South

South

Moss strands hangs thick.
The ancient oaks bend to ground.
The gardens hold secrets.
Rendezvous traces linger in places
Phantoms wait to dance.
Partners long departed from Earth.
Eyes look past them.
Their forms still sit on benchs.
They linger next to trees.
The reflections show in the ponds.
A gentle time hid them.
Modern world chooses to forgot them.
The world spins further away.
The gardens down South stay the same

Saturday- Granny Series

The calm of Saturday morning passes to noon.  A tiny house begins to make noise.   Slippers drag and slap against linoleum.  It’s a enough to draw attention from another room.  A robe, fuzzy half gathered, hovers across the floor.  A streamer of smoke drifts like jet trail in beams of sunlight.

Cynthia groans at the coffeemaker. It roars back spitting out it’s dark fluid.  The smell covers up the rest of the house.  Although she seems oblivious to him, she senses Bobby.  The eyes on the back of her head knows he has something to show her.   Her mood lightens. 

“Momma, I got your cup and sugar.” Bobby startles her a bit.

“Bobby, I didn’t hear the cabinet open. And I know you need the stool to get up there.”  Cynthia looks to her right.  A cup,spoon, and sugar jar rest beside her.  They weren’t there a second ago.  He can’t reach the cups.  The rest of it, she would see him wouldn’t she?

Her mind races. 

“Bobby, did you do that?” Cynthia talks really slow.

“Momma, did I get the right cup?”  Bobby sounds withdrawn.

“Yeah, babe.  I want to know how you did that.  Can you show me again?”  The wuss trial out slowly.

Before her a cabinet door opens.   A coffee cup gently floats down and skies on counter.   A spoon raise from a drawer to meet it.

Cynthia stares.  Bobby giggles.

Target Practice – Granny Series

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The midnight hour swallows the noises of the day.  A cool stale breeze stirs.  A few wobbles of a ceiling fan.  A distance car drives down a suburban street.  The moon is taking the night off.  Stillness waits to be broken.

Granny pushes the closet door open.  Her long bony fingers emerge from the darkness.  A small nightlight catches their tips.  The creaking of a door sneaking into the room.  The six year old is awake, barely.  His eyes respond to the sound.  The shocks are gone.  His darkly visitor returns.

Her gaunt figure cloaked in faded black night gown-esque material, coarse by today’s world.  Her pale greenish skin glows faintly.  Her sharp feature catch shadows.  The shadows deepen the time worn mask she looks out of.  The smile she holds is most definitely real.  In her hand, a special present for her Bobby.

“Boy, you get up now!  We got somethings to do here.  I ain’t got all night.  Get yourself up.”  She regards Bobby.  Her eyes fixed until she sees his body sitting upright.  

Granny has a circle in her right hand.  She releases it into the air.  Hovering and spinning about fifteen inches across.  Bits of metal slowly flash as it spins.  In her other hand appears darts.  She releases them to float to Bobby.

Bobby rubs at his sleepy eyes.  The darts linger at arms reach.  He sees a disk but the room doesn’t offer much detail.

“I can’t see what it is Granny.  I need some light.”  Bobby adds a little plea to his voice.

“Hush child! You throw them darts.  You ain’t supposed to use your eyes.  Feel it Bobby!  Don’t you feel it!  Come on boy!  You can do this……Granny needs you to.”  Her rough voice starts cold and softens as only a Grandmothers can.

Bobby reaches back and fires a dart.  It thumps into an unseen board. Followed by another…and another. The night light flashes into nothingness.

“So what did you hit, boy?!” Granny adds a hiss to the boy .

“But it’s dark!” Bobby protests.

“If I wanted you to use your eyes, it would be daylight! This ain’t no game. What did you hit!” Granny snipers her query.

“Nineteen…..five and…. the black piece in the middle.” A flat little voice complies.

“Now try this.” She snaps

Granny’s sleeve produces a blade. A dark well worn knife. The Hickory handle sanded to the brass rivets by coarse hands. The spine, a black line pointing to its end. It’s 2 inch thick blade has a stabline. Used once or twice. It’s iron core feels cold in a young hand for good reason.

More pieces to Granny
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 lay below.

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/come-closer/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/granny-tells/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/bobby-wakes/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/cynthia-granny-series-part-4/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/joseph-granny-series/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/granny-brings-presence/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/bobby-and-levitation-granny-series/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/joseph-gets-work-granny-series/

Crossroad

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Crossroads

These gravel and dirt roads mark my path.   You’re GPS can’t find me.   A map? Little help.   Back roads are my kingdom.   The uneducated eye will never understand.

