Tag Archives: Guns

Interruption

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Interruption

The dogs made their usual frenzied protest at his leaving. “This time he’s not coming back,” I told them just before opening the gate for them, even though I knew that all I had to do, really, was to think it. They were his dogs, but they were psychically attuned to my thoughts.

Their “tracking”  brays grew fainter but more frenzied as they vanished behind hill after hill, and finally, when far away—an interrupted cry as a shot rang out.  Then the yelping of one dog. Or was it two?

Was it fear or mourning for a master already forgiven that brought about the brief caesura that followed the gunshot and preceded the wailing––that trio of sounds that have reverberated, in sequence, down through my life since then.

 

For the DVerse Poet’s Pub, we are to write a flash fiction prose piece of no more than 144 words and to incorporate this line from a Robert Frost poem, “When far away an interrupted cry.” 

Another Modest Proposal

DSC08411Macho” assemblage and photo by jdb

Another Modest Proposal

Once a species has been depleted,
it’s sad that it can’t be repeated.
This is true of guys and gals
as surely as for animals.
So though we hate to limit fun
that might be realized with your gun,
unless you’re hunting for your fodder,
we ask that you confine your slaughter
to paper targets, or wood or clay,
and do not blow game sport away
like rhinos, elephants, giraffes.
Their slaughters are the greatest gaffes.
If you must kill a living thing,
form yourselves into a ring,
make prayers to the Holy Mother
and target practice on each other!

 

Yes, this is hyperbole!! The WordPress prompt is deplete.

Dim Prospects

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Dim Prospects
(A Hyperbolic Modest Proposal)

We’re blotting the sun out and dimming the stars
with furnaces, factories, wildfires, cars.
With overproduction causing glut after glut,
it seems our improvements are anything but.
Man’s once-shiny future is now looking dim,
and he’s pulling the whole planet under with him.
Fires and hurricanes, tsunamis and quakes,
rampaging hillsides and drying-up lakes
are messages sent that the earth’s fighting back—
giving us warnings of things out of whack.

When fat cats in limos and thousand buck suits
have usurped all the seeds and kept all the fruits,
and all of their products are made by machines,
three dimensional copiers making our jeans,
our autos, appliances, organs and cars,
our TVs and glasses, our bikes and guitars,
we’ll all need welfare—mere motionless blobs
once they have “teched” away all of our jobs.
And since welfare is something that they’ve soundly booed,
what will the masses do for their food?

Where will we sleep once all of the money
all of the milk and all of the honey
is in the pockets of those gazillionaires
cushioned away in their billion-buck lairs?
Keeping a few of us here on the scene
to garden and cook for them, to serve and clean,
they’ll let unwashed masses starve in their cots
and buy from each other their trillion dollar yachts
And perhaps they’ll be happy with what they’ve created:
machines making products ’til their needs are sated.

Now that they’ve purchased our ship of state
and made it their own, it seems that the fate
of unlucky millions who’ve gone overboard
for lack of the medicine they can’t afford
is nothing to them, for not one of them cares
how any common citizen  fares.
Lest we riot against them out of our need
for money for food they’ve usurped in their greed,
issue guns to the populace. Let us dispense
of  these unneeded masses. To them, it makes sense!

The prompt word today is dim.

Be Here Now, Sept 20, 2016

If you haven’t seen the 2013 documentary “Muscle Shoals,” you should.  The studio that spawned a lot of superior music is now closed, and when we passed through today, this is what we saw instead:

Be Here Now

Where once they made music, now buy a gun.
It’s so in style, join in the fun.
Sidearms your pleasure, armed with aplomb.
When you need bolstering, purchase a bomb.
Warfare’s a game. Come join in and play.
You can wage war for real when you grow up some day.

