‘Another Stone in the Lake’
Streets shimmered from the rain, and the tiny, quivering ponds on the roads and sidewalk cracks cast back teeming clouds that hung like bulging pregnant bellies overhead. Ceaser wanted desperately to play outside with his hyperly friendly dog Pepe. He had been waiting all day to leave the house. His parents had been shouting and screaming every night for the past few weeks, and Ceaser didn’t think there was anything he could do, but leave them to their insanity. Normally Ceaser’s parents wouldn’t have allowed him to slip out at midnight, but the fighting was so furiously concentrated, like a stand-off in those Westerns with Clint Eastwood, that nobody noticed as he escaped into the night with Pepe in tow.
Scatters of lightening in the sky gave a slight thrill, but Ceaser was mostly eyeing the rail thin black kid across the street from his house. This lonely looking adolescent neighbor was interesting to Ceaser because he was always hanging, as if stranded, on the porch of his house whenever Ceaser went to play outside with his dog. Ceaser didn’t know him at all, but he wondered if he was hiding from his parents bull-crap too. The black kid looked cold, and bored, so Ceaser decided it was a good time to introduce himself. He carried Pepe across the street, because he was very protective of him, and then placed the pudgy white chihauhua on the stoop of the first step that was leading up to the skinny kids porch. Pepe sniffed the air, and wiggled his ridiculous looking butt around, hoping that someone would think he was deserving of a few pets. The thin boy dropped down a few steps and gave Pepe a pat or two on the head, looking up at Ceaser, between admiring the dog. The kid had long curly eyelashes that reminded Ceaser of a girl.
“Hey, I’m Ceaser, and this is Pepe. What’s your name?”
“I’m Gabe. Your dog’s real cool.”
“Hey, you wanna go down to the lake with me, and throw stones in?”
Jes heard drums in his ears whenever he walked by the overpass on Mckinley Street and Patterson. He use to walk around these same scarce and desolate parts of town in later hours of the night in hopes of running into some old friendly alley-cat drifter or a dude from his younger days with a joint, and a few memories to mull over. He’d like to peep in the dumpsters, and see what freaky shit the impatient neighbors were throwing away. Sometimes he’d find an almost full cigarette in the gutters, or on a porch step, and with any luck that sucker would still light. If Trish could see him lighting this old fuck stick that had been laying out on some porch, she would kill him, because he was supposed to have quit.
Lately Jes had become more cocky since he’d been healing up pretty fast from last years motorcycle crash. He was taking too many risks for a sixty year old, and Trish was reluctant to let him out of her sight for too long, but Jes just wouldn’t stay down for long without getting squirelly. His old bones would ache with boredom, and couldn't stand the dust that was falling all over them. Trish would pull out all her tricks, when she got a whiff of Jes getting antsy. She would throw down promises of her famous Meat Loaf, or the delicious Lasagna with extra cheese that was his favorite, or she’d cut his hotdogs into little slices, anything to keep him still. Nothing pinned him down to the trailer long though, and before she could stop him, Jes would be out the door and round the corner. It would always make Trish so mad, but Jes couldn't contain himself!
On this particular night his shoes were dragging him like magnets towards Canyon Park with all it’s promises of thoughtful retrospection by the river, and it’s multitude of spots to hide out from the world. Before he reached the nature trail, he decided to linger at the train tracks for a bit, before taking the walk further into the entrance of the park. Jes withdrew his little one hitter from his pocket, and packed it generously with some grass from a unrolled baggie, gazing as he did into the river at a faraway spot where the rapids were the most fluctuating. He wasn’t really looking at the water as much as gazing into the back of his own head. Trish was really starting to bother him lately. She was treating him more like a pet then a mate, and Jes was beginning to wonder if she rather enjoyed her role as his nagging jailer. He wasn’t sure of what to think of their relationship right now, so he changed his line of thought to the homeless camps that he could see down at the riverbank below his little dugout of dirt on the edge of the tracks. There were a few tents that remained after the flood, that Jes could see through the naked trees. The one nearest to the river’s lip looked real heavy duty. It was green, and looked like the kind of tent he had seen in an Army Surplus store the last time Jes went to buy a backpack for his camping trip with Trish from Menards. The Fall had come early this year, and that was a good thing because the leaves were rain soaked to the point that it allowed Jes to see a lovely girl emerging from the green tent. She had shoulder length red hair and a delicious body. The black sweater and tight black pants were uncharacteristic of a homeless runaway, which was all the more troubling, however. It seemed to Jes that she was gazing off at the water, or at something in the distance. That butt on her though! Jeez, it made him hard as a rock. Behind him, to the right, Jes could hear two young boys passing him as they bravely, but slowly plodded further up the train tracks. He took a meandering glance their way, but he could barely see their upper bodies, as a thick mist had started to settle on everything in sight on the bridge. The moon, that had once been so full and vibrant was now veiled and hidden from view. Jes took another gander at the redhead, and a chill passed through him like a knife. She was staring back at him maliciously, like a cat eyeing a mouse. Her eyes were black, and beastly. It seemed like he face had become only a pair of eyes and nothing more. In the next instant, she was flashing her pale breasts at him. She had lifted her black sweater, and heaved her chest in his direction. Her chest was so chalky white that the nipples were barely visible. It should have aroused him, but for some reason it felt wrong, and devoid of pleasure.
