Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Story #36 - The "Where the hell am I?" Show

"Gooood evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to tonight's premiere of "Where the hell am I?""

Some mild applause can be heard from the small crowd of less than a dozen. This shoe-string budget novelty show couldn't afford to get a "clapper", and the presenter has to use his charm and charisma to make it work. And since they're in an old depot that still has webs, a musky smell, bad lighting and perhaps some kind of vermin was another reason why so few showed up.

"I am your host for this evening, Burt Childs. And without further ado, let me introduce you to our three lovely guests.
The first one up is Jackie Palmer."
A woman of about fifty years old with curly black hair that reaches her shoulders, black John Lennon glasses, black lipstick, black jumper, black skirt, black stockings, black loafers, and no jewelry.
"Jackie is from Iowa, and she specifically wrote on her letter toward us that she isn't much of a talker. As you can see, she is quite shy." She has her head down, not even staying in the light, although the people in the depot can see her, but not those watching on their devices.

"Our second guest is Flip. He is from..."
"Yo, 'scuse me, man. I'd like to introduce myself, if that's alright with you." Burt Childs is speechless. "Yo. I be Flip, from the East Coast, and that's all ya need to know. I wear my cap high, and my jeans low. My kicks are extra large, and my hoodie, extra slim. That's all y'all need to know." He stepped into the light. And quite weirdly, he received more applause than the compere, who was rooted to the floor.

" third guest is...aaaaa... Helen B."
"Hello, Burt. Glad to be on the show."
She was dressed like the rainbow. Green hair, violet sleeveless top, orange and indigo bracelets, red flip-flops, yellow overalls, and blue lipstick. She looked absolutely mesmerizing to watch, and Childs was awestruck.
"Yes, hello, Helen. Good to have you here."
The host is wiggling his fingers, then grabs the mic with that hand.
"Let's get this show on the road. Your first question is: Stuck in the jungle, having birds and flies roam around me, alligators in the waters nearby. What are your answers?"
Flip said first. "Bronx, yo."
"I'm afraid that's incorrect."
"The Amazon jungle," said Helen.
"Ooo, that's quite close, but it's incorrect again."
Jackie stepped into the light, raised her head. For the first time since she came in the building, her face could be seen, except that she had mask over it, and dark glasses covering her eyes.
"Where the hell am I?"
There was silence.
"That is indeed correct. Give some applause to Jackie, ladies and gentlemen. And with that said, we will be back after intermission."

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Story #35 - A drinking problem

"Why do you like to drink?"
"I...I don't think I can give you a nice explanation for that. I mean, you either like alcohol or you don't, and if you do, sometimes one or two beers just aren't enough."
"I sometimes enjoy my alcohol, especially whisky, but I keep it to a minimum. I don't go overboard because I know what will happen to me if I do."
"You get a little tipsy?"
"Tipsy, yes. I also get sick. My stomach rumbles plenty. My brain will think it is in a state of emergency and it will make me throw up. And I hate doing that so much..."
"I don't think anybody enjoys it."
"...feeling my groin muscles contract..."
"Okay, okay, I know the feeling. You don't have to tell me about it. It's nice to know that even someone like you, who is clean-shaven and looks spotless, has had these moments happen to him."
"You have to know what's good for you, right? I value a secure and boring life over crazy happenings. Which is why I called you here."
"Crazy moments is a bit much. I'd argue."
"You've been known to fight whenever you're drunk. You've spent countless nights in jail. You have a record. You haven't held a job for longer than a month. I don't know how you make enough to pay the rent, the bills, and buy alcohol to get drunk."
"I don't have rent' I live in a shelter, in a rundown bed along with twenty other people in the same room. There are flies because no one really showers. The shelter's is broken and they aren't offering us anything. I've seen small crap around. Hell, I probably saw some blood as well."
"Then why aren't you living? Why aren't you trying to change your life around? Why are you torturing yourself like that?"
"There is no possible way to change. I've tried. I went to AA. I to rehab. I was even taken in police care, and all that did was to show what kind of a shitty person I am. I lied and stole from everyone that gave me their shoulder. I took their punches without retaliating. I was fine with it. A bruise for a beer."
"If you bring misery to people, and are unable to change, why don't you commit suicide?"
"I'm shocked that you're telling me this, when you should be offering good tips. But I suppose that's as good a tip as any. Actually, I've been thinking about it for a while now. Except for booze, there's nothing that's keeping me here. And I really mean that. I have no skills. I can't be nice to people. I can't really smile because I'm always grim. Yeah. I think I'll do that."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to give you..."
"You simply said aloud what me and others were thinking for a while now. Don't worry. It's not your fault. I get it. You wanted to help. And you did. And you'll make the area a better place. You should be happy about that, even though you probably feel terrible right now. Well, thanks for your time. Bye."

Monday, 28 September 2015

Story #34 - Loving a girl I cannot describe

I fell in love with this girl. 
I see her every day, and if you'd tell me to describe her, I wouldn't know how to. 
I even have her in my friend's list, where she has a cute picture with two fingers near her face. But I cannot, for the life of me, describe her figure. Her chin, her eyes, her mouth, her lips, her nose, her cheeks, her hair. I cannot see anything. It's like my brain doesn't want to think about it, instead it makes me see only white spots. Actually, they kinda form a crater of some sort. Shapeless, I suppose, is the right term. 
The funny thing is that she's the only one that I cannot describe. My parents, my colleagues, regular people on the street, neighbors, hell, even animals. No problems there. Wrinkles, gassy eyelids, punched-up nostrils, crooked tips of lips, hairs in weird places, bald patches.
Yet, I like this girl a lot, and I can see her properly when I'm near her. 
She has this goofy walk that almost goes zig-zag. Sometimes even bumping into people. No apologies given, though, which makes me giggle and makes the damaged party berate her; she simply shrugs. 
Then, when she laughs, it's so innocent sounding, which is probably the opposite of how her personality is. 
Hmm... Come to think of it, I don't know much about her other than her name and these two things. But I really like her. And I will ask her out when we meet again. If she'll say no, well, at least I tried. Besides, sometimes you just have to go with your gut, right?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Story #33 - Freedom or developmental hell?

