This was for a collab contest on Barb & Friends. Anyway, no one dies, no one gets hurt, no one tortures anyone… Just a down home, feel good, supposed to be funny kinda story :p This proves I can write other things. Now that I have shown I have depth I am going back to death >:)
Why I Prefer Pepsi
The old shed sat back from the house, only a few yards from the cracking “trash-fire” that burned every Wednesday. I and my cousin Annabell made our barefoot way to the dilapidated building, fighting early afternoon mosquitoes as we went.
“The smell always makes your eyes water,” she explained to me and nodded towards the column of smoke issuing from the tin chimney spout. “If it don’t it ain’t a good batch.”
I nodded my head in time to her words, trying to soak in as much as possible. I had a lot to learn and only a few short weeks until I had to go home. Mom had said that spending my summer with our far away family would be educational, and Annabell was trying her best to see that it was.
The shed door stood open and Uncle Bo was sitting inside, one foot propped up on a dented gasoline can and yesterday’s newspaper gripped in his meaty fist. My cousin Annabell was right; the smell coming out of the still was noxious at best and nearly knocked me over.
Uncle Bo didn’t bother to look at us as he said, “Ain’t ready yet.”
“But there ought ta be a whole bunch from the last batch,” Annabell argued. “We only have ’til Grandma gets back. Ya know she won’t le us have any if she’s here.”
“There was some left,” he agreed. “But ol’ Lady Cole was round this mornin’ and she traded some food stamps for moonshine. Ma’s gone inta the store ta get some vittles with ’em.”
Annabell did her best pout but Uncle Bo ignored her. When she saw she wasn’t getting anywhere, she tried again, “What about Granny’s secret stash? Ya know she always keeps a bit hid out.”
He shook his head again. “Heck no, Granny done took that with her! She needed it to start the trash fire, because we’re outta kerosene!”
Annabell continued to cajole him, but she didn’t get far, so instead she crankily imitated grandma, “When ya gonna fix this shed. It’s ready to fall in on us all.”
His answer wasn’t very convincing. “Ya’ll know I got a bad back.”
Before Annabell could express her disbelief, the neighbor woman, Miss Casteel, came wandering in. Miss Casteel had been a “miss” for about six months. Her husband had died a mysterious death and she was now working on making the most of her figure and stupid men, or so Granny said.
As if to prove our matriarch’s words, Miss Casteel casually draped herself over an old barrel and gave Uncle Bo a lazy smile. “Well hello there. And how are you today?”
The man nearly injured himself to drop the paper and sit up straight. “Why hello, what brings you all the way over here? I’d offer ya some moonshine but we’re plum out, ‘cept for what I keep tucked away.”
“That’s okay,” She said quickly. “”I dare not drink. You know bad things happen around me when I do.”
Though Annabel and I had perked up at the idea of something “tucked away”, we quickly lost interest in the conversation. Miss Casteel was just trying to get Uncle Bo to fix her leaky roof, and he was dumb enough to agree; now that his back had been miraculously cured by a flash of deep cleavage. But when he started hinting about coming round her place for dinner, the climate changed from hot to chilly.
“Hell, Bo, I’d rather have the moonshine!”
Uncle Bo was crushed, but Miss Castel sashayed home as if she didn’t notice, and maybe she didn’t.
It wasn’t five minutes before we saw Uncle Bo draw out an old coke bottle full of something brown. He took a hard swig, then lowered it slowly, his eyes on us. “I reckon ain’t no harm,” he muttered and held it out. “Who cares now anyway?”
Annabell grabbed the bottle and took a big drink from it. She smacked her lips, her eyes wide, and handed the coke bottle over to me. I stared at it for a full minute before I could bring myself to take a sip.
The taste of it took my breath away, but it didn’t burn until it hit my stomach. Then, the burning felt like I was dying. Still, under Annabell’s watchful gaze I forced myself to take another flaming gulp. My head soon started to get really light and the burning went away. In fact, I couldn’t even taste the stuff anymore. With out a flavor, the moonshine wasn’t bad at all.
By the time Granny came back Annabell and I were having a good time. I was sprawled on the dirt floor, shaking the empty flask and giggling. “Oops, now we need some more? You got any?”
