Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Things I Remember:
My first memory was my father teaching me to tie my shoes at three years old.  I remember after successfully tying my shoe I ran into the house to show my mother what I had accomplished. 
At age four I remember there was a poster of Queensryche on my paneled, bedroom wall and I refused to change my clothes in my room because I felt like they were watching me. 
I remember hearing the Barberton Speedway loudly at night. 
I recall one time I was playing outside our trailer near a swing set that my dad was building but never finished.  Over at the next house there were two huge, black dogs that appeared to be the size of horses that were digging through the neighbor’s trash.  I was petrified with fear and quickly ran to my trailer before they could see or chase me.
One day, a tire plant that was not a mile from our trailer park was consumed with fire.  I didn’t know what was going on until I left my friend’s house and walked down the street to mine.  The smoke filled my nostrils and I looked up to see where the smell was originating.  The sky was black and was raining little black ashes all over me and the ground.  Upon noticing this I looked at the bottom of my bare feet and they were completely black.  I raced home to my mom, afraid of what was happening outside that I didn’t understand.  
I don’t remember stealing a gummy worm from the store.  I remember standing outside the car while Mom went inside and my dad yelled at me and explained why stealing was wrong.  He took the gummy worm and threw it into the street.  I can vividly remember seeing the brightly-colored gummy worm covered in cinders.
A few times my dad and I took a kite to fly out behind the trailer park where there was an open lot.  I remember the wind, the cold and seeing the red, yellow, black and orange kite hovering in the blue sky. 
Back then I had to ask my parents for the rare privilege to drink a Coke.  That didn’t stop me from sneaking drinks of theirs when they weren’t looking.  On this particularly memorable time, Dad had used his near-empty Coke can for an ashtray.  It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever tasted. 
I enjoyed the company of our elderly neighbors so one Saturday morning I left the house to go over to their trailer and see them.  My parents were still asleep and had no idea where I had gone.  That was the day I learned not to go anywhere without telling my parents.  
I remember my parents taking me down the street to Dairy Queen where I would always get a chocolate M&M blizzard. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What Love Means

What Love Means
At the age of five I learned what love meant.  Love meant that Mommy wanted to be with someone else besides me.  At the age of eight I saw what love meant.  Love meant that Daddy loved his alcohol.  At the age of seventeen I felt what love meant.  Love meant that instead of being at home, I was in the back of his car.  At the age of twenty-six I knew what love meant.  Love meant that I had love myself enough to do anything to get away from my husband.  
For once in my life my head was clear and I knew what had to be done.  It was a difficult plan because I had never even thought about killing someone or had any idea how to do it.  I mean, I have watched TV and cop shows and whatever so I kind of knew how not to leave clues.  Don’t do crazy internet searches, pay with cash, and don’t leave your hardware store receipts around.  Making it look like an accident would be the difficult part.  
I sat down at the kitchen table and took my fork with shaking hands as I plunged the utensil into my steaming macaroni.  He sat on the couch, hand down his pants as if he thought his junk was going to walk away and he had to anchor it down.  He was a damn slob and the mere reminder of his presence; the smell of his sweat on his dirty laundry, the shavings left in the sink in the morning, the coffee cup left on the counter after he left was enough to make my insides squirm with disgust and hatred.  
“Dan, dinner’s getting cold,” I called from the table reluctantly.  I would rather be anywhere else in the world than sitting besides him at the dinner table.  He grabbed his beer can off the arm of the sofa and burped his way over to the table, grabbed the bowl and retreated to the couch.  I let out a sigh of relief as he plopped down on the couch.  Dodged a bullet.   I stared at him as he took bite after bite, the noise of his chewing affected me and made me want to get sick.  If only I had spiked his macaroni with arsenic in a matter of hours he’d be writhing in agony, inches from a painful death.  But, arsenic could be traced and I was looking for something more along the lines of an accident.  That specific accident I hadn’t yet figured out but hopefully my brain would come up with an idea soon before he decided it was time for my face to meet the back of his hand again.   

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kitty Alarm Clock

Kitty Alarm Clock

The sun that creeps in silently
Onto my sleeping eyes
Is not my only indication
That it is time to rise
With quiet mews and sandpaper licks
Ian the cat tells me to wake
He jumps on my back and paws at me 
Persistent despite my shakes
His whiskers tickle my face
Under covers I attempt to hide
Only when I stand awake
Will my alarm clock be satisfied 

Just a goofy little poem about what I experience.  Every. Single. Morning. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to the regularly scheduled blog...

