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Short Stories




Trapped. My head pounding, my throat constricted. “Keep me company?” 

           The guard laughs and walks away leaving me in my prison.

           Rocking back and forth, I wonder when this will be over. Will I ever be free from the little green men stuck in my head? Maybe that’s why I’m in this place—all alone, left with my misery, unable to see my children.

           Today is the day we would have spent time going to the local farmers’ market. I long for the smell of fresh produce—the sweet scent of watermelons filling my nostrils with their sugary goodness. Oh, if only I could taste it. Instead, I’m trapped with a tormentor in my head blocking me from smelling or tasting anything.

           My parents used to be here in this same prison. They were recently deemed well and freed from this torment. Now I sit here all by myself wondering when my turn will come. When will I be set free?

It confuses me though because the doctors say there is no cure for my condition. They say I must take my pills and suffer until the green men disappear from my head. My parents saw the green men—I know they did. It was written all over their faces. In fact, they are the ones who saw the green men first.

            Knock, knock, knock, “Time to take your pills.” The guard drops two shiny red tablets into my hand, giving me a cup of water to wash them down. “They will help clear your head.”

            I roll my eyes, sit up, and swallow the pills. The guard takes the cup and once again flees. Is he that scared?

            Time passes—so slowly when I’m all alone with nothing to do but make desperate attempts to block out the green men from my consciousness. However, the pills must be working, for the green men are fading into the back of my skull. I can at last breathe in a little sanity.

My ears perk up. I can hear my children outside my four walls of confinement. They are trying to visit me. I can hear the guard stop them. “You’ll have to come back. She needs her rest.”

            That blasted guard. Why can’t he give a girl any joy? He keeps telling me that he’s here to help by bringing more pills and locking me away once more. My children’s voices trail into nothingness and the only sound left is the green men still pounding in my head.

            I feel hopelessness flood my being. I begrudgingly listen to the advice of the guard, close my eyes, and fall asleep—how long, I don’t know. Sometime later the guard is releasing me. It’s rather a sad moment though. I mean, I’m happy to be free from my bondage, but when the guard lets me out, he locks himself in. He tells me it’s my turn to watch over him.

            Indeed, I feel better. My cold is gone, but I have given it to my husband, my guardian who has been there for me. The one who nursed me back to health and kept our children away from the attack of the snotty green men now takes up the fight.


                                                                                                   By: Stephanie Ward



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