Friday, September 11, 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. 

But it's not this, and it's not that. Son, you just said a shit ton of words, and they don't amount to nothing. A mountain of fecal fury - no one's too impressed. You use words like grit-teeth lies. Abrasive, they leave marks and there's this grinding every time - sounds like an old man sleeping.

You can explain it any way, but away. It's never going to leave - it's your long lost cousin Jed. It's gonna sleep on your couch now. The smell will never leave, feet and fetid misery. You'll come to love the smell. And that's another lie, but it's easier than trying to be genuine.

Save your words - I've heard enough. Bacon grease and chicken fluff. They may go down soft and easy, but that shit ain't life-sustaining. 


Not the kind of life I want, at least.

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

122 comments:

  1. HE SAT THERE ON THE EDGE

    If only he could bleep the errors of his life, hurl hurtful words in a kind of verbal reverse back into his profane mouth!

    He sat there again, penitent and self-loathing. Outside, the sun was shining; inside, he could feel the darkness ponderously overbearing. The chill of remorse drove shivers the length of his spine. The house once crammed comfortably with peals of laughter now was deathly quiet. He tried to recreate her now in the confinement of his imagination, but what he saw there was what he saw here: Melody on the hardwood floor, Melody without a tune to start their feet dancing, Melody with a thick worm of blood wriggling down from the new smile sliced across her white throat. From where she lay, her sea-blue eyes stared up at him. He imagined her final words buzzing like flies with pulled wings surrendering to silence on the twisted grimace of her soft lips.

    He had gone too far. The threat of “I’ll kill you!” had become a kept promise. In unbridled rage he lifted the long kitchen knife and plunged the blade again and again
    in a shower of spattering blood, Melody’s powerless fists raised in self-defense, then dropped in defeat.

    He sat there on the edge of what moments before had been their spousal bed and he wondered when this nightmare would shut itself down, when the world would end, when Melody now would stop haunting him day and night.

    He dialed the three digits. “I killed my wife. It was an accident. I tried to scare her. No, it’s too late. Melody’s dead.”

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    1. I'm out for the morning, back this afternoon so I'm going to hit on both Dan's and Salvatore's pieces quick like and come back to read everyone else this afternoon. First of all Dan : "A mountain of fecal fury - no one's too impressed. " that is a mountain we've all tried to climb. As always your imagery is a perfect depiction.
      Salvatore, as always with your stuff, things are wrapped up tightly in strings of irony and the reality of this world with just a touch of other worldly descriptive abilities. I always come to feel I know characters like absolutely no one I've known in real life. Its a gift to be able to connect character to plot so tightly. This piece is tragic in so many ways beyond simple remorse, a trip with no return route.

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    2. Thank you, Ed!

      Sal, this is a powerful piece. Chilling. The build up to that closer is so perfect. "It was an accident, I tried to scare her..." -

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    3. Love my boy Mader's piece, it's visceral, and Sal, this line is pure poetry, which makes it all the more distressing when you get to the prosaic reality of the ending:

      "hurl hurtful words in a kind of verbal reverse"

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    4. Yep... it's like you climb us up a mountain, and when we get to the top, you push us off, so we can not only identify with but be the victim... this piece got to me.

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  2. Dawn’s early light didn’t reach into the small space between the big box chain store and the covered parking at Bridgeport Village. It was only by chance that a security cop happened to duck in the small alleyway between the store and the traffic ramp to have a quick smoke before he clocked in to start his shift. The sight of the body in its awkward position would have been enough to make the young man quit smoking. Which was a nice thought. Perhaps once he could stop once his way through this pack, but first he had to make the call. Then he was made to repeat the story to his boss, the county sheriff deputy, and the coroner. Oh yes, last but not least a beautiful young coroner whose intense calm and professionalism finally got him to pause in his smoking. That and the disapproving look aimed squarely at the pack of American Spirits not quite back in his shirt pocket from the previous eight trips it had made out into the cool morning air.