Jes had a bad feeling all over like someone was hovering just above his shoulder. As he made a move to turn, a hand sprung at his shoulder as if to steady him, while a cream colored synthetic string dropped down around his throat. As it quickly tightened, Jes felt beads of sweat rise up on his forehead, and he couldn’t breathe. He tried to reach with his right hand to his throat to stop the string pressing down, but someone swiped at his fingers with a pocket blade and sliced them open, causing them to spurt streams of blood like little baby garden hoses that had become possessed. Jes pitched backwards and fell sprawled out and gasping as the string did the last of it’s work. As he died, his purplish face fell over to the left side into the dirt. A gob of spit ran down his lower lip, and turned the brown earth black. Jes stared fish-eyed at the shoes of his killer. Those shoes were brown shoes were penny loafers, and they belonged to Mr. Miller who ran the Good Bodies Mortuary. Stepping backwards, out onto the tracks, Owen looked down at the piece of fishing line that was hanging from his hand. He was not entirely sure what he had done. Out of the edge of his right coat pocket, he noticed the blue cell was lighting up, and he had a feeling it was Chelsea making sure the body had been wrapped up and ready to transport back to her house.
The mist was clearing finally, and Owen Miller could see over the edge of the tracks, and into the winding river below. He glanced casually over at the tracks, and saw the two boys looking back at him. He didn’t even associate the act with himself yet, so he couldn’t yet read the boys, and their fearful reactions they gave him, until his eyes fell down to Jes’s body crumpled lifeless at his feet. He looked back at the string in his hand that was bloodstained from biting so tightly into Jes’s neck. Both boys were scared stiff. The brown-skinned one had pissed himself, and the urine was dribbling down his leg. The other one was shorter, and more husky. Owen guessed that he was near to thirteen, and possibly Hispanic. He had one of those weird Chihuahua jobs in his arms, and he was holding him so tight that the poor thing was barking it’s head off. Owen was afraid for them. He didn’t want them to fall off the bridge. He took a few steps forward to try to explain to the boys that it wasn’t him who had killed the dead man.
The man who had killed the other was starting to take steps towards Ceaser and his new friend Gabe who were frozen solid on the tracks. Ceaser flinched with fear, and tried to back up, and pull himself out of this nightmare as the man slowly took a few more steps their way. Ceaser didn’t know where to go, or what to do! He knew he had seen something that he shouldn’t have, and this man was going to try and silence both of them. As Ceaser backed away from the sick man with the string, his foot hit a steel rail, and the pain was unimaginable. He was wearing flip flops, and didn’t expect anything in the world to hurt so bad. The man said something but he couldn’t hear it. Pepe slipped from his shocked grip, and plunged over the bridge. Ceaser screamed in horror, forgetting the situation he was in. Gabe tried in vail to grab it, and yelled after the dog as it fell. The dog dropped two hundred feet into the black river that swallowed him up like he had never existed or been born into this world. In total shock, the boys both looked back at where the crazy man had been standing. There was no one but themselves in the cold dark of the evening. The killer had vanished.
(To be continued...)
In case you need a refresher of the other ‘Grave Desserts’ installations, please follow this link for ‘Grave Desserts Pt. 2’, and that will hold the link to ‘Grave Desserts Pt. 1’.
