Category Archives: Short Stories
Jeremy’s phone buzzed on his bed, a smile creeping up on the corners of his mouth as he threw his hand over to the other side to get it.
“Jerrrr-” the voice of the other side of the phone whimpered.
“Marcus? What’s wrong? You sound awful,” his eyebrows scrunched together in the middle of his forehead, Marcus never sounded like this.
“Jer, I think I’m getting sick, but my mom is at work and we don’t have any soup and well y’know she has the car too so I can’t even go out and buy some and-”
“Dude, I’m on my fucking way. Just lay down, aight? I’ll be there before you know it,” he hung up before Marcus could object and in an instant he was at the door, longboard in hand and a wad of cash from his bedside table crumpled up in the other.
Before he was even out of the door completely, Jeremy’s longboard’s front wheels had hit the concrete outside his front door and he was flying. Swerving and pushing as quickly and forcefully as he could managed. He made it to the corner 7/11 and grabbed three Ramen packets and a bottle of that fancy fruit smoothie juice that you see white girls walking around with and tossed them onto the counter proudly.
The cashier, a woman with graying hair and a baggy 7/11 smock, started scanning his items, but not without her own questions, “Oh on your lunch break?”
Jeremy looked down at his typical skater outfit and his items and wondered to himself who came in on their lunch break, looking like him, buying these same things that could have possibly convinced this poor old woman who this was normal, “Uhhh, no, this is for my -ahem- friend, they’re sick.”
“Oh, a special friend then? I see-” she creepily winked at him over the brim of her horn rimmed glasses, “Well, I know that if I was sick and I had a nice, young man coming to visit me, I would just love that. I remember my husband, when he was still with us, bless his soul, would bring me flowers whenever I wasn’t feeling quite right.”
“Flowers?” he hadn’t thought of flowers. Marcus loved flowers, sunflowers specifically, “Do you have any flowers here?”
“Oh yeah, sweetie!” She beamed, “We got some gardenias over there, but I think we just ran out of sunflowers.”
He deflated, thinking to himself that some was better than none, so he went to the back and grabbed a bouquet of bright, white flowers and brought it back to the counter.
“Oh, she’s going to love these!” the old woman clapped and cheered as she bagged up the small bouquet with the rest of his purchase.
“Yeah, I think he will,” he emphasized, smiling and taking the bag as her smile faded, “Have a great day!” he yelled behind him as he threw down his longboard and rode out of the convience store, smiling to himself.
The ride from the 7/11 to Marcus’ house was quick and when he arrived, he knocked on the door three times and bounced up and down, flowers in hand and the bag of miscellaneous goods and his longboard in the other.
As I was driving home from work today, I saw a boy on a longboard with a bouquet of big, white flowers and I just had to imagine a back story behind it. This is my rough back story, but I thought it was cute and I wanted to share it with y’all 🙂
“I don’t know why ya got me locked up in here, bub. I did nothing wrong.”
“Well, Mrs. Lakowski-“
“Call me, Nikki.”
“Well, Nikki,” the court appointed lawyer shuffled the papers about in front of him, “I um, can’t say I agree with you. You killed your husband, Nikki. Please tell me how that is ‘nothing wrong’.”
“Oh, Mr. Johnson,” she laughed, the cuffs around her wrist clacking together as she wove her hand to dismiss his comment, “Can I call ya Steve?”
“Well, Steve, ya just aren’t seeing the full picture! Yasee, what I did wasn’t killing nobody. I’d prefer to call it, my one, vigilante act for my life, I swear on my mama’s life, Steve. I wasn’t taking someone great from this world. Why would I do that? No no, I was taking matters into my own hands.”
“A vigilante act, Nikki? The law isn’t something that can just be played with, even if you promise to never break it again. But you do admit you killed your husband, Mickey Lakowski, Nikki? That’s a very serious statement.”
“Of course I admit to it. Steve dawlin’, why wouldn’t I admit to something like that? I ain’t stupid. Mickey was the worst thing that ever happened to me. My only regret was not killing the bastard sooner.”
“Mrs. Lakow- I mean,” he cleared his throat and adjusted his tie, “Nikki, do you want to go a bit more in depth about how exactly your husband was ‘the worst thing that ever happened to’ you? It could help your case and get you a shorter sentence.”
