Category Archives: Fiction

Fiction: Far Away Man

There is a man that lives far away. Alone, in his cottage, he doesn’t view the world like us. There aren’t the same problems out there.

He doesn’t worry about politicians or debates. He doesn’t particularly care. As long as the sun rises each morning and sets each evening, well, he’s just fine.

Out in his cottage, where the man lives, far away, there are few problems he cannot handle. Every problem is there to be solved, to be conquered. These problems are only problems as long as he has left them undone.

He get’s up, his body frail. It is stiff, painful. Frozen meat trying to thaw too quickly. His eyes burn, scratchy. He hobbles his way to the bathroom.

Here he sits, not because he has to, but because the trek from the bed to the bath is longer than it used to be. His urine tinkles into the bowl, bright yellow. He rests his face in his palms, eyes again shut, hoping for a few last moments of rest before the day.

In the shower he coughs blood. Just another problem.

He doesn’t need to see other people. He’s just fine with that. Everything he needs he does on his own. Water comes from the well. Milk from the cow. Food from the land. His life is simple. Just how he likes it.

His hands take a bit to warm up. They don’t work like they used to. Early in the day they feel more like clubs than hands. But after a little bit of work in the field they loosen up, fingers breaking free to be of use.

At least for awhile.

Just another problem. But the man doesn’t mind. Because out in his cottage, he doesn’t have to deal with the problems of other people. He needn’t worry about those things you worry about. His problems are his own and no one else’s. And he doesn’t want yours. And that’s just how he likes it.

Fiction: Heart

This is actually the start of something potentially gigantic. I have this idea forĀ  a novel that I’ve been kicking around. The beginning of the story is pretty clear in my mind, so I thought I would at least give it a first go here. I don’t think I’d actually put up the whole story on the blog, but for the sake of writing something I figured what the hell. I hope you find it intriguing!

Smalltown, North Dakota wasn’t known for much, unless you count The Great Grain Debate of 1925 which attracted upwards thirty farmers from towns such as Littleville, Tiny City, and Anothertown. The Debate lasted three days and three nights, until Thomas Sanders, tired and exhausted and quite ready to curl up back in bed, brought the opposing parties to a compromise that lasted for decades to come. They were quite the memorable few days that became local legend.

And that was really all Smalltown, North Dakota was ever known for, until August 1st, 2011, when William Thomas Sanders, at the age of 14, stumbled upon the glowing light out in the wheat field. Smalltown was about to become the center of attention for an entire planet.

From far away it was hard to differentiate the white glow from the wheat. The sun sometimes did funny things. Tricked the eyes. Will squinted. He swore there was a strange light.

He wasn’t sure why, but he felt the need to investigate. He was always a little curious like that.

Will waded his way through the wheat, which was quite tall. Almost time to harvest.

As he grew closer, the white glow’s true size became apparent. It was huge, a dome covering nearly an acre of land, engulfing the wheat beneath it. Will shielded his eyes, but continued to walk forward. He pushed his way through until eventually he was in an open field. Which was odd, because there shouldn’t have been an open field. There should have been more wheat. Instead, there was just dirt. Father wasn’t going to be happy about that.

Will stood on the edge of a circle. On the outside, acres of wheat fields. On the inside, the glowing essence of light of unknown origin. Will thought he could see things in the light. Things that were floating. He pushed in further.

He met no resistance beyond the increasing brightness. He slowly approached one of the floating objects. It was floating just below Will’s eyes. It was red and fleshy and when Will realized what it was his mouth fell open.

It was a heart.

He stared at it. And stared at it. It began to swell. It slowly grew and Will was afraid it was going to pop. Will didn’t know what to do. Will didn’t know what was going on. Nobody would have blamed him.

The heart contracted. Not sharply, but like a fist slowly squeezing shut. Blood was slowly sent out into a circulatory system that wasn’t present, but the redness oozed through the air as if the veins were there anyways. It spread around the heart, tracing where the lungs would be. Large, thick lines inched their way up, down, left, and right, creating a stickman of blood.

Will tried to step away but fell onto his butt. He looked up at the body of veins in horror. Before him was a human slowly being formed in blood. But just as the blood reached the furthest extremities of the lifeform in front of him, it began to disappear. Once again, beginning from the heart, the veins slowly went away, as if the blood were evaporating in the air. It passed through the body, erasing its presence, until again there was only a heart floating in front of him.

