Sunday, September 11, 2011

Out of Tune

 Based on a real event.  The title "The social Media Lounge Singer" is part of the picture and is not the title.

Prompt: Use music in a short fiction piece
Genre: Any
Limit: 750 words
Deadline: 9/14/2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET

The Social Media Lounge Singer

The Social Media Lounge Singer

     Wow, my first formal gala!  I proceeded into the convention center with wide-eyed childlike expectation.  I might actually meet some big wigs, a congressman or maybe even a senator or something.

      I checked my over coat, and straightened my ascot in the reflection mirrored back opposite the rising escalator.  I stepped off the escalator and stood behind an aide to congressman Eric Cantor, while, I awaited the opportunity to enjoy the gala and all its offerings.  I entered into the top floor automobile display area, the "click, click" of the soles of my shoes drowned out by the cacophony that emanated from what passed for a cover band.  I stopped to listen for a moment and chuckled at the band's sour notes.  Whoa! Maybe they're only warming up, its early. 

     Early or not, the venue appeared filled with patrons, already.  Strange and exotic vehicles appeared alongside the familiar varieties, at every turn of my head.  I headed straight for the nearest bar station, astonished that it was "open bar", only tips expected.  I meandered around the area close to the wannabe cover band, amd traversed around patrons in tuxedos "jailhouse" posed in front of vehicles with 30" chrome rims.  Oh you know the pose, squatted down, elbows on the knees, poised on the toes.  Well, it looked even more ridiculous with a tux on.  I moved from car to car, free beer in hand, and tried to hum along with the mangled rendition of  KC and the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight"

     I decided to head in the direction of  the back half of the center, if for no other reason than to save my ears.  And to my displeasure, my ears were immediately accosted by a wannabe lounge singer, absolutely butchering my favorite Luther Vandross track.  He sang loud, tone deaf and off-key, "And a heart is not a home, Then there's no one there to hold you close, And no one to kiss at night, Ah girl".

     Initially perturbed, I fought the urge to stomp away disgusted and instead decided to pretend to examine a futuristic prototype of a Chrysler Minivan.  I just caught myself, prior to offering odds for wagering to passing patrons on whether Convention Management would give the singer "the hook" before the end of the song and how soon.

     "...But a room is in a house, And that house is close to home, What the two of us are tryin' to start, But one of us has a broken heart..."

     Struck by the comedic value of the rendition, I covered my mouth with my hand gripping my chin, as if in deep thought, to hide a grin.  I decided to move closer to the singer, and pretended to be just another patron interested in being involved in a discussion over a prototype sedan proffered by Chrysler.

     "...But its just a crazy game, And when it ends, it ends like years, Pretty little darling; you have my heart, Don't let a mistake tear us apart, I'm not meant to just roam, Turn your house into my home..."

     At that point, I could no longer hold the laughter in, it started slowly with me determined to keep it tightly under control.

     "...Its drivin' me insane to think, That my baby wouldn't be; in a home with me, Just say you're gonna be, Still with me, Oh yeah"

     I hunched over and began to laugh out loud.  I crossed my arms and held my sides as they began to hurt, while, tears leaked from my eyes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Story

Much shorter submission than I originally intended but, I wanted to make sure I met the deadline so I had to cut some of the content or I would  have never been able to finish it in time.  Maybe later, I can add more details to the battle

Genre: War, any, past,  present or future.
Length: 1250 words
Due: Wed. Aug. 31st. 8:30 EST.

      "I would have been considered old by your standards, I had not yet reached my 200th winter", he pauses, a distant look in is alien eyes, the irises blue and charcoal gray where white should have shown.

     Great!  Just what I need another wacko washed out thespianOh well, no need to waste the opportunity for a nice drink and cigar.  "Ya don't say", I flash him what I hope is an encouraging grin, while, leaning back in my chair puffing my cigar alight.

     "Our land, was one riddled with constant strife, with one faction or another seeking to dominate and subject  the others to their rule.  The council, while respected, had little real power.  More figurehead, than governing body, assassination had become a very real threat."  He pauses again, taking a sip of some dark concoction, with a faint smack of his lips he resumes his tale, oblivious to the rolling of my eyes at his theatrics.  "It was not long before war erupted, a half dozen warlords vying for the opportunity to take control of all of Viscattia.  The council attempted to intercede but, only succeeded in convincing the various factions to wage their war in a shielded environ, the populace would be spared, wanton destruction and slaughter."

     "Some of the greatest mages and warriors of an era were summoned by one warlord or another."  He stands up and begins to pace back and forth in front of our table, drawing the attention of some of the more curious patrons.  He stops in mid-stride, running the palm of one large swarthy hand down the length of his face.  "All assumed the battle would be waged as a six-sided affair but, almost right from the beginning the noble and just stood opposite the vile and the wicked.  Old enmities, rehashed anew upon this crime or that slight.  A shout, preceded the first of many magical barrages, a dull, black, spiked warhammer creased the entire side of a warrior's helm, blood sprayed forth from the punctures created by the spikes.  As the battle raged on all sides, it quickly became apparent that the bowl shaped terrain allowed little room for retreat."  He sits back down, elbows on the table, his hands on the top of his head.

