Posted in Word Prompt

A Prompt? Join me!

It’s Monday, the beginning of what may or may not be a long week.

My daughter was playing a would you rather game on her phone and tossing me questions. Amid the “would you rather marry a celebrity or the most attractive person in the world?” types she threw in one that dug a little deeper.

The wheels started turning and before long I was wondering which one I would choose and why and what would I find when I got there …

It’s too good to pass up but I also would love to see what other people can come up with.

If you’re so inclined, write something of your choosing answering the question by Friday. It can be you or a character, any POV and any genre and style but you must make a choice and detail the consequences. When you finish your piece link back here so that anyone else trying this out can read too.

Prompt:

You’re traveling when you come to a fork in the road. The choice is simple. You can either go left where nothing is right or you can go right where nothing is left. 

Which way do you go?


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 Word Prompt

Evolution

We live, we learn, we grow.
It’s amazing the evolution when color photos just taken drain and redden
And clouds just forming begin storming.
Haze permanently obscures the laughing moon
Blocking our memories of cloudless bug lit nights.
Shadows shift in undertones, subtly coloring the world in deepening blues.
I reached after you but you were too far gone.
Strides across the parking lot now shortened
And dagger edged words now blunted.
I stand on the shore of what could have been
Straining to pick the memories from those which tendrils of mist stole away.
We live, we learn, we grow.
We realize we’re wrong
But names appear on stones and fresh dirt churns easy,
When time has no regard for little human lives.

Posted in Word Prompt

Dance

Am I crazy or is the dance driving me mad? You lead me, maddeningly, jarringly to the cusp of the stage only to quickly pull me back again. The fire leaps from my chest to your eyes but you douse it as quickly as it began. This delicate dance, fueled by such strong etiquette, seems to be overtaking mind and body. I can’t breathe when the beat is dictating how we speak. I’m not sure why we’re pretending … Or are we again? Perhaps the taptic sound is driving me mad. Your grip is giving you away. I hear the soft echoes sway off the robotic chants.

123. 123.

You’ll never let us fall from this stern count. Am I crazy or is the dance driving me mad?

Posted in Word Prompt

Demon in Disguise

Here we stand, on precipices of stars and skies. One step, a small breath, a slight breeze to tousle my hair. A lovers hand, gently swaying strands. Will he pull? Will he strike? Will he push me? Leave me to the night?

Not today it seems as we step away, a dance of carefully crafted precision. Dangerous games we play here on the ledge. Yet there’s a piece of me, rising again, demon in disguise.

She charges again and again, wild in her being, eyes chasing the sand. Determined and unsteadying she demands control of the wind. Throw me down she will so she can stand here too. Plucking the stars from their branches, shoving her hungry mouth full, she’ll devour the light within you.

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 Word Prompt

I Forget

I could fill a thousand wells with what I should have said

Instead of letting you walk away again.

I forget time doesn’t stand still, for the world buzzes around,

Though when I’m with you I can’t hear the sound.

Posted in Word Prompt

Blissfully Unaware

I can’t think of anything to write … I just finished round 1 of 10 weeks of econometrics (with a B!). I was certain I would fail and I’d be crying in a dark corner over being kicked out of my program. But that combined with the insanely busy work load I’ve had for months means now that I have a few moments for my brain to not go 1000 miles a minute I’ve completely crashed on the creativity front.

This was originally published on The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch last year.

Today is a weird day.
Everyone is skipping down the street …
There’s a lady selling flowers.
Except she’s tossing them in the air
As she makes flying ballet leaps.
The homeless guy on the corner
Is pawning a frog
Dressed like James Dean
And singing a Sinatra beat.
“Come one, come all!”
He screams
“This frog is just like me!”
The buses are floating,
The cars are skidding
To a hip hop tune.
What is happening here?
The sidewalk leads me away
With a tantalizing figure
In a red dress and a cane.
Like smoke she floats
Through the veins
Infecting this weird day.
Into a hole she beckons,
A dark room on the other side
Of all we know.
Picasso paintings play cards
With dogs in dapper vests,
And there’s my siren
In a red dress.
Weaving through the liquor,
Dancing by the stairs,
We’re blissfully unaware.

