Write about a character who is trying to leave something or someone behind — only to realize they carry it with them.
Posted in Sad on Nov 4, 2022
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✍️ 77 stories
“Kaleidoscope” by Deidra Whitt Lovegren
You never asked for this much insight.But you can’t have both innocence and experience. Experience. A charming euphemism for pain and suffering. Either one will drive out innocence altogether. Isn’t that what you’re really after—a return to Eden? Minus the snake. Minus the apple. Minus Adam, for that matter. However, if you had stayed in an unspoiled world, you would have learned nothing. You would have felt nothing. You would have seen nothing. Better to have loved and lost—etcetera etc...
“The Rules of Arithmetic” by Delbert Griffith
Sometimes you just have to leave the dead bodies behind and move on. That’s the logical thing to do. The smart thing to do. So we’re in another city. San Antonio. There is always a need for math professors at universities. For some reason. Probably the pay. And it isn’t a glamorous profession. The rules of math are nice, though. You get a sense that something is dependable in math. Solid. The rules o...
“Our Scorched Earth” by Greydon Blight
As the dark sky vignettes with bleeding reds and pinks, the comfort of the cool night passes and the scorching sun rears its ugly head once again. Though it’s been what feels like an age since I’ve felt its heat a phantom burn still peels away at my mind each new day. Seven-hundred and eighty-two days since any sign of life, seven-hundred and eighty-two days since the birds fell from the sky, the oceans boiled alive, and...
“Seven Books I'll Never Read” by Kevin Broccoli
There were seven books on the nightstand. We had packed up the rest of the bedroom. In the other room, I could hear my sister taping up the last of the cardboard boxes that would contain what we wanted to keep from our mother’s house. The house that we grew up in. The previous morning had featured a yard sale. We parted with the things that held no sentiment for us. This was more difficult than we thought...
“Partisan Hysteria” by Daniel Allen
TW: Contains swearing, gory violence and trauma. When the war ended, I thought I would feel free, liberated. I didn’t. Oh, I admit, I felt a fleeting joy as we watched the cursed Nazis turn tail and flee from Belgrade. When women and children wept with joy to see their men return home. But these sparks of happiness soon faded into the empty void inside of me. Even my parents’ shouts of pure delight at s...
“Arthas Gets Blown Away” by Graham Kinross
Mark Brigg fiddled with the neon sapphire sleeve of his prison jumpsuit. “Is there any way to get an outfit that doesn’t glow in the dark?” “It brings out the blue in your eyes,” said Detective Arthas Jacques in his Martian capital Arab-French sounding accent. Cheap prison soap scent filled the air. “My room is tiny. Shouldn’t I be with other prisoners? So I don’t go crazy?” Mark...
“Footsteps in the Snow” by Murray Burns
Footsteps in the SnowIt snowed that day. I remember walking in footsteps made by others while my thoughts still followed her away, for that was the last time I saw her. I remember hair mingled with snow, and a smile that wasn’t a smile. Every time it snows I remember walking in those footsteps.Regret is a fearsome adversary. How is it possible that one cannot outlive a mistake, bury it, escape it if even for a day? Would that God had instead taken a...
“A Lovers' Dance” by Mike Panasitti
Foley Gaspers has had enough. Enough of imagined lies. Enough of unsettling suspicions. His girlfriend, Amanda Yi, is late coming home again. She works twelve-hour shifts as a recreation therapist at a veteran’s hospital and her commute to and from the facility consumes an additional two hours of each day. Foley suspects Amanda is having affairs, the most impure of these being a triagonal liaison involving her cousin, Tamara, and her cousin’s infidel husband, Shayne, a district attorney for the city of Los Angeles...
“The Sandwich Guy” by AnneMarie Miles
Angela jolted upright, gasping for air: “Ahhh!”Next to her, her boyfriend sat peacefully, propped up with several pillows, his coffee in one hand, his book in the other. “Was it the sandwich guy again?”Still catching her breath, Angela nodded, putting a hand on her forehead to settle herself. “Yeah.”“Where were you this time?”A hand found her chest, felt her racing heart. “The pool. He was there at the edge of the pool when I surfaced.”“Hmmm, that’s ...
“Journey Past” by Helen A Smith
This story contains sensitive themes. Bill Jarvis sat bolt upright in the hotel bed bathed in a cold sweat. His accommodation was part of a building where his company annual conference was being held. His heart was pounding to a familiar and terrifying refrain. The dream had reasserted itself with a vengeance. From the moment he’d seen the updated list of managers in his region, one...
“The Ash-Spreading of Jaz” by Lindsay Flo
From the top of the mountain, the valley below was stunning. Everything was painted fire colors, the peak of autumn arriving as predicted in the second week of October. Stella felt a lump in her throat—how appropriate that they were here on Jaz’s birthday. Stella could still hear her throaty voice, every year, reminding them that the pinnacle of fall color always fell near her birthday.Ash-spreading was a strange custom, Stella thought, glancing down at her portion of Jaz, nestled in plastic inside a tiny gift bag, purpl...
“The Black Dogs Among Us” by July St John
The Black Dogs Among Us By - July St. John October 7, 1829 Gloucester Police Department 10 Waters Way Gloucester, England Attn: Det. Duncansone Detective, Your presence is urgently needed. There have been two murders on Friar Isle. One, that of my father, I witnessed three days prior to this lette...
“Whatever You Do, Do Quickly” by 𝔊𝔲𝔞𝔡𝔞𝔩𝔲𝔭𝔢 𝔗𝔢𝔩𝔠𝔬𝔫𝔱𝔞𝔯
Spotlights glared down, and a huge fan spun sluggishly on the ceiling. As two velociraptors fought around and around the fenced enclosure on the warehouse floor, spectators booed and cheered, though it was difficult to tell the calls apart. Cuss words were embedded in every shout. Sorely in need of money, but banishing the thought from his mind, Xavier stood silent amid the clamor, arms folded. For the first time since he’d come here, he wasn’t watching the behavior of the animals. He was looking at everything else....
“A Ballad for Buck Dumpster” by Lonnie Russo
TW: This story contains themes of grief, death, and suicide in addition to some adult language. My brother Archie and I spent exactly four summers at Camp Gopher before it closed. And I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me when it did, not really. After all, even back then, before the recession, the place stayed open only for the grace of God (and the handiwork of a few dozen do-gooders and funders). They were the kind of people who claimed to want kids like us, with no other options, to have some place to g...
“Lotus” by Michael J. Conroy
I see him – my father. I see him through badly drawn smiling faces and matchstick people on a canvas of condensation. I watch him poke and prod his lips until he hits the target with what he thinks is his second last cigarette. I watch him follow the young couple up the steps and through the doors of the Pilot's Diner. I watch him idle by the same door, only now it's closed, scratching his brain, wondering what to do next. Finally, I raise my hand and reluctantly summon...
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