Short Story: A Fresh Start

Genre: slice of life

 

His final year of high school was a disaster of such epic proportions that it broke all but the most sturdy friendships in his class. Because of that, instead of moving up to the university his school was affiliated with, he chose a new place for a fresh start.

He hadn’t expected half the class to share the same idea.

They sat now, a dozen moody people scattered among the hundreds of other students attending the orientation. He hoped the university was big enough that they never crossed paths again.

He should have known better.

Out of the twenty-odd people in his tutorials, almost half were his old classmates. Even his electives, in a completely unrelated field, had a handful.

This was it then. A not-so fresh start with a bunch of baggage from the past.

He would just have to deal.

~End~

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Short Story: The Freak Out

Genre: slice of life

 

In the two years he had known her, he had never seen his colleague express any emotion.

Now she was freaking out, and so was he, because if something was bad enough to show on her face it had be to bad.

“Don’t just stand there. He’s bleeding.”

Blood? In the office? Was it… oh.

It was just a nosebleed.

He gave the bleeding child his handkerchief and talked the kid through the right way to deal with it. His colleague fluttered nervously around them.

“This is rare. I’ve never seen you like this before,” he said with careful lightness.

She blushed and ducked her head. “I’ve never seen a nose bleed before.”

“He’ll be fine.”

“I’ll leave him to you then,” she said and fled.

First panic, then embarrassment. Today was a good day. Now, would anyone believe him if he told them what he saw?

~End~

Short Story: A Brave Fool

Genre: fantasy

 

Some said he was a brave man, some said he was a fool, she knew he had just been a desperate man backed into a corner.

Whatever the reason, his actions had saved many, and for that, she remembered him fondly and continued his mission of safeguarding them from the terrors of the night.

~End~

Short Story: Just One More

Genre: general

 

It was risky, but all he needed was to be lucky once. One win, and he would earn all his money back and more.

Someone pulled the phone out of his hands.

“Stop.”

“Just one more.”

“And then what? What else can you sell just to press a few buttons? Wake up. These things are designed so you never win in the long run.”

“I can get lucky.”

“You can also lose everything.”

Not if he was lucky.

“Ok. I won’t. Give me back my phone.”

“I’m keeping it.”

“You can’t take my phone.”

“I can do whatever I want because I’m the one paying your phone bill. You’re not getting this back until you wake up.”

His brother stormed out of the room, phone in hand. He gnashed his teeth and pulled out a coin.

Heads, he would stop.

Tails, he would continue.

He flipped the coin.

~End~

Short Story: The Remaining One

Short story: general

 

They left him one by one, some by choice, some by force, until only one remained.

“Will you leave me too?” he asked.

“Only if you want me to.”

“I don’t want you to.”

“Then I stay.”

Life with just one servant was tough, but she worked tirelessly to upkeep the mansion herself, leaving him free to focus on rebuilding his shattered business and influence.

Little by little, what was once dead came back to life. An opportunity came, and while his peers let it pass, he seized it with the determination of a drowning man.

It was exactly what he needed. His business boomed, and he regained his former glory and more.

People flocked to him, faces old and new. He was extremely picky with his choices, but even then his mansion filled so quickly he had to turn people away.

Eventually, everyone settled into place. Only then did he and his loyal servant take their well earned break.

“Why didn’t you leave?” he asked, a question he hadn’t dared to ask before when she was all he had left.

“Do you remember how I started working for you?” she asked.

“No.”

“I was accused of stealing and kicked out of work. I asked for one chance to prove myself. Only you would give me that chance.”

“I don’t remember.”

“That’s fine. As long as I do.”

~End~

Short Story: The Sleeper of the Mountain

Genre: fantasy

 

She ascended the mountain path one step at a time. The others had succumbed to their exhaustion long ago. Only she remained, stubbornly climbing the endless road.

When they first started, the sun had only just risen in the sky. Now it as setting, and soon it would be the moon that would light her path.

Her knees buckled. She caught herself before she rolled down the mountain.

“You finally stopped.”

She looked around, but there was no one there.

“Why are you here?” the voice asked.