“Ya want the lie or the truth, love? I’ve got the lie pretty well memorized,” she chuckled half-heartedly at her own joke.
“Preferably the truth, Nikki. That’s what the judge will want to hear.”
“Figures. Well, Stevie, to tell ya the truth my marriage had been absolute shit for years. Which is saying something cuz we’d only been married for about ten. He hated Junior and baby Anna. Heaven forbid Anna made a single noise at night. He’d wake up like he was waitin for it, Stevie, then he’d just yell at her like them drill sergeants do on ‘Two Weeks in Hell’. He did the same thing with Junior, but I guess Anna doesn’t learn as fast as Junior did cuz Junior stopped cryin’ after a few months of being home from the hospital.
“But I kept goin with it, Stevie! After all Mickey was my husband! I had to love him. He knew better than me, right?” She paused waiting for an answer from the lawyer, who said nothing. “So one night, I was cookin dinner. Mickey was still at work. Junior was watching the TV and Anna was in her high chair, playin round with her Cheerios.
“The baked ziti is in the oven, Junior and Anna are both occupied, so I think to myself, ‘Oh what the hell? I’m going to read my goddamn magazine!’ So I go and sit down in the dinin room. All innocent right, Stevie? Well, bang! Mickey throws open the front door and comes storming in, yelling bout some awful assistant he got at work. Y’know he was the manager of Lakowski and Sons Construction? The biggest construction company in all of Newark, it was. Anyway, guess he had some shitty day at his shitty job where he does shitty work for his shitty salary. Then he finds me readin’ my magazine. Knowin’ Mickey, I set it down and get up to give him a lil sugar. But no no no! He starts bitchin’ bout how he smells something burnin’. Now I get up and smell the same thing so I go to check on the ziti and guess what, Steve? It’s a lil burnt. Oh no, whoopdy fucking doo.
“But knowin my ‘lovin’ husband,” her fingers made air quotes as she spoke, “I apologize real quick. But is that good enough for Mickey? No. So he hits me. A great right hook to my eye.
“I’m losing it now. Mickey has hit me before, but it wasn’t over fuckin’ ziti! So we’re yellin’ at each other and lil’ Anna is cryin’ and Junior’s locked himself in his room cuz he’s seen this same shit before. Mickey’s goin’ crazy, callin’ me names, and throwin’ shit. Now this stuff was normal when he gets mad. Lord knows how many damn IKEA lamps we’ve broken. But Anna is cryin’ in her chair and Mickey turns around and smacks my baby girl across her face.”
She stopped. Looking at her lawyer, whose face had turned white as a sheet.
“Nobody hits my baby when she ain’t even doing nothin’ wrong. I mean- ha- Anna has been cryin’ since day one, but Mickey never hit her until now.
“Over some burnt baked ziti.
“So I hit him. I finally did it, Stevie. I hit Mickey so hard my knuckles hurt. And, damn, did it feel good to finally do that. I was giving him what he’d been giving me for years,” she cracked her still bruised knuckles.
“And I just kept goin’. I couldn’t stop. Before I knew it, he was on the kitchen tiles, nose bleedin’, eyes barely open. Stevie, I didn’t even know I was that strong! Now I’m standin’ over him and I’m yellin’ about how much I hate him and I’m thinkin’ he’s knocked out and so I just say that I want a divorce. I felt like it needed to be said y’know? But I didn’t really feel like I meant it.
“But that sure woke him up quick.
“He smacks my knee and I fall down. Goddamn that hurt, Stevie. He knew I have bad knees. But now we’re on each other’s level . Me on my knees and him trying to stand up. So I just push him! Push him hard away from me. I just want away from him. And you know what he does?” she stared into the lawyer’s eyes, daring him to answer. “He falls over and cracks his head on the corner of the oven.
“I wish he didn’t die like that.”
“I wish I could have killed him better.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t tell the judge that, Nikki.”
By Hope Fletcher xoxo
I watch her. The girl with the blonde hair. She’s small and lean. She holds herself with way more self-confidence any twelve-year-old should have. She stands proudly and defiantly. Staring in face of one of the taller boys in seventh grade. She’s yelling at him. About nothing important. Her face is composed of want-to-be anger, want-to-be confidence, and innocence. Such over whelming innocence that it breaks my heart. If she only knew how good she had it. The work load, the innocence, the stress, her friendships. Nothing was ever as simple as it was in seventh grade and yet I see her, the girl with the blonde hair, desperately trying to be grown up.
