Friday, January 10, 2014

4 Minutes. GO!

Hey, writer-type folks. Every Friday we* do a fun free write. Basically, you can write whatever you want in the comments section. You have FOUR minutes. Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So tell a friend. If you have one. If not, tell your enemies. 

The old man sat on a log abutting the stream. His hand cradled a lightweight spinning rod that had seen many years, it was weathered just like the man. Down the bank a ways, there were some teenagers fishing with a cooler of beer. He ignored them and they reciprocated.

The day progressed like days do. Sun shone in soft rivulets that seemed to pour down the man's face, collecting at the bottom of his spine where the warmth soothed an old injury that had never healed quite right. 

The man was not catching any fish. The youngsters caught plenty of beer. The man never made a cast, just sat watching his line in the water, absorbing the sun. Pine smell. Somehow the laughter of the kids was right, too. Usually, he liked quiet, but he hadn't heard that much laughing in a while. 

He was reeling in when the tall, thin one approached.

"Catch anything?"

"Not a damn thing, son."

The man finished reeling in and the boy laughed.

"Maybe if you put a lure on it would help."

The old man winked a smile that spoke of things the boy did not yet understand.

"Maybe, but I'm not here to catch fish."

*Laurie Boris and I lately you slackers!


  1. I don't have a friend. I lost them all in the Great Depression that followed my father's death. A world without him in it was a burden hard to shoulder, My early years were spent in an orphanage in Messina, Sicily, from which Papa saved me, brought me to America, and sheltered me from loneliness and heartache until suddenly he passed away some few years later. Where am I going with this? How can I describe emptiness? Where do I go to replenish all the joy that seeped free?

    1. That was beautiful, my friend. I especially like the phrase "it was a burden hard to shoulder". Just lovely. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. The gray in his hair and beard shocked her; it didn’t seem possible that someone she knew not so long ago could suddenly look so old. His face didn’t seem right, either. It was as if the skin had stretched too far and hadn’t returned to its original form. She asked the bartender for a beer and he lifted his eyebrows. “What,” she said, and he just smirked.

    “Never picked you for a beer drinker,” he said, and turned slightly, resting a sneakered foot on the rung at the bottom of the bar.

    That’s why those exist, she thought. To stand for hours bending an elbow without stressing your back. Funny, the things you learn.

    “You thought I was that much of a snob?” As if to punctuate her need to prove this point, she refused the offered glass, a fussy thing with a stem, and took a long pull at the bottle. The brew was a skunky and slightly warm, but she’d gone too far to come off as some kind of beer effete now.

    “Um, well…” The dimples she’d once secretly adored winked at her. “Kinda.”

    With her non-beer hand, she shoved back her hair, hoping to him it looked heavier on the pepper than the salt. “Well, I’m not. I leave the soda bottles on the kitchen table and drink milk out of the carton and everything.”

    He laughed. “Wow. You’ve gone straight from Felix to Oscar in what, ten years? I didn’t think women changed that much.”

    “We do,” she said. “Well, we don’t change as much as we become who we were supposed to be in the first place.”

    1. This is a smooth piece and I hate you for writing it in four minutes. ;) Kidding. I dig it, of course. Felix to Oscar FTW.

  3. The skin of the ship was a mottled gray, like it had died long ago, dried out, and shrunk. Dalia had always thought of starships as shiny and powerful, but this one seemed more like an ancient prune.

    "I exist between the spaces that you call time," said a voice in a monotone.

    "But time is a line," countered Dalia.

    "Time is a dotted line. And you are standing on one of the dots."

    "Why am I arguing with a spaceship?" asked Dalia, looking up at the top, ten meters above her.

    "Because you would look silly arguing with yourself?"

    "You aren't acting like an alien."

    "And you aren't frightened, like a Human." The voice was neither male nor female, but somewhere in-between.

    "Why are you here?" Dalia touched the skin. It was warm and pulsed with a staccato rhythm.

    "To erase things in your timeline."

    "Like me?"

    "No." A door on the side of the ship opened. "Come inside."

    1. That was rad! Come back next Friday, brother.


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