MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “short stories”

Capturing life


©Ted Strutz

Her first photo camera was a birthday present received as she entered puberty. It was accompanied by a card that read, “go explore the world out there and show us what you see”. It soon became an item she would never leave the house without.

Soon, that camera was replaced by one more expensive and specialised. It again came as a present and the prompt “so that you capture the beauty of life and never let it go”.

Years later, her photographs are worth millions. Yet she is content with a tripod, a friend and a sky full of stars.


Also part of Friday Fictioneers


Believing in a dream


©Sandra Crook

Close your eyes and hold on to my hand”. Her ballroom dress fluttering in the light evening breeze. She was prepared for a royal evening. That’s was what her prince had promised. They were middle-class working people; two youngsters who met thanks to a common hobby. Dancing was their passion and what brought them closer together.

She had told him many times of her desire to attend a royal ball, but she never believed it would happen so soon. He took her early, so she could enjoy the springtime in the gardens, together with a romantic walk across the lake.


Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A raging bull with a lamb’s heart entered the room like a raging bull, which was easy to do because he had the appearance of a bull. When he got angry though, he huffed and puffed and stomped his feet. You wouldn’t want to be anywhere near him. He was fearsome at sight.

But like many things, appearances deceive.

He had the ability to make a room messy in no time. To throw things around and even break a few objects as he passed. It was not his fault he was vast and space-consuming. Deep inside though he had the heart of a lamb. He was easily hurt, which was mostly caused because he trusted people too much. He mistakenly believed that others would do for him what he would do for them. He couldn’t understand that not everyone had the kind heart he had or even cared as much. When he felt broken or worse, enraged, he would turn into something not even he himself could recognise. And it took thrice as long for him to calm down afterwards.

He hated how messy he could become and how out-of-self. But he took a little pleasure in the fact that, according to various researches published at times, messy people are thought to be more intelligent than the average person. He believed it reflected the messiness of his brain – how so many things were clamped into such a small space. He acknowledged the literal bull character wasn’t good for anyone, but all he needed was some comforting words and the acknowledgement that he was not alone. Like every creature in this world, his heart too would soften when it received some tender, love and care. Maybe that too would somewhat organise his messy mind.


Also part of Daily Prompt: Messy

A shining star in a dim sky is a story an elderly monk used to tell his young novices:

“There was a star born one night in the darkness. Its light was dim and it could hardly be seen in the night sky. No-one really even knew it was there. It existed unnoticed. The star was upset and disappointed. It felt invisible. But as time passed it was growing in size. Disheartened as it was with life, its shine was still absent. A dim star is one that hardly exists. Other stars gathered beside it, bigger or smaller, they were certainly brighter. The star – that was no longer little – became even more upset. It was discouraged by the competition. One night it heard a little girl point to the sky and shout in amazement “look at all the bright lights!”. The star felt for the first time noticed. And for this,  it wanted to make its presence even more prominent. So it tried with all its heart to shine the brightest. And suddenly the entire sky lit up. The sky was hiding its glow within it; over the years it had gathered so much light but failed to find a way to transmit it. Or rather, a reason to do so. It’s difficult to be a shining star in a dim sky. But you should never allow the fear of glowing too brightly from dimming the shine you have within you. And knowing that you’re bright all alone. No need to be compared with anyone else.”

Also part of Daily Prompt: Dim

The wisdom of an organised life and Lisa were twins. But they could not be more different. Sophie was the person who liked to have things in order. To make a plan or a list and try to stick to each as much as possible. She set priorities, ambitions, targets, goals and was thrilled with always trying something new. She was the person who was bored at doing nothing. Lisa, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. If she could, she would sit doing nothing all day. Her motto was to go with the flow. She was completely disorganised, often forgetting things that needed to be done and leaving everything for the last minute.

The problem with the latter type of people is that they don’t have any stress. Actually, they are the ones who cause the former ones all sort of anxiety problems.

It usually works like this: when Sophie can’t organise her schedule because Lisa never knows what her programme is until the very last minute, it is Sophie who gets stressed, irritated, angered and who rushes to change things to accommodate the other’s recklessness.

