Running from the Light

Seven in the morning, another blue Monday, I thought to myself as I swung my legs off the side of the bed and sat up. I had one of those unmemorable weekends that flew by without much thought. I couldn’t even remember what I had for dinner on Sunday. But I appreciated the rest I got. Not having to think about work was something that I enjoyed. Alas, that time has come to an end.

I wiped the crust from my eyelids and dragged my feet to the bathroom. As I turned on the tap to wet my toothbrush, I heard a loud crash from the living room. What the fuck? I turned off the tap, dropped my toothbrush into the sink and strode quickly out of my room.

In front of me stood an armored man wielding as sword, pointing it at me and yelling, “Dark Lord, your reign of terror ends today!” Around him lay my door in half, splinters all over the ground. This crazy person had destroyed the door to come into my home. I was not amused.

“What is the meaning of this?” I yelled back. I couldn’t see the man’s face behind his helmet’s visor, but based on how he reacted, he seemed surprised.

“Did I get the wrong house?”

“You sure as hell did!”

“I’m utterly sorry,” he apologized. “I was told that this was the house of the Dark Lord!”

“Not another one of you fools!” I sighed, shaking my head. I looked at my watch, I was going to be late for work.

“For the last time, can you tell whoever is giving you the information that this is the wrong place? Please stop bothering me. I’m tired of having to buy a new door every time this happens!”

“My sincerest apologies,” said the man who lowered his sword. He put it back into its sheathed and turned around, going through the now door-less door frame.

As he left I breathed a sigh of relief. Phew, I guess it’s time to look for a new place to live in. It had been a while since the light side discovered where I lived. They’re probably going to send more men next time. Next time, I won’t be around.

I phoned in to work to tell them I quit. Then, I went into my room, packed my backpack and teleported to another dimension.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: You are an average person going about their day when suddenly your door is busted open. Outside is a man in armor wielding a sword, who points it at you and declares, “Dark Lord, your reign of terror ends today!”

Rain, rain, go away

Jimmy’s head was a mess – his hair flat and stuck to his forehead, dripping with rain. A far cry from how it looked at the hair salon an hour ago. His buttoned white shirt was now extra fitting, his nipples showing through the wet fabric. His grey pants looked like he had pissed himself – which was an accurate representation of how he was feeling right now.

His girlfriend had invited him over to her house for a family dinner and this would be the first time he would meet her parents. He thought he’d make a good impression by dressing up, but the weather decided to throw a wrench in his plans.

So now he stood, outside the front door of her house, waiting for his clothes to miraculously dry in time for dinner. Despite the traffic, he had managed to arrive earlier than expected. He figured he’d wait a bit before he announced his arrival, there was still time. He sat down on the driest spot of the bench outside the front door and unlaced his wet shoes. He had drenched his socks running from the car to the front porch.

“Shit,” he cursed to himself.

Taking off his socks was the last thing he wanted to do, but he couldn’t see an alternative. For as long as he could remember, he had always kept his socks on when visiting his friends’ houses. It was the reason he never wore sandals (despite some of his friends telling him how trendy they were when matched with socks). Growing up, he was bullied for having extra toes on his feet – so whenever he left the house he made sure he was wearing socks and shoes.

When word spread, he was constantly reminded by his peers that he was a freak and would never be accepted. So when his family relocated and he got into a new school, he made sure that he never left the house without shoes and socks on. But thanks to the rain, it seemed like he would have to face his insecurities again.

He got up to his feet and started pacing around, hoping that walking around would help him dry his socks. All he did was wet the floor of the front porch. As if the rain wasn’t doing a good enough job. He sat down on the bench again and sighed. He looked at his watch again, it was now dinner time.

“Maybe they won’t notice”, he thought to himself.

“The trail of water you leave behind or your twelve toes?” his other voice replied.

Suddenly, the front door swung open and he saw a familiar face.

“Jimmy! You’re here!”

“Babe!” he replied, surprised.

