Monday, February 25, 2008

Striped socks, checked socks, striped socks, checked socks
coursed Theta's thoughts, as she stood before the mirror.
The skin of her soles touched the floor – the planks of the wood were happy.
Checkers make the boys go blind, spinning cubes before their eyes.
Stripes might make them lose their mind, wondering what is hid behind.
Blind boys. Crazy boys. Blind boys. Crazy.
She dressed in stripes for today she was lazy.
Now she waited, staid in the park, wond'ring if crazy was what she'd want.

Story #420

This wonderful sketch appears by kind permission of Tabita.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Annique and Lila lay in the grass, a chessboard resting between them. They were as silent as the sun as they concentrated, eyes fixed on the board. "Checkmate!" called Annique, after moving the queen two squares away from the empty edge. Lila searched out her king. She found it prone in the grass, stoically tickled by the green blades. She placed it on the vacated square in direct line of the queen. The king was surrounded now by fatal fields that dared not be touched. In response Lila allowed one of her pawns to take a diagonal retreat. Annique added a bishop directly in that square, and Lila backed the pawn away a further space. This time Annique slid the queen a few squares down, with Lila placing a rook in the regal woman's wake. Back and forth, more and more pieces appearing. With each turn, the population on the board increased - the pawns, rooks, bishops and knights falling back into their original constellation, like an explosion seen in reverse. Finally the pieces rested on two opposite sides of the chessboard, in two solid rows each. "We won!" Annique and Lila exclaimed together. "Now let's play again!" Lila suggested in a delighted tone. "Yes, let's" Annique agreed, as she turned the board 180 degrees. "But this time," Lila continued, "I will be white, and you will be black."

Story #419

Thanks Tabita for sharing your drawing with us! And thanks everyone for contributing stories! Tabita is a new friend I made at Redbubble where I reposted some of my older stories. I saw some of her drawings in a style I really liked and asked her if she would post more. A few hours later she posted a new drawing, this one you see above, with the comment that she didn't have more, so she had to draw one first. There's an enchanting charm to Tabita's sketches that I can't help liking.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Clop. Clop. Clop. Clop. Never since The Battleship Potemkin, that moment in film on Odessan stairs: soldiers, civilians, blood and a baby carriage rolling unattended to its fate - never had such a scene of revolution presented itself, albeit in the category of humoresque. Three donkeys on three stone steps, each clopping from one end of the step to the other, meticulous tick-tocking, a synchronized trio. As the donkeys reached the end of their walk, invariably at the same moment, they twisted around with a flurry of hops and clops, landing about-face and beginning again the slow clops to the other end. Synchronized swimmers are less of a marvel, lacking, as they do, elongated ears, furry tails and the shaggy fuzz of burro bellies.

A crowd built as steadily and rhythmically as the beasts of burden paced their narrow gangways. These were pack animals, so it wasn't surprising that the movements of the creatures held up and carried the pulse of time, became the new ticks of time, the space between clops defining the new second, and delineating these new seconds from other, subsequent seconds, the turning-in-place defining the minute. Faces watched and continued to watch, not without impression. Hours slipped past. Then it happened. A birth. A zeitgeist carried by lightning not seen but felt in the mind. The next day throughout the land, the new way of fashion was there, the result of instant incubation. Fabric was thrown off. Discarded. Passé. The mysteries of bodies male and female gave themselves from breast to pelvis through shaggy fur pasted in place, ears like big furry almonds, a bushy tale hanging behind, and shoes that went clop.

Story #418

Banno, whose site is called Banno, Dhanno and Teja, invited me to borrow one of her photos for a story. Not this one, actually, but I just fell in love with this picture, taken by Teja.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

John heard a legend about the Valentine's Day hitchhikers - two sexy lady-girls just turned 18 who appeared once a year, on a road out of Clay County, in a wild zone of Kentucky. John screeched his car to halt when he saw them posing at the roadside.

One had auburn hair, tanned limbs and a one-piece blue-splotched dress, modernly abstract, ending tangibly above the knees. The other was blond, hair braided in a ring crowning her head, like an unofficial princess. She looked tasty in the two pieces she wore, one black and daringly high, the other pink and daringly low. The girls had curves like zig zags never existed.

