Becoming the TigerOctober 7th
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
The Opus Of The Everythingthe ocean floor, the twisted sea andThe Opus Of The Everything4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
all the flying jacket bees, and all
the flying birds and he, the one who
caught the glint of spring, who laid
it on the downy dew, the crispy green
of May fescue, who saw the plans of built
up lights that burn to light a thousand
pools of dripping rain and puddles lay
on any given night or day, the brick by
brick, the mortar spread, the snap of sugar
sweetly felt, the brine that made it
through the cloud, the opus of the
everything, the great and wide, the heat
of flame, the sun in cold but sunny sky,
the sound of when a child laughs,
the opus of the everything
Me and My Shadowi.Me and My Shadow4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
My shadow slips to silence among the aquatic acacias. Even here, leaves abound, draped over the fuzz-curves of his figure as he soaks up the moonlight. Papa's soft voice turns my gaze to the moon. Remember, Carlos, our shadows are but imprints of the moon. Remember the Eclipse. I shiver and hold onto an acacia branch. I'm careful not to let my shadow near the shoreline where sea meets sand. That's why acacias are aquatic; they drowned their fate with the sea, Papa says. We cannot, we must not let it be our shadow's fate. We are nothing without our shadows. And yet the tide sweeps towards my toes as the moon charioteers across the silver nightscape. I leap back onto the thorns, onto the blue leaves and pray my shadow seeks dry ground. Sometimes he doesn't pay attention.
My shadow ripples to the privacy of the umbrellas. Some aquatic acacias were born like that, shaped like the human plastic as though it would dispel their liquefied sin. I think about joining him, bu
illuminate my heartSeptember falls outside his window and the two-story house feels June. Time tilts here, the days canted to the left like the apple tree their grandchildren planted sometime last winter. It hasn't grown much since then, a few leaves on dry branches but no blooming flowers when spring arrived.illuminate my heart4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Today his fifty years seem like thirty. Sitting up in bed is easier. He doesn't feel as weak as before. The Pacific breeze touches his hair, chills his pale face and he thinks, Maybe Anna and I could drive down to the beachfront today.
He rolls to his side. She's burrowed under the covers, a blue blanketed lump, white hair poking out over dark blue pillows.
John reaches his hand out and presses down.
The lump rolls over. The lump doesn't breathe.
The lump deflates like a balloon.
The lump is blankets and no flesh.
"Mmm, good morning," Anna murmurs in his ear.
Cold lips kiss his cold cheek. John frowns.
There's nothing there--
Anna squeezes his hand, drags him out of bed. "Breakfast?"
the seed greeted the asphalt -the seed greeted the asphalt with surprisethe seed greeted the asphalt -8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
, said it was set upon by early morning winds,
that they came from under the bridge by the bay,
rose up and turned like a freight train down the street;
ignoring the stop sign completely, causing an early commuter
to lean into it, squinting. discoloured leaves
rushed to fill its absence, falling over each other,
it said the heavy mass of pure air hit with such momentum
as to shake it off deliberately, making it a helpless
and unwilling hitchhiker for some 20 metres.
O Woe, Cotton Candy On FireWill I ever be ableO Woe, Cotton Candy On Fire6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to tiptoe with bubble-bath
the cotton candy forests
of your heart,
without turning into
a dystopian protagonist
and setting fire
LionadeGroceries, groceries, always the groceries Tom muttered as he pushed his cart through Vons. The biggest disadvantage the 16 year old had encountered so far with his drivers license was the fact that getting the food was HIS job now. While he didnt have to supply the cash (except for gas, but Vons was really only up the hill) it was usually at least a half an hour, sometimes an hour out of his day. His cart was filled with some normal items; bread, fruit, cereal, but it also had some party items including a cake. His little sisters birthday party was coming up. She should technically have been along for the ride, but the cake had been pre-ordered, all that Tom had to do was pick it up.Lionade7 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Tom glanced at his list, blonde hair shifting about as he headbanged slightly to his headphones. He kept them on while going through the store, because he knew where everything was. He made it a rule, though, never to wear them when he was checking out, just to be polit
SkinVerden looked out of the window and sighed. It was a summer's day, complete with fresh grass, singing birds and rainbows. It was a good day, a perfect day; or it would be if the weather was real, and the window for that matter. It was just an illusion, a curtain, if he pushed it aside, it would only reveal the damp wall behind it. He grimaced; it had taken him almost a year to make all the windows on request of the King who was catering to the whims of the Higher Ups. The snobs who couldn't stand the fact that they were surround by grey brick and the green slime that seemed to trickle down from the ceiling. Not that there was anything good to see if the windows were real, just the occasional dead tree, miles of wasteland and the eternal black sky.Skin5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He hated being in the service industry, catering to the wishes and 'needs' of the stupid people, the Higher Ups who couldn't see a decent bit of magic if it slapped them in the face. He ran a hand through his dark green hair as he
CaffaI cry from keyholes worn into my glandsCaffa4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
and ulcerated joints. My friends
load me into a sling to give me
to the enemy. A snap, shuddering, rounded full stop.