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    1. This is a deceptively complex piece. I love the near personification of the cigarettes. And the sense of resignation is tricky, too. There is much hidden in this short piece. Well in, amigo.

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    2. Yeah, this fits the definition of a vignette to a T.

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    3. Yep, this is like a TARDIS... small on the outside, big on the inside...

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    4. Thank you Leland. Oh you said TARDIS...never mind. :)

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  3. Dan Mader, Fecal Fury may be a brilliant name for a new novel Good stuff!

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  4. I learned everything I know about rainbows from a boy born into a black and white world. In the 1950s, in middle America, everyone colored inside the lines, and they were all happy with the eight crayons inside the little box. The “flesh” tone was obviously pinkish, because, well, everyone who mattered had that kind of skin.

    Television was black and white, too. Everyone knew they used chocolate syrup to simulate blood in the shoot-em-up series and they knew no one got hurt. It was all in good fun.
    Right and wrong, black and white, Christian and godless; the pairs of opposites were all obvious. There was no room for grays, and there was certainly no need for color.
    He looked to be about five when we met, with all the excitement and curiosity of one whose mind has been unleashed. His hand could barely hold onto my index finger, that’s how small he was.

    “I wanna show you somethin’.” He pulled hard.

    “What?”

    “Somethin’ magical.”

    I allowed myself to be dragged to the kitchen with all of its big windows.

    “Do you see it?” His little fingers pointed to the ceiling.

    “What?”

    “The colors!”

    “Oh, sure!”

    “Where do they come from?”

    I tried to work it out. Ah, there was the source. In the sink, where the sun shined in, was a large crystal vase, waiting to be washed.

    “From there.” My turn to point.

    “But the light is white!”

    I tried to remember elementary physics. “The crystal is acting like a prism. It splits the white light into its constituent colors.”

    “Consti…” His forehead wrinkled.

    “Constituent. It means things that come together to make something.”

    “But the vase is clear.”

    “White light isn’t really white. White is made up of all colors. The crystal vase is just separating them from each other so you can see them.”

    “All those colors are hiding in white light?”

    I nodded, hoping the questions wouldn’t get any more complicated.

    His green eyes sparkled and opened wide and looked at the vase and then at the colors on the ceiling and back again. “This changes everything,” he said. “This changes everything.”

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    1. Man, killer close, first of all. I love this piece. Color as metaphor works so well and adds an awesome touchpoint throughout. I love this : they were all happy with the eight crayons inside the little box. Really cool piece, L.

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    2. I found myself grinning like an idiot at the end of this large-hearted piece of writing.

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    3. I literally just got home from drive around listening to NPR and they were discussing science books for kids. I think you're in my kid mind Leland, but do continue about light and how it changes everything.

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    4. <3 Such a powerful, beautiful little piece of writing. Love this so much.

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    5. Thanks I'm toying with beginnings for a book... and so far, I'm liking this one best... It's going to be the oddest book I've ever written.... No chapter numbers... each chapter gets a color...

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    6. Ohhhh, that's killer. I love this for an opening. It's a great stand-alone, but could be so much more. Please keep it going? I'll be your best friend ;)

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  5. I'm not sure I can do this anymore, dipping my body in dripping black and rolling around on this white sheet of nothing, this Shroud of Albany act where you can see every bump, bulge, scar on my body, expression on my face. I've forgotten the script, my lovely lines, my directions, my way.

    And you’ve forgotten me.

    I shouldn’t be surprised. This is a fleeting world, a virtual place in space and time where the Me intersected with the You, and neither of us is certain where or when this What of a crossing over is…or if it really isn’t.

    So I guess I won’t fret the fact that these smudged sheets of imagined existence have come to this clogging end in the stream of unconscious consciousness. The Me has spent most of his sentient moment alone anyway. But then aren’t we all just alone among our maybes and almosts, our oughtas and coulda-if-onlys?

