Thursday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are abuse, cramp and hatred. Something quick and dirty.

Luncheonette for the Possessed
“There is goodness in you, even though you can’t see it,” she says.

The fork is halfway to his mouth, which is open for delivery, and he stops, a flush of hatred lights in his icy blue eyes.
He folds his hands together and tucks his chin on knuckles; warm curry puddles under the fork, now a pendulum.

“Did I ask for an assessment?”

The diner is cramped and it is packed; it’s a living organism that pulsates, breathes, sighs. It presses its mass into her, she feels faint, a victim of her own stupid choices.

He stares, smiles. Shoots bushy eyebrows into amused arcs that beg answers.
It's enough of an insult; his abuse emboldens her.

“No, you did not ask,” she says. “But I have opinions too, you know.”

OneWord, Strung

OneWord is an interesting writers’ prompt. Click the button, get the word, write for 60 seconds. The idea is not to freeze up, just let your mind – and fingers – go.
Today’s word is strung.

She uses heavy nylon cord, the kind they use with parachutes so you don’t go falling to your death when you jump out of an aircraft.
She’s never jumped out of an aircraft, she’s practical. Her adrenaline rush comes form the hunt, the stalk.
The kill.
The cord? It’s strung with the hearts of young boys she’s enticed, charmed, crushed.

Monday's Fiction in 58

It’s Monday, time for a Fiction in 58.

The note was scribbled on a piece of notebook paper, college rule, the light blue lines just a suggestion for the scrawl. She folded it in halfs, until it was a snug package.
She dropped it in her clutch, along with the .38 missing its serial number.
He could wait.
She could wait, too, until her bruises faded.

Guest Writer, Garasamo Maccagnone

Garasamo "Gary" Maccagnone opens his newest short fiction anthology, "My Dog Tim And Other Stories" with the very enjoyable and very real "St. John of the Midfield." It is, all at one, about soccer, family, the Mafia, loyalties and death.
It's the story of Bobo Stoikov, one of the world’s greatest soccer players, who escapes Communist Bulgaria for the American Dream.
But it's also about Mario Santini, half-Sicilian, half-Polish family man who manages to balance his own family between the illegitimate family business - drug running.
Some will say "St. John of the Midfield" is a sports story. But it's so much more. It's about honor, family, tenacity and perseverance.
It's an emotional read, one that keeps you turning the pages. And a rare treat that opens one damn fine anthology of short stories.
Other stories in the anthology include: “My Dog Tim,” an ode to the author’s beloved childhood pet; “White Fang,” a tale of revenge that has more do with orthodontia than Jack London’s infamous dog story; “The Note Giver,” the story of a mysterious old man who arrives at St. Isidore’s and turns the congregation upside down by handing out notes that sting the individuals with truth and insight on their own bad ways; “White Chocolate,” “Goalie Boy”, and three vignettes.
This anthology is worth picking up. Because once you open the first page, it's hard to put down.

Maccagnone has graciously agreed to share a short fiction piece with readers of The Tension. It's entitled "Every Woman's Dream."

But first, a little more about the author:
Garasamo Maccagnone studied creative writing and literature under noted American writers Sam Astrachan and Stuart Dybek at Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.
A college baseball player as well, Maccagnone met his wife Vicki as a junior at WMU. The following year, after injuring his throwing arm, Maccagnone left school and his baseball ambitions to marry Vicki. After a two year stint at both W.B. Doner and BBDO advertising agencies, Maccagnone left the industry to apply his knowledge of marketing in a new venture in an up-and-coming industry. Maccagnone created a company called, “Crate and Fly,” and turned it from a store front in 1984 to a world-wide multi-million dollar shipping corporation by 1994.
In the mid 90’s Maccagnone decided to fulfill the promise of his writing career, by first penning the children’s book, "The Suburban Dragon" and then following up with a collection of short stories and poetry entitled, "The Affliction of Dreams." His literary novel, "St. John of the Midfield" was published in 2007, followed by his "For the Love of St. Nick," which was released in 2008.
Maccagnone expanded the original version of "For the Love of St. Nick" and had the book illustrated for a new release in June 2009.
"My Dog Tim and Other Stories" is a literary anthology of the author’s best work.
Garasamo “Gary” Maccagnone lives today in Shelby Township, Michigan, with his wife Vicki and three children. Currently, he is researching the location for his second novel, tentatively titled, "He Lay Low."

Visit Maccagnone online at

"Every Woman's Dream"
By Garasamo Maccagnone

Last night around the news hour, our dog Shira, started using every method in her arsenal to get my attention. She moaned. She stared at me. She jumped up on her hind legs and put her front paws on my knees. Her tail wagged furiously.

