Friday, November 20, 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. 

You can make as much noise as you want, fly your banners high - up where birds and pollutants have quaint cocktails in the sky. You can be a bright orange sunburst, a snippet of melody - you can be a summer evening, dotted with firefly glow. You can be one continuous scream.

Trees drop their leaves, and that makes sense. They don't have drawers or hangers - they don't know how to fold. You? They've been teaching you how to fold your whole life. Maybe you just aren't doing it right.

Every so often you get a chance to sit back, relax, kick your shoes off - do you? Feel the pebbles beneath your feet? It's not a hard thing to do, but it is a choice. Sometimes, you open the right door and sometimes you open the wrong door. Sometimes, it's unintentional. Sometimes, you open the wrong door on purpose. 

Now shut up, get in the tiny car. This ain't that kind of circus.




  1. Awesome... and yeah, those pebbles and that sand... they take you to a whole different place...

    1. "It's not a hard thing to do, but it is a choice."

      Really resonates with me right now. Thanks, G.

    2. Oh, the tiny clown cars. "Sometimes, you open the wrong door on purpose."

    3. Sweet, I feel like I gotta greeting card today Especially for personal situation. But more on THAT later, Mader! :)

  2. “Never look in the eyes of a black dog,” Daddy always told me. “You might not like what you see. Black dogs never lie.”

    And Daddy knew. He only had black dogs, as long as he lived. No spots, no brindle, no white, no tan. Black as midnight, with golden eyes, eyes that looked into souls, that’s what he had.

    That, and a love affair with the bottle. Said it was cheaper than the pills the doctors would give him, but he never talked about the pain he was trying to kill. We just knew when he reached for the bottle, it was a good time to go outside.

    When Daddy died, his dog cried for days. The ache from that dog filled the house. After the funeral, the dog started following me around. But I never looked it straight in the eyes. I didn’t have the guts.

    Damned dog started digging in the backyard. At least it wasn’t whining when it was digging. When it came to get me, it pulled me by the pant leg. At the bottom of the hole, a strongbox. Inside, a couple hundred thousand dollars, bundled neatly with American Bank printed on the bands.

    American Bank, the place where Daddy was a security guard. The place that had been robbed fifty years ago, case never solved.

    Tonight, I’m raising a glass to Daddy, maybe two, maybe five, and I’m staring into a black dog’s eyes.

    1. Not at all what I was expecting. I dig it. :) (No, pun not intended.)

    2. Nancy DeCilio GauthierNovember 20, 2015 at 8:13 AM

      Wow, didn't see that coming. Great ending.

    3. I just love the story of it. Whether or not we Know it consciously, the black dogs ( and cats) are better equipped to thrive in the Wild. You've given an elegant translation of that idea, here.

    4. My black dogs Misty and Maggie say thanks, and so do I! Now, where DID I leave that strongbox....

  3. In the dark of night, under the blind eyes of a new moon, I trudge through the snow, stepping on starlight sparkle. It’s just me and memories and questions, hopes and fears, the empty and the full. My breath is a cloud in front of me, barely visible, ghostlike, and I wonder if ghosts walk here, too.
    I stop at the creek. Listen to its laughter as ice melts to water. On the banks of just such a creek, thirty-five years ago, life stopped and began again, frozen, then thawing. Maybe that is what drew me out this evening. Maybe.
    In the distance, a coyote yips, whether in pain or in joy, I cannot tell.
    And I wonder at the man I’ve become, whether it is enough, or not enough, or too much. I wonder if I’ve “lived up to my promise” as my father used to say. I wonder who I am.
    A flutter of wings, snow falling from a branch above, and I am joined in the question by an owl. “Whooo?”
    The owl captures a mouse, and knows it is enough.
    I walk on, tripping on starlight.

  4. I throw another log on the campfire. Winter camping. Fire and ice. Little sizzles as the snowflakes fall on the fire. My feet are cold, but not yet numb. I want to sleep, but the sleeping bag will be cold, so I stare into the flames, pretending I feel their warmth.

    I ponder on Robert Frost a while.

