Don’t think about it, she reminded herself for the hundredth time.
It was a Wednesday night. She was tired. Staring across the intersection, mesmerized by the pulsing yellow light of her turn signal reflecting off the slick, black tar, she had almost gone down the rabbit hole again. The light turned green, but she did not move. In Zen meditation she hadn’t even noticed. She was utterly consumed by the yellow blinking light.
She watched and listened from inside her silent car, feeling as though the turn signal was echoing her steadily beating and indifferent heart. As she sat, the yellow light seemed to grow brighter, the ticking became louder, and time seemed to stretch. Each breath between the beats felt like an eternity building pressure in her head. Her eyes became strained and dry from not blinking in centuries, and her ears began to ring like a shrieking violin. Suddenly, a trumpet sounded and two bright lights flashed in her rear-view mirror. Snapping back to reality, she urged the car forward and turned onto the highway entrance ramp.
Continue reading “Wednesday Night”
“Alright ladies. Time to go. Get your shit and fall in!”
“A true fuckin’ poet, the Cap’ is.” Grumbled Marla “Dive bar” McTavern.
“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. Continue reading “On the March”
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!
Photo by Edwin Andrade
For a similar flash fiction piece I wrote last year, check out Christmas Eve Concert
The other day I saw a man.
He was walking on the other side of 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. Continue reading “The Man Across the Street”
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. Continue reading “On the Road”
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. Continue reading “Christmas Eve Concert”
“Just look at her over there—thinking she’s better than the rest of us.”
“Come on, Sally. How do you know what she’s thinking?”
“Oh really, Jim? You’re gonna take her side? Typical…”
“—Don’t think I haven’t noticed you talking about her newfound flamboyance.”
“No! I… Well it’s hard not to notice how fantastically she sticks out.”
“‘Fantasically’! I remember you used to talk about how fantastically I stuck out…”
“Oh, come on babe…”
“Don’t ‘come on babe’ me! Admit it! My shingles don’t do it for you anymore, do they!?”
“Well they are a bit tattered…”
With all the stress and emotions of the US election today, I decided to go with a lighthearted joke of a story this week. I hope you enjoyed it!
Check out Friday Fictioneers for more stories and prompts!
PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook
Word count: 98
At university, “#24/7Blaze” had been a joke among his friends, but for Max it quickly became a way of life.
Through failing grades, revoked scholarships, layoffs, and ruined relationships, he had clung to The Way as a sailor clings, steadfast, to the mast of a sinking ship insisting everything is all right.
Now alone with his drug induced anxiety, enveloped by the smoke-laden dark of an apartment in which he had never wanted to live, Max exhaled another compulsive cloud of addiction and wept. Continue reading “Hold Fast”
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. Continue reading “Nostalgic Reverie”
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. Continue reading “Pulsing Hope”