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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Monday, August 24th, 2009|
ASW August 21, 2009
I'm walking up, and I can see in your eyes that you're already judging me. I'm approaching you, and that puts me in a certain class, a reject class. The sort of guy who'll buy you drinks until you give me the brush-off, despite the fact that you never even feign interest -- just hoping, just wishing.
You've already got a half-dozen of those sorts of friends, don't you? And here I am, a stranger, and you're slotting me in with them. A stranger's just a friend that you probably won't like. Another hanger-on, a walking ego boost for you; a guy to sigh and laugh about when your friends point out my crush.
Joke's on you, sweetheart. I love the confidence turning to confusion in your eyes as I say, "Pardon me, you're blocking the bar." I get my drink and leave, never looking at you, knowing that your eyes are on me. Not a clever opening, not an excuse, just a denial of your worth. You have your games, and I have mine. You're the sort of person I like to feel superior to.
|Monday, August 3rd, 2009|
|Tuesday, December 4th, 2007|
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
We at NANO Fiction, a literary journal of microfiction, are currently preparing our third edition to be released Spring 2008. We had great success with our first two issues and we are making efforts to expand our readership and contributors; however, the magazine was designed specifically with young and unpublished writers in mind. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be published and submit to NANO Fiction. As always, submissions are rolling, but if you would like to be included in the next issue, it is paramount that you submit within the next few weeks. What else are you doing with your winter break anyway?
To sample the work we publish, check out the archives at nanofiction.org
You may submit to NANOFictionMag@gmail.com Submissions must be 300 words or less. Anything over 300 words will not be read. Please include your full name, titled work, a short third-person biography, and contact information (email, web site, phone number). Unless it interrupts the form of your work, we appreciate single spaced Word Documents. If your piece is selected, we will notify you prior to its release via email.
Note: Don't be afraid to think outside the standard margins. Be creative. Use form to enhance your piece. NANO Fiction can be an extremely innovative form of storytelling, use it to your advantage.
|Thursday, June 21st, 2007|
We at NANOfiction.org, a journal of short fiction, would like to invite you to participate in our next issue. We are currently preparing our sophomore edition to be released in September. We had great success with our premiere issue and we are making efforts to expand our readership and contributors. The magazine was designed specifically with young and unpublished writers in mind. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be published and submit to NANOfiction. As always, submissions are rolling, but if you would like to be included in the next issue, it is paramount that you submit within the next few weeks. What else are you doing with your summer anyway?
You may submit to NANOFictionMag@gmail.com Submissions must be 500 words or less. Anything over 500 words will not be read. Please include your full name, titled work, a short third-person biography, and contact information (email, web site, phone number). Unless it interrupts the form of your work, we appreciate single spaced Word Documents. If your piece is selected, we will notify you prior to its release via email. Note: Don't be afraid to think outside the standard margins. Be creative. Use form to enhance your piece. NANO Fiction can be an extremely innovative form of storytelling, use it to your advantage.
|Monday, December 4th, 2006|
I promise I'm not really suicidal.
ASW December 1st, 2006
I built a meditation womb down in my basement, and I installed a phone so I can call my mom and creep her out.
“Guess where I am?”
“Ginny, where are you? Are you okay?” I can hear my mother sitting up in bed, preparing to shake my father awake.
“I’m in the womb, Mom. I’ve crawled back into the womb.”
“The calls are coming from inside your womb,” I intone in my closest approximation to a spooky voice.
“Do you have any idea what time it is?” She clicks her tongue in disapproval. “Go to bed, Ginny. Good night.”
I’ve done this for the past three years, same date, same time, but my mother still hasn’t caught on. Four years ago at this time, I was on a rooftop at the edge of the city, hoping the building was tall enough. It was so cold that my snot was threatening to freeze to my face. I must have walked around that rooftop twenty times, thinking of everything and nothing. I would think about all the things that had driven me up those stairs and just when the pain seemed that it would hit critical mass, I’d be interrupted by some stupid, random thought. I would look at the fog of breath coming from my mouth and remember how, when I was little, I used to use that foggy breath to pretend I was smoking.
