Friday, November 6, 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. 

He rested, head on fist on elbow, in a slice of moonlight - a bright ray through the damp Autumn night. His hands were filthy, nails torn. Around him, there were holes. He had used his hands to make those holes and, still, he had found nothing. He knew it was there, though, and he would not stop.

His black suit was covered in dirt and clay, but he didn't care. His brother was in the ground now, but he would not think about it. He pounced on another patch of bleak scrub grass and dug in with his nails. He was this close to using his teeth. He needed to keep digging.

It was morning, and there were holes everywhere, when he finally found it. The coffee can was just as he remembered and, inside, he found his brother. Just like he knew he would.


ATTENTION, I WILL BE GONE MOST OF THE DAY. BREAK THE BLOG FOR ME! AND GIVE ME SOME STUFF TO READ WHEN I GET HOME! Get 'em! :)

90 comments:

  1. Wow.... "there were holes everywhere..." operates on so many levels... the whole piece is beautiful... and I'm glad he found his brother..

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    1. Dude, please! Dan, this little devil scorched me in the end. That afterbite of some hidden chili pepper. The burn is still there on the back of my tongue and I love it.

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    2. My first thought was that it was about some buried money. Treasure. And in a way, it was! Great!

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    3. This is great. Love that he finally found his brother. Also loved the teeth comment.

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  2. The sun rose red in Wyoming’s Never Summer Range that morning. It was the last day of a hunting trip Father had planned for an entire year. Elk. Majestic animals, and one kill would ensure we had meat for a year.

    The coffee, even with ashes in it, warmed my belly, if not my heart. Warmed my hands, too, as I held the blue enameled tin cup. We’d had no luck so far, something my father blamed on me. I was too noisy, or the soap I used had too strong a scent, or maybe the elk could sense I was unnatural.

    Unnatural. That was his word for gay. Mother had broken him of “faggot,” but he could never bring himself to say the word “gay.”

    “Don’t look too happy to me,” he’d mutter when she tried to encourage him in political correctness.

    “Maybe a week in the wilderness will make him man up,” I heard him say to her.

    “Maybe you’ll find some common ground,” I heard her say to him.

    “Maybe I’ll meet a hot guy in the woods,” I said to myself.

    And none of the three maybes happened in a week in this beautiful place. Father may have sharpened his skills at getting under my skin. I may have grown a little more sensitive to the fact that no matter what, I’d never be good enough.

    Now we sat quietly, clean rifles in our ungloved hands.

    “Can’t shoot with gloves on, boy.”

    I watched a crystal of frost form on the barrel of my rifle, from my breath. And there, in the clearing, walked a bull elk with a huge rack of antlers. Twelve points if I counted right.

    “Do you see it?” Father whispered.

    I nodded.

    I saw him sight his prey.

    I did the same.

    “This one’s mine, boy. You missed the last two.”

    I nodded.

    His finger rested lightly on the trigger.

    Mine, too.

    They say the surest kill is if you aim for the animal’s heart and lungs, but I was aiming for the eye.

    Two shots rang through the silent forest.

    An elk crumpled to the ground. My father’s shot.

    A father fell, too, from mine.

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    1. Holy crap. Great ending. Sad, but wonderfully told.

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    2. That ending, yes! Your pieces always have such heart, Leland.

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    3. The wonderful thing about fiction is, it gives you the courage to be the person you actually are inside your head. Only, once expressed, you're actually free of those particular demons. :)

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    4. I love it. The reveal is perfect. I agree with DA. Heart.

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    5. I love that you can surprise me. This is brilliant, sad, but beautiful.

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  3. For most of his life, Finn had known he was different, and he knew it was a bad thing. His mother had made sure he knew it.

