Tag Archives: short stories

A 3-D Scene at the Park

In Response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-nine/

a 3-part poem in blank verse

“Joe”
He hated letting Alma see him cry
But knew the tears would flow against his will.
Remaining silent, Alma squeezed his hand—
A gesture barely noticed by the man.
The aging woman knitting on the bench,
Who had reminded him of Mother, turned
Revealing features not a bit like Mom’s.
Then, suddenly, it dawned on him.
…The sweater, small and red, his mother had begun
To knit for John—the child in Alma’s womb!

“Alma”
She always felt uneasy when he cried.
It seemed attempts to comfort often failed.
Making matters worse, she didn’t know
Why Joe was crying when he had been fine.
Unsure of what to do, she squeezed his hand.

“Perhaps he misses his mother,” Alma thought,
On seeing the old lady on the bench
With yarn and knitting needles in her lap.

“Old Lady Knitting on the Bench”
“I knew I shoulda stayed at home to knit
And watch my stories ‘stead of comin’ here…
I got some cryin’ sissy-baby-man
A lookin’ like I’m sweet old Granny Smith
Who used to bake him pie and knit him scarves.
A granny? Please! I learned me long ago
That kids would send me early to my grave.
No siree…knittin nothin’ ‘cept for Chip
Who’d never send me to no nursin’ home.
He never sasses me, jus’ wags his tail.
Now, Sissy, carry’in on like a brat—
If kin to me, I’d go upside his head
To cure him of his cryin’, starin’ ways.”

“Portrait of a Mass Murderer”

A narrative exploration of a Western epidemic. [A rhyming sestina in iambic pentameter–by Paul Burgess]

I.
Of boredom Janie feared she soon would die.
She needed something dangerous to try.
She’d taken all the pills a girl could take
While making all the love a girl could make
And now desired another high to give
Her faith that it was best for her to live.

II.
Internal voices said, “Who wants to live
When life’s no more than efforts not to die?”
Beliefs and doctrines never seemed to give
The high she sought, no matter what she’d try.
Relationships and friends she tried to make,
It seemed, would rarely give but often take.

III.
“Perhaps the time has come for me to take.
“Might ‘taking’ best define the phrase ‘to live’?”
Preparing for the move she planned to make,
She grabbed then shook and rolled a plastic die.
“Though six is high for my beginning try,
I said I’d take the choice the die would give.”

IV.
“Is there a charity you’d like to give…”
She cut the cashier off and said she’d take
A sack of fifties and then, “Don’t you try
To play the hero, Gramps. In films they live,
But, off the screen, they often tend to die.”
Then Janie thought about the news she’d make.

V.
Responding to the gruesome threats she’d make,
A shopper cried, “There’s nothing I won’t give,
But please, this isn’t how I want to die.
I have a yacht and car I’ll let you take
If only you’ll allow me now to live.”
Her only words were, “It’s no use to try.”

VI.
A theft was not what she was there to try.
It mattered little how much cash she’d make.
While six would die, the others she’d let live.
She said she’d take the choice the die would give.
With ev’ry person’s precious life she’d take,
A part of her humanity would die.

VII.
She’d murdered people just to watch them die
Because she’d wanted something new to try.
She’d thought it might be easier to take,
More fun destroying what she couldn’t make,
Than it had ever been for her to give.
She’d thought by killing others that she’d live.

“Going Viral” a short story by Paul Burgess

My first shot at writing prose fiction! [In response to prompts found here:  http://boundariesandedges.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/try-this-the-alphabet-exercise/

http://mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/try-this-the-alphabet-exercise/

“Going Viral” A Short Story by Paul Burgess
After a few months, he would laugh nervously about that day’s events.
But, when people mentioned the incident, he continued to feel a mixture of shame and anger.
Could they stop bringing it up?”
Did they have to videotape it?”
Events like this used to entertain him when he saw them on the internet.
Facebook and YouTube, however, had now become his enemies.

Going back to school terrified him.
How would he endure the merciless teasing of classmates who’d had an entire summer to hone their jokes about him?
If only his family would not have posted the video all over the internet…
Just thinking about his parents made him alternate between gritting his teeth and clutching his stomach.
Killing them might be justifiable,” said a half-serious voice no one else heard.
Let go of that thought,” a wiser voice advised.

Monkeys continued to haunt his dreams.
No night seemed to pass without those hairy hands caressing his cheeks.
Orangutans watched with gazes expressing amused approval.
Primates, why do you torment me?”
Quinton often woke to find himself panting while repeating that phrase.

Rape” would be too strong a word to describe what he’d endured…
To get a good picture, Quinton held his phone with one hand that he pushed between the cage’s bars.
Using his phone’s high-resolution camera, he captured dozens of excellent photos.
Vern, are you filming this?” his mom asked his dad.
What happened next, when Quinton tried to pull his arm back through the bars, gave him the shock of his young life.
Xavier, the monkey, grabbed his arm, pulled him close, stared deeply into his eyes, and then—before releasing him—kissed his lips for what seemed like ages.
YouTube will love this!” exclaimed his dad.
Zoo Trip, featuring Quinton Craig” went viral.

A “Poe–etic” Version of “The Tell-Tale Heart” [by Paul Burgess]

“ Poe’s ‘Tell-Tale Heart’ Summarized [for no good reason] in a Quatrain of Iambic Tetrameter”
Why did my neighbor have to die?
I could not stand his cloudy eye.
Why would I tear this floor apart?
Below, I hear his beating heart.