Granny stared from one to the other of us and then kicked the chair out from under Uncle Bo. He hit the ground hard, and it set me and Annabell to laughing. She told him in a feisty manner, that she wasn’t giving him any more moonshine if he was gonna give it to kids. Then she turned her fury on us.
After a lengthy lecture, none of which I remembered later, she hauled us both out of the shed by our dresses and set us to weeding the garden. We were too drunk to stand up right, and then with the hot sun beating down on us it wasn’t long until we were both too sick to crawl. When Granny thought we’d had enough she hauled us in the house and sent us to bed without supper; not that we minded much. The thought of food just made us both sick.
To this day I can’t look at coke bottles without thinking of that burning moonshine and getting queasy. Needles to say, I prefer Pepsi.
Song playing at the moment – Drag – Placebo
(from July 2008)
The cool October breeze ruffles my hair. I stare past the line of naked trees, to the buildings beyon,d and wonder for the hundredth time, “What am I doing here?” But I know the answer. I’m waiting.
I close my eyes and picture memories of days long past. A childhood spent cowering in fear. Mother certainly believed in corporal punishment unless, of course, she was the one in the wrong. She’d beat the shit out of us and dare us to cry, so mad she didn’t make any sense. I used to think, “Isn’t a person suppose to cry when they’re in pain”, but that didn’t matter to Mother. It was the first lesson that I learned: when you hurt, no one wants to know. They want you to pretend that you’re fine, even as they beat you with their fists.
“This will hurt me more than it will hurt you.” That’s what she muttered with each blow, but of course it hadn’t. It had never really hurt mother, in fact she rarely remembered it the next morning when she’d wake from her drunken stupor and demand breakfast. If the eggs were burned I’d be sent back again with a black eye for my trouble. I quickly learned to please people on the first try.
In my teen years, Daddy was always in and out of jail. At 16 I quit school and got a job at the bar. I was only supposed to wait tables but soon I was on the stage whirling around the pole for money – and good money too. That’s when I learned that money couldn’t fix everything and I moved out on my own by the year’s end. Then I met him.
He was everything I’d longed for: brains, brawn and beauty wrapped up under a shock of dark hair. He’d smiled and winked and told me how pretty I was. I believed him, never thinking that it could have been the whiskey talking. From there things went from bad to worse. I had to fight almost every day just to survive. He’d lay on the couch and demanded that I wait on him while he watched TV and told me what a whore I was. I’d heard it all before and learned to keep my mouth shut long ago. A valuable lesson taught by my parents.
But some days it was hard. When I was out of pills, I felt like I could scream, like all the world was closing in on me. It didn’t help that people were constantly causing trouble, like little whinny ass bitches, and they were suppose to be my friends. And then my sister was just as bad, making up lies and belittling me. It got so bad that I’d hide in the bathroom at work and dig my fingernails into my arm until it bled, just to release the tension. And then the day came.
It began like any other, but then there was a change in the wind. Dark clouds gathered in the distance, heavy and hateful. I hurried home, ahead of the storm. With every step I took towards the apartment, I got madder and madder. I hadn’t had my medicine in two weeks, which might have contributed to the anger, or maybe it was just the oppressive weather. As I walked in the front door something hit me wrong. It might have been his sneering face, or the years of anger built up like a boiling pot. Whatever it was, I finally snapped.
He was lying on the couch with a beer in his hand, and I pulled it away and threw it across the room. He sat bolt upright and shouted at me to “take a chill pill” but, there wasn’t enough medicine in the world to calm me down. As my anger raged, I knew I was changing into the creature I’d always feared, but there was nothing I could do about it. I screamed and shouted and beat at his face with my fists. When he fought back I used my shoe, pounding him again and again with the stiletto heal while he screamed. I’d finally learned an important lesson: you gotta take the bull by the horns sometimes, because the shit just keeps getting deeper.
