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Des and Tony

Dusk settled on the Northern California horizon. It was the first day of August. Mercury was no longer in retrograde, and it was Desdemona’s birthday. It had been a good day too. Her coworkers had brought cupcakes into work, all her writer pals had made sure to wish her a happy birthday, and she had a special dinner planned with family and friends in a couple of hours. There was only one thing that could have made it perfect.


Des opened the sliding door leading to the porch of her house. She took in a long breath. The summer had been hot, disgusting with the humidity, but a lone breeze was making it a bit cooler for her birthday. She was thankful for it.


Something streaked through the sky, and Des watched it. A shooting star? she thought. She watched as it changed trajectory. She didn’t have to be an astrology student to know shooting stars didn’t do that. It came closer, slowing as it approached. She saw it wasn’t what she thought it was. It was the shape of a man, clad in red and gold armor. It was the invincible Iron Man!


“Hello, Desdemona,” Iron Man said, hovering in the air just outside Des’s porch.


“Iron Man!” Des squealed. “What are you doing here?!”


“I stopped by to say happy birthday. Did you really think I’d forget about you?”


Iron Man descended onto the porch with the deftness of a butterfly landing on a sunflower. The suit of armor receded, the nanobots that made up Iron Man’s suit flowing like liquid into their casing locating on Tony Stark’s chest. “It might be better if I do it face to face.”


“Can I get you anything?” Des asked out of habit.


“On your birthday?” Tony asked with a laugh.


Des giggled and looked away. She could feel the blush coming on. She had always been a gracious hostess out of habit. She couldn’t help herself. Tony found it endearing, though. He smiled as a small rocket fell from the sky, slowed, and hovered between them. It opened up, and the steam form the dry ice floated out. There were two flutes of champagne waiting for them. Tony took one in each hand, giving the one in his left to Des. “Shall we toast to your birthday?”


“OK,” Des said with another titter. She raised her glass and waited for Tony to toast. He looked like he was going to make a long speech. He straightened his posture, took in a breath, held it for a moment, and let it back out, relaxing his body.


“Happy birthday.”


The glasses clanged together, and they sipped from the flutes. The bubbles tickled Des’s nose, and she giggled again. She hated that she couldn’t do much of anything but giggle, but it was Tony friggin’ Stark, and he was drinking champagne on her porch on her birthday. He had taken a break from Avenging just to see her on her special day!


“Thank you, Tony,” Des said. “I mean… I always wanted to tell you that I…”


“Hold that thought,” Tony said, putting his finger to his ear, listening to what was on the other end. He poured the rest of the champagne down his throat and put the glass in the hovering rocket. “I hate to chew and screw, but I need to jet. Hulk swallowed and infinity stone, and Thor has been chasing him all day. We need to get it the moment he passes it.”


“Oh. I understand. Avengers can’t take breaks, I guess. Doesn’t matter whose birthday it is.”


Tony sighed. He pushed the hovering champagne cart aside and kissed her, a quick peck. “Happy birthday, Des.” The nanobots returned, and Iron Man was reformed. “Don’t tell Pepper I was here.” With a quick burst from his boots, he was off into the sky, leaving a trail in the clouds as his disappeared.


Des stood and watched as it faded. It had been her best birthday ever.



The End

Author Interview with Sara Flower Kjeldsen (@Sara_Flower) by Daniel Aegain (@Daniel_Aegan)

Check out my interview with Sara Flower Kjeldsen!

A Million And One Magazine

I came across Sara Flower Kjeldsen through a mutual friend some time ago. I picked up her book The Broken and the Foolish, and I was blown away by it. Her newest book, Sally, is out, and she agreed to do an interview to talk about writing, her books, and doing it all independently.


I’ll start with a basic question: What made you get into writing and how did you start?

I’ve been writing books since I was 6 years old and “publishing” them in class – my teacher actually asked me to slow down one time. Creating stories is my lifeblood. I became more serious about writing in my mid-20’s where I started to create novels. Interesting stories and films made me want to create my own. Later on, I wanted to be able to capture the emotional brutality – and beauty – of being human.

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Chickie and the Candy House by Daniel Aegan (@Daniel_Aegan)

Check out my latest short story on A Million and One Magazine!

A Million And One Magazine

There are horrible things in the dark places of the world; disgusting, vile, ugly things. Nobody knew this better than Chickie Davis, who had the unfortunate task of finding these dark places and ridding them of their problems, and he did it well. This task was given to him by The ACME Extermination Company.

The white and blue van moved slowly down the shady dirt road, bumping over the occasional tree root. Chickie drove carefully, not wanting to scratch or dent the company vehicle with which he had been entrusted. He had a clean driving record over the course of the last seven years, and he wanted to keep it that way. He had passed the yellow dot on the truck’s GPS five minutes ago, but the order displayed on the mobile computer said the customer’s house was at the end of the dirt road. What it neglected to say…

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