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    And I ponder on the state of the world, and I wonder if Mr. Frost ever considered that the passion of fire and the hatred of ice might combine to make a flood of indifference, and if we might all drown in that.

    I burrow into my sleeping bag, before the rivers of passivity rise too far.

    1. Wow, I really dig this one, brother. Cool structure. Power.

    2. thanks! and I got to steal words from a poet! Alchemy.... a good name for a book of short stories?

  5. He made a mistake, one of the biggest of his life, maybe. The pain is sharp and relentless, threatening to consume him. He has no one to blame but himself, and there’s no fixing things, not because he doesn’t want to, but because it just isn’t possible. He can’t unscrew the girl he took back to his hotel room. He can’t unsay the vile shit he said. He doesn’t have a time machine, and an apology isn’t enough to fix things. Not nearly enough.

    He’s no stranger to mistakes. He’s made more than his share, but this one…this one is different. He let his demons take control, and now he’s got to figure out how to live with that. He understands his brother’s demons far better now, and he hates them more than ever…and he’s incredibly thankful that his brother has his demons on the run.

    Sighing, he pours himself a drink and considers his options, just as he has every night since the world spun off its axis, all thanks to his own stupidity. He’s not a fan of most of his choices. None of them are quite right. None of them lead where he wants to go. He can’t stay where he is, though, that’s for damn sure. So he has to pick a path. There’s only road, as far as he can see, that leads up instead of down. It’s the one he’s been staring down for weeks now.

    He takes another sip of his drink and stares at his phone, considering. Then he downs his drink, slams the glass down on the table, and stalks off to bed, just like he has every night for the past three weeks. One day, he’ll find the courage to walk down the path he knows he has to follow, but not tonight. Not tonight.

    1. ahhh... regrets and restitution... a wonderful picture of inner conflict you've painted here...

    2. Speaking as one with certain family members recently "estranged." I honestly think you got this right. You hurt more for their choices than you do for your own...

  6. Agent Adelbaum dragged deeply off his cigarette. He used to smoke Camel Lights, but recently moved up to unfiltered Lucky Strikes, as he often did in stressful times. He was a straight-laced, earnest, dedicated employee of the United States government; some colleagues compared him to a more intense Joe Friday, and like Joe Friday, one of his very few vices was smoking. The last time someone complained about it, he stubbed his cigarette out on the back of their hand. Kurt Adelbaum didn’t have time for that bullshit. He didn’t serve eight years in the US Air Force, then five as a coffee boy in the CIA, so he could have some sissy tell him he wasn’t allowed to smoke inside.

    So when the timid, harried intern stepped into his office, he couldn’t help but glare a little. He didn’t really mean to be so intense, with this overworked 20 year old college kid, but the question still sounded like a barked order: “What d’ya have for me, kid?” “Well, some of this data was recovered from agents who are missing in action, but we’ve patched together a broadly comprehensive intel survey.”

    “We’re dealing with a formidable force here, but fairly typical of their parameters, and hence, to some extent, predictable. This is a scattered, diffuse domestic terrorist network. They have little to no presence in some states, but are well-represented in others. What’s daunting is, they have membership and support from the international community: just over 50% of known members are US citizens. The rest, in descending order, come from Mexico, other Latin American and Caribbean nations, East Asia, Canada, the EU, Oceania, and so on. When they engage in terrorist actions, it might be a few semi-literate Mexicans, or a highly-trained cadre of military veterans.”

    1. Interesting to see you write it from this side. You did it well - really solid. Makes me want the mashup.

  7. By God, he’d be damned if he’d let refugees overrun his country, the country that his ancestors came to four generations ago. Why couldn’t the foreigners fight their damned religious wars at home? His country had seen enough violence without bringing in a bunch of terrorists with their love of guns and their idea of God. Nossir, he was not going to see those people bombing the symbols of justice.

    Now, all he had to do was convince the bleedinghearts that this was the right course of action, that it would keep them safe. All this talk of mercy when he knew there would be no mercy if the tables were turned.

