Prompt from previous page: buy it back
Every day the sleeper rises
Day after day to face each crises
Scurry around like so many mices
Snatch up bits of cheesy pieces
Sell our sins for higher prices
Make up gods that look just like us
So they’ll forgive our many vices
Seven sins for seven brothers
Several look like all the others
Spankings given by their mothers
Soothe themselves under the covers
Silver cross above them hovers
Sinners sent to Satan’s ovens
Seven witches from seven covens
Time has past can’t but it back
Youth lost too can’t buy it back
The sin committed can’t buy it back
Shame discovered can’t buy it back
The dead are gone can’t buy it back
A cup once broken can’t buy it back
Desire longing hope can’t buy it back
[I see you]
It's never easy to get a little extra. I'm not asking for a lot, some scraps would be nice. Maybe a little bacon every now and then? Some of that steak? I know I'm kept and taken care of, but it gets boring, you know? That's why I act out sometimes. Destroy things, on purpose or accident, I live in the moment. Like now. You left one out, you're not looking, let's investiage.
Oh, I can smell it already. Can't see, don't need to. There's meat up there. Oh yeah, still warm. Sauce too, something... barbeque? I think so. Mmm, oh, I love that kind. Okay, here goes, make my way around the sink, look across the room. Perfect, everyone's distracted. Toddlers are perfect attention-nabbers. Okay, closing in. Almost to the table. Ohhhh, it smells so good! Almost there, almost there, almost theeeere... Hind legs, nose up, yes, yes! This is it!
"I see you!"
Ack! Caught! Quick! scramble! Hit the floor, run around the corner, hide. Aw man, I thought for sure this time! Why do they leave it out if I can't have it? They all went away, do I not get leftovers? Is that not why they brought me here? It's okay, play the game. I can play this game. Oh yes, I can win this game. Ohhh, I can't wait to win. I'm relentless. They can't stop me forever. Give me a minute or two, I'll be back. They can't stop me every time.
[mommy's little sidekick]
You are really into bacon, right? (see re: Word Association, several entries)
I found bacon-flavored candy canes at Christmas, and I put them in the stockings for my son, my nephew, and his wife; it was a divided room, for and against it. I believe bacon should stay in its place and chose not to indulge. Too bad you weren't around; you're a good dog!
(sorry, that's all I got, comment- and creative-wise) :)
at times i eat a bunch, but actually no. the dog thing was inspired by my dogs, who naturally and stereotypically love bacon, among other things. the word association was my hateful side taking a shot at cops because speeding tickets, and those who write them, piss me the fuck off.
Ah, got it. My dogs too love bacon. And here's to no speeding tickets for anyone!!
He woke up, head throbbing. Fucking champagne, worse than Smirnoff Ice. The snoring beside him made it impossible to go back to sleep. He wasn't not sure he wanted to. Look at her. Half out of the covers, still naked, rolls of pasty white lard rising and falling with each sounding of the buzz saw that is her nose. He'd dreamed of this morning almost as much as he'd dreamed of the night before. He hadn't imagined it like this.
It never was supposed to be like this. Looking at her, she repelled him. Revolted him. Eighteen was plenty long enough to hold onto one's virginity, and it wasn't as if he'd wanted it. For years he wanted to lose it, in fact. But to her? So young, already fat, face like the surface of the moon, hair that was probably never washed. As much fuzz on her lip as he'd had a few long years ago. She was the last person he'd want to think about when he recalled his first time. Too late now, not like you can buy it back. It's like your soul, lose it once, it's gone forever.
He tried to comfort himself, at least she's nice. But that wasn't true either. Kind of a bitch, actually. Fucking weird, too. Always has somethign bad to say about everything when she made sense, always trying to make some point about something and falling short. Except last night, during, when too much alcohol was in the way of words. But, being fair, he wasn't exactly the stud he wished he could be either. What did his skinny ass expect to get, head cheerleader? Hot gymnast? Any of the porn stars he'd watched so many times? He scoffed at himself, he was no better. But that didn't mean he felt like hanging around, either. Lucky for him, he never slept long after a night of hard drinking, but apparently she did. Fuck this. He slipped quietly from under the covers, found his clothes, and got the hell out of there. But for some reason he couldn't explain, or maybe admit, despite his desire to never see her again, or tell anyone what'd happened, a small smile forced its way onto his face.
Mommy's Little Sidekick
"Pass the butter, please." He did, and she added it to the soup.
