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Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Good Sunday everyone! As tradition, below is a short story that I wrote for fun.

A young, determined man approaches his car in a random Spring afternoon with a unique purpose. While his purpose is honorable, it is not distinctly admirable. He casually opens the vehicle door and climbs in noticing the smell of the afternoon sun as it radiates through the windshield. He smiles as he starts the car engine as it reminds him of freedom and the unrestrained sense of exploration that goes along with driving. He drives around town collecting his various friends, a total of 5 in all. This day is special for him and his friends because it is the day that adventure will take precedence over reason and logic.

The group of men and women that have assembled ride countless hours to a destination that only the driver knows. Upon arriving, they gaze upon the gigantic blue and yellow store front before them. They look at each other, all of them wondering why they have spent their afternoon off to come to IKEA. The driver gives a mischievous grin as he unveils his plan for which will ultimately lead to amusement within IKEA. He tells of past stories in which individuals and groups have partaken in an ageless tradition dating back centuries called, “Hide-and-Go Seek”. Upon mentioning such a sacred activity, the group of people give an impish smile even more than the driver.

They enter the massive store innocently. They decide that it would be best if the ‘home base’ would be the canteen located on the second floor, up the escalators and to the right. They sit down to enjoy a nice Saturday brunch and discuss their plan. Wild ideas and unreserved imagination come forth from the individuals indicating the location of the best hiding places in the store. Little does IKEA know, but they are about to be ‘assaulted’ by these individuals and their Love of physical and mental deception (hiding).

They finish their nourishment exceedingly fast, oh the anticipation is unbearable to such an imaginative crowd. It begins. They all depart in separate directions determined to find the best and most creative hiding places that IKEA has to offer. The driver of the vehicle was the moderator and was granted the ability to choose the first person to stalk the rest of the crowd. He counts to 100 before the shenanigans begin. Upon whispering quietly to himself, “100”, he raises his head from the hunched over position gazing around allowing his eyes to adjust to the contrast from dark to light. He rises, his heart pounding, his pupils dilated, he begins to walk…

Of the 5 people hiding, how many individuals do you think he found? The answer shall be next week’s short story! Oh the anticipation!

Picture: Flickr by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi

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Oh Sunday, how you fly by! You can see all the previous short stories here.

Our Superhero was presented with a decision last Sunday about whether or not he would attend a Charity Event. He has had a week to think over the proposition that the man with the megaphone requested. Barter would tell you that he is no more prepared to answer the man with the megaphone today as he was the day he yelled over the Capitol grounds requesting his presence. I would be remiss to say that Barter hasn’t lost sleep over this decision. He likes his solitude and is not in a hurry to ‘commercialize’ his powers for the enjoyment and financial gain of the media. However, there is a part of Barter that entertains the idea of being a public figure, a role model for those who can’t help themselves. Regardless of the decision made, he will continue to spoil the plans of evil.

“Mr. Superhero! Are you going to attend our Charity Event tonight!?” blasts the man with the megaphone. The enormous sound made our superhero twitch ever so slightly as if surprised. Then, in the mist of the amplified voice, an overwhelming sense of calm became our superhero. He remembered back. Growing up, like most children, Barter watched Saturday morning cartoons including Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. He had always wanted to be like those that fought for the good of humanity. He thought to himself, “Just like the superheros of cartoons, I too can fight evil to a greater extent if the wicked of Columbia knew that I was about to thwart their ways!”

Our superhero was excited now. He remembered the cartoons and how all the superheros were known by the populace of their good deeds. In the cartoons, the wicked knew of the superheros in a different way. They knew of the superhero out of fear. Every evil action, regardless of how small, was questioned by those with the intent of ill will. With this thought, Barter began scribbling furiously in an attempt to answer the man with a letter on superhero stationary.

My fellow Columbian,

I would be honored to attend your event. However, I do have a simple request. I request that you gather all the local media that you can muster so that my presence should be known around the city, if not the state. I want the wrong doers of South Carolina to know that a man exists with no other purpose than to thwart their malevolent actions. I look forward to making an appearance at your Charity Event and may you have a wonderful day.

