Thursday, August 30, 2012

GBE # 67 Peace

The old hound dog was putting up a mighty chase.  Feet thundering on the ground, heart beating fast, mouth salivating for the kill.....that rabbit didn't stand a chance.  He chased and chased until he felt he would go on chasing into eternity.

His master put his hand on the old dog's head, to calm him from the dream twitches while he lay stretched out on the couch.  "That rabbit not getting any closer, huh?" said his master.  The old dog's agitated legs calmed, and the whiney howls in his throat died down to a soft whimper as the dream chase slowed into a peaceful, deep sleep.

Submitted for GBE #67 topic:  Peace

Sunday, August 19, 2012

GBE #66 Snapshot In Time


Summer of 1991.

You, topless, smoking a joint.

Your lips curl up in a smile, beckoning me.

In the Darkening Of The Light we join.

Copyright Steven Clark 2012

Submitted for GBE #66:  Snapshot

*This was a snapshot in time from my past...."Bloodletting" is the name of an album by the band Concrete Blonde and "Darkening of the Light" was one of the songs off that album.  I originally wrote this back in April if anyone thinks it looks familiar.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Perspectives - GBE and Blogophilia

Michael was the coolest guy in school.  At least, that's what everyone said.  He had it, good looks, cool clothes, wicked car....every male in the vicinity wanted to be him.  Girls swooned if he looked in their direction, let alone spoke to them.  With every grade A he received, every touchdown he made, Michael spawned waves of admiration and envy with every step he took.

Michael sneered at them....if only they knew.

If only they knew that unless he brought home straight A's and performed well at his sport, his dad would beat him.

If only they knew that the clothes, the car, and the money he was given to spend was all a show for his friends; or more importantly, for his father's friends.

If only they knew that he actually hated playing football, had wanted to go out for band...but his father wouldn't hear of it and called him a faggot for wanting to play music instead of playing sports.

The girls he dated didn't want to talk about anything he cared about: music, poetry, nature.  They only wanted to hear about the next football game or about how much his car cost.

One night he couldn't take it anymore. He drove to a bridge, feeling the wuthering lows of his existence and was going to hurl himself off it because it was the only way he thought he could escape his father's insane expectations. But as he walked to the middle, he saw he wasn't alone. A girl was standing there.

Bridget was a girl he recognized in his class, but that was all he knew about her other than that she was the class "nerd". His peers picked on her relentlessly, jeering at her in the halls because of her out of date, ragamuffin clothes and thick glasses. Michael didn't know it but Bridget had spent many a time in the restroom, holed up in a stall, silently crying over some of the comments her classmates had hurled at her.  At home she cut herself to try and deal with everything....physical pain was easier to manage than emotional pain.  Baggy clothes helped hide the scars.

Michael walked over to her and asked, "What are you doing?"

Bridget stared at him, dumbfounded.  What was he doing here, of all places, of all times?  "Nothing," she said, quietly.  Just go away, she thought to herself, just go away.

Michael was annoyed that he wasn't able to carry out his plan the way he wanted, but he was concerned, looking at her face.  She looked like she had been crying heavily, her cheeks tearstained.  He stood there looking at her for a few minutes and then put two and two together....she was there for the same reason he was.

Wow, he thought to himself.  He hadn't expected this.  He had his own problems to deal with, and now this?  He blurted out the first thing that came into his head.  "You want to get some coffee?"

Bridget looked up and stared at him, incredulously.  Coffee?  He wants to  Now?  Of all times?
But she found herself saying, "Uh, alright."

Michael learned about her broken home, about how her mother couldn't afford anything but clothes from the Salvation Army, and how she needed new glasses but her mother couldn't afford them. He also learned about Bridget's love of music and poetry.  Hours later, after having almost drunk the Perkins Restaurant dry of coffee, and having made an inseparable bond, they said goodnight with promises to meet up again soon.  Pour Some Sugar On Me, Michael thought to himself.  Who would have known?  Bridget  Cooler than he was.  Ha.  If only they knew.

The next day at school, Michael went to his locker, his friends on either side of him, hurling the usual comments to the female passersby.  Just then Bridget walked up to them.

Her heart was pounding as she approached the circle of acolytes that usually followed Michael around.  She wondered if she would find the same person she had met last night.

