100,000 Paper Cranes

“Did you know about the 100,000 paper cranes?”

“What?! That’s a ridiculous number. I’ve only heard that if you make 1,000 paper cranes, it supposedly grants you a wish.”

“Yeah, but they only grant small wishes. Making 100,000 paper cranes will grant impossible wishes.. like bringing the dead to life.”

“Now, I’m sure you’re just messing with me.”

Kate chuckled and she told me to stop spreading absurd stories. She’s been my friend for as long as I can remember and she always kept me by her side despite what others thought. You see, she was always kind to me, but the people around us weren’t. People found it odd that Kate would even befriend someone like me. I was always the serious and gloomy girl, while she was always the cheerful and lively one.

Until that one fateful night.

After attending a party, she and her boyfriend got themselves drunk. Her intoxicated boyfriend insisted that he drive and she let him.

Days after, Kate cooped herself up in her room, folding paper cranes.

“Stop it, Kate. It wasn’t your fault,” I tried to console her.

“It’s my fault,” she murmured.

“No, it wasn’t. And please stop making paper cranes. I thought you didn’t believe in those things.”

“It’s my fault.”

She wouldn’t listen to me. Weeks passed and she still remained in her room, folding more and more paper cranes. I visited Kate often, always asking her to stop and just let go. She still wouldn’t listen.

Months have passed and Kate’s room has now been filled with paper cranes. While she hastily folded the last paper crane with a hopeful gaze, I was standing inside her room, full of dread.

“I can finally bring her back,” she whispered.

Perhaps the story was right after all. I watch in horror as the hundred thousand paper cranes started flying towards me.

God, I don’t want to go back. I’d rather be dead.


 

I hope you enjoyed it or at least understood the last bit. I passed this story as a contest in a subreddit called schortscarystories. I revised it according to the suggestions in the comments. If you don’t quite understand it, you can check the interpretations in the original post here.

See you next story!

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[Granted] Ch. 1: Desire takes you to your dreams

When you try to grant someone else’s wish, you slowly grant yours.

This is the first chapter of a novel I’ve been writing entitled “Granted”. The story revolves around unfulfilled dreams and regrets. I will be updating this story at least once a week. I hope you will enjoy this piece.


 

Chapter 1

Desire takes you to your dreams

 

She started to breathe again. She started to feel again.

She slowly opened her eyes.

She started to live again.

She lied on the floor, her hands placed on her chest like a princess under a spell. She was wearing a long white dress with laces on it. She tried to adjust her eyes from the light and when everything became clear, she looked to see where she was. The place was unfamiliar to her and the room looked nothing like any place she was in before. There was a balcony in front of her and a desk with a shelf at the opposite side. The shelf was full of books with various thicknesses. On the desk was a computer, its lights still blinking indicating that it was not turned off. There was a cabinet on her left. Shirts, socks and shorts scattered around it.

Where am I..?

She thought as she sat herself up and looked around her. It was then that she noticed another body lying on her right; only that he was lying on a bed. She panicked and searched for the door. It was near the shelf. She hurriedly stood up yet cautiously to not awaken her companion. She paused to look at the person on the bed. His hair was pointing to every direction. His lips, slightly open, looked soft despite its paleness. His right hand was on his belly which was slowly rising and falling as he breathed. His left hand lied near his left ear. She felt that she knew the guy. She gazed at him when her thoughts were interrupted as the guy squinted his eyes and slowly opened them. It was too late for her to hide.

“W- What?” He rubbed his eyes and stared at the girl.

“WHAT THE-?! Who are you?!”

He scrambled to his feet and stood before her. She moved back, frightened of his reaction. She touched her chest trying to catch her breath. She was having difficulty breathing. What’s happening to me, she wondered. The door opened and she vanished before his sight.

“What’s wrong Albert? Did something happen?”

He faced his mom, unsure what to say. There’s a girl in my room. No. The girl disappeared to who-knows-where already.

He shook his head and apologized to his mom for shouting. His mom sighed and told him to prepare for school. He looked at the clock; it was already 7:48. Damn. I almost forgot it’s Monday. His mom left and he was alone there to ponder. Who was that, he thought. How did she get inside? How did she vanish just like that? He scratched his head and went outside the balcony. It was September and the air felt colder already. Maybe it was just a dream. He took a deep breath and went away.

A white dress fluttered with the wind as the girl hid under the curtains.


 

Not much has happened here but I hope you’ll wait for the second chapter 🙂

Fixing It Out

Their voices were louder this time. Both were just shouting, not even listening to each other.

“Why can’t you do it this time?! I’m sick and tired of this! We keep arguing about this and that. This can never work out. Maybe.. It’s better.. It’s better if..”
“Maybe what? Divorce? You want to get divorced?” He chuckled. “Sure! It would be my pleasure!”
“See? See?! You even say those things! You want to have a separation! You bastard! I hate you!”

They continued fighting when the husband heard something amiss.

Thud!

“What was that?” He asked, trying to locate where the sound was coming from.

Thud!

“A thief?” She shuddered. Then, she remembered her 10-year old daughter.

“Kelly? Where’s Kelly?! Oh my.. Kelly!” She ran out of their bedroom door followed by her husband.

Thud!

They searched the house, but couldn’t find their only daughter. The husband took the nearest weapon, a golf club, and tried to look for what or who was making the sound. His wife was crying helplessly.

“She must have.. she must have heard us. This is all your fault!” She glared at her husband, blaming the kid’s disappearance to him.

“Why is it my fault?!” He shouted.

“If you just fixed the roof, we wouldn’t be fighting right now! Kelly won’t be missing! Oh my goodness. She must have heard about the divorce. She must have been so upset!” the wife exclaimed.

“You brought the topic up! And I was so damn tired! You think it’s easy fixing a friggin’ roof?!” They started shouting again until they noticed that the thudding stopped.

The door opened and when they saw who was at the door, the wife ran to hug her. The husband looked at his kid. She was sweating and covered with dirt.

“Where in the world did you go?! We were so worried!” The mother exclaimed. She noticed the kid’s hands, bruised and wounded, the right hand still clutching a hammer.

The kid just smiled and said, “I fixed the roof. Now, you don’t have to fight with dad.”

The wife’s eyes welled up and they turned to look at the husband. The adults were silenced by their daughter’s action.

The golf club fell from the husband’s hand together with his tears. He went to his wife and daughter and hugged them tightly. The three of them were silently crying.

Month-Old to Year-Old. A Child To Cherish And To Hold.

“Ugh. I have a bad feeling about this case, George.”

Payton steered the wheel to make a left turn. “Shit, man. I’m gonna have nightmares after watching the thing.”

I would too. The CCTV camera in the Dennings’ backyard caught six-year-old Jessica last night hovering mid-air. Hovering. At first, her back was facing the camera. Then her head turned. 180 degrees. But her body didn’t move. Only her head. There was no audio but you can see in her face that she was in agony. Then she started moving away, still hovering. Her head still turned to the camera. Her mouth still seemingly screaming out of pain.

“Do you think we’ll find her there? I don’t even think she’s still alive.”

I didn’t think either. The parents too. I asked Payton what he thought about them. He shook his head.

“They sound crazy they might even be our suspects.”

Mrs. Dennings was red-eyed this morning when she opened the door for us. She must have been crying after watching the CCTV footage. She told us that Jessica was their only child and before she was born, they’ve been trying to have a child for thirteen years. I empathized with her.

“Can you believe what that woman said to us? She said she regretted giving birth to the girl! What the actual fuck! They’ve been trying to have children and when this happened, they regret it. Irresponsible. You know? I bet they edited the video to get away with murder.”

Mr. Dennings joined us shortly after Mrs. Dennings shared her regret. He told us that they think their daughter is dead and they simply want her body back to give her a proper funeral. Mrs. Dennings murmured something in which her husband said,

It’s not like they didn’t warn us.

I asked him what he meant but he looked away, unwilling to answer. Mrs. Dennings, however, responded to the question.

“Who would believe their story? Aborted children get second chance? It’s ridiculous. Just.. fucking ridiculous.” Payton shook his head again.

Mrs. Dennings’ testimony was indeed ridiculous. She told us that they found a temple of ‘monks’ up north who claimed that they could help Mrs. Dennings give birth. They needed only an aborted fetus. She said it was a peculiar request but she was desperate so she stole one from an abortion clinic. Two months later, the test showed she’s expecting.

Payton pulled over. “Wow. How do you know? A temple does exist here. It looks abandoned though. You think they ac-“

I hushed Payton. The radio was getting something. At first it was static, then..

…someone’s…. here..

Payton looked at me.

… ahh.. Je.. they’re… here… for Jessica…

I opened the car door and got out, hand on my pistol. I shouted a warning. No response. There was only static on the radio. Payton got out of the car too and we slowly entered the temple. There was a foul smell coming from the inside.

“Fuck! What the fuck is that! That’s.. fuck.. I’m gonna throw up.”

On the floor were what seemed like mangled body parts of a small human being. The blue dress Jessica was wearing on the CCTV was torn to pieces, covered with crimson red.

Forensics identified the parts belonged to Jessica Dennings. Her body was most likely torn with medical scissors. The Dennings were questioned afterwards. There were no monks, not a single soul in the abandoned temple or nearby places.

Payton and I were dismissed that night. “Fuck, I hope I didn’t get Risa pregnant. That last transmission was flat-out scary.”

It was. It really was. Back in the temple, after requesting back-up to gather the remains, the radio started acting up again.

…look… it’s.. the.. father of.. the next… one…

I went home after drinking a couple of beers with Payton. My wife Karen was waiting for me in the living room. Her face was painted with joy as she showed me the white tube with two red marks on it.


 

I apologize for the crude language. It was necessary to establish Payton’s character. This won’t be the last you’ll hear from him.

If you’re confused about the story, read the title again and I hope you’ll get the connection.

Hope you enjoyed this story!

That Causes Wonder

It starts with a pause
A glitter in one’s eyes
Wonders around us
Take us to the best of our lives

But I rather see your smiling face
After looking through such sight
It won’t stay long, I know
But so is your delight

A smile from a stranger’s lips
A hi from a friend’s words
Small things will not matter now
But without them, big things also won’t

Take me to where you find happiness
‘Cause everyone else would go there soon
But I’d stay here now, beside you
Like the earth’s revolving moon

I would want to take your hand
But I’d also want to keep it distant
I want to see you fly
And be there to catch you when you land

How much happiness? That, I don’t know
As long as I’m happy, I won’t have to weigh or measure
‘Cause who would take the time to count
Once you find your greatest treasure?

Look further
Look closer
Everywhere is a mystery
Waiting to be discovered

Dream no matter
Reach out higher
Everyone is alone now
If he doesn’t wander

A Dream of When I Was a Lighthouse

I once dreamt that I was a lighthouse
But in the dream I didn’t think I was
In my rigid stature, I imagined myself
As a star that shines till dawn from dusk

In my dream I fell for a human being
I guided his path as he walked along the shore
He was always a few meters away from me
But in that distance I grew to love him more

But he always looked up in the night sky
I was never the star he wanted to watch
He thanked God for the light they bring in the dark
But never for the light I have

That’s when I realized I was never a star
That’s when I realized he would never see me as such
But still I guided his way to the beach
So he could see the stars he adores so much

When I accepted the truth that I wasn’t his star
I shone my light to the open sea
I knew that even if I look away from him
His stars would guide him for me

Then slowly I noticed as I face the raging sea
I became the light that sailors in the night needed
They knew I wasn’t a star that shines brightly
But they’d look up for me to be guided

So I woke up from my dream and thought
I don’t have to be the person people would adore
I just have to be adored by people who could see me
And be with people who need me more


 

I made this poem for someone I loved dearly. For a moment, I thought I’d be happy with him but he could never see me as me. After a while, I decided that I can’t keep up with his expectations and left to find people who would accept me as I am.

Dead in Seven Days

The grim reaper, whose eyes I can’t see but I dare not imagine, stood on my bed side.

“You’re telling me that I get seven days to live? Why do I get to know when I will die? Is this some sort of a special privilege?” I asked, a little vexed.

The dark figure only stood in silence. I clenched my fist in anger, blood rising through my IV tube.

“You might as well kill me now! What difference would it make if I die today or a week after?!”

The figure spoke in a deathly whisper, “Live in seven days,” and disappeared into ghastly smoke.

Live? What do I do with seven days?! There’s nothing left for me. It’s better to be dead.

I hastily pulled the tube from my arm and walked to the nearest window. Seventeen floors.

I dare you Death!

I jumped out of the window and as I was free falling to my anticipated death, a truck of styroballs parked in my supposed landing area.

The next day, I stole the nurse’s scissors and slit my throat. I woke up in the intensive care unit, my hands and legs bond.

Five days before my presumed end, I tried biting my tongue off to bleed to death. The nurse caught wind of my intention and my mouth got restrained.

Four days. I stopped my breathing. How idiotic of me. I’m in the hospital. Of course the alarm would go off.

Three days. I asked the nurse for a phone, lying that I would call my mom. I hired a killer.

Two days. I waited for my death-bringer. The hospital was thrown into chaos. A wanted criminal entered the premise, about to open my door.

One day left and I stared at the ceiling, feeling lost. The days have gone by after I challenged Death with his due date.

You win, Death.

On my supposed last day, I was counting the seconds pass by when somebody opened the door. She was in a wheelchair, her right arm in a cast and her forehead covered with bandage. She looked at me, tears filling her eyes. Her beautiful face, even though bruised, glowed, and her voice, soft like a whisper, was soothing as always.

“I’m here Jake. It’s alright. I survived the plane crash. You don’t need to die. I’m here.”

My tears ran on my cheeks, down to my pillow, soaking it wet. My mouth was still gagged and I couldn’t tell her I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I thought you died.

I’m sorry I couldn’t imagine living without you.

I’m sorry I tried killing myself.

I’m sorry I bribed the nurse to inject me a lethal dose.

I’m sorry, my love, but the grim reaper is now pointing his scythe on my head.


 

I hope you enjoyed this story. It’s tragic, and it won’t be the only one. As a matter of fact, most of my stories end tragically. I’m not a masochist. I just like the beauty of sad stories because it makes you think of how you live your life.

Regret.

Despair.

Death.

They are realities of life and no matter how much we avoid them, we will always end up meeting them.