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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

Short Story

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

Fiction

The Quarantine Diaries, Part One

A watercolor style photograph of a city skyline.
A watercolor style photograph of a city skyline.

This is the first in a series of short stories. To read them all, head here.

When the virus put the city into lockdown, I spent my mornings on the roof of my apartment building. I liked the routine; I walked six flights of stairs to the twelfth floor, leaned against the rusty railing that ran the length of the building, and tried not to think about the world ending.

The roof wasn’t a very interesting place. Mostly it was just air conditioning vents and the pipes that spidered out of them. The only sign that people had ever been…


Fiction

The Quarantine Diaries, Part Two

Orange and white cat sitting comfortably on a giant dark grey bean bag.
Orange and white cat sitting comfortably on a giant dark grey bean bag.

This is part of a series of short stories. To read them all, head here.

When the virus put the city into lockdown, my cat started talking to me.

“You’re so lazy,” she said.

“What?”

“All you do is sit there and watch TV.”

“Nobody’s allowed outside,” I said. “What do you expect me to do?”

“For starters, you could learn to play that song you’re always humming in the morning. But for now, how about lunch?”

I got off the sofa and poured some cat food into Maguro’s bowl. She gave a quiet nod and began nibbling at it…


Fiction

The Quarantine Diaries, Part Three

A masked woman standing beneath a flowering tree.
A masked woman standing beneath a flowering tree.

This is part of a series of short stories. To read them all, head here.

When the virus put the city into lockdown, I got hit in the back of the head by a flying CD case. I don’t know where it came from, but it hurt. I suppose I could have been more careful, but who expects a CD to come hurtling through the sky, you know?

I was on my way to the local coffee shop when it happened. I just wanted to pick up some coffee beans, head home, and make a cup of coffee. I didn’t…


Fiction

The Quarantine Diaries, Part Four

Mailboxes outside apartment complex.
Mailboxes outside apartment complex.

This is part of a series of short stories. To read them all, head here.

When the virus put the city into lockdown, my job actually got busier. Delivery requests spiked. I spent the days cycling through the suburbs, stuffing pamphlets into letterboxes. They were about what you would expect: supermarkets, restaurants, local businesses, and the occasional suspicious masseuse.

I had initially assumed I would go broke. I saw the news and I looked at my cat, and I said, “We’re probably fucked.” But instead, I was scrambling to keep up with demand. Every business had something: delivery services, special…


Fiction

The Quarantine Diaries, Part Five

Dark empty city street at night, save for a lone dark figure.
Dark empty city street at night, save for a lone dark figure.

This is part of a series of short stories. To read them all, head here.

When the virus put the city into lockdown, my friend Takeshi made me go out with him to Shinjuku every night. He was a freelance writer with dreams of becoming a real journalist. He saw the virus as an opportunity. A big one.

“Most television stations won’t send their own reporters out on the streets,” he said. “Do you know what that means?”

“That it’s too dangerous to go outside?”

“No. It means there might never be an opportunity like this again.”

“You mean to…


Fiction

The Quarantine Diaries, Part Six

A slightly filtered image of a small neighborhood street in Japan.
A slightly filtered image of a small neighborhood street in Japan.

This is part of a series of short stories. To read them all, head here.

When the virus got especially bad, the city was completely locked down. People stopped leaving their houses, the shops closed, and the trains stopped running. Businesses were paused indefinitely, people worked from home, and in worst-case scenarios, makeshift dormitories and campsites were set up in facilities designated essential. The government introduced drone-delivered rations, and we were told not to leave our houses. A mist of quiet and fear settled over the country, the end of which felt very hazy.

During this time, I went on…


Fiction

A short story about online dating, or something like it, with a broken webcam

Abstract glitch colored in pink, yellow and blue background.
Abstract glitch colored in pink, yellow and blue background.

Yui twisted her webcam. “Can you see me?”

Osamu tapped his microphone. “Can you hear me?”

That was how they began each online rendezvous. It was funny — since they could clearly see and hear each other. Perhaps they just wanted to acknowledge each other’s existence, make sure they were physically there.

These internet meetings were virtually the same every time.

Until one day.

“What’s wrong?” Yui asked, leaning toward the webcam.

Osamu lifted his mouse. “I think this is broken.”

“The batteries died?”

“It’s not wireless.”

“Maybe try unplugging and replugging it?”

Osamu did as he was told. …


Fiction

What do you call a woman who loses a child?

I want to die somewhere beautiful, I texted him. That would do the job. I called out of work sick and packed, in five minutes, for anywhere-in-November-USA. I got in the car with my dog, Lupita, and decided to drive until I saw something beautiful enough that was either worthy of dying under, or profound enough to convince me to stay alive. That’s the story. That was something you got up and chased someone after. But he didn’t. Instead, he threatened to call my parents from his office, and they would call the police, who would put me on a…


Fiction

A story about two teens, a disappearance, and a town where nothing ever happens

Cross-section of grass under a cloudy sky.
Cross-section of grass under a cloudy sky.

I had just slipped out of the sliding glass doors in the kitchen when Karina rounded the corner too quickly. Me, sweaty palms and sticky thighs, the smell of outside already beginning to imprint its scent onto my skin in the moments before day turned into night, making my way to the narrow walking path in the cornfields behind the apartments. And her, new boobs barely hidden by a giant faded purple T-shirt and gapped teeth, a waft of shoplifted Gap Dream and cheap cigarettes making her presence known just a few seconds before we almost collided.

“Hey!”

She didn’t…


Fiction

Parents aren’t perfect. And neither are children.

Closeup of young girl’s eye with concentric circles pattern.
Closeup of young girl’s eye with concentric circles pattern.

One of Mai’s greatest fears was to have a child with a birth defect — a cleft lip, Down syndrome. She never expected to suffer the opposite predicament.

The birth of her baby, Ami, went without complications. She was cleaned by the midwife, wrapped in a blanket, and placed in Mai’s arms. This was, no doubt, the happiest day of Mai’s life; she was cradling someone who’d been inside her. Someone who’d been part of her body. Someone she’d been eager to meet for eight months.

This marvelous moment was disrupted by an observation: Ami was watching her. It wasn’t…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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