Russian RouletteThey take her on her honeymoon.
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 greying hair half-covering his forehead. She's not sure if it's a question or a statement.
She counts the days by watching the guardsone on day shift, one on night. They're probably the same men who took her, but they stay too much out of her field of vision to really tell. It takes until the third day for the woman to come.
'Meil,' they call h
of the ground-of the ground 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 that entire month. The rest of us were too fragile to play in suicide weather, when the right chords might move us to open our veins.
Geo sat down next to me, examining my bottle of red lacquer. "'To Eros is Human,'" he read, and rolled his eyes. "I'll keep that in mind."
I offered him my shoebox of nail polish. He selected a purple the color of opium
Anything you can find:"They're wicked," whispers Deputy Mack, when he thinks we aren't listening. "Beautiful, but wicked."Anything you can find: in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It makes Noah smirk from the front desk, where Clara Wynn, the dispatcher, is sneaking him sips from her hip flask while she profiles him. DePrince, she writes, Noah Thomas. Age: 12. Hair: Black. She puzzles over the color of his eyes before penning gray on the line, a rarity that gives us an edge, which we use like a scalpel. Noah flickers eyes like new nickels whenever we want something. Today is the Friday after the funeral and we are sick for answers, so we ask Clara if she will take our mug shots.
"I'll find some film," she says, disappearing into the back room. The door taps shut behind her. Deputy Mack and Sheriff Spellis are still arguing about us in the office, their voices a low rumble of contention, so we slip off our chairs and spread out through the station.
"Obituaries, photos, police reports," says Noah, fanning a stack of files across the desk. "Hur
singles.Cooper is twelve years old and a treasure in his tennis whites, and I am unremarkable, eleven, blurred at the edges like some uncertain shoreline. He only speaks to me because he sees Coach Drown's hands linger too long on my hips when he's teaching me topspins. We're pairing up, Cooper declares, claiming me from across the court with the wide end of his racquet. He spends the rest of practice serving straight down the line, aiming to concuss. Cooper Corentin plays tennis like we're in trenches. Come on, kid, fight back, he says. If I were a fucking truck, would you just stand there on the dotted line?singles. in Short Stories More Like This
Coach Drown is a truck. Every Thursday afternoon, he rakes me over for roadkill, and I lie there bisected below him with the taste of gravel in my throat. I should be used to it by now, but sometimes he still catches me full in the nerves like headlights. I'm practicing my backhand these da
101 Ways to Prepare Pond ScumTolly Spellis was a miracle in the kitchen. There was an admittedly small market for post-nuclear cuisine, but Nora had been eating out of cans for the bulk of her life, and she knew the difference between nourishment for the sake of survival and complete transformation of the edible world. This was more than aimless garnish, shriveled ryegrass on a mutated flank. With an arsenal of spices tucked in an old grenade pouch around her waist, Tolly laid out the carcasses like fine music, attuned to sizzle and smoke and the dying hiss of stubborn bacteria. She monitored her work with scientific diligence: two dozen cuts of mutated cow, soft marbling of fat, dust of tarragon to neutralize the taste of the rads. The Mites couldn't pay her; fallout currency was split somewhere between coinage and lead shot. Even civilized people still bartered with bullets. Tolly only asked for protection. Plates, ingredients, and prot101 Ways to Prepare Pond Scum in Short Stories More Like This
Peace*Peace in Scraps More Like This
Miss Wallace could have compressed the entire file into one four-second video: Elliot and Jack standing in the clearing, watching Peace's empty body fill with rain.
Instead, she created a new memory bank and named it "Mortality."
Her knowledge of the subject was limited to the definitions they'd fed her at Parent Programming: a condition of impermanence, potential for termination, the impossibility of repair. Descriptions of life, not the end of it. They told her she wasn't manufactured to understand death. What, then, was a twelve-year-old boy who had been emptied of his internal organs?
It was nothing a soldering gun could fix. It wasn't a rusty actuator, or a ruptured filament. This was human life spilled across a forest floor, and Miss Wallace--who knew nothing of transience--had never seen anything so final.
"Peace," Elliot whispered.
