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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Far Enough Away

Laura got out two stops early. Woozy from wine, exhausted by the muckraking, she was determined to shake off the heartaching airlessness of the subway cars before she got home. She hadn’t been fully aware of the passage of time, less so of the rain. Leaves were strewn all across the sidewalk and the gutters were noisy with runoff. She took a fickle breath, wrapped her coat around her and headed down the wide avenue, circumventing the intense emotion of the train station. By the duplicitous park, kids were out riding on their skateboards, sluicing up the metal dragon like liquid despair and then crashing down again in spectacularly failed jumps. She marched past them and their gullibility to stand and examine the cheating horizon. Dark storm clouds still hung heavy and low in the unjust sky, while the towers guarding the park had just been lit. Between the evil grey of their concrete summits and the painful skyline, a strip of neon blue rimmed the curve of the earth, as if announcing the apocalypse or judgment day. Laura stopped cold just past the dragon and tried to take it all in, the sky, the wet ground, the light, the dark clouds. Suddenly she realized what was missing. There were no seagulls screeching from the towers or bobbing in the pond, no pigeons strutting across the tarmac, flying over the ramp to the park, pecking at old gum. She thought if she could stand absolutely still, unhear the vile scraping of the boards, the excrutiating wheels, the hackneyed shouts, and see nothing but the fading light, then a change, like destiny, might be possible. She held her breath and tried to heal.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Iber Ubis Sub Ubis


On the way home, Laura stopped the car outside the Stop&Shop.
“Your turn,” she said. “We need frozen peas.”
I knew I should have worn more than a pareo to the swimming hole.

This weekend Trifecta are asking us to write 33 words that will make them laugh or smile.

Dedicated to Dana.
: )

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Foreclosure

   You thought you would be exhausted by now, thought the past weeks, months, years even, would leave you without the energy to be afraid. You imagined you would be drained to such an extent that when the papers finally came, when the notice was finally served, you would be able to handle it. You would be prepared. You would be ready. How wrong you were. The nerve-wracking interviews with the bank, the startled awakening to a sleep-knotted stomach, the jangling hours of insomnia were only anticipation. The underlying, ever-present dread has built up, gathered like storm clouds until you feel fear the size of a tornado grip you by the throat and shake you. And still this is only the beginning. Still to come is the day when the knock on your door will not be a bailiff delivering notice, but a sheriff to evict you onto the street.
You think: powerful beings always find a new way to dupe you, to fool you into doing something that will be the end of you. You understand how the non-entity that is you has called upon itself the wrath of this financial entity, the new century’s god, and you are powerless to do anything but bow before it, render unto it. With no patron, no backer, no governing ear, you are at a distinct disadvantage. The bank is casually balancing its books while you play monopoly.
Forget about Park Place and Marvin Gardens. The only thing giving this property substance is your name on the deed, the same name that now appears on the defaulter list at the bank, on debtor records in the courts. When you open the door of your ground-floor apartment, there is a small area enclosing the stairs in front of you, mailboxes to the right. You slam the door shut then spin the keys to lock it. You stop before the mailboxes and look at your name. You remember: Do not pass GO.
 
ANTICIPATION (noun) 3a : visualization of a future event or state b: an object or form that anticipates a later type
Your response must be between 33 and 333 words
 
Dedicada a la invencible Cristina Fallarás
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Trouble

Grab a pool cue, chalk it with care, lean seductively. Make a spectacularly clean shot, five ball in the corner pocket. Follow that with the cue ball, any pocket. All pockets. The floor.


Trifecta says: We need you to give us 33 words back, and 2 of those words must be either "cheap flights," "sandwiched in" or "spectacularly clean." This weekend, your piece must also be non-fiction.
This weekend's challenge, being a Trifextra evenly divisible by three, will be judged by the community. Click on your favorite three posts (or up to three posts).
http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.blogspot.com/
 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crush


   Laura had not made it home in a very long time. Her first day, she took a long walk to the beach. She was undisturbed in her reverie, the roads empty until she began to make her way back, when she recognized the only other person out on this frigid, dull gray afternoon. Her best friend from the fifth grade, the year they learned how to sew badges onto their Girl Scout sashes, was walking straight towards her. They met up at the corner of Hatherly Road. The thing that embarrassed her most about this unexpected reunion was not that she smiled so disarmingly at a stranger, but that the bewildered look she received in return was from a man.
   She was concerned that the world might have expanded beyond her ability to govern it, that her life was being scripted by a hand that was not her own. She feared she had become as delicate as a vase that could be dashed to the floor and brushed into a pile of broken ceramic pieces awaiting the crush of some cosmic, steel-tipped boot.

