From the Vault: Adele and John


From the Vault is a new series where I share my stories I've written. As originally conceived, many of them are incomplete. They range in size from flash fiction to novellas. I owe it to them to see the light of day rather than sitting in a dusty notebook or on my Google Drive. Enjoy.


Adele awoke drenched in sweat. The remnants of the nightmare faded fast. Her heart thumped in her ears.

            “John,” she called out. Nothing. She heard the distant sound of a lawn mower. Everything clicked into place. Saturday. John. The lawn mower.

            She sat up. The pillow, the bedsheets, her tank top stained in sweat. A flicker of a thought fluttered in her mind but the overwhelming desire to shower pushed it away.

            The cool water on her warm body was calming. As she added coconut scented shampoo to her hair, she mulled over the day. When she finished, she decided coffee first then help John with the backyard. Rake the leaves.

            She waited for the coffee pot to percolate as she watched John from the patio doors. He was sweaty. Clearly he had been mowing for some time. She waved to get his attention.

            He paused, noticeably pulling the earbuds from his ears. She held up a mug. He mimed OK and motioned to the strip of grass he was on.

            She retreated to the kitchen, poured a cup of coffee, and stirred in the hazelnut creamer. The swirling colors, the undulating hole in the middle of where she stirred. The thought bubbled up.

            She left the undrunk coffee, sprinted up the stairs, burst into her room, and flung open the closet door. She searched for the box from Summerview.

            The hairs on her arm stood up. Her heart dropped. A whoosh of wind. She was awash in blue light.


            John turned off the mower, eager for a fresh cup of coffee. The pulsing beats of techno music blasted in his ears. He reached for the patio door handle. A jolt of static electricity shocked him. The air in the house was hot and thick.

            “Del, did you turn off the a/c?”

            He pulled the earbuds out. The house seemed to hum. The sound of rushing air and a crashing upstairs drew his attention upstairs. Standing outside Del’s room, blue light flickered from underneath the door. The doorknob vibrated.

            He turned the knob only for it to be wrenched from his grasp.

            A beautiful blue swirling, shimmering portal no wider than three meters illuminated the room. The force of the wind it sucked in lifted him off his feet. His mind could barely comprehend it. He slammed against the footboard of the bed.

            Adele tenuously clutched on to the closet door know. Her body lifted clean off the ground. The portal pulled at her.

            It was real, he thought. Everything she said was real.

            “Give me your hand,” he shouted. He reached out to her. She shook her head. He tried to move closer only to find each attempt slow going and exhausting because of the force of the wind.

            The closet door bolts rattled under the strain. He locked eyes with her. She looked at him and then the portal. He could see her mind thinking.

            There was so much he wanted to say. When she looked at him again he said,

            “I love you.”

            The corners of her mouth flicked upward in a slight smile.

            She let go. Within seconds, she was pulled in to the portal. It was over.

            She was gone.