Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Guest Writer: Laz Farrell

A July Morning

As always my iPod was on as soon as I stepped onto the tube, Brit pop from Oasis mixed with classic 70’s rock from Zep and the Who. I have always felt uncomfortable about the way people are packed onto the trains and buses during rush hour, so music for me elevates any feelings of apprehension. I was travelling on the Central Line at approximately 8:50am from Leyton in the east end of London to Liverpool Street in the city district.
When we arrived at Bethnal Green station the driver made an announcement that we would not be going on to Liverpool Street. The train stopped but didn't open its doors and the driver in a very English way calmly and politely stated that the station ahead had been closed due an emergency situation, Bank station was also closed due to a 'power failure'. My feelings were that something was going on, but the calmness and professional manner of the driver had the right effect and no one appeared nervous just pissed at the possibility of being late for work. I kept myself amused in the meantime by eying up a young brunette and cranking up the volume as Nirvana played in my head. Twenty minutes passed before the doors finally opened as we were told the train would be terminating here and we would have to find alternative transport to get us to our destinations which was greeted with much cussing and dismay. I could walk to work within an hour and there was bound to be several of my co workers having the same difficulties and therefore confirming my excuse for being late again.
I emerged from the underground into the bright July sunshine my earlier feelings of apprehension and that something was wrong now gone despite the unusual sight of hundreds of passengers exiting the tube as I had been caught up in power and line failures enough times as a London commuter to see it as no more of an inconvenience. I switched on my cell only to see the phone network was down so I started off at brisk pace in the direction of the office totally oblivious to the large number of concerned faces and frantic phone calls being made around me as the stones blared out "Sympathy for the Devil."
As I approached my office building the first I noise heard was not the blast, but the constant stream of police and ambulance sirens shortly followed by people crying and screaming in the street from what they had seen. I ran into the buildings reception where staff were crowded around the plasma TV on the wall. The news stream reporting that a third bomb had just exploded on the London underground and another had been detonated on a bus in the west end with many casualties, Police now believed these were possible suicide attacks and the entire transport network was paralysed, The office was shut down and we were told to remain in the building for fear of further blasts and potential attacks. The scariest part was loved ones were travelling throughout London and the phone networks could not reach anyone travelling on the underground but what could we do? Many just stood frantically calling until the network connected for a split second to get that piece of mind, ticking people off their list as they realised they were safe. Reports spread like wild fire through the office of the casualties and what was happening in our capital city and more precisely in Aldgate only a short walk away the scene of one of the attacks.
Once we were allowed to leave the building we followed the thousands of workers amid reports that Kings Cross station had also been bombed and soldiers were on the streets hunting for other potential suicide bombers believed to be on the loose, thankfully this was untrue and we were able to take a long nervous journey home and away from the city on foot like a scene from some Hollywood disaster flick as the entire transport network had been closed. Also, in all this the battery had died on the iPod.
This was unlike the IRA terrorist attacks in the 70s and 80s, which I lived through as a child in London. Then, we received perverse 'warnings' that a bomb was due to go off in a public place, usually reducing the number of possible casualties. This was something different all together. The thought I could be standing next to a complete stranger on the very same train the following Monday morning who would be willing to kill himself and take so many of his fellow citizens with him made for the most nervy journey to work in my life. Needless to say the iPod was fully charged that day.

© Laz Farrell 2010

Laz Farrell is a London-based bored office worker, musician, father, writer/novelist (one day). He blogs at: Six Sentences

Guest Writer: Jeanette Cheezum

What if...?

I had downloaded my boarding pass. The bags were packed and I was about to call the taxi. Then it suddenly occurred to me . . . what if the taxi gets into an accident? Or if we get to the airport and an airplane runs off the landing strip. Or if we get on the plane sit for hours and then take off only to go down over the water? I can’t swim, so I’d probably drown if I couldn’t get that vest blown up in time. And if I did get the vest blown up, then maybe a shark would come by and take a huge bite out of me.
Now if none of those things happened, surely I’d step off a curb and be ran over. Mashed flat as a pancake right there on Fifth Ave. My YSL brief case knocked away in the other direction where some druggy would grab it hoping to swap it for some Meth.
If that didn’t happen surely I would get food poison from the restaurant we were supposed to meet to discuss designs with the new customer. Or maybe you wouldn’t show up and I’d get drunk and he’d get me pregnant.
Second thought . . . I think I’ll just stay home where it’s safe. Gosh I wonder if something will drop out of the sky on my house.

