Monthly Archives: April 2014

Love Begins, and Ends

Love, a tour de force,

A phenomenon,
juxtaposed in nature,
it strives,
digs roots,
lazily reclines
outside its den,
it sleeps, and it wakes,
a beast and a bunny,
it dances and stumbles,
and dreams

When love came to roost,
to make a home,
as it were,
the predators
circled around,
sunk claws
into soft spots,
and found the heart

it fluttered for a moment,
magnificent in its struggle,
then wilted and lay still

~~~

As soon as I read the prompt line for the speakeasy #159, for some reason I immediately had a vision of love as a wilting flower ( Shakespeare’s birthday, mayhap? ). Hahaha, I meant as an influence, not that I channeled The Bard in my nonsense 🙂

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , | 17 Comments

There’s Always a Morning After

Mort’s first day waking up as a ghost was not as disconcerting as one might think. He knew who and where he was, and grasped the circumstances, instantly, and was glad of it. What fun would it be to start your day off thinking you were a normal 15 year old boy waking up in your bed, waiting to smell what dad was making for breakfast, and then realizing you were dead, a ghost, now living in a graveyard where the smell of bacon drifting up the stairs and dancing in your nostrils was nothing but a teasing flight of fancy.

I think that we have spent enough time with Mort by now that there is no need to continue to come up with fancy ways to say that he didn’t really do the things he did – when it is said that he rubbed his eyes as he stretched, we understand that he didn’t, in fact, do anything of the sort. At least not on the corporeal plane that we are accustomed to. He did stretch, and he did rub his eyes as he woke, he just did these things in a ghostly manner.

He floated the rest of himself all the way up out of his grave, where he had chosen to lay his head and, despite Shmitty’s prediction, dream. The watery sunlight accentuated the translucence of Mort’s form, creating a hazy miasma of flotsam and particles that were his outline. As he gazed around the waking graveyard, he observed the same glittery shapes rising here and there, some already ambulatory at this early hour. There, shining outlines of an old couple, holding shimmery hands that were barely there until they passed through the shadow of a large tree, taking a morning constitutional ritualized more than a hundred years before. And there, there he saw to his delighted surprise ghostly kittens romping and rolling in the clipped grass on the bank of a small pond.

Feeling that this warranted further investigation, and possibly scratches or snuggles, who knew, Mort rose and wandered over. Happy mewing and mewling greeted him as he walked closer, the kittens abandoning their play to rub flanks against his ankles and purr in happy anticipation. As he bent to give the nearest one, a tiny little bruiser missing an eye and half of one ear, a pat on the head, the others, three or four he couldn’t tell, they moved around too damn much, all darted forward into a furry pile over his feet. Laughing, he sat on the ground and let them clamber and claw and climb all over him. Well, this certainly wasn’t the worst way to start his first full day as an officially dead guy.

As the kittens curled up, one by one, in his lap to take a ghosty little cat nap, Mort let his eyes drift from ghost to tree to sky without really noticing many details; his brain wasn’t in first gear, just idling, waiting for a thing to catch his attention, or demand it. Until then, he was oddly content in the moment. He could still feel a version of sunlight striking his flux of gathered bits and pieces, and for that he could only be grateful. He mimicked the act of breathing in deeply, exhaling slowly, just because it delivered a sense of comfort.

* * *

Sneed sat like a stranger-than-usual gargoyle, perched on the crumbling headstone of one Patrice Michaela Snodgrass, eyeballing Mort’s recumbent form. A woman’s bouffant topped head rose from the earth and passed through Sneed’s boot, to their mutual chagrin. “Damn it, Sneed, what in the hell?” Patrice pulled her head forward, causing particles making up Sneed’s boots to jump ship and vice versa with her hair becoming part of his footwear. “I thought we’d been through this. The last thing I want to see as soon as I wake up is the bottom of your filthy hobnails. Especially not when they abscond with my hair.” She huffed huffily and set about re-arranging her coif, an act that intrigued Sneed despite himself. After a few final flourishes she directed her full attention to the little man above her. He nodded towards the boy, and she swiveled around. “Oh,” she sighed, out loud and in her heart. So young.

“Name’s Mort. New arrival, just got in last night. Tell you what though, boy slept like one of the old timers, just went right down and didn’t see him ‘gain til just a few minutes ago.” He chuckled. “Went right for the kittens.”

Shoving Sneed over to make room for herself, in a very un-ladylike manner to his way of thinking, Patrice scooted up next to him. For all their cantankerous verbal jousting, she and Sneed had been very close for a very long time. She leaned into his shoulder a little and asked him for Mort’s story. She had left a son behind when she had died; ten years old, her Benjamin, sweet and smart, and as devilishly handsome as his bastard of a father had been.