The shoe fell to the floor and he lay still. His beautiful face was ruined but he wasn’t dead, not like he deserved. Regardless, I didn’t have time to waste. I packed my bags as fast as I could and ran from the apartment to the bus station, but the police got there before the bus. The handcuffs were cold on my wrists, still I didn’t struggle. From there life became a blur. A judge yelled at me, a courtroom of onlookers sneered and then I found the days growing longer and longer as the jail sentence passed. I would have been out sooner, but I took my last lesson seriously. Everything had made me tough as nails and I was tired of being knocked down. It was my turn to hit back.
Finally, they let me out and I found myself falling right back into the niche I’d left. A job at the bar, an apartment in the rundown section, another man with dark hair and sly eyes. It was like a never ending circle and that’s when I decided to really learn something and break the cycle. The only way to do that was to let go; let go of all the misery, and go forward into a world of hope. So, I decided to leave this town of pain.
The bus pulls up and I slowly look back as I stepped on it, relief in my eyes. I want to live, to experience how real love feels, to see what it’s like not to be belittled and used. My new life is going to be different and full of promise. I’ve chosen a new path and I need to follow it, no matter how scary it seems, and it does seem scary. The fear of the unknown silently haunts me as I looked out the bus window, getting comfortable for the journey ahead. I can’t help but wonder, will I finally have my freedom, or will the same old life find me no matter how far I run? That life is something I’m tired of, a prickly bush of fear and sorrow, the beauty of life’s rose lost among the pain of the thorns. If there’s one thing I’ve learned at last, it’s that there is no change unless you make the changes in yourself first, otherwise you just drag the past with you. At last, a lesson worth learning.
Hey, it has a happy ending 🙂
song playing at the moment – Control – The Birthday Massacre
(originally from April 2008)
Written for the BWBR Challenge. Look at it as an ode to my Dad’s old Nova 😉
CAR of DREAMS
The sun sets on the old car in the backyard, bathing the rusting body in glowing colors. Nature fights to slowly claim it, turning it into a home for her creatures, so that the animals look at it and see a place of safety, someone to shelter from the storm and night, a secret place to dream in safety. Green weeds grow around flat tires and purple flowers peep through the cracked floorboards. Lazy bees drone around the peeling steering wheel, and wasps live under the hood in droning nests while rabbits hide beneath it, their wiggly noses peeping out to peer at the quiet trees.
But the heavy summer silence is broken by the children. They run and laugh, they crunch the grass as they race each other to the old car, hurrying towards their rusty oasis, their favorite forbidden toy.
They arrive in a heap and climb up the trunk, but the frame doesn’t bow under their weight. The old car is no longer a vehicle rusting in the grass but now it is a boat floating on the ocean tides, taking them to far away lands. Soon the ship becomes a race car and they bounce on dirty seats, ignorant of the dust the rotten foam expels. And then the car becomes an island, and they are pirates trying to bury their treasure, their happy voices filling the twilight hours as they act out their dreams.
But another voice interrupts, one that barks “Kids! Get off that car! It isn’t a toy!”
And regretfully they do as they’re told, casting back looks towards the rusting metal structure as they walk towards the house and their expectant father.
“You kids know better,” he says firmly as they reach him. “That’s the first car your mother and I ever owned, and one of these days I’m going to fix it up.”
“Yeah, yeah,” they mutter, they’ve heard it a thousand times before. He has so many plans though it is just a playground to them.
But their father’s eyes see something very different then either the children or the wildlife, because he looks through the veil of love, and to him the old rusty monster is still shining brightly with gleaming chrome and fresh paint, a sleeping princess waiting for a kiss from her prince. And no mater how many years pass, even when the bumper drops off and disappears, still the car will always be his first, his favorite, the one he can never let go; his car of memories and dreams.
Song playing at the moment – “Long Night Dreaming”- Crash Parallel
(originally from April 2008)
The rain pelts the window glass, but all I can see is you. You stand in front of it, fastening your shirt and blocking out the view. The cold white light illuminates the deadly smirk on your face, and shines in the depths of your eyes; cold orbs that have forgotten me already.
You turn away and walk out the door. You hurry to your car and leave me on the floor like a broken doll, my clothes removed by the unkind hands of my new owner. Why is it that a child’s first game is to strip their newest toy naked? Does it start even at that tender age, the desire to take everything away, to see what lies underneath and assert their dominance?
