Slight fiction for a Saturday

A Fiction in 58

Trick
She appeases his senses with elaborate makeup and revealing clothing. She never says much during these sessions, maybe some slight cooing or a breathless “how’s that” when she sees his mind begin to wander.
It’s a hard life on the streets, but she considers the alternatives. Here there is attention, money.
There, a life born of violent abuse.

OneWord, Drops

The word prompt over at OneWord is "drops."
Simply ran out of time for an ending, but this could be played with, I think.

She is an approaching cold front; he feels her heft and the pressure drops around him, enough to plug his ears painfully.
He grips his nose and blows, like he’s been taught in dive school, but there’s no equilibrium. Just a dropping barometric pressure of her presence upon him, washing over him.
He feel like he’s completely underwater now, every sound is muted, but amplified. He hears his heartbeat more than he can feel it.
She speaks, words like a vortex, spiral and angry.
Her words are thunderclaps.

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are generate, meager and tease.

Strange Context

He gazes at his curved reflection on the spoon, studying his face in the convex bulge and idly thinking of the “Where’s Waldo” character, the funny watch cap, the creepy striped sweater.
He lifts a lip to study his rather sharp right incisor, trying to generate enough forward motion to propel himself past the spoon, away from idle thoughts and back into the present.
“Are you even listening to me?”
Oh, she’s still there. Right. Act natural, smile. Give her all the pearly whites.
“Every single word.”
He says it as a tease, cocks his head playfully, rumples his shoulders in a play that says “I am now yours, receptive.”
Her face is a blank canvas, he thinks. Void of emotional paint; even her lips – he finds them painfully meager – form a straight line of ordinary.
He breaths deeply, ends with a slight cough, readying her for more witty banter.
“You were describing your co-worker’s dilemma, her finding the boss furiously masturbating early one morning in the conference room?”
Wait, that can’t be right, can it?
Her face registers shock, horror. He studies her for a moment, but is drawn back to his image on the spoon. His nose looks so huge, textured.
And drifts off thinking about puppies, why science hasn’t yet found a way to keep them from growing up when she hits him with her napkin as she passes. It ends up draped over the spoon, silencing again his consciousness streaming.
“Fuck you, creep.”
“Yes, my dear, I’ll be happy to get the check.”
He says this while gesturing in slight movements with the little spoon-and-napkin puppet she’s inadvertently created.

OneWord, Pop

Over the road noise, on top of the wind slashing over parts of the car that jutted from it’s otherwise smooth shell, came the pops. Angry klaxons sent as a warning. Pop. Pop. Pop.
He regretted now giving her the gum. He was ambivalent on the line that drove her to fill the rubberized chunk of gum paste and flavoring with tiny bubbles of air and collapse them between her lips.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
He reached for the wrapper she balled up between her fingers and held it out to her, somewhat smooth in his palm.
“As God is my witness, I thought you’d go for something like that,” he said.

Some More Fiction in 58

Stud
“Save the date,” she says, folding twice the business card he’s given her.
He caps the pen, positions it into his shirt pocket and fumbles for what to say. She smiles, demure, and puts a warm hand on his elbow to propel him along.
He liked it when the sperm donations were more clinical, less like speed-dating events.

Sunday Scribblings, When Pigs Fly

The prompt over at Sunday Scribbings is "When Pigs Fly."
Meh.

Listless

The roof had very little pitch to it and a recent coating of tar gave it a quality of being open to nothingness, especially tonight, where clouds obscured the moon.
They’d been drinking cheap beer kept cool in a cheap Styrofoam cooler, already there was a huge chunk taken out of the lid, and discussing problems of the day: Mainly women and sex and under-achieving jobs and the prospect of moving back in with parents until this fucking economy turned around.
They’d hauled up the chairs from Baker’s tiny dining table and each leg had pierced the tar and gave a permanence to their seat arrangements.
None of the four had such durability. They did just enough not to get fired, keep the lights on and stay comfortably numb with booze.
Baker surprised them all when he stood up, chugged his beer and said he was leaving. It was way too early, they said, this party was just getting started.
“Gotta go,” Baker said.
The cat-calls and empty beer cans rained down upon him.
“It’s time,” he said, picking at a stain on his hoodie.
He then broke into a run toward the lip of the building and launched himself forward.
“When pigs fly,” he called out, just as he disappeared from view.
They looked at one-another, arms crossed, and shrugged. Davis flipped open the cooler lid and went fishing for a fresh can.
“You ever get the feeling that there’s something going on that we don’t know about?” he said, popping the tab and licking foam from his fist.