After too many turns of that game, I stomped back down the stairs, paused in front of the building and looked up.
“I can’t fucking do anything right,” I spat.
On the one-year anniversary of that night, I called my mom and made Jason Vorhees breathing sounds down the phone line.
For Year Two, I sang a little song.*
Now I have to start planning for the fourth anniversary.*”Older” by They Might Be Giants
|Tuesday, November 28th, 2006|
ASW November 24th, 2006
No one talked to Haley much. Some people tried, but her noncommittal answers and the look she always had, like she was being kept from something more important, didn’t encourage repeat encounters. Some people thought she was aloof, a couple of people posited that she was shy, but the general consensus really boiled down to “weird”.
I talked to her a few times. She was a pretty girl, and we found we liked some of the same bands. She was nice enough, but she just seemed… like she didn’t belong. I got the feeling that there had been some major blunder in the universe, and this girl was really supposed to be somewhere else.
So I can’t say I was terribly surprised by Nicole’s whispers Tuesday morning. A few co-workers were gathered in Nicole’s cubicle, and the whispers were very sharp. Sharp whispers always meant gossip. I poked my head around the wall.
“Did you hear?” Nicole asked me immediately, leaning forward in her chair.
“Someone said that Haley girl killed herself.”
I played the skeptic, as usual. “No way. Who told you that?”
“Steve from accounting heard it from Pam in IT. I guess she lives on the same street as Haley. Well… lived.”
“I’m going to check out her desk!” Nicole sprang up and made a beeline for Haley’s cubicle.
“Nicole! You can’t do that!”
“She won’t care. She’s dead.”
“I know! And yet you all still love me.”
(This was met with the usual groans and “yeah, whatever”s.)
I watched Nicole as she peered at the pictures Haley had tacked up.
“This chick was into some weird shit. I can’t even tell what this is a picture of.”
I didn’t bother telling her it was a postcard of Munch’s famous painting The Scream. It wouldn’t have matter anyway. She would have just said something like, “That’s famous? Whatever.”
Nicole did little to hide the sounds of rummaging as she went through Haley’s desk. There were a few moments of silence, followed by Nicole’s banshee call.
“Oh my gahd, listen to this, you guys! I found her diary. Listen to this. ‘I like to get all tied up – “
“Woo!” someone called from one of the back cubes.
“Haha! No, wait. ‘I like to get all tied up and rescue myself. Then it’s off to the park, and a scoop of ice cream… for my hero.’ Oh my gahd, what a freak.”
The boss came to collect Haley’s things a little before lunchtime. Man, did it get quiet. Well, aside from the sound of Nicole yapping about the whole thing over the phone to her boyfriend.
I spent the rest of the day wondering if I had a hero.
|Monday, November 20th, 2006|
ASW November 17th, 2006
I was fisted once. I was hanging out with the-guy-I-was-dating-at-the-time – we went out for a month but never clicked on a boyfriend/girlfriend level – when we were flipping channels and paused on a sex advice show. (That’s what we did. We ate Mexican food, we watched television, we had sex.) We were both tickled by the older woman who hosted the show, and we were talking about how much fun she was to listen to when we heard a caller say
“Heterosexuals can fuck with fists, too. My girlfriend and I prove it every night… even if she won’t let me try it on her.”
“Fisting,” I said. “Haven’t tried that yet.”
“You want to?” the-guy-I-was-dating-at-the-time asked, with eyebrow raised.
It didn’t take long before the show distracted our attention and the subject of fisting was forgotten.
I didn’t realize what was happening until he had actually pushed his fist all the way in. I panicked for a second, but I was, as ever, ready for new experiences, looking for a kink to own so I wouldn’t seem so vanilla next to all my friends. In most social circles I’d been in before, the kinky people were the odd ones out. This scene was just the opposite. I tried a number of things – bondage, flogging, threesomes, etc. – but I could never find a kink that turned me on as much as straight, hot sex. So, in the search to find my secret kink, I let the-guy-I-was-dating-at-the-time continue fisting me.
It was… interesting. I told him I liked it, but I think he knew. He never did try it again.
