Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Writer: Brian Michael Barbeito

Fabrics

Black formations in the sky were far away but felt close, and Jacob looked also briefly at the telephone wires, the bridge that was passing, and the tall grey abodes. All and more were only sinister portents of an acute descent, and though the vehicle went slowly, the world felt as if it moved at breakneck speed. Save for the hiding sun, there was nothing to create kindness. He looked at the leg of his pants, and the fabric seemed to move. Part of it dislodged from the other part and jingled around. He knew on one level that it was a hallucination. Yet the artificial nightmare was not any more terrifying than the real one. They could be together, could cohabitate, and in fact were. There were, in the city, shells, and the shells had eyes and hands, legs and arms, brains and feet. Big steel trucks raced past. This was a foreign land, and always had been a foreign land. Any illusion of home had dissolved. Sparkling went the sun, surely on the other side of the city. On this side it was only the waking dream in full fledged malevolent laughter. Jacob remembered the time when he was in the cold area, and felt the breaking of the world- and though did not laugh outwardly- grinned inwardly, because he thought he was in hell. This too was now hell, but just another level. The different areas of such a place were spread all over. That fabric from the pants. Moving round like that. The other time- on a walkway- frozen- in a blue sweater. Others. The fabric on the pants. The fabric of the telephone wires, the brown buildings in the sea. The fabric of the complacent world. The prior world- the false Eden, had descended down some hidden drain. The drain was impossible to see- but it was so patient, so proficient. After it took all the water- it sucked at the air- it brought many things- many solid and subtle things down and away. What was where the shells with eyes and ears were- the grey glowing buildings- hallucinations at dawn- and silent inner laughter that hell had come alive? Surely not floundering at any of its developmental stages...surely having no birth pangs. Arriving on its own time, like a perfectly formed leopard gecko in the desert, waking up and beginning a hunt, the sand under foot, a knowing and ancient material, as old as creation itself.

© Brian Michael Barbeito 2011

Brian Michael Barbeito writes short fiction. His work has appeared at Glossolalia, Exclusive Conclave of Delights Magazine, Lunatics Folly, and Mudjob. He resides in Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Poet: Abigale Louise LeCavalier

Isolate

Willing to do nothing
in small rooms,
not thinking much
of daffodils or daisies;
pocket money
less the pockets.

Picking the dust
form the bottom
of an ink well,
writing names and initials
in broken cursive,
some I remember.

Some I remember I forgot.

Pushing thumbtacks
in my sole,
or in my soul,
gravitating without the gravity
to the center of me,
or what used to be me anyway.

And the voices outside
scare me a little
scar me a little more,
I wish they would go away,
I could go away.

To a field of snapdragons
and lilies,
put my head to the stone
and quietly
slip away.

A Whole Hole

Shaking like an aspen
in a static summer breeze,
there are no
sunny feelings anymore.

Not ashamed,
because I gave it all I had
and it left me empty,
hollowed in the middle,
a whole hole
where sand and sugar
used to be.

Shallow,
not being able
to see through walls,
or the sarcasm
in her smile.

She aggravates me, truly.

Been buried before;
I can handle the weight
but not the pressure.

And I wash
in warm wine,
slipping into fine frustration,
grasping at the not so many straws
I have left.

Believing,
the next time it will be better.

Or at least trying too.

The Simple Life

Cut in two pieces,
she wears razorblades
around her neck
and wrists.

A not so subtle warning.

Bewildered;
the crying stopped
long ago,
but the screaming
never did.

And she holds the world
accountable,
spitting through the syllables
of simple conversation.

Though that’s exactly what it’s not.

Moving the air in and out
with velocity
and momentum,
shouting fire
without the heat,
without the heart.

Impatient,
she breaks.

And there is no one left
to put her back together,
again
and again.

© Abigale Louise LeCavalier 2011

Abigale LeCavalier's poetry has appeared in many online as well as print magazines: Fullosia Press, Feelings of the Heart, Black Cat Press, The Sheltered Poet(twice), The Same, FreeXpression, The Journal & Original Plus, Abandoned Towers, Negative Suck, PigeonBike, The Linnet's Wings, Vox Poetica,The Blotter Magazine, Roses & Vortex's, Language and Culture, The Writers Block, Visions and Voices, Camel Saloon Press, The Second Hump, The Eclectic Muse, Lit Up Magazine, Leaf Garden Press, Illogical Muse, Raven Images, Ken*Again, The Scruffy Dog Review, Jerseyworks, 63 Channels, Speech Bubble, The Stray Branch, Clockwise Cat, and, Record Magazine.

