Monthly Archives: September 2014

A Sedimentary Lifestyle

“It’s too much.” Harv wheezed theatrically, not as over-dramatic as he pretended.

Helen pooh-poohed him with a derogatory arch of brows, herding him up the incline. “You’re not that out of shape. Look, it flattens out a bit ahead.”

“I’ve been living a sedimentary life since I retired. You didn’t give me a chance to shake shit up first. My joints are very confused about what’s happening to them right now.”

Stifling the laugh over his hatchet job on ‘sedentary’ she took a deep breath. “If you start settling towards your bottom, I promise I’ll help you up.”

***

Linking up again with Light and Shade Challenge
http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/light-and-shade-challenge-friday-5th.html

The photo reference is the picture above (image courtesy of cheva and taken from the Wikipedia Commons), and the quote reference is: Shake well before opening – instructions on a milkshake bottle

Seriously, keeping these to 100 words or less is a hell of a lot harder than I would have imagined….

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Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

My 100th post is a true tale of vomit, mice, and drugs…

So the kid gets sick. I mean, actual sick, actually for real ‘hey I’m camping in PA with a friend for the holiday weekend, so let’s not let a full day of rain stop us from driving around in a golf cart all day cos we’re genius teenage boys’ sick.

He stayed home from school on Tuesday, and when I got home from work the poor kid was surrounded by a mountain of snot rags that could cushion a fall from a 10-story building, wearing a hoodie and covered with a flannel sheet with a fan blowing directly in his face since his body couldn’t decide if he was freezing or sweltering. I clucked around and poked at his face (that’s how you test for fever, right?), chanting HYDRATE on repeat since it didn’t seem he felt like eating anything. He was flushed though, and hot as balls, and it made my own face hurt watching him try to blink his blurry, burning eyes.

I rooted around in the box o’ medicines, and discovered that not only did I have some Nyquil Cold & Flu, it wasn’t expired or anything. I claim Good Mom points for this. He’d taken them before when he was sick (or so I thought), so I gave him the ole glockenspiel about how he was just gonna have to suck it up and suck ’em down whether he liked swallowing pills or not. They’re gelcaps, no big, they’re made to be slippery and shit, and plus if you chicken out on that first swallow they don’t get all gross and mediciney tasting in your mouth.

I walked into my bedroom at the end of the hall and when I turned around, saw that he had somehow noiselessly walked into the kitchen, clutching a can of Sprite.

“What are you doing, dude?” I laughed. “Seriously, just swallow them, it’ll help.’ I walked closer and saw that he held a capsule in his hand and wore a rather sickly grin.

‘Uh, yeah. I’m gonna. One thing though. I kinda just insta-vomited.” (For the parents lucky enough to not understand this phenomena – it’s when your child blinks at you with an oh shit look and vomits a millisecond later with no option of bathroom or bucket, just BLERGH…)

“Were you in the bathroom?” I asked hopefully. A head shake, and a finger point to the flannel sheet now balled up on the floor by the front door. Well, damn.

Load of laundry in the machine, with a race back down the steps upon realizing one of the quarters was a damn Canadian coin, then another upon realizing I’d forgotten the detergent. In my defense, I was pretty tired.

He’s feeling a little better now, swallowed both pills, and asked for a PB&J. I figured things were looking up. Since his fever was still up there and his head was all stuffed up, he decided he wanted to take a shower to see if it would help. When he got up, he drunkenly wobbled towards the door, giggling under his breath. This is slightly abnormal behavior, and I made him leave the door open in case he got woogily under the water.

I busied myself making him a throne of pillows so he could lay back without laying down (anyone with a stuffy nose can attest to the torture of laying down when you can’t breathe through your face like a healthy person) and about 20 minutes later he comes wobbling back in and plops down, still giggling.

“Dude, what’s the matter with you?”

“I feel a little loopy.” He’s holding his left hand in the air and his index finger is crooking and straightening, crooking and straightening, like the freaky fuckin kid from The Shining.

“What are you doing?”

Looks at his finger in surprise and grins. “I have no idea.”

