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.
Everyone was just standing there, looking up. It was natural, and you didn’t fault them for it, but you couldn’t bring yourself to look. Your eyes scoured the pavement, charting fault lines and old gum and a parade of ants that seemed unfazed by the sirens and screaming.
It’s not like you didn’t know what was going on. You could hear the bodies when they hit the ground: a wet, final thump. There were news helicopters and soldiers, surveying from the sky, bulging along the sidewalks. You tried to make it to the corner, but one of them just missed you. You stopped. The grunch of it turned your stomach.
There was a man in a uniform asking you things. Getting more and more agitated.
“What the fuck happened here?”
But you just shook your head with wonder.
Thanks for stopping by! I don't have regular internet access right now, so I apologize if it takes me a while to respond to each piece. I will. Have a lovely weekend.
Sometime between my arrival and my departure it got really drunk out. I didn't notice it before now, but I count myself fortunate that I didn't discover this fact before realizing that my waitress was the most beautiful woman in history. I was also fortunate to have not discovered the influence of gin and tonic on the atmosphere before finding the courage to confess my new found love for her. Less fortunate was my supposition that the bouncer had some investment in the romantic life of my server. This I only dared to postulate as I was sailing through the doorway into the aforementioned shockingly inebriated city streets. Well, the summer night, as intoxicated as it is, is ideal for a long walk home since it appears my car must again be playing hide and seek with me. On a night so impaired, even my keys have the good sense to stay in my pocket. The mile or so to my apartment stretched in several directions and the streets that haven't been replaced by unfamiliar ones seems to have doubled in number. Perhaps I can find a place open for coffee and with the aide of that wonderful substance see well enough to dial up a cab.ReplyDelete
This is such a fucking awesome piece. This is one of my favorite sentences ever: "Sometime between my arrival and my departure it got really drunk out." Awesome stuff, Ed.Delete
Dang JD, you beat me to it. That is also my favourite... :)Delete
Oh, I love this. And exactly that line. It's so Ed Drury Tom Waits.Delete
Raynes probed the soil, checking the radiation levels.ReplyDelete
“Well?” Barron asked, his voice scratchy through the Comms system. “What’re the readings?”
“Approximately five million rad. We’re taking a risk just standing here, even wearing these Hazmat suits. Maybe we can try again in another few thousand years?”
Barron stamped his feet impatiently. “Damn it. I was hoping we could be the ones. The first people to dig here. Perhaps even unearth a few artifacts.”
His companion shook his head, his grief palpable, even through the thick material of the protective suit. “I’m sorry, Doug. We were never going to be the ones. Even if the levels had been a million rad, anything we found would have still been too hot to bring off planet.”
The two archaeologists stomped back through the dust, resigned to returning home empty-handed. Maybe their descendants would have more luck.
Planet Earth would have to remain off-limits for at least a few millennia more.
This is an excellent, intriguing piece. There are many novels in this if you wanted to pluck them. I love it as a flash piece too, though.Delete
Was expecting it to be mars or some unknown planet. Oh my, is that our future?Delete
This is what I love about fiction, it has the kind of timelessness that stretches the imagination while remaining completely credible while being incredible.Delete
Thanks, guys. (And gal!) I do like this. And I don't feel the least bit guilty saying that either.Delete
Nice, Ed. Sounds like a good night out!ReplyDelete
You know how drunk it can get outside while you're innocently sitting inside a nice dark bar... :DDelete
Junior died today. We found him lying in the yard, under the sycamore Pop had planted nearly twenty springs ago. Mom thought foul play at first, but there was no blood, no wounds, nothing to indicate Junior had been killed. I remember when Pop died: quietly in bed, looking every bit like a man totally at peace. Even a rigor-mortised smile locked on his furrowed face. A natural death. Just like Junior whom he loved. The two of them in a way cheating, if not death, then at least the minions of death, those wielders of final and brutally sadistic pain. Mom said we'd bury him beside Pop. It was only fitting they'd rest together in their sleep as in this lifetime they were a team: Pop pitching sticks, Junior fetching them, barking joy, wagging tail, pleased as punch Pop loved him.ReplyDelete
Death should be cheated in this way. Its a wonderful thought that the end of life can be peaceful, painless. Those rare times that it is should be humbling and hopeful. Nice piece, very nice indeed.Delete
Sal, your range is so vast. I never know what to expect. And I'm always glad I get to read it. Well in, brother.Delete
Relieved Junior was the dog. Found the reactions sort of muted for a child. Phew.Delete
Thanks for your kind replies. I suppose we all had a Junior in our lives. As flash writers we want to tell the world!Delete
1:45. My leg spasms. The covers hit the floor again. I reach down, stretch my fingers as far as they’ll go and snatch the corner, dragging the duvet, heavy with down, over my skin, ripe with gooseflesh.ReplyDelete
2:39. Damn. Shut down, brain. Just stop thinking. Fuck. Hot flash. I strip the covers away and let the cool breeze from the open window over my head tickle my body, sticky with middle-age and unwelcome fire.
