Short Stories

Life Imitating Art

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: Poetry, Short Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

 – “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  Pablo Picasso –

Everyday, hundreds came to see the artist at work.

He was phenomenal to watch. He would put his heart and soul into every piece. People stood in awe of his deeply meaningful work. He was extremely focused whilst painting and would not be distracted by the noises around him. The people passing by, the sounds of car horns and traffic, the sounds of children playing in the nearby park.

No, nothing would distract him.

This place was his sanctuary. Yes, it was a pavement in one of the busiest streets in the city, but to the artist, it was peace.

He never answered any questions. Never spoke, never looked up or around.

His paintings were truly personal. And because he never spoke, nobody knew what his works were about. What were his paintings trying to say? What were they about?

Yet to everyone who came across his work, each was touched in a very different way. Some were made happier for seeing a piece of his art. Some of his works made people think about their lives. Some people felt his work had changed their lives, making them feel love again or giving them the ability to dream. His work touched many – directly and indirectly.

This one day in the city was like any other day.

He arrived at his spot on the street. Sat down and began to paint.

Suddenly, he stopped.

Those around him. Stood still. They looked a little concerned for the artist as he seemed to show no sign of movement. One person called out to him, ‘are you ok?’ Another asked, ‘why have you stopped?’

He slowly turned to them, stood up and put down his tools.

They stood perfectly still. Waiting to hear from him, finally.

Looking around at each of them, he said, ‘I’ve stopped because I’m done.’

He picked up his things and walked away.

Turning to each other, they looked confused.

They then began to walk away. Each of them walking into their own lives.

© 

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Boy Meets Girl (Complicated Version)

Posted on January 8, 2010. Filed under: Short Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The story of boy meets girl.
So sweet. So simple.
This story, however, is a little different. It goes something like this:

Boy meets Girl, Girl meets boy.
Boy says hi to Girl, Girl says hi to boy.
Boy really likes Girl, Girl really likes boy.
Boy asks Girl out for lunch, Girl says no.
Boy looks a little confused, Girl starts to explain.
Boy then listens to her story…

You see Girl was on her way to the jewellery store to collect her engagement ring. Girl’s Guy had asked Girl to marry her 2 weeks ago and well, the ring was a little too big so she took it back to get it resized the very next day after the proposal.

On her way to the jeweller that day, Girl decided to get off the bus a little early to have a look around the shops. It had been a while since she had shopped and loved the idea that she had this time to herself. Whilst looking around the shops, Girl noticed a girl standing in the window of a lingerie store. This girl was a window dresser. Girl stood staring at her for a while and quickly began to realise that she actually knew this girl. But from where? Girl thought. Girl decided to go into the store and speak to the girl. After a few seconds of introductions, both girls realised they knew each other from school. They had even been ‘best friends’ at one point. You see, it had been years.

They talked for a while. It was fun to catch up. The girl then asked Girl if she wanted to have lunch, but Girl had to decline as she still had to collect her ring and then had lunch plans herself. The girl asked Girl if she could tag along to the jewellers. Girl smiled and said yes. She didn’t have that many girlfriends and loved the idea of having this ‘girlie’ experience with an old friend.

So off they went. Talking and getting to know each other again.

As they got to the jewellers, the girl’s cell phone rang. She answered, very excited. Girl knew it was a guy on the other end of that call, so she decided to move away to give the girl a little privacy. Girl goes to the counter to collect her ring. The girl gets off the phone and smiling, walks towards Girl. The girl then starts to tell Girl that her guy is cooking dinner for her tonight. Girl then tells the girls she is lucky. The girl then shows Girl a picture of her guy.

It’s Girl’s Boy!