“Oh my god, you dork. Let me see your eyes.” He obligingly lifts his head. “Holy SHIT! Your pupils are HUGE!” It is at this point that I belatedly recall that the meds he had taken last time were Alka-Seltzer, not Nyquil, and he is apparently having some mild reactions to the drug.

“How’s your breathing?” Okay, a little shallow. “Is your heart racing, or pounding harder than usual?” Shrug. “Do you feel anxious or tingly or anything?” Nope.
I put my ear to his chest and have him take a couple breaths, everything sounds fine. I check his pulse and listen to his heartbeat, everything’s all good. So now we just wait til his system smooths out. I explain it’s just a thing that happens sometimes, no need to worry, we’ll just chill.

I must have dozed off at some point around midnight, and I awoke to a wet and squishy and kinda icky-feeling something or other thwacking me repeatedly on the side of my face. The kid’s rag for his hot head. “Wha…?”

“I’m fine now, I’m gonna go to sleep. You can go to bed.”

Cool. Kisses and hugs and all that and I face plant into bed, clothes and lights and tv on, I don’t even notice.

“Mwror. Meow. MROOOOWWWWRRRR.” A weight on my chest and AGAIN something wet is poking me in the face. The cat. He is insistently waking me up, loud as shit, almost in a kitty panic. I for some reason jump to the conclusion that my cat is now Lassie and I follow him down the hallway, asking ‘What is it boy, what’s the matter?’, worried he heard or saw someone outside our windows or some such nonsense. He leads me into the kitchen and stands in front of his (3/4 full) food dish and placidly looks up at me. “Meow.”

I glance at the kitchen clock. 3:52. Awesome.

Face plant.

Somewhere in my sleep addled state, I hear the bathroom door close. I am out of bed and running towards it before I am even awake, for some reason determining that there must be an intruder in my bathroom. As I raise my hands to bash open the door and attack the hapless interloper, it opens on its own and the Dude goes reeling backwards, his own hands flung up.

‘WHAT THE FUCK??’ he yells at me, and I have to laugh, because Dude is SCARED and I must look completely insane. Realizing there’s no actual explanation for what just happened, I kiss him welcome home from the night shift and leave him kerfuffled, still half crouched in the bathroom.

Face plant.

WHAM. CAROOM. TINKLE. WHAM.

This motherfucking cat. He’s bashed through the locked bedroom door somehow and is running in circles, smashing into walls, knocking things over. It wasn’t until I noticed the tiny brown streak desperately trying to outpace him that I realized that he was engaged in a merry game of chase with a mouse. Motherfucker.

I trap the mouse in the closet and pick up the cat, giving him snuggles and accolades for being as fierce a hunter as the mighty tiger, but alas, you will not eat your prey this morn. I grab the bathroom garbage can and the long handled spatula that we use for the grill and for the next twenty minutes try to coax this itsy bitsy mouse out of this corner and that corner and the other corner and now this corner again. It took a little longer than it prolly should have because I kept stopping to Awww over how adorable this guy was.

A few minutes into this escapade, there’s a knock on the closet door. I crack it open, and there stands Dude, holding his hands out. He is, inexplicably, handing me three seemingly incongruous items – a large Tupperware lid, my pasta strainer, and a sift. I look up at him, and down at the stuff. I take them from him and solemnly say thank you. The moment the door is closed, I collapse into silent giggles until tears are literally dripping off of my face, because in my addle pated state all I can think of is a little kid arming themselves to do battle with the dreaded mouse, shield and hat and sword. I finally get the spatula under the little guy and flip him into the waste basket.

I talk to him calmly as I walk towards the patio door, having seen first hand the unfortunate heart attack  fear can bring on in these little buggers, and walk out towards the grass, tipping the can so he can mosey his way on out. I watch him for a minute, making sure he’s heading towards the bushes where he can hide, and I hear a loud CAWCAWCAW from over head.

“Don’t you dare eat that mouse!” I yell, pointing at the sky. I am in my pajamas, in my courtyard, barely past dawn, yelling at a bird. I am the crazy neighbor.

Face plant.
Five minutes.
BZZT BZZT BZZT.

So finishes the tale of why this long-winded slap happy nonsense is now being bestowed with the honor of being my 100th post. Because irreverence. And because I have no idea what my brain is doing right now and couldn’t begin to try to coherently edit this piece so I’m just gonna hit publish so I can laugh at myself (some more) tomorrow.