But no matter how much Sophie complained and lectured over how organisation and planning is needed, Lisa never paid attention. She preferred to do it her way because it always worked out in the end. She never cared to acknowledge, however, that the reason things worked out was because Sophie made the necessary effort to make everything right.

It is a shame that it is the organised people who are the ones that keep the world spinning, yet the disorganised-laid-back ones are always getting all the credit.

“Science is organised knowledge. Wisdom is organised life” – Immanuel Kant

An uncanny excuse knew from the morning he sprang out of bed that it was going to be a difficult day. His alarm had not sounded and he had not been alerted that he had to get up or he was going to be late for work. His heart was pounding as he hastily tried to dress, shave and have breakfast all at the same time. By the time he got out of the door, he knew there was no way of reaching work on time.

His car had broken down the day before and the buses were on strike. A taxi was the only means available. But he was not alone in needing one urgently. He saw four pass by him before one finally stopped to take him in. Traffic was horrendous. But there was nothing he could do. His work was at least a 20-minute drive away and it was impossible to make it any sooner on foot.

Maximilian’s phone began to ring, just when he had sunk into the taxi seat, surrendering to his misfortune. One of his colleagues just alerted him that a meeting scheduled for noon had been moved up. It would happen in the next 30 minutes. Maximilian’s heart began to pound again. He could feel the blood draining from his veins and could feel a collapse was imminent. Then the messages and emails began to sound all at once. Work was already piling up and he was nowhere near the office.

There has to be something I can do”, he thought. “Some sort of loophole. Something that can get me out of this mess. If only something could happen to reverse it all, to somehow postpone everything until I arrived…” As he racked his brain to find a solution, he remembered a conversation with a computer-programmer friend of his. He had insisted that he could hack into a building’s system from anywhere and get access to anything from switching on and off the lights to even the company’s internal servers. Maximilian knew this was wrong but he had no choice. To him this was the answer. “Simon I’ll buy you a beer tonight if you can prove your argument right”, he found himself saying next.

Maximilian finally arrived at the office just before the meeting was about to start. But he found everyone in distress. He discretely asked what happen and one of his colleagues began a rant on how a black out had occurred for almost twenty minutes and panic had ensued out of fear all the data would be lost. Fortunately, now that power was restored, everything was back to normal, and it was good that he was there to start the meeting.

Great,” Maximilian responded. “Sorry I arrived late; the traffic out there is unforgiveable”.

Maybe it was just an excuse and Maximilian got lucky, but sometimes all we need to do is search for that loophole we don’t initially see at first to make things easier for us. Not everything has to be so despairingly difficult for us all the time.


Also part of Daily Prompt: Loophole

The light in the dark was born in the dark. Ever since he could remember he was alone in the darkness.

He was somehow found enclosed in a dark room alone. It was like a reality TV game. Where he needed to turn on the light to find his way out of there. No matter how much he felt his way around the walls, it all seemed to be a dead-end. There was no exit. He needed the light. To see where exactly he was and to find a way to escape.

He soon learnt that positive thoughts brought light into the room. Whenever he recalled to mind the little he remembered of his mother, her warm hugs and her tender caress, some light entered the room and it was not pitch black anymore. He thought of all the things he wanted to do once he got out: to leap into his mother’s arms, to find friends to play with, to maybe get a dog. All these thoughts made his heart a little lighter and the room much brighter.

But as soon as a negative thought crossed his mind; like the possibility that he may never get out, that he was for some reason left there alone; the room fell into darkness again.

It took many bright thoughts to bring a spark of light. But a single bad thought would bring back the dark.

Just as in life, one bad moment cancels out all the good. And it stays with you longer.

It is easier to frown than to laugh – it takes more muscles to form a smile. But think about all the benefits the latter has. It makes it worth it in the end.

Billy thought he had to keep on trying. The effort would pay off in the end. He vowed to allow only positive thoughts in his mind, no matter how hard it was. He had to light up the dark. To believe that life was going to get better.