Girl drops the ring…

Girl runs out of the store towards the bus stop to meet Boy, where:

Boy meets Girl, Girl meets boy.
Boy says hi to Girl, Girl says hi to boy.
Boy really likes Girl, Girl really likes boy.
Boy asks Girl out for lunch, Girl says no.
Boy looks a little confused, Girl starts to explain.
Boy then listens to her story…

©

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Invisible Me

Posted on January 5, 2010. Filed under: Short Stories | Tags: , , , , , , |

Sometimes I really do wonder: Am I alone in this?
Here. Where whatever makes sense to me makes no sense to anyone else.
I don’t want to dance because you tell me to. Otherwise, I’ll just be you.

You’re disapproving of me.  When all I’m doing is just being me. And yes, I see the looks of those you’ve run to; to talk to about me. But it’s OK.

You know, I’ve always been that person people have wanted to mould. Do I give you that impression? Do I look like I need that help?

People have tried. I repeat tried.
Thinking that – and here’s the funny part – that I haven’t a clue what they’re trying to do. Please never forget – I see you. I see what you do. I just keep it to myself.

I think I have that sense. The ability to see those like you who try to rule. You don’t have to understand me; you don’t have to ‘get’ me; I am not asking for your approval.
Let me be me. If you can’t do that, then please, go be you.

My mind offers me a place to be free. A place where you can’t see.  An escape for me.
Am I coming across weird? Am I confusing you? I apologise for the inconvenience this may be causing you.

I have no real need to please you as I was never put here to do that. No. I know this frustrates you as you try to cage me. You need that control. That peace of mind.

Don’t be mad when one day you wake up and realise you never really knew me, because I still don’t.

I choose not to cling to your negativity. And I know. I know you think you mean well.

But I’ll tell you this: I am free to be me; whoever that may be.

And if you don’t get that, then you just don’t see me.

©

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The Reluctant Night Out

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Short Stories | Tags: , , , , |

Why is it so cold?

My heels hurt, my legs are cold.  Would rather be at home.

My dress is kind of tight.
No room for eating.  I can’t even think about breathing in this dress.

But I’m here with my girls.  In the back of the taxi.  We’re joking, laughing, crying.  We’re talking, loudly.  I think the driver is getting fed up with us.

We’re outside the club.  It’s freezing.  The line is so long.  The girls are so young.  The guys are so cute.
But where are all the Men!?!

Inside the club, the music is loud.  Good, but loud; so loud.

My toes hurt.  Why I wore these shoes, I don’t know.  My dress keeps on riding up too.  Gorgeous, but highly impractical.

Right, we’re here so I’m going to enjoy myself tonight if it kills me.

I start to dance and really feel my body come to life.
I’m having fun.  I know I am.  You can tell I am.

The dress.  The cold.  The heels.  The preparation.  Oh, the preparation.  I guess it was worth it.

The guy I spotted on entering the club is walking over to me.  He smiles.  I smile.
He starts to dance. 
I stop when I realise he can’t.
I politely smile and mumble something about having a boyfriend.  Thank him for his attention, turn on my heels and swiftly walk away.
My friends are laughing.  So hard.

I’m having fun.  So much fun.  The music is still loud, but lovely and loud.

I say bye to my girls as I get into the taxi.

I sit back and sigh.

My heels still hurt, my legs are still cold and now I’m really tired.

©

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The Homecoming

Posted on December 21, 2009. Filed under: Short Stories | Tags: , , , , |

The walk up the last flight of stairs seemed to take forever.

It was either her willingness to get that reaction she so wanted; needed. Or her curiosity to see how he was or the need to satisfy the aching feeling in the pit of her stomach that she missed him. She missed him. Of course she did.  He was waiting for her. She was nervous.

The way she left. The things she had said to Adrian as she walked out the door that day.
I feel suffocated. I feel trapped. I can’t move. I’ll die if I stay here.
The words were just as fresh now.

Would he love her? Did he miss her? What had Adrian been saying about her?

She looked around as she neared the stop of the stairs. Everything looked the same. The lady at no.23 still had her Christmas decorations up from last year. Though, she thought, it has been a whole year so it’s quite possible that she’s just put these up again. Recently.