    Maybe now I’ll forget you, too.

    Or, instead of ink, perhaps I’ll use blood.

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    1. Damn! I love this piece. Such strong language, you balanced the line perfectly. The build up is strong and interesting and that final line just blows it out of the water. "this clogging end in the stream of unconscious consciousness." BAM!

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    2. What Mader said!

      Plus, the emotions starting hot and running to cold are well imagined and drag the reader along for the ride.

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    3. Hells, yeah. Great last line, which is so important in flash.

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    4. Chilling piece. This is true flash fiction. Complete launching point.

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    5. They stole all my words... This is good... my favorite: "Me intersected with the You, and neither of us is certain where or when this What of a crossing over is…"

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  6. Jamie sat on the sharp-toothed wall, her eyes hovering on the horizon, half-lidded. She wondered when the sirens would start and realized she didn't care. She was already in prison in her mind. Not afraid. Hell, she was giddy. She was tired of freedom - it clawed at her like a City pigeon. Desperate.

    Prison would be the ultimate submission and, if it didn't work, death - there was always death, inside or out. She regretted only that she'd had to light the fuse. She could smell the smoke deep inside her mind. She watched it billow into obscurity ... just like she had.

    The police did come, and Jaime didn't even mind when they put the cuffs on tight. Everything was tight. Her heart, the lips on the faces of the dark blue cops. She understood, they couldn't speak or it would all pour out, bile - the thing she'd done. The fire was bad enough. There were still so many things for them to discover.

    She wondered if they'd kill her in rage. Smiled. Hell, she giggled.

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    1. The touch of insanity, of the individual twisted into something not right, the pleas for help that escalated into the horrendous... Yes.

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    2. Powerful, brother. Everything is indeed tight. :)

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    3. Hitting squarely close to home in an alien kind of madness. Dope piece.

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    4. wow.... yeah, "everything was tight" is my favorite phrase... and this piece is definitely scary.

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  7. Daddy had an old guitar and everybody played it. They came from all over. To play Daddy's guitar, and I never could figure it. It wasn't anything special. An old acoustic with scratches and dings. It sounded good, but not that good.

    The way people held it, you'd think it was the baby Jesus. They strummed the strings like they were petting a short-weaned kitten. Then, Daddy would take his turn and pound on that thing. Most folks smiled, some looked ready to faint or die.

    They tousled my hair and said things like: "Someday, that gee-tar will be yours, boy." And I'd run to the back of the house. I didn't want an ugly guitar that everyone loved. I wanted the man who owned it to live forever.

    Time passed, and the guitar did come to live with me. And then I understood. And folks would come, and I'd let them in. But not before I told them about Daddy. That's the price you pay to see the guitar, understand?

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    1. Must have been a Martin. Very eloquent exposure of the value of memory.

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    2. Wow. Got me right in the heart. This: "I didn't want an ugly guitar that everyone loved. I wanted the man who owned it to live forever."

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    3. I have an early Stella six string like that. My daddy gave it to me when I was around 30. Strangest thing, I played guitar from around the age of 12, never seen that guitar before. Daddy was a bit odd. He didn't play guitar.

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    4. I love it... absolutely love it.

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    5. The last line cinches it. Damn, this is great.

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    6. Oh, nice. Like David, this was my favorite: "I didn't want an ugly guitar that everyone loved. I wanted the man who owned it to live forever."

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  8. "I didn't want an ugly guitar that everyone loved. I wanted the man who owned it to live forever."

    This got me. It got me hard. Another great piece, Dan.

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    1. Holy fucking weird. I only just saw this comment after I posted mine above! Eerie. o.O

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  9. Old man Joe lived down the row, his yard festooned with litter. Old man Joe was a drinking man, before he became a quitter. Then, he became a man who'd 'changed', hell, worse than the county preacher. Old Joe tried to save his wife, but nobody could reach her.