Also, according to Oxford Dictionary, the top 10 most frequently used nouns in English are: time, person, year, way, day, thing, man, world, life, & hand.
So I used all of them. Plus a few more.
Oh, and I tweeted "crush", too: tweet

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First World Revolt



General Strike. Armed peace keepers circle around the demonstrators, leaving only one way out. A rubber bullet fired into the crowd takes a left eye. No apology is issued. She will march again.


                         wanted us to write exactly 33 words about rebellion and/or revolt.

Ester Quintana, 42 yrs old, begs to differ with Catalonia's Dept. Public Safety Minister, who said that no shots were fired.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksm7f3ey1bc&feature=player_embedded
(Use the interactive transcript for translation)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

San Lorenzo



He is a mess, a mess she doesn’t want to disentangle. She’s glad he’s not her mess, and yet there is a definite magnetism about him and his mess. Because he’s so messed up, she often thinks he must be a genius. She’s dying to, but dares not ask him if he has flashes of brilliance. She says the sentence to herself, practicing the right intonation so it doesn’t sound accusatory or jealous, facetious or snarky. Hollow. Do you have flashes of brilliance? She can’t envision the situation in which that would ever sound anything other than puerile. Do people have flashes of brilliance? She can hear him guffaw, saying, People have their head up their ass.
But she can also imagine him naked - hugely naked because, unlike Alfredo, he is huge, bulky, hairy - naked and lazy and sated and watching her from under hooded eyelids. In that lethargic state he might be capable of saying something along the lines of: flashes of brilliance. Like a shooting star, when you glimpse one on the night of San Lorenzo and it gives you a thrill, and then it’s gone and you wonder if your brain was just firing sparks off behind your eyes because the back of your neck was seizing up from staring at the goddamned sky at the stars, waiting for a shooting star so you could say you saw it, marvel at the luck of having actually seen one and then not giving up for the night, saying to yourself, to the person who is sitting there with you, one more? One more for the road? So you sit into the night, shivering, your neck twisted in a way you will never be able to straighten. And then you think you might like to replicate that. Do something that might give you that same feeling, make other people stay and watch and be unable to put their chairs away and go the fuck to bed.


HOLLOW (adjective)
3
: lacking in real value, sincerity, or substance : false,meaningless <hollow promises> hollow
 and without triumph — Ernest Beaglehole>
 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Favorite Things


 want a few of my favorite things, in whichever form I want, in 33 words exactly.

On a Saturday in November, after weeks of sullen gray skies, bright sunlight hits the overstuffed armchair where, for one stolen hour, she will be lost in the infinite power of a sentence.

With props to Joan Didion.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Erotica



In honor of National Erotica Day, Trifecta
                                
are asking for an open write this week--33 to 333 words of erotic writing.


 “Silk scarves painted in turquoise and gold were draped across the clouds where I lay, and the clothes I was wearing began to disappear,” he said. “No one was undressing me, no hands touched my body, but the cloth grew light, then vanished, and I felt the air on my newly released skin. I ran a hand down one body, then up the next.” He ran his fingers over her arm, letting the shoulder of the dress fall to her elbow. She wished her clothes could fall away, like in his dream. She said nothing. She listened.
 “The nymphs drew close, as if they might cover me from all sides, caress every inch of my body at once. Everything that could rise on me did.” He looked at her. “The hair on my arms and on the back of my neck stood up straight. Nothing touched me but their sighs on my neck on my chest on my thighs, between the cheeks of my ass. Their whispers rode up and down, hot breath swirling around my balls. I let my head fall back against the cushions.” She watched him do just that. “I parted my lips, waiting for their tongues, and they came hot and wet into my mouth, swift encouragements of fancy. Lick this, they teased, suck that. I stretched my hands out to grab myself, but my fingers were stopped by the softest of tissue, silken skin surrounding hard little nubs. I drew one of these to my mouth, teased it with my tongue, drew it in to suck and that was when I felt myself being covered.” She held her breath, watched his eyelids flutter. “The lightest of weights descended on me, alit on my thighs where I could lunge, nudge and strain upwards until I was in, bouncing back, thigh against thigh. I drew my hands about their hips and felt them move slowly, deeply. There I tried to remain,” he said. “In that dream. Breathless.”


