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Thread: Mattrick's Weekly Short Story Thread

  1. #1
    Going Slap Happy Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick's Avatar

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    Default Mattrick's Weekly Short Story Thread

    On a writing forum I am on, every Friday we get a prompt and have to write a 500 word (though I tend to go a little over) short story on it. When I write these I write them off the top of my head, with no planning, and I leave them totally unedited. I pop em off and walk away, usually in about 20 minutes. One of these is ripe for some expanding into a longer short story. It's a fun challenge writing a story in 500 words when I am used to writing a story in 120,000+ words. So every weekend I should have a new one up. People on that writing site seem to really like them, so I hope you do as well!


    One Magical Morning - September 6th 2015

    Timmy was a bad boy, a very bad boy. The entire semester at school he had bullied the other children, most of the time simply to get a reaction out of them, though, on some occasions, he would physically take the belongings of others, but he would not take these things because he wanted them, he would take them because he detected cherishment from the other students; these things were important to them, and he would take them, smash them to bits, and then do everything but lap the saline solution streaming down their cheeks. There were many detentions, many notes sent home, and due to two instances, both involving another student getting bloodied, Timmy's parents were called into the principal's office, which aggravated his parents to no end since the commute from work and then back to work was not only brutal but one of them must stay home with Timmy both to reprimand him and to supervise him. Timmy hated them for grounding him for a whole month after the second incident. "He started it!" Was Timmy's response, but it fell upon deaf and fed up ears.

    As soon as his grounding was over, as if to tell his parents their discipline had no effect, he immediately thrashed another student and was suspended from school for a whole week after the threat of expulsion was mitigated both by Timmy's parent's pleading and Timmy's crocodile tears.

    When November came to an end, his parents threatened Timmy that he would get not a single present from them for Christmas and that they have personally notified Santa Claus of his wrongdoings, and, if there was no improvement in his behaviour, Santa would give him nothing but coal.

    Timmy was fine with that. He was not threatened by threats. All the same, as the days rolled along, he tried his best to be good because if he got no presents and the other kids got wind of it, they surely would never let him live it down. And as days turned into weeks, he became paranoid that the other kids knew of the threat as one by one they challenged him by gallivanting around the schoolyard with their beloved objects; some called him names; some merely stuck their tongue out him; but it was the kid who gave him the finger that almost drove him into a blind fit of rage yet, somehow, even to his own surprise, he maintained control.

    On December 23rd, he was outside playing, and there was a stray cat that limped along the sidewalk, shivering and wet with barely any meat on it, so Timmy, unable to vent his rage on his classmates, took his this opportunity to pelt the starving, freezing feline with snowballs. Of course he checked first, to ensure his parents or none of his neighbours were watching him or that no cars were approaching, and when the cat freaked out and ran into the street, its panicked paws comically fighting for traction on the icy roads, Timmy laughed and laughed like it was the funniest thing in the world.

    On Christmas Eve, his parents congratulated his behaviour and told him even Santa must be impressed with how he turned himself around. That night Timmy slept, and he slept well.

    When he awoke before the sun on Christmas Morning and saw all the presents with his name on it, he was so overcome with anticipation he didn't even wait for his parents to watch him tear apart the wrapping paper with spurious glee. Ice skates. A remote controlled truck. A Skylanders game. Pokemon Cards.

    He came to a present that said, 'To: Timmy; From:_____'.

    Timmy ripped open the box and he did not just scream, he ran around the living room bawling his eyes out, howling at the top of his lungs for his mother, his father; anyone, really.

    Inside the box was a cat skull, still moist and sanguine with sporadic tufts of hair pasted to it, and clipped between its fangs was a note which read, "I see everything - SC"


    Shutterbug - September 11th 2015

    It keeps happening.

    It won't stop.

    I know, you don't believe me, but it's true. I'll show you.

    Oh I haven't told you what 'it' is yes. Let me explain.

    Two days ago, I took a photo of myself to send to this guy who I think is really hot. And there was something--different--different about my face. I just didn't know what. So I took another. It still bugged me. What was it? After taking a dozen photos of myself, I shrugged it off as anxiety and sent the picture. He never replied. It was because of my face, I know.

