Short Story: Of Eggs and Little Cousins

In teams of two, their challenge was to balance their eggs on their spoons from the starting line to the goal at the opposite side of the small park.

Three steps in, her little teammate dropped his egg.

“Don’t cry. Look, we still have my egg,” she said as she rubbed her baby cousin’s back while he sobbed into her shoulder. “As long as we don’t give up, it’s not over.”

With red eyes, her cousin accepted her spoon. She wrapped herself around the small body. Her steadying hand easily swallowed his tiny one, and she had to waddle on her knees so that she didn’t tower over him. It wasn’t easy, but together, they made it to the end, their final egg still intact.

* * *

She stared up at her little cousin, who was now a head taller than her and still growing.

“Hang in there.”

Her blood flowed hot over his long fingers, taking with it more and more of herself. She fought to keep her gaze on her big little cousin as everything else dimmed.

“As long as you don’t give up, it’s not over.”

In the distance, sirens called.

~End~

 

Genre: family

Short Story: About Her

Genre: slice of life, background fantasy

 

He knew only two things about her.

One, she was quiet.

Two, she was always injured.

The first was understandable. It was normal to be quiet in the library. But the second worried him. Not even he, at his clumsiest when his body seemed to double in length every few days, had a new injury every day.

He had two theories.

First, someone was abusing her.

Second, she was one of those superheroes that started appearing late last year.

If it was the former, he had to report it.

If it was the latter, he… shouldn’t?

He scratched his head in frustration. It was the same mental debate, again and again. He couldn’t like this. He needed to find out more. He needed to talk to the girl.

Decision made, he looked up.

But the girl was gone.

~End~

Short Story: Sorry State

Parenting Pains (start here) | Dangerous Disagreement | Sorry State | After the Accident | Mini Mystery | In His Stead | Sibling Fight

~Sorry State~

Her eldest is in surgery. Her husband is alone in the waiting room. Her youngest curls over the abandoned game in their living room with his face in his hands as his world literally crumbles around him. And then there’s her, standing out alone at the corridor.

It would be better if she is in the operating theatre instead of her eldest. Her eldest will know exactly what to do with her youngest.

No, she isn’t completely honest with herself. She knows what to do. She just doesn’t want to because his volatile temper hurt them again.

She sighs.

She should be with him, not out here in the corridor like a wary ranger watching a dangerous beast. Her youngest is dangerous, but he is her son, and she is his mother.

She knocks the wall to announce her presence and approach her youngest, one careful step at a time until her leg almost brushes against him. Without a word, she sits on the floor with him, then wraps her youngest in a hug and combs her fingers through his hair.

“Sorry,” her youngest says in a small voice.

As you should, her bitter side thinks.

Her reasonable side points out that her youngest will never intentionally hurt his older brother, who, if he was here, will make sure her youngest knows that.

“I know. And I’m sure your brother knows that too,” she says.

There are so many other things she wants to say.

‘This is why you need to control your temper.’

‘Next time, listen when we tell you to calm down.’

‘It’s ok to be upset, but it’s not ok to break things when you’re upset.’

But she doesn’t say any of that. It’s not the right time, and she’s not the right person.

Instead, they sit together in silence, each lost in their own thoughts as they wait for the phone call that will right their world or break it.

~End~

Genre: family, fantasy

Mission Gone Wrong Masterlist

If you have been keeping up with my posts in the past few days, you would have noticed that unlike my usual one-shots, these posts are all parts of the same, continuous story.

There’s a reason for that.

One of my goals for October is to create a multi-chapter story. I didn’t have anything planned when I set that goal. I just thought that I had a whole month to think about it.

At the same time, to help me post something every day, I’ve been writing posts inspired by daily prompts.

So, what has happened so far this month is that I, in the process of responding to these prompts, am crafting a longer story than usual. I have a general idea of what kind of story I want to write, but I don’t know exactly what would happen until I’ve seen the prompt of the day.

It’s pretty exciting.

As of this writing, I am nine posts into the story, which is enough for me to finally give this cluster of posts a title: Mission Gone Wrong.

Navigating the different posts could be pretty confusing, so here’s a list for easy reference.

  1. Separated
  2. Collecting Duty
  3. Leap of Faith
  4. Good News, Bad News
  5. Foolish Boy
  6. Unrealised Potential
  7. Questions and Reasons
  8. Injured Parties
  9. Flattery for Hillary
  10. Promise Me This
  11. Just Keep Walking
  12. Cursed Blessing
  13. New Member
  14. Team Meeting
  15. Troubleshooting Theo

And that’s a wrap. Hope you enjoy the story 🙂

Mission Gone Wrong 8: Injured Parties

My response to the prompt careful.

Previously on Mission Gone Wrong: Questions and Reasons.

Genre: fantasy

 

~Injured Parties~

Ezra hissed as Eileen prodded his swelling ankle. In his panic, Theo hadn’t held back his strength. If Eileen hadn’t sedated him when she did, the newbie would have crushed his ankle completely.

“It doesn’t look like it’s broken, but try not to put any weight on it. I’ll make a cold compress.” Eileen picked out a compressed towel from the field kit. “Be right back.”

She headed over to the small stream that bubbled at one corner of the cavern. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one looking for water. A monster colony was walking towards them through one of the tunnels. Their leisurely pace suggested that they didn’t know there were humans nearby, but that would change if they didn’t leave before the monsters arrived.

“We need to move,” Ezra said when Eileen returned.

“What happened?” Eileen asked as she wrapped the cold compress around his ankle.

“A colony of eleven monsters will arrive here in roughly fifteen minutes.”

“Where do you suggest we go?” Vincent asked.

“We can risk it and go up, or risk it and go to the other tunnel, or risk it and ambush the colony first. Your decision, Vice-Captain.”

Vincent looked longingly up at the exposed sky before turning his attention back to the ground.

“Have you figured out where the other tunnel goes?” the vice-captain asked.

“No, but it looks clear so far.”

“Then we’ll go there. Can you walk?”

“If I have to.”

“Eileen, we’ll carry Theo. Ezra, let us know if you need help. Let’s go.”

Eileen pulled him to his feet. He tested his injured ankle. Putting his weight on it sent waves of pain up his leg, the kind of pain that warned of broken bones if he kept pushing it beyond its limit.

For the fourth time that day, Ezra duplicated himself. This time, he created a physical copy that was just an empty shell and didn’t share his injured ankle. That should do as a crutch for now. It would be better if he didn’t need to split himself again, but the newbie, who shouldn’t be moved at all, needed the extra attention.

He would just need to be extra careful.

~Next: Flattery for Hillary~