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  • March 2010
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The Sill (Flash Fiction)

She straddled the window sill. A wet, salty tear dropped from her chin to the backside of her hand. She wiped it away absentmindedly with one hand and swiped at her cheek with the other. Her time over the last year was spent in this same predicament; an emotional split between hard reality and hard consequences. The night tore into darkness as she spun and stroked a keepsake keychain, tumbling from each finger to the next. A small fish engraved on the metal keychain symbolized one small truth that is more difficult to except to some, more than to others; life.

Another crash echoed to her sill from the main floor. That was a drinking glass, she thought to herself, Mothers favorite. The arguing has not seized to end for what seemed to be an eternity. Her Mothers new boyfriend – He could be the one, she would say – was in yet another drunken stupor, fighting and clawing, insulting her life and what it has come to. Only that one turned into two, then to four, and then to seven; each with their own drunken meanness that never seemed to vary. Her Father was long gone, as another tear dropped from her chin and landed on her pant leg, and he was never coming back.

Her state of depredation, plundering food from waste cans or friends dropping dinner left-overs from their own bedroom windows, has sent her into a new realm of sadness. She would drop into her own Elsewhere, eyes distant and mind even further, on the first sign of raised voices; her solace. This window sill she sits, one foot planted firmly on her bedroom floor and the other resting on the roof from the second story, has become her anger; anger to choose what a child should not have to be confronted with.

Finally, after another large crash and rage ensuing, she snatched her backpack from her bedside, shouldered it, wiped yet more tears from her cheeks, thrust herself through the window, onto the roof, down the emergency fire escape ladder, and through the thick of backyard clutter. She would be back – she bit her lip in frustration – at some point, in an hour or three, after she plundered for dinner. She slowly holstered the stray hair in her face behind her ear as she glanced back at the faint light from her window sill. The keychain was still in her hand, tumbling through each finger, and yet another tear dropped from her lash and found a home on the metal. She rubbed in the tear, smiled, and whispered; Life.


Choices (Short Story)

The woman was scared shitless as she sat on the rooftop, listening to this psycho jabber about strangers. She struggled to keep her composure. There was duct tape slapped around her mouth and rope wrapped around her wrists. Even if she wasn’t bound and gagged, where would she go? The rooftop of a sixty three story building wasn’t built for fast escapes like this situation demanded. Besides, the rifle propped on a slack, homemade stand scared her stiff. The only thought that was circling her head was her husband. Strong and handsome; he would know what to do in this situation. But, no, she was in this nightmare, not him.

“I’m not a bad guy. I have a job and pay taxes. My dreams and aspirations aren’t all that different than any other man. I sometimes see myself part of the JFK assassination, the crosshairs of my rifle on the man’s forehead, completely oblivious to anything but his beautiful wife and the trained sheep cheering and following their shepherd. And that brings us to where we are now.”

A gust of wind blew from the north, kicking up dust on the rooftop.


Guess What?

Ladies, you know the feeling. Men, probably more so.

My wife said she was late.
“Late for what?”, I respectfully reply.
“Duh”, was her only response.


I learn all this at work. Work, is well work. I try anything to release my mind from trivialities and welcome any distractions, from work.

This, on the other hand, is not my idea of a “happy distraction”. A “happy bomb” is a better word for this distraction and I have nine hours left of self-piting work of guilt/horror/anxiety. My idea of a good day.

I guess I should mention here that we already have three kids, a mortgage, a puppy, and in-laws to already deal with. If our plate is not already full, why not adding to it, no? Yes, no. Let’s not go there.

I finally end my grueling shift of what I like to call, Other Happy Distractions; no need for detials.

Now I’m driving home from work, stopping at the store for a pregnancy test and toilet paper, attempting not to pass out and lose control of my vehicle (you’ve all been there, I’m sure). Pregnancy test and toielt paper. Something is ironic about this but I can’t place it.

I make my way to where the tests are shelved and my horror distinctively heightens. I define myself as a secure male. I will, and have, picked up tampons for my wife and I’m not embarassed to do it. Unnamed grocery store, fire the person who decided where to shelve stock. A male walking into an area only designed for woman (tampons, pads, pregnancy tests, hemroid creme, ect.) is only asking for a male-horomone-enhanced-meltdown. My first thought, Where’s the camera? That is just an uncomfortable area for a male.

I grab a cheap brand, Answers, and bolt out of the area in search for a more desirable product of purchase; maybe. I’m rocking around the store, rather large, attempting to find said toilet paper. I welcome this thought. However, I can’t find them. Being alone, pregnancy test in hand, everyone can see the one item I have to purchase so far. And they know the feeling. Look after look of shock, then pity, then anger, then sadness. How do I place it all? I can’t find the damn toilet paper!

Finally, I give up. I find an isle with an employee and swallow my pride; if I still had it at this point. Seriously, this guy had a mullet. Then, as I started with my inquiry, his mullet-sporting-head-judgemental-front-eyes actually judged me. Judged. Me. Granted, I was asking where the toilet paper was with the hand holding the pregnancy test. This only looked too weird. If only someone had taken a picture or video, I would have posted it. Probably not, but maybe.

I hear him chuckle as I scurry away, shoving anger past the large ball of anxiety down my gullet. Snatch the toilet paper, head to the U-scan, averting all eye contact, and haul out.

I get home to kids in bed, thank God, to my wife already in the bathroom applying cream to her beautiful face. She quickly looks away as I walk in, attempting to conceal the cream on her face blinding me, and says hello. She proceeds to tell me the wonderful kids story of the day, and any other day would be more than happy to listen, and I said, “Yea, honey, that’s great. Pee on the stick.” What can I say, I’m a romantic.

Test comes back negative, I think. Hard to tell sometimes with the devil-red lines; so condescendingly “ha-ha” about it. Now way, there’s no second red line. Score!

Moral of the story: Don’t Do Drugs!

Also, how would like your significant other to sport this t-shirt to drop the bomb? It should be a T-Rex holding a baby, that would generate the same response from a male.

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