Category Archives: Short Stories

Higher Cause

Bug bites, chapped lips and my ashy legs were all I could see at night. I could have probably played checkers on my legs with how cracked they were. I remember laying back down to relax and stare at the moon. I could feel its company as it lit up the sky in all its full glory while I settled for the night. I never knew the moon was quite so exquisite, with its various grey swatches and its fathomless craters. Sometimes I swear it bled for me every once in a while, a promise for me of better days to come.

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No, I knew I would never get used to living like that. My mind kept going back to my old life before Laandgraab Industries stole it from me. I was their scapegoat, their patsy. One hideously gullible guy that allowed the corporate goons to pull one massive scheme over on me. Creator, I was such an idiot.

The former years were filled with comfort and security. I had a handsome salary that would pay all of my bills and a little extra for all the hobbies I so enjoyed. Some of those hobbies included traveling, fine dining, the theater, golfing, fishing, cycling, and camping. The only traveling I got to do after the scandal was the occasional lift in someone’s work truck from one end of town to the other.

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See, I had to rotate my location so as not to get all the citizens up in arms about the homeless population and what not. Instead of lending a hand, they looked the other way and judged me. If they only knew I possessed a double Masters in Business and Communications. Not that it did me any good since the Landgraabs made it so no one would want me to work for them after the travesty.

It was the simple things that unnerved me the most. I couldn’t even afford to fish like a normal person anymore what with the fishing license fees and needing a permanent address to file it under. I remember my second day as a destitute. I wandered through a park and settled by a creek to contemplate my state of affairs. When I heard the most familiar and pleasant sound I’d heard since my trauma. A slick spin and pop of a reels handle as it unleashed the glistening line from its spool, a “tick tick tick tick”,  followed by a “woooosh” and finally a “kerploop” as the bait and hook hit the water…Then I too was mesmerized by the floating bobber.

I could have sworn I was back at the theater listening to a renowned orchestra play my favorite concerto, between the soothing sound of the breeze, the ballad of the birds, rustling of the trees, and the occasional yet eloquent dance of the float. The guy fishing was unfazed by my staring. He simply became one with nature and looked free from his weekday burdens.

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‘Free’ is a funny concept when you are a drifter. You aren’t bound to the same rules as when you are part of the working society, there are no bills to pay, no one to answer to, no one to rush home to…all very true. However, one isn’t necessarily unimpeded. There is no freedom in not owning anything tangible. There is no freedom in loneliness. There is no freedom when you are being burnt alive by the scorching sun. There is no freedom from the common cold when you have no medicine to tend to it. There is no freedom from the rain as it soaks you to the bone without shelter or a change of clothes. There is no freedom from the stench that claims you. There is no freedom when you’re being eaten alive by bugs at night.There is no freedom when your stomach squabbles with you due to hunger.

That reminds me of my first meal I received when I was sent to the streets…it was the same park I watched the guy fishing in. An earthly angel, named Annie, decided to grill some hot dogs and feed the community in the park that day.

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I didn’t think I could partake, but I was called over and handed a plate. That was probably the best day of my life in a while. My first bite of that wiener was as if I just cut into a tenderloin, so mouthwatering, so satisfying.  At least there was one night I didn’t feel my insides were indignant with me because of its neglect. That very day Annie educated me about the ‘Hot Meal’ program that fed the vagabonds in the area. Yet, low funding made it so they were only able to serve food twice a month. Better than nothing.

I found myself never missing one of ‘those’ days though. Hot meals were monumental when you lived on the streets. Sadly, half of us faint before the meals were even served on our trays. Others were too weak to carry the trays. All of us smelled like garbage day. The best parts of those meals were that they brought in special guests to perform for us or talk to us. Sometimes they even brought medical help to ‘band aide’ some of our problems. My favorite was the local performers that came by to play or sing for us. It lightened my spirit and made me forget my predicament if only for that occasion…

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Annie also worked the soup kitchen. She never treated us like anything less than people. Always found time to sit with us and chat. Our ‘aroma’ never bothered her. She was one of those special people that were not just punching the ‘volunteer’ card. She was sincere about the cause. Sometimes Annie would meet me in the park and bring me a sandwich then challenge me to a game of chess. She was serious about the game, it was adorable to see her furrow her brows, squint her eye and become strategic.

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I let her win every time, and I’d make a big deal about her winning too, it’s like my gift to her for all that she did for me and the community. If I had a grand-daughter like Annie I would be so proud. She asked me one day what I missed the most about my past, when I worked, before the Landgraabs betrayal. I chuckle at what I told her, but it was the truth. I said, “Annie, I miss being invisible when I walk into a public place. I miss going to the library and just picking out books and having a library card with an address linked to it that allowed me to borrow said books. Simple things like that.”

