Friday, July 4, 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. 

Along the road, bright lights flash on and off, the sensation is much like being in a bad rave. It is disorienting, and it doesn't match the soundtrack in his mind. He has cast back, past college, past high school, he has gone to the small, thatched place in his mind. He thinks about it and he looks at the kid who lives there and tries to find some commonality. 

The kid worries too much, but he just wants everyone to be happy. Tension has a smell he recognizes. A sweat, fear smell. He doesn't know how much more he can take. The anxiety is overwhelming even though he doesn't have the words for it. 

His mind sticks on one night, long past. After practice. Dark. The police stopped him after a mile or so. He explained that no one picked him up. The cops were empathetic and took him home. No one mentioned that he had to walk home most of the time. No one mentioned much of anything.

He shakes it off and keeps walking. No one will pick him up this time. 

Thanks for stopping by! It's independence day here in the states, so I apologize if it takes me a while to respond to each piece. I will. Have a lovely weekend.


  1. We walked along the quiet streets of Sellwood on a warm summer night. Tim's collie Sagebrush walked calmly ahead, waiting for us at every corner as he was trained to do before crossing streets. Two cats named Jeepers and Creepers darted along in the periphery of my vision checking out the neighbors lawns. After a few blocks they broke off to return home having exceeded their range for these late night walks. We came to East Moreland Park and I said, “It's nice out.”
    Tim was unusually quiet, pensive. After a long pause he replied, “It is nice out isn't it.”
    “Yes it is,” I said reflecting on another scorcher of an August day.
    Tim looked up at the night sky and said, “Then we should leave it out.”

    RIP Timmy, I'll see ya when I'm lookin' at ya.

    1. I love this piece, brother. You are so good at balancing on the razor's edge of sentiment and sentimentality. That's one of the hardest things any writer faces.

    2. Perhaps one of the nicest things anyone has said to me. Thank you.

  2. He prides himself in being a sensitive bon vivant. To us he’s a bonehead who claims to know and love fine wine and scrumptious French cuisine, but he eats marked-down prepared meals out of Wal-Mart boxes and drinks cheap California wine.

    “You like my trés-belle tomato sauce?”

    Oh, another thing. Telling the truth’s a virtue, but with Antoine (born Anthony Rollo), you had to swallow your morality and lie like hell.

    “Delicious,” Mary and I say in unison, matching our lilting praise with what felt like crazy-glued smiles pulling our lips into crescent pink moons.

    “And my homemade pasta?”

    Pasta? Impostor, more like it! I want to scream in his fat face. If I look in his kitchen trash, I’d find an empty cellophane bag that reads anything but Barilla or even San Giorgio.

    Bonehead stars in his own fantasy world, thanks to cowards like us who haven’t the guts to call it like it is. Too many years now to suggest he get help.

    Antoine in his J’aime-Paree apron stands at the head of the table, a covered dish in both hands. “Le piece de resistance,” he says in his strong Brooklyn accent, “My own recipe for Gâteau Basque!”

    From the side of the almond cake, Bonehead forgot to remove the Wal-Mart tag.

    1. I love this piece. Pasta? "Impostor, more like it! I want to scream in his fat face." Too funny.

  3. The bed was a slab of pain, no matter how the unsmiling nurse attempted to cushion it, and it barely cradled the sticking-out bones of her pelvis, in every position some flange of rib scraped a metal slat or a button on the mattress and extracted a new round of sobbing. Then from underneath the huff of her own ragged breath, she heard a voice. A sweet, full voice. A man. Reciting…poetry? The same lines, over and over, like music. Curling up, she got to her feet and padded to the door, the one they refused to lock, the one she refused to exit at night. Through the narrow window wired with netting, she saw him, a short, slight black man with thick eyeglasses and a narrow face. He was pacing up and down the back hallways their rooms shared. She couldn’t make out all the words but the cadence fell between poetry and song, a song maybe to keep her safe, to keep him safe, until the morning.

    1. This is lovely. And the beginning hits very close to home for me. You got it right, lady. As usual.

  4. A Fourth of July Story

    Nothing good in Ruby’s life had even begun with the words “watch this.” From pranks landing boyfriends in the emergency room to the hundred bucks she lost in a bar bet, she knew she should have just walked away when her uncle lit that Chinese rocket on the beach. They were special rockets, he’d said, driven up from Florida, come from someone’s boat that nobody had ever seen again. Rumor was they actually came from China, not the part that makes things that end up in the dollar store, but the part people were rumored not to return from. She squeezed her eyes shut to stop seeing the image of him, in his bermudas and soaked white T-shirt riding up his fat, hairy back, crouched down to snap a lighter and give the fuse a ride. The blast knocked her to the sand. She didn’t even hear the screams. Or the sirens. Or anything else, for a long time.

  5. Again, was inspired to write more beyond these first few lines. If you want to know how it ends, the rest is on my blog.

    He seemed to be the only penitent in the church. The airy hush was a sound larger than the place itself.

    The priest waited in the confessional until a shuffling noise told him the man had at last joined him on the other side of the grid. The voice in the near pitch-dark was shaky.

    "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…" So quavery it sounded more like a question, as if its owner couldn't settle on a tone. The man's breathing was shallow, rapid—the sound of near-panic.

    "Relax, we're all sinners here. How long since you last confessed, son?" the young priest soothed, suddenly aware of the awkwardness of such an endearment directed at someone probably no younger than he. Yet such was the nature of these things; how mysterious and nuanced the intricate bonds between shepherd and flock.

    "Not long. A while."

  6. First time in months she's been attracted to someone, and there he goes -- out the door with another woman.

    The next few days are torture. She rides a roller coaster of ugly emotion: jealousy, depression, unreasoning hope. She concocts wild daydreams in which he swoops back into her life and tells her it was all a mistake. Passionate kisses, searingly honest discussions, tearful confidences. None of it real. All inside her own head.

    The drama finally makes her sick of herself. And then it hits her: of course. She's a writer. She's been coping the only way she knows how -- by spinning stories.

    1. This is a great piece, Lynne. And I think we can all relate. At least those of us ballsy enough to admit it. I've often wondered how much of my life I "write".


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