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FOR THE SAKE OF ART

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 SHOW OF SIGNS – DEMON DESCENT

tears3_preview

image courtesy of Digital Blasphemy

The Warrior knew.

Armageddon was at hand. Hell be damned.

He had seen the mark of Man left behind when He had descended, for this battle needed its Supreme Commander. Hell would be damned for sure. But not without a fight.

The agents of evil had infiltrated the gates, posing and passing as obedient servants of He who is to come again. The temptation is strong for those who are not prepared. Thankfully, Michael’s sword cut swiftly to separate the rebels from the Defenders.

The Warrior had been a Defender. He still was actually, But his “assignment” had been changed. He was to wait for the Coming and the Downfall. The mark of Man had affirmed the Arrival of Him. Now, the Warrior awaited the descent.

He remained vigilant; a sentinel charged to protect all that was Holy. His eyes were trained on the horizon. Tranquility took residence briefly, but he knew it was a matter of…

A thunderous rumble reverberated in the distant sky. A cacophony of screams and explosions; cackles and war cries. The sky became inflamed with the brightness of a million stars released from hope, each star a fallen soul discharged from the multitudes to avenge their infiltration. Plummeting to earth, scorching all that surrounded their impact to stand erect and strong; a combatant in the name of Darkness. The Warrior unsheathed his weapon; it’s glistening a signal to all.

The battle had begun.

The Warrior knew better this time.

Heaven and Hell be damned.

***

This is a continuance of one of my earliest FLASHY FICTION pieces. From “A SHOW OF SIGNS” (https://wallegories.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/a-show-of-signs/) Posted at FLASHY FICTION on 19 Jan 2010

GONE FISHING

Phil-bee woke up early. Before his mom. “Before the roosters”, like his grandpa used to tease. Actually, it was thoughts of his grandfather that enticed him to carry out this quest.

Philbin Barrett, Phil-bee for short, was grandpa’s pride and joy. Gramps was the only father Phil-bee knew, his own “a flash in the pan” as he heard his mother mention on the phone when she thought Philbin was out of the room. A mistake. A one-night stand, mom spoke in confession. Until then, Phil-bee had thought his father had died when the boy was three.

“The only redeeming quality of that man, was the little guy in the back bedroom” she was heard to interject.

So Phil-bee’s grandfather assumed the part as role model and teacher. A creature of habit was Jackson Barrett, and he taught his grandson the things Jack felt Phil-bee needed to learn in this life if he expected to go far.

All that changed as grandfather’s memory started to fade. Mom blamed some guy, an Al Shimer, for that. Ever since this Al showed up, grandpa just wasn’t the same. It was hard for Philbin to watch the only man who mattered in his life slowly become someone else. As Jack deteriorated, Phil-bee had to rely on the lessons learned from this good man. He tried to remember that man more than the person who did not recognize him any longer. Mom called it a “blessing” when Jackson Barrett had passed away.

“Gramps isn’t suffering any longer” she tried to explain to a tearful Phil-bee.

Phil-bee knew that along with being his grandfather and his teacher, Papa Jack was his friend. Phil-bee lost his BEST friend. If there was anything good in that revelation, it was that grandpa would live in his memory as long as Phil-bee kept him there.

The young boy’s mind was elsewhere as he stood next to his mom at Jack’s graveside. Philbin stared at the pile of dirt behind the square hole, watching the worms peek out and scurry back into the soil. The crowd of people that came to pay their respects was small. A few cousins, a couple of Jack’s friends from the service, Mrs. Burgess from their old apartment and the undertaker were Papa Jack’s only mourners.

Phil-bee remembered the talks he had with Jack as they sat at lakeside with their fishing line in the mossy green water. This was their classroom; where they had their best talks. Philbin needed to talk to Jack. But Jack was no longer there.

worms

“he reached into the tin can that held the wiggly worms”
(Photobucket)

Phil-bee dressed quietly, slipping his blue jeans over his spindly legs. He zipped his jacket right up to his chin and grabbed his ball cap. He gave the doorknob a soft turn and stepped out onto the back deck. Reaching down behind the deck chair, Philbin took the dented tin can that he had placed there last night.

The sun was coming up over the treetops as Phil-bee settled on the shore at their favorite fishing spot. The boy nestled into the moist grass as he reached into the tin can that held the wiggly worms that were distracting him at Grandpa’s funeral. With a shaky finger, Phil-bee hooked a fat worm. As he baited his hook (just like grandpa had taught him) Philbin started to talk out loud.

“Hey Grandpa Jack. It’s a good morning for fishing. I saved your spot…” Phil-bee started his long monologue.

In the early morning mist, a boy and his grandfather shared another moment discussing life and the future. Well, Phil-bee talked, and he was sure grandpa was listening. He had cast his line into the water a few times, but wasn’t having any luck. But it didn’t matter. Jack always said a bad day of fishing was better that anything he could think of.

Phil-be had talked himself out. He had told Grandpa Jack all he needed to say. He thanked Jack for being his Gramps and for teaching him stuff; for not being “a flash in the pan”. Phil-bee was honored to have been given time to be with Jack Barrett. He found peace there. Phil-bee forgave Al for taking Jack so soon.

