Down By The SchoolyardThere is a rather cliched phrase that states that some people live double lives. I have always found that to be an intensely misleading statement and I guess you can call it a bit of a pet peeve of mine. No one leads "double lives", they just lead fucking lives. That those lives are more complex that the singular one-track existence of lesser creatures shouldn't be a matter of duplicity, but of common sense. No one is exactly who they seem to be.
Julio is one of those who they would later say lived a double life, but it is no more true for him than anyone else. The difference in this case is that there are two of him, rather than one.
The Price of Dying“I want to be interred after I die,” Mr. Peters said. He made that clear to his family while he was still lucid, before old age and illness rendered him unintelligible. Seventy wasn’t that old, but he recognized the symptoms that were creeping up on his ailing body – the aches, the fatigue, the feeling of helplessness and despair. Despite his daughter’s attempts to assuage his concerns, he sensed his own mortality.The Price of Dying8 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
The worst part about dying, Mr. Peters thought, was what happened afterwards. Even since he was a small boy, he had been afraid of fire. He could never forget the scorching heat of the orange flames searing his skin, the dark billowing smoke entering his nostrils. The time that his house burned down, the fire almost took him with it. How ironic then, to escape the fire only to be fed into it after death.
So one day, he sat his son and daughter down after dinner. “I want to be buried whole,” he said, emphasizing the
earth circuitAnd when the sun sinks, the earth's skin crawls:earth circuit8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wonder if this awkward creature would notice me the way I notice him.
He's so tragic at his throne
I stare after him longingly.
He never realizes that I'm the one
Who forever basks in his brilliant beams.
If only he knew how much brighter he could burn
He'd light up the universe.
I heard him speak of thirst, once.
The quenching lust of the stars had run dry.
So that night, I brought along a jar of acid.
(And how it gleamed in his glow).
I handed it to him, wrapped in taffeta ribbons,
I wish curdling joy
On my gurgling boy
Russian RouletteThey take her on her honeymoon.Russian Roulette9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
The wedding was lovely, or as lovely as it could have been with a couple that were more polite acquaintances than anything else and two sets of in-laws as stuffy as a dusty pile of money. They grab her when she sneaks out for a walk one night, two men, beefy, not even bothered to arm themselves. Her last thought before the bag is shoved over her eyes is to wonder how much this would ruin her parents' plans.
She comes to in a small brick room on a sallow mattress, windowless and lit by a cool yellow lamp. There's a man there, standing just outside the barred door.
"Kelly Shale," he says, voice nasally, greasy
Whiskey Laden DreamsBitter eyes and tears might taint a drink, but sitting in this bar alone with your stool pulled out next to me, and the Martini poured regardless of your presence still brings a smile to my face; despite the taste. I'm having a whiskey myself; dry. Yes, I know I don't drink, but every once in a while you need whiskey to solve an intricate problem, and mine is the distinct lack of alcohol in my life.Whiskey Laden Dreams1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There are people everywhere and it amazes me how none of them are you, from the woman in the black dress coming down the stairs to the signing couple in the corner, laughing silently. They're not you at all, and that's what's amazing in an
of the ground-of the ground1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was Sunday night when Geo climbed into my room from the fire escape. I was painting my toenails and listening to the sounds of the city: police sirens, pulsating bass, the kids in my tenement running guitar riffs back and forth with the street musicians on the sidewalk. That was the year I turned sixteen and took a two-month vow of silence to honor the death of autumn. A premature snow had robbed the season of its delicate warmth and color, forcing the maples to weep their leaves into the gutters. All that rainwater, all that decay. How could anyone create when October was dying outside their windows? Pete and Jake practiced acoustic th
SolsticeOnce upon a time, when you were still sunlighthouses and shimmering existence wherever you were needed most, you found him. He was November, shaky on his first last legs, and you saw through the mind-twistings he feigned to the mind-twistings that were really there, knotted up in his dreams.Solstice1 year ago in Scraps More Like This
You were still birdsong then, and thunderstorms, and your bodyheat melted the frost claws that held him tight. You held onto him as his November deepened. When he howled, you howled with him, and the wind played with your voices and pressed the softness of your lungs against your cageribsand then against each other's.
