ThomG consults the tarot (again)

I was going to do this exercise the other night, but I had a beer in me and didn't want even the slightest hint of alcohol to skew the results. A self reading with my Aleister Crowley Tarot cards.
As I have done before, I use the Celtic Cross, which uses 10 cards and is considered to be the most complete system.
The question?

"How do I move forward?"

1. Base card, my basic situation: The Devil; Accept what life give me - I am the master of my life.
2. Influences, either hindering or furthering the basic situation: The Star; My creative powers of imagination and my all-encompassing consciousness show me the way to realize my ideas.
3. Conscious thoughts on the question/situation: Ace of Cups; all-encompassing love fills me and my environment.
4. Unconscious thoughts about the question/situation: Prince of Swords; my creative possibilities have no limits.
5. Past influences, or that which is just ending: Six of Wands/Victory; do what I plan to do, live in the moment, as it promises fulfillment.
6. Future influences, or that which is just beginning: Three of Wands/Virtue; pay attention, center myself; I have the power and virtue to reflect and know.
7. Myself, my attitude toward the question/situation: The Magnus; I have at my disposal brilliant capabilities that I should share; the full expression of my creative potential makes me happy and satisfied.
8. The energies coming to me from the outer world: Seven of Swords/Futility; my fears have nothing to do with reality; wake up and see what's happening; I am the master of all skills and means needed to achieve what I love most deeply.
9. My hopes and fears: Three of Disks/Works; some situations are demanding; my readiness to work steady and engage myself totally is there; I am now ready to give everything - and get everything.
10. Result, outcome, key: The Hanged Man; it is now possible to recognize when I am stuck and what areas are clogged, rather than flowing; there is nothing to do if I let go and accept the will of the divine in my life, which will reveal itself to me step by step.

The economy, a Fiction in 58

Sign of the Times
He’s never done this, and it shows.
He’s a pitiful shadow in the cold who stalks automatic doors; now you see him, now you don’t.
He doesn’t have a sign, forgetting it’s about branding, name recognition.
His daughter pops her head from the dented van, waves.
Her smudged face the motivation he needs to ask for your change.

Sick Boy/Wipe Out

OK, I woke up, middle of the night - nothing out of the ordinary about that - and nearly barfed the bed. That was a new feature of normal insomnia.
I hate being sick.
I'm going back to bed.
Please enjoy this video interlude:

Social Distortion, "Sick Boy"


The Ventures, "Wipe Out"

Tagged, again

I've been tagged with this exercise - 25 Things You Don't Know About Me - five times over on Facebook. It was a cathartic enterprise, I must admit.

And something I'm willing to share here as well:

25. As I’ve aged, my taste in music has grown more hardcore; oh, I like music across a wide sweep of genre’s, but I’ve not found anything that makes me more happy than 70s and 80s punk. And when I’m writing, I need to be listening to my iPod or stereo.

24. I’ve started to question spirituality, as it swirls around my life, in a large way. Growing up Catholic, I consider myself Catholic, but with questions. Guess I’ll keep searching, questioning. Karma certainly fits in there, some Eastern thought. I am open to a higher power and try and be quiet and meditate (pray, whatever) daily.

23. I’m a coffee snob. I fresh-grind Nicaraguan free-trade French roast I spend $12 a pound for and every morning brew it in a French press. If I could justify/afford it, I’d buy a $1,000 steam-driven Italian espresso machine (made of titanium).

22. Yes, I’ve a fixation for all things titanium. Earrings, Leatherman multi-tool, eyeglass frames (Oakley), sunglasses (Oakley) and my wedding band (which I now wear on my thumb), all titanium. Someday, my shattered knee will be made of titanium parts, which actually lessens the sting of having such a screwed up knee.

21. I’m somewhat OCD (I don’t need to touch light switches a number of times or avoid cracks in the concrete), and as I get older, those tendencies are seeming to fade.

