Tween Sleep And Awake
They were twins but you’d never know it. She looked like her mother and her twin looked like her father, one had black hair while the other had sandy brown, and one was reserved while the other was outwardly wild. To see them together you wouldn’t think they were friends.
As Angela thought back to much younger days she laughed to herself. Her friend Creep was there with her. They’d both come a long way from washing hallucinogens down with hard alcohol as they now sat on her front porch sipping tea with honey and half n’ half, something Angela’s Irish father had turned them onto so long ago.
“Why did I name you Creep? I can’t remember.” “You wanted to have a special name for me and couldn’t come up with anything else at the time. You were tripping.” “I have a hard time you know. When I want to say something sometimes it takes me a minute to get it out.” Creep patted Angela’s shoulder. “You were far more hardcore drinking than I ever was. It takes its toll but look at you – a good job, a nice place – you survived it and beautiful kids to boot. You keep going.” “Yeah but most days it’s like I’m still high living between asleep and awake, you know not awake yet though I woke an hour ago.” “The dreamy ‘tween time. Listen, there’s nothing you can’t do. You know what’s funny – how you were supposed to be the wild child of the two of you, yet Madison was the one who got herself knocked up – shocker, shocker – and with all you’ve been through, you had five kids with one man and they’re all terrific. She got married, yeah, but he’s unfaithful, has always been that way, and they’re still together.” “Yeah. She was into hard drugs when all that happened too. Anytime anyone spoke about it, it was in whispers as if she were an angel who fell from heaven. For me it was like, ‘she ran away to Greenwich Village, yawn, yawn’.” Sighing a nod Creep picked up her tea and looked at the sunset as she tried to ignore the cars flying down the street like it was the Indianapolis 500’s track.
“I think your tween sleep and awake mind state is catching, you know, like a contact high. If this were reality police would have these clowns pulled over writing out tickets to support the policeman’s ball.” “They have balls?”
Creep spit out a mouthful of tea as they both burst out laughing and a police car came screaming after a speeder pulling him over across from the house. She grabbed a napkin to wipe her chin; they looked at each other and doubled over.
To A Child’s Mind
Margaret-Anne spotted a bullet on the ground next to her grandfather’s shed. Her brother Geoff saw and asked. “Can we hit the back?” “It’ll make a big cra-bang! Dad might hear.” She held it eye level. “Do you have to make that noise?” “It shouldn’t if we hit it with a rock” he pleaded. “ Ok. Find a rock.” Dad’d overheard everything.
“If you succeed you could blow up your finger” he explained and then continued with how bullets are made. Satisfied with his lesson he turned trusting them with the bullet.
Excitedly Margaret-Anne turned finding Geoff smiling at her. “Find a rock.”
Flabbergasted dad spun around.
Facing The Sea
“Wouldn’t I love to be the one standing there taking that shot”, thought Janelle as she studied the portrait. “Look at that sunset! How well it was captured. Those posts look like people frozen in time facing the sea. Are they? Did she know she was being photographed? What’s that?” Her thoughts trailed off as she focused. “It couldn’t be a speck.” She stepped closer instinctively to brush it away. Yellow dust smeared. Janelle looked at the side of her hand. “Isn’t this is supposed to be a photography exhibit?”
She jumped as a voice shattered the silence. “Step back!”
But even when I listened carefully
I couldn’t determine
But even when I listened carefully
I couldn’t see
But even when I listened carefully
To her, the one in ermine
I was distracted
My mind wandered…
“Ermine. How many years has it been since I’ve seen someone wear ermine?” Joseph stood and walked toward the radiator. “Where’s that hissing…”
Word fragments thrust askew.
Old enough to say that
Seems only a blink
How’d I get here this fast?
It was 50 years ago…
Madeline grabbed the sheet from the typewriter, tore it out, crumpled and bank-shot the ball into the trash. “Need a chapter… deadline’s tomorrow.”
She went down to the basement to get into the chest freezer…
“Sounds like I want to hide there. Maybe…”
She needed to go through the attic.
“And jump out the window. Relax. Breathe.”
A bottle of wine had rolled into a corner. Caked with dust, it was 50 years ago it was…
“Sure could use a glass.” She made another basket.
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS: ENTRANCE
I wait for the gag reflex but this stuff is smooth. I’m filled with warmth on an 80-degree day. Should be winter but it’s not and I don’t mean that anyway. I like that summer is upon me. Another mouthful my being filled again. I’m ready for my entrance. Bring on the day.
X-Chromosomes, Years Of Comments, Zoom-Out, Dolly In: Now Action Begin
X For X-Chromosomes
Conversation with girls
Y for Years Of Comments
Curly hair’s natural to me
That makes you angry?
