Skeleton Stories- 206 word stories
Hi everybody, just hoping to grab your attention for a minute. I hope this is ok, but if not, could the owner of this community please let me know and/or remove?
I run a community on LJ called blue_sun_story
and it's more or less your typical writing community, but I give awards to the best stories each month or two (depending on the traffic) but there is currently a competition running where there will be a real mystery prize to the winner. All you have to do is enter a story on Blue Sun to be in with a chance. So post your stuff there too and you might come away with something cool.
Good luck. Thank you.
It grew overnight, right out front where everyone could see it. Witchweed favors a damp soil and we have it, but also my sister had just turned fifteen and things had started to happen.
Jenny’s fey face and strange charisma would have screamed “witch” even if birds didn’t come when she called them. Another time, things mightn’t have been so bad, but a lean spell makes people hard. In the tavern they’d begun to say “war,” and people were getting tense. When Tom left Alice to come courting Jenny, there were whispers. Worse was when the blackrot started in the fields. (It was the season for blackrot.) We uprooted the bush, thrice: it came back each time, bigger. The talk grew.
My mother threw up her hands and sent Jenny to our aunt across the river. It isn’t as bad, there—there isn’t any blackrot and there’s no talk yet of war. I hear they have a witchweed bush there now that’s bigger than our aunt’s house. Jenny’s found a nice alderman who likes her strange charisma; I think they’ll marry soon.
Here it hasn’t been as good. The witchweed is growing. People have started to look at me and talk about my strange charisma.
Is this really what it all came down to? A moment of fear and this metallic taste in my mouth? It had seemed a perfect plan nothing could go wrong but the price for perfection is always being misunderstood. I'll just lie here in this cooling pool of congealed crimson regret wondering if someone will just stop by to see how I am. Though deep down it occurs to me no one would think of checking on me because no one knew I was hurting. How it hurts now, a long linear slice down my pale white forearm, it's beautiful the contrast.. funny how it strikes me as art even now.
I hear a noise growing steadily louder.. someone is running water in my apartment - have i been unconscious? Has someone come to rescue me afterall, hope shines like a beacon, the light brighter than any i could have imagined. Someone is blocking the light now.. my hero. The water is not water I come to realize moments later.. or has it been hours? It's the sound of my soul drowning in self pity. I was too quick to act, too eager to punish and now when i thought i would be.. not so eager to...
It takes a few moments after the bell rings for me to answer the front door, Lindy sitting on my hip, eating a red ice pop. He stands on the other side of the doorframe, looking neat and lonely.
“Hi, come on in,” I greet my ex-husband with a sigh. Lindy stares wide-eyed at her father, forgetting the Popsicle and allowing her chubby fingers to relax from around the wooden stick. It hits my white shirt, red juice forming a cold stain.
“Oh! Here, I’ll take her,” he offers, removing her clumsily from me, leaving me empty-handed and awkward. Immediately, Lindy starts struggling to remove herself from his arms.
“Nooooo,” she shrieks, looking at me with pleading eyes. Filled up with tears, they look exceptionally blue, just like her father’s. She continues wailing, arching her back and wriggling the way only a two-year-old can do. “Mommy, nooooo,” she tells me, her face crestfallen, defeat among her dark curls. He quickly puts her down quickly, shocked, and she comes over to me to wrap her arms around my left leg.
“I’m so sorry,” I tell him, lifting Lindy up and holding her tightly against my cold, sticky chest.
“No, I am,” he replies, and turns to leave.
he warned her, taking her tiny hand and helping her step up on to the narrow ledge. She smiled at the irony of his words as if he had been making a joke. She looked down at him from her perch, then down to the darkness and the rushing cars before her. He didn’t return the smile, only followed her gaze down and grimaced.
-Will you miss me?
she asked. He wasn’t sure if she was waiting for an answer. Her bony knees buckled as she tried to balance on the ledge, her grip on his hand tightening. He steadied her, feeling the pulse in her wrist and wishing that he could just take her down, hold her tight. Her skirt fluttered in the midnight air, exposing her thin, quivering legs and he knew at that moment that he had already lost her. That he had been losing her for months now. Would he miss her? He already did.
-More than anything,
he replied just as her fingers relaxed. He desperately reached for her hand, clawing at the air and gulping a sob back into his throat, but she was already flying. He asked her name like a question, but she was already gone. to see a 50 word version, go here.
-I have a secret
she whispers, grinning, as he runs his hand through his hair. He is annoyed and she is loving every second of it.