I knew what she wanted. For the last couple of weeks, she's carried on a torrid summer romance that would put Romeo and Juliet, or any Hollywood couple, to shame. The problem is, and I'm not sure if this has something to do with her breed, that Shira has not the intelligence, nor the instinct, to realize she's a mammal, and that as a dog, if she were to pursue her love interests, she would need to hook up with another dog.

You see... the creature that Shira devotes her love to is a toad. Yes, a toad, which I believe is an amphibian, and of course as you know, is not the most handsome of creatures. Obviously, for Shira, looks do not matter. Her Prince has called on her for a couple of weeks, always appearing around the news hour, always sitting on the outside ledge of our door wall, staring into our dining area until we relent, and let his love interest come to him.

Too lazy to get off the couch, I heard my middle son Anthony charge down the stairs toward the kitchen. I yelled to him, "Put Shira on her leash, she wants to go outside."

"Ok, dad," he said in his distinctive, but abnormally low base voice. I knew Anthony was unaware of the romance, since he had been away awhile.

Anthony is twenty one and he stands about 5'11'' and weighs about 185. He likes to weight lift so his muscular body as a human should not be a match for a common toad. Still he jumped and yelped as soon as he saw the toad staring at him.

"What is that?" he shouted. I chuckled knowing what his reaction would be. (Why are those tiny creatures scare the mightiest of our men?)

"That's a toad," I blurted out, crossing my legs on the couch. "His name is Phillip the toad and he's in love with Shira. He shows up every night."

"What? Are you kidding me?"

"It's been going on for a couple of weeks. I have no idea how these things start."

"Won't she eat him?"

"If he were a rabbit, yes. For some reason, toads are off limits. Hook her on her leash and watch what happens."

As expected, with Anthony giving me play by play, Shira first pet Prince Phillip with her paw to let him know she was there. Then, she licked his entire back, bathing him in saliva.

"Wow," said Tony. "If that toad was a cat he'd be purring."

I'm not sure what type of sounds toads make when they're enraptured. I do know, that the times I watched the bathing, to me, it looked like Phillip's eyes opened more lazily than normal.

"Won't she get high from licking his back?" asked Tony.

I laughed. "Maybe," I retorted, "but I think that's an old wives tale."

When the two lovers finally had enough, Anthony took Shira out further in our yard and let her do her business. When he brought her in, he went on to explain why he thought Shira liked Phillip so much.

"Think about it pops," he said to me while I started to nod off. "He won't fight over food, he can't take advantage of her and he just sits there unable to talk back. It's a hassle free relationship."

"What are you saying to me, son?"

"He's every woman's dream guy."

Not capable of forcing my eyes open any longer, it was too late for me to fathom the wisdom of his words. It wasn't until the next morning, while sharing the story, and a cup of coffee with my wife Vicki, that she gave credence to his very words.

"Oh, what a woman could only dream of," she stated in an overly dramatic tone. Then she poured her coffee in the sink, winked at me, and fled upstairs. I turned to Shira, who was asleep, curled inside her oval bed.

You're all the same, I said to myself, still in the jovial spirit of the moment. Taking it even further, for the sake of my premise, I went on to tell myself that even Juliet, had she lived, would have longed for the same thing.

OneWord, Commit

She considered in an affliction.
The boys would come to call, and while she loved the attention, she could never just accept their sweaty fumblings on her porch on warm evenings, bugs swarming over the single-bulb light her father insisted stay on when callers were present.
Many had tried, but everyone failed. She’d sit on her hands, or maybe play with a dark braid from her mane of hair, looking softly at her lap and not saying much. They’d just give up, walk away sullenly, some even angrily, swatting at the honeysuckle bush with closed fists.
In the end, she couldn’t commit to them. She tore through their insecurities with brown cow eyes.
And would shed more hot, salty tears for her cold, calloused heart.

Thursday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are gentle, praise and vulgar.


I wake to the sound of muffled grunts, heavy breathing.
I go to the window and in the muted mustard light of a summer moon, I see a figure dressed in black, expertly swinging a pair of nunchucks.
Judging by the beer gut, it’s my father.
I slip into a pair of tennis shoes, descend the stairs and step out onto the porch.
“Dad, what the hell are you doing out here?”
He’s a flurry of movements and motions, the black sticks swing dangerously and in every direction. And just as quick, he folds them gently to his armpit and moves silently into the shadows.
“Well, you’re old enough to know, I guess,” his voice spilling from the darkness as a hiss. “We’re Shinobi. Ninja.”
“Yeah, right,” I say. “You’re an assistant manager at Sears.”
A black metal dart hits the post, in the space between where my thumb and forefinger grip the wood.
“This discipline has no room for insolence,” he says. “Consider that a warning.”
“What does mom think of all this sneaking around shit?”
A second dart parts my hair as it continues its trajectory into the wooden post.
“She views the family business as vulgar,” he says. “Yet she’s a master with a katana, what you kids would call a Samurai sword.”
“My mother?”
From behind, a faint breeze raises the hairs on my neck. Then, cold steel is pressed there, chilling the blood in my jugular.
“That’s high praise, coming from my master,” mother says in an echo as she withdraws the blade. “And as for you, Mr. Sassy Pants, march yourself back to bed this instant. We’ll discuss finding you a proper Sensei in the morning.”
And smacks me in the ass with the blade’s scabbard.

