Third Time, Not the Charm!

The word of the week is STRIKE for the six-sentence story prompt by girlontheedge.  This week we will see the story of Conrad, an ex-con with really bad luck, who agreed to take his cousin to the corner store, and has come to seriously regret this decision.  It’s one of those, people see what they want kind of situations, and while I believe most of the “I was just there” defences are crap, some of them  are probably on the level…

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Conrad was standing in line at a seven-eleven, trying desperately not to break down in tears as his cousin held a gun to the cashier’s head, demanding all the money in the till.

He had no idea that this was what Joey had in mind when asking him for a ride, and since Joey had been the only one in his family to give him a shot after his second stint in prison, he hadn’t really been in a place to say no.

He wouldn’t have said no if he could though, his cousin was a good guy, clean cut, working class, and he was letting Conrad sleep on his couch until he got a job that paid enough to get a place on his own.

Of all the people in Conrad’s family, Joey was the last person he would have suspected to pull this kind of shit, but now he was here and there was a gun, and the sounds of sirens in the distance.

If it had been after his first arrest he would have been trying to talk Joey down, after all, murder in the commission of felony fell on all participants, and while he was not participating, Conrad had been around the block a few times now, he knew there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell people would believe that he was just an innocent bystander.

It didn’t matter if Joey got away, or if he killed everyone here, this would be counted at Conrad’s third strike, he would be in for life, so he stood clutching a bag of chips and a chocolate bar, closed his eyes, and waited for it all to be over.

Over in a Flash

Hello, this week on The Writer’s Mess Weekly Friday Picture Prompt Challenge, I decided to take a stunningly lovely picture of a canyon and twist it into something dark and sad.  Follow Evan, an inexperienced hiker who took a weekend trip without knowing all the fact, and learns that water in the dessert is both a blessing and a curse.


Evan looked up at the smooth rock walls of the canyon, the blue gray of the storm building above, and thought it was a pretty nice place to die.

He didn’t want to die, but he was practical and knew he chances of getting rescued were low at this point.  He had been trapped in this canyon for four days, after being flushed in during a flash flood.  At the time he had considered himself lucky for not having drowned, after all, he had found the bodies of the three of other guys he went hiking with already.

The food and water from their packs had kept him going, and he thought that he could make it to a spot where he could climb out before his rations were gone, or he would be found.

Hope ran out about three hours after the water had, but he knew he still had at least another day before he died of dehydration.

Then the thunder started.

At first he thought it was a chopper, but as it grew louder, and the sky grew darker, he realized it wouldn’t be the dehydration that killed him.

He had barely managed to stay afloat the first time, in the best shape of his life.  Now, four days later he was tired, starving, and thirsty.  He wouldn’t have the strength to keep his head above water, and as the first drop of rain hit his cracked tongue, he knew that this was God being merciful.

Consumed by the Chesterfield

I remember that I was listening to the soundtrack for the movie Across the Universe, when I had the idea to write a depressing story based on a song about a warm gun. I don’t recall writing this truly depressing short story where the main character is suicidal, depressed, and unable to get off the couch. Reader be warned, this is horribly depressing.


The couch had eaten her, or so she texted, to explain why she wasn’t going to the movies. Claiming exhaustion after a hard week was easy, her messages light, and funny, but she wasn’t.

For all intents and purposes the couch had eaten her, her will do anything but lay there was gone. Colors flashed on the TV, but she couldn’t focus, just laying with it on, so that the excuse of watching TV would be there. A song came on, and the words of joy expressed over a still warm gun sent chills through her. She knew where she would be right now had the option been available, and she was glad for lack of ownership in these situations.

The only thing that kept her going, was not going on would take action to achieve, and she didn’t have the energy to so much as get up off the couch. She was still there when her roommate came home, bringing her something to eat.

She had a love/hate relationship with the roommate, who she had never wanted, but had gotten on the recommendation of a therapist long since dismissed. She didn’t need someone to pay half the bills, didn’t need someone taking half her space, and the first one had only lasted days. She lowered the rent, and found someone who would stay, but she had lowered it enough, that they were determined to stay no matter how terrible she often was. Given their tenacity in staying, it would take more spoons than she had available on any given week to try and get rid of them.

They liked her well enough, or maybe they just realized that if she died they wouldn’t get to keep the rent situation, so water was brought to her on the couch, food, and she was checked on regularly when she was in this state, of laying. If she laid there long enough, roommate would make her go take a shower, as roommate drew the line at a certain smell. Roommate who apparently didn’t draw the line at being known as roommate because she could never find the wherewithal to remember roommate’s name.

It would pass though, and she knew it would pass, it always passed, and for a time things would be better, she would be better, and she would do things and see people, and be happy for a bit. What kept her lying here at the moment was the other knowledge, and that was that she would always end up back here again too, maybe in a day, or a week, maybe if she was lucky it would be months, but she would end up here, on the couch, not wanting to be, and for now she just let it overwhelm her, let herself feel what she was feeling, and hope that soon, soon it would pass and she would be her again.

The Reaping

This is a just desserts type of response to the six-sentence story prompt of the week, which is ERUPTION. This follows an unnamed first person narrator, and her ongoing interactions with that jerk, Clay.


My mother always told me to be nice to people, that sometimes they might be going through something you can’t see, and while I agreed with her most of the time, I knew deep down that Clay was just a jerk.

He had friends, a good family, played sports, did okay in school, but he was one of those guys that if you were just the least bit better than him in something, you would live to regret it.

He never hurt anyone, not really, but he played jokes, spread rumors, and just picked at you until you started to think that getting the top grade on the math test wasn’t actually worth it.

I tried to rise above it, help him out here and there, and I even spent the better part of a term trying to become his friend in 5th grade, but it was pretty much hopeless.

So 6 years later, when Clay was assigned to be my lab partner for chemistry, it became the class I dreaded going to, until he went to far, until the day of the magnificent eruption.

I tried to tell Clay that he was making a mistake, that those were the ingredients to two different experiments, but I gave up, taking cover when he dropped the sodium cube into the sulfuric acid, and I felt a little guilty for the rest of the year at the relief I felt from never having to see that guy again.