The ghosts lived inside her head. It wasn’t the TV, her computer monitor or a dripping faucet. The silence brought the whooos and aaaahs of an ethereal entity. Her doctor could not explain it. “There’s nothing wrong with you.” “Can you look again?” “I can look again and again, but I’ll find nothing.” She huffed and felt thankful for health...
In line at the grocery store, the beep-beep-beep lulls me into a daydream. My feet shuffle from side to side because I want to be anywhere but in this line, but I need butter, cheese and bread. Need. What do I really need? I think about just walking away, but then I start thinking about the grilled cheese I wanted to make, so I stick it out. I wait-wait-wait and listen to that headache-inducing...
You are beautiful. I don’t say it enough, but you are beautiful. Every night when I’m in that quiet place that exists in my head — I close my eyes and your face is there reminding me that the world isn’t that bad. It’s not bad because you make it glow with your kind words, encouragement and gentle nature. And even though I am reckless and mean and want to spit fire,...
It arrived on my doorstep a little after noon. I wasn’t expecting anything, but packages hardly hold the same value they did when I was in college. It was probably some stale cookies from my grandmother. She was always trying to send me things to make me feel bad for not calling her more often. No return address. Uh oh. My first instinct was to call the police. Unfortunately, we lived in...
His face appeared to me in a dream. Long and weeping like the moon. I wanted to console him, but instead I wake up sobbing. There’s nothing in my room but shadows. I close my eyes but behind my eyelids is his face. I can’t shake him. The butterflies dance in my stomach. The sweet relief when I open my eyes and he’s gone again. Night after night, he’s there waiting for...
Nothing is Safe in the Dark
You whisper secrets to the trees, held tightly in their trunks, rooting into the ground till they mingle with the moles. They dance among the carrots, turnips and groundhogs. But nothing is safe in the dark. Blood oaths exchanged, the moles sell your deepest thoughts to the snakes and rabbits. Burrowing deep into their hidey-holes but having too much to drink, speak a little too loudly to their...
Part the Clouds
He looked up into the sunless sky and cursed the clouds for the darkness that shadowed his morning. He kicked an empty soda can down the street, hands in pockets and muttered nonsensical words under his breath. Weeks of planning ruined by the weather. There was nothing he could do now, because the wheels were already in motion. His legs were eager to get there, but his guts danced with...
24 haiku in 24 hours!
chisel: Go read the insanity! GREEN TEA HAIKU Hey, I’m challenging myself to write 24 brand new, original haiku in 24 hours. Updated every hour from noon, April 9. If you like my short stories, you’ll probably like my shorter poems. Thanks for reading!
Karen sat at her computer, watching the birds fly by her window. She had something to do, but no matter how hard she tried, the something wasn’t happening. The something was due tomorrow at 9am. Too early for her but everyone else seemed to make it there on time. Her retinas burned thinking of the bright sunshine of the early morning hours. Tired and groggy, she cursed the California...
William and Samuel had been going out for three months, but Samuel always kept an eye out for someone new. It wasn’t that he didn’t like William, he had often said I love you without lying, but there were so many men and he always doubted his decisions. William was always rolling his eyes and letting out exasperated sighs. “What are you doing, Sammy?” “Please...
The problem with falling for your friends is that you never know what to do next. Usually it happens out of nowhere. Casually over dinner. Accidentally touching hands at the mall. Helping them with their homework. Those everyday things that you overlook but start to add up. One by one you start to notice all of these great things about them. The color of their eyes, the smell of their detergent...
Never, ever write a love letter was the only advice my mother ever gave me. I was six and couldn’t understand what I did wrong. “What is this?” Mom asked, shaking a folded piece of construction paper under my nose. I dragged my foot across the ground and started counting the squares on the linoleum. “Kenneth William Rogers, are you listening?” “It’s a letter to...
Right Under Your Feet
I followed him and he followed her and we marched and marched till we saw the checkered blanket and knew exactly what to do. It wasn’t a plan. It wasn’t a decision. It was encoded in our DNA. We worked together and piece by piece we dismantled their precious picnic right beneath their eyes. We took it to our Queen and she ignored us. So we ate her. Piece by piece. Our mouths...
Ariel had the misfortune of being named after a Disney princess. She didn’t have red hair. She couldn’t sing a lick and all of her friends were trying to set her up with boys named Eric. No matter the stereotypes, Ariel could actually swim, but not as well as someone from under the sea. Her swim team never won medals, but they couldn’t blame it on her lack of fins, because she was never last but...
I kept writing her name over and over. Big, curlicue letters that obscured the view of every passing airplane. I couldn’t forget that night we kissed. She made me feel insecure, silly and a complete wreck. The situation was hopeless. I didn’t even know her name. It was over before I even knew what was happening. She let out a small cough and descended back to her place. Floating,...
