Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! January 24, 2014 - 1:53am

“Charlie, I got it.  Charlie, listen.  I got it, I really got it.”

I lift my eyes, I thought I heard something, I look up.  I am sitting on my front porch, waiting for a delivery. I see Jep racing towards me, I brace myself for the dervish that is coming at me like a bowling ball.

“Calm down mate remember my ...”

I don’t have time to finish, as the bowling ball barrels into me. I lean backwards with the force and lift Jep up high in my arms looking up at him above my head.  He squirms.
I gently place him back on the ground.  Jep the dynamo, Jep whose eyes suck me into all I never saw as a child, Jep whose innocence is a source of constant delight to me.  Jep doesn’t know I haven't slept for the last 5 days.  He doesn’t know my stomach is churning, full of bile, of hunger, of lost dreams, of lost lusts and hate.  Jep doesn’t know the voices have come back.  Jep doesn’t know that soon, very soon I am going to be one of the most potent beings alive.  I put on my best ‘everything is the same as usual’ body stance.  I make my face friendly, open, the voices agree, this is the right approach.

 

Jep lives next door.  He comes to visit often.  I sit lower down on my front steps to get onto his level.  He slowly opens his mouth and a small ball falls out.  It is glowing and swirling, I must have it.  I reach my hand out for it.  I know that this ball contains the answer I need.  The voices have been telling me everyday,the answers you seek will be delivered to your door.  The answers you seek will be a gift.  The answers you seek will arrive by stealth.

“Jep where did you find it?”

He doesn’t answer, he stares intently at the ball. He see’s its power, its promise of secrets to be revealed.  The most beautiful thing I have ever seen is sitting on my step, I listen to see if  my head forum will tell me this is it, that this is the answer I have been waiting for.  I get a low sound back from them, like a choir humming.  I can tell they are pleased, this is it, the remedy to my malady.  Just before I can pick it up he grabs it again, with his mouth.

“Jep, let me have it.”

He just looks at me.  Oh those eyes, those eyes that draw me in.  Before I know what is happening my face is pressed up close to his, eyes to eyes, nose to nose. I can feel his breath on my face, warm, I allow myself a slow blink and enjoy the sensation.  I realise I may be able to get the ball from his mouth with mine.  I tilt my head to the side and start to open my mouth.

 

Out of nowhere a, a voice loud enough to make the air around us shudder,

“Jep, get home now you little shit”.

The spell is broken, I sit upright, waiting for my neighbour to accuse me, I am rigid.  The voices are getting restless, the humming is growing in volume.
Jep’s owner is calling him home, off he trots, tail wagging.
Tomorrow, tomorrow I will steal the secret of the universe from his mouth. 

 

Prompt: The internet broke.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics January 25, 2014 - 5:58am

Oh fuck... Thuggish is right. The prompt I gave wasn't in fact three words. Shit. I meant it to say, "Charlie, got it!" But alas, I fucked up. My bad, people.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 26, 2014 - 2:07pm

Ha ha, not a big deal I'm sure, just having fun.

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children January 28, 2014 - 3:08am

@Renae, good read very enjoyable. Also right at the end there, Yuck! & Ewww... lol!!

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children January 28, 2014 - 9:51am

Broken

How old am I? You are 4. No I’m not! Yes honey you are 4. But how long have I been 4? About 70 years or so honey. When will I be five? Never dear, you will always be 4. But I wanna be 5 Mom! Not “wanna” sweety… I know! Want! To! That’s better, now go call your brother tell him it’s lunch time. How old is Wolf? Wolfgang is 9, Alia and before you ask, he will always be 9 and he has been 9 for about 70 years or so just like you. How old are you Mommy? Old enough to put you over my knee and warm your bottom up if you don’t go get your brother! Yes ma’am. You know Pris, if spanking her bottom was going to do any good it probably would have kicked in by now. Well look who’s having a good day! Hello there grandpa, will you be having some lunch today? I don’t know what are you making? I’m cooking some M-frogs and M-tates, same as yesterday and the day before and the day before that. You know what my favorite lunch was when I was 4? Peanut-butter and apples, grandpa? Peanut-butter and apples! Do we have any apples? There are no apples grandpa not any more.


Kids finally asleep Pris? Yeah Rick out like lights. You know I’m having a hard time with grandpa. He keeps drifting in and out sometimes I’m not sure if he’s safe to leave alone anymore. I found him outside in the rain today after lunch he was just staring up at the sky again. If he’s not staring into nothing he’s scaring the kids with creepy stories about The Saviors coming to eat them. It’s hard for him Pris you know that. You know how much he hates them, all the promises they made and the mess they left us with instead. I hate them too Rick, and if they ever come here I’ll help chop them up and feed them to the M-fish just like everyone else. How do you know he’s not right? I heard they landed off the Chattanooga’s last year and grabbed six right out of a field they were playing in. Made it to the coast before anyone knew they were missing.  We all heard the story Rick, you know what I think? There aren’t any saviors left they all died on the moon and those kids went swimming where they shouldn’t and got taken by a swarm of M-sharks!


