Friday, June 10, 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.

It gets to you; it does. You wonder if you got taught a different golden rule. Maybe it's a scam? Maybe they teach everyone something different? Or maybe there are just a lot of people who want to be treated like stupid assholes? 

I don't know. It's complicated.

It makes you want to dip yourself in tar and feathers and find a tall building to fly from.

See, you weren't made for this world. You poor, silly fool. No one actually does the things they say they're going to do. Not many at least. But there are some, and that's enough. They hang like bright, plump apples among the shriveled fruit of fruitless discontent. So what you had money; that shit got spent. Where?

I'd ask my friends, but I don't know where they went. 


#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in!


  1. Playing with opening paragraphs for a new work in progress... y'all get to be my guinea pigs...


    He comes to me in dreams. I have known what he was, but not who, for as long as I can remember. Sometimes he talks with me, sometimes we walk together, and sometimes we just sit side-by-side.

    I've never asked his name. There is no need, for there is no other like him.he is tall. He glows with passion and with goodness. Red of hair, blue eyes, he sometimes stares into my own eyes, and through them, into my soul.

    He has not shown me his wings, though I know he has them. He is the only being I know who can keep pace with me, even in my dreams.

    My name is Angelo, and this is my story.

    1. MagicalRealLeland at it's finest. I don't know if you're alluding to the Gabriel Garcia Marquez story, but it's dope.

    2. Thanks! I wasn't, at least not intentionally... I wonder which one you mean?

    3. I can't remember the name of it, but it's a great example of magical realism. An angel falls into a small village...

    4. I like that and need to hear more about Angelo!

    5. Aha! I bet it was "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" ... thank you Wikipedia! and Angelo is working on his autobiography in between projects, so one day, one day, you shall indeed hear more about Angelo!

    6. Nancy De Cilio GauthierJune 10, 2016 at 11:18 AM

      Great beginning; Love to read more.

    7. Marquez? Marquez? Dude, I'm salivating like Leland's dog!

    8. Off to a good start. I'd like to read more. :)

    9. Thank you! One day... one day...

  2. And the shenanigans at Maggie's Cosmic Confessional and Lemonade Stand continue from last week:
    After I buried the piles of cash from my first client, I washed his glass out and polished it with my tongue – canine saliva inhibits the growth of bacteria. Betcha didn’t know that! Anyway, after the glasses were put away, I put my ears and tail down, ready for a nice nap in the sun. My adopted canine brother Angelo was already snoring softly. I’d just turned around three times when the van came to a screeching halt on the road. I put on a smile, perked my ears up, and gave myself a quick shake. We black labs are so very lucky to have self-cleaning coats.
    I raced to my seat behind the counter and wore my best nonchalant face. A woman and a man approached. He was rather portly and she had a rather sour-looking face.
    “Where is he,” she said in an angry tone of voice.
    I changed my face to nonplussed, in the standard English sense. “Whom do you seek?”
    “That, that UNSUITABLE man. The one who is UNQUALIFIED to be President.”
    “I’m afraid that doesn’t narrow it down much. Perhaps you could describe him?”
    The man standing beside her was looking everywhere but at her. His eyes finally came to rest on me, and he gave a flirtatious smile. I batted my eyelashes at him while we waited for his wife to stop grunting as she searched for words to describe my first client. Oh yes, I knew who she was seeking, but in my business, confidentiality is a must. What kind of confessional do you think I run?
    “Where is the powder room?”
    “Ma’am, I assure you there is no man in the loo.”
    “How do you know? Are you one of those anti-trans people who checks gender before allowing the use of your restrooms?”
    “No, ma’am. I merely know there is no one in the loo, and I know you are looking for a particular man, so I just put those two thoughts together. May I congratulate you, however on the excellent electrolysis treatment on your upper lip.”
    “Thank you I… wait a minute, what are you saying?”
    “The facilities are over there, near the third tree.”
    With a harrumph, she put her purse under one arm and stomped away.
    Her husband sidled up to the counter and leaned down to look into my eyes. “Have you ever had sex with a President of the United States?”
    My eyes rolled back so far I could see my tail. “No, I think I would have remembered that.”
    “I think you’d look very sexy in a blue dress…”
    “Sir, I’ll have you know I don’t participate in sexual activities with clients or their spouses. Also, I am spayed. And I’ve never worn anything other than a collar.”
    His eyes practically glistened. “Oh, kinky. I like that.”
    The lady came stomping back. “I can’t find the restrooms. Are you deliberately deceiving me?”
    “Ma’am, there are no rooms. You just squat down on the ground and…”
    “What do you think I am? Some sort of ANIMAL?”
    I squinted. “You have something against non-humans? We’re not the ones destroying the planet.”
    “I have very strong policies I’d put in place to reverse global climate change.”
    “Yes, of course you do. Now, how may I help you? Would you like a nice glass of lemonade or would you like to confess…”
    “I haven’t done anything wrong, you, you, you…”
    “The confessional is completely confidential. Whatever you say to me could not be dragged from me even under the promise of treat or torture. Even if a married man suggested I would look sexy in a blue dress, I would never tell.”
    She looked like she was going to hit him with her handbag. Gucci, if I knew anything. “Bill. You can’t go on doing this. It’s embarrassing.”
    “I did not have sex with that, that dog.”
    “It’s okay,” I interjected. “You can call me a bitch. I’m a female dog.”
    He looked at me again. “Oh, you’re feisty. I like that…”
    He cowered.