If she only knew how difficult it was to be grown up. To have to yell at people because they were truly bad, not because you disagreed on a minor topic. If she could know how much I envy her. I envy her innocence. Mine had been shattered long ago by a boy who spoke only the truth. I envy her daily life. Mine is consumed with work and desperate attempts to become the most normal form of average ever. I envy her friendships. Untainted by lust and anguish like mine. I envy how easy she had life, but the thing that irritated me the most about the girl with short blonde hair was that she hated it. She hated her easy life. She WANTED to be like me. To be grown up. Why would you ever want to be older? We live such lonely, depressing lives that it’s a wonder any one lives past the age of eighteen.
Everyday I wake up alone in the dark. Get ready for the day while everyone else sleeps. I eat breakfast by myself in a dimly lit kitchen. I drive myself in silence to class. I go to school, never sharing two classes with someone else. Then I drive home by myself, and do my homework in the corner office in solitude while the world carries on without me.
I continually wait for the solitude to get better. I wait for the day when I can be with my family and be innocent and smile and laugh without a care, but for me its over now. The girl with the short blonde hair still has that. Yet she wastes it away yelling at a tall boy over inconsequential things. I want to tell her. Warn her. Enjoy this happy stage of life when things are good before it goes away. Yet, I know her. I know that even if I do, she won’t listen. I could scream it at her, but she would never change her mind. It is the way of the innocent and benign. Stubbornness.
So instead, I wait. Loathing her stubbornness. I wait for her to come to the epiphany that her life is amazing. I wait for her to crash and burn. For that is the only way anyone like her will ever learn. I await her demise. Almost eagerly. I want her to feel my envy for the innocent.
One day, she will. The girl with short blonde hair. She will go through the same thing that anyone must go through. Embarrassment. Heart sickening. Stomach churning. Blood curdling embarrassment. I cannot contain my glee at her eminent embarrassment. I wonder what will happen. Will she say something unforgivable? Will she have her heart-broken? Will she make a mockery of herself? Endless possibilities flow through my head. I cannot wait for her embarrassment. Her crash and burn moment. The moment she realizes how good she had it. The moment when she understands my envy. The moment when she begins to envy another girl with short blonde hair.
I can’t wait.
He was coming.
William. William Blake. The man I’d been destined to marry since the day I was born, was coming to see me. I’d never met him before. I had no idea who he was, all I knew was his name. Most importantly his surname. My soon-to-be surname as well. Blake. Lydia Blake. My heart fluttered at the whisper of this fact. My sisters giggled as Mother informed them of our guest. My face felt hot and red so I excused myself from the parlor where we had convened to discuss the matter.
I walked down the abissmally dark hallway to the door at the end, leading outside. Hiking up my skirt I exited the hallway, and entered the blinding, white sunlight. It must have been at least four in the afternoon. I descended down the stairs to reach the back patio but I did not linger there. Instead I continued walking through the patio and into the meadow that lay before me.
Many memories filled my conscious mind of this little meadow where I had spent so many glorious spring days with my sisters talking about our arranged marriages and who our husbands were. All of my sisters had always known their husbands and it was I who remained in the dark. We had always talked about Sir Blake, his proper name, in great detail. Wondering who he was, what he did, why he was a “Sir,” if he liked flowers, would he like me, and, above all others, if he did indeed like me, would he bring me flowers? My sisters and I were quite trivial. But now as the time came when I would finally meet him, I asked myself these questions again. I’m about to meet someone and then marry them, I thought. What an odd thing.
I sat down in the middle of the meadow and thought of Sir Blake and what an oddity our entire engagement had been. But before I knew it, the sun was beginning to set in the west. I rose from my position on the ground and began to walk back to the mansion, still deep in thought. As I crossed the patio I heard the giant front door open and close with squeals of delight and welcome immediately following. Upon hearing this, I ran up the upstairs, into the house, flew up another flight of stairs, and dove into my bedroom.
