You Do Know You Sound A Bit Mad, Don’t You? – Short Story

All he wanted was to be normal. But it was a good thing he was trying to get help, right?

“I would like to check myself in.” Ben held on to the counter. Sweat was forming on his forehead. He knew this was the right thing to do, but that didn’t make it any easier.

The nurse looked him over, and handed him a piece of paper and a pen. “Please take a seat and fill out the form. We’ll be with you in a moment.” Continue reading “You Do Know You Sound A Bit Mad, Don’t You? – Short Story”

Anne Enright Writing Prompt

Writers don’t judge, they describe, Anne Enright says. “I am interested in the way that things that are latent become known.”

For some time I’ve been involved in something called ‘Write Club’, an initiative of some fellow short-story writers who felt it’s good to push yourself to write and edit more in order to bring yourself to a higher level as a writer, while doing this as part of a group trying to do the same thing. Continue reading “Anne Enright Writing Prompt”

The Probe – Short Story

“Are you there?” Bob held his head very still, making sure to not make any sound. Even the slightest rush of blood could make him miss their answer.

Nothing.

Bob looked out of the window. Across the street the neighbour woman was watering the plants at her balcony. Again. Not that he was complaining. She was a treat to look at. Long blond hair. Great rack. And lately she had been wearing these tight skirts that left him wondering about more than just how much water those plants actually needed. But still. He’d prefer to have neighbours not looking into his house at all times of the day.

“Yes.”

Bob jumped out of his chair. Freaking heavenly father. He was right. “Marcy! It’s happening again!”

Continue reading “The Probe – Short Story”

The One Thing – Original Short Story

Sometimes you need less than 300 words to sketch a world, an idea, some characters going through something. I love it when that happens.

Im sorry my mother yelled at you.

Its okay. Im a guest, but I can help set the table for dinner.

Roger looks at his friend. Perhaps he shouldnt have invited him to his home. His mother had not been herself ever since his grandfather died. But he knew she was mainly upset because of the stories. There would be no more new stories.

Continue reading “The One Thing – Original Short Story”

The Dogs – Original Short Story

The Dogs

“Jacob, listen. You need to tell me what happened.”

The boy was sitting in a corner, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders. He moved back and forth, to a rhythm only noticeable to him.

Richard shook his head. How were they supposed to get any information out of this kid? It wasn’t like they’d just give him some cookies and he’d spill the beans.

Continue reading “The Dogs – Original Short Story”

Love Please – Short Story with a pinch of philosophy by Nobyeni

In a world far far away, in a galaxy that doesn’t exist, and in a time that is already forgotten, there was a man…

So I wrote a story today, in response to a 24-hour challenge. The prompt was ‘a robot that falls in love with its owner’. I was talking to someone over in an online writers group I’m part of, and he kind of challenged me to write fantasy. So I thought of the most crazy thing I could think of and wrote a short flash fiction story (of about 500 words).

A story which, I’m happy to report, many people seem to like, as it was awarded special curation. So, if cryptocurrency is real, it will be my best paid piece of writing so far.

The story was first published on Steem, but you can also read it here on my blog, for free. You can read the full story here, for free.

Love Please – A Short Story by Nicole des Bouvrie

In a world far far away, in a galaxy that doesn’t exist, and in a time that is already forgotten, there was a man who was fed up with it all. He was the most powerful person in the world, and everybody called him Mr. Everything. Mr. Everything had everything he could think of. He even had a machine especially built for him that created everything he could think of.

Yet he wasn’t happy. Perhaps this is not surprising to us, as we know that material things cannot make someone happy. But Mr. Everything was very angry about this. He shouted at the machine that it was supposed to take care of everything he needed. Even if he didn’t know what would make him happy.

The machine was confused. It could do a lot, but it could not produce anything his owner couldn’t think of. “Please think of something specific, Mr. Everything. And I’ll make it for you.”

