Friday, January 16, 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. 

There's just this one thing, but I've got to say it - the letters may be weak, deflated - I'll pump those shits up until they're bound to pop. Rivulets of window water rebel against the small part of my mind that is awake, screaming whispers of revolution. Ain't no revolutions around here, son. We ain't talking planets or space trash.

I'm tired of hearing the sad laments of melancholy fools. I guess I should stop talking.

See, the trouble with the whole thing is that it's like a deer head hanging on the wall. Some will shrink from it, minds creating nightmare scenes of camouflage and death. Some will just be curious, gawkers at a drive-by, vicariously pulling that trigger, slow and easy. Some will taste the blood in their mouths, fascinated, but pretending apathy.They have their reasons. There's just one question you have to ask...

Which one will you be?


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.

#2minutesgo

124 comments:

  1. New Kitchen Blues

    There were those nights when
    We were not the best of us. When
    Our love wasn't heavy enough
    To weigh down the worst of us.

    There were those nights when
    We were the best of us. When
    The history was surprise not history.

    Every once in awhile there were those nights
    When the best of us walked into
    too lonely a kitchen and doubted us.

    Every once in awhile we danced.
    Deep in love, navigating too small
    A kitchen. Too volatile a love;
    Too small a kitchen.

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    1. This is an awesome piece. I love the repetition and flow. Really strong, engaging, relatable. You will be here next Friday, yes? I want more. :) Well played, brother.

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    2. This gave me chills. Great piece.

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    3. I too, have had those nights. And those other nights.

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    4. This is brilliant, so delicately balanced. Love it.

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    5. Striking, brilliant, and painful. Absolutely wonderful!

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    6. Wow thanks for all the awesome comments! Don't write a lot anymore and share even less. Will def try to make it back tho!

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    7. Oooh, love that. Those last two lines!

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  2. Jonathan "call me Nate" Jericho was not the front-man for the band Jericho, Bennie had learned. That honor belonged to his brother, Josh (who preferred to be called "Jericho.") Nate Jericho was "just" the bassist for the band, just the beating the heart and not the pretty face. Not that his face wasn't pretty.

    As it happened, Nate could sing as well as his brother. Maybe even better. When the TV execs had realized this, they, of course, decided to showcase that talent, even though the idea had been to promote the band (and make a lot of money).

    That's how Bennie came to happen across Nate murdering one of her favorite songs--something she just could not let stand. She had to do something. But what?

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    1. OOH. I like this one a lot. Playful in wordage, serious in intent. Open. This is a SUPER strong piece, lady.

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    2. Why am I getting the urge to listen to Oasis? ;)

      Well played.

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  3. The way she used to look me made taller, somehow, and I'd strut around the roost with my chest puffed out, and head stretched high. She made me feel smarter than the other guys in the room, and better looking...confident. It was a wonderful life for a long time, but like all good things, it had to end. Regrets? I have none. Too many people dwell on what ifs. Don't confuse regret with disappointment. I am what I am, and I'll always be. When she told me, "You've changed," I bout fell off my chair. "Sorry babe, but I'm the same me I ever was." "I love you, I'm just not 'In' love with you" was the line that caused me to bust into hysterical laughter. "OK, I get it. We're done here." And so it was. How to make a girl happy? I've got that in spades. How to keep her happy? You've got me, there. Whatever this new year brings, it won't be another wife. Two down, none to go. The third times a charm rule need not apply. This guy's happy to be the lone wolf in the woods. I'm not saying I won't pounce on the unsuspecting Little Red Riding Hood from time to time, but I'm not moving into her grandmother's house.

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    1. Holy shit, I love this piece, brother. The opener is so good. And I have so been there. That last line CRUSHES. The stuff in between, that's also awesome. You bastard. :)

      Seriously, you knocked this one out of the park and into some unsuspecting windshield.

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    2. hahahahaha Right on, brother! ~JT still writes non-fiction.

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    3. Echoing Dan's love for that last line. You stuck the landing, JT!

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  4. Ray lurked, nervous in the alley, despite the gun tucked into his jeans and the three older boys he was with. He wasn't sure which scared him more: the cops, the people he was out to rob, or losing face in front of his older brother, Jacob, and Jacob's friends. Paco, the big mean-looking tattooed Mexican kid, and Tim, the scruffy white boy who came to town from Reno, driving a beat-up Chevy with a trunkful of guns.