     "From sunrise to dusk, did the battle rage, surrender was supposed to be an option, however, I planned on giving no quarter, nor did I expect any in return."  He pauses again, looks up and taking hold of his mug and upending the drink down his throat, before pounding the mug to the table.

     "Blood and Offal lapped lazily against my calf as I attempted to gain a better vantage point, while, raising myself out of the red creek the battlefield had become.  I had hoped, just maybe, Caralegis and I were the sole survivors but, then I spied Dezinegen regain his feet.  He looked like nothing so much then as something out of a child's  nightmare, as his dark, lank hair dripped scarlet slime and added to the rivulets of red that ran down the various parts of his face.  His semi-permanent rictus grin made me wonder for about the tenth time in that day if he still truly lived or had become some pallid flesh wearing lich.  I did not know, nor did I care, for he raised his arms above his head, hands spread and looked as though he was prepared to cast his vile reanimation spell a third time."  He pauses, appearing to stare off into space, "his second cast of that horrible incantation..." he shakes his head from side to side, as if to rid himself of the images jumping to the forefront of his mind.  "The horror etched on the combatants faces as their slain compatriots arose from the grave and began to slay both friend and foe alike.  It seemed Dezinegen was ready to sacrifice any and everything to become supreme warlord of the realm.  Gray skeletal forms strode through that milling mass as well and provided proof that that particular arena had known war before.


     "I stood there amidst the carnage of a landscape littered with the remains of close to a hundred thousand and looked into the eyes of what I considered death itself.  I bent knee in the scarlet sludge that lapped at my legs like water at the shore of a lake in supplication to Dezinegen's authority and saw Caralegis hesitate before she did the same.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

End of the line

I'm back like I left somethin', ha ha!  Seriously, I ask any readers to bear with me while I'm in the mist of perfecting a new writing process.  I'm not complaining about it because, the process makes it easier to write, however, the frame work lends itself to the story almost taking on a life of its own and the story starts to become unmanageable.  That said, I hope you like it.  Constructive criticism is always welcome! Part 2 Coming Soon

Prompt: A story about unrest.
Genre: Open
Word Count: 1500 words (or fewer).
Deadline: Thursday August 18th 2011 8:30 PM EST

From the website -International Business Times:  London Riots 2011 Frightening Pictures

     ".... and for the third night in a row, the city of London is on fire, literally.  Jack could you tell us what the..."  A tense silence settles over the room, as he powers the television off, while turning on his heel, to return to his seat on the edge of the desk.  Looking down, his elbow on his thigh, hand pinching the bridge of his nose he breathes, "what's to prevent the same from happening here?"  Bewildered looks, makeup the sole response to his question.

* * * * *
     "This will finally show the agents of this pseudo plutocracy, we can no longer be ignored.  It's time someone struck a blow for the lower classes in this country, for all those who carry the burden of  Washington's burgeoning debt upon their backs."  Her fist thuds down onto the table, rattling various instruments, glinting from the dim light overhead.

     Looking down, Casey scuffs the sole of her shoe on the gritty, steel gray tile, sighing "are you sure the gas will just stun those in its path?"  She whispers, "And not    kill?  I want nothing to do with ..."

     "Be at ease, all the active agents come from current human sedatives, just a few added enzymes to convert the formula to gas", a wry grin crosses her face "have no worries, this will only be shock and awe.  Then we issue our ____demands, encouraging Washington to change its ways or else. "

     Casey grabs the two duffel bags off of the floor and heads for the exit at the west side of the room.  Hmm, I thought they'd be heavier.  Hague's voice projects into the hallway,

     "Make sure you get those to the rendezvous point ASAP, Les has the final components."

     Parking the Enduro dirt bike outside a rented hangar near the Artesia Municipal Airport, she snatches the one duffel bag from the rear of the motorcycle, while leaving the other bag strapped to her back.  She Hesitates before entering the hangar and, tries to remove the apprehension from her visage prior to meeting with Les.  She visibly shivers, man, that guy gives me the creeps.  He always put her in the mind of Albert Einstein on crystal meth.  Shaking her head and trying not to shudder, she steps in, calling out with a loud HELLO!

     Les immediately pops out from behind a large canvas curtain, a faint sulfuric scent wafting from his direction as he approaches the lone entrance into the hangar.  Wearing an impish grin, he reaches for the bags, giving both bags a quick, soft caress before cradling them like a couple of newborns.  She swallows and looks down at her shoes, in order to avoid his maniacal gaze.

