Stuck in the Past (Long Version)

This month’s long version winner is Stuck in the Past! This story had the most views of any story EVER in Precisely 25 history! Thank you so much for reading and sharing my stories. Don’t forget to keep liking your favorites to see them made into a long version.

As always, thanks for reading.

Loneliness was never something I understood. Being embraced by silence is the greatest comfort. It’s weightless. Time almost forgets you. Who could feel melancholy at such freedom?

People’s misery always had a way of clinging to me, like marshmallow s’mores that cement to your cheeks. So over the years, I excised myself from all but the necessary relationships. My physical therapy patients, my assistant, and grocery cashiers were all I spoke to.

The only thing I had that you could call a relationship were with my newspaper subscriptions. I had ten different journals delivered daily, and two extra editions on Sundays. Those papers forced me to remember life required participation. I couldn’t stay in my quiet shroud day after day. Every morning I woke up two hours earlier than I had to so I could read them all. Last week in the obituaries, I saw the boy who’d gotten me pregnant at seventeen.  Suicide. I wondered if guilt weighed on him all these years too.

I decided to go to his wake, the first social event I’d been to in years. I stood in the back listening to the priest, his mother, and a coworker. Then a young girl got up and started talking about her daddy. He’d been suffocated by loneliness, allowed himself to get drawn back into the despair of loving. After the funeral, I went home and cried myself to sleep for the first, and only, time. The next morning, I woke up and read my papers.

Cost of High Society (Long Version)

This month’s 250 is… Cost of High Society! I hope you enjoy the long version! Don’t forget to like your favorite 25s here, on Facebook, or on Twitter to see it transformed into a long version!

As always, thanks for reading.

The Events Chair finally chose Amy to host the committee holiday party. The other members presented exotic feasts, sometimes catered, sometimes home cooked. They used locally sourced meats to keep up with the organic trend. But she couldn’t afford real chicken, so she used canned. Everyone at the party complimented her pot stickers, and no one discovered she was a fraud.

They grew drunk on box wine that she’d poured into thrift store decanters. Amy told them all it was homemade by her uncles in Sonoma, and the guests were blown away, by the charm and deliciousness of handcrafted alcohol.

As the alcohol settled in, they put their feet up on the table she’d found on the curbside, and slouched on couches that came with the apartment. When Amy’s Aunt died, there was no one left, so she’d inherited the flat. The music swirled up from a record player, which had a certain nostalgia that could last at least one night.

The guests trickled out starting at midnight, the last to leave around three. Amy knew the others probably hired cleaners to sweep up the crumbs and wash the wine glasses with red sediment hardening to them.

But not Amy. She turned the lights off since she couldn’t afford the electricity, especially after a night with lights blaring and heat set at seventy degrees. Amy curled up on the floor by the oven, which had warmed the floor. She waited for the light to creep in, so she could clean.

The Truth Hurts (Long Version)

This month’s winner for the 250 word story is The Truth Hurts! Don’t forget to like your favorites to see your favorite 25 expanded into a longer story!

As always, thanks for reading.

The summer after fifth grade, Marlene caught her daddy spying on the little girl next door. When Marlene told her momma, Momma slapped her, yelling How dare you say that. Momma turned away and started crying, and Marlene sprinted out the door, up into the treehouse Daddy had made, and stayed there even after her stomach started grumbling.

When the sun was at its highest, the little girl next door ran into the yard in just her underwear to play in the sprinkler watering the lawn. A chill buzzed up Marlene’s arms and jolted her neck, for the first, but not the last time that summer.

Years later, Marlene stopped at Vella’s market to pick up the ground beef on special. As she was deciding between lean for meatballs or fatty for meatloaf, she saw that little girl, now somewhere around twenty years old.  The girl caught Marlene staring at her and walked over.

“Are you gonna just keep staring or say hello?” the girl asked. For some reason Marlene couldn’t remember the girl’s name and heat prickled her cheeks. The girl’s eyes were bloodshot and she was too skinny, her cheeks sunken and collar bone jutting.

“How are you?” Marlene asked.  The girl scoffed and looked at her feet.

“Well. I’m alive, so that’s something,” she said.

“What happened to you?” Marlene asked, despite her instinct to spew niceties and move on. The girl smiled and shook her head.

“I think you know what happened to me,” she answered.

Fulfilled by Hollow Recognition (Long Version)

Here is this month’s winner for long story! You can find the original 25 version here.  I apologize for posting this late. I was distracted by the cherry blossoms here in DC 🙂

Every day at his job, Dmytro stood by the machine, watching for one of the coffee pods to be knocked sideways, or to snag on the steel guarding. The engineers designing the machine skirted around him as if he were a prop. He was overwhelmed with ideas and solutions, but since he couldn’t speak English, he had nothing to offer. He’d fled Kiev less than a year ago, and had only managed to learn I look for jobs and Where is bathrooms. He’d always preferred numbers to languages.

He liked to eat lunch in the park four blocks away, where the cops would meet outside Wilborne’s Diner. Dmytro had never wanted to be a cop before, but he missed the presence he’d once had that the cops exuded. He watched people dodge around them, not because they were unnoticed, but because the immensity of their power created a halo of caution around them. People always acknowledged them, with a nod, or some brief greeting Dmytro couldn’t have deciphered, even if he’d been within earshot. Those officers never seemed to wait for a table, even on lunch hour, when the line was out the door.

After a particularly long day of mindless monitoring, Dmytro noticed the police were hosting an auction to raise money. They were selling an old Crown Victoria, for $3,000. Dmytro had $3,312. He bought the old black and white, stripped of lights and decals. He’d have no authority, but everyone would double take when he drove by.

250 Word Story from March – We Have a Tie!

Hey all!
I have tallied the numbers for the next long story. And this month we have a three way tie!

The stories with the most votes are Keeping the Loneliness at Bay, Ghosts Like to Linger, and Fulfilled by Hollow Recognition. So, this month’s long story will be a surprise! You’ll have to check back Sunday, April 12, to find out what the long story will be!

Don’t forget to keep liking your favorite stories.

As always, thanks for reading.