Poet: Diana E. Backhouse

My Thingamajig

I first met what’s-his-name thingamajig
Whilst setting to sea in a two-sailed brig.
He swung from the mast which he’d gone up to rig,
Had the what-do-you-call-it thingamajig.
He wasn’t too small and he wasn’t too big,
Not human, nor monkey, cat, dog or pig,
But a what-do-you-call-it thingamajig.
His feet were quite large but his figure was trig,
He was ugly but said he did not care a fig,
That what-do-you-call-him thingamajig.
His head was quite bald but he wore a blonde wig
That had been fixed on by a welder named Mig,
Firm on the head of the thingamajig.
He was drinking ale from a four-handed tig.
As he chatted to me he kept taking a swig,
That ,now rather tipsy, thing-ing-amajig.
As, on the deck, in our chairs we did lig
He told me he really wanted to flig,
Be a pilot, a dare-devil fligamajig.
He took out a Vesta and lit up a cig’
When I said “that’s not healthy”, he took the hig,
Did that huffiest, puffiest thingamajig.
He leapt from his chair like a chirruping crig,
Got on his high horse, called me a prig,
That hopping-mad what’s-it’s-name thingamajig.
I tried to cajole him, I gave him a dig.
He relented, cheered up, then we danced a jig,
Me and that funny-old gigamajig.
When we got to the river, with a pin on a twig,
He caught some trout and a nice fat snig,
Then I dined in style with the thingamajig.
We reached the shore, had a ride in a gig
And rode to his home which was funded by thig,
For he was so poor, was that thingamajig.
The house was a dump but he wasn’t called Stig.
His name was Zygo, his twin sister Zyg.
For I now knew a pair of thingamajig!
After rushing around like a fast whirligig,
All dressed in white with a flowery sprig,
I walked down the aisle with my wonderful, funny-old thingamajig.

© Diana E. Backhouse 2011

Diana E. Backhouse is a sixty-something Yorkshire lass who writes (often at the 6S Social Network) to escape.

Poet: Paul de Denus

Yard Sale

the boy, maybe ten
has a chipped toothbrush holder and two Scooby-Doo cups
which I tally at two dollars
and he gives me five for the three.

his companion stumbles and twangs
over my dented guitar,
asks how much and I say, depends?
do you play?

men and women in shorts and long faces
pull up in beaters and Volvos alike
to run the tables and gamble
on my cheap winners.

I got most everything
worthwhile
to someone else
but not for me, no more.

I’m out of here
after they’re all done
ransacking
my life.

A Cop Can Make You Twitchy

a cop can make you twitchy
his lights an intermittent strobe
flash disco

your eyes cock crooked in the rearview mirror
fingers tighten snug
in the glove compartment

you’ve seen this movie before:
the tap on the window, the click-
HANDS IN THE AIR ASSHOLE!!!

you’ve done nothing wrong,
well, maybe a mile or two
of speed

the cop looks shaky; he’s a drinker too
you can tell
his hand trembles proudly

as he issues the citation
- you’ll throw it away later -
bars cross your minds

Tossing Cards

in hand,
my extra deck,
- doubles, singles and triples -
bent around the edges,
some plain worn out
lesser players
I’ve already saved,
held together with
a thick rubber band
like a wad of pure cash.

they sail through the air
like lazy fly balls,
good sports hoping to
hit the wall perfectly
as close as possible
for a win.

Wilson flips his own deck of losers
he’s hard to beat
I hope he’ll make
a rare mistake
like a Hank Aaron
in the outfield.

© Paul de Denus 2011

Paul de Denus is a graphic artist by day, writer by night. He has been published at Six Sentences (The Love Book, Word of Mouth, and 6S Vol 3), Smith Magazine, Fictionaut, and Espresso Stories.
These poems have appeared previously on J.M. Prescott’s blog as part of her April Challenge. Paul's other writings and self published books appear at his blog: Me, the Other Twin.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Writer: Harris Tobias

