Posts Tagged ‘short story’

Jessica knew she couldn’t stop him. Her son, Dorian, had been given a place at the prestigious Filton University and it was a dream come true for him. It would be selfish of her to pull him back because she was afraid to be alone. It wasn’t his fault his father left, no more than it was hers. She knew Dorian felt guilty anyway. He was a sensitive boy and felt some kind of responsibility to become head of their little household. She felt guilty too because she let it happen. She allowed Dorian to look after her when, as a boy, he should have been learning to live his own life. She was a grown woman. She should have been able to look after herself. The mother – son dynamic changed when Walter left. Now she didn’t know how to live any other way.

His eyes darted over the acceptance when he first opened the letter. A smile caused to greyness of his eyes to glint. His lips traced a smile. Jessica watched him. She knew what it meant. The full realisation of what it meant must have clouded over him too because the warmth of excitement cooled like a dying ember.

I got in,” was all he said.

Jessica managed a smile to match his own. She took her son’s shoulders and pulled him close in an embrace. She felt him shudder slightly. He pulled back and pushed the mop of bottled black hair from his eyes. He nibbled on his lip piercing.

I’ll come back all the time,” he said knowing the cause of the tension over what should have been good news.

Jessica shook her head. “Don’t worry about me,”she said.

She tried her brave face. She wished she could be more convincing because Dorian looked tired – not a teen boy at all but a weary man who had seen too much.

The celebrated that night by going out to dinner. They picked one of Jessica’s favourite restaurants. Dorian paid. As the son discussed how excited he was for the new chapter in his life, Jessica listened attentively with a beam of pride, hoping Dorian couldn’t hear the thud of her heart at the prospect of him leaving her. Filton wasn’t millions of miles away from the little suburb they lived in but it would mean she wouldn’t see him every day as she was used to.

The day of departure came. Dorian decided to travel alone. He pulled a large rucksack containing everything he deemed important enough to take with him onto his back and he hesitated by the door.

Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you?” she asked.

Dorian shook his head. “Why don’t you come visit me next week after I’ve had the chance to settle in,” he offered.

Jessica kissed him and held him tightly. “Be safe,” she said.

They both drew back tears and swallowed the separation anxiety.

Jessica knew she would have been selfish to make him stay. Looking back now it would have been better. He would still be with her. He would still be alive.

He was such a sensitive boy after all. As he looked back at her with a wave from the end of the pathway she never would have thought it would be the last time she would see him.

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Timothy Hardship is my name. With that you would think I’ve had a hard life but its really the opposite. The truth is I was a bright and happy boy. That was until I accidentally made myself as tall as a house. Now, simple things like going to school, playing with my friends and other regular kid things present more of a challenge.

Grandad always used to tell me that little kids should give up their seats for adults because they need to stand and grow tall. I was one of the smallest boys in my class so I took my grandad’s advice and kept on my feet as much as possible, thinking it would stretch me out.

Tiny Tim they called me. Well, one day I had had enough.

I was looking through a catalogue that had been lying around the house for years. It was one of those useless things that for some reason my mum wouldn’t throw away. My finger stopped on a very eye catching, star shaped ad. ‘Make yourself as tall as a house!’ it read. A lot of hoodwink and pish posh I thought but since it claimed it was free and all you had to do was call a toll free number I thought ‘why not?’

My parents had been visiting a neighbour who had just had a new baby so I was home alone. I picked up the phone and dialled 0800 – GET – TALL. The ad was so old that I had expected the number to have been disconnected. To my surprise an automated voice came on the other end.

One moment please,” it said in its computerised, honeyed tone. Then there was a click and the line went dead.

Well I don’t feel taller,” I said to myself, putting the phone down with just a little disappointment.

***

I went to the bathroom. I splashed cold water on my face. I was starting to feel really hot. I hoped I was coming down with something so I could have a day or two off school.

I felt dizzy. I looked down at the sink. It looked a lot smaller and a lot further away than it had a moment ago. I felt something bump against my head. It was the roof! I climbed out of the bathroom and charged downstairs like a stilt walker and squeezed out the front door.

I waved my arms like great boat sails. I could now see in my bedroom window on the top floor.

My tiny mum and miniscule dad came walking down the pathway. Mum shrieked and fell faint. Dad gave a very firm, “Oh my!” and twitched his moustache.

After mum finally recovered I explained to them what had happened. Dad opened the window so I could talk to them, hunching down and peeping in. Dad tried calling the maker of the ad but they had closed business. It seems there wasn’t much business for people wanting to be as big as houses.

***

I’ve had to make a few adjustments. A sky high house has been built for me to live in. I have to sit in the school yard and listen to my lessons through the window, even when its raining. Mum was shocked at first but she says she loves me no matter my size. I’ll be big until dad can track down the owner of ‘Getting Tall’. At least they don’t call me Tiny Tim anymore.

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It has been done. I have left it all behind. The last sight I had of my kin was of them burning, begging for it to be ended. Still pleading with me to stay with them. It was disgusting.

My lover still claimed me to be the one for him. I removed the heart from his chest. The blood was still warm as I devoured it. So great was my fury that they tried to stop me and greater was my horror at what the love of the king had made me see.

