Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s day is an aristocratic, authoritative holiday designed by imbeciles in stained white stockings with a hole in the knee.

This hole in the knee represents the hole in their hearts that they attempt to fill with a meaningless, corporation driven holiday every February that includes spending ridiculous amounts of money at Jared’s, just to come home and present an incorrectly sized ring to your gold digger ex wife who for some reason still lives with you.  You walk into the living room of your 5 bedroom, rundown apartment to find her having sex with a man who looks suspiciously like Darth Vader without his helmet on.  You proceed to question her as to why she would ever betray you in such a way, in your own football ridden sanctuary, no less.  She reminds you that the two of you are divorced, so technically she wasn’t betraying anyone.  You shrug, punch the man in his wrinkly face, and proceed to take you and your incorrectly sized ring elsewhere.  You end up on the streets of Baltimore, late at night, being propositioned by a lady of the night.  You stare at the woman for a moment, shove the ring box into her well manicured hand, and hightail it to a dive bar.  You then get drunk off of tequila and eat about ten individual lime slices before you pass out in the corner, your foot dangerously close to a puddle that glints – suspiciously – yellow in the lighting.

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Conflict


“You’re saying that just because a death is quick… that that makes it humane?”

“It’s humane if they don’t feel pain.  Would you rather I drew it out?”

“It’s never humane to kill someone!”

“These deaths will save many lives.”

“What about the lives you are taking?”

“It is worth it.”

“Have you even thought about how these people have homes, families, friends, lovers, jobs, everything that you and I have?”

“Sometimes you have to get rid of thought to do what is right.”

“If you had any thought, you’d see this can’t be right!”

“Who decides what is right and wrong?”

“When did you decide that you have the right to take a life?”

“It’s God’s will.”

“You can’t play God!  And I doubt you had a conversation and He gave you permission.”

“You are being unreasonable.  What are these lives to the hundreds of thousands, even millions, that will be saved?”

“How can you value one human over another?”

“If you were to think scientifically, statistically, reasonably, for a moment, you’d see the numbers.”

“How can you be so calm about this?  Don’t you have a heart, a bit of a conscience?”

“I could ask the same of you.”

“How? I’m not the one about to kill!”

“Have you seen the numbers?”

“And what do the numbers say?!”

“That for every life lost at least a thousand will be saved.”

She pressed the button.

Summer


Disclaimer: The following story contains references to alcohol, drugs, and other objectionable content.

The Start-of-Summer festival was held every year at the end of school, which was actually in late May, and still technically during the spring.  The five neighborhoods that hosted and attended the festival were rather large, with roughly 300 houses each.  However, only the younger families came, the ones with teenagers or couples under 50, and only then whoever wasn’t out of town on a business trip or vacation.  There would be anywhere from 800 to 1500 people there every year, though the park where the festival was held was very large.

It was basically a brag-fest for the adults, who drank expensive wine, gossiped, and consciously ignored the fact that the teenagers were getting drunk on cheap beer, stoned on illegal drugs, and dancing inappropriately on the other side of the park, music blaring, but not too loud that parents would grow irritated.  Every year, authority ignored the many breaches of law, as all the families had either connections with the police or enough money to pay for lawyers so good that the unfortunate officer to actually do their job would be, somehow, successfully sued by said family.

This year, Sara was sitting against a tree, gulping down Miller Light.  Maybe if she drank enough, she could block out the world, the confusion, the party around her, the steady ache in her chest that threatened to take over at any moment.  If she drank enough, maybe she wouldn’t be sad.  Maybe the bruises on her shoulder and face would disappear.  Maybe, when she woke up the next morning, she would have a different life, a happier life, along with the inevitable hangover.

An hour and a couple too many beers later, the small girl had thrown up once and felt too tired to move.

“Hey.  You have a safe ride home?”  Another girl, who was about Sara’s age and completely sober, crouched next to her.  Sara hadn’t seen her before – if she had, she was too drunk to remember.  Instead of replying, she leaned over and started throwing up in the grass again.  The girl held back Sara’s hair, her fingers cool and gentle.  When she started sobbing, the girl held her and gave her tissues, then wiped away tears and snot when it became apparent Sara couldn’t use them.  After a while, when she thought Sara would be calm enough to talk, she said “Did you drive here alone?”  When she nodded, the girl asked for her keys.  For some reason Sara couldn’t determine, she pointed to her bag.  The girl fished them out, slung it over her shoulder, and helped Sara to her feet.

“Come on, let’s get you home.  Don’t worry, I moved into the same neighborhood a little while ago.  I’ve seen you come and go from your house before.  You don’t need to give directions.”  She whispered, but Sara heard, and gratefully leaned on her as they walked through the parking lot, the girl pressing the button on the keys until the car beeped.  She helped Sara in and buckled her up.

Then, the stranger drove her home.

Untitled Short Story


There are things that need to be done.  Dishes to start, laundry to fold, papers to be filed.  And yet I am standing here, in front of this dingy apartment door, on stained carpet with my fist raised to knock on the scratched wood with the dented but shiny plaque proudly reading “Apt. 415”.  I guess I have to hand it to her – no matter what else, she shines the stupid plaque every day.  It’s like she thinks that as long as her plaque is shiny, nothing too bad can happen.
Well, she’s wrong.