Short Stories

“Self Amnesia” Short Story

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The clock was set precisely at 6:00am. The motion of schedules set him free from the rotation of his father’s girlfriends and their monotonous bicker.

6:10am his bed was made and his room roughly cleaned. 20 minutes later, he had taken a shower and was dressed. 6:40am he had made his father and temporary stepmother their lunches, the pair too busy swapping compliments for insults, frowns for smiles.

There was something Ryan had forgotten.

But, it must not be important.

Ryan kept his face blank until he had emerged from the gray apartment building. His family was a hurricane, and he was glad to leave it.

“Good morning, Ry!” Tina waved.

“Good morning!” Ryan grinned, watching Tina’s green eyes as they disappeared behind a stack of college papers.

The sun toasted his dark brown skin like bacon on a grill. The opened windows of the public bus provided little escape from the heat. The sweet, slightly salty flavor of the coming summer days was apparent, despite the layers of winter people refused to shed. Ryan still wore his favorite army green peacoat, not wanting to acknowledge the void months of June and July. His middle school years had passed by too rapidly.

He was grateful when he spotted Octa boarding the bus. She walked hurriedly, and then collapsed besides him on the rubbery, blue seats. Her presence filled the space his wandering, anxious thoughts had attempted to penetrate.

There was something Ryan was forgetting.

“The bus is earlier than usual.”

“Mhm..” Ryan nodded.

The conversation sat at a standstill.

“So…” She paused. “How do you feel about the exam?” She sighed, eyes wide from pulling another all nighter.

“Math or science?”

“Science. Math is Monday. It’s Friday, remember?”

That must have been what he had forgotten…right?

“I can’t believe this is our final full week. I still haven’t even gotten over leaving Tyson Elementary.”

“It wasn’t that great,” She mumbled, eyes averted.

“I thought it was. So is Rosewood.”

“Well, hopefully high school will be good.”  Octa fiddled with her red hair.

“Still not use to your pixie cut?”

“Nope,” She laughed.

They spent the rest of the ride in silence. Octa was flipping desperately through the pages of her science textbook, reciting the words under her breath, while Ryan worked vigorously on his short film script. The movie would be his submission to the theater academy at his high school. Freshman rarely made the cut, but Ryan hoped he would be an exception.

Eventually, his mind wandered from the brightly lit screen. His gaze was beckoned towards the smears of colors rushing past the window. He observed their gradual descent into tangible objects as the bus braked.

He wished his abstract worry would materialize in his mind.

What could it be?

Ryan slung his black bag on one shoulder, helping Octa with her rolly backpack. Octa checked her watch, and her eyes widened.

“Shit!”

“What?” Ryan said.

“It’s 8:15am!” Octa shouted.

“How?”

Ryan looked up at the bus as it sped away in a haze of red and white. He shook his head, laughing like an idiot.

“Oh,” He said. “We took the wrong bus. Our bus has an extra stripe.”

“Well,” Octa took a deep breath in. “We better run.”

A twenty minute walk was shortened to a fifteen minute, half jog/half stop and pant in sheer exhaustion. Octa was cursing up a storm, while Ryan was struggling to put one foot in front of the other. He regretted lying about taking soccer to opt out of gym.

“That’s enough exercise for today,” Ryan panted.

Octa giggled, flicking off the sweat from her forehead. “I wish I hadn’t gotten these bangs”

“Maybe my buzzcut isn’t so bad after all.”

The two laughed for as long as their deflated lungs would allow. Together, they slowly winded down the hallways of the open campus, mindlessly following their usual path to home room. Once they had made their final turn, they looked up from their phones and realized something was wrong.

Image result for school aesthetic

“Why are the hallways so empty?”

“Because we’re late, silly,” Octa replied, turning the knob of a door labeled “Room 42”.

“Wait,” She turned the doorknob, pulling more forcefully. “Um,” Her breathing became rapid as she tried for the door again.

“The door must be jammed. I’ll fix it.” Ryan said, but he knew better.

They were both out of shape, but he was by far the weaker one, even though he was one of the tallest kids his age.

He tried the door knob, and, as expected, it did not budge.

Ryan clenched his fist and poised it over the metal surface, about to knock.

“Wait!” Octa screamed.