Tessa, the eternal child, was the last to speak. A curse she warned me of. That was laughable. Her power could never match mine for I was queen and only an immense power could keep them in check. I possessed that immense power. She quipped about a plague that would follow me to my new home and a tragedy that would befall all those who crossed my path.

She said my new husband would be driven insane by the images of what I had done. My misdeeds would forever flood his fragile mind. She said that food would spoil rotten in my mouth, my skin would burn at the touch of silk and any children produced from my marriage would suffer from cradle until they begged for death.

She doesn’t frighten me. She will be forever in the form of a child because of the power I hold over her.

My home has been reduced to ashes in my wake. The evil of its people forever banished.

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Also on this site:

Whispers in the Woods (A Red Snow Fairy tale)

The Unwanted Throne (A Red Snow Tale)

The Tower (A Red Snow Tale)

Granny was one hundred and four years old. She wasn’t actually my gran. She was my mother’s, mother’s mother and Granny agreed that that made her pretty great.

I’ll live forever!” she quipped on her ninety eight birthday. When she reached one hundred and two people started to agree with her.

When she turned one hundred and four she thought enough was enough. It was high time she had a funeral.

Give me my favourite blanket though. It will get cold in the winter.”

We all thought Granny was crazy but she insisted. When this particular matriarch had made up her mind there was simply no changing it.

It wasn’t the most orthodox of ceremonies. Granny waved from her casket with a great big smile on her face.

Granny, you aren’t going to have them screw that casket down are you?” I had pleaded before hand.

Now that wouldn’t make much sense now would it?” she returned with a wry smile. “How am I supposed to get up and walk about? An eternity locked down would get a little tedious.”

And so the funeral service went ahead. No one shed tears. It wasn’t what Granny wanted. Truthfully, I don’t think people quite knew how to feel, especially when Granny climbed from her casket to give a few words on her own behalf.

At ninety eight she had claimed she would live forever. She is now one hundred and twenty four and still going strong. She will fight for her rights as an otherwise deceased. She had a nice funeral and she chose a beautiful spot for her final resting place where I can visit her anytime I please. She still gives me tea and biscuits.

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I was a bad seed.

My whole life I wasn’t what one would call an angel. So it came as no surprise when I passed and death said,

It’s Hell for you my dear friend Gus. You have been so bad you must take the bus.”

Not even the courtesy of a ride of a quick journey into the seventh circle for my eternal damnation.

So there I was, at the bus stop for the direct line to Hell. Torrential rain was falling and there was no shelter – although it did have the strong smell of urine that would normally accompany one.

Of course the bus was over an hour late. I was cold, miserable and just wanting to get to Hell already.

Death took some glee in my punishment.

That’s what you get for being such a shit! You’re not going to like this, one little bit.”

The bus arrived. The most broken down, hideous piece of metal on four wheels you could ever hope to step aboard. The driver had a face so sour it could peel an onion.

Get on!” he snapped. “I ain’t got all day.”

Death pushed me on board.

The seats were torn, broken and mostly filled with graffiti.

REG WAS ETERNALLY DAMNED ERE’

Death slumped beside me.

I hope you are ready to press that bell. The next stop for you is the depths of Hell.”

Rude driver, broken chairs and a sticky floor you wouldn’t dream of touching. The bus to Hell was pretty bad. I think I’ve been on worse.

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Coming soon as a web series from Torrance Media!

Granny was one hundred and four years old. She wasn’t actually my gran. She was my mother’s, mother’s mother and Granny agreed that that made her pretty great.

I’ll live forever!” she quipped on her ninety eight birthday. When she reached one hundred and two people started to agree with her.

When she turned one hundred and four she thought enough was enough. It was high time she had a funeral.

Give me my favourite blanket though. It will get cold in the winter.”

We all thought Granny was crazy but she insisted. When this particular matriarch had made up her mind there was simply no changing it.

It wasn’t the most orthodox of ceremonies. Granny waved from her casket with a great big smile on her face.

Granny, you aren’t going to have them screw that casket down are you?” I had pleaded before hand.

Now that wouldn’t make much sense now would it?” she returned with a wry smile. “How am I supposed to get up and walk about? An eternity locked down would get a little tedious.”

And so the funeral service went ahead. No one shed tears. It wasn’t what Granny wanted. Truthfully, I don’t think people quite knew how to feel, especially when Granny climbed from her casket to give a few words on her own behalf.

At ninety eight she had claimed she would live forever. She is now one hundred and twenty four and still going strong. She will fight for her rights as an otherwise deceased. She had a nice funeral and she chose a beautiful spot for her final resting place where I can visit her anytime I please. She still gives me tea and biscuits.

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When nineteen year old Dorian McElroy went to college, he left his old life and his mother behind. At first there were frequent phone calls. The phone calls became monthly letters. Eventually all contact was lost.

Jessica’s mild mannered world is torn apart when she receives word from the university that Dorian has taken his own life. Now she must abandon the safety of her home and venture out in search of information on Dorian’s last days, the people he met and why he made such a tragic decision.

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