Friday, August 15, 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. 

Jenny sat on a crag of rock, perched in a sideways squat, thinking. Above her, there was sky, miles and miles of blue. Beneath her, there were waves pounding the rock. The waves were a promise of death, but she could not move. 

Why? Everyone would ask why. She wanted to explain. About the pebble. About how it was different, gold flecked and half-white and just ... magical. It hadn't seemed far. Now, pebble in her pocket, Jenny felt her fingers tearing and shut her eyes. 

She felt herself falling, the wind, indecent, taking liberties with her body. There was no splash. She opened her eyes to find herself hundreds of feet in the air, body soaring, soul screaming, hand clutching her magic rock.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next Friday. 

120 comments:

  1. Smile.

    Her face throbs. Real smiles don’t burn. They are natural, just happen, no warning and no effort and no cheek-aching lie on your face.

    Smile.

    Why bother? No one else smiles. Make eye contact – no smile. Elbow a stranger’s ribs and apologize, no smile. But shit, drown in your own brain-fuck every day and wham! Fake smile plastered on your face. Not fooling anyone.

    Smile.

    Mrs. Lemmon exits the apartment building. Damn. Queen of Smile.

    Smile.

    “Hello, Dora, darling girl.” Mrs. Lemmon’s smile is unnatural in its naturalness. So easy. So permanent. So fucking annoying. “How is life?”

    Smile.

    “Life is, Mrs. L. Life just is.”

    She chuckles. That old-lady gravelly titter followed by a hack and a snort. She toddles off.

    In the elevator. Press seven. Glance at the security camera.

    Smile.

    Down the hallway, nod at the new neighbour. Smile your ass off and nod. “Afternoon.”

    Key in the lock, stuck, godfuckingdamnit, turn already. It gives in and the bolt slides open. Door shuts with a mild click that echoes in the emptiness. Her back to the door, Dora slides down until her ass hits the tile. She squeezes her eyes shut, the balls of her hands over them, and weeps.

    Smile.

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    1. This is an awesome piece. Strong and gentle and real. I love it. Robust and fragile. Lovely.

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    2. first! I wrote it last night. A bit over 2 minutes I'm afraid :) Love yours JD. Must be a day for stories of depression and suicide...

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    3. Thanks, Julie. ;) Yeah, that seems to be a common theme. We should have a 'nothing but happy stories' Friday. How much would that suck! lol

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    4. Strong piece, I was struck by the realism. Very authentic, made me smile in a sad admission of guilty displeasure.

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    5. Good stuff, Julie, and true. :)

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    6. Love this, Julie. So strong...

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  2. Reclusive by nature, she seemed out of place everywhere. Now, beside her, stood a proud Warren in his eggshell white tux, his fire-red tie, an unfettered smile that only beamed on the faces of joyful grooms. This wedding that Gemma had dreaded from the moment Warren first threw open the doors of her sheltered life.

    “I do,” he had said, loudly, definitively, with the gung-ho resonance of a political campaigner. Her vow was a squeak the officiator barely heard. To some in the congregation who knew Gemma, it appeared a vocal drawing of the line across which she could not pass. And when Warren kissed his new bride, the tears on her unveiled face seemed a quiet defeat.

    He craved attention; she abhorred it. He hungered for the glow of the spotlight; she hid in the cocoon of her loneliness. Two mismatched souls walking alone on two distinctly different paths.

    Before the first anniversary of their marriage, Warren, tethering at the end of his frustration, filed for divorce.

    Gemma imagined her inner child dancing pirouettes around the dim bulb, ecstatic in her second chance at loneliness.

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    1. Man, this is so pretty and heartbreaking. And, like Julie's piece, so very real. I love the way you write, Sal. Thanks, friend.

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    2. Really reaches the reader with a heady dose of reality.

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    3. ecstatic in her second chance at loneliness - that is so lovely and sad it makes my heart ache.