    1. lol. This line got me: “I’m afraid that doesn’t narrow it down much. Perhaps you could describe him?”

    2. LOL I like the "excellent electrolysis treatment on the upper lip."

    3. Nancy De Cilio GauthierJune 10, 2016 at 11:22 AM

      I missed reading last week; but this is funny.

    4. thanks Maggie, my black lab, has opened a new business called the "Cosmic Confessonal and Lemonade Stand." Last week she got a visit from someone rather orange

  3. Macaroni and cheese. Again. Maybe this time with a dash of hot sauce. For variety.

    When he closed his eyes, he was in a five-star restaurant in Manhattan, windows looking out on Central Park. Hansom cabs carrying well-dressed theatergoers on a little excursion before the plays began. He saw white linen, more kinds of silverware than he knew what to do with, and a glass for red wine, another for white, and another for water. He could feel the tie around his neck, and the jacket, and the impatience of waiting for that special someone to join him at the table.

    He put the empty bowl, now crusted with fake orange cheese, in the sink, picked up his pen and wrote his way out of hunger and into a life he’d never know.

    1. Love this. And man, can I relate. I remember when adding a can of 69 cent chili to my generic mac and cheese was living LARGE. You can make that box do lots of things (could never get down with tuna though).

    2. Yeah, it's a miracle food... but I'm with you, not with tuna... doesn't work well with cocoa puffs either.

    3. Isn't it great to have an imagination? There are people who don't have one. Can you imagine?

    4. LOL, I love that you invite me to imagine those without imagination... there is a beautiful, contradictory circularity in that

    5. Weirdly, I have lived at both ends of that spectrum of experience and somehow found the "what to do with the Mac and Cheese?" oddly more challenging and therefore, more creative. Mmmm, kinda kicks that Law of Attraction stuff's butt, huh?

    6. Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy more mac and cheese

    7. Love the hopeful uptilt at the end.

  4. “So, what's in it for me? I don't see me getting anything out of this while you're stomping about, wearing my skin and getting the benefit of my taking care of myself for all these years.”

    “One word. Defamiliarisation. Have you ever thought what it'd be like to enjoy all your firsts again but with the advantage of all the knowledge and experience you've developed? You can have that and more. You just need to relax for a few moments and you can have it all. And without you even having to make an effort. I can do it all for you.”

    “I don't know. It still seems dirty. Obscene. I mean, you're a man and I'm a woman...”

    “I'm a man now. This is just the body I'm wearing now. I was a woman before… before this. If it's any consolation, I've probably been a woman for longer than you have. You've everything to gain and nothing to lose. I promise you.”

    “Well, I suppose if you put it like that...”

    “Exactly. Now, we can take it as slow as you like. Now, if you'll just relax and let me kiss you, we can begin.”

    1. OK. I need to see where this goes.

    2. Keeping things "fresh" is so important in a relationship... I like the exploration you're doing here.

    3. I'm running a few ideas about and this is becoming very pressing. This will become much more, I swear.

    4. It starts with kissing? LOL I liked the build up.

  5. The old man stood still in the old wood, listening. He'd heard something. Something that didn't fit. Something that was not birdsong. Not the creaking of his joints that matched the creaking of the trees in the morning wind. Then, he caught a whiff of it. Then, he knew.

