Wednesday, February 1, 2017

3BT: Rain or Shine

1. Rain

Seven days of non-stop rain gives me an excuse to use the fireplace, my thick blanket and hot coco powder in danger of approaching expiration. Bunny hops around on the new wood floor. She slips and slides when she thinks the boy is chasing her but purrs when she is finally caught. When I pet her, she leaves behind threads of silky white hair that pops against the antique wood finish like traces of spring snow. I take my time cleaning it up.

2. Shine

We stretch achy muscles and hit the beach when the sun finally returns. The water takes on shades of aqua, unbroken by summer crowds. Surf is small, just right for not-so-brave hearts like mine and those nearby. The water has a way of waking you like a piercing splash of blue light across the dark. You inhale until it hurts. Then some more. Under the surface of tugging waves is the sound of silence.

3. Songs

The songs you once loved but no longer listens to makes you smile and cry. You make enough food for an army and share it with friends who don't mind seeing you ragged with choppy hair and old clothes. In the morning you go for a jog along the horizon, taking photos with the lens of your lashes when morning light paints the world in cotton candy pinks and blues. The rusty old swing sings when childish feet kicked it high, an old song of squeaky screws fighting to hold all the pieces together.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fiction: Bones

The new puppy begs for a name with his droopy eyes, long lashes that cover half of his face and a pale cream coat stamped with a pattern that resembles...lips.

But the boy doesn't think so. He too has dark brown eyes that drop at the corners and long lashes that cast shadows halfway down to his cheeks. His lips are full, puckered while thinking.

"They look like milk bones. Puppies like bones. That's why he is bones."

He tilts his head and knocks a dimpled finger against an imaginary chalk board, mimicking the teachers he has observed so carefully, so quietly at kindergarten. The boy speaks so rarely that his father is always surprised to hear it--thoughtfully constructed sentences, an adult vocabulary rather than baby talk.

At the moment the puppy is worn out from a surgery to remove a cyst from his belly. The boy has brought him water, kneeling to push the ceramic bowl under Bones' chin. He patted Bones' head. The puppy whimpers and licks the boy's hand.

"Dinner time, Austin!" His father unties an apron from his waist and pats the boy on his shoulder.

Austin slides his hands around Bones' belly and attempts to carry him. They are on the small patio extending from the two bedroom apartment. A streak of twilight livens the auburn in the boy's hair. His father squints to see the blue in his eyes.

"No puppy, just you at the table." He says gently.
Austin looks up, eyes glassy.
"It's pizza bagel," James says. "But no puppy."

 Austin follows James inside. The phone rings. It's the hospital. Austin's mother Gina is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. The surgeon wants to assure the family they are in good hands. The nurse reminds them of the schedule. They can come and pick her up at 11am. Gina will be rolled into surgery at 8am.

Dinner is still warm. Two pizza bagels dressed with ham and tomato and cheese: Romano, Parmigiano and cheddar. Austin picks off bits of red stained bagel flesh and leaves them on his plate. James knows he hates tomato but he leaves it on anyway but ignores his attempts to take it off. When he stands to clean up, Austin's plate looks like the affect of a post surgery tray, littered with soggy red tissues.

He drains the last of his wine and leaves the dishes in the sink.

* * *

The next day, Austin can't find his shoes until 7:45. They rush out but misses saying goodbye to Gina before they roll her inside. The waiting room is warm and comfortable with plush chairs and thick carpeting. Austin lies down in Jame's lap and props his feet up against the chair legs to watch Monsters Inc. on TV.  James dozes off when the sunlight pours through the bay window and his breakfast of pastry and tea settles soothingly in his stomach.

"Mr. Greenwall..."

James wakes to see the surgeon standing before him, tall like an alpine spruce, accentuated by his green scrubs.

"Can I see her now? How is she?" The surgeon's flat eyes and pressed lips spell out news James doesn't want to read. He presses forward with questions he wants to ask, questions that assumes another outcome.

"The surgery... she experienced a cardiac arrest after an hour. We are very sorry."

James let the words float over him as if they are debris in a neglected pool.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Season

I dream of a white Christmas. Snow covered streets send chilled whispers through each flake.

I live near the beach where Christmas is as blue and expansive as the rest of the year. The sets come up near the shore, drawing smiles out of glassy folds in the water. Surfers slash it open, leaving behind foamy scars that recedes into the sun.

I fold myself between white sheets like I was a packet that can be sent away.  I can't read the message inside, but it feels like a tear that goes on and on.

Sirens blare into the twilight. My friends look at me with sad eyes, tired from traveling. We ride the roller coasters together, our tickets stamped with: single, unlimited rides. We try to sip on our tea, but it spills as soon as we press close. The train puffs white smoke and blue dust unto its gray tracks. We get ready for photos.

Our Christmas cards cross paths but departs before a meeting is possible. Soon there will be a new year, and another set of seasons, dreams, waves, rides and unfolding white sheets.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Nov 8. It is beginning to feel a lot like I am living in the middle of a dystopian novel.

The catalyst and plot twists are looking all too familiar. I don't want to read it, let alone live it. The book hides its covers and refuses to be put away. I traverse the lines with my own feet and brace myself for the next pages.

They are written. We can smell the ink, see the blurry cloud of black words bleeding out like a river breaching into beds of white rocks.

Too tiny to see ahead, no matter how long we try to stretch our necks.

We know the good news. Eventually will be a resolution of sort, then a lesson. The bad news is that those living in the midst may not survive the conflicts. We are due for this, many say. Though the word due implies too much to think about now. Our feet bump against those rocks, white as snow.

So I pray, that it will be a very short short story. Flash fiction. Mini-word play.

A single tweet. And hide those access buttons.


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