Grandma Rose's Story: OneOral TraditionGrandma Rose's Story: One5 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
She told this story one day while she did beadwork and a few of her grandchildren played nearby. She remembered her own grandmother, the one who raised her as a little girl. She talked about a time many years ago, the last time she saw her grandmother.
"My grandmother lived on a place where she had a barn and grain holders and chickens and horses. She used to let me help her take care of the chickens. The horses roamed out to pasture, coming in sometimes for hay she always had ready for them. She and I lived there together. My older cousin, a young man then, stayed with us from time to time.
"My grandmother had adopted my mother a long time ago, see, and then when my mother died, just thirty-four years old, my grandmother took me to live with her. My sisters and brother went to my other grandmother but my grandmother wanted me with her. I was just a little girl then, not even old en
Infini-Fridge 9000Barry loved his Infinity Fridge. Or at least, until he got married, anyway.Infini-Fridge 90002 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
At first, it was amazing. As a freshly-recruited maintenance engineer on the Luxury Star Cruiser The Astronut, Barry had found his new home and workplace full wonders. He walked through rooms so tall he couldn't see the sky; he swept up litter from artificial beaches which captured more beauty than the real thing; he watched the stars pass by like rain from the sweeping observation deck.
And, of course, he had his Infinity Fridge.
An Infini-Fridge 9000 was standard-issue hardware for a Luxury class cruiser, but Barry had never seen anything like it. In the slums of his native Bomalomalom, pretty much everything was finite (except perhaps for misery). Water was rationed. Food was served via nutritional pills only. Even electricity was limited to ten tera-watt-hours per day. That was barely enough to run a sens-o-vision sim and have enough left over to purify your evening drink.
So to step into a room with a frid
The Library PlotMy master is a wizard of some repute; anyone could tell you that simply by observing his library. Even if you had never seen his face before, seen him strut about in his fancy embroidered robes and pointed wizard hat (which went out of style ages ago), you would know he was a wizard if you perused the books he has collected. His private library is a font of knowledge, a den of arcane secrets passed down through generations of sorcerers, savants, mystics and soothsayers. Here, scribed on papers bound in leather, cloth and dragonhide, are all the tricks of the trade my master plies.The Library Plot4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
And it is here, in his library, that I spend the majority of my time these days, plotting his downfall.
Oh, it's not like my master has ever treated me unkindly. Quite the opposite: he took me into his home when I was alone, a poor sad victim of the streets. He keeps me fed, offers me a place to sleep, has nothing but kind words to say to me. He gives me free reign of his household and lets me come and go as
How the Fairytale EndsI remember lying in the dark the night after we killed the troll. My bandaged side hurt like hell, and I thought maybe the arrow the monster had used had been poisoned. I shivered at the thought and pulled my cloak farther up to my chin. This left my feet, bare, of course, so I sighed heavily as I tried to bend down and cover them again. I had barely moved before he was there, pushing me back down gently and settling his own cloak over me.How the Fairytale Ends4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Idiot," I heard him mutter.
I fell asleep with a grin on my weary face.
That I can remember clearly, though it seems so long ago now.
This journey of the king's faithful young knight and a starry-eyed tomboy started months even before then, in the days when we were still infected with those twin diseases, stupidity and recklessness. Others called it youth and bravery. I've discovered there's very little difference, really.
Either way, here we are now, on the cusp of victory. Soon, our trial will be over. It's what he always wanted.
I glance to my si
The Hole in the FenceEveryone knew about the hole in the fence. You went to the back of the park, where the grass gave way to packed dirt, and followed the fence east until you found it. You didn't even have to crawl on the ground -- you could just walk right through the space where the chain links had been torn away from the post.The Hole in the Fence4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When Tina was little, too young to go to the park by herself, she asked her big brother what was on the other side.
"What do you mean? You can see through the fence already."
And he was right. On the other side lay more dirt, and then rocks that eventually led to the foothills. But there was still a mystery about it all. There were rumors of a cave, and of small blind animals that lived in the crevices of the rocks.
But Tina only went through the fence once. The very first time she was allowed to go to the park alone, she found the hole and went through it. She reached the large,
Geiger's CourierAs I walked, the blue of the desert sky began to fade. I pulled my hood over my head, even though my machine body needed neither protection from the sun nor shelter from the wind. Simply put, I didn't like the feeling of the unending void above me, looming, watching, infinite. I knew I shouldn't have such feelings, so I ignored the rationale and allowed my hands to move as they pleased.Geiger's Courier1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
I adjusted the leather strap. The sky was pale. Gray. Stars blinking into view, I refused to meet their eternal gaze. As I walked I was dying. As I walked, I was not yet born.
