I'm Just Waiting for the RainHe keeps his umbrella close, but never opened. Storm clouds roll in and out of his life, but they never stop to even wet the ground.
He wakes up every morning at 6:15, stays in bed for another five minutes, and takes a shower that lasts eight and a half minutes. He eats two slices of buttered toast and a small tumbler of orange juice. He dresses himself in a blue button-down with a striped tie and shines his shoes so that he can see his face. If it's cold out, he wears his black trench coat and if it isn't, he just wears his sport coat. He carries his briefcase every day, along with his umbrella. He can't forget his umbrella. The train leaves at 7:00 and he is at the station by 6:55. He hasn't missed a day of work in eight years.
His career isn't exactly what he hoped it would have been. If he were to think back on it, he would realize that it isn't even close. Thankfully, he never does.
At 7:45 he goes for his morning coffee runblack with two sugars. Provided the line isn't too
CrossroadsAuthor's note: This story is set in a world just sideways of our own, where the heroes of American legends are real. But then again, so are the villains.Crossroads3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"I say," said the tall, black man with the perfect smile. "I say, come along over here and sit a spell. You look plum tuckered out." And he played a little arpeggio on his guitar, which he held like it was a woman he loved.
It was dusk then and the sky was fading from its cotton candy dream color into a deep lavender, dark and low on the horizon like a lady singing blues, and Ted Swanson the securities salesman was grateful to sit down. He took a seat beside that old black man, right in front of the diner, and he loosened his tie. It was a lot damn hotter down south than he'd expected, and a lot lonelier too.
"Where am I?" asked Ted Swanson.
"You in Mississippi, boy."
"Yeah, I know. What town I mean?"
"Not that it rightly matters but you at Route 8, Halfway Diner, next to the Plantation. Ain't got no town name, but that's where
PersephoneI fed herPersephone3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and she cried
at every frozen sunrise
for 180 days.
With cracks in my heart
caught in my hair
I counted 180 more.
FFM VI (The Astronaut)I've always liked astronauts. There is a strange romanticism attached to someone who finds the entire world so mundane that they feel compelled to leave it behind. (I hear that the word mundane means "earthly." Figures.) They need more. They need the universe. They need everything that ever was and ever will be.FFM VI (The Astronaut)3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My husband is an astronaut, and as a child, I wanted to become one too. I could leave my little world behind. But as I grew, my little world also grew, and I realized that there was more than enough to explore and discover on this planet. I had my love, the astronaut and we lived in a tiny, little house where I played wife and he played husband. My world was little again, but it was perfect.
But of course, he had to suit up and take off. And I got left behind.
Most nights, I sit in
ourmy garden, and look up at the night sky. I watch the stars and know that he is up there, flying among them and I wish for them to bring him back.
And I know that this
ImpressionableYou left impressions in her skin and they sank straight down to her heart. You always told her that she was impressionable, but she never took it quite so literally.Impressionable3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She was holding memories so tightly that her hands started to burn. Each day a layer of skin would char and crumble. She swept the ash off and carried on.
Sometimes when she felt lonely, she would take old blankets and wrap herself in them. They smelled like the people who used them before her. They have absorbed their dreams, their feelings, their hearts. She liked to hear other peoples' dreams because she never had one herself.
She never felt quite at home. She worried about getting caught in a gust of wind and tossed down in a field somewhere, but secretly, she hoped for it.
She missed you. She wouldn't admit it, but I could see it in her face and hear it in her words.
She lost her right shoe one night. She walked a half mile in the rain without it and arrived at the front door with a big smile on her face. Sometimes I
FFM XXVIIIf she screams the loudest that means she cares the most. Beneath her weak chest, her heart palpitates and her lungs expand to the point of near eruption. She waves her hands and stomps her feet just like everyone around her, shaking the floor with the weight of a thousand booming steps.FFM XXVII3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Now, if only he would look at her.
