William James… 111 Words

 
 

111 Words of Anything Goes

 

Azalea ran the numbers though Katz’s equation. Pushed the button. The machine clanged three times. The jackpot was hers.

Terry was in the playroom plugging tokens into the high-stakes claw machine. He maneuvered the claw over the thousand dollar bill, but won three butt plugs instead. Each time he grabbed his prize out of the slot, he shouted, “Look folks, another cliché!”

Azalea got careless. She was hauled out of the casino in chains.

Terry wrestled with the cops. He got a black eye. Later a sore bottom.

Katz was the big cheese of the operation. His brainiac hacks worked every time.

He kept himself out of danger with cunning schemes.

 

Copyright © 2014 by William James Lindberg

 
 
 
 
 
 

Carla Blaschka… Robbing Love

 
 
 

Robbing Love

 
       “He’s a racist.”
       “No, he’s not.”
       “Yes, he is. You told me he has White Pride tattooed on his chest. His very nickname means “Hi, I’m a racist.”
       “Look, he no longer goes by Bubba. His name meant White Obscurity. His name meant he who lived in the hills back of Northern-White-Water where I’m gonna go hiking. Now his name is Daniel, which means my friend.”
      Justin laughed and wrapped his arms around her neck, mashing her face against his chest. “Alright, but you need to be careful. I don’t want you to come back and vote Republican.”
      She gave him a nip and pushed away. “God forbid.”
      He gave her an affectionate slap on her ass as they parted.
      Before she left she called the newspaper office and got the weekend service. It gave her the info she hoped for. Throughout that day, Standard Island kept traveling between Kahoolawe and Maui, but that night it would be at anchor. Her rubber dinghy knocked against the island’s bumper and she was helped on board by security. Tonight it was Robbie. She said Hi! and asked to see her mother.
      She hadn’t visited in quite a while. Her mother’s short brown hair had more streaks of gray than Val remembered, but otherwise she looked the same. Her mother offered her some peach ginger hot chocolate.
      She wrapped her fingers around the cup and inhaled the steam. “How are you?” she asked after the initial pause to catch up and test the emotional waters.
       “I’m fine. John’s fine. We’re doing well,” her mother said. “Our harvests are doing well.”
      Val nodded in acknowledgement of the message that her mother was happy with her new friend.
       “How about you? Still seeing Bubba?”
       “Daniel, Mom, his name is Daniel, and he is working as a mechanic.”
       “Of course,” her mother murmured.
      Val frowned at her.
       “We’re O.K., we see each other a lot but, I don’t know, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
      She got an eyebrow raise.
       “I’m pregnant. Twins.”
       “Daniel’s?”
       “No.”
      Mom fired both eyebrows at her. “Who then?”
       “I don’t know.” She paused to get her voice under control.
      Her mother waited.
       “I went to a bar, woke up in the back seat of my car. I knew something had happened, but I didn’t…”, another pause. “I just let it go. I wasn’t hurt. It seems foolish now but I didn’t know what happened, so I didn’t say anything and now, well, here I am.”
       “Are you going to…?”
       “No, but I don’t know…I just wanted to…”
       “See how badly I wanted to be a grandmother?”
      She nodded.
      Her mother came over to sit beside her and put her arms around her. “I’m so sorry this happened. It’s going to be all right, we’ll see to that.” Her voice was low, the kind you use to soothe a baby. They rested like that for a bit.
       “Any child…” her mom said then corrected herself, “any children of yours are welcome in my life, in our life. But I think not knowing who the father is is going to eat at you, and probably the kids too. We’ll figure out a plan, do you mind if I tell the people on the island?”
      Val shook her head. Val considered them all her family.
       “One thing,” her mom went on, “do you agree the person did a bad thing and shouldn’t do it again?”
      Val nodded.
       “Then I think we need to file a report. When the babies are born, maybe we can get them to run a DNA check against their database. Honey,” and here her mother went all delicate, “how sure are you that you are pregnant because of this? Could it be someone else…?”
      Val shook her head again. “I was at that bar because Bubba…Daniel and I had broken up a month before and I wanted to get out of the house.”
       “O.K., I see. Well, finding out wouldn’t hurt, no matter what happens after that.”
      Two beautiful babies were born, a boy and a girl. Daniel stepped up and asked Val to marry him. Tests were done. Val wished she hadn’t. She didn’t want to know this, ever, but she went to the jail to confront Justin, her friend.
       “Why?”
      His face turned into a mask of frustration and hate. “You were willing to fuck that racist but not me? What the hell is wrong with you?”
      Tears streaked Val’s face as she leaned forward and whispered, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
 