The Blob—A Memoir

First off, I want to apologize to my fans. I’ve been in seclusion since my failed comeback in an unfortunate remake of my 1958 classic, The Blob. The 1988 release of the Return of The Blob was a big mistake, and for that I take full responsibility. I have been brooding over that fiasco in my Beverly Hills mansion ever since. Ashamed and addicted to alcohol and pain pills, it took years of therapy to undo the damage to my self-esteem. I am proud to say I am currently clear headed and drug free. One day at a time.
When my last film flopped, I went into a downward spiral. I blamed my writer, my director, everyone but myself. I went on an eating binge and gained a lot of weight. I really became a blob. My affairs and divorces were sensational scandals and dominated the tabloids for months. My life was a mess. There is no need to go into all of that here, suffice it to say, I retired from public view and went into a 30-year sulk. Today, for the first time, I feel as though I can talk about my career without remorse. I would like this memoir to be my first step on the comeback trail.
The world has changed so much since 1958. Those were the Eisenhower years and, when I look back, I can see just how innocent we all were. In those days it was enough to simply eat a few citizens to strike terror into an entire town. Those were the golden years to be a monster in Tinsel Town.
That’s not to say it was easy to get work; there were always younger, hungrier monsters waiting to eat my lunch. I had some stiff competition—The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Thing, It Came From Outer Space, even Godzilla were all there, competing for scripts and headlines. But as frightening as those monsters were, they weren’t The Blob. I was the big cheese, the go-to guy, the monster with the cult following. I had a lot of offers. My agent begged me to audition. I turned them all down. Looking back, I regret my foolish pride.
The competition was purely professional, though. Off camera we all were friends. We hung out together. Sure we had different styles, different histories, but we were there for each other. We were pretty close, as close as celebrities can be. We shared scripts, starlets, saw each other socially, and played golf. None of the kind of sniping and backbiting so common today. We took care of each other. We had a lot in common.
But tastes change faster than an actor can adapt. The public wanted fresh thrills—creatures from space, big, dumb monsters that killed without reason, mutant insects that just ate and ate without the slightest feeling. Monsters today have it easy. Modern screen techniques do all the work, all a monster has to do is snarl and show its teeth and the technicians do the rest. In the old days we really had to work to make look it real. Now some guy at a keyboard just pushes a few buttons. Sure some victim gets torn to shreds, and you hear the bones crunch and his brains pop out of his ears, but it isn’t real. It has no integrity. It isn’t all that scary and it certainly isn’t acting. Where’s the art? When I ate someone, I felt it and the audience felt it too. And we did it in black and white. I’m not saying monsters were kinder then, but somehow we were more human.
A fickle public began demanding less gore and more relevance in its monsters. Young monsters, raised on Stanislavski, were only too happy to oblige. Hollywood spawned sexy monsters, monsters with motives, monsters with angst for Pete’s sake, as if being eaten alive wasn’t horrifying enough, you had to care what his motivations were. It was the era of method acting and it spilled over to our kind. Personally I thought it was a lot of silliness—a monster needs motivation, since when?
I don’t think much of today’s monsters; I would ingest the whole lot of them and not even burp. Aliens, mutants, zombies—fah!—the whole lot of them are no match for The Blob in his prime. These days, I don’t know, I hardly eat anyone; I guess I’ve mellowed.
My last film, the 1988 re-make of my cult classic, was a disaster. I admit it. I co-wrote the screenplay with the late, great Oscar Heimlich. It was a good gut wrenching eat 'em up. It was our producer Leonard Malcontent’s idea to give the movie relevance. He saw me as a symbol, a vehicle to deliver a more subtle message—to reveal the dangers of Communism and explore the nature of good and evil. Heimlich and I wanted a straight forward monster movie filled with panic and confusion; an innocent town held hostage by an unquenchable menace, innocent townsfolk disappearing one by one or in small batches until the terrifying conclusion. That’s the role I was born to play. Fuck subtlety. But Malcontent insisted on a subtext and that was the movie’s undoing.
The producer’s insistence on substance over action confused the audience, and resulted in hiring the wrong director, choosing the wrong cast and setting the whole movie in the wrong location. I mean, after all, what can you do to Newark, New Jersey to make it more terrifying than it already is? My artistic voice was muffled and the result was both predictable and inevitable—instead of a tawdry monster flick played for cheap thrills and maximum shock value, we got a half-baked psychodrama that convinced no one. It went directly to the drive-in theaters. Where it died a well-deserved death. The reviews were so bad I swore off acting and began drinking.
I still have my fans, and for that I am eternally grateful. They have stuck with me all these years. It is because of them that I have cleaned up my act and am exploring some new opportunities. I have a new agent and am working on a screenplay. I don’t want to say too much about it, but it could be the beginning of an HBO miniseries on bullying, urban violence and the nature of good and evil.

© Harris Tobias 2011

Harris Tobias was raised by robots disguised as New Yorkers. Despite an awkward childhood he learned to read and write. To date Mr. Tobias has published two detective novels, The Greer Agency and A Felony of Birds, to critical acclaim. In addition he has published short stories in Down in the Dirt Magazine, Literal Translations, Electric Flash and Ray Gun Revival. He currently lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Writer: Matthew Müller

The Girl from the Video Store

The aisles of the video store feel like a mausoleum of fantasies. Only the new releases in the front still hold their brightness. The older ones, stacked tight on wooden shelves leading to the back of the back of the store, are rarely picked up to have their dust blown off. The store has been on the main street in town ever since we moved here, to upstate New York. In the winter people always come early, before it snows, and leave with stacks of films to see them through the long nights. There are two large dogs that patrol up and down the aisles and the same man has always owned it and the same girl is always there too, but she’s also growing older, treading the line somewhere between blooming and inheriting the face of her adulthood.
I took my younger brother to the county fair in town the year I was just out of college, and he scampered off with his high school friends, voice high and eyes bright, swallowed into the music and lights. I joined two of my friends and we moved through the crowds and passed the rides and stalls of vendors. It felt like walking through a movie I’d seen five times already. We stepped into the barn in the agriculture section and a young cow licked my hand, and kept licking, until she had the whole thing in her mouth. We watched the end of the demolition derby, something that used to excite me. All the cars were stuck in a dirt oval, exhausts blowing. They crashed into each other over and over again until only one motor was left running, and this one declared victor, even though his engine died too, before he could turn it off. The high school kids all ran around in groups, stood pushing coins into the gambling machines, or in front of the game stalls, aiming toy rifles at the small metal targets. The boys tried to shoot like men, suddenly gaining a smiling pride when they were passed the rifle. It was easy to see how desperately they wanted to hit each target, to give their girls the prize of a stuffed animal, and how much they resembled me, when I was young.
We settled in the beer tent. They were playing country western and classic rock through the speakers on the empty stage. We were on the outside where the tent opened to the tractor lot and old men stood leaning on the giant tires, talking. The band had already quit playing but no one was ready to leave. The lights were bright and the music loud. Might be the only real night out in months for most people. The mountains sat quietly in the darkness behind the grounds, receding into their dark halls, the animals whispering, their quiet feet, looking down anxiously at the bright lights, all of that noise downstairs, like young children watching their parents getting drunk.
Only a few older people were dancing. I stood up and bought another round, beer in plastic cups. A new group of younger people streamed in. They must have been in before. They were swaying and yelling. The girl from the video store was there. She threw her cardigan on the bench of a picnic table and moved out onto the floor, grabbing one of her friends with her. She started dancing like it was the first time she had discovered an amazing love, her feet pounding down into the ground, her legs disappearing into the deep black boots she soon kicked off. Her hair flew around her, up and down, fishtailing behind every one of her gyrations. Her shorts were cut off and frayed just below her pelvis. All of the older men turned to look.
She washed in like water from an old dam that had finally broken. She danced with everybody. None of her was held back, everyone could drink from that water. A tall skinny man falling into middle-age moved shyly toward her and she grabbed him around the waist, moved him out onto the floor and danced all around him, her body grinding up and down his skinny tree frame, his tucked in flannel shirt coming loose and his feet scrambling; his disbelieving eyes. She leaned her head back, arching as far as she could, her hair touching the floor and her torso stretching out in front of him, her breasts all to visible under her thin white shirt, and her pelvis pushed directly against him, at once holding him in place and showing him everywhere he could, and could not, go. Then she snapped back and he was lost in a cloud of hair and before he knew what had happened she was circling another man.
All the older women watched her and talked among themselves. Maybe she was a memory to them growing up out of the dark earth of things they thought no longer mattered. Maybe she was something they had once been, or something that they had always been too afraid to be, something they regretted. But the men watched with their hands on their belts, quiet and interested. And the stoic ones never got up, never moved onto the floor, but in their minds they were moving over it and around her, they were dancing better than any man who actually did move into the bright lights, better than any of those fools. She finally left the floor between songs, stood by a table and took a long pull from a bottle, her face flushed with life. She flipped her hair back with her eyes closed toward the ceiling of the tent above, put her leg up on the bench so that her shorts rode up to where her underwear should have been.
The next time I walked into the video store I saw her sitting quietly behind the counter. The two dogs barked their way down the long rows toward me, and she held them off with shouts that weren’t convinced of the commands they were giving. So the dogs didn’t really listen, licked my hands and jumped up against my waist, while outside it was raining, same as yesterday.