There was a flicked of darkness, as if the sun had been cracked like a light bulb. His vision adjusted quickly, and he decided to take no notice of the sudden blackout.

“R…Ryan?” Octa’s voice drifted from behind.

“Ya?” Ryan tentatively turned around.

Something about Octa’s voice…it put him on edge. Her expression did not help his unease. She looked, no, not looked, but stared at him. Her eyes bulged like saucer plates creased in heavy shadows, lips quivering uncontrollably in the same jagged curves as a sound wave.

Suddenly, her body convulsed, bending inwards as several things shot through her chest. He turned around, and saw a familiar face holding a small handgun.

“Brice?” Ryan asked.

Brice, or whoever it was, did not seem to hear him, or see him at all. He dashed away, tennis shoes thumping against the concrete. The rhythm of his steps was soon replaced by the heavy downfall of rain. His clothes did not soak through, and neither did Octa’s, as she slowly stood up.

“What the hell happened?” Ryan screamed against a crack of thunder.

“I think,” Octa whispered. “I think we’re dead”

***

Ryan remembered. His self inflicted amnesia faded as soon as he saw that gun.

It had been Brice. He was certain of it.

Brice was a quiet kid with no distinguishable features. He fit in a crowd like a tree in a forest. No one ever thought Brice had an edge for violence. He did not flaunt weapons or talk nonstop about first person shooting games.

Actually, when Ryan first met Brice, he had thought they were quiet similar. Sure, Brice was rather bland on the surface, but Ryan saw a spark underneath his introversion. Ryan had hoped to help Brice get out of his shell, to reveal to the world the powerful heartbeat that lied in his fragile rib cage.

Ryan regretted the innocent deed.

He stuck with Brice even after what he knew, what he knew of Brice’s intentions. He had known of this day. Well, maybe not consciously, but within the archives of his brain lied that date. May 29. Wear red and pink stripes.

This is a test you’ll pass, Brice had said, laughing. I’ll still need you alive if I’m going to fulfill my promise. And you know me~I never leave a good friend hanging.

Ryan whimpered. He remembered the promise they made.

“We’ll deal with your father. Together.” Brice’s voice cackled, overpowering the thunder, overpowering all logic as Ryan ran towards the cacophony of nature and man, desperate to escape the echoing sounds of his guilt. 

111

THE END

 

Media Sources:

Rain Photo

School Photo

Rain Gif

Short Stories

“The Universe Beckons” Short Story

f3b8d14eac0331eda56d5998f089f800-daz2ni8.jpgDrawing by “RichardLittlewood” on Deviant Art

***

He knew the whispers like the back of his hand. Well, the back of his right hand. His left hand was interwoven with a series of interlacing strings, all from needles his mother kept in him like a pin cushion. They curled and snaked around his knuckles and veins in continuous, pattern less loops.

Most days he would pretend to not have a left hand. It made ignoring the pain easier.

He knew the words by heart, but he waited for the voices to grow louder before taking action. He climbed down his stargazing post upon the tall oak, and hopped onto a small balcony. From there, he arrived into his room.

It was decorated to a boy’s dream. The walls were painted a dark blue, and glow in the dark stars were stuck onto the ceiling. Dinosaurs lined the floor and his bed. His sheets were of galaxies and astronauts. He fantasized of one day growing up to be an astrologist or paleontologist.

He jumped down the spiraling stair steps, making his way from the third floor to the basement. He hummed with the whispers as he stamped along, his shoulders relaxed and smile wide.

“Come down the stairs little boy. Won’t you give us another toy? Give us a needle from the back of your hand. Give us a piece of the heart in your chest.” He mumbled.

The tune was similar to that Old St. Nick song on the radio. His mother never explained who the man was, besides pointing at a chubby, red jumpsuit wearing figure in one of her patterned pieces of fabric.

It did not bother Timothy, though, and he enjoyed the song for being just a song. Just as he enjoyed the whispers for being just that.

The basement was damp, with a thin layer of water and dust floating over the floor. It had the same spongy feel as a drenched carpet. He was uncertain of what the carpet looked like, what color it had been.

Jimmy did not know a lot of things. He did not even know what his mother’s face looked like. Whenever he asked her about it, she would cry. Though it broke his heart to see her upset, it was nice to hear the sobs. It was nice to hear her, to hear something in her room besides the loud chatter of her sewing machine or the loud smack of a switch as it pierced his hind.