    They were nice to him, generally, including him in their money-making hustles as well as their partying. If they were smoking a blunt, Ray was welcome to join the rotation. If they were drinking beer, they'd always give him one or two. When they accosted some bougie couple for their cash, jewelry, and electronics, they often let Ray do the talking, because they thought it was hilarious to watch little 14 year old Ray-Ray puff up and intimidate these people, waving his snub-nosed revolver in their faces and demanding, "Break yo'self! Gimme your fuckin' wallet! And your phone! And those fuckin' cufflinks! NOW, bitch, did I stutter?!"

    He was always surprised when it worked, that these rich white folks didn't just scoff at him, but supposed they were afraid of his older, tougher accomplices. They usually would walk away with a few hundred dollars worth of loot to fence at a shady pawn shop in the Tenderloin. Ever since he came home from college, Jacob taught Ray how to survive on the streets: "Never give 'em your real name, or address, or nothin'. That's how they track you." "Don't ever point that gun at anybody you wouldn't shoot for fuckin' with you." "Always try and run with at least one white boy. If you runnin' with a crew that's all niggas, the cops'll shoot first and ask questions never. Seriously, kid, remember that. They will kill your black ass dead if you fuck around."

    Ray generally hung on Jacob's every word, and did just about whatever he told him. They were orphans, now, and Jacob dropped out of Northwestern to come home and look after his little brother and their sister Luanne. He was just so cool: a tall, lean, handsome young man, so smart he got into Northwestern even without his basketball scholarship. Even Jacob's modest handful of sexual conquests made him a bona fide player in the eyes of his brother.

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    1. Damn. This is heartbreaking in it's authenticity. Tight and well-written. A story that lives every day - one that everyone should know about.

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    2. Yeah, there's a consistent voice in all your pieces I've read here.

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    3. Got to "ditto-head" this one. Sad, but true.

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  5. I'm ready for the Spring flowers, allergies and all. I want to lay, inert, sun-soaked and glorious. I am tired of the fog. And it's sure tired of me.

    You can watch a line of ants and not be impressed, but I don't get it. I don't judge, but if you can't respect an ant, you ain't much of a person.

    I had a dream of black-light flash backs and it left me feeling clammy. My eyes are grit, my teeth hurt - my jaw muscles are like sailor knots. I'm waiting for my leave ashore.

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    1. Another landing nailed! Bravo, my friend.

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    2. First graph made me miss the Bay. East coast is cold and revels in Spring but it's just not the same as months of dank and fog.

      And "my eyes are grit", damn that's good. How long till you forget you wrote that so I can totally steal that line. Kidding. Kidding.

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  6. She was never afraid; it made her proud. That pride was like a river-pebble, but she didn't realize it was also a cross to bear. Across oceans and years and lifetimes. She would pass it along, right down the line.

    Fear is nothing to be ashamed of. She knew that. But there was some guilt-singed part of her that couldn't shake it - and the future fanned out in front of her. And the past tugged at her. And her mind screamed.

    But she wasn't afraid. And if you buy THAT, I got LOTS of bridges to sell.

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    1. Nancy DeCilio GauthierJanuary 16, 2015 at 11:37 AM

      Those that are most afraid are good at hiding it and you know what - it works. Your piece made me think and that's always good.

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    2. There are poetic elements at work here, brother. "The future fanned out in front of her," aside from the alliteration, moves fairly quickly, easily. But "the past tugged at her" takes more effort to say, feels more laboured. The sound of the language echoes its content. There's probably a better way to say that, but yeah.

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    3. I get ya, D, and I agree. Thanks y'all.

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    4. "That pride was like a river pebble..." Love it.

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    5. Makes ya wonder where she's been.

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  7. This is terrific. Being a fearless woman, myself I got stories about those bridges.:)

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    1. Thank you. I want to hear the stories.

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  8. Curled into a foetal position, the walls pressed in on him, his body cramped and beginning to spill out through the opening below. The coiled tube tightened around his neck and, for a moment, the light darkened. He grew still, his breath coming with more difficulty.

    A voice called out. Writhing again, his hands pawed at his throat, clearing the obstacle. Recovering momentarily, he turned, his legs spilling out into the light.

    But still he struggled.

    A woman called for him, her tones tense and pained. And then a pair of powerful hands grasped his thighs, easing him through the opening. Pulling him out...

    Blinking as soon as the fluorescent lights hit his face, he cried out. “There you are, Madam. Your washing machine's ready to go. Mind you, I wouldn't want to do one like this every day: those pipes were a bitch to pull through. Was it a cowboy who put your kitchen units in, by any chance?”

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    1. Ha ha, you're nailing these surprise endings, my friend.

