a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “June, 2013”


Arnold first saw her as he took a detour on his way home from work one day; dancing and singing without a care in the world. He moved along, but the glimpse stayed with him and he watched it over, falling for her a little bit more each time; exposing such enthusiasm is risky, it leaves you vulnerable, but this girl, named Melody unbeknownst to him, would rather suffer ridicule than contain the joy that music brought to her, or maybe she felt the enthusiasm was a gift to share with the world, a way to tell everyone how wonderful life can be sometimes. Like I said, Arnold fell in love with her a little more each time he recalled that moment; that’s what I liked about that character, the way he would mull over things and rather than lose interest or cynically dash it away, he found more to love and more to appreciate, however, as characters have a habit of doing, he could get out of my hands. He had a tendency to go too far; and so I found myself stopping in the middle of a scene where Arnold was, for lack of a better word, leering into Melody’s apartment.

#ShortShortStories #Obsessed


Blow Out, or Synchrony: Part III

Mr. Ryan and James walked through the fairgrounds, but something told James that this man didn’t know his mother and that maybe she wasn’t in trouble. Thinking quickly, he reached into his pocket and grasped the whistle given to him by the well-dressed gentleman at the crane game. He casually removed his hand from his pocket and remained calm, waiting for the right moment to blow the whistle and scream for help, but Mr. Ryan slapped it out of his hand before he got the chance and warned him not to try anything, “Or else”. Penny’s eyes gleamed with delight as she held her cotton candy, patiently biding her time to consume the sweet treat while her mother paid the nice lady at the booth. Memory is a tricky thing, even the most vivid memory can be minimally accurate, however Penny’s perception of the next few moments were perfect to the last detail; she looked up from her pink sugary cloud to see a young boy walking with a peculiar man, the boy evoked thoughts of distress, discomfort, unease, and the man seemed shifty, shady, and evasive. In the span of less than five seconds, Penny dropped her fluffy candy cone, pulled out her whistle, blew with a screeching halt and screamed “Stranger Danger!” while pointing at Mr. Ryan. The story was widely reported, by many people on TV and radio and online, and amid all the coverage only one person ever wondered about the Gentleman handing out whistles.

#ShortShortStories #BlowOut #SynchronyIII

Out in the Cold

Roby had promised April a perfect date weekend camping in the thicket. His cars heater sputtered out a half hour into the three hour drive to the site, but they were dressed warmly and kept the windows up as they chatted and looked forward to a cozy evening together. A perfectly lousy drizzle made it impossible for Roby to start a fire, however they gritted their teeth and decided to retire to the tent and enjoy the pre-made food they had packed. They cuddled and conversed and waited for a lull to hopefully catch some romantic stargazing, and after nearly an hour it finally stopped; though the temperature had dropped to a very brisk cool, they enjoyed the clusters and swirls of light filling the dead blue of night before discovering why the drizzle had seemingly let up. The hail pelted their tent throughout the night, with chunks just heavy enough to disturb their sleep landing on or near their tent with a thud. When the morning eventually came they hiked to a cliff, wrapped up in a blanket and watched the sun rise over a small lake, April cooed softly and thanked Roby for keeping his promise.

#ShortShortStories #OutInTheCold

Ugly Duckling

He asked her if she promised, and she nodded her head. Nick knew that Gwen valued promises above almost everything, and had never broken one. It had been a strange summer for her, a spontaneous family vacation that lead to so many firsts, the most significant being the first time Gwen looked at a boy in a new and different way; Nick was 13, like her, and wasn’t too different from other boys at her school, but she was discovering changes within herself, changes in how she felt and thought. They found time for each other nearly every one of the six days of their vacations overlapping, and grew closer with every meeting, quickly bonding over laughs and awkward physical contact, mostly involving hands accidentally brushing too close to restricted airspace. Finally, on their last day as they said goodbye Gwen asked for a first kiss, Nick asked if she was sure, she assured him she was, and he asked her if she promised. But that summer she did break a promise, one she had made to her father years prior, that she would always be his little girl; that summer she realized what a foolish promise that was.