    Joe's wife died drunk, and he cried for days, great sobs and gentle whimpers. Neighbors came and said kind things, platitudes and simpers. And Joe just smiled and thumbed his trump, behind the basement table. A bottle of Jim Beam had taken up residence, Joe visited when able.

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    1. I love your lyrical ways. I can hear this with a washboard and banjo in my mind!

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    2. Yup, you channeling your Appalachian persona, G? Love it. :)

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    3. lol. Sometimes you have to. ;)

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    4. Old Joe sounds like kin to me.

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  10. His head bowed low over his guitar during the opening chords to the song. He wasn't watching his hands, or being dramatic. He simply did not want to look up and see her there, sitting calmly at the bar, her eyes cold on him while he burned for her.

    His head came up, orienting on the mike, then he closed his eyes and began to sing. The song was for her, even as he couldn't look at her. There were feminine sighs in the audience at his manner -- they thought he was terribly romantic. The truth was that he was burning inside, torn and bleeding over the one woman he wanted and couldn't have.

    She sat there on the front row, determined to make him suffer, he thought, as he poured his heart out. He sang only for her, his words falling deaf ears.

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    1. Ouch.

      Beautiful description of a miserable feeling.

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    2. Oh man, I can relate to this one. And you nailed it - perfectly. Really eloquent and brilliant truth. The man behind the guitar. Love this one.

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    3. Yeah, evokes that lonely feeling so well.

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    4. Your story reminds me in a very real way how much more I like guitars than girls. ;)

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    5. really really beautiful... and painful...

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    6. Wow. Nice way to capture the longing, hon.

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  11. I had problems entering mine (too many characters), so here is a teaser. For the rest, I'll upload to my own blog later (it's in the right column of this blog, The Migrant Type).
    ___________________________________

    After the rains, the fog bloomed like a sudden resolve.

    She drove through the night, hunched forward now, and more careful. Soon, a sign loomed ahead and moved to her right, then was gone.

    PRISON AREA
    DO NOT PICK UP
    HITCHHIKERS

    With her notch-below-average height and build, and notwithstanding her jet hair gathered and piled under a black ball cap, her outsize leather biker jacket, and her purloined outlaw swagger, she knew she looked more like a young adolescent boy than a man, but any effort was preferable to none. Driving alone through the Midwestern night had its unique risks.

    She toyed with the radio. Crazed preachers. Dire conspiracies. Sports and weather. The usual. If she had left it for thirty more seconds on one particular channel, she would have heard a news story about a prison break just outside of Lincoln, but she hadn't so she didn't.

    From out of the fog, something darker appeared then dissolved back into the gray. Her flicker of an impression was of a man, in which case he was far from shelter on this chill Nebraska night. She hesitated and came to a rolling stop. Over her shoulder, her brakelights bathed the fog bank in a bloodmist, and from that backdrop a man emerged. Again, she almost second-guessed herself, and the silhouetted figure seemed equally skittish, moving slowly, leaning forward in an effort to see who'd pulled up on this dirty, dripping night.

    She felt the cold reassurance of the .38 Special nestled between her thighs and opened the passenger window an inch or two.

    "Where you headed, fella?"

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    1. I'm not brain today. You always give us a lovely horror twist, no matter how simple or innocent the situation may seem. Thank you!

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    2. Oh, you set the hook so well here, D. I love it. That cliffhanger. I can't wait to read more. The outfit is perfect. And the concern that overrides fear... Well in.

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    3. Thanks, Ann. This does feel like a horror setup, like Janet Leigh heading for the Bates Motel, doesn't it?

      Thanks, brother. I'll try to upload this to my blog later. Might have a couple surprises. ;)

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    4. Let us know when it's posted, yeah? I might be on the road by then, but I want to read more. :D

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    5. Looking forward to the longer version... I'm hooked.

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    6. and of course, when you said "too many characters," I wasn't thinking of TYPING characters...I was thinking about STORY characters...

