short-story

stories, Writings

The Stained Man – a short story


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It’s a solemn morning for the man who is busy pouring his coffee down the drain.
He is mad, for all he can see is the stain, the stain on his white shirt which, in his mind, represents his life.
He mutters to himself as he watches the rain trickle down the window pane; “I’m nothing but a stain on a white shirt. A blob that no one likes, something that sticks out and can’t be left unnoticed. A freak in a heap of normalities, stiletto heals and formalities.”
He makes no attempt to wash it off, instead he unbuttons the shirt, letting his belly hang out over his suit-pants and tosses it on the floor. The phone rings and reveals the name of the person calling, “Samantha Miller”.
“Not today Samantha. Not today,” he whispers as he puts his phone into sleep-mode.
What Samantha, his boss of 15 years, doesn’t know is that Bob Litter has remained by his sink, overlooking the apartments in front of him, for 2 hours. Ever since he mindlessly stained himself with coffee he has been standing there, contemplating, letting his workshift start without him for the first time in, well, 15 years.

“Bob the Blob”
“Hey Bob, did you litter yourself?!”
“Bobby the Flobby!”
“Bob the Sob”
“Litter is Bitter!”
He acts it out, imitates the voices of the past and the now, all the disgraceful nicknames that have poured over him throughout his life, in school, at work, at camp. Samantha says they are uttered from his co-workers with love and sarcasm, that they would never have done it if there were an ounce of seriousness to them. He finds that hard to believe.
He is fat, he is bald and he has dark circles around his eyes, hanging like bags of the sickly skin which a nearly dead elderly person acquires.
“They are right. Somehow they’ve made me believe it. Turned me into it. Turned me into the stain I never knew I was. I will die anyway, might as well get on with it. When death seems more fun than life, it has to be the right choice, right?”
No one will answer him, for he has no confidants, he has no wife, no husband, no children, no friends, no living family, except from a cousin he’s never met, he is alone. In retrospect I can see how it happened, that he involuntarily chose loneliness, he let others get to him and beat him down inch by inch. He lost his fighting-spirit when his long-sought-after ex had a miscarriage and she left him. It was during the time when he still had hair, was less fat and had just landed his job as a banking official, when life was fun.

He picks up the white shirt with a coffee-stain on it and puts it on again.
“I should die as the stain I am,” he says a he laughs and sobs, laughs and sobs in a spectrum of indecisive emotions.
His index finger reaches around the trigger of the gun that has been lying in front of him since he went to get it just after the stain arose. He is disturbed by the flashing light from his phone, it reads “Samantha Miller”. He takes the gun and shoots the phone, two shots, glass flying, metal cracking, one shot, Bob is dead, blood flying, no one is crying.

It actually pains me, as death, to see this. What a lonesome soul, what a beautiful mind that so few got to get to know. What I know though that Bob didn’t know, is that Samantha Miller called him, not to bark at him for being late but for getting the door code to his housing estate.
For outside his whole team of banking officials awaited him to leave for work. How wonderful they looked in their suits, party-hats and colorful helium-balloons. Today was Bob’s 64th birthday. Wait, something is happening. The police has knocked down Bob’s door, Samantha Miller has called them in sheer concern for the man who has never been late for work.

The police finds the man on the floor in his kitchen, seemingly floating on a stain of blood.

– J

Writings

I Should Have Gone Yesterday


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My brother is sitting to my left and my sister to my right. We’re in the car on our way to Östersund and it is the Summer of 2015. Our father is driving and mom is in the passengers seat. It’s like the good old days during summer when we all went on family-trips together to our paternal grandpa and grandma. We always thought the 600K journey was worth it because we knew how much we would enjoy being there. We knew we would get to swim in the ice-cold water by their pier, listen to grandpa’s mesmerizing storytelling, eat grandmas food, sleep in the basement with timber beams over her heads, read Kalle Anka till’ we fell asleep and have grandma and grandpa kiss us goodnight. 
This time it’s different. The overall mood in the car is gloomy. It’s as if we are followed by a black cloud, hovering, only above our car. See, this time it’s time for us to kiss grandma goodnight. Forever. 
I’m sitting quietly hoping we will make it in time. When death is creeping up on someone it can strike faster than expected.
I don’t have to keep my hopes up for very long because after ten minutes on the road, my fathers’ phone rings.
He picks up and I hear it’s my uncle Mats, who is with grandma. Next thing I know my father stops the car, leans over the steering wheel and repeats loudly to himself “I should have gone yesterday, I should have gone yesterday, I should have gone yesterday”. Meanwhile he utters those words his body is shaking. 
 It’s not so much my grandmother’s death that evokes feelings in me the most, because she’s been sick for a long time, but it’s the tears that come streaming down from my father’s face. My brilliant, wise, happy father, now grief-struck to his bones.
As on a queue all family members hands reach for dad. I look to my right only to see silent tears run down my sisters face and I know she feels what I feel. So I hug her, to comfort each other in our father’s pain. 
We are all hit by the realization of that this is the end of an era. Grandpa will never tell us his stories again and grandma will never share her cooking with us. And so we sit in silence and remember what was and never will be again.

 

Writings

Teenage Misconception


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Her mama questions her

“What you need that for?”

“Your skin is perfect”

Another teenage-exploration mama thinks to herself.

Daughter, seemingly ashamed, takes the facial scrub into the bathroom

Dabs her face wet

Looks at her dry skin

Applies the scrub

And scrubs

Scrubs

And she scrubs

Skin falls down into the sink

Scrubs, harder

It doesn’t disappear

Scrubs

Blood splatter on white porcelain

Like a bleeding swan

Tears up

Scrubs

She panics

How can it not disappear?!

Scrubs ferociously 

Tears, blood, skin, chemicals blended into a devil’s stew

Scrubs

Scrubs 

Scrubs

Stops.

Looks at herself in the mirror

The realization hits her harder than anything she’s ever experienced

It won’t disappear

The fat is still there.

She whispers

“I’ll be fat forever”