FFM XShe has more books than friends. Even on her Facebook account.
Eleven are duplicated, four are autographed, nine are missing covers, and six are in languages she doesn't speak.
(Her books, not the friends, but one never knows.)
She's worked the same job for three years, saying that it will get her to bigger and better places. It took her three years to figure out that she can't see any places, let alone bigger or better ones.
She writes stories about sad little people like her, except she didn't realize that she was like all of them. She was different because she liked her job. She liked her job until she realized she didn't. And then she couldn't think of anything that set her apart.
She has more books than friends, and she collects them the way one might collect loose change. (Again, the books, not the friends.) She hasn't read all of them, and she doesn't even know that she will. She gathered them all up in order to make herself manic-pixie-dream-girl.
But now, she's a depressive-pi
The DoctorWhen I was seven, I was diagnosed with emotions.The Doctor4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Poor girl." I heard them say. "She'll never survive this one."
I laid with my face towards the ceiling on the cold examination table, listening to them discuss my fate. I felt something breaking in my chest and something burning inside my throat. A small tear slipped down my cheek.
"Doctor! Look at this!" Shrieked my mother, "Something is coming out of her eye."
The doctor rushed over to me and wiped the tear from my cheek. He touched the top of my head as he whispered, "I am so sorry." And then he turned to my mother. "It's a tear. It means that she is sad."
"Sad?" My mother asked inquisitively.
"It's one of her emotions. This doesn't attack the same way that normal diseases do, there are all sorts of different symptoms. Right now, she is sad and the only way that I know how to explain it is that she is feeling down."
"What do you mean by down?"
"Her emotions can best be described as ones that are upwhen she is feeling good, and
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
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 Rain4 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
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.Impressionable4 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
UnattainableThose who are lucky enough to have friends are lucky indeed. For not everyone is so lucky.Unattainable4 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
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 Bird5 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.
Moving On“No.” It was all I could say, taking in the carnage of what had just last night been my pristine kitchen. I wanted to collapse onto a chair, but they – and our spacious table – were covered in miscellany. Cleaning supplies, random knick-knacks from the living room, a thermometer, a scale. It was all there, strewn about.Moving On2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My legs were shaking, and I fought the urge to cry. So messy. So dirty. No, no, no. I collapsed onto the shoe bench in between the Franco Sarto and the Gucci. I don't know where Giesswein had gone. I wished I could blame it on burglars, but no.
“She's doing it again!” I called, and my husband came running into the kitchen. We watched his mother rearrange my cabinets, turning tea-cup handles to the left instead of the right. My hands twitched.
“Ma, stop it!” he said, exasperation coloring his voice. “Put these things back, they were fine where they were!”
"No," she said, her voice heavily-accented. "I will take
go to sleep for the love of godi kind of feel like ripping my face off.go to sleep for the love of god4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
it's not one of those sad, suicidal stories. i mean, if i believed in suicide in the way that means i could do it, then yeah, it would be. but i don't, and i guess you're kind of lucky for that because now you can go to sleep with a clear conscience.
i won't ever tell you about how many pages and books and scraps of paper and unsent text messages and notes on the backs of my hands i've written for you, or how inarticulate you were when you wanted to say how you felt. i won't ever tell you how i wished for a few words that could tell me that i was loved, even a little, and i sure as fuck won't ever say that when you managed to pull a few words together for some girl you haven't even touched, well, i won't ever say that all i feel like doing now is unravelling the skin on my arms, down to the bones, and watch as rivers of red fall out of me like stars.
maybe i'd be beautiful enough for you then. i
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
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
LiminalI woke after thirteen hours of sleepLiminal3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and when I looked in the mirror,
there were still bruise-purple
crescent moons beneath my eyes.
tired no longer comes from a
lack of sleep—it has reached a state
of permanence, engraving itself
into my bones. When you ask
how I am, I will now answer:
cold and tired.
It was later that night when I
tasted the liquor cabinet
to see what all the fuss was about.
Whiskey burns as it goes down
and settles in the cavity of the heart,
encompassing it with a hug
that a lover will never reach.
I now want to know if I will
ever be able to melt.
I used to close my eyes beneath
the night sky, as everything in the
universe was staring me down,
and beg that one of the
billions of beings out there
would make me smaller.