    He took deep breaths. His speech would be telecast live in five minutes. He needed to appear calm, convincing. He muttered a prayer for strength, for peace, for safety.

    “We go live in 30 seconds… 25… 20… 15… 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…” and the countdown moved to fingers only at that point. When the red light on the camera went on, he began.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen. I’ve had to take actions today to protect our great nation. Steps I never imagined taking, but I do it for our safety. The Huns are at the gates, claiming refuge from a war they themselves created. I’ve sealed the borders. For your safety, for my safety, for the safety of this great nation. We will not tolerate religious wars on our soil.”

    In his mind’s eye, he saw the flag behind him. He wondered if the American refugees even knew why there was a red maple leaf on it.

    1. I was grinning before I hit the end, then laughed out loud in the middle of a McDonald's. Brava!

    2. Thanks! sometimes I write to make people think....

    3. Beautiful and may I say, terrifying? Are we all going to be hunkered down in little feudal bunkers soon? Regardless, dude you and your dogs would be welcome in mine!

  8. In the shadow of a tree his grandfather planted, he took off his backpack. He removed the books, the tablet of big chief paper, and a pair of newly sharpened pencils. Pausing for a moment, and deciding he’d be here a while, he took out his water bottle, too.

    The bark felt cool against his back, even through his jacket. Mom insisted he wear it.

    “It’s fall,” she said.

    “Autumn,” he said back.

    “Whatever,” she said.

    He folded back the cover of the tablet, its big Indian face staring at him before going into hiding. He licked the tip of his pencil, a habit learned from his father.

    The leaves fell gently around him as he began to write.

    “Autumn, in Paris, is a season of red.” He crossed out “red” and wrote “crimson.”

    Thirty years later, he read the words on a Friday in November, and wondered if the child in him wrote of leaves or blood.

  9. (Ed: Simon's dialogue is totally stolen from Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe:

    Simon liked to speculate about the lives of his enemies. It was all a lark to him, just having a laugh and serving a good cause in the process. As he walked the halls of the police station, rifle in hand, he’d think things to himself like, “This is Sergeant Garcia, he’s got a lovely family waiting for him in his modest four bedroom home in Fremont…”, pull the trigger, and continue, “that’s Christmas fucked for your kids.” “This is Patrolman Johnson, his long-distance girlfriend just moved to Berkeley to be with him…”, pull the trigger, and continue, “she’ll be missing him.”

    Simon wasn’t always like that, a big scary guy with a gun. None of his compatriots would believe him, but he used to be a painfully earnest, geeky little boy, in a decaying English industrial town. The factories were all closed by the time he was born, at least half of the town were on the dole, and most of them were, in practice, professional alcoholics. An impoverished, bullied childhood, followed by grim years as a rank-and-file soldier, left Simon jaded, desensitized. For the most part, he was a perfectly nice fellow, teaching his new American friends about things like Jammy Dodgers, and why Newcastle United didn’t stand a chance against Sheffield Wednesday, he just was equally casual about brutality.

    1. Someday, I will tell you a great story about Sheffield Wednesday.

  10. The agent looked at the report on the professor. He slapped the papers into his other palm with a frown. “This guy's not a teacher. He's a lab rat. Got through a couple of years in a classroom, showed undue stress, ran back to the lab environment, and has been making his chemical magic ever since.”

    “Is that what the report says?”

    “Um...” The agent looked through the papers. “Ah, here it is. 'Socially awkward, highly intelligent introvert with acute arrogance, a masochistic predilection for taking orders form authority figures whom he considers inferior. He's probably also riddled with with hygiene and sexual phobias.' “

    “Probably more at home in a lab than at home. What's his connection to the biohazard containment unit?”

    “He helped develop upgrades for the CDC as a government contractor when they upgraded the unit a few hurricanes ago.”

    “Think he's a mole? Or did he just get himself recruited because of his position at the medical center?”

    “A little of both, maybe? He's a classic geek.”

    “Just to round out that profile, should we pencil in narcissistic, insecure, socially inept, highly educated within his field and a genius with germs, and would still be living at home with his mommy if she hadn't passed away?”

