FFM XVIIIShe thinks about her children and smiles.
Today, her boys Jack and Christopher have gone an "adventure" in the tree-grove behind their house.
They were pirates today, using long, wrapping-paper tubes as swords which doubled as telescopes. The two were running around, chasing each other through the trees as the day's air slowly turned to night and the sky grew pink, then orange, then black.
She hasn't yet called them inside for dinner. She's not quite ready.
She puts down her pen and rubs her eyes and she knows only one of them will come inside.
The DoctorWhen I was seven, I was diagnosed with emotions.The Doctor2 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 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
I'm coming out: I'm straightMom? Mum? Can I talk to you?I'm coming out: I'm straight6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
My voice quivered. Both of them looked up at me. Moms head was in Mums lap. Mum was slowly stroking her forehead, leaning down to kiss her forehead while still staring at me intently. A satanic bible was placed in Mums lap, the thin, withered pages torn in a few places from continued reading. You know you can talk to us about anything, Mom said, smiling, sitting up a bit straighter. She leaned over to kiss Mum, who kissed her back. I took a seat on the couch and pulled my knees up to my chin, staring down at my cuticles. Even for a guy, they were pretty nasty.
I took a deep breath. Guys? I dont really know how to say this but, I think Im heterosexual.
The room went silent. Mum looked up from our satanic bible and pursed her lips. For a second, I thought she was going to reach out and slap me. In a tight voice, she said, You know how we feel about heterosexuals. We raised you to be
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
Judgement"You need to stop doing this."Judgement3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Stop doing what?"
"Writing me into your stories."
"Because it scares me. I'm not this guy that you write about. I'm not some kind of Prince Charming and I'm certainly not a sea God or whatever you like to say about my eyes every now and then."
"Yeah. You really need to work on your judgement of people, because this is all wrong. It's like you don't know me at all!"
"So why don't you correct me and I'll fix my idea of you accordingly."
"Well firstly, I'm a really nervous person."
"Yeah. Your hands are either fiddling with your hair or your sleeve, or you're biting your nails."
"And I don't like going out. I'm a hermit."
"Except to your best friends' houses, or to the animal shelter, or to me."
"And I'm dead inside."
"Says the boy who hides his tears at the sight of an injured puppy."
"I do not."
"Yes, you do."
"Anyway, I'm not always nice to you. In fact, I really don't do enough."
"You're right. Except yo
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.Impressionable2 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
PersephoneI fed herPersephone2 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.
Passionate IndifferenceTo say that I have lovedPassionate Indifference3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Would imply that I feel
Something more than
I am the WriterI am a protagonist,I am the Writer2 years ago in Concrete Poetry More Like This
A minor supporting character
I am the investigator,
The prophetic narrator
I am your hero
Your forgotten sidekick
I am the writer
telling a sad story backwards-17.telling a sad story backwards-5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
it smells like grief and sterilized metal.
i climb into andrews bed, though the nurses have strictly forbidden it. he closes his eyes and holds me tightly, because he says when he cant see me, it is easier to pretend i never happened to him.
he pushes the cart aggressively down the aisle, pretending to mow over old ladies doing their sunday shopping.
"stop," i say giggling, lobbing a can of ravioli at him.
for a moment i think he simply didn't see me throw the can; it glances off his chest and falls to the floor, exploding in a pattern of red arrows. i don't notice his eyes rolling back in his head or the graceful way his body collapses to the floor.
the only thing i notice is the distinct thudding sound as his head hits the metal shelf and the screaming that may or may not be mine.
later in the hospital he calls for me and says he wants to apologize for keeping secrets, and the doctors launch into a medical explanation of his cancer.
their eyes are sad.
Oh Dear.He is an Oscar Wilde inspired man-poetOh Dear.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Whose subjects are as real as glass.
He is a silly chorus boy
Spending far too much time in the music room.
He is a reader,
Who hums to himself while his eyes float across the page.
He is real-
But I don't even know his name.
And I am already infatuated.
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.
ArchetypeThe man holds a grimy hand to her mouth and whispers something I can't hear. She squirms against the alley wall, and she shrieks, muffled through fingers. I pull out my gun.Archetype2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The man's face jerks my way, and I look to his forehead. In the late evening darkness, glowing from his bald scalp is a violet tattoo: an X overlying a large circle. He's a Delinquent Archetype. A Thief.
"Step away from the woman!" I walk closer.
The Thief's eyes widen at my gun, but without missing a beat, he puts the girl between us and pulls her close. He has a knife pressed against her breast, where the tip pierces her blouse.
"You aren't going to do anything to this girl, are you Thief?" I say. "That wouldn't make your handlers too happy, you know." I press a button near the back of my gun, and the small, mounted screen blinks to life, displaying an ID number and a series of readings. One registers fear. It pulses. The Thief pales, almost to the girl's chalky degree.
This close, I can see pas
Introductions"Hi, I'm-"Introductions3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"I know who you are."
"You're the guy who thinks he's invisible."
"I have a name-"
"It isn't important. Because you really don't think it's important."
"All right. Since we've started out this way, let me just tell you, I know you too."
"You're the girl who is broken."
"I am not broken."
"You're the girl whose eyes close every night and open the next morning, only to find you have never slept at all."
"I sleep well. Besides-"
"You're the girl who dreams of a happy ending even though she has seen seventeen...no, eighteen unhappy ones in her eighteen years."
"Happy endings are over rated. And you're-"
"You're the girl who wants something bigger, something stronger, just so the weakness in her body becomes something so much more."
"You don't understand weakness the way-"
"You're the girl whose heart broke when she was so young, and she fixed it back together with superglue, but cannot ignore the cracks."
"Superglue makes for a good companion, especially when-"
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 Friends1 year 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
Death"Do you fear death?"Death3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The question loomed in the air before my body, as if a sword looming over someone almost conquered by their enemy. But I looked down at my hands and then back up, only to say, "Have you ever felt the pain of watching two lovers embrace at the end of a movie? It's supposed to be a happy ending. But your heart tells your lungs to stop breathing for just a minute because it will never ever be yours."
"Do you fear death?"
A question repeated deserves an answer. But instead, my trembling hands sat clenched on my lap, the blue ink like veins showing through the frail covering that might rip apart any second. "Do you know what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night to hear a song, just to remind yourself, you're going to be all right? Over and over again until it doesn't work anymore."
"Do you fear death?"
The invisible chain linked through my fingers, and I closed my tired eyes, this time, hearing the impatience in th
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 You3 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
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
ObsessionIt takes 14 minutes and twelve seconds to walk to your home from mine every day. Your mother never fails to smile at me when she opens the door. I never fail to notice that it doesn't reach her eyes anymore.Obsession3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
You leave your door open an exact two point three centimeters. I don't think you do it on purpose. There is something wrong with the wood that has left it that way. I pause one foot outside the door and listen to you cough, trying to determine how sick you feel today. I hate that every time I think you are particularly ill, I am always right.
Six months, seventeen days and fourteen hours. That is how long its been since the doctors told us you had an illness. I sat there with your parents, listening to a man who said words like 'terminal' and 'leukemia', and counted the number of times he said 'patient' as if it were your name (Seventeen).
The blood bank says one unit is four hundred and fifty milliliters and I watch as they put the needle into my ar
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 Daughter3 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
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.1.10 months 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
Inside Out"I think I wear my soul inside out."Inside Out3 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
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 Day3 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
Drowning in Reversex. I still have your phone.Drowning in Reverse2 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.