Short Story Sunday 261: Cooperate

Short Story Sunday: Cooperate | Short Story | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Tania sat down in a chair in the corner. She watched everyone else in the group laugh, chit-chat, and generally have a good time. She wanted nothing to do with whatever they were doing though. She crossed her arms and legs and tried to look the other way whenever Saul, their youth group leader, turned in her direction.

The youth group was a new thing at her church this year. The education leaders were trying to find ways to bring the kids together more than just two hours each week. They said they wanted the kids to be friends, make memories with once another. All the while having fun and doing good for the world.

This was the fifth meeting. So far, they’ve already went out and volunteered at an animal shelter (Tania had to admit that was fun. Who didn’t want to spend the afternoon playing with dogs and cats?), they hosted a get-together for their church, they’ve gone on a field trip to their local bowling alley, and the rest of times they’ve stayed in their classroom – or “meeting room” as Saul liked to call it (it was the classroom they had Sunday school in each Sunday for church). Whenever they stayed in the classroom, they sometimes played games or they sat in a circle and talked.

Tania couldn’t complain too much. They were little work involved unless they were volunteering, but she didn’t mind that at all. She just didn’t want to be there. She already had to spend two hours every Sunday morning with these people and then sit in the church service with them for an extra hour. She didn’t want to be here for an hour on Saturday. She was in her church far too many times during the week and she was surrounded by these people too often.

She was only grateful that Saul didn’t constantly talk about God and Jesus. He mentioned them a couple of times, but ultimately, he said, “This youth group is a safe space for us to get to know each other, hang out, and have fun.”

Um, isn’t that what she had friends for? Friends who were seeing the latest superhero movie right now that she wasn’t able to go to because she had this youth group thing. Friends who didn’t understand the youth group either and kind of made fun of her for going to do it. It’s not like she had a choice though, but her friends didn’t really care about that.

Tania resented her mother for making her go to this. It was bad enough that her mother made her go to Sunday school but now her mother thought the youth group was the best idea in the world. Her mother thought she’d make friends with some of her Sunday school classmates (again, she already had friends. Why did she need to hang out with her Sunday school classmates?) and her mother also thought she’d learn a lot. Tania was in school Monday through Friday and then Sunday school on Sunday. Now youth group on Saturdays. Why was it that she needed to be in a learning environment for every day of the week? It wasn’t fair.

Tania cast a glance back over to what the group was doing. They were awfully loud. They were split into two teams stacking cups or something. She didn’t pay attention to the directions when Saul explained them because she knew she wouldn’t be participating. As soon as Saul split them up, explained the game, and shouted, “Go!” all the kids began to play and Tania turned away to sit in her chair in the corner. She was pleased Saul left it there for her from last week instead of putting it away at the end of each meeting like he used to.

Since she looked over at the group playing the game, Saul caught her staring. The moment they locked eyes, Tania snapped her gaze away. She knew it was too late though. She had a feeling Saul was walking over toward her right at that moment. She heard a chair sit beside her and she rolled her eyes. Great, he brought a chair to sit beside her. This wasn’t going to be a quick chat, he was most likely going to lecture her.

He didn’t say anything though.

Tania peered over her shoulder just a little. She didn’t want Saul to notice and assume she wanted to talk. When she looked at him, he was casually sitting back in his own seat watching the other kids with a dopey smile on his face.

Out of all the places in the classroom, he had to watch them from right beside her? And he wasn’t even going to talk to her? Why? What was the point?

Tania ignored him for a little longer but finally she snapped. “Are you just going to sit there and do nothing?” she turned to him.

Saul twisted his neck to look at her. He seemed surprised she had spoken. “Are you?” he countered calmly.

Tania narrowed her eyes. That wasn’t fair. He couldn’t throw that back in her face like that. This was her spot. His spot was over with everyone else.

Saul didn’t speak again after that. That bothered Tania. For some reason, this was worse than a lecture.

“You’re annoying me.” Tania said bluntly. She didn’t mean for it to come out that way, but… well, she guessed she had this building up inside her for a long time.

“Am I?” Saul replied.

“Yes,”

“Okay,”

Tania scoffed. “Aren’t you going to do anything about it?”

Saul shrugged. “To me it sounded like you were just stating a fact. You didn’t ask anything of me.”

Tania narrowed her eyes and glared at him again. Oh, this man was good, she had to admit. “Do you have to sit right here?”

“No, I suppose not.” He replied.

