People always lie.
They say, “There is a purpose to everything.”
They say, “It’s going to be alright.”
They say, “I love you.”
They say, “I know you’ll do the right thing.”
They say, “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
They say, “Let me go and I promise I won’t tell anyone.”
They say, “Just kill me now and get it over with.”
But they don’t really mean it.
[A micro-fiction story for Chuck Wendig’s latest challenge.]
He brought her love in a jar; slimy, hopping, eyes bulging.
It thudded against the glass, amphibian eyes begging for release. But she left it caged: fearful to embrace it, unwilling to let it go, trapped somewhere between odium and adoration.
And when he left for school she took it into the yard and planted it between the azalea bushes, jar and all.
“It’s all in your head,” the doctor said.
But the man knows different. He pulls the copper wire protruding from his skin till comes free with a bloody, satisfying pop, and he holds it up in front of his face.
“You’re only in my head,” he tells it, and laughs.
And then he cries. Deep, heaving sobs.
No one understands.
Crazy. Cukoo. Confused.
But he knows. His skin is a prison, a hateful man-suit, every square inch a fresh torment.
He knows that somewhere underneath is all, he must be normal.
So he takes a knife
and starts digging.
[This is my entry for the Straight Jacket Micro-Fiction Challenge. For what it’s worth Morgellons is a 100% real imaginary disease. Or maybe it’s not so imaginary. Either way, it creates great distress for those afflicted with it, and I wanted to capture the silent terror of being afflicted with a disease that no one else believed in. I hope I’ve done it some small justice.]
[I’ve been lax on keeping up with Chuck Wendig’s writing challenges the last couple weeks, but this one really grabbed my mind and didn’t let go. The challenge was this: write a complete story with beginning, middle, and end in three sentences. What follows is my effort.]
A rustle of bushes, a crackle of leaves, and the buck appeared, full of grace and power, antlers reaching like prayers toward heaven.
Don’s breath caught in his throat, and his dead father’s voice echoed in his mind, screaming at him to take the shot, the trigger under his finger as cold and immovable as love long lost.
And after a while, the buck passed on.
[It looks simple, but when you’ve got such a tiny tiny story, you have to spend a lot of time making sure every word is exactly right. I’d encourage all of you to try your hand at this. Give it your best shot, and then go read what everyone else is doing.]