Friday, April 1, 2016

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.


Primp and preen your feathers clean - it doesn't change the smell, the ooze, the repugnancy of you; it won't be your redemption. See, you can act like a wing-nut and pull it off, but it all gets pulled off eventually: the posturing, the behind the back smack-talk. The "enthusiasm" that drips off you like a toddler gloating with a volley of nyah, nyah, nyah...

It's almost funny. Almost. Funny and sad live so close together - I wonder if they collect each other's mail during vacations? Something tells me sad steps up. Funny is to busy being an insecure asshole.

I didn't want to write this, but I don't get to write what I want to write most of the time. Damn brain. And then I was reminded about the injustice of it all. How I didn't say nothing; you tagged the whole damn wall. And I didn't even do anything.

Whatever, the weather's fine and clear. If you're still looking for a fight, you know where to find me: here. Hear?

I'm not going anywhere.

ATTENTION, I WILL IN AND OUT MOST OF THE DAY. BREAK THE BLOG FOR ME! AND GIVE ME SOME STUFF TO READ! Get 'em! :)

#2minutesgo

106 comments:

  1. Yeah, I absolutely believe sad steps up to the plate... I like it...

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    1. " Funny and sad live so close together - I wonder if they collect each other's mail during vacations? Something tells me sad steps up. Funny is to busy being an insecure asshole."

      Yes. So much yes. Love this piece.

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    2. This reminds me of so many people. Great piece. Love the humor.

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    3. I agree that sad and funny are intertwined--or is it a neighborly embrace?

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    4. Love it. I was going to highlight what LBClark wrote.

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  2. He shifted his backpack. It was heavy, but his heart was light. Everything he owned was in the backpack. Everything. No more worries about leaky roofs, cars that wouldn’t start, stock portfolios that wouldn’t budge. A sleeping bag, a tent, and enough food to last a week.

    He walked toward the west, where the mountains were. Not that he could see them for all the buildings and the polluted air, but he could feel they were there. Like a compass finds north, his soul pointed west. He wondered if campers still carried compasses, or depended on the fancy GPS things. And he wondered what they did when the batteries ran out.

    He stopped in the park. Put his backpack down and took his shoes off. Let his feet dangle in the lake. Looked up and saw shapes in the clouds. Animals, mostly. He heard the cop coming, and put his socks and shoes back on.
    “Move along, move along. This is a park, not a campground. Bloody homeless fucks.”

    And he did, move along. West Colfax Avenue wasn’t as glamorous as it was when he was a kid, but it still had good sidewalks. He paused for a moment at the edge of town. “City Limits,” the sign said. And he was glad to leave them behind.

    He had everything he needed in his backpack, including his pistol if it came to that. But he hoped it wouldn’t.

    Melanoma. He sure as hell wasn’t going through surgeries and chemo. He’d watched his mother waste away and die in a hospital, and he wouldn’t follow in her footsteps. He’d just started walking again, could almost smell the mountains, when a voice came down out of the sky.

    “Mr. Carter? Mr. Carter, wake up, it’s time for your medication…”

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    1. :( So very heartbreaking. Well told.

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    2. Agreed. This one works really well. You set up the expectation of the narrative and subvert it perfectly.

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    3. Like a compass finds north, his soul pointed west. This line killed me. Amazing.

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    4. Thanks grammatically, it should be "as" rather than "like," but it doesn't sound right...

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    5. Some cancers are curable. Who knows, he might be hiking in a month. :)

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    6. Poignant. Makes one think bout how to react if it happens to you.

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  3. And this is what it’s like to wake up the first morning after you’ve spent a night as a werewolf.

    You wake up cold, wondering where your clothes are, where you’re sleeping. Your bones feel stretched and flexible, your muscles ache, and your head feels like it’s misshaped. There are smells of wet dog and you hope you didn’t pee yourself while you slept. You open your eyes, and try to remember it all, everything after the pain of shifting. What it was like to be able to see with your nose where prey and enemies lurked, what it was like to see with blue-tinted vision of a stalker. You remember turning to Tony and wanting to say something but instead of lips moving the muscles in your ears and tail coordinated into a message of joy and excitement. The tail. You wonder if you will ever feel complete again without the balance, the exuberance, the pride of a tail.

