Microstories to Learn, Laugh & Love.
A Collection of Stories You Can Read in 20-Something Seconds or Less.
As part of our integrated campaign, we wrote 40 really short stories and had a book printed and bound.
Below find the best 15.
Praise for Microstories..
"The most wonderful piece of literature ever to bless the world with its existence." Hector's mom.
"Huh." Chad Rea, Teacher at UT Austin
"Duuude." Johnny C., Classmate.
"Holy shit dude, we wrote a book." Reid, A.D.
In his old New York apartment, whenever he was feeling nostalgic he would just look out the window and the grass of the nearby park would remind him of his front porch back home. Now, when he looked out the window, the tiny blue dot staring at him from afar did nothing to appease his sense of homesickness, and he was consumed by the vast, black emptiness around him.
Today was my last day at my job. It’s not that I got fired. It’s just that I work at a Blockbuster. And yeah, it closed today after a massive fire sale. It was the last one in my city, and probably one of the last few in the country. They’re going to tear it down and build a Starbucks instead. A friggin’ Starbucks. As if the world needed another ventiicedmochalattefrappucinowithwhipcreamontp.
I’m not even sad or angry that I just lost my job. I’m sad and angry that my kids won’t know what it was like to visit the store and browse the “new releases” section with their fingers crossed hoping there was at least one more copy left of the movie they wanted. Nah. They’re going to lose that experience to the Netflixes and iTunes of the world.
They’re never going to know that, for me, video on demand meant demanding your parents take you to the video rental store. But hey, you can’t miss what you never had. They’ll be part of the one-click purchase generation, oblivious to the fact that movies used to be recorded in a celluloid and to the meaning of VHS. Ah, screw it. Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I’m like the Blockbuster: a relic of a bygone era.
Sit. Wait. Stand. Move. Repeat. It was almost like a dance really, once you got in the rhythm of it. It wasn’t glamorous or important or anything; in fact, it was so anonymous it flirted with complete invisibility. Still, Nathan loved his job. He was a seat-filler at the Oscars. Whenever someone stood up to present an award, Nathan would replace him in his seat, so that to the millions of eyeballs watching, the Dolby theater looked full. He loved it. Being in a room where he knew everybody but nobody knew him. The anonymity in the visibility. The stark contrasts. Being nobody and yet sitting in the chair of someone admired by everybody. His 15 minutes of unacknowledged fame.
I laid still as the light snow fell on my back. Day was starting to break and a bright orange hue was creeping along the tree line as it slowly reached the brook just below my vantage point. Up fifteen feet or so, where I laid I could see almost anything that might walk out of those trees. I was perfectly still. My rifle balanced on a small rock allowing me to use the scope without sway. I had camped out for days trying to track the mysterious creature whose existence was only fueled by rumors and tales of "survivors". I didn't believe in aliens, ghosts, or the like so I set off, giddy and undeterred. But I was not prepared for what I saw in the scope that morning. While I was scouting the tree line my vision was impaired by the glint and shimmer of an unknown light. The reflection from another scope. Pointing right at me.
She woke to the sound of lightning and noticed him. At the foot of her bed, standing, drenched from head to toe, the man with the long sideburns, the scar on his cheek and the noose in his right hand.
I just lost my train. Of thought. I was sitting at the train station, thinking about all the presents I still needed to buy, when a train came through and interrupted my train of thought. Forgive me if I sound redundant, but I’m procrastinating. It’s been two years since I went home and I’m nervous. Why did I have to choose Christmas? Why not Easter? Or the summer solstice? Now I’m stuck figuring out what presents to buy. My dad’s always the hardest. He never likes anything, and when he does, the first thing he does is ask about the cos---wait. I got it! Why didn’t I think about this earlier? I could just get him a t--oh. Sorry. My train is here. Don’t want to miss it.
The last person alive on earth heard a knock at the door.
I could have chewed the starlight tonight. I could have taken it and used it as ink to write the most tangled verses. I saw the galaxies dancing tonight and I thought of how people want the stars to align for them, but tonight I didn’t understand how anyone would want to halt the imperfect movement of the sky. Tonight I was unable to understand the world. But for once, I understood the universe.
And then it was Monday. The weekend had gone by in hazy flashes of faces and neon lights. Just a blur, instantly forgotten, never regretted and eternally yearned over the next five days.