Underground Hope

Angelique kept secrets from the township; things she’d put in motion that only her husband should know—secrets that could get her hanged.

While seeing patients daily, her mind was on the slaves that would soon hide below her
Practice; usually smuggled in at night six at a time around midnight.

She’d remove the ivy-vine covers in the dark, and open the double doors for them to slip down the cellar stairs; where others would welcome them with whispers of hope.

Some needed medical help, but most of them were just hungry and tired.

Her husband would pass out the chicken that Angelique’s patients used to pay her and fresh bread she had made earlier in the day.

After a few hours of food, water and rest, brother Ezekiel would pull close behind the house with a covered wagon, and load the slaves for their journey to freedom after saying “God Bless you Dr. Angelique.

© Jeanette Cheezum 2010

Jeanette is a veteran of several online sites and gets most of her inspiration from watching life around her. She loves to write all types of fiction and has.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Writer: Jamie Hogan

The Rumor of Oregon

The young man rode the sun down as the darkness bled up in the east. Finally over a rise and Fort Laramie bustled and smoked in the shallow valley below him, the first thing that had made him smile in two weeks.

He walked Trooper through the teepees swarming the grey and brown adobe walls of the outpost, a nod to the men folk and a side-step or two to keep from tripping over the running children. The women cast no eyes his way, busy with sewing and younger ones and the salty cooking whose smell overtook him with the zeal of a lover long missed. It was good to be amongst people again.

A tall and gangly guard directed one of the Indians to take Trooper to the corral, and he watched the faithful old roan led away, head low, the endless days on the plains weighing as heavy on the horse as on himself. Rest, old man. You earned it. The sun’s last efforts rolled in from the west and over the walls to spill a lonely and worn light into the courtyard of the fort. The guard led him across it, to a small room containing a desk, two chairs, a window to the west, and one equally tall but slightly thicker officer who instructed him to “Have a seat and state your business.”

The words ricocheted against the rough walls, back and forth and above and below and through him. Business? He had only a destination. The coal-haired officer held him in a needlessly hard gaze. Dust floated in the air between them, lit orange and yellow by the setting sun, weightless meandering stars. He determined to keep this as simple as he could. “I’m taking the Oregon Trail up to The Dalles.”

“And what is your business there?”

“No business. I got family there.”

“Where do you hail from?”

“Scott’s Bluff.”

The low brooding hills to the west were finishing the sun and the shadows reached long and thin across the earthen floor to climb the walls, as if feeling for a crease by which to escape. A snap and the flare of a match, and candlelight burned them away. “And what’s possessing you to leave there?”

The young man looked out the window, staring through the horizon and over the gentle bend of the earth and into the black forever. “The dysentery kilt my mom and dad and little brother. I ain’t got nothing there no more.”

*

The Indian girl had been bathing in the shallows of the Sweetwater River, the water sparkling on her cinnamon skin and dripping from her black hair and rippling around her like laughter. He had sat Trooper and watched her hands, how they roamed and tickled and sang over her glistening surfaces, busy yet delicate tempests. Sun-thrown diamonds bobbed by her and disappeared and resurfaced and conspired with her nakedness to hypnotize him.

Now he and Trooper skimming the surface of this golden tumbling ocean called the Wyoming Territory, losing ground to their pursuer with every mile, tatters of the surreal events in the river streaming out behind them. The girl’s surprising beckoning, and his even more shocking obedience. Her slick breasts, cold and then warm and urgent as they pressed into his chest and the hungry hands that he watched wander her skin now gliding across his own. The scream of the Indian man who found them and her lust instantly morphing to feigned panic, splashing and flailing and slapping and wailing underneath him. The realization that she was faking being raped – well – and scrambling out of the water and onto Trooper. Barely reaching the next rise before the Indian blasted across the river on his own mount, shrieking like a damned soul and riding like the ground was on fire. His horse was young and strong and Trooper was neither, and minute-by-minute the Indian reeled them in.

The first few arrows whispered past to lodge in the ground ahead of him. He heard his father ask what he was thinking, saw his mother’s face covered in a dark veneer of shame, heard his brother yelling at him to ride harder and faster and he wanted to say that he was sorry. That he knew it was stupid but that he was cripplingly lonely and that those people he was supposed to find in the Oregon Territory might as well be ghosts. That he just wanted to touch somebody.