Z for Zoom-Out, Dolly In
A way of filming I’d learned
I walked toward them you see
The classroom distant behind me (http://youtu.be/svEPWBxpYjo)
In the hallway they spoke
I looked and responded I didn’t hear
Into the doorway they moved
I walked toward them to be near
What’s written next is without quotes
Have you ever seen Tangled I was asked. Well yes I replied. You look like the woman one of them said. Her stepmother I asked. The evil stepmother I then sighed. Yes they both replied, your hair is like hers. I responded oh… thank-you, trying to keep it light using an inquisitive tone to elicit laughter. A good move and it worked. Maybe they were trying to offend me but though I’m not Candide, I appreciated the character that was chosen. You see, the last time I was called a witch, not in the derogatory sense but by a young man who just knew I was an actress, he was referring to Latrine from Robin Hood Men In Tights. She had bigger curly hair than I did, very unruly, and the traditional hooked nose. He was so convinced of my identity nothing I said could sway him. Excitedly he rung-up my order all the while keeping silent to hide who I was from other customers, so proud to have me in his line. I’ll never forget him. This wicked stepmom the second time around was better looking, animated, granted, but there’s nothing wrong with being animated, full of life and vitality, although being recognized as Tracey Ullman was nifty. Then again if my first encounter had thought I was Maid Marian it would’ve really made my day.
On the whole not a bad illustration I’d say.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN THE GARDEN
“I’m not trapped. I can leave anytime I want, but I choose to stay. I don’t have to question why I stay. I know why. There’s no reason to get melodramatic about it. There aren’t any questions nor lament, lament, cruel-world-you-tricked-me-why? Nothing like that.” Penelope contemplated as she wrote. Up since 4 like she used to do in what were her old contemplative days living on 3 hours of sleep and raising her infant son, she knew. Would this re-revelation help her through this day? Would this be the next first day of a new start? It was like a prayer she’d learned back then. “Keep repeating it over and over again until it becomes part of your heart and is always present. That’s the way to do it then” and so she would. “There’s still plenty to live for. There is plenty of life. There is.”
There was no real question.
“Well, that was a great start” Ginny thought to herself as she sat at her desk hitting a brick wall after she’d stop typing. “How’s that for writer’s block. Where exactly am I going to go with this? Sounds like a tragedy. No, no, not a tragedy a rebirth in determination and moving forward. Hmmph… moving forward. Not right now.”
So I’m subbing today
So glad to be here
So good to meet you
And see other students again
There are tough kids around
Not like in the past
Pretty bad-ass ‘twas true
But not the ilk of you
Violence boils in your veins
From whence have you come?
Rising anger festers so
Like Vesuvius famed
You plot and you plan
Your close little band
You twist words and abuse
Spitting venom is your muse
A real teacher unlike some
Standing strong my ground
Direct your laziness around
No dissing in my room
Yes, today it’s my place
Look of anger on your face
Outright hatred unmasked
Yet you remained on task
Then to the office stomp away
Two of you lied
I wasn’t surprised
Not in the least I knew
Daggers in your eyes
Affronted with words
For all your plotting
My life’s demise
To your chagrin
My experience abounds
More than you knew
It’s counseling in store
There is no more
No victory you see
And protection for us both
This place has changed
Gangs and violence moving in
Bullying threats cause pain
But really don’t win
Yet reshapes the scenery
The consequence remains
For adult decisions
I will miss seeing you
I was your age once and know
What you’re going through
We can’t risk clashing again
Growing volatile from within
Never violence for me
The vendetta backfired
For you this day
Bad karma dissipated
Paths veer another way
RETURN: THE SUBSTITUTE
I thought I’d be inspired to write when I went back to teach
But I’m not, at least not yet
I had delusions of humorous stories and anecdotes galore right away
But I sit here in charge of a study hall after lunch no less, good students – ok
Struggling to put these lines down with what I feel is a dulled brain in this domain
I want to write
Though I read over the sheet for the class coming up that I’ll actually teach
Have my answers organized, so prepared ahead, unmoved by historical quips
Found the teacher’s notes on the computer to help through the day
Enlightenment Philosophers seem mundane
I sit here otherwise unfilled and read instructions over again to ensure I have it straight
Reread messages to the Sub, perchance I had missed something just in case
It’ll help, I guess, in the longer run for the overall day and make for a better end
Nothing sparks my inner flame
Perhaps time will move faster though it doesn’t move at all
In fact it doesn’t exist but man brought it into being long ago
Charted, mapped, broke up the day so he can get somewhere on time
Business rejoices in this gain
Now ten minutes has passed since I last checked the clock
The printout that designates begin and end has no yellowed edges to see
Nothing has changed as time is crawling though it doesn’t crawl at all in reality
I stifle a yawn
Yet the students remain good, focused on their work, hurray team
And behold I’ve managed several lines, almost an entire page is filled
With what exactly you might ask have I added to my verse, call it what you will
Another yawn so wide
Now all’s left to do is wrap this up in surprising magnificence that grabs and holds
My readers in its thrall, I will then cool down my brain reading about yawning no less
As my research unfolds and drawing a blank on inspiration lost, or not yet found
Writing bug won’t let go
Eyes water as I struggle to be sublime and aside I need a band-aid for a cut
I look at my thumb, sore to the touch lest my neglect fester and infect
A spot of watery blood on my sheet in a perfect line like mechanical pens
I like being back
It’s no problem at all in the classroom the place I love to perform
Go teaching, go team and the check that’ll follow whether smaller or small
Is inspiration in itself turning days into weeks though not enough by itself so alone
It’s positive thought anyway
Soon enough time will end and I’ll be free to journey back, well, walk home
For an espresso this latte, a joke, if I have the energy to make, if I want to stay awake
It’s really up to me after stretching these thoughts as far out as they can go
Guess now’s the time
Uninspired, let’s not forget, yet I’ve pushed on to describe as I sit writing these lines
I think I’ve gotten enough here said about my day warranting putting down the pen
Welcome back to reading notes over again, spot-checking what I glossed over before
Maybe time will fly
But it doesn’t exist
So that’s it
And I’ll say “The End”
A woman will despair
Why doesn’t he know me?