    At first, he’d been determined to prove her right. He took up drinking and drugs and sleeping with any girl who would have him. He got into fights, usually ones he’d started, boosted cars to go joyriding, and generally made an ass of himself. The admin at his high school predicted he’d end up in jail before he turned twenty. Reverend Carmichael predicted he’d end up in hell. Everyone, including Finn, figured Finn was going to jail or hell or both—everyone except his grandmother.

    Ida Jameson believed in Finn. No matter what he did, no matter how horribly he behaved, she loved him and believed in him. She told him over and again that no one was past the point of redemption.

    Now, she was leaving him, and there would be no one left to care about what happened to one nineteen-year-old reprobate.

    He wanted to be angry with her, with God, with someone, but he was beyond anger. He wanted to weep and wail and shake his fists, but he was beyond tears. He’d been indulging in reprehensible behavior so long that it was no longer rebellious, no longer a thrill, so he couldn’t even act out in the ways that most guys his age might on finding out that their whole world was falling apart. There was only one thing he could do.

    He could try.

    He could start today and try to redeem himself, try to become the good man his grandmother saw lurking somewhere inside of him. Or at least get a little closer to being that man. Good might be beyond him, but decent…decent he could do.

    He looped the chain of the St. Anthony’s medallion she’d given him around his neck. The patron saint of lost things…and people. He wasn’t sure if it was a statement about his own state of being or just a memento, one of the few items that truly meant something to his grandmother.

    “Thank you,” he told her, his voice gravelly with emotion.

    The two words were inadequate; they could never express everything he felt, but she understood. She always understood. She smiled and patted his cheek.

    “You can thank me by taking me out to dinner,” she said. “Mexican, I think. Wear something nice. And comb your hair.”

    Finn grinned in spite of himself. The world might be ending, but it hadn’t ended yet.

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    1. Beautful, and hopeful, and wonderful!

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    2. Nice! I love how that "comb your hair" humanizes everything, brings it down to earth in a touching way.

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  4. In the shadows between promises kept and promises broken, a boy sits in the mud, making pies that look like chocolate but taste like dirt. His father was supposed to be home an hour ago. They were going to the zoo.

    Mommy was sleeping. For a couple of years now. She looked so pale and thin in the wooden box.

    Daddy said he was getting a puppy for Christmas. A real one, no "batteries not included."

    He cut the mud pies carefully.

    They still tasted like dirt when Daddy got home, smelling like the Tennessee medicine that made him cry.

    Jack Daniels was a funny name for a medicine.

    He tucked Daddy in, as best he could, and he fell asleep next to Daddy, in the shadows between broken and kept promises.

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    1. Christ. This one brought a tear, no lie.

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    2. Whew! So Onpoint, you cringe, but you never make it about accusation, either. Nice! Well, not NICE, but...effective and powerful.

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    3. Jesus, man. This one is epic. From the opening sentence to the echo at the end. Perfect.

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    4. thanks... you all are good for my ego!

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    5. You're killing it today. Made me tear up, too.

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  5. OLYMPIAN TERRORS

    He fears the snorting Minotaur,
    Medusa and her snakes galore,
    Those wriggling locks that eyes abhor––
    One glance will set a man to stone.

    He thinks the seven-headed beast
    Intends to make of him a feast.
    Why won’t it just remain in Greece,
    Its Hydra heads leave him alone?

    Where’s Hercules when needed most?
    Add one more labor he can boast
    Before this fool gives up the ghost.
    His paranoia’s never fun.

    #





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    1. Nice control of the meter, and the rhyme scheme! Bravo.

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    2. Well done! Why don't those myths just leave us alone? A valid question, I think. :)

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    3. I gotta echo DA on this one. Like good masonry.

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  6. It's like one of those dreams where you can't wake up.

    "Wake up," you said.

    I remember the day rolling away from the roof of the world, like a demoralized guest curling toward the wall, and how the darkness made everything shimmery, grainy, and animate.

    "Forget it. Go sleep," you said.