After being stuck in developmental hell for a while, I finally find myself to have plenty of time on my hands. I've already had one week to enjoy this freedom, and what did I do with it?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that's how time goes by. And before you know it, a few more developmental hells arise, and bam, you'll wonder where that time went by.
You'll look back and say "Ah, I met that girl at one time, but I didn't tell her how I felt." or "Shouldn't have gotten that job. Lost more money that way." They might feel a bit like regret, yet they were lessons learned. You simply figured out what paths to stop taking and mistakes to stop making. Not all of them, mind you. Just some.
Developmental hell is not cool. Not having a back-up plan is more so.
However, this is also a chance to make a different type of developmental hell for yourself. One that can last your whole life. Whose to say it won't make you happier?

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Story #32 - A lamp's life

Turn on, turn off. That's pretty much it, isn't it?
I don't get to be all glamorous like a wardrobe, where some humans get into and do all sorts of things, nor am I like my smaller brothers, the light bulbs from the kitchen, bathroom, and every other room. Even this one where I'm in. I know that I have a light bulb of my own, but it's not as powerful.
I don't get to see much action. Just some random people reading or working at night.
Sometimes a stupid human grabs it and hits someone. He ends up damaging the both of us. And if I'm damaged, chances are I'll be thrown away. I don't really want to have that misfortune. Having all sorts of other lamps, wooden material, and who knows what, crush me and make me uncomfortable. Hmm. I think I'm afraid of being surrounded by various objects, actually not surrounded, but more like being smothered and squeezed by all of them. Makes me unable to see. And if I cannot see, then I cannot be of any use, damaged or not.
Life as a lamp is so boring.
Oh, did I mention that I need electricity to work?
Which is probably why I'm thinking this right now, since this house, or rather, this room, doesn't have any. They have candles, though. Great. Stuck in perpetual darkness, alone. Why is there a spider approaching me?

Friday, 25 September 2015

Story #31 - Animal gathering for a purpose

There was an impromptu meeting between animals. A bear, a stray cat, a stray dog, a wolf, a fox, and a squirrel.
"Look," said the bear. "I dislike all of you, and I would like to get my hands on that conniving fox, but for the sake of our forest, we should discuss what we're going to do about those stupid humans."
"I, for one, don't care," said the cat. "I get fed by some, and I can fix pigeons, and I can..."
"Kill you," interrupted the dog. "You left home for a reason. So did I. But don't forget that I can easily make you vanish."
"Apart from the bear, I can make you all go away, so stop with this idle chatter," replied the wolf. "Either we do something for ourselves, or the humans will make us extinct. And don't think that they aren't okay with eating bears and squirrels, and wearing fox fur. Actually, I don't see why you two are here. Humans love dogs and cats. Not us, though. Someone can easily adopt you two. Feed you nice food, make you, dog, hunt for squirrels and foxes."
"They can make me hunt, but I don't want to hunt. I want to sleep, eat what they give me, and maybe play around with their children."
"Okay," said the wolf. "Maybe you won't attack us. But you won't be attacked by them. You have no fear of being put to extinction. Even if you two die, there are still millions like you. We don't have that. Look at the squirrels. They used to be quite a lot, and now not so much. Since we gathered, he's been shivering and shaking and looking all over the place."
"I need a nut, man. Haven't had one in two days. I'll be just skin like this. You guys maybe took 'em for your own enjoyment," the squirrel said and went up a tree.
"Don't be daft," the bear replied. "This is the kind of thing that boggles my mind. Humans are smart because they group together. And that's how they hunt us down, one by one."
"Even if we were to make something out of this, they have guns and traps. It's impossible," said the wolf.
"So you're saying that we should give up just like that?"
As the bear retorted, a loud band was heard.
The squirrel fell on the ground, near them, blood gushing from everywhere, the animal twitching and gasping for air like a fish out of water.
All of them had their eyes wide open, and soon scrambled in different directions.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Story #30 - Daydreaming while waiting in line

Come on already. I've been here for over five minutes. How much longer do I have to wait?
I have ailments. A sick imaginary son at home, which they don't know about, probably don't care about, yet I have to make them upset about the fact that I have to wait in line.
I have two steady legs, but just for shits and giggles, I'll pretend one is lame. More so since it's a woman at the counter. My right one, since it's sturdier. Oh, if only I could spout some William for her.
I'm also getting hungry, of course. Not like I haven't eaten maybe a half an hour ago? Yeah...left home about that time, finished eating ten minutes beforehand, though my brain thinks otherwise. He wants food and more food. What can you do with a can't written wrongly?
This queue isn't really moving, and now I have to pee. And goddamn do I have to go. Something bigger than a tsunami. It might even break the toilet. But I can't. I'll lose my position. Arghh...
Oooohhh, we're moving!!! Yessssss!!!!
Noooo... What the hell was that? Just one person? One bloody person, and eight more to go?
I have to think of some William for that broad. An actor will be born today. Tomorrow, the theatre. Next week, the movie business. Next month, awards galore. So nice to daydream. Shame it don't pay.
If things go on like this, my imaginary son will have his own imaginary son. Hmm... A grandpa. Never imagine myself in that area.  Probably won't happen outside of this store. Or until the next one.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Story #29 - Lovers quarrel

