Friday, July 24, 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. 

It was always coming back to her. She couldn't make sense of it. She'd give it away, and then two weeks later someone would put a bag in her hands. Look at what I found down the thrift store. Thought of you. She'd smile and say 'thank you' - wonder if it was an insult or a compliment. Or neither. She wondered what it said about her.

She tried leaving it in the woods, but it was always on her porch when she woke up. She mailed it to a museum in another state and they were thrilled, until the petitions started - then it was right back home. With her.

She put pictures online. She buried it behind her house. No one wanted it, and some kind of animal dug it up out of the dark earth. It began to make her frantic. She lost track of the days - she'd sit, staring, wondering if this was her reward or her cross to bear. Were they the same thing? 

She'd cry and laugh, pulling at her hair.

They found her in her favorite chair, eyes locked open, staring. The cops followed her gaze and one of them laughed when his eyes found it. That's a hoot, I should take it for my wife. They chuckled. 

There was a momentary silence in the room, thick and sweet.

No, his partner said, if it was that important to her, she should be buried with it.

Thanks for stopping by! Gonna be a busy day, but, rest assured, I'll be reading everything and commenting as I have time, so check back. Post your pieces on your blogs, telephone poles, passing pedestrians, etc. if you like...it's a fun web o' writing.

#2minutesgo

160 comments:

  1. Dark and beautiful... eerie. Maybe you are going all horror on us after all...

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    1. Oh, this is good. Creepy. But so good.

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    2. Good is a synonym for creepy in this case.

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    3. What is it? I'll go crazy if I don't know.

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    4. I think this is one of my favourites that you've written... I want to kill you for not revealing it.

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    5. I LOVE it! and I love that you never say what IT is...

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    6. This reminds me of Twilight Zone. :)

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    7. Thanks y'all. And I'll never tell. ;)

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    8. Wonderful and so glad you didn't tell.

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  2. Summer’s promise unfolded in the winter of our junior year. We dreamed a trip through ten states in ten weeks, just our motorcycles and us. Each cubic inch of saddle bag planned, each ounce of camping gear. I started listing the campgrounds we’d stay each night and you said we should do more by the seat of our pants, not to over-plan. I agreed, but I wasn’t thinking metaphorically.

    The seat of your pants had occupied a significant portion of my attention since I met you, but I wasn’t going to mention it, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to act on it. We were buddies, friends, and I wasn’t going to risk that.

    We studied our asses off, and we made it through finals. We didn’t notice until the last one that the snow was gone. By the grace of the gods of Honda, neither of bikes needed a lot of work before we hit the road. The checklists were checked, everything was packed.

    Somewhere in Wyoming, in the shadow of Devil’s Tower, we spent the whole night stargazing and high. We talked about music and movies and books and constellations and hopes and dreams. We laughed like banshees, but your laughter always sounded like beautiful music to me.

    I told you all I knew of the hunter Orion, his dog Sirius, and showed you the stars that bear their names. You wondered why there were no constellations named for cartoons, and proposed changing Canis Major to Scooby Doo.

    When we finally lay still, exhausted from laughter, my hand landed on yours, you turned to me, startled.

    “I’m not…I’m not that way.”

    I rescued my hand from the place it was unwanted and muttered a sorry.

    We rode another nine weeks, but it was that night, that star-filled and cold-hearted night, summer’s promise was broken.

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    1. So sweet and sad. My favorites: ".By the grace of the gods of Honda" and the last paragraph. That was lovely, especially the way it bookended the beginning. Well in!

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    2. Road trips make such accurate mirrors, and like any good mirror the reflection finds us as we are, ready or not. Elegant writing, Leland.

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    3. Oh, this is a good one, brother. The bookending of summer's promise. And I love the ache of the "rejection" - gentle, sometimes it hurts more that way. Beautiful writing, great story.

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    4. I love how you capture the feelings, the excitement, the anticipation, and the letdown. It's beautiful.

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    5. Love it too. There's a lot in there and it's very sensitively written but not overblown by the emotion - it's restrained. Fave bits are the Honda one too, and the seat of your pants brain wanderings... would make a cool bigger story.

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    6. Thanks! yes, road trips teach us so much.... about ourselves, about those with whom we travel, and those we meet along the way. I thank God for every bazillion miles I've traveled in my life... Thanks to you all for your kind words!

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    7. So uplifting until the wrenching jolt at the end. It's both lovely and painful to read.

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  3. DREAM LOVER

    In her sleep he is almost the enemy. Bridges explode by his hand and around every gray corner his shadow, long and sinister, devours her furtive steps.

    He could be the death of her, the lethal weapon, the last sigh, ponderous feet rooted in nightmare, but she never asks, Why are you? What do you want from me?

    With daylight the sun seeps through the blinds but never lights up the secrets she harbors
    from her husband who is not the day-and-night dream man, the star of her deceit. He is blind to it all. In real life he lives dream-like, assured their love is eternal.

