We don’t want to be here, and people are starting to notice. We try not to bunch our faces up. But our lips work into sneers and our eyes start scanning for little things to pick at. If only there was more beer and better music we think, at the same time, no need to look over for approval.
Then we think maybe we’re necessary. If we weren’t here, this wall behind us would fall. It would slam on the other partygoers. Crushing them. Squirting blood and brains and guts across the tastefully decorated apartment.
It’s different now. We know.
The poetess wrote brilliant words beneath her breasts, and bared herself for all to see. “Come for the tits, and stay for the eloquence,” she hollered marching from the market to the public docks. Dogs ran from their masters to follow her. Branches swayed as she passed.
She’d just discovered she’d existed that morning.
In the mirror, after her coffee and epiphany, the dragged the pen across her skin, going over the words on her ribs twice, to make sure they were legible. Close up or from a distance. The attention didn’t matter.
Reverie and irreverence were what she sought.
Over dinner, frozen meals cooked too long, his wife tore into him as he tried to tear into the piece of steak-shaped rubber on the plate in front of him.
“Edith’s husband is taking her on the cruise,” she said. “All the way down to Panama.”
“Good for them,” he said, chewing.
“And Mary’s having another baby. They’re moving out of the city at the end of the month.”
He pushed his plate away and started rooting through the cupboards.
“What are you doing?” she asked,
He opened the can with his pocket knife, and walked out of the kitchen.
Dzinski waited until he was back in his office to open the envelope. He pulled out one sheet, folded over three times. After reading the missive, he leaned back and had a cigarette. Then he read it again. A knock at the outer door interrupted his third time through it. Dzinski checked his watch. He left the letter in his drawer and walked out the door.
The front office was dark, and the hallway beyond was darker.
Dzinski stopped halfway to the door. He crouched and moved quickly against the wall.
The door’s glass shattered from the machine gun fire.
If you asked him why he did it, he’d ask you why you have to pay extra for guacamole, when everybody wants it, and the restaurants could just roll it into the price of the tacos.
“But that’s not what I was asking,” you would likely say. He’d shrug and pick at his teeth and wait for you to give up.
That night when you were lying in bed and thinking about the whole thing, you might realize that it didn’t matter. He did what he did because of who he is. There’s wasn’t much more to it.
The weather channel said it would be overcast and muggy, and Coyote tried to summon a laugh as he thought it was making a forecast for his last couple days. The one that bubbled up was insincere. He twisted a pair of socks together and then pulled them apart. They didn’t quite match. Dark blue to black. If someone else was around, he thought, they might say that would describe him as well.
It was late when he woke up. Coyote lifted his head from the pile of folded t-shirts and went to the window. The sky had cleared some.
Prompt courtesy of The Daily Post.
One spring, the girls next door raced the trees and flowers. Hoping to blossom before the latter. Dreamt of a summer spent in bikinis wrapped tight around swift-grown, striking, hourglass frames.
They’d take whole milk baths and did hand-stands and other nonsense they’d read in the glossies. Scored the width of their hips in the old elm between our houses. It hadn’t changed from March to May. They just gouged deeper in the bark until I could see the marks from my window.
The leaves budded and the flowers bloomed. The girls next door withered. Dried up, due to disappointment.
Prompt courtesy of the Secret Keeper.