Short Stories

A Little Time

The story then follows as it always does. Andrew, surprised to see the bar still busy-as-ever—as if it wasn’t a normal Saturday night in New York City—decided he wanted to leave, but I made him stay. We sat at the bar, Andrew sulking, while I scouted out the scene. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think everyone in there was immortal; beautiful, young faces filled the floor; there wasn’t a wrinkle in sight. But, talking to them, I quickly realized this bar was the tourist trap I feared it was—except instead of the endless lights and advertisements being the attraction, we were. It was like we were at the Bronx Zoo, waving at our fellow polar bears, while those on the other side watched in awe as we took a shit.

A Not-So-Irish Exit

I take another sip and look out over the crowd. There’s Harrison, now hitting on Emily, to her discomfort. Then Emily, peeking around Harrison, over to Kirk, with an intensity that says take me, to his ignorance. Then Kirk, talking to Casey, his mouth moving so slow you’d think it was filled with peanut butter, to her annoyance. Then Casey, looking at the window next to me, hoping to jump out of it, to its disapproval. And finally, Dan, heading my way, his smile beaming so bright I worry I might go blind, to my disdain.

A Tale Told by an Idiot

“What do you mean”—the writer says, moving his hands violently through the air as if bringing each word that leaves his mouth into existence—“‘why does something have to happen?’ It’s a story. What is it without the very existence of its own name?” “Why can’t the characters be the story? You said there was characterization. Is there not?” “Well, that’s subject to debate. And besides, they’re characters, not events, not plot.”

The Mile-High Mistletoe

We roamed the sky like a pair of connected kites, gently guided by nature herself. As we flew, I looked up at the girl with the balloon, staring in awe as her newly exposed skin shined bright in the sunlight. She held my hand as she floated above me and, even though she was so close to me, our bodies attached by our linked arms, she still felt as far away as she ever did. It was like she was still floating, farther and farther away, alone with nothing but her balloon, as she always was, and I was only watching.

Shadows in the Sea

Standing twenty stories high, eyes set wide, drinks in hand, it’s like we’ve stepped into a new existence. The city that sits below us is something else now. A different plane, it’s not the same when you stand above it. The buildings no longer loom over you like titanic tombstones. Now, at eye level, they exude a different kind of beauty. Each on their own is simple, but as a whole—as this crazed compound, this myriad of millions, sprawled together as one complete body—it's breathtaking. Yet all that changed was the angle of our necks.

A Moment in the Rain

I met a man today. He seemed happy, so I took it from him. I was at the market, pretending to buy fruit. He was looking at the apples, grazing his fingers over the skin of each one. I let mine crawl onto his back. He stared at me in shock as I dug into his flesh. Once my eyes met with his the panic faded. "Are you happy?" I asked him, the words falling out of my mouth and into his. He flinched for a moment, feeling the weight of my pull. I was playing whack–a–mole with his brain, waiting to hit the right nerve and turn the balance beam he walked on into a tightrope.

Lilacs in the Lily Field

Jessica never did believe in The Garden. She has what her friends describe as “an old soul.” She thinks people should find each other naturally, in the streets. She thinks, “if I can find friends without the help of an organization, then why can’t I find a partner without one?” But she never could find one that way. All she ever found was drug addicts and losers. People too afraid to even talk back to her when she approached them. It seemed that anyone worth talking to was already taken.