Root Problem

“See you in a bit!” Lena grinned at the message on her phone. Then she felt pangs of disappointment as a minor detail suddenly came to mind. “You don’t know my address?” she typed to the group. They’d been chatting for almost a year. She stumbled across the group and joined on a whim. She…

Early Opportunity

Victor groaned in disappointment the moment he woke up. He reached for his phone to turn off the alarm; but, he did not get out of bed. He brought the singing phone under the covers and slid the vibrating alarm clock icon upward. The music he chose for his alarm went silent; he sighed and…

Harry Situation

Harry sat alone in his dim living room. He had the curtains open to watch the sun set on another day. The sun had already sunk beneath the horizon and the purple sky was growing darker. It had become his ritual for ending the day. He still, thankfully, had access to electricity and water; the…

Island Tourism

Miller strolled through the sunny park with a smile on his face. Despite the weather always being bright and clear, Miller’s moods changed from day to day. Something was in the air that day and he decided he didn’t want to spend any of it in a jail cell. Not that he had any problems…

Island of Proof

“500 dollars!?” Lisa grabbed Lionel’s wrist as he reached into his jeans. “Bro, no way you’re dishing out 500 bucks so she can tell you the sky is blue.” She pointed at the menu board that only had one entry. “Small sacrifice: $500.” “I don’t even want to know what the higher tiers cost,” she…

Quest for Knowledge

“Damn, it’s bigger than I thought,” Jane said with a sigh. She surveyed the spacious library around them, then nodded at her five friends. “Split up,” she said, then pointed at a fair-skinned blond girl. “I’ll go ask and take Sharon with me to help her learn.” Her friends nodded and each wandered off in…

Deer Friend

Sharon panicked when the girl’s eyes met hers. She had been caught staring and now the teenager was headed right to her. Sharon was headed out of the mall when half a small deer distracted her. It was hard to see at first; it was surrounded by a group of teenagers. But she definitely saw…

Sharp Service

Danny sighed internally when he opened the door; he forgot to use the peep-hole again. He was concerned when he found a well-dressed woman on his doorstep with a large, burly man carrying a small white ice chest next to her. The cooler showed a red logo that resembled a pair of open scissors, he’d…

AlterNet Son

“Fine,” Nathan sighed with exasperation. This was not how his birthday was supposed to be celebrated. He sat in a cramped booth at a slightly-better-than fast food Italian restaurant. “I believe you now; everyone can read everyone else’s mind…. except me.” His parents spent the last 20 minutes doing parlor tricks with other guests in…

Little Monster

“Under the bed?” Mason repeated what his daughter said. The eight-year-old girl looked embarrassed but nodded. “Aren’t you getting a bit too old for this?” he asked her. “Yes, daddy,” she whispered quietly. Her soft voice was filled with shame. “This is the last time I’ll help. You’re a big girl now and next time…