Friday, September 19, 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.

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. 

If you have a blog and you want to post your pieces and link back here, that would be lovely. 

Are my eyes open yet? Would I know? That's one of them fancy questions the college kids like. But, it's relevant. Shit's all blurry. Is my brain functioning? Would you know? If I spin around on this chair, arms flung wide, eyes to the popcorn ceiling, what? If I stood at the top of an ivy-tinseled tower and sang at the top of my voice, how long would you wait before you'd call someone?

What about my voice? What about my eyes? Why do you want to break it down, disassemble it, it's creeping me the hell out. I hear soft, work sounds - scrabbling, urgent noises - efficient grunts and muttered curses. The sky is the color of a clay eraser.

The scraping, I can feel it in my skull. God, what a sound - a million hairs bristle at the afrontery. Which my blog doesn't seem to think is a word. I'm pretty sure it is. Just as I'm pretty sure that the clay will reform itself, the sun will shine, young lovers will stroll with arms entwined. That's something I can get behind.

Thanks for stopping by! I will be in and out all day but, rest assured, I'll be reading everything and commenting as I have time. Happy Friday!

196 comments:

  1. Awareness seeped in. Her temple ached where gravel dug into her skin, the alley floor she used as a pillow hardly the comforts of home. Cold and wet poked at her cheek. Warmth lapped at her face, then her arm.

    She opened one eye, sat up fast and scrabbled away. “Shit, dog, get off me.”

    He sat, his head cocked to one side, one ear floppy, the other standing at attention. He inched his ratty fur closer and nosed her hand.

    He stank. But then, so did she. She scratched between his ears and he leaned in, sneaked closer, and licked the crook of her elbow where scars and open wounds from too many needles lay raw like steak tartar.

    “Don’t.” She pulled her sleeve down and scooted away. “Piss off. I don’t have anything for you.”

    The dog followed, curled up beside her, and fell asleep. His body was warm against hers, his breath even and steady.

    “Well, I guess I’m stuck with you then. Jesus H. Christ.”

    His ears perked up.

    “Oh, you like that?” She patted his back. “Then Jesus you shall be.”

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    1. It's a girl, and a dog, but it's a small ode to JD and Cat...

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    2. I like it... it makes me smile, and I wondered if it was a nod to Cat... beautifully done.

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    3. I knew it was a nod to Cat. ;) Thank you, Julie. It's also a vivid, stark portrayal. The steak tartare line is beautiful. The whole thing is, but that line is so graphic and ugly and beautifully rendered. Well in!

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    4. Thanks. And you're welcome. Hope you're recovering :)

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    5. Very sweet. You are a very creative writer Julie. Dark and raw. I like that.

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    6. Loved it. This is the classic come to Jesus moment.

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    7. Ed! That's hilarious. I was thinking of blending this with the junkie nun. Nun's Habit, subtitled Jesus Saves. Oy, my mother can't read that...

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    8. That was so goooooood, Julie!!! So inspired by each and every little detail.

      Aw!! (nod to Cat)

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    9. This one snuck up on me like... well, like a mangy stray with a big heart. :)

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    10. I live with three cats Julie and dog or no dog this was a vivid reflection of every single day on my sofa. You seem a lot nicer about saying piss off though.

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    11. Dogs will almost always seek to comfort a human who's down and out, even when said human doesn't realize right away how much they need it. You've captured that perfectly here. Nice piece!

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    12. Aww. It's kind of amazing how smart those dumb animals can be. :)

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  2. He was driving too fast to stop when he saw the blur in his headlights. But whatever it was stopped his car for him. The crunch of metal and the odd sound that safety glass makes when it cracks deafened him. His only thought was that he had to get out of the car.

    The crash somehow darkened the headlights to black. Only the moon lit the highway like a silvery ribbon. Regaining a little orientation, he looked around for what -- who? -- he had hit. He made his way to what used to be the front of his little car, and on the pavement... the shiny, sparkling pavement was an elk. A buck elk with a rack of antlers such as he'd never seen before.

    Blood. Everywhere. Without realizing it, he sat down next to the elk's head. He felt the hot wetness of blood soaking into the seat of his jeans. He stroked the strong animal's face. Its eyes were open, and the moon reflected there, too.

    When the state patrolman finally came by, he heard the driver singing to the elk, "Hush little baby, don't you cry..."

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    1. oh my, the driver went over the deep end... or is just a super nice animal lover that will be haunted by that moment forever. Yeah, that's it.

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    2. I REALLY like this piece. The ending is so powerful and unexpected. Having been in a serious car accident, you handled the disorientation/confusion/despair so well. Excellent work.

