A Butterfly Flapping Its WingsThe letter was clutched in strong fingers which, had they belonged to a lesser man, might have been trembling.
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 sai
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 Sketch9 months 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 littl
Away from NeverNeverLandMoney is dirty. Leaves invisible yuck on a person; stains fingers, smears over skin and catches under nails. Festers. And then hands turn into pincers to take and eyes small greedy and black. Skin hardens to bounce back ugly words and back curves under weight of things. Lobsters, fat and red.Away from NeverNeverLand1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Marriage is scrubbed. Clean and pretend. Perfect white dresses and kisses put and planted. Brides march and grooms promise so hard. Military of gowns with bow tie generals. An army of high heels and flowers landed in laps. Marriage spreads. Infects. Zombiefying disease. Shuffle, I do, brains.
Driving is fickle. Slide into each other, through each other. Blood and bits go with them. People cry over tombs and insurance papers. Or nothing. Home again, uneventful day. Locked behind wheel, over tarmac, lights suspended like vultures above. Danger, danger. Promise of convenience. Thrill. Like riding a shark.
Work is uniformed. Slotted, easy, organized files. Tags meaning le
Sounds Like MauveWhat had finally driven her over the edge, Dr. Schwartz recorded, was that she couldn't hear the grapes.Sounds Like Mauve1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Certainly they tasted fine, at least Marian made the same happy sounds she always made when she plopped a seedless red into her mouth and squeezed it with her teeth. The anomaly occurred when they opened her visor.
"Dr. Schwartz?" It was one of the new nurses. "Dr. Schwartz, Marian's parents are here. They said you called?"
"What? Yes, yes, I did call them." Schwartz sighed, tapped a few more notes and slid the stylus back into the sheathe on the side of his tablet. "How is she?"
"Asleep. The sedatives have taken hold."
"Good. I'm going to bring Marian's parents in to see her. I would appreciate it if you could remove her restraints for a bit, just until they leave. Would that be a problem?"
"Of course not, doctor. I'll take care of it."
Schwartz shook her father's hand with a tight grip, looking the man in the eye. He set his other hand reassuringly on her mother's shoulder, saying
Legend It's one of the earliest stories you're told as a child, the one about the Longest Road. The details seem to vary from family to family, but that's not surprising when the legend has been passed down for generations. Some think of it like an adventure, some tell it to their children as a horror story to discourage dangerous thinking, and some just mention it as an old wives' tale. My parents used the horror story approach, thinking it would quell any notions my young mind had about one day going in search of the Longest Road, but it did the opposite. The more they tried to tell me it was a terrifyiLegend9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
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 bDog Advice1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
SliverThey say that if you stand in front of a wall of glass at exactly four minutes past midnight and tap your fingers on it three times, you can open a door to the void beyond this world. It has to be somewhere you can see your reflection, and see through it, hovering like a ghost over the darkness beyond, somewhere dim enough that you can't quite tell the difference between light and shade. And unless you hit the glass where you touched it, shatter the half-formed image before the fifth minute strikes, that door will never close.Sliver8 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Celia Gray has never been one for urban legends. So much so, that she would never turn down a chance to prove one wr
a need for answers.He looked older than he was. Dim sunlight from the dawn filtered through the open window, and a faint breeze ruffled his dark, wavy locks. His sunken skin gave him a tired, shadowed look, but deep within his eye sockets, black irises glittered with reflected light. The scientist couldn't deny it; the man was an unnerving fellow. Even standing there as he was, he looked out of place. He didn't look much different than the rest of the people here, but there was something about him that made it seem like he did. The scientist had never been able to work out what it was though. He just couldn't think of the words. "We lost another man to the swama need for answers.10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
SuperheroThe costume, admittedly, was a bit of a problem--at least, it was at first. Decision, decisions.Superhero9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
I wasn't going to doll up like some manly whore of justice. It really wasn't my style. I don't think I even have a style. I mean, I wear rather fancy clothes. I like the feel of suits and my father's tailors were my tailors. It was inherent.
But I didn't want to ruin nice clothes and I didn't want to run the stupid superhero gamut--we all know Superman wears his underwear on the outside.
I was not doing that.
