Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Vase

The vase, a gift he picked up from Second Street Seconds, contained a handful of red roses. On the kitchen table next to the vase were a pile of mail and a dirty plate and fork.

He slammed a bottle of Corona onto the table, grabbed his third from the six pack and twisted it open. “You don’t appreciate anything I do for you,” he said. You didn’t even thank me for the roses.”

Flip..flip…flip. She sat on the couch flipping through a magazine.

“We should at least talk about it.” he said.

“Didn’t we talk about it the last two times? I remember talking about it. But then maybe it was just a lot of words.” She threw the magazine on the floor and picked up another.

“I’ve done a lot for you, you know.”

“Yes, you sure have. Let me think here. What have you done?” She turned a page, looked vacantly at the corner of the room. “Doctor, when did I start going to see her?  Has it been five months now?  Credit cards maxed out. Can’t forget that. Oh, and that time you borrowed my car. Amazing how my windshield cracked like that. And you had no idea how it happened. Wasn’t that about the time the knuckles on your right hand swole up?”

“I had nothing to do with that shit and you know it. I can’t help it if you’re crazy and can’t handle your money.” He took a slam of Corona. “Without me you are nothing you know.”

Flip…flip…flip.

“You’re just a dumb stupid bitch and a shitty girlfriend anyway.” He swatted the pile of male across the floor.

Flip…flip…flip.

“I’m going to leave and I won’t come back. I swear. You’ll be sorry for treating me like this.” he said.

“Do what is best for you.”

His eyes filled with tears. He slouched forward. “I love you.”

The flipping pages slowed.

“Please can’t we talk about it? Please?” he asked. Tears flowed. “I got no where to go.”

She flattened a page of the magazine with her left hand. “Well, I hope you find something.”

The tears stopped. He stood. The bottle of Corona shattered against the refrigerator door. She froze, coiled into herself. “You bitch! You are going to end up alone. You don’t have any friends. All you have is me. I hope you enjoy your pathetic lonely life after I’m gone. I know you will be calling me. I can feel it. You’ll want me back. They always do.”  The door to apartment 402 shut with a click. She was alone.

She dropped her magazine and stared unblinking for several minutes. She took in a deep breath, rose, walked to the door, threw the deadbolt and slipped on the chain lock. Next, she walked to the kitchen table and grabbed the vase with her hand. She walked onto the balcony, extended her hand over the railing and released her grip.

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Kirsti – Church II

Church services over the Sauvola clan surged towards Fellowship Hall to be the first in line for bakery and coffee. Most of the clan grabbed extra bakery, wrapped it in napkins for so-and-so at home, and headed for the nearest exit. Kirsti’s grandmother selected the largest piece of nisua she could find and commented to Mrs. Miller how nice it was of her to bring in her home made nisua.

Sitting at the second table, Gloria Swanson chatted with Margaret Olson about the weather. Billy sat across from his mother giving her looks of let’s go, which she promptly ignored. She wasn’t in any hurry to get home, as a domestic was on the horizon with Mr. Swanson. Further down the table Kirsti’s grandmother bit into her nisua and commented that as always it was dry and burnt and that Miller would be better off brining in store bought cookies. Kirsti quickly shushed her grandmother.

Mrs. Samuelson could be heard above the din, going on about her granddaughters and how wonderful they were, such intelligent, well behaved girls, leaving out the fact that the younger one was pregnant and was currently in the process of looking through a database of possible fathers. She had narrowed it down to three likely candidates, well the three guys she liked the most, to her liking meant fatherhood.

At the far table, Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Tornio, were gossiping like a pair of junior high cheerleaders who had just learned that another member of the squad stuffed. Mrs. Edwards was curious as to what exactly the minister meant when he said that we should accept the differences of others, adding that it was unusual that he wasn’t married, giving Mrs. Tornio a knowing look.