Sincerely,

Your SuperHero

As he signs the official letter, he smiles with a sense of satisfaction knowing that he did a good deed today. He puts a superhero stamp on the top right corner of the envelope that contains no return address and puts it in the Capitol mailbox. He thinks to himself as he drops the envelope in the mail, “What will come of this… only time will tell.”

Have a great week everyone!

Picture: Flickr by foto.bulle

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Good Sunday! The previous parts of the Sunday Sherbert Short Stories Series can be found here.

Charity Event

Today is a unique day for our superhero, Barter. During his afternoon P90X session involving plyometrics, he hears a megaphone blaring in the direction of the Statehouse Capital Dome. He was being beckoned to make an appearance at a Charity event for the city of Columbia, SC. Upon hearing this request a smile broke across his weathered face as he thought, “What do the good people of Columbia, SC want with a lonely ol’ superhero?” A hermit by nature, Barter, does not particularly enjoy public recognition. Instead, he wants to be the ‘shadow’ behind the good in the city. He wants to make a difference on his own terms, not by obligation to some higher power.

Barter does not dare answer the calls from the Megaphone. If an answer is warranted, it will be in writing on official superhero stationary and letterhead that he got from Staples. Some would say that the letterhead is a gimmick to entice kids to buy the stationary; however, Barter decided to use purchase the paper including the letterhead in case any situation arose that would warrant a reply on his part. Childish as it may look, the superhero paper does the job quite well. He only wished that the paper weight would be more substantial.

A decision is presented.

If he does attend the charity event, he will be seen as more than a crime thwarter. He will be seen as a ‘public figure’ and could potentially start generating income based on his good deeds. He thinks to himself, “Oh, how good it would be to have a nice juicy steak bought using his own funds.”

If he does not attend, he will continue his mission of thwarting crime in Columbia, SC. Also, he will be seen more as a vigilante that takes matters into his own hands not answering to any type of authority or public demand. The potential for monetary rewards will be few and far between.

The decision presented represents two potential directions that his superhero career could take.

The decision that our superhero makes will be for next week’s post.

What do you think the superhero should do?

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Welcome to the ‘new’ content. The story is somewhat short, the house is a wreck and needs immediate TLC, thus I don’t have much time to write these little stories right now. Also, I will be adding a tab at the top that contains all the Sunday Sherbert Short Stories Series in one easy to access location, so look out for that!

Superhero Strategy

Barter, whose name we learned in part 4, awakens in the middle of the night in a series of cold sweats. His pupils dilated, senses alert… he surveys his surroundings only to realize that he is at his home inside the Statehouse dome. The noises he heard coming from below him awoke him from a slumber of epic proportions. Looking around and listening so intently that he would do Roy Rogers proud, he spots two men with crowbars. A smirk breaks across his face as he tries to contain the thought of teaching these guys a lesson.

Down below, the two men are unaware of any crime thwarting super hero that lives in the SC Statehouse dome. They go on about their lives, pillaging and looting, taking what is not theirs. Their justification is that of trying to feed a hungry family. See, these two men are brothers and like 10.2% of the Columbia, SC population, they are unemployed. They have to resort to violence and stealing to survive.

Immediately into action our superhero goes, dawning the cape that his mother made for him for his 30th birthday. There was a crash, a bam, and a wham!  Next thing the looters knew, they were laying face down being put into handcuffs. The strategy involved by our super hero in capturing the hooligans was like something out of a world class chess match. Unlike chess though, the details of their detection and capture elude them. They just remember that something hit them with the force equal to three stampeding elephants with trunks swinging wildly.

As the pillagers are being arrested, Barter sits up in the capital dome drinking a Margarita, his favorite tropical drink. He thinks to himself, “It is not ideal to punish those who are only trying to survive, but it is unjust not to punish those who break the law, regardless of the circumstances.”

I know that Darth Vader is a ‘bad guy’, but I thought it was a sweet picture. LOL. See you next Sunday!