#ShortShortStories #UglyDuckling

Last Stand

Kally had lost many things in his life, and had a few things stolen, but none so precious as his Song. A Tulean without a Song is an outcast, fated to be shunned, or worse… Their Song is their essence, their soul, the guiding force that provides answers when they are unsure of what to do or where to go. Kally attempted to continue on, hoping it wouldn’t be noticed, but of course it was, for a missing Song is as easy to spot as a missing limb. At his trial, Kally pleaded for understanding, how could he be blamed for the criminal actions of another? While the Council were sympathetic, they explained that without his Song, Kally would be useless to the community, and his doubt and insecurity would spread like an infection. Their verdict was banishment, and they requested any final thoughts from the witnessing congregation; that’s when Talia-Ar said she would share her Song with Kally, that her life was not complete without him.

#ShortShortStories #LastStand

Back From The Dead

Lem lifted the hood and gazed at the mechanics, his trained eye able to single out each individual part, identifying the trees from the forest, while he also listened to the engine run, all of his senses working together as a unit; while so many others can have sounds or smells or sights distract their concentration on sights or sounds or smells, Lem’s senses always worked collaboratively, and while this car posed a problem more difficult than he had seen in years, he trusted his gifts to guide him to the answer. He spent an hour puzzling over the problems and possible causes, but found nothing, until finally he found a clue in the engine block, and one clue lead to another and soon he was able return the car to working condition, to the shock and dismay of his son, who was promised a new car if this one was ever beyond repair.

#ShortShortStories #BackFromTheDead

Two Times Trouble

For her 58th birthday, Lucy decided to retrace the steps of a memorable adventure which she partook in 40 years prior, beginning with a ferry ride to a lovely island for the Fleet of Feathers, a confluence of events that takes place once every 40 years: myriad migrating birds pass over the island while moulting. As she sat on on a bench on the top deck of the ferry, she reminisced as she watched children and parents and couples and individuals on the rear deck, tossing bread to gulls, and the redhead with her too-tall-too-skinny boyfriend made the moment nearly identical, until the young lady turned around and Lucy found herself literally re-living the past. What many don’t realize is that Time is a conscious being, and when we attempt to relive past events, for the sake of nostalgia, this can confuse Time, and we find ourselves trapped in the past, doomed to live that singular moment day after day, year after year, until we are exhausted.

#ShortShortStories #TwoTimesTrouble

Prometheus Syndrome

It wasn’t long after his first battle that Fera stopped believing in the Gods, or at the very least that the Gods watched over them; and so it came as a relatively minor surprise when a woman entered his tent brandishing a weapon she claimed had the power to harness wind and fire, to make objects dissipate into nothingness. He doubted this, why would she tell him this rather than extinguish his army, why surrender the element of surprise, why come alone? Before he could ask any one of the many questions passing through his mind, she answered them all; she introduced herself as a traveler, and explained that she had no intentions of attacking him or any of his men, or anyone else for that matter. She was in search of her companion, and weapons were useless for finding men, in order to find him she would need an army. The weapon was a barter for services.

#ShortShortStories #PrometheusSyndrome

The Outsiders

It had taken months of practice and focus, but Jackson was determined to hone his specialty. He was an M Child, the son of a genetically created mutant, so while his father’s camouflage ability was installed in him from birth, Jackson didn’t learn his power until his teen years. The first burst awoke him from sleep, he spasmed and his body contorted and then he vanished, he became invisible. His father told him the secret to commanding your power was recalling every miniscule detail of it; it was surreal, a subtle vibration of his muscles and what he could only describe as a dissolving sensation. M Children were kept under strict security and regularly observed and tested, however Jackson knew something that his Keepers didn’t: he couldn’t just turn invisible, he could walk through walls.

#ShortShortStories #TheOutsiders

Slow Death

It had many names, but it called itself the Unforgiving. It was an unstoppable force in the Universe, and lay waste to everything in its path: from single-celled organisms to oceans of life to planets and entire galaxies, none were impervious to the Unforgiving, all would succumb… eventually. This knowledge didn’t seem to bother Henry, however, as he made his way to Miss Hood’s for his weekly lesson; ever since he began learning how to play, his time at the piano had a certain effect, the rhythmic compression of keys slowed everything down and cleared any haze or confusion. Hundreds of notes, millions of combinations, Henry felt a sense of control as he literally took the chaos at his fingertips and made music, not very pretty music at first, but while the Unforgiving saw itself as a figure of inevitable death and destruction, Henry saw it as the opportunity to make perfection. From one-celled organisms, to oceans of life, to planets and entire galaxies.

#ShortShortStories #SlowDeath

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