Michael turned and saw her, and also saw his friends immediately start in on her with the usual jibes. Now was the moment of truth....follow his heart, or stay with the familiar pack?

He shut his locker, hoisted his backpack higher on his shoulders, and ignoring his friends completely, gave Bridget a smile.  "All ready?" he asked, ignoring the crowd as if they weren't there.

Bridget grinned as he took her arm and steered her through the crowd.

"Once bitten by the geek virus, you never go back Mike," one of his friends jeered.

Michael didn't care anymore, didn't care what waited for him at home, didn't care what waited for him in the future here at school.  Bridget was at his side and she understood him....that was all that mattered.

Submitted for Blogophilia 25.5
topic:  Wuthering Lows
(hard, 2 pts): incorporate a song title (or lyric) that has the word, "sugar"
(easy, 1 pt):  include the phrase, "once bitten"


GBE #65:  Two Perspectives

For the Blogophilia bonus picture guesses:
In too deep, cold feet, all washed up, drowning, for better or for worse, together forever, in it to win it, wet w edding

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blogophilia 24.5 Stand A Little Out Of My Sun

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I was doing stuff around my house.  Ok, trailer.  You know, stuff.  Saturday Stuff.  Laundry, groceries, mowing, and bowing to every whim of my masters.

I do not own cats.  They own me.

The following conversation took place on one of these Saturdays.

"Human, fetch me some food, I'm peckish," yawned Sisco, stretching his body out as gracefully as only a cat can do.

"Yes sir, right away sir," I said, running off to the kitchen.  I soon returned with a bowlful of dry cat food and placed it before His Majesty's nose.  He sniffed.

"You did not put the Yummy Sprinkles on top.  You know I like Yummy Sprinkles.  Fix it, Human."

I mentally hit myself for my stupidity.  "Yes sir, sorry sir."  I bounded back to the kitchen for the package of Pounce treats, came back, and poured a generous amount on top of the dry cat food.  I anxiously waited to see if it was pleasing to His Majesty.  Eyeing me like the lowly creature I am, he condescendingly began to eat.

I turned to go back to my Saturday Stuff but then I heard him say, "Human, rub my belly."

"Awwww, lil kitteh wants his belly rubz," I said, forgetting myself.  I was soon shown the error of my ways as I bent down and rubbed his belly.  Soon I was howling in pain from his claws and teeth that had penetrated my skin.

"Serves you right, Human, you know I dislike cutesy-speak.  Do not displease me again."

"Yes sir, I'm sorry sir, I couldn't help myself, sir.  I won't let it happen again."  I hung my head in shame.

"I forgive you.  Now, stand a little out of my sun, you're blocking my rays," Sisco said.  He curled up in the golden glow of the sun coming through the window and went to sleep.

His Majesty, Sisco

Finally able to return to my Saturday Stuff, I returned to the kitchen to put away the dishes, but to my dismay I saw my other two cats rolling around the floor, covered in cat nip.  I raised my voice at the troublemakers, who had broken into the treat cabinet and tore open the coveted package of catnip.  Raising my voice was the wrong reaction to have, however.

"HUUUMMMAAAANNNN!!!!!"  bellowed Max.  Wutter you doiiing raisin' your voiiiice to meeee?  Bow down and cleann dis UP!" he slurred.

"Y-yes sir, right away sir," I stammered.  I kept a close distance away from him; Max gets very temperamental when he's under the influence of weed.

In the meantime, my other cat, Runty, was meowling out a horrible melody at the top of her lungs.  Usually quite the Diva, she apparently now thought she was an exotic troubadour as she walked from room to room, 'singing' all the while.

After I had cleaned up the mess, I heard sounds of fighting coming from the next room, followed by a loud thump that sounded ominous.

I ran back in to find Sisco and Max, wait, this had gone beyond brotherly sparring, this had turned into a knock down drag out fight.  My ashtray had been knocked to the floor, along with several books and the TV remotes.  Sisco was hissing and bucking like a bronco trying to shake Max off his head, and Max was a-hootin' and a-hollerin', seemingly having the best time of his life.  I hesitated, not sure if I should intervene or not.  It wasn't my place to disrupt such a kingly display of superiority.....until they knocked my Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs to the floor.

