Entradas con "Translation" disponen de versión castellana.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

3-Word Resolution

Weed the manure.

For the new year,   wants a three-word resolution. I'm making an inside joke.

If you don't already get it, see this previous, three-word post:  The Writing Process

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

In Line at Vaughan’s Fortune Telling Booth

“Madame Claire read your palm twice already!”
“What are you, the prestidigitation police?”
“We don’t stand for nunna that pretzel litigation here!”
“This ain’t the Pretzel Nation stand. That’s back by the Tilt-A-Whirl.”

33 words for  Any at all, but they have to be funny.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What a World

I let my guard down and fell – whump! – in love with him. I landed like a ton of bricks -bricks made out of heartbreak, distrust, and misguided hope- that I carried around on my broad, squared shoulders. Nothing broke in the fall, nothing but a bit of cynicism and a few shards of jaded lens.

When I dusted myself off, I found there was love: a true love, sweet and all-consuming. Yet, while I let my guard down, I kept my defenses up. He gained privileged access, but the rest of you remained on the other side of my white picket fence, where I gazed on you with suspicion, sniffed at your pretensions, and muttered behind your backs.

I nurtured our allies, rallied against those of you who would scorn or cold-shoulder or taunt. I was happy, self-satisfied, content. I had a plan and the means to fulfill it. I didn’t need you. I needed no one.

He though! He needed nothing but what he could give away: to me, to you, to anyone. He closed his door to nothing, to no one, and then something deadly strode in. It didn’t kill love or trust or hope, but it did kill him. In the killing, it taught him nothing, but I learned, finally, how to melt. At first it was just a meltdown, a crying jag that went on in the subway and at the gym, in the shower and at the coffee shop. Then it began softening my hard edges, rendering my layers permeable until I could take you all in, let you under my skin, and, like him, see you, hear you, feel you.

Then he left, and I, like the Wicked Witch of the West, melted away. (What a world! What a world!) And instead of sneering at Glinda, at her goody-two-shoes, I tried them on. They didn’t fit very well, and made me walk with a limp, but I learned to tread lightly, and to lead with a wand.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Move Over, Superman

Forget about Clark Kent and his phone booths. Every Saturday night at the Bottomless Basin, a touch of razzle and a bit of dazzle turn Claire Kempf, myopic hygienist, into Sizzle: stripper extraordinaire.

33 words for , including myopic, dazzle and basin. Go figure.

And, because I know you thought of this: Razzle Dazzle, with Richard Gere speaking in Spanish!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Girls' Sports

Our high school track coach is a drill sergeant. I don’t think she’s been in the army, but I’m not about to ask. I don’t want to get close enough for her to chew me up and spit me out. In case she’s looking for an excuse. I really want her to put me on the relay team with Cheryl. Cheryl is a sprinting goddess. The thing is, like any goddess, she’s kinda self-involved. She tends to slow up at the finish line. For the photograph.
So Coach has been telling us how we have to learn to run past the finish line, stretch out and reach for it with our entire bodies. She’s after us again today.
“You ladies have heard the expression ‘win by a nose’, correct?”
We nod, but of course Cheryl has to pipe up: “That’s for horses, Coach.”
I hide behind Cheryl just in case, but Coach ignores her.
“Stick your necks out and some of you, Moriarty here, could win by a nose. And that’s good for the team.”
Comprehending, feeling like I need to share, I say: “I won by a tush once.”
“What?” Coach turns towards my voice. I step out from behind Cheryl.
“Speed skating.” I smile, thinking of my trophy. “I was ahead, about to win, when I tripped and fell on the ice, right on my keister.”
“Usually grounds for disqualification,” says Coach, about to turn away.
“Yeah,” I say, still sort of smiling. “But I slid right over the finish line, butt first.” I turn to Cheryl. “Got the trophy to prove it.”
Cheryl steps in front of me. She stands with her hand on one hip, chest out. She has the biggest boobs in school. “Can’t win a sprint ass first, can you?” she says.
“That’s it, Cheryl!” Coach hoots. “When you reach for the finish, lead with your chest. Get those tits over the finish line for the win.”
“I got the trophy to prove it,” I say again.