Sneed shrugged his shoulders, a sack of potatoes shifting. “Don’t know much, really. I caught his mom talking to the old codger when they were picking his spot, something about a hit and run accident.” He shrugged again, this time with an agitated edge that betrayed a flair of temper he hadn’t felt in years. “He’s special, that one. Can’t quite put my finger on why, but he’s just slipped right into his life here so far without complaint. Suppose that’s enough to make one stand out around here.”

“Will you take me to meet him, Sneed?” She hopped off the stone and held out a hand to him. “Oh! Do you think we could get everyone together in time to do a show tonight?” He snorted. “What,” she bristled. “I know it’s been a while, and I suppose they’re not always cooperative…” She trailed off under the weight of his cocked eyebrow.

“Cooperative. Really, woman? Trying to get these ghouls to agree on a single damn thing is well nigh impossible, let alone getting them cooperate with each other for an extended period of time.” They walked towards Mort, who had opened his eyes and turned his head to watch them approach, careful not to jostle the sleeping litter in his lap. As his face split into a grin and his eyes warmed, Patrice felt the strings around her heart sing a lilting little melody. There really was something about this boy, she thought. She could see it from here.

As they reached him, Sneed pulled his hat off his head and bowed with a flourish whose affect was only slightly marred by the sunken shape of one side of his skull. “Boyo,” he said. “You are in for one hell of a treat as soon the sun goes down.”

* * *

Stay tuned for the next episode, ladies and gents ~snicker~ the ghosts in Mort’s graveyard cooperate to put on a show after all. This is episode 4 (I think..?! I’m pretty sure) in Mort’s Graveyard Tales. On the odd chance that you’d like to read them all, there’s a handy little link over on the left hand side…

Categories: Fiction, Mort's Graveyard Tales | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

The Voices Told Me To

“Tell me something, old friend: why are you fighting?”

The voices of soldiers speak in my mind,
articulating before I was self-aware enough to understand what they were telling me- that there must always be questioners, for there must always be a front line standing ready to challenge the status quo.

* * *

The bolded quote comes from Gabriel García Marquez, and what follows is my first 42 word response to the yeah write gargleblaster challenge. Word counts are hard, son…

well, poop, they reached their link up limit…

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Little Teasers

(WordPress mobile stinks and deleted the first version I published, which makes me mad AND sad because there was a lovely comment)

The air was velvety ribbons of breeze in the summer evening. The stars played connect the dots across a deep blue sky, brilliant and playful, a blanket you could tug down to lay upon the grass.

She sat, slim and pale in a cap sleeve dress, knees together, demurely provocative. She shone like every cliche he’d ever read, luminescent like alabaster, lit from within like polished white marble.

Around them, globular swarms of some kind of bit me bugs cartooned around in tiny gangs, moths beat parchment wings. Two young hares, rump to rump like dueling pistols, crouched by the gate.

‘You do know,’ she murmured, ‘how lucky you are that I agreed to meet with you again.’

He nodded, false recalcitrance shining in the grin he didn’t bother trying to hide. ‘Im a dirty rotten bastard, I know.’

She felt the forgiveness seeping in around the edges of an already softened heart. ‘No, you’re not. Many things you may be, and a bastard for certain, but neither dirty nor rotten.’

He sketched a mocking bow and sat down beside her. ‘Ive come to woo you, until you swoon back into my arms. I just thought that you should know.’

‘I would name you cad, but fear you would take too much pride in it.’

‘Ill show you a cad,’ he declared, swooping in to scoop up her hand and place a smacking kiss across the knuckles.

She turned her head haughtily on a muffled laugh. ‘I am quite sure there’s nothing that you could possibly do to win me back.’

He didn’t answer, least always not with more words. She felt her hand turned over, and slower kisses landed upon her palm, trailed up her inner arm, stooping just shy of the crook of her elbow. Hot breath warmed the already warm pocket of flesh; he held still there, breathing slowly.

‘You may continue your wooing, I suppose,’ with only a little hitch in her voice to mar it’s insouciance.

As he straightened and leaned in towards her, as he slid a hand into a silky mass of black hair to cup the back of her neck, as his eyes smiled at her mouth, she let out a sigh, and the night air came alive.

*~*~~

There are so many really talented writers participating in the speakeasy challenge that it’s a privilege to feel challenged to raise my writing game to their level.

This week, the sentence chosen (in bold) was picked by last weeks champion, the Alien Aura blog. I highly suggest that you read her story, as I personally was blown away by it:http://alienorajt.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/speakeasy155-lienas-journey/

They also threw us a media prompt, Glory Box by Portishead. I had a creative friend help me discern some of the message within the lyrics and the video (thanks, Jason).

Categories: Fiction | Tags: | 20 Comments

Real Time Entertainment