(Click on this Muscle Shoals link to see a trailer for the excellent documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auGUm2r0cLs.) In addition, here is an NPR story about Muscle Shoals Studio: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1437161

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/here-and-now/

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/silence/

Most of the Time: A Serial Tale, Chapter 5

Most of the Time

                                                                           Chapter 5

All she can hear are the sighs of cars and the rumble of trains and the sounds of everyone hurrying through the cold.  Peter calls out to her from his study, but she is immersed in her book–hurrying to keep step with Hercule Poirot.  His stumpy little legs move him curiously fast over the buckled pavement of a seedy street and she isn’t sure yet where they are going, but  she hurries after him, as much for a means of escape from Peter as curiosity over where he is going and what he will find once he gets there.  The lives depicted in the book she is reading are a way to avoid her everyday life with Peter as surely as hanging around bars where she would know, if she thought it out, that she will never really meet anyone to replace him with.

This man she chose for her husband calls out again, this time louder.  “Susan!  There’s a gun missing from your case.  Did you forget and leave it in the car?”

Damn.  She had forgotten to take it out of the tool box. Peter is in the doorway now.  No way can she get it out of the garden bin and back into its locked case in his den tonight without him seeing her.  Her mind spins as she tries to come up with a plausible excuse for the missing gun.

“The action jammed at the range today.  Luckily, Randy from the gun shop was there and he said he’d take it in for repairs for me.”

He didn’t answer, but she could hear him shuffling down the hall, rattling papers in front of his nose as he walked, again restored to his potential fortunes. As she returned to her book, she looked down and realized she was wearing her flouncy skirt.  Not appropriate.  Why hadn’t Peter mentioned it?  Her arms were bare, which meant she was in one of her tight spaghetti strap tops.  But actually, she didn’t have to worry on Peter’s account, because she realized now she wasn’t at home.  She was on a dance floor, dancing close with a man who was missing two teeth.  He dipped her, pulling her close against his chest and bending over with her as she bent back.  His breath was not unpleasant and with the exception of the missing front teeth, he was a handsome man.  But although the coloring and features were right and the body mass in all the right places, there was some lack–of intelligence, perhaps–in his face.  Or maybe what was missing was integrity–something that had to be there for her to be attracted to a man.  Peter had had it once.

Susan snapped to attention, aware that she’d nodded off.  She looked for the gap-grin man, confused for a few seconds between dreams and reality.  She missed him, a little, when she became fully awake.  She wondered how she would have gotten out of that last dip.  Would he have pulled her up again?  Surely he’d have to. What kind of dance partner drops his partner after the dip?  She laughed then, aware that she seemed to be caught up in her dreams more than reality.

Her few little adventures.  Where did they get her, really?  She recognized that most of it was revenge against Peter. But of what good was revenge that he did not know about and that did nothing to change her life in any meaningful manner?  She decided then and there that there would be changes. Her next sojourn would not be to any of the dives she had visited in the past.  Nor would she wear her usual tacky disguise.  From now on, at least for awhile, her  rare escapes would be conducted strictly in first class.  She’d go shopping tomorrow.  Drop her emergency clothes from the trunk off at some Goodwill store  and up her ante.

When she again picked up her book, she no longer felt the cold chill of London.  She strode arm and arm with Hercule, the shoreline exposed by half-moonlight.  The hydrofoil loomed up before them. They crossed the channel at midnight.

Beginning and final lines from Anthony Doerr, “All the Light We Cannot See.” Thanks to Candace Spence for furnishing the first and last lines in this chapter. 

Does someone have tomorrow’s lines for me?  Just choose a favorite book and tell me the title, author and first and last lines in a comment.  If I don’t receive one, the book is finished!!!!

Most of the Time: A Serial Tale, Chapter 2

Well, again, today’s prompt is one I’ve already done, but the prompt I did yesterday involves taking the first and last line of a favorite book and using the last line as the first line of my writing and using the first line of the book as the last line in my piece.  I did so and the results, if you haven’t read them, you can find HERE.  I then asked readers to provide the name of another book and its first and last lines so I can continue the story.  I’m going to continue so long as people keep providing me the first and last lines.  More info about that is at the end of my Chapter 2.  So, here goes Chapter Two:

Most of the Time

Chapter 2

Nothing is an unmixed blessing. The fact that my frequent trips to the firing range furnished me with an easy out any time I wished to leave the house carried certain penalties. For one, I had no permit to carry a concealed weapon, so if I was planning on really going elsewhere, I had to figure out where in the house to stash my guns so Peter would not find them and start wondering why I would be going to a firing range with no guns. It was not an option to leave them in the car. I may be irresponsible in some regards, but gun safety is not one of them. I will not carry concealed weapons. Nor will I take the risk of anyone breaking into my car to steal them.

