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Short Stories

Short Stories

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Published by Aggiejedimaster
Two short stories I wrote- The Clock and The Gardener
Two short stories I wrote- The Clock and The Gardener

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Published by: Aggiejedimaster on Apr 09, 2008
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09/27/2012

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Short Stories
The Clock 
“I've been accepted to Michigan,” she said, her black hair waving majestically in the wind. At least,I thought it was majestic. She, apparently, thought it was annoying, and grabbed at in unmercifully.I remained stunned by the news. I guess I had never truly believed she was leaving. I'd knownAlice Brennan ever since we sat next to each other in the third grade, and now that we were graduatinghigh school, I figured she do what I and countless other local kids were doing- go to the city'scommunity college.“I'm leaving next month. There some sort of orientation I have to go to, and I figured that since I'mup there already I'll just stay with my aunt until the beginning of the first semester.” She stood up fromthe steps we'd been sitting on and began walking towards the parking lot. She paused for a second, andI wanted to call after her, but I didn't. She kept walking.As she drove off in that faded baby blue Mustang she insisted on driving everywhere, I couldn't help but call after her.“Alice! Wait...” I yelled, surprised at the volume of my call. But she couldn't hear me. I walkedhome down the same streets I'd walked for the past four years. At the corner of Washington and TerrellI sat down, remembering the time we kissed in the rain at this very spot. The black telephone pole wasmore worn, with a new jagged scratch across its back. The pavement was even more cracked, and thefence behind me had a new layer of graffiti. It was the same spot, though.I passed the Johnson's, where I first became aware of my attraction to Alice at Timothy's thirteenth birthday party. She wore a red and black swimsuit to the pool, and I remember dangling my feet in thecool water and trying to hide it. I'm sure she knew eventually, because since then things had beendifferent.There was the pecan tree were we'd load up on a day's worth of ammunition to throw at theneighborhood bullies. We were caught once, and they let her go with a laugh. She ran home crying,and I went home with more than a few bruises and a black eye. I looked at myself in the mirror athome, proud of the fact that I could play the hero. She insisted we stop attacking them after that, and Ilet the matter be.I turned on my own street, and thought of the countless bike rides and lazy afternoons we spent onthis street. There was the chain link fence where I caught my favorite t-shirt, a black AC/DC shirt,trying to escape a few vicious looking dogs. My back was scratched up, but I was much moreconcerned about the shirt. She was a much better climber than I was, and she made it up and over without a seconds hesitation. I guess that's what I liked so much about her. She made decisions soquickly and then forgot about them. I wish I had that freedom.Then there was my front porch, with the same dead plants my mother had promised to grow, andthen promptly forgot to water. Here she told me she just wanted to be friends. A romantic deathsentence. I told her I understood and watched her drive off into the night. She had several boyfriends
 
after that, each one of them jerks. She would always talk to me about them, and I'd pretend to beinterested. But the whole time it was torture. I always thought she might decide that I wasn't so badafter all.She was leaving now, for good. I opened the door with a squeak and sank onto the living roomcouch. It was silent, save for the constant ticking of the grandfather clock. As I lay there, I thought of all the seconds, minutes, hours, I had sat there, thinking about her. And she would be gone, just likethat. We had such a long time, but at that moment it felt like only yesterday that I saw her for the firsttime.The black cordless phone rang in the kitchen. After a few seconds I heard my mother answer it, andthen walk into the living room, smothering the receiver against her neck.“It's Alice. For you,” she said expectantly. I felt a sudden chill run through my body, and I stood totake the receiver. My hands were sweaty as a thousand thoughts raced through my mind. Perhaps shewas calling me to tell me she was going to miss me. Or that she had decided to stay. Or that she lovedme. Wild and crazy theories came alive in a matter of seconds as I approached the telephone with thesame uneasiness I always did.Then something inside of me stopped. I'd been here so many times before, and I couldn't bringmyself to have my hopes crushed again. Perhaps she really did have something nice to say to me,something that would give us closure, but I would never know. I didn't want to know. I just wanted theability to look back at this moment and imagine what the conversation would have been like.I said, “Tell her I'm not here.” I grabbed my jacket and went out of the house.
The End
 
The Gardener 
 “Eh... excuse me.” Officer Green finished the sentence he was writing in his favorite black-ink pen,and glanced up without much concern.“Yes?” he asked, a little annoyed. It was almost time for his shift to end. He had already beenthinking about the warmness and ease of his home, instead of the cold stress of his job.“I've come to confess to the murder of James Vaughn and Lisa Weatherwright,” the man said in theeven tone, a deep sadness in his eyes.* * * * *The orange sun blazed forth with a ferocity far surpassing its usual heat. Sweat ran in tiny streamsdown his forehead and arms, clearing away the dust that lay caked upon his body, but the gardener didn't seem to mind. His hands moved slowly, methodically, his eyes never wavering from his task.The rest of the neighborhood buzzed around him. Dogs barked, cars honked, men and woman left for work, children left for school, but the gardener remained in his garden, stoically pruning and planting. Now and again a stranger might stop and complement his garden, but the locals knew better than totry and converse with the gardener. It wasn't that he was mean, necessarily. Just... different.Mrs. Waternoose picked up her knitting and moved towards the one window in the house that east,so that she could do her work by sunlight, which was the only light by which she could see any more.She opened the window with a creak, disapproving it's dirty state, in order to get some fresh air into thestuffy house. The sounds of the early morning died down as the sun approached high noon, and it wasthen that she could hear the steady, soft
 plink 
of her neighbor's spade.Poor Jonas! She thought to herself. He hadn't been the same since the incident. He used to be sucha passionate, bright young man. Now he was obsessed with his gardening. Father Thomas said it wasthe one thread he could hold onto. There was no use talking to him about it. He gave that same blank stare back. Father Thomas said that conversation would come with time, once he accepted the incident.Father Thomas had talked to Jonas a few times. The Father was the only person Jonas would talk to.Jonas had never been a religious man before, but he had a clear respect for God and the local parish.Before the incident he had been such a nice young man, doing odd jobs for the parish free of charge.She sighed again and squinted. Her eyes were getting steadily worse. Soon, the doctor said, she wouldhave to give up knitting. She didn't like the doctor much. He was young and naïve, always giving out bad news and never offering solutions. She wished Mr. Waternoose was still alive. He would give thatyoung doctor a piece of his mind, telling her she had to give up knitting. But it was true, she knew that.I guess I'm like Jonas, she thought, too scared to give up the one thing I'm good at. Afraid I'll go crazyfrom the loneliness.There were some people that thought Jonas was crazy, or at least unbalanced. But those peoplekept quiet, recognizing the intense sorrow that he experienced, pitying him in his condition.The gardener himself paid little attention to the others. He knew they thought him strange. Hewasn't blind. The looks he got, those of mixed fear and sympathy, did not pass without him noticing.Sometimes he wondered why, but most days he didn't think about it. He knew he was sad... and angry.

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