The Perfect Day

It had been the perfect day.

Her white dress was immaculately pressed and fit perfectly. Her hair and makeup were exactly as she had envisioned. The cars were on time and her bridal party followed their steps precisely as she had instructed.

The groom as well-dressed in the suit she had selected, and he repeated the vows she had chosen. She was proud to be his wife and as they travelled to the reception venue, she thought that everything would go just as smoothly as the ceremony.

Everything went according to plan, right up until the cake cutting. She had told him she would not abide him trying to shove cake into her face. He had told her he understood. He had promised he would not. But in that moment, egged on by relatives, he dabbed it on her nose.

It had been the perfect day until that moment. Ever the perfect bride, she had laughed and excused herself to clean up.

Later that night, in their honeymoon suite, she used strips torn from her once-pristine dress to wipe up the mess. Their honeymoon luggage was now packed full to bursting, its original contents placed in the rubbish bags the concierge had brought up. She hoped that the bags lining the inside of the luggage would not leak. Blood was so hard to clean.

She had been so close this time. She was certain that the next time it would be perfect.

A Good Neighbour

Bill has always been an excellent neighbour. He kept to himself mostly, but he would give you the shirt off his back if he thought it would make you happy.

It was odd, Steve supposed, that he still lived alone. It was a big house, so he must be doing well at his job. Something in finance, Bill would murmur if asked. He was also handsome by any standards, although his smile always seemed a bit forced.

Still, it was surprising when the police came by. They asked Steve if he had noticed any odd behaviour, or if he could recall any large garden projects Bill had been working on. They wouldn’t explain what they were looking for, but Steve had seen enough TV to have a suspicion. He told them that he wasn’t aware of anything.

That afternoon, Steve stared from the kitchen window at the garden shed his friendly neighbour had helped build months back. Bill had insisted on pouring the concrete for the base and was even willing to pay for the supplies, as he “could use the practice for later”. Due to his odd working hours he had worked on it at night, so Steve did not need to help.

The amount of dirt left displaced had seemed a little much, he had thought. Still, it would be a shame to ruin such good work. Plus, Steve had kept the bloodied earring he had found in the dirt pile, just in case Bill wouldn’t agree to help build the pool he was planning.

One Sentence Stories (Part 3)

There was nothing quite so frustrating as getting halfway through digging in one’s own garden and finding that an intended grave was already claimed.

They held hands as they ran, hoping that one of the dismembered digits would unlock the fingerprint-locked doors.

Putting up all these “missing” posters really helped cover how fresh this portion of the wall was, and the glue would help cover the smell.


“May I have your name?”

The figure in the hut’s doorway smiled politely, but slightly too widely.  The hand holding the door open had too many joints in the fingers.

“No, but I am called Ella”

Ella had been told enough stories about strange beings in the forest to fall for so simple a trick. But she had been caught unaware by the first storm the forest had felt in her lifetime and decided it was worth the risk to get out of the rain.

“Well met, Ella. You may enter. May I have your coat?”

“Only if I may have yours”

The resulting smile did not meet the figure’s eyes. Ella resolved not to ask their name. She did not want to know what they might ask for in exchange.

“I do not believe it would fit you. Or suit your needs”

The being gestured to a coatrack which held a coat made of moss. As Ella looked, a mushroom bloomed upon the shoulder and some small, many-legged shapes skittered across the back.

“You are right, it is best we retain our own coats. May I stay the night here? I will leave once it stops raining”

“Yes. You shall remain until the rain stops”

Ella smiled and shook the outstretched hand. There had been no cost required. All she had to do was mind her words and her manners until it was time to leave.

When she awoke to find it still raining, Ella peered out of the window to see when it might stop. There were no clouds where she could see, yet the rain poured atop the hut’s roof.

The being hummed as they prepared breakfast, loudly placing a kettle atop the stove.

“It may be a while before the kettle boils, my dear guest. Time flows so slowly here”

Ella continued staring, seeing the dark outline of a cloud directly above the hut.

“Why, the last rain only just stopped falling yesterday morning. Who knows how long this one will last?”

Two Sentence Stories (Part 18)

The teleportation experiment had almost been a complete success, with only one pressing issue. As he stared at his copy standing atop the other platform, he realised only one could take the credit.