The BalloonShe hated him so much that she wanted to love him. She wanted to love him more than anything in her life. She wanted to wrap him up in her arms and promise to keep him forever.The Balloon3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
But they tell her to leave him. "We know his type," they say. "The minute you begin to care about him, he leaves you forever and you'll be left to pick up the pieces."
She knows that they're right. She holds him by a string while he's miles above her. She loathes him, but her heart races every time she thinks of letting go of the string. She closes her eyes and the minute she opens them, she has to frantically reach for him.
Purple shadows grow beneath her eyes and blisters form where she has him tied at her wrist.
"Let him go," they whisper as they try to loosen him from her arm.
She shuffles, sleepy-eyed through the park, dragging him along behind her. A woman runs up behind her and points to the string.
"He is absolutely lovely. You're very lucky to have him miss," the woman says.
She begins to remove him fro
For My DaughterDear daughter-I-do-not-have-yet,For My Daughter3 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
1.1. There are people who do not want an inch less of their fair share of the bus/airplane/movie theater/train/car/park bench/couch and do not hesitate to let everyone know. I do not like to sit in between two people on public transit for fear that I will spill into the space of not one, but two innocent commuters. I make a beeline for corner seats so that I can squish into the extra, empty space and pretend not to see people hesitate before sitting next to me.1.2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
2. This extra layer between my skin and bones is like an armor, protecting my organs from the passing glares shot my way, the snickers, and the people I love calling themselves fatass when they eat too much frozen yogurt. My stretch marks are battle scars from the time something almost made it through.
3. When I was ten years old, my mother took me to the store to buy a new swimsuit, we went to seven different stores because we could not find one that was long enough for my five-foot-two frame, when I asked my mother why I could n
Why I Am HappyThe boy sitting on the park bench had eyes like sandpaper melancholy.Why I Am Happy4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I think I noticed because I am a poet. I don't think anyone else but a poet could look at his eyes and think, "sandpaper melancholy." But they were that color. A fair brown. And grainy. I liked them in the way I like bitter baking chocolate -- because it has an interesting flavor, not because it is sweet. Unadulterated chocolate is almost unpalatable.
We like sugary chocolate because it has been changed. Adulterated. Oh.
Could tears clean out the roughness in his eyes?
That is why I am happy. I cry the Sorrow out, since poets are not afraid to do that sort of thing. The hunger of starving artists makes us sensitive.
He seemed like one of the people that can be Happy while Sorrow constantly nags on their heartstrings. Like, "Ha, ha, that film was funny!" but after the film is over there is nothing to distract you so tugtug! you remember being sad. They're always sad, but they can't always remember. He seemed ok
And So Ii.And So I4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I wrote our love story on the Internet for the world to read. The bored teenagers with their witty usernames commented on every sappy blog post, wishing me luck and cuddles through a combination of punctuation marks and letters that was supposed to resemble a face.
And it was glorious.
I reveled in you like my dog reveled in the snow that sometimes fell at the beginning of January excited, but too small. And so I sank.
Come to think of it, I never particularly liked snow. It makes the world cold and is only pretty until people mess it up. Plus, the snow that we get around here is never more than slush, and the only reason to cancel school is the black ice on the roads.
And, come to think of it, I never really needed you.
Who are you? I suppose I'll never know. I do not even think that I want to. I never even knew you back then you were a fantasy, something my disillusioned teenage mind conjured up from a tangle of hormones and a misplaced compliment.
All I knew was
The Man in the Coffee ShopThe man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.The Man in the Coffee Shop4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.
Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.
Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hair and scream 'till my lungs burst. I scream for and at you. I ask how you could have left me here.
Sometimes I allow myself to believe that I will see you again. By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.
I go to the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons. I order a small chai tea with milk.
Sometimes the man is working at th
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
UnattainableThose who are lucky enough to have friends are lucky indeed. For not everyone is so lucky.Unattainable3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
It must be nice to have someone's shoulder to cry on. Someone you can bitch to; someone who'll hold you when you're hurt. Not everyone has someone like that.
Some of us just have friends, only a few, whom we call best friends, but they don't say such things in return do they? No, because we aren't their best friend, we're just a friend. Or worse that weird person they hang out with.
