Those Eyes! A few of his many eyes flashed a baleful red.
They often flashed red, especially when he felt someone was following him too close.
He was a big guy, but in truth he was also paranoid. Maybe because of his size.
If someone stepped on his shoes, no matter whether he was moving or not, his eyes turned red for quite a while.
His shoes were a possible saving grace. He felt his shoes all the time. Many didn't pay them any attention.
Why are you following me this close? he'd think and his eyes would flash red again.
They were bright red, sometimes the only thing others could see about him in thick fog or other inclement weather.
Some thought him a demon of some sort. Others were just annoyed.
Ignore me at your peril, he thought.
He sometimes wondered if he was a demon, too.
The main thing he knew for sure was that he'd killed people in the past, a nasty business. It might happen again anytime.
That didn't improve his mood at
THAT Woman First they said, "No wind chimes outside the cottages. Three warnings will be given, then you are subject to eviction."THAT Woman4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My Granny said, "Humph. I like my old bamboo windchime. I can't even reach it no more to take it down. It's gonna stay, dammit, and I will too."
I told Granny, "Not if they evict you, you won't. I can take it down."
She looked at me over her reading glasses, with that Look she has.
"If anyone's evicted, you can go with em, Sonny. I'm stayin put. Me and that damn windchime."
I said, "Granny, I don't even live here. C'mon. It's just a windchime."
She said, "And we're just a buncha old senior citizens in a QUOTE retirement community END QUOTE, and I, for one, am gonna keep whatever I want right here. Me included."
I sighed. I know Gran
On the Northside of TimeOn the Northside of Time5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was a good day for the dogs and a bad one for the rabbits. I heard the big black dog howl his chase call through most of the afternoon, sometimes near and sometimes far. His little white shadow yipped along behind him. There were long pauses between yips heard. That little dog had short legs and needed extra wind and effort just to keep up.
The air outside was cool and sharp. The dogs ran under the last autumn leaves I could spot out there, out past the meadow. Some of those old trees in the grove stayed green the whole winter long. Most never did. The hunt through the big grove must have been exciting for the dogs. Not for smaller and younger animals.
The dogs came back when the setting sun put sof
Caught in Battleby LJCaught in Battle4 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
Storm Music They say when I was first laid in my mother's arms, she gave me back to the nurse and said, "No. This is not a child of mine."Storm Music3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
My father is the "they" I mean, the only one I heard tell that story. I guess he figured she meant it, because right away he took me as far from the Zuni reservation and my mother as we could get.
I don't remember being a little baby. I mean, who does? But I know my father drove his old car, with him and me and supplies, for miles and miles and miles. I hated that car. And he talked a lot, my Dad. He'd say, "Hey, freak. We're gonna cross a state line again. Mark it on the map." Or, "Hey, ghost boy. I gotta stop here for a few days. I'll set you up in a motel."
When my father said "set you up in a motel," he meant he'd get some half-drunk Indian to watch me, or more likely, to watch TV. He always went somewhere else. Some of those Indians fed me and some didn't, just like my father. I mean, it's like when I
Flights of Fancy Nature is best seen through a window. Cars are nice, but televisions give a better view. The important thing is to keep a window, any window, between you and wilderness. This is my strictest maxim, a rule of comfort I put aside only once, years ago. I spend most of my life expressing shock when friends say they're going on a hike or planning to camp out.Flights of Fancy3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It took two hours for Leon to convince me to accompany him on a short ride to the hills. I thought it would be safe. Leon was a good friend. Though he knew that particular day was my day to hit the mall and hang out with the girls, in the end, I still went with him. He said we'd have plenty of time and I could do both. Hah! I was ignorance personified.
Leon worked for a group of nuts who said they save peregrine falcons. He said they protect wild falcons from other nuts who shoot the birds and that his group "manipulates" falcon nests at the
Grandma Rose's Story: OneOral TraditionGrandma Rose's Story: One5 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
She told this story one day while she did beadwork and a few of her grandchildren played nearby. She remembered her own grandmother, the one who raised her as a little girl. She talked about a time many years ago, the last time she saw her grandmother.
"My grandmother lived on a place where she had a barn and grain holders and chickens and horses. She used to let me help her take care of the chickens. The horses roamed out to pasture, coming in sometimes for hay she always had ready for them. She and I lived there together. My older cousin, a young man then, stayed with us from time to time.