It’s a gloriously foggy day here in my part of Ohio. It’s misting rain, and about 60 degrees out, it’s Friday, and this morning I managed to keep my record of working out every day for 3 consecutive weeks. I’m feeling pretty chill.

Here’s a list of links of the things that I am listening to today to feed my brain what it needs…

Neil Gaiman’s ‘Make Good Art’ speech ( I very much look forward to having the funds to buy the book that was made from this speech)

Maya Angelou:
Love Liberates ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbecKv2xR14

Shane Koyczan: (spoken word poet, there’s a version with music and whatnot on the fabulous album Remembrance Year which also includes one of the deepest spoken word stories I’ve ever heard about meeting a man who cooks the final meals for Death Row inmates)
Tomatoes ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1quiAJCmkP8

Amanda Palmer / Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra (who I didn’t even know anything about until she married Neil Gaiman, for which I am grateful)
Not the Killing Type ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyE2MLq24OE
Want it Back ~ (nsfw because boobs, but it’s not a sexy-times boob shot, her body is a canvas for her lyrics and it’s really beautiful animation)

Shots of Awe / Jason Silva ( a few of my favorites )
Creativity is Madness ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US18sczUnTk
Lucid Dreaming ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aHgutxxG0Y
We Are the Gods Now (this is a longer talk, little over half an hour, performed at the Sydney Opera House) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF2VrefjIjk

After all the brain food, have some laughs…a full 30 minute Mitch Hedberg stand up special:

Here’s to a spectacular day (which some days just means that I don’t want to dick punch anyone) and a weekend to write in your journal about 🙂

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Bone Brigade (part 2)

Without a word, she dropped to the ground. Loo laughed, imagining that the doctor had thought himself quite clever to have nestled in such a forested area. Apparently he hadn’t realized that the same trees that sheltered him from prying eyes could also shelter spying ones.

As she rubbed dirt and bark from the palms of her calloused hands, she thought about the last time she had climbed a tree. It seemed a pastime prone to revelation. The last time she had monkeyed up a tree trunk, the day after her tenth birthday, she had discovered something unusual about herself. This time, she’d uncovered something unusual about her psychologist.

Unusual.

Holy shit.

As the she truly began to comprehend what she had just seen, Loo folded her legs and collapsed gracelessly to sit on the grass.

Dr. Brown flew away. He flew away. He flew. Away. No matter how she framed the words in her head, the concept didn’t make any more sense. No wings. No jet pack. No cape wrapped around himself as he bellowed up, up and away. He just…flew away.

The place in Loo’s head that had occupied her thoughts while she was supposed to be in session was still sloshing around the corners of her mind. When he had drawn her back to herself, her surroundings had seemed subtly different, muted colors, an echo to every other syllable; something about time felt a half beat off. The doc, too, had seemed different. Maybe just preoccupied, but just maybe there was a shiny little glint in his eyes that had alerted her subconscious. Enough so that upon leaving, she decided without thought to stick around, to hide, and to watch.

Good catch, brain, she congratulated herself. Home. Home was the place to mull over the possibilities. And food. God, she was suddenly starving. With a hand pressed against her rumbling belly she started towards her car.

*~*~*

Setting a bowl of spaghetti and an entire loaf of garlic bread on the scarred end table, Loo took a moment to appreciate her own couch. When you snuggled deep into the corner it was like being welcomed home.

She tore off a hunk of garlic bread, swirled it through the noodles and sauce, chewing as she tried to list any reason she could think of that Dr. Brown could fly. Vampire. Norse god. Demi-god. Sorcerer. Mutant. Superhero. Oh, maybe a super villain? Maybe freaking leprechauns can fly, who the hell knows.

She closed her eyes as she dipped and chewed and swallowed, the entire loaf of bread gone before she even picked up her fork for the pasta. Her eyes darted back and forth behind her lids, watching a slide show of images from the afternoon.

He’d walked out the back door into the parking lot like any regular human. No furtive glances, no worries at all. Stopped in the middle of the parking lot, adjusted his grip on his bag, looked up to the sky, and poof, he was up in it, lost to sight in seconds.

She was unconsciously rubbing her cheekbones, rhythmically, back and forth. When she realized what she was doing, her eyes popped open and she pulled her hands from her face and tucked them under her thighs.

‘Bony thighs,’ she muttered with a shaky laugh. ‘Stop it. I don’t want or need your help.’ She turned on the television and gave her full attention to polishing off the heaping helping of spaghetti going cold.

– : – : – : –

( Hopefully a stand alone story, but is also a direct continuation from https://thesqueakywheelblog.com/2014/03/31/the-bone-brigade/ )

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments