Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Trifecta Writing Challenge: "To Tell The Truth"

The Trifecta Writing Challenge is going with "thunder" this week. I call this "To Tell The Truth".

We had walked, and sang, and ran, and played outside, and read books, and ate. It was the time of the day where we slow down, not yet ready for bed, but definitely heading that way. You make an effort to say everything slowly and calmly, dimming the lights, sending gentle, subtle signals that it is time to go to sleep. Mommy and Daddy are due home long after bed, and while my nephew seems to have a certain understanding of the events, he still looked around now and then like he wasn't entirely sure.

"What's that sound?," he said. A hot day had evolved into a summer storm, one that couldn't help but be a little frightening. We heard a sharp bang, followed by a slow, rolling rumble and a gust of wind, splattering rain against the window.

"Thunder," I said.

"What's that?" He was at the "what's that" stage- a million questions, one following another, an endless sequence of queries. I gave brief thanks that my own child was long past this phase.

"Just a noise, buddy." I pictured the violent, hot strike of the lightning bolt, shoving the air aside, causing the waves that we processed as sound. It was just a noise, I knew, but it still spoke to one's lizard brain, telling you that you were in danger.

"Scary," he said.

"Yeah, it is," I said. I tried not to lie to him. "But we're OK."

"Are Mommy and Daddy coming home?" His head was resting on my thigh as he stared intently at the TV. I could smell the sweat from our last bout of roughhousing. On the screen, animated Batman was battling cartoon evil. The noise continued to thunder away at the windows.

"Yes, they are, buddy. You'll see them in the morning. Don't worry. They are safe. We are safe. Everything is okay."

I hoped that wasn't a lie, either.

100 Word Song: "Ballad Of An Unknown Gun"

If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium, and this also must be 100 Word Song Day. Leeroy and mi hombre Lance have gone with Ashtar Command's "Deadman's Gun". I call this "Ballad of an Unknown Gun."

"I just want it gone," my mother said. I thought about Hemingway, who got rid of the gun his father used, only to use a different gun to end his own life. It laid there in a wooden box, an inert piece of silver metal and polished wood. Someone worked hard to make this into a perfectly functional little object that was willing to serve the desires of whoever held it. It's kind of silly to blame a machine, I thought, for the errors of its operator. "Computers never make mistakes," my father used to say. "People often do."

Monday, April 30, 2012

100 Word Song: "The Friend Zone"

Mi amigo Leeroy, and his human pal Lance renew the 100 Word Song Challenge this week with the mighty Rolling Stones and a track off the first album of theirs I ever owned (vinyl, bitches!). The disc was "Tattoo You" and the song was a mellow track, "Waiting on a Friend". I call this "The Friend Zone".

Her voice was blubbering, with gulps of air between the words. "And he was there, with her, and they stopped kissing, and they looked at me. It was like they thought I was stupid, stupid for not knowing, stupid because I was the only one who didn't know." I couldn't see her, but I knew the way her face got red and hot with emotion, the way her blonde curls shook when she was angry. I always knew he was wrong for her, now she knew too. "I wish the boys I liked were like you," she said.