Tag Archives: writers

Home Is For The Birds

28 Jul

birds

Pilot and Skye had a beautiful home, high up in the trunk of a dead tree. A wood pecker hollowed out an already rotting part in search of a meal. He found what he was looking for and abandoned the site when the food ran out. It was  a perfect home for a young couple of swallows.

One day Pilot went out to look for some food. He gave Skye a kiss on the beak and went his way. He flew almost a full mile until he found a promising location. He looked around for a perch to assess the area. He saw a branch with a wide angle view of the ground below.

Already on the branch was a beautiful female swallow.  Pilot thought he should maybe find another branch but she waved him over with a wink.

“Hello” she said.

“Hello” Pilot said.

“Name´s Libi” she said.

“I´m Pilot” he said, blushing.

“That´s a strong name. Are you a strong bird?” Libi asked.

“Well, not really, I guess I can be” he answered. Libi stayed quite. She knew that silence can drive a male mad.

Pilot´s mind raced, searching for something to say, to break the deafening silence. All he could come up was, “Do you live close?”

“Close to what?” Libi giggled. Pilot blushed again. Libi leaned over and kissed him on the beak. An explosion of emotions rushed over Pilot. The thought that rose to the top was “What am I doing?”

Swallows are hard wired for monogamy. They take a mate for life. This went against thousands of years of evolution.

Pilot pulled away. “I cannot do this! I already have a female”

Libi said with a devilish look, “You do and you don´t now”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the moment you return home, your “ex” will smell my pheromones on you, so you don´t. But, you have me now” she said.

Pilot wanted to protest but he couldn´t. She was right. Dejected, Pilot asked “Where do you live?”

“I don´t have a home, dear” she answered. “You have to make one for us”

“Oh great…” Pilot thought.

Over the course of a week Pilot made a home just as good as the one he left.  Two days after, Libi kicked him out.

“I thought we were going to be together forever” Pilot said.

“That´s so old fashioned. That instinct must have passed over me” Libi said.

“What am I going to do?” Pilot cried.

“I don´t know. Do the same as the others. Go crawling back to your old home” Libi said.

“Others?” Pilot asked.

“Yeah, the others that I tricked into building me a house. I´m just going to flip it for some quick cash” Libi said.

Pilot wanted revenge but realized this would just get more of her pheromones on him. In fact, he was so busy working, he hadn´t had contact with Libi for days. He flew off to see if he could get his life back.

Good Bye!

21 Jul

Good Bye

As Helen lay motionless in her hospital bed, Walter sat by her side with her slender lifeless hand in his. This scene has repeated itself for the better part of the last year. Helen had a slip in the shower and has been in a coma ever since. Walter holds out hope that she will wake up but deep down he knows the chances are slim. Walter hadn´t told Helen he loved her before the accident for such a long time that he cannot even recall the last time. This regret grinds in his heart.

Sitting in a silent hospital room with the woman he has shared the vast majority of his life has been somewhat of a medidative experience. Memories have come up that he hasn´t thought about since the event occurred. The actual occurances may be slightly curved by the glass of time but to him they happened exactly as he remembered them.

He remembers before shipping off to Europe, the nights they spent trying to be in each other’s company for each moment possible. They would go to the dankest bars as they were the only establishments open into the late hours. Neither drank a drop of alcohol. They just sat in a corner, hands stacked on top of one another regaling each other with stories of the few years they had been on the planet. Now that they have lived many more years and have many more stories to tell, he would give anything to be able to sit in the corner of a dark smokey bar and relive them with Helen.

Like clockwork the nurse comes in to change Helen´s bed clothes. Walter can´t help but feel the pity emanating from her. They have their usual small talk. Then Walter, very uncharacteristically, goes into the story of their wedding day. Although the nurse had a lot of work to do, she was enthralled by Walter´s recollection of this grand, beautiful day. Twenty minutes later, Walter realizes that he was holding her up, apologizes and sends her on her way. The nurse assured him he need not apologize and tried to hide the fact that tears were falling down her cheeks.

The next day, the same thing happened. The nurse came in for her usual checkups and tidying, small talk was exchanged and Walter regaled her with the story of when he returned from the war and how he and Helen celebrated being in each other´s company after such a long, arduous time apart. Once again, the nurse unsuccessfully tried to mask her tears and went ahead with her rounds.

This repeated itself for the good part of a month. The nurse would come in to do her job and it got to the point she would expect a story. She even kept extra tissues in her waist pockets. Walter started to look forward to the nurse´s visits.

