Archive for short story

Happy Accident?

Posted in Random Thoughts with tags , , , on May 10, 2017 by bigtuna185

The short story that I wrote months ago, “A Gathering of Exes” (https://bigtuna185.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/a-gathering-of-exes), is suddenly getting a ton of traffic thanks to a link on Reddit. Like hundreds of views. That’s insane.

I’m not complaining, it’s just odd that my story would be linked to in that thread since I’m not what I would call a “well-known author.” I’m not entirely sure how you would find it unless you were one of the 3 or 4 people that read it (numbers not exaggerated), or you dug deep to find some source material for the post.

I think the most ironic part of all of this is that I wrote the story based off of a prompt that I found on, you guessed it, Reddit. How’s that for a full circle ending?

Anyway, if you’re seeing this and you’re new to the blog, mind the cobwebs from the lack of frequent use, and feel free to give some feedback to my writing. Thanks!

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A Gathering of Exes

Posted in Short Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2016 by bigtuna185

“Good evening everyone, and welcome to the annual gathering of Dominick’s Ex-Girlfriends!” A voice boomed over the PA system. Applause erupted across the audience. “I’m your host for tonight, Dom’s first love, Rachel.” More stringent clapping now. A few grumbles can be heard. “Hey now ladies, no matter how it ended, we’re all winners here tonight. We’re on the same team.” Pleased with the explanation, the crowd of females clap once more. A few can be seen giving high fives and taking selfies.

“I’m so glad you could all be here today. Before we kick this off, I’d like to hand it over to our keynote speaker, Dom’s mother!” Enthusiastic cheers rise from the audience, with some saying audibly, “Awwww, I love her.”

“Hello to all of you wonderful, wonderful girls. I’d like to thank each and every one of you for the impact that you had on my sweet baby boy. I know that he’s rough around the edges, but little by little you’ve slowly been softening him up…except for you, Arcadia. I’m pretty sure you were just a phase.” Arcadia, dressed in all black, flips off the crowd with a forced smile. His mother continued.

“Who could forget you, Sandra? He loved spending time with you at the beach.” Sandra stood up.

“Uh, obviously he forgot about me. Several times actually. He called me Kendra more times than I can count.” At this, Kendra stands up.

“At least you got a full name. He couldn’t remember who was who, so he just called me ‘Dra.'” Murmuring sweeps across the congregation. Dom’s mother looked horrified.

“Well, you see, love keeps no record of wrongs, and apparently no record of names either. Luckily, I do. Like Tiffany! Your relationship was the most adorable 7 days I’ve ever seen.” Naturally, Tiffany had something to say about this.

“Yeah, that jerk just used me for my beach house during Spring Break. The moment we got home, I never heard from him again!”

“Are you sure you didn’t just change your phone number, dear?” his mother stammered.

“I didn’t,” Tiffany said. “But he most certainly did!” Multitudes of nods are seen in the audience.

“That’s a classic Dom move,” whispers Rachel into the microphone. His mother is speechless once more. Just then, a door crashes open from the back of the room. A petite redhead confusedly walks into the conference hall.

“Hi,” she called out. “I think I’m lost. A car just randomly picked me up from my boyfriend’s house and brought me here.” A hush of sorrow fell across the room.

“Oh, sweetie,” said Rachel. “Come on up here and we’ll get this sorted out.” The girl gingerly made her way forward and onto the stage. “Now why don’t you tell us your name and what happened to you,” Rachel said in a therapist’s tone.

“Well, my name is Miranda, and I’m not quite sure what to say. One minute I’m with my boyfriend, Dominick, who has been wonderful to me from day one. We were kissing in his car in his driveway, I told him I couldn’t wait to spend my life together with him, and then he told me that he just had a lot of things going on and needed a break for once.”

“Did his phone ring?” shouted a voice from the crowd.

“Did he run directly inside?” shouted another.

“Yes and yes,” answered Miranda. “How did you know?” A tall girl with a blonde bob seated in the back stood up.

“Sorry! That was my bad. He was with me after that.” The color drained from Miranda’s face. She looked to be on the brink of tears. Rachel stopped her before it got ugly.

