25 Feb 2018 – The Old Ship

Scott Summers365 Stories, General Fiction

Ceilia’s dad kept a wooden ship in his office, a three-masted model frigate seated atop a glass shelf behind his desk.  A plethora of old books and worn binders surrounded it, jetsam accumulated from his years adrift in the murky waters of the public school system.  Inscribed with calligraphic grace onto the stern was a word she’d heard almost every day for the past seven years:  Hope. “It’s the thing that keeps me going,” he told Ceilia when she was old enough to ask about it.  She was surrounded by toys, seated on the carpeted floor beside his desk while … Read More

24 Feb 2018 – The Experimental Farm

Scott Summers365 Stories, General Fiction

The air was still cool when we passed under the arch to Grimsdottier’s Experimental Farms.  We were only twenty minutes outside of the city, but we were already surrounded by the endless patchwork of fields, tractors and red barns of farm country.  The upstate was known more for vineyards and apple picking, but other crops filled the majority of the landscape Grimsdottier’s, however, was special.   It was the only farm I’d ever seen that had gotten tourism right.  Other farmers focused on crops and yields.  As far as I knew, Grimsdottier’s did that, too, but they never made much … Read More

23 Feb 2018 – The Watcher

Scott Summers365 Stories, General Fiction

Gabriel first saw the owl when he was seven years old.  It hooked its talons into the branches outside his bedroom window and watched him through the glass.  Its dead, black eyes made his skin crawl, but he could not look away.  He was rapt, captivated by that stare, until his sister knocked on his bedroom door. “Gabe,” she said.  “Get up!  You’ll be late for school.” He heard Natalie’s heavy footsteps move away from the door and thunder down the hall.  Nat had always been one to dig her heels in.  That’s how Gabriel ended up with her after … Read More

22 Feb 2018 – Behind the Eyes

Scott Summers365 Stories, General Fiction

Shelly’s eyes are turquoise, with a hint of brown dancing around the iris like an explosion in slow motion.  She accents the color with lashes and eyeliner, but she knows as well as I do that her eyes are the kind that pop without those things.  Instead, they  draw you in like a breath and linger in your memory. They are the kind of eyes that can destroy a life. Not Shelly’s, of course, but the men she’s dated, and their dreams of a life with her.  That is a graveyard full to bursting. She wonders why I have never … Read More

21 Feb 2018 – Front Porch Necessities

Scott Summers365 Stories, General Fiction

My parents hung a swing from the roof of our front porch before I was old enough to walk.  It’s one of the first things I remember vividly.  While I sat outside in the sandbox, the summer heat beating down on my scalp, my father drilled a pair sturdy-looking eye hooks into two of the wooden beams running the length of the porch.  When he were satisfied, he and my mother walked over to the truck, lowered the tailgate, and offloaded the swing. Porch swings are common in the American South.  Take a drive through any residential area, and you’ll … Read More

20 Feb 2018 – The Road to Espia

Scott Summers365 Stories, Fantasy

Sheldon only looked for the road on the quiet days.  Back home, in Espia, they called it the Wylick Passage.  There, the road stretched out like a strand of gold and silver, a winding path that snaked out of the fields of the Dark Hollow, past Selgar’s Rise and the Kallesan Fields, off into the unending distance at the edge of the world. And it was the edge of the world, as Sheldon had managed to find out.  Taking that road through the roiling fog, he watched the trees change.  Those silver trunks dulled to muddy brown tones, and those … Read More

19 Feb 2018 -The Empty Valley

Scott Summers365 Stories, 50 Word Stories, General Fiction

Amariee looked out from the mountaintop across the valley, where the golden light of dawn had just begun to color the leaves.  She studied the trees, the hills, ridges — the places where the gods molded the earth long ago. There was something special about this place, something that hadn’t changed in the decade since her last visit.  This was her father’s favorite spot, the place where he was sure his spirit would linger in the weeks after his death. But as she stood in that vast, beautiful emptiness, Amariee pursed her lips and cried knowing she was very much … Read More

18 Feb 2018 – Leaving Sakhet

Scott Summers365 Stories, General Fiction

Maria woke before the dawn bells began to ring.  She rolled off her cot on the second floor of the red-roofed hostel and heard the lapping water playing off the stilts beneath the foundation.  She stretched.  The floor groaned beneath her weight.  There were others in the room, a bunk of ten, and Maria did not want to wake them. She gathered up her belongings quietly — backpack, bedding, shoes— and stole out into the hallway.  There, she slipped along the creaking corridor to the washroom and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes.  This was it.  The big day.  … Read More

17 Feb 2018 – Shipwreck

Scott Summers365 Stories, Horror

The old shipwreck had been sitting down by the coast for as long as any of us can remember.  My mother said it washed in with the high tide one night — completely abandoned — and never went back out to sea.  It was the talk around Hanson’s Market, the corner store, when it first showed up. “Don’t mess with it,” she told me once.  “It’s just a mess of rusted nails and rotten wood.  You’ll end up in the hospital.” It was reason enough to stay away, but there was something else:  If you believed what people said, the … Read More

16 Feb 2018 – After the Flood

Scott Summers365 Stories, General Fiction

I have never found the rainy season gentle.  The rivers and streams, so peaceful throughout the year, bellow with a rage unyielding.  They swell and churn in their anger, roiling with whitecaps and rapids that can be heard across the valley.  For nearly a month each year, the rivers become a dangerous place. It is in the wake of that torrent that I find the bottle.  It sits upon the river stones, almost otherworldly in its pristine appearance.  The glass, by some miracle, has not shattered.  The cork stopper stuffed into the mouth of the glass holds fast, protecting a … Read More