    And you open your eyes at last, because your belly is growling, and you want something to eat, and you wonder if Walmart carries rabbit in the meat department.

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    1. This. Is. Awesome! I could stand to hear a little more. :)

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    2. I think that will happen I'm toying with the idea of a werewolf book...

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    3. Toying nothing. I'm seriously counting on you to rule the world with this shit. (shit in the good sense). :)

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    4. I seem to average one or two books a year.... this one that's coming out later this month just about killed me... Rainbow's Edge... sigh... But a werewolf novel would be FUN, he says...

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    5. It would! Plus, we all want more. Really. Do this. Three psychos can't be wrong ;)

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    6. Some of my best psychos are friends!

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    7. I'm with Erin287. Add another psycho to your list.

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    8. I will pay good money to read a werewolf book by the Dirks Pack!
      I think Angelo will have an intuitive feel for the canine heart and it's motivation. :D

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  4. "Badass bassist needed: faint of heart need not apply."

    It wasn’t the worst headline for a Craigslist ad, but it wasn’t the best, either.

    "Screaming Dolls is a hard-working, hard-playing rock band. Our song list consists of a few originals and a whole lot of covers, mostly hard rock and hair metal but with some country and blues mixed in to keep things interesting. We play 200+ shows a year all over the US.

    If you can’t handle the touring schedule, don’t bother applying!

    If you’re looking for an outlet for your “voice,” don’t bother applying; we’re a cover band with very few originals!

    If you’re not okay with wearing costumes and makeup on stage, don’t bother applying!

    Still interested? Think you’ve got what it takes to be a Doll? Submit your audition video by email (2-3 3-minute videos, full song or medley, covers only!) and we’ll get back to you. Maybe."

    Carter sighed. They’d be lucky to get any audition submissions at all with an ad like that. Sometimes he really regretted keeping his ex-wife on as manager for the band. He wondered what he’d done to piss her off this time.

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    1. LOL, Tales of a Rock and Roll Band... you totally need to write the whole book!

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    2. Can't wait for the rest of this. It should be a blast.

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    3. Ha! the ex-wife? This is great. I just commented on Dan's feed that it's all about the bass! Wonderful.

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    4. Given the bands I used to hang with, and the neurotic narcissistic females they tended to collect, this really strikes a note.

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  5. If you never ask, you'll never know - this is what helps you sleep through the night. Never asking. Never knowing. Wrapping yourself in that thin layer of 'could be, who knows?" that is wearing thinner with every use. You know. You don't even have to ask.

    Dark rivers of night pull you; don't fight them. They'll take you, but they'll drop you off somewhere on the bank. You are safe in the pull of the current. You're going places.

    And when you're done, chasing faces - seeking out maudlin places - you'll be back in the sun, blinking like a naked mole rat. Wondering where the time went and how you never stopped to think about it.

    And about how much time you wasted deciding never to think about anything ... and failing.

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    1. You know, I've been thinking about what I like about MaderRap, and I think it's this... it gives a beauty to the language without getting in the way of the story... and that's an awesome talent... I really like the "dark rivers of night"...

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    2. you'll be back in the sun, blinking like a naked mole rat. This made me grin and shudder at the same time. Love this. It made me think.

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    3. Yup. Some of us are like that for a while and then we blink away the tears. My favorite is the naked mole rat because it's quite an image.

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  6. I am not the heart; I am not the soul-twisting nightmare that keeps your covers wet. I am not here for you or for her or for anything. I am not here. Pull the covers tight. Listen to the heart beat. There's no one there.

    You are not the light, nor the darkness. You are an empty vessel you try to fill with internet memes and misplaced nostalgia. Fucking wicked; it's gonna get ya.

    We are lost on the white-caps, cowering in the white-bright sun. Everyone has an agenda. Everyone has their antenna working, skulking in dark corners and trying to find a ray of light. I'd bust your teeth out with a hammer if it weren't for being so squeamish.

