Monthly Archives: July 2012

100 Words: Sticky fingers

The home radiated indulgence and affluence was evident in all four corners of the ridiculously sized palace. She stood in front of an oval mirror in the massive dining hall and watched other guests flirt and mingle in the reflection. She cast her eyes upon the treasures and glanced quickly to her left before slipping a small, gold plated picture frame into her handbag.

This epicurean hussy and her tax evading, crook of a husband won’t miss a thing. She pondered her decision and felt comfortable stealing from the rich. She walked towards a bar and ordered a dry martini.    Current Prompt: Epicurean

The word epicurean developed out of the philosophy of Epicurus (c. 341–c. 270 BCE) and while it has now come to mean either a person who delights in worldly, sensual pleasures, or as an adjective, having luxurious tastes and habits, the original philosophy  was very much about the discipline of moderation.

Trifecta Challenge: Base jump

He watched the river slink lazily below him. To his left, a vast apple orchard dominated the landscape. To his right, wheat fields danced in the wind. He closed his eyes and jumped.

Week twenty-five challenge, write 33 words about someone who took a giant leap.  It can mean whatever you’d like, just make sure you write exactly 33 words.


100 Words: Mutiny

I stood among thousands of angry rioters with fire laced in the veins of their eyes. They hurled rocks and razed small buildings to the ground with a viciousness only seen in the empty stare of a dog with rabies. The rebel leader pumped round after round of shotgun shells into the air and the crowd responded with renewed enthusiasm. Crime was rampant along every avenue and alleyway. There was no reasoning with the mob. They reminded me of zombies without souls, hatred fueled by propaganda and ignited by ignorance. I ran towards home to rescue my beloved from madness.

Current Prompt: Rebel

Dancing in dress pants.

Photography by Gabriel

I watched cigarette smoke ascend above the people sitting at the grass skirted tiki bar. Their mellow chit-chattering floated alongside the visible cloud of death swirling about. When the smoke crossed paths with the neon bar signs, it became even more ominous looking. Violent reds and deep blues gave life to the straw carpet holding up the roof. I sipped my beer and headed for safer territory, you never know when some fool will toss a smoke and boom.

Classic rock poured forth from massive speakers standing erect on a platform about a hundred feet from where I stood. The humidity had dissipated before I arrived leaving the atmosphere ripe with shenanigans and revelry. People danced and stumbled, laughed and whistled. Fake palm trees vibrated due the entire environment around them and swayed in the warm July night.

It was a pleasant evening chock full of really loud conversations with friends and random beautiful women on the prowl. Luckily for them I’m a decent conversationalist. Even if I managed to bore them, I would just ask them to wait a tick while I jotted down something witty on paper. Hopefully keeping their attention long enough before they started looking around, and making up fictitious stories in order to walk away, leaving your heart in a puddle of old beer on the floor.

Actually to tell you the truth, I managed to do what I always do when I go to clubs. Stand around looking cool with my slicked back hair and dress pants, not really knowing what the heck else to do. I suck in my gut and stand there like an idiot in front of beautiful women, bobbing my head back and forth and maneuvering around everyone else. All the while trying not to lose my buddies and offend someone by stepping on their toes in the process.

I very rarely go to clubs (give me a little pub, or a nice restaurant any day of the week. Good food and normal speaking levels.) so please don’t judge. Anyway, it was good times and worth it, even if I felt older than I should have.

On we go.

For those of you who haven’t been following my blog (shame to you!) I am packing up my meager belongings and moving in a few weeks. My destination is far-away and full of mysteries to great for my mind to fully comprehend. Oh, I know where I would like to end up, where I think I am supposed to go, and in all probability will live.

But like many instances in my short life, I will walk with one eye on the pavement and the other looking towards heaven. Hoping the Big Man upstairs really has a plan, because quite frankly, I haven’t the slightest idea of what I am doing.

Le Ninja

Please don’t be alarmed. I am prepared for this journey and have been for several weeks now. It wasn’t until I started packing tonight when it hit me full force though. I felt like a ninja threw his fist into my rib cage and then round-housed my face with his tiny foot, sending me into a wild somersault over books and balled up Christmas lights, at which point I cry out like a walrus giving birth. Yes, this is what it will feel like when East meets West in a showdown for the ages.

This is why I had to deal with so much growing up as a kid I think. The war I’ve waged and the battles I’ve fought these past few years have helped me understand the meaning of endurance and the reason for tribulations. One must learn how to serve before they can lead. Who knows? This is all too wonderful for my mind to understand, for my imagination to concoct.

