For Valentine’s Day

A Valentine’s Day Romance

by Kate R Canter

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February 14th, 2015:

A Los Angeles debutant hears a knock on the door.

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“My god! It’s you!”

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“That’s right, Kate! I’m here because I love you!”

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“But Jack, you CAN’T be here! Not when I’m betrothed-”

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“to the Doctor!”

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“Damn the Doctor! Damn his beautiful eyes! I’m the one who loves you!”

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*kissing noises*

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“I say! What the devil is going on here!?”

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“Doctor!”

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“So! Making untoward advances to my fiance, eh, Daniels? You cad!”

“She doesn’t live you, Pepper! She never loved you!”

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“No, Jack, that’s isn’t true!”

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“What?!”

“I love you both, can’t you see!?!”

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“Then perhaps…”

“We can learn…”

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“To love”

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“Each other!”

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*Kissing Noises*

The End!

Categories: funny, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Do What You Hate

Holy craping hell, my stomach hurts. My thighs hurt. My ankles hurt for some reason. My soul hurts.

 

I started weight training. For those who don’t know me, to fully understand the gravity of the situation, I have not willingly exercised since 2012. I took three weeks of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu course and stopped because it made my feet hurt. I have stated on numerous occasions, often without prompting, that I do not run unless something is chasing me or there is a pie waiting. Or if I have to pee real bad. When I played soccer, as is required of all american children, I played goalie because it involved less running.

 

Now, with no one making me do it at all, I have started exercising at the age of twenty four. I’m doing  it for two reasons. First, when I hit someone, I want it to hurt. I don’t have a lot of occasion to hit people but when I do, I feel like it should have some more impact than a pool noodle. Maybe I think I’m going to be a superhero… the kind that hates leaving her apartment. Agoraphobia Girl.

 

Second, I have to embrace change. I am not an active person. My body is perfect, aside from the fact that everything hurts and I can’t do a pushup, but can it stay that way forever?

 

I’m pretty good at lying to myself so, yes, yes, it can.

 

But human beings aren’t meant to stay the same forever. We can only grow through change and change can only come if we choose to do the things that makes us uncomfortable. Do you think Michael Angelo was comfortable when he painted the Sistine Chapel? No, he spent three years painting naked people with his arms over his head while the Pope yelled at him. He didn’t even like painting but he did it and it was awesome. We too must choose to suffer if we wish be awesome.

 

Could I be happy, sitting in bed all day, inventing names for alcoholic beverages and eating my roommate’s nutella straight from the jar? Yes, but then I would be complacent and complacency is the enemy of growth, destroyer of new ideas. I need to grow, so I can infect more spaces with my magnificence! Because all of my ideas are good, I need to have as many as possible?

 

And so I need to do weight training. I need to move to weird cities and take jobs from weird people. I need to be uncomfortable so that I can be awesome.


And so I can punch people effectively.

Categories: bodily functions, funny | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do What You Love

 

Do what you love and the money will follow.

 

I’m not certain where I first heard that (there is a distinct possibility it was an episode of American Dad) but it seems to be a popular, false piece of advice for people my age and younger. As children, we were encouraged to follow our dreams with the belief that it would make us successful and that success would make us happy. When I was seven, I decided that what I loved was telling stories and that what would make me happy was being a published author.

 

Roughly seventeen years later, I started keeping track of the words I wrote starting on January First 2015. I don’t really have a goal, beyond a very vague wish to get 50,000 per month for as many months as I can. Why 50,000? Because that’s the goal you’re supposed to have for NaNoWriMo in November. I’m talked a fair about of smack about NaNoWriMo and how writers ought to be putting that much effort into production every month but I haven’t really done the math necessary to put my money where my mouth it. All six thousand of it.

 

As of today I’ve written 60,206 of words on my own projects and got paid for exactly none of them.

 

Since January First, I have earned over $700, mostly writing words for other people. Notes, research, essays, tutorials… all words that have some sort of intrinsic value over the x words I’ve written for myself this year. They weren’t any better than my 60,206 words, most were worse, but they fulfilled a need for my boss and so that translated into rent money, food money and everything else I need to survive in this capitalist economy…money.