Maybe we’re blissfully unaware of our weirdness?

Maybe we just don’t care?

Posted in Word Prompt

Quote A Day Two

Today’s quote is one I picked up in high school and have loved since.

Know thyself? If I knew myself I’d run away

Goethe

I’ve always loved this because we often see things implying that knowing yourself is somehow a destination.

As if humans aren’t ever changing creatures with constant experiences that impact and form us throughout our lives.

Self discovery is a journey and it’s largely never ending.

Posted in Word Prompt

Writing Didn’t Save Me

Look out, actual kind of blog incoming. 

I’ve been thinking, as us sentient beings are wont to do, about life and the semi-permanence of it all.

And I’ve been tossing around the idea of reposting this here for a few days.

Just as a reminder: None of us are alone. 

Writing Didn’t Save Me

This week is all about writing through the pain, using our words to pull us through and out of the darkest of times.

Seems like it should be right up my alley, right?

The depressed chick with gothic tendencies that was always cynical and hated the world? She should definitely have something to say about that right?

Honestly, when I was at my lowest points, in my darkest corners, I didn’t write.

I went years without writing.

I didn’t cry, I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel inspired, I didn’t feel angry … I didn’t feel anything.

I was so numb that I hurt myself to feel anything.

I was so numb that I pushed everyone away because I was convinced I would just pull everyone down with me.

I lost family, friends, love.

And I did it all on purpose because I was scared. I believed that I deserved to be alone. I believed on the off-chance I managed to feel something, probably right at the moment of my death, then it shouldn’t be anyone’s responsibility to clean up after me.

If I couldn’t feel anything then I didn’t deserve the love and support of these people around me.

I didn’t write.

Not a word.

But I wrote on my way down. I pumped out poetry and stories by pouring every ounce of emotion I could muster into them. As if my preserving them onto pages and pages of lined notebook paper would somehow make them easier for me to recall when I truly needed them.

I was falling apart loudly and dramatically in my stories long before the cracks ever began to seep into my real life.

But once I was there? Once I was standing in the darkness facing the ultimate battle?

There wasn’t a single word I could have written.

Because depression steals things from you like a thief in the night. It turns up, triggered by something you never saw coming or sometimes nothing at all, and it takes until it can take no more.

But it’s silent.

It doesn’t come with screaming, crying fits … not in public anyway. It doesn’t sneak in on a jet plane with a roaring engine. It slides under your door like smoke from a fire brewing inside your walls, one you didn’t know you had to worry about.

It’s empty, like staring into a void that’s just sucked away everything you ever cared about but, for some reason you can’t comprehend, spared you. It’s that vast swirling nothingness that we imagined outer space to be so long ago. What is it they say about space? No one can hear you scream?

So, I didn’t write and I won’t pretend writing pulled me out of it.

I went to therapy and at some point, my therapist had to remind me there were things depression stole from me that I could take back. I could regain some control by reclaiming the passions I had so helplessly watched my depression make off with years before.

That’s when I started to write again.

At first it was hard, my words felt heavy and clumsy. I felt less than adequate, drained and like maybe depression had completely stolen my ability.

It was easy to put my pen down and simply say I just didn’t have it anymore. Writing would forever be a casualty of war.

However, I needed an outlet, I had words that I could use now but I needed somewhere to put them. Even though I thought my writing was horrible I kept returning to it. I kept picking my pen back up and scribbling away. Most of the time I re-read what I wrote and felt like a kindergartener trying to write on a Hemingway level.

The seeds of self-doubt had been sown pretty thick.

I was encouraged to keep practicing, even if what I was producing seemed to be awful, the point was I was doing something.

I was proving to myself that depression didn’t own me.

That’s what writing did for me. It helped to prove that depression, for me, did not win the war no matter how many battles I lost to its deafening silence. It helped me to see the person I thought depression did away with was still there, just tired and in dire need of a break. It helped to remind me that living with passion makes the moments worth it because when depression rears its head around the corner again I will need reminding.

Writing didn’t save me but it will always be a reminder of what I can never lose.

I originally posted this on a collaboration blog I’m part of, The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch, last year. 

Rush