I don’t have much to say tonight. Except this, sometimes God will put His hands together and reach out to split the proverbial storm, to touch us on the shoulder and leave us with moments of pure happiness. This is how my evening ended. This is how I will end this ridiculous post. Until next time my friends, peace.

Trifecta Challenge: Always and forever.

Authors note: the Trifecta week thirty-five challenge is to write anything we want as long as it is between 333 to 3,333 words. I wrote exactly 1,000. Please enjoy and remember this is a complete work of fiction  which I concocted in my imagination.

Young as he was, the deaf child understood the look on his father’s face when his mother was pacing the room. He felt the vibrations on the wooden floor when the exhausted old man stomped up the stairs to fetch his cigars. They smelled, and left yellow stains on the curtains, but this didn’t stop him from collecting the old man’s stumps and hiding them behind his outdoor toy chest. The boy had no inclination to inhale the blue tinted smoke which permeated every fabric of their quaint little home, but rather chose to stow them away, as if preparing for some apocalyptic event to unfold. He had over sixteen and was very proud of his little cache.

He was a good boy, thin and tall and very shy and unconcerned with his inability to hear echoes in empty hallways and laughter of other little children. The boys and girls in his classroom taunted and branded him an outcast. They mocked and jeered and excluded him. He tried to communicate with his hands but this brought on more demeaning looks and self-righteous snobbery from the popular kids. He ate alone on a picnic table near the Jungle Gym and no one minded his presence. He cared little for the attention of others.

Nature is where he spent most of his time when the fighting at home began to wear on his nerves. The week before his father had come home in a drunken fury and slapped his mother. The lad attempted to step in and was thrown against the wall for his efforts. Tears flooded his cheeks as he opened his mouth and croaked a silent scream. He remembered covering his useless ears with his palms as the fighting continued. There was nothing he could do to help his mother. Her pleas for help soared in the air and the kid heard none of them. He had managed to dial 911, but after a series of grunts and moans the dispatcher waved him off as a prankster and hung up. It was the first time he put his fist through a glass window.

His mother rolled her eyes and watched her husband of twenty years ascend the steps. She turned towards her tiny kitchen but stopped abruptly. She glanced towards her deaf son and signed with a smile.

“Baby, be a simple kind of man.”

Her son spoke with innocent fingers,

“Always and forever.”

After she returned to the dishes, he opened the front door and walked along the dirt pathway leading to his backyard. Raspberry bushes grew haphazardly alongside gigantic weeds. He always wanted to try the plump berries but the Boy Scout manual he kept underneath his bed warned him of poison ivy and the fruit bush was surrounded by shiny, three leafed plants. He kicked a rock and it skidded off the side of his house. He tried to imagine what kind of noise it made when it bounced off the plastic siding but quickly gave up the thought. He had learned to squash any daydreams. The small ice cube in his heart froze harder when he pretended to listen to the sound of trees rustling and streams gurgling. Besides, the doctor told his parents it was silly to entertain any illusions of the boy regaining his hearing.

As young as he was, he learned to put this obstacle behind him and enjoy the surrounding landscape. He hiked the lush forests and collected pine cones, he brought along action figures and fishing line. He watched summers turn to fall, and marveled at the variety of color etched into the mountainside in the background. He captured the soul of it all and bottled it up inside his heart to use on a rainy day, when thunder crackled and his mother shed tears on the couch. He prayed silently when rain swept in from the west, he cried when snow blew in from the north. He pretended to hear the sounds of Santa climbing down his chimney on Christmas Eve, and the laughter of a certain young woman he secretly adored in math class. The sun reflected off a metal banister and made him squint in a childlike way. He waved it off and headed straight towards Fort Dixie.

When he looked upon the ferocious oak tree it reminded him of some ancient nightmare. It held its position with the utmost pride. Large branches birthed gigantic leaves which spread out to provide shade for the rest of the yard. The center trunk held the most important structure in all the land. Fort Dixie. His mother had explained how it had survived decades of storms and hundreds of wars. She concocted stories of courageous warriors fighting to the death for their beloved princesses. She spoke of epic battles and ferocious love. She proudly bragged about climbing the ladder blindfolded as a child at the behest of her brothers beckoning. She made a great effort to break his shell and he loved her for it.

The deaf child stared at the imposing fortress with complete awe and wondered what it would be like to hear cannons blast and guards shouting for more ammo. He walked up to the base of the tree and touched the weathered plank that made for a step, which lead to a second and then a third. He paid no attention to the height as he reached the balcony. He looked at the horizon and pretended to be a king from a distant land who had overtaken an empire.

