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

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Short Story Sunday 251: Provide [Flash Fiction]

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

Brady entered the store. He looked at the list his girlfriend had given him. After reading the items over in his head a few times, he folded the paper up and slid it into his back pocket. He turned around and walked back out of the store to grab a basket.

He hated it when the stores had an entry way and put their baskets and shopping carts there. Sure, it saved room in the store, but most often than not, he would grab his items then realize he needs more but has no arm space. Then he’d have to put it all down to leave the store, grab, a cart, only to come back in and pick everything back up. It was a pain.

He had grabbed a basket this time knowing he’d need it before he tried to fill his arms up with everything his girlfriend needed. Normally she did the shopping when it came to the kids, but she wasn’t feeling that well. And, well, they really did need food.

Brady wandered through the store weaving in and out of the many isles. While she had written down the brands and foods they liked to eat, Brady didn’t know his way around the store. It was times like this that he wished he had gone with her a couple of times. Then he’d be in and out.

He quickly filled up the basket though. He didn’t think he would, but he grabbed enough so that he wouldn’t have to come back anytime soon. Or, at least until his girlfriend was feeling better.

There were a few other things on the list that he picked up. Some were too heavy for the basket, but he managed. He hadn’t been working out lately like he said he would, so this was perfect. It was a nice start even if it wasn’t consistent.

Brady paid for all his stuff – over $100 worth. He grumpily shook his head at the cashier but didn’t say anything. He knew it wasn’t her fault. It was his girlfriend’s. She didn’t even give him money to pay for all of it. For some reason, she acted like they were married.

“What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine.” She’d tell him.

Brady grunted as he picked up all the bags. He bid the cashier a good day. She had asked him if he’d need help bringing it all out to the car, but he declined. He liked a good challenge.

It wasn’t until he made it out of the store that he realized he parked in the furthest spot.

As always, he managed. When he made it back home, he was greeted by the kids – his girlfriend’s two dogs and three cats.

Brady tried balancing the bags in his hands as the cats rubbed up against his legs weaving in and out as the dogs tried to jump up and lick his face.

“I know, I know… I got food. Hold on,” Brady said raising the bags over his head and side-stepping through the living room to get to the kitchen.

“Did you have any trouble?” he heard his girlfriend call from the bedroom.

“No, not at all.” Brady said as he dropped the bags onto the kitchen counter. The cats jumped up onto the counter. One by one, Brady picked them up and put them back on the floor.

“Come on, you know better.” He muttered.

“Do you mind feeding them now?” she called.

Brady took out a few cans of dog food from the bags and the two dogs went berserk. He sighed. “I think it’d be really mean of me not to.”

Words: 611

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Short Story Sunday 245: Sound

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

He was tapping his fingers along the kitchen counter. She was sitting at the kitchen table tapping away on her laptop. Chloe was sitting in the other room trying to read a book. While she was able to focus on her reading with a little noise in the background, even through people having a conversation, she preferred to read in silence. It was a little hard to read when you had a couple of roommates. Her bedroom was being painted so she wasn’t able to barricade herself and be alone.

She could hear the various tapping from the living room and even though it wasn’t that loud, it was beginning to get right through her head. Lana was working on some homework, or so Chloe thought. There was no way Lana was able to type an essay that fast. Not with her attention span at least. Chandler was most likely sitting on the kitchen counter eating and drumming his fingers along the granite in satisfaction. He always boasted about what great food he made – it didn’t matter if he roasted a turkey or made a cheese sandwich.

Chloe curled up closer to the side of the couch. She brought her knees up to her chest and rested the book against them like a lap desk. She cleared her throat trying to bring her mind back to the book and not the annoying tapping sounds coming from the other end of the room.

But then Chandler came into the living room. He sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. Chloe glanced at the news and then glared at Chandler.

“Do you mind? You have a TV in your room. I can’t go into my bedroom.” Chloe said trying not to sound rude.

Chandler looked at her and noticed the book. “Oh, sorry.” He turned off the TV. “But I’m a little full. Do you mind if I sit here for a minute?”

“Sure,” Chloe shrugged and looked back at her book.

