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  His head throbbed and his neck was stiff as he regained consciousness. He couldn’t see anything but he could tell there was a blindfold tied around his head. He made a loud mumbling sound as he tried to speak. The pain around his mouth as he tried to force it open told him the duct tape was secure. “Oh good. You’re awake finally. I guess that cabinet was heavier than I had thought.” The voice was soft and feminine. She sounded young as well. Late teens he suspected. The weight of her footsteps indicated that she was heavy set or wearing heavy boots. The thud of her steps got louder.  He could feel the ground below him vibrate with intensity as she approached him. In a moment of searing pain the tape came away from his flesh. He sucked in as much of the warm air as he could in a gasp for oxygen and pain. His back ached from his neck down and he couldn’t feel his left leg. The temperature of the air was only surprising in that it had been early mid morning when he entered the barn. Thi



Are you searching for online story books, short stories to read, or flash fiction examples?  This is a blog dedicated to short fiction and original stories created by Ryan Pond.

Think of this as a way to read books online for free and explore some of the best short stories online. My goal is to write and post at least one short fiction story a day. That way you have access to new free short stories at any time.

At the ripe young age of ten-years-old I discovered R.L. Stine's GOOSEBUMPS books. I spent hours at my parent's Windows 3.1 computer typing stories to replicate those books. My passion for writing has never waivered, and I have been a student of the power of narrative ever since.

As a writer I have been writing content online for over five years as both paid and guest posts. I use my graphic design skills to create visual aids that captivate my audience and set tone. This blog is yet another expansion of my storytelling.

Before developing this blog I decided to challenge myself. Could I write a short story every day? Turns out the answer is yes. I wasn’t sure what would happen, but I knew I needed to do something. I was always saying ‘I am’ or ‘I will’ without any conviction or substance.

So I thought about what it means to say ‘I am a writer.’ I came to the conclusion that to be a writer I must do one simple task; write. It’s the one aspect of being a writer that I’ve never consistently engaged in.

So I issued a challenge to test my own mettle. Could I do something I enjoy every single day until I find success? I wanted to double down on that too. So I added that I wanted to challenge myself in public so that I would be accountable. Did I want to fall on my face in front of everyone? Of course not.

Day one was August 13, 2021. It was a super short piece, almost a poem, about anxiety that only broke 100 words. I titled it disCOMFORT, which is the most artistic title I’ve come up with. I was actually happy with that piece even though it took me several hours to complete.

Then came day two. It took me less time and it wasn’t as satisfying as the first. Day three progressed the same. Day four as well. Less time, less satisfaction.

I still enjoyed the process of writing and I was going to see my challenge through. But I felt like my stories were becoming less interesting and enjoyable once I finished them. I guess I had my best idea on the first try. It seemed like nothing was going to be as good as that anxiety riddled first story.

Then day five rolled around and it was my youngest daughter’s first day of school, ever. I was so excited to see her off into the world, but my wife was losing her mind. She claimed that she was worried about how our extroverted daughter was going to handle being on her own. I rolled my eyes at the absurdity.

We dropped her off at school with no objections. She took to school, friends, and her teachers like we had handed her a bag of candy and a few unsupervised hours to eat it. Which did nothing positive for my wife’s insecurities.

We went home and I started crafting my next daily short. With no kids in the house for the first time in years, the silence was deafening. All I could hear were my thoughts. All I could feel were my feelings. And all I could focus on was filling the blank page in front of me. It was magical.

The piece I wrote on day five was as short as the first several, barely breaking 100 words. But they were good words. Potent words. Powerful words. 100 words that described an experience that many other parents were going through. LETTING GO resonated with my audience for the first time since disCOMFORT.

It resonated because it was something relatable, no doubt. But there was something else unique about that piece from the three previous. I wrote about something abstract. The feeling of handing a child off to someone else, and what that meant to my wife. I leaned into her insecurities and found out there are a lot of people that feel that way. It changed the way I wrote every story after that.

As the days progressed, so did the stories. Each got better than the last, engagement hit a steady climb, and each one was taking me less time than the last. I enjoyed the process of writing them even more than when I started. Now I also enjoyed going back and reading them. The narrative would flow from my fingertips as I wrote. Often I would get to the end and read the story for the first time for myself, surprised at the twists and turns it took.

30 days and 30 stories later I'm still impressed with my own work. I’m excited for the next story. And the next. And the next. So on and so forth. But I have hit this wall. My creativity has expanded beyond the constraints of putting the story down on an image. So I must evolve.

This blog is the next step in my process. 100 word stories evolved into 200 words, and from there into 300. I find it difficult to put more than 275 words in an image with any real legibility. I am struggling to cut entire sections from a 400 word story to fit into an image. And truthfully, I like the banner images that I use on my Patreon page with the plain text better. They are much easier to read.

So that is what this blog is for. This is where I will evolve. Because I have control over the platform. And I have less constraints on word count. Not every story I come up with needs to be 400 plus words, but also they don’t all have to be under 275. I can write whatever length is necessary to tell the story.

I wrote 30 stories in 30 days, and I became a writer. I have grown and I have learned. I have taught myself to think like a writer and read like an editor. I’m not abandoning my passion. I am growing out of one stage and into the next. I’m excited because I will grow in this cocoon, and I can’t wait to be as surprised with myself as I was with what I did before.

Whether you found this place by searching for short fiction, short stories to read, or any other search term, I am happy to have you here. You may have been present for the first leg of my journey, or you may have missed it completely. Either way, I hope you’ll join me for phase two.

Let's get started.

"You don't have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great."

Zig Zigler


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