March 20, 2013 § Leave a Comment
The bed smelled like dog and she made a sour face. Rolling his eyes and his body away from her, Pete caught sight of the lovely blue dress, in folds on the seat of his mother’s cast off living room chair. He felt his mind drift away, again enthralled with how her body had looked in the dress, and how he wanted to know the magic to get it off. He stood up.
” You should probably take off. I have to get ready for work. I mean, if you want to shower or whatever, go for it but…” She had sat up and was packing up her phone charger and her bra into an over-sized purse. Her face screwed up, like he was insane.
” Your bed smells like dog, guy…” Her bare feet slapped on his floor. Pete felt himself stir. Once at the chair, she easily slid the dress over her head. It seemed to flow down her sides, a river carving her figure; a negative canyon.
She brought her hands under her hair to lift what had shyly tucked into the dress collar. The angles of her elbows once again caused a small movement in his boxers. He stuck out his ass a bit to move himself away from the cotton front.
“Ok, well, Pam…” He said, realizing almost right away that her name wasn’t Pam, but he didn’t make the effort to correct himself, perhaps hoping the slight would drive her out the door faster. She turned to face him and sat down in the chair, both she and it so oddly feminine in his ramshackle bedroom.
His sneakers were jauntily perched just underneath.
“Sam. ” She corrected him as she slid her hands down her legs. A pair of small white socks appeared suddenly from the deep caverns of her bag. She pointed her toes like a ballerina and rolled the socks to just past her slender ankles. Then, she started to put on his shoes.
“Sam, its been fun but….hey, those are mine.” She crossed her leg to tighten the laces of the sneaker, slowly moving the excess slack up to the top eyelet.
“What, these?” She smartly tied them in a bow, then doubled knotted it. She managed a flirty smile with just the corners of her flushed pink lips.
“Yes, those are mine.” He liked those shoes. They fit him really well. He didn’t even really have the money for more shoes, I mean, his mom wasn’t sending money anymore…
“I know, but I like them. They match my dress.” She flashed him another smile as she straightened up, both shoes now laced and snug, a lovely denouement to her luscious bare legs. Even the little peek of white sock was hot as all fuck. He laughed at this and felt more of his control seeping from the situation.
He was not letting some dress cost him his shoes. Some bitch in a dress…
“Okay but…” Pete felt himself cringe at his own lack of respect for someone who he had well, just fucked for the sake of fucking. Her response was immediate. She sniffed his guilt on the wind and honed in on it.
“Were you gonna call me? You weren’t, right Pat?” She sat back and crossed her arms under her breasts, breasts he had just recent sucked. He was mad this was going south like this. He wanted to be back warm in bed, possibly rubbing one out to last nights escapades.
“It’s Pete.” He said. His tone was pissed off.
“Right, Pete. ” Her demeanor said it all. Suddenly he felt very exposed. “Were you?”
“Maybe I was gonna.” He responded weakly.
“You used me. I know your cousin Colette , you know. You were NOT gonna call me so I call bullshit.” She got up and grabbed her bag. “And you know what they say? Money talks but bullshit walks.”
March 19, 2013 § Leave a Comment
From her vantage point on the ground, Macy could see that the mission had been successful. She allowed herself a relieved sigh and tried to focus on the sky, to slow her breaths. Shots were still flying, making pinging noises off metal and concrete. She was laying on stray shards of glass, thick car window glass with a blue tinge.
“Franco? Franco? Come in!” Her walkie was too far. She wasnt going to even try to reach it. Why?
“Because I’m dying, sure as shit I am.” She said aloud to answer the “her” in her head. But the bomb was gone. That was all that mattered anyway. Still, the inane chatter, growing more and more frantic stirred her humanity. She rolled over to start dragging herself in that direction when all of a sudden, a glance stopped her.
Somehow, under the car, the light was brighter and brighter, as if someone was adjusting a knob, like on a TV. And her father was there in his blood stained mechanic’s jumpsuit with the name Nathan stitched on the breast. The jumpsuit made her gunshot wound throb. For this was, in fact, the reason why she took the job; her expertise on cars, passed down from the late Nathan Franco.
