Sunday, August 28, 2011

Exercise 1

Exercise: Start a piece with "She touched the little box in her pocket and smiled."

She touched the little box in her pocket and smile. Although her life as she knew it seemed a short yet distant past, having even a small piece of it gave her comfort.

Jocelyn sat in the back seat of the sedan, getting slapped in the arm by her little brother from his car seat. He was giggling and smiling as always while perching in his high seat of superiority to his sister. She wished she could share his innocent bliss and fanciness of the simple pleasures of height. She was torn between her desire to be furious with him for his happiness at this time of dread and her relief in his state of bliss due to his obliviousness to the shattered world they now lived in. She hesitated, then realized what she actually felt was jealousy. She yearned for his world of innocence.

Mrs. Parkens looked back, "Jocie, are you doing ok?"

"Yes, Ma'am" Jocie replied. Inside her head, she bellowed her true response. "NO! Of course I am not ok. How could I be ok? My parents are gone, my family is gone. I am being taken from my home, to who knows where. Are you really that stupid to ask such a question? How can I be ok when my life just ended!"

She clasped her hand tightly around the box. No longer did the box bring a smile, she held back tears. She hoped Mrs. Parkens wouldn't ask her how she was anymore. It took everything within her to keep her emotions down when she had to speak. Silence was easiest. She looked at her brother and again with envy.

She wouldn't cry. She had done enough of that.

When she was seven, her cat Lisbeth was hit by a car and killed. She cried for days. Then, her father came into her bedroom and spoke with her.

"We own our emotions. Emotions are part of who we are. But there is a time to claim them as your own. You have shared your feelings of loss with everyone, and you still feel them. It is time to make your sadness for Lisbeth your own, part of you. To stop crying for her will not mean you love her any less, it will just make that sorrow part of you. It will let you move on. It will always be a part of you. When you think of her, you will be happy when you think of the good memories and sad when you think of the loss. It will be yours."

She found her smile again and clutched the box, "It is mine."

prompt exercise

Prompt - blinking light on phone.

The drawer slid open revealing the bottle of Jameson and the glass sitting beside it.
I poured a glass, triple shot probably. Did it really matter? I just needed to wash the taste of disgust from my mouth and soul.

The bitch screwed me and I couldn't shake the taste. It remained; seeping, eroding and spreading through my veins like rust. I threw shot after shot down my throat, but couldn't halter the effects of the poison she stuck me with grabbing hold of every vein and cell within.

Line two on my phone was throbbing with a glow of red. My assistant Ruby had been incessantly attempting to interrupt me all morning with feigned messages or tasks which according to her required immediate attention. Ruby held some false belief that distratction would be an effective remedy to my ailments. I had brushed them all off. My not so noble responses to each Ruby request probably scathed that gentle veil of feelings she wears.She has a nobility of hope which I hold no relationship to.

Although somewhere within I might have felt some guilt for my attitude of disregard, today it didn't come to surface. Ruby knew what she signed on for, her bubbly optimistic, glass full world was not welcome to me at this time.

Today I didn't care if I hurt her imaginary or true ego. I embraced my world of self pity with no desire to leave.I knew Ruby would forgive me in a future day which she probably already marked on her calendar.That is how it is with women such as Ruby, you can be an asshole, but forgiveness is already granted before asked. It is held quietly on the side Only assholes like me truly recognize this. Only assholes like me abuse this.

I pushed the button under the blinking light then lifted and slammed down the handset before even inquiring who the call was from. For all I knew it was the bitch. For all I knew it was some orphan with a heartwarming story. I didn't care.

I am an asshole. That is how it is.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

prompt exercise

Today's prompt - convenience store

I guess there is a time when the mind and reality crash. It is a moment when the hidden world we live in breaks through the mirror and stabs stakes in the ground declaring the two must now coexist. We happily walk through life keeping balance by keeping our mouth shut at moments of conflict by playing our true happy alternative in our minds. It has always worked for me. A customer decides to pay for their six pack with pennies already drunk and struggling to count - I sit patiently smiling while having visions of the pennies flying up in an arrow like in cartoons I watched as a child where the bees form an arrow. They then shoot down their throat making them gag as they grab their now exploding six pack in a last moment of desperation. I smile. An arrogant punk walks by while I stock shelves pretending to stumble sneaking a grope up my skirt. I hide my true knowledge and utter words of concern over his stumble while I let my mind wander envisioning a robotic arm grabbing his hand as a steel blade shoots out and makes a smooth quick amputation. I smile, because I need my job, and the customer is always right. A smile is survival. A smile hides my endearing alternate world. It is my sword of protection keeping the job I need and covering the true thoughts in my mind with a look of innocence.