     "Now for the magic, hee hee hee hee", his high scratchy voice filling the silence.  "Wait here!"  He disappears back behind the canvas.  Clanks, bangs and clicks follow shortly thereafter, putting her in the mind of a busy auto garage before midday.  She thinks of going to peek around the curtain, her feet already starting to carry her forward towards the nearest edge of the curtain.  A static like flash, accompanying a small pop and a strong stench of acrid smoke, serving to stop her where she stood.  The sound of a faint footfall turns her attention back toward the entrance, she screams as two individuals in all black, faces covered to the eyes, accelerate towards her.  The shorter of the pair backhands her across the mouth, sending her staggering while, his or her partner dashes in the direction of Les and the curtain.  Her assailant gives her one hard look before leg sweeping her to the ground and following in the curtain's direction.

     While, trying to regain her feet, the assailants emerge from around the curtain, running hard, the larger of the two carrying a large hiking/camping style backpack.  Her earlier assailant kicks her in the side of the head, just as she plants her feet to stand erect, sending her sprawling once more.  She finally, manages to regain her feet, shaking her head, she staggers out of the entrance of the hangar, deciding to attempt pursuit of the thieves, rather than check on the well-being of her colleague.  Sand and rocks fly as she witnesses the departure of a late model jeep from the vicinity of the hangar.

     She woodenly, shuffles over to the side of the hangar, just managing to straddle her bike but, struggling to get it start it.  Vruuuuuuuunnnnn, the engine turns over and she takes off down the path in the direction of the escaping vehicle, unsure of what she would do if she managed to overtake the fleeing Jeep.

     The sight of the scene before her, strips her of all thought upon completion of the chase, arriving just a minute or two behind the thieves' Jeep.  Impossible!  The government knows?

     The initial explosions send shock waves through the compound, knocking Casey to the ground and snatching her breath away in an instant.  A glance at many of the buildings in her line of sight reveals a green glowing vapor emanating from fissures opened during the concussive blasts. 

     Pieces of bodies, as well as whole corpses litter the ground in every direction, scattered inside as well as outside of the buildings within the compound.  Scorch marks cover every surface, including a number of the still twitching bodies of men and women wearing both civilian and military attire.  Turning away from the carnage and eerie vaporous fumes, she staggers toward her motorcycle, starting it easily and speeding away into the night.

* * * * *
      "I want the perpetrators, and I want them yesterday.  Send everybody, there is no other priority", his stern look turning inward with each word.  Clasping his hands behind his back he begins pacing the floor of his office as the attendees begin filing out of the door. 

End of Part I


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mr. Haskel

I definitely need to put my tinfoil hat on more often, I had no idea that people subscribed to many of the top 20 conspiracies.  This was a great challenge of a prompt, however, I do not know if I did it justice.  Also, as you will see some of the text is in bold and some isn't, it's not an indication of emphasis or lack there of, in relation to the story.  I tried several times to turn off the bold and then in the middle of a paragraph, the bold just turned off by itself.  I'll just chalk it up to one more weird occurrence happening lately with the Blogger site. Enjoy or tell me what you didn't like that always helpful.

 Flash Fiction Friday Challenge

Prompt: Write a story based on a common conspiracy theory
Genre: Any

Glacier in Kenai Fjords park
Photograph taken from the website:

     "Behold son, you could be lookin' upon one of the last of the great glaciers", his belly shakes with mirth at the thought of all the tinfoil heads in such a tizzy over a little rise in temperature, the last couple years.   Temperatures rose and fell throughout history, sometimes its hot, sometimes its cold, what's the big deal.

     "Mr. Haskel says, that man, is somewhat to blame for all the strange weather we be havin'"

     "Strange?  You call what we been havin' strange?  He gives his ample belly a profound slap, his double chin jiggling, as he chuckles while disdainfully shaking his head side to side.  "Boy, I'll have you know, that when I was your age, we wouldn'a even shrugged at your straaannge weather"

     "Mr. Haskel says, that we're makin' deserts where we had good land and swamps outta woods."

     "Boy!  Ain't nothin' happenin' on this here mudball that ain't already happened before!"

     He lifts his slightly dingy red NASCAR Cap off by the lid, covering the #24 embroidering with his right hand, while scratching the middle of his scalp with the same hand.  "Yeah, but, Mr. Haskel  says, that if we don't act fast, nothin' will ever be the same as it was or used to be."

     "Ever heard of the ice age boy!  Now, do you think them dinosaurs lived during that time? No!  They roamed and romped before then, and everybody know that lizards, likes it hot!"

     "Yeah, but, Mr. Hask..."

     "Mr. Haskel, Mr. Haskel", he whines, his voice dripping with condescension, as his head weaves from side to side momentarily.  "You ask that fancy pants, new teacher of yours, why if its gettin' hotter like he say, why then, do it still snow in the places it always snowed in", "As a matter a fact, you tell that..."

