The Worst Dinner?

A dish of lies, I say!

There is little more in the world worse than being tricked. My friends had never taken my vegetarianism seriously. One friend in particular was having a big party for Thanksgiving and invited some of his friends. I rarely turned down a social invitation, and as such, I attended with enthusiasm. After all, he had assured me there would be options for “my type of diet.”

When I arrived there was a plate set for me. I questioned the source of protein, asking if it was the tofu he promised me would be available. I even offered to cook it myself when I arrived so long as it was made available. No, he insisted! He insisted that I be treated like a guest. I took the plate as he insisted that it was definitely tofu. Sometimes when prepared one cannot tell the difference between tofu and some meats just looking at it. In this case, I could not be sure due to the dressings and sides. I trusted his word to be honest and went to the extra dining room to enjoy my meal with friends.

Or people I thought were friends.

I was so hungry I didn’t even notice everyone watching with baited breath as I took my first bite of the tofu. As I breathed in the area before even getting the morsel into my mouth, I knew. This was not tofu. I thought it would be rude to spit it out so I swallowed, silently praying to my god that I wouldn’t die. Afterwards I swiftly pushed it to the side and worked very slowly through my vegetables.

As soon as the room cleared and eyes were not waiting for me to “enjoy” the “tofu” again, well, I did what any angry teenager would do! I marched to his parents in the main dining room as the schmoozed with friends-of-friends. Wine glasses clutched lazily in their hands – I announced what their son had done to me. They only seemed partially upset, but generally indifferent to the shenanigans of their forever-a-brat child. If that would not put a fire in their hearts, I could think of something else that most certainly would capture their attention.

“Oh, and did you know you son is selling meth to half of the basketball team? He brags that he has been making in the attic.” I did not wait for their response. Surely news of my friend’s punishment will be the juiciest social news for a week or two. It was immature, unquestionably, but I like to think I was able to save their son’s life that day.

Tell Me, What Could Possibly Happen?

A raindrop could fall in the eye of an old man picking dandelions from his garden. He could fall backwards and trip on the hoe he forgot to pick up (again). His leg could break in those few seconds. He would have to go the hospital by car with his nervous wife who won’t stop crying, surely.

They would take him back into a room and check his injury. They could find a mass in his leg that is concerning, something he probably had dismissed as a part of his arthritis. They would take a biopsy.

A week later, because of that single second when a raindrop startled a feeble old man, he could receive a call from his oncologist. That old man would be reassured that they caught his leukemia early and it would unlikely that these are the last of his days.

Excalibur Returns (An Original Short)

Contest Host: WOW! Women on Writing

Contest Title: 2016 Flash Fiction Contest (With Critique)

Placement: None


 

The ethereal world around me shames even my most whimsical dreams. I feel perfectly at home here even if I have no idea how it is I’ve even arrived. This place is so hauntingly beautiful that I can only presume that it is luck that I’ve stumbled upon this paradise.

 

“But why is it that I feel so lucky?” Not even the tiniest piece of me felt afraid to be somewhere with which I was unfamiliar. There were no questions as to whether I was in danger. My admiration for the scenery left me dumbfounded but put my simultaneously at ease. Why is it I would consider myself lucky instead of concerned?

 

“Because you are,” A divine harmony echoes throughout my mind. Surely it was the single most brilliant voice in all of time and space. Hearing it speak is distracting in the moment that I hear it but also in the seconds that tick by with slow deliberation afterwards. I nearly forget to look around for a person to whom the voice belongs but in my heart I know will not find one. Regardless, I twirl halfheartedly knowing in advance that no human could so sound divine.

 

When I stop my eye catches the slightest glimmer of sunshine bouncing off of a dewy patch of moss. Clouds pass overhead breaking what little light shone through the vast canopy. The moss that was just radiant green is now as dark as night, barely recognizable as any form of plant life. Something in my heart propels me forward to explore this patch of moss very specifically. The closer I get to it the harder my heart pounds behind my sternum.

 

Once I am hovering directly above the chameleon moss I notice that there’s a strange sort of light around it. The way it moves reminds me of a small stress on the countryside. Alas, it is not actually bright light, like what you would see from the sun, but rather palpable nothingness that casts a demanding aura. I cannot resist the urge to stare into the abyss.

 

Unsure what it is I am experiencing makes me curious rather than frightened. I slowly poke each hand into the void in hopes of discovering something with which I can make a deduction about this strange patch of plant life in this oasis. Why does is radiate power in such a way that is distinctly different from the rest of the forest?

 

At first I feel nothing more than a soft breeze. For a second I shiver due to a chill that is best described as a wind tiptoeing up my spine. Since I have no reason to believe that there is any danger I lean in further to take a deep breath. Does it smell as harmless as it looks?

