691 Words Plus A Sentence.

I’m uncertain as to whether I am understanding, and as a result, responding accordingly to a recent Daily Post prompt. But in all honesty, they never pay me any attention over there anyway. So I suppose that it doesn’t matter if I’m spot-on, or off-target to the point of looking much like Mr. Magoo shooting a potato gun backwards into a wind tunnel.

Yeah, you’re trying to envision that now, aren’t ya?

I DO however, know that I’m well within stated regs in regards to Master Class 2013, and I’m also certain that the Professor pays attention to me over there. So much so, that it behooves me to regularly ensure that all my “i’s” are crossed and my “t’s” dotted, before publishing.

Having now done so, following is my response to both prompts. As always, please play along, and also as always, I hope you enjoy!

Copyright: Robert Hunt

Copyright: Robert Hunt

It was only a duck pond, at the back of the farm.

But it hadn’t always been that way, no. It had started its life as a crater; blown out of the earth from a shell that had hoped to slam itself noisily into the building that actually stood several hundred feet from where the missile eventually took root instead.

As these things go, the crater was quickly made useful as it filled with soldiers, huddled together in a cold, wet, quivering mass; all in the hopes that their proximity to each other, combined with their quasi-concealment, would somehow prevent them from taking similar shots – from much smaller, yet equally deadly shells – to their own bodies.

As the scout furtively raised his head over the brim to see if they were alone, the round that blasted arrogantly through his skull quickly provided both him and his comrades with dramatic evidence of the answer that they were hoping to not receive.

Leonard wanted to vomit as Scout’s blood and brain sprayed across the pit, covering the other soldiers faces and mouths. But he found that he’d no more substance to expel, and even less energy required to carry through with the exercise anyway. In fact, he’d done so so often, that Leonard could honestly not see where he should ever need to vomit another day in his entire life, once he got out of this unholy mess.

If he got out of this unholy mess.

“Martin…”

“Yes Lenny?”

“Do you… well, do you ever wish that it was over?”

“The war? Of course I do, you dolt!”

“No, no. Not the war, Marty. Everything.”

“Everything? You mean like, the world, the universe, time itself? What are you doing mate? Going all philosophical, at the very moment Jerry is trying to blow our fool heads off?”

“Well, we might not have any other time to do so, you see…”

“Blimey! We’re trying to get our arses out of here! Not start a debate with the High Lord Above and His Boy over the meaning of life. The ‘meaning of life…’ there is no meaning to it at all, if we can’t get out of here with it still in our pockets!”

Leonard knew that his chum was right of course, and as the clamor of explosions protested closely overhead, he realized once again how true it was, that the next serving of splashing brains could be his to provide, if he found himself unable to get his head out of the damned clouds.

But still. How he wished that it were all over. Over and done, and everyone assigned to their new and eternal dwelling places. Of course, there was still that certain fear that his would be the dwelling place less desired. But war had an odd way of making a man fear hell less than heaven, as it is common to fear the thing you don’t know, over the thing you do.

Leonard’s reflective fog dissipated abruptly as Marty roughly jostled his shoulder while shouting, “Oi! Time to go laddy!”

Taking a fools gamble on a sudden lull in the general chaos, the band of men rose haphazardly from the shell-blown trench, only to be met by an unexpected and fresh swarm of projectiles, buzzing through them in a newly formed river of red, like a metallic wind hell-bent on creating of itself a tornado. Leonard wasn’t the first to fall, but by the time the round that would pierce him did, he’d seen enough of his comrades crumble as to make him aware that this very day he could well be seeing the High Lord Above’s Boy in person. As he lay in the bottom of the crater, his blood pumping ever efficiently through the two new gaping holes torn through his neck, he murkily realized that he had received his wish after all. If nothing else, it really was all over now. Just the Reckoning left, he reckoned, and then he could call it a day forever more. As the blood continued to burble out, he inexplicably smelt the pungent odor of pond water permeating his dying nostrils, while swearing to himself that he could hear the faint murmur of approaching ducks…

•••

From Master Class: “Tara of Thin Spiral Notebook… was asked (some time ago, honestly) to choose the assignment for the next class. I gave her no specific instructions, and she chose…” from Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane.”

To The Eye of The Beholder

Daddy… Are you crying?

You’d be surprised at how often I hear that question.

And you’d be similarly surprised at how often I am forced to squeak out a dishonest “no” from my phelgm-filled throat, whilst hastily wiping away any evidence to the contrary from my moistened eyes.

Today, Jen’s Tuesdayer Army celebrates “Beautiful” on Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday, and for this prompt I could literally litter you with song samplings to last well over the next several months.

But I won’t.

I haven’t enough tears.

My song bucket this week is filled with choices that to me, express my belief that beauty lies in hope. But it also lies in sorrow. It lies in the sun, and it lies in the thunder storm. It lies in victory, and it lies in defeat. In short, beauty lies at either end of life’s spectrum, versus the muddy monontonous middle – the very area where most of us feel “safe” enough to normally reside. Following is a mere sampling of what I see Beauty as being.

