Saturday, July 16, 2016

Two general fiction short tales

 I have been posting a lot of short stories lately but soon a post about my new book. Enjoy these stories and remember I don't mind comments and even a real criticism or two.

Again I post two flash stories from those 600 word tales I mentioned last week. So far these two are the shortest of the revised stories in that both are both under 900 words. This time there are both general fiction, even if the beginning of the first one might make people think horror. They are two completely different stories other than not being SF, fantasy, Urban Fantasy, steampunk etc, and being very short. 

Story One:
Mind Blob

I sat in the small chair they allowed me, next to my bed. No padding under my rear, on the arms or back, any occupant could chew on. He wouldn’t do that, just the thought dry stuffing filled with sweat and grim made his mouth go dry. However he had heard that some in here have done. I was dressed even though a bit warm in here. Voices and steps outside in the hallway drew my attention, but it wasn’t time yet. Then I will out of this room with its light blue and pink wallpaper.
That dream came again last night. I wish I knew where my subconscious came up with the idea: a dark blob, with uneven sides, with thicker sections here and there, and some missing spaces. Almost like a solid fog at night. It’s taller than I am and wider than my bed is long. It’s not a nightmare because I’m not afraid since it just sits there double my reach away. I have had that dream almost every night for the last three months. At first I was scared; woke up sweating, even though the air is cool, with a half yell, but it doesn’t do anything. I just watch it. Its shape changes a bit in every dream, but as I can figure out that’s just my subconscious adding a dimension to it. I think I know what the blacker areas are but not the empty spots. Areas of my life not effected by it? That would be good. I had to fight my reaction to it for eight months but it looks like I have it at bay. If it touches me, I get confused and usually freeze without knowing what to do next, sometimes I set out to do something that doesn’t need doing. 
A glance at the clock showed that I better get ready; my wife is coming, with our two kids, to pick me up and take me home. It will be nice to get away from the odors in here. They try to keep them down but vomit, piss and cleaning fluids are always in the background.  
It’s been a rough eight months, especially on Tammy. I’m glad she is still there. My recovery would be rougher without her.
I hear other patients walking up and down the hallway outside. I never did that, but I can see why some would. I had breakfast already, which I won’t miss. I hope we can go out to dinner tonight to celebrate, but Judy probably will want to stay home and get used to us being together again. That would be fine, maybe I can talk her into ordering pizza delivery. The food here is enough and eatable, but it’s not all that good.
After a few minutes I again make sure my few things are really packed and ready. Finally Doctor Jim comes to the door and tells me my wife is here. I shake his hand, thank him for his help. He tells me I helped myself and that he just directed me.
He takes me out to the lounge. There they are. I couldn’t help myself, I rush to Judy and hug her. Her body feels so good in my arms, her hands on my back are even better because of what they mean. I saw her only last week, but this is different. I hug my two kids. My eight year old daughter isn’t too sure about me.
I say, “I’m sorry for scaring you, I didn’t mean to. It didn’t have anything to do with you: I have a problem.”
She said, “I know mommy explained that you have a black blob in your head that makes you see things differently and confuses your thinking. It’s not your fault that it decided to hurt you.”
I blink at that, first in surprise, second because of tears. I look up at Judy, mouth “Thank you.”
But at the same time I realize that was my dream. Maybe she had mentioned her explanation to me and I had forgotten it, but my subconscious hadn’t. Or maybe I had spoken of it at one point. 
I stood, grabbed my small suitcase and we walk out to the car. Judy tensed, said, “You didn’t harm any of us, but you scared us. If you had harmed one of us, I wouldn’t be here.”
I nodded, “I understand and agree, if my blob ever made me hurt one of you, you should stay away. But now we know the signs of it moving my way and can deal with it before it touches me.”
She relaxed as if she hadn’t been sure of my response yet she still had to say it. She nodded, took my hand and, said, “Lets have pizza for dinner tonight at home.”
I smiled.
The end

Story Two

First Photograph

Deborah Chilled stared at the old, yellow Newspaper. It crinkled with age. This was one of the earlier editions of the Republican, now Fresno’s ex paper. It had been replaced by something else with a shorter name.
One could still make out the picture on the front page. She recalled the smell of the ink the day it came out-all of the papers in those days had that stink even two days after printing. This picture was the very first photograph to be ever printed in the Republican. It showed the Police Chief with a just caught bank robber. The Chief stood there in his blue uniform, you couldn’t tell the color in the picture, but she remembered the color and style, with a big smile. The robber had a frown. It was rumored that the Chief had had to threaten the guy with his billy club to make him stand there for as long as it took for the photographer to take the picture. However one couldn’t know when a rumor was true or not. In the picture you could make out the bank on one side of the Chief and a teller who happened to be standing in the door. She had known that teller. 
However more important to her was who stood on the other side. Two people. The woman’s side had been cut out but you could see her face well enough. The man’s face could be made out too. He had a huge smile on his face and Deborah could recall the sparkle in his eyes even to this day. Her expression showed doubt, but not because of what he had just asked, as some friends and relatives thought when the paper came out. She wore a new blue dress that day-he had wanted her to wear on their wedding day but she insisted on the traditional white gown. He had saved five copies of the paper. They still had this one.
After he had popped the question Jason had rushed them to be near the camera because he had heard that the photograph was to be taken. He wanted his big question to be recorded and printed in the paper. She had said yes almost immediately but then wasn’t sure why they were in that spot or why Jason had her turn to the sun and wait.
Deborah sat down, at seventy years old she couldn’t stand as long as she used to, such as on that day waiting for the photographer to get ready and to take the picture. It had taken seconds after he had set up everything, placed the hood over his head and snapped the button.
She figured it out as soon as she had seen that blinding flash. It had been so bright and unexpected that the Chief let out a curse word and had to publicly apologize later. The robber almost got away while everyone was blinded and the black smoke curled around in the air.
She slipped a kerchief out of her sleeve and whipped her eyes. No one would think an old woman in black as being silly for tears on this day. After all today was one year after Jason’s death. They had been married a full fifty years. She liked to think that no couple had been in love with each other as much as they had been the whole time. She knew that wasn’t true. Other couples had just as much love for each other.
It was easy to recall some of their arguments but easier to remember the day he saved her life at the cost of some bad injuries to himself, five years into their marriage. He never regretted the pain, or the fact that he almost died. She had though. Jason was not perfect, she knew that by experience, they had some bad fights the first couple of years but then they got used to each and the fights dropped dramtically. They didn’t disappeared though. And he could be stubborn at the most odd times. To the day he died he thought a woman’s place was in the home. They had some major disagreements over that. At the same time he hadn’t complained too loudly when she insisted in taking a couple of classes and too learn how to do new things. Now that she was so old she didn’t know if those classes would help her now. After all her fingers ached and she couldn’t bend over as well as she used to, nor move as quick. At the same time she was healthy and her mind still clear. Which meant that she would have to live without him from now on. 
She sighed. There were things she could do and she had some money—he had made sure about that—so she could work for charities or the church. She nodded, she would keep living as long as the Good Lord had her down here.

The end

Hope you enjoyed them

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