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.
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
CharlieI had a stalker.Charlie2 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 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 Sketch2 years 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 little boy's poor attempt at flirting but she laughs anyway. He wants to hear that laugh again, and he does, when he shyly asks if he can draw her.
It's half-way through his sketch that she leans in and presses her soft lips to his. It's a little clumsy and awkward, given how she's standing up and he's cross-legged on the ground, and nowhere as romantic l
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.1.1 year 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
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 Friends2 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
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
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.I'm Just Waiting for the Rain2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
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
love is coming home--i don't write about God.love is coming home--3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
i don't write about God because it's writing about love, it's writing about faith, it's writing about trust and hope and belief and pain, the kind of gut-wrenching betrayal you feel when you've given up and you're waiting for someone to save you, only nobody ever does.
and who else are you going to blame?
it's easy to write about a God you don't believe in. it's easy to pour out all your hate and anger and hurt and deepest, darkest broken fears and fling them from your fingertips and scream, this is not God! it's easy to believe in nothing.
it's not easy to believe.
believing is opening yourself to the pain. it's letting go and falling back with your eyes closed, your heart in your throat because you can't see whether there's anyone waiting to catch you. and what if you hit the ground? what if there are no hands waiting to embrace you? what if there's nobody waiting at the beginning, when you finally turn around ready to try again; what if there's
Coffee-Stained LetterDear Stranger,Coffee-Stained Letter3 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
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 Awake3 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
KeystrokeThe keys feel nice under my fingers, soft and indented from manufacturing supplies and my own abuse. I like to type moreso than writing with a pencil or pen. It brings me comfort to spill words onto a nonexistent page and be able to erase them just as easily. No eraser shavings or crumpled paper to serve as evidence of my musings. The keys are like home. They call to me even when I have nothing to say. I'll spend hours typing nonsense logic into a word processor only to delete it because I didn't really want the words so much as I wanted the comfort. It's like holding my father's hand or leaning on my mother's shoulder as she wraps me in her embrace.Keystroke3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Their thin constructs are so fragile under my deft pads, and the feel of the push and give as I press on them brings life to the inanimate things. Each one is separate, an individual with a personality all their own.
J and F are my homing beacons when I rest my hands on the keyboard; their indents merely physical attributes so that
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
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 Shop3 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
Empty skies"Doesn't it look empty to you?"Empty skies3 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
Take Me For a RideDarling:Take Me For a Ride3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Take me for a ride. Let me sit in your passenger seat, your partner in crime. Give me control of the radio, and let me find something we both can tolerate; or else something we both hate, and can laugh at, blasting it while we go. Let me be your navigator, getting us lost in the middle of nowhere. We can fight and yell and blame each other before we forgive and take it all as the grand adventure it's supposed to be. Let me get up to crazy shenanigans, making faces and distracting you. We'll be causing all sorts of trouble in the name of fun. And when it gets dark, let me sleep in the passenger seat, in my slumber entrusting you with my safety. Let me feed you food while you drive; holding your burger and soda while you keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the roads ahead.
And when the ride is over dear heart, do to me as others have done. Push the pedal till we're going over a hundred kilometres an hour. Without warning push open that passenger side door, unbuckle my belt,
Letter to a StrangerDear Stranger,Letter to a Stranger3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Let's fall in love.
And I don't mean fall into bed together in a crimson whirlwind of electric passion. That comes later...maybe.
I mean fall into a field of sunshine flowers after dancing to a brook's laughing scherzo.
I see you questioning my overly romantic language and the prospect in general. You can't fall in love that fast, you say? You're wrong. You see, I already love you. I don't know a thing about you, but I love you. Now, I'll concede that it's probably not the sort of love that will stand the test of time, but it will make us smile. It will make us laugh.
Don't you want to laugh? To fly up into the heavens on nothing but dreams and wishes? Don't be afraid about coming down; I've been dropped on my ass many a time, and I've always bounced back in a week or two. Yeah, it sucks sometimes, but I always try t
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 Bird3 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.
Why Peter is not a poet.Cole is eleven. Age matters in October, when twelve is the only difference between the haunted hayride and the shelled corn sandbox. Age matters when a boy says the word "shit" in school (and Cole does). But age doesn't matter when the same boy has both sneakers dangling over the edge of a 250-foot grain silo, his hands sweaty on the rungs, the state of Nebraska breathing vacant and honeyed and infinite below him. For the first time in his life, Cole can't be quantified by the candles on his last birthday cake. Cole is young, but today, he is worth saving. Three facts about Cole:Why Peter is not a poet.4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
1. His eyebrows are the most expressive arches his body has to offer.
2. He's so terrified that his very expressive eyebrows are threatening to take up permanent residence in his hairline.
3. He does not have suicidal tendencies, and later understands--for the sake of his mother's heart and Officer Roy's bladder control--that his strategies for
quiet'horricos' was the first word to pass her lips. she wrote long before she could speak and her parents were afraid she was mute. they didn't care that at a young age she was able to write- simply that their child was different; wrong. after she spoke her first word they inquired to what it meant. she looked at them with wonder and a sadness not to be felt by such a young little soul and did not say a word. they got angry at her and stormed off, spewing hurtful words that meant little to her. after she spoke her first word she did not speak again for a long time.quiet3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
'horricos' was the only word she spoke at her fathers funeral. she was now in her teens and the fact that she never spoke put people off more than before. as a little girl her parents brushed it off as a phase to all their friends. brushing her off. however, it was becoming increasingly difficult to hide the fact that she was different; wrong. her writing was now polished and eloquent and her teachers wondered how it was possibl
The Hour-What would you do if you only had an hour to live?The Hour2 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
UnattainableThose who are lucky enough to have friends are lucky indeed. For not everyone is so lucky.Unattainable2 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
Handle With CareSomething broke today.Handle With Care3 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