Category: One-Shots and One-Offs

New Plague City Finally Fell Asleep

New Plague City Finally Fell Asleep

People always came to this city and expect to have the time of their lives—and they do. Everybody stares up at the neon and flashing lights as they walk up and down Broadway, through the dense crowds of tourists and residents, trying to find a show that isn’t already sold out for the next week. Well-known restaurants and eateries filled to the brim and waiting lines that wrapped around street corners, people stopping every few steps to take a photo of a street performer or musician playing requests, tourist bringing the flow to a halt of traffic because they don’t understand the basic rules of walking around in the city—these were all things that were common sights and a daily occurrence to anybody in the city.

Even with the sidewalks crowded with people, the streets themselves were often bumper to bumper with cars trying to get from one place to another. Whether it was a person’s personal car, a yellow cab that charged outrageous fees during rush hour, or even a ride-share with four other strangers in an attempt to save money, cars made up the concrete ocean of the city. A once loud but lively city was the greatest joy for anybody who walked along through the jungle of metal and glass skyscrapers.

And now… it went to sleep.

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Late-Night Rush Hour

Late-Night Rush Hour

Being stuck on the closing shift at work is never really an enjoyable thing. Having to start your day by coming into work during the busiest hour of the day and having to stay until it’s as quiet as a graveyard can be quite annoying, especially if you’ve been stuck on that shift for over two years. On top of that, being forced to deal with customers all while holding a fake smile on your face makes all the worse.

But once you finally finish up closing the store for the night—counting the drawers, printing out the daily sales reports, cashing out any tips left from deliveries—hearing that metal shutter slam down every night is an amazing thing to hear. Walking through the city all while letting the nigh breeze naturally cool you off is such a relaxing thing to have when walking to the trains to take you home.

This became my nightly routine. After dealing with a stressful day at work, that brief walk to the trains helped me unwind as I waited for the trains to take me home. Normal as usual. Continue reading Late-Night Rush Hour

Really, the Third Floor?

You would think that if a person only lived a flight or two from the lobby that they’d take the stairs, right? Taking the stairs from such low floors is usually much faster than waiting for the elevator. And in the event that the elevator is already full, you now have to wait for another one. At that point, you might as well just walk down the stairs.

But no. There are lazy people who don’t want to take the stairs. They’re rather wait over a minute for an elevator than just take ten seconds to go down some stairs. And it’s even worse when it’s people who don’t even belong in the building.

Seriously, who’s too lazy to take the stairs? Continue reading Really, the Third Floor?

Ol’ Saint Drunk

It’s that time of the year where people start wrapping gifts and spending time with loved ones and family. Massive dinners and large amounts of food will be consumed, feelings and emotions being shared with one another, and preparations for the upcoming new year will be made.

It’s also that time of the year where crowds of idiots go bar hopping from sun up until the black of night all dressed up as cheap dollar-store knockoffs of Santa. Half-empty cans of stale beer littered the floor, trails of vomit went lead from one bar to the next, and dozens of people would blackout from going upside-down on a keg.

Yep. It’s totally the winter holiday season when you see two women passed out on the curb when you’re headed to an early Christmas party.

I knew coming  out tonight was going to be a bad idea. I should really trust my gut a lot more.

Continue reading Ol’ Saint Drunk

Pre-Screening for Romance

Technology has made life so much easier and convenient in multiple ways. One such way is how we stay in communication with people all over the world. And, in some circumstances, helps us even find the right person for us somewhere around the world.

Friendships, lovers, marriages: these are easier to find now because of technology. Staying on contact has never been easier. Some would say that it’s almost too easy to find somebody right for you.

Unfortunately for Warren, things just haven’t been up his alley lately. Numerous attempts at trying to meet somebody have been shot down rather quickly, leaving behind nothing bus repeated disappointment and regret.

What about tonight’s latest trial?

Warren had seen this opening line too many times, each time coming from a different woman. At least, he had used to believe they were different women.

He patiently waited for a reply but one rarely came to his inbox. And if one did, it was only a repeat of the very first message that started the whole conversation.

Coming to a decision, Warren shrugged off his worries for the moment and rolled the dice, “I already know what to expect if it doesn’t work out.” Continue reading the short story

Dare

Dare is a simple game where a person is tasked to do something or else they lose. That task can range from the most basic and simple actions, to complex and dangerous stunts.

Licking a packet of salt, chugging a drink, screaming in pubic, all of these are common, simple tasks that anybody can perform for a dare.

Destruction of property, self mutilation, robbery and battery: things that true daredevils endure.

However, there are some things that even the most insane would consider for a dare.

After all, it’s just a game, right?

Miss Vogue

I’ve always liked being the center of attention. Whenever I walk into a room, I like it when all eyes are on me. Whether it’s because I’m wearing an outstandingly beautiful cocktail dress, arrived with a celebrity, or made a dramatic entrance, having everybody staring brings me joy.

However, nothing is more powerful and grand to me than taking an entire dance floor all to myself.

There could be one hundred people all enjoying themselves, letting themselves get lost in the beat, and they’ll all make way for my own space.

And the brave and the bold would approach me, trying to court me to dance.

I have yet to find one worthy of my time.

Cowgirl

Suzanne traveled all day, gunning down bandits and armed robbers who were sent to come after her. One by one they all fell to her hand, none of them able to even realize that they had absolutely no chance going against her.

After a long day, and dozens of bullets fired, she needed some time off to just unwind and relax. And it has been a few days since she had a nice, cold beer to sip on.

