Friday, September 5, 2014

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here. Every Friday we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom.

You can write whatever you want in the comments section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. BREAK THE BLOG! 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. 

You slake that thirst, I'll take your worst. But first. Let's spread this out on the table, nice even layer, fancy label, make sure everything is on the up and up. You ain't got aces in your socks, right Ace? Me? I don't wear socks. Makes me feel like my ankles are putting on airs. I ain't about to brag about my ankles. 

Squirm and pull your body away from it, the air is thick with syrup and bullshit. I don't acknowledge it. That's a damn lie, and I know it. I'm not being honest. That's not fair - who am I kidding, that's more than fair. 

Smell the sulphur on the wind, the stabs of rich, meat smoke. Listen to the babble of conversation until it streams over you, coating you in a blanket of white noise. Run your hands down your face, feel it. Look up into the sky until the stars blur into one brilliant expanse of white, and you begin to rise.

Thanks for stopping by! I will be in and out all day, so I won't be able to be around as much, but rest assured, I'll be reading everything and commenting as I have time. 

It's fun to look back at past Fridays (FYI) SEE YOU NEXT FRIDAY! :)

91 comments:

  1. He hit the off button on the alarm one minute before it went off. Silently, he got out of bed, found his jeans and t-shirt on the floor. In the dark, he couldn't find his socks, oh well. A quiet turn of the door knob and he was in the hall. He shut the door, containing the darkness within the bedroom. Their bedroom.
    Dirty shirt over head, dirty denim over feet, calves, and thighs, and he was almost afraid to pull the zipper up for the sound it would make. A sound that might awaken her. The dog, too, knew to keep quiet, how to keep its collar from making any jingly sounds, and waited by the door. They went out together, onto the lawn, dewy grass tickling the soles of their feet.
    Just as the dog lifted his leg, the silence and their house exploded in a fireball. Man and dog kept walking.

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    1. This is an awesome piece. Love the surprise ending. The wake up description is perfect, too. I was just talking about waking up right before the alarm!

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    2. You always have those great, surprise endings. Love this. Smart doggy.

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    3. Thank you kindly. I like stories that twist and turn. Sometimes I'm good at writing them. My book, Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog, is probably the most twisty and turny thing I've written.

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    4. Nice twist. That dog urine's powerful stuff!

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    5. Wow. Wasn't expecting that! Nicely done. :)

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  2. The tick

    Of time

    Is

    Water

    Dripping

    Steady

    On my face forever.

    Choking in it's wet cocoon
    Fearing it will end too soon.

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    1. The dripping effect of the text is cool and adds to the powerful simplicity of the water torture metaphor. Well in, friend. I've been thinking/writing about time a LOT.

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    2. What JD said ('cause he said it better than I would have).

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  3. Her hand is almost impossibly soft and tiny, and it feels warm in the cool morning. He is elated. There is so much in that little grip. Love and trust and all kinds of stuff. Suddenly, she stops.

    "You're hurting my hand."

    "What?"

    "You're squeezing too tight."

    "I'm sorry, honey. Sometimes I don't know my own strength. If I squeeze too hard, just tell me."

    It takes three blocks and four reminders, but he retrains the hand. Gets a firm grip on the mind. Tries to remember that she will be fine, and that he can't hold her hand forever - strong or not.

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    1. Lovely. At first seems like just a Dad and his daughter, but clearly there is something wrong with the daughter. or the Dad? Would love to see where this would go.

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    2. Ahhh... parenthood. The closest I will ever know is holding the "hand" of a novel and watching it wander out into the world, no longer protected by me. And dogs. But dogs only occasionally allow their hands to be held. Thanks for helping me understand the poignancy of human parenthood.

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    3. Soooo remember THAT feeling. Nicely shared.

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    4. That sounds a lot like Daddy walking his baby girl to school for the first time. <3

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  4. It Strikes


    As kids
    are born
    the house
    becomes
    a place
    of noise
    and dads
    remind
    their boys
    --girls, too—
    “Too loud,
    too loud,
    too loud!”
    As kids
    grow up
    the house
    becomes
    serene
    except
    the clock
    which then
    becomes
    too loud
    too loud
    too loud.

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    1. :). Totally relatable. From full house to empty nest.

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    2. This is great. I like the flow, too. And yes, many people can relate to this. Hell, I can relate and I can't even hear the clock yet. ;)

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    3. Nice rhythm. I can hear the clock tick-tocking with each line.

