Every Dog Has Its DayThere once was a dog who wandered the streets. He was a kindly dog who did not have a home.
Sometimes, he would see families at the park playing with their dogs. How he wished he were one of those dogs. After a time, he decided that he would try to befriend one of the children that played in the park. He was overcome with excitement and haphazardly ran toward a child while yelling "Hello!" over and over again. He had almost reached the child when, suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his side. A man had kicked him causing him to yelp in pain. He never went back to the park again.
Despite that incident, it did not deter him from trying to find someone who wanted him. The dog promised himself that if he should ever find someone to love him, he would return that love a hundredfold.
One rainy morning, as he was searching for food, he happened to come across a pet store. Inside, he saw dozens of
ars est mortem1.ars est mortem4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The artist left his work unfinished and went to bed. He was soon asleep, and while asleep he died and went to hell. Contemplating the dark aesthetics of the river Styx, the artist boarded Charon's boat and crossed over into hell actual.
Brushing aside drifting ghosts, the artist trod the wide, smoothly paved road to Hades' palace. There were no guards at the door, and the artist entered immediately, attempting bravado.
Good evening, the doorman greeted him politely.
Hades is waiting for you.
The artist began to feel nervous. He had never been on friendly terms with Hades. He followed tremulously as the doorman guided him up three flights of black marble stairs. The walls were hung with paintings, mostly depicting the Olympians in chains. Mediocre, the artist decided.
He is in this room. The doorman left.
The artist vacillated on the doorstep, pretending to examine a statue of Cerberus. Low grade, he thought. The statue snarled. Th
The Things We Leave Unsaid Common wisdom dictates that meaningful feelings for another ought to be expressed directly and honestly. However, advice is given to be neglected and so too often we are poisoned by our own silence -- the things we leave unsaid.The Things We Leave Unsaid2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We are fortuitous that the opportunity for the lesson to be followed by the illustration presents itself. Let us use our discretion and semi-omniscience to observe the conversation between the two young men before us.
"Oh hi. How are you?" It's him.
"I'm good. You?"
"Good." I've been better, but there's no way I'm going to tell him that. "Man, it's been a long time." I haven't seen her in forever. Almost three years.
"Yeah man, I haven't seen you in forever."
"Yeah, so I hear you're dating Rachel now?" He is taller than me, and I know she must like his red-rimmed wayfarers. Family's rich too. Must be nice.
"Good for you. How's she doing?" I know she's fine.
"She's doing just fine."
CharlieI had a stalker.Charlie3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I didn't know his name but I'm sure he knew mine.
I called him Charlie.
He always had a camera hanging from his twig thick neck and he cradled it in his hands; a wispy finger stroking the shutter release. His dark brown hair was a curly mess and his shirts wrinkly and thin. He had the most perfect eyebrows, sweeping and gentle. He must have the most captivating eyes, I thought every time he'd glance my way. We'd never made eye contact. Charlie preferred it that way.
He came into the bookstore once a week, not to watch me leaf through the used books or reach high to shelve the approved ones, but to actually browse them. He read the unknowns; the virgins with their unbroken spines. I imagine he liked the smell of them aromas preserved for him alone. Charlie appreciated the books wearing dusty coats and factory perfume a decade old.
The rest of the time he spent on the outside looking in. My co-workers were tickled pink. "What a geek." "Poor guy doesn't realize you
The TranslatorMalena was born on the third of April, a heady Aries and a talented translator. She only waited for so long before she put her foot down and took charge of her destiny, riding it like a child of the sea would a dolphin.The Translator3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She began her job with diligent care from the moment she first awakened from the drowsiness of the very young and into the slow comprehension of children. She first translated her own simple thoughts to the world in an agonized cry - 'I'm hungry! I'm hungry!' - first in the Spanish words of her parents and then repeated in the strange, native Tupi dialect of her Mestizo nanny. The dark-skinned woman had gasped in fear and tried to cover the child's mouth before any of those of the house heard and fired her for teaching Malena to speak the wrong language. But before she could even reach out towards the tiny mouth, the great wooden doors of the child's room burst open to admit Malena's fiery, proud mother. 'She speaks! Oh, she speaks!' the Spanish lady cried, waving a whi
contemplating lyricismShe contemplated lyricism on the subway.contemplating lyricism3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It started slowly each stop with an underbuzz of the p.a. speakers after the announcement of the closing doors: a discordant issuance of electrical interference from a bad ground wire- long neglected in maintenance yard priority. It sheltered the human burble of muttered and cellular tones, soothing their jumbled nature to a flow of disagreeing choruses all traveling to the same destination.