Moments In Grace

The opening line came to me in the shower. It grew from there.

Moments In Grace

There was never enough time anymore.
He tries to pinpoint the exact instant in his memory when their paths diverged into separate directions, yet still managed to sweep forward, but he couldn’t select it out of the hubris.
He’d taken to meeting with her about their various assignments for the day while she soaked in her morning bath, preferring it to a shower to keep her middle-aged skin moist and supple.
He sits where he always does, on the toilet, talking with his hands like he does, and watching how the expensive bath products makes the water milky and how the suds cling to areas of her body that form islands about the waterline. How, every once and again, her breasts would bob up from the suds and he gets a rush of excitement followed by a slight blush of embarrassment, even though they dated for four years before being married for 14. He prides himself on knowing every square inch of her body, but still, she continues to have that ability to set his mind and skin to flush.
The kids march up and down the hallway, protesting the flavors of cold cereal, complaining the milk is bad, asking when they’d finally get out of the lady’s bathroom please, as it was their time to get ready and today one of them needs her hair to really look cute because rumor has it that Traci dumped Dakota and maybe, just maybe, a great hair day would make him notice her among all the other still-developing fifth-graders.
He sighs and continues to watch his wife move up and down in the water, eyes closed, nodding as if she’s listening both to what he’s telling her and to the arguments of the children in the hall.
“I can’t take it anymore,” he says, suddenly.
She opens one eye, a squinty gaze because of the soap and the sweat and feels the icy blueness of her iris stab through him.
She opens her mouth to formulate a response to his statement, but before she can speak, he opens both palms in front of his chest, shakes his head and says, “Let me take the kids to school today.”
She smiles, a tired half-grin of mixed wariness and opens both eyes. She sinks her chin below the water and makes milky bubbles with motorboat lips. She lifts up again, sends a playful stream of water from her lips like a waterfall, cascading across her now-exposed breasts.
He slaps his hands against his thighs and stands, kicks off his expensive leather loafers, takes his wallet and keys from his pants, drops them with a clank on the toilet’s porcelain lid.
And slips one sock-clad foot, then another, into the bath, between her parted thighs.
She screams in protest, an alarmist yelp that stops the children in the hall, halts their dissent and piques their interest in what exactly their parents are doing behind closed, but not locked, doors.
He settles into the water awkwardly, ass-first with knees clenched and bent, which sends a wave of water over gushing over the lip of the tub and onto the floor with a splash.
She screams again, less intense, more playful and pushes a wave of water at him with cupped hands that that soaks his white Oxford and ruins his silk tie, the red one with slivers of alternating gold and blue angled stripes.
He reaches for her and she slides toward him. They careen into an embrace, small kisses flittering across ears, those tender parts of the neck.
“I’m declaring a mental health day,” he says as he slides his lips across her now-goose-fleshed chest.
“I’ll see if Joanie can take the kids to school,” she says, tensing and clenching all at once as his lips find one nipple, then the other.

OneWord, Spoon

OneWord is a great little prompt. Sixty seconds to write something with a word that's provided.
That word is "spoon."

There’s warmth here, even under a thin blanket. What began as twisted flesh in sweaty passion has morphed into this place – dark, quiet. She breathes lightly, taking air in through her nose and letting it out though those rich, full lips. Every once and again, she lets out a gurgling snore, which makes his heart ache for her more. He’s pressed against her, spooning, and can’t think of another place on Earth he’d rather be.

Tuesday's NaiSaiKu Challenge

It’s Tuesday, time for the NaiSaiKu Challenge. What’s that? It’s my occasional stab at poetry, administered by Andy Sewina. It’s kind of like haiku, but not.

embers pop, warming fire,
flicker flames paint shadows, golden,
coyotes howl, distant
NIGHTTIME ON THE PRAIRIE
coyotes howl, distant
flicker flames paint shadows, golden,
embers pop, warming fire

Monday's Fiction in 58

Monday. Time for a Fiction in 58.