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    2. Totally. I love the mindfuck. Birth? Death? Fucking washing machine? Dope piece, G. :)

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  9. Allison was pretty sure she was pregnant. She'd been cursing her luck for days, since her last period never came. And she cursed herself because she wasn't sure who the father was. It was probably her boyfriend, Tim's, but she had turned a few tricks when money was tight, and she did get drunk and fuck Jacob that one time. One thing she did know was that that goddamned embryo in her uterus had to go. She wasn't going out like that; Allison's mother was well into her twenties, living in a cute little tract house in San Mateo, and married to a firefighter when she had Allison. Whereas Allison was 17, squatting in West Oakland, and didn't even know exactly what her relationship status was. She could barely take care of herself, and the grimy, dilapidated squat she lived in was no place for a baby.

    As she sat on hold with Planned Parenthood, Allison lifted her shift and anxiously poked at her pale white stomach; the tenderness in her breasts was a dead giveaway. She wasn't showing yet, and she was determined not to rock a big round belly any time soon, if ever. She seethed with resentment. She wasn't mad at Tim, or Jacob, or whoever impregnated her. They wanted to get their rocks off, so did she, or at least she needed the cash badly enough to let them fuck her. And she was able to command a decent price, with her long dark hair, long shapely legs, slim waist and full breasts; usually around $200. She was mad at herself, and at her parents for forcing her into this shithole planet she was dealing with. When they were her age, it was actually feasible to grow up and be prosperous, safe, and happy; now she doubted she'd be alive at the age of 30.

    Allison wondered which of her friends would judge her, who would mock her, who would take care of her as she recovered. She didn't expect to be judged much, and if they did, fuck them. She did expect to be made fun of a bit, but Luanne and Tim would probably take care of her. If she was straight-up with him, Tim would probably kick down some cash for the abortion. His drug habits made him a bit self-centered, but he was one of the nicer boys Allison had been with. He didn't know about Jacob, and she wasn't about to tell him. But he knew she occasionally turned tricks, and unlike most other boys, he accepted that and still showed her kindness and respect.

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    1. I've met Allison. I worry her edges are not hard enough.

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    2. Sorry, I gotta ditto on this one. Great piece. I don't have the words to do it justice without crying for a while.

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    3. Thank you both very much. I'm curious, though: what do you mean by her edges not being hard enough?

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    4. Compared to many in her situation she's allowing for kindness and gentleness, and as much as I admire her for it, she could suffer for it.

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    5. Ohhh, yes... she'll live. That relative softness is how she'll escape from her circumstances. Some rich dude will fall for her, and she'll understandably choose becoming a housewife over remaining a ho. Tim will understand, but losing her will make his crappy life harder, take away a key motivation to try and be a better man, rather than just chucking it all and diving headlong into being a junkie lowlife.

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    6. Hear ya. Seen this play out in so many ways, your awesomely detailed scenario one of them.

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  10. In the kingdom of believers
    There's a map of the world.
    Drawn with the blood of the saints and the sinners; the prophets, the fools, and all of the winners.
    Change calls and we answer with our flight and our fight
    Brother against brother, man against wife
    The haves and have nots and darkness and light,
    And so the world changes and changes again
    We go with the flow and sometimes we win
    But fear is held fast and treasured, kept safe and abides
    In the legends and longings
    of the losing side.

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    1. Man, this is so good, Teresa. I love it. And this line: "The haves and have nots and darkness and light" is extra dope. I'm so happy when you join the Friday shenanigans.

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    2. So jealous of your rhymes. Smooth. They work well within the poem. I can't rhyme without sounding like a bad pop song.

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  11. Nancy DeCilio GauthierJanuary 16, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    What's wrong with old people these days. They can't be friends anymore it seems. They can't go out to dinner or lunch, their DOCTOR says: don't eat this or that, it will kill you. Well if you don't eat, that will kill you too. They are super consumed with their aches and pains, their ailments and the laundry list of pills. Not that it isn't legit - they don't have to be hypochondriacs when real life smacks them in the face. But, what ever happened to the old people I knew as a kid. Even with pains they still got up and danced at weddings and to hell with what the young people thought of them; they still drank their home made wine so strong it was one step away from 'red wine vinegar'. They smiled, they laughed and they made fun of the serious young people. Oh yeah, I miss them. Now that I am entering that phase of life - I wish I knew them now, to call them forth from the past to brighten the world with their courage and wisdom. Instead we get apathetic seniors who are truly just biding time in god's waiting room - otherwise known as Florida. I wish I could go back to NY where people aren't ready to lie down in the box and pull the dirt sandwich over themselves.

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    1. Dirt sandwich. Holy crap. "god's waiting room - otherwise known as Florida." Holy crapper! You're lucky I'm not plagiarist. ;) I LOVE this piece. Sentimentality can be so tricky, but this isn't it. This is sentiment. True and strong. Thank you.