There was a crunching sound. Chloe was jolted out of her reading again. She looked at Chandler who had a bag of chips. The bag crinkled loudly as he reached his hand before a loud crunch as he popped a couple chips in his mouth chewing loudly with his mouth open.

Chloe groaned. “I thought you were full?”

“One can never be too full for chips.” Chandler laughed.

Chloe sighed. “You know what? You can watch TV.” She stood up and headed for the front door.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“To my car,” Chloe left the house. She sat in her car in the driveway rolling down the window just a crack. She leaned the driver’s seat back and sighed happily. Now all she could hear were birds chirping. She didn’t mind though. It was a pleasant sound.

Words: 473

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Short Story Sunday 243: Object

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

“I want you to reach your hand into the box and pull out the first thing you feel.” Mr. Grayson picked up a good sized box from his desk. It looked like an ordinary box. One he may have reused after ordering something online. Red construction paper was tapes all around it as though that would make it look more appealing to the class. He shook it in his hands showing his students there was a good amount of items inside the box.

“Is there candy inside?” one of the kids asked while raising their hand.

Mr. Grayson shrugged. “Why don’t you stick your hand in and find out?”

She withdrew her hand and placed her hands under her desk. “I don’t want to go first.”

Mr. Grayson chuckled. “I didn’t put bugs or anything inside in the box. I assure you all this is perfectly safe.”

“You’re asking us to go in blind.” Another student piped up.

“I’m asking you to trust me.” Mr. Grayson sighed. He scanned the room with his gaze. “Guys, this is but a simple writing exercise. Come on.”

Trevor, sitting in the front, raised his hand. “Fine, I’ll go first.”

“Excellent!” Mr. Grayson brought the box over to his. There was a felt flap covering a perfect circle cutout on the side of the box. “No peeking, turn the other way. Stick your hand in and grab the first thing you touch.”

Trevor did what he was told. He closed his eyes and stretched his arm forward, Mr. Grayson having to move the box so Trevor’s hand would actually go in. When Trevor brought his arm back out, he opened his eyes.

“A lollipop?” he asked.

Mr. Grayson nodded with a smile.

The girl who asked about the candy shot her arm through the arm. “I’ll go next!” she beamed.

Mr. Grayson brought the box over to her. She reached in and pulled something out excitedly. The smile quickly faded when she realized she had grabbed a baby apple. The class giggled and she looked up at Mr. Grayson in frustration.

He shrugged. “Don’t blame me, blame the box.” He turned around. “Who wants to go next?”

A few students raised their hands and he went around the room allowing them to take their time pulling objects out of the box.

“I got a pencil.”

“A rock?”

“Cool, I got an old cell phone!”

“I got a fridge magnet of the letter R.”

“Is this a bottle cap? Mr. Grayson, do you like beer?”

Mr. Grayson shook his head. “It’s from a Coca-Cola bottle.”

“Sure…”

“Rod, it’s red and has the Coke symbol on it.”

“Oh.”

Mr. Grayson chuckled as he made his way back to the front of the class. “Alright, did everyone have a turn? Do we all have some sort of object?”

He saw nods come from everyone in the class. Looking at all the desks, he could see everyone has something random in front of them. He gazed at the front row and sighed upon seeing a stick hanging out of Trevor’s mouth.

“I didn’t say you could eat the lollipop, Trev.”

“Oh… Sorry.” He said, his words muffled from the candy.

“Alright,” Mr. Grayson said clapping his hands together. “Get out your notebooks. I’m going to set a timer for ten minutes and I want all of you to write a story about your object. It can be as simple as describing it or you can write a background story for it.”

“How am I supposed to write a background story for my apple…?” Brooke held it up balancing it in the palm of her hand.

“The baby apple is but a child. The tree is its home, the surrounding apples its friends and family. How do you think it felt being plucked off his home? Being carried away from its family? How did it get from that tree to your hands? What kind of journey did it endure?” Mr. Grayson rattled off ideas as though he had already written a store about the apple himself.

Brooke stared at him in confusion and also like he was crazy.

“Use your imagination. Write whatever comes to your mind.” Mr. Grayson concluded. “I’m going to set the timer for 10 minutes starting…” he looked at the clock waiting for the second hand to get onto the 12. “Now!”

