• Jabe Stafford

One Page Worlds - Jimmy Cracks Skulls

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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Whoever buried me should’ve known I wasn’t the kind of woman to stay where people told her to in life. The Damned Goddess left me with just enough of my senses for me to know how screwed I am.

I smack an ankle against a fruit stall and hiss at the time it takes to regain balance. Each clack my foot bones make on the sidewalk draws the eyes of shoppers as I dash past them. Hippie couples, college students, and farmers’ daughters gape at me. It’s easy to recognize the young people who grew up on farms and drove into downtown with their families to sell vegetables on a Saturday.

They’re the ones shouting, “The skeleton went that-a-way,” or “Get him Jim.”

Vertebrae creak when I whip my head around. The westerly sun gouges the space where my eyes used to be, but I hear Jim’s bootfalls get closer by the second. I didn’t even steal any corn from his cart this time. You chase thieves for what they stole.

Guess I stole something.

I rush around a corner, then spin and slide back against the building’s wall.

Jim comes barreling after me and I stick out a foot. Instead of tripping, his thick-muscled leg knocks mine into the bricks. Bone chips off the femur at the impact and I shriek. “I need that to keep running from you.”

The man skids, stops, and turns to face me. That sun-bleached orange hair buzzed to the scalp gives his head the look of glowing coals with blue ice cubes for eyes. “You dead keep burgling my farm.” He smacks a fist into his scarred palm.

I say, “Big Dumb Jim. You think we have any cool shit where we lived in our coffins?”

“You ain’t alive, so you ain’t got rights ‘cept the right to a cracked skull.”

“Now that’s rude to lady like me.” When he peers through my rib cage, I put a hand on my pelvis. “Can’t tell if I’m a woman or man?”

“That life belongs to the Damned Goddess,” Jim growls. “When I string you up like a scarecrow, them dead’ll know better than to trespass.”

“I stole this life myself,” I drawl. “Don’t much care how fancy your farmhouse is. Repel your own dead.”

With that, I throat-punch him and sprint away from the square, bones scraping cement, life thudding in my rib cage.

Redneck farmer cultists. Best thing to resurrect to.

Now, which graveyard did I come from? I forgot my name again.

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