"I love you so much."
"I love you, too."
"I love this bench."
"But it doesn't love you back."
"I love the air."
"What about me?"
"I already said I loved you."
"You also love other things."
"Shouldn't I?"
"Why not?"
"Because you love me."
"And only you?"
"And if we'll have a daughter, does that mean that I cannot love her?"
"... You can like her, but you should only love me."
"That's... I don't think I can go on with this."
"I love other things, other people. I can't love just one person."
"I love just one person. I like other stuff, too, but loving, that's only reserved for you."
"I'm flattered that you feel that way, but it won't work."
"I'm devoting my attention to more than one thing. I am a loving person."
"Is this goodbye, then?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Bye. I love you."
"I love you, too."

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Story #28 - Paranoid? Or losing your memory?

Oh my God. Where is it? Where is it? I've been looking all over the place for it. In my room. In the bathroom. In the living room. In my sister's room. In the kitchen room. In the closet room. In the shed room. In the attic room. And in my parent's room.
I just don't get it. Why am I not able to find it?
Those who've I've asked have told me that it's something in my head. That they've never seen such a thing. That they've never heard of such a thing. Which is odd.
We used to have it when we were children. Heck I used to play it a lot up until last week. My sister...not so much.
I can't really figure out how come everybody thinks I'm crazy about this thing. 
They even made me talk to a guy in a white suit today. He said that I'll have to follow him to his office. I have no idea what's going to happen. All I know is that I can't find Now I even forgot what I was looking for.
How can that be? I know I had it in my head for the longest of times, yet I cannot even remember it? 
Looks like mom is telling me to follow her. For what, I don't know. A trip, possibly. But where?

Monday, 21 September 2015

Story #27 - Oh, Sun

A big yellow dot
on top of the world.
Flashing us with his
warmth and sparkle.
making sure everybody
gets what's coming to them.

But it's more than a big dot
So much more.
Bigger than his weirdly shaped brother
that only comes out at night
as if it is a vampire.
Even so,
Sometimes, the weirdo bests his
yellow kin, showing him that he's not
all that great, after all.

Only from afar, though.
From close range, he would fade away
Everything would.
The big dot up in the sky
can get mean and bubbly
can get annoying and crummy
Sometimes, it's a blessing in disguise,
Other times, you wish you didn't have him.

So you curse at him,
want him to vanish,
want him to go back to where he came from.
Only... He didn't come from anywhere specifically.
He just appeared, once, and decided to stay.
unwanted, maybe, not like he cared.
Right now, there's nothing you can do
to change his mind.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Story #26 - Mice chatting

"Say, ballboy." Said a lanky mouse with a button nose and pencil dot-like eyes.
"Whatisit, Mack?" The other one replied. A small and rotund one with a basketball shaped sniffer. "Whycan'tcha...leavemealone...wheni'meating?" He had to take a short breathing break after a couple of words.
"Can I have some of your cheese?"
"Not even a teensy weensy bitinsy?" The tall one was on his little mouse knees, almost poking his chubby fellow with his nose.
"Awalrightaslong...asyouletmeeatin...piece." He gave him a quarter of the milk-made delish.
As they were both munching there, on their little feet, gobbling like prairie dogs do with carrots, they sensed something.
Twinkle steps approaching their little cubby, wry about what's going to happen, they don't even move.
"Are you absolutely sure about this?" The tall one said as he was about to let his golden piece fall on the floor.
"Whyyoueven...doubtingme? Itoldyouit's...fine,soit'sfine. Justrelax."
Indeed he did, and when the hairy paw came inside the hole, it grabbed the mouse trap that had a toy clone where the cheese usually stood.
"Flick!" and the metal snapped over. The mongrel on the other side started crying and howling you'd think it was a wolf.
He backed as he could, but there was nothing he could do.
"It's in pain. Maybe we should help him."
"Doesithelpus...getfood? Idon'tthinkso."
"Letitdie... Maybeitsmasterwill...lenditahand."
Even though the cruel and stodgy one told him not to, the noise was getting on the big's one's nerves. He dropped the remaining nugget, went over to the trap, and lifted the metal part just enough for the furball to go away.
"Hey,ifitcomes... It'sonyou."
"Fine. As long as I don't have that racket with me."

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Story #25 - A performer's mind goes awry

Frank was waiting, in the dressing room. He wasn't a big shot, but he was the last one to go in. The space had five chairs, all being used by the group that is onstage now.
He watched them change clothes, nonchalantly, from his corner, where he had nothing. He wondered how some people get to pull all the shots even though they're not the headline act. How they can take all the furniture and the mirrors and everything else, and leave the rest with only the floor to change on.
Right now, Frank felt that he was at a crucial point in his career where if he blew one, or maybe even two shows, he'd have to abandon it. He'd have to raise his hands in shame and say "You know what? I gave it a decent go and failed miserably." Who wants to say that, anyway? What sane performer would like to say that and be happy about it? The day after would probably the worst day of their life. They'd want to go back on stage, but they know they suck, but they still would like to. It's a thrill. It brings them to life. There's no way they would quit, even if they aren't making money. It keeps them out at night. It makes them feel something that they cannot feel otherwise.
Frank was kinda the same. Except that he was close to fifty right now. His skin wasn't looking particularly well, either. Whenever he met people and started to talk to them, they'd look a bit shocked, roll their eyes for a second, and find a way to excuse themselves. It made him feel bad. It made him lose all the energy. Like right now.
He was talking to the gang that, about their show and what they'll deliver. And all they said was "Yeah," "Sure," and "Something." It irked him so much. He couldn't fathom how some would be like this. Maybe they didn't want to talk to him because he is much older. He can only speculate.
Except that he's tired of it. He feels it was the last straw. He has been carrying it with him for the past month, waiting and waiting, until somebody snubbed him the wrong way. Not that there's a good way, but some are more decent than others.
He took it out, put it over the lightbulb, made sure it was tight, then he stood high on the chair, placed his head into the hole, closed his eyes, and jumped.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Story #24 - A drunk night (Final part)