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    4. Love''s not easy, particularly when opposites realize the attraction won't work.
      Thanks for the comments. I need to comment here more than I do, but I must say I read the flashes and consider them top-notch writings. Proud to have my stuff here too.

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    5. Another good one. I love the "second chance at loneliness."

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  3. Carly looked across at him, expecting to see disbelief in his eyes.

    "I can see why you might think that," Lewis began. "But maybe you're overlooking all the other possibilities."

    Her held breath whooshed out of her. He didn't believe her. She'd hoped that he could understand. But no.

    "Look. I know that you're caught up in this. But you need distance to see these things clearly." Lewis leant forward, taking her hand. "Now tell me. What happened?"

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    1. Wow, there are so many things one can infer. Seems so light, but the subtext is very intriguing. Well in, brother.

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    2. This is an opening in waiting for my current WIP. Just thinking of how it might go best.

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    3. Well played... and it might go in a million different directions...

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  4. We eyed each other over a virtual backyard fence, comparing lives, comparing the Pantone shades of our lawns, who had #270 and who had #245, CMYK or RGB, or whatever shade of lush organic lust was in that season. I wanted what she had. The rich husband, the house, the pretty children, the sweaty glass pitcher of lemonade by the pool. She wanted my peace and solitude, my lack of responsibility. I snorted and turned away. What she mooned over was my worst nightmare, the thing that made me want to claw the walls down and set the rubble aflame. Hers, same. But in different degrees and with different weapons.

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    1. Love this piece. It's so true, too. The grass is always greener. In APPEARANCE. Great flash.

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    2. I love the specific Pantone shades. :D

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    3. Me too! And that 270 is purple and 245 is fuscia-ish makes it all the more "lush organic lust" - awesome (yeah, I googled it. The need to know is an obsession)

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  5. (L: this one was four minutes.)

    His station wagon—packed with nearly everything she owned—fishtailed around the ramp to the Thruway exit. The sudden motion roiled her stomach and as he corrected, she opened the window to let in what little air hung in the thick of August. Cicadas thrummed. The purple and yellow loostrife fluttered with the motion of the cars. Home. And not home. She’d left it years ago, left the very silence that the motion of opening the window let in, the small death of the last two weeks of August when everyone she knew had somewhere else to be—a new job, school, a life waiting, while hers…sat. Like the humidity. Like the loostrife. At that moment, she began to think she had made a terrible mistake, coming back here. Where there had been nothing. But she was dead tired of leaving places. Instead of going toward new ones. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. They would only be living in his mother’s basement for a little while…and the smell wasn’t all that bad. Anymore. Or at least that’s what he claimed. But as he pulled up to the tollbooth, he adjusted the rear view mirror and it snapped off in his hand. He looked at it, perplexed, as if such a thing could never happen, despite his vigilance, despite the careful check of the tire pressure each time he got into the car, despite all his reassurances, and she wondered if it wasn’t too late to change her mind.

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    1. WOW! This piece is excellent.

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    2. Nice piece about the illusion of choices and that they make any difference. Love the revealing of the inner back story and timeline.

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    3. Well, there's no looking back *now*, is there? :D Good stuff, Laurie!

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  6. She moved down the aisle with a look of self-confidence. Either that or she was the ultimate introvert and nothing or no-one else existed for her. She was a little over five feet tall, dressed in blacks, greys and a dark floral print. Like camouflage; not wanting anyone else to notice her. A little soft goth not wanting interaction.

    However, her subdued nature enthralled me. What was her story? Who was she? How did she live? I imagined her as an artist, painting illustrations of flowers for a publication with less than a hundred subscribers; her immaculate representations unseen by most of the world; being avidly viewed by only a couple of dozen appreciative botanists in studies as far apart as Helsinki and Honolulu. Or maybe she was a webpage designer; constantly developing page templates using HTML and rarely venturing out in the daylight. Her work'd be seen in thousands of places across the whole of the internet and no-one would ever be able to put a name to the one-woman studio creating them all.