I climb slowly to my knees. Now I can see the muddy rain splashing on the glass. Large drops wash over the roof and bring down the dirt, leaving filthy streaks. The rain is just like you; something beautiful and pure that ruins as it walks by. Something I thought I wanted that has left behind its sick pollution. Something that should have been good but wasn’t, betraying the very hearts that longed for it.
My skin is pale and the blue veins run beneath it like slithering snakes. I can see each one as the blood courses through my body, keeping me alive. I suddenly want to end it all but am too afraid. I lack the courage to cut into that pale skin, to set the writhing serpents free and watch their crimson tears leak onto the carpet, like fallen rose petals. I am too afraid to live, but too afraid to die. A broken doll abandoned by her new master.
As I stare at my skin I can see your fingerprints, dark smudges left behind in colors of blue and black. Tender spots of pain, the marks to prove where you have been. I long to wash them away and cleanse myself of your lingering scent. And so, though it hurts, I crawl to the door and out into the rain. The drops land on my body like cold slices of reality. They shock every place they touch, like a hurtful lover. The water runs over me, and I hold my arms out, begging to be clean. But the rain is just as dirty as I am, and instead of washing away your touch it leaves its little trails on my flesh, streaking me like the window glass.
That is what I am, a dirty pane of glass that anyone can see through should they try, but no one does. No eyes have ever tried to see what lay on the other side, only used me to admire their own reflections. And still I hold my brittle smile and I show them what they want to see while praying that they never notice the cracks slowly spreading across my silver surface. Tiny crevices that grow larger with each passing year until one day I’ll shatter into pieces at their feet, no longer useful.
The thunder rumbles and I lay on the ground, my body numb from cold and pain, but I know that there is no end for me. Tomorrow it will be the same and then tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Each day racing onwards while another sliver of my soul dies, leaving me empty and alone, until sweet oblivion finds me and I finally break; nothing left behind but shiny shards. And then you’ll finally be forced to look past yourself and into the dark room beyond, into the depths that were so long hidden behind what you wanted to see, and then, only then, will you finally see me.
Fav song of the moment – “Hell” – Disturbed
(originally from November 2007)
I was working on a poem for the CPCCC, but I came up with something totally different. Though, I didn’t feel that it completely captured what i was going for, or maybe it did(?) – so I tried a story type version. With both of these on the same theme, I thought I’d take this chance to do yet another Poem vs Story and let you decide which is better!
In the darkest night
You haunt me
Like a specter from a past I cannot hope to shake
In the hazy shadows
You call me
Tempting me from the reality’s that we make
In most secret dreams
You hold me
Arms warm against the chill of star strewn night
In raging passion
You claim me
Hot flesh melding until there is no wrong or right
In the aftermath
You tell me
Though time has rent us, still you won’t forget
In the morning
You leave me
And back I go to this life that I have set
In light of day
You remind me
Whispered words of memories I can’t forget
In the lonely hours
You chain me
With the heavy shackles of my past regrets
In the dimming day
You own me
Chained to a choice I was too scared to ever make
In the evening’s warmth
You taunt me
Asking what might have been and laughing as I break
In the deep twilight
You hurt me
Hateful spirit who nightly haunts my dreams
In the growing darkness
You scare me
Because memories are not always sweet
In the darkest night
You call me
Voice like ice chills me to the bone
In the hazy shadows
You haunt me
Cold demon, will you never fade and leave me alone?
It seems so long ago when our paths crossed and then separated. You went your way and I went mine, too scared to do anything more. How could I make overtures when your feelings seemed so contrary to my own? Yet now, as darkness comes once more to my tiny world, I close my eyes and see your face.
You haunt me.
Like a ghostly wraith, your memory follows my every step. Its footfalls echo in time with mine. I turn and see your face, untouched by time. Pale eyes stare back at me, questions in their depths of all the things that might have been had I only dared. But I used my fear as a shield and I hid safely behind it, too afraid.
You call me.
