Tweet of the Day: Bad Life Decisions: Mary Robinette Kowal Reads Theodore Beale. Sexily.
They weaved through the throng of last minute Christmas shoppers their hands tightly clasp. Tina talked non-stop, about the weather, holidays parties, and gifts. She listened to every word, hung on every sigh and laugh. The only thing that Michelle wanted tonight was to sit at the at the foot of the tree and swap gifts and kisses with Tina. Just the two of them with not a care in the world, wrapped by the silence of a snowy winter. No hustle of guests, no bustle of children underfoot, just the two of them.
The pair ducked into an antique bookstore. She plucked a photographic album and sat in a comfy chair in the corner. Glossy color pictures adorned every page: deserts, forests, ancient cities, ruins and seaports. All of them bereft of people. All of them free from conflict.
Tina stopped in front of her with an arm full of books, “Done, lets grab a coffee across the street.”
They crossed the street at the light rain showered turned into snow. Inside the ordered two lattes and secured a corner window both.
Tina touched her hand, “Listen, I know I said I was not going to talk about this but I got a message from the adoption agency and–”
She was on the ground, shattered glass everywhere. Somewhere beyond was Tina’s face covered in blood. Her ears rang incessantly.
She reached out, “Tina, Tina, baby, wake up, Tina.”
Everything hurt when she tried to move. A wicked headache spiked at the side of her head. She pulled out a chunk of something bloody. As the ringing subsided, the familiar smell of smoke filled her nose. Alarms blared in the distance.
She crawled toward Tina. She could not tell where Tina’s auburn tresses started and the blood ended.
She pleaded, “Tina. Wake up baby. Please wake up,”
Tina’s eyes fluttered, “I’m okay, just a bit dazed.”
She picked up her wife of the floor. Tina buried her head on Michelle’s shoulder. Across the street the book store burned.
“Oh my god, what’s happening?” asked Tina between sobs.
Michelle knew exactly what happened. The war came home.