Filtering by Tag: dime stories

Dime Stories: The Escapist Book Fair

"No chance of rain. Hurry."

There's a rumor in this city, as old as the sewer steam that rises from the vents. The librarians whisper about it during their lunch hours, spearing their walnut and roman salads with silver forks. Derek's heard them talk about the book fair that meets only once a year, a book fair that only invites the dreamers of the city.

Derek thinks that he's earned the right to attend the book fair this year - he's racked up some good karma. On the weekends, Derek shaves, dons his black trench coat, and tracks down abandoned books. He carries a net with him that he uses to catch books, as if they were strays.

"I find most of them in dumpsters," he tells his friends. They back away from him; his clothes smell like rotten eggs.

Sometimes Derek thinks the books are talking to him. They squeak and groan as he puts their spines back together.

On the morning of the book fair, they woke him up by falling off his desk.

"'No chance of rain. Hurry,'" Derek reads. He fingers the telegram that was slipped under his door. The address listed is downtown, not too far from his apartment, but Derek jerkily completes his morning rituals of shaving, eating, and dressing. His heart pounds as he races down the street.

The door fair is in an abandoned lot. The narrow space, caught between two apartment buildings, is stacked with books. Trolleys form makeshift rows, nothing is labeled, and all of the books have unmarked covers. Dereks barely breathes, scared that the entire book fair will fade away like the smoky remains of a snuffed candle.

There are other dreamers at the book fair. Derek sees an artist with a shaved head fingering through a book of photographs. A little girl clutches five books in her arms.

Derek doesn't notice that they all disappear, at some point, the echoes of their smiles imprinting the air.

A mustard yellow book grabs his attention. It hums in his hands. When Derek turns to the first page, he reads the first sentence in his head. It's a story about tropical winds, sandcastle palaces, sword fights.

Before he can even think about closing the book, he falls into the pages, slipping into the ink and merging with the words.

Dime Stories: Not Invited

For this dime story, I decided to play around with a screenshot from an actual movie. I'm not quite sure where this one comes from (but I believe it's Russian - one of those excellent fairy tale remakes).

It's story time, kiddies!

Not Invited

       As the Sorcerer of Evil Storms, I'm not usually invited to birthday parties. Had I known that my career choice would result in being a social outcast, I would have studied to become a beautician instead. 
Perhaps people have every right to worry about me. 
Snow gathers in the pockets of my trousers like lint. I'm the reason why the oak tree fell on your house last week during that rain storm. I spun the threads of the snow-blanket that suffocated fifty homes in the Blizzard of 1907. The next tornado, to be named Zippy by frantic meteorologists, lives inside my left nostril and eat only fried spaghetti. 
The last time I had been invited to a birthday party was two-hundred-and-thirty-five years ago. A girl who lived down the block from me was turning five; her name had been Maggie. Before any public appearance, I rubbed my skin with coal and silver flakes. I brought a light drizzle and pumpkin pie with me as I walked down the street with the other neighbors. 
"I am the Sorcerer of Evil Storms," I had said, blowing on Maggie's face with my peppermint-storm breath, "the King of Bad Weather." 
She giggled, oddly unafraid, until I lifted up my tattered hat in a mock bow. I had forgotten that the western winds had taken up lodging inside my hat. Poor Maggie's house blew away instantly - her presents, parents, twin white cats, and collection of plastic dolls were gone forever. Maggie cried and I collected her tears to mail my mentor as proof of my skills. 
He sent me an achievement certificate on card stock a few days later. I never got another invitation again. 
But you could change that.
       I'm a good guest. I promise. I always arrive fashionably late and bring dessert.

Dime Stories: Animal Net

Summer is a magical time; with that said, I'm going to try something new on this blog! I'm going to write posts entitled "dime stories." They'll be very small stories, under 300 words, inspired by an image.

The author of The Night Circus, Erin Morgentern, writes what she calls her flax-golden tales on her blog. I've read a few of them and I love the idea. But it wasn't until fellow figgie Hannah decided to give it go that I wanted to try it myself. 

I'm not sure how frequently I'll do this, but I think writing one at least once a month is a good goal for now. We'll see how it goes. 

Found here on We Heart It

Animal Net

  When the world turned plastic, Tina left her home and wandered barefoot through the farmland. She whistled to keep her feet from turning cold and hard, to keep the blood running through her veins like clockwork. 
       The neighbors were frozen in place. Glazed eyes stared, wide-eyed, reflecting the last moments of their lives before their hearts turned rubbery and perfect.  
       “Good morning,” Tina shouted to every plastic person she met. Just in case. But she only heard her own voice echo through the fields.
       Although she had left home before sunrise, she had been too late to save the animals. Tina examined a chicken coop: all eggs pearly and inedible, chicken clucking silently, feathers and feces pristine. The world is clean when it’s wrapped in plastic. 
       Tears dripped down Tina’s nose. She hiccupped and rubbed her face on a dishtowel while the wife of the farmhouse bent over a fresh pie, poised to blow on it. A little black dog curled up in the corner of the kitchen drew her attention. Without thinking too hard, she picked the dog up and cradled its hard, plastic body in her arms. She went back to the coop and stole a rooster, left it perched on her shoulder as she whistled her way to becoming a plastic animal thief. 
       The rain smelled like vanilla beans, the droplets impure as they fell upon Tina and her plastic menagerie of animals. Her skin stretched and she whistled harder. She massaged her cheeks to keep them warm and soft. But the animals didn’t last the rainstorm. They shriveled up like raisins so Tina threaded them into her hair.