Short fiction samples

Let’s show you around

Before me stood a goddess, her radiant beauty was more than I could take in. I was in a strange room, building, space? The edges were impossible to focus on then suddenly there was this siren just standing there. Her long hair cascaded down her back like melted golden candle wax and glinted in a light that seemed to come from within her and her white teeth flashed from that same light when she smiled. Cloudlike material was wrapped loosely around her body- nothing held it there and even though it looked like it was falling, it stayed as she glided towards me on bare feet. She stopped when she was nearly touching me, I inhaled sharply. I could taste her, it was deep, rich red wine. Suddenly the material surrounding her had colour, it was deep maroon. I could see the light that was within her burning beneath the surface of her eyes. She was haunting like a siren and her voice, “Welcome to your subconscious, Mr Anderson.

“My name is Holly and I’ll be your tour guide on this most unusual journey.” I took in her beauty with some difficulty but her voice. Her voice came from somewhere deep inside her and was playing a sweet melody on my eardrums. Somehow through all this I understood what she was saying as if it was inside me already. “Hopefully we will be able to find some answers as to why we are here. By we I mean you and I, Mr Anderson, and all the other members of the board that make up your psyche. Each one of us represents a different part of you and then there is the chairman. Well I think we’ll start with your suppressed childhood hurts.

“This is little Bobby, also known The Fat Kid. He is a sad, pathetic, shaky thing that never stands up for himself. I don’t think he can, hey Fat Boy! Look at him try to say something- kinda reminds you of a Chihuahua.” A cruel edge hit her voice but I didn’t want to feel anything against her, she was too beautiful. Looking down at this boy I felt something inside me try to cry out like he was. Was little Bobby that part inside me that always wants to back down? “Yes, Mr Anderson, little Bobby is that part of you.” Her voice was soft and lilting again and her eyes filled with sympathy for me as she looked up at my face. It was as if the harshness was never there, so I’ll pretend it wasn’t because I feel a certain attraction to this beauty. But why did she hear my thoughts, how, I didn’t speak? “No, Mr Anderson, you didn’t but we are where your thoughts are created.

“Next up we have the awkward age when Bob, as we liked to be called because it sounded older, started to notice girls. Remember Rebecca Johnson, that little red headed snot? She was the famous first love and she dumped us an hour after asking her out and she had said yes with a smile.” Now there was a little bit of hurt in her voice, why do these different memories create different emotions? Wouldn’t being fat have hurt her too? “Oh it did, Mr Anderson, but as I said Bobby was a suppressed memory so I don’t feel the hurt anymore. Anyway, we swore off girls for a while didn’t we?” Yes, I remember that, she really hurt me and I stopped letting anyone affect me emotionally. I became emotionally cold. “On the outside very much so, but on the inside it always hurt.” Holly was right.

“And to the right we have Robby, the teenager. He was smart, career driven, knew exactly where he was going and was very lonely on the inside. Michael was his best friend until he got sucked into the black hole of popularity when he won a stupid science competition with a really ‘cool’ idea. That fatal weekend, he never should have been at the party and the unpopular Michael wouldn’t have been there. He died and we blamed ourselves yet the popular brats didn’t care. They forgot he even existed a week later. High school ended alone for us but we moved on, on to university.” I felt my guts twist tightly, pain wracked through me and I saw Holly wince. I felt guilty about hurting her because I think I may love her and guilty about not stopping Michael, “He wouldn’t listen Mr Anderson and you hurt us all every time you blame us because it’s not true.” The flame behind her beautiful eyes flashed as her delicate features hardened. We all hurt and on my right Robby was crying.

“Moving along we come to Rob or Robby, the university student. On his way to being the best damn chartered accountant there ever was. And then there was Tammy. She came to us and we tried to run away at first but her persistence made us cave. We had friends, real friends, for the first time ever and it was the best years of our life.” I felt a smile stretch across my face at the memory, God Tammy was so wonderful. “It’s too bad she chose her career over us, but…” I would rather she did that if it made her completely happy than stay and not fulfil her goals. “Maybe someday she’ll come back, we’re still young, there’s still time. And it seems you’re now getting the hang of communicating with me, you can communicate with the others as well.” Robby looks so happy, his life was perfect. There’s nothing to say him.

