Short Story: Tears of Waiting

I’ve been wanting to write an all-dialogue short story ever since I read Brandon Sanderson’s I Hate Dragons” short story (and if you haven’t read that, you need to right now), but I’ve never gotten around to actually doing it.  Until now.  This is rather short, and I’m not sure if it’s really all that good (I mean, even if I don’t compare it to Sanderson’s work), but…well.  Here it is.

“I told him not to come back.”

“The boy never listened.”

“I know, but I’d hoped he might this time…”

“You mean, you hoped he would have made it this time, unlike all the others.”


“You are so sentimental.”

“You blame me for growing attached?”

“Growing attached is what causes the problems.  You know that!  We can’t grow attached.  It only makes losing them that much harder.”

“If I’m sentimental, you’re cyncical.  Do you ever believe that one of them might make it?”

“After so many years, no.  I don’t believe any of them ever will make it.  I believe that we’ll be stuck here, as we are, for decades more to come, waiting in vain.  We might even have to wait centuries before we’re finally given up on.”

“That’s what your waiting for?  For it to give up on us?  We have to hope that one of them will make it!”

“Why?  None of the ones we actually liked made it!  What’s the point anymore?  I’m struggling to see why we don’t just send them away when they come, before we start to like them, and before they get hurt, and before they have any opportunity to fail.”

“If we do that, we’ll only guarantee that we’ll never leave.  You can’t win if you don’t fail.”

“What is that supposed to mean?  When they fail, they die!  Unless they’re supposed to come back from the dead, I don’t see how them failing the first time will help them win in the future!”

“That’s not what I mean.”

“What do you mean, then?”

“I mean that many of them will have to fail before there will be one that will succeed.”

“How do you know there will be one to succeed?”

“There are over seven billion people on the planet.  We’ve only had two dozen come…there are more, and there’ll be at least one who will be strong enough.”

“But that one person may very well be the last person left.  The seven billionth.”


“Then we’ll be waiting no matter what.”


“So why don’t we just send them away?  If we have to wait, we might as well wait without watching them get hurt.”

“Look, I hate watching them die as much as you do.  But we can’t truly get out of this without their help.  Waiting for it to…go away?  It will only come back again.  We have to be freed.”

“I don’t like it.  I don’t want to cry again.  You know I hate crying.”

“May our tears lead the right one to us.”

“That still requires waiting, and, oh…”

“Are you crying?”

“Yes.  Another one is coming, don’t you see him?”

“I do.  He looks strong.  Stronger than the others.”

“Probably not strong enough.”

“Why are you so skeptical?”

“If I make myself not believe, maybe it’ll be easier when he fails.  Maybe I won’t cry so much.”

“You’re already crying.”

“And so are you!  How is hoping any better, if it only makes you cry more?”

“I will not let myself stop hoping.  Life isn’t worth living if you don’t hope in something.”

“We aren’t even living, not like this.  This is torture.”

“Maybe it’s practice for when we get our lives back.  If we hope now, then it’ll be easier then.”

“Do you really believe in that?”

“I guess so.”

“Do you see him?  He’s almost made it to the end.”

“Maybe he’ll be the one, then.”


“Two more steps left.”

“He fell.”

“He—oh, I don’t believe it!  He seemed so promising…”

“They always let us down in the end.  I told you that.”

“We’re just waiting for the right one.”

“I suppose so.  But oh, I hate crying…”


Description, Short Stories, and Still No Motivation

So, I’ve been taking a break from writing for nearly a week now.  It’s gone pretty well, aside from the fact that I’m bored out of my mind and feeling rather lazy.  I’ve wasted time playing silly video games (and going nowhere with them, as apparently I have terrible reflexes), I’ve gotten sick with the flu (which, since I didn’t get the fever that everyone else in the family had, really just feels like a glorified—not in a good way—cold, where the symptoms hit you all at once, instead of gradually.), I’ve watched cop shows and cooking shows with my mother (which is a little strange, since neither of us are particularly interested in cooking), and I got a song stuck in my head that I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard before, involving either the cello or the violin.  It was beautiful, and I would have written it down, except that I… don’t know how to write music.  Not a clue.

So, in other words, my week has been pretty unproductive and I’ve been really wanting to get back to writing.  I went and rambled at my mother about how frustrated I’ve been, which led to two things.  First, she went and read the prologue of Steelheart aloud, mostly to show me how important description was (description is one of my weakest points with writing, as I’ve probably said before).  I’m once again reminded just how brilliant of an author Brandon Sanderson is.  Second, she also told me I should stop writing novels for the moment, and concentrate on some short stories, so I can improve what I’m doing without getting caught up in a big project and all of the problems that arise with novels.  (I’m pretty sure the parasite guy wrote a post on using short stories in this method, though I can’t find the actual post.)

Well.  Brilliant.  In the three years I’ve been writing, I’ve written maybe four or five short stories, three of which were flash-fiction and under a thousand words (and the other two were just above a thousand).  I didn’t put any amount of effort into any of them, and I didn’t really do any editing aside from basic grammar.  Honestly, I’m not really sure how to write a short story—or, even worse, what to write one about.

So, in conclusion to all of this, writing is still stressing me out about and I’m pretty sure I should take a longer break than just a week, even though not writing is…still stressing me out a little.  Being sick doesn’t help, though, so maybe this week will be better off.  I’m certainly hoping.