-Just tell me, then
he prompts her, knowing she won’t, believing that there is no secret. There has never been before. He rolls his eyes and she finds it hysterical, tipping her head back and laughing loudly. It scares her, and it scares him that it scares her. She’s afraid of her shadow, she’s afraid of her laugh.
-Come on, hon
he says, taking her hand, hoping to get her in the car for a drive. Drives will usually calm her down. She tries to pull her hand away from him, like a toddler trying to escape her mother’s grip, whining,
-I don’t have to listen to you
-Let go of me!
but he refuses to until she starts scratching at him, chardonnay nails staining his cheeks in long ugly welts.
-What are you doing?
he asks her, dropping her hand and placing his own on his check in one motion. What are you doing? She closes her eyes. He has figured it out, has finally asked the right question.
-I don’t know
"I've been feeling rather down lately, not the type of down a gal oughta feel, but what can you do? Put a bullet in your head? I've got fists full of bullets and two pretty barrels to send 'em down, but I won't do that; I can’t do that and I’ve got two good reasons. One, suicide is the pussy's way out, plus once you’ve got and off’d yourself, all you've left is an unhappy mess of brains and blood for those who loved you to clean up. I ain't that selfish. Two, I made a promise a long time ago to someone who probably doesn't care if I'm alive or dead right now; but I am alive and I plan on stayin' that way, 'cause I made a promise and I don't break promises easy. Funny how people don't realize they're saving someone's life. They always think it's gotta be dangling on a wire or dodging traffic. Hell, I probably saved dozens of people's lives by now. You never know what's gonna do it. Maybe it's a "hello" or a smile, changes the whole damn outlook of a person. Heck, I know it happened to me, so I know it's gotta happen to others."
He traces a scar on her belly. Flawed
, he whispers into it, then sits up and laughs. She wants to know what is so funny, but he won’t tell her, and the mood is lost anyway. Kisses turn in to raspberries, but she’s not laughing with him, and pushes him away. I love you
, he tells her. He has never said it before, but she doesn’t let herself believe him.You told me you were perfect
, he says, cracking a smile, stroking her cheek. She denies it; she has never said that, she pushes his hand away. I didn’t believe you. But now I have proof
. He reaches for her shirt again, trying to expose her imperfect midriff, but she won’t let him. He needs to see it so badly, more than anything. He needs its confirmation the way he needs her confident voice in the morning, but she won’t give its minuscule comfort.
Her face crumbles too fast, doesn’t give him time to stop it. It’s not my fault,
she says, holding her shirt down with both her hands. It’s not my fault
.No, honey. No, it’s not your fault
. He lifts her chin, lets it drop, and leaves her sitting there, imperfect and alone.
When’s the last time you were really happy?
she types, hoping his answer is the same as hers. Last summer, we won the soccer championship
, he types back. That wasn’t her answer. She wants to tell him that she hasn’t been really happy, not in her conscious memory, but he doesn’t ask, so she doesn’t tell him. She’s happy when she talks to him, when they talk into the night about everything and nothing, but not really happy. Not the kind of happy where you aren’t sure if it’s more appropriate to laugh or cry, and you want to do both and neither. Not the kind of happy where your mother wants to know why you are singing, or smiling, or getting out of bed in the morning without sobbing.I’ve got to go to bed
, she tells him, an itch in her throat, no tears in her eyes. She leaves before he answers, and crawls into bed wearing her jeans and sneakers, and too much makeup, and bracelets up her arms. Against her better judgment, she reaches under her shirt searching for her heartbeat. She hates it for keeping her alive but it helps her fall asleep, so she lets it stay one more night.
A Muse's Dilemma
It was cold out, and the bitter night air reminded her of all his broken promises. She had been a fool to believe this time would be any different, to believe that he would hold up his end of any bargain they made. Everything she had given him was probably nearly spent. When he did appear again, it would not be because he loved her, only because he had run out and needed more. She knew he would say anything, promise anything to get what he wanted.
She already knew she would give in to him, she always did. Hopelessly in love, hopelessly devoted, hopelessly... hopeless. There was no life for her beyond his eyes, no breath for her beyond his lips... her existence was forever tied with his heart and his belief in her. She couldn't remember life before him, couldn't remember the path that had lead her to this point.
But when your entire existence hinges on one person's belief in you, you aren't left with a lot of options. And that's why she stood there, waiting for him to seek her out. Night turned to day, day faded into night. And still she waited, knowing he would come, seeking inspiration.