Category Archives: Stories

Vox Populi

They named their band Vox Populi as that is what they fully intended to be…but what a joke that turned out to be.

After a meteoric rise with their hit single Blood Orange Tears, Vox Populi were soon forgotten and left to fade into obscurity.  After all, their lyrics were widely considered to be too far out of left field and required people to listen and think!

How can you be the voice of the people when The People are all asleep? It is eerie really how the people stumble through life never learning… rejecting reason and responsibility and only seeking to place blame.

 

~Melanie Thomason

7/7/2020

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Finger paints? (a tiny short story)

Photo by Giovanni Calia on Pexels.com

 

Everyone is a critic!  I mean I get it… not everyone digs my black and white photography but it really did work for this picture in particular.  Such a gloomy day with a matching gloomy mood.  For YOU to just deface it in this way is unacceptable!  What are you 5?

 

~Melanie Thomason

7/7/2020

 

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Filed under Stories, 50 word stories

Jaime (a short story)

Jaime spent the whole day browsing the antique store and left with just one thing.  He didn’t intend to buy anything really; he was just passing away a few of the dull hours that always seem to make up his days lately.  He’d been isolating himself even before social distancing was a thing and despite himself he just wanted to be in the vicinity of other people.  He walked the aisles, scanning for something, anything to catch his eye.

He looked at antique furniture, oil lamps and the like but he had no place for them as beautiful and interesting as they were.  If things were different, if he had money and a nice house of his own maybe he would invest in nice things that he actually liked as opposed to whatever was least expensive and wouldn’t be missed if he had to leave it behind.  He wandered over to the thrift store side of things and poked about; picking things up at random and putting them back down.  He had no need for a salad spinner or a chipped coffee mug even if it did say, “Introverts Unite, Separately.”

He watched the people come and go and wondered if they were really even there at all.  It as a valid question as his mind did have a habit of playing tricks on him.  At least that’s what he told himself and anyone else who was listening.  That was much easier to accept than the truth.  No one wanted to believe that the actual problem was that Jaime couldn’t tell if the person he was seeing was “real” or a ghost.  He had a hard time distinguishing between the two.  Or maybe they weren’t ghosts at all, maybe they were real… just running in parallel and he could somehow see both time lines. “6 of 1, half a dozen of the other,” thought Jaime. “Crazy is as crazy does.”

He had to focus to keep his thoughts from spinning out of control. So when he spotted the old man, shoulders hunched, shuffling toward the back of the store he decided to observe him and shut everything else out.  He watched as the old man took off his jacket and placed it onto the dirty floor before slowly lowering himself down onto it.  The man sat methodically flipping through the boxes of records stored there only occasionally pausing to give one a more in depth look.  Jaime wonder what it was that caught his eye, what made him turn one over to read the back when others didn’t.  Or was he looking for something in particular?

Jaime watched as the man went through one box after another until after quite some time had passed the man selected one record, sat it aside and then carefully and with much effort, pulled himself up off the floor.  Jaime then watched in disbelief as the old man left without purchasing the record…why spend all that time and then leave empty handed?  His curiosity piqued, Jaime went to see what record the old man had selected after hours of searching to only leave it behind.

He picked it up and couldn’t believe his eyes.  Was this a joke? Some message from beyond? What did it mean?  With his mind reeling Jaime made his way to the register and made his one and only purchase.

 

~Melanie Thomason

7/6/2020

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Shades of Beige

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

This is the story of Dan.  Not a sob story mind you, Dan would never allow that, he isn’t into drama of any kind.  He is a simple man and he is just incapable of absorbing anything bold, spicy or new.

Dan lives alone and he tells himself it’s because he is his own man.  The truth of the matter is he leads a very boring life.  Bland is really the best word to describe him, though he would say stable and responsible.

His wardrobe consists of khakis and button-down shirts in cream and ecru.  If the weather calls for it, he has a heavy tan coat as well.  You see Dan knows with a certainty, which defies reason, that beige is an idoneous color and that red is not.

So it is really not surprising that when Dan went shopping for a new car he perplexed the salesman.  Every car he showed him that as not some shade of beige would elicit a, “Next,” from Dan.  Once he learned to exclude anything of color, he showed Dan every car on the lot in buff, fawn, latte and sand.  Dan eventually decided on a safe and sensible Volvo in eggshell.

~Melanie Thomason

04/20/2020

 

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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

9 Comments

Filed under 25 Words or Less, Poetry