Most recently published stories in Humans.
Not worth it
“We won!” he said, beaming from ear to ear. I nodded in response. He was proud of his accomplishment. For him, settling this case was unprecedented, a note of celebrity, a chance for fame and more business. For me, the win was empty.
Burn the Ships
Erin had travelled to Taunton on the train, snuggled up with her small son, Oliver. He was cocooned in his own insulated and brightly coloured online world. Watching cartoons, sipping orange juice and occasionally laughing out loud. This gave Erin time to think.
The Real Little Black Book
February was always the best month of the year in Arizona. It was still chilly from the winter but not yet taking on the desert's heat from the summer. I peered back into the rearview mirror, putting down my windows and placing my hands on the wheel. I turned down the radio so I could hear the silence. It calmed me a lot these days. I couldn’t tell if I was trying to decipher the voices in my head or quiet them. I was only 20 at this point, but I swear my soul felt aged far beyond that. My childhood wasn’t easy, but I refused to be a victim. Instead, I listened to every podcast, read every book, studied every successful person out there, and decided that I wouldn’t stop until I was happy. What a paradox, I thought. Work to be happy, never happy cause all I do is work.
The Little black Book
The little black book had been in her family for generations. Every year, the bearer of this book would open it on it’s birthday and read the new prophecy. It was Eva’s turn to read the book. You never knew what the book would announce: war, marriage, death. Sometimes it would be good news, sometimes terrible. This year Eva prayed it would be some kind of clues to get money: surprised inheritance, the PowerBall numbers, anything would do. She was broke like she had never been before!
The iron gray sky threatened rain on the city below. The city’s long steel and concrete fingers reached upward as if ready to embrace the wetness and dance in the winds of the approaching storm. Thunder rumbled in the distance. It was a sort of soothing rumble, not loud, but he could feel it in his feet, its deep vibration was as if the earth were shaking from fear. The wind was stronger this high in the air, pushing against him with invisible force in the opposite direction of the one he wanted to be pushed in. He knows he must do it; he just cannot seem to tilt forward the extra inch it would take to end this harrowing life he so, carelessly thrusted himself into. A little money on this sports game, a little on the next one, and the next one and the next until he is all ‘littled’ out. That’s where he should stop, right? When he has bet all his family’s hard-earned fortune a bit at a time. Take the loss and move on. Sure, it would be tough, but he could do it. No. this is where he knows, he is absolutely, one-hundred-percent sure that he can win all that fortune back on just one game. Then, he would quit. So, he finds somebody to loan him the money, but not just anybody, no, it had to be easy, untraceable. He gets a recommendation, follows it, and meets his future debtor. Sure, the guy looks like he means business, but he is an all-right dude. He makes the whole deal easy and with simple terms. Pay the money back with a, flat, ten-percent interest rate or face the consequences. ‘I don’t like confrontation, my friend,” the man told him in his heavy New York accent, “but I’m not afraid of it either.” With that statement, he would walk away, heavy briefcase in hand, wondering if this was a good idea. He would find out, soon, that it was not. Almost nineteen thousand dollars, gone in one week. Not one penny to show for it. So, he then, finds himself nearly on top of the tallest building in the city. Trying to talk his way out of something he knows he must go through with. He cannot run, they will find him, they will always find him. His next weighted decision is death by suicide or death by ‘consequences’. He does not know what consequences meant in this instance, but he has watched enough movies to know that it probably is not the desired outcome. Now, here he stands, listening to the city below move like nothing has happened, the smell of coming rain pulled through him with every inhale. Wiping the sweat from his palms, he runs his hands across his jacket; somethings there, in his pocket. He pulls out a small black notebook held shut by a black elastic band. Did someone slip it into his pocket? He does not recall being handed a notebook. Confused, he pulls the cover open to reveal a mostly blank first page. MOLESKINE is written in capital letters at the bottom. He flips to the next page. Written in a messy scrawl, in all capital letters are the words, PLEASE DON’T DO IT! YOUR DEBT IS PAID. Could this be true? He thinks. Or is it a trick?
Subtext of a Life
Patricia Lewis is a close friend of isolation. In fact, they go way back. Most would assume the friendship was forged by Patricia herself, considering her occupation and single status, but that wasn’t exactly true. When she was a little girl, she was as sociable as any child. She spent summer days with the kids around the neighborhood. They played jacks, marbles, statues, you name it, she played it. Even when Jimmy Turner, who lived next door, got a pair of boxing gloves for Christmas, she was the first (and only) girl eager to tussle. They each could only wear one glove and since they were Jimmy’s, he got the right mitt. But Pat, who was also right-handed, still gave Jimmy a run for his money with her left hook.
The Notebook Conspiracy
If I’m being strictly honest here, it’s a gimmick. And like me, it’s getting old. Fast. And okay, the doc’ll be thrilled at the exercise, given the givens. After Elenore… well. Let’s just say there’s not much out there of interest, not when home means imagining her pottering about the kitchen, serenading the radio slightly off key because it always makes me laugh. Home means spraying her perfume on her pillow, pretending she’s just brushing her teeth. She’ll be back in a minute or two.
For as long as Reden could remember, whenever he would visit Kalihen, his friend would always be sitting in his study, scribbling furiously into a little black book. He would stand there and watch him sometimes, intrigued by the fervor and concentration. But the moment he made a sound - a creak of a floorboard or a squeal of the door - Kalihen would slam the book shut. If both Reden and Alis were there, Kalihen would take extra care to tuck the book into a hidden compartment within his desk, as if they might team up and take it from him.
The garage door made a whining, whirring sound as it opened. So many memories here. As the dust particles kicked up my mind flashed back to better days. I asked myself “How long since I had been here?
The Little Ram
I like signs that point out restaurants at the next exit after you’ve been driving for hours looking for something other than McDonald’s. I like signs of warning, especially the ones for spicy foods. There’s nothing worse than taking a long-awaited bite of a new Chinese dish and you missed the four little red peppers next to it on the menu.
The Seekers Guild
Chapter 1 The scorching midday sun was directly above her in the cloudless blue sky, unrelenting and unyielding as it baked the already desiccated soil. Terra Nixon sighed, arching back to relieve the persistent dull ache in the base of her spine, until she felt a small series of satisfying muffed pops. Her callused fingers reflexively gripped her scythe, its obvious age belying its burnished, but deceptively sharp blade. She glanced up and down the rows of wheat, skimming over the familiar sight of her fellow workers and neighbours bent double over the crops, heads bowed, as strong, swift hands collected and gathered their bounty without pause.
War No More
Encapsulated Michael is a 19-yr-old college student. He’s a jovial virgin with more integrity than most young men his age. Although he has already met a couple new friends in class, he and his family are new to the neighborhood. He arrives home—just in time to witness a clock on the wall tick ‘five-eighteen’. Though the home is only semi-furnished, everything is in order. This allows a hand-written note on the counter to be noticeable as it seems to be begging for investigation. Michael begins reading.