Friday, October 3, 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. #breaktheblog! 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 there too (and link back here), that would be lovely. 

You never did understand it, and they wouldn't explain it to you no matter how many times you asked. You'd work up your gumption, take a deep breath and just say it, but you never got an answer. You got chuckles and ruffled hair and you wanted to yell, "yo, I'm not Opie! We're not going to Mt. Pilot for Chinese!" No one else seemed to think there was anything amiss, though, and that was scary.

So, you figured you had to find your own answers, and you did, but you found them in hard, dark places. It could have been easier. Which is like saying 'the volcano could have not erupted' or 'Grandma could have not died, or at least died easier'.

There's this ringing in your ears and you can't concentrate anyway; you had your say. You can't make them hear it. They don't want to hear it. You do, but you'll figure it out, kid. 

I did.

If I may be so bold, I just dropped Mix Tape No. 1, some stories were born here in #2minutesgo! Check it.

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, so check back. Happy Friday!

255 comments:

  1. Nice... that last line nails it... the transition from second to first person is like an ice cube down the back... and it underlines everything above it.

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    1. Oooh, we're off to the races...

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    2. and in fine form... Will drop 2 flash bombs and be back at lunch to read the others :)

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    3. Thanks guys. Man, I love me some Friday. I'm gonna have to bounce soon, but I'll be back. #breaktheblog! :)

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    4. I'm digging your second-person pieces. It's a gutsy perspective, but you make it work.

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    5. Thanks y'all. I have come to like 2nd person very much. Used to HATE it. :)

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    6. Thanks G. It's like a weapon. :)

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    7. Beautifully said, and why must answers dwell there? In cold, dark spaces?
      Love the idea of a "mix tape" .. sooooo want to authorsnatch that. My gosh.

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    8. Thanks. I about lost my mind getting that shit out there before anyone else thought of it. ;)

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  2. The prime directive cannot be disobeyed. I must not interfere. Even though the tiny creature feeds golden thread with pinprick feet toward the twitching whiskers and tail, it is not in my purview to stop it. I can distract for only so long with ear scratches and gentle murmurs, but the instinct must be honored, the shiny object glittering in the sun as it spins toward oblivion must be hunted. Physics does its work; gravity and tensile strength meet the swipe of a claw, shredding hours of labor. Pinprick feet scurry away; the work must be recreated, the silk spooled out, the dance begun again.

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    1. This is an interesting piece for me cause I know your writing. This is a voice I don't see much, but like a lot. I don't know how to describe it, but you often write so fluidly and beautifully, that when you read it, it doesn't seem like reading. But this one definitely feels like, "yo, I'm writing something, listen up."

      And you presented the hunt so well. Aces, lady.

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    2. I agree... I find this all the more interesting because it's different from your other work... more like a prose poem... Beautiful.

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    3. I thought you were channeling Star Trek. Better than that - it's a cat! Love it.

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    4. "Pinprick feet" -- ooh, a kitten! :D

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    5. Instinct is a powerful force. Best not try to interfere.

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    6. I cant with you. Your writing amazes me.

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    7. Ah, this is lovely. It's like ten times deeper than a fly on the wall observation. Amazeballs.

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  3. So we walk together again, you and I. It's been too long.

    The whisper of the golden aspen leaves follows us up the dirt road, the dirt road to the place we first camped out together. When was that, back in fall of 2000? The leaves were yellow, then, too.

    Populus tremuloides, you announced to me. That's the Latin name.

    And then you kissed me, and I trembled, and I felt you tremble. Hours later, when we put our jeans back on, I told you that we were Populi Trembling, and you laughed and said I didn't understand Latin plurals.

    Now the leaves crunch beneath my feet. I sit on the rock you sat on when I took your photo, without your shirt. Full of youth we were then, full of age I am now.

    The creek gurgles nearby. I thought it had more water then. Maybe it did.

    I open the the urn, and sprinkle. Populus tremuloides. Even your ashes make me tremble.

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    1. So beautiful, so much power. That last line...kinda made me tremble.

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    2. Nancy DeCilio GauthierOctober 3, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      I felt every word - perfect ending.

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    3. Wow, this is beautiful and poetic and sad. This is an awesome piece of writing is what it is. Just seemless.

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    4. This makes my heart hurt. So beautifully written and evocative.

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    6. Absolutely perfect, real, emotional. Lovely.

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    7. Just beautiful, Leland. Beautiful and sad.

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    8. You have a gift for bringing your reader inside your emotions! Heartbreaking!

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    9. I love this one, Leland. Excellent.

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    10. Agreed. This one's a gem. Lovely.

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    11. I'm honored by your kind words! Thank you!

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    12. Wow. It's all I can add to the above praise. Just wow.