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    3. You always write good stuff. Light or dark. :-)

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    4. Wow, the pain in this piece pretty much put me out of it. I only had a small break between the pain of the real world and the collision of reality and story telling that is this blog. I may need medication to sleep now. But in a good way?

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    5. Really wonderful sensorial imagery Leland. From the deafening safety glass to the "silvery ribbon" of the moon to it's reflection in the Elk's eyes to the blood on the seat of his pants, all of it was awesome.

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    6. Great ending, Leland. I might have sung a lullaby for that magnificent animal, too. :)

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    7. Thanks! and I have no idea where this story came from except that I heard an elk bugling this morning...

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  3. It got so that Star Winger Pedro Ferguson stopped looking up at the skies. What at first had delighted his sense of adventure now propelled him deeply into Space Traveler Depression. No spice anywhere in the galaxy could cure him. As certain as he was of the triad moons high above him, he knew they’d bury him here. He’d never once more touch the green of home. Never kiss Greta again except in these final days spent reminiscing in some dark corner of his brain.

    It wasn’t fair. Earth years ago he had traded a one-moon Earth for this? Years now on Sirius Canis where Old Glory remained the only vestige of what he once knew? His flag high on East Hill, shredding in the harsh arrabiato winds?

    He thought back to an old tale in the Roman Book of Myths: “We who are about to die, salute you!” It was not exactly the freedom Ferguson was searching for.

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    1. Nice word painting, Salvatore. I can feel those winds.

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    2. You know I love the way you write, Sal. One of the reasons is that you have such a diverse palette. You do paint. With a very light touch, and you always surprise me a little. Cheers.

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    3. There is poetry in your words. Very good.

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    4. Love the bridging between the unknowable future and the ancient past.

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    5. Spice, huh? Shades of Dune... ;) Great imagery, Sal.

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    6. Lynne, there must be something to it. I've often dreamed I am either a spice harvester or a military spice officer somewhere in the galaxy. Maybe we ought to save our cinnamon and oregano instead of silver and gold coins. Maybe one day we'll thyme travel!

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    7. It amazes me that all the flashers here are excellent writers. I feel good in your company.

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    8. It's good company indeed. I'm going to stockpile some nutmeg now... :)

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  4. The last of the asters waved in the chill breeze as if to say, "Hey, it's not over yet. Look at me. Look at me." The rest of the garden languished in faded shades of green and brown. Oh, over there! Still a sprinkling of bright yellow, matching the sun that did its best to warm the earth and cheer the spirit. Just enough to make me smile as I went out with my basket to see if i could find anything left to glean. The beans had produced their last sweet pods. Same for the cukes. Tomatoes and squashes lay dormant, no longer growing or ripening. Kale, though. That should still be fine. Scissors ready to cut some I approached the row. What! Shorn off again! My last bit of goodness. A brown wobble caught my attention ans it scurried away, fat and sleek. The culprit. Damned groundhog.

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    1. A bittersweet tale of autumn... thanks for making it come alive. And for helping keep the groundhog healthy. We'll be needing him again February 2.

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    2. Damn rodents! :) Now I want a salad.... Lovely piece Yvonne. Our little garden was vexed by early snow, not by groundhogs.

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    3. This is beautiful. Pieces like this have the ability to instantly transport the reader to the garden of the mind. I love this snapshot.

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    4. Ugh, having some issue with the comments field here. Loved the humanity in yours, Julie. I could feel the connection.

      And thanks for the comments, guys. I often have no idea if what I write is any good at all.

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    5. Yvonne, if you've written something "bad", I haven't read it. :)

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    6. Very rich and well detailed. Nice story. Yes, transported to another place!

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    7. All I can say is I'm in exalted company.

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    8. Loved this, Yvonne.
      Saw it all so clearly. Even the naughty critter.

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    9. Nice! I loved "the last of the asters."

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    10. What Dan said, Yvonne. A lovely piece with which to usher summer out. :)

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  5. http://tainiwrites.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/writingchallenge-2-minutes-go-familiar-face/

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    1. perhaps copy/paste it here on JD's blog? :)

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    2. No, it's not long. 2 Minutes isn't a lot of time. The more we do this, the faster we get. I'm intrigued by this piece. Unanswered questions are some of my favorites. I hope you'll join us next Friday. And feel free to play as many times as you like. :)

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  6. The willow branches sag, and there is a kind of melancholy there. This reflects on you, not the tree. Sometimes, the fall of the branches is majestic, tendrils reaching toward the ground. Perhaps a gentle caress. The branches can give back what the roots can not. They can appreciate the wind and the way the wind dances the gentle boughs.

