Friday, May 3, 2019

2 Minutes. Go!

I’m gonna rob the Hot Topic. I’m gonna take all their shit and set the place on fire. I’m gonna laugh while they text pictures to their friends – look at the crazy old shirtless man setting the Hot Topic on fire. Yelling, “This rebellious enough for ya?” I’m gonna knock an Orange Julius out of someone’s hand and go try on 500 ball caps when I’m done. I’m gonna sell all the Bob Marley and Snoop and Ozzie posters. I’m gonna use the One Direction poster to beat a boy scout to death. That funny coffee mug? I’m gonna smash it and use the shard-sharp handle to give you a new smile. I’ll stand on top of the cash register singing Johnny Cash songs and making myself vomit. I’ll eat a JUUL case. You’ll see. I just don’t give a damn. And all the time I’ll be singing. “IS THIS REBELLIOS ENOUGH FOR YOU!!!” Then, I’ll get a Cinnabon and throw myself down the escalator, chugging bourbon and lighter fluid.

Show them youngsters how it’s done.


  1. At the end of the alley, there is a heap of old rags. There is a lonely stove, rusting. There is Julia, who was once beautiful and is now art. She stands in the shadows and throws whispers into the depth of her sorrows. She has stepped outside of banal life.

    She was a mother, once. The child died and she spun drunkenly through life, but she was gathering strength and wisdom - storing it inside her so she could heal. Healing so she would be there to welcome the men who stumbled into the alley looking for redemption.

    She is not a hero, but she is better than a charlatan. She is eternal and self righteous. She has caused the fall of empires, and she has touched the quill and the brush and kissed the sculpture's hand.

    The men leave sated, and they mistake this for healing. The do not know that they are becoming less - every time she takes a little bit more. Soon, they are craven and desperate and they slink to her. She uses them up and they float away on the new day's darkness.

    1. Always a good read! Damn fine job. I love the last paragraph.

    2. I agree about the last paragraph. Forlorn and desolate and true.

  2. David Liu, Formerly Writer XMay 3, 2019 at 7:08 AM

    It's been ages. Days pass. Weeks pass. Months pass. Eternity passes. Seconds blow away into the past as easily as a grain of sand is carried on the wind. People come, people go, interests peak, interests wane. Some things are forgotten.

    When you stumble upon something that used to stir the emotions inside of you, your brain immediately becomes fixated on it. For how long? It depends on you, really. Is it an old interest? An ex girlfriend? A fan-fiction from a TV show you used to watch that you wrote in 4th grade?

    As I read the words that cross my screen, I start to feel how I used to feel, all that time ago. I worked up the courage to set the timer and just go for it. Ha, I can remember the anxiety I had when I pressed the 'publish' button for the first time.

    For the first time in what feels like forever, the blue 'publish' button glows at me from the left side of the box. I click the tab above, deciding who I want to comment as, and nostalgia kicks in.

    I grin as Writer X sits at the bottom of the list. No, I think I'll leave that one there for someone else who needs it more than I do. After all, when you're afraid of posting your first story and you want to keep your name to yourself, what is 'X' besides a variable?

    1. This is awesome. And I think you are a true writer. Is there a superpower greater than that?

  3. When I signed up for the Air Force, the recruiter said "You'll be treated like an officer! It'll be great!" I believed him.

    When I got to basic training, my MTL said "I hope your ability to sign your own god damn death warrant is better than your attention to detail because you're going for an early grave if that's the case!" I believed him.

    When I finished Technical School and stepped into the jet for the first time, my instructor said "Step by step. Just take it easy. You'll be a master in no time." I believed him.

    I've believed lots of things in my life, you know? Everyone has. Superstitions, religions, opinions, so on and so forth. But if you told me that three years into my service I'd be hiding in a pile of cow manure behind a shed while border patrol searches the flaming wreckage of my plane, I'd call bullshit.

    1. Ah, Jeez. Forgot to put my name on this one. Been a while, haha.

    2. Glad to see your writing again. That last paragraph sets up a whole ‘nother story for either you or the reader to tell. Well done throughout!

  4. Over there. That’s where the moon will rise. It won’t be long now. Do you see where I’m pointing? Between those two rocky crags?

    For most of my life, I never noticed it, never really noticed it. I mean, sure, I looked at it when it was in eclipse, or one of those so-called super moons, but I never really saw the beauty in it. Until….

    Have you ever considered how yellow the moon id? how blue the sky? I’m nearly colorblind when it comes to red and green. Especially when I’m looking at the full moon. I’m not sure why that happens, but it does.

    Shhh. Do you hear that? There’s a chipmunk in that log over there. Waiting, waiting for the sun to set, for darkness to come. Nocturnal. From the Latin nocturnus, meaning “of the night.”

    So many animals prefer the darkness. No, not us humans. We do our best to turn night into day. It’s one reason I went so many years without really seeing the moon. The rodents, the night hawks, the owls. If you hold your breath, you can hear them.

    Or you can scent them, all the flora and fauna of the night. The night smells different to the day. Part of it is the sun warming the flowers that bloom during the day, heating their perfume to intoxicating levels. The night flowers, like the moonflower, like night-blooming jasmine, have to put out more perfume to be noticed.

    You’ve never noticed? See? This is why it’s good to get out in nature. To discover the things that live around us, even when we do not see them.

    Did you cut yourself earlier? Or perhaps it was when we were crawling through the wild roses. I thought I could detect, oh, you’ll think I’m silly.

    I thought I smelled blood on your wrist.

    Bring it closer, closer to the fire. Let me take a look at it. Oh yes, you have cut yourself. Let me clean that for you.
    Don’t say that about me. We’re almost out of water, and I thought licking it would clean it. Dogs and cats do it. Well, dogs, mostly. They say that dogs have traces of penicillin in their saliva. It feels better now, doesn’t it?