Tania groaned. Apparently, she needed to be specific with him. “Then can you please move?”

“I appreciate the politeness and I’d love to oblige, but may I ask why?” Saul replied. He was still so calm. That was bothering Tania even more.

“No,” Tania said sternly.

“Because you don’t want to explain or because you don’t have a reason?”

Tania opened her mouth but only a small squeak came out. She didn’t have a good response to that one. She just wanted him out of her way. But she was starting to think that wasn’t going to happen.

“I’ll leave you alone if do one thing for me.” Saul said.

Tania threw her head back with a thunk against the wall. “Oh, so you’re bribing me now?”

Saul raised an eyebrow. “No, think of this more as a negotiation.”

“Is the hour over, yet…?”

“I’ll leave you alone for the rest of the hour – hey, maybe I’ll talk to you mother and let her know how unhappy you are here.” Saul stated his terms.

That got Tania’s attention. She looked at him. “You’d really talk to my mom and me not coming anymore?”

“I don’t want you to be unhappy. That’s not what this group is about. This group is here for you to make new friends, try new things, and feel comfortable. If you’re not getting that, then you shouldn’t feel trapped here.”

Tania’s eyes grew wide. He had just expressed everything she was feeling. She wasn’t sure how he knew (okay, maybe it was because she always sat in a corner), but she was impressed that he was spot on. She was surprised, in fact, that he had paid so much attention to her even though she never participated and never spoke or engaged with him or the her classmates.

“Three weeks,” Saul held up three fingers, “I want you to try. I want you to engage with your peers and participate in the games. I want you to share how your week was or share a story during our discussion time. I want you to try to get to know at least one other person here.”

Tania scrunched up her face in disgust. “That seems like a lot of terms…”

“You have three weeks and if you’re still unhappy, I’ll have a talk with your mother. All I’m asking is for you to try.” He explained.

Tania sighed. Alright, she knew she wasn’t able to argue with that one. He brought up good points and she had never really given the place a chance. She still hoped she could get out of it, but trying for three weeks wasn’t so bad. It was only an hour, after all.

“Okay, fine. Deal.” Tania said with a nod. “Does this start next week?”

“How about today?”

Tania grinned. She had found a loop-hole. “How much time is left?”

“Oh, about…” Saul checked his wrist watch, “45 minutes.”

Tania’s jaw dropped. “I’ve only been sitting here for 15 minutes?!”

Sault stood up and motioned to her classmates. “Time does fly when you’re having fun. I promise.”

Words: 1,501

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Short Story Sunday 260: Attic

Short Story Sunday: Attic | Short Story | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Gloria stood in the middle of the dark and dusty attic. She scanned the room with the low ceilings and musty smell. She didn’t want to be up there but she knew someone had to clean it out eventually. There was a lot of junk up in that attic. A lot was from her childhood – old toys and mementos. There was even more from her now deceased parents. There were outdated holiday decorations, mementos from their own childhood, old but important paperwork that was most likely overdue for a good shredding, and much more.

Gloria didn’t even need to go through the old boxes to remember what was in the attic. She just knew it was all stuff that hadn’t been touched in years. All of it, despite being packed away in boxes and storage bins, was most likely gross at this point. They might have been damaged or smelled of the old wooden beams and floorboards.

There were so many boxes and other items lying around. There were even old pieces of furniture left out. Though they were covered by white sheets, Gloria knew there was a thick layer of dust sitting underneath.

It was no wonder no one ever wanted to come up here and clean it out. They’d be in for quite the shower afterwards.

Gloria didn’t have any siblings and she had moved back into her childhood home to be with her elderly father when her mother passed away. She had loved living back home even though her husband had wanted a place of their own. However, now her father was gone and Gloria wondered if she and her husband should fix up and sell the place or if they should just stay put. Going through her parent’s thing though, she didn’t have any room to put them. The attic was the only logical place, but that too was full.

Her husband had offered to help her go through all the items. Gloria declined. She knew this was something she had to do on her own. Besides, she didn’t feel like telling her husband constantly what to do. Every item he picked up he would have asked what to do with it and Gloria would have to decide on the spot to keep it, sell it, or trash it. It would be easier for her to go through everything herself and in her own time.

Gloria finally stepped forward and took a look at the box closest to her. It was labeled, “MaryAnn.” Her mother. Gloria remembered her father had made a few boxes of her things not too long after she had passed away. Gloria opened the box and took a peek inside. A flood of memories poured out and quickly closed it.

