« The Eschatologist: Review of the Short Form | Main | Michele: The Downward Spiral »

June 3, 2005

Volume 2, Issue 3

Describe for the kids a crash.
It could be physical.
It could be spiritual.
It could be psychological.
It could be all three or more.
It should be 100 words.

Bookmark: del.icio.usDiggreddit


"Please... help me..."
The car had skidded off the road sideways, flipped up onto the drivers side and smashed into the tree. She was hanging halfway out the drivers side, under the car, crushed, dying. Steve might be able to save the kid in the back seat, but hated to leave her alone.
Another fireman arrived, and Steve told him, "Hold her hand and talk to her... It will only be for a couple of minutes." He did so, and Steve went to work on the passenger.
Two minutes later she was gone, but at least she hadn't died alone.

Posted by: hnumpah at June 3, 2005 6:27 AM · Permalink

You know how some days everything in the universe just comes together?

The fog burned off early this morning, and I knew it’d be the perfect day for a jump. We were airborne in record time, before the windsurfers had even started to hit the waves in force. They’d be there later, of course; they couldn’t resist a day like today either.

Jim was obviously excited, and he was just flying the plane. We were nearly at altitude now - I headed back and…

I tripped. Sprained an ankle.

Disgusted, I told Jim to head back down. I hate my life.

Posted by: Keiran Halcyon at June 3, 2005 6:29 AM · Permalink

He knew what to expect when he opened the door, but still the sight of an empty house surprised him. “Damn, did that bitch have to take my mother’s china too?” He surveyed the few communal items remaining, wondering if the pain he was causing everyone was worth it.

Now he was confronting some results of his decision, telling himself that at least he had his sanity. Even if it felt like it was slipping away again, for different reasons. “Will I ever find an unconditional love again?” he pondered as he sat on the floor of the empty kitchen.

Posted by: Chrees at June 3, 2005 6:50 AM · Permalink

Because he could not let go, even the slightest could bring it on. Body suddenly weighed twice as much. He no longer wanted to move. Didn't deserve to. Vision shrank until all he could see was her. With him. Even though she was not around, and he wasn't even sure there was a him.

Do we feel that gnawing in our gut because we've heard the cliche so much, or because there is no other way to describe how the mind spins evil fantasies that chew away? Or is it because of how much he drinks to shut them down.

Posted by: marc at June 3, 2005 7:21 AM · Permalink

Love came fast. A gleeful tangle of limbs, words dancing with each other across the backdrop of a sunrise, agonized goodbyes, joyful hellos. Secrets and pain shared, lives intertwined. Glowing days, misty nights.

Ecstasy eased in responsibility quickly. House, cars, bills, jobs, stress. Reliance on each other, trust in tomorrow. Hurtling toward the goal.

Life accelerated further. Planned stops missed, frustration, anger. Awkward hellos, relieved goodbyes. Hidden tears, ignored wishes.

Now, too fast to see. Speed blurring memories, no time for understanding. Fierce wind blowing out the fire, only embers remaining. Out of control, no hands on the wheel.


Posted by: Hubris at June 3, 2005 7:28 AM · Permalink

Jessica was all too familiar with the hushed snickering sound her brother Joshua made when he was hell-bent on tormenting her, but this time it was followed by a new, terrifying noise: the sharp buzz of one Huffy tire violently colliding with another from behind. She had been ambushed, and lacked the experience to control the momentum that was yaking her down to meet the hot, gray driveway concrete. By the time she overcame the shock of her newly bloodied palms and knees, her brother was already in the back yard, deperately formulating an alibi.

Posted by: Matt at June 3, 2005 7:31 AM · Permalink

Hubris, your story reminds me just the tiniest bit of an Eagles song - intentional?

Posted by: Keiran Halcyon at June 3, 2005 7:35 AM · Permalink

Hubris, your story reminds me just the tiniest bit of an Eagles song - intentional?

Holy shit, I dislike the Eagles and don't listen to 'em. Unintentional. If it actually parallels an Eagles song, delete it (no offense to any Eagles fans out there).

Of course, it's a sad commentary on my psyche that plumbing my own emotional depths results in a puss rock song.

Posted by: Hubris at June 3, 2005 7:39 AM · Permalink

Cam stared at the water, debating.

It’d be so easy to do it. Just lean forward enough to shift the center of gravity, and down he’d go. The end. No more worrying about anything.

He wondered what his family would think. How they’d feel. Somehow, family didn’t seem like quite the right word to describe that relationship.

To hell with them. With all of them. He rocked slightly, took the plunge, and sank.

It was really kind of peaceful down here. Quiet, serene. For once in his life, Cameron felt at peace.

Until he saw Ferris swimming to his rescue.

