Rumbles(The stage is dressed in white, highly reflective panes of glass hanging down from above, the effect being the interior of an opaline crystal. The panes are arranged randomly—not messily, but without a clear design or functionality to the arrangement. At various points around the stage, there are “mounds” which crop up at various heights. The light is soft and clear, yet there is a sense of movement—a sense of life—in it. MAN is sitting just off-center, on a relatively short mound, and is biting into an invisible apple.)
(calling upward) Do you hear me chewing up there? (to the “apple”) Nice and crunchy. Nice and crispy—no, “crisp,” rather. Nice and crisp. (calling upward again) Do you hear me? (beat) Hmm… Whether I eat the core or not, I believe, has no bearing on my state. Doomed, damned, done for.
(MAN finishes the “apple,” throws the core back ov
Joel is Having a Bad Day(And He Really Needs A Smoke)Joel is Having a Bad Day5 years ago in Drama More Like This
JOEL, male, mid-twenties
BILLY, female, late teens to early twenties
Lights up on JOEL and BILLY, who are sitting outside on the back porch. The three or four chairs are mismatched and seem to have been salvaged from the reject pile of a Salvation Army store. A wooden coffee table hails from an indiscernible decade and holds a glass ashtray with dozens of cigarette butts sticking out of it. JOEL is smoking, trying to ignore BILLY.BILLY
You know, you really shouldn't; I heard somewhere that those things can make your teeth turn to mush and your fingers grow all bendy and twisted. One of my "friends"she used to smoke a lot, too, and now her voice is so raspy and gritty we call her "Louie." As in Armstrong. The "Beautiful World" guy? Hello, earth to Joel. Come in, Joel. Your lungs are
I said, shove off.
The Pieces(Lights up on a young girl child, sitting on a pink patchwork quilt on the floor of a nursery.)The Pieces4 years ago in Comedy More Like This
Pieces taste good. Ripped-up, tasty bits. Candy-tasty. Won't you let me taste a taste? Sweet and juicy, please.
(GIRL sticks her fingers in her mouth and closes her eyes.)
Just a taste. The last taste, the best ever. I want it. Want it.
(GIRL removes her fingers, but keeps her eyes closed.)
Dee-lish. So yummy, goody. The pieces. Just want a tasty taste.
(GIRL opens her eyes, and gets up on her knees.)
Please, it, I need so bad! I want them so, so much. So much. I hurt, please, give. They good for me, just please.
(GIRL stands up, approaches audience, ready to throw a tantrum.)
Give me! Now! Or I rip it myself, give! You're being mean, stop it! I want the pie
A Battle of Extremes(MR. CYNICISM, MS. SINCERE, and DR. PASSION congregate for battle.)DR. PASSIONA Battle of Extremes2 years ago in Comedy More Like This
Where's all the booze, guys? Where's the music? I thought this was supposed to be a party.
This is a battle, not a party, good doctor. You may want to remove your lamp shade so you can be prepared to fight.
I didn't hear anything about no violence at this here get-together-battle-party-what-have-you.
That is the definition of battle: Where two or more parties come together and -
- come together and make a whole lot of excitement between them. See? That's what I'm saying.
I should have anticipated such a gross misinterpretation of the facts, given your appalling track record with regard to such things as facts.
I'm sure it was an honest mistake, a result of a miscommunication. We can all be friends still, right?
Aside from the battle, of course.
I wouldn't have it any other way.<
Free Hugs(Lights up on a modest kitchen. MAN and WOMAN are standing, facing each other.)WOMANFree Hugs3 years ago in Comedy More Like This
(shouting) Free hugs! Free hugs! Free hugs!
Do I get one?
Do you get one what?
Am I misunderstanding something?
I should think that my message is quite clear, being comprised of only two words, one syllable apiece.
Yes. (shouting) Free hugs! Free hugs! Free hugs!
So, can I have one?
I thought you were on board, already, that you understood what I'm saying here. What's the problem? What is this "one" you want?
I want one of what you're offering.
What am I offering? I'm standing here, shouting (shouting) "Free hugs! Free hugs! Free hugs!" What could I possibly be offering?
You're offering free hugs, aren't you?
More like demanding.
That they free hugs.
That they free hugs?
Yes. Hugs doesn't deserve this. Hugs deserves freedom. Hugs is as good and as innoce
The Best ListenerThe Best Listener3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Sólo mi amiga imaginaria me escuchará.
(Only my imaginary friend will listen.)
