Every now and then, I write a really short story. Below are a few of them. These “micro stories” may not make sense to anyone but me. But if you do read one and don’t like it, well at least you haven’t wasted much time, have you?
As he sat waiting for his computer to boot up, the boy couldn’t help but think about the day ahead. Another day of playing his online game. Perhaps he would finally attain “Level Four Master.” For a brief moment, he considered why that was so important to him. Then the computer screen flashed to life and his thoughts were consumed by the meaningless challenges ahead, as he began another day of playing the game.
Some Other Place
Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a man who had too much time and too little to do. He spent his days sitting on the front porch, watching nature’s magnificent play. His two-room cabin sat comfortably in the lap of the Smokey Mountains, looking out over a quiet knoll at the mountains’ knees. While the butterflies frolicked with the flowers, he would sit and watch, or sometimes, he would close his eyes and just listen. The only thing he could hear was nature. When he opened his eyes, the only thing he could see was beauty. He was surrounded, for miles around, by wilderness. He was alone, and at peace.
Winding Down & Looking Up
Where were the marshmallows? He had the chocolate; he had the Graham crackers; but no marshmallows. And the nearest store was long closed and miles away. Smores were out of the question. Besides, the fire was getting low and the evening was getting late. With his options running out, he began to look around for a stick to throw in the fire. There was one last piece of hickory, so he tossed it on the embers, pulled his blanket up, and thought, “It’s going to be a cold night.” As the hickory began to crackle, he got a whiff of the smoke and looked up at the stars. “It might be a cold night,” he thought, “but from here, the view is beautiful.”
He made a sandwich with all the right ingredients, then carefully dropped it in the baggie and sealed it shut. “That should keep long enough for the short trip,” he thought. Little did he know, the trip would not be short, nor would the destination be anywhere he would have imagined.
As he walked out the door, lunch bag in hand, he thought he would be driving to work. He was wrong. Backing out of the driveway, he twisted his neck around to look through the back window. As he had done countless times before, he reached his hand around to the front visor to push the button to close the garage door. With his head twisted around looking back, he didn’t even notice the button was different. Just as the rear bumper was passing the mailbox, his thumb found the button. He pressed it, and disappeared.
They found the car backed into the curb on the opposite side of the street. It was still idling with the gear shift in reverse. On the passenger seat of the car was a brown bag. Inside the bag, carefully tucked within a baggie, was a perfectly made sandwich.
Where Does Juice Come From?
How to get juice from spinach? She contemplated her predicament as she rolled the carrot between her fingers. She had one carrot, a half of an onion, and a big pile of spinach. The challenge was to make a good tasting juice from what she had. And what she had, wasn’t much.
She promised her kids some juice, but the piggy bank was empty and the cupboard was filled only with dust. Now all she had was one carrot, half an onion, a bunch of spinach, and a sick heart. She didn’t even like spinach.
As she twiddled with the carrot, she stared out the kitchen window and slowly, without even realizing it, gave up hope. The carrot dropped to the floor. She slid her back against the cabinet and slowly sank down beside it. Closing her eyes, she thought of her two beautiful young children. A single tear formed in each eye, one for each child.
Her kids walked down the hall to the kitchen doorway, where they stopped abruptly. They stood there quietly, watching their mother for a few moments. Eventually, the youngest one, prompted by an unseen truth, said simply, “Have faith mommy. There is always hope.”
An hour earlier, a next door neighbor had been at the grocery store. In a rare moment of quiet insight, he actually listened to his heart instead of the noise and confusion of the world. He bought extra groceries to give to his neighbor. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, an hour later, he pulled in her driveway and hoped she would not consider him silly when he showed up on her doorstep with an armload of groceries.
His arms were so full he had to knock on the door with his elbow. The kids heard the knock, ran to the door and opened it. “These are for you,” he said. The kids got so excited they both latched on to him in an effort to give him a big hug. In the process, they knocked him off balance. Had it not been for a little push in the right direction, he would have surely dropped the gallon of orange juice.
The mushroom didn’t amount to much. It was just a small little toadstool with a white top-cap, speckled with a few green flecks. Most people in the park walked right past it, never even noticing, but not Brian. Brian was a very unique young boy. He noticed everything. From several yards away, his mother watched for a few impatient moments as her son squatted in the grass, staring intently at some small object. “Brian, what are you doing? Come on. We have to go,” she said with more than a hint of irritation.
“Mom, not yet. Come look.”
“Brian, come on. We don’t have time to waste on unimportant things.
“Brian, come now.”
Brian reluctantly obeyed. He stood, took one last look at the mushroom, then walked away. As they left the park, walking quickly toward the car, Brian’s mom was grumbling about how kids didn’t understand adult responsibilities. She didn’t have time for nonsense. Some people seemed to find blessings all the time, but not her. She had to work hard for every thing she got.
By the time they were buckled in the car, the mushroom exploded with a cloud of golden spores. As Brian’s mom cranked the car, the gold dust was settling on the blades of grass below. Before they were completely out of the parking lot, several blades of grass beneath the mushroom had turned to solid 24 karat gold. Brian looked out the window of the car as they sped away, but he couldn’t really see anything now. His mother had her eyes on the road, her mind on her job, and they were moving too fast.