"The World Outside the Window" Adult Fiction by 19 authors in the Amazon Shorts Program
Imagine, if you will, a building of unknown origin. A building in which there are many rooms, each with a window that looks out upon a courtyard and a scene beyond.
In each room a person sits, staring out the window at the same people and objects that everyone else sees from their windows. Yet, as we tell our stories of what we see, we learn a basic truth of the universe. We learn that even though our eyes survey identical scenes, our minds take us to places that only we as individuals know and remind us of stories that only we can tell.
Outside the window we see a winding country lane leading into the distant countryside. We see two boys, perhaps 10 or 12 years old, tossing a baseball to each other. A girl of maybe 7 or 8 swings on a schoolyard swing set, while two lovers walk hand in hand along the side of the road. A ramshackle old mailbox sits on a slanted post, and nearby there is an old car, possibly from the 50s - appearing to be in good running condition. We see a church steeple and an older woman walking along the side of the road, seemingly headed for the church. A young soldier stands still, his face is pensive, and it is plain to see that he has much on his mind. Two men are in a heated discussion about something, but from inside our window we can only guess at what is causing their turmoil. Nearby a beautiful girl sits on a park bench, weeping. An old dog lies on the grass, peaceful and serene, watching a puppy frolicking through a flower bed. As day changes to evening and then to night, we see a twinkle in the sky. A falling star, perhaps a starship?
Yes, the characters are there for us, waiting, making no comments that will give us any clue as to who they are or what they may be doing. They are waiting for us to cast them in their roles, to give them direction. We can use one or all of them. We can make them walk down the country lane, drive the car, or follow along behind the woman as she heads for the church. It is our world to create, and we have total control of everything in it. Whatever happens, we make it happen. Loves, lies, war or peace, death or life, shackled to earth or bound for the stars, it is in our hands to decide their fate.
We sit at the window, taking in the complexity of the scene before us and after a few hours of pondering, we sit back and relax as we use our minds eye to peer into a world that we will shape into anything we wish it to be.
Slowly, we begin. We pick up our pens and write our stories of the world outside the window.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FALLEN STAR, RISING STAR Mark Terence Chapman
MISERY LOVES COMPANY Pamela K. Kinney
ROSES QUESTION D. K. Christi
SMILE Anthony Waugh
THE SILVER LINING Rebecca Buckley
THE BLACK ROSE Woodrow Walker
SAYING GOODBYE TO MISS MOLLY Morgan St. James
THE SPLIT MIND Robert A. Meacham
NEALS NOEL Jay Osman
THE MAILBOX Larry L. Evans
STRANGE DREAMS B.W. Philpot
ONLY THERE WAS NO WIND Jim Wilsky
AUSTIN, MY HERO Tory Lynn
ETUDE & SMOKE RINGS Lana M. Ho-Sheing
TWILIGHT Matthew Alan Pierce
THIS TIME FOREVER Erin Gordon
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY Curtis M. Hendel
HOUSE ARREST Richard Lord
KILLING FROST E. Don Harpe