15 Minute Story #20: Love In Flames

Love in Flames 20

“He broke your heart.”  Natalie said, “Fucker.” Kate watched Natalie down the last of her third martini in solid female solidarity. Woe to the next dumbass fratboy who tried a pick up line on this table. Kate smiled. It was her first smile three days. Kate sipped her drink and thought about how a week ago she thought she was going to marry Thomas.

Thomas Ping. Cute. Wealthy. Fun. A house here in Portland AND in Hong Kong. He felt like the first man Kate had ever dated. The others were just boys. Two years and three months seemed like a pretty sure thing. She’d played it slow though. She didn’t move in, though weeks would go by without stopping by her apartment. And when her grandmother died, Thomas was there for her. He paid for the funeral and the limos for her family. He held her and made her feel safe.

All that was gone now. He wasn’t even supposed to be in town. He was supposedly in New York closing a business deal of some sort. But he was in his giant house on a hill in Beaverton just outside of Portland getting drunk with not one but two other women. They say there was some sort of electrical problem that started the fire. Thomas and Bimbo #1  were rescued. Bimbo #2 didn’t make it. Neither did Kate’s relationship.

Kate thought about it and realized Natalie was wrong.

“He didn’t break my heart, Nat.” Natalie gave an inquiring look, “He broke my trust. He broke my plans. He broke our relationship. He broke a lot, but my heart’s just fine. It keeps beating and keeps going. Just like me. Let’s get one more round.”

Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas

About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.

So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story.  Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal

15 Minutes Story #18: Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Apocalypse18b
They say it’s always good to be prepared. At first I took the whole pop culture zombie craze to be the latest in a series of fads that fascinate people for a while until they move on to something else. But soon I came to realize the truth. They were warnings. The Zombie Apocalypse is real. And it’s coming.

The people who know are stalking up weapons and non-perishable food along with water and gasoline. When it starts people will think it’s just another virus but once it reaches epidemic proportions and word gets out about what’s happening, we can expect a good amount of civil unrest. Survivors will likely be shooting other desperate survivors as much as zombies. After all, most people aren’t prepared and don’t know the truth. That doesn’t mean they want to die.

So it’ll be a mad scramble by the common people to find those of us who’ve prepared. If they have useful skills, they might be taken in by the survivors, but if they have a lot of kids, maybe not. You can only feed so many people after all.

I’ve spent the past few months using the Internet to get in touch with others who know the Truth. These people are the ones who are ready to kill zombies when the hordes come. Most who visit me are happy to find a kindred spirit. Too many treat them like they’re crazy, but I sit and listen calmly as they tell me about their stockpiles, their armored vehicles and their fortified compounds. Many have cut off all ties to family and friends who disagree with them. We sit and talk and drink tea.

To tell the truth, they drink the tea. I don’t. I know it’s got arsenic in it. Their deaths are fairly quiet and quick. I then take them down to the basement where I cut off their heads. Then I use the bone saw to open their skulls.

In a zombie apocalypse, you’re most likely going to be a zombie. And from a zombie’s perspective, these guys are the most dangerous people in the world. It only makes sense to get rid of them now. And in doing so, I can also stock up on the one thing I’ll need when the zombie apocalypse happens: Brains.

Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas

About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.

So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story.  Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal

15 Minute Story #17: Two Boxes

TwoBoxes 17
I have two boxes in my head. One is where I put all the shit I understand. And the other is the box I put all the shit I don’t understand. Whenever I put something in the second box, I open the box just long enough to put something in and then I seal it shut. I don’t think about the things in the second box. But every now and then it cracks open a bit.

There was the dead mirror. A friend of mine had a mirror. It was mounted in what look like the portal of ship. You looked in it and you looked like you were dead. There was no other way to describe it. It was genuinely creepy.

There was that time that I was walking through the forest with a friend and for no reason at all I started talking about a big white dog and five minutes later a big white dog appeared.

There was the man running through the train tunnel. He jogged as if it were the most natural thing in the world seemingly oblivious to the fact that there was no light in that tunnel. He didn’t even squint at the sunlight as he jogged out. That tunnel was three miles long.

There was the time that pallet landed on Joey’s foot. Me and Cody lifted it off. It had to have been over a ton. There was no way we should have been able to lift it no matter how much adrenaline was pumping through our veins.

There was that time I saw an actual ghost and just as quickly watched him disappear right in front of me.

All of these things are things I don’t think about because whenever I do, I feel like I’m going crazy. They don’t fit with the rest of the world I know. But the latest addition to the box tops them all. Don’t get me wrong. I believe it and I accept it. I’m even happy about it. But there’s no way I’ll ever understand it.

The latest addition to the box? She’s in love with me.

Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas

About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.

So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story.  Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal

15 Minute Story #13: Options

options13
Frank sat in his car in the parking garage for a full ten minutes. He thought about his options. The car had a full tank of gas. He could drive to the ocean right now. He could be less adventurous and just pull out of the parking space and go home and get back into bed. The parking garage was eight stories tall. There’s a chance he could get enough speed to smash through the concrete and dive his car into the street.

OR

He could get out of the car, go into the office and go to work like he had done 40 hours a week for the last few years and how he’d done at other jobs for years before that. He could also go into the office and quit on the spot. It would put him in financial trouble but so what. He’d been in financial trouble before. He thought about his last job. His boss there was so psychotic that the guy actually dressed up as Hitler for Halloween. He thought about how great it felt that he’d never see that pudgy son of a bitch again. He looked forward to the day he could say the same of this place.

He stepped out of the car and walked into the office. He thought about how some people go nuts and shoot up office buildings. He never wondered why. He knew. He also knew that he’d never do such a thing. He wasn’t interested in killing people. And trading his cubicle for a prison cell didn’t seem to be much of difference in his opinion. Less Netflix. That was about it.

He sat down at his desk and fired up his computer. The options were always there. And almost every morning he made the same choice. Sometimes he wouldn’t go in at all.

There was a time when Frank thought he was special. Millions of people went to work every single day week in week out for decades without getting fed up or burned out. But he learned from talking to coworkers that pretty much everyone felt the exact same way.

He didn’t know how to fix it. Many of his coworkers got by taking cigarette breaks slowly killing themselves while getting a few minutes outside the building. Frank had quit over a year ago. He had bills and a family. He couldn’t quit. And finding another job would likely be more of the same.

So he went to Toys R Us. Frank bought a container of bubble liquid. He went out with the smokers and while they blew smoke, he blew bubbles. It didn’t solve the problem but for a few minutes each day, he took his problems, put them in a little container, pulled out his weapon, and blew them away.

Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas

About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.

So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story.  Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal