Across No Man's Land0900 hours, December 25
"Her name was Anna," the English soldier said, "our wedding would have been today, if I hadn't been drafted. She was always religious, said her childhood dream was to get married on Christmas."
"I had a wife," the German soldier replied in barely accented English. "Broke her heart when the conscription letter came."
It was an odd scene, this was, two people who had previously been trying to kill each other, talking now like old mates.
1200 hours, December 25
"I get letters from my mother every few weeks, she just can't seem to stop worrying."
"Me too, and my son as well. Always warning his daddy not to get hurt."
Odd indeed, but today it was a scene that was being replicated all along the Western Front, enemies brought together by the day of our Lord.
1500 hours, December 25
"Could I join you for lunch? Our next shipment of rations hasn't come in yet."
Men who had been fighting so brutally the day before, laying down their wea
The SketchHe loses his first kiss in autumn. He's twelve, she's just turned thirteen, and at the time he isn't sure what all the fuss is about but knows how special it is anyway.The Sketch3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She's gorgeous, pale-skin, brown hair, dark eyes always filled with happiness and joy the way he wishes he could be. She doesn't want to be there any more than he does, and they grouse to each other about how they don't need a 'special school.' It's the first time he's worked up the courage to say it.
She carries a book too, just like his sketchbook, but she says it's a diary. It's hung with a little lock on the front and he jokes about it being the key to her heart, a little boy's poor attempt at flirting but she laughs anyway. He wants to hear that laugh again, and he does, when he shyly asks if he can draw her.
It's half-way through his sketch that she leans in and presses her soft lips to his. It's a little clumsy and awkward, given how she's standing up and he's cross-legged on the ground, and nowhere as romantic l
A Butterfly Flapping Its WingsThe letter was clutched in strong fingers which, had they belonged to a lesser man, might have been trembling.A Butterfly Flapping Its Wings3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It wasn't happiness or elation that he felt. There was a vindication that scratched on the edges of his thoughts, but the only thing really resonating in his mind was, 'what now?' It was the first time in a long while since he had heard anything beside the scornful echoes of his father's words.
It was a dream.
Almost a decade had passed since they'd been said. He'd shyly expressed his fondness for art as a schoolboy, and his father had promptly crushed his meek hopes with an iron tongue. "Fool," he had said. "Dreamer, head in the clouds." He'd laughed then, coarse and cruel. "You'd never make it." And the next semester his star-gazer of a son had been enrolled into technical school.
It started with death.
Standing cold and numb as his father was buried, it was his mother that convinced him to apply that first time with her soft word
Absolute HorizonMolly Steinberg can bend light. I would know. I'm dating her.Absolute Horizon4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I know what you're thinking. You think I'm calling her dense. Thick-headed. Stupid. She's not. Oh no, she is not.
She's smart; very smart, but in the worst way possible. She's pretty, athletic, popular, top of the line family, manipulative bitch extraordinaire. Molly Steinberg gets what she wants. And Molly Steinberg wants an A in science class.
It's easy to look at fools in love and think you'll never be like that. I know I thought that way once. But when the (ahem) perky cheerleader sidles up to you for a little help with Physics homework, well, you just don't say no. Not unless you're bent that way.
The redshifting of light probably should have clued me in that something was off a little bit here. But the gravitational time dilation was working in reverse an hour felt like minutes instead of vice versa. How am I supposed to run calculations with contradictory evidence like that?
a thing with feathersMy semi-permanent lover,a thing with feathers4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
laying on a deflatable bed
like the cool, clean scent of you lingering on my skin,
only six days left to live,
explaining things your dog will never understand,
like where you're going,
and why you won't be home after work anymore,
and how he'll have to sleep on the cold hardwood floor
and not tangle his bony legs with ours during the night.
When you hold his graying brindle face in your palms
and tell him you may never see him again,
I, sitting out of sight behind you, fight tears.
But he only stares, trusting, doggish, back at you,
unable to conceive of a day when your suntanned, callous-roughened hands
are not there to give him a belly-rub,
or grab his muzzle and rough-house with him, the two of you like puppies
growling and wiggling across our bed.