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ants

Participant judged challenge: relate these three photographs. 33-333 words.


 


Because there are times

when everything is about loss,

today is about people

who are missing, parts

that have no purpose,

a trail that has no beginning

and no end.

A missing name,

missing bodies.

The point?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Retribution [Trifecta Anniversary Challenge]

For Trifecta's 1st Anniversary, we participants were challenged to take Joules's first entry (38 italicized words), have a partner (mine is Renada Styles) add to it (100 words) and then finish it. I did so in 35 italicized words. Here is Team 10's entry to participating site Velvet Verbosity:
Retribution

Charts and optimal dates and preferential temperatures. One line or two. As if she could summon whatever it is that makes up the human soul as easily as she could a cab on a busy New York avenue.

She faced the window.
Her eyes saw infinite explication.

Her math books only examined the probability of tangibility. What of transcendence?

Yellow streaks formed cabs.
An anxious, veneer hand waved.

If it were a finite equation, the curves that lined the hand and body to the point of the nose would be defined by x and y. There would be no question of why two and two is four....

The cocoa swallowed the nutmeg's taste.
The heat rolled into the vents.

The hot chocolate she drank would taste no different to the student three seats over sipping the same.


As if she could banish the specter of truncated possibility; knock it back like some pill taken for the after effects. One cycle or two? Suck it up, spit it out, let it bleed. Expiation.

 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

# 53 (NPR's Three-Minute Fiction, Round 9)


#53
In the dream the child was all grown up, looking like one of the grandparents, although Dana couldn't say which. The close-cropped salt-and-pepper hair was Jean’s certainly, although the executive suit with the number 53 stitched in blue and gold on the lapel was fitted to Remy's trim build. Dana shook her head and reached for the baby, who was damp and hungry.
"How dare I have you looking like some of old fart?" she said as she bent to whisper against the child's belly. "You looked so serious, though, like the weight of the world was on your shoulders." She looked up. "Kind of like you do now, in fact." She blew air through her lips to make the baby chortle.
"That's better." Dana settled onto the couch to nurse. "The room you were in looked familiar, but it wasn't home." She clicked the mp3 remote and the Grand Theft Orchestra kicked in. "Not anyone's home that I know."
After two songs, Dana put the baby over her shoulder and patted to the rhythm of Trout Heart Replica until she got a resounding burp, so loud that it made them both laugh. She changed breasts and now the baby began toying with the buttons of Dana's shirt, her oddly long fingers pressing each button purposefully. It was then that Dana took notice:
"You're going to be a lefty, aren't you?"
The baby continued to suckle, pressing the buttons as if in some kind of code.
Dana leaned her head back and thought of the dream again. Her grown-up, grandmotherly daughter was standing with a bunch of suits in a room that was formal and elegant; bright, with a fireplace and a painting of George Washington over the mantelpiece.
"It's so strange to think of you being grown up, being older than I am, being old, when I don't even know what your voice is going to sound like or whether you'll be good at sports or at playing the piano."
Dana gazed down at the diaper-and-onesie-clad child and smiled. "At least you weren't all dressed in Star Trek uniforms," she said, "Lieutenant Uhura."
The baby stopped sucking and smiled.
"You like that, do you?" She repeated the name again, “Uhura”, thinking of the gold uniform with the Enterprise chevron over the heart, when she remembered another detail from the dream.
“Now why did you have a spread-eagled eagle on your jacket where your Division Patch should be?” Dana teased. “I’m going to have to get this dream analyzed after all.”
Dana held the baby up to burp her again, then danced her across the small living room. It would only be a couple more weeks before she would be packing her off to daycare and returning to work.
"Shall we go pick up Aunt Amy down at the shelter?" Dana carried the baby over to the chest of drawers, pulled out miniature overalls: "We'll need some sturdy duds for the meet and greet, won't we?"
Dana slung a diaper bag over her shoulder, sat the baby on her hip and grabbed the folded-up stroller from the corner by the front door.
"Maybe one of the girls can tell me what it means to have the number 53 stitched on a suit lapel." Dana shook her head. “I can just imagine what they’ll say about the bird!”
She put the baby into the stroller and dangled the key chain in front of her. When the baby reached out her hand to make a grab for them, Dana smiled.
"Yup," she said, "you're definitely a lefty."

