Category Archives: Stories

Jillian

 

For a brief moment, she stared into his eyes, a piercing Robin’s egg blue even in the dim streetlight.  She wondered how it was she found herself holding a switchblade against this man’s jugular vein.  Jillian knew there was no time to hesitate and so she made one quick, deep cut.

She wasn’t a violent person but she did what she had to do under pressure.  After all if one of them was going to die, today was not her day.  She still couldn’t believe she had been so careless as to let this man come so close to doing her harm. Yes, he had appeared gaunt and homeless, but she knew better than to discount anyone.  She had stopped to give him a couple dollars and then walked on without giving any thought to him behind her.   Never gave any thought that he might want rob her or that he might be compelled by lower, baser needs.  His looks had thrown her off but he had proven much more spry and strong than she could have imagined.  Before she knew what was happening he had grabbed her from behind, his arms surrounding her.  She had instinctively stomped on his foot and jerked her head back to bash him in the nose. That had allowed her to get free for a moment but before she could run away he was back on her overpowering her. He was hitting her and ripping at her clothes, making his intentions all too clear.  He hadn’t given up… and Jillian knew now that he was bigger and stronger than her.  As she felt him against her flesh she knew that a weapon was her only chance and so she had pulled the knife from her pocket.  Her friend’s voice echoed in her head “Don’t brandish your knife; only pull it if you intend to use it.”

Now that he was no longer a threat she pulled her tattered clothes around herself and her phone from her pocket and called 911.

~Melanie Thomason

04/08/2020

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Cheryl’s bad day

This day had been chipping away at her since she woke up to no coffee in the house.  She had resignedly made a cup of tea and saved the tea bag to reuse as she was dangerously low on those too.   Then she went to start a load of laundry thinking she could at least catch up on all the household chores that always piled up when she was working.  Cheryl was determined to make the most of this mandatory time off.  BUT when she heard a terrible screeching sound from the laundry room and ran in to slip and slide in the overflowing soapy water she realized the day was plotting against her.

“I bet the laundromat isn’t as busy as normal what with social distancing and all.” she said aloud. With that decided she gathered up the soaking wet clothes and all the other piles too and loaded them into the car. Just as she was getting ready to get in the car to leave she stepped in a muddy puddle drenching her shoes. “Well, I’m not going to chance ruining another pair so I’ll just wear these hideous boots Paul left behind.”  She’d been meaning to throw them out anyway.

Cheryl was only slightly surprised when she arrived at the completely deserted laundromat.  “Guess, I have my run of the place!” She made short work of sorting and loading and starting the wash.  Cheryl was pleased that she had even remembered to bring ample quarters along.  With a sigh she sat down to wait and picked up an ancient magazine to read.  The time passed uneventfully and the clothes were now drying. “Maybe the day is going to improve,” Cheryl thought. All was well until she took the last load out of the dryer to fold…

Maybe she was over reacting…maybe not, but Cheryl had had it!  She would not lose one more sock!

She already had at least a half dozen single socks missing a partner. Why did this always happen? Was it the machines were hungry, were mischievous elves involved?, was it a black hole as her friend Resa had suggested? Either way she found herself climbing into the dryer, Cheryl was determined to retrieve it.  This picture was taken from the laundromat’s security cameras… and that is the last time Cheryl was ever seen.

Maybe black holes, indeed!

image from pixabay

~Melanie Thomason

03/29/2020

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Charly

Everyone breathed easier at the first signs of spring.  But Charly knew that it would make little difference.  Yes, the winter had been brutal but it was the least of their problems.  It was not the weather that kept her up at night.  The cold they could endure but what would they do when they were found? More importantly how far could she go, what would SHE do?

She had leased this place under a fictitious name but she knew that would only slow the inevitable.  True evil would soon be a Charly’s gate and she had to be ready for it.  There was no one else to fight for them.  Her life was in her own hands.  Everywhere she went she kept an eye out for his distinctive gait.  She knew it was unlikely he would approach her in public, it wasn’t his style, but even so she was diligent.

If it were only her life she might give up, stop running cause he was always one step behind them.   She could feel his breath on her neck.  But Charly couldn’t relax, couldn’t let down her guard because it wasn’t just her life on the line and as long as she was alive she swore she would never let him lay one finger on her babies.

Charly fueled up on coffee in preparation for another sleepless night.  With a heavy sigh, she settled into the chair in front of her kid’s room that she had placed facing the one and only door.  The weight of the shotgun across her lap was reassuring.

 

~Melanie Thomason

03/02/2020

1-800-799-7233 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) Highly-trained advocates are available 24/7/365 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.