Pain, iceblue and pure, ripping through his right shoulder as an arrow found its mark. His cry arced into the dispassionate, limitless blue overhead. When the sky had swallowed the sound, he pulled back on Trooper’s reigns and waited for the Indian.

They measured one another, one proud and calm and the other hollow and hopeless, the only sound the whistling of the thin high plains air through the horses’ flared nostrils. The young man dismounted and walked a few steps away from Trooper, the starved prairie grasses crackling under his boots. “Do it. Whatever you’re gonna do, get it done so I can see my folks.”

The Indian didn’t understand the words but took their meaning perfectly. He was on the ground and advancing with a glinting silver blade when the sound of hooves rumbled over them low and determined. Another rider, advancing on them at a desperate speed, from the direction they’d come. The Indian squinted at this apparition bearing down on them, shimmering in the waves of heat that might just as well have been pounded out of the ground by the drumming hooves, then sheathed his knife and stood waiting.

The new rider was also Indian, but older, perhaps twice the age of his attacker, and by the time he arrived the fire in the young man’s shoulder was cooling toward numbness. The older Indian pranced his horse sideways the final few yards, remained mounted, and glared at the younger Indian. When he spoke, in that strange halting language that sounded to the young man like the voice was sliding down a washboard, the words were hot and irritated. The younger Indian protested once, was silenced by an even stronger, choppier barrage, and fell silent. He shot the young man a look every bit as piercing as the arrow quivering in his shoulder, then mounted up and put his horse in a hard eastward gallop, riding angry.

The older Indian turned his attention to the young man, sweating and pale and pitiful under the taut sky and vengeful sun. He breathed deep and heavy, shook his head and began to dismount. By the time his feet found the ground the young man had collapsed face first, raising a thin cloud of dust in the air before Trooper.

*

The fire twisted and chuckled in the night. Shadows and stars and the timeless breathing of horses as the Indian pulled something from a stick and reached it wordlessly toward the young man. He took it, nodding and allowing an “Mmmm” at his first taste of rabbit. His shoulder throbbed terribly where they removed the arrow, but the Indian had smiled at the wound after cleaning it, and had applied a poultice.

The Indian augmented his tortured English with drawings in the dirt and eventually wisdom took shape for the young man. The girl was his salacious daughter, who had become fond of using indiscriminant sex as rebellion against him. His tempestuous son hadn’t enough years to realize that killing an innocent white man was like pruning a healthy plant. Cut one stem, and three replace it. Dead white men bring nothing save more white men. There were reasons good enough for killing white men, he said, but one look into his daughters eyes told him the young man had not earned killing today. The young man responded with a tale of cholera and of slow and wasting death and the hollowing of his soul and the rumor of Oregon.

There was an easy silence for a while, the two of them looking into the fire as if it might hold stories that needed telling, glowing orange sparks hissing skyward in vain attempts to join their white brethren in the deep nothing overhead. When it seemed right, the Indian reached into a pouch and produced a necklace of stones and what appeared to be wolf’s teeth. He rose and walked over to where the young man lay, placing it around his neck.

“Protect,” he said, “safe.”

The young man fingered the teeth interspersed with the stones. “Thank you.”

*

Trooper pressed on through the soft morning, upward into the hills. The Indian had been gone when the young man woke. The necklace rested heavy and comforting against his chest. Feeling its weight and the new day crawling up the sky behind him, he wondered if the Oregon Territory would be as green and sincere as it had been in his dreams.

© Jamie Hogan 2010

Jamie Hogan is a husband, father, and aspiring novelist who manages to hold down a Training and Quality position to pay for the necessities. He lives in central NC, and occasionally throws random thoughts out on his blog at the Six Sentences Social Network.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guest Writer: Grey Johnson