Her mind wandered back to this time last year. How could she have left him at Christmas? It was the pressure of it all. The cooking, the cleaning, the running around trying to make everybody happy. Everybody but herself.

As she reached the top of the stairs, she noticed the bike outside. It was the bike she had bought him last Christmas. It looked like he had been using it a fair bit. It was muddy and the front wheel looked like it could do with a pump. The thought of a muddy bike made her smile. Right now the mud represented so much more than just, well, mud. He remembered her. Loved her.

Or did, he?
After all it was just a bike.

She was now standing at the door. No.21 it read. She remembered. Looking closely she could see the marks of the time he tried to scratch his name into the door. He struggled. So sweet.

She knocked. Twice. The door slowly opened.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

She opened her eyes and took him in.
He was gorgeous. She fell in love with him all over again. He smiled a slightly nervous smile. But she could tell he missed her. He did. He loved her. She loved him.

Her heart broke.

She bent down. Picked him up and held him tight.
So tight.

‘Hello Mummy. Merry Christmas’

©

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The Story of Love and Fear

Posted on December 17, 2009. Filed under: Short Stories | Tags: , , , |

She stood there staring at the ringing phone.

The fear made her numb. It paralysed her.

The phone stopped ringing.

She had been like this for sometime now.
Every 5 mins or so she would glance at her phone. Missed calls showed that her mother, his mother, her sister, best friend and his brother had tried to call.  

She sat back down on the comfy sofa. She felt guilty. They way she froze.
The thought made her wince.

Thinking once again about her options.

Why was she so scared.

She sighed. Looking out of the window. Across the road in the park, she could see a young couple walking together; kissing and holding hands.

They were in bliss. Well, that’s what it looked like. Things always look lovely from the outside, she thought.

She wished for a second that they were that couple in the park. Always so in love. Always staring deeply into each others eyes. Always touching, always kissing.
Well, not always, because that would get quite annoying, she thought.
That could be a problem, she thought.

But committed. Always committed.
They were in love. Very much so.

So what was the problem?

Why did the thought of forever with him scare her?
What is wrong with me, she thought. I have to face this; face him.

She reached for the phone and dialled his number.
‘Hello’ she said.
‘Hi’ he said. ‘I’m sorry I didn’t want to scare you, it’s just that, I love you.’
‘I love you too. I’m sorry’ she said  
‘Ok.’ he said ‘so what do you say?’

‘Yes’ she said, ‘Yes I will marry you!’

©

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2 Months

Posted on December 11, 2009. Filed under: Short Stories | Tags: , , , , , |

‘Congratulations, you’re a Dad’, the nurse said with the biggest grin known to man. ‘How do you feel?’
I hesitated, then realising I hesitated, I stuttered, ‘Dunno. I’m… in shock’.

The nurse looked at me. Hard. As though I were the most difficult maths problem she has ever come across. ‘Good shocked?’
‘Yeah, no, good shocked. Definitely good shocked’, I said. ‘I’m a Dad! A Dad! Me!’ I stood up slowly, trying to get my balance. Facing the doors that separated me from my dream: my perfect little family. My beautiful and loving wife, my beautiful baby boy. Well he’s not so much a baby now as he is a 10-year-old miniature version of me, so you can imagine he’s a good-looking boy! And the reason, the sole reason we are all here – and I mean all here: my parents, her parents, my brother 2 sisters, their kids and I think one of my sisters’ new man of the moment – my beautiful new baby girl.

On walking in I can smell the heat and an aroma which I can only describe as medical. I think nothing of the fact that there’s blood on sheets and the midwife is sweating buckets. You see, I couldn’t be in here whilst my wife was going through all that. I tried, believe me, I tried. But the midwife (and my wife who practically chucked me out) thought it best I wait outside. You know, like they used to do back in the day.

I lean down to kiss my wife on the head. She looks up at me in this real sweet but tired way that says, ‘I love you and I love our new baby daughter, but since you’re here now take her from me cos I want to sleep’. I smile, almost having read her mind and lean in to grab my baby girl.

