a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “May, 2015”

A Hunting We Will Go

Imani raised his spear and made peace with Aguta as he stared down the heaving beast. The bear charged, galloping toward Imani desperate for a meal. The last thing she wanted was human flesh, but poachers had consumed much of her typical prey and she hadn’t eaten in nearly three days. Lumbering back to her cave she licked her wounds and fell into a deep sleep on her very full stomach. Meanwhile Imani still stood in the middle of the forest, holding out his spear unaware that the battle was over and he had lost. A warm hand rested on his shoulder turning him around to face not a sickly pale figure cloaked in black, but a lush brown woman draped in luxurious fur; she embraced Imani, enveloping him in her arms as his head lay on her bosom and he returned to the Earth from whence he came.

#ShortShortStories #AHuntingWeWillGO


The Shape of Things

Audria took short shallow breaths as she attempted to remain motionless, but heard snaps and cracks with even the slightest vibrations while a cold sweat ran down her back. It had been precisely two minutes since Lee had run to his truck to grab some rope and she hoped he would appear in her line of sight soon, momentarily glancing down at the literally thin ice she was standing upon. She heard shouts as she saw his figure come into focus from the corner of her eye and reached out as he attempted tossing the rope to her so that he could pull her to safety, even if the sheet broke below her. He wrapped another blanket around her as she shivered wet and cold beside the fire, biding time until the emergency vehicle arrived, hoping to stave off hypothermia. Audria wanted to find sweetness in the competitive spirit her boyfriend brought out in her, but not when it nearly cost her her life; after the ambulance ride she never spoke to Lee again.

#ShortShortStories #TheShapeOfThings

The Girl from Manhattan

As a girl she preferred to be called ‘Amy’, resenting the full name her parents gave her. She believed it to be the pinnacle of hippie-dippie flower-child names; they couldn’t go with something graceful like ‘Lily’ or ‘Daisy’, they went all-out with ‘Amaranth.’ In her second year of law school, however, she began using it on occasion to weed out the less noble and intellectual men expressing interest in her. She found that they would put extra effort into showing interest in such an ‘unusual’ name, or would attempt to impress with trite poetry about flowers and spring. Over time it made her feel more confident, more mature, and she found that her professors (male and female) treated her with more respect. Even her fellow students treated her better; she wasn’t sure if it was the name change or a change in attitude but she appreciated it nonetheless. In her valedictorian speech she thanked her parents for giving her such a strong name – Greek for ‘unfading flower’ – and credited it for helping her find her own inner strength.

#ShortShortStories #TheGirlFromManhattan

It Happened One Afternoon

Pons was startled by the barista’s straightforwardness and wrung his hands as he stumbled for a response to her inquiry about his status. This was a common theme throughout the rest of their ultimately doomed courtship, Pons’ traditional raising left him uncomfortable with brutal honesty (giving or receiving) and speaking his mind, but he pushed himself because he loved Lydia so deeply. A few months after their break-up he felt ready for something meaningful again and knew what he would have to do in order for it to work out. After several rejections accompanied by strong insults he found a partner who agreed to his “radical experiment.” Wanda sat across from Pons as they stared into each others’ eyes taking turns revealing their darkest secrets and most ashamed thoughts confessing things they had never said aloud to themselves, let alone another living soul. Like many of the women who turned him down Wanda feared the judgment and offense her secrets could elicit – not to mention the invasion of privacy – but her curiosity was piqued by learning his secrets and shames. Pons’ intention was merely to make himself more comfortable speaking his mind and hearing harsh truths, but as they confessed they grew closer together; in the span of half an hour a bond was formed stronger than any either had ever felt. In less than a month they were married to the horror of literally everyone in their lives; their parents didn’t attend the wedding; countless friends and family told them they’d be divorced in less than a year; the less skeptical gave it five years. They eventually did part ways when Pons succumbed to heart failure on their 80th wedding anniversary, Wanda rejoined him three days later.

#ShortShortStories #ItHappenedOneAfternoon


Regina couldn’t count the number of times her father pointed to his hair and told her that each grey strand came from “things like this”; in this particular case “this” referred to Regina coming home 3 hours after curfew without a proper explanation. Over the years Regina calmed down and matured out of her rebellious phase while Mr. Watkins began dying his prematurely grey locks, and growing proud of the woman his daughter was becoming. On the morning of the tenth of April, Mr. Watkins washed out the hair dye and threw away the bottle, staring at himself in the mirror obsessing over each silver strand of hair and wishing that he could relive every disobedient, troublesome moment if she could come back for one more day.

#ShortShortStories #Paternity

With a Little Help from My Friends

Kinapak’s fingers tapped at the keys along with the music, playing it like a piano as his head bobbed and his body bounced to the beat. It was the only way he knew how to slog through a 10-page essay on the breadth and nuances of culinary archaeology. The knowledge of the field came with ease, however his brain required a rhythm to sort through the text researching the influences spreading through history. It wasn’t just about the history of cooking, it was tracing the connections from how a late-Neolithic cooking utensil informed the design of a triple sword from the Middle Ages. His roommate didn’t really care about the history, but he appreciated having a roommate who knew how to cook and enjoyed doing it. Trevor did make an effort to learn about it, and he fumbled in trying to explain to Kinapak why it didn’t interest him, and without offense taken he interrupted his roommate and simply said “It doesn’t stick to your brain.” Trevor’s wide eyes told him that that was the exact thought he was trying to express, and with this new understanding Trevor began to seek out what would stick. Kinapak tended to have that effect on people.

#ShortShortStories #WithALittleHelpFromMyFriends

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