Category Archives: Short Stories

There Will Come A Hanging Day……

"There Will Come A Hanging Day"......

Short Story

In silence , I listened to the questions bounce to and fro, among the trees , I can’t even say that the horses seemed to listen to his voice , or at least thier ears aren’t even turning back to the sounds of the desperation of his questions . He even seems to be resigning himself to the fact that I have not answered any of his requests . As I turn in my saddle to check to be sure that he’s still tied up and the mask still covers his face , the squeaking of the saddle reminds me that there is still the reality of consequences to what I’m doing . Will I remove the mask so that he can see who it is that has become Judge , jury and hangman , all in one……..but in time , in time? …….
I want the vision of recognition that firsts comes to his eye’s , his mind and then his face to be mine alone to enjoy , and yet , there will be little enjoyment to it at all ………just a closure ……..and in thinking back through the years of the trial , the view of the mans face in the courtroom, A man that found it easy , too easy …….although thats another story……To have hidden behind an outdated and outmaneuvered legal prosecution in a trial of destroying a child. That pleasure will be mine alone . especially when he see’s what lies in his path………and more than that , I want him to remember my promise to him when the verdict came down from the jury , after the initial shock to the courtroom……. after all the backslapping by his defense team ………..and yes, even after he turned just for a moment as he was lead out of the courtroom , and our eye’s locked and he smiled……….and in that one smile , in that one look from one stranger to another man, ……the earth’s movement itself , came to a screeching stop……..and then turned itself around and slowly began to turn in the opposite direction for me…….Backwards.
The man that left a dieing child lying beside the road in a wet drainage ditch , and just drove on …..drove on ! …….only weeks later to be arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He couldn’t even be charged with drunk driving , even manslaughter………no . And yet , I don’t blame even him as much as the system that “protects ” and advocates such a system to operate. There are just to many wrongs permitted to endure in our system, in our “justice sytem” ! Today though , there will be a reckoning ,……..And now ‘you ‘ask , what will come of this ? How can I justify what I’m about to do ?…….Won’t I pay for my ‘wrongs’ ?……. But , you see , none of these questions even bother me in the least . Your system has failed me ! Judges , prosecutors , defense attorneys ……..they will go on drawing thier paychecks like nothing ever failed at all , as if you’re system of justice runs along like a well tuned , purring engine , whether it functions in matters of justice or not , there are no consequenses at all…….no closure for the least favored participants involved of all , the victims ! For weeks on end I sat in the courtroom and watched the greedy faces of everyone from the participants in the trial, to the media covering it, to the spectaters who get thier enjoyment in watching such a system of frenzied circus performers juggle and toss around the victims like so many colored balls , No ,! Today , it all ends …………
We have ridden for miles now up into the national forests and away from the trails that any human beings ever walk on , so far that I really believe he has almost fallen asleep on the horse, except he now reacts with a start !….as he feels the rope sliding down over his head , and I remove his fancy cowboy boots from the stirrups and tie them up out of the way , he beginns to mumble and beg for mercy ………in a voice , quivering and anxious he asks question after question , ………but he hears no reply from me ……..I have nothing to explain or answer to , Not here at least and not now. Finally though ……….he asks …….
“Is that you , Bill James ?” he ask’s ……….and as he sits quietly awaiting an answer , I snug the knotted rope around his wrists and step his own horse forward to take up the slack in the hanging rope . Untill everything looks ready …….and as I realize that this is it , this is finally the end of the ride that has been on my mind for five years now I think about asking him why…….! I think about explaining to him how I have dreamed about this day , how I have planned and planned this very act of secrecy all by myself , no help at all , not from a system of ‘justice’ , not from a friend or family ,…… who all seem to have dissapeared after the trial , not from anyone ……..I think about what to say ……..and all I can say is this ………
” I want you to say his name ! ………..just once , so that I know that you know, what this is all about ! “………..
And then a silence ensues , for a few minutes there is nothing but the sounds of the forests ,the bird life and the wind in the pine trees , the groaning of the big pines that reflect my mood ………and no doult , his too……he says;
“Willey James ” , he says it in a breaking voice … he breaks down and the tears and moans engulf him to the point that even I feel the hot tears and the increadible ache from within…….. until this very moment he doesn’t know who it is or why he’s here . I’m sure that a man who has had dozens of encounters with the law , with what’s right and whats wrong , finally realizes that he has to come to terms with such a past……..with such behavior . I reach up and tear away the mask that covers his eyes and face and he sees me ……..he see’s every thing he has ever done wrong …….and all at once he vomits his insides and a shaking begins racking his shoulders and body , do I realize he’s finally coming to the point that I need to see , ……Only then do our eye’s lock……….and do we see deeply into each others soul………That there has to be a reckoning…….
After a while , he just sits calmly , as if somehow he’s accepted his fate , accepted what I’m about to do………..accepted that there can be consequences from others ……only then do I mount my horse and ride up to him and with my knife I reach up and cut the hanging rope and slap his horse hard on the flank ……….and as the horse thunders quickly away and the clods of dirt fly into the air as he falls to the ground ……..and lies moaning and shaking , crying violently does he realize …………as I do too, That , It is impossible to hang your own brother…………
Later as I put the horse away in his stall , hang the saddle on the rack by the doors
and put the grain in the feed buckets , I turn to the sound of the barn door hinges sqealing open , and look down to Willy Jr. in his wheel chair , and smile ………
He says,
” Dad , will we ride again tomorrow , I think I can handle it alright finally ? …..” I realize , yes , he’s ready to begin riding with me , again ! I wonder sometimes how he survived being run down and left to die , and I smile in return and say;
” I don’t know why we can’t make it a daily ride son !
The End ………………