    Riddled with guilt, she plots her dream lover’s death.

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    1. As always, the images are sharp, powerful, and compelling. The last line is as succinct as it is epic. That last line is a complete story in of itself.

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    2. It is! I was just thinking that about the last line. Nice.

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    3. This is dark and wickedly sharp, Sal. You did so much with so few words, here. Really impressive.

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    4. Truly.... the succinctness makes the story tell itself all the more beautifully. Really well done.

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    5. Nice juxtaposition of the dream and the reality, Very Jungian.

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    6. Well written example of the love/hate relationship between the waking and sleeping mind.

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    7. I agree with Ed esp. about that last line. That one line could be a chapter in this story.

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  4. You stand in front of the building, arms crossed, feeling superhuman despite the fog of the medication. But you can step through that shit today, knife right through the thick, black water because of the shiny nameplate freshly screwed into the lineup on the sign. Your name is on it. Not his. With the letters after it that you earned with your own money. Not his. Letters that you earned credit by credit, class by class, by waking up early and dosing yourself with caffeine to counteract the med-induced overhang. Your mother the only one in the four seats you were given for graduation. Your mother the only one who thought you could do this; even when you were so rock-bottom down you were looking at the undersides of hell. But there’s your name now, spit-polished and clean, so fresh-starty sparkling that you can almost hear the ring of a cartoon bell.

    And as you’re letting the sun warm your hair, letting the sun bleach the remaining doubts and guilt and quivers in you clean, you hear her. The other hand that reached down to pull you up. She touches your back and a smile flows into her voice and the words again form on your tongue, another opportunity to thank her for her faith, to thank her for cutting you a deal on the space, for ordering the bright, happy nameplate with your brand-new credentials. But before you can express your gratitude for the hundredth time, she says, “I have someone here who saw your name and wanted to meet you.”

    Your heart soars. Your first client? Has she been recommending you? You ready the professional smile you’ve been practicing in the mirror. And when you turn, it dissolves.

    Through the fog, through the years, her face, her eyes, pluck something deep in your core that the sunlight has not yet medicated clean. You hurt her once. And you can still see that. You try to lift the corners of your mouth, but they won’t budge. In the meetings, they said to make amends. But the list was so long, and so old, and you don’t know where they’ve all gone. So you’ve never done this before. Never tried. You’re not even sure how. You hold the flat of your palm to your brow to shield the sun’s glare and say, “You want to come inside and talk? I’ll give you a free session.”

    Her mouth flattens. Her eyes narrow. The words spit from her tight lips. “I just wanted to make sure it was you so I know never to come back here.”

    You can’t even see her leave through the blur of tears. A hand lights on your shoulder. It sinks beneath her touch as the fog rushes back in, closing over you. “Give them time,” the voice says. “Some of them just need more time.”

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    1. Story hit me hard. The cruelness, the courage, the doubt...it all swirls in the memories of that first day, first patient, client, lover, car - contrasted with the biggest fear, the nightmarish hell of doubt. Powerful.

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    2. Man, this one twists you all up. Awesome descriptive language. Balanced tension. I love 'overhang' - I love the whole thing.

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    3. Yup... this one had me standing in her shoes... I could feel the pain and the touch... well done.

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    4. I felt her isolation. The fog is cool, pressuring. Lots of hope and then the crush.

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    5. Sadness, but beautiful. I think we all know how it feels to see someone we know we've hurt. Great job.

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    6. Magnificent Laurie. Like everyone else I felt it.

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  5. As I stepped into the box I remember thinking about just getting some wood on the ball. Leonard was not one of the brightest kids on our team but damn if he couldn’t throw a missile. Not a guided missile, mind you. His pitches were as wildly unpredictable as they were fast. Just get any part of my bat on one of his fastballs and I like my chances of hitting something that reached the outfield at least.
    The pitch was on top of me before I could do no more than my back toward the mound. It struck me just below my left shoulder. “Fuhhh....,” I started to say. But my mother didn’t abide by that kind of language and at thirteen I was more willing to take my chances on going blind later in life than eating a cake of soap now.
    The scalding hot salty tear was just about to streak down my dirt caked sweaty sun burnt face when I heard a familiar voice coming from the direction of third base. “You’re alright little man. Skin like leather. Walk it off little man, walk it off.”
    With more bravado than conviction I said, “I got this coach. I got this...”
    Coach was right. In the long run I was just fine. I don’t know that I had skin of leather, but his advice had been tested on literally thousands of Babe Ruth players before me and would be on tens of thousands who came after. Some were all-stars, hell some went on to have a cup of coffee in the big leagues. Most where like me. Little men with four eyes and a dream to get some part of the bat on a fast pitch. To reach first base or, dare to dream, beyond. Coach didn’t care, he just knew one thing. The right thing to say at the right time.
    To this day, when life hits me with something high and tight I walk it off. Most recently it was a heart attack but I remember having a fight with my girlfriend in college and walking from Eugene to Coburg and back one night. Every once in awhile I look up to the sky and quietly whisper, “I got this coach, I got this.”

