Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Joy Ride #500wordsaday #fiction

Day 5
#500wordsaday #Fiction

Joy Ride
  "Let's cruise Soldier"
 I flung open the passenger door to my 79 charger. He looked over his shoulder and got in, 
ducking to the right the way the home boys did on a night of cruising
 "Where to?"
"Um, hit the five south".

I looked at him in the passenger side mirror and realized he wasn't the same as I had seen him before. He always had a funny look to him but I never really paid much attention to it. This time it was different though. His soul was absent. He caught me looking, turned and looked right through me as though he could read my half ass'd thoughts.

I was only 18. I had just graduated boot camp. I had a Semper Fi tattoo and a cocky attitude to prove it. I was so excited for the journey ahead of me. I was off to see the world and Camp Pendelton was my first stop. San Diego was so different from El Paso but I could still get a good taco. That's where I met Trigger a few weeks before. He was a nice guy, a little off but always nice. He never really shared much about himself but he asked a lot of questions. Not tonight though, he was very quiet and methodical. 

I kept getting a sense that I ignored. It was deep in my stomach. I almost had my finger on it when Trigger demanded "Get off here!" I took a swift right hand exit at California street and headed west. 

We pulled over at the tracks. 

He showed up in a hoodie smelling of bonfire smoke with a hint of a strange smell to it, almost like oil. He had the same distant look in his eyes. He was nervous. Not as friendly as Trigger but I didn't think much of his ways with me. They spoke in a slang that resulted in a gun pointed at my head by hoodie boy. 

"What the fuck?!"

I don't know what came over me? I didn't seem to care that I was staring down the barrel of a sawed off shotgun. I moved and I moved fast. I was out of the car and around the other side before the tweeker even knew what happened. He might have been in a better position had he kept his eye on me once he threatened me. I learned that in combat training. He was too busy looking over his shoulders. I had him pinned to the ground, now with his own gun digging into the back of his head. Trigger stepped out of the car slowly, reached for his own weapon and smiled.

"We don't want any trouble here soldier" 

The sirens in the distance sent Trigger running. Hoodie boy started to squirm, I let him up and he took off running down the tracks. I wanted to run too but my legs and arms went  limp. I looked down at my Metallica shirt and I was covered in blood from what I thought was because of the struggle. I dropped to my knees to take a breath. I closed my eyes and as if it were only seconds later, I opened my eyes to the bubble gum machines of the local police in front of me and helicopter lights above.

I am not entirely sure what really happened to the family in the house 3 blocks away. They found me dazed, covered in their blood holding the weapon that took their lives. All 3 of them including a little kid. 

I never heard from Trigger again but I heard his name a lot in the first months of my life in prison.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Caught in the Net #500wordsaday #Fiction

Day 4



Caught in the Net
He was the first one up every morning.  He had this idea that if he was the first one to the docks he would get to finally graduate from being the one to hold the nets. He  loaded all the gear, made sure the boat had gas and that his fathers' captain seat was clean and ready. He was often so early that he had time to run to the corner bait shop and grab his favorite doughnut, old fashioned with chocolate frosting. He usually thought of getting his brother one too but he always stopped himself.  Juan didn't deserve it.  Angel, the worm expert, always greeted him with a smile, a pat on the back and kind words. He would often tell him the secrets of the bay as if he was giving him a one up on the competition.  But Jose already knew his older brother would assume the position of lead kiss ass to his father, at least on this day. 

Jose knew that one day his brother would be interested in girls and he would take over his position. He was never going to like girls because that's what happened to his oldest brother Antonio and he ended up having to get a job in town. He didn't want that. He wanted to be the village fisherman, just like his Papa.  It meant that he would also have to take care of a baby and they were annoying. That's what Antonio said anyway. But Jose didn't really know anything about babies or why when you liked girls an annoying  baby showed up later. Juan told him it was because Antonio kissed Theresa. "YUCK! Kissing was gross anyway" Jose thought. That solved it. He would never like girls, he would never kiss a girl, he would never have to deal with babies and he could one day be the captain of the family boat, Amante Del Mar. That is all that matters. At least when you are six.

