The Nightmare Game

THE NIGHTMAREAn interactive fiction. Copyright (c) 1984 by J.A.SchmehlYou are in a hallway. There are three doors here. >Examine doorsThe left door is all black except for a glowing eye which is watching you. The right door is green and has a frowning emoticon sloppily carved into it’s surface. The carving drips blood. The center…

The death of a moment

"I've never cheated on my wife before." The words emerge from his mouth, swirl, spin, land on my tongue, only a breath away from his own. The words are ice, my mouth slows, shuts around the cold. I will not go where I am not wanted. But his hands have not heard his words and…

Learn to Play

The kids are at school, the dishes done, and the laundry started.  She has no more excuses.  She must sit down on the floor, now, in front of the TV, now, turn on the XBox, now, and learn to play. She hates video games.  She's hated them all her life.  From the moment her parents gifted her…

One Bite

Oh how they stare. They know I don't belong here, but they know why I've come. A once in a lifetime trip. I've spent all of my savings and borrowed a fortune to get here. All for this one experience. This one event. This one meal. The maître d' leads me to a table and…

Collect Call

He calls from a payphone. "I'm going to the woods," he says. I try, "Oh? Um. Yeah?" Then, because I can't stop myself, "Why?" "Goddammit!" He explodes at me, "Because it's all I can f-ing do right now! Ok?" Quickly, "Yes! Yes, OK." I take a deep breath. "But just think, you could come here?" He needs to…

Mad Molly

I'm eight, I think, maybe nine, when Mad Molly whispers in my ear, "The tooth fairy is a lie." I lean away from her. Her breath smells of garlic and eggs. My tongue probes the new space between my teeth. I taste blood. In my hand I hold my tooth, white in a tiny puddle of red, not…

Something More

The question comes from behind me, an unexpected place. “What do you want?” she asks again. The question hits my right shoulder, and bounces off my head. I have been waiting for this question my entire life, but the pain of it shocks me into silence. I turn to see a woman there, asking a child to make…

USSS Theodore Roosevelt

The new president stood in the oval office on January 20, 2053, and finished thanking his supporters, “The speeches are over my friends, we made it!” The group erupted into cheers and applause. The applause was the cue the servers had been waiting for. They entered and passed out twenty-five glasses of poisoned champagne. A…

This Time

"It's different this time," she says to me, out of nowhere.  We've been talking about movies we've missed over the summer. "What's different," I ask, although I know what she's going to say. "I don't think I'll make it out this time." A dozen glib comments come to mind, but I don't say them, because I think…