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    1. Wow. I love this. I was right there walking it off with you. Eye on the ball.

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    2. Yup agreed. And it's amazing how good advice can stick with you. This one took me back, brother. Thank you.

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    3. Simple, elegant, and beautiful. And you DO got this.

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    4. It's ace and we don't even play baseball over here :) Love the coach's voice. Really like the 'walk it off, little man' line. It's really effective.

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    5. This is so sweet. It's good advice, too.

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    6. It's funny how baseball always seems to provide the perfect metaphors for life. Nicely done.

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  6. I awake and open my eyes to darkness. I hear nothing. In this moment, my worst fear is real. I have lost my mind but not my consciousness. I send instructions to my hands, to move in front of my face, but I cannot see them, and I wonder if they are there or only imagined.

    Since I was a child I imagined what it would be like to be conscious being without a body. Not a ghost, at least not the way they are portrayed on TV, but a mind without flesh, and without eyes, how can one see?

    Maybe I’ve had a stroke, and I’m paralyzed and blind and deaf. Would they know if I am still alive? Am I still alive? Maybe I’m dead. Perhaps I am buried. I order my hands to reach to my sides, to see if there is the silky polyester of coffin silk around me, but either my hands do not move or they do not sense or I am not buried.

    There are too many possibilities for me to imagine all at once.

    The darkness is crushing. I imagine I can feel it pushing down on my chest, suffocating me. The silence is deafening.

    I am afraid to scream, to whisper. What would it mean if I cannot hear myself?

    I feel my pulse quicken, or do I imagine my pulse?

    I have vague remembrance of times such as this. This is not the first time I’ve experienced this abyss. I do not know if these are invented memories or real or which is more terrifying.
    Madness, or death, or… apocalypse. Perhaps the rest of the world is dead, and there is no more power for the lights, perhaps the streets are dark and my drapes are drawn and I cannot see the stars and I struggle to remember if the moon should be out to light a little of this dark and bottomless pit.

    As I am about to try the unthinkable, to shriek, to know that a silent shriek means madness, I hear the voice, quiet, and a warm light creeps through my skin.

    “Now let’s see, what page was I on?”

    And his fingers riffling my pages restore my belief in my sanity. At least for now.

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    1. What a cool piece! I really like this one, Leland.

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    2. Had to read it again. This is pretty amazing, dude.

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    3. Re-reading is just about the highest compliment in the world... thank you!

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    4. I see what you did there. And I still don't believe it. :)

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    5. haha! perfect ending. Great writing :)

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    6. Holy Edgar Allen Poe, dude! or is that Allan?

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    7. It's creepy and awesome! You just tapped into my worst fear.

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    8. My own worst fear as well... A long time ago I saw a play called Wings, about a woman who had had a stroke, and everyone assumed she was brain dead because she had no way of communicating, and was paralyzed... it was told from her point of view, the thoughts going through her head. I was afraid to sleep for a week... and when I did sleep, I had nightmares.

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    9. Seriously awesome flash Leland. Not my worst fear but close enough that it was agitating.

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  7. You put your hand in your back pocket, slow, they're never going to know. You need to keep telling yourself that. They're never going to know. Own it. Believe it. You have to believe it. Everything is too loud, too bright. The Moms with their little chirping charges. The tired, dusty men. None of them know. You're in the clear.

    You see a little face staring at you. Big, black eyes. She's smiling, but it's not a nice smile. You try to think. You're about to say something. Some kind of warning. Threat. Something. But then she's running one way and you're running the other, and you can see those sliding doors open and your heart unfolds. And then you see them closing in from the sides, rent-a-cop security badges shining, and you wonder.

    And from behind them you see the little face, triumphant. And, for some reason, it makes you smile. The girls smiles back, friendly now. Now that she's set things right.

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    1. Wow... this took me in a different direction than I might have guessed! Always watch out for the little ones... always.

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    2. Yeah, I had to reread it. My first reading gave me a totally different - and wrong- interpretation :)

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    3. Hmmm.It's Friday afternoon and you're making me think. Love how you nip that nascent little stereotyping thing right in the bud.

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    4. Bait and switch, much? Nice. Very nice.

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    5. You captured a truth most people don't know or choose to ignore about children: they are not all sweetness and light.

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  8. Life's a blessing. Life's a bitch. Life's an adventure. Ain't that rich? Life is everything, it's all about the parts you decide to focus on. Life's chaos. You can try to paste as many layers of reassurance as you want. It ain't gonna change nothing.

    Death, that changes it. But you never really know how until it happens. And that's the great mystery. That's the tug of your nighttime heart race. The one you always lose. The one that makes the tepid light from the windows seem so bright.

    Life's a bitch, and then you die? Maybe. At least the second part's right.

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    1. MaderRap™ does it again. Truth in rhyme and rhythm. My favorite pairing from this is "tepid light"... perfect.