    You will sit and stare at the tree for years. Sometimes, it will make you smile, laugh. Sometimes you will cry. Sometimes you will dance, make slide whistles with your old pocket knife, glad that you know how. The tree doesn't change, but your perceptions of it will.

    It whispers to you. Let it say what it wants. You can't control it. It can't even control itself - it is at the mercy of the earth, the wind, the whistle-makers.

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    1. That is a beautiful piece. Or Peace. It is calming and flows - like the wind. Your first piece up top is the opposite, filled with angst and pain. But still... beautiful.

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    2. Thanks, Julie. Going for the ying/yang. And this one was post caffeine. ;)

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    3. Sounds like you are thinking about life and reflecting. It's a good thing. Nice writing.

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    4. You've managed to combine most everything you are saying into unspoken acceptance and presence. Its like a meditation deconstructed.

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    5. You do second person well, brother. I feel all chilled (in the good sense, not the horror sense).

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    6. Thanks, y'all. Much obliged.

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    7. I love it. It's reminiscent of the Buddhist idea that the only thing we have control over in life is our own perspective.

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    8. Trees last so much longer than we do. :) Reminds me of that Shel Silverstein book, except yours is better. :D

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  8. The girl—more woman than girl, at least more woman than any of the other female creatures in the junior high school where I’d barely been enrolled a week—leaned toward me, as if she could penetrate my soul with her dark, laser-focused eyes. “What’s your philosophy of life?” she asked, and then leaned back, as if she’d won. The hour, the week, our academic careers. She crossed her muscular arms over her ample chest and smirked. Her sidearms, two taller girls who wore lipstick and eye makeup, nodded, as if to say, “Yeah. Make something out of that, new bitch.” I quivered a little. Pressed my lips together. Then said, “When I’ve actually had a life? I’ll tell you then.” And, feeling a little taller, walked off to my next class.

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    1. Oh, nicely told! May her ample chest sag...

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    2. LOL, Leland! But yeah, may it! I knew some of those girls, and I was the one quivering. You captured that feeling, Laurie. Bitches...

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    3. Good story. You work from life in your stories Laurie. Even if it is not personal.

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    4. I am not a girl, but I have witnessed these kinds of 'call outs' and always been a little relieved that boys are too stupid to be so manipulative. You did an awesome job capturing the insecurity and triumph.

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    5. My problem was I was always drawn to those mean girls. LOL, TMI? Good one, Laurie.

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    6. Nice piece! I especially love the last line.

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    7. Good for her for standing up to them! Nice job, Laurie.

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    8. I love this. I never had a clever comeback when faced with this sort of nonsense. I'm glad to see it handled well, even if it is by a fictional character. :D

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  9. Have you ever missed something so bad that it hurt to take a breath? When even the thought of living another day fills your mind with complete and utter dread.

    When I lost my first dog, the dog that would change my life I didn’t think I could go on. She was the glue that kept us all together and made life worth living. She helped the bad days not seem so overwhelming.

    Now with her gone I wasn’t sure I could live without her. Couldn’t even remember what it was like, those shallow days before she came into our life.

    She knew how to get attention and would actually bat her eye lashes as if she were flirting. I loved that this dog had an attitude and would only give you the time of day if she was in the mood but when she was in the mood the skies would clear.

    I prided myself on the fact that she was taking on my personality little by little. On her it was cute. On me, not so much.

    There is no replacement for this kind of love. Maybe cheap substitutes but they will never compare. When I go to sleep at night I always hope she will come back to me in my dreams.

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    1. A sweet remembrance. I always hope that it will be me who eventually takes on the personality of my dogs... I'd be a better man for it.

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    2. This is lovely. I am just realizing this week how many of our lives are enriched by the furry things we love. Thank you, Brenda, for sharing this.

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    3. Ah Dang it. More tears. My Buddy was that dog. Attitude, adorable, scared by his own farts. He was 16 when he died. He got to know both my babies but before I had them, he was my baby. Slept under the covers with me. Weird, yeah. But damn... Beautiful piece.

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    4. Thank you guys. I know you understand. Cuts like a knife. I feel your loss to JD. The worst feeling and you can't help think back on all the things you are missing.

      You are all nice. Sorry for your losses but glad you all found this kind of love.