The world was blurred and unsteady through the live feed of her son's anesthetized synapses
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. 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 between the woman and the driver. The woman slammed the door closed, and walked away. My stomach churned. I felt as though I had witnessed this before, and a weird protectiveness came over me. I had a strong urge to warn the woman about her actions, but warring partners were not unusual on a night out, and it wasn't my place to offer advic
The Doppelganger 2The book still sings to me, and that's when I pull it from under my bed and stroke the cover. But I never open it, because I know what happens if I do it wrong. It's still blank; but only of ink. I know the secret, you see. It's how I understand the songs, and know the melodies it echoes up to me, through time. There are impressions hidden in the pages- spilled mead and raucous laughter, summer sunshine and frost on dead leaves. The last time I tried feeling them from start to finish, I passed out from the sheer weight of knowledge, and it left my brain scrambled for ages.The Doppelganger 2 in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I found out things about my past and my family's past. I have Irish on my dad's side of the family, stretching back generations. I'd have said I was surprised when I found out, but that would have been a lie.
People say I've changed since last spring. My face is thinner, my eyes are brighter, I've been "brought out of myself." What they don't know is that I've actually met myself. I've taken to wearing rich, d
The DoppelgangerThe first time I saw the other girl, I was standing on one side of the high street. Because it was the end of September, and we were in Britain, it was raining, but the main bulk of water had passed before lunch, so all that was left was the kind of rain that's annoying in its intermittency.The Doppelganger in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I watched her look in both directions and then cross the road, stepping carefully through the pool of mingled rainwater and rainbow engine oil in the bus bay. She was unusual, not just because she wasn't carrying a handbag, or wearing a coat, but because she was dressed in a chain mail and leather dress, and leggings. The second strange thing was that no one else, and this was a busy street, even in the rain, gave her a second glance. Their gazes slid benevolently over her, like she was an endearing, but not unfamiliar, child. Her booted feet crunched over some shattered glass as she approached, and then the third strange thing happened.
As she got to within a few feet of me, she winked out of exis
The DreamerThey say there are many Universes.The Dreamer in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Exactly who says this and exactly how they know is not recorded in the annals of history.
They are, however, right. Were they to take this a step further, someone might hypothesize that these Universes entwine. Hence objects moving in a haunted house, mysterious noises from thin air. Many of the same people who hypothetically hypothesize subscribe to the same theory; that everything has to happen somewhere. And it does. Quite why football happens is a mystery as yet unravelled, but presumably it has to be a mystery somewhere. Thus is philosophical equilibrium achieved.
Ideas come in dreams. It is a well-known fact. On the other hand, what is less well-known is that Idea Dreams are only one of several kinds of dreams. There are in fact three kinds, and the other two come under the category of Time Dreams, Past and Future. After all, Universes work on different times, and the majority on different rules. So when your mind is in a suitable st
UltraVioletThis is the colour on the other side of lightUltraViolet in Free Verse More Like This
Somewhere between purple and infinity
It's dark light, can't-see-with-it light
This is what they use for mysteries
Luminescent, not-there light
Only visible by the glowing
Of ghost-white sheets
It tells you when something isn't true,
For killing disease, turning you into gold
This intangible light whispers things
Secrets about the Universe, and atoms
It's the blood-light, the hunter's friend
It can make softness hard, invisible ink
It burns, divides, heals, protects
This ultraviolet light
chromaWe were merely children when the stars came.chroma 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 spots as they approached, our bodies simply unresponsive in their wake. We were paralyzed. They stretched out their wings, embracing us in a softness unimaginable - a polymerization of silky feathers made of pure light, like a soft touch of a rose petal - and suddenly, our eyes were opened. The world was the same, yet so new, as it was washed with a gl
((across))he binds her heart away in ace bandages,((across)) in Free Verse More Like This
compresses her lungs and
cracks her ribs
keeps her up at night and makes her stare into the mirror-
he hates her.
he hates her so much.
it would be better if she had never existed.
there's a thought growing in her mind-
and then he's there
with his perfection and
she doesn't want to be herself anymore,
she wants to be him.
every actor needs a persona.
bittersweet.and i'll never leave herebittersweet. in Free Verse More Like This
i'll stay in your heart forever--
or as long as you'll have me.
i'll wake up with you every mornin'
i know how you like your tea;
milk, no sugar
and i'll take my coffee with two sugars
and what a wonderful pair we'd make--
when we're not busy lunging at each other's throats
and tearing all the things better left unsaid out
when we're not squeezing salt and lemon juice into wounds
that never really healed
when we're not onesided, messed up, masochistic, fucked up--
we'd be a wonderful pair.
