Tuesday Dinner

I feel like Tuesday dinner;
Done with Sunday’s leftovers
Not yet to the Friday special,
Smelling like nothing I want to eat.
No warm oven fresh baked bread
Cinnamon and blackberry cobbler –
This is bland boiled peas
And too-dry to smell like anything meats
Steaming on my plate, threatening
To taste no better than it smells.

I feel like a seventeen year old’s bedroom;
Stale body odor ineffectively masked
By mother’s pungent lemon-fresh spray
With hints of acetone and calendula.
Window tight shut to keep out
The spring breeze and pine trees
And fresh-cut grass hiding just outside.
What I wish I could show to the world
Is marred by what is actually there
No matter how I dress it up.

I feel like a beat poetry club;
Sweet smoke wafting in the low lights,
Air thick with alcohol and sugar
In every breath, sticking to my throat,
Filling my head with dizzy
And my mouth with bad breath.
I just want to curl up in bed
And forget that today ever happened,
Start over tomorrow with my new leaf.
But I can’t get these smells out of my clothes.

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8 Times More Awesome?

So I’ve been sewing lately, got on a sewing kick and did a few dolls.   Which of course means I had to spin a bunch of yarn to make doll hair.  But then sort of unexpectedly… this happened: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYep, it’s an octo-mermaid!  Or… something.  I don’t even know what inspired me, I just got the sudden urge to make an octopus-mermaid hybrid and… did! 😀  Made the ‘necklace’ with shells and beads strung onto wire.

octopusmermaidSpun the hair, almost didn’t have enough.  That’s all the gold wool I had on hand, but I’m really happy with how the style turned out!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee, all 8 legs are there, honest. 😉

Of course, then my uncle had to do this…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Machine

The Machine shone irritatingly from the garden.  The morning rays glinted off its copper and glass surface like a second sun, sending beams of light to swirl and dance across the far wall of the library.

“Draw the curtains, will you, darling?” the elderly woman said as she dramatically draped her arm across her eyes, sinking further into her plush chair.  “I cannot abide that monstrosity out there.”

From the corner, her husband gave a sympathetic smile and set his beaker down.

“Come now, my dear, come now,” he said as he shuffled across the room.  He had the air of one always on the verge of laughter, even when speaking of the most serious of matters.  He took his wife’s hand and patted it gently.  “The Machine is just doing its job.  No need for such distress.”

“Oh, Maltricus,” she bemoaned, “why must we bear it?”

“Drink your tea,” he encouraged, picking up the cup and saucer from the side table.  “You’ll feel better once you’ve had your tea.”

She waved the offering away and turned her eyes to the far wall, her voice taking on a far-off quality.  “I do not want tea; I want to be free of this place.”

He set the cup down again.  “In time, my dear.  In time.  Do you want to know what I am working on?  Would you like to see it?”  His eyes glinted excitement, the little wrinkles at their edges growing deeper.  Though his wife gave him no reply, he shuffled back to his desk again.

“This,” he said, bending over to gaze at the liquid inside his beaker which caught the light and set it to sparkle, “this will do the trick, I think.  Yes, I think it will.”

His wife gave a greatly exaggerated sigh.

“I have bridged the gap, you see?  Between the physical reality we live in and the quantum reality that hides beneath.”  He used his hands to illustrate, holding one over the other, about an inch apart. 

“There are all these realities, all around and under and over and beside us.  We cannot perceive them, generally.  But this…” he gave a giggle as he swirled the liquid around inside the glass. “this is the bridge.  Quite clever, don’t you think, Pari?”

She slowly rolled her head back the other direction and reached for her tea, having never understood anything her husband said.  He fussed and fiddled with his machines and his formulas, rambling on and on whether she answered him or not.

“Come, come,” he said, waving her over.  “Come and watch. You’ll see, you’ll see!”

Despite his supplications, he did not seem to even notice that she did not relent.  Instead she sipped her previously unwanted tea and made sure to give occasional tragic sighs.  He turned to open the window which overhung the Machine.

“Now, what I’ll do is- yes, what I’ll do, is pour this solution into the Machine-“

His wife began to hum to drown out his voice.  She was still humming as the Machine blew up, sending bits of her husband to swirl and dance across the walls.  She set down the teacup and rang the bell until her husband’s assistant arrived.

“Be a darling, mon cher, and fetch Maltricus’ next incarnation.  The Machine has blown him up again.”

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Blood Is Thicker

There was a light breeze playing in the woods, rustling the tree leaves; an echo of birds claiming their territory; a passing car on the distant highway; the crunch of dirt and rocks.  And then, there was my mother.

“You know what would be nice to hear once in a while?” she said as we paused.

“Silence?” I suggested, though not terribly hopeful.

“‘Hey, mom,'” she offered, “‘why don’t I take you out to dinner?’  ‘Hey, mom, I just called to hear your voice.’  You know what I hoped for today?  ‘Hey, mom, happy birthday.’  But no, I don’t ever get those kinds of phone calls, do I?”

“Maybe you should have had another kid, then,” I said, in no mood to be lectured on familial duties.  I took a drink from my flask.