We stopped seeing each other a couple of weeks later, and I left town about a week after that. I still talk to him from time to time. To my surprise, I don’t think of him as the-guy-who-fisted-me.
|Tuesday, November 14th, 2006|
ASW December 9th, 2006
Remember playing with an Etch-a-Sketch when you were younger? You spent all that time turning just the right way, making just the right lines. But there always came a point where you made one mistake, and nothing could ever be made right after that.
So you shook that red rectangle upside down, flipped it back and smiled at the expanse of smooth grey. It was all yours again, a perfect canvas that would hold anything you wished to put on it. Any line you wanted to tattoo. Any life you wanted to build from scratch.
Each time, the picture turned out a little better. You learned your lesson with the last one. Each past mistake had been learned from and built upon.
Until you made one mistake.
My house burned down, and I lost everything again.
It feels better every time.
|Monday, April 17th, 2006|
ASW March 31, 2006
I have a list of stupid things to do before my suicide. I keep going back, though. Making sure I did everything right.
1:Find out what it's like to forget about her.
2:Look at a sunrise, smile, and say "this is all for me."
3:Write my very own sestina.
4:Realize that this really is all for me.
5:Lie in bed every morning, and know that I should be doing something, but I'm not.
6:Be arrested for vandalizing a police station.
7:Learn how to play that damn accordion.
8:Realize that this really is all for me.
9:Understand that every moment has value, but only if we really look for it.
10:Kiss an elk.
11:Stand on an overpass, sing songs out of key, and drop holy water on cars tearing under me.
As I read back over my list, I've crossed out everything, except for the last item. I can't get myself to do it. It's been bothering me for days now.
12:Tell her I'm sorry.
|Tuesday, March 28th, 2006|
Monday Microfic #52
ASW March 24, 2006
He scrambled away, crabwise across the ground, as she advanced. "Why?" he pleaded. "What do you want? What should I have done differently?"
"Should have!" she sneered, stalking him. "Your life is a series of should haves. Should have made more friends. Should have taken more risks. Should have played hooky. Should have gone skinny dipping! Should have asked Maureen to the forest prom!"
She was shouting now, brandishing the gun. His hands encountered a wall behind him, stopping his panicked progress. "What?" he begged, still not understanding. "Who is--"
She shot him once, then glared at the body in disgust before turning away. "Should have remembered," she muttered, and left.
|Tuesday, March 21st, 2006|
Monday Microfic #51
ASW March 17, 2006
It's funny how kids talk about "forever" like it means something. "I've wanted to be a dancer forever." "We've been waiting in this line for for-EVER." "We'll be friends forever." It's funny, in a not-funny-at-all sort of way, that a word that ought to mean so much means so little.
My friends always said they'd stand by me, no matter what I did, no matter who I was. And I believed them, of course; after all, I'd do it for them, and wasn't I a good enough judge of character to only do something like that for people who'd reciprocate? Of course, in the end, it wasn't really who I was that drove them away, so maybe they used that as their out.
I met this guy, and he was fantastic -- sweet, caring, attractive, funny, everything wonderful you could think of. It wasn't until after we started dating that I met his drug habit, and by then I'd already fallen for him. It was okay at first, or at least I told myself it was; when he was high, he was almost totally unresponsive, but that was only like an hour or two -- or maybe three -- a day. But my friends didn't see it that way. They'd come over, and be like, "What do you see in this guy? He just slouches on the couch and stares at the TV -- and if you turn it off, he just stares into space. He's a zero. He's practically braindead."
And I couldn't even really argue with them, because he'd be in the room at the time, and he wouldn't defend himself. Sometimes, he wouldn't even bother to turn his head to acknowledge that anyone was talking. But I loved him, and so I stood by him, and slowly my friends stopped coming to visit, and then stopped calling, and I guess eventually just stopped being my friends.
I like to climb trees; that's normal, right? I like to play dice. I like to knit. I like to rollerskate. Everyone gets so hung up on me dating a zombie. Who I'm with is not who I am. And when I look into his vacant eyes, I see that he's not worried about missing friends, or much of anything, really. Ignorance is bliss, after all, and how can I tell him that he's wrong to seek that out?
|Sunday, October 16th, 2005|
ASW Oct 7
I took apart the gears that caught my little girl, and I built it in her bedroom. So loud.
