a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “October, 2015”

On The Fence

The young gentleman sauntered into Bub’s Dubbed Subs – established by ‘Bub’ Grey, serving cleverly ‘dubbed’ customized subs – with the self-assurance of a stoner walking into a safe space. Studying the menu he dismissed the ‘Mary Jane’ (plain ham, pickles, lettuce), eschewed the Green Machine (lettuce, kale, spinach, pickles, guacamole), but pondered over the 4 Twenties (four subs weighing twenty ounces each). One customer wondered why the kid had been standing there for ten minutes without saying anything, but Gregory was a regular and Bub knew to just give him time. Greg took a step forward and Bub asked “The usual?” Greg nodded with a smile and Bub handed him the large bag containing the twenty-ounce subs, having used the time wisely. “Tell the guys I said ‘Hi’!” the owner shouted as Greg gave a flick of his wrist and waved two saluting fingers upon his exit.

#ShortShortStories #OnTheFence


Where There’s a Will

The kitten rubbed against the much larger cat, weaving between his legs while marking him with pheromones that identified him as part of the group. Steven picked up Neow and carried him to the couch so they could sit and watch movies together, a Saturday afternoon tradition he’s kept with all of his cats, Shane Calico before, and Leo ‘Leodore’ Logan before him. Neow climbed up the chest of the large cat that called itself Steven and he obligingly lowered his head so they could bunt, and Neow could cover up the last remaining scents of the outside. It was a good day.

#ShortShortStories #WhereTheresAWill

Ancient History

Martin glanced at the package sitting at his neighbor’s doorstep, and when he saw it was addressed to “Kira” he was transported to another time in his life. He was dating an older woman, a woman whose child bore the same name as his neighbor. Once things got serious the two were introduced, but the precocious tike would only ever call him “Texas”, where he had traveled to Australia from. They slowly lost touch after the job that brought him into their lives sent him back to Texas. He suddenly realized he’d been staring at the package the entire time when the door opened and a young woman was staring at him, sending him into a flurry of apologies that made the girl giggle. He introduced himself and offered his hand, and worried he had done something to offend her based on the look on her face. When she asked “Texas?” he almost collapsed to the ground.

#ShortShortStories #AncientHistory

Oh, How We Danced

Claire’s stomach knotted up as she paced back and forth on the phone, waiting for Luke to answer. He was delighted to hear from her, why wouldn’t he be? They had met years earlier at a punk show in the Bowery, and while holding hands on the subway afterwards shared a sweet kiss, it was the best night of his life. They reminisced about the Staten Island Ferry, Co-op City, and Coney Island into the early morning. After that call Luke didn’t want to push his luck by initiating the next contact, there was still a great distance between them. It wasn’t long before Claire wrote him a letter – lamenting the snow and anticipating the spring – with not-so-subtle encouragement for him to come visit. He packed his bags and got on a bus, just three days away from being with his future wife.

#ShortShortStories #OhHowWeDanced

Hot Lips is Back in Town

The sickly sweet scent of Ms. Napier’s perfume lingered long after the rude customer had left. Miranda was eager for her shift to end, not just because minimum wage wasn’t enough for her to deal with the ignorant indignation of needy customers, but because she was finally going on a date. Her friends thought she should have started dating 6 months earlier, but something felt wrong about only waiting a year after her fiancee had passed away; she wasn’t superstitious she just wanted to be respectful. Of course she had plenty of suitors, from the moment her ring came off men had been throwing themselves at her, showing their “sympathy” for what she had gone through. To Miranda, however, only one person had caught her attention after Paul died. The real reason she postponed the dating scene was out of guilt for her feelings for Faisal, a young man she met in a support group she joined to help cope with loss.