 

“On the ground,” the voice returns only to alert me to the mistake that I’ve made. Agony washes over me as violently as the Thames. The pain is tangiblly audible to the point that I cannot even tell if I am screaming. My eyes remain clamped shut as I suffer through whatever has overcome me.

 

Time seems to stop so that my punishment may hold the attention of the entire universe. My palms are hitting the ground with flagrant protest. I found this paradise to be alluring and perfect but now I damn it for what it has done to me. Through the aching I force my fingers to inspect each frill, blade, and bulge in hopes of identifying an escape. The only thing that exists in me is the will to survive. It is only several cuts, bruises, and rashes later that I finally identify something that is foreign…

 

Something that does not belong…

 

And it is so very, very cold.

 

It is lean.

It is sleek.

And it is cold.

 

Without justification I bring the item to my chest, eyes still closed as the pain continues resonate through my bones. In a way, the echoes of suffering are worse than the initial inflictions. In my heart I know that this punishment is somehow instrumental to my escape. Perfect as it seems, I have no desire to continue my adventure here.

 

Silence begins to fall around me. Clamped eyes begin cracking open so that I can examine the trinket that I have discovered. The cool temperature that had stood out in contrast to my hot pain is wholly refreshing. I find myself absently attached to this object in a way that I find myself describing as ‘victorious.’

 

It is almost as though I had achieved the task for which I was brought to this place. As I suspect this presently, it is also confirmed; “What you hold now is a necklace fashioned from the shattered remains of a scabbard once known as Excalibur. For far too long I have waited for another to carry its burden once more.”

 

Enthralling as the voice is, as the setting is too, I cannot resist laughing at this premise. Tendrils tug in the back of my mind insisting that this is reality but in the forefront of my mind I have the slightest suspicions this is little more than a dream. The feelings, sensations, and pains that I experienced are remnants of regret and accomplishment that I feel in a real world somewhere beyond this place. I would be mad to believe that this luxurious getaway is real.

 

When my laughter fades, though, I find that there is a soft denial. The rhythm in my heart changes and my lungs breathe air differently. I am not independent. The voice seems to instruct me how to feel and what to think. Within seconds my mockery of the possibility twists away from that rooted doubt. As it lifts it is quickly replaced with acceptance; “And yet as much as you lack belief you are equally as easily swayed. Does your necklace not feel as icy as a winter’s night? Those are Excalibur’s remains in your very hands. Your presence in Avalon is not some innocuous hallucination. Of this I can promise you.”

 

I command myself to wake, or so I believe that I have done as much. The brilliant world around me is replaced with dull gray walls. Stained cream curtains billowing in the polluted wind cover a cracked window. I am instantly reminded that I live in a city plagued by crime and anarchy. Displeasure flows steadily in my veins. The largest part of me regrets leaving Avalon. Real or not, I already prefer to be there in spite of the dangers it may contain.

 

“You are meant for great things,” The voice asserts finally as my gaze settles on the blankets that cover me. A heavy object seems to be weighing them down. My fingers feel a breeze rolling off of a necklace that is immediately familiar to me. Excalibur is real and it is here in my lap. The peace that I felt in Avalon returns and I find myself trusting in the words of my invisible guardian.

 

I easily clasp Excalibur around my neck. It was much heavier in my hands. A second passes in which I consider removing the jewelry but the thought feels insidious. A soft whispering in the deepest crevices of my mind is insisting that I was meant to carry this burden. To exist without Excalibur would defy the universe.

 

A gunshot yanks me back into the world beneath my window. I rip the curtains back with assurance. This world must change. I must change this world.

A Fate Worse Than Death

Disclaimer: It’s been awhile readers since I’ve been able to do a proper flash fiction entry! Too long! Today I got my inspiration from doing a random Google search on fantasy prompts. I found one on this website that I was particularly connected to – because, well, I love it when the heroes fail and/or die.

Prompt: Write a story where a chosen hero is supposed to defeat an evil overlord. Then make the hero fail.


 

The air is thick with the smell of death and despair. Those of her people whom haven’t been slaughtered have fled the city. Perhaps they will surrender, perhaps they won’t be extended the opportunity. Unfortunately, she knows that she won’t be alive to see the damage of her overzealous effort to rule her planet neutrally. A planet which never prepares for war is a planet that makes itself an easy target. A planet that believes involvement in intergalactic politics is self-sabotaging is a planet ruled by delusions. This is a lesson she had to learn at the cost of her people that had faith in her reign.

Instead she now stands at a statue erected in the image of her great-great-grandfather who withdrew A’gaar from the Kashi Strip’s alliance. Blood stained fingers paint the desperation that suffocates her presently on the base. She’s been standing with her back to the enemy for too long and within seconds she will surely be murdered for her dissent to align A’gaar with the Sixth Union. What seemed so small of a decision will destroy her home. It has destroyed her home.

