Archive | July 2012

DAY THIRTY-SEVEN

Caruso was a desperate man and his only hope rested in this clear glass bottle.

Coconuts!

“I’ve eaten every last one on this island. If I EVER see another, it won’t be too soon!” Rob Caruso lamented.

His boat had run aground on the south end of this island. If it had been a storm that wreaked havoc upon him and his dinghy, he’d be more OK with it. But taking that dare in his drunken stupor was… well, it was stupid. Set adrift with no cell phone, no compass, no shoes (?), and a half empty bottle of Jack. Oh, he owed those guys big time! It he would ever get out of here!

It was on this thirty-seventh day that Rob felt as if he’s never see civilization again. Even if one of the local natives came along to help him along, he’d be better off. But, here it was, another Friday had passed and he was alone.

“Are those assholes even looking for me?” Caruso wondered as he chewed on what was left of his right sock.

It was starting to get to him, all this isolation. Mirages popped up all over the place, but no oasis awaited Rob. He freaked out when that battered volleyball washed up on shore and tried to engage him in conversation. He ended up kicking him in the face, sending him floating off with the current.

Caruso was a desperate man and his only hope rested in this clear glass bottle. The amber liquid had long since been consumed, so it served him no other purpose. He scribbled a note on a torn piece of cloth from his shirt. He had cut his foot on the coral off-shore so Rob Caruso used his blood to mark the swatch.

“HELP!
I am stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere. There is a big tree in the center of it and I can faintly make out a land mass way off in the distance to my right. I’m out of sustenance; no more Jack and down to my boxer briefs. I can’t go on like this. Please, bring me another bottle and some ice, otherwise this party will remain a dud!

Signed,
Rob Caruso”

He dipped his crew sock into the water sucking on its nectar, and waited.

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VAN GOGHING, GOING, GONE

“…cut off his nose to spite his face!”

Frederick Van Gogh was not as accomplished as his more famous cousin. Freddy was more the paint by numbers kind of artist. But he had a good ear for music. That was more than he could say for Vinnie. Since that mishap with his straight razor, everything just seemed monotone.

That suited Freddy to a tee! Now the playing field was level.

But the lesser-than Van Gogh created a buzz around the art world with his own self-portrait. It was known that Frederick was a loner, very to himself. His personality was as scarce as his acquaintances. And his lack of skill and fore-sight left him one step from the pinnacle alongside his now less handsome cousin.

His portrait was done totally in hues of black and white. There was no ruddiness in his cheek; no blondness of hair. His crimson blazer was a very muted charcoal on canvas. Forty-nine hues of black and white to be exact. Oh, the likeness was very good, but he had cruelly included a third ear floating in the background. A tweak to the great Vincent Van Gogh.

The Van Gogh clan treated Frederick like an outcast. His jealousy was one thing, but the ear… it was as if he had cut off his nose to spite his face. So much for one-upsmanship!

UNSURE FOOTING

My brush paints broadly!

My brush paints broadly. Fine strokes are for the self-absorbed. I blur; an abstract with a surreal tint. Hues of fiery heat; reds, yellows, some umber (I take umbrage to umber). Complementary blues and greens to cool my innards just a smudge!

The ground is barren. Foliage underfoot is not in my picture. Grass does not grow where I tread; a manic meander beating a path to my muse. I refuse to allow it to rest. At best, all the greenery fills my background scenery.

Trees are abundant, purple-mountain majesty reigns supreme, and I dream of a lake, serene and sublime, fed by a waterfall to stir and churn my thoughts so I ought not be stagnant. My shadow is long and deep, and it creeps into the thinking of others who seek my impressions. The only depression hides in the lurking darkness of a lone cave; my mind where my ideas go to die(resurrected as wisps of worded wonder).

I am under its spell. A palette of rain-bowed rhyme and reason. The brush continues its dance upon the canvas that life has provided. I can’t hide it, my masterpiece is yet to be revealed. Until then it is sealed within the wide strokes of my red sable muse!

 

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

THE LAST VOLLEY

“Her tail light diminished in size; distant laser points in the misty rain trained on his heart.”

There’s something about a bad penny always turning up. It makes a lot of cents. But it wreaks havoc on your emotions.

Terrianne came by one more time. To share dinner; to talk. Or as Phillip always called it “The Last Supper with monologue”. Needless to say he did very little talking.

It’s a funny thing too, Phillip had been content in his solitude. He read a lot and wrote some. He had his music and that was all the emotions he needed to handle at this point in his life. His last relationship ended without warning. He was an observant guy; he should have seen it coming. He got caught flat-footed.

So when Terrianne (who had fancied Phillip’s brother for a bit) came by to see him, it stirred up quite the hornet’s nest between the brothers. It also fanned the smoldering ember that was his heart.

But, there was something about someone as creative as Phillip was. They possessed an intensity that few other people understood. And Phillips passion ran hot. He put everything he had into whatever it was he would undertake. He wrote with a fiery flair, and he loved with even more heat.

Frankly, it scared her. She was not used to being held up to that standard. Pedestals gave her nosebleeds. So did most of the other guys with which she usually got involved. Phillip was different. He was clean cut, and respectful. He was considerate and helpful. And Terrianne couldn’t handle it. All Phillip could figure was that she liked bad boys.

She admitted as much during dinner. Terrianne said he was too good for her. That she couldn’t love him like he wish she would. She questioned if she ever really loved him at all.

She had come in and out of his life, she just couldn’t live with him. Or without him. But she needed to.

