Ed was sure he had no idea what it was.

Ed was sure he had no idea what it was.

Ed Nelson was not fond of traveling. He got seasick at the mere mention of the ocean. You’d never get him on an airplane. The pressure nearly made him pass out once. It seem that headache would never go away. Trains were OK, but they took too damn long. Having his choice, Ed would have rather stayed put.

That’s why his colleagues found it strange that Nelson decided to drive to the consortium. It was cramped in his small compact car. And the drive would take longer than any mode available to him. Longer than even taking the train.

Ed Nelson did alright for himself in his sales position. But he had run into a brick wall. He hadn’t advanced his station in years; though he’d have been made a full partner by now. Instead he found himself hauling ass down the interstate to cross state lines before darkness set in.

Up ahead in a clearing he saw it. A Farris wheel, he thought. Or the maddening loop of one of those anti-gravity roller coasters. But as he neared the structure, Ed was sure he had no idea what it was. A sculpture maybe? He laughed loudly. It could be a Druid icon! What ever it was, it looked hideous on the side of the road.

Between exits this monolithic doughnut stood, maybe fifty feet high – a monstrosity. Interwoven like a wreath, bars and crosses, spheres that appeared as heads of some civilization climbing to the heavens. He was so taken by the piece of “art”, Ed Nelson hadn’t noticed the line of people.

Standing at the gaping portal were approximately 40 people dressed in white waiting their turn. On this grey and depressing afternoon, Nelson saw blue skies through the opening. There was sunshine. It was a beautiful day. But only inside the ring. He pulled to the shoulder of the road near the median and stepped out of his car to investigate. Apparently not dressed for the occasion, Nelson was stared at and ignored.

Taking a place at the end of the cue, he tapped the shoulder of a pleasant looking older woman.

“Excuse me Ma’am” Ed began. “What’s going on here?”

“Young man, do you see this monument?” she said softly. “It is the way out of your despair. Through that opening… is redemption!”

“Redemption” Ed Nelson repeated. It sounded nice. He was in need of a change. The “rat race” would have to carry on without him.

But suddenly, the crowd stared to disperse. He stood confused.

“HEY!” he called. “Where’s everyone going? What about redemption?”

One man looked at Nelson and then back at the sculpture.

“Redemption? It’s an ugly piece of art!” the man said incredulously! “Do you have any idea how much of our tax dollar are tied into this… this shit!”

‘Then why is it here?” Ed Nelson finally wanted to know.

The elderly woman who have duped Nelson earlier overheard the question.

“You moron, it’s art… for the sake of Art, you nabob!” she stormed away with the rest of the crowd. Ed Nelson felt foolish and greatly let down, standing by himself. He never saw the placard.

“SPHINCTER” dedicated to the people of this Great State by Governor Art Decoupage.

“Art for Art’s sake” he thought to himself. What a waste of resources! It was only fitting this piece was named after it’s patron!




“… a poke of light to crack the horizon’s stoic shell…”

The storm had passed. And every last remnant was fading faster than two hearts could imagine. Forgiveness came in hushed whispers of the heart. Yet memory reminded, that hind-sight was alright if it provided a lesson. He learned the hard way. He always learned the hard way.

The early bird did indeed get the spoils, as work and its toils became the obligation to end his lack of motivation. Settled under the covers until the nagging need to proceed overwhelmed him, Will’s feet finally kicked free of flannel confinement. Poking aimlessly with pointed toes in search of his slippers, the call of the wild overcame him to fore go the footwear to traipse across the tile’s frozen tundra for relief.

Will had this belief that his days mirrored the mood of his early waking moments. Often tense and hectic, he picked a bad day to give caffeine the finger and lingered with his orange juice a bit too long. His thoughts previewed the day ahead. He dreaded his Monday meetings, he had over-scheduled his clients, squeezing two lunch dates into his incredibly shrinking day. Travel tumbler clutched and briefcase under his elbow, Will started for the office.

A text buzzed his phone. He didn’t reach for it. The tone said it was urgent. It didn’t matter. Will drove toward the complex.

The stretch of Highway was relatively clear this time of morning. It seemed this corner of the world had been untouched my human interference. Off to his left in a clearance of trees, it began. A glimmer first; a poke of light to crack the horizon’s stoic shell. Edging skyward, It rose in rapid progression. Will’s indiscretion would set the stage for a great day. He pulled off to park and watched the rapid rise of a new day dawning. He sat fawning over it’s beauty, and out of duty to his heart, he called her.

