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.
Celia Gray has never been one for urban legends. So much so, that she would never turn down a chance to prove one wrong.
The girls are in the middle of their third round of Truth Or Dare when it's brought up for the first time.
"Come on, Angie, it's almost midnight!"
"What's wrong, scared?"
"No, II just ...it's my house! I'm not smashing my balcony door."
"Jeez, guys." The five faces turn at the third voice. "We're fourteen no
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 Sketch3 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
The PatientEric sat alone in the sterile white room, humming a tune and tapping his foot in an attempt to pass the time. He looked around the small room for a clock. Finding none, he frowned. Hadn't there been a clock the last time he was here?The Patient6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The door opened and a man walked in. He had black hair and a starched coat, the same pristine white as the walls. Eric looked up at him and smiled.
"Ah, Dr. Chang!" he said brightly.
"Mr. Eric Fleming. You look well. What seems to be the problem?"
"Well, I've been having trouble sleeping," said Eric, his grin fading. "I've been feeling alright physically.... I figure it might have to do with stress at work."
Dr. Chang made some quick notes on his clipboard and nodded. "Yes, stress is a common cause of insomnia. Remind me, what is it you do for a living?"
"Accounting. The work just keeps piling up. It seems like I never have enough time, y'know?"
The doctor nodded again. He crouched down to Eric's level and pulled out a stethoscope. "Breath in deep," he sai
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 Wings3 years 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 said. "Dreamer, head in the clouds." He'd laughed then, coarse and cruel. "You'd never make it." And the next semester his star-gazer of a son had been enrolled into technical school.
It started with death.
Standing cold and numb as his father was buried, it was his mother that convinced him to apply that first time with her soft word
Seafoam and AshA girl once told me she was conceived by the ocean. "By" not "beside" her skin was the color of new seafoam and you could follow her green eyes into the deeps and drown there. She had a soft, papery voice that sighed in and out and dark hair that cascaded past her shoulders like dried seaweed.Seafoam and Ash4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She was born along the sea strand, where the ocean met solidity and pounded it into tiny grains. Perhaps she was delivered in a clump of seaweed or crawled her way out of a pink conch shell and learned to swim before learning to walk. She carried an air of calm serenity that rippled around her like an aura wherever she went, content to flow instead of fight.
I met a boy born from the fire tailing comets rushing through the atmosphere. His hair was a shock of red swinging upward and he lit up entire rooms with his presence. He always spoke a little too fast, the words rushing from his mouth like sparks off a firecracker, flickering and dancing. His golden eyes flashed
PalmistryI always look at my hands too closely, tracing the creases as though they really could tell me the future.Palmistry3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
They say that the future is in our hands, but my hands are full of asymptotes, potential paths that never quite cross and taper off into infinitely smaller lines that go somewhere I can't follow.
Test Tube MermaidIt was completely dark in the science labs. Adam had come down in search for a document for Dr. Alvastein, and noticed that a soft greenish-yellow light shone from one of the doorways. He stuffed the papers unceremoniously into his backpack and walked into the room.Test Tube Mermaid3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
At first, he couldn't reconcile what he saw as reality. A huge tube stood in the center of the room. It reminded him of the incubation tubes from Avatar, only this one was vertical. Inside was a mermaid. Her gray eyes snapped to his as soon as he entered the room.
As if he couldn't help himself, he walked towards her. Her eyes dropped, but he couldn't stop moving towards her. Her hair floated in front of her face, obscuring it from easy view. He slowly raised his hand to the glass, but she didn't look up again. She just floated in the water, her dorsal fin slowly waving in the water. Every line of her body spelled exhaustion.
He tapped on the glass softly. Instantly, her head snapped up and her eyes locked with his. She bar
biopsyput me under, cover my face, stuff my lungs with your chemical lies.biopsy3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
if they were to take me apart,
slice open my chest,
peel back the skin keeping me whole,
they would find:
a. one heart, slowly ticking.