    “Yeah, that about sums him up.”

    1. Oh, what a villain you've created... interesting and flawed, and he hasn't even shown up! I'd read more!

    2. This is interesting. You get a pretty good idea about who the agent is from this...more so than the professor, I'd say. Very interesting, indeed.

    3. I'm amazed how much is in this. And I agree, very interesting indeed.

    4. I love that it goes with the EZ diagnosis, and still knows nothing about the man...In that, the "Profiler" becomes the "profile, " no?

  11. Dishes – done
    Laundry – done (three loads!)
    Dusting – done
    Vacuuming – done
    Dinner – in the oven
    Yard work – leaves raked, lawn mowed, faucets covered
    Paperwork – bills paid, register balanced, budget organized
    *Actual* work – umm, did I mention the THREE loads of laundry I did today?

    1. Fiction? Yeah, that's the ticket. This totally didn't happen to me today. ;-)

    2. I am SO with you, today, My dear! Sick husband, client having well, a Cow, daughter calling to help her write an abstract for her thesis, Snow storm moving in...and I just got around to cleaning the ceiling fans...

  12. “Don’t you think he’s charming?” my wife Elizabeth asked as she watched walk away handsome Father Lucas Bender, who had just concluded a five-minute heart-to-pitter-pattering-heart bit of small talk with her.

    “He’s okay, I guess, but I still don’t buy his phony schtick,” I said, my mouth full of a cube of provolone and a slice of pepperoni I’d grabbed from the buffet. We were attending St. Michael’s Church’s open house for the parish’s volunteer workers.

    “What do you mean, Brian...haven’t you noticed how much larger the crowd is at Sunday Mass since he arrived?” Elizabeth hissed.

    At the sound of Father Bender’s boyish laugh, every woman in the place looked up, their eyes zeroed in on the far corner of the room, and blinked – I swear I could hear them all blink -- to see their 40-something pastor brush his fingers along the upper arm of the 23-year old parish secretary, Zoe Calabrese, She, in turn, giggled a little girl giggle and rested her fingertips upon his chest.

    “Ohhh," Elizabeth oozed, her hooded eyes returning from that little tableau to stare dully into her drink. ”how fucking…charming.”

    1. Oh, this is rich stuff! well done!

    2. I agree. Man, I love so much. Especially this: "a five-minute heart-to-pitter-pattering-heart bit of small talk with her."

    3. oh, and the cube of provolone and pepperoni. Such a perfect subtle tag - all in the details. That zoomed me in instantly.

    4. Oooh. Nailed THAT! Have seen it played SO often!

  13. “It's a complicated matter.” The agent's cold tone was intended to shut off the line of conversation.

    “What isn't when it's run by a committee?” She was not ready to let it go just yet. She wanted some answers.

    “This is not a committee.”

    “Oh? What do you call it then? By definition,” she looked at her palm screen, “ 'a committee is a person or group of persons elected or appointed to perform some service or function, as to investigate, report on, or act upon a particular matter.' That sounds to me pretty much how this is being dealt with.”

    “You need your eyes examined,” the agent said.

    “Just had it done,” she shot back. “20/20 all the way. You sure you don't need your committee reviewed?”

    No reply came. She turned back toward the desk, but he was gone. Just gone, as if he had never been in the room. All that was left was a whiff of that expensive cologne he wore with his suits.

    What the hell?

  14. Barbara checked her watch; as if realizing that she needed something to steer her thoughts away from whomever might be late meeting her, a bright-eyed, goateed server named Ethan lifted a pot of coffee in her direction. She accepted a refill on her organic, fair-trade java, smiling at him, sparking with an itch to touch the caramel-colored curls at the nape of his neck. It’s the emptiness, Barbara told herself, tightening her less-then-manicured fingers into a fist against her thigh. It’s the single toothbrush in the holder and the single-serving frozen dinners and the stray articles of clothing her last boyfriend couldn’t be bothered coming by to retrieve.

