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Friday, August 30, 2013

Dear Diary

This weekend's Trifextra Writing Challenge is to write a haiku: an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively.
 
So, here is my 17-syllable tribute to the diary:
 

Cleanse my soul, paper.
Capture, you, my heart's riddles.
No lies; no judgments.

Photo borrowed from faithandtheology.com


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Damaged Goods

“No.” I pushed him off me and searched for my bra and panties.

Scott slipped on his boxers before following me out of the bedroom. I made eggs while he made his case.

“You love me, right?”

“You know I do.”

“Then let’s do it.”

No,” I said again.

“Why not?”

“First off, who proposes during sex?”

“I’ve proposed a million times. I’ve done roses, fancy dinners, made sure everything was perfect,” Scott grumbled. “The ring’s been sitting in your nightstand for months. Just say yes and put the damn thing on already.”

“I’m only 32 and I’ve been divorced three times. Three!” I argued. “I’m worse than Jennifer freakin' Lopez. And she has talent and a hot ass going for her.”

“Yours is hotter.” He pulled me to his chest, grabbing two handfuls of my butt.

I married Chad, my high school sweetheart, when we were 19. Everyone tried talking us out of it, even my dentist. They don’t understand how deep our love is, we told ourselves. Our 'deep love' dried up within a year. At 23, I wed my boss. Jim was 34; a bonafide adult. That marriage ended when I cheated with my brother’s friend. Matt, the friend, had chased me for years. We married the day after my divorce was final. Once Matt had me, his interest waned. My attorney handled my third divorce pro bono since I’d already given her so much business. She and I still text.

“Three strikes are a good thing in bowling,” Scott grinned. “They call it a turkey.”

I rolled my eyes and turned away so he wouldn’t see me smile.

“Come on, Babe,” he pleaded. “Make an honest man out of me.”

I looked into Scott’s eyes. For the past three years, he’d shared his apartment, his heart and his life with me. I wasn’t damaged goods to him. Standing in our kitchen—in our underwear, it suddenly seemed like the perfect moment.

“Go get the ring and ask me again.”

#
This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "turkey" as defined below:

TURKEY
three successive strikes in bowling

Word count: 333  

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Real Happy Ending

This weekend's Trifextra Writing Challenge is a 33-word fairy tale. Here's my offering:

Once upon a time, two perfect little children picked up all their crap, brushed their teeth and went to bed on time so Mommy could enjoy a cocktail and watch Lifetime in peace.

#
FULL DISCLOSURE: I originally linked up with another story, but it was kind of depressing. So, yeah, I ditched it. Now THIS would be a real happy ending but, alas, it is a fairy tale.

I Really Don't Have the Time

When I picked up the kids after their first day of school, Daughter informed me she didn't have homework, but I did. Uh, say what now?

Her teacher wanted me to write a million words or less about Daughter. I put my usual smartass spin on it, of course.

Dear Ms. Teacher:

I must admit I was quite annoyed to learn I have homework. I mean, I completed sixth grade decades ago (never mind how many). I understand you want me to tell you about Daughter, but it would take me hours, weeks—years—to properly explain everything that makes her so uniquely fantastic. I am a very busy mother of five (two kids and three dogs), so I really don’t have the time for this assignment.

Sure, I could tell you how gutsy Daughter is. I mean, she goes on acting auditions and performs in front of complete strangers. And she went away to summer camp for the first time this year and wasn’t the least bit afraid. (She even received the All-Star Camper award for being the only girl to try all the activities—rock climbing, zip lining, paintball, etc.) I could go on and on about her bravery, but I really don’t have the time.

If I weren’t so swamped, I’d tell you what a hilarious kid Daughter is; how she makes me laugh daily. I’d probably tell you how her silly faces and goofy dance moves crack people up. Maybe you could ask her friends for more details. I’m sure they’d be happy to tell you about Daughter’s great sense of humor since I really don’t have the time.

You’re her teacher, so you’ll see for yourself how intelligent she is. You’ll find out that Daughter works hard in class and is eager to understand new things. No, you won’t need me to tell you that, which is good because I really don’t have the time.

If I didn’t have a million things to do, I’d give it to you straight. I wouldn’t just tell you the good stuff. I’d tell you Daughter is a perfectionist (it’s genetic on the ... ahem ... maternal side) and sometimes she gets frustrated when she can’t do something as well as she’d like. Oh, and I’d definitely tell you Daughter isn't fond of being wrong (another maternal trait handed down). But, as I may have mentioned previously, I really don’t have the time.

I suppose I could give you 10 random facts about Daughter. I can at least do that. I wish I could elaborate on these, but I really don’t have the time.
  1. She has mad rap skills
  2. She loves creamed corn
  3. Her favorite color is green
  4. All her favorite animals are black and white (zebra, panda and penguin)
  5. She loves the ‘80s (music, fashion, movies, TV shows, etc.)
  6. She makes duct tape purses, wallets and flower pens
  7. She wakes up 30 minutes early to snuggle with me every morning before school
  8. She is taking guitar lessons with her dad
  9. She has been acting and modeling since she was 4
  10. She’s my favorite girl in the world

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Georgia Revisited

Macie Fremont Timeline
Sept. 19, '88  -  Macie Fremont, 6, disappears
Sept. 20              -  Macie’s body is found in a field behind Westlake Primary School
Sept. 28              -  Acting on an anonymous tip, police question Georgia Williams, a seventh grader at Westlake Middle; Georgia confesses


She’d lured Macie into the thick brush with the promise of a cupcake. Georgia pushed and kicked the small girl. When she started crying, Georgia punched her in the mouth. She hit Macie on the head repeatedly with a large rock until she fell silent. Afterward, with a stick, she carved an X into Macie’s cheek like some crude brand.

"Why?" The detective asked.

“I wanted to see what dying looks like,” the 12-year-old replied.

Georgia Williams served 14 years before being paroled at 26, changing her name and fleeing Tennessee.

It's taken me almost two years to track her down. The pretty woman in her late 30s bears little resemblance to the pudgy-faced blonde of her youth. Her dark hair falls in a neat bob. Her eyes are warm, not vacant like in the arrest photos.

“Georgia?”

She doesn’t flinch. She’s well-rehearsed.

“You have the wrong house.” She smiles politely through the narrowing doorway space. I gently catch the door.

“I’m not planning to expose you,” I assure her. “I just want an update for my crime blog. I won’t reveal your new name or location.”

“Sweetie, you have ...” Her drawl betrays her.

I hold up a photo of Macie’s battered corpse. Georgia breaks down, allows me inside.

“Please let me be,” she whispers. “I have a new life here.”

“Shut up,” I hiss, pulling out my handgun. Georgia freezes.

“My parents never recovered,” I begin.

“Who are you?”

“I was born after you murdered Macie. The ‘replacement baby.’ But Mom was too depressed. So, I got shipped to Grandma’s. Did you know my dad killed himself?”

“I'm sorry,” Georgia wails. “Please don’t!

“I heard you wanted to see what dying looks like.”

 I close my lips around the barrel.


#

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "brand" as defined below:

BRAND
3a (1) : a mark made by burning with a hot iron to attest manufacture or quality or to designate  ownership 
     (2) : a printed mark made for similar purposes : trademark
  b (1) : a mark put on criminals with a hot iron 

     (2) : a mark of disgrace : stigma <the brand of poverty>

Word count: 333

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Itch

A few nights ago the kids stayed at my mom's, so Hubs and I went to a movie. When we came back to our empty house, we both wanted--no, needed--to do it. We couldn't wait 'til we got to our bedroom. So, in the middle of our kitchen, we shed our clothes and ...

... rubbed calamine lotion on each other.

Ooooh, yeah.

Right there.

Mmm-hmmmm.

Oh, didn't I mention Hubs and I have poison ivy? Go ahead; get the "Ivy has poison ivy" jokes out of your system. Hilarious, right? What's even funnier is I don't go outside, except to get in my car or check the mailbox. I prefer the great indoors. So how in the hell did I contract poison ivy?

My malady may be one of the few documented cases of LTD (laundry transmitted disease). Washing Hubs's poison ivy-infested clothes was my downfall. As if I needed another reason to hate laundry. I'm not one of those new age loons who finds this repetitive chore soothing or cathartic. I'll tell you what it is: It's a vicious cycle (pun not intended--but fabulous, nonetheless) of
  1. washing
  2. rewashing due to the musty smell clothes get when inadvertently left in the machine overnight
  3. drying
  4. throwing clothes in a heap on my bedroom floor
  5. waiting for somebody else to get so tired of hunting for underwear they fold the heap of clothes  
The laundry process is time consuming AND you can catch poison ivy doing it? Hardly seems worth the risk.

Poison ivy has revealed unsettling flaws in our marriage. Yesterday I walked in on Hubs pleasuring himself (i.e., applying calamine lotion on his rashes). I honestly felt betrayed. I mean, we're supposed to be sharing this tiny, expensive bottle, and there he was using it without me. Trust has never been an issue with us ... until now. For the sake of our relationship, we bought more of that amazing pink elixir.

This ordeal has also spurred some bizarre competition between us. Hubs feels superior because he doesn't scratch himself as much as I do. But I figure since I'm so short my rashes are more concentrated and, thus, way more intense. Seems legit.

There is a bright spot in all this: My affliction has made me more tolerant of others. Now when I see a girl whose breasts are barely contained in her top, I no longer immediately assume she's an attention-seeking skank with low self-esteem. She could be a P.I.S. (poison ivy survivor) who's wearing as little as possible to air out her rashes. I'd grocery shop buck naked right now if I could.