Murdered Love

Murdered Love

The night was black as death itself, as if someone had choked out the stars with a wool blanket. cold air wisped around me as i walked down the old cracked side walk. It was so black that I couldn’t see my own hand waving in front of my face. Lucas had told me not to walk around town at this time of night. I know it’s dangerous and that gangs lurk all over around here, but I had to walk home from the library. I had no other option. I heard the sound of shuffling leaves behind me, and I turned in the direction that the sound had originated. The action proved to be pointless however because i could not see anything. So I turned back and continued to walk faster to my house.
The shops I passed all looked old and worn down, but they all had unique pieces that made their personalities shine through. One had a huge crack through the front window help together with packing tape. A sign was also posted on the window that I could barely make out until my nose came in contact with the cold glass. The shuffle came again, louder this time and it sounded more like footsteps this time rather than leaves.
I turned again, but the night only grew darker my the second and i felt like a blind man trying to cross the street with a silent semi truck approaching. I took a deep breath and began to walk again. My walk was about to paces less than a run and the roar of the footsteps grew louder and erupted through the night surrounding me. The semi is approaching, said the blind man inside me, brace yourself for the pain on impact. I silently cursed myself for not bringing a flashlight. Then the rushing footsteps stopped, and so did I.
I felt hot breath on my neck, and I had forgotten how to breathe. Then a slow tap came on my shoulder and I slowly turned around to face the figure that was haunting me. I turned and faced a large black man whose eyes towered about a foot above my own. I looked up at those white eyes as they glowed into the night and shivered and this brought a smile across his face. The smile glowed just as menacing as his eyes did. The shape of his body was almost impossible to make out as he blended into the night like he was a part of it.
“Hello,” he said. I couldn’t remember breathing once after I had set my eyes on him because the fear was too strong. I didn’t notice my lightheadedness until I tried to whisper a hello back to him. It came out in a desperate hiss. The man chuckled a bit then tilted his head and fixed his eyes on something that was behind me. I felt sick as he stared over my shoulder. Seconds passed feeling like hours and the man never broke his gaze from whatever was behind me and slowly I gathered enough courage to turn and look behind me.
I never got a good look at what was behind me before I saw a white hand wrapped around a bat. The bat swung and connected with my face with a loud crack against my jaw. Pain mushroomed into agony as my jaw fell out of its socket in pieces and hung sickly down rubbing against my neck. The pain became too much for my body to handle and I began to slip into the dark abyss of unconsciousness. Another crack of the bat sounded throught the air and soon pain founs its way down where my knees were and they now hurried my fall to the ground because thy now bent the wrong way. The taste of was thick in my broken mouth. My head met the concrete and I was no longer conscious.
I awoke to six fully grown men around me. Two were holding my arms down far away from my body, but none of them though to hold my legs as they were already broken and throbbing with agony. The black man was focused on my sweatshirt now. He was rolling it up and it exposed my soft white flesh. My skin glowed as if it was reflecting the sun itself. I tried to cry out but the sound came out muffled because I had lost control of my mouth and jaw. The black man above me mocked my poot attempt at a protest and the men surrounding him laughed at the same time as if they had all heard a silent cue. To my suprise he stopped rolling up my shirt just under my bra but I still felt naked and venerable laying there.
The black man pulled out a knife from somewhere in the black hole of his pocket. He flicked out the switch blade from its sheath and held it above my face and pushed his finger into it. Blood dripped from his finger onto my face and tears began to flow down my cheeks like rivers as I began to realize what he planned to do with the knife. The blood gleamed by the light of a distant flashlight. The light intensified every action the man made as if it was a spotlight. My crieds, although pathetic, grew louder and louder as the knife approached my stomach. The black man’s eyes are two things that I know I shall never forget. The crazy expression they held along with the sick twisted hunger for my flesh.
The knife collided with my flesh as he dragged it slowly across my stomach. blood flooded away from the knife in either direction like Moses parting the sea. I cried silently the sobbing shaking in my ribs. The men surrounding the one with the knife all wathced intently all smiling with the same crazy expression reflecting in their eyes.
The pain was a sharp but not powerful enough to overpower the pain in my jaw and knees, and then suddenly without warning he stopped cutting. He pulled the knife up and closed it up putting it back in its sheath. The cut he had placed on me had only crossed half of my stomach and then he stopped. I let out a premature sigh of relief. everything grew slightly hazy as more and more blood soaked into my clothes.
Suddenly without warning the man that had held the blade now thrust the hand into the cut breaking through anoy the skin that still remained intact. I could feel his hands moving around inside my body, and all the internal organs being shoved this way and that. Fire burst within the cut and an inferno was created inside me. The burning felt like hell was hiding in me, and the devil was slowly torturing me until he got bored and ended my miserable life.
The man then shoved his other hand into the cut and they both moved to each side of the skin next to the cut. He moved his fingers grinding his thumb on top of the skin into the rest of his fingers inside me. The burning grew stronger and I couldn’t bear it. My head started spinning faster as tears spilled from my eyes quicker than ever, incessantly. Then just when I thought that nothing could get worse, he pulled the hands away from each other.
An audible tear erupted through the night holding hands wiht my screams of pain. Until this point I couldn’t scream, I was afraid to. Now fear proved to be no barrier. At the sound of my fleash a couple of the witnesses standing around grew hard enough for it to show through their pants. He ripped me slowly open and I did everything i could to get loose from the men that held my hands down far at my sides. I shook my head side to side and screamed, but mercy didn’t feel the need to present itself. I looked up at the black sky and cursed God as he refused to even allow me to die. The sides around my sision became hazy either from tears or from my inability to focus.
After this man had finished tearing me to pieces he pulled his hands slowly out of my stomach. His hands were drenched in my red life essence and they glistened under the powerful flashlight, and mercy finally came in a low voice in the distance.
“Scarlet?” the voice sounded familar enough, but i could focus on nothing more than the pain. “Scar, Scarlet are you there.” I looked up into the black man’s face and for the first time in the smallest bit of pleasure flooded to into my mind as I saw his expression turn from joy to fear. Then the angelic voice came again, “Scar!”
This time the voice was sure of itself. Whoever the voice belonged to knew who I was and was coming to my rescue quickly. Just as quickly the black devil got to his feet and all the people around me fled with him, but my vision was failing fast. Suddenly Lucas’s face was above me crying.
“How could someone do this to you, who the hell did this to you?” I reached up touch his face one last time before I slipped into permanent blackness. The last words I would I would ever hear were, “Somebody call 911.”
Lucas didn’t know how to live with her gone, and so he didn’t. He took a switch blade out of his own pocket and gathered Scarlet into his arms, and slit his own throat. Together they layed in a pool of blood wrapped forever in eachothers arms.

When will you say I love you?

When will you say "I love you?"
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LORENA was sitting on a chair near the bed of her husband David who had been ill for three days now. She was praying silently that David will recover. The doctor told her that if David will survive till morning then he might have a chance to live.

David had been a sickly man since he was in his late forties. Lorena blamed his vices for this. David was a chain smoker, a gambler, and a drunkard. Lorena thought in the past that all David gave her was pain and bitterness as a husband. Those was her sentiments but now that David was on the verge of death, she felt a different kind of pain. She could not understand this feeling.

Lorena remembered how she met David and how she was forced to marry him.

Lorena was the second child of eight siblings. Her father was a writer, composer, and a dramatist. He was a good man who was an advocate of Christianity and in fact, a Catholic Defender. Her mother, on the other hand was a very simple woman who was a lot younger than her father. She was thinking that after World War II, she would be able to pursue her education. She would have a good future and was dreaming of a good life and a good career.

But it did not happen. Contrary to her expectation her father died after her elementary school graduation and instead of going to high school, she ended up helping her mother till their land for their livelihood. Before her father died, Lorena’s family owned Twenty-four hectares of land. At that time, it was already sufficient enough to support a big family. They had livestock and in fact, their produce was more than enough for their family consumption. You could say that they lived a good life. But when her father died everything they used to have when their father was alive was gone. Even their land; the twelve hectares were leased to a relative and never recovered.

It was a hard life especially in that her one and only brother who were supposed to till their farm were still very little. Lorena could not complain. So she accepted her fate of becoming a poor farmer instead of a doctor. The challenges did not end there. Aside from tilling the land, they also needed capital to finance the farm so they could get it back.

Her mother was much affected by the death of her father because, when her father was alive, everything was provided. Her mother’s hand only got wet when she ate. They always had somebody to do the work for them. But when her father died… everything changed. It was like a nightmare but that is life. Lorena’s mother was beautiful. She was only thirty-five when became a widow. Naturally she had many admirers but Lorena’s mother had just has one answer for her suitors… “My heart was buried with my husband. If he will rise up from the dead I will still marry him again.”

Lorena thought her mother was crazy to tell her suitors to go away. She was still young and she deserved to be happy again. Life must go on as they say. But it was easier said than done. She thought it was foolish. When it was her turn to fall in love with a man she understood why her mother was so loyal to her Papa even when he was already dead.

The time came when their farm could no longer support their needs; she and her older sister were forced to work as housemaids. It was like that for many years until Lorena was eighteen. At this time her only brother was already old enough to help. Her brother worked in their farm and together they work for their living.

She was beginning to adjust a peaceful and contented life. Then, her elder sister fell in love and got married. She had only her brother to help now with their siblings who were still very young.

Lorena’ heart was burdened over her family. She could not just leave her mother and her siblings. So she could not think of getting married at that time. But she only loved one man in her life and that was Martin. At least that was what she thought. Martin was a handsome man and belonged to a good family with big property in their town. Lorena felt so very much in love with Martin that all she saw in him was his love and sweetness. She never imagined anything not perfect in Martin. The sympathetic eyes, very attractive smile, and his generous nature. Lorena felt secure in Martin’s love.

So, when Martin proposed to marry her, she accepted. Martin knew her family’s situation. She was expected that Martin will be able to accept and love her family too. Her mother did not really pose and objection to her marrying Martin but just warned her that she should try to be sure if she really loved Martin and not just the convenience of being married so she will have somebody to support them.

“Oh I am sure mama. Can’t you tell?” she said to her mother with her big smile.

“I just want you to be happy Lorena. That’s all. I am sure if your father was alive, that is what he would want for you too.”

Thinking of her father again, it made her teary eyed. “Thank you mama. I am sure papa will be happy. Martin is a good man, I am sure of that.”

So, the wedding was set. Everything was ready. But one day, Lorena had an unexpected visitor, her cousin Cordelia. Cordelia was not only her cousin but also her best friend. But it was Cordelia’s news that shocked her.

“You are pregnant? Oh my God! Who is the father Cordel?”

Cordelia was not able to answer directly. She was crying and did not even dare to look Lorena in the eye. Then she said, as if trying to get Lorena’s assurance, “Do you really want to know?”

“Of course, I do! What are best friends for if we can’t share secrets? But only if you want to. I don’t want to be a nosybody…” Lorena said smiling at her cousin.

Cordelia took a deep breath and sighed…”It’s Martin…!”

Lorena was tongue-tied. It was like she heard a bomb go off. But she managed to say, “What?? Oh com’ on Cordel, that is not a good joke. Out with it! Martin’s my fiance, in a month’s time, we will be married. How can that be…?” the last question seemed like a whisper. Lorena did not really think that this will happen. She trusted both Cordelia and Martin. They were the only people that she shared secrets, shared tears and … what else did she share with Cordelia…? Well… it seems that she shared Martin too.

Cordelia said seriously. “I wish it was a joke Loren… it’s the truth. I’m sorry…” Cordelia’s voice was so apologetic.

But Lorena did not feel the remorse in her voice. She felt a sudden lump in her throat. No… She would not cry. No way would she cry. But how can she not cry? She loved Martin. He was her life.

She could not believe it. “No..!”