      Buddy sounds adorable Julie. xx

      Haha. You are sweet Leland. I think the dogs have been very lucky to have had you... personality and all. :-)

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    5. They do start to take on our personality traits. Wow ... I'm so sorry
      Makes my eyes a little ... tingly and burn a little. :-(

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    6. My eyes are tingly and burny, too. A perfect description.

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    7. I'm puddling up. Y'all cut it out.

      Nice job, Brenda. :)

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  10. There are monsters here in the desert: Gila monsters, like beaded dragons. Rattlesnakes with diamonds upon their back. Men who've been too long without human companionship.

    The wind whispers softly to the attentive ear. Somewhere in the distance a train whistles its warning to those at the crossing. As the sun sets, a blood red lights the sky. Moments later, lightning touches the stars. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four, one thousand five.

    Thunder. One mile from destiny. A single gunshot rips through the night. Enemy or ally, the body won't be found till morning.

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    1. Frick! That's chillingly good. one mile from destiny. Nice

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    2. Wow. This piece is awesome. The first paragraph is fucking fantastic. And then it leads so well into the atmospheric details. And the perfect closer. You flashed the hell out of this one! :)

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    3. Beautiful. Are you guys writers, or something? ;-)

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    4. Ooooh. Tasty. "...lightning touches the stars."

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    5. Okay ...
      Amazing.
      Good grief.

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    6. Creepy in the best way. Well done.

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    7. *Very* nice. "Gila monsters, like beaded dragons" -- what a great description. And then boom! goes the ending.

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    8. Thanks! My inner editor is cranky because the snakes would actually have "backs" not one back among them... but c'est la vie. I appreciate the kind comments!

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  11. The man slept through the morning, unaware of the angry paws de deux, cat adieu dance Phineas and I did while I was getting ready for work. My fault for choosing nylons that day. Or sneakers with trailing laces. Or trendy pants with drawstring cuffs. Fodder for cat to bat, his limited method of expressing his fear and displeasure at being left alone with the sleeping man, who would, at some point, wake. When I caught Phineas eyeballing my beloved parakeet, I knew it was only a matter of when. With one freakishly opposable claw, he flipped the latch on the cage and left his quarry at the front door for me to stumble over, bleary from a late shift. Welcome home, Mom.

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    1. I love the stream of consciousness feel to this... very feline. And "freakishly opposable claw" may be my favorite phrase of the day! Thoughtful Phineas, always presents for mom....

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    2. I love angry paws de deux. this is great.

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    3. Yeah, this is awesome, Laurie. I agree with Leland, the flow and tone of this piece are stellar.

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    4. Welcome home, indeed. I have known this cat, or someone very like him. Nice job, Laurie. :)

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  12. Rules was rules. Didna matter much who twas who broke 'em. The shadow of the yardarm fell upon the deck in a way he knew it was noon. The jolly roger down t' half mast, only fittin', to honor he who twas bout to die.

    The cap'n looked the boy in the eye. "Have ye anythin' to say, ya scalliwag?"

    The only answer was spittle, artfully aimed at the cap'n' face.

    "Then ye'll walk this way, boy." Cap'n drew his sword, and pointed it t'the plank. He wiped his face with a kerchief that wore equal parts blood and sweat. "This way, I said."

    The boy dragged the chains along the deck and to the plank he went. "Belay, thar." The boy stopped so the first mate could unlock the chains, too valuable to go to Davy's locker with him. Once free, he looked at his bare feet, watched them carry him out onto the plank.

    "Into th' sea, with ye, boy... them sharks be hungry."

    The boy jumped to his fate.

    "CUT. That's a wrap."

    "And they said I couldn't act," the boy thought to himself.

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    1. Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day to you, Leland!

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    2. Ha! You pirated your own plot line! :) Arrrrr.....

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    3. JD, a pun... a compliment. Thank you.

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    4. Too much fun. Such a talent you have. :-)

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  13. Once bustling with children and weekend beer bashes, the neighborhood is on life support. Occasionally someone will pass us as we walk, talk of things that used to be, vague promises to get together, rueful smiles at some doctor’s suggestions to exercise more or cut down on the drinking. One has his arm in a sling. Another house, everyone walks quietly by, afraid of the frozen woman on the porch, who, depending on the day, will say hello and call us in to see pictures of people she no longer remembers, curse us out for nothing, or will need help getting her car out of the ditch again, the car she is not allowed to drive. The children of the flatlining neighborhood are gone, return begrudgingly to mow a lawn or fulfill an obligation; they smile in conspiracy when you see them in their hand-me-down pickup trucks, hauling big boxes home from the big box stores. A new TV the parents won’t understand how to use. A gadget nobody needs but is a substitute for love and time. We slide off, nodding, only wanting to get back home and assure ourselves that we still have beating hearts and skin covering our bones.

