#ShortShortStories

a cure for the common block

Everytime It Rains… You Get Wet

It was the last Thursday of the month, which meant it was Windham’s monthly appointment with his therapist, Dr. Furber. Windham had been concerned about the effectiveness of the therapy from the very first session during which the doctor asked “Does this look happy?/Does this look sad?” not referring to pictures of people, or even inkblots, but regarding situations like interviewing for a job, or setting aside time to be alone and relax. Windham became preoccupied with trying to suss the meaning of these questions which the Doctor seemed to pick up on, asking him curtly “Where are you?!” Over the next few months Windham conformed to the odd language and had many breakthroughs. What he never learned was that Dr. Furber was one of thousands of alien immigrants on planet Earth, one whose business entailed studying humans. Nor could he have guessed that just as easily as human eyes detect light waves, his species could perceive the mood of ingress and the passage of time.

#ShortShortStories #EverytimeItRainsYouGetWet

And So He Goes

Lyle Musgrave had too many problems to make a list or even prioritize which was worst; he was faced with his own mortality, literally. The Reaper explained the mix-up, although obviously vague about what details were mixed up, and bid Lyle adieu grimly promising to see him later. For approximately two weeks Lyle hesitated to go anywhere or do anything; he even tried switching to an all-liquid diet. The two-ish weeks ended one morning when he woke up, stepped out of bed, and immediately tripped and fell face first to the floor, narrowly missing the corner of a desk. His death was predetermined, he couldn’t stop it from happening, and it could have happened right then – LIGHTS OUT. It didn’t. He lived his life happy and without fear from that day until an unstated unit of time later when he was visiting his now-adult grandchild in her apartment, sitting on his old couch, the two enjoying a special sandwich he had made in her honor.

#ShortShortStories #AndSoHeGoes #Uh-Oh

Reaper Madness

To any outside observer, Lyle Musgrave appeared to be seated by himself on his couch, with two appetizing sandwiches before him; from Lyle’s point of view he was eating lunch with a young man. In reality he was discussing the terms of his death with, and consequently learning about the life of, a “Reaper”. He learned that souls do exist, that birth causes the soul to split, that the personification of Death is actually that missing piece of soul, that an ethereal bureaucracy exists so the two pieces can reunite at the moment of death and move on to the afterlife, and finally he learned that this Reaper arrived an unstated unit of time too early.

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Soul Man

The chilly bones did indeed grip Lyle Musgrave’s shoulder as he ate his gourmet sandwich, however he was not choking and his spirit did not nudge. Lyle looked up at a very confused specter of Death, the empty caverns of a skull contorting and furrowing like a cartoon. It stopped, pulled out a notepad and rubbed his skeletal fingers against its forehead, letting out a sigh. Death vaulted the couch and crashed next to Lyle, his form transforming to that of an unassuming young adult. Answers would come, but first the young man asked if Lyle could be troubled to make a sandwich for him?

#ShortShortStories #SoulMan #UhOh

Uh-Oh

Lyle Musgrave was so awkward that even the circumstances of his death were one of the most awkward situations of his life. One afternoon, as he was enjoying one of the most delicious sandwiches he had ever prepared (he prided himself on his culinary combinations), he discovered some things about the Grim Reaper. Apparently it is not just an element of culture, but an actual living species. One would think he made this discovery as he choked on a bite of his sandwich and felt the bony hand of Death take him by the shoulder and cast him into the afterlife, but you would be wrong… kind of.

#ShortShortStories #UhOh

It’s How You Play the Game

The pressure was on, the crowd was almost unanimously chanting the number two, while a hesitant few shook their heads; Dirk took a breath to reconsider things: the math was on his side, if he changed his mind about which door to open he would be more likely to win the grand prize. In the end it didn’t matter which door the prize was behind, what mattered was the decision he made backstage after the episode was filmed: keep and care for the goat or take a $350 cash value prize? Once again the math seemed to make the choice obvious, but Dirk did some different calculations than normal and gladly accepted the goat. In less than a week he was a national news story, crisscrossing the country to appear on shows as “The Goat Guy” and share his crazy story, within a year he purchased several more goats and established a “Goat Guy” line of products that allowed him to quit his job and enjoy the fruits of his fortune.

#ShortShortStories #ItsHowYouPlayTheGame

If At Last You Do Succeed

Rhianna stood in front of the large metal plate in her garage and pressed a button on the fob in her hand. It hummed, a few strips placed seemingly at random around the plate glowed a soft blue; then shapes emerged, unfolding from what was just a frame, and taking shape into a car. It rose up, revealing a strip along her driveway that extended into the street and in every other direction. Combining solar energy, GPS, and magnetic propulsion transportation became fast, safe, and clean. National Space Agencies could send rockets into space that would unfurl a frame of panels the size of a football field that could block sunlight for nearby telescopes, allowing them to see farther into space. Shunts for clogged arteries, lighter and stronger bulletproof material, the future was shaped by the Origami Revolution: the art of folding.

#ShortShortStories #IfAtLastYouDoSucceed

The Competition

Mickey and Gina had an ambitious plan to make their mark in the underground Den of Thieves; throughout the season they found co-conspirators within almost all of the major teams promising a share in their glory. The best part was their plan to escape jail time: since all they wanted was recognition, once they secured proof of their misdeeds they had no reason to keep the trophy and would release it, forever shrouding the case in mystery to all but those involved. When a Wild Card team not only made it to the playoffs but secured an unprecedented victory over the most successful franchise in history they realized the flaw in their perfect plan: they weren’t the only ones intending to steal the Stanley Cup. While they were spreading themselves thin with contingency plans for their contingency plans, another group was laser focused on one team and ensuring their success by any means necessary.

#ShortShortStories #TheCompetition

The Triangle

Cassandra was in a cold sweat as the loop of her running in panic ran again. The camera zoomed in on her once more and she could no longer tolerate the suspense, bolting off and begging for someone to come help them. This time as the drone looped around she was no longer among them on the feed. This time it swerved over to Jaire, who was paying no attention to the video display on his watch and was instead retching into a trash can. Emory’s eyes turned to him while Willis was still focused on his tablet. Emory saw her boyfriend heaving while Willis saw his friend wipe his mouth, glance at his watch, shake and sprint off into the distance, joining Cassandra. Looking up he saw Jaire finally pull away from the bin only to look at his watch and lose his mind. In turn they would each succumb to the self-fulfilling prophecies they witnessed, never able to break away, never able to escape the deserted island to which they were lured.

#ShortShortStories #TheTriangle

Nothing to Fear, But Fear Itself

Emory was rapt, her eyes dilated as the video flew through the air until it dipped below the clouds revealing scattered islands amid dark blue ocean. Faster and faster until it once again stopped, hovering mid-air, and fractions of seconds apart they all froze, realizing the feed was just a few dozen feet above them. A full minute passed, their individual figures barely visible, but the location undeniable. Suddenly the camera moved again – though none could see any recording device – ceasing just above Cassandra who was now in full panic. The stream showed Cassandra running and screaming, the drone following just ahead of her, keeping her face perfectly in frame, yet when everyone looked up they saw Cassandra still frozen in place, silent. Back to the video, she continued to run and scream for help throughout the resort, until the camera broke away and looped back to its original place a few dozen feet above them, hovering.

#ShortShortStories #NothingToFearButFearItself

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