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    2. Blunt and very, very real! Was gonna pick out those same things Dan did, so shut up, me. :)

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    3. Nancy DeCilio GauthierJanuary 17, 2015 at 11:40 AM

      Thanks !!

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  12. Toshio sat in his plain wooden chair, smoking an unfiltered Lucky Strike and seething, peering critically through his sunglasses, out the window onto the dirty street. He never felt like he belonged, anywhere. Even though he was born in Los Angeles and grew up in San Jose, he still felt like a foreigner, an outsider. He had some vague memories of an idyllic suburban childhood, but that was years ago. He was now, well, sort-of a grown man of eighteen, and five years before, his parents were taken away by the state and sent to a "re-education camp", echoing the fate of a previous generation of Japanese-Americans, decades before.

    He didn't mind his current living conditions: Toshio kept his small room organized and clean, though it faintly reeked of cigarette smoke despite his efforts at ventilation. He didn't even mind that most of the others in his squat were decidedly less fastidious. They thought it pointlessly fussy, but Toshio found it soothing, creating order from chaos. And he figured they appreciated his penchant for cleaning, and that's why they accepted his curt social style, and him typically smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day.

    What he did mind was the state of the world, and specifically the neighborhood. He and his friends had turned their already-rough neighborhood into a war zone, for what? Probably-futile resistance against corrupt authority figures? Toshio's father never owned a gun, but now he lived by the gun: he kept a Glock by his bed, and an AK-47 by the window, propped up against the bookcase full of classic literature and contemporary technical manuals.

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    1. Wow, dude. Whatever you had for breakfast today? I want you to send me a shitload of it. Digging every word. Awesome.

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    2. Right. This opens an entire world for me. If you don't write it and populate it, I will! lol

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    3. Oh, I will. I'm just scraping the surface, here. A dystopian near-future, much like present reality, but exaggerated for dramatic effect. The wars on drugs, on terror, etc., have fostered an authoritarian police state. The characters I'm writing about live outside the law, because the alternative is institutionalization: orphanages, prisons, military academies.

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  13. Control freaks are targets of undeserved criticism. After all, what is so terribly wrong with trying to bring some degree of order to a world spiraling out of control?

    For fear the clumsy accident-prone will inadvertently slash away a digit or two, the so-called control freak offers to slice the apples, pare the potatoes, saw the 2 X 4. “I’ll do that,” he tells his wife.

    “I can do it myself!” she insists, refusing to relinquish the sharpness she wields in her hand.

    “You’ll cut yourself.”

    “I’m not helpless, you know.”

    “It’s very sharp.”

    She sighs deeply, then asks, “You suggesting I should use a dull one?”

    “Let me do it,” he says, cringing, imagining a red geyser spattering the kitchen wall.

    “Maybe you’d like me to tear the fat off this ham with my teeth. You are not my daddy,” she says, slicing away. Go sit in somewhere. I’ll call you when dinner’s ready.”

    From the living room he calls out, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

    “It’s me getting punished here,” she yells back. Then after a pause he imagines heavy with ensuing sarcasm, she adds, “For a control freak, you are way out of control. I’ve got this. Just take a few deep breaths and shut up.”

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    1. Nancy DeCilio GauthierJanuary 16, 2015 at 11:44 AM

      LOL - when I used to try to warn my sons about what could happen in a given situation - they said: uh oh - Mom's horror scenario number (and inserted a random number) - even to this day in their forties they get a kick out of me. But, in reality I noticed they usually listened too and were careful.

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    2. Sal, I really like this piece. I always like your pieces. I want to thank you for this: "Control freaks are targets of undeserved criticism." - from the bottom of my heart. I needed to hear those words today, just that way.

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    3. "For a control freak, you are way out of control" made me laugh, while I still felt sad for the couple.

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  14. The following is a true story, all except the ending. It wasn't nearly as quick as depicted. But, as JD says, everything is fiction...

    THE WOMAN WITH NINE LIVES

    By M.P. Witwer

    The first time she might have died came at age 17, when a saddle horse reared and threw her, breaking her back.

    Over the years, she survived many more life-threatening events, each worse than the last: Guillain-Barré syndrome and its accompanying complete if temporary paralysis, pneumonia, spinal stenosis requiring two surgeries, an aneurysm (two more operations, and yes, they were brain surgery), a stroke, a heart attack, another bout of pneumonia. Resilient and resolute, she snubbed death eight times.

    That last morning, she awoke with a little sniffle. By evening she was gone, done in by a common cold.

