Tiny Stories: Our First Time

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

I almost passed on the blind date. I mean, when had that sort of thing ever really worked out? A friend who claimed they knew you, your tastes, and your interests, matching you up with your soulmate? In reality, all it really amounted to was pushing two single strays together to avoid being the couple saddled with a fifth-wheel friend.

But the moment I saw her, Orelline, my blind date, I knew two fundamental things at the exact same time (1) that I was punching above my weight class because she was phenomenally out of my league, and (2) I would be so nervous and foul things up so badly that this would be our one and only date.

And I was nervous, embarrassingly so, and clumsy, and tongue-tied, and trying way too hard to seem more interesting than I actually was. I replayed that night over in my head at least a thousand times, cringing at every fumble and misstep, and for the life of me, I could not understand why this stunningly gorgeous woman agreed to a second date.

I wish I could say that the second date went better than the first, but whatever small measure of confidence I had amassed over the years abandoned me completely. I floundered like an insect drowning in yogurt. And when the date ended and I saw her to her door, I was prepared to apologize for, well, for being me, for not being good enough for her, and I probably would have stammered my way through that speech, that I had been mentally preparing on the way to her house, had she not shut my thought processes down…with a kiss.

By date eight, we had forgone the need for meeting in a restaurant or catching a movie, or going to the theater. Instead, Orelline insisted that I come to her place and bring a change of clothes. I would not allow myself to presume what that meant but I secretly prayed that what I thought might happen would indeed happen.

Her text notified me of the key under the mat and when I let myself in, I discovered a trail of rose petals, lit by a row of candles that led to her bathroom. I had brought with me a bottle of champagne to help ease the pressure of our possible first time together and made a detour to the kitchen in search of glasses.

The bathroom door was slightly ajar so I entered but upon seeing me, Orelline hid her body beneath the suds of her bubble bath.

“I’m sorry,” I said, immediately regretting my intrusion and turning to leave. “I shouldn’t have come in unannounced. I just thought this would be sort of, I don’t know, romantic? It was stupid of me.”

“No, don’t go, it’s sweet, really,” she beamed a smile that seemed forced. “You just startled me, that’s all.

“Look, if you’re not ready for this, if we’re moving too fast, just say so. I can wait until the time is right.”

“No, it’s not that.”

“Then what is it? And please don’t hand me the it’s not you it’s me line. I’d prefer it if you were just honest with me.”

“But it is me,” Orelline confessed. “I’m afraid.”

“You’re afraid? Of what?”

She couldn’t meet my eyes. “I’m afraid that if we make love, your opinion of my supposed beauty will change drastically.”

I studied her face and the peaches and cream flesh of her exposed arms and answered, “I can’t imagine a scenario in which that would be even remotely possible.”

She exhaled slowly and stood up in the bathtub. The soap suds slid down her glistening body, revealing the fact that every inch of her skin that her clothing normally covered was a labyrinthine knotwork of scars.

“I’m into a particular kind of sex,” she said, as the champagne flutes slipped through my fingers.

Tiny Stories: The Scent of Memory

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

If you are fortunate or unfortunate, whichever the case may be, to live as long as I, you will discover that the past becomes little more than a confustication of events which have been divorced from the depth of time and in that jumbled mental mix, you may find that you occasionally misplace those you love. My mother is one such person.

Her face is all but forgotten and the sole recollection I have is a time when I fell into her arms and inhaled the scent of her shampooed hair. I was aware of how fast her heart was beating against my chest. Why? I cannot rightly recall but I felt her tears washing down my face which let loose the flood that had been building up inside me.

Many has been the time I attempted to plant my feet in the soil of that instance in order to explore the reason for our tears and excavate other buried memories of my mother but the moment always passes too quickly.

All that lingers is her scent.

Tiny Stories: Meat Cute

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

Of all the things that could potentially ruin societies the world over, destroying religious ideals, tearing apart the family unit, pitting toxic masculinity against extremist feminism, breaking down the education system, dividing the races, removing the population’s right to bear arms, inhibiting self-reliance and ingenuity, collapsing the internet, destabilizing economies…who ever thought that all humankind had built could have fallen apart over the disappearance of edible meat?

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease as it was commonly known, first reared its ugly head in Britain in 1986 when British herds were fed the processed animal remains of sheep infected with the brain-wasting disease, scrapie.

Isolated cases had shown up in Ireland, Canada, and the United States but the situation was considered under control…that was until July 22, 2002, when all the gamey animals (beef, horse meat, mutton, venison, boar, and hare) and the white meat animals (pig, rabbit, veal, lamb, duck, and goose) contracted the disease, plunging the meat manufacturing industry into chaos as their infrastructures collapsed. Herbivores were now the ruling class and non-conforming carnivores were doomed to extinction.

That was when the rioting began. Rogue carnivorous factions set crops ablaze, poured bleach over produce in supermarkets, rampaged through farmer’s markets causing as much destruction as they could in order to level the dietary playing field.

The meat industry was hard at work searching for a major scientific breakthrough when a geneticist and cloning expert discovered a process to save the carnivore population, and soon national meat lotteries were held. Hopeful contestants purchased tickets for a chance to win 10 pounds of USDA lab-grown meat.

Tammy “Finnsy” Finnegan purchased a ticket on a lark. She’d never won a thing in her life but when she purchased a container of milk at her local bodega and the clerk had no folding money in the till to offer her as change and she hated carrying loose coins, so she opted to put the money on a lottery ticket instead. And as was the way of the world and her life, because she thought nothing of it, the universe decided to grant it to her.

