There are 40 seconds of silence. Claire stares into my eyes. I don’t know what to do. I think about turning my head, getting out of my chair and leaving. Instead, she punches me in the face and she does exactly what I was thinking about doing. “That’s for the text message, fucker.” I don’t even have a phone.
Sometimes you just need to escape. You need to get away. You need to walk out the door and never look back. It’s your life. You call the shots, right? DO YOU LIKE ME? DO YOU LOVE ME? I don’t care anymore. I don’t need your validation. I reach for the doorknob — must-not-look-back — but I do. I look back into their eyes. They’re angry. Good. ...
“The moon gives you superpowers,” Mom said, holding a bottle of beer and pointing to the sky. ”When you feel alone, look up at the moon and remember me.” Two years ago, my mom passed away. I told this story at her funeral and everyone applauded. I omitted the beer part. I wanted my mom to be remembered as a hero. She was certainly mine. My mom told me that story when...
Sarah didn’t have a good relationship with the sun. She loved long summer days and the feel of its warm rays, but lately she had been sticking to the inside of her apartment. “The sun doesn’t like me.” “Don’t be ridiculous. Just wear sunscreen like the rest of us.” “But I do.” And she did. SPF85+ wasn’t strong enough. 100+...
How Old Are You?
He said, “I’m scared.” “Don’t be,” she said, fumbling for his hand in the dark. “Can we kiss now?” “Not yet.” “When?” “When you’re not scared of the dark.”
Not the Answer
Jesse didn’t like guns, but he owned 42 of them. They were stolen but not by Jesse. He was protecting the identity of the thief. He stole that identity and now he owned 42 guns. Behind bars, Jesse pleads not guilty. He’s not up for parole. Why jail? It’s the place people go when they have 42 guns. No one believed him when he said they didn’t belong to him. That...
Lewis doesn’t eat. He devours. He thinks about food every second of each day. He is not a chef nor a cook. He just loves food. He wishes for an explanation with his obsession. His parents are vegetarians, but Lewis thinks about meat. He does not eat meat. He simply stares. He buys countless cookbooks on how to prepare certain cuts. His favorite TV celebrity chef is Bobby Flay. He...
“Mom?” “Yes?” “Can I ask you a question?” “Sure, go for it, kiddo.” “Is it true what the kids say at school?” “I don’t know, dear. What do the kids say at school?” “That when you drink soda your belly explodes.” “Well, where do you think babies come from?”
Everyone is born with unique senses. I don’t just mean touch, hearing, sight, taste and smell. Although for some people those senses are dramatically enhanced. I’m talking super powerful. Most people don’t even know their super power. They find it as a kid and forget all about it. They don’t practice. It’s not like X-Men. It’s everyone. It’s not...
My name is Randolph and I live in a subway station. It’s not bad. I have friends. There’s Shorty, Georgette and my best friend, Clinton. We work together and no one goes hungry. There’s a system where we take turns going out in the day time. It’s safest at night under the cover of darkness, but sometimes a risk turns into a reward. We wear camouflage. Most people...
She smelled like snow. Her skin glowing like she had just stepped in from the cold. Her hair full of snowflakes. She looked like a blizzard and even though her eyes were glazed over like icicles, she smiled at me. I seated her by the heater. I gave her soup on the house. She ordered a hot cocoa and I added extra marshmallows. She gazed out the window like she was looking for something....
Desmond always felt alone. In elementary school he never had friends. He always found that whenever he confided in anyone that he was being set to the principal’s office. His real friends were in the sky. His big fluffy pals never let him down. He spent his afternoons whispering his thoughts to them. It didn’t matter that he spent his recess alone anymore. He never really felt...
Larry spoke to the wind. He spoke rain. He spoke smog. He spoke Cantonese. The wind carried his thoughts 55 miles away and in the forgotten dust of a playground it left them. “Will you play with me?” He never got a reply.
My name is Andrew. I used to think a lot about destroying the world. I was only 10, I didn’t know any better. It was a hobby. I closed my eyes and tried to think of five ways of blowing up the Earth. I don’t know why I thought about it so much. I loved my family. I liked people. I just thought it was funny. I’m here to tell you it isn’t funny. There’s...
Lauren gasped. I sat up, “What’s wrong?” She recoiled. “What is it?” She pointed. “Oh this,” I said, pointing to my shirt. ”It’s just some ketchup.” She laughed. “And I got shot.”
It didn’t happen quickly. It started off as 25% off all video games, then it was 50% off all non-stick cookware and soon it was just a “going out of business” sale. It seemed normal enough. There were good deals, bargains and total steals. Stores were handing you money to take away their things. That’s when it got weird. The Golden Gate Bridge. The Space Needle. The...
