January 29, 2012

Influenza - January 29, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by a picture we were shown. This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out. You can read all of them in the waves category]]

Influenza - Squiddy Geiger - January 29, 2012

Patrick listened to the shuffling as the monster approached down the hall, the shuffling dragging feet, the wheezy wet breathing sounds preceding it. He sighed, knowing there was no escape.

The monster turned the corner; he saw it in all its majestic horror: streaming eyes and nose, blotchy red face with drool coming from one corner of the mouth. Hands clutched bits of tissue dripping with foetid, infectious waste.

The beast shuffled forward, hunched over, moaning with every step. Patrick waited patiently for it to arrive, for the inevitable. Finally it stopped in front of him. The horror spoke.

"Dad, I'm still sick. I don't have to go to school today, do I?" followed by a spasm of coughing.

"No, son. You didn't need to get out of bed," Patrick replied. "I was coming to check on you in a few minutes." He carefully placed the used tissues in a bowl and handed the boy some fresh tissues. "Go back to bed. I'll be there in a few minutes with some ginger ale for you and maybe some crackers, see if you can keep those down now."

Another coughing fit, followed by "Ok, Dad, but I'm missing a quiz today - and Miss Stelk doesn't give makeup quizzes even if you're sick."

"I know, but don't you worry about that," he said. "Get yourself back into bed, ok? That's an order."

The horror turned and shuffled off, with a muffled and wet sounding "ok, Dad," as it went. It coughed several times along the way. Patrick made a mental note to scour the floors. God, he hated sick days.

January 27, 2012

Ignorant - January 27, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "ignorant". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out. You can read all of them in the waves category]]

Ignorant - Squiddy Geiger - January 27, 2012

The man with the hole in his head
Where reason should be, where
Knowledge would live
Wilfully chooses not to fill
The crevices where
Stupidity sneaks in
Working hard to avoid learning
About anything wondrous and new
Seeing only different
Or evil, threatening and crude

The man with the hole in his head
Where beauty would be, where
Reason should live
Sees strangers as dangerous
Difference as something to be
Stomped out, or repelled as
You would repel boarders

The man with the hole in his head
Where acceptance should be, where
Welcoming love would live
Is walled off from true knowledge
In a citadel built by the ignorant

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January 26, 2012

Stolen - January 26, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "stolen". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out. You can read all of them in the waves category]]

Stolen - Squiddy Geiger - January 26, 2012

My heart was placid
Waiting for action
My heart was lonely
Waiting for completion
My heart was empty
Waiting to be filled
My heart was sad
Waiting for joy

I walked along the busy street
Minding my own business
Bothering nobody
When suddenly I was accosted
By a beauty
who stole my heart

My heart is alive
My heart is complete
My heart is full
My heart is joyful
My heart is stolen

My heart is found

January 25, 2012

Blue Moon - January 25, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "blue moon". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

[NOTE: read yesterday's wave, "Unlikely", first]

Blue Moon - Squiddy Geiger - January 25, 2012

Yesterday had been Unlikely. Today was Impossible.

Steve had always wondered where the term came from. Now he knew. All over town, people were talking about it, everyone knew about it; all they had to do was look up.

The moon was an incredible marine blue, with cyan highlights. It was gorgeous, and quite frankly, scary as hell, because nobody seemed to know why it was blue, or when it would stop being blue. Except Steve.

This morning, he'd seen the weird old man again. Steve was driving to work, and the man had materialized in the passenger seat. "Hello again, boy," he'd said. Steve had pulled over quickly and stopped.

"Who the hell are you and what the hell are you doing in my car?" he demanded. "And how the hell do you disappear and reappear like that?"

"All in good time, Young Skywalker, all in good time," the man laughed. "Ultimately, you will learn why we are here. And what we want. Oh, don't look like that - there's nothing to worry about, we're here to help.

"We have something for you to do - much more important than taking a cheque into the bank, Steve. And it is of great importance to my people and yours. No, nothing bad, I promise." The old man smiled. "I have to go again, but I'll see you tomorrow."

He started to fade. Steve yelled for him to stop, but he didn't. Just as he was about to disappear again, he shouted - just barely audible "Once in a Blue Moon, boy... once in a Blue Moon..." and was gone.

Steve understood now.

January 24, 2012

Unlikely - January 24, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "unlikely". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Unlikely - Squiddy Geiger - January 24, 2012

Steve was having an Unlikely Day. It was unlikely he'd get pulled over in a random police check, but he was. It was unlikely he'd misplace his car keys which had made him already late, but he had. It was unlikely that he'd turn left instead of right at the intersection, but he did.