    He didn't hear it until they were almost upon him. His ears did not work well. They were young and smelled like two-stroke oil and cigarettes. Faint smell of beer, yeasty sweetness. They pulled off their sunglasses and smiled.

    "This your land?"

    The old man could not think of a way to answer.

    "We're moving on, sir. Sorry if we were trespassing. Take care."

    The man stood for several minutes before he started following the tire tracks. His eyes filled as he saw the torn up earth, the scattered wildflowers. He tried to tell himself that they were kids and that he had been a kid and that kids were kids.

    Then, he got to the stream. The clear water was still the color of Ovaltine. His favorite hole was bigger. Limbs floated in the water. The man felt something in his chest. A tightness. He made himself breathe and relax. He sat until the water ran clear again, and wished his thoughts would do the same.

    1. Ahhh... I know this feeling... and I love when you write pastorales.

    2. Ooh--I feel Hitchcock coming on! Only better--in color!

    3. Nancy De Cilio GauthierJune 10, 2016 at 11:26 AM

      I feel for the old man; scary trying to figure out what was going on. More than torn up earth and scattered wildflowers for sure.

    4. Sheesh perfect border story. Except for y'know...there being an actual stream...

  6. the lady looked the serving woman up and down. Her clothing was clean and neat, though of the lower class with a servant's apron over all. This was the woman who went from room to room all day doing nothing but placing clean chambers pots and removing any night wastes. She was referred to as the 'necessary woman' in most households.

    "I realize that you provide a valuable service, but do you like your job?" The lady glanced at the corner where the necessary rested behind a screen.

    "It pays me to do it, and it helps people as the good book requires." The woman smiled.

    "But do you like it?"

    "Eh, it needs doing and I'm willing when no one else is. I rather think I like it, yes."

    "Bless you, then, and may you fill the need for as long as you like."

    "Thank'ee, lady."

    1. Wow, I don't imagine I've ever read anything from the chamber pot woman's perspective and it's time I did.

  7. "As I am no longer allowed wine, I must turn to whine instead. I think I shall indulge while I nibble at this low fat low salt substance that's labeled "cheese". It may keep the mouth occupied, but it does not soothe the soul like the real thing.

    "The soul... now there's something a lot of folks don't think about. They know what they like and what they don't, but they rarely consider the effect that things like a really good cup of coffee, or a sip of fine whiskey can have on a body. The emotional turmoil that will uncoil and be released in the face of quality ingestables just doesn't occur to them.

    "The older you get, the more foods and beverages are removed form your list of consumables because they cause cancer or make you fat or promote diabetes or whatever damned fool thing the doctor's have dredged up recently."

    She sat back with a disgusted sigh, the pen clattering from her hand. Rather than self-preservation, modern medicine was making her fee preserved. Ah, for the good old days when you could skip all the medical brouhaha and simply live hard, die young, and leave a good looking corpse.

    1. I love it all, but that closing, yes!

    2. "I must turn to whine instead"! Love it. And ice and celery, right?

    3. Oh god, I know this one! And yet? No matter how well you eat and how religiously you exercise? You still wake up old. It's SO unfair!

    4. "...I must turn to whine instead" <-- This might be one of the best lines ever. Stuck the ending, too. Nicely done.

  8. "But surely your parents will come to the open house!" Merris exclaimed.

    "Parents? What are those?" Hedda asked snidely.

    "Well, you know. Your Mum and Da..." Merris began, then trailed off at Hedda's quelling look.

    "Hedda's parents don't come here. They never have. And they don't send for her on holidays," Terra said with a lowered voice and a quick look at Hedda. She felt for the other girl. Not sorry exactly, but something.

    "Oh," Merris said faintly. "I'm so sorry."

    "Don't be," Hedda said evenly. "I'm not. They've taught me something quite valuable: don't depend on anyone but yourself."

  9. This is the desert. Sand, and light. Both of them will blind you. You walk, feeling the crunch of snow that is not snow beneath your feet, checking your shadow every so often to keep a sense of direction. In the morning, keep the shadow behind you, in the afternoon, in front of you. For days you walk, making commas in the sand with your feet, commas that give no one pause.

    When you meet the lizard, he tilts his head in a show of surprise. “You’re a little off the beaten path,” the lizard tells you.

    “How far?” you hear your raspy voice ask.

    “Not more than one or two lifetimes.” And then the lizard does lizardly things and leaves em dashes and ellipses in the sand.

