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a cure for the common block

Archive for the category “newhart”

Poor Reception

Lakeisha Greene raised her hand with an “Aqui!” after the noticeable pause following the calling of Jake Granger’s name. Little was more humiliating than being a junior in Spanish 1. It was bad enough that her 3 credits didn’t transfer from her previous high school because they “followed an unorthodox curriculum” – apparently immersion learning is “unproven” – but she could already tell she would face the same ignorance as every school she had attended since 5th grade. She was proud of how hard her parents had worked and appreciated how little they asked from her, but some days she would give up the nice textbooks just to see some familiar faces, and people who understood what her name meant. She finished a weeks worth of homework assignments before the bell rang to dismiss the class, packed her backpack, and walked out into the halls when Jake passed her by and handed her a folded note “Lakeisha”. She paused, unfolded it, and read the short missive from the tall ginger: “I need a tutor and you seem to know a lot. Help???” She laughed to herself, almost upset that she hadn’t thought of the idea herself; by graduation she saved enough to buy a new car.

#ShortShortStories #PoorReception

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You’re Nobody Til Somebody Hires You

Mike balled up his shirt and with the flick of his wrist launched it onto his already-full hamper, which it promptly tumbled off of onto the floor. He groused every foot-dragging step to the corner of his room, picked up the shirt, dropped it back on top of the heap and pushed down with all his body weight. Since moving back in with his parents he made a series of concessions, one of which being that he would do his own laundry – with the conceit that he could wait until his hamper was full. He didn’t miss his apartment that never smelled quite right (or getting the landlord to take blame so he could prove to his parents it wasn’t him), but he missed his routines and he missed the convenience of having everything he needed in a five-block radius. It would be nearly seven months before he was fully recovered (and almost two years before he found a proper job) but he returned to the life he missed, albeit with slightly altered routines.

#ShortShortStories #YoureNobodyTilSomebodyHiresYou

The Big Uneasy

Chloe sewed the button in place for the third time in as many months. Two weeks later – as she crissed and crossed the thread – she silently fumed in frustration; she understood nervous habits, she understood minor compulsions to chew or rock or whatever, and just as she was about to get angry at her son for undoing her hard work by gnawing on his sleeve buttons she wondered, what was making him nervous? When Jon came home from school that day his mom sat down with him and had a long-overdue chat about school, his friends, and everything going on in his life.

#ShortShortStories #TheBigUneasy

Draw Partner

Cherie cooed softly at her young one as she stroked his chin, cradling him as he giggled and wiggled. She was considering options for names when Ty entered the hospital room with cookies and juice. She had a soft spot for “Lou”, a great-uncle who helped raise her while her mother was in the hospital, while Ty wanted to honor his own father – “Rey” – whom had recently succumbed to disease; they had already agreed his middle name would come from his father. At an impasse they resolved to settle it in their traditional way. “Louis Ty Allen,” Cherie said as she pointed at his nub of a nose “your father is terrible at ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’, so let’s hope you take after me.”

#ShortShortStories #DrawPartner

Grandma, What a Big Mouth You Have

Yves nestled into the sleeping bag listening to the soothing sounds of nature outside his tent: the soft rustle of leaves around his encampment, insects chirping to attract mates, an owl controlling its flaps as it landed on a branch and let out a hoot. A loud rustle made his eyes jolt open; he was disoriented, he couldn’t tell if he had just fallen asleep or had been asleep for hours. There was a steady rustling through the bushes to his right but it was too small for a bear and he was hundreds of miles from the nearest cougar sightings, so he closed his eyes to drift back to sleep before he noticed something – complete silence. Aside from the wind, he heard nothing but the beating of his heart, which grew faster the more nervous he got. To remain vigilant – yet focused – he began listing the animals it could possibly be. However his list became infinitely small when he heard a shriek from a maw he had never in his life heard, and from his throat bellowed a scream nobody would ever hear again.