Twist My Fire(Lights up on a modest kitchen. MAN and WOMAN are standing, facing each other.)MANTwist My Fire4 years ago in Comedy More Like This
Twist your fire.
"Twist your fire." It's what all the kids are saying these days.
Are they, really?
Yes, or so I've heard... somewhere. Yes, definitely.
So, what does it mean to "twist your fire?"
Uh, I don't know, exactly.
You don't know, and yet you still are saying it. That's brilliant.
I know, isn't it?
Are you sure the kids are all saying this?
You think I'd... make something like "twist your fire" up? Why? Why? To make myself feel hip and hep and cool and with it and rad and wicked and fly and neat and sweet-action and terrific and exceptional and audacious and fantastic and loose and super and ace and boss and dandy and divine and glorious and hunky-dory and keen and peachy and marvelous and groovy and nifty and tight and sensational and mad-skills and swell and awe-inspiring and fresh and smashing? Why do you think I'm on that low of
A Dignified Game of Poker(Lights up on a modest kitchen. MAN and WOMAN are standing, facing each other. WOMAN is seen poking her stomach with an invisible knife as MAN looks on.)WOMANA Dignified Game of Poker4 years ago in Comedy More Like This
My stomach hurts. When I poke it. Does yours?
No, stop poking it. Knives are for cutting, anyway. Not for poking.
(still poking) Who are you to tell me what to do?
Darling, you said you loved me...once. Isn't that enough?
I don't remember what I said. I could have been on hallucinogens at the time, or benzos, or catfood.
If I hadn't taken them, my mind would have been clear, and I would remember not taking them. As it is, I can't remember taking them and can't remember not taking them, so it's about 50/50.
You're caught in a memory paradox, eh?
Seems like it.
I love it when you're like this.
Confused and disoriented.
Conversation"I am driving in a Hummer. I am on a two lane highway. I was listening to Counting Crows before panic threatened to cut off my air supply. Air supply is a band. I have no idea what they sing. I'm pretty sure they were a clue on Jeopardy once. I…I…have to pull over so I can breathe."Conversation2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Omar put on his blinker and steered the over-compensation-mobile to the shoulder of the road. He fumbled with the lock on the door and his heart felt like it was going to burst through his chest when he tried to get out of the car and couldn't. Seatbelt. It was just the seatbelt. His hands were slick with cold sweat by the time the belt whizzed cheerfully back into its place and he managed to slide out onto the shoulder of the road.
He was glad it was so late and glad that the highway was so deserted. He was trembling so hard that the change in his pockets rattled and he never would have been able to speak if someone had pulled up and offered to help. He hated for people to witness his panic.
The Solipsist's LotThere's something about yourself that you don't know. You probably don't remember the circumstances very well, but I do. If you enjoy things the way they are, if you revel in even the smallest speck of ignorance, you need not read ahead. I won't force you. But from what I know of you, you don't like secrets. Especially not when they are about you.The Solipsist's Lot3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You see, when you were born, so at once was everyone else. Your mother, she sprang into existence, just like that, the instant your tiny infant brain achieved the smallest semblance of self-awareness. Woven out of the ether, she remembered everything that never happened, and she looked down at you, cradled and squirming in her loving arms.
"Oh," she said. "So here is life."
The doctor was there too, although a moment before if there ever was a moment before he was not. He just nodded, smiling assuredly, and said, "Here is the beginning."
a shut in placeMeg's world is a world of uneven earth and blue skies, surface rock cracked and blown about by howling wind. She runs through wasteland, stumbles with purpose towards a wooden desk in the distance. She runs and runs, dirt and stones scuffing Mary Janes, but the writing desk is a finish line she can't reach.a shut in place3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Why a writing desk?" her friend Alex says when she tells him about the dream. He emphasizes the question with a hand, waving the sandwich he's holding towards her before taking a bite.
She's left out details: how she is smaller, younger, a smooth-faced child with little hands dressed in her Sunday best instead of the twenty-one-year-old English major she knows herself to be. How the desk speaks of a familiarity she can't place and screams of a significance she can't understand. How she's been having the same dream for weeks and how it haunts her every waking moment with an urgency of impending consequence and menacing complexity that reminds her of Kafka.
Meg shrugs, the motion cau
Improbable(Lights up on a modest kitchen. MAN and WOMAN are standing, facing each other.)MANImprobable3 years ago in Comedy More Like This
So, can I ask where you've been... all my life?
Here and there. Why? Does it matter where I've been?
Shouldn't it matter?
There could be something the matter. But why do you care? Are you afraid?
