Tag Archives: short short stories

BlogFestivus – A seasonal short story contest: Dasher

blogfestivus-2012

“Have a seat, Dancer” Sheriff Kringle waved at the empty chair across the desk from his own.

“Name’s Dasher, Sheriff.  Why’d you bring me in?”  Dasher lowered himself into the office chair, resting his hoofs on the cluttered desktop.

“Dasher, Dancer…whatever.  See this?”  Kringle tossed a photograph across the piles of paperwork.

“Yeah.  That’s us.  The Reindeer of the Icelandic Antler Club,” Dancer handed the photo back, avoiding the Sheriff’s eye.

“Well, as you can see…there are only eight reindeer. Everyone knows there are nine reindeer.  Nine.”  Kringle pulled slowly on his fluffy beard.  “I don’t know what kind of shenanigans are going on out at my brother’s place.  Kris ain’t ever been right.  The pressure.  It gets to him, especially this time of year.  But we’ve got us a missing reindeer and I’m determined to get to the bottom of this.”

“Santa has been a little overwhelmed…”

“Overwhelmed, my ass. He’s been drunker than a skunk since January” the Sheriff snorted.

“He takes a nip now and again,” Dasher admitted. “I’m sure there is a logical explanation.”

“Caribou crap.  Rudolph must’ve knocked one of you off to get a permanent spot on the team.  You all look alike, but I’m going to figure out which one is missing and what happened.  You might as well tell me what you know,” the Sheriff’s gaze was intense, his fingers drumming the desk.  “Start talking.”

Dasher scratched his antler and shifted nervously in his seat. “Well…”

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Join these other bloggers to see their entries in the BlogFestivus Seasonal Short Story Contest:

Blogdramedy – The Hostess with the mostest

Steve Betz – the holiday mixer.

Rewind Revise – newly married and on her very own joy train.

Lenore Diane — thoughts from the Elf Queen herself.

Shouts from the Abyss – Tom’s on a mission to blighten your holiday season.

Fix it or Deal — Amy Severson bringing it robot-style.

Lynn Schneider Books — Lynn, the BlogFestivus newbie.

1 Point Perspective — the Bruce Willis of WordPress.

So I Went Undercover — she’s undercover and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Joe Owen’s Blog — he’s got forty-something eyes. Not Betty Davis eyes.

MC’s Whispers – Maria-Christina works in PR. What kind of “spin” will she put on this writing challenge?

LittleWonder2  – a musical surfing vampire lover. I know.

Blog It or Lose It! – One word. Minecraft.

Voice in Me — Reena’s from India…where reindeer go on vacation.

Apprentice, never master – Gwendolyn, the fearless.

A Year of Daily Posts — Sarah, the paperback writer (three manuscripts but they count.)

Diary of a Sensitive Soul — Immie, blogging from the U.K. (Why am I feeling Bruce Springsteen?)

Dot Knows! — Liz, the life changer.

A Spoonful of Suga – Making reality sexy.

Random Says – in the moment. At the moment.

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Filed under humor, Uncategorized

Lust – Post 4

Well, kids, it’s time for the final installment of the “Lust” entries for the 7 Deadly Sins Series.  This round has had some shizzle with sizzle…don’t you think?  You’re going to love these entries, as well.

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First, I’ll include my non-contest submission:

Broken Hearts

“I won’t forgive you next time” I’d said, hot tears stinging my eyes.  “I can’t.”

“There won’t be a next time” he’d reassured me, wiping the tears from my cheeks. “I was stupid.”  He lifted my chin, searching my face, then pulled me close.  “I’m so sorry.  I promise you.  It will not happen again” he’d whispered into my neck.

-/-

That had been a year ago – a stressful year punctuated with health issues, job changes, and a now empty nest. For the sake of our daughter, her senior year of high school, her promising tennis career, and because I was terrified of starting over again at my age – I forgave him.  But I did not, and could not, forget.

I retrieved my car from the long-term lot and headed in the direction of home.  It had been a long week of meetings, presentations, conference calls, networking, glad-handing and schmoozing. I just wanted to take a long, hot shower and lie down in my own bed.  I’d finished a day early, and I needed rest.

I caught a glimpse of a familiar looking red sports car leaving very our very secluded driveway.  My stomach clenched. My hands gripped the steering wheel.  “It couldn’t be” I told myself.  “She wouldn’t dare come to our home.”  I let myself quietly in the front door, my hands shaking.

His cell phone was on the counter, vibrating madly.  I checked it as I headed for the bedroom.  Four voice mail messages, three from me – and a text message – not from me.  “Miss you already.”

“Did you forget something, Shelly?” my husband called out from the bedroom. I picked up speed down the hallway, footsteps pounding. My heart was thudding and my palms sweating.

