Category: short stories


My sister changes her Facebook profile picture every few days sometimes every few hours. It annoys me for some reason I don’t really know why, but it does.

I’ve tried to hide it from my Facebook wall or whatever they call it. I’ve done everything short of unfriending her. Finally, I had, had enough and I asked her why she did it.

I don’t know if it was my tone or how I phrased the question. Nonetheless she was offended and now she doesn’t talk to me anymore. She doesn’t accept my calls, and now she has even unfriended me on Facebook. Now, I can’t see her profile pictures anymore, I miss them.

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Early evening had fallen and the few lights that burned behind closed shades had begun to glow warm and yellow.  Barely audible voices whispered on the howling December winds. This was Detroit. The ghetto.

Her beauty stripped away by years of corruption and abuse the great city now bucked under the weight of her own excesses, and like the pancaked made up face of an aging Hollywood Scarlett she was nothing more than a shadow of her former self.

The house was small a barely standing wood framed seated between a burnt out apartment building and an empty lot that had become the unofficial trash dump of the neighborhood.  The unfortunate few who remained glided about like ghost trapped in purgatory.

The back door banged open and Lizzy, a girl of fifteen stepped out of the darkness and onto the wooden back porch. She worn a tattered parka and a torn pink night dress which was covered in blood. She slowly made her way down the rickety back stairs and walked to the center of the lot behind the house.

Lizzy stared at the house her eyes wide and vacant. She absently dropped the dirty gym shoes she had been carrying to the ground and slipped her bare feet into them without looking down. In her other hand she held an ice pick. The black handle shiny and slick from blood.

The tale of her harsh life could be read in her limpid eyes.  Beauty for some girls was a fortunate gift, a blessing from god, a proverbial magic wand that held a mysterious power over men. Some girls wielded their wands as expertly as a ninja with a samurai sword slicing and dicing their way through life. This had not been the case for Lizzy, her beauty was no blessing.

She was small for her age with black curls that gently framed her narrow elfin face she was the perfect combination of innocence and libidinous, a Lolita.  Low hanging fruit there for the taking by the sharks that constantly swam back and forth in front of the tiny house, they could smell the blood in the water. Lizzy stood shivering like a wet puppy in the middle of the wind swept parcel listening …  a dog barking in the distance … sporadic traffic nearby, then nothing.

She cocked her head to the side and closed her eyes and tried to listen harder.  Imagines of Rico, a massive biker type on top of her breathing heavy slobbering and grunting until his white lighting exploded from within him.

Lizzy slowly opened her eyes and took a few timorous steps toward the house and stopped the unmistakable creaking of floor boards froze her like a deer caught in headlights.  A loud crash came from the house and the massive figure of Rico darken the doorway.

His eyes were almost glowing with fury. He staggered forward using the door frame as leverage. A half a dozen carmine stains dotted the front of his white tee shirt.

Lizzy began to back away shaking her head as if trying to wake herself from a nightmare. He slowly pointed at her like Frankenstein from an old fifties B movie.

“You bitch!” He lurched forward. “You fucking little Bitch!” Rico teetered forward and lost his balance and rolled down the stairs.

He landed at the bottom with a thud. Lizzy stepped back. No longer afraid she watched him like a cat might a doomed mouse.

“Get back over here. Where you going?”

“Nowhere.” She said calmly. He coughed and spite a globe of blood onto the ground.

“Help me Lizzy.” He gasped. “I’m not mad. I promise.”

“You promise? You’re not mad at me for what I did to you?” She asked sweetly as she moved toward him and knelt just out of his arms reach.

“I swear.” He suddenly lunged at her. “I’ll kill you. You tried to kill me!” Lizzy rolls to the side and plunges the ice pick into his heart. Rico gasps and crumples to the ground.

“I did kill you …” Lizzy stands. “And you deserved it.” She spite on his body and walked away.

The End

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youth-football 2

Playing football on a team was all I thought about as a kid. From the moment I woke up until I closed my eyes to sleep at night. I was nine years old when I was introduced to the game and I have loved it ever since. I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood. A melting pot of ethnicities, white, black, Yugoslavian, Albanians, you name it and they lived there. It wasn’t uncommon to catch the sweet smell of Potica (Yugoslavian Bread) coming from one of the small houses on Ferry Street as we passed on our way home from elementary school. There weren’t many officials’ parks in our neighborhood, but for us that was okay we would simply find an open lot and toss the ball around until dusk fell on the small universe that was our neighborhood.

One by one we would hear our mother’s voices ring out in the distance calling us home for dinner; bath, and then bed. I was small, and at the time not particularly fast, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I had the heart of a lion and my dream was to don the helmet of the Hamtramck Chancellors and that’s what I was going to do. Tryouts were held on Saturday at 9:00 am at Keyworth stadium. Keyworth was a towering concrete stadium with a tunnel and home team and away team showers, it was a big deal.

Most of our opponents played on grass lots, but the Chancellors played in a stadium. As we pulled into the parking lot I remember being struck by the massive number kids trying out. The energy was high, footballs were zipping back and forth, and young men from all over were buzzing about trying to make a good impression on the coaches. This was a cattle call, all the neighborhood super stars had gathered to fight for the forty-five slots on the rooster. My stomach tightened with nerves, and my mouth went dry and pasty and I remember wanting to turn around and run. My father, sensing my nervousness gave me a gentle pat on the shoulder and said,

“You don’t have to do this if you don’t want too. It’s up to you.”

“But dad,” I said as I looked at a host of boys tossing the ball around near our truck. “What about the forty dollars?”

“Don’t worry about the money. I just want you to do what makes you happy.”

I thought about it for a minute then got out of the truck. The chattering, and the smell of the freshly cut grass was overwhelming. I then walk across the parking lot and joined the long line of boys signing up. The tryouts took a few hours, but at the end of the day I received my helmet and jersey. I was overjoyed, I was a member of the Hamtramck Chancellors.

The End

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