The phone rang and I reached over to grab it so fast that I nearly fell out of my chair. “Hello?” I answered, but all I heard was a loud, high-pitched tone. “Damn!” I pulled the phone away from my ear. “What the hell-“ I was cut off when a smooth female voice started to speak. “Emergency. This is a worldwide emergency. All beings are in danger due to imminent comet approaching in 6 hours.” I scoffed. This is probably a prank call from a bored 12 year old. “This is not a joke.” the voice continued. “Comet will make a direct hit in 6 hours. Please stay calm and stay with your loved ones. Further information can be found online through all news channels and keep updated through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.” My hands began to shake slightly. I could’ve imagined it, but the final words that came from my phone will always haunt me. “You have one life and it’s going to end soon. Make the most of it.” And with a final click, the voice was gone.
For the first hour, my phone continued to ring off the hook as I sat still and motionless in front of my TV with my laptop quietly heating up on my lap. Messages flooded into my inbox from bosses, old lovers and high school classmates saying that I was a great worker, apologies with reasons I don’t recall and an onslaught of memories that I had long filed away. As I watched the reporter talk about the axis and momentum of the comet, a part of me wanted to believe that it was all a hoax. The government wanted everyone to stop complaining and pay more mind to them or maybe it was a rich guy’s sad idea of teaching everyone gratitude. For all I know, the comet could even miss. I couldn’t accept that six hours was all I was going to get. Yet, I continued to diligently answer each call, reassuring, crying and yelling with everyone. What else can I do?
For the next hour, I wandered the street and tried my best not to lose my faith in humanity. Broken glass lay strewn all over the ground, couples straight up naked in the middle of the road while cars honked endlessly at them. Discounts filled stores still with clothes still swinging, but stores with bold red letters screamed, “Take it all! It doesn’t matter anyways!” with things like novelty garbage pails gone within minutes — one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There was no point in driving because of the amount of people wandering the streets, carefree and carelessly. It was like the illusion of safety was popped and what we were left was who were truly were. By now, my phone had generally quieted down, so I was surprised when I received a call from an unknown number. “Hello?” I answered, hoping it was the same cool voice from 3 hours ago taking everything back. “Hello?” No one responded. I tried a third time. “Hello? Is anyone there? The world is ending and I don’t want to be that jerk that hangs up on you. For all I know, you might be someone pretty important who needs company.” There was a sigh on the phone and a voice so small and fragile that I had to lean in to hear. “I love you. You were the first person I thought of when the mess of the world started to unravel because to me, you are the calamity and color of the world.” A final click ended the call. The final words comforted my soul and I walked down the street under the rapidly deteriorating and fearfully raw world, their screams lifting up to meet the incoming comet.
As I drove through the storm, the swishing of the windshield wipers reverberated the rapid thoughts fluttering in my heart. “Give me a break.” I muttered as I squinted at the road as the lines slowly disappeared. “I’m just trying to buy some groceries!” The droplets pelted at the windshield, reminding me of things to do, things I haven’t done and things I’ve half-assed. I aggressively flicked on the left turn signal as a subtle F-you! to the doubts in my head. I finally pulled into the parking lot and with a rumble, the car sighed to a stop. In waves, the rain hammered at my car. The wind howled like a ghost whispering about my impending fate, yet the rain continues to pelt, Finish your work! Get out there! You’re wasting your life! And I shout back, “You ass, I don’t want to get soaking wet!”
I pushed my faithful cart down the vegetable aisle, thinking back to the time when I nearly choked and died on a long green bean. My mother told me to eat my vegetables and as a seven year old, I thought I would “rebel” against her by shoving all the green beans she made into my mouth. My logic was that the faster I ate my veggies, the less time I would have to deal with them. My plan was foiled when one strand decided to hang out in my throat. I shuddered as I headed towards the fruits, picked out a couple almost ripe apricots and picked up a couple mangos. “These would be great in a smoothie.” I said while weighing them the palm of my heads and gently squeezing them. “Or I could straight up eat them.” I wandered around the store for a little longer, passing by the many chip bags and the craft beers. “I like this brand. They put a little more granola in the cereal than that one.” the girl said, waving the cereal box in front of her boyfriend’s face. I passed by and he glanced at me and I just shrugged. “Fine. Let’s get that one.,” he said, throwing the box into the cart. I sighed and remembered when I had someone to bother. “It’s okay.” I said standing in the check out line. “I can always bug myself.” “Excuse me?” an old lady in front of me turned around and looked me up and down. “Are you okay, ma’am?” I nodded and smiled as I watch her pay and wheel her groceries away, her little grey bun bouncing up and down.
