Tag Archives: short story

Power (a short story)

One by one the lights of the city block winked out, the dark coming ever closer.

October 30, 2020

The official word was that the US government was putting in measures to ensure that citizens received protection from energy supply interruptions. However, according to Eddie Rainden, who is the VP of grid integration at NESS (National Energy Supply & Solutions), the government has some power plants that are purposefully generating the power outages.  Rainden theorizes that this is another power move, an attempt to “control the masses” and reduce “voter turnout.”  What says you, dear reader?  Is our government literally trying to keep us in the dark? Let us know in the comments below!

Does the fact that the nationwide power outages, which are ongoing, started merely days from the Presidential election seem coincidental to you or do you think this was a strategic move?

~Melanie Thomason

9/14/2020

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Nightmare- a very short story

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

 

I keep having the same nightmare. Well really variations on a theme.  I’m lost/ searching for something/ trying to help someone.  But I am always in this same apartment complex.  Hundreds of apartments, dozens of floors!  My time is limited and there is no working elevator.  The apartments aren’t even clearly numbered. It is an exhausting, frustrating dream.  I never do find my way or what or who I’m looking for.  Someone, please, wake me up!

 

 

~Melanie Thomason

9/14/2020

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How they Met 2000

AOL Instant Messenger - How long was your buddy list? : nostalgia

 

February 17, 2000

AOL Instant Messenger

 

JustaPoeBoy:  Hi

JustaPoeBoy: Hi, wanna chat?

JustaPoeBoy: Hehe guess not

FVSP75: Sorry, can’t chat…working on a paper

JustaPoeBoy:  bah, your dedication isn’t making me feel any better about putting off my own studies.

FVSP75: Ha

FVSP75: Well, I did put it off to the last possible minute

JustaPoeBoy: then I will grant you some credit. But if you are considering challenging me for the procrastination award, then you will have to wait until it is a few days past the last possible minute to begin.

FVSP75: I have done that before but this class is being taught by a friend and I don’t want him to know what a loser I am.

JustaPoeBoy: OH, all the more reason to put it off.  It is inevitable that a friend will know what losers we are. But the great thing about friends is that we can rely on them to accept us anyway.

JustaPoeBoy: So you NEED to rely on him to accept you anyway.  Think of it as a true test of his friendship : )

FVSP75: Now that you have distracted me from the task at hand I do hope you have something interesting to say  😀

FVSP75: Not that it as excruciatingly hard to do…

JustaPoeBoy: interesting? Not really.  If I was interesting I probably wouldn’t be forced to message people that I don’t know to find an audience.   Only the worst performers have to solicit an audience.

JustaPoeBoy: A/S/L???

FVSP75: 25/F/New Orleans u?

JustaPoeBoy: 24/M/same

JustaPoeBoy: You aren’t a stripper are you?

FVSP75: hahaha how did you know?

JustaPoeBoy: you’re kidding????

FVSP75: hardly

JustaPoeBoy: it seems everyone on here is a stripper these days…sigh…

FVSP75: Of course I’m kidding! What do you do?

FVSP75: Stripper too?

JustaPoeBoy: I’m the guy that stands out in the street with the window cleaner/scrubby thingy and tries to intimidate people into making donations by doing a bad job of washing windows and looking pitiful

JustaPoeBoy: it’s actually quite lucrative

FVSP75: wow…how I envy you

JustaPoeBoy:  I don’t blame you.  You’ve devoted yourself to academic pursuits, undoubtedly, but I have managed to make a good living without ever using a single neuron. (except the ones for vital functions, of course)

JustaPoeBoy:  My brain has never known an original thought.

FVSP75: oh, what movie did I see where a guy gave the window washer $100 to go away, clean himself up and get a job?

JustaPoeBoy: and what does that teach the window washer?

FVSP75: To keep washing windows

JustaPoeBoy: To keep washing windows!

JustaPoeBoy: Ah, precisely…you beat me to it.

JustaPoeBoy: What are you doing a paper on?