333 words for , including tush 3. buttocks (slang)

Monday, December 2, 2013


Issue 2 of 101Fiction has included my story "Triumph", along with fourteen other stories having to do with the undead and/or winter.

Read it here: "Triumph" at 101 Fiction   Then read some more, including my friend Alex's "Family".

Translation to Spanish is now (1/1/14) found below:

Silencio tan hondo que cada variación de sonido en la marcha reducida viene amortiguada por la nieve. El chico monta a horcajadas sobre el cielo blanco -ensueño de nubes y eternidad- suspendido en el aire glacial. El faro disuelve una pálida sombra amarilla sobre la carretera hecha camino impoluto. Solos en el universo, el chico, la chica y la moto bajan, como si esquiaran por una pista lenta de montaña; atraviesan un oscuro túnel de abetos. Cuando salen, el mundo está luminoso. Como quien tapa el invierno con un sudario, dejan atrás los ventisqueros. El chico acelera hacia tierra abierta.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Because I’m dead, she is letting my heels drag on the ground. When I was alive, she said: “I told you not to scuff those shoes. Just wait till your father gets home.”

33 words for , in a quick and dirty free write.

[This is for Asunta Basterra]

Sunday, November 24, 2013


The black place between
no way in and no way out.
Black is how you see everything.
Except when it's not black,
when lights are spinning and your body
feels like it's god.

33 words for , including the same one, thrice.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


“Awkward is what it is!” Gerard is sitting in the wheelchair like some elderly pneumonia patient, waiting for Tony to gather up the paperwork. “Give that to me,” he snaps, “and get me the hell out of here.”
Tony fumbles still with the charts, x-rays, CDs, finally managing to slip them all into the folder - why a business folder and not an envelope he’ll never know - and slaps it down on Gerard’s lap.
“Awkward!” Tony kicks at the wheels to straighten them out. “There’s nothing awkward about it except you. I’m your companion. A perfectly ambiguous, inoffensive, let-them-think-what-they-will word. Honest to god, I don’t know what you’re so uptight about. It’s not like you have some reputation to maintain, like you have anything left to throw in people’s faces. What do you care what that silly little nurse’s aide thinks of you?” Tony is now standing in front of Gerard and the wheelchair, hands firmly on hips.
“Can we leave?” Gerard says tight lipped. “I’d like to get the hell out of here before they find something else wrong with me, shove me back in that black hole of an emergency room.”
“It’s me, isn’t it?” Tony has finally begun pushing the wheelchair which keels to the right. “You’re so horrified to be stuck with me that you can’t even treat me like an execrated houseboy. Like your least favorite lackey! I knew I shouldn’t have come here, especially not today with the way I feel and christ the way I look I’ll be scaring the small children.”
“Tony, for chrissake!”
Tony cannot straighten the wheelchair out properly, and he is pushing it diagonally across the hospital entrance, which appears to be a jousting range. “Fine! Let me back you out,” he says. Gerard watches the interior of the hospital recede while he is jerked backwards, unable to witness Tony’s journey towards the exit, on which he is dragged like an afterthought. The jousted glare at him as they stumble away.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dancing in the Moonlight - (TrifeXXXtra)