“It looks like he was as inconsiderate to you as he was to all of us.” Her arm swept across the group of girls. “Luckily, we have a panic room filled with ice cream and various items that we’ve stolen from Dom over the years that you can destroy.” Miranda still seemed upset, but perked up at the thought of ice cream and destruction. She seemed to now wield a carpenter’s hammer out of nowhere and nobody knew how she got it.

“I think she’s going to be okay,” exclaimed Rachel. “Mama, do you have any final words for the people?” Dominick’s mother stood there dumbfounded.

“Um…well, I’m sorry for everything that he’s done to you, but now I know you’re all better off.” At these words she received a standing ovation.

“And that’s the reason we have this convention,” shouted Rachel over the crowd. “We are all better off. Now onto a special segment of the night. May I ask the first person who was ever intimate with Dom to please step forward.” Girls from all over the room stood up and started making their way forward, sparking fighting, name calling, and other colorful actions detrimental to the sisterhood. “Still didn’t figure this out from last year, huh?” whispered Rachel to herself. Dom’s mother nearly fainted.

“Okay my lovable crazies,” called out Rachel. “Everybody back to their seats.” The ladies overcame their spell of jealousy and went to go sit back down, complimenting the others on their hair, shoes, and outfits on the way. “I think we may have to cut that segment for next time. But the fun keeps rolling!” Rachel was undaunted by the mishaps so far. It was shaping up to be the most eventful gathering yet. “This is my favorite part of the night, the Wheel of Vengeance!”

A trap door in the stage opened up. A fog machine and laser lights set the mood. The music was pounding and the girls were going wild.

“One lucky contestant will get a chance to spin the wheel and inflict some sort of misery on Dom for the near future.” Rachel licked her lips in anticipation. “I wish it could be me, but I’ve saved the fun for all of you. If you could look under your seats, then we’ll find out who the winner is!” The ladies frantically flipped their chairs. Cries of anguish could be heard. One of the chairs caught fire somehow, Arcadia laughing maniacally a short distance away. Finally, a shrill voice.

“I GOT IT!” The girl made her way to the stage while everyone else clapped politely. In reality, they were just eager to know what tragedy would befall Dom. On the wheel were many options. One sliver read that you could have medical documents falsified to say that Dom had an STD (which, given who he is, might not be false). Another read that you could have a copy of all of his keys made for you. Still another was for the passwords to all of his social media and Internet accounts. Damage could most certainly be done here. The women he had wronged had used their struggles wisely, breaking into many different walks of life, which made all of these choices on the wheel possible.

“What’s your name, sweetie,” Rachel asked the lucky winner.

“Myra,” she replied in the same shrill voice from before. Her excitement was getting the better of her.

“Well, Myra, are you ready to spin the wheel!?” She nodded eagerly and gave a great big heave to it. Round and round it spun, the TLOK-TLOK of the ticker hypnotizing everyone into a trance. It seemed to not slow down for many minutes, but in actuality it was only seconds. Finally, it began to ease up, little by little, until it came to rest on a yellow slice of the wheel.

“Wow!” shouted Rachel. “You sure got a great one! Develop a pathogen to make Dom allergic to all of his favorite foods! Non-lethal, people. We aren’t murderers here. Congratulations Myra!” Myra walked away more than pleased. She had been the one that Dom gave mono to, then dumped her when she got sick. This would be even retribution in her eyes.

“Well ladies, it’s about time to move on to our sing-a-long portion…” Rachel stopped midway through her sentence. The back door was flung open once again. “Not again,” muttered Rachel. “Two in one day? That’s low, even for Dom.” However, upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a man who walked through the doors. It was Dom’s best friend, Bryce.

“Bryce, what are you doing here!?” demanded Rachel. A host of boos and hisses came from the crowd. Bryce had been responsible for many a girl being ensnared in Dominick’s web. He had a dumbstruck look on his face.

“I don’t know what happened,” he started. “I was hanging out with my boy, Dom, doing guy stuff. Next thing I know he’s kicking me out of his house and there’s this blacked out car waiting for me. Now I’m here.” He stopped to ponder his surroundings. “Man, a lot of you girls look familiar.”

