Tag Archives: short story

Writing Prompt: The Dark Time

“I really don’t get,” said Reena, as she slathered her hands with lotion, “why dark is always associated with evil, and light is always associated with good. Did you ever think about that, Neeza?”

“Not really,” came Neeza’s reply. She was still powdering her cheeks a deep fuchsia pink. “It’s one of those things you just don’t have to think about, you know. It’s one of those obvious things.”

“Well, I just think it’s kinda… prejudicial?”

Neeza rolled her eyes. “Here we go again.” She dipped her wand into her mascara bottle. It made a slosh-slosh bubble sound. “Not everything is racist, you know.”

“I’m not talking about race, Ms. You Know. You know? You know? That’s the 57th you-know you’ve said in an hour– you know. I’ve been keeping count.”

“Pssh. You’re exaggerating, as usual.”

“So, anyway,” Reena examined herself on the mirror, sticking out her tongue when she found her reflection unsatisfactory, “why do we not question the things that we were taught as kids? Why do we just accept them as-is? Shouldn’t we think about them a bit more? Because there’s a chance some of them might be wrong.”

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Pizza Delivery (short story)

“Okay, where the hell is that goddamn pizza? It’s been–” Willie checked his watch, a battered, baby-blue leather analog watch that he had gotten on his tenth birthday some fifteen years ago, “forty… thirty-three minutes. They said they’ll be here in thirty.” He pounded his huge fist onto the television, an old CRT, “I’m fucking starving, goddammit!” shaking the image momentarily into a blur of white lines and threatening to destroy the 90’s artifact once and for all.

“Oy, hey!” Reggie yelled in protest, finally looking up at Willie, the first time in four hours that he had taken his eyes off the ancient screen. “What the hell, man?”

“What?”

“That’s my grandma’s TV, man! She gave it to me before she died, you know.”

“Yeah, well, your grandma was a good woman, and may she rest in peace. And fuck her, and her bad TV, and fuck her grandson, too!”

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The Prank (short story)

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy– Shit!”

The crowd gasped and murmured and tsk-tsked among themselves, while the officiating priest, apparently yet oblivious to his verbal faux pas, tried to wipe with his big white kerchief what looked like bird poo off his face.

Meanwhile, from way behind the crowd, from behind a tree where he thought no one could see him, Frankie strepitously laughed and howled from the depths of his belly until his sides ached and made him cry. Little did he know that throughout all this, from the time he rigged a fake bird’s nest on the branch above the priest’s head, to the time he activated the trap with a remote controlled switch (finally, all those engineering classes, which he had thought pointless and soporific and through which he had breezed through with no more than a C, had proved some worth), setting loose the thick white goo on the fat bald cleric, someone had been watching him, and who finally spoke:

“Thought that was funny, child? What you did to that poor old priest?”

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Young Forever (short story)

Mrs. Oferween examined her face on the mirror. Every wrinkle, every dimple, every pockmark, every curve and every fold, she scrutinized with as much precision as an expert geologist reconnoitering some terra incognita for its potential for a new development, and she, involuntarily, frowned.

“Damn, not another wrinkle!” she growled in frustration. It takes 47 muscles to frown, she pounded once again into her head. With great effort, and struggling not to make the mistake of scrunching up her skin again, she forced her face back into a blank expression. The resting bitch face. Some reality TV star in her 30s had recommended it as a way of preventing the creation of wrinkles.

But Mrs. Oferween was pushing 60 now, and even with her diligent use of creams and toners and moisturizers laden with Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C and antioxidants with ginseng and gold powder and quantum age nourishment, the natural curse of aging had taken its toll on her face and on her body, and it showed. There was no hiding the little creases here and there, the crow’s feet sprouting quickly from the corners of her eyes, which were now with evidently lighter irises covered in a layer of translucent goo, the beginnings of what could turn out to be cataracts. Her eyebags were saggier now, and so was the skin on her neck, and her breasts, which were round and perky some three decades ago, were also losing their battle with gravity.

Mrs. Oferween closed her eyes. She could no longer recognize the face in the mirror, even though she had examined it last only yesterday. It was as though the image on the mirror was that of a stranger — some older, uglier, more frightening stranger. A monster. It wasn’t her. It wasn’t her at all. In her mind’s eye, she still looked as beautiful as she did three decades ago, back when men chased her and gave in to her every whim. Back when it seemed as though her beauty and her power would last forever.

