#ShortShortStories

a cure for the common block

A Day in the Life

While the other children around him dashed to their lockers stuffing books and folders into their backpacks, chattering and gossiping on the way to their buses, Tony took his time with such decisions. He wondered whether or not he really needed his two-and-a-half pound biology textbook for his homework assignment, and if he needed the full two days of use from his equally heavy math textbook. These were important questions because he walked a straight road home everyday rather than take a circuitous route full of noisy kids, most of whom he didn’t really know. Assured of his selections he made his way home making awkwardly short and long steps to avoid cracks in the sidewalk, and kicking the occasional pebble or rock, seeing how far he could keep it going before it darted off into the street, but mostly just daydreaming about things he wished would happen: in school, after school, at school dances, during breaks from school. As he arrived home for the first time he realized how many of his thoughts revolved around school, but this minor epiphany vanished when he lifted the doormat and saw a missing key, his eyes slowly rolling up to notice the door slightly ajar.

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Some of My Best Friends Are…

It was suggested as just a friendly outing, but the midnight picnic Birdie planned felt romantic which didn’t upset Ophelia, somewhat surprisingly. They sat on a blanket in Birdie’s backyard stargazing and chatting as they nibbled on the delicious spread Ophelia had provided, growing closer and more relaxed as the night wore on. A few hours before dawn they were laid on their backs with their fingers intertwined, neither remembered when it happened their fingers just found each other and laced together, but the lovely moment was interrupted by the clatter of trash cans knocked over by a creature that slipped while spying on them. The short round alien wasn’t afraid of them, it could sense the intentions of other beings and it found them because it could sense not only that they wouldn’t harm it, but their nature would drive them to help the abandoned outsider.

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I Want to Be Alone

Dex had always run hotter than other people and it always gave him a laugh when a doctor went into a panic upon examining him for the first time. He felt it was for a reason and ignored education, a career, even love in pursuit of his purpose imagining that one day he would hit critical mass, his heat bursting into a full superpower he could use to help people, help the world. He came up with superhero names and drew pictures as a child, created costumes as he got older, and justified his lack of intimate connections as protection for when he’d have to protect a secret identity. Dex was meant to help people but he never did, he wasted his life chasing a dream rather than opening a science textbook and discovering the power his mind had for understanding and unraveling complex theorems that could have advanced technologies for turning barren wastelands into nutrient-rich soil by decades.

#ShortShortStories #IWantToBeAlone

One for the Book

Ransom let his guitarist step into the light for his solo and looked out into the audience, his eyes landing upon a man in a blue suit standing in the balcony next to the spotlight booth smiling and clapping with everyone else, sending a chill down Ransom’s spine. He sensed it would happen soon, his third album just went platinum and everyone was paying attention to him; after the show security guards told him of a man– he interrupted and instructed them to let the man backstage. As he waited he remembered the day he first saw him, taking a break from garage practice pleading in his bathroom mirror for one small break offering anything to anyone, and upon exit bumping into the blue-suited man who told him through his Cheshire smile that he had “a good feeling” about him before walking off. The building tension was agonizing until it was broken by a groupie’s piercing scream, Ransom bolted out of his room pushing through the huddling masses, a thousand thoughts scrambling his brain until everything froze as he looked through the doorway and saw his guitarist, dead on the floor of his dressing room. His head quickly snapped up and down the hall, glimpsing a figure in blue before it vanished.

#ShortShortStories #OneForTheBook

By The Way… You’re Fired

Ava knew she only had one chance to locate the sniper and take him out, but it required risking her own life. She barely passed her entrance exams and finished in the middle of her class, but Ava Cooper never performed well in hypothetical scenarios even when on the field she knew there was no real threat; her body was so finely-tuned that adrenaline only flowed when necessary, but when it flowed it gave her super-human performance levels that quickly made her one of the governments most valuable assets. Under the cover of night she placed a cigarette between her lips and within two seconds of lighting it, before the cherry could glow from her deep drag, a bullet sped toward her head shattering the mirror reflecting her image and giving her enough time to rise from her blind, pinpoint the shooter, and land one square between his eyes.

#ShortShortStories #ByTheWayYoureFired

The Purple Testament

The impeccably dressed man strolled into the bank and assured everyone that he was there to rob it, but only the bank and not a single one of the customers. Wren lacked the capacity to care about the consequences of his actions, but while others like him found joy in inflicting pain due to a dearth of empathy, Wren had an intense sense of empathy which steered him down a radically different path. He had an ulterior motive for the bank heist, he wanted to send a message and for their cooperation the patrons making deposits and withdrawals that day would be rewarded, many of whom would join Wren’s cause after he shared his message with them.

#ShortShortStories #ThePurpleTestament

A Penny for Your Thoughts

While Dorian lead the verbal interrogation Bruce was at his keyboard in another room combing through Quire’s data, attempting to bypass his security protocols. Quire was caught impersonating a citizen while voting, a crime for techflesh – people who had upgraded their minds without authorization, a privilege affordable only to the elite. Years after he was released from incarceration, he was performing maintenance on a wonky binary search tree when he found the problem was caused by a misplaced file; moving the file and restoring its data he discovered all of the family and friends he hid from the interrogators, loved ones who thought they would never see him after his arrest, loved ones he could return to safely under the new government which had released him and restored his full rights as a citizen.

#ShortShortStories #APennyForYourThoughts

Night of the Meek

Rather than the sense of pride he expected from his act of retribution, Rian felt intense pain in his knuckles after his fist made contact with Derek’s face. Also unexpected were the flurry of blows to his head and stomach as Derek jumped back to his feet, checking if Rian had managed to cause a nose bleed – he hadn’t. The two stood still for a minute breathing hard and glaring at each other, waiting for the other to make the next move or walk away. Derek did neither, instead apologizing to Rian for the names he had called him and his girlfriend, and apologizing for the punches admitting that he deserved to get hit before finally raising his arms in a gesture inviting one last free strike. Rian declined, requesting instead for Derek to pay for the blouse he tore.

#ShortShortStories #NightOfTheMeek

Two

Werner strummed his guitar playing a little ditty while watching his toddler roll around on the floor giggling, occasionally stopping to smat his hands together; he didn’t yet have the coordination to properly clap. The sunlight washed through the windows, warming them just enough on the cool autumn day. It was a day where nothing could go wrong, but Werner knew that something always goes wrong if given enough time, for him, or for Patrick, or Lauren, or their family and friends. As he played for his son he hoped that whatever came they would weather the storm and forge ahead all together, stronger. When tragedy hit less than a year later the Porters did make it through, but not all together.

#ShortShortStories #Two

Young Man’s Fancy

Seven words, two sentences, Bianca knew the story she was attempting to tell but it didn’t make any sense to Ross, and she knew that too. They had only just met and things were already going downhill at a record pace, even for Bianca; what she didn’t know was that Ross didn’t care, the same thing had happened to him a dozen times, when your thoughts are racing through a long, complicated story and your mouth just blurts out a random chunk of words. Random chance brought them together: a bump, a spill, an apology, and then a spark of conversation; he pushed forward and things were going oh so well until he locked eyes with a young woman across the bar for just a moment, but that moment lingered in his mind until night’s end. He gritted his teeth, mentally kicking himself for coming back to the same bar while Bianca watched in horror as the young woman and several other officers lead him away in handcuffs, it was a night none of them would forget.

#ShortShortStories #YoungMansFancy

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