One day, Walter checked his watch. It was around a half hour until the scheduled nurse visit. As he sat in his medidative state, reliving years gone by, Helen´s head turned towards him. Walter almost fell out of his chair. This was the first movement of Helen, by Helen since the accident. The slightest smile came to her face. Her cloudy eyes cleared for a moment and they pierced those of Walter. She stared mouthing something inaudibly. Walter put his ear to her mouth to hear what she was saying. There was no sound.

Walter knew this was his last chance. He looked into her clear, blue eyes and said “Helen, you are my everything. You gave me three great sons. You made a beautiful home for us. Without you, I don´t know how I could have had a happier life” he saw her eyes clouding again, he continued though the words were breaking up in his throat “Helen, I love you. I always loved you. I will always love you. I´m so sorry I didn´t tell you more often. I´m so…..” The machine Helen was hooked up to let out a piercing beep.

Walter could barely make her out through the tears; the nurse who he told his stories to ran in. “Walter, please go into the hall” she said, sternly but with care and love in her voice.

“But….” Walter resisted.

“Please” she answered. Walter acquiesced.

As he stood in the hall, his legs were so weak he could not stand. Not even after the biggest atrocities he saw in Europe did he cry with such force. Between sobs, he cried to the heavens how much he loved Helen in hopes that her spirit would hear him.

The nurse came into the hall and gave Walter the bad news. Helen was gone. All Walter could think was that he was soon to follow. He felt some relief in knowing that Helen left him knowing how much he loved her.

Pig Deal!

17 Jul

pigs

Sammy and Frankie were at the slop trough. Frankie could tell Sammy was upset. He usually had his snout deep in the slop. Sammy was barely pecking away at the day´s offerings.

“What´s wrong Sammy?” Frankie asked.

“Phil wants to fight before sundown” Sammy said.

“What happened?” Frankie asked.

“Nothing really. Sara, his girlfriend, just got done rolling in the mud and she looked good. I mean real fine. But I wasn´t disrespectful or nothing” Sammy said.

“What´d you say Sammy?” Frankie said with a worried look on his face. “You know how Phil is!”

“I just said ‘looking good, Sara’, that´s all, I swear” Sammy said.

“Man, you know not to do that. Phil is a hot head. He´s gonna kick your ass you know?” Frankie said.

“Yeah, I know. But I didn’t mean nothing by it. She just looked so fine. I felt like she pulled those words out of my mouth” Sammy said.

There was a sudden stir in the pen. Farmer John entered the pen with a rope. He was walking funny as he tends to do when he´s been drinking. He forgot to close the gate behind him. He went right for Phil who was sunning himself on the far end of the pen. He must not have heard the commotion because he didn´t move.

As Farmer John got closer Phil figured out what was going on. Before he knew it the rope was around his neck and immediately cinched tight. He recoiled in horror. Farmer John was drunk but the whiskey only diluted his judgment, not his strength.

“Should we help him Sammy?” Frankie said.

“Well, I´ll get out of an ass kicking if Farmer John takes him away” Sammy pondered.

“That´s not right. We always help each other when we can. Look, the gates open. It´s only him. His helpers ain´t around. We can all make it” Frankie said.

“Ok” Sammy agreed.

Frankie and Sammy trotted up to the back side of Farmer John. Phil felt some relief. For a moment he felt he could be saved.

“Go” said Frankie and with that the two pigs took as big of bites as they possibly could out of the back of Farmer John´s thighs. Farmer John screamed in agony and fell to the mud.

“Run” Sammy said to the stunned Phil. “The gate. It´s open! Run to the gate”

The three pigs ran for the gate and the others followed suit. Phil checked to see if Sara was in tow. She was. He caught a glimpse of Sammie doing the same.

As they made their way to the tree line Sammy turned to Phil and asked “Are we cool?”

Phil looked at him and said “I´m still gonna kick your ass. But we cool”

Brotherly Love

5 Jun

cain abel 2

Frank and Al were competitive brothers. In fact, they were so competitive with one another that one of them would probably not be here hadn´t it been for the intervention of their dear mother on various occasions. A strange twist to their rivalry was that they could never use the same strategy the other used to succeed. It was an unspoken rule, but followed to the letter.

In high school when Frank started to excel in football, on the offensive side of the ball, Al went on to become the best defensive player. When Al took up and had success in boxing, Frank became all state in wrestling. When Frank excelled in the exact sciences, Al became the best student in the school in the liberal arts.

