Romancing CottonSomeone told me that the balled-up almost was growing inside her likeRomancing Cotton3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a sapling, that soon the girl would be all swell and wet. What she said
was, "don't leave". Her ego was a white sheet caught on a branch, the
type of fabric my mother treated with contempt. Frippery, beautiful
but impractical: keeping it alive was like trying to catch a bubble with
The wind carried the sickly smell of opium and morning sickness,
signals of a spring in which fingers like white spiders cradled
the beginning of bloom. Hope seemed at once skin-near and star-far.
What I offered her was not a marriage proposal, it was a murder
of crows slipping across the sheet of day. Union makes for ardour
and sweat. We were trying to build a body bereft of bones, with
phrases shaped like small sharp pins, like dove-fletched
arrows, like abandoned godsrelatively, you're
beautiful and there are always greater pains.
I assembled cribs, prayed to the god of broken things.
ChoosePAGE ONEChoose4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You look at a huge door. The princess is inside, waiting to be rescued. The glowing fairy fluttering around your head tells you 'The door is locked! You need the dragon key to open the door!'
You look around.
If you venture west, turn to page two.
If you explore east, turn to page ten.
You encounter a goblin.
You hit it for 6HP.
He hits you for 2HP.
You hit it for 6HP.
The goblin disappears in a puff of smoke.
The fairy shouts 'HEY! LISTEN!' in a shrill voice.
To listen, turn to page five.
To ignore her and continue your quest, turn to page three.
You encounter a bird.
You swing at it with your sword and miss.
It hits you for 4HP.
You miss again.
You dodge its attack as you begin to make sense of it's bizarre movement pattern.
You hit it for 5HP.
It disappears in a puff of smoke.
You levelled up!
The fairy shouts 'HEY! LISTEN!' in a shrill voice.
To listen, turn to page five.
To ignore her and continue your quest, turn to page four.
You find an ol
The extremely short storyI once heard the tale of a man who had the whole universe inside his throat.The extremely short story3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Was he a giant?" someone asked.
I thought for a second.
"No," I said. "He was a storyteller."
Me, You and ShoesI saw your shoes the other day. It was just a glimpse of them as you went through the door, but it was enough. Funny, there must have been fifty people around. It's been years and my subconscious can still pick you out of a crowd.Me, You and Shoes3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
I wasn't sure it was you, though. That's why I'm eating lunch on this bench. I was checking to make sure it wasn't just my mind playing tricks on me, digging up old stuff I thought I buried behind everything I tried to make new in my life. I used to follow guys in orange coats down the hallway, praying they'd turn around and be you. I always felt foolish when they weren't, but it took me months to break the habit. I wanted to make sure I wasn't suffering a relapse.
Of course, it was you. God loves to pretend he's one of those strangers who have a nasty habit of returning things you tried your hardest to lose.
You didn't see me. But then, y
The Instinct of CellsThe Instinct of CellsThe Instinct of Cells6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
beauty softens each of us
like an egg soaking in vinegar,
but I have always been soft,
soft as baby fuzz,
a flabby soul
stuffed into my skin
like sausage meat inside a hog casing.
I have no idea what its like
to have to kill,
to jump out of an airplane,
to learn I have cancer.
I spray lavender-vanilla mist on my pillow
to help myself
the hardest thing in my life
was when my dad died. they tattooed
little dots on his head
to help them aim their rays. his hair
started to fall out. luckily,
he didnt have much to lose.
I correspond over the Internet
with a young woman
in England. she takes shape
as if from memory
out of digitized snapshots
and sound bites
and words. her long hair once shimmered
under a fading
sun. she writes soft
poetry and reads it into her computer.
her breath whispers
in the microphone
like the sound of television snow.
I remember the look on my dads face
as he hung up the phone
The Stellar Void"Can you kill me, please?"The Stellar Void5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I must have looked startled because her expectant gaze saddened a bit.
"I'm sorry. What?"
"Can you kill me?" Her face brightened as she repeated the morbid probe.