Papa was the first one to arrive as usual, pleased at the organization and care that Jose took to prepping all the details for the morning catch. Papa slung the canvas bag covered in fish scales onto the back bench near the catch pails. "You forgot your nets!" his Papa groaned. Jose hung his head low. He really wanted to be the best at his duties and he was so excited and hopeful to impress his father on the boat that he forgot his own supplies that morning. They weren't suppose to be his nets anyway but there was no one to pass them on to. He was the last of the children and his Mama said she wasn't having anymore unless it was an immaculate conception. He didn't really know what that meant but he prayed every night that it might happened. His teacher told him it only ever happened once and that was in the Bible a long time ago. So he watched carefully when Papa kissed Mama hello and good bye. He hoped a baby would arrive soon. It was all just so confusing.

Juan showed up late, as usual. He boarded near the stern careless as usual tipping over the catch pail. He knew Jose would pick it up. Juan took his position, closed his eyes and fell back asleep. Papa guided the bow of the boat through the short canal and into the bay. Jose unzipped his canvas supply bag, pulled out his nets and set them up in perfect order. He was ready. It was not the job he wanted but it was the job he would do well. And one day when the time was right, he would in fact move to the seat of Capitan.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Whiskey and Rum #500wordsaday Fiction

Day 3
#500wordsaday Fiction

Whiskey and Rum

Flo was her name. She had every bit of southern stereotype one could hope for. I went to see her everyday while I was in town. She served up the best cinnamon rolls in a 500 mile radius. Well she didn't actually serve them,  but she rang me up for them. Some days when she was feeling frisky  she would slide me one in a paper towel like a drug deal. They weren't really very good either. I would just visit her just so I could hear her snap her gum. I liked the way she snapped her gum. I liked the way she made me feel.

I was traveling north out of Wyoming when I happened upon the truck stop just before the Montana border. I had a destination but no desire to get there. At least that's what I told people.  I didn't really have any desires much these days. The back wheel of the trailer needed some air but that isn't why I stopped. It was the neon sign. Why was there a neon sign in the middle of the road that said shoe shine? And why was it hanging on a stop sign post with no stop sign? Damn hillbilly's!
I pulled into the drive and hit a few potholes. That wasn't so hard to do since it hadn't been repaired since it was first laid was my guess. I figured I'd go ahead and curb my curiosity. The trailer rocked hard to the left and then to the right. I didn't bother to slow down.  I knew it would be fine but the sound of the thrift store utensils, my old man's leftover tools and my granny's hand me down cooking pots told a different story.

I spent my days on the road as of late. It was better than the alternative grind back home. I had it with my cubicle and the bullshit that came with every project that passed my desk. I liked my work once.
 I knew how to juggle, I was a barber, I owned a 1968 airstream and I loved whiskey and rum. You wouldn't know I cut hair by the looks of mine, but you could definitely tell I liked whiskey and rum. The only thing my old lady said I could juggle was women. She was right. She was a nag. She was right up there with the cubicle in the pecking order of pros and cons when I hit the road.
I tipped my bottle, the last of it, and proceeded with what I thought was a swagger into the grungy linoleum covered shop smelling like grandpas overalls. I ordered up another bottle and demanded an explanation of who shined shoes. Because I felt like it. It was late. The young, freckled redhead behind the counter looked me straight in the eye, placed her hand  firmly on her hip with her thumb stuck in the belt loop, snapped her gum four times and said "who's asking?" 

"My name is Samuel and I need a polish"

"You need a bath!" 

I lifted my arm to smell the subject of discussion. She was right.