“You did pretty good. Although all that blood can’t be good, but you did your job.” He said as if it was very casual that they would continue their relationship despite their current conflicting levels of mortality.
” I did, right Daddy? I made you proud.” Now do you love me? Now do you forgive me for being the only child left? And a female, to boot? The words beat at the white curved walls of her skull, begging to come out. But Macy was gasping for air now, and even if she wasnt, you didn’t ask such questions to a man like Nathan.
“You didn’t have to do that to make me proud.” He said, shaking his head in confusion.
“Yes I did.” She said and as she watched, he faded away. His eyes grew wide and panicked, like he had so much more he wanted to say, to convince her. At least, that’s what Macy hoped. But he left, just the same. She soon followed.
March 12, 2013 § 1 Comment
After two days of walking, she started to see the yellow tri-petaled flower. The locals called it the Sun Kiss of the meadows. They started as drab, trampled, and struggling to survive. But soon the lone hermits turned to twins and then families of ash blond, golden umbrellas over grassy bases. She noted the blinding lemon shoots from the evermore emerald carpets of the rolling hills and she missed the trees. Her toes ached to fold into the root populated soil and fade into the curve of the trunk.
The bugs had failed to return and her lips were splintered and flaking. Brashnaya felt no pain, just a losing of feeling on the surface of her body. Her innards remained wet and slippery and that’s all the mattered. Even her power remained strong. Well, strong enough for an old demon way past her prime.
“Whew” She made a moaning exhale that naturally whistled, like a bobbing reed. “There must be something approaching.” Focusing her eyes, she only saw dark smears of what could be rock or forest.
“Oh dear me. Well, I must rest.” She curved around the base of a rock and heard the moon drop like a rattlesnake shake. Her hallucinations took over and her brain rested.
March 5, 2013 § 1 Comment
Her sharp triangle limbs swooshed as she passed through the tall bendable blades of grass. Brashnaya had met all her demands for the day and was headed back to her meager home, in the huge empty stump of the Maarten tree. Her bundle was heavy; herbs she had found on her walk, 2 small fish she had caught wrapped in leaves, 2 acorns that caught her fancy and a well creased tan roll of paper, greasy with the constant dampness Brashnaya carried.
“Loathsome prickers.” She said of the black birds hopping and fluttering around the branches of her home. They talked back to her in a ragged combination of barks and tweets, a vocal hybrid, a chimera of bird song. “Bugger off, ye black ash parasites!”
They lifted off and she heard them continue their racket close by, waiting for her to doze off in a humidity cloud exuded by her porous green brown skin.
December 4, 2012 § Leave a Comment
He told me to meet him and I said I wouldn’t. In fact, I said I wouldn’t be caught dead there. He smiled, like he knew it was all posturing and walked away with his boys. Halfway down the block, he turned.
“Don’t break my heart!” He called to me, that flirtatious look visible even at a distance. I laughed in spite of myself.
September 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
They sat on the curb in front of the popular restaurant; Patterson’s Dairy and Ice. Vanessa had a plan of attack and ate hers methodically. Rod was messier, a pile of rainbow water between his worn sneakers.
“Why did you do that?” He asked her all of a sudden.
“Do what?” She knew what he was asking, but she preferred not to answer and hoped he wouldn’t repeat himself.
“Drag us down there if you weren’t going to do it. Crocodile Ave gives me the creeps.” A boy their age rode by on a bike. When he saw the two of them together, he jingled his bell and waved at them. “What’s up Joe?” Rod called.
Vanessa was not as good at this as he was. His normalcy gave him a quiet place amongst the ranks of pre-teen dramedy. She considered his question. The back doors were of houses of an impermanent nature. The landlords lived down the beach on manicured properties paid for by working class ghosts, never in one place for more than a month or two. Bums, her father would have said, low-lifes who steal from their employers and can’t be loyal. Draft dodgers who spent the Vietnam and Korean War high on smack and flirting with Canadian sluts who didn’t shave. She could hear his rant.
