Thursday, June 30, 2011

145. Insofar as it is possible

Does thinking something is impossible make it so?
If you were never told we cannot fly, would you expect that with a little practice you could?
Are we bound only by the limitations we erect for ourselves?
She was about to find out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

144. In the company of strangers

It was a full house.
Aunts, uncles, cousins and one relative no one could quite place, had filled every part of the house resembling a bed.
He was bunking in the same room as Great Uncle Barry.
He laid, staring at the ceiling as GUB snored till dawn.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

143. An inadequate measure of thanks

Two words; eight letters.
It seemed to him, not nearly enough.
Measured against what they had done, it paled.
But it was all he could think of, and sometimes that is enough.

Monday, June 27, 2011

142. Imagine if you will...

It is the last teaching day of June.
In a last-ditch effort to have students learn something before they leave for the Summer, their teacher is leading them through a thought experiment.
Most students are dozing, willing time to move faster (in a highly localized fashion).
In the back row, a young woman is hatching a notion.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

141. An education

One by one, they fell.
One, two, three, four.
Four bodies lay on the cold tile floor.
They’d be doctors some day, but observing their first autopsy had knocked them on their collective asses.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

140. Forbidden idols

It sat high up, in a place of honour.
The calmness that surrounded it belied the danger inherent in the enterprise.
With a little tug, it came loose from its resting place.
One swift stroke of a hammer shattered the pink pig revealing the treasures inside.

Friday, June 24, 2011

139. Blinders

He stood, staring straight ahead.
He stood, sandwiched between a large, biker-looking fellow and a bookish man in a striped sweater.
The two men were a fascinating study in contrast, but he looked at neither of them.
Instead, he concentrated on eradicating the blue urinal puck in front of him.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

138. Street art

There was a deftness in his hands.
He flicked the three shells over the table with a grace that seemed out of place on the street corner.
It was almost hypnotic, watching his act.
Those watching never saw him slip the tiny ball up his sleeve.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

137. The present

Everyone had left.
There was the last remaining item on the folding card table.
It was a small package; no bigger than a breadbox.
She would wait and open it later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

136. A roll of the dice

They went in on a lark.
They’d each slap down a twenty and see what happened.
About twelve steps inside the door they were clobbered by waves of desperation.
Unable to enjoy themselves amid folks spending money they didn’t have, they pocketed their money and left.

Monday, June 20, 2011

135. The meaning of love

It wasn’t unusual for a younger man to live with an elderly woman, per se.
They were, by all accounts, happily domesticated – the spry former athlete and the wealthy dowager.
In the end, they found her stuffed in the ice box.
They found him living under an assumed name in Oregon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

134. The Elderly Argentine

His accent placed him as “from away” but decades in the country had rendered further identification impossible.
He rarely left his tiny house unless it was to visit the post office to collect his international newspaper.
He was gruff but generally well liked in the village, especially by the children who could count on the occasional piece of good chocolate.
The quiet life he led was interrupted, as he knew it would be, when three serious men entered the village looking for an elderly German.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

133. The vanishing

No trace remained.
The empty shell of a house yielded no clues.
Room by room, it had been scrubbed of all evidence.
It was as if both of them never existed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

132. Double penetration

He took a 6-month sabbatical to somewhere sunny.
His destination was a place where Winter wear was more novelty than necessity so he stored all of it.
Returning home, he was in need of armour against a frigid February.
Examining his Winter coat, he found two perfectly round moth-eaten holes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

131. Splatter patterns

First, she tried the one-armed squeeze.
Next, it was the two-armed strangle hold.
Finally, in desperation, she held it with one hand and walloped it on the bottom with the other.
With that, the last precious drops of ruby-red recipe number 57 splattered onto the waiting plate of french fries.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

130. Commercial applications

It had been fun, actually.
It had also been pretty lucrative.
But then the questions started and it became well, awkward.
Yes, he was the man in the erectile dysfunction commercial.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

129. An agreed-upon conceit

At some point, they realized their father had never learned to read.
In his time, it hadn’t been important – at least that’s the way it seemed.
By the time it seemed important, it really wasn’t.
He had built a life around it and without it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

128. A self-made man

He insisted he be referred to as a self-made man.
As the scion of a privileged family, this was important to him.
Problem was, he was a self-made man that hadn’t made much of himself.
Failure and lack of effort were his constant companions.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

127. The job interview

Preparation was key.
He went into that room ready.
Despite his best efforts, distraction loomed large in his field of vision.
Honestly, who puts an erotic statue in a boardroom.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

126. The boat house

The river was diverted in 1952.
The city moved it a mile to the West in the name of progress.
They kept the boat house.
It was still very nice, but it had no boats.

Friday, June 10, 2011

125. Young Brando, Old Brando

Outside of those things time hadn’t thickened, thinned, wrinkled or sagged, he looked familiar.
There was a sameness about him that time couldn’t change.
His face tugged a memory somewhere in a cobwebbed corner of her mind.
She was sure he used to be a boy she used to know.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

124. It feels a lot like the end of the world

A solitary black fly was trapped between two panes of glass.
Again and again, it threw its tiny, battered body against its invisible prison.
After a spell, it came to a rest at the bottom of the sill.
A crushing sense of the inevitable was in the air.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

123. The difference between being right and being correct

When he needed to ensure his point was made, he simply raised his voice.
Volume was his weapon and it was thermonuclear.
He took the ability to shout down those with opposing views as a point of pride.
A feckless bully of a man, he was always right and seldom correct.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

122. Things unseen

A bit of explanation for 122. My pal Chris has a photo-a-day thing going on over at flickr. Today we're doing a project together. He took a picture, then I wrote a story to accompany it. Enjoy. And definitely check out Chris' pictures.

He shot:

And I wrote:

We lose it as we age.
That ability to imagine things in ways other than they are.
That’s what made him remarkable.
Nothing was without interest to him.

Monday, June 6, 2011

121. Under an unforgiving sun

The sun was torturous hot.
A solitary caterpillar sat unmoving, baked to the sidewalk.
His journey, to food or fatherhood or greener pastures, had been permanently cut short.
It was one small testament to those things greater than all of us.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

120. Cometh the prudes

She wrote frequently to the editor.
Her speech and action evidenced a just crusade.
Hers was a cause the moral and the upright could rally around.
It was ironic then, that her own daughter frequently explored elevated states and casual relationships.

119. Regional dialects

They were traveling – vacationing really.
Their trip was predicated on the romantic notion that they would forsake major highways and avoid cookie-cutter cuisine.
Never having been to the area, they were immersing themselves.
Sitting in the quaint family restaurant, they couldn’t make out word one of the conversation they were having with its owner.

118. In a fancy hotel room

She could afford this.
In fact, she worked hard and could easily afford it.
As a folded receipt slid under her door, she was woken from her reveries.
She could, she admitted, afford these diversions only as rare and special luxuries.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

117. Plunging spirits

He looked every bit the captain of industry.
His tie was tied in a proper Windsor knot.
His jacket fit like it was made for him.
His pants were rolled up to the knee as he frantically plunged the commode hoping he’d clear the drain before his clients arrived.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

116. Fallen down empires

The two brothers raced past aisle after aisle.
The younger one rode in the basket, navigating, while his brother acted as engine.
Ignoring minimum-wage protests, they urged their steely rocket faster.
Unable to stop, they crashed into a geometrically-perfect tower of toilet paper.