Category Archives: Weekly Writing Challenge

Tripping the baby

The throbbing pins in my feet cause my legs to go numb, but I don’t mind because its my palm pressed against your check that inspires your cooing.

Beat boxing ’till my mouth is numb just to hear your laugh.

Playing with a baby is just like tripping on acid.

Jimmie G

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty

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The Girl in the hammock

He broke down outside the Unemployment office after the third visit. “There’s something for you just around the corner”, LaSandra told him in a very convincing voice. He would have believed it had he not heard her same the same thing to the two people before him. She meant well but that didn’t make the bullshit stink any less.

He was jovial with LaSandra, even making her laugh a couple of times before leaving. She assured him he had submitted to go jobs, that though it was very competitive, he was among the best. “It will take time, sweetie, don’t quit, okay?”, LaSandra like to say. He would respond with “the only thing I quit is cigarettes and”, the second part he changed each time, today’s quit was, “Fifty Shades”. LaSandra laughed out “Oh stop” as she removed the book from view.

Thats how he left LaSandra, with a smile on his face. He sat in his broken car, which he shared with whomever else had a Honda key in the city, and cried. A tapping on the driver side window brought him back. Great. Probably a fucking car jacker. It wasn’t. The tapper was a homeless woman. She didn’t stink. That was different than the bums he was used to in New York. Probably all the rain. 

Uncharacteristically he rolled down the window and handed her five bucks. It was the last bit of weekly allowance his wife had brilliantly set up to get them through yet another rough patch. He had planned on using it to buy lunch off the dollar. When he was working he never touched fast food. In unemployment he found himself drawn to disgusting behavior. Let the bum lady have it. If there is a God maybe he, she (?) will count it as tithing and grant me a prayer. 

The bum lady said thank you through a gapped tooth smile and then stared at him for a very long moment. Awesome. Now she’s wants to talk. This isn’t worth any prayer granting. 

Instead he told he didn’t have anything else to give. “I just don’t have anything else to give. Sorry.”

She didn’t care about more money. “Shit”, she said. “You don’t got to apologize to me, mister. You know what you look like? Like a man thats been looking backwards so long you’ve seen your asshole more than your dick. You got to turn your head around mister”.

Not wrong, he thought. Another long stare, this time he initiated it. The bum lady saw something in his stare.

“Your neck’s to crooked to look forward”, she said. Then she pulled out a little white cat made of soap and handed it to him. “Rub this on your eyes and you’ll see forward again”. He reached his right arm through the window and thanked the bum lady. But she wasn’t having it. “Don’t thank me, rub it on your eyes”, she scolded him. “Or do you like looking at your asshole all the time?”.

He looked up at the bum lady from the drivers seat, searching for a sign of lucidity. There was none to be found, and yet…ahhh what the hell.  He rubbed the cat shaped soap on his eyes, probably for the same reason he bought lotto tickets, and prayed, or pretended to smile, because he would do anything to find his place in the world, however crazy it might be.

The soap stung. By the time he wiped the tears and blurriness from his eyes the bum lady was gone and it was dark outside. What? Why is it…what the…

His broken down Honda with the peeling interior that played Motel to vagabonds and derelicts was all shiny new. Exactly as it was when he bought it his senior year of college. The cat was still in his hand. From the rear view mirror hung a plastic peace sign attached to a fake leather rope. And stuck to the glove compartment was a small, greasy calendar. All three were familiar, but he didn’t know why. He would never wear a peace sign necklace, the soap stunk like perfume, and the calendar was useless, at least for another seventeen years.

When he saw her sitting in the hammock it all came back to him. Their first date. She was waiting for him, just like all those years ago. He could see her long blonde hair falling out from under a checkered bandana. She wore the type of comfy sweater the Dude would wear. Though he couldn’t see her pants he knew them well enough. Baggy jeans she had belled out and resown with some paisley fabric and cinched at the waist with a belt made of hemp. Everything about her wardrobe hid how sexy she was. You had to talk to this one. You had to be invited in, and he had been invited. She was sitting in that hammock waiting for him.

She would have fewer crows feet at the corner of her eyes. Seeing her on that hammock again overwhelmed him with the hope and eternity of youth. He thought their children, the joys of getting lost in Rome, and all the best things of their life together. She had given him so very much. He wanted to give her something this time around. He wanted her to have the life she wanted, the life she didn’t yet know she wanted sitting there on the hammock waiting for him. The life of being at home with her children, of not penny pinching, of wine that came in bottles instead of boxes.