Confused, I couldn't help but notice her rather familiar clothes. Faded pink jeans, knock-off Converse shoes. Little black hoodie with a torn right sleeve.
"You just looked a bit angry and I figured you'd be the best person to ask."
I stood next to the bench. My backpack dug into my shoulder and I shrugged it off. It'd be awhile before the next bus came anyway.
She looked down the street. The dim lights barely revealed the closed shops and leaf strewn sidewalks. A short breeze caused the dead landscaping out front to rustle gently but now, it seemed slightly ominous.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked." Her voice was hollow and even though she was turned away, I could sense the hint of disappointment.
Sighing, I sat on the other side of the bench. Pausing for a minute, I glanced up at the mos
Better Off DeadBetter Off DeadBetter Off Dead3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was a normal Tuesday that I woke up dead. I could just tell when I opened my eyes that it was a different day. The doctors always gave people the warning signs for when they would die, so that there would be no mistake. A lack of warmth in your body, skin became pale, senses weakened and a distinct lack of breathing.
Rubbing the sand out of my eyes felt surreal. Every joint popped and cracked on their journey, which was rare to me. Naturally, I just figured it was a rough night's sleep and nothing more, but as I pushed the covers off of myself, I saw how white my body turned overnight. Again, death wasn't the first thought to pop into my head, just that I needed to get out more, maybe take a day off work and go to the park.
As I slowly creeped over to my bathroom, my body was still fighting me, making my apartment sound like a thunder storm. By the time I got the por
Metastasis98.00Metastasis3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Autumn is the season when everything dies.
The leaves shrivel up and your lungs go with them, tiny dejected organs drying out inside your sternum, crinkling under our footsteps. The doctors pronounce their diagnosis as the leaves fall, listing medical terms and percentages and something about medication options.
The disease is metastatic: it has bored its way out of your lungs and into your bones. Dissatisfied, it's going for your organs, your liver, your heart. The prognosis says Christmas is a pipe dream, likely as the sun ceasing to set.
You promise it anyway.
November comes and I am a fish, breathing through makeshift gills carved into my hips, lopsided and crude.
I make fresh ones twice a day, slice myself open once in the morning and once at night in hopes the air will come a little easier each time. I make three and count them off:
and hope my heart stops.
The leaves have been carted away, pummeled into dust, and blown away in the wind.
society is warped like a two-by-fouri used to hide behind pages, hide in between the three-punch holes and thesociety is warped like a two-by-four3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
too-straight blue lines on looseleaf
paper because that's where i thought i belonged: among the blankness
of ideas i felt but didn't hear, touched but didn't see oh, they
touched me, they brushed against my eyelashes like
dandelion seeds tumbling through the ether, and the
wind ripped them from their stems and flung them
into the world and then they finally
realized: this is who i am supposed to be, no, this is who i am and nothing
can change that, not even when i find myself pummeled by tsunami
waves that crush houses like we crumple all the wrong words into little balls with our
little fingers, our little fingers that
curl into fists and punch glass windows until the panes have
shattered into a million pieces like the pieces of our hearts and we're left
breathless and bleeding and oh-so-sorry that the
world can't leap out of its orbit and tango with the black hole in
the middle of the milky way b
Whale Songs of the PacificListen, the girls swallowed by whales are the ones that grow up lucky.Whale Songs of the Pacific2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Listen, no one will warn you about the little boys with the magpie eyes and the fists swinging splinters of glass. No one will warn you that their smiles are sweeter than their words are sweeter than their souls are sweeter than their intentions. No one will warn you of the sheer weight of the world.
Listen, sometimes girls are fragile. Sometimes girls are frothy. Sometimes girls let boys nuzzle "I love you"s into their necks and sometimes girls drink the wine of believing them.
Listen, sometimes the boys really are sweet, and little girls' tart puckered mouths can't taste the difference.