(they would not find anything,
but they would have to say they did.
after all, girls can't live without a heart.
they forget that i'm not the first:
a score of girls walking even though
they should have faded long ago.)
b. each rib curved so perfectly,
a shield around my lungs.
(a cage, keeping my breath from bursting
out of my skin. know that this is just me,
held together by nature,
unable to lose control of myself.)
c. two sacs of cells, nestled beside each other.
(no first-hand smoke here, no sir.
only second-hand dust, only
things i could not get rid of,
only bits of places i've been,
caught in my body.
postcards of memories i can't see.)
d. a skeleton, still and alive.
(sleeping, with blood cells being produced
in the hollows of my curves.
the rattling of my bones cannot
MemoriesI remember lying in bed with you, longing for a deeper connection. You would always sleep with your back to me, in an almost fetal position, as if you were physically guarding your heart. All I wanted was to touch those scars that ran down the center of your chest, but you told me you were not okay with someone else's heart beating within you so I let it be. The look in your eyes when you woke up in the morning; the sleepy surrealness of a dream playing at the corner of your lips, and the early morning light goldenly surrounding your messy hair like a halo was enough to quench any thirst I had for you. It was enough to resonate in me for a long while, and I saw through your eyes, at least I believe I did, for a split second.Memories3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I remember how much you loved to drink and make sweet tea. You always told me that the more you add to a recipe the more love it would reflect. You would always warn to only add equal amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg because it was vital that one not overpower the ot
my body is a funeral servicethis morning i emptied your ashes into the sky, hoping to watch them sift through my fingers like an eagle taking flight. but the wind carried them backwards and my face became an ashtray for memories. you came back to me, like you always do, like a kiss or a reoccurring dream that i can never forget. i became cloaked in black grain, the remnants of your body. your cremated smile was caught somewhere between the stinging in my eyes and the ash on my jacket.my body is a funeral service3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
in that moment my body became a funeral service. my lips preached your names to the trees. i forgot what it was like to feel anything but hymns pressing down on my back like the heat of the sun. i smelled of incense and bones burning in a fire people are paid to create. it was more than i could bear. for weeks, i obsessed on how someone could lift a motionless shell of a body into an inferno, watch people die a second time and accept their paycheck at the end of the day.
i wanted to step into that crematorium and pluck pulses like f
CelebrationThe night begins with bile-blocked throat and half-sandy eyes. Atop sheets that haven't been changed in forever, atop a bed that is sour with lakes of sweat, I roll over and retch. The floor is a million miles away. I seem to be clinging to a puffy white cliff. There is a metallic stench that shoves itself up my nose, my mouth, and with it, a drip-drop sound. There is someone else in my room.Celebration3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I sit up just as an insistent whisper starts. "Who's there?" I say loudly.
"Calm down, Quint. Be still, Emma. We're discovered, Veronica."
The voice mumbles and fumbles, but also somehow shines with a proud, dignified youthfulness. Though my stomach has not quite settled, I swing off the bed to investigate. My hands spread and swim as if through cobwebs. Icy fingertips tap my nape, and I stifle a scream. I turn. There's a girl, young, maybe eleven. Hair a dark and voluminous curtain, eyes rapid-blinking sirens.
"Hello there, friend," she says.
"Hello," I say, my heart slowing because I know
Analise April, 1921Analise4 years ago in Historical More Like This
"And we could get a little house," she continued. "Somewhere near the coast. I hear it's still nice by the coast."
"Sure," he said.
"You don't think so?"
"No, it is."
She snuggled close to him, putting her head against his chest, pressing her shoulder up in the crook of his arm. She was so small. "I always did think a cottage would be nice. In Biarritz, maybe."
"You're right, too many tourists in Biarritz. Maybe south, towards the mountains. We could have a nice little cottage down by the mountains. Near the sea."
"Yes, we could."
