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Monday, January 27, 2014

Coffee Shop Blues

There goes Eileen again. Don’t look. Don’t look up. Don’t you dare look up. Off to tennis doubles with your new best friend, Eileen? Don’t care. Couldn’t care less. Break a leg, Eileen.



33 words for , inspired by this photo:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nests Were Depredated


The rain dropped like pebbles tossed into a swimming hole. It offered up a quaint sound that Janie tucked around herself like a comforter. The porch where she stood watching the horizon was laid with dark, sodden planks. Buffeting gusts drove in the scent of scrubbed hay, and this enticed her into a grudging sense of appeasement. She glanced back through the window. It was unlit. No blurred outline of her father showed behind the thin summer curtains, no wisps of smoke. There were no pots banging about in the ancient kitchen, no faucet running. Understanding that the place was shuttered and locked, that Bill had not come out here after all, Janie debated whether to break open a window, try to jimmy the lock or just turn right around and drive home again. She thought she might wait for the rain to let up.
Why had she imagined Bill would come out here? Did she think he would have walked through two states? They had never been back, not since the day they left in his old Chevy, her shoulder dislocated from Daddy pulling on it, demanding she stay. The lace edging of her sleeve ripped and fraying over the long drive north. She now wore jeans and a cotton shirt, Keds. Expected to meet him here again, settle old scores, forgive and forget. She had not stopped to consider the heavy, unyieldingness of absence.
A noise like the wind and the rain but not of them made her whip around and what she had seen move stopped. Bright gray, its fur not the least matted by the wet, a coyote stood with his tail stiff, one paw shaking the rain off, his nose poking the air between them. Janie gasped, found she was unable to breathe in. Nor could she scream. The force of a too-long habit had removed her voice. There was no one to appeal to, no cover to run for. Anyway, Janie was the one holding the gun.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Sink or Swim

The first time I saw
the sea, I knew what it was
to drown. Held fast by

a line from the bow
of a sleek ship, the sky like
glass. Dunked in the waves.

Breath
turned to salt.

33 words added on to's original five: The first time I saw...

Tickled to be awarded silver for Trifextra 100 :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beta Gal

Donald insisted. Taking two cars would be silly; he knew where the restaurant was. Candace thought of protesting, had protested on other occasions, but she knew it would be futile. She had acquired a docile sense of laissez-faire over the years, in stark contrast to the raving one-upmanship common to her blood relations. Acquired like a prison slouch or scars.
“Fine,” she said, hoping Donald’s third wife would offer to sit in back. (Another woman who didn’t drive. It was his first wife, though, who had insisted on never giving up the copilot spot. Until death did her part.) Candace’s stepson George -he of the full leg cast- had agreed to the lunch for practical, gastronomical reasons, although his apparent vote of silence did not bode well for the meal. Her teenaged daughter, well. A vote of silence would not be a bad thing.
“How the hell do I get out of here,” Donald said, pulling away from the curb and into stalled traffic. Candace, her daughter, and Donald’s third wife twitched at their hips, trying to fold into themselves.
“To the end of the road, turn right, then left at the light.” Candace had offered to drive, would have killed to be driving, but Donald would have none of it. Ever the alpha male, he reached the end of his patience and turned left around the right-turning car ahead of him, peeled rubber through the yellow light.
“What are you doing?” Donald’s third wife shrieked into Candace’s ear. “Why didn’t you turn right? Now you’ve done it. Now we’re going farther and farther away, aren’t we, Candie?”
“Whatever,” Candace said. “All roads lead to Rome.”
But there was not to be even a semblance of conviviality left now. Not in the endless detour Donald took to get back to their starting point, not in the overpriced, overabundant meal no one enjoyed, not in the belligerent passing of the fancy olive oil. Candace raised the blessed wine glass.
“Happy New Year!” she mouthed.


333 words for  , who want us to include this "new" word for the New Year:


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