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
Drowning in Reversex. I still have your phone.Drowning in Reverse3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
ix. The boardwalk carnival was shut down a few months later, roped off and boarded up like a condemnation of joy. The ferris wheel still rose high above the skyline, towering in silent reminder.
viii. The funeral was on a beautiful, balmy, sunny day and somehow that made it all the worse. The wind would pick up a little and ruffle your goldspun hair and I could hope, just for a moment, that you were still here.
vii. It was a cold, white room. I don't know why hospitals are so cold. Or maybe it was just me - maybe it was just me trying to siphon out all of my warmth and channel it into you.
vi. I didn't see the crowd that gathered on the beach - I barely registered the flash of red and blue lights - I only saw you, skin pale as the stretcher they were loading you on to, blue shirt stained black like a death sigil.
v. Someone was drowning. You cast an arm out pointing - there was someone out there in the dark water drifting further and further from shore.
Inside Out"I think I wear my soul inside out."Inside Out4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
"My soul. It's inside out."
"That's a strange thing to say."
"I have all the symptoms though."
"And what are the symptoms of this disea-"
"It's not a disease."
"All right. What are the symptoms, then?"
"I care too much about all the wrong things, I worry about odd things, my heart breaks too easily and my brain feels a little too asymmetrical to the things that are supposed to be fun."
"You know parties and alcohol and normal things. Like that."
"Nothing. What do you care too much about?"
"Everything. Global warming. The whales. Aliens. Israel. Sarajevo. The Ozone-"
"I get it. Everything that counts and you can do nothing about by yourself."
"You sound cynical."
"You sound paranoid."
"It's just honest. What worries you?"
"The fact that you are too self involved to notice."
"If I disappear."
"You idiot. Ofcourse I will notice if you disappear. I'd not
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 You4 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
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
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
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. Lizard4 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
Goodbyei. He looked at me over the tops of his glassesGoodbye4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It was the first time I had truly seen his eyes
And the last
ii. I looked at the coffee stain on his shirt
I didn't want him to see the tears in my eyes
But I know he saw them fall to my feet
iii. I stuffed my hands back in my pockets
I was afraid to look back as I walked out the door
He the one going,
But I felt that I was leaving him
My Mother and the BoyWhen that boy left, he left Mama a wreck. She sat in that creaky old kitchen rocker, her thin hair disheveled above clammy, transluscent skin, her black, birdlike eyes glittering like beetles, sunken and strange in her pale face. She moaned whenever anyone passed, but without looking at them, her hands in frantic and mechanical motion knitting row after row of snarled thread. "I let that boy into my house!" she muttered. Occasionally she would get up and pace back and forth across the kitchen, restlessly wiping at various surfaces with a greying little dish towel clutched in her bony fingers.My Mother and the Boy5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Then Joey and I went off to school, and she was alone in the big house, filling the silence only with her own mutterings and the anxious clicking of her knitting needles. The neighbors would grab our sleeve on our way out sometimes, and ask if she was still alive in there, because she never showed her face.
One day, when I drove down to visit Mama, I found her stan
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."
The Architect's DaughterGrowing up, the drafting table was a strange contraption lording over the basement and over the crown of her then small head. As she slowly came to understand the table's function, it came to teach her that A) work and home are inseparable, and B) the world is flat. Skyscrapers collapse into thin piles of layered printer paper and torn, pen-marked transparency sheets. Mountains and forests reduce to stacked shapes. Fathers compile into cramped calendars.The Architect's Daughter4 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Now the early lessons are thoroughly embedded. Art and architecture are inseparable in her mind. The easel is her own table, similar to a draughtsman's and yet completely different in the ways that matter. She is not a draughtswoman or a designer. Instead, exactly like children imitate their parents naïvely, she plays at being an architect, mimicking the actions but doing them backwards. Architects use flat means to create real objec
One LoveI'm not enough.One Love4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I'm not super-human, not a hero either. I'm just me. Me. And what I am might not be what you need.
But I'll try.
I can promise you as much. I can try to be what you need and I can do it for the rest of my life. If I could just nearly be what you need, what he was, it'll be enough. It has to be enough because I'm not the perfect piece, I'm misshaped and confused and so madly in love with you.
Yet I'm not him.
I'll never be.
You loved him. And part of you, the one he took, always will. I can only hope the small part left can learn not to long after the one missing. I can only hope it'll learn to move on and someday - perhaps who knows? will notice me.
Sometimes I just I I just want to be everything to you.
People don't call me a fool for no reason, you know? Though I prefer to think of myself as an idealist and show them wrong. I know... I know they're wrong. I can be everything to somebody else; I can fulfil my lover's every need
BraveryOn Saturday the twenty-first of January, Elliot took a gun, pressed it to the strip of bone between his eyes, and shot himself. The bullet shattered the frontal bone of his skull, warping his features past recognition, and burrowed through his pre-frontal cortex into the midbrain. He died before the sound stopped echoing through his empty apartment.Bravery5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
This story isn't about that.
