MLMM Photo Challenge — The Songbird

img_1371Some folks are saying that what happened was my fault. Yeah, I know, right? That’s ridiculous. They say that I should have seen this coming, being that I am his brother and all. But, hey, I’m not my brother’s keeper, for crissake. I have my own life to lead. You feel me, right?

Okay, so everyone knows that he’s not right in the head, and all. They used to call him retarded, but that’s not politically correct anymore. Now they say he’s mentally challenged or some shit like that. But the truth is, he’s just slow. What he is is a bit of a dimwit. And yes, he’s a big guy. But he’s sweet, you know. Like a teddy bear. He’d never do so much as hurt a fly.

So I’d pick him up at the home and take him to see her perform in the park on Thursday evenings because her singing calmed him. You know how they say that music soothes the savage beast, right? Not that he’s savage or anything. It’s just that her singing made him feel good, feel warm inside. So we’d go to the park and listen to her sing for a few hours. You know what I’m saying, right?

He told me he thought she had a beautiful voice, as if there was a bird inside of her. I told him that he was right, that there was a lovely, little songbird who lived inside of her, and when she opened her mouth, it was the singing of the songbird that came out. That made him happy.

And then last Thursday night, after we got to the park, I started feeling sick to my stomach and I told him we had to go. But she wasn’t finished singing and he didn’t want to leave. He said he knew his way back to the home, which is only three blocks from the park and that he’d go there as soon as she was done singing. So I said okay and left him there.

I found out what happened when the cops showed up at my door on Friday morning. I’m, like, really sorry about what happened to the girl. But I mean, seriously, I didn’t think he’d take my story about a songbird living inside of her chest literally.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Image credit: Flora Borsi.

MLMM First Line Friday — Storm Warnings

The crash of wave and snap of sail sung to her. She found it thrilling, but she’d always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

“We’ve got to take her in, Alice,” Bill shouted, the sound of his voice barely audible with the competition from the wind and the crashing waves.

“No, not yet!” Alice called back. “Maybe it will pass.”

Bill looked at her in disbelief. “You’re dreaming,” he said. “Help me douse the sails.”

“Stop being such a pussy!” Alice yelled back. “Let’s ride it out.”

“Are you suicidal?” Bill yelled back to Alice just as a big wave came and almost knocked him out of the boat. Once he righted himself, he finished furling the mainsail and started dousing the jib. “That’s it, we’re heading in before we both perish.”

“But what a dramatic way that would be to go,” she yelled, a maniacal smile contorting her face, right before another big wave capsized the boat.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s First Line Friday prompt. Image credit: Pop Inc – CSA Images.

MLMM Tale Weaver — Welcome to Durfur

img_1350Carl was sitting on a folding chair in a large room with many identical folding chairs, nearly every one taken. In his hand was a spiral bound booklet entitled, The Book of Durfur — A Beginners Guide. Oddly, the first thought that came to Carl’s mind was, “Shouldn’t it be Beginner’s Guide?” He vowed to point out the grammatical error to whoever produced the booklet.

Looking around, Carl saw a diverse group of people seated in the chairs. All ages, all races, both genders, and, based upon how people were dressed, many nationalities. All of them, like Carl, were holding the same booklet.

Carl tried to remember how he had gotten here, much less why he was here. But he couldn’t. His last memory was that he was lying in bed reading a book. Was he asleep and was this a dream?

He turned to the guy sitting on his left, a large black man dressed in some sort of ceremonial garb. “Excuse me,” Carl said. “Do you know where we are and why we’re here?”

“You tell me,” the guy said without making eye contact.

Sitting on Carl’s right was a teenage girl wearing what looked like a prom dress. But before Carl could say anything, she blurted out, “No, I don’t.”

Carl looked once again at the booklet in his hand. He flipped it open to the first page, but it was blank, as were all the pages following. He tried to stand up but was unable to leave his seat. “What the fuck?” he said aloud.

Suddenly the lights dimmed in the room, a screen slowly dropped down from the ceiling, and a video started playing. “Welcome to Durfur,” the man in the video said. “I know you have a lot of questions and they will all be answered shortly.”

The man in the screen smiled and continued. “Durfur is like a way station. It is situated halfway between what was and what will be, between where you’ve been and where you’re going. Each of you has been provided with a booklet that has been custom tailored for your journey. ”

The man in the screen seemed to look directly at Carl and said, “And, yes, Carl, we’ve corrected the punctuation.” Carl looked down and the booklet in his hand, which now read “A Beginner’s Guide.”

The man continued. “Some of you will be here in Durfur for just a brief time. Others may be staying with us for a while. It’s all documented in your guide booklet. Now if you’ll please open up to page one, everything will become clear to you.”

Carl opened up his booklet and began reading.

Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt.

MLMM Photo Challenge — Failure To Communicate

DE1CA96C-3864-4255-A0DB-7BF5F05BE382“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate,” Aaron said as he reached up with a pair of scissors and attempted to cut the cord that his parents were using in their vain attempt to communicate with one another.

Aaron was cursed with this recurring dream ever since his parents got divorced. The three of them were in the water of a shallow lake. His parents were sitting on wooden chairs facing in opposite directions. He was in between them, crouched down inside a wooden barrel. They were holding tin cans next to their ears with a piece of rope connecting the cans. It reminded him of a walkie-talkie experiment that he and his friends tried when he was younger. It never really worked, but they liked to pretend it did.

Just as Aaron’s parents pretended to be talking with one another. But instead, they were talking to one another, neither listening, both talking, and not really saying much at all.

Aaron believed that his parents’ break up was his fault, that he was responsible for cutting the lines of communications between the two of them, just as he was doing in the dream. But that, of course, was not the reality.

Aaron tried to postpone falling asleep each night, but when sleep finally overtook him, he once again found himself sitting, scissors in hand, in the barrel in the lake between his opposite facing parents.

Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Nicolas Bruno.

MLMM Sunday Writing Prompt — It’s Not You

F4CF48E4-6D39-42F5-83A1-9F212E278ADB“It’s not you,” I said. “It’s me.”

Of course, I was lying. It was her. All her. She was suffocating me. If she even thought I was looking for an instant too long at another woman, it was grounds for a dirty look and a cold shoulder. What did she expect me to do, wear blinders? I’m not a race horse, for crissake. Although someone once told me I was hung like a horse. But that’s a story for another time.

It’s really too bad, though. She’s very pretty and she has a great bod. And those eyes. Oh my God, those eyes. You can get lost in her eyes. She’s smart, too. Sharp as a tack, you know. Never misses a trick, that woman.

I just don’t get why she’s so damn insecure. She’s more of a catch than I am, for crissake. Any guy would be lucky to have her. And yet she chose me.

But I can’t deal with this yoke she’s hung around my neck. She’s watching my every move, just waiting to pounce if I smile at female. And don’t even ask how she reacts if she sees me dare to talk with another woman.

So I have no choice but to end things with her. I can’t go through life walking on egg shells or feeling like I’m out standing on thin ice. I just have to tell her. Tonight. You know, tear off the bandage quickly. It will hurt, but once it’s done, it’s done.

“We need to talk,” I said to her. “I’m breaking up with you. But it’s not you. It’s me.”

“Oh thank God,” she said. “I’m so relieved you said that. Now I don’t have to be the one to break things off. And you’re right, it is you. You’re not ready for a committed relationship. And you’re not the man I thought you were. But don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll find someone who will be perfect for you. Bye.”

Wait! What?

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt. We’re supposed to write about a breakup. And yes, I know today is Monday. So once again, I’m a day late and a dollar short.