My Round 9 entry for NPR's Three-Minute Fiction contest, which had to revolve around a US President.
The winning entry is here: http://www.npr.org/2012/11/04/164264711/three-minute-fiction-the-round-9-winner-is

Year



1998 was the year that changed Laura’s life. If you had asked her back then, she would have laughed and said, “Got change for a five? That’s all the change I’ve seen lately.” From a personal, intimate standpoint, which is where most people look for transformative events, this was as true as the day is long. However, in the grand scheme of things, that was the year she learned about death. Not death as abstract, philosophical posturing, not the death of a grandparent or celebrity, but death in a more referential vein.

Had she paid attention to such behavior, Laura could have vouched for having acknowledged, though not mourned, the passing that year of, for instance, Linda McCartney. In Laura’s limited experience, she became the living –or rather, dying- proof that death existed for the rich and famous as well as for the poor and unknown. She was vaguely annoyed by Charlie Parker’s departure, as she had only recently discovered his true genius, and this same devotion made her feel indifferent to the loss of Frank Sinatra. Similar but opposing sentiments were true for Ted Hughes (whom she blamed for Silvia Plath’s via crucis, justifiably or not) and her beloved Octavio Paz.

Frivolous as these brief, unemotional bouts of mourning were, they were held up for review when news of Joe Cooper’s death reached Laura. Barely classifiable as a friend, he was at the least a contemporary, and she had expounded more than one opinion in his presence. They had also shared more than one summer morning at the municipal pool with a cadre of offspring in their offhanded, slightly irresponsible care. So at Joe’s funeral, among the teary-eyed grandmothers and the slightly high colleagues, Laura learned the one lesson that would stand her in good stead when her own intimate and personal day of doom came knocking. She learned that ignorance, blissful as it was, could do nothing to stave off the inevitable. She learned what was needed to answer that door.

YEAR (noun) 3 : a calendar year specified usually by a number

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Whore



WHORE  3: a venal or unscrupulous person

 Before  I told him my business, before he found out all that had been going on while he had been screwing around –how could he?- before he had a chance to call me a slut, I walked into his study, slammed the door and seethed. “You whore,” I said, “the two of you are whores. A whore and a whoremonger.” He looked at me over the top of his reading glasses, his hair gone gray and wrinkles crackling his face.

“Who are you raving about, if you don’t mind my asking?” he drawled, taking a sip of his whiskey, ice cubes tinkling for effect. He set the glass down and pulled a bag of dope out from the drawer.

“Put that away,” I hissed. The kids are finishing up their homework, and I’ll have to get dinner soon.” He slid the bag back under the notebooks and newspapers and reached for a Marlboro instead.

“What are you going on about, Cat?”

“I’ve just been by Barbara and Carl’s,” I said slowly. I watched his face stiffen just a bit. I walked over to where he sat and snatched up his whiskey. “They were not very neighborly towards me,” I said and took a sip of the sharp, cold liquid, then threw the entire glass in my husband’s face.

“Do you have any idea what the two of you did?” I asked, ignoring my own little secret for the time being. John rubbed his forehead where the tumbler had hit, then bent to retrieve the ice cubes and pick up any stray pieces of glass he could find. He would be stepping on them for weeks.

“I know what I did,” John says succinctly. “I know what Barbara did.” He stood for effect. “And I believe I know what you did.”
     * * *  * *

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Felicia


What she saw twenty years ago
sent her so far away
that it took her twenty years to get back.
She’s back,
but her eyes no longer see;
she is no longer she.

