400 words –
The lone phone booth stood out in stark contrast to the arid Mojave desert surrounding it. But was it a mirage?
Jason Brant tried to focus on the lone object in the distant horizon. He was lost, hungry, thirsty, and desperately trying to survive. Two days had passed since the accident. He was lucky to be alive.
He’d been driving through Mojave National Preserve at a high speed (100 mph) on interstate 15 when he drifted off the pavement for a moment. It was enough to cause him to loose control. The car rolled onto the sand and landed upside down in a patch of creosote bushes.
When he woke up he was upside down, still held by his seat belt. It took him a few frustrating minutes to get free and crawl out. That’s when he felt the pain. His right knee had ballooned to three times its size and he could feel the bone splinters stabbing his nerves.
The pain was so great he passed out several times crawling towards the road. When he regained consciousness he looked around and saw what he thought might be a phone booth in the distance.
“What a crazy place for one,” was his first thought. His next thought was, “What if the phone works and I can call for help?” He eyed the phone booth for an hour before deciding he had to try and reach it.
After two days his strength was giving out. Crawling was exhausting and slow. When he finally was close enough to see that it was real his heart started pounding with excitement.
The door was gone and he wedged himself in and looked up at the dial tone phone. A pay phone. A sense of panic gripped him as he realized he didn’t have any change! He tore the phone off the receiver and listened to the dial tone in dismay.
“Operator!” he screamed as delirium took hold of his frayed senses. When a recorded voice asked for money Jason pleaded for his life.
When the Park Ranger found Jason the next day he gently sprinkled some water from his canteen onto his lips and sat him up against the outside wall of the phone booth.
He woke up and greedily grabbed the canteen and nearly drowned himself pouring water into his parched mouth. Afterwards. “Quick man! Do you have any change” he babbled…again and again.
100 words –
Early on in my life, I found that stupidity was good for laughs.
I embraced stupidity as my excuse for going on risky adventures and going where sane people feared to go. My stupid grin, honed since I was five after realizing it got laughs, helps me get through my days.
Stupidity conveys humility to unsuspecting observers unaware that it can be feigned for effect. Stupidity can be a cloak worn by the wise with all- knowing eyes. A perfect disguise.
Then there is sheer stupidity, a condition unencumbered by any excuse other than a person is born with it.
200 words –
“Here’s one! It’s plain to see this animal is half rabbit and half antelope,” Long Tom Silver assured the greedy easterners who eyed the tintype photo and looked around at the vast prairie.
“Come gentlemen! Where is your sense of adventure? These creatures are all over the Western plains. Their meat is an exquisite treat! With your fine rifles you can shoot all you can eat.”
The four dandies looked at one another. The train they just got off let out a robust whistle and rolled down the tracks into the horizon. Long Tom had their horses and gear ready.
“I gotta tell you boys, there were a lot of applicants for this hunt. But like I said in the newspaper advertisement, only four men would be selected for the hunt of a lifetime. You boys made the grade.
“One last thing,” Long Tom said. “I’ll be requiring my fees for this expedition now.”
The men didn’t looked surprised. It was what they all agreed on. Each handed Long Tom a sack of gold coins.
He took each one with a smile and gave a word of advise, “You boy’s should make a day camp. Jackalopes only come out at night,” he suggested while pointing his horse south towards Mexico.
100 words –
What you call trash is another person’s treasure. Be not proud throwaway consumer, for you created trash as surely as Auguste Rodin was a sculptor without peer.
Leftovers have a future when imagination is given free rein. Digging through ancient trash gives us insights into other cultures and what they used on a daily basis. It puts us in touch with the common man who history rudely ignores in favor of kings and queens.
Alley cats fight over scraps of food mingled with trash.
What a tale my trash tells until my wife can stand it no longer, and yells!
200 words –
The interior lights were all turned off and a sense of something ancient lingered in the room. The lone resident was huddled next to the nearly dead fireplace holding onto a black iron poker. One charred log was still smoldering and a faint trail of smoke slithered into the darkness.
“Come out and show yourself,” the old man said in an unsteady tone tinged with fear.
No sound issued from the dark corner where the old man’s eye’s struggled to see what was lurking there. He sensed a presence. Whatever was in the corner, it was watching him.
Once he fancied he saw two glaring eyes. After standing for hours his legs were getting weak. It wasn’t responding to his repeated question, “What do you want?”
Polarized with fear and indecision, the man grew weaker. The black iron poker became too heavy to hold and fell onto the wooden floor with a loud thud.
No response from the dark corner.
A faint light slowly filtered through the curtains bringing a new day. In the yellow glow the corner revealed it’s occupant. A cat on a chair.
But the old man didn’t know that. He was sprawled on the floor, dead.
When Morpheus, one of a thousand sons of Somnus couldn’t sleep the rest of the gods were troubled.
Without healing sleep, anger began to creep into casual conversations that turned to fights among the stressed-out gods. Sleep-deprived Zeus shattered the heavens with violent lightning followed by thunder that shook the earth.
Mankind trembled and prayed.
Another son of sleep, Icelos the long serpent, wrapped around Morpheus’s mind and kept him awake speaking of strange things in archaic languages. There seemed to be no hope for him.
Finally, Thanatos, god of death, called out to Morpheus and offered him eternal sleep.
100 words –
This time Hayden wasn’t dreaming.
The girl of his dreams, Belinda Ross, was really talking with him and being flirtatious! Her beautiful blue eyes were riveted upon him adoringly. She was still wearing her cheerleader outfit after the big football game.
The conversation, while they drove to a nearby canyon known for good places to park and neck, was light but heavily infused with lust. It was going to be his first time. He wondered if it would be her first time for sex?
When the alarm went off Hayden groaned when he felt the wet spot under the sheet.