Friday, January 2, 2015

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. 

Ready to put it on, ready to ride - easy - greasy smile made of timid lies. I see you got your game face on. I like it. It's like a volcano ready to erupt. Like a building being razed. It's like birth and death - one long dream - fuck everything that comes in between.

It's not like anybody's watching and nobody's surprised. We've been waiting for the second CHUNK of the chunk chunk shoe. Dropping. It's a helluva show.

It's not really, a show, nor entertaining. It's just that there are so few glossy things remaining. So few opportunities to stare at tile grout, wondering, holy shit, it was then. It was one night and one girl and one song and it ruined everything. Deadly.

Well. Shit.


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. BTW - my first short story collection is free until the fifth. Grab a copy. Tell a friend. Click HERE.

142 comments:

  1. “Don’t you dare try to crystal-ball me! I know my future. And you’re not in it.”

    Danny attempts another effort to plant a kiss on Audrey’s lips, but misses, and instead pecks her cheek which troubles him to find dry as yesterday’s forget-me-nots. She pushes him away.

    Audrey checks her watch, the one in fact Danny gave her for her birthday a week before. “In exactly five seconds,” she says, “this so-called love relationship will self-destruct.”

    He shakes his head, hardly able to accept it all. Leave me? he asks himself. That can’t be. I love you. Then he repeats the declaration aloud. “I love you, Audrey.” But Audrey throws her back to him as she heads for the door. She does not say a word. She does not wave goodbye. She is like the love-starved woman who begs just two wishes of the released genie and then rattles them off, only to later regret her haste. Send me an Adonis. One who can start the eyes of all women rolling.

    “I don’t have a crystal ball,” Danny explains. “I love only you. Forever.”

    Audrey chokes on her laughter, clears her throat, and turns the doorknob. “Love? What do you know about love? Your cheating’s made me laughingstock of the year. Forever, you say? I’ll be seeing you. Never.”

    She opens the door, slams it shut, and is gone.

    “Hello,” says Danny into the i-phone. “Michelle? Danny. You busy tonight? What do you say to dinner and a movie?”

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    1. Wow. This is an amazing piece, Sal. Sad, the hurt that people deal. This is real and cuts, brother.

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    2. Yep, there are people like that out there.... nicely told!

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    3. I really like the 'Send me an Adonis' line - he really deserved it!

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    4. A lot of story is packed in here. Nice.

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    5. Some love stories make us dance and sing; some spark sorrow and pain. The same can be said about life stories. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. Finn was sitting at the bar—his bar—nursing a couple of fingers of whiskey when the kid walked in. He was a kid, too, probably not any older than 16 or 17, accompanied by someone who was clearly not his dad. Any other bar in these parts would have tossed him out, but he was old enough to hang out here, though they still wouldn’t serve him alcohol. He must have known that, too, because when he and his companion sat down at the bar, he didn’t even try to talk Carmen into selling him a beer. He just asked for a Coke, very politely, and then went back to goggling at the other patrons.

    Most of the clientele looked perfectly normal, or at least perfectly human. There were a couple of favors of Fae who stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb, and a couple of the patrons were uncommonly pale and drinking something that was definitely not red wine, but otherwise, it could have been any bar in any corner of the country.

    But it wasn’t. It was the Green Dragon, named as an homage to Tolkien and created as a refuge for all the non-human and not-entirely-normal denizens of this particular region of the U.S.

    Many, like Finn, considered the Dragon a second home, a place to escape from the pressures of a world—or worlds—where they didn’t quite fit in. Others, like the kid who’d just walked in the door, came looking for others like themselves, for answers, for a new experience. And others came looking to get drunk and laid, as if it were any other bar.

    Finn took another sip of his whiskey and watched the kid, curious what he might do. He’d just about decided that all the kid was going to do was stare around, wide-eyed, when he leaned into his friend and said something that Finn couldn’t hear. The friend looked up and around, his eyes falling on a pretty young girl and an older, not entirely good-looking guy sitting in the corner. The girl was on the man’s lap, her short skirt riding up as she wriggled and giggled in a way that was, Finn was sure, meant to be enticing.

    “I don’t get it,” the kid’s friend said.

    “Don’t get what?”