When they dance, she sees that her smile makes her pretty, makes her beautiful even. She is watching it in his eyes and in the play of his lips. She admires the lay of her hand across the back of his shoulder, and she presses down to feel where he is warm and taut, stronger than she could have anticipated. She is surprised to find her body knows far more than she does.
Her body knows where he is hard -it knows why he is hard and what he is hard for- and she can’t help but respond. Her muscles are doing things she is embarrassed to do, but there is nothing that can stop her pulling in close to him, letting the music accompany her body as it turns insistent.
He needs no convincing. He’s already there, holding her to him as they move to the blues that carry them both. All that she doesn’t yet understand is knowledge he has long gathered, long perfected, and it is now his to release to her. She receives the play of his fingers along her hips as they rise without her permission when he sways back and forth. He leans in and she can hear him moan. With her lips she hears and brings them close, covers his lips with hers. She takes his moan into her mouth and holds it there long enough to learn his tongue, understand the heat of it, measure the force of it. As it fills her mouth she learns how to kiss. She learns how to run her tongue into his, run it along his teeth and out to his lips and back in again. All the while her hips mimic the movement of her tongue, and he holds her aloft, holds her against him where she moves –unaware of what she’s doing- but then he hears her. She returns the moan to his mouth and so teaches him. Finally, it is he who is taken by surprise.

 333 words for , in honor of National Erotica Day (November 15th).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tea with the Neighbors

“Today it’s four years since Bertha died.”
“Well. More or less,” said Dan.
“Oh, Dan, don’t start.”
“I’m sorry, but the truth is implacable,” Dan said, looking at Sacha but glancing at Sally in quick, lizard-like flashes of acknowledgement. “Today we remember Bertha,” he said. “But the truth is this is the anniversary of her funeral, not her death.”
“Dan, cut it out.” Elaine turned from the stove and crossed her arms over her chest. Sally stared wide-eyed at her.
“What?” she asked. “Was she murdered?”
“Oh, no,” said Sacha, putting her arm across Sally’s shoulders. “Nothing like that. It’s just so sad. We never found out how long she’d been dead when they found her.”
“They. A neighbor,” Joanne said softly.
“Sometimes she just disappeared, you know? She was private that way. We never thought...” Sacha gave Sally’s shoulders a squeeze and let her go.
“Are you going to her grave?” Sally asked.
“No. Her family...”
“This year we’re making flowers,” said Joanne. “Elaine took a course on napkin folding.”
“I’m pretty good at it,” said Elaine with a wry smile. She tossed a weight of dirty blond hair off her shoulder. “I figured out how to make dahlias, Bertha’s favorite.”
 “What are you gonna do with them?” Sally asked.
“We haven’t decided,” said Elaine. “We could decorate the restaurant.”
“Oh, sure, pulling for the home team, huh, Lainy?”
“We could take them down to the beach and let them loose in the surf.”
“Dan, she never went near the sea.” Sacha poured tea into small hand-made raku cups. “We could take them over to the hospital…”
“If we’re going to honor Bertha,” Joanne broke in, “what we should do is go up to the train station and hand them out to random travellers. Whoever strikes our fancy. Some good-looking guy…”
“Good luck with that!” said Cora. Everyone turned to look at her in surprise. They burst out laughing.
“I love that idea,” said Dan. “Something special and unusual. Quirky. Like Bertha.”

 333 words for , on their 2nd Anniversary Challenge. Using Remember (verb): 3 a : to keep in mind for attention or consideration b :  REWARD

Saturday, November 9, 2013


There are 33 gods straddling the fence. I look them over, dig my sneakers in the soft white cloud, and rush the skinny weakling. She topples to the ground. I take a seat.

33 words for who wanted our own god in Trāyastriṃśa, or the Heaven of the Thirty-Three gods.

This weekend's challenge is community judged.
  • For the 14 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. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


