Going nowhere fast.
That was what her father said every time she got less than an A, or whenever she had less than three hours of homework. The fact that she played varsity soccer, with a scholarship nearly guaranteed, didn't seem to change his opinion of her.
Turned out he was right. In the second-to-last game of the season, she fell and broke her ankle. No scholarship for her. She gave up on college.
She ended up as a bartender at one of the hippest restaurants in the city. And you know what? She found she had more fun at...
It was his favourite shirt. But in the rush to leave, it had been forgotten on the line. She stared at it every day from her window. Today it was an especially bitter reminder as she stood at the window, mixing up a batch of cookies.
The cookies were for her son's funeral. The son who had worn that shirt day in, day out, until the day he left. The son who had climbed that tree as a boy, played hide and seek in that yard. The teenager who brought girls home to kiss behind the big tree when he...
Dancing on the beach in bare feet. What a careless thing to do. You could get glass in your feet, or step on a sharp rock. And what on earth are you wearing? It's too cold out; you'll get sick. Get back in the house this minute, girls. It'll be dark, soon, anyway, and you shouldn't be out after dark. That's when the bad men come out.
Sometimes, I wish I could be like you. Innocent, with the world ahead of me. Able to do silly things like dance on the beach at sunset without worrying about the consequences. But...
I'm with stupid.
What an offensive shirt to wear on a first date, I thought as I picked at my salad. As soon as it was socially acceptable, I'd excuse myself to the bathroom, where I'd conveniently get a call from my dog's babysitter.
As we finished dinner, I prepared to make my dash to the bathroom, but he stopped me. "It's the shirt, isn't it?"
"I didn't say anything," I replied.
"I know you didn't, but you definitely noticed it. You'd have to be, well, stupid not to. So here's the story." His voice took on a sad tone....
The gate closed behind them. Ahead of them stood the fearsome Morley house, said to be haunted with the ghosts of the former occupants, who had been killed years ago.
Jana, the youngest of the four, turned pale. "Are you sure it's safe to be here?"
The second-oldest, Robert, scoffed, "There's no such thing as ghosts."
"I'm more worried about Dad finding out we're not in bed," Jason, the second-youngest, said.
"You guys are such wusses. C'mon!" Angela, the oldest, ran up the hill to the house, opening the door. As soon as she stepped in, though, she ran out...
My mother loved colour. She spent the last weeks of her life in a hospital bed, with its monotone greys and whites. People gave her all kinds of gifts and cards. But her favourite one was a bright purple robe with pink stitching.
That gift was from me. Truth is, I'm more of a tactile person. Yet I knew this was what she craved most--her two favourite colours in the world.
At her funeral, we released balloons in pink and purple. Or, rather, everyone else did. I held onto mine. I wasn't ready to let her go yet.
She held the letter, tears flowing down her face. Somehow she'd known it would always come to this. That no matter how hard she tried to steer him in the right direction, he was bound and determined to go his own way, like a shopping cart with a busted wheel.
The letter was short and to the point, mostly complaining about the food. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt, though he was thrown into solitary once for fighting.
As she re-read the letter, she sobbed, for she too was confined in a prison not of her choosing.
She looked at the body of her enemy lying there on the floor. She knew she should feel a sense of triumph, but instead there was only sorrow. Sorrow for the lost years, the million memories that would never be, the milestones both present and future that would never be shared.
For you see, the dead body belonged to her mother.
Her mother had run out on her father soon after her birth, and the girl had wondered all her life what it was like to have a mother. Someone to make sure her hair was perfect on picture...
The children were not at school.
When the bomb went off, Mrs. Stevenson's grade four class was on a field trip to the museum. Luckily for them, the museum had a bomb shelter underneath, paid for by a very wealthy and very paranoid patron.
The parents all rushed to the school, frightened out of their minds. All the other kids were delivered safely to their families, but all the parents with a fourth grade student waited anxiously for their children who never showed up.
The principal tried to comfort the wailing mothers, while the fathers were standing around angrily, blaming...
I smashed the crystal ball against the sidewalk, jumping on it to make sure it really was destroyed. It couldn't tell me anything anyway.
I was abandoned on a doorstep as a baby by my mother, and I always knew I wasn't going to be like her. I wanted a big family that I could give all my love and attention to.
But I picked the ball up at a flea market, and while polishing it, saw a doctor's report. It said that I was infertile. I didn't want to believe it, but I've always been superstitious, so...