    That winter the winds whistled no human tune. Just an oscillating galactic plainsong. Like abandoned sheets on the flinch of a rise, all fluttering and sullied in a dirty howling wind.

    "Meet me one day at the crossroads," you said.

    Recall how this was once a place of brightness and strangeness? Target and Walmart and Rite Aid. Boulevards. Rust and stardust. Corrugated iron. Cherry blossom. Cascades. Brick facades. Ferries departing the point. Knots of people gathered outside Starbucks, warmed by a patio heater in winter, by mochaccinos always, and by the arbitrary camaraderie of belonging.

    That's all memory now. Here is not here anymore. I had no answer for you anyway.

    Except this: "You mean all things to me."

    But the dreams. They used to call it post-trauma. I don't want to give it its dignity by naming it fully. It encumbers me. The dreams are part of being awake, or as close to being awake that you're unable to tell the difference. And it's whatever your chosen fear, your trigger. They arrive in pairs. Fluctuate. Could be a small fire breaking out and a scream. Or the brittle shock of shattering glass and a moan. Disbelief and the blurry grind and shred of tumbling asphalt. The hot proximity of a biting human reek, then wrenching tears. Or the feel of rubber or hair or oil or watery, seeping hangnails. It's usually specific and crawly and lost.

    To gather myself, I would remember a night horse named Blondie. A winter horse. Escaping the horror of family, I crossed the frozen ridges of soil beside the dark barn and talked to that horse, ranted at him, stood in the crystalline air beside his paddock, leaning on the railing, my nostrils crackling in the cold, the draw backdropped by a bright moon, my entire world ghosted, and made peace with him, watched his large luxuriant eye as it sought some gentle kinship of its own.

    But that was the world that was, and this is the world that is. No return. I only torment myself with thoughts like these.

    You are out there somewhere. At the crossroads.

    "At the crossroads. You follow me, yes?"

    Murmurations. That's the word. Those twisting, flowing skeins against an orange sky. A fluid net of birds. Starlings. Practicing molten turbulence over the stark ruins of a blackened pier. These were things that occurred in the world.

    I want to follow you.

    America: you are a generous and optimistic place. Where else would carpet the outdoor stairway of a motel? Carve monuments from sheer cliffs? Serve food on such lavish platters in the cheapest diners?

    I love you. I loved you. I will love you.

    The sun loses its perfect circular rim and bulges into the horizon, while grey clouds become dark lavender and muted pink against a coral sky. All is melting and breathless.

    Some memory conjures the reassuring horn of a train from another era and I feel a tear fall.

    Will you burst through a cloud? Like a fallstreak hole?

    I sit by a roadside and watch a creature, some misshapen rodent thing, drag itself across the blacktop. Its limbs are shattered and skewed and blood pours from the tiny holes in its snout. One of its eyes is ruined, and it snuffles like a plague victim. A trail of blood and sand points back toward the creature's untold and star-crossed tale. Its suffering is fascinating. But relieving it of the burden of life is a tenderhearted thing, so I stand, find a large rock, and attend to its leave-taking.

    "Will you be waiting for me, my love?"

    There's only the wind across the bare desert and the single cry of a hawk.

    My gaze on the heat mirage, I walk toward the crossroads.

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    1. ahhhh... a beautiful desolation.... and I hear that "an oscillating galactic plainsong." I believe, sir, that you are finding not only the direction to the crossroads, but perhaps the skeletal structure of a book... this is wonderful.

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    2. Still working on digesting this one, but the whole paragraph that begins with "But the dreams" --such a vivid, spot-on description.

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    3. I agree with Leland. There is no denying these pieces. They need to be published. So good. And I love this line: "That winter the winds whistled no human tune."

      Awesome, DA.

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    4. I love the comparison of the world where Blondie existed to the other world. Great stuff.

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  7. Katrina jumped off of her guardian's pier and swam as far out as she could, before turning on her back and floating. She stared up at the sky and thought about everything she'd done and been through in the last year. It had been a whole year since she lost her Granny. It didn't seem possible.