Maybe she would start with a different box.

There were a few labeled “Gloria” and she had a feeling she knew what those were. Old school papers and drawing from when she was a little kid that her mother wasn’t able to let go of. Gloria knew all that could have gotten thrown out. She didn’t care too much for her own hand-print turkeys or high school persuasive essays.

When Gloria opened the box, however, old stuffed animals and photographs were inside. A wave of nostalgia came over her and she quickly closed the box.

Gloria looked around the room. There had to have been something she was able to go through and get rid of. The furniture! Maybe she could get rid of some old chairs. They were most likely rotted anyway.

She lifted the sheet off the first chair she was able to reach. It was the rocking chair her father had bought her mother when she was pregnant. Gloria got a whiff of her mother’s perfume and could have sworn she heard the creaking of the rocking chair as if her mother was sitting it right then.

Gloria put the sheet back over and hurried out of the attic. It was no wonder no one ever went up there anymore.

Words: 671

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Short Story Sunday 259: Look

Short Story Sunday: Look | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

“What do you see?”

Cory narrowed his eyes. He thought about what he saw. He thought real hard. Nothing was coming to mind though. He didn’t want her to think he was stupid, but there wasn’t anything that was popping into his head on what it could possibly look like.

“Hello?” Lucy piped up again.

“I’m thinking.” Cory hissed.

Lucy smirked. “You’re not supposed to think about it. That’s the whole point of ink blots. There’s no right or wrong answer.”

“I know, you’ve told me that plenty of times already. But just let me think.” Cory repeated.

Lucy rolled her eyes and put the card face-down on her lap. “No, I’m going to move onto the next one. Do not think about it at all. I’m going to show you and I want you to tell me the first thing that comes into your mind. I’ll give you five seconds.”

“But–”

“Are you ready?”

Cory sighed. “Fine.”

Lucy held up the next card. “5… 4… 3… 2… 1 and done.” She laid the card face down in her lap on top of the previous one. “Alright, so what did it look like to you?”

“A butt.” Cory replied without any hesitation.

“A butt?!” Lucy exclaimed. She picked up the card and turned it over so she could see. “You can’t be serious.”

“Hey, you told me to say the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it and it looks like a butt to me.” Cory defended himself.

Lucy stared at him with a horrific expression.

“Alright, fine, you tell me what it looks like to you then.” Cory challenged her.

“I believe it looks like a fountain with the water cascading down.” Lucy explained.

Cory shook his head. “No, see, that’s ridiculous. It’s clearly a butt.”

“I have no idea how you see a butt.”

“I have no idea how you see a water fountain.”

“There’s no right or wrong answer. It can be a water fountain if I believe it is.” Lucy stated.

“Ah-ha!” Cory exclaimed. “If there are no right or wrong answers, then it can be a butt if I believe it is!”

Lucy sighed. “Yeah, but…”

“Yes, butt.”

Lucy shot him a glare. Then she looked back at the ink blot. “I see something beautiful. How can you not?”

“You see something beautiful?” Cory repeated in disbelief. “How can you see something beautiful in a big black blob in the shape of a butt?”

“Okay,” Lucy sighed. “I think we’re done here for today.” She stacked the used cards and remaining ones neatly on her lap and then stood up heading for her desk.

“Done? We only wen through four cards. You have plenty more, I can see that much.” Cory said. He stood up and followed Lucy to her desk.

“Yes, but maybe we can pick this up next time. I think I’ve had all I can take.” Lucy replied. She smiled at him but Cory knew what that smile meant.

“I’m looking at your smile and do you know what I see?” Cory asked wagging a finger in her face.

“What do you see?” she asked still smirking.

“I see your mind and it’s thinking I’m pretty stupid.”

“Not stupid, Cory. Ridiculous, maybe, but certainly not stupid.”

Words: 549

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Short Story Sunday 258: Ex

Short Story Sunday: Ex | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

“What do you mean I’m crossed out?” Amy asked as calmly as she could bare. She tried not to grit her teeth but if she didn’t release some sort of pressure, she knew she’d punch someone.

Emily shrugged. “I don’t know, your name it just crossed out on the list. So, I was told not to let you in.”

Amy narrowed her eyes. “You do realize we’re here to work on a school project, right? This isn’t some rave party or dance club.”