    I had to know more about her.

    Waiting until she stopped to pick up a packet of pasta - who knew how many types there were - I judged my move perfectly, reaching out to take hold of the fettuccine at the same time as she did, delighting in the way her eyes turned to mine: looking puzzled behind the dark rims propped against her nose.

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    1. This is a lovely, rolling piece. So much in such a compact space. And there are infinite varieties of pasta. ;)

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    2. Achingly romantic and mysterious as romance always is when it is pure.

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    3. I was looking for a person to base a character on while I was in the supermarket today. As you can tell, I found one. And I also fell in love; just a little.

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    4. Great details. I love when a writer can paint a perfect description, but you don't realize that it WAS a description.

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  7. He sat with his legs astride the bike, the engine burbling under him. He had been sitting on the bike for an hour. The bike was not happy, it wanted to breathe, to run, to do its job. But the man sat, barely moving.

    The reasons were many and few. Too much ahead, too little to do. He was stuck in the crosshairs of all the roads that stretched out from where he sat. They all went someplace different and he could take any of them - and, therefore, he could take none.

    The bike ran out of gas eventually, and the man sat. He sat when the police came with their questions. He sat when it started to rain. The bike didn't mind the rain. So, the man sat, the center of a web of possibility.

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    1. Zen and the art of motorcycle stillness. Beautiful portrait, a still life in motion. I like.

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    2. So many questions and possibilities. I like it too,

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    3. Not choosing is also a choice, right? ;) Good stuff, Dan. And I liked your magic rock up top, too.

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    4. You know, I'm starting to develop this motorcycle fiction fetish....

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  8. “Wake up, Peter. Wake up!
    “ugh...”
    “Peter!”
    “What is it, Wendy?”

    Peter slowly rose to one elbow rubbing his eyes with his left hand, his vision alternating between light, dark, and swirls of colored dots. After a moment his surroundings came into focus. Bright moonlight was shining through the bedroom window. Wendy was peering at him, her short stature placing her face just where her large brown eyes peeked over the edge of his mattress. Her freckled face was framed by thick curly red hair, her eyes showed deep concern. Peter felt the need to comfort her. “I’m here, Wendy. I’m here,” he said softly.

    Tears streaked Wendy’s face. “You were gone again. I thought you weren’t coming back. Where do you go when you sleep, Peter?”

    Peter thought for a moment. He didn’t really know the answer to this question any more than he knew how long he had been in that other place. He began to realize the length of time he’d been spending in his dreams of late and it frightened him. The dreams were so real, so painful, and yet so detailed and compelling he just couldn’t tear himself away. Peter looked down at his hands and saw cuts on his arms. He became aware that he was badly bruised from events in dreamland.

    Wendy’s voice was pleading. “Promise me you will never go back there,” she said. “Promise!”

    Peter swung his knees over the edge of the bed. He felt woozy. Summoning more confidence than he had felt in years he said, “I promise Wendy, I promise.”

    Wendy’s eyes twinkled and a broad smile spread across her lips reaching nearly the corners of her eyes. “Can we go and play among the stars in the sky now? You promised, remember?”

    Peter shook off the effects of the long terrible dream, smiled at his little friend saying, “Yes I remember, Wendy. Of course I remember.”

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    1. Peter and Wendy, huh? Interesting...

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    2. I love the flash pieces you do here, Ed. You have such a unique style - I never know what to expect, then I read it and think for a few minutes. Then I realize you are way too fucking humble.

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    3. Its an homage. Not a very good one if you're not reduced to tears ;) My pieces often only work on me. That's my special gift LOL

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    4. Naw, your pieces work in different ways on multiple levels for individual readers. It's a gift. Acknowledge it! ;)

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    5. A nice homage. Peter got old, but Wendy stayed young. Nice change...:)

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    6. That is a nice change, Julie. It wasn't an homage to J. M. Barrie, but its a nice thought.