    She thought about the numbness she'd felt right after Granny had died. Sometimes she missed that feeling.

    Katrina had a good life. A new family, a boyfriend, friends, a shiny new internship, and a new grandmother. She was grateful for all of it, but nothing and no one would take the place of her Granny. It snuck up on her, sometimes, the ache for the woman who had loved her like a mother. On Granny's birthday, when she went to call her, and on Katrina's birthday when she kept checking her phone, waiting for a call that would never come.

    She could push it to the back of her mind during the holidays, and she could pretend that she was trying to call someone else when she picked up the phone and started dialing the only phone number she'd known since she was a toddler, but deep in her heart she knew that she would always miss Granny. Just because the pain was dull most of the time, didn't mean it was gone.

    A year ago today, her life had changed forever, in ways she couldn't have understood at the time. Maybe the first year was the hardest. Maybe she'd forget the anniversary one day. Maybe Granny's birthday would pass sometime in the future and she wouldn't remember, but Katrina doubted it.

    How could she forget someone who had given you everything? How could she stop missing the person who changed her world for the better? Granny had saved her. She knew she would never forget. But how she dealt with the loss, that was her choice. Granny knew loss. She'd lost her husband and her son, not to mention the other family members and friends who went before her. Granny had always told her that missing your loved ones was understandable, but honoring them was better than wallowing in the pain.

    Katrina took a deep breath, and turned around, heading back to the dock. She'd given herself time to grieve. It was important. But she had chores to do and Anne was expecting her to help with dinner. There was a chapter that she was dying to write, and Cadence had challenged her to a game of HORSE. She would always remember her Granny, and she would always strive to honor her. Katrina would honor Granny by doing what she said she would, being a good friend, and making more memories with people she loved. That was what they both deserved. One day someone would say that Claudia McNeil had raised a fine woman. Katrina would make sure of it.

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    1. Warm and beautiful and heartbreaking in its honesty. Thank you for sharing...

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    2. Populated with real people. And what Leland said. :)

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    3. So wonderful. so completely real about grief. too. Ultimately, all we can do to honor the dead is to take who they were and carry it on. I Love it!

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    4. Nothing left but to ditto. Bravo.

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  8. Tim felt incredibly uncomfortable. By rights, he reckoned he should be rotting in some state or federal prison, or at best, back in his dilapidated squat. But somehow, he found himself in this goddamned monkey suit, rubbing elbows with a lot of high society types; people with Roman numerals at the ends of their names. People who had trust funds, who knew anything about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, capital gains, and other financial terms Tim didn’t understand. All he knew was that any and all of these fucks would shit their britches, cry, and do anything he said, as soon as he pulled a gun on them. That was all he could think about. He was notionally there as a political guest, but he didn’t know, or care, anything about being a political figure. He, personally, was dirt poor, bitter, and angry. The only way he knew how to interact with bourgeoisie types was by brutalizing them, taking whatever he could, and then killing them out of spite, like a jackal vomiting all over a fresh kill, to stop others from scavenging it.

    He did a very passable job of faking it. But every time he shook hands with one of those people, he thought things like, “You gutless little turd. I could make you watch me rape your daughter, and you wouldn’t do a goddamned thing about it,” and “You ain’t shit. Say the wrong thing to me, I dare you. I’ll stomp your teeth out, make a necklace out of them, and wear it while I face-fuck your wife.”

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    1. Love the jackal image. Nice job with the seething rage. Introduced with the mother of all understatements!

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    2. You got to own your power, wherever you find it.

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    3. I like this piece. Real and mean. I like the roman numerals, too. Well in, D.

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  9. Misty walked along the Seawall and grinned as the bikes and cars raced by her. This was her favorite weekend on the island. Lone Star Rally was just so awesome. There were concerts, food booths, places to shop, and tons of bikes. Most people were in a good mood, the weather had cooled down, and there was that great sound of Harley’s echoing through the streets of her hometown.