    I swear I would.

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    1. ahhh... such conflict, and I love the empty vessel phrase... misplaced nostalgia fills so much of our lives... now, about that hammer...

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    2. Love the anger and bitterness. This makes me want to get that portable sledge LB just bought.

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    3. That's awesome but too deep for me. I'm wondering who the squeamish one actually is--the one doing the hammering or the one receiving the hammering?

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  7. Whenever little Horatio Othni ran in after the rest of his family sat for dinner, his old man not-too-sternly told him, “Horry, you’ll be late for your own funeral, son.”

    So Mr. Othni gave Horatio his first wristwatch when he graduated from elementary school. Horatio lost it, or so he told the old man.

    When he graduated high school, Horry’s father gave him a self-winding Timex. But Horatio ditched that after incessant, obsessive wrist-twisting, to keep the spring at tip-top tautness just as his dad would, gave him tendonitis. He became assured that time gave you tennis elbow, pain with every other tock at the least. He missed a lot of classes because of that.

    Anyhow, the sun told Horry when to wake up, when to go out, when to read beneath the yellow-green willow’s waving leaves by the fountain’s caressing rainbow spray. So did the bell in the clock tower, whose songs became his friends. “She’s monotonous, but the old girl plays them well, like a dinner bell” he’d say, closing his notebook and heading to lunch. And so it went. Horatio never needed to see time, to find it, to become yoked to it. “After all,” he would tell his father, his friends and professors, “I’ve got all of you to remind me.” But he lost some of them like old watches, too.

    When Horatio left college, he decided to become a writer until he ran out of pencils, and because he could set his own hours, which weren’t really hours, but passages of sun across sky, of words beneath his hand, of food between his lips, of breaths followed by more breaths until he gently offered his last.

    When Mr. Othni found Horatio at his boy’s desk, stub of a pencil in hand, paper beneath his smiling face, he read the final exhalation of a timeless life and grinned beneath his paternal tick-tock tears that fell like the seconds, minutes, hours his son never cared to know. It read, “Last pencil. Time to go, I guess.”

    Two sun passages later, as the funeral procession began to pull away from the mortuary, Horatio’s father placed his hand upon the lead driver’s shoulder and told him to wait. “How long, sir? We gotta be there before 9:00,” the driver asked, checking his watch. Three blocks away, church bells pealed over the rooftops...ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong, followed by single rings...six, seven, eight, nine…

    Horatio’s father squinted up and observed how the morning sun barely trudged upward toward what would never be 12:00 again. He gently massaged the circle of pale skin on his left wrist. “Oh, just a little longer. We had a deal.”

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    1. This is gorgeous and delicious writing, my friend... from the character's name all the way through... I'm thinking Horatio might be from the same root as hour... Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French ure, via Latin from Greek hōra ‘season, hour.’

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    2. This is wonderful. Ironically sad. I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time.

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    3. Yeah, this is an exceptional piece. Love this:

      Anyhow, the sun told Horry when to wake up, when to go out, when to read beneath the yellow-green willow’s waving leaves by the fountain’s caressing rainbow spray. So did the bell in the clock tower, whose songs became his friends.

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    4. Beautiful. Almost a tribute to lost time. My favorite is, " the paternal tick-tock tears...".

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    5. It's sad to consider how few parents love their children in such a dedicated fashion.

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  8. Something I wrote earlier today about Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes...

    He had a curious, avian simplicity, looking at everything as though for the first time. I watched him, picking up everything I owned and then putting it down again turned about as though he were testing its correctness. I laughed inwardly at him, firm in my belief he would be able to deduce the perfect feng shui of every room he found himself within, given enough time. And then I laughed again, knowing he'd deride me for my suggestion, explaining that there was no evidential proof for such a thing and that anyone who said otherwise was just an exploitative charlatan, preying on my ignorance, and even worse, my gullibility.

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    1. Nice descriptions. I can see this clearly in my head.

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    2. My curiosity about this guy is piqued...

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    3. I love this whole piece, but the first six words could launch a hundred stories. So good.

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    4. Wisdom from many angles. Delicious prosaic writing.