The electrohum of each massive motor, wound up towards a final, subtle pitch, laid a tenor line beneath the living chatter melody. It held a fine, strong frequency that never wavered in the support of progress.
Rolling weight on ancient tracks brought forth cyclical rhythm: ba-da-da ba-da-da repeating, clacking and etching each joint of steel that wound the community together below streets, steam lines and sub-basements.
Crescendo at each curve, the pressure of the turn pushed the rhythm, strained the tenor and ra
For My DaughterDear daughter-I-do-not-have-yet,For My Daughter2 years ago in Letters More Like This
You will be my perfect. You will be my proudest moments in one small person. You will be made in love, or maybe anger, or maybe even desperation. But that won't matter. What matters is what you will be made into.
You will have Daddy's hair and his nose, and my eyes and my smile, the smile that happens not because someone with a camera told you to, but because you're genuinely happy. But you will have your very own heart and will be full of all the things that give you your you-ness. Whether you sing in the bath or make Valentines for everyone in your class or give your last homemade chocolate chip cookie to the boy sitting alone at recess.
I will write you poems and stories about how you are my miracle. I will read them to you sometimes, just to remind you. As you grow, not a day will go by that I'm not thankful for everything you are. You will be dazzling and beautiful and brilliant and compassionate and playful and curious and all of the things
Pilgrim of the Year to BeThe night was crisp, and Doctor Jazz was making his rounds again.Pilgrim of the Year to Be3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
His first visit was to Mrs Madrigal at the far end of the valley. Her triplets were feverish, so he calmed and soothed them with the medicines in his little black bag until they fell into a rhythmic sleep. He left their worried mother with a chill pill and instructions to bring them to the surgery in the morning.
Back on the path, feet pumping, heart thumping, cane tapping, he scaled the ascent to Beggar's Farm, where Mr Williams was feeling crotchety. The problem was minor so his work was minimal and the visit brief.
He paused at the farm gates to enjoy the cooler breeze of the hilltop and watch the stars in their slow spiral dance. He patted the pockets of his long frock coat to locate his pipe, and smoked a bowl as he traced the dark line of the hills across the way and the yellow lights of the houses in the village below. A sheep bleated in a nearby field and he was content. Life in the valley was harmonious, a pasto
RJGreta oto. They are found down in Venezuela all the way to Panama. A member of the brush-footed butterfly family. Only two inches long in wingspan. They're my favorite insect.RJ4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I met a man once and he wanted to leave everything. He had a bottle in his hand and I was afraid he was going to inhale it all and let his light go out like I'd seen so many go before.
I told him he couldn't leave, because then he would never get to see these fascinating and beautiful butterflies from down south. The butterflies with glass wings that are only two inches wide with tiny bodies.
He asked me if that was my only reason to still be here, a tiny little insect. I told him, no, not really, but it was a reason. One of many, I guess. I stayed up with him all night, and I don't think I've ever been more exhausted in my life.
He told me about the things he had seen and done and felt and I wished my whole heart out that things like wars and sadness and emptiness didn't have to exist. I'll never know what it's
The Angel in the House"Dearest?"The Angel in the House3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Dearest, there, did you hear ?" But his voice trailed off with a glance at her blank little face, tilted at him with feline confusion. He rose the paper to the level of his nose and rustled it nervously. "Don't trouble yourself, I'm sure it's nothing "
Yet there it was again, he could feel the vibrations in his chair! His wife's obvious inability to hear it made him loathe to admit this, however, and he slouched lower under the breakfast table, observing her over the top of the business section.