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  9. Her nostrils flare with every breath, fists clenched so tightly that she’ll have fingernail marks on her palms. The unlikely reason for this latest impending meltdown: red licorice twists, and the fact that I won’t let her count them as a side dish for dinner. Although her addition of "RedVines and tortellini" to our grocery list amuses me, I have to stick to my resolve, knowing full well it’s going to be an uphill battle to change her mind once she has it set on something. Few creatures on earth can match the tenaciousness of an autistic child.

    "No candy,” I repeat.

    She huffs and puffs. I wonder if she’s going to threaten to blow the house down.

    "You know the rules. Red Vines aren’t part of a meal. They’re a treat, and we had them just the other night when we were watching ‘Finding Nemo,’ remember?”

    Still glowering at me, she stomps over to the white board and scrawls "brokkilly" over "RedVines." No screaming, no tears, no meltdown.

    Hey, we’re making progress.

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    1. Some of your greatest victories aren't big and aren't yours. Still you celebrate and count every little step forward, every small crack in the armor, and every connection made. Its like baseball in that its a game of inches with no time outs. Wonderful piece.

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    2. Ah, kids. :) Nice vignette, Maggie.

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    3. I love this. So delicate and perfect. Well in.

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    4. brokkilly - love the spelling. A bit biiographical?

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    5. Thanks, everyone. I've been carrying around the title of this piece (Red Vines and Tortellini) for about a dozen years, stumped about the story that went with it. My sister-in-law works with autistic kids and we'd been talking about how difficult that can be when I had a proverbial lightbulb moment and finally knew what the story was about.

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  11. In the long ago and faraway, there lived a maiden who spent her days tatting lace. All around her fell into disorder as she pursued her obsession: the housework went undone, weeds grew taller than the flowers, the vegetables withered and died. Yet she could not stop. Not for a moment.

    Her friends -- the few that were left, for many of them had drifted away -- wondered how she could go on. She never seemed to eat. How did she survive? And where did she get the tatting thread? And where did the tatting go? She had been at it for years, day after day. There should be piles of finished lace by now, they thought, so tall they would block out the sun.

    What they didn't know, because she could not tell them, is that she was under a spell -- or maybe just a misapprehension. An old woman had told her that if she just kept working, she would reach the core of the spool, and there she would find her heart's desire. But there was always more thread. Always.

    She knew, as she sat and tatted her lace, that she was throwing away her life for what might well be a lie. But she could never bring herself to give up hope.

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    1. Thoughtful piece of flash that travels into fable territory. Awesome!

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    2. I love fables. This is a dope piece. And it's a good point, we all risk throwing our lives away for that unattainable something we've conned ourselves is waiting. Great piece.

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    3. This is lovely. I read the tatting lace as a metaphor for writing. So much writing. So little to show for it. housework not done, showering on weekends is rare, totally under the spell of writing, writing, writing...

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    1. Very postmodern, Ed. The flash so incendiary it vanished... ;)

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  13. It's just a cap off an old liquor bottle, but it is everything. Metal, the soft, spongey whiteness pried out with a knife long ago. It's blackened and old and you NEED it. You try to hold the cap, but your hand is shaking so fucking bad. You can't lose it. Fucking hold your hand still. Yeah, the lighter burns, but you gotta keep that shit level.

    The liquid sloshes inside the cap and your heart stops. No. Please. Please, God. You steady your hand. The fear steadies it. You smile. The calm is coming. The shaking is bound to stop. The burns on your fingers won't hurt a bit.

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  14. Scary stuff. Can I have some more?

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    1. Not if you don't eat your ... oh, hell, fine! ;)

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    2. Hm, a liquor bottle cap... I usually use a spoon.

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    3. Well, not everyone can be so fancy! ;) Plus spoons are even sloshier.