 

The nature of my current job means that I can go days without working and then knock out an entire month’s paycheck over three days. On those days, it’s harder to get my own words in. I keep track of my word count on a Google Spreadsheet that goes from February fifth to February eighth because I didn’t have time for my own projects between working on my boss’s.

 

This is the inherent struggle of adulthood. Balancing the work that pays with the work that’s important to you. It’s not limited to creative people. Parents must choose between the work of raising their children and the work that allows them to feed their children. The money can’t always win but as every rap artist will tell you, work don’t mean shit unless you’re gettin’ paid.

 

The logic that has sustained me, since seven year old me decided she wanted to a writer to make bank in her pajamas, is that by writing, practicing and honing my craft, I will eventually be good enough to make money. My goals have been revised since 1997. I originally wanted to be richer than JK Rowling. Then I just wanted to avoid college loans. Now, I will be happy if I can afford to pay all my bills on time and maybe afford a cat.

 

Making a living, making any money, on what you love to do is a tall order. Work is hard, whether you love it or you don’t Most people are lucky to love what they do. There is a difference between loving what you do and doing what you love. Loving what you do is finding joy in your job, even if it’s working retail, food service or scrubbing toilets. I’ve worked two of those jobs and anyone doing menial labor has earned my instant respect. I respect anyone who works hard, who makes the money that they need to survive via any means necessary. Doing what you love is more than survival though, it’s self actualization. Doing what you love is making a living off of the stuff you would do if money were no object.


Money is the object though. Until I win the lottery I don’t play, or a long lost relative goes out of the woodwork just in time to die and leave me their vast fortune, I will never write just for the love of creating. Joy can be found. love and wisdom but LA isn’t cheap and neither are my goals. So i continue to write the things that other people value, however I might feel about them. The goal is, one day, the words I value and the words others value will line up someday.

Categories: serious, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

New Year Old Year

Last year, I worked at Target, folding clothes that I couldn’t afford.

This year, I am making a living wage, working for a production studio/director and I can afford rent and utilities.

Last year, I lived with my parents. The thing about parents is, no matter how nice or kind or amazing they are, at a certain point you do not want to live with them. That point comes about four years before most people move out. My parents are the most wonderful people you can imagine and I count myself lucky to consider them my friends in addition to my relatives. I wanted to move out when I was sixteen.

This year, I have a roommate and a house guest in a one bedroom apartment without any actual beds. In the five months I’ve lived here, the faucet has come loose/disintegrated twice and the toilet flush has snapped in half once. I can see Capitol Records from my shower and hear domestic disputes from across the street and DJ beats through the floorboards. I love it.

Last year, I went to a party with a few friends where I danced with gay men and tried absinthe for the first and last time. The absinthe didn’t make me sick but it does taste like death mixed with Black Licorice and I don’t hate myself.

This year, I watched netflix with my friends and heard fireworks from Hollywood blvd. Hollywood Blvd is really only charming when no one else is there. I went on christmas morning before going to my Aunt’s and it was marvelous. If any of you are ever in the LA area, please, stay away from me.

Last year, I think I was back working at Target by the third. Definitely by the fifth. Working retail is like living with your parents. It can either be a great or horrible experience but if you still do it by a certain age, people think there is something wrong with you.

This year, my boss left the country so I’m working on my own projects for the foreseeable future.  The foreseeable future has gotten a lot shorter since I moved to LA, much to my angst and delight. I divide my time here between enjoying the now and worrying about the future, though less and less so the later. Fortunately both delight and worry come in the glowing screen of my refurbished mac which I have had for three days.

Last year, my resolution was to get to Los Angeles, find an apartment and get a job. I got the apartment in July, drove out here with my roommate and our mothers in August and got the job in late September. I found a volunteer gig as a chew toy/scratching post for feral kitties and a hobby attending and performing at open mic comedy clubs.

This year my resolutions consist of continuing to do the same things I’ve been doing but make more money/any at them. How lucky am I? I spend 70 percent of my time doing exactly what I want to do (granted thirty percent of that is sleeping) and the rest I am get paid for. Sure, I’ve worked hard to get where I am but I’ve also been incredibly blessed in a way that most people haven’t. I’ve had a supportive family, good friends and string after string of lucky breaks that I could use to get me where I am. Do I want more? Absolutely, but there is nothing I have that I don’t want. I couldn’t say that last year, or any of the years before.

