Posts Tagged ‘short story’


In Fiction, Writing on February 18, 2019 at 6:46 pm

“It shouldn’t be much longer, ma’am,” she says with a reassuring smile.
“I’m in no rush. I’ve nowhere else to be,” I reply, stifling a small giggle as the cherubic face stares blankly back at me, a faint glow seeming to emanate from within her.
“I could think of somewhere else you’d have some use,” comes a growl from beside me. He’s retched, his skin mottled with scars and sores. He smells of rotted meat and I can feel his sour breath in my hair.
“I’m sure,” I say calmly, not bothering to look in his direction nor cower away from him. “But it seems your opinion doesn’t matter that much, since YOUR boss just went to get the big guy.” He snorts into my scalp but retreats to a closed door to my left. The cherub faced girl watches him with disgust from behind the oversized podium standing adjacent to a second door, this one to my right. I sit, my legs crossed under my long flowing skirt, absently kicking one foot out to a rhythm playing in my head. “You know, this can all be sorted out very quickly. Once they come back, it’ll be handled in no time. I have a prepared statement that will guarantee a speedy end.”
The cherub smiles sweetly and nods, glancing at the closed door as if willing it to open and her boss to emerge. I’m watching her, and she blushes slightly. “I’m sorry. I’m just not accustomed, or trained really, in dealing with level 1 tasks. Or associating with… other departments.” She shoots another nauseated look toward her counterpart, who’s sprawled on the floor next to his still closed doorway picking his teeth with a much too long yellowed fingernail.
I’m not sure how long we waited like that, I’ve never been one to intuitively feel the passing of time in terms of minutes or hours. But at some point, much to the relief of the cherub, her door opens. We’re flooded with light as if curtains are pulled back from a perfect spring morning sunshine. Two figures step out and close the door behind them. “Ah, Pete,” I say, recognizing the bearded man who had initially been at the podium when I arrived. “Come to a decision, have we, friends? May I say-“
“Deepest apologies, ma’am,” Pete interrupts, “but no. We will await the others for a conference.” He motions behind him to second man, older and wiser in appearance, also bearded and wearing a long robe. “You will know the creator, I presume.”
I nod curtly. “Of course,” I say, bowing my head in his direction. He mimics my action back to me, but his face stays set in an unreadable expression.
The door to my left flies open, a wave of heat engulfing me. From behind it bounds an enormous hound the likes of which one would hope to never see, accompanied by a tall and mysterious man in a sharp suit.
“We may proceed, as I have arrived,” he purrs, his intense eyes attempting to bore holes right into my thoughts. It won’t work, of course. I do not fall victim to silly games, but he doesn’t know that yet.
“Right, well-“ I begin again, and again am cut off. This time by a long, slender finger adorned with a black jeweled ring extended from the equally long and slender hand at the end of a perfectly tailored suit jacket sleeve.
“No, no, miss. I will hear you out in time. I will be leading this.”
“We,” boomed the older, wiser man. The creator, as Pete had called him. “We will be reviewing the sources and asking some questions to clarify this situation.” His eyes never leave the face of the slender man. The slender man purposefully never meets the wise man’s gaze. If I’m not mistaken, I even see him rolling his eyes discreetly.
Both the slender man and the wise man turn to their peons, the vile man and the cherub girl, an arm extended and open palm up. Instinctively, both peons promptly deliver a thin Manila folder to the waiting hands. The men flip through several pages each, skimming words, tracing the lines with fingers, pausing briefly to read sections in more detail.
“Shall we trade then, son?” The wise man asks, closing his folder and offering it to the slender man.
“No ‘son’,” he spits out, then quickly regains his composure and takes the folder from the wise man, replacing it with his own folder. They quietly review each other’s documents, fingers tapping chins, scratching beards, absently toying with creased paper edges. I find small entertainment in observing the similarities of their mannerisms. I suppose I allowed this to show in the tiniest upward pull of the corners of my mouth.
“What do you find so amusing in this?” The slender man demands. “Is it enjoyable that we’ve convened in this unusual way? Are you soaking in all the confusion you’re causing like it’s an award?”
I quickly straighten my face and clear my throat. “No, not at all. But-“
“Then sit quietly and don’t be a distraction.” His Black bejeweled hand forcefully closes the Manila folder and he turns to the wise man, who follows suit in a moment. “Well, what is your opinion in this?”
The wise man scratches his beard one more time, then slowly begins spinning his thoughts into speech. “Is it possible, for the first time, that we have before us a true neutral? Has this child tipped no scale in favor of one direction? Has she tipped both so equally that it is indistinguishable? Have we both carried equal influence on this one case that we behold neither a sinner, nor a saint?”
“There is no such in existence,” the slender man protests, but the previous power behind his voice waivers ever so slightly. “There has never been before. It is not written in any book or on any parchment or scroll. It just isn’t possible. The mistake has been made somewhere.”
The wise man turns to me, his eyes glazed with uncertainty. “What do you make of this?”
“I’m sorry? You want my opinion?”
“I want to know how you think you got here, and how it makes you feel.”
“How I got here?”
“Not physically here, but in this position,” he clarified, becoming impatient. “Who are you, to you?”
