Wednesday, November 30, 2011

297. Pockets of rhythm

A collection of strangers waited at the bus stop.
The bus was late.
They milled around trading awkward smiles and looking for ways to occupy themselves.
All of them, that is, except for one teen who was engrossed in the music from his Walkman.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

296. Knitting

From his bedroom, you could hear the neighbourhood park.
On this day, it was filled with children and snow.
They had all flocked there as soon as the radio had announced school was cancelled.
He readjusted his broken foot and tried to concentrate on something else.

Monday, November 28, 2011

295. Nighttime acrobatics

Her parents were in bed.
It was time to put her clandestine plan into action.
She slung one leg over the window sill and plunged out into the dark.
The night air cooled her skin as she clung to the bed sheet; too far down to climb back, but too high off the ground to jump.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

294. Human geometry

The intersection between two lines is a matter of geometry.
There's a certainty watching two things heading inescapably for each other.
From time to time, it's the same with people.
He wasn't aware of these things of course, as he drunkenly (and mistakenly) tried to force his keys into the door of his neighbour's apartment.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

293. Truckers welcome

There it was, like an oasis in a sea of asphalt and wilderness.
He pumped his brakes and activated his turn signal.
Responding to his turn of the wheel, the trucked lurched down the ramp.
'Truckers welcome' the sign said.

Friday, November 25, 2011

292. Wood grain

​The segment of cedar showed nearly 800 individual rings.
 ​It had been felled, cut and glazed within 10 miles of where it had grown for centuries. ​
The hipster couple bought it for 45 dollars and turned it into a coffee table. ​
Sitting in their 750 square foot apartment, it would never get any older.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

291. Once I was the King of Spain

See that humble pie maker?
Once, he was the most powerful ruler in all of Europe.
Twelve years ago, he left on an anniversary tour of his colonies and was overthrown in a bloodless coup.
Now, he stamps each pie with a crown so he never forgets.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

290. Memoirs of a boneless man

Every bone in Alex’s body disappeared during the night.
When he woke, he leaped to his feet in a panic - or at least he tried.
His formless frame slid off the bed and onto the floor.
From the floor, he blubbered for help.

289. Unexpected locations

It appeared one day in the middle of the industrial park.
The Spanish-style exterior was conspicuously beautiful amongst the cinder blocks and brickwork.
Rumours of what lay within its walls drew the curious like moths to a flame.
They also made killer shrimp wraps.

Monday, November 21, 2011

288. As seen on tv

She fell in love with the cartoon lizard that changed colours.
His lovable anthropomorphism and plucky exploits made it impossible not to love him.
She made her mother promise to get her one.
The lizard’s endangered status put the mother in a horrible bind.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

287. On guard

Being a crossing guard was a special honour reserved for sixth graders.
They were very grown up.
Each of them were issued a reflective vest and whistle.
As she stood with her equipment in the November drizzle, she further explored the concepts of “special” and “honour”.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

286. Man on a cloud

There was a time when Charles Lindbergh was the greatest hero anyone could imagine.
He conquered an ocean that was unfathomably wide and infinitely deep all on his own.
But they killed his son.
What sadness that man must have felt.

Friday, November 18, 2011

285. When Henry Browning came home from war.

When Henry Browning came home from war, the whole town turned out.
The day hostilities broke out, he walked twenty-six miles to enlist.
Their only man in the fight, they hadn’t seen him for six long years.
When Henry Browning came home from war, he walked by them, every one.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

284. Forgotten equipment

It looked like some bizarre crime scene.
The little league field was abandoned.
A catcher’s mitt lay next to the chain link fence where it had been abandoned.
At the other end of the field, the parking lot was empty, save for the glass from the front windshield of a minivan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

283. When kittens have similar delusions

The shaft of sunlight beaming through the window made the room feel like August.
The man lay on his back, snoring.
The cat beside him was also asleep, left leg twitching occasionally.
They were both dreaming of conquest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

282. Scientific evidence

They’d made a major breakthrough in polymers.
A reporter and photographer from one of the national newspapers had been dispatched to get their story.
The lead researcher searched everywhere before finding a tie and tying it smartly.
He headed to the lobby for his big interview, failing to notice the giant guacamole stain on the front of his shirt.