Happy New Year.

Categories: funny, Kinda Funny?, Work | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

An Open Letter To Drivers in Los Angeles

Dear LA Drivers,

Are you okay? Is something wrong? Did your water just break? Are kidney stones pushing their way out onto your floor mats? I have to assume that at least half of you are going through some kind of medical catastrophe that means you need to get to the hospital in the next twenty seconds. That has to be the reason that you’re honking with such vehemence as I try to navigate a left hand turn over three lanes of oncoming traffic without so much as a light to protect me, to communicate your impending emergency. I do not know Morse code: does three short blasts and one long honk mean “My appendix just burst”?

Maybe there is a person with a gun to your head, shouting instructions to out run the cops and that’s why you’re swerving in and out of the lanes about an inch in front of me. Adrenaline makes people do crazy thing but that gun man is going to be super pissed when you don’t run through the red light you got to three seconds before me.

Conversely, some of you seem to be going through deep psychological issues when you’re on the road: a burst appendix of the soul, if you will. Please understand that you don’t deserve to feel this way. There are people who call help; psychiatrists, pharmacists, clergy, friends and family. You don’t have to sit in your car, crippled with existential angst, when the light is clearly green and there are no pedestrians and you’re going straight! There is no reason that you can’t, with the appropriate help, move your car before we all die of old age! You are strong and beautiful and the light is green, god damn it!

I’m just concerned, drivers of LA, because you seem to be having a hard time of it. I am here with you on this, figurative and literal, road of life. Our cars are separate but our goal is one.  We are all looking for that free or reasonably priced parking spot to stop and pursue our dreams. You don’t have to be scared or angry anymore.Talk to me. Use your words, use your turn signal, and make the world a better place.

I love you,

Kate

PS: Why did the chicken cross the road?

BECAUSE THE LIGHT’S GREEN!!!!!

Categories: funny, philosophy | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Apocalypse Girlfriends

I wrote a slasher short film in like… seventy two hours! Can you believe someone rejected a movie with a title this awesome?

Apocalypse Girlfriends

WARNING: Mom, it’s a slasher film. There are blood and guts and some sexually graphic situations. That’s the genre.

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Free Chicken

I hate looking for work. I don’t much care for actually working either but looking for work is basically a full time job with twice the stress and none of the paycheck. When I worked at Target, at least I had some cash, pitiable non living wage cash, coming in. Now, because I’m following my dreams or whatever, I have a one bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, an out of work roommate, and a stress hernia building in my stomach.

Of course, things are never as grim as I paint them. For one thing, I have an apartment in L.A! Not the Valley or some podunk little suburb. I have an apartment in Hollywood. I can see Capitol Records from my living room. I get to pass the Walk of Fame and see the Hollywood sign every day on the way back from the library. I go to the library because an internet connection is for people who make money.

My apartment is especially nice now that our gas and hot water are running. Hot showers are probably the peak of human ingenuity. My neighbors are also shockingly nice and welcoming. The couple next door makes props and costumes for monster movies and they gave me tacos. If I ever run for political office, don’t vote for me because I will sell this entire country to Mexico if they offer me guacamole. The lady downstairs is a Script Supervisor who hasn’t given me any food yet but she is sending my name out to her contacts to try and get me a job. I would probably sell out the country for a steady gig in television too, if any of you are interested.

Unfortunately, no political or propaganda positions seem to be open so I’ve had to rely on retail and food service. So far I’m not good enough for any of that or maybe they just have really good cashiers at Target and don’t need my exceptional beauty distracting costumers. The worst part about job hunting is that it lasts forever and I am impatient. I’ve only been out here for two weeks and I’m sick of applications and resumes and promising over and over again that I don’t have a felony record. Job hunting is all or nothing, you either get the position or you don’t. Except one time I did get fried chicken.

