#ShortShortStories

a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Without

Trey deposited his check and scanned his receipt to see his balance; he was one 6-hour shift from his goal, and a glance at his watch reminded him that that 6-hour shift would begin in twenty minutes. What Trey wouldn’t learn until moments after he clocked out was that Veronica was in the ICU following a three-car wreck; he visited her daily, spoke to her, confessed to her, and pleaded with her and any deity with mercy. A few hours after depositing his latest check, Trey opened the velvet box containing the charm bracelet; he quietly explained to her the significance of each charm: her birthstone, how they first met, her art, his loyalty, the day he knew he loved her. His hands shook as he placed it in her coffin, and that night he cried himself to sleep.

#ShortShortStories #Without

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Talitha Cumi

Sebastian brushed his fingers against the young woman’s cheek, it was cold but her skin was soft. As he began his initial examination he wondered what she was like when she was alive, all he had were technical details on a sheet of paper; he didn’t need to know her hopes and dreams to determine her cause of death, but he always strove to make a human connection, as a coroner it’s too easy to detach from the gravity of death. Some saw it as a coping mechanism, but Sebastian valued humanity too much to believe it would be easier to cope if he ignored what the loss of life meant to their family, and to the world.

#ShortShortStories #TalithaCumi

One Son

Jeriah marched alongside his father; he was too young to carry a torch, so instead he carried a satchel full of stones. They reached the town square where the witch was already bound to a post with bonds of rope doused in Holy Water; she showed no pain, but Pastor Frey warned them not to be fooled and assured them her skin was burning. The Pastor recounted the crimes committed by the sullen woman, and sentenced her to be stoned to death and her body burned to ashes. Jeriah, prone to drifting off while the pastor spoke, stared at her and for a moment felt a twinge of doubt, until she made eye contact and a chill struck his spine as her soul transferred into his body.

#ShortShortStories #OneSon

Young at Heart

Shawn stacked his blocks one on top of the other, moving carefully as they wobbled, and moaning as they toppled. His mother called him in to the kitchen for lunch and he sprang up with glee as he sprinted across the living room; he dove into his PB&J and his mom tied on his bib, urging him to slow down and chew his food. Shawn, jelly-faced and sticky-fingered, finished his milk and sandwich with a smile and declared that he was done; his mother lead him to the bathroom and wiped off his mouth and hands, then lathered his face and told him to hold still while she started to hum. Shawn didn’t like shaving, but he liked whenever his mom sang to him, he thought she sang like an angel.

#ShortShortStories #YoungAtHeart

Travelers

Preston sat on a crate in an alley, putting pressure on his bandaged wound, trying to think his way out of this problem, but then he blacked out. When he came to, his brain was fuzzy, and it was a strain to keep his mouth closed, and his mouth was dry and there was so much noise going on in his head and then he went numb and his thoughts vanished. He stood, his arms slacked at his side and he lurched forward, his feet slowly dragging his body out into the streets. He blended into the crowd, his skin was already grey and lifeless as he shambled ahead; decay would set in soon, but first would come the hunger.

#ShortShortStories #Travelers

Little Green Men

JQ-6 soared through the vacuum of space and soon would enter orbit around the planet designated GTF-613. The media preferred to call it “Big Pond” and JQ-6 was then dubbed Tadpole. It would land approximately two weeks and 15 hours after the 72nd anniversary of its launch. Tadpole’s mission: to discover the existence or viability of life on Big Pond, and attempt to study, communicate or otherwise interact with such life. After two years Tadpole had cataloged almost 35% of life on the planet and had been relaying the information back to Earth since Day One, what Tadpole didn’t know and would never learn was that the human species had been extinct for eight years.

#ShortShortStories #LittleGreenMen

Agua Mala

Another one I wrote for a friend’s birthday.

Dark clouds rolled across the sky, but Fancy didn’t need to see them to know that she was in for a heavy storm, and she didn’t have the luxury of shelter to keep her safe and dry; if she weren’t a cow she’d muse about the unpleasantness of this happening on her birthday, but she was so she didn’t. The only thought she could muster was that the grass was going to taste better, but even then she couldn’t articulate why. Another beautiful day had begun. #ShortShortStories #AguaMala

Humbug

Ephram was trapped in an existential crisis, all because of a silly little question from a ten-year-old girl; of course, the obvious answer was that there is no Santa Claus, but she asked if he was the real Santa. On his break, Ephram mulled over the question: does playing Santa in malls mean something? To wit, does his portrayal keep alive hope in the minds of children that Santa isn’t just a fairy tale told to them by their parents, but a very real and very generous man?

#ShortShortStories #Humbug

Bad Blood

Jenna collected her books from the floor, ignoring the laughter; the year was almost over and she would never have to deal with them again. She made her way down D Hall when Tim stepped in front of her, one of the dozen-or-so cowards who stood by the sides of her bullies, doing nothing. He unraveled a lengthy apology as his eyes welled up, unable to maintain eye contact and detailing the guilt he felt for not helping her; he never asked for forgiveness, in fact he said he didn’t deserve it, he just wanted her to know he was capable of shame.

#ShortShortStories #BadBlood

Pusher

The kids chanted and surrounded Todd as he held the brick and pulled it back like a football; every part of him said not to do it, he was going to start to throw the brick and chicken out at the last second, his peers be damned, but something happened and his fingers just let go as his arm extended forward. He froze, his unblinking eyes watching it hurtle through the air in slow-motion. He couldn’t do anything to stop it, and he watched the glass shatter into shards. His friends whooped and hollered and it took all his focus not to cry.

#ShortShortStories #Pusher

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