Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Short Story – Still?


“Still?”

“Mister Helzner.  Mister Helzner, can you hear me?”

Tom slowly opened his eyes.  At first, all he saw were a variety of dull blurs.  After several blinks, the blurs collapsed into the drab ceiling of the lab and the smiling face of Doctor Sara Caplan.

“Doc,” Tom said with a rough throat.  “How did I do?”

“Wonderfully.  You are the first human to have been in suspended animation for six months.”

Tom closed his eyes and sighed.  “Did I miss anything?”

“Well,” Doctor Caplan began, “the corruption trial for Vice-President Keogh is about to begin.”

Tom’s eyes snapped open.  “That whole thing is still going on?”

Doctor Caplan shrugged.  “The trial was supposed to start a few months ago, but it was delayed so his lawyers could review new evidence and allegations.”

Tom shook his head and groaned.  “Put me under for another six months.”

***

I first published this five years ago on a website that’s no longer around.  It began after I saw a headline about new allegations in the Bridgegate Scandal.  Given the current political climate, I’m sure a lot of us would choose to just go under for six months to not hear about it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Short story – “Mighty Pen”


“Mighty Pen”

Alex shuffled into the kitchen and groaned. “This is intolerable.”

His mother looked up from her crossword puzzle and asked, “Problem dear?”

“I have so many ideas jostling around in my head for stories, but the battery in my laptop went bad and it won’t be fixed until tomorrow. I want ... I need to write now.”

His mother raised an eyebrow, then held her pen out to him.

A look of disgust came to Alex’s face. “What is this?” he asked, “The dark ages?”

***

A few years ago, I had an issue with my laptop and I didn’t have it for about a week.  I still had a desktop, but the reason I had gotten the laptop was because the desktop was circling the drain and it had problems opening Word files.  All of this wouldn’t have been a big deal, except at the time I was writing weekly stories on a website that no longer exists.  So I basically had to write a story in an email and send it to myself.  Being a First World Writer is so hard.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Short Christmas story – “Little Multicolored Lies”


“Little Multicolored Lies”

I started dating Susan in August, so we had been together a few months when the Christmas Season fully took off.  She often told me that Christmas was her favorite time of year, partly because of all the light displays people put on in their yards.  She loved seeing all that creativity and made her wish she had a yard to be able to put up a huge display.

Personally, I can enjoy the rare, truly creative display.  At least for the first few nights.  But wireframe reindeer laughing at a Santa stuck in a chimney quickly goes from humorous to eyesore in my book.  I never shared my feelings with Susan because it was something she really enjoyed and I didn’t want to spoil it.  Also, I had the feeling I would be spending many evenings driving her around to look at the displays, and if she knew how I really felt she would probably think I just needed to see more to fully appreciate them.

As it was, after Thanksgiving most of our evenings together we’d have dinner, maybe see a movie, and then she would suggest going for a drive to look at the lights.  We’d pick a road at random and see if there were any good displays.  And I will admit, some made me smile, but usually I just thought to myself, I’m glad that A, I don’t have their electric bill, and B, I’m not their neighbor.

One night, we were on this winding country lane where about every other house had a massive display.  As I’m driving along, I’m getting a headache because every other schmuck is out looking at these lights so there’s oncoming headlights, impatient headlights behind me, sharp turns, and every ten seconds Susan going, “Oh, look at that.”

At one point, she said, “Isn’t that amazing?”

I glance over to see her pressed up against her window and pointing upward.  I instinctively raise my eyes and see the drab ceiling in my car. 

Part of me wanted to say, “I can’t see whatever you’re pointing at, but it doesn’t matter because I really don’t care.” But I knew that would have upset her so I just said, “Yeah, that’s cool,” and kept on driving.

***

This story is based on something that actually happened to me with one of my girlfriends.  I think what she was looking at was one of these twenty foot tall tree frames with lights.  Apparently they had something really cool on top, but I couldn’t see it.  I think we had already had a fight that day, and I had a headache, so I just said something along the lines of, “Yeah, that’s cool,” and kept on driving.  It was probably a day or so before the phrase “little multicolored lie” came to me, but I knew that had to be a title.