Send Me the Raintoday, they're all talking about the fires.Send Me the Rain 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.
i'm starting to see the subtle luscious contours
i might not exactly be news-worthy
but if i catch, then
the forest might too.
i'm considered a reasonable loss, however.
they heard it might storm tomorrow. and everybody knows
that means they'll be safe-
because they all talk about it.
it almost stormed-
the sky spat and then
thought better of it,
Fire and WaterIt was raining in Lancaster on September 3rd 1555, and Jane Ask loved the earthy smell that it coaxed out of the soil.Fire and Water in Short Stories More Like This
She wiped away the sheen of rainwater from her forehead with the back of her hand and set her small basket of nettles down by the front door. Later she would dry out the leaves and reduce them to a powder; the substance worked wonders on small wounds which refused to stop bleeding.
Jane had always been something of an herbalist. Growing up with only a father, and two older brothers from his first marriage, she had spent the majority of her childhood outdoors. Now practically a spinster at the age of twenty-two, she knew the Lancashire countryside as though it were the dearest friend, and for years now its other residents had come to her for aid. She knew which plants could heal or, if nothing were to be done, could simply ward off the pain.
She sniffed, wiping a drop of cold rainwater off the end of her nose, and looked across her herb garden at Sally. Sally was her co
Best Served ColdIf there was one thing the children of Lancaster knew for sure it was that where one Allerdice went, another soon followed. So perhaps Bonnie Peterson should have known better than to push Roland Allerdice into the mud one summer afternoon.Best Served Cold in Short Stories More Like This
She smirked at the little boy, hands on her hips, while he glared up at her from the filth. A humiliated blush spread from his cheeks down to his collarbone, and while he didn’t appreciate being embarrassed in front of Bonnie and her entire circle of friends his main worry was the scolding he’d receive from his mother when she saw the state of his clothes.
The laughing ceased with a collective gasp from Bonnie’s friends, as though they were trying to suck the laughter back into their lungs, and Bonnie whirled around. Thora Allerdice stood between them, completely still aside from the curls of her red hair which were caught in the breeze, and stared. There was nothing threatening in either her stance or h
The Devil's HourThere was an empty space in the blankets beside her and she shivered; cold and alone in the dark. Hand fumbling through the pile of food wrappers beside her pillow, she managed to find Damon's phone. 3:03am according to the screen, though she had to squint through her smudged eyeliner to read the digits; the brightness made her eyes water.The Devil's Hour in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She gently tossed the phone aside with a groan, hearing it rustle its way through the pile of rubbish, and dropped her face against her pillow. It was too late or early for this. Where had he gone this time?
Still half asleep, she stumbled from their makeshift bedroom, the bridge of her nose creasing against the smell of damp, and cursed when she stubbed her big toe on a protruding nail.
Next time they decided to squat somewhere, she was going to choose the place.
It was only a small house, and she soon found him in the little room
Bedtime Story: The Tale of ArtemusBraeden had no idea how to go about raising a child, let alone one that only had two legs. Emmy had toes, too. He had no idea what they were for, and it often crossed his mind that he could accidentally teach her the wrong way to use them; what if they were vital to a human’s survival?Bedtime Story: The Tale of Artemus in Short Stories More Like This
When she was still a baby the centaur made her a bedding area beside his own. Each night he would tuck her softly into mounds of blankets – surrounded by a circle of silken cushions that had been specially made for her by a group of excitable, cooing women in the herd – and wake every few hours to check that she hadn’t suffocated or been carried off by wolves. She never had, but he panicked all the same; it was a source of entertainment throughout the herd to watch the stoic Braeden darting about like a blue-arsed fly whenever Emmy started crying.
