You can write whatever you want in the comments section on this blog post. You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.
Have a good weekend!
The sunlight burst through her hair, triumphant, and you were glad. You were relieved. Years, it seemed like. Maybe it had been years. You tried not to think about it. You tried to feel the sun on your skin like warm honey. You tried not to smell the sage and you tried not to taste that kiss. Some kind of lip gloss and the faint taste of hay.
You’ll spend your lifetime chasing that sunbeam and that kiss, and it will all fade, refracted into the sunset of sanguine memory. Of love that wasn’t love but damn sure felt like it. It felt fancy. Like a bit of lace where you don’t expect it. Like a ray of sunshine that makes you see everything differently.
But that had been that. The summer rolled on and time took on that amorphous quality. It dripped through the dusty days, and you felt a keening sense of loss that you didn’t understand then.
You understand it now.
FYI - My internet situation is dodgy right now. I will respond to everyone's contributions as usual - might take me a few days though. Cheers!
The old man walked with purpose through the forest on the path to his neighbors farm. Shotgun broken down and splayed across the crook of his left arm, eyes carefully following his progress along the trail alert for any uneven ground that may cause him to stumble. He and Rick Porter had been friends since childhood. They grew up on neighboring farms separated by this very path where they used to play Cowboys and Indians as children. They briefly loved the same woman in high school. The memory of winning that contest nearly brought a smile to the old Sam's stern face. Nearly.ReplyDelete
Rick and Sam each married and started a family. Sam had a daughter and Rick a boy. But there was something not right with Rick's boy. Everyone knew it, even Rick and his wife. But there are somethings a parent just will not see in their child, even when it is plain as day. Not until it was too late, anyway.
Sam walked out of the forest onto a pasture on the edge of the Porter Farm. He placed a shell in each barrel of his shotgun and snapped it shut. He had walked out of one hell, and determinedly walked toward a new one. One where his tortured soul could rest easy knowing he had avenged his friend, his wife, his daughter... It was just another version of hell. One he couldn't anymore live with than the first, but he walked with purpose toward it nonetheless.
Man, you are straight killing it (no pun intended). This should be a novel. You are a ninja.Delete
The yellow line twisted and curved like a snake in front of him as he sped up the road known locally as “Thrill Hill.” It was so named because if you crested the hill at anywhere from sixty to seventy miles per hour, depending on the type of vehicle you had, you would become airborne. At least for a brief thrilling time which was exactly the origin of the name. Bill was swinging for the fences on this one, both in terms of maximum speed and amount of alcohol consumed. He glanced at the speedometer of the old Chevy Impala, the red needle of the late sixties style analog meter pointed somewhere between 90 and 95. In front of him the view of the highway suddenly traded lined blacktop for inky night sky spray painted with billions of stars. Bill exhaled his last long breath in triumph and appreciation for a life well spent. The best at everything from baseball to girls to scoring booze from the old men who haunted the streets near the liquor store. After this night, Thrill Hill would now be known as Suicide Street.ReplyDelete
You sneaky son of a bitch. This one is awesome, too. Bravo, brother.Delete
His skin was fair - that's what the women at the home always said. You have fair skin. It never made sense to him. Then again, the whole concept of fair had never made much sense. Just like it didn't make sense that the cafeteria served carrots with their burgers. Fair. It made him smile. It also made him think of the day he had watched a car drive away. He'd stood in front of the home with a backpack and his blanket and wondered when his parents would come back.ReplyDelete
The women had been kind. He loved them. He did not understand who they were to him - it didn't matter - they smelled like something sweet, something that reminded him of a happier time. Something that stopped him wondering when his parents would come back.
Although, sometimes he still wondered. He always would.