He would give that to her this time. She would have all that she ever wanted. A life near her family, with a partner that didn’t look backward so much, with one that looked at the moment to see her beauty and strength.

So he drove off. Leaving her sitting in the hammock.

Jimmie G.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine

Bending God.

Our great sin was borne by a young man’s brilliance and the loneliness of space.

I first bent the human genome when I was seventeen. Humanity desperately needed a way to combat the diseases that would get caught in the Air Recyclers aboard the great ships. Purifiers and antibiotics were band-aids. We needed a way to quickly adapt to disease and to life in deep space. The fate of the species rested on it. I delivered. For a time I was loved for my discovery.

Diseases and harmful genes could be targeted and ‘Bent’ into something benign. The most extraordinary Bend was the manipulation of alloys. I Bent the molecules of steel so that it could be grown in star light rather than searched for and mined. Deprived of light for long enough the new alloy became irreversibly hardened and indestructible. When the alloy was ‘drinking’ in light, it could be programed into any shape desired. This virtually eliminated the need to make things.  They could be grown. Everything from eating utensils to star ships size of cities.

Inhospitable planets could be tamed under interlocking domes, thousands of miles wide, under which new Earths grew. We have littered the stars with a million such geraniums.

What we did to ourselves was much more invasive. People could be Bent into denser mass, to allow for less energy exertion in gravity manipulation. Bent to allow us to drink energy from stars. Bent to adjust destructive behavioral anomalies. Bent to design humans to specific tasks. It is the latter that sent us into depravity.

Bending allowed people to specialize themselves. But practicality soon gave way to pervasion.

We were so alone out here in space. For seven hundred years we crawled through the heavens, without a single sign of life. We traveled faster than the speed of light, had explored tens of thousands of worlds, and nothing. Nothing. The theory of carrying capacity had been developed on Earth 1. It was a measurement of the population size of a species that an ecosystem can sustain. Exceed the capacity and destruction of the ecosystem was eminent.Two billion people left earth in the first Exodus to escape this horror.

For a time this gave humankind patience. We looked back at our days on Earth 1 knowing that it was but a corner of our place in the universe. We broke the carrying capacity of one planet. Would two be enough? How many light years would comprise our backyard? 700 years of travel and our solar system had indeed become peopled. With us. We colonized every rock we found, built space stations, and tera formed planets. We grew like weeds everywhere we went. Trillions of us desperately trying to prove we are not alone.

The first perverse Bend came thirty seven years after my discovery.  A group of intrepid explorers wanted a way to travel unimpeded by the limitations of a star ship.  The answer was to Bend the likeness of humanity out of them altogether. They Bent themselves into jellyfish like creatures that could swim through space feeding on star light and recording their travels organically.

It then cascaded into Bending whatever humans could imagine into existence. Usefulness and purpose became obsolete. Fairy tale and fantasy were Bent into life. No other sentient life could be found so we invented it. Bent other species into existence. Bent ourselves into Gods. Life became nothing more than an ingredient for insane chefs.

But the stores are low. The stuff of life is scarce. Those few that never Bent now fight for their lives. Hunted by the Myriad. A collective of a hundred bizarre species that covet the pure genes of the Unbent. The Myriad has degraded their own pool of genes so much they can no longer Bend.  Once again they are lonely.

I look back on my youth and wonder, would it have been genocide to not pursue an answer for my people? Would it be wrong even if it was?  I have an eternity to ponder it. I was the last Bend among what is now known as humanity. 

Bent and folded into the molecules of a mother ship, I now stand guard against the Myriad. I have wrapped my arms around my children, protecting them from the mistakes of my youth.

Jimmie G

Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years.  How does perspective change with age?

Please Contribute. 

I want this to be a collaborative piece of fiction. Please contribute to the story in any way you want. Any prose, narratives, history of the Myriad, flash fiction inspired by this introduction is welcome. Leave your contribution in the comments or email me. I want this to be a story told by as many voices as possible.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to go Gonzo

Three Ways to go Gonzo

  1. You’re standing on a busy street corner. A car runs a red light, hitting a cyclist crossing the intersection.

“I little bit of New York dies in me every time I stop at a cross walk. And who the fuck thought it a good idea to have people wait until a flashing white man says its okay to cross? Don Draper sure the fuck wouldn’t have green lit that shit?” The Don Draper bit is new, his material is getting better. I wonder what this guy does for a living. Same story, different people. Its like he’s introducing himself over and over again. Always breaking the ice. Or maybe he’s buttering them up? I better not stare. I really want to hear the Crosswalk bit. It can’t be far off. 