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    1. Wow. That made me feel so many things, I can barely describe them all. Familiarity. Fear. Angst. And oddly, comfort... So, you've met my mother? :D

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    2. Whoa... and in two minutes, you've described in painful detail a few million neighborhoods... haunting. Beautiful writing.

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    3. Makes me see my future - I hope not.

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    4. Beautiful.
      I'm nostalgic for something I'm not sure I've experienced or seen.
      As Leland said, haunting. Hauntingly beautiful. So inspiring.

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    5. Yep, I'm with Leland. I've lived a lot of places and seen this neighborhood in many of them. You captured it perfectly. Awesome urban pastoral.

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    6. Super crisp. I could see it besides feel it.

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    7. The new TV, and the gadgets Mom and Dad will never learn to use -- oh yeah, been there.

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  14. I saw the judge’s face fall as I explained my reasons for wanting to be dismissed. His voice had the tinge of defeat and something else. Was it shame? Guilt? He addressed the defense attorney and prosecutor in a voice so low I could barely understand the words. “Do either of you have any questions for Mr. Sanders?”

    “No,” was heard faintly as the two men replied in unison simultaneously.

    I stood up feeling the weight of the entire room pressing me back toward the chair, yet somehow I managed to reach the basket next to the bailiff to add my pin to the pile there. Though I felt every eye in the court room on me, no one would meet my gaze. Even the burly bailiff turned his eyes toward the floor rather than meet my gaze. I left the room and turned into the first lavatory I could find. It was just dumb luck that it was the appropriate one. I washed my hands and face in stinging cold water because I felt that if I paused for even a second I would break down crying. Why did I feel shame for something done to me by an elder nearly fifty years ago. I expected more of myself. I expected anger, hate, even self pity. But all I have after all this time is what was left me - shame.

    I suppose he is in the ground by now. In a perfect world, I would have played a role in his being there. Perhaps even put him there myself. But the world is not perfect and I am not evil. I saw evil all those years ago and I saw it again today in that court room. I don’t know what all those people were afraid they would see in my eyes. I do know that it wasn’t evil.

    I composed myself quickly, I don’t mind saying quite bravely, and walked out of the court house feeling stronger with each step. If I haven’t moved on in all this time, I at least have learned to hide my misplaced shame well. Its the only thing even remotely connected to victory I have. I’m rolling with it.

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    1. wow, that's moving. I can only imagine the elder's crime against him. Moving on is great, but I wonder if it's ever really achieved. Great stuff, Ed.

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    2. ahhh... balancing righteous anger and moving on... a good situation to write about. Thank you for sharing.

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    3. This is beautiful writing, my friend. My hat is off to you. Tragic, real, hopeful, sad - shit, the whole damn world is in this piece.

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    4. Touching. Really good writing, as usual Ed.

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    5. This shows, so clearly, the effects of abuse. They last a life-time, even if we manage to hide it. Well done.

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    6. What Yvonne said. Powerful stuff, Ed.

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    7. Very powerful stuff. Makes my heart ache.

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  15. "Where is it?" His eyes search hers, but not too long, for she would only back away, run, then disappear.
    "I don't know." A sigh escapes her lips. She shrugs, and her shoulders nearly meet her ears, then fall, and fall some more, until he wants to offer her a seat.

    Again, he averts his eyes; she would surely run from him. She would surely run from his gaze. They shouldn't be here. He is playing with fire, right in the open, right where everyone, yet no one, can see.

    "He took it from you. I know it."
    "No." She smiles that empty smile that only broken people can recognize in one another. "I gave it away a long time --"

    His hands grazes hers. But only for a millisecond. "What if I can get it back? Give it back to you? That sparkle in your eyes? The old you?"

    She starts to pull away, looks over her shoulder, then tilts her head. The shoulders are where they should be, again -- the slight arch in her back has returned, and I no longer want to offer her a seat, or ask her if she is about to collapse.

    She says, "We can grieve for her, together. I'm afraid you can't take back what someone steals from you, then murders -- murders, then buries where no one can find. But what we can do, if you really want to, is mend what's broken, and love the imperfections like, I don't know, something vintage. Cracked, flawed, and beautifully put back together, again."

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    1. haunting, Rhonda. No, you can't get it back - can't replace one with another. Sad...

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    2. Strength coming from fragility. Powerful and well done.

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    3. "Cracked, flawed, and beautifully put back together, again." -yup. This is a great piece on so many levels.

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    4. Super. I love it.