She lifted her face; her radiant, round face framed with the loose curls of white gold hair tumbling down around it. She smiled and her little pink cheeks lifted. "And we could have children."
Marc laid his head back against the pillow and closed his eyes. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"
"Do you love me?"
"Tell me again."
"I love you."
"Do you really have to go tomorrow?"
"I don't see what need there
DarkIt was a saturday night, and the full moon shone brightly through Tommy's window. The moonlight would have been comforting to anyone else, but to Tommy it only meant terrible nightmares.Dark3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Tommy clenched his teddy-bear in an iron grip and shakily got out of bed, and tip-toed into the hallway. He had already been to his parent's room twice tonight and each time his mother would pick him up, tuck him into bed and ask that he not get up again. She told him that Teddy would protect him from any bad dreams. A stupid lie he had already heard before. This time, he was sure his mom would be fed up with him: but he didn't mind trying again before going to sleep alone tonight. If he could, he wouldn't sleep at all tonight.
With Teddy in his right hand, Tommy reached up with his left hand and opened the door to his parent's room. His mom and dad were sleeping warmly side by side in the haunting glow of the moon. He longed to be wrapped up in the middle of them. He longed to be safe. He went around
I Warned Him...I warned him. I told him not to go into that house I told him several times that he'd sorely regret it if he didn't listen to me.I Warned Him...3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You know what he did, though? He laughed at me. He said I was nothing more than a stupid little girl, that I didn't know anything. He even pushed me on the ground, laughing even harder when my dress got dirty and I skinned my knee. That hurt a lot.
I should have stopped warning him after that... I really should have just let him go into that house. He called it a stupid, smelly old house. He said that he knew it was empty.
He was the stupid one.
No one in the town said it was empty. No one spoke about the house. They knew better than that.
He always thought himself better than everyone else. He came from the city, he's seen it all. He almost got hit by a car and survived. He could ride his bike on the edge of the sidewalk and not fall off. He could roll down any hill and not get scraped. How could a stupid, smelly old house hurt him?
Of Love Letters and Cracked PorcelainShe writes to him. Every day she writes to him thousands of letters, scrawled on lined paper, lunch bags, the backs of her homework assignments. Whole books, she writes, entire epics, tragic love stories.Of Love Letters and Cracked Porcelain3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Her fingers are perpetually stained with ink.
She doesn't begin every letter with "dear", though that's what he is to her. She knows he knows. Knows she loves him. Knows he is wanted, needed, cherished. Her one and only, forever and always. She tells him about her days, sends pictures of her sister, her mother, herself. She loves each letter to pieces, so it's wrinkled and stained and torn a little by the time it's finished.
They were childhood friends before they were lovers. He was a year or so older, an inch or two taller, an older-brother type for the first thirteen years of her life, before he grew into his body and she into hers. Relics of their combined childhoods clutter her bedroom, piling up on the bookshelf, the desk. On her walls hang the crayon drawings, fifteen ye
Geiger's CourierAs I walked, the blue of the desert sky began to fade. I pulled my hood over my head, even though my machine body needed neither protection from the sun nor shelter from the wind. Simply put, I didn't like the feeling of the unending void above me, looming, watching, infinite. I knew I shouldn't have such feelings, so I ignored the rationale and allowed my hands to move as they pleased.Geiger's Courier2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I adjusted the leather strap. The sky was pale. Gray. Stars blinking into view, I refused to meet their eternal gaze. As I walked I was dying. As I walked, I was not yet born.
But as I laid my feet in a careful pattern, one in front of the other, I didn't notice. Day, night, it didn't matter, for I'd been given the unenviable position in life of a courier, and I neither knew nor cared for anything else.
Not yet, at any rate.
My body was a vessel for my vague sense of self, for I was water gathered between shaking palms, a cup half-filled, a fleet lif
Missing BonesWe spent our nights star gazingMissing Bones3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on the top of that local bar on 5th street.
