Two Sentence Stories (Part 14)

I would have lost my mind in grief when my oldest son disappeared, but at the time I had to focus on my newborn baby daughter. But now she is the same age her brother was, describing the same imaginary friend.

The trick to finding your way through any maze was to keep your hand on one wall and follow it all the way around. But now he noticed the wall ahead already had dried blood on it, at the same height that his raw and bleeding hand had been for hours.

The laptop screen went black and despite her best efforts, everything was gone: her photos, her novel, her thesis. Words appeared on the screen, asking what she was willing to do to get them back.


She had left in the middle of the night
A note left behind asking for forgiveness
Explaining that she had taken a lover
But leaving no forwarding address

He was embarrassed and depressed
His wife departed for greener grass
When asked about her whereabouts
He chose to say that she had passed

He had more homemade meals
than in fifteen years of married life
He had friends and neighbours for company
And he barely missed his wife

One night she returned, distraught
Her lover had decided to roam
So she, with nowhere else to go
Decided it was time to come home

He quickly ushered her inside
And told her all was forgiven
He made her favourite drink
And she drank what she was given

He watched her finish, greedily
and collapse onto the floor below her
It was lovely that she had returned
But he would rather be a widower


It was not Phillip’s job to pay attention to the guests.

His sole duty was to patrol the grounds surrounding the house and prevent anyone from passing through the gardens.

He tried not to pay attention to who arrived, how they were dressed, or how many entered through the large doors.

Despite his attempts to ignore the guests, Phillip heard their laughter as they approached the house. He saw the invitations held tightly in the hands of beautiful people and heard laughter and familiar conversations about who would be there and how long the party might go for.

He had done this job for decades, night after night. His pay had not risen in all that time. The same amount delivered as a cheque in his mail box every day, regardless of whether the post had arrived. He never saw who delivered it.

It was 7:02 and Phillip made certain that he was around the side of the house, hidden from view by the immaculately trimmed bush. He heard her laughter, heard the scuff of shoes on gravel as she nearly tripped in unfamiliar heels. If he stepped out, she would greet him cheerfully. She would be wearing her mother’s red dress and the necklace he bought her for her birthday. But he refused.

His daughter had been invited to the party.

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Two Sentence Stories (Part 13)

I had wished to be safe from all physical harm. Immobilised in soft restraints in an endless void, my last sane thought is that I probably should have included mental harm too.

There is a face pressed against my bedroom window. This would be scary in and of itself normally, but it is held aloft by a hand, not a neck.

When I told my parents that I trapped a monster in a chest, they pretended to believe me, even giving me a padlock to keep it shut. It was months later that they finally got around to clearing out the attic and found the bones, safely locked away.

Three Sentence Stories (Part 11)

I told everyone the truth about what I had seen the day the child disappeared from the park. Much like his mother, I saw him enter the slide, but never saw him emerge.

The only bit I left out is the part I hope his mother did not hear: the awful sounds of chewing and swallowing.

It’s been difficult, learning to live alone. My mother had forbidden me from learning anything that might lead to independence and departure. I was only recently allowed to boil the jug and make tea, which I excitedly did, adding just enough sedatives to seem like an accident.

There were only enough supplies for one of us to survive the winter. We were trapped, isolated in the wilderness at the edge of a harsh winter that would trap us here.

Of course, I was the one who had planned it that way.


There is a house down the lane
Its crooked path keeping it from view
Leading through a vibrant garden
And that path is not meant for you

There is an old woman inside
Who says she can see your future
She waits within those crooked walls
and it is best for all that you never meet her

She used to leave, a long time ago
Offering fortunes, told in rhyme
The children all adored her so
Until she found three that had no more time

She wept in the street, children confused
She must be lying, they said
Soon their parents pulled them away
But dawn found those three children dead

She had only told them the truth
That she saw their unmet birthdays
but the town was mad with grief
and so she left and locked herself away

I visit her sometimes, in her garden
She smiles at me, quite satisfied
No matter what they say, she says
She saw the grim future and she did not lie

There is a house down the lane
its path is not meant for you
For if you visit and she sees your death
I will have to kill you too.


It was Ben who insisted that they play with the Ouija board he had brought to the sleepover. He claimed he found it in a deserted building site, despite its near-mint condition. Plus, they were ten and Adam was pretty sure he stole that story from when they saw Jumanji a few weeks before. Regardless, the four young boys had gathered around, strategically dimming lights for the right ambience.

Adam had smiled and laughed with the others as the planchette began moving, convinced it was his friends playing with him. At one point he tried to spell something funny, but found he could not alter its path. He had stopped laughing then, but the others did not seem to notice. They asked a series of questions about crushes and dead relatives.

Then Ben asked how he would die.


Nine years later, Ben died in a horrible crash. He had never been one for safety gear, so the long smear of blood on the road was what led the emergency responders to find his body in the bushes, 50 metres from the bike.

Adam’s best friend, Josh had also asked, a little less jokingly.


Despite making his best efforts to lead a healthy life, Josh was diagnosed with brain cancer during his first year at university. Against all odds he had gone into remission, but nothing anyone said could convince him it would not come back again. Two years later, he was proven right. There was only a month between the diagnosis and the funeral.

David then asked, egged on by the others.


Really, the aneurysm would have killed him if it had happened anywhere except the bath.

Adam had not wanted to ask. But to his young mind it would be unfair and shameful to refuse to ask, regardless of how scared he was.

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“It is taking much too long”
Said Bill to the hangman
“Give it an hour more to take effect”
and Bill shrugged his shoulders
held aloft by his neck

“It was kind of you to try”
Said Bill to the hooded figure
a dripping axe in their hands
leaving, Bill nodded his head
which he held gently between his palms

“It is not quite enough”
Said Bill to the pyre tender
who threw more fuel atop him
But eventually Bill headed home
(less a fair amount of skin)

“It tastes delicious”
Said Bill to his smiling wife
but the poison was too weak
His wife comforted him
As his heart continued to beat

“I don’t believe you”
Bill had said to the fortune teller
She simply repeated how he would die
It was an awful way to go
but it seemed he would have to comply


I found my shadow lying on the stairs
He must have fallen in the dead of night
I had lain, weighing thirst against comfort
While I chose sleep, he opted to alight  

My shadow is a contrary fellow
He delights in taking the paths that I shun
Away from my side he meets with bad luck
And rises again in the new day’s sun

It is calm, in the times between visits
I think of misfortune striking so close
Dooming my shadow for his poor choices
While I live, as the safer path I chose

My shadow must always return to me
I could not bear to face the day unarmed
He must show me the pitfalls of my day
Above all else I must remain unharmed

It is odd comfort to see my shadow
For him to obey me to the letter
I hate to see harm to my own outline
But he falls when I am simply better

My shadow did not return home today
There are now many, watching as I cry
Not one will take the fall for me again
They wait to see how I choose to die.



It is protocol to send the food first, before the passenger.

The appropriate food is placed on the platform. After five seconds it will disappear and it is very, very important to wait for confirmation from the other side that it has arrived and a report as to its condition. If the food does not appear at the other end, you must send more.

It is only safe to have the passenger step onto the platform when the destination platform receives more an item of food that is more than 75% untouched. It means that they are full.

The passenger must be transported once the recipient facility reports this condition has been met.  The window of time thereafter is not very long, a lesson learned quickly, if punitively. The hunger will always return.

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