    Sure, there were some stick-in-the-muds who didn’t appreciate the crowded streets or the noise or the people who poured in from the mainland, but they were few and far between. Rally brought in money from people who – for the most part – respected islanders and their home. It didn’t hurt that Rally offered something for everyone, and people were more laid back than they were during Mardi Gras. These men and women worked hard, and while they may play harder, they did it with a mind to the people and things around them.

    Two guys riding Harley’s passed, playing The Eagles, and breaking Misty out of her thoughts. One of them slowed down and grinned at her. She smiled back.

    “What are you doing tonight, pretty lady?” the guy asked as he pulled out of the flow of traffic.

    “I’ll be on the Strand,” Misty said. “Can’t miss Jackal, you know?”

    “Going alone?” he aside.

    “Not likely,” she said with a chuckle. “My friends and I have been looking forward to this for ages. Maybe I’ll see you there?”

    “I hope so,” he said. “I’m Maverick. What’s your name?”

    “Goose,” she said, winking at him. “You’re friend is waiting for you. Play safe, Maverick.”

    He chuckled, waved, and took off. Misty broke into a jog on her way back home. She hoped she’d run into him tonight. He might be a bit cheesy, but with arms like his and a decent sense of humor she could overlook a little cheese.

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    1. Love this. It's so cute. And I love Rally. <3

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    2. Made me want to be there, even though (like the dude) I hate the Eagles. ;)

      Nice job, Erin.

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    3. I hate the Eagles, but I love me some Top Gun shouts! ;)

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    4. You took me right there... and I hope she runs into him, too

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  10. It was uncomfortably warm and muggy in that cell. But its occupants weren’t there for the long haul. In fact, they were there specifically to start some shit. Jacob couldn’t believe he agreed to this bullshit. He had always prided himself on his lack of a criminal record, but there he was, in the Alameda County lockup, with his homeboy, Timmy. It wasn’t their idea, to begin with. If Tim suggested it, Jacob would have snorted derisively and told him, “yeah, cuz there ain’t already enough niggas in jail. Get the fuck outta here with that shit, fool.” If anyone else was around, he’d have looked at them and added, “this silly-ass white boy, talkin’ ‘bout deliberately getting myself jammed up. You trippin’, son.” And he sure wouldn’t have done it on his own, but since Tim was down, he didn’t want to punk out. Jacob liked to give him shit, but when push came to shove, they were close friends who had each other’s backs. Tim was a bit smaller, but he was a scrappy little muthafucka who wasn’t afraid to squeeze a trigger.

    But it was actually his sister Luanne’s idea: to attack the system from within, by instigating a prison riot, overpowering the guards, and springing as many inmates as they could get out alive. Even if they didn’t join the cause, their freedom would still be egg on the face of the increasingly totalitarian governmental authorities.

    It took a couple weeks to plant the seeds, dropping knowledge on the other inmates, before a plan solidified. After that, though, it didn’t take long. First Tim faked some agonizing gastrointestinal distress, to get a guard to open his cell, while Jacob pretended to be asleep. Once that poor sap had stepped inside, the two of them viciously assaulted him and beat him to a pulp; Jacob took his baton, Tim his taser and keys.

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  11. My entry is at https://tainiwrites.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/nablopomo-fri-nov-06-2-minute-write/

    "I had a nice time this evening." Royce said, his arms wrapped around Kathryn. He was just tall enough that her head rested against his chest. She could feel his heart beat against her cheek.

    "Me too," Kathryn replied

    "I can't believe it took me this long to get together with you." Royce went on.

    Kathryn gave a slight shrug of her shoulders. "Life Happens," she responded.

    "More like stupidity happens" Royce replied, almost under his breath.

    Royce took a small step backwards, his arms still wrapped around Kathryn. He leaned back to look at her face. "I'd like to see you again," That is if you think there might be a chance for something between us."