“Ka’vaara, Monarch of A’gaar!” Struggling to rise, the frail woman stumbles into the legs of the statue before she can roll and face the commander identifying her. If she is to die then she shall do so with honor and dignity. She will stare down the consequences of her actions, right or wrong, and accept fate with the valor her people would expect. One fist pressed against a harsh wound on her leg and another holding stringy, muddied hair out of her face. The commander approaches her, battle armor covering her face. When she peels it back, revealing her golden scales – Ka’vaara knows that this is no mere commander. This is the creator of the Sixth Union. This is Anyana – a woman with no home; “Ka’vaara, it would appear you chose to die today. Your people must be ashamed.”

Anyana is wrong. They would be proud, even if disappointed in the loss. Independence is worth the risk, but it is easy to be proud when the weight is not on their shoulders. The only one to carry the burden of this disaster is Ka’vaara; “My people will live on in the stories of our resilience and resistance. Once day your worth will run out, and when it does, you will stand no taller than I while they stare you down with defeat surrounding you on all side. I have no shame because the stories of my people will turn your people against you. A’gaar will not belong to you rightfully, and you will never keep it.”

Anyana lifts her gun to Ka’vaara’s face and pushes it’s sleek and short barrel against her cheek. The warm metal softens her features. This is a gun that has been fired many times at many of her people. She revels in the fact that she will die in exactly the same way many of them did, because she is not to be held higher than the people that gave their life for her. In the end, they are all just the people of A’gaar.

“You will suffer a fate worse than the citizens of your feeble planet.” Anyana whispers through her growled laughter. Ka’vaara hears the clicking of the gun repeatedly as she tries to release the laser beam. Rapid button smashing continues to result in nothing. The gun is obviously shut down and nonoperational. Ka’vaara shrieks in rage with each click -piecing together at the sight of two guards, chains rattling in their hands, that there is only one fate worse than death; “You will be the face of my movement, Ka’vaara, and your people will bow down to kiss my heels when I walk by -” She proclaims.

“NEVER!” Never! Never! Never! Never! Ka’vaara spits at the guards approaching her, locking her arms behind her and securing the chains with a brace around her neck. The copper metal rips easily through her soft skin, allowing more blood to flow from her body. In minutes she will black out from the massive trauma; “They will never believe you!” Tears wash her cheeks as she proclaims that this plan is faithless, aimless, desperate. It could never work.

“Killing you will enrage them. I need them to swear their loyalty to me, so I require your persuasive tongue.” Anyana walks confidently towards her, forcing her to see that the war was a battle not of confidence. Growing up all the warriors said: “it is your willpower which makes your powerful!” But it was lies. Confidence does not win wars. Ka’vaara lowers her gaze to the ground feeling the world slowly blur around her. Dripping is faintly evident on her chest.

Anyana is soon leaning into Ka’vaara with hands planted firmly on her hips. For a second, the smell of loss has dissipated and is replaced with something even more foul. If she could identify it, she would, but her mind is quickly losing the internal battle to remain conscious. Anyana smiles before pressing her lips to Ka’vaara’s ear, cackling her latest proclamation; “Your tongue belongs to me and my words will become yours.”

“You lose.”

AA: Anonymous Apologies

Oh, the time that has lapsed since I was able to do a short fiction piece! It pains me to even consider counting the weeks. Regardless of my hiatus – I have finally returned to start posting my flash fiction again – (or short fiction, whichever you prefer, it technically can belong to either category).

My inspiration today comes from Alice’s Writing Tips on Tumblr. You can find the blog here, but I actually used this particular post for this fiction piece. I highly recommending clicking the second hyperlink because the inspiration was actually a picture this time. Check it out – check the blog out – and then please – without further adieu – read my story:


 

Dear Anonymous:

 

I’m sorry.

The project is, was by now, for the seniors to anonymously submit apologies for the mistakes that they had made throughout their high school career. The idea wasn’t completely idiotic – as many of the parents lamented. In spite of their efforts to end the idea – and it was ended as an official school-approved project – the senior class invested every second and dollar they had into making it and distributing it to every single graduating student.

I was the mastermind behind this project. Two or three months ago there was an online poll, because that’s the cool way to handle all things in life these days, and it was asking our senior year mementos. In the past it has just been predictable ideas: letterman jackets and class rings. Each class does something different every single year specific to them. Last year it was a disc with a copy of the senior celebration slideshow. The year before it was a graduation Christmas ornament. A few years ago when my brother graduated they did custom picture frames.

