Dec 5, 2011


Theme: Darkness Before Light

Dark Side of the Moon

The moon was full, glazed, the size of the world. He watched it eye him through the transom in his living room. A lover’s moon or the dead’s marker? he pondered. The latter he was sure. What was the moon after all but a lifeless, airless place. An ancient pebble drifting down the dark void.

The living room lit a deathly blue. Ice cold breaths smoked from his mouth in ghastly white plumes. He stretched his withered legs, curled long fingers around the armrest of his recliner. He squeezed nails into it, the leather splitting under his grip. Blood iced through his veins, surging hotter as he let the dark overtake him. He stared into the moon’s disfigured face. After dark, there is hope for light, he mused. Light entertainment perhaps and chuckled at the thought. Dark and light. Life and death; his awakening to another. I am the dark of the moon, he said out loud. He almost screamed.

There was a segment of cloud crossing the moon now, a blue gray veil, moving and boiling like a spider’s nest. The cloud looked like Jesus, the face hung deathly white, a ragged beard tormented the chin. His eyes narrowed. The winds swirled. The taxi would arrive soon. There were dinner plans tonight. He would insist the cabbie join him. The jesus face changed. The beard dipped like a tornado funnel, a pointed devil’s beard. A grin cut his face.

Theme: The ‘Golden’ Rule

Golden Boy

The fields ran by, flashing on the glass screen like an old-time movie reel. Ripples of prairie wheat and corn, a two second frame of crooked farm road, a six second frame of dirt brown field… then another… and another… a zoom in of a giant silo and cows standing still… then back to the moving picture - a new theme introduced this time – sunflower yellow fields. While we watched, we took in the drone – that sound of rubber on the road humming below - a certain hum that allowed our eyes to drop heavy, pulling us down helplessly into easy sleep. The sun reflected on the windows, the ghosts of three boys and a girl revealed, propped against the doors and pillows; on the radio, a crooner’s thin hypnotic voice attempted to infiltrate our back seat reverie.

The car shuddered as passing big rigs shoved and shouldered us, like over-sized bullies pushing down school hallways, plowing weaker bodies into lockers. With light fading, dad silenced the radio and piped his mantra again, something he’d repeated every few miles or so. “Anybody see it yet?”

I didn’t want to miss it… to be the first to pick out the Golden Boy on the horizon, the sun glinting off its golden torch, signifying we were almost home. Eyes wide open, I jockeyed for position on the seat, cheek against the glass. Shit, no sibling was going to beat me out of seeing it first.

Theme: Renewal

I Have A Confession To Make

It’s that time of month again and I’ve got a confession to make. The old man’s made it clear that we’ve all gotta go today. Shit, it’s not even Sunday. He says it’s a sort of “divine intervention” moment, a time to expel guilt, renew the spirit, and wipe the deep stains from our souls. Sounds to me like we’re changing our underwear. I don’t know what he’s done to feel guilty… other than to yell and falsely accuse me!!! of punching my little brother when he, asshole!!! started it!!

Anyway, this confessing thing is quite embarrassing and trusting a complete stranger with your most intimate failings is sheer lunacy. I, for one, will opt to blatantly lie. And I’ll use my trusty routine of standards too: lied, swore, had bad thoughts. Through the grate, I see Father Farrell sitting there in the dark. He’s young and might give me a pass. Looks like he’s writing stuff down. Maybe he wants to be a novelist someday, perhaps write a ‘tell-all’ book to rival the Bible… hehe! Shit… is that blasphemy? Fuck, that’s a mortal sin I bet. God I’m doomed.

Little brother insisted I go first. Fine. He’ll get his. He’s going to say the same bullshit I’m going to lie about and Father’s going to see he’s shitting him and hopefully call him on it. Then we’ll see if there’s such a thing as “divine intervention” … or righteous punishment for telling Pop on me.

Theme: Heavy Man, Heavy

Gun Play

In the cafeteria, the shooter takes out Mr. Hollis. BAM! … BAMBAM!… a ruler smacking a table and Hollis hits the wall and disappears down, like the floor just opened under him. The guy – it’s Billy Krazik - turns and aims at Jamie Stockwell, sitting there calmly as if he’s in the play or something and he takes two to the head. He rocks a little, then sits still. The fuck moves forward, looking right at me, our eyes lock and he points the gun… I peer down the black hole, see Krazik’s chewed red fingernail twitch slightly to the left as he fires off a barrage of shots. BAM! … BAMBAMBAM!… tables splinter and scatter behind me; there are heavy thumps and screams and I blink uncontrollably, a deranged twist creasing my face.

And then there’s Colby, backpack in hand, crossing the floor. He strides in quick purposeful steps. He looks insane. Parallel to Krazik, light as a ghost, I don’t think he sees it coming.

I’m woven in a cocoon. On the soundless floor, I watch bodies twitch. Heads cover. Krazik’s moved into the hallways. My chest weighs heavy, bubbling pink. Colby has nothing to say, his eyes vacant, surprised. Earlier this morning he boasted he’d brought his old man’s Glock to school… just to show it off you understand. Colby was cool… just playing … but well… Krazik’s crazy and he decided to swipe it and play the heavy… for real. He plays it well.

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