Musings - A collection of random short stories with no point

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Bellhead
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Musings - A collection of random short stories with no point

#1 Post by Bellhead »

Yeah, I don't really know what I'm going to end up doing with this. But once in a while, I have an idea for a story, or even just a simple plotline, and I end up just walking in circles telling it to myself. So I'll post it here, just for kicks.

Also, I'm terrible with names and titles. Feel free to offer suggestions.

Also also, warning, kinda sad.

~

A deadpan worker finishes yet another long, monotonous day of miscellaneous tasks. Though long, the days themselves were not difficult, so he often devoted himself to the job, arriving early and staying later than anyone else, if for no other reason than sheer absolute boredom. He hummed to himself, as he walked through the darkening warehouse, eyeing the seemingly endless rows of boxes and crates. Having stayed late so consistently for so long, it had unofficially become his responsibility to perform the final security check of the night, and make sure each and every door was locked before he left.

Walking down one of the longer isles, he comes to a slow stop, and ceases his humming, focusing on his surroundings. Something's off. He turned, looked around, and seeing nothing, closed his eyes and listened. Deep within the silence of the warehouse, he heard something, made clearer by the deafening silence around him. He instinctively began walking in that direction, his footsteps almost silent on the smooth concrete. With his eyes adjusted, he needed no light, though some still shone in the furthest corners, painting a dull hue from the ceiling. The noise.. it was close. A few rows, maybe. He stopped again, and listened. Breathing. One person, breath catching. Sadness. Two isles, maybe three. Left.

He walked slowly now, keeping his feet quiet as he traced the noise to its origin; a boy sitting on an empty pallet, arms crossed on his knees, head buried. The worker made some effort to pronounce his footsteps, so as not to startle the youth in the darkness, but he looked up in fear anyway, frozen in place. He had clearly been crying, though he looked a little old for that. The worker, with his deadpan glare and flat voice, knelt down to him, and spoke.

"You know, we're closed. You're going to have to go home."

The boy's face turned even more pale, if that was possible, and he turned away. It was then that the worker noticed his clothing; it was the office department uniform.

"My nickname here is Oddball," he said. "Call me Odds. Got a name, kid?" The boy softened, almost imperceptibly, and slowly rose his head a mere fraction of an inch. He spoke flatly, clearly hiding the catch in his voice.

"Everyone upstairs calls me Rookie. Just call me Rook."

"You new here?"

"Few days. Going on a week. Best place I've ever worked." Odds paused in thought. It wasn't the job.

"Glad you like it. But I'm locking doors, so you'll need to go home. The cops get called if the motion sensors go off." Rook raised his head, and turned to face him, only to quickly look away, stiffening once again.

"I," he began, visibly shaking. "Don't.." Odds looked him over, waiting for his response. "Please.." A few more, and you'll have a whole thought. "Don't make me go b-back. I c-can't. Please."

Odds stared, his face expressionless. Moments stretched uncomfortably long as the two sat perfectly still in the silence of the warehouse. After far too long, Odds stood back up, turned slowly, and walked off into the darkness. Rook just sat alone, and buried his face once again. After several more moments alone with his thoughts, he heard the sound of a door closing, and noticed a glow from several rows away, moving towards him. Odds. He should just leave me.

Odds entered the row, holding an old electric camping lantern, and carrying something in his other arm. As he approached, Rook noticed that it was a milk crate, and he was using it to carry something, but looked away before he could see what it was. Odds set down the lantern in the middle of the isle, and set the milk crate up as a small chair. He pulled from it, two bottles of chocolate milk, damp with condensation, and took his seat beside Rook. Taking one in his hand, he plopped it on the ground, with just enough force to startle the boy. Looking up, he saw Odds, opening another, and saw where he'd placed the unopened bottle on the floor. He saw it, and turned away.

Odds looked at him, then at the bottle, and back. He picked up the bottle again, gently whacked Rook on the arm, and put it down again. Turning his resting deadpan stare into an angry one, he focused on Rook's hidden eyes, and met them. if only for a moment, then turned away, to slowly sip his own. Rook slowly reached for the bottle, keeping the corner of his eye out for any recognition from Odds, and proceeded to open it. It was cold. Comfortably so. Cracking the cap open, he raised it to his lips, and let the refreshing liquid fill his senses. His eyes closed instinctively, and he slowly downed the whole bottle without a breath. He turned, and saw Odds had done the same. They looked in each other's direction, just shy of making eye contact, and Odds began to stand. He turned to Rook, offering a hand, which he accepted completely devoid of thought. He mindlessly handed his empty bottle off, and stood, expressionless in the dark isle while Odds picked up the crate and lantern, leading him away.

But Rook stopped, just short of the end of the row of crates, and a moment later, so did Odds. He turned his head slightly to the right, as if to speak, but no words were heard. With his carrying, he freed a hand, and snapped his fingers, pointing to the ground beside him. Rook obeyed, his mind growing more blank by the minute. Odds led him, three steps ahead, through the darkened isles and rows of shelves, locking the doors, returning the lantern and crate, and discarding the bottles in a recycle bin. Leading him outside, Odds locked the door behind them, and the two wordlessly made their way to a rusted junk heap of a car. Odds snapped again, and pointed to the passenger side.