My right eye began to twitch.  No one messes with my Buffy DVDs.

I screamed "HEY!" as loud as I could and slammed my hands together in a clap that I can still feel to this day.  Both Sisco and Max jumped three feet in the air and then promptly ran to the bedroom lest they be mangled to bits by my fury.  I stood there composing myself for a minute, then stooped to clean up the mess.  I took a deep breath and returned to my Saturday Stuff.

Half an hour later Sisco wandered back out, sauntering as if nothing had happened.  "Human, I'm hungry again, give me some Yummy Sprinkles."

I stood there looking at him.  I didn't fetch Yummy Sprinkles.

"Human, I said give me some Yummy Sprinkles!"

I looked down at my feet, but I didn't budge.

Sisco sighed and rolled his eyes.  "Alright, alright, I apologize for knocking over your Buffy DVDs and the ashtray and everything else.  It's Max's fault but he can't apologize because he's passed out on your bed.  By the way, you might need to change your sheets because he thew up on them.  Now can I have some Yummy Sprinkles?"

My head snapped up with a smile on my face.  "Oh thank you Your Majesty, thank you, you are kind and generous and...."

"Just get me my Yummy Spinkles and we'll forget this ever happened," Sisco interrupted.  "Deal?"

"Deal," I said, smiling.

"Well get on with it Human!  I don't have all day!" he bellowed.

I grabbed the can of Pounce, feeling all was right with the world.

Submitted for Blogophilia 24.5

Topic:  Stand a little out of my sun
(hard, 2 pts): include troubadours and troublemakers
(easy, 1 pt): incorporate a rodeo event

bonus picture guesses:  W.C. Fields, you're pulling my nose, long winded, primal scream/yell, won by a nose, monkey see monkey do

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

GBE 64: Hidden

The soldier knelt down to carefully scoop up water with his hands and drink it.  Musn't spill a drop, he might not be able to drink again for the rest of the day.  As the warm water slid down his throat, he thought of her.

He had been in this prisoner of war camp for over a year now.  They had been promised decent treatment by their captors but as soon as the officials left, the prisoners knew it had only been lip service.  What was shown from the propaganda department was entirely different from reality.  Only the thought of her buoyed him on to endure it.

He and his fellow prisoners quickly learnt that rules can be subjective to a guard's mood that day, to retaliate could mean death, and that maggots in bread shouldn't be passed up, because it was extra protein.

Day in and day out he toiled along with the other prisoners, sometimes being pressed into manual labor for whatever needed doing around the camp, but most of the time simply going out of his mind with despair and futility.  Why did he ever enlist?  Why did he get sent here?  Why hadn't his country rescued them yet?  How much more could they endure of this hell?  But he was lucky; he had her to think of and keep him sane.

He had a secret.  A small photograph of her, his beloved, back home waiting for him, was his lifeline to survival in this hell hole.  He kept it hidden from his captors in a small crevice between the boards of their bunkhouse, wrapped in cellophane to protect it from the elements.  He hadn't even let his fellow soldiers know about it, lest it be stolen; or worse, found by their captors to bring torture down among them all.  He rarely went to take it out and look at it for fear of drawing attention to himself and the hiding place, but just the knowledge it was there kept him going like a small pilot light in a cold oven.  As long as that photograph was there, he would live through this so he could go back to her.

Months went by and he saw some of the other prisoners die from malnutrition, and despair.  He clung tight to the knowledge that she was back home, waiting for him, so he must survive this no matter what.  In his darkest moments he only had to think of her bright smile framed by that soft blonde hair and he felt he could go on for a few more hours, at least.

In time the prisoners were rescued and soon on their way back home to civilization.  As soon as he stepped off the train in his old hometown he was mobbed by family, friends, and well-wishers wanting to welcome him back home from the war.  He appreciated the greeting, but he only had one person on his mind to see.  He scanned the crowd but didn't see her.  He pulled a friend aside and asked where she was.

"Didn't you know?  She up and married that Chicago fellow shortly after you left for overseas duty....surely you knew?"

He hesitated a moment before responding, "Yeah....yeah I knew."

As the friend turned away he sank slowly to the ground, clutching her photograph, wishing he had died back in the camp.

Submitted for GBE #64, topic:  Hidden