3:03. Shivering. Make up your Goddamn mind.
3:52. Restless legs. Antsy hands. Prickly skin. Sleepless night. Kill me now.
I really like this piece. Power. Plus, I've been there MANY times (minus the hot flashes). Great piece, Julie.Delete
Journalism as poetry, descriptive, accurate, human, and succinct. Accessible in that it brings someone who has never been there, close enough to empathize. Close enough to be near tears and helpless to help. Good work.Delete
The woman rings the bell at the same time every afternoon. I don’t even have to raise my muzzle from the floor; I can sense her approach, the tentative cadence of her sneakered feet. It’s slower and heavier than usual. That means an extra long walk, and I don’t mind. Maybe I’ll get to see the horses. The man answers the door and whispers my name. I get to my feet and shake the kinks out of my hind legs. Everything on the woman’s face turns down even though her voice sounds happy, but I can smell the sadness. The man hands her the leash and she kneels to me and clips it to my collar. I lick the side of her face and taste the tears. Yes, it’s going to be a long walk sort of day.ReplyDelete
I read muzzle as gun muzzle the first time. Very different story that way. ;) This is another piece that hits right in the solar plexus, lady.Delete
Aw. Love the dog's POV. Smell the sadness - I think they can.Delete
Yes, Laurie, you make me cry one more time and ... oh forget it, you had me at "The woman..."Delete
She was different than the other girls in class and that made you afraid, impressed, but terrified. She was so self-assured. That’s what all the adults said. So mature. You didn’t know what the hell it was, but you knew it was some powerful magic.ReplyDelete
Dreaming changed. You were no longer the scared boy, no longer the hero. You fell somewhere in between. You longed to be the hero. You were becoming less frightened.
He picked her up from school in his black Corvette. He was nineteen and had slicked back hair. Everyone went to look at the car. He had no problem with showing it off and she was more than happy to be seen in it. The queen, hot vinyl sticking to the back of her thighs.
It was a hell of a nice car. It really was.
see below. Sigh, I almost always reply in the wrong place.Delete
This frightened me. I think you secretly know things that no one is supposed to know. I hope you remember the temporal directive...Delete
Feels like it's 1979. I knew those girls. Sadly I wasn't one of them.Your first piece up there was unnerving. Assuming 9/11, but could be any explosion/fire/terrorism, anywhere. Which is sad.ReplyDelete
Do you get the feeling we were all hanging around just waiting to post? :)
lol. Thanks - and sorry for the late start today. Internet it down at home, so I had to actually leave the house! ;)Delete
You walk into the house and it looks as if time stopped in 1972. Like everyone was in the middle of dinner, maybe eating granules of processed cardboard from a tin tray heated in the oven. They were watching Match Game or talking about Vietnam or arguing about something Walter Cronkite said; as a family they decided to get up and leave. They left the orange shag carpeting and the post-modern, Jetsons furniture; they left the wood paneling and the giant television with the tiny screen, the left the Swanson dinners and the tater tots are long since cold stones of reconstituted space age. Even the car is in the garage; it has fins and is a color not found in nature. No idea what happened to the family. Nobody did. The real estate agent turns to you, straightens her green blazer and raises her penciled brows. “So. It’s as-is, of course. You interested?”ReplyDelete
bwahaha, the last bit gave me a chill. I see skulls under the house later on :)Delete
What? My childhood is in the hands of a real estate agent? This is a real cool piece, sort of Rod Stelingesque.Delete
Love this piece, G. Unfold the backstory, you're so good at that.Delete
“Angie.” Jason reached out and touched her arm.ReplyDelete
She jumped and spun around. “Shit, Jason, what the hell? Why are you here?”
“Why do you think?”
“You have to leave. If Dean sees you…”
“I don’t care. I want you back.” He stepped toward her.
She backed away until she was cornered between a stack of chairs and a mop bucket. “You stink of booze. As usual.”
“If you don’t come back, I’m going to drink myself to death. I’ve no other reason to live.” He leaned in, his cheek next to hers, one hand on the wall, the other on her hip. “I love you, Angie,” he whispered in her ear.
She didn’t speak. Her chest heaved with each breath. Her heartbeat bounced against her tank top. She turned her head and kissed him.