“Of course,” I say, recalling the speech I prepared and quickly making mental edits for the given situation. “Well, sirs, the truth is, I’m not surprised. In my time, I’ve been called many things. I’ve carried many the opinion of others on my back. A villain, a godsend. I’ve been run from, shut out, and welcomed with open arms. I’ve been cursed; I’ve been prayed for. I suppose who I am depends on who you’re asking. I’ve never really held much of an opinion of myself because my own opinion didn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things. I have been obedient and thorough according to what I have been expected to do, and that was the beginning and end of it, really.”
“It’s limbo,” growls the rotted peon, still hunkering on the floor, a fingernail now digging into one ear canal. “We open limbo, like those others asked for, and toss her in.”
The slender man shot him a heated glare and the peon whimpered. “No one asked you.” Turning his attention back to me, he moves closer to where I am seated.
“Your trickery won’t work on me,” I say simply. “There are still pieces to this puzzle you are missing, sirs.”
“Then why don’t you stop playing games and provide all the information at once so we can be done with this waste of time and I can take you with me!” The slender man shouts.
The wise man, still calm and quiet, also moves closer. “Do you have objections to this predicament, or information that has somehow not been included in the records we have been provided?”
Finally. I sigh. “I do, yes. Thank you for asking. I mean, I’m sure you don’t get objections from those granted Level 2 access. And I’m sure every person relegated to Basement Level has excuses aplenty. I have neither acceptance or argument for either, as I belong in neither level.”
The rotted peon clicked his tongue, still indicating his idea of limbo was the answer. The slender man turned in his heels, throwing the Manila folder in the peon’s direction and causing leaf after leaf of crinkled paper containing what they believed was my life story to rain down over the peon’s head. “Collect this useless packet and return to your hole. You’re no longer needed and nothing but nuisance!”
The wise man pleasantly turned to the cherub and handed her his Manila folder. “You may also take this and return to your post, my child,” he said gently. While the rotted peon grumbled and growled as he collected the pages and reluctantly left through the door on the left, the cherub seemed flooded with relief and glowed even more as she bounced away into the door on the right.
“Please, do continue,” the wise man said softly with the tiniest smile.
“Of course. You see, sirs, limbo is also not the answer. As a whole, we have begun and begun again for ages. We have all played our parts, in some form or fashion, to the best of our abilities. You know I am the last left to come before you, something that has never occurred before at any other restart. We have run our span – all three of us – and the time has come, my friends.” As I speak, I see their faces morphing with understanding. I stand from my chair and approach them slowly, my hands extended and each holding a small laminated card with a faded grey image of a stallion on the front, the last two I’ve ever held in my pockets.
“This is an outrage!” The slender man exploded. He snatched the card from my palm and tossed it to the side. “Father, fix this!”
The wise man took the stallion card and turned it over in his hands, slowly taking it in. After a few moments, he turned to the slender man. “Now you ask a favor of me? You recognize me as what I am, as what I always have been?” He turns back to me, his face still pleasant and soft. “This is most unusual, child. We’ve never been here before, but I do know the original blueprints did not extend forever. There are no more plans to be laid?”
I shake my heads slowly. “This is the final assignment I’ve received. Both of you, and then I, myself, will cease to exist. There will be no further need for me, you see.”
The slender man blows a great puff of air out of his lungs, obviously still not accepting the situation. “Does this not anger you?” he bellows into my face.
“It is the way it is to be, so there is no point in anger when it cannot change the plans.” I fold my hands in front of me but keep them visible from underneath my flowing sleeves. I look to the wise man, who nods almost imperceptibly, and turn back to face the slender man, who has stopped huffing and puffing and is standing quite still, though his eyes are red with fury. “I have come, fallen one, to guide you from this realm. You are aware of your final placement, as that will not change. Your influence on the way of the world will cease and you will no longer gain access to other levels.” I turn to face the wise man again. “I have come, father, to guide you from this realm. You are aware of your final placement, as that will not change. Your influence on the way of the world will cease and you will no longer gain access to other levels.’ The wise man places his palms flat together, then touches his fingertips to his mouth with a slight bow of his head. He moves toward the glowing doorway behind him, ready to join his cherub faced girl. The glowing intensifies, as if the doorway even knows what is to come. The slender man remains a statue in his spot. I raise my hands up. “You have been called, Lucifer. You have been called, God.” I snap my fingers and in the brief second that takes, the wise man steps through his glowing doorway. The slender man is pulled, as if by a large magnet, toward his door. He does not fight but does not cooperate either. He is swallowed into the heat, and both doors close quickly. I watch in silence as the gap between the door and the frame begins to fuse, radiating light and heat, until there is no longer an opening. The brass door handles are the last to melt into the flat wall until there is nothing left.
I feel a warm tingling beginning in my toes and look down to see my own body wavering.   Raising my eyes to where the doorways had stood only moments ago, the vision of a grey stallion forms before me and I stretch out my arms to catch the long flowing mane and pull myself up. “Good boy,” I coo into the stallion’s ear as I stroke his neck. The wavering and fading of my lower body reaches all the way to the tips of my fingers and my vision started to fade. Through flickering sight, like a light switch being rapidly flicked on, off, on again, I see my stallion also shimmering in and out of existence. “We are done, old friend. We are Death, and we have been called.”