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  4. Her life was etched in the lines on her face. Parallel lines between her brows bore witness to the hours she spent concentrating – on her knitting, on her baking, on digging a tiny sliver from her grandson’s big toe. The vertical crevasses that bisected the border of her thinning lips, proof of every cigarette she sucked on until ash hit filter. Tracks of crow’s feet at the corners of her eyes spread like those Chinese paper fans and infiltrated her cheeks. They teamed up with the chasm that ran from the sides of her nose and curved around the far edges of her upturned mouth. They shouted to the world of her smile, her laughter, her pure and utter happiness. Life. Life was good.

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    1. I love this. I love wrinkles and age marks, which makes it ironic that I don't have many. I don't make many facial expressions. I AM bald, though, so I'm legit.

      So much brilliant imagery, Julie. Well done.

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    2. Thanks. Channeling mom today. Been writing a lot of dark shit, needed to come up for air. :)

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    3. I'm glad you came up for air.... this brought back many pleasant memories of some I've known... beautifully described...

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    4. Wonderful description, Julie. I love the description of the crow's feet spreading to her cheeks. :)

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    5. This is great. Wonderful imagery, universally understood but personally felt. Reading it, I'd imagine we all picture someone we know. Nicely done. :)

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    6. Work of art. How can you not put this in a novel or short story?

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    7. Thanks all! RH, I am working on one that I hope to use this. Will see. Was writing it in first person from the POV of an alzheimer's patient, so would have to adjust for her own vision of herself. Or save for another time :)

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  5. She pulled out of her driveway and onto the side road, wipers at full tilt against the driving rain. A figure limped along the gravel shoulder, one hand gripping a cane, back hunched, hood protecting him from the downpour. Why was this old man walking all the way out here? In this weather? Perhaps he was lost. Or worse, had dementia and had wandered away from home. She pulled up beside him and slowed, his face shielded by the hood of his insufficient windbreaker, and rolled down the passenger window.

    “Want a ride?”

    He shrugged, opened the door, and slid his wet, frail figure onto the leather seat of her Lexus.

    She clicked on the seat heater. “Nasty day. Where are you headed?”

    She glanced at his exposed hand, stared at the unexpected sight. It was too feminine, too smooth. The skin wasn’t paper thin, the knuckles not gnarled from age, the veins not blue or protruding like her father’s. She lifted her eyes to meet his gaze and was met with the brown eyed stare of a young woman.

    She slid her too-smooth hand into her jacket. “I’m headed home. You’re headed to hell.” The dashboard light glinted off the edge of the knife before it sliced into the driver's belly and devastated her womb.

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    1. Holy SHIT! Wow. The foreshadowing is well done. You get the sense that all is not as it seems, but the end is so unexpected. Jesus, this is a powerful piece. Awesome. Just awesome.

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    2. Yikes... now that's a Halloween story!

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    3. Woot! Thanks guys! Made my afternoon :)

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    4. Holy cow. The ending caught me by surprise. Nicely done!

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    5. Yikes! Welcome to a nightmare!

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    6. Whoa! You really caught me off guard with this one. Creepy (though of course I mean that in the best possible sense).

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    7. Yes! It flirts with an urban legend then does that unexpected flip, like my stomach did when I read it. Really good stuff.

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    8. I love catching folks off guard!

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    9. Whoa! You got me, too. Nice!

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  6. Nancy DeCilio GauthierOctober 3, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Her uncle is laid out in the funeral home. Gone too soon, barely 50. They said it was cancer; but she figures all those bouts of malaria contracted in WW II, wore out his immune system. He always said he wouldn't marry or have a family. He knew he had a gambling addiction (he liked to 'play the ponies'). He felt it wouldn't be right to see the hurt on a wife's face when he gambled away the rent money. He loved all his nieces and nephews and they were enough. He was well respected in the neighborhood. Her Aunt, the oldest, the Matriarch, took charge of the funeral. This was back in the '60's - so full bore Italian funeral - three days visitation, day and night. Her Aunt stood in the back by The Book - where people signed in and also handed her an envelope of cash. That was the custom - to help defray expenses. The Aunt had already taken care of all that; so this cash was for another purpose. She knew her brother owed money to the bookies; and she figured they would show up. It happened on the third night - several men came in. Went to the front, knelt at the casket, signed themselves and said a prayer. When they turned and walked towards her Aunt, she watched solemnly. They clasped her Aunt's hands in theirs, gave their condolences and one by one; they whispered: The Debt Is Forgiven.

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    1. This is a lovely piece. So well put together. The unexpected ending is a nice touch. The power of the whole piece is super impressive. Great job, Nancy.

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    2. I like the little surprise at the end. Got me in the feels.

