706 Words Plus A Sentence

Parallax, parallax, parallax.

Say it three times, and it’s yours. Write it three times and, well, I suppose you’ve wrote it three times.

A new word learned, but of my Master Class and Inspiration Monday mash-up (as always, the prompts are in bold), this is only my second go – and fittingly enough – a response of sorts to my previous effort.

vw-inmonpromo

storch-badgeI do hope that this second entry helps to explain Carl at least a touch bit further to those readers who were ready to take up Lou’s defense unabashedly (myself included), and as always, I hope that you enjoy…

I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. Up until everything went to hell that is, I thought as I smiled at him. One last time, same as I always had.

But as had become the norm, Lou’s response was not at all as it had once been. No, I could feel that – much like his idle stare – his love was gone, somehow vacant. His desire, gone, somehow removed. His trust in me was gone… Just gone.

The accident had changed Lou, making him not only untrusting or me, but untrusting of every man.

I’m sure his ex had some sort of subversive say in this. The bitch always did, after all. He relied too heavily upon her opinion, even though while he lay there in the hospital, she came only once, and even then just to bully him in regards to the “maintenance” he found himself unable to pay, due to his latest misfortune.

And to himself, I suppose he felt he was just that. A misfortune. An unintentional misery.

But to me, he was beautiful. Scars and all, pain and questions be damned, to me – at one point – he was Beautiful. To me, he had shown through it all. His children were great kids, and a testament to the man he was. True, they’d always had an inkling – but none of them, not even the daughter – gave up on him when he eventually came out, unlike their mother, who had so readily done so well before.

Her loss was most definitely my gain, and I gladly caught him when first she gave him the boot. While I was younger and more experienced, that didn’t matter to me, as he was the one so much more well versed as to life in general. True, I tried in vain to create of my young career a caricature of an older persona believable, all while he partied much too hard, trying to reconnect with a youth that was stole years prior. But we still truly knew each other, and I marveled at his wisdom, while enjoying the lovemaking that we shared resulting from his years of tutelage – his years of understanding, appreciating, and loving the human heart.

But then, as he became so mindful to tell people, the accident occurred. He was hammered at the time, and sadly, since we had a third party designated, I found myself none too sober either. As such, I watched him fall. Watching him try in vain to avoid flakes that would’ve never hurt him regardless, I screamed as he fell hard and fast to the ground. I screamed knowing that I couldn’t catch him this time.

I remembered being in tears, chasing his ghost down the stairwells as I prayed for his safety to a God that I hadn’t believed in in years. Praying, until I met his battered and wobbly flesh convulsing on the ground floor pavement.

Battered, but not dead. Wobbly, but not defeated.

But over time I found that sometimes death comes slowly, and his came painfully so at that. The grey cloak of mistrust covered first his face, eventually boring deep into his eyes.

He began insisting that there were others more important to me.

There weren’t, though there were dear friends who supported me.

He insisted that I found peace in another.

There wasn’t, though I did eventually take his advise unwittingly.

He insisted that I would leave him,

I wouldn’t, but eventually – and once I realized that he had already done the same to me – I did.

A strange parallax our relationship had become, one wherein he had thrust his own traits, his own desires, instead upon me – almost as if to justify himself feeling as he did. It was a relationship made all the sadder because that was exactly what his ex had previously done to him.

I loved him. I loved us. But he was sadly incapable of either, and now we are both alone.

So what’s so “extraordinary” about this tale, you ask? Well it’s just that. That no matter un-extraordinary it was, nor how painful it eventually became, I still consider myself blessed by a God I might yet one day believe in, that at one point in time it was mine to share in, mine to behold.

•••

Advertisements

792 Words Plus A Sentence, Plus Another Sentence

As honored as I always am to be the one chosen worthy to pick a prompt, I very rarely ever provide just one, as I feel that the challenge host may also want a say in the matter. And this week Prof. SAM did just that, deciding to offer the Master Class 2014 students (2) of the (3) I provided as options (please click the link above to learn more about the prompts, and to play along).

We were told we could use either one or both, so you know that I just had to try for the latter. I also decided to take the Prof.’s lead and jump on board with the Inspiration Monday prompt (using “epilogue”) as well. I hope it all worked well in the end, and I do hope that you enjoy…

storch-badge vw-inmonpromo

Unruffled, Carl smiled at me one last time, as he’d always done.