     A loud crack splits the brisk Alaskan air of the Kenai Fjords.  Passengers all over the tour boat stop and gape as the base of the exit glacier separated and slid into the Seward Harbor, raising the boat about 15 feet in the process, threatening to capsize the the tiny vessel and drown a good deal of its patrons.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Eve of a Dedication

Flash Fiction 55

Write a poem (or Flash Fiction 55)
—inspired by Walter Parada’s work


     "Thistus!  I'm telling you that's him!"

     "How would you know, Aemilianus, everybody knows, Emperor Charlemagne forbade children at the games."

     "Did I say I just walked in through the gates of the Arena?  No, I..... sneaked in at the bottom of the refuse cart."

     "Ha, ha!  Aemilianus the rubbish boy!  Rubbish..."

     "Shut up, Faustus!  You two will be green with envy tomorrow, when Titus, is in front of the line at the festival."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Scene

This is my entry for flash fiction fridays, another good prompt this week.  Unlike, last week I will definitely be backing this one up since my last entry for flash fiction friday was deleted due to a malfunctioning Blogger Site.

Prompt: Write a story of a negotiation and have your characters use at least two tactics
Genre: Any
Word Count: 1000 words

From site 6 ways to prove batman is a pimp

      "Look 'ere, dig, you gon' have ta give up somethin', ifn you wanna work dis here track."

      "You country boys got some nerve", his voice not much above a whisper.  "It would be a grave mistake to play me cheap".  He chuckles softly as he spreads his feet apart and places his hands behind his back, wrist in hand.  Displaying a sly smile, "Perhaps, we can work something out".

      A reedy voice pipes in "Dat' depend on watchu got in mind, big tyme.  New playas mean les' fo' 'erybody.  Drawing attention to his blood red suede blazer by brushing his hands down one sleeve, then the other.
     "Less!  That just shows me that I made the right decision by coming down here and showing you boys how to work this track.  The way I got it figured, we can all get paid. Who knows, I might just double your take."  His sardonic grin, expressing anything but sincerity.

     "Look 'ere, you fer real, why not sho' us a little somethin'.  Uh cupple of ya' benchwarmers should do the tric'."  Rubbing his hands together, and licking his top lip in anticipation of the answer.

     "Maybe, you transfer members of your stable back and forth, like so many bargaining chips but, I have a little more regard for those that walk the stroll for me."  He tucks his top lip in mock thought, tilting his head to the side slightly.  "Actually, I might be willing to lend you my top earner for say, two months."

     Still primping, now straightening his belt beneath his suede jacket, he pipes in, "we was thinkin' more lyk fo'."

     Tilting his head to one side and then the other, he slowly nods, "I think, I can agree to that."  His accompanying wry grin suggesting more machinations to come.  "But, what's exactly in it for me."  The intervening silence made awkward by the blank looks on the visages of his two would be adversaries.

     "Look 'ere, playa', you ken werk erything frum riversyd ta dakota."

     His partner's reedy voice pipes in, "dat's fitteen blocks a pryme real ehstayt, you ain't gon' get dat kinda deal no'where."

     "Where should I send Minxy to, in order to seal the deal."

     "Right 'ere be nice, 'bout two nights frum now, round saym tyme."

     With one last nod, he smoothly turns on his heel and glides away into the inky, fog shrouded night, wearing a wide grin and whistling a wordless tune, he had learned from his mother long ago.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Desperate Measures

Today’s One Shoot Sunday Poetry challenge: Write a poem (or Flash Fiction 55) based on 1 of Fee Easton's photos out of the 5

Photograph by FEE EASTON

     In a last ditch effort, I snatched off Grendella's hood and with a flick of the wrist, she took flight.  Her majestic form gained altitude quickly, and I hoped the inexperienced rearguard would notice her signal and send reinforcement.  All seemed lost...

      "For the black lion!"  Accompanied a cacophonous clash of steel, which littered the ground with torn body parts and dented or broken armor.

Poem: Another Commencement

This poem will be my submission for One Shot Wednesday @One Stop  I just visited their site and I see they have a new prompt challenge up with a choice of 5 pictures from which to choose.  That just might be too tempting for me to pass up for a flash fiction 55 opportunity!

Busy, a description.

Used for a moment, a scene, a person.

Babies, kids, adolescents, adults:  elderly, mature, and young

walking and dancing with bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, cars, buses, and trucks.

Converge across sections.

Rush for the shining dome, to be first in.

Security, gatekeepers, proctors, officials:  high, lesser, and adjuncts

orbiting tables and stands of vendors of flowers, souvenirs, food, and other junk.

Precede the procession.

Robed carriers of distinct signs, skirt in.

Stone stairs, stadium seats, and removed field reserved for acts of fun

Associates, bachelors, masters, doctors all conferred from behind the podium.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Porcelain Garbage F3 – Cycle 28 – The 700 Club Open to pg. 70. Choose the 7th sentence. The title of the book is A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

With the closing of busy season for taxes and wrapping up the 1st quarter financials and analysis at my day job as a controller, I didn't think I would be able to submit for this week's prompt.  This week's prompt was difficult for me, I have no experience of ever writing crime fiction in any shape or form.  That being said here's my short shot at this week's prompt.  Heck, I didn't even know how to name the thing, maybe the name is appropriate. 