"Pass the beets, please." He did, and she added them to the soup.
"Pass the teeth, please." He did, and she added them to the soup. She ruffled his hair. "Just let them soak for flavor."
New prompt: Time Without Space
Time Without Space
Commander Zax Thunder of the Invincible Earth Legions swung his Space-Hog round the asteroid using it as a shield as the Xzagerians opened fire. As the Hord stopped to reload, he powered forward, jabbing his thumb on the fire button and sending each of the torpedoes to hit with incredible accuracy on each of the enemy craft. Laughing as they died, he extended his middle finger towards the alien scum. His thoughts turned for a moment to Sally back home on Earth. She had begged him not to leave. She wanted to get married. It was unthinkable to turn down killing aliens just to live with a girl. Girls are boring.
“That’ll teach you for destroying the trees,” Zax shouted at the Xzagerians, throwing his head back and laughing.
“Daniel,” said Mrs Jones in a calm voice with only a tinge of impatience. “You are meant to be writing a story about the environment. Start again, this time without space as your setting.”
“But… but… they destroyed the trees?” he whined, but Mrs Jones had already walked off to look over Nancy’s shoulder.
New prompt: Angels and Drunks
Nice left turn you did there
I've always wondered how one becomes a call girl. Street hookers, brothel whores, the dregs a lot of men wouldn't have sex with if they were the ones being paid, I get that. Drugs, fucked up childhood, it's not hard to figure out. But what about that one? Drop dead gorgeous in a classic way, she'd have a decent chance of turning a gay man straight with that body. Shit, I might hire her.
"Who's this one?" my partner asks.
"Don't know, but he's paying top dollar for her."
"More than the room?"
I snort a laugh.
Some day I'll figure it out, but I've always considered any prostitute the victim, if anyone is. Busting the hookers is a waste of time, nothing will change in the slightest, even if you finally get one to roll over on their pimp. Target the Johns, well, that sends a message at least. They're usually drunk, makes me wonder if they know what they're doing is wrong. Frankly, I don't know that it is, especially with these classy women. Guy needs to get laid, he'd never get a girl like that without money, so it's trophy wife or this angel for hire. Maybe both. Still, everyone knows what the deal is here, they all make their own choices. Can't think about it too much, makes my stomach churn, how much strife I'm about to cause this poor schlub. But that's the job tonight, and I have a pension to worry about. So here I sit in a comped ritzy hotel room with, waiting for the time to kick down the door to catch the beatiful angels and drunks in the act, doing what they do on a Saturday night. I'm feeling generous, I'll bust them after they do the deed. Guy's getting a record, he doesn't need blue balls on top of that.
But it takes a while for these guys to do their thing, so to pass the time, I imagine how many muggings, overdoses, and murders that gang members are committing right now. The stuff I'm not investigating, not preventing. Some world.
[Need a job]
NEED A JOB
“So let me get this straight,” she says. “After everything that happened between us, you came all the way out here to tell me that you need a job? And you think I’m going to give you one?”
“That’s right,” he says from the comfort of the armchair opposite her. Smiling an easy smile.
Too easy. That smile. She thought she’d learned every nuance of his, every twitch, every flash of tooth and lick of lip. She’d studied them all. From the soppy-mouth smile he’d had on his face back when they were courting, to that gut-busting look of radiance he wore on their wedding day. And then as things progressed—she’d only needed six months—the less certain smiles, the rubbery-spine looks of desperate self-delusion that made her want to slap him. She’d been careful with her own smiles in the beginning of course, aiming them at him in flattering shades of adoration, breathless happiness, eager seduction. And then ultimately, cold indifference. At the end when the papers were signed and her bank accounts were full, she’d thought he’d never want to even think of her again, let alone seek her out. What was he doing here, five years later, knocking on the door with a new sort of smile on his face? A shark smile this time—a look she’d never thought he was capable of, though she’d seen it enough times on the faces of others. That smile. All teeth, exploding menace.
“It’s not what you think,” he says, rising to walk toward her. He crosses the length of her Indian rug, and even as he moves she struggles to read him. “It’s not for the money you scammed off of me. I just got round to thinking about how you pretty much fucked me up for other women. I can’t trust anybody now, they call me dysfunctional. And it’s all your fault.”
“Tough,” she says, a little nervously. “You’re not the first man it’s happened to. Maybe if you’d taken a little extra care….”