What else did they have grandpa? We had all kinds of things back then Wolf, we had machines that traveled on the ground called cars, and machines that flew in the air called planes, and machines that went into space called rockets… You mean to the moon with The Saviors? Yes, even to the moon. Is the moon still there? Does the tide still make the lagoon fill up every day so we can catch the M-fish? Yes! Then the moon is still there. Could you see the moon grandpa? Once upon a time yes the moon and the stars and satellites, all kinds of things. Will I ever be able to see the moon?  Maybe someday the clouds will be gone and you’ll be able to see the moon. If The Saviors take me will I see the moon? There was other stuff too Wolf, we had cell phones to talk anywhere in the world and computers with internet to find anything in the world and cities with tall buildings all over the world. What happened to them Grandpa? When the ice melted… Ice, what’s that? Ice, I told you before it’s water that gets so cold you can walk on it. When it all melted everything broke down. No more roads for cars, no more airplanes, no cell phones or computers or internet. That’s when The Saviors left us here to die. But we didn’t right! No Wolf we didn’t die, all the real stuff we used to have is gone and the M-stuff we have left won’t let us die.

[cue Rod Serling] So it is on a tiny tropical island in what was once the Allegheny mountains of Pennsylvania. A genetically modified world that now exists in The Twilight Zone…

[Pass the butter]

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics January 28, 2014 - 11:19am

Mothers and Daughters

Look at her sitting there. My mother. You'd think the way she grinds her food into a pasty oblivion behind those cracked-desert-floor lips, she'd have the strength to speak. Just chompchompchomp. It's all she does there, across the Formica tabletop. So I don't say anything, either. We sit there, a face-off with her on the one side by the window, and me on the other like a "before" photo in a public service campaign: the effects of drugs and spite on the face of pretty white girls in the ghetto. Her eyes flick up to mine, like she hears my thoughts about what she's lost, and what I still have. The chomping stops for a long second and I put my fork down. She's gonna say something.

She doesn't. My eyes roll like bowling balls in the back-alley mechanisms that return them to fat, bald, sweaty men who spill beer on themselves when a waitress bends over to pick up a crumpled napkin. Fork in hand, I resume picking at my mother's excuse for home cooking. Since her taste buds are likely scalded into scars from the meth, the crack, the cigars my daddy used to put out on her tongue for laughs, she puts tablespoons of pepper in everything she makes. And the hot sauce. Jesus, the damn hot sauce. It's a wonder this slop doesn't eat through the fork itself, or our innards. Desperate for a protective coating before I force another violent bite down my throat - since the last thing my mother needs is my refusal to eat this shit, and the spasms of self loathing that will trigger inside her - I pull out a slice of Wonderbread.

Like waking up at the bottom of a puddle, I find myself all at once drowning in remorse for having let her issues become mine, and let her silences lock away my voice, and let her weigh down my blossoming womanhood with her dust-crusted early-onset menopause, I decide to break the cycle and put my fork down. I pick up the spotted but sufficiently sharp knife whose gleam catches and draws her eyes once more from the concoction on her plate. I hold up the blade between us, watching the light it slaps her face with, and say, "Pass the butter..."

 

New prompt: You do now.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics January 30, 2014 - 6:46am

C'mon people... don't let this thread stagnate, It's a good, easy exercise to get going every day.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 30, 2014 - 8:48am

Yeah, easier said than done, though...

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children January 30, 2014 - 9:16am

I want that last prompt if no one else takes it. I got this thing called 'work' that is cutting into my writting time right now... 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 30, 2014 - 9:53am

Better hope I don't get to it first...  (Way things are, wouldn't worry too much).

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 30, 2014 - 10:06am

"Based on precedent, it looks like you can just ignore the prompt," said Fucko.

"Shut up, Fucko," said Officer Dagget.

"Dagget, I'm going to smack the law right out of your mouth," raged Fucko, then shut up without actually doing anything about anything.

Prompt:  Ghostly Bird Birdbath

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! January 30, 2014 - 12:31pm

I am still into this.  Like otterMan I must fulfill the requirements of my employment, it does interfere with my attempts at putting words down.  But the weekend is soon upon us.