    And if there isn't? " Kathryn asked softly. Too many times she had lost out on a friendship because she had misread the signals and she didn't want to make the same mistake this time.

    "Are you saying that there isn't?" Royce Inquired

    "I don't know, maybe.... Yeah." Kathryn stuttered

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    1. I like it. And I want to know what happens! :)

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    2. You drew me in. Love that last bit.

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  12. I used to hate this place. Had had a fear of heights back then and would never venture further than three yards from the wall of the ancient bridge. I despised you for ridiculing my terror, for not having empathy, for fuelling my fear.
    Now I can walk to the edge and lean over the low wall with nary a flutter in my breast.
    The ground below is swallowed by the mist and resembles an abyss. Fat bellied clouds dark and bloated with inevitable rain hang from a wishy –washy sky which is surely begging to be immortalised by Walter De Maria.
    I sit atop the wall all the time swinging my legs in rhythm with the wind which is icy cold and fierce enough to induce me to hold on to my hat.
    I realise now that I wasn’t afraid of heights, nor was I afraid of you though I thought I was for all these years. I’m sorry for blaming you.
    I was afraid of myself.
    Terrified of moments like this where I don’t have to choose which way I fall.
    It’s exhilarating.
    My life in the balance, quite literally.

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    1. This is an awesome piece, lady. Really beautiful language. "The ground below is swallowed by the mist and resembles an abyss." Love the way that line rolls.

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    2. What a gorgeous revelation... and yay for facing fears!

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    3. I really dug this. The fat bellied clouds made it, but the realization was awesome too.

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  13. A few hours into the evening, she approached the bar. As she bellied up, I looked over and smiled reassuringly. “Can I help you?”

    “I... I hope so,” she said. “Do you happen to have a telephone I might use?”

    I motioned to one end of the bar, walking that way, and pulled an antique rotary phone out from under the bar top. It wasn't an affectation of the owner, but a good, working machine. Waste not, as they say. “Know how to use one of these?” I asked.

    She eyeballed the instrument. “I think so.” She didn't sound too confident, but I left her to it to see what she would do. She picked up the receiver and started touching the numbers. She was tentative at first, then confused. I moved back towards her.

    “You put your finger in the frame and push it around clockwise to the stop,” I offered.

    “Oh.” She looked at the phone, pushed a number around experimentally, then grinned up at me. Her face transformed from something shadowy and hunted to something brimming with sunshine. It made her beautiful and gave her an glow that was a little innocent.

    “I'm Taylor,” I said. “If you need anything else, let me know, okay?”

    “Okay,” she said. “I'm Jess,” she added in a rush, quietly.

    I gave her a bartender's noncommittal nod and moved far enough away to give her some semblance of privacy. Being me, I stayed within earshot. I admit I was curious.

    She spoke too quietly for me to pick anything up, but her body language told me a lot. She went from hopeful, to tense, to a black despair. When she put the receiver back on it's cradle, she did so slowly. It was heartbreaking to see someone so lovely and full of something I thought of as special crumble like that. She muttered a thank you and turned back to her little table.

    I had a gut feeling that she was in some kind of trouble. The kind that caught up with you in an alley and left a mess for the cops to clean up in the morning. I decided then and there that if she was still here at last call, I would talk to her. Maybe there would be something I could do to help.

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    1. Me too. The cadence and flow and the story - all solid. One of those pieces that sneaks into your brain. Well in.

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    2. you shine a light on a quiet encounter, and you make ME want to eavesdrop on what comes next... well done!

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    3. Ooooh. I'd love to know what happens next. Neat little vignette, but it could so work as part of a bigger story.

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    4. I agree. I'd love to know more.

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    5. Ya'll make me very happy, and inspire me to write! This is developing into a story for a shared universe. More info as it develops.