Riding over the walls, I am a limp horseman
straddling my own waist.
AppassionataClaire does not find him at his funeral.Appassionata4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Dean's body lies in an open casket, face-up with soft wrinkles and loose muscles. There is nothing of her husband in this corpse. He was rough and jagged. It seems wrong to see his edges smoothed down.
She hovers over his body and feigns sorrow. She hears family and friends weep and whisper comfort into each others' ears behind her. They offer their words and shoulders to her and she nods politely and pretends to cry.
All the while, she traces the ring on her finger and does not flinch when the diamond cuts into skin.
Claire looks for her husband. It is exhausting, but she has time.
In the rooms of their house, she does not find him. Instead she finds the ghost of him, his scent lingering in the cracks and crevices of the floorboards. Two weeks after the death of his body, her husband still has not returned.
His disappearance cuts into her now, making her grief raw and causing a tightness in her chest. There is a pressure on her lungs, as if her
distinctionThis is what I cannot understand.distinction4 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
There is an understanding that nothing is ever black and white. Good can be achieved through bad means, what's wrong can sometimes be right, and if you turn right for long enough, you eventually go left. Boys can be girls who fall in love with girls who sometimes think they are boys and the lines between everything end up irreversibly blurred.
Or so I've always thought.
But this is a line that cannot be blurred. This is the only remaining clear-cut line that separates black from white as perfectly as a color wheel. And that is the fact that everything is until it isn't. We are until we aren't. We breathe until we don't. We live until we die. There is no gray area, no matter what the talk of doctors and comas and life support and brain death might say. Your heart beats until it doesn't.
This goes beyond just life and death. Emotions are until they aren't. As are moments, definitions, seasons. Two people falling in love, well, some of them inevitably cra
Feeding Time...Feeding Time at the Sultan's MenagerieFeeding Time...5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
My mother is a hyena
and when the men come to feed us
she makes a terrible noise that I can hear
even from across the zoo,
but they think it is laughter
and they don't know that it is her
saying the same thing she always does:
"More, more! Why isn't there more?"
She cannot help herself;
She is a scavenger.
When I was born, she picked me up
in jaws that can crush an elephant femur
and for a second, the keepers that watched her
held their breath, thinking she was
about to eat me.
Somehow I was spared
and even the poison of her saliva,
the festering bacteria that kills days later,
only served to bathe me.
She is the leader.
She says, "You do what I say and
you don't complain because you are mine."
And she keeps a pile of bones in the back
of her cage, even though they only feed
us chickens and she says, "This is for when
there are no more birds because the men
are worse than leopards and will not
be generous much longer."
She bites them when t
because magicians are the bestSo, when Magnus Schitz vanished inexplicablybecause magicians are the best4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she was the one
who found him in her backyard
hanging like a kite against the thorns
upset and unsure
of what went wrong out of ordinary routine tricks.
"You might need a new suit and, umm, I can't find your hat," her opening sentence ping-pong'ed off his tattered self while he dusted himself in a fashionable wave and said,
"That's because it's on your head."
This is a story about April who had the grace to look flattered and ashamed with an unexpected hat on her head.
This is a story about April except
that's not her name at all.
"Hi, I am Julie and we happen to have the same hat-size." She handed him an eager smile. But he extended a handshake, like comrades
as if they were high officials or politicians. (Try, military ranks.)
So, she shot him a side-glance and imagined they were signing up a treaty instead.
"That coat tells me you just stepped out of war."
At this the magician loo
Lion TFLion TFLion TF9 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
I groaned. I had felt like shit all day. My entire body ached from the second I opened my eyes, and it hadn't stopped even now. I stood at 6'2 and had dark brown hair and eyes. Today though, it seemed as if I had shrunk an inch or two as I looked into the mirror and saw my half asleep face for the first time that morning. I just passed it off as the aching had started, plus, I was still half asleep, so I continued with my morning and got into the shower. After I was done, I looked at my clock… 6:25. I still had plenty of time to get ready for work. I lived alone which had its ups and downs, as does everything. I got my clothes on and walked out of the front door, my body still aching. It hurt, but I knew my boss wouldn't let me pass work just for some aching muscles.
