Wednesday, August 10, 2011  12:04 PM

“Are you still stressing over this?”

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

“Why? Just draw some crappy cartoon and send it to her six months late like you always do. She’s been pretty okay with that before,” Fin recommended, balancing a pencil on her nose as she spun in my neighbors’ swivel chair.

“Because, I have a job now, and I can send her stuff, on time, with my own money. I’m trying to be a responsible, mature adult, and a loving, considerate friend, you assface.”

I ignored her and completed the last certificate I was writing up. Finished, I turned back to her, checking that none of my coworkers were coming back from lunch early.

“Why are you even here? I really doubt my coworkers are going to be as understanding of me talking to myself as Mom and Matt are. And put that down!” I demanded as she picked up a neighbors’ snow globe.

“Worry wart. I’m just here to make sure you actually do something this year instead of fretting about it for months. Besides, it’s not like I’m doing anything right now. You abandoned me with some quasi-pedophile of a ghost to go write about the Deathly Hussy weeks ago.”

Her whining was cut short when a rather large dagger imbedded itself in a chair, directly between her legs. My boss was going to pitch a fit about that.

“Quiet you, lest I reap your toxic spirit early.”

Sachielle slipped behind me, silent, sleek, and scary as fuck.

“Ignore the lower species,” she sneered at Fin. “It just learned our language and has yet to understand the intricacies of civilized conversation.”

“Shove it, Dithantos.”

“Oh, I have such a pretty little Hell planned out for you when the time comes. I just can’t wait.”

“Ladies, ladies! You’re both badass. Get to the part where you’re helping me think of a birthday gifts, please. And Fin, no more sass talk or you’re going back in the full body restraints.”

What?” she screeched. “She threw a knife at me!” Fin argued, pointing incredulously at the death goddess standing beside me.

“Yes, and she didn’t aim to hit you, which was very polite of her, considering what a brat you’re being.”

“You just love her more than me,” she accused.

“Yes. Yes I do. And I’m only saying this one more time: full body restrains. And the gag,” I added as an afterthought.

She backed down, mumbling ‘hate the full body restrains’ while trying to pull the dagger out of the chair. That sucker was in their good. I wondered how much they were going to take out of my paycheck to replace it.

“So,” I huffed, turning to Sachielle. “What’s up? I assume this isn’t just a social visit.”

“Just offering suggestions. We like Emma, too, you know. She’s been a positive force in getting your lazy ass to write.”

“Thanks,” I groused.

“Oh, we love you too. Why else do you think we haven’t killed you yet?”

“Not for a lack of trying,” Fin chimed in behind us.


That shut her up.

“What about those projects you were working on for her last year?” Sachielle reminded me. “Some of them were looking pretty good.”

“Stalled,” I admitted, holding my head in my hands. “I know what I want to do with them all, but the words just aren’t coming.”

“Huh. Well, what about another therapy session for Nevermore? She liked the first one, if I recall correctly. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind you doing another one either. I’m happy you’re writing Chronicles again, and the newest draft is definitely your best yet, but I’m five in the current story line, and in the sessions, you write me older. I rather like being old and tall enough to reach the top shelves, you know?”

“Nyyyyungh,” I groaned, dropping my head to the desk. “I lost the journal with all my therapy session drafts.” I didn’t have to look up to know they were both glaring at me.

“Well,” Sachielle began, her voice tight with irritation, “I guess the only option left is to call the Vatican and see about having her canonized. Sainthood is probably the least Emma deserves, given that she’s willingly put up with you for, what, four years now?”

“I’ll get on that during my lunch break. How much do long distance calls to Rome cost?”


“Whyyyyy am I having so much trouble with this?” I whined hours later in my room.

“Because she’s your friend and you have few enough that you need to keep her,” Fin explained from where she’d sprawled on my bed.

“Right. Get off my bed; you’re skanking up my sheets.”

“Why don’t you write her a poem?” Sachielle was sitting on the roof outside my window, feeding the birds nesting in the eaves. “You did that all the time as a kid.”

“Only you would remember that,” I teased. “Geez, I think the last time I did that, I was ten or something.”

Fin spoke up again. “Then what about your parodies? You were getting kind of good at those when you were writing for the school paper.”


“Look, even if it sucks, Emma will probably get a kick out of it. I mean, she actually likes your Nevermore draft,” Fin rationalized, rearranging my wall décor. “If you’re worried about it, you can tell her you meant for it to suck ironically.

“I mean, she’s your Canadian wife. She’s obligated to like whatever stupid shit you give her.”

I flipped her off and made a note to do something horrible to her in a later chapter. But my brain was sudden shifting gears. Something in the conversation was trying to connect, trying to form the answer to my gift dilemma, and like the DMS software I used at work, my brain was taking forever to boot up and process the data. And then, I had it.


How Cool Is Emma? Let Me Count The Ways.

Emma is so cool, she can hail a cab with her laser eyes.

Emma is so cool, she beat Chuck Norris at Thumb War.

Emma is so cool, Starbucks renamed their chai after her.

Emma is so cool, the polar bears are all moving in with her.

Emma is so cool, she single-handedly fixed global warming.

Emma is so cool, Aladdin dumped Jasmin for her.

Emma is so cool, so did Rahjah.

Emma is so cool, Beast gave her the library, the mirror, and the castle.

Emma is so cool, she’ll make a man out of you.

Emma is so cool, she wears a fez.

Emma is so cool, Libba Bray is writing her biography.

Emma is so cool, Alan Rickman wants to adopt her.

Emma is so cool, she’s being studied in relation to the antimatter belt circling Earth.

Emma is so cool, she blinded me with library silence.

Emma is so cool, Canadian hockey leagues consult with her to spelling and grammar edit their merchandise (or at least they should).

Emma is so cool, Scott Pilgrim dumped Ramona for her (don’t worry, she and Aladdin are still going strong).

Emma is so cool, when she dies, that bunker in France is going to place her next to the kilogram as an indisputable value of awesome.


About Morgan Maria D'Isidoro

Morgan Maria D'Isidoro has lived in Baltimore, MD for most of her life, saving a handful of failed escape attempts. Given the murder rates, she'll probably die here too. Morgan is a writer of speculative fiction and poetry, a musician of dubious quality, cat aficionado, art history fangirl, kitchen sorceress, recovering pyromaniac, accomplished liar, and an all around person of questionable employability.
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