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    3. Nice writing. Very good Nancy. Enjoyed it.

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    4. I love that the thugs had a heart. Great way to go against stereotype.

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    5. A twist at the end that doesn't involve a knife in the gut -- that's kind of rare around here. :D I like it. And yeah, who knew bookies could have a heart?

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    6. My kind of story, Nancy. I really enjoyed it. :)

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    7. lol, Lynne. Totally gonna write about a knife to the gut now.

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    8. ok Lynne, hint taken. Branch out. Knife other body parts next time :)

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    9. This piece is so authentic, it felt like home to me (a Brooklyn born Italian). Great job.

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  7. He lay the bike nearly on its side as he turned into the parking lot, flinging himself off before letting the riceburner hit the asphalt and skid. He rolled and came up on his feet, a little disoriented, but he only hesitated for a moment before he took off running, aiming for the shadows. He didn't want to be out in the open when they caught up with him. When, not if.

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    1. Oh snap. I like this one very much. I would like to see more of it. I would also be able to do that on my bike, but I am not nearly so graceful. Dope piece, G.

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    2. Sounds like Matt Stark :) Well, except he wouldn't run. Great piece lb!

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    3. I think Matt would probably run from demons. ;) And JD, he's only that graceful because he's not entirely human, so don't feel too bad. :P

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    4. Eh, Matt isn't entirely human either. ;)

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    5. I may have to do another two minutes on what happens once he hits those shadows he's running for. :)

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    6. Yes, you need to! I love how this is a moment as brief as the words it took to tell it. Real time flash fiction. And I want to know what happens, dammit!

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    7. Damn! I want to know what he's running from.

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  8. We have a problem, and I don't mean the royal we. I hate that shit. It's a royal pain in my ass. But back to the matter at hand, shit ain't going like I planned. See, I had this vision when I was a kid, hell, I bet a lot of us did. A room for the family and picket fences round the lawn. Then the vision changed to one of jail cells or eternal darkness.

    Now, things are all nice and good, but there ain't no picket fence - no room for the family. It's not something to trip about in the grand scheme of things. But the grand scheme doesn't shimmer in the Ambien morning like a polished corpse. Like a beautiful vase held together with duct tape.

    Don't get me wrong, I sure as hell ain't talking shit about duct tape. Thank God for duct tape. Whether it's a metaphor for love or holding my motorcycle together.

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    1. shimmer in the Ambien morning like a polished corpse - so fucking good...

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    2. There's nothing that can't be fixed with duct tape. Nothing. :)

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    3. Don't know how I missed this before. Love the little homage to duct tape there, but that phrase "shimmer in the Ambien morning like a polished corpse." Holy crap. That pretty much says it, doesn't it?

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    4. and homage is so not the right word. meh!

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    5. There's so much to like here, so much to relate to. Like we're all bonded by duct tape.

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  9. I wasn’t ready to lose her. I was such a child but old enough to care for myself. How was I going to face the world without her in it? I had no clue and there was no one who really understood. Not my dad and certainly not my friends.

    Have you ever felt alone in a room full of people? That is how it was for me ever since she came back from her annual doctors appointment telling us girls that the cancer she had just learned about had spread throughout her body.

    I sat there in a blur. Nothing was making sense but I acknowledged the loss even before it happened. I watched her death play out in front of me even though she appeared as healthy and vibrant as she ever had. In the past we talked about such things as cancer in hushed tones. She had to know this was how her life would end.

    I understood it was bad even when she comforted me and told me she would be alright. She was an optimist, my mom was. She could find the good in everything but I am nothing like her. Too much of a realist to buy into that glass half full mumble jumble. I knew better.I was a realist and in an instant my reality was shattered.



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    1. wow. I felt that. For real (sister has stave IV metastatic breast cancer). This is what it's about, not pink crap for sale. Nice job, Brenda.

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    2. Been there (except it was my dad). Very honest, very raw. Also *hugs*.

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    3. A tough topic, for sure, and you handled it well, Brenda. I'm thinking that kid became a realist by watching Mom fade away.

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    4. Love and appreciate your comments. If I miss some of your stories I am sorry. I am leaving town but think you are a great bunch of writers with tons of heart

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    5. Real, raw and powerful. Well done.

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    6. Yep, I've lived this one, too and you captured it perfectly. These kinds of pieces are tricky because of the sentiment/sentimentality trap. You nailed it as far as I'm concerned. It's almost clinical which gives it so much power.

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    7. Right. Too easy to slide into mawkishness, which you don't do. I always find this kind of understated grief far more devastating.

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    8. Way to say what I said better, dick! ;) Mawkishness, I like that. Prepare to see that again.

