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#BlogBattle: Corona

Here we go again… 😁

BlogBattle

#BloGBattle

June 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:

Corona

You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the 30th of the month to have your story shared here and on social media.

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, and we’ll add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!

Basic Rules:

The Prompt Word will be given the First Tuesday of Every Month.

Post your story by the 30th of the Same Month.

RULES

  1. 1000 words max (give or take a few)
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. Any genre that fits within PG-13 (or less) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!

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Reflections

Movie Dreams…

Rough night last night with movie dreams. Dramatic scenes, like out takes, removed from context, but clear nonetheless…

With sound tracks playing in the background. Snippets of songs on endless repeat…

A happy scene living with my daughter, sitting on the couch with a couple of cats and the dog asleep at my feet. The kids are spiraling out of control, and with a quiet voice, I speak their names. “Can you feel those waves of irritation coming from your mom?,” I ask. They both nod. “That means she’s had enough. For real. Settle down now…” And little one comes to sit beside me.

…our house. It’s a very, very fine house…”

Suddenly my daughter explodes! Ranting about how I stole her animals, and now I’m stealing her kids away from her! And after all she does to take care of and protect them…

I don’t know what to say, knowing no words can heal that self-inflicted pain…

***

I’m at work, encouraging my replacement to look at boxes and paperwork to try and get a sense of what’s ahead of us. “You’re going to have to learn how to prioritize,” I tell her. But she is dawdling and slow to pick things up…

“We have to step this up!,” I snap. “I’m not going to be here to hold your hand much longer, you know!”

“…turning the inside out…”

***

And here, in the waking world, things are stranger still…

Standing outside in a misty rain, watching the streams of water fall in the light from the deck spotlight. All around me the world is wet. Except me and my cat. Holding my hand out in the stream, I feel no water, though I can still see it falling. But I am not even damp, nor is my cigarette…

***

Later, and all is quiet outside. Too quiet. It’s eerie. No traffic, no factory sounds, no slamming doors. Nothing. Not even the bats are flying tonight. What is going on?

And I realize that every time I come downstairs, nausea nearly overwhelms me. Along with that sense of everything being… just totally wrong

***

Co-workers are reporting strange dreams to me. Significant images they feel compelled to share. White horses rearing in the clouds… A tiny car with removable covers on the windows. And my friend who is driving must keep shifting perspective from inside to outside the car, changing window covers, seeking the best combination that will allow her to see properly…

…talk to me. I can’t seem to speak now… talk to me… the words won’t come out right… what are you thinking?… sometimes I wonder… what are you feeling?… where do we go from here?”

And another reporting anxiety. “You know, the kind that precedes a full on panic attack.” And I can feel it all around him like a dark cloud, but none of it infects me…

***

And every time I touch my phone, my remote, or any electronic device, I can feel the electricity coursing through me. Tingling. Numbing. Uncomfortable. I must put it down…

***

Rough energy going on with movie dreams and reality. Dramatic scenes, like out takes, removed from context, but clear nonetheless…

“the ringing of the division bell had begun…”

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Reflections, Visions

Off the Rails…

I close my eyes and chaos reigns. Objects, like thoughts, flying in all directions at once. Little spirals of change and corruption, like dust devils, spinning out of control, starting with me and sliding away.

And I am also moving, aboard my little animated train. Not afraid, not anxious at all. “Just hold on, Lisa,” I tell myself. “This, too, shall pass.”

So I focus in more deeply on the swirling thoughts and objects, seeking to identify as many as possible before they are gone. But they are fast as pixies and just as sly, layering over one another before any become clear.

Just glimpses of faces. And places. Of movement and stillness. Of joy and sorrow, anger and forgiveness. My train has become a roller coaster ride… But the images are relentless, flying around, now with the weight of cars behind them. Each significant enough to warrant recognition, but moving away more quickly than my conscious mind can grasp.

I withdraw my focus, pulling back, to better see the chaos from a distance. And there goes my train car, chugging along, but oddly having no track to follow. And all about, strewn in my wake, a litter of vehicles tossed and tumbled, as though a great wind just juggled them all…

I smile. No track means no one is directing this trip, controlling where it goes. I am free of normal time and space, at least for a little while. And the tumbled tokens in my wake are proof that all of it is real, even if I haven’t figured that part out yet…

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Conversations

A Conversation With THE Other About… Failure

Her eyebrows lifted in genuine surprise. “Failure?!… Hmm, not what I expected to hear at all! Whose failure?,” she thought to ask. “Who failed at doing what?”

