The Collector

Seven-sentence short story.

She collected breath like dream catchers collected nightmares. Creeping into your house at night, crawling in through open windows, picking locks when doors were closed, she’d capture your breath in a jar. Sealing the jar against your mouth, she’d watch wide-eyed as your face scrunched, struggling against the glass pinned to your face.She’d been doing this for years and no longer feared waking anyone up; the jar always fogged up with your breath faster than you could be pulled from sleep. She’d snatch it away and hold it close to her chest, twisting the lid on tight to keep your exhale in and be off to the next house to gather more, and she always needed more.

She knew these breaths were the key to everlasting life and she was investing in her future.

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What we leave behind

abandoned

The abandoned market is a community of empty buildings: Paint-peeling, boarded up and decaying. Their cracked exteriors stand defiantly against the ravages of time.

The insides are gutted. Unstable floors hold onto what’s been left behind by the ghosts that passed through in earlier, happier years. They grip tight with tenacious hooks and refuse to let go.

Reverberating among the hollowed out shells of a petting zoo, photo booth and market stalls, are the echoes of children laughing and people haggling over the price of eggs. Their presence casts shadows, chilling those that visit this lonely space.

While some turn away from this place in fear, for others it is a haven. It is where the lost souls seek shelter and where the wild things gather.

Unearthing old work

Remember when I started this blog, I was going to post first drafts to share the raw words before they’re improved with edits? Well, here’s something I wrote years ago and left unedited and abandoned in a notebook. Get ready for some cheese:

Deep underground the roots move, twisting, writhing, alive and above the earth the moonlight casts shadows and the creatures crawl into the dark flitting from shadow to shadow.

The trees are silver, huge and shaped like great oaks, the branches are thick strong, and have metallic red leaves shaking on them in the wind.

They litter the black ground and get absorbed in the pitch black of the dirt. The moss that covers the bottom of the trees is a dull orange, muted against the vibrant silver of the tree bark. 

A pure white animal walks into the light of the moon in the forest. White fur covers its entire body, it stands on two legs and has long white hair atop its antlered head.

Black eyes peer out of a wizened face, and its snout opens to show perfectly white teeth.

He speaks to the tree. “What has you so restless?” he asks it. 

Waiting for its reply he grabs a seat on a mossy section of ground and gives the tree time to take the question in.

A considerable amount of time passed before the tree replied.

Noises that sounded like coughs came out of the cracks in the bark, and the tree creaked. 

~That’s it. Hahah! I had a few giggles typing that out. Keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post, where I make this suck a little less.

The original words.