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    2. Word. Love the rhythm. "That's the tug of your nighttime heart race. The one you always lose."

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    3. "The one that makes the tepid light from the windows seem so bright." Yeah, that one.

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    4. You're so right it's scary.

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  9. It was a hard driving torrential rain. The kind that was so heavy it left several of inches of waves on the street as it fell. A shallow pool raging along the pavement mercilessly. She watched from her window then turned suddenly to pull the chain on her desk lamp.

    Sudden blackness enveloped the room. The only sliver of light now came from outside. The street lamp twenty or thirty feet away dimly spotted the front of her house and gave her a welcomed view of nature cleansing itself.

    She had an urge. One she always had at times like these. One she hadn’t indulged in many years. Not since her sweet girl had been a child. As an adult her daughter was less likely to indulge her strange pagan tendencies.

    Slipping out of her robe, revealing the tank and gym shorts she usually wore to bed, she tossed it into the chair next to her. Lurching over to the laundry bag she’d dragged down earlier in the day she tore the drawstring open impatiently. She had to hurry. Rains like this didn’t last forever.

    Slinging the garments at the top of the bag out next to her, she searched for something. When the thunder made a cracking sound, she looked up at the window and checked for lightning. Satisfied that the nucleus of the storm was still far enough away she set about her task more urgently. Eventually she found what she needed. Pulling the lightweight blue hoodie out of the laundry bag. She gave a brief shake and sniff then pulled it on.

    When she stood another crack of thunder came and lasted several seconds. One crack after another echoing each other like an opus of drums and cymbals. Nor bothering to look at the window, instead she ran to the alcove where she kept her shoes and pulled on the first one she saw, which just so happened to be a pair of all-weather rain shoes she bought on a lark and never wore. Pulling them on she marveled at their comfort and wondered how strange it would seem if she wore them on fair weather days from now on.

    Walking to her front door she slowed her movements slightly, catching her zipper and moving it upwards. Reaching back she brought up the hood over her hair then unlocked the door and opened it. The rain was loud as it pelted the front steps of her house. Stepping fully into the night, the water immediately embraced her. The feel of it was cold and brisk on her legs.

    Another crack of thunder hailed out to her from the sky but still no lighting. There were several large trees near the house – there was no more time. Running down the front steps she ran out onto the road. It was dark. There was no one else she could see or who could see her as she danced and ran, and giggled herself into a complete soaking.

    She was drenched in under a minute, her clothes sticking to her, the only thing incredibly warm and dry the soles of her feet and toes.

    Slowly she brought her face up to the sky and pulled the hood down on her jacket. Shaking her hair out, she closed her eyes and screamed.

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    1. Wow, this is an awesome piece! The balance of tension is so good. The reader's anxiety builds so smoothly. Really impressive stuff, my friend.

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    2. Dan said it better than I can, but yes, you kept the tension building, inexorably, constantly, right to the end... well done!

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    3. So beautiful, kept me entranced and riveted right to the end.

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    4. Great scene, graphic and emotional. The drama of the storm, the furry of emotions is all real.

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    5. Gorgeous! Did that myself the other night, though my adventure lacked the artistic pacing of the hoodie and the shoes...:)

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    6. I love the payoff, and have fought the urge several times. You do a great job of putting the reader in the moment.

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  10. Weathered marble columns lined the square, creepers tangling about their bases. The sky was clear but cold and white. The realm was dying and no-one knew how to save it.

    "Wool-gathering again?" Sophia teased. "You've got that other-worldly look in your eyes again. "It seems we've enough to deal with without your attention being drawn elsewhere. The night's drawing close and we need to find shelter before the Rending begins again." She turned to look to their rear again, the pale disc of the sun already skimming the broken lintels of the colonnade. She shivered.

    The cavalry captain nodded, his gaunt face lined prematurely. "They'll be with us soon," he said. "Nothing ever stops them and they grow ever stronger."

    Sophia increased her pace, overtaking her companion. She selected a line that veered toward the shadows, the trail a little clearer in that direction. "This way. This way," she urged. "I think I can hear them coming!"

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    1. I'm digging this, and I want more. Please write more. :)

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    2. I think I got me a new WIP. This was entirely ad-libbed, would you believe?

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    3. Add me to those begging for more. This is good!

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    4. Yes, it is the beginning of a very compelling tale for sure.

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    5. Ad-libbed? Yes, I would believe. Some of my best work comes from sudden bursts of off the cuff writing. Add my vote to the others - I'd like to see more.

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  11. The kid with the Harry Potter glasses had an arm on him—the only worrisome prospect Joey had seen all night—but three tries, no dice. “This game is rigged.”

    Joey smirked. “Tell it to someone who makes more than five bucks an hour. Next!”

    But the troublemaker didn’t move. Just pressed his lips together and gave him the stink-eye. “What? You casting a spell on me?”

    “I want my money back!”