The kids picked up their writing utensils in unison and began to work, the student who got the pencil using that pencil to write.

Mr. Grayson smiled down at Trevor. “I hope you remember what that lollipop looked like.”

Trevor took the stick out of his mouth, the hard candy completely gone. “I do. I know what it tastes and smells like too.” He grinned.

Mr. Grayson chuckled. “Touche.”

Trevor picked up his pen and began to write.

Words: 805

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 219: Invitation

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

            “Who invited him?” Angie said in a whisper as she leaned over to her friend covering the side of her mouth with her palm. She eyed their classmate from afar.

Casey shrugged her shoulders. “How am I supposed to know? I’m not hosting the party.” She took a drink from her red plastic cup and smiled. “God, this is so good!”

Angie jumped and turned to face her friend. She looked at her quizzically. Why was it a good thing Allen was there?

Casey noticed Angie staring and she pointed into her cup with a wide grin. “Mom and dad haven’t let me have soda in so long.”

“Why?”

“They’re trying to cut out sugar, which means I have to cut out sugar.” Casey said with a groan. She rolled her eyes and put one hand on her hip. “I mean, they can make themselves suffer all they want, it’s their lives, but why drag me into it?”

Angie nodded absentmindedly. She was already looking back at Allen, who was leaning against the back wall alone. He didn’t even have a drink in his hand. Angie followed his gaze as he watched people walk by him, none of them bothering to cast him a quick glance him.

“Hello?”

Angie peeled her eyes away from Allen and turned her head only to see Casey right in her face. She had a deadpan expression.

“Are you listening to me?” Casey asked.

Angie nodded.

“What was the last thing I said?”

Angie opened her mouth but nothing came out. In fact, she had forgotten Casey was beside her let alone having a conversation with her.

Casey sighed but she was smiling. She downed the rest of her soda and placed the empty cup on a nearby coffee table. Casey stepped over one of their classmates lying on the floor – he was fine, conscious even – Angie had no idea why he was on the ground but she was afraid to question it. Angie watched as Casey got farther away and felt her face grow hotter and hotter the closer Casey got to Allen.

What was she doing? They had agreed to stay together during this party. Why was Casey going toward Allen? As far as Angie knew, Allen and Casey had never spoken to each other before. They didn’t have classes together, Allen probably had no idea Casey existed.

Angie gasped when she saw Casey take Allen by the hand and pull him away from the wall. He looked as shocked as she did. Angie could see his mouth moving as he was being dragged but Casey never looked back and said a word to them.

Angie wrung her hands together nervously. Were they coming over here? Casey was totally bringing Allen over here. Why? Why would Casey do that?

Angie and Allen had a couple classes together, but she didn’t think he knew she existed. Angie always sat in the back of the class, Allen always in front. Allen always raised his hand and participated in class, Angie always had her head bowed with her phone under her desk texting Casey. In between texts she would stare and admire the back of Allen’s head.

Casey arrived standing in front of Angie. She pulled Allen closer forcing him to stand beside her. She smiled looking back and forth between the two and motioned with her hands for them to get together.

“Have fun. I’m gonna get more soda.” Casey announced. She picked up her empty cup from the table and disappeared into the crowd.

Angie watched her walk away. She wanted to call out to her friend but no words would come out. The place was too crowded anyway; Angie doubted Casey would hear her. Or she’d just ignore her friend’s pleas.

She slowly turned to look at Allen. Yep, he was still there. Right in front of her. Staring into her eyes.

Angie pressed her lips together in embarrassment and looked at the ground. She played with the curls of her hair twirling her finger around.

“Uh… Hi?”

Angie’s eyes grew wide still staring at the floor. He spoke. What did that mean? What should she do? What did he want?

Allen’s face came into view upside down as he bent over to look at Angie’s face. She’d press it into the ground if that wouldn’t be deemed weird… then again, that kid was still lying on the floor. Maybe she should join him.

Instead Angie stiffened standing tall again. Allen jumped standing upright again. He looked at her with concern – or was it nerves? Did he think she was a freak?

“Are you okay?” he asked.