So since last Thursday I've been busy preparing for Hurricane Irene and haven't been able to post or write anymore.  I'll be back to posting tomorrow when my life gets back to its regular schedule. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dragon in Captivity

And you thought dragons didn’t exist!” the San Diego Zookeeper exclaimed loudly into her headset microphone.  “You are among the first visitors in the world to see this new and exciting creature!  An animal only believed to be alive in myth and so dangerous it has to be properly subdued in order to keep its aggression in check!”
“Yeah, this seems kinda dangerous, Mom,” Ginny whispered as crossed her arms.  “Something about a fire-breathing, aggressive reptile doesn’t seem too family-friendly.” 
“Oh Ginny, hush!” her Mom shushed her as she glanced over at her husband who was bouncing Ginny’s younger sister on his shoulders.  “Isn’t this fun, sweetie?!” 
“Dragon!” the little girl squealed with excitement as she clutched a stuffed dragon from the zoo gift shop.  
Ginny rolled her eyes at her mother’s lack of attention and turned her focus to the large purple curtain that was obscuring the dragon from view.
“This nearly two-ton reptile was discovered in the Himalayan mountains and is believed to have a life-span of over two hundred years.  With a fire-breathing capability of temperatures near 2,000 degrees, introducing...” the zookeeper paused for great effect while the curtains began to part. Ginny leaned forward with the crowd in attempt to get a better glimpse. 
“Krypton!” she yelled as the curtains parted to reveal the mysterious dragon.  The crowd was quiet as everyone surveyed the creature that they’d only seen in illustrations or computer-generated movies.  
The dragon’s scaly skin changed color as it moved and smoke rings rose from his nose to the sky of the open-air cage.  
“Krypton has been discovered to have chameleon-like properties and can change the color of his skin.  Impressively, he also has a wing-span of nearly 50 feet.”  Krypton paced his cage and his piercing yellow eyes stared into the crowd.
“Mom, I don’t like this.  He’s freaking me out,” Ginny tugged at her mother’s sleeve.  After a full minute of deathly quiet, the crowd irrupted into cheers and applause.  The Zookeeper beamed and rattled off a few more facts but Ginny wasn’t listening.  Her eyes were glued to Krypton’s yellow and fierce eyes that pointedly gazed at the audience.  
The noise from the crowd began to agitate the beast as he moved roughly against his shackled ankles.  Krypton let out a huge roar that stunned the audience and they stepped back from the cage quickly.  
“There’s nothing to fear, he’s been given harmless drugs to subdue him and because of those drugs he’s unable to breathe fire,” the Zookeeper attempted to keep the peace.  Krypton roared once more and blew fire at the Zookeeper.  
She quickly was enveloped in flames as the hundreds of people began to scatter like cockroaches.  Ginny was frozen in horror as she watched the Zookeeper flail, scream and writhe in agony.  Her attention was called to the dragon who was now flapping his wings wildly and trying to break free of his confines.  One of his shackles broke loose as the other zoo workers were kept busy trying to put out the fire on the burned woman.  
“He’s getting loose! RUN!” someone yelled and the crowd pushed Ginny into the ground.  As much as she tried to get up she kept being shoved back to the pavement by frantic feet scurrying away from the cage.  Her body ached after being hit numerous times and she screamed for her family.  When she was finally able to get to her feet she saw the dragon had managed to break his other shackle and took flight into the sky and quickly vanished.  
“Ginny!” her mother grabbed her arm and dragged her away from the cage as if the threat was still eminent.
“I told you it was dangerous, Mom!” Ginny cried.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Goofy Ode to PT