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Writing Prompt: Papa

“So, ‘potato’ is ‘papa’ in Spanish,” murmured the boy to himself, as he copied the vocabulary list from his textbook into his homework sheet, punctiliously memorizing the accent of every word that he wrote. He turned to his back, to his grandfather, who was busy reading a broadsheet on the armchair. “Isn’t it funny, Pops? ‘Potato’ is ‘papa’ in Spanish. Did you know that?”

“Huh? Uh, yeah,” replied the old man. “Sure, I’ll have a hamburger. That’ll be great.”

The boy frowned. “You weren’t listening again, were you, Pops?” He walked to his grandfather and gave the back of the broadsheet a quick sweep with his eyes. “Same old news. Same old news. Boring. Why do you like reading newspapers, anyway, Pops? They’re so boring.”

The grandfather raised an eyebrow at the boy’s inquisitive-looking face and smiled. He gently folded the newspaper, put it on his lap, bent forward towards the boy, who was now seated on the floor before him, and said, “Alright. What were you asking me?”

“Why do you like reading newspapers?”

“No, before that.”

“Uhm…” The boy had almost forgotten. “Oh yeah. Did you know that ‘potato’ is ‘papa’ in Spanish?”

“Uh-huh. I remember that. You know, your grandmother, God bless her soul, and I had our honeymoon in Mexico. And ‘papa’ was one of the first Spanish words that we learned.”

“Really, Pops? That’s nice. Did you have a potato down there?”

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Writing Prompt: The Rain

“María, hija! How many times do I have to remind you that it is bad luck to open an umbrella indoors?”

María clutched tightly onto her umbrella. “But Mamá,” she pouted, “I can’t stand the rain anymore! Look at my clothes; they are all soaked through!” Her mother looked at the girl’s clothes; they were indeed soaking wet. Thankfully, her teenage daughter was wearing black, as the rest of them were, and the situation revealed nothing that should not be revealed.

“Just bear with it, hija,” she said, in her most consoling motherly voice. “The service will be over soon. And hide that thing, please; it is scandalous to the Lord.”

María took a deep breath and swallowed whatever protest she wanted to say. There was no sense in arguing with her mother. She slid her umbrella, a pink frilly classic parasol-type with a Tweety Bird design, into the space beneath the chair, hiding it behind her long black skirt, which was, like the rest of her clothes, heavily soaked.

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Writing Prompt: Big Whoop

“Hey guys, watch this one!” The tallest of the boys pointed from where he and the rest of his buddies were, and looked on as their next unsuspecting victim sat on their trap.

“Prrrrtttt!” Out came the vibrating gassy noise from under the chair. Their latest victim, a tiny boy in long knee socks, became red with embarrassment as the rest of the class turned towards him. The mastermind and his gang tittered from their seats. He had been their sixth victim for the day, yet the trap didn’t fail to amuse them.

“Oh look, it’s Sir Mike!” said one of the boys. “Let’s see what happens.”

Sure enough, it was their history teacher, a large round man with blond whiskers and a shiny bald head. He plopped down on the chair, and, as expected, a fart came out from beneath it. But this was no ordinary fart. This was a thunderous one, and much louder than what they had expected.

“Whoa!” gushed the mastermind. “That was one big whoop! I wonder if he ruined the cushion with that.”

“Uh, no, he didn’t,” said his right-hand boy. “That chair didn’t have a cushion.”

The boys and the rest of the class discreetly covered their mouths with their hands and pretended that they hadn’t noticed anything.

(Inspired by First 50 Words)

Writing Prompt: Hot Air Balloons

“Escaping on a hot air balloon? Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“Well, it’s not like we have any other choice, do we?”

“Fine. But if we get caught, you’re the one who’s gonna pay.”

Roger dipped his hand into his pocket. After fumbling around, and a bit of thinking, he said, “Deal.”

Dennis slumped into the corner of the basket. He was feeling very airsick, and his knees were weak with acrophobia. He could feel the balloon continuously rising, and he had no idea how far above ground they already were, but he wasn’t willing to find out.

Roger looked out of the basket. “I could see the tops of the hills from where we are. They won’t be able to catch us now.”

“Oh God, help us,” Dennis muttered. He felt like crying into his hands, and puking into wherever. The beer that he had drunk with Roger, some forty bottles shared between them, was starting to bubble back through his esophagus.

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