20. I never, ever, make my bed. Well, it’s made once a week, when I change sheets.

19. I have clinodactyly; it’s the medical term describing a hereditary bend or curvature of the fifth fingers (the "pinkies") toward the adjacent fourth fingers. A hand surgeon diagnosed it while I was a medical photographer for Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He had me take pictures of my hands, which are included in one of his textbooks.

18. On my lower jaw, underneath my tongue, I have a exostose; a thickening of the bone that’s called a tori or torus. Been there all my life; used to hide my gum under it in school. It’s a thickening of the bone. My new dentist said it occurs more often in women than men. Then she had all her hygienists in to take a look.

17. I used to be fearful of losing a limb, but after watching my dad go through his life without a foot, I think I could handle it. My new greatest fear is to wake up and not remember how to write.

16. I used to be really malevolent; my motto was “Don’t get mad, get even.” People actually sought my counsel to get back at people. I’ve totally lost my taste for it (except for one person, who if I ever had the chance, would punk good, since he’s a little bitch).

15. I’ve worn the same Saint Christopher medal since I was 14; it’s been off my body less than 30 times in that span. It is my most powerful talisman and I would be crushed if I ever lost it.

14. I tend to look at life through lenses that see it in black-and-white. But I’m learning to see it for the shadows and have begun to believe in the layers.

13. I am fiercely loyal and once allowed in my circle, would do anything and everything for you.

12. I prefer having the stereo on, rather than the television.

11. I’ve always have known what I wanted to do in life, and that’s be a reporter. Seems like it has lost its luster of late, but it’s such a noble profession, filled with the most talented, funny, creative and neurotic people I’ve ever met.

10. If I had to pick something else, I’d go to culinary school and try my hand at being a chef.

9. I’ve had the mumps, twice, along with pleurisy (a lung ailment that usually inflicts the elderly).

8. Worst decision I’ve ever made? Being talked into getting a vasectomy by my ex-wife. I can’t father a child, but I live with the decision in an even-keeled manner.

7. I’m the one guy you want around when the shit hits the fan. I am a champ in a crisis. Any crisis, anywhere. I am “Cool.”

6. There’s at least one novel in me. I have no clue how to coax it out, however.

5. I am a fan of bracelets and have worn something on my wrists since I was 8. Currently, it’s two LIVEStrong bracelets on my right wrist to honor my mother and uncle who died of cancer and a chunky silver rope bracelet on my left wrist. It’s a talisman thing as well.

4. I don’t wear underwear. Haven’t since I was 13 or so. No, it is not gross. It just is.

3. I have had, on a few occasions, strong thoughts of suicide. But I would never carry it out, no matter how bad things got, because (1.) leaving a mess for someone to clean up is just wrong; (2.) who would take care of the girls?; and (3.) I can’t fathom the pain vs. just sucking it up and fighting though the hurt.

2. My grandmother on my mom’s side was the one who started spelling my first name Thom; I wasn’t allowed to spell it that way in Catholic grade school; I picked it up when I moved to public school, in junior high.

1. I’m the only one in my large family who pronounces my last name differently, the (correct) way or the Polish way. I don’t know what they think about it, nor do I care. When I moved to Cali, I picked it up. In Italy, people all said it correctly, which doesn’t prove my point, just strengthens it.

Observations

Just happy to be out with her old man
She hops around in pink plastic snow boots, her dark navy jacket unzipped; she hops, hoping to imitate the multi-colored plastic Slinky she lets drop from her hand, the coils undone as the toy expands.
Blond hair, like straw in the fall, is cut short, parted down the middle. A child’s skin in winter, white and healthy. Glowing, almost, with her exertion - her cheeks held the color of rose petals.
She hopped next to man – her father? – too young and scruffy, perhaps. She calls him dad. She asks. “Daddy, are we going to see a movie?”
He says nothing. He doesn’t look at her, acknowledge the question.
He paces. Patchwork beard, a olive watchcap that reigns in his shoulder-length, greasy hair. It’s got some curl to it, the color a nondescript brown. Unremarkable in every way.
Except that he oozes sullenness; almost a remorse.
He’s dressed in a military utility jacket, olive drab, with a blue-and-white scarf, obviously handmade. His hands remain buried in the front pockets of his faded jeans. He wears military-style boots, black.
She peppers him with questions, happily bouncing with the Slinky. He ignores her still, remains silent, watches the door of the theater almost anxiously.
He’s waiting for someone, something.
She’s buoyed to just be out, even if it’s this mall, older, filled more with offices than shops – and the dollar theater, where all seats are $3.

