a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “September, 2015”

Sometimes You Hear the Bullet

The last thing Derek wanted to do was watch the movie again, but the decision wasn’t up to him – it was up to his captors. It was a reenactment of an incident that occurred fifty years earlier, when Derek was only in high school. A figure strolled into a park wearing a black mask and red cloak. At first it drew curiosity but fear grew the longer it roamed without saying a word, it loomed closer to people staring at their faces, forcing them to stare back into its own hauntingly light blue eyes. Seconds before the crowd reached a breaking point the Reaper-like figure brandished two guns and began firing at as many people as possible – with precision. The killer was apprehended and only two of the seventeen victims survived: Marie & Alexander, a newly-engaged couple. When Derek was released for good behavior after serving forty years of a life sentence, their children decided he should also face punishment for a victim previously unaccounted for: Marie and Alexander’s unborn child.

#ShortShortStories #SometimesYouHearTheBullet


Cementing Relationships

Senna and Foro went out, hoping to get a good walk before the downpour headed their way. The clouds menaced with darkness but they made it to the park and even made a jogging lap, until they ran into Jen and Jem wearing matching raincoats. They both looked at Jem and had the same thought run through their heads “I am so embarrassed for you.” Senna and Jen made small talk while Foro just sat in silent judgment, even Jem seemed to look a little embarrassed. The worst was that neither of them could comprehend the depth of the sadness of the situation; dogs can barely understand the glowing box their humans love so much when they’re watching a video of another dog, or a cat, let alone their human scouring hundreds of stores trying to find a raincoat for a dog that matches one she bought on sale last year – but Senna could. As she – still soaking herself – patted Foro down with the towel, Senna assured him that she’d rather have a wet, smelly, happy dog than a fresh, dry, humiliated dog.

#ShortShortStories #CementingRelationships

Pressure Points

Roger sat in his favorite chair reading his favorite book when a passage caught his attention and stirred up an old memory he had forgotten. This was troubling because Roger had perfect recall, there was nothing he had “forgotten”. He explored the memory, inspecting every detail looking for clues. It was an innocuous memory – a picnic in his backyard with a childhood friend – but it wasn’t there before and he wanted to find out why. Examining their shirts he realized that hers was sold at a garage sale a few months before he got his, it was an impossible event – which meant it had been implanted. Despite his ability, Roger lived a normal, almost quaint life, he couldn’t fathom a reason why someone would want to do this to him. He unraveled under the paranoia, while the agency that had done this to him were long on their way to the actual target, Roger was just a guinea pig.

#ShortShortStories #PressurePoints

As Time Goes By

When Paul moved in next door to Emekie they became instant friends and were never seen apart. They shared a first kiss when they were twelve, but Paul moved away at the beginning of high school and they lost touch not long after. Eventually – thanks to technology – they reconnected and upon meeting face to face for the first time in over a decade, shared another kiss. In the preceding months of conversations they had each confessed feelings for one another, and an attraction they discovered was still there. They had changed but still shared interests and passions, and Paul still cackled at Emek’s jokes. They grew old together, and even though they never got married or had kids, they were beloved by their neighbors, especially the children – and not just because they gave out the best/most candy on Halloween.

#ShortShortStories #AsTimeGoesBy

Follies of the Living

Everything can change in a moment of hesitation. A couple seconds debating to check a phone alert, a half-second deciding whether to continue peddling through oncoming traffic, run with groceries to make the crosswalk. Or not. Benjamin kept his eyes on the road as he turned his phone on – glancing down for only a moment – however it was his hesitation, his car slowing ever-so-slightly that determined his fate. Likewise Meagan, the moment of coasting before deciding to keep peddling her bike would lead to the collision with Benjamin’s truck. Emily Gloster, however, didn’t think for a moment when she started running with her groceries to beat the truck, still half-a-block away; but that mental impetus proved too physically challenging and she tripped to the ground. Her bag flung forward sending her produce, soup cans, and various sundries rolling across the ground, startling Benjamin and Meagan into screeching halts. Everything can change in a moment of hesitation, or lack thereof.

#ShortShortStories #FolliesOfTheLiving


Holly kissed Zeke deeply as her fingers tussled his hair. He smiled at her and lit a cigarette, rolling down the rear-passenger side window as his brother Jude drove them to the party. They had been dating for three months and she was in pleasant denial of the inevitable, they were 17 and in love. Holly felt a certain sense of unease traveling so far outside the city for a party – unable so see anything outside the car other than corn fields – but a glance up made her eyes open as wide as wells to take in the galactic night sky. She slid over to Zeke’s side, enveloping him in her arms as she looked up at it. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”, Zeke asked. She nodded with her mouth agape, in wonder of the Universe. “I look up at this every night and see the Majesty of God,” he said as he looked outward, while her eyes turned down to him. Those words brought an epiphany to Holly, that Ezekiel would not choose the English life, he would not choose her; when the time came he would return to his community.

#ShortShortStories #Springtime


Cal’s eyes welled up as he turned the pages of the photo album, remembering his little sister. It had been so long since she passed that he had forgotten what color her eyes were, and he never wanted to forget anything about the bravest… second bravest person to ever touch his life. Angela had been diagnosed with leukemia when she was just 9 and was gone before she turned 10; his family had misread the signs and waited too long to get her to the doctor. While she was being treated, Cal educated himself on everything about leukemia – especially the symptoms. Tears fell onto the plastic pouches and he wiped his face and snotty nose with his sleeve as he remembered the day the doctor confirmed his worst fears. “But,” the doctor emphasized that he had never diagnosed anyone this early, giving him very strong odds and hope for remission. “Did I ever tell you about your Aunt Angela?” Cal asked with a tearful smile as he turned to his son in the hospital bed.

#ShortShortStories #Bombshells

Patent 4077

Fearing what an unscrupulous man would do with potentially revolutionary technology, Rust made a duplicate device and gave Mac the dummy while he studied schematics to determine what the three pieces combined could do. The conclusion he drew was that they connected to create an apparatus that would filter oxygen out of water allowing a person to remain underwater indefinitely. So he faced a dilemma: return the device and inform his former client that he possesses a device that will earn him billions of dollars, or keep it and take that money for himself? Rust always considered himself a principled man, and while he obsessively reminded himself of all the good he did with the money, the technology he was able to advance, his regret for that decision lingered on his mind until his death.

#ShortShortStories #Patent4077

I Hate a Mystery

Outwardly Mac was somber, but secretly he was overjoyed at Rust’s revelation because unbeknownst to the tinkerer he had sent two similar devices to two other engineers, each in separate countries. He wasn’t surprised to find that the others had no answers when he retrieved them – he’d heard Rust was the best – but Mac hoped he could figure out the rest on his own. Little did he know that one of the reasons Rust was the best was because he had so many contacts around the world, and was contacted by two colleagues independently inquiring about similar devices shortly after his discovery. In the four days it took Mac to retrieve each device and return home, Rust had solved the puzzle – or at least had a strong theory.

#ShortShortStories #IHateAMystery

The Consultant

Rust examined the strange device hoping to find answers for the client who brought it to him. What did it do? Where did it come from? It unfastened with ease, had wires and gears, a switch and three buttons, yet no apparent power source or even a compartment to house a battery. He reassembled the egg-shaped device and on a hunch based on the materials it was made from, re-examined it from a new angle. He placed the mechanism in a small tub of water, lifted the flap revealing it’s toggles and flipped the switch: it vibrated with energy! He was delighted to answer at least one of his client’s questions, but expressed his disappoint that he couldn’t determine its purpose as he returned it back to the client.

#ShortShortStories #TheConsultant

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