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Tag Archives: short story series
Though my stomach growled, the constant presence of creepy-crawlies and the unshakable visions of ticks crawling through a crack in my suit and burrowing into my skin had left me with little desire to eat. Or perhaps, more accurately, no intention of removing my gloves, lifting the protective netting around my face, and then sitting down beneath the gently swaying canopy.
Instead I took several long drinks through the tube which ran out of my backpack, under my hood and to my mouth, allowing me to stay hydrated without removing any protective gear. Continue reading
Here it is, the grand finale! If this is your first visit STOP NOW and read the rest of the story before you continue…it’s cheating to read the end of the story first! I’ll give you the links to make it a little less annoying to click to all the other chapters: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.
Okay, all caught up? Here we go….
For twenty-four sleepless hours I waited in my cell, worrying about my children. When I’d arrived at the station, they’d given me my one phone call. I used it to call home, but no on had answered.
Over the course of the week, Hope’s health continued to improve, and I grew more bold with each successful theft from the Wilson estate. On Friday I bundled up a few extra apples and some small cucumbers, hiding them in the inner pocket of my backpack to take home for my own family.
All the way home, I felt sick with guilt, but when I saw my children’s eyes light up and watched them silently savor each morsel as they glanced at each other with huge delighted grins, my guilt eased a little. I even felt justified. Continue reading
After forcing my arms through the sleeves of my coat, I grabbed my facemask and backpack then walked over to kiss Hope and Aaron goodbye. Aaron leaned toward me, his eyes never leaving the t.v. screen, to allow me to give him a peck on the cheek.
“Bye, Dad. Love you.”
“Love you too, son.”
Hope clambered up to her knees so that she could wrap her arms around my neck. I squeezed her tight, then loosened my grip so that I could turn and plant a kiss on her temple. Her brow felt warm but dry, the fever had broken last night. Continue reading
The pharmacy didn’t open for another hour, but already a line had formed that extended the length of a city block. As I took my place at the end I heard the muffled coughs of those ahead of me. Though I wore my mask, I couldn’t help but take short, shallow breaths. I kept my hands clasped behind my back to help resist the urge I had every five minutes to check my inner coat pocket for the prescription that could save my daughter’s life.
When the doors were finally unlocked, the line began to move forward at a snail’s pace. Two at a time we were allowed to enter the first set of doors, wait for the overhead vents to clear the air, and then scan our IDs before passing through another set of doors and into the waiting room. Once it was my turn to find a seat, I noticed most people kept their masks on. I did the same. Continue reading
When I woke on Saturday morning, grit scratched across my eyeballs as I pulled them open. The right side of my neck protested painfully as I lifted my head from where it had fallen to rest on the edge of the couch.
Aaron still slept on the floor in front of me, one hand inches from my fingertips. Hope also slept, her breath rasped, but came and went in even intervals. Her cheeks looked flushed, but I dared not touch her for fear of waking her and setting off another fit of coughing.
As I pushed myself off the floor, I had to stifle a groan. As quietly as possible I stole across the living room and into the entryway. Continue reading
For the next week I watched the pile of bills grow taller, and the hollows beneath my children’s cheekbones sink deeper. Without Mary’s income I couldn’t keep up. Without her whispers in my ear each night that “as long as we have each other it will all work out”, I barely had the will to try.
Every day I walked past the Wilson’s tidy garden and fruit-laden trees, growing as bitter as the bright yellow lemons which ripened in the artificial sunlight.
When I returned home from work that Friday, the elevator opened and I braced myself for my usual welcome, but Hope did not spring forward and wrap her arms around my knees. She wasn’t even waiting behind the doorway of our apartment. Instead Aaron’s worried face greeted me. Continue reading
“You did everything you could son.” Doc put a hand on Eddie’s shoulder. “It’s time you get some rest.”
“I can’t leave her,” Eddie whispered. “I need to be here.” Continue reading
“Isabella, I do wish you’d call me mother. After all, it’s been ten years.” Her stepmother walked forward and stopped at the edge of the old men’s long table. She placed a basket on the wooden surface.
“What do you want?” Isabella asked warily.
“I’ve come to apologize.” Her stepmother opened the basket and carefully pulled out an apple pie. She set it in the middle of the table and then withdrew two plates and two forks. “I brought your favorite dessert, as a peace offering.” Continue reading