    “Beat it, kid. Go get sick on corn dogs or something. You had your chance, let someone else take a turn.” He grinned at the tiny red-haired girl behind him. “Step right up, little lady, three chances to knock a bottle down, three chances to win!”

    “It’s rigged,” Harry Potter said to her. “You’re not gonna win.”

    She pursed her lips at him. “Says who?”

    “Says physics, that’s what. The bottles are weighted on the bottom. The balls aren’t heavy enough.”

    “Jeez, kid.” The man pressed his palms into the counter and leaned forward, trying to look menacing. Not easy in the stupid candy-striped vest management made them wear. “Trying to make a living here. You think my various vices and devices come cheap? Now step off and let the lady try.” He hooked an eyebrow. “Unless you’re afraid she’s gonna show you up.”

    The kid stood straighter. “I’m not afraid.”

    Still eyeballing the kid, Joey rustled up three balls and smacked down in front of the girl. She gave the boy a testicle-withering glare, fired back and bam-bam-bam, three bottles down.

    Mouth dropping open, the kid reached for his back pocket. “I wanna try that again.”

    Joey stuck out his palm.

    Six tries later, the boy groaned in disgust and skulked away.

    When he was out of view, Joey beckoned the little girl forward and slipped a five into her hand. She dropped her gaze to the bill, then back up at him. “You promised seven.”

    He slid her a grin and added another couple of bucks to her take. “You learn quick, sweetheart,” he said, tugging on one of her braids. “One day you’re gonna make Mom and I proud.”

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    1. "You think my various vices and devices come cheap?" - such a great line. Great piece all around. Twists and turns and carnies? Bam!

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    2. This is a lot of fun, and well imagined and well written... I KNEW I should have joined the carnival when I was a kid... and I wanted to.

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    3. Thank you! So did I, Leland. And as a grown-up. :D

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    4. Now why doesn't that surprise me?

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    5. Nicely played. Even as much of a jaded cynic as I didn't see that twist coming but when it did I wondered how else it could have played out. It couldn't have played better.

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  12. This ain't no time bomb. There's no way to twist the right from the wrong. That ticking you hear is your heart getting weaker by the second. It's all downhill from here. And this ain't no slalom. No chair lifts at the bottom.

    You say, SHIT. And it is shit, but shit's everywhere. We're drowning in it. It pours from mouths housing overly white teeth. You gotta suffer the smell like the rest of us. You can keep saying something is going to happen. You can swear and swear and hope and pray. But it don't mean shit.

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    1. Weirdly, it's strangely funny in a black humour way. Love the shit pouring from mouths housing overly white teeth! And yeah, we hear the ticking with age.

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  13. It’s midnight in the land of possibilities, and I’m thinking that means I might have a chance with you. Blue eyes and shy smile, you’ve been trying not to make eye contact with me all night and I’m gonna see if I can charm you into giving me your name or number or a promise.

    I start across the floor, my eyes locked on you, working through my pickup line in my head to make sure I’ve got ever word letter perfect.

    When I get close to where your godly figure stands, I stumble, I fall--a pratfall but only a comedian would know it wasn’t real. I stumbled a lot when I was a kid for real.

    A look of concern crosses your eyes and you give a silent “ow” and grimace, as you lean down to make sure I’m all right. I wink at you and do a handstand. Your eyebrows arch in surprise.

    “Will you go out with me? We gymnasts do it with a twist!”

    And you kiss me upside down and the world never looked more upright.

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    1. "And you kiss me upside down and the world never looked more upright." This worked. I must steal it when you are not looking. Its perfect. No, I mean its awful, better let me have it. I'll take the heat for it. What are friends for? Seriously, that last line is poetically as perfect as my mind can conceive being created in any language.

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    2. Ditto. You old romantic, you!! :)

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    3. Aw, you all make me smile... and Ed, of course you must take this horrible thing away and do with it what you will

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    4. midnight in the land of possibilities? Love it!

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    5. Smooth! Nice twist on the pickup line.

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    6. Thanks You gotta be inventive!

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  14. THE ECHO

    It’s me.

    Do you recall?

    I’m the echo reverberating off the wall, the frustrating nagging squeal that drove you from here to Timbuktoo. The despairing, needy me when I ripped to my wits’ end, yet I think it drove you to yours.

    It’s me. Do you recall the good times? The passion so devouring? The woman who stripped you of your clothes and dragged her fingernails to mark your loins before you’d even closed the door?
    The lips that sent you to sleep breathing in a faster rhythm, only to greet you first thing in the morning.

    These lips. Soft, warm and moist. Yet now so cold, here, in the haunting tune of midnight when we come out to play. We loiter here, watching you, our entertainment while you sleep. I forgot the depth of your snores, how they penetrated my dream world, the way you hogged the duvet, pulling it tightly around you like a defensive shield. I, always so cold.

    Those lines on your face are mine. The scars across your chest mine also. The flicker of doubt you always wear also mine. That failure to trust anyone any more, I fear I inherit that one too. Yet I am still yours. Waiting.

