Crystal, Axis, Angst

A short story incorporating three random words, written in 20 minutes.

by Marcus Jonathan Chapman

There is an angst that comes with the threat of suicide. Not one’s own, but that of one someone loves. It’s jarring. I love you so much so why would you not love yourself? That’s the question I find myself asking. Where will you go? If you are away from me, what will I do? Where will I be? How much time will it take me to get back on the path of “being okay”?

If I allow anyone to rotate around my axis, to be my moon and stars, how long will it be before they leave me? What have I been doing or not doing that removes them from my orbit? I am not the center of the universe but I like to gaze at the other stars, moons, planets and suns that grace me with their presence.

Don’t leave me. You’re light refracts from me. It reflects from me. I enjoy it’s rays coming to and through me. If your light is not there I am afraid of the darkness that will take over. I may find a new light but it will never uncover the shadows you have left.

A few have left me. A few leave everyone. Confused and contemplative of where we are left when those we love go away, whether from time or death, we stay and think. So I am here thinking.

I do not know where my crystals have gone. What will guide the light towards me when they are gone? When you are gone?

To punch the truth in the nose, why do some of my friends message me via text and never respond? “Hey, let’s hang out!” “Okay, what days and times work best for you?” I reply. But there is never a reply to mine.

Where will you go if you are not with me? Am I not adequate enough? because I feel that you are adequate enough for me, more than adequate. I love you but you leave me. So what do your words mean when they don’t match your actions?

A kitchen knife down the veins of a forearm. A car sitting idle in the garage. A man swimming out as far as he can to make sure he can’t swim back to the sand that grounds him.

Sock, Fear, Funny

3 things to inspire 1 story written in 20 minutes. #story320
words provided by @ladychap84

They’re gone! Again, they’re gone. How many socks can a man lose before it stops being funny.

I visit the laundromat once a week and every week another pair of socks disappear. At this point I feel the owners should post a sign:

“Laundry $5.00 plus a pair of socks, never the same pair, two socks, each from a different pair. Thank you, we appreciate your patronage.”

I’m not sure why they would be so polite, especially if they’re keeping everyone’s socks.

If I continue to lose a pair of socks each week, I will have gone through 52 pairs of socks. That’s like…a lot of money. I’d be more specific but who has time to memorize the price of socks? Maybe the person stealing them.

Maybe it’s someone’s side hustle. Maybe there is a guy taking my socks out to New York and laying them all out on a blanket in between bootleg DVD’s and “Koko” Chanel purses. When the cops come and the other guys grab the four corners of their blankets and dash, the sock guy just takes off his shirt and hangs it on the newspaper dispenser then pretends to fold socks.

How does he explain the mismatching pairs, you ask? Well, he doesn’t need to. He’s drying his socks and, officer, it’s really none of your business.

The washer beeps. I grab the wet load and stick it into the dryer.

That’s it! Maybe it’s the dryer. As it heats up and spins, it opens a portal to one of the levels in hell.

But wouldn’t socks burn off the feet of hell’s residents? What would be the point of socks in hell? Unless hell has froze over and socks keep their feet warm. Once your feet get cold, that’s it, there’s no getting warmed up again.

Oh shit! A dryer sheet! I reach down to my feet where I keep my quarters and pull a metallic George Washington from out of my sock. I offer it to my neighbor in exchange for a dryer sheet.

She says to just take one, no need for the quarter. I tuck George back into my sock and pull it back up, mid-calf. Calf? like cow? Anyway.

I open the dryer and pop in the sheet. static electricity be damned, like my sock thieves.

Just over an hour later, the laundry load is done. I pull out all the clothes and take inventory. All shirts present, all pants folded, underwear all accounted for, my favorite jacket here and–wow–all the socks are accounted for!

I plop everything into the basket and with a spring in my step, I decide to buy some bubble gum.

I put down the basket and reach for my quarters.

I feel nothing by my hairy ankle.

I look down and my socks are gone.

I look back at the dryer and a glow comes from within, fading from bright to deep red and disappearing altogether with a small sizzle and puff of smoke.

The horror.

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Rabbit, Puppet, Death

3 things to inspire 1 story written in 20 minutes. #story320

Have I shown you my bunny rabbit? He’s cute and fluffy and smells so good. Want to pet him?

Oh the smell? That’s just Bugs, except he doesn’t like carrots. Actually he doesn’t keep much down anymore, not since I went on vacation.

Where did I go for vacation? It was beautiful, there were women and men all dressed in white, they took care of everything. I had a bed and even a friend for the first time ever.

My friend was cool. He would save his meatloafs under his pillow and play with them late at night. He didn’t ever let me see but it sounded fun. My friend also showed me how to make forever friends.

We had recess two times a day and sometimes there would be a dead bird and one time a dying squirrel. The hotel cat must have started eating its legs.

My friend showed me how to make them my forever friends. They would live with me, the bird did. Until one of the women in white found it and scolded me, I guess because the bird hadn’t paid for the room.

I understand. Sometimes rules make me angry but I understand.

My friend showed me how to make forever friends talk, so that we could share secrets and tell jokes. He took the squirrel even though it looked like the squirrel was trying to leave. Its legs, tail and hindquarters looked a little like meatloaf.

My friend said that sometimes the animals don’t know they want to be forever friends until you show them how.

He poked two fingers into the meatloaf part of the squirrel until I couldn’t see his fingers. Then he wiggled his fingers and the squirrel bulged its eyes and moved its mouth. It was a miracle. The squirrel was trying to talk! He had made a forever friend. I guess my roommate did that because he knew I was leaving.

Anyway, so now I’m here and I made my little Bugs into a forever friend. He stinks and sometimes his fur comes off but he never likes to leave my left hand. We do everything together.

Are you sure you don’t want to pet him?

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