There are no monsters underneath the bed. It’s too obvious: the best monsters take the place of pillows and blankets.

He had always made the most realistic shadow puppets, each creature coming easily to him. But as he created the outline of a dog to pretend to eat the spider on the wall, he felt a crunch between his fingers.


This was not where Sara was supposed to go.

She had missed the turn, and her new GPS had told her to continue straight. Every time she glanced at it, there were no turns coming up.

She had entered the brightly-lit tunnel five minutes ago. There were no exits signposted, and no other cars in sight.

As she drove, the lights ahead turned on. Looking in her rear-view mirror, she saw that the lights in the distance seemed to be shutting off.

Sara looked again at the GPS. There was an alert, which she immediately swiped away.


There was a noise outside the car: a voice echoing.

“Accident ahead. Reduce speed immediately”

She began to slow, but a flicker caught her eye. The GPS was now a white screen with large black letters:


The voice came on again.

“Accident ahead. Please pull over.

Sara continued to slow down, notiving that the lights now turned on further in the distance, while the darkness behind her grew closer.

The GPS screened changed.


Sara gripped the steering wheel and sped up while peering ahead. If there was an accident, surely she would see emergency lights in the distance?

She looked down at the GPS


“Accident ahead. Pull over immediately. Turn off your engine”


Sara sped up to stay in the light. The darkness was gaining despite her returning to her original speed.


Sara focussed on the road for as long as she could, uncomfortable with her increasing speed, before glancing again at the GPS



Claire hated catching the lift alone: there was something off abput the mirror. Almost every time she entered, she found herself pausing, waiting for the figure inside the lift to exit, before realising it was her reflection in the mirror on the back wall. She supposed it was due to the light: it was just slightly too dim to make out any details. The mirror must have been tilted too, because the silhouette was slightly too tall and slightly too wide.

As she rode, Claire often found herself steadfastly staring at the door, aware that she had her back turned to an unfamiliar reflection.

It was always a relief when someone else was already in the lift. It gave her something to focus on other than her reflection.

That morning as Claire left for work, she was surprised to find that the inside of the lift was covered in tarp. Someone must be moving in, she reasoned. It would just be so terrible if that mirror got damaged. It was harder to reason why she could hear a gentle tapping behind the covering. It was seemingly in time with the lights flickering overhead. She exited at a sprint in almost complete darkness as the tapping grew more rapid.

Over the course of hours away from the event, Claire convinced herself that it must have been a loose clip from the tarp being knocked around as the lift moved.

There was someone in the lift when Claire returned home from work. As a matter of habit, she kept her eyes on the floor and shuffled in. She was surprised to find that the figure moved aside for her. Of course, she remembered, the tarp was still covering the mirror.

They stood in silence for a moment once the door closed, when Claire realised that she hadn’t pushed for her floor. She stepped around the figure and pushed for her floor. As she shuffled back into the corner, she realised that the person in the lift had not already selected a floor. They stood in silence as the lift slowly began to move.

Claire pushed herself into the corner and tried to listen for the tapping. She found herself hoping that the light would flicker and the noise would begin again, so she would have a witness.

The figure laughed quietly.

“It’s gone now”

The voice was raspy and quiet

“What is?” asked Claire

“The thing behind the tarp. You can see it yourself: it’s not there anymore”

Claire was immediately grateful that the mirror had been removed, but as she moved the tarp aside, she saw its reflection move as well. What she didn’t see was her hand moving it.

As Claire stood, staring at a mirror that no longer showed her reflection, she saw a shape behind her. A silhouette that was slightly too tall and slightly too wide.


It was a disgusting habit, but Renee just couldn’t help it as she clicked on the next video.

There was something inherently satisfying in watching popping videos. Seeing people evicting the parts of themselves that were not meant to be there. As a result, Renee often found herself looking resentfully at her own growth.

She was certain she’d seen every video available online in just the last few weeks, watching them under covers so that the roommate lying next to her wouldn’t see. Renee knew she would be upset and repulsed.