Their paths converged when they became adults. Both found their way into the toy business and both became the best in the industry. Frank ran the most prestigious toy company making high end luxury toys. Al led a toy company with a name no one would recognize but just about every house in the US had at least three of his products. His toys were cheap and ubiquitous.

Frank looked at Al as a junk peddler who inundated the US market with cheap Chinese trinkets. Al looked at Frank as a fraud who overcharged dopey rich people out of their money for nothing more than mere status symbols worth a fraction of the price charged.

Secretly, both wanted a little of what the other had. Frank wanted to move a little more volume and Al wanted a little more prestige for his company. Neither had the humility to ask the other for advice.

At the same time, almost to the day, both came up with what they thought was a unique, genius idea. They would send corporate spies to the other´s company to pick up a tip or two. Within a few months, both got wind of what the other was doing.

What hurt each one the most was the thought that the other copied their idea. This was a betrayal of the highest level, even though it was not true. They did in fact come up with the idea individually.

Again, both had another strike of coincidental genius at the same exact moment. They were going to have the other killed. Frank wanted Al´s killing to look like a car accident and Al wanted Frank´s killing to look like a botched robbery. Both put their unstoppable plans in motion.

A few weeks later Al´s car was ran off a cliff. The car rolled for almost a quarter mile before stopping, only to go up in flames. Frank was shot in the forehead while he withdrew money from an ATM late in the night. Miraculously, both survived.

Due to a request from their mother, their motionless bodies laid next to one another in the intensive care unit .Although their bodies were without activity, their brains were not. There was only one single thought churning through both heads: “I´m going to recover so much better than that jerk over there”

Left Behind

5 Sep

cliff jump

 “Sometimes the fear of getting left behind is greater than the fear of getting wet.”  -Otto Kilcher

 

As Jim looked over the cliff he kicked a stone over. He counted almost three seconds before he heard the splash below. His stomach was turning over with fear. No matter how hard he tried, he could not hide the fact that he was extremely nervous about the jump.

“You´re not thinking of chickening out, are you?” Mike said.

“No” Jim answered looking not at Mike but out into the horizon and beyond to infinity.

When Jim looked down to the water below he felt a sickening dizziness. He was not sure how he was going to make this jump. He was terrified of heights, not a good swimmer and not very adventurous. In fact, he thought the notion of testing one’s self a bunch of nonsense. His philosophy in life was to be as comfortable as possible until you die.

His mother would not let him play sports as a youth for fear he would hurt himself. In junior high school he never asked a girl out for fear she would say no. In college he took accounting because he knew it was an exact science and he would easily land a job upon graduation. His life was, work, television and sleep. This vigorous schedule was interrupted when a coworker asked him if he was like to go on a picnic with some others from the office. Little did he know, to get to the picnic spot, there would be a fifty foot cliff dive followed by a quarter mile swim to a deserted island.

When the first picnic goer made the plunge, a petite secretary not much more than 20 years old, Jim almost fainted. It´s on. No turning back now.

The second person to make the jump was an ex special forces officer now turned middle manager. This comforted Jim a little more. He´s a real man, he thought. Of course he should be able to do this.

When the third, fourth and fifth jumpers were all woman, Jim knew he had jump. A few more people later, the last person jumped and Jim was the only one left on the cliff. He could see the petite secretary, the first to jump, was almost at the shore of the destination island.

All of a sudden a new dread washed over Jim. He was alone. For the first time in his life he felt the solitude that his fearful life has brought. A tear rolled down his eye. He felt grateful that Mike invited him. For the first time, he felt he wanted to belong. The water all of a sudden appeared closer, the swim, not so daunting. What waited for him on the white, soft sandy shore was a chance at friendship. A chance at belonging.

Jim closed his eyes. He cleared his mind of all thoughts. Then, with a force behind him that was not quite his own, he stepped over. He wanted to scream but nothing came out. Then his feet smacked the water, stinging them something awful, but the pain was not unbearable. In fact, it was liberating. Jim left out a “Whoo-hoo” and a fist pump over his head under the water. As he bobbed up he got his bearings and set off, doggy paddle style, to the island.

 

 

 

The Typewriter

15 Feb

images

 

 

Clack, clack, clack went the sound of his typewriter. Frank was furiously pounding away on the vintage keys that set him back a small fortune in a little boutique shop in a gentrified, once artistic part of the city. A small mountain of cigarette butts spilled out of one of the empty cardboard coffee cups that surrounded his work space. He was writing for hours but nothing of quality found its way to the endless reams of paper.

