A short story by Timothy Freriks © 2016
After all of this time, now I’m trash. No, sorry… I’m garbage. The newspaper I find myself uncomfortably snuggled up to—almost wrapped up in—is trash. He seems proud of that like it’s an important distinction and somehow better than being garbage. I honestly don’t know the difference, but I respect his right to think that as I try to be proud of being garbage.
The cherry tomato with whom I share this tight, dark space, seemed to agree with me, but of course, he had to identify with garbage. Inanimate objects are trash, he had said. I’m not. He was awfully wrinkled and squishy at the time—old and maybe senile—so I don’t know if I trust his perception. A little later, when I tried to get some clarification, I got no response. I’ll have to assume he has died.
That fate awaits me as well as I feel myself turning darker, inside and out. My meat is soft to the point of being called ‘mushy’, and my once beautiful yellow skin is dark brown and, in spots, black already. I have to accept that final decay is inevitable, but… Continue reading
I’m posting this again for some of my new readers.
August 14, 1974
The screams shattered his peace. He sat up, breathing hard, sweating. He rammed his hands to his temples. Stop! he yelled aloud. Leave me alone! It was the kids, the taunting, jeering, angry kids that came to him when he slept. They were screaming in his head again, their madness engulfing his mind, their hate and laughter echoing.
The young man opened his eyes and looked around to get his bearings; he had drifted off to sleep, but the clock on the painted concrete wall in the hallway had not. It told him that he hadn’t lost much time, enough for the nightmare to visit again, but not enough to put him much closer to the event that would end his pain.
“You OK?” the large guard asked as he poked his head around the corner. The fat black man in the faded blue uniform had become almost compassionate since the final stay request was denied. He grunted and stared at Billy for a moment then tucked his head back to his solitaire at the little table behind the light green wall. His head hit… Continue reading
A short story by Timothy Freriks © 2016
The feel of the football in my hand as the center hikes it to me is comfortable and secure and I start to move away from the line. I see the other team’s backfield starting to watch my eyes and the Cornerback trying to figure out how to anticipate what they are saying. The guard can’t see me, of course, since I’m lying behind the low ornate parapet of the dingy, half-destroyed apartment building in this sunbaked, God forsaken city. But I can see him through the scope which is pointed toward the speaker’s platform 631 yards away.
My Wide Receiver is a half-second late in getting off the line toward his lane. It’s a simple hook pattern made to look like a post pattern to confuse the Safety. If everybody else is covered, I’ll hit him in the hook and settle for fifteen yards. The Premier is just starting to enter my field of vision from the right. The guard backs away a step to give him room to climb the steps. Good, that gives me a couple extra inches. But there’s another guard entering from the left… and the Ambassador… Continue reading
The young man stepped gingerly on the wet, algae-covered rocks. He’d learned his lesson: They are slippery; the aching bruise on his ass kept reminding him of that. He found a secure spot to put his feet and paused, listening. No footsteps in the distance. No dogs. Just wind and the babble of the swiftly-moving river. Good.
Encouraged, he started forward again, carefully placing his feet and grabbing whatever strong-looking handholds he could find that stuck out of the carved mud bank. South. South about 100 yards past the sharp bend. That’s what Harry had said. The rope will be there, Tony.
Tony looked back. The only sharp bend was behind him. How far? Had he come 100 yards yet? How could he tell? Tony tried to visualize a football field, but since he was way too skinny and uncoordinated to play sports—not to mention uninterested—he couldn’t. After another fifteen feet—five yards, right?—he raised his eyes from the intricate confusion of the rock and dead branch path to look again. What if Harry meant 80 yards? Did he pass it? What if Harry meant 120 yards? Then he wasn’t there yet. What if Harry didn’t know a yard from his… Continue reading
I’m making a number of short stories available over the next few months. Here’s the second one:
A Short Story by Timothy A. Freriks
The shoe fit. She knew it would; it was hers, after all. She had stuffed it into the young man’s pocket as she left the masquerade ball.
Prince Robert raised his widened eyes to hers. “It’s you, isn’t it? I was hoping I had found you. I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”
Cindy looked into his familiar and beautiful face, the strong, gentle brown eyes and full jaw. She didn’t know what would happen if she told him the truth at the Royal party, that she crashed it in a homemade gown. She couldn’t have known that he would be so taken with her; she hoped, of course, all girls hope a prince would fall in love with them. But here, in fact, was a prince, a real prince, standing in front of her, asking if she was the girl that had captivated his heart. Many confusing thoughts tumbled through her but in the end, the fantasy was too attractive to let go.
She was glad she had scribbled her address on the sole… Continue reading