Category Archives: fiction

fiction

A Sigh of Relief

A man in a small town lays down in his bed at the end of the day and lets out a sigh of relief.  He realizes as he stares at the clumps of dust clinging to the textured swirls in his ceiling that he has been letting out this sigh of relief for so many nights in a row that he can no longer recall how many times he has done it. Or, even why. 

This morning, he woke up, got ready for work, wished his family to have a good day then got into his grey sedan and drove his 30 minute commute to work. There was traffic on the highway but not enough to prevent him from having enough time to collect a medium regular coffee from the drive through just three blocks from his place of employment.

He pulled the grey sedan in the sixth parking space in the lot to the left of the building. Parking in the sixth space, he found, kept him in the good graces of Alice in Accounts Payables who liked the fourth parking space because of the shade provided by a medium sized silver maple, the only tree on the parking lot, on an abundant sunshine day in the dog days of summer. He really wasn’t sure if Alice cared about parking under the medium silver maple on a cold, cloudy March day, but the man was unwilling to test his luck when there were so many important invoices that he would need paid.  

He gingerly carried the regular coffee through a labyrinth of cubicles narrowly missing thevrusj of a human resource admin on her way to a copy machine.  Once in side his own cubicle, he placed the regular coffee next to an endless pile of papers. The pile wasn’t very tall but he never seemed to make enough headway to get rid of it completely.  He spent most of his day responding to emails from customers or working on mundane tasks his boss had assigned.  Often, the man took mini breaks to check his Facebook.

 At 4:30 pm, he climbed into his grey sedan and pulled out of the parking lot to drive the 30 minute commute back home again.  

At home, the kids came and went to practices or study groups or hanging with friends, whatever it was that kids do these days.  The man ate his dinner on the lumpy stained couch next to his wife while watching some reality TV show where the people in the show were required to eat bugs. The man felt lucky that he was eating processed frozen chicken sandwiches instead of beetles. On commercial, the man and his wife exchanged pleasantries about their days but there was no real time for discussion before the show came back back on.  

Laying in his bed, staring now at the spot in the corner where the textured ceiling was pealing away due to a water leak, he realized that his day was neither bad nor good. It was just a regular day of a regular guy with a regular life.  And, while he clearly needed to look into getting the water leak fixed before mold started to grow, he really wasn’t all that anxious about it. So, what, he pondered would make him breath a sigh of relief? 

Miles and miles away, in another state, a petite brunette sits at a table in the corner of  brightly colored room where the eyes of the subjects in the artwork displayed on the walls watch the radiation from the fireplace dance in the diamond earrings hanging from the petite brunette’s  ears.  The petite brunette sets about her final task of the evening.  She is holding a non-descript doll that she made many months prior.   She gently smooths the hair of the non-descript doll before placing it inside a small box wrapped in plain, brown packaging paper. And, with the doll secure in its plain little box, she places the lid on the box as she lets out a sigh of relief.  

————
Truthfully, this shitty story isn’t even remotely done with the editing but I’m tired of writing it. 

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One of A Kind Construction Barricade Collection On Display

Fake News Source – The Illinois DOT Construction Planning Manager held a press release Monday morning, July 29th, 2013 on construction projects in Will County.

“We spent 3/4 of our 2013 budget on new construction barrels, signs, and barricades. We are incredibly proud of our entire collection and wanted to give the residents of the State of Illinois a chance to view them in an exhibit on I-55. Unfortunately, the exhibit has been so popular that some vehicles have been unable experience the exhibit in their allotted time and found it necessary to take an alternate route on IL-53. That is why I am pleased to announce that a second exhibit has been created in a left lane closure on IL-53 at the Laraway Road intersection. Now, everyone will have equal access to this phenomenal collection!”

In an interview after the press conference, the IL DOT Planning Manager said, “It’s just so lucky for drivers that there is a traffic signal at IL-53 and Laraway. It brings all that extra traffic to a complete stop. Kids can get really good long look at our inimitable collection of barrels while waiting through 5 or 6 traffic lights.” When questioned about the acquisition costs of the collection, the Planning Manager stated that Governor Quinn approved low grade road repairs so that the collection can be put on display every summer.