“I knew you’d be on time, how come you didn’t ring the door bell? Come on in!”

“I was waiting to dry off a bit before going in.”

“Don’t be silly, I’ve got a towel for you to dry yourself off.”

His socks squished audibly as he got up.

“Urm, babe, you should take your socks off. Mom wouldn’t like it if you made a mess all over her carpet.”

“Oh, yes, I forgot,” he replied.

Jimmy sat back down on the bench and started to gingerly remove his socks. He decided to draw her attention away from his feet and started some small talk.

“So, what’s for dinner? It smells good from here!”

Jenny beamed with excitement, “you’re in for a treat! My mom’s famous pork in ginger sauce and I’ve also prepared some lovely – what the fuck, Jimmy, your feet!”


Writing Prompt from Reddit: His socks were wet but he waited patiently.

Dragonfang

“Fabian, we need your help!” came a cry from outside my open window. “Please! This is an emergency!”

What is it now? The last time I fell for their tricks was six months ago when they told me that my crush was waiting for me around the corner. Instead it was my buddy dressed up in her clothes. I never went out with them again. They still came over to my place to hang out though. I had a PlayStation VR since I saved up my money instead of spending it on booze and parties. While I know they weren’t sincere friends, I did enjoy having some company over every now and then.

I put down the latest issue of Weekly Shonen Jump and stuck my head out the window sill. The sun was already down, I must have been lost in its pages for some time.

“I’m not falling for your tricks again,” I replied.

“No, this isn’t a joke, I swear to god!”

“You know the story of the boy who cried wolf?”

“I’m serious, Fabian! You gotta believe me!”

“Fine, if this is another one of your pranks you guys aren’t coming over to use my PlayStation VR for a month.”

“Hurry! And bring your sword!”

Sword? That was a weird request – but not something that I was going to refuse. Dragonfang had been sheathed for a while now and was thirsting for some blood. I decided to bring her out. “Sorry,” I told the other swords in my arsenal, I would bring them out another time. I quickly pulled Dragonfang off my sword rack and strapped it around my body. I put on my fedora, hopped down the stairs and opened the front door.

Tommy was standing in my front yard, looking extremely distressed.

“We’re under attack by some monsters! They just came out of nowhere and started killing everybody at the party!”

He was either telling the truth or the giving the performance of a lifetime. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but monsters?

“Dude, monsters don’t exist in the real world!”

“Oh trust me, they do! See this blood stain on my shirt? It doesn’t belong to me, that was from Sarah – when one of those beasts took her head off!”

There was definitely a bloodstain on his shirt.

“Why didn’t you call the cops?”

“We did, but they were all killed! Some back up is on the way but I don’t think that they’ll be enough. I managed to escape the party with a bunch of other people but most of them are still trapped in the house. I didn’t know who else to call!”

“All those nights spent partying when you could have trained in the art of sword fighting with me. Tsk tsk,” I muttered.

“Come on! We’ve got no time to debate, I’ll learn the art of the blade with you – if we survive this.”

“You promise?”

“I promise! Let’s go!” Tommy said as he turned and started running towards the party.

I pulled the tip of my fedora downwards, arched my body forward and raised my arms behind me to streamline my body.

“Dattebayo!” I yelled and ran after him.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: While others partied, you studied the blade. Now they have the audacity to ask for help.

The Stranger

It was just another night – or so I thought. Like everyone else, I liked to unwind at my favorite bar after a long day of work. I was minding my own business, reading tweets on my phone while taking sips of beer in between puffs of my cigarettes. “Heh,” I chuckled to myself after reading a joke about abortions. These people sure know how to make something cruel seem funny. It was a quarter to midnight, almost time for me to get home. I had work the next days after all.

The bar was almost empty save for a young couple seated at the other end of the room and the bartender standing behind the counter. 80s music was playing through the speakers at a low volume, while the TV was showing some football match I didn’t care about. Football was never that interesting to me, I found basketball to be a more entertaining sport. The faster pace and higher score line seemed much more exciting.

