Archive for September, 2011

30th September
2011
written by amber

Jessie and the Cat

The guys finally pried up the lid of this old well and I’m aiming a powerful flashlight down into the gloom, praying that we’ve found my boyfriend, Jonah.

My boyfriend. Oh God, I promise You, if we find him, I won’t play hard to get any more. Even if I don’t believe in You, I promise he’ll be my boyfriend; I’ll be his girlfriend.

The shaft doesn’t seem very deep, and I can’t make out any water in the bottom. Or any sign of Jonah.

Damn!

It’s too much. I’ve been awake almost constantly for the past three days of this search, and I had such hope for this location, this property belonging to Steven’s aunt. That stupid jealous Steven who is the most likely person to want to do anything to Jonah.

“It’s okay, Jessie,” one of the guys says, hugging me. “We’re not giving up yet.”

“Here, have some juice,” another one says as I grey out with exhaustion and despair, sinking down beside the concrete lip of the shaft.

“Just leave me alone for a minute,” I say, taking the juice to make them happy. I’m not thirsty, I’m not hungry, I’m not tired. I’m a finely balanced entity, on the knife edge of hope and despair, of life and death.

“We’ll wait in the truck,” someone says. I don’t know who. My eyes are closed.

The sun is warm, and I hear wind sighing in the trees and birds singing. It would be a nice day, but that’s meaningless to me now. But the cry of a cat rouses me. A mournful, lost sound. Deep and echoing. Is the cat down the well?

I jump up and aim my flashlight down again, just in time to see the cat climbing the tree roots tangled into the sides of the well. She emerges into the daylight and comes over to rub against my leg. A piece of paper is twisted around her collar.

I pull the paper out and unwind it, immediately seeing the words, “My name is Jonah. I’m injured and stuck at the bottom of a mine shaft.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

To read more of the Jessie and Jonah linked stories, click on the tag line at the bottom of this story.

29th September
2011
written by amber

Our Starbucks

We had to get up really early today to get to our Starbucks on time. We agreed to meet there by 8 a.m., which is way too early, but that’s the only way we could be sure we’d get our tables and keep that other group from taking over. I mean, it’s not our fault if they used to go to a coffee shop that went out of business. Grannie’s Cafe. I mean, come on – Grannie’s? They don’t need to start coming to our Starbucks.

I know how this sounds, but we’re not bullies and we’re not a gang. We’re just friends, and we’re all good students, we get good marks, and we all feel pretty good about ourselves. Not all of us are – oh, I don’t know – naturally attractive, you might say. But we know how to do our hair and wear outfits that look good on us, I mean the girls and the boys. When we walk out the door in the morning, we feel comfortable about the way we look.

We don’t want to end up being the kind of people who say high school was the worst time in their lives. There’s no excuse for that. So if we don’t want to hang out with the sad cases who’ll moan about high school for the rest of their lives, do you blame us?

All we want is our Starbucks.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

28th September
2011
written by amber

Space Cadet

Grandma fell ill in Mexico so I drove down to fetch her home to Alberta. She hadn’t taken the kind of medical insurance what’ll pay to fly you home if you get sick.

She’d bought a lot of junk down there, sombreros and pottery and cheap appliances, so I got this thing you put on top of your car to put stuff in, it was called a space cadet. We put most of her junk in there except for the little dog she’d bought for the kids. She called it Speedy, for Speedy Gonzales. It was ugly as sin, but well-behaved.

I was worried about Speedy when we crossed the border into the States ‘cuz there were no papers on him or anything. But we hid him and he was nice and quiet and we got across the border, no problem. But then Grandma died in Utah and I had a big problem. She’d begged me to bring her body home so she could be buried next to Grampa, but she hadn’t taken the kind of medical insurance what’ll pay to fly your body home if you die.

So I put her into a duffel bag up in that space cadet thing, and I put fresh ice around her every day and we got to the border into Alberta and I was worried sick. Speedy was hidden and quiet, and Grandma had no odor on her, but those guys on the border can be assholes, if you know what I mean.

Sure enough, they pulled me out of the line and began to go through everything in my car. When they got to the space cadet, I knew they wouldn’t like what they found.

They made me wait inside the building, and after a while, a guy with a uniform and a gun came to me and said, “Mister, we’ve got a problem. I guess you know what we found in your space cadet.”

I hung my head and said nothing, just trying to figure out what kind of jail sentence you get for something like that. He went on to say, “That animal you had hidden in the microwave oven is not allowed in Alberta. It’s a rat.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

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27th September
2011
written by amber

The Country

You need to know this about me – I’ve always hated the country. Bringing me way out here is not a good idea. I mean, come on – an outhouse? This is not going to go well. What’s that you’re waving at me? A chamber pot? Forget it. If there’s no indoor plumbing, I’m not happy.

No, I’m not as comfortable as I need to be. Sure, that’s a pretty nice bed you put in the room for me, but I know I heard some kind of rodent gnawing away in the walls last night. How’s a girl supposed to get her beauty sleep with mice or rats chewing not two feet away from her face?

And don’t get me started about the insects.

Yes, I’m a prima donna. That’s why you wanted me, isn’t it? But it’s not as if I’ve always had the best of everything. Before my father started his company, we took holidays in the country and stayed in some really rustic places. And you know what? None of us liked rustic. My father might have liked fishing and my mother might have liked taking walks and looking at plants and stuff, but none of us liked rustic and we’ve all been pretty happy that we can afford to take trips where we don’t have to use outhouses and hear rodents and be bugged by insects.

So you can keep me here, and you can make those reports to my father that I’m fine and healthy and all, but if you need me to say anything to prove that I really am okay so he’ll go ahead and pay the ransom quickly and according to your rules, you’d better take me the hell out of the country.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

26th September
2011
written by amber

Just a reminder to everyone in the Lethbridge area – tomorrow night I’ll be at the Round Street Cafe – 427 – 5th St S, Lethbridge – 6:30 PM for the launch of Stolen Children, the third novel of my trilogy, sequel to The Healer and Darkness of the God. Tuesday, September 27. No admission fee.

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