“I am really very sorry Loren…”

“No Cordelia, you are not sorry. If you are really sorry you should not do this to me. You and Martin betrayed me…” she cried angrily but crying at the same time.

“I know you don’t believe me, but I am really sorry. I don’t want to hurt you… it’s just that… that…” Cordelia was not able to suppress her feelings. She cried and cried. After a long moment of silence… they were both calm.

“Do you love Martin like I love him, Cordelia?”

“I do. I loved him ever since I was sixteen. But his eyes are only for you.”

“For me? How did it happen then that you got pregnant with his child? Never mind, I don’t want to know anymore.”

Cordelia went home with a heavy heart. Lorena felt so sad and was in deep pain from that betrayal.

That night there were two souls who were grieving. Lorena and Cordelia both because of Martin.

Martin used to visit Lorena in the afternoon. They love to walk on the seashore holding hands. It always excites her, but this time… even the shadow of Martin coming… gives her so much pain.

That afternoon, she confronted Martin. “Do you have something to tell me Martin?” Lorena asked.

Martin seemed to be surprised. “About what?”

“About you, about me and Cordelia for example…” she said with emphasis on the name of Cordelia, looking directly into the eyes of Martin.

Martin was not able to reply outright to her question.


Then Martin broke the silence and asked quietly, “Did Cordelia say something to you?”

“Yes!” She answered automatically. “She told me, she is pregnant…”

“Oh I see…”

“No, you don’t see Martin!” She said irritably. She was trying to hold her temper. “Cordelia is pregnant and you are the father of that baby! Does that make sense to you?”

“No.” Martin answered simply. He was not even looking at Lorena. He was looking at the ocean.

“And why not? Do you mean to say that Cordelia was lying to me?” She asked painfully.


“Don’t answer me in monosyllables Martin! Be a man! Answer me directly and tell me that it is not true!”

Martin sighed. He reached out for Lorena to give her a hug but Lorena did not let Martin to hug her.

“Tell me.”

“Yes, it is true that I am the father of the baby she is carrying now… but believe me… it was just accidental. I did not intend to take advantage of her. I did not intend to hurt you.”

“You did not intend to take advantage and you did not intend to hurt me but you did both Martin!”

“Listen Lorena, I am just a man. What will you do if you are in my shoes… the lady seduce me… she tempted me… she…” Martin was not able to finish speaking because Lorena raised her hand to stop him.

“That’s enough Martin. The next thing you will say that Cordelia put some potion in your drink that is why you went to bed with her…”

Lorena cried. Martin was crying too, which made Lorena more angry.

“Here is your ring Martin.”

“Lorena… no… Please listen to me… I can support Cordelia’s child… please don’t let me marry her… I don’t love her. It’s you I love.”

“So sad that you did not think of me when you went to bed with Cordelia Martin. And for the record… I don’t care whether you marry her or not…I don’t want to be married with a man who could not even stand on his own word…”

“But you said… that you will love me till forever…”

“And you said that you will love no one but me Martin…but you also love Cordelia.”

Lorena and Martin left the beach separately. Lorena went ahead. Martin stayed until dark.

The news of their break-up shocked their family and relatives who were really expecting their coming union.

In order to forget, Lorena accompanied her mother’s sister to Visayas. She did not want to see Cordelia and Martin together.

She tried to settle in Cebu and was helping her aunt in her small variety store. Lorena cried day and night. She could not imagine how Martin betrayed her and how Cordelia betrayed her. She vowed she will never love any man again.

It was the Year, 1958. Lorena met this man named David. He did not appeal to Lorena. How could she like him? This man was the total opposite of Martin. Martin has no vices. This man… was a chain smoker, a gambler, and most of all he drank liquor like drinking water. But the thing she disliked most was what she heard about this man David… about his being a womanizer. Almost all of her relatives there told her that she should stay away from David.

David was sexually a very attractive man. He had dark sparkling eyes, with thick beautiful eyelashes. He was friendly and was trying to be friendly with Lorena. But Lorena did not give him any attention. David was with his friends one night, serenading Lorena. David had a beautiful voice too. But still Lorena was not thinking of these qualities… she was still pining over Martin and she did not really like the negative things she heard about David.

Lorena did not expect she would become deeply involved with David. So she was surprised when her aunt asked one morning.

“Lorena, are you in love with David?”

“What?” Lorena was totally shocked by that question of her aunt. “Of course not! Why are you asking me that Auntie?”

“Because he asked my permission to marry you…”

“What??? How did that happen? I do not even know the man. He came into the store with his friends… I am just the saleslady Auntie… she said with a little joke in her voice.”

“Is this yours?” Her Aunt presented lavender lace underwear to her. “Yes, that is mine… but how… where…” her voice trailed off… That was the underwear she had thought has been missing.

“Well… somebody gave this to me… and you know what that means…”

“No! That is the worst joke I have ever heard Auntie..!” Lorena said with hardness in her voice.

“Well… you don’t want to disgrace our family, right?”

“Right… but I did not! I swear to God I did not!”

“Make up your mind Lorena; I am going to write to your mother so she can attend your wedding. And by the way… you better forget that Martin guy… he was already married to your cousin Cordelia.”

Lorena could hardly speak about that news. She was not surprised that Martin and Cordelia were married. But what wearied her and totally took her strength was the news that she would be marrying David.. “I hate that man! I hate him!”

Lorena’s family was of Spanish descent. The virtue of a woman is very precious in their time. She could not defend herself. Who would believe her? She did not want to go to court just to prove her innocence. That would surely kill her mother. She could not let that happen.

So, Lorena and David were married. During the first year of their marriage… she did not conceive right away. It was a real nightmare for her. She cried even during night time. David was very gentle. He was trying to reform his bad reputation being a womanizer because of Lorena. But Lorena did not really want to think of David. She hated him. At least that was what she thought.

David was so patient and tried to understand Lorena better. So, when Lorena conceived with their first child… she said to herself… she is already married, and if she wanted to be happy, she might as well start learning to love David. So… she opens her heart for David but she did not say a word about loving him.

Years passed… it was the time when David and Lorena decided to visit Lorena’s family on the North coast of Mindanao. Lorena did not want to go, but David wanted to go and meet Lorena’s siblings. David only met Lorena’s mother. He also wanted to see Lorena’s home.. So… they went for a vacation. Lorena could not understand her feelings. She was afraid to see Martin and Cordelia and she did not want David to know about Martin too.

Her siblings and her mother were happy when they arrived at Lorena’s home. They stayed there for a week. Then the thing happened. Cordelia and Martin visited them… Cordelia was so thin… while Martin looks like he has all the pounds that Cordelia needs. What shocked Lorena was what Cordelia said to her.

“You were so lucky not to marry him Loren… Martin is a brute.”

“What? What do you mean by that? I could not marry him after you get yourself pregnant with Martin…”

“He is a wife-beater.”


“Why do you think I look like this? He beats me. He always blamed me for getting pregnant. He blamed me for everything.”

“I am so sorry Cordelia. Maybe you should tell Martin that you love him…”

“I did. But he said he does not love me and it’s you he loves and still loves. Why do you think we are here? He wanted to see you.”

Lorena laughed with that statement. “I am already a married woman with a child Cordelia. I don’t want to ruin my marriage with a man who is not worthy of my tears. Are you satisfied now?”

Cordelia hugged Lorena with tears in her eyes. Lorena did not say anything. She did not tell Cordelia the truth. She was lying to herself. She was still in love with Martin… That was what she thought at that time.

She did not dare talk to Martin. Martin talked to David with particular things about places, and about family. But that was all until they came home to Visayas.

Lorena thought that her life would be different from Cordelia. She said she made her life happy. But David came back to his vices again when they had already four children. He was drinking again, gambling, and of course… he did not stop smoking. All of these added to the hatred that she used to feel for David. She was trying to open her heart. She was trying to learn to love David but David was behaving miserably.

David and Lorena faught like cats and dogs. They always clashed words. Lorena even tried to leave David but, because of the kids, she could not leave him. She valued her family so much that she could not risk the future of her children.

Lorena did not stop trusting God.

One day, she was surprised when David said… he will stop smoking and drinking and gambling. Lorena did not believe that. After all these years. They had eight children now. They were both old now. Lorena was 50 and David was 53. But David means that.

David stopped his vices but he also become so sickly that most of the time he could not work. Lorena did not know why…

David was a good father to her children. He was a man of principle. He taught their children the value of honesty and respect.

It went on like that for many years… their children seemed to be blessed by God because despite their poverty, almost all their children finished their education. Their children were all blessed with intelligent minds.

Their eldest daughter helped her siblings to finish their education and even helped one of her younger sisters to go to Dubai. Then another went to Qatar.