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children January 30, 2014 - 4:49pm

                                                           Saviors

By the grace of God and in his holy name this meeting shall come to order! Elder Mitchell, report please. Your grace I offer my testament to the council, carbon levels have dropped 4 points, most likely due to seasonal variation. Aggregate levels remain above 650. M-trees have reduced sea level by 4 millimeters but the availability of sufficient dry land to expand plant growth remains an obstacle to increased reductions.  Not to interrupt Elder but I have the figures in front of me. Yes your grace. Please report on the recent recovery. Six young souls were recovered from the southern expedition they have nearly completed purification and will soon begin their seminary studies. Our apostle approached a small settlement and delivered a sermon before being martyred by the savage inhabitants. Elder, remember those savages have souls. Yes your grace, my apologies. The apostle was a friend I should rejoice in his triumph but the recording was quite brutal.

Quite the meeting Younger Alice, don’t you think? You were not asked to present your report Elder Sanders, I was disappointed. I could see that, you spent a lot of time preparing it for me didn’t you? Yes Elder. Beware of pride Younger, there are many sins but most originate with pride. Besides, the Bishop had it front of him and he doesn’t like to air bad news in council. He feels it might make him look bad. Pride again Sir? Have caution Alice, you are a daughter to me in many ways but I am unable to overlook obvious treason. Shall I bring the lash Sir? No Alice just be cautious what you say and where you say it. Not every thought in your head need make it as far as your tongue. I need to speak to you about your career however you are nearly eligible to choose your path. Will you take a husband and bear a child or do you wish to take your Holy Orders and remain pure?

A child would be a great blessing Elder. I just don’t know if… If what? If I can perform the act of conception, I was witness to Younger Sarah’s wedding. I don’t know if I can bear to … Then you must take a mission and complete your orders. Do you know what mission will I be given? I have chosen you for an expedition Alice. But I’m a scientist I do research and reports I have no reason to go on an expedition. You do now, Alice. I just received this yesterday, have a look. It’s a photo of my brother he looks about twelve, how did you get this? It’s not your brother Alice this was taken less than a month ago. How can that be, he died in the third apocalypse. The genetics were complete last week this is your brother’s son, your nephew. He was among the 6 recovered in the last expedition. The bishop want’s you to train as an apostle, you start tomorrow. May God guide and protect you my child.

[It’s a boy]

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! January 30, 2014 - 8:09pm

OtterMan - the story of the M-world lives on :-)  Intriguing.  I want to know more.

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! January 30, 2014 - 8:15pm

Strange Photon - wonderful story,  I love the last paragraph, a chance of malice, a chance of reconciliation.  Delicious. 

KarenRunge's picture
KarenRunge from South Africa is reading Blindness January 30, 2014 - 9:52pm

I'm a bit confused -- are we still following the prompts? Looks like the last few were kinda ignored... or am I missing something?

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children January 30, 2014 - 11:39pm

I'm a bit confused -- are we still following the prompts? Looks like the last few were kinda ignored... or am I missing something?

I played off Photon's last prompt, "You do now", he ran with my previous "Pass the butter" which came off Renae's "The internet broke". JYH interjected with a prompt noir. I think we're still operating within the structure if I understand it correctly. Am I missing a crucial sub-text?

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things January 31, 2014 - 4:29am

*cloud of smoke*

It is I. The Creator of this Thread.

Per the sacred First Post, thou shalt use whichever prompt which does set your heart aflame, and ignites the passion in you to write. 

SO SAYS THE CREATOR.

*cloud of smoke*

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children January 31, 2014 - 4:37am

Did anybody else see that??

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics January 31, 2014 - 6:33am

See what???

 

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children January 31, 2014 - 7:02am

I heard the creator's voice, I almost felt him touch me (that part was a little creepy) When I turned around there was just a cloud of smoke... 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics January 31, 2014 - 7:34am

Bah, such orthodox nonsense has no place here. This thread had no creator - all good things just ARE. Now, what was the latest prompt?

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 31, 2014 - 8:41am

Shouldn't he have said "which doth set your heart..." ?

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things January 31, 2014 - 9:09am

*cloud of smoke*

The Creator is not Shakespeare!

*cloud of smoke*

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 31, 2014 - 9:13am

*cough-cough*

Could the all powerful maybe switch to vaporizing instead of smoking?

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics January 31, 2014 - 3:03pm

Is the almighty actually Stephen Dorff?

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 31, 2014 - 5:13pm

Stephjenny McDorthy

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics January 31, 2014 - 6:52pm

Terrifying...

What was the latest prompt again?

