Her Necklace Now It began as a very small thing.
Junior and his dad disagreed on an item made in their silversmithing shop.
That shop was kept away from the family's houses, set up in an old outbuilding because of noise.
Silversmithing was always too noisy for the dozen homes on the family's half-section of wood and meadow land.
The lapidary equipment alone made a terrible sound.
Allie, Junior's wife, used that equipment to smooth rough turquoise and coral into stones ready for silverwork. She used a spinning grinder of damp and charcoal gray stone for her main work. When Allie put a stone against that, it sounded just like the machine it was. She used a smaller spinning buffer to polish stones.
One Saturday, human voices escalated in the little, old shop about who owned a particular design.
Even Allie, using loud lapidary equipment, heard Junior and his father argue. Naturally, curiosity won and she slowed her work, listening through a thin old wall of warped
Billy's PterodactylsBilly was in what his mother called 'his dinosaur phase'. He'd been firmly ensconced in this phase for the past six months, ever since his Dad had taken him to see the Natural History Museum in Oxford. The first thing he'd seen on entering was the huge bones of the Tyrannosaurus Rex glaring down at him, and that was it; he'd been hooked ever since.Billy's Pterodactyls4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
In the time since then his entire room had been re-decorated with a Jurassic theme. Dinosaurs were on the bedsheets, the curtains, the posters on the walls, and little plastic ones covered his floor to the point where it was dangerous to walk across it. Unless you were Billy, of course. No dinosaur would dare to harm Billy, who reigned supreme among them and controlled their every move. Billy was in his element and entirely at home within his dinosaur-infested room.
Every now and then the dinosaurs would venture outside of Billy's room, in an effort to invade and infest the rest of Billy's house. On one such occasion his mother inadvertently
Broken GirlsBeware the Trojan Horse girl,Broken Girls4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when she rings your doorbell
at 2:57 in the morning.
Dressed in desperation and despair,
she will entice your complacency
with wet eyelashes and quivering lips.
But once she slips through
your door she will invade you
with the plummet of her hips.
It's not her fault that Daddy,
he drinks, and Mama,
she sinks into the sludge of gloom.
She'll flee her prison-room into
the blotted ink of mid-night
and throw herself at your door,
begging you for more,
more, more of your
But if you let her in
--- hold her shaking shoulders,
--- wipe her trembling tears,
--- kiss her lonely lips,
she will swallow you whole.
Beware the Trojan Heart girl,
when she lies in your arms and
speaks of regret. By morning,
she'll only know your name as
Weave me a webWeave me a web6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
weave me a web of terrible sins
so that I may cocoon myself within it
and no more breathe lies upon your brow
is it hot? my breath there on your skin
does it sear the flesh, blister in your heart
horrific that you love the fire inside
feeling my coarseness, my brutality
twisted from inside out and back in again
like a spiral of souls, a hurricane of hurt
scarred hands caress rough wounds
not to sooth, to remind of pleasure filled pain
deep within your woven webs, keep me
not safe, no never safe, but secluded
secreted away to prevent me
stop me from hurting all I find and touch
because inside my fire rages too hot
quick and ferocious my flaws scratch, bite
eventually you will see the agony I bring
and you will leave...
and I will wear my crown of blame
proud and high to warn others of your misfortune
flee from this broken tormented mind
and never fear being burned
weave me into a web and forget me
let me rot from your existence
in all ways forget me
The Black Bag The problem was simple, really. I was a little too drunk. Me and my buddy Jake though, we found it simple to walk with a stagger and laugh a little too loud, a simple problem. The day was pretty good, pretty drunk.The Black Bag5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The hours passed easy until Max came out of his pawnshop. Max never leaves his pawnshop. He looked so worried and strange I had to squint to be sure it was him. He got us interested, walking toward my buddy and me with trouble written all over his face. Trouble is something a man can relate to from time to time, somehow.
Max walked right up to us and put his hand on my shoulder, thowing me off balance for his remark.
"I need your help, boys," he said.
Jake laughed. "Hey, Max needs our help!"
I nodded and tried to look serious to hide the surprise that made me want to laugh too. I thought it could b
FabricThe fabric of you,Fabric6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in brilliant threads,
and the almost
divine thrill of silk
that bruises my fingertips
when I unbutton you
and turn you inside out.
I wear you
like my favorite jacket -
suede patched sleeves
and velvet cuffs,
lapels that whisper
your secrets to my skin
and seem to pull the night
into your pockets
as I watch your colors run,
long and singing in the dark
Tale of the Teller My ignorance no longer gave me bliss.Tale of the Teller6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My checkbook had a post-it note on the cover: Dude. It's time to fix this.