Jimmy winced as the water invaded the insides of his tennis shoes. He sped back up to the top of the first floor stairs to grab his yellow rain boots. He always sped through the first floor, running as fast as he could while at the same time remaining soundless. It was easy enough to do, most nights. However, he had lingered for too long. As he worked in helpless panic to untie his triple knotted shoes, his father awoken.

The whispers grew agitated, transforming into blood curdling screams. His father smelled of smoke but not of alcohol, having a soft, vulnerability to him with his sad, drooping black eyes and balding head. His tweed jacked was a light gray, and it rustled open to a white tank as he ran towards Jimmy.

“Why are you here still?” He whined. “You should have left! You should leave..leave before it is too late.”

The words were barely audible over the floods of incoherent chatter. Jimmy could barely process the information, but, all he knew was that mother got angry and hurtful when his father was mentioned, and so did the voices. From that, Jimmy could conclude that, either way, what his father was saying was bad, and that he was just bad overall.

“Get away from me you mean man!” Jimmy kicked his father, pushing him back into a moldy brown armchair.

“No, you don’t understand!” He whispered, his eyelids slowly closing shut, tears streaming down his cheeks.

Jimmy sighed in relief, and, once he had secured on his boots, he jumped down the steps, splashing in the water with giddy.

“Hello”. The voices all harmonized, as a tall, hunched figure appeared in front of Jimmy. Its body was made of rough, scrambled lines, like the remnants of a rough sketch. The shadows danced around it, forming a white outline.

“Do you have another toy? Another part of your heart? Something else to give me?”

Jimmy grinned. “Of course! Check this out!”

He revealed a stuffed velociraptor, his favorite toy. Its claws extended outward, moving up and down in energized excitement.

“Marvelous!” A bright white tendril emerged from the being’s outline. Like a hot iron to ice, the stuffed animal melted into its form.

For a quick moment, Jimmy was able to see the dinosaur, named “Ranger”, outlined in gray among the being’s body. Soon, it faded into the rest of the darkness.

“Oh, little boy,” The being chuckled. “Your heart is so bottomless. You’re such a good boy. So..pure.”

Something was bothering the little boy. A spark of curiosity gone array in a flamboyant display, he knew better than to ask, but he had to know the answer.

“I know he is bad, but, I could not stop thinking about.” The being fell aback, as if in surprise.  

“I could not..get it out of my head. I, when I was there, and he, he was there, he told me, to run, to escape this place before..before it was too late.” Jimmy spit out the words like poison.  

The being listened attentively, though its body shook, as if a wrapped bedsheet slowly becoming undone.

“What…what is this place? I know you told me it is a place where my dreams are reality, a place of happiness and paradise. And I am enjoying the place, yes, yes, I…love it here. I love you, I love mom, and, I suppose I don’t even mind dad.”

“But…my dad. He is so miserable. I know he is a bad person but…what about mother? She can’t even show her face…she can be a bad person too, hitting me, using me like a mannequin or tool, but…I still love her. I still…I still want my family to be happy. Even if they are bad…bad people.” Jimmy gained confidence as he spoke.

At the end of his ramble, he was able to look up directly at the being, a being whose comforting warmth had been drained to frostbitten cold.

“You!…” The being seemed ready to burst from its container, whatever container had been binding it into its lump like form.

“No,” It sighed, and the cloak around its mysterious figure relaxed. “I suppose eventually, you would figure out. You are nine, after all. A big boy now, eh?” It chuckled.

“Well, of course, no one here is good. It is an equivalent to Hell, I suppose. Yet, it is worse. Oh, it is worse.” The being approached him until its jagged lines poked at the boy’s flesh like rose thorns. When Jimmy began to bleed, it stepped back and cried.

“I tried to give you Heaven, Nirvana, Summerland, whatever you want to call it. Oh, I can’t, I can’t, we can’t,” The voices cried, conjoined from one supreme tone. Only then did he realize they sounded like..like children.

Children like him. Children who were hiding under this cloak. Children like him who had been…too late. Too late for what?

“Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy,” They whined. “We are all bad people stuck on this island. Bad people who have done things before or after death. We are all bad people except…you. But we were greedy so we dragged you here, oh Jimmy, I’m sorry. You lived for only a few minutes. We thought we could help you…we thought we could help ourselves”.

“But it’s too late for any of us. It is too late for you, too, sweet Jimmy.”

The cloak surrounding the children began to tighten, swelling up like a balloon before drifting towards the ceiling. The cloak was suspended over Jimmy’s head as the middle began to tighten. Feet were flailing towards the back end, flapping like fish trying to swim through air.

Out of curiosity, Jimmy moved towards the bone white limbs.

His mouth hung agape at the sight of the wiry children. Their eyes were the same black as his father’s, and stretched to cover most of their face, even creeping up towards the back of their head. Either they were entirely bald or had sparse hair, and their lips were thin circles barely stretching out to scream as they were squeezed into oblivion. Instead of skin and guts exploding in disarray towards the tunneled opening, the cloak drifted down and revealed not carcasses, but toys. His stuffed animal, Ranger, lied on the tarp, suspending its exceedingly heavy load above the water layer.

Jimmy reached out for Ranger, and brought the toy, still warm, to his chest in comfort. He rocked steadily, rhythmically patting the stuffed animal’s head as he faced forward in cold expression. Guided by a spark of madness, by the echoes of loneliness, by the mental jumblement of confusion, Jimmy began to scream.

“Where am I?! Where did you bring me to?!”

“Welcome,” Ranger turned his head 180, his eyes soullessly looking above to his owner. “Welcome to the Assigning.” His mouth moved in sharp, incoherent jolts. “ Welcome to becoming a god.”

“A god…? That does not sound so bad.” Jimmy pondered. “Why would, why would,” His eyes widened, and, suddenly, he realized.

He realized everything.

He realized so much of what he questioned, so much of what he wondered about.

The reason his mother worked so vigorously was because she was the goddess of creation. And, when she hurt him, that was not her fault…she was just playing the flip side of that…the goddess of destruction.

His father was so soothing yet elusive due to him being the god of sleep. He was to tangle with the brain for needed rest, to battle the subconscious for understanding and clarity, to produce dreams and to rally nightmares.

The children were the gods and goddesses, the deity of love. They released it, as they did with his nurturement, and they would absorb it, as they did through his art pieces and creations which were, literally, from the heart.

On the surface, none of these positions sound bad. However, his enlightenment made him realize that while their line of work was good and produced happiness, they will never be happy. His father would forever remain restless, and desperately seek slumber through others. The children will forever remain unloved, and will, in the same manner, seek it through others.

His mother, and…himself, too…will be entirely void. Since they are the universe, they, themselves, are nothing. They are void of personality, void of interaction, void of life, void of death, void of anything which can relate them back to the beautiful world they have become.

He had realized too much.

“Stop, stop,” He cried, clutching his pulsing brain, which radiated with the all, the all of time, space, life…all of what is, what was, and what will be. Moments aged him like centuries. In his metamorphosis was the clear display of his godly awe, of his power and its retribution. Even the most carefree and ignorant of spirits would be hardened by this burdensome task. The god of knowledge had no room for the wonder or play he had cherished and cultivated with such deep care.

His sole job was to know, and in insultaniously he had done so. He held his mother’s thread of creation within mental bindings. However, it will take an eternity truly know it all, to truly see and experience it all. He would, is, and will have to sort through its loose strings, its changing hues, its wiggling and unpredictable shapes. He was a genius, yet one can never predict endlessness or chaos, except to suppose it will always be present and never stagnant.

 

Short Stories

“Sun Floaters” Short Story

It came as a bloated shadow eclipsing the sun.  

If the sky was clear that crisp morning, it would have been an obvious intrusion. However, that day, the sky was clogged with brown dust, and it took me several moments to become alert to its presence.

I regret wasting precious time in ignorance, for I knew it was more than the usual passersby, more than the usual threat.

I launched myself up, and allowed the wind to take me to the nearest grassy field. Most of us were farmers, harvesting the tall green stalks for food.

I was one of the few who guarded the community. Those of my trade were positioned on the nearby sandy plains, looking up for danger. The area was good for making clear observations, though relaying such information back to the general public was strenuous. Fortunately, I found a father and daughter pair on the community’s outskirts.