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal January 31, 2014 - 8:10pm

It's been yours for close to ten months now.  Hard to even notice for the first three, it grew, inside you.  Never did you think it would happen, it was impossible.  Impossible under normal circumstances, anyway.  You searched out the experts, butthey were no help. For over a decade the answer was always the same, they had not the power to give you what you wanted.  What you needed was something beyond the physical world to which you are bound.  So desperate were you, so hopeless, so in need.  I watched, I waited, and you fell into despair.  Then you found me.

The deal was struck, you knew then what you know now.  I'm many things, but not a deceiver.  The gift.  The price.  My terms.  Your agreement.  Most would have refused, but I knew you wouldn't.  So I did what I do best- I made your wish come true.  It's not something I do often, but if you're good at something, never do it for free.  No one can do what I do.  And I am far from free.  You were so happy.  I suppose you still are, somewhere.

It's a boy.  Most cry tears of joy when they see, but yours held more than happiness.  I couldn't help but grin to myself.  You didn't know I was watching, but I've been watching you since the beginning.  Before, even.  This was always to be, you were destined to find me.  One day, that's your allotment.  Enjoy it, cherish it, but prepare yourself for what's soon to come.  For tomorrow he's mine, and so are you.

 

[make it so]

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! January 31, 2014 - 11:55pm

i am so sad.

I want to walk with wild stags
I want to kill myself  swallowing your silence.
I want to make you ache for my word song
I want to afflict you with shame

I  fold myself  into a tiny cube,
get kicked under the couch
dust bunnies for clan

I will see sun particles whisper
I will have forgotten  solar warmth
I will think aliens have come for my world
I will give it willingly

I want everything I can’t solve
I want to make it so

 

New prompt: Rainy day song

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! February 1, 2014 - 12:07am

Thuggish - I really enjoyed reading that. ...never do it for free .

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children February 1, 2014 - 5:57am

                                                             359

Does anybody really know what time it is? With Jersey in the rearview, right now it’s straight up 12. What is this that stands before me? At #343 she smiled at me. Haven’t you people ever heard of closing the goddamn door? Can I get a witness? Was all she said to me. She began to change her shirt beside me. How many times can a man turn his head, pretend that he just doesn’t see? Past #286 we’d been friends for an hour or so. Don’t you want somebody to love? I don’t know says I. Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken? I think I need to pee!

Have you got the time to find out who I really am? I’m only going to Ohio ma’am. You look so young, have you ever been afraid? 3 hours and small change, after #146 she asked me, When so many love you is it the same? I wanted to speak but how was she to know I was with the Russians too? What kind of a guru are you? Both my hands were on the wheel while hers tugged at my belt. The Allegheny Tunnel never felt so good. Didn’t I do the best for you now didn’t I? Who’s the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks?


#91 then #75 to #67 where it once began so long ago. She said tell me are you a Christian child? I said I was tonight. So what am I so afraid of? Hey Carrie Ann what’s your game now, can anybody play? Excuse me but can I be you for awhile? All I could think inside my head, what do you want the girl to do? Are you passing me by or am I standing still? That’s exit #13 we just passed by, our time is nearly through. Hey pretty baby don’t you know it ain’t my fault? Why’d you tell me this, were you looking for my reaction? Have you come here for forgiveness? Now if I let you see this place where stories all ring true, then will you let me past your face to see what’s really you? It started out with a kiss how did it end up like this? I never made it to Ohio, we got off at exit #10. Why must we pray screaming? Why do fools fall in love? At 6:35 in the morning, it must be a rainy day song.


[beef no filler]

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 1, 2014 - 9:44am

"Lebanon Bologna?"

 —Yeah, I don't know why they call it that.
 —I mean, Bologna is in Italy.  Lebanon is in the Middle East.
 —Don't know, man.  It's good stuff, though.  All beef, no filler.
 —Gimme a pound, thick cut.

He plunks the tapered cylinder of meat onto the slicer, turns the dial, and flips the switch.  Slabs fold and fall in a rough stack.  He weighs it, cuts two more.  One pound, one ounce.

 —We can call that a pound.
 —A butcher's pound?  You know, like a baker's dozen?
 —Sure, I guess.
 —Hey, wanna hear something weird?
 —Okay.
 —I traded my family for a tattoo.

He looks at me but says nothing.  I thought he might at least ask if he could see it.

-------------------  {EDIT: fixed 'Lebannon' twice}

Prompt:  free time machine
 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal February 1, 2014 - 3:16pm

It's a cliche, I know, but it's still true.  I quit working on my time machine about a month ago.  Thought I was on to something, but another road block.  Stupid Einstein with his stupid speed of light and relationship to temporal... and the stupid entropy thing, stupid Hawking...  Well, anyway, here I am, falling back on my cliched excuse once again.  I don't need to build a time machine.  If I ever did, I'd go back in time and give it to myself, negating the need to make it.

