Tiny Stories: Trading Places

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

Cornelius begins spouting gibberish like a madman and before I realize that it is some sort of incantation, my consciousness, everything I am, is wrenched from my body and dumped like rubble and detritus into the sickly form of my dying enemy and for a second my view of the world, now through his cataract eyes, shifts like a lenticular optical illusion of massive chaos and the last thing I see before my vision clouds over is his crooked smile on the face that used to belong to me as I try to claw my way free before this fleshy prison becomes a corpse.

Tiny Stories: The Dominant Species

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

Earth finally established communications with life from another world. Sadly, it had nothing to do with the efforts of the human race, or even involved them in any way.

An explorative extraterrestrial race of beings in search of the answers to existence, trekked across the expanse of the cosmos, when they happened upon our planet.

They visited with peaceful intentions and bearing gifts but as seventy-one percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, they landed in the ocean and began negotiations to help terraform Earth to be perfect for the expansion of the dolphin species, whom they considered to be the dominant life form.

Tiny Stories: The Least of Her Habits

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

Ashley stopped a complete stranger in his tracks, bummed a cigarette from his open pack without asking and steadied the man’s hand on the match to light it.

She had a way with men that allowed her to get away with things of that nature. Perhaps it was her sad beauty that made men want to save her though she was not in need of rescue, and made them want to be with her though she was quite happy being alone.

Her friend, Roy, apparently the only heterosexual man on the planet immune to her charms, watched and shook his head as she abandoned the cigarette man without so much as a by-your-leave.

“Nasty habit, that,” Roy said.

Ashley studied the cigarette in her hand.

“I commit what are universally known to be the Three Unforgivable Sins: murder, torture and abuse of human beings on a regular basis in order to draw a paycheck, so I’d say having a fucking cigarette every now and then is the least of my bad habits,” she smiled wanly, inhaled and let the smoke stream out of her nostrils in lazy snakes.

Perhaps, Roy thought, it was time to make some new friends.

Tiny Stories: When It All Boils Down

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

None of the relationships in Dana’s life, from adolescent crushes to teen dating to twenty-something romances, ever made sense. Despite the numerous times she tried to find the one who would supposedly complete her, she could never fill the hole in her life where loneliness existed.

Fed up and tired of suffering, she finally reached the point where she was prepared to give up on everything because an existence being ignored, overlooked, and invisible to love was a fate worse than death.

And as she was about to complete the act that would end all of her suffering, her phone rang. It was her father, calling out of the blue, and though she couldn’t bring herself to tell him what she was about to do, he somehow sensed something was amiss.

“Things aren’t always as difficult as they seem,” her father said. “Which is hard to see when you’re smack dab in the middle of a situation. It’s like that saying goes, you can’t see the forest for the trees. But here’s a simple truth that took me years to realize, despite intellect and education, breeding and sophistication, race, color, religious creed or gender identity, when it all boils down, people are nothing more than children wrapped in grown-up complications. True love and happiness happens when the child in you finds the child in someone else to play with.”

And somehow that simple revelation made life a little easier for Dana to bear.

Tiny Stories: I Love The Bones of You

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

Aretha declared her undying love, her voice quivering with trepidation. Had she misread the signs, spoken too earnestly, too hastily? Had she forgotten herself and in a moment of childish infatuation, put the man of her dreams off her completely for making so bold an advance?

Luther’s smile was slow to unfurl and she could not decipher its meaning. Was he aware that she was on tenterhooks, awaiting his response? And if he was, did he delight in toying with her and her affections?

Finally, Luther responded by saying, “I love the bones of you,” and all her fears were instantly allayed.

And this was the truth, only, it wasn’t the complete truth. Luther actually loved Aretha as he claimed, the very bones of her, straight down to the marrow. Unfortunately, it was the only part he truly cared for.

As for the rest of his would-be paramour? Well, he would reduce that in a savory stew which he was positive his neighbors would enjoy immensely.

Tiny Stories: The Impossible Knot

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

Everything she ever owned was now little more than ash and in the charred remains of her once luxurious home, time crept at its petty pace around Emmeline Massingham without ever quite touching her for she was stuck in a moment.