FVSP75: you mean was doing….Bartelby the Scrivener

FVSP75: by Melville

JustaPoeBoy: oh, are you an English major?

FVSP75: Secondary English Education

JustaPoeBoy: meaning?

FVSP75: That I’m studying to be a teacher that teaches English literature, creative writing, etc.

JustaPoeBoy: Bummer, I thought you were doing research on something important, like how to build a bigger and better bomb

FVSP75: No, I do that in my spare time.

FVSP75: I’ working on a prototype in the basement

FVSP75: and what do you study?

JustaPoeBoy: Aside from my arduous duties of window washing, I also study computer engineering.

FVSP75:  Where do you go to college?

JustaPoeBoy: basement? In this city? Your entire house hasn’t sunk into it yet?

FVSP75: not really, lol… live in an apartment

FVSP75: keep it in my underwear drawer

JustaPoeBoy: Tulane is wherz  I goes

JustaPoeBoy: dey teches us lotsa stuffs

JustaPoeBoy: So would it be correct to say that when someone opens your underwear drawer, it is quite a blast? 😉

FVSP75: People just have to learn not to mess with a girl’s underwear drawer

JustaPoeBoy I don’t keep mine in a drawer for that precise reason.

JustaPoeBoy:  I use a black trash bag instead

FVSP75: your bomb prototype?

JustaPoeBoy:  no…my underwear and when I get done using it back in the bag it goes

FVSP75: Grosss…but very versatile, portable too. Use it at home, for travel and to move.

JustaPoeBoy: Do you have a job or do your bills magically pay themselves at the end of every month?

FVSP75: Shhh, I don’t tell Everyone!1

JustaPoeBoy:  I always knew I was special, but the extent of your love is making me feel as unique as a 5 dollar bill.

FVSP75: im a walmart greeter

FVSP75: and a part time golf ball picker upper

JustaPoeBoy: If I was a Walmart greeter I’d wipe my nose before every handshake. (just to help pass the time you understand)

JustaPoeBoy: oh c’mon! the walmart deal was good but we both know you pawned that golf ball picker upper  from the beer commercial.

FVSP75: yes, but what a cool profession don’t ya think?

FVSP75: and walmart is extra fun if you hang out in the camping supplies aisle and set up a tent…and tell people passing by they can join you if they go get pillows from housewares

JustaPoeBoy: cool profession indeed, right up there with ditch digger. Does anyone dig ditches anymore? That has gone from being cliché to actually quite legendary.  When is the last time you met an honest-to-god ditch digger?

FVSP75: Can’t say that I have, BUT I have dug a ditch before.

JustaPoeBoy: Guess you have to have someplace to hide the bodies.

FVSP75: oh, did I tell you I’m waiting for the new Star Search to come to town?

JustaPoeBoy:  are you going to show them the contents of your underwear drawer?

FVSP75: I was thinking I’d sing while juggling something on fire

JustaPoeBoy: Can you actually juggle or are you counting on your inevitable failure as part of the entertainment value?

FVSP75: to succeed in nothing. ..to make a complete ass of yourself is far superior

JustaPoeBoy: the ass gets a bad rap I think. I mean think of all the shit it has to take.

FVSP75:  *is nothing (should have typed)

 

Damn keyboard

The letters keep moving around on me.

JustaPoeBoy I figured out what you were trying to say.  What you actually said is irrelevant

JustaPoeBoy: Can I borrow your keyboard? Mine is so prosaic.

FVSP75:  why thank you for pointing out my irrelevance.

FVSP75: no mine, mine, mine!

JustaPoeBoy:  drugs kickin’ in, eh?

FVSP75: I never learned to share

JustaPoeBoy: yeah, me either but I make up for it in my ability to take from others.

FVSP75: Damnation, maybe I should go into window washing so I could afford a maid…I need to do laundry, I have nothing to wear tomorrow.

FVSP75: err, today

JustaPoeBoy: since when do dirty clothes mean you have nothing to wear?

