Here There be Dragons

TBP
TBP


 

I don’t typically offer up unsolicited advice. I don’t usually tell folks what I think they should do, unless they ask me.

Work hard.
Play hard.
Be passionate about both.
Find a vocation you love and become the best at it.
Discover an avocation that pulls you in.

Find someone to love.
Love them tirelessly and completely.
Share with them, everything.
Listen when they speak.

Nurture your creativity.
Make things.
Do things.
Write
Paint
Sculpt
Act
Take photos
Make films
Do what makes you happy.
Share your creativity with others, loved ones and strangers alike.

Care about others and look out for them.
Care about yourself.

That’s about it!
No, wait! There’s a little bit more.

Never play cards with a man called “Doc”.
Never sleep with anyone who has more troubles than you do.
Never admit to being intelligent or having a driver’s license.

OK, that’s it.

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True Love



Salvador Alejandro Casanova del Barco removed his tool belt and hung it gently in the back of his Telephone Company van. His touch lingered on the soft leather pouch and he caressed the pocket that he reserved for his wire strippers. The tool belt responded to his touch like a lover; slowly rising and moving in synch with his caress. He leaned in close and inhaled her scent enjoying the sensuous aroma of saddle soap.

“I love you,” he said and she responded, without words, in kind. He knew that she wanted him, but they both knew that now was not the time or the place.

Reluctantly they bade each other adios and he closed the rear door of his work van. Longingly gazing through the window he placed the palm of his hand flat against the glass. She raised her needle nosed pliers in reply. It was obvious that she was broken hearted. He selflessly, and rapidly, moved to the driver’s seat where they could not see one another.

Sal started the engine but before he could check his next appointment his fingers brushed the steering wheel. Unable to control himself he grabbed it at 10 and 2. Then, he ran his hands gently along its curves, feeling the hot, sun-warmed plastic that had been yearning for him while he had been inside the Johnson’s home, installing their new extension. The steering wheel leaned into him, making its desires known. He resisted.

“I’m working now,” he said to her, “I’ll call you later.”

“You won’t,” she responded, “you always say you will but you never do. I spend my life waiting by the phone but you never call. I’ll keep waiting though. I’ll wait for you forever Salvador.” He knew that she wanted to kiss him. Perhaps she even wanted to know him, in a biblical sense, but he stayed back – aloof and unreachable.

He spent the day fighting off the advances of his steering wheel, who was just too needy; his clipboard, who had a beautiful soul but seemed a little flat and one dimensional. That day though, his clipboard was like a siren that called to him, lured him. He almost gave in to the bench seat too. She was soft and supple and he loved to lean his head on her and nap at lunchtime. Today she seemed to have spent extra time preening, making herself look good – look good for him. Her stitching seemed to glow.

He was proud of himself that evening when he parked his work van in the Phone Company yard. Proud that, though his name was Casanova, he had not succumbed to the carnal temptations manifest in a normal day’s work and he drove home. He was glad that his car was old, too old for an active libido and she tended to leave him alone for the most part. Sometimes she would get a little frisky, like on her birthday or if she was idling at a light and a young muscle car pulled up in the next lane, but for the most part they had an understanding that allowed peaceful coexistence, and a good working relationship.

He parked in front of his apartment. He knew that Lupe, his esposa, would be there and that she would be in a miserable mood. They had loved each other once, but now they only stayed together for the kids. Next year though, Mariana would finish high school. She would move out. He knew that he would leave Lupe then. He could be happy with his tool belt. They understood one another. They communicated on a whole ‘nother level.



OK, this has got to be one of the most bizarre things I have ever written sober. I’m not sure where it came from, and I probably don’t want to know. I may never hit the “Publish” button, but I think I covered the requirements for the challenge. I wrote this for the Mutant 750 challenge #40 at Grammar Ghoul Press. Go check it out – write something and enter, if you dare. There are good people there and you won’t be sorry!

