a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “October, 2014”

Time Enough At Last

Edie and Bea chuckled softly over their cups of tea, Bea had just remembered the time her late husband, Paul, had gotten them lost on their honeymoon and rather than ask for directions to the beach, he pulled over and they had a midnight picnic on a blanket under the stars. Edie’s husband, Harold, had also passed a few years earlier, but Edie didn’t remember him, or much about anything, which suited her fine because she knew that Bea was her best friend, they had tea every day at noon, and she didn’t need to know much else than that. The nurse came and brought them lunch, for their sake it was the same nurse everyday because consistency was important at the facility, and the two ladies enjoyed Mike’s company, he was sincere and never made them feel embarrassed for forgetting his name, and Mike enjoyed spending time with the young women and all the patients at the care center for traumatic brain injuries.

#ShortShortStories #TimeEnoughAtLast


The Passersby

Ko sat on the cool knoll in the park running her fingers through the soft, dewy grass and playfully gesturing every so often – when the mood struck. Ko was an Ivitt, a mischievous spirit that caused bad luck; nothing too big just little trips, fumbles, and embarrassing slips of tongue that come just at the wrong time. Parks were one of her favorite places to make her magic, so many different types of people and so much potential for chain reactions, but the unexpected happened when a wave sent an awkward girl named Kira careening into a cute boy named Cris and she flicked her wrist to make him say the wrong thing; for Cris, however, an extremely polite and well-mannered boy the “wrong thing” was to flirtatiously compliment the girl and suggest they go on a date. Ko was normally disgusted when her meddling backfired, but there was something different about this moment, perhaps she was changing or perhaps she knew that there would be many more embarrassing moments between the maladroit pair.

#ShortShortStories #ThePassersby

Stopover in a Quiet Town

Glenn took yet another sample of the soil with the futile hope of getting different results from the lab tests as the white dwarf set in the east. He and Felicia had been on the potentially habitable planetoid Acris for nearly a month, with another month left before they’d be able to return to Earth with their findings, but it wasn’t looking good. Everything was just “not right” – the soil had too much ammonia, the air too much nitrogen, which the plants released instead of oxygen, the only thing working in their favor was a complete lack of fauna; they didn’t leave their vessel for the first week while it scanned Acris from the outer atmosphere down to a mile below the surface. Felicia did a low-grav skip-walk toward Glenn with some actual good news, that Protus – Acris’ nearby trojan planet – was finally close enough for their ship to perform a shallow scan, but the look on his face and more importantly his eyes focused on something behind her told her that the scan would be unnecessary.

#ShortShortStories #StopoverInAQuietTown

Quality of Mercy

Emma cowered in fear when the guard told her he was taking her to Belial; she still had no idea what had brought her to the Underworld and she was moments away from meeting the Devil. Pushed into the ten-by-ten room reeking of brimstone, she saw no horned demon, no flames, in fact she saw nothing, no one, until she heard metal clanging against the floor in a dark corner to her right: a pitiful creature in shackles chained to the wall, eyes of red and skin of black and grey with a texture of ash that she feared would crumble if she dared touch it. It hugged the corner, raising its shoulders and tucking its head down; Emma knelt down and slowly moved toward the worthless creature on her hands and knees, reaching out an open palm, the first kind gesture offered to the pathetic demon in a thousand years, a kindness he’s only allowed to experience once every thousand years.

#ShortShortStories #QualityOfMercy

The Self-Improvement of Isandro Ross

Isandro wiped his sweaty hands on the less embellished fabric of his suit before entering the arena with his signature smile and flare which had quickly gained him many fans and admirers, making his way to the center where Reynaldo and Osias stood. The crowd calmed down and the opening ceremony began with Reynaldo presenting Isandro with his sword; this was Izzy’s Alternative, the match where he would finally become a matador de toros. The first bull would be his Rey would take the second and Oz would take the third, then they would repeat the order for the last three bulls. It was a highly coordinated dance with several players testing the bulls weaknesses and temperament, and as the day ended, along with Isandro’s career in bullfighting, he felt no regret or shame for his actions and the bull would never forget him for the rest of his long, strange life.