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    4. But your fingers remain unsinged... :D

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  15. He watched her approach the shop through the half closed shutters and held his breath all the while, willing her to enter.
    The bell above the door tinkled her arrival and he exhaled quietly with relief and anticipation.
    She was a beauty alright. Flaming auburn tresses curled around a delicate face and rippled down to the curve of her glorious hips. He felt aroused which both pleased and alarmed him.
    She wore a faint smile and her intelligent eyes immediately began to scrutinize the shelves of old books.
    He was so captivated by her that he remained in the shadows for a few moments unable to break the spell her presence had cast over him. This woman may prove to be tricky.
    He stepped forward and she turned locking her eyes with his.
    There was something about the boldness of her stare which made him wonder if he should maybe let this one go. She unnerved him.
    Oh but the thought of his hands grabbing her hair why, it was long enough to wrap around her throat with no need for his tie to do the job.
    Aroused by the images he had conjured he smiled and said, "Good afternoon, may I help you?"

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    1. Love it. Images. Feeling. Heart. Fear. Shaken, not stirred. So many avenues. Park places.

      Everyone should have a little elf that sits on their shoulder whispering: "This woman may prove to be tricky."

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    2. oooh, you tricked me. Love that he wants to strangle her with his hair...

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  16. It's a dark night blasted with neon jewelry and dipshitery. Too much bass. Middle of fucking nowhere. Whatever. Fucking spaced out idiots in Elmo backpacks. You just want to cop and leave. You don't want to dance, you don't want to cuddle, you don't even want a backrub from the cute girl with the Journey t-shirt. You just need to find the fucking man. Waiting. You hate waiting.

    He shows up all smiles and swagger and handslap, like that, it's back and you just want to leave, but your buddy is all amped up and he's having some kind of heart to heart and it's bullshit. You light a cigarette. You're not waiting for him. Fuck him. FUCK him.

    He comes to you with wide eyes, face fear. What the fuck happened? He spilled it on your hand? How much? Alright, yeah, I know you don't know how much. Fuck.

    You find the smiley man and you ask him. He says 'your buddy is in for one hell of a night'. You don't tell him about the GHB or the mescaline or the fact that now your packet is gonna sit in a sweaty pocket while you babysit.

    "Hey, pour some of that shit on my hand, it's only fair." So, he does. All smiles. Ain't it grand?

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    1. Gritty and real. Love that about all of your writing, that inside the head way you have of nailing it every time.

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    2. So much for babysitting... Good stuff, dude.

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  17. Continuing on from before, because I'm smitten...

    “I'm sorry,” I said, keeping hold of the other end of the wrapper. “I was just needing some pasta.”
    “Me, too,” Miss Soft Goth, replied. “But,” she said, raising a perfectly plucked eyebrow, “there are some more packets behind it.”
    I sighed, not wanting to lose this opportunity. “Of course there are, ma'am. But...” I began, studying her feverishly to look for some reason to keep her attention a little longer. She'd got no rings on her fingers; just a friendship bracelet that looked hand-crafted and a stylishly simple dial-faced watch with a silver bracelet and a single gemstone at the twelve o'clock position. Her clothes were drab but well made, with a high-end quality that suggested they were either hideously expensive or vintage garments bought from an exclusive boutique shop. And her glasses; her glasses were dark-rimmed and framed with a minimum of decoration. A monogrammed letter, that's all there was, positioned discretely against the hinge; the letter and the hinge both finished in a dull lustre. Expensive again. She was classy.

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    1. Keep going. You've almost made it to the produce aisle... ;)

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    2. I was hoping for some sauce first... :D

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  18. His velvet brown eyes scrutinized each piece, each square, and she could almost hear the tumblers falling into place in his mind as he weighed his alternatives. She’d stared at the layout so long the players swirled into an Alice in Wonderland tea party, off with their heads. Yet if she looked away, out the picture window and into the dark roll of clouds tumbling over the Catskills, she feared she’d miss an opportunity to learn from the junior grandmaster. Some flick of his eyelash or sweep of his delicate hand easing into a short-term gambit or riding down a file into a slash-and-burn offensive. Finally, he’d chosen. She could see it in his eyes. He reached up and tapped a pawn up two squares. She blinked. And blinked again. “That’s it?” she blurted. He hooked an eyebrow and withdrew his hand. Her next move would be checkmate. He had to have known that. He had to.