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  14. The pile of dirt in the backyard wasn’t a real pitcher’s mound, just a grassed-over happenstance of excavation, but Timmy owned it, standing long and tall, the setting sun lighting a halo around his golden curls. Margie squinted up at him, readying her mitt. The fastball landed with a clean “thwock” in the pocket.

    He grinned. “I’m not throwing too hard for you, am I, Bargie?”

    “Bite me,” she said, even though he was the only one who could get away with calling her that. She winged the ball back at him, square in his glove and with just as much velocity, then set for another throw, but he hesitated. “What?”

    He lobbed an easy arc at her. “I miss him.”

    “Me, too.” She stood, and they segued into a lazy game of catch, like when they were kids.

    “He’d be loving the hell out of this,” Timmy said.

    He would. Margie could just imagine her father’s face, beaming with pride, arm around Tim’s shoulders as he read the letter offering him a full baseball scholarship to his first-choice school.

    “You gonna open yours?”

    Margie’s smile faded. Based on the three thin envelopes she’d already received, she knew what was waiting on the dining room table. Another thanks-but-no-thanks. Another wait-till-next-year. “Maybe tomorrow.”

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    1. "a grassed-over happenstance of excavation" - wow. Man, I love the characters that come out of your brain, lady. Awesome.

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    2. Me too... those characters are SO real... all the way down to the nicknames and pain... and you do it in so few words... magic.

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    3. I love your writing. Your characters, your play of words. Great piece.

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    4. I feel bad for Margie, damn you :) Great stuff, but I want more of this, too.

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  15. It's been two years now.

    The the full-face moonlight falls in rigid rays against my body, casting shadows so dense I can hear them rustle the leaves upon which they stretch. It must be the shadows, because there is no cold wind to torment me as on all the other November nights since then.

    But I would suffer them all, the prickly chill upon my cheeks, the waking moan of the westbound train disturbing our sleep, just to have you with me here one more time.

    I regret all the times I would scold you for the midnight wake ups. My heart playing the role of numb somnambulist who didn't understand you would be gone so soon; not until it was tenderized with the club of reality those last visits, when I had to assist you into and out of the car. Then came that last time, hefting you in and the great weight I carried home and sense even today, of never needing to lift you out again.

    That's why I'm out here tonight. I carry the gravity of your loss in my chest. It's a warm gravity, but so crushing to carry I want to lie down in my shadow, lie down in a forever dark and never rise until we can run together in our lovely lonely night walks again.

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    1. Agreed. Just beautiful, Joe. Thank you for sharing this - I felt this one deep in my chest.

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    2. This one got me, too... and this phrase, "the gravity of your loss..." that's sheer poetry...

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    3. I agrre with Leland about that line. You captured grief so well. Amazing.

