Archive for February, 2011

Edmund

February 21, 2011

The only sound Edmund heard anymore was the chime of a grandfather clock.  He heard bells every hour, on the hour, and nothing more.

He didn’t care much for small talk. To him, it was dull and distasteful. He didn’t mind when it was Mindy, though.

On social occasions, she was his ambassador.  She’d talk to everyone, never missing a name, anniversary, or child’s birthday.  She always just knew the perfect topics of conversation.  He loved that about her.

Edmund wound the clock daily, for the last 36 years, but it was only recently that he noticed its song.

Undelegated, Edmund’s personality became apparent.  His friends were patient, at first, but it didn’t take long for them to grow tired of his moody behavior and shallow bag of anecdotes.  At a party, somebody made a joke about drawing straws, for the displeasure of sitting next to him.

Edmund sipped his tea, and watched the clock.  He watched as the counter-weights touch the floor.  He watched as the pendulum came to a rest. He watched until everything was still.

And there was silence.

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(u_u)

February 17, 2011

Cairo, 11:39 PM (local)
She was smiling, a smile that said I’m listening, I care. A smile that conveyed sincerity, despite the fact that she was humoring him.

It took two years of coaching to achieve that smile. Two years to fully retrain her muscle memory. Two tedious, expensive years to fully suppress the undercurrent of smirky condescension that lost her the primary.

He continued expressing his growing concerns with the public unrest.

She nodded, reminding herself that even a simple hand on the shoulder would be disastrous.

She reassured him, he had their full support. Only someone that knew her well could see she was lying. Luckily, neither of them were present.

faith

February 16, 2011

@Yaweh said:

Some days I wish to speak, but have no words. No new words to describe the horrors that have always been, that always will be.

On those days, I try to take comfort in resounding an echo, and hope it will be different this time.

Samira

February 15, 2011

Something’s wrong. I’m on the ground, and I can’t move. People run. Chairs fly. Jackets left behind.

The sky flashes. Some try to cover the women, the children.

The able stand. Some carry loved ones, others bodies.

The sky flashes. More fall.

I’m cold. My body’s numb. I think I’ve shit myself.

Perspective shifts. I see Samira. My Samira. She’s looking down at me, clutching the uneaten maaledaa. There is confusion. Tears.

I tell her I love her. I hope she hears me.

another valentine’s day

February 14, 2011

In her defense, she didn’t know who he was, for six months. In her defense, they never had sex or even kissed. In her defense, she was lonely, and he was the most charming man she’d ever met.

Of course, none of that mattered, it wasn’t interesting. Not even her name was deemed fit to print. In the eyes of the public she would forever be a local artist, a beneficiary.

When the story broke, he didn’t need to say anything. Everything just… stopped. She played her part, refusing interviews, and he made some sort of vague apology, the hurt but supportive wife at his side.

They were supposed to spend that Valentine’s Day together. She told herself it will only be dinner, no matter what. Part of her thought she dodged a bullet, but another part of her…

She’d resigned to spend another Valentine’s Day alone, when his letter arrived. How about that dinner, it said. I miss you, it said. I think I love you, it said. There was no signature or return address.

As she squeezed herself into the dress he sent over, she realized she wasn’t the same girl he fell for last year:  now she was a size four.

