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No Comfort in the End

Here's something I wrote while I was filming a City Council meeting. It was really just a delivery device for an idea I had... So, please to enjoy.
Her cell phone bleated an old tune for a TV show that let her know the person on the other end was her older brother. When they were little, he used to watch that show religiously and in all the years from then to now, it reminded her ever of him. The song started over once more by the time she picked it up, pressed the button, and put the receiver to her ear.

"Hello?" she said, immediately.

"Hey sis," her brother replied, warmly, "How's things?"

"Things are good," she began as she stood up and pulled her knit sweater sleeve up over her elbow with her free hand. "It's been quiet, generally. Jim's been gone for work a lot and the kids have been in school for a couple of months now, so it's mainly just been me and dad."

"Dad isn't making a lot of noise?" he …

Dallas is Where Hope Goes to Die

This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.




2/18/2014 THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JIM KNIGHT, KNIGHT REPORT ANCHOR: Welcome to the Knight Report for February 18th, 2014. Tonight, we'll be talking about the big vote today on Capitol Hill. Did the majority leader get the numbers from her own party to end a filibuster? Or has she lost control of not just the moderates, but her own party. But first, we have Dr. Jonathon Prothero. He cured cancer but he's still controversial. Some say he stole their research and the vaccine he's planning on giving away for free should be theirs to sell, right after this commercial break.

[Pfizer Pharma]

[McDonalds]

[Knight Report Promo]

[Viagra]

KNIGHT: And we're back. Welcome to the Knight Report. Our first guest tonight is…

A Pistol Full of Silver

This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.

Predictably, the moon was full and set high in the crisp autumn sky the night I found my family murdered, mutilated, torn to pieces. Something had crashed through the front picture window and began to tear them apart one by one. The gas lamps were out, snuffed by the drafty gale rushing in through the shattered window. I entered my home hurriedly, kicking the door open with my boot, illuminating the front room with my lantern. Shadows grew long and flickered in the lamp’s firelight. It was the remains of my wife I saw first. I was grateful that the light was so poor because the carnage was too great for me to bear, even in the dim light.

A low creak in the wood up the stairs snapped my attention in that direction. I felt a cold rush as the blood drained away from my skin, I must have…

Convention Sketches

This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.


These stories were also the inspiration for my book, Lost at the Con, which you can buy from my site signed, or acquire it on Kindle and Nook.

From the moment he stepped out onto the pavement in front of the transit station he was clearly lost. He tapped out the address to the hotel into his phone with one hand and guarded his luggage warily with the other, but to no avail. Confusion washed over his face like a cold sweat and it was apparent to everyone.

“Which hotel you lookin’ for?” A voice called out from the void.

“Huh?” He looked around, wondering where it came from.

“Which hotel you tryin’ to get to,” the voice asked again, revealing itself as a lanky black man in an oversized t-shirt.

“Ummm… The Mariott.” The nerd replied, unsure of himself, his voice breaking.

“You here for the C…

The Accidental Date

It was time to leave and I wasn’t sure what to do or say, or how to act. I’d spent all day with her almost by accident. Never before had I run into an acquaintance by happenstance and have it turn so quickly into an impromptu date.

I paid for the drinks and we sat down next to the front window of the coffee shop. The bright, hot sun of the early afternoon shone on the seat opposite her like a magnifying glass zeroing in on a picnic-invading ant. Despite the glare from the light, I got my first real look at her features and was delighted by her. Short, dark hair framed her face around a pair of black glasses that framed her deep, dark eyes. Every so often they would catch a reflection in the window and would glow warm and with a quiet ease. She grinned slyly and off to one side the entire time we spoke. The word to describe her, the one I’m looking for is “enchanting.”


To read the rest of this story, you can purchase it here for the Kindle in the collection "The Accidental D…

GUEST STORY: The Organism From Unreality

Jason is here again with another science fiction sort of story. I quite like it.

The universe is a device of uncertainty. Time passes strangely within its borders, as in places where matter doesn’t apply. The only thing in the universe that is faster than light is dark. We know this because the dark heralds the light. The universe expands at a pace that exceeds light speed; it is the pace of darkness.

Matter doesn’t come from nowhere, it comes from a place that isn’t. It could only go by the title of unreality. This is where the universe draws its material. The universe seeps into unreality, at a destination immeasurable using time or space.