“For all the other ways you screwed me,” he says, leaning over her now, one hand clenching each of her armrests, “I have to say you always gave fantastic blowjobs. Handjobs, too. I figured I could call in a favour, on account of all the damage you’ve done. How about it, honey?”
Before she has time to move he reaches, wrenches her head back, twisting a fist through her hair. “So give me a job,” he says, fumbling at his belt with his free hand. “I’ve earned it.”
Prompt: It’s your turn
Hey, Karen's back around!
Hey, I am!! Nice to be here, too! Wanted a warm-up exercise, so thought I'd check in.
I'd smile if I weren't so filled with hate. And rage. And something else I can't even identify. This is something I've wanted for so long. A long time coming. The fantasy. No one would ever think this kind of dream would ever come true. But there he is, tied to the chair. Taking whatever we want to dish out. Taking what he deserves.
The first one was creative, I have to say. I've never heard of anyone using a knife the way, well, ways, he did. I hope he didn't ruin it for me. Hope he didn't bring about some kind of shock or whatever. That mental state where reality grows distant. Detached. I hope this bastard still feels my pain.
Me, I'm a simple guy. No knives, no technology, no google searches. Me, I brought a bat. Little aluminum thing, short, my kid used it when he was, what? Eight or nine, something like that. Whatever. I used to take aggression out on the heavy bag with this thing when the blood pressure really skyrocketed. It helped. But now look what's in front of me. Heh... I'll skip over the details, but suffice it to say- he feels it. My anger. My rage. My pain. He caused so much of it. He feels me. Finally understand that phrase. Now he knows. I smile at him, he barely looks back. Didn't think you'd pay for your sins, did you? Oh, but you did. Yes, you did. I left his head alone, though. Kneecaps, ribs, fingers... But no head. Don't want to make the brain too fuzzy to enjoy what's next. Don't want to kill him before we're all done. I'm anything but selfish. I turn to the one who drew the number after me, panting, happy. Almost satisfied.
"It's your turn."
[can't get ahead]
That last one reminds me of the final scenes from 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance'!
So are Thuggish and I just playing by ourselves, now??
Hmm, never heard of it.
Looks like it! I almost wrote a sequel to yours, as it happens, ended up going in a different direction.
Alright then, so be it! A sequel... maybe I'll take a turn at following yours....
(Oh yeah, 'Sympathy' is fabulous. Korean genius, hardcore and intensely moving. Check it out.)
Very well. Damn this list is getting long...
I'm reading them and enjoying them, if that helps. I will have another go soon. Please keep writing them.
CAN'T GET AHEAD
We stand gleaming in the dim light, our bare hands and faces covered in mists of sweat and blood.
“It’s your turn,” he says, stepping away from the mess twitching in the chair, that thing wrapped in ropes, that thing raw with wounds. It’s hard to believe that it was once a man; one who moved in stubborn power, exacting grotesque desire. It's hard to believe that any of these three messes of futile agony were ever people. Now they are ours, helpless against our own grotesque desires.
“That’s not the one I want,” I tell the one who calls himself Thug. My voice is trembling. Even I don’t know if it’s from nausea or excitement, or the twist in my stomach that may be my last remnant of conscience. He lifts his lip in a sneer; he thinks I’m weak. We’re drinking the devil’s wine tonight; drunk on it, we could easily spill this carnage onto each other. If I shy away, the others will pounce. They all watch me; waiting. I remember when we first found each other and started planning this; swapping living rooms every week for a month, sitting with our papers and our plans, plotting, gushing tension, apprehension. Elation. These people robed in blood and euphoria, I barely recognise them now.
“Take what’s yours,” he says more gently.
I didn’t have Thug’s imagination. He brought a baseball bat, I brought a hacksaw. I move to the woman, less broken than the man, enough unbloodied skin left for me to still see clear. She’s stripped bare; ankles tied to the legs of her chair. She struggles to keep her legs closed, struggles to hide herself. She sees me move toward her, and her swollen eyes seem to widen, leaking tears. I lift my hammer. I smash her knees, choking back the bile that fills my mouth as cartilage and bone split, bursting blood. There’s so much noise hissing in my ears, I don’t even hear her screams.
“It’s not enough!” Renae shrieks. Her voice is high, indignant. As though she’s been cheated. This is the cry of the junkie taking their last hit, frantic at the knowledge that it cannot last. “How will we remember? How will we remember?”
