Tag Archives: Short Story

A Dying Stranger

I’m going to die.

I know that will die eventually, but that eventually came too soon. 60 years too soon. The fact of death doesn’t scare me. The pain of death, kind of does. What scares me is the fact that I had a life. And now it is over. Went through elementary school to get to middle school to get to high school to get to collage to have a nice job to have a nice family to have a nice life to have a nice retirement to have a nice death.

Death arrived early to the party. And death brought a friend, Cancer.

The fact that I built up my life and all I got was school, I didn’t even get as far as the nice job part, it seems like I wasted 20 years. I was so sure that I was going to get to that nice job, family, retirement part that I only focused on that. With my nose to the grind, my eyes on the prize, and my heart in a box. I spent 20 pushing people away.

And now I have no one left, except my friends Cancer and Death.

I look around at my alumni – the ones who could have been my friends – who have their whole life ahead of them. They have girlfriends and boyfriends to smile with and laugh with and hold hands with. They have parents to get guidance from and to get love from and to get encouragement from.

They lived.

I existed, waiting to live, so that eventually I could die.

I thought that I had so much potential that I had so much to live for, that I could spend 20 years to get ready. I thought that I had my whole lifetime ahead of me to make relationships.

They have love in their eyes and that makes the loneliness all the more prominent in mine. Their hearts are full of verve and zeal and that makes the enervation and depletion all the more evident in mine. They always have a tint of a smile on their face and that makes the stoic unbelief radiate from mine.

The world is ending. Except only mine is. Their worlds will go on forever. My apocalypse is coming and I don’t even get last moments to panic with the rest of the world. In all the science-fiction movies when the world is ending, everyone looks up at the sky, all huddled together. They get to see the world end. They get to have others with the same fate as them.

Their world will go on and mine will halt, crash, and burn. Their world will keep on spinning like nothing ever happened. Their world will not even flick off the ash of my smoldering, dead world.

Their potential, their future, their lives, mock, haunt, taunt me.

This is the bitterest kind of envy. I am jealous for what they do not appreciate. I long for what they do not know they have. Potential for moments.

Yes, I will have many more moments, but those moments will be spent in sterile hospital rooms in a thin paper gown on crinkly white medical paper surrounded by unknown people with over-glorified pity for college kid they know will be six feet under soon enough. I will spend my last moments surrounded by sick and dying people, surrounded by others trying to cover it up. I will be surrounded by people faking optimism, people telling me that I can fight the death warrant that  has been signed in my cells.

Those people who are lying to me, they seem to be my best chance. I desperately want to cling to the hope they have spread out before me.  I let hope and possibility and chance hold me in their hands, trying to soothe my aching soul. I let them tell me that tomorrow I will be okay, I let them tell me that the day after tomorrow I will be okay, I let them tell me that five years from now I will be okay.  I’m starving for some assurance that I will get through this. I’m going through hunger pangs yearning for something to believe in. My growling stomach calls out for a promise, a promise that I didn’t waste my life, that I will have the potential for moments other than in a sterile hospital. In my delirium, I begin to trust in the comforting hands of hope and possibility and chance.

I don’t know which is worse: knowing I’m going to die alone or hoping that I might not. Hoping that I might have someone by my side when the reaper comes. Hoping that the reaper might not come at all. Hoping that cancer might change its mind and come back when I’m old and gray, instead.

But when I have hope then that is one more thing that death can take from me. By losing hope I feel the pain of losing everything all over again. Because all I have left is hope. Hope in something that will never happen.

I am going to die. Cancer is going to make its last attack. My world is going to end. My hope is going to be taken from me. And there is nothing I can do to stop it.

 

 

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Pixabay/user:cor125

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He Brought Her Roses

Every day he would bring her roses. He would set his alarm for 3:30 AM to get to her cello practice room before she did. She was dedicated, two and a half hour practices before school. Those hours of practice were what life should be all about. Life should be struggles to hit the right cord, but the happiness that follows when your part of the symphony is perfect. She was what life should be.

He would slip into her soundproof room and carefully place a single rose on her sheet music. The roses would differ every time, but without fail there would always be a fragile flower waiting when the elegant cellist would come to make the world a little bit better, a little bit brighter. The roses would be passionate dark red like the dress she wore when he first saw her at her symphony. Or the rose would be white as the snow on her birthday in January. He would always feel elated when he dropped the pink rose on her stand because it was soft and sweet like he imagined her lips to be. The yellow rose would remind him of couples walking in the summer time and the girls wearing their sundresses and how he wanted that to be him and the cellist. The peachy-orange was like the sunrise he watched as she played.