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  16. How I Missed Enlightenment:
    At 17, I learned the truth, meditating at the ashram in my youth. They sent the men to earn the bread and took the women into bed. When the guru took you, it wasn’t what you thought. He smelled like curry, had eyes like a fawn. And when he was done, he passed you on to his acolytes. It wasn’t for me, those crazy nights.
    So me and a girlfriend took off for the coast, seeking the Father and the Holy Ghost. Down in California, some folks took us in, talking about shelter and living in sin. Twenty straight hours of more meditation, couldn’t talk to nobody, the Reverend came soon. Preacher by the name of Sun Yung Moon.
    Once again, it wasn’t for me. Headed back to Chicago and some sort of life. Grew up and got married—a mother, a wife. Sometimes there was God and sometimes there wasn’t, but the seeker keeps seeking; that hunger is strong when the darkness is pulling you into the song. I just wanted somebody to love. Alice was dead, had an OD. Jimmy and Janis went up in smoke. Nixon and money were running the show. So I got with the program with nowhere to go.
    And the emptiness beckons,but you just try to pray. For a personal Jesus, for hope or a promise. Some method, some rescue, just something that’s honest.
    So I got myself some self help and self improvement too. Couldn’t believe what I read. I was the victim of the sins of my fathers, do the 12 steps or you’re better off dead. I couldn’t tell nobody, didn’t think it was true: I was more than co-dependent, what I ate, or what I earned. More than the sum of my questions and losses, my issues, my feelings, my choices in bosses.
    The born again Buddhists rose up to the pulpit: follow your bliss; they never mentioned it could be hit or miss. Saw some white dude on cable preaching his creed, “Come join our movement and you will succeed. Sign up for our credit card for money to spend. Support all organics and certain whole foods. Buy coffee that’s grown where the workers won’t suffer and then if you’re blessed, you can build my coffers. I dream of a temple. For me and for you. For we are Enlightened and you can be, too.”
    Learned the Qi Gong song and the Kundalini boogie woogie, danced the Tantric rock and roll. Did the Tao and karaoke, but I never found my soul.
    Practiced The Secret and the Law of Attraction, raised my vibration. Did my Yoga and cardio, too. And found that everybody doing the Practice was somehow, some way, Holier than you.
    We rescued the animals. Kept those boundaries in place. We put ourselves in charge of who can ascend.Who ain’t coming to the Rapture and who ain’t fit. We are conscious and perfect, but you ain’t IT.
    There’s vegans and paleos and the grand gluten free, but they are just seeking. Just like me.
    We are gods, they tell us. Just follow me. Don’t think about it, talk about it, just relax and BE.
    And every single one of them Is holier than me.
    I never for a minute thought I was God. Much less, that I knew what it intends.
    I am not wise and gluten free
    I fall short of enlightenment
    And perhaps salvation, too.
    But I see God In a falling leaf, a baby’s hand, the sweet miracle of conflict, and the right to disagree. I hear my God whispering in the ordinary songs of Chi.
    I am not rich, nor thin, nor perfect. Nor am I at peace.
    I am not God; I only seek that.
    And that’s all right by me.

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    1. Ahhh... the many promises of the messiahs... when the truth is within, all along. This is beautiful, and truth.

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    2. Wow. The tumbling stream of consciousness and the rhyme scheme - there is SO much in this. I don't know anyone else who could have written this. I would have been able to pick it out of a line up. For all the right reasons.

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    3. I love this. The rhymes are brilliant, but yhe message is better. I'm in awe.

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  17. It's not about the mildew on the grout. What the fuck kind of word is that anyway? Grout. Sounds like what trolls would call fucking. Stupid trolls. They're not half what DISNEY (registered superior capitalist money machine incorporated - please don't sue me!) claims. Don't look for lies, it's the truth that maims.

    I got no idea where this is going; it's just gone like the light. Like the daylight we save and give away. What kind of sense does that make? None. Just like the fucking grout.

    So, you get some of that Comet shit and you scrub and your sinuses hurt, but you do it anyway because - well, shit. The timer is moving faster than my brain, while my home state still begs for rain. And gets Kardashians instead. Pain.

    (Troll tie-in for the win.)

    Done.

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    1. Trolls fucking, love it :) Also enjoyed the daylight savings time reference.

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  18. The old man is folding, hands wrapped around a brown bag wrapped around a bottle wrapped around freedom. Cheap, momentary - If the world's a minefield, he's the canary.

    And yeah, I know all about coal mines. It's called taking liberties, dick. And since these words are coming out of my brain, seems to me like you shouldn't say shit. Pick someone else to have theoretical, quasi-schizophrenic arguments with.

    I'll stack the words, 'cause someone has to. The deck got stacked without my knowledge - hell, I was drunk for most of college.

    I don't know more than that old man. He's just a mirage. I don't know more than me, I'm a sad menagerie. But right now? I got to go. I got lots of swanky places to be. Don't believe it?

    Doesn't matter.

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    Replies
    1. The last two lines killed. The rhymes were dope, too. Great stuff.

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