Microfiction: “A Good Nap, Ruined”

Okay, so this one is far more the side of pointless whimsy than emotion and meaning, but sometimes you just gotta go with the flow…

”A Good Nap, Ruined”

The meal was exactly what he wanted…what he needed.  Oh, it had been far too much work to get it all ready — not to mention the godawful mess it had left that he was pretty sure would never come clean — but sometimes you just had to spoil yourself.  Others he knew, they preferred to always eat what was neat and easy, but where was the fun and satisfaction in that?

 A nap, he wanted.  An hour or two just to let the summer sun and that big meal work their magic on him.  There had been a lot of walking that morning; a lot of clambering over downed trees, a lot of hills and valleys, a lot of wandering and exploring in that special place.

His nap, however, just would not come.  There was too much noise, too much activity.  What the hell happening over there?  Naps were the best part of the day, and now his was being ruined by the thoughtless and careless.

A stretch and a curse, then, and a pause for a last bite from the scattered remains of his lunch, then he began to walk, and to investigate.

Shit, more noise…yelling and chaos, now.

Drowsiness turned to irritation, and to impatience, and he began to yell at the rude bastards who wouldn’t let him relax, who wouldn’t afford him the simple courtesy of some peace and quiet.

The one in the flowered dress — the big one who looked so soft and sweet — turned to the one next to her, asked, “Can’t you stop him eating that?  It was just a baby!”

The other, the one in green, just shook his head, even as he continued to stare, “Bears have to eat, too.”

Microfiction Monday: “A Night Like This”

Umm…this one got some inspiration from a song — as usual — but it came also from my own life.  Err … umm … did I forget to mention that I may just happen to have attended a few raves in my younger days?  Ahem.

“A Night Like This”

The music was deafening, the room chaos.  The bodies were sweaty and heaving, pressed into intimacy on every side.  Blue hair, brown eyes, barely clad in just the right ways, the girl in his arms was a beautiful stranger.

He had no business with her, not in any world he understood.  Not on any night…except this night, this carnival of light and sound and lust.  On a night like this, outside lives — normal lives — died with barely a whimper, and many sins were born.

Dances and kisses, that was their language.  Words, even whispered ones, were pointless.  Caresses and passion said more than words ever could, anyway.  More booze, even a few pills, as the night developed, and the carnival of light and sound turned into a full-blown riot.

He’d had far too many nights predictable and boring.  But not this night, he vowed.  On this night he would finally live.  This was one night that would not end like all the others.  A night like this would end only in fire.

In the restroom, then, packed tightly into a single stall.  For once his surroundings meant nothing.  For once — for this night, at least — he had life itself in his arms.  His life — his real life, his “wonderful” life — meant nothing in the fire of that embrace.  

“How was your weekend?” his friends asked, on Monday, in their cubicles grey and drab and oh-so-normal.

“Oh, you know,” he replied, “the usual.”

Microfiction Friday: “A Hundred Years Ago”

Note – the inspiration of this piece is a song, as it is in so much of my writing.  I wanted to do 300 words on the images that song raised.  I don’t think I succeeded in telling this as a STORY, not in the way I should, but nor do I hate what I came up with in that hour of writing…

A Hundred Years Ago

Who the hell am I to judge those who have come before?  Who the hell am I to judge those who lived lives so different, in times more alien than any far planet?

A picture it was that drove me.  A picture, and discussions about the triumphs and failures of a man who has been nothing more to me than a handful of stories told by relatives already old and fading to my far-younger eyes.  The picture of a man who has never been real to me.

Until now.

Now, his ghost is whispering in the background.  He is speaking and trying to teach, but I have to strain to hear.

I carry the burdens of his sins.  We all carry those burdens, the ones from our ancestors.  The burden of their debts in the economy, in the environment, in our society.  But I — we — carry also their victories, and their hard-won wisdom.

The picture I’ve been looking at is simple.  There is one of me, in much the same pose.  That similarity may have been nothing more than happenstance, but it changed me.  A hundred years ago, in a time so different, among people so different, across a gulf of far more than just years, our faces look the same.  Our bodies look the same.  What else is the same?

There he stood, his newborn child in his arms.  He was trying to look stern, I think, trying to be the epitome of the distant, uncaring father…but you can see it in his eyes, the love.  You can see just how much that tiny child changed the world for him.

I look down, even as I write this, as I try to calm the squirming and squiggling, and I can’t help but think, “Just like me.”

P.S. — I never did find that one special picture to accompany this that I was looking for…

Microfiction Monday: “Written in Stone”

Two hundred words, on the phrase “written in stone”.  I know others would come at this challenge differently, but I had no choice in what I wrote:

”Written in Stone”

His hands clenched.  The hands that had never held a weapon, the fingers that had never pulled a trigger.

He felt the fear, then…the muscle-clenching, bone-breaking fear that all-but consumes your soul.  He who had never before felt true fear.

His body refused to move.  The muscles refused to obey and the joints to move.  He wanted nothing more than to cry, to curl up and sob in his mother’s arms.

Small, he felt, and insignificant.  Part of the tears came from that — oh, yes, did they come from that — but only part.  The rest?  The rest came from debt…from debt and from gratitude.

Once again, he read those words.  The words that had brought true perspective, the words written in stone:

“Here rests in Honored Glory

A Soldier known but to God”