There are three bodies, ruined under ropes. I know it’ll be a lot of work, but it’s me who says, “Let’s dismember them.”
We take the dividends. Hands, fingers, toes. Stona pockets three eyes, one from each, dug out with his coffee spoon.
“It’s not enough!” Renae says again. She grabs the hacksaw, steps to the first corpse. “I want a head. A head!”
“You can’t get a head!” someone says. “It’s too big, too heavy! What will you do with it?”
“I want it,” she says, sobbing in childlike regret. Her arms are weak, her hand trembles—she doesn’t have the strength, under all this emotion, to force metal through bone.
“Here,” Thug says gently, pulling her away and taking the blade. “Let me do it.”
Next Prompt: Another new day
Yes, I am aware that I cheated... I just couldn't resist....
I've had a lot on my writing plate lately, but I'm happy to see this thread still going. Keep it up.
Yes, I am aware that I cheated... I just couldn't resist....
Yes, I am aware that I cheated... I just couldn't resist....
I liked it.
Glad you started it.
Karen - wow, bravo. That is great!! I would definitely take the head.
I shall grab the next one - give me a day.
Another new day
I open my eyes before I am ready. It hurts, my head hurts, my throat dry. I try swallowing to create some saliva to ease the dryness, it does not help. Where am I? I look around the room without moving my head, I know that would create more pain. I have no recognition of this ceiling, these clothes laying on the floor, the taste in my mouth, the stickiness between my legs. I brave the torture and look left, there you are, you fucking pig. Fat gut slothing on to my side of the bed, your breath making a stupid flubburt noise as you sleep. I imagine taking a knife to your throat as you sleep. Would you awake in surprise, your eyes trying to understand as I grin at you before you bleed out?
My arms itch, I absent mindedly start to scratch, scratch too much and then am surprised when I notice blood beneath my finger nails. Slowly last night begins to show itself in my mind. I get out of bed looking for cigarettes. You fucking pig, you tried to sell me, you bet me in a poker game. Fuck, I need to get out of here. I can’t take your shit breath in my face as you huff and puff your come into me, while I imagine I’m the goddess of heaven with men melting at my feet all eager to please me.
Quickly I dress and leave, not an ounce of urge to look back. You did well at poker, my pockets full of your stash. I can never go back, I have burnt my bridges. Out on the highway, thumb out, jeans tight, head cocked, who will stop? God, please let it be an old man, full of reminiscence about his family, make him think I am his granddaughter. Then the shock of realization as he comes in my mouth knowing it is wrong, but worth at least another $100 for guilt alone. He will not sell me in a poker game, he will want me to stay as long as possible. His loneliness letting me scam yet another new day in this life of no regret.
New prompt: Blood washes out.
Blood washes out
She had expected something more. In her head she imagined there would have been a slow build up to an incredible climax. She had expected to feel transformed into something more. This was the moment she would emerge from her metaphorical cocoon and become the butterfly she always knew lurked underneath. This was the moment she was supposed to become a woman. The clichéd red taint on the virginal white sheets showed that she was.
It had been nothing like she’d thought. There was a moment of pain that had just been passing into pleasure when it had all come to an end. Mark was now over at the window smoking, flicking the ash into the street below. He had discarded the condom onto the chair next to him, ignoring the bin that was just two steps away. She could still feel his touch on her skin, smell his sweat as he’d thrust inside her, and it made her feel ill.
Something had changed inside her, but she didn’t feel transformed into a woman. If anything she had regressed into a little child, hugging her knees and missing her parents; unable to shake the feeling that she’d made a terrible mistake. It had all been too cheap. The rush of desire had quickly vanished leaving only a bloody mark to show it had ever been there. Having flicked the butt out of the window, Mark dressed silently clearly keen to get back out into the night. She watched him dress and leave without a word. All she wanted now was to be alone so she could change the bed covers and have a shower. She would wash the sheets first thing in the morning. The blood would wash away; the shame might take a little longer.
New prompt: Old familiar roads
Old familiar roads
Mike wiped the dust from his sun/wind goggles and squinted as he scanned his sector. The up armored vehicle growled and rumbled underneath him as it rolled through the loose sand. The vehicles in front of him kicked up clouds as the shifting sand sucked at their wheels and threatened to bog the convoy down.