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    9. LOL, I was just being a dittohead again. ;)

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    10. Like Maggie said ... raw. Raw and beautiful

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    11. Powerful story. Heartbreaking, but beautifully told.

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  11. I painted the picket fence for mom this weekend, just like we used to when we were kids. Remember that? I think at this point there's more paint than fence, but it makes her happy. She always says that a house isn't a home without that white picket fence.

    The shadows fell on the lawn... the lawn that you and I once mowed, and I thought, wow, those stripes of light and shadow are just like bars in a jail cell.

    And that made me wonder, who has the worst imprisonment... you with your prison bars or me with the white picket fence. I guess I'm not sure. Can one prison be better than another?

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    1. oh, that is good. Makes you really think. I feel imprisoned by mom's alzheimer's. Though I'd prefer it to a jail cell, but you know, there's connection to the piece.

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    2. Oooh. No words on this one, Leland. Well done.

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    3. I like the feel of despair that sneaks up on you. The feeling that apron strings are never truly cut, dragging one into mediocrity.

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    4. We're all caged, one way or another. Well, most of us, anyway. Good stuff, Leland.

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    5. This is a little slice of awesome, this. Beautiful words, insight, lovely imagery. This is how flash fiction should be. Spare, but rich. Wonderful job.

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    6. Touched me. The prison bars? Seriously?

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    7. I was kind of afraid "prison bars" could be misread as a place to have a nice drink while in shackles... thanks for the kind encouragement.

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    8. Picket fence = prison bars...great analogy!

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    9. Yeah, what they all said. Well done!

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  12. Lightning flashed, blue white moments of the night gone bright. Thundered rolled so constantly it was like listening to the sea pounding on a rocky beach. The wind lashed rain against the sides of the house mercilessly. the screen door, who's latch had been broken by the strength of the wind slammed into the frame, then was jerked back out to creak and groad as it was toyed with. The windows rattled from the onslaught of the storm.

    "Shut up, Mr. Burton! You are not brought upon this world to get it!" James Hong's voice rattled out from the television. It was a favored movie, and great for stormy nights.

    A sudden crack of thunder exploded around the house, knocking out the elecricity. The room went dark instantly. Thunder boomed and growled like an angry beast. The house shuddered with the vibrations of the sound and the sharp movement of the air.

    My brain went into overdrive, thinking of the principle elements of the storm, and the evil magicians helpers in the movie. They were called Thunder, Rain, and Lightning.

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    1. Nice! Funny, we had a storm like that (constant rolling thunder) and I posted to fb that it was like the the ocean in the sky. Nice imagery. And my apologies, but what movie IS that?

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    2. I don't know the movie either, but I know I like this piece. And I know that feeling. Been through a few hurricanes and it is a WEIRD feeling. And the first line deserves some kind of trophy. Brilliant.

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    3. I had to look up the movie reference as, sadly, I have not yet seen it. It's "Big Trouble In Little China."

      And yes to the imagery. Been there, rode that out. :)

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    4. I love it when a movie I'm watching intersects with real life. Unless it's Silence of the Lambs. Then I'd be freaking out. ;)

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    5. Felt like I was right there in the storm with this piece. Love that.

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  14. I am sorry for the furniture I’ve bumped into, the grocery carts that have bruised my shins, the men who have yelled rude things to me on the street. I am sorry for the weather, and for the lack of money in the savings account, and the fact that I ate all the cookies. Again. I am sorry for not being the kind of wife your mother thought I should have, for not wanting jewelry and clothing, for not training you like the women I’ve met told me I should have from the start. I’m sorry for taking too much oxygen, for leaving those dead skin cells in the carpet, for the mess I will make when I’ve left it all behind.

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    1. wow, that's freaking awesome. dead skin cells in the carpet. Creepy and true and great.

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    2. Ahhh..... I just want to reach out and hug the narrator... and to tell her that she doesn't have to leave it all behind... but she can leave the asshole behind.

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    3. Ugh, yeah -- come on, narrator, kick his sorry ass out the door. :D

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    4. So painfully close to reality for more women than we'd like to think about...and even some men! Harsh reality, apologetically painted!

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    5. I'm glad you mentioned that this is a reality for some men, too. This is human reality deftly painted with the Boris brush. Sad, brutal, honest - you know what those words mean to me.

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    6. Yeah. Everyone else said it. Made my body go all tense for some reason. That's a good thing. (I needed the core workout.)

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    7. This makes me incredibly sad. Darn you, Laurie Boris!

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    8. Aw, damn. She did it to me again. So lovely, so heartbreaking, so real.

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  15. Numbers scrolled past my eyes. Maybe an accountant, or a computer guru, or some other type of math savant, could make heads or tails out of them, but I was mystified.

