Sunday Whirl – Caught in a Web

“Tina?” I question her feigning shock.

The word like a shard of broken glass on the tongue. Slippery, like the truth, time chains me to the moment. My mind runs for greener grass. But the screen I use for reason, fails to catch what I need to escape.

Wordle – Haunts of You


1. monkey wrench
2. dust bunny
3. jejune [naive, simplistic, and superficial|(of ideas or writings) dry and uninteresting]
4. rowboat
5. goose-neck lamp
6. dementia
7. angst
8. vexatious [causing or tending to cause annoyance, frustration, or worry|denoting an action or the bringer of an action that is brought without sufficient grounds for winning, purely to cause annoyance to the defendant]
9. pernicious [having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way]
10. mollycoddle
11. milk bottle
12. vermilion lipstick [vermilion:a brilliant red pigment made from mercury sulfide (cinnabar)]

My vexatious glances lock on that vermilion lipstick stained milk bottle. The effect of dementia or angst… i know not. I’m drunk on pernicious ideals life is fair.

“Mollycoddle, your word to label me” I yell at shadows cast from the gooseneck lamp.

I see monkey wrenches you laid into my plans. Row boats beached on distant shores. They mix in their darkness with the dim light. A dust bunny becomes a dragon. More jejune debris from brief in humans.

Things that go bump in The night

She knew she’d hit something. But what? She saw the shape suddenly jumping or running right in front of her car. Her heart was racing while she got out of the car. Maybe it was just her imagination. Maybe it was the fog and the darkness setting in. Maybe she did not hit anything. Maybe it was just the fog. But she felt it too. She slowly made her way to the front of the car. And then her heart froze. There it was.

It’s her first new car. The damage is just awful. Her silver arrow had a broken noise! Julia now had to figure out how to explain this. Her new baby crushed.

She screamed once, then twice. Stomped her three inch heels, snapping one in the process.

“Oh Julia. We talked about you getting that car. I thought it was too much power for you. I’m so glad you didn’t kill yourself. ..” She mocked the voice that would tell her how bad it was. She cried a little. Uttered some more semi coherent phases. She once more limped around here vehicle on one broken heel.

She kicked the object responsible. Then again. Then again.

“Aaaahhhhh, my shoes are ruined. My car is ruined. What is wrong with you?!” She terse voice looks for something to blame here.

“Ok calm down Julia. You got to call. Get it over with. He’ll come get you. Make you feel loosy about it. Then he’ll fix the GOD DAMN PIECE OF SHIT CAR!” Talking to herself on isn’t working. But the echo from the other side of fog is. The echo chides her as well.

The Baxter freeway. Road to nowhere. Expressway to avoid everyone. Here she sits. Staring at broken car. One person there. It’s really quiet. Because there’s no cell phone service.

Gulp. The body in front of the car is no longer in front of the car. Julia thinks to herself. Maybe it wasn’t an animal at all. That’s right it was just shadow. Could of been a deer. … bounced off to the side. It happen fast. Surely nothing could have walked off with the damage to the car.

The fog parts showing the rock wall keeping the car from falling down forty foot drop. Tree tops stand tall in front of her. The full moon casts their shadow at her. The birds of fog dance in the moon’s glow.

“It would be so beautiful. ….”

Her thoughts and voice cut short. There’s some kind of figure sitting on the rocks. Engulfed by shadow but it’s there. She can feel it. It can feel her too.

“Oh god, it’s not dead. I need to know what it is. Why is it just sitting there?” She whispers. She half crouches and leans toward her companion still thirty plus feet away. Her heart beating like bongo drums in her ears. She stands frozen for a minute or half hour. Time has all about stopped.

She checks her phone. No signal! She walks backward to the car. Her eyes on that dark shape. Her mind finds what looks like legs but not quite right. Are they human? Not quite right. Are they animal? Just a little too thick. She looking for movement. Hoping for no movement. Her hand feels the car behind her. The sharp edge of bent nose pricks her finger. Slow warm blood drops from those manicured nails.

Then it happens. The thing in shadow moves. It’s stretching to upright itself. The fog rolls up from the side of road. In a flash, it stands on two legs but didn’t seem like a person. The moon light fades beneath the fog. Darkness and headlights. No creature. Julia jumps in the car with a very loud door slam.

“Calm down girl. It’s alive. See you didn’t kill anything. .. But the car. .. I wish I could see it. That fog covered everything. Oh no. What’s that sound?”

There is a single sound piercing the fog. It could be a howl. It could have been a scream. It didn’t sound hurt.

From the corner of her eye, comes movement. A flash of brown. Then the window shatters. A clawed hand grabs her by the hair. Screaming replaces breathing. She fights off the first wave. Then a second. It leaves her sitting. Alone. Sitting. Dark road. It’s going to be a long night.

Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge

Challenge open Saturday 28th – Friday 4th December 2015 Welcome to this week’s Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge. For those who have never dropped by before, a new prompt is posted every Saturday morning at 9am GMT for you to interpret in any way the muse grabs you.

Shattered on the Ground – Storybook

“Mona Lisa lost her smile.
The painter’s hand is trembling now.”

