Rescue TeamShe called me because I lived right downstairs. She called me because she knew I wouldn’t call her parents. She called me because she hadn’t called in three months, and she knew that if she called me, crying, blubbering, watering the receiver with her tears and blood, I would come running anyway.
She was hunched up on the kitchen floor, her arms wrapped around her legs, her eyelashes wrapped around her bloodshot eyes. She looked up at me as I dropped the key I had never given back into my pocket. Her feet and hands were bloodied and full of cuts.
She said nothing as I crunched my way over the broken glass to her and hunched down, balancing on the balls of my feet. She looked down.
“What did you do?” I asked, looking around the messy kitchen, filled with shards of glass and broken plates. I noticed she was holding the phone in one hand and a champagne glass in the other. The only intact one left, I observed from my place facing the open cupboards and empty sh
A Sparrow's Soliloquy"Every year they get a new tattoo," Papa exclaims while pointing at a certain pop band as he watches the MTV Music Awards with me. I am reminded to untuck my hair from my ear in order to prevent him from catching my already 3rd secret tattoo.A Sparrow's Soliloquy2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Papa's love, for me, has always been proportional to the width and warmth of his grizzly bear paws that wrap perfectly around my cold and anemic bird bones. Sometimes I wonder how much of his heart do I really own; he's already proclaimed, in front of mama too, that he loves me far more than anyone he has ever and will ever love. Sometimes, I spend sleepless nights worrying myself to sickness upon the days to come when he'll find out that I'm not the perfect little princess he's always believed me to be.
I may be Papa's pocket-sized, big-hearted English literature college professor delight of a daughter, but sadly, it has to be that I am also his gender fluid, underground indie band lead singer nightmare of a baby girl.
Eat The Sun"Mama, can you eat the sun?" eight-year-old Hunter said in between his sloppy chewing of his sugary, morning breakfast cereal.Eat The Sun2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
His mother, a tired woman with heavy, dark circles under her eyes, sighed and gave a tired and sad smile.
"Of course not, Hunter. That's impossible. It's so far away, honey." she tried to reason.
"And it would be really hot, wouldn't it?" he spat out bits of half-chewed cereal.
"Yes. Something so far away has to be really hot to keep us warm."
Hunter nodded. It made perfect sense, but that didn't stop him from being curious to the sun's taste.
"I bet it'll taste like soup fresh off the stove when I don't blow it cold." he tried to explain as his mother cleared the kitchen table of their breakfast.
"I don't know, baby. I never tried to eat the sun. When you get home maybe we can bake some sun cookies and you can eat those." his mother yawned. "Grandma will help."
Hunter grinned. He was happy that his mother was finally back to normal. Days of crying and sleeping
Proposition"Hey." Shit.Proposition2 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
A familiar face sat down next to me as the train set in motion again. She would've been prettier if I could see past her surface, but she knew better than that. She was opaque now. It never used to be like this, so distant. The wall between us thickened as she lifted her hand to my face, a gentle touch that brought her eyes too close to mine and tugged at emotions pushed down only too recently. A dozen images flashed before me, memories of long ago and yesterday, memories with and without her. Those were nothing but imprints of the past, though, because my hope for a future where the two of us actually coexist is long dead. We tried to pick up the pieces even after admitting we were the definition of volatility, a volcano concealing a ticking time bomb. I shook my head of her delicate grip, despite the way my heart tore when she let go. Why did she let go? The debris still floated through my mind from the aftermath of the eruption, clo
Taches de vin The first choice was the more favorable one, and they both knew it: to take the train out of the city. The last stop would be their first, a one-way ticket, and they would walk the rest of the way under the stars. The open country, European villages, friendly skies, and a dirt road.Taches de vin2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The second choice, although neither of them liked it, was one they both needed. They would skip their stars, the trek to the beach, and lunching at a roadside inn. No, they would part ways here, she pursuing her dreams of artistry and he searching for a permanent home for his typewriter. Their loft would empty, boxes slowly filling the one-story apartment, little room left for hard feelings. Over time, the smells of coffee and cigarettes would fade from the small space, leaving only a solitary wine-stain on the floor, representative of a relationship muddied by addiction and conflicting interests.
"So this is goodbye," he would say, lifting his old Marcado from the floor. "I suppose it is," she
Godchaser - Prologue Brother Francis’ foot caught on an uneven brick. He lurched forward, his breath caught in the stitch in his chest; he stumbled, and his dress shoes scraped across the wet cobblestone as he managed to stop. He straightened up, his chest heaving and his glasses askew, but his arms still anchored to Gabriel’s shoulders. His two comrades had abruptly stopped when he tripped; the bishops’ quickly whipped their heads around and stared at him, wide-eyed, their faces nearly as white as their robes – their fear seemed to emit an eerie luminescence to the early evening.Godchaser - Prologue3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“Not now,” Francis gasped shortly as he urged the two onward, “We don’t have the time!”
The one holding Gabriel’s left leg nodded and turned around; the one on the right visibly gulped – his Adam’s apple protruding like a large white stone from his thin sweaty neck – and shot a
Shallow WaterIt was just a little kiddie pool in the backyard, unlovely pink-and-yellow plastic under the hot summer sun. But on those nights when Mom came home from the swing shift tired and met Daddy sitting in the kitchen angry, it was Amy’s only sanctuary.Shallow Water2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She wasn’t a sound sleeper. Her parents still talked about how it had taken her infant self six months to sleep more than two or three hours at a time. During the school year, when her life was full of classes and friends and sports, it was easier to drop off, but summer nights were always more difficult. They were hotter, for one thing, and the long, indolent, inactive days often left her feeling too tired to sleep.
But mostly, it was because her parents had their arguments at night, right when Mom got back from the station. Daddy would send Amy to bed -- or at least her room, to pretend to sleep -- hours before. Then he would wait, sitting at the kitchen table and facing the door like a judge, hands folded in front of him
House in the SandI decided to ride my bike today. Tuns out tires and sand do not mix. Usually on my trek through the desert outskirts, I walk. For some reason I thought this would be faster. If only I had a hover bike, that would make things much easier.House in the Sand2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I ended up having to walk anyways, towing my bike behind me. In a way it was worth it, I might have missed the happy little family of desert mice. I stopped to add a quick sketch of them to my notebook. The sun was riding high by then so I thought I'd take a break for some food.
I usually pack a lunch, but this time I guess I should have brought more. A baby desert fox came out of his hole, probably because he smelled food, and I couldn't resist giving him some of my turkey. The little guy looked so thin and hungry. Besides I didn't need it as much, I didn't have much farther to go.
A while later I crested a small dune and the little house came into view. It was blue and small with little white decorative shingles edging the stoop of the doorway, and i
heartbeat echohere she was again, staring at a blank screen, her fingers poised delicately over the keys, stories just begging to be written but her mind was silent. her thoughts were all of you. you with the autumn eyes. you with the smile that made her knees weak and a butterfly riot start in her stomach.heartbeat echo3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
her thoughts were of your arms around her, your voice in her ear. she closed her eyes and her lips parted, ever-so-slightly, as the phantom of your lips brushed against hers. whether you did it willingly or not, ghosts of you lingered in every crevice of her.
when you kissed you exhaled yourself into her greedy lungs and there you drifted downwards, nestling in her ribcage. you spread, multiplied and ventured further through her body so that her fingertips remembered the softness of your skin and her ribs remembered the urgency of your fingers running across them like a pianist racing to a great crescendo.
you nestled yourself under her heart so that she could feel you there, in the echo of tim
Goodnight Enigmatic SongShe was the song you hear and, at first blush, don't like.Goodnight Enigmatic Song2 years 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
The CriticMy ears perked up at the creaking of the desk chair in the living room. A sigh, a crack, and the metallic strings of a short melody announcing that Daphne’s laptop had been turned on. That could only mean one thing.The Critic2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Oh, great, I thought. She’s writing again.
Blinking sleepily, I hopped out of the sock drawer in which I had been napping. (Well, it was her fault for leaving it open all the time. She didn’t have to complain so much about all the cat hair, either.) I stretched out my paws in front of me, then arched my back. Tipping to the side, I momentarily lost my balance, but quickly regained my composure (very gracefully, I might add). When it falls, a cat always lands on its feet; but cats very rarely fall in the first place.
I trotted into the living room.
The repeating cracking sound made my ears quiver. I shuddered. “Get your fingers out of your mouth,” I snapped.
“Sorry,” she said, not even turning to look at me. I bet she h
Seven days.Seven days passed.Seven days.2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The first day he sat alone, hands fidgeting on his lap nervously. He wouldn't talk,just stare, stare through his mahogany orbs. His lips, set on a hard line, would twitch every now and then and he would speak his mind quietly, hesitantly, as if afraid that his words would be judged. I felt pity for him, but wasn't sure why.
