The Comfort Bear – Very Short Story

We sped onto the highway, me and my family, as we were eager to get home after a weekend at my grandmother’s. I don’t particularly remember what happened that weekend, but my parents told me I had fun. It wasn’t too young to remember either because I remembered vividly what happened next. It seemed like any other trip as we rode along the highway, me not paying attention to the outside and playing with my Game Boy I had got a year earlier.

I still have the thing as it can survive most anything…

Out of nowhere, a motorbike driver came into our lane and crashed on the front of our car. The windshield shattered and the motorbike driver flipped over the car and crashed behind us. Luckily he didn’t land in the other lane.

I was frozen in fear at the initial crash, what else could you do, especially as a child? But I believe that is how most people would react no matter their age – when you’re not in control. Indecently, my father had the wheel and he turned into the railing. I had never lost my breath so hard since that day – it was like all the air escaped my body and I gasped desperately to refill my lungs.

My parents had a similar reaction because it took them awhile to stumble out of the car and check on me. I remember the eyes of fear and blood trickling over my father’s face. He didn’t take note of his own injury and asked if I was all right. I answered weakly that I was. My mother lifted me from my seat and we leaned against the car while my father hurried to the motorbike driver.

My father told, years later, that the helmet had saved the driver’s life and was the only thing that had held his brains together. I’m glad he didn’t share that detail with me at the time. There wasn’t much my father could do for the driver, however, but he remained by his side even though he was the cause of the accident. We heard later that, apparently, one of the bolts to the back wheel had been missing; a mechanic supposedly forgot to put it together and the wheel came loose on the road.

It took a while before I could express my fears as I was still in shock; but the tears eventually welled, out of nowhere and I bawled loudly in my mother’s arms. She let me cry as much as I wanted. She told me later that she wanted to cry too, but I cried for the both of us. The police came before the ambulance and they must’ve heard there was a family involved in the accident because one of them gave me a teddy bear, fresh out of the wrapper. It’s apparently common practice in Holland and still is.

It’s probably a good practice… It did comfort me a little.

I still have it somewhere in a trunk at my parents, along with all the other childhood items I kept. It took a long while before I relinquished that bear – longer than I care to admit. It invoked such strong feelings whenever I saw it – conflicting feels that I did not understand, at the time. But, whenever I did recall that horrible day, it never let the bear escape my embrace.


© Christopher Stamfors

I post Short Stories every week. Please check out my other fictions HERE.

That’s Mine! – Very Short Story

A tall man goes to a bar where he orders a beer. When he’s about to take the first sip, another man storms in and cries. “Sir, I believe that’s mine!”

So bewildered was the tall man that he halts the mug at his lips and is soon snatched from his hand entirely.

The other man gulps up the beer in one heave and lets the empty mug rest beside its previous owner.

The tall man opens his mouth to say something, then shuts it, then opens it again, before he closes it for a while longer.

Should he be mad? Undoubtedly, but what if it indeed was the other man’s beer? How unlikely it may be… He decides to let the matter rest and instead, after collecting himself, ask. “Was it any good?”

The other man turns and says. “Best I ever had.”

“How come?”

“Because it was yours.”

The tall man gawks and without trying to make sense of it all, he ask. “I’m sorry, do we know each other?”

“No, but you will, soon enough.”

Before the tall man could say anything, he watches the other man leave, and without any reason to do so, he follows him out the bar and to a dark alley. Not many people was out at this hour, mostly because of the drizzle and the autumn chill, but he continued on. At around the around a corner, the other man disappears into a one way street. The tall man hesitates and looks into the dark alley, wondering why he was following this man?Maybe it was all just a trick to get him alone to be mugged, or worse? But as he stood there, he was compelled forward, too curious to how this story would end, even at the cost of his own safety.

It was the last time our hero ever set foot upon this earth.


© Christopher Stamfors

Mystic Dune – Flash Fiction Contest

Use the photograph above as the inspiration for your flash fiction story. Write whatever comes to mind (no sexual, political, or religious stories, jokes, or commentary, please) and after you PROOFREAD it, submit it as your entry in the comments section below. There will be no written prompt. Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction […]

via Flash Fiction Writing Prompt: Mirage — Indies Unlimited

I have a great fondness for very short fiction, I’ve found. It’s especially entertaining when there is a limit. 250 words you can do on this one.

Here is my contribution:

So this is the end. Once a thriving grassland now turned to savanna. Nobody imagined the transformation would’ve occurred this quickly, just a few weeks after the traveller’s curse… Damn foreigners.

They have no respect for the words of the mystic, and now look what their carelessness have wrought on us! My dad tells me we can weather this misfortune; that there are plenty of examples in the holy texts about the sand unleashing its wrath, only to spare the faithful in the end.

We are a pious family, after all, he tells us. Only, as I stand to gaze over the now dead landscape, I cannot help but feel despair upon my view. The sand creeping menacingly closer, suffocating the grass beneath my feet.