And so bright.
The way she had been.
A hundred tiny, interlocking pieces that made up a miniature model of the clock.
The massive clock.
Each tooth in each gear minimized a hundred thousand times, where they were safe – couldn't crush a hand, and arm, a screaming mouth, a screaming girl, a fragile spine. I shut the glass after postioning the arms on my new creation just so, and watched the seconds tick by.
Every moment closer to forgeting her.
The look on her face.
The sound of her bones.
Crunch. Scream. Silence.
All I wanted was a little bit of touching. A little bit of love, in the old clocktower. My special secret place.
But she wouldn't come to me, sneaky little girl, she had to run away, and look – she got caught by the clock's grinding metal teeth. She ran away from me, even after I took her out of this little attic room where her stupid mom and dad had kept her.
They hadn't even known I was watching. Loving her when they obviously didn't.
And now I'm back. cleaning out her things. Husband and Wife didn't want to live here, any more. With the shame.
Someone calls from downstairs. I have to move the boxes. The fucking boxes, with her things. Her sweet, pink, little girl things.
Time is money, calls the voice. I don't like my boss, but he has a sweet little girl, who I've been watching very closely. I put my hand on the clock, putting my weight against the delicate thing as I stand.
I pick up a box of her things, and move down the stairs.
|Sunday, October 9th, 2005|
She was eighteen when she was taken. Ripped from my arms like wrapping paper from a gift. Samantha was a precious jewel, one that I had taken for granted for so long. Her mother was too lenient, and I would live out the rest of my days hating her for it. If I had only been there, she would never have gone to that fair.
I had never trusted carnival rides. They were taken apart and reassembled so many times that, in my estimation, it was too dangerous to participate in such activities. Samantha had been punished for some stupid teenaged thing that I would spend my lifetime trying to recall. Had she come home past curfew? Did we find some weed in her dresser? Had she been taking too many foolish risks since graduating from high school the month prior? It could have been any of those things, as our daughter was a free spirit and wont to do things her way.
She had begged and pleaded with us to go on a date with her boyfriend, and we refused. Little did I know that my wife acquiesced, and off she went while I was at work. My wife later reasoned that she let her go because she was afraid that if Samantha wasn't allowed to go, she'd just go behind our backs and get herself killed. In my opinion, she was worse off having gone in the first place.
That night, Samantha and Gregory were on the tilt-a-whirl. The music was blaring, the kids were screaming, and Samantha's lap bar did not hold her in properly. The ride went one way at some point, and Samantha went the other.
Straight into the gears of the machine. The ride stopped a couple of seconds later, but not soon enough. Samantha had sustained irreversible brain damage due to the blunt force trauma to her head. We were devastated.
Her doctors have stated that she would never recover from this "persistent vegetative state", whatever that meant. The night before, I had gone to Toys R' Us to buy our son a battery-operated erector set for having had a remarkable report card. That would have to wait.
I went back to the carnival three days later to disassemble the rides. First the ferris wheel, then the merry-go-round, and then the bloody tilt-a-whirl. I then went back to the hospital with the erector set. See, during the day, I took apart the gears that caught my little girl, and I built it in her bedroom, so loud and so bright, the way she had been. She had a miniature tilt-a-whirl spinning around in her room, complete with flashing lights and a small stereo for sound. It was in the hopes of bringing her out of her unconsciousness that I did this. It didn't work.
I don't think my wife will ever forgive me for that.
|Monday, October 3rd, 2005|
Your lopsided grin stole me from across the table. I grinned half-heartedly back, unsure of what to say and afraid to say anything. It was tenuous, the hold you had on me, and you knew it. I sucked another strand of spaghetti into my mouth and looked down at my fork. I had gotten tomato sauce on my blouse again, and I cursed under my breath. I quickly dabbed at it with shaking hands, clutching the woven napkin violently. It had been far too long for me, and longer for you. You met me at the door after paying the bill and held onto my arm protectively. You told me not to be afraid.