An organism comprised not of atoms, but of anti-matter in a somewhere that has no life or death sits in waiting. Waiting to be absorbed and merged with a universe. Outside of the laws of the universe the organism moves at random through unreality, wherever it wishes to be, it is. Here is not farther than there, they both exist simultaneously in …

A Cold Summer Morning

So, I've been working on the new screenplay and haven't had much, if any, time for short stories. There was a longer one that I was working on for last month, but I never had time to work on it. So, this is what you get in the meantime. I hope to have the new one done before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, there's going to be some flash-fiction, more poetry and I think Jason has another short story percolating.

Enjoy it (and tell your friends to stop by for a visit)...

She awoke alone, his familiar form absent from the bed next to her. The smell of morning coffee wafted up the stairs and she took a deep breath, inhaling the aroma while she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. As soon as her eyes opened, she could see the light seeping in through the edges of the Venetian blinds was still the gray of early morning or an overcast day.

Drifting in and out of consciousness for the next ten minutes, Vicky finally pulled herself into the full realm of wakefulness and rolled out of …

GUEST STORY: The Sky of Fire

I'm going to be honest. I think this is the best story Jason has written to date.


They lit the sky on fire. The planet was dying. They released chemicals into the atmosphere that were supposed to turn the pollution into clean air. It didn’t work. The sky is made of lead. It rains bullets. You would’ve thought we’d have learned our lesson, but we are worse now then ever.

I am certainly the last man alive. I am the lucky one, or the unlucky one depending on your point of view. I was testing a space suit beneath the manmade ocean when they ran their experiment. I lost all communications, and when I emerged from the bowels of the rapidly evaporating Cerulean Ocean, I was crushed with twice the amount of pressure than from the bottom of the sea, the planets new atmosphere. The space suit works like we hoped it would.

I immediately take shelter from the metallic storm, in the space test center where this suit was designed. No one else is alive. Dead bodies fill the rooms like Arm…

GUEST STORY: True Lust

UPDATE: Since this is the story that gets by far and away the most traffic on the blog, I would like to direct you to where Jason and I are selling short stories for the Kindle like this one. For his click this link, for mine, click this one.
My little brother is back again with another short story. I'll have one up myself in the next week myself. Follow us and spread the word if you like this stuff.

(Also, I've posted a smattering of poetry since this went up, but put it behind this post. You can read it here and here.)

Hello, this is Jason. I would just like to say to anyone that is about to read this story that I appreciate anyone that does take the time to read it, and if you have any thoughts afterwards feel free to leave a comment. As I can only assume I will learn more with input.

Far from apologizing, I would also like to state that this is an experimental piece for me. Being the first story I have ever finished that wasn’t a comedy. I had fun writing it, and I hope…

Love and Loss

It must be spring or something, because all of this poetry is coming out of nowhere. Did someone put some type of hex on me? (Hell, I did these two just a couple of days ago, too...)

In any case, I hope this stuff doesn't suck. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not a poet.

1) Love:

When I'm not with you
the only thing I can feel
is a tightness in my chest,
a deep and gorgeous thirst
for your angelic presence.

The moment I can bask in it once more,
a grin creeps across my face
and I can feel angels
hoisting my heart to the heavens.

When we drink together,
you think me a lightweight,
but my secret is this:
you intoxicate me already.

2) Loss:

It was over.
You were gone.
And in my sorrow
I took to the hills,
to clear my head,
to wonder why,
to escape the city noise.
The songs of the birds
no longer sounded sweet,
but shattered,
bitter,
and hurt.
Breathing in,
fresh mountain air
filled the hole in my heart.
Breathing out,
left that hole twice as empty.
Though I found no answers,
and left …

Two Poems For Lovers in Spring

1:

I awoketobirds deep in song,
singing that sweet, 'twas your
beauty they must have gazed upon.
Soft as the lark, sweet as nightingale
They sang of your praises, fair and hale.
But my sadness grew deep
when I opened mine eyes,
for quickly I realized you not at my side
and I let out a deep dozen sighs.
"Take heart," 'Twas what I said to myself,
"you'll see her again, and soon to be sure"
Alas, but not soon enough...

2:

Though our situationisunique
It's filled my heart with bliss
However filled with newness my feelings
It's provided a lifetime's worth of joy
Sordid and scattered as our lives may be
Us, together means the world to me
And so I say,
Sweetly,
Softly,
Simply,
I love you.
And for that I wouldn't trade the world.

A Memory's Echo

I hadn't planned on another short story this month, but I couldn't sleep and a short story leapt out of me. It's shorter than I wanted it to be, but that's what you get when I'm doing this suddenly at two in the morning with no warning or planning.