    “Anything else?” She blushed and shook her head. Silly. She was old enough to be his—well, youthful aunt. And the man who was fifteen minutes late to this appointment, that he’d suggested, could have been the kid’s father. The phone call had been surprise enough, after all these years, and the request to have coffee at the shop in their old neighborhood had left her dumfounded. George hated this place. The day they moved out, he’d made that displeasure unequivocally clear: the neighborhood was changing, it was awful, and what kind of assholes in the city planning department would allow a gun shop next to his Peace Park? His. As if he’d donated the land and leveled the earth and painted the murals himself. As if he’d written all the letters to the editor—her doing—and went from door to door begging people to sign the petition—again, her doing—and sweet talked the local garden shop into donating the plants—again, her. No. All he did was reap the spoils. When he grew too frustrated with her, with himself, he got a cup of coffee and sat in that park, playing his guitar, happy to collect the bills that dropped into his case. If anyone should have been pissed about the gun store, it should have been her. But she was a live and let live sort of person, and the owner seemed like a nice, responsible guy, mainly dealing in collectibles. Not that George had ever taken the time to notice. On her way from the parking lot to the coffee shop, she was pleased to note that the park looked well maintained, and the gun store was still in business, although he advertised many more things for sale besides his antique collectibles. She smiled at his front window, just across the street, and made a note to herself to stop in and say hello. Maybe sooner than she’d planned. Because George was now twenty minutes late.

    (Part 2 next post)

  15. She was reaching for her purse when he came through the door. A little older, a little thinner, a little tighter around the eyes. The leather jacket looked expensive, at odds with his grimy jeans and frayed high-tops. He swung into the seat beside her. Not across from her. But so they both had a view out the window. He asked Ethan for herbal tea, because he didn’t “do” stimulants anymore. In a rapid tone that told her the decaffeination had not had the desired effect, he said he did juice fasts and yoga and extolled the virtues of complicated kitchen equipment that liquefied kale. Finally, he gave her a long appraisal and nodded. “You look good, Bar…” he began, and before the qualifiers could come spilling out, she cut him off with a gentle smile that wanted to be meaner.

    “George,” she sighed. “Why are we here?”

    He cleared his throat, his gaze jumping from his unstimulating tea to the window to his watch. “Because you deserved a front-row seat to this. To justice being done.”

    Then the men came. A swarm of them, all in black, shoving through the gun shop door, and taking the befuddled owner away. As the man’s confused eyes swept across the window, she could have sworn he saw her, remembered her. “You’re welcome,” George said, pressing his hand over hers, now gone cold. “You’re welcome.”

    And he left. The untouched tea smelled like rotting foliage.

    A gentle throat-clearing rose behind her. It occurred to her that the server might have been standing there this whole time. “Get this out of your way?” Ethan said softly.


    “Uh. You know, I think I’m gonna close up. See if I can help.”

    Barbara forced her gaze away from the ghosts out the window and scraped back her chair. “I’ll come with you.”

    1. HOW DO YOU DO THAT? This is awesome! and heartbreaking... and you even made m like the waitperson.... you are an awesome writer, you know?

    2. This. Creepy in a real-world sort of way. Sad, too.

      Love the little details that lend this so much realism.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Man, what I wouldn't give to have 15 minutes inside your head to look around.