Mr Jokawitz comes in for his morning lotto order and follows his daily routine. I smile at him ignoring the frowns, hems, haws, annoyed body shifting in the endless line that is expanding exponentially behind him. My co-worker Elaine grabs a clipboard feigning ignorance.

I know the routine, and I know even though I have made many suggestions in the past...

"Mr Jokawitz, you can fill these out in advance"

"Mr Jokawitz, we do have a random selection option."

"Mr Jokawitz, you could decide your lucky numbers before getting in line."

the idea of change is futile.

True lottery players are fanatics. I mean true fanatics. It often develops slowly. They start out with familiar dates, birthdays, anniversaries and such. Either failure or success, it really doesn't matter; the selection process evolves.

My nephew has Aspergers, and I often put him to bed while sitting for my sister. We originally started our good night tuck in with the words "I love you from here to the moon, to the stars and beyond." followed by a simple kiss on his forehead. Then one night I broke the routine and kissed him on the nose as an added bonus. My nephew doesn't like change, so from that day forward I was held to the nose kiss. You think that would have taught me to keep to the routine, but due to unexpected moments of adoration of my nephew, the routine eventually evolved to saying "I love you from here to the moon, to the stars and beyond." followed by a kiss on the forehead, a kiss on the nose, then the right cheek, then the left, a pinch of the nose and then the words "and even eternity can't outrun us". No swaying from the routine, if I kissed out of order we had to repeat until it was right in order for him to roll over and fall into his blissful sleep.

That is how lottery players are. A player wins five dollars on the day they picked a number from a weather forecast, a player loses on the one day they didn't pick up the paper from the store. Again, it doesn't mean if it was due to a win or a lose, they develop their own superstitions, each building upon the other until the fanatical routine is devised. Since the one time Mr. Jokawitz won five hundred dollars in the power ball his routine changed. That particular day he paid for his tickets using a silver dollar, so I was certain he kept some bank or coin collector happy to keep him in full supply. That day also, he had forgotten his planned list of numbers that I had finally convinced him to write and stood there methodically picking numbers on each of his 25 slips before me as I waited and smiled. I was now an integral part of his routine. He threw such a fit one day that I had taken off to get my car inspected that my manager bribed me with an alternative day off just to come in and process his tickets. I smiled as I did.

The lead snapped on the dwarf pencil the lottery agency provided as he tried to fill the circle by number 38. Instant dread fell upon me. All I could envision was a future of him attempting to recreate a pencil break on the same number.

I quickly handed him a new pencil hoping he wouldn't make some new pencil superstition before completing his task.

He paused.

A little girl a few customers back started yanking on her mother's arm squealing while performing a contortionist dance, "I need to go Mommy!"

I smiled.

I could see in his hesitation neurons in his mind were scattering and jumping around attempting to cross the cobweb boundaries to make new connections defining a future torture for me in the manner of lead collapse.


I dove into my smile world. I grew magically in height with all the customers dwarfing in size. I could see beyond the barricade of the cramped line to see all corners of the store. I stood tall and saw all. Wings sprung out from my back, sparkling in a rainbow hue. Mr. Jokawitz began to shrink as he tapped the new pencil.




With every tap I could feel a new breath of feathers blossom.

I swooped my wing across the counter Mr Jokawitz's lottery entries filled and empty flew into the air.

My talons slammed down on the counter creating a ripple map from each talon epicenter.

Miniscule Mr. Jokawitz stared at me in confusion. He no longer recognized the form before him. He no longer knew his token lottery component.

"You peon, you scrap of depravity, you insipid idiot lacking the intelligence of a gnat!" I paused while relishing his pitiful cowering, " You cannot defeat or deceive the great Shalantra!"

An evil laugh bellowed from deep within. It turned to a giggle as I again enjoyed my fantasy. I loved my alternative world.

My giggle quickly faltered as I returned to reality and looked across the counter.

Mr. Jokawitz was gazing at me shaking. Looking beyond, my gaze was met with a path of faces -jaws agape.The little girl who had been pleading for attention now stood frozen in her puddle of fear.

