What Are You Willing to Die For? #storyaday

“What are you willing to die for?” Our senior History teacher, Mr. Rassmussen, threw that question out to a sea of blank looks. “Your iPhone, Mr. Wilkes?” Wilkes’s head shot up at the mention of his name, and he tried to hide the phone, which was considerably smarter than its owner, in his lap. Mr. Read More …

Old Black Thumb #storyaday

I lay back on the smooth river rock and closed my eyes, basking in the cool light that slipped through the bamboo leaves. I had lain here, in this exact spot, many times. But something was off. The surface was slick and smelled of rot. I sat up and looked around. The roots of the Read More …

Eliana the Argonaut #storyaday

Eliana stretched as best her “sleep cocoon” allowed her to. A microplush womb designed to block light and retain optimal body warmth, it was a little too cozy by morning to suit her. She’d never liked camping with a “mummy bag,” either. For some, it was comforting, like an embrace. For Eliana, it was a Read More …

Maze in a Haze #storyaday

My eyes were still trying to adjust to the darkness. I was propped up against a hard, slick concrete wall, my legs stretched straight out in front of me. My back felt bruised and sore, but cautious stretching reassured me that everything was still in working order, more or less. I felt around on the floor Read More …

Thief of Dreams #storyaday

Kellen lay back against a mountain of down pillows, luxuriating in lavender-scented, 1500-thread count sheets. “Open,” she murmured. The blinds lifted, silently. From her penthouse apartment, Kellen had a breathtaking view as the rising sun lit up the façade of each skyscraper with a golden flash of light on glass and brushed steel. The older Read More …

Disappeared #storyaday

Julie peered into the dryer, wondering where it put the random socks it snacked on. It never gobbled whole laundry loads. Perhaps it sensed – it was one of those new-fangled “sensing” dryers, after all – perhaps it sensed that that would be unforgivable. A sock, now and again – probably worn and in need Read More …

How Did You Do It?

That I was able to pick myself up off the sidewalk, hobble up the stairs, lurch over to the chair, and ask my niece to bring ice should have reassured me that there was nothing too impressively wrong with my ankle. But on that personal pain scale – not the standard “scale of 1 to Read More …

Old Whiskey Nose

Lana leaned back against the sloping concrete, listening to the sound of water leaping over rocks and discarded tin cans in the rain-swollen creek. She lifted the camera and photographed the huge nests nestled between the beams and girders overhead. She carefully photographed last night’s graffiti, noting the distinctive artistic styles and color choices of Read More …

What Else Could Go Wrong?

“Why can’t you be more spontaneous? Live for the moment? It’s just a weekend cruise!” Frustrated with Laura’s constant worry and obsessive planning, Jack ran his hands through his hair and stalked off in search of coffee. He flipped off the TV, cutting the meteorologist off mid-dire-prediction. It had been raining, non-stop, for a week. The Read More …

The Placebo Effect

When Marci came down off the experimental ghrowlenexofang pills, she felt like she’d been run over and mauled by a truck-sized armadillo. Her heart was worn out after running its own marathon without her two left feet, and her brain felt frowsy. She grabbed a liter bottle of Coca-Cola and downed it in under seventeen Read More …

Show, Don’t Tell

Angela popped open the trunk and pulled a large cardboard box from it. At the top of the box was a terracotta pot with a curling vine, the sort of vine that grew easily under the cold glare of fluorescent lights in stuffy, airless office cubes everywhere. The carbon-dioxide rich air of P.S. 120, redolent Read More …