What I Love

I just posted another response to Ann Linquist’s blog. I wanted to share what I wrote here. I am not normally all that sentimental or squishy-hearted. But, the prompt brought out a little different side of my normal writing. Below you will find it. I hope you like it.

Paper and Flower


I loved my bicycle. There was nothing greater than the wind roaring in my ears as I raced my friends down a hill.
I loved my books. Worlds without end, facts, myths, and new meanings gave me new intellect and expanded my understanding.
I loved my music. The harmony of life cannot exist without music.
I loved my girlfriend. The first heartbreak hardens you in the softest of places.
I loved my car. The oil, grease, and bruised knuckles gave me pride of ownership.
I loved my job. The value of a dollar measured with my own sweat.
I loved my family. What matters less is everything else.
I LOVE LIFE.

Panic in the Classroom

“You have attended Creative Writing 101 for a few months now.” Professor DiMarco paced in front of the whiteboard. “Today, I want you to give me three things in this room, that no one else would have noticed. You have five minutes.” She turned the egg-timer to five minutes and sat down behind her desk.

Walter sat at the front of the class everyday. It wasn’t because he wanted any particular attention from the instructor. His vision had never been all that great, even as a child. Now, a non-traditional student, past the age of forty, early onset of presbyopia complicates his already extreme myopic vision. In so many words, he rarely saw anything clear in the room. His classmates will, no doubt, point out many things he hasn’t seen in the room beyond the short path from the door to his desk.

Walter eagerly thought of each detail that he could bring to light. Nothing he thought of seemed to him to fall into the category of a detail no-one-else-would-have-noticed. His mind soon wandered. He started thinking of his classmates. Ella generally sat near the front as well. She would often talk with Walter after class. She always wore the same perfume, Estée Lauder, Beautiful. It took Walter some time to find the perfume at the department store. He sniffed each bottle, one at a time, until he found the ‘Ella-smell.’

Michael interrupted his thoughts when he started tapping his pencil against the desk. This was something Michael did anytime the room became even remotely quite. Walter imagined that Michael might even have some clinical avoidance of silence. Tapping his pencil, bouncing his leg against the edge of the desk, or masticating with glee. It seemed to Walter that Michael never quieted.

The floor made the soft premonitory vibration just before the AC started blowing into the room. Walter slipped his jacket on from where he had hung it on the back of his desk-chair. He always brought it to class. The room, or the entire school, seemed to be hinged on freezing the knowledge into their students.

The instructor walked up to the whiteboard, eraser in one hand and a capped, black, dry-erase marker in the other. She turned to the class, mistaking Walter’s hand raised in the air while putting on his jacket and called upon him, “What do you have for us, Walter?”

Panic rippled through his entire body. Beads of sweat, despite the cold air blowing into the room, perched on his upper lip and brow. “Uh,” he started. The room shrank. The path to the door seemed to ring out to him. He let out the breath he held. “The tile on the floor is white?”

Two Boxes

“Good. It’s all here.” Thick fingered hands closed the lid to the cardboard banker’s box. “We don’t want any of those feds get’n at our crosswords.” A black walrus mustache bobbed up and down with his attempt at a grin.

“You’re going to kill me, aren’t you?” Donnie sat with his face buried in his hands.

“What are you talking about Donnie?” He turned around with the box in his thick fingers and stacked it on top of two identical boxes.

Donnie looked up from his trembling hands. “When I came in, I noticed four cars in the parking lot.” He looked through the window of the office. “Mine, yours, and I would only assume the owners of those two boxes.” Donnie slowly sat upright in the chair.

“Oh, Donnie. I always had you pegged as one of the smart ones.” The butt of his gun jutted from his jacket. “We all die at some time, Donnie.” He took a step towards Donnie. “It could be anything that gets ya.” His arm raised and a finger pointed at the door to an interior room of the office. “Go ahead and get in there with the rest of them in the conference room.” He waggled his finger towards the door.

With a pause Donnie rose unsteadily from the chair. He took four childlike steps towards the door.

“Go on. They’re wait’n.”

Donnie looked back at the walrus mustache. Then he turned and opened the door. He was dead before the popping sound of the gun could startle him. He fell face first on top of two bodies just like his.

The walrus mustache kicked Donnie’s feet out of the path of the door and closed it.

Serena

Back to the writing prompts from Ann. This one entitled Norelco. But, I liked the name Serena. Hence the title of this post. I also couldn’t remember there ever being a Norelco fridge. So, I looked about the world-wide web that we co-inhabit and found nothing. Anyway on with the story as it might go…

Here is something a bit different. I think that this might be a little too ‘Twilight Zone‘ for a few of you. But, I did it any way. Oh, and grab a tissue. You might need it.

Writing Prompt

Serena put her feet up on the dark green leather sofa and leafed through her new science magazine. As she reached an article about quantum computing, a cardboard ad fell out into her lap. She figured it was an ad to renew her subscription until she picked it up. “You’re on the road to nowhere” it read in fairly large Courier New print. She turned the card over. A photograph of an old Norelco refrigerator decorated the back. She’d owned one just like that back in the day.

Response

Reading science magazines was a nightly ritual for Serena. She started reading them after her husband of 50 years had passed on into the night. She didn’t completely understand many of the terms the articles brought up, nor did she care. The words reminded her of her late husband’s nightly discussions with her. This always helped salve the wound of her loss.

The memory of that old refrigerator flashed into her mental view scape. They had only been married for a couple of years. This was their first home. Their first kitchen table. Their first refrigerator. She remembered it fondly. But it wasn’t a Norelco brand. It was a Frigidaire. “Somebody messed that one up,” she mumbled. With a snick, the radio turned on beside her. She jumped with the sudden, albeit soft, tones from the radio.

I’m feeling okay this morning
And you know,
We’re on the road to paradise

The song continued. Serena did not recognize the song. She dropped the magazine to the table. Still holding the advertisement, she reached to snick the radio off.

Maybe you wonder where you are
I don’t care
Here is where time is on our side
Take you there…take you there

We’re on a road to nowhere

Serena froze with the volume dial between her fingertips. The words galloped around her. She shivered. A damp sweat started to bead on her forehead. She lowered her hand from the dial and looked at the ad in her hand. She blinked. With swollen breath she said, “They changed.”

The words on the face of the cardstock now read, “NOWHERE.” Her heart thumped double time to the galloping beat of the music. The lyrics jumped out to ears. The magazine now lay on the floor. The room glowed with the memory of her days with her beloved. They danced the first night naked in the light of the fireplace. Their children played at their daddy’s feet while he read the paper on Sunday. Memories blurred in their velocity as she recalled them.

And it’s very far away
But it’s growing day by day
And it’s all right, baby, it’s all right

Her breath came in short gasps. She felt as if she were teetering on the edge of some endless faced cliff. Memories continued to spin in her mind’s eye. Their firsts and lasts.

We’re on a road to nowhere
We’re on a road to nowhere
We’re on a road to nowhere

The radio snicked off. Silence filled the room. The cardstock picture flittered to the floor. The words “Now Here” lay face up. Serena sat with a smile on her face, her dead eyes staring into the nothing that lay before her.

————

Talking Heads

Road To Nowhere lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.