Friday, May 30, 2014

2 minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. Every Friday we do a fun free-write. 

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. 

All these electrons are getting under my skin. E-scabies. I can't hardly breathe because I'm afraid that the internet might disappear or, even worse, grow in stature and stupidity. Things weren't always like this. I miss the old days. Yeah, I'm that guy. I want to sit outside on a cool summer evening and not see one goddamn smart phone. I want to lay in bed and relax without wondering what's going on on Facebook or who's catching fish where. Hell, I want to go fishing with no preconcieved notions of whether or not I'll catch fish. It's like I'm covered in this itchy blanket all the time. It lets a little light in, but not enough - I'm smothered, my pulse rate is frighteningly high. Time for one of those little blue pills I got from the doctor. 

I'm really starting to hate it, the internet. 

Until it doesn't work right.

Have a good weekend! Thanks for stopping by. I am having internet issues so I will not be able to respond to everyone's pieces promptly like I usually do. I will though. Scout's honor. It might just take a few days. Write forth!

53 comments:

  1. I took little notice of the male in his early twenties wearing a red hoody, shorts, and a pair of high top Nike court shoes. I noticed he was watching me as I approached the door to the local Starbucks but didn't give it a second thought until he snapped his head down to a smart phone and started texting furiously just before I reached him. As I entered the building I could help but wonder if he was really texting someone or if it was just his technique for not being made. Nah, too obvious. He just remembered a missed appointment or something. I probably reminded him of his father who he was supposed to have breakfast with this morning.
    The line for coffee was long which give me a chance to observe the suspicious lad get up from his sidewalk chair and walk toward the parking lot. Appears I'm getting paranoid in my old age, nothing more than a young kid who probably never goes five minutes without firing off a tweet. Probably something about a funny looking geezer at the Starbucks this morning. I glance back up to see him staring at me from the middle of the parking lot. He was smiling as he placed a finger on the surface of his iPhone. The blast was nearly instantaneous and turned everything first white, then black.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lulled along until that ending! Love it, Ed!

      Delete
    2. Yeah, caught me right off guard, this one did.

      Delete
    3. It was a true story. Okay I made that last part up' cause ... flash ... fiction. :)

      Delete
    4. 'flash' fiction. Nice, Ed. :)

      Delete
    5. I concur with all the above. :)

      Delete
  2. She stepped into the room like it was unoccupied, placing one foot in front of another in a measured way, disregarding everyone.

    Everyone else in the room noticed her. It was hard not to. The way that every conversation dropped and then died, the way that every head turned toward her, it showed that she'd most definitely been noticed.

    "Nice day for a visit, Bessie. A little cooler than usual for June, don't ya think?"

    Bessie hauled herself up to her full five feet seven inches, her rheumy eyes locking onto Jason's. "It is a little colder today," she agreed. "But it's nothing that the weather girl on the television didn't forecast this morning,"

    Jason nodded back, his eyes slipping sideways to catch those of the men with the restrictive canvas jacket creeping up on the naked pensioner. "It's certainly a day you'd remember."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that. Nice bit of faking us out at the start.

      Delete
    2. I agree totally with Julie. Great piece and nice ending.

      Delete
  3. Stupid summer job, mowing lawns, the boy thought, scratching his head as he surveyed the knee-high weeds that stretched on at least a half acre toward Mrs. Miller’s woods. Don’t people care about their property anymore? No, why should they, when they can hire some schmuck like him to do it for you for twenty bucks. His mom warned him about ticks and stuff, even gave him some bug killer. But bugs didn’t worry him. No. Snakes. That’s what skeeved him out. He’d heard that some had escaped from zoos, not the harmless black and green snakes he’d toyed with when he was little, pushing them around with sticks, but freaky stuff. Pythons. Cobras. Snakes people smuggled in from other countries, and thought would make great pets, until they got too big and scary to be cool. Then they’d look the other way while Snakey slithered out the back door. He pulled the cord to start the mower. Should have taken that job at McDonald’s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gave me an ominous feeling, like a scene from a Lynch movie.

      Delete
    2. Pythons, if they don't get too big, are pretty harmless. And beautiful. Love 'skeeved him out'

      Delete
    3. I, too, love the word skeeved. I didn't know other people used it. Great piece, G.