The one who I love
I desire unconditionally
But that’s the thing
He does know you
More than you can ever hope
He knows the song your synapses sing
And the fire they will bring
He could fulfill you more ways
As a diamond reflects
His refractions are limitless
Therein lies injustice
Driven, selfish, and vain
He knows just how to use them
That you don’t detect
You haven’t discovered yet
And now here you stand
Feeling without substance, without quality
Lost never to be found
Take heart yet lament
He knows you inside and out
I never took you as stupid
I’ve known all along
I’ve known since I met you
Your ability for pain
Substances comprising you
Of which no human should be made
What you know you’ll gain
From what you intend to do
Chin up, my dear one
I never doubted you, my friend
But woman has the burden
To see it through to the end
The path stretched ahead
To set you back on the curb
And walk away
Now what does your impeccable vanity
Have to say?
Just Rolling With It
Yes, just me.
Why just you?
Just because why?
No not just because why.
No other words?
It’s just me.
And just you is you
Asking just me.
Just because I threw in
As my reason
It’s those three
It’s just me writing
With Sundays Off It Could Be O : Obituary
But If You Can’t Wait Until Then It Could Be N: Not Here
I’d hoped you were still alive and had faked your death because I annoyed you in some way, and for a while you wanted a break. But, I looked up your obituary and found it’s true. You died suddenly. There was nothing anyone could do. Don’t you see, and in no way your fault, but I need you to talk to.
I sit here with reality and want to cry but I hold back the sobs. To what avail will it do? To wail aloud and then what? I grab a tissue for my nose has begun, shall I say to weep too, in the spirit of poetic license to keep a flow for what I want to say that I don’t yet know.
You really have passed, yes, this I knew. I had a dream like friends and family who feel loss do. You looked good in a white sweater, turtleneck, and white slacks, something you never wore. Now that’s a clue. Your kitchen was brilliant, dazzling brighter than the sun. You always kept it clean but not like this. We sat down for coffee as we’d so often done. You are happy and at peace. I knew this too.
You were the only one to whom I could speak my heart. You knew what to say. No one else wants to listen. I give them a headache, get the brush-off and I’m asked to go away. Now I’m my own headache and at least the one person who doesn’t mind if I stay. Otherwise I ache from the loss of a friend as forever part of me you remain.
I sit here alone, single coffee in hand. There’s nothing left except to wish for one moment more.
A rustle from the stack of balloons in the corner, a pink one pops out and rolls along the floor. A sign from the heavens, are you here with me, or am I just insane? Do balloons settle? In any case, forever part of me you remain.
She Just Knowed They Shouldn’tah Goed.
Well she knew in her heart they shouldn’t’ve made a start together so sudden not thinking it through. “I just knowed” she blurted out, “I just knowed we shouldn’tah goed to Reno to get married like a couple of lovesick puppies.” Her new husband turned to her and looked deep in her eyes, ”I’ll have a talk with the boy, no need to despair and he’ll socialize with you sitting right there.” Then he turned and burst into his son’s room. “Come socialize right now with your new mother. We took the vow.” He slammed the door stomping back out but the boy climbed out the window, “Not going to happen, that’s a fact” and together with a six-pack he sat alone howling back at the moon.
It’s a known fact the night of a full moon is a trigger for delirious behavior. Mariana was making rounds at the retirement home and Millie, a long-term resident, was sitting up in bed yelling at the chair by the window. “Who are you talking to Mill?” “Husband! See?” As Mariana walked toward the chair she stumbled and fell forward but was steadied. Startled she stood and turned to see Millie grinning. “He helps. Good.”
Mariana was making rounds at the retirement home and Millie, a long-term resident, was sitting up in bed waving her arms, yelling at the chair by the window. “Who are you talking to Mill?” Delirious during a full moon was common behavior for her. “Husband! There!” As Mariana walked toward the chair she stumbled and fell forward but was steadied by no one that was visible. She turned to see Millie calmed, grinning. “He helps.”
If three were four, what would five be?