The showdancer’s new dress that she had reached the top of her profession, the renowned showdancer was able to laugh at the reminder of her most embarrassing and agonising moment in her career. “It was during a royal Christmas ball,” she confessed. “I was astounded by the luxury of the ballroom, the immensity of the hall, the gold, the silver, every carefully placed ornament”. “I remember my jaw dropped open at the mere sight of it all”. “One of my co-dancers nudged me to say that she would organise the showdresses in a wardrobe ‘upstairs’. I didn’t know where that was but I entrusted her with the dress. I was gobsmacked with where we had come. But then the real show began. Because as soon as the light dimmed, the host announced that a ‘dance programme like no other worldwide’ would appear before the guests’ eyes. I was trembling with excitement. I suddenly flinched and realised I had very little time to get dressed. But where on earth had the girl placed the dresses?

With just a few minutes away from the show, I couldn’t for the life of me find neither my co-dancer, nor the dresses. Everyone else was getting ready, but no-one had seen the girl who had taken charge of my dress. I was the lead in this seasonal dance-story. There was no way I could not appear. And I needed that dress. I raced up and down the ballroom, in and out of the changing rooms, and as I saw that all the other dancers were almost ready, I panicked all the more. Suddenly, I found myself on another huge princely-like staircase with a red carpet neatly laid on every step. I sprinted up (or down, I can’t recall) and sprang into what appeared to be the world’s most elegant and spacious cloakroom. But I was not alone”.

In the middle, on top of a square pouf sat a man, slim-figured with grey hair and a corresponding goatee, with a measuring tape hanging from around his neck. A royal tailor, I wondered. I had most probably looked pale from agony and fear. He was the exact opposite: restrained and composed. He got up and calmly walked towards me. ‘Are we looking for something in particular?’ he asked with a voice that emanated tranquillity. A recount of what had happened raced out of my mouth as he watched me unfazed. He then turned around and headed towards a tall wooden cupboard, he opened one door-flap – I couldn’t see what was inside – and pulled out the most beautiful pink showdress I had ever seen. pink strass showdance dress.jpgIt seemed custom-made for the exact role I was to play that night. He helped me put it on and I was so excited and panicking at the same time that I was not embarrassed that a strange man was helping me dress. I ran out of the room and – I still don’t know how – managed to get on stage at exactly the right moment. What is more, I remembered every single step I needed and gave the best performance of my career. It was the one that sky-rocketed me to the top; the one that filled me with confidence and made me believe that I was destined for more”.

The funniest and even stranger thing that happened that night was that the girl and the costumes appeared as we were packing everything to leave after the performance. She asked me where I was hidden, as she was searching for me all night”.

Some things come into our life inexplicably, but always at the right moment. We simply have to be open enough and prepared to go with the flow of what life throws our way.


Also part of Daily Prompt: Confess


An irresistible odour soon as he opened the door, it filled his nostrils. That sweet, delicious smell of homemade cookies. Christmas cookies. It was an odour that could soothe even the most anxious and aggravated of souls. He didn’t require soothing. He rejoiced in that some things in his life were the way he wanted them to be; at least most of the time.

Baking, or cooking, they say is an art. But the secret ingredient to every meal, dish or sweet is something that is not written in any recipe. It is the feelings you put into whatever it is you’re making. This is what makes your food simply irresistible (there is a relevant movie about this!).

Just like everything in life, we create through the emotions that build up inside us. We often also bring our own destruction by holding too many things inside. But we need to keep finding ways to turn those intense feelings into something creative. Something that will be enjoyed by all and will ultimately make us feel better.

This is what he wanted when he insisted so much on baking the cookies. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, he stated, and this meant doing fun things with the people you love. It was not a time for bickering, but one for laughter and joy. Isn’t that the point of it all anyway? To feel loved and be happy?


Happy Holidays!


Light up, light up


©Sandra Crook

In daytime, it seemed like a simple street lamp with its metallic surroundings and a white exterior. It was nothing special. At least that was what the majority of passers-by thought.

But one little girl believed differently. She saw in that lamppost a fairy tale. The first time she saw it, she said it reminded her of her father’s bedtime stories.

When night came, the lamp turned on; but in different colours. And when the first snowflake fell, the lamp turned itself into a lit-up snowball encasing Santa’s house.

Magic was there. You just had to want to see it.


Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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