Copyright © 2017 by Carla Blaschka

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Preeti Singh… A Good Girl

 
 
 

A good girl

 
 

A good girl, she is a sweetheart to everyone around her. She is every man’s dream, every mother’s pride. She is a trophy wife and a trophy daughter. She is the prize that everyone wants to posses and show off to the society as their personal achievement. She is a validation to: someone’s correct choice and someone’s perfect upbringing.

If we take a closer look, we can find her everywhere. She could be our mother, sister, wife, lover, batch mate or the sweet neighbor next door to whom we run in the hour of need. We all know the kind. I have known one very closely.

It is past midnight and I am sitting in front of my computer in an attempt to write down a story which is not letting me sleep. I want to comfort and heal myself by sharing the load with someone. As we know, writing is one of the best ways to express our sentiments, desires, hopes, bliss and wounds. We can write what we want and vent our feelings to strangers who won’t judge.

I want to share a story; it is a story about a girl who forgets her true identity. She was busy running around people, pleasing them and getting their approval. They were the people with whom she shared her life; her teachers, family, relatives, friends, lovers. She was a busy girl; busy playing the role of a good girl. The one who is supposed to be: a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a good girlfriend, who is expected to keep everyone’s needs before hers. In the whole affair of pleasing others she forgot to please herself, she forgot who she really was. She forgot that few years back she had zeal to write, there was a budding talent which was never acknowledged as it was never shared.

In her college days she used to write small stories, personal essays, news articles, scripts, reviews. As life moved forward, she was drifted along and forced to blend with the flow. She simply forgot that she had the desire to write. No matter good, bad, average, non worthy of being published but at least she had an urge to write; and might even be recognized for it someday. As time passed, life took a different turn and things changed for her. She was occupied in taking care of trivial things, her priorities changed with the passing years. She started serving others, she became busy living up to their expectations and thought that’s what she was supposed to do and be; be a good girl!

One evening she got a text from an old acquaintance who wanted to discuss a project with her. He contacted to enquire if she was still active as a writer. After receiving the text, she was startled for a moment and replied in haste, ‘Yes, I am ‘ which was a lie. She was amazed and disturbed at the same time with this text message. She was amazed because people still remember her as a person with writing skills; and disturbed because she had completely forgotten that she had a special skill. How can she let slide something of that significance, where was she lost, what was she doing all these years, what kept her occupied or what kept her away? What was she busy with that she over looked the desire to be identified. She must have been very busy indeed; yes she was truly very busy. She was busy playing the good girl.

The ambitious girl was lost becoming the good girl, the goodness took over ambition, and the desire to be accepted took over the desire to be known. She was busy living for others, as per others, in sync with others. She has always been the giver, the one with a big heart and enormous patience to adjust with the unfairness of life. She was just giving and not receiving anything in return and what happens when we put the needs of others before ours? We make them our priority and in return all we are left with is a lost identity. They start to take us for granted and it becomes a pattern, it becomes a thankless job.

We make someone our whole world only to realize that we are just a small part of their selfish world. While we have been busy serving others there was someone who was starving for our time and attention. It is our own self; we have forgotten to make time for ourselves. It is time to gear up, get up and look into the mirror, whose reflection do we get to see? Is it a reflection of someone we were or someone we are?
Such moments of realization have hit us several times in our lives; but what bring a turning point to our story are the decisions we make and the steps we take hereafter.

