October 10, 2011 § 8 Comments
“I can never let go.” Stanley fought the urge. Then he continued across the bridge.
“See Mildred? I resisted again. Gonna go on one more week.” He finished the twisted circuit he had carved out of the wintry park.
Over wine, he had told his wife, before she died, that he had that urge, that urge to jump off stuff. Like when they went to the Empire State Building, and whatever that mountain was.
“Why though?” Her cheeks were rosy with alcohol, her lips red stained. Her hair was supple, grey with stubborn black giving her a bohemian look. The fire was crackling behind him and a pop made her jump, then launch into giggles. He hadn’t answered her. She hadn’t asked again.
The night she died, he came here. He would have told her that night of wine and giggling. Instead he told THE night, hoping she would hear him somehow.
He would have said, hell, he should have said; “If you go first, my love. I will wrestle this bridge every week. This serves a two-fold purpose. You would see how much I love you, enough to die. And you would see how much I love you, enough to stay strong and live, like you want me to.”
October 10, 2011 § 7 Comments
“I’m always holding on.” I said aloud and the air was an ivory cloud. I felt so uncomfortable breaking my routine, but the young girl with the hat had walked by quite loudly singing, and when she noticed me, she actually appeared to be approaching and I panicked and moved to this bench, which was obviously not MY bench, obviously no, with its pulled up hunks of wood that the skateboarding kids dug up doing those stupid tricks, its right next to a railing of sorts, and of course there is no trash barrell near this bench. I wondered what she was listening to, if I became part of a movie of sorts, a sound track to thumping or churning or sweet malaise or childish screaming, I only wonder for a minute though, the girl is now laughing.
September 18, 2011 § 10 Comments
I had been looking for Shelly for hours it seemed. I was panting on the sweaty corner of Crimson and Lex when this envelope fluttered down and landed between my feet. My breath seething, I bent to pick it up and almost feel ass over tea kettle into the busy street.
“Mother…fucker…” I barely got the words out. Backing up several steps, I rested against textured brick. I checked with my hand and yes, I had managed to pick up the bizarre envelope. Wiping my forehead with the back of my arm, I took a good look it.
It had my name on it. Startled, I leapt out into the middle of the sidewalk and looked up.
“Shelly! Shelly?!!” Spinning in useless circles, I bounced like a pinball from one pedestrian to another.
“Hey watching it buddy.”
“Chief, that’s my foot!”
“SHELLY!” She was NOT up there. A tear fell from my right eye. This is bullshit, I thought. I walked down a block and sat down on some steps with the envelope. The writing was hers. I brought my eyes up slowly, hid under the rim of my baseball cap. A woman was pushing a stroller, carrying a houseplant. There was a roasted nut vendor, a carpet store. No one suspicious seemed to be watching him. “This is nuts.”
Suddenly, a flock of pigeons took off with thunderous wing pounding. Two girls, three doors down laughed loudly and he jumped. He ripped open the envelope.
Where I am, is left behind.
Metal smell of water, rotting wood.
Catch me if you can.
It’s now or never.
“The pier.” An old woman with a kerchief around her hair stopped pulling her cart and gestured to me.
“What did you say?” My heart was racing.
“She’s at the pier, Bill.” I hustled to stand up and get away. “She;s waiting!!” She called after me. She pulled cans from her cart, started tossing them down the street. She sang
Coming forth to carry me home…The landing of the cans a metal xylophone accompaniment.
I jumped into the car and slid. Leather seats tossed me, I was so coated in sweat. How would she have gotten from here to there? This is crazy. Nevermind. I jammed the keys into the ignition and heaved myself out of the parking space. Horns met my abrupt entrance and their individual bitchings joined and made a floaty song I laughed at. I was trying to think how far it was to the pier.
Burn baby burn, DISCO INFERNO. My bloodshot eyes jumped to the radio, to the mirror, to the road ahead. I jabbed with a shaking hand to change the channel.