It was high time we finished this mystery.
James was about to make a joke, but I wanted none of that shit. I should've heard it.

When we reached my place, about twenty-thirty people were outside, including some policemen.
I went on the outskirts of the bunch, trying to make my way in. Impossible.
James pointed to a side passageway, between cars, and we decided to go through there.
Although we were still off from my building, I managed to glance at the whole commotion. Somebody was dead.
Blood was sprayed around, like some graffiti artist decided to not give a damn about his usual art and make it contemporary. The body was covered. A few policemen were taking notes, and one of them was on his car's receiver, probably asking for the whereabouts of the ambulance.
I was staring at the place, in utter shock, when James pulled me away, towards my building.

We somehow managed to get in, but that was about it.
More policemen were inside, some even taking pictures. One approached me.
"There has been a murder. I'm afraid civilians are not allowed in."
"But I live here."
"I'm sorry, but..."
"I'm hungry, I don't have any money, I need a shower. I can't just be kicked out of my place. The murder has nothing to do with me or my flat."
"I understand that. However, we don't need anybody tampering with the evidence."
"What if you give us some gloves, and something for our feet?"
"You watched movies, didn't you?"
"Doesn't everybody?"
"Let me see what I can do."
That went well, I suppose.

I've been waiting for a minute or two, in silence, James as well, just looking at the various uniforms moving about, like a wave that doesn't know if it should come or go. I'm quitting drinking. I know that every person who said that has done it. Then they went back a month or so later. Because whenever you tell yourself no more, you end up going back for more, sooner or later. Never never stays never.

Oh, the copper is coming back, with some gloves in hand.
"Okay, I managed to find you and your friend something. Please be gentle."
"We will. Thank you."
And off we went.

Tightly walking between the suits, making sure I wouldn't be bothering them made me consider working as a high-wire act.  Until I saw that my door was open. And every jacket, collar, and tie was coming in and out of it.
"Excuse me," I say, approaching one of them. "Has the murder happened in that flat?"
"Yes and no. The person fell from that flat."
"A woman with black hair?"
"Did you know her?"
"Can't say that I did. She was in my bed this morning. I don't know how she got there."
And the winner for the worst timed sincerity moment goes to me. It's like they wanna clap, but they're standing still instead.
I have no idea what's gonna happen next, I'll close my eyes instead.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Story #23 - A drunk night (Part 5)

It's ringing, and James is so relaxed, eating his ham and cheese sammie.
"Hello?" Her rustled voice reminded me why I dislike her.
"Hey, it's James. You alright?"
"I have this massive headache. We been drinking all night, haven't we?"
"Yeah. Some of us went crazy tonight."
"Could you believe what he did to me?"
"My mate?"
"I only saw you two coming out of somewhere together, both smiling."
"He proposed to me."
The f...?
"He what?" James doesn't know if he should laugh or be chill.
"He asked me to marry him, and I said yes. We did some other stuff, but that's between ourselves."
You fuckin' chubby bitch, with your shitty, braggadocious accent. Why, how can you... Grrr...
"Hmm, so that's why he was manic later on, kicking those bartenders and all that."
"He was just happy."
James let out a giggle. I was still red as a chilly pepper.
"Do you remember what happened after we left the place?"
"Me and Katie went home. You two went together."
"Really? Dammit. I can't think of anything that happened after that."
"Is it important?"
"Just curious. Okay. Well, talk to you later. I'll let you enjoy your headache. Bye."
She was gonna say something, but James hung up. Good.

"Man was she annoying."
"Annoying or not, you proposed to marry her. What was in your head?"
"Alcohol." We both laugh. "Doesn't matter now. I'd better swing by my place and see if that girl woke up."
"I'm coming with you."

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Story #22 - A drunk night (Part 4)