© Matthew Zanoni Müller 2011

Matthew Zanoni Müller was born in Bochum, Germany and grew up in Eugene, Oregon and upstate New York. He received his MFA from Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers and teaches at his local Community College. He still lives in upstate New York and you can learn more about his work by visiting: www.matthewzanonimuller.com

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Writer: Michael D. Brown

Unobserved

As your tear-blurred eyes indicted me, I came to believe I could never learn the grammar of your unwritten language, the gist of which appeared to claim a promise to mollify is a promise nonetheless and not to be mitigated by melancholy, while not discounting the prerogative of reconsideration. Memory has its place, but what of the moment and the unworded glance?

Though I might one day visit the place from which you spoke, I would be traveling alone. Having allowed your lesson to slip away in a grasp at understanding the context of the moment, thereby overlooking the details, will I fail to recognize history, in a way, repeating itself? Will you, then, wherever you are, smile at my foolish lapse? Or will you take pity? Can your intangible pity supply anything more than a reprimanding look from the silent ghost of a guilty conscience? Will that ease the pain I may be going through then, as I now, ineffably attempt to ease yours?

Such a shame you will pass intestate, and those of us who survive can only guess and try to remember wishes you expressed on brighter days. The irony of the sword that strings together your mumbled incoherencies is in how it likewise pierces our hearts when recalling that you taught this stuff for years. Making sense was your livelihood.

There were times when I could not immediately ascertain what you were trying to say in your writing, but the compositions were always available for rereading. We were both men of letters in those days, and though you were always a private person and declined to relate your own tale, one could divine your work’s provenance. Now, this kind of transitory communication—this does not work for me. I cannot discern whether you are begging or damning, and desperately need something to go on.

As I watched you swat invisible insects and relate your unstoried life to shafts of sunlight, I asked, “Where are you now?” “Schism…trellis,” you said, or at least that is what I heard, as your mind regressed through several decades perhaps seeking comfort as a tabula rasa, every observed movement an unformed, but learnable word.

In this last month-long half week, your race to that place has quickened, and I am reminded of college days, and Einstein, and the hypothetical astronaut who returned to encounter his aged self. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it...?

The night comes on, and the atmosphere in this room, responding to a faulty thermostat, is chilled by what does not occur between us. I am certain there will not be many more of these nights. Honestly, and I apologize for feeling this way, I no longer believe in my promises from yesterday which you could not help leaving unacknowledged. I pass on what you could not parse.

I replace the pillow at the foot of this strange bed. I cannot commit to our fleeting plan. I do not have it in me.

There are no words for how I feel, and you have none to give me. I do not know where you are, but you will have to find your way alone, as I will. We are beyond enabling each other.

I think I want to leave, want to run, but I only think it, and instead sit in a chair by the useless window in hopes that if I wait and watch a while longer, Nature in her kindness will obviate the need to erase what has not been written here.

“Cello…ingmitgrense,” you utter in sounds that in no way resemble condemnation nor atonement.

© Michael D. Brown 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writer: Bryan Curtis

