My Words, My World

First drafts – A few pages in the large wilderness of the world of writing

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

One Lovely Blog Award

Firstly, I want to thank Loni for the nomination – you surprised me there, and although this is belated, again I want to say “Muchas Gracias!!”

For those of you unfamiliar with Loni’s work (and blog), she can be found at http://loniduekart.wordpress.com/ – before reading any further please go see – you will NOT be disappointed.

So, after several weeks I’ve finally got round to posting this – busy, busy etc.  So, where next?

Ah, 7 random things about myself…Hmmm…

1) I love reading on the balcony during a storm, however lightning striking the garden opposite is pretty damn hairy.  The cognac WAS for medicinal purposes.

2) I love the sun but don’t like lying in it – is there a happy medium?

3) I like poetry, but don’t understand it.

4) I want to grow chlili plants, but southern Switzerland is not the ideal climate.

5) I want to ride the Pan-American Highway on a BMW GS1200, which would probably mean I’d get lost in the Mendoza region drinking Malbec for ooohhh, several years I guess.

6) I want to write something in Italian – my second language, but can’t…just can’t get it to flow.

7) I live surrounded by mountains, yet my heart lies with the ocean.

Voila! Now I’d like to introduce you to 15, yes 15, blogs which I follow.  In no particular order and for a variety of reasons, I present:

1) Morgen Bailey – a veritable mine of information, and a couple of my Flash pieces to boot.  Always helpful, I am in your debt.  Thanks Morgen.

http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/

2) Jason Alan – writer, poet, cow photographer  🙂

http://jasonalanwriter.wordpress.com/

3)  Patrick O’ Brien –  you have balls the size of watermelons for your decision. (People, don’t take my word for it, READ this blog).  Sir, take a bow.

http://obrien.wordpress.com/

4) Sharmishtha – for the input your blogs give me (yes, Trisha has more than 1).

http://earthinbw.wordpress.com/

5) Cara Olsen – Your words of encouragement are priceless.  Thank you.  I now know what Dutch-doors are  🙂           (Cara also has several blogs, all merit a click). You are to vocabulary what Emerson, Lake & Palmer are to music.  I, for good or bad, am The Ramones.

http://thislittlelight516.wordpress.com/

6) Stella Marr – For showing the realities of a different life and having the guts to do so.  It’s not so much a lovely blog as a damned hard hitting one.  No roses grow from this bed but I want to nominate it, simple as.

http://secretlifeofamanhattancallgirl.wordpress.com/

7) Ruth Jacobs – whilst we’re on the subject; a fascinating insight.  Again, not lovely in the flowery sense of the word but the truth, no matter how hard and ugly, will always win through.

http://souldestructionblog.wordpress.com/

8) Cristian Mihai – never dull, always informative.

http://cristianmihai.net/

9) Cheryl Moore – I admit trouble keeping up, but I do try.

http://cherylmoore.wordpress.com/

10) Max – Dangerous blog, I REALLY should be writing… 🙂

http://antiview.net/

11) Returning to India, Tanushree I must mention.

http://privyplace.wordpress.com/

12) Jennifer Ritchie – Finally a blog from Switzerland and an interesting and helpful one at that.  Must fire a few blog-related questions at you…

http://theentertainingbusiness.com/

13) Lesley Carter – You make me wanna just get up and go.

http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/

14) Chicago Addick – Can’t let the opportunity slip to get my football team in somewhere.

http://chicagoaddick.wordpress.com/

15) Jane Wenham-Jones – A star from my part of the world.  Don’t just look, buy!  And no, the wine glass hasn’t been surgically attached…

http://janewenhamjones.wordpress.com/

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Diner

I recently submitted a piece to the quarterly The First Line, for the fall edition.  This time round the piece was rejected – no worries.  I found the site by accident one evening, and I wrote the story upon seeing the first line – which has never happened.  It was a great exercise and so I’ll put it on here, simply for that fact, to remind me I can do it.  I’m glad I tried and, after all, rejection is one step away from acceptance.  Anyway, here goes:

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A light snow was falling as Charlie Reardon left the diner and made his way down Madison Street.  The cheeseburger, fries and large coke were weighing heavy on his stomach and for one queasy moment he thought he would throw everything back up.  Leaning against an old Camaro he took a series of deep breaths, letting his head clear a little before moving on.

“Get your hands of the car man”.

Charlie lifted his hands and turned toward the voice.

“You heard him, get your hands off the car”.

“They are off” mumbled Charlie.

“What you say boy?” came the reply.  He turned toward this voice, to his left.  A fist crashed into the right side of his head, whilst another hit him just above the kidneys.  Feeling his legs give way he was spun round and a forehead was planted in his face.  His world turned black.

 

“Hey pal, are you OK”?  A light push on his shoulder.  “Hey buddy, can you hear me”?  The voice slowly filtered through to Charlie’s semiconscious brain.  “Jeez, this guy’s taken a hell of a beating.  Say Sam, should we call the cops or an ambulance”?

“No way, leave him Steve, we could be next.  What if they’re watching him?  I wanna go get the beers and run man, this stuff disturbs me.  Let’s get outta here”.

Steve looked up and down the dark street, seeing no one but now fear started to slowly knot his stomach.

“Sam, what if he…”

“Forget it buddy, it could be us”.

Looking down at the prone body Steve got to his feet.

“I guess you’re right man”, through gritted teeth as he fell into step with his friend.