    Okay, well, I’m going to turn in. I know, I said I wanted to see the moon, but maybe tomorrow night. I’m suddenly very tired.

    Yes, yes, stay up as long as you like. Listen, sometimes I make strange sounds in my sleep. Ignore them if you can, please. Snoring? No, I don’t snore. It’s more of a... howl.

  5. The Last Word

    I’ve gone and squeezed it dead, I more than fear.
    That’s why I sit in my spot and just stare.
    Where once images and feelings ran clear,
    now only dust. And what’s worse, I don’t care.

    I started doing it with you in mind,
    your love being all that I ever wished.
    I knew this harsh mistress could be unkind,
    now I’ve killed her and that fire’s extinguished.

    I push and dig, bring up naught but a moan,
    the once-blazing fire within me gone cold.
    Doggerel in its ash I trace here alone,
    like a bell I ring, but not heard, so untolled.

    I thought, perhaps, my gift would abide,
    a soul-filling thing I’d do ’til I went.
    But it seems it’s passed before I died
    and all I’ve left is this goodbye unsent.

    Like a friend that’s gone, I might grieve my loss,
    just as I’ll grieve no longer seeing you.
    Maybe this declaration is but a pause,
    this goodbye, au revoir ‘stead of adieu.

    1. Classical and beautiful, and you used one of my very favorite words: doggerel.

  6. [No idea what this is. It mostly came from a dream.]

    I died alone, in a mud-filled street.

    Now’m I tell you how I got here.

    *Coughs.* Hell, I can barely speak; my lips, my tongue, and my teeth are at odds.

    Miss Greenwood first found me on accident. Literally. We clashed in the mud swamp of the thoroughfare, and she damn near fell in the liquid reek and the sucking claggy shit, but I grasped her forearm and held on at the edge of my strength. Ain’t a big man, or ’specially strong, but I drew on reserves right then to prevent a humiliation. We musta looked like a statue, me holding her, she caught midfall, like time itself had stopped or found its interregnum.

    About now, you should know something: I know how to talk. I ain’t a proper educated man, not in the right way, but I always read stuff, always did, and I learned me some ten-dollar words.

    Alright, I also gotta address something else. You know I died, ’cause I tole you in the first three words of this tale. You wonder how I can be tellin’ the doggone tale in the first place, ’specially without no witness, and I wonder that too. Thing is, I just can. I’m in this dark place behind a veil like sheer curtains, a scent of camphor and laudanum wafting through, and I hear the whispers of others I can barely see. Like an attic full of ghosts. It don’t exactly feel like a place good things could happen but not bad either. Mostly feels like a hunnerd sad endings. But I have this moment, this window, maybe, whereby I can relate my story, so I’m deciding to fuckin’ take it, as you would too.

    “You found me again.”

    “Not on purpose.”

    “But you did.”

    “I did.”


    There was a time when the rains came. And they came and then they came. Weeks drenched in deluge. And then a day dawned in silence, not even birdsong, and the rich blue of the sky only deepened as the noontide inched its way toward night, each pallid lungful of cloud the whole breath of something angelic. And the earth breathed out: butterflies, songbirds, honey bees, skeins of bugs, and when the blanket of twilight fell, even a swirl of bats.

    Dogfight squadrons, mayhem, lunacy. Tracking the twister as it moved along the tree line, ruby smears of brake lights blurred by the downpour, the green and billowing gray.

    Recall when the world’s opulence reached its zenith? When Mother Nature herself might even have climaxed.

    Such times we rarely feel now.

    “What the fuck happened to the fucking weather?”


    Two women focused our attention then. Twins, in fact, though each distinct from her sister, like possums from raccoons. Darla was the possum, Delia the raccoon.

    And Miss Greenwood loved them both. Yeah, and also the world.

    This is our story and the world’s story.

    1. I love the contrast of the ten-dollar words and the vernacular, and the contradiction of a tale told by a dead narrator. As always, your language makes me swoon. I think this could continue into a longer piece if you want it to. That last sentence opens a world of possibilities.

  7. It hurts, I know. Losing someone you love. You flash back to when you met, when you heard the violins, saw the stars. You remember your first date, the first kiss, the first time you made love.

    You don’t remember the second or third or fortieth or hundredth time you did those things. But those are the ones that mattered, the pages of the book of your lives together, bound between the covers of hello and goodbye.

    You remember the last kiss, the last time you made love, the last goodbye. And you try like hell to hold on to those moments, praying the memories don’t fade away, praying you remember the warmth of holding hands under the table at that chintzy Italian restaurant.

    You didn’t notice growing old. You never noticed the tiny parts that made up the sum of old age. The creaks of joints, dimples growing deeper, hair lightening one strand at a time. Wrinkles recording every worry, every smile.

    Until the sparkle leaves the eyes of your beloved and all of it comes rushing at you. All of the years that seemed like days. And then the nights of darkness fall upon you and you wonder if you know how to cook for one, how to sleep alone, how to breathe on your own.

    Years pass by, maybe centuries, and you begin to see points of light in the blackness, like candles but you know they are memories of your time together. Sometimes their light is too bright and they make you cry, but other times you dare to walk by their light, bright enough to show you there is a path, a trail to follow.

    One morning you see the sunrise, and you believe again, believe it is not the end of the world. And you see the glimmer of dew, a thousand stars, and you reach out your empty hand, and you notice that your hand is not empty at all, but that it glows with the tiniest drop of hope, of purpose.

    And you whisper gratitude to the universe, to God, to Fortune, and to Chance that you knew, that you know, the miracle of love.


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