Short Stories


  1. An Unexpected Visitor
    It was a hot summer night. The birds and other day creatures had all gone to bed. Mary Elizabeth was sitting in her rocking chair that used to belong to her Aunt Bessie who died of cholera a few short months ago. She was well-screened in, Mary Elizabeth, that is, from screens she made herself.

  2. Inner Space
    It was imperative. He sought the solution to a problem that would save everyone; he believed it existed, but nowhere could he find it amongst the known and familar thoughts and ideas populating his mind. It had to be outside of it, or at least outside of what had formed into rigid and fixed ideas. A new arrangement, a never-before seen pattern, emerging and coalescing into clarity itself.

  3. The Deep
    As far back as the twenty-first century it was suspected that space and time were simply emergent phenomena of a more complex underlying process, like the earth's crust floating on its mantle.

  4. Mushrooms and Falling Leaves
    It was autumn in Massachusetts, a sharp invigorating sunny day. I was wearing a knee-length cashmere coat, dark blue; a scarf a friend had given me; and suede cowboy boots. I was visiting folks, and to give us all a break, I decided to go for a walk in the woods nearby.

  5. The Artifact
    Jeremiah Zad tossed and turned; he'd been having nightmares for weeks. He couldn't think of a single reason why; his life was fairly quiet and uneventful.

  6. Dave
    The snow had been falling steadily for three days. Dave Flattery decided to work from home, even with his four-wheeler, it was just too much to try to drive. He worked in advertising and could accomplish as much at home as in his office.

  7. The Collectors
    His old Suburban clattered over the familiar potholes of the dirt road leading to the compound. Cresting the final hill, Doctor Jameson could make out the three trailers parked in a circle and the canopy-covered sitting-area off to the left.

  8. Robert Fenwick III
    Robert Fenwick III didn't believe in God. It wasn't that he considered himself a humanist for whom the question of God's existence is irrelevant, or an agnostic for whom the question is unanswerable, or, heaven forbid, a nihilist for whom no question need be asked; no, such labels were beneath him. He simply could not be persuaded to subscribe to or endorse any dogma, ideology, philosophy, or belief system, including those that believed in not believing.

  9. The Garden at the Center of the Universe
    The contract was for 5,000 dollars. Not much, but enough for the way he was living. All he had to do was drive 200 miles east and kill a worthless drug dealer and, of course, any witnesses, like family, friends, or customers.

  10. A Time To Die
    After years of soul searching and misinterpreting events based on faulty intelligence and shallow understanding, he arrived at the end of his life a broken, confused and deeply troubled man.

  11. Zol-Tar
    Zol-Tar dropped through the interstices of Mind ever more deeply with the same ease as an insignificant gnat might fly through the massive holes of a screen.

  12. Writer's Block #649
    Frick and Frack, collaborating scriptwriting team, in the back of a jewish delicatessan, 3:15 P.M., Monday, July third, 1994; New York, New York:

  13. The Crack in the Bottom of the Bowl
    It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was that confusing. I didn't know if I was coming or going. Melinda, my dog, was in the hospital waiting for a heart donor, it didn't look good.

  14. The Oatmeal Incident
    A shot rang out; it happens. The captain of the vessel slumped forward, his face coming to rest in a simmering bowl of Quaker Oats. The entire back of his head was gone. That is to say-- vaporized.

  15. Time Shift
    Wielding the heavy black rock found protruding from the wall of their cave, its narrow edge chipped to utter silence, Gorg easily rended the belly of the long-toothed beast.

  16. Megan's World
    Megan put her drink down hard on the glass-topped coffee table. Nobody moved in the hot, stuffy parlor. Through the sliding screen door, the fading light outlined the mountains far to the southwest, dark clouds menacing their jagged ridges and peaks like a pack of hungry hyenas ready to pounce.

  17. True Story
    You have to understand what I'm about to tell you is strictly between you and me. You must promise. I have to tell someone before I bust or get killed too. I'll start at the beginning.

  18. Tesselation
    Three teams of astronomers poured over sections of a picture of the deepest view into the universe ever seen, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope over what amounted to four days of exposure on a single location -- a point, actually -- far off in the distance.

  19. The Day I Died
    It's not easy for me to take corporeal form. I can only do it for a brief period of time; the energy outlay is enormous. But I'll try to maintain stasis for as long as possible so I can tell you what I've discovered. Two hundred and fifty seven years ago, I died, or at least it seemed so. Let me attempt to recount the events leading up to it, and those that followed.

    It was a dark and moonless night. Quiet prevailed in the rough-scrabble town; its hard-working residents either fast asleep or huddled in the few bars that spotted Main street, their neon lights beacons of refuge from the damp chill. None could have been even remotely aware of what was about to take place.

  21. Charles and the Pencil
    Charles scrawled lines on the paper with the unusual pencil he'd found while exploring the storage shack at the back of the rental. It was hardly what you would think of as a writing instrument, it's length -- a foot or more -- and its elongated teardrop shape spoke otherwise. But the small boy saw it that way and so it was.

  22. Homecoming
    Frank was sitting on a moss-covered log in the quiet, peaceful forest. It was his desire to sit some place with little to no distractions in order to think.

  23. The Bridge
    The winter dawn under the heavy sky contrasted his surroundings in shades of grey; shadows and silhouettes of angry trees squirmed franticaly over the ice underfoot.

  24. Plato's Cave Revisited
    He was kidnapped while in dreamland and taken far away to a sunless planet. His shadowy captors unceremoniously dumped him and left. No one else was around.

  25. At Last...
    His being dwelt beyond the confining envelope of space and time we call the universe, once a tiny seed of creator-energy.

  26. In The Beginning...
    In the beginning, Mankind pursued a pantheistic spirituality infusing all things -- living and nonliving -- with the qualities of a Supreme Being [shamanism being the oldest form of this].

  27. 'The End Of Days' Bar & Lounge
    I was sitting alone at a bar drinking bourbon and coke on the rocks, mesmerized by the whirligigs of leaves and trash dancing in the street.

  28. Obsession
    He was going mad. Living alone in the quiet woods with his cat, Mariah, he'd lost touch with society; it didn't take much. Reality was next. Except to buy groceries and other needs, hardly ever did he venture forth. But his reclusive lifestyle was not what was driving him crazy.

  29. The Outpost
    Nalina and Ramajadi strolled down the grassy hill towards the town below. It was a sunny day. Butterflies flitted about, riding the sweet-smelling updraft. They entered through the south gate; the road was dusty, it hadn't rained for a while.

Adrian Dorn;
copyright: | 2010