    I hide the notes and newspapers, the reminders to call. The interested parties. I take them all. Such focus, such dedication; sometimes it takes me hours. But I can manage this. I can wait. For I see not how you can ever leave whilst my head still seeps beneath these boards.

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    1. Ummm I need to take a shower. In a good way. I mean a good shower. I mean, oh I mean that was excellent.

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    2. What's the Lilith meaning, Teresa?
      Thanks Ed! You funny man! :)

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  15. THE I

    Priceless,
    It’s all so priceless

    The I
    The all-encompassing
    I hear you
    The silent scream
    The ever-present being
    Begging to be heard
    Will you never quieten
    Be still?

    The I
    It’s too loud
    Too damn rhetorical
    Like now
    Aren’t you just a little
    Tired of the sound
    Of your own voice?

    The I
    Always buzzing
    I’m never lost without U
    The selfish offspring
    Of Yin and Yang
    I repent
    Ever listening
    For your need grew
    Never to be quenched

    The I
    Wants what it cannot have
    Wants what others win
    Jealous of warmth
    Love, friends and worth
    Sitting like a spider
    Entangled in its own web
    Bitter and twisting
    History to its needs

    To the I
    I say goodbye.

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    1. ah, your poetry... little bits of distilled magic... my favorite part of this: "The I
      It’s too loud
      Too damn rhetorical" ... good stuff.

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    2. Thanks. I wasn't sure if it lost its way. I wasn't sure where it was going !

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    3. "To the I
      I say goodbye."

      Perfect final note.

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    4. Yep, this is deadly. And what Ed said.

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  16. Strokes

    Colour. I race through colours, all of them – a dipping stream of dizzying brushstrokes zipping the majestic. Me. Just me. I am not you and neither are you me. I used to be an extension, an extra limb, a twin almost to your individuality. The echo of your words, the agreement of your thoughts, dressing in your gawky style. Looking up to you in mind and height. My idea of happiness, for you brought me this.

    Skipping on the chalk lines, calling out the purple numbers drawn in curls of magic. Our feet crossing, uncrossing, jumping, stasis. Giggles. And buttercups. Those curved buckets of lemon lips and we did kiss them, but only when the daisies couldn’t see. Our first four-leaved clover, seemingly left by the whitest, brightest unicorn in the land.

    Only from the other; the other world. The lies of our dreams. Fantasies worn too tightly, falling loose as we found ourselves in our growing pains. A curtsey to the future while we ran wild, chasing time itself, even as we sensed the curtain must fall one day, when the roses would cease to flood our stage with the perfume of delight.

    When once upon a time faded, decay stole into this place, clouding everything in its breath. Including you, my beloved sister, wrenched from my arms before your time. I paint you here with daisies playing in your auburn hair, your elfin eyes creasing at the edges and your lips turned up in a perfect bow. Love racing through its colours.

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    1. This is beautiful in so many ways, on so many layers... "Looking up to you in mind and height." was my favorite line until I got to the next paragraph which is a gorgeous painting/poem all in itself.

      I love this for its visual qualities, and for its hope.

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    2. Thanks, Leland. I started out with the idea of a little girl looking up at her big sister :)

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    3. AND for the wonderful ease (apparent ease) of its flow... it just runs like a beautiful river through the colors....

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    4. Thanks. I was trying to give the vision of the colours dripping off the canvas creating life and vice versa. Thanks for seeing it. :)

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    5. Thanks for being a skilled painter of words!

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    6. hahaha... now I'm oh so slightly scared

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    7. Parts of this are nearly Shakespearean. For example : "The lies of our dreams. Fantasies worn too tightly, falling loose as we found ourselves in our growing pains." Just made me stop reading and let the image complete itself in my mind.

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    8. Thanks Ed! That's a comparison far above my little head :)

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    9. No, I think it's right on the head. I love your stuff.

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  17. So your dad asked me to talk to you about… yeah, I know, I’m your uncle, but… Well, let’s start and see where it goes. Someone told me last night was your first date. Okay, okay, not date, whatever you wanna call it. You noticed that smirk on your dad’s face when you were leaving? You wonder why it was there?

    It was there because his dad had the same smirk and for the same reason…
    Every generation thinks it invents sex. No way your parents—or your uncle—could have had sex, right? I mean, that’s gross? And you don’t even wanna think about grandma and grandpa or further back. Everybody’s had immaculate conceptions, right?

    Well, they haven’t. And here’s the deal, discovery is fun, but your dad, your mom, and yeah, me, your crazy uncle, want you to be safe, too. What? No, I’m not telling you not to date, not to have sex, just want you to know some shit, for your own sake, and for the sake of your partner or partners, okay? I wanna see you live to give that same kinda smirk to your kids or your nephews, as they go off and “invent” sex for themselves.