    “That,” the friend said, pointing toward the couple with his chin. “Furbangers. And fangfuckers. I just don’t get it.”

    The kid’s brows furrowed. “What are furbangers?”

    Finn didn’t have to be able to see the friend’s face to know he was rolling his eyes at the kid.

    “What the hell do you think a furbanger is, dipshit?” He asked. “And could you say it a little louder? I haven’t gotten in a bar fight in…oh, say…ever.”

    The kid mumbled something and his friend shook his head again.

    “Furbangers are girls—or guys—who have a hard-on for weres. Or shapeshifters. They’ll sleep with a were no matter how ugly or dirty or disgusting or mean they are. Just does it for them.” The guy shrugged. “Maybe it’s the danger. Or the perception of danger. Maybe it’s something else. I don’t know. But I don’t get it.”

    The kid nodded. Then he said, “I don’t think I get it either.” He was quite for a minute, sipping his Coke and looking around, and then he said, “So if furbangers are into weres, I guess fangfuckers are into vampires.”

    “Yup.”

    “So what do you call someone who only sleeps with Faeries?”

    His friend grinned. “Lucky.” Then he looked thoughtful. “Unless they’re into some of the lesser fae. Trolls or something. Then I think I’d just call them fucked up.”

    The kid laughed. “Yeah.” He was quiet for another minute and then asked, “What if they’re into the whole succubus thing?”

    “Short-timers,” Finn said, pushing his stool back from the bar. “Because if you only fuck succubi—or incubi—you’re not going to live too long. They may not look scary kid, but don’t let that fool you. They’re the only humanoid being on God’s green Earth that can fuck you to death and make you like it.”

    With that, he dropped a ten in Carmen’s tip jar and headed out. He’d socialized enough for one night.

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    1. More like #5minutesgo, but it's what was on my mind.

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    2. I like it, too. A lot. Great dialogue and tight. Good scene-setting.

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    3. I loved this. You should be ghost-writing for Charlaine Harris!

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    4. Like it loads! Great dialogue.

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    5. Thanks, folks. :) Finn is my new project--and a far cry from what I've been writing the past few years. I'm pretty sure this isn't an actual novel excerpt but just a vignette set in his world. Anyway, the encouragement is much appreciated.

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    6. Yeah, you get the feeling of incipient worldbuilding here. Exciting stuff. :)

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    7. It's not often that you hear someone tell you a story, then read it, and know that the written version is ten times better. This is great, hon. I can't wait to read more about Finn.

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  3. Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz. Hand slaps alarm clock off. Legs out of bed, body follows. Thank god for automatic coffee makers. Pours cup of coffee. Takes mug to bathroom. Ablutions begin. Starts shower, lets water warm. Checks towel rack. Lathers up. Feels hot water soothe morning aches and pains. Soap gets in eyes. Rinses off. Eyes still hurt. Reaches for towel.

    Fingers meet strange fingers. Screams. Warm wet blood. Eyes still closed.

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    1. Woah, indeed. Like the staccato effect, too.

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    2. Very effective. Awesomesauce!

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    3. Yikes! My horror-loving heart approves.

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    4. I'm with Dan here, the thing that makes it is the staccato thing you have going.

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  4. Snow falls like feathers in the early morning light. A man and dog walk quietly, knowing their feet are the only sounds in the creek bed. Dog stops suddenly, sniffs the air. Head turns left, and stares. The man tries to see what the dog sees, but his nose and eyes are human and limited.

    The dog leaps, a flash of black and white lightning, six feet, and sticks his nose in a drift, inhaling deeply. The man crunches through the snow to join him.

    At the same moment, dog and man see the animal, graceful and still. Wapiti. An elk. The man silently counts the points on the rack of antlers. Twelve.

    No one moves. Snow falls. A ray of sunlight breaks through the clouds, and lands on the elk's face.

    Good morning, Brother Wapiti.

    The elk and dog and man all bow their heads slightly and continue on their way through the snow.

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    1. Beautiful moment, beautifully written. <3

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    2. Agreed. I love these pieces. Remind me of old native myths.

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    3. Great moment. I was right there with you.

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    4. Beautiful. I was hoping nothing bad happened to the elk.

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    5. Mr. Wapiti needed to live... he was poetry in motion.... and in stillness. thanks for the kind words!

