#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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Reflections, self-discovery

The Analogous Mind…

Write your self a story,

complete,

and live it as your own…

Chances are you’ll learn something,

about yourself,

that was previously Unknown.

***   ***   ***

That’s the thing about fiction and fantasy, though, isn’t it?  Innocuous, entertaining, completely unreal-istic.  Until you live it as your self, and make it your own.

Then it becomes real.  Totally real.  For you anyway…

The magic of great writing is that ability to pull you in, immerse you in the “safe” realm of words.  Feeling isolated from the drama and trauma of life for a while, comfy and cozy in your little reading nook…

Until the truth slams into your heart, taking your breath away, leaving you stunned.  And speechless.  For there is no response when it happens that way, no escape, no retreat.  The author may have lured you in with beautiful words, but they stick, remaining with you long after you look away…

Like a curse…

Writing your own story allows you to control the ending, but otherwise the process remains the same.  Hidden gems and unconscious agendas control the rhythm and the rhyme.  Your Self directs the flow, while your self just rides along.  These truths last…

Until the next story is written…

***   ***   ***

In the “real” world we call this empathy; less thought, more feeling.  But the steps remain the same.  Immersing our selves in someone else’s frame of reference to learn about ourselves.  Each new Other we encounter is a new opportunity; each new being we meet, a lesson come to greet…

We live in an infinite hall of mirrors…

What a disturbing thought to think…

For this story, this analogy, has led to yet another unforgettable truth, the previously Unknown, revealed:

I, too, am a narcissist!  And this  is All about Me…

Ugh…

 

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Reflections

“Blessing or Curse…?”

I have a vivid imagination.  I always have.  Sometimes it is a blessing in my life.  It aids me in all things creative, including my writing.  It enables me to construct whole worlds where I can spend my time; worlds so real to me that their lessons and experiences become part of my daily growth; worlds so real to me, they are often indistinguishable from the one my body inhabits…

Which is where the curse part begins.  Because sometimes, I cannot tell the difference between them.  Sometimes my imagination conjures images and lessons that begin (and belong) “elsewhere,” but they are so vibrantly alive that they begin to take root here, in mundania, in my daily life.  But my daily self is not so well equipped to deal with them, as is my visionary self.  So trouble often follows…

Sometimes I succeed in constructing a fantasy so real to me that I begin to see signs of its manifestation in the “real” world.  But luckily (maybe) I recognize it early enough to deflect it slightly, so that it manifests completely, but for someone else…  The earlier I notice, the better able I am to cast it off, the more likely it will touch someone unknown to me.  But it often returns to me in story form, told by someone else, every detail complete and recognizable.  And sometimes, I barely catch it at all, and must watch it unfold for someone close to me.  And sometimes that is hard to do…

Not because I wish harm on someone else, either, as you might assume from what I’m writing.  It’s not that at all.  My clearest, strongest fantasies are mostly what others fantasize about – comfort, security, love, recognition, success, etc…  And yet they still bring harm to those who “benefit” from them…

I don’t know if I am actually creating these scenarios, or if I merely sense them developing, and transcribe those sensations into a story line that flows and follows.  I don’t know if the impulses that birth these stories are mine or someone else’s.  I don’t know if I am truly casting them off to taint an Other’s journey, or if I merely release them in time to witness to whom they really belong.  And I don’t know if the “consequences” of such success stories are inherent in the stories themselves, or a reflection of my unwillingness to claim them…

What I do know, is that I have recently crossed paths with Others who are “living the Dream” I wanted for myself.  Different versions for different folks, but the details of each are telling.  And yet…

And yet, not one of them seems truly happy or content…

Was I wrong about the things I value?  Are they not the kinds of things that could bring happiness and contentment to me?  Or are they not working out because of some other, unforeseen, reason?