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Kirsti – Church

(It’s a bit rough, but thought I would post anyway. )

 

Gloria Swanson skidded to a stop next to the outdoor rink and belted out the window that her son, Billy, better get his ass off the ice and in the car this minute or his days of playing hockey were coming to an abrupt end. Several blocks away, Margaret Olson, who was notoriously late for church, was coaxing, Fifi, her ten year old poodle mix, into the house. The last few stragglers of Trinity Lutheran Church, 10 am service winters: 9am summers, were on the move.

Kirsti, organist for the week, was heading towards the woman’s room for one last stop before services. She had had a little bit too much coffee that morning and was regretting it.  Gloria Swanson was finishing up her lecture to Billy regarding responsibility, the importance of a being a good Christian, (Billy had made the mistake of referring to church as stupid.) and respect to adults just about the time that Fifi decided it was time to go in.  Margaret hopped into her car and pushed the speed limit to 15mph on the icy roads.

The church was crowded. There were actually 72 people attending this Sunday, mostly as there was a baptism and the entire Sauvola family was in attendance. Unused to church, several Sauvola’s fidgeted in the pews. The young minister smiled at the Sauvola clan, thankful that they were showing up in strong force, but also knowing that as soon as the service was over and little Coriinna was baptized, the clan wouldn’t show again until Easter, unless of course there was an unexpected death in the family. Kirsti started playing the first hymn just as Margaret bumped into the last pew.

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Trampled Tulip – Part II

Calvin had approached the rally with the feeling of a five foot uncoordinated youth signing up for basketball. As he approached, he had observed a young girl picking red tulips that surrounded a granite memorial.

He kept to the edges of the crowd and had only caught bits and pieces of the speeches. But he was there. He felt involved. He was glad he came. And then he heard a thudding metronomic sound coming from the other side of the crowd.

Calvin had stood on tiptoes to see what was causing the sound and he saw a row of riot police approaching, their batons thumping body shields. Suddenly, the police charged, their arms scything as they entered the rally.

People screamed. A swirl of faces turned and blew at Calvin. Calvin froze. A snowplow of a man came at Calvin swerved to avoid a collision and clipped Calvin’s hip. Calvin flew into the side of the granite memorial.

The seconds he lost regaining his feet cost him. The first hit caught his shoulder, the second the side of his head. Calvin dropped into a tight ball just like he used to do to protect himself from tickling Uncle Fred. As the beating continued, he prayed.

Then, the beating had stopped. Calvin lay still, quiet. Some time passed before he rolled onto all fours and started to crawl. He had crawled several feet when his left hand ground into something wet and slimy intertwined with gritty blacktop. He looked to see his hand resting on a red tulip.

 

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Soon

Tense, muscles aching, she looks out the kitchen window. A cold wind is blowing in from the north; touches of freezing rain, mixed with snow fall. By morning the village will surely be covered by a thin layer of ice.

She glances at the mantle clock. It looks like it is going to work. It is nearing lockdown, the time when the gates to the isolated village are shut and locked for the evening. The law, arcane but enforced out of custom, stipulates that once locked, no one is allowed entry.

Intently she listens for any sound, any indication that somehow her two children have been able to reach the abandoned south apple orchard, fill their sacks and get back before curfew. She knows that it would be difficult for her and they are only 6 ½ and 5, so surely the two extra stomachs will not make it in time.

The town clock rings out the warning for lockdown. A small sense of relief, excitement courses through her body. It knows it will be soon. She retrieves her wool cloak, and wraps it tightly around her bony body. Before opening the door, she breathes in deeply, tries to steady her jittery mind. Her performance must be good, must be convincing.

Her screams echo against the quarry stone walls as she pounds on the gate. She pleads to have the gate opened for her little ones. Her display of grief, anxiety, and desperation is so realistic.

At home she paces her body craving. Soon, it will be soon. There is a knock at door. She snatches it open. A hooded figure steps in. She hands him the last of her coins. He smiles knowingly. She has become a dependable client.

Her eyes are wide, her body shakes in excitement as she watches him measure out the white powder. Even before he leaves she indulges.

 

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Forrest Daniels II

(Trying something new. Let me know if  it works. Thanks!)

Someone speaking. A touch. A face. Words, but not words.