A chorus of “Oh’s” escaped the crowd, in sudden understanding of who Dom really was. Rachel was quick on the draw.

“Oh sweetie, why don’t you follow those girls to the back to get some ice cream.”

Bryce was puzzled, but went along with it. “Okay, yeah. That sounds pretty good.”

“That about wraps up our annual gathering of Dominick’s Ex-Girl…sorry, Dominick’s Exes. Stay tuned for the newsletter coming in the mail with changes about next year. I hope you enjoyed yourselves. Be sure to take your complimentary gift, a book detailing all of Dom’s strategies for getting to women called ‘Dominating Dom.’ See you all next year!”

Capsule

Posted in Short Stories with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2013 by bigtuna185

Riley couldn’t sleep. This was nothing new for him though. For the past couple of months, he had been tossing and turning every night. He was restless, but he couldn’t figure out why at all. He looked over at the clock. It read 2:01 am. Right on schedule, he thought.

These were the times when he would just lay awake and think about how devoid of purpose everyone’s lives just seemed to be. What possible reasoning could there be for him of all people to have to be subjected to the cursed life of an insomniac? It would be better if he ever actually had anything to do at night, but all of his friends were so simple minded, vapid, and shallow. He could boil down their formula for fun into a predictable equation. Go out, drink heavily, vomit heavily, drink more, pass out, repeat. What was there to gain from that though? How didn’t that get boring every single night? Sure, Riley didn’t mind a drink or two every so often, but to intoxicate yourself to the point of becoming comatose? Where was the sense in that? Or maybe the whole point of it was that there wasn’t any sense to it at all. Maybe it was just that some people needed to leave behind the structured walls of logic every so often and escape into an expanding, spiraling black hole of forgetfulness. He could understand it, but he would much rather remember his pain than numb it and lose all feeling.

He stretched out his arms and legs as far as they could reach, touching the ends of each side of his bed. He rolled back his covers and walked the short distance to his window. It was pitch black outside. There would be no romantic full moon on that night. He opened his window and let the gusts of wind ripple through his disheveled blonde hair. That was always one thing that calmed him down. The feeling of an unseen force caressing and massaging his troubled head. It made him feel wanted by the world around him, like nature itself was telling him that he mattered, that he could make a difference. This was a job that once belonged to his mother, but she had died when Riley was only 5 years old. 20 years later, he was alone in his apartment, stuck at some day to day job that he didn’t even like, just barely keeping it all together. And he couldn’t sleep on top of that. He felt lost, and it was those moments in front of the breeze rolling in that he sensed his mother there with him, gently pushing him forward.

He glanced down at the street below. Nothing was moving. Nobody else seemed to have any trouble sleeping. It was only Riley, suspended in this moment in time. What was the point of it all anyway? Who was he trying to live such a crappy life for? Everyone he had once loved was either gone or had given up on him long ago. No girl could handle the assorted baggage that came along with him. His father left when he was just a baby, and both he and his mother had been an only child. How easy would it be to just climb out onto the ledge of his overpriced 10th story room and just take one step off to end it all? The only person who would even remotely care was the guy who owned the building, and that was because he just wanted to get paid! Riley’s face felt hot now, tears slowly streaming down it. His internal struggle was messing with his head and he wasn’t sure what crazy, irrational thing he would do next.

He turned his gaze skyward and looked at the place where the moon should be. Instead he only saw snickering stars, mocking him from their celestial pedestals and laughing at his pathetic life. There was a faint tracing of a circle where the earth cast a shadow across the ominous iris of the night. Riley’s eyes were fixated on that perfect non-entity. It wasn’t able to be seen unless you were focusing intently on that one spot. His eyes started to widen, and with it, so did the shadow moon. His pupils mirrored what it took in, growing larger, more murky, and lifeless. Soon, the entirety of his eyes was as black as the scene outside, and not long after that, his world went dark.