So, instead of donning the traditional tights which would soak up my blood, sweat, and tears, I put on some padded gear for my knees and
It Was a Dive She finally went off the deep end. It wasn't a slow event. The girl looked at the olympic-sized pool first, knowing what little kids added there. That didn't make her happy, so she turned her back on it to stand, heels hanging over the edge of the diving board with only her toes plus the balls of her feet to grip it. Then she sprung to make her backflip dive.It Was a Dive3 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Penny made a clean dive -- barely any water splashed. She was proud of that, glad her brother watched it to make sure anyone interested would know. She came close to adding pollution to the public pool herself, she was so relieved.
Penny climbed out to crow with her brot
i. beginningThe rain fell in heavy sheets, obscuring the ground below and the sky above. It had been falling for fourteen days now, and would likely fall for many more. Years ago someone might have gone so far as to say that it was raining cats and dogs. But there were no more cats and dogs, and there was no one there to say that they were falling from the sky. In fact there wasn't much of anything except for the rain, which seemed in the emptiness to take on a life of its own. It was going to live for quite a while longer, but its death would be just as sudden and unexpected as its birth. Its mother the clouds drifted slowly across the sky as countlessi. beginning9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Photograph Six year old Rose decided that today would be the day she asked her grandmother about the painting.Photograph5 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It always held her interest, magic upon a canvas. Perhaps it was the rich colors that shimmered under the perfect lighting. It could have been the girl captured within the painting. Maybe it was all of those things, but she had an idea on what it truly was—the eyes.
They were created by the tip of a brush, but carried more life than anything she had ever seen. Color of ice blue, they carried familiarity, warming the inside of her chest. The more she stared, the stronger it felt.
Rose entered her grandmother's living room to see her standing
The Virgin House"Let's see eye of newt, boiled bat wings, mandrake root, and- My, my, tears of a virgin? Where am I going to get a virgin?"The Virgin House11 months ago in Scraps More Like This
"Perhaps you can place an ad in the paper?"
"Hush, Madrina, I'm trying to think." Aggie rubbed the mole on her chin. Her cauldron boiled happily in front of her. "Let simmer for three full moons," she read from her spellbook. "I have time." Aggie turned on her heel, and her robes spun with her. "Madrina!"
"Go into town and find a man named Richard Sphin. He deals in uncanny business. Tell him I wish to order a virgin."
"Can we get a cat scratcher for my nails?"
"Not enough money."
The Priest and the TimetravelerThomas had not yet finished praying when he heard two loud knocks on the door to his church. Straightening up to answer it, the young priest grew worried. Not even the elderly couple who usually sat in the front-most pew came this early; the sun had not yet risen and his first sermon was still hours away. He was concerned that the visitor was someone in dire need of assistance or quite possibly a bearer of bad news, and so he went to the door as quickly as he could.The Priest and the Timetraveler1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
A tall gentleman wearing a crisp, black suit stood in the doorway. He let himself in before Thomas could even question what he was doing there, took one irritated, sweeping look
DarkIt was a saturday night, and the full moon shone brightly through Tommy's window. The moonlight would have been comforting to anyone else, but to Tommy it only meant terrible nightmares.Dark1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Tommy clenched his teddy-bear in an iron grip and shakily got out of bed, and tip-toed into the hallway. He had already been to his parent's room twice tonight and each time his mother would pick him up, tuck him into bed and ask that he not get up again. She told him that Teddy would protect him from any bad dreams. A stupid lie he had already heard before. This time, he was sure his mom would be fed up with him: but he didn't mind trying again before going
RecrudescenceA man in his fifties lay in his hospital bed, surrounded by white sheets, baskets of fruit, and get-well-soon cards. He tried to sit up, but found himself gasping for breath. He lowered himself down.Recrudescence10 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
He closed his eyes, trying to sort out the mess in his head. He wondered what his liver donor was like. Had he, or she, also been lying on a hospital bed? Surrounded by white sheets, baskets of fruit, and get-well-soon cards? No, no, he reasoned. His donor would be dead. There would be no fruit or cards for someone who had already died.
He rubbed his forehead and sighed deeply. It was becoming hard to think. The regret had begun to set in. The
Eyes Blood did not connect Rafi to her mother, a common fact that the two often forgot. Her father, too, was not her blood father, although he served his role with the utmost enthusiasm.Eyes1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Although her mother and father were darker skinned than she, Rafi was toned enough to pass as their daughter, and company often thought that was the case.
Faron, a neighbor to Rafi's parents, did not see Rafi often, for her job kept her busy. She had been flying to other cities much more often lately due to her high status as a mes
Within Her GraspShe reaches for the dial on the radio and turns up the volume.Within Her Grasp11 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Charlene? Are you even listening to me?!"