She was an uncanny creature, he had to admit. Their courtship had been brief and perfunctory, more compelled into occurrence through their families than any actual inclination. And yet, he had come to love her in some fashion. The silent way she slid about the breakfast table; the sweep of dark hair against her pale forehead; the classic curve of her nose; her dainty, dexterous hands fluttering as she cleared up the plates. There were times when he wished he could em
Stationery Pt IStanley loved stationery.Stationery Pt I3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He loved the way it smelled when you stripped away the crinkly cellophane wrapper. He loved the Spartan beauty of an unspoiled pad of paper (A4, plain, 80gsm). He loved the sound of a cap crisply clicking onto the top of a Biro. He loved the texture of a freshly-sharpened pencil and the flake of the finely-honed graphite point. He loved gazing over stacks and stacks of untouched Post-Its, each a perfect square of yellow, an army of ideas awaiting orders.
He loved everything about it. Stationery was neat. It was orderly. It was always needed, easily replaceable, and something that everyone can appreciate.
Stanley reckoned he had the best job in the world. Working in the post room of a three-storey insurance company, Greenlight Insurance, he was at the very nexus of stationery for the whole building. Letters would come in crumpled, dusty and worn from their journeys; and go out crisp, freshly franked and printed, ready for the adventure ahead. Deliveries of new
Amy's Afternoon'What are we doing after lunch?' asked Amy.Amy's Afternoon3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
'We have to go shopping,' said Mummy, 'and I have to go to the bank, and I might pop to the chemist's for -'
'Do I have to go?'
'Yes, darling, there's no one to look after you. Oh Amy, don't look like that. It won't take long.' That was a lie. 'Then afterwards we're going to Aunt Fuzzy's for tea.'
'Oh no!' said Amy.
'Oh Amy, really! What's wrong with Aunt Fuzzy?'
'You always talk about boring things, and she gives me funny flavours of Ribena.'
'She's got very old eyes, darling,' said Mummy. 'She finds it very difficult to read anything these days.'
'Can't she look at the picture?'
'She doesn't think she needs to. A long time ago, before you were born, blackcurrant was the only Ribena flavour you could get. She doesn't know there are others now.'
Amy wondered why anyone had been so stupid as to invent other flavours of Ribena. Blackcurrant was th
BrothersWhen he saw his older brother pull up into the parking lot, Evan felt his stomach twist, and he had the sudden urge to puke his lunch out all over the sidewalk. The little green car sidled up to the curb slow as a turtle, and his brother's arm rested leisurely on the edge of the open window. After some time, the man eventually spotted Evan and gave him a lopsided grin followed by a wave so uncertain it was almost like he hadn't recognized the young boy at first.Brothers3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The heat was bearing down on Evan's shoulders hard; he felt the pits of his white t-shirt becoming soaked through with sweat and he knew that despite his feelings about the situation there was no choice but to get into the car. A few girls from his class passed by, their dark shoes clicking against the pavement like a metronome. They hid their laughter beneath cupped hands and giggled in each other's ears.
Evan headed straight for the passenger's side before anyone else happened to see his brother. As soon as he got inside, he
My DaddyWe were a happy family. It was just me, my mommy, and my daddy. We would do lots of fun things together! Sometimes, we would go to the beach or sometimes we would get ice cream together. It was really fun.My Daddy3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Things got bad when Daddy lost his job. He said his job was taken by someone else who could do it for less money than he could. I did not think it was fair. Still, my daddy never gave up and promised me and Mommy he would find another job soon.
Everyday he circled something on the newspaper and left the house to go see if the people in the newspaper needed help. Everyday, he came back with a sad look on his face and sat on the couch. I would sit next to him and hug him. He always smiled and thanked me. That made me happy.
Mommy would tell Daddy that it was okay and that he would get a job soon. But a long time passed and he still could not get a jo
The Peculiar Mr. PumpkinThe Peculiar Mr. PumpkinThe Peculiar Mr. Pumpkin3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Mr. Pumpkin was a strange man. He had such a large body and such thin little legs. His head was round and fat; just like a pumpkin. The neighbors thought that he had no neckand you know what? That strange pumpkin man almost had no feet either, most times it was hard to tell the difference between what was his leg and what was his foot. Despite this, Mr. Pumpkin liked to walk. Rain or snow, shine or not; Mr. Pumpkin was always walking. No matter what the weather had in store for him, he always wore a thick black wool coat and a grey polka dot scarf. His pants were always black, so were his shoes, and his face always had a solid, grim look to it. No one bothered to talk to Mr. Pumpkin. No one bothered to bother him eithernot telemarketers, children, the newspaper boy, or the door-to-door vacuum salesman. Mr. Pumpkin was always alone.
One day Mr. Pumpkin was on a walk. Like usual he skunked through town in a strangely grim manner, his l
SolitudeHe is now an old man (a very old man), and he is now very lonely (so very, very lonely). His wife is fifteen years dead. His children are grown, with their own families and jobs and small catastrophes. They don't bother to see him much. Some call, short little spaces in time. Hi Dad, how are you and meaningless chatter about the weather. It is a simple life he lives, filled with memories of dancing girls and root beer floats and high school dances. He sits in his empty house and paints visions before his eyes.Solitude3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Anna comes the most, stopping by every week or so with her small daughter trailing behind her like a lost puppy. Her name is Lucy and she looks like his late wife, all blonde curls and gangly limbs, though Anna's dark eyes and thin mouth are after his own. Lucy plays with old toys while Anna putters around, washing dishes and folding wrinkled laundry and berating him for not taking better care of the place, of himself. She never could sit still, that girl, always a flurry of moti
SpreadWe are seven years old and you are asking me:Spread5 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"How much do you love me?"
My seven year old lips learned words not but five years past and they are still so new, so incapable, My seven year old brain is racing and I don't know the words "a googleplex" or "infinity" yet. I can't tell you how much my seven year old heart swelled the time I tripped over rocks running on my too long legs towards you and my knees got banged up and started to bleed. I didn't know at that age that I'd be feeling so much worse pain in my life but I figured that if I did, the cure might be the same: you, bending your face to the place where strawberry liquid is already starting to pour forth from my summer skin, kissing the place where it stings the most.
I don't have words for that, so I tell you:
And I spread my seven year old arms as far as they will go.
We are nineteen years old and you are asking me:
Just One Regret"How was your day?" Iris asked. Jackson scrutinized his wife's face over the video screen, mapping out her familiar face and comparing it to his memory. The bags under her eyes were darker, more pronounced then their last call, and her curly brown hair was pulled back in a sloppy bun, allowing several curls free enough to frame her face. In his not-quite professional opinion, Iris looked a just a bit ragged around the edges, but the enthusiasm in her voice hadn't dimmed a bit. He smiled. That was Iris all over.Just One Regret3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Same as any other." He shrugged. "Did the shopping for the week, ran a few errands before work. Ms. Grayson actually complimented me after that presentation for our, ahem, foreign investors." Iris laughed and he knew the grin on his face was bordering on maniacal. "Oh, and Rory's mid-semester reports came in today."
"And how's he doing?" She straightened in her chair and leaned closer to the screen, as if that would improve the hearing or the news.
"Not as well as we'd hoped."
Dog AdviceI spoke to him as an airplane glided overhead: "I have always had this sort of love/hate relationship with melodramatic phrases and expression. Words and terms that were once powerful, like love and soul and eyes and ocean, have all become weak and horribly cliché as a main result of brutal abuse and overuse. There are other ways to write love poems than basic comparisons and Italian sonnets; it's quite obvious that you can stare into somebody's eyes and figure out what's going through their pretty little head. But there ARE other features of the human anatomy, can't you watch her chest tense up or his shoulder's simply slump and relax back onto the grass or the bed or the stairs or even just in your head?"Dog Advice3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
My big brown dog gazes at me with a loving, animalistic curiosity. He and his scrunched up face and floppy ears don't understand a single word of what I'm rambling on about, but me & him are on a walk, so he gets to sniff under rocks while I tell him everything that's on my min
Fifty Years - Revision 4"Menu April 3, 1960Fifty Years - Revision 43 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Steak Tips with Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions
Apple Pie a la mode
Floral Decorations -Yellow Roses
Dessert - Apple Pie, Vanilla Ice Cream"
I looked at the shopping list in my hands and read the next item. My mother had let me look through some things from the days before I was born, and in them was a menu and shopping list from the first anniversary they'd gotten to spend together. You see, my father was in the Air Force, and spent a lot of time overseas, separated from my mother. So, he started something on their first anniversary. I remember seeing the card in with the pictures my father took and developed himself over the years
3 April, 1955 - It was a small card, the kind that came with flowers. "Happy First Anniversary. Love Me." It was inside a card that my father had sent to my mother that same year. "Happy Anniversary" the front of
The Spider That Ate Cleveland Steve and Lucy lived in a suburb of Cleveland and liked it very much.The Spider That Ate Cleveland3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Steve liked sitting on the porch every Saturday evening, drinking beer and looking at his neighbors' houses, identical to his, dreaming about ways to make his house different.