You see they have someone else that they uncover their heart and soul too. Someone they've known since they were children; or someone they met several years ago and became inseparable. I envy them. I envy all of them.
Some of us don't get those people; some of us don't get relied upon. We aren't all so lucky. Some of us are shunned, through no fault of our own, or perhaps through only our own fault. It's a mystery that will always escape me.
How do they do it? How do they make these excellent friends? How do they beco
The Hour-What would you do if you only had an hour to live?The Hour3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
-You heard me.
-Well... I guess I'd call everyone I love and tell them how much I care. Then, I'd... I'd sit down and spend whatever was left with you.
-How sweet. But really, what would you do?
-First, we'd have amazing sex. Then, we'd have mind-blowing sex. Then we'd have sex that showed us that there really is a god. After that, in whatever time I had left before the end, I'd post a Facebook status telling everyone how much I love them.
-That's a bit more honest. Now, what if after this hour was up, you just went back to the beginning of it like nothing had happened, but you were the only one who remembered?
-Okay... now you've lost me.
-You have one hour. After that hour, everything goes dark, and next thing you know you're back here, having this conversation with me all over again. But I don't remember, only you do.
-Like... in Groundhog Day?
-Yeah. Like in Groundhog Day.
-I guess I'd... hm. I'd do all the thi
Teacup FriendsWe brew cups of tea and remember them thirty minutes later. The water is still warm when we pull out the teabag, but the liquid is thick and smells bitter. We drink it anyway;the syrupy liquid coats our throats and stains our stomachs. We drink it anyway, since we took the time to make it.Teacup Friends3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We figure they are like that; bitter, forgotten cups of tea that we invested so much time in making. (We even give them names: Earl Grey, Peppermint, Breakfast Blend, and Chamomile.)
Chamomile was the first to go, clipping the hair above his ears, buttoning himself up inside a black pea coat, tying it all up with a noose-like scarf around his neck.
Inside we mourned, but outside we laughed about how silly this all was. As if the way he wore his hair determined his newfound spite. As if the pea coat was a rite of passage, a ticket to better things.
But then Breakfast Blend, Peppermint, and Earl Grey followed, sweeping locks of hair beneath the rug and buttoning four years inside their pea coats. (It
Handle With CareSomething broke today.Handle With Care4 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
Something small and precious, a glass flower, a snowflake, a heart. Something untouchable for its fragility, something broken much to easily, never to be healed again. It made no sound, no dying screams or pitiful whimpers, its passing was slow and barely noticed, noted only by outsiders with jaded eyes. It's gone now, spirited away and never to be seen again. Earlier and earlier it breaks, shatters, and falls away spreading itself across the floor and cutting the feet of everyone who walks upon it, unaware of the blood pouring from their bodies, slicking the shards and staining pure white red.
Something broke today.
It breaks everyday to be honest, many many times by many many people, simultaneously across the world. It does not matter what they were before It breaks, but after they are soldiers, watching the light fade to darkness and unable to do anything but watch with ancient eyes. It's difficult for these jaded soldiers to remember what life was like before
Babydolls and RacecarsDear Rosie,Babydolls and Racecars3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I have your baby doll. Give back my racecar or she gets it.
Don't you dare hurt my dolly. Racecars are stupid anyway.
Baby dolls are stupider. So I threw her off a bridge.
Mommy got me a new baby doll because she loves me more than you. So there.
I don't care. Daddy took me out for ice cream and then we went to the park to play catch.
I don't like ice cream anyway. Mommy takes me shopping for pretty cl
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
Dear DeviantsDear Fellow Deviants,Dear Deviants4 years ago in Letters More Like This
Why is it that people feel that they can be rude to other deviants simply because they are hiding behind a computer monitor?
Call me naive or old-fashioned or what-say-you, but is it really right to do so?
When I speak with someone, anyone, else online, I remain just as courteous (if not more) as I would be to someone I hardly know in person. I suppose that most people nowadays don't even have the proper courtesy to say "please" and "thank you", or to hold the door open for the people behind you in the hustle of the world around them, but even waving at the kind driver who actually let you cross the street without almost running you over goes a long way in person.
