This.Jenna is six and in love with Peter. Peter and Jenna are best friends. They do everything together. When they play house, Jenna is Mom and Peter is Dad. Carlie and Joanie are usually the babies. Mom Jenna and Dad Peter tuck them into the pretend bed in their pretend house, pulling the pretend covers snug around them. Then, they go to their room, just a few steps away. Jenna kisses Peter, a chaste peck on the lips, the kind her mommy and daddy give each other in the mornings. She calls it gross when they do it, but when it's Peter, it's not gross at all. They lie down next to each other and Peter puts one arm around Jenna. This is what love is.
Christian is eleven and head over heels for Sammy. Sammy is his next door neighbor and the prettiest girl he's ever seen. She's small and cute and fragile. They push each other on the swings. She helps him with his homework, the math parts that he claims to not understand. In truth, he loves math. Really, he's very good at it. But he likes Sammy
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
Tea for TwoI observed her fragile corpse upon the cemetery seat, looking to and fro like a lost pigeon. She blinked her watery green eyes at me just once as I approached, then let them oggle wide.Tea for Two4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Madam," said I, "have you any need of assistance?"
A soft moan echoed back across the dying rhododendrons.
"Are you tired? Lost?" A quick glance at her spittle-slathered chops. "Hungry?"
She nodded vigorously and a bit of froth flew loose to stick upon a nearby leaf. I watched as it slowly slid its way to the very tip and plopped with a light "thwack" upon the freshly upturned soil.
"Er, there ought to be a dead squirrel or two out back by the fence. I imagine Mortimer left something, he's always forgetting what he's doing and scampering off, you know how those crazy groundskeepers can be . . ."
She made a sound a bit like the braying of a hound.
"Perhaps you don't. Anyhow, come along."
When dealing with the dead, it's best to be polite. I suppose I would be anyhow, though, I can't help it. It's simply
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
El CucuyEl Cucuy4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I do not eat children. It is important that you know that about me. Every legend has its truths and fallacies. Yes, we are notorious for feasting on youngsters, but not because they misbehave or because they wont go to sleep when their parents tell them too. Honestly, if you think about it, children are a much easier prey then full grown adults. They are light, so it is easier to carry them away, unarmed (depending on what neighborhood you are hunting in), and very tender. My father would always tell me that he felt twenty years younger after snacking on an eight year old. He compared the fear and innocence that radiated off of children to a flavorful marinade. It made him much more powerful. I am not my father though. He was a monster. Well, I am a monster too. But I never eat children. I do my very best to avoid eating women as well. Sometimes that just can't be helped.
I am engaged to be married in six months. She doesn't know about my "condition". Ev
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 Daddy4 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
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
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 Regret4 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."
Every Dog Has Its DayThere once was a dog who wandered the streets. He was a kindly dog who did not have a home.Every Dog Has Its Day4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
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
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:
FatherThe skin becomes blotted with age. A swollen, red face (he needs to lose weight), bags under his eyes, crevices in the creases of his face that were never there before (creates a permanent tiredness).Father3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
He sits in front of the television all day long.
The volume is loud (you could hear it outside the screen door) because working on planes in the Air Force gave him a jump start on hearing loss. It was only a few years, but those B-52s...
He leans back in his favorite chair, his potbelly floats above the rest of his body and continues to swell by the year. There's a perfect curve between belly and chest that creates the resting place for his folded hands. Probably because of all the alcohol, the shots taken to take a break from the memories, his belly doesn't shrink with the pills.
He sits in front of the television all day long.
He could have been a cop. Drugs and a haggard first wife led him astray, so he has to settle for imagination. He watches the show Cops (guns pointed, s
Italo's Goldfish "Juliet! Juliet's dead!" I heard the shout of my son, Italo. I ran downstairs. I found Italo crying, facing his fishbowl. Inside the fishbowl were two fishes, the other is motionless, floating in the water, upside down. The other fish is still alive, circling round and round its dead mate.Italo's Goldfish4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Juliet's dead, mama." Italo cried still. "What will happen to Romeo without her?"
"He'll live, honey."
I stared at the dead fish again. It was my gift for Italo's fourth birthday. I had asked him what he wanted and he had said, "Buy dinosaur, mama."
