About A Story A Day…

You can learn more about this blog if you click on the A Story A Day page. I try to get stories up as often as each day, but family obligations do come first. With two young children running the asylum here, writing sometimes gets set to the back burner, so to speak.

In the meantime, it’s worthwhile to note that the stories you see in this blog are first drafts, second drafts at most. This means there will be typos, grammatical errors, and so forth. You are seeing the writing process in action. I’ll edit each story, but the finals will NOT be posted on the blog, with a few possible exceptions.

After a year of posting, I plan to submit the collection–with each story polished and ready to go–for publication. Although I started this blog in 2008, I’m setting the one year as January 2009 to January 2010. This is more logical and will (hopefully) work out well for me.

If you like what you see, please SUBSCRIBE TO THE RSS FEED and pass this site’s URL on to other readers. If you have something to say, comments are welcome. Before you post a comment about a typo or grammatical error, however, please remember that these stories have NOT been copyedited. More often than not, I write the stories then post them. I like to think that I’m not a horrible typist (or keyboarder?), but I’m prone to Finger Tripping Syndrome. Such is the life of a klutz! Anyway…

Let’s get the word out: Short Stories and Flash Fiction rock!

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Donor: Part 11

Continued from Parts 1-10

Amanda glanced at the back seat. Michael’s face had some color back, and he took deep, even breaths. She looked back to the road before her. Although the rain had stopped, the pavement remained wet with puddles glaring in her headlights.

She double-checked the directions Doc had supplied before helping her stuff the limp Michael into the car. The safe house was two hours north of the city. Michael would be able to recover a few days before making his next move.

“Unnngh…” Continue reading

When It Rains…

…it pours.

I just haven’t been able to write this week. Writer’s block, fatigue, and–ahem–the evil Facebook plague of laziness. Okay, I’m also doing classwork and trying not to let the kids destroy the world. Maybe the Facebooking isn’t all bad. Right? Right?! Okay, it is. I do hereby resolve to behave!

Green Patches: Part 1 of 2

She carried green patches everywhere she went. My friends and I used to stare at her between classes, watching the slow roll of her hips, the sway of her waist-length hair. All she needed was a tie-dye shirt and open-toed sandals.

The strange thing about Lily was that she didn’t care what we thought. As far as she was concerned the patches were cherished tokens, proof of steps taken to reduce the carbon footprint. She gave them to people who she witnessed recycling, conserving electricity, anything like that. Lily even gave patches to any kid who drove a hybrid car to school for the first time.

“She’s nuts,” one of my friends grumbled at lunch the day things changed. “How much you wanna bet she turns out to be a psycho-lunatic who sets fire to new houses?” Continue reading

The Bugs in the Family Go ‘Round and ‘Round

Thankfully,  nobody is seriously sick, but man oh man, I am tired. I haven’t been able to shake it all day. I will try to get rolling again tomorrow! I owe you, my readers, more fiction!

The Journal

Books smell great. Well, most of them. Some have an acidic tang that burns the nostrils. Most books, however, appeal to the nose. Paperbacks tend to be dry and dusty, while textbooks smell of printing press and computer lab. Every bound volume has its own aroma, a blend of its origins and all points thereafter. A diary belonging to someone who frequently cooks Italian will hum with tomato, basil, and garlic. A worn hardcover held dear to an aging gentleman will retain a puff of pipe tobacco.

Why is this important?

It’s important because I found the rarest thing imaginable: an unused journal with no scent whatsoever. No character, no hint, nothing. It was as blank as its pages.

I found it at a thrift shop, of all places. The book shelves were sparse that week, and I almost passed on the tired selection. Overcast skies waited outside, with the heavy taste of rain in the atmosphere, and I didn’t want to get caught between the shop and my small apartment. I scanned the few titles and turned away.

“There’s one I think you’ll like.” Maria, the regular cashier, smiled at me from the nearby counter. “It’s on the second shelf, to the left.”

I returned her smile with an effort. She was sweet to her customers, but she didn’t know me. I didn’t know me.

Still, she had a way of knowing what I might enjoy. I walked back to the spot she indicated, and then I saw it. Soft, dark brown leather stuck out from its battered neighbors. Creamy pages were hidden inside. I flipped through to find they were empty. All but one. A short passage was inscribed on the final page.

The world of reality has its bounds, the world of imagination is boundless.

Rousseau

I pulled the journal up to my nose to capture its identity only to find it had none. Not even the leather or inked passage had scents. The journal was utterly blank. I had to have it, as Maria had presumed.

As I walked home, my solitary purchase tucked in a protective plastic bag, warm, humid wind gusted at my back. The slightly metallic flavor of rain intensified and gave way to the splattering deluge it favored. I didn’t mind. My new treasure was safe, and I craved the cleansing.

Inside my humble space, I searched out a ball-point pen. I found two—one blue and one black. To most people, it might seem a small matter, but I found it difficult to choose. Blue ink would look strange in the dignified volume. Black was too somber. A pencil, however, was just the thing.

I dug a box from my bedroom closet. Inside, as I’d hoped, was a plastic container which held twenty-two bright yellow pencils with green lettering and pink erasers. Perfect. I fished out the handheld sharpener and headed to the card table that made up a minute dining area.

The journal slid out of the plastic bag with a satisfying rustle. I set it on the table then opened to the first page.

I poured my soul into each page. What I wrote has no bearing upon this tale, other than this: Yes, it is good to dream. And yes, it can grow from the smallest seed—even if the seed was planted from the smell of a book.

Oops!

Well, I didn’t get to writing today. I’m taking classes for web design, so homework ended up coming first. I’m kind of ticked at myself for not getting to it. Then again, I was rather taken with “The Hudson Miracle” today. Hokey smokes, that was amazing! If there’s such a thing as a good plane crash, it was what happened off Manhattan on an icy mid-afternoon.

Well, off to bed. Just because schools are closed due to the extreme cold tomorrow doesn’t mean I get to sleep in. That depends on my kids also choosing (or not) to sleep in. Wish me luck!

Ogre

“I’m no monster. Sure, and the wee humans go runnin’ when they see me ugly arse, but I wouldna harm a one.”

Tosh pulled tender young leaves from a plucked branch, alternately smashing them between her stubby fingers and tossing them into the breeze. Next to her, Rua concentrated on the daisy held in her delicate hands, mirroring Tosh’s actions.

“To say to me, ‘Yer a bleedin’ monster.’ Ach, ‘tis a sadness, I tell ye.”

Rua rocked back and forth with the gentle gusts. She remained as silent as the pillowy clouds that drifted overhead to temporarily block out the sun. Warm rays broke through to hit the pair in their faces. Rua blinked once, dropped her depetaled daisy, and selected another. She pulled at the velvety petals, sending each to drop to the ground with the ones that went before. Continue reading