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It was essentially a fleet of miscellaneous rowboats that bobbed in the dark water of the harbor, fracturing the reflections of the flames that illuminated the chill night. As the city burned, it was a miracle that only one life would be lost. Later, they would memorialize him, praise him for his sacrifice, trying to grasp at any memory of what had been destroyed. But as I sat in that small boat, the rest of my friends beside me, I was not thinking of the collapsed buildings or shattered homes. My lips barely moved as I whispered, “Goodbye, brother.”
I drove home fast because it was late and I felt like I was being chased. I felt like someone was following me, someone, myself. Finally home, I stood outside the car and paused. It was cold, my hands, the air touching my body. I listened to the hum of cars at the intersection. A windchime on Joe’s porch. I looked up and saw a few stars, tiny dots. Tiny dots that I cannot understand, just like the street and the cars and the lamps and the bells. I smiled, laughed a little, and sighed. There is no god.
It’s hard to believe that today, March 23, 2016, is the first anniversary of The Drabble, and boy, we couldn’t be more proud of the vibrant community of drabblers we’ve become.
53,575 views: By our (admittedly bad) math, that’s about 147 page views per day, 1,029 per week, 4,464 per month, and those numbers keep growing.
Many thanks to all of you who have contributed to this community, both as writers and as readers. Please keep reading, submitting, and commenting. Together let’s make The Drabble’s second year even better than its first. Let’s break the Internet one-hundred words at a time.
I wake up hazy, to whispering. So hot, again. Still sweating I sit up, bed creaking, gather my clothes and hairbrush. The room smells of alcohol and sweat. My ears are clogged, my head is fuzzy. I leave the building and step outdoors. I am still tired but the cold air is reassuring: proof that I am alive. I open my mouth and swallow the day. I adjust my scarf. I wear normal pants, a normal shirt, and normal shoes. I am unknown. I am no one to anyone. I almost have enough memories.
By Matt Kincade
Timmy dragged his father’s big sledgehammer across the backyard to the sandbox.
In his dad’s scrap pile, he found a two-foot length of rebar. He posted it in the sand.
The boy strained to lift the sledge. Tink tink tink. The rebar sank until six inches protruded.
He upended a bucket of sand over the steel then lifted the bucket away, leaving a smooth, tall tower. He added walls, moats, battlements.
Johnny rounded the corner and spied the sandcastle. His eyes lit up evilly. “Nice sandcastle, nerd,” he said, as he wound back for a mighty kick.
By Nate Ealy
There used to be something here. I don’t know what it was, exactly, but it was a thing. Now, there’s just nothing. And that’s the way I like it. The plague killed most people off, then the survivors killed each other, and now I’m all alone. Sure, there’s some animals around to keep me company, but I’m all by myself.
Some days I miss the old thing, though. The way people moved about and carried on their lives. It wasn’t so quiet then. See, I think this old something was once called civilization, but I can’t quite remember.
“When someone says ‘it’s cold,’ you might respond by closing the window,” I tell my students. “But nothing in those words means ‘close the window’ – there’s another layer of meaning introduced by the context.”
I’ve been trying this out on my girlfriend.
“It’s cold,” I say one evening. But although there is a draught, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that there is something small and dense in the pit of my stomach that makes me wonder whether somewhere along the line we made a terrible mistake.
She looks at me, stands up, and closes the window.
KEWR airport: Newark, NJ., Feb 8th.