Story experiment

Story 7

Heppie tried to meditate. Which never works when you need it the most. OK, Yoga, then. Something challenging. Like. Standing on one leg with your hands forming and arrow above your head, straight as an unnatural telephone pole. She got bored. She kept staring at the door. She closed her eyes, and almost fell. Whoa! Let’s try this again! Turns out that standing on one leg with your eyes closed is a LOT harder. She kept trying, Then, frustrated, she took her phone and said “OK Google why is it harder to stand on one leg with your eyes closed.” What she found was a depressing website telling here that if she could only do it for a few seconds, then she was old. Right. Fuck her sensibilities, she wanted her package. She armed herself with a scarf around her head, it had lions printed on a green background and made her feel courageous, but really, she was just hiding insider her clothes. She opened the door…and there it sat. Just as she had left it. EXACTLY as she lad left it. Only, next to it was another, smaller package, wrapped in red paper, with a yellow ribbon whose loops were almost as big as the package itself. She took HER package and tossed it inside. She stared at the red box. It had no address. Maybe it wasn’t even for her. Or maybe she’d made a secret enemy who was sending her poisoned chocolates. She’d always wondered how you got the poison inside the chocolates, and imagined someone sitting in their kitchen with a syringe, and a small bottle with a skull and bones label, lovingly alternating between injecting arsenic into almond candy and eating one of the candies themselves. Well, there was only one way to find out…but if it WAS almond candy, she wouldn’t touch it.

#bunnyslippers #shortstories #fiction

Story 6

Heppie stared at the door from the comfort of her pile of dirty laundry that smelled a lot more lived in than she would have wished on anyone else. She tried to turn on her X-Ray vision to penetrate the thick wood of the front door, but when she heard a slight scrape, she didn’t need super-hero powers to know hat her package had been “accidentally misdelivered”. She sighed and rolled off the laundry and stood with watch she thought was admirable agility for one her age. She expected there to be a ten minute wait, give or take a few, so she might as well clean up. She packed the spilled t-shirts and jeans and a black hoodie along with a half a dozen identical back socks back into the blue plastic laundry basket, pushed and it split halfway on one side. She sighed. She she grabbed the quacking gray tape, and started applying it to the basket. Put enough tape on anything, and it will survive geological ages. She checked the clock above, ten minutes had passed. She decided to give it another few and started to pace, not enough time to DO anything, not enough time to just stand. Five steps up to the window, turn around, five steps back, she tried to measure her steps in the tai chi way and, using a worn out writer’s trick, pay attention to her surroundings so she could describe them to her readers. “What the…no swearing here…they’ll just have to figure out the geography of a 15 x 20 studio apartment, where the door goes into the main area, with a curtain to the left, and a bed behind it, to be described in detail with some action, and a window at the wall onto a courtyard, actually, onto the crown of a huge tree that filled most of the courtyard. She loved it. Around to a desk, also be described in an action-packed writing scene, a tiny door from Alice’s Wonderland, around the corner to what looked like large closet doors.

All right. Time. Done. Package.

#bunnyslippers #shortstories #fiction

Story 5

She opened the door to her condominium, and found resistance after cracking it just there inches, give or take an eighth. She was good with estimating counts and distances and and steps to reach her destination. A good skill when you were young, to calculate distance times imperceptible approach speed to the next anticipated, or more often, dreaded kiss, and thus the time to steel and mask herself so as not to offend the other person, whom she, after all, quite liked. But when you were old, that talent helped her make important decisions. Such as, if she dropped some coins out of her wallet, measured against her income this week, was it worth the stab in her back to bend down an pick them up? Usually, the answer was yes, which said less about her tolerance for pain or frugality, and a lot about the flow of checks and royalties in her direction.

Most likely, the door was blocked by her coat having slipped of its hanger once again, and now lying in the path of her push. Having no other choice, she pushed harder, which of course started to bunch up the fabric, and progressively made it harder to push. The gap now measured seven inches, which was narrower than her squished middle, her front wasn’t even up for discussion. She considered for one moment to ask Brett for help, he was handy in that way, and didn’t mind, especially if it gave him an opportunity to a slice of her daily mess. She decided against, considering that today’s mess consisted of a dropped and spilled box of underclothes, completely unremarkable, in general terms, but Brett didn’t need to know that. So, she squeezed her foot, followed by her right hip and shoulder into the crack, used her whole body against the stuck door, it gave a little, but not enough, she swore loudly, which brought Brett to his door so fast, she knew he had been listening or perhaps watching through a hidden camera, and this filled her with final determination, and faster than Brett could say, “Can I help you?” she sucked in her belly, tuned out the pain and pushed and popped into her tiny condo, where she fell on top of her laundry basked, left out as a reminder, while slamming the door with her foot. Thank god for a little martial arts training.

She had forgotten the package.