“Listen,” Emily let out an annoyed sigh, “I don’t know what my sister does, okay? And honestly, I don’t care. All I know is that she paid me 20-dollars to wait by the door. She told me some people were allowed in and others weren’t.”

Amy rolled her eyes. Leave it to Morgan to pay her younger sister to be the bouncer of her house. “You said others weren’t allowed in? Who are the others?”

Emily looked down at her clipboard. Her gaze scanned the list of names – all five of them. She looked back up at Amy and bluntly replied, “Just you.”

Amy’s jaw nearly dropped. What a slap in the face. “Are the other girls in there now?”

Emily nodded. “You’re the last one to arrive. Well, I guess Sam was the last one to arrive since she was actually allowed in.”

“Emily, this is stupid.” Amy growled pinching the bridge of her nose.

“I don’t make the rules.”

“There are no rules!” Amy raised her voice. “We’re supposed to be working on a project together for school. How am I supposed to help them if they won’t let me in?”

The young girl shrugged.

Amy sighed. She suddenly felt more upset than she did angry. “Do you know why they don’t want me in their group?” Her teacher did allow them to choose groups. Amy had no close friends in science though and was the odd one out as there had to be groups of four and there were 17 kids in the class. She got assigned to be with them.

“Hey, you want my advice?” Emily said in a hushed tone.

“Sure, why not?” Amy replied. What else was there to do?

Emily held out her hand. Amy rolled her eyes and handed the devious little brat a five-dollar bill.

“When you go to school on Monday, tell your teacher everything that happened. Do the project yourself this weekend and hand it in. I know all my sister’s friends. If you worked with them, you wouldn’t have gotten a good grade anyway.”

Amy smirked. She was most likely going to do that anyway, but hearing it from Emily in such a way made her smile. It made her feel a little better anyway.

She nodded her thanks to Emily and turned around and headed for home to work on the project herself. Good thing it was her job to get all the research done. She’d be finished before she knew it.

Words: 498

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Short Story Sunday 257: Shelf

Short Story Sunday: Shelf | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

“What are you doing?” Angie asked as she stood in the doorway to the basement. She had assumed her brother was watching TV and went to join him, but she could barely get into the room for fear she’d step on a rogue nail.

Shawn looked over his shoulder. He sat on the floor in the middle of the room surrounding by pieces of finished wood, nails, screws, and the like. His toolbox sat upon the couch where he could barely reach.

“I’m building a shelf.” He replied with a confident smile.

“Like… a flat shelf?” Angie asked moving her hands side to side horizontally. “Is this going to hang up on the wall?”

Shawn shook his head. “It’s a bookshelf. It’ll stand tall in the corner and hold stuff.”

“You mean like, books?” Angie couldn’t help but smirk.

“Or movies.”

“Right,”

“It has four shelves.” Shawn continued. He reached over a couple pieces of wood and grabbed the instructions on how to build it. He stretched his arm out to hand it to Angie who took it without saying a word. The front showed the shelf completely built.

“Wow,” Angie said impressed. “This looks like a good shelf. It’s going to be pretty tall.”

“I know,” Shawn chuckled.

“Do you really think you’ll be able to build it all by yourself?” she asked.

Shawn shrugged. “I don’t see why not.”

“Why were the instructions so far away from you, then?”

“I was just getting all the pieces out and in order, that’s all.” Shawn replied.

Angie couldn’t help but laugh. “You realize building a shelf isn’t like Legos, right?”

“I know.” Shawn scoffed.

“Okay, well have fun.” Angie tossed the instructions booklet back to him. She turned back around and headed up the stairs.

“Where are you going? Do you want to help? You know, brother and sister bonding?” Shawn asked with a grin.

Angie chuckled. She knew why Shawn hadn’t started yet. She knew why he had laid the pieces out and that was it. He was afraid to get started because, even with the instructions, he had no idea what he was doing.

“No, thanks.” She answered. “I’m going to go get Dad.”

“Why Dad?” Shawn asked.

“Because I see a drill sitting on the couch and I get the feeling that won’t end well for anyone.”

Shawn sighed. “Yeah… you’re probably right.”

Words: 396

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Short Story Sunday 256: Mystery

Short Story Sunday: Mystery | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

When Jamie entered the room there was already a blanket covering the body. She stared at the lumpy white sheet and swallowed a hard lump deep in the back of her throat. This was her first case. Her first case was a potential homicide.

She knew this would happen eventually. She always knew she would have to deal with something like this. She just didn’t think it would happen so soon. Jamie wondered if it would have been better if she had stayed at the desk job for a little while longer.