    I took another photo. Then I saw it.

    It was like I had a weird rash on my cheeks.

    But it wasn't in the mirror.

    I called Jenna over and she saw nothing.

    I couldn't sleep. I kept looking at the pictures and every time I scrolled through them, the rash got worse and worse.

    I looked in the mirror again. No rash. I took a hundred pictures of my own reflection and in the photo of my reflection, it got worse and worse. It wasn't even a rash anymore. It was just a sea of imperfections, freckles, blackheads, pockmarks, pimples.

    I knew that couldn't be me. It was a trick. Someone was pranking me with some new filter. So I bought a new camera and took a selfie still in the checkout.

    It wasn't a trick. I looked hideous. I ran out of the store crying.

    I asked strangers on the streets to look at my face and I received nothing but compliments.

    Was it all in my head?

    I looked great in all the storefronts. I ran into that guy. He almost didn't recognize me. We're supposed to have a date tomorrow. I felt better.

    Last night, I had one of those coma sleeps. When I woke up, my new Nikon was beside me. I can't--I'll show you. Just let me adjust the camera. Okay, when I slept, I apparently took enough photos of myself to fill up the memory. As I scroll through, can you see? See me withering away? The picture me is like forty pounds lighter. And ugly, so fucking ugly. I'm hideous.

    I deleted the SD card. The photos came back.

    There is no way I'm going on that date. Now. Look at me! On the video camera I can actually see myself wasting away. Can't you? My skin is like dripping butter. I scratched an itch and my skin disintegrated.

    I'm so dry inside.

    Why am I so dry inside?

    Look at me close my eyes, bet you can't even tell they're closed because my eyelids are gone.

    They're gone.

    I have to look at myself. My hand is just a skeleton. See?

    I tried to look in the mirror but it's plastered with photos of myself.

    All of them ghastly, dead, decaying.

    Did I take them? I don't remember it.

    Shit. Look at me! I'm taking pictures of myself right now. I'm not trying to. I'm just doing it. I need to do this. Hold on.

    Okay, steady. You can do this.

    FUCK THAT HURT THAT HURT SO MUCH.

    Wait. How am I supposed to cut off my other hand now? This hand that is still taking pictures?

    Oh my god. On the monitor. Something--something is holding my wrist. I see it. No. It's gone. It's back.

    Are you seeing this? Are you?

    God, God, God, God.

    The Nikon. It's floating. No. The hand I chopped off it holding it and It's--the strap--it's wrapping arou---y--neck---and--fl-sh-b---ding me. Can't bre--------------
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  2. #2
    Fundraiser Emeritus Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958's Avatar

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    Mattrick, I sent you a PM and then I saw this thread. You may want to try your hand at this...


    http://www.thedarktower.org/palaver/...l=1#post948892


    Check out the second to last paragraph. Best of luck to you

  3. #3
    Going Slap Happy Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick's Avatar

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    Home - September 26th

    James is addicted to travelling. He has seen every continent with the exception of Antarctica and has stepped foot in ninety-seven different countries. There are all kinds of travellers: the escapist, the party animal, the relaxer, the geologist, the architect, the anthropologist, the bleeding heart, the artist, the photographer, the journeyer; there are many more kinds than this, but they are all irrelevant other than for the sake of pointing out that everyone travels for their own personal reasons. James is not unique in this respect. He does travel for a reason. He travels in search of a home.

    Home. What is that? Some metaphor for nostalgic sentimentality or for family? Is home four walls and a roof and a door and a few windows and a floor and a couch and a bed and perhaps some books in a library or in the washroom with a bed to sleep in, to make love in, to age and eventually die in? If that is all home is, then he won't find one until someone lowers him into a casket. If home is where the heart is, and someone has no heart, does that mean they are homeless? If it does, then James was born homeless.

    Year after year he moves from country to country. When his passport expires, it never takes much effort to find a girl amenable to giving him another fake permanent address so this revolution can continue without end. It can't end. It can't end until he finds--

    Home. A home. The home. Any home. That's all James wants. Home.