Would you believe two weeks later Annie showed up at the soup kitchen with some new clothes for me along with a temporary library and gym card!  She instructed me that I was to go shower and change clothes at the gym then have fun at the library. I hate to admit, I broke down in tears. It was a blessing that I gratefully took advantage of.

When I walked up the stairs of the regal looking library I felt invigorated, the concrete steps welcomed me, beckoned me to continue my journey. The cold bronze handle of the ancient looking door sent a shock to my fingertips acknowledging my presence. When I entered the establishment, I thought all eyes would be on me, but I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. The smell of books wrapped their arms around me, and gingerly pulled me forward. I was normal again. I wore the cheesiest grin. No one looked up at me, no one noticed my presence, not by smell nor by wardrobe, it was just another seeker of books, that’s all, and it pleased me so.

I planned to stay at the library and read as long as their doors were open. I wanted to go to the periodical section to see what ever happened after the debacle. As I headed towards my destination I ran into the Laandgraab’s wife and son. Their blonde crowns and stealthy frames were unmistakable. They never noticed me as their backs were turned to me.

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I felt a strong desire to make my presence known to them. Tell them what their family did to me, what I was living through because of them. Alas, I did not. What good would it have done? Would they even have cared?

After I calmed myself, I took residence in a station within the periodical section and strained my old eyes as I read all the current happenings. While I perused the archives I found out that the company I worked for was under investigation. I found out that even though they had a ‘fall guy’ the audit turned up even more compelling information against the Board and the President of Laandgraab industries. Turns out the Corporate and Criminal Fraud (CACF)  division agents were looking for me, to interview me as a witness against the financial schemes and charges brought against the company! Eureka! It was what I needed to clear my name and start anew. I didn’t stay as long as I wanted to given the fresh news I acquired. I ran to the soup kitchen to tell Annie and celebrate.

When I arrived Annie was still serving and had a doggie bag set aside for me. I told her what I found out and she said as soon as she cleaned up she would take me to the divisional offices. We were so overjoyed we took a picture to commemorate the occasion. The first day of my new life!

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The interview with the CACF was exhausting and labor intensive. I helped them locate files that they were unaware of and filled in some gaps during my tenure there. In turn, they filled me in on how the company were able to pin everything on me. I volunteered to be a witness in the court case against the firm and they promised to keep me safe in the meantime.

Today, I am living life anew. I am now an agent of the CACF taking down corrupt businesses like the Landgraabs. I donate to the soup kitchen monthly and now they are able to feed the homeless every day of the week. Many weekends I end up cooking and serving with the volunteer staff. We were even able to hire Annie as a full time employee for the charitable organization. More people in the community were stirred by my story and not only help fund the cause but volunteer to help run things smoothly.

I have always believed things happen for a reason. Had I not lived through that ordeal, I would not have been able to see the need in the community, would have never known of this opportunity to help. Everyone has their own story, some are more tragic than others but I do feel we all need an ‘earthly angel’ every now and again. A genuine human connection that’s links one to a higher cause.

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday

She knew she had to find it before she was late for her speaking engagement. Her speaker notes, the highlights and bullets on radical feminism. She was passionate about teaching the young women of tomorrow what it was like to be prosperous in a man’s world.

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She was an extremist for the woman’s rights movement, hard-core, devoted. She was a successful director at a logistics enterprise. She prided herself on working like a dog, acting like a man, and looking like a lady, isn’t that what her mother taught her all those years ago?

She would have never allowed herself to be tied down to a man. She never let a man so much as come close to being in a relationship with her.  Intimacy? Never. She was proud to be celibate. She wore it like a badge of honor. She thought all men to be evil scum that were only out to get one thing…and that one ‘thing’ she kept under lock and key. It was easy for her to portray men as ‘disgusting icky’ things when she was raised watching her mom become a punching bag for her ‘high profile’ father.

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It was easy to hate men when, had it not been for her mother, she would have lost her innocence to…yes, it was all too easy.

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Yet, all of her prejudice against men vanished upon meeting him. They disappeared like snow on a warm spring day. Her, profound feminist opinions began its shift one glorious summer afternoon when she was invited to speak to young aspiring business students about capable and wealthy women in business.

Armed with the smartest suit she owned, she was ready to motivate. She wanted to impress these young women, it was important for her to inspire them to become anything they wanted to be in life. Added bonus, her best friend was a science professor at the University and they were scheduled for lunch after her speech.