Ba dum-cha!  It's not a joke, it's still true.  Stop laughing.  I mean, wouldn't you?  Or maybe you wouldn't.  Maybe I wouldn't!  Maybe it isn't about having the damn thing, or using it.  Maybe it's about building it.  Maybe it's the journey, not the reward.  Maybe there's a lesson in all of this.  Maybe physics is the way it is because there is a God, and he's teaching me something.  Wait!  Holy-  That's it!  Think of the black holes, right next to the event horizon, of course!  It all makes sense!  No wonder I haven't given it to myself by now!  They say there's no free lunch, well, looky here.  There's no free time machine, either.

How stupid I was to think it would go both ways.  You can't go back, don't you see?  You can only go forward!  Unidirectional, duh!  When's the last time a broken coffee cup made itself whole again?  Geez, hindsight is twenty-twenty, isn't it?  Okay, shut up and focus.  Let's see, if you eliminate the negative...  Ha, negative.  Come to think of it, why would anyone want to travel back in time anyway?  No wonder we consider the past the negative direction of time.  If it was so great, why do we keep changing things?  Who would want to go and live like savages?  Before the days of air conditioning, soap, modern cookery?  Forget that, I'm going to the future, no stopping me now!  Except, oh, right.  Once I go there, I can't get back here.  Sure i can find out who wins the Super Bowl ahead of time, won't be able to hit the casinos and take advantage.  But hey, positive and negative, why would I even want to?  But then...  What if I go too far, and humanity has sunk instead of flourished?  What if this is the golden age, it's as good as it gets already?  What if I go past humanity's extinction point?  And you know what?  This is still kind of hard to figure out.  Equations aren't exactly simple when you go into extra dimensions, especially ones you can't exactly observe.  You know, because we're trapped in the first three, floating in the fourth like a stick in the river, barely able to observe our passage through it, let alone control it.  That's why I have to make this thing.  God I hate this theoretical stuff.  I'm sure I can figure it out, though, if I just...  Sigh...  I'm hungry.  You know, I've gotten a few things straight here, I think I'm at a good stopping point.  It's not like I don't know what to do now.  I'll build the damn thing tomorrow.

 

[her biggest regret]

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! February 2, 2014 - 12:50pm

OtterMan - I see what you did there - ha ha, excellent.

 

JYH - love the bit about him trading his family for a tat.  I want to know more.

 

Thuggish - wow, I was enthralled.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics February 2, 2014 - 1:40pm

In The Observation Room

As the handle clangs back into place, and the door's mechanized bolts slide home, she watches her son flinch at each sound. The bulletproof, shatterproof, remorseproof glass of the viewing window is divided into tiny diamonds from the wrought iron chicken wire between the thick, hazy panes. The lines cut the coming scene into tiny, easily digestible pieces for the eyes to chew on. While everyone else in the room examines their shoe laces or manicures or the large analog clock beside the switches, with its deafening and relentless ticks and tocks, she's the only one who can look past them and into his eyes. She's the only one who recognizes the terror and regret. The moment that thought runs through her mind, she knows it's a lie. He had no regret. He had no terror. He had never had a conscience and this was what brought them both here today.

As final preparations get checked off, one by one, she thinks about all the regrets he leaves her with. She regrets never realizing all his lies and manipulations as a boy were a sign of what was to come. The way he always weaseled his way out of consequences, even for the most heinous of misbehaving, she regrets that too because his Houdini-esque escapes from punishment weren't really his but hers. She regrets that she didn't call the cops the first time he stole her credit card, or at the very least, the first time she found recipes for explosives, poisons, improvised weapons, all sorts of disturbing bullshit no twelve year old boy should ever have in his room. She regrets the choice of stepfather she made all those years ago, since Tom was so unlike her son's father, thus giving the boy a clear image of a good and respectable man to rebel against.

As the lights dim almost imperceptibly, and the twitch and spasm of her son's body can be felt in the ozone-stinking air, she thinks about her biggest regret and closes her eyes. A single tear fills the far duct of her right eye, then plummets to its death off the cliff of her cheek. Her biggest regret is that she gave up the path she was on, that would have led to becoming the first female astronaut way faster than that pretentious dyke, Sally, the moment she found out she was pregnant. Despite the impossibility of her knowing back then that she was carrying a zygote that would one day kill a dozen people over half a dozen years, the mother of the most recent inmate to be executed in the state of Indiana regrets not having aborted her son.

