Practice Makes Perfect.
— by GeoffW —
Life had never been easy for me. After-all, being born with such a rare birth-defect certainly had its low points. Especially the broken bones. Although I lead a some-what normal life, I had always felt an anger burning deep within. An anger at not only my predicament, but the world around me... “Ma'am..” I called out as a tall blonde haired woman crossed my path. She glanced over as the dim streetlights danced over her shoulders, revealing a tender smile. A smirk grew across my face. “I dropped my cell just a ways back, I can't seem to reach it.. ” I said as I motioned toward the road that lay behind. With a push of a joystick my power wheelchair sped forward as she followed close behind. I pointed toward the ground near a large green waste bin. “Sorry, I'm such a klutz..” I joked as she stepped forward and knelt down. A loud clatter echoed from above as a murder of crows scattered from the rooftops and took flight. Startled, the woman glanced up, only to scream out in pain. My heart beat frantically. A tall dark figure stepped out from behind the bin, gazing down at the ax that now protruded from the poor woman's head. A thick flow of red wept from the wound while her body jerked and flailed for a moment, only to grow still and silent. I glanced up at the dark figure as a spurt of warm blood splashed across my face. “James,” I whispered as a small chuckle escaped my lips. “We're getting good at this.”
Would It Even Matter
— by Habbie —
I'm twenty years old, six months from twenty-one, and nothing I've ever done in my life has meant anything more than blowing dust in the wind. I never saved someone's life, never made a difference in the world, never raised money for a good cause, never did good or even evil. I just existed, gliding easily along without a responsibility or care in the world. Five years spent without a care, only my brother as company, barefoot in the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Fourteen years without having to spend more than a minute on a thought, tests and essays fell before me like everything else in my life, bowing down like serfs to a king. Eighteen years without independence, without that weight on my back. Eighteen years where food, and clothes, and pleasure were obvious rights. Two years away from home and I'm dying. Two years on my own, in a dorm or an apartment, and I don't have the drive to continue. My parents, those that pampered me for eighteen years, tell me I don't know what to do with my life. The only thing that keeps me going is the most recent three years of my useless life. Three years with someone to stand beside, to kiss, to dedicate my life and time to. Three years where I didn't only have myself to care about. What if that falls away? What if I no longer have anyone to live for but myself? Would it even matter to the universe if I simply stopped existing?
— by Writer_9d69x —
I was sitting on that patchwork bit of train. That particular carriage, it just goes back and forth between the sea and the city. I was watching him with the light getting in his eyes. It was just like that. A bit of orange making him squint and I knew it was over. We’d see each other some other time, but for now it was over. I was too young to gaze out of the window and smile to myself quietly. I threw him another look. He turned to me and squinted. Older than me, but he was a young man. I was in uncomfortable territory. There was usually at least eight years of experience between myself and a lover, and this man was only a year older than me. Not enough to be grateful for or mesmerised by that look I threw. It was designed for people who were already missing what it felt like to be lost at 4am or the house still being as cold as outdoors. When you start craving baked beans or poverty noodles, just to please the nostalgic belly in your well nourished body, that’s when you are ready for that smile I can make. But this man, this young man, he stepped off that train. All goodbyes good byes. See you soon, doll, see you soon. Fifteen years later he told me that when he was a boy, a little desert boy with the sea at his side like a dog, they’d built Dubai all over his shifting, hissing sand. I am rain and slate and cobblestones and I never understood what squinting meant to somebody used to the sun. I didn't know that those who spend their lives squinting look happiest old.
The Eyebrow Kid
— by Writer_6e66x —
George Sparling P.O. Box 676 Arcata, California 95518 firstname.lastname@example.org The Eyebrow Kid I shaved the very thick inner halves of both eyebrows today. I feel proud, and when people stare at them, I lift my forehead, happy face, and then furl the half brows, sad face. I flick them quickly up and down, until the person is bored or sickened and leaves me alone. That’s all I want out of life, solitude. It’s surprising how dreams come true. I apply Vaseline for them to grow back faster so I can resume another cycle of half brows. It works well with people who hang with me too much. They stay away, thinking I’m psychotic, but a sharp blade brings me peace of mind. I’m known in town as the eyebrow kid, that lunatic half out of his mind, half an eyebrow short of brains. So if you see me, I dare you to stare at the two half brows. You’ll find me so repulsive you won’t dare be my friend.