Later, when I am curled up small beside you,
my head resting on the too-thin, too-mortal layers
encasing the beating, churning organs that allow your lips to kiss
and your arms to hold,
Date A Girl Who WritesDate a girl who will argue with you over which brand of pen is better. Who needs more RAM on her computer because of Word files, not game files. Who has two bookcases one for filled notebooks and one for other author's works.Date A Girl Who Writes4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Find a girl who writes. You know it's her because she'll always have a pen and a notebook with her. Occasionally a tape recorder. She's the one who would have as much fun at home on a Saturday night with her computer as she would out at a party.
You see the weird girl sitting on a park bench looking engrossed in watching the people that walk? That's the writer. They watch people, how they act, they discover how people work. All for research. For their next big novel.
She's the girl hunched over a laptop at the coffee shop, or a notepad. Her fingers are moving so fast they're only a blur to you. Her previously fresh-cooked muffin is now cold. Her tea has simmered down to a lukewarm. Sit down. She won't notice you for a moment, she's lost in a different world
LilacsStage four lung cancer, they said. Six months, at best. You held on for so long, chemotherapy jovially turning you from a white haired lady in to a wig topped moppet. Vitamin C treatments, pills, sleep. Doctors, hospitals, tears and upset stomachs. To make you feel better, we announced that I was pregnant with your eleventh grandchild, and we hoped to God in Heaven that you would meet her. And you did. You clutched her to you with the fierce passion of somebody who has created a life inside of them and spooned her cake on her first birthday...and a month later you faded away.Lilacs4 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
When the call came, I was sitting on my living room floor. It was my birthday, quietly I turned another year older while you hummed along on machines in a hospital room, far from me. Far from anywhere I needed you to be, and the last place I wanted. It was just before midnight, everything was peaceful, I was content. Contemplative.
We had been in to see you earlier, I stopped by, chatted for just a while. You coul
Elegy Of A Lost SeasonI am the fall.Elegy Of A Lost Season4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Broken in June, buried in August -
haunting September from the boughs of hazel,
where not even the rain could reach me.
How my limbs ached to feel its soothing caress;
but my limbs felt nothing, and I felt nothing.
And the season moved on, without me.
Once, long ago, I was spring,
delicate and pure; fragile as willow seedlings,
believing themselves strong, as they stretch toward the sun -
before the wind breaks their stalks, and they fall
defeated, drained, limp upon the ground;
crushed and forgotten as tears.
But no, I was summer -
when I looked into your eyes for the first time
and forgot to curse the sun.
Tiny beads running down my neck;
hateful, so hateful - ignored, as you ensnared my senses.
You were summer, too
cradled in the branches of oak,
bright enough to burn my eyes and scorch my skin,
but never close enough to touch.
Until in your arms, I became summer,
and the sun could not outshine us.
But now I am winter -
numb and cold, faded, stripped and desolate;
The Three SongsThe First SongThe Three Songs4 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
The first song is easy; it is the song of magic and love. It is a song for the world and, therefore, it is the sort of thing you hear murmuring through the streets late at night or in the hum of young people dancing. I first heard it long ago; I was travelling deep into the recesses of my mind, and I discovered the image of myself. It was like a mirror, but one that was thousands of years old. Rather than bother him, the image that is, I decided to just watch. And to just see where he might be going.
The image of myself was walking in the garden.
He was wandering, clearly unaware of where he was going: lost and lonely. Through the canyons and forests, across the desert. The images flashed by, but I knew he'd been travelling for a long time. While I watched, he met a girl in the forest, and she took his hand and g
LoverHe couldn't care less about her adoration for philosophy;Lover5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the way the word 'existentialism' rolled off her tongue
and gave her nostalgia, how solipsism infuriated her,
the way she became fascinated with hail that broke glass.
In fact, he despised how she remembered every bone
in the human body and how she compared them
to other things: "The pelvic girdle is just misshapen wings
and the carpals are like tiny stones you find on beaches."
What he loved was the way her eyes stole his essence,
how his skin would be gnawed on by shivers and tingling,
how she'd masticate potassium and roll her tongue when
she ingested vitamin c.
