The Wastepaper Basket

Autumn Harvest (September Theme: Late)

“You’re late,” the old man growled.


The girl lifted a hand to shield her eyes from the sun, taking in the old man in his faded plaid shirt hidden in the dark of the porch. That was her only response to his words. Instead of responding, she turned and shut the tiny gate behind her and walked up the pathway to the house. She neither lingered nor hurried. It took an eternity for her to reach the house. It took seconds.

She mounted the steps at the same calm pace and the old man could finally see her clearly. She wasn’t at all what he would have expected Death to look like. A short black dress, striped stockings, and sensible shoes. She was also very, very young, couldn’t be more than eight or ten years old.


She in turn, seemed to examine him, he wondered what she saw. A tired old man waiting for death? Well, that’s what he was and Death had certainly took her time. She sat down next to him, the bench creaking as the boards took the extra weight.

They sat together in silence a few moments.

“So what now?” He asked.

The girl shrugged.



Darn it. It’s already 5:38, there’s no way I’m going to figure out how to finish this story off in seven hours. I still need to decide if I want to show his life up to that moment, and how he gave up on living twenty years ago to wait for death on his porch. To make it worse, I was thinking about the ending I’d planned, and as much as I love the image of the girl walking away from him without reaping him, I feel like I should I have more sympathy for him. Would Death really be upset that he “wasted” the last years of his life? I am, but would she be? That’s just too much to decide in too little time.

I really wanted to have a short story this month. I’ve been in a writing slump since summer started and it’s already autumn. The writing high I had earlier this year has deserted me. I’ve been reading a lot more and playing other games. But I miss being excited about writing my sims.


This isn’t the first story I’ve had to abandon in the last moment.

Summer Joy – (August Theme: Summer Love)


I hate my name. If asked I always lie and say it’s Ann, or Mary, or Jane. Something normal sounding. Something that doesn’t make adults smile wistfully, knowingly, and leer down at me when I’m introduced. What was my mother thinking?

She wasn’t. That’s what I’ve come to realize from those knowing smirks. She was in love and out of her mind. Summer Joy. What parent names their child that? It’s like telling the world, yes – I fell in love in the summer and got pregnant. Worse, since he wasn’t around anymore. I knew I was going to hate summer. As long as I could remember it had been winter. The snow like a fresh coat of paint over the landscape, sparkling in the sunlight.


But now that I was turning 17, summer was coming again. Our teacher was so excited she was bouncing off the walls. None of us had ever seen summer, it only comes every twelve years as Goliath approaches. Our second sun, burning away the comfort of winter and scorching the land. The adults said the snow would melt and it the world would be green. Yuck, like vomit or algae; green was not a pretty color. Maybe those flowers that the adults said bloomed in the summer were hallucinogenic or something. Because the adults were out of their minds.

But I couldn’t stop Goliath’s orbit. Already the snow was changing. Before it had been soft and powdery, but now when it fell, it was wet and heavy and impossible to shovel. Which was my job at home. What had been a routine but quick job most of my life had turned into a backbreaking endeavor that left me hot and sweating. Uhg. And the adults said it was only going to get warmer, like that was a good thing? If this was spring, I wanted it no more than summer.



The girl was going to come to appreciate the summe. But by the time fall rolled around in another couple years, she was going to have a change of heart. The problem was her story was lacking a decent plot. Character – check, setting – check, event. But plot? The only one I could think of was her finding love like her mom – and I wanted to her to find a love a summer, not a person. Without more, it was just the ramblings of young girl.

Navel Gazing (June Theme: Balderdash)

“Gradually focus your attention on the sensations caused by the inhalation and exhalation of breath.”


I sat cross-legged in the back of the room near the door and tried to do what the serene voice floating from the front of the room instructed. I took a deep breath in. What was I doing here? I let the breath go.

The advertisement had struck a cord, I guess. Lost? Stressed? Was I ever? With just thirty minutes a week, our meditation technique is design to lower your heart rate, increase the healing potential of your body, and help you focus on what matters in your life.

“When you are relaxed, breathe through the nose at your natural pace.”

I snorted and then cracked an eye at the person sitting next to me. Did they notice? They were breathing slowly themselves, eyes closed and a smile on their face. I closed my eyes and took another breath. In. The air filled my lungs expanding them to near bursting. Out. They deflated like balloons.


I had plenty to be stressed about. New town, new job, new life. Wondering if I’d fit in or fit out. I’d already gotten plenty of weird looks at work when the wrong thing had come out of my mouth. Or gone in. But I loved onions and they were certainly shaped like apples. I learned quickly they were less similar that I thought.

“As you endeavor to commune with the breath, you may notice that your mind strays. When this occurs, do not attach any significance to your thoughts. Simply bring your attention back to the flow of air into and out of your body and the rise and fall of your navel.”

I froze. My eyes popped open and looked down at my abdomen. I should have known this wasn’t for me.



This one had been my best bet – I had all the elements. And it made me laugh. An alien pondering her lack of a belly button? The perfect Omphaloskepsis. I just forgot to get back to it in time to finish writing it. Life distracted me.


I promise I fully intended to finish all these stories. Most of them I thought up and started typing before the middle of their respective months. But then I blinked, and time was up. It was too late and the deadline passed.

10:29…Think there’s enough time to screenshot this before midnight? I know I have to make a lot of sims and sets.



  1. I hope you’ll get back in the writing high soon. I can definitely relate to the feeling of the writing slump, and I’m sure a lot of other writers can too. But hey, at least you got this very nice, introspective piece of writing out of it. I think this story was a really good idea and I hope it will help “shake you loose”; as you put it. 🙂

    And I have to say that all of those short stories you teased here sound like wonderful ideas and have very promising starts, so when you get to finishing them, I’ll definitely read them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how much I love ALL of these. I actually was like…WHAT?? No, tell me more about Death in the first story. I adore you lady. Take whatever time you need to get recharged and get these finished because I absolutely LOVE all of these. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Sorry for the tease, the death in the first story us one of my favorite characters and I was so happy to think of a second story for her to be in. But then I blinked and it was the 29th and I almost gave up on her completely, at least till I thought of this idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww, sorry to hear you’re in a writing funk. I can so relate to that, and I sure hope it gets better soon and you find the inspiration you’re looking for. All these story teasers look awesome, so I hope one day you’ll be able to find your muse again to help you write them. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly I think most of them just needed harder work, my muse is probably angry… “I gave you all those ideas and you did nothing with them?!” Haha. I di hope to write if not these exact stories, then the characters.


  4. Hahaha, glad you got to somehow use all the draft-scraps from the previous months that you had piled up!

    I can so relate, I remember in March when the theme was starting a sentence with “I knew I had to find it before…” and it was the end of the month and I still had NOTHING. So in the end I just had my Simself sitting at a computer making derp-faces and wrote, “I knew I had to find it before the end of the month… the perfect short story idea. But time was running out and I had nothing!” Toss in Casanova jumping on keyboards and his typical shenanigans and I was honestly shocked when that POS placed third, hahahahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember that one! It was fun! There’s been a few ‘author Pov’ stories, so I figured it was time for me to have one. That, and I really didn’t want to skip another month.

      Liked by 1 person

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