Short Story: Missing but not Incomplete

Genre: general

 

Sometimes, no, most of the time, it felt like everyone thought that just because she was missing limbs, she was helpless.

Sure, there were some things that would be physically impossible for her, but for everything else, she had tools and ingenuity. With enough practice and experimentation, she could live as independently as everyone else.

Her limbs did not define her ability. And she would show that to the world, one person at a time.

~End~

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Short Story: Crimes Exposed

Genre: fantasy

 

~Crimes Exposed~

A crowd gathered at the market square.

“I saw him. He took the ginger from the basket.”

“I saw him take a whole roll of cloth down that way.”

“I didn’t do it,” the accused said.

But the accusations kept coming from different people who had witnessed his thievery from all over the market. He had stolen everything from a bread roll to a golden watch. The thief would not escape his punishment!

“I saw this man turn into him,” a loud voice cut through the noise.

The crowd parted for two people. A woman walked purposefully towards the centre as she pulled a man by his ear behind her. They didn’t stop until they stood beside the accused.

“Show them,” she said.

“I’m innocent,” the second man said, “Don’t listen to her. She’s crazy.”

“If you won’t show them then I will.”

The woman grabbed the man’s hair and pulled. It came off easily, as it wasn’t his hair but a wig. The rest of him changed too. Starting from his head to his toes, the man changed into a completely different person. The woman then wore the wig on her own head.

“Watch.”

Before their eyes, the woman transformed into the accused man.

“This wig allows this man to change into anyone he wants. With this, even if he gets caught, someone else takes the blame,” the woman said as she changed into different people.

The crowd, naturally, were not happy. How many innocent lives had this man ruined? Too many in their opinion.

The crowd descended on the guilty man with righteous fury.  The woman slipped away before she, too, was pinned underneath. Forgotten, she disappeared with the wig around the corner and emerged on the other side as a poor, shabby crone.

“Found you.”

An officer clasped glowing chains around the crone’s neck. Where the chain touched, the illusion fell away, revealing the true face underneath. The officer continued to wrap the chain around the crone, from head to toe, stripping her disguise away while also immobilising her. Around the corner, more officers rushed in to break up the crowd and save the innocent scapegoat.

The woman laughed.

“Took you long enough. But we both know you can’t keep me long enough.”

“We can certainly try. Every moment you spend with us is one less moment you’re out there ruining someone else’s life. Now get up. It’s time to face the consequence of your crimes.”

~End~

Short Story: Not a Normal Day

Genre: slice of life, fantasy
Features the team from Mission Gone Wrong.

 

On normal days, Theo arrived to work on time, if not slightly early.

This was not a normal day.

First, he accidentally destroyed his alarm clock instead of just snoozing it. Because of that, he missed his ride and had to dash madly to work.

Then, on the way to work, a building cracked and a part of the roof slid to the footpath. His training kicked in and he twisted around to catch the falling rubble before they injured someone. With the same strength that destroyed his alarm clock, he moved the pieces aside to clear the road.

By then, he was really late, and when he finally reached his squad’s training room, it was to the sight of the rest of the team standing outside. Of all the days to be late, it had to be the day latecomers were actually punished.

“How long do we need to stay outside for?” he asked his seniors.

“We can go in any time. We just don’t want to,” Thomas said.

“Vice-Captain’s having a conniption,” Eileen said.

“Say it as it is. He’s throwing a hissy fit. Captain has to deal with it because he’s the captain but the rest of us are staying out here where it’s safe,” Thomas said.

“What happened?” Theo asked.

“Someone ate his snack stash,” Eileen said.

Theo immediately looked at Thomas. Thomas groaned.

“You too? I didn’t eat Vice-Captain’s food.”

“Then who did?”

“If we knew, we wouldn’t be here,” Thomas grumbled, “Better get comfortable. Vice-Captain doesn’t sound like he’s going to stop for a long time.”

After all that rushing, it didn’t seem fair that this was the day that he hadn’t needed to rush after all, but, well, such was life. He placed his things on the floor where the others had left their belongings and settled in for the wait.

~End~

Short Story: Lime Crackers

Genre: general
Prompt: Three things challenge – cracker, shoe, chewing gum

 

The rain rolled off the roof to bounce off her exposed leg, held in place by the grill her foot had slipped through, shoe and all. Her dress, which had started the night in gentle cream, was now all shades of grey and brown with pops of colour from candy wrappers and chewing gum caught in its folds.

This was not how she expected her birthday party to go.

What now? She had nothing on her to contact anyone for help. In any case, she wasn’t keen on returning to the hostile environment her party had become. She had thought that her birthday would be enough for everyone to put their grievances aside for one night. Obviously, she had been too optimistic.

“Are you alright?” A couple stopped beside her.

“My leg’s stuck,” she said.

