Sforzando Magnificent, imposing shadows towered over the winking lights of the city; even in the late twilight hours, the noises of the bustling metro exploded into the colourful night. Patches of light from streetlamps and back-lighted signs broke up the shadows haunting the streets. Amid the luminous message boards advertising new brands of deodorant, Diamond Shreddies, and fast food chains, a woman with a mask of cold beauty gazed impassively across the city, her long dark hair seeming to sway in the wind. Her unmoving gaze fixed itself upon the silhouettes moving below, small nothings in an immense world.
Down in the heart of the city, people se
the Chandler's Around the WayThe hose slipped out again. Chan cursed, and shoved it back into the incision he'd made, adjusted his mask, and bent over the pump. He yanked the cord, and the pump started to life with a cough of biodiesel. It bounced on the sand as it grumbled away. Chan kept one hand on it and held the hose in place with the other.the Chandler's Around the Way1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
If fucking Fathers would spend the bone on a new one, I wouldn't be all night at this, Chan grumbled. He ached for a smoke, but didn't have the hands to spare. Plenty of hands here, he thought as he glanced at the riverbank. Some of them even had a pulse.
"Hey," he said to whoever was closest.
It was a sunbather. A walker who drew enough bone to slot time on the beach without having to fight for it. She had each arm draped around a man, both of them tattooed in the same place with the same sigil. Chan was jealous. Someday he'd have his own numbers, but they'd be women. All of them. He was old-fashioned like that.
The walker answered without raising her sungl
resipiscenthe was one of those dick-faced kids in shades of bright polyester salmon who seemed to always be laughing or looking at me. an ambiguous-named, feminine-famed all-school american douchebag in those quality leather sandals in the wintertime and golf-green shorts.resipiscent1 year ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
ta give you some background i'm about as far away on the social scale from him as one can get. you know how all the little groups overlap and flap together, pushed around in the wet sand like wave-rivulets blending little facets of stones together until it makes a dune? well our groups---they didn't even touch. i mean you could go from pop-jock to lacrosse to dipper to weed-dealer to
Imitating NatureThe morning sun streamed through a series of large plate glass windows lining the library's east wall, its rays warming the room's wooden paneling and illuminating the cavernous space. Tall bookshelves stuffed with literature from across the world towered over polished oak reading tables, each furnished with a plain, green-shaded banker's lamp. On the far side, a massive painting gracing the west wall depicted the solemn face of Saint Patrick, whose protective presence could be felt watching over the library's sole visitor.Imitating Nature1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
All was perfectly quiet, save for a tap, tap, tapping that echoed in the otherwise silent room. Seated at a desk near t
Argus ApocraphexOf the many tiny beads of sweat that had formed on his forehead, two fell down, further soaking his already dampened brow. Suspended, he floated upside-down in a padded room, dreaming without consciousness of his body or its position in space.Argus Apocraphex3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
His mind reeled from slide to slideimages of adolescence pooling together and then streaming into an old time film: The Life and Times of Donald A. Silver. The yellowed silent movie showed a young man smiling and leaning against an old Chevrolet sedan. Cigarettes burnt the corner, and he was dancing with the woman he'd asked to marry him. But in the center of the shot, a blur grew from the in
grassy field with rustgrassy field with rustgrassy field with rust8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I'd heard about the old car, three miles out of town and all alone. I just had to see it. It was time. School was over for the summer, my friends were at camp, and I was bored. I set out Thursday morning for a hike, following directions that Uncle Will had given me. As the heat was still growing with the climb of the sun, I found the field and wandered around looking, and looking some more, trying not to be distracted by bees buzzing in the flowers, and butterflies and baby mice. Then it was there, just a bit upslope from the bottom of a natural swale, and just below the sky at th
The Substitution ParadigmThe Substitution ParadigmThe Substitution Paradigm8 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Ramu came up to our table. Glaring at me, he said, “You either order something or get out.”
I glanced away from the threat, and turned to Raghav. A single drop of sweat was running down his brow. Ramu saw that too and identifying his prey, he sprung.
Swinging around, he faced Raghav, “Order something or get out.”
Then Ramu just stood there. It was not as if we had rehearsed it before hand, but he knew. He knew that my co-occupants generally folded in the first round. Only the stout made it to second level, but they too buckled under Ramu’s relentless gaze.
I always had a policy of n
Beauty SwitchOFFBeauty Switch9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Back arched, skin starched, side swept hair
gorgeous hands and model legs
Deceptive, violent, crude
teeth grit and tongue split
Old Radio StaticIn the aftermath of the failed attempt, Sasha M. went to a bar on Strawson St, where she ordered a pint of its toughest porter and slouched into an empty booth. Whenever one seemed to encourage a refill or a food order, she shot the server a scathing look over her smartphone. Between these forays into doing business, Sasha sighed and pouted and occasionally played with the ring on her left middle finger.Old Radio Static10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
'Inside the bar, a dusky light blah blah blah,' she thought.