I arrived here by grace.  My choice was taken from me.   But consider my options.  Crowded enmass.  Free to roam.   Your blocks are my miles.   The noise of traffic replaced here by winds that sing.

Somewhere in the debris, you’ll find me.   What’s left at least.  If you stop by, I’ll find you first.  That chill in the air in the desert heat.  That will be me.   I’m forever tied to this crossroad.

Closet

Closet

The still of the night comes apart.   A little scratching noise carries faintly through the room.   An black ink haze.  A swirling ceiling fan with a certain wobble.  Those ate the only things that belong.   The veil of sleep lifted just enough.

Scratch, scratch, scratch….

I lie half awake.   My mind ponders what things could exist in the room with me.   My conscious tells me is nothing.   My anxiety tells me get up now!

Scratch, scratch, scratch….

It repeats. A coded message from a dark closet.  There’s nothing but clothes and boxes.   But they don’t scratch.

My mind twos me to turn on the light.   The heart says no.  Whatever I see can then see me.

What would come into the room this way.  What could not see the closet and not get out?  It’s a ghost.  A spectre.  Nothing worldly would be trapped by a simple door.   It’s scratches call me out of sleep.   Beckon me to behold is unnatural form.  I have seen the stories.   It’s has to be evil.   No way anything good would be hold back by a door.

Scratch, scratch, scratch….

My mind is turning fast.   My heart races.  I pretend I can sleep.

Scratch, scratch, scratch….

It wins.  It wins.  

My hand reaches for the light.   My eyes are saucers.   Big bold black holes.   Peering into the depths of the room.   Nothing is there.   The scratching finally stops.  My eyes shrink down in size.  My heart returns to normal.

The light goes out.   So do I.

Scratch, scratch, scratch….

My heart is in my throat before my eyes open.   I’m in full panic.   It’s back.   It’s louder.

Scratch, scratch, SCRATCH….

I can’t do this all night.  There’s noone else here.  I’m an adult.   Ghosts don’t really exist.   They are just bad reality TV.

SCRATCH, SCRATCH, SCRATCH….

I ignore it.   I turn on the light.   It stops. I grab a book.   I’ll club anything that moves with it.   So help me…it is a paperback.   Ok I’ll just scare it a bit.   Either way.  It’ll have to deal with me.

Scratch, scratch, scratch…..

Oh god..it’s still going.   I reach for the closet.  I’m ten feet.   Then five.  Then touching the handle.

One, two, three… What if it runs out?

OK this is silly.   One, two, three.

I throw the door of the closet open. I step back. Book ready  to swing like a bat.

Mr Jones, the cat walks out.

“What are you doing in there?!” I ask.

He doesn’t reply.

Bobby and Levitation – Granny Series

Bobby runs downstairs for dinner. Clutched under his arm is Sinclair, the green dinosaur.  Sinclair and Bobby hop the last stair.  Both hit the floor on their feet and proceed across a rope bound rug toward the kitchen.

Joseph looks over at the two.  He stares at the dinosaur in prefect motion.  He hears no motors.  He scratches at his half bald head.

“Bobby were did you get that thing?!  I can’t believe your mom had extra cash for that.” Joseph thinks about others money when he’s not working.

“Granny gave it to me.  She said she it’s old.” Bobby never looks at him. Rather parks the dinosaur at the foot of his chair.  

The tiny kitchen has four chairs all different colors and styles.  Bobby gets the fridge seat.  No sense in the adults having to get drinks.

Bobby grabs pops fit him and momma.  Joseph gets the beer. 

“Bobby  the damn beer  is getting good warm!”  Joseph demands the beer before he can close the door. 

Bobby looks for momma.  Not seeing her, he concentrates on the beer.  He sees it floating.  His hand barely touchs it.  He moves his hand aside and looks toward Joseph. The beer follows an invisible line.  Gently it rests before a stunned Joseph.

“That ain’t funny!  You fucking with me BOY!!  That’s witch craft!”  Joseph  squirms in his chair.  Half wanting to call Cynthia.  But what does he say…the beer floated across the room.

Bobby stands at the back of his chair looking at Joseph.  His face is blank.  His mind isn’t.  “Granny told me that things would change around here when I got better.  Am I getting better Joseph?!”

Cynthia enters the kitchen with a bag of fast fried chicken and plastic containers.   Noone speaks a word.

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 lay below.

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/come-closer/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/granny-tells/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/bobby-wakes/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/cynthia-granny-series-part-4/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/joseph-granny-series/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/granny-brings-presence/

The Tree

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“There’s a witch over there.”  Harry pointed to the hilltop.