He must have spent thousands on roses for a girl he never dared talk to. He must have lost countless hours of sleep thinking about the one smile she had ever cast on him. He must have gone crazy for the girl to stop his college education so he could watch her every move. He must have.

She would laugh when ice cream dribbled down her chin in the hot hot summer time. He wanted to be the one to make her laugh like that. She would dance like no one was watching at the clubs. He wanted to dance with her like that. She would care enough to help the homeless person outside her daily coffee shop to buy them a warm drink. He wanted that caring towards him.

He fell in love with the girl who never knew his name.

One day she never came to practice. He still dropped off her rose like he always did and waited. The rose was still there when he came to give the rose of next day. She had never missed two days of practice in a row. Music was her life; her music was his life. He continued with his normal routine and went to her apartment. She was not home, but her car was still in the parking lot.

He had never gone into her apartment before, but he had to find out what was wrong. He had to find out what had made life wrong. He slowly turned her doorknob like so many times he wanted to, but could not put his courage where his heart was. Unlocked. She should not leave her door unlocked in a city like this, who knows what kind of creepers could break in. The door swung open and her apartment was just like he imagined. Nothing out of place. Bright colors. Modern furniture. Photos of friends on the fridge. A worn looking copy of The Great Gatsby opened to page 95 was in her chair.

“There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams – not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”

Her bed looked just like her personality with a yellow sunflower comforter. So welcoming. Except for what lay on it. Towards the upper-middle was a rather large crimson stain. A fresh crimson stain. With eyes open to see the stars twinkle happily at her music laid the cellist with a bullet to her brunette head. Gun in her right hand and her left pointing to a note. Of course. Always leave a note.

They said I was not talented enough. They said I was not good enough. They said to move on and live a real life. If someone is reading this, then that means I chose a real death. I was actually cut from the program months ago, but they let me still use their practice rooms until I moved. Music was my life, my whole life and I do not know what that means without Juilliard giving me a chance. I think I would have ended it right there if not for the roses. Ever since I came to the school there has been roses on my stand each morning, but I came to value them more and more when no one seemed to value me. They would remind me of better times, brighter times. These past few months, I saved each and every one. But roses are not enough. Life got too disappointing and roses could not fill that void.

He walked out. He left everything the way it was for the police and her family. Except for the note. The note was for him. The note was because of him.

He continued to bring roses. He brought roses for months afterwards. A new rose was placed at her forgotten stand even when her apartment was cleaned out. Even though years went by as did the people who used that room, no one disturbed the stand with thousands of roses left in the corner. On the day of his retirement party for working at the school as a janitor for forty years, he placed her last rose.

The cellist had stolen his heart as she had stolen her life.

 

 

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Inspired by the image Pixabay/user:Fotocitizen

 

A Storm

Above the world is water dancing in the sky. The humidity rises and water vapor can waltz and flow across the sky. The wind pushes and pulls the water from one end of the heavens to the other. The water dances in the sky.

It collects and combines into clouds, some puffy white others dark and stormy. The clouds eat each other up to form massive congregations of water. Each with its curves and edges and corners and boundaries. Each with its shapes that people transform in their minds. Each with a tummy darker than the rest of it, no matter if it is puffy white or dark and stormy.

The air is heavy with water, and not just the air up in the sky. In through the nose it is heavy and moist, almost tangible to the taste. It is the smell of new leaves and wet paper and fresh skin and cooked greens and clean glass. The skin gets a little cooler and the wind gives it a little kiss. The air is heavy and cool with water giving sign to a storm.

The clouds hover over the earth, waiting and watching. Waiting to collect enough water to drop on the earth below. Watching over everything, but seeing nothing. The clouds above the world, in the midst of dancing water, only waiting to drop what they have collected. Waiting and watching.

And they wait no more.

Down they let their precious cargo, down they let their treasure, down they let their trash, down they let themselves. The rain pours. Each drop sways in the wind, but with a final destination. The water does not dance in the wind anymore. It does not have time to frolic in the sky, but must get to the grass, pond, rooftop, hair, log, leaf, clothing. The rain has a destination, with no mind of its own. And so the wind still tries to get the raindrops to dance.