That helped elevate their life a little bit. They did not get rich… but at least they were no longer living like the way they lived before. Their children supported them in their need. That was their blessing from God.

It was even a miracle that four of their children married foreigners. Well, they were not rich too… but at least they could help and they were happy with their respective husbands. Lorena’s children suffered hard life before they get settled with a happy life. For example, their eldest daughter went through a hard life. She finished her education as a working student… so sad that her first marriage was not happy. In fact, it was a bigamous marriage. But God did wonders. Consuelo got born again, and the man she met in the internet who is an American guy helps her annul her bigamous marriage. She is now in America. Also their other daughter married a retired American… so she is also with her husband in America… their other two daughters are still waiting for their papers to join with their respective husbands in the USA.

That was the goodness of the Lord. But… suddenly, David become so seriously ill. Lorena cried. She was trying to be a faithful wife for all these years. She had learned to love David long before.

David becomes born again through the telephone a few months earlier. That really changed everything in his life. He read the bible every day and was really so at peace. He was so happy that morning… eating ripe mangoes in their backyard… Then… suddenly… he was short of breath and was brought to the hospital and was in a critical condition.

He was also visited by a priest and received the anointing of the sick. He felt so good hearing the words of God. Lorena did not think that David would leave her.

Tonight… Lorena and David talked like the old days… David told Lorena that he loved her and always wanted her to be happy.

Lorena cried when David said that. David was waiting for Lorena to say something… but Lorena could not afford to tell him that she love him too… then… David suddenly lost his breath… it scared Lorena for a moment. But the doctors tried their best to save David. That night Lorena tried to find a pharmacy which was open for 24 hours so they can buy all the prescriptions needed for David. He was with oxygen and a regulator. David looked so fragile in his sleep. Lorena felt the pang inside her, hearing the beeping of the monitor on the screen.

“If only you will live for me and our children and grandchildren David…Ask God…You know that I love you… a long time ago…” she whispered in David’s ear.

It was a miracle! David was so alive the next morning. It was the day before Christmas Eve. Everybody in the family was happy. Thanking God for that miracle. The doctor told Lorena that David needs an operation for his pneumothorax. But David did not want an operation. On Christmas Eve… they were very happy. Lorena was thinking that was the happiest moment of their life even if David was in the hospital… all of their children except those who were in America and one of their grandchildren… was there… David was so happy. He slept for few hours… then he had an attacked again. He could not breath. The doctors were trying to help him. Lorena signed the waiver for the operation whether David like it or not. She wanted David to live. She wanted to spend the rest of their lives together… celebrating their new found love. The doctor started the incision for the pneumothorax… making a hole at the side of David so that the air and the fluids that filled his lungs could be drained… but the doctor discovered… that David’s lungs were no longer working… it is no use… Lorena was holding the hands of David.

David died in her arms. Lorena had just barely told him… “I LOVE YOU!” that was the most awaited words…

David died on Christmas Day. He died with a smile on his face. He looks like he was just sleeping. Lorena felt the pain of losing the man who for a long time she thought she hated but a man who really loves her. Who was thinking of her happiness even at his death?

David was happy knowing that Lorena loves her. He just wanted to know… after all these years… it was supposed to be their 50th Wedding Anniversary in June. But he came home to the Lord before he could renew his marriage vow.

Lorena was left with a broken heart but like David said… “God is so good to us. Please take care of yourself Loren… I am happy. Just remember… I have always loved you…like our marriage vow… till death do us part, in sickness and in health… we are together…”

David is gone… but the memories… she will keep it in her heart. She was just asking … why is it that sometimes love can be so painful like this. You feel that it is there, but you don’t have the courage to say it.



A man may smils and smile and be a villain

A man may smils and smile and be a villain

Time Lake

Time never forgets those who forget it. Time is the second name of the nemesis. The story told here is the story of nemesis. The sages would understand who the birds are?

This is a story of the days when she-peacocks were able to dance.

There was a beautiful lake named the Time Lake. It was not less than an earthly paradise. There were beautiful shrubs and bushes around it. The velvety grass and the hundreds and thousands of the species of flowers adorn the facade of the lake.

There was always a sweet fragrance and sweet voices of the charming songs of the love birds. The Birds and the beautiful and innocent animals were the lucky inhabitants of the surroundings. Songs of the birds and sweet smell of the flowers were more enchanting than the sweetest opera. There were swans, wild ducks, seagulls, humming birds and a host of other beautiful birds diving and flying in the air. The others were seen swimming on the blue waters of lake.

In such a praiseworthy atmosphere there was a pair of peacocks living on the bank of the lake. It was also a pair of its own kind. The pair was so famous and favorite that it was given the epithet of love and life. The hen peacock was called the Life and the peacock was named the Love. Its life was jubilant and peaceful. Its popularity gave rise to jealousy. The traditional romantic birds, swans, were jealous of its love and fame. They thought that they were going in the background and the Love and the Life were gaining popularity because they were of the view that they should be recognized as the only loving birds in the lake of Time.

The jealousy aroused in them the feelings of hatred and revenge. They thought of a plan to separate the peacocks from each other.

One day when the Love was not there, the Swans got the opportunity to act upon their conspiracy.

They went to Life (the hen-peacock,) and said;

Swan: Hi Life! How are you? We heard about your beauty and love and were eager to see you.

Life: O, thanks, come on in.

The Swans eulogized her in such a way that she was conceited. That was the first stroke on the snobbish nature of Life. The Swans seemed successful in their planning.

The next day they again benefited from the opportunity of loneliness of Life and went to her to adulate her.

“They praised her beauty in the most attractive manner and said:

We are sure that you are the only loving pair on the earth, and we want you to be prettiest of all the birds. We know a method of becoming the most beautiful and charming. Even your offspring could be prettier than you. If you liked, we would tell you”. They hurriedly slipped away on seeing that the Love was coming.

The Hen-peacock (Life) was very importune to know about the ways of becoming more enchanting. She could not attend Love well and did not dance with him that evening.

The Love was awestruck on the disinterestedness of the life. He thought that she never had behaved in that clumsy manner before. She had always danced with him in the evening.

He asked the cause of her sadness but life did not reply and went away. The Love was very disturbed over her cruel treatment.

Next day when the Swans saw that the Love was not at home, they came again to the Life. She was waiting for them too. As soon as they reached, she asked about the methods of becoming more attractive and beautiful.

Firstly the Swans overtly hesitated to tell her the methods of becoming more attractive and beautiful but then according to their plan they divulged every thing. They told her that there was a valley of golden snakes on the South Pole. These snakes were difficult to catch but whoever ate them became the most beautiful being in this world.

The Life was much excited over that and thanked the swans very much.

The Swans were now sure that Life would definitely send the LOVE to bring the golden snakes and he would be killed in the way by the troubles and difficulties.

When the Love came the Life was looking very upset. He asked her the reason of her annoyance. She told him that she wanted the golden snake.

The Love felt that there was something wrong in the bottom. He asked her to whom she had met that day?

The Life told him that she had not met any body except the swans.

The love tried his best to make her understand the conspiracy but she did not budge an inch from his position. She insisted on her demand and remained adamant. The Love tried once again to understand the hidden feelings of the swans but all in vain.

In return the Life started dancing. That was her last weapon. She had successfully used that weapon whenever the Love declined to yield. She danced and danced for quite a long time. The love continued watching her dance for some time without feeling any kind of sympathy but could not hold back his emotions for long. He bowed before the life’s demand and promised to fetch her golden snake. The life smiled and danced more beautifully, this time Love was also dancing with her.

The next morning the Love took off for the south poles. The life was sad but hopeful that she would become the prettiest bird after his return.

The Love was traveling at a great speed towards the South Pole. He covered the distances with quite ease as no untoward incident has happened in the beginning. One day as He was flying and remembering the Life when a strange looking creature struck with him. He fell on the ground with the creature that had struck with him. He was awestruck on seeing a dreadful dragon before him. The dragon clutched him in his claws and went towards his den. There was many a dragon in the den. Firstly they played with him as cats play with mouse. When they were tired they stopped and sat .They laid their heads together to decide about the fate of the Love. They were about to eat him when he requested them to listen a few words from him.

He told them that his feathers were quite tasteless in eating. Moreover there was not enough meat in his body. There were layers of feathers and wings and those too were like thorns. They did pay any heed to his request and started preparation to eat him. When the Love felt that there was no way to escape, he started dancing. The dragons watched him with wonder. They were enchanted by the devotional dance of the Life and decided to keep him with them forever.

Behind him at the lake of time the situation had changed. The love could not fight against the conspiracies of the swans who had invited a peacock to make friends with the LIFE.

Firstly she did not respond but at the end the peacock proved successful. He had succeeded in his attempts to win the heart of the Life.