Sunday Scribblings: Phantons & Shadows

At Sunday Scribblings this week, the prompt is “Phantoms & Shadows.”
“This week: things and people, times, places, events and how your memory has treated them.”
More of a request for a journal entry, one would suppose. But I’m going to stick with something else. A Fiction in 58.

Population Zero
In the end, a beginning.
Humans crashed their civilization, ushered down in toxins dumped cavalier, spiraling into bloody ideological conflict and finally, civil unrest - anarchy. They ate themselves, gorging on the death.
Rains fell fresh and streams ran clear; animals adapted, great herds roamed.
Concrete cracked.
Up from the stone sprouted flowers, vines. Obliterating the human’s empire.

A Six for a Saturday

I haven’t contributed to Six Sentences, Robert’s great site, in forever (for which I am sorry; the writers over there are supremely talented). Not because there’s not been ideas, but because I’ve got to feed The Tension. I’ve got to get better, more serious about this fiction stuff. In the mean time, here’s a six, built around a word that’s been rattling around in my head for weeks.

Goddess
She dangled it boldly, a princess-cut diamond on a platinum chain.
“Aphrodisiac.”
He felt the lust, the heat building as he sat at the kitchen table, doing today’s sudoku in felt-tip blue ink.
“Aphrodisiac,” she said again, a husky whisper of delight.
Hands caressed bare hips; fingers traced willowy tracks from belly to bosom - and from there, she fanned her fingers under her neckline, as she arched, sensual, then ran those elegant fingers through her raven hair.
And with that he abandoned the game; standing, fervent, he began to shed his clothing and go to her, his aphrodisiac, the woman for which he respected, loved, desired.

The American Sentence

Peaches&Plums takes on the the issue of the six-word story, something I've not yet try to craft.
But I did craft an American Sentence, a Western haiku, a sentence, a story, in 17 syllables.And here you go:

Feelings, a subterfuge; fears of an empty heart thwart true emotions
.

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are cadence, humble and resolve. The idea is to take the words, craft something and let the world critique it. I invite everyone to play along.

Just Passing Time
If you could measure time by how long it takes to fill a 10-pound, rusty coffee can with pebbles tossed while sitting on a plank sidewalk, then Toby Weller was a three-quarters of the way into the grave.
He swung dusty brown boots in the space between the wooden walkway and the ground; the cadence of pea-sized gravel hitting the tin, slowly ticking time off his time, sounded as if someone kept making pops with an index finger snapped against the corner of their mouth.
People passed, the ebb and flow of commerce, city business unaware the resolve it took to fill that rusty can, to mark time in such a way. No one asked, pressed. The wounds too fresh. He’d come around, come out of it, they’d suppose.
Plink. Miss. Plink, plink, miss.
Ever since his parents had died, Toby Weller brought the can to Main Street at noon, settled it with a twist into the dirt, jumped up on the sidewalk, plopped down, swung his legs at the knees, pulled stones from pockets, got down to business.
Plink. Plink.
Locks of filthy black hair usually blocked one eye, throwing off his accuracy some; he’s toss the hair back as a mare shoos flies with her mane. This usually was followed by a pause, where Toby Weller would roll a stone with the fingers of his right hand and sigh in wounded gulps.
Boys in mended knickers, their untucked shirts flapping like flags in the wind, would sometimes run back and forth across the rough-hewn boards, trying to throw Toby Weller from his cadence, the countdown to his demise. They’d laugh as they passed, cuss at him, if there wasn’t a grown-up within earshot.
Toby Weller gave them nary a mind.
Plink. Plink. Plink.
“Say mister, what happens when you fill that stupid can of yours with them there rocks?” a boy finally asked.
Toby Weller cleared his throat, dipped his hand into his pocket to pluck another stone and in a humble murmur, spoke just a word…
“Rapture.”
Plink.

