www.storymania.com
Storymania Logo

 

 

Short Stories




Sky Bound by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 8. Five years after Anne and Andrew marry, a crisis in the making forces them t... [3,501 words]
The Way We Actually Were by Jeffrey (George) Winter Recollections from a veteran of the Third Reich. [1,337 words]
Wisdom Dug Out Of Dirt by Jeffrey (George) Winter The wealth possessed by a poor, old farmer. [1,032 words]
You've Got Mail by David B Doc Byron A parody of the secret lives of movie critics. [358 words]
The Spirit Tree by Paul Leighland MacLaine A small boy was living with his Aunt and Uncle on their farm discovers a magic tree, and a mira... [4,197 words]
The Secret Of Pimples by David B Doc Byron You'll never see this one coming.... [362 words]
The Caged Introvert by Michael Harris A shy, unattached man's journey for love... [3,644 words]
Sleep Tight. Nighty Night. by Alessandra Mace This story I wrote before 'Big things come in small packages' see how is has matured... [1,282 words]
Nothing Fits, Anyway by Daniel Taylor A short story. [1,610 words]
Night Bite! by Frank Dunsmore Some believe in vampires and some wannabe vampires but Lieutenant Schmidt and his detectives are un... [3,812 words]
Cutting Critics by Frank Dunsmore We've all heard the debate: what is the responsibility of a reviewer? Is it primarily to tell t... [5,146 words]
As Told By Me by Parker Short Story about a kid that gets caught up in the wrong stuff. [6,534 words]
A Poignant Goodbye by Anne Stewart A very short story about internet relationships. [597 words]
A Pocket Full Of Stones by Paul Leighland MacLaine As he walked through the darkest part of his town, he allowed his thoughts to get the b... [929 words]
The Legacy by Paul Leighland MacLaine Abandonment is a terrible way to end a relationship, especially when it is in favour of your best fr... [3,561 words]
The Cool Clique by Pearl S I actually did some reasearch for this, interviewed a few older friends... they don't understan... [837 words]
Sweetchild by Paul Leighland MacLaine Sweetchild is the story of interracial love, a tragic story of a Romeo and Juliet. [2,387 words]
Story Of A Ghost by Matthew Mercieca A short story, about a man who goes through life being consumed by hate. [1,130 words]
Special by Pearl S - [1,338 words]
Space Walk by Sue (Sooz) Simpson May Cause offense. [1,290 words]
So This Is My Life Then by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [517 words]
Renting by Paul Leighland MacLaine Sometimes letting go can be harder than holding on. [390 words]
Remington, Underwood & Royal by Paul Leighland MacLaine Will Kingsway has just purchased the solution to his writer’s block – a black, Rem... [4,378 words]
Pulp-Affliction by David B Doc Byron You figure it out. [568 words]
Podunk by David B Doc Byron A small group of rednecks find out what it's like not to get the last laugh on a minority. [763 words]
On The Singularity Cusp by Matt Tracy Learn the lengths to which humans will go to reach immortality. They reach for the star... [2,287 words]
Newsworthy by Vyacheslav Yampolsky A short story. [1,459 words]
Just A Bloody Card Game by Jerry Vilhotti A strorella. [979 words]
Involution Melancholia by Paul Leighland MacLaine Mead wakes to find he has been sleeping on a bar. The room is filled with people and smo... [1,859 words]
Hickory, Dickory, Dock by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [991 words]
Four Minute Warning by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [476 words]
Everything's Falling Into Place by Paul Leighland MacLaine As his girlfriend throws all his possessions from a balcony, the man realises t... [957 words]
Close? Only When We Danced by Paul Leighland MacLaine Secrets and promises are often the hardest things to keep. They have a habit of slip... [908 words]
Cherry Blossom by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [435 words]
Big Things Come In Small Packages by Alessandra Mace This story is about a boy who loves playing the piano and wishes to be a pian... [2,075 words]
Anything Has To Be Better Than This by Paul Leighland MacLaine Nixon lives a quiet life, he minds his own business, keeps to himself...it’... [952 words]
Grounded by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 10. Seven years into their marriage, life presents the Crance's with a few welco... [2,957 words]
Fatal Flight by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 9. Reacting to Eric's death, Andrew, Eric's first flight instructor, and pro... [3,852 words]
Instrument Meteorological Conditions by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 6. Built on friendship and common interest, Andrew ... [2,464 words]
Worlds Biggest Loser by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [114 words]
Watch Out, Henry! There's A Hole In That There Bucket! by Pearl S The English Essay I Had Way Too Much Fun Writing. [4,772 words]
Warring Faiths by Ami Another dream... [1,503 words]
Volunteer by Scott Turnit Red Scottturnitred The Empire Falls into civil war. Hard decesions must be made. [2,654 words]
Violet Glowing by Jason Richard Mercer The prelude to a story about an emotionally drained nymphomaniac with the soul of an angel. (I g... [594 words]
Twenty-First Century Mankind by Eric A Hofmann I chose to write a modern day myth which tackled subjects that I thought should be... [1,273 words]
Torn Over Ben by Tracy N Van Brocklin This story is an overview of a young woman's feelings about how she must give up what has been ma... [3,667 words]
The Wrong Love by Samuel James Chase When is love wrong? A story told from the point of view of a person who feels he is the victim i... [2,425 words]
The Music Of Zetaph by Rachael E Bills An intriguing outlook on a futuristic world where aliens from the planet Zetaph have interg... [3,218 words]
The Dinosaur by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [1,523 words]
Rebecca by Tammi Goyns A short story about supposed insanity...read into the mind of a madman and how he finds society to be c... [1,034 words]
Naughty Bunny Goes To Ibiza by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [552 words]
Lake Of The Woods by Stephanie Black A story about man vs. nature. A young boy must face a bear in the middle of nowhere during ... [2,492 words]
Insideout by David B Doc Byron A woman born deformed longs to be beautiful. [791 words]
His Prospects by Caitlin Conaway Repressed Victorians! Plus Antarctic Explorers, a pretty Oxford reject, and a little morphine. [3,535 words]
Four Months by Hopii Canterfield This is not meant to be a trite romance, although I know that it can come off that way. It's just ... [666 words]
Experience As In Dostojewski by Stefanie Aschmann The narrator is a rich, middle aged woman living in Germany. Her outlook on life t... [2,023 words]
Dropping The Red Doll by Paul Leighland MacLaine He hasn’t seen his ex-wife in three years but suddenly she is back in his head and back i... [822 words]
Don't Be So Quick To Pull The Plug! by Ami Imagine yourself in her position and SHIVER! It's kind of creepy, a trigger... [1,658 words]
Cat's Chorus by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [1,332 words]
Cancer Of The Circumstance
Blue Pill by Scott Turnit Red Scottturnitred Deep Space Romance. [4,499 words]
Anne by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [707 words]
After She Left by Paul Leighland MacLaine When a relationship ends and partners go their separate ways, the memory of the lost love begins... [708 words]
A Twist In The Tail by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [963 words]