I sighed as I turned the ignition and as I pulled out of the driveway. When I had
deer transformationSamdeer transformation3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The lazy afternoon sun shone down from the clear blue sky, the wind gently whispered in the trees and bushes, the faint aroma of mown grass drifted across the parking lot. The weather was simply perfect, but Sam didn't care. He didn't notice. Instead his head pounded from a severe headache, his eyes were red and watering, and the gentle breeze only made them sting. He suppressed a sniffle and unlocked his car, throwing himself limply into the driver's seat. He sat there, hands on the wheel, until finally he couldn't take it anymore. The tears came freely. Tears of pain, tears of sadness. His girlfriend who he had been with for the last 3 years had simply left him. She had just called him at work and said "I'm going, don't bother trying again. We both need someone new in our lives". She hadn't even spoken to him face to face. She hadn't even bothered to say anything. The tears stained his shirt and he tried to wipe them away from his eyes with the back of his h
Loki - CupidIf the diner knew it was playing host to two gods, it might have spent more care in preparing our lunch. Or perhaps not. Only the Oracle knew the future and he had gone half-mad from it, finally holing himself up at the summit of K2 and refusing any visitors. The popularity of climbing Mt. Everest had a sharp decline directly after, either from climbers wanting to visit the Oracle or because everyone realized that perhaps the Oracle knew something about Everest that we didn't. Either way, I didn't know if the diner staff would care they were serving gods and I didn't know why my fellow Watchdog looked like he'd been chewing on broken glass all morning. He glared at his sandwich like it had personally offended him. Perhaps it had. Tomatoes were hard to come by and it could very well be our fault.Loki - Cupid4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"So," I ventured tentatively, "How did it go?"
"I threw him into a car."
Tim started eating after that. I
EntenteProfessor Scudder's study was hot, dark, and crowded with memorabilia from his years in the tropics. Doctor Myron Handley sat and sweated in the uncomfortable plastic seat usually reserved for undergraduate backsides. He tried not to look at his colleague as the large elderly gentleman held a chocolate éclair in one hand, a glass of warm Cognac in the other, and alternately conveyed the two towards the general region of his mouth. Doctor Handley was all too conscious that he needed Scudder for the project to work at all, but that didn't mean he had to like it.Entente4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"And then, '46, we had a spot of bother," Professor Scudder spoke between swigs and chews but occasionally and disastrously mid-chew or mid-swig. "I saw some action, of course. Got wounded near Bombay. You a forces man?"
Myron Handley swallowed his revulsion. "Uh, no. All a bit before my time, really. I, uh, concentrated on more academic
Allen Ginsberg Sings the BluesAmerica has been dying for years. It is dead,Allen Ginsberg Sings the Blues4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Our eulogies are written on time delay: please
don't release this condemnation until one hundred
years after X. In 1974 Allen Ginsberg drew the bell
that did the death knells and sat still for twenty
more years until His hands were so numb, puddles
of sweat forming from thighs and chest and forearm.
A bead off the tip of a nose, a spell of water saying:
I am the bleak house of the corner drug store,
windows shut like storm torn branches.
I am the beer bottle in the creek that runs through
the back of the middle school, the one your kids
poke at instead of doing their field exercises.
I was a gay man or not or thought of myself as one
and they will tell stories about the stories that were told
for years. Those years are detailed and those details
are torn off and thrown into fires because
only the brilliant men get their own words to speak
the displeasures of every moment in which we are not
being served a dream wort
There's a House On the Moon"There's a house on the moon." She said, staring upwards at the silver disk in the sky.There's a House On the Moon4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Don't be silly, darling." Her mother scolded, shaking her head apologetically at the other parents.
She frowned and crossed her arms, her bottom lip sticking out and her big eyes narrowed. "But there is! And there's a river an' a field an' goats an' a cat, an' that's where Old Man Winter lives."
Her mother sighed impatiently. "Enough with these silly stories, Elisabeth. Go and play while I talk, alright? But no telling the other children of these ridiculous fantasies."
