Tag Archives: Short story

A Study of the Hypocrisy of Hatred, Sanctimony, Self-Delusion, Blind Followers and Other Tools of Political Belief and Activism

As supposedly self aware beings, it is somewhat disturbing how we find comfort in the lies spewing from the mouths of the politicians we support. All while feeling smugly justified in our hatred of the lies erupting from the politician we oppose, somehow firmly believing that ‘our side’s’ lies are morally superior to ‘their’ lies.

I am not sure which scares me more: blind faith in a politician by their followers, or the fiery hate and outrage of their detractors. Neither of which has based their perception on much more than what their favored media outlet has chosen to propagate. Facts now being subjective and manipulated. 

Political ‘success’ has come to be measured by who can ‘take control’ of government, and who can better turn neighbor against neighbor. We all proclaim ‘I am bombarded, yet I stand.’ But at what cost, and what prize?

So…..my reading of the prompt instructions hit a nerve
and led to a rant….sorta sorry, but not.
I am sure my words will probably hit a few nerves too.
https://dversepoets.com/2021/11/08/prosery-bombarded/

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Filed under Creative writing, essay, Free Write, Political, Politics, Short Story

Alice

Well, I do not really know what to call this. Let’s say it is an experiment. It started with a word list from Mrs. X (whom I love writing for) at the Imaginary Garden. It contains poetry, prose poetry (I think) and outright prose. So, lets just call it “writing”, I will leave it up to you to tell me if it works as … well, as whatever it is.

 

ALICE

I could feel each nerve fraying as I read
the passages from her diary,
each page revealing the deceit of innocence.

Alice was a twin — the surviving one. Her sister, Abbey, died four years ago at the age of nine. She fell from their treehouse, oddly alone in the sister’s favorite spot. Their parents passed a year later to the day, victims of apparent mourning and an previously unknown nasty addiction.

The writing starts the year Abbey died,
she is not mentioned at all.
The writing is the concise script of a perfectionists.

Alice went to live with her doting grandparents. They were well past child rearing age, but had a nice home in a decent neighborhood. Alice was the golden alpha-girl; last remnant of their only child. Their every joy was found in watching her blossom. Four years passed in a blink.

The first two years of entries were typical pre-teen
illusions and silvery imagination.
No reference to parents, sister of grief.

She was superficially social at school; friendly when required but not particularly close with anyone. Her teachers attributed it to her circumstance. It was understandable that a girl experiencing such loss would find it hard to make friends. At home she was a loner, elderly guardians lacking as companions.

Year three notes become more random, razor-sharp
bitterness and loneliness mingled
with endless optimism, anger and hope.

Alice missed three days of school before anyone was sent to their home. Alice was nowhere to be found; her room was pristine, a diary left on her bed. Her grandparent were found in their bed, peaceful in their repose. The coroner reported them suffocated in the sleep.

The last essays become an unspooling of reality,
a messy scrawl of dangerous thoughts
and the intentions of a killer, each one signed “Abbey.”

 

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Poetry, Poetry - Prompts, Short Story

The Neighbors at The Book Times

My flash fiction piece, The Neighbors, is featured on The Book Times today. A short and not-so-sweet story of a marriage falling apart. (You may have seen it posted here previously)

It's raining today

It’s raining today (Photo credit: rutlo)

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Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

Litter

My flash fiction piece, Litter, has been placed with The Book Times today. It is a story about the potential and power of poetry. Stop by for a read and let me know your thoughts.

Sticky notes on the wall of the Wikimedia Foun...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Racing the Hand

My fantasy short story Racing the Hand is featured today on The Book Times. It is the story of a twelve year old orphan providing for his siblings by being a ‘runner’ in the rough streets of The Hand. Fast paced and fun.

Give it a read a let me know what you think!