Website for this image

     Arya wanted to scream.  However, the faint step and drag of Zeus's hobbled gait grew closer on the other side of the door.  Her heart thundered in her ears.  No way he would let her live this time.  He had promised her that the next unsatisfied customer to emerge from her cell would be her last.  Her mouth dried as the chipped gold enamel door knob twisted and the dingy, off-white door swung inward, the soft squeal of old hinges a melancholy theme song, that introduced Zeus's towering form.

     She backed away and cowered in the corner, unshed tears in her eyes as he advanced across the room.  The slow rhythmic manner in which he spun, then unwound the soiled towel in between his hands, hypnotized her.  In one quick motion he uncoiled the towel, it swooped and a quick twist of the towel choked off her air as her tiny, half-clothed, pre-pubescent frame lifted away from the grime-coated hardwood floor.

     "Hey, you know that missing persons report regarding the 12 year old girl, came in 'bout a month ago.  Her body just turned up in a dumpster two blocks over from that diner up on Dunston Street."

     "Anyone been assigned?"

     "Not yet"

     "What're we waitin' for?"  Karl grabs his overcoat and heads for the precinct door, with his partner Graves close on his heels.  "This makes the third, in the last six months."  Another waste of time where no one saw a thing, but may have heard something untoward.  Sheesh! And to think I could have joined the Merchant Marines.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When Men Were Men!

Prompt: THEMED WORDLIST – Fist, Jab, Knuckle, Spirit, Fighter, Rhythm

     "Looks like this night's gonna get a bit more interesting", "check out who just stepped through the door".

     I continued drying the freshly dipped glasses [washed would be too strong of a word] and setting them upside down on the front shelf, for easy access.  "Grady" as we locals liked to refer to him, always entertained and seldom in a politically correct manner.  The funny thing being I've never heard him referred to any other way and the old goat responds in kind.

     "Hey Rummy, I could use another drink over here! ...a err shot a jack this time"

     I slide the shot down the bar with aplomb.  I'm Rummy by the way, in case you haven't guessed.  The regulars kinda gave me the name, on account of,  if you ask for a drink nondescriptly, you get RUM, the cheapest in the house, 'Mr. Boston Light Rum' to be exact.

     "Rummy!  Aint'ya got the fight in dis place!

     The sour stench of stale wine wafts from Grady's direction, whether from the all too familiar dark gray sweater jacket or his breath, who knows.  "Grady pipe down! It ain't for another hour or so. You know we got the fight tonight!  Any man with two marbles upstairs, can see this ain't the normal weekend crowd."  The place definitely has a different rhythm tonight, feels like the bar itself just might be holding its breath in anticipation.  I walk over, remembering at the last moment not to lean forward on the bar in my usual pose, not with Grady.

     "What's got you so worked up, aren't you always claiming that the fighters nowadays 'got no heart', one might think two of those Danbury, bare knuckle fighters you go on about,  will be fighting tonight."

     "Nah, nothin' like da real men of yor', when men were men!  But, dease two boys in da main got real spirit dough.  Mastah o' da jab day call one of 'em."  He slaps the bar top with a weathered hand, anticipation dancing in his glossy steel gray eyes.  He smiles displaying what's left of his teeth.  Easier time counting the ones he has left, rather than what's missing.

     A glass shatters on the floor, as a minor altercation starts up at the opposite end of the bar.  "Hey, break another one, and you'll see some fists flying, right here and now."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday, Doc's Inaugural Prompt: Someone caught with their pants down, A Fool. Title: Only The Young

For this week's prompt I'm taking one of my first blog posts and giving it a major makeover.  I think it would be perfect for this weeks prompt.  Have a little fun Show us a good fool, someone caught with their pants down

     Walking through the mall, a cinnamon bark suede jacket attracts my attention through the window of the SYMS Store.  I wonder how that would matchup with my suede high-tops.  My mind wanders, creating a visual of the two items worn in concert.

    "Strings, C'mon!", the faint echo of the words, dissipates quickly.

    The squeak of my shoes, similar to the sound of an athlete's sneakers on a gymnasium floor, is the only reply I give.  I accelerate forward, zigging and zagging my way through the throng of the busy hall, as I skirt the corner, while heading towards the exit.  I spot Izzy exiting the second set of double doors, moving abreast of the Coca-Cola Machine outside the entrance.  I increase my speed, closing the distance between myself and Izzy.  Outside, I can see the heads of Paco, Jake, and Mel bobbing along as they enter the parking lot.  In my rush to catchup, I disregard the precarious position of my drooping  dark blue jeans.  And just as it seems that I'm succeeding in closing the gap , my jeans slide down to my knees, tripping me in the process.

     My hands instinctively begin windmilling, trying desperately to keep my balance. I manage to salvage some portion of my dignity, by tucking and rolling to my feet at the last moment.  Whew! That was close.

