REPORT A PROBLEM
Hands dirty from handling money all day, Tyler avoided touching the handle to the dorm room. Normally, he could care less but it was a new home that he felt he should treat as an adult would. So he kicked at the door handle, his loose shoelaces flapping in the air. Finally, the door inched open, the upper chain locked. “Hello? How may I help you?” a cautious voice politely asked.
“Hey, yeah. I’m your roommate.”
“What’s your name?”
“I’m sorry, sir, but you’re not my roommate. His name is –”
“Well, then use your key!”
Tyler automatically grabs a bag of chips and slides into his desk chair. He surfs the net, loudly chewing. Biff places his blazer in the wardrobe and gently shuts the door. “I enjoyed meeting your girlfriend this evening. She was quite lovely.”
Tyler’s gaze is fixed on his screen but he replies, “She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Well, I assumed you weren’t homosexual due to the young lady above your bed but I don’t understand why you aren’t dating Cassie. If I had a friend like her, I would want her to be my girlfriend.”
“I bet you would.”
I wish the world were different. If we were to try harder, if I were to try harder, it perhaps could be. I feel sad that our supposedly leading nation continues to discredit and ignore its own. Other nations glimpse the path to the future and note that the earth is dying, not only from polluting factors but from our terrible attitudes towards each other. If the United States refuses to protect and serve its own citizens with nation healthcare, environmental standards, rights for all, and a peaceful presence in the world, how can it call itself a great nation?
Lately, I have not thought kindly of America. While I am not a member of the disenfranchised, I have felt a need to rebel, to tell off the establishment for its nonchalant attitude towards its citizenry. I want to move the apathetic (including myself) to act in some unknown way. Today, I thought about the question, “What do you love about America?” I responded to my imaginary inquisitor – “I love that I can hate America out loud.” Yet, I refuse to abandon America. I want to fight for change in my homeland so I can see her reach her potential.
My high school freshman biology teacher began the first day by telling us that she wanted to make sure we understood her lessons. In order for us to display such understanding, she asked us to give a thumbs up sign if we comprehended the material and a thumbs down if we did not. If we were unsure, we would simply place our thumbs on a horizontal plane. At the age of fourteen, I thought this idea was moronic and belittling. Sometimes, I still feel as if people with more experience think I’m only capable of the simplest forms of communication.
She grasped his arm.
“Let go!” he commanded.
“You can’t come with me, Autumn!”
She felt him push against her in her mind and, in a flash of light, he was gone.
She huddled against the shaking ground, letting rocks pummel her. Villa Kincaid flew down and grabbed her. Autumn struggled against her as she lifted her up into the sky.
“Stop it!” Villa yelled. “I’m going to drop you!”
“I don’t care!”
“I don’t know!”
“Just like him, huh?”
Autumn pushed Villa angrily with her mind. Villa let her go and they descended.
The quartet enters the nightclub. It’s a hip place with the hottest, richest people all having a good time being hot and rich together.
AUTUMN – She wants guys like this? These guys look like they don’t bother with such inconsequential things as, I don’t know, thoughts.
RALEIGH – Villa and May don’t seem to mind them.
Villa and May dance with several of the guys.
AUTUMN – What is wrong with them?
RALEIGH – Nothing, really.
Autumn marches over and tugs May away.
MAY – What are you doing?
AUTUMN – You’re supposed to be working.
MAY – I am. I’m blending in, scoping the scene.
Flash Fiction for Children
The girl aspired to be something. At first she did not succeed. She practiced. The big show/game/moment/ice-skating competition arrived. Everyone cheered her performance.
The first day seemed scary. However, the teacher was nice and the student made new friends.
A kid went on an adventure through magical, somewhat dangerous lands. He or she arrived home safely in bed.
Mommy and Daddy love their child very much. They will always love their child very much.
A group of talking animals or children went on adventures or stayed at home. They made mistakes and learned very important life lessons from them.
blabbering idiots can be truthful and mighty geniuses longwinded, hopeless
as I write a word and then another I doubt anyone could care whether I write a revolutionary document or my private confessions
giraffes are blue on a far away moon can mean as much as scripture does to an imagination stretched
yet I cannot ignore the classic works and the newer words that intrigue, confound, and draw emotions from anger, spite, to unsettled, active
take care to read and determine what is important, to you, whether it be a simple phrase or a set of prose ancient and winding
She sat in the center of the street, concentrating. Her eyes appeared glazed over to the average person passing by her. The citizenry took to walking in the street, a situation the police could not rectify at the present moment. She sat blocks away from their nearest posts. A barricade of miles of crowds prevented police movement into the area. Traffic had stopped around her, and the citizenry, worried about their government paychecks, abandoned their diesel-run cars. In one afternoon she managed to stop the government machine, simply by sitting in the middle of the street on a Friday afternoon.