 

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pardon

 

poet,

penning paragraphs

pretty

purple

pigments

plying,

paint-flecked

parchment paper

peculiar phrases 

presenting

pink

protracted

pain

purging past,

promising pardon

~Melanie Thomason

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Filed under 25 Words or Less, Poetry

Thank goodness they had gone.

 

 

Thank goodness they had gone.  She had never wanted them here in the first place.  She certainly didn’t invite them as she had never wanted to see them again for the rest of her life.  How had her parents even found her? She had left them behind years ago and thought she had left no trace for them to follow.

Gretchen picked up the tattered pieces of herself that their surprise visit had ripped from her with gnarled claws and gnashing teeth.  It had taken years to build herself up after an entire childhood of their abuses.  She thought she was past that part of her life and could no longer be hurt by them.  But it seems her self-esteem is still tenuous at best. She would heal, she promised herself, after all she had come so far and they didn’t own her anymore.

And, they were gone.  Gretchen heaved a sigh of relief and took a deep calming breath to center herself.  She could swear she could still smell them; that somehow evil had a stench and it had somehow lingered.  She might think about moving again later, but for now she set about cleaning…cleaning her apartment and herself to be rid of them again.  Gretchen turned the music up loud to drown out their voices in her head that she thought had been banished.  She cleaned and she sang and as the music filled her she started to feel better.

~Melanie Thomason

02/08/2020

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Pink Lies (story/poems)

She was forged in this crucible of life

This crucible of grisly pink lies

Told not to question why

That men were right

And she would always be wrong

Taught to know she was less than

Simply because she was a she

She would never be an equal

Not even a reasonable facsimile

Of a man

You see it all goes back to

This origin story

Told by men

Of how woman was created

From man

For man

So therefore could never exist

Without man

And now girls are still taught this

That they need a man to complete them

That they should stand by their man

That they are property

That they should obey

And to be extra sweet

And dripping kindness

To be nurturing

And self-less

To be defined only for what they are

And what they do for others

Daughter

Wife

Mother

She rejected this claustrophobic version of a “life”

That was hammered into her

Since the first pink bonnet

Was placed on her head

 

Caroline

You say she is haggard

A hag, an old maid

Unwanted by man

And withering away

But you’re wrong

She didn’t find a man

Worthy of her

So she chose not to settle

Because she didn’t need a man

To complete her

And make no mistake

She is not alone

Or lonely

 

Melissa

You say she is easy

You say she is a slut

A whore

Because she enjoys the company of a man

Or men

Or women

Or anyone who isn’t you

Jealousy does not become you

and you are seeding a storm

That you may not see coming

Till hailstones rain upon you

Just like you spat your ugly words at her

 

Meghan

You say she is hard

You say she is a bitch

And you wonder what makes her

Gnash her teeth as she rejects

Your unwanted advances

You should be happy it isn’t your flesh

That she peels away as you flounder

And beg for mercy

 

~Melanie Thomason

2/20/2020

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a flower

– Shichigoro Shingo

“Mummy, look what I found for you!”

“Thank you, my sweet.”

“It is soo pretty.  Do you know what it is?”

“That, dear one, is what the humans used to call a flower.  Before they had destroyed themselves and all other forms of life on this planet there were lots and lots of them.  You remember your history lesson on bees?”

“Yes, bees are pretty and so very important!”

“Precisely, and once the bees were all gone the flowers and all the other plants, fruits and vegetables died off as well.  They were all gone…where did you find this one?”

“Come with me.  I’ll show you, Mummy. There was a little patch of them over there.”

As the mother walked hand in hand to a field of flowers with her daughter, she realized the Earth was finally rebounding from the plague that had been humankind and she smiled.

~Melanie Thomason

2/13/2020

 

 

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Gerri

Picture from Pixabay

“I don’t know why people call me a Tomboy.”

“My name is NOT Tom and I am NOT a boy!”

“I am brave and adventurous… I like to run and climb and explore but why are those things considered boyish?”

“It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“I have to tell you my dad wanted a boy and decided to name him Gerald after his grandfather…when my mom popped me out they rolled with it and labeled me Geraldine of all things!”

“Geraldine?!”

” What century do they thinks this is?”

“So, anyways,  I’m sure you can understand why I go by Gerri.”

“I know my mom is disappointed in me too.  I mean just look at her!”

Image from Pixabay

“She is really nice to me but she must have really wanted a princess type like Jenny down the street.”

“Every time I refuse to wear those puffy frilly things she buys me she looks so sad.”

“I don’t want to make her sad…they are just hideous and impractical!  Have you ever tried to climb a tree in a dress?”

“So I do little things to try to make her smile… like did you see my shoes?  They are PINK!”

 

~Melanie Thomason

2/12/2020

 

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