Posted by: Keiran Halcyon at June 3, 2005 7:41 AM · Permalink

She crouched in the rows, pushing hay mulch, picking weed sprouts.
It was a clear morning. The soil was still cool, but the sun was starting to beat on her head. Time to quit.
Sitting back on her heels, evaluating the garden, she felt a little thrill. It was gorgeous and growing fast.
Kate pushed herself up and crossed the lawn toward the house, stopping to drop her trowel and gloves in the shed.
"What in the...Oh no...."
Walking along the shed wall, she saw holes dug around the cinderblock base and paths through the dew on the grass.

Posted by: lauraw at June 3, 2005 7:54 AM · Permalink

Rain slicked highway on the steep downside of bridge.
Lost load of lawnchairs scattered in the road.
Truck swerves into car, inertia meets immutable guardrail.
I thought to brake, until I saw the mirror’s tale.
A truck’s headlights fill the rear window
To brake is to die, speed is life.
Accelerating towards the crash, heading towards
Cars spinning like dice in a cup.
Passengers screaming to stop, have you gone mad?
Space opening between truck, car and immutable rail.
I gun the engine spin the wheel.
We pass through the gap, over the lawn chairs, leaving the crash far behind.

Posted by: joe at June 3, 2005 8:05 AM · Permalink

It's a long run in an unfamiliar place, but he was going to get there. He didn't get too many chances to show what he could do; he needed to impress today. Maybe not for them, but for others who would might want him later.

The sun glares extra on these hot, humid, swampy days. He had to make sure he didn't lose his way trying to peer through the haze. There it is! Almost in reach! Maybe, he thought, maybe I should slow down and make this spectacular. No. Routine is more professional

Wait, was that the warning tra...?

Posted by: marc at June 3, 2005 8:06 AM · Permalink


:-) Nice to see that scene from a different POV.

Posted by: Darleen at June 3, 2005 8:10 AM · Permalink

It had been three full days since he had last slept.

Damn finals...and that thesis defense. One all-nighter in a row was bad enough, but two? Jesus. His teeth ached as he gulped another cup of the e-Quad's stinking, bitter coffee.

Eyes...like baseballs of lean bacon. Crusty. Red.

The thesis defense was in two hours. Surely he would do a better job with a quick nap. He laid his head down on the cold carrel desk.

When he opened his eyes, the library windows were dark. How long had he been asleep?

Fuck this train wreck of a college career.

Posted by: Elisson at June 3, 2005 8:41 AM · Permalink

This always seems to happen to me! I’m just trying to get some dinner, for heaven’s sake!

I followed the directions correctly. I know I left nothing to chance. But now, by an impossible twist of fate, I am speeding toward a cliff face with a damn rocket strapped to my back.

It’s too late to turn as the sheer rock races forward to meet me.

First, the excruciating crash into the rock. Second, the rocket’s explosion propels my broken body back onto the hard ground. Finally, the cliff face falls, entombing me.

Wait for it…

“Beep, beep.” Damn roadrunner!

Posted by: Jim Parkinson at June 3, 2005 8:59 AM · Permalink

“It won’t be much longer,” he thought. The constant onrush of clouds he could see through the small observation window was now breaking up to reveal glimpses of desert sand.

He looked around the interior of the ship that would soon serve as his final resting place. So many months he’d spent alone in this tin can, circling the planet to which he was quickly returning.

He wasn’t supposed to be returning so soon, of course. But that’s what happens when you trust your life to a piece of machinery built by the lowest bidder.

Five, four, three, two, one…

Posted by: scoop newsworthy at June 3, 2005 9:01 AM · Permalink

Springtime in Texas. Sunny one minute, then the sky turns to soot the next. The wind whips up, chills you to the bone, and then the rain comes. And if you're lucky, that's all you get.

You see that empty field over there, the one with that rail fence? That used to be the Henderson home. Big yard with the biggest oak tree you ever see. One night, a rumbler come through and sent a bolt down the trunk. Snapped right in two and smashed in the roof.

Earl was in his rocking chair. Didn't even know what hit him...

Posted by: Shawn at June 3, 2005 9:10 AM · Permalink

The Connerson Circus had little to be proud of: acrobats who worked with a net; clowns neither funny nor sinister. The animal acts were mostly pathetic; aging elephants, a frayed gorilla suit. What they did have was the largest collection of Rhinoceruses in captivity.

As the Rhinos were the main attraction, their trainer was exhausted from overwork. At the town of Killeen, he momentarily dozed off, and didn't stop a clown from dropping a lit butt into a bale of hay, igniting a fire, panicking the Rhinos. The residents of Killeen learned just how completely appropriate some collective nouns are.

