Posted in flash fiction

Pen and Paper

As long as I don’t move I pretend no one can see me. I’m a statue, gathering snow. Birds traipse across my table, eyeing my lone piece of banana bread. They examine then flit off to inform their friends. 

It won’t be long before they descend, all for too sweet artificially flavored bread. 

My pen stares stoically at my notebook. It needs to bleed. It needs release. 

My notebook is having none of it, a lovers quarrel I’m sure. It remains steadfastly shut against the longing notes my pen wishes to deposit. 

Quiet conversations erupt into laughter. Engines spurn to life. A world of constant din and none of it can be composed until the notebook forgives the pen. 

I force them together, apologies be damned, but the pens strike is fatal; leaving an ink lined hole where a word should be.

I try again, gently this time. The paper shreds beneath the pen’s flow. Total refusal to cooperate. Ink won’t flow over paper, not while they’re not speaking this way.

All the world’s deadlines building unending pressure. Surely that’s enough to squash any relationship but pen and paper? I thought for sure they were stronger.

Word Count: 196
For Sunday Photo Fiction
Photo Credit Morguefile

Posted in flash fiction

Glitch

This is a piece of a draft … but I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve really been able to come up with anything.

It started with the email screen.

“What … What do you … Do you want?” It spluttered through stalled clicks and flashing screens.

It’s happening again.

Without another word I scooped my jacket from it’s resting place and headed towards the door. A pair of heels clicked quickly behind me.

“Hi, where are you going?”

Fuck. “Look, something’s come up. I just have to go.” The lights in the hall flashed as the rain started pouring over the asphalt outside. “I really just have to go.”

The heels clicked impatiently. “Fine. I hope you feel better.”

The rain pounded against the leaves, beating them from branches and sending them spiraling through the wind. Their colors changed rapidly, red, orange, brown, red again, as they jerked from one spot to another.

No choice. I broke from the safety of the covered patio to race raindrops to my car.

They won of course. They always win.

I started the count down in my head.

10 minutes. 5 to get home. 5 to not mess this up.

The engine roared to life, giving only minor feedback.

Don’t do it old girl, don’t give in.

As we barreled through the wide avenues traffic flashed in and out of view. How I wished I could simply move through them but I learned some time ago: these obstacles are real.

I couldn’t be sure when the mainframe gained that sophistication. 

Anything to stop me. You should know by now … I shook my head as the traffic light sputtered then blinked into darkness. 

The sideways rain parted for a matter of seconds to reveal a clear path ahead.

Is it possible? I have help?

There was no time to wonder. I laid on the horn, a lame duck noise barely enough to warn off the oncoming wind escaped, but it worked. I could speed ahead.

The obstacles were of course meant to slow me down. Anything to keep me from saving the world again.

Not this time. Not anytime.

My foot fell heavy on the gas, confident in my path. They may slow the journey but they still would not win.

 

I made it to base with mere seconds to spare.

Part B must begin immediately!

The door hinges let out their tell-tale squeal as I hurried through.

“I understand. I think he just came in.”

No!

I could just see the reflection of my old confidant, my partner, strolling the rooms. 

Is it possible? She’s been compromised? 

My stomach sank at the thought of what would inevitably come next. There was no way to maintain our partnership if she was influenced by the mainframe. 

Flashes of light tore across the skyline. 

There’s no time! I have to go!

“Josh? Is that you?”

I scrambled from my hiding spot, lurching down the long darkened hallway.

 

“Jesus.” Lydia tapped the psychiatrists number into her cell. 

“Hi, Dr. Smith, it’s Lydia. Yeah, he’s home now … No, he hasn’t said anything. In fact, he hid. Mmhm. Then he, like spider monkey ran down the hall. Now he’s holed up in the office banging away on the computer.”

Lydia circled the kitchen looking for anything her husband may have dropped. 

“I don’t think he has anything and I don’t think he was hiding anything.”

Finally her eyes fell to a full bottle of pills on the counter.

“It’s done!” Josh emerged from the office, hands in the air but as his gaze fell on Lydia his face contorted in rage. 

“You … You’ve become a glitch!” Her husband jabbed her shoulder. “You’ll just disappear like the rest, it’s what glitches do.” His low growl echoed off the kitchen walls then he was gone, leaving the walls shaking from the force of the door slamming shut. 


Posted in flash fiction

Poker Face

We’re standing opposite one another.

Me and the boy.

Me, with insecurities spilling to the pavement and tears running my spirit dry, and the boy, with his faltering understanding and screaming eyes.

I draw my lips into the best line I can manage. I quell my tears, reserving them to the well settling in my stomach.

He turns away, arms crossed over his fading, shredding t-shirt.

This, I slowly realize, will not end like the story crafted in my mind. My narrative written on real life has gone horribly awry.

“I guess this is it then.” His voice trembles as my heart descends foggy valleys unknown.

