...because I can't think of anything longer...
I've never been one for long stories. In fact, most of those that I've written here hover around the lowly thousand-word mark. Paltry, in comparison, to most contemporary examples in even the short story genre. Today, however, I will do nothing to break this trend, and if anything, I'll destroy my average word count by presenting a few even shorter stories. Enjoy.
The Wheels: A Tale of Horror
He sat contentedly in his place, glad for even a short respite from the nagging troubles of the day. The calm he felt here was surprising; indeed, the air was sweet with a new fragrance, the floors were freshly waxed, and he'd finally found a place where he could be alone. But then, in the midst of his relaxation, they came. A sound, which from that day on would haunt his dreams, found its way into the room. A sound which sparked a sudden fear into his heart. A sound which he never imagined could sound so frightening, so ominous, or so dreadfully urgent. He knew it at once to be the low creak of rubber, spoked wheels, rolling slowly upon the tile floor. A peek below the partition confirmed his fears: and they were coming nearer. There was no escape, he soon realized, no dignified way to fix this situation. Hearing the deliberately audible sigh, beyond the aluminum wall, struck him finally down. He'd never use the handicapped stall again.
"God, it's never been so hard to light a cigarette," the diver mentioned, shaking his butane lighter.
"What the hell? Who let you have those?"
The diver pulled a dripping ziploc from beneath his wetsuit in reply.
"Do you even know how dangerous those are down here?"
The diver laughed, trying his lighter again. "What, are they more cancerous under water?" Flik...Flik...
"Well, no, but we're in an enriched oxygen atmosphere--" The second diver, pulling himself into the habitat, set his goggles down and laughed, "Here bro, let me help you out with that," lighting an acetylene torch from his toolkit.
"Oh my god no."
On the surface, the investigation into the cause of the explosion would come to a sudden conclusion. Amidst the floating debris, a plastic bag containing a half pack of Pall Mall 100's was sighted floating next to a set of badly burned index and middle fingers.