Copyright © 2019

Super Shorts – Little Twinkles

In Fiction, Personal, Writing on March 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm

It started as just little twinkles. Quick flashes like soft, colorful fireflies in pinks, greens, and purples.  They danced on her eyelids and she yearned to be closer to them.  She reached for them, stretching her arms and straining her vision.  Their intensity grew and she knew she was near.

Vibrant blues and reds overtook the pastel hues and she could hear something.  A vibration, no – a whisper. Now a humming in the distance, getting louder and more distinct with each second.  Voices, noises…it sounded like a party.  The lights were still spinning around her and it made her feel like she was the guest of honor at a festive disco.  She imagined this was how a celebrity felt – lights flashing, blurred faces quickly in and out of focus as she passed them, all wishing to talk to her for just a moment, touch her, as she made her grand entrance into the gala being held just for her.  A face hovered in her vision longer than the others, a man likely near her age with warm hazel eyes.  A spinning disco ball threw flashes of the bright lights all over her and all around the room, the voices swelled around her, and the host illuminated her with a soft white spotlight.

She was transfixed by the light.  She gazed longingly at it, unconsciously moving towards it as if a magnet was pulling her to its source. It was warm and shimmered on her skin and she was covered in fine silver glitter. She reached out to the light, sensing that her fingers were only inches from being able to grasp its origin.  Anticipation ran through her body like static, tingling her nerves and tickling the fine hairs on her arms.  Just as she knew she was there, the crowd rushed in, surrounding her.  They were excited, frantic almost.  Their manic movement was starting to put distance between her and the source of the lovely light.  She reached farther, strained harder, closing the gap, when the crowd swelled and she was pushed forcefully backward by a hard hit to her chest.  It knocked the air out of her and she flinched.

In that instant, the soft, warm light began to pulse and quickly transformed. It became harsh, like staring at a fluorescent light while suffering a migraine.  The warmth was gone and she felt a chilled breeze brush her skin.  The voices were still present behind a low roar in her ears, but not excited and happy.  They were concerned, emotional, and she couldn’t see the faces they were coming from.  The light was so painfully bright now, she couldn’t stand to face it any longer.  She turned her head to shield her vision, and felt a sharp pain run down her neck and into back.  She winced, but it worked. She could see, and all the shimmering flecks of glitter slowly took shape as bits and pieces of glass surrounding her, reflecting flashing lights from the distance.

Slowly, she recognized that one voice was rising above the roar.  It was calm, sweet almost, saying her name.  Even slower, she was able to focus on a face slightly above her, his warm hazel eyes.

“You’re going to be okay,” he said reassuringly.  “Don’t try to move. You’ve been in an accident, but everything is going to be okay.”

Copyright © 2016

Super Shorts – To Rebuild

In Fiction, Mostly True, Writing on October 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm

She stood silently at the edge of the porch, elbows resting on the railing with camcorder in hand.  She looked at me when I stepped up next to her, only for a second before returning her eyes to the yard.  Her expression was unreadable.