The second day, he sat alone but closer, close enough for me to feel the warmth radiating off his body. He held that black pen and his thumb would press on its tip nervously, producing a 'tap-tap' sound that made me clench my teeth in frustration. I regretted the action, but wasn't sure why.
The third day he spoke as he looked at his book, still hesitantly but more confidently. 'Hey,' he murmured, soft and reassuring. A ghost of a smile curved itself on his lips, barely revealing a set of dimples on his recently-shaved cheeks. I smiled back, but wasn't sure why.
The fourth day, he talked of stories and miracles, and of places where
Paranoia 'There's no kindness in your eyes,Paranoia2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
the way you look at me it's just not right'
- Hilary Duff.
As I look over at you across the table, I can’t help but feel doubt creeping in from all sides. From the outside, our relationship is wonderful. You tell me that you love me every single day, you buy me flowers every week and you look after me better than I can look after myself. You even brought me to my favourite restaurant this evening as a surprise treat. I couldn’t ask for any more. You are everything I could possibly hope for. But yet, something is not right. A dark voice in the back of my mind keeps whispering: ‘Don’t be so blind’. I can’t help but feel that the interior of our relationship is not as perfect as the polished exterior. Something rotten is fester
FFM 23: The Lady in Black She knows.FFM 23: The Lady in Black2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The thought had crept in quietly and festered in the back of my head like a corpse. When I finally noticed it there, I managed to write it off as paranoia for a time, but at some point it had transformed into a certainty.
I had been so careful, too. I deleted my text messages, encrypted my emails, and changed my Facebook password weekly, just in case. I never took calls while we were having family time, and I had developed a list of fool-proof excuses over the years to explain my long nights, or the occasional odd scent of perfume or cloves. I had never intended to hurt her. The world is a screwed up place sometimes.
Things had been fine for the first few years, during the dating and courting. I was allowed to be aloof back then. And then, after the wedding, we soared on the warm winds of love for a long while, and nothing could come between us. It wasn’t until Lisa got pregnant that I met my Lady in Black. Sabella. So innocent at fi
Man Sold SeparatelyIt was one of those houses dropped on the corner of the street, squeezed so tightly by the ones on either side that it was hardly noticeable. It was one of those houses where the hot water never ran out in the winter and the air conditioner never broke down in the summer. All of the neighbours in the similarly shaped houses, although never perfectly identical, shared gossip and brought over casseroles and generally pretended to like each other until the door closed and the lock clicked and their sincere thoughts on the daughter’s new husband came to light. It was a neighbourhood with the level of superficiality one could usually find in the suburbs.Man Sold Separately2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I was drawn right in.
There was something about the idea of having a comfortable little life, a quiet life where I would often be alone and always lonely, that somehow appealed to me. It’s easy to be lonely; all you do is turn on the TV or open a good book and it goes away. I could never sit around feeling sorry for myself in a
on old sanzu - absolutely true fictionlast fall i stole my friend down by the tama river. we sang. we danced. we skipped dead fish like rocks and watched them get swallowed by the undertow. we got sick off of bad chinese food and went skinny-dipping and then a week later she drowned herself.on old sanzu - absolutely true fiction2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
her uncle was a yakuza, i think, but he really just wanted to be al pacino or something. anyway, she loved him a lot. maybe that’s why she went down the way she went down; cement shoes. not real cement, but it was the same idea. she had two cloth bags with yellow-painted cinderblocks inside, and they were tied to her ankles like the prisoners’ chains from o brother where art thou.
in my mind’s eye i can see her, limping dreadfully close to the edge of the current, her left hand gripping at her breasts through a loose t-shirt. kneeling by the wastelands, elbows in the gravel, crawling forward out into the water. angry like a dermis under wool, all teeth and salt and sand. sleepy, submissive, sublimated.
swear by the styx.I fell asleep listening to love songs and water pounding on the window pane.swear by the styx.2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It had been pouring rain for three long days, so water was gushing from beneath the manhole covers and the morning clouds were perpetually a canvas of rippled slate. Citizens had removed the wheels from their cars to happily use the hover option on their way to work. No one wanted their rims rusted.
The airships wouldn’t be flying again until the sky cleared, in the meantime we were stuck within the city walls. Some desperate souls had spoken of trekking into the outlands to continue work and play without being confined, but no one was that inane. They would be in the city until we were under clear skies again.
I’m stubborn, you know, and that’s why I insisted on walking over to your building through the dampness and the sludge. It came up to my knees in some places, particularly the troughs at the bottoms of hills. Motorists who passed me by, skimmi
You Got A Fast Car 'I look at you and smile because I'm fine'You Got A Fast Car2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
- The Killers.
