Short Stories




By Ismael Manzano


            On the 27th day of the sixth month of the year 2007, a blackout struck New York City.  In the chaos that ensued, many people became frightened, suffered and ultimately came together in mutual need under a common purpose—survival.  While many of those stories were generic, and many more will never be heard, one story has reach us, the famed writers at, and we feel it is our duty to relay that story to you, the world-wide public.  What you are about to read are daily accounts of the hardships endured by an as of yet unnamed individual who’d managed to get his tale of heroism, bravery and survival out via text messages sent to loved ones—loved ones that he had no way of knowing whether they were alive or dead; victims of the horrid blackout of 2007.


Black Out—1st Log 

            The madness of the blackout has spread quickly.  People are panicking.  Street lights are out.  Store windows are not shiny or festive.  In four or five hours it’ll be dark.  Everyone looks scared.  I don’t know if you’ll get this text with all the power out, but if you do.  I’m in midtown—east side.  Come find me.  Before it’s too late. 


Black Out—2nd Log 

I can’t wait until nightfall.  There are so many people out here.  They all look, unenlightened.  I’m scared.  Decided to take action.  The impending darkness has forced a group of us underground.  We looted a grocery for some food, but had to toss most of it, because we know it won’t last long and we can’t carry it all during the trek through the forbidden, abandoned railroad tracks.  We’re looking at a long time down here and we have to travel light.  We’re prepared to live off of rats if we have to.


Black Out—3rd Log 

Our group has found its leader.  A man named Bob.  He gives us all hope, which is good because it’s harder to catch a rat than I thought and, honestly, it’s gross.  Bob’s showing us how to eat garbage.  He only asks that we help him avoid what he calls the mole people whom are his sworn enemy.  Damn, I’m so hungry.  I hear the mole people coming. 


Black Out—4th Log 

            Food is running low already.  Bob made us chuck most of it at the mole people.  People are starving.  Avoiding the mole people is getting harder, but thanks to Bob, we’re managing.  Bob is showing us how to drink our own urine and has ordered that we give him our urine to drink.  Says it’ll keep him hydrated.  He knows the tunnels like he’s lived there his whole life.  In Bob we trust.


Black Out-5th Log

            The first of our group has starved to death.  A young woman I barely knew.  Wish I could have said goodbye.  Bob wouldn’t let us see her; said it was too gruesome.  We push on under Bob’s leadership.  It smells so horrible down here I can’t even think of eating anymore.  Bob seems okay with the smell; he’s a born leader.  Bob has the only food left.  We gave it to him because he is sick and needs the energy.  His skin has turned yellow.  Bob sees light ahead.  His eyes are so much better than the rest of ours.  Hail Bob.


Black Out- 6th Log 

            Bob has ordered that we call him Caesar.  The mole people are right behind us now.  We must keep him alive.  Caesar is the only one who can see the light.  We’ve started drawing straws to see who will sacrifice themselves to divert the mole people or to be used as meat so that Caesar can live.  


Black Out—7th Log 

            Caesar is dying.  The mole people have us trapped in a maggot-infested wall.  Caesar renamed me Pythia and ordered me to kill the moles.  I was willing to die to feed Caesar.  Now I will gladly fight and kill for milord.  They’re almost here now.  I know I won’t survive this battle, but I’ll make sure they remember the name Caesar.  I love you all.  Please tell my tale.  On my tombstone, I want the words, “I Died For Caesar!” 


Black Out—8th Log 

            Bob’s a dick!  The blackout has been over for days.  He’s just a damn bum who used us for piss and food!  The mole people were MTA workers looking to rescue us.  Bob’s sick because his liver failed due to years of an extreme urine fetish.  They’re taking him to the hospital now.  Crap, I smell like garbage and I can’t get the taste of urine out of my mouth.  Hope he burns in hell.  You’d better have something REALLY good for me for dinner. 


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