The Arms Of RomeI met Ed when I joined the Marines for the first time. Her name is Jessica Edwin, but in the Marines she was Corporal Edwin, or Ed. It stuck. She was tough and pretty, smart, driven, and two years older than me. I was nineteen and foolish. Somehow it worked.The Arms Of Rome6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
We got married when we found out she was pregnant. My parents were very nasty about it. They felt I'd somehow taken advantage of her. Good as raped her. Her parents were wonderful. They hosted the wedding, Ed and I wore our dress blues, and took an oath that meant even more than the one we swore to our nation.
Tiger was born just a few months after that. Ed's four year contract was finished, so she found us a little house near the base. She found a job, and she raised Tiger, almost by herself, while I ran PT, stood firewatch, crawled the obstacle courses, fired my rifle, shipped out on West Pac, and ca
Amongst the Moon and Frost: Chapter 1Amongst the Moon and Frost: Chapter 13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Cake scattered the floor.
It was a beautiful red color. Red velvet. Splattered all across the tile that was yellowed with time. There was one big chunk, surrounded by others that slowly grew into smaller and smaller crumbs the further they were from this central fragment. A few of the slightly larger pieces had been grinded into the kitchen floor, smushed into it, trampled by angry feet. They looked like random dark crimson blotches among the innumerable crumbs. The way the broken cake looked, the whole scene strongly resembled a horrible, grotesque, quite unique murder scene.
Like the floor was tainted with blood.
It would have been quite the wonderful, delicious cake, too. It was moist, but not too much so. Fluffy. Just the right balance of ingredients. Holding together on your fork until the moment you ate it. Melt-in-your-mouth. A delightful quality only found in the culinary creations of true masters of pastry. She had quite the plans for this cake. It was going to be shaped like
A Saga of CerealLet us sing of Albert Braithwaite and his quest! His voyage to the supermarket! His mission to buy cornflakes!A Saga of Cereal7 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And so he approached the supermarket and gained entrance.
Everywhere there were temptations that sang to him. But his wisdom was strong. Do not look directly at the showy sirens who would take your gold. Rather look down towards the own brand items. For they are better value.
He travelled on.
In his path were clusters of creatures with tongues to talk, but neither eyes nor ears to perceive him. His many requests of “Excuse me, please. I’d quite like to get through” went unheeded.
Temporarily defeated, he retreated and found another way through the maze.
But the glamour was becoming stronger. He felt his reason starting to leave him. Taking shelter by the cheese and onion crisps, he produced pen and ink and captured the words as they floated from his mind.
And lo! Albert strode forward, looking neither to the left or right, but keeping his path straight and tr
Bah“Did you hear about The Lamb?” said the lettuce. “Struck again last night. A mangold got munched.”Bah8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The aconitum’s flowers quivered. “Horrible. But let’s discuss something happier. How are the auditions going?”
The lettuce shrugged. “A salad’s coming up I’d like to be picked for.”
“Well, they’d be fools not to choose you,” said the aconitum. “You look so crisp. So tender…”
The lettuce stared at the distinctly herbivorous expression. “Oh, thistles. You’re The Lamb, aren’t you?”
The Lamb threw off its disguise.
The lettuce wilted.
And the moral of the story is: beware sheep in wolfsbane clothing.
Elements of Danger“I knew your parents, of course,” said the chemist, setting her mug down.Elements of Danger11 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
NaCl smiled politely. “Really?”
“Oh, yes. In fact I introduced them to each other.” The chemist grinned. “Sodium and chlorine, what a pair. There were some fireworks when they met, I can tell you.”
“I see,” said NaCl, its gaze wandering. “How interesting.”
The chemist’s expression became wistful and she shivered a little. “You know, they were just that tiny bit dangerous…” She shook her head and looked affectionately at NaCl. “But you’re completely different. So… stable.”
NaCl’s attention snapped back to her and it frowned.
“I’ll never need to keep an eye on you, will I?” The chemist laughed and twisted round to find a chocolate hobnob.
She turned back, and her brow furrowed on seeing that NaCl had gone. But she shrugged and took a swig from her mug, immediately
Attack of the StuffedI stand at my kitchen sink watching my neighbor out my kitchen window take care of his exotic backyard. He makes me so jealous. He has traveled all across the world, from Africa to the Indian sub-continent and bringing trophies back with him. His wife came from Pakistan; most of the animals that have been stuffed in the backyard are from the Sahara. Compared to my pitiful dirt-covered backyard, his is the yard of the week.Attack of the Stuffed5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Feeling a sense of inadequacy with my yard, I go outside to my "land" and shift around the topsoil. A little while later, he comes out and struts over to the fence that we share.