    To cover my befuddlement, I steeled my gaze and turned to my companion. "What am I looking at?"

    He shrugged. "Sales figures of some sort. But they don't tally with any of the numbers on our books. We think Sam is passing inventory under the table and pocketing the cash."

    "Passing inventory? To who? And what kind of inventory?"

    My companion looked at me as if I had just landed from another planet. "Drugs, obviously. Isn't that what we make?"

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    1. I like this. It could be a piece of a much bigger story, and it'd be one I'd want to read. :D

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    2. Thanks! :) I've had my head stuck in a spreadsheet for most of the day, obviously. :D

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    3. I'm feeling this too and not just cause I hate stupid bastard numbers with a passion. You captured something here. A feeling many can relate too. Oddly enough, I just experienced something like this. Paid for some stuff and when I got home only some of it was on the receipt.

      Great piece, Lynne.

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    4. hey now, be nice to the stupid bastard numbers. They put food on my table :). It made me grin, that first paragraph.The confusion is palpable.

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    5. I like that the most obvious answer initially eludes the narrator. It happens to me too — sometimes I'm so busy looking for a twist of some sort that I don't notice what's right in front of me.

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  16. I want to call you, but the last contact I have was seven addresses ago, seven sets of liquor store cartons and change-of-venue cards ago, so I don’t even begin to know where to find you now. I want to say that what happened between us was nobody’s fault. That time was our enemy and what we started based on some adolescent ideal of what love should have been like was a Madison Avenue wet dream. That because I was broken and you were broken, we were trained to believe that our shattered fragmented edges would fit well together in a kind of bloody kiss of a jigsaw puzzle when all they did was poke and stab and tear and the raw wounds left behind. You are nothing but pixels to me now, but in that postage-stamp representation, you look content, buffed soft and comfortable by the woman who was meant to polish your jagged edges, and not the girl who didn’t know how sandpaper worked.

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    1. Yeah. Regrets, I have a few.... Love the jigsaw puzzle metaphor. :)

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    2. You have such an amazing ability to evoke emotion. <3

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    3. Wow. This is epic. I can relate, and this is one kick ass piece of flash, lady. Super fucking good.

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    4. Excellent. The jagged puzzle pieces...yeah, that really got me.

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  17. I stumbled across your facebook profile today. Looks like Shannon found you. I'm glad you made it mostly private. I really don't want to know much about your life. Your profile picture told me enough. those thirty extra pounds since you left make clear your resemblance to your father, and those lips, wrapped around shrill words, definitely mark you as your mother's spawn.

    Seeing your picture, though, renewed a question that haunted me when you left. Was it me that was unlovable? Or you? I kinda hoped those ten years of therapy I paid for for you would help with the answer to that question.

    I doubt you'll ever see this. Since we're not friends, it'll go to your "other" folder. Which is a pity. Now you'll never know that that "cheap cubic zirconium piece of junk" ring -- I think that was how you referred to it -- brought a nice $12,000 when I resold it. Shame that your judgement in mates is as poor as your jewelry appraisal talent.

    Hope all is well with you! Hugs to the thug, too!

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    1. BWAhaha! "Hope all is well with you!" :D

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    2. Man, this is so good. The pain and resignation is so tangible and this: "those lips, wrapped around shrill words" is fucking brilliant. So well played.

      That's three "so's"... ;)

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    3. A new guage for Mader praise... how many so's in a comment :-)

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    4. Wowee, this is good writing!

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    5. Hugs to the thug, too! Loved it.

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  18. She was taller now. And slimmer. Like she'd been reformed or tempered by the 'changes'. I definitely remember her being sorter than me. Other things had changed too. The way she wore he clothes. She was never what you'd call well fleshed. Not a bit of it. She'd always had that 'model' look about her. Gaunt, but elegant. And with her clothes always looking at least a size too large for her.

    She'd always had a thing about her 'look' too. Never happy with it. And always wanting to change something. If it wasn't her nose, it'd be her skin tone. Or her jawline. Or her eyes. Not that it made any difference in the end. Not now she'd changed. And then some.

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    1. Huh. What's she changed into, then? ;)

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    2. It's from a WIP I'm working on. She's turning into a lizard. Little by little...

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    3. I really like this piece, brother. These relatable stories can be so hard to tell and you do it so well. I didn't know about the lizard of course, but you'll make it work. No doubt.

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    4. It's interesting even without the lizard lady explanation. I kind of liked being left wondering just what the changes were.

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  19. The woman found herself rendered momentarily speechless by the brash speculation about her sexual prowess from the creep in the next seat. Regarding him with disdain, she saw the man’s ephemeral smirk return, or had it been there all along? No matter, it prompted her to find her voice.

