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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Her partners were not going to like it. A week spent away from the office, right at the end of the busiest time of the year, and worse, right before the summer holidays. True that among themselves they had decided upon an extended vacation, and true they had not included Claire in the decision-making process, but it was a great deal of time off nonetheless.
And for what? For a seminar on fiscal policy? For a workshop on international accounting? No. For a pottery class. An expensive, elitist, whimsical week spent at an artists’ colony in the south of France.
Her family was not going to like it. All the accommodating they had done over the years, the Tuesday-night pizzas and the Saturdays left hanging while she attended classes, lectures and workshops had only been a preview of the desertion to come. She was well aware that they had not signed on for the whole shebang.
Yet, Claire was tired of stiff-upper-lipping it. She was feeling her body begin its slow downshift into oblivion, and the idea that she’d never truly ventured out in pursuit of her dream nagged at her in perpetual reproach. Small, seemingly impossible opportunities had drifted by her, beckoning from across untraversable distances, and she had seen them wistfully off, to be grabbed by other, more ambitious takers.
Claire unclenched her teeth, smoothed her brow and sat up straight. This was not an idle fantasy. Before her was an application form that offered workable dates at a reasonable, no, a bargain price.
When a person chances upon such a door, Claire thought, either she walks through, or she sits back down and begins to decompose.
Caution and prudence had served her well, yes, and she had done her bit, had always risen to the tasks and obligations required. The blinking cursor with her name on it was calling. ‘Time’s up’ it flashed. ‘You in or you out?’

And it's community judged. Go vote!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mano Dura

The prize Janie coveted was a pat on the head. All day long she straightened the papers on Daddy’s off-limits desk into neat piles.
Ta-da! The backhanded blow to her cheek was overkill.
33 words for  including at least one hyphenated compound modifier.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pursuing the Horizon

Alice couldn’t believe she was sitting in the Black Rose having a Guinness with Dave Brennan. It was heady. He was talking to her not as her bosses did – dismissively, as if they might lose some irretrievable gem by giving her their attention – but respectfully, as if her opinion – or her approval of his opinion – had some actual consequence in the universal scheme of things.
Alice tore her gaze away from his face – the intensity of his acceptance making her dizzy – and traced a drop of condensation down the side of her pint.
“When Noam Chomsky was last here,” Dave Brennan said, “we sat discussing Zellig Harris…”
Alice smiled and raised her eyebrows, unwilling to interrupt with a question that might reveal an inability to place a reference or recognize a player. Her mind raced to keep up with the connections that rolled off of Dave Brennan’s tongue. Harris believed… Surface structure meant… She made a snarky comment, unaware she’d spoken aloud until she saw his smile, heard his laugh and realized they were for her.
“Yes,” he said. “Exactly.” He continued unravelling the intricacies of structural linguistics while her brain kicked into overdrive. The timbre of his voice rose and fell around them like the tune to some anthem only they knew. Her head filled with sparkles, and her eyes lost focus.
Seconds later, Alice felt herself return to the table, the beer, Dave Brennan’s voice. She hoped he hadn’t noticed. She checked the corner of her mouth for drool with a quick lick of her tongue.
You’re sitting here with Dave Brennan, she thought. Dave Brennan is sitting here with you!
Alice was talking herself down from a paralyzing state of ecstasy. ‘Listen now,’ she told herself. ‘Pay attention.’
Dave Brennan’s voice once again took over the air between them, its cadence marking her heartbeat. She recognized the name of a local politician she’d once worked for, and nodded, ready to offer him this tidbit of information.
Dave Brennan talked on.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Adrenaline rush of the century. Like a charge of electricity, it pushes me through suburban yards. Heart pounding, my lungs burn. Hidden under a musty tarp. Feeling lost. Jaws snap at my ankles. Night falls howling.
This weekend  wants our usual 33, plus charge, century, lost.
Everytime I heard or read the word "pray" yesterday, I thought of "prey". I am not a religious person.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Friend in Deed

She tossed her purse and broken sandals over the fence, heard them land on the grass. It was an easy lift to the wall. Her toes gripped the cool brick surface and she stepped in delicate balance over the wire mesh, then dropped to the spongy dew-laden ground. She pranced on tiptoes across the small lawn and up the three steps to reach a sliding glass door. She pulled at the handle, making sure it opened before she turned to give a thumbs-up to the red Pinto idling at the curb. The headlights blipped and the car moved away.

The housing complex was dark and silent, as befit the suburban dead of night. Angie slipped into the apartment and felt her slow, careful way to the bedroom. She crouched down to make sure it was Javi’s shoulder she touched. She breathed his name. When he grunted back, she whispered.

‘Mind if I sleep here tonight?’

Javi flung the sheet back over the two boys sprawled between him and his wife. He patted the mattress at his hip.

‘Climb in,’

In the pitch-black bedroom, Angie felt a sudden rush of color burn her cheeks.

‘No, gracias.’ She smiled. “I’ll just crash on the sofa.’