“It´s all shit!” he screamed, though the only sentient being to hear these words were his cat and his neighbor. The walls were paper thin in his tiny one bedroom apartment in a converted candy factory in another gentrified, once artistic part of the city.

Frank had some success of late selling a few stories here and there but the well seemed to have dried up. Everything he came up with was derivative of something he had already read or had already written. He had recently gone off his mood stabilizers in hope that it would spark some hidden creativity.

With a deft sweep of his arm, the typewriter went flying across the room. It would have taken out the cat if it didn´t have such keen reflexes. He sat there staring at the typewriter, upside down on the floor for some time.

Clack, clack, clack. The keys of the typewriter started moving by themselves. Frank sat up straight. The clicking stopped. He slowly walked over to the downed typewriter and turned it over. He saw a sentence on the page after where he had stopped.

Just keep going.

Those three extra words on the page he hadn´t written. Frank was perplexed. Surely this wasn´t for real. He decided his mind was playing tricks on him and he decided to go to bed for the night.

When Frank awoke he walked over to the typewriter on the floor. He looked at the page and there were more words.

You suffer for your work. Now others must suffer for your work. Make them pay and you will reap the profits.

“What does that mean?” he asked himself out loud. He felt stupid for saying these words because he knew exactly what it meant. He needed new life experiences to draw from as inspiration. He knew that hurting people would evoke deep emotions that he could use to write.

Frank always had a violent streak that he used to punish only himself. He had never even thought of hurting anyone else but he figured that this must be a sign from above. Frank decided he would go to the park late at night and do some harm to homeless people. This way, he could do what the typewriter told him to with minimal risks with the law. Frank was also a coward and a weakling. A sleeping homeless person would offer the least resistance.

That night, Frank filled the pockets of his parka with a small bottle of rubbing alcohol, some rags and a box of strike anywhere matches. He also slipped two mini bottles of vodka he had obtained from his last flight into the breast pocket for a little added courage. He then set off for the park.

He found his first victim. It was a woman sleeping under a makeshift tent made of a cardboard box. He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out one of the mini bottles. He was not a drinker and could barely get the vile liquid down his throat. A little even made its way back up and he had to swallow it a second time. He took a deep breath just to keep it down.

From behind him he heard a voice say “Having a party and didn´t even invite me?” Then he felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck, saw a bright light then nothing. The metal pipe that had just smashed his brain stem cut off communication from his brain to his body. The homeless man slipped of Frank´s parka, then the rest of his clothes. He was left unconscious and stripped to his underwear in the harsh cold in the middle of the park.

When Frank came to he was in a white room with bright lights. His hands were restrained with fur lined leather cuffs. He looked to his right and he saw his case worker, John, sitting on the chair besides him.

“How do you feel Frank?” John asked.

“Terrible. What happened?” he asked.

“That´s what I would like to know. The only facts I have are, you were found in Jefferson Park in your underwear, barely breathing. You had alcohol on your breath. A nice homeless woman saw you around midnight and got the attention of a nearby police officer” he said. “Have you been taking your meds?”

“Well, uh, no” he sheepishly answered. “But…”

“But nothing Frank. How many times do we have to go through this. You must take your medications”

“Am I in trouble, John?” Frank asked.

“No, of course not”” John said with genuine concern in his voice.

Off the hook again. Frank thought. Mental disease has its advantages. This will make a great story.

 

An Unfortunate Chain of Events Pt. V (Final Episode)

20 Nov

Jim was driving very fast and was quite drunk. When he came up to stop signs, in his head he was still moving forward because he was getting the spins. He had no idea where he was going. He had flashes of ideas. The principle idea that was winning out was to get another bottle of something. Anything. So he made up his mind to go to the liquor store across town because although he was drunk, he still knew a bargain and the prices there were always better.

Jim felt like hearing some music while he made his pilgrimage to get more intoxicants. He reached under the seat for the CD case but did not feel it. “It must have slid to the back” he thought to himself. He turned around to look and saw the CD case sitting on the floor. He grabbed it with a grunt. That would be the last sound the world would hear from Jim. When he turned back around he saw a tractor trailer barreling down on the driver side of his car. While fumbling with the CD case he didn`t realize that he ran a red light right into a busy intersection. He was killed instantly.

Back home, Francince had finally calmed down after about an hour from when Jim sped off. She had called her family to let them know the news and what had happened between her and Jim. The consensus was to leave him, not even recognize his paternal status and delete him from her and the new baby`s life.

Jim would have gotten his way. If only it weren`t for an unfortunate chain of events.