The Very Thought of You, And I forget to do, The ordinary things that one ought to do…What was HAPPENING. I slammed on the breaks as I almost missed my right turn. I cut the wheel hard and narrowly missed a shiny bumper. The word bumper reminded me of clowns for some reason and straightaway the laughter of clowns came out of the speakers. The sickly pounding on carnival organ played behind the laughter. I smelled cotton candy.
“The pier is up ahead, Bill. ” The Deejay on the radio said, smooth as silken, melted, chocolate ice cream. I yanked the car to the sidewalk and thwacked the shift into P. I am going to walk from here, I thought.
Gabbling and croaking met my ears as I crossed the street to the woods thick. Ahead, path to the lake appeared. My shoes made crunching cereal out of loose rocks and dirt. My skin crawled, like I was giving myself away. The path was so clear, I feared I was stepping into another dimension. She is there, Bill. Lets go!
Us? I thought…
Halfway down the path, I heard other sounds, chatty women voices that made me start to stir in my jeans. But really, it was just bird calls. More than I could name. They seemed to fit together, like they were digitally created, trimmed, and popped on some speakers for me. Fuck. I thought.
Then. Then there she was, at the end of the pier.
Trailing her pale arm in the water. She was bathed in creeping, lambent moonlight.
When did it become night? I blinked my eyes, lids heavy and impossible to budge for 2 or more steps. They protested, then flew up.
The sun was back and she beckoned to me with her other hand.
“Shelly! How did you…” her dress slid up her thigh exposing pink panties. She was leaning so far, as to reach something floating. “Stop that! You’ll fall”
I raced towards her and it was night again. Her skin was fulgent and I longed to drag my fingers across it and then press them to my lips. Surely she would taste like water, or flecks of diamonds, or crunchy sand.
I hit the first board of the pier and it was day again. Her skirt was maroon and I saw the full triangle of her pussy in the pink panties.
“Shelly, Jesus! Get up! Watch out!” She gave me a sly look and looked back down to the water. The dark crashed down, causing me to pause and pin wheel my arms so I wouldn’t tumble over the side. Six more steps and I would be there, why should I be pausing, I don’t understand. Crickets were dancing their choir with long limber legs.
Lord knows I can’t change. Lord help me, I can’t chaaaaange. He ran three steps, and daylight flashed, like a camera. I looked down and the pier was gone, broken, fallen.
I spun mid-fall and yes, Shelly was behind me. Her nose was bloodied, as I left it not 3 hours ago. Her hair was wild and electric. She had righted her dress.
“But wh…” Nevertheless, there was no more.
September 4, 2011 § 3 Comments
The blood has dried on her nose. Her cries fade, whimper subsides, eyes dry.
What was that?
Nothing. Relax, you.
The fog melts as the sun climbs the sky. Her nervous habit grabs her, control leaks, hands shake.
Did you remember your belt?
Irrelevant. Just breathe.
The floorboards had sapped her strength. Her legs gummy, runny and faint.
Is it long now?
Don’t. No nostalgia.
The faucet repels the floor with drops like sand mud. Her thoughts lock and circle the drain.
I can wait.
You can? I wonder…
The window allows in mangled quadrangles of air. Her face receive solitary puffs, willingly in need.
August 28, 2011 § 11 Comments
I really missed Sunday Picture Press with the lovely Indigo Spider. True, I only skipped one week…
I hope someone can or will do a before and after to my story…I loved when Scribbla and Mike and I did that. In fact, I miss that story.
Click over to Indigo please. It’s such an impressive bunch of writers, including the Spider herself…
“I’m choking on my own blood here.” Mason said truthfully through gurgles of death liquid. The stairs were ridiculously uncomfortable on his back and his whole body seemed to pulse with his injuries. There were holes that arrived to take place of his flesh about 17 and a half minutes earlier.