Grabbing my rouge and brush, I primped myself, pulling at my brown hair and smearing makeup over my visage. I, then, changed dresses from my plain ivory to my soft green, embroidered dress to go with my eyes. I looked at myself in my handheld mirror, and resigned myself to my image. It could be worse, I thought smiling slightly at the hilariously truthful fact. I set down my hand mirror and walked as gracefully as possible down the staircase and through the hallway to him. Blake. William Blake.
I turned into the parlor, with a smile big enough to have a horse race on, and looked around the room. A small, timid man sat in the corner of the room with my father, holding his top hat in his hands, looked up at me then continued togaze to my father. All the mean while, his blade head shone with sweat in the candlelight and his glasses were left perfectly askew.
“Hello, Madame,” the man greeted shyly, refusing to look at me.
“Hello,” I replied almost as timidly as he had asked.
The small man turned to me when I said this. He stood up, setting down his hat, remembering social etiquette and said, “I’m Sir William Blake. Are you Lydia?”
It could be worse, I thought.
I sit by the windowsill. Father yells at me. I refuse to listen to him. I close my eyes, the darkness surrounds me.
Father is at work today. Silence. Peace. I find myself sitting at the windowsill again. I watch the empty street. I close my eyes, the darkness surrounds me.
Father comes home early from work. He yells at me again. It is noon. The sun makes heat waves on the asphalt outside my window. A girl drives by, the windows of her car rolled down. Her hair is red and beautiful.
Father tells me he was fired yesterday. The company had too many workers. It had to happen. Father leaves to find work after two. I sit by the windowsill and wait for him.
Father came home late last night. He yelled at me. I’m not worthy of his kindness, he told me. He should have put me up for adoption, he said. I go to bed. I sit by the windowsill. The girl with the red hair drives by in her car. I envy her.
Father still can not find work. We receive a notice from our landlord. Two weeks to pay our bills. Father cries. Not at me, but for himself. He is full of self pity. I do not envy him. The girl with the red hair drives by again. This time she uses her turn signal indicator. I wonder where she is going.
Father looks for a job today. I went outside today. He does not know. He will never know. I sit on our front lawn. I see the red haired girl as she drives by. I wave at her. She smiles at me. I go back inside. I look around our house. If you could call it that. Dirt cover the area. Everywhere I go is messy. I return to the windowsill. I close my eyes, the darkness surrounds me. Blocking out the hell in which I live in.
Father hit me today. Someone saw me yesterday. No one is supposed to know I live here. My face is red and puffy. I can’t tell if it is like that from the tears or from the force of his hit. I sit by the windowsill. Father comes up from behind me. He closes the blinds. I don’t deserve to see the outside world, he tells me. I disobeyed him. I sit on the floor and cry. I want to see the red haired girl. I want to envy her. I want to be her friend. I do not know what a friend is. I want to know.
Father did not want to leave me today. He leaves anyways. He has to find a job, he justifies. I go outside again. I do not fear the punishment awaiting me. I see the red haired girl. She does not drive today but she runs. What is she running from, I wonder. She waves at me. I smile at her.
Father does not know I went outside again. I want to keep it that way.
He left this morning. Off to find work again. I do not miss him. I go outside. Today, I walk around. I see a bird and a squirrel. I did not know there were squirrels here. I read about them in books. I pick up a flower.I throw it on to the road. The red haired girl drives by today and smiles at me. She runs over the flower.
Father found work yesterday. He starts next week. He is frustrated by this fact. He wants to start now. We’re going to have to move. I do not want to move. I cry. I had the red haired girl to keep me company now. He does not know about her. He tells me to start packing. I have nothing to pack.
Father is at work. I go outside. I see another bird and another squirrel. The girl with the red hair drives by. She is on her cell phone. I hear sirens wailing. I go back inside.
Father works again. I go outside. I do not see the red haired girl. I throw a flower into the road again. I do not see a bird or a squirrel.
Father comes home. He yells at me. We received another notice, reminding us to leave. I cry. I must see the girl with the red hair again.
I sit by the windowsill. Father is at work. I see a couple drive by in a nice car. The red haired girl is in the back seat. She looks like Father just hit her. I cry for her. I hope her father does not hurt her too.
We have three days left until we have to leave. Father wants to leave tonight. I gather my belongs. He puts them in the car. We say nothing. We leave. I close my eyes, the darkness of the road surrounds me.