Flash Fiction – The Leaf

(Repost from my old blog)
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Little Leaf

Carmine Carmichael smoked his last cigarette twenty minutes ago.  The sun rose above the row homes on Sutter Street as he sat down on the marble steps at the corner.  He hadn’t slept in three days, hadn’t eaten in two days and hallucinations were starting to begin.  His four-week old blue jeans felt crunchy as he ran his hands up his shins, to his knees and then his thighs.

A dead leaf blew down the sidewalk, past his battered sneakers and he thought of how peaceful the dead leaf must have felt. It was, after all, devoid of all feeling.  The leaf had lived its life on a tree somewhere as people passed it by without a thought.

Carmine knew exactly how that little leaf felt. Another leaf blew past and Carmine reached his filthy hand down and scooped it up with care. The weak stem felt dry in his fingers as he twirled it around, looking at the rips in the body of the little leaf.

“I’ll bet you were once so beautiful, little leaf, just like me.  I was a strong man once, little leaf.”

The little leaf stood lifeless in his fingers and Carmine felt his eyes well up as he clutched the leaf to his chest. Little leaf pieces fell to the ground as Carmine sobbed.

Footsteps echoed in the distance and Carmine put his filthy hands back on his thighs and watched the leaf blow away in a dozen pieces.  Carmine watched as shiny, pristine shoes stepped on and over the leaf.

Carmine knew just how that little leaf felt.

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Regret – A Poem

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photo by DAM Steelman

I’ve seen so much in my short time…

Dug some ditches, walked the line…

My head drooped down, I cowered in fear…

Praying and hoping the end was near…

A switchblade smile and a melancholy laugh…

Always rewriting my epitaph…

I wear my heart on my sleeve with hate in my eyes…

Cursing you all under despondent sighs…

Why me? Why am I the chosen one?

This is not who I want to become!

But here I sit, on this lonely rock…

As the minutes go by, they tick and they tock…

I’m drunk again, and that feels right…

As the sun goes to sleep and awakens the night…

I think and cry and think some more…

As I make empty promises, to settle the score…

Tonight I will rest on this rock as I weep…

And pray the Lord my soul He will keep…

Flash Fiction – Repost – Rise and Fall

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I watch the sunrise over the ocean like a wild animal creeping out of a forest den.  It will be full daylight soon and the pain will come.  Sure, I could run back inside and hide in the darkness of the cave. However, that would prolong the inevitable and I want to see the sun.

Last night got so out of control.  How could I let Lily go with the others? I could smell their abhorrent kindness. The way Kaud, the leader, stroked the small of her back as they walked into the cave drove me mad.

He knew it drove me mad and he knew I would do something foolish. What a foolish idea, charging at Kaud!

I heard Lily shout, “I never loved you, Vol.”

As Kaud broke my neck, Lily broke my heart.

Now, I stare at the sun, so blinding and pristine, as I whither to a pile of forgotten ashes.

(flash fiction piece from my old blog)

 

Iffy Around People

So… I’m a writer… and an artist (kind of) and a bit of a photographer.   And I’m not sure if all of these things make me out of my effing mind, or because I am out of my effing mind, I can really love all of these things.  But I do and they really help me when I have to wind down from anything that freaks me the fuck out.  I love bugs too, but we can talk about that another time.

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Watercolor Marker Face by Me

Things that freak me the fuck out:

  • Groups of people.
  • Spontaneous plans.
  • A sudden change of plans.
  • Clowns.
  • Spontaneous plans that involve a group of clowns. *shudders*

And yes, being a writer, I kind of have to be around people because I write about people (unless I write a book of personification, but I personify my cat – and no one wants to read about that… trust me) and the silly, dumb, ridiculous, obnoxious things they do.

But the people thing is iffy for me… iffy because it is touch and go.  I can be in a group of people if I have notice.  The more notice the better, but I need at least 24 hours (gotta sleep on it).  I need this notice – this warning – because I need to store up a lot of energy and play out every ‘worst case scenario’ in my brain, mentally react to it and then file it away, and then re-react to a scenario I didn’t plan the worst about on my way to the event.

Sometimes, it is so bad:  I have actually driven by at least three or four gas stations until settling on one with no more than two or three cars in the lot/at the pump:

My truck: Yo.  I need gas.

Me:  I know, I know… but…

My truck: There’s one, a gas station.

Me: But… too many people.  We’ll find another one.

Truck: You’re ridiculous!

Me: *heavy sigh* I know… thanks for putting up with me. 

Truck: …

Ok, so clearly I personify more than my cat… but yeah, that’s a moment of a day in the life of afflicted me.

Before (like, a really really long time ago – almost 10 years!) I used to just get shit-faced drunk and then I could be around people (unless I was snorting cocaine – in which case, I couldn’t be around people) and who the hell knows how that turned out.  I was so drunk (frequently) that I’m assuming now (100% sober) that I was cool around people because I’m still alive and never went to jail.  And I absolutely should have went to jail at least two times.  Okay… maybe four times.