      Delete
  4. I watched the wrinkled gnarled hands pull the final white thread through. Then Thelma lifted the black leather jacket and showed us the embroidered skull and crossbones. As we cheered, Thelma leaned over and hocked a nasty clump into the spittoon. She gave us a smile with tar-stained teeth and all I could think about was that old QuickTrip convenience store slogan: "We're cleaner than a spittoon at a sewing bee." They clearly hadn't hung out with us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The first blow penetrated the muscles beneath the shoulder, the mallet driving the rebar through and through on the second strike. The drunk woke up from his stupor then, squealing like a demonic pig under a shower head spewing down holy water. By the third blow, he'd been pinioned firmly down to the earthen floor, the ruddy soil rapidly turning into slurry as the blood began to flow.

    "I'll bet this's the first time anyone's likened you to a butterfly, punk," I said, grinning as he began to writhe about. "Just like a bug on a card. And ready to be snuffed out."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, metamorphosis. Modern horror spin on Kafka. I like.

      Delete
    2. This is another great piece. Brutal and stark, but it flows so well.

      Delete
  6. A block from the beach, the woods begin. Ancient trees tower overhead, dwarfing the tiny cottages beneath. Landscaped plants cling to the topsoil that covers the deep layer of sand beneath. In the vacant lots between, mayapples and fake grapevines proliferate under the hardwood canopy.

    At the stub end of one block sits a cottage with log-cabin siding -- different from its neighbors only because of the proliferation of wind chimes next to the door.

    (Took a little extra time to finish that last sentence and clean it up a bit. So sue me.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evocative. (And don't worry about cheating, Lynne. I'm brazen.)

      Delete
    2. Thanks, David! Might be the start of a new story. We'll see.

      Delete
    3. Exactly. You never know what these exercises might kickstart.

      Delete
    4. I just contacted my lawyer. ;) Kidding, two minutes isn't enough sometimes. Really like this piece.

      Delete
  7. She heard a noise downstairs, and reached for the 22 her father had always kept behind the headboard of the master bedroom. A scratchy kind of noise, too big for a raccoon, too small for anything but a deer or maybe even a moose that had wandered too far south. She hoped it wasn’t a human. Three miles from the nearest neighbor, she might just have to shoot, if it came to it. The noise came again, the scratching, the breaking of twigs under heavy feet. The light flashed on, the motion detector light, and a shadow froze across the driveway.

    A human-shaped shadow.

    First, she tried the obvious. “It’s okay, honey, I’ll take care of it,” she shouted. There was no honey within five hundred miles of here, but her state trooper husband warned her that, since she refused to have a dog, she should pretend someone else was home.

    The shadow moved closer to the door. She heard a muffled voice, female, squeaking something. It sounded like her name.

    Cindy broke for the door. Moved the lace curtain beside, and even that smelled of brown laundry soap and sulfur, like everything in the house, like her entire childhood.

    “Cindy?”

    Yes. Definitely her voice. She felt her eyebrows scrunch together. “Delilah?” she questioned softly, reaching for the door.
    The freckled face broke into a worried, flat grin. Blood trickled down one leg and stained what looked like a fancy party dress.

    “Oh, my lord. Delilah, get in here.” She set the 22 in the bushes and grabbed her sister in her arms, one beat short of the girl’s collapse.

    (My timer broke.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it the same type as David's?

      Delete
    2. They just don't make timers like they used to.

      Delete
    3. My heart rate went up reading this, by the way.

      Delete
    4. I'll remember the timer excuse for next time. ;)

      I was sure this was going to end badly. I expect the rest of the story well might.

      Delete
    5. lol Mark. This is a dope piece, lady. I like it a lot.

      Delete
  8. There used to be life here. Bungalows,little three-room railroad-style tinderboxes lined this narrow street that led to the boardwalk, the beach, the Atlantic Ocean, and beyond it, to Europe. As a little girl, Sarah would stand ankle deep in the ocean and imagine that Europe was just beyond the horizon.When she was older, thirteen, she imagined it was England and Liverpool beyond the horizon and her beloved Beatles. But now, nothing stood. Sarah had never seen a war, but this is what it must look like.


