Tag Archives: short story

Slightly more than 350 word story.

Here you go! Another story. And I’m posting another one right after that. But the one with the dragon will wait until tomorrow. Or the day after. Eh. Memory is difficult. Back on track, this story was supposed to be 350 words, but I thought it was fluid. So it’s more like, 370 something words. Enjoy!

350 word story 

The ship rose from the dock, skimming lightly over the shimmering city. The pilot held the controls with easy familiarity, and sat with the quiet of careful concentration.

A slight movement from the lone passenger shifting for a better view at the passing city-scape pulled the pilot from her rumination, to glance at the woman. She seemed entranced by the glittering lights and polished edges. The fool probably thought that it looked like some mystical utopia. Atlantis reborn, perhaps.

The pilot knew better. You travel a place for years, and you start to see where the façade is worn and tattered. The homeless who shield themselves from the scorching sun by crouching within what meager shadows could be found.

Maybe the passenger believed the tales of protection from the hungry fleets, thinking that this world would be safer than any other because of newer technology and more advanced weapons. In the end, of course, the safest city could, at best, delay the inevitable, but few people really want to accept a fact such as that.

Or perhaps the woman, little more than a girl, really, had aspirations of joining the fight against the fleets. If so, she was doubly a fool, to go and choose a death that would only help add to the mountains of corpses, hanging endlessly in the frozen blackness.

But who could understand the thoughts of the young, who throw themselves on blades to prove that they’re invincible. The children who think that just because they haven’t bled yet means that they never will.

The pilot wondered if she herself had ever been so headstrong. Although the fleets had not been a fear when she was young, there were always dangers, always causes to launch yourself into, without thought of the consequences.

She was older now. Old enough to see her mistakes for what they were, but not so old that she looked at the mistakes of the young with animosity, seemingly convinced that age would always bring wisdom, rather than wrinkles.

But she knew that you have to let the young make their own errors, or else they will pull towards the dangers even more sharply, until they found wisdom enough to see their own mistakes, or killed themselves trying. She thought of this as the girl walked from the ship, towards inevitable mistakes, and destinations unknown.


Lowered Expectations (A NanoWriMo short story)

She sat at her computer, headphones covering her ears and replacing menial sound with dramatic music. She had it all set up; a hearty ability to power through that pesky need to sleep, a cool fan because white noise is necessary even with music, and a word processor that had both wordcount and spellcheck. Glaring at the glowing screen she considered what she had so far; six thousand words, a healthy dose of self deprecation, and a nose bleed. Crackling knuckles gave way to quiet breathing, measured and thoughtful. She could still salvage this. If she put her shoulder to the grindstone and worked until she started to see pretty, sleep deprivation induced hallucinations, she could hack out a good seventy thousand words. Everything was poised, everything was in place. She opened her document, surveyed the lines of text that stood out starkly against the screen with the look of someone considering just working at McDonalds for the rest of their life, because seriously, this writing stuff was difficult. Everything lay on a feather’s edge, a mirror’s fall. The music reached a crescendo. This was it, perfection for the arts. But she simply sat, staring at the screen; a feather tilted, a mirror smashed, and the music died down to melancholy remainders of its former glory. So many plans, laid like the foundation of a house that could whether a thousand storms, broken when the builders realize that the mortar had not been used. This is how she feels, wondering how the most crucial detail could have been forgotten. She turns away from the screen, a teardrop hovering at the edge of her eye. It was so simple, right in front of her, how could she have missed it. She breaths the words out, infused with a sigh, “I really wish I knew what I wanted to write.”