The fried chicken place, which shall remain nameless in case they actually call me back, is the only place hiring on Hollywood boulevard. I found it on one of my pound the pavement days. Pounding the pavement is the employment equivalent of Russian roulette except you want to get shot because the bullet lets you pay rent on time. Basically you print of a bunch of resumes and give them to any business that will take them. According to legend, sometimes these places will call you back and actually give you a job. If nothing else, it is something to tell your parents so they don’t worry about you.

I walked into the fried chicken place because they had a big sign out front that said; “Now Hiring”. It was one of those places with workers behind a counter but the interior is pretty nice so that you don’t feel like you’ll catch something by sitting down. When we were looking for an apartment out here in July, we ate at a McDonald’s on Hollywood Boulevard and the restroom haunts my anxiety dreams. I waited in line to ask the young woman, Dani (Names have been changed in case they call me back) whether they had an application to fill out.

Sometimes I wonder if employers actually read applications or if they’re just testing to see how small I can write. Moments where I have to write with a pen or pencil, particularly on important documents requiring more than my signature, always worry be as my handwriting has been compared to a ransom note and “drunken, terrorist goat.” It’s improved since that particular incarnation but it takes a fair amount of concentration.

After taking about twice as long as any normal person to fill out the application, I handed it to Dani with my resume and thanked her for her time.

“Don’t you want to speak to our manager?” she asked.

“If that’s possible,” I said.

“Do you know where Danny is?” she asked a co-worker who shook her head.

“Aren’t you Dani?” I mumbled. Mumbling is really useful for when you say stupid things because people just pretend you didn’t speak.

She turned and went to look for him and I sat down and watched two other women put pieces of chicken into boxes. Chicken, unlike hamburgers or burritos, always come in a boxes. The other ones are just wrapped in paper. Chicken is serious business. I said as much to Danny.

Jobs like this are weird. Everybody, whatever business you’re in, has had a day job. Everyone has had something to pay the bills while they get a degree or try and break into the movie business. Yet in every job interview, I feel compelled to pretend that folding clothes for eight bucks an hour is my dearest life goal. Even with my unsurpassed skill at making up random barely plausible that’s somehow believed, I didn’t feel that I could lie to Danny. Not because I’d suddenly had a moral epiphany but because food service is terrible. You make food you can’t eat for rude people and minimum wage, less than minimum wage if you’re working as a waitress.

So rather that spin fiction worse than Twilight, I told Danny about how much I enjoyed having a job. This is partially true. I really enjoy having a paycheck. Having a job is a necessary evil. Still, there’s a certain satisfaction in finishing a job, in doing work that you can be proud of and generally being the best you can be.

Danny asked if I liked the food. I said I liked fried chicken but admitted that I hadn’t eaten at that particular establishment due to being broke as a joke.

Then Danny said the most beautiful words any one has ever said to me in a job interview, “Would you like to try something?”

I was suspicious. “I’m not really eating out lately.”

Then Danny said the most beautiful words a person can say to another human being, “It’s free.”

Since moving to L.A and trying to pay most of my own way, I have reached a level of frugality that I had not thought possible. I have given up buying soda, booze, chips and the internet. I sit in the dark and walk everywhere. That morning I had had a cup of tea and bowl of cereal.

I agreed to eat the chicken.

Danny left and returned with two pieces of chicken, a wing and a drumstick, a biscuit and a bowl of mashed potatoes. He said it was the most common order. I said thank you. Always thank the people who bring you food and the people who drive you places.

The chicken was sublime in the way only free food can be. It was also about a hundred degrees. I don’t understand how anything but ice cream parlors and bars stay open in southern California. By the time I started in on the biscuit, I was parched and had to ask Dani for a glass of water. I loathe asking for things from people behind the counter. They always have better things to do. At this point the lunch rush had begun so I was distracting them from paying customers in addition to not paying for my own food. But people who vomit at interviews due to dehydration are not called back so I persevered. I got my water and settled in to watch the crowd.

As I ate my free food, I watched a Japanese family, a French family and group of young men who wondered if they could get a discount for being from the state in the restaurant title, order their food. I’d never realized how many chicken places are tied to geography. Is there really much of a difference in the chicken frying techniques of Kentucky and Louisiana? Would a chicken connoisseur be able to tell the difference? Would it be covered in orientation?

