A Story by Xuru

A short tale of new discovery and rebirth.

If anyone were to pause and peer out their passenger side window that day, they might notice a man hobbling through the streets shoeless.

They might wonder why his nose sits crooked and encrusted with blood.

They also might wonder why nobody else does before they shift their eyes back to their fighting children in the back seat of their economic sedan.

It has little to do with the paper towel dangling out of my nose or my hair matted with blood, but perhaps the deranged smile on my face and the jump in my step.

Time seems inconsequential, unable to grasp it in my trembling hands but I can’t stop. Not now.

Only a couple blocks left to my apartment, I push forward walking on blistered heels breaking and popping on the sun blazoned tarmac. At one point I had to duck beneath a storefront from the few concerned faces. One had even been an off-duty cop, but I gave him the slip.

The summer girls in denim cutoffs walk by with their long brown legs, not a bruise or ingrown hair to be seen by leering eyes.They form a wide berth upon my arrival, immediately knocking down a homeless man before tripping over their feet. I think one of them chipped a nail due to the onslaught of obscenities hurled back and forth.

I looked past the shop windows smeared with fingerprints and dirty faces to see my own ragged reflection staring back at me.

He’s handsomer, a few inches taller and skin like hard plastic. But most important of all, his hands were still.

“Your heart wasn’t in it,” the reflection says.

I laugh in its face, shards of glass embedded in my skin pool thick with puss. I can feel it running down my cheeks and into the corners of my mouth.

“I should be in a body bag fenced off in police tape right now.”

“But here you stand,” it says.

It starts to grin wider. “Maybe you are dead, like in those movies with the big twist at the end. Through a journey of self discovery after a traumatic event, you realize you are in fact dead and the audience gasps. They swear to themselves for not unwrapping the plot before you.”

“F**k you.”

“What if you are?”

“F**k you.”

As if to challenge those very words, a ringing sounds out. No, not the ringing that has been reverberating in my ears since the crash, but a phone. Something I never would have suspected survived the wreckage, much less myself.

I could feel the broken plastic collecting at the seams in my pocket as I run my fingers over the cracks spanning from the edges.

A dimly lit screen breathing its last breath illuminates the name “Stella” under missed calls. I press my lips to the name before tossing the device in a nearby bin.

Pieces of a life I wrote away on a napkin, poking me in the back of the head as if to say “welcome back a*****e.”

My feet refuse to take me with them, they’ve surrendered to the sky and soon my eyes shut. With my back slumped against a toppled garbage can, I can finally rest my head in the cool shade and kick rocks.

It’s going to be a good summer.

© 2017 Xuru

Author's Note

Feedback of any kind is always appreciated. Feel free to leave a comment below telling me what you think!

My Review

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You write beautifully...There is a rare talent in you, I enjoy..

Posted 2 Years Ago

i loved this story for many reasons:
1) the way you've written it, it grasped me into the story very well. the sentence construction was great and every word flowed smoothly and seemed to fit in perfectly making it pleasant to the eyes
2) the seemingly dark aura that kinda gives it a scary yet exciting vibe.
3) the whole story of rebirth and self discovery. i loved the analogy drawn between a man and his reflection. i found this very unique.
as a suggestion i could say maybe next time a little more description could make this even better but thats my personal opinion i like being spoon fed with details so i could feel like im a part of the story.
the man could be very well dead. or his old self could be dead and a whole new person is emerging from the remains. i loved how this also left me boggling over my mind trying to know what even happened. sometimes stuff left for the imagination is also great
this was great to read.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Love the imagery. The picture painted, though dark, seems almost normal or societal. Thanks for sharing.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Very dark and mysterious. I wonder what the full story of this man is, it's very thought provoking.
Very good descriptions here. The atmosphere and vibe of the story was very strange and haunting, but I love it. Good work.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Just glad you enjoyed it.
Another born story teller
Love it

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

I wouldn't say that, but thank you.
Maybe the guy really is dead... Whatever I read painted a deep picture in my mind. You did well in describing the scenario, something even I am learning to do.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Happy to see that you liked it.

Thanks Ash.
Presented in response to your review request, I offer this review.

I would warn of spoilers here, but, well, that’s the point. Ain’t no twist to reveal because there ain’t much of a story here. Although a crash explains the narrator’s physical state, nothing accounts for his odd behavior. This leaves us with a synopsis of: Someone endured a crash which he may, or may not have caused on purpose, and then acts evasively for unexplained reasons. Since the few details are ambiguous, this leaves readers with: Some does/endures something and then acts weird. Not much of a story, eh?

Writing in the first person presents several dangers, the most common is alienating readers from the narrator. The narrator’s name needs to be worked in because the natural narrator name is “I.”

Another first person failing is the tendency to fall into “I verb” constructs, which several writing bloggers say annoys agents and other slush pile readers. Here, you generally to a pretty good job of avoiding “I verb” until near this story’s end. I particularly like the paragraph beginning “The summer girls.”

The opening few paragraphs take an interesting approach. By taking a pedantic third person voice, they avoid the “I verb” problem, but since the first person is not established, the sixth paragraph shocked my read of this story making me doubt the first five paragraph’s authenticity. In truth, however inventive the first five paragraphs were, I did not like them and I think the story, such as it is, would be better without them, or better yet, re-write them to make a stronger introduction.

On the other hand, what they, and the whole story come to think about it, do well is establish mood and attitude. In terms of mood, this piece is pretty strong, so good writing there.

If you wished to present readers with a strong mood and attitude, then well done. If you wished to wished to tell a story, then this piece needs to introduce more critical details.

There are a few technical issues I noticed.

It has little to do with the paper towel dangling out of my nose or my hair matted with blood, but perhaps the deranged smile on my face and the jump in my step.
(“rather” is a better choice then “perhaps”)

One had even been an off-duty cop, but I gave him the slip.
(“I gave” is the third “I verb” in a short paragraph. This one has an easy fix. Re-imagine the scene and flesh it out a little. Something like: Ducking into a alley and circling back proved sufficient to loose him.

They form a wide berth upon my arrival
(you give a berth, not form one, so this should read, “They gave me a wide berth, one knocking over a homeless ...”)

I think one of them chipped a nail due to the onslaught of obscenities hurled back and forth.
(“based on” seems a better choice than “due to”)

“I should be in a body bag fenced off in police tape right now.”
(Although much latitude is given in dialog, “cordoned” is a better choice then “fenced.”)

Best of luck, and keep on writing.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago


You beat me good, but thanks for offering some pointers and really going above.. read more
This story causes intrigue and wonder. It's mysterious and bold, tells a story that inspires.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Playfully mysterious.
I like how you build intrigue,mood and tone from the first sentence as well as how descriptive it is. it was also easy to follow but feed bits of information about the main character that feels natural. the only nick pick i have is that i don't know why you put in "he is me," it seems to stick out in tone compared to the rest of story.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Yeah I just nipped that now.

I'm still playing around with it, but thank you. It mea.. read more
this is a great story,i`m sure the book is coming

Posted 3 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


3 Years Ago

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13 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on August 25, 2017
Last Updated on August 26, 2017
Tags: Short, story, fiction, writing, novel, poetry, suicide, life, dark, books, read




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