Nix wasn’t like the rest. He was shy, awkward and almost walked right back out the door. I convinced him to stay for a drink. He smelled strongly of garlic and it reminded me of my grandmother’s kitchen and the childhood summer’s I spent at her house. There was a porch swing, cherry trees and a swamp. I’d hang out with her dog, Dusty, and I’d imagine we were...
Mia tasted like ice cream. I could spend all day sucking those lips. Her neck was fresh raspberries. Her hair a cascade of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. She was like a sundae. One that I could eat again and again. But I was only with her once. It was the best $1000 dollars I ever spent.
Between the Lines
Jane could always read between the lines. Her life a series of stolen moments. Always waiting for the next surprise. No one could read her. ”You’re a mystery,” they’d say. They were wrong. She spoke with honesty. She said what she wanted with purpose. “Put it in the bag or I’ll shoot.” They always listened.
Laura dangled her feet in the pond, small fish nipped at her toes, while she stared up into the sky. She thought of the clouds, the sun and the moon. The planets. Poor Pluto. Lonely. The Milky Way. The universe. She wondered what else was out there and what the scientists were doing to try to find out. Three hours later, Laura woke up, having fallen asleep while daydreaming. It was dark...
“I have a theory. Men always look sexy while smoking, but women always look trashy,” Bryn said, holding up a whiskey glass with one hand. “You smoke, Bryn.” “That’s exactly my point. I catch a man’s eye, I smile, I light up and he looks away. Men hate women that smoke.” Clara nodded her head. ”How do you know you aren’t making eyes...
Norman wasn’t normal. He wasn’t weird. He was just unusual. He quite liked doing things that made other people scrunch up their noses in disgust. “You really like drinking raw eggs?” “Oh yes.” He didn’t drink them as much as chug them like tequila slammers. He liked the risks. He wasn’t scared of the after effects. He only lived for the...
Roses are Red
One day Lily stepped out onto the hot pavement and realized that something was missing. She thought about all of the great things she had in her life: husband, children and a career. Am I happy? She asked herself and she sincerely thought yes. But there was still something missing. She started experimenting in the kitchen. She started with onigiri and maki rolls and ended with coq au vin....
When Alexander looked up he never saw the stars that he was always expecting. The night sky a clutter of lit up squares and flashing lights. His telescope failed him. He spent his nights watching the neighbors fight or undress or make love. It made him uncomfortable spying on the lives of strangers when the only thing he really wanted to see was the Big Dipper. In order to escape the constant...
Yes & No
Brian loved the smell of Mary’s hair. When they would talk he would lean in as closely as possible, lightly touch her neck, lingering too long till the point that it seemed awkward and then pull away. She would always lurch forward like expecting a kiss only to stumble into the nothingness that Brian left behind while he walked away from her. She longed for those moments. Those few...
It's Out There
Sometimes you just want life to make sense. I wanted to open a book and find the answers. I wasn’t even sure of the questions, but Harry Potter wasn’t providing the truth. I spent my time looking between the sidewalk cracks, the spaces between books on the shelf and in dusty corners. I knew that if I searched hard enough I would find what I was looking for and it would be more...
Jeffrey found pleasure in little things. When he looked down at the sidewalk he was always searching. -thirty-five cents -blue & white striped mitten -orange tabby cat The cat was named Bob and belonged to his neighbor, Noreen, so he couldn’t keep him. The thing was that Bob hated Noreen and loved Jeffrey. He would help him on his hunts. Bob collected bugs and let Jeffrey have...
Sam felt fingers along the back of his neck, pulling his hair and then letting go. He didn’t look back. “I know it’s you.” No answer. He felt a warm breath on the back of his neck. The buttons of his shirt started to unbutton. Sam was working late. He felt pinpricks across his chest like he was lying on a bed of nails. The clock read 2AM. He could see scratch...
She was sick again. Every time she rushed to the bathroom her gut spewed pine needles, jigsaw puzzle pieces and Twizzlers. She could never remember how any of it got there, but there it was; a tiny piece of art unfolding inside the toilet. She wanted to photograph it. She wanted to see it in museums, but who else would want to see it? Maybe if she could stay awake she could find out how it...
One Two Three
Marcy found a numbered list on the kitchen table. 1) hardboiled egg 2) .44 magnum 3) cherry flavored lip gloss She didn’t even need to question it to know that it was left there by her mother. It would have been nice if she had said hello. It had been fifteen years and mosquitoes were flying in through the open window.