 

New Prompt: neighbors and onlookers

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children February 2, 2014 - 3:44pm

Susan Angela Morris (nee Smith) September 18, 1909 – January 31, 2014
Mrs. Morris passed away quietly at her home in Manhattan surrounded by her family and friends. Preceding her into the arms of our Lord, her husband Thomas, son Andrew, and granddaughter Angela. Susan is survived by daughter Pricilla, five grandchildren , twelve great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. Her burgeoning burlesque career was interrupted by the attack on Pearl Harbor and following her enlistment Mrs. Morris was assigned to the transport wing of the army air corps and served as a ferry pilot during that conflict. She received numerous commendations during that service including a Bronze Star for her actions to save the lives of her crew after engine failure forced the DC-3 she was piloting down on the ice sheet of Greenland by using skills learned from her Inuit grandfather to trap fur seals for food as they surfaced under the ice at their breathing holes.

Following the war Susan began a lengthy career in the New York arts scene both on the off Broadway stage and behind the curtain. Her early work in the seedy burlesque theaters surrounding Terra Haute served her well in such roles as Kate in Diary of a Stripper, Kate in Diary of a stripper II, and Kate in Hey Look at These, Not Bad for 45 and Two Kids!! Noted off Broadway theater reviewer, Dickey Dong, remarked after her final performance, “They really aren’t bad at all, I’d still hit that!”  In addition to a Tony, Susan also received a Harry, two Bobs, and on a particularly randy night a Sam and a Sherman. Even more noted for her post stage abilities to entice funding from wealthy, sleazy, producers, Susan was often heard to remark “Sometimes you just have to swallow his pride and take one for the team”.

Interviewed by New Yorker on the occasion of her 104th birthday Susan recounted a life rich in experience and history. From meeting Wilbur Wright behind a barn in Ohio as a teen to catching Cary Grant in flagrante delicto with Truman Capote in her dressing room, Susan always maintained her poise and charm. Her fondest memories were of riding in her mother’s lap as her father drove into town in the first motor car ever seen in Spokane. Her greatest regret was turning down an opportunity to intern for President Bill Clinton. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to The Susan A. Morris Foundation for Responsible Porn.

[With love Dad]

 

We doubled! Had to happen sooner or later...

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics February 2, 2014 - 3:06pm

I think whoever does the next one has to use my prompt and your prompt, but still only three paragraphs - of course, I'm not god here, so what I say doesn't necessarily mean a damn thing.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal February 2, 2014 - 3:43pm

... 

Waiting for the puff of smoke.

...

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics February 2, 2014 - 4:21pm

...

joins Thuggish's prayer vigil

...

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 2, 2014 - 4:54pm

*cloud of smoke*

Uh, Dave's not here, man.

*cloud of smoke*

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! February 5, 2014 - 12:55pm

Right -I'll accept the challenge of double prompts.  Give me a few hours and I'll be back.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics February 5, 2014 - 1:18pm

YAY!!!

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! February 5, 2014 - 4:32pm

(I'm not in love with this but also don't want to give it more time, so here it is)

 

As she sat in the back of the police car, she barely noticed the neighbours and onlookers all trying to catch a glimpse.  How had she ended up here, she tried to remember where it had all gone wrong.   First that stupid fucking whore, Mel, turned up.  Stupid bloody happy bouncy Labrador like, Mel. How dare this woman take such liberties in their home?  Did she not know her place?  Acting all friendly, trying to play happy families.  She noticed when Mel held His eye for too long.  She saw the touching, the secrets forming between them. Mel was only there to look after the babies and cook a few meals.  Suddenly Mel was eating at the dinner table with them, such a seemingly innocent manoeuvre, next she would be in bed with him.  She had written him a letter.  Maybe she could convince him to peacefully get rid of Mel, convince him to see her true colours.
“…and she steals stuff, I just caught her yesterday taking my perfume out of the bathroom cabinet.  I really think that this is something we cannot tolerate, I would like you to get rid of her.  She takes up all your time, getting you to do stuff with her, take her shopping.  The babies and I never see you anymore.  Please just get rid of her and we can all be happy again…”


He had the gall to ignore her, how dare he.  She had snapped.  She was the most important woman in that house, and he was going to learn that.  She had made a plan all the while imaging the look on Mel’s face, pain causing that perfect face to crumble, to become ugly.  She knew that Mel always did the laundry Friday mornings.  She had faked leaving the house along with everyone else that morning, and had snuck back in.  She listened out for Mel to go into the laundry, she had left her supplies in there in a bucket behind the door.  She heard the laundry door click, she ran to the laundry.  When she got there Mel was bent over the machine, she gave her a big shove, slammed the door shut and grabbed her bucket.  Before Mel had a chance, she was slamming a hammer over and over into her head.  Exhausted she had sat back to look at her work.  A grin crossed her face, that’ll teach the stupid bitch.   She started grabbing at the laundry all over the floor to clean herself with.  She noticed an envelope fall from his suit jacket, she picked it up, it had her name on it. She quickly opened it, scanned it fast.