"Hey there buddy, you want to lend me a hand?"
"Sure, what do you need?"
"I need to move the rhinoceros in my living room."
"I need to move the rhino from the middle of my living room to out here. The damn thing has already gored me once; I'm not going to let it happen again."
He leads me into the li
A Slice of LifeIt was almost perfect.A Slice of Life7 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Sitting at the kitchen table, Mabel stared at the little cake and sighed. It was the third version of her latest prototype and, while undeniably delicious, it still lacked that certain something.
She picked up her cup of tea and sipped at it, mulling over the possibilities. Ironically, the problem was that she was now so successful. Everyone was waiting to see her produce something even more fantastic than before.
Mabel ran over her cakes in her head. There had been the Witty Walnut Cake, which indulged in repartee as you sliced it up; the Yule Log, which you could set fire to without melting the chocolate; and her biggest seller, the cross between a fairy cake and a birthday cake—a cake that would actually grant wishes once you’d blown the candles out. All of these had taken many tries to get right but it had been worth it in the end.
Of course, there’d been failures too. Mabel glanced over at the Saucy Stollen she’d developed for hen par
Lailand. (WIP)Chapter 1Lailand. (WIP)2 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
There I was, just sitting underneath the old oak tree. It had been such a peaceful twilit night as the winds of Lai softly blew. I watched the water nymphs sing and dance in the moonlit river as I played a ballad of Water.
The wind was so relaxing… so carefree as it caressed my face ever so gently. The grass, a luscious green, waving to the sky. The clouds, just drifting by as the starry night is their sea.
I sighed in awe as this night was truly a wonder. Sadly, it was time for me to leave as it was almost dinner time. I stood up and pulled my blonde hair behind my pointed ears as the wind started rushing their song.
The nymphs had stopped their dance and smiled up on me. I could hear their silent giggles and whispers. I suspect that they are attracted to me. I waved goodbye to my beautiful friends and walked down the dirt path. A guide back to my peaceful village.
I journeyed through the dense forests that walled the entrance to the village. Trees as tall a
Summer's Snow I would do anything for my little sister. Call it cliché but it’s true. Summer was born with a tumor in her lungs and another in her brain. She’s been fighting her entire life – barely eight years – just to breathe. Each day is a struggle, filled with pain and I wish more than anything that I could take her place.Summer's Snow6 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
That’s the cruel irony, isn’t it? If given the chance, I wouldn’t hesitate to switch places, give her my lungs for a deep breath, give her my strong legs so she can run…but the only thing I can do? Fetch strawberry jello from the hospital cafeteria and read Harry Potter aloud until her meds kick in and she falls asleep.
We know it won’t be long. Half a dozen machines breathe for her now and despite how stubborn she is, she can’t keep dodging the inevitable. Rather than make prom plans with my friends like any other
Lying Tom“Tom!” his mothered called.Lying Tom2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Tom was playing video-games in his room, sunk in his giant red bean bag.
“Coming,” he said, engaged in a fight with a ninja. Just one more combo and…
Tom knew that tone in her mother: he was in trouble.
Tom sighed and rolled his eyes, dropping the remote while the ninja celebrated his victory.
He went downstairs and met his mother in the kitchen. She was rolling her nails on the wood. Tom noticed her seriousness and wished he was back upstairs. Getting beat by the ninja. He stayed quiet waiting for her to start.
“I just spoke to Mrs. Adkins,” she started.
“About what?” Tom's stomach tensed. He knew where this was going.
“She wanted to talk about your last test.”
“Test?” Tom asked trying to sound convincing.
“You know, the one you said was an A but it was a C?”
“Did I say that? I-I thought I told you it was a C…”
Decembersville Ch. 1Decembersville Ch. 17 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Chapter 1: Freaks
They came out of nowhere, those crazy boys.
"Aaah!" Sophia let out a small squeal of surprise as two young boys one who looked to be in his acne-infested midteen years and the other on his way to puberty sprang up from behind a tombstone wearing deranged kabuki masks, wretched and crookedly done. The older one let out a wild series of laughs but the little one emitted no sound.
The teensy little brat known as Sophia fell backwards into the gray snow, almost hitting her head on a nearby tombstone that stuck from the ground like some ugly natural rock. She quickly glanced up at the tall boy as he laughed down at her rudely. She yelled up at him in embarrassment and annoyance "Are you crazy? What was that for?"