She  became my wife.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chevy 3600 #500wordsaday

Today's story was a challenge for me. My random pick of a person to meet happened in an elevator. Cliché' I know!  When I asked him to tell me something about himself that no one knows, without hesitation he stated, "I have a traumatic brain injury!"  GULP! Those of you who know my life story know how close this hits to home.  I'm had a hard time getting fiction on this one as my own fathers story keeps lending its details. The divine has a very quirky sense of humor sometimes.  Just like my dad!
I had to pull from my deepest creative space, a story that is not my own, yet the one the divine desires me to tell. It was odd that as I struggled with this today, I parked next to THIS truck! The one my grandfather, my father's father owned. The truck we played in most of our childhood. I know its deepest secrets well. Much to my pleasure, this story flowed easily once I embarked on the journey. Please share in my fear and accomplishments of day 2 #500wordsaday
I am totally enjoying being out of my comfort zone right now!

Day 2
#500wordsaday #Fiction

Chevy 3600
It was a stormy day in Glendale, California. He knew in his mind that this was unusual but he wasn't quite sure why. He sat in the front seat of his 3600 Chevy wondering why it all felt familiar yet so far away from where he knew he was supposed to be. He felt his heart beat a little faster as he placed his hand on the gear shift that went from the floorboard to his clammy grip. The ball at the top of the shift said he had 4 directions he could go but his hand remained stiff as he didn't know which number to choose. He felt as if he was making life decisions but that wasn't entirely true. He didn't know the truth of anything anymore. He didn't even really know how he got to be sitting where he was yet he knew he just arrived.

Like flashes of the lightening in the sky, so too did he feel a flash in memory. He knew he recollected every single flash that came through his mind but they were moving too fast for his mind to grasp the facts. The thunder would happen, he would jolt from a thought and then as the lightening hit so did his next memory. He couldn't grasp why he was so confused. The rain began to pour on the shattered windshield just as the tears of frustration began to stream down his face. Again, he knew the emotion was unclear but it felt so good to let it flow. It did not matter. He just had to let it out. As a cleansing but it was mostly out of his control. He didn't feel sad, but the tears kept coming. He was frustrated, yes, but he knew better than to cry from frustration. His present cognition said stop but his primal brain allowed it to continue.

He flashed to the moment of the red light turning green, he pressed the accelerator to cross the intersection like a school boy in all his glory of his first peel out. He felt the joy of the rubber meeting the street as he popped the clutch of his suped up Chevy.  He was proud of his truck. He would most likely  treat it better than he treated most of his girlfriends. His memory goes blank. Frustration returns. "Why can't I remember the smell of the rubber. Why can't I remember what happens next?"
 He returns to his present moment, only now his hands are clenching the steering wheel that is slightly cocked off to the right as though that were the direction he was heading. The driver's door is sawed open by some animal of a metal beast that exposed the interior like an annoying savage exposes its prey. "Who or what would do that to such a beautiful truck?" he thought.

No one really talks about what happened. No one wants to relive the horror of his condition. He reaches his hand up to the scar on the side of his head, now overgrown with hair but separated by the details of his demise. His right hand cannot reach that far so he must use his left.  And actually, his whole  right side is a bit weak and lame. This is most maddening  as he use to be right handed. How will he ever shift the gear of his beloved again. He finds it difficult to focus on the scar dug into his head and the desire to work his right hand. He struggles to raise his right hand off the steering wheel  but needs to use his other hand to lift it. Too much going on. He surrenders, relaxes back into the blood stained leather upholstery. Defeated, he allows his head to turn to the left, gazing through the claws of the metal shrapnel. Tears roll down his face once more, the storm continues, the thunder roars, the lightening flashes before him and he remembers. Just one more piece.

He grabbed the faded pinkish, red oil cloth that was stuffed low into the floor board near the end of the gear shift and wiped his tears. He looked up into the blotted rear view mirror to catch his gaze and saw the oil from the vintage truck smeared across his high cheekbones. He thought to himself, I am a warrior!