Go to page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 [34] 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
TITLE (EDIT)
Cancer Of The Circumstance
DESCRIPTION
When a man meets a friend in the street, a long lost friend, he sees that he is dying of cancer. The signs are all there, he is thin, his eyes have dimmed from their once brilliant blue and his hands have withered like leaves, but what this man has is a cancer that is contagious, a cancer that lives in us all...a cancer of the circumstance.

[1,424 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Mystery
AUTHOR
Paul Leighland MacLaine
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[November 2010]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
paul@boomaroo.com.au
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (15)
A Pocket Full Of Stones (Short Stories) As he walked through the darkest part of his town, he allowed his thoughts to get the better of him. They stepped in time with his feet, and slowly covered his face with a gentle regret. [929 words] [Relationships]
After She Left (Short Stories) When a relationship ends and partners go their separate ways, the memory of the lost love begins to fade. The half of the brain they once occupied is gradually reclaimed so a person returns to being a... [708 words] [Suspense]
Anything Has To Be Better Than This (Short Stories) Nixon lives a quiet life, he minds his own business, keeps to himself...it’s his neighbours who are warring. The paper-thin walls of this hotel reveal everything and one night, as the battle rages nex... [952 words] [Relationships]
Ash Bester - The Devil May Care (Novels) Here are the first two chapters of my crime novel. I am looking for feedback and motivation to get on with it. Ash Bester, war hero, boxer and Melbourne private detective in 1953, is about to fall vi... [5,188 words] [Crime]
Close? Only When We Danced (Short Stories) Secrets and promises are often the hardest things to keep. They have a habit of slipping out in conversation. Phillip, a boy on the verge of manhood, tells all his secrets to a man he’s just met in th... [908 words] [Relationships]
Dropping The Red Doll (Short Stories) He hasn’t seen his ex-wife in three years but suddenly she is back in his head and back in his life. As he sits next to her, while she is dying from injuries sustained in a car wreck, he sees the red ... [822 words] [Mystery]
Especially Brilliance (Short Stories) A little bit of heaven has just come back to earth [2,340 words] [Spiritual]
Everything's Falling Into Place (Short Stories) As his girlfriend throws all his possessions from a balcony, the man realises the order in which they are discarded reflects their story relationship. [957 words] [Relationships]
Involution Melancholia (Short Stories) Mead wakes to find he has been sleeping on a bar. The room is filled with people and smoke..just another night on the tiles? Only this time things are happening that don’t make sense: the barman takes... [1,859 words] [Horror]
Remington, Underwood & Royal (Short Stories) Will Kingsway has just purchased the solution to his writer’s block – a black, Remington typewriter. The only problem comes when it asks him to guess its name in exchange for fame and literary success... [4,378 words] [Horror]
Renting (Short Stories) Sometimes letting go can be harder than holding on. [390 words] [Relationships]
Sweetchild (Short Stories) Sweetchild is the story of interracial love, a tragic story of a Romeo and Juliet. [2,387 words] [Romance]
The Legacy (Short Stories) Abandonment is a terrible way to end a relationship, especially when it is in favour of your best friend. But John, a hack, horror writer, has just found the solution to his woes in the pages of an ol... [3,561 words] [Horror]
The Man Who Turns The World With His Feet (Short Stories) An ancient pendant, a Gypsy curse and a small child all combine to release The Man Who Turns the World with his Feet. [1,884 words] [Fantasy]
The Spirit Tree (Short Stories) A small boy was living with his Aunt and Uncle on their farm discovers a magic tree, and a miracle of nature. [4,197 words] [Spiritual]
Cancer Of The Circumstance
Paul Leighland MacLaine