I was fired today. Apparently yelling a steady stream of profanity and insults is not smiled upon at Hinky Winkies. That is ok. Shalantra has found her voice, and that requires a new job.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Todays writing

Today's prompt words:

1. Game
2. Safe
3. Burn
4. Line
5. Hint
6. Shine
7. Lead
8. Wait
9. Feel
10. Look

She had run out of the cabin trailing her cousins and their friends when the adults shuffled them out. Since she was younger than the rest, and not typically of their group, they hadn't noticed that she had been scrambling down the pond trail behind them attempting to keep pace. The clumsiness of her feet was what betrayed her as she tripped over a loose branch and tumbled forward knocking her cousin Peter to the ground. Suddenly all eyes were upon Mazie The Inruder.

"Mazie! What are you doing here? You can't hang with us at the pond!" Adam moaned expressing his frustration with her and their new situation as he helped Peter up from the ground. Mazie had seen that same look on her brother's face so many times in the past. The pain was no less when it was a cousin.

She shook the dirt from herself and looked at them defiantly. " The adults told us ALL to go out, and I am part of that All!" She had drawn the line in the sand with an implied threat. She knew this could either work for her or against her but was willing to test the ground.

She failed.

After a few groans and mumbles, her cousins and friends huddled to discuss her while Mazie stood her ground. They came out of their powow to share their plans great fun, Greta took the lead and suggested an activity which guise she knew all too well. It is called "hide and ditch the unwanted" game but called by the more traditional name of Hide and Seek. As soon as the game was suggested by her cousin, she knew her fate, but played along. She had tested the ground with her challenge, but wasn't going to resist when it failed because she still had two more weeks of vacation with this crew and didn't wish to suffer more than hiding for those that never search for you.

Mazie kicked the stray strands of straw. She could take the hint. She had an older brother and knew when a game of deception was being played upon her. She hadn't even attempted to participate in the farce, and instead returned back up the hill to the barn. She always liked this old barn. With it's age, and history, it always made her feel safe.

She strolled around the barn exploring the unknown treasures of tools hanging from the walls. Some were old and rusty while others held a shine defiant of the years. Mazie didn't know the history of her uncle,s farm, but looking around, she wondered how many others had walked on the same planks of wood. When did this plank first get it's creak? When did this one earn it's first crack? She laid herself into a pile of hay letting the strands wrap her up like a blanket as she gazed up to the roof. She slowly drifted to sleep imagining the life of the barn.

Mazie was suddenly jolted awake with a fierce force of agony. She heard something come from her mouth but couldn't be certain if it was her voice. She couldn't breathe. She felt a pain shoot from her back straight up her spine. Commotion was whirling on all around her before the shadows consumed her.

"Is she dead?" someone whispered.

"Mazie?" She heard Peter's voice opening her eyes to see his face filled with panic and remorse.

Her cousins and their clan had surrounded her. She slowly sat up realizing a pitchfork was now her haymate.

Peter's friend Bob began to freak out. "We didn't know you were there. What were you doing there? Who just sits in" a barn in hay? How would I know someone was there when I threw it?"

"You can't tell Mazie! Please don't tell! You just absolutely can't!" Greta fretted as she pulled Mazie up inspecting her back which showed 4 red dots.

"What?" Peter looked at Greta, " If there was any less hay, it could have.."

"Exactly, Peter, that is why she can't say anything." Greta said and looked at Mazie with pleading eyes.

Finally catching her breath and beginning to gather the situation, Mazie sat there with all eyes upon her. She kept silent. She wanted them to wait and suffer wondering what she would do. She wanted to absorb this moment and relish every succulent second.
She looked at Greta, "I would like to play Hide and Seek before we go back into the house."

She looked at Greta's eyes and could see them burn.

Mazie skipped out of the barn looking forward to the next two weeks of vacation.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Love Lost - prompt story

It was a day poets would write about and artists would capture on their canvas, yet his pity now imprisoned him to solitude.

He gazed out watching life unfold.

Occasionally cyclists in groups or alone would speed by him disrupting his view. He once would have been irritated, but even energy for annoyance appeared to have been sucked out of him.

The field before him was a panorama of summer family life. He watched as parents guided children down the hidden path to the river. For many of these children, it would be the first sensation of the cold fresh river waters caressing their feet. A reunion group of some sort was attempting to establish a volley ball game by taunting prospective players in order to get enough to make a team. Either side of him revealed families gathered around picnic tables. Some resorted to fast food buckets of chicken while others proudly blew on coals willing to be patient to have a “true” picnic grilling experience. For those who didn’t have the foresight or the early bird advantage to grab a picnic table or grill space, there was no deterrent. The day demanded finding a spot and throwing down a blanket to enjoy the dayregardlessof the location.

He glanced to one such blanket and saw a mother daughter Frisbee throwing duet; each running jumping and capturing or failing in full delight.