“I don’t know. I was going to do it, but you seemed so freaked out. And really, who am I impressing?” He chuckled under his breath, shaking his head and looking away. “What?”
He paused and squinted, as if he could see what he wanted to say if he just let his eyes go out of focus. “I want to show you something…”
“Whoa. When and WHERE did you find this?” The box held age. They smelled it as soon as the creaking began, as soon as Rod lifted the lid.
“Behind the shed.” He responded quietly, avoiding her eyes. Rod had a closed off area behind the small building housing his dad’s lawnmower and busted pinball machine. His parents didn’t know about it and he went there to hide on a regular basis. Rod was clever and had worked to change the space, made it more like a makeshift lean to, or club house. He had recently been excavating the packed dirt floor to give him more space. He had a crazy idea he could make two levels back there.
“Wow.” Their shoulders touched as they leaned forward, hypnotized by the item of destruction on display in the careworn box, streaked with dirt and rock-dented. “What are you going to do with it?”
Rod was quiet again. This time, Vanessa recognized the careless, mortal look on his face. And it scared her.
September 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
The tracks thrummed with energy as she raised her arms to feel the sun. Roderick was behind her, trembling like the gravel, but Vanessa held her ground.
“Nessa?” His voice was frightened. She tasted his doubt and in her head, pronounced it delicious. What she would do? Slowly she lowered her limbs and turned to him.
“Rod, calm yourself.” She said with cold calculation. The hurt look that crossed like cloud winking sunrays gave her more burn, more fury.
“Let’s go. I’ll take you to Patterson’s for shaved ice, my treat.” Cotton ball puffs appeared first, happy puffs that made Vanessa scrunch her toes up in a clinging gesture, as if to defy gravity.
“I am going to do it.” She hated the plaintive tone in her voice, hated to sound like a pouting child. “You don’t believe me either.”
“I don’t WANT to believe you, Vanessa. I want to go home.” She decided to calm his fears, sensing she was pushing him too far. She needed him to witness, Craig and Trey wouldn’t just take her word for it. But they think Rod is a sniveling baby, she thought, and not above lying for her. She felt weakness, like an animal wrapping its round, warm body around her brain
The train blew its whistle to indicate its approach to the station just over the hill behind Vanessa. No faces filled the early evening windows, the surrounding mostly rent-a-rooms and boarding houses. A knot of doubt started to tighten in her belly.
“Rod, it will be fine. I promise. “Rod glared at her with wet eyes, then turned and started to walk away. Then he surprised Vanessa by sitting on the rocky ground.
“Fine. Do it then.” A new look, one of defiance filled Rod’s whole persona. Her stomach dropped. Bottom floor, time to get off. She turned back towards the approaching train, her heart thudding in her throat. The glass bid a final farewell to the reflecting sunset. Silhouettes of mild slopes and tucks, clapboard dresses on classic America cookie-cutter domiciles; she hated the finality of it.
“Okay then, let’s go.” She stepped off the tracks and reached out her hand to help Rod up. He was kind and said nothing.
At Patterson’s, she got lemon and he got watermelon. On him, as promised.
August 26, 2012 § 1 Comment
Grampa Dorsey had given Ron his watch two weeks before he died. The old man had been wearing an afghan across his knees; orange, brown and yellow. Ron had let his eyes chase the diamonds around the small blanket, smelling pipe and the ligament his Grampa used for his sore joints. Then the old man had rubbed Ron’s head, told him he was a good boy. When Ron looked up at him, he said,“I want you to have this watch. I worked a long time to buy it. You understand the value of my past, Ron. You are a good, good boy.”