Wiping the sweat off his face, he leaned back and savored the sun. He knew these mountains like he knew the streets he grew up on. Every bump, every turn had a memory. Reaching into a pocket, he pulled a bottle of lukewarm, stale water out and took a drink to wash the dust out of his throat.
The blast threw him forward and he bashed his cheeck on the the handles of the machine gun. Ears ringing, he pulled back on the charging handle of the .50 caliber machine gun and wondered if today was the day. Who would come and see his name etched in the wall next to all his friends who'd come this way before. Through blurred vision, he saw movement and his finger settled on the trigger. The heavy machine gun rattled him to his bones. Gritting his teeth, he watched spurts of dust rise up.
And then he saw nothing.
New prompt: Nothing lasts forever
Nothing Lasts Forever
The fourth screw had been a little hard to work loose. The head was becoming worn, and he made a mental note to ensure he had a replacement at home. Carefully he levered the bottom of the box away from the housing, and took a look at the mechanism inside. It looked to be free from dust, but he reached for the cotton swabs anyway. He gently wiped down the comb and the cylinder in between the pins.
The music box was practically an antique. It was almost 50 years old, and had belonged to his mother when she was a child. Now it had been passed down to Emma, who despite having access to iPads, laptops and X-Boxes, loved it. She had been upset when it had stopped playing, and while he had promised to fix it for her, it had not been a priority. It was old, and old things break. On that fateful morning she had pressed him again, and he had made the usual empty promise.
Finishing his daily maintenance task, he put the box back together again. Winding it up, he placed it next to the fresh flowers on the bedside cabinet, and drowned out the machinery beeps for a little while. He held Emily’s hand while it played, hoping that somehow, she could hear it. This was his routine, and he would not consider any deviation from it. He was certain that if she could not hear that music every day she would slip away from him forever. It would fail eventually, he knew, but not today.
New prompt: Carriages at midnight
Carriages at Midnight
At the opium den, we drink vermouth, we drink cinzano. We drink straight from the bottles, sweet splashes stinging down the throat. There’s the vamp in the corner, velvet dress and smeared lipstick. Paid to sit silent, to smile, to gather her skirt up over her knees. To lie back, eyes closed, whenever one of us steps toward her. She smells like rose water and wine. Pressing my face to her thighs, her smell thickens, changes to blood and salted meat.
We’ve been here for three days now. The Marquis, my sardonic friend, talks animatedly to the prostitutes, the gentlemen, the ones who wander in. While I melt into the armchair, he grins that stupefying grin. Wildness in his eyes. He is everything the upper classes do in secret and never tell. He is everything the ladies abhor in church, dream of in the dark. His life is a life I’ve always wanted. Something limitless, something beautiful, unbound. Speaking to me, touching me. Remote from me, yet in the flesh.
When I first met him, we spent the night in his room drinking while he told me stories that made my heart sicken and lunge in turns. “I’ll show you,” he said, crazed excitement in his eyes. “What do you say?”
And he offered me his hand.
“When you’re bored with this my good friend,” the Marquis turns to me. Even when drunk, he never slurs. His voice is clear; it booms. It cracks against the dream-haze that lurks over these walls. “When you’re bored, we can order carriages at midnight. When you’re tired of this cheap little mockery of decadence, I’ll show you the real world of limitless experience. I’ll take you to meet my own master.”
“You have a master?” I mumble. My eyelids are heavy, my vision blurred. He looms over me, a figure cast black by light.
“Every monster has his maker,” he says. A place in the darkness where his face is peels open. Through the drug haze, I see teeth, perfect white, spreading. “You part the legs of whores,” he says, “we unzip them from cunt to throat. You haven’t felt heat, or passion, until you’ve felt their bodies burst under your hands, even as you move inside them. Carriages at midnight.” He offers me his hand. “I’ll show you the monster in you. What do you say?”
Next Prompt: He saw me
Karen... My God I am never going to be able to "look" at you and Thuggish the same way again! I love the play on the words! Love the sequel! Nicely done I'm going to have nightmares about the two of you now!! ;)
What did I do???
KarenR - sublime. I will read anything you write! More, more!!
My lungs pump and burn. It's cold out, makes running harder. Didn't have much time, had to take off fast. My footsteps were loud, but they weren't the only ones. He'll have a number of directions to choose from, I think mine was better than most.
