Posted in Word Prompt

2018 Round Up

I wanted to do a series of 2018 round up posts …

But I got sick instead.

With life not slowing down until after the new year (my daughter’s birthday is this weekend too!) I figured I should write something before Dec 30 next year.

This year I made the choice to stop focusing on hitting the publish button every day, whether the piece was good, bad, complete … whatever, and put more focus on participating in the community and the quality of what I was writing here.

That has helped me so much. I’ve gotten a ton of feedback from fellow writers which has helped me improve and become more confident. I appreciate every bit of it!

Without further ado … I’m linking the top 5 most viewed posts from 2018

#5 Counting Lighters

#4 was a tie:
Perfect Moon and Wild Mess

#3
Biblical

#2
Dead Leg

And #1, which surprised me: 
Jailbait

I hope everyone has a great New Years!

Posted in Word Prompt

Soul on the Run

In a time when my life consisted of absolutes: my absolute bare bedroom walls, my absolute classrooms at school, my absolute round and round fights with my father, TV offered an escape.

My sister and I would perch on the edge of the bed we shared, and later the bed in her room, and eagerly absorb anything we could find. Sure, there was our fair share of late 90’s/early 2000’s pop culture: MTV, Daria, other modern sarcasm wrapped in pretty cartoon bows, but there were plenty of genuine moments also.

We watched Ab Fab religiously. We dedicated nights to TV Land which ran shows like Green Acres, Sonny and Cher, Addams Family, Rocky and Bullwinkle …

We turned to Food Network to hone the cooking skill we’d been forced to pick up at young ages. Then we found the Travel Channel with its exotic locales we only dreamed of seeing.

I clung to the images flashed across the screen like a child outside a candy shop, salivating at the thought of trading concrete walls for the blue sky’s of the Mediterranean or the sweltering plains of Africa or the bright colors of any brilliant sunset painted on any sky other than mine.

Somewhere between Food network and the Travel Channel, in the early 2000’s, we picked up Anthony Bourdain. He was foul mouthed, unapologetic and beautifully flawed. He skipped the tourist top 10 and dove to the hearts of places my soul longed to find. He revered the lowest and dirtiest spots, places our parents would drag us away from while promptly dousing us head to toe in Lysol.

From the cell I considered my life to be, Anthony Bourdain showed me a world at large. Beyond glistening beaches and material existence there existed a depth I knew others had to feel but forced isolation kept me from realizing a connection to those who did.

In those days I realized that connection lay off that beaten path where Anthony so often tread. His no holds bar, “who gives a shit” attitude and subtle anger gave life to the things I was so often penalized for feeling.

His quick humor, fiery curiosity and ability to weave a story mesmerized me. It gave me reason to believe that someone who was only good at fucking up could be ok at something after all.

If Anthony Bourdain could do it then so could I.

In a time when every thought I had espoused escaping the crushing grip of my parents I recognized in him a fellow escapee. I didn’t know what he was escaping from but I could see through the old flickering tube in our TV that his was a soul on the run.

What he was running from would never matter so much as the fact that he was running. He was constantly jumping from one rock to another, keeping every facet of his being busy so he could never look back. I would never be sure if other people saw it the way I did.

In him I saw myself.

As someone teetering the edge between teen and actual adult I needed someone to connect to. I needed something to aspire towards.

Anthony Bourdain was the adventurer the child in me pretended to be in the backyard. He was the storyteller I wanted to become when I sat under the trees for hours left to nothing but my own imagination. He connected people in a way that is hard to come by now. He was brutally honest, open and always learning. Every wound the man had oozed for everyone to see and he allowed us all to learn from his mistakes as he mused through monologues on his programs.

 

Posted in Word Prompt

Monster

A couple of days ago I came across this challenge – here – on the obsessive writer and I thought, “well that’s cool, I’ll give it a go.”

The theme is Sin. Here’s my entry.

Monster

Thomas stared into the mirror for several long moments. His bloodshot eyes darted around his darkening reflection as the voices echoed through his head.

“It was him!”

“The fucker in the Godly robes!”

“The Father almighty!”

Beads of sweat carved stark paths through the splattered blood on his cheeks.

“They have sinned!” The voices cried, “They both must pay!”

“Yes.” Thomas nodded to his reflection. “Both of them have to pay.”

He clutched the hunting knife to his side as he staggered through the marbled hallways towards the back of the church.

“Father!” Thomas cried as he approached the confessional.

The older man with glasses perched on the edge of his nose swung back the curtain and hurried forward before realizing it was Thomas slowly approaching him.

“Thomas?! What’s going on?” The older man’s eyes landed on the thick red specks already resting on Thomas’s youthful cheeks and the hunting knife caked with a thin layer of drying blood. “What have you done?” The older man whispered.

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned …” The older man backed towards the confessional slowly while raising a hand towards the advancing young man.

“Thomas, I don’t know what’s going on but it doesn’t have to be like this. Just stop, we can talk.  I’m sorry for whatever has happened but this isn’t necessary.”

For a moment, Thomas seemed to falter but as the older man fumbled beneath his robes for his cell phone Thomas moved forward with renewed purpose.

“You’re not sorry. They all say you aren’t. They all know, we all know.” The Father’s heels rammed into the step of the confessional but before he could fall Thomas grabbed his collar. “We all know.” He hissed.

Thomas plunged the knife into the man’s stomach, cutting him from his gut to his bowels.

“And now they’ll all know too.” He let the Father fall into a crumpled shell of a man.

The pool of sticky red blood oozed slowly under the confessional curtain around the Father’s feet, accented by the praying nuns who now approached down the hallway and the slow calm breathing of Thomas as he took his seat in the booth.

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.”

Through the small opening Thomas could hear the Father’s labored breathing.

“M … Mon … Monster.” The choked voiced replied.

Thomas smirked into the dimly lit booth, the old man had guts.

“Aren’t we all Father? Aren’t we all?”