Write about a character who gets good and bad news in quick succession — not necessarily in that order.
Posted in Angst on Oct 31, 2022
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✍️ 46 stories
“Percy Alexander’s Eighty-Third Birthday” by Kathleen Fine
Percy Alexander awoke on his eighty-third birthday and looked at the time on his bedside clock: 5:55 am. A good sign. A particularly good sign. He reached behind him and felt the sheets. Dry. Another good sign. Lately, he’d had more night accidents than he cared to admit. But today was his birthday. And although he didn’t have the best history of luck on his past eighty-two birthdays, (a heart attack on his sixtieth birthday, his sister’s death on his fifty-second birthday, getting fired from his job on his forty-ninth birthday) he was de...
“Tightrope of the Heart” by Zack Powell
It doesn't take much to lose your job as a clown. I know that now.For the record, I take full responsibility for what happened. We were stationed in Utah at the time, with its too-blue sky and overripe air. We'd been there four days when I decided to switch up my routine. Our ringmaster, Horatio Longbottom, advised against it, said it wasn't worth fixing something that wasn't broken. But when you give your best slapstick—rubber chickens and cream pies and squirting flowers—and all you get are a few lousy sympathy chuckle...
“Cash Cow” by Katharine Widdows
TW - death.The front door swung open and Barbara cooed through it. Of course, I would help with the effing shopping. I wouldn’t mind at all if my lovely wife would ever buy own brand anything. But, in spite of prices creeping up, Barbara was still bringing home the Heinz, the Lurpak, the Kellogg’s. And way more than the two of us could ever eat in seven days. We were throwing out enough to feed the children we never had, on a weekly basis. But then, we, or should I say she, could afford it.“Do you want ...
“All His Fingers and Toes” by Kevin Broccoli
Greetings Family and Friends!When last you heard from my little part of the world, Robert and I were on the verge of taking on the hardest job known to man or woman. We were just a few weeks away from welcoming a beautiful new life into this vast Universe that we all call home. Before I forget, thank you to everyone who had such nice things to say about the sculpture I made of what I believed my bouncing baby boy would look like. Though I am no artist, I was inspired by the life within me to create, create, create! ...
“The Wrong Leg” by Chris Campbell
Padmanhab Singh drew the short straw. That meant it was his responsibility to tell Mr. Ramden about the unforgiveable cock-up during a recent surgery. The dyslexic error from the junior doctor unintentionally marked the wrong leg for amputation in the surgery notes, resulting in the non-gangrenous leg of Mr. Harry Ramden being sawn off. Several days of whispered clandestine meetings in the hospital’s basement boiler room, resulted in the decision to finally tell the misfortunate pa...
“Awakening” by Justin Chalifoux
What happened? Why can’t I think straight? I force out a mumble through my yielding lips. Why do they feel so limp? My eyelids are lead, glued shut. I focus on the rest of my face, but nothing responds. I can’t feel anything. My closed mouth leaves...
“Dead men don't give a f***” by Patrick Samuel
[Warning: Language. Mention of Dead People.]You know those films where people are too stupid to realize they’re dead? I’ve got the opposite problem: people are too stupid to realize I’m dead.“What do you mean by ‘dead’?” Her voice like an ad for benevolent neutrality.“I mean dead as opposed to alive. How many meanings are there to ‘dead’?”“It can have several meanings” says she, ever so cool. “Why choose this one?”Note to self: never get into a war of words with a shrink.
“The Last Laugh” by Rebecca Scott
I dig a hand into my bag and sift blindly through its contents. Hairbrush. A set of keys. A folded up piece of paper. Lip gloss. Wallet. And finally, a balled up napkin that I’d once used to kill a spider. On another day I might have paused to wonder why such a thing was still in my possession, but this wasn’t the time. I grabbed the napkin and dabbed at dry eyes, letting out the softest of whimpers simultaneously.“You poor dear.”The owner of the voice was a petite elderly ...
“Bunny Boiler ” by Liv Chocolate
I take my news like I take my tequila—shoot the bitter news down first, then chase it with the good part, fresh lime juice, before the burning sensation takes hold.This time, though, I don’t know which order to take them in. When Dr. Burberry asks me if I want the good news or the bad news first, I simply don’t understand. How can a paternity test yield both good and bad news? I’m either, A, the father, or B (and please, God, let it be answer B), not the father. There is no all of the a...
“Facing the Messiah of Fire and Bone” by Graham Kinross
TW: Swearing, sex and fighting. “The skeletons you fought in Gennadius were infernoste. The more powerful one was-” Lupita pulled her robe tighter, covering her cleavage. “Danielle Longbow, are you listening to me?” First and last name? She was in trouble. “Um. Both?” She knew it was the wrong answer from the frown on Lupita Smith’s brown face. “Sorry. It’s just been a while since I’ve ...
“Premonitions ” by Kevin Alphatooni
A scream. A shout. Gunfire. The slight clicking of a shutting door, followed by heavy breathing. My eyes fluttered open as they fought against the ambient light. The first thing I noticed was that I was not at my house. I was in a plain hospital room. "What the…" My body ached as if recovering from a brutal workout. Struggling through the pain, I laid my back against the white plastic hea...
“The Ups and Downs of Life” by Charlotte Morse
The mask made the room unreal and my eyes roll upwards into my head - although it removed no pain, it did help me to forget it in-between.“Just a couple more big pushes now, then it’ll all be over.”“I can’t.” It was eleven hours since I’d entered that hospital.The knifing pain began its build up yet again, I breathed in more forgetting gas, panting through my pain and fear and, as the pain intensified from a turning knife to tight, crippling cramps, enveloping and savage, I ...
“The Day Everything Stopped” by Bob Faszczewski
Struter Jones rushed to the corner to catch the 7:58 Fifth Avenue bus. As usual, she had timed every action in getting ready for her daily work grind down to the last second. No fan of her current dull-as-hell-go-nowhere clerical position, she did only what she had to do when she had to do it, as every day she searched for the miracle job that would take her out of the morass that had defined every day of ...
“In Sickness” by Lauren B
Content warning: profanity and terminal illness. I was really hoping that my wife would die. Not at first. When she was first diagnosed, I just wanted a speedy recovery. Then I could continue with my plan to leave her. Like the cancer in Debbie’s breast, these feelings had been eating away at me for years. Twenty-one years into our marriage, Debbie had grown old, obviously...
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