Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Pact Between Lovers

A naked blob of mayonnaise, shaped like a ghost, rested in the corner of her lip. So did the leftover tension from their afternoon argument. The more they talked the more strained the words became, like water struggling to pass through a clogged pipe. He would apologize. It was his turn. That was the agreement.

Prompt words: ghost, mayonnaise, afternoon, naked, pipe

Sunday, February 1, 2015

He Didn't Know What Else He Could Do

Chocolate milk dribbled onto Dwayne's t-shirt as the subway rocked around the bend.  He wasn't vain enough to care. He had other things on his mind, like the cancer, and his lack of health insurance. He stood, brandished the toy gun on purpose, hoped some zealot with a concealed weapon longed to save the world.

Prompt words: milk, t-shirt, subway, purpose, vain

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Resolutions for 2015

Dear Mom and Dad,

The only resolution I ever kept was when I said I wasn't going to create any more resolutions, and now I'm going to break that one.

First, Dad, I know our relationship is strained, partly because I'm a disappointment and partly because of Georg. You think I'm with him because I have PTSD. I don't. I tried not to fall in love with him. He was one reason I enlisted, to get away from him, and you, and my inability to make it in college, and Becky breaking up with me, and everything else happening in my life. But he wrote me every week while I was in basic training and later during my two tours in Afghanistan. I hesitated opening the first couple of letters. I thought they might be sappy and insincere. They weren't. He wrote as a friend, not a lover. Anyway, we plan to marry in a few months now that I'm back in the States and out of the service. I hope you'll come to the wedding. If you spend some time with Georg, you'll see why he's right for me. My first resolution is to make things better between us, Dad, to return us to the father and son we used to be, before I became a screw up and a disgrace to you.

Mom, I wish I could have been there for you when Uncle Andrew died. The Army didn't consider it a hardship and wouldn't let me come home. It must have been hard losing your only living relative. I plan to stop in Ohio on my way west from New York to visit his grave and lay some flowers for him and Grandma and Grandpa. I know that Dad's and my strained relationship has been painful for you. I want to fix that if I can. Along with my first resolution, I plan to spend more time with you and Dad. Hopefully, I can find work in the Sacramento area, near where you and Dad and Georg live, to make this happen. Did I tell you Georg works from home as a technical writer? That gives him some flexibility if I can't find anything close by.

After the wedding and settling into a new job, Georg and I plan to have children. Not right away. We need time for each other first. Dad, I know how you feel about adoption and the kids not being real family. That's why we plan to find surrogates to have our children. Two is all we're planning on, one for Georg and one for me. The babies will have our genes and will be blood-related. I know this is a shock, but it's something Georg and I want. And I think if you give it a chance, you'll see that you'll have the cutest grandbabies ever. So, resolution three is to be the best parent I can and to share our joy with you and Mom.

I don't want to get carried away with this resolution thing. I'd rather stick with ones I feel I can make happen. I learned a lot in the Army. I was lost for a while, swimming in a morass of hate and despair and confusion. There were times I wasn't sure I wanted to come back. But I think I've found myself and what I want in life and who I want to live it with—including both of you.

There, I put these on paper and shared them with you, so I'm bound by my words. I love you, Mom and Dad, and look forward to seeing you in about three weeks. I'll give you a call a couple of days before I show up at your door. And Mom, I have one request of you—to make your wonderful meatloaf. The Army's meatloaf sucks. Hahaha.

Your loving son,

Jerod

Sunday, January 11, 2015

And You Think You're Having a Bad Day

Harold, his face battered from the beating by Celia's brothers, who caught him cheating with their other sister, June, limped past the beggar with the thicket of red hair. The generous vagrant smiled and offered Harold a shot of bourbon. Harold couldn't decide which burned more in his gut, the liquid or the beggar's knife.

Prompt words: thicket, beggar, limp, generous, shot

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Yet Another

He maneuvered the taxi through the upscale neighborhood, the night streets silent, empty. Snow-white hair covered his head, as if glued on. His breakfast threatened to evacuate his stomach. Like the back seat, his life was suddenly unoccupied, void, desolate. Still he had to do it. Deal with the drunk driver who killed his Jenny. (55 words)

Prompt words: taxi, neighborhood, snow, breakfast, empty