In the morning, I feel blurry. A haze has wrapped around my neck and when I step outside the day is no clearer. A fog seeps in my mind and out through my eyes, invading the world. I’m unsure of myself as if I were still a teenager, struggling to remember who I am and why I’ve decided to awaken at such an hour for a mirage of a dream that can maybe, perhaps, possibly be realized by a belittling job. If I put on spectacles, I cannot see peripherally. If I put in contacts, my eyes squint and shut.
Gloria drove to the recycling center every day in her dilapidated, turquoise van. Her neighbors spoke about her as being eccentric and kooky but they always happily took up her offer to transport their cans and newspapers and smelly milk cartons away from their houses. She even delivered little plastic bags full of change to each of the families in reimbursement from the state for their supposedly kind deed. Her kindness remained unrequited. Then one blue December evening, when the sun and sky were framed with grey drapes of clouds, she stood on Mackenzie Fuffington’s stoop and rang the doorbell.
The bastards got me down again. I feel like a loser, except with a university degree. I do not call myself a loser and perhaps no one else does either. But I feel as if I earned an education that earned m a better lot than being a two part-time job loser. My wits, my talents, my good old chunks of brains are crumbling away without use and I unfortunately find myself basing my intelligence off of contestants for
Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?
What’s the singular of lice? I apparently had the wrong impression on that one.
INT. PARTY – DAY
Donald sits at a table eating. Ms. Gregory walks up to him and claps him on the back as he takes a bite, causing him to choke.
MS. GREGORY – Donald!
DONALD – Ms. Gregory! How are you? So great to see you…
Donald cannot peel his eyes away from her huge breasts.
MS. GREGORY – You have not changed! You used to stare so much, boy. Those big eyes. Just staring away.
DONALD – Did I?
DONALD – Ms. Gregory, have you met my –
DALIA (Simultaneously with Ms. Gregory) – Wife?
MS. GREGORY – Your sweet sister, Dalia!
MS. GREGORY – Wife?!
Her white dress soared eerily in the air, like a linen sheet hanging on her grandmother’s clothing line before a summer thunderstorm. She used to stare at her granny, so fearful that the thunder and lightning would crack the old woman apart along her wrinkles. Now as she purposefully dove into the ravine, the aged stone walls reminded her of her granny’s creased hands cupping hers, letting her granddaughter know that the storm could not hurt her. She could almost see her now deceased caregiver’s pale blue eyes in the water as she silently sped to meet her once more.
Entrapped by nails, the rusted relics, gun and sword, are buried upon the wall scribing an “x” in inanimate rest. They remain from that great era, that golden age, when boys obeyed, when girls were sweet and spoke like ladies, when everyone knew his place and especially her place. Certain old men eye them as if they believe that time was theirs even if it occurred centuries before their births. Their pale eyes look empty as they examine the blade, the barrel, the handle, the trigger. And their freshly bathed granddaughters squeal with delight in July’s twilight at playful fireflies.
The entire ballroom, made up of painted faces, both covered in make-up and faking emotions atop emotions, stared in muted interest at her. They awaited her response so they could twitter, pretending to care about each other’s opinions and loving the sounds of their voices. Then the next day and well into a fortnight later, they could tell neighbors, acquaintances, decidedly disliked brethren that they had indeed been there. They had seen him, the filth, brazenly swagger into the Doloberrithem’s winter ball and ask for her hand to dance.
She ignored them, as she always did and smiled. “My pleasure.”
The windshield wipers slid the rain away as Eli drove slightly worried.
“A perfect date,” Lola said.
Eli said. “I guess the picnic isn’t completely ruined. I always liked the taste of wet hamburgers.”
She smiled big and her eyes enlarged. In that instant, she wanted to kiss him – driving safety, be damned. “It never rains here,” he murmured. “This is so weird.”
She looked up through the windshield to see the sun partially coming through the clouds, glinting against the raindrops. “We should just go to my apartment to watch old movies. I always do that on rainy days.”
The tip of the tongue freezes. You pray that neurons are firing, on the edge of discovering that thought you cannot find. What was his name? The kid with brown hair… and he had a slightly higher pitched voice. Almost a whine but not quite… What was that street? Behind the bakery. No, the one that serves only muffin tops on Tuesdays. That word. It means finding something you need by pleasant accident… A bad movie with that guy from the movie with the guy and the stereo over his head with that song about eyes playing. What was it?
A little girl with shiny blonde hair stands in the center of an interstate on a crisp evening. Her breath is the only thing visible in the darkness. Suddenly, two semis pound toward her, headlights blazing. They speed at 93 miles per hour each, one from the west and one from the east. She throws up her little palms, one facing each truck. A friendship bracelet tied to her right wrist quivers. They freeze before her silently, no sound of brakes or tires squealing. The trucks’ doors fly open and their two grizzly drivers flop onto the pavement completely dazed.
Lake bats the bicycle wheel above his head, testing his repairs. A horn beeps and he looks up to see his brother, Aaron, pulling his convertible, the top down, into the driveway. “Get out of the road!”
“Just park on the street.”
“It’s going to rain tonight. I want to put it in the garage. Move it.”