I saw him little and when I did I could do nothing to stifle my shock at the extent to which he had deteriorated; shock at his sullen, sunken disposition; awkward, shifting walk; and uneasy, Prozac-induced smile. At seeing how the cancer had progressed so rapidly from one small insignificant area - to now virtually all - as if his body had cherished invasion, warming to invite the alien into all its tissue. His face, once chiseled handsome, was now drawn – unnaturally face-lifted. His coal-black shock of hair – white and limp...and his eyes,
dear God, his eyes...
and the control they now held over my own.
I stared helplessly into a gaze that to me alone revealed a black-blooded and shapeless form, pulsing with a separate life inside him. He reached out to touch me. His hands were covered with thin, wicker veins, and his breath was rank with lies - just like my father’s had once stunk with alcohol.
Moving closer, I realised just how painful my unbelieving stare had become to him when he crossed his arms against his chest, the past-prime prize-fighter protecting his torso from looks received like precision body-blows.

I then knew that this man before me was no longer the same I had known since childhood, no more the brother that I had once cherished so dearly.
I stepped back, reversing from our situation. His body shuddered violently and independently of his will like I’d caused some draught by my action. He was, and I’m certain because I could actually see his decay, being eaten alive by his hate and pain and loneliness – consumed by a rapacious and unstoppable cancer of the circumstance.

He had stemmed my thoughts of insignificance and non-consequence by what I can only describe as his duality – his walking death. A photosynthesis where a normal life with its fulsome share of love and pain, tranquillity and frenzy had first entered bright, ice eyes, but were now viewed by these new ones – grey ones, teary and sore, mutating every daily event from a life experience to personal misfortune.
He sipped the air slowly, gained a little strength from a shallow reserve, and spoke.
‘Sometimes, when I’m sad, I will walk for miles so I can avoid going back to my house, and some times it does take miles. And sometimes I’ve forgotten just how far I’ve travelled and, in my condition, I have too great a distance to return. My stamina is poor and I wonder as I walk, each step automatic, each city block becoming more and more the pained mermaid’s search, why it is that I’m going on?
Why don’t I simply stop and inhale once last, fresh and final breath, die and fall to the pavement free of all I was and everything I have become - and with not one single regret.’
He placed his thumb to the skin on his forehead, pressing between his eyes like a surgeon indicating where he is to incise. When he removed it the welt line swelled to bleeding, but it didn’t.
‘What is it that keeps me travelling along the street, moving my legs first one pace and then another, stopping me from flying away from my body. Will I look down to see it still walking back to my house and discover I was not at all needed – that my body would cope just as well without the crushing weight of its soul accessory?’
He stared at me, pleading in his eyes for solutions to his trial. I had none.
‘Insanity,’ he said, ‘is the repetition of the same set of actions with the expectation of different results. Therefore are self-preservation and perseverance insanity?
Is breathing?’
A tear searched its way down his cheek, its course altered only by the deep lines in his face.
It reached his chin, holding for the briefest of moments, then dropped to the street below. He grabbed my arm at the wrist and elbow, squeezing it gently.
‘I miss her so much, and I realise with such clarity the importance of getting on. This for me is fact, irrefutable fact, but I can’t for the life of me imagine if it is at all worth it to find another to be with, and love, and live with if I must face a punishment that, when I have this new person, I’m pretending it’s someone else.’
His face curled to a smile, forcing the lines deeper and making them appear irreversible.
He continued, ‘My mother used to tell me, when something in me was sad or I had fallen playing, scraped or injured myself in some fashion - Butter doesn’t melt in a dead man’s mouth. She was right, but right now my life is a hard lump in my throat too large and dry to swallow.’
He reached forward and touched my face with the back of his hand. I recoiled, my senses telling me his fingers had burned my cheek, rationale dictated they were icen.