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    6. Captures that moment in the wild when you encounter a large animal. Everyone stops and holds their breath, including the animal itself. Love it.

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  5. "Worst blizzard in twenty-five..." The radio went silent at the same time the lights went out.
    Must not panic. Plenty of food. Plenty of water. Beast, his dog, was there to protect him and keep him warm. Warm. Just turn on the gas fireplace. Except the igniter needed electricity. Dammit.
    He reached in his pocket, found his lighter, lit a candle and then a cigarette. It'll all be fine.
    The dog whimpered and then moved to the door. A knock echoed through the dark room.
    "Who's there?"
    "Mister, we've got your Girl Scout cookies. Three boxes of Thin Mints."
    Finally. He'd expected them the day before. But what parent would let his daughter out in a storm like this? He opened the door and was surprised how tall the girl was, and how bundled up she was.
    "Come on in out of the storm. Let me get my billfold."
    He never even saw the knife that cut his belly open, a belly that would never hold cookies again.

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    1. I never did trust the girl scouts... Nice piece, brother. I like the innocent/violent dichotomy.

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    2. hey, it was a girl scout IMPERSONATOR... you can always trust a Girl Scout... scout's honor!

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    3. You're in horror mode, Leland! I'm glad.

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    4. Which is funny, because I never write it.... I suppose I'm inspired by the sub zero temperatures (the WAY subzero temps for you folks who use Celsius)

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  6. After the phone call, the boy bolted out the back door and the frame slapped shut behind him, the breeze sailing his unfinished homework to the floor. She called his name but realized the futility of it. She could only stand on the deck and watch his tall, slender form, huddled and shaking, atop the pile of boulders in the back yard, the sunset bathing him in dull orange light. An ache shivered through her that he had to carry so much pain, that this was only the start of a lifetime of agony and unfairness and unanswered questions, and she wrapped her thin arms around her waist and ducked back inside. Knowing that when he was ready, when he was cold and hungry and in need of comfort, she’d be waiting.

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    1. How do you do that? In a short, well-written paragraph, you haul my ass all the way back to adolescence, and you make me feel pain I thought was long left behind? Well done... and that mom is a good one.

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    2. So much conveyed with so few words. And, yes, that mom is a good one.

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    3. I agree. Sorry, I'm already ditto-heading, but I feel shitty.

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    4. And I'm wondering what happened to him!

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    5. This captures that ache a parent feels for their kids perfectly. I'm assuming (rightly or wrongly) this is a mother feeling for her son's first heartbreak.

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    6. I can totally see that, but it could have been anything from that to a disappointing dad to a terminal illness, and that's what makes this piece great. The pain of a teenager testing his wings and the love and sorrow of a mom are the things that come through and sing here.

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  7. She rests her forehead against the cool metal of the dumpster and breathes - heavy breaths that she tries to silence. She knows he's out there. He's coming. The moon is high and bright and it's like a goddamn spotlight. Chased here, she knows there is no choice but to stick and hope he passes by.

    She hears footsteps, but she doesn't move. She closes her eyes ... like that will help. When she opens them, he is standing right in front of her, smiling. His eyes are filled with liquid mirth. He reaches out slowly, one hand. Places it on her shoulder. He turns, running, screaming into the moonlit night. "You're it!"

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    1. Brilliant! Right from fear and loathing into childhood innocence. You got me!

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    2. Wait... you mean people can see us when we have our eyes closed?

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    3. Got me, too. Well played. :D

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    4. I particularly loved the twist at the end. Masterful!

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    5. LOL, bait and switch, brother! Bravo.

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    6. That was pretty awesome. Made me laugh, too.

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  8. Christmas had finished and all the cheer had faded from the world. The streets were merely cold and wet and even grimmer than before, the festive displays now dead for another eleven months. Harper sat in the crook of a wall, the wadded-up cardboard serving as his couch, bed and – in bad weather – his roof-top.

    “I don't miss it,” he said, his paper-bagged bottle giving his alcoholism a limited legality. “All that jazz about religion and families and commercialism. It's all a crock of hokum, fakery and insincerity. Don't miss it one bit.”

    Denny, his usually silent companion, nodded in agreement. “Y'Right,” he said, managing a syllable and a half.