I'm knocking like a madman on this bloody door.
Steps are approaching it, slogging their feet, almost screeching the floorboards.
"Come on already."
I hear some mumbling curse word. The bastard was asleep.
The key is being rolled, the handle moved, and the lock is off.
"Why are you still sleeping?" I greet him with my hands on my hips, looking like the sky had just fallen over me. I don't know why I was like that.
"Because I'm hungover, and the last thing I need is your sorry ass yelling and shouting. Heck, even your face is enough to make my belly churn." He didn't even smile saying that. Then he moved aside.
"You kept telling me about Chloe or Katie, but I think you were too hammered to know with who I was with."
"I have a black-haired girl in my room. She's naked, sleeping, and while I didn't get to see her face, it's neither of those two."
"No, no, that thing really happened. I was awake at that point. I remember it clearly."
"Right..." I scratch my head and feel a bit appalled that I did that with Katie. If I indeed do it. "What else did I do?"
"You kinda jumped behind the bar and started messing with people's orders. For some reason, they let you do it at first, probably because there weren't many buyers, but then more came and they wanted to kick you out."
"I don't even know how to pour beer. Why would I do that?"
"Why do drunk people do stupid shit that they regret some time later?"
"Anyway, you started punching and kicking the guys, then the manager called the cops. It would've been cool seeing you go to jail, but I decided to not have to pay any money for that, so I grabbed you and we headed off."
"Just us two?"
"No. With the girls."
"We stopped in some alley and you started freaking out, yelling for no reason. I punched you in the gut and you stopped."
"Don't mention it. Oh, and then you went to pee on the side of a building. That was not cool."
"Not like I knew what I was doing."
"I guess so. Still not cool."
"What next?"
"I don't quite remember. I kinda turned fuzzy after this one myself. Probably the alcohol started to kick in. But I'm pretty sure at least one of the girls knows."
"Man, what a fucked up night, right? And I'm not like that when I'm drunk."
"I know. I was shocked myself. Maybe you took something else before we met?"
"No, not really. I was fine and dandy."
"Want something to eat or drink?"
"No. I want to find more about last night."
"Call Chloe. I'm sure she knows."
"I kinda dread that."
"Because of the fiddling thing?"
"Yeah. Since I don't find her mildly attractive."
"Hmm... Do you want me to call her and put her on the speaker?"
"Shit. Yeah. Do it."
"Okay. Just let me make a coffee and a sandwich first."

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Story #21 - A drunk night (Part 3)

I found some ham in the fridge. The expiration date was yesterday. It still tasted okay. The mustard added a touch of spiciness to it that felt excellent inside, although it made me down two glasses of water. All it mattered now is that I felt well enough to walk around. Now to take the shower.

I spent quite a lot of time in there, but I think the alcohol came out through my pores. Now I felt like a changed man and humid man. I had to go to James right away.

I went back in the room. The foxy lady was sleeping in the same posture. I had to tiptoe around, to my wardrobe.
When I opened the door, it creaked like it always does, even though I was gentle. I heard some sheet movement. I looked back and she had turned to her side. "She still is a looker," I thought.
Anyway, I grabbed some clothes and vanished from there.
I grabbed my shoes, which reeked of alcohol, and dashed away.
It was time to find the truth, or what I could find about it.
But I didn't think about what would happen if I'd leave this stranger girl in my house by herself.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Story #20 - A drunk night (Part 2)

How did it come to that? How can I not remember one single thing? Wait, he said that someone drove me home. I'd better tip-toe my way over there.

I'm more like thudding now, as my feet keep flopping like I have those scuba diving flippers. Flop, flop, flop. Jesus. The sound is funny. I'd better get ready to meet the shark in that case.
I grad the knob and roll it gently to the right. The lock clicks and I slowly open the door.
There she is, in all her splendor, sprawled all over the bed like it belongs to her. Her ravishing charcoal strands covering her figure and naked bosoms, while the rest of it is being entrenched by the morning sun, dashing his light over her petite body.
My first thought is "This isn't Katie. Or Chloe." My second thought is "She's hot. How did I coax her?"
I close the door, smiling.

I have a sudden burst of energy. It makes my belly grumble. "I need to put something in. James can wait. And I have to take a shower. Now If only I could remember something."

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Story #19 - A drunk night (Part 1)

What the hell happened last night?
Ugh... My body is so sore. Feels like I've been through hell and back, and now I'm left to wither away on this couch. Why am I on this couch, though? I'm in my own home, in my boxer shorts, having...some weird tattoo on my chest, right above my left nipple. It's a...a...something Asian. No idea. Can't even see straight right now.
I have to get off this couch and wash my face.
Upsy daisy... My legs can barely sustain me. What did I do to them? Did I walk all over the town?

Oh, man, I've been punched in the face, I guess.
It doesn't hurt, even though my eyes are as black as coal.
I'd like to take a shower, but I barely have enough power to slog around. Have to call James.

"Hey, man, how's it going?"
"Why'd you wake me up?"
"What time is it?"
"... Noon."
"So? You should be awake at this hour. I just woke up myself."
"After the night you had, I'm not surprised."
"I don't remember anything."
"Yeah, I know. You were knocked out once and somebody drove you home. I believe it was Katie or Chloe. Well, as soon you got some alcohol in you, you went mad."
"Wait, wait, wait, Chloe or Katie?! I don't even like them."
"That's not what I saw."
"Oh, god."
"Yeah. You fiddled around with both of them. I think you even went to the loo area together With one of them, I mean."
"Then what?"
"You were both smiling about a half an hour later. And you were kissing each other. Chloe, yeah. The Katie stuff came in later."
"I need to wake up properly. I need some coffee. I'll see if I can come by so you can tell me everything. Too much right now."
"Alright. Now let me sleep."

James hung up after that and I was speechless. I let the phone fall on the couch as I put my other palm over my forehead.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Story #18 - I wanna be a child again

Look at all these children playing, laughing, running. Tagging one another with a stick, playing hide and go seek, or cops and robbers, or making animals from mud, or castles.
So free spirited, so relentless in their joy.
I never had this youth when I was growing up. Had to get a job at twelve. From then on out it's been nothing but work and work. No school education, no knowledge of what makes the world tick, no chance of advancement. Perpetually stuck in low end jobs without a future in sight.
I wish I had a childhood. Even a bad one. Maybe not a bad one, but at least a decent one.
Now I can only dream as it gets close to 7 PM and I have to get to my night job. Ugh... Bills....

