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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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.

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

Briefly… 100 Words Plus A Sentence

Wait… is this my first-ever 100 Word Song AND Master Class 2013 Mash Up?

Hot damn, I think it is. But you tell me – as I’d love to know if you’ve been paying attention. Lord knows I haven’t…

Anywho – I saw both challenges, and just knew that I had to make them work together (in part, because I had no earthly idea what to do with them individually!) I hope it worked out in the end. And I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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“Do-ya mind… iffff I play tha ukulele?”

He slurred it to no one in particular, as he sat alone, drunk on the park bench. While playing, some pigeons waddled over to inspect it, his efforts, that is. Finding his talent lacking (and he without bread), they went their way; wreaking a havoc different than his upon people simply trying to enjoy themselves – sans pigeons and the homeless.

But he was no mere homeless. No, He was the Savior. The Messiah. The King returned to His people.

Sadly, neither the people, nor the pigeons, nor even himself knew all that. And as such, the world just continued to tip.

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This week’s song was chosen by Deana: “Tight Rope” by Janelle Monae

And Prof “asked Lexy to choose any book and give me a 10:” from the 10th page of Terry Pratchett’s “Mort.”

228 Words Plus A Sentence

They call me scrapper.

What?

They call me scrapper.

Now why in the fuck would they call you that?

Don’t know. Just do.

Well, hell, Ain’t nothing scrappy ‘bout you. When’d they start?

Start what?

Start calling ya that, “Scrapper?”

Not sure.

Did ya used to get into fights?

Nope.

Wear rags?

What?

Wear rags? Did your clothes used to be all tattered n’ such?

Ha-ha, no.

Damdendst thing then, them calling you that. Sheez, “scrapper.”

Yup.

Hey, did ya ever happen to ask them where they got the name from?

Nope.

Well, why not?

Well, cuz they was all in my head anyway.

Now wait a… WHAT?

Yeah, they was all in my head anyway.

Who?

The folk that done called me that. They was all living up in my head, see?

Well now, why in the hoot didn’t’ you tell me that before?

Don’t know.

Don’t know??

Don’t know.

Well I’ll be…

Yep. So ya see, asking them why they called me that would be just like asking me, I suppose.

Well… there is that. A whole ball a fuck if ya ask me, but there is that. So, did you ask you?

Sure did.

And?

And what?

And whadya answer with, DAMMIT?

Whelp, all that I could really come up with was what they said at the start.

You mean, your answer was…

Yep, just that, “they call me scrapper.”

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It’s not often that a prompt comes along so perfectly suited to aid me in my long(ish) term goal of using it at both the beginning and the end of the story. This week’s entry for Master Class 2013 finally(ish) realizes that dream. I hope you enjoyed this little trip down the Southernmost section of the rolling trail of the unexpected, and I hope y’all come back now, ya here?

Now, here’s another scrapper. One with a similar problem…