Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 10-12-2013
She told them everything: the missing strangers, the cannibalism – the dreadful secret behind the holiday roast beast. The plan had been to pin it all on the Grinch, but she had betrayed the town elders to the authorities and warned her friend. He fled back into the mountains with the little dog while she entered the protection program. Sometimes, the former Cindy Lou slept well in her small apartment in central Florida, but most nights she woke up screaming thinking someone was in the kitchen singing, “Fah who for-aze! Dah who dor-aze!”
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 23-11-2013
Alice muttered to herself about her day and the loathsome people in it, her coat collar pulled up high to block out the wind and her gloved hands shoved defiantly and deeply into pockets. “Effers,” she said out loud to no one, her heels clomping against the sidewalk in a kind of march. Out of nowhere, an aluminum can flew at and then bounced against her head and she spun around, shocked. A homeless man sitting on the curb looked up; he was wearing filthy rabbit ears and a pile of blankets-turned-rags. “Sorry, girlie,” he said carefully, dispensing the words at their most understandable through missing teeth, “but you gotta get out of your head. It’s taking you nowhere fast; ain’t no tea party down that black hole.” Alice gasped, suddenly realizing that she was down a back alley in part of the city she didn’t recognize. “Turn right at the end here and you’re one block from Main,” he continued. “Get along home. You’re late … you’re late.” She mumbled thanks and dug out a dollar to put in the battered top hat sitting next to him. “Time to grow up,” Alice whispered to herself, leaving the alley and a wonderland of despair, distraction, and self-torture behind.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 14-11-2013
They nicknamed her Penny because she always picked them up – off of sidewalks, out of gutters, shiny and new or roughed on the road and squashed flat. They laughed and called her a cheapskate; reminded her that it took a hundred of the almost useless coins to make even one dollar; that she’d never get rich like that. Late at night, after she was supposed to be in bed, Penny would steal down to the shed and get her bike, riding carefully along the country roads where animals of all kinds were struck and killed and left with no regard. Tenderly, she would place a place a penny on each of their eyes and say a prayer to see them in the Next Place. She’d seen the practice in a movie once and it had disturbed her to no end that animals couldn’t pay the fare.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 05-11-2013
Arturo’s mother had been very clear about him getting a pet, and he was not about to cross her by bringing a stray into the house. He kept the dog – found sick and starving – in the old shed on the back of the property (the abandoned one with half of the roof missing). It was an ugly dog, but it was gentle with Arturo and grateful for the food and water and soft pile of blankets on which to sleep. ”You can stay here as long as you like,” he whispered to his new friend while petting him softly, “forever even. But don’t let my mom see you.” Later, at dinner, the boy’s father mentioned that the hunt had been called off for La Chupacabra (the attacks on chickens had stopped). Arturo swallowed hard and put his mind on other things.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 19-10-2013
Ned Thompson (or “Grandpa Ned” as he was affectionately called in the neighborhood) took his time injecting a random number of Halloween fun-sized bars with cyanide. Misting up, he whispered, “Please forgive me, kids” and offered up to God his list of children to spare. “I just can’t help it,” he said to an empty room. Ned was thoroughly addicted to games of chance.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 15-10-2013
Every year, Timmy went out to the marker and left a pile of dinner bones, one of Grandma’s fresh-baked cookies, and a couple of tennis balls. He would talk some and cry some and then wander on home. His friends often said that enough was enough and that wild animals just helped themselves to the stuff. Timmy felt strongly about it, though, and for as long as he did it to honor Lassie, no one fell in the well and needed rescue.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 10-10-2013
When the monster in the closet began to growl and scratch, Harvey quickly got up and padded softly downstairs to the kitchen. A few minutes later, he returned to his room. “This is my favorite,” he said, opening his closet door quickly and just long enough to toss a sandwich inside. “It’s peanut butter and banana. There’s this kid at my school who gets really mean when he gets hungry, so I bring some extra snacks for him.” There were smacking sounds. “If you need more, I could get you an apple or maybe some popcorn.” In the silence that followed, Harvey drifted off to sleep and soft, contented snoring to match his own began behind the door.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 03-10-2013
Geppetto never revealed that his wish for Pinocchio (to become a real boy) was more a product of wine than desire; he had fully intended to either sell the puppet or burn it for warmth in his little shop. Once he understood the power of his wishes, however, he began working on carving a golem army, which he stored in a secret location. “Saddled with another mouth to feed,” the old man muttered, “let this next round be about gold and respect.”
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 18-09-2013
Emmett sighed and added the latest rejection letter to the growing pile. It was tough – having nobody want the love that had gone into those pages. “Still,” he said aloud, grabbing his coat and hat, “these are not hard days.” Emmett drove down to the hospital and put on his volunteer scrubs. He spent the afternoon in the burn ward with the kids in recovery, carefully telling and re-telling (through his mask) the tales of the Tree Prince and Princess in their land of adventure and magic. “The Tree Princess was beautiful, with bright green eyes and skin lined like poetry written in bark,” he began, looking over at little Ginny whose sweet, smiling face would be beautiful again when the reconstruction was complete. Emmett spent the entire afternoon shaping more love into words and giving it away, because he knew the stories mattered.
Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 10-09-2013
“Look, kid, we like coming here, too,” the ghost explained, “for obvious reasons.” Kristy nodded. “All ghosts are natural photobombers,” it went on. “We get a huge kick out of it – probably because it’s a one in a zillion chance that anyone can actually see us.” “I won’t show the picture to anyone else,” Kristy said reassuringly. The ghost sighed with relief and floated off; she went out to join her mom. “What took you so long, Honey?” “Long line for the bathroom.” “Want to go through The Haunted Mansion again?” “Uh,” Kristy said after a pause, “no, I think I’m good.”