Is it prophecy or manipulation I’m experiencing now?  It’s hard to tell with all that has been happening.  Now that we’ve begun to see the levers and gears that operate behind the curtain of what we call reality.  Now that Time itself has become quite malleable…

What I also know is that this process, which used to work so well for me, no longer serves me, and I have yet to find a replacement.  I used to seek refuge in my fantasies, when the mundane world became too much.  I used to try out different possibilities there, before acting them out myself.  But now…

But now…  I’m never sure which thoughts will play out in the world around me.  Now, when I seek these other realms to explore what options I might have, I find my steps faltering, just as I cross that line…  Now I practice a rigid, impulsive self-control that stops such thoughts before they fully form.  Just in case, you know…

And it feels silly, really, to worry about such things.  I mean, who does that, anyway?  Why concern my self with what has not yet happened, when so much truly is happening now?  And why care if it manifests, especially if it’s happening to someone else?  Especially if it’s a “good” dream I’m making now?

I cannot be responsible for how an’Other lives.  I cannot be responsible for how they use these gifts.  I am not raining curses down upon them, so I have nothing to feel guilty about; all that I have wished for me, and (maybe) cast upon them, is for success, prosperity, comfort, and hope…

And yet the smell of burning flesh still haunts me, and follows me around…

Everywhere.  Every time.  Every day.  My senses reel under its omnipresence.  A memory, or prescience?  Damning either way.  And I am left outside my comfort zone, wondering yet again…

A blessing or a curse…?

 

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Reflections, Stories...

Drowning…

“Fire looked at Water blankly, completely unprepared to answer. Laughing merrily at his sudden discomposure, Water reached out to embrace Fire. But Fire jumped back quickly, avoiding the contact.

“Are you nuts, Water?! What are you trying to do, kill me?” Responding to Water’s deep and disheartened confusion, Fire added more gently. “Water puts out fire, remember?”

Nodding sadly, Water concurred. “And fire destroys water… I remember.” “

(An excerpt from a short story entitled “Fire and Water: The Search for Life” I wrote many years ago…)

***

Relevant now, again, because I feel as if I am drowning…

Lately I seem to be inundated with water issues, from flooding to our most recent household disaster where the aforementioned flooding took out the hot water heater’s pilot, and we cannot get it lit again.  There are other minor issues, too, of course, like leaky sinks, and shower hoses suddenly spurting where they’re not supposed to, all of which lead my friends to believe that we are being overcome by emotions.  At least symbolically…

But I am more intrigued with the water’s effect on fire in our home, and my inability to keep the home fires burning.  Literally!  There was the power outage that left us without heat for five days during a wicked cold snap.  And even though we have a woodburning stove, I could not keep the fire going for any length of time because the wood was wet, and so reluctant to burn.  For 5 days I lived here, with internal household temps never getting above 40 degrees.  And then I finally got dry wood!  And the power came back on…

That was followed by a record breaking snowfall (within hours, no less) made so much more difficult to handle by rising temps throughout.  The snow was incredibly heavy and wet, with the sun shining brilliantly after the storm, making the shovelling out process a 3 day nightmare for the physically challenged, like myself…

All that snow melted quickly in the spring-like weather that followed, bringing on the first floods…  And so April arrived with steady, constant rain for days, until the whole world seemed to be drowning in it.  Everything was under water…  Until finally, this past weekend brought a taste of early summer, and we could finally assess the damage all that water caused.  And it was then we lost the hot water heater…

So… clearly my fire is being overwhelmed by my water!  My passion, creativity, motivation, even action, snuffed out, made impotent and ineffectual by the flood of emotions drowning me…

Just last night I came home late after spending some valuable time with a respected friend.  She left me with much to think about; intrigued, and moving in new directions at last.  I spent time alone after coming home basking in the light of a full moon shining from a nearly cloudless sky.  The cool rays of moonlight contrasted sharply with the unusually warm temperature, and it was a balm to my restless and disheartened spirit.  I let down my guard, as I usually do, and opened myself to the healing that only time alone at night can bring.  And so the feelings came…