Daa-dun... Daa-dun... Daa-dun...
It’s Shark Week... and that means shark themed challenges!
Now, I’m not talking about the folks that are good at poker. I’m talking about REAL terrifying killers of the oceans and seas. Great Whites, Hammerheads, Tigers, Whales Sharks, nothing but the most awesome fish family of all time.
With next week being Shark Week and a the new movie The Meg, a film about a giant killer shark, hitting theaters next month. I figured now was the time to make some challenges centered around sharks. All challenges will end on August 10, just in time for my review of The Meg.
Have fun, write on, and just keep swimming! Don't forget to tag me into your entries too.
Prompt: Here’s a fun challenge. Write an acrostic stanza. Six words per line, and five lines spelling out ‘SHARK’. That makes 30 words total. The topic of your acrostic stanza can be about anything you can write up, but it must be able to spell out the word ‘SHARK’. The following rhyme of your poem should also be AABBA. I’ll leave a few extra words open for whatever hashtags you wish to include in your write.
Word Count: 35
Prompt: Write a fish tale about an encounter with the largest shark that ever swam the seas... the Megalodon!
Word Count: 15-20000
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Prompt: What is it about sharks that we love or fear?
Word Count: 15-2500
Prompt: When was the first time you saw a real shark? In an aquarium? In open waters? TV? Documentary? How do you feel about them now after that experience? Share your story!
Word Count: 15-2500
Prompt: Invent your own shark-monster hybrid, and write a short story about it. One that would be worthy to end up as a Syfy Channel original movie.
Word Count: 25-500
Prompt: Write a short fish tale from a shark's perspective.
Word Count: 25-350
Prompt: Write a terrifying tale about a shark attack. Does anyone live in the end, or do they end up as fish food?
Word Count: 50-5000
Prompt: An estimated 100 million sharks are killed annually, along with an estimated 28 percent of shark species are at risk of extinction. They are at risk of overfishing, pollution, and bycatch--where a shark becomes entangled inside a fishing gear set for fish. Some just kill sharks just for the sake of it due to their reputation of being predators. What is one thing you can say to teach the world that sharks are not the killers we've imagined them to be? Tell us why their lives matter to the world.
Word Count: 150-2500
Prompt: What is the best movie about sharks, or a movie that features sharks, you ever saw?
Word Count: 15-1500
#themechallenges #sharks #sharkweek #prose
Monster Hunter: The Elder Alchemist.
Teyah~ (sighs) Oho. This is quite strange. These two metals have different properties. I’ll have to study them even more. Mhmm.
The Elder Alchemist heard a gentle knock on her door. Who could it be, and so early in the morning? The sun had just risen.
Svrok~ (bows his head) Good morning Elder Alchemist. I’m sorry to bother you so early in the morn.
Teyah~ (moves away from her working station) That’s no problem Svrok. How can I be of service to you?
Svrok~ (grins) I’m interested in what you do. This Alchemy business is fascinating. But...I have heard that you may be working on some powerful mixtures. Is any of that true?
Teyah~ Well, (smiles) I wouldn’t say no to that question, or speculation. There are some ground breaking experiments taking place in my work.
Svrok~ (rubs his chin) Hmm. That is good to know.
Teyah~ Do you have any more questions Svrok?
Svrok~ (shakes his head) No. That is all. Thank you for your time. (bows and waves goodbye)
Teyah~ (to herself) I wonder what this fella is upto. Grand Chieftainess Oni has no idea whether he might actually be upto no good. (frowns) O, I hope the ancestors are watching over us & keeping a watchful eye on Svrok.
Svrok~ (to himself) None of the Elders here have any trust in me. They need to calm down. They’re not even my actual target.
Grand Chieftainess Oni~ (in shock) I didn’t expect to find anyone else by the great river, & this early, too.
Svrok~ (bows and greets the Grand Chieftainess) Good morning Grand Chieftainess Oni. I enjoy getting to see the sun shine bright and early. I love to see the rays grow, spread and reach out into the sky. It reminds me of a powerful being getting ready for a day.
Grand Chieftainess Oni~ (laughs) That’s a good one. I never thought of it like that before.
