Short Stories

100 Word Story : “Hunted”

Hunted by Rose J. Fairchild

The man drew near, intentions clear on his face. He thought she was trapped; defenseless.
The little girl hugged herself, preparing. He wasn’t the first to see her delicate beauty and hunt her.
But he was the one being hunted.
He raised a hand to her white hair as she closed her eyes and unleashed. The wolves within her erupted in a smoky haze, red-eyed and razor-fanged.
They scented his fetor immediately, honing in with a simultaneous snarl.
He tried to run–apologize.
Too late.
They painted the earth in shades of him as the girl smiled and called them back.

Short Stories

Metamorphosis: A Story of Life and Death

I was lucky enough to be able to visit my Gramma today, though I am guessing it will be the last time. Sad though it was, I could tell it made her happy to know we were all there, and we all got to say a few words to each other. Some of what she said got me thinking about how we perceive Death and based on that I decided to write a short story that (loosely) coincides with the drawing I did recently. I hope soon you will rest easy and fly high, Gram. I love you. ❤ 

Metamorphosis: A Story of Life and Death by Rose J. Fairchild

Come with me, Sweet Child.” A whisper, soft and warm. “The time has come for you to go, and end this suffering.”

I raise my eyes and expect to see a skeletal vision, knowing Death has come for me. But my eyes are met with beauty–a woman bathed in white and silver, her dark hair laced with stars.

“Are you Death?”

I realize I’ve only thought this as I am too weak to speak. She surprises me by replying.

She smiles kindly, dipping her head in assent. “In a manner of speaking. I am the spark that will fuel your metamorphosis. The husk you occupy now is just the chrysalis, but soon you will have wings and be free to fly high as you wish.”

Her eyes–a lovely shade of turquoise–shine with the sunlight peeking through my curtains. It seems ages since I was able to feel a breeze playing in my hair, or the warm sun pouring over my thirsty skin. I miss it–terribly. Like I miss so many other things about living, because that’s not what this is right now. I’m trapped in a torturous limbo, watching the world pass by at breakneck speed as I wither away and wait.

And yet, to leave my family has been my biggest obstacle. I know it will hurt them to have to say goodbye, and I dread that moment.

I look at the raven-haired beauty awaiting my reply.

“But my family–I don’t want to hurt them.”

She places a hand on my shoulder, her voice a bit louder and warm with understanding. “That’s part of Life. There are many joys and sorrows, ups and downs, births and deaths. But Life…she can be cruel.” She sighs, “And yet everyone is afraid of me. But the truth is, once you’ve wrung every bit of joy you can from Life, I am the after. I cause no pain–I take it away. And I lift you up, away to a place where agony is barely a memory. You will live on in the hearts of your loved ones, just as they will live on, waiting for the day you meet again.”

Death leans close to me, her voice returning to a whisper. “You have nothing to fear, my Sweet. Just take my hand and follow me. All will be well for you soon.”

She removes her hand from my shoulder and places it palm up on the bed next to me. I look around one more time and a single tear rolls down my cheek as I take her hand.

Everything melts away as I sit up and climb out of bed. I am naked (which I find I don’t mind), but whole. Everything is where it should be and nothing hurts. I breathe and the air is sweet as it passes unimpeded through my lungs.

The world around me shines brighter than it ever has before, and I can’t suppress a laugh as I watch my great grandchildren playing nearby. They are surrounded by a glow so sweet and bright it almost hurts, and they are the most beautiful things I have ever seen. So much life to live. So much potential. I wish them as little pain as possible in Life.

I jump as something brushes my back and am surprised to see huge red-gold feathered wings have sprouted from my shoulders. They glow like a slow-burning fire and my breath catches.

Death chuckles, “Yes. They are yours now.”

I stretch them and find she has night-black wings of her own as she lifts them skyward. Awkwardly, I lift mine, too, and flap them a few times. The children–often the most sensitive–feel the breeze and look around. One of them actually looks at us, his mouth dropping open in surprise.

He shrieks, “Mommy! Great Grandma has wings!!” and everyone comes rushing toward me. My granddaughter’s hand goes to her mouth and though I know what I will see, I turn to gaze at the body lying on my old bed.

“That’s not me,” I say as I see the broken thing I left behind.

Death gives my hand a squeeze and says, “No, it’s not. This is how you are meant to be, and now you are.”

I pull my hand from Death’s and go to everyone individually, dropping one last kiss on each of their heads. And though a couple of them touch the spot as if they’ve felt something, most have no idea I’ve done it.

