jagged metal key

a short story

The door clicked shut behind him. He took a deep breath as he ran his thumb over the cold, sharp edges of the key. He knew the gravity of what he was doing; he understood the significance of this decision. It weighed on him near the point of paralysis, even now, with his mind made up. He paused, leaning against the doorframe, and let his mind run through it all one last time.

They’d met on a Sunday; she talked animatedly amongst of group of friends. He stood on the outskirts of all the conversation, picking at the edges of his now empty paper coffee cup, wondering what he was doing there. The occasional friendly stranger interrupted his thoughts to welcome him to the church and get to know him. Classic church behavior he’d thought, and though he hated small talk, he’d openly shared with each of them some version of his life not quite the truth.

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cold hard bleachers

a short story

Often she found herself sitting alone, in the darkness of her bedroom before the sun came up, or along the edge of a park bench with the chill of the night filling her body, unable to see past the dimly lit sidewalk in front of, no matter the place, or time of day, she always seemed to let the silence get too loud, let the darkness persist too long, and as a result, let the cavernous, empty space inside of her grow even deeper, even wider, further beyond repair.

To say she’d spent her whole life misunderstood would be a gross understatement, a painfully trite banality, feigning even remotely to attempt to acknowledge the depth of her isolation. She’d seen a macabre of therapists to no avail; prescriptions for every antidepressant and antianxiety medication had been prescribed, and still, her insides felt empty.

There was another world inside of her mind, a world even she had only begun to access, but it was that world that kept her from feeling any sense of belonging in reality; it was that world that kept her from relating to others, from forging deep connections with her peers. She knew that world wasn’t real, and yet somehow, she also knew it would overtake her if she weren’t careful.

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in rear view

Couple In The Snow

A fictional story. 

I looked him in the eyes, and I hoped with every part of me, that this time we would work.

“It’s always been you, you know that right?” I mumbled, tears welling up in my eyes.

Years of back and forth flirting, hanging out, and being forced together by the occasional community function, had been building into this one final moment. I pulled my coat tighter around me, as the winter wind cut through me, bracing myself to walk away.

It had been some cruel twist of fate that we’d ended up together for the night. Somehow we’d ended up at the same post-Christmas party, both back in town to visit our families for the holidays. We hadn’t talked in months, and I’d given up my holding out on my hopeless crush in exchange for hopes and dreams of heading for the west coast at the end of the school year.

He was his typical self; too cool, crooked smile; a casual nod and a wave without ever putting his beer down. A rush of feelings washed over me, but as quickly as it had come, I pushed it away, finding my way through the crowded house in search of my friends. Continue reading