The dumb-asses are planning trips to the beach. If their house isn't currently on fire or in the direct line, they want to get away from the smoke. Tahoe? It's gonna be rough for all those folks fleeing their burning homes. Hope traffic ain't too bad.
The unhinged are giddy. They are thrilled to watch the world burn. Some of them make the fires worse, start new fires. They are powerful in the chaos. They feel bigger than the flames.
A lot of folks are shit-scared. We've got a virus and fire and we're waiting on the swarms of locust. They're probably coming soon. We know the President is laughing, and it's hard to swallow. Go ahead and let it burn, that land of fruits and nuts. Liberals roast up real nice.
I guess I'll pack a bag today. Hug my girls as often as I can. Make sure all the windows are still taped up. Check the fire reports. Hope we don't hear the siren from our phones that means get the fuck out. I wonder if we'll move this year, leave this once-a-year-fire-festival.
Just like everyday, we'll smile and pretend the world ain't going up in flames.
Reserving this space for the Mader comments.ReplyDelete
Oh, man. Stay safe. This is crazy. And the blue jays always knew.Delete
It sounds horrific. It must be so difficult for you all, especially since the rest of world's even more insane than usual and you've even more than usual stacked against you. I just hope you can all keep safe and keep a hold on most of what's important to you. I hope it all passes past you without a minimum of adverse effects, so you can come back down to the general shit-storm level of chaos the rest of us are all trying to cope with.Delete
You see each other again after months of separation. Noting what has changed in the interim. Hair longer where it was shorter, shorter where it once cascaded over your shoulders. Maybe it was too much to handle. Just one more thing to worry over. Or, like me, falling out in patches and more silver than brown. You see the sag in the shoulders, the deflation of a once-beautiful smile, the sparkle dull as dishwater, and you wish you had a joke, some good news to share. All you have are pretty, empty words and air hugs, and you wish it could be different. You make plans for a someday, one day, when we can laugh and gossip and be the people we once were. Then you go one way, they go the other, and the goodbyes dissolve in the wind.ReplyDelete
This is so sad and unfortunately so real. This could be written by almost any one of us, or at least be written in their voice. This is excellent, Laurie.Delete
Yep- 100% agree. This made me super sad becuase I have lived it. It's a universal experience painted really vividly and with love and empathy.Delete
A baby was born today. To a young couple whose wedding photos popped up in my memories. We all looked so happy. The day started hot as the devil’s toenails but then. Then. The skies bathed us in a sigh of warm rain and we danced. We danced with dogs and we danced with strangers and we danced barefoot with fresh cut grass peppering our ankles. We danced to mariachi music and hip hop and hailed the young couple, looking so happy and so drunk, with toasts in four languages.ReplyDelete
A baby was born today.
And we danced.
And now you give us the other side of the coin. This gives us hope. It's an evocative snap-shot of a person's life and it's well written, as is everything you share here.Delete
Yes. That was beautiful, and I am feeling balanced again. :)Delete
The woman ignored him. He was an irrelevance. He was someone she had already spoken with and found wanting. She had no need for him; he was lucky she still tolerated his being here. She could have disposed of him easily, one quick twist and his head would have been hanging limp from his shoulders, its eyes dulled, never to stir again. He knew she could do it: she was as tall as he was and moved with the grace of a predator. Her makeup and the fashionable clothes she wore changed nothing. She was dangerous and he shouldn’t be fooled by her indifference. She might be playing with him, studying his body language, waiting for him to relax. He knew that she could overpower him easily, but she might prefer it that way, seeing it as a kindness not to stress him too much when she took his life. It would be quick if she wanted it to be. The decision would be hers.ReplyDelete
Oscar sighed, releasing the air soundlessly. Their captors had thrown them in the room together, the woman unconscious when the door had closed. Her face was already bruised and swollen, and she’d spoken with an accent, most probably French, although it hadn’t been like any he’d heard before. She’d had little to say, offering him hardly anything other than her name, although she asked him a lot of questions, to most of which he’d given honest answers.
He was regretting that now, although he didn’t know what he should have done. Maybe if he’d lied more or refused to say anything at all this might have been over already.
The woman was restless now. She’d been a better companion when she’d been unconscious, still and quiet for much of the time. When she came round, she’d been suspicious of him to begin with, sitting away from him, glowering at him with both eyes, even though one was swollen. And then she’d begun with the questions – what was his name, what had he been doing when he’d been taken, what had his plans been for the rest of his stay? She’d given him little knowledge other than her name, choosing to evade most questions he’d asked. And now he was alone, or he might as well have been, the woman having walled him away once again.
It was going to be a long night. He wouldn’t be getting any sleep; he was sure of that.
I was right in that space with them. Your description of the woman drew me in from the start. Very curious what comes next!Delete
Agreed. Super vivid, and I appreciate the work you put into the character's internal fight. One thing that threw me off was the word irrelevance right in the beginning. I don't know why, and it might just be me.Delete
My choice of that word worked then. Or maybe not, if it threw you out of the narrative. I was looking for something jarring that would throw the other person into a harsh, callous, predatory light. She's a shark in a woman's clothing and he suspects she could kill him. Not for the sport of it, she's not as frivolous as that, but if she ever thought he'd come between her and anything she needed he'd be gone, just like that.Delete
“Just follow the arrows and keep on until sunset. The ash will disperse by tomorrow, so you’ll need to move fast.”ReplyDelete
That was the last thing he said before he’d disappeared, the flames rising around him and then dying back, leaving the first of his signs. After that, we’d seen his mark everywhere; on billboards, on the backs of eighteen-wheelers, even once on the side of a mountain. But every place we’d seen it, it had been ethereal, its impermanence a reminder that time was passing, that the trail was long and what were we doing here right now? We should be moving because he wouldn’t wait, couldn’t wait, not while the fire was burning through him. The Carpenter would be with us but a short time, his messages for all to see, though few would truly understand them. He wasn’t one for fancy rhetoric; his words would speak for themselves, engaging in our souls like a key, if we could only open ourselves to him first.
We’d begun in Comfort, then continued west, passing through Roosevelt, Segovia and Sonora, sometimes turning back on ourselves as we followed the sun. The trip we’d begun had become a pilgrimage and a race against the night. We could feel it massing behind us, see the darkening of the skies. If we didn’t hurry, we’d be too late and then we’d be lost.
I didn’t want to think what the price of our failure would be.
But I knew it would be biblical.
Such a powerful piece. Digging the images.Delete
Woah, I love this. I want to read more of it. It's like a more fantastic The Stand! :)Delete