Tug at this fair skinned old lad's heart will ya! Bastard is a term of endearment where I come from. Means you're one of us. Took me years to work out that it wasn't an insult. I'm still on the fence on that but if its a term of endearment I'll call you one.Delete
Term of endearment for sure. ;)Delete
Ten years of unsaid words pile up like broken roof shingles on uncut grass. They seep into her muscles like poison and bend her into unnatural shapes. They whistle through the broken screens along with the mosquitoes. They sleep in nasty piles underneath the garage bay gutter sagging in the middle, water cascading down and bouncing along the cracked asphalt driveway. They roll up into dust bunnies that bite her ankles and creep up her calves while she’s sleeping. They chew at her heart until there’s nothing left but gristle, left out in the yard for the birds to pick clean.ReplyDelete
Wow, this is an amazing example of powerful imagery, G. Love it.Delete
Thanks! You guys inspire me. Also, I've been writing all day. All warmed up, no place to go... ;)Delete
Wonderful transformation of mixed images into a beautifully coherent picture.Delete
Ten miles west of Albany, he grabbed her shirtfront in one greasy-nailed fist and pulled her into his face. Eyes crusty and squinting from being on the road for three days, dust in his hair. “You’ll remember this moment for the rest of your life.” His voice was like the guy who narrates the movie trailers, important like the world was about to end. And then he let her go, trudging along beside her at the shoulder of the Thruway as if nothing had happened. She wondered for her safety then, if this would become another story she could never tell her mother, or even if she’d make it back home at all.ReplyDelete
I love this one. Can I steal it and write the rest of the novel? ;)Delete
Damn, you steal the best stuff. Oh well, at least you ask nicely. She'll probably let you have it. All the girls do...Delete
It's the sideburns.Delete
He pulled his trained eye away from the rifle scope and eased back against the concrete knee wall. Without any sign of emotions he pulled a cigarette from its pack and lit it. He wasn't addicted to smoking, but he always enjoyed the way it made him feel just before and after a kill. He blew out the smoke and looked at his wrist watch. "Minute forty-five," he said. He sucked hard on the cigarette one more time and then flipped it out onto the flat roof of the skyscraper. Thankful that he wasn't afraid of heights, he peered over the edge of the building and smiled. "Come on. Step out of the car." he said. "I'll make sure it's a head shot."ReplyDelete
His heart rate increased for a moment before calming to just under sixty beats a second. He had been doing this job for what seemed like three lifetimes. The fear, anxiety and even the thrill had long since past. He did what he had to do. Without him, the promise of a healthy future would most certainly be lost.
The target stepped out of the vehicle and waved at the people in the crowd as a group of men in black suits and dark sunglasses surrounded him. "Two more steps please." he whispered as his index finger pressed firmly against the rifle's trigger.
The rifle bucked against his shoulder, but his trained eye remained focused. He witnessed the men in suits react first, all spinning and drawing their weapons, uncertain as to where the shot came from. The shooter couldn't help but grin as the targets knees buckled a fraction of a second later. The shooter then casually placed the sniper rifle at his side and withdrew another cigarette - smoking it as casually as if he were sitting on his front porch enjoying the sunset.
He cast the used butt to the side and stood to his feet, not worried that he might be seen. He had a secret, he was incapable of getting caught. He pulled a small plastic box from his suit pocket and adjusted the numbers. When it read, "2059" he pressed the green button.
He squinted his eyes as the bright light had always been far too intense to take, even through his dark glasses. A short time later, he walked into his place of employment, not going to his office, but the director's office instead.
"Did you do it? Was it a successful hit?" his boss questioned. He nodded his head and then tossed the history book onto his boss's desk. His boss took the book and hesitated.
"Go ahead, the page is folded."
His boss nodded and opened the book, finding the page he started reading. "Secretary of state, 'Wilson" was assassinated on the fifteenth day of June, 2014." His boss closed the book and dropped it back onto his desk. He took a deep breath and then smiled. "At least now we don't have to worry about Wilson winning the presidency in 2020. Those were some rough times."
Talk about a novel in two minutes! :) Good combinations of political thrill, time traveling sci-fi stuff.ReplyDelete
Thank you Ed. I really appreciate your kind words.Delete
Taut. I agree with Ed. I usually do. Great piece. I can always use more CIA surveillance. ;) Same place next week.Delete
WELCOME TO THE HOT HOUSEReplyDelete
I should’ve figured it out. I was walking barefoot in a field that should’ve been green with high blades of grass. Instead, as far as I could see, the grassless fields were blood-red and from them rose shimmering spears of blue-hot flames.