When he realized his error, he'd stopped, waiting for a chance to pull a u-turn. That's when the old man had tapped on his window, making a gesture to roll it down. As unlikely as it seemed, given he was already late, he had.

"Young man, can you direct me to the First Bank of Pradorville?" the old man had asked. It was the way he was going, so he told the man to get in. Why, he could not say afterwards. Not that he told anyone.

When he got to the bank, he stopped and pointed it out to the old man. He'd expected him to get out of the car. He had not. "Young man, I cannot go in there - such a building is off limits for my kind," the old man had said. "will you go in and deposit this cheque for me please? It's already got the appropriate deposit slip, all you need to do is present it."

Steve had shrugged, taken the cheque and gone into the bank. There had been nobody there, and two minutes later he came out with the receipt, which he gave to the old man.

"I don't see why you didn't do that yourself," he'd said. "But I'm happy to help."

The old man had laughed, looked Steve directly in the eyes, and blinked. When he'd blinked, his eyes changed colour. He laughed again at Steve's reaction, and faded slowly, until Steve could barely hear his laughter, then he blinked out.

It took him several minutes to recover enough to drive on. Steve was having an Unlikely Day.

January 23, 2012

Regeneration - January 23, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "Regeneration". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Regeneration - Squiddy Geiger - January 23, 2012

She stirred the cauldron on the stove, slowly, careful to keep it liquid, letting it thicken without congealing. She whistled happily as she worked.

An orange tabby yelled at her from beside her legs, asking for attention as only orange tabbies can. She ignored him - he had food, he had water, and he had a clean litter box. As for attention, the more she gave him, the more he demanded.

Melvin was quiet upstairs. The only sound from the rest of the house was the television, murmuring from the other room where she'd left it on. It would be news now. She hated watching the news. She tested the consistency, was not quite satisfied, and continued to stir.

Melvin was quiet. Melvin was always quiet these days. She hoped this surprise would change that, bring back the old Melvin who had wooed her. The Melvin who had won her heart. The Melvin who had swept her off her feet. That Melvin had been AWOL for a long time.

The old woman in the flea market had assured her this would work. Her instructions had been very specific, and they were to be followed precisely, or the potion would not work. Odile had accepted the instructions and paid her, but as she walked away, she'd thought of a question, and turned back to ask it. The old woman was already gone.

Odile tested the contents again. The consistency was perfect - the spoon didn't stand up, but it slid over slowly. She took it off the heat, and the words she'd written carefully on the paper:

"Reviens moi!
Reviens moi!
J'ai besoin de toi
reviens moi!"

She sighed, and took the pot upstairs to the darkened room where Melvin waited patiently. She held her breath, and walked over to the bed where his mummified body waited. The instructions had been clear, and she followed them. As she poured the contents over his body, she recited the chant again, hoping her accent was right.

"Reviens moi!
Reviens moi!
J'ai besoin de toi
reviens moi!"

The old woman had said it would take two days for it to work. She sighed, sat in the old rocker next to the bed, and waited. The cat, yelling at her, jumped into her lap and curled up as she petted him. It would be a long two days.

January 22, 2012

Nebula - January 22, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "nebula". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Nebula - Squiddy Geiger - January 22, 2012

Floating, drifting, shining
Amorphous and incoherent
Dazzling colours and shapes
Without apparent structure

Beautiful
Timeless
Ancient beyond comprehension

Spectacular beyond compare

January 20, 2012

Creed - January 20, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "creed". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Creed - Squiddy Geiger - January 20, 2012

Ted walked through the living room toward the kitchen, ignoring the grumbles of the kids as he blocked their view of the television, briefly. He got a drink, and returned to his room, with similar grumbles along the way.

His boss wanted this by tomorrow, he had no time to consider anything else. He searched the internet for clues, digging deep into obscure corners, rummaging around for the tiniest hint that would lead him to his goal.

He was good at his job, very good. It's why his boss paid him so much. He'd been doing this job for a long time, nobody could match him. His search took him to exotic places - at least, online.

Finally, he found the missing piece. The little bastard thought he could hide there? Ted sighed in disappointment. It was too easy. He quickly typed the clues up into a brief report, and prepared it for dispatch.

He paused, waiting for his mind to finish the usual back and forth between right and wrong, good and evil. It would end with being sent, it always was, but he went through the motions of letting his mind hash it out.

