Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beverly and the plague

I am so sorry to have kept you all waiting but I was waylaid by the flu. I couldn't get through the fog to write part three of Bad Boyfriend. Heck I couldn't get through to even write another 12 word novel, never mind a 100 word one. But I seem to be on the mend now. So please dear friends put up with me for a few more days and I promise to bring you the goods. Besides I better get that body in the ground soon or things are going to get nasty!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Dark Corner in 100 Words

It stood in the dark corner unmoving. Although I could not see, I knew that it was there. The weight of its' presence. That familiar feeling of dread with the stillness of the air. It did not move or blink an eye, but what horror if it did. I sat frozen in my bed, bound by fear. What did it want from me? Was it my soul? Did it thirst for my life’s blood or think with it’s insect mind waiting to react only to it's need.
The dawn could not come fast enough. If it came at all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Twelve Word Challenge

My good friend Ana has put forth a challenge at her blog Truepenny. As she explained NPR put out a contest two years ago to see who could write the best novel in 12 words. Hers are really good. So I am taking up the gauntlet and trying my hand at the super short story. I double dare you to try it too!

Ennui killed her spirit, Absinthe distilled her mind. Defenestration finished the job.

She loved his face, but hated his mind, while admiring his wallet.

The dragon landed with a pounce. Talons pierced the evil king. Hooray!

Gerry ate too much steak. He swore an oath to be vegan.

Chinese incense filled her senses. Sneezing fits followed. Then the dreams came.

Dinosaurs never learned to play chess. The end came quickly after that.

Overcome with passion she forgot her shoes. And she did not care.

The wolf’s eyes glowed. He smelled warm blood. Hunger was All.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bad Boyfriend: Part Two