The older boy joyously responded, "One: I do happen to be crazy, thank you very much; and two: That just so happened to be my welc
Cato's ReapingThere must be some mistake. Perhaps I heard wrong. But she's stepping delicately through the crowd, head high with pride, eyes dark and beautiful, a noble in every way. She is in every way perfect. And I've never told her. Here and now, I watch her, realizing this may well be the final time we see each other.Cato's Reaping4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
By the time that the Capitol woman is dipping her finger tips into the bowl for the second name, I've made up my mind. This can't be the last time I see her face nor can I imagine that she won't return home. I have to be the one that doesn't come back. "Are there any volunteers?"
As others have done in past, for glory, for friends, for family, I do for that ache in my chest. Stepping out of the pristine line, I straighten to my full height. "I volunteer as Tribute." Her eyes meet mine, fiery with determination. Yet, deeper, I see a flicker of something else. My heart skips a beat. Worry that I might get killed? Concern for me? Understanding?
Saying goodbyes is short and it seems t
Names'What's your name?'Names4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
'Why does it matter?'
'I want to know.'
'My name is of no importance.'
'My name isn't a part of me. It isn't what defines me. My name is nothing more than a label.'
'That's a very interesting way of seeing it.'
'Call me whatever you wish, it means nothing to me.'
'Your name is a part of you though.'
'Your name is as much you as the color of your hair or how tall you are.'
'Just something else for society to label me.'
'Not so. Something is only a label is you wish it to be.'
2: Elle's EscapeMias stared at Elle's sleeping form beside him. She hadn't moved all nighthe knew because he hadn't moved all night either. He was still lying back against the headboard, watching her steady breathing and enjoying the rise and fall of her breasts beneath her lacy white bra. He had stripped her out of the gown she had been wearing, wanting her to be comfortable as she slept, confused as to why he cared about her comfort at all. His grin widened as her chest rose, deciding that caring about whether or not Elle was comfortable had to be the best damn idea he ever had.2: Elle's Escape5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Sunlight poured through the open window, a slant of light cutting across the bed and Elle's creamy white legs. Mias adjusted himself on the bed, and Elle shifted slightly before going still once more.
She would be awake soon, and Mias was suddenly aware that he had been lying on the bed in his clothes. He tried to smooth the wrinkles in his slacks and shirt, sighing with frustration when he realized not only was he a w
Rumpelstiltskin - Chapter One“Rumpelstiltskin.”Rumpelstiltskin - Chapter One2 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The man who stood before the throne in shackles muttered, “That’s my name, don’t wear it out. Oh wait.”
The queen continued: “You stand charged on theft, murder and treason.”
He said louder, “It’s technically not treason if I was never on your side—”
The man sighed.
“You stand charged on theft, murder and treason to the crown. Your sentence is death. Do you have anything to say before your sentence is carried out?”
The man smirked. “Oh, I have much to say, and if it pleases Your Majesty, I would like to say as much as I can before my sentence is carried out.”
The queen narrowed her eyes on the man, but nodded. “Very well,” she said bitterly. “Out with it.”
“First of all, it was not quite theft; it was kidnapping. Second, I was owed the prince years ago—by you, as a matter of fact—so I only killed what I owned
ChainsChains. That’s all we remember. That and pain. So much pain. Our name was… Well we don’t know. Chains. “Food.” The guard said. Pushing a bowl of gruel through a flap. We know the guard waits for us to finish. So we start to eat. We eat and eat, but when it’s almost all gone, we stop.Chains6 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
“Can we asks you a question?” We ask the guard, crawling up to the bars on the door. The guard nods at us. “Why are you screaming?” We ask. The guard does not respond. “WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING?!?!” We scream at him grabbing through the bars. Chains. The guard runs down the hall in terror. Dropping his hat. We start to cry. Chains. We cry as though a pack of wolves was eating us, piece by agonizing piece; our blood dripping to the floor as they lap it up.
At this calming thought we stop and crawl into bed. Chains. We look up at the night and start to laugh. “You win! You’ve killed us! We’re dying happy! We
Mages of Myth - Book 1 Chapter 2Chapter 2Mages of Myth - Book 1 Chapter 22 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
In the center of the Dead Tree forest, there lay a large open field of dead grassland. At the core of this grassland, there stood the Shadowlight Castle. In that castle, there was an enormous throne room that held a throne of gold and a man in black suede robes. He sat lazily on his throne and ran a hand through his long white hair.
The doors to the throne room opened and Sashae came walking into the room. Her dress, made of long crimson lace and linen sashes, swayed at her bare ankles. Her thick dark red hair bounced down at her back, and each time she was seen, she had the power to make men’s heart pound.
When she reached the throne, she dropped to one knee. Her sashes surrounded her long legs. She bowed her head and addressed her master: “My lord Ami,” she said. “The doppelganger has failed.”