It was when she was four years old that Emmy first became frightened of thunderstorms.
On that particular day the air was thick and hum
XXHenry VIII was playing tennis when his second wife died. As Anne's head flew through the air and the cannon blew, one sperm turned to look at another.XX in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"That's two wives now. Do you think we should tell him it's us who've been choosing to give him daughters?"
GnoweeThe sun comes up;Gnowee in Free Verse More Like This
loud and yellow -
and sunshine rays
yearn for him whom
she left sleeping,
to wakefulness with all the
of a newly born deer.
DIY"Oh yes! Yes! Oh yes! Right there!"DIY in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The Dulux salesman looked at Mrs Smith with a nervous smile. Flushed and exhilirated, she beamed back at him and pointed at the paint chart.
"Yes! That is exactly the shade of grey I want!"
obituary"He died, peacefully,obituary in Free Verse More Like This
in his sleep."
Tell me, how
can you possibly know that?
You don't know
what death is any more
than I do. How do you
know he wasn't
wide awake; thrashing and gasping
in the dark?
Hoping and praying - pleading
with fate - for just
a little while longer.
one more year so
that he can walk
his daughter down the aisle
and watch his son
one more year so
he and his wife - his childhood
sweetheart - can celebrate
forty years of marriage.
one more year so
he can escape the terror
that is death. But,
what do I know?
Someone else will be lying
upon me tomorrow - upon
the last resting place
of a dying man - and he,
the patient of yesteryear,
will be nothing
but a false memory
to soothe the loved ones
of those taken,
from my care.
Argus ApocraphexOf the many tiny beads of sweat that had formed on his forehead, two fell down, further soaking his already dampened brow. Suspended, he floated upside-down in a padded room, dreaming without consciousness of his body or its position in space.Argus Apocraphex in Short Stories More Like This
His mind reeled from slide to slideimages of adolescence pooling together and then streaming into an old time film: The Life and Times of Donald A. Silver. The yellowed silent movie showed a young man smiling and leaning against an old Chevrolet sedan. Cigarettes burnt the corner, and he was dancing with the woman he'd asked to marry him. But in the center of the shot, a blur grew from the inside of the lilies on her wrist. A quick rewind to remove the obstruction, but instead it continued to grow across the bare chest of a flexing boy at the public pool. And finally, it consumed the picture and gnawed it to the pit, leaving behind a carcass to rot in its old age.
The man awo
The IdolI once saw a man on the television who was so afraid of fruits that when presented with a bowl of them, he fled the stage, knocking over the host and several other guests. Though I openly pitied the man for his obvious malady of the mind, inside, the small bit of sadism buried within all humans laughed at his bizarre affliction. How can one not find cruel amusement in the cowering of a grown man who has been confronted by nothing more than a bowl of peaches? But now I understand fear like no other. I now no longer find amusement in the terror of others, no matter how illogical.The Idol in Short Stories More Like This
Now, let me tell you the story of why the sound of wind whistling through the trees in Autumn strikes me with a fear so immense that I can do little more than shake uncontrollably.
A good friend of mine, a young and upcoming anthropologist by the name of Henry Byrne, contacted me eight weeks ago. Though he refused to go into details, he excitedly explained t
A Night at Pinetop's TavernSomewhere in the back alleys of the city's older section there was a crumbling brick building that had been around since before ragtime music was popular. Hanging above a faded green door that led down to the building's cellar was a wooden sign, and despite the peeling paint, you could still make out the bar's name: Pinetop's Tavern. Nobody really knew when Pinetop's first opened; local folks would tell you it had been there since time began, and the world had grown up around it. It was one of those places where the lighting was always dim and the cigarette smoke never dissipated and the cloud you were breathing now had probably been around since W. C. Handy was still alive.A Night at Pinetop's Tavern in Short Stories More Like This
Pinetop's Tavern was a blues joint, and it had been around almost as long as blues music itself. Blues music was a lot simpler than most kinds of musicsimpler chords, simpler lyrics, and most blues musicians couldn't read sheet music. The genre was born on some unknown plantation in the forgotten Deep
CarmenI met Carmen the day someone set the gym on fire. I’d known who she was before then—I’d heard the whispers of the tricks she pulled, and I’d seen her saunter up and down the clinic halls with a wicked glint in her eyes—but it wasn’t until I watched her drop an empty matchbox into a trashcan outside the smoldering gym that she let me into her incredible world.Carmen in Short Stories More Like This
“Mon dieu! I thought you were the nurse ready to bust me again!” she exclaimed. Then she took a moment to look me over. “Wait, I know you. Your name is Emma and you take your meds daily like a model patient. I am Carmen, by the way. Don’t believe the things you hear about me.” She smiled as though we shared a secret.
