It started as a twitch on the bottom of her foot. Easily dismissed as dry skin only needing a little extra attention. Then the little patch of smooth skin behind her ear started to itch. Not all the time, just a little here and there. Easily dismissed as stray hairs waving in a breeze. A little itch on the scalp here and a twinge in her thigh there, nothing raised any red flags until the day it happened. Her parents knew it was coming. They hid it from her. They didn’t want to tell her. Some secrets were best left unsaid, but they couldn’t hide it any more. They had to tell her. They quietly removed all the mirrors in the house while she slept. It was easier that way. They learned that after telling her older sister. They didn’t want to lose another child. When she woke and began stirring, they sat in the kitchen holding hands trying to prepare themselves. She walked into the kitchen mumbling, still half asleep. They were not prepared. Her mother fainted. Her father vomited. She desperately searched for a mirror, then she remembered the glass top on the stove. Her father tried to stop her, but she was too strong now. She leaned over and stared into the stove top and started hissing.
Aaron was always the fraternity’s goof ball at parties. Someone jumped off the hotel roof into the swimming pool? It was Aaron. Someone landed in the emergency room for swallowing sixty-five live goldfish? It was Aaron. This year’s pledges learned all about Aaron and his sense of humor during hell week…oh, sorry, pledge week. We can’t call it that anymore. Someone earned $5 by sticking a wad of chewing gum that was stuck to the bottom of their shoe on a cracker and eating it? Aaron, you say? Nope, that was Mason. Freshman are so desperate for money, they’ll do anything.
This story was inspired by the Three Things Challenge prompts: cracker / shoe / chewing gum
Echo was sitting at her table quietly brushing her hair while browsing the new shoe catalog when something began tickling her knee. She looked down and saw a spider who must not have understood which home he had wandered into.
“You’re very lucky, little guy,” Echo said as she coaxed the spider onto her catalog.
“You really must be understanding of the situation,” she continued as she walked to the open window with the spider and catalog.
“As cute as you are, if Grandma Muffet found you, you would be one very dead spider.”
She flicked the spider off the catalog and wished it a soft landing.
Two seconds later she heard Grandma Muffet screaming bloody murder about spiders breaking the truce after all these years.
“Oops,” Echo whispered as she returned to brushing her hair.
This piece was inspired by the remaining 4th place winners of the Camp NaNoWriMo voting: Echo / knee / catalog / understanding / spider / brush
Jackson thought he always knew what he wanted to be. He read about it. He studied it. He learned it. He mastered it. He became it.
One day while walking through the woods he saw an old ax resting at the base of a tree. He looked around, but didn’t see anyone. With one swing he found his métier. It was pure serendipity that Jackson got lost because a computer programmer can’t read a trail map.
This story was inspired by:
Merriam-Webster Word of the Day — métier
Word of the Day Challenge prompt — serendipity