Category Archives: Short Story

Night Noises – A 100 Word Story

Autumn came late this year, the leaves seeming to fall the same day they turn, and all at once.

For weeks you cannot walk outside without the crunch of them underfoot. Each passing car and stray breeze releases a sound like pencils scratching on vellum.

I sit outside and listen late into the chill night, trying to tie each sound to the dead leaf making it.

I know what I seek is not out here in the shadows, but the only thing inside is her broken music box, which only plays late at night when the world is still.


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Filed under Flash Fiction, Short Story


Well, I do not really know what to call this. Let’s say it is an experiment. It started with a word list from Mrs. X (whom I love writing for) at the Imaginary Garden. It contains poetry, prose poetry (I think) and outright prose. So, lets just call it “writing”, I will leave it up to you to tell me if it works as … well, as whatever it is.



I could feel each nerve fraying as I read
the passages from her diary,
each page revealing the deceit of innocence.

Alice was a twin — the surviving one. Her sister, Abbey, died four years ago at the age of nine. She fell from their treehouse, oddly alone in the sister’s favorite spot. Their parents passed a year later to the day, victims of apparent mourning and an previously unknown nasty addiction.

The writing starts the year Abbey died,
she is not mentioned at all.
The writing is the concise script of a perfectionists.

Alice went to live with her doting grandparents. They were well past child rearing age, but had a nice home in a decent neighborhood. Alice was the golden alpha-girl; last remnant of their only child. Their every joy was found in watching her blossom. Four years passed in a blink.

The first two years of entries were typical pre-teen
illusions and silvery imagination.
No reference to parents, sister of grief.

She was superficially social at school; friendly when required but not particularly close with anyone. Her teachers attributed it to her circumstance. It was understandable that a girl experiencing such loss would find it hard to make friends. At home she was a loner, elderly guardians lacking as companions.

Year three notes become more random, razor-sharp
bitterness and loneliness mingled
with endless optimism, anger and hope.

Alice missed three days of school before anyone was sent to their home. Alice was nowhere to be found; her room was pristine, a diary left on her bed. Her grandparent were found in their bed, peaceful in their repose. The coroner reported them suffocated in the sleep.

The last essays become an unspooling of reality,
a messy scrawl of dangerous thoughts
and the intentions of a killer, each one signed “Abbey.”



Filed under Flash Fiction, Poetry, Poetry - Prompts, Short Story


My flash fiction piece, Litter, has been placed with The Book Times today. It is a story about the potential and power of poetry. Stop by for a read and let me know your thoughts.

Sticky notes on the wall of the Wikimedia Foun...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Short Story

Racing the Hand

My fantasy short story Racing the Hand is featured today on The Book Times. It is the story of a twelve year old orphan providing for his siblings by being a ‘runner’ in the rough streets of The Hand. Fast paced and fun.

Give it a read a let me know what you think!


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Filed under Short Story


(Photo credit: Hannah Gosselin ©2012 Phippsburg, Maine)

Two of my aunts used to run a country store down at the lake. It was more than that really; you could get everything from an ice cream cone to a new wig made on site. The ice cream was more popular.

My Uncle Bill and Uncle Fred would man the porch. They were pranksters by trade and both had retired from their hobby of teaching. They spent most of their summers, even before they retired, in rocking chairs on either side of the stairs leading to the front door. No one could enter the store without going by at least one of them.

They were harmless and fun and part of the reason people stopped in. Both of them always carried a notebook and a pen. One of their favorite pastimes was to write short little poems about everyone that came by, especially tourist and anyone new. They were usually funny, or cutesy, and short. Occasionally someone would justify something serious, but never hurtful. Mostly they were along the lines of:
Red in her hair
and on her toes,
but neither as cute
as ice cream on her nose.
They would tear them out of their notebooks and give them to the person they were written about. Occasionally, someone would keep one and cherish it, but mostly they ended up in the trashcans inside or blowing across the parking lot.

