• Jabe Stafford

One Page Worlds - Dating Site Deities

A whole world on a single page!

The short story morsels of One Page Worlds are flash fiction adventures of all flavors. Every Wednesday will feature a complete story in one page, or the first page of what could be a novel or novelette.

Sharing the fun and geekery is the best part of writing! Please tweet or comment with your guesses on what genre, character, and job is central to each tale. Enjoy touring new universes each week with One Page Worlds!

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“Can I shoot you now, Ryan,” the cherub whined, “or do you need proof these arrows are 100% god-made?”

Air conditioning blew my hair one way, the baby angel’s wingbeats tossed it the other way. All I could see from the tiny desk at the back of the apartment was the cherub and the dating site open to Jenna’s profile on my laptop. The rest was hair and frustration. The zookeeper Jenna McArthur wouldn’t reply to a guy that hallucinates winged diaper babies.

I kept one eye on the screen and one on the angel. “I only asked for proof because I’m pretty sure you’re a hallucination.” Popping the webcam on for a moment confirmed it and I pointed at the screen. “You can’t spark genuine romance. You’re not even in the shot.”

The baby angel blew a raspberry. “Not when the lens is set to ‘reality,’ doofus.”

“Reality is all we have here. This is Brookfield, not Mt. Olympus.”

It shrugged. “Least you didn’t lie on your profile about failing Mythology in college. Women and men like honesty. Gods, not so much.”

I eyed the arrow in the cherub’s bow. “You showed up here after I messaged that zookeeper Jenna. She looks like she isn’t just an internet troll.”

“That IS where they like to hang out nowadays.”

“I didn’t know gods like you actually contacted people.”

“Gods are more like parent companies now,” the cherub said, waggling its big toe at me like it was a gracious, enlightening gesture. “They still do the stuff they did, but with the internet and science for proxies. Bandying words with mortals is what we’re here for.” It counted off on chubby fingers. “Cherubs, Jack-O-Wisps, Apparitions--”

A message blipped up on the dating site. I ignored it for a second. Getting a CAT Scan and fixing myself might have to come before dating. “How do I know you’re not a hallucination when you count yourself in with ghosts?”

The cherub raised a conspiratorial eyebrow. “Open the message, Ryan.”

I clicked to open it by reflex, eyes zipping to Jenna’s new message. “Does it mean I’ll die if I see a baby in a flying diaper?”

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