Thursday, March 31, 2011

54. Amateur biographer

The neighbourhood had a rhythm.
Silently, she marked the comings and goings of her neighbours.
Seldom leaving her tiny cottage, she lived vicariously through the lot of them.
When she died, they found fifty years of the neighbourhood’s history scribbled into mountains of notebooks.

53. Push comes to shove

There were dozens of people on the beach.
They were all straining in unison.
With one final, herculean shove, it was done.
The giant whale slid out into the tide.

52. Man of action

Swinging the hammer made him feel powerful.
Sparks flew and metal splintered.
Each impact brought the abandoned car closer to destruction.
Riding in the ambulance, he wondered if an eye patch would make him look dangerous.

Monday, March 28, 2011

51. Performance anxiety

He gave it a shot.
It failed.
It smelled awful, it looked awful, and it tasted awful.
Sometimes you're not as good as you think.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

50. Man of science

As a reply, “Trust me, it’s science.” rang a little hollow.
Undeterred, he tossed the lit stick of dynamite into the lake.
The fish that bubbled up to the surface made it hard to argue with the logic of it.
With a wink, he crushed his beer can and fished another out of the cooler.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

49. After hours

Ornate skylights scattered the moonlight in peculiar ways.
The ancient department store had a reputation for being peculiar.
They whispered that the mannequins came to life at night in a ghostly imitation of the town’s glory days.
Pushing a broom through the long nights, he almost believed those stories – almost.

48. The grand misdirection

The stage show moved in time with the gasps of the crowd.
Their operator was two men at once.
To the crowd, he was an Eastern mystic with otherworldly skill.
To the stagehand watching behind the curtain, he pulled strings, a crooked puppeteer.

47. Currency exchange

“Look me up if you ever make Abilene, son.”
With that, the elderly Texan holstered the gasoline nozzle and handed the attendant five twenty-dollar bills.
They were the crisp sort you only get from bank tellers.
Their transaction completed, the man stepped up into his road-worn RV and headed West.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

46. Man of letters

It was an unusual request.
Under most circumstances, it would be difficult to classify his roommate as a reader.
He crossed the sea of untidiness that separated their two rooms just in time to bear witness.
Like a scene from the dawn of man, his roommate was using the sturdy volume to level his makeshift tv stand.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

45. John Hancock

He was conflicted.
Spread in front of him were dozens of signatures he had carefully scrawled with a Sharpie.
He carefully considered which combination of loops and strokes best described his many qualities.
He needed to be ready when fame came knocking.

Monday, March 21, 2011

44. The biggest losers

The host - a former d-list actress - was their only link to the outside world.
After three days with no contact, they broke out of their sealed townhouse.
As each one of them crested the hill outside, they froze.
They were the five most famous people in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

43. The sweet sound of success

The sputtering shitbox stopped at the intersection, shattering the midnight calm as it idled.
Throbbing bass jostled its ancient frame like a coin-operated bed at a cheap motel.
It's owner had clearly abandoned any pretext of subtlety or aesthetics. 
This, my friends, was a modern classic.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

42. Creationist breakfast

He was eye to eye with a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Previously separated by 67 million years or so, they'd been thrust together, the man and the terrible lizard.
It looked dire - for the man.
About that time, the sprinklers at the mini-golf park kicked in.

41. The road trip

A cup of coffee steamed in the 4am chill.
The road trip they had meticulously planned for years was finally happening.
It was the sort of epic adventure best undertaken by friends.
He carefully strapped the urn in the passenger’s seat and climbed behind the wheel.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

40. Spring forward

It was the first day of Spring.
That is to say, it was the first day that really felt like Spring.
Breaking into a jog, she shed Winter cobwebs with every step.
She could feel her form returning as she rounded a corner and stepped in thawing canine detritus.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

39. True romance

There was something comforting about watching her sleep.
He imagined intimate Saturdays with breakfasts in bed.
Would it be waffles or pancakes?
The "Now Serving" alert buzzed, rousing them both.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

38. Unintended consequences

He held a chest of drawers at the top of the stairs.
He was supposed to wait for help, but the heat was making him impatient.
Wiping the sweat from his brow, he began to walk the chest toward the edge.
A fraction of a second later, shattered bits of drinking glasses clattered against the hardwood steps.

Monday, March 14, 2011

37. Measured heroics

If it's in your nature to be great, greatness has a way of finding you.
To date, this didn't appear to be his destiny.
But, as the shadow loomed in front of him, he cracked his knuckles in anticipation.
It was time for him to show...something.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

36. Scoreboard watching

The downturned faces of his comrades radiated defeat.
None of them met his eyes.
It was so quiet you could almost hear the clock ticking like a time bomb.
The silence of twenty men shouted in unison: no playoffs this year.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

35. Working weekend

Tendrils of smoke curled up toward the ceiling.
They mingled with the few shafts of sunlight that snuck through the closed blinds.
Something was on fire.
Papers were burning in a trash can.

34. Minor inventions

Measured against history's greatest inventions, his work was nothing.
He lived in that hazy space between middling success and minor failure.
But, each of his gadgets created some measure of joy.
And that's no small thing.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

33. Old man, young boy

There were two of them: an old man and a young boy.
The old man was upset with the boy for reasons unexplained.
He knelt, showing all of his years, with reproach on his lips.
Precisely at that moment, the young boy stuck his finger in the old man’s nose.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

32. Geopolitical dance theories

Once upon a time, it seemed like every song had its own dance and each dance had a name.
It was as if we were trying to imbue crap pop songs with special significance; like our very way of life depended on it.
Did that help win the Cold War?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

31. The world of tomorrow

There’s a lot to dislike about modern life.
Rejecting the whole sinful mess, they walked away from it all to start fresh.
Their goal was a Utopia built on intellect and reason.
In the end, it was dismantled by the same old shit.

Monday, March 7, 2011

30. There’s something happenin’ here

She stood at the crosswalk, watching.
Not many people noticed her because it’s not really in our nature to notice things.
She locked eyes (just for a moment) with a young girl walking with her mother.
When the girl looked again, the woman was gone.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

29. Saturday morning cartoons

If I sat close, I could keep the volume low enough to not wake my parents.
The more they slept, the more sugary animated goodness I could vacuum into my brain through my eyeballs.
Armed with a giant bowl of cereal (no milk), I bombarded my system with mental junk food.
Thank God it had no lasting effects.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

28. Yes

Sure, there are big lies and little lies.
But, the lies that matter are the believable ones.
He specialized in believable lies. 
And when he used one, it always worked.

Friday, March 4, 2011

27. The day after last night

There was a bathroom on the fourteenth floor.
It was a magnificent place to nurse a hangover because no one ever used it.
No one that is, except his flatulent boss.
Thirty minutes with his feet propped against the stall door was surprisingly uncomfortable.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

26. Speechology

Something was wrong with her thirty thousand dollar keynote.
She tested the lectern.
There was a wobble that she couldn’t ignore.
She doubted her audience would get their money's worth.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

25. Aches and pains

There was a moment.
In that moment there was an equal likelihood of both falling and not.
In that one, endless sliver of time, his back twisted unnaturally.
When the moment ended, he felt it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

24. Showdown

Two drunk men dance at a bar.
Both are drunk.
They are dancing...poorly.
We all lose and we all win.