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Latest Stories

July 15, 2021
Crime Stories John Baldwin

Imperfect

The two main characters in our story could not be more different. Stanley Simon was a quiet, rather spindly, nerdy sort of fellow. He enjoyed a modest life with his wife and daughter. You would hardly expect that Stanley is a detective with the San Diego…
July 15, 2021
Science Fiction Stories Milkana N. Mingels

Rite Of Passage

“Are you excited for your birthday?” my mom asked cheerfully, but her half-crooked smile couldn’t hide her anxiety. “You know everything will be all right! You know that, right?” She had asked me this question again and again for the past few days, as if…
July 10, 2021
General Stories Tom Watling

A Drunken Uncle’s Bedtime Story

The children got into their beds on either side of the room. Uncle George pulled up a chair between them, a cigarette dangling from his lips, in spite of his sister’s request not to smoke in the house. Lando and Keira waited patiently, secretly enjoying the…
July 10, 2021
Crime Stories Chris Bedell

Liars

JEREMY Sitting in an interrogation room at the Violetwood Police Department was the last thing that should’ve happened during Jeremy’s senior year of high school. Jeremy should’ve reveled in how Brown accepted him. But Marcia Anniston happened. And Jeremy…
June 28, 2021
General Stories Andrew Hughes

Embracing The Night

Bill Schultz stepped out of the drizzling rain into the bar, Euphoria. It was a busy night. There were half a dozen people sitting at the bar and twice as many spread out at the picnic tables, mostly tourists but plenty of Guatemalan brown dispersed amongst…
June 28, 2021
Flash Fiction Marc Littman

Pixie Pickings

The winged pixie crawled out of the posy of tear-drenched Forget Me Nots and apple tree blossoms on Dan’s kitchen table and confronted the jilted lover. “What were you thinking, Dan?” Dan bolted to his feet. “What the hell?!” Adelina’s diaphanous wings…
June 24, 2021
Crime Stories N.T. Franklin

The Victim

Lindsey dragged herself up to her second-floor apartment after her overnight shift at the ER. The key slid comfortably into the well-worn lock of her door. She stepped inside and let out a sigh. “Home,” she said softly, almost to reassure herself. With a…
June 24, 2021
Horror Stories Austin Spradlin

An Old Friend Returns

Claire was in her bedroom undressing after an exhausting day at the office. She changed into a silk nightgown, looking at herself in the mirror, a tinged look of guilt on her face. Tonight, made the twenty-year anniversary of something horrible.She turned…
June 24, 2021
Fantasy Stories Polina Dolgova

Old Boots

Not so long ago I happened to come across my old sneakers. I was cleaning my room and putting all the trash I could find in a big carton box. At last, I decided to get rid of some old things in my closet, under my bed, on my windowsill, on my desk, and under…
June 14, 2021
General Stories Brian & Michael Turner

A Peculiar Way To Tell A Story

Maria Starflower straightened her jacket, smiled at the ocean of small faces peering apprehensively at her, and somewhat nervously proceeded to commence her first day as a teacher. "Okay, Polly." She pointed at a small girl who reciprocated with a cheerful…
June 14, 2021
Horror Stories Robb White

Stew Meat

Isidro Alvaro de Jesus Dominguez was fifteen but barely tall enough to peer through the hole in the wooden fence surrounding the soccer field. Several times a year, the strangers who descended on his village were rumored to be from Guadalajara, but no one…
June 14, 2021
Fantasy Stories Milkana N. Mingels

Mora's Inn

When I got a call from my friend Martin, who was serving overseas, I thought the worst. “What’s going on, dude? Is everything okay?” I asked anxiously. “Oh, yeah, yeah!” replied Martin. “Listen, I won’t be in Boston next week. I am still in Bulgaria, in the…

“So…I’m not really sure what to do here? I’ve never had a professional talk with you.”

“Why don’t you start with your name?”

“Uh, Kathryn…”

“Your full name.”

“Kathryn Marie Edslar.”

“And why are you here, Kathryn?”

“Because…I’m scared.”

“What are you scared of?”

“Life.”

“What about life scares you?”

“Everything…college…bills…being a real adult. Everything.”

“Okay. Let’s start with college. What are you majoring in?”

“Vet Science.”

“You want to be a Veterinarian?”

“Yeah.”

“Is there anything else you want to do?”

“Play basketball.”

“What position do you play?”

“I’m a two. The university’s coach said I’m good enough to make the team, but I gotta try out.”

“It sounds to me like you’ve got a good foot in already. Why are you scared?”

“I don’t know. I’m just scared. I want to go to college, it’s not that. I just…I’m scared that I’m going to fail. Everyone in the family has at least a Bachelor’s. I don’t want to be the first to flunk.”

“Anything else?”

“…I’m scared I won’t make the basketball team. I’m scared of having a psycho roommate…classes…moving away from home.”

“Are any of your friends going to the same school?”

“Just my boyfriend’s, but I watch a lot of T.V. I’m scared he’s going to find someone prettier than me and cheat on me, or something. I’m scared that nobody’s going to like me.”

“Keep going.”

“I’m scared something bad’s going to happen while I’m at school. And even if I make it through college, I know the economy sucks right now. What if I can’t find a job? I don’t know how to buy a house. What if I don’t have enough money for bills? What if something happens to my car? What is something happens to me!?”

She began to get emotional and stopped. Tears streamed down her face as she covered her mouth with her hand. I offered her a tissue from the box on the coffee table between us.

“Thank you,” she said.

“Take your time.”

“I’m fine.” She blew her nose. “I’m just scared.”

I nodded. “Scared of life.”

She sniffled. “Yeah.”

I sat back in the chair. “Do you want my personal opinion or my professional diagnosis?”

“I don’t know. Professional.”

I shook my head slightly. “You’re not crazy. You’re a high school senior. Would you like my personal opinion?”

She nodded, obviously relieved that she was not a mental case. “Yeah.”

“I think it’s good to feel these feelings. It means that you care about your life. I think that if you use these feelings to drive you, to make sure you do your very best on the court and in the classroom, you will be a better student and athlete. As far as your boyfriend goes, things will work themselves out, for better or worse. Who knows, you might even get married.”

“I hope so. I love him.”

“I know. Life after college is not something you need to worry about right now. Just take things one step at a time. You’ve already been accepted, just worry about getting there, getting to class on time, and trying out for the team. I’ve got a feeling that once you get there, you’ll learn that it’s not as terrible as you thought. They say it’s the best years of your life.”

That brought a smile to Kathryn’s face. “Okay.”

“Do you feel better?”

“Yes.”

Together, we rose from the comfortable couches in the middle of my office. She collected her flower backpack from the ground next to her seat and walked toward the closed door at the end of the hallway behind her chair. Before she reached the door, she turned and smiled at me.

“Thanks Mom.”

I smiled and winked. She opened the door, disappearing into the busy hallway of students walking to their next class. I sighed as I sat behind my desk, swelling with pride at the possibly life-changing mother-daughter heart-to-heart conversation. Being a high school counselor had its perks.

 

Author Bio: J. K. Miller II was born in Mountain View, CA and began writing at age ten. His debut novel, Reborn, is scheduled to be released March 1, 2012.

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