Staring out the window she watches the trees flash by. While her mother rants and raves about ungrateful children and their lack of respect, she hums along to the music. Another commercial rears its ugly head. A car advertisement.
She turns off the radio.
She reaches for another cigarette.
"That's a nasty habit, Charlene."
She lights it with a match and the conversation shifts to more important things. Taking a long drag, she feels temporary satisfaction. Her father eyes her with a look of disapproval.
"You need to qui
How to enervate an egotistic entityDo you have that insolent acquaintance who does not feel the need to shut up, like ever? Does he/she/it gloat constantly about themselves to the whole of the general populace, and their mothers? Frankly, are they and their garrulous garbling getting on your nerves? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the following solutions may prove effect for any mortal in need of a pedestal chiseler.How to enervate an egotistic entity2 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
THE FASHIONABLE METHOD
Subject must be four legged and furry. Must enjoy cold nights, frosty winters, and the general extreme conditions. Sharp teeth and claws are optional.
Step One, find a dragon. Must be of terrorizing capabilities, or method will not proceed as directed. Fire breathing and acid spitting varieties are preferred.
Step Two, anger the dragon. Additional bystanders (helpless villagers, royalty) must be present. Tail stepping is not encouraged. If followed through properly, a hero will emerge on scene.
ShellsEach wave hissed across the shingle. Each wave flattened itself out in a dying puff of foam and then fell back into the greatness of the sea, dragging the smoothed-out stones with it. How many years must it take for those fist-sized pebbles to become sand? How long?Shells10 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Frances raised her eyes to the grey sky and wondered about God above those clouds. There were men who said that God’s hand had no place in all of this. There were men that said we had come from apes, step by step, like a boulder being polished by the sea until it was a smooth and perfect fist-sized stone. Those men said that six thousand years was impossible. Six million years was impossible. They said that time was so deep it was like looking into the arc of the heavens and never knowing how far away the deepest darkness was.
Those clocks that ticked on board ship, that spelt out longitude and latitude to anxious sailors, that measured the greatness of the globe – there were not enough ticks in all of the clo
WanderlustMilo dreams of caves; hundreds of thousands of seemingly endless feet, yards, miles of tunnels that twist and fold into each other like a frayed ball of string. Sunlight doesn't reach the caves, they are cold and dark as an abandoned tomb and even the air breathes thicker as mushroom clouds of dust fall from the ceiling and rise from the floor. The overwhelming feeling is of being buried alive and Milo wishes to beat on the coffin and beg for his freedom. The ceiling is too high to reach though, and rather than silence his cries are met by a cacophonous chorus of his own echoing voice. Milo turns on the spot but fails to choose a direction; aWanderlust9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The Belly of a WhaleThe belly of a whale is cleaner than you'd think. It's the seashore on a wet day: a red beach with red clouds and red sand. And the voice of the whale is the voice of God.The Belly of a Whale8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
God sings, "You were delicious."
"Spit me out." I'm on my knees, though my god cannot see inside itself to find my supplication satisfying. "I'm a wicked man. You don't want to devour wickedness, oh Lord. You'll be disgusted when you know you've devoured such a polluted thing."
"I will not," sings God.
"I've murdered a man."
"So have I."
"I've murdered a woman, too."
"So have I."
"She was pregnant."
God laughs. "The ship I sank held hundreds."
This calls for humil
Glass DollI fell in love with a girl once. Her name was Lily. We met up in one of those old cafés that have a stage in the center. I used to have coffee there every morning, and listen to whatever musician was on the stage before going to work. They were always kind of tacky, but I liked them for their tackiness, I guess. I don't know. I sort of just came there out of habit.Glass Doll1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
That day, I bought my coffee like usual. I didn't notice her at first. She was silent. It was one of the only times I would ever hear her be silent. I sat down at my usual corner to wait for the waitress with the coffee and listen to the music for a bit. When I looked up, she
affair with anamnesisShe has a long-standing love affair with memory.affair with anamnesis1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It comes to her bed between the lovers who find her in the corners of this city; in cafes and clubs, under streetlights. Men with broad shoulders and scarred hands, rough jaw lines and bedroom eyes they seek her out subconsciously and find themselves entangled; heart-deep in damp sheets and raspberry hairstrands. They lick chocolate from her fingers in the half-light, and kiss that place behind her ear where her neck smells like cinnamon. In the mornings they wake, sated, enamored with the sight of her in nothing more than a button-down shirt -- too big, picked up off the floor. She is