My Daughter’s Coming Home

When I first saw I was getting a call from an unknown number, I thought it was another sales call. I only answered it on the off chance it was from my friend Irma, I knew she’d gotten a new phone number.  

“Hello?”  

It was quiet except for someone breathing on the other end. I frowned but tried again. “Hello, is someone there? Or is this another robot telling me I’ve won a cruise?”

I heard a quiet laugh, followed by a sob.

“Hi mom.”

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Becoming a Man

“This is what you have to do to become a man, Christian.” My dad practically shoved me out of his truck. I turned back to see him light up a cigarette for my cousin Dave in the backseat.  

Dave looked at me and grinned crookedly. “Make sure to wrap your tool!” He teased before reaching forward and pulling the door shut, having to slam it twice to make sure it actually stayed closed.

Well, this was actually happening. I swallowed before I walked down the street, hearing my dad’s truck backfire twice before it drove off. I was now alone out here. Granted, I could use my phone and call an Uber, maybe even beat my dad home, but I had to do this. I was eighteen. I had to prove to the rest of my family that I was a real man.  

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The Troll Bridge

 “Don’t be a pussy, Ryan! Just do it!”

I would’ve rather stuck my head in a blender and turned that shit on puree than do this, but I didn’t have a choice. It was either go across the bridge or be called a pussy the rest of my life. Or at least until the end of the summer. When you’re eleven, there’s really not much of a difference.

The only way to end this endless teasing was to cross the troll bridge. Well, we called it the troll bridge. We weren’t sure what it was really called back then. It wasn’t anything special, just a small stone bridge that went over a creek just outside of town. It wasn’t used much anymore, it wasn’t big enough for a car to go over and there was talk of tearing it down, but it just never got done.

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I’m Addicted to Eating Bugs

I suppose it started small, like all addictions do. I was in the first grade, having some corner time because I threw a crayon at Brandon’s head. He totally deserved it but that’s another story for another day.  

Anyway, I was facing the brick wall, imagining horrible fates for this jerk of a classmate when I heard a quiet buzzing. I looked by my feet to see an old cobweb, spider long gone but the dusty threads still managing to capture a fly. It wiggling and squirmed and if I hadn’t interfered it probably would have gotten loose and carried on with its life. But before I realized it I had plucked the fly free and placed it in my mouth.  

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There’s a girl who lives alone in the woods

Down a long dirt road, past a mile or so of forest, there’s a girl that lives all by herself in a big house. All of her relatives have passed, leaving her a treasure trove of valuables and money that she keeps on the property. There’s not even a dog to keep her safe from people who would take those things away.

And when the wrong ears hear all those things, their eyes fill with dollar signs and they decide to make the trek.  

They always make the same wrong assumption though-

That I’m really alone.

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Biter

I’m never going to complain about working at a daycare, it really is my dream job. I love working with kids and seeing how they grow up, when they learn to talk and walk, when they learn to string together sentences… It’s the best.

However, there are some kids that drive me up the wall.

“Ow! Parker, you don’t bite people!”

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Nicky

It happened ten years ago. I was only eight years old. I woke up that morning to the smell of frying eggs and bacon.  

Stumbling down the hallway, I was greeted by the sight of a dark haired woman at the stove, humming some friendly tune as she filled a cup to the near brim with orange juice. She turned to me and I nearly jumped out of my skin. In a sense she was pretty, but she had a vicious scar running down the left side of her face.

“Andy! You’re up!” She beamed as she picked up the plate stacked with a delicious smelling breakfast. “I had to run to the store, but I hope you like breakfast!”

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