On the Sea Beneath the SkyGolden flickers danced on the pale faces of the circle, hushed whispers wafting out from the gathering by the glowing coals. It was the third night of the coming-of-age, the no-longer-little ones from each of the surrounding tribes taken out together in the openness of the untamed world. There were a few in the group that stood out, discernible even in the thick coverings of the night. There was Jiu-yeil, son of the carpenters, impressive form already bulging with strength and muscle more fitting of a man twice his size. The brothers, Senniare and Elieten of cloth-maker, sat donned in simple but the finest of all their travelling robes. And v
Russian RouletteThey take her on her honeymoon.Russian Roulette10 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
The wedding was lovely, or as lovely as it could have been with a couple that were more polite acquaintances than anything else and two sets of in-laws as stuffy as a dusty pile of money. They grab her when she sneaks out for a walk one night, two men, beefy, not even bothered to arm themselves. Her last thought before the bag is shoved over her eyes is to wonder how much this would ruin her parents' plans.
She comes to in a small brick room on a sallow mattress, windowless and lit by a cool yellow lamp. There's a man there, standing just outside the barred door.
"Kelly Shale," he says, voice nasally, greasy
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 Sketch9 months 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 littl
Across No Man's Land0900 hours, December 25Across No Man's Land2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Her name was Anna," the English soldier said, "our wedding would have been today, if I hadn't been drafted. She was always religious, said her childhood dream was to get married on Christmas."
"I had a wife," the German soldier replied in barely accented English. "Broke her heart when the conscription letter came."
It was an odd scene, this was, two people who had previously been trying to kill each other, talking now like old mates.
1200 hours, December 25
"I get letters from my mother every few weeks, she just can't seem to stop worrying."
"Me too, and my son as well. Always warning his daddy not to get hurt.
The PianistA warm, lilting melody wafted through the nightclub, nimble fingers dancing over crisp black and white keys as the song of the grand piano drifted down from the stage, filtering between the irregularly spaced tables to fill every niche and recess of the dimly lit room. The lone figure in the spotlight moved gently with the music, her long chestnut hair billowing down her back in loose waves and her wine red dress fanning out around her knees as she sat on the worn leather stool. It was not a complex song she played, with no difficult notes or intricate rhythms, but there was something about it that was so enthralling, so entrancing, as if eacThe Pianist2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
A Butterfly Flapping Its WingsThe letter was clutched in strong fingers which, had they belonged to a lesser man, might have been trembling.A Butterfly Flapping Its Wings1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
It wasn't happiness or elation that he felt. There was a vindication that scratched on the edges of his thoughts, but the only thing really resonating in his mind was, 'what now?' It was the first time in a long while since he had heard anything beside the scornful echoes of his father's words.
It was a dream.
Almost a decade had passed since they'd been said. He'd shyly expressed his fondness for art as a schoolboy, and his father had promptly crushed his meek hopes with an iron tongue. "Fool," he had sai
Witchcraft"It is rather unnatural for me to be here right now, but there are not natural times," the farmer said with a grim countenance. "I have come to you because I am going to die."Witchcraft3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The witch leaned forward, surveying her guest. He was not unlike the other men who regularly came to her for advice, with simple clothes that were slightly torn and ragged but still adequate, tanned skin from his outdoor labour, and strong calloused hands from his work in the field. "And why do you believe that?"
"I have seen omens," the farmer replied. "My crops, you see, which I constantly tend to ensure their prosperity, that were grown on the same field that had g
One More Drink"You want to get a drink?"One More Drink2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Six words. Six little words casually spoken by an innocent man without any idea of their implications.
"You want to get a drink?"
It was only a reunion with an old friend; it was not supposed to become a battlefield. One moment I'm strolling down the street chatting light-heartedly with a mate from school, the next my world is threatening to crash down around me.
"You want to get a drink?"
To him it may mean nothing but a simple boy's night out, but to me it means much, much more.
"You want to get a drink?"
Anxiety, depression, obsession, not caring what I did, who I hurt, how much I lost as long it got me a
The FieldsCarl,The Fields9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Remember that time, brother, when we were young? When we took off before I was even though high school in your beat-up old whatever-it-was without so much as a goodbye note, dreamed of travelling the country?
There was a place we stayed at, the night before we finally gave up and turned around. It think it may be my last clear memory of you.
It was called the Beaumont Farm.
