The Tapping Next DoorFor most of my life I had lived in the same apartment. It was on the third floor and overlooked the busy city. It was also directly next to another apartment, which means you could hear everything going on behind the right-hand side bedroom wall.
I would occasionally hear faint noises coming from behind the wall. There would be scraping, which I assumed was the sound of a chair being pulled along a wooden floor. Sometimes voices could be heard. I guessed they were either from the residents living there or from a TV or radio. And then there was the banging.
The banging was a rare occurrence, but whenever it happened it really annoyed me. Why wouldn't it? It always seemed to happen when I was trying to sleep and considering my bed was right against the wall where it was loudest, I was usually awoken by it.
It was loud and frantic usually, like someone trying to get attention. I always thought it was a young child doing its best to piss off its parents, but I was never sure. Mostly becaus
PhotographSix year old Rose decided that today would be the day she asked her grandmother about the painting.Photograph2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It always held her interest, magic upon a canvas. Perhaps it was the rich colors that shimmered under the perfect lighting. It could have been the girl captured within the painting. Maybe it was all of those things, but she had an idea on what it truly was—the eyes.
They were created by the tip of a brush, but carried more life than anything she had ever seen. Color of ice blue, they carried familiarity, warming the inside of her chest. The more she stared, the stronger it felt.
Rose entered her grandmother's living room to see her standing motionless below the giant painting, which stretched over four feet on the wall. Every day Rose spent the afternoon over here, her grandmother would stare at that painting, not a single world falling past her wrinkled lips.
Rose tugged on her grandmother's sleeve and asked," Grandma, how come you look at that painting every day?"
Her grandmother looke
The Black PondI remember the day we first arrived in our new home clearly. My father parked the car before the house, his gruff voice announcing our arrival. I was in the back seat, my sketch book open in my lap as I drew whatever came to mind. My younger brother Ben crawled right across my lap and pressed his face to the car window, looking out at our new home with awe. Irritated that he'd interrupted my drawing, I snapped the book shut and got out of the car, slamming the door in his face with no remorse.The Black Pond3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I was scolded for my behaviour, but being sixteen years old, I didn't really care.
The house was old and worn, in dire need of repairs that my father promised to take care of. A double story building with a dark red, slanted roof and grey walls. My mother said it looked like an old Victorian mansion, especially since it was surrounded by a forest. I thought it looked like a rancid old mansion one would expect to find in a horror story, and yet somehow this observation drew me to it and I began to
A Battle of Extremes(MR. CYNICISM, MS. SINCERE, and DR. PASSION congregate for battle.)DR. PASSIONA Battle of Extremes2 years ago in Comedy More Like This
Where's all the booze, guys? Where's the music? I thought this was supposed to be a party.
This is a battle, not a party, good doctor. You may want to remove your lamp shade so you can be prepared to fight.
I didn't hear anything about no violence at this here get-together-battle-party-what-have-you.
That is the definition of battle: Where two or more parties come together and -
- come together and make a whole lot of excitement between them. See? That's what I'm saying.
I should have anticipated such a gross misinterpretation of the facts, given your appalling track record with regard to such things as facts.
I'm sure it was an honest mistake, a result of a miscommunication. We can all be friends still, right?
Aside from the battle, of course.
I wouldn't have it any other way.<
Sickly SweetI could remember moving into this neighbourhood like it was just yesterday. Actually, when I think about it, it wasn't that long ago. Must've been about seven months ago when I first arrived. It seemed perfectly normal. I had friendly neighbours, a nice house and a fairly decent job at the gas station in the nearby town.Sickly Sweet2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Although all of my neighbours seemed cheerful and friendly, there was one specifically who seemed kinder than all of them. Her name was Amanda Robinson, and she lived in the house opposite mine.
She looked about twenty, the same age as me. Her long hair was a light brown colour, just like mine, and her eyes were a moss green, also like mine. We both had fair skin, although hers was slightly paler. A warm smile was always present on her face and for some reason, she always had a few peppermint sweets in her jeans pocket.