    And at night, you stop, because you don’t know the stars well enough to navigate by them. And you pretend the cool desert air alleviates your thirst, but it does not. Cold sand is as dry as hot sand, but you keep the lie to yourself.

    And when morning comes, you walk again. A little more slowly, a little less sure.
    This is the desert. It was here before you, and will prevail long after. The sun will bleach your bones before the blowing sand covers them.

    1. Off the beaten path!! I loved this. One of my favorites of yours but I'm partial to the desert and the cruelty of the hot dry sand.

    2. You're very kind... I have only to look out the window, and I see a slightly different desert... but a desert, nonetheless...

    3. Lived in Tucson for 10 years and believe me, I got and understood the desert--the desolation, the cruelty, the sheer eternity of it. But man, I never got why people actually want to live there!

  10. The handle slipped out of my hand as if someone had oiled it. After repeated attempts, I tried wiping it clean with the edge of my shirt. It appeared unlocked but opening it would pose a challenge. The harder I turned, the quicker my grip slipped away. I heard him running down the stairwell, gaining on me, yelling my name and shouting threats. This door had to open. Seconds seemed like hours. I looked around to see if I could jump through a window but came back to the door. Though bushes circled the building, the fourth floor seemed excessively high. Once again, the knob slipped clear of my fingers. Suddenly a strange woman pushed in the door. She wore a lavender gown, practical looking sneakers and a string of colorful beads in her red, frizzy hair. “Come--come now,” she said with a sweet voice. She grabbed a hold of my hand and quickly pulled me through the door. I flew into the hallway, landed on my knees and turned around to watch her locking the door.
    Awestruck at her appearance and agility, I closed my mouth and asked, “Who are you?”
    “Guardian-- long story. You were supposed to take Exit B. My bad. Sorry.”
    “Huh?” I rubbed my eyes and when I opened them, she was gone. A few seconds later, I heard him pounding on the door, shouting obscenities. My heart was in my throat, beating louder than a runaway train. He kicked the metal door and turned to leave. “I’ll get you bitch,” he screamed on his way back to the elevator.

    1. ohhh...I like this! and I like the voice that the mysterious woman in lavender has, and that she's got quirks! well done!

    2. Nancy De Cilio GauthierJune 10, 2016 at 11:37 AM

      Hmmm, Exit B - is that like Plan B. Or maybe it was Plan A, as it was the exit she was supposed to take. I think that young woman is in for a few surprises - first: who the heck is the Guardian. Start of a good fantasy story.

  11. Nancy De Cilio GauthierJune 10, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    So many vampire stories and myths. Seems every new book changes the rules. The OLD rules. You can't walk in the sun, but - now if you are very old, you can up to a point. Some vampires can even sparkle in the sun (give me a break). Holy water burns - that one seems to hold fast; but if you are old, and don't get too doused, you can heal. Garlic, guess that one has been tossed out, or so it seems reading some books. Crosses are anathema; unless you train yourself to accept them AND you CAN go into a church - imagine that. You don't need to attack and feed from live people, just go to the blood bank and get (steal) a supply; OR have a friendly neighborhood night worker at the blood bank to keep you supplied. Not sure the one about only feeding off of animals really works all that well though. One thing seems to hold true, in order to turn someone, you do have to drain them almost unto death (very tricky part) and then have them drink of your blood. Even then not every vampire is capable of this; usually only the older, more experienced ones get it right. Or else we would surely be overrun. Never mind a zombie apocalypse, how about a vampire apocalypse. Seems if they run out real live humans, they would die off too. Interesting. That ends our lesson for today - LOL.

    1. I just hope someone's letting the vampires know about all the rule changes... it somehow feels like baseball and their rule changes... still, if one has eternity, I suppose one can study rule books every once in a while

    2. But I STILL don't understand why in HELL an immortal has to go to high school? I mean, even a vampire deserves better...Anyone?

  12. These are the sorrows I know. Not all of the stories flowing in my head will find their way to paper, not all the regrets I have will be set right, not all the dogs I ought to have rescued will survive.

    But the dreams I had, how I nourished them, how I harvested their fruits. How can a man be so greedy as to think he might have had them all? It is enough to have had one, and an embarrassment of riches to have had so many.

    When night falls on the summer day of my life, I pray that some scattered dreams, some unharvested, some unplanted, will be left behind for those who follow. And may the path of dreams never be crowded, though yet may it be well-traveled. And may dragonflies and lightning bugs and butterflies show the way.

