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Short Stories

The Summer Man by K P William Cheng Surreal and susceptible. [446 words]
The Diary Of Walter Chan Part Two by K P William Cheng More Adventure and emotional troubles for the cute Chinese guy... the witty W... [8,649 words]
Coffee At Starbucks by Sunny Another twisted tale involving your favorite superhero's, Nullman and Superman. [1,188 words]
Angel Turns Pro by Lawrence Peters A Paranormal Parable. [472 words]
The Fate Machine by Darcy K Metz This is a story about a desperate man who finds a way to take control of his own fate. Or does... [1,157 words]
Poisoned Seed by Nitro A rough draft of a new work. Feedback and suggestions would be appreciated, and I will continue t... [810 words]
God Moth by Matt Tracy A look at the perspectives we take on things; and God. The question of who God is is a major focus of ... [1,390 words]
An Unhealthy Case Of Paranoia by Glen Pearson After taking some acid, a night on the beers is the last thing Pete wants. Larry'... [2,668 words]
A Story About Music by Luis Carlos Silva/Lyn It's kind of a fairy tale. It compares the impressions whe have when we listen to music to ... [1,185 words]
The Sun Ray Hit His Eyes by K P William Cheng Marriage, obligation, deceit, homosexuality, the cruelty of seeing the truth... [2,462 words]
The Blindfold by Danny I. Spitler A couple decides to meet in an most unusual and erotic manner. [1,679 words]
Joe And His Cat by Mark Herner A young college student finds a way to make money and acquaintances, to the amazement of his fr... [3,083 words]
Learning To Heel by Rekha Ambardar A mainstream (humorous) short story. [1,930 words]
Vanquished by Crazy Clown Death, Revenge, Death. Misery has gone full circle. [894 words]
The Test by Crazy Clown My first publishing-worthy (at least I hope) short story, on the topic of what religion is, was, and w... [1,118 words]
The Steel Circle by Steven K Mitchell Combat unto death! [3,053 words]
The Slapper by Glen Pearson A geezer unflatteringly describes his encounter with a member of the opposite sex after having one ... [1,350 words]
The Sisters: Chaper 1 by R. Nonny This is a story I wrote that takes place in a medeival time period in another world. [743 words]
The Muse Keeps On by Crazy Clown A tale of the joys and sufferings of the muse... [1,006 words]
T. S., I Remember by Jenny Mercer Haunted pictures? Do you have one? [802 words]
Shaman by Randy Guess A young warrior comes to a wise old shaman, on his deathbed, seeking the path to Sister Wisdom and all s... [653 words]
Journey To Xzorath by Steven K Mitchell A dark Shaman finds what he seeks... [1,739 words]
Harbor Light Mission by Randy Guess Account of a night and morning spent at Salvation Army's Harbor Light Mission for men in H... [3,374 words]
Grim by Arcanum Weird. [442 words]
Water Festival In Thailand by Danny I. Spitler In Thailand, the "land of smiles," one of the wildest and happiest celebrations is S... [1,701 words]
Waiting... by Lawrence Peters - [249 words]
The Monster Of Vangor by Nancy F. Carlson Please tell me if this is any god dog good? [1,535 words]
The Letters by Shawna Benson Katherine receives a letter from the man of her dreams... [1,514 words]
The Forest Elf by John Shade A man meets a forest elf [1,290 words]
The Absolution Of Margaret by Richard Koss A story about life in the confessional booth of a Catholic church. [549 words]
Streetlights by Annie Van Dalsem A young homeless woman, a former UC Berkeley student, chronicles 48 hours in her life on the Berke... [15,749 words]
Please Sir by Paula M Shackleford This is the first three chapters of a story I am trying to write, a sort of bonkbuster-cum-comedy ab... [12,851 words]
Letting Go by Paula M Shackleford A guy who has broke up with his girlfriend is writing her a letter to explain his actions. [1,264 words]
Blue Run At Telluride by Danny I. Spitler The author tests his nerve and his resolve in a challenging duel with a ski slope. [1,770 words]
Almost There by Paula M Shackleford An engaged girl runs into an old crush who once humiliated her, and is horrified to find herself s... [2,520 words]
A Story Problem by Kathleen Quigley A story written for Literature class that was almost true, but greatly exaggerated. [1,070 words]
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong! by Crazy Clown When did being almost right, but still showing inderstanding of the question, be considere... [566 words]
Wormshither by Tony Seljuk a story of a boy and his love interest. typical fodder [456 words]
The Journal by John Christopher Cook - [3,980 words]
The Insane Ramblings Of A Complete Idiot by Crazy Clown An essay on the insane ramblings of a complete idiot. Written by a com... [1,090 words]
That's Ratings Suicide! by Tcn A satiric story done on one cynical night. [545 words]
Net by Barbara Villarreal Walking through the internet. [1,486 words]
"Even In Light, May Appear Shadow" by Stoneheart Don't you just love how life can reach around and hit you square in the butt... [674 words]
Untitled by Mary Jo Javier - [250 words]
Tidings Of Comfort And Joy by Kathleen May “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” explores the loneliness of early adolescence and the in... [2,477 words]
The Widower by Tony Seljuk An elderly man, bored with life so much to the point where his own filthy socks are intriguing, ta... [1,990 words]
The Tree House by Steven R. Kravsow When you're a kid growing up, there are always three rules you need to remember-- look both ways... [3,691 words]
The Scissors by Glen Pearson Two lewd,crude,common geezers very graphically discuss a night of 'passion' that went awry for one... [1,297 words]
The Farnsworth Affair by Richard Koss An innocent man becomes trapped in a web of circumstance from which there is no escape. A... [5,045 words]
Reaping What You Sow by J W Wilson III - [4,031 words]
Know It? - I Wrote It by Richard Koss This is a funny, perhaps silly, outrageous story. I'm not sure of its exact origin, but ... [663 words]
Is She Playing Away? by Glen Pearson An ordinary bloke lies awake next to his girlfriend pondering over whether she's cheating ... [937 words]
Ilya's Song by Bert Paradis Narrative about profound sadness in a young child. [991 words]
Beyond The Fence by Mason Cole When a mysterious stranger wanders into a small Nebraska town, its citizens are forced to make... [6,840 words]
While The Iron's Hot by Richard Koss The story of a woman, a victim of spousal abuse, and her solution to the problem. [774 words]
Timmya The Totter And The Cave Adventure Part 1 by Rose Trimovski its a very interesting Adventure story about four kids that ... [9,800 words]
The Barn by Glen Pearson A barn offering food and comfort is not all that it seems to a hungry tramp. [1,505 words]
How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Times. by John C Smith An account of orgasmic discovery? [372 words]
The Box by Mason Cole When two boys from the future cross wits with a man out of time, the world's future lies within...THE B... [5,497 words]
"An Honorable Man" by Zach Czaia A circumstantial meeting between bum and biographer that uncovers a dark secret about our co... [2,826 words]
Summers' End by John C Smith A true story about a local murder that became almost too local. [910 words]

