Okay, so here we have three brand-new short stories (and I do mean short – they're each around 150 words, give or take 5 words), all unrelated to each other, other than the fact that I wrote them all today. One's about irrational fears, one's about mischievous relatives, and one's about zombies. Go figure my imagination! Enjoy! – JH
I used to be afraid of my own shadow. Literally. My parents said that when I was a toddler I would faint at least twice a day upon merely glimpsing the dark, suspiciously me-like figure which relentlessly chased me down. My fear has abated somewhat over the years, but it's never truly gone away. Blame it on horror movies (which I love) or dark fiction (which I also love). Whatever the cause, I am – and will likely remain – a fraidy-cat at heart. Recently I discovered the secret to breaking free of this particular fear. Wherever I go, no matter what time of day it is, I will carry a giant flashlight. Sure, storing it will be difficult and people will stare, but I will be protected. My shadow can't harm me then, because I can make him disappear. I may still be afraid, but now I will be scared less.
I was walking along the beach, enjoying my favorite pastime of picking up seashells, when I passed a suspiciously noisy mound of sand. I thought what I heard must have been my imagination – because seriously, how can sand giggle? But my ears did not deceive me. It was then that I saw the straw poking up from inside the mound of sand. I peeked down the barrel of the straw, but it was too narrow to see anything. I must have jostled the straw though, because at that moment the giggling stopped and the gurgling began. Whatever – or whomever – was down there was no longer jovial. I dropped to my knees and began digging furiously at the mounded sand, frantic to unearth whatever living creature was trapped below and struggling to breathe. To my astonishment, I soon revealed the face of my grandmother. She gasped for air, then started giggling anew. Not again, Grandma!
I'm not your typical zombie. Sure, I'm undead. And yes, I do wander about aimlessly at a snail's pace terrifying the general populace. But one thing I don't have in common with my fellow zombies is my gastronomical preference. You see, I don't have a hankering for brains. I've tried them – I felt it was my clichéd duty as a member of the walking dead to do so – but I just can't stomach them for some reason. I think it's a texture thing. Personally, I'd much rather have a pan full of pizza than a plateful of brains. Call me crazy, but it's true. So if you see me shuffling down the street in your direction, and for whatever reason – like most humans – you don't have the presence of mind to run in the opposite direction – don't worry. I'm not after you. Just point me to the nearest Domino's and I'll be on my way.