She’s beautiful. Angelic. Sweet scented and so lightweight. She opens her eyes to look up at me. I kiss her on the forehead and kiss her so delicate fingers.

I touch her nose and then.

I open my eyes.

No.

Not again.

Please God, please.

I can’t take this.

Please God not again.

Why then. Just then.

Can’t take it.

Can’t do this.

I start to cry. Sob uncontrollably.

My head hurts from this continuous never-ending nightmare.

I look around. And close my painful eyes.

‘2 more months’, I tell myself.

2 more months and I’ll be out of here.
2 more months and I’ll be free.
2 more months. These bars will no longer hold me.
2 more months and my dream will be a reality.

©

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The Great Depression

Posted on December 8, 2009. Filed under: Short Stories | Tags: , , , , , |

Today was… no different from any other day really. The cold still hit him right between the eyes and the meek sun shone, barely, through the haggard curtains, which, as he remembered every morning, needed changing. Or perhaps just washing.

No thought crossed his mind and a numbness washed over him as he moved to pull himself out of bed. Looking at his phone, the evidence that his life had become so empty stared back at him. No messages, not even a missed call. A missed call he thought, would at least show that someone, anyone may have been thinking about him. No. Even a wrong numbered missed call would offer some sort of hope in this drab, sad life of his.

Getting ready for work never really took that long. A quick shower and shave would show the world that his personal hygiene and overall well being was still something he thought about; occasionally.

What to wear was never a question he pondered. If it was a work day, one of his many brown, grey or on occasion, black suits would do the trick with either a brown, grey or black tie to match. After all, nobody could care less what he wore. Nobody could care less whether or not he was breathing. Must call Mum, he thought.

Stepping out into the cold, he closed his eyes. To you and I, this looked like a man taking in a new day with hope and happiness the Plat du Jour. To him, not so much. No. This was the point at which he always contemplated walking back inside, closing, no locking the door behind him and just going to sleep forever. Never ever having to open his eyes.

The walk to the bus stop was… uneventful. That is, if you count someone being splashed by a passing car uneventful. To him, this could possibly be the highlight of his day.

The bus stank. It stank of old and wet and mold. It was heaving with androids. He turned his face to look out the window; to look at the poor things on the street waiting for buses. Waiting for their lives to begin, he thought.

No real thought crossed his mind during this bus journey to work this morning. Deliberate perhaps as any thought would not be a good one.

Staring at the clock, he reminded himself that there were only 5 more hours left of work as he sat in this meeting. It’s funny, that whenever you zone out in a meeting, it is at the point that someone directs a crucial question to you based on the very information you missed during your zoning-out session. He smiled to himself. But not today he thought. Not ever really, he thought.

Heading back to his desk. What was he supposed to do again. Sitting there, he decided he would try and remember what he was supposed to do again. Yes, this, he thought, he would do for the next 4 hours.

He rarely says bye to anyone on leaving. Well, what for? If you don’t say ‘Hi’ is there really any need to say ‘Bye.’

Forty-five minutes waiting for this damn bus and the longer you wait the more justified it seems to stay as a sorry little voice tells you ‘no, damn it, you have to stay. You’ve waited this long. They owe you.’

Getting home is never really sweet. Just sweet sorrow perhaps. The silence hits him like most people when they arrive home to an empty house, but the emptiness swallows him from the inside-out.

The night is pretty much stagnant. No movement. No calls, no laughter no ‘oh the day I’ve had blah blah blah’. Silence. And not the welcoming kind.

The bed offers solace. Temporarily.

Today was… no different then any other day really. The cold still hits him right between the eyes and the meek sun shone, barely, through the haggard curtains.

But today, a thought did cross his mind.

He sat up.

Opened the haggard curtains. Stood and stared at the meek sun.

I’m going to wear my red tie today, he thought.

©

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