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    1. I like this piece (cha-CHING) a lot, Laurie. You have a beautiful way of dramatizing the every day dramas.

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    2. So why is he letting her win? Hmm... ;)

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  19. It’s the clown bought by grandma that sits on your dresser and stares at you in the dark and you’re sure the creepy little suckers arm just moved.
    It’s a drip, drip of iced water on your brow, a cacophony of wings from the startled flock, the unreachable itch in your plaster cast
    It’s an unquenchable thirst and insatiable hunger. It’s finger nails scrawping the blackboard and mind numbing monotony and pen on paper drawing circle upon circle and tearing and ripping and anger and sadness and grief.
    It’s exhausting, hysterical laughter and gut wrenching sobbing and an ocean of tears.
    It’s your jailer, your downfall, your saviour and the sum of all fears.
    It is darkness and fog and the Marie Celeste, it’s a slash of a knife to the wrist.
    You are spinning and falling and groaning and gasping then the blackest of sleeps.
    It is morning, you made it and sunbeams wrap you in their warmth. It’s another day and another chance, a reprieve from the nightmare.
    So you dream by day, fall in love with your life again, live moment by beautiful moment.
    You search for the remedy which you are sure must exist. (Rain forests hold the cure for everything don’t they?)
    Hold on to the positive for all it is worth, don’t let that mother go do you hear me, hand on, hang tight…..everything is going to be alright.

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    1. You paint a dark scene and then skillfully reach out a hand of hope and love like a patient parent, a moral savior. Its a beautiful and generous thought written with the ink of unconditional love.

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    2. It seems we've been inspired this week to write about despair. Well done, Audrina.

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    3. The dark night of the soul... Well done. :)

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    4. I can't possibly say it better than Ed did. Great piece.

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  20. The man who walked into the funeral home had all the signs. The director had seen them all before, and it took him no time at all to usher the visitor into the office.
    'And how can we help you, sir?'
    'My wife,' choked the man. 'So young, so beautiful.'
    'My condolences,' smarmed the director, already seeing the sale. 'What do you need us to do?'
    'Her body,' whispered the man. 'At home.'
    'I understand completely. Don't worry, we will give her the best of care.'
    'Yes, nothing but the best for her. So lovely.'
    'Yes, yes, I'm sure she was,' came the absent reply, dollar signs floating in his imagination. 'Where is she now?'
    'Still at the house,' came the tortured answer.
    It was only a matter of moments before the initial paperwork was complete. The grieving widower stood and made his way to the office door.
    'When did she die?' was the last question from the director, but perhaps the man didn't hear him.
    But he had.
    'When I get home.' And the door shut.

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    1. sweet! well, not sweet, but you know, sweet!

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    2. Its always good to plan ahead. Which reminds me, I should be getting home. Guest for dinner and all that...

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    3. Awesome. I saw it coming at just the right moment. Apex. This is a great piece with a million stories in it, Adam. Please join us next week! And play again if you like.

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    4. Awesome twist at the end, Adam. :)

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    5. This is good stuff... and good timing on the twist!

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  22. Had to put on some Velvet Underground and read this again. I like this like all my thrills , vicariously.

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    1. Word. Vicariously can be very good.

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  23. Called Dockland.
    _________________

    He felt almost conspicuous under the pearly cone of light at the shabby corner of Wheelhouse and Commercial. This time of night there were plenty of lights down at the wharf, glimmering amid the docks like tiny nebulae, but there was also plenty of shadow.

    The sharp surprise of a coyote, yapping somewhere impossibly close, stunned him with portent.

    But invisibility had always been his superpower, this grey man in a grim place. He would be fine, he always was.