I fear this will be the last time I’ll see of my homeland, habitable and lush.

Once Upon An Endless Journey – Very Short Story

The village looked like a dream, sitting by a large lake in the middle of nowhere – the trees growing tall and dense. I had not planned to seek civilisation while traversing this remote region, but upon finding the road that led me here, my inner voice told me to follow it; and like most of my adult life, I listened.

The voice guides me to paths I never knew existed, choices I never realised was available to me…

… Well, I should probably leave it at that. As it is the reason for my journey, to see where these “imaginary” roads can take me.

At the outskirts of the village, I passed a few quaint looking houses, all in red, as was customary on the countryside.

And upon entering the town, I immediately encountered a large crowd gathering at the centre of town. The town was buzzing with activity and vendors, which suited me as it made my presence all the more inconspicuous.

Continue reading “Once Upon An Endless Journey – Very Short Story”

The Exodus Journal: Vol. 1 End

Fantasy Monday


Fendreael stopped reading and slowly turned his head towards the shelf next to him. The moon no longer illuminated the room and only a few candles lit up the area around him. But even though the shelf was shrouded in the darkness, he could see what he was looking for in his mind’s eye.
He pictured a large, but plain looking book, that seemed neither new nor old, and at its centre, a medallion was encrusted into the cover. His heart pounded in anticipation as he recalled, the similarities all too striking to ignore. However, before rising, he glanced at the entry again and read the line over and over to make sure that he interpret the words correctly.
The item was shimmering in gold, with markings of an unknown kind. Around it, jewels were encrusted in red, yellow, blue…
Finishing the sentence, he rose hastily from the chair and put the journal gently back on the nightstand. He knew the books approximate location and he moved his fingers along the backs of the books on the shelf until he felt the familiar feeling of a cold and smooth metallic surface.
As the book was as big as his entire torso, he had trouble taking it down. The heavy book slipped from his fingers and it crashed into the floor, dust spewing all around him. Fendrael grit his teeth and glanced at the door at the other end of the room, but nobody came and the kitchen staff continued as loudly as before.
Letting out a short breath of relief, he managed to place the book carefully on the nightstand next to the journal. Hunched over the book, his eyes fixated on the medallion on the cover. The medallion shimmered from the candle light and four gems were encrusted around a colourless larger gem at the centre – the fourth one was in white…
Fascinated, Fendrael glanced at the journal again and read the description: (…) the item was shimmering in gold, with markings of an unknown kind.
He frowned as he read it, finding that there were no markings on the medallion, nor was the grey gem described either.
Fendrael let out a sigh and slumped on the chair, his body still tense from the anticipation. The longer he reflected of what he had read, he realised more and more inconsistencies. The author had mentioned something about “Three Great Tribes”, but as far as he knew, there was only one ruler of this world and their eyes were not yellow but in scarlet red… Perhaps it is fiction after all.
As he sat staring at the ceiling, the smell of grilled meat made his mouth salivate and he realised that he hadn’t eaten in a while. Hesitating, his eyes flicked between the journal and the door, but then he rose and headed towards the kitchen, finding the story to be less interesting since it contained nothing but lies.

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The Exodus Journal: Entry 12

Fantasy Friday


Before I was able to head out this morning, an old man approached me. Having heard of my interest in the ruins, he explained that he once visited these rocks as a teenager. Apparently, the people of his village never embraced the ghostly stories that the other villagers told; instead, they had a rite of passage were the young men ventured deep into the highlands until they found an item by which to bring back as proof of their exploit.

This excited me to no end, not only because of the amusing gesture of spite against the other villagers of his kin, but also that it meant that there indeed are more ruins laying about.

Though my face surely shone with excitement at the time, I was taken aback by the lightless eyes that the old man expressed. Showing fear and weariness that is so rare among his kin, who otherwise hides their emotion behind a cold expressionless face.

As the old man continued his story, he suddenly dug into a satchel, strapped under his belt, and presented an item for me.

The item was shimmering in gold, with markings of an unknown kind. And around it, jewels were encrusted in red, yellow and blue, and another gem that was missing.

I was speechless. Its design was uncanny in its similarities to my own culture. It is almost as if the gems represented the Three Great Tribes of our race, by which I belong to the yellow. Of course, because of my eye colour. Truly, it must be a coincidence?

As I tried my hardest not to touch it out of respect, I noticed how fragile and famished the old man was, his hands trembling as he held it before my eyes. I quickly dug into my own satchel to offer him some food, but as I turned, the old man had already left. Limping down the hill back to his own kind.

Dumbfounded with questions, I could not draw breath to ask who he was and I just watched as the mysterious man disappeared among the crowd below.

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The Exodus Journal: Entry 11

Fantasy Monday


As predicted, the caravan has significantly slowed since yesterday, but not for the reasons that I initially thought. For as I made my way through the line, I encountered a wagon blocking the path. It was tilting dangerously to the left, with its wheels half-buried into the ground.