Every date since then had been similar. I was aware of your past and your present, and was almost certain that I could see your future. You were never aware of the precariousness of your grasp on my life. On the outside, you seemed like a prince. On the inside, I knew you to be a toad. The anger-management classes had helped, you claimed, and for good measure threw me another smile. I nodded uneasily and scanned our surroundings quickly. I had insisted that we always meet in public after learning of what you liked to do in private. Finally, I had allowed you to have me as a guest in the apartment we used to share, believing that something had changed.
The furnishings were the same, and so were the memories associated with the place. I looked at the pictures hung like trophies on the walls. I was there in my gown, you in your suit, both of us smiling. My ring had glittered madly on that day so many years ago; the day had been our wedding day, and I wasn't apt to forget it. I remembered when you bought me that ring, and I was so thrilled that I just couldn't stop looking at it and looking at you in the same instant. I looked down at the ring that I had begun wearing again only recently and saw your reflection coming towards me.
You laughed and called it my "Amnesia Gun", which it isn't, unfortunately. I kicked you squarely in the groin and you dropped like a sack of potatoes onto the hardwood floor. Your mistress heard the commotion, she had been snooping through your belongings to see who the "other woman" was. She still believed you were in the process of a painful divorce. She had no time to escape before she was draped over your whimpering mass and I was returning to the life I had made for myself.
Heavy rain furrowed against the corrugated metal of the shanty roof. You were sitting just underneath the overhang. Your feet were crooked awkwardly in the downpour, big toes splayed, as you tossed pebbles one after the other, chuck, zoop, pip, into a petroleum-swirled puddle out there in the mud.
For what, I asked myself, and closed my eyes against the sudden red light of hate that went off in my mind. It always does, when you sit there, chucking stones into the mud.
Inside the children were screaming, the bigger boys ganging up on the two littlest from the sound. I stood for a moment more, saying, Show me you are a father. Show me you are made of sterner things. I said it with all my strength, but I couldn't say it out loud. If I needed a reason not to, I had only to touch the still-swollen circle gracing my eye.
Instead I bustled inside again, clucked to the boys before grabbing a wrist, twisting an arm, hauling them off away from the wailing toddlers. The boys didn't want to be out in the rain, not this day, but I shoved them out anyway. Let it be spoiled for them, I told myself. Let it be a day of mud and stones for them.
I reached down to brush the hair of the littlest one, perfunctorily, but my eyes were already fixed on my tiny treasure. My hand burrowed as if with a mind and heart and heat of its own, seeking, finding, retrieving the gold-inlaid box from under the mattress all of us used for a bed. Such a pretty thing could bring us more than enough to eat for a week, two, however long it was until you dried up and sought another quick job. I was never going to part with it. You laughed and called it my amnesia gun, which it isn't, unfortunately. But any forgetfulness was what I needed, any at all.
I slumped on the mattress, closed my eyes, and smiled as I popped open the box.
A Softer World 09/30/05
It was another day, all right. I walked into the bedroom and there you were in my, in OUR bed, with him. I pulled my nine and told that asshole to get out, and he had no qualms, being caught with my woman and a gun barrel staring back at him. You just laughed as he ran, this was just our game. She wasn't my wife, we weren't lovers. We were partners with benefits. Our plan was simple, move in and get some poor asshole to think he's cheating on some poor bastard's hot wife, and right when they felt comfortable with it, I'd "catch" them together, and he'd run away with his tail between his legs, his pants around his ankles, and his wallet on the nightstand. They always left their wallets, and we'd take the money. Those types always had a lot of money, rich bastards used to getting their way.
I smiled and kissed you, and we made love again. Afterwards, I lit a cigarette, took a drag, and passed it. I held the gun in my hand and held you as you took a drag and said "Those poor bastards always forget their wallets." You laughed and called it my "amnesia gun," which it isn't unfortunately. I'd come to love you. I pulled the trigger and my blood spilled over you. I wish I could forget all the men that slept with you but I couldn't.
|Monday, September 12th, 2005|
Julius struggled under the weight of the three enormous bags as he staggered after Liz through the airport. when she finally stopped at the check-in counter he heaved a huge sigh of relief and dropped the luggage with a thunder and slumped to the floor. she giggled and finished checking in before helping him load the bags onto the belt.