But as I laid my feet in a careful pattern, one in front of the other, I didn't notice. Day, night, it didn't matter, for I'd been given the unenviable position in life of a courier, and I neither knew nor cared for anything else.
Not yet, at any rate.
My body was a vessel for my vague sense of self, for I was water gathered between shaking palms, a cup half-filled, a fleet lif
Dear Sir[Lights up on CLAUDE. He's holding a letter, standing.]Dear Sir5 years ago in Drama More Like This
We regret to inform you
That your (that place with cream walls and dog hair where warm nights are cracked by
ceilings let you sink into plaid cushions and listen
O Dan Rot.Dan Rot, a manO Dan Rot.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of considerable comic timing
who came on rackety wings around the globe
in thirty days or so,
visiting once again with a night on his heels
copping feels on innocent ladies pillowed in bathtubs,
i was black like night
and i was ringed in rainfall
i was so glorious
a spiraling psyche led me to one thing
and this town never could have contained me
a spinning science to my insanity
bends in the system and curves of the power lines
a beauty to plywood and splinter breaks that cannot be defined
bends in the path, a northward slide
strand you in a parking lot
i was vicious and viscous
and i was perfect
as i die i know you have too
as i fade over snapped trees
all is quiet and all is dead
and i curved away.
Ms. Civit, a woman
of considerable jazz influence
who culled in her snatch fifty thousand
squirming little nothings
ravished by the callous allure of Mr. Rot
(who raped her mercilessly,)
on the ground on the ground and the fever is rising
upside down min
Where there is will...Where there is will...4 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Where there is will, there is pain
Timo is 22. He used to do gymnastics in the Finnish national team. He wouldn't let something little come in the way. It's not that he is a perfectionist, he just wanted everything. Or at least a Masters of Science and to be a top athlete.
Then Timo got an ear infection, not exactly a major illness, but that's when things started to go wrong. After a few weeks of tinnitus and antibiotics he got well again. Almost. He was more tired than usual and started struggling with brainfog.
Six months later the doctor of the Olympic committee diagnosed Timo with mycoplasma, a bacterial infection which is usually only a short-lived problem, but sometimes becomes chronic. The first round of antibiotics tided him over for 2-3 months, the second for a month. The third one no longer did anything.
This was in 2007. Despite not feeling well Timo spent the summer training, hoping to be among the three athletes to gain the coveted spot in the Word Championship team. Train
The Monster of Orange JoylingThe Monster of Orange Joyling4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The children had never seen a monster before.
They'd heard the stories, of course. It was impossible to live in the City of Always Nightfall without having huge, cavernous dreams about the bone-pile it digs its roots into. It was a very big and bloody bone-pile, the one crunching underneath Singing City.
There was Glum Rradung, the bulge-eyed sewer-midget who slithered out of water-closets and gulped down children wandering about in the dark. There was Ingalin, the hungrymind which spontaneously formed out of clutter and garbage. There was the Very Practical Man, whose face was just an enormous nose and an even bigger grin, a demon who, they say, could smell out loneliness and loved to torment the heartbroken and the near-suicides.
And there was the Dark Lord in his pyramid, high up in the inner city where no Squatschild could ever go. The climbing, black stain of Tower Myth and Mastery was a brooding reminder that it was a monster who ruled them all.
Singing City's slum-brats had no l
So Long, I Must Be GoingWashington - The American space agency Nasa has lost contact with the 9-year-old Prometheus I space probe to Alpha Centauri, officials have announced. Prometheus was the first to pass through the Oort cloud and send to Earth close-up images of comets and proto-comets found there, on its way to our nearest neighboring star system. Catastrophic hardware failure is suspected, perhaps as the result of collision with space debris.So Long, I Must Be Going4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
As it turns out, the galaxy is teeming with intelligence, and I found it. Or it found me. Wait, let me back up and start over. I'm new at all this story telling stuff. Never had to do it before.
I'm a deep-space probe from Earth. I'm not going to bother explaining where that is, because if you're from there you already know and if you're not, you probably don't care. It's tiny, an insignificant spark orbiting a medium-sized yellow star that's all you need to kn
cosmic background radiationThey say that the big bang was not an actual "bang". It was really just static. Static, like the interference of radio waves. Of course, the universe did not happen instantaneously. The big bang took 760,000 years to happen. 760,000 years of static, and bang, the universe happened.cosmic background radiation4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I get myself together and actually go out. I go to see the New York Philharmonic perform the works of John Cage at Lincoln Center. I walk out during the second movement of 4'33". There's a very small difference between life and death. I walk home, my chin pulled down against my neck. I hum a constant note, providing myself with my own tinnitus.