November became solstice, and
Survival of the IllestAre those hints of lemon I detect?Survival of the Illest6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Look, I'm just here to get wasted, don't try
to make it more than that.
I'd drink motor oil if I thought
it could get me high; chase it with a shot
you can keep your survival instincts,
in that pretty velvet box (along with all
those other things
you thought you could convince yourself
you lived for). Instincts are the bare
bones of the impossibilities we wanted
to believe in,
those times you tried to tell me that
adrenaline was God's way
we were His chosen ones, we were
special, we were free.
I tried to tell you that instincts an
Send Me the Raintoday, they're all talking about the fires.Send Me the Rain11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
the people on TV, the voices on the radio,
the mouths that open and whisper
and softly touch tongues. even the sky is
revealing black plumes of smoke,
flaunting shameless and seductive curves.
the rain's been too dry and the lightning
isn't wet enough, panic is
rising out of control in this
burning city. that's
we have a crisis on
our hands- the balloons are
running out of air and even
the experts don't really know why,
and on top of those sinking rubber toys
my soul is losing moisture
faster than the crackling grass under the duress of flame.
Va'eiraThis was a lesson in just how quiet it can beVa'eira1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
when you don't make enough noise.
Me, holding a toy gun to a stranger's head
"Remember when things stopped being ridiculous?"
You, eating dandelions in a midnight field
"About the same time things stopped making sense."
A boy in church camp carved a small crucifix
for his arts and crafts project. He won the blue
ribbon and a brand new Bible. The next morning
I found it hanging over our cabin door.
A toad was nailed to the cross.
Sometimes we wake up early enough to hide the evil from our world.
comfort, crawfish boils, and port vincentand you and me, we got the whole ofcomfort, crawfish boils, and port vincent1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Saturday, you and me, we got car grease
streaked straight up to our grins and
let's high five when you triumph over
mom's sneaky nose, her teasing and coy and
i wanna be that kind of wife to a man
like you. i wanna be the kind of woman worth
changing with, sacrificing for, going crazy
over as the years collect in bank rolls of nickels.
i've been called a menagerie of names by
the older, the wiser, the wrinkled; they
call me pretty girl, sweetheart, dollface,
sugarplum as i stir splenda into their
brewed coffees, but they ain't got nothin'
on your horse master hands, the ones that could
The SleeperIt was strange.The Sleeper5 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Surreal, she realized, as she turned the repetitive thoughts of earlier over again in her mind.
How normal everything seemed in light of what was about to come.
Her candle was burning low. Even the longer one she'd requested of the bar maid and paid the excess coin for didn't seem long enough.
But then, she told herself ruefully, the candlemaker couldn't have likely made one long enough to be suitable, even if he labored a century's worth of days and nights over it. She watched beads of wax slide down the sides to pool in the middle of the wooden tabletop, the smell of charring wick ripe in her nose.
If, she then reminded
grassy field with rustgrassy field with rustgrassy field with rust7 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I'd heard about the old car, three miles out of town and all alone. I just had to see it. It was time. School was over for the summer, my friends were at camp, and I was bored. I set out Thursday morning for a hike, following directions that Uncle Will had given me. As the heat was still growing with the climb of the sun, I found the field and wandered around looking, and looking some more, trying not to be distracted by bees buzzing in the flowers, and butterflies and baby mice. Then it was there, just a bit upslope from the bottom of a natural swale, and just below the sky at th
Under DreadThe winter, the whole winterUnder Dread1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
is sitting on my head, nesting its fingers
in the little hairs over my ears.
Its friend, the great and unnamed doubt,
is leaning against my collarbone
in a most familiar fashion,
and I fall in and out of balance
I have a beauty waiting, warm, willing
on speed dial, but the phone--
where did I leave the phone again?
Beauty is as elusive as
the car keys, which, I swear,
were just in that pocket. I
had my hand on them. The whole winter
keeps coursing its little nails
up and down my neck and taking
all my breath away.