Ron’s mother protested the day they waked Grampa, saying the gift was simply too valuable for a child of Ron’s age. She made a scene in the room that smelled so heavily of flower death. The family all tut-tutted her in her snit, chalking it up to more of her spoiled behavior. They sucked on the Jordan’s Almonds and took the expensive prayer cards and reminisced over the patched together Polaroid poster board gallery. This-is-your-life style, Grampa would have said. Or at least Ron thought so.
But Ron’s father, Herb had stuck up for his son, insisting he keep the watch. Many times Herb would come home from his 12 hour shift to find Ron with Grampa Dorsey. They would be laughing or watching the old black and white TV that the old man refused to upgrade to color. Their two voices were the epitome of companionship and Herb knew this ate at Glenda, his wife. She was kind, yes, to take in Grampa, but secretly in her heart, it was due to obligation and greed.
Grampa had done well for himself. He had set up carefully for his retirement, and had accounts for all his children, including his third daughter Glenda. He never intended to live with any of them. But his young wife, Shelly died suddenly and he could no longer stay at home. His oldest son, Billy travelled too much and did not have a wife. Marcie and Tracy both refused to get involved. Their lives could not be interrupted. It fell to baby Glenda.
Glenda jumped at the chance initially, thinking she had finally arrived at her chance to win daddy’s love. But Grampa was resentful and had never particularly enjoyed his last child. He spurned her attempts to spend time with him, often telling her to take her “fat ass out to the garage” to clean his car. He seemed to sense her overwhelming desire for sloth and it irked him. He did grow to like living in her house though and in the end left her money above the other children to pay off her mortgage.
The watch was Ron’s most prized position. He would lie in bed, remembering his grandfather, and all his stories and adventures. The hands would take their tick-tocking steps around the face of the clock and Ron was the glad audience pressing his ear to listen. It slid up and down his arm, and would never sit fixed on his wrist while it still ticked. But it helped him feel confident. He was a man when he wore it.
August 23, 2012 § 5 Comments
Lou and Prince were twins and they were the last babies Coralina had. She had thought she was through the change of life when she started to feel sick and hungry, just like she did with the 11 pregnancies before. She told Joseph, who was always good-natured about these things, although Coralina couldn’t help but think his speech was not as effective as it has been the other times. Now, she already had swollen ankles and incontinence issues without a baby to herald them. She was no spring chicken, she said to him. He smiled and patted her hand.
Just like her last three pregnancies (Romeo, 8, Gina, 10 and Richie, 12) she showed early, but her size was quickly noted by the neighborhood and more than one gossipy kerchief wearer predicted twins. Coralina’s second and third children, Mary and Marina had also been twins, a long belly that started up under Coralina’s already sagging breasts and ended in the infinity of her dresses. But this new belly was so far out, it seemed to come to a point that would round corners minutes before the feisty little aging mama did.
Boys, the neighbors again chanted their folksy wisdom in the wake of Coralina’s department store perfume. They were right. At the end of the difficult pregnancy she was bitter because of the church and her husband could be done, but not her. She was bitter the retirement would be put off at least 5 more years and more scholarships would have to be pushed for. She was bitter because she was tired and could no longer count on her body to do the things that had made her a woman before. But perhaps she was most bitter that she did not want the babies. To love babies you didn’t want are a hard thing and somehow, she knew that.
Joseph would dote on the twins but Coralina was stand-offish. The epidural had left her with back issues the hospital would only admit later to being the cause of. Coralina promptly dove into her pain pills and never came out and Lou and Prince only knew her as a zombie in bed. This is not to stick up for their behavior, but there things that make people how they are.
August 19, 2012 § 1 Comment
Graziela started sitting outside the cabin in the woods 3 weeks after she found it. It was a culmination of odd behaviors that were a direct result of its discovery. The introduction had been because of Ron and his favorite clearing in the forest. Ron and Graziela we neighbors and secretly friends at home. Lou and Prince Bonnano had been chasing Ron all year for his lunch money and then, his grandfather’s watch. Ron hid in the clearing never once discovered by the Bonnano boys. But it did seem to be made to enchant Ron and lead Graziela to someplace. And it did both in one summer.