I focus on this note. I cross Broadway where the walkers cluster on the curbside, awaiting the turn of the traffic light. People talking and the bioacoustic noises of their bodies moving. I walk against the signal. The tires of taxis scrape against the road. I go west on 65th Street, past Brooks Brothers and the slimy sliding of the revolving door, past vans parallel
ash.Like all revolutions, it started with a whisper.ash.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And that whisper passed from underground to underground, echoing off walls adorned with subway tags, barbed wire love letters. That whisper became a murmur, and that murmur worked its way into the heart beneath the city, such that the ground rumbled with a fire and a fervour seldom heard. The earth had a bonfire in its belly, and freedom in its sights. Strangers acquiesced in silence, marching to the drum that beat beneath the blood. And the people rose and swelled like waves; the winds of change were mustered by a whisper. Like the flick of a lighter. The whisper that still echoed, faint and irrevocable, rattling old windowpanes like bones, coming under doors. Laced with the smell of smoke. As quietly, a spark caught tinder, and turned to flame; flame caught heat and turned to fire.
It was that whisper that you gave me. Your name was Ash, you said. You said our time had come. And lit my cigarette, unasked. That seditious tone and that u
I Guess I wasn't Made That WayIs it redundant to describe a brothel as seedy?I Guess I wasn't Made That Way4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I suppose it is, but then how can I be expected to describe a brothel that I think must be particularly seedy? I don't know, I guess I'm no expert on brothels or anything, but I don't think they can all be as seedy as the one I found myself in. Everything from the rather off-putting older woman who answered the door and questioned me severely about whether I was looking for "any freaky shit" to the mismatched, ratty furniture in the waiting room.
Now that I come to think about it, the idea of a waiting room in a brothel is a little gross in itself.
I wasn't thinking that at the time, though, I was full of 1. nervousness 2. a pretty serious identity crisis and 3. vodka because 4. my parents had just told me I was a robot and 5. I wasn't at all sure I wanted to be a robot.
So that's what was going through my mind, sitting on that plaid-patterned sofa with mustard-yellow exposed foam in several places, picki
So Much Beauty in DirtChang was about to end his shift when he found the portal to hell. The most sensible thing to do was run. Just pack up and leave. Cover it back up, take your pay, pack up as soon as you got home and leave town by daybreak. Chang was a sensible man. You don't live this long in the mines without learning to be sensible. Unfortunately for him, he was also a kind man.So Much Beauty in Dirt4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Don't go all the way down my shaft," he told Li. "Stop halfway and start a new tunnel. Say you were following a small vein."
Li was ten years his junior. He just recently returned home after a failed attempt to start a life in Shanghai. Unlike in the city, the mine was always hiring. Of course, he could have decided to be more sensible and move to Taiyuan instead, but there wasn't any excitement in that. At least coal mining was interesting.
"Just don't do it. Fill it in."
"Are you going to tell me why?"
"Gas," Chang said heading up.
"Then you should tell the foreman, not me," Li said, stopping.
The Knife's SpeechIn the early eighteen hundreds, a sixteen year old girl decides to leave her hard home life and go out to seek her fortune. She takes with her a blanket, some food and her father's old knife. On the road to London, the knife speaks to her.The Knife's Speech5 years ago in Drama More Like This
I left the forge in years long gone by,
with blades of great renown and greater strength,
but none of them has done so much as I,
though they may be recalled whilst I am not.
It was with them that men waged cruel war,
displaying awesome power before the world.
I'm agent of small deeds which no one saw,
but which will have effect until Earth's end.
There's little in those youths who name me beautiful,
run fingers down my spine to test me,
feel my balance, call me graceful
and having paid that tribute soon abandon me.
To them I'm but a toy that men outgrow
and leave behind with boyhood.
My subtler power's a power they'll never know
in heat of war and sound of soldiers' feet.
Yet gentle women know my power well;
and quiet girls unleash my strengt
Becoming the TigerOctober 7thBecoming the Tiger6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Bob Cartman kept a tiger in a cage behind his house. He also had a big Rottweiler that lived on a ten-foot chain in the front of his property, and slept with a loaded shotgun propped against his bed. No one knew if he lived under a constant paranoia of being robbed or if it was the result of an overdose of the natural desire to display his machismo. No one bothered to ask.