I walked out to my car and noticed that it stopped pouring. Little lakes and oceans littered the parking lot, capturing a sliver of the blooming sun in each of them. I glanced at the vibrant blue sky to see a full and beautiful rainbow. And with that, my doubts melted away and splashed into the puddles.
I hope you enjoyed Worth It! It was a lot of fun to write and I feel like I finally captured the basic essence of a romantic relationship.
Basically this piece is about a couple who get caught in the rain, but eventually make it to the ice cream parlor where the girl declares her love to the boy. It’s a simple plot line that fits perfectly into Freytag’s Pyramid. To be honest, I didn’t write it with the intension to be a good example for Freytag’s Pyramid, but it just turned out to that way. I was running into a little bit of a writer’s block, but I knew I had to write something in order to break out of the block even if was going to be simple.
If you’re going to write something, I would opt for simplicity and clarity over a piece that is unclear and full of continuity. Every once in a while, writers and artists need to go back to the basics and this is just what I’m doing. Eventually, I’ll get back into the groove of concocting deeper and longer plot-lines, but this is just going to be how it is for a little bit.
Thanks for reading!
PS. Please leave me suggestions on what I should talk about for this week’s Noble Chats! 🙂
The rain poured down on us, but it didn’t matter. “Hurry up!” I shouted. “We’re going to get wetter the slower you are!” I looked back and saw him walking two steps and then breaking into a soggy jog. I doubled over unable to contain my laughter. “Man, all I wanted was ice cream, but I’m just getting wet and cold!” he shouted through the pouring rain. I continued laughing, but I got a well deserved punch. “Hey! That was uncalled for!” I said, unable to contain my smile. He rolled his eyes and said, “You mocked me! You made me look like a fool!” I took his hand and started walking toward the ice cream parlor. “It’s not my fault that you’re slow.” He pulled me as he walked a little faster and said, “It’s not my fault that you forgot the umbrella!” By the time we made it to the ice cream parlor, we were dripping wet from head to toe and shivering, but it didn’t matter. We held onto each other and ordered ice cream, sitting in a booth across from each other and shared the ice cream we trekked through the rain just to get. He took my hands and started rubbing them and said, “This was unexpectedly worth it.” I smiled back at him and whispered only so he could hear, “You’re worth the rain and the storm. You’re worth it to me.”
Note: This story contains images of crime, violence and grief/loss. If you are sensitive to these issues, I would suggest not reading this piece. Please read my Quick Piece Breakdown for further explanation. I wanted to give a warning because of what’s happening overseas.
We were watching our usual crime scene show with the faux blue and red flashing before our eyes as the police step out of their cars to face the crime scene. I looked at my girlfriend, Jolie, her eyes widening as the crime scene slowly unfolded with the shining red dripping from all corners of the room. Cue the credits and ending music as well as a loud groan from Jolie. “That was so good!” she said as she stretched, her beautiful hair cascading down her back. “I’m not sure if I can wait for next week!” I jumped up from the couch and started stretching with her, purposely bumping my arms into her. “Man, I’m so tired right now!” she yawned and sat on the floor. We sat together in silence, listening to the throbbing of our apartment complex. “Do you think people are inherently bad?” she said. I couldn’t see her face anymore, but something wavered in her voice. “That episode must’ve really gotten to you.” I said, feeling her breathing. She shook her head and got up to get ready for bed. By the time I finished getting ready, she was already fast asleep.