Picture: Flickr by thrig

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Good Sunday to you! I hope all is well today! If you’ve been keeping up with my hero story (Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here), you’ll be pleased to read the fourth part today.

An Interview

Where did we leave off? I am pretty tired, so my creative juices might not be flowing as freely as anticipated. I cannot force a story from our beloved hero, but an update would be pending for sure.

The man, known only as Superhero, has agreed to sit down with me in an exclusive interview. I had to sit outside the State House for 4 hours yesterday chanting his name as though my life depended on it in hopes he would answer… and answer he did:

Q: Hey superhero man, how have things been going?
A: Pretty good young little man. I am here to keep the homeless from bothering you downtown. That is my mission.

Q: That’s cool. What can I call you? Superhero man is just so… 1970’s.
A: You can call me Barter the Invisible Squatter and Homeless Thwarter.

Q: Alright Barter, what would you say is the hardest part of your job?
A: Hmmm… that would probably have to be when the homeless don’t get enough quarters for their pimp and resort to other illegal means to obtain the necessary funds. Those are interesting days!

Q: Homeless have to answer to quarter pimps?
A: Oh yes, the quarter pimp business in Columbia is a strong economy. Millions of quarters passed through the hands of the homeless last year. Those quarters always end up in the hands of a pimp who circulates the quarters back out to their… well… employment, otherwise known as quarter hoes.

Q: Whoa, I did not know that… how do you know the detailed, intricate working of quarter pimpage?
A: I cannot divulge that information at this time.

Q: K… would you say you used to be involved in the activities of the homeless before superheroing?
A: Umm… I mean… everyone has to start somewhere before they find their powers.

Q: Speaking of powers, how did you find that you could fly, turn invisible, and have super human strength?
A: In the beginning, I first learned I could ‘float’ when I fell off a cliff. The second time was the first time someone saw me.  Let me tell you that story. I was running around on the streets of Columbia one day and a dog started chasing me. I don’t like dogs, so I started running as fast as I could. I wasn’t watching where I was going and I tripped over a drunk guy laying in the street down at Five Points, I think he was a student at USC. Anyway, I went head first, with gravity guiding my fall, right towards the pavement. To my amazement I never hit the ground… instead I simply floated above it without any effort.

The dog chasing me got scared when it saw that… it took off running and the drunk college student laying on the street, well, lets just say he sobered up pretty quick when he saw me floating away smiling back at him.

A: Oh man, you scared that poor dog and that drunk college student didn’t you? Let’s change the topic, what did you think of the prior Governor and his Latin love? I mean you live in the State House dome, you must hear things being discussed?
Q: I assure you the dog and the young man were alright, albeit startled, they are alright. The previous Governor… *Chuckles*, I believe the reporters refer to him as ‘The LovGov’. *chuckles again*. Reporters are very clever and witty.

Regarding my thoughts on the situation, I believe if he keeps crime down, homeless off the street, and quarter pimps to a minimum, I could care less how he runs the state. Those are the topics that concern me. However, I can see where individuals would be upset if someone in government left the state, not letting anyone know where they were headed, for a ‘fling’ with someone in Argentina. On top of that, I’m sure it infuriates people in South Carolina that the Gov. used some taxpayer monies to do such adventurous and ill-conceived Commerce department negotiations.

As for overhearing ‘dirt’ on the Gov. while resting in the State House dome, I lay pretty high up. I can’t hear much up there other than the occasional bird or cannon fire from the river.

Q: Well Barter, thanks for coming to visit me today, this interview has been most successful and I hope for future visits if at all possible.
A: Sure thing, Jake, I do all I can to help. If you have more questions, just give me a call… you have my cell phone number.

Q: Sure do, I’ll talk to you later Barter. Good luck out there saving those people who deserve to be saved!

See you next Sunday with some new content!

Have you ever been interviewed… other than a job interview?

Picture: Flickr by Sh4rp_i

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Good Sunday afternoon to ya!  If you’ve been keeping up with my hero story (Part 1 here, Part 2 here), you’ll be pleased to read the third part today.  Enjoy!