Heart-wrenching, gut-twisting, rage-inducing pain from so very many sources, I could not begin to identify them all.  So much suffering happening in the world…  The tears came unbidden, as they do every night recently; impotent and pointless, but flowing nonetheless.  And this time I found I couldn’t actually breathe anymore, as the flood assaulted me.  I was, metaphorically and literally, drowning in sorrow!  The weight on my chest was so heavy, I seriously wondered if I was having genuine medical issues.  But no, not really, at least not the “fixable” kind…

And then it began to rain, softly at first, before becoming a deluge.  Lightning flashed and thunder rolled; an unexpected storm drenching me.  I just stood there on the deck, my tears still falling, and looked up at the brightness of the moon.  And there she sat in all her glory… in a completely cloudless sky.

A full blown thunderstorm raging from a cloudless sky?!

And my first and only thought was to question, “did I do that?”

The storm ended as quickly as it began, before I could pull myself together enough to seek shelter in the house.  But my soaked clothes and skin were proof enough for me to accept the storm was not my imagination…

And when I woke this morning with that same weight upon my chest, I recognized it clearly for what it was – anxiety.  Not fear.  Anxiety…

The world I live in makes no sense to me today.  I cannot understand what is happening anymore.  At all!  Rationality has left the building, and everything around me is in complete chaos.  And I do not know how to maneuver effectively through it.  Hence my anxiety.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not so naive as to believe that life should be fair; I know better, based upon only my own experience.  And I cannot deny that there are good people out there doing great things, even if it’s not reported with the same enthusiasm as all the bad.  I see good moments in every day… But there is no balance occurring, no matter how much I widen my view or broaden my perspective.  There is no way to justify, explain, or empathize with the purely destructive acts occurring all around me!  I am beyond bewildered…

These few people, bringing so much suffering down upon the rest, for their own tiny glorification are determined to destroy everything, including that which would serve their own interests!  I literally cannot comprehend the motives of such self-destructiveness; it goes so far beyond the limits of my vision and experience!  Even in the darkest moments of my life, in the very depths of my insanity (the antithesis of rationality), I retained a remote and distant sense of balance.  But there is none of that in evidence today.  Hatred rules, and people rush headlong into battle with no other goal than to destroy as much as possible before impaling themselves upon their own weapons!

And I am driven back, into my own past, looking for something… anything!… that will restore a sense of balance…  A life preserver of some sort to save me from drowning…

***

Warily, Water faced him. “But nothing can come of my love for you, Fire. You know that; you pointed it out.”

Thoughtfully, Fire responded. “Yet the Creator spoke to us of Love. We were left here together to find Life… Maybe if we joined forces?” Hopefully Fire looked to Water.

“But we would destroy each other,” Water reminded him, confused.

“I know,” Fire agreed. Then smiling at Water, he added. “But at least we wouldn’t be alone anymore in a vast, lifeless universe… And we would be together. Is that so bad a destiny?” Lowering his voice, he spoke once more. “I love you, too, Water. I know that now.”

Unable to contain her joy, Water rushed to Fire and embraced him, all thoughts of consequences lost in her love for him… The Creator of All-That-Is smiled at long last, marking this moment in a timeless eternity, and a miracle occurred. For out of the union of Fire and Water arose Life, not death; in the wake of that union, there were four in the universe, rather than two…

Where Water embraced Fire, Fire cooled, leaving in his place a solid element – Earth; so daughter was borne of the father’s essence. Where Fire warmed Water, steam arose, creating yet another element – Air; and son was borne of the mother’s flesh. From the love of Fire and Water came the twin elements Earth and Air. And a family existed where only emptiness had been…”

(The entire story can be found at the following links…  maybe… if you’re interested:

Part 1: https://theotherhoodofone.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/fire-and-water-the-search-for-life/

Part 2: https://theotherhoodofone.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/fire-and-water-part-2/ )

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Stories...