"We just turned 18," Auburn stated with a no-nonsense look at John.

"And we're going to our birthday party," her blond friend continued. "Would you like to take us?"

"Sure ladies," John said, "hop in."

They took the back seat for themselves, dangling and bending legs so that knees reflected in the rear view mirror. John was euphoric to have two such sweetnesses in his car. He turned the wheel, and pulled back onto the road.

"Where is the party?" John asked.

"I don't know," Auburn said.

"Neither do I" said Blondness.

"This is quite a dilemma!" John replied, hoping they had a fun solution.

"We'll just have to find it, won't we?" Auburn imposed.

"And don't be late!" said Blondness.

John drove and drove, unable to concentrate on the road. All his thoughts were with the female population of his car. He took turns, drove up slopes, drove down slopes and took more turns. He had no idea where they were.

"Do you have any idea where we are?" asked Blondness.

"Are we getting close to the party?" Auburn wondered.

"Nothing to worry about ladies - it's still Kentucky," was all he could think to say.

More driving. Every time he peeked into the mirror to glimpse his guests he saw their eyes studying straight into him, and the kind of mischievous smiles that any moment might spill into giggles.

"We're getting tired," ahhhed Auburn.

"Yes, take us to a bed," suggested Blondness, just as the car shot by a sign for the Lonely Hearts Hotel, 5 miles ahead.

In a few minutes, they were there. John checked them in quickly. There was no trouble. They entered a room with a table, a TV and one wide bed.

"Wow! There's room for five of us on that bed," Blondness noted.

"Yeah, too bad there aren't five of us," Auburn added.

John was weak with excitement. He sat on the edge of the bed, smiled 15 smiles at once, and gestured them to join him. Auburn and Blondness smiled steadily back at him, then approached.

"Close your eyes," Auburn requested with a wink.

"Yes, we want to surprise you," added Blondness.

"Whatever you ladies desire," John said, as he shut his eyes and covered them with one hand while propping himself on the bed with the other. He waited, heart beating like the drums in "Sing Sing Sing." He sensed a tender touch on his lap, then another. Hands sneaking into pockets. His mind felt like it was spinning in place. He waited. And waited. Not a sound. Not a breath. Finally he had to open his eyes. Because nothing else happened. He looked around. The girls were gone, but in each of his pockets he discovered a candy. He squeezed them out of the wrappers and into his mouth. Tongue playing over both candies at once, he tasted a mingling of honey and cola.

Story #417

Previous Valentine's Day stories:
Story #160 (2005)
Story #334 (2006)

And here is a news flash from Creative Crabbing:

Story Contest Canceled
by Kizz Myass
for The Crappy Times

The Great Valentine's Story Contest (see post below) has been canceled due to fear of the wrath of Brittney and/or lack of interest. You're still welcome to submit a story if you wish but there is no longer any competitive factor. Yam Man would be proud!
Kizz Myass

If you're feeling playful, why not go over and make Brittney change her mind! There are some cool stories posted there already.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I sit gazing at the most beautiful girl in the world. It wasn't easy making the arrangements for this to happen. It took months in quest of her mere existence, months of walking the streets, lurking on corners near beauty salons and hair studios. Ironically the girl who caught my eye walked a straight line past a salon without even turning her head. She was completely natural. Exactly what I wanted, needed, desired for my purposes. A girl of lesser aesthetics, touched up cheaply to hide her imperfections, would not be satisfying to me.

Once I had spotted her, I had of course to arrange a chance meeting, and to make it appear as chance. I could not in the slightest way pursue her. That would be all too familiar to her. Pursuit. That boorish behavior of the conquering male. It would frighten her away. Our contact had to come about in a way that made it seem as if she were the initiator. I trailed her to her apartment, noted the address, then arranged rooms across the street from her. From there I could observe her routine, and once I instinctively felt every regularity and variation of it, could blend myself into it, producing the mutual proximity that would lead to her noticing me.