They rode in silence down the now deserted streets, until pulling into a driveway next to a small, dilapidated house. Odds got out, and leaned in to look at the frightened Rook, still buckled in.

"Come on," he said. "Out." Rook followed, and they walked into the dark building. Lighting a candle for some dim lighting, Odds led him to a small room with no door, and a dusty bed. Even in the dark, he could see Rook's pale face.

"You'll sleep here. There's pop-tarts on the counter in the kitchen, bathroom's the next door on left. I wake up at 4:45, I'll wake you at 5, if you're not already up. Miss me leaving, and you're walking." With that, Odds turned to walk off. Summoning every bit of courage he had, Rook called out to him.

"What's going on here?" he asked meekly. Odds stopped, and turned back, his deadpan face looking far more menacing under the glow of the candle, even more so when he cracked a slight smile.

"You've been having trouble at home. Bruises on your arms, you walk with a limp. Calm, obedient, but terrified and depressed." Rook moved to object, but Odds continued. "You show signs of malnutrition, and your sight in the dark tells me you don't get much time outside. You live here now. This is your room. We'll deal with the rest later. Sleep while you can, nothing'll happen to you here." Odds blew out the candle, and walked off down the hall. "Sleep well, Rook."

Rook returned to the room, feeling his way to the bed, and climbed in, removing his shoes and shirt along the way. A bed. With covers, and a pillow. My bed. He looked toward the doorway, his eyes having adjusted just enough to see the door propped against the wall next to it. Deadpan creepy weirdo. Closing his eyes, he quickly found comfort under the heavy covers, and smiled. Thank you.

~

There may or may not be several more of these shorts. We'll see what my mind comes up with.
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Re: Musings - A collection of random short stories with no point

#2 Post by Technic[Bot] »

Interesting, I really like you to the point, serious and a bit blunt style.

I would offer names but i am personally terrible at naming anything. I rarely write but when i do i go out of my way to not name anyone
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Re: Musings - A collection of random short stories with no point

#3 Post by Bellhead »

Heh, been there, done that. Hence Oddball and Rookie.

And thanks for the compliment. Personally, I've always liked how well-written deadpan characters interact with emotional and delicate situations; showing extreme care through actions, while still appearing to be rude, and almost belligerent, and often times, terrifying. It's been my interpretation that some people need a pretty heavy knock to get them out of their shell. If they've built it up thick enough, not much else will work, certainly not as quickly.
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Re: Musings - A collection of random short stories with no point

#4 Post by Warrl »

The first paragraph was a difficult read - a lot of description that told me nothing.

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Re: Musings - A collection of random short stories with no point

#5 Post by Bellhead »

Yeah, I never got good at beginning a story, so that tends to happen. Any suggestions for it?
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Re: Musings - A collection of random short stories with no point

#6 Post by Bellhead »

Here's another one. Something that I thought of back in high school, based off another idea I had in middle school. *cracks knuckles* Let's see if I can make this sound like a decent story...


Jennifer sat in a chair by the window of her bedroom, leaning on the sill. Time never stopped, and neither did they. But sooner or later, everyone's luck runs out. The question was always the same: Just how far can you push an already broken limit?

A gentle knock at the door shook her from her thoughts. She straightened her brown hair over her ear, and turned.

"Sweetie, are you ready? The taxi should be here any minute." Her mother's words were sad, but hopeful. Jennifer had told her she was going to college, and had the piles of forged paperwork to prove it. The packing was already done, and mailed off to an address that didn't exist.

"Yeah, mom," she replied, opening the door. Her mother was of slightly shorter stature, but bore the same hair, and similar warm brown eyes. Together, they walked downstairs. "I'll be focusing on my studies for a while, so I'll probably be out of contact for a while." She tried to hide her fears of everything that was going on... Of all the lies she had to tell. Betraying such trust was not something she ever wanted to have to do, but now, she had no choice. Having even the slightest clue would put her in danger.

"That's alright, sweetie," she replied. "I'll keep the phone handy. Just remember, no matter what happens, the door's always open." Her breath caught, and she fought back a tear. "Don't forget to remember me."

Jenny smiled, and hugged her mother as the taxi pulled up outside with a short toot of the horn.

"Love you."

"Love you, too."

"Have fun?"

"Hah. I'll do what I can." Jenny sighed as she stepped down the walkway, and added, "I'll miss you."

With the door closed, the cab began to move. Never before had watching her mother wave goodbye brought such dread. But now she was out of danger, whatever that was worth. She leaned up toward the driver, and gave him a new address.

"That's not the way to the station, ma'am," the driver replied.

"Just take me here. I'll pay extra, just don't ask questions." The driver glanced back, confused, but her cold glare shot his eyes back to the road.

Several minutes of driving later, they arrived at a small, single-story house with a small garage next to it. He let her out, accepting the rather generous tip she offered, and drove off. She shouldered her bag, took a deep breath, and knocked on the door.