The river park was alive with life for everyone but him.

He sat yearning their joy. It should have been his as well. They should have been sitting on a blanket on a rock below the path. He should have been sitting holding her tight on the edge of the shore, watching the river flow to it’s destiny. They should have been sharing a close embrace with a closed eye moment only for them.

Instead he was alone.

It was surreal. How did he go from such bliss to being alone once again?

He shook his head at the momentary memory of her in an attempt to erase it.

She couldn’t leave him alone. Even in this beauty, she haunted him and the memories of her betrayal eyes would not vanish.

He shifted in his seat with a shudder. “She didn’t just leave, she betrayed me” he thought.

He viewed the scene before him and inhaled a slow deep breath hoping that he could inhale life from the life he saw.

He pulled his book out to read. It fell open to his bookmark – the first picture he took of her.

The memories returned.

When they first met, her eyes captivated him. They had a blue that matched the sky she was below. Each time their eyes met he could see right into her soul. It was a secret they shared She would flit her hair around in a tempestuous manner shyly teasing him with each glance as she spoke with her friends. Every so often she would break their discussion to sneak looks at him. He could tell that they were obvious stares begging him to walk over and talk to her, but his inhibited nature kept him from boldly approaching her to start any discussion. They played this game of cat and mouse for weeks. She always showed up, her and her friends following their same rituals of teasing games while he sat on the side yearning to respond but lacking the courage to act.

A crush of bright yellow falling before his feet startled him from his thoughts.
A man in a football jersey rushed up to him. A young boy trailed at his heels. He recognized him as the dad role of the mom/daughter Frisbee game he had watched earlier. Frisbee dad apologized, “I just bought this kite for my son, and I am afraid I don’t quite know how to handle it yet. I am sorry.” He glanced over seeing the mother who had been throwing the Frisbee with her daughter waving with an apologetic gesture. Frisbees and kites.This family was trying it all.

The father gathered the kite and strings up as he headed back to their blanketed patch in the field. His son paused looking at the man with a hesitary question, but was then distracted as his father ran back towards the field. He speedily ran after his father begging, “This time can I try?" He followed their path back to where Frisbee throwing mom and daughter sat preparing their picnic. The daughter was looking at him but was distracted by a sudden ambush of a tackle by her brother. She wrestled with him for a moment twisting him over to claim victory. She clasped her hands together and waved her arms in the air with a victory gesture, winking at him as her glance caught his..
He thought back with affection to their first true day together as one. He had been so excited. He carried her in over the threshold as the blushing bride. Memories are moments, and he wished that had been one he had captured and somehow preserved
However, everything sours if not nurtured correctly

The reunion volley ball game had escalated to a level only extreme levels of alcohol could produce. Mooning had become the flag for all foul balls followed by screeching from the spectators. Three girls had become the tittie score board. The game had it's own new twist..

He looked over again to Frisbee family. The son was attempting to jump in and help his parents with the now tangled mess. They were laughing rather than bickering over the predicament. He watched how her hands softly ran down his back as he struggled with the knots in the string. She was encouraging him with each stroke subsiding the frustration which was visible on his face while the daughter began to dance around with the extra kite tails. She was running around letting the tails follow her leaps as if they were star beams following her movements. Mom and dad were trying to untangle the kite strings.

The Frisbees didn't fight, but They had.

He had given her what he believed to be a castle any princess would desire.. He treated her like Antoinette and gave her cake and champagne (although he remembered with a smile how she made a bitter face with the taste of champagne). For someone who deserved such fineries in life, she hadn't yet acquired the taste.

At first, he thought that was the root of the troubles in their relationship. He still couldn't wrap his mind about what could have possibly gone wrong. Upon moving in, she began to cry incessantly. Even he knew that isn't what a happy relationship is based upon.. She whined and complained about everything. He knew she was freaked out by her sudden happiness, but this just wasn't a reaction he expected. He gave her time, because he believed that was all she needed.

A couple rode by on their mountain bikes with their child in tow on some sort of bike attachment. He was smiling and swaying his arms out at the air as it swooshed by him.

He believed that was the true problem. He wanted a family.

Why was that such a strange thing for a guy to want? Most guys only want money and well, money. Did it make him a whimp to want a family? Did it make him less of a man? Was that abnormal?
He recalled the moment he shared his dream of a family with her. He expected exuberance, and received repulsion. She hadn't stopped her crying phase, but he had hoped this exciting news just might jolt her out of the abyss of tears she had fallen into. Howeve, when he shared his dreams, she had shrunk further from him with a cry and what one could only describe as an expression of disgust. She moaned and whined. His compassion was beginning to wane.

