first Prose piece
October 16, 2019 - I had not written any fiction (or poetry, for that matter) for several years, and because I had no ideas, I sat down and searched out writing contests on Google. I stumbled on Prose: the monthly challenge was about having knowledge that the world would end in seven days. It's funny now to think of the path these few hundred words set me out on.
I’d rather it have been the Virgin Mary. Or Beyoncé. I squinted very hard, trying to make sure it wasn’t actually Beyoncé.
But no, the burn pattern on my toast was unmistakable: the world would end in seven days.
I leaned back in my chair, staring through my coffee steam and figuring my next move. I didn’t really have anyone else to tell. I really wanted to tell Rita because I felt like she should know, but she had told me she needed distance until I had “figured things out.” I wasn’t entirely sure what things she meant, but I didn’t think it was about the apocalyptic symbolism of my toast.
I picked up my phone to call off and take Boomer to a park for the day, but stopped when I saw him sleeping on the couch next to his favorite chew toy. There’s a saying about sleeping dogs; it’s a good saying. I had also remembered that it was Janet’s birthday. Janet had made everybody cupcakes for my birthday last month. It seemed inconsiderate to call off work on her birthday.
So I did the only thing that made sense with the world ending and picked up the knife. I felt its slim weight in my hand, saw the light gleam on it. I gripped it.
And then I cut a pat of butter, slightly thicker than normal. It didn’t quite melt on the toast—I had been thinking too long—so I put the other slice on top of it for a few moments. Then it spread beautifully. Evenly.
The crust crunched slightly more than the interior, just as I liked it, and a sesame seed offered its savory burst as prelude to the fullness of the multigrain. The butter enveloped everything, its cream lazily reclining and stretching out to invite the coffee to join. The warm union of the flavors gave way to the coffee’s nuanced bitterness which then curled luxuriously around my tongue, bathing each receptor in light roast, preparing them all to receive the next bite of bread.
It was a good day.
Simple things (revamped)
Most of us just live our lives trying to lead a life of happiness and get at least three decent meals a day. But there our others who question our existence. There our those who question the dubious Big Bang theory. While we might not know how life started, we surly know what clouds are made of. After doing much research I have come to a conclusion on what clouds really are. Hear me out.
Millions of years ago when the universe was still young, earth was covered in a blanket of trees. Besides the trees, the only other living things were tall rabbits who stood on thier hind legs and had stupidly long ears, and patapats: vegetables with the same texture and shape of a patato. These two life forms lived in perfct balance with each other. If a rabbit died, a patapat bush would spring to life. If a patapat bush died then a Rabbit would come into existence.
The Rabbits pretty much followed our hibernation laws. From spring to late fall the rabbits would get fat on patapats so as to store up for the winter months. The average Rabbit would eat 20 patapats a day. In the mornings they would wake up and stretch. You were considered a very flexible rodent if you could touch your toes. Then all the Rabbits would head out to go find patapats.
It was customary to travel in groups of 30+ rabbits. These different groups were like tribes. They would fight each other over patapat bushes. A leader of a tribe would be like the modern day dictator and would decide when to go to war, when the cooking patapats were ready, and were the group was going to stay in the winter months. They lived quite adventurous lives.
You ask how they cooked thier patapats. Well, I will tell you. Ever since the beginning of time the Rabbits had been cooking thier patapats. It was the strict rule of all the tribes to cook each and every patapat thoroughly before consumption. Failure to follow this law would lead to banishment from the tribe. This was bad because without the protection of the tribe you were buzzard food. So, every morning all the rabbits would go to different patapat bushes and collect the patapats in there ridiculously long ears. they would then lay their ears ladden with patapats over the fire and then gossip and talk while their patapats cooked. It was weird their ears never burned.
Glory and getting enough patapats in ones belly were the keys to life. When going to war, the two quaraling tribes would come with weapons of war. To explain this in a logical and reasonable way I will give you an example.
The Whopons tribe and the Guberfubs were going to war. To the battle field the Whopons brought thier Patnugs(rolling patapat cannons). Each cannon needs two rabbits to operate it. There were 131 cannons. The Gubberfubs, who were less in number, had brought their walking suits made completely out of tree bark, patapats, and liana vines. These suits were like 15 foot tall robots, and were operated by 10 to 12 Rabbits. 4 rabbits would control the legs, another 4 the arms, and the remaining rabbits would be crouched in the head, firing patapats at their enemies. The battle went something like this:
In the first few minutes the Guberfubs have already made thier way across the field in their suits and have crushed 39 cannons. The other tribe strike back and bring down 2 robots. 3 more robots go down as they sacrifice themselves to destroy another 47 cannons. The Whopons raise a white flag and they surrender. Half the Whopons tribes patapat bushes become the Guberfubs. I have just described a battle of these rabbits.