Many days passed but the Love did not get a chance to escape. One day he determined to flee. He started dancing. He danced as beautiful that all the dragons were duped to his dance. One of them asked him the reason of his flight towards the South Pole. He told him the whole story of his Life and golden snakes.

The dragon told him that there were no golden snakes on the South Pole. It was a snare to put you in the valley of death. He told him that he had left the valley of snakes far behind. He told him the way to the valley and to catch the golden snakes. He also helped him in his escape on the condition that he would again come there after meeting his Love. He promised and left the dragons lying there. He got the golden snakes and reached the lake of the time.

The time has changed its shape. The thorns had replaced the velvety grass, and the flowers had withered. There were swans but were starving due to barrenness of the time. The chirping birds had migrated to other lakes. He searched for the Life and entered the thorny bushes. He was shocked to see the Life with the peacock. He put the golden snake in the feet of the Life and returned with the heavy heart. He did not want to live. He ran towards the dense forest.

The life was very ashamed on the situation, but she wanted to eat the snake first. She stepped forward towards the golden snake. She was to bite the snake when the peacock at once plunged on the snake. She was fast enough and caught the snake. The peacock chased her but could not catch her. She disappeared in the forest.

The peacock castigated the life and went aside. The Life was perturbed with loss of Love but could not do anything. She was searching the Love. She dragged herself and the snake through out the forest. After a lot of struggle, she saw a shadow of the Love. She ran towards that but her search was futile because the Love had died. His dead body was standing by the side of a tree in such a way as he was alive.

The Love thought that he was angry with her. She started dancing but her feet did not support her, even her wings did not open. She became more remorseful on her loss of dance. She wanted to weep bitterly over the death of the love but could not. Her eyes had dried. She had been deprived of the dance for ever due to her infidelity. She had nothing except regrets with her.

Once you are in the bad books of your friends, the revival of your image is very difficult and demands a great sacrifice.

The Legend of the Sand Spirits (Short Story)

The Legend of the Sand Spirits (Short Story)

Fairy Tale idea

I have these two salt and pepper shakers that are in the shape of a man and a woman.In the box when i bought it, there was a love story of a Chinese man and woman in it. I took this story to another level and made it into my own with a battle of good and evil that lasts for eternity and a little bit of magic. I was at the time a little bit crushed by guys not liking me, so the story has a bit of tragedy. This could be considered a children’s book or a Chinese fairy tale..

The Legend of the Sand Spirits

Legend of the Sand Spirits

the distant shore of China, a daily battle wages that starts at sun-up and ends
at sundown.  It is the battle of the sand
spirits against the evil spirits that prowl about the earth.  These evil spirits could cause the greatest
harm during the day, but at night their powers weaken, so it is the job of the
sand spirits to fight them during the day.

can never die—unless they will it—which is the hardest part of living as a
spirit.  After a day of hard battle, each
sand spirit must hurl themselves into the crashing waves of the ocean.  At daybreak each spirit is resurrected into a
stronger spirit, because they must have this strength to fight the evil
spirit.  This saps the strength of the
evil spirits because they delight in the death of their enemies.  Any joy evil spirits feel can weaken them.  At the last hour of day, the evil spirits
goad and prod the sand spirits to march into the ocean, for the sand spirits
have always feared the ocean and the evil spirits sense this and feed on their

before the sun sets the sand spirits must parley with the evil spirits.  The evil spirits agree to relinquish their
most evil powers in exchange for the lives of the sand spirits.  Then, at sunset, the sand spirits cast
themselves into the ocean and the weakened evil is released into the world,
mostly in the form of nightmares.

daybreak the evil spirits must return to the ocean and fight to get back into
the world with their most powerful evil, because in order for them to replenish
their powers they must dive deep into the ocean.

Every morning the sand spirits come
to life and ride onto the shores on the crashing waves to begin the next day’s
sunrise battle.  With the power of the
evil spirits they bargained for, the sand spirits use the evil spirits’ own
power against them, doubling it with their own power.  People sometimes see this battle as swirling
sands of mist during the brightest of days.

grain of white sand is a warrior fighting millions of evil spirits at
once.  Once every so often, one evil
spirit gets through and chaos happens in the forms of disease, famine, war, or
natural disasters.  The Battle of the
Sand Spirits and the Evil Spirits has happened since the beginning of time.

day, a girl named Xiao Yi came into the world. 
Soon after her birth, her mother died of hemorrhaging.  Her heartbroken father, Piao Li raised Xiao
Yi with his mother.  When Xiao Yi was
five, she started to walk with her fisherman father to the dock since her home
was nearby.  After waving goodbye to her
father, the shore called to her and she would walk along it singing little
made-up songs.  Unaware of her very
beautiful voice, and not often using words, she would think of her dead mother
and tears would stream down her face as she sang.

She would then turn around and walk
home in silence.  When she reached home
she would start the day helping her grandmother.  Before night fell she would walk the shores
again to sing before she would meet her father when his boat docked.  She did this every day for her father and
enjoyed the short time she would have alone. 
The sound of the crashing waves always soothed her, like a gentle
lullaby.  This kept her happy among
people and helped her with the deep sadness she carried with her.  Only her songs betrayed her true emotions.

she only sang on the shores, no one ever heard her songs—except the
spirits.  One sand spirit, Chi Shui,
heard the beautiful song of the five-year old as he was fighting the evil
spirits.  When she returned at nightfall,
he would have second thoughts about throwing himself into the ocean. Every day,
without fail, he would.

At eighteen, Xiao Yi grew into a
lovely young woman whose beauty turned the heads of many eligible men.  But she was a quiet girl and she never paid
them any attention.  Her long, thick hair
had grown to cover her back.  She hated
to put it up, as was the fashion of the other girls, so she left it down and
would sometimes run along the shore, letting the wind play with it as she ran
until she was breathless.

Shui was in love with her from the moment he heard her song, but was in
denial.  Every passing day became harder
and harder for him to die but his sense of duty was stronger than his
love.  The last thing he would see before
he dove into the water would be the sight of Xiao Yi.

One day the wind spirits, who were
allies to the sand spirits, sensed the love of Chi Shui, for his love had
become so strong the spirits could sense it. 
One wind spirit had enough of this pining.  As soon as Chi Shui came out of the water,
the wind spirit blew him into the eye of a rich merchantman.  As soon as this happened, the man had amnesia
and Chi Shui took over his body.

this moment, Xiao Yi came onto the dock with her father.  She said goodbye to him and proceeded to go
to the shore.  Chi Shui rushed to her, tripped,
and fell at her feet.  Embarrassed, he
turned his face away, but Xiao Yi bent down to help him up.  She looked into his eyes and fell in love.

Chi Shui asked her to take a walk
on the shore with him, and she breathlessly agreed.  They walked the shore in silence.  He requested her to sing for him.  Surprised at this request, she closed her
eyes, faced the ocean, and sang.  For the
first time since the beginning of time, the Battle of the Sand Sprits and the
Evil Spirits paused, for the song was so beautiful and pure.  They never heard a human express such raw
emotion especially of true love.  When
she stopped, the fighting had to resume.

Shui watched the waging battle and began to yearn for his life again, unsure
why he was in this situation in the first place.  He started to walk toward the battle when his
eye caught sight of Xiao Yi and forgot all but her.

spent the entire day together and the time went by so quickly, yet seemed to
last forever.  Soon, it was time for Xiao
Yi to meet her father.  They went for
another walk on the shore.  Chi Shui
looked at his brothers in parley and knew what he had to do or the spirit world
could turn upside down.  When his
brothers started to head to the ocean, he told Xiao Yi he would love her until
the end of time.  He had a duty to the
sand spirits he must always fulfill.  He
kissed her hand slowly and ran into the ocean just as the sun touched the
horizon.  The grain of sand washed out of
the merchant’s eye, who regained his memory.

Flustered, the merchant stamped out
of the water.  He saw Xiao Yi and asked
what the meaning of this was.  Confused,
Xiao Yi looked into his eyes and saw a stranger.  Stammering some excuses and forgetting about
her father, she ran home crying.  Her
grandmother saw her and asked her what was wrong.  Xiao Yi told her of her day and what Chi Shui
had said to her.

old grandmother told her of the Legend of the Sand Spirits and the battle that
the spirits fight for the good of the people. 
She told Xiao Yi how special she was to be chosen to be loved by such a
powerful spirit.  They never spoke of
this again.

Yi never married.  People who have seen
her walking the shores say clouds of sand will swirl around her, yet she comes
home untouched by any grain of sand.  Many
are afraid of her and call her a sorceress. 
She knows in her heart she will never be happy again.  Every free moment she will walk the shores,
singing her songs of mourning and a lost love that can never be matched. 

she died, she requested that her ashes be thrown upon the crashing waves at
sundown.  When her ashes touched the
water, a small whirlpool occurred and two forms of sand twisted out of the
water to become one.