“A couple of Christmases ago, yes! the Crosswalk bit finale, a buddy of mine from the city was visiting and we go out for some drinks, somewhere close, ’cause, you know, he grew up in the city and he doesn’t really drive, and we come up to the cross walk and there’s no cars coming but the don’t walk sign is up so I stop” The New York expat looks for approval,like he’s asking for an “amen” for his acclimation of traffic obedience. As always its given. The expat then says, his “New Yorker” tongue getting thicker, “my buddy looks at me like I just tried to grab his dick or something and says, “what the fuck are doin’?” The expat New Yorker is by this point in the story always full on early Mamet, he continues on in his best ‘American Buffalo’ dialect as he imitates his buddy, “theres no fuckin’ cars in sight and you’re stopping at the fuckin’ corner? Huh? This fuckin’ guy. Hey, get this guy a flannel shirt. He’s one of you now!”  The expat brings it home with his usual closing line, “I was so ashamed I told him not to look at me”. His mark or whatever he is laughed. Not from the belly, but from the top of the throat, like he understood it was meant to be funny and intellectually agreed that it was funny, but not funny enough to commit to a laugh from his belly. Didn’t phase the expat though. He really did make the long light at this corner worth while. 

The transplant who is “really falling in love with this amazing town” confessed to his client or whatever, “There is so little New York left in me I took an entree size chunk of lox and passed by the bagel altogether at brunch. Next thing you know I’ll be bullying people with courtesy like the fucking bank tellers at Wells Fargo.

He’s really tightening up his delivery, I’ve never heard so much of the story at one light before. Good, orange at the other light. Get my peddle up so I can beat the rush of pedestrians. One good crank and I’ll be on my way to another century ride. Annnnd, the white man says I can go. Thanks for that guy from New York. Whats that popping out from his bag? Something to do with what he does. Some kind of form? What’s all the yelling….light was…re…..

jimmie g.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Cliffhanger

The Mahnikee

Clang, clang, the two small cylinders that hung form Terik’s neck began to rattle. The cylinders had become more active as Castle Ferin came closer to falling. Clang, clang, the contents strained for freedom.  Terik gently wrapped his fingers around the cylinders as if to soothe them, communing with them, soon we shall all be free. 

The rain had been falling hard and relentless for several days, turning the ground to a deep ocean of mud. The moat around Castle Ferin had overrun and now beached itself on dirty shores. The luckiest of the soft skinned humans were sheltered form the storm under heavy canvas tents, but most had no such sanctuary. The very soldiers that would be sent over the walls, the men that would face charging destriers and angry lances, the men that were meant to be the hammer of the human forces sat pruning in the rain, their resolve softening like bread in stew.

But not Terik and his fellow Mahnikee. The platelets that grew hard over their skin in adolescence, the very same bark like armor that had earned them the hated name of Wood Elves, protected the Mahnikee from rain and blade alike. Wood Elf. A derogatory term shackled to the Mahnikee by the supposed High Elves to frighten children. “Behave or the Wood Elves will steal you away and eat your heart”.  Clang, clang, clang, the cylinders stirred. Anything that was wanton or craven or other than good and pure had been ascribed to the Wood Elves, and all the lies made up and whispered through thin lips of the soft, pasty skinned High Elves. High Elves indeed. Clang, clang, clang. Soon the truth would be laid bare and the Mahnikee would take their place at the Great Table. But to bring low the High Elves Castle Ferin must fall.

A quarter league off the lords of House Martin were rutting about in the Campaign Tent planning the final siege of Castle Ferin. A sigil had never been more truly matched to a house than the pig of House Martin. Most Martins were squat, round of belly and short of leg, and just in case the imagery were not blunt enough the gods had seen fit to give them flat, turned up noses. Clang, clang, clang, clang, the cylinders flew into a rage. Jerin must be near. Terik turned to find his son’s head bowed in deference.

Jerin addressed his lord father, “It is just as the soothsayer said it would be. We must act quickly, my lord.”

Terik turned back to look on the pigs of House Martin and said, “Tonight we wrap our handsaround the throat of the High Elves and reclaim our birthright”.

Jimmie G.