    “You’ll never have the chance to find out whether I’m a hellcat or a wallflower in bed.”

    His cell phone chirped, and he glanced at the display, muting the phone as he leaned in even closer to her.

    “Never say never, sweetheart,” he said with an edge that didn’t sound as though he were teasing. He tossed the phone on the bar and picked up his drink, beginning the finger-snapping, bar-tapping demand for another while draining the first.

    Dave the bartender turned to look at him but didn’t move.

    “Listen, buster, you and I are going to have a little talk. Right here,” he said, pointing to an open spot at the end of the bar.

    The woman smiled. Even Mr. Clueless couldn’t help but notice that Dave didn’t seem to be the kind of guy who could be ignored.

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    1. I think I love Dave...in just 1 sentence!

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    2. Oh, please have Dave beat the shit out of this guy. PLEASE. I'm enjoying this story so much. Man, I wish I was Dave right now... :)

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    3. LOL, David. I knew a bartender named Dave once, had a huge crush. He was in a bar in Ottawa. Ah, the good old days. Hope Dave kicks some slimy ass.

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    4. Ah, my bartending days in Ottawa... Wait, that hot blonde with the... that was you?

      (Kidding! I've actually never been to our nation's capital.)

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  20. I didn't know it would hurt so much! I didn't even want a dog. 4 years, 3 months & 8 days ago, I never would have had a dog! 4 years, 3 months & 7 days ago you came into my life and changed all that forever... for the better!

    Until that day you bolted away and there was a car and a scream and a vet saying I'm sorry and a great black hole where my heart used to be.

    That was a season ago and life feels more like it used to, except when I cry.

    In the basement today, to do laundry, I feel a cold nose on my calf. I turn and there's no one there. Not that I can see, but I feel. I know it's you! In a heartbeat, I understand why you left. My heart still hurts but now it dances a little too!

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    1. Ohhhh... this is poignantly beautiful!

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    2. Thank you Leland! They say to write what you know.

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    3. I agree with Leland. And, seeing as how my cat just left us, I can totally relate. I feel him jump on the bed every night. Seriously. It's freaking me out. But every night I feel the thump THUMP of a cat jump.

      This is a lovely piece of writing.

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    4. I always get here too late and everyone's said it. Uh, ditto. :)

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    5. Man, I really felt this one.

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  21. Too young to know better, the couple mortgaged away their future on Halloween night. The realtor had set a bowl of candy next to the paperwork, a fitting metaphor, she thought, the way they’d been slowly lured like the proverbial frog in the pot of hot water. Show them the pretty pictures, talk about the American dream, talk about starting a family and don’t you want a piece of that, what your parents worked so hard to hold, what your grandparents came to this country to provide for you? Sign the papers. Then off to stand in front of the odd structure as the cold sun dipped below the horizon. The house covered in autumn leaves, the house that hadn’t felt an exhale in two years, hadn’t heard the laughter of a child or the bark of a dog begging to be let outside. The couple looked at each other. Grabbed a box of trash bags from the back of their rusted-out Jeep, and began pushing leaves into piles to be bagged and dragged into the woods. The piles were too tempting, the stress of the day too great, and as the sun disappeared, they were leaping into them like kids, like kids who’d signed their lives away but it hadn’t sunk in yet, the ink still wet, the checks not cashed, and handfuls of candy from the bowls in their coat pockets, along with crushed autumn leaves.

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    1. I like the symbolism here. Nicely done. :)

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    2. Wow, you're on fire, Boris. But that's par for the chorus. You see what I did there? This is a really deep piece, readable in many ways, all of them good. Nice job.

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    3. just beautiful. You always kill it.

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    4. It's always an honor to read your work... and to know you're writing these stories in a couple of minutes just amazes me... this one has so much symbolism, so much richness...and I can almost smell the autumn leaves!

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    5. Yep. Harpooned me in the squishy parts yet again, Boris!

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  22. This one wants to be longer. Would anyone object if I continued it on my own blog later?
    ____________________

    He was a three hundred and fifty pound trucker from Telluride and she was an amputee from a mining town in British Columbia with a penchant for black metal, NASCAR, and munchkin cats. Both were tattooed in deep homage to monarch butterflies and graphic car wreck fetishism respectively. They would ride the interstates in their big rig (technically his, but mi casa es tu casa) listening to homemade audiobooks they'd record at all-night truck stops—Faulkner, Steinbeck, Kerouac, Welty—his suppressed-rage basso profundo and her scratchy bourbon-and-Camel-lite burr unexpectedly complementary and at times wild-electric sunset accessories.

