Most recently published stories in Humans.
My Neighbor, Sylvia
I like to believe I’m a friendly person. I smile at people, I say hello to my neighbors, maybe even chat about the weather, the world under Covid, our aches and pains, traffic, you know, the mundane things of everyday living. Sometimes, I may ask about their family, the pets. Though, I never really have time to get deep, being wound up in my own life, my own concerns, to stop and engage in someone else’s story. It’s the reality of living in a busy, hectic environment like NYC. Yes, Covid has slowed everything down a bit, but it has also amplified our own concerns even more. We’ve retreated even further into our own world, a by-product of weeks and months in quarantine.Marlyn Bandiero
The Happy Accident
Sitting stuck in a cardboard moving box, cursing and pushing sweaty hair away from her grime-streaked face was not the way this was supposed to happen. Sophie had dreamt of meeting Franco Napoli perched on a stool in ritzy club, swinging a designer-clad heel or bumping into him at a party in an elegant frock, not sporting a ratty old t-shirt and denim skirt.Mary-Anne O'Connor
FACING THE LEFT BEHIND
It was a particularly warm Sunday morning. The world outside was already in the midst of its rhythms, neighbors mowing lawns, others washing cars. Others, in their Sunday best, raced off to church, but as the world was happening outside he was inside. To be exact, he was in a room he hadn’t stepped into for some time, a room that had been closed off and ignored, but here he was standing and staring. He was staring at a cheque. His whole being boiled with frustration as he tried to come to terms with the amount. Whether it was a big amount or a small amount, what did this amount suggest about his worth? What did this declare about his value. These questions ran through his mind in such a consuming way that all the noise of outside was nonexistent. Nothing outside this room existed. In this moment, all existence was a dim dust filled room with only a gush of light flowing across the wall and desk.Scott Wellard
Love Letters from Heather
To the guy I met in Chicago’s Criminal Court whose name I have long forgotten. When I was 12, my mother and I went apple picking on a crisp fall day. On the drive back home, apple in hand, my eardrums were jolted by the sound of smashing glass. I felt the lurch as my body pressed mercilessly against the seatbelt. While my mother was busy trying to right the car and keep it from rolling, I was engaged in staring straight ahead at a tree that seemed to be getting far too close far too quickly.Heather Down
Inbu’s Heart 4/10
Out of the three hundred women who had signed up for the tournament, only 269 made it to the castle gate before sunset. Mei sighed in relief that she was one of them. The tips of her fingers aged with the frost. Rubbing her hands together, she covered her mouth an blew into them. After a minute of panting, she couldn't keep her hands of Bessie. Maidens in lilac dresses laughed at her as Mei kissed Bessie's ears. Many others glared at in disgust. What the hell was she doing showing such affection to a cow? In the higher classes, cows were only good for beef and milk. Bessie may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a horse, but she was loyal and helpful. If it wasn't for the sweet cow, she was certain to be stuck in some bush somewhere.
How an innocent "ringtone" brought me right back to a place, I'd rather FORGET!!