Wednesday's Fiction in 58

Yeah, I know. There should be a Three Word Wednesday contribution here. I’m working on it. Work projects, long writing pieces for the paper, have to come first.
For now, please enjoy this Fiction in 58

I’m a bug.
One of those nearly invisible ones that vibrate in an elevated frequency that only humans can hear. And I bite. Tiny mandibles to inflict pesky nips. I fly away before you can swat.
I am nimble. Invincible to sprays, lotions.
I am in the room with you. Here I come. Bzzzzzzz.
“Honey, please, quit hovering.”

OneWord, Forgotten

Time for a OneWord prompt. That's a word, a timer and 60 seconds. The word is "forgoten."

Eggs congealing on the good China, coffee cold, breakfast forgotten.
A trail of clothing like directional breadcrumbs marks a path from the front door to the bedroom. A second, with less articles, flows from the sunny kitchen nook back to bed.
The tension of the evening, the gamesmanship, has evaporated into screams of passion. There’s was a tryst waiting to happen.
Once they realized the pain they shared, the release came so naturally.

OneWord, Chaos

I’m working on a 3WW piece, but got bogged down. Figured a good way to open up was with OneWord – 60 second time limit and a single word.

It wasn’t his theory, but felt like scientists came up with it especially for him. One thing leads to another, and first there’s a wink in a bar and the vibration caused by her made-up eyelashes travels and pretty soon there’s a monsoon in Malaysia. He’d been there, been part of the chaos created by those fluttering lashes and he’d felt the pleasure. And the pain. The rush toward destruction.

New Ink

I got some new ink.
It's an old typewriter font called Adler.
"scribe' is more about who and what I am.

Thursday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are hassle, inject and wealth. I'm late. I'm in the middle of a huge writing project at work.

I’m looking at the injection point with the assistance of my little sister’s Snow White brush-and-mirror set, the silly pink plastic full of green flecks of glitter, and all I can think is that the skin around the site looks quite infected.
“Quit picking at it.”
“I wasn’t picking, I’m observing.”
My twin sister grips her hips, ample as they are – what my mother calls real grandbaby-producing hips – and sneers.
“Picking at it will only cause it to get infected and mother will be pissed.”
She’s a wealth of information, that one.
“I’m not even touching it.”
She’s hassling me, since it’s her ass if anything goes wrong. Mother says so, every time she passes by the basement steps, those familiar creaks as she passes overhead, the wood under the imported Italian tile sighing, each moan transferred from the floor to cobweb-covered joists to our ears.
We’ve been playing gin rummy, but I quit because she cheats.
It’s nearly time, anyway.
I rub my wrists with my fingers, but find that the French manicure gets in the way and I end up jabbing the chafed flesh. It’s pinkish and raw, since that’s where the restraints go.
I’ve stopped fighting it, on father’s insistence, but mother will still slap the padded leather cuffs on anyway.
His voice is high-pitched and warbled as he calls down to my sister and asks is everything’s OK.
“He’s picking at his neck.”
“Am not.”
I flip curly locks of auburn hair out of my eyes and stick my tongue out of my full, pouty lips.
“Don’t make me come down there.”
Fat fucking chance of that. Father has quite the fear of the basement, mother’s little dungeon of horrors.
“Come on down, big man, I dare you.”
I wonder where that came from, maybe the last little pop of testosterone left in my ever-shriveling nut sack.
My twin glares.
I tilt my head and stare.
“You’re just making it harder on yourself.”
I give her the finger, one delicate, China-plate-white finger in salute. My nails look fabulous, I think.
And catch myself.
And take that finger and rub the spot where mother will soon have an IV needle jammed. Flooding my body with estrogen and progesterone.
She’s creating an all-female army, she is. She’s crazy.
Positively bonkers for grandbabies.
“I’m coming down there,” mother says, settling things with twin thumps as her heels hit the staircase landing. “Enough with all this sass.”
I shut my eyes and wonder if she gets where all those grandbabies will supposedly come from.