Friday, 11 September 2015

Story #17 - And the alarm doesn't really shut off

Dammit. the alarm is ringing again. Why did I put it so early?
"Wake up, honey. You have to go to work."
That's why.
"I don't really want to. Can't I take the day off and do something with you?" I said as I turned the other side and spooned her.
"Can't. I have a big day ahead of me." She took my hand off of her thigh. "I have a huge presentation that I need to rehearse once or twice for, and two meetings that should give the company some new investments, if I convince them in doing so."
"Oh, you'll nail them, I know you will."
"Good. If you have confidence in me, then I have confidence in you. Now go to work."
"You have to do better than that."
I shouldn't have said those words. She turned toward me and is pushing me away with her feet.
"Okay, okay. Geez, You don't have to be so rough."
"I've got my priorities. Lovemaking isn't in the schedule for this morning. It might be in the evening. But it might not be."
"Yeah. It might not be tomorrow, either."
"You're pouting now."
"Of course," I say while I'm putting my trousers on. "You're more important than any job, or any alarm clock. I just wanted to have some fun before I went to become brain dead."
"Why don't you change jobs?"
"It's a decent wage."
"Being comfortable isn't all that great, you know?"
"Probably not, but it's okay for the time being."
"I hope that you'll wake up one day and realize that comfort doesn't bring you forward. It doesn't bring you much, either."
"I'll think about it more on my commute."

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Story #16 - Always failing

Have you ever been that person who wanted to achieve great things, but was always stopped by something?
I have. I was always stopped by something.
Stopped by what others might think. Stopped by the voices inside. Stopped by fear. Stopped by inability, or the perceived inability. Stopped by insufficient funds. Stopped by not knowing (the right) people. Stopped by language. Stopped by voice. Stopped by my conscience.
I decided to look at what others say or do that makes them that great. Or even good.

They try.
Failure upon failure upon failure led them to success.
I find that baffling in a way. But also true.
They simply told their conscience to sod off while they pursued what they wanted. Which sounds fair.
I wish I had that mental resilience.
Mine went away when too many bad things happened at once. I just couldn't grasp it and move on. I just couldn't.
And look at me now. Living in a small place with a kitchen and a toilet where I also sleep. No shower. No washing machine. No fridge. Nobody to talk to. Not able to afford internet. Not able to afford a phone.
I often wonder where it all went sour. What happened recently was just the climax. The point where everything that has channeled up has been unleashed.
In math, two negatives make a positive. Not in my book it's not.
I'm at my wits end right now. I don't have anything left to live for.
And the worst part about life is that I didn't even give it a proper go.
I hope this rope will give me a proper go, though.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Story #15 - Cropping rabbit

Once upon a time a rabbit ran through the bushes in a fast, zig-zagy manner. He left only mud behind him, even though it hadn't rained in over a week. He also destroyed all the planted fruit and vegetables that lay in his path. Everything looked like a tank had been passing by. Squashed, broken in half, trampled on, busting out.

After all that noise and commotion, the human who grew them came out. His eyes were bigger than his plums. Seeing his crop like that mad his skin turn beetish red. He wanted to scream, but his voice went lighter and lighter in that moment that when he when he opened his mouth, only air came out. So much of it came out he started choking. He put one hand on his scrounged neck, and one over his purple lips. He closed his lid and used his two air vents for inhaling and exhaling. He turned back to his colorless self again, and he turned his palm into a fist, squeezed it, and felt the nails throb into his moist skin, then he let go. Blood was pumping out. He didn't care.

Two weeks went by and the rabbit hasn't appeared since. The human's crop looked freshly planted, with tomatoes and potatoes in their infancy. This time, he was sitting on his porch, leaned against the house wall. He hands were tied in a pretzel knot, his fingers tapping on his biceps.
A noise came from behind a tree. It moved to a bush. Then to another. Then the noise came in plain sight.
The rabbit's coat was thicker than anything he'd ever seen before. The rabbit was bigger than he'd ever seen before. Almost the size of a Golden Retriever pup. The rabbit was sniffing in every direction apart from the house.

Then he turned his head.
He saw the man grab something shiny and long near his leg. He rose on his feet, growled, then dashed. In a zig-zag manner, he stomped on every piece of vegetable and fruit lying around.
The man had one eye closed as he was following him with the other. He used his right finger five times. Not even a scratch. He pressed a sixth time. Redness popped into the sky. The rabbit fled. His tomato didn't make it.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Story #14 - Why do pills have lactose?

"I have never taken any pain pills up till three months ago. Scratch that, except for Aspirin on occasion, I have never taken any pills before."
"They all contain lactose. And if you're like me and have a problem with lactose, it just affects your body."
"There's only one solution then."
"Which is?"
"Don't get hurt."
"... Are you serious?"
"You can get injured any time."
"I don't know what to tell you."
"You can search for a different product, you can say that the pharmaceutical system will find something different, you can say that you'll tell my doctor about why she isn't giving a different prescription."
"Yeah, well, I hate to break it to you, but the pharmaceutical system doesn't really care about you and your lactose intolerance. It only cares about the moolah. Why do you think there's no cure for cancer?"
"People wouldn't have to get chemo and get sick doing it."
"Yeah. You take chemo. Chances are 50/50 anyway. Plenty of people die from that crap. And then it takes a while before you can move and eat properly. You end spending a lot of money and get the end of stick, in a way."
"I suppose, yeah."
"And to answer your question in a different way, you should go to the doctor and have her give you something different for pain, or whatever. If she's that incompetent, change your doctor, or your clinic. Nobody gives a damn if you spend money on pain pills that give you pain as well. Man up and stop complaining. Now go and tell her."