The petrol gauge has been sitting below empty for the last hour, and Carl Levine doesn't bother trying the key again when the engine splutters one last time before falling silent. He shivers in the cool air as he opens the door, pulling out his phone and cursing
SliverThey say that if you stand in front of a wall of glass at exactly four minutes past midnight and tap your fingers on it three times, you can open a door to the void beyond this world. It has to be somewhere you can see your reflection, and see through it, hovering like a ghost over the darkness beyond, somewhere dim enough that you can't quite tell the difference between light and shade. And unless you hit the glass where you touched it, shatter the half-formed image before the fifth minute strikes, that door will never close.Sliver9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Celia Gray has never been one for urban legends. So much so, that she would never turn down a chance to prove one wr
Breaking Fall The morning rain fell around me, shining slightly in the light of the small sliver of sun that was beginning to peer over from the East. The movie set I was shooting on was located on a picturesque stretch of grassland, which would have appeared like a Garden if Eden of sorts if it wasn't for the plumes of dark grey city-smoke on the horizon. The cross-country train station was completely deserted. Perfect. There was no one to see me, no one to find me, no one to recognise me...Breaking Fall3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Mr Parker, Mr Parker!" came the shrill cries of the paparazzi as the world famous movie star fought his
MilagroShe lay on the narrow bed, connected to an almost frightening array of tubes, needles, and drips. Snatches of conversation flitted in and out of her awareness.Milagro3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
" massive internal injury "
" close to death "
" no response "
" organs will fail if she does not wake soon "
She wanted to wake up. She tried so hard, but after two days of trying the small sliver of consciousness she was struggling to reach was only moving further and further away. And she was tired, so very tired.
On the fifth day she stopped fighting.
* * *
That voice. His voice.
"Evelyn, it's me, Adam."
Bed Time StoryI told this story to my two-and-a-half-year-old sister tonight, and if anyone is wondering who on Earth tells stories like this, just keep in mind that young children enjoy stories of just about any subject matter, as long as it flows and contains elements they like. As for my sister, she likes the planets, bunnies, paintings, and has a habit of memorising names that she hears regularly (say, politicians perhaps).Bed Time Story3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
If you think this is ridiculous, well, just think of it as a very serious postmodern stream-of-consiousness piece.
You know how Mercury is a rocky ball? Well it's very small, so small in fact that it was carried by a bunny. The bu
In the Shadow of the GuardAmong the many wonders that lie scattered over the length of the realm today, there is none so great as the mysterious lone tree which grows out from the middle of the Rik'yin desert. Gnarled roots and an ancient trunk that twists and twines, it reaches up from the midst of the lifeless plain towards the heavens, a towering beacon over the flat sands. There is a name for it, 'The Guardian,' an anomaly on the face of the world from a time that has passed.In the Shadow of the Guard1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Once, so the tales tell, the land was reigned over by a great empire which stretched down from the northern Cekom mountains, past the eastern forest of Phangrul, and to sea of Cha'kyye. The
Lady DeathThey think Death is the Reaper,Lady Death4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Carrying his scythe,
Able to disappear into vapour,
Like a shadow in light.
But no, Death takes the shape,
Of a person, a woman at that,
With a pitch black cloak a flowing cape,
A crucifix of coal, and grace like a cat.
On rhinestone boots she treads the land,
With midnight eyes she tracks her prey,
A spear of onyx in her hand,
Her hair of ink soaking up every sun's ray.
She dons a studded ebonite vest,
With denim of iron sitting on her hip
A blood stained cutlass at her wrist,
Rings of beryl through her lip.
Her ears are pierced with needle sharp bone,
Her eyelids smudged with ash,
Date a girl who drawsDate a girl who draws.Date a girl who draws1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
You know the one. Her bag will be filled with discarded pencils and pens, scraps of paper with mindless doodles on them and blank books sticking out of her bag. She's the one who spends an hour trying to find the perfect sketchbook, only to pick up three more because she just couldn't help herself. She's the one hunched over in the coffee shop, rain or shine, the gears in her mind turning and turning while her hands move to catch up with every idea she has. She's the one who's too focused on what she's doing that her coffee's gotten cold and the people around her peek over her shoulder but she doesn't realise.
MercThe orange rays of the dying sun filtered down through the canopy of the thick Angolan jungle, illuminating the scattered array of tents and outlining the silhouetted soldier who stood at one large, grimy open flap. It was a familiar sight that he saw as he gazed out over the mercenary camp, one that had haunted him like a suffocating shadow in the years since he'd first arrived on this godforsaken continent. He'd tried to get out once, almost three years ago now, back in '83. He'd gone legit, gotten a real job, but the jungle had proved too strong a lure and hardly four months had passed before he was back, employed by so-and-so with the monMerc2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I Once Was BeautifulTime, 'tis he who allows the flowers grow,I Once Was Beautiful4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Then throws them away as dust on the ground,
Time, 'tis he who lets beauty come and go,
When he spins and whirls the seasons around.