      "She smiles that empty smile that only broken people can recognize in one another." Oh yes!

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    5. This really resonated with me. So real.

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    6. "Something vintage" -- indeed. Nicely done. :)

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  16. Lint

    Go away. There is lint in my head. I have no idea how it got there. What is lint? Clustered micro fabric and human skin? Uh. Could fashion a golem from it. A movie was playing earlier, The Big Sleep, Bogart and Bacall. I can't get the lint out. Sneeze it out? Cough? It's too far in. Nothing will work, not any more. I am sad Lauren Bacall died. I know Bogart also died, and he smoked like he never wanted to taste the air of this world, but that was a long time ago now, and besides, she was feisty. And elegant. It's hard to be elegant with lint in your head. I need a sugar alternative; I eat too much white death. Not in cakes and that kind of shit, but in tea and coffee. Although strictly speaking that means I drink it not eat it. Someone told me there is ground bone in white sugar. Is that true? She might have been a vegan. The person who told me that, I mean. She had an agenda maybe. Double Indemnity is another good one. Is noir a cure for lint, or a cause of it? I no longer know for sure and am paralyzed by my ignorance. Barbara Stanwyck was never paralyzed by anything. Except by death, of course. I am lying on a hot deserted highway and I can't move. I am broken. Tender shoots are crawling from the road's many cracks. I can see them growing; they're repulsive. She did kiss me once, she did. There is old blood smeared on the road's crumbling surface. Terrible wrenching things have occurred. I love the sound of coyotes, like teenagers trying on primal round a campfire. Enraged and intoxicated by life. Or should that have been with life? The syntax is slipping, words loosen. Yapping and shrieking at a moon cowering. Junior wolves. Is it night already? Am I this far from help? How can lint be so heavy? A lonely tear escapes my eye and begins its own brief story. Unremarked. Soon gone. A doctor in a dark overcoat is climbing the stairs. He is hunched and trembling under the burden of his appalling news.

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    1. And that, my friends, is noir. Beautifully done.

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    2. A great price, you may have cured me of watching movies made after 1970. For that I owe you big.

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    3. Holy...everything. Love the pulse of this. Love, love, love...

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    4. Yup, you hit it way over the fence with this one, pal. "he never wanted to taste the air of this world" - I love it. I love the whole thing.

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    5. Too many perfect passages to quote, but I do so love "A lonely tear escapes my eye and begins its own brief story." Poetry.

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    6. Hollywood cool. Very nice piece.

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    7. My words are failing me. I just love this. That is all I can say.

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  17. "There are rules, you know. I feel certain I explained them clearly to you when I brought you home from the shelter. No jumping on furniture. Keep yourself clean. And above all, no aggressive behavior." She looked at him. He seemed so forlorn. Those sad eyes. "Did you not understand them? Really, I've worked with you as much as I can. I'm afraid I have to take you back to the shelter. Maybe someone else will be able to deal with your aggression. I cannot. Now, get your leash."
    She was pleased that he at least had learned how to do that. He was almost cute as he brought his leash to her. The sad eyes almost convinced her to reconsider. No. Enough was enough.
    It was a pleasant day for a walk. He stopped to sniff things along the way, but overall he really was well-behaved. Before long, they were at the shelter. Always so unpleasant to be here... she always felt sorry for them, in their little cages.They were looking at her, wondering if she would be the one rescue them.
    "Returning him?" the weary attendant asked.
    "I'm afraid so. Just didn't work out. Was hoping for a little more docile animal."
    "I'm sorry to hear that. But it happens sometimes."
    She turned her back and walked to the door, turning around at the last minute, as the attendant put him in the cage. Again, she almost reconsidered. The blue eyes, the pink skin. No. No.
    She opened the door, flicking her tail slowly and sadly from one side to the other. She knew that humans could be aggressive. She'd just hoped this one would be an exception.

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm...had a feeling a twist was coming. Nice.

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    2. Wow, that ending fucked my shit all up. Brilliant.

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    3. I love your twists. I wondered if maybe he was human, but didn't cotton onto her being, well, tailed...

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    4. Loved, loved, loved that ending!

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  18. The pilot pulled back on the control yoke, his seat immediately tightening about him. The plexiglass bubble wheeled, banks of clouds replacing trees, then disappearing.

    Mach 1.0.

    A cone of noise collapsed behind him as he passed unseen above the clouds. Below him, the sea rasped against the night, spume and air mixing in a blurring, the hangar and it's security now forgotten as Airman Grey resumed his inflight admin, checking avionics and payload and then his mission details, his flight plan and destination now revealed.

