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Category: Short Story

It’s Getting Hot In Here

It’s Getting Hot In Here

It’s Getting Hot In Here
by Paul Liadis

note: This was written as part of a flash fiction writing contest at the blog, The Clarity of Night, back in 2011. Here is a link to the original post. The idea was to write 250 words based on a provided prompt.

Published July 13, 2041 |

Record high temperatures were reported across the United States for the thirteenth consecutive month, causing health officials to warn the elderly, the infirm, and mammals to avoid the outdoors between dawn and dusk. Some scientists put the blame on the shoulders of the democrat controlled government at the beginning of the century.

“Although the science is mixed on whether climate change is real, and has it never been proven that the Earth truly is warming, if it was, it most surely be due to the inaction from the left at a most critical time,” said Dr. W. R. Scrued, Political Science, Liberty University. “Not that human action could affect the Earth’s temperature in any way.”

Others take a more spiritual view on so-called climate change.

“If the good Lord meant for us to go outside in the middle of the day, air conditioning woulda never been invented,” shouted Brent Melanin through the driver’s side window of his Ford Decapitator. “Anyways, the Sun is just doin’ what it’s s’posed to. Makin’ the Earth warm.”

Democrat-influenced historians from liberal universities often blame the lack of meaningful climate change legislation on abuse of the filibuster and corporate influence on politics. An overwhelming number of our readers disagree.

According to a poll, seventy-nine percent of voters blame the democrats for climate change, while eighty-two percent of voters feel that the Earth is not getting any warmer because it snowed that one time last winter.

Ar’n Man

Ar’n Man

Ar’n Man
by Paul Liadis

note: This was written as part of a flash fiction writing contest at the blog, The Clarity of Night, back in 2008. Here is a link to the original post. The idea was to write 250 words based on a provided prompt.

“Will it always feel this odd?” said Douglas, opening his eyes.

“No,” answered Dr. Grim. “You’re body will adapt.”

“But it feels so cold,” said Douglas, touching his face.

“Steel,” said Dr. Grim.

“How about all the dials and numbers? “Will I always…”

“You’ll get used to it,” interrupted Dr. Grim. “Everything you need is in the packet the nurse gave you. My advice is to wait a few hours before looking in the mirror. We don’t need you back here with a heart attack.”

“Is it that bad?” asked Douglas, peeking at the shape his shadow cast on the floor.
“Not everyone can afford the best parts, son” said Dr. Grim, walking toward the door.

“Sometimes we have to improvise. “

Douglas’ shoulders dropped. “What happened, Doc?” he whispered.

“All in the packet,” said the doctor, closing the door behind him.

His mind spinning, Douglas sat alone with his uncertainty. How had he died? Who had paid for the procedure? And why couldn’t feel his lips move when he talked?

Douglas opened the envelope with a shaking index finger and removed a thin pamphlet, hoping for answers. Staring back at him was the title: “Your New Head: The First Twenty-Four Hours”.

Laughing, Douglas tossed the packet in the bin marked Biohazard. He would find his answers where all great thinkers do, not in some book, but at the bottom of an icy glass. He was thirsty and his problems could wait. Now, if he could just locate his mouth….

Frank – A Halloween Short Story

Frank – A Halloween Short Story

Frank – A Halloween Short Story

by Paul Liadis

I will never forget the time I met Frank. It was the first day of kindergarten and I had just built a huge fort out of those big, blue, plastic blocks. Just as I took a step back to admire my work along came Frank, plowing through my masterpiece head first, knocking it all to the floor. As tears welled in my eyes, Frank put his hand on my shoulder and said “Ugh.” Frank always knew what to say. From that moment on we were inseparable.

Frank had a style all of his own. I don’t think I ever saw him wear anything other than that gray blazer/black T-shirt combo. It wasn’t the most conventional outfit for a five year old, but Frank wasn’t a conventional guy. By the time we were in High School, Frank made it work.