Monday, 7 September 2015

Story #13 - Cooking smells, if you want it.

"What the hell is she cooking? What could be so awful?"
"I don't smell anything."
"Bollocks. You've been sitting in that chair for the past three hours, reading God knows how many newspapers, stewing on that cushion that's probably as flat as your ass, flavouring that pipe of yours with your lips like it's something else."
"Oh, be quiet, and let me enjoy my routine."
"Your routine? You don't do anything worthwhile in it."
"I actually do. I read about how theatre shows go, about the wonderful things that people do to make lives better. I see pictures of works of art and try to imagine the artist doing his job in making it happen."
"I see death, rape, murder, almost naked girls, so-called journalists embarrassing celebrities with horrible pictures. The things that you talk about are maybe one page out of twenty. Oh, and then there's sports talk, mostly football though. God."
"You see, my dear boy. You see what you want to see, smell what you want to smell, think what you want to think."
"I turn a blind eye to those because they're not worth my time. Will I remember those so-called bad things in a week, a month? Will they fulfill my life?"
"Exactly. So why should I waste my time with something that will make me grow with hate, be fearful of the outside world, be cold towards people and treat them horribly?"
"Well, I suppose to prepare you for the future?"
"Let me ask you this then. Do you think rich people, billionaires, multi-millionaires, or people who aspire to greatness. Do you think they read this stuff? Do you think they go about their day and say "Hey, look, somebody raped this woman." or "Look at how disfigured this child looks. It's funny." No. They don't have time for that, and usually someone else points it to them, and they might donate or try to help that person, or cause, or incident."
"So what does that have to do with the horrible cooking smell?"
"You choose to smell it and complain about it. I choose to not think about it because it doesn't affect me. You can go outside and have different smells at you. You don't want to make a difference in your life. Only show others how bitter you are, and then you wonder why they won't talk to you."
"Hmm. Changing is hard, though."
"Of course. That's why when it happens, something happens inside you as well. Whether good or bad, you decide."
"Okay. I'll let you read your paper."
"Going in your room?"
"No. Going running. I want to think a bit, and that always helps."

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Story #12 - Your cutlery is old

"We, cutlery, have been together for a long time now. And we look in such a sorry state that I don't know why we're still together."
"I know. My tines are all dented, apart from the middle one. Now I look like a skewer that has lost its comrades."
"Your middle one, when shown to someone else, strikes laughter in the humans. But at least you do something nice. I can't pick up anything anymore. Not even a little bit of water. Alas, that's what happens when you're bent to the other side, with your scoop to the inside. I feel so cramped."
"And I thought I was the useless one. Who ever heard of a knife without any cutting edge? I can't probably stab people either. Actually, he uses me to arrange his haircut."
"How long do you think we'll be here until?"
"Until he gets bored with us. Or someone tells him to throw us out."
"Come to think of it, I haven't seen him in a while. I've seen a cockroach recently, though."
"I don't remember that."
"It's better. Its legs went all over us. Ugh, that noise. It'll make me bend over even more."
"That's not possible."
"Shh... Listen."
"Do you hear that? A girl is talking to him about us."
"And he's taking our side."
"She wants us in the thrash."
"She should go there."
"She's actually telling him to choose between her and us."
"That's a bit drastic."
"I know."
"She slapped him."
"He chose us."
"I haven't had this much excitement since I was a regular knife, cutting through everything, especially butter. Feeling how I made it smooth..."
"Putting that jam on top..."
"Eating pickles..."
"Forks are weird, what can you expect?"
"Hey, screw you. I had fun being dunked."
"Then go get dunked in acid."
"Where is this coming from?"
"I'm sorry. Got heated there a bit. That's how knives are."
"Spoons are the best. We're lean, we're chill, we're the children's best friends."
"I'm going to sleep."

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Story #11 - Marriage counseling

"I'm so glad I have you both with me," she said as she crossed her legs, showing us how immaculate her red satin skirt was.
"I'm not," my wife said. Her arms by her sides, her lower lip raised, her eyes focusing on the floor, probably on an imaginary lint roll.
"See. That's what I go through all the time," I said, not sitting beside her, but on the carpet in front of our couch.
"Oh, stop it. Everybody has had enough of your finger pointing. Nobody in my family likes you..."
"Nobody in mine likes you either," I interrupt her, turn around, and see how she gets red in the face. Delightful.
"You never do anything around the house, or in it for that matter. Not even the trash."
"Hey, you don't complain about the bed."
"Is that your salvation, you think? One good, but small, thing?"
"Small, ey? You seem to be less stressed after that." Of course, this is partially true, but if we're busting each other's chops, I am allowed to have my fun. Speaking of which, she's almost like a beetroot right now.
Standing up, she's going to the window, palms in jeans pockets. As soon as she stopped, she raised her right leg a bit, enough to roll it on the carpet, like you do when you hurt your ankle. Maybe I made her blush?
"Okay. You two like to argue a lot, from what I understand," red satin skirt said. "There's not a lot of desire right now. I think you're better off with a divorce."
I'm shocked. What? "Huh? We came to you to help us out, and all you say is divorce? Not even one solution?"
"I've done this before, and I've had people who were at wits end with one another. Even when I gave them something to do at home, they broke up. I'm sorry, I'd like to help, but there's no hope for you two. You want to get on with your lives, and being together is not part of your future."
After she finished, my wife turned around, smiling, looking like her usual pale self. Which is good since I would've cracked if I would've seen the beetroot again.
"I agree with that. We should split. There's no point in having this meeting. I knew it. He did as well. Yet, we were both hopeful that something different might come out of it. Guess we were wrong, like most of our couple decisions. Right?"
"Yeah, kinda. Well, we wouldn't have lasted five years with only good choices. There's always bound to be something bad lurking around."
"I think we should go home and work on it ourselves. We don't need a third party."
"Finally want to try a new system?"
"Yes. I'm ready for anything."
I stood up. My wife joined me. We clasped our palms and went to the door. I gave a look to red satin skirt and she looked stumped. Then I opened the metallic frame that was in front of us.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Story #10 - A killer and his victim

