Grief | A Short Story

12006148_812263078891339_1302931058311926826_nHe had to do it.  He had to make himself give her the flowers he’d bought.

He’d begged her not to drive.  Begged her to let him take her home.  She was mad that his ex-girlfriend showed up at a party he didn’t even want to attend.  She screamed and hit him in the driveway, telling him he could go straight to hell with trying to tell her what to do.  Their friends did their best to calm her but it only made things worse.

When he made another attempt, she slapped him.  Hard enough to send his glasses flying into the grass.

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Day’s End | A Short Story

The end of the day was the worst part. The sun going down meant walking back to the house. Back to the silence. Back to the slow, insane beep of medical machinery.

Keeping his son alive. In a place that was neither dead nor living…purgatory for those whose hearts continued to beat without a single electrical pulse in the brain.

The long ago little boy he’d loved more than he loved himself. His only child. The young man on his way home from college, taken by a drunk driver on a cold night a year before while his father slept, unknowing.

The nurses were kind. The doctor was kind. Everyone who came by was fucking kind.

He didn’t feel kind. He wanted to slash and batter and scream.

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Broken Things | A Short Story

He worshiped her.

Most days, it seemed like she almost hated him but he didn’t care. He was addicted to the smell of her, the taste, the texture of her skin.

Other than delivery people, she was the only person he ever saw or interacted with. It had been that way for almost two years.

Every time she appeared on his porch, he knew what she wanted and he wanted to give it to her. Like a junkie, he didn’t say no because he didn’t have the strength of will.

The shakes were too bad the moment she was within touching distance. He needed his fix of human contact, just for a little while.

Each visit, she brushed past him without a word, walked to his bedroom, and took off her clothes. Reclining on his bed, she waited for him to crawl between her legs and deliver as much pleasure with his mouth as she could physically stand to receive.

He never undressed. They never had sex. They didn’t talk.

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Uncommon Ideals | A Short Story

A big man with a gentle voice, Walter Allen Hall regained his family’s fortune by venturing beyond the shores of England.

While his peers insisted the only money to be made abroad was via the British East India Company or through the slave trade, he staunchly disagreed.

“People are not a commodity. Not in England, not in Africa, not anywhere a good man wishes to lay his head without shame.”

In all his business dealings, he kept his wife Florence by his side. “No man could be as clever as my Florence. The opinions of my peers mean little beside your fierce mind.”

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A Minute | A (Super) Short Story

She needed a minute. Just one fucking minute.

To hold him, to breathe in the smell of his hair, to feel the thump of his heart against the skin of his neck.

It wasn’t fair. It would never be fair. There was nothing to be done. She’d exhausted all her options.

He made his choice.

He would marry the girl his parents wished. Return to England and live a life far from her, from this place, from where they fell in love.

First, she needed one more fucking minute.

To say goodbye.

© Shayne McClendon

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