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You can wake from any dream if you want to

You can wake from any dream if you want to. My son tells me how over breakfast. He has a technique to use when having a nightmare. You click with three fingers on the back of your neck, and the dream will instantly stop. He tells me it works without fail. I try it for myself, clicking as he describes. Click! Everything vanishes, and I am back in the house where I have no son.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet

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Somewhere there is a memorial bench with my name on it

somewhere there is a memorial bench with my name on it

Somewhere there is a memorial bench with my name on it. Has to be with a common name like mine. My research finds several, and so I pick the nearest, where I sit and pretend to be a ghost. I wait all day for people to come and ask, waiting to surprise them with my big reveal. But no-one asks, no-one comes to the stranger on the bench, who may as well be dead already.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet.

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Monsters in the Closet

monsters in the closet

We spend our days playing in the closet.

In our imagination it is a spaceship, a doorway to other worlds, a portal that can travel through time. In the darkness we act out our fantasies, constructing the characters of our narrative. We play with the treasures that surround us – costumes in boxes, paperwork on shelves, trinkets that remind us of our parents.

We play all day in the closet, waiting for the door to be unlocked once more.

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Birdsong

The music almost kills me today.

It is a childhood memory. The song that would play as my father hunted and brought local wildlife to the garage. It would play as I cried for my mother, begging her not to go to work. Terrified of spending time with this hulk of a man.

Today the song comes on the radio again. I can smell that garage. Hear those birds.

My subsequent tears almost cause an accident on the motorway. When I pull over onto the hard shoulder I sit for twenty minutes, thinking about my mother.

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Love-Locked

He reaches the bridge at midnight, the bolt cutters heavy in his hands. Five hundred padlocks are to be removed, an unpopular decision taken by the council. His instruction is to work in secret, throughout the night and paid at double time.

Many of the padlocks represent young love, a history of the town documented in metal. He instinctively finds his own padlock, now rusting and unfamiliar, a painful memento of a world less cynical.

Using a key from his pocket he snaps the padlock open, and holding it tightly to his chest he begins to climb over the railings.

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This story was originally published on The Drabble

The Stillness of Fields

“All the other kids call him the snake. At first behind his back, but now to his face.”

My story, “The Stillness of Fields” can be found over at Ellipsis Zine.

http://www.ellipsiszine.com/the-stillness-of-fields-by-paul-thompson/

Buying a suit for a funeral

buying a suit for a funeral2

Buying a suit for a funeral. Not sure whether to go traditional or for something more fashionable. Ideally I want to get some repeat use out of it. The sombre option feels poor value in comparison, but is the fashionable option seen as disrespectful? With my time left, I don’t want to limit my options. Maybe I worry too much. And besides, once I’m in the ground, none of my guests will see it anyway.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet.

Her Father’s Garden

her fathers garden

She will set fire to the garden, to bring her father back.

It is day sixteen of the heatwave. The lawn is a tinderbox ready to spark. Shrivelled flowerbeds are perfect kindling.

She will tempt him with the smell of scorched grass and dying flowers. He will come to repair the garden, so neglected after his leaving.

When it goes up in flame, it explodes outwards, catching specks on her skin.

Her father does come back, to visit her in hospital, soothing her burns with the promise of never leaving her again.