You got a fast car. We’re speeding down the motorway, leaving behind the road. Leaving behind our past. Escaping the confines of our old town. Any place is better. I look over at you, your eyes fixed on the road ahead. Your eyes, unblinking, filled with determination and ambition. Your hands are clenched tightly on the steering wheel, adamant that you can control our future just like you can control your car. The open windows let in a fresh breeze that caresses your hair, every dark strand waving in a synchronised motion. Looking at you, I feel hope. I feel happy. I feel safe. Maybe together we can get somewhere.
You sense my gaze upon your face and glance over, a smile spreading uncontrollably across your face. Your eyes meet mine and light up with happiness and excitement. You t
Like Only the Stars are WatchingMr. Glenn’s wife died the day before last. Of course, now all their children could talk about was what she would have wanted.Like Only the Stars are Watching2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“She would want a proper burial,” Gary, the eldest, said.
“In the cemetery at Memorial Park,” Martin said.
Gary shook his head. “Much too crowded there. She wouldn’t want to knock elbows with anyone. She would prefer be buried in the Green Meadows Cemetery.”
“No,” Lisa Marie said, slapping her hand against Mr. Glenn’s antique table. “She wouldn’t want a grave. If she was here, she’d tell us to cremate her and spread her ashes across the farm.”
“I don’t think she liked this farm as much as you think,” Kurt said. “We should take the boat and spread her ashes out at sea. She would like that better.”
Lisa Marie huffed and crossed her arms. “Mom told me everything, and I can promise you that what she would want is to be here, on the farm.
MeatingI was running out of things to say, and still he was looking at me with his hungry eyes.Meating2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“You definitely don’t want to eat me” I repeated for the hundredth time “I’m bitter, sour, dirty, and positively tasteless.”
The wolf had a small laugh.
“My human friend” he said – and I found it extremely unpleasant to be called thus by the same individual who was about to sink his sharp, pointy white fangs in my thigh – “you all pretend the same, but I’ve never tasted a disgusting sample of your kind.”
“Well, maybe that fat little boy that I ate once. It was a horrible meal indeed.”
I looked at myself in desperation. I definitely was not fat.
“But I’m so bony” I said. “There is nothing for you to eat.”
“No worries about that, I like my meat lean.”
“But we don’t eat wolves – you shouldn’t eat us.”
“What does that have t
Ink On The Ballroom FloorInk On The Ballroom Floor2 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
Inside my mind stands a single man. This man has grown and evolved, as have I in the real word. But he does something I do in rarity: he dances. He dances to music, alone. He thought he would never dance with another, until one day I met a very special woman. She and I danced, thus he was gifted with a dance partner himself. This man is made out of ink, as is many of the things existing within my mind, and each step is a word written in genius. As they dance I see the beauty created: immortal men, mysterious shadows, the endless expansions of love and the trials one must face, all from their dancesteps.
The Great RaceI crack my knuckles and touch the ground, stretching my calves the way Olympic runners do before a race. The gravel spikes at my palms; my muscles burn from the stretching. Jogging in place, I breathe in short bursts that form into clouds in the chilly air.The Great Race1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
Max paces back and forth next to me, holding a clipboard and waving his pen like a conductor. My body is so full of electricity from the anticipation that I want to slap him as hard as I can just for the sake of letting go of the tension. Instead, I crack my knuckles again, making Max cringe in a satisfying way.
Shaking it off, Max checks his watch before pushing his glasses to the top of his head. “Four minutes,” he says, reading off the clipboard. “The race starts at the fifth period bell. That way, you won’t meet any teachers in the hallways who are running late, but there might be some girls still rushing to class after lunch.” He looks up, scrunching his eyebrows together. “Although I really
Neighbors Through the Glass Revised“Do you know why you’re here?”Neighbors Through the Glass Revised1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
A menacing spotlight shone on me from the direction of the ominous voice. I shivered, looking around frantically in the darkness. Where was I and how did I get there?
A sigh emanated from the darkness, and I managed to stumble out an answer in response.
“No. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“We know you didn’t. But you saw something didn’t you?”
I remembered waving to my neighbor from my pod after I’d gotten home from my assigned job as bookkeeper just like I did every day. He was an elderly gentlemen and he lived directly to the right side of me. Our pods were made of glass, like little glass cubicles stacked one on top of the other just like in a skyscraper office building, as the Government described when they first pitched the ideas to the Citizens. They reminded me of a display case for humans. You could see inside each pod on the right and left of your own pod as far as your eye could str