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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Called

In Fiction, Writing on February 18, 2019 at 6:46 pm

“It shouldn’t be much longer, ma’am,” she says with a reassuring smile.
“I’m in no rush. I’ve nowhere else to be,” I reply, stifling a small giggle as the cherubic face stares blankly back at me, a faint glow seeming to emanate from within her.
“I could think of somewhere else you’d have some use,” comes a growl from beside me. He’s retched, his skin mottled with scars and sores. He smells of rotted meat and I can feel his sour breath in my hair.
“I’m sure,” I say calmly, not bothering to look in his direction nor cower away from him. “But it seems your opinion doesn’t matter that much, since YOUR boss just went to get the big guy.” He snorts into my scalp but retreats to a closed door to my left. The cherub faced girl watches him with disgust from behind the oversized podium standing adjacent to a second door, this one to my right. I sit, my legs crossed under my long flowing skirt, absently kicking one foot out to a rhythm playing in my head. “You know, this can all be sorted out very quickly. Once they come back, it’ll be handled in no time. I have a prepared statement that will guarantee a speedy end.”
The cherub smiles sweetly and nods, glancing at the closed door as if willing it to open and her boss to emerge. I’m watching her, and she blushes slightly. “I’m sorry. I’m just not accustomed, or trained really, in dealing with level 1 tasks. Or associating with… other departments.” She shoots another nauseated look toward her counterpart, who’s sprawled on the floor next to his still closed doorway picking his teeth with a much too long yellowed fingernail.
I’m not sure how long we waited like that, I’ve never been one to intuitively feel the passing of time in terms of minutes or hours. But at some point, much to the relief of the cherub, her door opens. We’re flooded with light as if curtains are pulled back from a perfect spring morning sunshine. Two figures step out and close the door behind them. “Ah, Pete,” I say, recognizing the bearded man who had initially been at the podium when I arrived. “Come to a decision, have we, friends? May I say-“
“Deepest apologies, ma’am,” Pete interrupts, “but no. We will await the others for a conference.” He motions behind him to second man, older and wiser in appearance, also bearded and wearing a long robe. “You will know the creator, I presume.”
I nod curtly. “Of course,” I say, bowing my head in his direction. He mimics my action back to me, but his face stays set in an unreadable expression.
The door to my left flies open, a wave of heat engulfing me. From behind it bounds an enormous hound the likes of which one would hope to never see, accompanied by a tall and mysterious man in a sharp suit.
“We may proceed, as I have arrived,” he purrs, his intense eyes attempting to bore holes right into my thoughts. It won’t work, of course. I do not fall victim to silly games, but he doesn’t know that yet.
“Right, well-“ I begin again, and again am cut off. This time by a long, slender finger adorned with a black jeweled ring extended from the equally long and slender hand at the end of a perfectly tailored suit jacket sleeve.
“No, no, miss. I will hear you out in time. I will be leading this.”
“We,” boomed the older, wiser man. The creator, as Pete had called him. “We will be reviewing the sources and asking some questions to clarify this situation.” His eyes never leave the face of the slender man. The slender man purposefully never meets the wise man’s gaze. If I’m not mistaken, I even see him rolling his eyes discreetly.
Both the slender man and the wise man turn to their peons, the vile man and the cherub girl, an arm extended and open palm up. Instinctively, both peons promptly deliver a thin Manila folder to the waiting hands. The men flip through several pages each, skimming words, tracing the lines with fingers, pausing briefly to read sections in more detail.
“Shall we trade then, son?” The wise man asks, closing his folder and offering it to the slender man.
“No ‘son’,” he spits out, then quickly regains his composure and takes the folder from the wise man, replacing it with his own folder. They quietly review each other’s documents, fingers tapping chins, scratching beards, absently toying with creased paper edges. I find small entertainment in observing the similarities of their mannerisms. I suppose I allowed this to show in the tiniest upward pull of the corners of my mouth.
“What do you find so amusing in this?” The slender man demands. “Is it enjoyable that we’ve convened in this unusual way? Are you soaking in all the confusion you’re causing like it’s an award?”
I quickly straighten my face and clear my throat. “No, not at all. But-“
“Then sit quietly and don’t be a distraction.” His Black bejeweled hand forcefully closes the Manila folder and he turns to the wise man, who follows suit in a moment. “Well, what is your opinion in this?”
The wise man scratches his beard one more time, then slowly begins spinning his thoughts into speech. “Is it possible, for the first time, that we have before us a true neutral? Has this child tipped no scale in favor of one direction? Has she tipped both so equally that it is indistinguishable? Have we both carried equal influence on this one case that we behold neither a sinner, nor a saint?”
“There is no such in existence,” the slender man protests, but the previous power behind his voice waivers ever so slightly. “There has never been before. It is not written in any book or on any parchment or scroll. It just isn’t possible. The mistake has been made somewhere.”
The wise man turns to me, his eyes glazed with uncertainty. “What do you make of this?”
“I’m sorry? You want my opinion?”
“I want to know how you think you got here, and how it makes you feel.”
“How I got here?”
“Not physically here, but in this position,” he clarified, becoming impatient. “Who are you, to you?”