I remember first meeting her on the day I moved in. She offered me a peppermint and I gladly accepted. I noticed she didn't eat one herself, but though
*CreepyPasta*: Water PuppetSome people call me a hero. I can't disagree with them, because it's actually kind of true. Believe it or not, I've saved a drowning man, pulled a girl from a burning building, and I even saved a dog from being swept away by a nasty flood. My friends thought I was crazy, but I thought I was just exercising my humanity. That, and I was kind of an adrenaline junkie. It was my guilty pleasure. I've been sky diving and bungee jumping on more than one occasion. I've jumped off the ledge of a huge water fall hoping that I didn't hit shallow water. I've got a couple of scars to show for my endeavors. I don't really do the adventurous things that I used to anymore. Not after what happened.*CreepyPasta*: Water Puppet2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
About seven years ago, me and a couple of friends were just heading out from a New Years party. It was freezing outside, and we had to walk six blocks to get back to our dorms. We all started walking, dreading the next twenty minutes or so of minus twenty degree weather.
"Hey, w - wait a minute," Jarro
The Letter WriterHe was a letter writer.The Letter Writer3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Written letters had long become a thing of the pastafter all, why would one write when one could receive instant gratification through an electronic device? All of these things made life so much easier.
In fact, Alan lived in a time where most people didn't know how to write. Everyone was proficient in reading, of courseafter all, one had to read the daily screen to know the news and things that were going on. And all children learned how to type before they were five years old. But writing was not something that was used anymore, and it had become almost socially unacceptable to write anything. It wasn't against the law, but it certainly was frowned upon.
But Alan wrote anyway. The gift of handwriting and penmanship had been taught to him from his father, and his father and his father before him. At the time of his great grandfather, being unable to write had been considered illiterate. Pens and pencils, which had literally become obsolete, were ver
The Dearest Dark ThingsThe pulsing pound within my headThe Dearest Dark Things2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
The monsters underneath my bed
And all the things I never said
They leave me all alone
The whispers near me in the night
They're always wrong and never right
I note that they don't come with light
They never leave my side
Contradictions that I speak
As slowly my heart grows so weak
And my veins all bleed death's reek
Trust me I know nothing
Quiet now, they tie me down
In a pure white flowing gown
And on my head place bloodied crown
Yes I am their queen
I can't tell the things apart
The things that are real or in my heart
Because the world is all just gruesome art
Look at my lovely dark things
They follow closer, at my heel
And before me, used to kneel
And still do if I keep the deal
But blood is deadly poison
Away we go, away we slam
Another deed for us to damn
Another slaughtered bloody lamb
The dark things, no listen to-
To late, to late
We'll never stop at this rate
Not until our marked death date
What's happening to me, why can't I move
I try to bac
Horror Of My ChildhoodThe warm water runs down my body and as I look down at my feet I see my long brown hair, black wet, float on the water flowing over my breasts. I go to grab the shampoo but its not there. Oh yeah, I ran out last time and was to lazy to put more in. Great, now I'm gonna have to tell for my dad. I'm thirteen and still need my father to take a simple shower.Horror Of My Childhood2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Dad?" I call hoping he can hear me all the on the other side of the house in the office. He's alway in there, working like I don't even exist. I know he does it all for me but sometimes I just want him to be a dad.
I yell repeatedly, louder and louder with every call. Now I'm getting worried. He never leaves when I'm in the shower because I might fall and drown while he's away or something. I try one last time with all the lung power I can muster out of my small diaphragm.