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    7. Hooked, damn it. Love this: "...purloined outlaw swagger..."

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    8. Thanks for the kind comments, y'all, although careful what you wish for. Here's the rest. ;)

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  12. She watches the minutes tick down like hours, like days, like weeks. Each seems longer than the last, but slowly, slowly they pass. Some pass in anger, and some in tears. A rare few pass in laughter. Most just drift by.

    Part of her marks the passing of each of those hard-won minutes, wishing time would stop slipping away. She'll never get them back, never live them again. They are wasted on people and things that do not matter but are unfortunately necessary. They are the minutes she will one day regret, when she runs out of minutes, but what else can she do? There are bills to pay, after all.

    Another part of her wishes she could speed up the passing of those minutes that feel like days. Because there are better ways to spend her time. Because there are more worthwhile people and places waiting for her. Because happiness is just around the proverbial corner.

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    1. Man, I feel you on this one. I love the idea of those small increments and how they add up. And you leave just the right amount of hope to offset the despair. Dope.

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    2. Yeah, that whole paradox of time. You captured it. Nicely done, Laura.

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    3. Yes, perfect description of the ironies of time and how it is perceived.

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    4. and I love "hard won minutes"... we never really appreciate them until they've ticked by... but I love the optimism at the end!

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    5. Ready to get on the road, are we? The anticipation of... something... is a real hook.

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  13. The stereo works, but you gotta hold the wire so it's kinked. Or wrap it around something tight. That'll hold it for a little while, then, the static gremlins will slink in. But you get a few minutes, sometimes an hour. It's not something to trip about. It's just the way it is.

    The microwave is disconcerting. It was a curb-find, but sometimes it won't run. Sometimes it runs with the door open. The taste of cancer taints leftover pizza.

    You can get a few more months out of those sneakers. That's why God made duct tape. You can put a new hole in your belt. That's why they make awls. Not God. God had nothing to do with awls.

    You can stomach another can of tomato soup. It's the things you have to chew that get you.

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    1. Your describing a world I know well, know well...

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    2. Yep, the price of following dreams.... sometimes you pay it before, sometimes you pay it after... good writing, and great last line.

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    3. The other side is as dismal, but in a different way. Been in both. Some days I wish I was still fighting the good fight. Other days it's good to not be broke. Great piece, either way.

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  14. Emile held her Glock 23 level and focused her mind of the target downrange. She was just ready to place another grouping of center mass shots when she saw the screen of her phone light. Normally, she would finish her current magazine before taking the call, but the 503 area code on the screen caught her attention.
    “Agent Walker, I take it you have another Raggedy Andy?”
    The voice on the other end was not familiar. After a short briefing by the local Leo, Emile affirmed that she would be on the next flight out of D.C. Unable to conceal her annoyance at the detective on the other end she cut to the chase. “Have you called Inspector Parker?”
    The voice at the other end sounded somewhat defensive. “Demarco Parker has retired his badge, Mam. He is no longer with Portland Police.”

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    1. I third or fourth or whatever. More! Really feeling this one, brother. Authentic and intriguing.

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  15. He looked around at all of the people, young and old screaming "I hate my life" with him, and tried not to laugh at the absurdity of the moment. This was one of their biggest songs, one of his most lauded works, but he half-hated performing it live. And he did it at every show. He knew that most of them appreciated the irony of singing the song when they were at a concert, having a blast. He also knew a few parents who had never heard the song felt it with every fiber of their being. He pitied them. Then again, he pitied him, too, sometimes.

    They didn't want to hear anything from his new album. The reviews were in. Most people hated it. Why did he have to do the same thing every time? Why couldn't he take a risk? Wasn't that why they said the loved him? Didn't they want him to break barriers? Apparently, only if he did it their way. If he only wrote what the fans wanted to hear he really would hate his life.