I know Hendrix wouldn’t mind if six turned out to be nine, so mathematically boringly speaking I’d imagine five would be six. However, if three were four and three plus two make five, that’d mean two’d be three and three being four make three plus four being seven which has nothing to do with six except that three and four both represent five, so seven represents five which means seven represents six, five is six. Five would be three, four, six and seven.
If you were a professional wrestler, what would your ring name be?
If you could send one object that you own to your ten-year-old self, what would it be?
Tis pity I can’t send myself a letter
It could be kept hidden away
But what could I say except to change my life
My original thought wouldn’t be the same
Be strong and leave home
I’d tell me the age
But I can’t do that
Well now let’s see
Knowing my situation when I was 10
What object could I send to me
I couldn’t send back the laptop
My father’d have me burned as a witch
Books now are way ahead of my time then
Ears won’t be pierced until I’m 18
Earrings, no sense in that
Sketches I’d bought in Spain
Would be something else I can’t explain
This is becoming a pain
What are the odds one of my books
If I saw one
What would I think of me
Would that alter future time
Change future destiny
A picture of my kids
A short note on the back
To set me on my way
That’s an object not a letter
Anyway it’s looked at
Life makes it no easy choice
This question no easy task
Prezioso-Frye, Margaret: Grandmother, Mother, Sister, Friend and names her ex-husbands called her stricken from the record, passed away just today choking up blood in contrast to her blogsite title the “Tragic Lady But No TB”. Cause of death has not been disclosed. Ms Prezioso-Frye was born in September under a changing moon, was married twice but never long enough to be a beloved wife. Those who survive her say it’s their loss, those two meatheads didn’t know what they had when they had it; too late now. A close friend writes:
How are you getting along with the heavenly host! I know you’re happy and with the people you loved and who loved you. Say hello to Helena, well, silly as that sounds, I know you’re both watching over me – hi Helena! All those relatives you’ve missed, how wonderful for you to be with them now forever; ha, something to think about – is forever long enough when you’re happy, how is it never to run out of time? Feel free to appear to me… no, no maybe that isn’t the best idea, let me think – feel free to visit my dreams and let me know what you’re up to. I miss you. Love now and without end. Creep (Remember when we used to call each other that? Of course you do; you’re really a know-it-all now!)
If you only had 3 wishes, what would they be (no wishing for more wishes)
“From the land beyond Beyond
From the World passed Hope and Fear
I bid you Genie now appear” (7th Voyage Of Sinbad)
Don’t worry, after I make my three wishes I’ll take the lamp to the iron works and toss it in. You should be released so we can both go to the free Urge concert downtown this weekend. I promise.
For my first wish I would like to have a substantial enough number of book sales that I could support both my son and daughter, although that’s not necessary for me to do, and put my grandson through college up to a Doctoral degree if that’s what he wants.
For my second wish I would like to have the investment smarts of Warren Buffett to invest this money and have a steady and secure income for 20 lifetimes plus 20 lifetimes more.
For my third wish, I would like my children and their children present and future and their children present and future, and all I would call friend to have wonderful, safe, prosperous, successful lives.
And now Barani my friend, I release you. See you Saturday!
Ten-year-old Miggsie was at the beach with her cousins on yet another beautiful day, but everyone went to the inlet even when rain was forecast with a chance of clearing. The only thing that could keep her, her mom and cousins away was a torrential downpour. Their usual routine for a day in the sun began early morning with the tide going out and ended around the time it brought the fishing boats back in loaded with the catch of the day: clams, lobster, crab, flounder, that resulted in a seafood fest for dinner. Life couldn’t be better.
Today like every other day, beach umbrellas, blankets cold chicken and peanut butter sandwiches had been packed and the coolers were filled. Miggsie and her cousins each had a Styrofoam surfboard and goggles for deep sea diving when they weren’t surfing, not that as kids they could ride big waves anyway. No one was allowed out over his or her head and the low rolling waves brought them right back to shore. Sometimes Miggsie, Ben and Lora would walk down the shoreline to where older kids surfed, for real, on high waves in a much rougher sea. That was awesome; they itched for the day they’d be joining them or at least be big enough to play in the “real” ocean.
Miggsie loved every part of their day, even when the endlessness of it began winding down with the tide coming back in, the sun beginning to set and the sea taking on that silvery hue like it’d become molten. By then most sun worshippers usually had left the beach, which transformed it to her private property; anyone just getting there and spreading out their blankets would be an intrusion. Loving the emptiness surrounding her, she became engrossed playing in the sand when her attention was drawn toward two women walking along the shore. She instantly felt a twinge of protectiveness and disappointment that they were marring her scenery but at the same time a curiosity; no one usually wandered through the calmer part, but stayed further down around the ‘real’ waves. The closer they got she realized they were much older, were, surprisingly, wearing very small bikinis, were tanned and wrinkled that their skin looked like leathery mini-folds overlapping, and were carrying on conversation in a language she didn’t recognize. She was struck by the hideousness of their bodies, no real defined waistline and that “old-people” shape. The two women didn’t have a care in the world as they kicked the sea out of their way while they strolled along. Miggsie started playing in the sand again but it wasn’t long before the two women passed by her walking back. She stopped and watched them again only this time what had shocked her about their bodies wasn’t there anymore; she felt something else. She still wished they had better waistlines but she knew whatever they looked like, the way they were was a good way to be, and it was a way she wanted to be. When she was old, Miggsie wanted to wear a bikini just like they did, not worry about what people would think and just be herself. She felt how it would be to have been around for so long, to have experience and know all that she would know.
