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 : )

Books You Should Read!

Recently Yoko Ono posted some reading recommendations and it inspired me to do the same. I was quite surprised that I have read one of the books on her list (Skinny Bitch) and heard about many others. I would definitely recommend a trip to your local library for these beauties.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This is the most hauntingly beautiful novel I have ever read. It is one of those books where you just sit and cry for a long time, but it is okay. Very sad but very touching and powerful. It’s been made into a movie that I still have to see. Soon…

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

This has been one of my favorite bedtime stories. It took me quite a while to get through it because I don’t always have time to devote to reading but it makes some interesting statements about society and the world. The author has a blog and did an interesting TED Talk I had to watch for one of my courses.

Paper Towns by John Green

I am a huge fan of John Green. His books and his youtube channel have developed a large internet following, and rightly so. He is a funny, engaging author and this was his first novel that I read. It was been optioned to become a movie so watch for it in the coming years!

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

This is a bit of a diet book (although it feels more like a magazine) but it is all about modern veganism and health. I love their witty writing style. The book had me laughing out loud several times. I am glad that both Yoko and I are recommending this one.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Book Cover

I finished reading John Green’s new collaboration with David Levithan, “Will Grayson, Will Grayson”. What an excellent book. It was really an entertainment novel and by that I mean that It reads much like a movie or TV show. I found myself laughing out loud (actually) several times. In fact, I think the David Levithan bits were a bit funnier than the John Green bits. I’ll have to check out his other books. I laughed and got teary eyed a little at times, it was very well done. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending… I think I was expecting some sort of closure (an epilogue maybe?).

“it’s like, you know how sometimes you see a really sexy baby? wait…”

If you like musical theatre, emo kids, or relationships i’m sure you will enjoy this book!

Endnote: This guy reminds me the slightest bit of Tiny Cooper. Just putting that out there.