Lake ignores him and Aaron screeches back out of the driveway. After parking, he walks up the driveway and lightly kicks Lake’s foot. “Fixing her bike isn’t going to get you in her pants.”
But Aaron is already in the house.
He rolled his eyes, which she did not notice since she was concentrating on keeping on her broken sandals.
“You should just walk barefoot.”
“The sand is too hot. Aren’t we almost there? We’ve been walking for hours.”
“You don’t need to take that tone with me.”
“You are the reasons why we are taking forever. Why did thy shoot at us earlier? Why were we not taken into a village for protection? You. You are a tactless, selfish bitch. The only reason you are alive is single ounce of conscience that has kept me from killing you.”
I jump into my car, bags barely packed, and I drive fast across the road. I see mountains and fields and children stretched out across backseats, staring at the shapes of clouds over the edges of their tattered book covers. My transition stutters, strange voices pour from the radio, and I push on, confident in the unknown, happy to be arriving nowhere, anywhere, in an adventure or a boring day. The comfort and the illusion embrace me as I stick my hand out the window and play with the wind. I laugh, my whooping cheer falling into only my ears.
She reined in her nostrils and sighed. Obviously, those beneath her were completely incapable of their jobs. Despite all of them having college degrees, none of them seemed to be able to read a manual page by page and memorize it. She based her life on high expectations, high requirements of meeting intricate details that were important. Only the most loyal to her, not the most qualified, would receive opportunities of meeting those upstairs. And then she remembered in the back of her mind that no one loved her anymore, no one at all. Yet she could not recall why.
Vision clouds yet no mists are seen. No tears drip down the face, whose eyes blink away dry air. A black orb fills the space, closer and closer and yet never touching. It is shapeless, without mass or energy. Little flames and lights of happiness try to escape from behind it, this cloud of depression. Behind is the same dark, the antithesis of all hope, an eternity of dread. The eyes cannot pierce the suppressing circle or the hated infinity beyond. They cannot reel in the flames of hope until the mind behind them can connect to the fire within.
Martin shut the door behind him and gazed at Simon, clearly waiting for him to get ready to depart. However, Simon remained on the couch, staring at the screen.
“I’m waiting for my friend.”
“Is he coming with us then?”
“No. He’s going to be on the telly.”
“Ah…. For what?”
A news reporter spoke for a moment about a new ride that was being shut down due to safety issues at a local fair. Simon shut off the television afterwards and stood up to leave.
“First report of his, was it?”
“No. Not him. The bloke in the background.”
A slow, sarcastic clap resounded through the hall. Geoffrey Mills, a tall representative with unruly hair, stood. His head cocked to the side, glaring at the lectern.
“I applaud you, Tripol, for being clever enough to mask a belittling argument with such dull rhetoric. Not only have you recommended bureaucratizing our government so that your fellows will seek honor in paperwork and procedure, but you have managed to assume the character of a man loyal to country and countryman. I fail to recognize your sad attempt and I promise to disregard all your arguments for the length of my life.”
Francis, Lonely Town’s only law enforcement, is an alien from the planet Unozit. He was a lazy herdsman on his homeworld, looked down upon by his successful siblings. One day, he accidentally wandered into the hold of a spaceship with his cattle. The scientists owning the vehicle discovered him on an expedition to Earth and dropped his sorry ass in 19h century Montana. The expedition continued to Egypt, taking his beloved cattle. At first hated and feared by the townspeople of Lonely Town, he quickly became sheriff due to his water-squirting and fire-breathing abilities. Thus, he became Sheriff Alien Cowboy!
They tried their best to ignore each other over the next four days. Phineas sat in the cave’s mouth daily, awaiting Gloria’s signal. Minerva watched by night, letting Phineas sleep on the cool cave floors. It was sunset on a Thursday as they were changing posts when Phineas spotted the blue smoke, rising up from a little cottage in the center of town. “That must be her,” Phineas said confidently. Minerva nodded, continuing their silence since their row. Yet, Phineas had his back turned to her as he stared into the valley and believed she must have disagreed with him.
A small tree in a forest of ancient pillars swings its youthful arms, playing with the butterflies and bluebirds. Its pale green leaves wave in the mottled light created by the still, dark branches of its relatives. Some are disgruntled by its excitement and loud movement. Others smile, recollecting their own youth a hundred years past. As the sun begins to set, the tallest of the trees feels a burst of sunshine, which rushes to the little tree. All the members of the grove shudder for a moment, and any creature with eyes sees the sapling shoot up an inch.
In My Pocket
I’d forgotten you
An old bill already paid and now just scrap
A gum wrapper with its contents thankfully disappeared
A wrinkled twenty to invest in a nice dinner and ice cream or a simple car payment
A love letter from when I used to wear this jacket all the time in high school
Yet here you are again
A nuisance, a piece of trash
A pleasant gift for something new
A reminder of the past I could forget but now cannot
And so I slip you into your cloth home unsure if we’ll meet surprisingly again
The Tip Jar