#ShortShortStories #HotLipsIsBackInTown

Period of Adjustment

Juliet sat across from Rick as he lifted the spoonful of ice cream to his mouth and ate it with a smile-and-a-nod. Juliet looked down at her double scoop of butter pecan, waiting for it to get just the right level of melty, hoping the haze of awkwardness between her and her newly-widowed step-father would lift soon. They were celebrating her thirteenth birthday – her first birthday without her mother present – and she was in desperate need of a favor. Rick grimaced as he looked at the face of his step-daughter and excused himself from the ice cream parlor, “for a moment”. The ice cream softened, Juliet’s mood lightened, and she devoured everything in the bowl, licking it clean as Rick returned with a proud smile. Upon returning to the car, Juliet discovered a paper bag on the floor of the passenger seat from the grocery store next to the parlor, filled with a medley of pads and tampons. They never discussed it, she just left an empty box in the bathroom when she needed more.

#ShortShortStories #PeriodOfAdjustment

Concerns of the Dead/Life Time Pt. II

(In other words, make sure you’ve already read “Life Time”, the post before this)

While Mark inhaled Niesha’s perfume and imagined all he would inflict upon her, a voice kept speaking from the back of her mind, an urging of confidence and courage. Her eyes focused on a single razor blade next to her right hand then glanced at her kneeling assailant’s forehead. He had a throbbing supratrochlear vein and she remembered from medical school how much blood loss can result from cutting veins on the scalp. She carefully slid the razor between her fingers and just as he began to dig into the details of what he had planned for Niesha, she swung her open palm across his forehead. Mark was sent reeling back, covering his wound in an ultimately futile attempt to staunch the blood loss. She was frantic to convince the police it was self-defense, but as soon as they found the hardware store in the trunk of Mark Warren’s car they knew what had happened, and what could have happened.

#ShortShortStories #ConcernsOfTheDead #LifeTimePartII

Life Time

Niesha grovelled on the squalid road as her attacker scoffed, crouching down and snarling in her ear, telling her that this is where she belonged. Part of her mind tried to distract from the ordeal, thinking that if she had exercised patience and waited for the light to change instead of taking a shortcut she wouldn’t have fallen into his trap. Mark Warren was a sadist – an unidentified perp the police had connected to seven open cases – his game was to wait for a lone woman driver to come down his chosen street (dark, vacant, secluded), pretend to be struck by their car and attack when they get out to help. He had lured eleven women to their deaths this way, albeit not before having a little fun first.

#ShortShortStories #LifeTime

Preventative Medicine

The Andersens walked through the parking garage after their day at the mall, Stoljer and Anya each holding one of Andrej’s hands as they counted “One.. two..” and lifting him as he jumped on three. A moment later Anya caught a whiff of the damp musk of cigar smoke and physically backed away, attempting to escape it as she waved her hand in front of her face. When the security guard smoking the cigar came from around the corner Stoljer requested he put it out, in his excessively polite way “Would you mind, please,” reading his name tag “Gus?” The septuagenarian obliged, extinguishing it as they passed him on the way to their car, then immediately struck a match and re-lit it as they drove off. Red meat, whiskey, poker; his cigars were the only vice Gus was still able to indulge in – at work, away from his doctor and his wife.

#ShortShortStories #PreventativeMedicine


Cole took the stage to perform for the Spring Formal, taking one final glance at his best friend Nancy off-stage. It was the culmination of their weeks of rehearsals in his grand gesture: an attempt to woo the head cheerleader, Rose Harmon. He strummed his guitar and spoke into the microphone, “Do you like American music?” His eyes glanced between the audience and his guitar as he began the Violent Femmes song. He looked directly at Rose on the verse “Everytime I look at that ugly moon/It reminds me of you”, causing Nancy to cringe and hope he hadn’t ruined all hope. Cole’s eyes remained locked on Rose’s, and she had to admit she was flattered by an underclassman dedicating a song to her. Nancy clenched her fists as she watched Cole performing, denying the flutter of her heart was anything other than nerves – until Cole hit the line “I need a date to the Prom”, and immediately spun 90 degrees toward her on “Would you like to come along?” He walked toward her as he continued his serenade, a change in plans he made when they picked out the song and gushed over their love of it, going off on tangents and talking for hours about life, the universe, everything. He realized that Rose was just a pretty face in a crowd, but Nancy could touch his soul as deeply as few other things, like music.

#ShortShortStories #Showtime

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