    1. Nancy De Cilio GauthierJune 10, 2016 at 1:12 PM

      We can only hope to stay alive in those that follow us and keep our memory in their hearts.

  13. Nancy, I hate vampires and since many of my relatives came from Transylvania, I'll stick to the cross and garlic!

    1. Nancy De Cilio GauthierJune 10, 2016 at 11:32 AM

      Good choices - LOL.

  14. It was as the sun crossed the Virginia horizon, bounced off the sizzling cars on I-95, eventually streaming nearly horizontally through my room’s curtains that I noticed someone’s secret sitting there on the desk where I rested my laptop.

    In that late afternoon light, the shadows of a prior guest’s last message written on the hotel’s notepad showed like filigree etched into fine glassware, like the pattern embossed on the leather of my Justin boots.

    None of your business, I thought. You’ve gotta make it down to the Longhorn before half of Fredericksburg decides they want your rib-eye, medium, baked potato and cold beers. Okay, a little salad, too.

    For most of my life this inquisitive nature of mine and blessed curse of turning a phrase paid the bills, put two daughters through college, paid off one mortgage and half of another and let me retire at 62. Besides, who the hell would know or care?

    I reached into my laptop bag and pulled out one of the school kid’s thick soft-lead pencils I started using when the arthritis made it too painful to write with a yellow #2 like other folks.

    I rubbed the graphite equivalent of an illegal phone tap lightly from the upper left to lower right of the notepad. And then I read the transcript of someone’s private life:

    Jax — 8:30
    Pkg Gar 3-24
    Black Accord
    No cpos

    Well, that was more than the something like Large half pepperoni w/small antipasto no onion I expected. This was more like one kilo, no B12, no glucose.

    Of course, it could be just someone doodling, a mystery writer or some lame fan fic geek still trying to get Crockett and Tubbs in the sack together after twenty-five years. The misspell of “cops” might confirm the latter.

    No, the depth of these imprints showed some emotion pushing the pen. This ghost note’s writer was fairly intense, as least within their own mind.

    Okay, Mr. Retired Newshound, what’re you gonna do? Telling the cute Pakistani girl and the fat Bubba sweating through his shirt down at the main desk might get the ball rolling. And then you won’t be late for that hot date with Ms. Well-Marbled 2016.

    Besides, you’ve had no excitement since you piled a career’s notes, files, plaques, pics and bye-bye kisses into that small cardboard box on your way out of the city room. You know you want one more scoop before all the talking hairdos and oh-so-serious news bunnies set up their lights and cameras to tell the same story for the next three days at Noon, 6:00 and 11:00.

    That’s how I found myself sweaty and squinting into the shadows of the garage across the way from the hotel. I figured its proximity made the place worth a shot. I’d climbed the stairs to the third level and realized why I didn’t chase ambulances anymore. Young guy’s game.

    But those kids lack your chops, Woodstein, I wheezed to myself.

    At column 24 I could feel my heart flutter like an old fire horse’s hearing a bell even after being put to pasture. I had to admit, this was an excellent place for a drop — drugs, kidnapping, extortion — down on the dark far corner from the exit. Down where there wasn’t a Honda to be found.

    My kid taught me how to use my iPhone as a flashlight, so I thought I’d give the scene a flyover and then head on down to the Longhorn before they closed the kitchen. That’s when I spotted the business card in a dark puddle. A dark puddle in a parking garage was no surprise, but the red stain it imparted on the card was.

    Shit. Damn it. Oh boy.

    I turned off the flashlight and hit 911. Two hours later, the cops let me go after I gave them my statement, my cell number and land line at my new home in Florida.

    Yep, that was blood and the name on the card was that of Elise Weston, a Richmond bank exec who hadn’t shown up at work since Tuesday. I left the Sherlocking to the Sherlocks and stepped out into the warm Virginia night. The midnight night.

    I finally ate, though not that rib-eye, dammit. No, on this personal half-pepperoni and small antipasto, no onions. Glad the pizzeria could handle the C-note I paid with. Wiped the worst of the blood off so…

    1. Well, THAT went somewhere unexpected! Well done!

    2. Love It! Great twist at the end, great build up, everything!

  15. “Show me. Show it to me now.”

    “But, Mom, it's nothing. Besides, everybody has them now.”