If that tiny girl
in a big open field,
beneath the big open sky,
who hadn't ever seen the big open sea,
got her wish,
would she even be able to see
herself in the mirror?
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
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
Thirty Three Percent"What are you doing?"Thirty Three Percent4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"I think I finally figured out percentages."
"We learnt those in the third grade."
"Yeah, but we always complained that we'd never use them in real life."
"And you know how to use them in real life now?"
"Eighty four percent."
"That's the percentage of how many basketball matches you lost to me when we were kids."
"That's not fair! You're taller than me!"
"Fifty two percent."
"Is that how much taller than me you are?"
"No. That's the percentage of times you speak out of turn and get into trouble for it."
"Twenty three percent."
"Let me guess, that's how much I annoy you?"
"That's the percentage of times your mother told you she loved you when you were a child instead of the amount she should have."
"Seventy nine percent."
"I don't think I like this game anymore."
"That's how much of your heart loved that guy who broke it so completely callously."
"Look, I'm serious. Stop."
"That's how sure you a
Gateway"Do you know what victory is?" asked a soft voice behind her.Gateway4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The girl with the broken eyes didn't look up. She couldn't. She didn't want to. Her whole body was tattooed with the rain that had started hours before, her hair dripping with the sky's tears. She hadn't wanted to dry the sorrow of the weather from her skin; for fear that someone would see her own.
"I asked, do you know what victory is?" The voice was soft, but strong. And there was something about it that reminded her that she needed to pay attention.
She still didn't speak and a disappointed sigh came from the voice. It was as if the rain had stolen her voice.
"Victory is, when you lay awake at night and pray for the sanity of others rather than yourself. It's when that broken heart which has tormented you, heals you instead. It's when you learn to forgive yourself for your past and look forward to the future."
The tears hadn't stopped yet. They made their way down her face like lifeless little
The RunThere are some sounds you only hear at certain times though they are ever present. For example, a clock ticking down until the end of the work day, or the high frequency vibration inside silence. Like that, sometimes you can hear the universe cheer.The Run2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The wind blew through the wild grass, and the grass clapped. She ran at full tilt. It’s do or die.
Her bare feet slapped through puddles of yesterday’s rain, and each splash exclaimed what she needed to hear. Alive. Alive. Alive. Rock and grit scratched the soles of her feet. Her shoes had slipped off in the struggle between her and The Clippers. They had dragged her by the ankles to their workstation. It was her time, but she escaped. (Only just.)
They were behind her now. Far, far behind. But to slow down would mean disaster.
The cliff came into sight. It’s do or die.
She ran and the universe cheered. The wind pushed her. The trees urged her. The birds above flew with her. They sang.
Like the magician
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
FishIt's funny, the little things that mean so much. You don't even notice them until they're gone. One day you wake up and find the neighbours have chopped a branch from the tree outside your window. Suddenly you feel a little more alone. You step outside and notice a For Sale sign across the street - it's an old, shabby house and you know it's going to be knocked down by the end of the month. And it's that moment when you realize a part of you will topple with it. Faint, but alive, soon to be as spectral as the puff of smoke that drifts from a candlewick after the flame is blown out. A sliver of your spirit.Fish4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Your sister kept goldfish once. They didn't last long, didn't linger enough to become attached to your soul. Fish were fickle things. They never seemed driven to survive, content to float into oblivion if the water wasn't just right. They lived for simple things, and simple things went foul quickly. One goldfish nibbled at fish flake, morning after morning, until the day it decided t
Mr. LizardI remember when I was finally able to convince my parents to buy me a pet lizard. I was so excited! It lived inside a wooden cage with a wire mesh in front. I named it Mr. Lizard. I wasn't very good at coming up with names.Mr. Lizard5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Everyday, when I came back home from school, I'd go to my room and would feed Mr. Lizard a cricket. I thought that was the neatest part about having a lizard. It was fun to watch as the cricket hopped around inside the cage as Mr. Lizard eyed it. I kept thinking, "Oh man, I wonder when he'll eat the cricket!" Then "Munch!" It was done. I was somewhat disgusted by it, but at the same time fascinated.
One night, I was watching a nature show on TV and the people in it were trying to rescue some animals that were captured illegally and being sold as pets. They managed to save a few and then released them back into the wild. Everyone was hap
High (First Draft)My Dear,High (First Draft)3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I must confess. I never told you, but I got high once. And once before that.