“Good Morning Sunshine!” he began. “I saw this incredible sunrise on my way in this morning.It reminded me so much of you!”

A mumble; sleepy, sexy, nearly incoherent – it was laced with her heart.

“I love you very much” she finally broadcast in her warm comfort.

“I love you very much, too!” Will repeated passionately. It was going to be a fabulous day!


(Via Photobucket: o0puppylvr0o)

“She leaned against the wall, arms extended and supporting her diminutive frame.”


Monique was at her wits end. They had taken everything of any value to her. All she was left, was her dignity, these four walls and the need to dance. The music played internally; a melody that has played there since her birth. From the squalor of her broken home to the lofty stages upon which she played, Monique was her own star. She shined brightly, no matter what Francois had to say.

He tried to consume her; to control and demean her. But she was strong enough to not allow that to happen. She had it all. And now she had nothing. The spindly waif struggled with her demons. She leaned against the wall, arms extended and supporting her diminutive frame. The muscles in her back eased; her calf muscles tightened. Monique tossed her head back, whipping her abundant curls across her shoulders, falling back into place in tight ringlets of hope. Heels lifted and her body pulsed.

The music inside was cacophonous. Dancing had commenced. Monique was free!



 Astride her bicycle, she had set out to offer her goodness to ease the pains of the darkness.

“Astride her bicycle, she had set out to offer her goodness to ease the pains of the darkness.”

Jacqueline reeked of purity.

Her existence was of one purpose. She wanted to be looked upon as the fairest in the land. For in this sick and confused world, she knew that purity was a lost commodity. And thus it had great worth, but in a way which she had never imagined. From the shelter of her over-possessive upbringing, Jacqueline knew not of the deviance which plagued the “real” world.

Her means were simple. And her beauty flowed from her naivete. A clear conscience and a pure heart could defeat the most destructive of beasts. Astride her bicycle, she had set out to offer her goodness to ease the pains of the darkness. Jacqueline had no idea.

The lovely one had no inkling of what awaited her in her travels. She had never encountered ravenous wolves. She did not battle wicked witches. She was in for a rude awakening. But the world awaited Jacqueline. It was more than capable of encountering her kind. They would destroy her. Jacqueline could never distinguish between purity and fear. Either way, she reeked of it.


"She felt carefree and unencumbered. Delphine was lighter than Eyre!"

“She felt carefree and unencumbered. Delphine was lighter than Eyre!”


Delphine found herself lost in her writings. She had wit and a clearly expressive soul. In her mind, she was a Bronte sister separated at birth and quite a few decades. But her imaginings were very visual; a feast for the eyes and soul. Delphine’s diversion placated her sedentary heart.

Adventure and situations played in her mind; a muse that was more blessing than curse. But at worst, she was merely a good writer. Those who read her worded magnificence knew otherwise. She carried her verbiage like a cache of gold. It was her intent that gave her words their worth and value.

Delphine drew such great comfort from releasing her ramblings into the world. She soared in unforeseen stratospheres. She flew in the paths of many great authors before her. She became airborne through the spreading of her wings on her flights of fancy. She felt carefree and unencumbered. Delphine was lighter than Eyre!


Penelope sat in her study. Once her husbands den, she had claimed it from underfoot when he had the audacity to die on her before their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Surrounded by her beloved books and her feathered quill waiting to be usurped from the well, she was of a mind to write.

She was the author of several books, putting her on par with Browning, and the Bronte sisters, and Alcott. And her style was rather random. She could perfectly mimic Samuel Clemens (which she preferred to Mark Twain), and she loved to emulate Whitman. But she grew impatient. Penelope dreaded to be kept waiting.

Her pampered Persian cat began to stir. Chantel rarely fussed. It was finally time. Penelope closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. When she opened her eyes, they remained rolled back into her head with only the whites visible.

With implement in hand, Penelope started to scratch the nib across the parchment rapidly. Pages flipped and fell; she blotted as quickly as she wrote. Page became chapter; chapter turned to volume, and thus she created.

With the last word written, Penelope slumped face down on her writing desk, smudging India Ink on her right temple. Her eyes returned to normalcy. Her session was over.

Penelope raised into a more formal sitting position, brushing a tendril of brown hair behind her ear. And she spoke to no one in particular.

“Thank you, Mr. Wordsworth! That was a remarkable exchange!” she smiled very much pleased with herself.

“And William? Let us be prompt next time I summon. I hate to be kept waiting” she resounded a final parting shot.


“…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!


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