But again, it was always iffy.  If you get it, you’ll get it.  And if you don’t get it, you probably never ever will.  Ever. That’s something else I’ve learned.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him put on pajamas.

And, now I feel as though I am becoming condescending so I’ll see you around…

Flash Fiction – Repost – The Broken Road

There was this road; this cracked, steamy, dilapidated road that I had heard about in a bar about twenty miles outside of the small town of Centralia, PA.  The gentleman (and I use that term loosely) that spoke of the road was so inebriated, I could scarcely tell if he was just telling some whacked out story handed down through generations or if there was truth to the tale.

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But I had to know.  That was my nature.  I had to get to the bottom of everything.  So, like a snake slithering back into the trees, I slipped out of the bar unnoticed, and headed for Centralia. I drove around that bright, sunny Sunday afternoon and then I saw the sign:

CENTRALIA – 2 MILES

Yes!  I overheard the road was closed.  And why wouldn’t it be?  Apparently, it was in no condition to handle any kind of traffic.  There were cracks and graffiti; steam and overgrown weeds. I came around a bend and I saw the cemetery on Highway 61 that was mentioned. It was old Highway 61 I was searching for and it shot right off of new Highway 61.

I had made it!  I could go back to the city and tell everyone about the broken road I had stumbled upon.  Well, I could have.

You see, there was a large crack in the road, I hadn’t noticed it really, if you could believe that.  I was too busy gazing at all the profane graffiti on the sun-baked asphalt while catching glimpses of steam shooting out from cracks far down the broken road.

There was no rumble when the ground opened wide and swallowed me whole.  It was almost as if the broken road had been waiting to feast on something to quell its burning innards.

I always did have terrible timing.

(This Flash Fiction piece is from an old blog of mine called The Daily Woman)

Flash Fiction – Repost – The Woods

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The Woods 

The distant waterfall seemed quieter as Charlie tugged on the rope. She had been in the woods for three days. Her tummy growled as she thought of cartoon characters that used to tie belts around their bellies as if somehow it would save them from hunger.
Something woke her up last night that sounded like a train whistle and a chimpanzee. It didn’t matter. This rope trick would get her food.
Satisfied with the knot, she ducked behind the tree and waited. The woods grew quiet. A kind of quiet that made her hum to make sure she could still hear.
And then it came from behind her. That awful chimpanzee being bludgeoned by a train whistle sound. Charlie dashed out of the trees toward her rope trap. She could climb to safety. Her hand slipped on the rope and she felt it wrap around her ankle before it whisked up the tree limb. It was too fast. The rope; that noise. That wicked sound came again as Charlie hung there. She wished she had brought her gun.

 

Life… It’s Like That

That old addage (or maybe not so old – I think I heard it in an Alien Ant Farm song, aptly titled, “Movies”) life is like the movies has been rattling around in my head for years… years and years.  And actually, that song has really nothing to do with life being like the movies.

What the fuck am I talking about?

Life.  Freaking life that, if lived in a somewhat reckless manner (or a complete cluster fuck of utter abandon), really can give you shit to write about, talk about, laugh about, cry about.

Anyway, I tend to get preachy and condescending in posts and I promised I wouldn’t do that in this blog.  I promised myself that for once, I’d write from my fucking heart.  Let it bleed on the page all gooey and gross to either be scooped up, swept away or blatantly ignored.

Because I need to write for me. I need to tell my story for me and yeah, I need to put it out in the world because that’s just what I need to do.  It’s kind of like a form of validation.

This really happened to me and it may have happened to you (in similar or different ways) but it happened.  So there.

Sometimes I feel like I am a big joke that God (I’m kind of questioning God these days, but I still pray every morning, out of sheer fear of fire, brimstone and clowns) or the universe created for amusement.

Because for the most part, things have gone relatively well for me…. but then again, they’ve been total shit.

I’m an alcoholic.  Sober since May 26, 2006… but an alcoholic forever.

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Irrelevant Watercolor Bird by Me

Before I got sober I was a fucking basket case with a death wish and I just couldn’t die.

And I really tried.  Three suicide attempts and ten years of vodka, Blackaus, pills and cocaine sprinkled with sketchy decisions.

Could. Not. Die.

So, now since I couldn’t die I have this notion in some tripped out narcissistic, egomaniac way that I was put on this earth for something bigger than myself.

And that made me feel guilty.  And oh, how the loathsome love guilt.  But I am trying to put that guilt on the shelf (with that creepy ass clown) and honestly make the world better, somehow.  And then I thought, surely others have felt this way else we wouldn’t have any famous people, world leaders, etc.

So I’ve kind of squashed the guilt between the size five jeans I no longer fit into and writing.

So, we’ll see where this goes.