A near-death experience, I thought, but someone wearing an indelible sunburn read my mind and asked, “Near?”
Looking down, I saw I was still wearing my hospital gown with the open back meant for air conditioning but only served now as easier access for the flames roasting a browning rump.
“You saying I’m dead?”
“But it was simple surgery. A nonmalignant mass. Routine, they said.”
“Welcome to the Hot House, Billy Boy. I’m your demon guide Mr. Sinister.” He offered me a hand, shoots of fire extending his fingers like a 4th of July magic trick.
I started to cry, tiny hot blazing orbs popping from my eyes. “Is there no way out?”
Sinister poked me with his pitchfork. I heard my skin broil. Then he shook his horned head.
Far away somewhere down a tunnel I heard the surgeon say, “We’ve lost him.” My best friend’s wife Marcy, aka my lover, break out into raucous mourning.
“Welcome,” said Sinister. “Let me show you around.”
I love this piece. "Raucous mourning" - what a fantastic phrase. Thanks for stopping by, Sal. :)Delete
You can go to hell for taking your best friend's wife as a lover? Oh, wait, I mean you CAN to hell for taking your best friends lover. That and using the wrong punctuation to end a sentence. Yes, that's why I'm going. Good piece, my kind of humor precisely. I reckon I'll run into Billy boy on the other side ;)ReplyDelete
Argh, sorry I'm late, had some life complications this weekend I'm now free of. This one's called Christ Fuck.ReplyDelete
Road weary and trembling with pent hysteria, we make it at last into this Nebraska town, this South Dakota town, this Iowa town, bleeding from our raw stigmata.
These are settlements filled to the gills with dust. Boxy, squat. Wide main streets with angled parking, like nobody ever had to worry 'bout space. Tire companies. Two-pump gas stations, rusted and flake-leaded with ancient paint. Corner bars risking fever-glimpse neon signs, two or three patrons at any one time, no matter when. Hardware stores. Pawn shops. Silent chapels. The scent of oil. Weeds erupting from sidewalk cracks. But mainly a shitload of space and even more dust.
"Holler if ya need something." That's Marcie, runs the only good diner in town, fine American cuisine, and I surely ain't bein' facetious, no sir.
We spend our entire lives goin' in and out of buildings. See if that ain't true. Argue with me, if you can.
Watch times change, watch.
"What does a smile smell of?"
I ain't answering that. I ain't crazy.
Dead lots waiting years for something different, something better or at least newer, hunched SUVs scurrying scarab trails, chain link and rail cars under a dull lead sky over straight horizons. We're choking here. Choking on decent air, neglect, and pure sexless melancholy.
"My head is a cage." Your pretty brown eyes look panicky to me.
"Yeah. We oughta leave." Keep heading west. Makes damn sense. Go until the ocean stops us. Go until the end.
But all of this—all of this—pales in the firefly glow of brand new love and the Christ-fuck flash of lightning over the endless traveling midway.
I love the balance between voiced and unvoiced thoughts - kind of like diphthongs for the linguist of the soul. You may be the linguist of souls, David. You just may be...Delete
Linguist of souls! I like. :)Delete
Enjoying your contributions, too, Ed. This Friday thing is addictive and I honestly think everyone is upping their game each week.
I agree with both of you. I love this piece. And I think you should preface everything you write with "This one's called Christ Fuck." - even if it isn't. :)Delete
Dope story, brother. Knock it off with the diners, though, that's MY gig. ;)
LOL, diners and motels and sad little bars. I'll be writing about strippers with hearts of gold, rich entitled psychopaths and twitchy, oddly likeable mobsters soon!Delete
YOU'RE SHIA'ing MY ASS! NO ONE SHIAs *MY* ASS. ;)Delete