As careful as I am, I’ve been known to forget to lock the car. What if a child were to enter and find one of the guns and, thinking it was a toy, discharge it? So it was that I purchased the lock box that I kept in a special compartment, also locked, under the gardening box behind the lawnmower shed. I had it made specially, and it was so cleverly contrived that it was impossible to see that there was a secret slide-out compartment under the large chest that held clippers, shears, weed whacker, gloves, various lawn fertilizers, garden pest sprays and powders and about a thousand Daddy Long Legs that had decided this year to use it as their main clustering spot. A padlock secured it against any child getting into the poisons or any prowler making off with our tools, but there was a crack big enough to permit access by spiders, tiny frogs, and this year’s infestation of Daddy Long Legs.

I slid my fingers into the crack on the side of the secret compartment that allowed the lock to pop out, unlocked it and slid my Ruger Mark 4 into the small tray that ran along the left side of the compartment. There was plenty of room for several rifles or shotguns in addition to six or more pistols or revolvers, but it would have been overkill to pretend to take more than one firearm on a day when I had no intention of going to the range. It would be easy for me to sneak a small pistol into the house. Not so easy to deal with smuggling an item as large as a rifle if Peter happened to get home before I did.

I clicked the tray shut, heard the automatic lock snap in place, then turned the key to position the deadlock. Free at last! I sprinted to the car and spun out in my excitement to be off on another adventure. “She cleans closets by night, comes out of the closet by day” ran through my mind, picking up a melody as it repeated itself. No song had written itself in my mind for a very long time, and even this silly line began to acquire a validity that I might have disregarded if I hadn’t felt so elated to once again have the company of my muse. Even so, I had to admit the line didn’t have much of a chance as anything outside of a C&W refrain, but I’m no snob about music. I’m open to pretty much any kind of music that comes to me.

Peter hates it when I hum. He gets this irritated look, first, and if I continue in spite of it, his usual line is, “You’re humming again!” After twenty years of being cutting short by this line, I still feel put down every time he says it. “I am not farting!” I used to say, “—or snorting or coughing without covering my mouth. I am simply revealing my happy mood, not to mention my creativity. It’s an original song I’m humming, Peter. It’s part of my expression of my art.”

Those sorts of arguments didn’t make it much past our first year of marriage. It took me less time than that to learn that such unburdenings of my soul had absolutely no effect on Peter. The next time I hummed, the look he shot me was no less lethal. “Old women hum tunelessly under their breaths,” he once said during yet another putdown. “Can’t you save your humming for private moments?”

I rolled down the window and bellered. Top of my lungs. Top of the morning. I’d reached open country and there was no one to hear me with the exception of the crows and passing motorists, none of whom even turned their heads to check me out. I was noisily invisible. That was comforting, actually. I really enjoyed being the thing overlooked in places where I knew I didn’t belong. I would soon be that person again in whatever place I chose to enter next. I headed out for the industrial part of a very large town merely twenty miles away from the house I called home. That was far enough in this hugest of towns. I had never once run across anyone I knew on one of my little sorties. These little adventures were the dessert that kept me true to the restricted diet I was on in the other ninety-some percent of my life. I was going to have fun. Even if it killed me, I was going to have fun while I still remembered what fun was.