He was a machine. A product of the modern era, the new guy was more time-efficient than those Swiss watches and more speed-driven than those german cars. He got more things done by 10am than most people did all day. He made us look bad. Obsolete even. He took on every task assigned to him without complaint; the strong blends of early mornings and late nights, sweetening up the clients who came in, or even the boldest endeavors I used to tackle.
We would look at him and wonder: “how does he do it?”. People would interact with him on a level that would make you jealous, and even then he always seem to had time for everything. Then, one day he stopped showing up to work. We heard he’d been transferred to another floor, but some of my more envious colleagues ventured to say he’d had a breakdown and simply stopped functioning. I saw him a couple months ago on TV. After two years, he looked like he hadn’t aged a day. His stainless steel body was still immaculate, his water reservoir just perfect and no button out of place. It was the first time in a long time that me, a traditional brewer, felt jealous.
Staring at my grandma’s fridge always makes me feel sad. And happy. But most of all hopeful. Sad ‘cause she’s gone, happy because it reminds me of her cooking, and hopeful because it is filled with pictures of me and my cousins, from diapers to togas. It is a nostalgic collection of 20-something years of memories. But more than that, it is a reminder that we are instants. That our entire life can be summed up by a few crucial moments, where the decisions we made and the paths we chose reverberated like a ripple effect that can be traced back to now. And thinking of this makes me happy; it reminds me we don’t have to constantly be on guard, wondering if we’re doing enough with our lives. We just have to be take advantage of those crucial instants.
From the moment they were born they were destined to be together. Their mothers had given birth to them in the same floor of the same maternity ward of the same hospital at the exact same day at the exact same time. If they met during that occasion neither remembered. Then, when they were eight years old, his parents had moved into the same neighborhood as hers.
They shared a zip-code for two weeks before her dad was relocated to another city. College provided another opportunity; they both attended St. Barts, but despite taking some of the same classes, drinking at the same bars and living near each other, freak accidents would prevent them from meeting. They found themselves at the same hospital years later, after she crashed her car badly and he went to visit his sick mother. They bumped into each other at the elevator, but an old acquaintance of her stopped them from introducing. His sister’s funeral found them together in the same place again.
She accompanied her brother, a professional acquaintance of the deceased, but decided to stay back when her brother went to pay his respects. It wasn’t until 10 years after that when they met again. They were at the same hospital once more. He was having his kidney removed, she was recovering from a laser-eye surgery. For lack of space due to renovations, their beds were crammed together in the same recovery room. And it was there, between eye patches and morphine, that she spoke for the first time to him, her voice sweet as spring: “could I borrow your cellphone?”
It’s coming ever so near,
and bringing with it its long array
of hopes, doubts, expectations and fears.
And the more it draws closer
The more I’m drawn to be close to you,
And the more I begin to wonder
If I should listen to heart, brain, or other
So many ways, it’s hard for me not to stay still.
It’s hard for me not to ponder.
Feeling its presence now, I see
That despite the twists and turns that there shall be
I’ll be fine, so long you’re here with me.
I was young. Very young, possibly 3rd grade. We were looking at a simplified timeline of the history of the universe. The science teacher had brought a roll of toilet paper to the class and rolled it out so that it was spread out across the room. Then, with a pen, he started plotting out the history of the universe, and life on Earth as I knew it only accounted for like 1/123 of the roll of toilet paper. That was when it hit me that, in the grand scheme of things, we truly are insignificant. But rather than being depressed about this, it made me happy. Now, whenever I’ve had a bad day at the office, or something else is not totally OK with my life, I just look back to that day in elementary school. And I remember that everything is just 1/123 of a roll of toilet paper.
"Are you okay?" Alan was sitting on the floor, with a beer in his hand, looking much calmer than his agitated phone call had suggested. But still, after he woke me up at 2:30AM, I felt compelled to ask him.
“Do you see that sky-rise?” Alan asked, pointing to the tall, gray building visible through the glass wall of his office.
“Yeah, what about it?”
“That’s the reason I’m not OK.”
Before I had time to ask why, Alan continued his half-drunken monologue. “We’re on the 17th floor yes? Well, when we started this campaign, that sky-rise didn’t even exist. We’ve been working on a stupid diaper campaign for 18 months. And we’re still not done!”