She crept back to the living room and stood looking out over the moonlit garden.

‘Here’s a sheet,’ said Javi behind her, making her jump. She turned to watch him drape it over the couch. When he straightened, she also saw that he was buck naked.

‘That’s okay, Javi, thanks. Get back to sleep.’ She felt the flush return to her face as she sat down and poked at a cushion.

‘You okay?’ Javi asked. ‘What’s going on?’ He reached to squeeze her shoulder.

‘I’m fine. I’ll tell you about it in the morning.’ She glanced back at him, saw his penis drooping before her and waved him off.

‘Sorry about this,’ she said and lay down.

‘No problem.’ Javi yawned and turned to leave. ‘See you in the morning.’


Friday, April 12, 2013

Possibility of Dreams

She wrote the dream in disappearing ink and tore it into pieces. Tossing her poem in the air, she filled an invisible cloud with truth and possibility, then blew it out to sea.

  want 33 words inspired by this quote. Community vote Sunday night-Monday morning.
“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” ― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


   “Isn’t it strange,” you said, looking at me as if I personified strangeness, “how we fall in love with such unexpected people.” You ran one long finger down my nose. “There’s not a bit of logic, no reason to it at all.”

   I laughed my jaded laugh and said, “Speak for yourself. It’s obvious why I fell in love with you. I’ve never known a man so good, so kind.” I smiled and smiled at you, but you looked at me with an expression that felt like disdain. The subject changed, we made love, we fell asleep. All the next morning I was dogged by that look of yours. I was still pondering what could be wrong when I started out to meet you in the square. Something about that balmy winter midday made me cut through the park and stop at the little bridge over the artificial pond. As I looked over the darkly green pool, I felt a tremor run through me, though there was no breeze, just the sun’s jagged reflection off the still water. Some deep-rooted alchemy was causing a seismic shift in my core. Then it settled.
   Later, you were loping towards me outside the train station, smiling your bright, sunny smile.
   “Remember what I said about loving you because you’re such a good man?”
   You still smiled, but less so.
   “That’s not quite true.” I said.
   Your smile was almost gone.
   “I would have fallen in love with you even if you were a wife beater or a serial killer, because that’s how crazy true love is. I just lucked out, is all.”

   Your smile exploded. You tried to whisk me off my feet and we almost fell to the ground in a flapping, quivering pile. You were like a big puppy that way, a big Saint Bernard puppy whose whole body could exude happiness. Allowing myself to inhabit your waggling hug, I marveled at how simple it turned out to be to make someone else happy.

333 words, including the one  wanted: ALCHEMY (noun)  3: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting

Saturday, April 6, 2013


                             "Always... No, wait. Never..." -Steve Martin

If you’re gonna do a thing half assed, make sure you don’t give a shit later when it sucks. But what I said to the kid was: I don’t know; ask your mother.

For the weekend  wanted some advice in 33 words.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rain (April Fool's Day version)

Chuck got a job as soon as it was legal at the one place worth working in Ashmut. Starting as a stockboy at sixteen, he figured on making foreman after high school. The night he proposed to Linda, he confessed his ambition to one day become manager. Shit, with a little luck, company president before he retired, gold watch and all, like old man Cutting. Linda smiled, glad she had chosen the one boy in town with some fire under him.
Linda’s dream was to dance in a Broadway show, maybe even the movies. Her dance teacher was enthusiastic about her talent, and Chuck was sure his Linda would one day be a star. He was ready to make the sacrifice of holding down the fort while she went off on tour. Chuck wasn’t the travelling type, anyway, and neither of them was anxious to start a family. They talked about it at Christmas sometimes.
By the time they were thirty, Chuck and Linda had stopped talking about executive suites and tour buses. Chuck was senior forklift operator, not a managerial position. Linda was teaching yoga out at the community college, where she got a faculty discount on dance classes. They still talked about starting a family, usually while Christmas shopping.
On Linda’s thirty-third birthday, Chuck stood at the teller’s window counting his pay. ‘Tell ya what,’ he said to the teller. ‘Do me a favor and give me a hundred ones.’
The teller shrugged, as tellers do, and then complied, as she would do every Friday for the next fifteen years.
When Chuck got home, he gave Linda her present, an authentic Las Vegas poledancing outfit. ‘Dance for me babe,’ he said. He loaded his wife’s music on the player, poured a drink, pulled up chair and waited. Linda came out of the bedroom dancing and didn’t stop until the rain of singles ended, three songs later.
Chuck drained his glass, knocked back the chair, and gave his wife a standing ovation.

This week,  are getting 333 words from an April Fool's Day 3rd definition of:
rain (transitive verb)  3: to take a lot of money in bill form and toss it up in the air. This is most effectively done at a strip club for the effect of raining one dollar bills on the dancers (and it makes them feel so pretty), or to snub a hater by throwing money into their face that then falls to the floor like rain (use this when paying a debt to a punk bitch who keeps asking for their money to the point that they are ruining your friendship or when dumping someone who has been bankrolling you for a while now that you're making money).
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