I guess it’s just human nature to personify things.  You could personify your pet, your computer, parts of your body or your toys.  It’s like that teddy bear that stares at you pleadingly with its sad, beady eyes as you downgrade it from its prominent place on your bed to the closet where all your clothes going to Goodwill has piled up.  Some even personify their car, name it and refer to it as ‘him’ or ‘her.’ 
It’s just a car.  
Today, my husband and I bought our first car together.  We traded in my PT Cruiser in favor of a newer model Jeep, and while I’m ecstatic with the new car... PT was a faithful friend. 
Cars symbolize more than just transportation but the easiest method of human freedom.  PT offered me that freedom like I’d never experienced.  Because she was brand new and full of life (unlike my previous car), we could travel anywhere and I knew that we’d be fine.  When I stepped into that new car, put my seatbelt on and felt my heart pound and palms sweat with the stress of driving a new, fragile vehicle off the lot, I knew I was in love. 
Perhaps it’s my own version of personification but PT and I have been through a lot together.  
I worked and paid my car payments on time diligently.  Despite still living at home with my parents, paying my car payment gave me a sense of adulthood and responsibility that was lacking.  Paying for PT had the added bonus of helping me to establish credit (which has come in quite handy ever since). 
The first trip I took in PT was a five hour trip to Tombstone with my brother and my husband (then boyfriend).  My brother is really interested in history and fascinated by Tombstone so I decided that ten hours of driving there and back in one day was totally doable in PT.  She made the trip there and back beautifully without a single hiccup (though, the same can’t be said for me who did a significant amount of driving in one day!). 
Following the maiden voyage to Tombstone there were trips to San Diego, Phoenix and everywhere in-between.  Throughout the early years of my adulthood, PT was there taking me where I needed to go and getting me there safely (well, I think I have a hand in some of that... I [was] the driver).  
I cried into her steering wheel when I learned my boyfriend had a week warning before he was headed to Navy boot camp.  
I stuffed PT’s cargo area with decorations for my wedding.  PT drove us home after the wedding was over and the last of the decorations were collected.  
We filled the PT to the brim with all of our belongings after the wedding weekend was over for the drive to our new and foreign home 2,500 miles away. 
The road trip from Yuma, Arizona to Virginia Beach, Virginia was a bittersweet event in my life.  On the one hand, it was a great and exciting adventure.  On the other hand the day we left was one of the saddest days of my life.  Leaving my friends and family in tears was a difficult way to start our journey.  But, we had each other and PT to take us there.  
We got to see the country from the other side of her windows.
And when we finally got to Virginia Beach and settled in a place full of strangers, she felt like my last connection to home, her beautiful Arizona license plate stuck out in a world full of dull, white, boring Virginia ones. 
But now, my only souvenir of PT is my dusty license plate.  And while I may have reluctantly teared up as I watched her drive away for the last time, it was only a car and perhaps I’m just attached to the memories I made while owning her rather than the vehicle itself.  
I tried to finish this yesterday for the official ‘day five’ but yesterday was a busy day.  I’ll try and post ‘day six’ today if I get the time.  If not... I guess I just skipped a day. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Broken New Year's Resolution

The morning sunlight streaming in through the open window wasn’t what woke Tim out of a dead sleep, it was the sound of someone beating on his door that seemed as loud as if they were beating on his ear drums.  
“TIM!” a woman screeched as she proceeded to pound on his front door.  He recognized the voice and was eager to answer until he stood up and saw the body lying on the floor next to him.  With the strength of a tsunami, the previous night’s events washed over his consciousness.  
The club, his ex-girlfriend being fondled by the now-dead man, the fight.
“Open the fucking door!” Tim could tell that Sarah’s voice was getting hoarse from screaming.
“Just a sec!” Tim snapped out of his reverie and his stomach clenched in panic.  He couldn’t let her in with her boyfriend’s body lying face-down in a pool of his own blood and he didn’t have time to clean it up.  He tossed a throw blanket onto the body and ripped the couch cushions off to surround the corpse.  Stepping back to survey his attempt to cover his tracks, he decided that there was no way she could come in. 
Tim smoothed his crazed hair and straightened his gray t-shirt as he checked himself out in the mirror.  I think I can pass for someone who didn’t kill her new boyfriend.
“Sarah, how are you?” he opened the door just enough to fit his body into the doorframe. 
“Don’t fucking ‘how are you’ to me!  You acted like a complete asshole last night and you need to stay the hell away from me,” she cried as she shoved him in the chest full-force.  “I don’t appreciate you punching Chris in the face, we’re over!” 
Sarah’s face was flushed with anger, her violet hair whipped in the wind as if her emotions had suddenly controlled the elements.  She looked like she wanted to claw his eyes out and it was one of the things he loved about her.  Seeing her this furious made him want to grab her around her waist and kiss her right there. 
A combat boot to the groin made him forget any romantic thoughts he had as he doubled over in agony.  
“If you come near me, I’m going to kick you in the nuts again and slap you with a restraining order,” her eyes met his and from the intensity of her gaze, he felt as if he would erupt into flames.  Without wasting another moment Sarah hopped off the porch and her car tore out of the driveway.  As much pain as he was now in, he couldn’t help but miss her as soon as she was gone.  His first love; the woman he had killed for.  
Tim picked himself and his dignity off of the front step and closed his door behind him.  He looked at the lump on the living room floor and sighed.  Only two weeks in to the New Year had passed and Tim had already broken his first resolution: Don’t kill anyone.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cell-Phone Implant