I always thought these senior mementos were cheery. Too cheery, in fact. There was something about them that didn’t feel true to the typical high school experience. When people consider their futures realistically, only a very tiny portion of the people you were close to in high school stick around. That’s a somber truth. I don’t think it or admit it maliciously – but how can we trick ourselves into believing that these high school graduation gifts will make a difference in our lives? They won’t make us remember anything of value. My father’s letterman jacket is in a box in the garage, dusty and mildewed from being a part of a flood. The flood wasn’t even at our house. My grandparents made him take the box when he wouldn’t let them throw it away.

As for my mother, her class ring literally got dropped down the toilet. She was cleaning her old jewelry that was in a nightstand drawer. It was full of unmated earrings, broken bracelets, and accessories that she’d worn once or twice for special occasions. And – you know – her class ring. It was a misfit piece of jewelry that meant nothing to her. And when she dropped it, I remember how she acted as though she didn’t care for it anyway. “Honey, do you think my class ring will wreck the plumbing,” she had called out to my dad. She couldn’t have been concerned about the loss any less. She just didn’t want to pay for a plumber to fetch it.

So when I saw this poll I made the suggestion: a magazine of apologies for mistakes we made so that when we leave we know that we leave on good terms with no unfinished business.

I haven’t the foggiest idea where my mind was when I submitted it. Although, I do remember laughing after I closed my browser. The entire thing was supposed to be a joke. Little did I know… At least I was smart enough to submit it anonymously! Two days later my suggestion was accepted almost unanimously. Everyone seemed to love it, saying that it was clearly brilliant. It was only then that I realized that there was no way this couldn’t have been adored by teenagers too desperate to let go of a life they’ve known for eighteen years – I pieced together that a lot of people had a lot of things that they regretted. They all had something they needed to apologize for after these last four years.

When things started off – everyone was encouraged to submit one letter addressed to nobody in particular but signed with their name. I suppose the idea was so that one person didn’t get a dozen apologies while others received none. Again, I suppose that makes sense. This way they don’t have to track down an apology for every single person in the senior class. Teachers immediately put a halt to it because that would have made the writers of each letter far too vulnerable. I was beyond elated that it was shut down because the last thing teenagers need it proof of who did something regrettable.

That is when the idea came that the letters would be written to an anonymous person and signed by anonymous. There was a submission box in the journalism classroom and the letters were to be submitted in print only! Nothing handwritten could be accepted – so that there was almost literally no way to trace the apologies back to anyone particular. Even though the school couldn’t participate in the creation of this magazine project, the teachers did continue help students control the situation so that it didn’t turn into a disaster.

That’s how I got here, I suppose. I am sorry that I gave anyone this idea. Not everyone can handle the truth, and not everyone can accept an apology. I am worried that apologies are going to be made on things that nobody knew were controlled incidents. I am worried that people are going to write apology letters about things that weren’t problems until the letter was written. Any number of things could go wrong from these apologies. And the thing is, we’re all going to forgive our anonymous writers for their misdeeds.

We are going to forgive someone who might not deserve to be forgiven. We are going to accept these apologies and deem it all to be “okay,” even if it might not be okay at all. I regret everything that will happen as the result of this magazine.

I hope that this is the last entry, by the way. I hope that this is placed at the back of the magazine so that after everyone reads these letters – so that after everyone gets their gossip fill – so that after tears have been shed – I hope that this is the last thing everyone reads because I have one last parting message for you.

None of these apologies matter. They weren’t for you. They were never meant to be for you. People that submitted a letter for this magazine did so only to clear their consciences. I am included in that mess. I regretted my mistakes out of my fear towards growing up and leaving home. Somewhere along the way– without warning – it put in this predicament. The lesson I had to learn – the hard way apparently – is to not regret anything. So please remember after reading each of these disturbing letters that – the only regret you should have is regretting anything at all.

Thank you for the four interesting years that we shared in high school. If we’re lucky, some of us might stay in touch. Otherwise, don’t let it bother you. Don’t linger on it. Don’t let it haunt you later in life. Just let it all go.

And maybe burn this magazine after you frame your high school diploma.

Sincerely,

 

Anonymous.

Very Short Fiction Series

A Series of Very Short Fiction Stories

Based on These Prompts Here

Because I Do What I Want When I Want, Thank you ❤


Prompt Idea #1:   “I’m in a bookshop and I really need that book can you get it for me??? Wait you’ve read that book? let’s have an in depth conversation about it.”

My friends know what to expect from me for Christmas. It’s books. Every year. It has been books every year since I was fifteen. A decade of books. It’s kind of a nice legacy, honestly. Maybe one day there’ll be a book called the “Book Lady, Giver of Books,” and it’ll tell the story of a kind woman who educated her loved ones with great literature.

