Cool Short Stories

I had to read the book Micro Fiction by Jerome Stern for one of my classes and it had some really cool short stories in it! Here were some that I enjoyed…

“Your Fears Are Justified” by Rick DeMarinis

There’s a bomb on this plane. I offer no proof. And yet I know. Panic constricts my breathing. My heart can be heard, I’m sure of that. It ticks in my ear like an egg timer. I get out of my seat slowly so as not to alarm the others. In the rest room I splash my face with cold water. The bomb is with the cargo. We’re approaching Clinic City. The plane touches down. The bomb, though armed, does not explode.

In the Clinic City hospital I have to share a room with a heart patient. “What are you here for?” he asks. “Brain tumor,” I say. he perks up, interested. “How’s your ticker?” he says. His wife, large and phlegmatic, visits twice a day. They whisper. “You’re terminal?” she asks, coyly. It’s as if she’s asked me about the weather in Des Moines. “Not that I know of,” I say. “Brain tumor,” her husband whispers, nudging her. They exchange loving glances. I know what they are thinking. It’s clear: They want my heart. “Macroadenoma,” I say. “Nonmalignant.” They wink at eachother. She concoles me with a ladyfinger. After the operation I fly home, weak but still sensitive to threats.

I appreciate your interest. I honor your adrenalized stare. Your fears are justified. I’m sorry. I will sit here in my living room and decide what to tell you. Yes, there is no hope. But remember, some fuses are duds, some tumors are benign, some heart patients recover on their own. You have time to change your life.

Worry by Ron Wallace

She worried about people; he worried about things. And between them, that about covered it.

“What would you think of our daughter sleeping around?” she said.
“The porch steps are rotting,” he replied. “Someone’s going to fall through.”

They were lying in bed together, talking. They had been lying in bed together talking these twenty-five years: first, about whether to have children–she wanted to (although there was Down’s Syndrome, leukemia, microcephaly, mumps); he didn’t (the siding was warped; the roof was going fast)–and then, after their daughter was born, a healthy seven pounds eleven ounces (“She’s not eating enough;” “The furnace is failing”), about family matters, mostly (“Her friends are hoodlums, her room is a disaster;” “The brakes are squealing, the water heater’s rusting out.”)

Worry grew between them like a son, with his own small insistencies and then more pressing demands. They stroked and coddled him; they set a place for him at the table; they sent him to kindergarten, private school, and college. Because he failed at nearly everything and always returned home, they loved him. After all, he was their son.

“I’ve been reading her diary. She does drugs. She sleeps around.”
“I just don’t think I can fix them myself. Where will we find a carpenter?”

And so it went. Their daughter married her high school sweetheart, had a family, and started a health food store in a distant town. Although she recalled her childhood as fondly as anyone–how good her parents had been and how they worried for her, how old and infirm they must be growing, their house going to ruin–she rarely called or visited. She had worries of her own.

So what are you worrying about? carpe diem : )

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