“I don’t understand.”

Woman, wearing white. Smiling. Talking. Name, a word I understand.

 

“My name?”

My name…..nothing.

“I don’t know.”

“Forrest? Ok.”

Forest. My name. More words. Anger.

“What’s this?”

Red water?

“Juice? I don’t know that.”

Sip. Sweet. Wet.

Quiet. Time gone. Want to go. Stand. Move.

“Sit? I don’t want to sit.”

Anger. Mad. “Don’t touch me.”

Words.

“I am being nice.”

Words.

“My name?”  Tired. Sit. “I don’t remember.”

“Forrest.”

New face. Eyes. Blue. Remember. Happy. Love.

“Mmmargaret???”

Smile. “Yes, it’s Margaret, Forrest, your wife.”

 

 

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Trampled Tulips

It was several minutes before 2:00 am. The dark narrow alley smelled of urine and rotting food. Calvin Tarron pushed his beach cruiser the last few feet towards the dumpster. As he quietly hid his bike behind the dumpster, Calvin heard the scurrying of rats. If there was one thing Calvin hated it was rats, but even rats were not going to distract him. He was determined to mark the third anniversary of his first political protest.

Calvin was one of thousands that day, standing proudly for what he believed for, what he thought were his rights as a citizen, but he learned quickly that the idea of rights were a matter of perception. And those in power didn’t perceive the ongoing protests as rights, but as a movement that could put them out of power, power that had taken them years to amass and they intended to keep that power.

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Oh, Georgina!

“Do you know what Louise told me today?”

George Phillips rolled his eyes behind his reading glasses, turned the page of his book and replied, trying hard to keep the sarcasm out of his voice, “No. I didn’t know you talked to her today.”

His wife, Georgina adjusted the covers and plopped her heavy frame into bed. Georgina continued, oblivious to her husband’s tone, with a nod of her head, “Well, she said that Reverend Riley was a pot smoker.”

George marked the page of his book with his finger, knowing full well he needed to nip this in the bud, “And how would she know that?”

“I don’t know, but she claims it’s true.  And I believe her. He looks like a pot smoker to me.”

“And what does a pot smoker look like?”

Georgina, who didn’t respond to questions to which she didn’t have a ready answer, nestled down on her side of the bed and stated more to herself, “I hope the congregation doesn’t hear about this.”

“Well, don’t you go repeating it.”

“George! How could you accuse me of spreading gossip? You know I don’t gossip!”

 

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Forrest Daniels

Forrest Daniels’ eyes darted. He was alone. He stood and anxiously walked towards the gate with a need to escape, to get away. To where? He didn’t know. He grabbed the gate and pulled. It opened several inches and then came to a jarring stop. Forrest looked at the padlocked chain and yanked angrily on the gate several times in a vain attempt to open it.

A warm, friendly voice interrupted his efforts, “Forrest? Is everything ok?”

Forrest looked at Mrs. Anderson, the neighbor of twelve years, with a confused expression. He barked, “Who are you?” and pulled the gate hard, so hard that when it abruptly stopped the entire chain link fence rattled.

Mrs. Anderson calmly answered, “I’m Mrs. Anderson, your neighbor.” As she opened the lid of the large green trash bin and dropped a black bulging plastic bag into the container, Mrs. Anderson kept an eye on Forrest.  She commented, “Nice day to be outside,” and smiled warmly at the eighty-three year old. She looked past Forrest, “Oh, here comes your wife.”

Five-four Margaret was bustling across the lawn and as she got near, placed her hand on Forrest’s arm. He turned abruptly and snapped, “Don’t touch me!”

In a calm, firm voice, Margaret stated, “Forrest look at me. Now, calm down. Everything’s ok.”

Forrest stared into the brown eyes of the frail, grey haired woman. The love, the compassion that he saw touched something deep inside and his demeanor changed.

“Forrest, let’s go inside ok? I’ll get you some cake.” Forrest slowly started walking towards the house. Before following Margaret turned and mouthed, “Thank you” to Mrs. Anderson.

 

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