“I want to be like that when I get old”, she thought as she watched them disappear down the shore. Then she made it a promise to herself, a real wish from her heart, “I’m going to be like that.”
A Short Fairy Tale
The Prince Who Was A Pauper
A decree was set forth by The Prince, once upon a time of course, that all the writers of his kingdom must make up a short fairy tale. If he chose a man’s story, that man would receive a check for $5000; if the Prince chose a woman’s story he would publish her story and split her royalties 60/40, 60 for him and 40 for her because she was a gifted writer and he was a generous man. Should any writer refuse the challenge they would be exiled to Paris, France where they would be forced to pay the very high income tax rate of 90% until exile’s end.
All the men set right to work for each of them wanted to win. All the women set to work except for one; Moira didn’t want the Prince taking 60% of her royalties, she wanted the cash. She preferred her independence, the challenge of presenting her own work, meeting her readers, and making them happy. Knowing she’d be exiled, Moira asked Gwendolyn, the Prince’s bookkeeper and her friend, to give her the royal checking account number. Gwen and Moira made plans to get together after she got settled. All the writers presented their fairy tales except Moira and she was sent away. In Paris she gave the Prince’s account number making him responsible for all her expenses. As soon as the charges came through, Gwen authorized them with the Prince’s signature under “vacation”. After everything came back “approved”, Moira walked with her luggage to the bus station.
Gwen flew to Rome and was met by Moira at the airport. She had withdrawn a large sum of money from the Prince’s account for “mansion renovations”, authorized it with his signature, pretended to go to a neighboring city known for elegant light fixtures, and left. After unpacking at Moira’s flat located across from the Fontana di Trevi, the two friends sat on the balcony, sipped wine and watched the sunset.
Moral: Sexism pays …and pays …and pays.
Describe an alien invasion of Earth
I came home from shopping unlocking my door
Kiwis were tap dancing down on the floor
A football leapt in a graceful pirouette
While rolling oranges ate chocolate bars
This is going too far, but wasn’t the half of it yet
My shopping list pencil lunged straight in the air
And dove in the cat’s milk in the corner right there
I started, I shouted, “What’s going on here!”
As a six pack of cola sprayed foam in my ear
“I knew I should have put you away yesterday!”
I gaped in dismay at the whole disarray
What’s causing what’s happening?
What’s happening today?
“I’m going outside and then I’ll come back
You’d better be in your places, you get on that rack
Or I’ll cut up fruit salad with you over there
And football I’ll let out all of your air, a flat pancake you’ll be
Will you like that, we’ll see
And I walked out in a slam, heels clap, clap, clap, tap, tap
Was I talking to toys?
Did my produce make noise?
In bed I jumped up, heart pounding, “What’s that!”
As I crept down the stairs just to see
The state that my kitchen would be
There was a stir like an echo a rustle so slight
A light in my bathroom I couldn’t help think
“What is it that’s going on tonight?”
I gently pushed open the door
You wouldn’t believe what I saw standing there on the floor
It turned and it smiled turned a couple of dials
Attached to a belt that it wore
As its long arm was reaching for a brush behind the door
“Well I use that for cleaning right there”
“You do really?” It said fixing its long hair
“My name’s Z-na and I really love earth
We vacation each year at this time
To get away from slug season all hissing slime”
“Slugs! Gross, wouldn’t want to live wherever is there
If you really don’t mind”
Z-na projected a map from one of the dials
And it shone on the bathroom wall bright
“There that smaller light”
“What else do you do besides sneak into bathrooms?”
She turned and she smiled then let out a sigh
Who is it I’m talking to?
Am I in my right mind?
“How many are you?” I just had to ask
But Z-na quietly quickly was putting things back
As she passed through the wall into night
She entered her ship, had it always been there
I started but too late for a fright
“We’re heading down the coast to the beach”
I heard her say as the ship lit up bright
1000 more lit up and they took off, followed her into the night
“Those sugar cubes you gave”, I later asked my friend
“They’re special”, he smiled “So, how did it end?”