Pouting, she did as she was told, stomping her booted feet hard against the half-frozen ground until she was out of her mother's sight. Childish pique was only worth the effort if adults were watching. She walked into the bare woods, dried leaves catching on her winter coat, rather than go to the forlorn playground filled with bundles of coats and scarves and deeply concealed children. She unwrapped her own scarf from around her chin
Sahi"Listen, Sahi. Listen to it whisper to you." I held the shell close to my ear. My mother's cool hands wrapped around mine, her breath brushing against the hair that trailed down my jaw. "Can you hear it? Can you hear it telling you its story?" I kept the shell pressed to my temple like a telephone. I heard it, a shrill and silent echo.Sahi4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"What is it?"
"It's the ocean, my love. When the shell swam to shore, it kept a little bit of the ocean inside of it. And now it's yours, a little bit of the ocean, to keep with you everywhere you go. You like that?"
I come home late. As the door closes, the telephone rings. I limp to the cream- coloured telephone.
"Look out the window."
"Look out the window, Sahi. Tell me what you see."
"Tsvee, I just came home. I'd much rather take a shower, change-"
"Just look out the window, babe. Just a minute of your time."
I tiptoe to the window and look through the thick glass, my free hand pulling away the silk curtain. The telephone pressed
Amulet and Ring part 2This text contains TF and/or TG as well as mild sexual scenes and bad languageAmulet and Ring part 25 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
So if you don't like any of the above, go find something else to read
The TGF Writer
I swallowed hard as the creature came closer.
"Don't run." Flora warned with a whisper. "And whatever you do, don't try to harm it."
The running part did sound tempting, though making that monster angry was the last thing that would've crossed my mind.
Flora immediately went to her knees, and bowed her head as low as she could, mumbling something under her breath as the beast came to a halt, no more than a couple dozen feet from us.
For an instant I wondered why the people revered the creature as if it were a god, I was certain that, had the villagers tried, they'd be able to hunt it down despite its large form.
Looking down at the ruined food, the creature then looked back at us, I got the feeling it was angrier than b
MatchmakingFor her the summer days are long. She is small and sweet, a cube of caramel with an aching aftertaste that lingers for ending too soon. Her arms and legs are pliable as grass, and as grass she swells like a sea with the wind saturating her hair. She is one of the movers who cannot dance, but were meant to, from a tight core low in the abdomen; and she walks the sidewalk on the diagonal, a magnet pulled to a dimly lit room with the bhh-bhh-bhh of good hip-swaying rock 'n roll.Matchmaking4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He rides the subway at night, beats rhymes into the stretched skin of the drum. He is an eagle fledgling, long-haired and brown eyed. His pants are red and he sits on the ground, tapping to the chug of the engine-- the drum is the engine. The next stop is his; for the rest of the ride, the train vainly echoes his rhythms, before stumbling upon a screech and twisting the pulse to abstraction. Until tomorrow it waits for him, to unkink its music.
They could love each other easily-- as much as flame
The WriterA golden eclipse was emblazoned upon the back of his eyelids. The crisp, morning light, an event horizon on the surface of his vision. He found it so peaceful to lie here; watching the fire dance on the skin of his eyes, to see the distortion such a simple veneer could have on life. Everything was different depending on perspective. A certain paradigm is an important thing; it discerns life or death, true or false, love or hate. A simple problem can be interpreted, and solved, in several different ways. Untying the Gordian Knot is either a complex puzzle or a simple chopping manoeuvre.The Writer5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
John Tullock admired and cherished this, as it meant in someone else's view; he was an innocent man, even if he didn't believe it himself. Regardless of his own beliefs, twenty of his peers had agreed to this, and according to the Sixth Amendment, he had enjoyed the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district. The trial had been speedy, certainly. His sentence howev
If Kronos Drank MilkWhen I was little, Mama always told me that you couldn't swear by God's name, because then He might expect you to do something for him. So she always swore by milk. I felt very enlightened.If Kronos Drank Milk4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Milk," she'd mutter whenever I forgot to hang up the laundry, "I've raised a useless child." Or, sometimes it was more like, "Milk! Jessie, get outta that tree, girl!" Things like that.
People would always look at us strangely, and not because Mama and I looked so different. We'd be in the store and Mama would be muttering "milk" at the oddest times, and I'd be standing on the other side of the aisle with my hands hiding in the edges of my coat pockets.
Even when I was a teenager, Mama would still make me take a shower at 8:30 so that she could brush my hair before she went to bed. She made me grow it out, and I felt like an Indian because it was so dark and it hadn't been cut since I was four. Every night, I'd sit in front of the decaying couch on a stool and let Mama brush my hair while she watch