*                                                                          *                                                                            *

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRNG! BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRNG! The sound of the telephone ringing woke Riley from his slumber. His eyelids fluttered open very slowly. He felt heavy, his body not entirely responsive. It seemed as though he had slept for years. He looked at his fingers as he tried to wiggle them. They were moving, so that was a good sign. Toes were good too. The preliminary flight check was all clear. Riley attempted to get up from where he was laying. Bones and muscles creaked. One good stretch made sure that his body was still working. A twist of the back, a reach of the arms, and several *pops* later and he was as good as new. He couldn’t remember the last time that he had as good a night of sleep as that, which seemed very odd. He wondered what time it was and if he was late for work. As he glanced over at the nightstand where he kept his phone, he realized that it wasn’t there. For that matter, the nightstand wasn’t there either. In fact, nothing in the room where he was sleeping seemed to be familiar. Riley wasn’t afraid, but he was slightly disturbed. Just where was he?

It was only now that he got a really good look at his surroundings. The only light source was whatever filtered in from behind the faded green curtains.  Cardboard boxes were stacked to the ceiling full of newspapers, photo albums, fine china, and other assorted paraphernalia. Towers upon towers of lives just packed away into square receptacles, some precariously close to falling, but defying gravity with each second that they didn’t. The stories that they could tell. Riley’s bed was covered by a thick pink comforter, layered with dust and lint. The musty smell indicated that no one had been in there for quite some time. Long forgotten documents and files littered the floor. None of it seemed very neat. It looked as though whoever had packed everything away in the first place was rushed and frantic.

A muffled voice could be heard beyond the wall. The walls were thin, but not so thin that Riley could hear the words clearly. If he wanted to know what was really going on, he would have to open the door. The only problem with that was that there was a minefield of memories standing between him and the information he needed. He lightly tiptoed around the clerical skyscrapers and contorted his body so that he wouldn’t touch a single one. Just as he neared the doorknob, his elbow bumped one of the towers. It teetered and wobbled, but nothing fell except for a single picture frame. Reflexively, Riley caught it before it hit the ground. Turning it over in his hand, he could see that he recognized that picture. In fact, he knew it very well. It was the same picture that he had kept right next to his bed for the past 20 years: a rare photo of him and his mother. How did it get here, he wondered. He gripped it tightly and then reverently placed it on the bed. Now he wasn’t just disturbed that he didn’t know where he was. He was angry that someone would have the nerve to steal one of his most prized possessions, dump it in a dirty old room with dilapidated cardboard boxes, and then somehow drug him, he assumed, and abandon him. Still, he didn’t know who or what he was dealing with, so caution was his best course of action.

He moved towards the door and cracked it open, careful not to make any sudden moves. A woman’s voice floated in through the hallway beyond and in through the door. Soft and sweet, kind and concerned, it was angelic. It was a miracle. Without realizing, Riley had crouched down to the floor and was clutching his chest. He knew that voice anywhere, even though he hadn’t had much time with it. He desperately hung onto her every word as he listened to his mother have a conversation on the phone, drinking it in as though he had been wandering the desert for ages. Riley clung to this impossible oasis, thinking that it must be more like a mirage instead.

“No, I haven’t told him yet.” There was a pause as she waited for an answer from the other side. Who, Riley thought. “He’s too young to understand what’s going on, and I don’t want to upset him. I’ll wait just a bit longer.”

Long pause.

“Of course I love him, and he does deserve to know, but I think that it’s my choice when and how I tell my son about my condition.”

A short pause inquiring about the location of her son.

“He’s in his room taking a nap right now. I pulled him out of pre-school early after I came home from the doctor.”

A pause wondering about what was to become of the boy.

“I was hoping that…” she heaved a quick sob, “…that you and Dad would be able to take care of him.”

An unsure pause where the possibility of the birth father taking care of him is mentioned.

“Jeremy left, Mom. Last week. As soon as I told him he freaked out and said that he couldn’t raise a kid on his own.”

Unfortunate pause.

“He was always unsure of us from the beginning. I wouldn’t be asking you if I didn’t need you.”

Reluctant pause.

“Thank you. Take all the time you need.”

Consoling and loving pause.

“I love you too. Good bye.”