Posted by: Jeff R. at June 3, 2005 9:10 AM · Permalink

She had been there eight hours, since two a.m., straddling the railing on the side of the bridge. The fire department had prepared as best they could, with a rescue boat and divers below, an ambulance on standby. The crowd on both ends of the bridge, impatient now, began chanting, "Jump, bitch!"
She peeled off her sweater, and Mike told the chief, "She's going to jump."
"Nah, she wants the publicity, she's not going anywhere."
She handed her watch to the police negotiator, and swung her leg over the rail and jumped in one neat motion.
"Damn!" the chief muttered.

Posted by: hnumpah at June 3, 2005 9:14 AM · Permalink

Like yesterday, the sky was deep blue and the air was clean and crisp.

Jake looked down out the high office window at the flurry of people on the street below. Their panic was palpable. Jake could almost hear their pleas for the banks to reopen.

Jake dropped the worthless scraps of paper. Just five days ago, they represented holdings worth millions. Now they were just garbage. His hopes...his dreams…just garbage.

Jake opened the window. He climbed through the window frame. A deep breath of cool fall air. He smiled, sobbed and fell.

What would the weather be like tomorrow?

Posted by: Jim Parkinson at June 3, 2005 9:15 AM · Permalink

It wasn’t supposed to go down like this. The year 2000 had come and gone, with hardly a peep from the digital boogeyman known as Y2K.

Nobody knew why the Millennium Bug had waited five years to wreak havoc across the globe. And since the majority of the population had been decimated when America’s nuclear arsenal had malfunctioned, there weren’t that many people left who cared.

The President, however, safe in his underground bunker, was one of the few that did. Which is why he had summoned the one man he could trust to sort it all out: Les Nessman

Posted by: copygodd at June 3, 2005 9:18 AM · Permalink

He lies, deliciously spent, as she rolls off him.

“Is it done?” She asks.

The perfect nipples on the perfect breasts sway as she moves across the room. He swallows, wanting her again, what she does to him with her mouth, her hands … right now and forever.

“Yes,” he answers. He recalls the ashen face of his wife, his weeping children, the reddened face of his boss who is also his father-in-law when he said, “I’m leaving.”

She has dressed and reaches into the closet, a smile of secret satisfaction. She turns to him, suitcases in hand.

“Goodbye. I’m leaving.”

Posted by: Darleen at June 3, 2005 10:00 AM · Permalink

Sixteen years together just didn't seem long enough. Happily married with four children. How many more curve balls was life going to throw this woman. Finally she had life right and in an instant it snapped apart and her heart was broken. Tears streamed freely down her face as the shock began to wear off. Reality becoming more evident.

Why hadn't he listened to her when she suggested he hold off until after their oldest son's high school graduation to make this trip. In heart and mind he will remain.

Now to tell her boys. Daddy won't be coming home.

Posted by: Jade at June 3, 2005 10:11 AM · Permalink

He hadn't had any in weeks but that was about to change. He'd made a connection at the super market and they had hastily exited the store. The drive home was excruciating. The object of his affection was close, inviting. No, it had to be perfect. He was vaguely aware of running two stop signs.

Groceries scattered across the counter. Fingers fumbled. His hands began to shake.

“Wait for it,” he said to himself.

Familiar smells stirred his memory.

“Any moment now,” he thought.

He felt guilty as he succumbed to his lust. A toasted bagel slathered with cream cheese.

Posted by: DocMac at June 3, 2005 10:22 AM · Permalink

Cairo rolled down the window, let the summer breeze fill the car and smiled. It was her 30th birthday. She was on her way to work where she would answer questions for actors and vendors and animal handlers but not be responsible for whether or not they liked the answers. It didn’t get much better than that.

The cat was white and large and dashing madly across the street. Cairo swerved to avoid hitting it and instead plowed into the Nova parked at the bus stop.

For the next ten years, she would mutter “I should have hit the cat.”

Posted by: Reba at June 3, 2005 10:29 AM · Permalink

The market crashed. Likewise the server. Only option: office party. Pizza for everyone. Except Bob, a crashing bore on a crash diet. Bob went off amphetemines for the urinalysis, so was crashing quietly.

Out in front, the pizza man crashed into an SUV. The paramedics brought a crash cart. Hope he made it.

I crashed into Julie heading away from the window, and we started making out. Nobody invited the crash of Rhinos that crashed the gate, or the tv cameramen follwing them.

So that's why I can't go home to the wife. Mind if I crash at your place?

Posted by: Jeff R. at June 3, 2005 1:46 PM · Permalink

The thing they don't tell you about is the disorientation. Stands to reason, of course. The blood's not pumping like it should, so you're not getting enough oxygen to the brain. Not that I was able to think about such things at the time, for the obvious reason that I was experiencing it. All I knew about was the pain, sharp and tight in my chest, and the panic of wondering if this was it. My eyes locked open as I flailed about, roving continuously in search of help. My breathing increased, faster, faster, as the room began to dim.

Posted by: David at June 3, 2005 2:51 PM · Permalink

Check before you post!