A man of thought and wit trudged ponderous halls. Every step lead him closer to finality; every movement made for those he loved, and those he hoped to save. Alas, he was only human. Thus he was forced to deny his inner peace for the cursedness of dealing with common man.
A quiet girl, with long-flowing hair whistled as she walked beside the creek. The monster did not know her true nature as it stalked her. Jovial and kind was she, until the beast showed its face. At that instant her kindness fled; her sword drawn, she sliced off its head…incapacitating it while she diced and chopped it to oblivion. Afterwards she sang while anonymously she left beast steaks around the kingdom. She fed all the poor children of the kingdom. Riches a great person does not make, but her heart and being were more precious than any stone the earth could ever give up.
Stacy was a happy child, loved; and though her parents were not rich, she wanted for nothing. As a teenager she struggled through, as all teenagers do. She never dated because she was preoccupied with being happy.
The years quickly passed and Stacy watched her friends date and marry and begin to raise families. Every guy and girl she dated ended things by telling her it wouldn’t work as she was too happy. She begin to wonder if she should try to be unhappy so she might not be so lonely. Finally, she gave up and embraced her happy loneliness.
Everything changed when she met Danger. Blonde hair, green eyes, and the magical ability to make her happy, sad, angry, and adored all at the same time. Danger dazzled her with praises, but Danger’s nature could not feel love. Stacy chose to love enough for both of them. Yearning for the day Danger returned her deeply-felt emotions. The days turned to weeks, to months, then years. She ignored her soulmate as she was strung along by the dazzling blindness of Danger. One day Danger disappeared. He left behind their twins–Regret and Loneliness. The day Danger disappeared their daughter Satisfaction disappeared as well. Stacy embraced her twins Regret and Loneliness and for the rest of her life searched for, but never found, her daughter Satisfaction.
At the end of Stacy’s life Danger, bringing their daughter, reappeared. Satisfaction was all grown up. At the last hour of her life Danger, Satisfaction, Regret, and Loneliness watched as Stacy took her final breath. Only then did she meet her life’s final companion, the one who had just been beyond her reach her whole life…Peace. Peace looked a lot like Danger, but took Stacy’s hand and brought her to the next adventure after this life.
COFFEE’S THE END, REPORTED BY BEER
The dead rise, the leaves fall, autumn on call
When life is about to end for all of mankind the minds of the billions are none to mind.
Work in the shops never end, not with a war, but with a bang.
A desolate rock is all that is left.
No one to bereave the dead. Humanities’ virus at an end. Everyone dead
No friend to lend a spade, or trowel the dead left unburied.
No wolf left to howl.
A coffee to blame just a tad bit much caffeine and the button pressed a nuclear war disarmed.
No hope for the billions; just a few left in space. All that is left of the human race.
The pachyderms, cats and kangaroos not but burned bones, and cooked animals in zoos.
The seeds in the poles all that is left, but no farmer to sow them,
so rot is all that is left.
Not enough time to evolve a new kangaroo, for the sun shall burn up the planet before life can renew.
All that shall happen I prophesied here.
All that I prophesy is down to a beer.
[James Merritt lives in Maryland. He is a teacher, actor and writer of short fiction. His writing can be seen in “Interesting Stories” and a collection has been published by CreateSpace and can be seen at Amazon.com. We are delighted to have introduced James Merritt to a worldwide audience. This collection is a look at death from the macabre perspective.]
THE FIELDS OF EYES
Eyes, eyes everywhere watching me. Even as I sleep. No where safe from their prying sight; as long as I am stuck in this meat. The long dead missing me, waiting for my sleep, when once more I will join the eyes that pierce, and shriek.
Eyes in the fields watching me; where most only see ears of corn, fields of eyes from their graves, in my truck, draining me, making me feel weak. Eyes in my head, they call hallucinations, green, brown, blue, and sometimes red. Eyes of the dead watching me. Perhaps they are only in my head.