Write a fictional news story based on this headline: Businesswoman Gets First Cell-Phone Implant
In June, thirty-five year old businesswoman Christine Willis, elected to become the first person to receive a cell-phone implant. 
“I was always misplacing it and missing calls with serious clients.  I’d forget to charge it and then I’d have no way of getting into contact with anyone,” she says.  “I’m a forgetful person and this just seemed to be the best solution.” 
The procedure involves sensors to be placed under the tongue to detect speech and in the ear canal to receive the transmitted sound.  The sensors are then connected through various pathways into the brain.  The entire piece is charged by the electric currents produced by the neurons in the brain. 
Critics claim the procedure is dangerous, extremely invasive, and liken it to an electronic leash,
“I would not recommend this type of procedure to anyone,” Dr. Brent Matthews from the Mayo Clinic commented on Christine’s recent surgery.  “It’s invasive, there are risks to the brain involved and it just seems to be a rather ridiculous solution to a problem of forgetfulness.  If you keep losing your keys your not going to attach them to your fingers, are you?” 
Christine responds to the criticism in a positive manner, “This procedure isn’t for everyone, of course.  It is invasive but it has also improved my quality of life.  I’m able to work better and keep in contact with relatives better.”
Christine also doesn’t gloss over the procedure’s drawbacks, “Sometimes if someone calls me in the middle of the night it wakes me up and is highly disruptive.  But then again, if it’s something important than I’m glad it wakes me.  I do have some trouble eating at times.  Food becomes lodged in the sensor but a little mouthwash solves that problem.” 
“I also have to be careful what I say, too,” she laughs while describing how voice-activated dialing can cause problems.  “One time I said to my husband that I felt like pizza for dinner and it automatically called Pizza Hut!” 
While the Cell-Phone Implant Procedure has been done on numerous patients, the product is still in its testing phase and will be available to the general public within the next five years.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Shred On Me

Write from the point of view of a stack of paper a few inches from the shredder. 
Here I sit, inches from death on the corner of some office schmuck’s desk.  The way I look at it, he’ll be doing me a favor.  
No longer am I going to be the coaster for his morning coffee that he always seems to spill down the front of his previously-stained cotton button-up.  I won’t have to watch him sneeze spastically on the computer monitor and look around for a kleenex but resign himself to using one of my precious sheets for a tissue!  I won’t miss hearing him slurp obnoxiously at his Cup of Noodles everyday because his culinary delights are limited to microwavable soup and stale cookies from the office break room.  I won’t have to bear the embarrassing sight of watching him attempt to glance slyly at the butt of the office secretary or hear him whisperingly berate himself for not saying “hi” to her, again. 
Really, I should take it as a compliment that they need to shred me.  Some paper stacks spend their entire lives printed with meaningless dribble like school lunch menus or office memos.  I’m important.  If you were to glance at my immaculately white pages you would be able to find sensitive financial information about the office schmuck’s company and personal information on some of the employees.  I’d have a pretty sweet gig if I was sitting on the CEO’s desk instead of this college-dropout who tries to look up nudey sites on his lunch break.   
I go forward into the shredder valiantly.  I have done my office duty and lived out my life.  I’ve been handled and read by many people and even been scribbled on a few times.  It is my time and I go willingly.  Also, I hope it won’t hurt.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Penny Lane

Since I have taken a hiatus from my novel (because once you stop it's hard to start again), I'm hoping that by using writing prompts I can hone my skill further and hopefully get back into the writing groove.  I've been gathering writing prompt ideas from the internet and I will put them in bold and continue the story from there.  We'll see where this takes us...  

