Archive for January, 2014

Always Around

Posted in Sad with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2014 by stantonmccaffery



(Very Short Story)

Little Dorothy sat in the car next to Uncle Edward on the ride back to his home, where she would be living now that her parents were dead. She said nothing during their funeral, but now had something on her mind.

“Mother and Father will always be with me.”

Edward turned his head, a little surprised. “Yes,” he said, “that is right, Dorothy.” He looked back at the road.

Dorothy continued speaking while she looked down at the frills on her dress. “They will be in the air and the ground and the trees and in everything. That is what Mother said.”

Edward pulled the car into his driveway and looked back at Dorothy when he stopped the car. “Okay, time to go inside.”

Dorothy was shown to her new room. It had a large window that overlooked a park across the street. The park had a neatly trimmed lawn and many tall old trees. Dorothy stood at the sill and stared at the park all afternoon until she was called downstairs for suppertime.

Together, Edward and his niece ate meatloaf at the kitchen table. Dorothy missed her mother’s meatloaf. She missed the sound her father made when he ate it.

“Do you like your new room?” asked Edward.

Dorothy nodded her head. “Yes,” she answered, “I do, Uncle Edward.”

“That’s a good girl. Now, go wash up and get ready for bed.”

As the sun started to rise the next morning, Dorothy lay with her head on the pillow, her new pillow. It was soft and it was clean. But it didn’t smell like her pillow and it didn’t feel like her pillow. She missed her bed too. She wanted to be in her old room, living her old life. Her mother said they would always be with her, but she couldn’t see her around and couldn’t feel her in the air.

She sat up. Maybe she could feel her parents outside, with the trees and the fresh air. She put her feet on the ground and, in her night-gown, walked downstairs and outside. She walked across the street with the cold early morning air teasing goose bumps out of her skin. She walked to the biggest tree she could find.

Edward went to wake Dorothy for morning oatmeal and found her bed empty, but still warm. The door to the bathroom was open, so he peeked inside: she wasn’t there. He quickly checked all the other rooms. Then he looked out the front window and saw a small figure over in the park across the stree. He ran outside in his bathrobe and slippers.

“Dorothy! Honey, what are you doing?”

Dorothy turned around and looked at her uncle. “I want Mother and Father.” Her eyes were wet and pink with tears. Her bare feet were dirty.

Edward ran to her and picked her up. He put his hand on the top of her hair; it was damp from the morning fog.

“I know. I know.”

Edward stood holding her for a minute, rocking her gently back and forth, and thought about what she had said on their way home from the funeral. He looked up at the trees and wondered about his sister and her husband.


Daniel and the Rats

Posted in Horror Fiction with tags , , , on January 20, 2014 by stantonmccaffery

(Very Short Story)

Daniel had never seen so many rats before. Usually, he only saw one at a time, skulking along the subway tracks. Far away, standing on a platform, he never saw how greasy they were, how grotesque they were. He saw them differently now. Locked inside the small room with him with only a dim overhead light that hung still on a thin cord, he watched as they climbed over one another and through each other’s filth. Hundreds of them.

He was sitting on a concrete floor against a cracked wooden wall with his legs spread in front of him. He didn’t know how long he’d been there with the rats. He had no clue how he’d gotten there.

His pants were soiled and they smelled like piss, but he couldn’t tell if the piss was his or if it belonged to the rats. His lower calves burned hot like a match was rubbed against his skin. He lifted his jeans and saw bite marks, red and bloody, raw with pain.

He screamed. He tried to stand. He flung his arms against the wall. A chain was wrapped against his waist and bolted to the floor. He kicked his feet and screamed more, more than he thought he ever could.

The grimy wall across from him started to crack and swing open surprisingly. A man stood in the entryway, burly and familiar, but Daniel couldn’t place him exactly.

“You’re name reminds me of the Bible,” said the man, as he threw Daniel’s driver’s license down with the rats. Then he walked away and left the door ajar. Some of the rats scurried out, but most stayed put because they knew dinner was coming.

Daniel remembered when he saw him. It was at night on the road, on the way home after a late night at work. He cut the man off and, vividly at last, remembered the man pulling to the side of him crashing his truck into him, forcing Daniel off the road into a ditch.

The man returned holding an axe on his shoulder, gripping the bottom of the handle with both hands. “Difference is,” said the man, “God’s not gonna protect you.” He lifted the blade over his head and stepped through the piles of rats at his feet over towards Daniel. “Oh, and you’re not surrounded by lions. You’re surrounded by rats and they’re gonna eat the meat off your bones when you’re dead.” The he came down with the axe on the top of Daniel’s head.

Some People Don’t Understand Common Fucking Decency

Posted in Uncategorized on January 16, 2014 by stantonmccaffery

I liked this one, but I’m not sure if anyone else did. I’m pushing it again to see. It would be cool to hear some thoughts.


The Curious Writings of Stanton McCaffery

Short Story

“Can you sit somewhere else, please?” asked the man.

His arms were folded and he sat bunched up uncomfortably against the wall of the train.

“Why?” said the woman, who didn’t realize she had cream-cheese dangling from her mouth. “I…I don’t understand.”

“You see,” he said, tight-faced, looking straight ahead instead of at the woman, “You’re simply too fat. The sight of you is unsettling.”

She gasped in shock.

“Oh it’s not only that,” he said. He turned his head to face her and continued. “Your thighs, they are touching mine and I really don’t care for that. I don’t care for that at all.” He pursed his lips. “I need you to get up and find another seat.”

“The train’s crowded,” she said, as if this was a man who would listen to reason. “There are no other seats.”

“Stand then. It will do your fat ass…

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Ah, the Power of Prayer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 15, 2014 by stantonmccaffery

I wrote this little story on my train ride home.


Simon spent Thursday night praying to a God that he only occasionally believed in. Staring at the ceiling above his bed, he silently petitioned his deity to vanquish his enemies. He had a meeting with them in the morning and the thought of it lit his nerves with anxiety.

As he pulled out of his driveway on Friday morning, his hands shook on the steering wheel. He had to tighten his grip to make them stop. He arrived and stepped out of his car with his thoughts heavily occupied by the impending foreclosure of his home. When he looked up expecting to see his bank, he saw nothing but an empty lot. There was no rubble and there were no signs. It was like the bank had never been there at all.

He drove home and tried to call the banker that managed his account. An old lady answered and told him there had never been no fucking bank at this number. He half expected his house to vaporize around him, but it never did.

He spent Saturday in front of the TV in a daze while his wife took their children on errands. Sitting on the toilet in the afternoon, he broke out in tears. He wasn’t sure why. Was he relieved or was he scared?

On Sunday, Simon woke up early, put on his dress clothes that had been hanging untouched in his closet since he had been laid off and grabbed the car keys from the window-sill. His wife asked him where he was going and he told her he was going to church, to pray.