Creative Writing

Don’t | A Short Story

She sneezed for the third time that day.

“You okay, Katie?” Philip turned to look at her, concern spread across his entire face.

“Fine fine,” she said even as she reached in her pocket for a tissue to blow her nose.

A dark haired girl sitting beside Katie stood up, hurried to another table, and sat back down.

“What’s her problem?” he mumbled under his breath, loud enough for Katie to hear.

“She just doesn’t want to get sick. Maybe you should stay away from me too. I wouldn’t want to get you sick right before exams.”

Philip waved his hand in the air like he was dismissing that idea. “I don’t get sick.”

Katie sniffed. “Sure you don’t.”

“I haven’t gotten my flu shot in eight years and I’ve never had the flu”

She picked up her pen, trying to jot down some notes on evolution in her journal. “Hopefully you didn’t jinx it.” Dropping her pen, Katie rubbed her hands together. Afterwards, she blew on them. “Is it just me or did this room get a lot colder?”

“It’s just you.” Tipping his chair back on its two hind legs, Philip interlaced his fingers behind his head.

“Don’t you think you should at least open your books?” She eyed his unopened biology textbook and lab manual.

He smiled, the left corner of his mouth creeping higher than the right. “I don’t study either.”

“You don’t fail either?”

“Nope.”

Katie shot him a look. “We’ll see about that.”

Creative Writing

Readings | A Short Story

“Sit down.”

She did. Linda always listened to everything Mr. Stewart said and did what he told her to. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be where she was today.

He loosened his tie a bit before sliding a file folder in her direction. “Read it.”

“Yes, sir.” Linda reached for the plain file folder with her full name on the corner. Someone had printed out a sticker and stuck it to the folder.

She flipped through the sheets binded together by a paper clip. At any time he could easily remove a sheet or add one. The company didn’t believe in staplers or staples. They swore by binder and paper clips. Even though she’s worked here for years now, her file was thin.

It didn’t take long for Linda to skim through it, the objective facts like her address and date of birth as well as the subjective details about her attitude and performance. Afterwards, she remembered Mr. Stewart said to read, not skim. So Linda flipped back to the first page.

Her boss didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry. If he was, he showed no sign of it.

After a moment, she closed the folder and pushed it back at him.

“Like what you see?” he smiled like he knew something she didn’t.

A frown appeared on her face. “Not really.”

Mr. Stewart leaned back in his leather chair. “How would you like a raise?”

Creative Writing

Self Reflection | A Short Story

The wind whipped her fair hair around her face. She tugged at the infinity scarf around her neck. Isabelle stood right at the edge of the railing, glancing out across the water. The reflection of the moon wavered on the waves.

A voice, low but clear, spoke from behind her. “This is late…even for me.”

She turned and leaned an elbow against the thin metal railing. “I gave you a choice, Marcus.”

“I never said you didn’t. I made my choice.”

Even in the darkness Isabelle could make out the scar running along his jaw. “I’ve made mine.”

Silence descended upon them save for the lapping water behind her.

He smiled, looking straight into her pale blue eyes. “So what can’t you say in the daylight that you’re willing to admit at night?”

She didn’t return his smile.

Marcus shot her a look, expectant.

“You asked me if I ever loved anybody.”

His eyebrows shot up but he didn’t say anything.

A strand of long hair landed in her mouth. Isabelle continued talking. “I told you I didn’t.”

“Fairly quickly too.”

She turned her back to him, facing the large body of water and the light of the full moon. “I realize that’s not true anymore.”

“So you do love someone?” Marcus inched closer as the side of his leather jacket flapped back and forth due to the wind.

Isabelle nodded slowly. “I do.”

He sucked in a breath, held it for as long as he could before exhaling. “Is that why you called me out here tonight?”

“More or less.”

“I have a question.”

She cocked her head to one side, still facing the lake. “What’s that?”

The light from the moon cast a shadow across half his face. “Did you ever think about giving up?”

“No.” She paused. “Because even though I hate the world, I love myself.”