"They're all dead, dear."
"Okay, just a lion then."
"How about a goldfish?"
Italo thought about it for a minute, then he nodded. I then drove my car to the nearest pet st
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
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
Monochrome Dream EaterA lone girl stared out her window late one night, hugging herself tightly. A lamp lit up her room, despite the fact that it was well after midnight. She wished she could sleep, but she couldn't. She shuddered, recalling her horrifying nightmare of a young blonde girl sawing off her arms.Monochrome Dream Eater4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She whipped around. Standing in her bedroom was what looked like a teenage blonde boy. He wore unusual clothes and carried a white cane.
"W-Who are you?" She stammered. "H-How are you in my room?"
He didn't reply. Instead, he walked over and gently cupped a hand under her chin. "Did you have a nightmare?"
The girl's eyes widened. "H-How did you ?"
He smiled, showing off perfectly white teeth. "Shall I cast a spell on you, my lady?"
"A-A spell?" She asked fearfully.
He removed his hand from her chin. "Let's make a contract. I'll eat your dreams-"
"Eat my dreams?"
"Yes. Eat your dreams. I am a dream eater. Anyways, I will eat your dreams. No more nightmares. However, I must ask your p
When I Think of TeaShe often invited me for tea. I remember muddy tennis shoes or bright pink jellies left at her front step as she opened the world to me behind her faded red door. Her house fascinated me with its intricate paintings and macabre souvenirs stuck in every available space.When I Think of Tea4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She was amazing, too; of course. Mrs. Pratchett carried a rumor mill around her wherever she walked, leaving bits of herself behind in tantalizing flakes eager tongues lapped up and dished back out to anyone with ears. The town knew her as everything from a rich widow to a voodoo priestess, but I knew her as my neighbor.
She sent out her invitation to tea in autumn more than any other season. Most days I bounded down the bus steps to find her sitting on her porch with a book. A nod and a wink, and we rushed inside for tea. The kettle always whistled just as I set my backpack by the door and slid into my spot at her kitchen table.
There we drank tea and talked about life. Her tea tasted like the autumn days she loved: gol
Pilgrim of the Year to BeThe night was crisp, and Doctor Jazz was making his rounds again.Pilgrim of the Year to Be4 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
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
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 Spider That Ate Cleveland Steve and Lucy lived in a suburb of Cleveland and liked it very much.The Spider That Ate Cleveland4 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
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 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 Translator4 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
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
Love TriangleThey call me square.Love Triangle5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Don't get me wrong, I'm actually quite a nice guy. But they still call me Square, probably because of my four equilateral sides and right angles. The joke gets old very quickly.
I met Ms. Triangle at the supermarket about two weeks ago. She's a beautiful shape. Isosceles, I believe, with an obtuse angle. Although she's not an acute shape, she is a cute shape.
I haven't worked up the nerve to ask her out. I don't know all her angles, so I'm not sure how well we'd tessellate. But one thing's for sure. I love Triangle.
Then came the day I caught Rhombus flirting with her.
I don't like Rhombus. He thinks he's so cool, the way he always leans one way with four identical sides just like mine. He can't even stand up straight and he thinks he's so cool.
So, basically, I love Triangle, but so does Rhombus. There's not enough Triangle for both of us.
Tapping MenaI'd always dreamt of tapping into her. Every Friday afternoon, when the bank was open late and mother waited on the denizens of paycheck-to-paycheck, chain-smoking, assembly line world, I would spend two hours with Mena. She was the goddess of thick sweetness, bringing me a slice of cherry pie in the corner booth with the red vinyl seats that would cling to the backs of my legs in the warmer months. She always followed up with a chocolate milk mixed heavy on the syrup so I could amuse myself trying to make the dark, tiny beads of unabsorbed sweetness blend in with rest through repeated proddings with my straw. She was Mena, my waitress and unofficial week's end babysitter, and I would have taken her heart home in jugs and bottles if I could. A cold winter cellar could keep fresh untold gallons of tales of her Grecian childhood and little observational tidbits about each regular customer.Tapping Mena3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Friday nights were a courtesy, for the diner