Penny Lane
The detective saw his opportunity.  He grabbed the waitress’s arm and said,
“I’m sorry miss but I must direct you to leave this instant, you’re in danger.” Ethan Valcone wasn’t accustomed to giving orders.  He was a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type man and for the last year of the waitress’s life, his job was to observe and not to speak or act.  He glanced quickly at the waitress’s black name tag to learn the name of the woman he’d been trailing, Veronica.  
Before this moment she had only been known to him by the code-name he had received, Penny Lane.  Ethan assumed that he was kept in the dark about the woman’s true name in order to protect the mission.  Throughout the year of surveillance, he’d spent hours thinking about what a woman such as herself would be called and no other names seemed to fit her besides Penny.  
Like Mt. Vesuvius, the coffee pouring out of Penny’s coffee pot overflowed the cup and the scalding liquid overtook his dinner plate.  She quickly wrenched her arm away from his grasp and stared at him fearfully.  Penny’s brown eyes grew large and looked at Ethan as if he were a hunter with his crosshairs pointed in her direction.  Before she could back away from him he continued,
“The men in the corner booth- don’t look!” he hurriedly whispered as she automatically glanced over her shoulder.  “You need to leave and you need to come with me.”
“How-how can I trust you?” Penny stuttered as tears filled her eyes.  She bit her lip as if trying to decide which way to run.
“Your father, Congressman Bishop has known that you could be a possible target.  He hired me to follow you and protect you.” 
Penny’s eyes darted around her as if to make sure no one was listening in on their conversation,
“Anyone could say that.  Prove to me right now you are who you say you are or I’m taking this can of mace out of my pocket,” Penny threatened as she regained her composure. 
“Your father gave you a code-name, the title of your favorite Beatles’ song,” Ethan leaned forward.  “Penny Lane.”  Penny’s face relaxed and she took her hand out of her pocket.  
“Fine,” she sighed while brushing her curly, copper locks from her face.  “What do you want me to do?”
“There’s a window in the ladies bathroom that opens and leads to the alleyway.  Meet me there in five minutes.  Don’t tell anyone you’re leaving- not your co-workers or your boss. Go.”
“Well so much for this job,” Penny whispered under her breath as she glided toward the back of the diner. 
Ethan chanced a peek at the corner table.  The three men were attempting to blend in with the customers as they sipped their coffee, read their newspapers and chatted lightly.  He rose, tossed a crinkled $20 bill on the table and exited the establishment without drawing attention. 
Penny was already waiting in the rain soaked alley when Ethan arrived.  The November night was chilly and she shivered as she buttoned her cardigan. 
“Now what?” she asked, clearly irritated with his silence.  
Ethan stared for a moment at Penny and sighed.  This was the moment that had been a long time coming.  He’d been dreaming for the last year about finally being alone with her and he felt a twinge of sadness knowing that it would only be temporary.  Her cheeks were alive with the slightest blush and her eyes looked wide and wild.  He was sure if he placed his hand on her neck he would feel her heart beating quickly with adrenaline and fear beneath her milky skin.  Her beautiful long hair reflected the moonlight and her lips glistened seductively.  Ethan wanted so much to kiss those lips that he’d been admiring in numerous surveillance pictures that littered his apartment floor.  
“We’ve got a car coming to take you away to your father’s safe house in the Hamptons,” Ethan’s words poured out of his mouth easily.  The well-rehearsed line that he’d been instructed to tell her in order to make her feel more comfortable made him feel dirty to recite.
“My father doesn’t have a house in the Hamptons,” Penny said slowly as she took a step back from Ethan.  She almost looked like she was thinking about climbing back into the restroom window before the black van pulled into the alley.  
Ethan grabbed  her arms and before she could shriek the van skidded to a halt in front of them.  Two men dressed in black emerged and Ethan threw Penny to them.  They made quick work of duct taping her mouth and tying her up.  One of the men made a move to close the door before Ethan cried, “Wait!” 
He caressed Penny’s face softly and kissed her covered lips,
“I’m sorry we had to meet this way, Penny,” he said softly before the man shoved him out the door.  Ethan lost his balance and tripped into rain puddle.
“Stop!” a man shouted from the other end of the alley.  Three men with guns drawn pointed at Ethan as the van’s tires squealed forward, leaving Ethan alone in the alley.  A shot rang out and caught him in the chest and he collapsed to his knees.  He clutched at his chest as if he could claw out the bullet from his body.  Sinking onto his back he stared at the clouds in the sky as rain began to sprinkle his face.  The world swirled around him but all he could think of was the frightened look on Penny’s face.
        He vehemently wished that he had been the good guy. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Mermaid