    [two minutes is not a lot of time.]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alice, I wish you'd cheated with the time. This felt like it was going somewhere, had a bleak apocalyptic feel.

      Delete
    2. Apocalyptic, for sure. After the hurricane or after the apocalypse?

      Delete
    3. I agree, this is going somewhere and I want to know where! Thanks for playing - feel free to cheat on the 2 minutes next time.

      Delete
  9. "C'mon. My turn. I want to play."

    Elizabeth passed the toy to her brother, her dimpled cheeks puckered around a gummy smile. "Okay. But don't you keep it to yourself. I wanna 'nother go!"

    The five year old boy held it up two-handed in front of him. Shiny, cold and heavy, he rubbed the metal snout against his chin and pulled the lever against it's guard.

    Click!

    "My turn again."

    Daniel nodded gravely. "Okay. But I have to spin the barrel-thing first..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are they Russian?

      No, they're taking their time.

      Ha, this is good, my friend.

      Delete
    2. OMG. Another that could end very badly. You guys are skeeving me out...

      Delete
    3. There's that word again. It *is* a good word, isn't it?

      Delete
    4. This is great. I'm cringing thinking about it. So, well in. ;)

      Delete
  10. This one's called Cowgirls, and yes, I'm totally cheating.
    ______________________________________________

    They tied their mounts in a meager stand of red birch, evening's onset drawing out shadows beneath the vast western cliff face.

    To their right, the eastern plains were already dark as an indrawn breath.

    Blanket folded between her dusky head and a small rock, Ashlyn lay back and tried to guess where in the sky each new star would choose to glimmer.

    Glimmer-born, she thought. A fine name for high fantasy.

    But here was only low reality—the edifice that loomed to their left, the quiet trees still as quills, and the memories of their belligerent, cheating, freshly killed husbands still bleeding out on worn linoleum.

    What indignities this land has witnessed and then always covered like someone dutiful raking their trail with cedar boughs. Build a fire and not all ghosts scatter.

    "Well. We did it." Clara's face indistinct in the greying of the world.

    Another star awoke, and Ashlyn smiled. "Sure did, sis. Turned them tables good."

    The horses chuffed and nickered amid the birch stand. Small birds in the scrub chittered and flit, settling.

    "So, head out before sunrise?" asked Emilia. "Keep going?"

    "I say yeah. Too tired to move, but giving y'all high-fives in my mind here. Night, girls."

    "Night."

    "Night."

    High on the cliff above them a cougar screamed like a child lost in a charnel house, while everyplace else shrank into silence and the stars blazed from their impossible distances, as they always will do and always have done. Amen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to know what they did. Great start, David.

      Delete
    2. Yes, if only I had the time. Every one of these short pieces sets off ideas for longer ones, I find.

      Delete
    3. Left a comment on your blog. Love it.

      Delete
  11. I sent my boy a message. "I know Vegas is a tough place to be, kid. Come out here and stay with the old man, and we'll build an empire." There were a few more choice words than that, but that was the jist. Yesterday he took the initiative to buy a train ticket from Vegas to Chicago. I've got friends in northern Illinois that can get him seven hours north of there, which is where I am. I asked him, "Didn't they have a stop in Rockford? And wait a minute, Amtrak don't go to Vegas!!" So he called me today, and it turns out, I was right. He bought a ticket from Vegas, all right...New Mexico. Now he has to take a bus from Vegas NV to Vegas NM to catch the train to Chicago, and take a bus to Rockford Illinois where a friend of mine will feed him and put him up for a night. Then I gotta figure out how I'm gonna get him seven hours north. I told him, "Look at it like this, boy; you're in for an adventure." (My life is a story)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nevada, New Mexico -- they're all kinda big and western.... ;)

      Delete
    2. I need to get a map. Really like this one, brother.

      Delete
  12. I like this very much, Daw. I like the image of the 'trees still as quills' Like a big porcupine guarding the hillside. All through I got a real sense of time's unwavering passage. The stars 'blazed from impossible distances.' So much so that the distance is measured in units of time.
    I really liked this piece,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So hard to come up with fresh metaphors, but yeah, that one made me happy. Oh right. This could almost be titled Light Years or something. Thanks, G.

      Delete

Please leave comments. Good, bad or ugly. Especially ugly.