Was she ready to have such a hardcore case?

Well, at least the body was already covered up. Maybe she would haven’t to see it in person and solve the case through the evidence pictures. You know, she can ease herself into homicide cases.

“There you are.” Brock said heading straight toward her. “Where have you been?”

“Outside.” Jamie replied nonchalantly. She found herself standing a little taller when the head detective of her department singled her out from all the other officers.

Then again, looking around the room, all the other officers were busy doing something. She was just standing in the door way.

“There’s no dilly-dalling when it comes to homicides.” Brock spat.

“Yes, sir,” Jamie said meekly. Detective Hal Brock was head detective for a reason. His personality was hard as stone but he certainly knew his stuff. He solved cases faster than anyone else and he knew how to be a leader. He never had any trouble taking charge. Jamie thought he was a nice guy. She had talked to him at the department Christmas party and he was a normal person. When it’s time for work though, he put on a difference face. It was almost like she had never met him.

She respected him though. Real respect, not respect out of fear or intimidation. Everyone worshipped him.

“Where’s Gibson?” Brock demanded.

“Outside.” Jamie replied again. There wasn’t much for her to say. Her partner, Detective Seth Gibson, had told her to go on in without him.

Brock sighed. “Why is he outside? Did you two not get enough fresh air this morning?”

“He’s taking statements from a few of the neighbors.” Jaime explained. She made a mental note to kick herself for that later. She probably should have mentioned that in her original answer instead of giving the head detective one-word answers.

Brock narrowed his eyes. Jamie pressed her lips together. She didn’t know what was going on in his mind right now. He had a thinking face on. His narrowed eyes were from annoyance or confusion. He was simply thinking.

“This is your first real case, right?” he asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“Stop calling me sir. We’re colleagues.”

Jaime nodded.

“So why isn’t Gibson in here and letting you handle the statements?” Brock asked.

Jamie felt her face flush. In other words, Brock didn’t think she’d be good enough to be in the crime scene. Taking statements was something newbies did or was something when experienced detectives did when they were benched but had to tag along anyway.

Brock continued talking when Jamie didn’t answer. “Gibson wants you to get experience, is that it?” then he smirked. “He’s throwing you to the wolves?”

Jaime opened her mouth to reply, but she remained silent. Maybe her partner really was throwing her to the wolves? Although she was hoping he believed in her enough to just send her straight in and get the experience she needed. No two cases were the same but she needed to learn the ropes first hand.

“You’ve never seen a dead body before, have you?” Brock asked breaking Jaime out of her thoughts.

Jaime’s eyes grew wide. She knew she needed to work on her poker face, but she wasn’t expecting him to ask such a question. Then again, she had a feeling he was able to look right through her. Good poker face or not, she was still a newbie, which meant she was an open book.

Brock nodded his head to the side. “Come here.” He said turning. Jaime followed slowly as she came to realization that he was headed for the stiff on the ground.

The head detective shooed an officer away and then he squatted next to the body. He waved her forward with two fingers and Jaime took the cue to squat on the other side of the body.

She felt herself begin to sweat. Her palms were clammy and the room suddenly grew hot. Jaime didn’t know what Brock was planning but she wondered if she would be ready for whatever it was.

Brock pointed to the body while eyeing the rookie. Then he gave her her first task.

“Lift the sheet.”

Jaime chewed the inside of her cheek. Did Brock notice she was sweating? She felt dizzy and hoped he couldn’t tell that her eyes might roll to the back of her head at any moment.

She was just about to make her move when she shifted her gaze from the blank sheet to Brock. He had a neutral expression yet raised one eyebrow. He was wondering what she’d do. Then Jaime realized this wasn’t him assigning her something to do or trying to conquer her newbie jitters. This was a test.

Jaime reached into her pocket and pulled out a latex glove. She snapped it on her right hand before reaching over the body and gripping the edge of the sheet by the body’s head – at least, she thought it was the head.

After counting to three in her head, Jaime lifted the sheet and took a peek.

Everyone else around her seemed to freeze. The room suddenly went silent. A shiver ran down her spine, but she didn’t feel anxiety staring at the body. Instead, she felt remorse. She didn’t know the deceased, but she wasn’t expecting such a feeling.