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Tales-Stories 17 months ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

Beautiful story – well done!

Samlyong 16 months ago

Very sweet,shouldnt have been so tragic though 😉

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My life story

Bipolar Mania: The Cross I Bear
To start off my blog, I have written a 50 page story about my struggle with bipolar disorder. To give you a little bit of background about myself, before I submit the story, I only have the mania associated…

The Abandoned Warehouse

The Abandoned Warehouse

I was unsure how I arrived in this warehouse, one minute I was being peppered with bullets from an adversary’s gun, the next I was here, no wounds and no marks. I looked around, the warehouse was mostly vacant. There were some old boxes with the letters ‘Geena’ written on them. I walked around for several minutes looking for a door. I found only one and it was sealed shut, I was trapped. Was this Hell? Thirty five years working as a drug dealer for the Cali Cartel, surely there was no other place I could be. That was when I noticed the darkened cargo lift in the corner of the room. The grate over it was lifted from within by a deformed hand; the figure kept to the shadows.

“Excuse me?” I said. There was no answer, so I made my way over. A light from within flickered on and off, I looked at the disfigured man, or was he a man? Maybe once, but no more, his skin was blistered, no now this was a monster. His face had deep scars, and his eyes gave out nothing, except darkness. I asked him where this lift went, he didn’t reply. He merely returned the same blank stare. I stepped into the lift to try and see him better.

“How do I get out of here?” I persisted. I never forgot the voice of many that responded. It was a thousand people speaking all at once. “You don’t.” I became instantly afraid, and tried to flee only to have the outer door of the cargo lift shut in my face.

“Where does this lift go?” I said in a panicked voice.

“Straight down,” said the voice of many. I shook violently; I felt hot urine soak my trousers. I tried to hide it from the demon, but it ran down my trouser leg onto the lift floor.

“What’s your name?”

“They call me Legion, and let me guess yours, is it piss pants?” A thousand laughs at all once, all at my expense. We plummeted for what felt like an eternity, until the very depths of the earth became visible. The lift was going dangerously fast, at this pace, we’d be lucky if it stopped at all.

“it’s still accelerating,” I said nervously. Legion shrugged, “there is no death here, although by the end of the first day you’ll wish there was.” Legion began laughing again.

“No I am sorry, honestly, I made a terrible mistake.”

“It’s too late,” said Legion, repeating the words he had said a billion times.

“I want to make amends.” Legion just shook his head, it was at that moment the lift smashed into the ground, sending me high in the air. I slammed my head against the roof leaving a dent, it bled furiously, I would have asked for a doctor, but I was sure even the doctors were crying out for doctors here. I landed on the metal surface. I had no time to even recover before Legion picked me up and dashed me out of the lift. The ground was bone dry and hot to touch, I felt my skin being seared by it. I smelt a familiar smell, like cooked bacon; it was seconds later when I realised it was me. My skin was burning, I pressed my hand on the ground; it burned violently as I stood up, my hand was black by the time I lifted it off. Only one thought crossed my mind, I needed to go back. I turned just in time to see Legion pull the grate down and the cargo elevator ascending. I ran over, but it was too late.

That was the first time I heard him.

“Going somewhere,” said a soft voice. I turned, in front of me was an angel, he smiled sweetly.

“You’re an angel!” I said. He began clapping softly. His features were not bright like I expected, but dull. His wore faded armour, adorned with jewels. “You do deserve a round of applause, you were a fantastic pawn, I enjoyed using you.” It was at that moment I remembered Lucifer, the angel cast down from Heaven.

“You’re the morning star, aren’t you?”

“The morning star? Oh I haven’t been called that name in years; most just call me Lucifer.”

“I came down here to ask for my seat back,” I said confidently.

“Wonderful, and you’re cocky, we like that down here, a little bit of fight,” He said pressing his hands together in a slightly camp way. He squeezed my shoulder tenderly, “makes it much more interesting when we put you on the racks. It’s just a Shame you didn’t have that boldness earlier when you pissed yourself.” Then his face changed, it was no longer camp, but aggressive and bitter, he leant over and whispered in my ear, “I am going to make you squirm!”

“Somebody, help me, I’m in Hell!” I screamed desperately. Lucifer looked at me strangely.

“What? You are not in Hell, you’re in purgatory, if you were in Hell you’d know about it!”

Book Review – Yesterday

Book Review - Yesterday
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Available from Kindle
Source: Short Stories

About the author

stories by AJ Barnett have been published since 1994 in magazines,
summer specials and international competitions, been broadcast on radio
and recorded for audio books.

See all 2 photos
A collection of award winning stories
Source: Short Stories


YESTERDAY – a collection of short stories that have either been placed in international competitions or previously published in glossy magazines – stories that tug at your heartstrings.

Anyone foolhardy enough to read this book might be advised to keep a box of tissues handy.

YESTERDAY is a follow-up to the popular book, SHORT MOMENTS, another collection of short stories – why fix it if it ain’t broke…

Wot – No Sex?

If you enjoyed SHORT MOMENTS, chances are you will probably enjoy YESTERDAY. The stories are not sexually explicit, contain no violence, and are almost bound to extract a smile or a few tears.

If you want to step back from wham-bam exploits, and emerse yourself in a world of real emotion, then YESTERDAY is the book for you.


The Biker
Take Your Partners
Forget-Me-Not Days
Ben And I
A Stroll In The Park
Seal Of Approval
Past Mistakes
The Punch And Judy Man
The Otter Boy

The Biker

There had been another motorbike-mad lad. He’d been special too. There were always mechanical bits and pieces hanging around, particularly as a teenager.

Take Your Partners

They danced very slowly. She enjoyed the atmosphere, felt as if she was drifting on a cloud. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, she knew how to savour it – yet she didn’t count on the repercussions.

Forget-Me-Not Days

Gran’s notion of her lifestyle had been that it was a rucked old sack in need of smoothing out. She had the ability to put everything into perspective, did Gran. Melting moments of magic – that was Gran.

Ben And I

Mum had been in a foul mood before I left, but I couldn’t really blame her. After our angry exchange, she started on the baking as if it were unarmed combat. Flour flew everywhere, and I knew it would be best if I left her to it. Dad might have to suffer her wrath while I was away, but that couldn’t be helped. I wasn’t Mum’s favourite person at the moment, and when swords were crossed everyone had to suffer.

A Stroll In The Park

The little girl brushed her as they passed the big iron gates. For some reason she instinctively knew who the girl was. A minor indiscretion?

Seal Of Approval

The room was dark with shadow. Green velvet-curtains smothered out daylight. The dark green carpet was well on its way to being threadbare. In the middle of the room, stood a round table covered with lace. An old long-case clock ticked away loudly in the hall…. “Is it haunted?”


Rita rummaged in her bag. She was around fifty and had what Grant once described as a ‘well-worn’ face. Not that he meant it in a derogatory way, it was just that… well, she looked sort of…. comfortable…. She probably appeared older than her years because of the way she dressed, but she had a pleasant personality, a sensuous voice, and was mainstay of the local amateur dramatics society. She also had the dubious distinction of being mother to Dominic Jenning.

Past Mistakes

She searched for a clever reply. It suddenly struck her that Mum was right, she did treat life too lightly. Now was as good a time as any to start being a little more serious. She cleared her throat again, but it didn’t clear the commotion in her head. She knew that what she did now, might affect her life forever.

The Punch And Judy Man

A dozen conflicting feelings raced through me. It was ridiculous that mere words should conjure so much emotion, should drag so many memories into the rawness of the day. You’d think at my age I’d be able to control them. It isn’t as if I haven’t had practice, but it’s hard when I’m caught unawares. It could all have been yesterday, yet sometimes it seems as if it was I00 years ago. I still want to cry, even now.

The Otter Boy

At the bottom of the hill, just before the wood, an old bridge crossed the brook. She paused for a while, watching water babble beneath. Running water fascinated her. She could stand for hours watching it gurgle and chatter – but the water held a secret.

Methodic: A Short Story

Methodic: A Short Story


Everything went blank, dark, deep nothingness.

“AHNNH!” An alarm roused me from my deep slumber.

First, I glanced at the intercom that woke me, then, I stared at a colorless wall in front of me. There were walls on either side of me: front, back, right, left. The barriers made up my dismal, dimly lit room. Although, you could hardly call it a room at all. I was enclosed.

“State your status 0247M,” the intercom droned.

“Prime,” I replied.

I never have had to say anything other than prime. I wouldn’t know what to respond even if the event occurred, so I just answer prime.

“Standby,” it declared.