He didn't do the dirty work - someone else would carry out the sentence; he just found the target. He always found the target. He had only one rule: complete the mission.

He wondered idly if his kids would be so dismissive if they knew what he really did for a living. He shrugged. The guy was guilty. He pressed the button that sent the report to Murderous Intent. Mission complete.

January 19, 2012

Forget - January 19, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "forget". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Forget - Squiddy Geiger - January 19, 2012

Wandering through a sea of nothing
Searching desperately
Watching for the key to memory
Stumbling forth to search again

Rummaging through ancient times
some best left behind
Arguing with self for details
clues to the source of all

Wandering through a forest of dead ends
Searching desperately
Skirting around the edge of memory
Bumping into long forgotten scenes

Empty
Deserted
Devoid of memories
Wondering who, what and where

January 17, 2012

Coffee Cup Blues - January 17, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by a picture of a blue coffee cup and saucer. This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Coffee Cup Blues - Squiddy Geiger - January 17, 2012

Jack took a sip, and made a face.

God, he'd forgotten how awful the coffee was in this shit hole. Oh well, shitty coffee on a shitty night. Appropriate. He took another sip.

She'd called just as he got off work. Unusual because she knew always had things to do after work. Even as he answered, he knew it was not a good call.

He toyed with the cup, swirling the terrible coffee around in the little blue cup with green highlights. It was pretty. A contrast to the day.

She'd been brief and to the point. It was over, there was someone else, and she'd already moved her stuff out. His guts spilled onto the sidewalk as she spoke.

By the fifth sip, it wasn't tasting quite so bad, but it was still shit.

She said she'd met him six months before, and they'd been lovers for four. They were in love.

He took another sip, then hurled the cup against the wall, shattering it. He got up, dropped forty bucks on the counter to cover the cost and the inconvenience, and left.

Shitty coffee for a shitty day.

Swan - January 17, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "swan". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Swan - Squiddy Geiger - January 17, 2012

Just a thought, that's all it was
Set his ears all abuzz
He whispered in her ear
She grinned from ear to ear
Her shell dropped away
And her beauty appeared

January 16, 2012

Sleep - January 16, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "sleep". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Sleep - Squiddy Geiger - January 16, 2012

Winding down
   relaxing
Gathering thoughts
   and ideas
   from the day
Organizing, refreshing, clearing out
   concepts and queries
Rehashing difficult bits
Replaying the better parts

Harried
            Hectic
Worried
            Watching
Deleting
            Demanding
Reliving
            Rehashing
Repairing
            Recovering
Dreaming

Winding down
   relaxing
Working through
   the day
Recovering from anxiety and
   recharging energy reserves

Sleeping

January 15, 2012

Punishment - January 15, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "punishment". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Punishment - Squiddy Geiger - January 15, 2012

Punishment
It isn't all that fun
Punishment
People avoid it, try to run
Punishment
Builds character in some
Punishment
Causes others to come undone

Atonement
Helps to heal old wounds
Atonement
Doesn't mean you should forget
Atonement
Brings forgiveness to some
Atonement
A foundation for Peace to be forged

Choose one or the other
Or both. Or None.

January 11, 2012

Scaffold - January 11, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "scaffold". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Scaffold - Squiddy Geiger - January 11, 2012

Gerry's world was getting grimmer, but he persevered, slogging through the piles of legal garbage he was being buried in, as he tried to navigate the civil court system. Nothing seemed to go right, from legal challenges that kept his submissions out of the record, to people who'd promised support, but when the time came, were nowhere to be found.

He was getting by because of the support system he'd built around himself; people who would listen, and give advice, or just be there with drink at opportune moments. This was a support system he'd built up carefully over many years.

The first level of the scaffolding of support was his family. Some families fragmented, but his family had worked to keep everyone on good terms, working through rough spots here and there as the inevitable squabbles and disagreements; these had become less frequent the older he and his siblings grew, and now were exceedingly rare.

The next level of the scaffolding was his friends. He'd added them slowly, starting with Bill in elementary school. Stephie and Karl had followed in high school - they'd eventually married each other. His friend Urta from University, and his co-worker Ed rounded out the friendships he trusted and relied on so heavily.

The final level of support came from his wife of 14 years. She fit on two levels, really, an extra layer of support. She'd been his friend in University, and later, dated and married. She was his rock; the level of immediate support upon which everything rested.

