#ShortShortStories

a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “October, 2016”

Second Chance

Jade swerved hard to the right to avoid striking a squirrel that darted across the street, jumping the curb and nearly crashing into a fire hydrant in the process. In the heart-racing moments that followed she checked her rearview mirror to make sure it was fine, and she saw it upright in the grass – was it saluting her? Jude’s next two weeks were increasingly bizarre. There seemed to be a greater-than-usual abundance of squirrels scurrying around her neighborhood, and if she thought she was crazy for thinking a squirrel had saluted her, then she was completely mad for believing these others were bowing to her. The breaking point came shortly after she witnessed a squirrel jumping and scritching at a murder of crows: they began delivering gifts, small trinkets like rings and tinsel and other shiny objects. If the animal kingdom were a true kingdom, the squirrel she avoided killing was a knight and it owed her an immeasurable debt of gratitude.

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Black Mirror

The end. They held each other close and watched the screen blink and display ‘SIGNAL LOST’. Alban and Dee watched the countdown with the rest of the world in one of the few bunkers deep enough to survive the blast. A sudden, grave announcement was made in the middle of the afternoon one day in August. After Alban hung up the phone, she called Dee and they spent the next several months carefully stockpiling food and other necessities without raising any suspicions within their community. The President solemnly explained Protocol Omega to the greatest minds and most valuable lives in a worldwide, TOP SECRET conference. When the disease spread it decimated the world population in the span of 18 months, but what the world didn’t know was that it would reach an extinction level infection rate before a cure could be created. Once upon a time, the Blush swept through Europe, but it was so deadly it died out before it could make a significant impact.

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Piece Work

Farrah Mills was struggling with a bout of writer’s block while working on “Legend of the Brass Monkey”, the third novel in her “Stupendously Gonkers!” book series about the madcap journeys of Majesty Swick. The 16-year-old girl adventurer used scientific principles to solve puzzles and safely escape dangerous situations. The character’s current predicament involved an oncoming forest fire, and while the first solution to surviving unscathed that came to mind involved burning a patch of ground and dousing the flames – it would leave her without any drinking water. Farrah strived to temper any amount of luck with enough probability to make for safe risks, and so after some research she found a better alternative for escape that didn’t involve fire or water, instead using the character’s trowel and fire retardant tent canvas.

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The Girl in the Bay City Boys Club

While Majesty had sussed out the true identities of the thieves who stole the local tribe’s brass idol, her quest to recover it had already been beset when she had accumulated three “lemons” before sunset. Lemons were setbacks and depending on the severity could be counted by halves or wholes; survival requires safe precautions – like not losing sight of one’s limits for the sake of determination. The lone benefit of Majesty’s premature pit stop was getting enough rest to begin the next day before the break of dawn. As the sun rose Majesty Swick confirmed a suspicion she had held for several minutes, plumes of dark grey smoke signaled a forest fire and by her estimates she had less than an hour to implement a plan of escape or survival. She tied back her mane of curly brown locks, rolled up her sleeves and laid out every item at her disposal.

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