I could hear rumbling in the distance like a freight train with rust on its wheels. The wall in front of me slid to the side revealing another cell the same size as mine. I stepped into the next chamber and the same wall behind me slipped shut. I could feel the cell ascending, and I wheeled around because I had been through this at least a million times. Once again, the wall behind me glided sideways to reveal a dreary hallway.

I could see a compact, dull archway connecting to a dark corridor. There was a title on the arch, lettered in bold, “0247=John”.

“I still don’t know why they don’t put my full name, John M!” I thought to myself.

I strode through it and along the hall, but stopped abruptly at a door in which I proceeded to push open swiftly and stroll out. I found myself in a modern business-like building bustling with movement as wave after wave of people formed five tight lines out the doors. I ambled into a line moving closest to the reception area at the far end of the foyer. The receptionist was a lovely woman who sat in a cushioned high-back chair.

“Good morning John M,” the woman exclaimed as she saw me.

“And the same to you Teresa M,” I replied, “is it nice outside?”

“Very much so, same as always.” She remarked.

I walked out and the sunlight momentarily blinded me. It was a warm blanket that evenly coated my skin. Then, I hopped on the nine o’clock bus to fifth street. I exited at the corner of fifth and sixth. I came to a halt at the number five coffee shop and gave the cashier my daily medium coffee stamp.

“I’ll have the usual, Bert M,” I told the portly distributor.

“Coming right up!” Bert M replied.

“Man, I can’t wait until I turn thirty years in a week. I get a wife and large coffee stamps, that’ll be the day!”

He was a cheerful man, even though he got the short end of the stick on his life. Because he was only a coffee distributer, he didn’t get a wife or an apartment.

“Day 1 is some day alright, even on day 360 I can feel it looming above me. There are too many people changing to large coffee stamps every year,” Bert M said, “Why does everybody have to be made on the same day?”

“I am new to your troubles, Bert M, I am not a coffee distributor.” I replied matter-of-factly as I strode into apartment building five.

In the building, I advanced straight to the elevator in the corridor. Since I had to walk through the entrance hall to get to the elevator and I was on a tight schedule, I kept my head down so as not to speak to the receptionist. I pressed the up arrow and the elevator rumbled as if it were not sure if it should let me in or not. Then, obviously having made its decision, the doors spread wide and I marched in. The only item on the control panel was a scanner, in which I placed my right thumb on, and the elevator ascended up to level 3.

“Ding!” the elevator cried like an elephant with the voice of a mouse.

I stepped out just as the doors closed behind me. In front of me was a massive hall of doors. There was one hall on my right, and one on my left. Also, I could mosey forward and proceed down the hall in front of me. Basically, the halls formed an enormous “T” at which I was at the crown of, where the base of the “T” met the top. My apartment was down the base, the hall in front of me. I strolled swiftly forward to apartment 0247= John. I unlocked the door by again pressing my thumb to the scanner. Inside was a massive living room with a luxurious Persian carpet and one single velvety couch and chair. It was heaven to a neat freak. Nothing was left out or askew.

“Next Day 1, there will be two chairs. I wonder what my wife will look like?” I thought to myself happily as I shut the door behind me.

I slipped off my black, leather shoes and gold toe socks so I was standing in my bare feet in the middle of the carpet. I sighed, long and deep.

“Good day 0247M, your daily meal is in the kitchen,” came a female, robotic voice from the ceiling.

“What is today,” I asked, “the third day of the week?”

“That is correct 0247M,” replied the ceiling again.

“Ooh, tacos, my favorite.” I said as I trotted into the kitchen.

“Enjoy” I heard from behind me.

After scarfing down my delicious taco with the energy water we were given, I trudged into my office, the chamber connected to the living room by the kitchen. Those were the only three rooms in my apartment, the living room, kitchen, and office. I plopped down in the black, leather swivel chair behind my laptop and stretched. I was a king in his throne.

“Did you know that tacos were invented in a place people used to call Mexico,” I inquired.

“I did know that 0247M.” came the voice from the ceiling again.

“That was way back in the first twenty centuries, at least 5 thousand years ago!” I said astounded.

“That is correct, you had better get to work or you will not be finished by shut down time.”

“ I’m going, I’m going!”

I began typing rapidly on the keyboard.

“It’s hard work programming robots to work in the Cornucopian Fields during harvest.” I grumbled to myself.

I tapped away two hours on my laptop and almost missed 11:30 stop time. There was so much work to be done in the programming business. So many commands to tell the robots; when to plant the seeds, where to plant the seeds, how much water to give them, and how to harvest the crops. Crop harvesting was the most challenging of all commands.

“Woo wee,” I cried out, “I was working hard!”

“You almost missed stop time,” fussed the ceiling.

“Oh don’t be so abusive!” I teased.

Slipping on my loafers, I looked back at the living room, oozing sapphire blue from the walls.

“I will see you again when I wake up.” I called.

I tromped briskly down the hall, took the elevator to the lobby, and exited through the two mahogany double doors in the front. I leaped onto the 11:45 bus when an alarm like in a basketball game reverberated throughout New York. It was the Master calling us back to the shut down center. It signaled fifteen minutes until shut down. There were many rules implanted into our brains by the Master when we were first made. One of them was the rule of silence, fifteen minutes before shut down. We were not allowed to communicate during that time. Actually, we were physically unable to speak at all. I’ve tried before. It’s like someone flipped the switch on our vocal cords to “off”. It was really quite terrifying in the first days of my life, but then I got used to it.

The bus let me off at the shut down center where I filed into a line leading to the front doors. After entering the building, I jogged over to the door marked “0247=John” and pushed through it. Finally, I was alone, a lost child on his way home. I walked down the hall, beneath the archway and into a cell. It proceeded to descend down, down, down, before stopping abruptly. The wall in front of me skimmed to the right revealing another compartment into which I stepped. The door closed behind me and everything went blank, dark, deep nothingness.


An alarm jolted me awake.

“State your status, 0247TU,” it told me.

“Prime,” I replied.

The wall in front of me slithered away like a slimy snake slinking back into its soiled hole. It disclosed another cell of the exact shape and size as my own. I stepped inside and it started to ascend up to what I knew would be a building. Again, the door behind me opened to a hall about the width of a rather skinny person. Luckily, I was that person. I passed through an arch on my way down the hall before thrusting the door open. My eyes came in contact with a lobby that had five single-file lines leading out the doors.

After sashaying to the back of the line closest to the inside of the room, I followed its progression out the door. I caught the 9:00 bus to fifth street and placed an order for my medium coffee.

“Mornin’ John TU,” uttered the cashier.

“As to you, Bert TU,” I added, entering apartment building five. I placed my thumb on the scanner in the elevator and got off at level three. I plodded forward to apartment 0247=John. After unfastening the door with my thumb, I entered my royal blue living room with my silken persian carpet with my easy chair in it.

“I’m here,” I declared.

“Good,” stated the ceiling.

“I wonder what’s for meal time,” I thought aloud.

“Tacos sir,” answered the ceiling, “always tacos on the third day of our seven day week.”

“Try not to bore me,” I replied as I messily devoured my taco and roamed into my office.

“Ugg, robot programming as always, back to the old grind.”

After two grueling hours it was finally stop time. I closed my lap-top and trekked back to the shut down center and into my cell.


The alarm from the intercom startled me.

“State your status, 0247W,” said the same droning voice.

“I’m good,” I replied. Then, I blacked out, with the phrase “remember the routine” ringing in my head.

Another bleeping buzzer woke me.

“State your status, 0247W.”

“Fine…. I mean prime, I’m prime,” surprisingly, I stayed conscious. There was no pushing against that system, you had to go by the rules or you got cut off.

The wall in front of me glided to the side to reveal an elevator I leaped onto. It brought me up to a building that looked like an office building. I stepped into a line that slowly crawled out the door.

“What a beautiful day as always,” I thought, “I think I’ll take a walk.” I moved in the opposite direction I usually went to for the bus. I took in the trees and the glorious sky. Again, I fell unconscious, thinking again about the phrase “ remember the routine” resonating in my head.


I sat up in bed. I could feel the bags under my eyes from lack of sleep. I trudged into my bathroom groggily. There was no one to comfort me, feed me, or heal my sick, derailed mind. It was all because of the responsibilities I was given by the previous Master. He chose me. I was chosen. Out of everyone in the city, me. It would have been better if I had stayed programmed and locked into the daily life of New York, but I had to be the different one. I was the Master of all New York. Regular people thought I was “Belle of the Ball”, but I worked a sad, lonely life overseeing the progress of the city. I alone knew the secrets of the robotic, methodic existence normal people called their life. I alone knew that for every one day someone lives and shuts down, there are six more lives exactly like theirs between their shut down and wake up. But I had to live out all seven of the days. I aged much faster than them. I didn’t get a peaceful shut down. I alone had to lay in a bed and fall asleep fitfully. My life was so different. So lonely. So miserable……. to be different.