Requiring a Swift and Precise Adjustment

We exchange several evocative emails in the beginning, and your quick responses when we write leave me sputtering to keep up. Everything I say seems to come out of me distorted, stretching and twisting, pausing and leaving gaps. Already you influence something as basic and personal as my speech, and you have rendered me incomprehensible, at least to myself. I feel as heavy and sodden as the earth. My wits are covered with a crust that is miles in depth. Wishing to tell you my thoughts, I feel as though I am trying to explain to a cloud what it is like to be lava, buried.
You seem to think I am a brilliant writer, and claim to be seduced by me. This makes my legs feel shaky when I pass near my computer, and you know it. I lean on door jambs, tables, desks. Chairs are not stable enough. If I could find a giant oak, I would press my face into its mossy bark and cry, for I know already you will show me no mercy, because I will not admit to needing it. I am a child on a swing, and while I watch the sky, your spirit widens in it like a thunderhead. There is lightening sparking from you, and the majesty of you leaves me blinded to the small world on the ground, where my feet are supposed to go. I ignore the fact that all of this is occurring electronically.
My imagination creates a house for us, and we seldom venture outdoors, since you don't know you live here. You spoon me and I become a gate, loose on its hinges, feeling as if I clang when touched. You rock me, and the clanging in me builds with a dangerous resonant frequency. Inside, my heart shakes like thin vibrating metal, making rattled offstage storm sounds. When we do go outside the little house I made for us, you want to be chased. On my favorite chase, you ran along the entire clothesline, snatching each item off with a hearty snap. Clothes pins shattered and flew like popcorn. We ran laughing, but I was afraid that something was about to happen, perhaps the line itself would snap, and sting, and leave a mark for others to see. I stopped chasing after you, and crouched, sweating, in a tumble of beautifully scratchy leaves. Feeling them crumble against my cheek, I found that the only item I had been able to grab was an intimate one, and sadly worn. It took four days, but I wrote a kind of poem about the evolution of this singular, imaginary garment. I even know what it tastes like, and how it feels in my mouth.
I know approximately one person in the physical world. He begins to look at me oddly, I think. To me, it feels as if you and I are a heavy, ponderous thing, with one eye trying to see two, or even three, worlds. Are we a storm? Do we live in the wild center of it for a moment? Are we to become a refreshing shower, still and settled afterward? I think of my skin as our barometer, but it does not say what kind of weather we are.
In what is my own actual home, I lurk and worry like a doubtful guest. While fiddling mindlessly with the hose, pretending to tend the garden, and ignoring the soft clash of the pots in the kitchen, I pull the collar of my coat up to my ears, turn my back to the wind, and wait. Soon, my hair, as I knew all along it would, is whipping the sides of my face. It is suddenly long and black, and enters my lips. It spanks my eyelashes.
I do not recognize myself. I have become a different person. My real person does not recognize me, either. We make a trip to the doctor. Adjustments to my medication are executed with swift precision.
Someone is faintly calling me home, and it is not you. There are sirens, gaining and receding. You do not understand these alarms. There are stinging nettles of rain, and their speed is such that they make me bleed. My lips bleed first, where I have spoken too much. I feel punished. So, like a good girl, I run inside and throw myself against the door, pushing hard, pushing against the very same air that I breathe in order to live. Suddenly, the wind stops, sucking all the air out and away, snatching the door shut fast, tight, and hard. I find myself, in a kind of relieved brokenness, with my hand on the doorknob, looking through the window. I am watching for me, and I see myself alone and quiet. In a few days, I will put on my worn and muddy garden boots, and apologize to the weeds as I pull them. In a few weeks, I will relearn how to sleep, and be unable to recall how any of this felt.

© Grey Johnson 2010

Grey Johnson lives in a small town in northeastern South Carolina. Her garden is very important to her, and so are her dogs. She reads and knits rectangles, but seldom knows what to do with them. She doesn’t have a blog or website, but writes some on the Six Sentence Social Network. You can also check out a brilliant little collection called Your Pajamas by Grey on Issuu.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Writer: Callan

Fade to Black

In the oppressive heat and darkness of my apartment I lay naked listening to hot summer rain fall. I struggle to put my thoughts in order. I am out of food and drugs. I fish around in the cushions of my sagging orange velveteen couch and locate my cell phone pressing the buttons slowly, my fingers stiff from lack of use, how long have I been lying here? Time is an abstract concept.

"Chuck, I need to see you."
"Whattaya need, mama,"
“I am out of food and money.” I state flatly. My own voice sounds far off, the voice of a stranger.

Chuck is 500 pounds and bleeds money out his ass. He gets a limitless supply of hydrocodone, which he sells, and what he doesn't sell he takes in massive doses. There is some sort of fissure, a tear caused by his fat. Once you know how he gets the stuff you don't ask any questions.