She hung up the phone slowly, and from the sound of it, just stood there for a few minutes. Riley was sitting there just trying to make sense of it all. His mother was supposed to be dead, yet here she was. He struggled to remember just what happened before he got to where he was now, but it was no use. There was a reason for him being there. Riley went through the facts. His mother was just on the phone with his grandmother, and from the sound of it, she just found out that she was dying. The son, he realized, was him, which meant that somewhere in that house was his younger self. All of these events seemed vaguely familiar, but he couldn’t exactly remember everything.

Riley seriously contemplated just running out there and giving the woman he thought that he had lost forever a hug, but he didn’t know the rules for whatever it was that got him there. If it was (and he shook his head for even thinking of this) time travel, then to disturb any sort of moment in the past could result in a drastically different future. It could have been a dream, but all of this felt way too real to just discard this experience as only that. What was he to do? Eventually, he had to try and figure out a way to get back to where he came from. The only thing he could do was to venture out of his temporary safe haven and explore. He would accept the consequences as they came.

The door swung quietly on its hinges as he walked out of the room that time forgot. Riley found himself in a long hallway, a wall on his left, and the rest of the house on his right. Stealthily, he crept forward, careful not to make any sudden moves. His heart hung in his chest. At any moment his reality could come crashing down around him. A creak of a floorboard betrayed him. He froze instantly, unsure of what to do or where to go. Footsteps approaching his position told him that he had to make a decision. Stay or hide. He dove into the room nearest to him and quickly shut it. She had definitely heard that, but it at least bought him a few seconds to come up with an explanation.

Looking around at where he was, he realized he had dove into the worst possible room. All around him, tokens of his past surrounded him. This was his childhood bedroom. Instinctively, his eyes focused on the bed, but it was empty. Odd, he thought. I guess that rules out the time travel. But it didn’t make any sense. Where was his younger self? Confusion tugged at the seams holding his fragile mind together. Riley would have liked more time to think about it, but at that moment the door swung open. This was it. He was done for. He was dumbstruck, speechless, and couldn’t think of a word to say. Before him stood such a heavenly presence. Her silky, long brown hair, her eyes an intense blue. He sat, humbled by the image of the kindest face he had ever known. She didn’t look mad, or even shocked. She stood there with this sort of half smile on her face.

“Riley,” she said in a soft, playful voice, “was that you making all that noise just now? I thought you were asleep?” If Riley wasn’t confused before, he most certainly was now. She knew it was him, but apparently to her, she could only see him as he once was: a sweet, innocent, and hopeful child. He decided to risk replying.

“I was sleeping, but I heard you talking on the phone with grandma and I got scared.” She sighed as she thought of how she could respond to something like that.

“Honey, you have nothing to worry about.”

“I don’t?”

“Not a thing. Mommy is going to be okay. And so are you.”

“Are you sure? It sounded like you were going to be going away for a long time.”

Stalling parental pause.

“It’s true, you may have to spend some time with your grandma and grandpa, but I promise, even though I may be gone for a while, I’ll never leave here.” She pointed to where his heart was beating sorrowfully in my chest.

“Never?”

“I’ll always be with you, Riley. You are the single greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better son. Whether I’m around or not, you are meant to do great things. There’s nothing you could do that wouldn’t make me happy to be your mother.” Riley was battling to hold back his tears.

“You really mean that?”

“Absolutely. Just never forget to believe in yourself and you’ll be able to conquer the world.” She gave him a kiss on his forehead and hugged him tightly, the way that someone might if she wouldn’t be able to hug anyone in the near future. Riley returned the hug even tighter and never wanted to let go. This moment had been lost to him, to his memories, until now. As a child, he would have just taken these precious seconds for granted, but reliving them he was able to cherish the time for what it truly was. She looked down at him with her crystalline eyes and cooed, “I love you, sweetie.”

Riley buried his face in his lifegiver’s chest. “I love you too.” She got up off of his bed and rolled back the covers.

