walks_away

Becomes One Hundred Stories #27: Walks Away and Forgets

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Walks Away and Forgets

She said just do what comes natural.

So he walked away.

She said what was he doing. Then she said hey. Then she raised her voice and said what was he doing.

He continued to walk away. Then he was gone.

She said who ever heard of such a thing. She said it to no one. She said it to her door. Her mirror. Her sleeping place.

She said what had happened and why did she get all the freaks.

* * *

He forgot about her. But he didn’t forget a different her. Another her he had known long ago. A her who had walked away from him after a year. Walked away but had never really gone. Not as far as he was concerned.

He forgot whomever he had forgotten, and he remembered whomever he could remember. And each of the two groups changed over time.

But some he forgot forever.

He continued walking away, and he continued to forget her. But he would never forget her.

So he tried to find a different activity to occupy his mind that night. Preferably an activity that would not involve any hers.

He arrived at the river, (more…)

under_the_sea

Becomes One Hundred Stories #26: Goes Into the Sea

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Goes Into the Sea

The young man went into the sea.

The young man had been working near the sea, and one evening he finished his work and went to the sea to swim to the distant rocks as he often did after work.

The young man waded into the sea, but when the water was deep enough so he could swim, he continued wading instead. The water was up to his waist then his chest then his shoulders then his neck and head. The young man continued walking along the bottom of the sea.

The bottom of the sea soon turned from sand to mud. The young man walked through the mud and felt the mud squish between his toes. But the young man could not see very much on the bottom of the sea.

The bottom of the sea quickly fell away from the surface of the sea, and soon the young man was in the depths of the sea. But the sun could not reach the depths of the sea so the young man could not see very much as he walked on the bottom of the sea.

The young man walked in darkness through the mud on the bottom of the sea.

The young man walked in darkness through the mud on the bottom of the sea until the sun began to set. When the sun began to set, it began to light the bottom of the sea. The sun soon had dropped completely into the sea, and it filled the sea with light. It filled the sea with light even to the depths of the sea where the young man walked through the mud. Where the young man no longer walked in darkness through the mud in the depths of the sea.

The young man saw many things in the depths of the sea when the sun had filled the sea with light. (more…)

sun

Becomes One Hundred Stories #25: Sees a Blue Sun

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Sees a Blue Sun

The boy wondered why the sun was blue.

The boy asked the man with the hat why the sun was blue.

The man with the hat told the boy their sun had always been blue. Had always been blue at least since he had been a boy.

The boy asked the man with the hat what color it had been before it became blue when the man with the hat was a boy.

The man with the hat said he did not know. He said the sun had been blue for as long as he could remember.

The boy said hadn’t anyone else told the man with the hat what color the sun had been before the man with the hat was a boy.

The man with the hat said as far as anyone else had said, the sun had always been blue.

The boy said how could the sky also be blue if the sun was blue.

(more…)

fire

Becomes One Hundred Stories #24: Burns Forever

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Burns Forever

The man said he would not live forever.

The baker said no one lived forever.

The man said he would not do it. He said he had too many other things to do with his life.

The baker said she would not live forever either. She said she had been a baker long enough.

The man said he had his own work to do.

The baker added another piece of wood to the camp fire. Sparks scattered, and the wind blew smoke into the man’s eyes.

The man moved around the fire away from the smoke.

The baker said it would be cold in the night.

The man did not answer.

The night sky was filled with stars. The man looked at the stars and knew his time was running short.

The man told the baker his time was running short.

The baker said the man looked healthy to her.

The man said he was healthy. He said he was healthy, but even if he had forty, fifty, or sixty years remaining, his time was still running short.

The baker said her time was running short too.

The man said so it was.

The baker said that was why the man should become the baker for the town.

The man said he had too many other things to do with his life.

The baker said like what.

The man said it was too long a list to enumerate each one.

The baker said to name one.

The man named one.

The baker said that was not more important than feeding a town its bread.

The man said none of the things on his list were more important than feeding a town its bread.

The baker said then why wouldn’t the man do it.

The man said because the whole list was more important than feeding a town its bread even if each item on the list was not.

The baker said she had her own list.

The man said he did not doubt it.

The baker moved closer to the man. The wind and smoke blew into the man’s face once more, so the man moved again. He moved opposite the fire from the baker.

The baker looked at the stars in the night sky.

The man watched the baker look at the stars in the night sky.

The baker looked at the man and said what.

The man did not say anything.

The baker looked at the starry sky again.

The man said the baker could find any number of people in town who could do the baking.

The baker kept looking at the sky and said none of them would do it as well as the man could.

The man said that was irrelevant.

The baker said the man was the only one she knew in town who could consistently wake up early enough to make enough bread.