“She’s beautiful.” Jaime whispered. The young woman’s eyes were shut. She looked peaceful as though she had merely fallen asleep on the hardwood floor and would wake with a start upon having a sheet over her head. Her skin was pale resembling a vampire and her hair shone like silk. It was almost as though she had just brushed and laid down gently before she died.

“She was.” Brock said briskly. “Tell me more about her.”

Jaime didn’t take her eyes off the body. “It looks staged almost. She looks too perfect. Maybe this wasn’t where she originally died?”

“Are you saying the body might have been moved after she had passed?”

“Maybe?”

“Are you guessing?” Brock smirked.

Jaime shrugged. “Isn’t all of this just a bunch of guesswork until we gather enough evidence?”

Brock grinned a genuine smile. “Fair enough. Nice job, Detective.”

Jaime couldn’t help but smile.

“Now let’s get back to work.” Brock said, his expression becoming neutral again. He stood up and turned his attention to someone else.

Jaime looked back down at the young women. She sighed, said a silent prayer, and put the sheet back over her head.

Words: 1,174

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Short Story Sunday 255: Wave

Short Story Sunday: Wave | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

He never saw it coming. His friends had dared him to swim out as far as he could. He was a good swimmer. Better than all of his friends. His parents had him take swimming lessons since he was two-years-old. He didn’t enjoy it very much as a kid, but he stuck with it. It wasn’t until he was much older that he really appreciated it.

It was a good thing he was there that day. The ice cream truck had come to the beach and he offered to get his friends each something. While he trekked through the sand, it stinging in between his toes and balancing frozen ice cream in his hands, he had heard his friends screaming.

He didn’t think anything of it though. His first instinct was that his friends were screaming for their ice cream. He assumed they had saw him coming and started cheering him on – or yelling at him to hurry up. He wasn’t too sure which one was it. The tone was hard to read from very far away.

Whenever he went to the beach with his friends they always camped right at the shoreline. It was always such a long walk through the desert sand to make it back to the showers, the shack, and the parking lot.

As he got closer though, he realized what his friends wanted from him. They wanted him to swim out as far as he could into the ocean.

They wanted him to do exactly what they had just dared their other friend to do who was having trouble swimming back.

There was a lifeguard already in the water for the rescue. He couldn’t stand by and watch his friend – and possibly a lifeguard – drown because of his friends’ stupidity.

Plus, he couldn’t say no to a challenge.

There was a huge wave on the horizon. He knew how to swim, not how to surf. He went out there anyway.

So, even though the lifeguard had brought back his friend, by the time he had a chance to go back out and get him… all that was left was the wave.

Words: 356

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Short Story Sunday 254: Welcome

Short Story Sunday: Welcome | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

Allie opened the front door to her new home with a wide grin. “Come in, come in!” she exclaimed opening the door wider and allowing a few of her friends to enter. She had been living in this house for a week now and things finally seemed to be in order. All the boxes were unpacked and put away. The furniture was in place. The cable and Internet were set up. There was nothing else left to do other than celebrate.

She had set up the living room and the finished basement for people to roam and hang out. She cleaned every single room so her guests could wander and explore the three different floors of the house. Allie had a lot of space and she knew exactly what she was going to do for each and every inch of it.

“Wow,” Jon said as he entered the main living room. “This place is huge.”

“I went with the open concept.” Allie beamed. She had picked up the “open concept” saying when she was searching for a forever home. Before she started her search had no idea what that meant.

Casey wiped her feet on the welcome mat and kicked her shoes off to the side. “I wouldn’t want to get these beautiful hardwood floors scratched up.”

Allie giggled with excitement.

Jon chuckled. “Personally, I like carpet for living rooms.”

Allie frowned. “Why?

“Seems homier.”

Casey elbowed Jon and shot him a glare. Then she smiled at Allie. “Don’t listen to him, it’s beautiful.”

“I was just voicing my opinion. I didn’t say this looked bad. I merely meant if this were my home, I’d want carpet to be put in.” Jon explained defensively.

“Well, this isn’t your home.” Casey scolded.

“Guys, really. Don’t worry about it.” Allie dismissed with a wave of her hand. She closed the front door once her friends stood far enough into the living room. “Any suggestions are welcome. I may not listen, but I’m open to hearing opinion’s about decorating and the house itself.”

“It’s just on his mind because we’re still looking for our forever home.” Casey stated.

Jon snorted. “It’s been eight months and we’ve got nothing.”

“It’s eight more months of savings though.” Casey shrugged.