JustaPoeBoy: As long as they don’t walk away from you when you reach for them to put them through another tour of duty…

FVSP75: Alas, I have no desire to stink.  Can you hold on while I start a load of clothes?

JustaPoeBoy: what am I supposed to hold onto?

FVSP75: Whatever floats your boat

FVSP75: BRB

JustaPoeBoy: my boat tends to sink, but I’ll find something. Throw something in there in my honor

 

FVSP75: I’m back.

FVSP75: miss me?

JustaPoeBoy: I was just beginning to despair without your glory to herald the dawn of a brighter age.

FVSP75: Don’t despair for I have returned bearing gifts of lint and soap suds

JustaPoeBoy: well, then, according to ancient tradition you can wash my feet (what a truly horrid experience for those poor primitives with their grungy feet)

FVSP75: you have something against feet?

FVSP75: just for that I won’t allow you to see my toes.

JustaPoeBoy: No, not modern feet. Like everything else modern, modern feet are well kept. (usually) and relatively pleasant (usually).  I was speaking of ancient feet, before the birth of gods Nike and Reebok.

JustaPoeBoy: are your toes in that great of demand?

FVSP75: Do you doubt it?! My steel toed boots keep my feet nice and protected.

JustaPoeBoy:  I would never be so foolish as to doubt such an august personage as yourself

FVSP75: people line up outside my door hoping against hope for a glance at my toes

FVSP75: they coming bearing gifts and letters of recommendation

JustaPoeBoy: So then , I guess they might consider you a “genie in a bottle” waiting to grant their wishes?

FVSP75: no, no if I were a genie then I’d have a master and no one controls me!

FVSP75: some have tried to slip that one by me but I do background checks.

JustaPoeBoy: I don’t have a background.  I’m entirely in the foreground, I believe.

JustaPoeBoy: so what does FVSP stand for anyway?

FVSP75: Initials of some artists I admire…

FVSP75: Frida Vincent Sylvia Poe

FVSP75: The POE in your name is why I started chatting with you 😉

JustaPoeBoy: ok, hate to admit it but not sure who you are referring to except Edgar Allen Poe… is the Vincent, Van Gogh?

FVSP75: yes and Frida Kahlo and Sylvia Plath

JustaPoeBoy: do you have a pic?

FVSP75: we’d come so far in the conversation with out that question…

FVSP75: no, I don’t believe in them

JustaPoeBoy: ?

JustaPoeBoy: don’t believe in them?

FVSP75: it goes against my religious beliefs.  I think cameras suck the soul out of the person being photographed.

JustaPoeBoy What happens then if you are photoed more than once? How can a camera suck out a soul twice?

FVSP75: my aren’t you the slow one…after a picture is taken you are the walking dead

FVSP75: and that really sucks when you want to sit down or take a nap…I have never heard of the sitting dead or the napping dead

JustaPoeBoy:  I’m sure you were aware of this in your infancy and prevented all pictures from being taken of you by supernatural means

FVSP75: when you are an infant and still unaware of the evils of modernization it doesn’t count.

JustaPoeBoy: what a miserable bunch of dead you believe in.  All of my dead are eternally sleeping.  Ah! I see, what a clever rationalization of your belief…are you sure you’re not a catholic?

FVSP75: Now you’ve gone and insulted me! Catholic, indeed?!

FVSP75: catholic don’t condone the belief in unicorns and fairies and elves and such

FVSP75: and anyway I worship the Coffee God.  My holy trinity is Saint Espresso, Saint Cappuccino and the Virgin Latte

FVSP75: Are you a believer?

FVSP75: I belong to the Fresh Brewed Chapter of the Church of Folgers.

JustaPoeBoy: I regret to say that my constitution is not great enough to permit me to follow their ways.  Upon consuming their holiness my body is filled to bursting with their divine energy and I become so enthralled that my body must reject the stuff or be consumed by its zest.

FVSP75: HA

FVSP75: So I guess when you asked me for a picture I could have just been boring and said, “No”

JustaPoeBoy If you do not have a picture, can you tell me of your appearance?