    Jalabad, Afghanistan. Time to wake the lazer-guided bombs. Time to go knocking on the Al-Qaeda's front door.

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    Replies
    1. It looks like I'm late today...

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    2. Late, but strong as always. Late? Hell. you're not late. :) This is a strong piece. I like it the way it is. I also think it would be a good candidate for 2nd person. But it's ace the way it is - I only mention it because it would have an interesting impact in second - more uncomfortable. Twang those hypocrisies and tap your foot, dig? :)

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    3. is there a time limit? Nah... love the description of the sea.

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    4. Great sense of anticipation, Mark.

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  19. Downshift and blast it and fuck the consequences - metal breaks. That's the way it is. I can feel it all up and down my spine, and it feels like I will never sleep again. I pass minivans and muscle cars and Berkeley Moms in their silent drive machines. Save me a slice of the ozone layer. I hear it tastes like lemon merengue.

    The fear is almost comforting. It's like a stiff cup of coffee when you haven't slept in days. My eyes are on fire, but my brain is steady, metronomic, magnifying glass focused. If it was sunny, I could fry all you motherfuckers with my lens. It's not, so I'll keep my distance and wonder what you'll say to the person you're texting. Once the paramedics leave.

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    Replies
    1. the ozone tastes like lemon meringue? Where do you get this awesome shit? I'm jealous... :D

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    2. How did I miss this? This is incredible... synesthesia-flavored wonderful.

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  20. This knocks the air out of me. Whoa. "...silent drive machines."

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  21. I actually let out a cheer at that last line. Perfectly delivered.

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  22. There was an awful crack, and an echoing series of splintering noises from over by the shoreline. The ice was breaking under their feet.
    "Skate as fast as you can, just go!"
    She looked back and scowled, "Why, so I'll fall in when the ice cracks and you just follow behind, nice and safe"
    "No, child, because you're lighter and might get by where I might not. That way you should be ok even if my weight breaks through."

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    Replies
    1. Two minutes? That took at least three+

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    2. Two minutes is not a lot of time. I like this a lot, though. It has a rustic quality that reminds me of lessons taught to me when I was young. Common sense things. Like how to treat the ones you love. The love is evident.

      BTW, the more you do it, the faster you get. Also, I am not big on rules. Feel free to break them. :)

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    3. JD is right, you do get faster, you relax more. And rules schmules...

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    4. I can hear the ice cracking... (Psst: I always run over. ;) )

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    5. All of a sudden I was in Minnesota in January...great visuals and sounds!

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  23. He said he had a small refrigerator down in the basement, but I didn’t believe him. Orange juice, butter, eggs, jelly, and unwrapped process cheese littered the kitchen table. On a hot day like that, the food should’ve been sweating. The smell was the other thing. As he sat there, across the mess from where I sat at the other end of what may or may not have been Formica under grime, he railed against the use of dishwashing liquid. He said it gave him stomach pains. I didn’t tell him my guess about his pains.
    “So, what do you wash your dishes with?” I had to ask even as we were in danger of drowning in a cesspool of food encrusted dishes.
    “Just plain water,” he said. But I didn’t believe that, either.

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    Replies
    1. blech! maybe his stomach is lined with salmonella. :)

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    2. Love the symmetry. A moment caught between two lies.

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    3. Ha! This is actually a true story. Only the name has been changed. Thanks for reading!

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  24. He never knew he could want a woman like this. Sex metered out for him so differently in the past. He wasn’t a selfish lover but there tended to be a dispassionate quality to his particular brand of fucking. As if underneath it, all the chemistry was defective or the actual connection was hotwired instead of a seamless bond between him and the woman he’d been lucky enough to take to bed. He’d felt more connected to Cassie than anyone but that was nothing – nil, compared to what he feels every single time Myra even enters a room he happens to be in.

    Peppered through his consciousness were other lips, other skin tones, other bodies, other scents but they all fell away when she was near. He couldn’t be sure she wasn’t displacing every other woman for him with a sure and confident hand, but he didn’t think so. Myra didn’t seem to know how affecting she was. It was an unconscious depth and heat she gave off that made him want to enfold her in his arms and only let her out on special occasions. Of course, he kept that to himself and instead when they came together he tried to make sure she always knew he was making love and not just fucking her brains out.

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    Replies
    1. Nice. You managed to make him a scoundrel, but relatable and sympathetic at the same time.

