bit of an odd one, as i decided all prompts would be pictures (although the last one turned out to be haiku because of time constraints), so here we go.
sometimes his life felt like a he was sailing on a calm, gentle sea.
this wasn’t one of those times.
nothing really was making sense at the moment. his girlfriend had left him because he was ‘a nice guy’, and still wanted to be friends, while she dated a complete and total jerk. his family didn’t think going for a Doctorate in Interpretive Dance was a proper use of his time or money, and had cut him off financially, and socially as well – his perfect drone of a sister Tammy Lynn said their father had taken him out of the will so fast he’d spewed ink on the walls. his new job at Office Despot was going well, small blessing that as it made him just barely enough to keep body and soul together while he filled out grant appilcations.
yeah, life was swirling around the toilet bowel, and he was the turd trapped in the flow.
that’s when he met Sharon, at least, that’s how her name was spelled. she pronounced it like “Charon”, the boatman on the river Styx, and was a trust fund baby with an itch to play.
after a few weeks of what he thought of as dating, but could be defined as risky sport fucking, they were a couple, and he didn’t have to work at Office Despot, and he didn’t bother with grant applications anymore. she was happy to pay for his education, his room and board, everything.
there were some downsides, though. interpretive dance is best performed without someone shooting blow darts at him. when he wasn’t involved in school work, he wore a pink PVC French Maid outfit and responded to the name “Fluffy”, and he slept beside her bed, when she wasn’t using him in it.
the night sky, so clear you could see infinity.
he’d had to get far away from civilization to manage that view. out in the desert, a beautiful desolation, interesting phallic rocks pillars, nothing to eat or drink for five hundred miles unless he’d brought it with him…
which he had – he wasn’t crazy, just tired of people and noise and engine exhaust and talkingtalkingtalking about nothingnothingnothing ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
out here he could think.
out here it was cold at night.
he fished out the blanket he’d brought, and continued to lie in the bed of his truck – electric of course, with enough extra batteries in the bed for the trip out and back, all under the plywood board he was using as a floor.
he was ready. there was nothing to distract him, nothing to pollute his experience.
he mixed the synthetic mescaline with milk in his reusable water bottle, swirled it around until the mix had achieved creamy, chocolaty consistency.
now, the universe would speak to him, and he would listen. enlightenment at last. upon achieving that, he wasn’t sure he’d ever go back. perhaps better to just lie under the stars, and then the sun, the divine cycle, and pass into the Great Unknown.
then the Milky Way became Kim Kardashian dancing just for him, and he spent his trip masturbating (to the point of extremely raw skin), and in the morning he drove back home, and took the job his father had offered him.
Look, for the kind of money the photographer was offering, Tad woulda fucked the Great Dane, not just appeared in a photo spread with it, but he had to admit, as it went on, the whole experience qualified as the strangest damn thing he’d ever done.
and even with all the proper permits, and blocking the streets off, walking around naked, painted like a Dalmatian… okay, it wasn’t weirder than the Fuckin’ Elvis music vid he’d done, where naked female weight lifters had tossed him back and forth over a firepit, but the whole walking around naked thing was still kinda freaking him out, and the banner he was carrying made just as much sense as anything else he was doing.
so… a whole day, capturing light from various angles at various times, the occasional paint touch up, the handlers cleaning up after the dog, the trips to the porta-potty so they wouldn’t have to clean up after him… his feet hurt, his skin itched like a motherfucker, he was sure to have a rash… the money. all he could think about was the money, and following the directions of Jeaurard, the photographer.
Clyde had done some research when Jeaurard first approached him, but hadn’t found anything. so the guy was young, and someone thought enough of his ideas to finance the photo shoot, and pay Clyde five thousand in the bargain.
hell, the Fuckin’ Elvis vid had only made him five hundred, and that had involved live flame around a lot of very drugged out people.
finally, when the day was done, Jeaurard had shot his last roll of film, the rest of the crew booked for parts unknown. nobody to help him get the makeup off, but hey, Jeaurard had left him an envelope in what had passed for their makeup area.