“Come on now. We should get you back to sleep, otherwise you’ll be up all night.” No, Riley screamed in his head. I need more time. I don’t want to sleep; I want to live in this moment forever. His body did not protest though. Hypnotically, he obeyed her wishes and cozied up inside of his childhood bed while she tucked him in. She started to brush her hands through his hair, smooth and gentle like a slight breeze. She hummed a little tune, an old lullaby she used to sing to him when he was a baby. Its effect had not been dampened throughout the years. He felt his eyelids start to get heavy. He tried to fight the feeling, but it was like an overpowering wave coursing through his body. As everything started going dark and the world around him began to swirl, the last image he saw before he closed his eyes was that of his divine mother, calming the tremors within his soul.

“Good night my son.”

*                                                                                  *                                                                    *

Riley’s hair rustled like thick green leaves on a cool summer night. A siren wailed softly somewhere in the distance. Footsteps paraded about to irregular rhythms all about the apartment building. The blare of morning talk shows and daybreak rituals could be heard through the thin walls. A groan escaped his mouth as he slowly arose from where he was laying in his bed. He slept for once. That was a good sign. It appeared that he was back in his normal life, but last night’s events were still vividly clear within his head. He clung to the thought like a piece of driftwood in the middle of a storm.

He waited for the usual depressing thoughts to enter his head, but something seemed different. His experience with wherever he had been taken, however he had gotten there, had given him a new perspective. His mother’s words still echoed in his head. It wasn’t that he no longer felt the urge to just give up. That was something that he feared would never go away. It was something else entirely. He felt that he had a legacy to live for now, like he owed it to his mother to do the best he possibly could with what he had been given. She had spent her life trying to make sure that his was as comfortable as possible. To throw it all away would be to disrespect the gift she had given him: a chance to do something great. He would honor her memory by fighting every day to defeat his demons wreaking havoc inside of him, to defy dark forces holding him back from achieving anything good.

The sun started to creep across his apartment floor, filling the room with warm light. Riley had a good feeling about the coming days. He knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but so long as he stayed focused on his purpose and what he loved, it would be worth the struggle. While Riley would never be rid of the shadowy voices plaguing his heart and his mind, whispering death and insisting demise, the important thing that he learned is that he had something stronger pushing back: Hope.

Monsoon Season (A Short Story)

Posted in Short Stories with tags , , , , , on July 30, 2013 by bigtuna185

Viscous fluid crawled down the transparent sheet of glass separating us from the outside world. Precipitation fell from the heavens like it was the end times, like revelation was upon us. Holy Spirit wind barged through the limbs of trees, doing a discourtesy to Mother Nature. The howling of the elements only served to make our shelter seem hollow and empty. A flash of lightning traced the image of God through the sky. The thunder crackled like a fire reaching its apex and displacing any air hidden within the kindling, suffocating it. It was dark outside, the sun blotted out by the secondhand smoke of the Lord.

We had no power. I tried to read her face in between spectacles of light, subconsciously counting the seconds between sight and sound. The brunt of the storm was only a couple of miles away, and getting closer. We were suspended in time, shackled by grains of sand in an hourglass, the motion of celestial bodies in a vacuum, and victims of the plans of an authority greater than ourselves. I tried to hold onto the moment before it, but it wriggled away the same way that a loyal pet doesn’t want to be picked up. She was expressionless. She made faces that made it appear that she felt something, but inside she was neutral. Apathetic. Indifferent. My existence to her was of no consequence, a seeming triviality. She repeated her cursed mantra once more.

“I don’t love you anymore.”

She wanted a reaction out of me, but to feel was to lose the game. I had already lost, but I didn’t want her to know that. My soul was weeping, and I didn’t say a word. People tend to look at awkward silences as something to be despised, but I always knew they were worth much, much more. Think of how many words are wasted daily. Think of the conversations that lead to dead ends. Think of breath that could be used for life instead of death. In a given day, how much of it is completely silent? When are there no background noises, no outside chatter, and no distractions? No, silence is that still untapped mine of gold waiting to be discovered. Looking past the contrived societal notion of “awkwardness,” the stillness and the quiet allows for reflection and enlightenment better than any new age religion can boast.

I was given a look that demanded an answer. The gift that keeps on giving. I didn’t have anything to reciprocate the non-sentiment. I shrugged my shoulders.

“I guess you should probably go then.”

