Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Evolutionary Bean Feast

The following is a short story I wrote in 2006.

Evolutionary Bean Feast

It is pitch black. I am likely to be eaten. I scurry across the darkened road, barely avoiding a crater, my nails clicking against the rough cement. I look up to the sky, hoping to see a glimpse of light to guide my way, but the stars and moon do not appear tonight.

The entire city had been lit up: street lamps casting their glows on street corners, store lights left on to prevent attempted thefts, lamps lighting windows in apartments. Then, all the lights had puffed out as if the wind had carried their lives away to a far-off land.

This is a bad omen. Mom told me that the city had darkened only once in her lifetime, the same night her wandering brother had stumbled blindly into the claws of the enemy. Mom always warned me to stay close to home, but the city fascinates me with its wondrous smells.

The smells! Piles of treasures wait for seekers to rift through the dumpsters in alleyways where humans foolishly leave them behind. But the food in the day delights me the most. Greasy pizza lathered with thick red sauce. And meatballs! Sausage! Sizzling hotdogs with charred lines smothered in red ketchup and chili sauce. My mouth waters just thinking of all the delicious treats. Chili is my favorite.

Once, I’d climbed up the leg of a hotdog stand, while the foul man with a hairy belly watched a woman stroll by swinging her hips. I stuck my white paw in the chili sauce and leaned forward to savor the sweet-smelling sauce, but I leaned too far and fell into the sauce. I was in heaven! My skin warmed in the chili, but I dove deeper, eating food on my way back up to the surface. I reluctantly jumped out covered in little pieces of brown meat, beans, and sauce. I heard shrieks. Then the hairy man grabbed me and tried to squeeze me, but I escaped and took off down the street, leaving trails of beans and meat behind me. Mom yelled at me when I left little prints of it in our home, a small hole in the wall of a bean-eating family.

The family, a baby boy and two adults, eats beans everyday. Their clothes have rips and holes and the house is filthy. Mom keeps our home cleaner than their home. I never understood why humans wore clothes, but mom said it’s because they would be cold without them. I guess being hairless has its disadvantages, but that hairy hotdog man could probably keep plenty of people warm with all that hair on his belly alone!

I blink, my white lids briefly hiding my red eyes. What is that? A shadow? I am almost home, only a mile away. Mom says a mile is only a block for humans. If only my small feet could move a little faster. The shadow moves. I swing my head and squint. Is that a furry tail switching back and forth? A cat? Oh, I hope not. Uncle Robert died by a cat.

Suddenly, the world lights up in what seems like thousands of tiny little flames. The lamppost above me blinks on, as well as the store lights and lamps and other bright fixtures. I look again to where the shadow had moved. Nothing. I scurry again, my tail trailing behind me. I run across the alleyway, but then I am yanked backwards. Something pulls my tail with sharp claws. I shriek. I look behind me. It was a cat!! The yellow slits glare at me, and its jaw opens to show its fangs. I can see my home, only a few feet in front of me.

“Mama!!” I yell as loud as I can. The cat picks me up by my tail and dangles me over its head. I look into a black hole ready to devour me. I shut my eyes, waiting for those sharp teeth to tear me to pieces. I squirm and twist as much as I can, but to no avail.

Then, a door opens. “What is that racket?” The bean-eating father scratched his head and glared at my enemy. The mother then arrives at the door.

“It’s that mouse! It sounds so horrible. I don’t want to hear it being eaten alive. Get rid of that cat!” The mother then hurries back into the house, her tattered nightgown flowing around her ankles.

“Shoo, cat!” The father chases after the monster that lets go of my tail, and I fall. I scurry towards the father who turns around and slams the door behind him. I run into the little hole next to the door, and fling myself into the safety of my mother’s paws.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dove Gray Morning

I'm currently working on a story for a friend; meanwhile, I will share a poem I wrote in 2004. I cut out headlines, phrases, and words from a newspaper and used the words to create this poem.

Dove Gray Morning

Problems break through a peaceful world of crisp blue color.
Psychotic nightmares sneak up
like a cruel and crippling ambush,
turning a complex, fast environment into a dusty stretch of wasteland.
Constant touching contaminates scores of victims,
killing them with ravaging infections.
Conquerors force survivors
into dirty deeds, shameless scams, and immoral secrets.
Strained, complicated, and sometimes stormy emotions blaze
forth from the bruised and battered hostile atmosphere.
Love, loyalty, and reliability steadily erode into the earth
and fade away.
Feelings of fear and uncertainty about the future explode
into meaningless chatter and laughter
to keep from crying in this tragic world.
No one will protect you from the brutal truth.
No one cares if you live or die in the dove gray morning.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Goodnight Kiss

I wrote this poem in December of 2004.

A Goodnight Kiss

He laid there on his rumpled bed, his haggard face full of rolling wrinkles against his harsh skin, his uneven breathing the only sound in the small dark room.

I held his sweaty palm in my soft young hands and sat on the edge of my chair laying my head gently on his chest to feel it rise and fall, rise and fall,
listening to his unsteady heartbeat.

Bum da dum. Bum bum da dum da dum. Bum da dum.

His wrinkled fingers from his other brown-spotted hand soothingly flowed through my long auburn hair.

I watched his almost-purple tongue flick across his blue chapped lips,
my name rasping from his mouth.

Yes, grandpa?”
I lifted my head to peer into his dull eyes, my heart sinking into my chest.

My little girl.”
He slowly lifted his trembling hand and caressed my cheek with his index finger,
the way he always did when he put me to bed and kissed me goodnight many years ago.

I turned my face and put my soft lips against his callused palm.

As I felt his hand go limp and the life disappear from his eyes, my eyes over brimmed with tears spilling down my cheeks.

I studied his face, knowing that one day I would never see the little crow’s feet around his gentle brown eyes or the dimples around his once-quick smile.
I would no longer feel his strong arms surround me in his warmth and love.

I laid my head back on his now unmoving chest, holding his hand against my heart,
never wanting to let him go.