Drone
Life strips him down to nothingness, just a number on a paper in a file lost in a drawer.
Repetition defines him. Rise, shower, eat, work, home, eat, sleep.
His world is colorless, until he meets her selling fruit on the corner. She wears a flower in her chestnut hair.
She smiles.
And his thoughts turn to revolution.

OneWord, Delicate

Sorry, Sunday Scribblings, just wasn't feeling the prompt.
So I went over to OneWord instead. What can you do with a word - delicate - in 60 seconds?

His features were delicate, like his mother’s, and left him open to all manner of bullying.
He wore his raven hair short, so not to encourage those questions from store clerks who marveled over his long eye lashes and cooed over his full, supple lips and asked his mother how old she was. The sting would set his cheeks to redden, which only accentuated the feminine of his features.
What shone as beauty and grace on the outside was matched inside by a black web of rage that burned long, slow, hot.
One day, this fragile boy would combust into a wickedness, driven there by him supple beauty.

Thoughts

Times
There was much wavering.
Teetering between a more simple life of hard work and few creature comforts and that of a fast-paced world of blinking, beeping desires. A foot in the past, a foot in the future.
He’d go for hours without Tweets, email, cellular conversations, then gorge himself in a construct world with zero human contact.
As much as his mind craved the stimuli, his heart missed an innocent touch, a casual handshake.
He regressed more and more inward as heart and mind tussled. Until whole years passed from eccentric to recluse to forgotten corpse.
No one thought to check.

OneWord, Blizzard

OneWord is a writer's prompt that asks, "What can you do with a word, in 60 seconds?" It's not about keeping it short; it's about focus. the word is blizzard.

He skipped on his ass, rag-wrapped feet first, to escape the crack of crumpled concrete that had become his home for the past six nights.
Nights? Days? It didn’t really matter, did it? They had entered into the permanent darkness, blizzards of toxic ass swirled across the landscape. He dared to remove the dingy surgical mask, the cracked goggles and lifted his face upward, where once he felt the sun warm his flesh.
He was watching the end days, the planet’s last gasping breaths.
He didn’t know whether to be happy or sad.

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are lucid, righteous and salvage.

Mind Your Elders

There were moments when she was at her most lucid; details spilled from her painted lips like a powerful, frothy waterfall. She’d sit in a decrepit wingback chair near the windows and soak up the sun like a houseplant.
The rays made her talkative. Those were the days when someone should have been listening, recording maybe, since she was one of the righteous. A chosen soldier whose only crime was to grow old and frail.
The staff, in their white jumpsuits and crinkled paper hats, would spread a courteous smile when passing the talking elderly, prattling on about lives lived, things seen, deeds done. They may pat a hand, or touch their cold fingers on a shoulder, but listening was out of the question. Time moves forward and these wards of the state were the past.
So she continued to bemuse no one from the seat divots in her comfy chair, pausing every so often to tap a still-manicured nail against her front teeth, cluck her tongue and utter a soft, “Uh, uh uh,” when no one stopped to soak up the lessons she broadcast daily as her mind cleared from the I.V. drip they used to tether her to the steel-and-plastic hospital bed.
She had never found the time to have children and watched from her chair as her kin withered and disappeared. She knew not what became of the others, the elders, the keepers of knowledge, nor could she assess whether they had been able to disseminate their common message to the masses that seemed to preoccupied to care.
It had been years since they’d let her near a terminal, let alone a comm device.
So she broadcast in a small voice from that stained brown chair, a musty relic of a time past, and tried to salvage this world from its unavoidable collapse.

Free-forming It

No one ever says they want to be the homeless guy begging for change and digging through garbage for a half-eaten meal.
Nobody gets reincarnated as a servant or cook.
There isn’t anyone reinventing themselves as a fry cook or grocery stocker.
What dreams get formed in the gray matter are desires of the heart. The gut checks them, critical of the fancy.
What dreams come true?
The ones that the gut says are attainable, or the big leaps that take balls to complete?
Questions of the ages.

Monday Poetry

Wrapped in the silent dark,
layers of gray, slivers of streetlights,
the restless dream of greatness.

Stillness
In shadows lay desires,
mindful of the consequence,
change is a difficult beast.

Hands hug the torso rough,
a squeeze confirms consciousness,
a sigh affirms the impatience.