FVSP75: I could

FVSP75: let’s see

FVSP75: I have 5 toes

FVSP75: on each foot

FVSP75:  of which I have 2

JustaPoeBoy: 5 toes? Is that all you have to say of your wondrous digits? I’m sure they feel quite neglected ad put aside.  And after all your praise of them earlier.

FVSP75:  I can snap my toes!  Can you? Most people can snap their fingers but it takes talent to snap your toes.

FVSP75: my friend keeps trying to get me to peel a banana with my toes but I think that is something to do in private, don’t you?

JustaPoeBoy: you can snap your toes? I can’t. I’m a master of picking things up off the ground with my toes when I’m too lazy to bend over.

FVSP75:  I should go soon.

FVSP75:  Should really get some sleep before school.

JustaPoeBoy:  Getting your excuses loaded and ready? What need have we of sleep?

FVSP75: well I don’t do it often so I take what I can get.  Have a long day ahead… go straight to work after school.

JustaPoeBoy I’m surprise your gods do not preserve you from such needs.

FVSP75: Sadly, no and I must say goodbye.  It was a pleasure chatting with you.

JustaPoeBoy:  Take care and may your dreams be pleasant.

FVSP75: Thank you and same to you. Goodnight.

JustaPoeBoy: Night Night

 

~Melanie Thomason

08/04/2020

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Alfie

 

The people of Gillyhead were a kind and hospitable folk, yet they lived in fear.

They decided to take turns acting as lookout. One villager would take up their place each night, in the crosswalk near the pub, so that ample warning could be given. When the signal was given the villagers would quickly whelve a tankard or goblet over any lit candle to try and avoid playing unsuspecting host to an uninvited guest.

Alfie, you see, was a fine fellow.  It just so happened, they discovered, that after he imbibed in many an ale at the pub he considered himself a superb singer and as such he felt it an act of generosity to serenade the other patrons there.  An act that caused many a raised eyebrow to be certain; one bloke described his signing as a toddler playing bagpipes while another said it was what they imagined the first person to stick their hand in a fire sounded like.  But what happens at the pub can be tolerated, laughed over and forgiven. But the rub was that Alfie didn’t know when to stop.

He baltered from the pub, crooning and warbling through the village stopping at any house along his way home that happened to have a light burning.

 

~Melanie Thomason

07/22/2020

wordle51035

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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

 

9 Comments

Filed under 50 word stories, 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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Force Majeure?

She normally loved a rainy day but she had been driving most of the day after driving all last night. The rain had been coming down in sheets and while it was tempting to stop she knew it was unwise. She was worn out, her eyelids were heavy and she really was in need of some sleep, but she only had a tiny head start so she couldn’t afford to lose any time.

The growing rumble from her belly reminded her that it had been even longer since she had eaten anything.  Oh well, she thought as she rolled down the driver’s side window part way.  She was hoping the cool air and splashing raindrops would wake her up a bit. She looked at the gas gauge and saw she was at less than a quarter tank so she would have to stop soon to fill up and while she was at it she’d at least grab a coffee.

She knew he was hot on her tail and his blood lust was all the fuel he needed.  There would be time enough for food and rest once she was clear of him.  He hadn’t always been this way…had he?, she pondered while subconsciously biting her fingernails. She remembered when they had first met, he was confident, charming and gorgeous.  She had felt lucky to even be on his radar, a pigeon to his peacock.  But had he always been this mean?

She really couldn’t answer that but it didn’t matter anymore.  She had thought of leaving before but this had been the last straw.  She had always stayed before, partly because she took the meaning of band of gold on her finger seriously but this certainly had to qualify as force majeure!

Now if she could just make it to the train station without him finding her she would be free.  She had a suitcase waiting in a rented locker there with a couple changes of clothes and the little bit of money she had squirreled away.  She knew she wouldn’t have much left over after buying a ticket but that was ok. Where ever she ended up she knew she would find a way to raise this precious life growing inside her far away from him.

~Melanie Thomason

4/14/2020

 

7 Comments

Filed under Poetry