Fred was a mutt born in a litter of twelve. He was brown and had no remarkable features, except for a single white spot in the shape of Texas on his rump. Born in a shelter, he did not know true human kindness. At the age of six weeks he was adopted by George’s parents.
George and Fred were born at the exact same time, on the exact same day. From the time George’s parents brought Fred home they were inseparable. George had Asperger’s and no discerning marks, except a birthmark matching Fred’s on his butt. Due to George’s social handicap his mom home-schooled him. Fred was George’s one friend, companion. They spent every second together. Fred even followed George in the bathroom and sat perplexed at the human’s daily baths and the strange seat he sat on and marked his territory.
On their eleventh birthday Fred ran off after a bitch. Her owner had treats! Fred loved treats and though he loved George, he did not comprehend the fact that running away would be so permanent.
George longed for Fred…crying constantly and inconsolable for weeks. He stopped eating and his parents took him to doctors, shrinks doing everything they could, but George had simply given up.
One day while George was being pushed in his new wheelchair through the park, looking half-dead, George saw Fred. He saw a future where they could be back together, spending the rest of their lives laughing and playing. So George called to Fred, but Fred refused to come, as he now had a mate, puppies of his own and a new owner with better treats.
George changed that day. He darkened. Out of anger and resentment he swore revenge on every dog owner. He began to eat again, but only foods he disliked. He would live, but he chose to never let himself be happy again. His parents were both relieved and saddened at their only child’s new outlook. Glad that he would survive, but saddened that he never smiled or laughed again.
George grew up to be a dog catcher, sometime snatching dogs from people’s yards–making sure the world felt his pain, and spreading the darkness forth on the world.
On George’s 45th birthday, shriveled and old from despair he decided to end his life. Many believe this would cause him eternal damnation, but instead he found himself in a dog park with Fred. There they are to this day, and forevermore will stay.
FLY AND HIS LOVER
The fly found its soul mate from its previous life and buzzed around his head. Landing on the human, sharing his coffee, lightly caressing his hand.
The fly was driving the man nuts! It was buzzing around his head, landing on his coffee cup, and crawling up and down his arm.
The man picked up the bright green tool of death and swatted the fly, not quite killing it with the first blow. Realizing only after the first attack of his loves true form. So he hit it again and again destroying his love in hopes of it coming back in a more pleasant form. Perhaps they could be together in another life. Huzzah! One less fly in the world.
Poor Geoff was such a fool he believed what they taught in school. He worked hard every day and never once played. One step he took in front of the other, something he learned from his father and mother. Always expecting the ground to catch him each step he would take. After twenty years accounting, never missing a day, his boss told him he must take a vacation. So Geoff, always following the rules, went away to Rehobeth Beach to stay for one night and one day. The very first night on a walk down the shore, after the clerk called him a bore, he took a step as people are wont to do, always assuming the earth beneath their feet will catch them. The sand fleas chewed his legs. His 599th step would be his last on that fateful May day. He was swallowed up, right up to his chin. The earth seemed to laugh. The fates knew he could not swim. The waves crashed closer as the tide came in. He didn’t care as he knew he could not win. He didn’t call out or even struggle as there was no way out of his trouble. The first wave hit him and went right up his nose, soaking his face, but not his buried clothes. The second wave hit and he coughed and sputtered. The ocean was soon above his head and that was the end of gullible Geoff.
(c) 2017, James Merritt
[James Merritt is a master of short fiction. He is especially talented at weaving a story from almost any subject–from horror to humor. Following are four stories we think you’ll enjoy–or, at least get a “kick” out of!]
With each balloon that popped, his future died a little more. His dreams of hearing, changing, and expressing the world through music ending with each dart thrown. With the air escaping a million unknown futures falling behind him. Once he was a young child whose mother daily forced him to practice singing, violin, and piano.
When he turned twelve, he found his talents multiplying daily. On the same day his mother discovered heroin.