Wait … But ingrained habit and childhood rules dictate; my poker face must remain. The last one standing wins. I’ll regret this …

Slowly, I reach a shaking hand for his.

“Just go.”

We collect our shattered pieces in silence, me and my poker face opposite the boy I love.

I plaster my poker face, like a second skin, and tell myself it’s ok over and over again.

The boy tucks himself gently into the darkest corners of his mind where he confides in demons he hides.

The last one standing wins. My poker face has become my sin.

 

Posted in stream of consciousness

Here We Are

Stream of thought writing, I guess this is going to be a weekly thing now –

Prompt – Inkling

Music – Steve Reich – Works 1965-1995

Inkling.

It starts with a drop, a spot of ink infecting, spreading in the water.

It was all so clear

Until

You loosed the ink composed of your fear.

Now it’s here, spreading, floating, clouding

A situation we thought was through.

Tied up and tossed aside

Like a neatly composed pile of trash.

But here we are

Lost in each others eyes.

At least I am.

I have a feeling

You are too but we can’t, can we?

Inklings aren’t enough

They don’t spread through the veins,

Becoming all we are.

Do they?

Be still, they say, let it be.

Let it disperse, the way ink should

Eventually the floods will carry it away.

Except I’ve been waiting

And it’s still here

Floating and spreading

Infecting all we’re becoming.

But of course

They say

There was never another way.

The inkling was always there

Just hidden away by fear.

You’re not scared

And I’m no longer afraid …

So what is this inkling that remains?

Time inches by

Sand through the hole we’ll never hold again.

Spread by the wind like the ink in water.

How many seconds has it been?

How long until this dam breaks

And our infested waters overflow

Carrying away everything we know,

Our fears?

Our belief?

Time’s up.


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Posted in stream of consciousness

Threads of Gold

I want to lie between the lines.
To feel the words moving and sinking,
Gnashing and gnawing at the chains binding them so.
I want to sink into the crevices between the melodies,
The breaths between the chords.
To feel the rhythms beating and crashing,
Tearing and thrashing at the ropes holding them down.
I would inhale every heartbroken word.
Let it sink into my skin,
A permanent tattoo of something
Too strong to break yet too fragile to hold.
Something nurtured in the dark
Until it becomes too bold.
Let the waves crash over me,
Stripping my spirit clean.
Sew my pieces with your song,
Delicate threads of gold.


The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch

Posted in stream of consciousness

Numbered Days 4/365

My heart could be filled

But truth be told …

My days are numbered here.

This disease is terminal.

The doctors don’t know what to do.

“Well,” he says as he raps spindly hands

“You can’t stay forever in the land of the damned.”

Indeed Father Time.

It appears I’ve been diagnosed with life.

I can’t stop my feet from wandering

Or my mind from pandering

The sweet effects of a sunset over the sea.

I suddenly, it seems, have things

I need to be

Rather than this old burnt out bag of flesh

And crumbling calcium deposits collected for me.

So tell me dear, tell me love

You know our days are numbered here …

Posted in stream of consciousness

What Secrets This Lake Keeps

What secrets this lake keeps
When the dark nights rain
And it’s just humid enough
For the lake to stain
With the ghost of clouds
That couldn’t quite take flight.
There’s a story here
Only unfolding in those nights.
Billy lives in that mansion across the way.
Him, his mistress and a perfect family.
He shines the spotlight over the lake
When the fogs settle in thick.
Billy claims it’s for the speedsters,
Whipping in and out,
Keeps them quick.
But I know the truth,
Of Billy and the lake
And the girl he vowed to take
As his first, his wife.
His heart and soul she was.
Until one day sweet Billy found her
Facedown in the red mud;
Gunshot wounds
To the back and head.
The gun was his
And sweet Billy was no saint.
Scared, he hid
Her body at the bottom of the lake.
Now he shines his spotlight,
When the fogs coat the waters thick
To keep the specter of his love
From spilling his secrets like oil slicks.


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Posted in stream of consciousness

Stupid Plane/Traffic in LA/Writer’s Block

There’s stuff in my head,
But it’s trapped,
Held together
By an epic roadblock.
Like the traffic in LA,
Which I would know about,
If I’d gotten on the stupid plane.
Wouldn’t you know it,
I love flying.
I love staring out the window,
Watching the world go by.
I think flying over the Italian Alps
Was my favorite so far.
But I still don’t like the traffic
In LA
I get frustrated every time I’m there,
And scream and curse at the weird
Random highway lights
(what’s the point, it’s all jacked up anyway)
Also, why is there a subway system,
If no one uses it?
I just don’t understand,
The traffic in LA,
Which I would have told you sooner
If I had gotten on the stupid plane. 


As a note, I’m still working on my post for The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch this week but we have some great other ones up, so go check them out! Mine should be up tomorrow