Most of the time, the guys try to choose the most clever hiding places. That's all well and good until he catches you anyway, then what? Ah, they don't think that far ahead. He'll never find me here, tucked away in this little nook. That's what they think. But sooner or later he does, and there's no escape. Me, I get out of sight, but it's not all that hard to find me. But once he does, I have options. I'm only one- wait, shut up. Did you hear that? He's coming. That way, he's coming from that way, I better hurry. Quiet this time, though, no one else is moving, he'll know which way I'm going. Hurry, hurry, round the corner... He saw me.
Crap! No use in being quiet now. Bolt the other way, make the turn around the wall. He's faster than me, bigger, couple years older. I pump my legs hard now, he's catching up but I had a head start. Almost there, almost there... His footsteps are right behind me. But I'm almost safe. Reach out, run a little more... Got it!
"Safe!" I exclaim.
"No I got you."
"You wish, I was on the pole way before you did."
He frowns and turns away, he knows I'm right. First one to make it to base, too. I laugh. He goes to find one of the other boys.
What's your bench?
Hey lovely folks! Just checked back here. Renae, so glad you like. Kristi, didn't you already know what you were dealing with??! Haha.
Thuggish: 'What's your bench?'
Um, is that a reference to some dude thing? As in... bench-pressing, something... maybe?? Because I have no idea what it even means!!
I'm pretty sure that would usually refer to the weight someone can bench-press, but I'm not a weight lifter, so I might be wrong.
Either way, words are just words. You can interpret them however you'd like.
Yeah I was inspired by a gymrat I was thinking about when I chose those three words; you know, the guys who's personal worth is measured by such things (when we all know the deadlift is what counts!), but do whatever you want!
You know, you're not the first person to ask me what that was about...
Petey cuts line for the showers. No one says anything. A few winks and nods. No one wants to go once Petey's in there. Holding their junk.
Petey slips in between Mark and Kino. Three spouts, each with a dangling soap rope. Petey brings his own. He looks over at Mark. "Saw you on the hangbar. Nice work." Mark is silent. Doesn't even turn. Petey looks at Kino. "Saw you on the weights, man. What's your bench?"
Kino turns full-face to Petey and says, "Three."
"Girls at a time."
Mark busts a gut laughing and Kino just stands there like he's selling cologne. Petey diligently finishes his shower and cuts out. Before another can take the middle spot, Mark whispers, "I might hit it."
"Yeah," replies Kino, "maybe if he reined it in a bit."
Oops, forgot a prompt.
Prompt: definition of life
They call me a pimp with such disdain in their voices. Can't say pimple without it. The only problem they have with what I do is how much it reflects what they do, only without the veil. No masking the nature everything with me, unlike them. Politicians, cops, thieves, worker bees... Let me explain.
All these girls are dead inside. Bad upbringing, abuse, drugs... Look at their eyes, they're soulless. Damaged beyond repair. Ghouls. Their heart beats, their lungs breathe, their dead cells are replaced with new living ones. They grow. But that's life. Not really. I have a place for them to contribute, at least. And the guys, they're not much better. Day in, day out, the same shit. Cubicles. Coffee. Nagging bosses. Nagging wives. They call it a rat race, but rats have purpose- survival. These guys, with modern conveniences, with technology, with fucking welfare? They don't even have to survive, because they will anyway.
But give me a hundred, take a strung-out ghoul to a room, lock the door, get an hour... That's when they feel alive. The guys, I mean. The only ones not totally gone. That hour is when they truly feel alive. It's just a feeling, not real, but it's something to them. Better than the girls getting high to feel alive. It's funny, either it's a dick getting stuck in them, or a needle getting stuck in them. But that's how it is. Just watch Discovery or CNN. Hookers and Johns, taxes and businessmen, lions and hyenas. In this world, it's one of two ways. Fuck, or be fucked. That's the definition of life.
rings around planets
Rings Around Planets, Two of Them
The bear carves its way into the brush where it spies a piglet, another creature's child.
The piglet sees the bear, turns around, and remains.
The bear devours the piglet without considering the implications.
prompt: Hickory-Smoked Hickory
This thread should never drop to page two....
Uncle Jeff sits on his porch, chewing chunks of tobacco and spitting vivid streams of ochre saliva onto the wooden deck.
“Come here, baby girl,” he says to me, and pats his lap with heavy, gnarled hands. The clapping sound is like sticks breaking, something snapping in the back of my head. The tree by the porch sways in the wind, a shudder and rush of leaves hurled against each other. That tree. That hideous hickory tree. The bark armoured over the wood like layers of scabs, half-peeled. A ruined tree. A wounded tree.
