500 Words Story: Time to Go Home

It took him a while…nearly 40 years, but he finally solved the problem with his sub-transit temporal confabulator. Or we can just call it a “time gate”, for you and me.

It all started as a game when he was a kid. He would build spaceships, gadgets and machines out of any sort of cardboard box he could find. He would use old wrapping paper tubes for swords and flatten boxes for his shield to slay the dragon dog that lived in the house. If it was a small box, like a shoe box, then the machine would be a model for his action figures…a miniature to experiment with and hopefully build it to scale at a later date…when his parents bought a new refrigerator perhaps.

Now he was a grown man and had been experimenting for years with these devices and he finally has figured out how to set up a time portal. A sub-transit temporal confabulator.

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500 Words Story: We Are MegaMan

Yeah…I used to be MegaMan. Once…a long time ago. Not just once, I mean, I was always MegaMan. I don’t ever really remember a time that I wasn’t MegaMan. Well, I wasn’t called MegaMan when I was a kid…and no, I wasn’t called MegaKid. I was just Jonathan. Not an ordinary kid, but just Jonathan at the time. And all through those years my Dad would always make sure I never forgot how special I was, about how I was to save the world. Every time I got angry or frustrated as a kid my Dad was right there to turn it into a “learning moment” about how extraordinary I was, and about how I needed to judge each situation differently from the rest of the kids. I wasn’t allowed to stand up to my bullies. I never got in fights when I was kid. This was because my Dad would always say “pick your battles, son”. He would always try and explain to me how I could easily win these little battles but ultimately lose the war. I never really understood what he was talking about, though.

Until now.

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500 Words Story: Too Many Roommates

They scared the be-jeebers out of me the first time I saw them. It was late at night as I was getting up to pee. Slowly stumbling down the hall to the bathroom, everything was dark with only enough light from the windows to allow me to make out the outlines of the doorways and corners, enough to help me from stubbing my toes. I saw the glimmer out of the corner of my eye and turned to see him standing there as a hollow see-through man. He was standing in the kitchen, slightly blurry and translucent but I was able to make out some sort of packages in his arms. He saw me and we both screamed. He dropped the packages and I jumped backed hitting the wall with my elbow. As I looked back up from my hurt elbow he was gone, the kitchen was dark, the hall was dark, and my elbow throbbed. For the rest of the night I lay in bed with my light on and my eyes open. The thing that stuck with me through this whole thing was the fact that I could hear him scream…and I heard the sound of his packages hitting the floor. I never knew you could “hear” a ghost.

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500 Words Story: Why I'm Not a Father

The screams of terror filled the night shocking him out of his bed. High pitched nightmare screams that could only come from a 6 year old child’s lungs. The word “Daddy” was screamed repeatedly as one long word “daddydaddydaddy” at decibels that almost had the neighbors dialing 911.

Amazed at his groggy agility he arrived at his child’s bed without stubbing a toe, and the comforting began.

“There, there, there,” he said over and again. The noise subsided to stifled breathing, gasps for air between crying exhales.

“There are monsters under the bed” cried the child, smearing snot and tears up and down her father’s t-shirt every time she moved or talked.

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500 Words Story: Retired at 24

This was the first of our 500 Word Contests. The story was supposed to be a survival story, told from the 1st person and the main character was supposed to be named “Bob”. I know, really specific on this, right? And it was only supposed to be around 500 words…well, I went a little over board. I learned my lesson when it came time to read.

Retired at 24
by Kirby Cobb

I was in a bar the other night, for reasons I’ll explain later, and I met a man who appeared to be older than dirt but told me that he was only 24 years old. I waited for the punchline, the snicker, the grin or any other clue to the joke, that never came.

Him looking old and then telling me he was only 24 was not what choked my beer. It was his opening line…he went on to rattle off a well rehearsed list. A list that included a forgotten number of banks he had robbed, the remembered lives of 47 people he had saved, the simple fact of killing 2 men, and walking around the globe…twice.

“…and, oh yeah, I’m really only 24 years old”, he said. But to me, he looked like he was pushing 80 years or more. And no matter how much I wanted to be astonished by his casual confession of crimes, I kept coming back to the “24 years old thing”.

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