Novel Snippet #1

I apologize for my extended absence. Lately I have been quite busy with a few other things, including my summer project of sorts: a novel. I’m about 2,000 words in now, so there’s no turning back now! I’d like to share a little snippet with you, and I’d love to get a bit of feedback if you would be so kind. Thank you, and stay tuned for more.

By 6:30 AM on the first of my last days of childhood I am already crying. It’s not a real cry in the sense that there’s no tears and sobbing, although I probably could “actually” cry if I wanted to. The few teachers’ cars and the light dusting of snow covering the parking lot wouldn’t mind if I broke down into tears, but I still don’t actually cry. Instead, I internally cry, which in many ways is much worse than actually crying. When you actually cry, you release some of the emotions and fears and whatever else that are making you cry, but when you internally cry all of that just builds up until one day you just explode or something. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I probably will pretty soon.

Copyright © Collin Griffin 2016

Photo Fragments

photo-20160314112836231


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.

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!

 

Dead

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-high-quality-resolution-downloads-nashville-tennessee-29-1000x666


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.

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!

 

The Wilkes-Barre Inn

long-hall


 

 

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!

 

Saltwater

photo-20160215084213932


I don’t know how long I’d been walking that path. Every further step I took, my legs cried to be put to rest on the sandy ground below. I ignored them: I had to do this. I had to do it today.

I came upon the spot I was looking for eventually, right in front of Frank’s Hot Dog Shack on a smooth and sandy portion of the Maine coast. The sun was just barely hanging onto the horizon. Maybe it was glad to see I made it.

I went to the edge of the water, and let my eyes close and the refreshingly brisk water wash over my feet. I kept my eyes shut as I lifted my little brother’s favorite Matchbox car up to my lips and placed a gentle kiss on the hood, then tossed it into the ocean. My salty tears dripped from my cheek, joining their kin in the salty ocean.

The same ocean that took him from me ten years ago.


“Saltwater” is my submission the 53rd FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 168 words.

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!

 

The Veteran’s Seat

photo-20160208115053605


 

Every time I sat at this bench waiting for the bus, I silently hoped that I would sit next to a person with a Forrest Gump-like story to brighten up my entire day. Unfortunately, this was real life, and in real life, things like that never seem to happen. I’d usually end up next to an uptight businessman, or woman with her bratty, snot-nosed kids.

However, one day I met someone truly interesting at this little bus stop. It was dawn on a mid-August day. I hadn’t been sitting for more than ten seconds when the raggedy-looking man sitting beside me turned and said, “You know how I got these two glass eyes?”

“Umm, staring at the sun too long?”

He gave a small chuckle and said, “No son, war. War gave me two glass eyes and a whole lotta hate for fighting. I seen some things, but now I can’t see at all. Ain’t that something.”

And with that, he got onto his bus.


 

“The Veteran’s Seat” is my submission the 52nd FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 164 words.

If you enjoyed this story, don’t forget to like 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!

 

“The Hill”

photo-20160201102308272


 

The hill used to be nameless. It’s name came one scorching day smack in the middle of summer.

Eddy and I were running barefoot through the forest that grew on the gentle hill, playing games we made up on the spot. We ran down to our favorite hiding spot, a rusty old Chevrolet. We kept our stash of comic books in the trunk, and at the end of the day, me and Eddy would head down there and read and drink Cherry Cokes. That fateful July day however, was not a usual day.

As we approached the Chevy, we could smell something unusually foul. We were kids though, and curiosity pulled us towards the car like it had it’s own gravitational field.

Then we saw him.

Sitting in the driver seat in a pool of shining crimson blood was a man, with a single bullet hole in the middle of his forehead.

We’ve called it Dead Man’s Hill ever since.


 

“The Hill” is my submission the 51st FFfAW Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 160 words.

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

“The Last Job”

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-palma-fruits-sun-apartments-white-building-1000x673


 

“The last time, everything fit into three duffle bags,” Kevin argued.

“I don’t care how many bags it took last time Kevin, I told you to bring at least four for this job,” Don whispered angrily, “and keep it down, someone’s gonna hear us if you keep complaining.”

This job certainly demanded more than three bags. The waterfront apartment belonged to some fairly popular musician, and was chock full of expensive items. Laptops, tablets, jewelry, designer clothes, and plenty more were available for the taking. The two thieves rushed to cram as many of the goods as they could into the three black duffle bags.

As they resorted to stuffing what they could in their pants pockets and jackets, they heard the muffled sound of a person outside the apartment door.

“They’re early!” Kevin said nervously, “there’s no way out other than…”

Both thieves looked to the balcony, which was three stories up from the beach below.

“We gotta do it, we have no choice,” Don said, his words bursting with doubt and anxiety. “On three: one, two, three—”


“The Last Job” is my submission for Week #5 of the FFftPP Challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 177 words.

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

 

 

“Grey City”

photo-20160125132605717


London is a grey city. The grey sky meets the grey ground, where grey people walk on grey pavement alongside grey buildings. They never seem to mind the grey scene.

I live across from a old man who isn’t so grey. He plants gold sunflowers, and tends to them everyday. He sits next to them on a little wooden bench for hours sometimes. I think I’ve seen him speak to them.

I asked him one day, “Why do you grow these flowers in this grey city?”

He looked at me, with kind wrinkled eyes, and whispered, “Ten flowers for ten years that my wife has been gone. She put the color in my life, so I plant them to color the grey away.”

The man stopped coming out to care for his golden flowers. A grey hearse came to his home on a grey night and took him away.

Today I planted eleven sunflowers. My life isn’t so grey now.


Photo credits to Sonya of “Only 100 Words”

“Destinations” is my submission for the 50th FFfAW challenge (Check it out here). It is composed of 160 words.

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