You said you loved me by night,
that no star or moon in any given universe
could compare to me; that we were lost warriors
searching for a home within the roots of one another.
I believed myself a wandering ghost among the living,
searching for missing bones and the warmth of another's grave.
You shook me then,
kissing me where it hurt most-
just to test a theory.
"Like dead birds,
you are not faceless;
your rib cage has a meaning."
And I believed I loved you then
underneath the moon and stars
tipsy on your smile and your words
and your warmth.
Your hands must be the thieves
who stole these thin bones of mine-
because, I never wanted you more.
Biology (In Defense Of Free Verse)The heart has four chambers:Biology (In Defense Of Free Verse)3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
two muscular atria and
two ventricles that alternate
between relaxing and
throughout the body.
This is one of many processes
that occur whether you
want it to or not.
I can sense your flesh and
when I breathe you in like pollen
or particles of smoke.
You are a part of my lungs
before tiny capillaries carry you
sleeping or intoxicated
to my heart.
Then it seizes up-
pumping little bits of you
through my veins like nerve endings
and I feel you
from my waist to my lips and
inside my brain.
The primary cause of love
is the chemical phenethylamine
that is released by eating
chocolate; or more importantly,
by feeling you against me
and nobody else.
Proteins are given purpose
through tender shaping
into a perfected form.
This can be observed
on a larger scale
It is said
during academic dissections,
that structure and form
But try and tell me
that this freedom before you
ParanoiaParanoia.Paranoia3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I don't want to be this way.
But I can't help but feel this way.
No matter what you do
Or what comforting words you say.
My over active mind will not allow me to believe it.
My weary blood shot eyes will not allow me to see it.
Even though my attentive heart is able to receive it.
My thoughts and my imagination will corrupt and deceive it.
And that's why no matter how much I love you.
For some reason I will always feel cheated.
So please don't blame yourself because you have done more than enough.
You have proven yourself and have provided me with so much love.
There are only so many false accusations you can take.
There are only so many false promises I can make.
There are only so many times I can make that same mistake.
Until I foolishly recognize what is actually at stake.
How long will you have to accommodate my insecurities?
How long will it take for me to completely trust you?
Until you begin questioning my emotional maturity.
There are only so many times I can say "I a
The Forgettable GirlJasmina Udo was not pretty. She led an indolent life, and so her body reflected it - the roundness of her fingers, her neck, her face. Even her voice was not left untouched. When she spoke, her throat gurgled and her words were garbled. When she smiled, her face reminded him of a monkey complete with a large set of teeth and an abundance of gums. In those moments, he felt no guilt in saying she was hideous for a girl.The Forgettable Girl3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When her face held no emotions, she was very plain. Average hair, average forehead, average eyes - though noticeably larger than average, and nose and mouth. In those moments however, there was a sense of bloodlessness - a lack of substance about her. As if he was in the company of a cadaver, and everything about her was, in every way, forgettable. Still the more he looked at her face, an indescribable feeling, a deep foreboding fear, crept over him and swallowed him. But Alek needed only to close his eyes to forget her face. To bask in the pleasure of her absence. Howeve
The Doppelganger 2The book still sings to me, and that's when I pull it from under my bed and stroke the cover. But I never open it, because I know what happens if I do it wrong. It's still blank; but only of ink. I know the secret, you see. It's how I understand the songs, and know the melodies it echoes up to me, through time. There are impressions hidden in the pages- spilled mead and raucous laughter, summer sunshine and frost on dead leaves. The last time I tried feeling them from start to finish, I passed out from the sheer weight of knowledge, and it left my brain scrambled for ages.The Doppelganger 23 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I found out things about my past and my family's past. I have Irish on my dad's side of the family, stretching back generations. I'd have said I was surprised when I found out, but that would have been a lie.
People say I've changed since last spring. My face is thinner, my eyes are brighter, I've been "brought out of myself." What they don't know is that I've actually met myself. I've taken to wearing rich, d