Nancy crept into Guy’s bedroom, slid under the covers and waited. He would be home any minute and she bought new lingerie. She woke the next morning, but Guy wasn’t there. The bed still made on his side. She tiptoed around the apartment, finally calling out, “Guy, are you here?” No one answered. The house was silent. Worried, she checked the garage and found his car...
Mark died two weeks ago. It took me this long to even use that word. Die. Died. Dead. Mark is dead. “He’s in a better place now, dear.” What does even mean? What’s better than being alive? I don’t believe them, so I just cry and eat an entire package of Oreos without stopping. They’re soggy and I’m covered in crumbs. I’m supposed to go back to work today. The bus is late as usual, but instead...
deliriousdreamer13 asked: First I'd like to say that I absolutely love your blog! I was wondering if you had published anything?
I see him in the elevator every morning. He gets off on floor 10 and I go up-up-up to 17. This building is full of offices doing all sorts of things, but he always wears the kinds of ties that make me think that what he does isn’t that important. It’s some fancy, stuffy job, but something that would make for an interesting conversation. One day, he scratches his ankle, revealing...
Sometimes you just gotta have it. Every ounce of your body is turned on. It’s nearly too much to wear clothes because the way they’re rubbing against you is causing you to think about lips and hands and tongues. There’s nothing you can do because it’s just not convenient. You’re in public and you’re sure people are noticing the sweat bead around your neck. You...
It was a big day for Que. It was a big day for any witch. She practiced by herself. It wasn’t something you went into cold. It was all about passion. She couldn’t stop thinking about it. The thoughts consumed her. She walked quickly down the hall, nearly running into Barrow. Que giggled and said, “Sorry.” He just tossed his long black locks, smiled and shrugged. She knew...
Happy Birthday Disaster
Cindy lived in a Baskin-Robbins’ Happy Birthday ice cream cake. Her roof was covered in sprinkles and she slept on a bed of frozen icing. When the store closed at 11pm, she’d put on her ice skates and visit her neighbors Winnie the Pooh, Cookie Monster and Spiderman. They never spoke to her even though she talked to them. She didn’t mind putting in the effort. She thought one day...
His Name Wasn't Denver
Daniel wasn’t born a wizard, but he studied very hard at school and as soon as he was fifteen was handed down his magical brew maker’s kit from his grandfather. Wizardry ran in the family, but like most magic had mixed results. Daniel very much wanted to be the best wizard in the entire world, but as soon as he opened his kit, he mixed three chicken feathers with five mouse ears and...
“Grace Allister was a stupid girl. She thought too much with her heart instead of with her head. The day she started dating Eddie would change her life. It wouldn’t be a big change, but it would be the one that she stopped looking for what she couldn’t get.” So these were the last words that I wrote yesterday. Sometimes I type so fast that I stop making any sense. Okay,...
NaNoWriMo Word Count
I’m doing National Novel Writing Month. Should I share daily excerpts?
Not or Never
It’s not or never. A typo I typed one night at 3am. When should I do this paper? Not or never. I guess not now. Should I ask Susie out? My friends would say never. I’d say not in front of my mom. Is the mall a cool place to hang out? Never! I think it answers most of the hard questions. What would I do? Not now or never. It’s strange how procrastination as mantra works for...
Molly was kicking rocks on the way to her favorite bar. She wasn’t in a particularly good mood, but sometimes just hanging out where everyone knows who you are, can bring you out of a funk. She was thinking about beers, boys and how good her hair looked today. Since she was looking down, minding her own business, kicking stone after stone into the gutter, she was rather startled when she...
Imaginary Conversations Inspired by My Husband's...
“Mom, I don’t like cartoons. They’re not like real life. Animals can’t talk.” “Yes, honey, use your imagination and anything is possible.” “That’s not true. If anything was possible, I could imagine eating a cookie right now, but I wouldn’t have a cookie. I would be snacking on air.” “Yes, that’s called pretending....
Why Superheroes Never Get the Girl
“Hi, my name is Samantha. Can I take your order?” “Um, yeah…I’m not hungry. I was wondering if you’d ever date a superhero?” “What? Speak louder. Do you want cheese with that?” “HI, YES! I AM A SUPERHERO AND I NEED A DATE TO THE PROM.” “I’m sorry, sir. Could you pull up to the window? We’re having trouble with...
Should I Come Back Later?
I have five minutes to get my shit in order. I have five minutes to decide if I’ll say no or yes or maybe or something. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to say when he asks. I mean…shit…here he is…what do I do? Breathe. Breathe. It’s going to be okay. “So miss, have you decided?”