          Credit: Zora Neale Hurst
[Trifecta] want thirty three words that are somehow related to Hurston's zombie sighting. How you structure your response is entirely up to you.

This weekend's challenge is community-judged.
·         For the 12 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
·         In order to vote, return to this post
                                
 where stars will appear next to each link. To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
·         You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
·         Voting is open to everyone. Encourage your friends to vote for you, if you wish, but please don't tell them to vote on a number. The numbering of the posts changes regularly, as authors have the ability to delete their own links at any time.
·         You have 12 hours to vote. It's not much time, so be diligent!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sinister


Greta sits hunched over the keyboard typing madly, squinting up at the backlit screen, the corner of the dining room grown dark around her. She is racing to finish her letter to the editor of the local paper –her third one this week- decrying the recent spate of bicycle robberies committed in the neighborhood. As disgraceful, she closes, is the spate of robberies as the state of this neighborhood.
Greta’s daughter Dolores is slouched in her bedroom sulking, clicking spitefully across her keypad, in and out of ten different chat rooms, using a different alias for each. Her black nails are beginning to chip from the friction. A piece of stray hair slips from behind her ear, blurs her vision, and is hastily, angrily replaced.
The quiet, tenebrous apartment is filling with the sound of microwave popcorn. Greta has been counting on this indulgence all afternoon. There is a glass of wine with her name on it, and this naughty little snack to reward her for yet another societal ill uncovered, disclosed, denounced. The town is going to hell in a handbasket, with only Greta to take notice.
She uncrosses her legs, pushes out her chair and stands to stretch before heading into the kitchen at the ding of the bell. She hears a soft creaking of the floorboards. Down the dark hall there is a glint of light under her daughter’s door. As she watches, the sliver of amber grows slowly larger, the creaking louder. She holds her breath and watches as the girl, who is reflected in the glass framed print on the wall, advances up the hall and slips stealthily into the kitchen.
Vile girl, she thinks. Always poised like a vulture waiting to strike. Like a starving orphan, a voracious snake, her unfathomable hunger drives her from her cave. Mother and daughter stand before the microwave. Between them arises a sinister aura of fire and brimstone that gathers in ribbons to entwine with the intoxicating smell of popped corn.


SINISTER      3: singularly evil or productive of evil

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For


I wished for a loving man to make me happy.
I wished he would be faithful and kind.
And -why not- tall, dark and handsome.
I forgot to wish him into old age.


Trifextra: Thirty-Eight

We are asking you to write 33 words exactly about three wishes that come at a high price to the wisher.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dressed In Black

  Look at her standing there behind his mother, limply shaking hands, stoically holding the gazes of women who weep, baring her lipstick-stained cheeks. She’s a giantess, expanding out into the closed room with that foreign build, the purse that doesn’t match, those clunky shoes that are ten years old if they’re a day. Is there no one to stand beside her and hold that tacky purse, hand her a tissue, tell her which is the great aunt, who the wizened old man is, the one who is shuffling up to his father, what was his name?

There she stands like an old Southern woman, displaced, outdated. Does she not realize that people don’t wear black anymore? She’s just being melodramatic, steeped in hyperbole, determined to step into a place that was never meant for her.
Look at her, standing over the coffin like a buzzard. How is a person to edge over there unnoticed for a peek, to gaze upon his poor lost face one last time?
She had to have him to herself and look what’s happened. He’s gone and there she stands, trying to look forlorn, as if only she could mourn him. He should have known better, but now look where we are, all of us. How dare she?
She stands in the corner, not knowing what to do with her hands, can’t leave her hair alone. She doesn’t know enough to give her arm to his mother, help her up to embrace the old aunt.
She stands wavering, as if some sturdy breeze blowing in from elsewhere were tilting her, tipping her into perpetual imbalance, an ungainly state of asymmetry.
Had she worn white, or a theatrical light fuchsia, she might have managed to seem ethereal, perched on the edge of a cloud. Dressed in black, she is as solid as a rock, yet she totters like a boulder shaken from its purchase on the cliff, suspended a moment before it hurtles tumbling into the surf.
Trifecta week forty-seven
BLACK
3: dressed in black
Including Pearl Jam:
 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

On The Count of Three


she grabs at the ledge. Gail and Sue fall away screaming. They hit the water to the boys’ cheers. She watches them surface. “My foot got stuck,” she says, climbing back up again.
 