    “Not my daughter. No child of mine is going to have a tattoo. Whatever were you thinking? They don't come off, you know.“

    “I know, Mom. That's kinda the point.”

    I undid my blouse and then stood up, the sides gaping open.

    “Well? Where is it? It's not on your breasts, is it?”

    “No, of course it's not. Mother...”

    Pulling the material off from over my shoulders, I shrugged the blouse down, feeling more naked than I'd ever done before.

    I turned about, showing her shoulder.

    “Well? What do you think?”

    There's nothing as loud as an unwelcome silence and nothing as searching as an unseen look. Or so it seemed to me then. I pushed my shoulders back up, realising I'd been slouching, not wanting to seem like I'd needed her approval.

    “What is it? It looks like a squiggle. Is it Japanese? Or Chinese? What's an English girl want with Chinese writing on her? It's not normal. At least it never was in my day.”

    I pulled my blouse back up and re-buttoned it, sitting back down at the table.

    “It's Kanji. And it says 'Mother', Mom. I got it for you. Out of respect.”

    “I still don't approve. It seems like you got it despite what I think, rather than getting it for me. I don't suppose it comes off does it?”

    “No. It doesn't. It's permanent. Like my love for you is, Mom.”

    Uncrossing my fingers, I smiled. Step one, satisfactorily accomplished. And my mother would never know what it said. Now all I had to do was to figure out how to introduce my new boyfriend to her. Satoshi and I were going to be for ever. The pictogram of his name was proof enough of my intentions, being more permanent than a wedding ring and showing him I was his.

    1. I love that she crossed her fingers as she lied... there's hope for her yet! This was really fun.

    2. I just wonder what Satoshi's tattoo will read. If he gets one! Thank you!

    3. "Beloved mother-in-law"... that one's reusable.

    4. Or maybe 'Divine Wind'. That's a popular choice, I've heard!

    5. Having gritted my teeth through 6 count 'em tats on my daughter? Just one note--she always got hers as a statement of Self, they were NEVER about the boyfriend, more about her asserting control over her own skin. Just an observation...

    6. Thanks for that, Teresa. I'm always keen for a bit of feedback. I'm just a guy and a 'mature' one at that...

    7. Is "Divine wind" kinda like having gas?

    8. Exactly like that. And just as devastating!

  16. The stories ain’t rockin; the Muse ain’t knocking, the phone’s been ringing off the goddamned hook.
    Brother’s got a pity party, sister’s got extraordinary angst.
    Angst, angst.
    It’s going too slow, it’s coming too fast, that cretin could be president, we’re not gonna last.
    Where we gonna live? What we gonna do? You can’t even board a plane with money in your shoe.
    Cell phones give you cancer and everything else does, too.
    We don’t have enough money, we don’t have any time and nobody’s reading a poem that rhymes.
    Dear author: Please forgive this automated reply, but we parsed your submission and the key words were missing. We’re not really publishing the human condition.
    Our theme on the 90s has nothing to do with old, but the decade of decadence in which we born; the years of greed and malice that happened to spawn
    Our existential, everlasting
    Angst: Dear Subscriber, a reminder you’re all gonna die. But we’re having a Flash sale.
    Just enter the code.
    Eat this, not that. Buy a whole new you.
    At the end of that
    Day, you still old, you fat. You still ain’t keeping up with the new.
    Keep calm, bitches. Exercise, too. Be clean and be sober but don’t dare be you.
    Dear Author: Let’s help you. You too can succeed. Pay the price of admission and a modest subscriber fee. Which goes to our mission of feeding submissions. Our faith in the Cause of the Day.
    Dear Blank: I’m afraid we’re turning you down. We wanted gorillas, you gave us guerillas and that shit don’t sell in this part of town.
    Our guidelines specifically specify, we’re looking for females who identify
    As females, transgender, LGBT, providing of course, you hate Hillary. And we’re only reading between now and the moment,we exceed our bandwidth and you aren’t on it.
    But don’t miss your window,
    of opportunity.
    Because if you did?
    You just might miss
    The dreamlike yearning
    Of the vast conspiracy.