    Fuck them. The next song would be from the new album, and if no one sang, then no one sang. He loved it, and he knew that that would come through in his smile and his eyes. Maybe more people would walk away loving it too, after tonight.

    Most of the concert-goers stood there, with arms crossed and glares for him and his brothers. But there were a few exceptions. There were some girls singing along and hopping around up front. And over there, there was a group of guys nodding and swaying to the music. It started catching halfway through the song. More people came around. By the end of the song almost half of the crowd was engaged and liking it.

    "One concert at a time," he though. "They will come around. And if they don't, well, we can get by without them. It's better than pretending to be something we're not."

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    1. There are no words for how much I fucking love this.

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    2. Excellent representation of the ability of a performer to manipulate the crowd.

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    3. Really nice, change is hard for followers and fans but the hallmark of an artist. You capture that struggles well and with a nice hopeful but of optimism which I wish I could share.

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    4. Yup, agree with Ed. Musicians have to deal with some weird and frustrating stuff. This is one of those things, and you nailed it.

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  16. The voices in my head tell me that you hate me. They tell me that you have every right and reason to hate me. They also tell me that if I go to you and tell you that I'm struggling I will be the biggest idiot that lived. Then again, those voices sometimes tell me that the world will be better without me in it. I've learned though. I've learned when to listen to them and when to turn deaf. Sometimes I just need a grain of salt.

    I watch others go to you, and tell you their business, and I watch you lap it up. But I know that every weakness can turn into a weapon. Those people who live out in the open, they are fools. My business is my own. If I feel hated, if I feel haunted, if I can barely get out of bed, that's no one's business but mine. You can't have that. You find enough fault with me without me going and opening a vein in front of you.

    You say that you are concerned, but you are just looking for dirt. You want to be entertained. I'm not here for your amusement, thank you. If you want relief from your boring, pathetic life, read something I've written. I'll come up with a story just for you, if you want. But my life is mine. I'll be fine. I've survived before. I'll live through this. And one day you'll be a bad memory, or less. Life will change, it always does. I will move on. Will you?

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    1. Sadly, we all have both the voices and the friends you describe so well.

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    2. I'm the Ed parrot. Apparently. Couldn't agree more.

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  17. Pain.

    It's the body's way of telling you something is wrong. It can build and build until your mouth opens up and spews forth things that you would never allow to pass your lips under normal circumstances.

    For instance, the cursing that goes on in a delivery room. "YOU did this to me! It's all your fault! I'm gonna KILL you when this is done, you BASTARD!" This from the wife in a very loving couple, all because she wanted to do the whole natural thing and refused all drugs until it was too late.

    With me it's another story. I won't curse you. I'll hit on you. I will say the most outlandish things, embarrass my mother, my preacher, and my drug dealer. I won't care who hears me or what they may think of me after I'm done.

    Know this, though, everything I say will come straight from the heart.

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    1. Man, I love this one. The abrupt switch works so well. Brilliantly played.

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  18. It was a little scary, well, scarier than usual, sitting down for a chat with the members of The Pen. They don't look much different from the next metal band: three guys in their mid to late twenties with varying amounts of long hair, tattoos, and studded leather. No, their edge comes from their reputation: they all met while serving bids in California's Chino State Prison. Drummer Jose Padilla, 27, a former Latin King who did an 8 year stint for assault and possession of cocaine; bassist / vocalist Alex Miller, 25, 5 years for possession of methamphetamine; and guitarist Brian McCourt, 28, 8 years for robbing an Orange County gas station.

    They seem affable enough, despite two of them openly carrying bowie knives on their belts. They all crack open beers and I start questioning:

    "So you guys all met in prison?"

    "Uh huh," Jose answers first. "I used to fuck with the cholos, out in Pico Rivera, but that shit got me jammed up. These two putos weren't with no gang or nothin', just some trashy white boys who fucked around and got clapped up too. But when you in the joint, you got time to kill, so we got to talkin', found we was all into a lot of the same shit: cars, guns, heavy metal." He chuckles and adds, "We ain't allowed to have guns no more, but we kept in touch as we finished our bids, and once we all got out, we moved up north and started rockin' out."

