so, in spite of the inclement weather (temp above freezing, but rain off and on all day), we had a good turnout Saturday AM.
prompt: ‘the forgotten room’
what the hell? uncle morgan’s house, day after the will was read. i inherited the place, which sounded really cool, until i saw it.
fifty thousand dollars, six month’s work, it might be good enough to be condemned.
the inside… even worse. i won’t say morgan was a horder, not quite that level of clutter, but it looks like a rat’s nest… a bitter, angry rat’s nest.
seems morgan was a conspiracy nut, and innumerable notebooks are filled with the secret history of the world. lizard people, alien greys, atlantean survivors in a hollow earth, faked moon landings, and it seems the real question for morgan was who didn’t kill kennedy.
then i found it, behind a stack of moldering newspapers, a door.
tiny room, maybe 5 x 10, spotlessly clean, and a simple metal desk and comfortable chair at the far end.
i sat, bent forward, and a keyboard appeared on the desk top, and pictures hovered in the air above it…
prompt: a quote about a cage being finished whose author escapes me…
“what the hell am i gonna put in that? what am i huntin’?”
there’s nothin’ that big, lookin’ at the thick ol’ bars, or that angry i wanna mess with.
i’d answered an ad from the Vacaville Ledger, wantin’ someone fer critter control, five hunnerd dollars.
don’t seem near enough, lookin’ at the cage.
“oh, don’t let that scare you,” Daniella, my new boss, said. “that’s just in case…”
“just in case whut? dineysaurs done come back?”
“funny, beau… you’re a funny man. no, not dinosaurs. just an abnormally large… well, call it a gopher.”
“a gopher… you need that much cage for a gopher?”
“a large gopher, yes.”
there’s a squeal… loud, rolling like thunder… squeally thunder… from the woods.
“seven hunnerd, or you can go find your own gopher, lady.”
“seven hunnerd fifty.”
“but that’s more!”
“yep, it’ll keep bein’ more, you keep negotiatin’…”
another squeal, an’ i’m wonderin’ if this here net she give me is gonna be big enough.
something big, movin’ through the trees, an’ i’m lookin’ at the tranq gun an’ wonderin’ the same thing.
prompt: a half-full bottle
brandy, large bottle, 1862. needless to say, edward saved it for special occasions.
not that he’d think today qualified.
he’s dead, finally, and that’s a reason for two snifters of the good stuff, perhaps three.
we drank the night of our wedding, and he drank the night i gave birth to our daughter.
he drank from it the night my father died, and the family’s money became mine, which really meant it became edward’s.
i think he had two the day of my miscarriage.
again, the night he killed my young paramour.
the day he put the shackle and chain on my ankle.
he took some the evening of our daughter’s wedding, though i did not. he had another snifter the night she died, and again, when her husband was convicted of murder.
today, i watched him choke on his own blood. the police have come and gone. i’m confident the autopsy will show nothing.
i think i might just finish the bottle tonight.
prompt: a quote about the past being a different country where they do things differently
i watch her, every day, a little lower on the pole.
the crowd was decent, i suppose. she’s wearing a course-spun robe, but how obscene is a naked body, or a clothed one, compared to the poll forcing its way through her bowels?
she suffers, obviously, but everyone says she deserves it. three days so far, and i imagine it won’t be much longer. i’ve heard those who have been impaled die of suffocation sometimes, thicker poles disrupting their breathing.
her dirty blonde curls aren’t so curly anymore, and every day shows the sham of her tan, as she discovers the real power of the sun.
the pole is dull, well-rounded at the tip, so theoretically, it could make it all the way through her digestive tract, come out her mouth, without tearing anything.
i’m reminded of the passion of the christ, or maybe, more accurately, the thieves who hung beside him.
what could she have done that was so evil?
(this piece is titled “with love and kisses, to Debbie Wasserman Schultz”)
prompt: a mysterious cupcake
not even my birthday, and there’s a cupcake, with an unlit candle atop it, on my desk.
i waste the first quarter cup of coffee trying to remember if there’s an anniversary or something else work-related, but to no avail.
i’m still full from my breakfast bagels, so i put the cupcake aside, and watch my co-workers for any sign or clue.
it’s lunch before i know it, and a bowl of soup later, i’m full again, so the cupcake remains undisturbed.
by mid-afternoon, the little candle is leaning over to one side, and i’m pretty sure this was put on the wrong desk. i don’t want to ask anyone about it, end up looking stupid, so here it stays.
four in the afternoon, i eat the damn thing.
vanilla cake, chocolate icing… i forego lighting the candle, and as tasty as the cupcake is, it’s gone in three bites.
i want to get up to go to the restroom…
slump to the floor, hit my head on the desk leg…
“god, i thought he’d never eat the damn thing.”
carl, next cubicle over.
“don’t worry, i’m told it’ll be painless. but you’re dying for a good cause. now everybody moves up a spot, instant promotions.
listening to: “Blues in A Minor” – Modern Jazz Quartet
mood: okay, overall