Funny stories in under 500 words.

Follow your dreams

funny short story: follow your dreams


It was a gray, cold morning in June when John realized exactly what it was he wanted to do with his life. Yes, trudging to work, listening to the broken sole of his left shoe slapping against the pavement, John had an epiphany, the first true spark of inspiration he had felt in months – years, probably – and he knew: he wanted, no, needed, to be an artist.

He considered this revelation; the germ of the idea had been planted in his brain when Melanie dragged him to the elementary school art gallery two weeks ago. He had seen the real genius there, seen the pride on his daughter’s face as she presented the sloppy, crooked-mouthed cheetah she’d drawn in art class, tacked up on the bulletin board outside her classroom.

Yes, he knew it with the deepest of convictions. In high school, he had been something of an artist; his teacher had told him he had potential, that his work was inspired. She had encouraged him to go to art school. Why hadn’t he? Thirty years later, he couldn’t remember.

All the way to work, John felt buoyed with the feeling of purpose. Yes, on his break he’d go to the art supply store down the road, get some pencils, paper – hell, maybe even paint and brushes – and set in for it. He’d really give it all he had, this time. He figured it’d be a lot of work, take a lot of patience, but he knew he had it in him. Taking a sip of bitter, too-strong coffee from his travel mug, he smiled to himself. Yes. This was it.

Arriving at work, he was shuffled immediately into a telephone conference that dragged on through his lunch break, and immediately after, he checked his cellphone to find four missed calls from Melanie and two from the elementary school, and a text from Mel that said, “Ava sick at school, please pick her up, am stuck at work.”

John let his boss know he’d have to miss the rest of the day, thinking of all the catch-up work he’d have to do the following day, and went to pick up his daughter. She moaned and whined all the way home about her headache, and immediately went for her iPad and locked herself in her room once they got home. John, developing a headache himself, went to lay down on the couch.

It was only then that he remembered that morning’s revelation – the art, the painting. He sighed, fatigue pressing him into the couch. A printed painting on the wall from Marshalls said Follow Your Dreams, surrounded by flowers. John groaned. Maybe tomorrow.

This story comes from Caitlin Foley. She's a student of creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and currently based in Galway, Ireland. She works as a freelance writer and editor, with experience developing websites. Click HERE to check out her website!