#ShortShortStories

a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “December, 2013”

Point of View

He sang to her bones, a melancholy hymn he had written as a child and gave to her on their first anniversary; no one else would ever hear it again, he would only sing for her, on the same day every year. He laid the flowers on the grass, kissed the headstone, and made the most painful three-minute walk of his life, a walk he suffered through year after year; nothing is more painful than turning your back on the love of your life, leaving them behind, and what he wouldn’t learn until they were reunited was that she felt the pain too, watching him walk away and unable to pull him back, unable to embrace him and comfort him and ease his heartache, she could only wait for his return, and hope that his suffering would end soon, so they could move on together.

Cruel and Unusual

If you want to solve a mystery, you need to know three things: 1) The keys in the freezer; it’s the obvious clue that’s hiding in the last place you’d think to look. 2) The loose thread; the fact in the case that doesn’t make sense, so you keep tugging until it unravels. 3) The drink; never underestimate what a stiff drink at the end of a long day can jog loose. Everyone knew Oliver killed Danberg, but the police were on strings and – more importantly – nobody knew how, cause of death was drowning brought on by a seizure in his swimming pool; that was the loose thread, the others wouldn’t come to me until Saturday, exactly a week after Phillip Danberg died.

The Secret Sharers

Anyone could see that Kennedy had had too much to drink, but lucky for Kennedy, nobody was around. She felt comfortable, she felt confident, she felt inspired, but as she planned her tasks for the morning there came a knock at the door of her apartment; an unexpected package from a long-forgotten friend, and as her hand shook drawing the sharp blade along the tape, unfolding the parcel like a present, her mind sobered and calmed, brimming with curiosity as thoughts pushed out the false-confidence of her morning stupor, carefully extracting a hand-sewn book of notes. Halfway through, it seemed like a meaningless jumble of off-thoughts, ideas, and wish-tos, but the turn came with a series of unsent letters and confessions, followed by private analyses of daily events – like a diary. While it took days for her to confirm, the impression made clear at a second glance was that this was the work of a life at end, confided in the only person he ever trusted, the only person he ever felt could understand him without question, without judgment. Kennedy’s only wish was that she could ever trust someone the way Trevor trusted her.

Skin Deep

As they finished getting ready, Craig snidely responded to his wife’s suggestion, “What’s to stare at? She doesn’t even have a nose anymore!” and Beverly merely sighed, secretly agreeing with him and barely putting up a half-effort, the way you sometimes do when defending relatives; meanwhile, Stewart waited on the couch for Nancy to arrive, half-listening, and half-immersed in his game. Even if his attention weren’t divided, he wouldn’t have understood what his father had meant, he’d never met Aunt Cheryl and had no concept of cosmetic surgery, so his imagination – increased by the gameplay – brought to mind a grotesque image of a woman without a nose on her face, a woman he now dreaded meeting at the family picnic this upcoming weekend.

Human Nature

Emmy tore off a corner of her notebook paper and nonchalantly slipped it into her mouth, chewing it like a wad of gum; it was a nervous habit she picked up as a child and still occasionally indulged at times of deep stress. She felt confident about the first half of her final exam, she had a real knack for multiple choice questions; within a few lectures and quizzes she could pick up on her professors’ “tells”, how they’d frame questions and attempt to disguise the correct answer, but she lacked the skill of elaboration needed for essays, and none of her professors appreciated her brevity. At least, she thought no one appreciated it, until she received the highest score in her class on the final, and special recognition for her response to the question, “What caused World War I?” #HumanNature #ShortShortStories

Mushrooms

In the middle of a field an Idea appeared, basking in the sinking Sun – or maybe it was rising – either way didn’t matter, once an Idea was born It had only one goal: to find a host. Not coincidentally, Mik and Mav laid head-to-head in the very same field, enjoying the dampness of the morning dew on the grass, the way you only can when you are perfectly content and could probably even find the beauty in a bee sting. Before long, the Idea found them, and rather than decide which to claim, It split in two to claim them both, because though It wasn’t quite an Epiphany, It wasn’t a lowly Urge. As the Idea sank in, a cloud swam across the sky in front of the Sun, and while it didn’t really resemble anything, Mik and Mav each saw the dogs they owned as children; the Idea’s purpose was not to inspire this young couple to buy a puppy, but the puppy would convince them they were ready to have a child.

Kid Pro Quo

With a glint in his eye, Demetri read The Boy in Princessland to his little girl as she wriggled under her covers like an animal getting comfy on the beach. Tanta actually looked forward to bedtime, it was storytime, it was a time when she could run with her imagination and not get in trouble, in fact she was encouraged. She and her father took turns reading stories, stories they each would write over the weekends. The Boy in Princessland was her story, and it was Demetri’s favorite to date; not just because it was so sweet and subversive, even if Tanta didn’t know the meaning of the word, but because it came through her, as if she was channeling it from somewhere else. She was terribly sick that weekend, but she insisted on writing, she was compelled to put the fully formed tale on the page; she was a writer, just like her father, and someday others would read her stories and would love them as well, because a story written with passion fills others with passion.

Gaijin

Umi nodded and retreated to her quarters for the evening, as she had done for the past 3 years and 3 months; and as she had done nearly every night for the past 2 years and 7 months she called upon a memory to lull her to sleep. The memory was short and fuzzy, she exchanged six words in English with a white man in the market while purchasing tuna, he made a joke in near-perfect Japanese about the dolphin content, and although a smirk crossed his face, what was etched in her memory were his brown eyes-more specifically how they dilated upon the sight of her face, and his sudden silence, instead of a rote flirtatious follow-up. She asked his name, he answered, but it was just his first name, and with a blush he turned away.

Night & Fog

Alfred jolted awake to a sharp, stinging pain in his left shoulder, his right hand instinctively grasping and clenching it, and then releasing his grip as he realized nothing was wrong. Unable to fall back asleep he began his day earlier than usual, preparing for work and planning errands, when in the middle of brewing coffee a flash of a dream floated to mind: an angry child with a beard, screaming at him and throwing fireballs at his arm. Though somewhat disturbed by the imagery, Alfred was somewhat satisfied that the dream had caused his shoulder pain. Days went by, normal and slow, when he had the same dream of the scruffy child hurling fire at him, and awoke in pain far more intense and lasting; his hand trembled as he attempted to dial for emergency help, but even if he had managed to complete the call, and if an ambulance arrived within minutes, it would have been too late… his heart couldn’t pump his blood, his fate was sealed before he even woke from his nightmare.

#ShortShortStories #Night&Fog

Survivor

Ruth lost days devising a method to stop Rabbit, agonizing over the details and ignoring precious, regenerative sleep over his nuisance. Rabbit was almost entirely oblivious to this; spending most of his time in his comfortable burrow, surrounded by soft earth, winding through one of his paths to the surface for an occasional nosh of the delectable vegetables in the garden he discovered. Ruth had never so much as smacked a blood-sucking mosquito, so any solution resulting in harm to her Problem was incomprehensible. Meanwhile, Rabbit trembled with instincts as the desire to procreate overcame him and drove him to evacuate the garden in search of a mate, as Ruth wasted two months and too much money on harm-free pest procurement, only to realize the Problem solved itself.

#ShortShortStories #Survivor

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