In the night your voice is lifted. In dreams I hear you say my name and feel your touch. Your lips taste like summer’s wine and my senses overflow as our bodies brush and meld with one another. Promises of forever and whispered words half remembered cling to my fevered brain when I wake in the night with heart pounding. My eyes blink back the dreams that seem at once so real and yet so foreign.
You chain me.
Shackles of regret bind me to your shadow and hold me in this dungeon of despair and sorrow. I can not escape their bite, no mater how I try. Through the window I can see a life, but I can not reach it. I’m held back by these bonds you won’t unfasten. I hate them and I love them. I dread them and I embrace them. They are bittersweet like my memories of you, like summer’s end, the ghostly reminders of what has been before and the warning of the lonely winter on its way.
You hurt me.
Even when the golden dawn brings the warm sun to the skies, still you’re with me. Sometimes slumbering beneath the surface of my soul and sometimes standing in my heart with a twisted knife in your hands. You reopen wounds that should have healed, scars like smiles that mark my skin. And there you’ll stay until my eyes run tears and my soul bleeds crimson.
You own me.
I can not live my life while I am tortured by these doubts. I can not reach for other things held back by restraints of regret, but I can not forsake you. Your picture is printed on every page of the book of my life, hidden in the decorative edges where the eyes can not easily see, yet the soul can feel. And I feel you watching me, taunting me; this spirit of a love never tested presses down on me until I am suffocated in my sleep. From you I get no peace, no rest
You scare me.
And I scream to the heavens, begging for release from this unending hell. Be you man or demon or specter of my own design, I beg you to release me from this prison of remorse. Stop this endless parade of torture that strings from night to day! Release me from the shackles you have bound me in and give me back the life I should be living. Free me from these halls of memories, these caverns of despair where in I tread and let me live! Forgive me for my fears, my inadequacies and cease this maddening torture before it is too late.
But as the night wind whispers in the trees, as the shadows stretch and meld into a sea of darkness, again in dreams you come to me. With arms so warm and safe, you give to me your double edged blade, your two fold gifts: a haven from the world while sleeping, and memories to plunge me into hell while waking.
You haunt me.
You’ll see the second poem to this set on Saturday for the Cheryl’s Pal’s Share , though I may attempt to slap one together that uses some more lines as well, so I may have two this week.
I suppose this was random enough and so doesn’t warrant a “Random Things…” segment. Pity though, I have some lovely cemetery pictures uploaded finally! Maybe next time?
Instead, though, how about a “Random complaint”?
This thing is slow, nothing will connect and I am getting irritated.
That was a random complaint bought to you by Alltel Phone company, Acer Laptops and Yahoo Messenger.
(originally from November 2007)
While waiting for my brother to come home I found myself with three options to fill the time. 1- do dishes. 2- finish taking off my cemetery pictures. 3- screw around in Word. Guess which one I picked? *hint* I am typing in Word right now.
Sooo… I wrote a strange story – it’s 500 and some words and a product of Don McLean again. In fact there are four phrases – not complete sentences – from the song Orphans of wealth in here :p one is three words, so I don’t know if it really counts….. anyway, here you go 😛
“There is no time to discuss what is right, there is only time to act. No time to contemplate or think, only time to do. When the tides rise where will you be?”
Those words had echoed through my small living room, followed by the hiss of static as the television stations disappeared. I thought it was a joke, that the newscaster had gone insane. He certainly looked maniacal when he’d interrupted Friday prime time to make his strange announcement.
Now, the rain falls against the window. The pattering sound seems to fill every moment, swelling until it’s a rhythm to go insane to. Darkness presses in on me and there is no light to hold it back anymore. The electricity went at half past ten.
I crouch against the white painted wall, rifle clutched in trembling hands to defend myself from the unnamable. Furniture lays overturned, broken glass glitters when the lightning flashes, remnants of the earth quakes. They started at precisely eleven; soft tremors that slowly grew to earth shaking proportions.
Where is our technology now? Where are our instant messages, our cell phones our beeping pagers? Where is all that noise that signals civilization and life? The quiet is killing me. It drums into my brain, worse than the sound of the rain, worse than the terrible fear gnawing at my ribs, worse than the bone chilling cold settling around me.
