The Spill

It’s been a long time since I’ve written something this short and without planning. We’ll see how it goes. I watched a documentary on the BP oil spill recently called After the Spill. That’s what this is based on.

For decades her family had lived on this land; Angie hadn’t expected that to change. Since childhood her ambitions had been to stay here and take care of it herself once her parents had passed. She’d broken up with a boyfriend over it. He’d had dreams of living in New York. Last she’d heard, he’d made it there.

Maybe she should have followed him, she thought forlornly as she struggled to pull her boot from the ground. Tar coated them–the boots, the ground, all of it. The oil was everywhere now, engulfing much of the land that had already been disappearing. That was what she owned, oil. It was supposed to make people rich. She laughed bitterly. It had ruined what little she had.

She stooped down, taking a handful of the oil and mud in her hand. She wasn’t sure why she did this to herself, came out here day after day and scooped up another handful. She’d given up long ago at actually clearing the oil from the land. That was a hopeless mission. The land was gone along with her dreams.

Guilty Pleasure

Kylie lifted herself up onto the low wall, plugging in her earbuds and watching her classmates carry on around her. Opening her phone, she scrolled through her music, careful to glance around to judge if anyone else was able to see her screen.

She chose the artist quickly, closing the phone before anyone got too close. Her eyes flickered around despite Kylie knowing how obvious it made her look.

Even with the phone closed, she swore that the screen was shining the artist’s name out into the word. Maybe everyone could hear her music through the earbuds no matter how many times she’d checked at home that the current volume didn’t allow for that.

The song playing was her favorite, the song that often cheered her up when she was at her lowest, but right then, it was making her uncomfortable. It felt like a target had been painted on her back as she listened.

She was working on that.


You don’t have much to say. That’s your role: to pop up, advance the plot, and be gone. People are supposed to care more about what you say or do than about you.

Then the time comes. You have your big moment. You put in everything you’ve got. That’s the only thing you can do.

You deliver like no one has delivered before. With your role now played, your god puts you away, and for a while, that’s it. You’ve done all that you could. You delivered, and that was your job. Well done.

Then the skies open, and you’re looking up, not at your god but at a creature similar enough. They take you out and give you some space. They let you say more than you were created for. So you deliver again with everything within you. It’s fun to know that it’s you more than the line. You breathe easier and play, do things you never thought you would before.

And even if you go back, someone else will take you out of the box. Over and over and over again.

Which Would You Choose?

Another flash fiction thing that’s purely dialogue. This was really only written because of a fond memory I have from my freshman year of high school. (But not meant to be the actual story of the memory.) Maybe you you probably can figure out who Lincoln and Sean actually are. (Clue, I was a high school freshman in 2009.) But I think it says a lot how you could easily insert a million different names.

“Lincoln is her soulmate. I don’t understand how you think she should be with Sean.”

“Because Sean’s a good guy. You only think Lincoln is awesome because you think he’s hot. If you take that away, he has no personality.”

“That is so not true. He loves her. He would do anything for her. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s the perfect relationship.”

“No, it’s sickening. Sean actually has a character, but she doesn’t deserve him anyway.”

“You have that all wrong, but it doesn’t matter because she doesn’t choose him anyway.”

“Just add that to the list of terrible decisions she makes.”

“No, no, no. Choosing Sean would have been stupid.”

“Will you two just shut up? God, I can’t listen to this anymore.”



“But how can you-”

“For the love of god!”


There’s so much contradiction in the world. People contradict themselves on everything. It’s hard to miss if you look out for it.

Maybe I should get used to it. I’ve seen it enough, and it’s not going away. Yet it still frustrates me to no end.

People who preach to love everyone, but then don’t. People who say we should help others, but then don’t. People who say they don’t treat anyone differently, but they do.

It happens over and over again, and I’m sick of it.

I’m not saying I’m immune to it. When I do, it’s the worst of all.

So I’m working on it, and I hope other people do too.

Another Day

Just another day, I think as I pull on the shoes. It’s one of the final actions of my morning routine, the one I have done so frequently that I do it without thinking.

I head down the stairs to the kitchen, grabbing the same type of granola bar that I’ve eaten daily for the past three months. It’ll keep my stomach from growling until I have the chance for a snack between classes.

The bar is half eaten by the time the glass of juice is poured. I gulp half of it down, eat the rest of the granola bar, and then finish off the juice. Breakfast complete.

Out the door, I drive to school. Just planning on another day.

The End

This was written in honor of Mockingjay Part 2 and was originally written much closer to the actual release date of the movie.