Svrok~ (smiles) It’s a wonderful thought. I’ve grown to appreciate it a lot. I try to make sure that I get up before the sunrise all the time.
Grand Chieftainess Oni~ You are something else Svrok. My people have a lot to learn from you. The Elders, most of them get up before sunrise. Sometimes I think they don’t sleep at all. Especially Teyah, the Elder Alchemist.
Svrok~ (laughs) Yeye. It does look that way. They do work very hard.
Grand Chieftainess Oni~ Any way. I must leave you now. It’s time I went about performing my duties.
Svrok~ (bows his head) Thank you for letting me be here Grand Chieftainess Oni. It’s such a beautiful place.
Grand Chieftainess Oni~ (smiles) We are glad to have you with us Svrok.
Svrok smiled as he watched the Grand Chieftainess leave. He soon went back to enjoying the beauty around him. The birds chirped in the nearby trees. Their calls sounded like a sweet melody.
The only thing that bothered him now was the feeling that his plan didn’t work. His buddy was missing in action. That only meant one thing, their plan, or rather Svrok’s plan had failed. And Vanessa had won this round.
Svrok tossed a pebble over the river. It bounced a couple times on top of the water. Things were not going the way he planned. Maybe there was still another way that he could turn things around. This was not the last time that Svrok would try to separate Caeth from Vanessa. Oh no. Svrok rubbed his hands together. He was excited to get his next plan rolling, and fully active. But first things first, he needed to make sure he had the right ingredients.
When I try to imagine the Universe, I inevitably draw in my mind my “impression” of God... the All Mighty, which in the limits of my imagination takes on a childlike caricature of “many” outstretched limbs, arms, legs, talons, scales and feathers; of an unending kaleidoscope of movements; and array of shifting faces. And though “seen” as a “concrete blob” in my mind, the image represents for me the Infinite sum total, i.e. the perpetuum mobile deux ex machina... all of the bio-gears of Life in constant dynamic expressive flux.
While my efforts of thought are meta-cognitive (striving to form through these bits and pieces of Analysis some kind of cohesive Synthesis), I momentarily and involuntarily “make the mistake” of casting my eye outside of this conglomeration. This is a purely fictional suspension of animation... as the Infinite by definition has no boundaries, and cannot be stopped. That act of “hovering over,” as if to levitate mentally from the body, is key to my understanding of the “nature” of the Universe— as somehow "separate," despite being all-encompassing. Something like, a mother’s embrace. It would cease to be a hug if she did not at some point, to some extent, let go! From my perspective, the Universe does not try to stifle us in imagination, nor suffocate us with Its whole physical presence. Rather we float... always ...like astronauts... throughout the Cosmos. The view from every “corner” is grand, if we look beyond ourselves. As Schopenhauer wrote in warning: to oft Man mistakes the edge of the nose, for the limits of the world ...it is then that things become very small, narrow, and uncomfortable. The moment we can see past ourselves—while not loosing sight/ disregarding our connecting tendrils (physical and spiritual)—we are one family instead of mere space clutter. We are in as if a “safe” studio-haven or pleine-aire, free to contribute our various projections of fantasy (whatever they may be). The Universe like an impartial arbiter is always receptive to every idea and judges not, out of hand. It spots us, like a coach, and checks our tethers to ensure our “safety net.” Like a friend, It accepts the entire package; and like a “true amigo,” gives us also that all important, impartial, unvarnished, Feedback; holding up a mirror for us to see and judge for ourselves: the good, the bad, the lovely and the ugly.
#HostileOrFriendlyUniverse #Challenge #TooVerbose!
The Scent of Water
to chapped lip,
my own def
its still life
...in the blink
of an eye...
to find blooms
have senses too,
as to hear...
and taste the
and to know
scent of pure
Drax~ Your audience awaits.
Kayla~ I guess there’s no turning back now for me. It is now..., - or never.
Drax~ My lords, rulers, and entire audience- I present to you your warrior of today’s battle, a young lady who’s trained since she started crawling...Kayla.
Audience~ Yeah!!! Woot!!
Drax~ Open the cage. Release the Serpentine!
Kayla~ You are going down Serpentine.
Serpentine~ Sssss. Are you really sssurree? I always win my battles.
Kayla~ Huh. You must be kidding.
Serpentine~ Noooo. Ssss. I’m not. Just the other day..I swallowed a guy whole.