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A short story about domestic violence.
[1,108 words]
Margaret Li
Sixteen years old and living in New York.
[December 2001]
[email protected]
Blue (Short Stories) A noir telling of a psychiatric patient's perception of life... and death. [5,290 words]
Margaret Li

It was in the middle of August, hot and uncomfortable with an "energy-saving" fan blowing on the ceiling. It didn't matter anyway; a pillow was crammed over my ears. Not hearing more than I had to. Sweat clung to me, the back of my legs sticking to the vinyl couch. I read once, people go insane at hot temperatures. Irrational. That most murders occurred at 92 degrees. I wanted to wash my hands, my face, take a sip of water. But it was raining glass in the other room.

Windows, empty Vodka bottles, it was always glass. I remembered one summer a few years ago, when the rain drenched the parched land, and I laughed in the empty fields. Me and the rain. The sound of thunder in the skies. It hadn't rained all summer, that year. Didn't matter, anyway, since we were always here, with the dusty ceiling fan and the smell of old, wooden houses, a box in the closet.

The house was patterned in a wallpaper of green flowers, green stems and green petals. I'd never seen a green flower. Some walls were yellow, cracks through the wallpaper. In our house, the only light was the blue screen of the t.v. "Like your mother's mind," my father would tell me sometimes. "It's dark and empty. She's unstable."

The green flowers were my mother's idea. My mother. She smelled of asthma inducing hairspray, a sickly sweet that could not be inhaled up close, like the ammonia in her hair dye. Her muted brown hair, a few gray strands, the thick makeup caking at the corner of her eyes. An exotic insect glaring in shimmery green and gold perched on her eyelids. She had a voice so that you couldn't hear her speak if she didn't want you to. She liked to keep a gun in every room. It made her feel safe, she said.