Dearest Amy,

I know you are not fond of Mel, but we have some news that may change your mind.  You I know I love you and the babies, not that they are really babies any more, I think being 10 they are over qualified for that.  I know you and the babies never really knew your mother, although you being a bit older will have some faint memories of her perhaps.  I know that I have been distracted lately with Mel but that is because I had to be sure before I told you the truth.
Mel is your mother. 
10 years ago Mel went to jail for allegedly murdering her mother.  We didn’t want to tell you the truth and have you growing up in the shadow of a murderer, so we told you she had died.  It has now been proven that it was self-defence.  Her mother was a very jealous woman who had accused her of having an affair with her own father.  I tell you, some people.  I know this is a lot to take in, I will see you at home soon and we can make plans for the future.
With Love Dad

 

New prompt:  I want more

 

 

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children February 7, 2014 - 12:32pm

                                                                  Bird


Enjoy the show she said as I kissed her goodbye. Bought my ticket from the kiosk as she pulled away and climbed the stairs to the platform, $5.20 round trip is cheaper than parking and the bridge toll. I still enjoy the walk. Two teen boys leaned inside the shelter at the top of the stairway. I preferred the chill of the evening air on the platform myself. Without being sure why I surmised the boys and I had the same destination this night. We board the same car, they sit together in front of me, a young woman is standing by her seat, her eyes half closed swaying in a very unsteady manner. The boys are uncomfortably amused, I can tell she is tripping her brains out and feel concern. I should offer help but don’t. She doesn’t appear to be in any danger, she’s just drawing too much attention to herself. A uniformed transit cop pulls her off the train at the next stop, seems she already had drawn too much attention.

We exit downtown, me, the boys, and a very large man who looks like an off duty cop on his way home. I think I know who dropped the dime on trippy chick. I know very well where I’m going, six blocks north one block east, the boys are checking a phone map app. I point the way they thank me and exchange a look. Crossing Market one says to the other “Let’s jog” and off they go. I’m an experienced walker and set off at a quick step. Three blocks later the joggers are sucking wind, I pass them across Vine as we all turn east. They are still not sure what to make of me. I have my earbuds in and can’t make out their comment as I pass by. The line is wrapped halfway around the block. Doors at 7, first band at 8 it’s only 7:10! It moves along quickly, arms up for a quick pat down by a young fellow who seems amused at my presence. More amusement as I present my ID to the fellow at the over 21 check point. He looks at the date before he even looked up then waves me past with a shake of his head.

My daughter and her friends have saved me a seat at the bar rail overlooking the floor and stage. I order a beer and begin to look around. In front of me a large girl in tight jeans round of face slightly buck teeth chats with a severe looking skinny girl. I make a wholly unsupportable snap judgment about their relationship status. On the right are two girls one guy. I can’t figure out if he’s with the tight tee shirt large chest likes to jump up and down to the music or the slender pretty face that sings along to every song. They don’t seem to see me even when I look straight at them, I see them but they look through and past me. I realize then, I am the ghost bird! I am no longer the hawk on the wing. I perch here, silver hair poking out from under my golf cap at this rock and roll birdbath. No longer the noble predator, I like the slender pretty face. She seems sweet and open. What would my line be? Hey I’ve got a great vinyl collection, and a condom… and Viagra?? Hey, Panic at the Disco, a hard working band, if you have the chance see them live sometime. If you see the ghost bird perched in the balcony, give him a nod, OK!

[Wet, Hot, Hard]

Alan H Jordan's picture
Alan H Jordan from Reno, Nevada is reading "The Whisper Jar" and "The World Beneath" February 7, 2014 - 5:04pm

"So, I get this text, 'Wet....Hot...Hard. I'm just about to press the button to report it as abuse and I notice who sent it, my boss, The Honorable Wendy Walkstein. Is she making a play for me, the lowly stenographer?  Did someone tell her I'm a lesbian? I know I've creamed my pants watching her from time to time.  I decide to write her a steamy poem and I'm three quarters through it and I get an e-mail. "Sorry, Darla my keyboard's on the blink when I text. When you make the caserrole be sure to wet the hot peppers and bake them them until they are soft before putting them in.  You don't want them to be hard.

Lydia, I don't know wheter to be happy or sad. I guess my secret is still safe, and I still have a job, but ....