After I finished my meal and my water, Danny had disappeared behind the counter to help with the lunch rush. I watched them for a while but to the untrained eye it did not appear very complicated. Doubtless, I will have intricate secret knowledge if they end up hiring me. I was at a loss. I did not want to leave without saying anything but neither did I want to sit awkwardly in a chicken restaurant with no chicken in front of me. I’d already distracted Dani once with my need for water; I didn’t want to bother her with a long line of people waiting for their food.

I sat there for fifteen minutes before I got in line and handed my resume and application back to Danny. I said thank you. He said he would call me in the next couple of weeks if I got the job. I left.

Danny hasn’t called me. Job hunting is a lot like dating except that it matters. You make many attempts before finding someone that will have you, let alone someone you actually want to be with. Unfortunately, I can’t assuage my bank account with chocolate and vibrators. I hope Danny returns my unrequited employment but, if not, we’ll always have free chicken.

Categories: Day in The Life, funny, Kinda Funny?, Work | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Rock of Ages

There is a rock in my mother’s car. To be fair, it’s a special rock. We know this because my uncle, Jim, who found the rock in one of the fields at the family farm, told us; and a guy at a flea market told him and that’s how you have to cite information in a college essay. At our family reunion last week, Uncle Jim held a contest to see if anyone could guess why this particular rock was special. The winner got the rock.

We all wrote our guesses on slips of paper and put them into a box that Jim would draw from. I thought it was used to sharpen arrow heads. One cousin thought it was a hat. Another cousin thought that the rock was just a rock and possibly the center piece in Jim’s twisted game to convince us that the world has meaning. My cousin has all the optimism I’ve come to expect from a high school sophomore. My mother guessed that it was an ancient bowling ball used by the first generation of Hebbert pioneers. It’s a good guess as that farm has been in my family for over a century and I’m sure my ancestors were just as goofy as the present day generation.

No one got it right the first round so Uncle Jim gave us a hint. The rock had something to do with the last 500 years of history. Five hundred years is a long time. The United States of America was only founded 238 years ago. Five hundred years ago, Henry VIII had only had one wife. So somewhere between a dude making up a new religion so that he could get divorced (and then saying “forget it, I’ll just kill the next one”) and me moon walking away from any sort of commuted relationship, this rock had it’s time to shine.

Uncle Jim is a very tall, very quiet man. If he were theatrically inclined, I would cast him as the foreboding mountain ranger who warns teenage protagonists not to “mess ‘round up in that there Indian burial site”. Yet, he explained the history of this rock with the same enthusiasm I’ve only heard from his mouth when talking about bird watching, the Chicago Cubs and pie. That is to say; moderate enthusiasm.

Apparently, sometime between Copernicus postulating the sun as the center of the universe and Thor: The Dark World, horses were introduced to the American continent. This rock was used by Native Americans (Either Lakota, Sioux or Arikara, according to Wikipedia) to hobble their horses so that they couldn’t run away. Interesting, fun, good family bonding.

Until my mother started carrying it out to the car.

“Why are we bringing the rock with us?” I asked.

“I won it,” Mom said. She got the closest, after the hint. She knew what a hobble was called.

“But why are we taking it?” That rock had sat in a field for over two hundred years and as far as I was concerned it could stay there.

“I could use it.”

“For what? We don’t have a horse to hobble!”

“I’ll plant a flower by it.”

“As a memorial to hobbled horses?” My voice gets shrill when I am incredulous. I take a breath to calm myself. The rock should not have surprised me. My mother is a carrier. Her purse is a carpet bag with several notebooks, wallets, pens, tissues and various loose pieces of paper that could also hold her 15” laptop. She has two wallets for copious membership cards at stores she goes to once a year. For this reunion, she purchased and carried a full cylinder of lemonade mix because South Dakota, in her mind, has no grocery stores. When we were younger, she would bring empty cat litter buckets across Nebraska and give them to my aunt and uncle. Now she carries special black coffee that is apparently the best and unavailable in the Midwest. In another life, my mother was a rum runner.

“I can tell you exactly what’s going to happen to that rock,” I said. “You are going to forget about it in the trunk for two weeks until it bounces on some pothole and then Dad is going to bring it onto the porch where it will collect dust for ten years.”