“Of course,” I say, recalling the speech I prepared and quickly making mental edits for the given situation. “Well, sirs, the truth is, I’m not surprised. In my time, I’ve been called many things. I’ve carried many the opinion of others on my back. A villain, a godsend. I’ve been run from, shut out, and welcomed with open arms. I’ve been cursed; I’ve been prayed for. I suppose who I am depends on who you’re asking. I’ve never really held much of an opinion of myself because my own opinion didn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things. I have been obedient and thorough according to what I have been expected to do, and that was the beginning and end of it, really.”
“It’s limbo,” growls the rotted peon, still hunkering on the floor, a fingernail now digging into one ear canal. “We open limbo, like those others asked for, and toss her in.”
The slender man shot him a heated glare and the peon whimpered. “No one asked you.” Turning his attention back to me, he moves closer to where I am seated.
“Your trickery won’t work on me,” I say simply. “There are still pieces to this puzzle you are missing, sirs.”
“Then why don’t you stop playing games and provide all the information at once so we can be done with this waste of time and I can take you with me!” The slender man shouts.
The wise man, still calm and quiet, also moves closer. “Do you have objections to this predicament, or information that has somehow not been included in the records we have been provided?”
Finally. I sigh. “I do, yes. Thank you for asking. I mean, I’m sure you don’t get objections from those granted Level 2 access. And I’m sure every person relegated to Basement Level has excuses aplenty. I have neither acceptance or argument for either, as I belong in neither level.”
The rotted peon clicked his tongue, still indicating his idea of limbo was the answer. The slender man turned in his heels, throwing the Manila folder in the peon’s direction and causing leaf after leaf of crinkled paper containing what they believed was my life story to rain down over the peon’s head. “Collect this useless packet and return to your hole. You’re no longer needed and nothing but nuisance!”
The wise man pleasantly turned to the cherub and handed her his Manila folder. “You may also take this and return to your post, my child,” he said gently. While the rotted peon grumbled and growled as he collected the pages and reluctantly left through the door on the left, the cherub seemed flooded with relief and glowed even more as she bounced away into the door on the right.
“Please, do continue,” the wise man said softly with the tiniest smile.
“Of course. You see, sirs, limbo is also not the answer. As a whole, we have begun and begun again for ages. We have all played our parts, in some form or fashion, to the best of our abilities. You know I am the last left to come before you, something that has never occurred before at any other restart. We have run our span – all three of us – and the time has come, my friends.” As I speak, I see their faces morphing with understanding. I stand from my chair and approach them slowly, my hands extended and each holding a small laminated card with a faded grey image of a stallion on the front, the last two I’ve ever held in my pockets.
“This is an outrage!” The slender man exploded. He snatched the card from my palm and tossed it to the side. “Father, fix this!”
The wise man took the stallion card and turned it over in his hands, slowly taking it in. After a few moments, he turned to the slender man. “Now you ask a favor of me? You recognize me as what I am, as what I always have been?” He turns back to me, his face still pleasant and soft. “This is most unusual, child. We’ve never been here before, but I do know the original blueprints did not extend forever. There are no more plans to be laid?”
I shake my heads slowly. “This is the final assignment I’ve received. Both of you, and then I, myself, will cease to exist. There will be no further need for me, you see.”
The slender man blows a great puff of air out of his lungs, obviously still not accepting the situation. “Does this not anger you?” he bellows into my face.
“It is the way it is to be, so there is no point in anger when it cannot change the plans.” I fold my hands in front of me but keep them visible from underneath my flowing sleeves. I look to the wise man, who nods almost imperceptibly, and turn back to face the slender man, who has stopped huffing and puffing and is standing quite still, though his eyes are red with fury. “I have come, fallen one, to guide you from this realm. You are aware of your final placement, as that will not change. Your influence on the way of the world will cease and you will no longer gain access to other levels.” I turn to face the wise man again. “I have come, father, to guide you from this realm. You are aware of your final placement, as that will not change. Your influence on the way of the world will cease and you will no longer gain access to other levels.’ The wise man places his palms flat together, then touches his fingertips to his mouth with a slight bow of his head. He moves toward the glowing doorway behind him, ready to join his cherub faced girl. The glowing intensifies, as if the doorway even knows what is to come. The slender man remains a statue in his spot. I raise my hands up. “You have been called, Lucifer. You have been called, God.” I snap my fingers and in the brief second that takes, the wise man steps through his glowing doorway. The slender man is pulled, as if by a large magnet, toward his door. He does not fight but does not cooperate either. He is swallowed into the heat, and both doors close quickly. I watch in silence as the gap between the door and the frame begins to fuse, radiating light and heat, until there is no longer an opening. The brass door handles are the last to melt into the flat wall until there is nothing left.
I feel a warm tingling beginning in my toes and look down to see my own body wavering.   Raising my eyes to where the doorways had stood only moments ago, the vision of a grey stallion forms before me and I stretch out my arms to catch the long flowing mane and pull myself up. “Good boy,” I coo into the stallion’s ear as I stroke his neck. The wavering and fading of my lower body reaches all the way to the tips of my fingers and my vision started to fade. Through flickering sight, like a light switch being rapidly flicked on, off, on again, I see my stallion also shimmering in and out of existence. “We are done, old friend. We are Death, and we have been called.”

Copyright © 2019

Eternity Road

In Fiction, Writing on July 11, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Rain beat the windshield.  I clicked the lever up a notch, speeding the wipers in a futile attempt to keep up with the sheets of water pouring down.  The two-lane back roads were bare aside from myself, so I put on my high beams.  Nothing to see.  Even the painted on lines were fleeing the cracked pavement of the road.  There were shells of old barns and farm houses, looming shadows blending into the night sky on the horizon.  The last house with lights on was at least 45 minutes ago, just before I turned onto this road at the sign that read “Eternity Road.”  According to the tiny green sign standing between the pavement and the never ending corn fields, it was 60 more miles to the highway.

My eyelids were getting heavy.  As I felt a yawn beginning, I glanced down to the console to find the button for the radio.  I barely saw him in time, forgetting the radio and gripping the wheel to swerve and miss the figure standing lop-sided at the edge of the road.  I regained control and slowed to a stop several feet ahead.  I was shaken and needed a minute to slow my heart, catch my breath.  My eyes darted to the rearview mirror but the figure was gone.  I don’t remember a thud or a bump.  But it happened so fast… I didn’t hit him.  I did miss him, right?

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So me right now…

In Random, Writing on July 9, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Promotion at work, wedding, honeymoon, regular day to day activities.  A million excuses have kept me from just sitting down with a pen and paper and geting out these idea’s I’ve had building up in my brain.  Time to purge a few of them and get back in the game. No more excuses, I gotta clear out some mind space for some new stuff.   Mental spring cleaning – better late than never at all!

Super Shorts – Little Twinkles

In Fiction, Personal, Writing on March 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm

It started as just little twinkles. Quick flashes like soft, colorful fireflies in pinks, greens, and purples.  They danced on her eyelids and she yearned to be closer to them.  She reached for them, stretching her arms and straining her vision.  Their intensity grew and she knew she was near.

Vibrant blues and reds overtook the pastel hues and she could hear something.  A vibration, no – a whisper. Now a humming in the distance, getting louder and more distinct with each second.  Voices, noises…it sounded like a party.  The lights were still spinning around her and it made her feel like she was the guest of honor at a festive disco.  She imagined this was how a celebrity felt – lights flashing, blurred faces quickly in and out of focus as she passed them, all wishing to talk to her for just a moment, touch her, as she made her grand entrance into the gala being held just for her.  A face hovered in her vision longer than the others, a man likely near her age with warm hazel eyes.  A spinning disco ball threw flashes of the bright lights all over her and all around the room, the voices swelled around her, and the host illuminated her with a soft white spotlight.

She was transfixed by the light.  She gazed longingly at it, unconsciously moving towards it as if a magnet was pulling her to its source. It was warm and shimmered on her skin and she was covered in fine silver glitter. She reached out to the light, sensing that her fingers were only inches from being able to grasp its origin.  Anticipation ran through her body like static, tingling her nerves and tickling the fine hairs on her arms.  Just as she knew she was there, the crowd rushed in, surrounding her.  They were excited, frantic almost.  Their manic movement was starting to put distance between her and the source of the lovely light.  She reached farther, strained harder, closing the gap, when the crowd swelled and she was pushed forcefully backward by a hard hit to her chest.  It knocked the air out of her and she flinched.