“Shelly?” he called out the name of our daughter’s tennis coach.  “Is that you?  Did you forget something – or did you come back for more?” His voice was playful.  “That Viagra’s worn off, but I’ve got plenty more.”

I stopped outside the bedroom door.  He was lying on his side in a provocative pose, sheet draped over his pelvis.  On the nightstand stood a champagne bottle, two flutes – one stained with lipstick, and a prescription bottle.

“That’s good to know” I said coolly from the doorway.

“Oh, my God” he gasped when he saw my face. “I didn’t know you were home.”

“Apparently.”

He grabbed the sheet and shot up from the bed.  “I…I can explain.” The color drained from his face.  Sweat droplets appeared on his forehead.

“I seriously doubt that” I said, holding up his cell phone.  “Shelly misses you already – the poor thing”.

“I’m sorry.”

“You certainly are that.”

“It’s just….I…um. Oh, God. Honey, please,” his eyes pleaded.  His color had turned ashen.  He clutched his chest, the sweat began pouring down his face.  He swayed side to side.

“Please?  Please what?” I yelled.  “Please pretend you didn’t just have your mistress in my bed?  Pretend you haven’t broken not only your marriage vows but your promise to me?  Please, what?” I shoved his chest with the cell phone.

He stumbled backward and plopped unceremoniously onto the bed, rubbing his left arm.  His color had not improved – it matched the tousled gray at his temples.  “It’s my heart…call an ambulance.  Please.  Oh, God. I’m begging you.”  He reached toward the nightstand where he kept a bottle of aspirin.  I pushed the drawer shut with my knee.

He pitched forward to the floor, gasping and clutching his chest.  His face contorted in agony.

“It’s time to think about my heart.”

I pocketed his cell phone, locked the front door, and drove away.

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From MJ at mjmonaghan.com :

DIAMOND DAVE

If Prohibition was the law of the land, then the speakeasy was the law’s biggest ball-buster.

It was 1925 at Manhattan’s “Jack and Charlie’s 21.” Most everyone just called it “21” since it was located at 21 West 52nd Street.

The four dames sauntered into that gin joint like they owned the damn place. All dolled up in “shorts”: short hair, short skirts, and short on virtues – typical flappers.

Every head turned in the place as they made their way down the steps and into the main room in the bar:  From gangsters, and feds on the take – who were giving them the up-and-down – to back-biting women who wished they could throttle the broads (not that they weren’t still giving them the once-over, too, by examining their shoes, dresses, and hairstyles).

Men wanted them – in the biblical way – and women wanted to be them, in spite of hating what they did, and who they were.

No one could deny they were lookers; all from different places. How they became roommates, was anyone’s guess, other than the fact they were young ladies who liked to dance, drink, and carouse:

Meg, was from the Midwest, and because of her long gams was nicknamed Meg-O-Lamb.

Carla was from the tip of the Northeast, somewhere in Maine. It was hard to believe, but even New Yawkuz poked fun at her accent.

Sadie was the tough, no-nonsense leader of the pack. Her nickname on the street was “Sadie-did” – because anytime something bad happened and the question came up about who done it, the response was always “Sadie did.” But no one called her that to her face. They wouldn’t dare. She was tough as nails.

It was rumored that Sadie was from the Midwest, also, but she never talked about it. Something too painful had happened “back there.”

Lastly, there was Jewels. From the time she was a little girl she dreamed of living across the Hudson River from Jersey. Now she was doing it, and in style. Her typical winter outer wear consisted of her trademark, full-length chipmunk fur coat.

On the surface this passel of women was like any other, excepting for the looks and fashion. The quartet seemed kind and caring, but deep down if you tailed them, you’d find the four running interference for bootleggers.

The four were the kind of girls you were glad your sister wasn’t.

Primarily they worked for Dave Moffett. Everyone in Manhattan called him “Diamond Dave” because of the giant, diamond-encrusted pinkie ring he always wore.

Diamond Dave was tied into all manner of criminal activity, but made most of his money on hooch. He hid his rum-running by working for the local rag covering the city beat. Cops knew him, but steered clear since he had them all in his pocket.

He had a weakness, though: He was a big womanizer and couldn’t keep his hands off the dames.

***

That night was like any night. The four girls were there for fun, and to collect their money from Dave. They would always meet in a secluded back room. First Dave would discreetly walk back, and then a few minutes later Meg, Carla, Jewels, and Sadie would make their way to meet him.

As Diamond waited for them, his mind wandered, and he couldn’t get Meg out of his mind. She had flashed him her left leg through the slit in her short skirt that was more like a belt. He always liked her, but now he WANTED to have her; possess her; to make her his.

The door to the private room opened and the four flappers strode in. Diamond Dave was burning like an ember as his eyes fixed on Meg.

“You got the sawbucks?” Jewels asked.

“Yeah; sure thing, girls,” Dave said as he pulled a wad of $10 bills out of his pocket with his right hand.