“I’m looking for the sleeper.” The local legend said that the sleeper of the mountain was stronger than a whole army. Was it true? Who knew? But they were desperate enough to try anyway.

“Why?”

“We need his help.”

There was a pause, then, “Look up.”

She looked up. A man waved at her from where he floated in the air. If she had more energy, she would have jumped from shock.

“Congratulations. I am the sleeper of the mountain.”

The sleeper actually existed. For the first time in a long time, a flame of hope came to life. She fumbled for the offering they had prepared for the sleeper.

But he reached down to her first and pulled her gently off the ground.

“Where to?” he asked.

“Down. There were other people with me. Then after that, the battleground.”

“Understood.”

~End~

 

Short Story: Talentless Determination

Genre: slice of life

 

In every field, there would always be people who were great, and those who were exceptional

-ly bad.

“It’s ok. You can stop now.”

“I got this,” the student pedaled furiously as she tried to mold the clay into anything other than a shapeless clump. All that did was shoot clay everywhere like a machine gun.

“No really, please stop.”

“I got this.”

He touched her shoulder. She stopped.

“Stop here today. There’s no point continuing when you’re so flustered.”

“But I’m not done yet.”

And she would never be at the rate she was going.

“There’s always next time.”

If she decided to come back. He didn’t mind either way. More money was good, but surely she had other talents to cultivate?

“Fine.”

~End~

Short Story: A Different Look

Genre: slice of life

 

“Your table number is 8.”

They stared at him.

“Please take a seat,” he repeated.

“Is that really you? What happened to your hair?”

His friends were staring to draw attention from the other guests. He needed them to move.

“Go first. Explanations later,” he whispered.

“Sure thing, kiddo.” The oldest of the bunch reached over to muss his hair out of habit. He grabbed the hand before it messed up the hair he had spent ages to tame.

“Is there a problem here?” His team leader joined them.

“No, ma’am.” His friends sent him a hasty wave and headed over to their table.

“Everything alright?”

“Just some friends. They’re not used to seeing me look like this. Thanks.”

“No problems. You’ll still be serving their table, by the way. Have fun.”

With a glint in her eyes, the manager left. He stifled a groan and faced the next group of guests.

“Good evening. Thank you for coming. May I have your name?”

~End~

Short Story: Belief

Genre: supernatural

 

One believed in ghosts, the other didn’t, but they bought the haunted house anyway.

Bad decision.

“But it was dirt cheap.”

To be fair, many of their problems were mundane. The house had been left empty for so long that there were 101 things that were broken, were breaking, or would break soon. They could handle that. They had the funds and passion to slowly restore the house.

What they couldn’t handle was the random ghost floating around in the most inconvenient places as they went about their daily business.

So they hired him to do something about it.

“I don’t want to leave,” the ghost said.

“Why not?” Silas asked.

“I’m afraid God will reject me.”

“Is it because you rejected him?”

“No. I believed in him when I was alive. Still do.”

“What’s holding you back?”

“I did a lot of bad things. Especially towards the end.”

“That doesn’t matter. If you declare with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Did you do that?”

“Yes.”

“Then there’s nothing to fear. Go home.”

“Home.” The ghost smiled and faded with a sigh.

Silas said quietly into the empty space, “Rest in peace.”

Then he turned and headed back towards the living.

~End~

 

Check out more stories about Silas in Life After Death.

Short Story: Vice-Captain Vincent

Genre: slice of life

 

It was only a superficial wound, but Vice-Captain was screaming as if his arm had been torn off.

“How did he become Vice-Captain?” Theo said before he could stop himself.

“You finally asked,” said Thomas.

“Do you know?”

“Of course. I know everything.”

“So how did Vice-Captain become Vice-Captain?” Theo asked.

“He’s full of drama, but he’s actually the brains of the group. Haven’t you noticed? Captain has the goals, but it’s Vincent who actually turns it into training exercises and battle plans. That’s why he’s always the one to brief us before we go out.”

“Whoa.”

Theo looked at his vice-captain with fresh eyes.

“I’m dying.”

The moment was lost.

“Vice-Captain really is the smartest guy on our team?”

“Yup.”

~End~

Isabel Caves

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Skruulraken's Words

The blog of works by Connor R. Ryan.