The dim light hides in the corners of Jay’s Place. The regulars stare at the old boxy tv hanging off the wall.   The eyes follow the movement of any sport it shows.  Save for one pair. The eyes pine for another world in the suds of beer trapped inside the dirty mug.

Philip sits befixed by the separation of future and past.  His hollow eyes look for answers.  The trash heap of life he created weighs on the heart and lungs.   His crutch of twelve ounce courage doesn’t move him like it once did. 

The bar is a dark place, but not as dark as the heart.   Rows of tired bottles stand like tombstones to the lives they serve.   The moving body that serves it has little more than a pulse.  The body changes but not the results. Today’s version, Renee looks over ti watch the progress of Philip’s needs.

Philip mumbles incoherently.   His mind rewinding the past.   The glance from Renee registers deep somewhere.   Her hair isn’t in the ponytail.   The setting more intimate.  Not quite strangers using each other as more than friends.   The possibility of it happening again is never.  Back then he had something to lose.  She didn’t want more.   Just the way it is.

He had it made.   Vera, his newly ex, stood by four longest time.  She never thought much of the odd side jobs, the Game Nights with friends, an occasional doctor visit. The lunch with Tammi was the unraveling moment.   The avalanche of moments raced down upon him.   Tammi was friends to both, but no more.

His tattered spirit hung out into the wind.  Streams of canvas snapping back at the gusting air.  He wanted create a perfect picture of life with the right person.   She is the one who choose the wrong medium.  He never found out what she knew and didn’t know.

“The masterpiece that they had planned,
Laid shattered on the ground.
Mona Lisa lost her smile.
The painter’s hand is trembling now.”

An idea thought of as Storybook, taking a song and filling in the story.  

Lyrics are “Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile” by David Allen Coe.  Video below.

Opportunity is a Deadbeat

West and Seventeenth.  Each corner has a Brown brick building.  The decay of them spirals into a faint mist in the August night.  A lone figure watches over the intersection.   It’s flashing yellow light cries to be seen.  Above the street, few of the uppers have light in them.   Not even the ghosts are seen here.

Connor leans on a metal fence covering what was a grocery.  It’s worn metal curves into a bed for those who can’t lay down.   His fingers cradle a cigarette.   It’s being nursed along.   The pack is empty.   The cigarette butts recycled twice already.   A cell phone and a cd.   His possessions are few.   His place is important to the job.

Down the block, across to the right.  A small shop, Pawn R Us, window promises the commodity no-one here has, cash.  The little sign in corner says protected by DNG Security.   Not tonite.  Opportunity is meeting preparedness, what you call luck.

Darkness at nine calls for the gang to meet.   They hold up in a small flat.   Ten blocks relieved of the neighborhood where they will travel.   It’s five guys, six never comes in contact with them.   Safety in numbers only when no-one is caught.

Danny has the plan.   Computer open.   He’s working a video.   Editing it down.   Fifteen minutes.   No-one looks at him. No-one talks to him.   Invisibility is his thing.   They all respect it.  For without him, it’s no job, no pay, and if it goes bad no future.   He is without risk.   It’s good to be king.

Nigel puts the three others together.  His game is simple.  Deception.   He barks ideas.
Precision strike is the order of the day.   They have a twelve minute time frame.   The security cameras come back live quickly.   No escape.   No door movement.  No shadows.   Nothing shows when it’s live.

Driver sits a block off.   Eighteenth and west, old tire and jack sitting by.   Looks are important.    He’s thrown out of circle. Then there are two with jobs.

Pawn shops exist in two worlds.  One above boards where they make money.  And one below boards, where money goes to be cleaned.  These gentleman are carpenters by trade. Accomplices by circumstances.   The need to eat motives the right people.   There spoils are drug money.  The risk is worth more than living out means.

Nigel covers their work.   The back office and store front are covered in cameras.   Only two places that are off camera.   Their search pattern is reduced to small area.   The safe is watched by two cameras.   That’s the legitimate business.   Valuables known, easy to report.  Harder to get rid of.   This is easy.   Find hollow space, take cash.   Twelve minutes two men, two four by five foot squares. Nigel runs the point at the side door.

In the heat of the city, a truck rolls down a hill.   The only thing in its way a transformer.   West and fifteen.  The pole pushes against a building,  a spark and darkness.  Backup systems click on.  Computers restart.   The clock has started.   A dark figure opens a door.   Two rats scurry after bits of sustenance.

A man far away looks at monitors showing and recording nothing.  The loop is in.   Left behind as a memory while the system resets.   An automatic log in follows.  Absolute perfection as machine provides everything a man needs to know.   There is no trail of bread crumbs. Just a video showing nothing.

The men find two holes.  Fifteen hundred dollars.  It’s not the score they were told.   Nigel is eight minutes in.   Two dumbfounded cohorts are sent back in.   There a bathroom.   Damn it.   The plan was simple, they gave up.

Across the street, a dark figure kicks a can.   A cell phone flashes light against a cd.  It shines down an alleyway.   It falls on two eyes.  A couple quick shots.   Two careless bodies found in a bad place with no real reason.  A solitary figure turns a corner.   Two blocks away a truck waits.   Two people nervously watch the digital clock change numbers.

Two streets away.   A police car comes to a stop at the top of an alley.   The lights flash back on.   The curtain falls on the last act to two career losers.