“But that would be a very boring story, wouldn’t it?” I grumble. Really, it isn’t that the story is boring so much as the story wouldn’t have much gusto. It would be some sort of Indie story about loving and giving and caring and self sacrifice. As the Giver of Books, I don’t buy books for myself. I am probably the last woman in town that actually uses my library card for books.

Before I know it, I’ve reached the aisle I was looking for in the back of the store. This is where they keep oddball works, and clearance books. While I’m not looking in the clearance bin today, these are books that maybe only got one run from their publishers because they just knew that the work wouldn’t perform well in the market. I always have to remind people that this is not to say that the work isn’t good. It just means that they are still undiscovered. Better undiscovered than to keep the words inside, in my opinion. But today, my actual mission is to get a book series for my younger sister. A series called “My Boyfriend Merlin.”

I read it quite some time ago, but I found that I liked the love triangle element of it. Really, the love triangle is way overdone. Too many stories are doing it these days, but I felt that “My Boyfriend Merlin” did such a great job of really showing the complications of romance – especially where brothers are concerned. Merlin and Vane caused a good many problems, and it must have been hard for Ryan to choose. Vane was hardly the romantic type.

As I recall silently the difference between Merlin and Vane as potential mates, I find the books in a box set – how rare! – and pull it off of the shelf. Seconds later, though, I accidentally run into the shelf because someone chimes in and I wasn’t expecting it, “Opposites attract – don’t think I’ve read a better story proving it than that.” When I pinpoint the person to whom the voice belongs, I am happily surprised that this girl is very attractive. Very, very attractive. I don’t mind looking at her in the slightest.

Talking to her, even easier – believe it or not – “I’m not sure they’re opposites completely, but I was surprise that she chose Vane. I thought for sure Merlin was her match!”

The girl in her ripped black jeans and her crop top jersey shirt steps closer and takes the book set from me, looking down at the bindings with her thumb caressing the edge of the box. This series must really mean something to her, something that maybe I’m in no place to question. I don’t have any business wanting to know.

It doesn’t stop me from wanting to know, and it certainly doesn’t stop me from asking her out so that I can hear the story behind those deep sighs; “This sounds like a debate best engaged over brunch in a run down diner.” She accepts with a hearty laugh, handling the box back to me and tagging along just behind me.


Prompt Idea #2: “You were trying to reach for a box of cereal and a whole shelf’s-worth of cereal boxes fell on you here let me help”

I hear over the intercom that “Floor Tech needed in aisle three” which is the breakfast and snack section of the store. I’m thinking that someone must have dropped the pudding cups again. The stocker thought it was a good idea to stack on the top shelf, and stupid assholes have been dropping them on the floor all week. It’s irritating.

So I drag my bucket behind me with a bit attitude. I hate this job, honestly, because I’m more or less a swing employee. I show up and I don’t know what department I’m in until I clock in. The only places I’m guaranteed to never work is the pharmacy and the deli. Those a specific jobs that have specific training for which I definitely opted out. But really, I could be stock today, janitorial tomorrow, and cashier the day after. I never really know.

And for some reason this week, I’ve been the janitor kid just hobbling about cleaning up messes. I hate it. Of course, I’m seventeen. I’m genetically programmed to hate work. At least that’s how I feel.

“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” A presumably female squeak sounds off as soon as I get half-way to the mess – which is actually a pile of cereal boxes, “I stood on the bottom shelf and there was tilting and falling and boxes!”

This poor person can’t be any more than five feet tall, maybe five foot one if she is lucky. I don’t need my mop and bucket, so I just pop my stuff in front of the Nutella – because let’s be real, we don’t need chocolate spread for our toast. On the floor in a messy blob are at least five brands of cereal just chilling out. Today my tall, lankiness is not a curse. I’m able to start stacking everything up on the shelf without any issue.

I don’t say anything to the short girl because typically they all take off after they make a mess, embarrassed that they have inconvenienced me. Most people know I make just over minimum wage doing a job that is arguably harder to do than a good many other jobs. This one, though, she stays put – even helps by handing me boxes as I put them away. By the time everything is stacked, she even opts to apologize a second time because she must actually feel really bad; “I should have just asked for help. That would have been far less troublesome. I am extremely sorry that you had to come out here and pick these up. As you can tell, I have short girl problems.”

“Sounds like you need a tall boyfriend.” I don’t mean to suggest I could be her tall boyfriend, or that she even wants a boyfriend – so I have to urgently correct myself. And what would an embarrassing flub be without my panicked stutter?

“N-not t-to s-say t-th-that y-you wa-want a b-boy-boyfriend, of c-course. You c-could wa-want a g-girl – a g-girlfriend who is t-tall.”

“A tall boyfriend would be just fine.” She laughs. Well, if she’ll have me – then I guess I can openly admit that she’s incredibly cute. And her laugh is the cure to all ailments.