    Sometimes they would bicker over music (he loved girl groups the best), so if you were both privileged and star-crossed enough to have been riding along, you might have heard the Ronettes followed by Darkthrone, the authentically murderous might of Mayhem preceding the estrogen-laced exuberance of Martha and the Vandellas, punctuated by a firecracker string of choice insults hurled with the briefest of smiles. Joy and savagery. Love and nihilism.

    In many ways, they were the perfect couple. Connoisseurs of chaos, arbiters of havoc.

    She lost her right leg to a dirt bike accident in her teens. Not her entire leg; she still had four or five inches of femur wormily rounded to a scar-tissue knoll, not entirely dissimilar to a reduced corn dog. Sometimes, while he drove and she allowed herself to be splayed naked beside him, she would let him massage its truncated end and try to imagine it was a gargantuan penis throbbing with some indecipherable need.

    And sometimes, with their victims, it would become a weapon.

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    1. Are you kidding me? David. Object? I could read this all night.

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    2. Object, hell son! I'll whup your ass if you don't keep going. ;) This is awesome, G. I love the humor thrown in so casually. You do this kind of humorous voice SUPER well. I love when it comes out.

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    3. Ha ha! Okay, I'll work on something. This was a blast to write (so far) and feels like some larger-than-life thing. And yeah, I was chuckling like a loon at times.

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    4. Oh yeah... DO keep going... this is rich in its horror! "bourbon-and-Camel-lite burr" told me exactly how she sounded.... perfect.

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    5. Dear god, YES! More, please.

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  23. It's like a knife to the gut, that fucking word ... slut. It was thrown around, but it always seemed to land on her. And she wasn't a slut. Shit, she'd never kissed a boy and she knew all about the football locker room blowjobs. But those girls weren't sluts. It didn't make sense, but 14 didn't make sense, high school didn't make sense ... nothing. It was all uninvited bullshit.

    "You're going to start bleeding once a month..."

    That's what her mom had said. Nothing more. And nothing more since. Thank God for the internet. Thank God for the internet regardless. It could take her away from the world where shy girls who liked to read got called sluts, while the cheerleaders fucked in school bathrooms and somehow maintained that halo sparkle.

    Four more years, and then she'd be in New York. Until then, she'd keep her slut mouth shut and read about art museums - she'd put it all in a bandana, wrap it up, shove it in the back of her slut closet. Behind the shotgun her Grandpa had been looking for for so long it was a family joke.

    She didn't find it funny. Maybe sluts didn't have good sense. Of humor or anything else. It didn't matter. Most of the time.

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    1. Ooh. Sad yet ominous. This one needs to keep going, too, brother.

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    2. Ooh, poignant. And yes, please keep going with this one.

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    3. Were you a 14 year old nerd girl in a former life? Because you nailed that shit.

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  24. He drives like madness. When he walks toward you, the world spins, the eye of the storm -- right there, all around you; hes all around you.
    The beating of his heart is like thunder. His touch is lightning. And you feel it before his hands reach you.

    He whispered, "I love you."
    And in that moment, he pulled the trigger. Well, he may as well have ...
    She moaned, "Do you mean it?"
    And in that moment, the sun disappeared behind grief stricken clouds.
    The lie that opened the gaping wound he'd placed inside of her mind. Inside of her.
    She would awake to a lonely bed, and he ...
    He drives, he steers, and she rides, like madness.

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    1. Woah, this is awesome. Frantic. Amazing that you can create so much with so few words. This is deadly.

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    2. Turns on that perfect fulcrum: "... in that moment, he pulled the trigger. Well, he may as well have ..."

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    3. Phew. I have nothing to add. Fabulous.

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  25. Jeanie dropped her suitcase and ran around her small house flinging up windows like she was mad at them. “Jesus Christ, what a stink.”

    She said it out loud; she said it to no one. Just then, the doorbell rang three times in rapid succession. Jeanie froze. Three hard knocks, louder than the bell, jolted her into a 360 degree spin.

    “Anybody in there? Open up. Police!” boomed a male voice on the other side of the solid steel door. On trembling legs, Jeanie tiptoed toward it.

    After hesitating a beat - just long enough for another round of doorbells, knocks, and warnings - Jeanie finally opened the door a crack. Immediately, a black size twelve shoe inserted itself into the space.

    “Yes?” Jeanie asked in a timid voice.

    “Ma’am, are you alone in the house?”

    “Yes, why?”

    “We got a report of an extremely foul odor. I’m going to need you to step out of the house while we take a look around.”

    “Don’t you need a warrant first?”

    “Exigent circumstances, ma’am. Please step out of the house.”

    Jeanie looked behind her, even though she knew it made her look guilty. Even though she had nothing, as far as she knew, to be guilty about. What she felt was embarrassment because her house smelled like a rotting dirty ass stuffed with weeping strawberries. Probably a raccoon got in, died in the wall. But she hadn’t even time to check.