He changes the living things in the world,
Steals away from us our looks, our beauty,
Leaving only ancient ruins unfurled,
Though he is doing naught but his duty,
He is no villain, no not in the least,
Only he compels us to learn and grow,
With age comes wisdom, like sun in the East,
He will teach us all we will ever know.
I remember yes, remember I do,
Of a time when my mind was still young,
When I laughed and played in the water blue,
And each and every
TwoThe small sliver of sun that was just beginning to peak over the East cast a pale yellow light over the small park, making the drops of dew clinging to each blade of grass sparkle like a thousand diamonds. Two figures sat on the edge of the park on an old bench that once, many years ago, might have been painted green, but now had worn away to the bare, weathered wood.Two3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The day had begun.
* * *
The figure in white took a deep breath, her short summer dress fluttering around her. She closed her eyes and began to count in her head. She wouldn't be staying long, just a minute in the frigid morning air before it would be back inside for her stud
I Will Wait For YouThe letter came that fateful day,I Will Wait For You3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
To tear you and I apart.
The weeks before you were forced on your way,
Were a blur of a blackened art.
For months I agonised for your return to date,
In sorrow deep enough for fiction.
Until on the dreaded list I read of your fate:
"Missing In Action"
In years that passed, I waited alone,
While no news came of the part of myself.
Hordes of soldiers were flocking back home,
But your file just gathered dust on the shelf.
I knew not if you were dead or alive,
I knew not what to do.
I had closed my heart, praying you would survive,
To love again, seemed taboo.
Time flew by and my hope began to dwi
The Broken Pieces of Her Sh...The Broken Pieces of Her Shattered HeartThe Broken Pieces of Her Sh...3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Silence Harrol sat at the loom, working her fast, slender fingers along the threads that would soon be her wedding dress. Her parents had been so excited when they told her that she was betrothed to Henry Almington, the local business personage. Of course, no one listened to her objections, that he was an arrogant drunkard who cared for nothing but money, and that he was drastically older than her, in his thirties, while she was only fifteen.
The bells tolled, "I now give you Mrs. Almington" Mrs. Almington, Mrs. Almington, Almington, Almington. The name rang in Silence's ears, the name she would have
Not YouI thought there was a black hole,Not You4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
In my chest, where others have a heart.
I've hurt so many and not cared at all,
But now there's a feeling which just won't part.
I see you standing there,
A victim you would have been,
But now I sit and stare,
Now I think differently.
Your innocence and your beauty,
The look you have in your eyes,
Took me back abruptly,
Took me by surprise.
You befriended me, unaware,
Then started changing me too.
I can't continue, no I can't bear,
To do what I planned to do.
Is this love no it cannot be,
Surely that couldn't come from,
Someone as heartless as me,
Or perhaps I'm wrong.
This I've never felt
Portrait of a SpeciesWeapons, science, technology, knowledge; for thousands of years the human race had dominated the planet. We walked the land, sailed the seas, and even travelled the skies. With our machines and our computers and our millions of databases of information, we were even almost beginning to see ourselves as all knowing.Portrait of a Species2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
We thought we could rule the universe.
In the middle of a jungle in Africa, among the lush green trees in the Middle Palaeolithic Era, the Earth changed forever. The long processes of natural selection and survival of the fittest had finally created one race fit to reign over the world: Homo Sapiens. Crude at first, just hints of
FearI stand, the night closing around me,Fear4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I stare into the dark whirlpool of black,
I feel the cold wind lash at my skin,
I am afraid.
Nowhere to turn,
Nowhere to go,
Lost in the woods,
Stranded in a void of nothingness.
Rustling of leaves,
Frozen I stand,
My heart racing in my chest,
The silence like a thick blanket,
There is a tap on my shoulder.
I force myself to move,
Happy EndingsHappy Endings Are Just Fairytales That Haven't Finished YetHappy Endings3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
They stand in the courtyard in their finery, the Prince of the land dressed in a majestic black tunic and the daughter of the kingdom's richest Lord draped in the glorious white silks of her gown. The people cheer as they walk past, throwing ribbons and flowers at the newlywed couple. The Prince basks in the attention, smiling and waving at the crowd as he leads his bride toward the castle gates.
It should be me.
It should be me at his side, wearing his ring, spending his wedding night. How many times had he told me that? How many times had he whispered words of love in my ear, te