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  5. Water mains and gas lines exploding all around me, the feeling of euphoria, made the scene feel more serene that what it was.

    It was a crazy and ugly sight. Chunks of buildings were falling towards the ground where cracks had appeared in the Earth from the waves of rolling stone caused by the earthquake underneath the city. People were scrambling around trying to find what little cover there might be left. Some people were being crushed underneath the rubble and debris that was falling off the towering buildings in downtown.

    From my vantage point above the scene in my helicopter, it looked like hell had just rained on earth. The fires burning across the city, water leaking and flooding the streets, streams of fire some 20 feet high from the gas line breaks, made it look like hell was on Earth from my view.

    Part of me was glad I had been in the air with my helicopter when the earthquake hit. But at the same time, I was saddened because I could see that my house and belongings had been completely destroyed in the earthquake after the hill upon which my house resided, had crumbled out from underneath my house and several other houses that had been built upon the hill.

    All the houses that had been there were now completely gone. The debris from the houses lay spewed across the flat land below where the houses used to be.

    I could see my car crushed under the weight of the large chunks of rock and trees that had once been the side of the hill.

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    1. Well, I'M not sleeping tonight. ;) Kidding, I don't fear the quake. This is a very interesting approach. I'm interested in seeing more. I wonder what was lost? I've always wondered what it would be like to be in the right place at the right time, but get to watch the horror of the wrong place.

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  6. Rise, rise, rise to the stars. They said it couldn't be done. Yet there he was aloft in stars looking down on the swirling, rapidly disappearing earth. A barely audible female voice reached his ears just as he landed on the North Star.
    "Ah, you have arrived. We have been waiting for you," the voice said.
    "Me?" he asked. "What were you waiting for me for?"
    "We were waiting for you to return home," the now more audible voice said.
    "Home? What do you mean home?" He said this while looking back at the misty, barely discernible orb where he had spent seventy six years of his life.
    A winged creature landed softly on the star beside him.
    "Did no one ever tell you that we are all star people? That we all come from the stars before we live on earth?"
    "No," he said, rubbing his whiskery chin. Things were falling into place in his mind, he was recalling his children saying things when they were wee. Daddy, Lora had said, we are all star people. Maybe it was true. He glanced over at the winged creature, an angel to be sure.
    "How long do I get to live here?" he asked.
    "Dan, you can stay here forever if you like," the angel said.
    "What if I want to go back?" he asked.
    "You can do that, too, but you will always come back here no matter where you go," she said.
    Dan thought about this briefly and said, "Well, then. I might as well just stay put. I never was much on long distance travel."

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    1. I love 'The Little Prince', so that's a disclaimer. This is a compelling piece that could go in any direction, really. There is a rhythm that is undeniable, too. Nice work, Anonymous. :)

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  7. Elizabeth sat at table, drained, hungry, and yet invigorated. She had achieved what she had set out to do despite her husband’s urging her to let George do it. And if not George, someone, anyone, else but she.

    “Call me pigheaded,” she said. “Never been a task set before me I turned down.” He nodded. No such task could he recall. “I’ll finish this. My idea, my handiwork, my honor. That explain it?”

    John loved this woman. A ball of fire hotter than all the munitions in his factory, she made him prouder than anyone he’d ever known.

    When her work of art was complete and she had hand-sewn the last woof and warp of the rectangular fabric, she called to him. He settled his smoking pipe in the terracotta dish and answered to his name.

    “Thirteen of them, Betsy,” he said in awe of her work. “In a perfect circle like a star-haloed blue moon. And the red and white stripes. All I can say is, Glory Glory!”

    They celebrated over a cup of Virginia tea.

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    1. Sal. You've done it again. Your use of language is always beautiful. I like the twist here a lot. Well in, brother.

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    2. A nice bit of historical flash fiction. :D

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  8. Her eyes connected with mine and she stared, never dropping her gaze. I drove past, unable to look away. Unable to figure out why she was so forlorn, why deep sadness seeped from her face and dropped from the corners of her downturned mouth. She stood in the street, just left of the gutter, holding the wagon’s handle. The old-fashioned kind, with slats and a green metal basin, big wheels for easier navigation over graveled alleys. The man beside her dug around in that wagon, pushing and sorting. But there was no noise through the open window but the sound of my engine and the rustle of an orange plastic leaf bag. What was in there? Where were they going? And why did she stare at me, her eyes afire under the shadow of her floppy canvas hat?