    Then she was there. Of course. She had seen him. A slight woman stooping a little and wrapped in a nondescript coat that barely covered her knees. She looked so fragile, almost childlike in fact, that he felt inexplicably sad. The deep kind of sad. The kind that doesn't go away no matter how much tequila you drown it with or how much cocaine you try rubbing into its receding gums.

    She passed him what she'd come here to pass him. His guts moved inside him, squidlike. He handed her a roll of bills and she pocketed them without even counting.

    And like cold breath in an awful dream about dying in fog, she was gone.

    Leaving him holding it. The heavy thing. Heavy, cooling, yet still warm with its own ghost, and still dripping.

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    1. That was fantastic (reread and was going to say 'this is', but I think the way I initially wrote it says something - this is such a COMPLETE misery tale).

      That's all I wanted brother! You can go back in the basement now, proud. You might need a new timer, but proud nonetheless. ;)

      Seriously, this is sickly beautiful.

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    2. Thanks, my friend. As long as we manage to hold onto the beautiful part, sick misery is sustainable. And an honest reflection. I need to go do something different for a while (not writing, not editing), but maybe I'll return later and get all drunk and effusive over all these other dark little gems here.

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    3. I hope you do too :). No matter how grim the tale, it can be beautiful in the telling. You are a master of that. And JD is too. Were you separated at birth?

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    4. Only if it was a LONG labor. (Antrobus OLD). ;)

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    5. Older but still competing in the cuteness category. ;)

      I kept half my promise but instead got all effusive over Linklater's Boyhood. Incredible movie.

      (Julie, thank you, that's kind of you.)

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    6. JD, I'm pretty sure David's about my age so, ouch....

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    7. Just kidding. You're both young and cute or whatever. ;)

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  24. Fifty percent of hitching is luck, and fifty percent is persistence. When a ride comes along, you don't say no unless the driver is holding a machete or a gun. You've waited for that ride, you've willed it into existence, even if it takes two days to conjure it up, even in the shimmering heat of Tulsa, Oklahoma, from which Dante surely drew his inspiration for the fires of hell.
    Each ride is a gift, a surprise, a discovery. When you hear the throaty purr of a motorcycle crest the hill, you silently thank the gods of exhaust that it slows for you. The man's voice asks if you need a ride. You nod, silently grateful that you only have a small backpack of stuff.The smell of the leather he's wearing isn't new car leather, it's leather that's been worn and known rain and sunshine. He coaches you on how to sit, where not to put your feet.
    You ask, awkwardly, where to put your hands.
    "Around me," he says. "And don't lean one way or the other. That's my job."
    He starts off slow, letting you get used to the freedom of the wind touching your skin. There's no awkward conversation like with the drivers of all the cars you've hitched in. Just the scent of leather, a little exhaust, and whatever kind of weeds grow in Oklahoma in the summer.
    You try not to hold too gightly to the man in front of you. You know he can't stand being restrained, but it feels good, this hugging of a stranger. You notice how the leather he wears feels against your hands.
    It feels like sex, but not like sex. Your senses are overwhelmed. You shift a little, but not so much as to change the balance the two of you have found on this machine. You lean your head back and laugh. You feel him turn around just enough to make sure you're not losing it, and then his eyes find the road again.
    You laugh, because you've never felt, never known, never seen such freedom, such independence, such intimacy. For the first time in your life, you don't care that you are blind.

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    Replies
    1. That was awesome. I even ride a MC and that felt like riding a MC. I spent a lot of time on the back of a bike when I was young. I ride alone now. I miss riding with my miss. I need to find a hitchhiker, I reckon...

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    2. Thanks! I hate writing in second person present, so it was kind of an exercise for me... and I thought about it a lot before the fingers actually hit the keyboard, so I should probably claim more than two minutes....

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    3. That is a great piece. blind. didn't see it coming and when I read it, said 'oh wow' right out loud. Nice.

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