Carmen was one of those people who had an almost electric energy to her, a mixture of audacity and charm that attracted people like moths to a light. She’d barely introduced herself and I found her fascinating.
“Let’s not waste
The Deathworkers AgencyThe most annoying thing about death is all the paperwork involved. Every morning, Lyle and I make the trip to the warehouse to sift through today’s files and see whose soul we get to summon and send into the light.The Deathworkers Agency in Short Stories More Like This
“Harold Lassiter, aged eighty-six,” I read from the list of names. “Heart attack. Leaves behind a loving wife, Katherine, and a German shepherd, Goober.”
“Maya Hernandez, twenty-one,” Lyle adds. “Car wreck. Leaves behind a little sister, Leslie, and an absent father. I think I remember her mother somewhere…” He glances around the massive warehouse, at the rows and rows of filing cabinets detailing the fates of billions. Other interns scramble around us, trying to make sure they get to all of our clients on time. Hanging above, a clock the size of a semi truck ticks away the seconds.
I remember first walking into the warehouse at Deathworkers Agency. The place is so big that, in my three years here, I have yet to fi
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.Solstice 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 you felt him shiver through that long night and didn't mind the coldbitten nails that grazed your skin. He slept when the moon drowned below the treeline, but the iceflakes began to drift in like small animals seeking the pulsing riverheat of your blood, and chilling you. He lay there, vulnerable as his world turned slowly towards the light, and you
The FountainThere were sixteen tall windows. She'd counted them over and over when she was small, her chubby finger outstretched as she spun in tiny circles. Eight walls, sixteen windows, thirty-two black curtainsthe arithmetic of her childhood.The Fountain in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Eight window seats, Daddy. Eight buttons on eachsixty-four. I counted."
The fountain stood dry and dead-center in the middle of the black and white tiles. Eight sides, eight lion-mouth spouts. Sixteen limestone mermaids poised gracefully around the edge. Four thousand and ninety-six blue tiles. Five hundred and twelve white.
And two doors. Always the two doors, huge and solid and radiating a sense of looming disdain. The rough oak had bitten her hands and it bit them now, when she pressed her palms against it. The doors eased open like wings outstretching, coming to rest against stone doorstops.
Her boots clicked against the marble flooring as she advanced, each click reverberating through the silent room. A mute ghost of a man stood in
PilkunnussijaHere's what I think:Pilkunnussija in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There's a certain joy in not doing this face-to-face. For one, I don't have to leave my apartment and I have the quiet company of my goldfish and my goldfish alone. (I don't like people, which is why I love books. You can understand that.) For another, I don't have to see your presumably crestfallen and injured attitude when I tear apart the prose you cried and bled and sweated over for weary nights on end. But really the best parts are those uninterrupted hours alone with your manuscript and the shred of you that lies inside. It's a small shred, but an important one. It's the one that tells me who you are and what you think and how you feel and I never have to look at you and be disappointed when the real thing doesn't come up to scratch. As I sit there, un-tensing and re-tensing and tense-shifting and shift-entering (and damn it, wishing English were like German so I could get rid of those clunky space-wasting n-dashes--oh, damn there they are again) I feel li
the beauty's in the leavingRead aloud here.the beauty's in the leaving in Free Verse More Like This
sweetheart, let's head out. let's
drink up the desert asphalt and that last bottle
of johnny walker blue--
one last toast to the copper sunsets,
to the good earth. a pair of
tailgate stargazers, you and i:
roaming curves across the glove compartment map, until
every foldline is worn flannel-soft
and it'd rather stay open
let's forget route sixty-six. let's forget
and pick up terra cotta dust--
breathe in the mojave. let's pretend
that the world's already ended
and it's just us.