I worked there summers growing up; me and Big Tony. We were the only employees. Big Tony was about forty, deserving of his nickname, and a bit slower than most folks. In thinking that is. He was a hard worker. We would take care of the trash, sweep the floors, restock shelves; whatever my aunts needed. I liked working with Tony, he smiled a lot and never had a harsh word for anyone or anything.

Years later, after my aunts and uncles had passed on along with the store, I would stop in and check on Tony as often as I could. He lived in an assisted living place and seemed to enjoy it. We would take walks and occasionally go back down to the lake and fish.

One day he decided to show me his room. It was neat and clean, just like he had always been; bed, chair, table, TV. The usual set up. But covering the walls were hundreds of pieces of notebook paper that I remembered so well. Each one had a small, hand written poem about someone that had passed through that store: discarded, left behind.

“Tony, how did you get these?”
“I used to pick them up. Out of the trash, off of the parking lot.”
“Besides you, they are the only friends I have.”

My visits to Tony become more frequent. When the time came, I collected all of his ‘friends’ into a scrapbook and made a copy. The copy I kept, the other was on Tony’s chest when they closed the lid.

Written for the Flashy Fiction photo prompt.


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Free Write, Short Story

The Neighbors

I rarely sleep through the night anymore. Sometimes I cannot get to sleep, other times a wake up early. When this happens I usually end up in the front room so I do not disturb the rest of the house. I will read occasionally, but typically I will sit in the dark and watch the nights activities. This night I was watching.

The Johnson’s were the most active late night house on our quiet street. I had been watching their marriage fall apart for some time now. He had stated coming home late once every other week or so. No big deal; everything seemed normal the next morning. He would leave for work at the normal time with her waving from the door.

Once every other week soon turned into a couple of times a week. I would see her standing in the window watching for him. Initially, she would wait there until he came home. Many a silent night was shattered by loud arguments from their garage. After a few weeks she started going to bed before he got home. Sse was not visible when he left for work anymore.

Something was different tonight. She had left earlier with the kids, did not come back with them. Not too unusual; they frequently stayed with her mother. She was also back at the window. Even from here I could tell she had been crying. She was also still dressed as she was earlier; no robe or nightgown as was normal for this time of night.

I saw the headlights of his car out of the corner of my eye, but I could not turn away from her. Her eyes got a little wider and her back seemed to straighten a bit. Other than that she did not move until he had pulled into the garage, then she slowly turned and headed back into the house.

It was less than a minute later that I heard the muffled explosion of a gunshot. I did not jump, no surprised intake of breath; I guess I was actually expecting it. There was no sound of an argument, no shouting, no screaming; just a single shot.

I suppose I should call the police, but I think I will give her a few minutes more.

Written for Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday Prompt.


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Short Story

How Did I…..

Oh, wow. Damn! That is a doozy of a headache. What in the hell? Ok, eyes open, have to get to the aspirin.

“Good morning. Glad you could join us today.”

“Um, yea. What….?”

“I am just here to get your vitals. Someone will be along shortly for anything else you need.”

Why am I in a hospital room? I hurt like hell, but a nurse? Tubes in my arm? Everything is fuzzy. What do I remember?

Ready for work as usual; oh hell. Big fight before I left, bitchin’ at me for drinking again. Great start to the day. Work was usual except for the phone calls; three if I remember correctly. All still complaining about the night before.

Met Tim and Rick at the sports bar after work, damn sure was not going home after being yelled at all day. She needs to give it a rest, I don’t drink that much. Watched most of the game, had a few beers, headed home. Nothing unusual there except that I stopped answering the calls. We would talk when I got home.

Then she started texting; she knows I hate that. Most of them I ignored, finally could not stand it anymore. I texted her that I would be home in a minute, looked up at the road…..

Dog, swerve, tree. Damn. That is the last thing I remember. How bad am I hurt? I seem to ache all over, but nothing seems to be moving when i want it to. Wait a minute.

Why isn’t she here?

Day Services Unit waiting room

Image via Wikipedia

Written for the Flashy Fiction prompt of ‘one thing leads to another.’


Filed under Creative writing, Flash Fiction, Short Story