Here’s a flash of fiction I wrote awhile back. The prompt was something like, “you won the lottery, tell us what you do next.” I like the darker side of fiction so there’s your warning. I do hope you like it. xoxo,
“Good luck!” snickered the quick stop attendant before bagging my package of mini powdered doughnuts and ibuprofen. I grab my styrofoam cup of black coffee and head out the door into the cold December air taking in the smell of the alfalfa fields and the cow manure; the scent of daybreak in the central valley. If only it was that easy, I thought, to buy good fortune at the quick stop. Change the whole game with a $5.00 quick pick. A $5.00 dream. I dry mouth two ibuprofen with a grimace and hope the coffee and pain reliever will work some magic on the brutal effects of last night’s happy hour. The kind of happy hour that stretches far beyond an hour and only leads to regrets, splitting headaches, and if my timing is…
Here’s one I’m reposting from January of this year for Laura’s version of Throwback Thursday. Before we begin though just wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to vote yesterday for your favorite pic. I found the feature to be pretty straight forward and easy to view results. In case you have been as curious as I am about how that poll button works. Also it looks like the first picture is in the lead. On with the post. Please do let me know what you think.
She makes eye contact with her reflection in the shiny toaster, inspects her teeth for lipstick and adjusts her cat eye frames. After securing a bobby pin in her beehive twist she smooths her hands over her homemade pencil skirt and notices her heartbeat quicken beneath her cardigan sweater set. The bell signaling the end of 1st period rings cuing a sea of students to pour out and snarl-up the echoing halls. She knows she is about to get a glimpse of him. But today will be different. He will notice her this time; she will stand out. After their first baking unit in class this morning she attentively packaged the chocolate chip cookies that earned her an A+, carefully separating each in a fold of wax paper so that they wouldn’t glom onto each other in a gooey mess. Because he is meticulous in appearance; and melted chocolate smeared on his letterman jacket is not how she wanted to be memorable. She loved that letterman’s jacket, the way the colors just worked with his blue jeans, blue eyes, and blue car. Always freshly shaven with a dimpled smirk. If you were lucky to get close enough you might notice the faint scent of pomade in his perfectly coiffed hair.
Here he comes…
“I…[stammer]…I…made you these” handing him the brown paper lunch sack filled with her best intentions, her sweet dreams, her heart, “we sit next to each other in 3rd period.”
He shot her a who-the-hell-are-you look while opening the bag to peer inside before spitting his venom, “why would I want a bag of crap from a dirty spic like you?” He threw the bag in her direction and laughed with his friends as her face turned crimson and she ran away. Crying hot painful tears of shame and embarrassment as her tender heart broke for the very first time in two.
We left our 8 legged protagonist in a dark cupboard. He knew something was amiss. If you’re confused see yesterday’s post, The View From Here.
Blinded By The Light
Suddenly there was a sensation of movement, being transported through time and space then plunk a settling down of sorts on a cold counter top. A train whistle (?) sounding off confirms that all is not right with the world. And then…nothing. I’m not sure what happened, to say it plainly. I was in this dark place one minute and the next thing I remember is being shot out like a cannon ball, soaring through the air with grace, I can only hope. There was this beautiful bright light, no not the electric variety more of a glow, a feeling, I felt light, I was light. Now I seem to be invisible as does my web design. But I guess it doesn’t really matter because I’m not that interested in food anymore. I lost my appetite somewhere along the way. Wait, I recognize that song playing in the background…
Yes it is The Who! And, what’s this? Wow look there’s my mom and dad! And my uncle, niece and nephews. They don’t respond when I say hello, they don’t look at me at all. It’s as if they are staring right through me. Then my brother stands before everybody, looking uncharacteristically formal and somber before saying,
“Boris wasn’t a materialistic spider, he was more than satisfied with simple comforts; a cupboard to sleep in, a safe place to create his prized web designs…”
That’s an odd way to talk about me, as though I’m not even here. Could this be a dream, a joke maybe?
“My thoughts were so loud I couldn’t hear with my mouth.” -Modest Mouse
Every morning is the same. I put on my bright red nose, paint my face, lace up my oversized combat boots, and clamor into my impossibly small car. Knees resting on the dash. My commute gives me time to rehearse my lines, practice my smile. The makeup irritates my skin but the plus side is it perfectly conceals a tearstained face. The sunshine plays off my flashy standard issue polyester jumpsuit which has elastic bands at the neck, wrists, and ankles. Somehow the elastic doesn’t have very much give and as a result this design element constricts my circulation making me feel trapped and lightheaded.
My boss, the bearded lady wants me to reconsider the high wire act. Says it was a once in a life time malfunction. Won’t ever happen again. Her words are empty. She doesn’t care about me. Her bottom line is the show. Fill the seats. Do what it takes. If not, step aside because there are others eagerly awaiting the chance to walk out on that wire. High above the disgruntled big cats, over the artists juggling various flaming objects, near the show-off contortionists continually bending folding transforming themselves into something else entirely. I’m just a clown.
But I suppose acrophobia is my super power now. That’s how my doctor refers to my extreme fear of heights, acrophobia. When you’re an acrobat it’s harder to appreciate that play on words. I wasn’t always this way. I developed this intense fear after that incident when the wire snapped and I free fell. The act itself of falling was quite peaceful although alarming as it was unexpected. The landing, I imagine was rough I don’t recall that part.
On my way back to the big top and the thought of possibly having to teeter on that wire once again brings on a new wave of panic. I turn up the radio to drown out my thoughts.
“Why does it always feel like I’m caught in an undertow?
Walk a little farther to another plan.
You said that you did, but you didn’t understand.
I know that starting over is not what life’s all about.
But my thoughts were so loud, I couldn’t hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud, I couldn’t hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud.” -The World at Large, Modest Mouse