Quite frankly, she gave him a hard-on.
This TearThis tear reminds everyone you existed.This Tear5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The TrundlerThe Trundler1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
The Neverending MonologuesThey bicker, shouting at impregnable walls.The Neverending Monologues4 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
how to eat a cupcakei spread the contents of my lunch out with a flourish, crumpling the brown paper bag in one handhow to eat a cupcake5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
carelessly, i glance down
because in the messy crime zone that is my lunch, there lies a cupcake
an innocent cupcake with white frosting that swirls to a point
topped with a little thunderstorm of sprinkes.
mostly blue ones.
and for the next moment
i cannot breathe
because we, he and i, used to split a cupcake every so often.
especially when we had one of those days where we would feel like skipping through the halls and singing our hearts out as we went.
he loved cupcakes with white frosting and mostly blue sprinkles.
i remember the way he would pick off every sprinkle except for the one in the center.
and the way he would sort each color into little neat piles.
we would playfully argue about who would eat the last, center, sprinkle, but he would always let me have it
until i would break it in half and hand half of my life to him with that sprinkle
after the sprinkles, we would
Act of KindnessWARNING!!! This passage is a bit long! If your not sure you want to read it I suggest that you look at the description first! Please enjoy!Act of Kindness5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I did something once for a boy that I never knew or had ever known, though I did see him every Friday. Our paths would slide by each other on that day. He stood on a corner near my school and smoked American Spirit. We wouldn't wave or acknowledge each other for the longest time. Then one day he wasn't there, and I found myself worried. Another week passed and he returned and I talked to him. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if he had not been the
Transmission tower boy.I cling, a fog-cloud water droplet,Transmission tower boy.5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to your transmission tower presence;
electrified by proximity.
Convinced that you stretch up
to pierce the atmospheric heavens,
I am blinded by a simple trick of position.
Unaware that my cloud just hangs low,
that above my sky is more sky, I worship you:
seeming pinnacle of all worldly existence.
So beguiled I linger on long after warming winds
carry off those once close to me;
live only for your cool smiles of arched metal
and your watertight heart of insulatory ceramic.
I cannot comprehend that I might be better loved
by the honest soil of a farmer's field
or by the cracked lips of a parched child.
Instead I endure your static shocks and
stay until your steel sun-warms too much,
dries me out. Stay until all that's left is the
acidic residue of evaporated memories.
Yet still I cling, a chalk-white oval stain,
to your transmission tower presence;
electrocuted by proximity.
Icarus, Falling Toward the SunHow do you explain your wounded wings, O Icarus?Icarus, Falling Toward the Sun5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
How do you explain the shadows bred by your footfalls
and the wheels of night that turn over forests of stone saplings;
how do you explain the way your heartbeats plummet head-first toward the sea
and make themselves into prayers caught in circles of endless light?
You showed me the ocean-forged fire
that razed down the seraphim and their halos and seared the spectres
kneeling over your graveside with God's words
stitched on their dirtied feet. You showed me memories
of heaven filled with shapeless dreamers that raised lovers from
the soot and ashes like snowfalls drifting past white sycamore trees
while the empty sun spun and spun around a place
you had never known or seen before and the sky, the sky-
it was not there.
you're such a cliche-I'm dying inside.you're such a cliche5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I don't mean in the sense that my kidneys are shutting down, and there's a hole in my lungs, stopping me from breathing. I mean in the sense that I've forgotten how to breathe. I mean in the way that I'm losing faith in so many things, and maybe my heart can't take just one more hurtful word. I mean that you shouldn't be surprised if one day soon you find me sad and unwilling to talk it out. I mean that the time is coming when I won't be able to live anymore. Not the way that I want to live, and not the way I should live. I'll be here, but not really; alive, and somehow dead.
-It's not you, it's me.