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  9. We lay on our backs, side by side, watching the barley ripple above us. I was laid awkwardly, the stalks' broken elbows sticking in my back, listening to the soft soughing of the crop above us, its ears bright against the sky.

    “I should think that we've been up here long enough now,” Ben said, brushing a small black beetle away from his cheek.

    Rolling away from him, I looked upward and out, a nearby tractor making me nervous that we'd be discovered, its dark guttural rumble brightening when it turned up the slope. We'd been here some hours now, our conversation dying awkwardly even though our need for each other continued unabated. There'd been petting and more and we were now both beginning to feel a renewed hunger.

    “I'd suggest we stay a while longer,” I said, waiting for the farmer's vehicle's gruff call to fade again. “We can either move then or continue: whichever you'd prefer.”

    Ben nodded, the sun haloing his head as he half sat up, still wary of being spotted. “Let's wait,” he said. “We've the whole summer ahead and no reason to rush.”

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    1. What Leland said. Love your evocative descriptions, too.

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    2. This is what a summer romance should be. Great work!

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    3. Sorry, gotta ditto, but they said it.

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    4. I like the analogy of the barley growing and being harvested like their love. Awesome.

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  10. One day I woke up to discover that a nut with a lot of money and a big mouth was joining the pissing contest for the brass ring. I thought it was a joke, as did a lot of my friends and family. We figured out that the punchline might cost us more than we were willing to pay.

    I had never expected to see "The Lord of the Flies" play out right before my eyes. Then again, I'd never expected a lot of things that had already happened. Free will, man. It'll get us every time. Free will and the almighty dollar. Some days I wish the zombie apocalypse was upon us. You can fight zombies. You can do something to stop your fate when it's you against one foe who is coming right at you.

    Stupid? Stupid is harder to fight. It sneaks in through the cracks and mouse holes. It lurks in the most unexpected places and the thing that makes it so scary is that the stupid sincerely believe that they are doing something good and noble.

    The bigger problem, I suppose, is that love counters hate. Frankly, I find that frightening, because if I'm having a hard time loving everyone equally, how can I expect anyone else to do it?

    Maybe when the zombies become the new unreal reality we can have The Beatles and Bob Marley's bodies reanimated and they can teach us all we need to know about love. Then again, by that point it will be moot. One thing I've managed to figure out is that with far fewer people in the world there are far fewer stupid people as well. It's a lot easier to love a million people than it is to love seven billion.

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    1. A sad but all too accurate commentary on the world... but lemme know if the Beatles come back... I wanna give them a hand...

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    2. Word. And this is dope: Stupid? Stupid is harder to fight. It sneaks in through the cracks and mouse holes.

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    3. Erin, it does feel like the zombies are taking over but don't let it take over your loving heart. I enjoyed reading this!

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    4. This is an amazing bit of writing. It's got a great rhythm to it on top of stating some ugly truths in beautiful ways.

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  11. The physics of rainbows isn’t all that hard. A little refraction, a little reflection, some dispersion, and voila! Understanding what they mean, though. They’re supposed to be signs of promises. Rainbow flags. And I never found the gold at the end, so that damned leprechaun is pretty good.

    But the first time I saw you standing naked in the shower, and the single beam of sunlight found its way in, and there you stood, in the middle of a rainbow, I knew I was wrong. The leprechaun was hiding in plain sight, and I handed you/him a towel.

    Refraction, reflection, dispersion, and hope… Gold’s got nothin’ on love.

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    1. Oh crap, I want this: Rainbow flags. And I never found the gold at the end, so that damned leprechaun is pretty good.

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    2. it's all yours for the taking

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    3. That's true! True love is better than a pot of gold! Wonderful.

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    4. This is just excellent :)

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  12. Slitted eyes watched from the darkness. There were flutters, flitters, soaring and swooping, pecking and wild head jerks. All manner of motion danced about in the target area.

    The others had come out under cover of night to bait the area, hoping to draw in the prey. Tasty prey, she thought to herself, especially when they had been taking in the bait for a while.

