a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Soft Touch

Roy squinted at the lock as he worked his tools, it looked like he was just wiggling them aimlessly, but in fact it was much more delicate; he could feel the pins turning with each subtle shift in weight. Mr. Barnes leaned against the wall, making small-talk about how often he forgets his keys, blaming this all on his wife in a roundabout way; he never checks to see if he has the keys because she always checks, so if he’s ever locked out he can just call on her. Roy did his best to tune out the jabbering as he hooked the final pin and flipped the lock. Mr. Barnes clapped his hands with a grin-as if presenting the finale of a magic trick-and opened the door, strolling in and almost immediately strolling back out, thumbing through a wallet and giving Roy two crisp hundreds with a grateful smile. The rest of his customers that day weren’t nearly as grateful, however none of his other customers were breaking into someone else’s home.

#ShortShortStories #SoftTouch



“Peace is a lie invented by people for the sole purpose of condemning ‘others'” Jeremy read, with the pause serendipitously filled by the crash of thunder, and for the first time in years he got up and stared out a window, counting the seconds after strikes of lightning and recalling an event that changed his life. Jeremy sprinted across the campus; he was three minutes away from a class that would begin in five minutes, however the professor locked the door at the exact-first second of class, and his watch had a habit of running fast. Before Jeremy realized that a few drops of rain had already hit him he saw a flash of lightning that stopped him in his tracks, and in the moment he paused to stare into the distance a beautiful woman crossed his path and smiled at him warmly, but before he could ask her name or learn anything about her, she slipped into a crease in the air with the boom of thunder.

#ShortShortStories #Earshot

Listening to Fear

As the Radi swept down into the room it bumped the door, causing it to swing and slam against the wall with a bang, jolting Rachel from her sleep and sending a signal of panic and terror throughout her body. The Radi was already slunk into a dark corner, silently feasting. The Radi are the most harmless predators in the Universe, they are phobivores: they feed off of fear and nothing else. In fact, contrary to popular belief they specifically avoid the weak; to a Radi, it is a sin to kill prey because dead prey are useless to them. Rachel knew none of this, nor would it comfort her if she did; all she could do was rock herself and cry for a mother who had left her alone to go out in search of work in the middle of the night.

#ShortShortStories #ListeningToFear

Into The Woods

Agett and Cork argued, as usual, about how long to sit and eat; Agett was more cautious and conservative, preferring to have several small meals and staying on the go, while Cork insisted on getting a large meal and staying in one place for long stretches. It’s not that Cork wasn’t afraid of the very real threat to both of their lives, but that he had survived an attack not long ago and believed he could survive another, he knew it wasn’t as bad as the rest of his colony believed. They reached an impasse and Agett made the mistake of leaving his friend behind; so while Cork remained on the small of Dudley’s back in a spot just out of reach of the canine’s paws and maw, Agett moved down to his thigh, never to be heard from again.

#ShortShortStories #IntoTheWoods


Young Tim paused for a moment to consider the mailman’s answer; he made a good point: if he were an alien, why would he spend all day delivering mail? At this point Tim’s mother came out and pulled him inside, apologizing to the postal worker, Mr. Jeffers. She gave a stern lecture about accusing people of being aliens just because they looked differently and Tim apologized to him the very next day. What his mother didn’t realize was that Tim knew a girl in his class who had the same condition as Mr. Jeffers, that wasn’t what made him suspicious; it was the hint of a purple stain he saw through the back of his sock one day, on an area covered by a bandage the next day, making him suspect it was blood. The idea faded over the weeks and months, especially with the absence of any other signs of alien invasion, and as Tim grew into adulthood it would only come to mind as a fleeting memory of his active boyhood imagination… until the day he caught a glimpse of a similar stain beneath a bandage under his boss’ cuff, a man with the same apparent skin condition as Mr. Jeffers and the girl in his class.

#ShortShortStories #Lessons


As he did every morning with the rising Sun, Douglas wrote in his journal – although technically he was close to filling his 231st journal with his daily entries – and he felt loneliness for the first time since his gifting; self-exiled on an island for over 360 years, guilt and regret held such emotions at bay, but today was different, today an emotion that normally causes a deep aching came to him as a refreshing wave of relief. Douglas had long learned the principles of restraint and responsibility for his powers, but vowed not to return to the World until he could forgive his past transgressions. Despite the depth of this revelation, despite the myriad words it would take to fully explain the transformation taking place on the beach of an island created by Douglas thousands of miles away from any other living creature, in the journal he kept solely for his own edification, he simply wrote “Today.”

#ShortShortStories #Amends

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