The Tale of the Teller then commenced.
Her banker's phone-voice was sweet as honey. I never heard her name.
She introduced herself quickly and I can't be blamed.
I really just wanted to ask about money.
"Please, teller," I said. "Tell me where all my money is spent, down to the last cent. I'm not sure and I have to know now. Bills are due and I might be out of rent."
She said, "Do not worry, Sir. One moment. I can tell you every transaction since... since when, Sir? A date, please, Valued Customer of Our Bank." She spoke with capital letters.
If I had better capital, I would have spoken with them too.
"Please tell me all of it thank you," I said. "Start as far back as you can."
"There are many POS expenditures," she began...
I was in the dark. "What is a POS?" I said.
"A point of sale indicating use of your de
The Spider That Ate Cleveland Steve and Lucy lived in a suburb of Cleveland and liked it very much.The Spider That Ate Cleveland4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Steve liked sitting on the porch every Saturday evening, drinking beer and looking at his neighbors' houses, identical to his, dreaming about ways to make his house different.
Lucy liked spending weekday afternoons watching soap operas on TV, dreaming about ways to spend her afternoons like the people did on TV.
Steve liked going to work in Cleveland on weekdays, not so much for his job but for the drive, during which he dreamt about other places the freeway could take him.
Lucy liked a little house-cleaning and a lot of going-to-the-mall, where she dreamt about what she could buy with soap opera money.
But both were too content, and never changed a thing.
Occasionally they talked about one TV program that show
A Drink Further"Don't you dare."A Drink Further5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I grin, weighing the snowball in one hand, then the other. It's inconsistent and flaky the kind of freshly fallen snow that's little more than frozen mist and air packed loosely around a soggy liquid core. It'd probably break apart before it flew the few paces between Lisa and myself. But she doesn't know that.
"Don't I dare what?"
She gives me a look that touches on withering, but I know better. I've known Lisa for quite some time, and I doubt she's ever been capable of violence. Nevertheless, I drop the messy ball with a chuckle and wipe the remains on the sleeve of my jacket.
Another moonlit winter night in Neriem, a town nestled high in the mountains off the coast of Antioch. Snow falls in thick sheets here, coating the city in delicate white powder. It's thick stuff, enough to muffle the sound of our footsteps as we cross campus, yet falling lightly enough that it doesn't m
Jaycee and All She Knows Lettie dreamt. She didn't know she was hooked to monitors to show her faltering heartbeat. She didn't know she was in a coma. Lettie dreamt. Lettie saw her beloved lover in a dream, the very handsome and unreliable man who gave her that first baby, now ten years old and wanted. Lettie dreamt a second baby, a boy playing with the first one, the girl Jaycee.Jaycee and All She Knows5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
How happy Jaycee looked! Jaycee taught her brother everything from how to hold a little cup to how to climb a tree.
Lettie didn't know her own role in the dream. She didn't see herself anywhere. But she certainly felt surrounded by love and a little family. Vague idea that Jaycee said there were two brothers, but that wasn't even possible.
Jaycee often said outlandish things. Lettie liked that about her daughter.
Lettie dreamt. She didn't know her nourishment came from tubes and left th
The Neighbors Strange things began to happen when the Garcias moved into the ramshackle house next door. Or, at least people were implying that they were the cause of all the odd phenomena. I mainly did what I was told and stayed clear of the couple's territory.The Neighbors5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Rural life, as I experienced it, had its advantages and disadvantages. The good part was that we didn't have the luxuries of mobile phones or cable television and this made life more exciting. Children weren't cooped up at home watching DVDs or playing video games; we were always outside, running amok under the sun.
As for the bad parts, well, we would never even say them out loud. There were just things in the countryside that we simply couldn't understand, like how my best friend's father once burned half of an old acacia tree accidentally and woke up the next day with half of his body searing with blisters, or how wandering little boys suddenly vanis
Grandmother's HouseHe hated his grandmother's houseGrandmother's House5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with its heavy curtains
of the postman's tardy shoes,
and how the maid
rescued the newspaper
and poured the thin sherry
into tiny glasses
every night at six.
He loathed the claw foot sofas
with their cushions
shrinking from his trousers,
each plush thread recoiling
how unkempt he looked
and why his brother left.
He despised the birchwood beds
carved into sarcophagi
that flanked the radiators,
their pencil posts
poking the bodies of the willing
and how the bookcases groaned knowingly,
waiting for ominous words
to echo from the hallway
and beat down the keyholes.
But most of all
he hated the dining table
with its sallow wood
gleaming his reflection,
the china left
to fend for itself
and the cutlery
swallowing up the family
like a feast lost at noon.
