Regards, The Abortionist.A letter came in the mail from a return address I wasn't sure existed for some time. It still did; the address was the exact same. The handwriting was quick and short, and the request seemed simple enough. I put on my coat and found myself walking down the street under a thick grey sky, one hand in my pocket and the other keeping my hat from being claimed by the wind.
The buildings grew dirtier the further east I travelled. Grime crawled up the sides of the walls from the sidewalk, and the sewer drains gurgled with yesterday's waste. A homeless man in a tattered version of my own coat held a tin cup out to me, mumbling something about spare change. I gave him a handful of nickels and buttons and wished him well before arriving at the old brownstone.
The sign that had once stood in front was marred with rust and beaten up by time, all of the letters missing except for an M and a D.
A For Sale sign hung in the window in front of a thin white curtain.
I rapped a closed fi
journey of an astronaut.On a lined piece of paper, an astronaut soars over blue parallels into the depths of space, headed for a distant moon somewhere behind the stars. A comet passes by along the way, glittering in greyscale and a friendly alien perched on top offers a warm wave. Welcome to my corner of the universe, I hope you are headed somewhere nice. The astronaut points in the direction his ship is headed and waves before speeding up, to be as fast as the light of a nearby sun is.journey of an astronaut.1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
The mission is cut short by a thick wooden ruler slamming down on the piece of paper, now a puzzle of pencil lines, doodles of the stars and a few erased mistakes. It was undecided if the alien would have three eyes or four. The graphite is smudged all over the palms of the young girl wielding a yellow number two.
She is told that there is no reason to be doing this. She is to remove her head from the clouds and come back down to earth, so she may write out all of the words before he
cartographyyou mapped out every inch of my being & whispered:cartography1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
when i leave you, i want the next set of hands
to know everywhere i've been.
i still fall asleep with my body curved into
the shapes your fingertips trailed across my skin.
there are paths of stars stained into my shoulders
and the constellations you crafted are still nameless.
i tingle at the ghost of your touch,
i am tangled in the web of worries
you wove into my lion's mane.
you are a saber-toothed regret,
a raindrop in the ocean of my imagination.
forgetting you is the hardest thing i've never done.
i will ache for you always.
Star Dust.When Pop died, he'd already put his last affairs in order. The money was divided up equally among his six children, (most of) the jewellery was donated at his request and the house was to be sold to repay his final debts. We each got something by the end of it.Star Dust.2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"To Anjulie, I leave one of my most prized possessions." Though Tante Doralee read the will, I heard it in Pop's crinkled voice, smelling the words as the smoke of his cigars. "The bullet they pulled from my chest; I added the chain so I could carry it with me as a reminder of the horrors I've survived. Take it with you to the furthest reaches you travel, as I know you're headed for the stars."
He didn't know I literally was, and at the time, neither did I. Doralee dropped the piece into my open hand, adding under her breath, "If you ever lose this, no one will forgive you."
I wore it through my training in the Air Force, and I kept it around my neck when I test-f
Sicklefox Once upon a time there was a naughty boy. He was about your age, if I’m not mistaken. This naughty boy loved to run and jump and play with his friends, but more than anything he loved sweet things. So when he spied the baker coming down the street with two trays of iced buns, he wasted no time in running over to him.Sicklefox2 weeks ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Aren’t you afraid carrying all those buns?” asked the naughty little boy.
“Afraid?” asked the baker. “Of course not—why would I be?”
“Why,” lied the naughty boy, “because Sicklefox likes nothing better than iced buns, and I hear he is nearby. If he finds you, he’ll cut out your tongue and eat it.”
The baker stopped. This was new to him, but all had heard tales of Sicklefox and all knew them to be true.
“Perhaps I should take half,” said
Epitaph for an Old Italian WomanWe walk into the apartment building. The building for old people.Epitaph for an Old Italian Woman2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
It smells like old people.
We silently take the elevator to the second floor; her room is 205. Mom has the key, so she opens the door. The apartment is so empty. No little old ladies with white hair and a waggling crooked finger.