Fern Needham loved the outdoors more than anything. She spent her time lying in her unmowed backyard among the weeds reading Pippi Longstocking. She longed to live in a treehouse far away from the hustle of modern life. She’d collect nuts with squirrels, forage for berries with the ravens and swing from branch to branch with the sloths. Her perfect world was in her head and she visited...
“Hoshi, wake up.” Mom said, shaking me awake, her outline barely visible and her face a big black space. It scared me and I screamed. “Hoshi, what’s wrong? It’s me, Mom. Wake up.” I had been dreaming again about my ascent into the stars, but it wasn’t a beautiful voyage, but a journey into an abundant abyss. I was being swallowed up by the sky and no...
I guess it all began with a toast. It was my mother’s 50th birthday dinner, and I was too embarrassed to even show up. I had been called by my dad numerous times to attend, but I let it go to voicemail, where I listened to the messages, on repeat, while drinking box wine. “Please, Elizabeth, it means so much to your mother. Please join us.” “El? Where are you? Please...
The silence was deafening. I clenched my ears and crouched on the ground waiting for it to subside. I longed for the noise of a train station: 50 different conversations all happening at the same time, trains pulling in and pulling out, screeching breaks and someone asking me for 50 cents. My breath was heavy and I thought about what they would do in the movies. I didn’t have a paper bag. I...
I started as an ooze. A colorless, odorless ooze that stuck to the bottom of your shoe. You didn’t notice me, but I noticed you. I crawled into your shoe, soaked into your sock and tickled your arch. You didn’t seem to mind. I squished up your ankle. I bit behind your knee and when you scratched, I transferred under your fingernails. I quite like it here under your red nail polish. I...
I’ve always liked it dirty. Dirt under my nails, grease on my knuckles and blood streaming from my nose. I guess that’s why I ended up working at a strip club. I’m no Patrick Swayze, so I worked behind the bar. The pay was shitty, the clientele were even worse, but the girls were sweethearts. They called me Daddy, ironic as I was at least 7 years younger than most of the dancers,...
In the last five years, Janice’s mother died, soon followed by her father. Her closest sister moved hundred of miles away with promises of postcards, but her mailbox stood empty. Her bills piled up as her career vanished, and she lived a frugal life from the little her parents left her. She was lonely. She sought comfort in the arms of her lovers, but they left her just as everyone close...
I’m reading a couple things right now. I’m re-reading The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories by Aimee Bender and finally getting around to My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler. Chelsea reminds me a lot of my very good friend, Sabrina. They are both totally honest, brash and unforgiving in the most shocking but totally hilarious ways. You can find...
I never wanted to grow up, but I couldn’t hold it back. I tried holding it back, but no matter how much I held my breath, I kept growing. It was just a little at first, but soon I was passing through grades and having birthdays and making friends and being responsible for my actions. The only responsibility I ever wanted was to make my Mother laugh and forget about all of the hurt. She never...
Life is Blind
“Hello, er…I’m meeting somebody here. Is there a Tim here?” I said, trying to keep my hands steady by burning the purse strap into my palms. “Oh, no, I’m sorry, Miss. Would you like to take a seat at the bar until he arrives?” The host gestured to a lonely bar with a few stray couples and a man in a business suit. “That sounds lovely. Thank...
I hate to say goodbye to Mr. Smith. He’s my teacher and when we hug under Mommy’s watch, I secretly wish her away and that I could stay at school forever in his arms. I can see my Mom’s shoes tap-tap-tapping the sidewalk and that she wants to go now. We’re going on vacation, she keeps repeating to me in a happy voice. “Don’t you remember when we went to the...
Hello new readers! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’m working on a new story right now, but it’s longer than usual, so it might be a few days.
It’s not a dream. It’s not a dream. It’s not a dream. He’s still there. No amount of closing my eyes will make him go away. I’m running out of time. My eye blinks are useless. He’s coming closer. I don’t know what to do. I think I should scream. He’s still at the foot of the bed. His eyes locked with mine. It’s the most unromantic dance of two...
I guess it’s strange to fall in love with fire, but it never burns when you’re in love.
It’s Friday and I’m watching the hands on the clock in the break room. It’s the last break I’ll ever have here. Coincidentally, it’s my birthday and there’s cake and smiling faces. No one knows that I won’t be coming back on Monday, except my boss. She was sad to see me go. I’m a good worker and blah-blah-blah whatever. I won’t miss her or this...
Help! Give me a noun, a sentence or a general...
I’d really appreciate it. By the by, you can always leave writing prompts in my “ask box.” What should I write about?
The reason I kept coming back was because of the pie. The diner was 50 miles out of my way, but at least once a week, I stopped in for a “Plate of Sunshine.” It was the lemon meringue with a meringue so big that a normal dessert plate wouldn’t do, and they’d serve it to you on a dinner plate. With whipped cream. On the side. The lemon was sharp, tangy and melted in your...