“What’s that, Dive?” Snapped the bat-eared Captain, who was eager for a conciliatory battle: something to replace the one that never came during the day’s march.
But Dive knew better. She opted to get busy gathering her “shit” in lieu of speaking. Even a simple, “Nuthin’ ma’am,” would be an open invitation for the Captain’s pent up frustration. In fact the entire squad had gone silent in a way that eerily resembled the chilling calm before battle––for that is exactly what this was. The Captain was poised to launch a battery of verbal bombardment at any poor fool that spoke up. And just when the tide had seemed to turn for the better, a poor fool, Bri “6-pack” Jackson, belatedly entered the fray.Read More
The sonorous roar of the packed crowd reverberated through the soft koa wood of my guitar, harmonizing, amplifying, and prolonging the death of the final G still bravely holding its ground in the trenches of the third.
The reinforcement of voices wasn’t in time to save the note—who died glorious and pure—and I found myself caught on the banks of an emotional stream whose dam had suddenly, and violently, broke.
The warm spotlight left me with a final, radiant embrace as the house lights came up and I saw no more than a handful of close friends crammed into the shitty dive bar, cheering louder than Madison Square Garden at capacity.
Written for Week 55 of Three Line Tales. It’s been a while, but it’s nice to be back! please leave a like and a comment if you’re so inclined!
He was walking across the street and a few paces ahead of me, such that his face was shielded from my gaze. I wasn’t sure why, but something about the man attracted my wandering eyes. In voyeur, I viewed him at a distance.Read More
A sliver of dawn flooded through a crack in the curtains, filling the semi’s cabin with warm light. The sharpened beam pierced the humid air and stabbed at Jullian’s eyelids. He groaned and opened one eye as if to tell the sun to, “piss off.” Jullian sat up holding his splitting head as if afraid the contents might fall out. He rubbed his eyes, looked at the ajar curtain, and cursed.
He had blown past the eleven-hour-per-day driving limit on a 47 hour, non-stop, hell-bent flight down the east coast: fueled by raw diesel, fresh tobacco, and highly refined amphetamines. It hadn’t been easy, safe, or legal, but Jullian had made it early enough to be the first truck on the dock this morning; Mr. Zerilli’s crew could load their cargo before anyone else showed up.
Don Zerilli never failed to generously compensate for delivering ahead of schedule. With this on his mind, and a mountainous bump of coke in his nose, Jullian turned the key and felt himself roar back to life with his rig. Read More
Angelic lights waltzed atop the cello’s spruce dance floor. Lyla looked at her father’s prized possession as the spirits mingled in silence. “Music is His language,” He would often say, “God is listening when I play.”
Soon, the sound of praying parishioners would echo through the chamber, waking the old oak chapel. Then, with the timber warmed by the word of God, Lyla would feel the soft rosewood neck beneath her fingers, run her bow across the rosin-covered strings, and play a duet with the resonant rafters.
She imagined her father sitting next to God, listening. Read More
The Trading Post was as an oasis in the arid American South. Its dilapidated decor was designed to lure customers in search of nostalgia. Enthusiasts of highway lore and lost travelers alike would stop by and drink in Jack’s cool smile.
Jack perennially sat behind the register, chewing tobacco and waiting for someone to sell his “authentic souvenirs” to. In fact, he was the only authentic curio of the Trading Post. His mass-produced wares were the corporate vision of America’s collective memory. He sold fictions of a nonexistent era.
Jack knew this. His customers knew this. And yet, they came. Read More
Weeks entrapped in the doldrums of Poseidon’s purgatory had sapped the men of their salt and vigor, leaving them to wander the deck; aimless, emaciated, and sunburned.
Far off in the distance, a single light flickered in the night sky like a lonely pulsar emitting heavenly rays of safe-haven as it spun through a vacant corridor of vacuous space.
The very wood of our vessel seemed to come alive as the bell rang triumphant from the crow’s nest, proclaiming our good fortune in rhythm with the lighthouse pulsar as we came about—hope filling our sails. Read More
Row upon row of food-stuffs fill the shelves. I gaze in envy of the restraint it must take. I think of my own house and the pitifully empty fridge buzzing away, cooling the air in that corner of the kitchen. It baffles me how this food is just sitting there—how it carelessly it wastes away without the imminent threat of being consumed by a ravenous beast, caught in the grasp of gluttony.
Such promise is on those shelves.
I am painfully conscious that no one else is taking note of the absolutely ordinary pantry. But I cannot avert my gaze. What seems normal to everyone else is my biggest flaw. I can only casually offer excuses for the lack of food in my kitchen for so long before people start to realize the truth. I know it won’t be long before she understands that whatever is in my fridge one day will be mixed with vile soup stock made from stomach bile and tears in the toilet as soon as I am alone.
This week’s FFFAW forced some serious tones out of me and hit a topic I very rarely discuss. Thank you.