Angie nodded. It was a lie, but what else could she say? Nothing, apparently. She hadn’t spoken since he stepped into her bubble space.

“Look, I don’t really know why that girl brought me over here. If you want me to leave, I will.” Allen said. He jerked his thumb over his shoulder pointing back to the wall.

Once again, Angie had opened her mouth but nothing came out. He stared at her expectantly. Angie felt her face flush again. The room was beginning to feel like a desert. Did no one know how to work an air conditioner? This place was packed with people, turn a fan on! And was that B.O. she smelled? She hoped it wasn’t her.

“Yeah… Okay. I’m going to uh, go back. See ya.” Allen said slowly backing away. When he turned his back and began walking away, it was then Angie noticed she had her nose in her armpit. What was wrong with her?

She stiffened again bringing her arm down by her side. She looked around hoping no one else saw that. When Angie glanced to her right she saw Casey shaking her head. Of course. Of all the people to see what an embarrassment Angie was.

Casey made a confused face and mouthed, “What are you doing?”

Angie shrugged. She didn’t have a good answer for her and she certainly wasn’t going to shout across the room.

Casey pointed and Angie read her lips again. Angie shook her head in response. No, she was not going to follow him.

Casey narrowed her eyes and pointed to Allen again. She said something different, but it was through gritted teeth so Angie couldn’t make out what she was trying to say. She could guess though.

Angie sighed turning her head to look at Allen from afar again. He was leaning against the wall again watching the bustle of party-goers around him. Why did he even come if he was just going to stand by himself and not mingle with anyone?

She looked down at herself. Oh, right.

Angie cast a side glance at Casey not wanting to meet her friend’s gaze. Casey stood with both hands on her hips staring Angie down like a disappointed mother.

This was it. Angie drew in a sharp breath and took a step forward. She stepped over the kid lying on the floor – he was playing a game on his phone now – she weaved in and out of the crowd of kids. No one noticed her as she pushed through them.

When she made it to Allen she stood in front of him. He didn’t notice her right away. He was staring at a couple of boys playing foosball. Angie suddenly couldn’t move now. Her feet were planted into the ground and the rest of her body felt numb. She wasn’t sure if this was as far as she was getting or if she was going to fall flat on her face.

Allen faced forward again. They locked eyes right away and Allen gasped surprised. Angie swallowed a lump in her throat. She was just as surprised as he was.

Yet, as they stared at each other, Angie felt the heat disperse from her cheeks. The feeling came back to her legs. Her heart sped up a little bit but she didn’t know if that was from nerves or because Allen had seen her again.

He remained silent and Angie couldn’t blame him. In fact, she wouldn’t blame him if he left the party right then and there. Could this be classified as stalking? Maybe, she wasn’t sure. She was being a creep at the very least.

Angie cleared her throat and scooted closer to the wall. She stood beside him pressing her back against the wall. She turned to look in the opposite direction as though she didn’t notice he was there.

He was still silent and so was she. All Angie could hear with their classmates talking, shouting, playing games… Was Allen still standing there or did he talk that as an opportunity to run?

Angie bowed her head to the ground and slowly lifted it to the left hoping Allen was still there.

He was. She lifted her head all the way – he had to be at least a foot taller than she. They locked eyes again.

Allen smiled. Angie couldn’t help but smile back.

Words: 1,505

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 218: Partner

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

            “Well, it looks like it’s going to be you and me.” Shelby said. She put her books down on the desk and put her tote bag on the ground next to her chair. She sat down and smiled at the boy next to her.

His name was Hank. He was the new kid in school. A lot of rumors were spreading around about Hank, but none that Shelby believed. She didn’t know Hank personally. All she knew was that he was a boy her age who was just starting this new school. She didn’t know anything else about him, yet some people were saying outrageous things.

Some said he was a vampire on account he was so pale. People were thinking that this was his first time outside. Others were saying that he was such a bully at his old school that he must have been expelled. Others still thought he had flunked out of his old school. Or, some thought, maybe his parents were divorced. His mother couldn’t handle him so he had to move to live with his father. Shelby didn’t know if any of these accusations were true. As far as she knew, he was just a normal kid like her, trying to get through high school.