The girls in our class were always into Frank, though I’m not sure why. I could never put my finger on what he had that I didn’t. Maybe it was because he was tall, though I think that had to do with those square platform shoes he always wore. Frank also had the classic square jaw of a movie star, though he also had a matching square head. He topped this look with a flattop, and I’m not talking about his hair. His head was literally flat. How did no one notice this?

When we started high school, Frank immediately caught the eye of Coach Legman, our school’s varsity football coach. Frank had never mentioned any affinity for football in the past, but I guess he decided he would give it a try and immediately became starting varsity Tight End, the first freshman in school history to start every game. I don’t think there was one cheerleader that Frank didn’t date.

I thought about playing football too, but my Mom wouldn’t let me. She was afraid I would get hurt. Instead, I decided to play clarinet in the school marching band. It was Frank who came to my rescue whenever the football team tried to fit me in the Bass Tuba. He was so angry I thought I could see smoke rising out of his bolts, though it may have been the light reflecting off the spit on my glasses.

Frank was almost voted Homecoming King our senior year. Rumor had it that he was too modest and took his name out of the running. I think the real reason was that he couldn’t find a tux collar that would fit over the bolts in his neck.

Towards the end of our senior year, Frank was recruited by several major colleges to play football. I can’t say why I wasn’t shocked when he chose to attend Notre Dame. Somehow it just seemed like a good fit.

Frank lived with his uncle Dr. Frankenstein in a dark old house on top of the hill that for some reason always seemed to attract lightning. I’m not quite sure what type of doctor Frank’s uncle was, though my guess is that some college is handing out doctorates for being a jerk. For example, he was always saying things to Frank such as “Respect me. I made you.” Total crap. Frank earned everything he achieved on his own merits. Frank never told me why he lived with his uncle and not his parents, and I never asked.

The summer before college, Frank and I were hanging out at his house and there was quite a commotion outside. We both ran to the window only to see several hundred people from town carrying pitchforks and torches. I’m not sure exactly what their problem was, though I heard a few days later something about Frank not getting someone’s daughter home before curfew. I still don’t think that warrants people calling him a monster, though. Besides, who in the suburbs owns a pitchfork?

Frank and his uncle left town soon after that, and I lost contact with Frank. I followed his football career at Notre Dame in the paper, always proud to hear what my old friend had accomplished. I had to smile when I saw him on ESPN on draft day, still wearing that goofy blazer as they announced him as the #1 draft pick. I have to admit I teared up a little when he rumbled to the podium and said “Arrgh”, because I knew he was talking to me.

The Loveliest Short Story You Will Read Today Was Published on Craigslist – Chris Heller – The Atlantic

The Loveliest Short Story You Will Read Today Was Published on Craigslist – Chris Heller – The Atlantic

On Tuesday evening, “Missed Connection” appeared as a personal listing on Brooklyns corner of the website. It begins like most of these confessions do:I saw you on the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Q train.I was wearing a blue-striped t-shirt and a pair of maroon pants. You were wearing a vintage red skirt and a smart white blouse.

via The Loveliest Short Story You Will Read Today Was Published on Craigslist – Chris Heller – The Atlantic.

This was bittersweet and amazing. You should check it out.

I Love Girl (Excellent Short Story by Simon Rich)

I Love Girl (Excellent Short Story by Simon Rich)

Simon Rich is an excellent writer who writes funny stuff for things. One such funny thing he wrote was for a short story published in the New Yorker titled I Love Girl. It’s written in the voice of a cave man struggling with self identity and wanting for the affections of Girl. It’s a quick and funny read and I highly recommend it. Here is an excerpt:

I love Girl. I will explain what that is. When I look at her, I feel sick like I am going to die. I have never had the Great Disease (obviously, because I am still alive). But my uncle described it to me. He said there is a tightness in your chest, you cannot breathe, and you have anger toward the Gods. I was going to ask him to explain more, but then he died. My point is: Girl makes me feel this way, like I am going to die. There are many women in the world. By last count, seven. But she is the only one I ever loved.

Tell me you don’t want to read more of that. Simon Rich also happens to have a new book coming out January 22nd (2013 for those reading this in the FUTURE) titled The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories. I can only hope it’s as good as this short story.