“Hey, Meg, why don’t you come over this way for a minute?”

Meg moved toward him, and Dave’s fat hand latched on to her left breast. What happened next was a blur.

Instinctively, Meg reached for something to break Diamond Dave’s grip from her body. She fumbled and felt an object behind her, and picked it up and struck him in the head. Blood ran down Dave’s head at the same time his body dropped to the floor with a “thud.”

Meg quickly threw down the weapon – an 18” tall, Empire State Building promotional statuette for the soon-to-be-built skyscraper.

The other three shook Meg so they could get their story straight before the coppers got there.

Sadie-did, Meg-o-Lamb, Carla and Jewels

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And from Jules at gojulesgo.com:

7 Deadly Scenes: Lust

“No! You have to do it like this!”

His laughter is infectious. He grabs the cell phone from my hands and shakes it, showing me how to rearrange the apps on the screen. I grab the phone back and give it an exaggerated wave.

The final weeks in August are dead at the office.

“Is this why these things need protection?” I ask, holding up the phone to reveal its plastic case. “Safe sexting?”

His fit starts anew, and he collapses in his seat, wiping tears away with a single hand.

I can’t take my eyes off his hands.

~*~

“You better hold on tight, spider monkey!”

I throw my head back and laugh. My favorite line in the movie. It’s not supposed to be funny, but it gets me every time.

We’re really pushing the ‘hardly working’ part of the old saying, but Friday afternoon before Labor Day seemed like the perfect time to watch a video projected from my lap top onto the largest screen in the office.

I stop laughing abruptly when I realize his eyes are on me.

“What?” I ask, suddenly self-conscious. His gaze is soft, brown and loving.

“Nothing,” he smiles, like he’s seeing me for the first time.

~*~

“And that is why they invented therapy.”

I chuckle, delighted by his secret-sharing.

“…So?” he adds, eyebrows raised.

“So?” I echo, butterflies in my stomach.

“What’s wrong with you?”

I laugh again, relieved, frustrated. I take a sip of my beer, staring at the forest green walls of our favorite after work haunt.

“Isn’t it obvious?” I ask, and my smile fades as I force myself to meet his gaze.

~*~

“You love your husband?”

My hand halts on the car door handle.

“Yes,” I reply quietly, not because it’s the right thing to say, but because it’s the truth.

“Okay,” he says, and walks away, my sudden sobs filling the hot summer air.

~*~

“We should go,” he whispers.

“Or what?” I whisper back, still only a breath away.

I never should have agreed to stop at his place before the meeting.

I reach out a shaking hand and touch his wavy brown hair. It’s thick and soft. Far softer than it should be.

I bet his lips are, too. These thoughts come unbidden. I am used to them now.

“We’re late,” he says. His eyes darken and I drop my hand. We’re not late.

Though I have no right to be, I’m hurt.

“He’d kill us both,” he breathes, his eyes softening.

“No,” I smile ruefully. “Just me.”

~*~

“I don’t know why I’m here.”

He looks helpless, standing in my doorway. He knows my husband is gone for the weekend, on his annual fishing trip.

Something deep inside me explodes.

“Yes you do,” I say, surprised by the raspy wanting in my voice.

He doesn’t respond. At least not in words.

~*~

“I found this.”

I blanch, seeing my phone in my husband’s large hand.

In his other hand rests something equally shiny and silver.

“Didn’t I always tell you what I’d do to you?” He takes a step towards me.

I open my eyes and clutch my heart, breathless. It was only a dream.

This time.

~*~

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Filed under 7 Deadly Sins Writing Contest

Sloth – Post 3

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Seven Deadly Sin...

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Seven Deadly Sins or the Seven Vices – Sloth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Last day to submit your entry!

Here are some more entries for your enjoyment:

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From shalvika :

The Beautiful Bride

She was old and battered by the difficult life she’d had. After all, bringing a child all by herself was not an easy deal. Now that her son was all grown up, she’d decided to finally live for herself. She’d decided to get married. Not for romance or making kids or going on vacations. Just for companionship.

She knew she needed to look a little better for W-day, 10th June. She looked fat and old and ugly right now. The advertisement on TeleBrands looked luring. No workouts, no diets. “Pop some tabs and lose your flab”, the ad went. She was too lazy to do anything anyway.

Her first visit to the doctor was a little disappointing. She felt he was too uninterested in her. She needed results, needed to look good, pronto. She tried to convince him of the same and he kept telling her he knew what he was doing.

The treatment began. She was supposed to take a pill every three hours. She started feeling better in the first couple of days itself. She looked better and her dream of finally fitting into the white wedding dress seemed quite achievable. In her ecstasy, she overlooked the fact that she was taking a pill every two hours. The pills just made her feel better, alive, young. She felt her days were more eventful. More than anything else, for the first time in years, she felt comfortable with what she was. And she wanted that feel to last, she wanted it to sustain. She kept on thinking that more pills would make her look better quickly. And she didn’t even realize that she was popping one pill an hour.