“All you ever do is bitch.” Bacon said. He had not expected such a band of brothers defending what was supposedly a myth. A secret myth, one without any advertisement. Strange the protectors hadn’t given them guns to prevent theft. More strange that Mason and Bacon were both geniuses with knives and terrible clods with guns.
“Ha ha. Can you reach the switch, or what?” The room was multiple shades of gray and black, charcoal and midnight. But gold glinted from below and across from Bacon, through the slats of the winding twisting forever staircase, was a red button. The button said “Slide”.
“If you’d ever stop bitching, I could try.” Bacon was always swearing and turning the tables. He said it was because he had an Italian wife. Mason had yet to meet her. But he had tasted her cooking in a middle of the night stopover, leftovers inhaled then back on the job.
“Fuck off.” Mason responded. He raised his hand and noticed his blood was looking iridescent and neon, greens and pinks. What the hell, he thought.
“Yes, yes…” Bacon mumbled as he stretched his own stabbed and slashed body towards this button that was now very important. Now that they couldn’t walk. Thank GOD for such a button, however weird it may be, Bacon thought.
“And this will work?” Mason asked while coughing so painfully, Bacon looked back to check on him. Under Bacon’s gaze, Mason faded in and out of being. Shaking his head with closed eyes, Bacon turned back to the button knowing with queer certainty that pressing it would save them despite the blood dripping down 290 stairs like slow lava.
“How the fuck should I know?” He answered Bacon with a crackly voice and noticed blood had arrived at his hands and was dripping down his fingers.
“You seemed to know when you pulled out your knife.” Mason kicked him half-heartedly, the remnants of a vicious killer bubbling out of weak flesh, and why? Because of a story about magic. Boy, was he pissed at Bacon.
“Ok, so it was a bad plan.” Bacon let his slippery arm dangle. It was SO hard to catch his breath.
“A bad plan? This is a nightmare.” I should have stuck to rare books, his mind said. Bacon reached out again as Mason watched.
“I’m almost there.” Finding new strength, he turned his head to span the remaining distance. A warm sigh escaped Mason on Bacon looked to be at the button.
“Should be a nice slide down. We will get it, but not out with it.” Sadness settled like blue mucus on the two men, almost defeated, slowly deflating on a spiral staircase. But Bacon turned on him with fire eyes and punched his words at Mason.
“You forget, we don’t know what the chalice can do…”
July 31, 2011 § 9 Comments
She presses skinned knees up against her body and squats small behind the rickety door. She can hear the sound getting louder. The jar glows red between her knees and she takes her skirts and covers it over, trying to douse the light.
Just for now, till I save you. She scolds the jar for its loud raspberry jam shadow, making her skirts glow like a gypsy tent. Now she hears crud packed nails scraping on the nearby stones and her stomach does a slow roll.
She has skinny willow fingers and she snakes them up to her neck, grasping an owl shaped charm on her necklace. Instantly there is a heat felt in her palm and the glowing red settles and disappears. Last of my powers, she thinks. And it wont sleep long.
A roar shakes the dugout. Now she slaps her own mouth shut so she doesn’t scream the loudest she ever has. She knocks into the jar and bites her lip hard to reach down and steady it. It swirls slow in there, like thick liquor. There is a sprinkling of dirt that rains down and she feels the tickle of a sneeze.
A puff of hot breath suddenly shoots into the dugout, shaking the few remaining boards that she now realizes was never a door, just tooth picks glued to grass and dirt. Again, she clutches the owl, her protector, the outside trigger for the matriarchal power within.
Foot steps wander away. There is a tail dragging noise. It seems to be muttering, rapscallion!
She lets her knees drop and sits with the jar between the diamond shape of her long legs. She places her skirts on the ground and the jar cozily on it. A slow pink glow was growing and spreading. Ahh waking up, she thinks. She holds the jar by the cover and the bottom and swirls the growing red.
Oh the things we are going to do…