    So here’s the deal. Any time you have a question about ANYthing, you call me. I will never lie to you. If I don’t know, I’ll tell you, and we’ll go figure it out together. There is nothing I haven’t done. Yeah, I was the black sheep of the family, but you knew that, now you kinda know why. Nothin’ is too gross, nothing is too bizarre that we can’t talk about it.

    And condoms… anytime you run low, come see me. I will keep you supplied with condoms and I won’t ask any questions you don’t want to answer. I won’t judge you if you’re sleeping with guys or girls or sheep. Okay, I’ll judge you about the sheep. See? Told you I wouldn’t lie.

    What? Nah, I’m not smirking. I’m just wishing I had an uncle cool as me when I was as old as you. You gonna be at your parents’ for dinner on Sunday? Okay. I’ll see you then. And remember, call me ANYtime.

    Goddamn retrovirals. Why the hell can’t they find one that doesn’t give me diarrhea?

    No, no, I didn’t say anything, just thinking out loud. Okay. See you Sunday, and I’ll bring your condoms.

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    Replies
    1. LOL, parents should print that and hand it out. Class.
      Love the sheep line, but you knew I'd love the sheep line!!

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    2. I know one thing, my dad wouldn't have been smirking if he'd seen me leave the house for my 'first date' - it's so different!!! :)

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    3. True... different times... also, I know boys get treated differently than girls...

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    4. In some cultures the role the uncle plays in a young boy's life is a huge and sacred responsibility. It is in many ways a surrogate paternal one, especially in matters where the biological father may be to close to have objectivity. This lad has a wise uncle which is a wonderful thing to have for anyone dealing with the complexities of coming of age.

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    5. Uncles were very important in my family... for all the reasons you said. I also love the adjectival form describing uncles: avuncular. It's an important enough relationship to have a name...

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    6. Love this one. And I've given this talk. Right down to the goddamn sheep. ;) (or pretty damn close)

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    7. That doesn't surprise me at all...

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  18. "And though I heard somebody say/that every dog will have his day/he never mentioned that these dog days would get so long"

    He took her picture everywhere, when he went out at all. Pulled it out hundreds of times a day, so that the picture is faded and has conformed to his hand. He passes her at least once a day...and says nothing.

    They have smiled at each other on occasion, and one memorable day their hands touched. But she doesn't remember him. She doesn't see him, even when she smiles. She looks right through him, and it frustrates him so.

    One day she didn't show up for work. She just fell off the face of the Earth. The police searched, her friends and family did everything they could, looked everywhere they could. They even put her picture up on some of the social media sites. But they found nothing. No one thought to ask the guy who sold her a subway ticket where she was. But he knows. Oh, he knows.

    She can't take her eyes off of him now. Every day when he comes home from work she is waiting for him, smiling and wearing the dress he picked out for her. He tells her about his day and she smiles. He makes dinner, staring at her delighted face. Her eyes follow him everywhere. It's starting to get on his nerves.

    And the neighbors are complaining about the smell.

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    1. I love a well-told gory tale, and this is well-told indeed... spooky!

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    2. Creepy AND satisfying. Be careful what you wish for, eh?

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    3. There is more perversity in heaven and earth than is yet to be included in your DSM, though you may be working on some new entries with this one. Good stuff!

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    4. I'm late and tired. Sorry. Ditto!

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  19. SIR PRANCE-A-LOT

    He loves to go a walkin
    When the day is dawning
    Getting a feeling
    For the strut

    When his mind is talking
    Uniquely of unveiling
    The low needling
    Below his gut

    He loves to go a gawping
    When the girls are fawning
    Loving how they’re looking -
    What a mutt!

    But now his groin is talking
    Openly of revealing
    His very own preening
    Yet but!

    He loves to go a streaking
    Despite limbs like saplings
    Revelling in their looking
    At his butt

    While his willy is a jiggling
    On the wind it’s floating
    Like a dragonfly mating
    Tutt, tutt!

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    1. New character in Kiwi series? Nice

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    2. LOL! no, no, no. I was being rather silly :)

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    3. You get compared to the Bard and now you want Lord Rochester, too? ;) Love the rhyme scheme.

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  20. The ambassador looked over at the Bishop with a speculatory gleam in his eye. "Do you ever carry a weapon, your Grace?"

    "Only in a salle or for target practice," the Bishop responded. "You know I'm not much for hunting."

    "How on earth do you protect yourself, man?"

    "I have guards," the Bishop said. "And my batman, of course." He looked up at his wife and winked. There lay the true violence, the protective instincts and willingness to do physical bodily harm within their partnership.

    His secret weapon.

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    1. Oh, I like this one. Forgive me. I'm exhausted. Spare and tight. That last line is perfect. And there is an offset tone I really like.

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    2. and I love the term "batman" in the British sense... well done!

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  21. Little late, but better late than never

    *******************************************

    Briana couldn't help but notice that Greg was staring down at her with hooded eyes with a look that she had only ever seen guys give to other girls, never her.

    "Greg??"