The IL Construction Barricade collection will be on display at the DesPlaines Bridge construction on I-55 until November and in the left lanes of both north south bound IL-53 at Laraway Road until September. Small displays of the collection can be viewed at various locations along IL-53 in downtown Joliet until September as well. This is a family friendly event as long as drivers keep their road rage in check.

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Bragging Rights For Christmas

“Robbie, it don’t matter if you beat Jack. I’m still going to slide the longest,” Harry said from snow-covered sidewalk nearby as he hopped from one foot to the other as if to stay warm but it was really from anxious excitement.

“Shh. Don’t bother me. Here comes my ride,” Robbie said, trying to ignore his younger brother. He pulled down his brown, wool cap, adjusted his threadbare mittens, and stretched his arms so that the sleeves of his coat bared two inches of his forearms. Here was an advantage to wearing a meager, hand-me-down coat. There would be no threat of his sleeves impeding his grip on the bumper of the Chevy coming toward him. Robbie blew on his mittens to soften the frozen threads as he watched Mr. Miller’s grey Chevy come closer. Robbie considered himself more of Buick man but he didn’t have time to be choosy. There were fewer and fewer cars driving down this street as this Christmas Eve afternoon progressed. He had to take Mr. Miller and his 1940 Chevy.

Robbie crouched down farther between the parked cars and smiled. Mr. Miller was the perfect driver if Robbie had any hopes of beating Jack before dinner. He knew Mr. Miller usually drove his Chevy a little too fast around corners. The whole neighborhood knew it from the constant clang of metal garbage cans belonging to unfortunate houses located right around a corner. Mrs. Jones had called Robbie’s ma three times complaining about having to pick her trash up out of the streets in this freezing weather when Mr. Miller should get his bony butt out there to pick up his own mess. Robbie wasn’t supposed to know what Mrs. Jones had said about Mr. Miller but his friend, Johnny, that lived down the street had eavesdropped over the party line and told him every word.

Robbie was certain Mr. Miller’s reckless driving habit would help him break Jack’s record if he let go of the bumper at just the right time. No one had been able to top Jack’s distance record for two days. Robbie was determined to get Christmas Eve bragging rights.

The game on the dead-end street had started the week before. After the last snow storm when the temperature dropped, cars plowed through 8 inches of snow packing it into a glacial cover. First, the boys of the neighborhood had competed to see who could slide the farthest past the intersection of Millo and Jackson getting speed first by running down Millo street toward the dead-ended street.

Two days ago, Jack got an idea as he waited for a car to pass for his turn. Instead, he didn’t wait; he grabbed ahold of the back bumper of the passing car then let go as it turned onto Jackson street sling-shotting him practically all the way to China. The neighborhood boys watching were in an uproar and couldn’t wait to do it themselves. They’d all been sneaking rides on the backs of cars ever since trying to go half as far as Jack had gone.

Robbie sprang out of his hiding spot just as Mr. Miller’s car passed him and caught the bumper. The day before, his first attempts resulted in some banged up bones from waiting too long to grab the bumper. He’d miss and end up losing his balance to fall on whatever body part was unfortunate to be underneath the rest of his body. This time, his timing was perfect.

Robbie kept crouched down behind the car so that he could keep his balance but more importantly so Mr. Miller wouldn’t notice him in the rear-view mirror. He watched the hard-packed snow under his feet whiz past and passed hand over hand to position himself on the far right side for when Mr. Miller made the turn. Robbie peered around the rear fender and estimated the distance to the corner. It was a hair longer than his Grandpa’s driveway at the farm. Just as he suspected, Mr. Miller was taking this corner as fast as those race horses they saw at the county fair last fall. When would this guy learn how to drive? Even though Robbie was thinking that, he was thankful that this wasn’t one of those times.

Just before the car tugged him to the right when it turned, Robbie let go of the bumper, staying low to keep his balance. He heard the clang of garbage cans in the background as he slid a long ways into the dead ended street, finally slowing to a stop. Robbie looked to his left to see he’d passed Jack’s record by at least the length of one of those long nails his pa had used to fix their front step last summer.

“Whoo-hoo!” Robbie shouted.

He scampered off the road onto the sidewalk where he was pummeled with several snowballs. Robbie took a dive behind a bush when he heard Jack yell, “Race you home for dinner!” Robbie jumped up from behind the bush but his brothers were already gone.