    “Damn right I am.” Harper rummaged about in the waste bin beside him, it's pungency less of a problem than the benefit it's shelter gave. “Nobody's throwing anything worth having away this year either.” Throwing the scrunched-up balls of gift paper over his shoulder, he leaned deep into the bin, the tops of his buttocks bared and his voice ringing hollowly inside its confines. “Although,” he mumbled, suddenly reappearing with the picked-over carcass of a cooked chicken, “there are a few choice nuggets left, if you're prepared to dig deep enough.” He tossed his greasy prize to his street-brother. “There you go,” he laughed. “God bless us, every one!”

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    1. Yep. I agree with Laura. This is great piece. Echoes of Dickens (for me) even before the Tiny Tim closer. :)

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    2. Definitely Dickensian with a modern twist. This phrase was my favorite: "his paper-bagged bottle giving his alcoholism a limited legality"

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    3. And the comparison of his bare buttocks with the picked-over chicken carcass cos they're so close together. As if they're the same. But I might be alone in seeing that. I like your writing style.

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    4. I got that too, Vickie! Made me laugh. I could see the goosebumps!

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    5. I feel like I'm there, down to sharing the cynicism of these guys. Very well done.

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    6. So good. Great details. Right down with them in the dumpster.

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  9. You did an amazing job of drawing me into this bleak scene, of putting me right there in the cold and the grime and the rain and the desolation. Well done.

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  10. It is the last time you five will get together for this task; the portent of it has flavored the room for the last four days as surely as the smell of old coffee and stale donuts drifting up from the bakery on the first floor. Each event is pressed harder into your memory: the Xacto knife accidents, running out of toner, computer crashes, typos that send your fatigued minds into peals of giggles. Already you are doing the remember-whens. You’ve talked about everything and nothing, four long days out of each month for the last two years, strangers who’ve become friends of convenience. But now all is silent except for the whir of the tiny Mac’s hard drive. You all stare at the screen as the file uploads to the big printer that will put the magazine on its giant presses for the last time. You crowd around as the percentage climbs, the thermometer fills, the last of your work together disappears into an ether you don’t quite trust. Ten percent. Eighteen percent. Twenty-eight. Forty-five. Your pulse pounds in your ears. You don’t dare breathe until it not only climbs to a hundred but the third-shift foreman calls in to confirm that he has everything he needs. The call comes. The publisher smiles and pushes her fist into the air like she does every month at this time. But then just as quickly she pulls it back, realizing, like you all do, that it’s over, that after cleaning up your work stations and throwing out the empty coffee cups and hoisting one last deadline beer, once again you will become five strangers.

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    1. One long ending... beautifully told, and full of angst and pain. And you are amazing with second person... so smooth I had to go back and look to see if you used second person...

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    2. I'm too sick to say the things that need to be said about this. Awesome.

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    3. Reminds me of press day! Cool. We are friends of convenience... or geography :)

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    4. Aw, I felt my own breath hitch at the end. I love how the sentences work together rhythmically, melodically; it's so organic.

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  11. The critique from the old bastard had been brutal, each word like a dull stiletto through David’s groin. As he worked on his second Jack and Coke at the bar across the street from the art school, he relived each point: the choice of palette, the interplay between light and shadow, the amateurish composition. Amateurish! That one stuck the hardest. He’d been painting for ten years. Okay, he was no Rembrandt, but after so long at his craft, at least he thought he could have been spared digs at his professionalism. Just as he was signaling the bartender for a third—and would have preferred the entire fifth—she walked in. Emily, all big eyes and rosebud lips and mahogany curls. And why the hell not? The old bastard LOVED her. He might wax rhapsodic about the drop cloths she used to paint her kitchen. And he’d probably sent her in here to torment him. David quickly turned away, but too late. She’d spotted him, and he felt her presence next to him—a cloud of heinous perfume and turpentine—before he noticed that she’d taken the stool next to his at the bar.

    “Problem, son?” she said, gesturing for a draft.

    David glowered into his lack of drink. “Bite me.”

    She lifted a brow. “In your dreams.”