This time I hear a rustle in the background of the shower water pounding at my ears. Usually I can hear him coming from a mile away because he walks so heavy and h
Cursed“And the worst part is, none of it's my fault.” As she spoke the words, Jessica slowly rotated the paper coffee cup between her hands. She regretted buying it. Water would have cost her nothing. The bus fare to the coffee shop cost her two dollars, and it would be two more dollars to get back home. That would leave seventy six dollars and fifty two cents in her bank account for the next two weeks, until a check arrived in the mail again. The utility bills hadn't been paid yet. They were due before the check came—that would mean late fees again next month.Cursed1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Molly sipped her mocha-latte with two pumps of extra milk and one lump of sugar once, twice, three times. She had taken in every last word of Jessica's story, and Jessica's honesty regarding her desperate situation left Molly searching for the appropriate response. This was not the sort of conversation Molly expected to have when she arranged to have coffee with her old high school pal for the first time in ten years
They Stole My BodyI just want to get away. Away from the noise of this house. It's winter so outside isn't an option so I'll have to settle for the garage. It's not as frigid in there but it's still chilling so I bring a small space heater.They Stole My Body2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I find an old lawn chair and set it up next to the only plug I can find. As the ancient off white heater warms up I look around. This place is so dirty. The concrete floor needs sweeping and the corners have bad at least twenty past hosts. I guess it's okay because no one ever comes out here this time of year.
Finally the heater is warmed up. So much that my shins are almost burning. I move them aside so that the rest of my body can feel the tiny sun. After I move my foot I see a quarter sized beetle. It's exoskeleton is dark but where the light hits it the blue and purple metallic undertones are revealed. I've never seen this kind of insect in person before but I know it's not native to this area. It must have been searching for an escape from the winter and found i
StayHe doesn't know her very well. He really doesn't.Stay3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
But he wants her. He wants her like
-like, for example, he stayed online until one in the morning, until he saw the little green bubble next to her name, telling him she's there, and he lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding.
She makes him laugh.
He makes her blush, and loves when she does it, how she hides her face in her hair, and dimples crease her cheeks.
She says things he doesn't even have to ask her to say, because she just knows. She knows he's as insecure as everyone else is, but the thing is, she doesn't mind.
He knows her heart is glass, and he doesn't want to hurt her, he really doesn't, but when there's an ocean and miles and miles and miles, it's inevitable.
He knows there's more than one way to break someone's heart. And she knows this, too, but at least he won't have to be around to see it happen.
But he wants her like sleep. He hasn't slept like this in so long.
She makes him sleep and sleep and stay.
Apartment 301Apartment 301Apartment 3012 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Blue smoke hung gloomily over the north side, pouring out of refineries which had nearly become obsolete not so long ago, in the good old days. Gord Bondarchuk had lived in Edmonton all his seventy-two years, and he could remember a time when fusion power was coming to save the day, when hover cars had begun to crisscross the sky, and when space planes were fast becoming the best and safest way to travel. He could not for the life of him, however, remember a time when living on any one of the little offshoots of 118th Avenue was not miserable and intimidating.
Gord sat in his ancient rocking chair—the one he kept hidden in a corner, as it had been made when quality was paramount and real living wood could be found without going to the Rocky Mountains and you never could tell when some pack of orphans would climb up your wall to snatch anything worth pawning—and stared pensively into the alleyway. Dusk had come, the billowing clouds of smoke turned a dazzling s
dear deathdear death,dear death2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
i went to visit my wife today, in the building where i have to breathe through my mouth because it smells like a slaughter house. i don't buy her flowers anymore, because they are almost as dead as she is and giving them to her is like putting flowers on a grave. i don't buy her chocolates, because she'd just vomit them up in a shit-brown wave and she never had much of a sweet tooth anyway. no, i just go by myself and hope that it's enough.
today i realised how much her eyes scare me. they used to be green. mossy green, not emerald green like they say in books, because in real life nothing could possibly be that perfect. but in the sunlight they used to sparkle and that never failed to steal the breath from my body. she always said that her eyes were her best feature. she never could see how beautiful the rest of her was.
her new eyes look like giant cigarette burns. whenever i'm sitting at her bedside in the pink chair with the stuffing leaking out like blobs of decomposin
always half finishedi can tell you how much i loathe anyone or anything that lingers, even when they're beautiful. My anxiety disorder can't handle any of that. Yet it's been 1 year and 1 month and i'm still stuck in reverse.always half finished2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
nauseated is the prettiest emotion i've felt so far cause for once, i can see an actual physical rejection, rather than these invisible strings snapping on the inside, but never showing even a blemish on the outside.
my screams have begun to ferment as they remain bottled up in what i imagine to be gruesome-colored vials within the shelves of my intestines. each vial must be carrying individual, heart-straining yelps, yelling and sobs from different moments in time yet all having been filled from one source (you).
i have paint swatches in stuck in my journals that i try and match with each of the aches that i can feel from these vials. this blue, is your eyes and this off green is the way they made me feel. color coded aches. maybe then you would have seen this coming.
