Posted in Flash Fiction

Red Hot Love

The laundry room in our house, like most every other room, was cramped. The wallpaper was a boring tan, the floor was a dingy linoleum, and one solitary picture of me hung on the wall above the washer and dryer. My full head of blonde hair matched the color of the sun that glared in the photo, and my exaggerated smile revealed a few missing teeth.

When dad needed to iron clothes the ironing board took up the length of the room. Even if just one person was in the room, they would need to slide and maneuver around the ironing board. Small piles of clothes laid unwashed in various corners.

Shirtless, my father ran the iron over the much smaller, white undershirt. He was a round man, one with a hairy beer belly and forearms. That’s where most of the hair on his head seemed to have went. What hair was left atop his head was still dark at least. Still, he was a man’s man, a real go-getter, or at least he used to be one.

He let out a gruff huff and set the iron down on the far end of the ironing board. Thick hands adjusted the small shirt; more wrinkles showed with it’s rotation.

I stood on my tip tones, wanting to get a better look at my dad’s craft, and it felt like my fists were magnetically attached to my bare chest. I was conscious of how boney I was; as my hands pressed against my body I could feel my sternum and collar bones.

Dad glanced down at me and then looked back to the shirt. He picked up the iron again. The water inside sloshed as he set the chrome bottom onto the white fabric. The iron hissed and sighed with each movement.

I felt butterflies flutter in my stomach. A haziness filled my head and I had to lower off of my tip toes to keep my balance.

Dad lifted up the iron and placed it on the far side of the board. As he did so, the machine let out a long, heated sigh.

I felt my narrow shoulders relax. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it! It was as if a witch had cast a spell on me. I felt as if a tiny, white ghost was going to flow out past my lips and be sucked into the holes of the bottom of the iron.

Dad cleared his throat and tugged at the hems of my t-shirt. He eyed it for a moment and picked up the iron again as he seemed to have noticed another crease near the neck.

Internally, I cheered. I couldn’t wait to hear the sounds again. I brushed some blonde hair out of my eyes; I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t going to miss even a second of the spectacle.

I must have been standing on my tip toes again because dad’s dark blue eyes were upon me; he looked annoyed. “Skooch” he grumbled, his deep voice ruined the hissing of the iron.

He nudged me back with his giant knee.

The smell as the iron ran across the clothing was intoxicating; it smelled like warmth, like cleanliness, like a freshly dried shirt.

Rebelliously, I bounded around the ironing board. I went to my right. In my rush, I failed to notice the black cord that plugged into the wall near the floor. My bare foot caught it and I fell. My head slammed against the white metal front of the washing machine and caused a loud boom.

The iron was ripped from my father’s grasp. The butt of the machine bounced off of the far end of the ironing board. The heavy, chrome, scalding metal came into contact with my bare back and I shrieked. I pushed my hands down as hard as I could onto the floor and shot up. The iron fell off of me and onto the floor with a thud. I was afraid to look; I was convinced that some of my skin was melted onto it. My back stung and it felt like it was bubbling. I began to cry and scream louder as the pain swelled.

My father exploded, “What I tell you ‘bout runnin’? Huh?” He smacked me on the back of the head with his meaty hand. The blow made my ears ring; I let out a scared cry.

Tears streamed down my face and my chin quivered. I heaved in snot filled breathes through my nose and exhaled forcefully out of my gaping mouth. My head throbbed, my back burned, and felt like I was going to tear my back open with each movement. Now my pride was bleeding too.

“Ice!” he yelled, and pointed one of his sausage fingers toward the door.

I let out a low, pitiful moan and waddled out. The red, angry, arrowhead burn on full display.

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Posted in Short Assignments

The Grind

Knick knacks, white bags of trash, and several empty pizza boxes littered my room.  They took up space; they wanted to strangle me.

I sat in my desk like a good boy. I was diligent in my studies, my teachers and parents approved. I wrote in my spiral bound notebook, a stapled packet of work laid next to it on my desk. My head turned to look at the packet. I would read the questions and then write my answer in my notebook. Back and forth, repeat.

The clock on my wall ticked. The ticking grew louder the more I tried to focus. Soon it sounded as if someone was chomping on chewing gum in my ear. I could feel my face getting redder, my chest felt tighter. The clock continued to chew gum in my ear.