Off in the distance is a wonderful strike of brilliant light, here one moment and gone another. The lightning shines and shows off its beauty, silently calling to it lover. Waiting for the response back.

One second away

Two seconds away

Three seconds away

Thunder makes itself known, thunder bellows its response to its darling. Thunder yells to all the world that lightning is its mate. Thunder calls to its heart that he will be with her once again. Thunder tells lightning that he will come closer, try harder, be nicer, be softer, be faithful, be kinder, be there. But thunder is known for being rough and far away and being loud and being strong and being free, not a lover. Of breaking promises.

Lightning flashes and dances and spins and twirls and does everything it can to be the best. To be the most beautiful, to be the most stunning, to be the most daring, to be the most of everything. Lightning tries to the win the heart of her lover. Lightning tries and tries.

One second away

Two seconds away

Thunder is enticed and comes closer, wowed by the majesty and splendor of the show lightning put on for him. He wants to use her, he wants to watch her out do herself in competing for his heart. Competing only with her former performance. Thunder watches her dance and dance and try and try. Thunder watches. Waiting for her to fail, for him to find something better.

Lightning breaking trees and sets fire to them, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the stars look dim compared to her radiance, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the sun look pale, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the night sky light up like day, trying to impress thunder. Lightning tries to impress thunder.

One second away

Thunder slowly, sarcastically claps, seeing if he can make lightning try harder to impress him. He wants a show, he wants beauty at its finest or none at all. Thunder waits for more.

Lightning is tired of giving thunder her all. She wants him to love her for who she is – a force of nature meant to be. Not meant to impress because is not she already impressive enough for just being? Lightning wants to see if she won her lover’s heart, not his eyes. Lightning stops trying to impress. Lightning stops. Lightning waits.

Nothing.

Thunder is not there to be impressed. Thunder is only an effect of lightning. Thunder cannot be won because he is only a reflection of lightning. Thunder is nothing without lightning.

Lightning has stopped dancing and so has water. But wind still tries to make the raindrops dance.

Oh, the magnificent science behind a storm, behind clouds, behind the sky. How everything is just right for the water to collect, for the water to fall. For the sky to be illuminated with lightning and to make its presence known with thunder. The science and precision in its own right is a glorious beauty. To be seen with eyes, to be heard with the ears, to be felt with the skin, to be smelled with the nose, to tasted with the mouth; that is another miracle. For one event to bring in all the senses and equally electrify them, is an effect few events have.

 

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Pixabay/user:sethink

A Different Cinderella Story

There once was a prince who had a ball and all the fair maidens came and danced with him. The ball lasted hours upon hours but still he did not find a woman who would catch him when he fell in love. The last hour of the ball there was one who could catch him, and she too fell for him. They danced and it felt to the Prince as if he was dancing in the clouds. Dancing in heaven with this woman whose feet barely touched the ground.

Suddenly she apologized and said that she must go. The woman weaved her way through the ballroom and through the crowd. The Prince chased after her, wanting to know when he could see her again. He finally caught up with her in front of the palace. Strangely, there was no carriage to pick her up.

Prince called out to his mysterious maiden, “My lady, what is your name? Where do you come from?”

The woman replied, “Where I am from, gravity does not know my name.”

 

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Photomatt28 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

May We Never Forget

May we never forget. May we never forget our past. Our history defines us, of who we are and who we are not. History keeps a pattern. It may not happen exactly the same way, but it does repeat. But what if history is forgotten? All the effects are still seen, but the causes have mysteriously flowed away from the current citizens’ minds. We believe that World War 2 was the greatest atrocity the world, as a whole, has ever faced. But in this near future, the war is forgotten. In this foreign but sister world no one remembers World War Two, it happened but no one cares, ‘it is just a bunch of stuff that happened a long time ago’.

 

May we never forget the heroes; may we never forget the corrupted.  May we never forget the destruction; may we never forget the creation. May we never forget the sacrifices; may we never forget the selfishness. May we never forget the suffering; may we never forget the celebration.  May we never forget the suffering; may we never forget the celebration. May we never forget the people who showed up for the fight, but didn’t win the war; may we never forget the people whose excuse was that they were just following orders. May we never forget the dead; may we never forget the survivors. May we never forget the world; may we never forget the people. May we never forget the mistakes; may we never forget the success. May we never forget the abominations; may we never forget we are humans. May we never forget the victories; may we never forget the defeats. May we never forget.  

