Sunday, July 31, 2011

176. Ripped from the headlines

Pluck, pluck pluck.
Slivers of paper pulled away from an 8.5 x 11 sheet.
A fellow citizen was selling four all-season radials.
$110 o.b.o.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

175. The domino effect

It was dark.
One by one, dozens of pairs of tail lights sprang to life in the distance.
As their car approached, reflective strips periodically caught their headlights.
Like a set of larger-than-life dominoes, someone had toppled all the highway pylons as far as they could see.

Friday, July 29, 2011

174. The highway man

He was walking in the middle of nowhere.
Miles away from civilization, it wasn’t clear how he’d gotten this far.
As far as passers by could tell, he wasn’t hitchhiking.
They’d soon forget about him anyway.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

173. Mixed messages

Business was slower than usual with no explanation.
Puzzled, the store owner walked outside looking for inspiration.
It was then he noticed a single neon letter in his sign had burnt out.
This certainly wasn’t the kind of messaging that the clientele of Clockworks Repair Shop were used to.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

172. Pillow talk

The couch was red hot.
There was dried drool at the corners of his mouth.
He had sleep in his eyes.
His face was criss-crossed with creases.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

171. Rhythm and beats


It was as predictable as a third-act run on the Death Star.
The man did something stupid and ruined everything.
Then he fixed it and everything was unruined.
Throughout the darkened theatre, groans were stifled.

Monday, July 25, 2011

170. Abandoned space programs

As a boy, he imagined them as mighty rocket ships.
Their many flights were all of fancy.
As a grown man, he occasionally thought of them as the rockets of his youth.
Just being near them, it still felt like every corner of the cosmos was within reach.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

169. Relevant signage

They’d come too far to turn back now.
There was no giving up.
Then, down some obscure country road, they saw it.
Shimmering like a mirage was a sign for ice cream.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

168. Picking


Twenty-one or twenty-two children are picking tomatoes.
The tomatoes are heirlooms, so the field is littered with purples, yellows and greens.
They are doing as they have been shown, testing each one before plucking it from the vine.
Every few minutes, their teacher stops to re-iterate, “This is where food comes from.”

Friday, July 22, 2011

167. Defining one’s social status

She called him a nerd.
It wasn’t his fault he could name all the dwarves from The Hobbit or the different colours of Kryptonite.
These things were important.
Besides, who knows when they’d come in handy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

166. Proper nomenclature

She spent the whole date talking about Walter.
She went on and on about how cute he was and how close they were.
It seemed like a spectacularly poor start to a first date, but all was not as it seemed.
Walter was her dog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

165. Minor adjustments

The air smelled faintly medicinal.
A pervasive buzzing filled the room.
The man behind him talked incessantly about everything.
As he did, tiny wisps of hair spilled down the black apron.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

164. One good turn

The parking garage was tiny.
Their neighbour was a terrible parker.
There was a large support pillar next to their spot.
The result was a perfectly executed twelve-point turn.

Monday, July 18, 2011

163. Proportional response

They’d pushed her to the limit.
To be quite frank, they’d asked for it.
They were going to get what was coming to them.
She found out you can max out your credit card surprisingly quickly at a hardware store.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

162. The third man

The lead guitarist and vocalist went on to a historically successful solo career.
The bass player ran for, won and three times defended a seat in parliament.
And the drummer... well... He used to be the drummer for a famous rock and roll trio.
I think he’s still waiting for them to get back together.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

161. Kill the radio star

There were four of them in the car.
A song from the nineties came on the radio.
It was a popular, but not necessarily good one.
It would be embarrassing had they not all been singing – at the top of their lungs.

Friday, July 15, 2011

160. Movable shadows

Just then, a flock of birds passed through their field of vision.
There were hundreds of them; enough to block out the sun.
Then they were gone.
No one knows where they came from or where they went.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

159. Spice rack

She opened the small cabinet next to the refrigerator.
Each vial it contained was a tiny bottled epic of discovery and conquest and flavour.
Each of them told a story; a story of us as a people.
She had bought each of them in a single aisle at the grocery store.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

158. Man in the park

The evening was beautiful.
A man was sitting on a bench in the park.
He wasn’t doing much of anything else.
He sat with his head back and his eyes closed, taking in the universe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

157. Misspent youth

They were going to be rich.
Some loser from the network was going to pay them $250,000.
It was simple.
All they had to do was have a kid.

Monday, July 11, 2011

156. For someone special

Ever have a song stuck in your head?
Not like a Baja Men song.
Like that can’t-stop-drumming-your-fingers-on-the-dash, can't-think-of-anything-else kind of way.
That’s what being in love with her was like.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

155. Enemy territory

The stadium was electric.
50,000 people on their feet screaming at the top of their lungs.
Every one of them had worked themselves into an extra inning lather.
Everyone that is, except the four individuals from the opposing city sitting nervously in the outfield bleachers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

154. Investing in friends

They blew into town on Friday for two nights of drinking, fighting and low-grade public vandalism.
Far from home, they adopted a siege mentally, stepping to any and all comers on.
You’d never believe it, but one of their number was taken to the hoosegow, just for being an out-of-towner.
They’d have to wait until Monday to bail him out of jail.

Friday, July 8, 2011

153. Seasonal precipitation

It wasn’t the heat.
It was the humidity.
There was a solitary source of relief.
One single drop of water slid down the humidity soaked bottle.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

152. ...in the state of Denmark

There are four suspects.
They are driving in a neon.
They each suspect the other three.
One of them has broken wind.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

151. U-haul truck

Boxes.
Boxes and boxes and boxes.
Each of them were loaded in turn into a truck.
The truck carried them off to pay for the bankruptcy proceedings.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

150. Tell ‘em about the Twinkie

For three Halloweens in a row, I went as a Ghostbuster.
In between, I kept the gear under my bed.
I was convinced that having it there kept the bad things away.
Looking back, it probably did.

Monday, July 4, 2011

149. Ancient libraries

After everything was settled, the house remained.
All the relics of his grandfather’s life, contained in a neighbourhood mausoleum.
He worked his way from room to room separating his discoveries into keep, give and scrap.
In one well-worn, antique trunk in the garage, he found an extensive collection of vintage pornography.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

148. Knowing the knowing

Exhausted, but satisfied, he returned home.
Memories from the trip were still firing his neurons.
But being back with them was long overdue.
As he placed his toiletries in their proper spots, he was home.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

147. A map of The Dominion

There was an omnipotence in it.
One felt like a god, or at least a king, towering over such tiny, insignificant things.
Surveying the vast and sprawling scenes as they sped below created a deep sense of distance (both mental and physical).
Looking up occasionally from his notepad on the tray table, he was struck by the notion it was him and not this land that was small.

Friday, July 1, 2011

146. Ink stains

Every so often, the words would blur, rendering bits of the story a mystery.
Frustratingly, this seemed to happen most often at the end.
He wondered why he even bothered.
Such is the life of one who lives in a house of newspaper readers and sleeps late on Saturdays.