My pen against the notebook paper slowed. It was as if I forgot how to write in the middle of a sentence. Worry joined my frustration. I set my pen down on the lined paper and looked helplessly at the amount of work on my left.

My hands sat defeated in my lap. I stared at the page. The clock chewed in my ear, my hand refused to write, and my work laughed at me.

Frustration built, and built, and built, and built. It coalesced as a hot burning in my chest. My face grew warmer and I felt the urge to hit something. My arms ached to be raised and slammed down on my desk. My legs yearned to run and kick until they burned and ached with regret.

I brought a fist up and slammed it down on my notebook with a thud. I did it again, and again, and again. Each blow tempted the next, goaded it into coming out of me. I wasn’t in control.

Bam!

Bam!

Bam!

Bam!

Bam!

Bam! Bam! Bam!

My hand rotated so the knuckles took the brunt of the force.

Wham!

Wham!

Wham!

Pop.

I yelped and pulled my hand back. It looked red, the knuckles swollen and shifted away from each other. My hand trembled and I attempted to open it up to no avail.

The room quieted down. Then, the clock started to chew again. My work loomed; It taunted me.

I sat. My shoulders slumped as I looked down at my writing hand. It grew more and more tender as the seconds passed. My mind felt as if someone had poured cement into it. It was filling up my body from the inside and the realization that, now, I wouldn’t be able to do any work hit me.

My hand throbbed, the rest of me felt like an anchor at the bottom of the ocean. The work to my left chuckled evilly. The clock chewed.

 

 

Posted in Experimental

Join Hands

Dear mother,

You’re crumbling like the edge of an ancient cliff.

We are clinging to you. We are nothing, you’re the gift.

We are even less without our sibling.

We hold each other on cold nights, the cold winds chilling.

A kiss and a bullet are equal in the minds of your children.

It is our nature. We will step up; we will fill in.

Posted in Experimental

Falling for Fall

Dying leaves twirl

Air nips at exposed hands and noses

Fruits on porches fend off evil spirits

Houses are warm

Friends are warmer

Scents of spices and maple syrup fill the body

An enormously old armchair commands the room

Relaxation, finally relaxation

Cool concrete on a long stretch of driveway

Sweet, sweet, pretty girl has a bad reputation

The home will soon be filled

Filled with long sleeves, coffee, and the sound of laughter and voices

The Turkey Run, run turkey run

A playful battle for skin

Generations, for generations

Colder and colder still

Gather once more, the old home beckons

Nature is invited and dressed for the occasion

Lovely boxes and brilliant glimmers keep the company in good company

Experienced hands are abound

We feel secure

We feel protected

The clouds rain down frozen sadness

Posted in Experimental

Long Ride Home

The whir of tires on asphalt create white noise as the journey continues.

It’s dark, so dark that the lamps can’t cut through the fog. You only manage to see a hazy reminder of what once protected you.

Trees and long guardrails whizz by; you half expect to melt into your seat and live out the rest of your days as a puddle.

Green numbers show the time.

It’s always wrong.

You’re always wrong, aren’t you?

Timidly, you bring your knees up to your chest and wrap your tiny arms around them.

The engine whirs faster as it tries to keep pace.

Posted in Experimental

Give Your All, Forever

The pain vanishes.

The worry vanishes.

It all turns to vapor.

Use your voice, young man. Use your voice and let it be heard. Do not fear what is to be feared by all.

Do not be paralyzed by the doubt and by the comparison. Let your mind be your own and let it run rampant through the ethereal valley.

Baby boy, my baby boy. The thorns are wide and numerous.

Allow the sword to burn through the evil and snare the heart of the monstrosity that holds you captive. Drive the white-hot blade into the dark, thick oil and expel it.

Now,

do it again.

Posted in Experimental

The Groove

I’m feelin’ this groove.

The bass is bumping like a heart

the melodies are flowing through my soul.

The vocals embrace me like a warm, puffy blanket on a cold winter evening.

The emotions wash over me like cold ocean waves.

I let them come.

I let them come.

My senses are dulled.

Oh baby, I’m in deep now.