As I pulled off the four lane onto a long straight gray street, I could hear the buzz of the telephone lines, the maddening drone of a weed whacker, the electrical current pushing the street lights off and on, the rhythmic turning of cars whizzing by, the mashed together sound of people talking, TV’s and radios blaring, When I rolled up my window, all of the noises went away; but as I pulled to a stop in front of a little lowlife dive and opened the door, I could hear its neon sign doing its own cyclical hum to join with all the other sounds. “Ninny Ricketts Place” the sign announced without the benefit of apostrophe, and it joined in the humming mesmerizing chorus of that whole grim landscape until the buzz in the street was like the humming of flies caught between glass and the window screen, with no place else to go but here and no way to get there even should they determine to go.

To See Chapter 3, go Here.

Yesterday’s Prompt: Choose a book at random from your bookcase. Use the last sentence in the book as the first sentence of what you write. Then turn to the first sentence of the book and use it for your ending sentence. (I used the ending line of the book I chose as my title, which actually is the first line of a book to my way of thinking. Hereafter, however, I will use whatever prompt I’m given as the first line of the next section of the story.)

Today’s Prompt from Patti Arnieri: My suggestion is from “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith (otherwise known as J.K. Rowling). First line: “The buzz in the street was like the humming of flies.” Last line: “Nothing is an unmixed blessing.”

If you would like to suggest a book for me to use the first and last lines of for tomorrow’s writing, please give the title of the book, the author, and the book’s first and last lines in the comments section of this posting. Remember that I’ll use the last line as the first line of tomorrow’s posting and the first line as my last line. Who knows where this tale will wind? If no one gives me tomorrow’s prompting lines, the rest of the story will never be heard, and perhaps that is a good thing. C’est la vie.

P.S. If any of you would like to accept this same challenge, just watch to see what beginning and ending lines I use and use the same ones. If you are a day behind, no problem. It would be interesting to see what varied stories occur given the same beginning and ending lines. Please post a link to your story or poem on the page it corresponds to in my blog—i.e. the one where I make use of the same beginning and ending lines.Will anyone accept my challenge? Sam? Macgyver? Laura? John?

Most of the Time: A Serial Tale, Chapter 1

Instead of the WordPress prompts, I chose this one from the Poets & Writers site. The Prompt: Choose a book at random from your bookcase. Use the last sentence in the book as the first sentence of what you write. Then turn to the first sentence of the book and use it for your ending sentence. (I used the ending line of the book I chose as my title, which actually is the first line of a book to my way of thinking. Hereafter, however, I will use whatever prompt I’m given as the first line of the next section of the story.)

Most of the Time

I don’t remember much of my past. It makes it easier to live the present, that’s for sure. Ninny Ricketts, for example, is hidden so far back that I have to go into a dream state to remember her, and when I do, I’m unsure how much of what I remember is real and how much I’ve made up like people do, you know, when they are inventing excuses to tell their parents or, later, for their spouses.

In the past, I’ve gotten away with such lame excuses as that my lipstick was messed up because I ate an ice cream cone on the way home and had been rubbing my mouth with a napkin or that I have always worn a particular sweater backwards. It’s not that my husband hasn’t had his suspicions. He has been known to go out and sniff the backseat of my car like a German Shepherd, searching for drugs—as though he’d recognize the smell of sex after all these years of substituting fly rods for nookie. Still, even though I’m not the particular fish on his hook, he doesn’t want anyone else rifling through his bait box. Go figure.

I’ve become very good at covering up my tracks, or wriggles, or whatever you’d call this fish’s explorations of new waters. It’s become a sort of game. One that I always win. Which, I think, is okay with Peter. What he can’t prove, he doesn’t have to deal with. And Ninny Ricketts is buried so far back, as I said before, that there is not a person we are still in contact with that I’ve ever mentioned her name to. She is a fish once gone bad who has since faded away into nothingness—no longer an idea even fresh in my own remembrance. She is stripped bones on a pile of skeletons baked clean in the light of a day that only shines dimly in my memory.