If I were to know, would it bother you?
(gasps) You know? How did you find out? What tipped you off?
The more appropriate question is... who tipped me off?
Okay, who tipped you off?
Ah, but therein lies the question, doesn't it?
Therein lies the answer, too, I hope.
Really? Does it now? Fascinating.
Don't you have the answer?
Do I? I thought I had it, but I might've eaten it, or used it to fill my gas tank, or mistaken it for a -
(yells) How could you be so careless? I gave you that answer on our honeymoon!
Wait - we're married?
I thought so... aren't we?
Perhaps, that fact has been es
BlackIt began in the quietest hours of the night. Granny was snoring up a storm, her bed creaking with each breath and twitch of her bigness. That's always the first thing I remember, thinking back. She always snored in the same way Pappy revved up the engines of his prized Cadillac. Loud, proud, and never ending.Black2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I s'pose I should start with what happened before hand. Nothing will make sense if I don't. It don't make no sense anyhow, but the story won't be right if I don't start before everything got bad.
So we were in the market, Granny and I. We go every Sunday while my parents and siblings are at praise and worship with most of the rest of the town. We get all the best stuff that way without havin to elbow our way through the hordes of people doin their last minute shoppin for Sunday dinner. Granny always said that the best book couldn't keep her from making Sunday dinner, and no man in the sky gonna keep her from her shoppin.
"Jerry, you got them apples for me?" Grann
The Cartographer's DaughterEvery night, he would fold her into his arms before she slept. Creases grew into her, turning brown with wear, and she loved them. When she woke up in the night, dreaming of darkness, he would take her to his desk and draw for her a map of her face, turning it into another world. Tracing the contours of her smile, he would scrawl a warning, "Here be monsters", whispering to her that she was a dragon when angry.The Cartographer's Daughter3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
As she grew older, she populated his maps with creatures and peoples from the books she read, or her own creations. He taught her to draw, and to write with an old inkpen, in a cursive script her teacher could make neither head nor tail of. She made him angry once, drawing in the drying sand with her finger, and smudging the ink. When he was angry, mountain ranges grew across his forehead and caverns opened in his cheeks. Here be lions.
Walking home from school, she knew the local area inside out; from the maps he had drawn and taught her. He would copy them onto o
Unsent Letter[ Miranda is sitting at a desk with piles of crumpled letters. She picks up a clean piece of paper and begins to write and think.]Unsent Letter5 years ago in Drama More Like This
If you're reading this,
I am gone.
I doubt I'm dead.
But maybe being dead would be more freeing,
distant moons and stars.
Vibrant metallic Winter glass.
Mirror moon, you are,
like a pond or puddle
where a River should be.
Silver lining on a mushroom cloud?
Glass half full of air?
Castle made of cages?
Prove me wrong.
Never have I so desperately wanted
to be wrong.
That's why I write suicide letters
without any stamps.
Love love love love love hate love love love,
P.S. I'm still here.
[Miranda pauses, the meticulously folds up the letter. She pulls a blender out from under the desk and drops the letter in. She turns the blender on and watches it run. Then she shrugs and walks offstage. Lights out.]
Old Romanian ManOld Romanian Man4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Din trestie aproape, amintiri mai aproape.
(Cane near, keeps his memories nearer.)
They Also Serve Who Only Stand and WaitI don't know when we first went underground. I don't even know if it was one mass exodus, a swarm of mankind trickling through the earth's crust so vehement we carved our own caverns by the force of trampling feet, or whether it was a gradual process, perhaps even a repetitive one, a family here, a neighborhood there. For all I know, the echo of the damp subterranean machine has always reverberated off the cave walls, created long past by the Angels, who think of our well-being even while they shake their heads helplessly at our flaws.They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
They say that those who remained on the surface were raptured away in a great flash of light, like a million suns converted into raw energy all at once. While it was rumored once that the flash was our doing, our own horrid creation, we all know better now. It was the Maker who brought it forth from the void and cast it onto the earth's crust, as though shot from an immense sling, taking only those who were brave enough to trust in Him. We, who live in t
Jukebox Cafe A string of bells jingled obnoxiously against glass as Hugh entered the Jukebox Café. The first thing he noticed was the pepless fan rotating just enough to move hot air and the smell of grease from one side of the restaurant to the other. No one came for the food, or at least that’s what he assumed upon sight of the sticky red tablecloths and French fries that speckled the checkered floor. That and the fact that he was the only soul in sight.Jukebox Cafe2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He walked up to the bar and squinted at a sign asking customers to “Please seat yourself or ring for service.” What kind of café required its customers to ring a bell for service? Not sure if there was an employee in the place, he rang it despite the sheen applied by dirty hands, and the shrill sound barely cut through an old tune produced by the jukebox in the corner.