“Eh, fine,” Jon agreed. He nodded his head to Allie. “Where’s the bathroom?”

“Down the hall and it’s the first door on your left.” Allie said pointing her finger across the room. She grinned again. “It’s a guest bathroom. There’s another guest bathroom in the basement, a full bathroom upstairs, and another full bathroom in the master bedroom – my bedroom.”

“Nice!” Jon cheered.

“Why do you need the bathroom? Didn’t you just go before we left?” Casey asked.

“Yeah, but I wanna check it out.” Jon said with a shrug. Without waiting for Casey’s response, he turned away and headed down the hall. Casey let out a sigh and rolled her eyes.

“There’s food in the kitchen.” Allie said to her and then added, “along with my parents. Enter at your own risk.”

Casey grinned. “Well, the kitchen is my favorite part of the house. I can’t wait to see what that looks like!” She immediately turned right around and headed toward the archway that lead into the kitchen. It was wide enough to tell the kitchen was next door, there was no need for Allie to show her the way.

Allie remained in the living room by herself. Her family was picking on the appetizers in the kitchen along with a couple of family friends. Jon and Casey had arrived. There were just a few more people left to come. Then she could give everyone the grand tour. Most of them helped her move in, but they haven’t seen the place as Allie’s before.

The doorbell rang again. Allie clapped her hands to herself and turned to open the door.

Words: 645

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Short Story Sunday 253: Delivery [Flash Fiction]

Short Story: "Delivery" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Chase came home to find a package sitting on the front steps. He bent down, picked it up, and read the label before even unlocking the front door. “Alyson Dixon,” he read and then sighed, “I didn’t order anything so I guess I should have known it wouldn’t be for me.”

“Why are you talking to yourself?”

Chase turned around hearing Alyson’s voice. “Hey, I wasn’t expecting you home so early.”

His sister shrugged as she pushed past him to unlock the front door. “Yeah, well it turned out I didn’t have to babysit this afternoon. I got to the school to pick up the kids and guess who pulls into the parking lot? They’re mom. She had the day off and forgot to text me.”

She pushed the front door open and took hold of the storm door to let her brother enter first.

Chase ducked under Alyson’s arm with his own arms wrapped around the box. Alyson followed letting the storm door close with a light slam. Then she closed and locked the front door again.

Chase put the package on the couch. “That’s annoying.”

Alyson shrugged again tossing her purse onto the armchair in the living room. “It’s fine. She said she’d pay me anyway because it was so last minute and she spaced.”

Chase smiled. “Wow, free money for four hours?”

Alyson chuckled. “Yep.”

“No wonder you can afford these packages. I feel like a new one comes for you almost every day.” Chase said. He stared at the box. His backpack wasn’t even off his shoulders yet.

“Christmas is around the corner, you know. Besides, what do you care?” Alyson wondered aloud.

“I’m curious, I guess.” Chase shrugged. Then he looked over his shoulder to his sister with a sly grin. “Are any of these packages for me?”

Alyson pushed her purse to the side and sat down in the armchair. She crossed her legs and propped her elbow up on the arm of the chair. She rested her head back and smiled. “Open it.”

Chase paused. “What do you mean?”

“I mean open the box. See what’s inside.”

“But you order a lot of stuff. You don’t know what could be in here.” Chase said.

“I know what’s in that box.” Alyson countered.

“But… what about Christmas?” Chase asked.

Alyson sighed. “Alright, fine. Don’t open the box.”

“No, no, I will!” Chase protested. He turned back around to look at the box.

He picked it up and held it high above his head. It was on the lighter side. He then brought it down to be eye-level with him and he shook it from side to side. Something slid around in it. The box wasn’t too heavy either. He shook it again but up and down this time. Whatever was in there bounced around. He guessed it was something small.

Alyson rolled her eyes. “Come on, Chase. Just opened the box.”

He put it back down on the couch and ripped through the tape sealing the cardboard shut. He struggled for a bit. Alyson even got up to hand him a pair of scissors to cut through the packing tape. When he did, he handed her the scissors back and pulled the flaps open.

Chase grinned as he peered into the box. There was something special inside. Some he had always wanted, but there was a slight problem.

He picked it up and examined it. His smiled faded though he tried not to show it. “Wow, thanks, Alyson.”

“I know you really wanted that video game.” Alyson said with a proud smile.

“I do, but… I’m sorry, I can’t play it. I don’t have the latest console that this is for.” Chase said. He felt bad. He knew his sister had meant well and he was excited and grateful for the gift. He didn’t want her to think otherwise.