He ran up Jackson street stopping first to pick up Mrs. Jones’ garbage cans because it was Christmas Eve.  He didn’t mind his brothers beating him home since he’d already achieved top Christmas Eve bragging rights. Besides, he felt he owed it to Mrs. Jones since he was happy Mr. Miller had been driving too fast again.  Mrs. Jones waved a thank you from the window as he left and Robbie headed home to his brothers.

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Fatty Wear

I’m reading many posts on the www.fatcyclist.com blog about fans receiving their 2010 Fatty wear, my heart is beginning to pound.  Yipee!  My Fatty wear must be here too!

Unfortunately, when the cat is away, this mouse never remembers to check the mail.  Eeek! I’d better get the mail.

Sliding over to the heavy wooden door, I hear the click of the bolt lock retreating into the door.  I turn the door knob and hold my breath hoping the creak of the door won’t wake the boys.

Swish.

Huh, there isn’t any creak tonight.  I wonder how I can make that a permanent situation?  Oh, I’d probably have to ship the door to live in Arizona where there is never any humidity.  Wait. Focus.. Fatty wear… mailbox…right!

Under the cover of night and a very bright front porch light, in my gray ratty robe, red fleecy pj pants, and hand knitted old lady foot blankies (aka slippers), I leap onto the damp grass and sprint to the mailbox.  I stop breathing while I grasp the handle of the mailbox.

~~~~~~~~ (squiggly lines of day dreaming)~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ll wake up at 5 am to run a 10K in my 2010 Fatty wear runner’s shirt, I fantasize.  I’ll take fabulous pictures of the mouse running on the hamster wheel.  I envision artistic quality pictures that will grant me fame and fortune as a marvelous blogger.  I’ll get more than five people reading my blog.

————-(straight lines bringing back reality)——————-

My mailbox has nothing more than a stack of bills and political propaganda.  Oh, man.  Where’s my Fatty wear??

Through the stately pine trees of the ancient lady’s house on the corner, I hear a noise akin to a werewolf on the prowl for a plump ol’ meal (me).  With speed that would make that werewolf envious, I cross the road, the yard, and the porch to yank the door open and jump inside slamming the door shut and jam the bolt lock into place.  It was more like a coyote call from the nearby prairie preservation, I tell myself as I take deep breaths to settle the shaking in my hands and arms.

Then I remembered that the local Lion’s club is setting up a haunted hike in the park and was most likely practicing their wolf calls.

Still, through the anticipation of fatty wear and the fear of werewolves, my heart rate was elevated for at least 15 minutes.  That has to be a 75-100 calories burn, right?

.

.

.

Later that night, a peculiar shape slips past a half dead blue spruce causing several branches to drop a significant number of needles on top of an already heaping pile.  The shadow of this thing passing in the night looks almost like a human bent at an odd angles.  The thing tears at a white package.

“These cursed new age packaging materials with synthetic tear resistant fibers,” it growls as it takes a corner of the package into its mouth.  After some time, the synthetic fibers finally give way to the gagged teeth of this peculiarly shaped thing.  A knarled and bent hand reaches into the package to reveal a coveted shirt.  It bends its head back and howls, “Yahoooo!  Fatty-eeeeee!”  Quickly, it quiets down so that it does not wake the beings inside the house because it knows the mouse will fight the demons of hell themselves to get her Fatty wear (designed by Twin Six) back.   Having found what it came for, it runs off through the stately pines into the woods.

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Scenes Of A Profile

She took a good, long look at his profile. They were encroaching upon 40 but he hadn’t changed much. Sure, there were shifts in his appearance like how he had his hair cut and dressed more maturely, but his profile was indistinguishable from his early years. It was like being in a time warp that allowed her to stand simultaneously in the past and the present. Memories of the laughter, the challenges, and the quiet moments paraded through her mind.

They stood there talking to friends while she considered these scenes of him. He laughed. It was a laugh that was purely his own. The sound was quick and unabashed.

She spied it then. The change, just at the corner of his eyes, she could see crinkles. It didn’t deter from his looks. It didn’t make him look past his prime. To her, it enhanced his profile by adding caliber and tones to the familiar terrain. While looking different, it felt as familiar as frequently read book. This intense feeling of familiarity verified that her heart had connected the person he had been to the person he was now.

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