Category Archives: Zoey and Xander

Stories about a philosophical hipster couple in love.

Search for the Doctor

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They walked and walked and walked; his feet were killing him, but he didn’t dare say a word since this trek across London was his idea. But she loved him and didn’t complain at all. They couldn’t find the store he was hoping to find, a huge comic shop that promised him all the Doctor Who stuff that his home in the U.S. failed to provide. She hadn’t even seen an episode, but joined him with a willingness that had to be love.

The store wasn’t where his map promised. They’d walked the block three times. “I’m not sure it’s here anymore, hun,” she said to him with a genuine look of discouragement. She knew how much he hoped to buy some stuff from the show. A few toys, a graphic novel or two, some DVDs, anything, really. The show had been his favorite for years and he expected London to be plastered with images from the show. His disappointment would completely dissipate if only they could find this store.

“We should have followed that person with the bag from the store,” she said.DSCN0392

“How would that have worked? They obviously were coming from it!” The person’s bag only teased him, taunted him, since it meant they were so close.

“But we could have asked them where it was.” She was right, of course. He hadn’t the nerve to ask the stranger for the location. And the possibility was slipping away from him  the later it got; they had tickets to a show that started in just a few hours, and they needed to get to their hotel all the way on the other side of the city, shower, and then get to the show. Frustration mounted as he looked left, right, even up in the insane hope of finding the store.

A pimply teenager walked by in a Green Lantern shirt.

“I have an idea,” he said to her. He followed the teen, and she wondered what his plan was. It didn’t click at first, but at a red light she realized what he was doing.

“Are we following this guy just because his shirt is a superhero shirt?” she whispered.

“Nooo…” he said as he nodded yes.

She laughed at this idea, but shrugged at the possibility that it just may work. The kid crossed the street, made a left and then turned right and there it was. The store.

“YES!” they both said, him out of excitement and her out of sheer happiness that the quest was over. He entered, followed sign after sign and then saw it loom from floor to ceiling. Everything Doctor Who.

“I’ll be in the graphic novel section for the next hour,” she said as she turned to leave him, both smiling.

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You Bowl Me Over

Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 8.36.51 AM“What’s that?”
He looked at the box of random items he’d yard saled that morning. Sticking out at the top was a rounded white end.
“It’s a bowling pin.”
“What’s it for?”
He put it on the coffee table in front of her.
“It’s a conversation piece.”
She gave him that look. You know, that look.
“What, you don’t like it?”
He flopped onto the couch next to her and pushed up against her side.
“I just don’t see how it could start conversations. It better have cost a quarter.”
“What can I say, you bowl me over.”
She smiled. “You can pin me any day.”
“We could have a ball.”
“You never know, you could strike out.”
“Wrong sport.”
“Shut up…how about…strike…strike…”
“You’re a real strike?”
“Don’t be such a turkey.”
“Hun…a turkey is a good thing in bowling.”
“How about you move on over to my lane?”
“Hun…”
“Nice bowling shoes, wanna fuck?”
“HUN…”
“Come on, don’t SPARE my feelings!”
“Oh my God…”
“Let’s never split!”
“PLEASE STOP!”
“You bowl me over.”
“You stole that one! It was mine! I opened with it.”
She kicked the table and the pin wobbled a bit, but righted itself.
“Darn,” she said.
“See…like I said…conversation starter.”

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Speaking & Spelling

She heard a robotic voice, somehow reminiscent of the 1980s, echoing up the stairs, possibly from the living room. She poked her head out of the sewing room to listen.
I-L-O
“What the heck is that? What are you doing down there?” she yelled down to him.
V-E
“Seriously! What the heck is that voice? It sounds like a robot.”
She waited for an answer, but he stayed silent. It was just her and the strange robot.
Y
She had enough and dropped the fabric she was sewing onto the chair. “That’s it, I’m coming down there!” She was smiling now.
O
“If that’s what I think it is you’re in big trouble, mister!”
U
She jumped to skip the last few steps and slid a little on the hardwood floor because of her socks. As she grabbed the bannister and slid around it she had a view of the love seat across the room where he was sitting with a giant, sly grin on his face and a red machine of some sort on his lap.
“You didn’t!” she yelled as she ran across and jumped onto the love seat and hugged him.
“Like it? I found it at a yard sale down the street while you were sewing. Still works!”
She went to hug him again but instead, as he prepared for the love, she snatched the machine from his hands.
“I love Speak & Spell! I had this as a kid! I’m playing.”
First she ran her fingers across the multi-colored keyboard, then across the words Texas Instruments. She giggled at the little icon that included the state of Texas in the corner. Her finger landed on the Go button and it spoke in a monotone voice. “Spell-through.
“How do you know which through it is?” he asked her.
“Hell if I know. This thing is thirty years old! I’m just guessing!”
She pushed the buttons and the robot spoke the letters as she hit them.
T-H-R-O-U-G-H- that is correct. Now spell, love.”
She smiled and started again.