Swordsman

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Litter

(Photo credit: Hannah Gosselin ©2012 Phippsburg, Maine)

Two of my aunts used to run a country store down at the lake. It was more than that really; you could get everything from an ice cream cone to a new wig made on site. The ice cream was more popular.

My Uncle Bill and Uncle Fred would man the porch. They were pranksters by trade and both had retired from their hobby of teaching. They spent most of their summers, even before they retired, in rocking chairs on either side of the stairs leading to the front door. No one could enter the store without going by at least one of them.

They were harmless and fun and part of the reason people stopped in. Both of them always carried a notebook and a pen. One of their favorite pastimes was to write short little poems about everyone that came by, especially tourist and anyone new. They were usually funny, or cutesy, and short. Occasionally someone would justify something serious, but never hurtful. Mostly they were along the lines of:
Red in her hair
and on her toes,
but neither as cute
as ice cream on her nose.
They would tear them out of their notebooks and give them to the person they were written about. Occasionally, someone would keep one and cherish it, but mostly they ended up in the trashcans inside or blowing across the parking lot.

I worked there summers growing up; me and Big Tony. We were the only employees. Big Tony was about forty, deserving of his nickname, and a bit slower than most folks. In thinking that is. He was a hard worker. We would take care of the trash, sweep the floors, restock shelves; whatever my aunts needed. I liked working with Tony, he smiled a lot and never had a harsh word for anyone or anything.

Years later, after my aunts and uncles had passed on along with the store, I would stop in and check on Tony as often as I could. He lived in an assisted living place and seemed to enjoy it. We would take walks and occasionally go back down to the lake and fish.

One day he decided to show me his room. It was neat and clean, just like he had always been; bed, chair, table, TV. The usual set up. But covering the walls were hundreds of pieces of notebook paper that I remembered so well. Each one had a small, hand written poem about someone that had passed through that store: discarded, left behind.

“Tony, how did you get these?”
“I used to pick them up. Out of the trash, off of the parking lot.”
“Why?”
“Besides you, they are the only friends I have.”

My visits to Tony become more frequent. When the time came, I collected all of his ‘friends’ into a scrapbook and made a copy. The copy I kept, the other was on Tony’s chest when they closed the lid.

Written for the Flashy Fiction photo prompt.

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The Neighbors

I rarely sleep through the night anymore. Sometimes I cannot get to sleep, other times a wake up early. When this happens I usually end up in the front room so I do not disturb the rest of the house. I will read occasionally, but typically I will sit in the dark and watch the nights activities. This night I was watching.

The Johnson’s were the most active late night house on our quiet street. I had been watching their marriage fall apart for some time now. He had stated coming home late once every other week or so. No big deal; everything seemed normal the next morning. He would leave for work at the normal time with her waving from the door.

Once every other week soon turned into a couple of times a week. I would see her standing in the window watching for him. Initially, she would wait there until he came home. Many a silent night was shattered by loud arguments from their garage. After a few weeks she started going to bed before he got home. Sse was not visible when he left for work anymore.

Something was different tonight. She had left earlier with the kids, did not come back with them. Not too unusual; they frequently stayed with her mother. She was also back at the window. Even from here I could tell she had been crying. She was also still dressed as she was earlier; no robe or nightgown as was normal for this time of night.

I saw the headlights of his car out of the corner of my eye, but I could not turn away from her. Her eyes got a little wider and her back seemed to straighten a bit. Other than that she did not move until he had pulled into the garage, then she slowly turned and headed back into the house.

It was less than a minute later that I heard the muffled explosion of a gunshot. I did not jump, no surprised intake of breath; I guess I was actually expecting it. There was no sound of an argument, no shouting, no screaming; just a single shot.

I suppose I should call the police, but I think I will give her a few minutes more.

Written for Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday Prompt.

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How Did I…..

Oh, wow. Damn! That is a doozy of a headache. What in the hell? Ok, eyes open, have to get to the aspirin.

“Good morning. Glad you could join us today.”

“Um, yea. What….?”