I looked at him and wished the strongest love I knew possible – my body shivered with the power of the thought, but I knew it wasn’t anywhere near the required dosage.

He was one to perform every task the hardest way possible and, as he lit a match to place to the tip of a hastily rolled cigarette, I could not help believing that if requested by God to be the first man to make a fire, he would have chosen wet sticks to start.
‘I miss her too,’ I said, and remembered how I loved seeing her enter a room, noticing her for that first instant, feeling the slight jolt in my chest and wishing that it was me she had come to see. And I also remembered how, on those rare moments, I wanted her to leave just so I could live in the pain of the anticipation of her return.
Once I had witnessed her take a stray lash from his face, smoothing her fingertips over his cheek, looking for the something that had only then become hers. The glow became warm deep inside my chest, emanating from my centre outward to my goose-fleshed skin, making me close my eyes and rock gently with the yearning for her. I had touched my own cheek, like I imagined she might have, to see if it felt different...
and for that moment it had.
I had never before thought of her as beautiful. Endearment is sly - once seen it may be dismissed as momentarily cute. Twice and her features are favourite to your dreams.
Three times and you will never again be able to enjoy the experience of another woman as an individual. Comparison and longing bed-check hourly in solitude. What was it indeed that kept him going?
Hope?
Curiosity?
The expectation that she, or at least what she represents, will someday return to visit him?

I reached to touch him. He retreated, grabbing at his chest, the cancer forcing his body to shake and twitch – and then, as immediate as its decent, his attacker withdrew. He lifted his face to look me in the eye. He smiled like he’d just cheated death and had instructed me in its execution. He nodded to my body. Its language was a mirror of his own, and his smile curled to a grin. I raised my head, stared hard into the blackness, beckoning in his eyes, grabbed his two-dimensional face and pressed my thumbs deep into his eyes. Glass shattered and fell into the sink. My hand, sliced open, sprayed blood across the bathroom wall.
I did nothing more but stare at the now visible contents of my vanity cupboard: my soap, my medicine, and my three bare shelves.

That night, in bed, just as I moved toward sleep. In those few floating moments before dreaming, I heard him singing to a record that had played the day in my head – a revolutionary torture more persistent and will-breaking than any guilt. He sang softly to the blood beating through my injured hand.
‘Blue skies are smilin’ at me,’ he sang.
‘Nothin’ but blue skies do I see.’
Then his voice faltered and became hers and she sang to me like she once had when the touch on my cheek had been real and the time between us now, not so distant.
‘In the morning the blue birds singin’ a song
nothin’ but blue birds from now on.’
She mixed up the next line, like always, and the next few words were punctuated with her sobs.
I heard one more ‘blue skies’ and then she was silent.

 

READER'S REVIEWS (1)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.

"ok . once again paul is a wowing authour. i have myself experiance the pain and hatered of a cancer ridding illness. those who have ever experiancence anywhere from to them or t a family member will sobb to this story of sadness and fear." -- rachel williams, west melbourne, vic.

TO DELETE UNWANTED REVIEWS CLICK HERE! (SELECT "MANAGE TITLE REVIEWS" ACTION)

Submit Your Review for Cancer Of The Circumstance
Required fields are marked with (*).
Your e-mail address will not be displayed.

Your Name*     E-mail*

City     State/Province     Country

Your Review (please be constructive!)*


Please Enter Code*:

Submit Your Rating for Cancer Of The Circumstance

Worst     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     Best

COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 1994 Paul Leighland MacLaine
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
January 2003
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1280
 

Copyright © 1998-2001 Storymania Technologies Limited. All Rights Reserved.