The chasm deepened.

A high pitched squeal shook him from his thoughts. A girl was running across the field being chased by her friends all holding water balloons in aim position.

He looked again at his photo bookmark. He could no longer recall that squeal of happiness she once had herself. Did she ever have one, or was that just one of the many illusions she had deceived him with?

She had used him. Once together, he bought her everything. He had scoured stores to buy her treasures, yet she received them all with scorn.

He began to let the poison of anger seep into his soul and their relationship. He saw that now. She had never been satisfied with the gifts he brought home to share with her. She threw them aside in disdain. She was insatiable and greedy because nothing could satisfy her. The pure innocence she had portrayed while capturing his soul was quickly shed once he took her into his home. Although he was thwarted by being unable to quench her materialism, he knew she loved him and was determined to follow their path of destiny.

He looked again at Frisbee mom and family. Mom and daughter were dispensing the goodies from the basket. She probably put love and compassion into every piece of food she made he thought. The basket she was pulling the lunch from looked worn and used. She didn’t seem to care. She doesn’t obsess over looks or appearances; she cares about the moment and her family. The girl snagged some grapes out of her mother's hand as the mother faked a look of shock. They know love. The girl began to take each grape off the stem in almost a ritualistic manner and suck each one enjoying each to the fullest before trying the next. She smiled at a joke her brother made then bit the last grape off of the stem. She puckered her lips to show her satisfaction. She looked up and their eyes met. She smiled.

He slipped back into his memories.

Why had she betrayed him. His tormented thoughts returned to last night. She betrayed him by wanting more than him. She was selfish and couldn't see their dream. She was greedy and always wanted more.

It was the betrayal. Time and time again he wanted to forgive her for her betrayal. They were enwrapped in passion and she yelled HIS name again. She looked at him and told him that she couldn’t love him and again kept saying the other man’s name. With her refusal to stop saying it, she was mocking and humiliating him. She was betraying him. Why couldn’t she just stop and realize? She knew the truth why couldn’t she let go?

He caressed her with kisses to knowing he could wake the soul within her. Even with her contained refusals, he made love to her sharing all that embodied him. He answered each sultry request she had ever asked of him with those seductive eyes. He satisfied every need he knew she had.

Yet it didn't change. She couldn't let go she had to continue the betrayal.

Even with all he did, all he gave, she kept yearning for HIM, the other man.

“I want my Daddy.” She kept begging making his head spin.

"You don't stop wanting" he sneered.

"I have told you over and over again that you only want me and yet you still want more and more and more.... and want HIM."

He could no longer forgive the her. Regardless of everything he had done for her, she still wanted to suck the life from him and he had nothing more to give her. The love she had invoked in him had turn to a poisonous hatred. She now disgusted him.

He looked into her eyes. They betrayed him. He held her throat . She kept trying to utter the words of the greed in her mind.

He held tight so she could no longer say the words that cut him. He felt her body twitch as she struggled to beg for yet more. He stared deep into her her eyes of blue that once seduced him. He stared until they no longer betrayed.

He shook himself back into the present. and gazed at the field.

Frisbee daughter stood up challenging her brother for race down the path. They both took off running. He sighed as he watched her hair cascading in the wind.

He kissed with sorrow the bookmark photo before crumbling it in his hand.

The light of day was beginning to shallow. He headed towards the path to the river.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our True Passion - idea for a song

Here we are standing on the ledge

They say the line between love and hate is thin
We’ve tested that time and time again

I push a button, you explode
You pull a knob and I implode

There is no reason or thought involved at times
Just pure emotions running wild

You love me
You hate me
You lust for me
You despise me

We are a volcano ready to erupt
Full of passion full of love
Yet our passion also spells our doom
Our insecurities always showing too soon

You love me
You hate me
You need me
You throw me away

Will we come off from this ledge
Or fall down deep inside the dread
To only once again
Wonder ...
what might have been

You love me
You hate me
You lust for me
You despise me

Only we can decide
The choice is in our hands
To nurture or to hate
It is our somehow our destiny to make

You love me
You hate me
You need me
You throw me away

The fork is in the road
Where should we choose to go?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


It's dark and cold
A great abyss
The endless black hole
Devouring me,
Sucking me right from within

Swimming against the riptide
Swimming against a tortured soul.

It's endless,
It's empty
Give me your hand

Help me..
I am sinking
Please, I beg of you
Just reach out your hand

Saturday, May 15, 2010