The entire scaffolding of family, friends, and love kept him going. He should his head and smiled, and dove back into the mass of documentation he needed to read before his next meeting with the lawyers.

January 10, 2012

Toy - January 10, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "toy". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Toy - Squiddy Geiger - January 10, 2012

The man looked carefully at the pieces before him. He'd examined the diagrams carefully, and the few words in the instructions. He'd read them through four times, checking that he had the right tools, and all the parts. He was ready.

He picked up the first two pieces in the instructions, and started construction. They went together easily enough, and the third presented no trouble. This wasn't so bad, he thought. He could do this.

By the time he was half way through, he was sweating. He was very glad he'd read the manual first, because he'd run into trouble a couple of times, things didn't seem to fit the way the diagram said they should, but each time, he'd managed to figure it out.

Finally, as his muscles ached and his back protested, he fitted the last piece in place and tightened it. He sighed, and sat back with satisfaction. It was done, it was complete, and it looked even better than in the pictures on the website. He got up and stretched and got himself a congratulatory drink.

He put the completed toy back into the box, and wrapped it carefully, taking extra time to make each fold crisp, using just enough tape to hold it, but not too much to obscure the design of the wrapping paper. He attached a small name card, and finished it with ribbon and a bow, and placed it carefully under the tree, ready to be discovered by its new owner.

---

The boy grabbed the present, the last of his gifts, and looked at it. It was big, and it rattled slightly as he shook it. He started to open it.

The man watched as the boy ripped the carefully wrapped paper and threw it aside. He watched as the boy opened the box and pulled the carefully constructed toy out, and examined it. He watched as the boy tossed it aside with a "Thanks!" and went back to his new video game. he sighed, and went over to watch the boy as he played.

January 07, 2012

Lucky - January 07, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "lucky". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Lucky - Squiddy Geiger - January 07, 2012

Marion walked slowly towards the lights in the town, shuffling a bit. It had been a long day, and a long trip. She hadn't thought she'd make it. The lights taunted her, so tantalizingly close, yet still too far away.

She'd left at dawn, a week before, eager for a new beginning in town, and optimistically certain she'd be there by late afternoon. The palm reader the week before had assured her she was full of luck, and she assumed this meant, for her trip today.

He'd been right, but not as she'd hoped.

Barely past 10 in the morning, she thought she had discovered what Lucky meant. She'd found a bag, and picked it up from the middle fo the road. It was heavy, and when she opened it, she'd found it was full of gold coins. An auspicious start to her new life, she thought.

At noon, the riders bore down on her from the north, and she barely had time to jump aside. The leader saw the bag, and commanded them to stop. It was a noble's money, she was arrested before she could even explain and offer it to the men. She was lucky, they could have just killed her.

In jail, she'd been questioned and beaten, and questioned again, and beaten again. They wanted to know who she worked for, why she'd stolen the money. She'd tried to explain she had found it, and would have returned it if they'd asked. They threw her in a cold, dark, damp cell overnight.

The next night, the guards came for her and took her to another room. she got lucky again. Repeatedly, mercilessly, and for hours. Afterwards, she was returned to her dark cell. This pattern repeated itself for the next five days.

When she'd finally spoken with the Captain of the Guards, pleading for mercy, he had listened. She was lucky, he ordered her release.

When she left, she had only her torn clothes and her shoes, but none of her possessions or money, but she was lucky. She was alive.

She shuffled on toward the lights.

January 01, 2012

Follow - January 01, 2012

[note: this was written during a writing exercise: we had 20 minutes to write something inspired by the word "follow". This is the result, unedited, exactly as it appeared when time ran out]

Follow - Squiddy Geiger - January 01, 2012

Zephram wiped the sweat out of his eyes. It was hot, and he was thirsty. He stumbled, caught himself and kept walking, hoping nobody noticed.

It hadn't been like this in the beginning. They'd followed William willingly, eagerly. It had only been when the shortages started, and the heat had taken over, that questions had popped up. Surely the Prophet of God could not be forsaken, and his disciples left to suffer so.

When people had started dropping back, then "disappearing" - the guards would invariably say they could not find them, but Zephram was sure of the truth. Those who tried to leave were killed, and left where they lay. Zephram wasn't going to end up that way, and vowed he would march on to the end, wherever that was.

In the end, either choice was the same. He followed William to a place far into the desert, beyond help. In the end, he'd been a good follower. In the end, he had returned to his Maker, just as William had promised. He just hadn't expected it to be so soon.