Highway DreamingThey're living on cheap ramen and hopeless dreams. He wants to be a world-famous brain surgeon and she wants to be more things than she can count on one hand. Sometimes they fight about her leaving her lipstick in the sink or when he doesn't pick up orange juice at the grocery store. But they're happy, even with the cracked paint and terrible plumbing. Every morning at 7:08 he catches the 7:15 train to the university and she takes their battered old Sedan to her job at the highway tolls. She likes to make up stories about the more interesting cars to tell him later. The bedside lamp is on, her voice humming low in her throat, and he drifts quietly in and out of her highway dreams. She's saving them for something special; something that will make her matter.Highway Dreaming5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When she gets a cold, he stays home and makes soup and watches re-runs of Seinfeld with her. He rubs her feet and kisses her shoulder before covering her with her favorite comforter. He tiptoes away and lets her doze u
As I WriteThe trees swayedAs I Write5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Gently in the breeze
That Sunday night
As I wrote silently
About my triumphs,
About my failures,
And my wishes.
Like those trees swaying,
I go on
And never stop
Until I have reached
That last page.
Sacrificial BloodThe scent of bloodSacrificial Blood5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Sets my soul on fire
Life and death
Follow my command
Swirling I dance
Blood and gore
Paints my being
The metallic hint of blood
Hits my tongue
The taste sets alight
My own blood
None shall walk
Their blood is an offering
To gods long oppressed
The earth is their alter
And I their champion
Soon their imprisonment
Set upon them
By heathen gods
Their revenge will be beautiful
Their vengeance won't be merciful
Caught in Battleby LJCaught in Battle5 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Lately I've been doing a lot of not sleeping at night.
That is to say, I fall asleep fine, but about one in the morning the dreams turn to thoughts and I'm not asleep anymore.
I just lie there, thinking too much to even close my eyes.
My eyes feel bad in the red mornings, so tonight I light the oil lamp and sit up.
I might as well write what was requested by a friend a few days ago, at dinner together.
It doesn't kill dream memories, though.
At that dinner, my friend said, "They're nice stories and nice paintings you do, but they're not you, you know."
I protested. "They certainly are."
But she protested last.
"No, they aren't. They're other people's. You should write or paint yourself, for once."
I made a joke then, and said I'd do a self-portrait of me asleep. I'll write now instead.
The dream tonight was about the time I sketched a picture of him in the hospital. It was the last time I sketched him or was in a hospital wi
A Father's PredicamentThere is a boy in my daughter's room.A Father's Predicament5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There is a boy that I don't know in my daughter's room.
There is a boy with blue hair and black fingernails that I don't know in my daughter's room.
... The door is closed.
I hate that boy so much.
The first time my poor, naive little Jessica brought Zack home with her, she swore up and down that they were "just friends", but I knew better. That boy is out to corrupt my innocent baby. It's my duty as a father to protect her. But when she looked up at me with those pretty brown eyes of hers and gave me that look, I couldn't take it. I caved, and now that blue-haired freak is in there with my darling baby girl, and there's nothing I can do about it since they're both 18 and, supposedly, adults.
He knew I knew what he was up to the minute our eyes met. The bastard had the gall to wink at me, with his arm draped over my Jess's shoulder like it belonged there. It doesn't help that I'm just barely 5'8", and the little creep is easily a head
in the middle of a gun fightoh mother, i am not even the perfect imperfect that good men fall in love with. i am the imperfect scabbing on wrists and stuck under school desks that is fantasized in the minds of ex-bad boys who still love murder.in the middle of a gun fight6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
mother i am losing myself, pulling my eyelids shut pullingthemshutshuttingthemi'mshutting and when i open my fists they are full of wishes that i will blow. i am screeching my throat apart for help, 'cause i don't know when i'll be back again, dear god, will i be back again?
like every other greedy man, this god, writing his name on everything. good men tell me god is good and he is lenient and that faith is love so we should make it. oh mother, will i be renamed some day, or is god going to throw me away?
i am i am losing myself,
i am still in love with murder, will they hang me, mother? how much farther will i fall, will i finally touch the ground, will the momentum stretch me tall?
my bones are rattling like when i slam against the walls, oh mother, my hands are
GrimTime hiccupped while Sasha was nursing a cup of coffee in the lunchroom of the office complex where she worked. It was a brief flicker but she knew what it meant all the same. She’d been gazing idly in Gary Piedmont’s direction -- Gary with his perennial tan and cobra-like grace -- when suddenly in his place was a bloodied and burnt apparition with bugs caught in its smile.Grim6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She watched, wide-eyed, fingers tightening spasmodically around the cup of coffee she held as the thing walked across the room in Gary’s well-tailored suit and sat down. Then she blinked and the ghastly image was gone.