The man said anyone who wanted to be a baker could learn to consistently wake up early enough to make enough bread.

The baker said but the man already woke up early enough.

The man said he woke up early enough to do other important things for the town.

The baker said like what.

The man told her.

The baker was silent. She no longer looked at the stars. She looked at the hot coals in the heart of the fire. She looked at the heat dancing in yellow and orange waves.

The man watched the baker watch the hot coals in the heart of the fire.

The baker said she wanted to go away.

The man said so go away.

The baker said she could not leave the town without a baker.

The man said someone would do the job when the town got hungry enough.

The baker said it would be easier if the man just did it.

The man agreed it would be easier. He said it would be easier but he had other things to do, and besides, the easiest solution wasn’t always the right solution.

The baker crossed her arms over her knees and pressed her chin against a forearm. Her brow furrowed. She asked if the man would go with her.

The man said what about her husband.

The baker said what about him.

The man said nothing. The man put meat on the end of a stick and put it over the fire. He put it over the part of the fire where the coals burned hot with little flame.

The baker said she had had enough of baking and enough of her husband.

The man asked the baker if she expected him to watch over her husband too as she wanted him to take over the bakery.

The baker said no. She said she wanted the man to go with her.

The man said it would be easy for him to watch over her husband and take over the bakery so she could run away.

The baker said none of that would matter if the man would come with her.

The man said on the other hand running away might be the easiest thing. The easiest thing for both the baker and her husband and the town.

The baker said and the man.

The man said no. He said that would not be very easy for him.

The baker asked why.

The man told the baker why.

The baker said didn’t he want to—

The man said once would be enough.

The baker frowned and looked deep into the darkness outside the ring of light cast by the fire.

The man watched the baker as she looked deep into the darkness.

The baker said the man wanted others.

The man said he would not live forever.

The baker said she wouldn’t either.

The man said the baker had made her own choices.

The baker said she had chosen to be with the man that night.

The man said it was almost time for the baker to return to town to begin baking.

The baker said time was running short.

The man and the baker came together.

As the baker prepared to return to town to bake bread for the day, she told the man he had been right. She said once would be enough.

The man said once was always enough.

The baker said she had to go bake bread.

The man watched her go away into the darkness.

And the stars in the night sky and the coals in the heart of the fire burned like they would burn forever.

To read more stories in the series, see the Becomes One Hundred Stories page.

monet-still-life-with-apples-and-grapes-1880

Becomes One Hundred Stories #23: Buys One Piece of Fruit

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Buys One Piece of Fruit

The man said only one.

The fruit seller said he should take more than one.

The man said he only wanted one.

The fruit seller said no one ever wanted only one.

The man said he only wanted one.

The sun had almost set. The end of the day was near.

The fruit seller said he had three pieces of fruit remaining and he wanted to go home.

(more…)

heart-shaped-boulder

Becomes One Hundred Stories #22: Solves a Heavy Problem

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Solves a Heavy Problem

The young man looked at the rock.

The young man looked at the rock and wondered if he could push the rock. He wondered if he could push the rock over on its side.

The young man pushed on the rock. He pushed on the rock but it didn’t move. It didn’t roll over on its side, and it didn’t move at all.

The young man looked at the rock again.

The young man thought about the young woman. The young man thought about the young woman and he wondered if he loved her. He did not think he loved her, but he had never loved anyone before, so he did not know if what he felt for her was love. But he didn’t think so. He thought maybe what he felt for her was what other people called love when they felt for someone the way he felt for the young woman. But he didn’t think so.

The young man thought about his mother. And then he didn’t.

The young man saw a friend of the young woman walk toward the rock. The young man had not met the young woman’s friend, but he had seen her from a distance and the young woman had talked about her.

The young woman’s friend approached the rock and she approached the young man. She approached the young man and asked what he was doing. (more…)

two_women

Becomes One Hundred Stories #21: Doesn’t Like Being Alone

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Doesn’t Like Being Alone

The woman said she did not like being alone.

The woman sat while the other woman cooked the evening meal, and she told the other woman that she did not like to be alone.

The other woman did not say anything. She continued cooking the evening meal. The evening meal for her and her husband and perhaps the woman if she would stay for the evening meal.

The woman said her husband had been gone for a week on political party business and he would be gone for yet another week.

The other woman said stay away from her husband. She said the other man was off limits to the woman no matter how lonely she was.

The woman said the other man and her husband were brothers.

The other woman said family connections never stopped her husband from pursuing anyone who caught his eye.

The woman’s silence spoke the truth that the other man had indeed pursued the woman at some time. Her continuing silence spoke the truth about his success.

The other woman continued to cook in the true silence.

(more…)