writers digest contest 32

February 10, 2011

This is for the writer’s digest prompt 32 contest.  750 wc, with the opening line (below).  Apparently, it’s cute…

~~~

It was on a bright, starry night that the traveling circus rolled into town. The brakes hissed as the old train came to a stop. Nobody heard the sleeper door slide open or the tiny feet displacing gravel, as Mara raced to King Louis’s car.

She had a hard time unlatching the rusty handle, but when properly motivated, nothing was impossible for her.

The silverback turned his head as the warped door slid open. His muscles tensed; he crouched at the ready. A gentle breeze carried the scent of dying leaves, and Mara, into the car. He was too old to jump around, and smart enough not to grunt as she began picking the lock to his cage. The door swung open and the giant gorilla stared at her; the tiny girl stared back.

She shut the door, and took a step forward. Instantly, he was upon her. The beast wrapped his arms around Mara, lifting her into the air. He roared.

“I miss you too, big guy,” she said, resting her head on his fuzzy shoulder.

He roared again.

“I know, I know, but keep it down or we’ll get caught.” King Louis put her down and made his best puppy dog expression; he was surprising good at it. “Shush. It’s not my fault, Hex told me I couldn’t be in your cage anymore.”

He made his softest angry roar.

“Yeah, I don’t like him much either… Hey, I brought you something.”

He held out his hand, smiling. Mara placed an apple into his wrinkled grey paw. Louis held it up, examining it in the moonlight that pierced his wooden car.

“Don’t be such a snob, it’s all they had.” He rubbed the apple on his chest, inspected it again, and took a small bite. Mara folded her arms. “Maybe next time I won’t bother.” Louis let out a resigned grunt and finished the apple in two bites.

They sat in an extended silence. He began tapping his fingers on the his leg.

“Oh, I know. Let’s read your future, we haven’t done that in a while.” He rocked back and forth, clapping his hands. “Do you want to cut the deck?” He rocked faster, making a series of excited grunts.

She removed her tarot cards and unwrapped them. No matter what, she always carried them, they were her only true possession. As she shuffled, she repeatedly slapped his hand away. When she finished, she said, “Okay, now you can cut them.”

She laid his spread and began his reading. “Hmm… interesting.” He eyed her suspiciously. “If I were you, I’d avoid travel for a while. Do you have any new love interests?” He tilted his head and raised an eyebrow. “Now’s a good time for the two of you.” He clapped his hands again, laughing. “Ut oh, what’s this.” He stopped rocking, his face frozen. “Do you play the market, Louis?” He didn’t respond. “This says be wary of new investments. If I were you, I’d be very careful with money matters for the next six months.” He let out a soft grunt and nodded.

She placed the cards onto a worn silk cloth, her only other possession, and tied it around the deck. She held it up for Louis. “Did I ever tell you how I got this handkerchief?” No response. “It was my mothers.” Mara put the cards securely into her pocket. “She was really beautiful you know.” Louis listened, breathing softly. “On starry nights like this, I think I miss her the most.” After a pause, she smiled. “I used to pretend I had a nightmare and run into her room. No matter what, she’d always hug me and say everything’s fine. Then she’d play with my hair ’till I fell asleep.” She looked away. “I wonder if I’d be here now if she didn’t…”

The King roared, softly.

“Yeah, I know.” She picked up and bent a piece of straw. “Be strong,” she said, it was their mantra.

He roared again, a medium roar, and slapped his chest.

“That’s true, if I didn’t… join the circus, I’d probably never have have met you.”

He closed the gap between them, and hugged her. She squeezed his fuzzy arms back, and said, “Thanks, Louis.” She sniffled and wiped her nose. “So what do you want to do now?”

Without another word, he began playing with her hair. She tried to resist, but slowly Mara drifted off to sleep.

a little civility

February 9, 2011

Dear Sir,

Originally, we attributed Lady Ashton’s gracelessness to her humble origins, but after her latest faux pas, the cycling incident, we suspect it may be more than a matter of breeding. Her heart-felt conviction that all manner of people are equal is, at times, amusing, but her repeated outbursts of emotion while discussing the subject have grown tiresome. As such, we would appreciate if you attended our future social functions alone, until she has been properly cultured.  If you wish to contest our request, a truncated account of her many indiscretions, will be made available.

~The Club

cautious optimism

February 8, 2011

It was on the fifth day of the revolution that he kissed me. Against a hastily thrown up piece of plywood, he pushed me back and our lips met. While I felt his tongue explore my mouth, everything melted with me. I no longer heard the shouts, the gunfire, or even the great roar of the tank as it lead Mubarak’s thugs to safety. It wasn’t our first kiss, but it was our first in public. Such a minimal victory, amongst the chaos and confusion, stopped my melting. While the day may be won, our revolution has only just begun.

a rough list…

February 4, 2011

Same deal as before, 100 words, using 5 random.  I’ve highlighted the words this time, instead of listing – it seems better this way.

~~~

Due to a lack of comprehensive health insurance, the one time lorry driver, turned ex-pat, had no choice but to return home when his progeria relapsed. It seems, the reconfiguration of his genetic markers was only temporary, and not a single member of the massive medical collaboration that “cured” him, wanted him around once he started goin’ all Benjamin Button again. So, this middle aged teenager, found himself drinking his first and possibly last beer, on a return flight to Staines.

 

another short

February 3, 2011

I’m enjoying this random word thing, so here’s another one. I set the word count to 100, ’cause it’s harder.

WORDS=

hydrogen
follow
infection
free
favor

~~~

Hydrogen atoms bound to oxygen coalesce, and follow each other to the earth. Taped up dandelions, some with roots, decorate the alter, due to a misinterpretation of the phrase “free floral arrangement.” A bridesmaid’s facing left, to hide her “mysterious mouth infection.” And the overweight Billy Idol impersonator, who repeatedly tells everyone he’s only doing the gig as a personal favor to the best man, missed his cue and starts singing before the groom is even in place.

Alanis surveys her wedding and thinks, what’s the word for this?