Listen, writers are the ones that drip fishhooks down their throats to coax out their hearts. Writers are the ones who fling those heart-hooks into the sea even if they have a message but not a bottle. Listen, sometimes fish swallow them. Some of those fish sink to the bottom of the ocean with the weight of the world in those heart
Runner's DeathRunner's Death5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
In other words, the time of the year my parents put their everything's-alright smiles on and Anabelle fills the toilet with puke so that she can pretend to be filling her stomach with food when all our relatives come over--the time of the year we all pretend to be normal.
It's also the anniversary of Runner's death. But, like they always do, my family has covered the events of December twenty-fifth, one year ago, the same way they did the cracks in our living room wall--in a layer of bright paint and wallflowers.
Like usual, my mom will make an excuse: when my beautiful Aunt May asks in that discreet way of hers why the space in the corner of the dining room beneath the three-pane window is empty, my mother will reply, "Oh, poor Runner contracted kidney disease. We decided to pu
anemic, broken, and growing up anywaywhen my sister was five, she dictated a letter to me in her strong little voiceanemic, broken, and growing up anyway3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
while dust drifted in the sunshine
of our creaky old room.
dear me [she said],
barney is the best. i will wear blue all the time even though i'm a girl. my heart beats without me telling it to and that's pretty cool. i think people always feel better if you tell them you love them. i will always smile because i have dimples when i smile.
"did you write it?" she asked, and i told her i did, every word
with the chunky yellow pencil i'd fished out of my school bag.
i handed her the letter, and she folded it up carefully
and she smiled.
when my sister was fifteen, she was a little bit broken
anemic and pale, with unsure hair and shaky hands.
when i came home to visit she whispered to me that
she didn't understand
and when i asked her what she didn't understand, she said
she wrote another letter that night.
dear me [it said],
this isn't a suicide note. this isn't another angsty poem. this
april sevenththere was this coupleapril seventh3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in the cafe today. she ordered
a bitter light tea and a black coffee
with sugar for him.
it was that kind of marriage,
one that tasted of spray tans
and desperation, built on silence.
if you're going to walk into
my life, please leave before i start
to love you.
'cause what i want and what i deserve
are fire and ice- i'm never happy
with what i deserve (and sometimes
they aren't happy with me either.)
they never spoke a word
to each other, just sipped
their beverages in silence.
he paid the tab, they piled into
different cars headed in different directions.
Expedition Letters to GraceDear Grace,Expedition Letters to Grace4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You told me, back when we were visiting Peru and I was feeling down, that I would eventually find my calling in life. I write to you now to tell you, quite happily, that I have.
I can't explain much about it at the moment, only that my sudden absence from the university is for a reason. As I write, I am currently en route to New York City, to visit their museums and get a taste of the culture. I told you before how I wanted to visit New York while I had the chance, and now I travel with purpose.
I will say now, that while what I am about to do may seem strange to you, even mad, I can promise you that I am of sound mind and am determined to see my ambition through. Never before have I felt so strongly about the rightness of my decision. I will explain more in time. All I can tell you now is that I am launching my own expedition, and that it will be unorthodox, to say the least. I write you because you are my oldest and dearest friend, and I feel I can trust you.
Give my best
You Slept Through The Alarm Again - Little AubadeIf, perhaps, you had turned at that momentYou Slept Through The Alarm Again - Little Aubade3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
and your hair had caught in your fingers,
the straw being fed into the spindle, struck
by the high, thin light of first waking, the whorl
of a single line descendent from the sun, born
watery from the gap below one velveteen curtain,
all of it staining over gold and dusty and slow,
the edge of your mouth might have met the edge
of my mouth, narrow gaps both without attention
openingif, perhaps you had turned again,
your hand could have met the curve of my neck,
your canvas rough fingers tying knots of my hair
and I would have sighed, thick spreading in your ear
like the light itself learning to speak in tongues
you might understandif perhaps you had
opened your eyes, squinting, eyelashes caged
together, it all would have been edgeless and bright.
I Guess We'll Live To See ItYou should start lookingI Guess We'll Live To See It3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
for a place we can make our last stand.