I stared at the patch of cut grass, no bigger than space enough for a child’s playhouse.  The lawnmower droned on and I watched him.  The determination on his face and in his movements was unmatchable.  He grabbed hold of the handle, prepping himself, and gave a hard push with one arm.  The other arm lay on the arm rest of his chair, his hand delicately and precisely moving the small joystick to put him in motion.  Repositioning, another shove, rolling his wheelchair forward a few more inches, navigating around the swing set that sat rusting from 2 years of no use while they had been gone.

It was hard to speak, to break the silence of being mesmerized by his tedious and obviously tiring work.  But I did.  “He mowed this patch?”

She hit a button on the camcorder and set it on the railing in front of her, then nodded.  “First time he’s tried doing this since the accident.”


“He’s been out here over an hour.  He won’t let me do it.”

“Sounds about right…”

“He wanted to try.  He found a way to do it.  Halfway through that section he yelled for me to bring the camera out.  He wanted it on tape.”

I turned my gaze back to him.  A task – a chore even – that most dread.  A chore that 2 years ago took him less than an hour to fully complete.  A task that meant nothing when he walked on 2 legs, when his arms were sculpted from weight lifting and didn’t have muscle damage, when his body hadn’t been through more major surgeries than I could remember.  I wanted to cry – for her almost losing the love of her life and seeing his constant struggles, for him losing the future he imagined for himself because of one tiny second and a vehicle malfunction. But then I looked back at her and she was smiling, beaming even. 

I looked back at him.  Sweating, flushed, concentrating so hard, struggling but not giving up – and proud.  Proud, and so very happy.  I watched him – repositioning, pushing, rolling, guiding, bumping the swings, hitting the shed slightly, shaking his arm out to loosen his tired muscles, smiling, singing, waving to the porch, presenting his mowed patches to us with a sweep of his arm. Rebuilding.

Copyright © 2015

Super Shorts – Six Months

In Fiction, Writing on August 31, 2015 at 10:15 pm

I wish he’d go away.  I ignore him.  I refuse to look at him.  I don’t respond when he calls to me.  Just when I think he’s getting the hint, just when 10 minutes goes by without his voice or his face, he’s there again and my stomach drops to the floor.  He’s so needy, desperate and demanding for attention, and I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore.  Before, things were different.  I needed him, too.  I wanted to see his face – early morning, lunch time, evening, in the shadows of the dark bedroom at night.  I used to crave hearing his voice say my name, say those private things and those lovely words, say anything at all as long as it was to me.  And now all I want is for him to leave.  It wasn’t sudden.  It took a while.  I fought it at first, thinking that while it was different, it was still something I could make work.  But I can’t.  It’s gone on too long; its become much too hard for me.  I don’t know what else to do, because it’s as though he doesn’t hear me when I tell him I need him gone.  He doesn’t hear me when I tell him that I need to move on with my life, without him being a part of it.  He doesn’t hear me when I tell him it’s been six months like this with neither of us getting anywhere.  Six months since I told him good-bye.  Six months that I’ve tried to start a new life.  Six months that every single day has been stopped in its tracks when he appears again.  Six months that I’ve been trying to convince him that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen.  Six months since he was buried…

Copyright © 2015

Rows of the Deceased

In Fiction, Writing on October 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

As promised, here is one of my first legitimate fiction writings.  It was for a writing portfolio for a class I was in many, many years ago and I ended up getting an almost-perfect grade on both this writing and the portfolio as a whole.  I intend to revisit this writing at some point to flesh it out a little bit, update it so it’s more mature, etc., but I haven’t taken the time yet.  So I give this to you, Blog World, in its original form straight out of the mind of 17-year-old me.

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An Explanation

In Personal on September 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

As I explained in my “Who, Me?”, I’m newly open about writing and putting myself out there.  So why, after all my years, did I decide to just go for it?  In a recent battle with light-weight insomnia, I threw this little explanation together…

Writing has always interested me. I was gifted with words from a young age. One of my mothers favorite stories to tell is when I definitively declared “This is disgusting” in reference to some food at one year old. Between three and four I taught myself to read with little guidance or trouble. I remember being one of the few children, if not the only one, in my head-start class that could read an entire sentence when the teacher wrote it on the chalkboard. I loved being tasked with creative writing activities in elementary and middle school. This was also when I began to dabble in my own personal short stories in my free time. Read the rest of this entry »

Singing Heart

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