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Short Stories

The Function Of Criticism by Pepijn Sauer We forget without remembering what. Something started at some point but the point is ... [774 words]
For Sofia by Pepijn Sauer You live with the question. Wondering how to proceed, we find ways to make things happen. We do not u... [449 words]
One Small Moment by Shelley J Alongi One woman's small action makes a lasting impression on a man condemned to die for his crime. [1,847 words]
Last Hours by Shelley J Alongi A general contemplates his decision before formally declaring war. [1,467 words]
Collateral Damage by David Gardiner Some explosions keep on echoing. [4,127 words]
Wolf In Janie's Shadow by Wolfa Of a girl who fell through the cracks in the world. [2,103 words]
The Wedding Banquet by Anthony S Maulucci A rich Italian from the Abruzzi region holds a feast to find a bride and falls in love with... [1,815 words]
2am by MacKenzie Morgan This is my first contribution to the site. It's an excerpt from a journal I kept over the summer. Please re... [3,361 words]
The Seventh Inning Stretch by Kurt Kitasaki A satire on professional sports. [2,230 words]
The Nova by Kurt Kitasaki A satire on executives in the automotive industry. [2,647 words]
Witness by Pepijn Sauer You have seen things. I thank you for describing them to me with so much care and poetic accuracy. Your... [826 words]
White Church by John Karl A passing of innocence and the expectation of one's future. [349 words]
Which Is The Way? by Sreenivasa Murthy Govindaraju Always in need of money and finally undergoes humiliation under the very nose of his teenage ... [2,246 words]
The Mind That Is Morning by Pepijn Sauer The mind that is morning swims. As it grows later it will become frosted glass; an emp... [459 words]
The Girl In The Taxi by Richard Koss A shy, young man has an erotic encounter with a strange girl. Is it real or just a dream? [1,493 words]
The First Time I Met God... by Joel Harper None necessary. [616 words]
The End Of History And The Last Fish by Pepijn Sauer When Field commander Asinine launched his final all out withdrawal the fir... [1,168 words]
Plague Of Time by Kevin Cope This is a story I keep playing around with and as yet is still unfinished. I am not sure how I w... [5,118 words]
Party by Pepijn Sauer Actually the host is dead. It took me a while to notice, but it's true. The host is so dead he has a lot ... [581 words]
Our Father Who Aren't In Heaven by Johnny Abrahams A man searches for his father but will he find him? [3,026 words]
Is Evil Edible? by Johnny Abrahams A very brief introductory work by a person who wishes he could write better than he can. [542 words]
In The End All Becomes Clear by Johnny Abrahams When death comes knocking, do you open the door? [831 words]
Heyman by John Karl Taipei: Big spiders, no drinking water, and lots of Taiwan Beer... Give me 10 reviews and I'll post pict... [557 words]
Gravity by Pepijn Sauer I circle the gravity of this situation in elliptical curves. Inside the fences, so fashionably dressed ... [589 words]
God Bless The President by John Karl Confrontation with knife wielding drunk in Oregon bar... did not have to be this way. [584 words]
Eurojazz by John Karl Stuck in Italy, partying, and then some... [650 words]
Don't Mind Her, She's 'armless by Johnny Abrahams Ugly people have feelings too. [1,000 words]
Adventures In The Land Of The Unexpected by Will E Drillit A satirical look at the conference circuit in the unusual setting of P... [1,066 words]
Adolescent Innocence 2: Evil Never Dies by Loki Evil proves it never dies in this second game of death and destruction. [14,390 words]
A Song Of Absence by Pepijn Sauer Absence. Everybody is on the beach but you. Meister Eckhart sunbathing in bright green short... [1,412 words]
A Modern Day Love Story by Shari Calkin Just an example of how God works miracles in people's lives, especially when they least... [1,241 words]
A Deadly Kind Of Love by Kevin Cope Billy Harper loved his mother just a little too much... [1,846 words]
A Changing Of The Seasons by Bradley Postma Allegorical romance relating the fickleness of love with the weather. [6,240 words]
Within The Darkness by G S Kimbro Short Story of a strange encounter in a restaurant. [1,707 words]
Tarradale's Option by Ed Bruce A tale about life in the Scottish Highlands, an incomer's attempt to defy tradition and the... [3,533 words]
Tale Number One: Dederik Flunn by Banae Wan A young man inherits his father's job as a professional murderer. On his first m... [2,480 words]
Salvation In Death by Alberto Pupo Things are never what they seem... [493 words]
Regretting Mistakes.. by Alberto Pupo a weird tale of a deranged little mind... [1,044 words]
Playing Life By The Rules by Kevin Cope Some last thoughts before I go. [792 words]
On The Way To Retreat by Muhammad Nasrullah Khan Story of a man who sacrificed everything for his country. [1,881 words]
On Orcas Island by John Karl Yuppie vacation to local resort... [269 words]
Legacy by Adhara Von Nuremberg There's more to life than living. [1,612 words]
Kelly's Neighbour by Roxanne Kendrick - [535 words]
John's Secret by Glen Pearson Bill's big brother John is acting a bit weird. What's going on? (Not for impressionable kiddies... [2,154 words]
Faint Bell - A Story You Should Read Because I Said So, And I'm Smart. by Scott W. Hazzard A southern lady waits for her man. No su... [699 words]
Dogfish by Wolfa An owner tells the story of a neurotic, once-abused dog. [1,352 words]
All-Day Breakfast by Kevin Cope An ordinary day. An ordinary guy. A not so ordinary cafe. [2,336 words]
Adolescent Innocence by Loki After moving back to his hometown, a teen finds himself trapped in a deadly game of kill o... [7,559 words]
Losing Life by Antony Berrios A women finds herself in a strange place being held against her will. [672 words]
Hanover Square by Kevin Cope An old man sits by his wife's bed as she slowly passes away. He consoles himself by recalling th... [1,035 words]
In Hour Of Death by Muhammad Nasrullah Khan Dear Readers I have written this short-story in context of Gabriel Garcia's farewell letter to... [1,664 words]
The Ultimate Option
The Maniacal Core Of His Unsound Mind by Banae Wan (I want comments.) One eighth done. Reprint. Changed title with anothe... [1,195 words]
The Gap by W A Hardy - [4,055 words]
The Confession by Kathleen McCarthy A murderous cousin plans to murder her way to money. [2,119 words]
The Beast Of Briovera by Christopher Grady In every Fairytale there is some truth, it is up to us to seperate the 'Fairy' from the '... [4,029 words]
Sunday Drive by Antony Berrios A familyís last trip together. [736 words]
Smothered by Paula M Shackleford The story of a girl who drives away men without meaning to. Will she ever find true love? [3,970 words]
Sitting Still by Scott W. Hazzard An ex-writer reflects upon his miserable life while receiving a routine lap dance from his favori... [2,159 words]
Shattered Lives by Kathleen McCarthy A story of a romantic triangle with deadly consequences. [4,761 words]
Who Knows What? by Iain Spittles This is an updated version, take a look, give a comment in return, that's all I ask. [966 words]
Neighbour by Sreenivasa Murthy Govindaraju A retired official who remained as a bachelor attempts to write his auto-biogrphy drawing inspiratin ... [2,296 words]
Lane 23 by Vanessa E Clemmons A mother competing with patience and her daughter's determination to obtain glory. [343 words]
Franky And The Crash by Scott W. Hazzard A gruff ragamuffin rampages through a city to become an anti-"pretty boy" -anti-hero. Rea... [1,079 words]
Dad's Discipline by Oscar Oljmex - [684 words]
Annie And Metoo by Arlene Gunn A lonely girl befriends her shadow. One day it suddenly disappears.She is again lonely but find... [1,400 words]
All My Ex's Ain't In Texas by Patti Dinneen A native New Englander recounts her adventures in Texas. [2,308 words]