The first time Jill realized she had special abilities was at the tender age of 3. She had knocked over a caddy of colored pencils from her mom’s desk. “Jill”, mom called, “Jill are you ok?” By the time she’d reached the room everything was in order. When Jill’d heard her mom’s footsteps she’d cried out “mommy no!” The pencils went back into the caddy that went back onto the desk. Her mom looked around, “Did you bump something punkin’, here, come to the balcony with mommy.” Jill didn’t realize fully what’d happened, but that was the first time. After that if she’d spill milk or knock a plate on the floor, by saying “no” or “get back” Jill could reverse what had happened except when her mother was right there; Jill wouldn’t have to say anything, mom was quick to take care of it. Luckily, at such an innocent age Jill didn’t make a connection with the damage she could do in the other direction. It wasn’t in her nature to do in any case; Jill was one of the good ones.
There was a “problem”, if you want to call it that, when she was around 8 years old. Her mom was cleaning upright shelves loaded with DVDs and tried to shift its position. The structure was uneven and began to topple over right onto her. Jill came running but her mom pushed her back so she wouldn’t get hurt and was pinned underneath. “Go get Mrs. Tuturroni next door. She’ll help lift it.” Instead Jill waved her hand in a nervous gesture and commanded “No! Off!” Up went the shelves and the DVDs with them all back in place. “Oh no, busted!” Realizing what she’d done, Jill nervously looked at her mom who smiled up at her. “Well, that’s my girl. Here, help me up. I think I’m OK but I’ll probably be bruised.” When she was on her feet she asked her daughter, “Is this the first time?” Jill squeaked, “Mom?” She helped her up, helped her to the bathroom to check for bruises then both went into the kitchen for tea, English muffins and a nice long talk.
“It doesn’t seem so long ago. I miss you mom.” At 70, Jill was spry as if she were still 21. She certainly had led an interesting life so far. Her mom’d passed away only 2 months ago at the ripe old age of 105, “Vecchia Women have the gift of longevity” she thought to herself, “I wish we could have had longer.” Everyone around was told she’d died peacefully in her sleep but in reality she’d moved on to what her family called the next stage of being. Aunts, Uncles and cousins were there, and other “gifted” ones, as Jill’s mom stood and was surrounded by fall leaves, symbolic of the stage of life she was ascending from, then dissipating they were gone. “You’ll always feel her with you”, Aunt Krista, her mom’s youngest sister had said, “Especially when you use ‘gifts’.” As far as the townspeople knew, there was a closed casket and only the immediate family were permitted to the private plot of the cemetery because of Vecchia tradition. Looking out over the balcony from her home built on the mountainside over 2 centuries ago, Jill felt her presence as if she were sitting there like they had done so many mornings together, listening, sensing, both overseers of a small town unaware it was being looked after. They had prevented catastrophes, fixed mistakes, averted accidents; “How interesting people are” she thought, “How they rationalize what they’re not sure they saw or when they don’t understand what happened.” There was the time when she was just 21 and her boyfriend decided to show off by swerving from lane to lane as they crossed the Piquat Bridge driving to a movie, blew a tire and would have otherwise plunged into the rapids if it weren’t for Jill. She’d cried “No!” and the car straightened scraping its length on the railing, knocking itself into a 360 and back to the right hand lane then coming to a complete stop. Charlie thought he’d saved them thanks to the way he was driving and the moment he’d slammed down on the brakes. They broke up some months later so he could go to LA to become a stunt driver. She chuckled to herself, “I wonder if he made it.” When she was around 50 she and her mom prevented a fire from consuming the local bank that was caused by one of its managers and her botched robbery attempt. “Hmpf… How’s that for backfired?” The woman could have sworn there had been flames as the police pulled her from the smoke-filled building. Nothing had been burned but she’d be responsible for minor smoke damage among other things. Conveniently enough the manager’d become tangled in wiring from a monitor on her own desk. Jill and her mom certainly had had a full and fruitful life together. She thought of her own daughter who’d settled in a small town in Bulgaria. Camille had studied at an art academy there and decided to stay. Although she hadn’t made it back for her grandmother’s ascension, she was coming back to stay for a couple of months to help Jill get her affairs in order so she could return with her to Bulgaria. “The town will have to go on without you for a while. Some days you just need your Ma.”
How well Jill knew that. As she looked at the scenery and at the town below she said, “Well Mom, is there anything we can help anyone with today?” As she exhaled and closed her eyes quieting her thoughts, she felt warmth on her shoulders as if an arm had been put around them. She stilled herself completely and listened.
Day 22: List 5 people you wish existed
I apologize for being a “cheater pants” with this one, but off the top of my head, the people I wish existed all had spouses and I’m not leaving them out. That means 8 people, 4 from my mother’s side and 4 from my father’s side are who I wish existed.
Yup, you got it… dead relatives… The End (not really)
Create A Fictional Character
His name was Rambo Balboa and from looking at him you’d never guess he had anything in the name of chutzpah at all. Rambo had that slight pudge of contentment although he wasn’t involved with anyone and hadn’t been yet in his life. At 29 &1/2 he was thrilled with his fantasy girls; those women portrayed with thigh-high stiletto boots, thong bodysuits and were brandishing a sword. He loved their long locks that conveniently blew back out of their eyes in battle and, he imagined, wrapped around him when they would embrace. He wasn’t sure why, but inside he knew this idea of these worldly-wise warrior women came from somewhere. She existed, was waiting for him and he’d find her.