There's still newspaper on the floor by the door. Mom and I remove our shoes and put them on the newspaper, lest her ghost throw shoes at us. Or, maybe, hit us with a broom. She never did it to me, but Mom says she used to.
The pantry is full of food; mostly Fig Newtons. We always brought her Italian cookies when we came to visit, but she'd make us eat them while we were there. We would insist they were for her, but what good were cookies without someone to share them with? Italian cookies, Fig Newtons, and tea.
The cookie jar on the counter is full of tea bags. You could never have Italian cookies and Fig Newtons without
Three Quarters.Grier Van Canne hasn’t been whole for a while.Three Quarters.1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Her eldest sister, Verity, finds her in her room one morning, trying to write a diary entry with her left hand. Grier’s fingers tremble as they cling to the pen, and the book below her gradually begins to slide away on the desktop.
“You’re still getting better at it,” Verity tells her from the doorway.
Grier shrugs. “You learn to write when you’re a kid, and fifteen years later you’ve got to learn all over again. It’ll take another fifteen to get it perfect.”
She shrugs once more, the stump of her right arm flailing with the motion. The doctors amputated it above the elbow, so Grier is without around seventy-five percent of her limb. Verity still has trouble with prolonged staring, though keeping her legs moving keeps her eyes from being fixed on the stump for too long.
Verity spots Shane's backpack at the bottom of the stairs on her way down; he must have
White FlagOnly when the train had left her childless did she begin to cry. Other bereft mothers flooded the station, their ghostly handkerchiefs waving in solemn surrender: if this is what war means, end it now. Please.White Flag10 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
The train was diminished by distance and blurred by needling tears. She struggled for air, and was glad her boy hadn't seen her this way; it was already hard enough for him to have all he knew stripped away.
Wiping her eyes, she caught a last glimpse of the train. She turned and brushed her way through the sea of helpless mothers unable to care for their children. He was her responsibility, and she wasn't capable of protecting him. Now — now he was gone.
All she could do was dare to hope the storm wouldn't last for long.
HER: Ready? Chin up, no tears. You’re a man now, thirteen and looking older. It’s going to be an adventure.
HIM: [Sniffling] A-an adventure?
HER: Of course, dear, to the countryside. Now, you’ve got some
The Disillusionist„You can´t kill an idea.“The Disillusionist1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
She takes a sip from the cup of tea before her. „Who told you that? Of course you can. It´s called disappointment.
There are more ideas killed every day than people.
Blown with your lips, whispered words dwell behind the shell of glass. Finger prints cover the bulb that is your illusion, memories of every time you were touched. Every winding in the thread feels familar in your head, and the light it´s projecting on the surroundings has just the right warmth. It´s just –
you´ve been carrying it for so long
She loads the gun
with murmured truth and honesty
and points it, straight forward, at your illusion.
„It´s for the best.“
Your hand pressed to your heart, your face averted
she blows your light off.
It´s been projected, protected
Calm descends upon you.
You feel at peace
when actually you kn
HundeminenI don't know words very well, but I think they call the thing "Tank." It is a big fat thing with a long nose and it smells of metal and diesel. Though I don't know words very well, I have come to understand that I must go to Tank and bite the cord on my chest. I must worry it until heavy thing that is mine falls beneath me because this makes Man-With-Hat happy and when Man-With-Hat is happy he feeds me. This is good because I am hungry all the time. If I do not worry the cord and instead come back with the thing that is mine then Man-With-Hat is not happy and he strikes me instead of feeds. This is how I learn to worry the cord and drop the thing that is mine even though I don't know words.Hundeminen2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I learn slowly without knowing words, but this is not bad because eventually there is a time when I can find Tank every time. I can worry the cord every time and let thing that is mine fall every time and this makes Man-With-Hat very happy. But then there is a time when I go to Tank and it is making
Cookerymy blender does not understandCookery2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"Accept My Gift of Pineapple
Thou Foul Beast!"
this is a blood sacrifice
and she is sadly unreceptive
I begin the main course
I have cupboards full of words
quick brown foxes
I have half a mind (no, three-fourths of a mind)
to sauté them
the golden eggs
more difficult to crack
than I had thought they would be
(forge? My stove doesn't get
I will spice the adjectives with
I will verb these nouns
throw in a voodoo doll or
tulips! Two! Lips!