Honestly. I love you, but before I can really love you, the way you deserve to be loved, I need to learn to love me. I need to learn to see the perfect person you see when you look at me. I have to stop looking in the mirror and wondering who's looking back. I need to find out who I really am, outside of me and you. There's a version of me without you, and I have to know
KismetThe sand underfoot had bathed in the smoldering rays of the sun for the whole day. The entire ground radiated heat in rippling waves, distorting the horizon and purging the sky of the few clouds that remained. Had there been tumbleweed in that desert, even they would have held their ground against the feeble breeze. Both flora and fauna were absent from those hostile sands--not to anyone's surprise. To the North and South rose vast mountain ranges looming over the desert and stabbing the sky with their snowy peaks; to the East and West more desert lay, as far as any eye or looking glass could see.Kismet5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
In these sands maundered the frame of a spavined automaton. It wore a tattered sackcloth that frayed near the machine's rusted knee-joints. A crudely made staff aided the metallic creature as it shuffled through the vast desert, hunched over and sand-scratched, torn tied rags and bandages covering any circuits and vital innards they could. The machine had wandered for an age, and f
Thirteen Cycles of Dreams "That first 'night' I read myself to sleep, a normal thing to do here.Thirteen Cycles of Dreams5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Nothing really happens here anyway except a trip to the pantry and library.
"I used to go outside the spacecraft a lot, but not much anymore.
"Lost my nerve when my suit tore and Sally had go out there and rescue a big, old, been-here-over-a-year astronaut.
"I've been above Mars all this time, watching tiny dots of light that may or may not be sentient. It gets tiresome. Houston keeps saying, 'Just watch, Red. You copy? Observation only. No communication at this time. Copy, Red? Roger. Over and out.' I'm sick of watching and speculating about those lights, to tell you the truth.
"Instead I read an 'amazing' amount of ethbooks. That's what Sally says, but she's only been here a few months and thinks the view
we only had the time to fallone.we only had the time to fall5 years ago in Emotional More Like This
i met you in the early autumn on the shortest day of the year.
your eyes matched the drying leaves hanging loosely on the barren trees, and your skin reminded me of the warmest cinnamon. i can't remember what you were wearing, but i can recall how you walked in late, like you lived life in slow motion.
shouting at the top of your lungs, your voice echod against the stone walls of what came to be our chapel and you shattered every glass mind in the room.
you were a walking tragedy and i loved every second of it.
you crawled under my skin every time snow settled on the ground and you found shelter in my silence when you prattled on about the nothings.
i grew to like the nothings, but the snow had to melt sometime.
when it did, we found ourselves on thinning grass fields and we weren't sure how to stand on the softer side of things, but we did the best we could and crawled.
sometimes, i wish i learned how to walk again.
when the heat entered our bodie
Forever and a Day"If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?"Forever and a Day4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
His dark eyes flicker from the summer sky to your rosy lips before he answers.
Your mouth drops slightly. There had been no hesitation in his reply, and before you get the chance to string together some sarcastic remark, he caresses your cheek. Warmth trickles from his soft palm into your body, forcing you to close your eyes as you experience a sweet light-headedness, unlike any other.
He leans in and his breath tickles your ear as he mumbles, "I want everything from you."
Everything ? You shiver at the word.
Could someone like you give someone like him everything?
Despite the midsummer sun's best attempts, the thought causes your smooth skin to burst into goose bumps.
He watches you intently as you bite into your sticky, chocolate donut. You avoid his gaze, putting more focus into your bites than you normally would, in hopes that he'll eventually look away due to boredom. Even after five minutes, (to your
h o p e.She asked him about time, her wide sea-green eyes and twisty child's tongue forming questions that philosophers had been wrestling with since she was nothing buth o p e.5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
there's her first question.
"What was I before I was born?"
"You were a wish," he smiled, crouching down so that their noses almost touched.
"Yep. A wish, a hope, a desire; you were stardust, floating around in the milky way, just waiting for someone to wish hard enough."
"Oh." Her eyebrows crinkled together as she thought about this. "So my mom and dad wished for me?"
"Exactly." He stood up.
He waited, crossing his arms and raising his eyebrows. "Yes?"
"Well " she chewed her lip, trying to think of the right words. "What's yesterday?"
"Yesterday? Yesterday you followed me and Mouse to Starbucks and no one knew you left and I didn't know you were with me and there was a big huge hullabaloo, remember?" He poked her nose and she giggled.
"I know that," she said, rolling her eyes. "But w