The dawn is breaking:
Every morning, a little less light,
and the end
is not as close as you think.
Love is not enough,
is not enough.
The desert is coming.
The sea is coming.
they find us holding our thirst
in both hands.
There is no
You should start looking for a place
we can make our last
Take my frenzy for resignation, put your boots
on. I have a lantern. I have a little
knife. We have so much still
to survive. Open
and let the thirst out.
Build. We will stand
until the dawn breaks- and you do not believe
in ecstasy, so we will know,
at the end.
the artist.01.the artist.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the sky was earl grey
and the clouds were steamy sips
and i wanted to drink it all.
the leaves were star yellow
and the bark smelled of coffee
and the bakery was selling a moon made out of cheese.
there was an old man on a bench
he threw his wedding band in the sewer
i cried for him.
the birds were dreams
and the mountains, my obstacles,
tally ho young adventurer tally ho
i ran into an artist today
he drew signs on corner post buildings
but he also gave his lunch to a homeless boy.
my mom holds black holes beneath her eyes
and for the first time in days, she spoke to me,
"i'm worried about you. try to make some friends?"
dear mom, i am trying
i played chess with a man in the park
i helped a girl find her parents
i am content with who i am, mom,
now i am just trying to help others achieve the same.
i ran into the artist again today
and he taught me how to paint
and then he smiled at me and said, "you're different than the rest."
we made plans, me and
MorningsMornings After the End of the WorldMornings5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am woken in the middle of the dawn's light
By the sound of the butcher's knives going "swack"
In the apartment below
And the sounds of something tapping on the glass at my window.
It creaks at me, and whines and howls
But cannot break through uninvited.
Some rules still apply, even after the end of the world.
The tree rips up its roots and stalks away, unsatisfied.
There's a vampire on the phone
"Have you thought about life insurance?"
I tell her I'm not interested, one life's as good as another.
"Have you thought about eternal life, then?"
"Don't those two things cancel one another out?"
But does it really count if Earth corrodes like the weathermen say it will,
And the vampires are left in the trackless void of space
Wouldn't they explode from lack of air pressure, just like the rest of us?
There's nothing in my place but saltine crackers
Of course, the grocery stores will give you a line of credit for a skin sample
But then there
The Business Wolf stopped gnawing on his third plate of Lapin Bleu d'Auvergne and pointed at Deer with his fork. "The problem," he said, "is that you've got a bum deal going on with your agent. You're paying him far too much if all he was able to get you was public affection. I mean, there's what-- thirteen million white-tailed deer in the United States alone, right?"The Business3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Deer looked down at his glass, which was half-full of some white wine. He was a little unsure whether or not he liked it, as he didn't really know what made wine good or bad or even what type of wine it happened to be. He'd looked at the menu, become flummoxed by the French, and had simply asked the waiter (in English) for something vegetarian with a suitable wine. This was his second glass or maybe his third; he'd already forgotten. He swished it around a little.
"Thirty million, actually," said Deer. "Not thirteen."
the hanged manThis little red book you call the human body:the hanged man4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
take it up and shake it. Shake the flaking pages
out of it, shake it from endpaper to endpaper
until the last of the phrases are gone; shake it
until it's aching and empty, the soul of a bird.
I will give you new words.
16.7.1945You can't blame them for what they did, not really.16.7.19455 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Their war, ensnaring the most powerful countries in the world and sending millions of their finest young men and women out as if to the slaughter, had been raging for nearly six years. Both sides showed no sign of faltering, entertained no thought of surrender. Something had to be done to break the psychological stalemate. Something that would make men fall to their knees in awe even as their cities and their people disappeared in a flash of white light.
What the scientists and the handful of informed onlookers say today in the desert under heavy rain will never be known by man, for the age of man will end in approximately ten seconds. There was talk that the test be delayed until the storm has passed to avoid magnifying the fallout, but orders came from far above that they need these results now, and when the scientists get an order like that, it would cost them more than their lives are worth to ignore it. They place bets while t