Finding the local saloon in the town she’s laying low in for the time being, Suzanne decided to head on out to have a drink or two.

However, she should have known that bullets are always flying around no matter where she went.

“Christ, today’s a bad day to be all dressed up. I really need to change it up more often.”

The stomach rumbled with a loud belch following behind it, “Look here, ‘hun.’ You know why I’m here.”

He grunted before answering, “Shoot-out. Barely escaped with my life. I take it you know who I was up against?”

“Perhaps. Why does that matter?”

Valencia

There was a loud banging on the front door of the manor. Even though the manor was a rather large estate, one didn’t have to knock with excessive force in the middle of the night in order to be heard.

I wiped my hands on my apron as I trotted down the marble steps to the first floor, curious as to who’s bothering us during the late evening.

Two men in armor barged through at the slightest sign of the door opening. I recognized the color scheme and weaponry around their hips.

It was the King’s patrol.

She then folded her arms and glanced at me, giving a quick nod, “Go get the paper, Yuria. I want to read what’s on it.”

“As you wish,” I humbly replied.

“We don’t have all night,” the guard announced. He eagerly shook his fist that held the scroll and urged Madame Valencia to come down to collect the paper.

House Invasion

Butch kept his army knife tight in hand, holding it in a reverse grip with the blade facing out. His stance was low with his knees bent, slowly making his way across the second floor hallway. The length of the hallway was visible under the low light, all the doors on both sides within his line of sight.

“Amilia,” Butch cautiously called out, stopping his approach. He stood still, waiting to see if one of the doors would open. “Amilia, it’s me. It’s okay to come out.”

None of the doors opened, not even the shake of a door handle happened. Butch calmed his breathing, listening for any kind of movement. In the silence the raging winds from outside the house blew from underneath one of the doors, making a faint whistling sound.

Easing up just a bit, Butch stood straight up. He took a few more steps down the hall, opening doors just to make sure the house was clear. Behind the bathroom door was nothing but the usual appliances and fixtures, including the same freshly washed towels in the hamper on the floor. Opposite the bathroom was the master bedroom, the room him and Amilia shared. The room was still a mess from the struggle earlier in the day. The bedsheets were hanging off from one corner of the bed, partially damp from the pool of blood it rested in. The door to the walk-in closet was hanging from its top hinge, splintered and broken in the center. Various trinkets and items were thrown all over, the evidence of a wild brawl. Butch took a long look in the room, just to make sure nothing changed.

When he walked up to the next door, which was the guest bedroom, he knocked on the door and called out again, “Amilia, the house is clear. You can come out.”

Once again, no response. Butch reached for the doorknob and turned, but the knob wouldn’t budge, locked into place. Feeling the tension in his hand brought a small smile to his face—he saw the locked door as a good sign. Knocking on the door, Butch gave a small message as he focused on the door, “Mimi is my little bunny rabbit.”

Immediately after, he could hear footsteps shuffling across the carpeting in the room. Bolts and hinges began unlocking, the door slowly opening once the last bolt was undone. With her head popping out from the small opening, Butch saw the warm, brown eyes of his wife meet his.

Amilia’s voice was still trembling with fright as she spoke, “Is the house clear?”

Butch gave a firm nod, “All clear.”

Wasting no time, Amilia threw the door open all the way and ran straight into Butch’s chest, grabbing onto him with the tightest hug she’s ever given.


Copyright © 2019 by Luka Tatsujo

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Escape

The High Kind and the Empire knew that I managed to escape the hold, but they weren’t sure about just how far I away I was. I saw a large patrol unit converging on the main gates, all armed with swords and shields, ready to attack on a moments notice.

I wasn’t in the right state to fight, let alone fight an entire army. My main priority was finding a way to escape the city without drawing attention. And do that, I’d have to disguise myself among the general civilian public. 

Tossed on top of a small bench was a worn, hooded cloak. It wasn’t much, but it was able to cover everything from my head to my mid-section. If I could just make it to out of the city with this on, I’ll be okay.

There were a couple times where civilians spat out slurs of anger, but I happily ignored them.

“Arcimia. We know you’re hiding in the crowd; you haven’t escaped the Empire.”

I learned about just how far the High King would go just to protect himself. And now, I was his main priority.

Under the Bed

I didn’t hear him come in; he was completely silent. The only reason why I even noticed that somebody walked into the room was the creaking of the broken floorboards—he stepped right on the one floorboard that needed to be replaced. When I heard the loud squeaking sound, I rolled out of bed and went under it, squeezing myself in as far as I could.

“Where the hell did that little brat go?” he grumbled with anger. His heavy boots crashed into the squeaking boards with every step, obviously making himself present in the room.

He walked over to the bed and stopped. The front of his boots were covered in a red spatter, a faint smell of iron coming off of them. Fear overwhelmed me, my vision starting to get blurry and my heartbeat pounding in my ear drums. The urge to scream out for help again was strong, but I bit down on my mouth as a precaution in case I unknowingly did it. Please don’t let him look under the bed.

The boots stood there for a moment, just a few inches away from me. The man grunted and the boots turned around, walking to the other side of the room. My sight was cut off from the bed, but all I could see was up to his waist now. In one of his back pockets there was a small, clover-shaped charm hanging out.

He has my car keys! How am I suppose to get out of here now?

He started for the closet, his boots stopping right in front of the door. Just from hearing the loud snaps, I could tell that the door was suddenly yanked from its hinges and fell right to the ground. “Where are ya, girl? I’m getting real tired of looking. Come out now, and maybe I’ll go easy on ya.”


Copyright © 2019 by Luka Tatsujo

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