          If I had to pick one regret from my life, it would be that I got into the passenger seat of his hot, red convertible.  He was sexy and mysterious and everything I thought I wanted.  After a stream of bad luck with men and being used and left, I was ready for someone exciting and different.  He was the kind of man who made me want to wear mini skirts and sexy high heels.  It felt nice to have someone to dress up for and look forward to seeing. 
The wind whipped my hair as we drove along the midnight Pacific Coast highway.  Normally I would have fretted about the tangles the wind would wind my long, brown hair into but, not tonight.  Tonight I felt like we were flying along the road with not a care in the world.  We were the only two people left on Earth as the radio blared and the engine roared.  My heart pounded in excitement as we raced under a chandelier of stars. 
I took his cigarette from his lips and took a long drag, returning it to him stained with my lipstick.  I touched his collar seductively and asked, 
“Where are we going?” 
He didn’t reply but, as I was quickly learning, that wasn’t unusual.  At times he seemed to be living in his own mind, it was an intenseness that seemed to draw me in.  He glanced over at me with his smoldering eyes and his lips curved into a secretive smile and said nothing. 
I began to imagine my own destinations in my head.  He’d probably planned a romantic midnight picnic on the beach complete with waves crashing, wine and chocolate covered strawberries.  Maybe he’d made reservations at a quaint seaside bed and breakfast where we’d spend the next morning in fluffy bathrobes and eating pancakes. 
We approached a scenic overlook and he pulled off the road, turned off the engine and left the radio on to create romantic ambiance.  I unbuckled my seat belt to nestle close to him before his hand reached out to clasp my face.  I looked at his face,  expecting him to lean close and kiss me but he just stared into my eyes.  He took his thumb and softly brushed my cheek before running it over my lips and smudging my lipstick.  
“Why did you do that?” I brought my hand up to my face to wipe the makeup smudge. 
“Your lips are dirty from the other men you’ve been kissing.”
“Wait! What are you talking about?”
“Look at you, dressed like a tramp,” he swung his hand that had been, seconds before caressing my face in what appeared to be a loving gesture, and brought it down on my eye.  A scream escaped my lips and I grasped blindly for the door handle, the door was locked and my attempts to open it were futile.  I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to reach for the manual lock so I clawed at the handle in vain.  Meanwhile he had excited the vehicle and within what seemed like two strides reached my door. 
He opened the door wildly and grabbed my long hair by the roots, preventing me from doing anything other than screaming and scratching at his hands and arms.  It was then I began to cry which caused my mascara to stream down my face and burn my eyes.  He brought me close to his body in a hug to dominate me, to wear me out and keep me from fighting.  I squirmed and kicked, losing my shoes in the struggle and they landed on the ground near the car.  My throat felt dry and scratchy from screaming.  It was pointless screaming for we were completely alone with nothing but the ocean waves roaring loudly below.  
He clasped his large hand over my throat and squeezed tightly in an effort to stifle my screams.  It worked and the only noises I could manage to make were the attempts I made to breathe.  The beautiful strand of pearls I had clasped around my neck earlier were now digging and pinching my flesh.
“Keep a secret for me.  Take it to your grave,” I could nearly taste his breath as he whispered, “You’re not the first one and you won’t be the last.”  My eyes bulged at the revelation as I looked into his dark, soulless eyes.  He brought us closer and closer to the edge of the cliff and my stomach clenched in horror as I realized what he was going to do to me.  The fear on my face seemed to empower him, making him even more hellbent on his mission.  Despite my strangled screams of “NO!” he held me out over the cliff.  
Effortlessly, he released me and the world sped past my eyes.  My limbs flailed in an effort to catch myself on anything to save me from the fall.  My hair flew up around my face not unlike how it had flown while cruising minutes earlier in the car.  My brain felt like it would explode with the awareness of my impending death. 
All I felt was bone crushing cold when my body hit the water and then there was darkness, my final resting place.  I saw my body sinking further beneath the waves, my brain’s neurons fired for the last time before shutting down to nothingness. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Walk Again

I think I wrote this for my husband while he was in boot camp.  Kind of an goofy, odd thing to write in a letter but, I wanted to give him something different to read about:

Walk Again

I'm running frightened 
Down a deserted street
My bare feet hitting pavement
In a constant beat
My heart pounds hard
Can't wait to be home
It's then I get the feeling
That I'm not alone
There's a rustle in the bushes
To my close right
It's a hungry zombie
Looking for a bite
Blood drips from his mouth
Flesh is caught between his teeth 
What's left of his eyeballs
Looks at me as mere meat
My feet are frozen to the ground
Paralyzed yet I want to flee
I don't seize my chance
And he lunges quick at me
I scream and kick
And kick and scream
It's not long before
There are pieces missing of me
His hands claw my stomach
Blood gushes out in waves
My intestines are in his mouth
Too late to be saved
I gurgle my last breath
Death is closing in
I close my eyes a moment before
I rise to walk again 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Them Devils