“Ascension…”

The following is a parable I wrote to memorialize a dear friend who passed this week.  She was an avid supporter of my writing, encouraging me to embrace my voice anew last year when I started this blog.  She was also one of my most persistent “encouragers” to finish the story “Nemesis,” messaging me every once in a while to remind me how eagerly she waited for its resumption.  I regret that I did not complete it before she died, though I suspect she will be reading it over my shoulder as I write it, should I ever pick it up again…

I was asked by her daughter to speak at her service tomorrow, and I struggled with what memories most needed to be shared.  It was then that I decided to write this story.  I could not imagine a more fitting way to honor our friendship and what she meant to me, than to write her her own story.  

Perhaps I will read this tomorrow at her funeral.  Any thoughts or comments?

***     ***     ***

“Ascension…”

Once upon a time…  A girl child was born.  She was birthed into a world devoid of color and light, and her heart grew heavy because of it.  A dense fog enveloped her village at all times, stealing all the colors away, leaving only shades of grey to consider.

Disappointed with this world she knew, she turned to the villagers and asked: “where are all the colors in this world?  They must be around somewhere…”

“No, child,” she was told.  “There are no colors here.  Best accept it like we have.”

“But…  What about beyond our village?,” she persisted.  “Are there colors out there?”

“No, child,” the villagers responded.  “Everything beyond our village is the same.  Best settle down and accept your place among us…”

But the little girl was not satisfied with that response.  She wanted more.  She wanted light, and color, and fun!  “One day,” she promised herself, “I will leave this place.  And when I do, I will search the whole world until I find the colors I imagine!”

So it was that when she came of age, the young woman left the place of her birth and set out to explore the world.  Armed with nothing but stubbornness and a conviction built on dreams, she stepped outside her village for the first time…

Initially, she was disappointed to discover that the villagers were right; everything outside her home was cast by the fog into the same drab shades of grey.  But unable to accept she might be wrong, she pushed onward, still convinced there must be something more enjoyable to see, somewhere…

She had many adventures as she wandered the world beyond, but none led her where she wanted to be.  Finally, exhausted and disheartened, she sat down upon the cold, damp earth and cried.  She cried until there were no tears left within her.  She cried until there were no ambitions left within her.  And when all was silent and empty within, she surrendered completely, accepting her failure…

But in that very moment, a miracle occurred, when a single shaft of sunlight broke through the perpetual fog, and lit the area around her.  She might have missed it in her grief had there not been a tiny pebble beside her that caught the sun’s light and reflected it in a spectrum of color.  So startled was she by that flash of light and color, that she hardly noticed the warmth flooding her heart, filling the emptiness within.  But that warmth was enough to get her on her feet again, and moving forward, armed this time with a tiny pebble she would name Faith…

And so her journey continued, day after day, step after step…

Until one day she noticed, by the tiredness in her limbs and the shortness of her breath, that the ground had begun to rise.  Eagerly now, she moved on, certain at least of the direction she must travel – up…

She clambered and climbed.  Some days were easier than others.  Some were nearly impossible to bear.  The slope shifted between gentle and steady, to steep and impassible.  But she faced every obstacle.  She continued to grow.  And when she lost her footing and slid back down the slope a ways, she would rest, take out her pebble Faith, and renew her commitment to this journey…

Until one day she became aware that the fog was less dense here, and the light somewhat brighter.  She rushed on, convinced that something remarkable lie just ahead!  And so it did…

For without warning, or prelude, or commentary at all, the woman broke through the last wisps of fog, to find herself standing near the apex of a mountain.  And here the sun was shining brightly!  She turned around to see where she had come from, and realized she had been born in a deep valley, steeped in clouds, and hidden from the world above.