There were many other tribes. I will describe each tribe based on its wins and population.
Name. Population. Wins.
1. Yuproy 892. 24
2. Polinuks 689. 15
3. Sinrits 615. 21
(the Pulinuks and the Sinrits are always at war)
4. Trim 567. 18
5. Hunpon 494. 13
6. Dusnop 378. 0 (Peaceful)
7. Whopon 263. 17
8. Updapt 234. 11
9. Hirtyrug 211. 13
10. Gubberfub 179 29! (Smart Rabbits)
You have the details on their tribes, so now I will tell you how clouds came into being.
Every year at least 1 curious Rabbit would eat an uncooked patapat. They would then get quickly banished from the tribe. What nobody knew was that these Rabbits would end up as clouds. Some how the patapats dissolved the rabbit from the inside out. The Rabbit was still alive for some unknown reason, but their bodies, lacking mass, would float up into the air and apear to be white, fluffy fog in the sky.
One year there was a great war and all the rabbits died. Humans came along, but the white, fluffy groups of rabbits in the sky remained. Humans called them clouds. Many years later the rabbits can still be seen and when you hear the wind whistling through the trees, it is actually the sound of the rabbits talking about old times.
I made this all up. Don’t sue me Plz.
Float little drops, fast as you can.
Find a canal in this sexy woman.
For she will carry me and create me unknown.
She will honor me and brag until my gender is known.
Inside the softness, I will grow from a spot.
My body will form starting with my heart.
I will grow in her near organs and more.
I will feed on her through her umbilical cord.
I will float around kicking everything in sight.
I will push my way around until my cord gets tight.
I will stretch and play with my fingertips.
I will cry inside and way heavy on her hips.
I am almost seven pounds nine to ten months later.
I am being pushed out now by My Mother, My Creator.
Widow Of A Living Man
Occasionally I see them in his face; fleeting yet complex resentments. They never boil over into arguments anymore. It would be better if they did.
I love him, always, in ridiculous obsessive ways. The way a child loves a wild animal, naive of the dangers. Sometimes when he’s just sitting across the room I feel almost comical, like an over-zealous sonnet. Painful chest-knots make me cry and I laugh it off as ‘hormones.’ There’s no way to tell him, there’s nothing I can do. It’s not a normal affection anymore, this love. It’s a twisted monster of a thing, an ominous and unreciprocated marvel.
I go through the motions, the cooking plans, the weather. I fold socks together and iron shirts. Catching a glimpse of my greying hairs reminds me how foolish I am. I should have outgrown this childish adoration years ago. I should be more mature, wiser, less attached. I always thought I might grow out of it a little. I thought I’d get enough in my younger days, and not need it any more. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
When I reach to him he pulls back politely, kindly. It crushes me every time.
I know something now, a gradual realization, it encompasses me in soulful horror. I’ve done the one thing I promised never to do: trap him. I’ve trapped him in an empty wedlock, and trapped myself in this cage of unfulfilled emotions. If only there’d been a screaming match, a violent outburst, a medieval duel. I think I could live with that.The reality is so much worse, so silent. Every mundane moment filled with unspoken rejection.
This minimally tweaked bit of maudlinism, my first ever piece on Prose, (and the first thing I’d written in many years, in my defense) was my embarrassing response to challenge of the week # 61: “Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection.”
I sort of cheated; it wasn’t entirely fictional. I rarely ironed clothes and didn’t have any grey to boast of, so that part at least fit the prompt, but it was otherwise somewhat accurate to my internalized view of the pathetic creature I might yet permanently become if my husband continued to ignore my numerous advances and spat-invitations (as was increasingly becoming his practice.)
With the merciless benefit of hindsight, I’m coming to realize how melodramatic I secretly was... (maybe still am...)
Thank you Prose yet again, for being my unflinching outlet all these years.
“They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.”
My first post on Prose
The Color of Sadness
Is the same
As the color of the sky
Prior to its weeping
It’s the same
As the color of water
The stormy sea
The tranquil lake
Or placid ocean
It’s the same
As the color of music
Like Muddy Waters
And B.B. King
Like Michael Jackson
Or Lady Gaga
The color of sadness
Is the color of my thoughts
When I think of you
An impossible hue
The color is....