With all this fish imagery, you would think I was a fisherman, but that is not a fact. It is my husband of 25 years who is the fisherman. I am the hunter in the family. That rack of guns locked up tight in the case in my husband’s man cave? They are mine. Even if he had a key, he would not have one iota of a sense of what to do with a gun—how to open the cylinder to load it or how to take aim. I tried to take him target shooting once, many years ago when love was new and he was doing anything I asked to meet my favor. But he could never see the point of wasting bullets on something you felt neither angst about nor an appetite for. We’d eaten thousands of fish in our years together, but never one thing I’d shot. I had no desire to eat anything I’d killed. My paper targets went into the recycling bin on my way out of the shooting range to go to the grocery store to buy the meat for our evening meal.

Now I retrieved the bag of raw steaks and potatoes and frozen peas from the back seat. A bit of blood had oozed out from the paper wrapping of the steaks and stained the back seat in one spot. I left it for Peter to discover. It would make his day interrogating me, and I could always produce the stained wrapper for proof. Having him obsess on the blood would distract him from other evidence of my real guilt—the new dress hanging in my closet where dresses had been shoved to the far edges long ago. The strapped dancing shoes and electric hair curler. If he had been the sort who looked at everything—the entire picture—he would have caught me years ago; but I was like that huge fish of legend that swam deep waters, emerging in a leap that defied the laws of gravity and mass every half year or so, far out in the lake where a single fisherman would see it and further the yarn of this Loch Ness Monster of fishes that had evaded the hook for scores of years.

I shifted the bag on my hip as I searched for the right key on the huge hank of keys I carried around with me everywhere I went. It made it easier, to hunt for one huge ring of keys other than to remember where individual keys were kept. It also made it harder for Peter to find the key that opens up the file cabinet where I keep my writing—all of my stories, essays, poems and journals.

“You evil, evil, woman,” he would say if he ever found and read them. But I am not an evil woman. I am merely one who has taken the reins of destiny into her own grip. I am in the driver’s seat of the buckboard of my own desires—fighting off love bandits in fern bars and marauding savages in late night diners. I have learned well the art of subterfuge—adopting the camouflage of ladies luncheon garb and pillow talk about charity bazaars and yoga lessons.

In the trunk of my car is a locked suitcase with a selection of sling-backed heels and dresses with swirly skirts to be slipped into before I wriggle out of the pants and jackets of neat pants suits or the simple streamlined skirts I don to exit and enter my house. These swirly skirts are redolent of the odors of barrooms: martini olives and Dos Equis, nicotine and the very faint skunk smell of really good pot. A slightly-opened bag of dark roast coffee obscures the odors sealed up in that case that my husband believes is my snow-emergency kit: gloves, long underwear, hat, muffler, snow boots, energy bars and water.

To be perfectly clear, most of the time I am the everyday housewife that has been my disguise for the 25 years of my marriage. Like an underground love goddess, I emerge on special assignment once or twice a year, feast on my fill of prurient pleasures, and then go underground again.

That is the sort of mission I was on the day I met Ninny Ricketts. I was on my way to the shooting range, wearing my usual Levis and t-shirt and Birkenstocks. Yes. I had strapped on the holster that usually held my favorite pistol on the days that I chose a handgun rather than a rifle or shotgun for my shooting practice. But on that day, there was just one difference. I didn’t wear my gun.

To Be Continued?

The book I chose was Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson. If you would like to suggest a book for me to use the first and last lines of for tomorrow’s writing, please give the title of the book, the author, and the book’s first and last lines in the comments section of this posting. Remember that I’ll use the last line as the first line of tomorrow’s posting and the first line as my last line. Who knows where this tale will wind? If no one gives me tomorrow’s prompting lines, the rest of the story will never be heard, and perhaps that is a good thing. C’est la vie.

P.S. If any of you would like to accept this same challenge, just watch to see what beginning and ending lines I use and use the same ones. If you are a day behind, no problem. It would be interesting to see what varied stories occur given the same beginning and ending lines. Please post a link to your story or poem on the page it corresponds to in my blog—i.e. the one where I make use of the same beginning and ending lines. Will anyone accept my challenge? Sam? Macgyver? Laura? John?

To See Chapter 2, go HERE