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    1. That should be 'drooped from the corners of her downturned mouth.' :)

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    2. no, actually, it should be dripped. Sigh.... Something like that.

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    3. lol. I like 'dropped'. Seriously. Take THAT. ;) This is a beautiful piece. I can relate completely. I get a lot of stares I don't understand.

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    4. I like it. I like dropped, too. And those stares can be most unsettling, and sometimes most enlightening. Nice piece!

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    5. This piece is...unsettling. Nice job, Julie. :)

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  9. JD, love your first piece. It reads like rap, I felt the urge to pull my jeans down until the waistband barely covered my ass.... :)

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  10. "You look lonely. Can I buy you a drink?"

    "Why, yes. Of course you can," she purred, looking around to catch the barman's eye. "Do you mind if we have champagne? I fancy we're going to be big friends, really soon, and I do like to celebrate a new friendship."

    "Of course," I said, blanching when I saw the costs of the bottles on the list behind the bar. "Only, maybe we'd be best buying a Californian one. With you being an American girl and all..."

    “Of course. We can always buy another when we've finished that one.”

    I was loving America already. It was my first visit and although I'd originally intended to spend the evening reading the convention's welcome pack in my room, the porter who'd shown me in had described the cocktail bar in such an enthusiastic way that I'd decided to give it a quick look before turning in. And perhaps there might be another ink-cartridge salesman there I could talk shop with...

    But... Cherry.

    Cherry was another conventioner, just like me. She'd got a Sharpied name badge just like mine. She was an American though, but really well dressed. A catch and a half. I couldn't understand why she'd been sitting on her own but, if she didn't notice the pale band on my finger where the ring had been, I wasn't going to mention it.

    And as for the drinks... I was using the company card. I was covered.

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    1. Ah, conventions... a story well-told.

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    2. Thanks, Leland. I fancy it might be a convention in Vegas...

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    3. I have never been to a convention, but that's exactly how I imagine it. lol Hell, I've never had a company card either. Poverty and Monogamy. P&M - that's my kink.

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    4. I've been to conventions, but never with a company credit card. Sounds like a fun evening!

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  11. Never one to cry unnecessarily, he gave one whimper and hoped that someone would hear. There was a door from the restaurant into the alley. He smelled the delicious odors of food over the stink of the rotting garbage like hope pushes aside despair. He waited. The door remained closed.
    He waited longer. He'd never had to wait this long before. What if... what if she didn't work here any more?
    He clung to the shadows along the edge of the alley. No point in drawing attention to himself. How long had it been since he'd eaten? a day? two? He wasn't sure.
    Just as he was ready to give in to depression, the door opened, ever so slightly. Just a tiny band of light, and the scent of the kitchen poured into the alley. He couldn't see who was pushing on the door. Was it her?
    It opened farther. Yes! It was her! The kind and generous blonde! She smelled good, too.
    "There you are! Sorry I'm running late. The kitchen's been busy. Convention in town."
    I confess that my eyes were drawn more to the plate of food in her hand than the ample bosom that presented itself.
    "Enjoy it," she encouraged as she removed the cover from the dish. I ate as if she would change her mind and take the gift back. Steak. Potatoes. Carrots. The steak was rare, just as it should be.
    Another smell entered the alley. I looked up and saw she'd lit a cigarette. It was bad for her, but who was I to tell her?
    Instead, I wagged my tail in gratitude.

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    Replies
    1. I was convinced it was a dog, then the bosom threw me off, then you brought it in for the closer. I really like this piece. The double meaning of 'rare' on the steak is brilliant. :)

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    2. You know me too well... Dogs are at the heart of everything I do. Thanks for the kind words. Maybe next week I'll do one from a rat's POV.

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  12. She tripped on the stairs when she came out.

    He was waiting for her outside her job, something he never did. But there he was leaning against his ratty old car, his crinkled brown eyes mesmerizing her from 20 feet away. He looked so good standing there she hadn’t been paying attention and nearly took a header down the stairs. Running over to help, his attempted rescue severely dampened by the laughter rippling out of him. She couldn’t help laughing either so she was smiling when she queried him.

    “What's wrong?”

    “Nothing.”