“Excuse me, sir and ma’am,” I pulled the two aside, their blue eyes staring into mine.

“What is it?” The father asked.

“I’m a nearby patrol, and I saw…well,” I looked over towards his daughter, who was a young girl of 4 months, and lowered my voice. “I saw a Sun Floater”.

His face became expressionless, his entire body still. I prodded his side, and he began to jerk around uncontrollably.

“Tell the others, as many as you can.” I spoke slowly, trying to keep eye contact with his moving figure. “I will remain out here and continue observing it. Okay?”

He stopped shaking. I wondered if he had heard me, but then he turned around, signaled his daughter to follow, and headed deeper into the thicket. I sighed in relief.

Suddenly, I felt a large thump from above. My vision become blurred by particles flown up from the impact. I closed my eyes and kept them shut until the atmosphere calmed. Once I regained my sight, I was surrounded by gray bodies, including the father and daughter I had encountered.

I knew there would be not escape once we emerged from the ocean, so we had to act, quick. I shouted for everyone to get up, and to follow my lead. I began chomping on the surrounding bundled net, and the others did the same. Though we were all working together, we were making minimal progress. I looked around desperately for another solution, and recalled something my patrol officer had mentioned about Sun Floaters.

She had told us that while Sun Floater’s were powerful creatures, their exterior armor was rather weak. I pushed up towards their flabby appendix and clamped down on it with all my might, and hoped for the best. Immediately, we were flung away towards their backside, and sunk back down to the surface.

As we cheered for our freedom, I noticed something rather odd. From my studies of these creatures, they supposedly had a total of four limbs, all covered in a brown hued coating which occasionally had an extra, multi colored layer.

However, this being seemed to have three limbs. There were the normal two at the front, but, then, instead of two more at the back, there was just one long, fish like tail. It was covered in hypnotic, iridescent scales.

All I could do was watch it swim away, and wonder what such a creature could be, and how such a contradicting combination of earth and water could exist.

Short Stories

“Comfort Zone” (an LGBTQ Story)

The short story was inspired by the song “She Likes Girls” by Metro Station.