The door bell chimed and a man stepped in. A stranger to this part of town, I immediately thought. After drinking at this bar for the past ten years, I recognized everybody who visited. Everybody who frequented the place knew me as well. Apparently, so did this guy.

“Jimmy!” he turned to my direction and greeted me as soon as he entered.

I stared at him, puzzled. He was unfamiliar to me. He was pale skinned, dressed in black and had a bald head. He reminded me of a knock-off Lord Voldemort minus the fucked up nose, though he did have a creepy smile. The man walked towards me briskly and sat down opposite me.

“One bottle of Carlsberg!” he called out to the bartender.

The bartender nodded and headed to the fridge to get him his order.

“Do I know you?” I asked the stranger.

“Sure you do! It’s been a while though, and circumstances were very different. But I’m sure you don’t remember me, so I guess you don’t know me…” he trailed off.

I was confused. I was expected to know who he was, yet I didn’t. But somehow I felt that he was someone I should know. It was a curious feeling – like trying to explain a dream to your friend when you can’t remember every single detail even though it was so vivid moments ago. Or like trying to Google a song when all you have are the wrong lyrics and a tune you can’t sing for shit.

“Could you tell me who you are?”

“If I did, I’d have to kill you,” he replied, his expression suddenly serious. Then he broke into a smile, “jokes, jokes!”

I laughed nervously. Who was this guy? It was bothering me. I repeated myself.

“Who are you?”

“I’m death.”

“Death?”

“Did I stutter? Death.”

“What kind of name is that?”

The bartender brought the man’s drink over to our table and walked away.

“Well, it’s not really a name per se. It’s just what I am.” Death lifted the bottle of beer to his lips and took a gulp. “Ahhh.”

A chill ran down my spine. Somehow this creepy man in front of me started to feel familiar – but I still couldn’t remember why.

“Are you here to kill me?”

“Yes,” he laughed. “Oh dear. You really don’t remember?”

“No, I don’t. What should I be remembering?”

“How do I tell you this? You made a decision to be part of this world. You wanted to experience what it was like to live among mortals before you died. The devil granted you your wish and gave you some time to live on earth, exactly ten years ago. Also, we had to wipe your memory, for obvious reasons.”

“I only asked for ten years?”

“Well, the devil wants to take over heaven and can’t do that while you’re still alive, so he agreed to give you a maximum of ten years to live.”

“Huh. If I was god, then why was I going to die? Shouldn’t I be immortal?”

“Well, no. You’re impervious to death by ‘regular’ means, but the devil isn’t a regular person. Cosmic beings can kill each other. The devil managed to trick you and had you in his grasp.”

“This is all so strange,” I pondered. If I was a god, how could I be tricked? In fact, couldn’t I just have willed the devil out of existence? If I wanted to live on earth, I could have created a being that I could possess and control. It was strange that I’d give up my own life for something so trivial. It didn’t make any sense to me. Then again, for the past ten years I didn’t even know that I was a god. Come to think of it, I didn’t have memories of the time before I found myself living in this town.

“This is either a dream, or I’m tripping,” I said, breaking the silence.

“You are one funny fuck!” said Death. “Anyway, finish up your cigarette and your beer, it’s almost time.”

I sighed to myself. All the time spent on this planet had come to an end. I didn’t even get to go out of the country. I should have asked for more time. I finished my beer and put out my cigarette stub.

“Is it going to hurt?” I asked.

“Not really. The last bottle of beer you had was laced with poison. In a short while, you’re going to lose consciousness and you’ll cease to be alive.”

“Oh, that’s good to know.” Death was right. I began to feel drowsy and everything around me started to blur.

“Any last words you want attributed to you?”

I half-laughed as I slumped back into my seat. Like a drunk person who had too much to drink before passing out, I managed to mutter: “In the end everything must die, even gods.”


Writing Prompt from Reddit: Write a story with the last sentence being “In the end everything must die, even gods.”