Her fingers, gnarled and crippled with arthritis, pinched and pulled at a ball of concentrated time, trying to unravel an impossible knot made from the ancient threads of musty eras and epochs long past.

She realized her efforts were most likely in vain but could not stop herself from attempting to reverse the merest moment of eternity’s clock and, with crochet hooks at the ready, reknit a reality in which her family had not perished in the fire.

Tiny Stories: The Scent of Her Lips

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

“Excuse me, Miss, you may think me forward but might I inquire about your lip rouge? I am familiar with its scent.”

“Oh, are you a cosmetic artisan, Sir?”

“Nothing so rousing, I assure you. I am a botanist by trade and I recognize the plant your maquillage is made from. It has hallucinogenic properties, does it not?”

“So I have been told. It also has additional medicinal and magical uses.”

“Magical uses, you say?”

“It is said that those who dabble in the arts are able to concoct a poison to protect fair young maidens from unwanted advances, but this is merely a rumor, mind you.”

“Duly noted. I shall leave you to continue your stroll in peace. Pardon the intrusion.”

Tiny Stories: Abigail’s Time

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

As it was written in The Book of Life, the time had finally come when Abigail Loughly was scheduled to die. A stray bullet during the bank robbery pierced her right atrium as she attempted to move a pregnant woman to safety.

A tiny instant before she hit the ground, witnesses reported that Abigail’s body appeared to go out of focus, her clothing springing away in tatters as if the fabric itself had exploded off her and she began a bizarre transformation into a new form that was still recognizably human but somehow more than human.

When she finally came back into focus seconds later, her skin seemed as if it were made of solid light, her torso and extremities had thinned and elongated, all outward traces of gender had fallen away, and its back was now crested by wings which roiled and shifted as they unfurled like white satin sheets in the wind.

“No one else need die this day,” the being formerly known as Abigail said in a voice that was more akin to music than speech.

No-Longer-Abigail flicked its sylphlike wrist and shifted the molecular structure of the bullets, remodeling them into delicate gunmetal gray butterflies when they were mere inches from their intended targets.

Then the newborn angel turned its attention to the bank robbers. Gone was the previous musical quality and now its voice was a layered thing, numbering thousands upon thousands, when it spoke in a language that was not meant for human understanding.

The weapons, rendered inoperative, slid from the robbers’ grip and clattered on the tiled floor. These once tough men who held no regard for human life fell upon their knees and sobbed uncontrollably like lost children desperate for the love of the parent who abandoned them, which was how they would remain until the authorities arrived.

Tiny Stories: Contract Renegotiations

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

Esmee Fernsby took an interest in law from an early age, could stand her ground in an argument, was thorough in her research and work, and excelled in the written word, as well as spoken. So, who better to represent her contract renegotiations than herself?

She explored loopholes, sited rulings on previous cases which supported her argument, tried every single trick in her legal law repertoire, and her closing argument was concise, on point and strong.

The devil gave Esmee a slow clap for her brilliant performance before letting out a slow breath and saying, “The rules you originally agreed to are very clear and inflexible. You made a deal for and were granted beauty, health, and success in exchange for your firstborn. The fact that you never anticipated having a child and growing attached to it is not my concern.”

“Can I at least have my daughter through college? After all, what does a few years matter to the likes of one such as yourself?”

Esmee was also not one to accept defeat easily and if the Devil agreed, she would plot out a course for a profession with the longest schooling possible. This, of course, would give her a chance to rethink her strategy and work out a better defense in the future.

Tiny Stories: Annie’s Fury

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

On the day she officially became a teenager, at the precise moment of her time of birth, Annie began rocking back and forth while banging her palms rhythmically on her temples.

Her thoughts, once simple and innocent and pure were turning sideways and her mind was becoming an awkwardly misshapen thing filled with fury caused by not just the weight of her family’s judgment but that of the entire world attempting to limit her with labels and gender roles, which was forcing her toward impulsive and terrible actions.