    * * *
    © 2013 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved

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    1. I keep looking at this from different angles and it's amazing to me that you can do it. Cause it looks good from every approach. I have a feeling I'm going to be thinking about this one for a while. Deceptively complex. Well played.

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    2. You flatter me, but if this piece is multi-layered, I assure you it wasn't intentional. It's about my mother, who really did survive all those things and more. And it took a hell of a lot worse than a common cold to bring her down. She was a truly remarkable woman.

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    3. My condolences. :( Let me try to explain what I meant. That switch at the end kind of puts the whole piece in a kaleidoscope for me. It's shocking. In a sad, but simple way. Which makes many interpretations possible. Plus, the language, the contrast. I am just realizing that I would need to write an essay to properly explain what I mean. lol ;)

      It's a very interesting piece. And I am sorry, truly.

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  15. Mary Katherine was pulling the lint off the navy blue knee socks of her school uniform and thinking about kissing.That afternoon Paula Perretti also of the 8th grade had confided that she frequently practiced with a pillow in order to be ready when the right boy came along. Aunt Nell french inhaled a Benson and Hedges and sighed a world-weary sigh while Mama stood at the sink furiously peeling potatoes for a salad. Ordinarily, she would have asked her mother what kissing was like, but since Nelll had moved in with them, Mary Katherine had lurked on their conversations gleaning what she could about the ways of grownup women, but reluctant always to ask.
    But with the peculiar telepathy that passed among them there in that kitchen with its custard-colored walls, Nell suddenly spoke.
    "I wish I had me a man, " she said. "Now that I'm done with Freddie, I could use some romance."
    Her mother made an indistinguishable sort of sound that might have been a half a laugh or something else entirely. "You should get you a Jew the next time, " she answered. "They're the best kissers."
    Mary Katherine looked up, astonished and Nell twirled in her chair.
    "And how would you know anything about that?' she demanded.
    " You hear things, " Mama answered. "Like about the kissing. And they give the best jewelry too. Remember Maxine Denton? She went off to college up North somewhere and came back with a Jewish boyfriend and a rock the size of a kidney stone."

    Nell considered this as Mama went on.
    "They all got relatives in the diamond business," she said reaching for the mayonnaise. "And he's going to law school."
    "I thought the Dentons were Presbyterian, "Nell countered, clearly impressed.
    "Maxine's converting. "bout killed her Mama, hearing that. But a woman's got to have some security, don't she? Besides, that's the other thing about Jews. If she don't like her husband, a woman goes right to the guy in charge and says I want a divorce and Boom! Done!"
    She crossed to the table and snatched a drag of the cigarette. "Not like the Catholics. It's the Irish and the Italians ya gotta stay away from. Don't go looking for no kissing from them. Wham,bam and not so much as a thank you ma'am. And before you know it you're pregnant. Hard as hell to divorce too. Get you kicked right out of your own church if you so much as ask. What's a woman supposed to do with five kids and no religion?"'
    Mary Katherine considered this carefully. When it came to kissing, her Mama knew more than she'd thought.

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    1. Damn. You write so well. In so many different ways. This is brilliant. And this line: "What's a woman supposed to do with five kids and no religion?" - I may have to get a new tattoo. :)

      Killer opening line, too. Fuck me, the whole thing is awesome.

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    2. Yeah, this is a piece that's almost hermetic, sealed within its own world yet hinting at others. So much done in so few words.

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  16. What did they say about the girl who died? That she was pretty? Delicate of face yet hardy of soul?That she sometimes lisped when excitement took her. That she was bright as a star cluster? That she sometimes laughed riotously like a mule? No, they said she was a "beloved treasure." How could they mourn the death of something in which they themselves saw no life? Death itself has no meaning for a "treasure." You might as well speak of a broken clock. They are imbeciles.

    She was alive and imbued with that fierce need only the best of us have, a need to experience it all. More so than me, her palest of shadows. Before I took all that away, robbed her of life and, worse, the world of her, she lit that world wherever she stepped, no matter how drear its corners, how dismal its recesses.

    Before we heard about the storm heading our way, I was starting to have my suspicions. Something not quite right. Or worse, wrong right through. I could detail those things if I wanted to exonerate myself, but I sure don't want to do that at this juncture, maybe not ever.

    Our place sat on a flood plain in a small north-south valley surrounded on three sides by thickly conifered mountains. At the south end, a vast east-west alluvial valley lay perpendicular to it. When at last the storm arrived, I was out by the woodshed, splitting birch stovelengths with an axe. A great gale was building, and since it was moving eastward from the west, riding the pineapple express from some cyclonic Pacific locus, our valley was safeguarded, sequestered.