"My grandmother had adopted my mother a long time ago, see, and then when my mother died, just thirty-four years old, my grandmother took me to live with her. My sisters and brother went to my other grandmother but my grandmother wanted me with her. I was just a little girl then, not even old en
Another Take The human I live with calls me "Tommy Gun." Or "Kitty." Sometimes "Cat." Yeah "cat," but I'm really an alien. Though we got here first and are highly evolved, humans insist on calling us all these names. I think it's because they're unable to call us what we call each other. They can't hear us talk most of the time. We usually use what humans call "telepathy," except in extreme cases. We try other ways to talk to humans. Use "meow" umpteen ways and you'll see how hard it is.Another Take4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I like my human. She's a beautiful girl calls herself "Mimi" when she's on stage. Yeah "Mimi," and she's definitely human. She's a belly dancer and an excellent one. She can enchant a room full of old humans without even a drum, without even taking off any of her very many veils. She sort of undulates, like a wonderful snake might. But snakes I can eat. Mimi is way bigger than me, plus I want her to live. I won't kill her. She feeds me so I won't bring a dead sn
It Can Be So ElusiveOn the reservationIt Can Be So Elusive2 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
and all that jazz
I am always hot inside,
a dinosaur in the garden.
But life, like a tunnel
if out at night,
in a whisper
I remember the good things.
Not the machine evangelist.
The Perversity of WeSometimes on a quiet nightThe Perversity of We3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
due to my perversity,
or perhaps my common nature,
I dream awake of what may happen
should my twin die before me.
I may be walking calm and laughing
down city street or red rock ridge
and she would reach me over the miles
reaching straight to all five senses
reaching intense with her actions
Stronger than telepathies
often had when we were kids
stronger than futile restlessness
unexplained 'til mail arrives,
stronger than what may surround me
I know she would reach me.
I would see her clear as day,
clearer than the sights around me
and I'd know her way of going
and how she takes it
and what she knows if she goes.
It would bind, it would blind me,
it would choke me up completely.
I would stumble, likely fall,
and knowing all, be speechless
in the face of reachless
closeness sundered by her pall,
Whatever takes her liveliness
I couldn't stand at all.
Arapahos in the GardensArapahos in the Gardens3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Once he made his point, we stopped in a border town called Nuevo Laredo. It was an odd stop. We slid out of the car into heat, dazzled by colors--reds and yellows screamed, and blues looked like something in an electric dream. We smiled at each other. Suddenly, we were tourists.
After a brief sit-down in shade to eat Mexican food, I just as suddenly found myself alone. Following a quiet, private conference between my father-in-law John and husband Midge, with a few reassurances and winks tossed my way, John and Midge disappeared for some minutes. I sat on a low, white-washed adobe wall and kept my eyes open. I nervously considered the situation. Did John and Midge have to make some final arrangements about the ranch we were going to? Did they go to a bar or one of those girlie shows d
Three in Five MinutesDream one was a bright white flashThree in Five Minutes3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and sounds of things breaking
I opened my eyes and saw it all.
Now I think that it was me.
Dream two was my child yelling
"Where are you? Where are you?"
I opened my ears and heard it all.
Now I think that it was me.
Dream three was a sudden knocking
on the door in deepest dark.
I opened the door and saw nothing.
Now I think that it was me.
Fight in a Hospital They said she was too old to have a baby.Fight in a Hospital5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Doctors said she'd die if she had a second one.
Lettie thought different about that. Lettie thought different about a lot of things other folks said and thought.
Doctors said she'd die when she had her girl Jaycee ten years ago too, but Lettie was still very much alive.
Well, she almost died, but 'almost' didn't count with Lettie.
She did as she pleased and she had since a young age. That didn't do a world of wonder for her health, but she was happy with Jaycee. Her daughter was a good one, as smart and independent as her mom.
Now Lettie wanted a son because Jaycee wished for a brother.
Jaycee never mentioned a wish before. Lettie thought one wish was the least she could do for her girl.
Tale of the Teller My ignorance no longer gave me bliss.Tale of the Teller5 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 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 Bag4 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
Ten Quick Tips to Write Prose1.) Ideas. Use imagination and experience.Ten Quick Tips to Write Prose4 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
2.) Find ideas. Use the five senses: touch, taste, see, smell, hear. Maybe mix 'em up. Color smells like ___?
3.) The five 'w's. Use who, what, when, where and why. They're usually good to know.
4.) Story elements. Use setting, rising action, conflict, falling action and resolution. Often needed, whatever the order.
5.) Action. Use active verb forms, action settings and active characters. They're more fun for writers and readers.
6.) Description. Describe in small doses through action and observation. Readers like it. They can use imagination.
7.) Plot. Use items listed above. Outlines are okay. No outlines are okay. Find the story.
8.) Experiment. Try something new. Stories can be great "outside the box" and outside "comfort zones."
9.) Edit. Check sentence structure, grammar, spelling, flow and format. Always.