    He slid a glance to her beer, wishing he’d ordered one of those, instead. Another amateurish move, no doubt. She took a long, luscious sip. He imagined the cool of it bathing her throat. She returned her mug to the counter and tapped delicate fingertips against the glass, and after a pause, said, “You’re doing it to yourself, you know. Letting him get to you.”

    “Beg pardon?”

    She leaned close to him and whispered, “Doing it. To yourself.” Then, returning to her side of his personal space, she shot him a wicked grin and said, “Because you’re not half bad, you know?”

    He blinked, as if he had not heard her right. As if blinking would clear his ears.

    “You know how long I’ve been painting?”

    He shook his head.

    “Twenty-five years.” He started to speak and she cut him off. “Before you start calculating how ancient I might be, consider that my mother plunked me into art lessons when I was barely out of diapers.”

    “Really.” His eyebrows crunched together. “So why the fuck are you taking this class?”

    Emily shrugged. “Keeps me motivated. Keeps me out of trouble.” She met his gaze in the mirror behind the bar, then turned to him. “You want to see what my work was like ten years in?”

    Somehow that appealed to him. He longed to see the tears in her armor, the ill-considered shadows, her own amateurish compositions. She paid her tab, slid off the bar stool, and took his hand. “And if you’re lucky,” she added, “I’ll also show you my paintings.”

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    1. Gah! you are ROCKIN' today! This is killer! and that ending!

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    2. You make this seem so effortless. You're GOOD!

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    3. Classic - he longed to see her own amateurish compositions! Love it. Okay, they seriously must be dating somewhere right now...

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    4. Yeah, you made us root for these two.

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  12. Back to small town America for your high school reunion. Twenty-five years, and you promised you'd be there. You hoped you'd have a boyfriend to bring back, to open their eyes that love between two men could last, but you're single, and you're okay with that. Mostly.

    You make a dash into the restroom after the flight and the drive in your rental car, check the mirror, check your abs, your tie, and your shoes. Yep, all perfect. You take a deep breath, and you walk out into the gym, the one where Doug Johnson hit you in the face with the stupid red ball over and over again. If only you didn't think he was hot back then.

    You look around at the 30 people under the Class of 1990 sign. Good grief. What happened to these people? Overweight. Wrinkled. Fashion by Walmart. You were the lucky one, you're gay and healthy and mostly happy.

    Just when you've screwed your courage up to say hello to them, you feel a tap on your shoulder. You'd know those eyes anywhere. "Doug? is that you?" And the grin from 25 years ago shines as bright as ever.

    "Hey, can I ask you to help me a minute? I gotta haul some stuff in."

    "Sure." And you walk into the hallway that smells of sweat and rubber. As the door closes behind you, Doug taps you on the shoulder again, and pushes you against the wall. Your adrenalin spikes. And then he kisses you. And you kiss back. And you wish the locker room weren't so far away.

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    1. So good. I love specific detail/memories like this: "the one where Doug Johnson hit you in the face with the stupid red ball over and over again."

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    2. I felt that one coming. I'm glad I was right. :D

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    3. Me too. Fabulous. Love the Walmart...

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  13. A rottweiler behind chainlink stands and swings his boneknuckle head while the couple quarrel by the dismal predawn roadside.

    "We're heading back east," she says.

    He kicks at the dirt. "Why do you say back east? You ain't never bin there."

    "It's just a way of sayin it. Besides, I suffer from lostalgia."

    "Huh?"

    "Never mind. You won't get it."

    "The fuck? Fuck you. Well hell, I'm mostly through talking anyways."

    The dog watches from its shadows and emits a low growl every time Dwight glances at it.

    "Suit yerself, but whether you're with me or not, I'm going and you ain't gonna stop me."

    "Not unless I throw you over this here fence."

    She rolls her eyes and he narrows his.

    "We really havin this conversation?" he asks, almost gently.

    "Appears we are. Ain't no bad thing."

    "But we talkin about bad shit. Like dyin. Worse. The future, no?"

    "Sure. Yes and no. Love, dyin, kindness, pain. Yesterday and tomorrow. That axe gonna swing itself, use you and me as its own fulcrum."

    He's silent for a good minute, then says, "Seems to me you caint rightly figure the light 'less you done reckoned with the dark."

    "On the right day I might say otherwise. On this day, who knows? But whatever. Pass me a cancer stick, will ya?" Something sunny passed over her coyote-fragile face. "Oh hey, know why I love you?"