One of the fondest memories I had of my grandfather before he passed away were the times we’d spend out in the front yard. I was about six or seven and he would sit in a foldout chair under the shade of the old, wooden garage door and watch me ride my bike up and down the sidewalk. I’d blaze by as fast as I could and he’d slap his hand to his forehead and make some kind of exclamation, usually, “Wow!”

We lived with my grandparents then and this was the closest thing I felt I’d had to bonding time with him. Sure, we’d watch cartoons and he’d watch us play and things like that, but for some reason, our time in the front yard with him watching me bike back and forth seemed incredibly special.

Soon, he would watc…

The Cruel Kids

I imagine it’s never an easy thing to hear that someone you knew a long time ago killed and raped a little girl. You think back and you wonder if there was anything you could have done to change what had happened. The most frightening thing about Jack Thompson is that I really feel like we could have.

We grew up in the same neighborhood, fifteen years ago. He was younger than the group I would hang out with, but his older brother was part of that group and he was always hanging around.

Back then, he wasn’t wanted at all, we never wanted him around at all. He would ride around the neighborhood, following us and whatever we were doing on a girls bike in bare feet that were constantly as dirty as his face. He was a weird kid and didn’t have many friends and naturally he would gravitate toward the crowd his older brother congregated with.

But we were all brand new teenagers, kids really, and kids can be cruel.

This story appears as part of the collection "The Cruel Kids: Four Sho…

GUEST STORY: The Beast

Here's another one from my little brother, Jason Young.

The city sleeps when terror casually strolls out of the misty hills. She’s not bad by nature, but few would argue the fact that she is a beast. Left over since long before the ice age, from a time when the Earth was a much harsher place, a distant epoch when evolution was still playing cruel jokes. She is the last of a dying breed, natural selection's failed champion. She leaves the place of her birth, the only place she has ever known, in search of a mate, in search of a future.
She doesn’t look back as she leaves the protection of the misty hills. She crosses over the borders of a small town at the base of the silent knoll, never looking back. As she passes by the houses on the outskirts of town it’s hard to keep from mentioning the fact that she’s as big as a house herself, with jaws that could easily snap bone,and paws as big as an adult human being. It’s a particularly quiet night, and at this late …

The Girl at the Party

I worked so hard to avoid your gaze,
afraid that if our eyes met
that there would be something there.
A glance, a look, a spark.
I was pulled aside to have a word,
trying my hardest to look at my shoes
but when you finished your question
and I looked up to answer…
It happened.
That glance, that look, that spark.
Your eyes the deep color of chestnut,
a bright and beautiful amber
that glimmered in the light.
I could see into them as we shared
that tender, unspoken moment.
My heart skipped a beat and
my breath was took.
Our eyes had locked
and my worst, best fears were realized.
I brought my eyes down to see
your delicate lips raised in a smile
that matched the smitten flutter in my heart
and the simple grin on my face.
I realized that we were inches apart,
our eyes locked once more,
and then we remembered ourselves.
Sometimes, I’d prefer to forget.

The Missed Opportunities of Days Gone By

“Hello?” I said into the phone, accepting the call from a number I didn’t recognize.

“Hey,” the feminine voice on the other replied, as though I should know the sound of her voice.

At a loss, I said, “Can I help you?”

“It’s Brooke.”

Her name stopped me. It couldn’t possibly be her. We hadn’t spoken in years, a decade perhaps. “Brooke?”

“Yeah, Brooke Baker. This is Mark, right?”

Jesus Christ. It was her. “Yeah, it is Mark. Brooke. Wow. How are you? It’s been a long time since… well… since anything.”

“I know.”

“So, how are you doing?”

“Okay, I suppose…” Her voice belied her words, though. Something was up. “I… It’s just been so long and I guess I wanted to hear your voice.”

“I don’t think I had a number for you. Ever. I offered a couple of times, but…”

“I was a brat back then.”

And that’s how a random phone call turned into a two-and-a-half hour catch-up session. We spoke of everything under the sun: people we still knew, how different we were, how the same we were, ho…

Once in a Dream

You've told me many times before
that we're nothing but "just-friends" anymore
But I dreamt of you last night,
and it was the sweetest thing I've ever seen.
We were running from someone,
arm in arm.
He was after you, your beauty, your virtue, your love,
but you couldn't surrender it,
not to him anyway.
And so there I was, just a friend.
But I loved you anyway and there we were.
He called out to you and we ducked under an outcropping,
thick in the fog.
We were pressed against each other,
keeping from his sight,
trying our hardest to stay quiet.
And I could feel your heart beating so close to mine
that your "just-friend" just had to do something about it.
Softly, on your lips I kissed you,
knowing full well that I shouldn't have.
But you kissed back and for five brief seconds
I was in bliss.
But it was all just an impossible dream.