Face plant.

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rowan’s Journal (Part 9)

He waited for an hour; Rolly tried not to be the kind of listener who just waited for their turn to speak, but the longer Rowan had gone on, the more the incredulity had loosened his tongue, til it was flapping about his mouth like a trout out of water and he could barely keep silent.

When Rowan stopped to take a couple deep breaths, Rolly shot his hand up in the air, quick as a pouncing cat. “Wait wait wait,” he said. “Before you go on, and I really want you to and I’m really sorry for interrupting you, but I have to ask you a question.” He took his own couple of deep breaths and glanced at Mara, who was looking at him with bemused encouragement, reaching her hand out to fold over his. “Did you keep a journal? I mean, like, a journal about all this stuff that was happening to you? Did you have your own Dreamer’s Chronicle!” The last question bulleted out like an accusation and Mara’s comforting hand squeezed his tightly in reproof.

Rufus beamed, his tutored pupil got the right answer on a pop quiz, and Rowan frowned at Rolly like an over-taxed older sister. “Jesus, what the hell are you yelling at me for? Yes, I did, in fact, keep a journal about the Nightscape. I was a regular old Martha fucking Stewart about it. If everyone already thought I was crazy, I can’t imagine what they would have thought if they had seen my construction paper nightmare collages.” She snickered at the thought, finding the discomfiture of others highly amusing as a general rule. “It was sort of like I had to. I couldn’t very well walk around with my nightmares running around my brain all day. The weird thing, well, like the eighth weird thing, was that after I would paste the freaky little bastards into my book, I never saw them again in my dreams. I mean, there were still, like, a gazillion monsters every time I had nightmares, but the ones I put in my journal never came back.”

She shrugged, her favorite default gesture. “I’d show it to you and we could all have a giggle down memory lane, but I lost it.” She thought for a moment, worrying her lower lip with her teeth. “Actually, I didn’t lose it, the damn thing disappeared one night.” Her shrug this time resembled more of a shudder. “It was really bad that night. It was, like, a monster council meeting or something. Some of scariest shit I’d ever seen. I’d never seen them look even remotely organized before, and here they were, standing around in a circle, talking to each other. They sure as hell weren’t speaking English, so I couldn’t understand their actual words, but somehow I knew it was about me. They’d noticed me, no matter how much I’d tried to stay hidden, and my nightmares were meeting to discuss me.” Her hollow eyes were aimed at Rolly. “You can understand why this was way more frightening than watching them rip each other to bloody pieces.”

He nodded mutely. Yes, he most certainly could understand that, very well.

“So I bit my tongue and pinched myself and dug my fingernails into my palms until I woke up. I was sweating something fierce, shaking all over, but I was determined to get out of bed and get as many of these dirty bastards pasted into my journal as I could, and hope I could make at least some of them disappear. Disband their council, and they can’t very well plan a war, right? It wasn’t there, though. My journal. I always kept it under my pillow, and it was just…gone. I don’t think I’d ever felt such disappointment as I did at that moment, my groping hand finding nothing but cool sheets. I gave up, I gave up and I gave in, and I cried until I sobbed and sobbed until I choked and choked until I threw up. My only weapon against my nightmares was gone.”

Rowan trailed off and sat back. Mara blinked back the tears pricking her own eyes, seeing the lost child with no hope left to cling to, shaking alone on her bedroom floor.

Rufus made an incongruous throat-clearing sound, and while it didn’t seem like much, Rowan zeroed in with a laser stare. “Oh, for Christ’s sake, Rufus. Did you take my damn journal?”

* * *
I think that this works, at least in part, as a stand-alone bit of a story, however – The Nightscape is the place where our demons and nightmares live. Rowan and Rufus are a part of it, on the outskirts, as no longer quite human. Rolly and Mara are a human couple that were pulled into it with no explanation, thusfar…

The Speakeasy is back in business after their summer hiatus, and I found that I very much wanted to get back in on the fun. This week we had a sentence prompt to use as our first line “He waited for an hour” and a photo reference: school-supplies-300x187

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Categories: Fiction, The Dreamer's Chronicle | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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