In that instant, the soft, warm light began to pulse and quickly transformed. It became harsh, like staring at a fluorescent light while suffering a migraine.  The warmth was gone and she felt a chilled breeze brush her skin.  The voices were still present behind a low roar in her ears, but not excited and happy.  They were concerned, emotional, and she couldn’t see the faces they were coming from.  The light was so painfully bright now, she couldn’t stand to face it any longer.  She turned her head to shield her vision, and felt a sharp pain run down her neck and into back.  She winced, but it worked. She could see, and all the shimmering flecks of glitter slowly took shape as bits and pieces of glass surrounding her, reflecting flashing lights from the distance.

Slowly, she recognized that one voice was rising above the roar.  It was calm, sweet almost, saying her name.  Even slower, she was able to focus on a face slightly above her, his warm hazel eyes.

“You’re going to be okay,” he said reassuringly.  “Don’t try to move. You’ve been in an accident, but everything is going to be okay.”

Copyright © 2016

Super Shorts – To Rebuild

In Fiction, Mostly True, Writing on October 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm

She stood silently at the edge of the porch, elbows resting on the railing with camcorder in hand.  She looked at me when I stepped up next to her, only for a second before returning her eyes to the yard.  Her expression was unreadable.

I stared at the patch of cut grass, no bigger than space enough for a child’s playhouse.  The lawnmower droned on and I watched him.  The determination on his face and in his movements was unmatchable.  He grabbed hold of the handle, prepping himself, and gave a hard push with one arm.  The other arm lay on the arm rest of his chair, his hand delicately and precisely moving the small joystick to put him in motion.  Repositioning, another shove, rolling his wheelchair forward a few more inches, navigating around the swing set that sat rusting from 2 years of no use while they had been gone.

It was hard to speak, to break the silence of being mesmerized by his tedious and obviously tiring work.  But I did.  “He mowed this patch?”

She hit a button on the camcorder and set it on the railing in front of her, then nodded.  “First time he’s tried doing this since the accident.”

“Yeah…”

“He’s been out here over an hour.  He won’t let me do it.”

“Sounds about right…”

“He wanted to try.  He found a way to do it.  Halfway through that section he yelled for me to bring the camera out.  He wanted it on tape.”

I turned my gaze back to him.  A task – a chore even – that most dread.  A chore that 2 years ago took him less than an hour to fully complete.  A task that meant nothing when he walked on 2 legs, when his arms were sculpted from weight lifting and didn’t have muscle damage, when his body hadn’t been through more major surgeries than I could remember.  I wanted to cry – for her almost losing the love of her life and seeing his constant struggles, for him losing the future he imagined for himself because of one tiny second and a vehicle malfunction. But then I looked back at her and she was smiling, beaming even. 

I looked back at him.  Sweating, flushed, concentrating so hard, struggling but not giving up – and proud.  Proud, and so very happy.  I watched him – repositioning, pushing, rolling, guiding, bumping the swings, hitting the shed slightly, shaking his arm out to loosen his tired muscles, smiling, singing, waving to the porch, presenting his mowed patches to us with a sweep of his arm. Rebuilding.

Copyright © 2015

And So They Met

In Non-Fiction, Personal, Writing on September 1, 2015 at 10:10 pm

How She Met Her Father, Part 4.  See Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3.

Two months had passed since her graduation.  Against all expectation, he had actually shown up.  Late – sneaking in a side door once the ceremony had already begun – and empty handed, but he was there.  Afterwards, waiting out back of the school near the parking lot, sending in his youngest child, her half brother, to get her.  Awkward side hugs, awkward small talk as if they had known each other from years ago.  Since then, her sisters requested visits more often, explaining “Daddy wants to see you, and he’ll meet you at our house.”  Sometimes he was there already, clutching a beer.  Sometimes they would call him once or twice, then have to pick him up from whatever friend’s house where he had started drinking.  Sometimes, though not often, he would already be too drunk to make it at all.

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Super Shorts – Six Months

In Fiction, Writing on August 31, 2015 at 10:15 pm

I wish he’d go away.  I ignore him.  I refuse to look at him.  I don’t respond when he calls to me.  Just when I think he’s getting the hint, just when 10 minutes goes by without his voice or his face, he’s there again and my stomach drops to the floor.  He’s so needy, desperate and demanding for attention, and I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore.  Before, things were different.  I needed him, too.  I wanted to see his face – early morning, lunch time, evening, in the shadows of the dark bedroom at night.  I used to crave hearing his voice say my name, say those private things and those lovely words, say anything at all as long as it was to me.  And now all I want is for him to leave.  It wasn’t sudden.  It took a while.  I fought it at first, thinking that while it was different, it was still something I could make work.  But I can’t.  It’s gone on too long; its become much too hard for me.  I don’t know what else to do, because it’s as though he doesn’t hear me when I tell him I need him gone.  He doesn’t hear me when I tell him that I need to move on with my life, without him being a part of it.  He doesn’t hear me when I tell him it’s been six months like this with neither of us getting anywhere.  Six months since I told him good-bye.  Six months that I’ve tried to start a new life.  Six months that every single day has been stopped in its tracks when he appears again.  Six months that I’ve been trying to convince him that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen.  Six months since he was buried…

Copyright © 2015

Saturday Nights

In Fiction, Writing on April 21, 2014 at 10:28 pm

She checked herself in the rear-view mirror.  Smooth down the stubborn twist of her fine brown hairline at her right temple.  Touch up her cranberry lipstick.  Make sure her bra straps are hidden from view underneath the silky fabric of her dress.  It was a new dress she’d never worn before and with her shiny black heels, she felt confident and attractive.  The sidewalk to the restaurant would be her own personal runway.  She grabbed her matching black clutch from the passenger seat before sliding out and making her way to the door.

The restaurant was crowded, typical for a Saturday night.  The young hostess smiled warmly at her.  “Just one, or are you meeting someone here?”

“Just me,” she replied.  “I’ll just take a seat at the bar, if that’s okay.”  The hostess nodded and she made her way to the right wall of the building where the long, dark wood stretched before glass shelves with bright lights illuminating all the different spirits.  She put her clutch on the bar and popped herself up into one of the elevated leather stools.

“Drink? Menu?”

She raised her eyes to the face of the bartender in time to see his own gaze shift quickly from her low cut neckline to her face.  Her cheeks felt warm from the attention, but her intent with this dress was obviously on point.  “Just a vodka tonic, thank you.”

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Conversations With My Boyfriend

In Funny, Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random on December 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Children say the darnedest things…

Anyone who is a parent or has small children in their family can attest to this.  Bill Cosby did a whole show dedicated to it.  There’s a very entertaining Twitter feed that has been turned into a book called Preschool Gems full of nothing but the out-loud thoughts of young children.  Even my Facebook news feed is full of status updates from parents recapping hilarious scenarios and conversations with their children of either funny things their kids say or things they have to say to their kids that they would’ve never imagined they would be saying.  I enjoy reading these and made a mental note long ago that, should I become a mother one day, I would keep a running log of all the cute, funny, and often times quite wise musings that I will inevitably bear witness to.

But then I realized I didn’t have to wait.  I have been blessed with the companionship of a very high energy and entertaining person.  While he is 30 years old, he is very youthful in both appearance and demeanor.  His sense of humor is larger than he is himself and with his Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, it is not uncommon to end up in very strange, confusing, and random conversations.  Give him a couple beers, and that scale is multiplied.  I know what you’re probably thinking.  That doesn’t sound like fun.  Where is this going?  What in the hell does this have to do with Bill Cosby or children?

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A Complete & Utter Loss For Words…

In Personal, Random on February 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm

This ^ is where I’m at right now.  And  those of you that have followed my blog for a bit could probably attest to the fact that this is not normal…

Big news in my world is that I randomly and unexpectedly received a notification on my phone today that I had been mentioned in a Tweet by Freshly Pressed for a recent post I had done.  I thought to myself “That’s strange.  Freshly Pressed is big news for WordPress.  But this is Twitter…”  So I load up my Twitter, expecting it to be something random (since the only Tweets I get mentioned in are the fake accounts promoting porn), but I find that it is, indeed, Freshly Pressed.  I’m still thinking, “Okay, okay.  But it’s not the Freshly Pressed.  There’s no way.”  I expand the Tweet to see that it’s already been retweeted twice.  I figure I should probably promote myself a bit, even if it is a mistake, so I retweet it, too.

Then I open my WordPress app.  Mind you, the WordPress app is insanely finicky and often just crashes.  It’s nearly impossible to do anything aside from using the reader on it, but it does send notifications if someone comments on one your posts, but checking notifications and replying to comments more or less turns into a fiasco for me every time.  For any of you that see a comment or a reply with a typo in it, it’s because of my blasted phone and its horrible attempt at autocorrect and it makes me want to scream.  So generally I tend to only use the phone app to read other blog posts.  I tap on the FP icon and it loads up the page – with my little letter right at the top – and I almost immediately begin getting comment notifications.

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Singing Heart

Poems by Karem Barratt

*UNBREAKABLE QUEEN'S LIFE LESSONS DIARY*

Breaking Free From The Past, In Hope For A Bigger & Brighter Future

One Day at a Time

The world is a confusing place, these are just my musings on it.

The Girl

enjoying whatever life has to offer...

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