one-shot story

Tall Tale

By Edele Winnie

I am the most pathetic person in the history of the world. Sad, pathetic, heartbroken, foolish and really really stupid.   I have given my heart away- fallen madly in love- with a three legged giraffe. His name is Alphonse and he lives at the Little Acorn Petting Zoo.

My name is Sheila. I am not a moron or a crazy animal rights person. I am a perfectly normal twenty eight year old woman. Kind of short, sort of skinny, with middle length brown hair that has been called mousey- which is really unfair. Mice come in different shades you know, and my hair is nicer than all of them. Yes, I don’t like mice. Who does?

I went to university for one course too many and my combined masters degree in archaeology and exercise science found me a job at the snack bar at the Little Acorn Petty Zoo.   It was seasonal work because the place was closed in the winter and I told myself that it was just temporary but after the fourth year I was unsure about my future.   Was this really what I wanted to do with my life?

I was already hooked you see, and didn’t even know it. Like I said, I’m no crazy animal person. I had a cat when I was a kid and it ran away and I don’t really blame it. My mom shouted a lot and my dad was really fat and I spent a lot of time alone in my room. I guess that’s where it all started. Me alone in my room feeling trapped like a freak in a zoo. (more…)

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Hello Justin

Joey Jules

Matt Colby was never the biggest or the strongest guy in his youth. In fact, he was the victim of cruel bullying back from some of his peers. His worst years started at age 9 when a kid named Justin Meyers started attending his school. Justin was his monster.   

“What’s going on dick weed?” Justin would often say to Matt before slamming him into the lockers, often followed by a spit to the face. “Tell your mom she sucks in bed” He would say as he walked away, laughing.

The bullying got worse as the school year went on. When out in the school yard, Justin often hit Matt with basketballs and footballs in the back of the head when he was walking by. When Matt was having a snack, Justin take his food from him, chewing open mouthed in his face. When Justin was with other people, he would insult and humiliate Matt to get the other children to laugh.

“Just ignore him” Matt’s mother would say. “ He is new to the school and just trying to seek approval. He will stop bothering you if you don’t pay attention to him.” (more…)

Candle in the Park

By Edele Winnie

It was just before Easter and she was walking down the street on one of her usual walks, trying to burn off that terrible energy that tormented her . It kept her awake, it made her smash things and sometimes behave inappropriately.

There was nothing special about the Catholic Church, it was just another one of them. She would have called it middle aged, if she’d thought about it, for it wasn’t a hundred years old and who builds churches now?

It was the sign outside that had cut her eye. All day confession, it said. For the Easter holiday. All day confession. She could not resist.

It smelled like a church- a little musty, a little like people, kind of candlely. There was a sign that said ‘confessions’ and a pointing arrow.

There was no one waiting.   The curtain to the confessional was open. She stepped inside, knelt down, closed the curtain. She had no idea what she was going to say. She waited, for she heard no sound from the other side of the wooden screen.   And then, a door, someone shuffling, someone sitting themselves down.   Did priests kneel or sit while doing their confession thing? (more…)

The Uninvited Guest

By Joey Jules

Stephen stood at the entrance with his hand on the door nob. He was growing tired of the conversation. I told you, you have the wrong place.” he said for the second time to the man standing on his front porch.

I know what I saw, and this is the right place! The man exclaimed. “You have my wife and she is in there, so let me in or I will go through you if I have to!”

Stephen frowned. “Listen sir, I don’t know you or your wife. She is not here. You need to leave right now!”

The man’s eyes narrowed. “I will see her again, and believe me, you and me are not through with each other!” The man turned around, stepped off the porch in a huff and stormed away.

Stephen sighed. He watched the man walk down his gravel driveway until he was out of sight,  and shut the front door,  engaging the lock with a click. The last light of the day was shone through the cabin window. He went and sat on the sofa and lit himself a cigarette, inhaling deeply and savoring the sensation of nicotine running through his veins. (more…)

Enough Rope

By Edele Winnie

She chose the belt carefully. She did not want leather, but rope, narrow rope. He was a thin man, so that helped. Classy rope belts were difficult to find.

He was an odd sort. Tallish, skinny, messy brown hair and glasses. A passionate marine biologist who had never learned how to swim. He’d been fascinated by computers as a youth, and that had led to his development of the computerized shark tracking system as an adult. His work as a biologist was respected but he was still, at heart, a computer geek who spent more time behind the screen than in the water.

She was on the wrong side of forty, married, dyed blonde hair with dark eyebrows. She wore heels every day. She was renowned for her work on the great white shark. It was she who had published the data revealing that there were no large males, only female great whites. Sharks were her passion too, but her moods ran in both warm and cold currents.

It was inevitable that they should meet; there were only so many biologists specializing in great white sharks. It was at the Worthington Marine Aquarium, which held both displays and serious scientific inquiry. (more…)

The Farmer’s Daughter

By Eddie D. Moore

Arno heard the scraping of a blade against a whetstone while he toiled replacing wooden shingles. The old farmer, Mr. Kensett, had been sitting on the front porch sharpening his knife ever since his daughter had come outside and introduced herself. She had given Arno an appraising look with a smile that made Arno blush and the old farmer narrow his eyes. He resisted the urge to remove his shirt for fear that Lomi, the farmer’s daughter, might make another appearance. He did not want the farmer to grow suspicious or think that something uncouth might pass between him and the girl. It would not be the first time that he had been run off of a farm without being paid.

With the last broken shingle replaced, he climbed down the ladder. Lomi rushed out the front door just as he placed a foot on the ground. She carried a single cup and walked past her father without a glance. When she offered the cup, Arno glanced at her father and noted his irritation. He took the cup with a nod and quickly moved to stand directly in front of Mr. Kensett.

“I believe that completes the list you gave me this morning.”

Mr. Kensett put down his whetstone, wiped the dust from the blade on his pants and walked with Arno to inspect the day’s work. “You have an eye for detail. I would say it was worth every coin.”

Arno accepted the day’s wages with a hand shake and turned to go. Lomi ran from the front porch to Arno’s side and grabbed hold of his arm. (more…)

Pretty Shoes

By Eddie D. Moore

Gavin’s head pounded and he could see nothing but the floorboards when he cracked open his eyes. He had hoped to catch the thief that had been sporadically working the area for months. Unfortunately, the thief had caught him instead. The underbrush at the edge of the property had offered a perfect place to hide and watch the house. The last thing he remembered was the soft shuffle of leaves behind him, a moment of panic, and a stinging pain as something struck him on the back of the head. He should have guessed that the thief would use the same vantage point.

He dared not give any sign of consciousness as quick paced footsteps passed. The board under his cheek gave a slight creek and a breeze stirred his hair as the thief passed into the adjacent room. Other footsteps and rummaging could be heard above him. The steps had too short a stride and were too light to be produced by adults. He began to wonder if the robberies were the work of a group of children. His ears burned with embarrassment at the thought of admitting that a scrawny miscreant had caught him unaware and knocked him senseless.

Gavin slowly surveyed the room, got to his feet and moved to a corner. Through the doorway, a couple feet away, he could barely make out a whispered voice in the adjacent room. The voice seemed too deep for a child and sounded odd, almost unnatural. (more…)