Tag Archives: Story

Looking In

I stood outside in the darkness and stared at her through the window. She was crying, alone, on the sofa wrapped in our fleece blanket. A fire burned in the hearth and provided the only light in the entire house. I watched as she held tightly to our picture, the silver frame reflecting the golden glow of the dying blaze. She wiped a tear then held the picture away from her, longingly looking at it again.

We were happy then. The day of our wedding. Two lovers joined together, a life of dreams and love ahead of us. That was such a long time ago and so much had happened to us since then. There was love. There was joy. There were nights spent on that couch as we held each other close, watching the fire die. There were also fights and disagreements, but somehow we always came back to us. I give her the credit for that, her tenacity in not giving up on me or our marriage. She was my rock. Continue reading Looking In

The Box

It came in an unmarked box, delivered to my door by someone, and left on my front stoop. The brown paper wrapping was unassuming, but it was the fact that only my name appeared on it that really tied this all together in a consortium of confusion. I placed it on the table as I slung my purse into the chair, then sat in front of it, contemplating what it could be.

I turned it over a few times, hearing a distinct sliding noise coming from within. The box being as small as it was, maybe 3 inches long, it was heavy, and whatever it was, it was most likely metallic. I set it down again and then just stared at it, placing my chin on my hands and brushing my hair back behind my ears.

My mind wandered as to what could be in the box, not wanting to open it for fear that whatever it was, it would be dangerous at best, fatal at worst. However, curiosity got the better of me and I eventually untied the brown string wrapped around it and slowly peeled back the edges, until it was finally undone and the box was laying on the table, sitting atop the brown wrapper.

The box was wooden, stained a deep cherry color and very plain. The lid looked to be just placed on the box, easy enough to take off, but for some reason, I still hesitated. Finally, I took a deep breath and lifted the lid.

Inside, a folded piece of white parchment rested, it’s leading edge begging to be opened. I grabbed it and as I pulled it out, an ornate metal key fell from it back into the box. My eyebrows furrowed and my face contorted as puzzlement filled me about the key. Still holding the paper, I flipped it over and saw writing on it.

“This is the key to my heart, handle with care.”

I laid the paper down next to the box and reached in, grabbing the key, it’s burnished silver look with three loopholes at the top and boxy teeth at the bottom. A single translucent heart-shaped gem just below the loopholes refracted the light in the room into a prism on the paper wrapping.

I smiled as I looked at the note and stroked the key in my open hand. Images of him filled my mind, of the relationship that we have had for the last 9 months, and how he had come into my life and loved me like no one ever had. As I sat there and thought about our relationship, I heard the doorbell ring. Not wanting to put the key down, I stood up and walked to the door, the weight of it reminding me of the handwritten note laying on the table.

As I opened it, I saw him there, on his knees, hands outstretched, an open box in his hands and the sun glinting off of the diamond ring in it.


Maxwell House

“Oberon, are you listening?” Lieutenant Stratta’s voice cut across the static of his thoughts. He looked over at her.

“What?” He said as he blinked his eyes several times.

“I said, are you ready?” Her voice carried a weight of impatience to it and he was sure she had an annoyed look on her face, but couldn’t see her face behind the mirrored visor of her helmet.

He flexed his armored fingers on the grip of his rifle. “Yeah, sorry… just lost in thought.” He was glad she couldn’t see his face behind his own helmet, but was concerned that his voice would give away his uncertainty. The yearning inside of him to be done with this life was a preoccupation he had tried hard to overcome as the end of his enlistment drew near. Continue reading Maxwell House

The Missed Phone Call

She called. Just this morning, as I was getting ready for work, she called me. I didn’t answer it though. I stopped mid-shave and just stared at the incoming phone call and the picture of her. I wasn’t ready to cross that bridge. Not just yet. Too much hurt and too much pain kept my thumb from hitting the accept button.

I placed the phone back down on the counter and went about finishing my morning ritual. Thirty seconds later, my phone beeped. She left a voice mail. Again, I stopped, the razor paused on my throat, and glanced with my eyes down at the flashing blue LED light. I took a deep breath. “Not now.” I said as I let the air escape my lungs. I looked back to the mirror, took another deep breath in and then finished shaving.

The rest of my routine went by without incident, but I kept looking at my phone on the counter, blinking away. I finally pocketed the phone and, grabbing the rest of my daily gear, walked out into the day. The morning was new, the air was crisp with a hint of the oncoming winter and the sun was bright, bringing a hint of warmth but keeping it a beautiful autumn day. I stopped for a second after locking the door, letting the sun hit my face, relishing in the moment of peace before the storm.

Sitting heavy in the driver’s seat and playing with the keys for a moment, the gnawing sensation of the missed call and pending voice mail plagued me. The not knowing was starting to get the better of me. I reached into my pocket, took out the phone and stared at it. “Why in the world do I let her bother me this much.” I thought to myself, my thumb almost drawing the unlock pattern.  Continue reading The Missed Phone Call

Into the Wasteland

The house lays on the outskirts of the zone. An old derelict, left over from a long forgotten time, when the people lived in the open country. That was long before the war that decimated the population of the world, that was long before the muties strode the wastelands, that was long before I was ever born.

I came across the two story house a few years back, the wood painted a color lost to the years. The front porch wrapped around the house, however, you would sooner fall through the floor then be able to walk on it. Trekking inside was hazardous on a good day, the stairs had decayed, and quite a bit of the second floor had collapsed down into the basement.

Continue reading Into the Wasteland