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Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Maybe if I slip some doctor in his drink.

Maybe if you what? Are you still going on about that jerk?

I was just wondering if I could make up some Bach flowers – maybe some Walnut and Wild Oat to predispose him towards me. Tell him it’s a vitamin drop.

Maura, please tell me you’re just trying to annoy me. You aren’t serious, are you? Right now he’s just a douche. You don’t want him to think you’re psycho, do you?

Maybe I am psycho. Maybe he makes me psycho.

Maura, honest to god, I don’t know why you’re mooning over him – pass me a napkin, would ya? You could do so much better.

What’s better? I love listening to him talk. He knows so many stories about the history of this neighborhood, the politics behind street names, the skinny on the public statues, all the political scandals. It’s fascinating.

Fascinating, huh? He sounds like he’s full of hot air.

What time is it?

We just have time for a quick smoke. Hey, are you on again tomorrow?

Yup. I’m on all week. I wanna try to get in some overtime this month.

Why don’t you mix me up a potion that will make me rich? Just slip it in my coffee?

Ha! I wish. You want me to make up a remedy for you, Kath? I can, you know. Maybe some Olive for energy? I think Cherry Plum is supposed to make your dreams really vivid.

Vivid, huh? I wouldn’t mind some vivid dreams I guess. Don’t tell me though, okay, just slip it in when I’m not looking.

Sure. That way I can practice my moves. Won’t have to tell him they’re vitamins. Won’t have to tell him anything at all.

Maura, I swear to god!

C’mon, we’re gonna be late!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gentle Umbrage

Kevin drove in wild panic to the marina. The sailboat out of Puckerbrush Island was gone.
No, he said.
Not now, he thought the woman shouted, but it was only a squawking gull.
      33 words culled from page 33 of Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Instructions: Opening a Door

Open the door.

Not the window and not a crack. Open the door.
Gauge the temperature, if you must. Sniff the air. Check for cloud cover.
Step outside. Hesitate all you will, but in the end there will be no shutting the door until you are on the other side of it. Step outside.

One foot is fine. You may need to find your balance again. Take your time. Eventually, the foot left inside must follow the outside foot. Lead with your right then put your left foot out. Shake it about or not, whatever feels most comfortable.

Close the door behind you.

Next - this will come as a surprise and may be quite shocking- you must look yourself over in a mirror. There is no help for it. The different light changes everything, and you need to be aware of the changes. Smile. Bare your teeth. Pretend to chew. Notice it all.

You will come to many doors, one at a time or all at once, it’s hard to say. You do not need to open all of them, and there are some you would be well-advised to refrain from opening.

You will need to do some rehearsing. You will want to know what words to say and when to say them.
The combinations are endless.
Exhaust all possible scenarios.
Imagine one more. That is the one you will want.

When you coddle your regret, remember that this is only one outcome, only one door.

Finally, you will need to open one. Don’t over-think it.
You’ve looked in the mirror. You are prepared.

Open the door.
                             EXHAUST (transitive verb) 3a : to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely  

Friday, February 15, 2013


When the shit hit the fan and everything blew up in her face, Laura took it like a man.
She drank the bars dry, fucked everything that moved, then went home to Mother.

  So we're giving Trifextra some hyperbole this weekend.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Town Called Irony

Suzy was born to hit the ground running, destined to change the face of the earth, starting with the smallest town in the ugliest corner of the world.
 Two doors over, Laura rarely ventured outside her yard unless it was to go to school, and she had every intention of breathing her very last breath in the house her grandfather built. She learned how to bake at her grandmother’s knee. Her father taught her how to drive out on the back roads that took them to the empty shopping plaza parking lot on Sundays. When she wasn’t petitioning the town to keep the old Lawson water pump in working order, it was to protect the hundred-year-old oak on the village green.
 Suzy was aching to shake the dust of her hometown off her shoes, scared if she didn’t she’d soon be seeing her own reflection in the faces of her neighbors. Those old farts who stuck around town waiting for their high school reunions to roll around every year were like taunting demons. ‘I won’t let you catch me,’ she wanted to shriek after burning the rubber off the tires of a smart little import that would let her peal out of town again and again every Thanksgiving.
 Laura always smiled at Suzy’s fantasy and tried not to dwell on Grandmother’s words:
 ‘That girl moves too fast for her own shadow.”
 Of course it was Suzy who noticed the new kid in town, and the first thing she did was introduce him to Laura. They were destined for greatness, she claimed. If only one of them had declined the dare, backed down from the challenge, been willing to concede to the others.
 Laura still bakes. Suzy never misses a high school reunion. The new kid left town in a smart little import right after graduation.

    DWELL 3a : to keep the attention directed —used with on or upondwell on my fears>

Silver for Trifecta week 64!! (http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/02/trifextra-week-fifty-five.html)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Domestic Engineering

“You never could keep it in your pants, could you? But this is so … taudry. You make me sick.”

Sarah stepped away from Paul’s desk. She imagined him standing, heaving the chair back in fury as he grabbed her arm and slapped her across the face, her hair whipping dramatically as she fell to the footstool and wept. She turned to check, but in the tumult of their world falling apart, Paul sat at the desk with his pen held to a crossword puzzle.

Sarah seethed.

She crossed the hall, heading for the kitchen, and almost tripped over Katie.

“Darling, what are you doing there?” Sarah asked, ignoring the evidence that their daughter had overheard everything. “Have you finished your homework?”

Katie nodded. Sarah reached down and gave her arm a shake.

“Come with me and we’ll see about dinner. What do you feel like?”

“I feel like a child from a broken home.”

Sarah stopped short, gave a sharp laugh. “Oh, please, Miss Drama Queen. A broken home? You have no idea.”

“YOU have no idea!”

“Don’t get fresh with me, young lady, or...”

Sarah stood with her finger raised in the air as the child jumped to her feet and ran up the stairs. A second later the door slammed. “Hey!” came a muffled cry from the next bedroom over. Kevin’s burgeoning role of older brother consisted almost entirely of pointing out Katie’s childish behavioral patterns. Door slamming was a point of contention.

Sarah couldn’t face dinner yet. Confronting Paul had unleashed an adrenaline rush that she couldn’t contain. She grabbed her keys and purse and slammed out the front door. “What the hell?” came the cry from Kevin’s room and Sarah smiled maliciously. Rage propelled her down the street as she headed vaguely towards the center. She needed to walk, let the anger overtake her for a while, burn its way through her system and leave her some sort of a path to follow out of this tangled web.
     This week's word is  PATH  3a : course, route   b : a way of life, conduct, or thought
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