“I am just here to get your vitals. Someone will be along shortly for anything else you need.”

Why am I in a hospital room? I hurt like hell, but a nurse? Tubes in my arm? Everything is fuzzy. What do I remember?

Ready for work as usual; oh hell. Big fight before I left, bitchin’ at me for drinking again. Great start to the day. Work was usual except for the phone calls; three if I remember correctly. All still complaining about the night before.

Met Tim and Rick at the sports bar after work, damn sure was not going home after being yelled at all day. She needs to give it a rest, I don’t drink that much. Watched most of the game, had a few beers, headed home. Nothing unusual there except that I stopped answering the calls. We would talk when I got home.

Then she started texting; she knows I hate that. Most of them I ignored, finally could not stand it anymore. I texted her that I would be home in a minute, looked up at the road…..

Dog, swerve, tree. Damn. That is the last thing I remember. How bad am I hurt? I seem to ache all over, but nothing seems to be moving when i want it to. Wait a minute.

Why isn’t she here?

Day Services Unit waiting room

Image via Wikipedia

Written for the Flashy Fiction prompt of ‘one thing leads to another.’

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Blood in the Snow

We rode the fence at least once a week in the summer. When the heavy snows came it was more like every other week. Breaks were not uncommon; usually it was a stray deer or other wild animal not quite clearing the top strand of barbed wire. Occasionally a post would fall from either the rot of age or the weight of snow.

This was different. The ground on both sides of the fence was tore up more than usual. A lot of mud mixed with the snow. Both of the top rows of wire were sagging, more like they had been fallen on than catching something jumping over.

There was more blood than usual too. A few spots trailing off we were used to. This looked more like someone had a paintbrush dipped in red and flicked it overhand out towards the field. A splattered trail leaving holes burned into the snow.

What we found in the barbs was wrong too. The usual tufts of fur we would find were not there. Instead we found strips of clothing hanging from the fence, dancing on the bitter February wind like the tattered robes of a ghost.

We were a long way from anywhere. The falling snow was beginning to hide the footprints and cover the blood.

Witten for the Flashy Fiction photo prompt.

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The One

The prompt at Flashy Fiction was to write a piece based on the first line of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “I am always drawn back to the places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.” 

“So who would it be?”

I crushed out my cigarette and took another sip from my beer before glancing sideways at him. “Really, have we sunk so far as to be reduced to these juvenile pursuits?”

“What do you want? We are sitting in a bar on Sunday afternoon, football is over, baseball has not started yet, it is raining and cold outside and neither of us have a girl to go home to. What else are we going to talk about?” He waived his empty at the bartender and held up two fingers. Guess we are staying for a while.

“Yeah, pathetic aren’t we? All right, what the hell. If I could go back and find one girl that got away….? It would have to be Holly from Houston.” I exchanged my empty for a full and lit another cigarette.

“Seriously, sounds like a porn star.”

“No, not this girl. She had way too much class for that. Sophisticated, you know. Read a lot, quoted old movies all the time. She lived three doors down from us in high school for about two years; we talked some waiting for the bus, but never much more than that. She was hot, but I always thought she was a little odd.”

“Odd? How?”

“Well, she always dressed too nice for one thing. Never saw her in cut offs or an old t-shirt. Always a dress, nice shoes, that kind of thing. I finally figured it out right before they moved. I went over to their house with my folks one Saturday night. She was in the basement watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s; sitting on the edge of the couch and hardly breathing. I stood in the door and watched for about thirty minutes. I figured out pretty quick that she was into the movie. I am not talking about ‘she liked the movie’, I mean she knew it by heart. It also hit me how much she looked and acted and talked like the girl in the movie; she wanted to be THAT Holly. Now I think of her every time I see Audrey Hepburn. A sophisticated girl like that would have been good for me.”

“Audrey who?”

“Oh for the love of….. We have seriously got to spend some time in a library or something. Check please!”

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