        With some difficulty Rebecca turned the key of her mother’s old home.  The past few weeks had been difficult and coming back into the house gave her chills.  
        Her mother had always kept a clean home, but since Rebecca’s father died she seemed to have lost her initiative and pride in her home.  Dust covered nearly every surface and the house was stuffy and stifling.  Rebecca set down her purse in the nearest chair and went back to her car to bring in some boxes.  Sorting through the entire home was going to be chore because her mother had loved to collect clutter, years and years of clutter.  
She decided to start in her mother’s bedroom, thinking that would be the most difficult place to begin and perhaps packing up her mother’s most personal belongings would aid in closure.  The sunlight shone into the bedroom through the dirty windows and the lacy curtains.  She remembered her mother decorating her bedroom with care.  The sunlight bounced off of the pale yellow walls and made the room feel welcoming. 
Rebecca opened her mother’s jewelry box and regretting doing so because it was the sight of her mother’s favorite earrings that caused her to burst into tears.  It’s not that her mother’s death was unexpected but the manner of her death was the hardest part to get over.
Rebecca sat on her mother’s unmade bed and sobbed for a half an hour, grieving that her poor mother had suffered so much in death.  She knew that coming back to the place where her mother had died so violently hadn’t been a good idea but she just couldn’t force herself to bring anyone else here with her.  
Opening the nearest nightstand table she found a leather bound book, wrinkled with age yet barely written in.  She had never seen it before and knew that her mother had never kept a diary but she flipped through the yellowed pages anyway.  In the middle of the journal were a series of pages dated a few weeks before her mother’s death written in her mother’s old fashioned cursive writing.
April 17 9:46 a.m.
I have never kept a record of my life and I never thought at the age of seventy-five that I would start.  But there are things that are happening that I feel there should be a record of in case something happens to me.  And I think that something will happen soon.

They have been getting restless for days.  As I sit here right now I can hear Them downstairs, banging on pipes, knocking over my boxes, and screaming every once and a while.  I’m not sure why They’ve started up again.  They were quiet after I got back from my husband’s funeral for about a month, but now they carry on like They never have before.  I used to hear them sometimes but since George was here I learned to ignore it and he never mentioned hearing Them.  But now, I try not to go down in the basement anymore because They scare me so.  They hide while I do my laundry, I don’t think They like when I turn the light on.  Maybe that’s why they hide.  After I get done with my laundry I carry the basket upstairs and I can feel them nipping at my heals as I go up the steps!  It’s quite painful but I look when I get up to the top and They haven’t broken the skin, yet.  I also think They want my Tabby cat.  She doesn’t go down there much.  I hope I can keep her from going down there.  She’s my only friend since George died and I don’t want Them to get her and hurt her. 
April 20 10:49 p.m.

I am exhausted, They keep me up all night with the noise.  It’s starting to really frighten me.  Tabby seems frightened too, she’s never home and always outside.  I think They get louder when she’s home.
April 22 6:35 a.m. 
Over the last few days I have stopped doing laundry because Them devils in the basement have gotten worse.  Even when I turn the light on I see Their little black fingers reaching for me from the shadows.  The noise in the house has become deafening and sounds like a constant swarm of bees.  My basement door no longer holds the sound and I can’t sleep for the noise.  It’s almost like the sounds are in my brain now. There’s got to be a way to get Them to leave, to stop.  I have no one to call and no one comes to see me now.  I am alone in this.  Just me and Tabby cat. 
April 23 2:53 p.m.
They have never actually talked to me before but I can hear them coming up the stairs and scratching at the basement door.  And today, they started talking to me!  When I first heard Them I screamed and ran out into the backyard.  I didn’t want to come back inside.  What if they find out how to open the door?  I have stopped doing laundry and haven’t been down there in a week so maybe they are getting more advantageous.  They haven’t really said much besides, “blood.”  I am scared out of my mind and I try to spend all of my time in my bedroom, as far from the basement as possible. What could they mean by saying “blood”?
April 26 4:10 a.m. 
I snuck downstairs for a glass of water and of course they were still carrying on.  And then, I saw them sticking their dirty, black, ashen fingers through the crack at the bottom of the door!  I ran up the stairs as fast as my old legs could take me and I’m sitting here crying.  I don’t want Them to get me.  What do they want from me?  Are they here to take me to Hell?  What have I done?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Phantom Hot Dog Stand