Going Out

He awoke slowly, drifting in and out of hazy stupor. Consciousness danced at the edge of his vision, swimming in harsh fluorescent light. Words were starting to form at the fingers of his mind. Where am I? Panic forced perspiration, adding to the mix of sensations assaulting his form. Sitting up caused the haze to slowly retreat, but it was soon echoed by waves of nausea, leaving only dull ache and distressed thought. The world he entered now was far removed from the one he remembered. Twisted steel and the stench of flame gave way to clean white cloth and the stale smell of chemicals. As dizziness took over he once again sank back down into the soft embrace of polyester. His mind was racing now, searching for images, sounds, anything that could give clues to this sobering arrival. The monotonous beeping in the machine behind him said he was alive, but the blood in his veins felt cold and foreign.
Focus. He shut his eyes tight against the pain and once again rose. As the dizziness passed, sharp dark eyes scanned the area. He lay on a small hospital cot in a room no bigger than a king-sized bed—something that he certainly craved—and would receive should he find the fortune to return home. The cramped walls and single, covered window lent no aid to his sickly feeling. Machines perched around the bed, sporting all sorts of tubes and wires, looking like some misshapen flock of vultures. Waiting for prey to sigh the last breath, he thought grimly. The vision brought a small smirk to his face.
The door swung open with a clatter, and a petite young woman with disheveled brown hair, and bags under her eyes skittered in through the door. She must have mistaken his smirk for a smile, because she grinned back in kind, a lopsided expression that showed a few too many teeth. The only emotion he could muster was pity. The nurse scampered about to and fro, and he watched her youthful body go about its business. She appeared tired to him, and although the bounds and hops suggested otherwise, he could tell she felt uncomfortable. He liked this. After finishing her diagnostics, the nurse retrieved a clipboard from the foot of the bed. At last she met his gaze, and smiled again, though weaker this time—she received no similar gesture. What is she afraid of, he mused. My stares? Or maybe my form. He looked down at his arms, and for the first time noticed the heavy bruising and lacerations. His left forearm sported three long parallel gashes, and numerous tender dark patches. His right shoulder was in a tightly bound wrap, and his wrist followed suit. Under the blankets he could feel his ankle in a brace as well as numerous scrapes and injuries, though he detected no serious damage.
Another wave of nausea, and he found himself lying down again spinning through time. As he shut his eyes tight against the pain, visions of his employer came to mind. They had met only briefly in a compound just north of Baltimore. Formerly military, but abandoned after the cold war. In the bright glow of the single pale bulb he could make out only the cold hate in his employer’s eye. His thick form wore a flak jacket and strapped more guns than his numerous lackeys. After donating a single black duffel, as well as a sarcastic, “Good luck.” On the way out of the door his employer had made one thing very clear. No loose ends.
As once again nausea was trumped by haste, eyes winced open, and he found the nurse standing still, at the foot of his bed, patiently waiting for his return. He nodded slightly, tucking away his memories into some forgotten corner of thought. As she rattled on about how he had been involved in a car accident, and how he had barely survived, and how the paramedics had rushed him here just in time, he let go of the conversation and drifted back into his mind. Had the nurse been more attractive he might have faked attention, but as it stood he just wanted to get the hell out of there. His eyes scanned her face, weathered beyond years, surely from tired hours at the hospital or late nights poring over books for medical exams. She finished her spiel, just as he was starting to find her interesting. She helped him into a pair of jeans and a tee shirt before showing him out. Her hands were cold, but practiced and he marveled at how precise she was, even at such a demeaning task. As he walked towards the exit, the nurse and her heels clicking away at his side, the glaring bars of light forced recollection into his mind. The clamor of voices, the gurney wheels squeaking away, the smell of sweat, fear, and oil. Again, he forced these away. There would be time to reminisce later.
He arrived at the door and thanked the woman for her time and help, but sincerity would not grace his tone. She smiled curtly, and scurried off, and he listened to her heels click off down the corridor. As he turned to the door it slid open spilling blinding sunlight in through the opening. His feet moving awkwardly into the sunlight, his hand shielding his eyes against the midday sun, a glance at his wrist informed him his watch must not have been as lucky as he. He could vaguely make out burns where it must have been torn away during the impact. Damn shame, he thought. The nurse had mentioned his car was gone, but that did not worry him. They had not found his phone either, but were able to recover his bloody wallet and a few bent keys. As his feet steadily dragged him along the pavement the quiet hubbub of the city was for once a peaceful thing. His new jeans and white tee hung loosely on his previously bulky form. Weight was not the only thing he lost in the hospital. He began to quicken his pace and let his body take the brunt of the work. Joints clicked in stiffened resistance, but his suddenly anxious demeanor would have none of it. The car accident was no longer any concern to him. He had to leave—now, before they realized who he was. Again the smirk, which would take more than the local police department to discern, crept onto his face.
A minute later he stopped just outside a closed down liquor store. The street was practically deserted. Good. The graffiti he saw on the shop window looked like an ancient bloody warning, irony that did not escape him. He removed his wallet, and emptied it down the sewer grate behind the closest car, a green Chrysler. He then dropped the wallet as well, but not before removing a key from the inner pocket. He walked around to the driver's side and unlocked the car, the nervous feeling in his body growing by the second. There is no way that they just let me walk away. He sat down and started the car. He flipped down the visor and caught the cell phone that dropped. He glanced again at his wrist, only to be greeted by dark red burns. Right on time. The Chrysler pulled away from the curb, in a puff of exhaust.

© Bryan Curtis 2011

Bryan Curtis says he is a student at Cornell University, and has no history of published work. This may be his first story posted on the web.

Amazon Listings

MDJB at Amazon