#bunnyslippers #shortstories #fiction

Story 4

The Amazon box sat the entrance door to her tiny one-bedroom condo, an innocuous cardboard box, taped and bar-coded, and patient. She was mildly surprised that it was untouched, unviolated by her curious neighbor, who would semi-regularly abduct her packages, open them, go through the contents, and then hand them to her with apologies and the ever same sheepish, “Sorry, they left it at the wrong door…again.” Brett probably knew more about her than she bothered to remember. She wondered whether he kept a ledger somewhere, cataloging her purchases, and cross-referencing them to her schedule. Who knows, some day that may even come handy, if anyone ever tried to break into her place to steal god knows what. Maybe the market for washed out tie-die shirts with roses and skulls had sky-rocketed while all the printers had ran out of red ink simultaneously. One never knows. These things do happen. It’s just that we don’t consider them when they are infinitely improbable, and then they happen, and we shake our heads at the absurdity but never question their reality. Considering, most things that happeed were quite improbable, because so many things could happen at any given point in time. So unless you said to yourself, “I am going to take this package inside,” and thus used your mental powers of intent to affect the outcome of the random stirrings of your brain chemistry, you might still stand here when the sun came up the next morning, and wonder where the hell you’d been all night.

#bunnyslippers #shortstories #fiction

Story 3

“Heppie, what kind of name is that?” the mechanic, greasy coveralls, blue with black smears, oil and a slight whiff of gasoline dangled the car keys at the midpoint between their personal spaces, unmoving. She could smell the onions and the dark scent of a burger on his breath, making a mist in the air between them. She could tell from the frozen look in his eyes that he would not let go of the keys until she presented a story. “My grandfather,” she said, “who is 140 years old and lives in Vietnam, got his first TV in 1971, because he was the maire and some Americans wanted what he had, black and white it was, and he fell in love with Audrey Hepburn. And so, with the powers instilled by familial respect, he told his son, who was my mother’s husband, that they had to change my name when I was sixteen, and just about to be married off. That ruined the marriage deal, which didn’t wreck my heart, and got me sent to school, because my grandfather decided that with a name like that, I needed an education to match. Or at least that’s what he told my father, who was all too happy to be rid of a daughter that was more interested in books than making a good match. Grandfather does not do anything halfway, so he used his connections and persuasion and got me into the American school, where I was teased endlessly about my name, and had my whole world, everything I knew and valued, ripped apart and put back together, while grandfather watched and smiled. Can I have my keys now?”

#bunnyslippers #shortstories #fiction

Story 2

“Making the World a Better Place in with Bunny Slippers.” A good title, she thought, but kind of a dead end. One of those titles that trip off a whole avalanche of story events in your head, because you are trying to connect the concepts in the title into something resembling sensible. The World. Bunny Slippers. It clashes on scale and disconnects on color. The world is drawn in grays and browns, sand and stone and murky water, the dirt that covers our dead and the clay that releases them a thousand years later, still recognizable, after the earth has shifted and carried them from the bottom of the river where their wives’, yes, that is a plural, lover left them sunk with a rock around their neck, to the top of a bare hill with a crown of stones that follow the sun. The dead are found by diggers looking for treasure first, and what they left is gratefully accepted by those building our history…from the layers of dirt. Bunny Slippers don’t like dirt. They are made in fluffy white and pink colors that treasure clean hardwood flooors in houses that bar dust and abhor leftovers on the floor. Some people have dogs for the leftovers, but the Bunny Slippers and the dogs have an uneasy relationship at best, as if the mere shape of those long ears stirs memories of chases and pounces and chomps, warm blood on your tongue, the taste of life, you have to eat it while its warm. Once it cools down it has a taste of dead that reminds you of your own mortality, hanging over your head, day and night. It doesn’t have to sleep or rest, a small privilege of corpsed gods, and all they want is make you one of their own.

Maybe, she thought, I will choose a different title.

#bunnyslippers #shortstories #fiction

Day 1

Here I am, a bad writer making up stuff from the top of my head, trying to get calluses on my fingertips to prove I’ve put in my ten thousand hours before giving up on myself. That thing, where you’re supposed to do the work, and then reap the rewards? It’s true. But notice that it never says what the reward actually is going to be? So, I think I’ll settle for calluses, because, if nothing else, that will leave me with a story to tell: I worked so hard that the skin on my fingertips turned into elephant hide, and here is the picture, I’ll share it on Facebook, where it gets a thousand times the publicity of anything I’ve ever written. Woman with horny fingertips may really be an Alien! You get more readers on the Weekly World News than through any other social channel.

Maybe if I use a typewriter instead of this here laptop I’d get there faster. Do the search, “antique typewriters”, god, thinking that I learned to type on one of those things. Yeah, that makes me old, wrinkled, with silver-purple hair, but just so you don’t get the wrong idea, it’s cropped short and ican still do the splits. It’s all that yoga, which helps me survive my day job at the factory, no calluses from that, though, just a light-headed halleluja every so often.

Turns out one company still makes them, a hundred and fifty bucks online, and there was a Kickstarter from someone making a keyboard that felt and clacked like a mechanical one. Now, it’s that last one that makes me feel old, because that means after the generation that superceded old tech, and the one that laughted about it, we are now at the one that thinks it far enough back to turn on the nostalgia dial. Enjoy your arthritis, kids, I am going to write on my laptop.

#bunnyslippers #shortstories #fiction