New prompt... Get started now

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children February 9, 2014 - 7:48pm

                                                    Uncle Pete

I had an uncle who was a butcher, my mom hated him. He was married to mom’s sister and they lived in an apartment above the shop. When we would visit I'd sneak down into the shop and Uncle Pete would let me watch him work. Mom wouldn’t go down there. Uncle Pete could turn half a cow into dressed packages of meat in about twenty minutes. Quick, clean, almost no sound but the gentle rustle of the knife as it passed through the wet flesh and the occasional snap of the cartilage as he pulled the joints apart. After each piece was wrapped in brown paper he would take a quick drag on his cigarette and look over his shoulder to see me watching wide eyed.

One reason Mom hated him was he cheated on my Aunt with anything that had two legs and a furry snatch. One day he came home smelling of skank and my Aunt blew his kneecap off with a single shot .410. She went through a whole box of shells on him, one at a time. No one’s sure exactly which one killed him. Mom still visit’s her sometimes, I still miss Uncle Pete.

“What the fuck are we gonna do?” I don’t know Sherri, it’s not our fault. We were both passed out, how were we supposed to know he was gonna OD? Dipshit still has the spike in his arm hope he enjoyed his last ride. “Well if we don’t get rid of him it’s going to be our last ride too!” “We got all this shit here, you call the cops and we are both gone for a dime.” You still got those Ginsu knives your mother gave you? “Yeah, why?” Get em and some trash bags. “Shit!” You got a better idea? “Shit!” Look, I gotta leave for work in an hour, just get me the stuff. “Here, you better get started now then.” Give me a smoke will you?

[last nights leftovers]

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! February 9, 2014 - 10:16pm


I sit still, as still as I can master
Every sound dents my skin
My urge is too lash out, shout
Every joint rigid, I might fracture

Your quick sniff a razor slice through knuckles
The TV brash and banging
When did the world become so loud?
Dog paws on tiles, jelly fish stings in my head

Feel this, ingest this
This is Sunday night
Glum, grim, glorious
And too loud.

 

New prompt: I am me

KarenRunge's picture
KarenRunge from South Africa is reading Blindness February 11, 2014 - 1:18am

 

Last Night's Leftovers

 

I wake clasping my skull, my hair wound in knots between my fingers. The bed sheets are coiled around me in damp knots. In my head, I hear a static hiss—a chaos sound blocking out my thoughts. I don't want to think. Don’t let me think. Every muscle in my body aches, as though I’ve been twisted and pulled. Around my wrists, my ankles, the skin burns with the memory of ropes. I close my hands over the wounds. Fine grazes, fibrous cuts, sting. There are voices coming from the next room. The sounds of a broom sweeping, the clutter of Styrofoam cups and the whisper of streamers, pushed into the corners of the room.
“Just leave it,” one voice says. “We’ll deal with it later.”
Another voice says, “Is she still here?”
Yes, I’m still here, naked on the bed, but no longer bound. I open my eyes. The light meets them in blades.
“We’re not paying her for staying the night.”
“Unless we want to go again, huh?”
No, you don’t have to pay me, don’t ask any more of me, just let me leave.
I climb off the bed, easing myself onto my feet. I can taste blood in my mouth. My pulse hardens, thudding into my head and for a moment I think I might black out. Steady. Stay steady. I gather my clothes off the floor, slip my underwear on. The insides of my thighs are traced with blood, rust-red smears, patterning fingerprints.
I hurt.
“You’re awake,” the men grin as I step into the room. “Great party, huh?”
I’m trembling, numb. I cannot look them in the eyes. My memory, I want to push it back. In my mind's eye, I can see the ghosts of their faces from the night before. Ghoulish leers, hovering over me.
A hand is held out. I take the crush of cash. Thick roll of notes.
It was worth it, I tell myself. It will be worth it, somehow, I think.

 

I stop at a fast-food store down the street, I wash the worst off in the restroom. My clothes smell of sweat; of alcohol; of something metallic, like blood. But I can’t have bled so much. Or maybe not enough. In the mirror, my eyes are wide, empty, staring back at me. I buy a coffee and choke it down. I take the bus back home.

 

“Hey honey,” my mother smiles as I pass her in the kitchen. “How was the sleepover? How’s Jessica? Did you say hi to her mom for me?”
I keep my head down, playing with my hair to keep it covering my eyes. She mustn’t see my face, not clearly. I don't’ want her to see the horror still hiding there. All I want is a hot shower, a moment reclaiming my skin. A moment to scrub myself free of every trace.
“Are you hungry?” my mother asks. “There’s still some of last night’s leftovers, if you want.”
I shake my head. No. I hear the words echo, leftovers, last night.
I tell myself that cannot be me.

 

Prompt: Buy it back

 

Renae Gee's picture
Renae Gee from Australia is reading All the words! February 11, 2014 - 2:25am

Hey Karen - that is wonderful. Love the interpretation of the prompt.