Still, she needed to see more. She watched more serious removals. People gouging out larger pieces and repairing the patches left with stitches or filling them with superglue. Salving pieces until the flesh burned and pucks fell out. Her roommate noticed how tired Renee looked, but when she claimed to be feeling fine, her smile was very convincing.

Eventually she found herself watching surgery videos. People had operated on themselves before, in desperate circumstances: caesareans and appendectomies in remote locations with no other options. She felt along the edge of her growth and made a decision. She began gathering the necessary materials in secret.

The hard part was making sure that her roommate wouldn’t disrupt her. A blow to the head sorted that easily.

With all the tools at her disposal, Renee looked at the flesh that connected her to her growth, which was now mumbling as blood pooled from her head.

It didn’t matter what the doctors had told them. She could do this, she repeated as she made the first cut.

Two Sentence Stories (Part 17)

Though he would never tell her out loud, he was certain that his wife’s book needed some drama to spice it up. As he scrolled through her phone’s contacts, he thought carefully about which character’s death would make her autobiography more interesting.

It was a terrible accident, everyone commiserated, but at least some good had come of it. After months of encouraging her son not to wear his helmet, he had finally been injured badly enough that she could tell the doctors to transplant what was needed for her favourite child to live.

There was someone breathing quietly under the bed, he realised as he shakily pulled out a pocketknife. He had thought this house was empty when he broke in, but was willing to put in the work to get a quiet night’s sleep.

Re: Current Display

From:         Head Office
To:              All
Date:          13 July 2021, 9:37
Subject:      Current Display

Good morning,

It has come to our attention that attendance for our current display has been poor.

It is a condition of our tenancy that we display the furniture and artworks of the former occupiers once per year. While the family does not require the number of attendees, it will reflect badly on us if they see how few people come to see this display.

We know that having the same display one month per year might not draw in any crowds, but we ask that you do all you can to boost attendance.

Kind regards,
Jessica S.

From:         Marsha C.
To:              Head Office
Date:          13 July 2021, 13:21
Subject:      Re: Current Display

Good morning,

In regards to attendance, it might help if we rearrange the displays: having the paintings in one room, statues in another, etc. The building has been heavily renovated since it was furnished and many of the pieces no longer suit their original positions.

Are we required to keep everything in the original places?

Thank you,

From:         Head Office
To:              All
Date:          13 July 2021, 13:54
Subject:      Re: Re: Current Display

You are welcome to rearrange the pieces as you see fit, provided that they are not damaged.

Kind regards,
Jessica S.

From:         Marsha
To:              Head Office
Date:          14 July 2021, 9:09
Subject:      Incident Report & Reimbursement Request

I attach an incident report regarding an injury I got yesterday.

Also, when I entered my office this morning, everything was shifted around. My shelves, cabinets and desks are all now facing towards the walls and I don’t have enough room to move everything back. Can I please be reimbursed if I need to hire a mover?


From:         Head Office
To:              All
Date:          15 July 2021, 10:27
Subject:      Re: Incident Report & Reimbursement Request

Thank you for providing the incident report. We have amended it to read “My hand was cut on the tooth of the statue”. We have also removed your reference to the mouth of the statue being closed.

Please put the display back in order and let us know if this resolves your issue. If not sorted by the end of the week we will approve the expense.

Catherine S.

From:         Marsha
To:              Head Office
Date:          16 July 2021, 2:03

Good evening.

I write “evening”, as it is currently 2am.

The doors are gone. The original masonry of the house is now filling in the exits.

I was the only employee here from 1pm, and there have been no guests in that time. As far as I am aware, the doors were sealed immediately following business hours.

Kindly and immediately provide me with an exit.


From:         Marsha
To:              Head Office
Date:          16 July 2021, 3:49

Please ignore my previous email. I will call you during office hours to discuss this matter further.

From:         Head Office
To:              All
Date:          16 July 2021, 9:08
Subject:      Current Display

Good morning,

Please be aware that a new procedure is now in place regarding our trust display.

All employees working until close on a day with no attendees must, prior to 5pm, take a complete tour of the display. During this tour, they must give positive compliments to each of the displays, or they may give longer positive feedback to the overall rooms.

Overtime will not be authorised if this continues past 5pm.

Kind regards,
Catherine S.