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    2. I agree with Julie. Unflinching. Very adept use of language, too. Well in. I was wondering where you were. ;)

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    3. Thanks Julie and JD. Interesting. I think you're right Julie he (^^) is a scoundrel and therefore the piece completely doesn't fit the character I was actually writing about. I'm afraid I can't be even slightly out of it during 2minutes a go go otherwise I'm all over the place.

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  25. Sliding onto the next seat, the man impatiently motioned for the bartender as he unabashedly drank her in with his eyes, lingering on the silk sapphire dress that accentuated her features.

    “In homage to the impeccable taste of my lovely seat mate, I’ll have a sapphire martini, please,” he said with affected cordiality, continuing to stare at her while the barkeep fixed the Bombay Sapphire gin and blue curacao concoction.

    His drink delivered, he raised it in a silent toast that the woman steadfastly ignored.

    “A woman after my own heart,” he said after a beat. Not to be deterred by her utter lack of reaction, he continued, “I can’t help but notice that the goings-on which have the ruffians in a tizzy have failed to impress you, just as they bore me.”

    She silently sipped her drink and stared at the bar, resolute not to acknowledge him even by rolling her eyes.

    “I, for one, could not care less about American football. I’d prefer if we could return to the Age of Enlightenment, when reason and knowledge were the ideals to which one aspired.”

    “Well, you’d fit right in,” she muttered to herself. He took it as an opening to introduce himself.

    “Devon Bouchard,” he said, not offering a handshake but instead touching her knee. “And you are?”

    ‘Not interested, Divine Blowhard,’ she thought as she pushed away his hand.

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    Replies
    1. I read that as if it were from his POV but at the end it switched. Realized it hadn't switched, it was her POV all along. Subtle and well done. Divine Blowhard. Nice one.

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    2. I thought the same thing Julie did. Deftly done. :)

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    3. "Divine Blowhard." That's priceless.

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    4. I agree. That was a slick trick. Well done. I'm enjoying the bar period.

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  26. The unicorn stepped down carefully, watching the placement of his feet and the silence with which he moved carefully. Equines were known for being able to pass like this, and unicorns were the top of the line models. He chuckled to himself. Top of the line models, indeed. When had he begun to think in such modern terms, comparing himself to a car?

    A sports car, maybe. He might compare himself to a blindingly white Agera. It was pretty rare, damned expensive, came in a truly brilliant blue white proprietary paint, and was an extremely high-performance vehicle.

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    Replies
    1. Hunh. A unicorn with an ego. Who knew? ;) Love the "brilliant blue white propietary paint" -- nice touch!

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    2. The contrast between the two paragraphs is wonderful. I particularly like the slight twist in tone at the end. Thank you for joining us. :)

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  27. "Top of the world, Ma!"

    Things look different from up here, at the top of the Ferris wheel. The cars down below all look like toys, scurrying from one place to another in what seemed like organized chaos, don't they? And the people are nothing but dots, moving in some unfathomable pattern. While here we sit at the roof of the world, nothing but warm sun on our faces and soft breezes in our hair.

    And the birds. Including that bird, there -- the one that looks like it's going to dive-bomb us. And that one that just flew over, dropping its, um, droppings into my outstretched hand.

    Now the wheel has begun to turn again. And as we make our descent, we remember the thing that's so easy to forget when you're on top: What goes up, must come down.

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    Replies
    1. You took me back to the Nebraska state fair, when I was about five years old... well done!

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    2. Yup. It just so happens I recently read a scene by a famous author about a Ferris Wheel. His was very good. You got it perfect. Excellent piece.

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  28. You don't know why but your arms are shaking, your chest feels ... undependable. Lungs too small. Heart too weak. It's in your head, but the head is in cahoots with the whole fucking shooting match. The dentist doesn't hate your teeth, he hates you ... your brain. He stays up nights, erect over a tray of gleaming silver tools.

    Sometimes, he will take one in his slender, white fingers. Feel it's cold weight. He will imagine the horror he can wrench from your mouth, the exquisite terror you will feel. He is so alive. So fucking alive. And you WILL scream. You will writhe like a hooked nightcrawler and he will smile shyly to himself, lost in the romance of your pain.

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  29. Trouble walked into the bar wearing pink Doc Martens and a frilly Hot Topic skirt. Her iridescent dragonfly wings drew a lot of attention, not because they were real, but because they weren't.

    Tourist season. Great. My favorite fucking time of year.

    I thought about escorting the little lady and her black-lipsticked friend out of the bar--our bar--but never let it be said that I'm a gentleman. She'd found her way into trouble; she could find her own way out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that chick! And that bar! :) It's cool the way so much is conveyed through the details. Well played, G. -JD

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