"Trifextra" challenge
On the count of three...
You can choose to include those words if you want, but they do not count toward the 33 words of your own.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

DEATH


“Watch,” DEATH says, her pale face showing the slightest hint of pink. “I love it when they get melodramatic.” She holds her phone out to DESTRUCTION

In the video, the man’s eyes flutter open in alarm. He’s been having a nightmare. ‘Our babies,’ he says in an echoing rasp, “they were standing on the edge of a tall building. I had to choose which one to save, but then they began to jump, one by one.” He turns to his wife, takes a long breath and whispers, ‘You must look after them. Buy safety nets.’

“SPRING! DEATH! You’re up next,” the little pixie in charge shoos the two icons out of the dressing room. “HOPE, you too, go on,” DEATH hears as she swishes past. She wonders which god of contrasts thrashed out the order of the models in this Personification Charity Fashion Show. The two waiflike, fluttering beauties flank her stark white skeleton, which is draped in a solid black, über-urban hoodie dress. She slings the scythe like a purse.

SPRING, executing a flouncy pirouette at the end of the runway, pulls DEATH up short. Her smooth, silent glide comes to a clinking, clanking halt as all her bones pile one upon the other with a loud rattle. DEATH looks up, tugging at her scythe which has caught on something. She’d swung it about when she lost her footing. The long sliver blade has sliced along SPRING’s spinal cord and wedged itself in her coccyx. Rivulets of dark red stain their way down to the shiny walkway and pool with another dark red flood originating behind DEATH, who turns to find HOPE severed in two.

DEATH frees the silver blade from SPRING’s flesh with a sucking intake of air. She leans on it and shakes her head. She can hear the inner voices from the audience shouting Why them? Why now?.

DEATH looks at DESTINY standing behind the curtain on the stage.  ‘It was you, wasn’t it?’ she mouths.
 
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Driftwood II



Promises tumbled out of her mouth in a glittering rush of words he could never decipher,
like sea spray breaking over driftwood to settle in a sand-filled knothole.

 
 
Trifextra 36 challenge. I cheated a little because when I saw the driftwood on the beach this weekend, I knew I had to use it.
 
 
La Gola del Ter, Oct 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

After Hours


Dark streets, not quite empty, echo my footsteps as I rush towards a bus because the metro has stopped. I’ve been talking to an Italian photographer about his images of other worlds.

On the wide avenue, I climb aboard a harshly lit #N14 and open my book, giddy with the evening and the wine. I look with sudden surprise, jump up and off the bus; I’ve been going the wrong way. Alone on this wide empty avenue I stand and wait. No one is waiting, no one is walking.

I step behind the bus stop, away from the streetlight, and there is a flash from the pavement. A watch with an absolutely round, white face rimmed in gold lies on its side between black leather straps. Thin black hands mark roman numerals under glass that has one deep crack running shortly between two and nine.

As I pick it up, everything goes dark. I blink, look around. The lights of the avenue are out. Windows on the buildings are dark to the rooftops, but above there is light. My eyes adjust to the big dipper. Other constellations come into view; I don’t know their names. Orion must be behind a building.

I look at the watch. I wonder whose it was. It feels like me, inoperative with no arm to clasp, pointless with no time to tell. Yet now I hold it in my hand, hesitant to try it on my arm. I give it an uneasy tap against my wrist. Is there someone somewhere missing this watch? Why have I stopped wearing one?

I stand rubbing the face, checking back along the dark road until the bus finally pulls to a stop. I can’t try on the watch -would it fit? is it mine?- but neither have I left it abandoned on the curb. On the long lonely ride home, I must decide if I need to wear this watch; whether the watch needs to be worn or not.