My First Death
— by Writer_6e66x —
My First Death by George Sparling email@example.com I see the broken neck, crooked, out of alignment with the teenage boy’s spine. And the contorted sloppiness of his borzoi-thin legs, collapsed, only cubists can admire. Though, at first, I found the body obscene, I’m entranced by the exotic twist of his bent corpse. He lies partially obscured by a Harley-Davidson. Mt. Hood, its gleaming background snow glistens in rain-sparkled night. Memory trace: The final scenes of “2001: A Space Odyssey”---its gaudy-white dining room, Dave Bowman seated at the cosmological goodbye table, then he’s phased into a transparent, glowing sphere in earth’s orbit. I fall in love with the pureness of light, the boy’s spotless, nacreous shirt, stressing the kid’s diminutive, fairytale torso: An Oregonian pieta, with Virgin Mary high on drugs, off somewhere, I see his spirit, a trickle of blood seeping out his mouth. A man with a camera snaps photos of this scene and if you exposed the roll of film in the car’s high-beam headlights shining on the dead, only blankness would remain. This boy’s highway statistic might purge religion, giving solely the yeasty rise of dough, the aloneness of bread. Now, I blink the dead motorcyclist back into existence. I yearn for another looming, white-goddess mountain, and a stranger’s corpse at its capricious flanks.
— by Writer_6e66x —
"Rats" by George Sparling "The dead are more dead each night." —Mark Strand The dying dot of phosphorescence from the television set shrivels into a radiated gray blank. I sit in this hotel room looking at her sleep; we have made love two times this evening. I stare at her slim leg outside the sheet. This scuffed room, orange stains from leaking pipes on the ceiling, me, naked except for a paisleyed shirt with a scraggly hole below my heart. The threadbare, jade green carpet, worn through to the floor, perhaps to let me see a luminous fresh creek flowing swift and clear underneath my bony feet. Peanut shells are scattered on the rug. I see fingerprints through the warm glass of Chablis. She moves slowly away to the far side of the bed, her legs covered, her back turned. There’s an ink stain, an indelible, nickel-sized blot on the sheet wrapped hermetically around her shoulders. The night is still. Two dead rats in a burlap bag.
— by lizvanburen —
"Jesus." Another tidal wave of hot coffee spills out onto my blouse while my other hand frantically pulls at the static-infested pile of sweaters. I have limited time to get out of here and my bag is only half-packed. My morning breath is laced with last night's whiskey but right now I don't have time to remedy this with anything more than scalding hot coffee. Perhaps a day-old gas station cinnamon bun once I leave. The nomad's delicacy. I only gave myself one rule for when I'm on the run: don't get attached. Make no friends, take no lovers. At least none that mean anything. Like the guy who gave me a dollar when we both watched my last one slink out of my hand and down the sewer. He later bought me a drink and made-out with me by the vomit-stained dart board. Killed two birds with one stone there. (Also: can we see why I need to get out of this place?) And so far I've done just that. But as I back out of the hotel room, careful to latch the rickety screen door, a stray cat perches itself at my blistered bare feet. It stares up at me with this face full of innocence- wide-eyed, ears at attention- but also darting shame through me. It feels like ten whole minutes of this stare down before one of us makes a move. It's the cat, who now curls its way around my ankles like a rattlesnake catching its next victim. (Is this really how I'm going to die?) No. Instead, something about this cat's expression says that we are on the same journey. Breaking our same rule, we walk together down to the parking lot and I let her into the passenger seat of my car.
— by Writer_5038x —
Chilled morning air revivified his senses as he peered around the empty landscape. Rolling hills cowered underneath overcast skies running for miles reaching endless horizons. Bracing winds cut through his thin wool sweater steeped in stale alcohol and cigarette ash. He could have been here for days, for weeks and the scene would have been as breath-taking. He was miles from home, far from friends, family, anyone he knew, loved or ever cared about. He was at peace. If he could stay here for one more day he could. Where home was, he would never know. Another day lay ahead where he would search for his next sunrise. Another place to dwell alone and undisturbed. He just wondered where it had all gone so wrong.
— by Writer_5038x —
Candles flickered in unison dancing in the twilight casting elongated shadows across the threadbare floor. One for each parent. Same time every year. On the anniversary of their deaths jasmine scented tendrils fill the air, Who would think a smouldering wicker could represent a life? Memories both joyful and forgettable drift in and out of awareness as both flames continue burning despite the murk. A solitary vigil for those who have been lost. A testament to what has been replaced. A jar filled of wax could never fill what has fallen at the hands of the inexorable. Whether the void will be occupied with anything else other than tears and mourning seems unlikely. Wait for the day the candles burn out. Start all over again. Where will it lead to from here? Same time again next year I guess.
TheShortestFiction.com is a flash fiction site, with a twist. Step one — pick a photo. Step two — write an ultra short story, under 300 words, inspired by that photo. It doesn't have to be exact or explicit. The photo is a guide to help jump-start your imagination. Photos change often, so be sure to check back.
The more friends you have using TheShortestFiction.com, the more likely your stories are to end up on the front page. That'll lead to a lot more readers and and a lot more followers.