    Yet that gale had a voice. It made me drop tools and climb up to the deck so I could look to the main valley, and see if what was making that hellacious sound was something towering, wretched, and living. All I could see was a deep traumatic and carnal red roiling below the dark brow of the world, dark banners of clouds torn along in the wake of an apocalypse. And it howled. Like there were two levels of it—the prolonged shriek of something in mortal terror above an unabating roar of rage. The hair on my forearms stood spiky as the silhouetted firs on the ridge to my left. It felt ceaseless yet also final, the last sound we might ever hear in this or any other world, harrowing its way through eternity.

    I went inside. She was doing something quiet in an alcove off of the kitchen, some kind of needlework, and I stood over her.

    "You hear that infernal sound?"

    She squinted at me, a puzzled look on that precious face, said nothing.

    "You telling me you don't hear that?" I was exasperated. How could she ignore that doomsday shriek?

    "Hear what, hon?"

    I started to answer, but an awful realization hit me: she couldn't hear it because this was already the sound inside her pretty head. I turned on my heel and went outside again, that great clamour crawling around my neck and shoulders like a shawl made of serpents, and, with ample time to think, retrieved my axe, returned to the house, and buried that pitted blade in her skull. She died with disbelief on her face.

    Here's the thing, though. Maybe I expected her head to discharge some vile green fluids, but all I saw was something runny like warm egg white, plenty of red, and a slow greyish ooze. No other secrets. No wiring. No implants.

    The 911 dispatcher could barely hear me over the raging fusillade.

    Here's another thing, and it's damn near a funny one: I now have vast and lonely stretches of time in which to contemplate my own impulsive certainty on a day I thought the world—with all its recessed corners, its mountainous tempests and everything I feared and treasured—was about to end.

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    1. Ho-ly SHIT! DA, you never cease to amaze me. This is an epic piece. The language is phenomenal. Like you said above, smooth, then a clunk that startles you, compelling you to read more. R&B, brother. This is an EPIC piece of writing.

      Something not quite right. Or worse, wrong right through. - Wow

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    2. Thanks, G. I ended up writing a horror story again, didn't I?

      Glad I got a single fan, at least.

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    3. Finally getting a chance to read a bit. You did write a horror story, I supposed, but you do it so well and with such empathy. That whole last line (paragraph). The flow and language. The whole thing is just awesome.

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    4. Yes, somehow I enticed Laura to reply on one of my pieces! ;)

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    5. I love how you plunge into the minds of these people with both hands, up to the elbows, and twist.

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    6. And sincere thanks to anyone who even reads, let alone comments. That goes for all the pieces, of course. As for mine, I don't know why they all go so dark. It's genuinely worrying, sometimes. I'm actually a fairly optimistic person!

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    7. I see it as a way for you to release your negativity, maybe?

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    8. Right, like catharsis. I sure hope so. Means I'm all cleansed. :)

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  17. I don't know why I want to bleed. Need? I don't know why I can feel a shove and not a hug - but I know it's one hell of a lethal drug. I'm starting to understand, but the understanding is like a giant monolith - a mountain so high you can never climb it. And I don't mean bleed like the red kroovy, I'm speaking figuratively ... see?

    I'm not denying it, though. I'm done running 'cause my brain is tired. I'm not angry, 'cause that shit's expired. All I want is a handhold. An entry point. I want something, but I don't know what it is - I had it once, but lost it a long goddamn time ago. Now, let's all go to the gutwrench show. I'll bring the monkey, guilt him 'til he dances.

    I learned. Sure. But I don't know how the lessons got so twisted. I fought it for as long as I could, double-fisted. I do know I lost. Am lost. Now, I'm going through the files and shredding every brown stamped folder I come across.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one seems to be getting the rhythm of these pieces. Maybe be overt and break them into meter. This is a synthesis of rap and poetry, and maybe it's a seam we ought to follow.

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    2. Thanks, man. I might have to play with form, but you know me. I'm no poet. I just have a good internal metronome and like to rhyme.

      (please don't send me a beret) ;)

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    3. What you just wrote defines poet for me! Maybe it's all semantics. But you got that feel, for sure.

      (Not even a raspberry beret?)

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  18. She knew what he was going through, academically. She had been there to hold his hand through the worst of the times she knew about. He apparently pandered to her broken parts without trying to understand. He had missed all the excitement of her trauma, wouldn't even come to the hospital. She was older, more experienced, physically broken where it could not be seen. He was young and athletic, a very physical being with a mental injury. Again something that could not be seen. She bore up under his tirades. He accused her of bitching and whining. It was cyclical, unending, like co-joined twins who could not break away from one another.