Tweaked A Four-Year Old Piece
Time Flies By
The essence of time,
A holder of thoughts,
seconds stored by memories,
remembered minute by minute.
Images come forth, hourly;
days to think of what if’s,
weeks to plan the what may be.
Months after to decide,
if years past,
those years to come;
if anything, is really worth the effort.
hands go round the clock.
Time, flies by.
We laugh, we sigh,
privately we cry.
One day we die.
Is it really worth the effort.
Days of “what if” images—
week by week planned out,
month over month to decide,
if years past and years to come,
will have been worth the journey.
hands go round the clock.
Time zips by as to remind—
we’ve lived, laughed, loved, cried,
and run ourselves out of Time.
In the process of writing this, it caused me to think of several songs:
and one more to make a "baker’s" dozen ...
what would time be without this guy:
You can back away at any time.
I say out loud, hoping to sound confident about it, yet knowing I wasn’t even convincing to myself. I exhale shakily and a couple of small rocks fell to the ground again. I try to ignore it, and not let the panic set in completely yet. I had to stay calm, and the reason for that was that I didn’t want to give up. I started something, and I wanted to finish it as well. I didn’t want to quit. Maybe this was something important, a way out.
And if I backed away now, I would never know for sure.
I start to get up slowly, keeping a low crouch at first, my eyes wandering around cautiously. After a moment, when no actual part of the ceiling above me, falls on my head, I decide to carefully straighten my position. Everything seemed more or less stable, and it was the best green light I was going to get in this situation. No point in fooling myself there. I reach the cave’s wall in front of me and continue to make the hole in it bigger. However much slower and with less force this time. And as my eyes start to adjust to the bright blue light, I begin to notice more details.
The space that I see through the opening is rather big, huge even. Hmm, how to describe this. It was like a big crater, not quite like another cave, more like a grotto in a rounded shape. If that made any sense. I wasn’t sure, but something told me I was very high in the air. Too high.
I bend down and take a medium size rock the size of my hand, and toss it through the opening. And as it falls down, there is no distinct sound to it, just the low cry of the wind whistling around me. I wait patiently for any noise, slowly counting the numbers in my mind. 1… 2… 3… 7… 8… 9... - my eyes grow wider as the silence continues. 14… 15… 16...
And finally, I hear a quiet splash beneath me.
This throws me off completely. I didn’t know what bothered me more, the fact I was probably very high in the air, or that I heard the clear sound of water splashing. Hmm, some kind of stream maybe, an underground river? I knew that it was possible, but still, it surprised me. I don’t know what I was expecting, but the probability of a river ten or twenty floors beneath my feet wasn’t one of them.
As the shock of it starts to wear off, I continue to make the opening wider, focusing on the bottom part so that I could see something that was lower, beneath me. When I more or less achieve my goal, I lean forward carefully, holding on to the more solid part of the wall. The thing that I see is… I narrow my eyes and focus more since the ground was very far away. I not only saw a river happily splashing around and flowing with speed but also something else that I didn’t expect. Why I was actually expecting anything by now, was beyond me.
The thing that stunned me down there were the colors. Not only the obvious blue color of the river but a very juicy green as well. The bright light magnifying it even more.
I mean, it was a long time since I last saw anything even close to what you could call nature. The nearby stream my only reminder of the world above. Hmm, I guess the flora and fauna did actually exist down here after all, since I already got the fauna specimen; a real beast.
As I delicately step back, watching out not to slip on anything again, I take another glance at the open space stretching out in front of me. Silently wondering about the source of the strange blue light. It reminded me of the other caves that I saw before, the ones with the unnatural sunlight. And just like then, I also didn’t have an answer to this dilemma. The light had come out of some kind of an opening, a crack in the wall, or maybe… a portal perhaps? I shake my head in frustration as my imagination keeps on throwing different images at me, each one more questionable than the next.
This couldn’t be so complicated, right? I sigh deeply when a thought occurs to me. Slowly I lean forward again, holding the wall for some support, stretching out my neck, and at the same time twisting my head up. My eyes open wider.
The ceiling above me was definitely lighted up as if I was looking at the night sky and this place was a perfectly normal cave, with the universe’s grand view peeking inside and welcoming me with open arms. There were no actual stars, however, there wasn’t anything else that I could compare it to. I take another glance at the so-called night sky and furrow my eyebrows. It felt like I wasn’t giving the scenery enough justice.
The light that I saw was kind of… - I try to look for the right words. Mystical. Yes, mystical. That was the only word that came into my mind. Almost as if some of the fog that was constantly flowing around my ankles, decided to also flow around the top areas of this little hell hole - also taking the role of clouds and flow majestically above my head. It made the light a bit foggy and milky, blurry. Really all that was missing right now was a big, fat moon to fill the entire picture.