I worked with Elliot for only a little while—less than six months. Most of what I knew about him came from his desk. Unlike the smaller ones the secretaries and other reporters had, it was a stately, imposing thing. It would've been terrifying, especially to a mousy little girl like me, but it was covered in paperweights and spare pens and pictures of people hunting ducks. Anyway, Elliot himself denied fear: he was middle-aged, poised on the cusp between forty and fifty. His hair had already turned grey, but he didn't dye it, like he hadn't noticed he was getting older or just didn't care. He smiled more t
AdvertisementsShe was only six when the funeral homes started sending us advertisements, all competing with each other to be the best, to win her business. To win our business, more like; six is hardly old enough to understand what's going on. It's not old enough to understand why everyone is covering their mouths with their hands and failing to hold back tears when you walk into the room, or old enough to understand why people begin to outright sob when you start talking about what you want to be when you grow up. Once it was a doctor, before that it was a fairy princess, but right now it's a policewoman.Advertisements4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
And of course all the children have heard about the funeral homes. Cold, nasty, make their business in knowing when people are going to die. Not how, as far as anyone can tell, just...when. A lot of kids have had relativesgreat-aunts, great-uncles, maybe great-grandparentsstart getting advertisements, maybe been shown them to know what to look out for, but not Anita. She
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
StarsIt isStars4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when our eyes
I see you
reflected in your eyes
you don't feel
The Business of Murder"Well, now that we're through with the pleasantries, Mr. Daniels, I must ask: Why is it that you want to die?"The Business of Murder4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Joseph Daniels sighed and slumped down in his seat, the picture of unkemptness. His face looked tired, with large bags underneath his eyes and at least three days' worth of stubble. His hair was a mess, his clothes were disheveled. He seemed to exude an aura of despair.
He surveyed the room he was in, which was quite his opposite: neat, orderly, unremarkable. Blank, white walls, some filing cabinents, three windows looking out on downtown. He was sitting in a plain, wooden chair in front of a plain, wooden desk with merely a fake houseplant and laptop on top.
The woman behind the desk, typing notes on the laptop, was similarly forgettable. She was dressed in a black pantsuit, her dark brown hair in a bun. Her eyes were blue, but otherwise ordinary. She wore little makeup on her plain face. She was as unremarkable as the room, which was how she liked it.
She had introduced hers
The Cartographer's DaughterEvery night, he would fold her into his arms before she slept. Creases grew into her, turning brown with wear, and she loved them. When she woke up in the night, dreaming of darkness, he would take her to his desk and draw for her a map of her face, turning it into another world. Tracing the contours of her smile, he would scrawl a warning, "Here be monsters", whispering to her that she was a dragon when angry.The Cartographer's Daughter4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
As she grew older, she populated his maps with creatures and peoples from the books she read, or her own creations. He taught her to draw, and to write with an old inkpen, in a cursive script her teacher could make neither head nor tail of. She made him angry once, drawing in the drying sand with her finger, and smudging the ink. When he was angry, mountain ranges grew across his forehead and caverns opened in his cheeks. Here be lions.
Walking home from school, she knew the local area inside out; from the maps he had drawn and taught her. He would copy them onto o
Piano PlayingI am a pianistPiano Playing4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And you are my piano, dear.
I play minuets along your ribcage,
Write love songs on your arms,
And press your vertebrae like keys
To let soft chords fill the empty space.
Your hairs are the resounding strings,
Your lips are polished brass pedals
That make everything loud and soft at the same time.
Kissing you makes the whole world shift up an octave.
I am a pianist
And you are my piano, dear
So let's write a duet in the dark.
Take Me For a RideDarling:Take Me For a Ride4 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,
13.People will throw away the strangest things. Just yesterday I found a pair of nearly new baby slippers, several books, and a box of pasta that had never been opened (don't they know that this stuff never goes bad?). Usually I just throw this all into the back of my truck, I can only keep the really impressive things, otherwise my house would end up looking like a smaller version of the dump.13.2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The problem is, I can't stop taking the things she throws out. Yes, I have yet to see her face in person, but I know so much about her already. She can cook beautifully, I've seen her leftovers, and she has been to so many places. Just last week she threw out a bunch of old, blank postcards from Venice and Rome. I always put her garbage can back up on the curb once I finish with it, she has yet to say anything, but I'm sure that she appreciates the gesture. Maybe I'll see her next Friday on the route. I'll be sure to wear my nicest uniform.
Writer's BlockThe numbers on my desk calendar started to blend together as my eyes began to close and I dozed off. I regained consciousness with a start, and I involuntarily slammed my hand down to what should have been my desk.Writer's Block4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Wh-where am I?"
"Oh my dear! We certainly weren't expecting you today; we would have cleaned up a bit. Heh, you see, we're having a bit of a well technical difficulty." Said a round, rather pleasant woman wearing a polka-dot dress with a nametag simply saying "Dot."
I looked around; I was in a large, disorganized office with people and papers scrambling with bundles of copy paper. I grabbed a paper from the desk beside and read:
Boy with schizophrenia and his life with his imaginary
The ink faded out and I couldn't read the rest.
I picked up the paper and held it out to the woman demanding an answer.
"What is this? Who are you and what sort of place is this?"
"Well dear, that is an idea, yours actually, we've been having a problem with our machine, we see
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
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