I laughed out loud, grateful to be alone in my room for this conversation. “Why my failure, of course!,” I told her. “My failure at living my life, practicing what I’ve been taught… My decision to just give up!”

Lea sat forward on her couch, focus intensifying without any other obvious sign. “Explain,” she demanded.

I hesitated, gathering my thoughts close to me, trying to impose some sense of order on the chaos within my mind. Taking a deep, fortifying breath, I attempted to comply…

“All my life I’ve been taught to walk between worlds, to choose my own reality. Through focus, perception, imagination and will, I can be anywhere. Any time…. Anyone…

“I know this!,” I added, frustration creeping in. “Yet, in spite of what I know, I remain here! In this dying world, this pointless race. I cannot escape, no matter how I try! I cannot change anything of consequence for myself!…”

Sitting back, a wry grin upon her face, Lea nodded. “So, we’re back to this again, are we?”

“No!!,” I snapped, involuntarily. “Do not mock me, or belittle what I say! Because this is a whole new level of enough!”

Lifting one eyebrow in silence, she encouraged me to continue…

“Even my dreams are mocking me lately. Tests and challenges, administered and passed. Pathways revealed between dimensions that are subsequently travelled. Progress made, with or without significant struggle. And then I wake. Quite suddenly. To find myself here again! Nothing has changed!! And if it has, it’s only gotten worse!…

“Then the messages start to arrive in my waking world, repetitive and encouraging. Telling me that all is well, that all that I’ve been working toward, and for, is just about to break in my favor. Finally!…

“Only, it doesn’t happen. At least not noticeably. At least not for me…”

“So… Either everything I’ve been taught, everything I believe, is a lie,” I conclude. “Or I am just incompetent in the extreme.”

Nodding, Lea responds quite seriously. “So, you’ve chosen to believe the first – that it’s all a lie. I guess that makes sense. Certainly is easier to accept, isn’t it?”

“Still, I’m curious,” she continued. “Why, exactly, would that be? Why is it easier to accept that your lifelong curriculum has been faulty rather than you have failed to apply it properly?”

“Less disappointing,” I answered quickly. “To think I’ve been misled puts less pressure on me.”

“But it also prevents any remedy,” she pointed out, quite ruthlessly. “If it were you at fault, you might still learn differently. But if your basic premises are false, there is no chance to succeed.”

“True,” I admit quietly. “But that’s the point, isn’t it?… I’m tired of trying and failing consistently. I just want to be done with all of it!”

“Cop out, Lisa,” she snapped. “And not worthy of you! Just when I was starting to respect who you were becoming…” Contempt dripped from every word.

“It won’t work this time, Lea,” I pointed out quite placidly. “I don’t really care anymore what you might think of me…”

“Fine!,” she noted unemotionally. “Then tell me, just for argument’s sake, why you think you failed so miserably?”

“Easy,” I answered. “It’s my body.”

She laughed outright, taken by surprise. “Oh please do explain this theory to me…”

“It’s not theory, Lea; it’s fact.” I remained calm and focused as I explained. “All the traveling I have done, per your and others’ teachings, has involved projecting my mind, my spirit, my perspective into another space or time. Not exactly hard to do. And while my experiences in those other places have contributed to creating who I am, influencing my thoughts, moods, interactions and expectations, they are always limited by my body…

“Because any disturbance to my body will snap me back into my own time and space, whether I wish to return or not. It’s like an anchor, dragging me down, time and time again. There is no escaping it! Ever! Until, or unless, I can find a way to cross those dimensional barriers with my body as well as my mind, I will never be free.”

“And frankly,” I smirked, “I have no reason to want to take it with me. This body is broken. It may be my fault, having treated it thoughtlessly and recklessly, but it does not serve me well now. So, even if I could figure out how to travel with it, I wouldn’t bother to try. What would be the point? I can’t trust it to perform the most basic of actions anymore, nor can I escape the constant pain of being in it…

“Therefore,” I concluded smugly, “my work here is done. I’m playing the waiting game until I can be gone…”

Lea sat back to contemplate what I’d said, while I left to get something to eat… When I returned, she jumped in, as though the conversation had never stalled…

“But you’re forgetting something important,” she stated with her characteristic certainty. “Reality, after all, is just an illusion.”