Flash back

Invisible Man

The hero was on his knees on a dirty Columbia, SC sidewalk.  There was a pain, a sting, where his knees met the concrete.  The afternoon summer breeze brushed his hair out of his hazel eyes to reveal a stern look of determination.  His thoughts raced as 10 men surrounded him, each with a different type of weapon.  The disaster occurred when a Columbia gang heard of the escapades of the caped crusader and decided that they would take matters into their own hands.  They planned to kill the hero and turn his body over to the police to rid the filth and scum of Columbia of any type of authoritative threat.  Their plan, so far, was working perfectly.  They’d lured the hero into an alley using a decoy mugging down Main Street.  When he entered this alley, our hero found that there was a chain roof and doors on all sides.  He could not escape without damaging the building’s infrastructure.  He had no desire to do such a horrendous act to the downtown residents and developers.  “What is there to do?” he asked himself.

The gun in his mouth left him little freedom to speak.  While our hero is strong, invisible, and can fly… he is not invincible.  Surely a bullet out of a Desert Eagle .50 caliber fired at point blank range would put a damper on his weekend.  As he knelt there in that dark, damp, unforgiving alley, he began to recollect his life and the all the events that had led up to that moment.  “We truly are left to our decisions and they define our future.” he thought earnestly.

The events of his life leading up to this situation have been naught with peril and deceit.  Ever since he was a small boy, at the age of 11, he had been very strong.  The kids at the playground used to have him throw them into the lake adjacent to their school.  He had to be careful not to throw them over the lake, as they did not weigh anything to him.  He saw it as a challenge and as a way to earn acceptance into their friendship.  Little did he know, throwing kids 200 feet into the middle of a lake was not an ideal way to merit their friendship.  Brushy Creek Elementary School in upstate New York was a small school, only several hundred kids played there during the week while their parents were at various business functions.  The faculty there, unforgiving as they were, did understand the need for acceptance, but upon hearing of our hero launching kids into the middle of a lake, took immediate action.  The school expelled our hero and his gifted ways.  His parents decided to home school the child due to his gifts.

As the hero grew, so did his powers and his strengths.   His parents made sure he developed those strengths on the privacy of their farm land in Boonville on the edge of the Adirondack Park Preserve.  They had him lift whole oak trees out of the ground, move boulders the size of cars (even one the size of a small house!), and use his intuition to escape various obstacles and design various traps.  His parents were proud. They were simple people, not too in tune with the world around them, always in thought, always learning.  Their use of computers was non-existent, their knowledge of TV was limited to the 6 local channels that aired the same shows nightly, and their excitement was contained by a knowledge that their son was not normal.  How could they get excited about a child at the age of 13 who could destroy the world they knew with a 100 foot tree trunk?

At the age of 16 a strange and exciting new development took place.  The cliffs to the side of their property overlooking Kayuta Lake were used by the boy to judge distance, conquer his fear of heights, and provide a good place to ponder life’s unknowns.  This particular day was different.  Our hero’s fear of heights was tested when an eagle scared him off the cliff some 400 feet down.  He slammed into the rocky wall thinking, “This is it, my death will come at the age of 16”.  As he tumbled toward the pristine blue, 45 degree water, he felt himself slowing till finally, about 50 feet from the surface of his doom, he stopped falling. He opened his eyes to find himself hovering, floating on what first looked like nothing at all.  As he examined his surroundings, looking up gave him a sense of the situation he was in and how far he had fallen.  Oh, his heart was pounding, his adrenaline had been kicked into overdrive, his senses were extraordinary.  “How is this possible?” he thought to himself quietly as he floated above the icy waters.

These things he thought briefly as he came back to reality.  The gun in his mouth tasted of cold steel, the kind of taste after you lick frost off a metal object.  The 10 men surrounding him deciding his fate, were undoubtedly wicked.  Our hero began to develop a method of escape from the clutches of death.  His brain worked blazingly fast, the neurons firing saw a small 6″ bolt lying on the concrete 14 feet behind his captives.  The brick walls and metal grate installed above him were his bane.   He noticed that the man holding the weapon in his mouth would occasionally look towards his assailants trying to figure out their plans.   “This is my opportunity” he thought silently.

