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No Wonder I Drink

"No wonder I drink." Perry White reached into the bottom drawer of his desk, pulled out a bottle of rye, good rye, and a small glass and poured himself three fingers of the golden liquid.  "Great Cesar’s ghost," he muttered into the glass, "they’re killing me".

"Lois Lane has been taken hostage (third time this year) and, as usual, Clark Kent is nowhere to be found.  Why can I never find my so called ace reporter when I need him the most?  The early edition is due on the street in an hour and I’ve got nothing for page one. The Daily Planet is going to hell in hand basket. In fact, the whole damned city of Metropolis is going with it. I guess I should have taken that job in Chicago. At least at The Tribune I would be working with Brenda Starr.”

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Irregular Symmetry

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[title undecided]

Frenetic fireflies glinted behind her eyes that summer. I didn't know what had changed her, but she swung her arms freely, wore loose hemp bracelets with colored beads, drew wild birds with marker in the crooks of her elbows: I never knew till then she was ambidextrous. Electricity crackled and sparked between us like lightning kissing telephone wires in a midsummer storm. I kept hoping her straw-colored hair was wild and dry enough to light a fire in, but all summer long we smiled and laughed and smiled; she thirsted too much to drive her closed eyelids into the rain, so I indulged it all, glad, at least, for her presence.

Once, at school, I snuck up behind her during lunchtime as she stared intently into her white computer screen at an empty table beside the wall. As I reached out to poke her in the ribs my eyes glanced across text and the blinking cursor: Pond water festers in my veins and my heart has stopped trying to turn it into blood. I have been trying to forget myself before anyone else remembers me. I backtracked, stepped quietly away, but sometimes when she looks me in the eyes and asks me where the thunder's gone I wonder whether she heard me breathing behind her, then.

She vowed, one spring night under the stars, after hours clinging so hard to a boy's stomach as his motorbike screamed down a deserted Minnesota highway that the imprint of her clenched fists took three days to fade from his skin, to exist. This I learned after her death, after that summer, when the boy came up to the funeral podium holding a battered piece of paper that held only aimless sketches of her eyes and crumpled against it. After he left her, the only way she knew how to hold onto him was by expanding in her promise to live, and so she did wildly, desperately, swallowing soil and sunshine into her open throat to grow wildflowers out of each of her orifices. After that summer was over, they told her she had to let go. So she let autumn dry the auburn leaves and pressed her wildflowers between the pages of her journal, and as one by one the foliage fell, she let go.

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The Grind

What makes the world work? I do.

And let me tell you a little something. It isn't conventionally pretty.

I do my rounds covered in a sheen of sweat, a film of oil, and a glittering of brass dust and iron filings. They all coat my curls, bristle my beard, and line my lungs with a sort of reverberating, constant cough. I cough like pistons strike. I croak like gears grind. I rasp in whatever the pneumatics hiss out.

I live for work. If I stop, you stop. If I stop, we all stop. So I work. I work.

It's crimson-gold down here. It's blood and molten gold. It sparks in 3/4 time. It's waltz, rococo, chiaroscuro, and it looks steampunk to those who don't know any better. There is no counterculture, no counter-clockwise turns here. This is the belly of the world and it does not care if you are dapper. It just works, because I work and I suck in all the mess life levels.

I am more rag sometimes than engineer, but that makes me twice as vital.

Life is a messy machine, after all, in constant need of delicate repair.

Prompt: via writeinspiration

Rapid Prompt - The gears of the world.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking prompts, feedback, and your attention.

 

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The Bad Ending

So, that's it. You got me. You've won. This isn't Christopher Nolan. It's Coen Brothers. Fuck.

I put it all on the line. I rose to the challenge. I learned the score. I exposed my vulnerabilities. I lost and found and lost and found. I lost and found myself. I followed the road. I followed On the Road. I went back to the beginning, just like Vicini said. I grew. I really grew. Just as planned.

Wicked pose. Pen strikes the notebook. Bam. I'm dead. I lose. You win.

In the end, growing is a kind of running away. It's like turning your back to an explosion. The world' still going off behind you, but you look cool as you strut or stumble or just get launched ahead. It's cool, right? I was cool, right? I was really good? But now I'm ready. For this. For now. For you.

The squid is shouting, but there's no pulling back from this. And with that, I'm all out of cute shit.

You fucked me. You fucked me, fucked me, fucked me but good. I always wanted to be somebody.

I just never thought that somebody would be you.

You can't run from what's already inside you.

You can't run from fate.

You can't even run.

You just fall.

Splat.

Prompt: A cosmological Anonymous asked me:

There is nowhere in this universe to hid from you tonight.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Pay no attention to the brackets below. Just send me love.

[Rough outline. Is there a Shermer in Illinois? Jay says no.]

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Ill-Fitting

He didn't want to take it, but he took it anyway.

It was too small in his large, unclumsy hands. Too smooth, when he could barely feel it out through all the calluses. Too light, when he was used to bearing burdens. Too clean. Too much.

He didn't want to open it, but still, he opened it.

The clasp opened too easily. His finger and thumb were too well trained. He'd opened another, a twin to this one, one too many times over too many nights. It left scars on the hard hide he'd earned. That's why it felt too small, too smooth, too light, too clean. Too little. The clasp hurt.

He didn't want to look at it, but he looked.

He didn't look up. He didn't want to watch her leave.

Of all the things that he'd survived, he didn't expect to survive seeing an empty locket.

Where was his face? His picture? He'd wanted to see the man he used to be.

So had she, but she'd thrown it out anyway.

Prompt: via writeworld.

