Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I'm old! Advice to Younger Me From Older Me

Hey girl.

I'm going to get right to the point. When you're 65 there isn't much time for chit chat. Just kidding! Medical advances are keeping us alive till 125 now! It's great! So...middle school. Wow. You need to change that outfit. Before I can give you any other advice, just throw out your wardrobe. Wait. You know what? Don't. You look weird, but that's fine. Your friends are weird too. But good. A good kind of weird.

So here's the real advice I have for you:
- Don't worry so much. Not only does it cause wrinkles, it is a total waste of time.
- Give yourself an extra five minutes when you plan to go anywhere. Being late makes you irritable and doesn't look good.
- Throw more costume parties. Nuff said.
- Get more cats.
- Don't follow that man in that dark alley in Morocco. Just trust me.
- Wear more sunscreen
- Give more hugs

That's all, young me. You'll get the rest when it happens! Oh, and Valentine may seem like a cool name right now, but your future daughter may not appreciate it.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Space Murder - Prologue

Benedict sat in his favorite spot on the hill behind his family's home. The sun was setting and it made the wheat fields glow. In the distance the landfill was visible and behind it were layers of skyscrapers. His parents owned one of the last working farms in the United States. It was small but valuable. He leaned his tired body against an oak tree. His jeans were smeared with paint and an easel lay drying on the ground beside him. His paintings were getting better and natural landscapes were popular since there were so few wild places. Benedict had sold a painting last week that had paid for his father's knee surgery. His father had proudly introduced him to all of the pretty nurses as "my son who takes care of me". The wheat was brighter than he had ever seen it before. In fact, it was nearly blinding. But what was rising from the house? It couldn't be...but it was. Smoke. Benedict sprinted down the hill abandoning his painting. Dust puffed up and made it hard to breathe. He felt the waves of heat before he saw the ribbons of fire coming from the windows. He soaked himself with water from the hose and covered his wet face with his shirt before charging into the house. Flames rolled toward him like a tidal wave. With one breath, the smoke was torment in his lungs. It kicked him out immediately. He tried again and again at every door, but the walls seemed to be melting and he was afraid the house would collapse on him if he forced the door. He screamed for his father, his sister, his dog. He listened. Nothing. He ran around and then fell to the ground sobbing. When he was spent, he began to focus again on the world around him. It was then that he noticed the boot prints and the lighter. He picked it up. U.S. Army, it read. As the flames died down, having consumed his life, he felt something light and soft leave his body and something cold and hard take its place. A paintbrush fell out of his pocket and without looking at it, his hand reached for it and closed around it. He stared as the sun finally set. He flexed and there was a snap. He tossed the pieces of his past away and walked towards the highway without a backwards glance.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Sharks! In the Woods!

I slithered slowly, aware of every twig snapping beneath my Converse sneakers. The light was fading and the trees were beginning to look like monsters with their scrawny arms reaching out to grab me. Nothing was familiar, yet everything was familiar. The path looked the same. The trees looked the same. I hadn't seen another hiker in several hours and I knew why. These woods were infamous for attacks. The trees bore the signs of damage. Many had rigid chunks missing where they had been bitten. It wasn't a bear. It wasn't a cougar. This forest was the only one of its kind. .....The sharks swam at night. They were hungry and they were angry. I bent to tie my shoe. When I looked up, I was surrounded.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Space Odyssey 2

I led the crew towards the galley, the coziest place on the ship. I tried to walk with my usual rapid, confidence, but my hands were shaking. I shoved them into my pockets and tried to clear my mind.

Over the muffled whispers I declared, "Let's wait to discuss this together. Silence please." The pounding in my head was causing my vision to blur which scared me. I usually felt totally in control. I kind of enjoyed the anxiety, despite the pain and fear. Finally something had happened.

I stood by the sink and gestured to the benches surrounding the steel table. Everyone sat, except for Jimmy, who stood beside me gazing up like a puppy waiting for a ball to be thrown. I felt the rush of their expectation and respect. They needed me now. I would collect myself. In my pocket I caressed a tiny gold object.

"Where were each of you when you last saw Maria?"

"With you, sir." Jimmy was quick to reply. "In the observation room. Remember, she argued with you about wanting to change rooms."

My hand clenched into a ball in my pocket, creating an indention in my palm. I ignored him, hoping others would too.

"Umm...I don't think I've seen her since last night at the dance," Suzanne said.

"You don't think!?" I growled. If they were all these forgetful, everything might work out perfectly.

Locked Room Space Murder

The body had fallen out of the freezer when I opened it to get a fish for dinner. I had caught it the way you do instinctively when you drop a knife. I screamed as soon as I touched it and shoved it back into a leaning block of frozen Maria. She was glacial blue with wild eyes, locked for eternity in abject fear. My scream brought the crew running; they gathered around me silently, a semi-circle of faces mirroring Maria's. When the shock had subsided I began to look around and wondered if anyone else was thinking the same thing; which of us had done this? What was this ship doing to us?

"Well." growled Sam. "That's just creepy. Let's go to the den so we can discuss this development without having to stare at the human ice cube."

It was a crass suggestion, but we all breathed a sigh of relief that the captain was taking control.

"Now who will fix the engine when it breaks," whined Tim softly to me as we speed walked out of the icy garage in one clump. I didn't want to be near the low-life, but anyone's body nearby was a comfort.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Inspiration for Future Writing

1. The story about the zoo-keeper father who sends his son's girlfriends envelope that appear at first to be empty, but actually contain tiger whiskers and nothing else.

2. Mark's story about saving the stranded baby deer when the river overflowed and then "licking" the deer butt to simulate what mama deer would do in order to get the baby deer to poop.

3. Hostel girl

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Random Character: Root of Bitterness

Premise - This embittered, disfigured old woman with a wheelchair comes from an alternate dimension and lives with a magical being in a condo.

She sat, as she always did. She looked down, as she always did. She lived, inconveniently, on the third floor of a dilapidated condominium built in the 70s. She spent most of her day on the balcony. This was for two reasons. First, it was to work on maintaining the tan that had turned her withered flesh into something roughly the texture of an orange. Second, it was to get away from her roommate. Malcolm was not a silent house guest. He was a constant whiner and had the voice of a dial tone. If he had eyes, he would have worn very thick glasses.

"Tildy, the fan is broken again." Malcolm's voice reached out to her like tentacles. Never alone, she thought. This is my curse.

"He has no arms. I have no legs." Matilda muttered to herself, not for the first time.
Since being hurled from her own dimension into this purgatory, she had bemoaned her companion many times. But never to him. He had deadly aim with his venomous spit and the foam he secreted when upset was ruining her shag carpeting. She sighed and wheeled herself back inside.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Poetry Attempt 2

Often I am an open wound
Hypersensitive, overstimulated
The air hurts

The bandaid that is easy
doesn't let me heal
It is a placebo
with terrible side effects

I drive in my cocoon
- Not to mix metaphors -
fingers frozen on the wheel
I'm unaware of how tense I am

Suddenly a man on a motorcycle
swerves in front of my car
bobbing and weaving
to music only he can hear

I smile and am flooded with humanity

When did I become the old woman
afraid to leave the house?
What kills me is that I can't remember
is this new me or have I always been like

Watching people with easy smiles
I study them for clues.