Up From the Muck


I walk your streets when darkness kisses the ground. I don’t skulk – I belong wherever I decide I wish to be. I do keep to the shadows, but only because I’m not pretty and don’t like being reminded that it matters.

Besides, trust me…I don’t want to talk to you any more than you want to look at me.

I stare into your lighted windows, portals to what I am now a stranger to, and try to discern what magic gravitational field exists in there that keeps your feet on this side of terra firma when so many of us slipped right through the crack. Whether it appears to you as a fissure or a chasm makes no nevermind; one misstep and *pfft* you’re the squalling baby surfing the tide of the bathwater.

With determination you can clamber back out for a nighttime sojourn, but never to stay. The pull that the underside exerts is physical. As dawn’s light starts to creep across the horizon like a cat burglar doing the walk of shame, your feet will turn themselves towards the closest pool of blackness to slip you back home. By that time you’re most likely ready to go anyway. The world up here now is a reflection in a fun house mirror and the people that loved you don’t even bother to see right through you since they don’t see you at all.

I need to figure out how it is that we can stand outside and look in on them and their comforts, and yet they cannot look out and see us in the miasma. If I can’t answer that question…well, then none of us will ever get to go home again.

….because I know more people falling through the cracks than dancing around them…


Trifecta Week 86 challenges us to write between 33-333 words using the word….wait for it….
1a : a loud roll or peal
b : a sudden sharp noise
2: a sharp witty remark : quip
3a : a narrow break : fissure

b : a narrow opening —used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

Post navigation

18 thoughts on “Up From the Muck

  1. Ohh … the pain got to me ! Relatable … Though do you think, there must be a good reason why “you” really likes being trapped in that gravitational field and may be you should not just give up just because you don’t like the comforts and you prefer the miasma over it !

    • Ha, that’s just it isn’t it? Some people are perfectly happy falling through the cracks and staying there. Thank you very much for reading.

  2. I could read this as a fantasy piece about creatures lurking, possibly banished to an underworld. Or being the realist writer/reader that I lean toward I will read it as an awesome metaphor on our compulsion to look away from the unattractive among us, and the poor, the immigrants. They slip through those cracks. I love the line: I’m not pretty and don’t like being reminded that it matters. A world of beautiful people, that’s all we want to see. Nice work!

    • Of course I realize fantasy and sci-fi are “real” in the sense of metaphor and parallels. Didn’t mean to sound like an idiot with that realist stuff. But you already know I’m very fond of your work! 🙂

    • Ha, this one really did have more of a realistic bent in my mind. There are so many different cracks that so many people fall through, and it can be the tiniest thing to start with. Everything is so in your face anymore, there are ’causes’ and those ’causes’ have ‘faces’ and in the maelstrom the real day to day life gets lost. Um, apparently I’m feeling a tad disillusioned at the moment 😉

  3. Like steph says above, this can be interpreted on two levels, and it’s fiercely powerful on both. I, too, know many people who’ve fallen or are falling (repeatedly or for the first time) through the cracks, and this story nails that sense of yearning and hopelessness and anger at being left in on the outside, invisible and uncounted. There’s some crazy strong imagery here– “when darkness kisses the ground,” “he squalling baby surfing the tide of the bathwater” (!!), “a cat burglar doing the walk of shame.” So fresh and delicious! I love this piece.

    • Thank you so much, I’m actually really happy to see the word ‘delicious’ used to describe something that I wrote 😉 There are times when no matter how hard you try you feel like you can’t get any forward momentum, and I just wanted to capture the outsider not feeling sorry for themselves, but just genuinely curious about what’s so different about the ‘haves’.

  4. Oh, I like that line about the squalling baby surfing the tide of the bathwater. A very vivid metaphor. Nicely done!

  5. Draug419

    Oh wow, now this is interesting. Great job with the prompt. This is very unique.

  6. God. Damned! You are brilliant!

    And I’m not just speaking of your ability to match seemingly unmatchable socks here, when I say that.

  7. KymmInBarcelona

    The breech is palpable between the narrator and “you”, but I was thrown by the switch in the last paragraph.

    This: the squalling baby surfing the tide of the bathwater
    is brilliant.

    • I’ll take a ‘brilliant’ any day. I’d be interested to know how you mean thrown- like there was a twist or there was a disparity in the story- because I wasn’t sure if I communicated what I meant coherently, ha.

  8. Very interesting piece. Worth reading once, twice, even thrice!
    My response to the prompt: http://www.aliciaaudrey.com/blog/trifectaprompt-crack/

  9. Thank you for your comment on my blog the other day. I love reading your stuff, too. I’ll be back again soon.

Leave a Reply to stankmeaner Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: