27
Dec

A Man Among Ferns

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

He remembers waking up—ages ago—amid ferns, with neither a plan nor any desire to ever be waking up again at all, least of all amid ferns, which he had considered to be beautiful before he wandered into them and disappeared, hoping to disappear forever.

Now, almost a half-century later, he endures his almost unendurable insomnia in the broadest daylight his personal December has to offer. He sits with his journal at his favorite café table by the window, attempting to capture any fragment of last night’s dreams, but is sadly reminded—again—that not all attempts are successful.

From Guest Contributor Ron. Lavalette

26
Dec

Holiday Spirit

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

My neighbor’s colorful red, blue and green Christmas lights gleam
through my window, as my tree with white lights and silver garland
enliven the room.

I sit with my coffee and watch my wife and children prepare milk and
sugar cookies for Santa.

The Christmas song Silent Night plays on the radio and I sit back, feet
reclined, taking in the warmth of the fireplace.

My kids leave the milk and cookies by the fireplace, expecting Santa will come through the chimney with his big round belly and toys.

My family is as true the meaning of Christmas as Jesus.

From Guest Contributor Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher

20
Dec

Paper Thin Walls

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Graham’s 300 dollars a month bought him a two-room sublet on the Upper East side. The twenty-four hour access to entertainment from his coterie of neighbors was complimentary.

He was privy to all manner of arguments, heated conversations, shouting matches, and late-night confessionals. After only a few months, he was googling “How to become a therapist” now that he possessed real-world experience. Then there was the lovemaking.

Graham stopped watching TV soon after moving in. He found more value from the real lives around him rather than the fake ones on his television. He finally understood the meaning of authentic.

17
Dec

Human Beings Are The Only Wild Animals

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Whenever I fly into a foreign country, I’m afraid I’ll be dragged into a room and forced to answer questions I’ll fail to understand. “You can do better,” the examiner will say, just before firing an electric current through the alligator clips attached to my ears. By the time I’m released from custody, I’ll be bent, shriveled, gnome-like, and afflicted with tremors. These events repeat themselves in my mind on a loop, every recurrence worse than the last, now involving sleep deprivation, now an inmate orchestra playing a German requiem, now corpses sprawled half in, half out of broken caskets.

From Guest Contributor Howie Good

Howie’s latest poetry collections are I’m Not a Robot from Tolsun Books and A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel from Analog Submissions Press. 


14
Dec

Graveyard Shift

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

There was an emptiness to everything. Even the space between the minutes lacked connective tissue, so that time no longer flowed with any regularity. Josey was left with nothing but her thoughts to fill the void that descended upon the convenience store after midnight.

She’d divide each 15-minute chunk into 91 cents. That’s how much she made, after taxes and withholdings. It hardly seemed worth it, and she’d stare out at the empty highway and live an entire lifetime during every span, dreaming of a life where she’d never married, had never given birth.

Until even her imagination was empty.

12
Dec

Reduction

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

He sat alone.

He watched her scrape the painted letters from the window; watched FINE ARTS CAFE become FINE ART, then FINE and finally FIN.

She took a break.

He couldn’t bear to watch anymore anyway, imagined Painting becoming mere Paint, then Pain; Lessons, Less.

Having finished his coffee, he talked to the café owner about her plans now that she’d finally served up her last cup.

He knew he’d go soon too.

He mentally counted out the other empty storefronts, some of the buildings invisible from where he sat, their windows staring out at a rapidly fading Main Street.

From Guest Contributor Ron. Lavalette

11
Dec

The Subway

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Standing three feet tall Travis was wearing a Celtics hat, jersey, and green shoes on the subway with his Dad.

“Dad, why is that guy sleeping??”

“Shhh… you don’t want to wake him.”

“I’m awake, don’t mind me none.” Dressed in tattered clothing, he sipped a bottle from a paper bag.

“What are you drinking?” Travis asked.

“That’s not our business, Travis.”

“This is just what you drink when you’re lonely and life isn’t working out.”

“You can hang out with us if you want.”

With watery eyes he stared outside. “If only more people were like you.”

From Guest Contributor Steve Colori

6
Dec

Holocaust

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

One person in six hasn’t heard of the Holocaust, doesn’t know what it is, a planet of smoke and flames. Seventy year ago my relatives didn’t believe it was there, and then they walked through the gate and under the slogan, Arbeit Macht Frei, and found they suddenly had a dismal view of God’s back from inside the barbed wire. So I look around, and though the times are terrifying, try to act like a kind of thunderstorm blue, like I can see clouds in the shape of a woman’s mighty body and feel the rain that hasn’t fallen yet.

From Guest Contributor Howie Good

Howie’s latest collections are I’m Not a Robot from Tolsun Books and A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel from Analog Submissions Press. 

5
Dec

Cindy’s Day

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Cindy sipped her hot cocoa and let the warmth hit her stomach, as she listened to the serene crackling of the fireplace. She opened her book, and cuddled on the couch with her dog Bree, until the phone rang.

“Who could be calling me on my day off?” she asked Bree as she barked. “I feel the same way,” she said as she patted Bree’s head and answered the phone.

“Stan has called in sick. You need to come to the office now,” Cindy’s boss said without a hello.

Her planned relaxing day became a hectic day at the office.

From Guest Contributor Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher

4
Dec

A Troop Of Mushrooms

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Stephanie didn’t know who else to call, so she called the exterminator. She was vague over the phone, preferring him to see the infestation for himself. His condescending tone annoyed her.

When he arrived, the condescension immediately turned to terror.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

So they brought in an expert from the university. He surveyed Stephanie’s house and proclaimed it a colony, though he admitted he’d never seen human-sized toadstools before. He suspected they were deadly.

Stephanie wasn’t paying attention to his diagnosis. She couldn’t get over the fact he kept pronouncing fungi with a soft gee.