 

Charlie lifted his face from the wet asphalt, feeling a sharp tearing pain as if the skin were still stuck to it.  He tried to open his eyes but only the left one responded.  The pain above his right temple seared through his head when he tried to move, and, giving it up as a bad idea he laid back down, feeling the snow fall in his ear. Somewhere a siren wailed, fading into the distance.

“Not coming for me then boys” he thought.  The pain in his head intensified.  He could feel unconsciousness slowly wash over him.

The snow started getting heavier.  Charlie couldn’t feel it.

 

“Look mama, is that man drunk”?  The kid’s whiney voice cut through the evening street sounds.

“If he doesn’t get up soon he’ll catch his death in this” said the kid’s mother, looking up at the sky as large flakes of snow descended upon them.  “Speaking of which, we’d better get you inside little man” she continued, tugging the boy’s arm as he continued to watch the man lying in the road.

“Shouldn’t we help him Mom”? the kid asked.  “In Sunday School they told us about a good Sama…Sama…Sama’ton.  Shouldn’t we be like him Mom?”

“Not if the man’s drunk, junior” she replied.  “Drunk people can be mean honey”.

“What if he’s dying Mom?”  His nasally whine was beginning to grate on his mother’s nerves.

She stood by her son and looked closer at the body.  She couldn’t see blood, which, she thought, was a blessing.  However this then strengthened her view that the man had been on a drunk and had come to harm because of it.

“Well go inside honey, and we’ll call an ambulance.  Is that good enough for my little Samaritan?”

“I guess so Mom” he replied, letting out a sigh as they turned for home.

The got through the door and the boy’s mother, true to her word, called an ambulance immediately, before taking off their coats and shoes.

“It’s out of our hands now” she said, feeling relieved but concerned at the same time.  She laid newspaper down by the door and placed their shoes upon it.  Urging her son to go and “get his ‘jamas on” she made her way to the kitchen.  She thought about having a glass of wine then remembered the man outside.  She poured some water into the kettle, deciding on a cup of tea instead.  The ambulance, its siren shredding the night air, arrived.

 

A light snow was falling as Charlie Reardon left the diner and made his way down Madison Street.  Surprisingly, he felt extremely light, almost as if he hadn’t eaten.  As he continued along the sidewalk he saw an ambulance parked against the curb.  A crowd stood round something, or someone lying in the road.

The Main Course

He made everyone look up from their meal, both female and male.  He wasn’t good looking; far from it but he had a certain something.  He was dressed in a blue shark-skin suit, and, strangely, a claret shirt.  It wasn’t this sartorial stew that drew attention though.

His face was fairly pointed and his mouth, unsmiling, seemed a little deformed, as if it had little in common with the rest of his face.  Whatever it was, it had an effect.  People stopped eating to watch him walk by; although his walk also was a little unnatural.  He seemed to glide instead of taking steps.  He was sat at a table toward the dimly lit rear of the restaurant.  He scanned the restaurant, his eyes like black marble holding the gaze of the other people till, one by one, they dropped theirs.

The Maître d’ availed himself immediately.  He arrived at the table; flicking a quick hand across the tablecloth and removing two almost invisible specks of something in one go.

“I feel carnivorous this evening”, said the man.  “I think a plate of bresaola will do me for starters.  I’ll make my mind up on the main course as I chew.”  The Maître d’ nodded.

“A bottle of sparkling water also,” he said, “I like the way those bubbles go to my head.”  Once again the Maître d’ nodded and, avoiding the seated man’s eyes, made his way to the kitchen.  He sent a waiter with the bottle of water.

The restaurant noise resumed its previous level.  Couples enjoying a romantic for two, a rose placed between them.  Business associates enjoying heated debates over targets hit and missed.  Ernest salesmen continuing their sales pitch between forkfuls of tagliatelle.

The order arrived.  Placing the plate of cured meat in front of the man, the waiter, no doubt briefed by the Maître d’, asked if he’d considered his main course.

“Still thinking,” said the man.  He hinted at a smile, allowing a glimpse of that strange mouth.  The waiter felt a small shiver run down his back but couldn’t put his finger on why it should be.  Returning a professional smile, honed during 25 years’ service, he made his way from the table.

The discussion at a table of hard-nosed marketing execs started getting heated; a little too much wine or possibly after-dinner cognac getting the better of two of them and the argument promised to get out of hand.

The man polished off the starter in less than a minute, all the while keeping his eye on events in the restaurant.  The Maître d’ was standing at the table, imploring calm with his hands held outwards but to little avail.  The shouting reached a crescendo, one of the men, with a fat sweating face and cheeks flush from the booze, was now on his feet and waving his arms around, occasionally pointing a shaking hand at one of his colleagues; a crew-cut kid with the face and neck of a bulldog.

“You’re just an overblown tele-salesman,” shouted the sweating man.  “You’ve seen nothing!  We’ve been through the mill, busting our ass studying what we do.  You arrive, make 50 phone calls and hit a lucky.  What do you know about market analytics or product lifecycle?  You just kiss the right ass in the right place and think you’re God’s gift.”

Crew-cut raised himself out of his seat and leant over the table.  Then there came the sound of breaking glass.

“Shit!”

Mr. Waving Arms held his hand to his cheek, blood seeping through his fingers.  Grabbing a serviette to hold against the man’s face the Maître d’ led him by the arm, pointing to the men’s service area.  As he quickly returned to the table of still-arguing marketing execs, the man in the shark skin suit, alone in the semi-dark, smiled to himself, revealing a huge set of triangular teeth.  He breathed in the smell of blood, and glided from his chair.

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