After a long half-hour in her own, admittedly poor company, she left the booth with an irritable energy, also payment and a bad tip.
Close to the door, she heard: "You buy one dr
Russian RouletteThey take her on her honeymoon.Russian Roulette10 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
The wedding was lovely, or as lovely as it could have been with a couple that were more polite acquaintances than anything else and two sets of in-laws as stuffy as a dusty pile of money. They grab her when she sneaks out for a walk one night, two men, beefy, not even bothered to arm themselves. Her last thought before the bag is shoved over her eyes is to wonder how much this would ruin her parents' plans.
She comes to in a small brick room on a sallow mattress, windowless and lit by a cool yellow lamp. There's a man there, standing just outside the barred door.
"Kelly Shale," he says, voice nasally, greasy
OCDI count the cracks in between the blocks of cement beneath me as I walk. Two. Two. Four. Four. Always four sets of that. Always two, two, four, four. Four times each. Look up. Blink 8 times. Two sets of four. Then back down. Two, two, four, four.OCD10 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Safe. Those numbers are safe. Even, not odd. Odd is bad. 'Odd' is what people call you when you're different. Bad. Wrong.
Two, two, four, four. I try to focus on something else, not on how many steps I'm taking, because there are people behind me. Person. One set of footsteps. Bad. Half of two. I think of it as two feet, and that's better. I feel better.
I round a corner, looking for my goal. Alwa
The Best I Can DoWhen you both started that conversation,The Best I Can Do2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The one that would end 2 years of your life,
You couldn't have known what was coming;
But you took it like a pro. Bye bye, wife.
Slow, rational, mourning followed by action,
You stood strong and fearless to show your integrity.
What you couldn't see on the other side of that phone,
Her eyes shone a red, white, and blue so pretty;
And she was looking anywhere but at you boy.
She quit you like school, never going back.
Can't you let her go; chop chop her out?
Of course not, your eyes sparkled like that diamond.
Even though history fills you with doubt,
Suffer righteously, leave her alone, a
They Also Serve Who Only Stand and WaitI don't know when we first went underground. I don't even know if it was one mass exodus, a swarm of mankind trickling through the earth's crust so vehement we carved our own caverns by the force of trampling feet, or whether it was a gradual process, perhaps even a repetitive one, a family here, a neighborhood there. For all I know, the echo of the damp subterranean machine has always reverberated off the cave walls, created long past by the Angels, who think of our well-being even while they shake their heads helplessly at our flaws.They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait8 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
They say that those who remained on the surface were raptured away in a great flash of light, like a millio
I Have No Names for all My Teacup BabesI feel always like I am starting over.I Have No Names for all My Teacup Babes10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
As a magpie I gather trinkets under my pillow,
bay leaves and bags of herbs to bring the next lover to me,
to call the next dream-face forwarda picture
painted in the tea leaves.
But truth be told the start-again
is never clean, is never gentle,
and the sweat of all that labour
is a fire on my skin, telling me
I will never resist its wind-cry.
The moon comes when I call, to help me;
midwife, she is, and she carries into being my new selves
like the babes they are, teaches them to
fill long footsteps like hers.
Truth be told, I tire of the destiny
I was given onceI am a teacup
Changing GearsMy morning oats taste particularly bland this morning. I look outside the clouded windows and see the city across every inch of my vision. Buildings of all shapes and sizes are formed from copper, brass, and iron. At all times of the day, the city's Gears are churning.Changing Gears10 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
The Gears are the machines that run the city, the country, possibly even the entire world. Metals are formed together to form them, robotic men designed to replace our government. Their voices boom over the industrial noises of the factories and drown seem to drown out all individual conversations. We're free, I suppose, but they all say that there was once a time when freedom
SouvenirsWhen her mom went to check the mail at breakfast, she returned with a thin box in her arms.Souvenirs1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It was a package from her father.
Her dad was sort of like a traveler... at least, that was what she assumed he was. His job always had him jumping from city to city, country to country. He'd been to almost everywhere around the world, and every few weeks, he would send her a letter with a little souvenir from his stay. This time, it was a miniature Eiffel Tower.