Her heart raced as she looked at the information on the website of all the different showings. She clicked on the 9:00 PM with a touch of anxiety.

She was excited, really she was. How could she not be? She’d been looking forward to this movie for a year, ever since the last one. Truthfully, she’d been looking forward to it for eight years when she’d picked up that first book and started to read.

But that was just it, wasn’t it? Seeing this movie was the close of yet another “era” of sorts. She got into something, was able to immerse herself in a world, but it always came to an end.

She enjoyed the endings. Happy or sad, they provided closure to the story. They made you feel like you’d truly gotten to watch a story that had a point to it. Sure the story itself was enough, but she could still say that the ending gave it all a point.

This story already had an ending. She could remember years ago, six to be exact, when she sat down to read that one too.

She loved that book, and she was already sure she would love this movie to. But this movie was an ending in and of itself, separate from the story. That ending she already knew. The movie brought with it the knowledge that the fandom would change. It would grow smaller perhaps, but even if it didn’t, there would be no knew material to fangirl over. There would only be the same story and material they already had.

Not a bad deal all things considered. She liked that material, cherished it even. She wanted this ending to help make it all feel complete.

She just wished the ending didn’t have to mean that it all came to an end.

Shut Up

“Richard, you can’t write that!”

“And why not? It’s my own blog. I should be able to write whatever I want.”

“Yeah, about yourself. People are going to read this. That’s embarrassing.”

“Our names aren’t anywhere on here, Ed. They’ll never know. Not really.”


“Ed, seriously. It’s fine.”

“It’s the principal of the thing, you know? It’s an embarrassing story. I don’t want it told. Whether my actual name is attached to it or not.”

“But it’s comedy gold. Imagine the page views.”

“You still have to get people to your blog, Richard. One funny story isn’t going to cause your stats to explode unless you have a stroke of luck rarer than lightning.”

“Maybe I will though.”

“Not with that story.”


“I’m serious. You’re not talking about it.”

“But your name-”

“Shut up. That’s not the point.”

“Then what am I supposed to write about.”

“Embarrass yourself. Not me. I don’t care.”

“None of my stories are as good as yours.”

“What about-”

“Shut it. I don’t want to hear it.”

“See. It’s not so easy when it’s you, is it?”

“That’s different. They may not know my real name, but they’d still associate the story with the guy who runs the blog. That’s embarrassing enough. I wouldn’t be able to post ever again. You wouldn’t have that worry. I’d make up a fake name for you to tell the story.”



“You can keep saying my name. The more aggravated you make me, the more I want to turn you down.”



“Give me another decent topic to write about, and I swear I’ll leave you alone.”

“I did already.”

“Not embarrassing stories.”

“You wanted something funny.”

“But not embarrassing!”

“Do you even know how to find something funny that’s not embarrassing.”



“Fine. Embarrassing to someone else, just not either of us.”









“Shut up.”


I fill the familiar pricks of tears around my eyes. Blinking a few times, I foolishly believe that it will relieve the situation.

It doesn’t.

My eyes are watering more, and the only solution is closing the book, taking my eyes off the offending words that are responsible.

Books don’t often make me cry. I get teary-eyed, sure, but I don’t cry. Because as soon as the tears come, I avoid. I sit the book down, and I wait for the sensation to subside.

If I have to do it ten or twenty times just to make it through a page, it doesn’t stop me. This time I recover quickly. I pick the book back up eager to see what happens next. Not stopping to think about how I have to avoid even in my escape.

The Crash

The stack towers over your desk like the Tower of Pisa, threatening to come crashing down any second. But the Tower of Pisa is stable, unmoving for once in its history. It’s a lesson on the good that removing weight can do, but instead of taking books off the top, maybe making two stacks instead of one, you keep adding more.

And more.

And more.

For some reason, you can’t stop. You buy more books. They have to go somewhere. They go to the top of the stack. You don’t break free from the system. It’s worked until now, even if there’s a thought in the back of your head that it’s only a matter of time until it crashes down.

And crash down it does.

It happens in the middle of the night, startling you awake. Not only the books are scattered but everything that sat on your desk is as well.

You’ve startled into a sitting position, but you flop back down with a groan once you’ve seen it. There’s so much to clean up. The noise surely woke someone else up. But it’s the middle of the night, and you’re tired. You don’t want to move. You don’t want to deal with it.

Now that you’re back on your back, eyes fluttering closed, it’s even harder to move. You lay there, and try to convince yourself that taking care of it now is the better option. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

You’re asleep again before you’re successful.