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Doubting Courage

Inspired by the two sentence story that my sister and I came up with:

Courage and Doubt capture my heart and taunt me. Stick me in a cage and poke and probe my inner thoughts.


Courage and doubt capture my heart and taunt me. Stick me in a cage and poke and probe my inner thoughts. Why must my captors mock me? Courage and Doubt each take a side and push me to and fro. They rattle me and call me names just to get a reaction. They bicker and snarl insults that makes me scream in my cage to drown out their hideous voices.

Courage brings to my attention kind actions or nice words to say. But Doubt climbs across my cage and starts a brawl against Courage. Courage punches Doubt in the stomach and I start walking towards my Random Act of Kindness person, while my consciousness is still trapped in that imaginary cage. Doubt knocks the wind out of Courage and I turn away from the person. Courage kicks Doubt in the shins and I turn back again, only a few feet from the person. But Doubt wins this round and I walk right past the person. Although Courage won the last and it made that person’s day, I listen to Doubt. Why do I have this battle? Most of the time I listen to both and devise a plan to remain anonymous, but it doesn’t have the same effect. I stay trapped in my cage and try, unsuccessful, to muffle their voices.


The battle inside me to have courage to do a random act of kindness.

I ask, ‘Why is there even a battle in the first place?’

Pixabay/Alexas_Fotos

Pixabay/Alexas_Fotos

Part 3 of 3: The Color of Broccoli

The thing that I like about broccoli is that it makes a crunch sound. My broccoli is not cooked, never mushy. No, my broccoli is raw. It makes sound. I try to recall and I do not ever remember a sound that I did not make, that is why I am so surprised when my bed shifts.

My bed is this cushion in the corner of my room. It is built in to the floor. I have tried to move it, pick it up, rip it, nothing works. But now it is shifted. The left side of the bed is slowly moving upward; it  . . . opens.

There is a passage inside the bed. The passage is not numbness. It is the opposite. It is calm. It is mysterious. It is perfect.

What should I call it? What is a name that matches it affects. What is a name that is breathtaking? What is this color? It shrouds everything in questions. Shroud.

Then, out of the Shroud something soft appears. It’s color is more pure than the numbness but nothing like the Shroud. It is so soft, I want to touch it.

I reach, it swerves away. It says something. It makes it’s own sound. The noise I understand. “Oh no Selena, we are not playing that game again today. I am human, not an object you can touch because you think it’s pretty.”

No! This is new. This is exciting. This is something like broccoli. I do not like this Soft Thing. It pushes me away. I reach more. I touch the Soft Thing. It makes noise. The noise is like when I get cauliflower when I want broccoli and I can’t remember what I do.

Then I realize. I reached for the tallest part of the soft thing and that is where the noise comes from. That is where the ooze comes from. That is where the consistency like milk comes from. The soft thing is in . . . pain? Did I cause pain? Pain is when there is no one or nothing to share with. Pain is not good.

I try to touch the Soft Thing again to say that I regret making pain, but it pushes me away. It makes noise, “We do this everyday Selena! Can you just once make it easy on me?!”

Selena? I do not know what this word means. It was like the Soft Thing was directing it at me. What is Selena? Am I Selena?

“I really wish I didn’t have to do this everyday. I can’t imagine what you are thinking each morning.” Something sharp sticks into me. Something that makes me feel like I do when I want to lay on the bed. My mind clouds  . . .

The color of broccoli, it’s the most magical thing I have ever seen, or remember seeing. Its shades changing from one stem to another. The way how it is at first light in shade then slowly, flows darker then blossoms into little buds of beauteous broccoli. The shape and texture of broccoli may be close to that of cauliflower, but the color of broccoli . . . is glorious. Cauliflower is bland, numb, equal. Broccoli is vibrant, contrasting, transitioning shades. Today I have cauliflower. I wish it was broccoli.

I am afraid I’ll forget what I thought about, and just continue thinking the same thing over and over, and each time thinking that it is a new thought. I have all these questions, but I don’t know if I’ll forget them tomorrow. Has tomorrow come? Is today tomorrow? When will tomorrow come? Time is infinite. Here. I don’t know if I’ve spent days here. Maybe weeks. Could even be years. Or maybe all this is between my alarm and my five minute snooze button. Time is all I have. But is time infinite in my five minute snooze?