Somewhere Only We KnowSomewhere Only We KnowSomewhere Only We Know3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Here it is," Jesse's dad called from the driver's seat of the car. "She's old but we're only staying here temporarily; just until our house is bug free."
He and his mother both got out of the car and paid no mind to his father's talk. The Lawrence family was used to moving between houses and had never lived in one house for more than three months. Because of it, in all his ten years, Jesse had never made a single friend.
Jesse pushed a lock of his short-cut black hair out of his eye and surveyed the house. The old mansion was a big as he'd ever seen, but it had obviously seen better days. The wood on most of the house was a faded brownish green, and he spotted at least half a dozen spots where the house would surely leak on a rainy day. He closed his green eyes and tried to envision what the manor would have looked like in its prime. To say the least, it would have beaten his house by far, and theirs was the nicest he had seen prior to this
Preparations"Honestly...I'm a little scared," she admitted.Preparations2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Don't worry about it," he reassured her. "It's nothing to be afraid of."
"It's different for you; you've done all of this before. I-I haven't. It's my first time, so I have no idea what to do." She was so nervous that she was shaking, but at the same time her cheeks were flushed with excitement.
"Stop worrying, babe. Just follow my lead and you'll do fine."
When she looked at him, she could see it in his eyes. He was ready to go, but she was holding him back. She was still afraid, but he was worth it. If he was ready to go there, then so was she.
"Alright then," she took a deep breath in an attempt to calm down. "Let's go. I can do this."
A smile spread across his face when she spoke; he'd been afraid that she would back out.
"Great. Great!" He was full of energy now. Before she could even take her hat off, he had her by the hand and was leading her out the door and down the hall.
"You know, you're lucky I love you," she said in an out-o
The Dinner Hour"We need a refill on salt shakers at table two, a fresh ketchup bottle on tables three, four, and six, and for god's sake, see if we've got a spare pacifier for the kid at table five." Marcheline's lawyer-like voice rattles off instructions faster than anyone can understand them. Taking over her shift is like diving headfirst into an ocean current traveling at a million miles an hour.The Dinner Hour3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I nod after every ten or so words; after sounding off eight commands in under a breath, Marcheline gasps, "Thank god you always show up for your shift on time." Then she flings off her waiter belt like it was on fire and throws it on the rung. I watch her dash out of the back room like she's being chased.
Poor Marcheline doesn't always do well with the evening rush hours, when anything can happen.
Already in my uniform, I make sure of three final things before I step out into the fray that is Elliot's Diner at 6 PM: 1) my nametag is straight and my name tag, because once I grabbed Pedro's nametag a
ResearchSome writers frequently delete browsing history.Research2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Our Kingdom ComeI have a theory.Our Kingdom Come1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
My theory is that when you die, as your life flashes before your eyes and your body puts up its last pitiful fight for life before shutting down, you realize what your purpose was, and that's when you know who you truly are.
It's not exactly testable, which means professional scientists wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole, but I think in my condition a little baseless theory ain't the worst I could do.
I'm 25 years old and dying.
I'm going young, I know. I can't begin to tell you how many people are disappointed that I'm clocking out early. Can't say I wanted it is this way. If I could go back in time and prevent the accident from happening I would. But of course I can't, so all I'm left with is this: this hospital bed, these tubes, these slow, labored breaths, these thoughts. All these things that don't matter much because I can't take them with me.
Then again, what can I take?
What actually goes with you when you die?