Lucy liked spending weekday afternoons watching soap operas on TV, dreaming about ways to spend her afternoons like the people did on TV.
Steve liked going to work in Cleveland on weekdays, not so much for his job but for the drive, during which he dreamt about other places the freeway could take him.
Lucy liked a little house-cleaning and a lot of going-to-the-mall, where she dreamt about what she could buy with soap opera money.
But both were too content, and never changed a thing.
Occasionally they talked about one TV program that show
Writer's BlockThe numbers on my desk calendar started to blend together as my eyes began to close and I dozed off. I regained consciousness with a start, and I involuntarily slammed my hand down to what should have been my desk.Writer's Block4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Wh-where am I?"
"Oh my dear! We certainly weren't expecting you today; we would have cleaned up a bit. Heh, you see, we're having a bit of a well technical difficulty." Said a round, rather pleasant woman wearing a polka-dot dress with a nametag simply saying "Dot."
I looked around; I was in a large, disorganized office with people and papers scrambling with bundles of copy paper. I grabbed a paper from the desk beside and read:
Boy with schizophrenia and his life with his imaginary
The ink faded out and I couldn't read the rest.
I picked up the paper and held it out to the woman demanding an answer.
"What is this? Who are you and what sort of place is this?"
"Well dear, that is an idea, yours actually, we've been having a problem with our machine, we see
Coffee-Stained LetterDear Stranger,Coffee-Stained Letter4 years ago in Letters More Like This
You don't know me. And I don't know you. Maybe it's better that way. But then again, maybe we would be happier if we did know each other.
Right now, I'm sitting at my desk, with the sunlight streaming in the window, writing this letter for you. Hopefully I'll finish it by tonight, so that tomorrow I can take it to the coffee shop on the corner and drop it on the floor, or in your lap, or maybe in the lap of the person next to you so they can give it to you...because they don't seem like the type to read it, so they'll obviously just pass it on.
I like music - except terrible rap. And I love the written word more than most, it baffles some of my friends sometimes. I wonder, do you like to read? I have the tiniest tattoo I've ever seen, it's a tiny fairy on my ankle, but you can't see her unless you're looking for her and know where to look...like a real fairy, they're good at hiding too you know. I saw a fairy once. She was hiding behind the strawberries in my garden. I t
The Wrong FaceThe Wrong FaceThe Wrong Face5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The congratulatory smile painted on Sarah's face faded as she watched the argument. The company had been anticipating it for weeks. Muri had made it clear he wouldn't stand quietly in the wings anymore.
'Well Muri, that's a matter of personal opinion' the Director responded. 'But, you're not right for the role. Hamlet well well he's from Denmark and '
'It's the demands of the script, Muri. And there's other factors. Hamlet's a grown man and you, well, you're ' he trailed off. Muri stiffened for a moment, then strode across the room and slammed the door behind him. The bang compressed everyone to their seat.
Sarah moved first, lifting her handbag and Muri's jacket before stepping softly across the
Tough CrowdJenny led the way to the clearing. "This is going to be the best campout ever!" she promised.Tough Crowd4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"I'll believe that when I see it," someone pouted.
"Oh, cheer up," Jenny prodded. "I have a surprise for everyone!"
"I hope it's a way out of here," someone else complained.
"Where do you find these people?" Jay asked Jenny.
"They're friends from online," Jenny answered through clenched teeth.
"They make me want to get rid of my computer," Jay grunted, and Jenny laughed out loud.
"That'll be the day! Then how would we keep up?" she demanded.
"Carrier pigeon," Jay said with a smirk.
Right then, the group arrived at the clearing. Jenny instructed everyone to set up camp, and Jay started by opening a big bag of charcoal briquettes. Jenny advised everyone else to help him, but in the end, only she did. As she carefully poured lighter fluid, Jay resumed conversation.
"Couldn't we have come out here alone?" he wondered.
"Yeah, but we could come out here alone any time," she reasoned.
Jay shivered. I