“What is it?” I called down the hall while rubbing the gunk out of my eyes. “What’s happening?” Loud pounding sounded at my door and when I cracked it open, a brisk morning breeze and two police officers met me. “Can I help you?” I mumbled. It was still too early for me to comprehend anything. “Mr. Berry, we have some unfortunate news.” the officer on the left said. I looked up at him and saw his eyes stern, but hurt. “You probably want to sit down for this.” I was still confused about what was happening, but I lead them inside where they perched themselves onto my couch. I sat in front of them and the next fifteen minutes were the worst moment of my life. They started off slow, but the story picked up pace as they explained to me that my dear Jolie set the neighbor’s house on fire, the neighbors who had just moved in and then burst into the house in an attempt to save them. They explained to me that they weren’t sure about her intentions, but they were sorry for my lost. As if their sorry would mean anything to me. As if they understood what it felt like to suddenly be devoid of my beloved. And as quickly as they had arrived, they left. The house fell silent, but the silence was so painful with the ringing in my ears, reminding me of Jolie.
It’s been a week since the incident. My beard has grown long and patchy, take-out boxes litter my floor with small biospheres starting to form. I read through the text messages last sent from Jolie for the thousandth time today. I can do whatever I want.
I’m back and writing stories again! I hope you didn’t miss me too much! This summer, I’m really going to try my hardest to make sure I write every week whether it be a story, poem or a vignette. Hey, maybe you can keep me accountable.
This story was inspired about some birds that were having a conversation outside of my window. From there, it spiraled into this story you just read. I also incorporated my time being alone in my apartment into this character and how it can shift your mentality and be all about you.
Basically, this story is about a man who is recalling small aspects of his life. He’s basically all alone in his room and going about the day. He had an argument with his mother, but he doesn’t seem as concerned with it as he is with his seperation from his best friend and not being able to partake in different stages of his best friend’s life all because he had simply rejected him. At the end, he is shown to have some aspect of emotion when he laughs at seeing his best friend’s daughter, Belle, but he ends up crying himself to sleep.
A sad story? Yes, I’m sorry.
A lot could be interpreted from this story from friendship to depression to how someone so small could bring someone so much joy to isolation. My main idea for this story as I continued to write it from my initial sentence about chirping birds is that people aren’t always who they’re perceived to be even the darkest and saddest of individuals or even those who don’t appear to be sad at all. There’s a backstory to everything (including that flash fiction/short story).
Fun Fact: Bella means promise and beautiful, so in a way, the main character is promising to himself that things will get better somehow.
I hope you enjoy this piece!
When I was walking home from meeting up with my friend yesterday, I passed this man. Even though our total interaction on the world was less than 1 second, something about him intrigued me. There was something about his gait and how his leather boots clopped into the cobblestone streets — a perfect match. Or maybe it was how he smelled and how it lingered around me, enticing me, but he was already down the street. Based on how he smelled and how he dressed, I think he was on a date. What if it was a foreign exchange of secrecy? I could picture him meeting up with a vixen with a tight black dress and bright red lipstick. She would lean in and try to entice him, but he stays still and asks for the secrets. Or maybe he was the type of guy who may appear sophisticated on the outside with tailored suits and designer shoes, but he would be that guy who leaves enthusiastic comments in random YouTube videos. He doesn’t really seem like the type to spend hours watching cat videos, then again, no one ever looks like it. I turned back after our brief exchange and witnessed him pulling out his phone, check his messages before slipping it back into his pockets.
I was on my way to meet this girl I matched with on Tinder, but I passed this girl on the way there. The gleam in her eye indicated that a lot more shit went down in her life than she would’ve liked, but based on how she dressed, smelled and looked, she handled it like a boss. I smiled to myself as we passed each other before a crazy idea popped into my head. I pulled out my phone and quickly messaged the girl from Tinder saying that I suddenly fell ill, turned around and said, “Hey, you! This is probably going to sound weird, but I think you’re beautiful and do you want to grab a drink or something?”
Written: 5/27/17 8:03pm
Note: I couldn’t decide whether or not I should schedule this for a Quick Piece or post it as an Unconfined Thoughts because this had never happened to me. I was just really excited to share this piece with you all. I would definitely consider this piece as flash fiction though. I’ll give you a couple words as analysis to compromise: spontaneous and impulsive, but potentially life changing decision of open minded individuals. Inspired by: my long marathons of watching YouTube videos and wondering what kind of person would write each comment. Hope you enjoyed! 🙂