Love Please.jpg

Image by MustangJoe CC0 on Pixabay
Mr. Everything sat down at his desk, and started to think. How was he to come up with something he didn’t know? Why was this machine torturing him like this?

“I… I want you to create love for me!” Mr. Everything was satisfied to have come up with something that would make him happy. Love would be good. It supposedly made everything look pink and would give him something to rely on. No matter what would happen in the future, he would have love.

The machine started whirling and doing what it did best. It searched through reference books and started to assemble everything needed to create love. Mr. Everything tried not to lose his patience, but the machine had never taken such a long time before. Perhaps it wasn’t possible to get love after all.

The display on the machine started blinking. A message appeared, and a big green button. “Press this.”

Now it was Mr. Everything’s turn to be confused. “What is the meaning of this, robot?”

“I have created love, Mr. Everything. Yet in order to give it to you, you need to accept the conditions attached. My programming forbids me to do interfere with your free will, therefore you need to press the green button to state that you agree.”

Mr. Everything started laughing. “Love comes with conditions? What is this? But okay, I’ll go along with your game.” Mr. Everything stepped closer to the machine and with a trembling finger he pushed the green button. Next time he got one of these crazy ideas, he should remember to ask for courage first.

As the conditions were agreed to, the machine produced a giant lake. “Here it is, Mr. Everything. This is love.”

Mr. Everything looked at it, but before he could say anything, the machine grabbed him tightly and pushed him in the direction of the lake.

“The literature is very clear about love. For it to work, we need to fall into it together.”

And before Mr. Everything understood what was going on, the machine pulled him into the lake. Mr. Everything was sure this what not what he meant when he asked to get love. But there was nothing he could do. So he let himself fall in love.

And he kept on falling. There seemed to be no end to it. And the lake was full of treachery, pulling on his legs and pushing him in directions he never knew existed. Giving him detours and making sure he was completely lost at times. Things were never what they seemed. Which, in itself, was to be expected.

Some years later, as he finally found his way out of the lake, Mr. Everything decided that he would never think of things he didn’t know anymore. Love was not for him, after all.

The machine stayed in love. It couldn’t swim.


This story was written exclusively for the contest organised by @mctiller, a 24-hour-challenge to write a story below 2000 words, on the topic ‘a robot falls in love with its owner’. #24hourshortstory

Read more short stories by @nobyeni at her website.
Support her philosophical fiction on Patreon or through Steady.

Spark in the Darkness – Short Story

A story about… well, not going to spoil it.

I think I can say I’ve added another type of writing to my portfolio. After academic papers, poetry, philosophy for general audience and blogging-next up: fiction and short stories. Here is another short story I hope you’ll enjoy: ‘Spark in the Darkness’.

Part of my pull towards writing fiction lies in my enjoyment of reading. Mostly literary works, but the occasional dark detective and science-fiction, historical fantasy, what-not. (Did you know you can follow me on goodreads if you’re interested to see what I read? Yes, I know, this year I haven’t read much yet… too much writing going on.)

Continue reading “Spark in the Darkness – Short Story”

The Dike – Short story of a dike with an existential crisis

I’ve started to seriously write fiction. Today I published a short story from the point of view of a dike with an existential crisis.

Authors Note

I grew up in Haarlem, in the Netherlands, which is situated close to the North Sea and surrounded by dunes and dikes and wetlands. I remember once, as we were out on our bikes driving around, we passed a statue of a boy with his finger in the dike. Probably the one in Spaarnwoude (see image). I remember that my mother told me the story about how this boy Hans had saved the dike. He saw there was a little hole in the dike and put his finger in it, to stop the water from coming through. He was the ‘hero of Haarlem’, making sure the town was not flooded.

As I read about this story now, it turns out not to be a Dutch story at all, but an American one first published in 1865. It was written by Mary Mapes Dodge. So it’s American folklore about the Netherlands. Still, for me it is a Dutch story connected to my childhood.

Continue reading “The Dike – Short story of a dike with an existential crisis”