    She had cared for him, still cared for him, throughout his life. If he turned away, he would be gone like yesterday's news and never look back. All injuries aside, they had made each other what they were. They hadn't really had a choice.

    They would eventually die alone. Mother and son.

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    Replies
    1. This is fantastic. I love it. The words flow so seamlessly - leading the reader along - right up to the clinch. Awesome piece.

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    2. Yes! Made each other what they were. Exactly.

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    3. Heartbreaking but beautiful. <3

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  19. Jimmy was a fuckhead and everybody knew it. Andre had it all planned out, but then he fucking blew it.

    Billy was a shrunken boy, he hid in shallow graves. Gladys was a prissy bitch who scattered princess waves.

    Tyrone lost his mind from one too many tabs. Jenny stuck with simpler toys, wine coolers and dabs.

    Missy was a silly girl, always losing toys. Ginny was unloved by all except the angry boys.

    There are more and more, I could go on, but I don't fucking want to. And you can't do a think to change it. You want a rhyme? Fuck you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edward Gorey, only you stopped yourself in time....:
      )

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    2. lol. Sweet. I so rarely stop myself in time. :)

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    3. Edward Gorey, exactly! An amazing pastiche.

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    4. I love the rhythm and the flow...and how it stops. This is aces.

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    5. Thanks guys. And I know basically zero about Gorey - heard the name before. I think I need to check it out.

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    6. I had a calendar of his once; each month featured another amazing, unique way a child is killed. LOL

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  20. Sure, I sat and just kept mum - watched the days pass. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed either. There were blue sky days to be reckoned with. There were grey clouds that covered everything. There were sudden storms and unsettling periods of calm.

    I didn't do right by you. I didn't do right by me. I didn't do right, but that's the way it goes. When you can't do right, you do what's left. And that's a brittle recompense. I'm not claiming it makes sense.

    I just feel like some retroactive apologies are in order, but I don't know how to send them.

    So, I won't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "When you can't do right, you do what's left." The world's epitaph?

      Seriously, I love these pieces. So small, and yet aren't the best diamonds small?

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    2. Thank you, brother. Means a lot to me. The way you use words is next level shit. I really appreciate that you get the mechanism inside these little sculptures.

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  21. Tim and Brian were both jonesing. Neither of them had had a fix in three or four days, long enough to start feeling it in their bones. And Tim's girlfriend was going to want a hit too; Brian was single partly because he didn't want some bitch expecting him to share his dope, his food, his bed, and his money. She'd had an abortion the week before and was still out of sorts, and with no baby to worry about, she was enjoying herself. When Tim went out to score, she was swilling a 40 ounce of Olde English and watching Doctor Who. She wasn't back to putting out yet, to Tim's dismay, but she matter-of-factly told him she made some money giving blowjobs to a couple of guys from the Internet, so she gave him a hundred dollars to score for both of them.

    So he and his friend hit the streets. They usually scored from Louie, a rotund Puerto Rican dealer whose house was about three-quarters of a mile up the street from the rundown apartment house they shared with about a dozen other youths. The stuff he offered was usually cheap, with good reason, but they couldn't afford better. Besides, Louie was, well, less of a lying piece of shit than a lot of other drug dealers, and he didn't insist that they hang out with him for ages in order to score. Everyone in the neighborhood already knew he was a dealer. Most didn't care, or they were too scared to talk to the cops, or the cops simply couldn't be bothered coming to that desolate neighborhood, just to bust one small time dope dealer.

    The transaction was quick and painless: a little bag of that precious off-white powder for Brian's forty dollars, a bigger bag for Tim's hundred. They hastily walked home, anxious to get high in the relative safety and comfort of home, ready to fight and kill anyone who tried to steal their drugs; Tim had a pistol tucked in the back of his jeans, and Brian a knife on his belt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude, expand these. They need to bloom into something bigger.

      Delete
    2. Agreed. Right now, these have this frantic rush to them. Part of me wants a slower pace, some more imagery, poetry. Part of me thinks you've tapped into the vein and it's fucking amazing. The fact that I can't decide says volumes. There are a lot of 'street' stories, but they often fall into some trainspotting cliche. This is pretty genius.

      I don't know whether you're posting bits of a bigger piece or these are just coming out of your head, but D's right - there is a hell of a lot of story here. Really impressive, man.

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  22. Is was such a nice concept, a walk in the park. The leaves were turning and the air was crisp, and he just wanted to spend a half hour with his girlfriend without phones or computers or all the little distractions that the world seemed so willing to provide.