“Very crafty.”
“Craft has nothing to do with it.”
“What would you call it?”
“We call it mano izquierda.”
“When your right hand doesn’t know what your left hand is doing. I call that sneaky.”
“No, not at all. Not underhanded. Like using your less-coordinated hand. Tact, not duplicity.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“You need to approach it from a different angle, you know?”
“You’re going to take his side anyway. I’m always at fault. He never complains, never has a bad word, of course he always gets his way.”
“I’m not taking sides, really I’m not. I want to help. I don’t want to see either of you suffer. If you suffer, my son suffers, that’s the way marriage is.”
“He hardly suffers.”
“Argh. He may not show his feelings – just like his father – but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them. He’s strong-willed, pig-headed even, when he doesn’t feel he has a choice.”
“A choice. What choice to I have?”
“You both have choices: the choices you would make separately, and the choice you make together. Because that is marriage. Choosing together.”
“Compromising. Exactly. He doesn’t compromise. When it’s his decision, everything is hunky-dory; when I don’t agree, I’m a shrew.”
“A shrew! I don’t mean to laugh. That’s not true, nobody thinks you’re a shrew. Little mouse. Hahaha. I’m sorry.”
“So you want me to just accept his decision? To save our marriage.”
“No. Oy. What I want you to do is use what advantages you have. You’re a smart woman. You know the things he likes to hear. The way he likes to see himself, how he wants to be seen.”
“So I should trick him into agreeing with me. That’s what you’re saying.”
“No. Not trick. Show him why his decision is the right one and, more importantly, show him why it is the same as your decision.”
“Oh, that doesn’t make any sense at all.”
“Just use your left hand, darling. You’ll see. Trust me.”

333 words forincluding CRAFT (noun) :  skill in deceiving to gain an end craft and guile to close the deal>

This weekend's challenge is community judged.
  • For the 14 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. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All Hallows

This weekend's quick Trifextra challenge is to write the next thirty-three words of the story that begins with words from The Scorpio Races. Author Maggie Stiefvater writes:

 "It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die."

Logic dictates that it be someone who was also born on this day of the dead. Harold was not. Harold’s wife Marge was. Happenstance finds Harold and Marge with an axe to grind.

See them all, write your own at:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Dark Horse

He takes his time. The buttons on his combed-cotton dress shirt are tended to on an individual basis. He slides one neatly through its button hole, caresses each smooth polished side before moving on to the next. His shirts last forever.
He pays attention. Her hair is usually worn up in a careful bun. The color is natural, highlights from the summer sun dance under the soft light he has turned on with a deliberate motion. He pulls his hand away from the lamp slowly, lingering.
He stays focused. The spot behind her ear where he whispers receives most of his attention, his breath briefly hot and his lips close. He can and will return there. He is not easily distracted.
He thinks ahead. A plate is arranged with two different cheeses, strips of finely cured Spanish ham and a thick slice of home-made quince. A baguette sits on the counter. He uncorks the wine in one smooth motion.
He goes for broke. He once dated a girl who used to make fun of him. Jeer. On one occasion she went so far as to blow a raspberry and boo.
“What?” she asks.
“Boo,” he says. He hangs his head.

In a finale to the Halloween run up, here are 200 words for including:
   boo 3 (verb) to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting “Boo” slowly

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quickening *

Most mornings Elaine awoke in dismay. Expecting cloud cover, she was perpetually confounded by the blue patch of sky shining beyond her window. Accordingly, her despondence required some justification. She should already be watering and fussing over the plotted plants. She could be halfway through a twenty-minute mile. She might have polished off a chapter of a highly-acclaimed novel.
On this overcast Wednesday morning, there was inexplicable joy. Elaine mistrusted the illusion of renewal, the phantom of well being that was invading her. She knew it wasn’t real, but felt it necessary to do some spot checks just the same. A glance through her window confirmed impending rain. A gentle roll of her head to the right yielded the customary crackle at her neck but, unaccountably, not a hint of stiffness. A trail of euphoria burned its way down her spine, shooting bursts of warmth through her abdomen.
(She cast an eye to the left, entertaining the possibility of an unremembered bedfellow. Alas, there was just familiar emptiness beside her.)
With a brisk swing of her legs off the bed, she propelled her torso into a sitting position. She waited in vain for the dizzying rush this act of returning to an upright state lately provoked. When none came, she began to let down her guard, to ignore the chimerical nature of her physicality.
She imagined, but did not try, skipping down the hall to her bathroom. She admired the shining tiles, smiled at the dazzling chrome that sparkled under exquisite lighting. Giving herself over to the illusion of youthful vigor, Elaine stretched wide her arms and rose on her tiptoes, filling her lungs with a deep, purposeful breath. This caused her to cough. The coughing made her left ankle twist horribly inward, allowing her knee to give way, then her hip. As she crumbled to the floor, her left temple met the impeccably white porcelain edge of the tub, and so consciousness, with all its devilish tricks, ended that day for Elaine.