So I recently went back to an Iphone after literally six years of boycotting anything Apple. Well long story short, Mama found her way back home. As I held my new MacBook Air in my hands, I knew my Galaxy days were numbered. The next day I made the trade in, and came home with the new Iphone SE, 2020 edition of course. It's a beauty and I was happy to be back together. We were Reunited, and it felt ohhhhh so good. It took me a couple days to get it customized to my liking. After about a week i felt confident that I had taken care of all the bells and whistles Iphones have to offer. Then I came across a Feature that helps and tracks your sleeping habits, I set myself up with what my goal was and hit DONE!!! I usually don't use alarm clocks, I have severe diagnosed Anxiety so I get up in the A.M with little to no ease. So Monday morning was when the bed schedule feature kicked in and I was awaken by a familiar but paralyzing sound. As I was slowly waking up to the alarm tone "Early Riser", I was rushed right back to the room of an ex lover who I'd rather not name. So we will call him "little shit". This was the alarm tone I would use to wake me when I would sleepover there. It brought me right back to all the negativity, all the passive aggressiveness, the lies, the cheating, it was all over whelming! I grabbed my phone and If looks could kill, my new SE would've burst into flames. One of the ways I've found that keeps my peace of mind, is that I try not to give people, places and things that no longer serve me any more than the initial thought. I pride myself on not giving it anymore than that. But this was different, this was a traumatic time for me. I was very active in my drug addiction at this time. I'm almost four years clean so NEVER AGAIN, plus I'm way to fearful of the Lord's wrath. Have you seen what He can do? Any who, back to "little shit". My drug use was rampant and I'm sure he knew, but he was an alcoholic, so tomato, tomato. The combo was toxic at best. The sex was good, that was the least of the issues. "Little shit" was insane in the membrane, we lived 40 minutes away from each other, but I still felt like he had eyes on me. He hated that I had more guy friends than girls and would get bent out of shape if I didn't respond in a timely fashion. I hated that he was always broke and would smoke all my cigarettes after I just drove almost an hour to see him. One night when I came to see him after working an 8hour shift, he decided to get pissy and pick a fight with me that was just a mess of everything he wished he would've said but "little shit" was a little shit so had bottled it up.The verbal attack that ensued was verbally abusive to say the least. I ended up driving home at 3 A.M alone and crying my eyes out!! The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I had enough drugs on me to keep me numb, because sleep wasn't in my cards that night. After that night we talked here and there but that night was the camel that broke "little shits" back. I can NEVER use "Early Riser" as a tone for anything, he ruined that for me!! It's amazing how fragile and delicate our memories are. You try so hard to forget people, places and things. But all it takes is literally one tone to activate your memory rolodex, and bring you to a place in time, you prayed you'd forgotten.Jacqueline Medina
Inbu’s Heart 3/10
"Is that the farmer's daughter?" "What was she thinking signing up?" "No way would a prince want her?" The first task was designed to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Pantalon's capital city, Bulbabutt was thick with people. Mei knew she was out of place in her brown rags and green apron whereas the other women wore fancy frocks and shiny rocks. Prince Inbu was nowhere to be seen. In his place was a clown dressed in purple stripes and green stars and a yellow nose.
Inbu’s Heart 2/10
Mei stretched her arms, leaning back against the mattress. She rolled over, feeling the sun rays on her face. Even without the chickens crowing, she knew it was time to get up. Two Shih Tzu dogs jumped on her bed. The black one Oxo, pulled the covers away, the white one, Tenshi, licked her hand and using her tongue to slap Mei's face.
Calling Out Justin Timberlake
Disclaimer Before I get any death threats from the fan base. I don’t hate Justin Timberlake. He’s an all-round entertainer. As a vocalist, he’s fantastic and he’s also a good actor and dancer. As awesome as the great things he’s done, he deserves to be called out for all the bad things he’s done.
A Drawer Full of Hope
As a child Vanessa liked to visit yard sales with her parents. She became adept at sanding, repairing and restoring worn pieces of furniture. She continued the hobby even as an adult, occasionally coming across bargains that she would never have been able to afford at full price. Vanessa’s online job made it possible for her to rent a bedroom and pay her share of the bills in a house she shared with four other women, and she could buy herself groceries and needed goods, but there was not much left over for extras. She was pleased to be able to support herself but looked forward to saving up enough to indulge in her favorite hobby – restoring old furniture.Jay Michael Jones
Hickory Creek, Inc.
"I'm gonna sue that kid!" Millie Turner screamed. The poor girl was storming down the sidewalk, ranting like a lunatic. To be fair the white lab coat she was wearing didn't help her appearance. As she stomped past our house, Millie spotted me out the corner of her eye.Jeremy Jewitt
It’s 1929, and there’s still not much a girl can get away with, huh? And that’s coming from me. No idea who I think I am, walkin’ around the way I do, not giving a single gosh darn, not workin’ a day of my little ol’ life away. Not real work, anyway. Not the way Tom defines it. “Joyce, don’t you care what’s gonna happen to us if they let me go?”Hannah Kfoury