The man set his shopping bags aside and crouched by the grill. “You mind if I touch you? Only your leg to get you out.”

“That’s fine.”

“Is there anything else we can help you with?” the woman asked as the man freed her leg.

She looked at the couple, who in just a few moments had been kinder to her than her own family and friends had been the whole day.

She burst into tears.

“What’s wrong?”

In bits and pieces, she shared about her disastrous birthday, of her family and friends’ feuds, and her naive hope that she was good enough to erase years of bitterness.

The couple listened to her. At the end of it, they rummaged through their bags and pulled out a small box.

“We don’t have cake, but we have lime crackers. Limited edition. Tomorrow’s the last day. Have some.”

And so she celebrated her birthday with two strangers, who gave her the special birthday she had hoped for before sending her safely home.

They still kept in touch after that. The couple’s home became a sanctuary for her when her own home felt like a war zone. Right now, all she could do was receive their care, but surely, one day, they would need help, and she would do everything in her power to help them as they had helped her.

~End~

Short Story: Table Flip

Genre: slice of life

 

“This class is a waste of time. I’m leaving,” the student rose to her feet.

The instructor flipped himself over the table and touched down in between the student and the door.

“No, no, no! You need to be more emphatic. Make me feel your dissatisfaction.”

“I don’t want to be here,” the student yelled at the instructor’s face.”

“That’s just words. Give me more.”

The student grabbed her table and flipped it. The table crashed top down on the floor.

“No more!” the student declared.

“Excellent!” The instructor nodded and nimbly hopped aside. “You may pass.”

The student looked at the upended table, then the open door.

“Actually, I’ll stay.” The student sat on her chair and folded her arms. “Show me what you’ve got.”

The instructor swept his arms with flourish into a theatrical bow.

“My pleasure. Once again, everyone, welcome to our first drama class together. Remove your inhibitions and let’s get dramatic!”

~End~

Goal of Logical Dreams: June Recap + July Goals

In June, not only did I want to post something everyday, I wanted to set up a regular schedule. If you’ve been checking on Logical Dreams regularly, you would notice that new posts have been appearing every day at 10am!

This is something I would like to continue in July.

Other than that, I would like to do update the Fiction Navigation page. As I write more and more stories, more and more things get added to the page until it’s a huge wall of text. The Fiction Navigation page is meant to help people navigate Logical Dreams. In July, I would like to see if there’s a better way to present my clusters of stories.

Are there some changes you believe would help you navigate Logical Dreams? Feel free to share in the comments below.

See you again next month.

Short Story: Either Way

Genre: fantasy, family

 

The drug had a plethora of side effects. Chronic fatigue, a constant low grade fever, an increased tendency for nosebleeds, reduced reaction time, and the list went on. It was uncomfortable and dangerous with no guarantee of success, but it was the best odds they’d had since the parasite latched on to her brother.

“This drug will kill you,” the parasite said as the feverish boy shifted restlessly on the bed.

“So will you, and between the you and the drug, we’ll take our chances with the drug,” she said with more bravado than she actually had.

“He won’t just be fighting the drug. I’ll fight him the whole way. Will you really risk your bother’s life to get rid of little old me?”

Her fingers tightened around his clammy hands. “He’s stronger than you think. The drug’s just giving him the boost he needs to kick you out for good.”

The rest of their group hovered around the bed, shooting down everything the parasite said to try and save itself while supporting her brother in any way they could. She sat vigil by her brother’s side, hands clasped tightly around her brother’s as if she could give her strength to her little brother if she tried hard enough.

Finally, finally, the parasite succumbed to the drug. While they could only watch before, now they rushed in to save her brother. Half a year later and more than two years after the parasite infected their youngest member, the nightmare was finally over. Her brother recovered his strength, and for the first time in a long time, the two siblings walked side by side along their favourite river.

“So, what did we learn from this?” she asked.

“If a weird parasite tries to take over my big sis again, I should block it.”

“No!”

“Yes.”

“The right answer is to ‘run away’.”

You try running away when you only have one second to react. I should get a reward for fastest reaction of the year. It was this close to you.” Her brother pinched his thumb and forefinger together in emphasis. “Anyway, everything turned out alright so there’s no need to get so worked up.”

She looked at the cane her younger brother still needed, at the tremors that shook the once-steady hands, and the pouch they both wore containing medication to deal with the many lingering side effects of the drug. Her brother shrugged.

“I’ll get better. And if you really love me, you’ll get those rambutans for me because I’m not allowed to climb trees while I recuperate from saving your life.”

She released a huff that was equal parts amused and relieved. That her brother was interested in food again was another good sign on his long road to complete recovery.

“Yes, boss. Fresh rambutans coming right up.”

~End~

 

Short Story: The Cost of Miracles

Genre: fantasy, superpower
Features a character from Little Acts of Kindness.