333 words for  including PHANTOM (noun) 3 : a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal .

* While I was away at the #METM13 annual conference in Poblet, my virtual friend Steph let me know this story had placed third for week 101: "Third place this week is KymmInBarcelona. Her story Quickening is a well-written tale of that old Lothario called Happiness, which can disappear at any moment." Many more stories with phantom things can be found: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/10/trifextra-week-ninety-one.html

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Morning Pedestrian

Standing  at the light,
huge bus to my right.
 A whoosh to my left.
I jump. His skateboard deftly
 pushed forward against the red.
 Just as a taxi noses ahead
of the bus.

33 words for   who asked what scares us.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Abby ducked into the shaded portico two steps before she succumbed to heat stroke. Five minutes early to collect Joy, she was again reduced to scanning the activity board: ‘Need a babysitter? Call Judy!’ and a phone number she would never remember.
There was a prickling at the back of her neck a second before the past touched her arm, said: Hello, Abby. She looked down at the fingers on her wrist, wanting to vaporize them, wanting to bare her teeth and rip that bit of skin right off.
No one but Joy was allowed to touch her now.

This weekhave given us a page from the Oxford English Dictionary. The ninety-ninth page to be exact.
From this page, we can choose any word, any definition, to use in our post. (Chosen word in bold, so they know.) And instead of their typical 33-333 word limit, they are asking for 99 words exactly.
They are also shooting for 99 entries, using a randomly bestowed $99 gift card as incentive.
This week's challenge is community judged. Enter here. Don't forget to go back and vote!

Abby llegó a la sombra del pórtico dos pasos antes de sucumbir a un golpe de calor. Quedaban cinco minutos hasta recoger a Joy; se puso a revisar una vez más el tablón de anuncios: “¿Necesitas canguro? ¡Llama a Judy!” Ese número que jamás recordaría.
Se le erizaban los pelos de la nuca un segundo antes de que el pasado le tocara el brazo diciendo: Hola, Abby. Miró los dedos que descansaban sobre su muñeca. Quiso pulverizarlos, quiso enseñar los dientes y arrancar de cuajo ese trozo de piel.
No consentía que nadie más que Joy le tocara ahora.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Not Feeling Yourself?

When you come to, you’re in a strange apartment in one of those neighborhoods that first your mother, then your friends warn you not to get lost in, and you do not know the name of the person next to you, much less the way home. You remember there was a pizza party at Katie’s and you wonder if the apartment got trashed. You lift your hands, inspect your fingers and are inexplicably relieved to find no blood on them. Not home free yet, you scan the unfamiliar room for signs of clothing. Almost every item is black, so the blood, were there any, would be hard to see. Before you get up, you make sure the person next to you appears to be equally free of bloodstains.
Getting up turns out to be a less appealing proposition than you had first thought. You are expecting your head to feel like a pothole, but are unprepared for the lack of motor response. More than asleep, your arms feel incapacitated. There are no pins and needles. The opposite of phantom limb syndrome, you feel nothing where your arms need to be. Your legs are fairing no better, so your brain, though hugely malfunctioning, is your only hope. You concentrate.
You don’t remember beer, you stayed away from the colas and tonics; you must have gone with vodka and something sweet. The backs of your eyelids attest to the kamikaze verdict. Your stomach is in disaccord, certain that you had rum. Many rums. As your eyes roll back in your numbing head, your mouth falls open and a thick line of drool begin to spill out. Your collarbone feels damp and cool, as if the skin were peeling right off. You feel hungry, and your teeth begin to snap, but you cannot think of a single meal that appeals to you, that might assuage the sudden howling in your bowels. Just before you pass out again it comes to you. One drink, many versions: zombie.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Potted Plants

