Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Why Is She Fleeing?*



With barely an hour to make it, Sheryl threw the rest of her wedding ensemble into the sturdy brown suitcase, threw on her trusty old leather boots and headed outside.  The sun nearly blinded her and she retreated inside for an instant to grab the sunglasses from the dish beside the door.  "Ready, set, GO!', she said to herself and started sprinting at a brisk pace.

Sheryl needed to reach the temple grounds before he arrived, in order to put the rest of her dress and veil on.  She knew she'd be cutting it close but she felt she had no choice; the past needed to be dealt with before she could move forward into her new and wonderful life.  

The tiny single room cabin at the foot of the mountain was a second home to her for the last five years. It was the place her orders were sent to and where she prepared herself to carry them out.  She was a hired assassin, until yesterday.  Quitting the job meant leaving the cabin behind for good.  She just needed to do a sweep of the place one last time.

The man she was running to meet had conveniently picked a nearby Buddhist temple for the ceremony.  She could taste her freedom in the air as she ran along the train station wall.  She was nearly there now and allowed herself to relax and smile at the thought of what was to come.

She rounded the corner of the train station wall and heard the gunshot before she felt the pain.  Her confusion grew as her chest became heavy, searing hot, and wet.  She dropped the suitcase and collapsed to her knees, clutching at the red soaked spot where her life was oozing out.  She heard footsteps getting closer and turned toward the sound.  

A tall slender woman wearing hiking gear stood six feet from Sheryl pointing the gun directly at her head. Sheryl was in disbelief and fighting the pain to remain upright.  The tall woman calmly said, "I am delivering a message from your employer.  Resignation is denied". Then she pulled the trigger.

*This story was the result of a "react to the picture" assignment on a random writing blog. 

Wanted: Giant Hole in the Universe Needs Filling

I can't believe you're gone. I wasn't ready for you to leave. You were a good friend and a formidable enemy. You made the most amazing spinach dip that you served with Hawaiian Bread. We watched all the Harry Potter Movies (that were out at the time) in marathon style over the course of a night...you leaned too far back in the recliner and hit your head...but you were fine...other than your sailor's mouth.

You loved cats and dogs and probably most animals...but especially cats. And you often referred to cool people as "cool cats"... Which was horribly outdated but unmistakeably you.

When I think of you I think of pickles, The Mighty Boosh, and the phrase " it makes me want to bite my toes".

You once threatened my ex boyfriend in an an email and continued to make him nervous when you saw him walking down the street in your shared neighborhood. The town wasn't big enough for both of you. I'm glad you were on my side.

It broke my heart when we weren't friends for a while... But I never really gave up on you...I just waited for when we were more in sync.  And just like that... I reached out and we were friends again. 

I only have one regret. We didn't get to hang out since reconnecting. But if you are out there in the ether paying attention, I remember you fondly..as a sister...as a buddy..as an example to learn from and to give me perspective in life. You were a really bright star that gave a lot of people light in this crazy dark time. If anyone was gonna hang on and be a crazy bodhisattva type ghost, it would be you.

I miss you. I wish I could make sense of losing you.  The universe has a pretty big hole to fill.

For Emily Goodwin

Lightning flashed just as he reached the house*

Lightning flashed just as he reached the house. Had he been discovered? Darwin looked at his watch – twelve minutes to midnight.  He still had time.  He raced up the creaky steps of his grandfather’s house two at a time and ran down the hall, skidding to a stop at the last door on the left.  He paused just long enough to take in one long breath and then release it.  His hand moved nervously to remove the heavy iron key hanging from a chord of leather around his neck.


Darwin had trouble remembering the life he lived before he wore that key, before he swore an oath to his dying grandfather that he would make whatever sacrifice was necessary when the time came. There hadn’t been time to explain why or how, only that he needed to be prepared if he saw the signs – and all three had come to pass. First people started getting sick, then people began to disappear, and then (he shuddered at the memory of his encounter earlier that night) the sick turned into flesh-eating monsters.


Whatever secret this key unlocked was the only way to save his village.  Darwin put the key in the lock and turned it.  The door opened and the dark room drew him inside as if it were drawing in breath for the first time.  There were no windows and no electricity.  He spoke his grandfather’s last words “aliata darkosa aloud, and the candelabra in the center of the room came to life with twelve small flames.