    5. Beautifully Done. The tension..that tacit compromise..the refusal. Everything! Brava!

  16. His favourite time was after dark because that’s when he did best thinking.
    Bundled up in his old overcoat, hat pulled down against the biting wind, he set out on foot to his favourite place.
    The walk was difficult tonight and by the time he neared the spot he was panting heavily. Great plumes of breath visible in the cold night brought to his mind the steam trains he had loved so much when he was a child and his icy cheeks stretched into something resembling a smile.
    He sat against the wall of the look- out turret which was not much more than a ruin now and breathed in the oxygen rich air as he lit a cigarette and drew nicotine deep into his lungs.
    The irony wasn’t lost on him and for the second time that night he smiled as he leaned back and enjoyed the moment.
    Digging deep into his pockets he pulled out a candle and a glass jam jar which he had washed out earlier in the day. He praised himself for being the genius he was for remembering to bring it.
    A few gnarled old trees grew around the turret, forever bent inland by the prevailing northerly wind which howled in from the sea below the cliffs.
    He set the jar containing the votive candle beneath one of the trees.
    He knelt before it and waited.
    It didn’t take long for the memories to flood his mind and he gasped in pleasure as the force of them washed over him. They cursed through his blood like a hit of pure heroin and a rush of ecstacy travelled from his brain flooding his senses, warming his whole body, arousing his genitals.
    His hands explored his beneath his coat, the very coat his father had worn when he had taught him how to extract pleasure from life. From someone else’s life.
    Tonight it was the memory of Marie, dear sweet Marie who he had laid so gently in the ground beneath this tree. The candle was his gift to her to show his devotion and gratitude.
    My, she had been a feisty one! She had scratched and kicked and fought till he had taken her last breath.
    Dear sweet Marie. He shuddered his frenzied climax and prostrated on the frozen ground, writhing and sobbing his thanks.
    He arranged himself against the cold once more as the candle sputtered out plunging the night into blackness that could never match the colour of his soul.

    1. wow.... that went a totally different (and wonderful) direction than I thought at the beginning... scary stuff... well written.

    2. Holy crap! This is an epic piece. Wow.

    3. They "cursed through his blood?' was that on purpose or the most epic Freudian slip ever?

  17. Ken Mayhew kept a house that was down by the river with broad verandas to take in the view. From there he watched the seasons and the years; the floods and the droughts and the endlessness of time. Everything went and changed and died and grew again. Except for Ken. Because of that one time.
    And maybe that was all a man got, he told himself. Just one time to risk it all and play the fool. He rarely thought of love anymore and when he did, it burned like a wound from a long time ago.
    Sometimes he went to town, He enjoyed the way the women gave him the side eye from the end of the bar. He smiled and flirted, even got up to dance, but never let down his guard.
    Except for that one time.
    “Don’t you like women, Ken?” Bobby Forest asked him one night over beers when a blonde was giving him the side eye over the top of her Singapore Sling.
    “Like e’m fine. Just don’t want anything to do with ‘em.”
    “But don’t you miss it? Goddamn Ken. You can’t be more’n 45. How come you ain’t got a woman?”
    Ken tried to ignore the dark ache of loneliness that tugged at his guts. “Hell no. Thing about women is the sex ain’t never about just that. They want the whole package. Lay down and before you know they wanting you to get married. And so you get down on your one knee and buy a damn ring. Then they’s wanting babies and to let their momma move in. Then they get a job and you supposed to do the damn housework and take the kids to practice and invest in a timeshare or some such bullshit.”
    Bobby rubbed his face. Married with two kids, the reality of it was hard to ignore. “But—“he went on, “there’s compensations.”
    Not for me, thought Kenny. He never mentioned that one time. Back when he’d given his heart so completely, he couldn’t find a way to get it back. Back when a man was supposed to be the hunter and yet, he’d been the one to be the catch. For awhile, they’d carried on like souls on fire. Like he was her and she was he. Grace Ann had eyes green as the springtime and skin like something in June. How her smile made him think of Christmas, too.
    He never mentioned it was a little too much. To hope for. to love, or to hold. And suspicion in him had grown like a cancer. Until he’d finally, let her go.
    Kenny stared straight ahead while Bobby stared into his beer. The blonde was getting drunker; Kenny sucked up her attention, threw her a little wave and bought her a round, just to make sure.
    “What the fuck, dude?” Bobby asked. “You say you can’t be bothered. What you doing that for?”
    “Watch,” answered Kenny. “You’ll see.”
    Ten minutes the later, the blonde teetered over. “Thanks for the drink, honey “ she told him. “You wanna dance, you think?”
    “Not with you, ” Kenny answered. “Ain’t you a little old for this?”
    She straightened herself, and smoothed down her skirt. “Thanks for nothing, jerk”
    Kenny smiled he wiped the sling off his face. “What I said, Bobby Forrest. They’re all the same.”
    They went to their trucks and turned on the lights and drove off on their separate roads Into the night.
    Kenny turned into his drive by the river. He walked down to his dock and wept at little
    At the spot where Grace Ann’s bones were floating in chains.

