It was something of a relief to Carol when her smug nephew ripped off his human covering to reveal the pulsating green flesh beneath. Twenty years of guilt vanished away as he roared out his plans to “lay waste to the paltry pestilence that is mankind”. So she wasn’t a bad aunt after all, just an impeccable judge of character.
She stepped over the sobbing mess that was her sister, and rammed the kitchen knife in as deep as it would go.
“You were one ugly baby,” she screamed into his flaming red eyes. “And your thank you letters sucked.”
Author’s Note: I’d just like to state for the record that I have the very nicest of nephews and nieces.
The face looking back at her through the mirror was perfect.
She ran her fingers over the smooth ridges of her cheeks. She traced the contours of her flawless jawline. She admired the ruby hue of her lips, accentuated by her porcelain skin. She watched them curl into a smile. She hadn’t smiled in ages.
She brought her fingers over the nose, stopping on the bridge. The slightest of bumps protruded from under the skin, burrowed like the pea under the princess’s mattress. The smile faded from her lips.
She ripped the perfect face off and went to fetch another.
Author’s Note: Society today is obsessed with appearance, so what if we had the option to try on faces like we do outfits?
Everybody’s got a death wish.
You know that little voice that nudges you over the edge?
The tired mother who is driving home with two squabbling toddlers in the back seat and sees a truck coming? Nudge.
The mental patient who contemplates swallowing the colorful pins from his mother’s sewing box? Nudge.
The alcoholic who finds a shelf of disinfectant bottles unattended at the emergency room? Nudge.
I’m everywhere. I’m in your brain, clutching your amygdala. You can’t escape.
One day it’ll happen, something terrible or wonderful, and I’ll whisper to you:
Do you need a little nudge?
Author’s Note: Reading Stephen King can turn your drabbles dark.
Evan sat down, examining his scraped leg. It wasn’t bleeding much, but it stung. He glared up at the tree. “That branch hit me when I jumped down. On purpose.”
Ava knelt beside him. “The trees do that sometimes. Here.” She scooped up a handful of soil. “Rub some dirt on it.”
He took the handful and hesitantly tried it on the scrape. It tingled. The scrape slowly faded, leaving dirty, healed skin.
“I learned that from the frogs at the pond.” Ava grabbed his hand, pulling him up. “Just remember, the frogs aren’t princes, no matter what they say.”
Author’s Note: Coaches must be from a magical place where this solution to injuries makes some kind of sense.
“Sammy, come out here!”
“Yeah, mom, in a minute.” He pulled a fresh notebook off the shelf.
“You’re going to miss everything!”
“Well then I guess I’ll be disappointed for like two seconds!” He tried to block out the sounds of her nagging; the light from the meteor lit the room from the wrong direction like an eerie second sun, and he began to write:
Literal end of the world and the Parents still won’t let me take the Jag out for a spin. Worst. Apocalypse. Ever. At least I’ll never have to retake that test in
Author’s Note: Have you ever seen someone in such a mood that you’re sure even the end of the world couldn’t budge them?
I nearly stepped into an oozing puddle.
“Excuuuuse me!” the alien beauty queen said.
My face flushed. “Sorry.”
“Now, we brought you here because of humans’ reputation for unbearable ugliness,” my guide said, speaking cheerfully as if my presence here were a great honor instead of an involuntary abduction. “That will make you impartial in judging our Miss Galaxy competition. Come in!”
I followed him into the giant space dome, trying to feel flattered. After all, I had been chosen above all the humans on Earth. But it was pretty hard.
After all, back home, I had been Miss Galaxy.
Author’s Note: I once made up a series of paper dolls that I called “Galaxy Girls.” They were alien contestants for a beauty competition. None of them were beautiful by human standards, especially not the puddle that had a bow on it.
He sat in front of his typewriter, rolled a fresh white sheet of paper into the platen, placed his fingers delicately over home row—and despaired.
All his life he’d dreamed of becoming a writer, and he’d finally worked up the courage to go for it. He bought books on the subject, attended seminars, studied the markets until he knew them inside and out. He pored over magazine submission procedure.
Now he was ready to begin. But there was a problem:
The books said to write what you know.
The magazine guidelines said no vampire stories.
So which was it?
Author’s Note: “Write what you know” is probably the most famous piece of writing advice of all time. But what if what you know isn’t what people are interested in? I read a lot of horror fiction, and it occurred to me that so many outlets for horror stories don’t want to see vampires or zombies or serial killers. So I thought, how would those guys write what they know and still manage to get published?