In April 2018, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I started sharing here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series for you to enjoy. With over 30 stories so far, I hope you’ll have lots of fun in the coming months!
This week, it’s “James’ Story,” a flash fiction story from Infinite Waters.
Click here to read some more free stories.
James was not a happy man. He had lost much in his life, and then some. Lost his parents as a child, then ran into troubles with the law. His personal life was even worse; one bad, ephemeral relationship after another. Trouble seemed to follow him everywhere, like a stray dog you once fed that won’t go away no matter how many stones you throw at it. Despite his best efforts, his friends and mentors had died in his hands. His wife, the only woman he had really cared about, had died a horribly premature death, as had so many of the women he had loved. A string of mistresses, each crasser than the last one, made sure his end found him penniless near a dumpster, prematurely aged; a broken, friendless man.
In short, James had led a hard life. A life consisting of broken promises, death and countless tragedies, like pages from a madman’s manuscript. That is why, as he drew his last breath, a thin smile of relief played on his chafed lips. He let go, and his spirit floated out of his body and into the cold night air. Finally free, he let himself forget his hardships and travails; to allow himself a glimmer of hope that things might finally change for the best.
His sight dimmed, as if a cloud of darkness had descended upon him, broken only by dancing flickers of light. Just before oblivion swallowed him, thunderous applause filled his ears. Someone’s voice boomed over the ovation, amplified by an invisible microphone:
“Thank you for watching James’ Life with us tonight. And what a great life it was!”
The invisible crowd hooted and hollered in anticipation.
“This new 3D technology is great, isn’t it, folks? How about we watch it again?” the voice thundered.
A sense of despair washed over everyone’s favorite British spy as the projector’s light shone on his life once again.