SHORT FICTION by James Merritt

SHORT FICTION by 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!]

DESTRUCTION

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.

 

INTRICACY

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.

 

CHIP

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.]

 

 

MAKE AMERICA SATIRICAL AGAIN by BHeming6

MAKE AMERICA SATIRICAL AGAIN by BHeming6

A REVIEW OF THE EDITOR’S SATIRE ON TRUMP’S FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE

trumpIn this contemporary satire about Donald Trump’s potential first year as President of the United States, Milt Hankins illustrates the ridiculousness and devastation that could result from him becoming the President. It starts with him staying in his New York City residence until he finishes renovating the White House to his liking, then talks about the wall and the immigration problem, followed by the issue of nepotism and Trump appointing all his family members to government positions. It also addresses his tendency to dismiss questions or other people as stupid or foolish instead of addressing the issue at hand. The article discusses Trump using executive orders to abolish government programs and pay off the debt to the Chinese, while giving jobs to people as well. Hankins pokes fun at his tendency to discuss his personal relationships with leaders and how they all “love him” and his confidence in his negotiating abilities in terms of stopping ISIS. The central argument made here is that Trump would not be a good President because of his bold assumptions and questionable attitudes towards certain groups or issues.

One key device that shapes the impact of the message is the use of dialogue and quotations. Hankins says that the president said he would not be appointing any women, but when a reporter reminds him that he appointed his daughter to Secretary of State already, Hankins inputs a quote for Trump: “That’s different!” Hankins then proceeds to say that Trump called the reporter stupid and rude. This is to mock his unfiltered attack on other people and suggest that it is bad for a president of our country to conduct himself in such a way. In the next paragraph, Trump is quoted and says, “Women reporters with blood coming out of their eyes or wherever will no longer have access to the press room.” He also says, “The press room is in my Trump Tower lobby, and I have the authority… a mandate to do as I please!” Hankins is using dialogue here to comment on his ignorance and what some would call obnoxious sense of wealth.

Hankins produced this work in order to scare people away from voting for Trump as President. Today, Trump is leading in the polls for the Republican nomination, so it has not yet fulfilled its purpose, but the rhetorical argument is sound nonetheless and he effectively uses dialogue to produce feelings of doubt or fear about Trump in this satirical article.