    "Sure don't."

    "'Cause when you light my cigarette, you cup the match like you're protecting a good clean heart, even when you know full well it's dirty as hell. Anyways, let's go, hon. You with me?"

    "I guess." He looks at her. Alice. The Bonnie to his Clyde. Feels his dirty heart clench.

    While she thinks of the cormorants by the bay that night they let slip the body in the cold waters. How those great oily birds perched on the wood pilings like the dark acolytes of apostates, holding aloft dripping black wings in lewd maledictions before hearts yet darker, before offerings more profane.

    The guard dog seems to lose interest and drops to the sandy ground like some wounded Serengeti thing.

    Thick red light diluted with orange is bleeding into the eastern sky, below which the smoky blue mountains seem flat as construction paper, and there is no rightful way for them to know if the vermilion eastern morning holds bloodthreat or promise.

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    1. I don't know where this is going, but I'm happy to follow along... the images you paint with unorthodox words, well, they burn into my head... I can see that Rottweiler, I can see the cupped hands around the match...coyote-fragile might be my favorite descriptor in the piece, but it's hard to say when there are so many brilliant contenders. Thanks for sharing.

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    2. This is awesome. I'm sick. But this is awesome. "'Cause when you light my cigarette, you cup the match like you're protecting a good clean heart, even when you know full well it's dirty as hell. Anyways, let's go, hon. You with me?"=dope

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    3. And they're both flawed characters, which makes it interesting, and they say weird shit to each other but I get the sense they've gone through this a zillion times and can say this stuff and it means nothing. Or so it seems to me. And that dog doesn't seem to like the man for some reason. Maybe it would always defend her?

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    4. I appreciate your comments, you three, as I don't tend to get many. As always, thanks, Leland, I sense a kinship sometimes in our styles. And Dan, although I don't cop your style, as it's unique, it's still your dialogue that inspired this, since you're so damn good at it and I don't do it enough. And Vickie. Vickie! So good to see you here. And you're right; these two have had many a strange conversation and they're kind of locked into each other, for good or for ill, even though the portents are for ill. And yes! That detail with the dog wrote itself and I only noticed at the end how it reacted to him so much more.

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    5. It's a very love-hate relationship!!! Even the dog is feeling it!

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    6. David, that's about the nicest thing you could have said to me... any kinship to your writing style is a complete and total compliment.

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    7. This is so good. I love the dialogue, I love the back and forth, I love "lostalgia," want to copy and paste almost all of this in the comment box and point to it. Amazing. More.

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    8. You guys are the awesome, the total antidote to lonesome downheartedness. :)

      Yes, that dog sort of ties the room together in that Lebowski way, doesn't he!

      Leland, works both ways!

      And Laurie, I seriously fought with myself over two words: lostalgia and notstalgia. Ha ha! That feeling of missing something we have never even experienced.

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  14. There are hundreds of classes at Continuing Education. There is, Line Dancing for Seniors, or Yoga and Zumba, (bring a towel and a mat and pleanty of water. Also your doctor's permission because we are automatically absolved should you die in a quest for self-improvement). There is How to Manage Your Disability Claim and Budgeting Your Retirement. How to sell things on Ebay and Downsizing for the Modern Senior; Estate Planning and Tango; Tai Chi and Protecting your Identity. You can find a job or re-imagine your future; you can invest in Real Estate or decorate cupcakes for fun and profit and practice self-healing all of an evening. There is Social Networking for Business Big and Small and something called "stamp Your Way to Success! You can learn architecture, tiny houses, accounting and Autocad. Photoshop and Be-Bop and Ballroom Dancing and CPR, all for 39 dollars and up.
    And then, there it is--something that strikes me, something that promises secrets revealed and mysteries solved and a sacred, almost mystical initiation into all that confounds me about this world. The class is called: What is the Cloud? I think I could sign up for that. I really want to know.

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    1. This is an awesome piece. Funny, but not superficial. Many layers and levels here, lady.

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    2. I love it... humor and skepticism and wonder and awe... good mix, and good writing.

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    3. The doctor's permission made me laugh, but I also pulled up short at the sudden beauty of the concept of "the Cloud." Made me think about things in new ways.