“Not true,” I answered immediately, “as my body proves. Because no matter what reality I’m in, it can drag me back here again. Therefore, my body exists in some real time or space, giving its needs total primacy.”

Lea shook her head, denying me. But she did not speak.

“Prove to me otherwise, Lea,” I implored her. “Show up in my life for real. Bring your body if you can. Walk up and talk to me, face to face…

“Until you can do that, or unless I should say, we have nothing more to discuss. For you and I will both remain trapped exactly where and when we are. And all this talk about traveling between worlds will take on the aura of pure fantasy, as it properly should. Because so long as our bodies anchor us, neither one will ever be truly free…

“That’s the facts, Lea,” I concluded, sadly. “Accept, as I have, and move on, or prove me wrong definitively. If you do that, I will gladly adopt the mantle of student once more. If you can’t, I prefer to surrender gracefully…”

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Conversations

A Conversation With THE Other About… Whatever

“Pssst… Lisa!” I heard it whispered directly in my ear, startling me. I chose to ignore it.

“Pssssst, Lisa!” A little louder and more demanding. Again, I ignored her, having no desire to speak.

“Pssst, Lisa! I know you can hear me…”

“Of course I can!,” I snapped. “But I’m choosing not to interact. Please respect that.”

“Pssst…”

“Stop it already!,” I spoke out loud. “Just go away!”

And so it went for days. And then more days. Until I couldn’t ignore her anymore.

“What is your issue, Lea?!,” I finally acknowledged. “Why can’t you take no for an answer?! I don’t want to talk to you! Can I be any clearer?!”

Sitting back to lounge more comfortably on her beige, unremarkable couch, she smiled. A gloating, mocking, childish expression of getting her own way…

“What is your issue?,” she responded calmly, not at all moved by my exasperation. “Since when do you ignore me when I come to visit?”

“Since I grew up and realized you’re not nearly as wise or powerful as I once thought. Since I stopped worshipping the ground you walked on. Since I stopped believing you could teach me what I wanted to know… I’m not a child anymore, Lea! It’s time you accepted that.”

She sat there silently, staring at the ceiling, saying nothing. Finally she turned to face me. “Well, you’re acting kind of childish now,” she pointed out.

Letting my anger and frustration go in a deep, shuddering sigh, my whole demeanor sank and settled. “You’re absolutely right,” I admitted.

“Why?,” she asked me, curious as always about what motivates me.

Shaking my head slowly, I sat back more comfortably in my bed, preparing to face this conversation whether I wanted to or not. Taking comfort from the cat who is never far from my side when we’re both in the house, I took time to think about my answer.

“I’m not sure, really,” I began. “Maybe because I suspect what this visit is about, and, like any child, I’ve learned that a strong offense may save me from having to play defense.”

“Hmmm…,” she nodded. Then shaking her head in vigorous denial, she sat up from her lounging position and turned her whole body to face me. Placing her feet deliberately and leaning forward, she prepared to confront me. “No… No, I don’t think that’s it at all. Want to try again?”

“Not really,” I responded honestly. “I don’t want to have this conversation at all… You came to me this time. Why don’t you just speak your piece and be done with it? Then we can both go back to our respective lives.”

“Wow, girl! I don’t remember you having such sharp edges all around!” She grinned her best “bestie” grin, allowing just a touch of mockery to seep in. “Is this a new look for you? ‘Cause really, I’m not likin’ it much!” She winked, attempting to take control of the conversation.

“And I’m not falling for the fake charm and sweetness, Lea,” I warned her. “Nor will I respond to threats or mockery anymore. I’m not afraid of you or what you think you can do to me. I’ve learned a thing or two over the years, and I’m not nearly as gullible as I once was…”

“Gullible, still,” I added, cautiously. “Just not as gullible, I guess.”

“Well, well, well…,” she spoke harshly, rising to pace restlessly before her couch. “The kitten’s all grown up now, is she? Testing out her claws on me?” She stopped to glare directly at me. “Am I supposed to be impressed?,” she scoffed.

“Hardly,” I responded, blandly. “There is nothing impressive about finally being honest.” I paused a moment, claiming my space in the conversation. “Is there?,” I finally asked.