    An hour later they were screaming at each other just outside the apartment building. How had he never noticed that they didn't like each other? They'd been together for ten years. When he met her she was so sweet. She could see the best in anyone. He'd loved that about her.

    When had that ability to ferret out the best turned into the ability she now had to pick something apart until there was no good left to be had? When had she become a materialistic nag? When had he gotten jealous of her coworkers and friends? What had happened to them? Where had he been while it was happening?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like life, all right. Meh. Good job.

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    2. "When had that ability to ferret out the best turned into the ability she now had to pick something apart until there was no good left to be had?" Wow. Way to trace a disintegrating life together. I read this, blinked twice, and wondered.

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    3. Love this. Oddly, this is the sentence that jumped out at me, a story unto itself - simple and brilliant: How had he never noticed that they didn't like each other?

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  23. She pushed through the half-naked, sweaty men until she got to the bar.

    "What'll ya have, honey?" the bartender asked when she got his attention.

    "A Cosmo, and have you seen Mick?" she asked. Her best friend was supposed to meet her here, but she'd been looking for him for ages and he was nowhere to be found.

    "Sure I've seen him, Steph, and if you ask nicely I'll even tell you where he is," the bartender said with a smirk.

    "For the last time, I am not ever going out with you, Dick. Now, where the fuck is he?" Stephanie growled.

    "Back room," Dick said, rolling his eyes. "You are such an uptight bitch. He found someone to suck his dick and blew you off, but I'm the jerk for hitting on you. Women."

    "You're a jerk because you won't take no for an answer. He's a jerk for standing me up, too. But he's always had my back, and you've never even tried to be nice. To anyone. Blow me, and get my damn drink," she grumbled.

    "Someone needs to blow you," he threw back at her as he went to make her drink. "Maybe you'd be in a good mood for five whole minutes."

    Stephanie flipped Dick off as he handed her her drink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This amuses me far more than it probably should.

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    2. Feels like such a tiny albeit interesting patch on a way larger canvas. Keep going?

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    3. Love the dialogue, the back and forth. Got some good conflict brewing here. And what they said.

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    4. DItto. Plus, sounds like a rad bar. ;)

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  24. Her stomach does a quick up-and-under as the plane touches down. She feels every molecule of rubber hitting tarmac, every pull of g-force as the brakes slow it on the runway. As the other passengers murmur under their points of light and grab for cell phones and coats, it feels like they’ve increased their numbers trifold, filling up the remaining space that should be left for oxygen and breathing and life. Thick, hot air, what she can grasp of it, pressed down on her lungs. Her fingers tighten into the armrests. No. It’s not the takeoffs and landings that scare her, that make others white-knuckle the aluminum bullet in and out of the sky. It’s this moment. These extended moments, when she is trapped, when the unfasten seatbelt light has not yet gone off, when the attendants scowl at those who have already unburdened themselves even though there is nowhere to go. No. Where. To. Go. Stuck. Stuck. Stuck. She pulls at her collar. A lonely, useless gesture, but something to do with her hand besides embed it into the metal rail or punch the guy next to her. A man laughs into his phone. Big joke. “It’s not funny!” she screams, unable to hold the rising gulf of it a second longer. “Why is any of this funny!” The last thing she remembers before three passengers subdue her and knock her hard against the bulkhead is what the man will do to her if she doesn’t meet her connection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woah. Why does this have no other comments? Where are all the commenters tonight? This gutshot me. In a good way. Okay, in a good and really scary way. :)

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    2. I fell asleep. Yeah, this is amazing. I figured out what blows my mind about your pieces. Sudden flash, not much time to cover all the writing bases. Most of my pieces can cover a few of the bases, but, somehow, you can do it all at once. It's like those freaks who can juggle five balls. ;)

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    3. That last line makes me wonder what the rest of the story is. But everything before it is so familiar. Excellent job of putting into words something that most people can't describe.

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  25. She tosses and turns as, in her minds-eye she walks into the house of mirrors. How is this fair? She avoids mirrors at home, because she sees someone else when she looks into a normal mirror. What would distorted mirrors show her?

    What if she saw herself through the eyes of the people around her? The ones who love her, the ones who hate her, the ones who are waiting for her to fall so they can have something to talk about.

    What if she sees herself as she really is? Will she like that person? Will she recognize that person? She bites her lip and tries to stop her trembling as her feet lead her to the place she least wants to be.

    But as she walks past each mirage a smile spreads across her face. By the time she leaves she's chuckling and shaking her head. What was she worried about, anyways? A house of mirrors is good, clean fun, just so long as you remember that the joke is on you.

    ReplyDelete

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