The Night Out

The rules are simple: approach within three seconds, be funny, respond appropriately and try to lead the conversation.

“That’s it?” I said.

“That’s it,” Theodore replied.

“There’s no way in hell this is going to work out!”

“Trust me, I’m better at this than you.”

That’s it. Typical Theodore. The guy who had it all – brains, looks, and charm. The art of seduction was something he was good at and something I was trying to learn from him. The words that came out of his mouth made so much sense and no sense at the same time. Tell me how a backhanded compliment is supposed to make a girl attracted to me?

There’s no way what he told me was going to get me laid but then again, I’ve had no success with women – might as well do something unorthodox right? There was nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The bar was packed with women. There was definitely no shortage to choose from – the only question was if they’d choose me. Theodore was already making his move on a couple of cute girls sipping their cocktails – he didn’t waste any time.

“Three seconds – one, two, three,” I counted in my head and took a step forward to a pretty girl sitting by herself. Then I stopped. The shoes on my feet felt like they were filled with lead.

Theodore previously said that I had to let loose, relax and go with the flow. To me that translated into – fill yourself with drinks for that boost of liquid courage.

There was no line for ordering drinks, so pretty soon I had a drink in my hand. The girl I wanted to approach had already left the bar – probably dancing with someone else who had more balls than me.

Theodore was still working the ‘two set’, getting them out of their seats to twirl them around, making them laugh with his ridiculous stories (which were supposed to demonstrate his value) and making plans to ‘bounce’ to another location later.

Time passed.

Tonight the beer must have been watered down, because I wasn’t feeling it at all. The fact that I had seven beers and still feeling like a coward said it all – Theodore only had two drinks and already had five new numbers in his phone. There were none in mine.

“Thanks for bringing me out but I’m going to call it a night,” I told Theodore when he took a short break from chasing tail to order a new drink.

“The night is still young!” he replied. “There’s so many women here who want to get to know you, you won’t know unless you try!” Then he went back to approaching other women, as though somebody had unpaused a movie.

Typical Theodore, always full of encouragement and always right. There was no way I would get to know anybody by keeping to myself. There was nobody to blame but me. Taking the final sip from the bottle of beer in my hand I told myself, “fuck it.”

Then I lit up a cigarette, ordered an Uber and walked out of the bar.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: Write a story but have the words in every sentence start with the same letter.

Until They Come Home

Same shit, different day – I thought to myself as I woke up to the sound of roosters yelling their lungs out. It was the first thing I heard every morning, as far as I could remember. That’s what life is like for a prisoner right? Wake up, take a shit, go for breakfast, head out to the fields with the rest of them, work until sundown and head back to my cell to sleep. Wake up and repeat the same thing the next day. And the next day. It was an endless cycle.

Today was no different. Life in prison wasn’t like in the movies (at least not the ones I’ve caught glimpses of during my walks past the guards’ break rooms). There was hardly any abnormal activity. Nobody planned any break outs, nobody formed any gangs or shanked each other. We were all very docile and peaceful. We came to terms with our life imprisonments very early on in our lives. As far as I knew, the majority of my prison-mates were like me – born and bred here. We didn’t get a fair trial or any hope of being let out.

So like everyone else, I just kept my head down and did my duties. Talking was frowned upon, so we kept our mouths shut and kept to ourselves. We only chit chatted at night and during our meals. But conversation was limited as we didn’t really know what to talk about. Being prison babies tends to have that effect. We couldn’t talk about what we did in the outside world because we hadn’t been outside before.

I had resigned my life to the this place, working to the bone for the rest of my life. “If you get out of here, what’s the first thing you’ll do?” That was one of the most common questions we’d ask each other from time to time. The answer would always be “I don’t know.”

So, like the rest of them, I’d sometimes wonder what life would be like on the outside. Past the fences, over the green hills and rolling plains. What would it be like to run free under the sun, rolling around in the grass? Breathing in the fresh air and not worrying about having to work again. Would it smell different on the other side? Would the air be cleaner? Will water taste sweeter? Nobody who left ever came back to visit to let us know what it was like.