Nothing was left to say. Terrianne was heading to Vegas where her father had landed (and her last boyfriend too, he later had found). And Phillip could only watch as her tail light diminished in size; distant laser points in the misty rain trained on his heart. The left turn she made out of his life stung like a ten-inch blade through him. And as suddenly as Terrianne had entered his realm, she had left him for dead.

MONOTONOUS STEREOTYPE

“When I first saw you, I thought you were handsome. Then, of course, you spoke.” Carol had said off-handedly.

Matthew took offense to her callousness. She had done what most other women before her had mistakenly done. She envisioned him as aloof and shallow. Carol had been taken in by Matthew’s steel blue eyes. His smile could melt the polar ice cap with its inherent warmth. His longer blonde Fabio mane flowed with the slightest breeze across his muscular neck and shoulders. Matthew sensed that the inclination was true; that women were put off by men who looked “prettier” than they were.

They were scared off by this “brainless” hunk.

But little did they know! Matthew saw himself as ordinary; an every guy trying to get by. To look at Matthew, they couldn’t tell that he loved to view the sunset on a secluded beach. They did not see that he volunteered wherever he felt his help was needed, like the Tuesdays and Thursdays he would spend at the Children’s Burn Center performing magic. There was no way to be sure that he cared for his elderly and demented father who had been stricken by Alzheimer’s Disease and lingered in someone else’s memories. Matthew was just seen as this muscle bound pretty boy, too good looking to be true. Or straight. A muscle bound pretty boy who scored perfectly on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales putting his IQ in the 99.8 percentile of genius!

But, Matthew would trade his status in Mensa for a woman who would take him seriously. Someone who would look past his deep blue eyes to see the bubbling font of loving emotion that he possessed within.

All this time, Matthew was being misread. His cover told his tale. No page was turned to learn about him further. This “book” would remain on the shelf for a little while longer.

FEET OF STONE

 

FEET OF STONE

Eldridge Flavor had quit trying to stay ahead of Father Time. He was lucky to be walking at all. Walking would be an upgrade from his slow, deliberate shuffle. He never lifted his feet from the pavement. They just slid forward ever so slightly.

And it was to be expected. Eldridge had celebrated his 103rd birthday a few months back. He had seen much in his elongated life. He had buried three wives and a child. He had lived through six world conflicts, fighting in three of them. There were many presidents under the bridge and the centigenarian only agreed with one of them , and not all the time.

Now, his days are spend in his garden. He would mosey over and stand amongst the hearty vegetables and lean on his hoe, more of a support than a tool now. Eldridge would talk to the birds and the frogs and the stalks of corn that he near-sightedly always mistook for the neighbor. And he would breathe, in and out just as slow and deliberate as his pace, but it was a sign that life still had a battle on its hands. Or feet.

Slow and deliberate, feet of stone taking the better part of the morning to navigate through to lunch. A quiet corner of the world that belonged to Eldridge and his dog; his companion and lifeline. Duke, his name, could sense danger or unseen obstacles that confronted Eldridge, barking a warning or tugging his pant leg gently. Today, Duke sensed the onset of the grand mal in his friend’s immediate future.

Today, no warning was forthcoming. Duke lay at Eldridge’s feet when neighbor Death came to call. His seat in the yard would soon be replaced by three feet of stone marking a six foot deep hole. And the dog continued to stand guard just as he had in Eldridge’s life!

GENE KELLY LIVES!!!

Jane St. Claire and I danced to the “Coffee Pot”. It just seemed the natural thing to do.

Dun-da-da-da
Dun-da-da-da-da-da-da

So what that my umbrella overturned! There’s is something cleansing… purging about a good downpour. It washes my soul. It bouys my spirit. It seeps into the hole in my shoe and soaks my socks. And that makes me feel funny.

There she comes in her yellow rain slicker. The Gorton Fisherman in drag: Jane St. Claire. Every morning she approaches the bus stop precisely forty seconds before it appears. She grabs the seat behind the driver. Sweet Jane plants her nose into the next Great American Tome she has in her handbag. I nod hello; she curtly smiles. We go seperate ways.

But, the rain is heavy today. And this confounded umbrella amuses the fair lady. The smile that beams forth makes my heart sing. It makes my heart dance.

Dun-da-da-da
Dun-da-da-da-da-da-da…

And Jane laughs as I struggle with my mishapened contraption. And I laugh with her, doing the only thing that comes to mind. I dance. Feet tapping a splashing rhythm through puddle and stream. Twirling around the lamp post. Tugging my cap over my ears. Spinning with umbrella thing extended. Running at the wall.

I hear her gasp, a fortunate breath held in her chest. Determination lacing my face, and I race; brick edifice nearing and I’m hearing her insist.

“NO!” Jane St. Claire shouts as my right foot plants upon the baked red blocks.

Dun-da-da-da
Dun-da-da-da-da-da-da…

Propelling myself upward, I launch into a backflip and land firmly on the wet pavement.

“Bravo!” I hear softly from close behind. “But, you’ve made us miss our bus!” Jane concluded.

And so I had. The tail lights got smaller in the distance and muted by the precipitous haze. The least I could do was buy her breakfast. Jane St. Claire and I danced to the “Coffee Pot”. It just seemed the natural thing to do.

Dun-da-da-da
Dun-da-da-da-da-da-da…

 

Written to FLASHY FICTION’s July 9, 2012 prompt –  …dancin’ and singin’ in the rain…