After a week of observation I had her routine, and constructed my habits to match hers. We saw each other in the same bus, in the same stores, at the bank. My appearance is tall and distinctive - it wasn't long before she began to notice me. And finally, in a sudden moment, when we found ourselves catching each other's eye, a hint of a smile formed on her lips. Then I knew - that it was time. I began a conversation with her, "You live around here, don't you? We always seem to run into each other."

"I live around the corner on N----- Street, next to the tobacco shop," she told me.

"Ah, that's why we see each other so often - I live right across from you. I was sure you couldn't have been stalking me!"

She laughed a disarming laugh of childlike charm, not sensing the irony of what I'd stated. It was progressing beautifully. Soon we found ourselves immersed in conversation that flowed like rivers flow: swiftly, madly, wildly. All the while, in back of my mind, the knowledge of what was to come. Soon I would take her. I would take her, and have her as long as I wanted. But now I must make my move. My instincts told me she would not refuse a drink at a neutral location, the corner cafe, for example. To invite her to my apartment, now, for the drink, would have created too direct an impression, and possibly ruined my entire plan. She would not invite me to her place either, not this soon. But the location was inconsequential to me.

I am very good at card tricks, the sleight of hand necessary to hide objects and make them appear. It's all done with misdirection. And so, when we sat across from each other, flowing in words, it was simplicity itself to slip the drops into her drink. She would not become ill or lose consciousness, rather she would become highly relaxed and susceptible to my hypnotic attentions. I began swaying my head slightly as I spoke to draw her into the rhythm, and as I picked up the glass to drink a sip, I held it suspended, creating the pendulant motions that would open her psyche to my suggestions.

My gestures and movements drew her deeper and deeper into a pleasing passivity. When I was finished, she trusted me implicitly, as if I were her own father, a father who had never damaged that trust. That was the look she gave me - a culmination of all that was pure and honest in her. I made a good note of the way she looked at me, because that is the look I needed to memorize while she was able to give it. After the drink, we said goodbye, with the nonchalant suggestion of doing it again sometime. She left, but did not return to her apartment. In her mesmerized state, I had subtly instructed that she lived in my apartment. Some more sleight of hand had exchanged my key for hers. She entered my rooms, removed her clothes, stretched herself onto my bed, and slept - with the oblivion of a stone. I followed her upstairs, with my second key, entered the bedroom, and began. To take her.

I know no other word for what I readied myself to do, so I say "to take her" because on a simple level, it is analogous to the taking of a picture. I brought out the gel, a gel of my own making, and began to massage it onto her body, front and back, over her entire form, her neck, her face, the work of art that nature had made of her flesh and her limbs, until she was completely encapsulated. The gel hardens swiftly and can be pulled off with no pain or consequence to the real skin. This I carefully did, giving me the parts of a mold. When I was finished I sponged the traces of my work from her slumbering physique. Next I returned her keys to her purse, and whispered the suggestion that would thaw the sleep into a state of vague wakefulness. She rose, reclothed herself, returned to her apartment, still in a trance, still in a daze, but with no remembrance of what had occurred from the time she first smiled at me. She will have lain down on her bed, sound asleep, while I, at the same moment began the intense work with the molds I had taken, to construct the perfect symmetry of her, lifelike and desirable in every way, down to her ruby smile and trusting eyes, pearls of finest agate. So real. So real. The hair to ornament her head I stitched into the scalp strand by strand, hair selected to match her color and length as if it had come from a twin. I placed the finished model in the corner, shone a light upon it, the likeness so close to perfection that it seemed to possess an aura. Now I am old, and the living girl's beauty and trust have given way to the erosions of time and experience. But her original youth and exuberance are completely, eternally mine.

Story #416

Consider this a Valentine's Day story, even if it is a little early. Thank you everyone for your patience, and for the stories and comments you made. I will answer them in the next days. For now, I hope you enjoyed this story, and Story #414, in case you haven't noticed, has also been posted a few weeks ago.


Mavin gave me and a few other bloggers a nice surprise for Christmas, which post I'll be answering in the next days:

Thanks, Mavin, for the very kind thoughts! And Happy Birthday (Jan. 2nd)!