Monday, November 14, 2011

281. Whiskey and clowns

Greg’s only job was renting the Easter Bunny costume.
Unfortunately, on the way to the costume shop, he stopped at a saloon for some refreshments.
He reappeared three hours later, dressed like a clown and reeking of whiskey.
Twenty minutes later, he had passed out under a desk. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

280. A little, off the top

“Andrew, you need a haircut.”
He had barely had a chance to drop his suitcase and take off his coat before it started.
He’d been away at college for six weeks, but nothing had changed.
He suspected that it never would.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

279. A boy called Safe

This is the story of two boys.
One boy had many frog-catching, scraped-knee adventures, while the other did everything he was told and always buttoned his coat and tightened his scarf.
One boy grew up to be a man of substance and character.
The other boy knew only sadness and regret.

Friday, November 11, 2011

278. Killer robot driving instructor

In 2121, cars were still driven and young people still learned to drive them.
We believed, in our infinite wisdom, that driving was best taught by robots.
They were imbued with a cybernetic patience that seemed designed for kids like Peter.
But his 23rd failed attempt at parallel parking caused something to snap in the circuitry of Mechanized Driving Unit 6231981.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

278. The Day of Despair

They met at a freshman mixer.
There were sparks.
They spent the night together.
They spent the next four years trying not to be in the same room.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

277. Zombies and bacon

The diner was famous for its bacon sandwiches.
People came for breakfast, lunch and dinner to sample the savoury pork.
Taking his first bite, he was transported to a delectable daydream.
So enamoured was he with the sandwich, that he failed to notice the first zombie limping towards the window.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

276. The perils of living in an inflationary universe

At first, having jobs that did more than just cover was enough.
But then there were Joneses to be kept up with.
Slowly, stuff - boats and place settings and matching luggage sets - began to fill up their lives.
None of it made them happy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

275. The international secretary

All the fellas at the office loved the secretary with the accent.
It was Parisian, mysterious and sensual.
When she spoke, they imagined themselves in a James Bond film; one of the Connery ones.
What she heard in reply served only to remind her how far she was from home.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

274. Minor crimes of the elderly

It was a perfect scene.
An elderly couple walked hand in hand through the park.
A tiny white dog bounced along ahead of them, pausing occasionally to indulge his curiosity.
They stopped for a minute, backlit against the morning sun, to light a joint.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

273. Mornings in the park

A light fog hung low in the park.
It was chilly, but bright.
Except for the old man walking his dog, the park was empty.
The smoke from his pipe smelled somehow, grandfatherly.

Friday, November 4, 2011

272. Armour plating

A group had gathered in front of her.
They were screaming and shaking their placards.
She was uneasy, but at least she was doing the right thing.
She hoped.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

271. Harold Schenk skips Daylight Savings Time

Harold Schenk of Wyoming didn’t observe Daylight Savings Time.
Couldn’t see the point of it all.
Seeing to his farm meant he was awake well before dawn each day anyway.
Plus, he wasn’t sure all this government-imposed time travel was on the level.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

270. The water tower

When I was a boy, my parents always told me there was nothing in the water tower on top of our building but water.
I never believed them, so one Saturday, while they were sleeping, I climbed the fire escape to investigate.
There was no water.
Instead I found a bunch of teenagers smoking and doing things with each other.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

269. Divine intervention

He had been religious in another life.
Although even then, he was more of a goer than a believer.
But now, with his father fading, he was more open than he’d been in awhile.
He couldn't tell if the holy trinity was present, but he found comfort in the mechanics of the ritual.