Prompt Idea #3: “We’re both baristas and sometimes I have trouble reaching for things and I show up to work one day to find a personalized stool with hearts and my name on it i hATE YOU but also thanks”

Week One – The new barista is hilarious. He is shorter than all of the other guys on staff, so he’s been having to ask us all to grab certain coffees from the top shelfs and cabinets. He’s also been standing on his top toes in order to reach the syrups. My buddy Troy has been calling him Hobbit Bob. I am not sure Robert likes it, but he smiles anyway.

Week Two – I took break with Robert after a customer congratulated him on being a “small person” with great customer service. The jerk seemed to think that Robert can’t be short and have a good demeanor. It kind of pissed me off. Actually, it kind of pissed everyone off. We’ve asked the manager to put a sign up at the register telling people not to insult the employees and to be respectful of other patrons – you know, just to hide the fact that we think the jerk – who is a regular – doesn’t feel like we’re calling him out.

Personally, I don’t care. He’s a dick.

Week Three – Robert is still having a rough time. He was hoping to handle a short shift on his own a few nights ago. It went really badly, and he had to file an incident report. He’s taken two days off to recover, but he’s not sure if he wants to come back. At least, that’s what his Facebook says. He’s concerned that with his height he’s better suited for a desk job. I think he lost he his confidence and on a man-to-man level – I can’t let him think he can’t do this job. He’s good and his height shouldn’t make him think he’s not.

Week Four – I bought a two-step stool and decorated with pictures of Robert smiling that I may or may not have downloaded from his Facebook page – this is why people should be more careful with the things that they upload. I put an encourage message on the top step “Size Don’t Matter.” It’s a funny joke because men always worry about the size of something else entirely, and also because he is short. Nobody has told him who brought the stool in because I want it to be a secret. He’ll figure it out when the time is right.

Week Five – So it may or may not – I say that phrase a lot don’t I – have admitted to liking Robert. At first I was just like – Yeah I like him, he’s a Barista Bro. But then at some point I think I accidentally started liking Robert in a – He’s My Short Robert kind of a way. A couple of the gals know, and my buddy Troy knows. Troy wants me to tell Robert because it’s kind of a big deal. I haven’t dated anyone in a few years because it gets complicated explaining to my family why sometimes I date guys and sometimes I date girls. Bisexuality doesn’t make sense to them yet. So I just avoid it – also – that’s a lot of work and I just want to pay bills and be a good barista.

But I also want to be a good boyfriend to Robert.

If he’d have me.

Week Six – Robert gave me a fucking Valentine’ Day card. It says “thanks for the step stool.” And then it has – I fucking shit you not – a HEART SHAPED GIFT CARD that has, in silver sharper – “Will you take a coffee break date with me?” written on it. Are fucking kidding me? This is like that fanfiction crap you see online. I could kill the internet with the cuteness of this relationship with Robert. How even did this happen? I was just trying to be a bro – a proper Barista Bro.

And now I have a short boyfriend that sometimes answers to Hobbit Bob.

This is happiness.


Prompt Idea #4: “You are very tall and I am very short so you run into me all the time and honestly this is getting ridiculous”

A few weeks ago, my gym partner tripped over me while we were running laps, right. Seems like a legit thing to happen since he’s six-foot-two and I am only five-foot-one. That’s a huge difference. This is certainly not an unheard of phenomena. Unfortunately, it’s not happening in gym anymore.

It’s happening in the hallway between classes. It’s happening in classes when we are turning in our work. It even happened at Friday night’s basketball game! He nearly sent my tumbling down through the crowded bleachers! But I think last night was the last straw. He and I were at the store at the same time – buying cards for Christmas and stuff like broke teenagers do – and he somehow trips over me and knocks over an entire stand of greeting cards!

He laughed it off like it was a joke, like it was no big deal. I was furious, though. Or at least I was for the time being. When I complained about it to my older brother he giggled. Apparently that’s how he met his currently girlfriend. They were both at the movies one night trying to get in line for midnight tickets. He accidentally trampled her while she held her friend’s spot in line. They’ve been together for a couple of months now and couldn’t be happier.

Naturally, he is convinced that my tall gym partner is trying to tell me that he likes me without using words. I suppose it’s better than the whole “boys tease girls because they like them” trope – which honestly, shouldn’t even be a trope to begin with since it sends a nasty message. Regardless, I figured that there may be merit to some degree in what was happening. The frequency of these incidents were absolutely obnoxious. Something had to be said.

So I said something yesterday, while we were doing our stretch; “Gym Partner Charlie, this has got to stop. You keep falling over me like I’m so sort of piece of sidewalk jutting out of the ground. It is ridiculous. You need to watch were you’re going.”