The tiger was a massive male of the Siberian variety. In his ever-abundant creativity, Bob had dubbed him Stripes. The dog didn't fare much better. His name was Killer.
Stripes was a friendly cat, when he was in the right mood. Bring him out a piece of chicken and he would come up to the bars, rubbing his face against the cold metal and moaning an enthusiastic greeting. Bob liked to complain that he wasn't vicious enough, that he lacked the killer instinct of a ferocious jungle beast. He found many faults with Stripes in fact, from the cost of feeding to the habit the creature had of keeping him up
ToastStraight up, my friend:Toast3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
that's the only way to drink a poem.
I raise my glass,
I know the drink, I know the game.
I don't want
your fancy blends,
a wine that doesn't know how to touch my mouth!
I raise my glass
and when I drink I understand.
My poison knows its purpose
and if you offer me your cup,
yours had better know it, too,
'cause I don't want to die confused,
straight up, my friend,
The Encounter at Elsie'sIt's a rough hand at my shoulder and I'm being dragged, thrown really, out the front door.The Encounter at Elsie's4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Right away I recognize her pet. The cloth over his mouth moves, but the blast was too close and I shake my head, pointing to my ear. He understands. He grips my arm with a hand of ice, firm and clinical, doing his job as ordered; and drags me to the side of the establishment with an urgency that has little to do with my preservation. I can't hide my amusement at that fact, dire as our situation may be. Abruptly I am thrown, shoved too hard into the shadows and against the wall, my vertebrae snapping to attention with the impact. Must remember to thank my 'hero' for that one later. He presses a forearm against my chest, leaving it there just an extra moment: stay here.
He disappears. I shudder at the cold as a wave of goose bumps rips over my skin. My eyes dart to and fro, ner
Definition: Sanctuaryseek [verb].Definition: Sanctuary5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
definition: to search or to look for.
I have been here before.
It was one of the first things I remembered, and at first it frustrated me. Precious things - names and happenings and the sound of voices - eluded me, but I knew the taste of books. The shape of their rough spines and the light they held when I opened them under the diamond-lattice windows. What good were they? Stories are made out of other people's memories.
Now they have become a sanctuary, of sorts.
My favourite book is The Hound of the Baskervilles. There are three well-worn copies in this library, and I know the exact placement of each of them. I know where the pages are dog-eared or torn or stained. I know which book has a red cover or green endpapers or a five-page introduction, bold serif typeset, one blank page between it and the first chapter.
I don't know if I had this knowledge before. If, perhaps, memory is not a limitless thing and the holes in mine have been filled with surplus inf
His MemoryI was too young to remember;His Memory6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
maybe I still am.
But somewhere hidden,
under layers of wax,
it still burns.
Miss Tansybaum's CarnivalBy all accounts, Miss Tansybaum's Circus of the Moderately Peculiar should not have continued to operate. They were a very small operation as circuses went, they had no rides and their menagerie consisted of a single geriatric lion and a handful of obscure species, such as the Sudanese Crooning Lizards, who were obscure for a reason. Sure, Brendan the Mono-juggler could keep a single ball in the air for hours, but you got tired of watching after the first few minutes.Miss Tansybaum's Carnival5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Lord Maggothaunch's Carnival of the Un-Ordinary should have crushed them out of existence in the first year--indeed, that was among the lord's stated goals--and its failure to do so was a source of intense frustration for him. Did he not have scantily clad women and a genuine, if sullen tiger? Did he not have a genuine freakshow, with real live freaks, including a pair of dubious Siamese twins and a two-headed calf in a jar?
Miss Tansybaum did not have a freakshow (at least not in the conventional sense, although the less
waitinghe spends his days chasing seagulls and singing to the songs in his headphones. he dances when he should be working and works when he should be laughing, but his eyes are the same shade as his hair in the morning and he knows who he is. he knows that rain is cliched but he doesn't want it for love or dancing or sorrow, he wants it for the way it flattens the clothes to his skin and the way it makes the leaves vibrant against withered clouds. he thinks in poetry and dreams in black and white, but he speaks of hope even though he knows how messed up the world is. he is still waiting for his second chance; he is still waiting for a reason; he is still waiting for someone to prove him wrong.waiting5 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
she wears long skirts and ribbons in her hair, and smiles because she knows it makes them happy. but she feels more deeply than anyone knows and sometimes she can't understand why the world insists on turning. she soaks up rainwater through porous skin, but she loves the sun because it can be ever