"I'm gonna kill you."
"I said I'm gonna kill you, and you say no?"
"You don't get to have a say in this."
"Why not?"
"Because that's not how this works."
"How does it work, then?"
"I'll do my job, and you end up screaming, if you're lucky, maybe ask or yell some stupid question, and that'll be it."
"Yeah. I've done it way too many times to not know the outcome."
"What'll happen to you in this case?"
"I'll vanish, and you'll be another body without an identified killer."
"That makes you a proper man, doesn't it? Taking somebody's life?"
"No, not really. It's just my kick."
"Your kick?"
"Yeah. Like some eat junk food, or watch sports, or go to concerts, I do this."
"How many have you killed before?"
"Twenty. Mostly males."
"Their faces weren't nice. And they treated their girls bad. Can't feel remorse for that."
"Why me?"
"You're too full of yourself. You won't amount to much in your life. I can picture you mooching from just about everybody you meet, including me. The world would be much better without you in it."
"What about yourself?"
"Me? I like to consider myself as a vigilante. Only I don't fight the mafia or drug dealers or whatever else. The police is for that. I fight those that have no real purpose here."
"And yours is to slay them. In other words, you don't have much of a purpose here either.
"I can see where you're going, but no. Well, say your payers. It's time to go."
"No, you can't."
"Because...I can make you feel good."
"I already have someone for that. Bye."

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Story #9 - Waiting

Look at them, all dancing, all enjoying themselves.
I could go out there and dance, by myself. Although that's not really the point of homecoming, is it?
But if nobody asks me out, what can I do?
I know there's some spiced beverages around here....

I wish I was home. No, not home. My mother wouldn't get off my case... At the arcades... Yeah....
It would've been better than this nerdfest, that's for sure.

Look at them, showing off, strutting their stuff, their moves practiced at the disco. I could show them a thing or two. I've got it all in my head. I know that doing it for the first would be alright. I'm confident in that aspect. I'm not a stiff one. I....

I don't feel too good. If I'm gonna through up sooner or later, might as well go dance, alone.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Story #8 - Being calm

"Captain! Captain! The ship is about to fall, Captain!"
"I can see that. You've been telling me for the past five minutes about it, and there's only one thing to say about that."
"There's nothing I can do."
"But...but... You're the captain of the ship!"
"Yeah. We're in the middle of nowhere. We're above water. And if we were to go at full speed, the nearest place where we could land would be at least six hours away."
"Then we are doomed."
"In that case, why am I still running all over the place?"
"That's what I'd like to know myself. Just calm down, or as calm as you can be in this situation, grab yourself a beer from the fridge, and let's hope something happens. Or we have an idea, because we sure as hell don't have any parachutes."

"I can't. I can't drink this and calm down. Not physically possible."
"I'd knock you out, but... I've got it."
"The idea."
"What is it?"
"I'll let you know when we're going down."
"Now you're making me even more agitated."
"Don't make me punch you."
"I'm not."
"Then drink your damn beer, keep shut, and enjoy the ride of a lifetime."

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Story #7 - Bench talk

"Do you mind if I join you?"
"I knew you'd say that. I'm sitting anyway."
I have my hands in my palms, I can't be bothered to look at her, but if she wants to sit next to a stranger who wants to be alone, that's fine by me. As long as she doesn't talk.
"I've been seeing you for a while now. Same time, same spot. You're not even one inch away. You probably chalked it off with something..."
"In my head. Besides, it's the best position on this bench. I sat everywhere, and it just doesn't feel the same."
Well, she made me lift my chin a bit. Now that's resting on my thumbs. I look like such a pompous prick, I think. Or someone in deep mental thought.
"Okay. Why do you enjoy coming here?"
"Haven't you figured it out?"
"Because it's the most serene place in the park? And the one closest to the pond, so you can check out the various birds enjoy their life?"
"There you go. What brings you here, though?"
"I was trying to find something to paint, and I saw you."
"You wanted my permission?"
"No. I wanted to show what I painted."
Now I'm looking at her. She's smiling. One of those that can fill a room. Or brighten the area, even if it's dark and damp. One of those that can make you fall in love. Or question yourself why you don't have something like that next to you. One of those that makes others think they're fortunate. Or know that they are.
And I haven't even gotten to her other features.
"Show me."
I almost shouted that.
"Here you go. I did this last week. And this one a few days ago."
"That's fast."
"I took pictures to have the exact scene that I wanted. Did the painting at home. Just some sketches and here out here. What do you think?"
"They're both...different than what I was doing. You caught me here staring at some ducks, almost being amazed by them, yet that's when I realized something different. Big nonetheless.
And on this other one, caught from behind, where I have my arms sprawled across the bench, seemingly enjoying the sunset, I... Hmm... I don't remember much about this particular moment."
"Really? This was done a few days ago."
"I see. Maybe I was drunk. Or high. Or asleep."
"Yeah. I dozed off a couple of times here."
"You were probably tired."
"Yes...and no."
"I know what you mean."
As I later found out, indeed she did.