    He stood close but not in the bubble. She couldn’t sense him with more than her eyes and her mind. More please.

    “You just came to pick me up?”

    “I came because the note you left me this morning was so stunning I needed to see you and ask about it,” He turned slightly as if surveying the area, “And maybe we can kiss between questions.”

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    Replies
    1. I love this piece. I WANT TO READ THE NOTE! Man, I needed a smile. Thank you!

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  13. Man, if Valium was made of mothballs I'd stuff your mouth so goddamn full you'd suffocate. Such silly things. Look, a shiny nickel. Want to know where I think you should keep it? You should invest that shit. For the rainy days.

    How many trophies are on your shelf; does it sag in the middle? How jolly, how sage-like, how SHAZAAM we all are. Look at the feather in my cap. It's from a bird I killed - see, she sang a song that didn't make sense. And they're easy to attract. Just need tuppence.

    I have human feelings. They make me feel a little sick to my stomach. I think I'll kill them with Tapatio and garlic. Make myself a suit of aluminum foil. Say snotty things while I watch your blood boil. It's just that kind of day.

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  14. I want to write a pretty story, one that makes you cry. I want to whittle down a twig and stick it in your eye. I want you to stay next to me and never say goodbye. I don't ever want to talk to you, so go ahead and die.

    You told me you would never go, a lovely little lie. I think about it now and then, and I don't quite know just why. I want only the best for you, it's coming by and by. And when it comes I hope you see what I already spied.

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    Replies
    1. I suck at comments, but I really liked this. It pretty much covers the entire run of a failed relationship. Impressive.

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  15. He was exactly as the porter had described him: an Englishman with a badge and little to no idea.

    Vonda uncapped the pen the barman had thrust at her, scribbling a suitably evocative name on a sticker and placing it on the upper slope of her breast. Just where he'd see it. Laughing loudly to an imagined joke her colleague hadn't told her, she scissored her legs, flashing a fish-netted thigh to catch his attention.

    Of course he couldn't resist. He looked the type: alone and unsophisticated and in charge of a platinum card. Easy prey for a girl like her.

    "You look lonely. Can I buy you a drink?"

    "Why, yes. Of course you can," she answered, gauging his worth by the cut of his clothes and then turning to wink at the barman. "Do you mind if we have champagne? I fancy we're going to be big friends, really soon, and I do like to celebrate a new friendship."

    Of course, that worried him. She could tell by the instinctive way his hand flitted to his pocket. He was counting every cent and... yes... he was married too. "Of course," he said, looking around to check the bar's tariff. "Only, maybe we'd be best buying a Californian one. With you being an American girl and all..."

    Cheapskate. Never mind: all she had to do was to watch him carefully and remember the pin he typed into the card reader. A little slight of hand and she might not even have to sleep with him.

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    Replies
    1. Oh ho! I was wondering about the other side of this meetup... Nicely played.

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    2. Agreed. That is dope. I write scenes from different perspectives sometimes but as a stretch before the run, and not that good.

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  16. The asshole at the bar was getting annoying. Finn was used to dealing with drunk assholes. Hell, often as not, he was a drunk asshole. But no amount of drunkenness made it okay to talk the kind of shit this guy was talking to the bartender.

    Carmen was an angel--not a literal angel, at least as far as Finn knew, but a kind, compassionate, hardworking woman. Seeing the drunk chase the hundred-watt smile away from Carmen's face made Finn's blood boil.

    He took the last two swigs of his beer and dropped an extra twenty in the tip jar. Hopefully Carmen would forgive him if he ended up getting some of the asshole's blood on her bar.

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    1. Cue the entry of the white knight... :)

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    2. Blood makes the grass grow.. but then again maybe you don't want grass growing on the bar. Love it, ma'am ;-)

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    3. I like it. My fists are all clenched up. I've been to that bar quite a few times. ;)

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  17. My feet land hard on the cold, rotting floorboards of the apartment. Could you even call it that? "Studio" was too fancy for the one room with peeling wallpaper from water stained walls, black mold making its own mosaics ceiling to floor. Walking to the sink with it's cracked mirror, five similar versions of my person stared back at me. Still seems real, so the dream must be over.

    My comm begins to buzz silently. I answer, though say nothing. Three words fill my world."It is time." Click.

    Splashing my face with cold water, the words start to sink in. I know what must be done. I was built and trained for this. Doubt was not an option. The Johnson says jump and we only ask for how many Nuyen.