Crack open a maraca
and sell you some rhythm
Oh you will love this
you will devour this
You will get up and dance to this
I do not understand
If I Had Heaven on Speed DialThe gulls near me make a terrible racket over a few crumbs someone left along the beach. I wait with my brand-new phone held tightly in my hand and against my ear, afraid I'll miss the answer on the other side. So far, all I hear is continuous ringing. The tide is high, and all the vacationers are enjoying their picnics and games less than a mile up the beach. They make as much racket as the gulls, but it's the kind of noise that city people bring with them no matter where they go, corrupting such a beautiful day while they trick themselves into thinking all they want peace and quiet. To escape into the roar of the tide, I had made my way down to the high rocks on the edge of the beach where the waves crash against the sun washed boulders.If I Had Heaven on Speed Dial1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
I dare to look at my watch, wondering if anyone is ever going to pick up on the other line. “Come on...come on,” I mumble to myself.
I had climbed the safest looking rock and sat at the edge with
He Comes with the RainRain slides down Yesteryear Antiques' cheap stained-glass windows in lazy swirls and spirals. Tracking a drop with narrowed green eyes, Shay wrinkles her nose and steps around a haphazard stack of Life magazines. A sheaf of her thick auburn hair falls across the right half of her face. Pulling a hair tie from her wrist, she scoops the locks into a messy bun. The lights flicker, thunder rumbling. Shay glances again at the rain's path on the windows. Turning to a set of dresser drawers, she rifles through pens, paper clips, and crayola markers. A wad of teal tissue paper crinkles under her fingers and Shay pulls it from the drawer, unwrapping its contents. A pair of hand-carved bamboo chopsticks, topped with snarling dragons, roll onto her palm. She pokes them through her bun before diving back into the drawer.He Comes with the Rain7 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
"I could have sworn there was a--" A flashlight skips across the debris and Shay snatches it up. Grinning, she clicks the button. Clicks it again. Frustrated, her grin fading, she
Voices from Saginaw, MI: 1952-1974 Dad would ask so many questions I hated interpretingVoices from Saginaw, MI: 1952-19742 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
for him hands stuck on refrain it wasn’t that my parents were deaf
but that other parents could hear I found that strange we had to move
Goodnight Enigmatic SongShe was the song you hear and, at first blush, don't like.Goodnight Enigmatic Song1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Well, you don't know how you feel about it so you keep listening in an attempt to discover how exactly you feel and then you reach the end of the song and you realize, you don't like it; you love it.
That was Grace.
She was my coworker and she was my friend.
We carpooled together, I drove and she slept most of the way.
"Don't get much sleep at night, do you?" I asked her, catching those drooping lids mid-descent.
She looked out the window streaked with rain; it spoke in percussive touches filling the car with quiet overcast conversation.
I felt the warmth of her smile in the corner of my eye. The blur of her hand reached at the window to feel the cold of the droplets.
"When I was a girl, I used to race these. I thought it was funny the fat ones always won," she giggled and I imagined her as a little girl in the passenger seat then, legs too short to reach so kicking, and hair messed in the bac
Epilogues like EpitaphsOnce upon a vapid day inEpilogues like Epitaphs2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a town full of glazed-eyed murmurs
ultimately amounting to nothing, she
met a boy who said he'd calculated the
probabilities of wishes and knew what it felt like
to breathe a dream. He told her he'd write
her the world, he'd tell of the promises the
oceans kept and the way the stars never
quite compared to her eyes
but he lied.