#ShortShortStories #GrandmaWhatABigMouthYouHave

Fun with Dick and Jane

Dick and Jane galloped across the desert to make true a promise to a dear friend who had waited too late to attempt to fulfill his dream. They had always wanted to compete in this decathlon and swore to him that rather than mourn his death they would register and compete. A competition across the Australian Outback, 10 events, 27 teams, the first team to complete all events and cross the finish line would win: bragging rights, a trophy, and a 3-month, ten-country trip around the world. The duo were in dead last on the last event but they didn’t care, it was an experience that gave them stories that would garner them free drinks for life, instant attention from anyone they met, and – after discovering they actually came in fourth due to some rule violations – an all expenses paid week in a city of their choosing.

#ShortShortStories #FunWithDickAndJane

Looks of Love

Wael pinned the corsage perfectly to the strap of Ana’s dress which didn’t surprise her since he was always sharply dressed, a shoe-in for the “Best Dressed” senior superlative. But graduation was still weeks away and this was a night for them to enjoy each others’ company for the first time since Ana was grounded. In many ways it was a typical prom, the punch was spiked, pranks were played, but in other ways it wasn’t – the couples weren’t all boy-girl, not everyone dressed typically – it was something that struck deep within Wael as he had grown up in Lebanon where such things weren’t tolerated. He had never questioned his sexuality and sometimes wondered if he should have, did he only express interest in women because he was raised in a society where that was the norm? But holding Ana filled him with a feeling that permanently put that question to rest.

#ShortShortStories #LooksOfLove

Sprained Dreams

Angelo placed the mouse on the platform under his device and turned it on, smiling with delight as the mouse struggled to balance itself as it rose up and began floating, weightless. Dr. Una’s calculations and observations had uncovered the mysterious, massless “graviton” (henceforth referred to as the Una particle), and once discovered and studied, he learned how to turn it off, for lack of a better phrase. He had hoped it would revolutionize space exploration by allowing us to travel near the speed of light in a massless craft. His hopes, however, were dashed when he discovered that applying it to any structure caused it to fall apart. Instead, his creation became little more than a novelty since it couldn’t be used even for training purposes as the space suits fell apart. Had he kept tinkering with it he could have fixed that problem, but that would be left to the work of someone else nearly 40 years after his death.

#ShortShortStories #SprainedDreams

Leave It to the Beavers

Zenna put the finishing touches on the final draft of her latest novel before sending it off to her editor, unaware of the intense uphill battle ahead of her. After her blog became popular enough that a publishing house took notice and gave her a deal, she’d had several sci-fi/fantasy hits, a genre typically dominated by male authors. She credited her success to intelligent characters that behaved realistically in situations rather than in a way that conveniently advanced the plot, and that fans respond when you give them what they want. Over a conference call the Chairmen and editors all reassured her that they had no qualms about most of the characters or the overall plot per se, their one and only note concerned the antagonists. When Zenna requested specifics they hemmed and hawed before one said plainly that he didn’t find giant beaver overlords threatening or believable.

#ShortShortStories #LeaveItToTheBeavers

Still the Beavers

Paulo and Drummond got lost after a bear attacked their campsite and destroyed almost all of their gear. It had been two days since their rations ran out and while their water supply could keep them hydrated for another three days they needed food to sustain their energy, more than just the berries and plants they’d been chewing the past few hours. Paulo prepared a fire while Drummond sharpened knives and made spears out of heavy branches. Their plan of attack was simple: they took a few steps, stopped and scanned for life, waited and listened for any rustling or wild calls, then repeated the process. Paulo heard it first, the rushing of a river nearby; fish weren’t their first choice but they couldn’t afford to be selective. They stepped out into a clearing when something quickly stumbled past Drum who stab-stab-stabbed dramatically out of fear and Paulo launched his spear at the furry lump for good measure. After the skinning, gutting, and roasting, they grimaced as they took their first bite, hoping it tasted better than it smelled when Paulo opened it up. To their immense delight it was actually the best food they’d eaten in weeks, even the tail was yummy; the beaver provided them with enough nourishment to last until forest services found them and brought them to safety.

#ShortShortStories #StillTheBeavers

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