She smiled. Sincerely, for once. Then sat comfortably once more. “You have changed, haven’t you? You used to be so easy to manipulate!,” she laughed. “I am curious though. When did you grow up?”

It was my turn to laugh. “Apparently when you weren’t paying attention, I guess.”

“No,” she answered, seriously. “I don’t miss things like that. You know that.”

She drifted off, silently, thinking deeply. I let her go. Hope that I may have averted the bulk of this conversation warred with grudging respect that her words, while confident, were not born of arrogance; Lea truly was/is the best “reader” of people I have ever met. So much of what I know, I learned from her, directly (by lesson or intent) or indirectly (by following her example). I waited patiently to see if she’d return…

Eventually, she did…

“Clever, Lisa,” she admonished me. “Very clever. Distracting me that way.” She paused to study me intently. “That was intentional, wasn’t it?”

I shrugged. “It was worth a shot, anyway.” That was as close to an admission as she would get from me.

Nodding, a hint of grudging respect creeping in, she continued. “Just what is it you think I’ve come to discuss today?”

“Failure,” I responded, without hesitation.

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#BlogBattles, Stories...

“Pooping Monstrosity!…” (#BlogBattles: Airtight)

“Pooping Monstrosity!…,” erupted the man in the back row, venting his frustration more loudly than he might have intended. But as all eyes turned his way, he made the conscious decision to capitalize on his 15 minutes of fame today…

Standing so he might better be seen, he committed fully to his chosen position. “Do you honestly believe this crap you are shoveling?! Do you actually practice this tripe you are dumping upon these mindless, desperate souls?! Why, you’re nothing more than a vicious, overgrown raptor with a bad case of the runs!” Red-faced and furious, he paused to catch his breath.

Mild-mannered and calm, the Speaker responded. “I take it you disagree, Sir?”

Apoplectic with rage, the man could only sputter incoherently, spittle flying in all directions as he nodded his head vigorously…

“Is there any particular part of our program you take exception to?,” the Speaker asked politely, then waited patiently for a reply.

“How about ALL of it?!!…,” the man finally managed to squeeze out. “The meek shall inherit the Earth?!… What Earth is that, exactly? Have you looked outside this climate controlled prison lately? There is no Earth left!!!”

“Or how about this nonsense about ‘turning the other cheek’?,” he added, warming to his topic now that his voice had found release. “What possible purpose could that serve besides giving you and your cronies a clean canvas upon which to smear your intestinal fortitude?”

“I feel your pain,” the Speaker murmured soothingly. “I understand your consternation…”

“Consternation?!,” the man interrupted rudely. “Try constipation instead! Too many years locked up in here, with morons like you in charge! Preaching love and light and peace while the whole world is dying!,” he ranted, adopting the mocking tone of bullies from another time.

The Speaker left the podium, stepping softly down the aisle nearest the irate man. The circular room provided easy viewing to all the audience members, caught up in this real-life drama. The eyes of each and every one followed the Speaker’s progress, reflecting a myriad of moods and expectations. The angry man bore witness to their internal dialogues, noting everything from mild apathy to hopeful sparks of courage, which further ignited his passion.

“Look at you! Look at you all! What is wrong with you?! Can’t you see what bull this is?! Can’t you see how they control you with this filthy bunk, leading you to slaughter like the mindless sheep you are?! Where is your pride? Your outrage? Your yearning to be free?!”

The Speaker stopped a few feet from the man, opening arms wide so as to appear less threatening. “How can I help you, Sir? What is it you need?”

“Need?!…,” the man sputtered. “What do I need?!… Seriously?!”

“Yes, of course,” the Speaker continued, without missing a beat. “Very seriously. What do you need?,” spoken quite gently.

The man snorted loudly, slowly releasing steam. Sensing his fifteen minutes were rapidly expiring, he groped desperately through his mind for one last memorable point to make. The silence was deafening as the whole room waited breathlessly to hear his gut wrenching plea…

And inspiration struck quite suddenly…

Urgently he dropped his pants and the shorts he wore beneath. Squatting over his vacated seat, he grunted loudly as he made his opening comment a reality…

And it was only then, and in the fatal moments that followed, that the people came to know just how airtight their biosphere needed to be to protect their fledgling society from the ravaged planet outside.

And another Utopian world fell to the evil empire of Chipotle…

(600 words)

Written for #BlogBattles: Airtight

https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/blogbattle-airtight/

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