I have to be honest, I'm not all that b
Within Her GraspShe reaches for the dial on the radio and turns up the volume.Within Her Grasp3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Charlene? Are you even listening to me?!"
Staring out the window she watches the trees flash by. While her mother rants and raves about ungrateful children and their lack of respect, she hums along to the music. Another commercial rears its ugly head. A car advertisement.
She turns off the radio.
She reaches for another cigarette.
"That's a nasty habit, Charlene."
She lights it with a match and the conversation shifts to more important things. Taking a long drag, she feels temporary satisfaction. Her father eyes her with a look of disapproval.
"You need to quit, Charlene."
She reaches for the dial on the radio; this time, she turns it down.
"What the hell? I was listening to that."
Her brother hoots and hollers along with the melody.
He notices her pensive expression. Playfully he musses her hair.
"C'mon, live a little, Charlene."
She reaches for a bar of soap.
"I hate you."
SP: A Dangerous DishPosition A man sometimes reaches a point in his life where he's let everything slip. One week ago, this broad example narrowed very specifically to me. Sliding school grades, faltering friendships, a room upon which trash descended like a plague long ago, the works. I don't even want to get into the state of my bathroom and trust me; you don't want me to, either.SP: A Dangerous DishPosition4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Upon finding himself trapped in this situation, surrounded by life's failing faculties, this man (both the generalized one and me this time) may decide to resuscitate life and refill these pitfalls, attempting to get life running in order again. One week ago, I decided upon exactly that. Arming myself for war vacuums, sponges, trash bags, phone calls, and all kinds of elbow grease I systematically set myself to my tasks.
That was a week ago, and now I know the power of a week. Sev
We'll Cover the Stars, A to Z“You know, the stars get dusty sometimes.”We'll Cover the Stars, A to Z2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Pricks of light swam in the night’s deep blue atmosphere, gleaming mementos of once-living stars. In the full moon’s light, they looked anything but dusty.
“Z, you’re crazy.” Amelia huffed. He always got like this when nighttime came around and they ran off to their secret spot, all weird-like and far away. Every night, he’d just lie up against that old rock and stare at the stars and make these grand statements that never made any sense, and try to convince her they were some kind of fact of life. He’d been doing it since she’d been adopted, two years back. And sometimes, it was interesting. But most of the time, to a nine-year-old with a low patience level, he was just outrageous. Nine-year-olds don’t need life facts.
“No, really!” He persisted, pushing himself away from to rock into a full stand, waving his arms in the air as if he were a bird about to take off. A
Poker in Purgatory I once sat around a table in Purgatory with three of the world's most wonderful artists. We played a game of poker, sipping the finest wine and discussing the means by which we had died.Poker in Purgatory2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Van Gogh spoke solemnly, and with an aire of apathy. I suppose that apathy was appropriate, being that his life had been ended by his own hand. As he folded his hand, he spoke of fits of brilliant madness, unbearable to any human, which both fueled his art and forced the gun to his head. I asked, after a time, if he knew how lovely the world had found his work since he'd died and he said that he did not. "It's amazing how often that happens to an artist," he went on. "Perhaps, then, suicide was for the best." He puzzled, though, over why it was that his death suddenly made his passion into something beautiful and note-worthy. "It's a goddamned shame, sir," he mumbled into his cards, "the way society will torture a man.
It was disease that took Dali, I found. An awful fit of pneumonia
Too cold for angels to flyWith her bare feet she stood in the snow.Too cold for angels to fly3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Her footsteps led back to a grey building.
She had just walked out of the front door without anyone noticing her.
Her brown curls hung loosely around her white spotted face.
She remembered her mother had told her to comb it, but it wasn't necessary.
The cold snowflakes brushed her face.
It was very cold outside, almost too cold, but she didn't notice.
Her fingers felt the soft material of her dress.
The dress was a bit too short for her liking, but she didn't care.
She looked back once more at the building.
Her family was in there, crying probably.
But she couldn't go back now. Not anymore.
She looked up to the sky and saw the moon.
Suddenly she was gone.
The little girl standing behind her swore she saw feathers flutter to the ground.