She continued our ‘conversation’ as if I wasn’t actually part of it.  “No, I get the 3 AM phone calls, the ‘can you bring the car ’round’ phone calls, the ‘I need a new dump spot, the last one is compromised’ calls.”

She dropped her shovel and waved for the flask.  I sighed and handed it over.  “Yes, and I pay dearly for it.  You make sure of that.”

“Don’t be impertinent, dear,” she said after swallowing.

I tucked the flask back in my pocket, then wiped a rag across my forehead.

“Hey, mom,” I said, voice mockingly sweet, “How about when we’re done here we go out for ice cream and get our nails done?”

“Well, you may have no femininity to speak of,” she huffed, “but a manicure wouldn’t go amiss after this.  Just look at my nails.”  She held her hand out for me to see the chips in the polish and the dirt caked beneath.  “You know, it wouldn’t take much for you to be real pretty.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes.  “Can we please just get done!?”

“Why don’t you let me take you shopping?  Get you some nice dresses, some make-up-”

“Over my dead body.”  We both looked down.  “Over my dead body,” I revised.

“What ever happened to Elias?”

“He was Mossad,” I reminded her as we hoisted the bag between us.

“So what?  He was a very nice young man.”

“His mother threatened to disown him if he married a non-Jew.”  The body made a soft ‘thud’ as it rolled to the bottom of the hole.  We grabbed our shovels again and started to fill it in.

“Well, blood is thicker than water, dear,” she said, lamenting my singleness yet again.

“Yeah, but water doesn’t leave incriminating stains on your clothes,” I pointed out.

She pursed her lips.  For a few minutes, only the sound of digging passed between us.

“Fine, I’ll get you a manicure when we’re done,” I said.  Her silence always made me feel guilty.  Lectures and pleadings I could ignore, but silence was her true weapon of evil.  Silence got me offering things that I shouldn’t, and got her hopes up for more.

“Oh, manicures!  You’ll come, too, of course,” she insisted.

“No.”

“We can make a day of it!”

“No.”

“And then we’ll have brunch at the cafe.  I’ll invite May, her son just got out of prison-”

“Nope.”

“We’ll have to buy you some good bras.”

“Not gonna happen,” I said as I put the shovels back in the trunk.  She wasn’t listening, as usual.

“And we’ll get our hair done, and go dress shopping…”

“If it’s your birthday why do you keep insisting on buying me things?” I said, exasperated.

“It’s my birthday, I get to do what I want,” she sang sweetly.

“I am not getting a dress!” I said as we got in the car.

“I know this delightful little Turkish lady,” she mused as she checked her hair in the rear view mirror.  “Always wears the prettiest scarves.  Just got a new shipment of guns in.”

“That I might do,” I conceded.

She refreshed her lipstick before putting the car in drive and pulling away from the scene.  A few miles down the road we passed a lighted sign across the highway.

UTAH HAS NOT HAD A
TRAFFIC RELATED DEATH
FOR 4 DAYS

“You’re due,” I mumbled and opened the folder on my next target.

Leaving Town Abruptly

Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: Leaving Town Abruptly:

A friend rings your doorbell way too early in the morning to be ringing doorbells. You answer the door in your PJs, and the friend says, “Pack a bag quickly. I have to get out of here now and need you to come with me.” You are intrigued.

I grabbed her arm and pulled her inside.

“Ten minutes,” I said, both of us knowing I would take twenty. I stood in the middle of the living room for a moment, my body trying to move in three directions at once as my brain moved in twelve. Finally they both settled on one at the same time and I ran up the stairs, two at a time.

Fortunately I hadn’t put away my travel bags from my weekend trip to the islands so there was no having to dig them back out of the closet. Unfortunately, I also had not yet done laundry. I pulled my drawers open and stared at their contents, stumped.

“Okay, Micky,” I called down the stairs. “I need input. What am I packing?”

“Warm weather, um… four days?” She paused a moment, then added, “We can do laundry there.”

I grabbed a handful of underwear, three summer shirts, a pair of shorts, and one sweater – just in case. Then I shuffled out of my PJs and stuffed those in as well. Half of what I put in was dirty but the promise of laundry invigorated me to take my favorite shirt from the hamper.

I hesitated beside the bed for a moment before I grabbed my teddy bear and stuffed him in as well. Never know when you might need the moral support.

Back in the living room, I left my bag on the couch as I counted off my fingers of what needed to be done.

“Feed the cats, grab toothbrush and makeup, call my mother- once we’re gone,” I added as she made to object. I looked around again for anything I might be overlooking.

“What about food?”  I asked.

“What about clothes?”

I pointed to the bag; she pointed to me. I looked down.

“Oh, that. Yeah, I mean, I suppose I could get dressed,” I said nonchalantly.

“Well hurry,” she said, barely concealing her laughter. “It’s been ten minutes already!”

“Alright, alright! You get the cooler from the back porch and raid the fridge, I’ll be back down in a minute.”

Armed at last with pants and a proper shirt, I grabbed my purse, shoved a camera into the side-pocket of my travel bag, decided there was nothing to be done about my hair anyway and conceded I was done. We loaded my things into the trunk beside hers and then got in.

“This is what I love about you, Liz,” she said as she put the car in gear and pulled out of the driveway.

“What’s that?”

“You never ask.”