By day he was a behind-the-scenes IT guy, a genuine technician, the one you could only wish would answer the phone when you needed to ask a question instead of those customer service reps who read out of the manual like you just did except they had the manual online; all they had to do was type in a couple of abbreviations dot number dot dot and up the solution would pop. You’d think they’d have the sense to pretend they weren’t reading. Rambo’s appearance was always laid back: jeans, wife-beater, untucked and open tailored breathable-cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled. For the most part he was in an enclosed room so there was no need for a suit. If he wore one it would distract him from his work making him feel uncomfortable that his movements were too restricted. Many times he was called on to fix the hardware so if his bosses wanted him to dress for success this was it or no success. He didn’t even own a pair of Dockers. Rambo kept his curly dark brown hair in a ponytail and sported the Don Johnson scruff. His wide, expressive eyes were as dark as his hair, his voice was startlingly deep but gentle and he had a great gluteus maximus. It wasn’t that women didn’t like him, they did, but he kept to himself and was keeping himself for “her”.
Day 5: Create a superhero and describe them in 500 words or less
To look at Nela you’d never guess she had powers at all. She was slight of build with mousey brown hair and wore John Lennon wires, those round wire rimmed glasses you were more likely to see on your grandmother. Her eye color remained a mystery no one cared to solve. She was a bookworm by nature so it made sense she worked as a librarian long hours. She didn’t have to, she wanted to. Nela loved keeping the library organized and ordered for the patrons as much as she loved assisting them in finding exactly what they needed. She always smiled and her demeanor was gentler than a kitten. Those who frequented the library or even passed her on the street were more inclined to protect her from harm than to seek her out for help. No one would be shining a big “N” in the sky if they were in trouble. When she wasn’t working at the library she was home writing. She had a gift for poetry and had decided to write an epic like the Iliad or the Odyssey based on the lore she’d heard all her life about her family. It was certainly no surprise when she had first told her mother her idea, but she’d made Nela promise she would never reveal the story had anything to do with her family. Family business was private.
What no one knew was that Nela came from a line of unique women whose origins went back to the time of the island of Thera, a couple-thousand BC. It’s said that her ancestor foresaw the volcanic eruption that would destroy the island and its inhabitants, warned everyone of its ferocity but the inhabitants wouldn’t leave believing offering libations, dance and celebration would pacify the volcano. Wanting to get away from Greece altogether to avoid the volcanic aftermath, she took her children and journeyed to southern Italy where they lived for generations until the rule of Mussolini. It was then her grandmother took her mother, still a young girl, and immigrated to America where Nela would be born. No one ever spoke of who her father was; all she knew about him was that he died in the war. Nela had inherited the ancient gift of sight and if she chose to she could hear someone’s thoughts, she had the speed of the winged goddess Nike, charioteer of Zeus himself, and strength like those hot TV vampires had only hers wasn’t an act. This was the normal way the women in her family had always been but she had been taught and certainly had seen growing up that all people were not like her, should anyone like her come her way she’d know it, and to make certain she guarded her “gifts”. No one could ever know.
Day 9: Create a villain and describe them in 500 words or less
Agon sat in his basement completely absorbed in his crossword puzzle. On his wall were ones he’d completed making it look like it was constructed of papier-mâché instead of concrete. In the background was a bubbling sound of simmering liquid. It had taken almost a year for Agon to set up his network of beakers, pipets, flasks, and cylindars interconnected by more pipets and hoses all suspended above Bunsen burners. He even had a pestle and mortar for the sake of ambience. During the warmer weather he was a glassblower, a real tradesman who turned quite a profit, so it was nothing for him to connect the glassware how he wanted then expand until he had his ultimate, elaborate and very functional design. In the left hand corner of the room was a to-scale likeness of Agon’s ex-girlfriend made of glass. She broke up with him a year and a half ago; the townspeople said after the breakup she just up and disappeared and he was so devastated when he’d heard she’d left, he couldn’t stand to be in town anymore so he moved. At the time everyone’d guessed it was because of all the memories. Made you wonder if it was so hard on the both of them to be apart why break up at all? Can’t figure out these young people today!
Agon completed the crossword; he pushed back from his desk studying the wall for the right place to mount it then stepped back admiring his collection. He walked to the end of his worktable, and unclamped a hose pouring liquid into a graduated cylindar. He clamped the hose again, picked up the cylindar and swirled the substance around admiring its clarity and its consistency. There was a large brown spider scurrying across the table; Agon quickly snatched up a dropper and filled it with the liquid, held it over the spider and covered it completely. The spider slowed, slowed and stopped. He looked up at the clock above the likeness, counted 20 seconds and carefully put his finger to the spider, then tapped it, then picked it up and placed it on the palm of his hand. Agon broke into a big smile; in his hand was the spider hardened in glass. He put it on the corner hutch with his unique collection of statuettes and knick-knacks. He grabbed an artist’s brush, the liquid and walked over to the likeness speaking gently as he touched up some cracked places on her face. “You can never leave me,” he crooned. “We are forever. I’ve met someone like your BFF Sandy was. I’ll make her like you so won’t be alone anymore.” He put down the brush and cylindar, picked up his cell, selected contacts and pressed “Natalie”.