The first time was the day I met you. In that old bookstore we touched fingers among the fiction shelves reaching for a Joyce. An awkward moment made majestic when you laughed. I knew right then and there. This girl is outside my comfort zone. Then you took my hand. As you led me through the aisles, I ran my fingers across the books and prayed inwardly for osmosis to give me the right words to say.
And like some Forrest and Jenny escapade, we were off. We took turns riding the rolling ladder across the biography shelves. We encouraged an Asian boy in the self-help aisle. We asked the clerk, "Where in the dickens is Dickens!" He rolled his eyes. So we tipped him. We recited Hemingway for the war history buffs and Geisel for everyone else. We laughed at an old lady, blushing and shivering, leafing through the romance novels. And when she heard us, we blew her kisses. Peas and carrots. Hair an
The Dream-Makers The clouds are beautiful today.The Dream-Makers8 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
I watch them from behind someones eyelids as she sleeps beneath a tree with a book in her lap. For a while I imagine the way the trees must feel as the breeze sways them; I have not felt a true breeze in so long. And then I turn back to the depths of the girls mind and carry on with my work. After all, dreams do not create themselves.
I don my black shawl and turn to the little dream form of the girl. Falling into my character, I cluck my tongue and point at the forest that materializes in her subconscious. Beware the monsters that live within the woods, my dear.
But why? Her dream self looks puzzled and calm as only dream people canthey have no real danger to fear.
I shake my head, following whose directions I will never know, and merely say, Beware the monsters, my dear, especially the ones with pretty faces.
The Far Shore: Part 1 (Rhink)Title: The Far Shore: Part 1 (Rhink)The Far Shore: Part 1 (Rhink)2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Disclaimer: This is TOTALLY NOT REAL. It is fake. I made it up. Nothing is meant to be implied about any actual real-life people.
Pairing: Rhett & Link (Rhink)
Word Count: 2940
Author’s Note: This is set in February of senior year in high school. The events in Part 1 are inspired by the story told in Good Morning Chia Lincoln #24: We Almost Died.
The steering wheel shuddered in Link’s hands as the pickup truck jostled its way down the narrow dirt road, nearly bouncing his head into the roof. Rhett was beside him in the passenger seat talking about the upcoming basketball game, apparently oblivious to the rough ride. That night was the first playoff game and he was expressing his usual bravado about them certainly winning the state championships this year. Link was only half listening, eyes on the road, hands tight on the wheel. He had only had his license for a year or s
2nd person fiction and YouYou like fiction written in the second person. You may not admit it to yourself, but deep down, you really do. It teases you with its confrontational otherness, its flamboyantly displayed post-modernism, its teeth.2nd person fiction and You5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Do not look at its teeth. You do not want to look at its teeth.
Fiction written in the second person and you have a long history of denial. At first, you were sure it couldn't be done. Then it was done, and it was done to you, and you liked it, too, but it was only the one time and you were kind of drunk. It was an experiment, and it was interesting as an experiment, but that was all it was.
Only, of course, it wasn't.
Fiction written in the second person has invaded your dreams, and what's worse, your sexual fantasies. You'd be picturing a luscious blonde, rubbing her rubbables, yearning for your touch, when suddenly a voice would pop into your head, calmly narrating what you were doing: "You are picturing a luscious blonde," the voice would say, "rubbing her rubbables. Hey
Please Don't Leave MeShe flutters her fingers over her skin, she smiles as she thinks of him. He only touched her once, and it was when she brushed up against him on the train. She smiles as she remembers the way he muttered an apology. Her heart feels light as her memories play though her mind, changing bit by bit as they pass through.Please Don't Leave Me4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Please don't leave me.
She rides the train on Tuesday afternoons, because she ran into him once, several Tuesdays ago. She waits patiently at the station, hoping, praying that he will see him. She has the lines worked out in her head, hoping she will have the occasion to use them. She rides the bus day in, day out sitting in the same seat.
Don't leave meever.
She sits in her drab little office doing the same mundane tasks every single day. When she allows her mind to wander off, she thinks of him at his own job. He's probably a curator at a museum or something exciting like that. She refrains from doodling his name all over her folder like a thirteen-yea