31
Aug

The Whispers

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

The whispering grows louder after exiting the shaman’s hut. If her words are true, the voices following me are not of my own making, but rather the lost souls of the long dead, clamoring for attention.

I’d thought I was the only one, but she told me they speak to everyone, though very few will admit to hearing them. Those who do are branded as heretics or clinically insane. In a way, I preferred believing that I was unique, but perhaps knowing the truth will lead to acceptance from my peers.

I do, however, regret killing all those people now.

30
Aug

Americana

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

The diner, Elmer’s Pitstop, recalled a simpler time, when coffee refills were always free and quarters were collected for eventual use in the jukebox. The server, Gina was her name, enjoyed the work and could actually raise a family on the income.

Bennett still enjoyed a good diner, even now that they were considered, at best, a novelty. Elmer’s had the best milkshakes in town. Did people not like milkshakes anymore?

He sighed as he surveyed the chaos. The outlines on the floor, dark red shadows marking where six people had died, were more gruesome than bodies would have been.

29
Aug

Afternoon Tea Party

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

“Eat this, Mom,” she said, handing me a plastic donut.

“Mmm,” I said, pretending it was delicious. I put it down and asked for more tea. Giggling, she poured air into a pink cup.

Someone pounded on the door.

The pot dropped to the table. I slid our pre-packed bag out from under the bed. She clung to me, like a baby monkey to its mother, and reached for her doll.

The door was giving in. Soon, it’d be off the hinges. I hoped we had enough time. I opened the window and my heart clenched.

The FBI waited below.

From Guest Contributor Bethany Cardwell

28
Aug

The Other Side Of Obsession

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Nothing was as he remembered. Not the walk, with the chipped and uneven flagstones, nor the dusty, desiccated garden, nor the house itself. The two decades had ravaged the property and Stephen immediately regretted its purchase.

As a youth, his mother brought him here on Saturdays. He’d sit in the chamber to the rear of the kitchen reading library books, hoping the owner’s children failed to notice his presence.

The Packards had long since moved on to a much more modern estate. It seemed he was still trying to catch up in a race only he knew they were running.

27
Aug

Permission Slips

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

The night sky was red and the grass was a deep green. Kerrin and Jobe were walking.

“I just wish she would forgive me. I feel awful,” Jobe said.

“You guys have been divorced three years?” Kerrin asked.

“Yeah, I feel terrible when I see her. I shouldn’t have cheated.”

“She may never forgive you,” Kerrin said. She squeezed his hand.

“I know.”

“Do you need permission to forgive yourself?” Kerrin asked.

“I don’t, no.” Jobe smiled and took an old slip from his pocket and trashed it.

“People have trouble forgiving but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it.”

From Guest Contributor Steve Colori

24
Aug

Stalemate

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Zach’s eyes followed the dirt path as it blended into the trees. Three couples, the latest newlyweds, disappeared in the last month while strolling the serpentine lane. The townspeople wanted something done, and they expected Zach to do it. He was the sheriff, after all.

Zach glanced from side to side, saw faces—some showing fear, others glaring—waiting less patiently with every second that passed.

He rocked from side to side, his palms sweaty, hoping those standing with him would get bored or hungry and leave. The one thing he knew was he wouldn’t be the first to move.

From Guest Contributor Jim Harrington

23
Aug

The Red Cardinal

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Mark sat next to his motionless mother.

“How is she doing today,” Mark asked the nurse. A red cardinal perched
on the window sill chirped.

“The same. Quiet and still.”

Mark opened his journal and wrote the date. He spent his time writing
happy moments with his mother rather than spending time on a novel.

“Mom, look. There’s a red cardinal, your favorite bird.” Sophia’s mouth
sagged, expressionless.

He sighed. “Mom, I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Mark left the room with a blank space in his journal. Alzheimer’s took
his mother away and he didn’t know how to endure the emptiness.

From Guest Contributor Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher

17
Aug

Futile Gestures

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Leslie struck at the hand as it approached her face.

“Don’t touch me.”

“There’s a leaf in your hair.”

“I can take care of myself.”

Steven remembered when they cared for each other. He’d cook dinner on nights she got home late. She packed a lunch when he had fieldwork, a chocolate bar hidden at the bottom of the bag.

Those thoughtful gestures became less frequent as the fights occurred more often. She perceived every request as an assault on her freedom. She likely had her own side, but he’d stopped caring long ago.

Steven walked away without another word.

14
Aug

The Benefit Of Integrity

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

He sat alone at lunch. The rest of the section gathered near the tea urn to create a susurration of disapproval, which reached for some sort of crescendo which might adequately protest his being promoted without due process.

The manager emerged from her office, paused at the door – interrupting her daily early escape – to absorb, glancing occasionally in his direction. Then she approached – a study in authority.

“Sean–”

A sudden gust whipped the vertical blinds inward, toppling a desk tidy perched atop an in-tray filled with unexamined client files. The clatter distracted.

“We’re public servants. They’re entitled. I told them.”

From Guest Contributor Perry McDaid

13
Aug

Backroads

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

State troopers in the backwoods called in the wrong road. At 90 mph, the sign was a blur. So deputies set the spike strip in the wrong place.

As Bob fiddled with the radio, flipping through static and endless commercials, his pickup suddenly went airborne, tumbling through cornstalks.

Officers had Bob handcuffed at gunpoint in seconds. Cuffs cut off his circulation. An hour passed before they learned of the mix-up. Cordiality crept into their tones.

A deputy in shades took Bob aside.

“Look, we’re just out here trying to keep you safe.”

“Safe,” Bob muttered, his temple damp with blood.

From Guest Contributor Joseph S. Pete

Joseph is an award-winning journalist, an Iraq War veteran, an Indiana University graduate, a book reviewer, a photographer, and a frequent guest on Lakeshore Public Radio. His literary or photographic work has appeared in more than 100 journals, including The Evening Theatre, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Chicago Literati, Dogzplot, Proximity Magazine, Stoneboat, The High Window, and the Synesthesia Literary Journal.