He stared at the locket, and it shook in his trembling hands.

Writer’s Block

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Ow. Ow, ow, ow. Fuck. Ow. Ow. Ow. Writing hurts. Novels? More.

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She's A Wonderful Wife

Call me a traitor if you like. Soon, I won't hear you.

I don't want to hear it, anyway. All my life, I've labored after love, because from day one, I've been fed the line that love is labor. It was hard work getting my thick head out of my petite mother's abdomen, and life's only got a little easier since. I worked for my mother's poor heart, my dad's hard-earned approval. I worked for a job. I worked for a degree, a home, a future. Then what? "Work to live, don't live to work!" Sure. So I did. Like I'd always done, I worked hard at it.

Her name was Monica. Yeah, she'll miss me. And me? I don't want to talk about it.

So when that Mazda came crashing down? When that blue-hot halogen bore down on me and you stopped time? Yeah, I was impressed. Amazed. Tearstruck. Awestruck. Awed. Touched, even.

So then you tell me, "Keep going. Have faith. A kingdom awaits the meek, humble in love."

Well, you know what? Fuck that. Kingdom, please? I've done my time. I've said my prayers.

I'll miss this world...

...but not that much.

Monica? No. No, I don't want to talk about it. You don't have the right to ask me. Just don't.

So Zoom zoom, little fucker. Zoom. Fucking. Zoom. The light at the end of the tunnel's waiting.

Prompt: via knowyourcharacter

"Your character finally gets everything they ever wanted…except at the cost of the one the love? Is it worth it? Do they take it or give it up?

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. This is a test of my sense of humor. Mmm. Little bitter.

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Clutching Happy Endings

Fifteen hours on a stimulant solution. Fifteen hours, hand in hand. Tethered down tight, both of them. She in leather straps and IV needles. He had the needles, too, but his own grip held him, knuckles white.  Slick in sweat. Not daring to look outside. Not the windows. Not the door.

There was no world for either of them past the plastic, automatic door. There was nothing for the clear sheet to show him, anyway - no missions, no more dreams, no hard realities. Just this.   Just them. Just chemicals and surface tension. Two pairs of eyes boring into one another.  

One refusing to let go. One full of something very close hate. Both full of hurt. Both so very tired.

If either fell asleep, it would be the end for both of them.  She would let go, and he was not okay with that. There are worse things than a dreamless oblivion. She knew that.   He knew it, too, but to him, all of those things were a lack of her. They knew one more thing, one hard, cold thing.  

There was only so much stimulant  in the one room left in all the world.  

He held on tighter. She watched his eyes, awake, waiting for the nightmare to end.

Prompt: countingstarsincabinsix submitted to writeworld 

He was afraid that if she closed her eyes they would never open again.

Writer’s Block

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, feedback, followers, and love.

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Asymmetry

I

(Prompt: Symmetrical Dance by ~kamakebelieve, via characterinspiration)

Beauty has a certain gift for contradiction. No, not contradiction. Deceit. Layers. Interpretation.

Or maybe it's that I do. Maybe I'm just crafting stories,  making myself the hero. Wiser. Worthy. 

Some might see little hands with unremarkable fingers, little arms with too little mass. Eyes hop down the stepping stones of her bare spine, never quite finding a slope worth stopping for. Or not.

How sad is that, to see so little in so much? They or I can't imagine the texture on her fingertips. They or I can't make out wires underneath her skin, arms ready to fly or tense or tuck into a moving picture portrait.They or I see stepping stones, not the feather trigger mechanism, set to launch a body against gravity. Hard. Soft. Controlled. Raw. Energy. 

Some see a dress. Pretty flowers. Vain and soft. A blanket over a dear girl and a dusty floor.

Some see potential energy, waiting for that kinetic kick. For life. To whirl. To move.

I see a goddess. I see a woman bowed and bent. I want to see her weak, to save her. Strong, to save me.

No matter what, I see a hammer cocked back, light but as heavy as a body, ready to fire. Blow. Burn.

I see a shot ready to pierce me. And I just pray that I'm a target.

 

(C) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Always seeking writing prompts.

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Pelagia

I set a foot into the licking edges of an infinite. Beyond? A lip. A gaping throat. The abyss itself.

All around me, children played and teenagers tried or failed to make love.

Beyond lay waves that have kissed a dozen coasts. Beyond lay azure, cerulean, and emeralds rendered down to a juice that sparkles diamond-bright with salt. Under the sun. Under the moon. Under stars. Beyond the edges lie a thousand colors under a roaming band of sunsets. Beneath?

Darkness. The self-conscious tan, the uncomfortable cook and peel, and someone reads a book.

In that darkness are creatures vast enough to bring us back to a history that does not favor us. Lovecraft's unmentionable horrors reflect the sea that's right in front of us. It's swallowed ships, dreams, ambitions, and Amelia Earhart. If you dare to delve down deep, you will be crushed. If you rise or fall too quickly, bubbles will erupt inside your blood. She can't be forced, only courted.

Somewhere, my mother shouts that I'm daydreaming. My sister puts something cold against my neck. She thinks I'll snap awake, but I am awake. I'm awestruck, in love, and terrified.

I suck on a plastic, freezy cylinder thing while I contemplate that great blue frontier.

Man... freezy pops are rad. Treats and salt water make a man profound. 

Prompt: A pelagic Anonymous asked me:

Atlantic.

So glad to be home for a while. That said? I want to reblog stuff. Well, I want to reblog stuff with a review added. So if you want a piece reviewed? E-mail me and I'll reblog it. So there.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. And as always, I welcome your prompts.