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  15. I'm tired of telling myself to suck it up. It's like being your own asshole football coach for eternity. I don't WANT to suck it up. I'm tired of things being so hard. Tired of all the bullshit and ready for redemption. Wait? It ain't coming? Well, that's a bitch.

    But there's a certain time of day when the light comes through the window. Not always the same time, mind you, learn your goddamn science. Anyway. When it happens, it twists the whole house around and your heart pounds and you think: well, fuck, that was pretty cool.

    And it is.

    Pretty cool.

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    1. I like it a lot... and sometimes redemption looks a lot like "cool." Nice transformation from anger to awe.

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    2. "There's a crack in everything. That's how the light comes in." A better man than me said that. But you say it in an equally lovely way.

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  16. Yeah, sure I could make excuses. Point out that, technically, I’m on vacation, or claim that I really, truly, honestly didn’t have two minutes to spare. But that would be disingenuous. Fact is, I could manage it if I wanted to, but I just don’t feel like doing it.

    You’re waiting for something to come in the mail? Then walk down to the damned mailbox and check for yourself whether it arrived, buster. I can’t be arsed.

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  17. the song ended
    but she never did
    her image etched forever
    on my mind
    still there
    dancing in the chill rain
    her windswept hair catching
    the thin, white cloth
    stretched, drenched
    to the skin
    I gazed
    stuck in the moment
    nothing else to do
    she never saw
    while the music played on
    an old rock song
    seldom sung
    a dog barked
    her head turned once
    lips turning up
    like a bow at the edges
    just one smile
    only one
    yet it was enough

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    1. ohhhhh... how I've missed reading your poetry! this is wonderful!

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    2. Thanks, Leland. I did 2 today for Poem a Day and then spotted JD's note in the threads. Haven't done one of these in yonks, but that's as fast as I can go in 2 mins :)

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    3. Beautiful. I like the style of this poem as well as the picture it paints and the emotion it evokes.

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    4. Cheers. I'm glad you can see a picture.

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    5. Can I be dittohead again? What they all said. :)

      You use the pauses in the line breaks so well. This is perfect, the way it rhythmically enacts its own meaning (I don't know how else to put that):

      her windswept hair catching
      the thin, white cloth
      stretched, drenched
      to the skin

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    6. Thanks! I don't really think of it when I'm writing - I dunno, I kind of think of the rhythm, like it's music or a song, so it's cool you picked up on the beat. Hard to explain. I've had people rap me for lack of rhyme, but I hear the music in it, if you know what I mean. Sometimes only one word fits on the line or maybe many. I should really go to one of those spoken poetry things to hear poets saying their poems though I'd be hiding in my knickers rather than speaking anything!

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    7. Lovely, and I definitely hear a soft southern guitar.

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    8. Hear that damn guitar too.

      Yeah, I think you approach poetry the way I do, which is probably why I respond to it. I get all weird and fucked up and inferior about poetry, lol.

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  18. There's a silken cloud in the bay and she watches it stream across the moon-bereft night sky. As a lone bird turns, the water licks the edges of her feet, tickling the empty voids between her toes where they sink into the cool sand. Silence reigns now the crash of the sweeping current is no more. Sound falls soundless, the world emptied. She strides forwards with purpose.

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    1. Gorgeous. I'm there. All those sad words (lone, bereft, empty, silence) and then that last redemptive line.

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    2. Thanks. Funny, much of my stuff reads sad but I'm pretty positive - honest! At the end, she's walking into the water, but I left it up to the reader to decide, although that's where I'm sending her. It's all I could manage. I think I need a prompt word and to start earlier than 1am! It's 230 now! And I can't write much in 2 minutes, it seems :)))) Maybe speed would help. Now I'm joking! I'll read everyone else's tomorrow. I think my brain has now turned to jelly :)

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    3. Yeah, this is beautiful. I love this line: "Sound falls soundless, the world emptied."

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    4. Vickie, it's probably what's ringing my own bell, since I roll around in sad and bleak, yet clutch the hopeful rope no matter what. Beauty in the darkest cave.