10.) Publish. Use "The Writer's Market" or "Writer's Digest" to learn "How To Publish." Don't stop trying.
Penned or Released?Writers write,Penned or Released?4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
but not always right.
I Need to SingI need a drum and not just any drum. I need a drummer too, and not just any drummer.I Need to Sing4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The drum must be the water drum we use, and the drummer must be the man I know when he is the fireman.
I need a gourd and not just any gourd. I need a staff too, and not just any staff.
The gourd must be beaded, with leather tassels swaying at the bottom when I use it, when we use it.
The staff must be a symbol when I or another of us holds it, to show we are the ones to listen to, we are the ones who none can step in front of while we sing.
I need a song to sing and not just any song.
It must be the right song for the occasion, and right for the time, the song I sing four times.
I need four songs to sing four times. I need the right songs for the hour, for the need, and for the night.
I need that drummer, who with his father taught me every song to sing by the hour of each night.
I need that drummer whose voice matches mine, who drums our beat, water droplets splashing up with each fast strike of the
The Choir Zone She woke to hear him sing in the shower. Terry often sang in there, quite loudly. Pauline didn't think much of it, though she missed taking a shower with her new husband. She stretched like a cat might and padded to the bathroom, the better to secretly identify this morning's song.The Choir Zone4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Usually it was pretty terrible, like most singing in a shower was, but today Terry sounded wonderfully good. Pauline thought maybe their honeymoon made the difference, but changed her mind when Terry joined her in the bedroom.
He still sang, even though his body language said he meant to talk.
"What?" Pauline said.
" ! " Terry said, and smiled at her while he dried his hair.
"Stop singing, Terry! Say something, sweetie," she said.
Terry said, " !"
LandingWhen a butterflyLanding2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
pauses on your freckled nose
so does the summer.
After Memorial DayHer casket was pink with many metal roses.After Memorial Day1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Her grandmother's was gray with the Last Supper.
Who knows what the mother's will be?
She hasn't quit this life's many poses.
My father went with the Neptune Society.
My mother went into a mausoleum.
I want ashes scattered on the mountains.
Nobody knows where we'll end our journeys,
It's the road we follow while alive that counts.
Religion is good for some.
I think spirituality is best for everyone.
Please define spirituality you say.
"Random acts of kindness" is one way.
We can all do that, come what may.
Out of the Ashes He burned down their house by the road. He built a fire in the middle of the living room floor and sat warming himself 'til he saw the fire was out of control. Then he staggered up and walked the path to his mother's house in the middle of the night.Out of the Ashes10 months ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
He told her, "Our house is on fire."
She didn't believe him because he was drunk and, drunk, he was a constant liar.
"Just go to sleep on that couch and leave your baby and wife alone here," she said. She went back to bed and slept, but also checked on him to be sure his little family wasn't bothered by his drunken lies and abuse. She could control him as his mother.
In the morning dawn, a farmer from down the road a piece knocked on her door.
She hurried to answer. People were still sleeping and the knock sounded urgent.
"Missus, that h
A Long End to a Brief Life I didn't know it was illegal to move a person's ashes from the spot you said they'd be (my garage) to multiple others. I put Mom-in-ashes in the trunk of my car because I thought we'd find a place for her soon, but Mom and I went hither and yon while my sister looked for a real "resting place."A Long End to a Brief Life2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I even forgot Mom was there, and we went shopping, to the movies, out to eat. Was it disrespectful? It didn't feel illegal.
When I thought about it, it seemed kind of cozy.
There came the day though, when my sister Jocelyn found a good mausoleum to put Mom at a full stop, the final resting place. I went with Jo, and that's how I found out it was illegal to move Mom beyond the shelf in the garage to the mausoleum -- it was supposed to be a direct line between the two places. Of course I didn't tell the man Mom had been all over town with me.
We had to pick out an urn to put at least part of Mom in (the whole of her was too big,
The Great Water Debate There was a war going on at the senior complex.The Great Water Debate4 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I visited the place to see how my Granny was doing, but she'd left a note on her door that said:
AT REC ROOM - COME SEE ME
That got me worried right there. Granny wasn't your ordinary person. I could think of a million reasons why she'd be evicted, and not one that would make her cheerfully go that close to the office. She had sort of a love/hate relationship with where she lived. As long as things went her way, she was happy. If they didn't, well, she was a force to be reckoned with.
I walked along the cement path between greenery and sent up a little prayer.
"No eviction, please," was all I asked.
I hated the sign beside the office because it said "Welcome Home," and it just didn't have a homey feeling anywhere. Except inside my Granny's apartment and garden. I walked through a mysteriously empty office to the rec room, where I heard