And yet there was none.
Originally published on Sunday, August 27th, 2017
the last exit...
When your dreams are just a few exits away…
You've been driving on this grueling road for a long time, and with each exit you pass, you are conflicted. Either you want to give up believing your time will not come, or you hold on to the course because you HAVE to be almost there.
But almost doesn't count …
Or maybe it really does count for something…It counts for trying, for even attempting to follow those uninhabited dreams. Trust me, it counts for something. So what happens when you are on your road, it could be a form of recovery, finding oneself, a better quality of life, or just your dreams and desires land you so close to the last exit?
Do you speed up? Do you slow down? Or will you keep the pace you are at and follow through? I mean, hell, you've come this far, and two choices are lingering in your mind.
Choice one; I can make it. I got this. I am literally there. Do. Not. Give. Up. Follow. Through.
Choice two; It still feels like it's too far away. I don't think I can endure anymore. I just…cant.
The last exit could be your escape to whatever better future you have planned for yourself. The previous exit can lead to another road, but each road becomes more manageable, less grueling, more rewarding. Remember, the last exit doesn't mean it is the end of your journey; it can mean many things for YOU. So just follow through, friend. Follow through.
Written: August 23, 2016 for the challenge, "Words of Encouragement"
life gave you lemons
you made lemonade
you poured it
on my eyes
on my wounds
on my broken heart
invaded every crevice
clogged my soul
scraped my throat
and it burns, burns, burns
The fog (revisted)
My oldest piece of prose on Prose:
It appeared suddenly. One moment Mira was enjoying a beautiful sunny day hiking, the next she was ensconced in thick fog. She reached out to touch it, then drew back. She could no longer see the lake or the tree tops; only the rocks at her feet and the twisted roots that threatened to do the same to her ankles. She walked slowly, gingerly, hoping she could feel her way back to the main path without ending up falling off a cliff, tumbling in the lake, or wandering aimlessly in the dark with the bears.
The warmth of the day was gone. She felt a chill so deep she began to shiver. She could hear her heart beating in her ears. She stood motionless, trying to calm herself so she could listen, hear. Something. Someone. The air was so still. All life in the forest seemed to have ceased its happy song with the onset of the fog.
She continued her trek. She couldn’t see any of the markers on the trees so she had to hope she was following the path to the parking lot. She kicked herself for seeking the solace of the silent woods rather than staying in the main areas, but she had wanted to avoid the loud, joy-filled chatter of rowdy kids and barking dogs.
Minutes passed. There were more rocks and the path was climbing, not turning as she thought it should, but she was afraid to change direction. So she climbed. Then she saw some movement in the cottony air in front of her. She couldn’t breathe. She thought, what are you supposed to do when you see a bear? Climb a tree? No, they can climb trees. Run? No, they’ll chase you, and when they catch you, they’ll rip your throat out with bear claws so sharp your head will hang listless and bloody from your shoulders. Oh God! What to do? Lay down! That’s it! She lay down on the cold, hard ground and the shape came closer, bigger, louder. She could hear its ragged breath. She was terrified. She closed her eyes and thought, no one knows I’m here. I will die and no one will know where to look.
It stopped. She waited. She felt its warm breath on her face. And then it licked her. And someone said, “Hey, boy, wait up. What the hell?”
She opened her eyes and the biggest dog she’d ever seen was standing over her.
“Miss, are you okay?”
“Oh my god! A dog!” She started laughing uncontrollably as she sat up. “Yes, I’m fine. I thought your dog was a bear. I was playing dead.”
“Well, you’re probably lucky it was Mr. Bojangles here. Not sure a bear would have stopped at sniffing and licking.”
“Yeah, stupid I guess. I didn’t know what to do.” She dusted herself off. “Am I near the main road yet? I feel like I’ve been walking for hours in this fog.”
“It did come in quickly, didn’t it?”
“Yes, I was really surprised. One second it was all sun and blue skies, the next it was a bad horror flick.”
“Ha, yeah, well you’re going the wrong way. We have to head back toward the lake. Mr. Bojangles and I are heading that way. You’re welcome to tag along.”
“Thanks so much,” she said, glad for the company of the man and the dog.
Of course, not all beasts have paws and sharp teeth. Some rescue lost woman in lonely woods immersed in fog that hides blood and muffles screams as well as the splash of a lifeless body thrown in a secluded lake.