Ami heard his name spoken clearly by his favorite servant. His name had come from an ancient line of summonors. The first part “A” was pronou
The Clock Tower GirlCornelia woke with the sweetness of a girl with the tune of a nightingale flowing through her ears. The red flash of light gracing her eyelids let her know it was soon time to play. From her squished feather bag she jumped into her boots, pulling the zipper that clicked all the clasps up to her knees. She was decidedly through with lacing, she thought with a smirk at the brilliance of her device. She slipped into her overalls, necklaced her worn goggles, and donned her cap over her bed hair do. Perhaps today she should repair that for the rest of the week.The Clock Tower Girl8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She ran to the platform crisscrossing the maze of ropes, holes on the floors, and support beams until reaching the other end of the tower. She was about to pull the leaver that would launch her up to her multicolor suns when she heard him.
“Your breakmeal, child!”
Merk Schtentsen limped with his beat up mechanical leg, nearly spilling the humble food tray in his trembling hands.
“I’ll fix your stump when I
ZENITH- Memory Lane (short) The Khaki Ball for the freshly pinned Chief Petty Officers in the area was creeping in to the mid-point of its festivities. Anyone who wasn’t a designated driver was almost guaranteed to be at least tipsy at this point, fumbling over dance steps and slurring stories reminiscing over years of sea stories of different shades and vulgarity. Among said drunken attendants was Master Chief Fomahault Delores and his wife, Rear Admiral Lydia Delores who voted to dress in an evening gown rather than her uniform so her presence wouldn’t take away from the guests of honor; the brand new Chiefs. Fomahault just pinned two of his finest Boatswain’s Mates that day and all through the ceremony and even through out the night he beamed like a father at his child’s college graduation. Even as he seemed to finally tucker out, that greasy grin was firmly plastered on his face as he sipped on Jaeger and leaned back in his chair, watching his Chiefs slow dance with theirZENITH- Memory Lane (short)1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Cheer Up Mission - Friends in Underground PlacesFootsteps stomped fastly against the rough concrete of a rooftop, the stars her only light. Just like the stars, her sweat glistened. She had been running, chasing after her prey for who knows how long. Her eyes darted right and saw her prey appear for a brief second before falling into an alleyway.Cheer Up Mission - Friends in Underground Places8 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Carmelita purposefully rolled over the edge of the building without touching it and pointed the muzzle of her Air-Buss to the ground and pulled the trigger.
Her feet touched the top of another building and, for exactly one second, she stayed there before continuing her chase.
Placing two fingers to her ear, the former Interpol Detective said "Lost visual... Target ground... Copy?"
"Loud and clear lass," replied a deep, husky Scotsman. "Echo's on his way to be extractin' ya."
"Sorry... Boss... must keep..."
"Lass, I know ye' be wantin' to prove yourself to be worthy of bein' a Flying Gunman, but we prefer our Gunmen attentive, obedient, and alive. Stand down."
Maxwell PorcupineHear ye hear ye, citizens of Flash!Maxwell Porcupine7 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
For a hero is upon us in all spike
Maxwell Porcupine, ye good lad.
And good he was from his first light,
Though Porcupine wasn’t his name,
When from his mother’s womb he came
With a smile and slight a pain
And thus a fair child he remained.
He played and jumped and ran,
The wind was his follower, freedom his friend.
Bravery was his surname, sweetness was his heart.
Nothing would stop him, alas, until that day
When the forest opened and took him in
As a young man of a dozen and five
And his face was lost, his kindness dulled,
Maxwell Porcupine thought forever lost.
As his memory was honored in his former home,
Dead he was not, for he lived, but lost
In a tangle of vines and thickets of green,
Until he found a cave where refuge he took.
Calm and desolate the haven seemed,
When a set of growls woke the gentle lad up.
Three giant porcupines lived in the cave,
With claws sharp as swords, teeth like arrowheads,
And countless needles near as lon
The Stranger In the TentIt was the first time Anna had been out of the house.The Stranger In the Tent2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Since her father died, she had fallen prisoner of her own mother, so keen in making her a fine lady away from the evils of the world. Should Miss Rayne find out her daughter was in a circus, of all places, she would drop dead. And should Anna’s mother know that her grandmother and oldest sister aided her escape, she’d live enough to have the queen order their execution.
The lights began to fade away as the drums and trumpets and saxophones started a jazzy tune with a childish swirl blended in. Anna marveled at the glitter and dirty glamour of the contortionists, the smell of fur and mud from the animals, the used-to sweat of the trapeze artists jumping for fun to their deaths. Her eyes shined with the colored lights and magic of it all, smiling and gasping and clapping like it was the best thing she had ever seen in her life.
The circus master bowed concluding the acts, but Anna remained still mesmerized in a daydream, n