If she had cared for even a second, she might have shaken her head as she walked out. She might have come back in to give me her two cents on how I should have reacted, trying to control me like she had the rest of our relationship. She might have…but she was not mighty, and I was done taking orders. Instead, she rose from the chair she was sitting in like an apparition. If the sun were visible I’m certain it would have passed right through her. It almost appeared like she floated away, a haunting spirit gone to wander in search of a new host. I should have been concerned about her driving in such terrible weather. In a way, I always will be concerned. In that instant I was more focused on keeping my living room carpet dry.

She hesitated for a split second, a brief flash of humanity assuring me that it was more than just a dream. There was still hope inside of her, maybe not for me, but for someone. Then she stepped out into the rain, pelting her as though sinners were casting stones all around her. I don’t know if it’s possible for a person to be moving and yet seem stationary at the same time, but that’s what she looked like. A walking contradiction. My windows watched her leave.

I tried to comfort myself. “You’re better off without her. You don’t need the trouble.”

I tried to battle myself. “But we could be so perfect! The only thing standing between us and happiness is a willingness to try!”

I accepted the harsh reality. I would come to terms with the way that things were going to be from now on, but each piece of heart that gets added to the collection makes it harder to adjust the focus on the perspective lens of life. Girls, lovers, soulmates have come and gone, each one minimized to circumvent the pain, never completely eradicated. There was no immune system to purge me of romanticizing what could have been. The only cure for idealizing something is to become its bitter cynic, and that was its own disease. That wasn’t me, but I didn’t know where to find who I truly was.

The peals of thunder faded in the distance. Clouds thinned and lost their ominous complexion, dropping their surplus like a leaky faucet. There would be more storms. With some, the symptoms are easy to tell, and those you can prepare for. I trust storm clouds in the morning more than the sun. Seeing the sun first only dampens the mood when the forecast turns bleak. It may sound depressing, hopeless, desolate. That isn’t the intent. The best way to avoid disappointment is to always expect rain. Don’t forget your umbrella when the torrents inevitably return. Monsoon season is upon us; stick to higher ground.

Caverns (A Short Story/Writing Exercise)

Posted in Short Stories with tags , , , , , , on July 30, 2013 by bigtuna185

It smelled like a cave, or rather, what I would imagine a cave smelled like. Rising structures of brick, mortar, concrete and glass rose up like vast, sweeping walls. Buildings stuck out like hand-crafted stalagmites. Rough to the touch, cool to the hand.

Water covered streets evoked scents, memories, impulses. I’m hungry, or maybe I’m reflective, or perhaps it’s just nausea. It’s all the same, emotion that is. Chemicals bubbling over spontaneously, spilling out into speech, thought, action. The entirety of our civilization is run by chemical reactions exploding from within. Poisons and panaceas, a cycle stuck on repeat.

Sitting alone, isolated, I observed citizens strolling through a public park. Grey skies, obscuring nutritious sunlight. Verdant green thriving amidst the grinding machine of society, peacefully warbling onward. Small birds flitted to an fro, whizzing past my head, grazing the tips of my ears in a daredevil fashion, brown-beige blurs flashing through the sky like feathered lightning.

Step by step these people wandered about this man-made Eden, and I wonder how many of them stopped to think how it all fit together. Not scientifically, for science robs the wonder and whimsy of everyday miracles. I wonder if any of them stop and think why colors can be so brilliant or dull, why we can see color at all, why we perceive an urban oasis to be beautiful. Are they grateful for the shade of a tree or its gift of oxygen?

Who alone among the masses thinks metaphysically about the functions of the world? For that matter, who even thinks anymore? Where are the original ideas, sparks of creativity lighting the fire of ingenuity? What happened to a world of pencil and paper, scribblings of genius? Instead we are slaves to our outlets. We are plugged into a world without wires, perpetually connected, but never connecting.

I wonder if there are those that wonder like I do. Those who stay awake at night with incessant fervor and dedication, silently issuing an alarm for revival, for renaissance. I like to believe there are others out there, bursting through that circle of light towards revelation.

The confining space is not civilization or society. The only cave we have left to emerge from is our own mind.