So he's in France again, she mused, studying the two-foot tall replica. A small chuckle escaped her lips. It was about time he remembered to get it for her! He really should've thought of b
Hubris.todayHubris.10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
than we're ever gonna
i. and we finally did it,
drove to the mountains
and let the mattress
under our love
under the stars
ii. there are things to
iii. my eyes sting like
chlorine, but from
I finally disappointed
the highest order of shame
iv. but you cannot put
people into pockets;
v. and I cannot choose
who I love
vi. your lenses are straight,
elite and proud
mine, open and accumulating
I should run away more often,
we never talk like this
viii. and you have to realise
that I live in
DormantWinter is a blank slate,Dormant9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
but not like Rousseau's
sucking out warmth like poison
leaving only windburnt frost
tacked to the window pane
all we remember
is the numbness
skittish steps across the ice
snowflakes pasted to our faces
smoke rising from our lips
dragged across bleak clouds
winter has us captured
bound by fur and walls
drifting in our eggshelled silence
bone cold until we birth ourselves by warmth
emerge from our shells wet and heaving
uncurl our fingers one by one
joints crackling like fire at our backs
until spring comes
drip by tender drip
old wounds thaw
we are found raw,
Talking to YourselfWind drove snow over the trees with such force they seemed to step into the distance. The whiteness in the air covered everything until it was as faded as an old scent trail after a rainstorm. The snow was already deep enough to suck in a man's leg past the knee if he wasn't wearing snowshoes, but the figure trudging through it was no longer a man.Talking to Yourself11 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Wendigo had given up on snowshoes long ago in favor of simpler footwear. The straps challenged the clumsy fingers of his stolen human body, and he could never figure out how to move in them without tripping. He lurched onward with the tenacity of a wolverine gnawing through an inch of deer skull t
Whiskey Laden DreamsBitter eyes and tears might taint a drink, but sitting in this bar alone with your stool pulled out next to me, and the Martini poured regardless of your presence still brings a smile to my face; despite the taste. I'm having a whiskey myself; dry. Yes, I know I don't drink, but every once in a while you need whiskey to solve an intricate problem, and mine is the distinct lack of alcohol in my life.Whiskey Laden Dreams1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There are people everywhere and it amazes me how none of them are you, from the woman in the black dress coming down the stairs to the signing couple in the corner, laughing silently. They're not you at all, and that's what's amazing in an
The Price of Dying“I want to be interred after I die,” Mr. Peters said. He made that clear to his family while he was still lucid, before old age and illness rendered him unintelligible. Seventy wasn’t that old, but he recognized the symptoms that were creeping up on his ailing body – the aches, the fatigue, the feeling of helplessness and despair. Despite his daughter’s attempts to assuage his concerns, he sensed his own mortality.The Price of Dying9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
The worst part about dying, Mr. Peters thought, was what happened afterwards. Even since he was a small boy, he had been afraid of fire. He could never forget the scorching heat of the orange flames searing his skin, the dark billowing smoke entering his nostrils. The time that his house burned down, the fire almost took him with it. How ironic then, to escape the fire only to be fed into it after death.
So one day, he sat his son and daughter down after dinner. “I want to be buried whole,” he said, emphasizing the
relearning i. stardust scatters with therelearning6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
direction of my pupils –
maybe secretly i am an
astrology teacher, waiting
for a sign to wink
happily at me.
ii. excuse the rambling
nature of forgotten question
marks, but tell me:
would you like to be the
object of handwritten clichés
would you like to whisper
secrets in my palm
and would you
like to be the possibility
iii. air brushes against my
skin like the torn petals
of a flower still standing.
[ hold your head up high, honey,
and tell tomorrow to wait just
iv. so you can figure out
the difference between
patience and having all the
FFM 2012, July 23 - Maslow's Androids"Whose goddamned idea was it to combine Asimov with Maslow?" The Virginian panted. His hands were bound in front of him, and around his neck a leather cord leashed him to the back of the android's horse.FFM 2012, July 23 - Maslow's Androids11 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Presumably whoever made them?" The Doctor was allowed to ride the donkey, as the androids deemed him more important. More important and more squishy. "Don't complain. Without the one, you'd be dead!"
"And without the other, I'd be free." The Virginian stopped for a second, which only made the cord snap him half-off his feet. "Hey, watch it oilbucket!"
The android ignored him. They were a party of five, plus the two humans. The Arizona des
The IdolI once saw a man on the television who was so afraid of fruits that when presented with a bowl of them, he fled the stage, knocking over the host and several other guests. Though I openly pitied the man for his obvious malady of the mind, inside, the small bit of sadism buried within all humans laughed at his bizarre affliction. How can one not find cruel amusement in the cowering of a grown man who has been confronted by nothing more than a bowl of peaches? But now I understand fear like no other. I now no longer find amusement in the terror of others, no matter how illogical.The Idol2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Now, let me tell you the story of why the sound of wind whis