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The Ultimate Option
Modern man's predicament has left him only to avail the ultimate option. A story of all those who think and feel.A man standing on the roof of a building, about to jump down as he is going to commit suicide. What happened with him was something unexpected. An invitation for the serious readers.
[1,302 words]
Literary Fiction
Nadeem Akhtar
A Pakistani teacher of English Literature with a flare of writing and a keen interest in modern fiction. Special areas of interest are philosophy , modern continental and latin American literature.
[July 2001]
[email protected]
Love Beyond Death (Short Stories) A story of an innocent love at the threshold of death. All left her when she was shot in the neck by her own husband. What happened next? [1,372 words] [Literary Fiction]
The Ultimate Option
Nadeem Akhtar

    Suicide is not difficult; or at least not as difficult as they say. The thought sprang to his mind while standing almost a hundred feet above the ground, on the roof of the tallest building in the city, looking down at the people in the street, busy in their daily grind, with their thoughtfully drooping heads and bowed shoulders. He had been thinking long about committing suicide, but until now had not felt compelled enough for the idea to materialize into action. Today, finally, he had made up his mind, came out of his home, and climbed the stairs of this high building. He knew its height was sufficient enough not to allow any possibility of failure in his plan. His firm steps and confident posture revealed his solid determination.

He threw a final glance at the city stretching beneath and all around him. It was the same city where he was born thirty years ago. The same heartless and cruel city responsible for all his sufferings, which at last, culminated to the point of no return where he had to avail himself of the final option, the ultimate option of ending ones own life, the real remedy to all suffering and misery. "I was not asked at all while being sent to this lifeless life and now Iíll not ask anyone while ending it." He thought, "Life is not worth living at any cost. It hasnít given me anything all these years. I only felt compelled to be more cruel and inhuman. I was taught how to keep my tears inside even at the most moving and piteous sights of human suffering. My individual desires had been ruthlessly crushed and my hopes were permanently shattered. I felt as if I had spent years in a state of continuous flux, as if I was walking on a tightly stretched rope above a deep, dark void." The muscles of his face stiffened at the stream of hateful and disgusting memories. A sad note of utter despair came over him.