"Look, I just need to get out of here and my car is out of gas. I am sober and depressed, can you lend me money and some pills till payday?" I am confused and desperate, no time for small talk.
For a moment I hear nothing but heavy breathing and chewing.
"All right, Mama, but you’re gonna have to ride with me. I have errands to run."
"Fantastic. Perfect. How soon can you get here? I’ll wait outside.”
I’m thinking to myself, what errands could Chuck possibly have to run?

Later at the food bank, I sit in a hard plastic chair trying to calculate how many children Chuck has fathered. He stands patiently in line. I do not resent Chuck’s many children, nor his abuse of the system. What bothers me is that at the food bank they only give you milk if you’re over sixty-five or have children ten and younger in the house. Chuck gets so much milk, it totally pisses me off.
I love milk. I thirst for it constantly.

Sitting at the food bank for the second time that day got me to thinking about abortion. The nineteen abortions I had were undoubtedly nineteen of the best decisions I ever made, I never regretted them till that moment. If I had kept even one kid, I could get free milk.

Time collapses folds, then stops as I sit there waiting for Chuck to get through the line. I inspect people face by face; not a looker in the bunch. Even the young girls, whose bodies snapped back after childbirth, have tired, worn faces. Their children are dirty; destined to stand in the same line with their own children. They will have an endless supply of milk, and one another.

“What are you reading?” The voice startles me as an ancient woman sits next to me.
“Oh, its an examination booklet. It’s for a test I have to take at the university, an exit exam. It’s the history assessment test. My major is in...”
She cuts me off. “What part of history are you assessing? I mean, how do go about assessing history?”
I open the book to show her the 20,000 multiple choice questions, and the answers I am supposed to memorize. I carry the booklet with me almost everywhere. Sometimes, I open it and do something similar to studying.
“I don’t have to assess history. The test is assessing me and my knowledge of history.”
“What are you majoring in, history or something?”
“Yes ma'm I am majoring in history.”
“History is boring it’s already happened. What are you going to do with a history degree?”
The eternal question, I am so sick of being asked. History has always been my favorite subject, but the question makes my heart race. Where will I go? What will I do next?
“I don't know what I’m going to do, ma'm.”
“You’re not a bright girl,” she tells me.
“Yeah, well you’re a horrible conversationalist. I am majoring in history because I fucking want to, because I find the rise and fall of civilizations, of governments, of man’s remarkable ability to keep going interesting. That is why. Is that okay? Is it okay with you, bitch, if I major in history?”
I feel splendid. The rush of saying exactly what I want is wonderful.
The satisfaction is short lived. Her face crumbles, dissolving into tears. She is very old, she probably has no idea how irritating her questions are, none.
“Look,” I say to her, “I’m really sorry. You didn’t deserve that. I just like history, and it took me so long to finish my degree, and everyone asks me the same thing. “What kind of job are you going to get with a history degree?
“Teach, people suggest to me, but that’s more school, more loans.”
She pats my leg, “It’s okay, it’s okay.” Now she is soothing me. I am crying now and on the verge of hysteria. The old woman’s voice fades,
“It’s okay. You have your whole life ahead of you.”
I am inconsolable, “But the economy!” I wail, “Unemployment is up. I have no health insurance. When are things going to get better?”
I throw my head back and grip my hair at the roots, pulling slightly. I like the way the pain feels. I draw a sharp intake of breath, and try to regain composure. People are staring over at us, except Chuck. He is texting the mama of one of his many babies.

Than the misery contest begins. All the seated people begin telling their woes, trying to outdo one another in tragedy. I will not be able to compete, but am happy to have been forgotten.
“My daughter has diabetes. The medication has driven us into poverty. We lost our house. My husband lost his job, so we didn't have prescription coverage.”
A tiny woman in ill fitting boxy clothing, probably from St. Vincent de Paul’s, one-ups her, “My daughter has diabetes. My son is tri-polar, and my husband is dead. I have ADHA and diabetes, and lupus, my autistic daughter was raped and became pregnant by her second cousin. My husband knocked up my step-mom. Then, they ran off, and left me with the kid.”
And we have a winner, I think. She absolutely deserves her milk.
I stare at the floor glad to be forgotten. I leaf through the history assessment exam, but I can't focus. I start thinking about the leafy darkness of my front room. the perpetual twilight creates a slovenly paradise.