“Come on Ben, go talk to her,” My brother said, his arm already wrapped around the waist of a waitress.
///
She giggled, and he squeezed her tighter.
///
Well, that’s easy advice to give. Of course I should go talk to her! It’s a club, after all. Well, not exactly a club. Yes, the place is called “Rodeo Night Club”. But, it felt too polished and…not trashy or dancy enough to qualify. If anything, it veered towards a western style diner, with cowboys and…cowgirls….
///
Of course, I would go over and talk to her! I just needed time. It’s not that easy to pick up chicks. Especially when…when there was so many of them around…and so many of them looked so nice…and….
///
“Geez,” I blushed, and I fought to keep an uplifted tone. “Why don’t you bug ‘lil sis for a while? She hasn’t even looked at a man tonight!” I laughed too loudly as I bumped my sister’s arm with my elbow.
 ///
“Still not over Jerry?” I taunted, my lips lightly scented with beer.
 ///
Our table fell silent. I looked at both of them, puzzled. My brother squirmed, fixing his collar.
 ///
“I was the one who broke up with him.” She mumbled, her voice cold and certain.
 ///
Dang, she was not making eye contact with anyone. She occasionally looked up past her bangs at something beyond me, something I could not pinpoint. Maybe she was looking at nothing.
 ///
It was my brother’s turn to awkwardly laugh.
 ///
“Come on. Don’t change the subject like that, Benny Lenny,” He rigidly grinned.
 ///
I flinched. I hated how my parents thought it would be funny to have my first name rhyme with my last. It was as if they labeled their first-born a loser at birth.
 ///
My brother sighed, rolling his eyes. I knew he was trying to lighten the tense atmosphere, but his fake playfulness was making things more uncomfortable.
 ///
“You can’t avoid talking to her forever.” He bumped me in the same way I bumped Lily.
 ///
It hurt a little. Probably because he actually worked out. Something else felt…off, though. I saw a peculiar exchange pass between Dylan and Lily.
 ///
“Fine,” I gave in.
 ///
I did so partially from increased confidence, and mostly from the need to escape the strange…I do not know what.
 ///
They seemed grateful for my departure. I hoped they would get over it soon, whatever it was. Until then, I was out on my own. With….her.
 ///
She had a short, wavy bob, and wore a sleeveless checkered dress. The fabric perfectly contoured her slim and curvy figure, the hemeline just above her mid thigh. I tugged at my blue polo shirt, feeling under dressed and out of her league.
 ///
Still, she has been eyeing our table the entire night, and had not taken a single glance Dylan’s way.
 ///
Okay, she did not make direct eye contact with me either.
 ///
Still, it was a better response than what I have gotten from most girls.
 ///
Okay, the best response I have gotten from any girl. It was funny, really, how pitiful my interactions with the opposite sex are. You would think being in a band would up my chances. Especially since I am a singer. Well, a backup singer.
 ///
Still, tonight, I am determined to be in the spotlight.
 ///
I walked quickly towards the bar, afraid my legs would buckle beneath me before I reached her. She smiled, but the glisten in her emerald eyes had dulled, making them no more enticing than an ordinary rock. I fidgeted with my black hair. Desperately, I looked over at my brother through the corner of my eye.
 ///
My brother’s face was plastered with a shocked, mildly excited, expression, as if he had an epiphany in the middle of the dimly lit room. My sister not only refused to meet my gaze, but also had her head buried in her arms, her slightly exposed neck flushed in deep red.
 ///
What’s going on?
 ///
I turned back towards the girl, who giggled. It sounded hollow, not at all filled with the drunken cheerfulness of Dylan’s waitress.
 ///
“What’s your name?” I asked.
 ///
“Chelsee. Yours?” She said, straining her voice to sound interested.
 ///
“Dylan.”
 ///
A pause.
 ///
“So, can I buy you a drink? I used my brother’s signature sly sneer, eyebrows slightly uplifted.
 ///
It felt foolish, clownish, especially with how downcasted the girl appeared.
 ///
“Okay.” I took a deep breath in. “I’m not a guy for bar tricks. I need to ask you honestly what’s up, and don’t be afraid to be blunt with me. Trust me, I can handle it. I have.”
 ///
“It’s….” She sighed “It’s not you. I know, I know, it sounds silly, but bear with me. It’s just….that…that…” She shook. Her eyes darted everywhere, before exclaiming. “I’m gay! Okay, I’m gay!” She covered her mouth, and began to tear up.
 ///
Suddenly, it all clicked. I realize why my brother and sister have been off. Why everyone fell silent when I made that not so funny joke. Why Chelsee had been looking my way but not at me. And why, most importantly, my sister’s strong, healthy, year long relationship was suddenly broken off.
 ///
“You need to talk to her,” I pointed my sister’s way.
 ///
Lily’s head popped up, and then shot straight back down into the protective confines of her arms.
 ///
“Wha..what?” Chelsee’s voice quivered, her eyes wide.
 ///
“Just, talk to her.” I patted her on the back reassuringly.
 ///
“Are you sure?!” She grabbed at my shoulders, her grip constricting.
 ///
“Ya. Just, trust me. You will be pleasantly surprised.” I shyly smiled, and, so did she.
 ///
I left her, giving her time to think and come to her own decision.
///
As I approached the men’s room, I caught a glimpse of Chelsee and Lily interacting.
///
I knew they were meant to find each other.
 ///
I opened the heavy brown door, and walked into silence. Breathing in a noiseless, isolated space shows you how simple life would be without the complexities of social interaction.
 ///
Now, usually, after any form of rejection, I would cry like a complete wimp. I would go on about how pathetic I am, and how I am going to be single forever. Not this time.
 ///
Okay, I sniffled a bit, but not for long.
 ///
I took out my phone and leaned against a stall wall. I opened a new Google document. My mind buzzed, and it wasn’t from the alcohol.
 ///
I had not felt such a rush in a long time.
 ///
With my phone, myself, and this bathroom, I started the very first song I will complete and perform as the lead singer.
 ///
The lyrics were bold, risky, and would have made old me, me only a couple hours of ago, wet his pants and run away in fear.
 ///
It was Chelsee, and, even my younger sister, who had inspired me to step outside of the boundaries I had created for myself.
 ///
I titled the document.
 ///
“She Likes Girls”