"Riot," Dead Kennedys (read, you'll get it)

This little tag is going around Facebook. Pretty fun stuff.
(I want to see what TheRobRogers, J-Zone and Uncle E come up with.)
OK, here's what you do:

1. Put your iPod/iTunes on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!

IF SOMEONE SAYS, "IS THIS OK?" YOU SAY?
“I Know Kung Foo,” Shitdisco

HOW WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
“Ah’ Leah!,” Donnie Iris

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL??
“World Wide Suicide,” Pearl Jam

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
“We’ll Inherit the Earth,” The Replacements

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
“We’re Desperate,” X

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
“Viva Las Vegas,” Dead Kennedys

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
“We Live On Your Street,” Willowz

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
“Daria,” Cake

WHAT IS 2+2?
“Honey White,” Morphine

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
“Rock N’ Roll High School,” Ramones

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
“Objects of My Affection,” Peter Bjorn & John

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
“Minit Maid,” Hagfish

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
“It’s Expected I’m Gone,” Minutemen

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
“Radio, Radio,” Elvis Costello & The Attractions

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
“Johnny Sunshine,” Liz Phair

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
“It’s the Love,” The Breeders

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
“Midnight Creeper,” Eagles of Death Metal

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
“Message in a Bottle,” Matisyahu

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
“Knockin’ Em’ Back,” Paul Westerberg

WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
“See No Evil,” Television

HOW WILL YOU DIE?
“Some Unholy War,” Amy Winehouse

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
“Hard Fucking,” Tenacious D

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
“Election Day,” The Replacements

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
“This Ain’t No Picnic,” Minutemen

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
“Please Don’t Tell Me to Do the Maths,” Los Campesinos!

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
“Viet Nam,” Minutemen

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
“Let It Be Me,” The Replacements

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
“The Classical Arrangement,” Dillinger Four

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
“South Town Girls,” The Hold Steady

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
“Riot,” Dead Kennedys

Monday. Fiction. 58.

This is a Fiction in 58, a story in just 58 words. An interesting exercise to try out – quickly – ideas, description, thoughts. If you’d like, play along. Try it, then shoot me a link to your Fi58.

Moving Day
The simple black carry-on sat by the door, an obedient cur.
She moved through the loft in silence, gathering treasured bits and pieces of their life together. She’d left her shoes off; no sense in taking chances.
Only when the cab arrived did she dare peek. The note was pinned to her scented pillow.
It simply said, “Enough.”

Sunday Scribblings: Pilgrimage

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is “Pilgrimage.” A long journey or search of great moral significance. This is what I heard:

Some Call It A Mistake

She dipped the toes of one foot into the lake, sending ripples of gold waves as the sun sank low in the west; she swirled them, seductive, turned to him and with a lock of rusty curls clamped in the side of her lips, caressed a delicate hand across her naked torso.
Right then, he knew he loved her.
He was the kid from the trailer park, south of the tracks where the air was thick with alcoholism, absent single mothers, despair. He wore faded jeans that he drew on with cheap ink pens, rock band T-shirts and scuffed Red Wing work boots. He wore his dark hair a little to long for his teacher’s liking, but he was a good kid they’d remark, gathered as they did in their lounge to distract themselves from all those who didn’t care about learning. Quiet, respectful, they said. He could make something of himself, if given the proper chance.
The daughter of the small town’s bank president, she lived a privileged life in a house on the lake, a monster neo-colonial that looked out of place on the flat prairie. She was the varsity cheerleader, the good girl who got good grades and was dedicated to a host of extra-curricular activities the would look good to college recruiters. Rust-red curls, shoulder length, were set off by her rich, white skin, splattered as it was by freckles, which only enhanced her beauty. Lithe body, statuesque, already a woman at 16.
He’d tried to act cool, slouched in a booth at the diner, when she walked by to go to the restroom. He fumbled the hello, blushing as he did so; she smiled, polite, and blushed herself. On the trip out, she turned back to him, waved.
The text message to his mobile, a prized possession bought and paid for with funds from two part-time jobs, caught him off-guard.
“You have a nice smile.”
Not concerned with how she had gotten his number, he worried about what to send back. In the end, a simple “thanks” seemed in order. Not too hopeful, no touch of awkward neediness. Cool.
The texts increased over the weeks, as did chance encounters set up by the technical blurps of keystrokes at the diner, the library, the mall. Always surrounded in the safety of numbers of their respective cliques.
Summer retuned to their town, and as he worked two jobs to keep himself out of the double-wide, she prepared for college with reading lists, community causes. The texts flowed; she’d finally asked that he meet her at the secluded beach near her house. Only there could they talk openly; he of plans to travel to Europe after graduation, bum around with a backpack and a dog-eared Lonely Planet guidebook, stay at hostels, live. She talked about expectations, dreams. She loved his fearlessness when he talked of Europe; he detected a sadness in her that he feared he could never fill.
That first time, making love in a soft summer breeze on warm sand, was delicate, passionate.
Her nausea began six weeks later, some 15 days when she knew she was “late.”
She broke it to him in a text.
He called, asked her to meet him at their beach.
Where he professed his love, the desire to be with her, no matter what. He’d scrap his plans for Europe, used the money saved to set them up for life after graduation. She cried, hard sobs, since her parents would push for an abortion, send her off to recuperate, tell people her favorite aunt in the city wanted her to get a taste of life she’d enter post-college.
He said he’d talk to them with her.
They stood on polished walnut wood floors and held hands, her parents sat in the middle of a giant couch, white as ice crystals. He explained, with calm wisdom, that he loved her and wanted nothing but the best for her. Her father’s veins pulsed in his neck, red-faced, he swore that he’d ruin the young man’s life, now and forever for soiling his only daughter.
“She’s way to good for the likes of you” was the final barb he thrust at the boy.
Her mother placed a hand on her husband’s knee, put her fingers on his lips and in a quiet coo, signaled for him to be quiet. Their only daughter, she said, was born in much the same way, the mother reminded. And they had turned out better than OK. A blessing was given.
And with it, began their journey together. A life that began with the small life that grew inside her.
And the love they shared, a shield against the stares, hateful comments, snickers of “I told you so.”

Those moments in time

It's getting late as I write this, swirls and loops in a notebook with black felt-tip pen (I can transfer all or part to my blog in the morning).
The house is dark; I see to write by candlelight. It's quiet, comforting.
Just a snapshot in time, a way to meditate over challenges large and small.
Another rough day, decisions made over my head that will affect my pocketbook. A rumor confirmed that will add pressure to an already tense situation.
The forces spin, lead to isolation, some loneliness.
So I write. I excise the demons in the one way I know keeps me sane.
I write them down.
Write them out.
I feel better already.

A quick breath, kinda like a hiccup

That's code-speak for a Fiction in 58.

Looking Glass
The steam-covered mirror hides him, his features.
The spotted, wrinkled hands, which he plants flat on cool granite. In the fog, he ponders the chest of gray hair. He shrugs, passes his palm across the mirror, plows dewy streaks.
Ear hair, misshapen nose, deep creases like dagger wounds.
Who is this man? Who let him in here?

Where does the time go?

Which is Tension-speak for "please enjoy this Cinquain poem."

Winter,
dormant soils,
monochrome vistas stretch,
frozen, awaiting renewal,
spring, birth.

Sunday Scribblings: Organic

Pardon my tardiness. I was the weekend reporter, and didn’t have a chance to get this in the form I wanted before going to the office.