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    1. Redemption and reconciliation through metal. Nice.

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    2. This is a cool concept. Could go lots of directions, and well written to boot.

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  19. All you wanted was coffee. You’d run out and didn’t trust yourself to make the forty-minute drive to the nearest diner uncaffeinated, so you’d knocked on the door of the nice neighbor ladies, who’d been so nice in the past with their home-baked goods and offers to take in mail.

    Three hours later, you’re diagnosing the wiring of a light switch, and the only thing you remember from high school shop classes is that you’re supposed to turn off the power first. But you’re supposed to know things, know how to fix things, being a single man living a single life in a single-family house, and staring into the naked wires with the fretful, dough-soft face of one of those nice ladies hovering over your shoulder, you cringe at your inadequacy.

    “Am I bothering you?” she says, hands twisting a dishcloth.

    Yes. Yes, she is. She’s reminding you that your XY chromosome is a pathetic little sucker, a setup for failure, a condemnation of the Madison Avenue images your cohort was raised to emulate: the Marlboro Man, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and MacGuyver. Fucking MacGuyver, with his chewing gum and rubber bands, making us all look bad.

    “No, Daphne, you’re not bothering me at all.” The flat blade skips free of the stripped screw head and digs into the meat of your opposite thumb.

    “I’ll get you a bandage,” she sighs, trying for a reassuring smile. “And some banana bread? Would you like that, Frank?”

    Holy Christ. Like you’re her nephew. But the words are soft and powdered and soothe your nerves.

    “Yeah. Thanks.” And the moment she’s gone, you take a deep breath, search the web for repair tips, then reposition the screwdriver, asking yourself what MacGuyver might do when he’s at home. Probably call an electrician.

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    1. MacGuyver kinda screwed it up for all us guys now that I think of it. Nice piece Laurie.

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    2. lol. WWMD? This is a great piece, lady. I love it. And I ... um, can't relate obviously, but... ;)

      "But the words are soft and powdered and soothe your nerves." - so good

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    3. This made me laugh, because it's so true to life. I love how you can get in other people's heads.

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  20. Late love for JD's opening piece. :D

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  21. You say your piece and I say mine. You grumble platitudes, and I say fine. You’ve become the things I fear, and I’ve been drinking too much beer. You’re not the man you used to be, the one I’d die for, foolish me. We lie in public, happy face, stragglers in the human race. Did they buy it? Smile and play…like we’ve always been this way. That one…skeptic…he’s been there, sad eyes lifting from his chair. Does he know, will he tell…that in our dream house all’s not well?

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    1. The nice lilting nursery rhyme rhythm belies the dark heart of this beast. The bird of prey de-cloaks in the last line with weapons charged.

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    2. Yeah, street Seussin' it! This is great, Laurie. Right up my alley.

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    3. You killed this. It's Dr. Seuss with dysfunction. I love it.

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    4. Mader is rubbing off on you, isn't he? :D

      I like that you chose to expiriment with the different style, but what I really love is how well you capture (and transmit) the emotion. Always one of your strong suits, but is amazing to me that you can do it in so many ways.

      Well done.

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    5. Mader is rubbing off on you, isn't he? :D

      I like that you chose to expiriment with the different style, but what I really love is how well you capture (and transmit) the emotion. Always one of your strong suits, but is amazing to me that you can do it in so many ways.

      Well done.

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  22. Matt could only suppose that he was in a terrible automobile accident. They kept him pretty doped up. The last thing he could remember, well that is the thing, he can’t remember anything past the last injection. The shots came just in time too, because right before the medication there was pain. Dulled, vague, but strong enough to know he couldn’t face it without some serious medication. The drugs felt serious too. They took the little pinpoint of light that was just reaching his consciousness and extinguished it.
    Matt wondered why they kept sticking him to give him medicine. Why not just use the intravenous line? Surely they had him on IVs! If only he could open his eyes, he could take stock of his situation. Maybe he could even remember the accident that he must have been involved in. Then a dark thought whispered from the edge of Matt’s drug addled brain. “What if I’m blind!”