The heart again began to swell.

Will looked around. How many hearts were there? More hearts then at The Great Grain Debate of 1925, that is for sure. Fifty? A hundred?

Will didn’t stick around to count. Will sprinted home.

Fiction: Fingers

His thumb didn’t come off as cleanly as he had hoped. When he drove the hatchet into it, the bone just smashed. The hatchet could have been a little sharper. Took a few more swings to finally disconnect the thumb from his hand.

Blood began to pool on the table beside his mangled hand. He waited for the pain to surge through the stub where his thumb used to be, but it never came. Deep red blood trickled out.

That was the big one, he figured, might as well keep going. He placed his bloody hand flat on the table once again. He used his other hand to spread his index finger away from the others. One at the time.

He rested the hatchet blade just over the big knuckle of his finger, practicing where the blow would land. There would probably have to be a few swings on this one as well.

He drove the hatchet into his finger. The bone snapped and cracked. Again he swung it. And again. He stopped once the hatchet lodged itself in the table in-between his hand and severed finger.

He raised his three-fingered hand closer to his face. Blood ran down his arm as he examined himself. He tried to move the muscles and bone that used to be his fingers, but his palm just twitched. There was still no pain. What the hell? he thought.

He brushed away his former digits and hacked away at his middle finger. Then the ring finger. It was getting pretty easy at this point.

His hand looked pretty silly. Didn’t even look like a hand. Just one tiny pinky finger on a ball of mangled flesh and bone. There was no pain, so he just shrugged and raised the hatchet to finish the job.

When the blade connected with his last finger, the pain finally erupted. He screamed aloud and stumbled backward, dropping the hatchet and grasping his final finger. His teeth were clenched and eyes squeezed shut, trying to bare the pain. It slowly turned into an ache.

He looked at his final finger. The hatchet had sliced through the skin, but bounced off the bone.

He put his finger back on the table and picked the hatchet up. He was trembling now. The pain had shaken him, but he was determined.

The blade bounced off again, but he was ready for the pain this time. Each time he swung the pain intensified, but his finger wouldn’t crack. He wondered if he was growing weak. There was a lot of blood on the table. It was hard to keep either of his hands steady.

He swung and swung.

Eventually the hatchet dropped from his hand. Okay, he said to himself, okay. He took his mutilated hand and its one good finger and cradled it with the opposite arm.

He sat down and let out a little laugh. He was smiling.

Fiction: Little Jessie

Little Jessie Jones has a secret, but she ain’t tellin’ no one. Sometimes a girl sees somethin’ she shouldn’tah seen and I reckon if she had another go around she’d sure as hell turn away her head. But no, she didn’t turn that face ah hers and now she ain’t said a word for two weeks.

Little Jessie Jones has spent most of her life smack dab in the middle of Nowhere, North Dakota. When her grammy died, her ma and pa decided to drop their city life and head on out to the ol’ Jones Farm. Took Little Jessie with ’em they did. Took her right out of that school away from her friend Suzie and that big ol slide she loved so much.

She missed her city life, but she sure as spunk liked livin’ out on the family farm. Her momma was now her teacher and she got plenty of time to run round the yard instead of sitting in those stinky classes. And them stars in the sky, boy, were they ever beautiful. You ain’t never seen nothin’ like that in the city. Jessie felt she could see the whole universe.

And maybe that’s how Jessie ended up wanderin’ into that forest behind the wheat grain field. That’s where she saw what she wasn’t ‘posed to see. Jessie was just ’bout to round nine whole years that night, waltzin’ around like a chicken with its head chopped off.

She ain’t never seen lights like that out on the farm and being the girl she was she went right on into those woods to find out what they be. They zipped all ’bout the place, darting through them trees like fairies. Jessie hoped they were fairies. She’d never seen no fairy before.

But try as she might, she just couldn’t seem to get any closer to those lights. And before she knew it, she was so turned around she had no idea how she got there or where she came from.

A breeze from above made the trees creek and moan and a little shiver went down her little girl spine. Jessie knew she was in a no good situation.

That’s when she heard those other sounds, the ones that were like voices. She wasn’t sure, I tell yah, what she was hearing, but she kept on going after it. Slowly workin’ her way through those thick branches towards the fairy lights and the voices. If she couldn’t find her way out she’d sure as hell was gonna find out what she got lost for. That’s the kind of girl Jessie was.