“I love you, Grandpa!” Phil-bee tearfully whispered.

Philbin felt the tug on his line. He knew his grandfather loved him too.

GOSSELIN’S GALLERY – 3 MAY 2013

(Via Photobucket: loveej)

KITE EXHIBIT #1 – Chrysalis Interrupted

He wished he could fly. Furio Cappulscalco had a fascination with flight. He wanted to pick up and just soar into the clouds. But he knew little boys couldn’t fly. Why, he got into trouble trying to cross the street by himself.

He stood in the clearing by the lake, watching the kites dip and soar in the sky above the trees. He loved the graceful movements as the paper fliers performed an airborne ballet.

Furio wanted a kite. But he couldn’t afford to buy one, so he gathered things he found in the trash. Newspapers and colored tissues paper became the shell and tree branches were the frame.There was a spool of kite string that had torn and was tangled. Furio spent some time straightening the string and his make-shift kite was ready. He ran north and the kite bounced on the hard ground, He ran south and it did cartwheels in the dirt.

Furio checked the wind direction and he ran headlong into it. The kite seemed like it was going to elevate, but suddenly the kite “dipsy-doodled) into the edge of the lake.

Capuscalco was upset. His “kite” was a mangled mess. The colors from the tissue started to run and color the newspaper. An old man sat nearby feeding the pigeons and watching Furio.

“Your kite needs a tail, young man” the gentleman instructed.

“Kites ain’t got no tails” the boy snapped.

The man stood up from the bench and came by Furio.

“May I?” he asked the boy.

The lad held up the mass of kite to the man.

“She’s not so bad”, the man started, ” fix this here, tie this there…”

Then the man undid his necktie. He attached it to the bottom of the kite.

“Here, good as new!” handing the kite back.

Furio looked it over and wasn’t impressed. It looked the same as the mess he had made.

“Trust me son, she’s a beauty!”

Furio laid the bundle of paper on the ground and walk a ways along the shore of the lake. He took a deep breath and started to run trailing the string behind him. The kite dragged along the ground briefly and then went up into the air. As the kite unfurled, it spread open and took a beautiful new shape,

That’s when Furio smiled. The wadded bundle of paper looked like a cocoon, a chrysalis. But as it opened it was a butterfly. It soared and swooped in the sky. And trailing beneath it was the necktie tail.

Furio turned to thank the old man. But he was gone. The boy was pleased. He appreciated the kindness of the stranger. It gave him hope.

KITE EXHIBIT #2 – Spirits in the Sky

kites

(Via Photobucket: crysta1994)

Angeline drifted to the edge of the vale beneath Cherubine Mountain. Other souls had gather there as well. Today was the Day of Ascending.

The gentle souls were draped in white; long flowing gowns that fluttered in the wind. The rugged souls came in deeper hues oranges ablaze and blue and greens; aquamarine and gold. The colors were fit for celebration.

The angels came to watch the fanfare as the horns sounded and all the souls bristled excitedly. One by one they stepped forward gentle, graceful steps that became lighter and lighter.

The angles pursed their lips and blew to create the wind that lifted the souls skyward. In an upward motion, the spirits became kite-like and soared toward the heavens. Angeline watched in awe as one by one her friends ascended.

It was her turn. Tentative steps drew her into the opening where once souls of her kind had assembled. One step, two steps… Angeline felt lighter than air. Three steps, four… her feet no longer contacted the ground.

By her sixth step. Angeline had taken flight; a beautiful flowing kite, an offering to the creator. The sky at once was full of kites flying freely. No strings attached.

HONORS AND AWARDS

ShoesIt was the greatest tribute he could have been given.

He lived a honorable life; a loving husband, a doting father. He was the perfect son and brother, a hard-working employee and he did works of charity. Christopher Blandings only did what he had been put on this earth to do.

There were times that he wondered if it was all worth the trouble. Christopher was never one for accolades and acknowledgements; most of his meanderings were done in the strictest anonymity. It was just that the world seemed so out of step with the morals he was raised upon. People never seemed to understand or appreciate the way things were. Blandings was baffled.

His wife sympathized with her mate, but being almost a decade younger than he, she straddled the fence between the generations. But she believed in his good and kind heart. She loved his honesty and his loyalty. He surprised her on occasion with breakfast in bed or a tender back rub. And he had a fire burning deep within him that made Jessica lose control. There was nothing bland about Blandings.

She loved her man. She loved Christopher right up to the day he died. Sadness and grief were not emotions to which she prescribed. Jessica knew life was a celebration. And death was clearly an extension of that celebration. In his passing, she saw that her Christopher did not go unnoticed. As the funeral processed to the cemetery she became aware of something. The telephone wires were adorned with shoes. Their laces bound together, they were tossed aloft to wrap around the overhead lines. There were well over a hundred pairs hanging; she witnessed people removing their footwear and adding to the milieu.

Puzzled, she questioned the undertaker. His explanation brought a tear to her eye and a flicker in her already gracious heart.

