6IXTY contains minute-long short stories, written to satisfy an internal itch. Fleeting thoughts shared for easy, simple consumption.

Crescent Moon

Martin double-checked his pockets for his phone and wallet. He needed his ID to get back into the building. Leaning against the door to open it, he pulled his phone out and pushed the home button. The screen flicked on.

3:02 AM. 68 degrees. July 9, 2016.

He could still smell the grass, since the lawn surrounding the dorm was mowed earlier in the day. The cool air felt amazing.

Martin was attending summer school after failing a class last semester. Not that he minded being there, he'd rather be on campus than back at home for the summer. The campus was much more relaxed. Fewer people. Fewer distractions. 

It was quiet. Martin sat down on the short wall that bordered a sort of terrace on the side of the dorm building. He reached into his front right shorts' pocket, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and lighter.

There was no one out. No one walking home from a late night snack run. No group of drunk girls coming home from a party. The whole campus was still.

Martin opened the pack to find he only had one cigarette left. He lit it, took a long pull from it and pushed the smoke out of his lungs. Without even thinking, he started walking in the direction of the 24-hour convenience store about a block from campus. He needed a fresh pack after all.

Taking another drag, he again pushed the home button on his phone. Nothing. No new texts.

Martin stopped walking. He was now about 100 yards from his dorm. He pulled the cigarette out of his mouth and looked at it. The grey ash. The smoke. The stained butt-end of the filter.

"Fuck it," he said and he flicked it away into the grass along the path. Martin turned and started walking back to his dorm. He took the lighter out of his pocket and threw it randomly into the night.

When Martin got back to his room, his phone was still in his hand. Instead of checking for new messages that he knew weren't there, he held down the home button. As the phone powered off on his nightstand, he dove into bed headfirst.

He fell asleep almost instantly.


Farmer's Tan