It wasn’t much of a house, with the old wood plank floors worn into grooves from generations of dwellers, thin windows and sagging mattresses and a ramshackle, rundown front porch with bentwood rockers that had held countless dreamers and so much love on their welcoming slatted seats.
He stood alone at a huge window of his 12,000 square foot mansion, looking out at the view of acres of perfectly manicured grounds, the pool, the tennis court, the 5 car garage, the servants quarters, the gated and guarded entrance, and wished he was looking out at the woods and peaceful water from the rocker on that beat up front porch, with nothing to fret over but how many fish he would be able to catch in the lake that day and how he could make his family smile while they talked together and ate the fresh catch that night at supper.
She thought herself a very good mother and hated leaving the five of them alone for any length of time, even to go across the street to get food for dinner, for they were typical young’uns always looking for mischief, but what choice did she have?
He didn’t even brake when he saw her, just muttered “damn raccoon” as he sped off leaving her dying on the road, bleeding and broken, and her young babes hungry, motherless orphans.
They came into the restaurant, the ladies in purple dresses, decked out in feathery boas, glittering broaches and pins and rings made of rhinestones or zircona, their blonde or gray curls topped with red hats adorned with feathers, ribbons, flowers, fruit, jewels, and whatever else came to mind, talking and giggling and patting their hair with gloved hands, sharing gossip, secrets and pictures of their grandchildren and pets as they made their way to the big round table at Red Lobster, where they would debate at length the merits of various menu items (and afterwards change their order twice after the longsuffering waitress had written it down) before finally settling on the all-you-can-eat soup and salad for their one monthly outing.
Two hours later the petite waitress (a single mother, trying to make it raising two children on tips and no child support from a dead-beat ex-husband) asks, “Can I get you ladies anything else?” as she clears the dishes and picks up her $1 tip from each place.
Once upon a time, there was a place called ever after that no one ever reached. In writing names and places, pain, joy, and distant faces, they tried in vain to show to others what their own eyes could not see.
I swear the moment I’m famous, I’ll totally call you and we’ll hang out.
And you’ll do the same, right?
They pinned her newly earned pilot’s wings to the front of her uniform on the left side of her chest while she stood at attention, her head held high, proud and dignified.
The composed audience burst into laughter when her smiling husband hugged her in congratulations and whispered into her ear, not knowing the microphone was close enough to hear his teasing, saying to her, “Does the other one fly too?”
Attention is a click of heels, perfect creases, heads lifted, jaws set, and chests filled proudly with the hope of doing something good and right.
Four months later, heels click again, heads lift and jaws set as we wait for the gun salute in much shorter lines.
The chicken didn’t ponder long before venturing out into the heavy 5 o’clock traffic on the busiest road in this country town. All she had wanted was to get to the other side to feast on the sack of corn that had flown off of the feed truck, but she had not really considered, as is the way with chickens, that she might get squashed flat by a refrigerated truck on its way to the local Publix to deliver – what else – chickens.
This sentence is dedicated to all those unwritten stories, all those unfinished thoughts, hidden facts and coincidences that were unlucky enough to take place far away from human eyes ,therefore loosing any posibility of being recognized, explained or remembered. And this other sentence is only here because of the rules.
Now and then the widow looked above the pulpit to the effigy of Christ on the cross; staring at the trickle of blood that ran down from his crown of thorns. So much like Eric after the sniper’s bullet hit.
Grandpa always claimed there was a fork at the end of the path behind his house: Candyland one way, the other a nightmarish landscape with monsters.
He could never remember which was which so we promised to go another day, but he died when I was eleven and I still haven’t picked which way to go.
At daybreak, he said he was sorry the night was over so soon. She assured him that although the sun had shattered the night, the day was as yet unbroken.
She complained of a bad day at work again.
I made her a hot cup of chamomile tea with a sprinkle of rat poison – that should take care of the problem.
I bought a kayak cause I thought it would something fun to do with my friends this summer. After I spent all the money I realized I was the only one with a kayak.
He thought about calling the frogs bug eyed bullies, but changed his mind. So silly he thought for them to be concerned with his warts and short legs since they were all amphibians and it was hard to tell a toad from a frog because the physical distinctions were not always obvious.
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“Ahhhh, I feel sooooo good,” slurred the wife before she and her husband passed out from the pills, too drugged to notice the ones that had spilled on the floor.
Their toddler’s funeral that week from an accidental overdose of OxyContin somberly disabused them of that mindset.
G.W. sat on the floor that last night in his round room wearing his flag patterned flannel pajamas, playing soldier with his green plastic army men, lost in the pretend battle game while the real world outside his door crashed.
Daddy George came in scolding briskly in his gentle dignified twang,” G.W. it is time to pack your toys away now and get to bed so the new kid moving in will have a place to set up his own games.”
He was only four feet shy of the air conditioner when he fell to the floor suffering from a heat stroke. It was that exact second in time that he realized he had wasted too many precious moments in his short thirty years of life.