That smile, the very one that originally attracted me to him long before it ever turned into such a nuisance. The smile that used to arouse every last inch of even my soul, had since then become almost a standard bore to his condescension. His condescension not just to all men, but especially towards me. When first I realized that I could no longer look pretty for him, and attempted to become more learned in order to somehow compensate – to have more to offer – I read somewhere something to the effect of, “There are some people you like immediately, some whom you think you might learn to like in the fullness of time, and some that you simply want to push away from you with a sharp stick.”

Now what the somewhat naive author of this particular ideology didn’t realize, was that of these three options, the worst type – the very worst – was that of the unmentioned fourth kind, primarily those like Carl. Those who presented themselves initially as the former type, when in fact and over the course of time, proved to be truly those of the latter.

Carl was my first you see. And right from there, I should’ve realized the epilogue of this story. He was younger than I, but more experienced, and much more comfortable in his own skin. Partially as a result of his being a lifelong “team player,” he had no children to explain things to (as did I) and he had absolutely no qualms about publicly bantering his freak flag about, (as I sometimes – well, most oft-times – was fearful to do.)

Ultimately, he wasn’t really the one who called me out. But he, him and that damned smile, was the first one there, waiting to catch me when it happened. His scruffy beard, disheveled wardrobe and bookish knowledge, all played well into the role of the professor that he was trying valiantly to project early on in his career. And when he placed it all “just so” – again with that damned smile to wrap up the whole package – I found myself beyond smitten, finally ready to embrace and experience a truth about me left for years in the dark closet of my being.

We enjoyed a love together longer than I thought possible. Longer (and more passionately I might add) than I previously had experienced with any woman I had ever swore my allegiance to. It was a sort of heaven really, and I’m almost certain that ours might have even been a case of “happily ever-after,” had the accident not occurred.

I won’t tell you too much about it, as it is still painfully embarrassing to this day. Suffice to say, there was a lot of alcohol, a blustery night, one last joint, a menacing snowflake or two, and a 3rd floor patio with unreliable rails involved. My chances of survival were almost guaranteed at that height (though mom swore that my continued breath upon this plain was “simply miraculous,” and a sure sign from Jesus that all my recent “impure love” foolishness had to stop to prevent further punishment), but the visual quality of my upper body and face were seriously in doubt, as in the game of rock/paper/scissors, it turns out that hardened cold concrete always beats aged bone and drunken wobbly flesh. Carl wasn’t the one to blame for the fall, but this time he wasn’t able to catch me either.

The time spent in the hospital was lonely, although he did visit more often than most others would have, or did. But when he wasn’t there, the clock came to a standstill. And that sense of oppressive timelessness and stale air one day interrupted our latest visit, as I noticed that even when he was there, the second-hand ticks increased by only a fraction, the dust motes dragging but painfully slow against the windowed sunshine. I started to notice, that even when he was there the room was still empty, sans my self-loathing, his damned smile, and me. I started to notice, even when he was there, he continued to not catch me.

I suppose I’ll never know if his heart had simply given up and moved on, or if in my anguish I’d inadvertently pushed him out in some form or fashion. Regardless, I do know that by the end, his smile – that damned smile – the very one that had once wooed me into a near-frenzy, only now served to turn my previously astute soul into obtuse stone.

So I survived, much less attractive than before, and now far more alone. Deciding to live on in the knowledge that regardless the gender, lovers will only use you until they’ve taken their fill, before moving on. And regardless of what mom may say to the contrary, I will now forever feel that while I’m still technically alive, my ”miraculous survival” will not change my opinion that Heaven is an idea constructed by man to help him cope with the fact that life on earth is both brutally short, and paradoxically, far too long.

•••

109 Words Plus A Sentence: Ghosts Of Dachau

Once again, I am “mashing” my response to Master Class 2014 with the Friday Fictioneers prompt, and I do this for two reasons primarily.

Firstly, it permits me to somewhat “jump” the 100 word requirement for the latter. And secondly, it allows me to once again recommend that most of you should really try your hand at the former.

As always, I hope you enjoy, experience.

hay-bales-sandra-c

Copyright – Sandra Crook

I observed the shit-stained haystack once more.

Had its movement been caused by the mere trundling of the cart, or were itchy passengers buried within?

As I wondered, I pondered… what are we doing? Why are we doing this?

I’d killed before. But he, a soldier, was armed with the same professional bloodlust as I. I would never forget, as out of breath, he dropped both arms to his side, still gripping the knife in his left hand, while his brain slowly acknowledged my round, that had just torn through it.