    She shifted slightly, choosing a target and readying for the leap, the grab -

    A shadow crossed the grass unexpectedly. It turned and came back, passing over the target more quickly. It turned again as she watched it with a sudden caution. It began growing on the ground like spilled ink with a quick ferocity, ending only as the hawk snatched a clueless dove from the meadow.

    Bird feeders seemed to explode in all directions and colors as the prey fled screaming.

    The black cat turned, a shadow herself, to walk away.

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    1. I love the unexpected reveal!

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    2. This is such a cool scene. Really well done.

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    3. Exploding bird feeders did it for me! Such clear and present danger!!

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    4. What they said. Love the imagery of the hawk coming in.

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    5. This paints such a great picture.

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  13. Some folks show their evil, some folks hide it away deep and take it out once a year. The evil doesn’t weaken for its lack of attention; it grows and festers into something darker.
    So it was with Mr. Favel. You’d walk by his house, look at his luscious lawn and perfect flowers, and you’d think, someone really nice must live here. Look at all the beauty he shares with everyone. Mrs. Favel seemed nice, too, always cookies for the neighborhood kids, and she’d buy anything the kids sold for school benefits.

    But come April, Mr. Favel went into the darkness of his garage, neatly organized, shelves with labels even, and he’d bring out his preferred instrument of torture. Check to make sure everything was in order, properly lubricated. He even liked to use Windex to make it shine when it was brought out into the sunlight.

    He opened the garage door and waited. Evil has more patience than good, it turns out. Just stood there. Waiting for the guy across the street to get home from work. The sun started its inevitable descent to the horizon, when the man across the street came home. One more thing to check. Did the man have a bag from the drug store? No. Excellent. Mr. Favel smiled.

    He pulled the rope, and the patented, extra powerful GustBuster leafblower started right up. Let the pollen and dust fly!

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    1. What a meanie. Same guy sits in his car when I'm waiting for his parking space. LOL

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  14. I had been checking Facebook as I am wont to do in the mornings. My eyes zeroed in on my daughter's name, then on her latest post. There was a photo of her smiling face. She was holding a positive pregnancy test next to her cheek.

    Great, I thought, feeling my blood pressure crank up to a low spike. Another grandchild. She already had quite a collection between her husband's brood and the one they had made together. I would be delighted, of course, but I feared for what it would do to their finances and stress levels. but she wanted a boy of her own so badly.

    Then I saw the message. "Beloved! It's quints!"

    I took one short breath before the pain exploded across my chest. It was worse than the stroke had been. My hear was thudding hard enough i would swear I could hear it, if I had been capable of hearing anything in that moment.

    I forced my hand up to the monitor I wore, and hit the panic button. There would be an ambulance along shortly, I knew.

    The family would find out, I thought before I closed my eyes, and think it was because of April Fool's. Then the joke would be on them.

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    1. The tension is super palpable. Well in!

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    2. Yup, quints would do me in too. Wonderful story. Hope you're okay. LOL

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    3. omg... you completely got me with this one...

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    4. I despise hurtful pranks, but I love this piece.

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  15. When they’d finally offered her the job she’d immediately felt all the stress of the past few months settle in her back like a slab of concrete. She couldn’t believe it but she could barely move. She’d had to take a Vicodin and lie down for eight hours. Today though she was feeling herself again; lean, fit, on top of things. At dawn she leapt on top of her companion's morning appendage as if she'd signed a deed for it. Later that morning she told everyone who congratulated her she "felt blessed and grateful" but actually she felt vindicated. To hell with the board who’d argued against her. To hell with the staff who had too. To hell with everyone who even remotely stood in her way for the last eighteen months. The job was hers now and she intended to run with it. All the hard work and obsequious side maneuvers she’d employed to look as if she wanted things to turn out this way but “only for the good of everyone involved” had been worth all the groveling. Now she had some decisions to make. How much longer would she pretend to be open-minded, inclusive, and nurturing? How long should she wait before the ax fell? And whose head would it fall on first?