      And yeah, Dan highlighted that breathless moment on the fulcrum of the earth's turning! Because he's a canny motherfucker with the same kind of twisted heart. :)

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  19. So what now, you ask the doctor? He smirks and says he can’t help you. Because he can’t write a prescription for what you have, can’t send you to an expensive clinic or find a specialist to excise the memories. Can’t separate the axon from the dendrite, can’t sterilize the synovial fluid to only produce happy thoughts when the cellular wingtips touch. Try yoga, he says, because it helped him. Or eat more roughage. He read that in a medical journal. There’s an herb the indigent people of New Guinea take to emulate happy memories of childhood; he saw that on the Internet, and will tell you seventeen different websites to track your own vitals. Just stick this patch on the inside of your wrist and go to town. It’s all in your head, he says, without saying the words. You just have to use the words to dig the insides out, like soft muck you no longer need, to make room for the new ones, to purify the balky connections from nerve to nerve, and although they’re working on an experimental drug for that somewhere in Patagonia, using the mold that grows underneath the mossy rocks where penguins nest, it has not yet been approved by the FDA for what you have, and preliminary animal experimentation has only shown limited results. It does render them docile, especially when listening to certain talk show hosts, and we can’t have that. No, we cannot. So until the proper authorities have the proper double-blind studies to prove that ten percent of the population may be helped two percent of the time by this pill that costs three thousand dollars a month, we will not offer it to you. So try yoga. Or deep breathing. You might even try going outside. He heard that cures a lot of things.

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    1. I wish I had words. They seem to have deserted me tonight. But this resonates. It's just so...real. So right on the money.

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    2. This is so rad. Makes my head hurt. In the best possible sense.

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    3. The way you use the medical language as texture and rhythm and color is so beautiful... so unexpected... like cresting a hill, and seeing the truth of your fiction unfold on the other side... Thank you for this. It's beautiful.

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    4. Ooh, missed this yesterday. What those guys said ^^^

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  20. She sits down on her balcony, watching the people scurry in and out of her line of sight, and cradling her steaming mug of coffee close to her chest. This is one of those rare mornings when she got up in time to enjoy coffee like this before she catches the train to work.

    Living downtown is different than she thought it would be. Brenda feels visible all the time, like her whole life is on display. Maybe it's working in fashion, or maybe it's the fact that there are always people around, but she misses the quiet and sedate pace of her hometown some days. Most of the time she is too busy scurrying like those people down below her to notice what she is feeling.

    She lights up a joint and takes a large hit. It's too early to be this depressed. She just wants a few hits to get to a mellow place before her boss tears her down and her coworkers rip apart the merits of her outfit and the city works to steal her soul.

    "Maybe today will be the day," she mutters as she stubs out her joint. "Maybe today I will kiss it all goodbye and go find a home. You never know. It could happen." With that she opens the French door, crosses her million dollar penthouse, and enters the elevator to start her day.

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    1. Nice. Poignant details, right down to that ending.

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    2. This is brilliant. That last bit...yeah. But all of it really. I can hear the sounds and feel the chill morning air...and her not-quite-bitterness. Her resignation. Frustration. And sublimated hope. Well done.

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    3. Yes! And there's a lot packed into a phrase like "It's too early to be this depressed."

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  21. The girl takes a deep breath of the crisp city air, then reluctantly closes the window in her efficiency apartment. She takes a magic marker to the marks on her boots, and sings a song she heard this great band play in a bar the night before while she finishes getting ready for work.

    She can't keep the smile off of her face or the skip out of her step as she heads to the subway to catch a train to work.

    Sure, her job isn't great, any maybe the apartment isn't in the best neighborhood, but she's here. She dreamed of living here her whole life, and now, here she was! The details would get better, but really, she was lucky.

    She's got some great friends, and a place to live, and a job, and she's HERE. Living the dream. Who could ask for more?

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    1. And this is the counterpoint, the one that was unstated in your first piece. Love it. :)

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    2. I love the phrase 'efficiency apartment', too. Such a neat insight into character.

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    3. I thought of it as counterpoint, too... it'd be cool to see a longer piece with both characters, contrasting their lives, and having them interact and educate each other... thanks for sharing!

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    4. Yeah, or a dark/light collection. Similar stories or vignettes but with radically different perspectives.

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  22. My entry. A little late, but here it is: http://tainiwrites.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/familiar-face-pt-2-2-minutes-go/

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