     In congratulating myself, for averting a face flop, I momentarily forgot about my pants being below my knees.  Now, displaying my underwear to the unsuspecting  public would be mortifying enough.  However, today being NO DRAWERS WEDNESDAY at school (who would have ever thought that concept would take hold.), I am completely naked from hip to knee.  This to the astonishment of a gaggle of girls off to my left, .  Though, my nude modeling debut is only for the briefest of moments, each guffaw of laughter is like a lash from a wet whip to my pride and psyche.  With one swift jerk,  I return my pants to their proper position, [two inches below my waist].

    An eternity later, I emerge from the second set of double doors of the mall, into the beginning of the first stage of dusk.

    I find Izzy, Paco, Mel, and Jake waiting curbside, in a dingy, white Cutlass Supreme.  I squeeze into the back seat, feeling like my hair should be on fire, to signify what had just transpired inside the mall.  Thankfully, there are no questions, as I lean back and close my eyes, the car speeds away.

     A short while later, we pull into a townhouse community, we stop and Jake exits, and knocks at the door of the far left end unit.  A cute, caramel complexioned, girl of around 16 years old  in black shorts and a faded black sleeveless t-shirt with large pink lips adorning the front, answers the door.  After a brief conversation, Jake looks across the parking lot to where we're parked and gestures for us, to come on.  Inside the house, I hear pieces of the ongoing conversation as I wander from room to room to alleviate my restlessness.  Suddenly, I cease roaming about, they can't be discussing what I think.  Just then, Izzy peaks around the corner and relates to me, Linda's mother, will not be home for another two hours, and Linda would like very much, for us to come up to her room.

     Unbelievable, we can't be this lucky, do girls even do this sort of thing.

     As we enter the room, Linda lays back onto the queen size bed and with sultry eyes asks simply "who's first".  Pushing and shoving ensues, as a five-sided argument begins about who should have the honor.  I blink my eyes and Paco is standing in nothing but his boxer shorts and socks.  So, with that it appears, he has won the argument, however, I must have accounted for myself pretty well in the debate, as I currently stand in the second position.

     "LINDA!  I'M HOME!", a slight boom punctuates the statement, as the door to the house slams shut.

     Linda whispers "oh my god! It's my mom.  Quick, get in the closet", while shooing us all toward the closet with near frantic gestures.

     After an hour in the closet, peeking through the slit between the double metal sliding doors, I see Linda sit down onto the bed.  Jake taps me on the shoulder, drawing my attention.

     "Tell her to open the window", he whispers

     I instantly relay the message, wait a minute, open the window?  "For what?"  I whisper in Jake's direction.

     "We're jumpin out!", whispered Mel fiercely, from the other side of the closet.

     Were they mad? Surely, there's a safer way outta here

     "We saw bullets for a nine millimeter handgun in one of the kitchen drawers", whispers Izzy.

     "Great, this just gets better and better", I mutter.   Maybe we could still...

     BOOM!  The right side metal door topples out onto the carpet, just as Linda opens the window.

     In succession, Jake and Mel bounce out of the window and into the open air!  Before, I can begin to argue that this is madness, Paco dives through the opening head first.

     No question, they've done this before.  At least, Izzy has the brains to hang down out of the window before dropping the remainder of the two story distance.  Robotic steps move me forward to take a sitting position in the window opening.  As I turn to plead with Linda one last  time about letting me hide under the bed, her forceful shove, leaves me free-falling in mid air.  I close my eyes and hope for the best, before miraculously landing in a crouch, a split second later.  Grinning maniacally, while running my hands over portions of my body, I dash away into the night, leaving behind a couple specimens of completely flattened shrubbery.

     Thank God for weekends, is the thought on my mind as I exit the library, effectively, ending my shift.  The evening air is cool against my skin, as I spot Izzy and Kay waiting outside, to offer me a ride.

     "Remember those girls from over on Garrison Street", Kay says, as he turns around in my direction from the passenger seat.

     "I think so", not really, but if girls are involved,  I'm there!

     "Well, anyway they want you and I to keep them company, while, they watch movies in Crystal's basement."

     "That's what's up", finally, my luck is starting to turn.

     I greet Jessie as she lets us into the backdoor, while, Crystal holds the family German Shepherd, forcing him out into the backyard.  We pair off and settle down in opposite directions with scattered grids of soft light from the outside street lights, illuminating patches of the dark basement.  I yawn as Silence of the Lambs [the third movie] is coming to a close.

     "Come up to my room"

     "You're parents aren't home?"

     "Asleep. You'll have to be quiet though, my dad is sleeping on the living room sofa"

     "Lead the way!"

     I nudge Kay as I walk by, he stands up, and he and Jessie follow us up the stairs to the foyer.  The sound of hard snoring smothers the fall of our footsteps as we creep up the stairs, using our hands to remain as low as possible.