let's leave the door unlocked
The WeekendI show up unannounced, like clockwork, and when you let me in, the act of opening the door flows smoothly into the act of pulling me against you. This is our weekend. We won't leave this room for another forty-eight hours.The Weekend in Scraps More Like This
You pull me over to the couch and ask about my week, and we trade stories of minor frustrations and negligible disappointments. The sun sets in a glory of flame, and our weekend officially begins.
Usually these things are unplannedjust a shapeless succession of quiet momentsbut you've planned something this time. You have a horror movie. Popcorn for you. Crunchy fruit-shaped candy for me. "You know me too well."
"Of course I do." The DVD player humsthe soundtrack to the next two hours or so of the senseless darkness and gore that's become our guilty pleasure. We haven't seen this one before. I jump with every sudden image. You don't. You just sort of absorb it, and that seems fearless to other people, but I know better. It'll haunt your nightmares f
SmokeYou smoked, and everyone hated that. The cigarette would hang loose between your knuckles, tendrils of smoke mimicking the tracery of veins and tendons that stood out along the back of your hand. You could do the most graceful French inhales, and sometimes you'd lean in close and grab me and kiss me, blowing warm smoke into my mouth. The scent would always cling to meI'd drag it back home with me and there would always be a fight over it.Smoke in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You were sparrowlike, all taut pale skin and prominent bones. Your hipbones jutted slightlysharp elbows, sharp knees, a sharp jaw softened by cornsilk hair. When I ran my fingers down your back I could always feel every vertebra in your spine, a steel column anchoring you down. More smoke. More fights at home. You never belonged here and never would.
Lay back. Relax. Anythinganything you want. I'd close my eyes and forget to breathe because I knew you weren't mine. If anything, I was yours, a toy that trembled and kissed back.
ConversationAnd I've been telling you, you know, how heavy the sun feels and how it makes my muscles jump like a bird's wings as it flutters gently down on a windowsill. I still have those glass bottles on my mantle where the morning light hits themstill there, full of colored water and seashells. And maybe I'll tell you how they light up the ceiling in blue and green and pale yellow just like they always have, like nothing ever changed.Conversation in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I smell you on the sea air, sometimes, when it rushes in past the thin white curtains you helped me hang. They still bounce with every gust like exuberant dogs. And I've been telling you how the salt has most assuredly worked its way into my marrow now, and maybe if someone were to put me in a pie they'd find it too brackish for their taste. And then I wonder just how much you taste like the sea.
The ocean beats my heart for me nowadays. Even inside, even at night, I can feel each breaker rumbling through my sternum and radiating along my ribs. And I've been
dance party of oneever the same, rob thomasdance party of one in Free Verse More Like This
there's a bonfire in the drum
of a washing machine by the lake and
bottles tied to trees with sparks
glancing off like so many
the a la menthe, nikkfurie
get lost among the cobblestone
rabbit warrens or
take to the sea but our road
is lit by midnight cameraflash
and the neon,
with our tracks scuffed out among
the hush and rumble of
where no one
knows our names.
travelin' on, norah jones
shoulders just broad enough
for six strings and a hollow body
and the weight of
all those words yet to be--down the
train tracks and through the
blue dawn, with that
in his bones.
don't let go, weezer
and the irony is
that they were always right
but we never cared.
are you happy now, by somebody whose name escapes me and i'm too lazy to look up (and covered by cassadee pope)
pretty little thing with a pretty little gun
and a smile like the devil on a
noise(this place is packed.)noise in Free Verse More Like This
we were the kings of soulless
played to soothe their tattered nerves
untaped so many larynxes
we were snakecharmers
we broke their ribs to
pieces and stitched them tenderly
with kisses and apologies
whispered promises that everything
would heal and the scars
would never show
and did it again every night.
all left now
nomads to the core