"It's me. Lemme in." The door opened, revealing a slightly taller man, dressed in what could only be described as hiking gear, with everything but the large backpack that sat on the floor a few feet away. She hurried inside, not even looking him in the eye. Still, he smiled, chuckled to himself, and shut the door.

"It's time, isn't it?" he asked. She paused, and her posture sank. "I figured. Car's fueled and ready, plan's already made." She turned her head, but only made it a quarter turn before freezing again, fighting back her feelings once more. She took a breath to speak, but not before there was a loud pounding on the door.

"We don't need a whole squad for this," groaned a man in a dark suit.

"Doesn't matter. The higher-ups said we needed the whole squad for one little girl, so we're taking the whole squad for one little girl."

"Waste of people if you ask me." They both nodded, glancing back to the small group of men in suits behind them, slowly spreading around the house. Just then, the door opened, stopped by the security chain.

"Ah, the Order pays me a visit. To what to I owe the pleasure?"

"Sir, please move aside. We have reason to believe there is a fugitive in your house." The man sighed, shut the door, released the chain, and swung it open.

"I'm in a bit of a rush," he explained. "Just lock up when you leave, I'll be back in a few days." With that, he grabbed his pack, left the door wide open, walked toward the garage, and whistled. "Abby! Here girl!"

In a flash, a dark brown dog ran outside, nearly plowing into the two men on the doorstep before running to the man's side, tail wagging furiously. The men eyed them with suspicion, but neither of them looked back.

The detached garage held various small tools, a workbench with a vice, and a well-worn 1970 Dodge Challenger. He opened the passenger door, and the dog bounded in. Looking toward the men at the doorstep, and the few that had gathered to watch him leave, he waved, and drove off, leaving several of them confused. It was quite unusual to walk away from an Order inquiry, even if they didn't have any official power.

Having rounded a corner, he reached over, and petted the dog on the head. "Good girl. Want some scritches?" The dog froze and looked back over with an angry scowl, enough to make him turn back to the road with a chuckle.

"You're the worst," she replied. By the time he looked over, Jennifer was well on her way to being fully dressed, and clipped her seatbelt on. "I warned you not to do that."

He laughed again, but kept the smile this time. "You forgot the collar, Abby." Blushing slightly, she removed the heavy leather collar bearing the brass name tag, and tossed it into the back seat.

"No turning back now," she mumbled to herself. "Are you sure about this? You're giving everything up to live on the run with something like me." She was still unable to look him in the eye, but she knew he was smiling.

"You say that like I still had something left to lose." He adjusted the mirror, and his expression turned dark. "You're buckled, right?" he asked, his tone serious.

"Yeah, why?"

"You'd best hang on. We've got company." She turned, and saw the line of black cars heading towards them. "The Order must have sent them. I guess the grunts they sent after us 'needed to know'. This might get rough."

Jennifer tightened her seatbelt, and held the door grip tight. "Now or never," she mumbled, eyeing the cars quickly approaching. She gathered her courage, and looked directly at him. "Run like hell." His face cracked an evil smile, and his hand fell to the gearshift.

"Years of maintenance, modification, fabrication and tuning have led me to this moment," he said, with an unusual amount of conviction. "Now let's see what you can do!" His feet danced on the pedals, and his hand expertly threw the shifter. In an instant, both were thrown against the seats as a glorious roar filled the cabin, launching them toward the horizon.

Jennifer closed her eyes, and silently prayed. They did not have far to go before the Order was unable to follow, but what happened after that was not the problem. We'll make it. We have to. I won't become one of their damned experiments. She looked over at the gauges in hopes they would give her some semblance of hope they had a chance, and saw each one completely dead. Her glance did not go unnoticed by the now stoic driver.

"They must have already fired the pulse." He cracked a slight smile, and added, "That won't work on this. You can't fry the computer if there is no computer." A sudden shift sent Jennifer back into her seat; her adrenaline keeping her from fainting. We WILL make it. Or we'll die proud.

Many miles away, an old man slammed a closed fist onto a desk of surveillance photos. "How could you let this happen?!" he yelled. Two men in dark suits stood in front of him, bowing slightly. "I want that girl! Bring her to me!"

"Sir, we can't," replied one of them. "The team sent to retrieve them failed, and the EMP had no effect on the getaway car. If they make it to the hills--"

"I KNOW what will happen! Are you daft?! JUST STOP THEM!" he yelled, slamming his desk once again before falling into a coughing fit in his chair. The men rushed to his side, but he waved them away. "She's one of Them. We can't let her get away." They all paused for a moment, and the phone rang. The old man put it on speaker, and answered in a firm but somewhat calmer tone. "For your sake, you had better be calling with some good news." The line remained silent for several seconds. "Well?"

"They.. they got away, sir. They're in the hills now. We can't follow them." He hung up, and slumped back into his chair.

"Great," he groaned. "Just great."
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Re: Musings - A collection of random short stories with no point

#7 Post by Technic[Bot] »

Interesting to say the least.

Like the style Fast paced, action packed everything moving and no time to explain and a but rough around the edges. But i like it! You also picked my interest.

Occasionally hard to follow who is doing/saying what but i have same issue when writing dialogue.
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