Yes, I’d killed before. But this was different. These, mere civilians.

Children.

Children deemed unfit due merely to their heritage, their identity, their God.

Our God.

My Gott…!

I closely observed the haystack once more, before waving on the shit-stained skittish driver with his dubious cargo, whispering to no one as they pensively passed, “Gott Sie segnen…”

•••

It’s no great secret that I plug-in a song at the end of every post, and it’s also no great secret that I never really push it upon you. But just this once, please, listen…

.

654 Words Plus A (n excessively long run-on) Sentence

So when Professor SAM – on behalf of Master Class 2014, and via Kelly Garriott Waite – gave us the longest written prompt in the vast history of written prompts EVER (thanks A LOT, Kelly!), I of course had to rise to the challenge.

I hope I didn’t screw it up too badly.

storch-badge

Dad was dead.

That much could not be denied.

I’d seen him breathe his last. Hell, I’d damned near given him permission to do so. He would never have left mom otherwise, and she was very much in need of his finally finding some sort of peace, some sort of solace.

Mom was still around of course, but only by mere inches.

The other woman – the one I thought I would love forever – offered some token assistance, but her crocodile tears could hardly hide the gleam of the “Steve McQueen-esque” boys she was not-so secretly dreaming of, while feigning concern for me and mine. She escaped at her first self-serving opportunity, and left me alone with a grieving widow, one going through an unwanted separation 45 years in the making, and a Life for us all that would simply never be quite the same again.

I suppose you could say that, as far as self-serving opportunities go, she got out just in the nick of time.

240591.bird-ostrich-photogaphy-head-in-sand-s.txt

I was born in a Roman Catholic house. And in these regards, the capital “R” and “C” couldn’t have been more prominent had Jesus Himself come down from a puff of blue sky, and utilized His very Own personal holy typewriter in creating the cards that they carried continually throughout their lives. Cards so well used that the fictional corners of each would’ve been much more like dog-eared worry stones than they would mere 90 degree angles. Personally, I struggled for years against their R.C. ideology, all while still hoping to believe that J.C. was quite alright with me. They in turn struggled against understanding how I could ever sit with “fags and junkies,” when J.C. Himself wouldn’t have been caught dead – well, resurrected, I suppose – with that sort of crew. Whores and tax collectors, sure, but even He had His standards, they presumed.

Mom was losing her grip fast, but not so much as to not realize that when she went, her “faggot-loving” son could very well tank the whole deal of a promised familial salvation. As such, she made me promise to believe as she. And, as I figured that she was the only woman to ever truly love me, I lied and said I did. This resulted in more than one of my friends – long after dad’s service had been performed – thinking to themselves, “He was the only one left to fulfill that contract and try to justify the labor and the harshness and the mistakes of his parents’ lives, and that responsibility was so clearly his, was so great an obligation, that it made unimportant and unreal the sight of the motley collection of pall-bearers staggering under the weight of his father’s body, and the back door of the hearse closing quietly upon the casket and the flowers.”

What can I say? My friends have always been fans of run-on, overly literate smart ass commentary.

In short, what they were thinking was that I was the douche who had to make amends. Amends to a God that I didn’t truly understand in my parents light – amends to a religion that never did do anything but strangle their love towards their fellow-men. Fellow-men deserving of love, though they be of a different color, or sexual orientation, or political bent. You see, my folks loved J.C. more than they ever loved His people. And much like the woman I thought I would love forever felt towards me, when push came to shove, they loved themselves even more than they did He.

So the hearse doors closed, and the body was buried. But the belief was not. Though I could’ve swore that I caught a glimpse of J.C.’s back, as He walked delicately across the partially frozen cemetery grounds, just like all the others, slowly away from me.

And I stood. Alone. One arm empty, as the self-server had by then run off with the first of many Steve McQueen’s to come. And the other arm full – though still empty – struggling to hold the woman who had once bore me, the only woman to ever truly love me, the woman hanging on now, only by mere inches.

And through it all, I just kept staring at my arms, both empty and full, while thinking to myself…

I had seen him breathe his last – I’m sure I had.

Dad was dead.

That much could not be denied.

•••

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.”

100 Words Plus A Sentence… & Some Bubblemen To Boot

I love Professor SAM. In part because we talk about things outside of class like tattoo designs. I love her, and not just in an effort to snag a 4.0 for the semester. I love Professor SAM, and would invite you all to play along with her thought-provoking Master Class prompt. Think writing 100 words or so about a picture is challenging? Try making someone else’s words your own, without a hiccup in your story, and see if you’re not hooked almost immediately!