    Wiping the water from eyes, I stare hard into all those gazes piecing my soul; or what's left of it. Zipping up my boots, I grab my armored trench, matching Aeres Predators and head for the door. Stepping out onto the street, the stars just like in my dream blur into one brilliant expanse of light.

    As they say in the old adage: no rest for the wicked.

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    1. Love the description of the room. I like when I can "see" what I'm reading about!

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    2. The whole thing is really strong, really consistent. Very nicely done.

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  18. "We're done here."

    "Wait. What?"

    "You're not paying attention. There's nothing more I can do."

    She shifted in her chair. "No, really, I'm listening. You wanted me to...."

    He threw up his hands, eyes rolled to the ceiling. "Just go home, Cindy. You're not concentrating. You're not even here right now. Just get out of here. Take the rest of the day off and come back in the morning."

    Biting her lip, she headed for his office door. If only he knew why her head was in the clouds today.... But she couldn't tell him what was going on. If he knew she was protecting someone who was stealing him blind, he'd probably fire her. And if he knew that person was his own son, they'd both be out on the street.

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    1. Hear hear. That was a dope set up for a slam right there. Nice. :)

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    2. So dangerous to make friends (or become romantically entangled with) someone from the boss's family. Well-written, and that's no surprise!

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    3. Get out of my head, Leland! I dithered over whether to make her pregnant with the jerk's kid. :D Thanks, you guys. :)

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  19. The hammer came down.

    CLAAANGGGGGG!

    The hammer went back up.

    The hammer came down.

    CLAAANGGGGGG!

    The hammer went back up.

    The hammer came down.

    CLAAANGGGGGG!

    The hammer went back up.

    The hammer came down.

    SQUISSSSSH.

    The hammer went back up.

    The hammer came down.

    SPLAAAT-THUD!

    The hammer went back up.

    Jake FINALLY learned not to put his head in there.

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    1. You know, this reminds me of the scultpture in front of the Seattle Art Museum... The huge silhouette who raises and lowers his hammer... http://dguides.com/images/seattle/attractions/seattle-art-museum.jpg

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    2. I had Maxwell's Silver Hammer in my head when I woke up from my nap for some indeterminable reason...

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    3. That was awesome. You really should stop skipping the Friday shenanigans. ;)

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  20. "She walks in beauty like the night/of cloudless climbs and stary skies/ and all that's best of dark and light/ meet in her aspect and her eyes." She paced and recited the lines from her favorite Byron poem as she tried with all her might not to freak out.

    Women had babies every day. This was nothing new. It was as old as time. And it wasn't like she was the one pushing this kid out of her. So why was she stressing?

    Right, because her whole world was in the next room, and she wasn't. A door. All she had to do was walk through a door. And her mother would welcome her. Her father would be overjoyed. But she was scared. She didn't want to hear the screams and groans of pain. She didn't want to see the blood. She had gone on and on about how she wanted a sister. But that was two years ago when she didn't know what was involved. Now she knew. And no baby, no matter how cute, was worth the possibility of losing her mother

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    1. Awesome. I would imagine it's tough being the one who's not doing the birthing.

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    2. Yeah, that's a neat perspective I never considered. And very real.

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  21. Color fled his face when she nabbed a handful of magic folding quarters from the black lacquered ashtray atop his dresser and expressed a sudden urge to do laundry.

    “You wouldn’t.”

    She speared him with a glare. “Oh, I would.” And she had. Ever since she found out about the girl down the block, she’d been dropping a quarter or two around town. Gum machines, parking meters. She didn’t even have a car. The humble coin had more power than she’d thought.

    “Come on.” He swallowed. “This isn’t funny anymore.”

    “Aw, you look kind of parched.” She rattled the coins together in her hand. “You want a soda, while I’m down there?”

    “Sweetie…”

    “Don’t you ‘sweetie’ me, you cheating bastard.”

    He shoved a hand out in supplication. Palm up, of all things. “Those cost thirty bucks a pop.”

    “I know. I paid for most of them, remember?” She reached for the doorknob. “See you later, sweetie. Right now I feel like having one damned expensive bottle of Coke.”

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    Replies
    1. Feel the Boris fury! You've done had that one building and percolating, huh? ;)

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    2. I love her revenge. This manages to be fun and dark at the same time.

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