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  16. She reached to her chest and held her right hand over her breast.
    “It’s either gas or she killed me.”
    “You’re still alive, don’t be silly.”
    “I’m sure you’ve heard of the walking dead. Maybe I should go to the doctor.”
    “As in ER or do you mean that woman who makes you wait three months for an appointment?”
    “We can tell her it’s important. Maybe she’ll see me.”
    “She probably won’t. Last time she made you wait two weeks and it seemed serious to me.”
    “One man’s serious is another man’s...folly?”
    “That’s not Shakespeare but it’s kind of funny. Glad you can make jokes when you don’t feel well.” He sat down and took her left hand. “What makes you think it’s not gas?”
    “Her lies. I’ve listened to her lies for too long. They grate on my nerves and gnaw on my heart like some sort of hunger-starved beaver sharpening her teeth.”
    “It’s not like you’ve never been lied to—remember you used to work in corporate America. “
    She laughed and stopped clutching her heart. “I need you. I need you so much.”
    “I know.”

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    1. This: " They grate on my nerves and gnaw on my heart like some sort of hunger-starved beaver sharpening her teeth.”

      and this: “It’s not like you’ve never been lied to—remember you used to work in corporate America. “

      Love the way you wield words. Nice piece. :)

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  17. They say the screams are a mountain lion.

    I know better. I know this house. I know every floorboard, every stair of this house. What I don’t know is why anyone would build a Victorian like this in the middle of nowhere, on a hill that catches every gust of wind.

    They say the woman who lived here went crazy one night.

    I know better.

    When blizzards come, as one did that night, the winds can sound like whistles or howls. Sometimes people go crazy listening to what they think are voices. That’s not what happened.

    The sheriff says he thinks the cat got out, and she went out, in her nightgown, to retrieve the cat, and that the door locked behind her. That’s not what happened.
    I watched it.

    It was her son. He threw the cat out the door. She ran after it. He locked the door behind her. She pounded at the door for a good long while, but he wouldn’t let her in.

    She froze to death. Murder by weather.

    She wasn’t crazy, but her son was.

    Poor Mother. Will her ghost ever rest?

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    1. Nice twist. The hint that this was written by the son gives it hidden depth.

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  18. You’re my prank, my April Fool, the day I took you home and my parents eyes widened and I knew that the minute we pulled out of the driveway, the talk began. What does she see in him? Is she trying to punish us? What did we ever do wrong? Yet I stayed, I kept coming home to you, falling into your sideways grin and your warm, spindly arms. They were always strong enough for me. You were the keeper of my jokes, the one who understood, the one I could turn to in the night and say two words and you’d laugh. The shorthand of all those years, of all those lifetimes, and how we found each other still makes for a good story, one of those where the younger girls’ eyes light up and they sigh a little, imagining that if the world were turning slower or if the stars had something else to do that day, this never would have happened, this romance of their imaginations of finding the perfect punch line to your joke would slip away forever into humorless oblivion.

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    1. Awe
      Romantic fools. I hope you let him read this.

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    2. falling into your sideways grin and your warm, spindly arms That like got me in the feels. Wonderful, lady :)

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  19. Your voice is too small to reach the fence post, let alone call the dogs in from the yard. Even if you stand on tiptoe you can’t see over it, to the poplar trees and the blue mountain and the brook where the boys go fishing. You don’t ever believe you’ll grow any taller; you stand with your posture perfect against the door frame and ask Papa to mark off your height with his carpenter’s pencil and he laughs and says you’re growing on the inside. “What does that even mean?” you say, and he laughs harder. You’ve tried to listen so hard to the blood flowing and the breath moving in and out and the food racing around in your body, and yes, a lot of things are going on inside you, but none of it feels like growing things. So you just sigh and tuck what he told you inside a drawer in your head, like old toys you’re done playing with but don’t want to forget, and wait for the day when the insides push their way out and there’s a new pencil line on the doorframe, all soft and shiny bright.

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    1. I love this. I love how I can see not only the scene but what's going on in the little one's head so clearly. Almost but not quite remembering what it was like. :)

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    2. Great capture of the impatience and frustration of a child!

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    3. This reminds me of an Escher drawing. Loved it.