It was in the middle of the school year, yet there were new classes beginning at the start of the second and final semester. Shelby was already a bit nervous because she wasn’t good at science class and she had heard rumors about this teacher. But again, she tried not to listen to them. It still rocked her nerves a bit though.

“I’m Shelby,” she said turning to Hank with her hand sticking out for a shake.

Hank didn’t pay her any attention though. He didn’t flinch at her words or her hand coming into his face. He didn’t turn his head to look at her, he didn’t blink. It was as though he didn’t even know that she was sitting right beside him.

Shelby cleared her throat and brought her hand back down by her side. She looked all around the room. A group of kids sitting on the other side of the room stared and snickered. Sure enough they were now making fun of her for attempting to talk to the newbie. She tried not to let that bother her, though. If she was going to be stuck being lab partners with the new kid, she was going to be friendly towards him. Maybe they could even become friends and she could help him get to know his way around the school.

Shelby looked back at him and titled her head to the side trying to get a good look at his face. His blue eyes looked dull and he had dark bags under his eyes. His red, curly hair was unkempt and she could hear his nose whistle as he breathed. Maybe he just had a cold and wasn’t feeling too well. Yeah, that must have been it.

“Okay, well, if you have any questions about anything at all, don’t hesitate to ask.” Shelby said trying to sound as cheerful and friendly as she could. “I’m sure it’s difficult to start a new school.”

She cleared her throat again suddenly embarrassed. The other group of kids were still staring and laughing. Hank clearly didn’t care one way or the other so she just slouched in her chair and opened her textbook.

“So,” Hank broke the silence though he never took his eyes off the white board. “Which rumor do you believe?”

Shelby looked up at him in surprise. “Um… What?”

“Do you think my parents were killed in a car crash and now I’m living with my estranged grandmother?” he asked in a monotone. He slowly turned his head to look at her, his eyes seeming to be half closed.

Shelby sat up in her chair staring at him. He was either sleeping with his eyes open, he was on drugs, or that was just how his face looked.

“Huh. I haven’t heard that one yet.” She muttered.

Hank snorted and turned the other way.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that…” Shelby quickly defended herself. “I don’t believe in any of the rumors.”

“Right,” he grunted.

“I mean it. I don’t know you.” She said. Then she glared at him. “And you don’t know me either so don’t assume I’m part of that rumor nonsense.”

He turned to look at her again; his eyes open wider this time. “Touché,”

“Yeah… So there.” Shelby sneered.

Hank cracked a smile. “That’s the best you’ve got?”

Shelby shrugged. “Well, it’s not like I want to be rude.”

“Well, then.” Hank turned his body to face her and stuck out his hand. “It’s nice to meet you then, Shelby. You’re the first person to not be rude to me… Intentionally, I mean. I’m Hank.”

Shelby hesitated, but then she smiled and shook his head. “See, was that so hard?”

“Yes,” Hank said dully again taking his hand back.

“Alright, are we ready to start?” their teacher asked entering the classroom. Everyone immediately walked over to their seats.

“This is why people spread rumors about you, you know.” Shelby whispered flipping through her textbook again.

“No, people spread rumors because they’re bored. Because they spy fresh meat and find pleasure in putting other people down.” Hank replied quietly while opening his own textbook.

“Or,” Shelby said leaning back in her chair. “Maybe they’re intimated by you. They can’t be bothered to know the real you in case you’re better than them.”

“Oh, please. It’s my first day.” Hank snorted.

Before Shelby could respond, their teacher began to speak and officially started the class. The next 45 minutes went smoothly. They worked out of the textbook for most of it and listened to the lecture. Shelby and Hank didn’t have to do anything together, but there would be plenty of labs where they would have to share a grade.

When the bell rang, Hank packed up his things and smiled at Shelby. “Well, it was nice meeting you. I look forward to working with you. I hope you’re good at science because I’m not.”

Shelby laughed. “I’m not either.”

Hank nodded. “We’ll figure it out together then.”

“That’d be great.”

With another small nod, Hank stood up and walked across the class to leave. Shelby sat in her seat mesmerized as he walked away. He was a giant. He had to duck his head as he went through the door.

People thought he was a vampire? He was most definitely an alien.

Words: 1,102

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com