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Christmas Balls

“Look at the size of those balls.” She stopped and looked at me like I was crazy as I pointed down toward the bottom floor of the mall where they were unpacking the Christmas ornaments. “What? Christmas balls?”

She gave me a dubious look because she knew why I chose that particular diction to express my thoughts.

“Wow, those are huge,” she remarked.

I debated commenting, but refrained, like a good boyfriend. “Can you imagine unpacking stuff like that every year? I don’t even like pulling out the five boxes of decorations I have, and they’re normal sized. That’s insane.”

We both rested our arms on the railing so that we could take in the largeness of the event taking place down there. From afar they looked normal, but we knew the sheer size of the ornaments alone was intense. The tree in King of Prussia Mall puts the one in Rockefeller Center to shame. The ornaments are easily twice the size of my head.

“I’ve never seen the mall decorations until they’re actually finished decorating…this is intense,” she said to me. “They’re huge.”

“I know, right?” I said with an evil grin on my face. She shoved me and continued on her way, as I lingered behind for another moment to snap a shot.

Cobblestone Streets

The couple walked hand-in-hand through Philadelphia and stopped as Front Street brought them to cobblestone. They looked around and sat on a bench.

“My feet hurt. This is just the break I need.”

A loud sound started coming from around the corner, the sound of a car driving quite quickly on a flat tire. It reverberated off the giant stone statues that made up the monument across the street.

“Sounds like a flat,” he told her knowingly.

“You don’t come to the city enough. It’s just the cobblestone.” He looked at the street and noticed for the first time that it was made of bricks rather than asphalt.

“Oh that’s what you’re always complaining about walking on when you leave work!”

She nodded and snuggled up to him as a cold wind came across Columbus Boulevard from the river.

“But they’re all uneven and messed up. They must be terrible to walk on. I can understand why you’re always breaking shoes.”

“And skinning my knees when I trip.”

“Right.”

The sound of horse hooves came from around the same corner. He watched as the light turned green and a small stream of cars vibrated across the old red bricks. Once the cars were gone the clopping of the horses took control of the environment once again.

The horse and cart rolled by and made less noise against the bumpy road than the cars made only a moment ago.

He watched a guy on his bicycle coming through the park. The biker ignored the red traffic light and flew into the path of an oncoming car that clearly had the right of way. He stopped the bike and started yelling profanities.

“You can tell the cobblestone streets were made for carriages and not cars. I wonder what they’re like for bikes,” he said to her.

“Smart bikers stay away from cobblestone. But sometimes you just can’t avoid it.”

The biker got back onto his bicycle and started on his way only to hit a huge cobblestone brick that was a few inches higher than the rest. The bike tire stopped, throwing the angry biker over the handlebars. He skidded to a halt and sat up, a bit bewildered.

“Try not to laugh,” she said to her boyfriend as he stifled a giggle.

My First Story Published in a Magazine!

Hey all! For those of you who follow me here, I wanted to let everyone know my first short story EVER to be published in a magazine is available online today! The story, originally published here on my blog (but since taken down for publishing) is called I Heart Polka (And I’m Not Talking About the Dots). Click here to purchase the Instigatorzine issue. Here’s the cover:

Scroll to the bottom of the page to order it. They even have it for Kindle!

And be sure to check out the cool Melancholy Robot stories I’ve been doing along with many talented artists!

As You Wish

Xander shifted his pillow a little so his head was more comfortable as he read when Zoey gasped at something on her laptop. He looked over at her.

“What’s up?”

“Peter Falk died. I loved him in Princess Bride.”

“Peter Falk died? Inconceivable.”

“Nice,” she said. “Seriously though, he was amazing in that movie.”

“He was also Columbo. And he was in Vibes with Jeff Goldblum and Cindi Lauper. But yeah, I’ll always remember him as the grandfather. I love that movie.”

“It’s a classic.”

“Hello, my name is Indigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

“Stop saying that!”

Xander dropped his book and stabbed her in the shoulder with an invisible sword.

“Promise me money! Promise me wealth!” he yelled as he jumped up and down on the bed pretending to stab her as she pretended to die.

He dropped down and flopped back onto his side of the bed.

“Remember when we had those ROUSs in the old apartment?” she asked.

“Rodents of unusual size? I don’t think they exist.” He paused to catch his breath a little. “And of course I remember those rats. Not as big as in the movie, but scary nonetheless.”

She read a bit of the bio and sighed.

He knew he had to cheer her up. “Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?”

She smiled. “If there are we’ll all be dead!”

“Stop that rhyming now, I mean it!”

“Anybody want a peanut?”

“I love that part when Peter Falk says something about television being called books in his day. Classic. And when he skips the final kiss? Priceless.”

“I just loved his role. I didn’t grow up with a grandfather…but when I was a kid I liked to pretend mine was just like him.”

He looked over at her and smiled. “Love you, Zo.” Then he started tickling her until she couldn’t breathe.

Once she could speak again she playfully frowned at him. “Okay, okay, you’re bothering me. Go to bed. I’ll likely kill you in the morning.”

He kissed her goodnight. “As you wish.”