She knew she was spending too much on the pills. But, what the hell, she had to look better. She didn’t do anything except watch TV, dream of looking good and pop the pills. She was growing better looking, she knew. And she was ecstatic. She would look at herself in the mirror for hours together picturing herself in the white dress and make-up. She knew she was gonna look beautiful.

She stopped eating, she stopped stepping out of the house, she stopped talking to her son or her fiancé on the phone. All she did all day long was dream of being beautiful and pop the pills. She would sometimes talk to herself for hours, sometimes explain to her dead husband why she had to look beautiful and sometimes just go back to being sixteen in her father’s home. No one knew what was going on with her.

And finally, the W-day arrived. She woke up early. Took a long shower. Took her time with the makeup, her dress. She put on the finest perfume she had. And just sat there, staring at the beautiful bride. And she knew then that her dream had come true.

News article in the Times, 11th June:  Woman dies of drug overdose

A 56-year-old woman was found dead yesterday by her son in her apartment due to drug overdose. It was her wedding day yesterday. When her son went to pick her up, she was lying on the dresser, with excessive red makeup and a filthy white wedding dress. An excessive supply of  the banned drug XXX was found in her apartment. The source of the large amount of narcotic is still unknown. According to a police report, the woman must have been an addict for a long time now. Source: Reuters.

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From Pete at breakitdownpete:

You want some fries with that order! Shit what am I doing? Why was stricken with the deadly sin of SLOTH! Mom, Dad did you have to be so lazy, sluggish of mind? Why did you allow me to become so complacent. 23 and flipping burgers and I cant see ahead 6 months into my future for I am infested with Sloth. I needed you to push me, to instill some discipline, not to be my friend. I needed you to kick me out of bed and not kiss me on the forehead and believe my I’m sick story. Day after day I missed school and day after day you offered me money with out teaching me how to handle it or work for it, how to manage it. Day after day you cooked my meals, did my laundry and forgave my chorse while Sloth raced through my heart, mind and soul. Now I Ha….. I’m sorry sir that was a large fry right sir! Man I can’t wait to get off from work I have to get home micro wave that tv dinner finish that battle on xbox and take a nap! THANKS MOM AND DAD!

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And from Audrey at Dangerously Daydreaming:

The Big Kid

Joey woke up sore, feeling like he’d been run over by a dump truck.  Falling off a jet-ski at 25 mph can do that to you.  He felt a tinge of guilt about running the jet-ski into the dock but only the fiberglass edge was damaged really.  And besides, the jet-skis belonged to a friend with WAY more money than he would ever have.  “It was fine.”

Splayed across his bed, Joey could hear his grandma calling for him.  It was almost noon.  He remembered when her health first started failing years ago.  It started with a bad fall and broken femur, and just went downhill from there.  Now she required constant care around the clock and Joey had stepped in to do it, partly because he couldn’t seem to hold down a regular job and partly because it freed him to go out a play more.  More time on dirt bikes, more time grinding rails on his skateboard, and now that summer was here more time to jet-ski on the lake.  He was free with few responsibilities, plenty of time to goof off.  But grandma was yelling for him to come downstairs again.  Another moment of waiting wouldn’t kill her he thought as he rolled to his side.

For a while he had tried to work and attend college, but it was just too hard, everything was hard.  Nevermind that most of his classmates managed to do it, he just ended up too distracted by awesome things to do.  The one job he’d kept for more than a year had fired him after a few months of showing up an hour late each shift.  He’d seen it coming.  But it was so hard to get up in the mornings.  He moved back in with his parents.  His mom said he was lazy, but she welcomed him back with open arms.  There was grandma calling again, and he couldn’t imagine what her rush was this morning.

Anway, not long after that job went down the tube, Joey started caring for his grandmother.  His grades in college plummeted.  Again, he didn’t have enough time in the day to get his epic play time in, watch out for his grandma, and study.  “It’s just harder for me than it is for other people.”  Thankfully, taking care of grandma was an easy gig.  She slept in until the afternoon which worked great for him, they would watch tv all day, and once his mom came home from her job, he would hand grandma off to her and play for the rest of the day.  It was a good deal.  One day grandma would pass away and leave him a hefty inheritance anyway, so who needed a job?  The old lady probably had millions saved away.  Which reminded him, he’d probably better get out of bed now and see what she wanted.

As he padded down the stairs he noticed the stillness of the house.  Even the dogs hadn’t come running up to greet him.  “Gram…” he yelled unfinished as he opened her bedroom door.  Her still form lay awkwardly prone on the floor just beyond the bathroom entry.

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Filed under 7 Deadly Sins Writing Contest