I wipe tears from my eyes – or is it rain falling through the broken roof? Shattered beams cast shadows like the hands of the dead reaching out through the never-ending darkness to clutch at me and drag me to hell with them. Memories flit like ghosts behind my eyes, cold and untouchable as they taunt me with moments that were at once warm and terrifying: farewells whispered over the coffins, a red sun rising lazy against a golden sky, cold heartbreak as I read the handwritten goodbye letter, a brightly lit Christmas tree glowing like a beacon against the white snow like a lonely sentinel.
Alone. I am alone, as I have been for all my life. Alone as I always wanted to be. There was no time of anyone – no time to listen or care; time only to work, to hurry, to trudge through the lonely days until somehow the true magic of life would be revealed. One more pay check, one more promotion, one more day and then the mysteries of happiness would be revealed. Yet I never noticed the trail of dead I left behind me: dead hearts, dead eyes, dead feelings, all murdered as surely as if I had used some weapon while I waited for happiness to be handed to me.
But there is no happiness now. There is the smell of death and the screams haunting the night between the cracks of thunder. There is the rifle; cold steel clutched in my shaking hands. There are my tears slipping slowly down my face as all around me the world ends. Alone in this darkness there is no one for me to cling to, no one to comfort me in these last terrifying hours. There is no hand for me to hold, no soothing words, no one for me to even say goodbye to.
There is only darkness.
Darkness and cold.
(Originally from October 2007)
This is a study in free flow writing. It may not make sense when it’s finished. Oh well.
**Mature content warning**
The warm sun washed her skin and warmed her face. Keena woke, blinking at the golden beams and trying to get her bearings. she lifted a hand to shade her eyes and nearly cried out as she beheld her flesh returned to its former youth.
She looked up to see Querin standing over her. He still wore the mud stained clothes from the night before and weariness clung around his eyes and mouth, but he couldn’t hide the relief on his face.
“Yes.. where am I?” She sat up uncertainly. The small sunlit room seemed familiar, but somehow foriegn.
His voice as rich with amusement, “You’re in the house of your aunt where sunlight has scarce been, though I am afraid she won’t be able to conduct her hosting duties.”
“Where is she?” It was a question that needed asked, though she dreaded what the answer might be.
“Gone” he replied simply. “Her magic was strong but her sprit was not strong enough to withstand the spells.”
She didn’t know what to say, so she simply nodded and asked another question. “The village?”
She dropped back into the bed and closed her eyes. “I don’t understand where they came from. Those… things.”
“You can thank your aunt, though she ceased to be your aunt years ago, after she gave her soul to the dark prince. The winter of the wolves was brought on by her and her attempts to summon demons from beyond the veil. She mistakenly created the pack, and when the village sent its men, my brother included, to kill the wolves, the wolves simply made their hunters like themselves. She went to find them, seeing her husband, and tried to use magic far too strong for her to handle, which is how she withered herself.”
Keena silently allowed his words to sink in.
“She has been taken by the earth now,” he added. “I have no doubt her soul, such as it was, is now in the keeping of Beelzebub himself.”
Keena studied him intently. “And what will you do now that you’ve found your brother?”
“I will go home,” he said simply. “I have found everything I sought, so I have no need to remain.”
“Oh,” se replied, he voice small. “Of course.”
“If you were wise, you would go with me,” he said casually. “You have a great power slumbering within you, as have all of your line for many generations.” He offered her his hand. “I was trained from infancy by the greatest warlock in our country. A man with hair of red copper, who left this town when he was but a child, leaving behind his sisters. I know whose blood runs through your veins, and who your ancestors are, just as they knew you when they saw you. At the death of my master I swore never again to use my powers for darkness, and should you make such a vow then I would ask you this: Come with me, and together we can hide from all the great sorcerers, mages and witches of the world.”
Keena cocked her head to one side, thoughtfully. Her village was decimated, her aunt, her last remaining family, dead. Her life was destroyed and there was nothing but vile memories left for her. “Yes,” she said softy. “I will go with you.” But she would make no vow.
(I see that there is room for a sequel. There will be no sequel. One was enough for me!)