The only furniture in the room was an antique desk supporting the weight of an old leather bound book.  As Darwin moved toward the tome, the pages flew open and seemed to pulse with an eerie glow.  He began reading the open pages and gasped in horror.


He learned that his family had once been cannibals who believed that they would consume the power of a person’s soul along with their flesh.  They became powerful but very corrupt and the whole village turned against them.  A traveler passing through the village, known only as “The Holy Man”, offered to help them.  He performed a short ritual and, like magic, balance in the village was restored.


After everyone celebrated, The Holy Man took the youngest son aside and handed him a book and a key.  He told the boy, “You need to know that your family was cursed by what they did.  But curses like yours cannot be broken without great personal sacrifice; they can, however, be delayed or transferred to another host.  I merely delayed the inevitable.  This book will show you what you need to know when you need to know it.  Protect the book with this key.  Protect this key with your life.  The souls of your great-grandchildren may depend on it”.


Darwin felt sick with fear as he realized the truth of the situation.  The village, his village, was cursed and it was his family’s fault.  He wiped a tear from his eye and looked around the room.  A large fireplace he hadn’t noticed earlier sprang to life, dancing with orange and red smokeless flames.  The book slammed shut and disappeared with a sizzling pop.  There was nothing left for it to say.


Darwin walked to the door and locked it with the key from the inside.  The key turned brittle and was ash only seconds later.  He heard the grandfather clock downstairs strike midnight – once, twice.  He walked toward the flames – three strikes, four.  He bowed his head and said a silent prayer for his family and the villagers – five, six.  Then he took a step toward the flames and reached for the key at his chest that was no longer there – seven, eight.  His last thought was of all the people he loved – nine, ten.  Then he stepped into the fireplace and was gone. 

*This was an assignment where the first few words were provided and I had to finish the story.

So This is How...

I woke up startled and realized I was floating alone in icy arctic waters.  The fog was so thick I could taste it with the salty sea.  "Not exactly my ideal last meal", I said with a slight groan of contempt. The sound of my own voice was the only noise amidst the silence and eerie creaking of floating ice.  

Absently, I noticed how little air is left in the life jacket, the only thing keeping me alive at that point. I felt around the plastic only to realize my fingers were numb, as well as my feet.  Another basketball sized chunk of ice floated by before I noticed the burning cold in the rest of my body. I would have panicked if I had any warm blood left to help my adrenaline flow.

With no relief in site, I simply continued to float along.  It was too cold to feel anything, even despair.  As the sky began to darken, and my field of vision narrowed to a tunnel, an odd sense of calm set in. 
"Oh", I said to myself, "so this is how I die".

Online Dating and the Guy at the Bar

Let me tell you a story about the day where one guy on a dating website messaged me "can I stick my dick in your ear hole?" And I shared that story with several people because it was ridiculous and I knew they'd laugh or feel sympathy or whatever people do.

That same night I went to late night happy hour at my favorite restaurant bar and some guy started talking to me and so I walked around with him outside the mall and eventually we sat in front. I give you a list of things he said to me:
1. Do you like to watch guys jerk off?
2. Do you think you'd want to be my wing man?
3. Do you have any single friends who just want to have a good time and "want an Asian"?
4. Have you been to a BBW club? (Me: what's that? Him: big beautiful women. Me: um no).
5. He spent quite a while talking about an ex girlfriend that wouldn't put out enough and asked if he was an asshole for breaking up with her but not before he said something like "but don't you think she could just spread her legs and do it anyway because 'men have needs;". I was careful to differentiate. Yes, if you have different sexual needs you can leave the relationship. No, she's not your property to fuck as you please regardless of how she feels.
6. 
Him: Are you sure you don't want to watch me jerk off? 
Me: no.
Him: how bout just for 5 minutes? 
Me: no. 
Him: what about 3 minutes?

If it weren't so ridiculous, I might be embarrassed.

Queen

I love queen. It may have began with the Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wane's World when I was in high school, but I wanted to take this moment to remember and pay tribute to Bill Yourdan, who I got many old cassette tapes from at that time and it contributed to my appreciation of older rock.  A Night at the Opera has become a favorite and I feel pretty confident at  Karaoke when Bohemian Rhapsody comes on... I was watching a video of them performing and I realized that they're probably the only band I haven't seen that I would love to see that I will never get to see. I had sort of written off the Beatles already because they're a slightly different generation.  I still have a chance to see Heart and Morrissey.  I've seen most of the other bands I love.  Freddy Mercury. What a Rock Star!