He swung his weak legs from the edge and looked upon his tiny home with an emotion he had yet to fully understand. The silence in his ears echoed into every aspect of his life and he could do nothing but hope for a miracle. He watched his mother wash dishes through the dirty kitchen window below.

She felt a stirring in her spirit and looked up at Fort Dixie.

“Be a simple man.”

“Always and forever mother.”

100 Words: Taste and see

The poor man with kind eyes observed strangers hurrying back and forth with steaming trays. He could only imagine what the volunteers had concocted inside the massive kitchen on the opposite side of the house. The aroma had crawled through the cracks in the walls and permeated his nostrils, reminding him of times past, memories filled with laughter and friendships, a time before he knew the pang of hunger and the sorrow of homelessness. He tilted a pitcher of water to refill his cup when a man touched his shoulder.

“Welcome brother, taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”

  Current Prompt: Hurrying

My sister, my hero.

Long Island New York circa 2012
Photography by Gabriel

                Blood of my blood, these troubles will pass.

                Heart of my heart, laughter shall return.

                Flesh of my flesh, hold your head skyward.

                Blood of my blood, pain is for a moment.

                Heart of my heart, may your smile remain.

                Flesh of my flesh, fear not the future.

                Blood of my blood, remain courageous.

                Heart of my heart, we are with you.

                Flesh of my flesh, I love you dearly.

                My sister, my hero, my angel.

Bombs bursting in air.

Long Island New York circa 2012
Photography by Gabriel

Next month I am leaving my home to journey across America. I am packing up my minivan and hitting the proverbial road. Words cannot fully describe the multitude of emotions I feel over this quest of mine. It’s hard to believe I’m finally doing it. With nothing but a few bucks in my pocket and some prayers floating around the stratosphere, I am leaving all which is dear to me. I am leaving all that is familiar. I hate to use the caterpillar analogy because it’s a little girly and I don’t want to mention snakes shedding skin because, well, I don’t want to compare myself to a slithering serpent, but I will come out of this trip a new person. Cloaked with vigor, I will make my mark on history. Like fireworks exploding on a warm Fourth of July night, I will break free from my former self and shine brightly among the stars.

I can give you my itinerary, I can point out the special places I want to visit, I can even give you names of the soup kitchens I plan on dining in, but I can only speculate as to where this uncharted road will lead me and how long it will take to write a book about it all. Unfortunately, life never dances to the beat of our drums. We just skip along to whatever track is being played and learn to deal with it. I will play the role of Columbus for a short while. With a pen behind my ear and a compass beside my stale coffee, I will draw squiggly lines to and fro like I know what I’m doing. I will drive in awe of my beautiful country and appreciate the wonderful freedom I usually take for granted.

I wonder what it will be like to stand in the center of Washington D.C and marvel at the architecture. I try to imagine what it will be like to drive through the bowels of the Shenandoah Valley. I can picture the rolling hills giving birth to mountain ranges, which spew forth hot desert sands. Miles of open road slice through the landscape like a tongue from some ancient beast. The monster opens wide his mouth and reveals a great mystery. One I will have to take on headfirst with all my strength, with all my heart. After checking in on Elvis and his Heartland, I will cruise along the open highway with my hand outstretched to catch the wind. I will sing-along with Fleetwood Mac and the ever lovely Stevie Nicks.  Once blood clots begin to form in my legs, I’ll pull over on some deserted highway to take pictures of cacti and the vultures above me.  They will lick their beaks and watch me closely. The birds will be disappointed. I will not fear because I have a slingshot and I’m not afraid to use it.

I wrote the first draft of this article last night around midnight. Now it is early morning on the Fourth of July. I love waking up at seven o’clock on my day off, nothing like sitting around for a few hours waiting for the rest of the world to arise from deep sleep. So, I make the best of it by consuming two bowls of Lucky Charms while walking around the house in my robe pretending to be some rich lord from Ireland fending off wicked little leprechaun’s from stealing my bowl of sugary goodness. Actually I am sitting here trying to come up with something funny, and engaging to keep you guys from leaving my page in search of something better. I wouldn’t blame you because searching is the fundamental nature of our lives. It’s what drives us to wake up each morning and seize the day with tenacity. I guess this is why I have decided to leave.

As I sit here and watch the rain slowly drip from the iron handrail outside, I contemplate the beauty of the Grand Canyon and everything I will discover along the way. People will laugh and call me foolish, and even now there are people standing beside me who have doubted this trip from the start. But I tell you this, we are not all called to do the same thing.  Some cuckoo birds weren’t meant to be caged. I hope all of you enjoy your Independence Day. Long live Liberty! Long live Freedom!

Long Island New York circa 2012
Photography by Gabriel