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Short Stories

Here you will find some works of short stories

"The Immigrant"

Branson Smith

I had found this job through the “Want Ads” in the local paper. It wasn’t much, but at least it would give me my start in America. I wasn’t from here. My family was from Mexico. We were Ramirez from Monterrey. But I didn’t want to live and die there. I wanted more for myself and wanted to send money home to mi familia.

            On the first day of the job, in the nicer part of town, I was given a shovel. I was to dig five holes in front of the large mansion that took up the whole block. These holes would be for new trees that the owner, Harold Flynn, wanted for his home. I dug these five holes for him.

            I was not jealous. I was twenty-four-years old, and I knew great things were ahead of me in my life. I knew one day that I may, too, have a great house like this one. I would be something; I would be someone.

            On the second day of the job, I was given a wheelbarrow and was told to move soil from one space to the backyard. I obliged. I did not fight, or whine, or complain. I knew this is what I had to do for myself.

            As I was wheeling the dirt to the backyard that hot afternoon, I looked up at the back of the mansion. I was captivated by the sight of a beautiful young woman that stood on the back patio. She was wearing a large red hat, and a long red dress. I had never seen a sight like her before. She was pale, skin like porcelain, and had dark hair to her shoulders. Her lips were red like fire. I was so drawn; I almost dropped the dirt that I carried in the rusted wheelbarrow. I could see her laughing at my misfortune. I appeared to be an absent-minded klutz who didn’t know what he was doing. I stopped and gathered myself. I looked up at her and smiled back while I wiped the sweat from my brow. I wanted to wave, but I thought that would be inappropriate.

            Who was this woman? I thought. I must find out her name.

            “Get back to work!” the foreman yelled at me from the fence.

            He had seen me staring up at the woman. I didn’t want to be considered lazy, so I started back on my trek through the backyard.

            The next day, day three, I was told to weed-eat and edge the driveway for Mr. Flynn. He was to have company on the weekend, and he wanted the drive to be presentable.

            As I was edging the lawn, I noticed the young woman once again. She was coming out of the mansion and heading to the car that was parked close to the manor. I watched as she made her way down the steps of the front walkway, down the walk, and to the extravagant silver sedan. A houseman opened the door for her and let her into the back of the car. She hadn’t noticed me today. I was disappointed.

            But why would a rich, stunning girl like her notice me anyway. I am poor. I’m an immigrant of Mexico. I’m just another one trying to make it after crossing the border. I had nothing to offer. I, myself, had no car, and stayed in a tiny, half-filled apartment on the poor side of town. She was exceptional, probably well-educated; and I’m sure she had a boyfriend, if not a fiancé lined up to take her hand and provide everything that I never could.

            So, I kept my head low, and continued my duty for the day. Maybe I would see her again later this afternoon. But I wouldn’t pine over her. I wouldn’t imagine us running away together. I wouldn’t dream of her anymore. She was out of my reach. Until I became famous, or a millionaire, or made something of myself, no woman like her would ever want me, or see me for that matter.

            The next few days, I was off and didn’t go up to Mr. Flynn’s for work. I was at my apartment, laying on the old couch I had found on the side of the street, and I was drifting off for an afternoon nap. I lay there thinking of the woman from Flynn’s mansion.

            Who was she? I thought. She couldn’t be Flynn’s wife. She was way too young; then again, old rich men loved young, beautiful women. Was she Flynn’s daughter? Maybe a niece?

            The possibilities of who she could be drove me insane and kept me awake that afternoon. I lay on the couch until I became hungry. We had been paid yesterday, so I decided to find a Taqueria where I could get food that reminded me of home.

            When I got back to work Monday, I was told to water the plants that lay on the back patio of the manor, so I went around the hose, found a spout, and hooked a hose to it. I grabbed the end and began to water every single plant. There were many on the patio. I supposed Mrs. Fynn loved to garden when she could.

            “You,” someone said from behind me. “Can you help me please?”

            I turned, and it was the beautiful, young woman that I had admired from afar struggling with a bag of soil. She had on a shirt and jeans. I dropped the water hose and rushed over to her aid. I grabbed the bag of soil from her and threw it onto my shoulder.

            She looked up at me and said, “Thank you so much! You can just lay it there.”

            I put it where she pointed then wiped my hands on my pants.

            “I’m Emilio,” I said, trying to introduce myself, unsure if that was the right thing to do.

            “How strange? I’m Emily.” She laughed. “What a coincidence? Emily and Emilio.”

            I smiled.

            “You must be the new help,” she continued.”

            “Yes,” I replied. “I’ve been hired to keep the property looking … hmmm … bonita.”

            I didn’t know the English word for beautiful.

            “Lovely. I’m Harold Flynn’s niece. I’m just here from the summer visiting from Arizona.”

            “Ah. I, too, am not from here. I am from Monterrey, Mexico. I’m new. I have only been in your country for three, maybe four weeks.”

            “I love your accent,” she said, with a smile. “It’s nice; and it’s nice to meet you, Emilio. I don’t have many friends out here in Texas so it’s nice to meet someone who shares a passion for gardening.”

            I laughed softly.

            “I don’t have a passion for it, seniorita. I’m only doing a job. It’s a means to an end.”

            “Oh? What are you passionate about?”

            I looked down. I was embarrassed and was hesitant to answer.


            I spoke up and told her, “I love movies, Emily, and I came here to be an actor.”


            “I knew I shouldn’t have said it. I am shy now. It’s stupid.”

            I started to walk back to the garden hose that lay on the ground, but before I could pick it up, she put her hand on my arm. It was a soft and gentle touch. I looked at her white skin and followed her arm up to her neck then face. She was more beautiful than I had thought before. Now only inches away from me, she mesmerized me with a single gaze.

            “Emilio, it’s not stupid. I think you should pursue anything that you feel,” she reassured. “If acting is what you want to do, then do it. Never give up.”

            I nodded then picked up the hose.

            “Well, it was nice to meet you, Emily. I must get back to work.”

            She nodded too.

            “So should I,” she said, then turned and made her way down the steps of the back patio.

            She was even more pleasant than I could have ever imagined. I hoped I would talk to her again. I hoped maybe I could win her heart one day soon.

            Maybe I don’t need a million dollars, I thought. Maybe love surpasses all--- money, wealth, fortune and fame. Maybe Emily could love me one day.

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