“There ain’t no witches here!   Momma says so.  You just want to scare me, Harry. Quit …or I’ll tell on you!” Mary looks at the tree on the hill. “Besides that’s a tree.  Everyone knows witches are people!  ‘Cept when they walk around as a black cat.  They have wrinkly skin.   It’s not normal colored either. It’s gross.  It can’t be no witch!”

Harry looks back at the tree. “Mary, did you see a straight tree? It was straight right!”

“It’s an old tree.   Probably has bugs all over it.” Mary grows tired of her older brother. She don’t care if he’s seven. Still don’t know nothin’.

“Mary, it’s bent over and picked something with its branches.   Looks like when you pick something with your fingers.   Now, I know it moved.   I’m gonna go home.  There’s a witch in that tree!” Harry talks as he starts to run.

“Whoa! It did move!” Mary follows behind her big brother.

Granny Brings Presence

Bobby pokes at his dinner of boxed lasagna.  Cooked until the outsides burnt black.  The wide noodles pale dried things curling outward with charcoal tips.

“Bobby! If you spent half the time eating as playin’ dinner would be over.” Cynthia snipes at him.

She turns her attention back to Joseph.  “Well, you have to get something.   I don’t care if you shovel shit!  Take that dock job.  You got two weeks of unemployment left.”

“I’m trying but it all that easy out there.” Joseph lowers his head and makes his food much Bobby across from him.

“What about that minute thing, Joseph?  Wasn’t there something at the bar?”  Bobby speaks with the innocence of a little boy and it hits like a brick to the face.

“Bobby!”  His mom and Joseph lash out in unison.

“Where did that come from young man?” Cynthia chimes in.

“This is bull shit.  You spying on me you little shit!” Joseph blasts out.

“You was in that fucking bar!  We ain’t got money for bills and there you are.   That’s just prefect!” Cynthia gets up from the table.   Letting everyone else to escape as well.

Cynthia lead Joseph into the living room.   A collection of couch and chairs.   Old blankets covered them all.   Dark tables strategically place to keep trash off the floor.

The conversation fell into curt  sentences working as much as Joseph.  Bitter barbs about what a man should do and retorts of why he couldn’t.   The sand will be fight overand tomorrow’s tide will rearrange it shortly.   The dance never ends and the music of discord won’t stop to leave the dancers peace.

Upstairs, a little boy waits.   He knows Granny whispered something about Joseph’s day.   His little mind worrys, did he spill a secret. He is hoping for her return….He is scared of her coming back too.  He plays a video game to kill the night like every other.

Bobby’s eyes open.   The games over.   A repetitive screen shows his character dying over and over again.   His sleepy eyes look for the clock.   Granny is sitting behind him on the bed.

Her thin mouth parts, “Bobby, your neck ain’t gonna be good son. Get on over here boy. We gotta talk about somethings.”

He puts down the controller.   He walks had down, flopping foot following flopping foot.  He sits down next to the apparition that is Granny.  Her black gown hung on skeletal frame.   Warm green eyes glow calmly.  She extends left arm around his back.

Her right arm reaches outward.  A bony finger points to a green plastic dinosaur.  The toy well worn.   Scratches, and black marks color it’s skin.

“Boy, it’s yours….  If you can pick it up.”  Granny tells him.

Bobby leans forward.  Granny pulls him up right, hard enough to make a point.

“Not with your hands boy!   Pick it up like I told you to!”  Her tone gets a little stronger.

He looks at her blinking.   He has no clue what to do.  He stares at it.  He thinks about it moving to him.   The dinosaur shakes.   He stops thinking.   It’s not right.   He knows it. He starts again.   It moves an inch, than a couple more.

“That’s it Bobby.   You put it in your lap now.” She assures him as he goes.  “That’s Sinclair.  He will be here for you.  Sinclair is special.  He’s like you.”

Bobby lifts it to his lap.   Just like he’s told.   His prideful face glows.  He feels ten feet tall.  He feels Granny’s arm  show on his back.

“Granny, was I supposed to tell Joseph about him being in the bar.  I heard you tell me about it.  I thought it was OK.  Is it ok?!”  Bobby trys to met her eyes.  Her head is turned away.

“Bobby, he needed someone to say it to him.  Your getting big.  Momma needs you sometimes.”  She disappears into the room on way to the closet.

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 lay below.
https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/come-closer/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/granny-tells/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/bobby-wakes/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/cynthia-granny-series-part-4/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/joseph-granny-series/

Cynthia- Granny Series Part 4

“She never stumbles.
She’s got no place to fall”

Cynthia dumps Bobby at school.  Her car pulled up to curb.   Across from here, other parents line up to the schools door to drop their darlings off.  She watches him crawl out.   His backpack stuffed like a boy scout headed for the woods. Her motherly instinct fails to do more for him.   She sighs as he moves away.