Next time that man looked away, the hero was off his knees in action.  He grabbed the gun, bent the tip of the barrel and pushed the man back into the group breaking his sternum and 6 ribs, knocking them all down.  He immediately turned invisible.  The assailants were amazed for a split moment, but immediately terrified of what they had just witnessed.  “What kind of voodoo and magic does this guy have!?” one guy screamed with a trembling voice.  Our hero, oh, he was not good to these men.  He took each gang member’s weapon and broke it in half.   He toyed with their fragile, undeveloped minds.  “You have come here to kill me.  Your hesitation and bickering have led to your downfall” he whispered in a voice filled of power and anger.  He told them all the things he could do, his powers, his training, his years of dispatching vermin such as themselves for far lesser crimes.  The fear that en-gripped the hearts of these men was profound.  All 10 men were trembling upon every word spoken by our hero.  After torturing the men for over an hour with taunts, whispers, and various other psychological ‘tricks’, he appeared behind them.  “I think it is time you turned yourself into the police” he said without hesitation.   The men turned, slowly, as to not anger the creature they fear unlike any other.  “If you do not turn yourself into the police, I will find you, and I… will turn you into the police myself” said our hero with a smirk on his face.   All 10 men went running for the alley door, soon to find themselves in a police station telling their story.

Our hero, smiled at what had just transpired.  Part of his life flashed before his eyes.  He was thankful it was the part of his life that was not haunting his future.  Standing in that alley, our hero turned invisible yet again and flew to the Dome of his residence.  He had done a good deed today.  Ten men were saved from a life full of wickedness.  His good deeds this day will trigger some more of his past.  Hopefully, the next few days of his life won’t be his last.

See you next Sunday!

Picture: Flickr by Tony the Misfit

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Good Sunday morning! I hope you enjoyed last week’s doosy of a short story. Today, I will continue the tradition of a Sunday short story. This week’s story highlights some of the abilities of the superhero.

Thwarting Crime

The hero sits up in his over sized, luxurious bed thinking to himself, “What is there to do today?” As he contemplates his daily activities, he looks upward at the inside of the dome. It is magnificent. A single tear is drawn to the inside of his eye at the thought of building such a monumental structure. Outside, he hears the laughter of children and the business talk of representatives trying to secure the future of their constituents. He yawns. He jumps out of bed, alert, ready to take on the world. Little does he know, he will be tested today by a foe so great, so diabolical, that all other heroes before him perished in the heat of battle.

As he steps to the edge of the dome, donning his favorite red cap and green leotards, a sight catches his eye. “What is that in the distance… an individual in distress!?” he says to himself. He immediately turns invisible so that the guests of the state house grounds will not be bothered by the likes of him. He flies, invisible, from the dome down Main Street to Blanding Street, where a mugger has recently acquired a possession that did not belong to himself. BOOM! POW! KABOW! There is only darkness in the mind of the mugger, unable to see the hero, unable to catch him, it looks as though he is beating himself up. Down goes the mugger! The street is so warm in the afternoon sun, the breeze gently blows down Blanding street towards Assembly street where the sound of wooshing cars brings back memories for the unfortunate mugger.

The hero drops his invisibility to reveal an ordinary looking man, dressed in a business suit, holding the purse that was snatched from the helpless, elderly woman. He walks over to her, hands her the purse and bids her farewell. In his departure, he called an ambulance for the mugger, just in case he knew not the bounds of his strength. He never intentionally means to hurt evil people, though, it does happen if such means are necessary. He ducks into an alley… turns invisible again and flies up to the Dome of the state house. Ever vigilant, he keeps watch over the city and the patrons of downtown Columbia, SC. His senses are keen, alert, and ready for more action. Shall his deeds never be discarded, shall they never be a second thought… little does he know, by the police he is sought.

See you again next week. I hope the week goes splendidly for everyone!

Picture: Flickr by alancleaver_2000

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