hands went to the butts of my Tec 9 submachine pistols. “How did you…?”

His eyelashes fluttered as he lowered his eyes and bowed his head. His entire body took on a pose of contrition, and when he spoke, it was barely a whisper.

“Your bag is empty.”

I let go of my guns, a slightly hysterical giggle escaping my lips. “Yes. You’re right.” The uneasiness of our time crunch struck me again. I began backing up. “Look, we really have to go.”

He nodded and without another word, we left the ruins of Old Philly behind.


Thanks so much for reading! Comments are, as always, craved and appreciated. 

Be Sure To Check Out The Other Stories:

Follow all your favorites and read the first 100 words on the group’s website: 

Be Well ~ Tux


  1. My Husband,

    no words can say just how much this gift means to me ,,,your everything to me.. my mate, my friend, my love and my husband...I love you more than life itself and more than i could ever say...thank you for the best gift ever...your love..... i love you always...--brans

  2. My Beloved King,

    I was so surprised to see the new story! The first impression? You’re disgustingly in love and it feels almost weird to read it and write a comment because of that feeling of being an intruder ;-).

    The impression after few moments? I am lost! It felt like taking just a small lick over a luscious and delicious body and then being denied to explore more. Tucker, that’s super mean! For now, I have no idea what is going on so commenting is seriously hard. We have there a petite, enchanting boy who seems to be chased and a tall, middle-aged man who is a doctor and a researcher of some kind and who suddenly rediscovered blushing instead of picking up whatever he was originally searching for… And for some reason the doc is taking the boy home.

    Sounds interesting to me so with all my curiosity, I’m going to read another part right now. Especially that I need answers as much as the doc need his about the time before Rising – if it is even the right way to interpret his need of information from before Rising because it could be understood in more than one way, imho.

    Lots of love


    Oh how much I love those descriptions of yours -> His dirty bare feet barely whispered as they padded over the broken asphalt and concrete. Beautiful! Gives me that delightful tingling all over the body when I see something that stimulates my imagination and pleases my aesthetic needs ;-). Thank you!

    1. My Beloved Queen Iza,

      As always you are astute. It's difficult for me to do flash fiction or anything that's so short because I do have such a love for language. I have a wicked bad tendency to overwrite. In my regular work that's not such a bad thing because I can always edit the "fat" away, but with these Flash pieces, I'm usually posting them up with no more than a cursory second glance. So yeah, definitely uncharted territory. But that's what makes a writer grow - experimenting with new things.

      And yes. I am disgustingly in love. *grins* thank you.

      Love to you and yours, Gorgeous One ~