I never liked people with loud voices, hearty false laughs. Loud voices frightened me, even if they were only laughing, if they were just talking. Anger can be mistaken for many things. People laugh when they're angry. It was cruel, to use laughter that way.

I stared at the ceiling, imagining tiny shards of glass falling, piercing my body, sinking through the couch onto the floor. Rain...rain...go away...come again...another day. Again. It always came.

My mother walked in, blood on her hands.


I was afraid to say yes, what is the matter? No one knew what was the matter.

"Why do the birds crow?" she asked in a tone that frightened me. Merely the calmness of it, the normality, how could she be so calm with blood running from her hands?

"Why?" She asked in a sharper tone. I don't know, I whispered. I don't know.

She hit me on the side of my head with the heel of her palm, brushing red onto the red in my hair. She gave a shuddered gasp, hands at her lips, as if realizing a horrible mistake.

"You're not my daughter."

The coldness of her words stunned me. She continued, nodding like a man given a sign from god, convinced. "No one in my family has red hair. Not a one. You're the devil's child! Some bitch's daughter."

Mama, how I wanted to cry. Her hair had been red. I knew. She dyed it that horrible muted brown. And now it was gray.

The rage made her eyes seem violet, glazed over by the beginnings of glaucoma. I remembered just a few days before, when we laughed together. Her serene face. Why didn't the moment last? Why wouldn't it last.

Her mouth opened in all shapes, spittle flying out of the corners. I couldn't hear her any longer. I ignored her, staring at her shaking fingers, the moving mouth, the curve of her calf, thinking all the while, this was my mother. My mother.

For all the birthdays, she always gave me a doll. I smiled with them, foreign in my hands, to make her happy. This year, she forgot it completely. Should I have played with them as if I were really still a child? I was never a child.

"Mama," I pleaded. She seemed to have stopped listening to me, as I have.

"Would you lose it all for me?" she screamed at me. "I lost it all for you."

What had I lost? I had nothing to begin with. I looked away from the panes of glass on the opposite wall, I didn't want to see myself. I was ashamed that I was looking for a way out.

In the other room, father was picking up the glass. The pieces. He turned on the tv louder, so he wouldn't have to hear us. Every room in our house had to be desecrated.

He tried to explain to me, but I already knew. My mother was like a bottle with boiling water, the fumes needed to be let out, and putting a stopper in it wouldn't get rid of the smoke. Like her feelings, a bottle. She kept them all inside. She was fine sometimes, but we knew it would start again.

I didn't sympathize with him. That wasn't my job.

Mother leaned closer to me. Her breath smelled of sherry.

"You know what I said to him," she said, gesturing blindly towards the other room. "'Sometimes I think you don't listen to me', I said." She laughed woozily. "He didn't even hear me."

I couldn't bear to see her this way. I wanted to turn away, but I felt like I was keeping her alive this way. Let her scar me with her anger, so I too, would know pain. Pain soon turns to nothing, without company. Mama. She never saw me weep.

"You heard them, didn't you?" She shakes me a little, rattling my shoulders. "You heard them talk. We're not a 'happy' family."

"We're not happy," I blurted out. "We're not," I added quietly.

"Maybe you're not happy," she snapped. "But that's life. What's the worse thing that could happen? You don't even know the worst thing."

I've asked myself many times. My parents could divorce. I could lose myself, inside, become a shell of nothingness, walking without words. "The worst..."

I never saw it happen.

I wondered if father heard at all, his music and his words and his television loud. He didn't want to hear anything. The middle of August, the overbearing heat creating frenzy in our blood. The last second, I thought of me in the fields, drenched in rain.

I was laughing.

It wasn't the worst thing at all. Not by a far shot.



"I just have to say that my name is a typo (obviously) and that I'm 14, so bah to you if you hate my story." -- Margaret Li, Purgatory,, In the Sky,, Above..
"Oh, c'mon... have a little confidence in yourself. We're around the same generation, anyway, and i know on a personal note exactly what this story is about. You're not a nerd, first of all, and I don't dislike your story. It was fabulously written, and I am beginning to think I look forward to your next story. You have a gift for the words, chica, so use them with pride. " -- Kimberly S. De Liz.
"Ms. Li -- I found your story extremely compelling and believe you have a strong talent for description. Making an imaginary moment real. I hope you continue writing and look forward to your next story. " -- E A Renner.
"Bravo. Well-written, I must say. Do have confidence, honey... I liked it a lot..." -- Alithium, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
"Keep on writing!" -- R. Bennett Okerstrom.


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© 2000 Margaret Li
September 2000

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