There was a dream I had that
I almost remember, almost r
The PullWhen I was younger, someone showed me a video gametoo weird for me, but it made her laugh, and she was pretty. You played as this little guy with a squishy hammer for a head, and you rolled a sticky ball around in front of you. As you rolled it, things got stuck until the ball was gigantic. And then... I don't know. I don't remember the point of the game, nor do I remember the name.The Pull7 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
But that image comes back to me every time I am anxious. I am that little person running around, pushing a ball, and things stick to it. Only they aren't cows or trees or parts of buildings: they are things that make me nervous. The attention of people. My
chromaWe were merely children when the stars came.chroma9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
They rained down from the sky in a burst of light, like shards of glass pouring down from the heavens. Supernovas blooming in the night sky, petals raining down onto the barren earth - angels, falling with their wings sheathed, glowing, as they glided down. We watched, starstruck, as the glow overtook us - we were mesmerized. We waited with bated breath as the meteors landed, the celestial light subsiding as dark forms started to pick themselves up from the dust.
They moved towards us with an otherworldly grace, their steps leaving no marks on the earth as they descended upon us. Frozen to our sp
A Pocket Full of SkyWhen I was young, my father would take me to the highest tower of Notre Dame precisely once a year. It would be cold. Freezing. But we'd stand there, and take deep breaths of air, and peer down, towards the tiny ants of people below. Down, towards the sprawling city beneath us. It was always winter, when we'd go. Always cold. Freezing, freezing. But however cold it was, and however dull and bleary the weather, my father would ask one thing, and one thing only: that we adhered to tradition.A Pocket Full of Sky2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Lucie," he would say, with the fond smile and kind eyes I always remember. "Lucie, my peach. Whatever you become, and wherever your heart and mind leads
Deja vu. Again.I had moved here two weeks' ago, but had never visited this section of town so late at night. I had been invited to the pub by my neighbour, to make me feel welcome. An hour ago, she had phoned to say she had been asked to work overtime, and wouldn't be able to make it. Seeing as I was there, I drank a couple of cocktails. I was now walking back home.Deja vu. Again.2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Drunken people yelled out across the street. A couple of cars drove by, their horns blaring as the inebriated stumbled into the road. A bright yellow car stopped, flashing its headlights. A woman in a red dress banged on the window. The passenger door was opened, and a shouting match started be
MaggieCh. 1Maggie11 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
In the morning, the postman comes around seven. Maggie would give her usual warning gruff from her spot on the rug, her head raised, her ears perked. When the mail car sputtered away, Maggie would bring herself to rise slowly and pad to the window where she'd probe the glass curiously with her nose. Seeing nothing, she would return to her well-worn spot and drop like a sack of mail.
Every day, a little death
Every death, a little day
There came a time where I realized I couldn't see the curiosity in Maggie's eyes. Sure, she'd sniff around the yard excitedly, or wag her tail when we went to the park, but the way she looked at
Justifications and Salted Smiles"I don't think I'm holding on any longerJustifications and Salted Smiles9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
I'm diving in.
I wish that you would see,
there's a magical land at the bottom of the ocean
where waterproof lungs let you be
everything you've dreamed.
You can bury underneath the sand
and not be found-
it's the land that's been promised to me
in late night whispers
and burnt tears
wasted on things that don't matter.
I know it's real,
broken minds can't lie
and I can feel it in my bones-
there's something more.
What other reasons would we live for?
They say you inhale saltwater
and exhale enlightenment.
The waves pour over you
and finally make you clean (pure)
No one knows where y
LintukotoLife as a stained glass window in the cosmos:Lintukoto7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
a well of misfortune, shattered hours,
pieces of night and liquid decades.
A bird crosses the universe
and in the corner of eternity it warbles
a song that encloses everything.
I escape to the route of tempest:
the galaxy, oniric labyrinths,
a spiral path to madness.
LingerieEvery woman owns one garmentLingerie7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
that remains tucked away,
saved for special occasions
when it will be seen.
It is almost always midnight
black, or blood red, and
covered in lace, or made
of mesh, soft and delicate
as the skin it covers.
Such things should be hidden,
lest the owner be labeled
as something other than "lady."
It has a power we can't
control, one that transforms
denim and cotton clad
ragdolls into Barbies,
perfectly proportioned plastic,
smooth and flawless hourglasses
that turn on command.
We groan and flinch
as satin strings pull us
apart and together,
and heartstrings are plucked
as we scrutinize our reflection;
we are not