Her speaking engagement went well as all the young girls sat wide-eyed and encouraged. She felt like a self glorified rock star, preaching about not conforming to be simple house wives and other plethora of feminist views. After her last ‘fan’ bounced enthusiastically out of the auditorium she made her way to her friends’ lab.

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Her friend was nowhere to be found at that precise moment so she started to snoop around to see what interesting gadgets and do-hickeys she could play with whilst she waited. As she snooped she realized how thankful she was she got into business instead, because all the contraptions and hieroglyphics did not make her heart dance like managing projects and people did. As she continued to pry in the lab she tripped on a chord that was connected to the most intriguing mechanism.  Her interest was piqued so she sauntered towards the machine mesmerized, perplexed. When she got dangerously close she heard her friends voice yell “No, don’t get any closer, you’ll…”

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She never heard her friends’ last words at that moment in time. Time… ironic, as she was being swept into the very fabric of it. It wasn’t painful so much as an extreme and unexpected jolt that coursed through her. It was incredible if she were honest, as she tumbled through the wormhole unscathed. Well, almost.

When she finally landed on the other side she landed in a very unladylike manner in what looked like a barn and into a heap of horse manure.

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“Who goes there? Answer me!” Even with the undertones of anxiety he sounded kind and warm. He carried a shotgun with him as his dog ran up to her and licked her face.

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“D…don’t shoot please…I mean you no harm…I am just displaced…I think…” She said, almost in a murmur and in between the sweet mauling of his dog. She tried to keep it together but the dog was overwhelming her. Smelling her crotch, poking her bum with his cold nose, his helicopter of a tail kept whipping around her so fast, it was all she could do to gather her emotional bearings…So she started laughing uncontrollably. The laughter was so contagious he began chuckling with her. If the dog and barn animals could have, they would have all joined in, heartily!

After what seemed like hours of snorting, guffawing, and inappropriate affections from ‘Pervy’ the dog. He finally, looked at her with amiable eyes, and a thoughtful smile. He was the most beautiful man she had ever laid eyes on. Was she in Greece and this one of their gods?

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“Whatever are you doing at this hour in someone else’s barn, and in such…a state? Are you running away from someone, a brothel, a debt?” His accent was perfect. He was almost ripped from a period piece now that she thought about it.

“Run-a…Broth…no no, I am just lost.” She was known for thinking fast on her feet, it is why she climbed the ladder at work so quickly. She understood right away she wasn’t home, wasn’t even in her era. It was another time and place previous to hers. She could tell by his garb, accent and the old tools that hung in his barn. His concern for her lack of ‘acceptable clothing’ noted. “I was on my way home. I seemed to have lost my way. Would it be too much of an imposition if I rested in your barn tonight, I do promise to get out of your hair tomorrow. It’s just… I am tired…”

“Say no more, and no young lady will be staying in the barn, there is a room inside the house you can sleep in ifn’ you don’t mind ‘Pervy’ as you so curiously called him, sleeping with you. He seems to be keen on ya. I’ll stay in the barn tonight.”

“Thank you, ‘Pervy’ can sleep wherever he likes, I don’t mind.”

“I will um, get some water from the well and warm it up for your bath, you smell like a heifer M’am.” With that, they all rolled on the floor howling yet again, tears and all.

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One night, turned into six months of pure euphoria with him. She learned she was in the mid 1800’s and he was a young widower. His wife died while giving birth to their first son, a son that died soon thereafter. He was able to finally talk about it after almost a year of silence and depression. ‘Pervy’ became his companion after the passing of his wife,“…he came from nowhere” he said, “like a guardian angel.”

“A guardian angel that likes to smell lady bits!” She proclaimed and sent him in another fit of hysterics. He was now getting used to having those, with her around.

“I ain’t never met a lady that talked like you.”

“That’s because you have never met a lady yet.”

“Trust me, I am looking at one now.”

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She never told him her story, how she came from the future. However, she took advantage of her time with the sexy old-world farmer. She even taught him a thing or two on making deals with the trading post for his agricultural merchandise. He, in exchange, taught her how to fish, and gut the recent catch. Subsequently, cook their victims of the lake for sustenance. Yes, everything was done in a much harder way, but it was simpler at the same time. The juxtaposition of this lifestyle was unforeseen. Had someone told her she would enjoy it, she would have argued against it, especially, the part of catering to a man. Not that she was mind you. Catering that is…she was helping a new friend, a tenderhearted, competent, diligent, beautiful man, and he was helping her. She knew she filled his empty heart, and he broke her of her deep-rooted predispositions.