Convenience Ducky Short usually avoided using 'convenience' stores. The floors were always grimy, the lighting was too dim for his tired veiny eyes, and the cashiers never spoke more than five words of English. But the thing that irked him most was how every one of them put the Ho-Hos on the very bottom shelf, and every time he would have to find a way to maneuver his long body and old rusty joints into a crouch just so he could reach them.Convenience3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He had been struck with a Ho-Ho craving as he was walking by, and since the only store nearby was a tiny convience store, he had no choice but to go in and claim his cakes. There was no controlling this sort of thing. 'Happy Ho Ho emergencies', his mother used to call them, God rest her soul.
But Ducky hadn't expected a different kind of emergency.
The bell on the door barely had time to jingle before it was drowned out by a frantic holler.
"Freeze, everybody! I've got a gun, so no messing around!"
The Soul Broker I am the buyer and seller of souls. I’ve bought them all and I sold you yours. For the world must run like the gears of a clock, and sometimes you tick or sometimes you tock, but everything given will be taken away and for every silence kept, a word must be said.The Soul Broker3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Naturally, you must assume there is cost. For everything gained, a penny is lost; of course this life can be no different--when the check arrives, you must pay the difference. But not all who ride on the sunday train pay the same price to get out of the rain: a king’s ransom might obtain far, far less than the pauper’s cheap pain.
Your father paid the price of sweat, a back bent under the yoke of the world; accrued worldly financial debt but was recompensed with the jokes of a girl. And he would say he walked away wealthy, with his empty bank account, for his daughter lives today quite healthy and loves him in equally large amounts.
The Business Wolf stopped gnawing on his third plate of Lapin Bleu d'Auvergne and pointed at Deer with his fork. "The problem," he said, "is that you've got a bum deal going on with your agent. You're paying him far too much if all he was able to get you was public affection. I mean, there's what-- thirteen million white-tailed deer in the United States alone, right?"The Business3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Deer looked down at his glass, which was half-full of some white wine. He was a little unsure whether or not he liked it, as he didn't really know what made wine good or bad or even what type of wine it happened to be. He'd looked at the menu, become flummoxed by the French, and had simply asked the waiter (in English) for something vegetarian with a suitable wine. This was his second glass or maybe his third; he'd already forgotten. He swished it around a little.
"Thirty million, actually," said Deer. "Not thirteen."
longingi scuff at sidewalk bottle caps,longing9 months ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
mouthing your name as i pass shriveled milkweed stalks and snuffed-out cigarettes.
once, the clock hands pointed north. they mock me now with each degree elapsed,
each angle pointing to a slew of compass-rose regrets.
mouthing your name as i pass shriveled milkweed stalks and snuffed-out cigarettes,
i hear the second hand’s advance tally my silences like rosary beads,
each angle pointing to a slew of compass-rose regrets.
if only i could pull your name from this unmerciful stampede!
i hear the second hand’s advance tally my silences like rosary beads.
every dull tock measures out those quinine conversations, sly unripened smiles, and yet i know
if only i could pull your name from this unmerciful stampede,
the cobwebs binding me to mute labyrinths of time might let me go.
every dull tock measures out those quinine conversations, sly unripened smiles, and yet i know
your redwood hands could be the ones to rescue me, and then
....until proven guilty?Accused he stood.....until proven guilty?3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Innocent he died.
a ribcage drenched in dusti have your ribcage, you said.a ribcage drenched in dust3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what should i put in it?
i told you i'd always wanted a fire,
the kind that would fill my eyes with starlight
and pump my blood full of passion, but
you're made of wildflowers, you said.
a fire would burn you to ash.
you wanted to fill my chest with
the sound of a train, whistling
far away in the night;
with the sound of rain smacking leaves;
with the sound the wind makes
when it seems like it's trying to speak
and you wanted to throw in the
smell of midnight in august
and the feeling of sand being
sucked out from under your feet
when the ocean inhales,
and the strange little moment of
bittersweet joy you get when
someone else puts your soul into words
and you realize you're not as alone as you thought.
i told you that if i had all that inside me,
i'd ache all the time
and you smiled a sad little smile,
because you already knew that ache.
because you were a writer, and you ached all the time.
i've got it, i said.