Day 31: Write a flash fiction piece involving your fictional character, your hero and your villain
Natalie went out for an afternoon walk. It’d been cloudy all day but as she stepped out the door she saw the sun was shining in front of her and on the street she was going to walk down while in the opposite direction there were gathering dark clouds. “Too funny”, she thought, “I step out the door and the sky clears a path. I wonder if there’ll be a choir of heavenly host too.” No singing yet but as she made her way down the street the sun broke through strong shining directly onto her. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh,” Natalie mused to herself although her own voice in her head was the only one singing. She thought of the guy at the library she’d befriended; he’d been there day after day researching glass-art and he couldn’t talk enough about his girlfriend. “How he loves her!” she thought. He seemed so nice, quite studious, and very talented. He was a glass blower by trade and would bring in pieces to show Natalie. The town was new to them, his girlfriend hadn’t made many friends yet, and he’d love it if Natalie could come to dinner sometime so she wouldn’t think he was fooling around. His name was Agon. Today he hadn’t come but she’d made plans with him a couple of days ago to meet them tonight for dinner. Her friend who worked at the library had wanted to meet Agon, and she’d warned Natalie to be cautious. As she reached the top of the incline dark clouds began to surround her. The cool felt good but for some reason Natalie felt they were a warning but for what? As she kept walking the sun would break through and shine on her strong but would be gone again all too soon while dark clouds kept swirling out wider and wider almost occluding the sky altogether. “What on earth”, Natalie thought to herself. “Am I in danger?” But there wasn’t a soul on the street.
Nela was closing up the library but she couldn’t get Natalie out of her mind. “Why do I feel she’s not safe”, she thought to herself. Natalie had left early that day but Nela couldn’t shake off the thought going to dinner alone just wasn’t a good idea. Now the feeling was stronger and menacing. Sensing someone behind her she turned quickly. Agon was standing there: he’d been watching her lock up. “Can I help you?” “I was hoping to check out a book I’d wanted, I found it a couple days ago and left it behind. Is the library closed for the night?” “I’m afraid it is but you can come back tomorrow. In fact, if it’s still available I’d be glad to put it aside for you. What’s the name of it?” “Oh, you don’t have to go through so much trouble. I’ll stop by tomorrow afternoon and if it’s still here I’ll remember to check it out this time. My girlfriend and I just moved into town, we’re in the middle of getting organized, we’re so busy and I feel bad for her because she works so much. She hasn’t had much time to make friends. Have a good evening.” Agon flashed a disarmingly charming smile that might have worked on any other woman in the world but Nela. Nela smiled back disguising the alarms that were going off inside her. As Agon walked away his thoughts rang loud and clear, “I’ll have to change the process. It’ll be more pain; I have to make it permanent but I can still do this tonight. There’re a couple of hours before Natalie gets to the house. More than one friend might be good.” Nela gasped, “Natalie! So, this is Agon!”
On the way to Agon’s Natalie stopped by Rambo’s work to let him know she wouldn’t be helping out this evening, she was meeting up with friends for dinner. “Friends? You spend almost as much time alone as I do. What friends?” Natalie laughed, “Yeah, that’s true Rambo B but this guy’s been in the library a lot, he’s a glass blower, new in town, you should see his stuff, he’s real good. He’s got a girlfriend he wants me to meet, seems nice enough, so I said I’d come over for dinner.” “I don’t like the way that sounds”, Rambo said, “You really don’t know these people. What if he’s a serial killer, his girlfriend’s his first victim and he keeps her mummified body at the head of the table?” Natalie pushed him and his rolling chair across the small room. “That’s some imagination! Maybe you should write murder mysteries in your spare time.” “Spare time, I’ve heard of it. I tell you what, why don’t you bring me so there’ll be an even number and just in case, so it’s not two against one.” Natalie thought of the clouds earlier as she was walking. “Maybe that’s a good idea. You know, when I took my walk clouds started gathering but not for a storm, like they were trying to tell me something.” “Tell you something! You’ve always had this crazy connection with the weather…” “Nature. I’ve always had a connection with nature.” “And you’re not American Indian?” “You know I’m not Rambo. We’ve been through this.” “Yeah, some non-existent island near Greece… I don’t have a good feeling about this whole setup anyway; let’s listen to Mother Nature.” Rambo powered down the computers and closed up shop for the night. As they stepped outside he offered Natalie his arm. “If there’s time I’d like to stop home and shower first.”
Jill opened her eyes with a start. “Oh, mother”, she gasped, “A descendant from Thera, no… there’s two!”