Collaborative prompts from http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2012/10/trifecta-week-forty-five.html
where the word was "uneasy". The storyline was from National Poetry Day @poetrydayuk Twitter Poem workshop.
   #NPDLive

Friday, September 28, 2012

Blind


There's a stretch of woods along the road home. At night it can turn any odd sound into a prowling coyote, an escaped murderer or your ex-husband. You can either breathe deeply, listen for a hoot owl and whistle yourself back to calm, or you can succumb to a blind panic that will send you fleeing up the middle of the road, flat-footed and round-hipped, to pause on the other side, by the Gaffey's mailbox, hunched over and about to vomit from the stress or the effort or the thought of your ex-husband out in the woods you successfully left behind.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Three-In-One: The Big Toenail


The Big Toenail became so ingrown that it had to be removed.
For a while it became a bloody absence.
And yet, there always was a new one growing in.
Lucky Big Toenail.
***
"Describe something that is three different things at the same time. Oh, and do it in 33 words."
 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recyclical



First published at 101Fiction, a site dedicated to publishing flash fiction of 100 words, with one-word titles.


Recyclical
Posed on the left pant leg of your old jeans that I wear
gardening at the weekends, you held your wings stiffly at
attention, high above the dark fuzz of your Monarch body. I
stood, hose in hand, watering the newly blooming cherry tree.
Old echoes of a sigh, a whisper, any sound that might resemble
your voice, made me close my eyes against the constant blue sky
and purse my lips. I heard only the tunneling of worms deep in
the ground as you traced your butterfly kiss across my eyelids,
and then wrapped me up in your cocoon.

  - May 2012

Recíclico
Posado sobre la pernera izquierda de tus vaqueros viejos, los
que llevo los domingos en el campo, alzabas tus alas en rígida
posición firme por encima de la oscura pelusa de tu cuerpo de
mariposa. Me quedé de pie, manguera en mano, regando el
cerezo de nueva floración. Atenta al eco de un suspiro, un
susurro, algo que pudiera ser tu voz, cerré los ojos contra el
constante cielo azul y fruncí los labios. Oía sólo el cavar de los
gusanos en tierra profunda mientras me rozabas los párpados
con tu beso de mariposa y me envolvías en tu capullo.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Garden Party / Fiesta inglesa

`[500 words for New Zealand Flash Fiction Day: http://thewrite-in.blogspot.co.uk/]


Rain falls in even musicality on the High Street, white noise to the thunderous clattering of
bottles under dawn’s borrowed window. Female voices carry up from the yellow kitchen.
Three old women, each a decade apart, are having tea in dressing gowns.
She will not give them another decade.

Charlotte waits for her at the lush, hidden end of the garden, behind the radishes and
bamboo shoots. They have juice, a large pot of coffee and a basket of French croissants.
There are jars of homemade marmalade.
Birds flit in and out of the tall, fat cypress tree.
‘Like an apartment building,’ Charlotte says, ‘in and out all day. Off to work, bring home the
worm, off again.’

Aiming for a bohemian look to tend Charlotte’s gallery, she carefully puts on the clothes
selected days ago from the closet at home, and lines her eyes in black.

Downstairs, the front parlour is now a sanded floor with one overstuffed armchair and a
square wooden table recovered from a dumpster. Sunlight streams through the front window
and lies in panes on the floor, across an unframed print.
She softshoes the length of the walls, studying the paintings, formulating gallerista
commentary, then settles into the armchair and boots up the laptop. Behind her, in a corner
of the floor between the radiator and a brightly-painted end table, sits the radio Charlotte
has tuned to the Bloomsday broadcast.

Stately plump Buck Mulligan.

At the other end of the afternoon she is called to photograph the table. Candlesticks line up
as one, divide the table into repeating images of mirrored, sparkling wine glasses.

Her name tag is placed exactly where she would have changed it to, were she that kind of
guest, that kind of person.

She strikes up a conversation with a tall beauty who is far too young for this party.
Rather than confess ‘I have no idea what to do with my life,’ as she might have, certainly
must have, the young woman says earnestly, almost forgivingly, ‘I’m searching for a way to
express myself.’
‘What is it you love best?’ she asks, offering her only advice.
‘That’s just it,’ comes the answer. ‘That’s where my research is taking me right now.’
A smile flashes and fades as the dinner bell rings.

She finds, in conversation, that smooth, rational logic rolls off her tongue in perfect,
reasonable sentences. The future Nobel laureate to her right nods thoughtfully.

Ruby Tuesday plays in the corner cleared for dancing when she rises to join. Couples lean in,
wrap their arms around each other. The Rock Star unbuttons, then abandons his shirt.
Three middle-aged men follow suit.