After doing what I had to do in the lavatory, I walked into the only other room in my……my….. That was the problem, I didn’t know where I was. When I was born, I had certain things etched into my mind, like the rules of the city and that my job was to make sure everything went normally. I had never spoken to anyone. I had woken up, looked after New York, and fallen asleep. That’s what my life was.

Anyway, I went into the control room and gazed at the many tiny screens in front of me. They gave different video shots of the city. There were buttons in front of me for every person in New York. Somehow, I knew that if one of those buttons was flashing, I was to press it and the person it corresponded to would shut down. Then, the people closest to that person would carry him back to his cell. I had to do this because the whole of New York had to be on schedule. Our fathers worked for this organization and control, we won’t mess it up by having drastic changes. That’s why if any person got off schedule, we shut him down immediately and etch what he did wrong into his brain. I never had too many buttons flashing at one time. Today was different.


By this time I knew that if I got off schedule, the Master would shut me down and program my brain to fix what I did wrong. Obviously, that wasn’t working. I could still disobey the rules set forth when I was made.

I devised a plan to break away from the system.

“There must be some kind of boundary around New York City,” I pondered. “If I could just break through it, I might be free from this terrible control!”

I also knew that when I went off the schedule, I would black out. That was why I decided I would need to get enough people off task so the Master would have to shut them down before he got to me. It was not much of an idea, but it was the only piece hope I had left. The next morning I put my plan into action.

For once, I awoke with excitement to the sound of the regular alarm.

“State you status, 0247W.”

“Prime,” I replied

I stepped into the cell that opened up to me and started to move upwards. I skimmed over the plan in my head to the point that I could recite it on the spot without thinking. After I stepped out of the elevator, I moved swiftly down the hall and out into the city building. I followed my schedule all the way out to the coffee vender. Then, I put my plan into motion.

“Hello again, John W. Would you like some coffee,” Bert W. asked.

“No!” I yelled and slammed his head against the table. I flung the table at a group of people walking down the street. They dropped to the ground.

“What the….” Bert started, but then shut down.

Automatically, the people behind me, on the ground started blacking out. I sprinted down the street, punching and kicking everyone in my way. They collapsed, out cold. But… they were shutting down too fast! Eventually the Master would get to me. I needed to cause a gigantic diversion so that a great many people would be set off course. I looked around and spotted a bus stopping near me. I had to act fast. I ran onto the bus and threw the driver out. I floored it straight at an apartment building and jumped out the window just before impact. I landed safely on a canopy above a coffee stand, but I couldn’t say the same for the bus. It slammed into its target and the apartment building started to collapse like dynamite had been set off underneath it.

First the bottom floor, then the second and so on. I knew it would finish caving in before a minute was up. I probably had that much time before the Master shut me down; he must have realized by now that more people were going to get disrupted so he would devote all his time to shutting down. I bolted down the street and I saw a haze two blocks down. There was nothing visible beyond it.

“That must be the boundary,” I exclaimed.

I raced closer and closer to it. It was yards, feet, inches away. I could feel myself slipping into unconsciousness. Just one more second….. I blacked out.

I awoke, not to an alarm but to sunshine and lush grass under me. I had made it out! There would be no more control, no more organization. I alone controlled my destiny.

Long Horns

Long Horns

Long Horns: A fable

Chapter 1

Once upon a time there lived a wild goat in a jungle. She used to advice the wild animals and beasts about the prey. She was considered very wise and hence respected by all the beasts and beasts of burden. Moreover she was very agile and strong. She was distinctive due to her long pair of horns which she was bestowed by the nature. She gave birth to two kids. She named them Rosa and Indica after the well known flower of the jungle. The offspring were the pride of the jungle. Every animal that passes by the woods wished to see them.

They were of different colors with very innocent looks. The goat has quarreled with the jackal once over the issue of the status of the goat. The jackal was of the view that he was the only sane person who knows the way of the jungle. The goat could not agree to his judgment about him. She challenged him over the issue. The jackal wanted to show his superiority. The jackal was in the search of a chance. He was constantly pondering over it. One day he heard about the birth of two kids Rosa and Indica of the goat. He spied over the goat and came to know that she goes out for grazing in the morning. He came and lifted the kids.

He concealed them in a cave in order to eat them after the dust has settled. When the goat reached home she could not find her kids and was on the thorns. She searched everywhere in the nearby places but could not find them. She sensed conspiracy as she saw the foot prints of the jackal. She went up the mountains and announced in the loud voice. O, the residents of the jungle! My kids have been abducted and I want them back alive, if somebody has heard about them or has seen them anywhere in the jungle, he is requested to inform me please. She announced many times and in the end warned that if she finds the culprit she would not spare him.

Nobody told him about the jackal even those animal who has seen the jackal were silent. The jackal was a great black mailer. He has collected the weak points of all the animals and often snatches their prey and foods from them due to their weaknesses. If some animal resisted he used to instigate the lion to kill him for joy and delicious flesh.

The poor agonized goat went from place to place in search of the kids but was disappointed. He was doubtful of the intentions of the jackal but did not know his hide outs as jackal has never built his house.

The Angels Carry You Away

The Angels Carry You Away

I don’t know if i believe in God, but James did. My best

friend, James, believed with all his heart. He had to believe in

something in order to survive. If God is really up there and is

watching over everyone then he works in mysterious ways. God

recognized the dark bruises that clouded James’s gentle face and

sent angels to carry him away.

James was always a quiet boy and many people never noticed

him, but I did. He was extremely intellectually advanced for his

age and spent his free time reading the works of Shakespeare, Poe,

and on occasion Emily Dickinson. Eventually we began to talk about

his choices for reading because they mirrored mine so closely.

We grew really close over a short period of time and we

began to date. We joined the track team together, and that’s when I

started noticing that something was terribly wrong. Bruises covered

his body, mostly on his arms and back. In the beginning he just

shrugged off my concerns. He would just smile at me and say that he

was clumsy or some form of that same old excuse, but the more I

asked the faster his smile began to fade. The bruises were always

there, changing and shifting positions but always haunting him.

One day James didn’t come to school and i got extremely

nervous. He had never missed a day of school, not one, during the

entire time that I had known him. The next day was another no show.

On the third day, however, he appeared and in the worst condition

that i had ever seen him. His left eye was black and pink and

swollen shut, and a blue cast engulfed his right arm. That day he

didn’t talk much, not even to me, but even in his condition he

insisted on attending track practice. At practice i cornered him

and demanded to know what was going on. He didn’t try to cover it

up with any excuses this time. Instead he looked me straight in the

eye and admitted that his dad gets mad sometimes when he is drunk

and hits him. Shock pulsed through my veins hand in hand with the

unfathomable pain. His eyes clouded over with tears. That was the

first time I had ever seen him cry.

I held him in hopes that my arms would kill the pain, kill

the sorrow, kill the shame, kill the memories. I promised to

protect him in any way I could, but that night after practice my

parents told me they were going to divorce and that I would have to

move to a new school. I tried to plead with them saying that my lif

was here and my friends and my love is here.They looked at me

sympathetically but they said that i couldn’t be in love because i

was too young. I remember thinking that they obviously didn’t know

what love was.

I can’t ever remember crying more than I did that night. My

world fell apart in one foul swoop, in one unfortunate day. We

moved very quickly after that night, but I kept in contact with

James. He called me everyday and we saw eachother on weekends, and

things were looking up. As if the light really did shine at the end

of the tunnel, but then the calls stopped and coming and the

meetings ended without warning. I couldn’t understand why. I went

to a friend’s house on a friday night and i got my answers from my

friend Adam, a boy from my friend’s youth group who went to school

with James. We were sitting in the garage as the rain beat down on

the tin roof when I mentioned James’s name. Adam looked puzzled

that I know who he was.

“James Johnson?” He asked me in a quiet tone. I nodded

slowly, “you know he committed suicide two weeks ago dont you?” The

pain in that moment became unbearable as the realization of his

words hit me like a freight train. I hadn’t known because no one

told me, and I had missed the funeral. Flashbacks of times we spent

together came floating into my mind, all the novel discussions, the

track meets, and the love. He was the first boy that came into my

life that could directly affect the gravity around me, and I don’t

know if that means we really were in love all I know is that he

knew me for who I was not how everyone saw me.

I’d like to think that James is still with me every day,

but I don’t know if he is. I don’t know if I believe in god, but I

continue to pray. I look out for the kids that are a victim of

violence and I have written a few essays on the matter. I want to

make sure that everytime I talk to someone that they know how much

they mean to me, because it’s never set in stone how long they will

be with us. Tomorrow isn’t promised today, and you never know when

the angels will be sent to carry you away.