And she figured love fancied
narcissism the same way she believed herself
deliquescent. (because we're always looking
for the prettiest ways to say we're
Then on a broken night that tasted of
lucid intoxication and blind reminiscing,
she met a boy built of big words
whose heart sounded authentic [enough],
and when he called her beautiful,
she really believed him.
that is, until the wind stole him away
in the form of a pretty girl who meant
more and was worth less. She
concluded that love feared dying alone
(just as much as she did) and
maybe it wasn't such a travesty to succumb
and let substantiality crash over you. Maybe
Impact Theory"What do you want to be when you grow up?"Impact Theory2 years ago in Horror More Like This
It's a question Welknan schoolteachers ask their students every year, from the day the children enter school to the day the young adults leave. Answers are carefully catalogued and presented to the students at their graduation ceremony in a beautifully decorated scrapbook made by the teacher of each student, added to each year, growing with the child.
It's arguably a silly tradition, and perhaps even morbid to remind the adults of failed childhood dreams, but it's meant to inspire and the children love it, and it's something to do anyway.
Some kids stick to plain, safe answers- tailor, construction, banker, teacher, doctor. Others get imaginative- artist, musician, architect. Others still are painfully practical- shop assistant, office worker. Once in a while, a few are philosophical- "me" and "good" are common.
Rosalin is invariably of the plain variety, not because she isn't imaginative, practical, or philosophical (she is, at times), but be
PilotI woke in a nest of wires, my arms pulled off to either side, my head back and my eyes fixed at the ceiling. There was a man standing above me, straddling my form, perched precariously at the mouth of the recess I was tucked away in, one hand gripping the frame, the other feeling around the back of my neck. He moved by touch alone, certain in his movements, and his fingers closed over the knot of the wires that resided at the base of my skull and pulled, steadily, drawing it out of the socket and I inhaled sharply at the sensation. Like something had been taken from me, or that I'd lost sight of something important. A piece of me gone. It was a keen sense of loss and my eyes went wet with moisture even as he dropped his hand lower along my neck, almost to the shoulders, and pulled out another plug. The wires by my eyes were thinner, and when he pulled these out my vision went black for a moment and when it returned I felt the world was less clear, like a gray haze had been pulledPilot1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
the secret of lost thingsan old book isthe secret of lost things2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
something like a dead grandmother;
silent everywhere but in your mind
It starts with a flash-bang and a Majulahi.It starts with a flash-bang and a Majulah2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
June's hauled her here again and
she's tapping at my classroom window,
A gazillion tiny fingers rapping in succession
(When she said "invitation" I didn't realise she meant
soaking half the country, the spike in umbrella prices has
nothing to do with me)
What's worse than an impatient child
is one with the whole atmosphere as her battering ram
when she tries to say something the urgency brims over
and one million exclamation marks
is beginning to sound like static frazzling
out on the pavements
She is without choice: when Cloud mother tips her out
she must go, and go she will
caught in an obtuse cycle, fought over by heat and
gravity wanting to claim her as territory
thrown about in their wiggly intersections she
falls, rises, and falls again.
Her talent is splitting herself up,
a single place, and then everywhere at once.
She has mastered the skill to the point
that she is a fractal in the air
even before she hits the ground.
She is a cell in a body 66 percent water.
She is a s
soft as waterthis is the funeralsoft as water1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
where grey ash spreads
& in the air, a traffic of kites stream across the horizon,
the ash of sails, ghostly non existent,
sails set wide, slicing across the Hudson river
the water heals itself
rescinding wounds, sowing back together the places
where edges meet, and we become soft as water
doves sow the horizon thus, weaving through the kites on fire
& the lovers on fire
and the burns and burns and ink stains
on quiet carpets
everything became a silent memory buried under graves
in the cemetery sails bloom in deathly renaissance.
overpopulation expands exponentially
underground, in empty spaces
(between the sand, rivers, dust storms)
waves recede and seagulls echo
and the shivering saline sea is rough
(baring our naked spines against the asphalt
of the shore, the seagulls soaring echo
more truth than we'll ever know)
they know about:
recessions, receding shorelines and horizons,
and men retreating within,