        After a few long hours of driving, Russ was ready to get out of his car and stretch his legs.  He glanced at his gas gage which was teetering on empty and located the nearest gas station off the interstate exit.  He rolled down his window to enjoy the cool desert breeze that ruffled his hair as he directed his car off to the ramp.
  The gas station looked like a lighted oasis in the middle of what seemed like no where.  The florescent lights were a beacon for travelers in need of cigarettes, beer or gasoline.  Russ was only in need of the latter and he pulled up to the gas pump.  As he put the car into park his stomach growled loudly, proclaiming his body’s need for fuel too.  The candy bar he’d eaten twenty miles ago sure hadn’t gone far and his only alternative was a turkey sandwich which sat in the passenger seat that his mom had gave him as he had left home that morning.  For some reason his mom couldn’t remember that he hated turkey and the sight of the sandwich nearly made him lose his appetite.  He really didn’t want to eat anything at the gas station, the greasy food had probably been rotating on the warmer all day.
  Just as he was exiting his vehicle to move toward the gas pump a light came on from across the road.  The light shone from a hot dog stand which had set up shop for the night.  Surprisingly within seconds the smell of freshly cooked hot dogs wafted to Russ' nose which made his stomach growl with anticipation.  He decided not to ignore his biological need any longer and crossed the road to the stand.
Marty’s Hot Dog Haven was sitting in a sandy lot all by itself in the midst of ruts from truck tires and dry desert bushes.  The little silver cart’s umbrella was lit brightly, the stripes appearing like a circus tent of hot dog goodness.  The radio sitting on the cart was blaring country music and the hefty man behind the cart jiggled to the music.
“Hello there, hungry fellow,” the man said through his thick, black mustache.  The man’s shirt matched his umbrella and he wore a stark white apron that stood out boldly in the desert darkness.  “Been traveling all day?  Need a tasty ballpark hot dog to satisfy your every culinary want and desire?  Here,” he shoved a fresh hot dog in Russ' direction.  He took the naked hot dog and looked at the man questioningly.
“Oh, you’re the kinda guy who wants all the fixin’s, huh?”  He grabbed the hot dog, slammed it into a paper tray and smothered it with chili and topped it with shredded cheese.          
       "Oh yeah, looks perfect doesn’t it?  Makes me want to cry,”  He poked a plastic fork into it and held it toward his customer.
“How much will it be for this one?” Russ asked.
“Oh, that one’s on the house!” The man smiled.  Russ looked at the man curiously and he cautiously took his first bite.  When the simple food hit his tongue it bursted with flavor and he downed the entire hot dog in three bites.
“That was the best hot dog I’ve ever eaten in my life!” Russ' eyes bulged with surprise.
“I know, it’s like heaven on a bun... without the dying part.  I almost want to spank it!” The man turned up the country music and began to jiggle some more, his large stomach kept swaying long after he had stopped dancing.  The man’s strange demeanor made Russ uncomfortable but he was willing to overlook the man’s oddness to taste another heaven-sent hot dog.  
“Could I get another one?  How much would it be for a plain one?”
“$2.50,” the man popped another one onto a bun and handed it to him.  Russ counted his money, handed the man the cash and put a dollar tip in the jar sitting on the stand. 
“Thank you, thank you!”  the man exclaimed cheerfully as Russ topped his meal with ketchup and relish before walking away.  “Wait!” the man cried suddenly to Russ' back.  Russ turned, raised his eyebrow, and waited for the man to continue, “Do you have everything you need?”
“Yeah...” he continued to walk away feeling slightly strange about the round man behind the cart.  Russ took another bite and dripped relish in a large glob on the front of his shirt.  He turned around to grab a napkin off the hot dog cart and the cart and the man had vanished. 
“What the hell?” he glanced around while chewing the delicious hot dog.  He was standing in an empty sandy lot in front of the gas station.  He couldn’t even hear the horrible country music the man had been blaring.  Perplexed and slightly freaked out he gobbled the rest of the hot dog, filled up his gas tank and turned out onto the road.  As he passed the sandy lot, the stand had appeared again and the fat man was waving at him as he proceeded to jiggle dance.  Another glance in his rear view mirror as he pulled onto the freeway revealed the hot dog cart was once again missing and Russ couldn’t drive away fast enough. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sorry To Copy, Mr. Lichtenstein

When I was first looking for artwork to fill up my first place, I saw this print on allposters.com and I loved it for a kitchen.  It wasn't the typical countryish kitchen print but at $60, I wasn't willing to shell out the cash for it.  Especially since I wanted a little project to do... 

You can view the original here.

I had an 8" X 11" canvas so I drew it out first:

Measuring out and drawing all the lines in the back was so time consuming but the black and white stripes would really make or break the picture so I knew I had to include them.

 Then I used a black paint pen to get a crisper line for the stripes.  TOOK FOREVER!

Stripes were finished and I began painting the fruit in the bowl.  The yellow and red were just straight acrylic paint but the oranges I mixed a little color to make them a little different and to stand out. 

I wanted the grapes to be more colorful than in the original painting and it took me a while to mix the colors to my liking. 

I used the paint pen to do the outlining and a grey acrylic paint for the bottom.  I'm surprised it came out so well for a DIY painting.  I feel bad about copying but... it's not like I'm going to sell it or anything.