    Several men much younger than James come out of a club across the street and they splash in the slushy snow as they walk away, smoking, laughing about some joke in whatever language they were speaking that James cannot decipher. Eventually all languages blend together, even English, which he hasn't heard in his native dialect in over twenty years, has lost all inflexion. For sometime, he follows them, listening to their inane blathering as if anything they had to say means anything. People are the same everywhere. That is what James has learned. One by one they break off until only one remains.

    James runs up to the lone young man who is holding a smouldering cigarette in his lips. He asks for a cigarette but the young man doesn't understand, so he mimics smoking and is handed a cigarette.

    "Nice night,' James says after lighting his smoke.

    The response is in a language that has a redundant name.

    "Not too cold. Not too windy. A perfect mid-winter night which will give birth to a world of frost."

    Obviously not understanding a word, the young man kindly bids him adieu and continues on. James runs up to him and gras his shoulder. Now the young man is not so kind. Not that it matters. James already has his homemade puree machine through his chest and its little blades whirl around so fast the young man is dead before his cigarette hits the ground. He extends the straw built into his device and lets the metallic tonic flow inside of him.

    He drops the body. Blood spreads through the white snow.

    No home here. Never a home. But he'll find one soon.

    He's running out of countries.
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  4. #4
    Going Slap Happy Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick is a splendid one to behold Mattrick's Avatar

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    Maxiumum 40 - October 4th

    There is one thing that gives Sam more dread than anything else. It is not the sort of thing that is normally associated with dread, yet it is impossible for her to shake. The source of this dread is not even unique in any fashion. It is just a road sign. A simple road sign that reads 'MAXIMUM 40'. She drives past a dozen of these signs every day on the way to work, and dozens more when travelling anywhere else. Yet, only one of those mass-produced road signs elicits that sensation from her. It is on a residential street no different from her own. The effect this sign has on her is not a recent phenomenon: it has been going on for years. Now she dreams about it.

    In her dreams, she will go to work and the sign will be posted at her workstation. It will be posted in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, in the middle of a nameless road, in her living room, in her driveway. She can't escape it. And she knows it is this particular sign near that particular intersection which haunts her because in the bottom, right-hand corner, there is a small, red graffito of a cat's face with a cigarette in its mouth.

    One morning, she tried to scrub off that cat face, but it wouldn't come off. None of her solvents worked. None of her brillo pads were strong enough, nor was the sandpaper. That graffito was an indelible omen.

    Either there was something inherently insidious about that particular road sign, or it was something else, something she just can't decipher, something so deep inside her guts that perhaps not even an autopsy would discover it.

    On this typical morning, she drives past the sign, holding her breath, trying to still her heart, unable not to look at the smoking cat, blocking out the chatter of her teenage children, hearing only her private dread speak to her in a voice she cannot hear, only feel. Then its naked backside wasn't even in her rearview.

    She drops her kids off at school and goes on her way to work. But before she gets there, she turns into an empty parking lot, shuts off the engine and cries. She has no idea why she is crying. She feels entrapped so she gets out of the car, sits on the raised walk, and collects her tears in her cupped palms. After five minutes, she gets in the car, dries her face, and fixes her makeup in the rearview.

    Sam goes back onto the road. There's the sign with that same red, smoking cat. Every road sign is that sign. She closes her eyes in hopes that when she opens them those signs will be gone. Before she can open them, there is a tremendous crunch.

    "Don't you hate when this happens?"

    "I do."

    "It never gets any easier, does it?"

    "It doesn't."

    The two cops look at the smoking wreckage where a truck went head on with a sedan that veered into the oncoming lane. To the left, a covered body is raised into the ambulance. One of the cops shudders when the doors slam; the other shudders when one paramedic thumps the back door.

    "She has two kids and a husband."

    "They're in for a world of hurt."

    "How would you have that talk with your kids if--"

    "I don't even wanna--"

    One of the cops opens up the wallet they retrieved from her purse and says, "She was turning forty-one next week."

    The other cop looks at the 'MAXIMUM 40' sign that was broken when the car trailing the truck reacted to the crash; on it was small, red graffito of a cat's face smoking. He sighs and says, "Well, guess it's time to go."

    "Yeah."
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