Adam’s Rib
The dream is always the same; he awakes, naked and fetal in an egg-shaped oval of wetness, surrounded by a sea of frost that covers speckled granite.
He stirs, stands - alert. A faint cold penetrates the soles of his heavy calloused feet. With fingertips, he traces the curved sinew of this body; the hardness of the muscles, the coarseness of the reddish hair that’s everywhere.
Fingertips reach for his lips; he closes these eyes, where in the low light of dusk, he picks out the surrounding lakeside, individual needles of the gently swaying pines.
With his index finger, he traces the ridge above these magnificent eyes, this boney protrusion, the solid eyebrow, thick as a wooly caterpillar.
He places his palms against these ears, slightly muffling all the sounds of the forest – the waves against the shoreline, the song of the trees, a hint of movement to the west.
His nostrils crinkle, flair as he takes in a deep lungful of air; it smells of fish from the brook, the sweetness of evergreen, dust, animal hide, hot blood.
He throws his arms back with his shoulders, curls his fingers into fists, raises his head to the moon-streaked sky and screams, guttural, animalistic.
His call is returned, higher-pitched, lyrical.
He drops to a crouch, fingertips on the cool granite for balance. Senses reeling, he huffs, screams again.
She breaks from the brush, hips sway as she places one careful, cautious foot in front of the other. She’s tall, sinewy; her raven hair spills across her shoulders, flies away from her face as she saunters.
She’s naked, too, less hair than he, and smells of wood smoke, sweat, something foreign, faintly sweet.
And he awakes to the now. In a tangle of sheets, damp with sweat. Two minutes before his alarm.
He runs a hand through receding hair, smacks chapped lips, reaches for a glass filled with tepid water. He drinks, thirstfully, water streams from the corners of his lips, soaks the pillowcase. Slowly, he swings his legs from bed, small aches start their whispering; soon some will elevate to shouts. He coughs, scratches his belly. His mouth tastes of last night’s drinks, the smoke-stained air of the bar.
He needs a hand against the wall to steady him as he rises, bladder full, aching.
He looks back at the clock.
He calculates the time it would take to get ready, shower, shave, dress, get to the office.
Balances that with the dream; a reaffirmation what it is to be human, natural – organic.

Flash fiction for a Saturday

A Fiction in 58.

Proposal

Snowflakes fall like chunky confetti, silent, without fanfare.
Black boots crunch, timed with the fog of his exhales. He looks back, the tread of his soles aimless. He looks ahead, squints at the virgin snow, smiles.
He is at a crossroads in life. The walk bears out the truth.
She had said yes.
With arms raised, he celebrates.

Slight poetry for a Thursday

A Cinquain for your reading pleasure:

Lustful
glances, naïve,
fingertip touch, gooseflesh,
aphrodisiac surrender,
heat, bliss

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are deception, panic and scheme. A bit of flash fiction for your reading pleasure.

Cooking from Scratch
There are several policemen on our front porch, knocking urgently at the door.
“Don’t you dare let them in,” my mother hisses through a crack behind the cellar door. “In fact, you get down here right now.”
She opens the door and I scoot past. She locks it after me. Three deadbolts, two surface slide bolts, two flush bolts, top and bottom.
The cellar smells of dust, ink. Mother has set up an offset printing press, color. It hums with life.
My dad’s down there, wearing a green cellophane visor, his shirt sleeves held back with what looks like pink garters. He’s drawn a pencil mustache on his upper lip, in eyeliner. A fat cigar juts from his mouth, the end slick, masticated with spit. Every so often, he takes the cigar out and slides in an Oreo from a dinner plate – the good China – and chews.
He’s using the machete arm of a paper cutter to slice what’s coming off the press.
He waves.
Mom’s in a blue coverall, a Glock G23 in the waistband belt. Her strawberry-blond hair held back with a blue bandana, tied gansta-style. It really sets off her baby blues, I think.
And notice that her delicate hands are smudged with ink.
They’re printing coupons by the hundreds.
Five dollar rebates on a three-pack of light bulbs. Ten dollars off Pampers. Deep discounts on toilet paper, pasta sauce, shredded cheese.
Buy one, get three free on Oreos. Stacks of cookies have replaced mom’s canned tomatoes on the shelves.
“But, why?” I ask.
“You don’t know what the girls at bridge, the Ladies Auxiliary down at the church, will do for a good bargain,” she says. “It just spiraled from there.”
Tears begin to streak down my face. My parents, forgers. Common criminals.
“I can’t abide by the deception, the scheming,” I say. “I have to stop this.”
Halfway up the stairs, mom grabs my pants leg.
“Don’t you see?” she says, panic rising in her voice. “I just know those people at Nabisco want me dead.”