The bell signaling the end of the day rang out. It was time to head back to my cell. Wind down a bit, and relax my sore muscles before I shut my eyes. The night was cool tonight. Great weather to sleep in. Some of my cellmates were already in dream land.

Using my horns, I dug a hole in the ground and made a pillow of hay. This would be my bed for the night. I lowered my belly into the hole and tucked my legs under my body. My neck and chin rested on the pillow and I closed my eyes. Thoughts of the outside world drifted through my mind again. “The grass is always greener on the other side,” a common phrase I’ve heard all too many times. Maybe one day I’ll find out. One day.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: You are in a prison camp setting, looking through the eyes of the male protagonist. He has lived his life in this camp. You realize, only at the end, that he is a cow.

The SMOrc Supper

“We’re not sorry.”

Those were the last words I heard from my parents before they walked away from me, moments before my death. I was lying in a pile of filth of my own doing – blood, shit, and sand – waiting for my last breath.

A large group of people had already crowded around me. Some were filming me, broadcasting my final moments before I left the world. Some were on the phone calling for help. Others spoke in hushed tones among themselves.

For once in my life, I felt regret. If I could rewind the past 5 minutes of my life, I would. Alas, I’m no time traveler. Just another teenage boy who refused to act rationally during a row with his parents.

Have you ever been told by your parents that you were worthless and would amount to nothing? And if you died they would cry tears of joy? Well, that happened to me earlier today. It started when I told them about something I had done earlier that morning while we were on a roller coaster ride at the local amusement park. They weren’t pleased at all.

So, like any other childish teenage boy, I wriggled my way out of the safety harness and jumped off the cart at the apex of the ride, just before the first plunge. The fall was quick and hurt like hell.

As my vision blurred and started to fade, on the side of the water storage tank tower in the middle of the theme park, I caught a glimpse of my magnum opus. A parody of the last supper, with Shrek taking the spot of Jesus. From the ground I could hardly see the artwork, but from the top of the roller coaster we would have had the best view.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: Flash Fiction Challenge! Location: Amusement Park | Object: Graffiti

My first time doing one of these! It was hard sticking to the max 300 word limit.

Do Nothing

“$100,000 for doing nothing. Sign me up!” I thought to myself as I hit submit on the form after giving them my name, email address and phone number. That seemed like the perfect thing for an out-of-work person like me (or as some people say ‘in between jobs’. I then returned to my routine of browsing funny pictures of dogs and cats on Reddit.

It was less than a minute when I received an email address from the company, aptly named Company X, about this curious job. You will be receiving a phone call from us within the next few days confirming your application. “Sweet!”

A few days had passed since I signed up for the ‘do-nothing’ job, and I was doing my usual internet browsing at a cafe near home. I had already written off the dream job I signed up for (they must have had a shitload of applicants) and was just going through some job sites looking for work that tickled my fancy.

Most of them were boring, uninteresting jobs that paid terrible. There were a few high paying jobs that caught my eye (alien hunter and stray cat rescuer) but I had second thoughts about applying for them. Mom didn’t like me risking my life for money, and the reason I needed work was to take care of her anyway. No point risking my life for high-paying jobs if I couldn’t finish them to give her any money.

I was about to pack up my laptop and head for dinner when I received a call from an unknown number.

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The Way

Where the hell am I? I thought to myself as I was being shooed off the bus. I had fallen asleep and missed my stop. And since it was past midnight, the bus wasn’t going to make another trip back.

I adjusted my backpack on my shoulders and walked out of the parking lot of the bus station. It was pitch black save the occasional street lamp illuminating a section of the road. But as far as I could see, there was nothing around me. No buildings or landmarks that I recognized. How long was I asleep? I pulled out my phone and tried to call an Uber. There was nobody in the area to pick me up. Shit.

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