By fourteen, he simply had to escape the destruction of what was left of his home. He ran off to a carnival and worked, thinking he would only stay until he was old enough to escape as an adult. Working the balloon pop station for four years destroyed his hearing–ending what was the great hope of humanity. He had had the potential to put all other musicians past and present to shame. Potential to save humanity from war through the purest beauty in the universe. Now, humanity would be lost–the world’s destruction due to a balloon pop.
FLY AND HIS LOVER
The fly found its soulmate from its previous life and buzzed around his head. Landing on the human, he shared his coffee, lightly caressed his hand.
The fly was driving the man nuts! It was buzzing around his head, landing on his coffee cup, and crawling up and down his arm.
The man picked up the bright green tool of death and swatted the fly, not quite killing it with the first blow–realizing only after the first attack of his loves true form. So, he hit it again and again, destroying his love in hopes of it coming back in a more pleasant form. Perhaps they could be together in another life.
Huzzah! One less fly in the world.
Well below the deepest hidden basement of the forgotten Smithsonian lies a cavern filled with artifacts from distant galaxies–hidden there by those who do not want mankind to know of alien life.
In the darkest corner of the dusty cavern, lit by a single bulb, on a stand sits a pair of beautifully engraved leather shoes. Swirling over the old skin are flowers carved, mixed with maps of the infinite universe. These shoes outshine the most beautiful ever created.
The shoes found their way here after the death of their creator. The majestic shoes were created by an alien named Herschel. Herschel came from a distant world of creatures that look very much like me and you. A major difference is, in his world, each individual spends their life on a singular project–perfecting it to mastery. Herschel had traveled the stars in search of his medium–to create his life’s majesty. He crash landed on a roof in New York City and spent his short lifetime in the same building; although long for his species of five earth years. During this time he only befriended one person–an old Jewish leather worker named Takhash. Takhash taught Herschel his skill.
At the end of Herschel’s life, he presented the shoes to Takhash who discovered, unlike humans, Herschel and his people had hooves instead of feet. As Herschel had only seen people with shoes on, he assumed they were just a strange earth-style. Due to this, his one-of- a-kind shoes insides were made for a hoof.
The next day, Takhash found Herschel dead outside his door. When he called the police, men in black came and took the body and shoes away. After being studied, the shoes were hidden away from humanity. The glorious work of Hershel’s existence were never against seen by the living, but by spiders and dust mites. When the earth’s end came in the final moments, the spirits of the earth sought out the most beautiful sights. The earth itself paused its shakes and volcanoes for a moment in awe of a pair of beautiful, intricately-designed shoes.
He woke screaming from his nightmare, and realizing it was only a dream, got out of bed. He went to his kitchen–being extra quiet so the monsters did not hear him. The giant flying monster killed his mom, and his father was shot and killed, leaving him alone in the high rise with all of his noisy neighbors. He grabbed a handful of nuts and found a comfortable seat while he chewed his morning dinner.
All of a sudden his house shook, and he knew it was the end when he heard timber as the terrorist monsters toppled the high rise, not even giving warning to evacuate. As he tumbled and fell to the ground, the smash of his home hitting the ground was deafening. Hobbling outside on his broken leg he looked up at the monsters just in time to see the forest descend on the beasts.
The flying monsters attacked their eyes while spiders bit any uncovered skin. He crawled up a leg of the thing and bit it where its legs came together. The thing let out a piercing scream as a bear came in and clawed out its throat. When other forests lost their spirit protectors they became fearful of the two-legged monsters. Not this forest, for the creatures in it were trained to kill. When left alone, they only killed each other for meat, but when a man-beast entered they never left alive. The entire crew of monsters were dead within minutes, their bodies devoured within two days and their metal buried with berry bushes planted on top.
Next time you need a tree, ask its inhabitants first. Make sure to give thirty days notice of eviction; otherwise, your nuts may become chips!
[James Merritt lives in Maryland. He is a teacher, entrepreneur, story-teller and writer. We are pleased to have published several of James’s stories in Columnist with a View, so you can search the Archives for other short-shorts. He has published a small collection which is available on Amazon.com.]