“No,” Mom said and shook her head.

“Rocks should stay outside,” I said.  Unless they’re serving a useful purpose like building pizza ovens or protecting anthropomorphic pigs, they should just stay where they are. Maybe if you’ve got to build a house or clear a path you can move them but even then I am suspicious.

“What’s up?” Dad asked as he made his way to the car.

“Mom’s bringing the rock with us,” I said, “Across state lines.” If this rock were an abducted child or a murder victim, my mother would be making this a federal matter.

My father made a face but said nothing. In 37 years of marriage, he’s developed a sense of self preservation.

“Fine,” I said. When I am irked, or happy or bored or slightly hungry, I fall into the refuge of sarcasm. “We’ll bring the rock. It’ll be great. We can put it on the table and invite people over:

Have you seen our rock? It’s from South Dakota because Colorado doesn’t have rocks. It’s the best rock because Indians used it. A man in a flea market told our uncle.”

“Yes,” My mother agreed, getting into the driver’s seat. My father got into the passenger’s front seat and I got into the back.

My sister was already there. She’d remained silent through this exchange other than asking me “what do you care? It’s not your rock.”

I didn’t care. I forced all the caring about whether my mother wanted to drag a rock across the country down into the pit of my stomach were I put all of my irritation. It doesn’t matter if there is a rock sitting on my parent’s porch for the rest of eternity. I am going to L.A. in two weeks. I don’t need to worry about it.

“I think we should take the rock with us when we drive out to California,” I said, as we turned down the long drive way of our ancestral home, “so it can see Utah, and the ocean.”

“No,” My mother said, “that would be too much.”

Edit: Now that we are home, my mother has hidden the rock somewhere on their property. I guess for future family reunions.

Categories: Family, funny | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Dylan Will One Day Defeat Me (story of the week 14)

I wonder if The Onion takes submissions…

 Dylan Will One Day Defeat Me

An Editorial By Our Dark Lord Kenneth MacAlistair

It’s impossible to raise a child without some expectation of what they’ll be when they grow up. I don’t want to plan out their lives for them but I truly believe my youngest, Dylan, will be the one who defeats me when that time comes while Kenny Jr will probably just follow in my footsteps of tyranny.

Again, I don’t want to pigeon hole the boys in any way. I’ll be perfectly happy if Kenny falls in love with a member of the many groups I’ve decided are beneath me and works to take me down from the inside in hopes of winning justice for the people. If Dylan grows bitter under his brother’s shadow and vows to usurp him and become a better warlord than I could ever be, that’s great! But I’ve been training these kids in the art of combat, subterfuge and weapons design since they were barely out of diapers. I know their strengths and weaknesses and so far, Kenny doesn’t show the kind of initiative it would take to destroy me. It’s not that he’s lazy; he’s just not a leader. Dylan’s a lot more comfortable thinking outside of the box. Kenny likes to work hard on a given task and then just hang out. Neither one is better than the other.

Of course, it’s possible neither of the boys will eventually gather the people together to overthrow my reign of madness once and for all. When I consulted the Oracle woman, all she said was “from the fires of your own victory, a spark shall leap into your throat and lay waste to all your joy when you expect it least.” That could mean anything. Maybe one of my lieutenants wasn’t quite as through as I’d like in purging my enemies. Maybe a plucky youngster managed to survive and watching the slaughter of everyone she knew has filled her heart with vengeance. I don’t know. I had the Oracle publicly executed as an example so I can’t really ask her to clarify. The prophecy might be self fulfilling. Maybe, by focusing on Dylan as the future savior destined to defeat me, I have guaranteed that it’ll be someone I’d never even considered but what Dad doesn’t want great things for his kids?

Whoever ends up defeating me, the important thing is to enjoy the time I have with my children now. When I watch Kenny and Dylan playing by the lava moat, I remember why I took over the world in the first place: to have something chaos torn and downtrodden to pass on to them. I know I won’t live forever, due to the instability in the cloning process, and those kids are the future of this great, mostly on fire, nation. It’s easy to get caught up worrying about the future but I’ve got to remember that the present, and Kenny and Dylan themselves, are a gift.

