Flash Fiction: 100 Words Only

In response to terribleminds’ Flash Fiction Challenge: 100 Words Only.

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She awoke to blood sprayed across the motel walls and two dead bodies dropped on the damp, ugly carpet littered with bullets and casing. Glocks in reach of bloody hands, but gone cold and forgotten. Her limbs creaked as she crawled from the bed to her dead lover. His loose fingers around a bottle of Clorox. Lips still wet with poison.

“Romeo, Romeo…” She pried the blade from his waistband, thinking over their brief, planned affair turned tragedy. She leaned down to his still warm body and whispered, “No one messes with my family, bitch.”

Methodical Madness

While memory often fails us, ink on paper endures…unless you’re prone to fires or floods, memory loss or freak accidents then you, my friend, better start getting tattoos of the important stuff.

I started out with productive intentions, packing up my apartment, getting ready to move out at the end of the month, but somehow I ended up sitting around and looking through some of my journals. Sitting around with notebooks turned into sitting around with my MacBook, browsing the internet, hunting for notebooks, journals and doodles belonging to some of the most famous creatives of the past. It’s comforting to see that some of my greatest inspirations prescribed to a methodical madness that looks somewhat like mine.

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A Monologue and a Mask

I spent a week studying Commedia dell’arte, a form of theater that involves harmonfacesmsallermasks and archetypes. It is one of those things that are better experienced than explained.  It is so strange, putting on a mask, being severed from yourself and settling into a character. Your demeanor and how you carry yourself starts to change to fit what you see in the mirror and what you feel behind the mask. What’s even stranger is how two people can craft such different characters even while working with the same mask.

This particular mask made me feel so small, restricted, almost claustrophobic. It was extremely hard to express emotion. When I was laughing, a friend of mine said it looked like I was crying. After spending some time with the mask, I wrote this monologue for a performance piece.

HARMON 
By the time I was nine, stealing apples off vendors
in crowded markets was child play.
Shiny coins off unsuspecting customers,
now that meant food for a week.
One time a woman caught me going through her purse,
snatched my wrist like a rat in a trap
and told me sinners go to hell.
I managed to escape, scurried away,
but I could never outrun what she said.
Maybe a week later, I told my mother
about the woman in the market and she said,
Oh, sweetie, it’s not theft. It’s survival.
She worked hard, my mother, but it was never enough.
She chose to keep me fed rather than innocent.
Now, I spend my days slaving under the sun,
odd jobs here and there,
mostly honest work for dishonest men.
My skin heats and reddens, blisters and peels.
Sometimes I think a midnight swim could relieve
the way my face burns and my palms itch,
but only after filling my pockets
with every burden I ever bore —
honest coins in my left
survival coins in my right.
Before cashing out, the woman from the market,
the one I can never escape
like a permanent stain on my soul,
comes to me and sneers,
no sinner deserves such a poetic death.
I think of mother then
and how she feared the void
and tried to fill it like squeezing into shoes
so tight they make your feet swell.
Then I end up here. Always. Like clockwork.
I take the coins from my pockets
and set them on my mother’s grave instead.

Oeuvre Update: Fall 2012

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After serious neglect and countless, empty promises, I thought I’d attempt to revive my blog once again! This collection of short (4-7 page) scripts are stand-alone pieces I’ve written for my own personal amusement and for my dramatic writing group to practice their critiquing (roasting) skills. Instead of letting these scripts sit (and rot) on my external hard drive, I thought I’d share.

Bloodlines:  Inspired by (but not based on) true eventsBloodlines explores how difference in opinion and values inevitably impact a romantic relationship. It also involves stolen rabbits, a family of butchers and Dexter references.

Resurrectionists: New York. 1788. At a time when human dissection is against the law, how are medical students expected to learn and practice without cadavers? Easy. They steal them.

 Passive Aggressive: A noisy neat freak and a messy light sleeper with anger management issues share a single dorm room their freshmen year of college.

Playground: A little girl and her older brother attempt to escape the unescapable deterioration of their family. A secret. A text at 3 a.m. A coming of age story. (Ft. Lola from #Persona)

All works and characters are fictional. I cooked them up in this twisted head of mine and served them up in words for you. Stealing isn’t cool. Feedback is always welcomed!

I’ll hopefully start updating this blog more often… We’ll see.

(Unrelated side note: The picture above is the view from my apartment window. Isn’t Portland pretty in the fall?)