Sasha took a deep breath and let it out slowly, fighting the wave of nausea and pity that rose up in her throat. Gary from marketing was going to die, sometime soon, and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it. She could try to warn him to be careful, not to take any unnecessary risks but as she didn’t know exactly how or when he would die, his fate was as g
Doing LaundryI know I have made a mistake as soon as I insert another quarter into the washing machine. Super cycle, the control panel blinks, oblivious to my loss. I sigh. I don't need a super cycle, although I do want a bag of chips, badly. My fingers hover over the washing options for a minute as I go over all of them in my mind. In the end, I press Colors.Doing Laundry5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The machine starts. I step away and peer into the window. The clothes start to move, tossed around by the paddles in the drum. The drum fills up with water.
There goes my fourth-last quarter.
Despite my growing hunger, I congratulate myself. Not bad for a first-timer. At least the clothes are being washed without any mishap. Little mounds of white powder are visible on the tiled floor, but as long as some of the detergent is in, I'm fine. Next time though, I remind myself, settle for regular cycle. I am not even sure what super cycle means, but it costs an extra quarter, so regular cycle would probably do just fine.
I rest my elbows on the to
The Pianist."I am sorry for your loss." Said the doctor.The Pianist.4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I snorted at his thin-skinned pity. Most people think that loss would be losing a rosy-faced child to a fall a little too high, a loved one being crushed by a car driven by a man who couldn't keep his booze in his bottle.
No one would think that the loss of my hands would be nearly as heartbreaking.
"Renowned pianist has lost his hands in tragic fire." That was the media's headline, the dreadful truth being smeared in my face as if the inflamed stumps of hopes and hands burned were not enough reminders.
I have not been totally truthful with you, my thumb remained plastered on my left hand, melted and deformed like heated wax, but to me it was just a wilted seedling mourning it's parent tree's cindered remains, and nothing more.
Some people called me lucky, some wondered if I would extinguish the cooling embers of my life, and others dwelt in the smoky remains of my past, they recalled how I was called Musical Shakespeare, Beethove
The Cheshire SisterChristopher knew he must be seeing things. His sister, who he hasn't seen in six years due to their parent's divorce, was sitting at his desk. His laptop, which was usually open with one of his sketches waiting to be colored among thousands of other tabs and projects, was closed and pushed to the back. In it's place was the plate his sister was eating from with uncharacteristic zeal. His sister was different then she had been six years ago. Her eyes were no longer obscured by dark curls and thick glasses. A black turtleneck and jeans had replaced candy colored shorts and t-shirts,and a fringe of cherry red stuck out from under the black ski cap that had replaced the silver tiara her younger self wore. "Princess Abby" she would call herself.The Cheshire Sister5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Changes or not, this was his sister. "Abby, you haven't answered me." Chris commented when he returned from disposing of the empty plate in the sink.
Abby didn't turn to look at him, her eyes on
Grandfather's BirdGrandfather had a pet bird. Just a small, yellow and white parakeet; he named it Georgie, after Grandmother. Every morning, he would wake up at 6 o'clock, make a pot of coffee, grab the newspaper, and feed the small bird a small pile of birdseed. And he would gently carry the birdcage, and place it on the table and talk to her as he drank his coffee and read the newspaper.Grandfather's Bird5 years ago in Scraps More Like This
"Gas prices are up again Georgie, geez, remember when we could pay 20¢ to fill up our car?"
And sometimes the bird almost chirped in response. Years and years went by, and Grandfather grew older, and he could no longer carry the bird off the shelf, but he would still feed and talk to her at 6 o'clock.
One morning, Grandfather found himself barely able to make it out of bed. He still made his way into the kitchen to feed his dear bird. His hand shook and some birdseed fell to the floor as he carefully moved into the tray into the cage. He slowly made his way to the table so that he could sit down.
It Was The Burglar's Idea The worst people hired him because he was the best burglar around. No one knew his given name, not even him. As a child, he'd grown and fed himself by stealing what he needed on the streets. He had no name. But since many people called him- "That one!" -the growing and adept burglar decided to call himself "Thone." He knew he needed at least a name, if not food, home, clothes -- and why not some kind of fame and fortune? Yes, he decided, he'd have both infamy and fortune. He was certain he was a clever, quiet, sneaky, and nice young man, fully deserving of both. Soon he had both.It Was The Burglar's Idea5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Late one night, a very rich man hired Thone for a new job and asked him the usual questions. Thone was as silent with the rich as he was with the poor. For that matter, he was more silent with the rich. Thone never explained his work to anyone, and it was always the rich who hired him. Thone was the most expensive burglar ever known to o