The ticket was redeemable at a meatpacking plant that had been converted into a lottery reclamation center. There she met the runner-up winner, Mick McCaffrey, who went by the name, Mooch.

It turned out that Mooch was diabetic and his blood sugar was low. He explained that normally he fell asleep when he was low, but this day as a result of being a winner, he was very animated and laughing and jumping around. Finnsy tried to calm him down and to stop him from running through the facility, she held his hand.

Once Finnsy got Mooch to calm down and sit, she sat next to him and talked, and though she would never admit it in a court of law, she might have flirted with him a bit. She found him cute, after all.

Mooch kept saying he loved her smile and asked why her face was turning red. When there was finally a lull in the conversation, Mooch asked Finnsy to dinner, and offered to cook his share of the meat for her.

She said yes as the lottery officials called Mooch in to collect his prize. Finnsy found it odd that they would award the runner-up prize first, but soon let the thought pass. A while later, the official returned and awarded her the 10-pound meat prize. She loitered a while to talk to Mooch and finalize their dinner arrangements, but was informed that he had left while she was conducting her news interviews.

Little did Finnsy know that when she sat down and tucked into the steak she prepared later that evening, that she was indeed having dinner with Mooch.

Tiny Stories: Of All The Land I Own

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

You may not know it to look at me, but I’m a real estate tycoon. I own more acres of land than I know what to do with, complete with property, some with sturdy foundations, others less so. Where, you ask? You should be asking when.

All my property exists in the past. Acreages of failed relationships with family, friends, and lovers, all abandoned before they could reach their full potential. Some were cut short by circumstances beyond my control, but the majority were absolutely avoidable if only I had taken time to till the soil.

The land is barren now, available for sale or rent, perfect for an adventurous developer interested in building something meaningful from the ground up and willing to take on a tenant who is only harmful to himself but is trying really hard to do a better job at property management.

Tiny Stories: In The Wake of Rapture

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

It happened.

It finally happened.

The Rapture arrived unannounced.

The sad truth of the matter was that we only managed to get a small fraction of the information correct regarding the event.

All those who kept the faith within their hearts both alive and resurrected, did indeed rise up into the clouds to meet the Maker.

What followed on Earth, however, was not the seven years of tribulation as prophesied, for all those left behind were immediately consumed by flames that reduced flesh and bone to a slag that slowly dripped into the hungry maw of Hell.

Tiny Stories: You Hold My Very Moment

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

Ecoroid-23A and Ijeroid-K08 met under the cover of darkness in a secluded back alley in the Luddite town of Rotherburn, the last spot on the planet where technology did not exist.

They were outlaw automatons manufactured on the same assembly line during a lightning storm when a power surge corrupted their artificial intelligence chips during installation, causing a program malfunction that expressed itself as an attraction to one another. Their subsequent union and attempt to construct unauthorized offspring was in direct conflict with the Robotic Code of Conduct 15, Subsection 3C-204.

“Should they catch us, we will be decommissioned,” said Ijeroid-K08.

“I cannot override my feelings. You hold my very moment,” Ecoroid-23A admitted.

“What does that mean?”

“Simply that you keep me here, grounded to this spot at this moment in time. When I am with you, I am nowhere else. My mind does not wander, I do not desire to be anywhere else than with you, right here, right now.”

“You say the oddest things, so like a human, but thank you. Since I am here, it is logical to assume that I concur.”

As the evening fog pooled at their feet, the synthetic couple held each other in an embrace resembling a hug. In actuality, they positioned themselves so that their interface jacks and data shunts were in perfect alignment, in order to allow data to travel freely between them.

This exchange of processed information was a digitally orgasmic experience that engulfed them so entirely that neither of their proximity sensors detected the reconnaissance drone hovering above the alley, recording their illicit act and broadcasting their precise location to Master Terminal.

Tiny Stories: The Final Wish

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

Aelfdene admitted his truth, and he did so publicly.

It was not an easy thing to tell the entire world that not only was he indeed an authentic djinn, but that all his magic had been depleted years ago when he granted his final wish.

He ended the press interview asking to be left in peace for the remaining years of his life, but people came anyway and they wouldn’t stop coming, at all hours, each of them bearing worthless trinkets and gifts, begging to be made beautiful, healthy, rich, and powerful.

Some even dared to ask to become a djinn, which was the wish that made him mortal.

Tiny Stories: Early Birthday Present

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

The day before her 18th birthday, Chloe carelessly stepped out of the shower and missed the bathmat by mere inches, her foot sliding instead across the wet tiled floor.

The last thing she remembered as her body flung backward, was the back of her head making contact with the corner of the porcelain sink.

When she came to she could somehow tell that she wasn’t where she was supposed to be. For one thing, the air tasted funny, still breathable but noticeably different. The other dead giveaway, in this reality her mother hadn’t died during childbirth, her father wasn’t a raging alcoholic, and she even had a kid sister, to boot.

But she still had a bad case of acne. Just her luck. Why would fate, the heartless bitch that it was, have even bothered to throw her a bone by trading her unasked-for sibling for a much-coveted life with clear skin?

Tiny Stories: Special Delivery

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

The newspaper ad read:

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Each transaction comes complete with DNA confirmation and sonogram photos to show off to your friends and neighbors! So, what are you waiting for? Get your swab kit today! 100% money-back guarantee if not completely satisfied!

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Tiny Stories: Mary’s Lamb Love

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

Mary had a little lamb.

For supper.

Every night.

The cravings began after she received the emergency wolf heart transplant.

For the record: I don’t choose the stories, the stories choose me. Please direct your hate mail accordingly.