    “Come on. Let’s go,” said the officer as he pushed Jeanie's door open and grabbed hold of her forearm. He passed her off to another equally intimidating police officer, and took her place just inside the doorway.

    “Oh my gawd!” He took a step back, hand over his nose, and shot an accusatory look at Jeanie before regarding his partner. “You’d better take her into custody. I’ll call for backup.”

    “Officers, I can explain,” Jeanie tried but it was no use. The second officer already had her wrists bound behind her back with plastic zip ties and was now leading her toward the squad car.

    Two hours later, as Jeanie sat in a metal chair handcuffed to a metal table pleading her innocence for the umpteenth time, the officer who’d first knocked on her door burst into the interrogation room holding up a sealed plastic evidence bag.

    “We found the dead body you had hidden in your cupboard, ma’am.” He threw it on the table, barely containing a smirk. All eyes turned to see what was in the small, clear bag: one putrefied potato.

    Jeanie was the first to crack up, followed by the first officer, then the second. Soon others began sticking their heads in the door to have a good laugh over what was most definitely not a dead body. Who knew produce could stink so badly?

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    1. Jeez, that's a lot of real estate. Didn't mean to be a space hog. I'm speed-typing today.

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    2. I love it!!! Today is a good day for off-the-wall humor. Thank you. :)

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    3. I love this whole piece. And again, it's amazing to me that your voice is so consistent. It's like a superpower. Also, I once lived in a punk house and we had rotted potatoes so bad no one wanted to go near them. I finally did and there were maggots everywhere. I had nightmares. Now, I will again. THANKS! :)

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    4. She murdered Mr Potato Head!

      I like the way you slyly drop in the word "suitcase" right at the beginning. Clever. This made me laugh. Between the tension of some and the humour of others I'm getting a good workout tonight. :)

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    5. If only cops had a sense of humour... Did I type that? Sorry dad and bro'... :D

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  26. Well, hell, I gotta GO! Gotta swim, hot like the fucking tarpits in my crotch. Too much? Sorry. Guys, you know. Gals, you can take your internal genitalia and walk on down the line, light sun dresses floating in the breeze. I got a fucking swamp between my knees.

    The folks at the pool are gonna appreciate the stank. I know they will. It's hard work stank and we all love that. Or we say we do. But this ain't about genitalia, and it ain't about me or you. It's about us. We. Cause that's the way it should be. We all have two minutes to set the caged bird free.

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  27. From her bay window, the Champs Elysee never looked so fresh and dewy. It was a spectacular day if good weather was the only thing that rocked your boat. However, when you lived an exilic lifestyle as she had for nearly three years you only had two possible reactions to a day like this, even if you were in the heart of arguably the most beautiful city in the world. One possibility was over the moon, out of bounds, uninhibited joy. Or two, and the most likely in her case, deep, dark, soulful depression that you weren't home and hadn't been home for far too long.

    The challenge of it wasn't very exciting anymore. Changing the trajectory of one's life is not that difficult if you make a decision to. But there was another life in the balance and her daughter was much too young to make any decisions that didn't begin or end with "No, Mama."

    For awhile Naera had let her own brain delve a little too deeply into an adult version of her toddler's mindset. Saying no, again and again when she should have said yes. And now, having no where else to run to for happiness except home, she saw her errors clearly.

    How would her baby's daddy react when he saw her? Would he yell? Would he speak at all? Would she be able to speak, if his hands were wrapped around her throat? Having already made the right decision finally, perhaps there were new thrills on the horizon. She just hoped they didn't involved making her daughter an orphan.

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  28. It was not a good day at Cyber Acme Prevent the Coyote and Hyena Attack corporation. Wile E. had reams of spreadsheets all over his office, his email was pinging every ten seconds, and his cellphone had melted down.

    What neither he nor any of his compadres could understand was why the demand for their services had dropped a good 50% that afternoon. Out of the corner of his eye, he would have sworn he saw that pesky bird, but that was impossible, wasn't it? Security was tight in CAPTCHA headquarters. But it did give him an idea. One of his largest clients was the Marathoners and Writers of the Ebook group. He scrolled to their account on his screen. Aha! the 30 calls for verification an hour had dropped to zero.

    And then he realized something horrible. Their name, carefully abbreviated... Wr for writers. O for of. T for the. E for Ebook. WrOTE. But the nefarious part of the combination was what happened to Marathoners. They were runners, weren't they?

    Curses. Business was at zero because of the WrOTE Runners. Wile E. heard the anvil long before he saw it.

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    1. Absolutely, hilariously brilliant. :)

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