Death says, “Are you ready?”

I turn, give my great grandson a wave that he returns and say, “I’m ready,” as I grab her outstretched hand once more.

We raise our wings together, and as she helps lift me up, my wings grab the air and take flight.

For the first time, I am truly free.

Short Stories

Flash Fiction-“A Kingdom of Their Own”

This is a flash fiction piece I wrote based on the amazing artwork (below) by someone near and dear to me: the incomparable Trevor Fairbairn! Thanks for inspiring me and letting me share your image before it’s even finished, Trevor!

“A Kingdom of Their Own”

His good eye glittered in the sun as he surveyed the devastation behind him. The battle had been hard, and he knew he’d face aftershocks of it for years to come, but it had been worth it. 

He’d slowly dragged himself from beneath the heavy-mantled rule of a false god–one who was more monster than god; more malevolent than benevolent.

Ommin had suffered greatly under the monster’s rule. His head poured full of putrescent filth about his worthlessness; his body bruised and battered even as he was forced to get up, forced to slave ever harder. 

Of course, there were days he thought there was no hope. And yet, somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew there was more out there. That maybe life was worth living; that he was enough–for himself, and maybe for someone else. 

And on his way up from the false god’s mire, Ommin scraped bits and pieces of himself off the ground, his heart and soul stitching back together as he pulled them back in.

He would always be scarred, both inside and out, but they were lines of his story: an epic journey of war and self-realization.

He sighed heavily and used the finger-like appendage at the end of his trunk to gently brush ash away from a sapling trying to rise from the devastation. 

Despite his age, he felt like that saplng–young and fragile, pushing up toward life-giving sun and air, the cleansing touch of summer rain. Toward freedom. 

A gentle bump against Ommin’s leg pulled him from his stupor and he glanced down at his toddling son. The boy twirled his trunk around Ommin’s, whose heart swelled with such love and pride that it almost hurt. That face, with eyes full of hope, trust, love could near break his heart as he wished and hoped that such innocence would never know the trials he had. 

A gentle trumpet sounded behind him and he turned his eye to the matriarch who had found and fallen for him despite his scars and brokenness. As he had with her. 

And from behind her, their eldest son, and the middle baby–their girl, ran and danced around him, oblivious to the charred remains behind.

They pulled at him with their trunks and he rumbled in reply as he turned to follow their lead. 

They tugged him toward a pleasant path, green and lit with pools of golden sun. A path that would be rough at times, but well worth the journey together. 

Raising his battle-scarred head high, Ommin trumpeted a triumphant bellow at the skies before following his family to build a kingdom of their own. 

Short Stories

Rest In Peace

Plop. Plop. Plop.

I slowly open my eyes with an intense amount of effort, squeezing them shut again as the sun’s light sears them.

Plop. Plop. Twitter-tweet! Plop.

The birdsong cuts through my haze like a hot knife through butter, but still I don’t open my eyes. My head is throbbing and my body aches. Perhaps I am coming down with something.

Plop. Plop. Plop.

I smell earth and grass and crack my eyes open slightly to see blades of grass looming in front of my eyes appearing as tall as trees. I wonder how I’ve ended up on the ground and as I try to push myself up , my hands feel stiff and sticky as if coated in glue. They are a mess of rusty-colored goo that has accumulated clumps of grass, leaf bits, and dust all over them.

My brain feels fuzzy…

Plop. Plop. Plop. Continue reading “Rest In Peace”

Short Stories

Oneness

Beep!

I glance at the cashier as she scans my sad cans of soup. They will be eaten alone in a too-dark kitchen as I listen to sounds of the world passing me by.

That’s right, I’m alone. No husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, friends, kids, or even a pet. Each time I start getting close to someone, my insufferable weirdness decides to make an appearance. They usually run screaming for the hills before I can explain myself.

“It’s just anxiety!” I’d say. Or, “I’m quirky!” But no one stays to listen.

And as far as a pet, how could I possibly contaminate the sweet, innocent life of an animal with my brokenness?

Someone slides a can of soup close to my massive load and I can’t resist a peek as more is added to the pile.

A slightly older man–probably around 42 years old–puts soups, oyster crackers, and a bunch of bananas up behind my haul. He notes me staring and shrugs. “I like soup.”

The sound that escapes me is one I haven’t heard in years–a giggle! It bursts forth like a cork from a champagne bottle and I slap my hand over my mouth in surprise. Encouraged, he says, “I see you do, too. Do you want to share soup sometime?”

Continue reading “Oneness”