Clouds tighten on the horizon at the end of the six-lane highway. Julie grips the wheel at a precise ten-o’clock-two-o’clock angle and repeatedly demurs to adrenaline-crazed slaloming lane-changers. She tries to shrug the frown lines from her forehead as she considers the neighbors motives. Calling the office to complain, who does that? Yet, seeping through her annoyance is a sinking feeling that she should not take it out on them. Surely they were doing her a favor, probably heading off another five identical phone calls. She wonders if this is how people lose their jobs. That kind of personal commotion at work never goes unremarked.
The tightly-packed clouds have settled over the driveway. Julie feels them twist around her head as she gets out of the car, as she bends to pick up an empty baggie from the lawn. The blood rushing to her head feels purposeful and necessary.
She has only to push and the front door opens. Ashtrays and teacups are strewn around an ancient bong on the attic-door coffee table . Reclining languidly against the oversized batik cushions on the hardwood floor is her flesh and blood, whose  otherwise foggy-eyed face lights up in unabashed pleasure as she focuses on Julie.
“Hey,” she drawls. “How was your day?”
“I had another phone call,” Julie says carefully.
“The Carsons, right?”
“The Carsons, yes.” Through a window Julie catches sight of a beat-up Volkswagen Beetle rolling silently away from the curb. “It seems the Carsons and everyone else in the neighborhood have had enough of you and your hippy-ass friends. They’re tired of hearing the Mamas and the Papas on endless repeat. And they’ve asked me again to deal with those potted plants in the back patio.”
“Busy bodies. They need to get a life. Get tuned in and turned on.”
Julie retrieves her mother’s silk chiffon headscarf from the floor. She takes a swipe at the coffee table with it.
“The sixties are dead, Mom,” she says. “Long live the sixties.”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Harvest Moon (La Mercè)

Moonlight penetrated the back windows, throwing bright, other-worldly patches onto the bare floor. Sitting on a pile of books, Kate stretched one bare foot into the light. Jason would be there soon. Her brother, the rock.
She could hear the clatter of the downstairs neighbors as they prepared their dinner. Quiet neighbors who knew nothing, who read about people like Kate in the newspaper. She pretended to forgive their ignorance, alternately despising and envying the softness in their speech, the banality of their arguments.
Avoiding the moon’s white squares, she crept to the darker front room, to the door with the caged window that gave onto the patio where Ben paced. She watched him from behind the thin curtain. Earlier, when she had pulled it back, there he had been, his face a blotching snarl that snapped at the glass, making her squeal and jump, her heart pumping adrenaline she didn’t need. She had phoned Jason then.
With long strides Ben crashed across the porch, fierce in every movement, arms jerking out as if to punctuate a lecture, or to knock out imaginary rivals. He turned, abruptly stopping, his arms crooked at his sides as he sniffed the night air. His head jerked up and to the right, his eyes blazing a hole through the glass into Kate’s throat. He ran at the door then, threw himself against the window grate, howling in pain before he struck.
Kate willed her breath back and opened the window.
Her voice was broken.
He limped off the porch and resumed his pacing. Headlights shot through the hedges and like a wild boar Ben froze.
‘Kate!” Jason called as he pulled the car up. He beeped. “Kate? You ready?”
He had been there before.
She watched Ben tear across the patio and out to the street. She heard the car’s horn again, then listened as Ben’s yawp faded away up the hill and became a labored, frothing pant.
Kate shouldered her bag and unlocked the door.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Issue 1 of 101Fiction has included my story "Implosion", along with seven other stories having to do with the phoenix and/or autumn. Below is the link to my story, and below that, it's translation into Spanish. Happy Fall!



Su cólera era el derrame del vino oscuro, casi morado, que empapaba las fibras blancas y almidonadas del mantel. Con su furia de rabioso bermejo formaba pilas, barría el éidolon caído, y los pardos despojos esqueléticos crepitaron al liberarse.
Saltaban chispas de sus largas uñas que martilleaban – ratatatá – contra el mármol donde se tumbaría. No serían suficientes las débiles pavesas de su ira. Se quitó el chal de ajustados hilos violetas, colocó su sonrisa al costado de su manera de atar los cordones de los zapatos. Dijo su nombre; con el susurro que había erizado su barba, avivó las llamas.