Sorry, but I spent all the money on the permits, and crew, and film. Afraid you’re just fucked.
not even a towel. streets weren’t blocked, traffic was coming through.
the police were on the scene pretty much immediately, and all Clyde said was, “I won’t resist arrest if you guys promise to help me get this fuckin’ makeup off.”
he welcomed incarceration, it made the perfect end to a perfect day.
it was home, and always had been.
nineteen generations of Wilshires, hundreds of years of being part and parcel of the upper class, watching the world change around their home, behind their moat, all the while unable to modernize a single solitary thing about the house. their money, all managed by a trust set up by their fucking too-many-times-great-grandfather.
they had to live there.
they couldn’t change the place.
the National Historical Registry of Homes of Note were thrilled – Williamshire was the only completely authentic example of the period in existence.
a local economy had been grown in the nearby village, consisting solely of ways for the Wilshire inheritants to spend their money and deal with the facts of their life.
oh, they could be gone from the house as long as two nights before breaking the rules of the trust, and over those nineteen generations, the properties behind the trust and its value had continued to grow.
as had the number of Wilshire bodies in the slimy depths of the moat, all of them suicides.
finding spouses from outside the family wasn’t hard, and had gotten easier with each generation and the larger monthly disbursements, but it didn’t take too many cold, drafty nights, or sweltering days, all accompanied by Eau du Moat to convince that new blood that they were living in the sadistic joke of a demented dead man, and that they’d made a deal with the Devil himself in accepting marriage into the family.
really, suicide was the best option, wasn’t it?
took some funny photography tricks, but the cathedral looked like a model.
last photo taken of any part of the city before everything went to shit.
in the end, not biowarfare, or chemical weapons, or nukes or zombies or, God save us from the ridiculousness of it, animals in revolt.
well, i say it wasn’t biowar or chemical, because no tests have ever shown any sign of foreign agents in those afflicted.
they just wandered out of their homes, businesses, churches, clubs, wherever it was they were at 12:00 GMT, May 3rd, 2018. they wandered out into the street and died, of no cause more discernable than they simply weren’t alive.
99.84% of the population.
i woke up that morning, on the other side of the planet, expecting mom and dad, a call to breakfast, my sister making fun of my deadly bed-head… and i was alone.
really alone. the only survivor in our medium-sized town alone.
and the streets were full of dead people, including my family, and i was thirteen, wearing the bottoms of a set of NASCAR pajamas.
i went a little crazy then, i think. i left signs of it all over town, clearly visible, which is how i got spotted and picked up by what was left of the Texas National Guard – a helicopter pilot, a clerk, and one private who was about as bad off as i was.
(and I’m definitely wanting to take this one further)
i see angels.
i mean, i don’t see real angels, if there is any such thing, i’ve just got this fucked up thing in my mind, kind of like synasthesia, were periodically, people turn into angels. lemme tell ya, damn drove my parents crazy when i was a baby. i’d fuss and cry and scream, because nobody looked like angels, and then they would, and i’d calm right down, laugh, smile. it didn’t take the doctors long to diagnose that it was a perception issue, something cross-wired in my skull, and it wasn’t until i had hand-eye coordination enough to start using crayons, and learned to speak, that i could really let my folks know what i was seeing that made me so happy.
they were very understanding, and i grew up in pretty much two mental states.
vague depression, and bliss.
then puberty hit… as did another side effect of the condition.
because when i say ‘bliss’, i mean “Bliss”.
uncontrollable orgasms. had everyone scared had developed some kind of epilepsy there for a while.
and that was the end of my formal schooling. no way in the public education system to deal with a girl who was as likely to start uncontrollably orgasming as not.
took me eight years, some hormonal settling, to learn to control that, but i was 21, and i’d already gotten my GED… but i could think about going to community college, at least part-time.
i’m majoring in art. maybe, if i can show the world what i see, maybe it’ll help make the world a little happier.
dear god, just don’t let my art trigger the whole orgasm thing.
and finally haiku, using the word ‘float’…
you are my tether,
not my ball-and-chain. floating
away? really sucks.
my inner tube float
great ship of the line, river
naval war campaigns
sometimes, being the
last turd to stop floating is
the best i hope for
a floating crap game
“come on seven and heaven”
holy shit, broke again
mood: deciding to go back to bed and try to get some more goddamn sleep
listening to: Conan worry the bowl my sausage biscuits were in