Happy New Year everyone. Globally speaking, this has been a pretty terrible year and a lot of people are still suffering quite a bit. We can only pray that 2021 is better and do what we can to make it so. I have hope.
Hope from Above
The wind caressed the dress shirt from its rooftop drying rack. It rose into the air, a well-dressed ghost preparing for a New Year’s Eve party. A cross breeze sent it dancing with invisible partners.
Sung-Ho sat listlessly on the curb. Suicide? Why, with no life insurance? Burn down the building? Insurance companies could tell. Start over?
He felt Eun-Ha’s hands on his shoulders. “We’ll get the money somehow,” she whispered.
The shirt fluttered down. Sung-Ho caught it before it hit the ground.
“See?” his wife said. “2021 will bring hope. Even God is sending us his dry-cleaning now.”
“For the last time, we don’t need artists. We need laborers. If everyone did what they wanted, what would we eat? Where would we live?”
“There are millions of us! Why can’t I be different?”
“But why you?”
“Because I’m asking.”
She let him try. In a month the hill was covered in a rainbow of swirls and circles. The word spread. In a jungle of 400 trillion ants, he was the only one with a name.
. . .When you don’t, you’re all they see.
* * *
In 1835, French naturalist George Valentin came across a nest of Argentine ants in the Corrientes province of Argentina. It was three feet high and covered in symmetrical patterns of berries and twigs, including one design that many claim to be the figure of an ant. It was destroyed in a flood the next year. To date, it remains the only example of ant artwork ever found. Source*.
*Okay, so this didn’t actually happen. But it makes a good story.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and happy end of November to everyone else. This is definitely not a Thanksgiving story: I just wrote the story I saw in the picture. However, I’m very thankful for everyone who reads my stories. Thank you.
As Monty Python said, “And now for something completely different.”
My Steel Mask
The crutches are my mask. One glance and people have this poor crippled girl all figured out.
“The hell are you?” I come closer and the man’s demeanor flips.
“Hey, you lost?” He’s all Mr. Rogers suddenly. “This is a bad neighborhood.”
I wait until he’s close enough that when I swing the crutch up, the spring-loaded spike destroys his throat. He falls in a bubbling heap. Nighty-night, mugger.
He’s got $300 and a pack of cigarettes on him. I smoke two as I sit on his corpse to rest my aching leg.
Who says cripples can’t be superheroes?
A rare explanation: I realize that the term “cripple” is viewed as offensive by some. That is not at all my intention, so my apologies if you felt uncomfortable. I chose it only to fit with the tone of the story.After all, the point of the story is not to judge someone by their outward appearance.
My apologies to all my Friday Fictioneers friends that I could not read your stories a few weeks back. I usually try to read as many as I can but this has been a busy time. I’m looking forward to reading them this week, plus looking forward to Thanksgiving in a few weeks when I can get a few days off.
Dad thought Christmas made everything better, so when he started putting up decorations in August, we knew something terrible had happened.
Jasmine felt the dog’s pulse as Dad assembled the Christmas tree. When he put on carols, I called to check on Grandma.
By the afternoon, he was putting up the outside lights and my search history included words like “asteroid” and “zombies”. Mom had no idea, but she gave us a signed affidavit they weren’t getting divorced.
Dad came inside. “Merry Christmas.” He wiped away a tear. “I have tragic news. Tom Seaver died today.”
Silence. “Who?” Mom asked.
In case your reaction was the same as Mom’s: Tom Seaver
“Check it out what this old man gave me,” Brad said, showing Mark his backpack. “Any books you put in here are weightless. The drawback is you forget how to read.”
“That sounds like that one Rick & Morty episode,” Mark said.
“So, do you want to get sued?”
“So are we!” Mark looked nervously at the edges of the blog post.
* * *
David sat back in frustration. This cursed story generator worked great, but the characters kept announcing the plot and breaking the fourth wall. Still, it was worth it to get Friday Fictioneers ideas every week.