Creative juices are flowing

Another small bit of flash fiction for your reading pleasure.

Parlor Tricks
My father has detachable ears.
Oh, you’d think it was a great trick and all, much better than the stale bit Uncle Sal pulls every Easter/Thanksgiving/Christmas when he asked one of the little kids to “pull his finger.”
Or your little sister’s kinda hot friend who can turn her eyelids inside-out.
Or the creepy-skinny, white-fish-skinned kid who pops his shoulder blades out in gym class.
But my dads ears, they’re just nauseous when he takes them off. Trust me.
He says its an old war wound, but take his age and do the math. It doesn’t pencil out.
Freak.
Take my 12th birthday, a Western-themed affair where Brad Pittenger accepted my invitation. A return invite to his birthday would cement my status through high school.
Dad’s drinking beer out of a jelly jar, and just as everyone is eating cake – chocolate with milk chocolate icing – and marveling at the gift haul, he slips them off. His ears.
He’s got them cupped in his hands, side-by-side like butterfly wings and asks Brad if he wants to see a good trick.
And he managed to wiggle the things.
Pittenger erupts in a spray of vomit - cake, icing, pink lemonade – looking a lot like the lion’s head fountain in the park. It’s coming out his nose, for chrissakes.
“Well, what do think about that?” my father asks, looking around fully pleased.
And I think, ‘Epoxy takes too long to set up. Wonder if Superglue is sticky enough?’

Sunday Scribblings: For Richer or Poorer

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is "For Richer or Poorer;" I started something that needs a lot of revision. Too much for one day.
And as I thought about it, this Cinquain came to mind:

Richness
is not wealth, things,
but the gathering of friends;
standing with those without a voice,
humble strength

More Cinquain

Still enjoying the construction of the poetic form of the Cinquain.

Hopeless,
she stamps her feet,
telegraphs desperate prayers,
willing a heart bent by deceit
to trust

Be it resolved - already

I'll admit it - I didn't get home from New Year's festivities until 3:30 a.m.
I didn't sleep in, either.
I had the option of curling up on the couch, watch football, sip tea and maybe take a nap.
Or ride 10 miles with the Spoke-N-Sport New Year's Day Ride through Sioux Falls.
I chose the ride.
Especially since it was above freezing, a great not-to-windy day here.
(Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself with a celly while riding?)
Took the single-speed Bridgestone out for the jaunt. Saw a couple of people from work, met a few people in the cycling community.
(The one thing that I wasn't ready for - riding on sheets of ice; that a nut-constrictor, especially when clipped in to the pedals.)
After the ride, we were treated to chili, coffee and hot chocolate. Great door prizes were given (I didn't win).
But I did win.
The ride felt great. I got out.
And to celebrate, I picked up a 12-ounce New York strip steak, black-eyed peas, sugar snap peas, a baking potato and a cold sixer of PBR.
(When you ride, you can play.)
A great start to 2009.

Be it resolved - more

A friend wanted to know what resolutions I intend to make for 2009.
I said none.
I’m of a mind that if you should be doing something good, or better, you’d be better off starting right away, rather than wait for a mark like the start of a new week, or new year.

Then, I read what Kelly wrote over at Pink Hollyhock. And was inspired.

For me in 2009 (and beyond), more:
Passion;
Writing;
Travel;
Family;
Friends;
Reading;
Bicycling;
Exploring;
Challenging;
Taste;
Faith;
Experiences;
Touch.