“When a person passes, tradition had the mourners remove their shoes and by draping the secured pairs over the wires, pay homage to the person so loved. The more shoes that dangled, the more respected was the deceased.” he informed.

Again Jessica looked. And the tear were more abundant now. The entire route to his resting place was graced with shoes. Hundreds and hundreds of pairs pointed to his life as one well lived; having touched many hearts.

It was the greatest tribute he could have been given.

IT IS WHAT IS IT

Tree_frog_amongst_Bluebells_by_AngiNelson

Tree frog amongst Bluebells by Angi Nelson

He was merely a frog.

Green. Wide eyed and slick. Throaty crackles within. Warts and all, he was merely a frog.

Oh, he had dreams. Every young frog does. Bigger adventures and capers were that to which he aspired. But everyday he sat in his tree, ingesting insects and watching the world pass him by.

His uncles had the best gig a few years back. All they did was sit in their lily pad and pitch malt beverages. The humans seemed to love their chant about Bud…, Bud Somebody or other. Now, he’d settle for being a lowly gecko. At least he’d have employment..

The swamp was his home and he never needed to roam. But he had a wanderer’s spirit. Dreams never died, they just sat on a branch and croaked. Until…

Mort Grinley, a Hollywood talent scout came venturing where Bruno Magli never intended to go. Mort came across the reptilian wonder.

“Nice swamp you have here” Mort began.

“Yup” countered the frog.

“I’m looking for the next big thing… and I believe it’s you!” Mort continued.

“Yup” countered the frog.

“How would you like to come to Hollywood and make films?” Mort offered.

The frog thought contemplatively, swiping an elongated tongue at a sedentary fly.

“Yup” countered the frog.

“I just want you to know… it won’t be easy!” Mort said finally.

“HAVE YOU EVER BEEN GREEN?” the frog shouted. “Now that…
that is not easy!”

Mort smiled.

He loved green. In large denominations. The frog was rubbing off on him. He knew there was no beating a frog. Mort didn’t give a lick what the pig said!

GOSSELIN’S GALLERY – 15 MAR 2013

EXHIBIT #1 – SEDUCTION IN BLACK AND WHITE

SeductionDusk had fallen, a quick and rapid descent. The evening light filtered through the flimsy window treatment; a curtain disguised as gauze. Lana came into view. At least the shadow of her was visible.

One of my over-sized dress shirts draped over slinky shoulders; a walk to reflect the same. In the narrow hall she waited. The gentle curve of her nakedness plays upon my eyes, teasing and pleasing in the same breathless gasp. The shirt did little to hide her beauty. For in the silhouette boiled unadulterated love, a smoldering ember inflamed. I called her Lava. She was molten. She flowed sensuously, destroying everything in her wake. I hear her sigh, a sultry hiss like the beckoning of steam. She dropped her arms, and shrugging her shoulders, my shirt as well. I could tell we would erupt in passion. Vesuvius is envious.

Alert the town’s people. This night will be volcanic!

 

EXHIBIT #2 – OUTSTANDING 

Outstanding

El Blanco ran with no other creature; a rebel in equine beauty. Her stride was long and lanky; her gallop unbridled. There was no hiding the fact that she carried an aura about her that said she was remarkably singular. No other horse compared. The plains were her playground with no one around for miles. If a horse had smiles, El Blanco would be grinning from ear-to-ear. It was here that she was in her glory.

The story could have ended there, but it was apparent that such thoughts would come across as fantasy. El Blanco was nudged awake. Another behemoth pressing his massive hind quarter against her, staggering her step and arousing her slumber. Thunder rumbled in the distance and the other horse’s insistence wore on her sense of independence.

 El Blanco has been corralled, thrown in with the rest of the population. She was a horse, this was her station. She was conspicuous in her bleached contrast to the brown and black and roan beasts that shared her fate. Another day to ponder. And dream. Someday her spirit will triumph. Independence rests in the muted night.

 

EXHIBIT #3 – CHOREOGRAPHY OF LIFE

ChoreographyLilianna was a graceful swan in the tumultuous waters of the human condition. She dreamed of stardom. But mother Russia had dealt her other cards. She had trudged through the streets of Minsk, where she waited for the shuttle; a ride to the bearing factory where her petite frame suffered in contrast to the burly women who made that familiar trek as well. Her own mother shared her dream; a prima ballerina in training, applause raining down upon her as she stood center stage of the St. Petersburg Metropolitan Theater. Swan Lake had been her calling. But ball bearings held her back.

 All the obtuse women huddled at the end of the bus; chatter like a rustling in the hen house. Clucking and looking down their noses to this glorious waif. Lilianna stood in the center of the car, the buds in her ears offering the symphonic strains that drove her motor. She swayed with her eyes closed feeling every note, every crescendo. Each flourish of strings and tympani a counter-point to her heartbeat. Stretching and lunging, arms waving like the wispy clouds that laced the eastern skies.  Prima Ballerina’s sometimes live their dreams behind clenched eyelids. But at least they still dreamed.