 

Every superpower was unique, be it in terms of effect, cost, or even how the bearer interacted with it. With such vast diversity, it is only natural for some superpowers to be better than others. Her ability to heal anyone with just a touch without paying a price ranked it indisputably above them all.

Some people argued that surely such a miraculous ability would have some sort of drawback. Maybe the price was the patient’s own life, who were basically exchanging their longevity for immediate gain. Maybe the price was her own life, and she had been unknowingly giving her years away to heal others.

Whatever it was, it was important enough that they had a longitudinal study to examine the long term effects of her healing power.

Personally, she thought that her price could be more indirect than that.

Her freedom sat a the top of the list. Where once she could walk wherever she wanted, it was no longer safe for her to wonder in public without protection. As she became more recognisable, even the people close to her came under risk.

Choice was another price. Not the lack of it but its abundance. So many people wanted to be healed, but she could only reach so many. Who did she help? Who did she ignore? Regardless of who she chose, there would always be those who couldn’t make it, and she could only live on under the weight of the lives she couldn’t save.

But why the focus on the cost? Why couldn’t they just focus on the relieved smiles and the happy tears as a family’s future is change from despair to hope? Who could stop her if she wanted to heal someone ‘just because’ without worrying about the ‘what if’? This was her superpower, and she would listen to other people’s input, but ultimately, it was her right to use her superpower as she saw fit.

She checked her disguise one last time before the mirror and slipped out of the bathroom. Her favourite bodyguard followed her out, but that was fine. He would keep her safe without interfering with her plans. That was why he was her favourite.

Now, time for some random kindness.

~End~

Short Story: A Helping House

Genre: slice of life, family
Related to An Employee’s Worth.

 

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

My uncle recognised the potential my black eye had for his field and recruited me from a young age. First as the occasional, unproven outsider for dead end cases, then more regularly as their go-to consultant.

Uncle James always butt heads with the HR team regarding my pay and employment terms. When I was younger, being able to help was good enough. I didn’t care about the money. Now I’m glad my uncle did. With every scrap of money I saved over the years, I bought my first investment property to help a family who had lost their income and their home.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from Uncle James, it’s that just because something is ‘easy’ for me, doesn’t mean I should devalue what I’ve done. And if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from Auntie Kathy, it’s that even between friends, there are some things that need to be written in black and white.

So as a friend, I give the family excellent rates, much cheaper than anything they can find anywhere else while they recover and get their lives back under control.

As a landlady, I make it very clear that their responsibility as tenants is to take good care of my house, and if they don’t, I have every right to kick them out. Not that I think they will trash the place, they’re good people, but as Auntie Kathy always says, it never hurts to have everything in black and white.

More importantly… I have my own house! How sweet is that?

~End~

 

Short Story: An Employee’s Worth

Genre: fantasy
Related to Different Views and Magic Trick.

 

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

Looking at the past is different from looking at the present. There is only one present, and just like everyone else, my brown eye sees only what is in front of me.

The past, on the other hand, is so much more vast than the present. The same patch of land has been walked by so many people and creatures at different times. How do I know if the dog licking the hot dog off the ground was there two years ago or just two hours past?

I can only see the past. I can’t hear anything, nor does the past come with convenient time stamps. Despite what other people may think, I do need to do a lot of searching and detective work to zoom in on exactly what I’m supposed to look for. If what I do appears to be effortless, it’s because I’ve had a lot of practice.

“Regardless, my pay should not be dependant on the amount of effort it takes me to do the job, but the fruits of my work. In fact, my pay should increase, since I can and often carry out the work of a whole team by myself,” I say as I carefully read the speech Uncle James prepared for me earlier.

“We will take your feedback under consideration,” the HR manager says before dismissing me. Uncle James joins me outside the room soon after.

“How did I do?” I ask. Instead of ruffling my hair as usual, Uncle James pulls me to his side in a one-armed hug.

“You did great. Now it’s up to them to decide if they want to keep you or not, because I know a lot of other branches who will pay double or triple what you’re getting now for what you do. You can go anywhere. Don’t stay just because of me.”

“I’m not staying just for you,” I say.

A smile cracks through his solemn frown. “You know what I mean.”

“I know what you mean, but I like it here.”

“Well, you’re still young, so money doesn’t mean the same thing to you as it does to us. And that’s perfectly fine. You’re already way ahead of your peers in terms of finances. Just keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll make sure you don’t get bullied.”

“Thanks, Uncle James.”

Looking at the past isn’t as easy as people think, but it’s still easier than what everyone else needs to do to achieve the same results, so really, whatever decision the HR team makes, I can’t complain.

But if Uncle James thinks otherwise, who am I to stop him? I’m sure I’ll appreciate the extra cash one day.

~End~

 

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