Alyson chuckled. “Come on, Chase, I’m not stupid. The console should arrive by tomorrow night.”

Chase’s eyes grew. His jaw dropped.

Alyson laughed. She wrapped her arms around her brother in a hug.

“Thank you so much!” he exclaimed. “But… why? And why not for Christmas?”

“I thought about giving it to you for Christmas. But you’ve been wanting this for months now. And I figured I could get you some accessories for it for Christmas.” She winked.

Chase grinned. More deliveries were on the way.

Words: 731

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Short Story Sunday 252: Admit [Flash Fiction]

Short Story: "Admit" | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Gina opened the front door to her house and poked her head in. Neither one of her parents were in the living room. She didn’t hear anything coming from the kitchen either. Hopefully, her father was in the basement and her mother was in their bedroom. She entered the house and closed the door softly behind her. She wasn’t in the mood to talk to them. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to, but she didn’t want to lie to them.

She adjusted her backpack onto her shoulders and quietly made her way over to the stairs. As long as she’d be able to make it up there without making too much noise, she should be in the clear.

Except pretty much every step squeaked. Why was it that the stairs never made a sound when she walked normally on them, yet they spoke loudly whenever she was trying to be stealth?

“Honey, is that you?” she heard her mother call.

Gina froze in the middle of the stairs. Honey could mean one of two things – either her mother knew Gina was due home from school or she thought she was talking to her husband.

“Honey?” she called again.

Gina bit her lower lip. Come on, say a name! Honey wasn’t getting anyone anywhere.

There were a few moments of silent. Gina hoped her mother had given up. Maybe she thought she had heard things. Yeah, that would be good. Now all Gina had to do was try her best to keep as quiet as she could. She was halfway up the stairs already. She could do this.

Gina lifted her left foot to take the next step when she heard other footsteps. She froze again. The basement stairs were directly below the stairs going up. That meant her father was coming up from the basement.

That was okay, though. Maybe he was just going into the kitchen to get a snack.

She heard the basement door open. This was still okay. As long as she didn’t move, no one would notice her and she’d be fine.

“Gina?”

She remained still. How had she not heard her father round the corner? Clearly, he had much more practice at being stealth than she was.

“Uh, Gina? What are you doing?”

Oh, right. She was still frozen. She relaxed and turned around to smile at her dad. “Hey, how are ya?”

Her father narrowed his eyes in confusion. “I’m good, how are you doing?”

“Great,” Gina replied all too quickly.

“Honey, what’s going – oh. Hi, Gina.”

Gina snapped her head around. Her mother was now standing at the top of the stairs. “Oh, no… I’m cornered.” She muttered.

“Cornered?” her father repeated folding his arms sternly.

Gina grinned. What else was she supposed to do?

“Did anything interesting happen in school today?” her mother asked.

“Well, you don’t have to pressure me! Fine, I’ll tell you.” Gina said exasperated. She threw her arms up in the air before turning back to her mother. Did she detect a small smirk on her mother’s face?

“I got…” Gina began but then sighed.

“Suspended, we know.” Her father finished her sentence.

Gina paused. “Wait, how?”

“Your principal called.” Her mother answered.

“Oh,” Gina relaxed. In a way she was relieved. She didn’t want to lie to them but she also didn’t want them know she had gotten too many detentions to warrant a suspension. Which reminded her… “Do you know why?”

“Too many detentions.” Her father said.

“Which explains why you’re home late sometimes.” Her mother added.

Gina nodded. There was no getting out of this one.

“So, were you sneaking up the stairs?” her mother chuckled. “What were you going to do during the school day for the next week without us knowing?”

Gina opened her mouth. Honestly, she hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. It was true, she would have had to pretend to go to school every morning. What would she do? Where would she go? Her mother stayed home, there was no way she’d be able to just hang home all day.

“Well, it doesn’t matter, Dear.” Her father said. He started walking up the stairs and slid past his daughter. “She’s grounded anyway.”

Her mother nodded. “Yes, I suppose you’re right.” Once her husband was at the top of the stairs, she took it upon herself to go downstairs. She patted Gina on the shoulder as she passed.

Gina watched her mother as she disappeared into the living room. She looked above her and her father was already gone. She leaned her back against the wall and sighed. Well, that didn’t go as planned. Deep down she knew that was for the best.

Words: 783

Check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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