That said, here’s this week’s Master Class 2013 and Friday Fictioneers mash-up.

And no, I’ve no earthly idea how it was that these two prompts seemed like such a natural fit to me…

Copyright - Jennifer Pendergast

Copyright – Jennifer Pendergast

Such big, beautiful eyes!

Such a full body!

Such sweet sin awaiting, should she take notice of me.

Mmmm, the way those wings shimmer…

I make my way over.

Cautiously, as not to frighten, “Ummm, hello…?”

A question or a statement? Don’t be a fool – make your play, man!

HELLO!!!

Too much. Still, she smiles while looking over.

I sense the stirrings, faint but unmistakable, of an afternoon delight.

Slowly she swivels closer.

Closer still.

Close enough to realize that I’m not “like” her. No, not enough.

Watching her hurriedly fly off, my pride’s stung as I wonder – when will this ridiculous belief that bee can’t hive with wasp ever be squashed?

•••

This week’s sentence prompt came from page 55 of the 5th book in on my shelf (it’s a church pew actually), 5th line down: Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story.” And while not exactly in keeping with the motif of the remainder of the post, I’m ending today with the song below, partially because I couldn’t find “Waspy” by The Bolshoi, and partially because – quite honestly – when will I ever even come this close to having a tie-in for it again?

501 Words Plus A Sentence… the Daily Prompt edition

I am using a recent Daily Prompt Challenge to hopefully introduce you to a wonderful exercise I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with, in Master Class 2013. I decided to do so, simply because the Prompt asked us to do what Master Class does every week. Take a random sentence from a piece of literature (or sometimes music), and wrap a post around it.  I hope you come play along with both, and as always, your feedback is appreciated!

storch-badge

Rossamund was a boy with a girl’s name.

And no, not anything like “Sue.” Because “Sue” would’ve been too easy. “Sue” would’ve had the children laughing at Rossamund over a staid old Johnny Cash song, though none of them would’ve realized it in the first.

A name like “Sue” would have had them delighting, similar to the way that they did over the girl who decided to call herself “Johnny.” And she did so, only after she’d been liberated by the character in the Waterboys song of the same name. A character that could not be laughed at, as she had made a decision, a conscious choice – versus being simply thrown under some linguistic bus.

So they called him “Rossa,” the stupid kids, they did. Not because they were sure they could, but simply because it sounded hateful and racist enough. And they pulled on his every heart string and physical attribute, to make him aware of their hatred of him.

A hatred, mind you, that grew out of a name. Simply a name, misplaced. A name that, had it been assigned to a person with the correct bits, wouldn’t have been an issue at all.

Johnny felt for him, she always had, even before she had reborn herself. But Rossa – well, Rossamund – was having none of her “pity.” To him, it was all a waste. A sham. To him, all she could offer was a little piece of inconsequential peace, in a vast ocean of hate and ignorance.

No, for him, it wouldn’t be all right until he saw his name in lights. Not until he was standing proudly atop of – well – atop of whatever it is that is the highest thing you can stick on a Goddamned stage. Standing upon it, and dazzling his audience with the greatest magic ever known. Or the most heartbreaking song. Or the funniest joke, or whatever. He didn’t really give a good flip HOW he was going to achieve his fame, that Rossamund. Not really. Not as long as his name, HIS name – “MR. Rossamund Laura” – was the one that was up there in the marquee, and drawing in crowds like head lice to a Bee Gees buffet.

Of course poor Rossa – well – Rossamund, never was quite able to come to grips with the fact that mere dreams weren’t the same thing as effort, and cockiness wasn’t nearly the same thing as confidence. And talent? Well, you sorta had to have some – if even just a bit – in order to draw in them crowds. As a result, he would never see his name in lights. Well, that’s not entirely true. He did get to see at least a bit, after Johnny had asked to borrow a slice of it to help aid her in her career, seeing as she felt that “ MZ. Johnny Rossamund” had just about the perfect ring to it. And while the name alone didn’t bring in the boys, the skills she possessed, whether it be on the pole or the lap – well  – it sure as hell kept them there, at least.

•••

Professor SAM asked Doodle to choose the prompt for today, from D.M. Cornish’s Monster Blood Tattoo Book 1: Founding