Her tired eyes blink at end of the sleeping pills.  The mood is stormy at best.   Her drive to work already behind.   Nothing but misery awaits her.

Medical Claims. The letters, cold blue hang over the door to her personal hell.  Her fingers flip ash from a half smoked cigarette.   She draws a deep breath tainted with nicotine.  The feelings exhale with the smoke.   An automated human figure.   Empty shell delaying is entrance as long as can be.  Her shadow finds the door first.

“Well, how nice it is you showed up today, Cynthia! Only twenty minutes late, nice job honey. ”  Dale looks her over.  His eyes wrap around her.   His smiling face acknowledges her thin figure, belied with small curves.   The long since dyed brown ponytail shows her round face clearly.  Porcelain complexion offset by dark brown eyes.   The lack of expression doesn’t take away from her appearance.

“I’m here asshole. That kid had to go to school, you know.   Bunch of assholes like you in front of me coming here…..you don’t have to stare at my tits!  God your pathetic!”  Her response comes as she walks by him.   Her eyes glare briefly.

She moves past a couple desks to the back.  Her little hole of darkness.  An old computer screen and phone sits among the trash of her professional life.

Dale follows her with his eyes the whole way.   She’s the worst employee he has ever seen.   He knows she needs the job.   He really knows some day, there will be no chance of keeping her.  Well, there will have to be a better reason to keep her around.

The mindless calls start.   “Hello.  This is Cynthia from MCA.  May I speak with some dumb ass deadbeat who didn’t pay for their doctor/ hospital/ medical test? Oh your cheap ass insurance was supposed to pay for all of it.   Oh I guess either your an asshole with bad insurance or are you a messed up, broke down human that we wasted medical treatment on.”  Every couple of minutes it starts all over.   Answering machines, voice mail, busy signals are all welcome things.  The pace of the day is slow.

Cynthia keeps a keen eye on the clock.  Her nicotine runs low every two hours.   Her body aches from the dead weight she carries inside.   The excuses she hears. The bills they owe.   It all helps her feel better about her self.  There might be people worse off. But most days there ain’t far she can fall.

Parts 1, 2, 3 lay below.
https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/come-closer/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/granny-tells/

https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/bobby-wakes/

Quote from “She Belongs to Me” by Bob Dylan

Bobby wakes – Granny Series

Third installment of Granny series
Part one https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/come-closer/
Part two https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/granny-tells/

“Bobby get you ass out of bed!  You goin’ to school!  I ain’t got the time for this young man!” Momma’s voice winds up the stairs.  She has no eyes for what is happening in the boy’s room.  Her morning capsulated in pieces of time for certain things.  Two extra minutes blows the whole thing apart.

Bobby stretches out.  His bed a bump of blankets wadded up in the middle.  His eyes open to the closet.  It’s still cracked open enough to grab a shirt.  There is no movement in the room.  Red glowing numbers confirm he’s late.  A small body swings sideways.  Legs reach for the floor.  Mom is still yelling but it’s muffled.  He grabs clothes for the day.

He has had little sleep.  Finding the door and stairs are drawn out processes. One by one a thud announces his progress toward the kitchen.

“Young man.  You’re killing me today!  I got to go.  You should be brushing those green teeth already.  It’s a Danish for you, and grab yourself some milk!  Move it boy.”  Momma keeps the pace up.

Her wardrobe is hooded sweatshirt, long sleeve t-shirt, jeans faded like hopes.  Her thirty six years aged more like forty.  Wrinkles have set in.  Eyes, brows and mouth pulled down by ravages of life.  Trees have rings to show age.  Her rings are baggage.  Every failure could be left behind.  Every loss could have washed away by time.  Everything is a monument to what has gone wrong.  The fight to overcome the past is lead by General Pride.  Retreating is forbidden.  

“Who is my Granny?” Bobby fumbles the words.

“You don’t have no Granny! Grandma Ruth, she’d blow a gasket if you called her that. Grandma Jackie…I don’t think you outta go there either. Why? You got to get ready! I got no time for this now. I’ll be late. Too many of those this month already. Come on Bobby. We gotta go.” Momma grabs coffee and a purse. She turns for the door.

A solitary figure sits at the table. Middle aged, salt and pepper hair, some of it still in place. His stubble makes him look as successful as he is. Joseph watches the two from the sidelines. His gaze the only effort he’ll invest in the kid.