On closer inspection, the wagon’s wheels had revealed a hollow, covered by the undergrowth. My interest peaked and I requested to investigate further, but I could not, as this would risk the entire wagon to roll over. I understood their concerns, but I wasn’t about to give up either; so I waited for hours as they tried to jerk the wheels back on the path, but in the end, it was without avail.

As they wheezed and grunted at their failure, I carefully reminded them that if they could not salvage the wagon, they would simply have to let it roll over completely, for it stood in the way of the others that needed to pass. Their eyes showed only contempt for me then, and I was certain that they would attack me at any moment. But thankfully, reason prevailed, and they removed their belongings before they let the now worthless piece of wood crash over the edge.

As the wagon teared through the thin layer of roots and sedimented sand, a much larger hollow was revealed, as I expected. What I didn’t expect, however, was the significance of the find. Under the rubble that the wagon had caused, there were remains of a structure; not very large or well preserved, but a foundation was there, including parts of a four-sided wall.

I can hardly contain myself as I write this, for this is the evidence that I have sought ever since hearing about the stories of the Ghostly Kingdom. Naturally, the civilisations demise, and the origin of the ghost stories, had been exaggerated through centuries of oral tradition – facts twisted through the generations.

Though, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself again, for these rocks are not decisive evidence that I need, only an indication of may yet to come. But what else could it be? Unless we have stumbled upon an old hermits humble abound.

It saddens me, however, that I cannot study them in further depth for my duties lay elsewhere. But I am certain this is but a part of a greater discovery, so significant in its implication that my heart shatters whenever I think about the circumstance to which it was found; for its discovery will be almost meaningless, beyond personal curiosity, when the very existence of our people lies in the balance.

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The Exodus Journal: Entry 10

Fantasy Friday


As we climb ever higher, the more arduous the journey becomes – the terrain turning rocky and inaccessible. The land, borderline desolate, with only thin patches of grass and bushes growing on the mountain side. Not even birds or rodents seem to thrive on these heights and I am starting to wonder if the land is indeed as accurst as the stories suggest. For even mountains has some sort of wildlife, an ecosystem where resilient animals live.

Furthermore, could a civilisation really survive this harsh climate? Or did the climate change? Perhaps something else allowed it to survive and thrive? Something that we couldn’t even fathom today?

But, I am getting ahead of myself, as I have yet to find any proof of the existence of such a civilisation, regardless of how much I wish it to be… And I really do; to the point of lunacy, one might say. But the prospect of such findings helps me cope with the endless drizzle that chills down my bone. Never allowing our bodies to fully warm – our clothes always wet.

At least the wind is calm, mercifully sparing us of the additional suffering such weather would bring. Not that it would hinder us more than it already has, with its slippery slopes and none existent paths.

That we have managed to take our wagons this far is nothing more than miraculous, but I fear this is as far as we go for the peaks are simply too steep. Impossible to climb even alone.

We can only pray that we may find something that will allow us to escape these wretched lands. Another miracle perhaps? Avos be willing.

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The Exodus Journal: Entry 9

Fantasy Monday


Having performed my duties as overseer, I was heading back towards the front of the caravan, where my superiors were eagerly awaiting my report.

It is safe to assume that they will be pleased, for the supplies are lasting and the people remain spirited, despite the horrors that they have faced. However, it is clear that it is going to take weeks before we are able to ascend the mountain, perhaps months before everyone is safely on the other side.

Time we simply do not have.

I cannot help but think that all of this would have been much easier if the caravan had remained split into homogenised sections, as was the plan from the beginning. But time was not on our side, and as a result, the caravan is a mishmash of different peoples; different nationalities and social classes. Though such things do not matter any longer, it is hard to deny the inevitable conflict that arises when so many people with different opinions and experiences are mixed together.

We truly are a strange race who manages to find conflict in the midst of our demise.

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The Exodus Journal: Entry 8

Fantasy Friday


The terrain is becoming more and more elevated as we go on, and I can now see, with utmost clarity, the vastness that is the mountains ahead. Though I have read about its greatness several years ago, I was still shaken by the sheer height of its peaks – snow clad and menacing.

Beyond that, the sheer width of the mountain was breathtaking in its own right. It stretched as far as the eye could see on both ends, beginning at the furthest reaches to the north and ending by the  great ocean to the south. Or so I’ve read…

Aside from the view ahead of me, I could now also see the the land we have left behind.

However, the most significant sight was not the greatness of nature, or the horrors of the fiery death at the horizon, but the snake-like line of people still submerged under the crowns of the trees.

It will take days before they will reach the point where I am now standing.

And here I will remain until they do, for the duty of the educated is to make sure people without it remain orderly, remain organised, and above all, remain calm. I will show my empathy by remaining here and document their arrival; to determine their various needs before continuing onward.

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Read the rest of the series here: The Exodus Journal