Threads of light announce the dawn,
another sleepless encounter passes,
one more day to screw on a happy face.

Sunday Scribblings, Message

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is "Message."


The Message
“You’ll be fine.”
She’d left the statement on his answering machine, time-stamped at 11:42 p.m.
It was an old machine, tape instead of digital and it was serviceable so he never sought to upgrade. She’d tease him about it, calling him old school while he reviewed calls by winding the tape back to write down a number or times for dinner reservations.
Truthfully, the whir of the tape was comforting. The squeal of voices in reverse. Click. Play.
This was way different.
“You’ll be fine.”
Her voice was detached somehow, hollow.
Whirl. Click. Play.
The tan plastic of the machine was covered in tears, thick ropes of snotty saliva. He ran the risk of short-circuiting the ancient box, but he couldn’t help himself. Once and again, he’d run a crusting sleeve across his lips and nose. But once she spoke, a fresh stream hammered the box.
“You’ll be fine.”
She was businesslike, blunt. Nothing like she was in real life, fun of spunk, delicious playfulness.
Whir. Click. Play.
Her message, time stamped at 11:42 p.m.
“You’ll be fine.”
A full two hours after her death.

A Saturday Fiction in 58

Time, I think, for a Fiction in 58.

She dangles her toes into the water, watching the ripples grow larger, like seismic rings of an earthquake. The sun beats down on her shoulders, hot and lovely.
She hears the cries of hawks in the thermals; she dreams of flight.
He father calls, wonders if she’s tired.
She looks at the wheelchair and sighs, long and heavy.

OneWord, Sinking

If he’s stationary, he feels it, like a vibration. Especially out in the streets, where his shoulders are jostled by the crowds of drones flittering back and forth from domiciles to occupations. When not in motion, he’s sinking. The concrete loses its molecular structure and becomes quicksand. Ready and willing to help make him disappear. So he keeps moving, like a shark that needs to move for its next breath. He fears the moment when he becomes weary.

Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are frantic, lurch and odor.

Sisterhood

The taxi lurches to a halt in front of the Excelsior and from it unfolds three Sisters from the eastside, biggest motherfucking trannies you ever saw. One’s carrying a length of lead pipe and a knock-off Gucci clutch for lipstick and rubbers.
This may be the ass-end of the city, where steamy piles of trash smolder with rot and the downcast follow cracks in the concrete with their eyes, but God bless the Sisters.
Nothing escapes their network. One distress call from a mobile cut short by hard slaps and screams and they’re on the case.
Working girls arrive at the Excelsior on wobbly fuck-me pumps, black stiletto thigh-high boots, shared taxis. They enter single file, slowly fill the lobby in orderly rows. Many won’t even get within a whiff of the action, but in numbers lie their strength.
Nobody fucks with the Sisters.
They’re up on three and they’ve paid for the room for the entire evening. They’ve also paid off the night clerk, sent him off with a five crisp $20s and instructions to eat a long, slow breakfast.
They were going to be busy. For hours.
He’s got the smell of shit and piss about him, his bowls long since vacated. But it’s the odor of fear that wrinkles the nose.
Both eyes are puffy from the beatings. They’ve got him on his knees, his arms held behind him with a length of barbed wire. Where in the fuck did they get that?
They’ve stripped him down to his expensive boxer briefs. Fresh blood runs from his nose, across his lips, where frantic breaths and spittle turn the gore into pinkish bubbles.
He’s long since tried to reason his way out of this one. Cash wasn’t going to solve the problem, either.
He’s a future missing persons report.
The crowd parts and the Sister who was wronged enters the gloom set off by the crowd, the single bare bulb. They’ve already staunched the blood, tended to her wounds, sewed up the ragged flesh where he’d bit her.
She puts a hand under his chin, raises his face to hers.
He begins to gag.
She asks if he believes in God. He says nothing above a whimper.
She removes the .45 from his mouth.
“God,” she says. “Do you believe?”

Tuesday's NaiSaiKu Challenge

Haven't participated in ages. A NaiSaiKu is a fun poetry structure based on haiku.

paint chips like razors,
shards of glass crunch under boots,
wild beasts find refuge
DERELICT PRAIRIE HOMESTEAD
wild beasts find refuge,
shards of glass crunch under boots,
paint chips like razors