    1. Oh, crap!
      and the last line is supposed to be:
      Because of that one time

    2. Well, THAT gave me shivers... wow.... and I loved this line: "Back when a man was supposed to be the hunter and yet, he’d been the one to be the catch."

    3. Yup. And the mommas moving in. That whole piece of dialogue is amazing. Well in.

  18. I wish you had two more than 48 lips - then, there'd be fifty more asses to kiss. You cower, you glower, rarely, you shower - by which I mean tossing bullshit like soiled bridal flowers. You think no one sees it? Or you just don't care? You should hear what they say when YOU'RE not there...

    I understand the rules of the game, lady. What, I'm that stupid? You can't possible believe that. I know the rules. Hell, I read 'em - then I decided it would be prudent to shred 'em.

    If there's a special place in hell - even though I don't buy it, I hope the devil saves seats for disingenuous, helpless idiots.

    Me? I'll be OK. Send prayers. Or pizza.

  19. Jennifer never stood a chance. That's what you need to know. From day one, it was written in the stars - spangled across the sky like jet trails. Jennifer never had lunch at school. Jennifer wore the knock off sneakers from the flea market - they decayed around her perfect feet like dying things until the toes would poke right through. Jennifer was born screwed.

    It was Jennifer's folks, but no one knew it then. We were kids, you know? Kids are stupid and mean. And Jennifer was a pretty girl in shitty shoes.

    She grew up and her shoes changed, but Jennifer's shy smile became a little less genuine. Veneer. Jennifer grew into a woman, but it cost more than anyone could ever know. Because back there, in the past, lives is a girl with ugly shoes and a heart the size of how big Texas thinks it is.

    You can't see hearts, though.

    1. ohmigod... this is beautiful... and the last line rips my heart out...

    2. The most gorgeous, and succinct description of "privilege" I think I've ever seen.

    3. Nailed. And with more style than Jennifer's new shoes, more heart than Texas in the mirror

  20. I lurched forward, unable to keep myself from face-planting onto the floor of the van.
    “Sorry, Mrs W.,” Moscow said, his accent sounding like a Russian mobster's. “We took a sharp right there. You missed that, I guess.”

    A pair of strong hands gripped my shoulders, the fingers curling round to haul me back upright.

    “It's lucky you were wearing that sack,” Glasgow said. “You'd have grazed your face something cruel. The Boss doesn't mind what condition you arrive in but we're all kindness here. You should thank us if you get the chance. We only bag the ones that might reach home some time. You're ahead on points already!”

    Moscow held me up, his arms taking my weight as my legs began to buckle beneath me. His companion took hold of the loop figure-eighted around my wrists, the plastic slicing yet more skin away as he pulled my arms up and then over my head until it engaged on a hook or something.

    The two men stepped away from me for the first time in what must have been at least fifteen minutes. My shoulders were already beginning to hurt from the strain of the unnatural position but at least I stood less chance of falling onto my face again. My forehead was bleeding, I knew that: the stickiness of my brow against the hessian was all the proof I needed. If only I'd more idea what this Boss had planned for me...

    1. I'm in... I want the rest of the book.

    2. I been saying what Leland said ^^^ for a while now. Ready to one click.

  21. "I miss you," she told him.

    "How can you miss me?" he wanted to know. "I'm right here."

    "You are...and you aren't. I miss who you used to be before you forgot who you are."

    "That doesn't make any sense," he told her.

    "Of course not," she replied. "It can't make sense to the you that you are, but the you that you used to be would have understood. And he would have understood why I miss you."

  22. A day late...

    It's been said that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. You can't make him swim, either.

    Horses left in high water run risks of hoof rot, hypothermia, leg injuries from stepping in holes or banging against underwater objects, snake bite, starvation from their natural fodder being drowned, drawning from being swept off their feet by harsh currents, injestion of "dirty" water...

    I wonder how that works on a unicorn ?


Please leave comments. Good, bad or ugly. Especially ugly.