But here on the mountain top the trees and grass were green…  So many shades of green, she could not begin to name them all, though she certainly tried, laughing all the while.  The rocks were shades of brown and grey, but there was not a dull or drab one to be found, as they all sparkled in the sun.  The sky was a blue so vivid that it simply took her breath away….

Mesmerized by the color and light surrounding her, the woman sighed deeply, releasing all of the doubt, frustration and disappointments her life had been riddled with.  And by doing so, her heart became light at last, light enough that she drifted up off the mountain, spreading newfound wings to catch the gentle breeze.  And allowing the Joy to carry her away, she set off to explore what lay beyond this hidden valley…

And as she drifted off, a small pebble fell down upon the earth, to settle neatly beside so many other sparkling rocks; a testimonial for all who followed, marking this moment, this life, this beautiful soul…

Rest in peace, Marsha…

 

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Stories...

“Rainbow Child…”

This short story was inspired by a post by Eddie Two Hawks today…

eddietwohawks.wordpress.com

Once upon a time a girl-child was born.  She was what is commonly referred to as a mixed-race child, being born to parents of different skin tones.  Not that she noticed, of course, because her parents loved her, cared for her, nurtured her, and that was what she noticed most.

Her parents, both of whom were also mixed race, didn’t seem to notice, either.  For their parents had had different skin tones.  And they had loved them, cared for them, and nurtured them as well.

Eventually the child was old enough to go to school, and it was there that she first became aware that there was something different about her…

She approached the white children on the bus to school, but she was rebuffed.  They told her,”you can’t sit with us, because you’re not white like us.”

The child was confused.  “But I am white like you,” she assured them, “because I have white in me.”

But the white children were not convinced, so they turned their backs on her, and continued to talk among themselves.  And the girl went and sat alone…

At first recess, the girl-child approached the black children, asking if she could play with them.  But they shook their heads, saying, “you can’t play with us, because you’re not black like us.”

“But I am black,” the girl insisted, “because I have black in me.”

The children were not convinced, so they turned their backs on her, and continued to play amongst themselves.  And the child left to go play by herself…

At lunchtime, the girl approached the brown children, who were sitting together, and asked if she could join them.  But she was denied.  They told her, “you can’t sit with us because you’re not brown like us.”

“But I am brown like you,” she responded, “because I have many shades of brown in me.”

But the children were not convinced, so they turned their backs on her, and continued eating lunch.  The girl walked slowly away to eat her lunch alone…

At afternoon recess, the girl approached the yellow children, to see if she could play with them.  But they told her no.  “You can’t play with us, because you’re not yellow like us.”

“But I am yellow,” the child argued, “because I have yellow in me!”

But the children were not convinced, so they turned their backs on her, and continued playing their games.  The child dragged her feet as she shuffled away to play by herself again…

On the way home, the girl asked to sit with the one red child, sitting alone on the bus.  But that child didn’t understand.  “Why would you want to sit with me?  You’re not red like me.”

“But I am red,” the girl-child insisted, “because I have red in me.”

But the red child just shrugged and turned away, unconvinced, to stare out the window.  And the girl felt tears rise within her as she sat alone again…

When she got home, her parents noticed immediately how distressed she was, and asked her about her day.  The child cried as she revealed her experiences, while her parents held her close…

“I don’t understand!,” she told them.  “I have all the colors of the rainbow within me, but none of them can recognize me!  What’s wrong with me?”

“Aww, child,” her mother soothed.  “There is nothing wrong with you!  You are beautiful, and kind, and full of love and life!”

“But they won’t sit with me, or play with me, or talk to me, or listen to me…,” the child lamented.

Her father stepped in, holding her close.  “It’s not your fault, Gaia,” he reassured her.  “They’ve simply forgotten where they came from.  Perhaps in time they will remember, and they will welcome you among them once again.”

“And until they do?,” Gaia asked her parents.

“You love them anyway, dear rainbow child,” her mother softly said, “you care for them and nurture them.  Because that is what we do…”

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