    "I know it's wrong but, Dammit, I want to kiss you."

    "Is that a bad thing?" Briana asked softly

    "I'm afraid if I start, I won't want to stop," Greg responded with a sigh

    "Maybe I wouldn't want you to" Briana replied shyly

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    1. This is a really well rendered and innocent shared experience piece. Well in.

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    2. Yep, right into their heads and space, and it only took five lines of dialogue. That's powerful!

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  22. I'm tired. Tireder than a Thursday morning whore, you want to know the truth. Bunch of tight-assed, tighty-whitey Shriners come to town, I gotta run the girls too hard. And still they're not happy because we don't sell liquor. Go godnextdamndoor! Jesus.

    I know, I ain't biting no hands, no way. Next month could be like a mormon picnic. I'm counting my blessings, but, Lord, I'm just tired. My feet hurt like hellfire, and if I don't get this goddamn corset off, I'm gonna kill you. With love, honey, with love.

    Don't worry, it's all about love.

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    Replies
    1. and THIS is beautiful... and you know it's true...

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  23. Harv was the first person to get a Miraclo Suit. He was also the only one who still had one, since it short-circuited and melded itself to his nervous system. He couldn't take the damn thing off, which was also why no one could stand being near him for very long.

    The suit was a marvel of technology. It was white. Very white . Glaringly white. It never got dirty. It recycled all of by-products of Harvey's body. Which was good since it was stuck to his spinal cord and cerebellum now. He would walk around and do most anything that anyone else could. The problem was exactly why no one else wore Miraclo Suits anymore. The subconscious thoughts of the wearer were displayed on the bright white suit like a high-def TV.

    I still felt bad for Harv, so I was one of the few people who would say hello to him when I saw him on the street. The lonliness and the forced solitude was gradually wearing away every bit of Harvey's mind.

    "Hey, Harv!" I said to him as I saw him passing the restaurant. I tried not to look at the Suit, but I saw a quick scene of Harvey with two massive machine guns in his hands, causing the plate glass windows of the restaurant to explode inward. There were red streaks flying every where. I forced myself to look back at his face.

    "Heh...h-hi, Norm," Harvey responded, looking up almost drowsily. "How are you today, Norm?"

    The scene changed. I could see it peripherally. It was just Harvey and me standing in front of the nearly-destroyed cafe. "Not bad, Harv. Not bad at all. W-where are you headed?"

    "Oh, nowhere in particular," he smiled, with a creepy lilt to his voice. "H-h-how's your family? Beth and ... Rachel?" His smile widened.

    "Umm...they're... they're fine, Harv." I tried not to look at the Suit. I knew what was happening. It always happened. I could see the scene had changed completely, to a bedroom. Harvey was on the bed, having doggie-style sex with my wife Beth. He was whipping her with a riding crop as he did. "I...yes, they're good. Beth got that new job at the u-u-university. Rachel just turned twelve."

    My eyes involuntarily squeezed shut tightly, acknowledging that I had made a horrible mistake mentioning my daughter. I heard a sharp gasp from behind me. I turned to see a middle-aged woman staring at Harvey in abject horror. Several other diners in the windows were cringing, and one man was vomiting violently against the window.

    "I...I forgot my briefcase, Harvey." I refused to look back at him. "I'll talk to you later." I hurried back into the restaurant. Several diners near the door started screaming. I headed for the kitchen and raced out the back of the restaurant.




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    1. Rich! wow! this is way inventive, and way scary... and if you ever get one of these suits I'm not mentioning Angelo or sheep to you.... seriously this is fun and good!

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    2. I've been working on this idea in my head for a novel populated by strange characters from music videos. I based this on Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good".

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    3. I like it! keep running with it!

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  24. Imagine you could see the passage of time.

    No, not like the ticking of the hands of a clock as they circle around, or the passage of the sun in the sky during the day. Imagine if you could see the passage of time as if it were a dimension, like height and width.

    Imagine if it started right now.

    Move your own hand. Watch the movement and watch the movement stay right there.

    Look up. Someone walks past you. You'd see their passage, like afterimages of something moving very fast. It too stays, lingering forever.

    Turn your head and notice all the other people moving and leaving their own solid vapor trails to mark their passage. Cars, birds, wafting tree limbs, an errant piece of trash blowing in the breeze. It's all there to be seen forever.

    Your field of vision is getting crowded from all the activity, isn't it? Oops. It gets worse. The world is turning. Everything is moving at a thousand miles an hour. Everything you see is now moving as one and within itself at the same time.

    Oh, and the world is traveling around the sun. And the sun and the solar system are moving around the galaxy, both at different speeds. All anyone could see would be a grey, pulsating blur.

    We can only see the ticking of the clock and the sun crossing the heavens because that's all we can comprehend. Our mind shuts down everything else so we can cope.

    Time blindness allows life to happen.

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    Replies
    1. And I like that... time blindness... a nice riff on something I heard once, "Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once"

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