I could have stopped there, but I kept going; “Unless, of course, you are tripping over me on purpose as a way to say you’ve fallen for me. In which case, you should probably just ask me out to dinner sometime. I like anything barbecue.”

We have a date next week.


Prompt Idea #5: I’m in art class and I just opened a cupboard to find a tiny person (you) squished inside and you just looked at and said “shh i’m hiding”

KAYLA FISHER

10/16/2015 at BSU via Facebook Mobile

So has anyone ever told you that college is a wild ride? If they haven’t, let me be the first person to tell you that it is! Today in my Advanced Mixed Media class we were in the studio to start our projects. A couple of the students were out to get coffee because our professor was – as usual – running quite late.

A group of friends were playing hide-and-seek. Someone that isn’t in our class must have been working in here earlier in the day because a very tall guy – very handsome, by the way, wouldn’t mind seeing his backside again – he shows up and goes to a storage locker. He swings open the door and bends down to pull something out, right. Normal thing to do – you know – if you work in this room a lot. Nobody suspected a thing.

UNTIL HE SCREAMED LIKE GRANDMA AFTER HITTING A DEER WITH THE STATION WAGON! Remember that mom?

Turns out there was a very tiny gal from out classroom his locker. To make it even better – she wouldn’t surrender his supplies unless he answered a riddle! Poor guy didn’t know what to do so he just shrugged his shoulders and left without taking anything with him! I hope he didn’t have anything that he had to turn in tomorrow!

LMAO! X)X)


Prompt Idea #6: “We’re on the bus and I’m really not trying to take up your space I’m sorry I just have rlly rlly long legs” 

Jeff gets nervous when he has to ride the bus. Firstly, because he’s never rode the bus before – at least not to school. This is his first year. Secondly, he’s in a brand new school district. Jeff knows not a single person. And lastly, he grew five inches this past summer break and he’s all legs. What a terrible way to start the sixth grade. Long legs, gangly arms, taller than everyone else – and it’s first impression on everyone at the school.

So it’s understandable when he panics a tiny bit one on his bus to school. Every seat is already occupied! So he just looks for the tiniest other person on the bus and takes his seat next to what looks to be a kindergartener. The child smiles at him and waves; “Hello! My name is Annabella but my momma calls me Anna. I’m five years old. Are you having a nice first day?” The lines sound almost rehearsed, not that he’s surprised. His mother took a video of him on his first day of pre-school and he recites that same lines four or five times because he knew what he wanted to say to the camera. He knew what he wanted people to remember about it.

Or at least he thought he did; “Hello Anna. My first day isn’t so bad. I hope that I’m not taking up too much space, though.”

The little girl shrugs her shoulders and says, “You look like human spaghetti. It don’t bother me.”

“Yeah, it must be my long legs, huh?” She nods her head happily, and viciously – actually. This Anna child is full of energy and can’t seem to stop smiling for anything.

While that normally wouldn’t be a problem, she proceeds to say: “I wonder if those long legs taste that noodles.”

I hope she’s not a cannibal in the making. Perhaps it’s just a “kids say the darnedest things” moment, like my mom always says…


Prompt Idea #7: “We’re at a concert and I can’t see a thing let me sit on your shoulders, maybe?”

This girl I’ve been talking to all night is pretty cool. She bought these tickets for herself after her boyfriend cheated on her – she moved out with enough money to buy gas and these tickets. She said since then she’s been living in her cousin’s spare room and working as many odd jobs as she can to move into at least a 3-month leased studio apartment until she can get her life figured out a little bit more… I guess she is waiting to hear about a job? I can’t even remember what kind of job.

That’s beside the point, though, because she’s been pretty wonderful all night. Not just to me, but to everyone. She has been spotting people a few bucks when they find themselves short changed for drinks or snacks. In the merch lines she handed someone a twenty and told’m to buy a shirt to remember it by… For someone who has no money to speak of – she sure is getting rid of it a lot.

When I ask her if she can see the screens alright – because we’re on the grass and you can’t see a damn thing from here unless you’re tall enough – she just shrugs her shoulders; “I’m not here to see the band. I’m not here to listen to the band. I’m here to say that I earned it. I’m here for the memories.”

And she’s a short gal, so if there’s anything worth my time – it’s making sure that she can see something from this concert worth remembering. It’s a no brainer when she tells me that her favorite son is being performed. I look at her and start kneeling down, “Get on my shoulders.”

I am thankful that she doesn’t decline my offer, and something tells me that she will be too.


Prompt Idea #8: “You’re afraid that you’ll lose me in big crowds so you always hold my hand but now you just hold my hand when there’s only, like, five people around and I’m getting vry suspicious”

Dear Carla,

I understand that we want to Six Flags as a group with our friends, and that you panicked because we got lost in the crowd. I understand that we both agreed to hold hands, alright, because if we couldn’t find our friends then we needed to stick together. And I understand that we had a great time and that eventually we kind of gave up finding our group since we liked all the same rides.

