Author Archive for Nick Hayden

Today

Today I woke at 6 am. I didn’t want to. My alarm went off and I hated it with the wrath of a thousand suns. But I woke. Today I ate off-brand Lucky Charms. There were not enough marshmallows. Today I drove to work. My car was nearly out of…

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Front Porches

Robert shuffled onto the front porch, pulling the wooden door shut with an ancient creak. Patches of the floor boards were still painted, having survived another winter of freeze and melt. His chair, as weathered as the porch, he had brought out that morning, one item of a very short…

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Inventory of a Winter Thaw

Bed: sheets (disarray), cover like an empty shell (two blankets from the closet layered within), pillow (hair-stained), nightstand. Nightstand: alarm clock (off), tissue box (empty), cup (empty, dried residue), thermometer, trashcan (filled: wadded tissue (mucus-encrusted)). Trashcan original location: bathroom. Bathroom: toothbrush (dry from lack of use), shower (dry from lack…

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Count to Twenty

When she was a baby, I could just cover her eyes with my hands and then take them away. Peek-a-boo! It astonished her. I disappeared and then reappeared. Magic. When I first taught her to play hide-and-seek, she would hide under the desk. And then, before I had finished counting,…

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The Madness of Franz Agapa

In my continuing effort to put online short stories from “The Archive,” I present today “The Madness of Franz Agapa.” This story is a spin-off, of sorts, from “The All-Seeing Prophet of Fortune and Love” and exists in the same world as “The King’s Shield.” Pierre Agapa is a adventurer/treasure…

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Stark Rakin’ Mad

Mr. Willis Montgomery ate his breakfast slowly. It was Saturday. The end of the week had come. He had no more excuses. It was time to rake the yard. Mr. Montgomery despised raking. He hated the crunch of the leaves beneath his feet. It was like listening to someone chew…

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Open At The New Year

Dear Future Self, If you’re reading this, you’ve made it through another year. Congratulations! If you’re not reading this, you’re probably dead. Sorry about that. It’s January, and if you’re anything like me (and I’m betting you are), you’re feeling pensive. It’s dark and it’s cold and most mornings you…

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The Heidelberg/Smolinske Reunion

The dimly lit gymnasium/bingo hall of St. Mary’s Catholic School squeaked with shuffled strides and rubber wheels as the members of the Heidelberg/Smolinske family gathered for their annual Christmas reunion. Great Aunt Mabel had died in August, fifteen years after her husband, nearly to the day (wasn’t that always how…

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The House of Memories

Today’s story from the archives is “The House of Memories.” For some reason, back when I scheduled the release of these stories, I put this one here the week before Christmas, despite it being not remotely festive. It is, if anything, a tale suited more for Halloween than Christmas. It…

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Old Man

Another weekend, another short story dug out of the archives. This week it’s “Old Man,” a story that takes place in Vienna, my fictional Midwestern town which is not much unlike the one I live in. Often, these stories include fictionalized versions of real events and people. This story is…

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A Happy Story of Death

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we made the six-hour trip from Peoria, IL, back home. By the last hour, all the kids (and the adults) were tired and bored and ready to be done. I put on the Muppets Most Wanted soundtrack and we bounced to the ridiculous songs. (The “Interrogation Song” is…

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The Walk

Dear reader, it’s time to go way back in the archives. While “The Deadliest Sword” is older by a year or so, “The Walk” stands as a marker in my growth as a writer. I wrote it sometime in high school, and it is, I think, the first story that…

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