 

Categories: funny, Literature, Story of The Week, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Where It’s Wetter (Story of The Week 13)

So, this one is slightly NSFW and contains sexual scenarios in honor of (drum roll) MAY: NATIONAL MASTURBATION MONTH! Masturbation: Sex With Someone You Love! Please leave any comments below and any whining about “oh no somebody got pleasure from their fingers” in the trash where they belong.

and now:

Where It’s Wetter

She got home late locking the door behind her. No one waited in the dark, no parent would demand to know where she had been, but even so Ariel didn’t turn on the lights. Even after years of being on her own, she didn’t trust her freedom. She said her keys and purse down and kicked off her shoes. She stripped slowly in the dark. Her silk skirt slipped to the floor, and she stepped over. She unbuttoned the white professional top and pulled it off her slender arms. It too fell to the dining room floor lying crumpled heap. She stopped in front of the refrigerator. Ivory skin looked translucent in Bright light, long sheet of white because interrupted only the pale red pimples and her lacy black underwear. Ariel reached into the refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of hard apple cider and a package of cold cuts. She pulled the pins from her hair letting long red locks drop down against her back. Shadow pain code echoed in her skull from where the hairpins had poked her all day long. She had looked good that day. Good enough that no one paid attention to her hands.

 

Ariel eight cold cuts with one hand the other unhooking her bra behind her. She let it fall in the kitchen enjoying the cold air on her breasts. She ran her fingers under the sink, washing off the slime of the cold cuts before pulling of her panties. These she carried with her, using the soft cloth to twist of the cider cap.

She took a long swig as she stumbled into the bed room. Her stomach growled as she plopped down, setting her alarm for the morning. Her phone buzzed in her hand. It was Eric.

Bored. Wanna hang out?

It was after midnight. Arial rolled her eyes and turn her ringer off. There would be another five texts, at least, when she woke up all with progressing degrees of drunkenness spelling errors and swearword. She couldn’t quite bring herself to delete them, to delete him entirely from her life. Eric still made her heart pound when she was stupid enough to see him. He made her forget about the pain in her legs, the cruel jokes from the men that her office when they forgot that mute didn’t mean deaf. When she was stupid enough to see him, Eric made her forget that he was an asshole. She remembered the moment he was out of sight though, when she stalked him on Facebook and noticed a new picture of his daughter or quiet reminder from his wife. She remembered each time she went to the beach and swam out as far as she possibly could before the water began to drag her down, pulling instead of welcoming, and her survival instincts made her run back to shore.

 

 
She took another swig trying to down the entire bottle before she coughed her bed. The liquor made her dizzy, made her forget that Eric and her aching legs and the assholes at work. Her hands slid down the pale body, the body she’d sacrificed so much for. Men told her that her legs were beautiful. She heard it so much it made her skin crawl, made her fantasize about wheelchairs and black tattoos anything to make them avert their eyes. Not that that would work. She hated her beautiful ivory stabbing boring legs. Sometimes in the bath she crossed them so very tightly and held them there, imagining warm green scales sparkling where the stretch ugly skin remained. She still had scars from the bad days after Eric left, when she tried to fillet herself they were faded right now. She didn’t touch them anymore wouldn’t add to their pain because for all the regrets exploding inside her legs were gone and Eric was gone what would be left?

 

 

 

What would her sacrifice be if she lost everything she had sacrificed for?
Ariel finished her bottle. Finger slipped in between her legs gently toying with her own flesh. Her own warmth flew through her aching flesh, replacing the stabbing pain inside her. The ocean inside her rose at the touch, squeaking between her fingers. Ariel gasped, moaning as loud as she dared before the neighbors complained. She never made a sound with Eric, never spoke without the aid of her fingers. Only by herself with her fingers deep inside of her, could she make a sound. No words. Words didn’t have any place here. She didn’t need them to make herself understood not here, not alone. She lost so much trying to understand but now that she did, she wouldn’t trade it. She rolled over pressing her face into the pillow her fingers down gently massaging her insides. A few more moments and she drifted into sleep.

Categories: bodily functions, Kinda Funny?, Literature, Story of The Week, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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