First, we have hope…

Followed by sorrow…

Then we have sun…

Followed by thunder…

Victory…

Then defeat…

And then, if you are among the very bravest of the brave, and the wisest of the wise, you recognize the aforementioned belief that the middle is the very last place to be, as it’s both ends of the spectrum that bring beauty to life. For it is only through the constant interplay between this absolute darkness and the purest light – the sun and the rain – that the brilliant rainbow that Life truly is, can come bursting through…

•••

And to the eye of this one beholder at least; that, my friends, is what Beauty truly is.

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Move On Up

“The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.”

~ Sylvia Plath

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I wonder,

How can someone so singular in mind,

Be so double in their standards?

How can someone so longing to be freed from outside opinion,

Be so ready to compartmentalize all others?

How can someone so desiring of respect from this very same outside,

Be so ready to marginalize all those who would freely give it.

I wonder,

But in knowing that no answer to my puzzlement is forthcoming,

Decide to wonder no more.

•••

Deciding that Rochelle’s image provided a near-perfect excuse to empty my mental closet of some very old and unneeded worry, I jumped full-on with this week’s Friday Fictioneers. I hope you decide to jump on (full or otherwise) as well…

My Prayer…

eustace

“Please.”

The single hardest, single-syllable word I ever had to say.

“Please.”

Forcing it through clenched teeth. Reluctantly, quietly. Earnestly.

Please.

Alone. No other words allowed. No other thoughts entertained.

“Please.”

Just one word to net it all. One word to express the whole ocean of pain, sorrow, regret and yearning. One word only, in asking for intervention.

“Pleeeeaase…”

The breath catches. The tears break. Tumbling in an ever-increasing stream, as their weight pulls my body bluntly face-first to the floor.

“Please. Please, please, please, please…”

Bits of un-chewed food spit forth as I moan through my petition, increasingly acute.

“(Please, please, please, please, please, please…)”

Unable to breathe, the words are now uttered only in my mind, as the rest of my body heaves itself to release deep sobs, long buried by a soul afraid of it’s own life. It’s own potential. It’s own beauty.

Please.

There is no answer. There never is. But the sobbing slowly subsides, and The Darkness reluctantly retreats.

“Please.”

An unforeseen feeling of warmth, of comfort even, comes over me. A quiet yet strong voice – maybe of my own making, or maybe His – whispers to me, “Trust Me to handle this, and we’ll make it through. Trust Me to be in control, and I will walk you Home.”

Realizing it my choice to make, I think a moment, then utter,

“Please.”

This post is being brought to you by both a recounting of Real Life experiences, and by the WordPress Daily Prompt’s question of “Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself?” I would hope that in this case, the answer is clear.

David’s White Coat.

You might think that it should be The Clash, but it won’t.

Or possibly Judas Priest is the one band you think I’ll address today, but they’re not the winners either.

Surely you all know me well enough to know that it couldn’t possibly be Bobby Darin, as I do so loathe going with the over-the-top obvious in these matters.

And to those who know the inner me very well as well, perhaps you think The Bolshoi will be the band who rates my five, but even these lovely lads will be passed up for today.

And they will be likewise treated, as even more important than they, New Model Army has for many a year led my heart’s fray.

First formed in 1980, and still recording and touring till this day, these boys out of Yorkshire, England first captured me in 1988, with my unplanned purchase of their self-named EP tape (one of the many such bands that I came to love, after purchasing their album based SOLELY upon the artwork) – an EP tape that awoke my melodic and social senses with an immediate kick to the mental stones, partially due to their message of bleached lab coats gone mad…

David, my dearest friend and mentor during my stay in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at a little USMC air station called New River, chose this very song to last-dance to when he was leaving, discharge papers in-hand. And while that experience burned into my memory cells, it would prove to be a different N.M.A. song altogether that highlighted the “Tribe” that I had found for the first time ever, during those stormy days of my youngish life…

Appearing on their “Thunder & Consolation” album – a disc that would forever change the way I looked at people, “Vagabonds” was only bested by the following little ditty. A song of no consequence, unless of course, you listened to the lyrics…

Like many bands in my life, these boys and I parted ways at some point, though neither one of us will ever truly know why. And it wasn’t until we reconnected that these avowed witches were able to (once again) help to explain to me my avowed Christian beliefs, all while talking to me about “me…”

Once we reconnected, I went on a mad flourish (yes, complete with wrists a’ flailing, if you please) to catch up on all their efforts that I had missed out on while being absent. And as a result, your bonus track for today comes before track #5…

But alas, track #5 must ALWAYS come, and in the case of New Model Army, and in relation to a 44-year-old post-punk punk, the following provides strange consolation to an oldish man getting ready himself to be reborn…

Since 1988, they’ve spoken to me, consoled me and urged me on. I’m quite certain they never knew that they did so, but I’d like to thank them for the favor none the less. New Model Army – you should check them out.

•••

Jen, God bless ya for starting Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday, and God bless ya even more for providing us with the “favorite band” prompt for this week.

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