Friday, September 20, 2013

10 March 2003 (Time Travel)

Rising from this autumn solstice, I step onto the path I wore thin. My heart flutters with the scent of lilac and my need for your surgeon to say We got it all.

33 words for  who urged us to time travel and specify the year. I, of course, travel to Pep. 1-4-3

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Phone Call

This one was it. Janie knew as soon as she dialed the number. Her big pay-off was about to happen. The phone chord, stretched taut to reach into the pantry, was quivering in the excitement of Janie’s big moment. The tiresome research and endless waiting, the patient vigils, the cutting and pasting were done. She had put off the phone call until all the stars were aligned, the pieces of the puzzle -the enigma of Janie- were in place. More than once she had taken a deep breath, considering the risks, and held that breath while she recalled all her past disappointments, reliving those carefully constructed dreams that had been dashed in an instant. Success, fulfilment, happiness: nudged just beyond her reach. Was this yet one more beguiling rainbow about to be smudged grey?
Janie wanted to hang up, wanted to press her finger against the button, put the phone quickly back in place, but she knew this was it. This was her crowning glory, her longed-for triumph. She remained curled around the receiver, squatting inside the dark pantry, the door jammed shut on the phone chord. The quivering phone chord. Janie held her breath between rings.
On the third ring she coughed. A tickly cough that she knew was just beginning. She could feel it working up into a coughing fit that would not stop just because the person at the other end of the line was about to answer the telephone.
Holding the receiver close against her ear, Janie wrapped the trembling phone chord, the quivering coil about her neck and pulled. Slowly she tightened it, choking back the cough. Tighter. Cough. Tight. Ring.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Curses, Foiled Again!

Sunday morning’s forecast
promised lightning, droning rain.
I drew back the curtain
with hard-clutched book, to no avail.
Double-crossing weather channel!
Sunshine! Blue skies!
Wherefore art thou washing machine?
Scrubbrush? Mop and pail?

wants a 33-word example of an apostrophe.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So You Wanna Be a Bruin

Harvey was born to be a hockey player. Snow and ice were to him what roses and red were to poets. Other kids would beg their dads to fill up little rubber pools in the summer, but Harvey would start nagging at Halloween for his dad to fill up their rink, though it would never freeze before mid December.
While his sisters plastered their walls with pictures of David Cassidy, Harvey had just one poster: Gerry Cheevers in his goalie mask. From his desk or his bed, Harvey could count the stitches drawn all over it, dreaming of the day he would bear his own NHL scars.
From the first white-edged freeze to the last slush-covered game of the season, the tough-assed kids fought over who would play goalie. Names were called and sticks were slapped on ponds all across town as pick-up games on quick-shoveled ice began.
Harvey knew he wasn’t supposed to go out on the ponds. That’s why his father made him the backyard rink, goddammit, so his mother wouldn’t have to worry about some dumb-assed townie taking a stick to his head, or pushing him onto thin ice and into freezing pond water. But Mark Conway had double-dared him at school, and the boys were all headed to Musquashcut. If Harvey was to be the town’s next star goalie, if he wanted to be in Gerry Cheevers’ league, there was no question of who would play that Sunday against the dickheads from Hingham.

When Harvey’s little brother Tommy came looking for him after church, there was no one left on the pond but Harvey. He sat holding snow to his mouth, sticking his tongue through the upside-down V in his front teeth.
‘Lemme see,’ said Tommy. Harvey took the bloody snow away and smiled.
“Wow,” breathed Tommy. “Mom’s gonna have a fit.” Harvey nodded. He motioned for Tommy to grab his skates and stick.
“Where’s your glove?” Tommy was kicking at the hardened snow. Harvey shrugged.
“Did we win?”

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kymm Coveney - All rights reserved.