Since boyhood he realized that he was somewhat different from the others. The usual impulses of other boys of his age were almost completely absent in him. He was oversensitive to the point of being self-destructive. He had been repeatedly sensitized by those who dwelled around him as they frequently stirred up his emotions by their cruel and inhuman attitudes. He had to fight for all his petty rights yet he could never fully obtain them. Disappointment of the world around him turned his attention to the world within. His youthful energy was spent in developing his inner self and in absorbing the basic knowledge contained in books. Books, no doubt, impart wisdom, but a wisdom of their own kind, which makes a man more imaginative, introverted and hesitant. He, too, was not able to escape the obvious effects of books and so grew up to become a man alive in only his dreams and imagination. When he completed his education he had a zest for life. The world was too small for him and he resolved that sooner or later he would conquer it or at least get his share of it.

Elders used to tell him that time is the greatest teacher and what it teaches can not otherwise be learned. So it was that time demonstrated to him how different reality was from his vision of life. Complete and continuous unemployment along with a deep-rooted sense of deprivation made him realize the importance of money. This realization shattered his confidence, which was based entirely on his own abilities. When, finally, he succeeded in getting a job, he soon came to understand that it was like sitting beneath a glacier and trying to quench one's thirst with slowly oozing drops of water. He conceived that nothing is more damaging to a man than poverty. All attempts to rid himself of this menace were doomed to failure, and many of the other aspects of his life were marred by it as well. He was passionately in love with someone, but his economic condition was a major hurdle in obtaining her. It is economic independence that ensures all other kinds of freedom, but it also becomes the worst kind of predicament if such mundane economic difficulties are supplemented by emotional turbulence.

So now, here he was on the roof of the highest building in the city and stepping towards the edge. He stopped for a while on the brink of the roof and looked down. A number of eyes raised toward him, as if some of the people below had suddenly smelt his intention. He stared back at them with eyes full of hatred and contempt. He stretched his arms, like a big bird, and moved forward. It seemed as though he were here just to fly into the air instead of falling down to the earth. His raised hands and uplifted face, for a moment, reminded some in the crowd of a great orator who, while addressing the public had reached some highly inspired moment. The curious and questioning eyes of the people and their bewildered upturned faces urged him to speak. "I am leaving your world because I am unable to live in it any more. I am accepting death as punishment for my crimes. My greatest crimes, to name a few, are that I had an eternal longing for love, an unbearable pity for the sufferings of mankind and a staunch and unfaltering belief in the supremacy of human values. I had sought knowledge, I had tried to understand the hearts of men and had wished to know why the stars shine. I had heard the echoing cries of pain and anguish. I could never forget the sight of children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people and the whole world of loneliness, poverty and pain. I had tried to alleviate the evil but I could not. I had tried to make life worth living but I failed. I had refused to tread on the beaten tracks but I was badly beaten and now I am giving death to myself. Death may be the most feared thing for others but I am not afraid of it at all. Once there was a time when I loved life, I was dying to live but now I am only dying to die."

A violent knocking from somewhere interrupted his impulsive, emotional outburst. He turned around and heard knocking at the door to the stairs. Someone was there who wanted to rescue him. He had been jarred out of his frantic state of mind and he now hurriedly reviewed the situation. The door was about to break open and those who had caused him to reach this moment were trying to save him. The people responsible for his suffering would never let him rest. They donít want to let him go so easily so they were trying to stop him. He had to make a quick decision as time was getting short. He looked around, jerked his head, spat on the floor, and once again stepped forth toward the edge to finally jump down. The sight of the large crowd with their faces upturned burned into his eyes. He felt an overwhelming feeling of anger and contempt for them. He quickly closed his eyes to avoid the hateful sight of the crowd. He saw through his closed eyes what his open eyes could not see. It was the image of his beloved, standing with tears in her eyes, over his dead body. The image flashed in his mind and suddenly he felt as if his once withered soul had blossomed inside his body. With a sweeping sigh of relief, he opened his eyes, turned around and stepped toward the door to let his saviours in




"suspence and good grip on the situation,a simple story but an interesting one,Nadeem is a good story teller!" -- Asif Khan, Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Punjab.
"Sad and hopeful at the same time. I felt like it was me on top of the building, not him!" -- Paula S, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
"A touching and flowing narrative with a few beautiful lines and dramatic discriptions. " -- Julian Smith, USA, Texas.
"Conflict between love and death has been beautifully presented. Author is a reprsentative of third world where death always dominate, but he seems to be over-optimistic." -- Muhammad Nasrullah Khan, Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Punjab.
" The thrilling experience of writer is worth sharing " -- Jerry Myers, Vienna, Austria.
"Ehmm..m. Sehr gut Seite! Ich sage innig..!:) bmw" -- BMW, ..., ..., ....


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© 2001 Nadeem Akhtar
July 2001

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