He grabbed her arms and crushed her into him, his tongue danced against hers, the taste of their shared liquor more intoxicating than the cocktails.
The intensity in this piece is palpable. As is the emotion: lust, heartache, resignation. Great piece, Julie.Delete
You can 'see' this playing in front of you. Such a good piece.Delete
I agree, very visual piece. Its like a screen play. Good stuff.Delete
Jordan spun the bottle again, hoping for a better result this time.ReplyDelete
Nope, this time it stopped on his dog.
“Okay, Clara. Why don’t I just come out with it now?” He grinned. “You and me. Together. My place?”
Clara gave him a ‘mock’ shocked look. “You have such a way with words, mon cher.”
“Somehow, I’m thinking it’s not my language skills that attract you.” Jordan angled his head, knowingly.
“You could be right, although…” she finished her beer and burped, “You do have a definite skill with tongues…”
This is so real. Love that she burped. Real :)Delete
Ha! Great piece, brother. I agree, very real.Delete
Harold had a nagging memory of what he once had a long time ago. Something which he has denied he could ever have again because he didn't feel he deserved it. Since then, he has basically settled into a life that is less risk and no reward. The life that he feels he deserves since losing the love of his life. But that love was perhaps only the love of his life because he wanted it to be so. A self fulfilling prophesy which he created at the same instant he blamed himself for her basically being herself. In a brilliantly constructed sabotage, Harold gave every appearance of moving on while secretly clinging to love forever lost. Skillfully, he stifled this kind of self analysis until it was far too late to do anything about it. With her, or anyone else. Harold was a kind of masochistic zen master in that way.ReplyDelete
masochistic zen master. Love that. I think I divorced that guy. :)Delete
This is an interesting and well woven piece, brother. I like it a lot. Sadness. Truth. You bring something awesome every time.Delete
I hear his voice sometimes, light and pure, in a gelatin haze right before I drop off to sleep. His eyes flicker with something that looks like pleasure at seeing me again and his lips move but usually I can only hear a few words, see the muscles around his eyes tense and relax. I have a sense he’s trying to say something important, and each night the eyes grow closer and fill more with worry. Each night I try to listen harder, but that only pushes him away. Like focusing too hard will make the fragments of dream melt faster. Then one night I am too tired too fight, too lost to push him away. His voice circles my head like a large, warm palm of comfort. I feel his hand on my shoulder, soft. Safe. This time I hear all the words. “It’s all such a waste of time,” he says. “You have everything. Be happy.”ReplyDelete
I love the gelatin haze. I love this whole damn thing.Delete
The creak of leather made him turn his head.ReplyDelete
“You’ve gone too far this time,” his father slurred. “I really ought to beat the shit out of you. Seems like I’ve been too soft on you all this time. Time to put that right.”
Henry backed off, the door knob butting into him as he cowered away.
“Da? I’ve done nothing, Da. It was the other boy.”
“You answering back too, boy?” The belt flapped out from one, two, three, four loops; finally freed and then hanging loose from the clenched fist. His father’s face purpled like a bruise. Blood rising. Like the storm to come.
...purple like a bruise. So good. This is an evocative and sadly real piece. Tone is perfect.Delete
The guy that was going to borrow his saw mill to me shit the bed. Dammit. I need more lumber for these projects than I can possibly buy, and yet, I stand here and stare at the eight acres of forest behind the house and wonder...fuck it. I'll just buy a goddamn sawmill. How much could one cost? Huh, more than I want to pay, but hey, the lumber ain't gonna cut itself. If I blow three grand on a mill, cut the lumber I need (3000-3500 board feet), and cut a shitload more and sell it, maybe I can make the money back. I've done every other job known to man kind, why not lumberjack/saw mill jockey? It's funny how you can get from nothing at all to do, to having far more shit than ten men can accomplish. Meh, story of my life. I can't wait to find out how this one ends.ReplyDelete
I love your pieces. You're a story teller my friend. A really good one. It's like an invitation to JT's brain.Delete
Thanks, bro. Come on in. Set a spell, kick yer shoes off and crack a beer.Delete
The wedding cake lay smashed on the ground, water jugs and glasses spilled around it. Broken glass and broken hearts all in the one place.ReplyDelete
It had all started so well. The rings and kisses had been exchanged and the families were eating and drinking as though they’d known each other all their lives. Supping together. Sharing stories. Celebrating the happy coupling.
And then the drink took effect. Tongues loosened. And the happy couple were no more. Happy, that is.
Ouch! The phrasing here is so well suited to the story. Simple and real. Well in, brother.ReplyDelete