I’m not his baby girl.
Up close he smells like cooking oil, damp leather, and something heavy and sweet. Tobacco, wet, churned through saliva. An unwashed mouth. An unclean mouth. Closing over my neck.
“Baby girl,” he breathes, washing me in the stench of his mouth. His hands, tight on my wrists, force my arms around him. Over his shoulder, I stare at the hickory tree. Rough plates of broken armour, slowly being shed. As though the thing doesn’t want its protection, as though it builds its plates and peels them away. I wonder what it is, underneath. I wonder if I burn it, if its smoke fills the sky, how much it would bleed. If it would scream.
Uncle Jeff’s mouth closes over my chin. I smell tobacco, rot, resin. Sapping me. I think of fire, of smoke. Hickory and smoke. Hickory smoked hickory. His mouth, my skin, the tree.
New Prompt: Come this way
Come this way
Boys and girls, come this way
I'm weary and downcast, make my day
I need more blood to keep melancholy at bay
Next Prompt: On my watch
Definition of Life
She reaches out her fingers with their cracked red painted nails and touches the side of my face. "How do I know you're real?" she says. Tears blur her eyes, a single bead runs down her cheek. "I see you. And I hear you and I feel you," she says. "But how do I know you're real?" She's on the floor with her arms wrapped around her knees, hugging herself the way a child would a teddy bear.
I whisper isn't it enough that we can be here together? A family? That I tell her I love her? And she says, "That's exactly what you'd say if you were just some fantasy." And in the cuff of the sleeve of her nightgown, I can see the silver glint of the razorblade held in the palm of her hand. With the sleeve of her other hand, she wipes her nose, looks up at me. "Nothing makes any sense," she says. "None of this makes any goddamned sense!" She waves her hand, her cracked red nails, around us, at her bedroom, at the world outside her window.
I tell her it doesn't have to make sense. This is the world. This is life. I tell her, maybe the point is that there is no point. I put my hand over hers, my fingers over her fingers, uncurling her fist from around the razor, its edge stained red from the line pressed into her palm. I say, "Sweetheart. What be, need not necessarily be." The razor falls to the floor. Drops of red on her white carpet, on her blue nightgown. I tell her, "Maybe that's the beauty of it."
New Prompt: Change your life
Come This Way
Shoulda paid more attention when she told me to use a condom. Thinking with the wrong damn head. She pointed to the bathroom and said, "Grab the yellow one, the PleasureMaxxx I left on the counter." She said, "It's specially for you babe." So I did.
Shoulda paid more attention when I was about to blow my load in her mouth, and she stopped her lips, took me out, and said, "No, no. Put the condom on." Pointed between her thighs and said, "Come this way." So I did.
Shoulda paid more attention when I arched my back, my eyes rolled up, and rocked my hips to orgasm, and she whispered, "This time'll be the trick, I just know it." She ran her fingers through my hair as my whole body went limp, and she said, "We're gonna be so happy."
Shoulda paid more attention to that condom, the yellow one, to the tiny holes poked through it, and all the others she ever bought for me and left on the counter in her bathroom. Right next to her pregnancy tests...
New prompt: Live or Die
Please excuse my fourth paragraph.
Another New Day
The medicine cabinet snaps open. Water from the faucet runs straight into the drain. In the mirror, my reflection pulls out a half-full bottle of my friend's Vicodin. You can tell so much about a person by the contents of their medicine cabinet. Laxatives. Viagra. My friend Marv's got anxiety and back pain according to the labels on the bottles in here. I pull out a mostly full thing of Xanax.
Behind the closed door, from another part of the house, the muffled thump of amplified bass and drums pounds in my head, people laughing somewhere. The sterile taste of vodka on my tongue, beer-flavored hiccups in my throat, leftover from last night. I twist the top off the bottle of Vicodin and shake out four tablets. Two Xanax--we call 'em footballs--join the Vicodin in my palm, and I toss it all back into my mouth. The bitter taste of pills melts into the taste of alcohol on my tongue.
Someone pounds on the door. "Hey man, you cool?" someone asks. I lean into the stream of water from the sink, swallow a gulp and say, "Yeah man. Just getting my head on straight a bit." I cough, and put the medicine bottles back in the cabinet and snap it closed. "I hate mornings," I tell my reflection.
New Prompt: Go see Janis