Her charming new friend, was by far her favorite person in the world. He had been a gentleman her entire stay. Never once did he pressure her to do anything outside of what she wanted or desired to do. She loved his gentle spirit. One radiant night, they confessed their intentions, they became vulnerable with one another and shared a most intimate kiss. The kiss sent a shock through her body, an irreversible and sudden surge…

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When she opened her eyes she was surrounded by present day doctors and nurses with a defibrillator at the ready.

“We almost lost you young lady. The electric shock of that contraption you touched was almost fatal. Thankfully, we brought you back.”

“Where is he!?”

“He? All we found with you were these speaker notes.”

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A month later her best friend invited her to the new art gallery. The theme was ‘Yesterday’.  The exhibit was remarkable. It brought back so many eminent memories. The ironies of having history become her present. Who would have thought anyone could fracture her tenacious notions?  Who would have known her heart would be forever trapped in the past?

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**Sims Courtesy of the following Incredible CAS creators**

Cowboy by Vanderetro

Business Woman by Official Girly Simmer

My Girl…

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I’m rushing home…It has been a while since I felt this way…I’m not going to lie, I should of brought my asthma pump I am booking it and can feel my chest getting tighter. Maybe it isn’t my asthma but my anxiety for wanting to be with her, stroke her…ahem. I, uh,  want to get home early so I can see her, talk to her, get her feedback. She is my biggest motivator and support in my life right now and I am so thankful I could scream.

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I carry this cheesy grin all day long at work, my co-workers know what’s up, they called it before I did, they knew I would be in deep, they weren’t wrong. I know they’re tired of my constant gushing. I just can’t stop waffling about her. It really is ridiculous, I have to admit, but I am crazy about her.

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Breaking up with my old girl was hard man, honestly you can’t just go from years of being in a relationship and it not mean something to you, I am not that cold. However, even she had to admit we were done. She wasn’t meeting my needs and I was just bored. At least I wasn’t that guy, you know the one that breaks up with someone over a text or email? I was a man about it and did it face to face. Yeah it was emotional, I mean she really knew me and my quirks and vice versa. I still have some documents and music I have to get from her, but for the most part we are completely finished. I hear she is living with someone older that understands her and appreciates who she is and where she is at in life. I am happy for her.

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Well, since I am still spouting off to you about my current girls most enchanting attributes, I cannot forget to highlight her brilliance. Seriously, I can ask her about anything or anyone, and she, in a split second will divulge all the facts, just incredible! Like for example, I asked her the other day what the longest word in the dictionary is, and she just spewed off the word ‘Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’!! Ha ha!! I am serious she is one smart cookie! She won’t ever hesitate to help me with schoolwork or help me with work projects. She is always keeping me straight too, she organizes my calendar and my appointments, and if I forget anything she will send me a text just to remind me. She’s also very modern, constantly updating herself to ensure she stays in shape for me. Yeah, I am quite the lucky guy!

OK, so no one is perfect and such, she can be a bit fickle and high maintenance and well…I have the tendency of never saying no to her wants and needs. Every once in a while at certain times of the month she won’t let me Explor’er… man our alone times are electrifying though. I mean, I work late nights sometimes and when I get home she is ALWAYS awake I don’t even have to turn her on to perform for me! OK, maybe I am exaggerating,  as I do have to turn her on, every once in a while….

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Creator, I wish this city allowed cars so I could get home to her faster. At the end of the day, that is all that matters to me, getting home to her. I never thought I would be such a sap, but alas here I am completely whipped.

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How’d we meet? That is an awesome question. We met at an electronics store on ‘Black Friday’ almost two months ago. I wasn’t looking for a relationship seeing as how I was already in one, but there she was looking all alone at one corner of the store. She looked stunning, just breathtaking. I was ‘besotted at first sight’ so I went into investigation mode. Had to know more about her, who she was, what she was about, I saw a sales clerk lurking and I was like “Dude, do you mind? I am in the middle of something here!” The sales clerk disappeared faster than junk food at a sporting event and she just let me gawk at her, we just ‘clicked’ you know? I was smitten, hooked, we have been together ever since.

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Hey, I have always been blind to superficial crap but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how sleek she is…she is FIIIIINE, I mean tight and tough just like I like them. My friends keep bugging me about her color. I get so livid, like it matters??!! Really?? What are we still living in an oppressed society where that’s really still a thing? Come on! I am like that Humberto character, I just care what’s on the inside…That and how big her monitors are…

Wait…did you think I was talking about my girlfriend? Nah, man she a’ight…LOL! I was talking about my new computer!! Check her out!!

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*Authors note: The sims utilized in this short story are from Vanderetro in TS4 Gallery, you can find his work here: Vanderetro