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19 May 2010

"Beneath the Stairs" Short Story

"BENEATH THE STAIRS"
A SHORT STORY
BY
JJ PATTON


I’ve been here for weeks—waiting. My mother told me to wait beneath the stairs, so I did. I’m still here, huddled to myself and shivering. Though the cold air has long numbed my skin, my stupid body shivers and my bones rattle. I’m not even sure if it’s still cold or if it’s day or night. But I know that I’m terrified.

I’d gotten home from my date with Gregg past curfew, and I knew my step-father would have a real red face about it, so I snuck up the stairs carrying my sling backs in one hand and my pair of flowers in the other. My doorknob squeaked the way it always does, and the door jammed at the top. I skillfully lifted it and broke it free without any significant sound. I thought I’d just lay in my bed a while—above the covers, the way I lay with Gregg when we’re alone—then I’d spring for the kitchen to at least grab a snack bag of chips. For some reason, my stomach was really pinching, a kind of cramped ache.

My bedspread stuck to my back, static creating a bond between us. I hated the fabric, but the color had been gorgeous when I picked it out. My eyes closed, filled with thoughts of the vibrant blue bedspread, as my skin picked from the sticky silk. I was in the middle of cursing the god-forbidden shit when I heard the rattling downstairs.

"The Stolen Mansion" Short Story

"THE STOLEN MANSION"
A SHORT STORY
BY
JJ PATTON


Thick patches of fog settled across the darkened streets on the shores of a river running through London. Stunning quiet had befallen the sleeping city as the two o’clock hour rang from the clock tower. A single light in the distance burned with intense enthusiasm, fighting valiantly to stay alive in the blistering cold.

Protected by a thin sheet of glass, the candle flickered earnestly in a window of the largest house on the east side of the river. Every other house from the river to the horizon sat dark and quiet, alone. Tiny signs of life appeared amid the harsh winter silence as a shadow sauntered through the glowing window of the three-story mansion.

A woman’s hand took hold of the light, grabbing the tarnished silver base of the candlestick. Things from her childhood came into focus. A worn rag doll with blonde hair and brown eyes caught her attention. It was nestled on the side of a familiar music box.

12 May 2010

"Raleigh" Short Story

“RALEIGH”
A SHORT STORY
BY
JJ PATTON


Faded sunlight cut across Raleigh’s vision as she fluttered her eyes open. She felt a dull, dry feeling—her agonizing perception of the world around her—seep into her skin with the warm sunlight. Through her beautiful green eyes, the windows to her delicate soul, she saw no color. Born without the ability to see vibrant and vivacious flowers or insects, paintings or Technicolor movies, and even the different hues of her own skin and hair, Raleigh matured through the hardships of a life made entirely of one charcoal sketch after another.

The scenery changed many times from one hospital to the next. The hallways and corridors stretched farther and echoed louder with increasing screams and laments from patients much more insane and out of touch with reality. During the initiation into her current whitewashed prison, Raleigh let go of the memories of her very last friend.


The thought of Stephanie’s hair, soft gray and grown beyond the small of her back, tickled Raleigh’s lonesome nose as she sat in the leather chair at the front desk, just as calm and quiet as any given ‘sane’ person. She fought the engraved images in her mind and the familiar tingle along the contour of her face, trying ever-so-hard to nod her head at the right moments during the routine speech from the head nurse.