It was at that point that Little Jessie Jones saw what she wasn’t ‘posed to see. ‘Cause sometimes a pretty light ain’t a fairy and a voice ain’t a responsible adult. Sometimes when your lost in the woods, there ain’t gonna be no happy ending. Sometimes you find something that wasn’t meant for you, something your mind wasn’t ready for. Poor Little Jessie Jones wasn’t damn near ready for what she saw.

It didn’t take long for her ma and pa to realize Jessie never came home to get tucked into bed. But by the time pa finally found Jessie that sun was already comin’ up for another go round. Pa came upon Jessie under a pile of leaves. She was all curled up in a little ball, eyes wide open.

Pa brought her back, wrapped her up nice and well in a blanket. Ma kissed her from head to toe, her face wet with tears. But Little Jessie just looked around like no one was there and she ain’t seen nothin’.

Few days went by and ma and pa got a little worried about Jessie not talkin’. They even got the doctor to come on out. Nothin’ wrong with her, he said. He collected his money and went on his way.

And here we are now, with Little Jessie Jones sitting alone in her room, staring out into those very same woods. She still hasn’t said no words. Because Little Jessie Jones has a secret and she ain’t tellin’ no one.

Fiction: Colorless

This is part of a dream I had last night. While most of my dreams are just nonsense, sometimes I feel like they have something powerful in them. This is one such case. If you think you see a metaphor here, it certainly wasn’t intentional. It is just a dream.

The world was beautiful before they took away the color.

I was at a picnic. Family was there. So were friends. Our table was in the shade because the sun was so bright and warm. We sat around the table laughing and eating. People came and went.

I played in the grass with a boy. The grass was so green, so vibrant. The way it contrasted the blue sky was amazing. Or so I remember.

I didn’t know who the boy was, but I knew that I loved him. We tossed a tennis ball back and forth and for the life of me I could not catch it. At one point I picked the boy up and threw him to the ground. We were both laughing as we rolled in the grass. That wonderfully green grass.

It wasn’t much later when the clouds began to fill the sky. The air began to cool. The people came. The people with their gray coats and their large machines. They wore thick goggles and dust masks. We couldn’t see their faces.

The strangers began issuing orders. We had no idea who they were, but for some reason we listened. There was confusion, but no protest. Concern, but no action.

They crammed us onto lifts. We were moved along conveyor belts like cattle to the slaughter. I began to lose track of my friends and family, but I kept the boy by my side.

“Stay close,” I said to him, holding his hand.

We moved further and further away from the color. The greens and blues turned to grays and grays. I couldn’t feel the sun on me anymore. The warmth was gone.

We finally reached the end of the conveyor belt. We stood at the end of a raised platform nearly a hundred feet in the air. I grasped the single rail as I looked over the land. It was a colorless land filled with rolling piles of ash. It looked like an endlessly dirty winter.

More and more people were loaded onto the platform. Hundreds. So many that I felt I would fall over the ledge.

But with the sound of a hiss the rail retracted into the platform as it tilted 45 degrees, spilling us into the gray ash. I tumbled and tumbled down the hill, my body flailing. I landed softly at the bottom, covered in the filth.

I had lost the boy. Bodies kept falling and piling up around me. I scrambled to find him. I had to avoid getting buried. I didn’t know him but I had to find him.

In my panic I didn’t see him standing there for a good five minutes. There he was, shin deep in ash, just staring up. I waded over to him, got on my knees, and hugged him.

“What’s happening?” he asked me.

I didn’t know. I told him to get on my back. His little arms wrapped around my neck and I began to climb back up toward the platform. The hill gave way beneath me as I tried to get higher. I felt like I was digging a hole as opposed to climbing a hill. I gave up and let the boy off my back. It wasn’t possible.

I looked around at the others. Most were standing, looking around at the hills and valleys of gray. Our skin had no color, our clothes neither. I looked up at the sky and it too was gray. It was all gone.

And so was everyone I knew. I tried talking to the others, but none seemed too interested. They simply wandered out into this barren, gray world. All I had was the boy.

He began toward one of the hills.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

He looked at me, shrugged, and kept walking. I followed him in.