Deb stared out the kitchen window into the rain and smoked her cigarette slowly. She was calm. She inhaled the smoke deeply into her lungs, letting the nicotine seep into her blood stream. She really hated cigarettes, but she just loved smoking. Jack’s El Camino sat dimly lit by the street lamp a few feet away. It wasn’t really a car anymore thought Deb. It was a dark red sarcophagus slick with rain and patched with Bondo.
Leslie came up behind Deb and looked out over Deb shoulder.
“I’ve found another old rain coat in the basement.”
“Good, did you pull down the plastic shower curtain insert?”
“Yes, I’ve done it.”
“Good, I’ll go the drugstore first thing in the morning and buy a new one. That way no one will see you buy it.”
“ Yes, I suppose spreading out our movements is a good idea.”
Leslie poured another glass of red wine and sat down at the kitchenette with the old raincoat over her lap. She took a large swallow and numbly said, “You don’t have to do this. You’ve already done too much. You should walk away right now and go home. You’re my friend and I don’t want any of this to touch you. She chuckled humorlessly. “Not that it hasn’t already. You’ve cleaned up blood off my floor and even put the stained towels in the washing machine. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if you add fabric softener. Deb, for God’s sake go home. What I am planning to do is crazy and has a very good chance of not working.
“ Yes, that’s true Leslie. That’s why I not going to let you do this alone. It will take at least both our smarts to pull this off. Besides, I can’t go home, wait and do nothing. This is Emily’s future we are talking about. I’ve known her since she was a baby. She calls me Aunt Deb. She pressed the butt of her cigarette firmly into the ashtray. Her knuckles flashed white for a moment has she held it there under her fingers. “I always thought that Jack was a loser. A dim, bastard with no future and a good haircut.” She dropped the cigarette butt and slapped her hands together. “He was keeping her down and then he dared to hurt her. Now, lets go put him under a large rock.”
It was very quiet. The lights of the surrounding houses were turned out for the night. All except for old lady Roberts house. She had left her bedroom TV on again. The electric blue light flickered from her second story window. Other then that there were no signs of life. The two of them stood on the porch dressed in gardening boots and the musty old raincoats.
“Alright. I’ll get the shovels. You meet me between our houses with the wheelbarrow,” said Leslie.
“Ok. I’ll be right back.” With that Deb was gone. Leslie was alone in the rain. This is wrong she thought. If there was a way to force Deb out of this she couldn’t think of it. Maybe later they’ll be a way to protect her too.
It then occurred to her that she wasn’t scared. She wasn’t nervous. Shouldn’t she be? Her mind should be racing, she imagined, but it was oddly clear. As she walked toward the tool shed in the back of the house she saw the job at hand laid out before her like the recipe for a cake. It seemed that all she would need would be the right ingredients and the proper order in which to use them. I am sure this must be just what every smartass criminal thinks. I am smarter then everyone else. I can get away with this.
She began unhooking the wet, rusted padlock, the one that they never bothered to lock. No, she thought, I am not that clever. I am just desperate.
Leslie hated reaching into the old shed on bright sunny days. It was so often cobwebbed and full she was certain with spiders. That was why she had always left most of the gardening tools just inside the sheds door. Her gardening gloves should be hung on the hook just above them. She reached in and tried not to touch the walls of the shed itself. She closed her eyes, even as she already stood there in the dark unable to see. Even on the sunniest of days she closed her eyes instinctively. Better not to look. Just grab the gloves and the shovels and get the heck out. She reached in and felt the smooth wood of the old shovel and grabbed it. Ok, that’s one. Good. She reached in and grabbed for the second shovel. It should be right there next to the metal rake. She grabbed it for a moment to check its weight. Yup, metal handle, light and as she shook it she heard the tines of the rake twang together. She put it back down and reached deeper into the shed for the next wooden handle.
A drop of icy cold rainwater fell between the cracks of the shed roof and on to Leslie’s wrist. The memory came to her instantly and she frozen.
She must have been five, maybe six years old. She could not have been much younger or her mother and grandmother would never have allowed her to go to the stable alone. It was a warm beautiful day and she had been given her first chore to do all by herself. She was to open the stable door. Not the door for the horses, because that one was too big for her to open alone. Just the people size door. She would then fill the old coffee can that she would find on a large wooden chest and take a big scoop of birdseed out and bring it to her Mom and Grandmother and together they would fill the birdfeeders. It was going to be her job. Her responsibility while Mommy and her were visiting her grandparents. The stable was a fun place even if the horse was long gone. It had been her mommy’s horse and she had never seen it herself. Only old black and white pictures. But it did still, have real cowboy spurs hanging on the wall and a saddle you could sit on that was perched on a old beam of wood. It also had an old privy in it and Leslie had look down deep into its hole. She knew she was never going to dare sit on it though. Cause she was sure, she just knew there would be spiders. No matter how bad she had to go, she knew she could never sit there, with her panties off and spiders tickling her bum. But she was gonna look down that hole again. She could do that. That was scary enough. Leslie turned the handle of the stable door and pushed against it hard, because it almost always stuck grandma had said. The apple size wasp nest fell from overhead and hit her, first on the wrist, and then landed at her feet. It had surprised her. It weighed no more then a ball of the yellow lined paper she sometimes used to draw on. She looked down at her feet. There between her sneakers was the brown fascinating nest. She started to take a step back. To look at it better? A black haze swirled out of that paper ball and wrapped around her ankles. The vapor then turned darker and seemed to break apart into individual black dots. Then the pain came. The brush of a wing, the soft brush of fur? And then the fine unseen prick of a pin. And then ten pins stabbed at her. Then what felt like a hundred were whirling up her legs, under her dress and on her eyelid. They were in her hair when she managed to scream.
Leslie opened her eyes and she was standing in the rain. She had not thought about that day since she was a kid. She took a deep breath, shrugged her shoulders and rolled her neck. This was not that day she thought. She reached into the shed and with one motion grabbed the second shovel and the gardening gloves.
“Get your shit together Leslie,” she said aloud and slammed the shed door closed. There standing behind where the shed door had been was the outline of a person wearing a shiny, wet poncho. Leslie muffled a scream with her hand. The other person did not muffle hers, which was quick and followed by a nervous laugh.
“What shit Leslie?”
“ Eva! ...Shit! ...What are you doing out here? You scared me to death!’
There standing in front of me was my other neighbor and friend. A very pregnant, short brunet. So what are we up to? I’m bored. I just had to get out of the house.
“Boy, are you going to wish you hadn’t.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Very Short Story

They continued to drive through Texas. With the air conditioner broken they avoided thinking about the heat by singing along with the radio. The bank they had robbed was two hundred miles away, but Cindy and Biff, still couldn’t believe they had gotten away with it. It kept escaping their memory. For a moment, it was just another search for the next Dairy Queen, not for a way out of Texas, the heat and the lack of obtainable dreams.
An armadillo crossed the highway. He was not afraid.