Kayla~ I’m not going to let my guard down.
Serpentine~ We shall see about that.
Kayla~ Hyah! Sword, please, don’t fail me now.
Serpentine~ Hah, you missed. You gotta do much better than that.
Kayla~ You must pay attention Serpentine. I was not aiming for your head.
Serpentine~ What? Ah!
Kayla~ Now you’re trapped. You’re back in your cage. I think doesn’t want to be separated from you.
Serpentine~ You shall pay for this.
Kayla~ But how did you escape?
Serpentine~ You forgot to lock the back door. Have you never battled before?
Kayla~ Hmph. I have been doing that since I was only half-a-year old.
Serpentine~ Oh. I see the fire in your eyes. But I have to end this match quickly.
Kayla~ Eeww. Noo...
Serpentine~ Another warrior goes into my belly. Well, that was a short fight. Hm. Why do I feel nauseous all of a sudden?
Kayla~ I won’t let you swallow me whole Serpentine. My blade can cut through nearly almost anything- even your tough skin.
Serpentine~ Ugh. I..can’t believe this..finished- and by..this puny human...huh....
Kayla~ Whew. I have Serpentine bodily fluid all over my body. Yuck!
Drax~ Well, it looks like the beast has been defeated folks.
Kayla~ Oh. I could get used to all this cheering. Being a warrior and facing dangerous beasts doesn’t seem too terrifying. And I was close to being digested. Ha!
Drax~ Don’t worry. This is not the last beast you’re going to face.
Kayla~ Seriously? Oh dear. What have I gotten myself into?
I like to take things
easy as they say
easy you know
I don't lack in
discipline at all
It takes a plan
action & resolve
not to learn or
do things my own
of my deceit
It's myself you say
that I deceive
and I know
their own line
and I like as little
work as possible
As for affairs
of the heart
I have already
at the start my
for loyalty ties
of blood or love
or any other kind
I've no reason
why these should
I'm an active
through and through
I like to take things
easy as they say
A Free Wright
An aspiring writer said to himself on the topic of Freedom: I am apt to think I was born Free, cause otherwise, perhaps my folks would just return me? Alas, having no receipt of the transaction they had nothing to take back (to Customer Service). There being just this little but growing, burden of responsibility; stuck as if. Did they freely choose it..? Parenthood? I have my doubt. (Mother always shook her locks: ”...If it were up to me...!” exasperatedly.)
Odd that we are so pushed around, and yet still have a mouthful of “I want—.” As if we didn’t already have Life coming at us like a sock in the jaw! but, Freedom makes for good social ideology, if not policy. Right? I like to think I can say whatever, and do whatnot; and now if you ask me what it is that I really, really want, despite this free-for-all of thought, like most people, I’m like.. uh-duh-uh... not that I don’t take Freedom very seriously!! I just don’t take it very far....
I have the right to my opinion, and don’t voice it much, if at all. I don’t stand up for my neighbors, though we’re free to assemble a life for ourselves, so says the First Amendment! and I do believe I am free to believe what I believe though what I believe is only what occurs to me somewhere in the back of my mind, cause if I didn’t imagine it or get wind of it somehow, how can believe in it (or not), since cognitively it does not exist? That is my religion, if you will: I know what I don’t know and profess it fearfully in the serrated confessional of my soul...
Freedom, I suspect I do not really know... I’ve no idea... what compels me to write.
#ProseChallenge #WeekLXXXII #Freedom
Our Mother’s Tears
She is so tired of being strong as my broken heart felt our mother’s endless pain.
She is in need of comfort as my ears heard our mother’s deafening grieving howl.
She is slowly being drained as my soul heard our mother’s whisper begging for her children life.
She is washing the age of war blood stains away as my eyes witnessed our mother’s weeping tears.
And someday, somewhere, someone will sense the very essence of my soul taking its last breath as I perform our mother’s last rites.
Image: Central Park Helinski
Experience the Draw
We pull from within
out into what's first
Pulled us in—
and though we're
in no way linear
we follow a certain
Line of thought—
one we're drawing upon
to make our Mark .
Drawing Without Fear, by Robert Regis Dvorak: "Drawing is an experience."
#BookOfftheShelf #Challenge #imissedthedeadline