Monday, April 23, 2012

Flash Fiction: Once Upon A Time Contest

The following is not only my first flash fiction attempt,
but my first entry into any type of writing contest.
I'm doing it for the sake of silliness,
tomfoolery, and shenanigans.
Also cause @ruanna3 sent the Excuse Fairy
to my house and man alive is she a feisty one!
The following contest is hosted by @ruanna3 & @SJIHolliday.
 You can find the guidelines at Yearning for Wonderland.

 And without further ado,
I give you a little ditty I shall now dub--

Once Upon A Puzzle

“Mom?” Adam whispered.

Adam’s wide eyes scanned the cramped space, a beat-up desk, two chairs— one wobbly, one with duct tape across its center—and scuffed yellowed linoleum. Huddled against a grease stained wall, Adam searched for his mother. One moment, she’d been sitting at the desk working on a jigsaw puzzle, while telling him a story about a panda bear who’d lost his teapot and had to travel from China to Australia to steal it back from a pesky kangaroo, when poof, she’d vanished.

His mother had been driving him to school that morning when their tire had blown out. They’d found themselves stranded in front of an auto shop. A man covered in grease and smelling of gas had ushered them into the waiting room. He’d grunted indiscernible words and disappeared through the only door in the room. Seeing a half finished puzzle on the desk, Adam’s mom started working on it, while Adam slumped in a chair.

Panic caused Adam’s heart to pound, his hands slick, his mouth dry. The windowless room pressed in on him, the air stale. His ears hummed and the tang of acid filled his mouth. A tear slipped down Adam’s cheek and he brushed it away. He straightened from the wall with a quick jerk.

Light pulsed from the table where he’d last seen his mother. Adam’s feet dragged as he walked toward the table. The light wasn’t coming from the desk, but from the completed puzzle. Adam’s body shook as he reached out a hand toward the puzzle. He wanted to stop himself, but couldn’t. His fingers brushed its corner.

“Adam!” He jerked his hand back, cradling it to his body.

He glanced around the room, his eyes wild. He’d heard his mother yell his name. But how?

“Mom?” Adam reached out once more, laying his palm flat on the puzzle.

“Adam, run!”

Adam’s hand fused with the puzzle. He gasped and bumped into the desk’s chair, which landed with a crash. The light of the puzzle faded as the door creaked open and laughter filled the empty room.

word count: 348

Thursday, April 19, 2012

22 Things - Take Two

Recently, my life was put on hold.
When you're in the thick of things
it's easy to get derailed. 
That's what happened to me.
This train is one hundred percent off the track,
cars haphazardly laying about,
engines stalled,
passengers wandering amongst the wreckage aimless,
conductor without a clue what to do next.

As I sit here,
I remember where I was headed,
I'm just not sure how to clean up this mess
and get back to chugging along. 

Then it hit me--
And I couldn't think of a better way 
to start piecing my life back together.

What's 22 Things?
In summation:

The 22 Things Creative Change Challenge
is being hosted by Angie Richmond of Write Me Happy
    22 Things is a Creative Change Challenge. By signing up, you are announcing to the world - and more importantly yourself - that you are breaking free of the long standing idea that in order to make changes in your life, you have to do BIG things. 22 Things is about making a list twenty-two small steps you can take - right now - to change your life.
 You are more than welcome to peruse my original post
and Angie's post for more information and awesome lists.
In fact, I highly recommend doing so.

Now where was I?
Oh yes,
getting my life back on course.
So 22 Things seems a bit much to tackle right about now,
but five things...
Well now there's a number I can embrace.

So here's five lil things I'm gonna work on in the next month
and an update on what I've accomplished since March 14th.

1. call/text a family member everyday and tell them I love them
This simple task has brought me oh so much happiness
and made the last month do-able.
Tell a friend.
Tell your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/fish/whathaveyou!
Just spread the love.

2. take my vitamins everyday
I've been hit and miss with this one.
Mostly hit.
I'm putting it in my win column.

3. take a long walk once a week

While no walk ever seemed longer than the one from
my car to my dad's hospital room, I'm pretty sure it doesn't count.
Thus, the whole I'm gonna get out in the fresh air more often goal
 has been a ginormous failwhale.
This is one goal I'd like to make a reality in the next month.
In fact, why not start today?!

4. stop being afraid of editing Fluff, Nonsense, & Other Emo Crap (title copy written)
Still haven't edited this beaut.
The plan Stan?
To read it for the first time in a two months next week.
Starting Monday.
Here's how I see it,
I want this story to be the best of me,
so why would I rush it?

5. do at least one page in Wreck This Journal a week. 
This is a new one.
The awesomeness that is my bestie gave it to me whilst she was visiting.
It goes against everything I am to wreck a book
yet I'm wondering if it's just what the doctor ordered--
a little creative destruction.
We shall see.

So there they are,
the five little things I'm gonna work on for the next month.
I already feel a tad bit more in control.
Just a tad.
It's a start.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Time To Mourn

My Dad is dead.

Great way to start a post, eh? Blunt. Cold. Harsh. Either a desperate cry for attention or a need to purge oneself of an inescapable and ugly truth. Maybe a little of both. I haven't figure out which yet.

What I do know is there is a cog missing in my life, an essential little piece of me that is no longer there. There are moments when the world seems okay, the sun shines, the air feels crisp and cool, I'll breathe in the scent of freshly baked cookies, and a little voice will whisper into my ear, I love you so much, Mommy.  The world feels do-able. And then, like a sharp knife in my gut, a single thought will leap out at me:
My Dad is dead.

Like a skipping record, it will repeat and the world will jerk out of focus. Much like the unforeseen cancer that spread throughout my father's body destroying everything in its path, the thought overwhelms me and brings me to my knees. I long to rebel against it. Demand the world stop and fix it. I feel small, helpless, lame. 

Mostly I feel stuck. I know I must move forward, yet how? I mean I sorta know how, but maybe I don't want to. Maybe I don't want that day when it's okay he's gone, when the world is more than do-able. Days when it doesn't feel so strange he isn't here anymore. Days when it feels alright to have fun. Days when words come easy and life is good. Days when I just forget. How can the world be without him here? It just doesn't seem possible and yet here I sit with the reality of it staring me right in the face. 

My Dad is dead.

And I realize with a sudden and swift intensity that I have two options-- to let this control me or to fight back against the desire to give up. For now, I know this is a time to heal, a time to weep, a time to mourn, a time to embrace, a time to mend, a time to be silent, a time to figure out what the hell just happened and try my darnest to make sense of it, or maybe just accept it. Accept the fact that on March 28th, 2012 I watched my father die right before my very eyes and the world twisted and warped and became something I was unprepared for, that I have no words for, that has changed me in ways I don't even realize yet, that has left me speechless and weak and wanting, that has left me silent.