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    4. I remember this feeling too well. You captured it perfectly.

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  20. Everyone acts like nothing just happened but everything just happened.

    I remember walking with you on the beach at sunrise, hands coupled, the clear cold air jagged in our throats, the ocean feigning benevolence. Sandpipers strutting the wet sand, stabbing their own reflections.

    "Do you think it's weird how no one hardly ever talks about someone till they die unexpectedly?"

    "Like?"

    "I don't know. Bowie. Robin Williams."

    "People talked about them a lot."

    "Yeah, but not like they did when they died."

    "It's because they were shocked. No one saw it coming."

    "I guess. Seems strange to me still."

    "Whatever."

    Up ahead lay at least twenty bodies. Human bodies. We tried not to glance at them as we passed, but we saw enough to see they'd been mutilated. I wanted to make a joke about the mystery of whales beaching themselves, but I didn't. I'm glad I didn't. I hadn't known then how long we had left, and I'm glad I didn't befoul the already turbid waters of our last few hours together. Avoidance humour has its time and its place, but its time was not then and its place not there.

    Who am I speaking these words to? To your memory, of course. To the strands that spiraled the precise patterns of your makeup, to the double helix that was you.

    To the coiled tracks of shorebirds and the fading tracers of space junk.

    I probably should have been more attentive to your theories. It's true I talked about you plenty before you were taken, but the voice in my head will no longer shut up about you, yammering about each detail like the Echo to my Narcissus, demanding I remember the time you inadvertently tucked the train of your wedding dress in your panties at the reception after returning from the bathroom (how no one even told you until the obligatory video had been captured), urging me to replay the panicked moment you thought we'd been unearthed by Bigfoot while camping in the Rockies (turned out to be a gopher), lamenting the shocked silence of the world in the sterile wake of your passing.

    Have you ever imagined a field so huge it might as well be boundless? I think of you in such a place, your thin dress adhered to your curves, tall grasses eddying like liquid around you, your arms extended as if in a heaven designed by Terrence Malick. When such things could occur, before the slaughter, we would set up the TV on the porch and watch The Tree of Life and get shitfaced on those cocktails you called Fighting Irish, the ones only you knew how to make, while the wide cerulean day cooled into a tremulous cobalt evening, both of us poleaxed with melancholy over Brad Pitt's inkling toward his deficiencies, then stirred and charmed to grateful tears by Jessica Chastain's supple grace.

    But now people act as if nothing happened, yet I know damn well plenty happened and that none of it is good and most of it is like finding your way through a dreadful dripping tunnel where dull bells toll and quick dark things skim your lowered head only to run into a sign that reads in strident black letters: This Is The Very End.

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    Replies
    1. The first line. That's the hardest truth sometimes. I struggle with it a lot. Makes me feel like Erin's 2 minutes piece.

      Great writing, as always.

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    2. My favorite:..
      "the double helix that was you.."

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    3. I agree with LB, that first line kicked me in the gut. Great piece, hon.

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    4. You guys are kind. Thank you! Sorry I didn't get to comment this week; I was going to do it today but I had to deal with a crazy person on Facebook, lol.

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  21. "I'm hungry," I said out loud in the general direction of a bowl of chili I was prepare.

    The chili chuckled softly.

    I stopped and looked at it.

    "No," I told it. "I'm going to eat you."

    The chili chuckled a little louder.

    "I will eat you," I said sternly, "whether you take me seriously or not." I promptly popped the bowl into the microwave and turned it on.

    A shriek came from the machine. It burbled a bit, then the burbling turned into a loud hiss as the turntable did it's thing and the clock counted down. The chili sent little splatters here and there. I watched it with dark amusement.

    The microwave timer dinged. I reached in and removed the bowl, looking at it reprovingly.

    "That will teach you, now, won't it?" I said in my best high school principle voice.

    The chili said nothing, so I sprinkled on some shredded cheddar and grabbed a spoon.

    "Dayum," came my husband's voice from the other end of the kitchen. "You are harsh with your food!"

    "And you," I replied, "are a complete nuisance since you learned to throw your voice."

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