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    1. Scary... I like it. I've tried something like this before but I love your take!

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    2. Yeah, me too. This is a hard one to pull off, but you did it. Well. You can feel the anxious dread.

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  23. The birthday balloon rose to the full length of its ribbon, grazing the ceiling like a hungry fish.

    “I still think birthdays are the worst days ever.” Kent was adamant, refusing to budge. “It's only a record of another year passed. Squandered. All of its potential spilled like water on concrete. I like that you're trying to keep it special for Duke but it'll only be a matter of time before he realises the truth. Sees it for what it really is. Another step toward death.”

    Grace continued cutting the cake, swearing softly under her breath. “Just because you had a bad childhood, it doesn't mean everybody has to have one. Mine wasn't perfect either but you don't see me standing here stone-faced when Duke's expecting a fun party. You're welcome to your own misery but our boy deserves better. And, more to the point, you ought to be even more keen to do your best to see he gets it. So, don't be an ass. Not today.”

    “You're right. I guess.” Kent stood up, pushing the chair backward with a squeal. “Here, let me help.” He picked up the top three or four paper plates from the pile, sliding them apart until he had one separate from the rest. “A napkin and a fork for each?”

    “Yes. I know they'll not use either but at least you can hope. I don't know why I bothered hoovering up earlier though. We've already got glitter everywhere. And when they start eating...”

    “It'll be carnage. Food over or in everything. And that's before we start the games.”

    “No.” Grace suddenly looked ashen. “At least we didn't get the clown. That's gotta be a blessing.”

    “ They're vicious evil bastards, every one of them. And a sure-fire way to traumatise your kids. But at least we tried; we can tell your Mom that.”

    “Yes. Now let's get ready. Over the top...”

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    1. Nice little coulrophobic tale using humor to mask the terror. Stephen King mixed with Mr. Rogers. I like it a lot.

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    2. Clowns are only so bad. Twenty three-year olds and only two adults: that's real fear!

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    3. lol. That's the damn truth. I like this piece a lot. The surprise twist works really well.

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    4. I like the way it played out. It's cool when you can freestyle it and still get a good piece.

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  25. Dragging up the home stretch, kids. It's been a day....

    What would it mean, if I don’t join the pity party
    And you ain’t the victim and mine ain’t the dirge?
    And I have no need to mourn your mood swing
    Agree with your ongoing self diagnosis
    Anxiety-ridden, perplexed and wrong?

    What if I thought you didn’t need no drugs
    To feed the sense you’re somehow flawed?
    Cause the drugs addict you to your own drama
    But what if you were perfect instead?
    What if I said “this is only a story, and it’s all going on in your head?
    What if I said : “your mood is a memory’
    It’s all a choice about what you choose to believe.
    Would you listen, I wonder?
    Or tell me instead: You don’t know shit about is happening with me.

    What would it mean if you weren’t unhappy and everything you wanted was somehow right?
    And life was unfair and people didn’t notice
    But you didn’t feel guilty about wanting some light?

    What if I said, You are So perfect: Only YOU are making you less than you Are?
    Would you believe me?
    I kinda doubt it
    You’ll probably tell me, I don’t understand.
    But please, don’t abuse me when you come asking, and I keep sayin’
    Delivering that message straight to your ear:
    What if you had the power to make it happen
    Just by making your love a little Bigger than your Fear?
    Would you listen I wonder, to this one bit of wisdom?
    Or would you insist on saying:
    I can’t hear?

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  26. The therapist in me like this. Of course the hypochondriac neurotic bastard that I am is happily miserable having read it. Thanks!

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