#ShortShortStories #TheSelfImprovementOfIsandroRoss


Andria’s confidence sputtered out in a long, silent groan as her eyes dilated in deep, utter fear. Looking at the first question she realized she had studied the wrong chapter of her history textbook and frantically scanned each and every question, flipping the pages with frenzied jitter, completely clueless of what to do. She had struggled for much of the semester and passing this test was her last chance to pass the class and graduate on time. Paralyzed with a cold sweat her prospects flashed before her eyes: failing the test, taking summer school, having to reapply to colleges with “Failed” and “Summer Classes” on her transcript. When she finally snapped out of it she saw there were only ten minutes left and her test was still blank; she scrambled and quickly wrote in answers, ignoring the multiple choices and jotting down as much information from the wrong chapter that she could, about the settlements, agriculture, economy, neighboring tribes, everything filtered straight from her conscious mind to her fingertips, covering the page in ink. She received exemplary marks, but then again Mrs. Ginny Grace never would have failed Andria, her educational philosophy stressed effort over memorization, especially when it came to the standardized finals students were required to take.

#ShortShortStories #Elegy

Escape Clause

Scott wasn’t very bright, but he was quick and agile which proved quite advantageous on The Island. While many of the other captives attempted to think their way out of danger Scott ran, jumped, climbed, and scurried away, albeit narrowly frequently. The Good Doctor always offered a reward and signed a contract of rules, but never risked Making Good. Until Scott. Scott wasn’t very bright but he wasn’t stupid; when the time came he did not immediately present himself, he remained hidden for several days almost making the Good Doctor believe he had succumbed to some other tragedy. Almost. He left the briefcases, keys, and dagger in a vast clearing, apparently keeping his Good Word. What Scott didn’t know was that the plane’s fuel gauge had been altered and in reality only had enough to travel 20 miles before crashing into the ocean, what the Good Doctor didn’t know was that Scott had no intention of leaving The Island.

#ShortShortStories #EscapeClause

It’s a Good Life

Yoon never entertained the notion of an “all-seeing/powerful” God, for twenty some-odd years she lived a life completely absent of a “Creator” as well as an afterlife. She did good, helped others, but not in service of an eternal reward, rather as immediate gratification in knowing she helped those less fortunate than herself. So it came as a shock one January evening as she sat in her apartment listening to a Buddy Holly record – given to her by her father on her thirteenth birthday – when a brain embolism triggered a massive stroke that resulted in her immediate, but thankfully painless death. Face to face with an entity she never believed existed, her first question was “Why?”, and she quickly learned that while every question was promptly answered, the answers often lead to more questions and uncertainty.

#ShortShortStories #ItsAGoodLife

The Chaser

Kitty made flirtatious small talk with the repairman, appreciating his efforts and above & beyond service. Frank didn’t think much of it, he was just doing his job it’s not like he was going to pretend to be confused and say it wasn’t reparable in order to avoid work, although he did have a few coworkers who would pull such a stunt from time to time, if the required fix was particularly painstaking and it was their fifth job of the day, not that that excuses such laziness.. then Frank shook his head and mumbled, getting too lost in his own thoughts and not focusing on the task at hand. When the job was done he closed up his tool kit and Kitty proffered a drink, a gesture Frank would normally refuse, but finished for the day he would head directly home after this, and besides, despite being at least 20 years his senior Ms. Michaels didn’t look a day over 35, and so the two shared a stiff beverage as the brand-new engine in Kitty’s service-bot revved up and it got back to its duties.

#ShortShortStories #TheChaser

Five Characters in Search of an Exit

Mack had been whining to the Cook and multiple patrons for the better part of an hour, going on and on about the complicated relationship between him and a co-worker, someone whom he felt deep admiration toward, but doubted the feelings were reciprocated; he turned to the few straggling night-owls still haunting the joint at 3 a.m., seeking guidance. The older gentleman across the diner was attempting to drink his coffee and read his paper in peace, but he couldn’t take anymore. He exclaimed and rose from his seat, launching into a lecture at the young man about not pussyfooting around the issue, to take a stand, a risk, tell her how he felt, what was on his mind, in his heart, rather than hemming and hawing surrounded by strangers with problems of their own. After finishing the monologue Mack lowered his head and reflected on the words as the man returned to his seat. The lights were raised and the men stood up to an ovation and cheers from the audience.

#ShortShortStories #FiveCharactersInSearchOfAnExit

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