Now I shall ask this: if such things are true in person, then why should they not be true online as well? While you may not be speaking to someone else directly, there is still someone else behind another computer screen who deserves the same courtesy as the person whose pencil you picked up after
Baby, If You're Still AwakeSorry, but the person you are calling is unavailable. Please leave your message after the tone.Baby, If You're Still Awake4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Hey you, it's me...Rae.
I..I don't know where to start, but I guess that doesn't really matter right now, especially after what happened. After what I did to you, I wouldn't be surprised if you, you never want to speak to me or see me ever again, for what I did was, it was...
And I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry.
I don't know how to be what you think I am, I don't know how... to love.
It's funny, you know, because I can write poems - poems about tragedies, seasons, and anything, anything at all,
but almost everyone wants to read my love poems.
Ha, I know nothing of the sort.
I, I can only mimic the feelings of being wrapped within a tenderness as light as a butterfly's touch, of being entangled within the warmth of the morning sun's rays, of being so happy that you swear it's all a dream... nothing but a waking dream.
And with you, it
MoonburntCarelessly,Moonburnt3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she sleeps with the window opened
and the nighttime's sun,
that isn't quite a star,
paints her face and neck
with a strange,
and deposits a burning desire
to absorb it all.
Grandfather's BirdGrandfather had a pet bird. Just a small, yellow and white parakeet; he named it Georgie, after Grandmother. Every morning, he would wake up at 6 o'clock, make a pot of coffee, grab the newspaper, and feed the small bird a small pile of birdseed. And he would gently carry the birdcage, and place it on the table and talk to her as he drank his coffee and read the newspaper.Grandfather's Bird4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
"Gas prices are up again Georgie, geez, remember when we could pay 20¢ to fill up our car?"
And sometimes the bird almost chirped in response. Years and years went by, and Grandfather grew older, and he could no longer carry the bird off the shelf, but he would still feed and talk to her at 6 o'clock.
One morning, Grandfather found himself barely able to make it out of bed. He still made his way into the kitchen to feed his dear bird. His hand shook and some birdseed fell to the floor as he carefully moved into the tray into the cage. He slowly made his way to the table so that he could sit down.
Empty skies"Doesn't it look empty to you?"Empty skies4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
What do you mean, little girl? It never looks empty, because in an expanse of sky there can be clouds and rain storms and blue turning to green at the edges. It's a diaphanous green, an almost-there-but-not-really green, and it melts into the ground sometimes. The change in colour has something to do with the atmosphere, I think. There are too many gases in the air and that causes the world to look larger.
And yet here you are, little girl, and you're telling me it looks empty. You're asking me whether I agree. And how can something so full of rockets and stars and a million suns be empty? Well, maybe not completely full of them. But something needs empty space in order to look pretty. Negative space, if you ask the artist.
Why don't you ask the artist, little girl? I'm sure he knows much more of emptiness than a lonely stargazer with a telescope and a cloudy sky. I mean, it does kind of have that charcoal-like quality to it when it's night time and ther
Zombie KissThere was a zombie in the garden. But Libby didn't much mind. Clumps of rotten blood oozed from a shattered jaw, bulbous white eyes rolled in a shriveled decomposing skull, and gray green fingers reached towards the house. Gargled howls rose from its throat, hungry snorts from its nose, and a strange slush of liquid could be heard every time it moved. Still, Libby didn't care.Zombie Kiss3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Two more pounded on the door; cold stiff bodies beating relentlessly, mindlessly, on the locked panel of wood. Another dozen circled; sucking in strangled gulps of air, and exhaling them in ugly, hungry, moans. Libby closed her eyes and kissed him, drowning out the ugly sounds from below with her own urgent whine of pleasure.
Distant gunfire rattled the window frames, far off screams rose with the wind, and somewhere a radio crackled out a series of commands. And a dark teaming smudge of black marred the horizon. The zombie horde, locked in battle with the