    1. Yikes... what a lot of good writing in a scary piece... we live in hope... we act in hope...

    2. So much truth and so bleeping creative.I've felt that angst before.

  17. Like some invisible sleight of hand we are dealt our cards.
    Some of us play them close to our chest, others spread them confidently face down sure of the outcome, confident in the knowledge that life will treat them well.
    We all get some good cards in the many games we play but some people always hold all the fucking aces. Every time. They call themselves winners , achievers, blessed and maybe they are but do they have a conscience? Do they have empathy, sincerity, do they have a heart? I doubt it.
    When they are counting their mountain of money deep into the night does the blood stain their hands and does the salt from the sweat and tears of those who suffered to bring them wealth sting that paper cut on a thumb or finger? Does it hell.
    Who throws the dice and decides which way they fall I wonder.
    Why are the few dripping in obscene riches and the majority dying of thirst.
    Blessed, to me, is a child’s laughter, a hug from a loved one, a roof and a full belly.
    It is waking up each new day and being alive, a gift which thousands are denied. It’s wanting more but not being arsed if we don’t get it because you are grateful for what you have. You are richer than all those mountains of money and shine more brightly than any amount of gold. You have a heart which cares.
    I am richer for knowing some special people and poorer for losing the best of them.
    We will all leave one day when the Gods or gravity or ripples in space and time move those dice. Until then play the hand you’ve got, tell those who matter how much you love them and live. The best way you can.
    I hope the dice roll me a kiss before my number is up or that would be a travesty.

  18. Marty sat at his computer, typing rapidly, pausing only to sip from a lukewarm mug of coffee and nibble tortilla chips. While the USA was in a state of dramatic sociopolitical chaos and upheaval, he liked to think of himself as the most dangerous radical of all: a hacker. He grew up comfortably middle class in suburban Fremont, California, and by day he was a computer science major at San Jose State, but at night he lurked the deep web under the nickname Methuselah, ironic when he was a scrawny 20-year-old kid who couldn’t even grow a beard.

    He'd been tinkering since he was a little boy, coding simple little games and playing pranks by exploiting the weak security of his middle and high school computer systems. By graduation, he was disseminated cracked games and other petty computer crimes. He always excelled on standardized tests, breaking 2200 on the SAT and a tested IQ of 171, but couldn’t be bothered with everyday schoolwork; he resented the fact that that was why he didn’t get into Berkeley or Stanford. It wasn’t that he wasn’t smart enough, he just couldn’t be bothered slogging through all that menial, pointless paperwork. But it was in college that he went from disgruntled, apathetic, nihilistic, to radicalized. In his exploration of the deep web, he got involved with the kind of political forums where people talked about things that could get a person incarcerated.

    He made friends, outside of the few other nerds he knew from school and gaming. He didn’t hang out with kids like them in high school, because they were intimidating and didn’t seem to respect him. But now he had a new crowd, who were more respectful, but he still learned a lot from them. He stayed up late talking to this girl, Luanne, about coding, hacking, and seemingly everything else. She was maybe the smartest girl he’d ever met; he was duly ashamed to admit it, but he was surprised to learn first that she was a girl, then that she was black, and later that she was even very cute, petite with short-cropped hair and a little steel nose ring. He was always sad, but not surprised or angry, that she had a boyfriend. He’d met them both a few times in meatspace, when she invited him to parties and he found the wherewithal to attend.

    Those parties sometimes got a bit too wild for Marty’s comfort. He didn’t mind the ever-present blunt smoke, but it made him uncomfortable when couples rounded third base on the couch right beside him, while he sat there quietly sipping a weak rum and Coke, or others broke out little bags of cocaine and started chopping lines on the dirty fiberboard coffee table.

  19. Caoilainn twisted this way and that, examining her reflection in the glass, admiring the way her newly acquired skirt swirled around her tall black boots. She raised her arms, testing the fit of her tunic, and then twirled in a circle, letting her skirt spin out around her.

    There was something to be said for the way nomadic women dressed. The brash colors were not exactly to Caoilainn's taste, but the freedom! Oh the freedom and comfort of wide, wide skirts with no farthingale beneath, and of loose-fitting, free-flowing tunics. She did not miss fussy, leg-o-mutton sleeves, and she was almost inspired to say a prayer of thanks for being corset-free. The practical, low-heeled boots were a treat for her feet, as well.

    Yes, there was something to be said for Gypsy clothing. Perhaps there was something to be said, too, for becoming a spy. If nothing else, the clothing made it worthwhile, and she had a suspicion that spying would yet offer more benefits...and more freedom.

    "Freedom," Caoilainn said, smiling at herself in the glass. "What a perfectly lovely word."

    She twirled again, her skirts flaring around her, threw her head back, and laughed.


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