You can't always tell a person is suffering from a non-life-threatening-but-really-really-annoying condition. So, the next time you're standing behind someone scratching her ass like nobody's business in the check-out lane, don't judge.


My apologies to any laundry-loving new age loons I may have offended with this post. If it'll make you feel better, I'll let you do my laundry.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Their Spot

This weekend's Trifextra Writing Challenge is to come up with 33 words inspired by the photo below. Restrictions: no creepy, dark stuff allowed.
 
Read about this amazing photo project: http://eirikso.com/2011/01/04/one-year-in-one-image/

Leaves snapped beneath them.
"Can I see you again?" He asked.


Snowflakes poured through unadorned branches.
"I'm pregnant," she announced.

Warm rain danced against the white tent.
"I do," their baby girl vowed.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Only Love Story You'll Ever Read with the Word "Excrement" in It

Once upon a time there was a giant named D. He lived in the kingdom of Iowa. The kingdom was divided into two areas: Farmland and Everywhere Else. D lived in Farmland where stars shine brightly, corn stalks scrape the sky, and the air smells of pig excrement.

The giant often fantasized about what lie beyond Farmland's gravel roads. 

"Son, you must never enter Everywhere Else," his father cautioned. "The air is full of smoke and the people eat frozen vegetables."

Still, D felt destined for the land of mega-malls and mini-marts. He knew his father could never grasp this yearning. So one night D packed his chewing tobacco and snuck away to Everywhere Else. 

Life in Everywhere Else was certainly different. D would go entire days without ever encountering an animal. The people were the biggest surprise. They weren't just white; they were black and brown, too!

D the giant was lonely. He decided to seek the heart of a fair maiden. He considered the friendly lass who often stood on the corner, but he wasn't absolutely sure she was indeed female. He had almost given up on love when he met I.

D regaled I with stories of cow inseminations. I captivated D with tales of buying milk from a store. D was besotted. He didn't care that she couldn't tell a tractor from a combine. But what would his father think of the short, black maiden from Everywhere Else?

D brought I to meet his father. The people of Farmland were somewhat taken aback that she didn't own a single pair of cowboy boots. But they quickly accepted I, and D's father gave them his blessing.

D and I married and had two beautiful children, one of them a giant like his father. They moved to the kingdom of South Carolina, where they speak a strange new language, y'all, and consume mass quantities of a mystical potion called sweet tea.
And they all lived happily ever after

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This week's Trifecta writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "grasp" as defined below:

GRASP

to lay hold of with the mind : comprehend


Word count: 333

Friday, August 9, 2013

Roots

This weekend's Trifextra writing challenge: write a 33-word piece including the word "tooth."


I found another piece of bone in the flower bed yesterday.
And a tooth with the root still attached.
Grandfather has been in the ground for months,
but we're still burying his crimes.

Monday, August 5, 2013

So Happy


"Sir, I'm flattered. But, as I've told you before, I'm a married woman."

The man in Booth 9 was persistent.

"I've come in here nearly every night for the past two weeks. You never smile, which leads me to believe your husband doesn't make you happy."

His reasoning was weak. So was his chin. No, he wasn't conventionally handsome. Still, there was something attractive about the man in the bargain basement suit.

"Not that it's any of your business, but my husband makes me very, very happy," I said tersely. "Now, would you like your usual spinach omelet with the buttermilk short stack?"

"What I want isn't on the menu." He swatted my ass with the heavily marked up "help wanted" section of his newspaper.

"Sir, that stuff might work on Waffle House waitresses," I scolded quietly. "But it's not gonna fly here."

He devoured his food like he'd barely eaten all day. When he finished, I gave him the check. He paid in cash. Exact change. (He never leaves me a tip.) I was at another table when he left. He blew me a kiss on his way out. I met the gesture with a wink and a smile.

I watched him walk to the car. He had parked at the farthest end of the lot so my coworkers wouldn't see the mountain of clothes and boxes filling the back seat. He carefully placed his suit jacket on the back of the driver's seat.

When he leaves the restaurant, he goes to the free life center down the street to shower. And then he parks at the 24-hour Wal-Mart to hopefully catch some winks before picking me up at the end of my shift.

As I bussed his dishes, Sheryl stopped en route to Table 14. 

"Your hubby is so sweet. Can't believe he comes to see you every night," she marveled. "You two seem so happy. I'm jealous."

#

This week's Trifecta writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "weak," as defined below:

WEAK
Not factually grounded or logically presented <a weak argument>

Word count: 333

Friday, August 2, 2013

Shadow of a Man

This weekend's Trifecta Writing Challenge is to come up with 33 words inspired by this photo:

Photo credit: [ chang√≥ ] / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

He kept his head down whenever the white ladies passed, resisting the urge to study their yellow hair and seemingly translucent skin. A misunderstood glance could result in him swinging from a tree.