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We Should've Just Ordered Take Out

I don't even know why I was crying. All I remember was sitting at that dinner table, having a good time. I remember silently chuckling from some joke my father made; the same joke he cracked about once a week. I remember when our food came out, and my plate being placed in front of me. With every piece of beef I threw into my mouth, my teeth gnawed down on the meat. I remember feeling like my taste buds were synchronizing with my food; like my taste buds were jump roping with each piece of meat in perfect harmony. And I wasn't keeping count of how long it took, or how many bites I had taken, but it all came to me at once. I stood up from my seat and ran straight to the bathroom. I remember thinking that my parents thought I had gotten sick or really needed to take a piss. I kept my head down the whole walk to the bathroom. I remember locking the door and looking in the mirror. My face had gotten red. And I don't mean tomato red. I mean red like the tongues I used to color in when I was a kid, because I thought my tongue resembled the color of blood and balloons. I fell to the floor and heard the tears hitting every tile on the floor like they were playing a game of hopscotch. I remember feeling tears rolling down my cheeks and tasting salty water, but I don't remember feeling any certain way. I just remember thinking that I was really in the mood for some Mexican food and wondering why I had chosen Korean barbecue. I thought that maybe pointless questions would take away the numbness I was feeling (which writing it now, seems pretty ironic).

When we had gotten home, my parents asked me why I had been crying. I'm not really sure how they knew, but I figured they wondered what was taking me so long, and observed me as I took tiny, slow bites of the cake that had arrived after I came back to the table. I assumed that they had thought that I had trouble with a friend or maybe that my boyfriend had broken up with me. Honestly, I wish I had a reason why I was crying; a breakup or fight or even a fucking death. I wondered how many years I wasted with my desire to live, before I finally realized that I had been created to die.

Paranoia - A short story

On The Grey Flag

The old lady was staring at her. She knew it.

Four months ago, Julia had married the love of her life. Her husband, Mike had just been named head curator at the art museum where he was working in. She was three months pregnant with a boy they would call Joey and after Joey is born she would quit that stressful writing job of hers to be a full-time housewife. Nothing could go wrong in her perfect life.

The day it arrived, Julia and Mike were busy unpacking their luggage from their trip to Venice when the doorbell rang. Julia ran out to get the door and when she opened it and looked down, there it was.

The package was encased by a bubble wrap, with an additional layer of plastic over it. At first glance it was about two feet tall and one foot wide. Julia carried it into the living room and unwrapped it. The rectangular wooden frame in the package was old, but kept in good condition. Flakes of the golden paint that coated it were coming off but it was still a beautiful frame, with very fine carvings of flowers at its corners. But Julia didn’t notice that, her eyes were fixed on the painting in the frame.

It was a portrait of an old lady who looked almost in her eighties. She had a sharp chin and high cheekbones and her pale skin was weathered and covered in wrinkles. The old lady’s graying hair was tied up in a bun and over it she wore a white bonnet. She had a hooked nose, almost too big for her face, with a sharp tip like the beak of a hawk. Below that nose she had very thin and dry lips. The edges of her mouth slanted slightly upward, giving her a smile that looked more like a smirk to Julia.

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