Mayor Swenson’s Got a Good Thing Going

Photo courtesy of Barbara W. Beacham
Photo courtesy of Barbara W. Beacham

MFtS



The Mayor and the town manager waved as their next victim approached. She was an elderly woman; clearly with means, judging by the expensive car she drove and the jewels that were dripping off her fingers.

“How can we help you ma’am?” Mayor Spike Swenson asked.

“I received a ticket on the highway and I think I need to pay a fine,”

“Let’s take a look.” Bubba, the manager, said as he perused the citation. “My, oh my – this is serious.” He handed the chit to Spike.

“Oh no,” Spike said, feigning concern, “I’m afraid we’re going to have to hold you for a few days ma’am. Till the circuit judge gets here. I wouldn’t worry too much though. You can hire Bubba, he’s a lawyer. He’ll prob’ly get you off.”

Bubba grinned, “Come on in ma’am we’ll get you in that cell. All your personal property will be held at the desk. ‘Course, we’re gonna have to impound those fancy wheels.”


 

The Dereliction of an Unexpected Vice

TBP
TBP


Blanche took her eye from the scope and pinched the bridge of her nose. She’d been on this rooftop too long, waiting for a shot. Duran was staying away from his windows, playing it safe. Three more minutes, she’d give him three more minutes and then she had to go. She’d been here too long already and if she didn’t get a clear shot soon she would have to find another opportunity.

She knew he was in there, she’d spotted him in his slate grey uniform with the canary yellow epaulets. He stayed in the back of the room, concealed in the shadows pawing the women he kept close. Every day was a party for General Duran – he puffed on his cigars and swilled rum like he hadn’t a care in the world. Ironically, she thought that as long as he didn’t know she was here waiting; he hadn’t.


 

Muse

Muse; What subject keeps you coming back? This week, show us your muse. These days, with my photography, it’s all about the lights. And, of course – the shadows.   The Reluctant Photographer The Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse Medicinalmeadows WordPress Photo Challenge: Muse Books, Music, Photography, & Movies My Muse Words4jp’s Blog Weekly Photo Challenge […]

Marty

 



It was late on a school night and dark. Dark like only a new moon can make it. The air was crisp and cold. The weatherman had warned of a freeze that night. Me, Joaquin Cormican, his sister Marty, and her friend Donna Bingham had snuck out and were roaming the streets drinking, toking, and smoking.

Joaquin was 16 years old; hard and wiry with the leathery skin of an outdoorsman. He had shoulder length straight blonde hair run through with a shock of pure white about two inches wide that began at his hairline over his right eye and ran back. He always kept a nickel bag tucked in his boot.

Marty was his twin. She was slight of build like Joaquin, but pale skinned with red curly hair. She had the white streak too and it mirrored her brothers, on the left side. She fancied ‘big bell’ hip huggers and loose tops with scoop necks. She was the reason I hung out with her brother.

Donna was the shortest of us all but she teased her dark brown hair to appear taller. She hung out with Marty for access to Joaquin.

After a bottle of Boone’s Farm Apple and a couple of fatties we jumped the fence at the high school and made our way to the bleachers. Joaquin and Donna slunk into the shadows and Marty and I sat on a lower row talking in the dark. I was too scared to even hold her hand. We talked about school and Coach Hernandez’ History class. We agreed that football coaches had no business teaching American History. Marty was shamelessly flirting with me but I was too scared and stupid to realize it. I let the opportunity slip through my fingers and eventually she gave up.

“Joaquin,” she yelled, “let’s go. I want to go by the haunted house.”

A few minutes later he and Donna emerged from beneath the bleachers, slightly disheveled and passing a joint as big as my finger back and forth between them. Joaquin took a big toke and handed it to his sister who did the same and handed it to me. We sat in the chill and polished it off before we made our way to the fence. Joaquin boosted Donna and then followed her over. Marty started over but stopped near the top.