     Crystal locks her bedroom door and immediately, she and Jessie begin to sway back and forth, in simulation of beginning a strip tease.  The handle of the door jiggles up and down and a baritone voice booms!

     "Crystal, is everything alright in there, I thought I heard something!"

     "Daddy, Jessie and I are just trying on different outfits, in preparation for tomorrow."  She motions us toward the window.

     Rather, she motions me toward the window, for as I turn my head, I see that Kay has already climbed out of the window, disappearing to the left of it.  Ugggh! Not again!  Am I the only one who doesn't jump out of windows? Since when did this become the new trend?  With an audible sigh, I turn and move to the window, sticking my head out, to view the route Kay has taken.  It's quickly apparent that Kay's spiderman impression is beyond my abilities, as he steps from the right side of the chimney to the top of the six foot wooden fence and jumps down.

     I decide to try Izzy's method from earlier in the week.  As I lower myself down, my hand slips and I plummet towards the ground into the waiting embrace of a thorn spiked bush.  Even with thorns pricking me every which way, not to mention the one that punctured the center of the palm of my right hand, I relax and breathe a sigh of relief.


     I roll backwards out of the bush and in two steps gain the top of the fence.  However, my injured hand would not allow me to pull myself up and over, resulting in my failed lunge, succeeding in only breaking the top of the fence and dumping me face first onto the other side of the fence.  Picking myself up and scampering into the night, one thought reverberates through my brain, HOW DO I KEEP GETTING MYSELF INTO THESE SITUATIONS!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

F3 – Cycle 24 – Pulp Fiction; Rise of a Gumshoe

I jumped into this week's prompt later than I wanted, so, I have to add this tale to a growing list of others that needs finishing and polishing. That being said hope you enjoy my brief tale of detective meets steampunk, wish I had more time for the steampunk portion (my 1st attempt at this genre). Enjoy!

     Colgan leans back into the cushion of the chair, as he places the plain silver cigarette case back inside the inner left pocket of his charcoal-gray wool blazer.  The rectangular, natural colored oak desk, behind which he sits; clear except for:  a small, dingy, tin ash tray; a Princeton style desk lamp; and a plain gray Fedora.  Colgan puffs alight a hand-rolled cigarette, the orange glow lending its faint light to cut the gloom of the half-dark, interior office.

     "This is a tough business you've chosen for yourself, mack.  It chews up lightweights and flattens has beens, alike, see.  Why 20 years ago, I sat right where you're sittin.  Only work in those days was the dangersous type, see.  Being a dick meant ruffling feathers and maybe getting roughed up yourself.  Where quick reflexes were as important as quick wit."  He pauses to blow a smoke ring into the air.  "I decided I needed an edge, if-n I was gonna claw my way to the top.  I had just gotten a hold of a piece of scuttlebutt; a rumor of a rumor if you will, of a black market tinkerer conducting suspicious experiments, artificial mechanical limbs, non-traditional weapons, etc.  Only, none of it had hit the street, if the rumors could be believed, see.  Now around this same time, I had got word of a big job, kinda money that could you set up for a while, put your name on the lips of the who's who crowd.  But, the kinda job you'd hesitate to take on, even if you had the national guard backin ya, see.  So, I decided to track down this tinkerman."

     The perfume of the harbor permeated the dank, night air as he neared the district of the city juxtapositioned just west of the docks.  The clicking sound of the soles of his shoes on the damp pavement reverberated from the gray stone and weathered wood buildings of shops and warehouses.  He turned abruptly at a sound like that from a scuffed shoe, fearing a stealthy footpad or similar nefarious character.  He released a breath he had not been aware of holding, as a plump brown rat scurried into an adjacent gutter.  He flipped up the collar of his dark trench coat in an attempt to conceal as much of his face as possible , as he darted furtive glances into the shadows from one building to the next, while turning and continuing toward his destination.  He took a deep breath , and then quickly ducked into the next alleyway.  Pitch black darkness caused him to slip and subsequently slide down a short flight of grime slicked stairs, two paces into the narrow alley.  Momentarily, the beat of his heart deafened him, as its steady rhythm pounded in his ears.  He slowly rose to his feet, remaining crouched in a futile attempt to better pierce the gloom.  He moved furtively down the gritty stone pathway, which came to an end after approximately ten paces.

     'What a waste', he thought, as he placed a hand against the rough stone and placed the brim of his Fedora against the back of his hand.  Down to the right of his shoe , he caught the glimmer of a coin directly situated at the join between path and wall.  As he bent to retrieve the coin; 'No, not a coin, but a strange silver light escaping through a tiny hole directly in the seam.  He laid flat on his stomach, knees bent, in order to closer inspect  the source of the light.  As he peered into the hole, he thought a hallucination had taken control over his senses.  Below, a workshop buzzed with activity of what could only be described as machines of varying designs, shapes, and sizes moved about seemingly of their own accord, without wires, strings or cords of any kind.  All appeared made of an unfamiliar metal. 

     Twelve-inch tall metal men with what could only be described as bat wings attached to their backs zipped to and fro.  While, shiny dogs and cats pounced, darted and swiped at one another, as human sized man replicas placed finishing touches on two-foot tall soldiers, that subsequently rose and jumped down onto the shop floor and marched or stalked about, while, wielding miniature sized military grade rifles.


Prompt courtesy of Flash Fiction Fridays

Monday, March 7, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday: F3 – Cycle 21 – Defense Wins Championships


     "Davis!  What does my calendar look like for the coming week?"

     "You have meetings all week, Mr. Redgard, sir.  Most of them in locations downtown, sir, including one tomorrow at ten in the morning at the Tycon Building."

     "Negative!  I hate going to that part of town, especially Fridays.  Here's a better idea, why don't you go in my stead, come back and disseminate the information to me Monday Morning before the weekly management meeting."

     "Will do, sir" "And what should I tell the other attendees is the reason for my attendance in your place?"

     "I could care less what you come up with, just make it believable!  Make sure you call me after the meeting and let me know how things went.  I'll be playing a round with some colleagues, so you may need to try my cell more than once."  "That'll be all, Davis!"

     Closing the doors behind him, Paul Davis exits his boss's office, stepping back out into the hallway.  He turns on his heel, his legs slightly unsteady at the revelation, he would be attending a meeting of higher-ups in less than 24 hours.  He fights hard against the panic rising within him and tries to calm himself through deep breaths and pleasant thoughts.  Desperately, seeking to avoid his all too familiar reaction to heightened anxiety.  With the light sweat cooling on his forehead, he mutters, "best to avoid that at all costs"

     Arriving at his suburban apartment, Davis enters, places the Chinese Takeout on the counter, still struggling to clear his mind of thoughts of downtown, thousands of people rubbing against, brushing by, and nudging one another this way and that.  In their chaotic scramble to out race everyone to destinations unknown.  He shakes his head in disgust, at the random and disorganized nature of urban life in general. 

     Is this all there is?  No wonder, so many wives seek fulfilment outside of marriage.  The same boring...

     He awakens, sitting bolt upright, heart pounding, with the base of his skull throbbing in rhythm with his heart.  Extricating himself from his entangled, sweat dampened sheets, making his way to the balcony door, juxtaposed of the kitchen.  He pushes aside the sliding glass door and steps out into the night air, hoping the light wind would assist in cooling his body as well as clearing his mind.

     Why could he not control it?  Those last thoughts before he awoke, he shudders when he thinks of where they originated.  Although, it had served him well on occasion, affording him insight, he would otherwise have been unprivy to.  Still, the intesity at times proved dizzying and always left him with an annoying headache.  Aspirin nor Tylenol would alleviate the symptoms, only relaxation and empty thoughts.  Seeing, the dawn of day is not far-off, he decides to take a seat on the cement balcony floor, pressing his bare back against the glass in an attempt to empty his mind of pressing thoughts. 

     With the arrival of the sunrise, he stands up ready to attend to his morning routine, having only succeeded in reducing the level of his anxiety.

     The train downtown displays far more empty seats than he had imagined.  Even with that, his anxiety level slowly builds as the train pulls into the station.  The doors open and he rushes to be one of the first riders to exit the train.

     "Hurry up already, so others can get on"

     "Dang, I forgot my workout gear. I wonder if I have any leftover clothes in the office, they should be..."

     "I don't care what the rules are, I'm finishing the rest of this..."

     "Uggh, these cramps are almost unbearable, what are you lookin at..."

     "I hope the timer doesn't go off prematurely..."

     Pushing through the throng of riders on the platform, Paul rushes over to a uniformed police officer, pointing out the gentleman thinking about timers, describing the device as something he had seen in the suspicious character's backpack.

     "Figures, something like this has to happen on  my shift"  "I'll check it out, move along", the guard waves his hand in a shooing motion, as he assertively moves in the direction of the train, while speaking into his hand-held radio.

     After rushing away, climbing various escalators, he finally emerges on to street level, three city blocks away from his destination.  He's immediately immersed into the flowing current of pedestrian traffic.

     "Next time I won't..."

     "Nice shoes..."

     "Someone needs a shower..."

     "Look at the bubble on tha..."

     "Should have eaten breakfast, I'm..."

     The onslaught continues, until he arrives in front of the building whose design resembles the seat of a toilet bowl.  He enters the building with butterflies in his stomach and a throbbing headache with just enough time to arrive at the meeting on time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Flash Fic 55- Jan. 23rd Pic Prompt -- OneStopPoetry

     Irreplaceable is the woman who knows how to enjoy herself. The pungent smoke, wafting from her cigar, induced me to light fire to the hand-rolled Cuban I had been carrying this past year, in anticipation of a special occasion. My nearly imperceptible nod in her direction, leads to a genuine smile, followed by the lift of her porcelain-like chin and the exhale of wisps of smoke from smirking lips.