But, it’s become a bit of a habit. Okay, so you and I were holding hands all day at the water park so that we didn’t get shoved out of the lines. That made sense. And we held hands again during the summer festival in town. Again, it made sense. It can get busy at the park during festival time.

Yesterday – though – I’m not sure it made sense to hold my hand when we were at the library. There were literally two other patrons in the library. And they were downstairs in the adult computer lab. Nobody was around. When I asked why you were holding my hand – you joked that you didn’t want to lose me in the shelves.

I’m starting to think that you don’t want to lose me at all. Like, you think we’re in a relationship and that you think if I stop letting you hold my hand that it’s going to end this relationship. We’re not in a relationship, though.

So I figure if this hand holding business is going to continue, the least that we can do is make this official. You are my girlfriend and I’m your girlfriend. As long as that sounds good is, why don’t you shoot me a message. We can go out on a proper date Saturday night?

Yours – literally,

Kelsey.

Food as Comfortable as a Blanket

I wanted to squeeze in a quick flash fiction piece before work today, just to keep the flow of work going on my blog. I’m using a “non-traditional” prompt today. It comes from a Tumblr blog geared towards character development.

Prompt: What is your character’s favorite comfort food?


I watch the rain outside with a frown on my face. The unfortunate thing about a rainy day is that it prevents me from working. As a landscaper, I need the skies clear in order to do what I do best. Since the weather doesn’t pass the test, I have to stay home and lose out on some cash. This makes four days in a row, now, that I haven’t been able to work at all. If I don’t work, I can’t get paid. And if I don’t get paid then those bills that are weeping on my counter… They’re mad at me! I can’t hear them.

Just then my sister texts me, reminding me to eat lunch on her. She slipped me a twenty when I stopped by for dinner yesterday. I was talking about the work week, and the bills, and the banks being awful – and she said that she was going to grab a couple drinks after work with the girls. She followed that by saying I deserved a good meal. I didn’t want to take it but I had to do it. If I turned her down, she would have taken it personally.

Everyone in my family takes gestures of the monetary sort personally.

There’s a beautiful bakery up the street that is joined with a family run café that I just love. I could eat there twice if I wanted to, but that’s exactly the problem. I do not want to go there today. I don’t even know that I’d want to go there tomorrow. That’s a place I visit when I am happy, when things are going good. Right now everything seems to be falling apart around me.

So as I stand with my face pressing against the window – I don’t even remember leaning against the glass, but apparently I’ve made myself comfortable there – and I consider what I should eat for lunch. What does one eat when life has decided to take the dark path through the woods? Chili? Macaroni? Hot dogs? Ramen noodles?

“Broccoli and cheese.” I decide. I know it’s not from scratch but I have a microwave dinner in the freezer from last week that I never got around to – last week was definitely a bakery and café week. Going through the motions carelessly and wearily, I find that I am cheered up just slightly after I heard the whirring of the microwave.

My mother used to give all of us kids broccoli and cheese on Mondays after school. With five kids, of course she would have to do anything just to make us calm down after the first day back to school in the week. Oh, how rowdy we could get! My two oldest brothers would wrestle in the foyer, and my two sisters would like chase me through the house playing ‘Tammy Tara Tina Tag.” Those, of course, are all our names. Our brothers are Thomas and Theodore.

The microwave dings, the smell of almost burnt cheese wafts out and grabs my heart. My parents were also “T” people. Tamara and Tyler. We were doing the “same first letter of our first ahem” thing before the Kardashians. We are twice as entertaining and only half as crazy. Someone should give my family a television show.

That would certainly help my financial struggles.

During my consideration of the alternate reality where my family is famous for reality television, I dump my broccoli and cheese into a tupperware container that is actually an old ice cream tub. I also swipe a fork from my drawer. It’s the last one clean. The smell of the steamed broccoli finally permeates the cheese, its earthy and salty. Microwave food is notoriously bad for being salty to help preserve the foods long beyond their normal life span.

But I don’t care, because it tastes fine. The first bite is always weird, especially if I haven’t ate it for a long time. By the third bite, I’m every bit as melted as the cheese. Just ooey-gooey insides and warm coursing through my veins. I barely even noticed that I’ve settled into my blanket on the couch. Halfway through my dish, if any Chef would allow me to properly call a microwaveable meal a dish, I move around to pull the blanket all the way up over me.

“Food as comfortable as a blanket.” Mhmm, it sure is.

Maybe tomorrow the sun will shine and I can go to the bakery to celebrate the clear skies!