“Gimme a push, TN.” She said as she looked over her shoulder and smiled mischievously.

I did; and I touched her butt doing it. It was the greatest night of my life. I could have died happy right then, but I’m glad I didn’t because the night just kept getting better. About halfway to Piedras Street and the haunted house she quietly, unceremoniously took my hand and intertwined her fingers with mine. We held hands all the way there.

At the haunted house we peeked through the high, unkempt hedge that surrounded the property. Everything was dark and scary, the way it always was. Marty looked cool but I noticed she clutched my hand a little tighter than she had been. We worked our way through the hedge and moved towards the back of the house, Joaquin leading the way with Donna right behind. Marty and I held hands and followed them obliviously. Suddenly Joaquin stopped.

“Oh, shit,” Donna said.

“What?” I piped in; annoyed that Marty had dropped my hand. Then I saw the light glowing from the back window of the house. My mouth went dry and I tried to swallow.

“I’m outta here,” squeaked Donna and she hurried back the way we had come.

“Wait up,” Joaquin whispered after her, then turned to his sister, “I can’t let her go off by herself,” he said. “You two stick together.” He faded into the darkness after his girlfriend leaving Marty and me alone at the back of the property.

“Whattaya think?” she asked.

“I dunno, you?”

“I think you should sneak up and peek in the window.”

“I don’t know, Marty. Who do you think is in there?”

She put her hands on the sides of my head and looked me in the eyes, “I will show you my boobies if you go peek in that window.” She prompted.

“Oh,” I said, somewhat in shock. I looked at the front of her shirt and then back at her face. She nodded her head and I contemplated the offer. But I must have been too slow.

“I will let you see me naked!” she sweetened the incentive, goading me to action, but I still must have hesitated a bit too long because as I began to turn toward the house she offered further encouragement, “you can touch em, if you want.”

I finished my turn and looked back at her over my shoulder, nodding my head. I moved quickly towards the haunted house and stood on my toes to peer over the sill of the back window into the mysteriously lit room.

I must have made some noise when I looked through the dirty pane of glass. I could make out the silhouettes of two people inside and immediately they turned their flashlight directly on me. I fell back into the weeds as the door burst open and they ran out into the yard laughing.

It was Joaquin and Donna. It had all been a trick. I was mortified when I sprang up and ran all the way home where I quietly crawled back in my bedroom window and sat on the floor leaning against the wall below the window. Wallowing in teenage angst and self pity I sat there turning to mush as the night deepened. I sat there until I heard a soft tapping on my window.

I slowly raised my head and looked out. Marty Cormican stood alone and naked inches from the glass signaling me to open the window. I did.

“Are you crazy?” I asked her, “You could freeze out there. Look at you; you’re covered in goose bumps.”

She crawled through the window clattering to the floor when her foot got caught. We both froze and listened for my parents, afraid that the noise might have woken them.

When we heard nothing from down the hall I looked back down at Marty. She was beautiful, “What are you doing?”

“I gave my word,” she said.

She more than kept her promise that night and we dated till we finished high school.

Marty went off to State and I got drafted.

We sorta drifted apart when I was in Vietnam.

I saw Joaquin a couple of times when I was there but he never came back. His name is engraved on that wall in DC. I’ve been back to see it. I know it’s there.

I kept signing up for more tours but after six years my dad convinced me that I was probably pushing my luck. I took my discharge and came home. I saw Marty about three months after I got back. She was married to Jim Barnett and working for the phone company.

She said she was happy but only her mouth was smiling when she told me that. Her eyes were blank, expressionless.

She had lost so much.


LRose

Too much fun!

 

 

Freakin’ Med School



Dr. Wabbly addressed the shadowing interns, “This patient contracted a mutant virus that lodged in the ball joints of his legs. We anticipate cartilage degeneration and complete loss of ambulation.”

The doctor’s knees then wobbled unsteadily before he collapsed.