I woke up and could still feel your lips on mine,
and it broke my heart when I realized
my dream might never come true.

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

In honor Kurt Vonnegut's memory on this, the second anniversary of his untimely death, I wanted to share with you guys a letter I wrote to Vonnegut but regret never sending.

Dated February 18, 2006, it was written just over a year prior to his death. I typed it up on an old Corona typewriter.

I've also submitted this and accompanying column to the Huffington Post. Here's the link to that article. (For other Huffington Post columns of mine, click here.)

Also, It'll only be another day or two for me to be posting a new short story. It's being a little bit more troublesome than I'd like.

Mr. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.,

My name is Bryan Young and this is the second letter I've written you, but only the first I've sent. I read the first letter I wrote to you and crumpled it up and threw it in the trash. What it had to say was this: I'm 25, I've read almost your complete library every year since I was 15 and respect, admire, and cherish you and what you have…

GUEST STORY: The Note

My little brother, Jason, has once again provided some material for the ol' Short Story Corner. This is a short film he wrote, though he doesn't think he wants to film.

I don't know why not, I thought it was pretty funny.

Expect a short from me next week. And I'll have something special for the anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut's death (the 11th, I believe) so watch out for that.

Enjoy:

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

A man and woman are lying in bed, they are in pajamas facing each other having a conversation.
Vicky, 20 something typical broad, good looking, she likes having things her way.

Kevin, 20 something, a husk filled with quirks. He looks as if he might deserve the broad lying next to him.

KEVIN
Was it good for you?

VICKY
Can’t you tell?

KEVIN
I don’t know, you could always
be faking for my sake.

VICKY
I wouldn’t do that, I would just tell you
if there was a problem.

Kevin leans over and gives her a kiss on the cheek.

KEVIN
You don’t mind if I stay the night do you?

VICKY
No, but I have to w…

A Simpler Time

The only thing I'm going to say about this next piece is that kids should play outside more, like I did when I was a kid.

We spent two weeks gathering supplies to build our raft. After our parents would go to sleep, we would sneak into the garbage and withdraw empty milk-jugs and two-liter soda bottles and store them in our secret stash behind a bright blue tarp, our makeshift fort, strung up between fence poles into a sort of lean-to in the backyard. When a stiff wind would come in from the valley, it would blow up and down in the air and make thick, thunderous sounds that scared the neighbor’s children in the middle of the night, but we didn’t care, we were teenagers now.

Once we’d collected an entire garbage bag full of plastic bottles and jugs, we set out to the dollar store with our saved up pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to purchase six-dollars worth of duct tape and various odds and ends, lengths of rope and the like. Then we raced back home on our bicycles and go…

Always and Never

Here's some more verse. Damn Anna for somehow provoking this flood of poetry.

I'll have a short story proper in the next few days and I think we'll see another guest story from Jason before the end of the month, so visit back often.

I cried myself to sleep.
Tears of joy, tears of sorrow.
Bitter, yet sweet and wonderful.
Being with her, close to her, brings joy;
away and apart the bitter.

Conflicting emotion is overwhelming,
floating on air, elated,
but also weighted down with reality.
It's wonderful and maddening all at once.

The most beautiful thing in the world:
to have your heart lift inside your chest,
even if it's breaking all at the same time.

I love it and hate it. I love her,
and she'll be mine...

...always...
...and never...

A Valentines Poem

This isn't very long or anything, but it struck me suddenly while at the cinema, waiting in line to buy tickets.

I apologize again, as I'm not actually a poet.


When once the wonders of my heart
unlocks its forlorn mind to thee,
Perchance a star-cross'd love may start
and the need inside my soul
--------------may finally come to me...

The Girl With Green Eyes

I watched my pen etch crooked black letters across the page of my moleskin, making notes about dreams I had and stories I wanted to write. Often when I jot notes in my notebook, they’re in the first person, reminding myself about wisps of stories or moments I want to stuff in a book somewhere if I ever get the wherewithal to write another. When I want to clear my head enough to write like that, I hunker down in the back of one of half a dozen different coffee houses littered through out my normal routes.

For some reason, sitting anonymously in the back corner of a room dripping with the scent of fresh coffee is always the sort of pick me up I need when I’m struggling with new ideas.

The anonymous solitude is always welcome, but there is always the risk of being recognized.

Indeed, it can get annoying when some acquaintance or another who wants to catch up or opine about politics or chat about films recognizes you, but it comes with the territory. It’s worse when you can’t remember the…