She sits quietly in the darkness of the gallery, the rain putting an unironic end to the deep
night. She is not huddled and puking in the gutter.
She sits in the artist’s armchair, hardly noticing as her head begins to loll and she fades to
black saying yes I will Yes.

  --- Bloomsday, 2012 ---


Fiesta inglesa

Cae la lluvia en High Street con una musicalidad acompasada, un ruido blanco tras el
estrépito de botellas recolectadas al alba debajo de su ventana prestada. Sube un murmullo
femenino de voces desde la cocina de puertas amarillas. Tres ancianas, ninguna de la
misma década, toman el té en bata.
Ella no piensa añadir una década más.

Charlotte le espera en el lado escondido y exuberante del jardín, entre rábanos y brotes de
bambú. Comparten zumo, una cafetera enorme y una cesta llena de cruasanes franceses.
También hay tarros de mermelada de la abuela.
Los pájaros revolotean en las alturas de un gran ciprés.
-Como si fuera un bloque de pisos –dice Charlotte –van entrando y saliendo durante el día
entero. Salen a trabajar, traen la lombriz, salen de nuevo.

Con pretensiones de bohemia digna de atender a la galería de Charlotte, se viste
cuidadosamente con la ropa que seleccionó hace dos días, y perfila de negro los ojos.

Escaleras abajo, lo que había sido comedor es ahora un espacio de suelo lijado con un sillón
mullido y una mesa cuadrada de madera, recuperada de un contenedor. La luz del sol entra
a raudales por la ventana principal y cae en recuadros en el suelo, atravesando una
reproducción sin enmarcar.
Ella ejecuta un suave bailoteo a lo largo de las paredes, estudiando los cuadros, formulando
comentarios de galerista, para acabar sentándose en el sillón y arrancando el portátil. A su
espalda, en un rincón del suelo entre el radiador y una mesita de pintura alegre, está la radio
que Charlotte ha sintonizado en el programa de Bloomsday.

Solemne el gordo Buck Mulligan.

Para iniciar el lado festivo de la tarde, es llamada a fotografiar la mesa. Las velas quedan en
una línea perfecta, como si fueran una sola. La mesa está dividida así en imágenes gemelas
de copas de vino que se repiten y se reflejan.

La tarjeta con su nombre está en el asiento al que la hubiese cambiado, si fuera ese tipo de
invitada, ese tipo de persona.

Entabla una conversación con una belleza alta que no tiene la edad suficiente para estar en
esta fiesta.
En vez de confesar –no tengo la menor idea qué hacer con mi vida- como ella quizás
hubiese, seguramente había hecho, la joven dice encarecida, casi indulgentemente, -Estoy
buscando la forma de expresarme.
-¿Qué es lo que más te apasiona? –pregunta, ofreciendo su único consejo.
-Allí está –llega la respuesta. –Allí es dónde me están llevando mis investigaciones en estos
momentos.
Una sonrisa brilla y desvanece cuando se les llama a la mesa.

Descubre, al conversar, que una lógica fluida y ordenada se desliza por su lengua en
perfectas frases razonables. El futuro Nobel a su derecha asiente, con aire pensativo.

Ruby Tuesday suena en el rincón despejado para el baile cuando ella finalmente se levanta.
Las parejas se juntan, se envuelven con los brazos. El Rockero desabotona, luego abandona
su camisa.
Le siguen el ejemplo tres hombres de mediana edad.

Ella está quieta, sentada en la oscuridad de la galería mientras la lluvia da a la madrugada
un final libre de ironía. No está agachada potando en la cuneta.
Está sentada en el sillón de la artista -apenas se da cuenta cuando la cabeza empieza a
recostarse en un fundido a negro- diciendo sí que quiero Sí.

   --- junio 2012 ---

Sunday, May 20, 2012

El gato de la suerte - The Beckoning Cat

Concurso twitter de "Generación del 140"





 

Tonight the street absorbs her steps. Fading, unreflected in the window, she accepts the insistent greeting from the beckoning cat. @140GE

Tweet ganador:  https://twitter.com/#!/140GE/status/203649362822299650

En fin.
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