Chokehold

Copyright – Janet Webb

Copyright – Janet Webb

She look better now?

What?

You had a few drinks. Does she look better now?

I suppose… maybe a touch?

So, she might be your type?

Maybe? But listen, I’m not really in the…

Oh yeah you are. They ALL are.

Are what?

“In tha market.”

Honestly, I’m really quite…

Happy? Yeah, they all think that too. But that’s only cuz you haven’t met “The One” yet.

I really don’t think that I need…

Oh yeah, you do. You ALL do.

Say… what’s your game anyway? Are you some sort of devil or something?

Devil? I’m no devil chump. I’m freakin’ Cupid.

•••

Combining the cocktail with the woman seen “through it,” I decided to have just a bit of fun with this week’s Friday Fictioneer prompt, in honor of what is possibly the most non-sensical holiday we have as a species. I hope you enjoyed!

To Sir… With Love.

Copyright -Claire Fuller

Copyright -Claire Fuller

You have nothing?

Yes sir.

Excuse…?

Err, I meant “no sir…” no, sir.

No occupational status?

No sir.

Valid credit implants?

No… sir.

Spousally designated partner?

No.

Biological offspring?

Nonemore.

Adopted…

NO. No sir.

What is your current worth to society, citizen?

Zero, sir.

And to your non-existent family?

Zero.

And yourself?

Well, a great deal, actually sir! You see I…

Excuse…?

Err, I meant “zero sir…” Zero.

You’ll be liquefied at the food distribution workshop, nourishing the citizenry while realizing at least a small profit against your zero value. Is this understood?

No sir.

Excuse…???

Yes sir. I meant… yes, sir.

•••

Written in response to both this week’s Friday Fictioneers and (my first time EVER!) Velvet Verbosity prompts. Please also take the time to check out my “second to last” honest-to-Goshicles blog post (shared with my dear friend, Elena Caravela), located here.

My last (honest-to-Goshicles as well, of course!) post is coming soon.

A Cottage for Sale

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Copyright – Björn Rudberg

You’re moving, then?

Yes.

To that house?

Yes.

That house, directly to the right of us?

Yes.

But, you’ve hardly moved, at that point.

Yes.

But the new house is prettier.

And?

And?

Well, “newer” of course.

And that’s enough?

Yes.

That’s enough.

But you loved the old house. It was good to us.

“Good” isn’t new. New’s what counts.

That’s a shame, really.

Believe me or don’t, I couldn’t care less.

You’re implying that old is bad then?

Yes.

No.

It’s just not… well it’s not new, And new’s what counts.

But… I’ll miss you.

OK.

Still, you’re moving, then?

Yes.

•••

Rochelle, I would like to thank you so much for talking me “off the ledge” as to my abandoning Friday Fictioneers, as I do so love it and the writing community that surrounds it. And an extra special thank you to a Fictioneer I’ve been long jealous of, Björn, for providing a phenomenal prompt with which to return!

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.

•••

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

Time Out…

It was a flying swing-sort of thing, but I didn’t catch the name. Hell, I didn’t catch a lot of stuff on that day.

But it was a perfect day none the less. True, Mother Nature tried to bring us down, with some skies initially grey. And a certain other also tried to bring me down. But even her best efforts at pissery melted painlessly away, under the sun and the Love of the day.

The sun, the Love, and the perfection were all experienced by myself, my three, plus a friend of Hannah’s, at a little 5 & Dime theme park up my way called Fantasy Island. Now if you’re anything like me, you can NOT go to this park without hoping, “Maybe this time. Maybe this time Mr. Rourke will be waiting for me, wearing white and looking drop-dead Mexican sexy, as he welcomes me to his drop-dead-not-Mexican-but-just-as-sexy island, granting me a wish.” As you might have guessed, this visit did no more to yield that desire becoming a reality than any of the other visits, but as the day strolled itself along, this time I found that it didn’t really matter too much at all.

It was all good, and every moment was cherished, me with them, and they with me. No longer little children – like the last time we had gone – they’d grown now, matured, and the “kiddie rides” took on a whole new meaning. A new flavor. Obviously, the ones that required you to be 4′ or under were passed by altogether this time (me, being dragged by the three plus one away from the Lil’ Boat Merry-Go-Round. Can you imagine? I mean, c’mon! They use REAL water for God’s sake! That ride kicks ASS!) But we still all smiled like idiots, as we rode down the Giant Slide, potato sack under butt. We still all pretended to have zombie and/or cyborg horses (I mean, they DO all have posts struck straight through them, after all) on the carousel. And we all – every last one – pretended that bumper cars were the vehicles used exclusively by average older Americans, in the effort of learning how to drive.

We enjoyed the Crazy Mouse (a roller coaster best described as being engineered by the boys from Devo, while being high on paint thinner), and the ferris wheel, but it was that damned flying swing-sort of thing that would eventually provide me with the inspiration (FINALLY!) for this particular post.

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You see, the ride is simple. A swing. That goes in a circle. No big deal, right? Right, unless you realize that this particular swing is about 800 gazillion feet up in the air. I went only because I told myself – as I was herding the three plus one into the car – that this trip, I would “Just. Let. Go.” I would live, instead of worrying about dying. I would be me, instead of being scared about being yelled at by someone because I was being me. So when the kids said “let’s go,” I swallowed my trepidation, and got on the swing.

And I loved it. Like, “Jesus pulling on my non-existent hair just so it could blow in the wind one more time” loved it. The first time I went with Hannah’s friend. Which was perfect, because she has no reason to love me, yet still she apparently does (she calls me “Grand Pee,” only after she decided that “Dr. Pee Wee” was too formal). The second time I went with Ian. Which was perfect because, well, because he’s Ian. And the last time I went with, well…

He told me his name on the flying swing-sort of thing, but I didn’t catch it. Hell, I didn’t catch a lot of stuff on that day.

You see, with this ride, they always need exactly an even number of riders to lift off. And this time, he and I were both odd men out. So we sat together.

He was O.G. (do they still say that?), but one of the mentally handicapped variety (do they still say that?) A good kid, but I must admit, a bit creepy on the surface as well. Creepy as in, it wasn’t until we reached the 800 gazillion feet range that I realized, only a metal bar and a plastic seat were keeping me alive. But I swallowed a second helping of trepidation, ignored old tendencies and old fears about such things, and just spoke to the kid.

Now to be sure, we will not be pen pals anytime soon, but we did both come to realize that flying is a pretty danged cool power to have, and if God was willing, we would both ask for it. I also came to understand that even “a bit creepy on the surface” people just want to be talked to, and treated with basic human respect, in order to be happy.

The ride ended, and the kid left. And that was that.

I still don’t know his name, but I will always remember the one stage in our “journey” – after he had pointed out his family members in the adjacent swings – where I motioned across the expanse of sky to another swing, and noting the (2) beautiful young men who sat within (both having had the good sense to remove their shoes before the ride began), being able to say to my momentary friend, “those are my two boys. I love them.”

I went to Fantasy Island to spend some time with my children. But I left with the realization that they weren’t my children, they were now their own. And they had decided to come to the same park for the sole purpose of spending time with me. And I remembered just how blessed I was, and am, to have that sort of Love in my life.

Thank God for grey skies that become blue.

Thank God for icy tones that melt painlessly away.

And thank Him as well, for those nameless, yet liberating flying swing-sort of things.

Now, if He would only see Himself to just allowing for taller folk to be able to ride the Lil’ Boat Merry-Go-Round…

•••