Where the Stars Go

Where do the stars go?
When the sun teases the horizon
A warm orange
Chasing the night blues

Where do the stars go?
When people fill the streets
And the avenues
Like blood cells
Giving our city life

Where do the stars go?
When the clouds sigh
Brisk tears and dreary skies
Sodden and sadden

Where do the stars go?
When the life is gone
For better or worse
All is still
And night comes silent

There the stars go
When they’re needed; I know

Fears To Be

Waves rock me slowly to sleep
As the skies begin to weep
Their mist of tears caress my cheek
For the condolences they wish to seek

Wearily I rest my head
Upon the coarse floorboards of my bed
I shut my eyes and try to bait
The sleep I anxiously await

But there is no slumber
When stranded at sea
There is only a number
Of fears to be

The Young Professional

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Daniel did not understand art, and the painted cow statues that stared him down from across the street were certainly no exception. He did not know why the beefy creatures were painted with flowers and leaves and other flora. He had always assumed they were some kind of vegetarian protest. As a protest to their protest, the young professional ate an 100% beef chili dog once a week while staring down the cows from the bench outside of his office in New York City. It had seemingly little effect on the cows.

As he chowed down on his delectable chili dog on one muggy New York day, a young woman sat on the opposite side of the bench. Daniel saw that she had an undeniably artsy aura about her, but was also undeniably beautiful, and in that moment the young professional quickly decided that he would learn to understand art.


“The Young Professional” is my submission the 59th FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 150 words. Special thanks to SWritings for the challenge photo.

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Canyon

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The drive back from the canyon was a quiet one. We were almost entirely defeated at this point; it had been nearly nine months since the sixteen-year-old girl had gone missing and all we had so far was a plastic disposable camera. We drove about 30 minutes before we found a film development place. I parked the car and told Johnson I’d be back in a few minutes. He flashed me a thumbs-up and continued playing some game on his phone.

There was almost no one in the photo center, just me and the attendant. I plopped my detective badge down on the counter and handed the guy the camera.
“Police business,” I said.
“Whatever man, it’ll be 45 minutes” he muttered.
I left and grabbed a much needed lunch with Johnson. We walked back into the photo center to find the kid looking very shocked.
“That’s some morbid stuff dude,” he said as he handed me the envelope.
I tore open the envelope and flicked through the photos.

Trees. Birds. Deer. A Cave. A teenager’s corpse.


“Canyon” is my submission the 58th FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 175 words.

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Photo Fragments

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On the oak end table, next to the big, plush, leather couch in this living room, there was a photo frame. Inside the frame was a picture of a man, in beige camouflage with a huge black dog. This man was my dad, but I would have never known. He was stationed in Afghanistan before I was four years old, and he never came back. I was never told why; there was no one to tell me. This man was just a fragment. Fragments of a dad I never knew. Fragments of a mom who never cared about me. Fragments of a stepfather who beat me incessantly. Fragments of a sister who had leukemia and died at twelve. Fragments of a brother addicted to heroin and apathy. Everything was a fragment, smashed to pieces, and it all got taped together to make me.

I was broken.


 

“Photo Fragments” is my submission the 57th FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 143 words.

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Dead

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Jake forgot to pack our phone chargers, and now our phones were dead. That wouldn’t have been too bad if our phones weren’t our only access to Google Maps, which was our only means of getting directions from Florida to our family in California. Now we were lost, driving through the monotonous flatness of Kansas.
Our phones had been dead for about 45 minutes when I saw what looked to be a shopping mall.
“I’m pulling over at this place,” I say to Jake, motioning towards the building. He grumbles something incoherent.
I pull into the parking lot of the vast concrete building, which by the entrance sign claims to be called “The Plaza”. The parking lot is absolutely desolate; we’re the only car there.
“Let’s see if they sell chargers in here,” I say to my brother as I unbuckle my seat belt.
“Why is there a shopping mall in the middle of Kansas?” he says in response.
“I don’t know, shopping malls are everywhere. Why does it matter?”
“Yeah, but this is the middle of nowhere. Don’t you think it’s a little…I don’t know…weird?”
“I really don’t care at this point. I’m sweaty, I’m starving, and I’m thirsty. Let’s just get a charger and go.”
The scorching July sun of the Midwest beats down on me as I walk up to the front entrance  of the mall and tug on the handle. Locked. I try peering in through the glass, but it’s tinted pitch black.
“Maybe there’s another entrance,” I say, somewhat doubtful.
We drive around the perimeter of the building and find two more entrances, both locked with the glass blacked out. I drive back to the main entrance and stop the car.
“Well isn’t this great. A shopping mall in the middle of nowhere, with all its doors locked, and no one else in the parking lot. Just splendid,” my brother says, his words dripping with sarcasm and accusation.
“Well, we wouldn’t be in this situation if you hadn’t forgotten the phone chargers. So really, who’s to blame here?”
“You know what Brendan? You’re—”
But before he could finish, both car doors fly open, and someone pulls us out.
The world went black.


 

“Dead” is my submission the Week #11 FFftPP Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 353 words.

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Beacon

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I didn’t want to burn the guitar. It seemed like a waste to burn something capable of creating beautiful music to lighten our moods. I suppose heat is more important than art in our case though: we just ran out of real firewood, and now we must resort to burning whatever flammable materials we can get our hands on.

The glossy coating melted off the guitar first, like some type of clear chocolate, or a sweet doughnut glaze. The steel strings came loose and curled in on themselves, like a metallic hand curling into a fist. The fire blazed on, giving no regard to the fact it burned such a fine instrument.

Our band of survivors all crowded around the flame. We absorbed every last bit of heat the fire had to offer as we sat and spoke quietly of our dreams, the guitar flame our little beacon of hope. Even in this apocalyptic urban wasteland, where we resorted to burning musical instruments to survive, there was hope.

There is always hope.


 

“Beacon” is my submission the 55th FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 171 words.

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The Wilkes-Barre Inn

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The Wilkes-Barre Inn in Portsmouth, New Hampshire was nothing extraordinary. It was one of many Wilkes-Barre chain hotels across the entire east coast, which were all owned by a much larger corporation that owned tens of thousands of hotels across the entire globe. These facts of the capitalistic hunger and the wide-reaching influence of mega corporations did not interest nor matter to Maria Alvarez, who just so happened to be a 42 year-old maid who dedicated five years of her life working for low pay in this particular New Hampshire hotel.

It was approximately 5:30 pm on the 23rd night of July. Maria had reached the fourth floor of the hotel, and was cleaning the remaining vacant rooms. She cleaned six rooms before reaching Room 419, which would be the last room of the night.

She started with the kitchenette. There was little cleaning to do there as very few guests ever actually used them. She would then vacuum the small living area, wipe down the toilet, sink, and shower, and finally change sheets and pillow cases on the bed. A monotonous and arduous job to be certain.

It was not until Maria had changed pillow cases and the top sheets that she noticed a small lump under the fitted sheet of the bed. She removed the fitted sheet to find a very unusual looking package. It had several black blocks connected together and was covered with wires and other miscellaneous gadgetry. Maria assumed it could only be one thing.

A bomb.


 

Image and prompt courtesy of The Blog Propellant. This one was a bit of a departure from my usual romantic/happy/sometimes sad stories, but I do hope you enjoyed it.

If you enjoyed this story, don’t forget to like, comment your thoughts, and subscribe for more of my short stories. You could even share this blog with your pals if you wanted to spread the joy of reading! Thank you and have an awesome day!