"Well, this is it." she said.
"yeah," he said. "I'm gonna miss you, Liz."
"Oh, it's only until Christmas," she said. "those four months are gonna breeze by before you know it."
"yeah, for you. you get to go study in Paris."
"i'll write to you all the time and i'll call you when i can. you know i'll never leave you hanging."
"i guess so."
she checked her watch. "tell you what," she said, "we'll work out an exchange. every tuesday we'll exchange pictures. send me dirty pictures of you doing things to make me wish i was home. email me dirty pictures of you with my name in marker everywhere,"
"i get crazy thinking about your eyes when you cry... i miss you all wrong, i'm sorry."
"you know, every time i think i might have figured you out, you say something like that."
"you better be. i'll never forgive you for making me love you like this."
she kissed him and then made a dash for the security gate. after she was lost in the crowd, he made is way back to the car. Current Mood: headachey
|Monday, September 5th, 2005|
Monday Microfic #46
ASW September 2, 2005
You don't understand how it is. Do you know what it's like to know something, to know it to be true, and have no one believe you? They say it's a test of faith to believe something that no one else does, that flies in the face of all reason, but I couldn't stop believing this if I tried. It's true, that's all, and not all the reason or logic or mocking laughter in the world can change that.
I used to be Amelia Earhart. I remember her life -- not all the time, but often enough. I'll do something great, and when I'm flush with the feeling of success I'll suddenly remember feeling it before, goggles pushing back my hair and smiling for the cameras. When I'm feeling nervous, sometimes I'll feel a jolt as the engines hiccough beneath me and I'll cast a worried glance at instrument dials that aren't there. Worst of all, though, was once when I was lonely -- crushingly lonely, I mean, as if the whole world had deserted me -- and I remembered the despair of dying alone on a lost desert island.
I try to use my past life to better myself, to draw on my experiences and make up for my previous failings, but it's hard to do that when everyone makes fun of your source of strength. Even the people who don't make fun of me to my face don't believe. I woke shaking from a dream where she died in that desert, and you held me and said, "I'm here," which wasn't good enough. I knew you were thinking that I was just being crazy again, dreaming about being Amelia, and thinking about maybe you should convince me to go see someone about this. You can't be here for me without being here for who I am -- and who I am includes who I was.
ASW September 2nd
I have this recurring dream, you see, and every time it gets worse. Every time I remember more details I had tried to forget. I remember the breaking glass, roaring engine, screaming tires. Or maybe the screaming was her.... Most prevalent, the memory that haunts me night after night, is the thump as her body hit the ground. And then there was me. Sitting there in that smoking piece of metal I used to think was so important, I watched something of actual importance go through hell. I tried to move towards her, I swear I did, but my broken legs kept me rooted to the spot. I sat there, in my shattered reality, watching my love die for my childish actions. I saw as the blood poured out of wounds, I heard the horrible sounds that came out of her mouth. As her chest finally fell flat for the last time, I realized what a fool I am. I had just lost the one real thing in my life.
I awoke from a dream where she died in that desert. And you held me, and said "I'm here".... Which wasn't good enough.
Because every time I wake up and turn my head my heart falls in disappointment, because I see you.
You aren't her.
You could never replace her.
|Friday, September 2nd, 2005|
I woke shaking from a dream where she died in that desert, and you held me, and said "I’m here." Which wasn’t good enough. Our child, out there, at war.
She isn’t here. Tomorrow, she may be dead, halfway across the world, in a place where you can’t walk to your car for fear of being blown up.
It would only take one moment, in that desert of war. One bullet, one step, and her face…No more smiles, no more hugs, no more tears.
No welcome home.
I’m old, too old to outlive my only child.
But I shut it down, and huddle closer to you under the summer sheets, cold down to these old bones. I try not to think of bones, sun-bleached, hard and sharp, buried by the desert sand, and a letter opened by trembling hands saying that she died honorably, in the service of her country.
Our little girl, dead in the desert, far away.