Inexplicably, Chuck has reached the head of the line. Time has started again. He calls “Annabelle. Hey, Annabelle!” I get up and go to the front of the line. He hands me the keys to his truck and tells me to pull it around to the warehouse where they distribute the food.
I can’t get out of the food bank fast enough.
I whip the truck around a corner, hitting the sidewalk with the tire and skidding into place behind the other waiting indigents.

Chuck gets in the truck to wait, “Hey, Annabelle, can you drive back? I swallowed a bunch of soma and Valium, and I didn’t think it was working, so I took more.” His speech is slurred. “I think they just kicked in.”
“Yeah, sounds like it, Chuck.”
“You’re okay to drive, right? I mean you have a license right, or didn’t you get a D.U.I?”
“Naw, for reckless indifference. I just got it back.”
We inch up a few spaces.
He looks perplexed, “Reckless indifference? What is that?”
“It’s when you are indifferently reckless.”
“Yeah? How do you catch some one being indifferent?”
Chuck is really wasted, so I tell him, “Well, I can’t say for sure, but I think it was my neighbor upstairs. He doesn’t like me. I think he called the cops on me and told them I was in my apartment with intent of being indifferent, dropped the dime on me so to speak.”
“Asshole.” He clearly has no idea what I’m talking about, but anyone anywhere calling the cops is always an asshole.

Finally, it’s our turn. I load the groceries in the back of the truck, and then we are off! We zip to his trailer set way back off highway 13.
I take the groceries out of his truck, leaving several gallons of milk. Chuck stumbles around his yard, which is littered with rusty engines, forsaken cars, a baby crib, pizza boxes, a plastic play house.
Oddly, the plastic house is pristine amongst the junk. Two of Chuck’s daughters are inside speaking conspiratorially. Their beautiful black eyes flash. They hold hands and do not smile. It is almost as if they are survivors of a war, and they sit alone in a bombed-out house that wasn't damaged. It begins to rain, not hard but steady and persistent.

A cousin of Chuck’s stumbles out of the trailer and down the steps clutching her swollen belly. She makes her way to one of the abandoned cars, lays down in the back seat and goes into labor. Her agonized screaming is indescribable, but it doesn’t seem to strike the family as odd. One of the black-eyed girls from the plastic play house puts on a tiny white lab coat and stereoscope and approaches the car, calling behind to her sister, who calmly walks towards the car carrying two buckets of water. Everything seems to be running smoothly. I turn to the matter of the milk.
“Listen Chuck, I’m gonna drive your truck back to my place. You’re too wasted to drive, and I’m taking a couple gallons of milk, okay?”
“Yeah, mama it’s all right. I’ll call you in a couple hours, I need to sleep this off.”

I drive back to my apartment in a hurry, I crave the darkness of my messy living room. I cannot wait to wrap myself in a sheet and drink milk, glorious milk! Over ice. straight from the gallon, out of a wine glass. Not to mention the six or seven soma Chuck palmed me as I left. There is pleasure in my immediate future. Which is about as good as it gets.
The rain continues. In the evening, there is timid knocking at my door. I come to on the couch, an empty gallon of milk on its side, pills scattered on the end tables, my vision is blurry. While I was high I opened the windows of the front room, and the mixture of rain and well-nourished plants fills the room with an exhilarating freshness. The knocking comes again, more assertive this time. I pull on an oversized shirt and open the door.
Chuck's dark-eyed daughters stand there, the newborn is swathed tightly in yellow bunting, squirming within its fresh new flesh. They step inside my apartment. They are soaked through to the skin. It’s miraculous how dry the newborn is.
They do not speak. They lay the baby on the couch and begin to scrub one another roughly with a towel they’ve retrieved from my hall closest. I feel proud of myself that I have a clean towel. I go to the closet and retrieve another towel. Then, I assist them, twisting their long black hair and ringing out the water. It pools on my cheap floor.
Once they are dry, they collect the baby and inventory their clothing. The taller of the two extends her hand to me. I hand her the key to Chuck's truck. If they can deliver a baby and walk several miles in the rain, I find no compelling reason not to. Wordlessly, they take the keys from me and head towards the door, where they turn and flash their eyes at me.
After they leave I flop on the couch and listen to the rain, swallow some pills, breathe the fresh rain-scented air, and wonder what they named the baby…
fade to Black

© Callan 2010

Callan left Orange County, Ca. in 2007 and moved to the country to focus full time on her writing. Her work is featured at Six Sentences and her blog www.theworksofjanecallan.blogspot.com

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