It is a wake-up call; we take it and change our lives or ignore it and continue to live in denial. Change is scary but if we step out of our comfort zones we can change our stories. It can give a turning a point to our lives, as it did for ‘the good girl’ whom I know very closely.

 

Preeti Singh, french language interpreter and a media professional who is engaged in writing short films and playing characters for tv series.

A Good Girl was first published at Ashvamegh by the title “Lost writer”
and then again at Brown Girl Magazine and at Scars.TV

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Carla Blaschka… Time for the Trump Talk

 
 
 

Time for the Trump Talk

 
      It was officially Rainier Beer’s R Day and they were within sight of the village before the thought of Pelham Ravenshaw occurred to shatter my peace of mind, again.
      I had talked the pub’s owner into stocking some of this exotic American beer, so beloved of Seattleites. I promised I’d buy everyone a round in return to make it profitable.
      We had gotten an early start; we wanted good seats to watch the soccer game later and the conversation had gotten around to movies we had seen.
      Eli, 3:22 p.m. “I am completely lost. Why are we talking about banning movies?”
      Me, 3:23 p.m. “To avoid molestation.”
      3:24 p.m. Evelyn choked on her tea and hastily set the cup down. Not a big beer drinker, Evelyn, but a huge soccer fan. “What?”
      Me. 3:25 p.m. “You heard me. I was groped at a movie once when I was 13 and I don’t want it to happen to Angie. She’s going out with the horny Pelham and I don’t know if I should have the Trump Talk now or later.”
      Evelyn, 3:27 p.m. “How do you know he’s horny?”
      Me, 3:28 p.m. “He’s 16,” I said.
      Both Eli and Evelyn gave me a ‘Oh, of course’ look – a raised brow and a tilt sideways tilt of the head in agreement.
      “Dealing with that crap is something all girls have to learn.” Eli said soberly.
      I nodded but held my glass with fingers locked tight. I didn’t want Angie to have to learn it but I had a hard secret myself. As much as I didn’t want a stranger to grope my daughter against her will. That was exactly the kind of behavior I had given my boyfriend permission to do. I liked him grabbing my tits, making them his. He had a pass at all hours to do so. It excited me, not knowing when it was coming and he seemed to like it. It was a double standard, I knew. No wonder we still struggled with it. The lines between for ‘real’ and for ‘play’ can get very blurred, easily confused. Do I give up my sexual fantasies or trust my guy can figure out the difference?
      3:40 p.m. Angie came in. It was time.
 

Copyright © 2017 by Carla Blaschka

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

David Christopher la Terre… Cynical Internet Pundit & Dead Jester

 

Cynical Internet Pundit & Dead Jester

we are being led. even the grumpy, cynical internet pundit – s/he’ll go kicking & hackneyed – but led down the same path to the same pit that history half-recorded: for the wits had their glasses shot off, & all the sportos were in charge of cargo transport. the goon squad is reborn everyday in learning institutions & halls of government. i painted myself as a satyr but still made bids with ATMs & communication companies, as head-nodding Heaven & organ-failure Hell looked on .. even this pendant life doesn’t accept characters or emoticons on their .docs. we didn’t make the template. we just went down the hole

dead jester: send more jesters. send a variety of shop-sink malbec with talons in spirituality & survivalist mediocrity. is this gonna be the matt damon version or the gary cooper version of floating literatzi bogem? a car is a salute is a hamburger. love comes slowly like an annual teetering orbit & we munch on panini mango in the channel-separation. hail, here comes the coolie retail chain blocked-hat. Caveat Bipedum; IED in the afterlife Barneys party dress parade ~ i walked out of the experimental film of my life .. this ‘anteroom’ smells like cliched embryonic buzz.

 

David Christopher la Terre is an old punk, advertising brat, artist, writer, hit-and-run orator, humorist, exfilmmaker, “asexual icon” and sentimental Modernist pursuing work in new formats, hybrids, language arts, Sound Poetry, decon, “post-mod,” prank-art … ‘living satire’ … he has been published in the Slate, Spleen, Lost & Found Times, Rag Mag, Roar Shock, Open Minds & Monkeybicycle.