Start your story with a character facing a situation that isn't awful, but isn't great.
Posted in Middle School on Nov 1, 2022
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✍️ 34 stories
“Why Is The Answer” by Thom Brodkin
“Are you coming to bed?”The voice startled Jay, and instinctively he placed his phone in his pocket before answering. “I’ll be there in a second, what are you doing up?” Jay’s question was more of a defense mechanism than a quest for knowledge. He was less concerned as to why Pam was up than that she was up.“Do you have a minute?” She asked, sitting down before Jay had a chance to answer. “I’ve been thinking.”In the decade Jay had been married—I’ve been thinking—was s...
“The Curious Predicament of the Man in the Mashed Potatoes” by Alexandra Mertes
Robert Mayweather has a predicament. It’s not a terrible predicament, as some predicaments can be, but nonetheless an odd set of circumstances. Robert Mayweather has a job. He’s the editor of the town paper. Everyone in town knows him, and he knows everyone in town. Robert Mayweather owns a house. A two-story yellow colonial with an immaculately trimmed green grass yard and towering oak trees framing the house ...
“Take Your Hatred to the Grave” by Graham Kinross
“This man says he’s your father and he’s dying,” Billie says. She’s looking at me with her face creased in concern. I shrug. “And what’s the bad news?” I take the phone. “Hello. I don’t know who you are, but this isn’t funny.” “Xander. It’s me, dad.” I hear the voice and my heart starts beating a drum solo. My throat goes dry. “I know it’s been a long time, son. I have bowel cancer and...
“Something Comes to the Surface at The Sheboygan Freediving Competition” by Scott Christenson
Every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world.-Ed Yong Marcia looked at the distant gray waters of Lake Michigan and hoped her husband Bob would enjoy himself that day. Bob was ranked 37th in the nation in Freediving - CWT division. Well, that meant about 10 people in America knew who he was, but she understood how important this was to him.“You look a bit off today,” Marcia said, seein...
“The Rift” by Chris Wall
In New Hampshire, when the leaves begin to change, the trees appear to be alight with flame, the somber bronzes and ambers glinting in the falling sun. The peaceful atmosphere–with the gentle hoots of waking owls and the muted whine of the cicadas–contrasted the panic and chaos soon to occur within an inn far from the hustle and bustle of Rochester. The air, cool with the premonition of oncoming winter, would soon be fi...
“Late” by L. E. Scott
TW: This story alludes to a mass shooting.The vehicles are packed together so tightly we only move a few feet anytime it starts. A sign flashes to my left “expect traffic delays.” Yeah, no shit. I look at the time displayed on my car stereo, the only part that works unfortunately. The time says 9:05. I’m already late. Boss isn’t going to like it, but what can you do? Maybe if I cuss out the hundred cars surrounding me the line will start moving.I consider exiting the freeway and attempting to get to the office by ...
“Extending the Apple Branch” by Avery Mossop
—The Garney’s Backyard Apple Tree, 16 Golway Road—“Just up a little higher, Janey!” Her mother shouted from the ground.Jane had significant doubts about this new apple-picking method her mother was so keen to try. Mom had bought a new ladder. This theory about needing to collect the apples from the top of the tree then work her way down was probably all some way of proving to dad that purchasing the ladder hadn’t been a big waste of money.Jane climbed to the highest rung she could reach, slung her basket on...
“Survival” by Anna Writer
“I guess we’d better get to it then.” I stared at him from across the table. My attorney sat next to me. I think he preferred that I called him an “attorney” as opposed to a “lawyer.” Lawyers were a punchline while attorneys were necessary. Someone you call on when you needed a big stick. This one was somewhat laughable with a little stick. But I did need him nonetheless. One of the present parties had been sleeping with the cleaning crew we paid to disinfect our little bungalow every Thursday. ...
“Unfinished Business” by Sandra Meyers
Unfinished Businessby Sandra L. Meyers No place on earth is more peaceful than Crescent Beach during an Indian summer. Reminiscing about how I hadn’t been on the beach since I was a boy, I sat quietly as a warm breeze rolled in from the Atlantic Ocean, and the waves crashed against the black rocks jutting out into the secluded cove. Nearly every glorious summer of my...
“Some Things Never Change” by Howard Seeley
November 2001. After retiring from twenty years in the military, I returned home to find little, but everything had changed. Though the houses in West Eaton still exist, the town was now little more than a ghost town. The store had closed years ago, and the last gas station had boarded up its windows. The few inhabitants left accepted this fact and decided to adhere to the town’s withering lifeline until they’re called from this world. Fortunately, or not for me, I wasn’t one who desired this fate.Being a true upstate New Yorker, I...
“Making Friends With Nature And God ” by Peyton Gold
Golden sunlight freckled the clay-reddened earth, filtering through a thick wilderness of pines so green that they were nearly black. Miri was scratching at the back of her knee, bending so that her short-cropped hair fell across her flushed nut-brown cheek. Her legs were long and thin. The chino shorts she wore were loose around her thighs. They looked like olive green bells with her legs protruding from the hollows li...
“The Delusions of a Middling Alchemist ” by Atrice J. R.
It was muggy in the factory. Illow licked her dry dark brown lips and inhaled deeply. As she concentrated, she tasted the thick air, wet earth and rusting iron resting heavy on her tongue. Transmuting dirt into muslin was a mindless process, the hard part was keeping up with everyone else. Illow’s hands cramped from the repetitive motions and she briefly flexed them under her padded gloves. She grabbed five handfuls of red dirt from the bucket on the far edge of the table and placed them onto the thick cast iron tra...
“DO NOT RESUSCITATE” by R. J. Garron
The endocardiograph chirped away, then grew in rapidity. Evan Hardsfeld saw through a thinning tunnel of light while all else was enveloped in blackness. Bound by the stupor of methadone, he knew his world was slipping away. At seventy-five, he had too many regrets that spontaneously stormed into his fading psyche. Images of his past life, loved ones, coworkers and neighbors flashed by in a ...
“I Will Never ” by HM Durham
“Say the word, and we’ll leave.” My stomach lurches with each bend on the road. Outside the window, the world was black with night. My reflection stares back at me in the glass, and the lights from the dash casts an eerie blue light throughout the vehicle. The weight of the crockpot warmed my lap, and I grip onto the sides to steady myself and prevent it spilling. “I’ll be okay,” I say. ...
“State of the Art State of Mind!” by H.R. Glick
Manny’s alarm goes off at 5:30am, just like it does every day. He hops up from his bed, brushes his teeth, shaves his face and head, and takes a hot shower, just like he does every day.He opens the closet doors and selects the singular gray coverall jumpsuit, a specifically designed uniform for plastic manufacturers, hanging in the back. He places his used pajamas in the laundry chute, turns towards the door, and reaches for his toolbelt hanging on the hook to complete his uniformed look, but something stops him in his ...
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