“Now there’s someone that should be very clear in your memory. Meet Robert Anderson, chartered accountant. Successful in job but not doing so hot on the social side.” I stared at Robert’s face, it was mine, my face today. In that face I saw the person that loved Tammy and wanted to go after her, I had banished those thoughts from my mind five years ago. “No, Mr Anderson, not from your mind but from your conscious thought. The want to run after her still remains locked inside here.” She waved her arms around, indicating the surrounding area. Then she turned to me and pointed to my head, “In your subconscious.” Trying to come to grips with her leaving was the most painful thing in my life, more painful than Michael. I began to deal with that feeling of loss by becoming confident and more outgoing. “Now you’re over confident, people are turned away from you by your ego.” Another Robert was standing next to the first, but this Robert had a confident, easy-go-lucky attitude and ego oozed from every pore. Was this me to the outside world, did I look like I love myself this much to others? “Yes, Mr Anderson. We are disgusting to other people, we’re chauvinistic and egotistical.” Why? “Perhaps our next stop will shed some light on why we are so in love with ourself.”

Holly took hold of my arm and pulled me towards a desk with a big office chair behind it. The chair was facing away from us and everything else, all the other Robert Andersons, disappeared. Holly pushed me forward while she hung back. The chair started turning, a young lady sat there in a tight, fashionable business suit, her blond hair was pulled back from her face in a bun, but there was no mistaking her, she was Holly. I inhaled sharply, I could no longer smell or taste the red wine but it was Holly. “Yes, Mr Anderson, I’m the chairman. I run your mind, I keep all your emotions in check, I’m the reason for every thought that runs through our mind.” She had a sadistic smile blemishing her sweet features. I was almost in love with her because of the way she looked and if she was me then… “So tell me, Mr Anderson, do you know now why you’re so in love with yourself?”

I felt my body jerk and I was surrounded by black. Then somebody yelled, “He’s coming round!” I coughed and water came out, my eyes opened and saw people standing over me. I coughed more water out, I must’ve drowned. Some people claim to see death in a situation like this, I think I saw something scarier, much scarier.



The sun burnt the sky and water as if they were one, the horizon non-existent in the flames. A strong wind swept across the cliffs that gave way to the sea. Long hair, so dark that it looked black, danced around a face of tanned skin. The white gauze of her veil flew in stark contrast to the dark hair. Watery, dark brown eyes stared out at the burning sky, wishing she could feel it inside, feel anything inside. What was usually a gentle breeze now howled, rocking her to the core.

These cliffs held the only memories in her life worth remembering. This was the place that she found her steady rock on which to hold. He was tall and blond, a real American unlike her. He had been her anchor, a means by which to survive the raging river trying to sweep her downstream, back south to her homeland. A family torn by violence, an area riddled by the many diseases of a third-world and no hope for anything better. From all this, a silent night raven fled over a man-made border.

A chance meeting one morning, two people watching the waves continue tirelessly at their quest to erode the land. The light blue dress was buffeted in the breeze that forever blew across the cliff tops. She had shivered slightly, so he offered her his jacket. She had thanked him with a shy smile and a twinkle came into her large eyes. The twinkle mirrored in his blue eyes and they had known.

It was her wedding day. A simple white dress hugged her body and next to her stood her tall, blond rock in a suit, when he took his vows. Then he had lifted her long white veil, lent forward and kissed her. A dull ache had reminded her that she had just married off her home. Then she quickly forgot that and responded to the kiss with passion.

A month later their happiness had been interrupted. A war had come and gone and with it went her tall, blond rock. They had been married three days after meeting and had spent every day of the following month together. She knew no one that she could really call friend and had gone, alone, every day of his absence to the cliffs. The rocking breeze and repetitive sound of the waves never comforted her, rather they numbed her into a state of no feeling. More than once in her visits, she had nearly been overcome by the urge to let go, to see if she could fly to where he was.

One morning the letter had come. She did not leave the house that day. She had sat on the floor in the lounge, cradling her veil in her lap. The next morning she had stood before the mirror in that light blue dress, fixing her veil to her long hair. She had walked round the house, absently running her hands over every surface in each room. Then she had sat on her bed feeling nothing, not even the hunger and thirst from not having had anything for two days.

The wind howled, the sunset burned everything except her, and still she felt nothing. A light blue dress and a long white veil, watery eyes and long hair, no hope for anything better and a desire to soar. She sensed the raging ocean nearby. A tear caressed her cheek for a second before being licked away by the wind. The twinkle in the brown eyes and in the blue eyes was gone and she knew.

The veil fell to the hungry teeth below and all was consumed by the ceaseless waves.