Tag Archives: Murder

The Vocabulary Lesson

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The seven-word prompt was to make use of as many of these words as possible in a short piece: knickers, oneiric, cigar, shenanigans, cold-cocked, finish and sun-dried. You needn’t check.  I used all of them. The November writing prompt was “Lipstick Lover.”

The Vocabulary Lesson

She was more than irritated. Pissed, really, as she thumbed through the dictionary in search of the word “oneiric.” Any word that needed to be looked up didn’t belong in a “Dear Jane” letter anyway—as though to the very end he was trying to demonstrate his superiority—her inferiority.

BASTARD! She slammed the dictionary to the floor, picked up the half-smoked cigar he’d left in the ashtray last night, relit it and surveyed the new paper cut on her index finger. Just one more of his shenanigans, she thought. Right after he’d cold-cocked her with the news that he and she were finished—that he was leaving her FOR HER MOTHER!!!!!!, he’d lit up his Cubano for one more puff before grinding it out and handing her this letter, telling her not to open it until he’d gone.

His finish had been pretty much like their beginning—with him ending up on the floor. But this time she was standing over him rather than lying on top of him. Idly, she flicked an ash into his open mouth, hitting him squarely on his tongue. The sun-dried blood on his lip looked like the smudge of a lover’s lipstick. Around his head were the remains of the crystal candlestick her mother had given them for their wedding.  She sucked at the paper cut, then at the gash across her palm that she had gotten from a shard of the candlestick that had taken a far smaller part out of her than it had out of him.

Far away in the kitchen, the phone rang and rang. Probably her mother. Well, let her get her knickers in a bunch waiting for him. Let her think (for as long as she could put off coming to investigate) that her daughter had reclaimed her property. She was in possession for now and everyone knew possession was 9/10ths of the law. She took another long draw before examining her wounds again.

Then, her curiosity getting the better of her, she moved back to the dictionary to thumb through the o’s. When she’d found the word, she chuckled and looked back at her lost love. Gone from this world, but no one would ever know it if she just shut his jaw and wiped off the bloodstain. As a matter of fact, he’d look downright oneiric!

 

The Nov. 8 Nov. Writing Prompt is Lipstick Lover.

Vocabulary Lesson

 

 Vocabulary Lesson

She was more than irritated. Pissed, really, as she thumbed through the dictionary in search of the word.  Any word that needed to be looked up didn’t belong in a “Dear Jane” letter anyway–as though to the very end he was trying to demonstrate his superiority—her inferiority.

Fuck! She slammed the dictionary to the floor, picked up the half-smoked cigar he’d left in the ashtray, relit it, took a drag and surveyed the new paper cut on her index finger. Just one more of his shenanigans, she thought. Right after he’d cold-cocked her with the news that he and she were finished—that he was leaving her FOR HER MOTHER!!!!!!, he’d lit up his Cubano for one more puff before grinding it out and handing her this letter, telling her not to open it until he’d gone.

His finish had been pretty much like their beginning—with him ending up on the floor. But this time she was standing over him rather than lying in a frail heap below him. Idly, she flicked an ash into his open mouth, hitting him squarely on his tongue. The sun-dried blood on his lip looked like the smudge of a lover’s lipstick. Around his head were the remains of the crystal candlestick her mother had given them for their wedding.  She darted her tongue out to nurse first the paper cut, then the gash across her palm that she had gotten from a shard of the candlestick that had taken a far smaller part out of her than it had out of him.

Far away in the kitchen, the phone rang and rang. Probably her mother. Well, let her get her knickers in a bunch waiting for him. Let her think (for as long as she could put off coming to investigate) that her daughter had reclaimed her property. She was in possession for now and everyone knew possession was 9/10ths of the law. She took another long draw before examining her wounds again.

Then, her curiosity getting the better of her, she moved back to the dictionary to thumb through the e’s. When she’d found the word, “eschatology,” she chuckled and looked back at her lost love. In the letter he had meant for her to read after he had left, he had revealed that their night class in eschatology had led her mother and him to the decision that they must abandon their present lives to join an ashram in India and examine their final destinies. Ironically, she had found that answer for him, at least. She looked up one of the other big words he had used in her “Dear Jane” letter.  “Heuristic: a practical method for solving a problem that is not optimal or perfect but sufficient for the immediate goals.”  He had hit the nail on the head with that one. It was definitely a word that applied to her present situation, if no longer to his!

 

This is a rewrite of an essay from three years ago that I had totally forgotten.  I’ve altered it to meet today’s three prompt words.  A heuristic solution, no?

Fandango’s prompt is lesson.
The Daily Addiction prompt is frail.
The Ragtag prompt is dart.

 

Poem written after the Celebration of Life for Nina and Eduardo

 The ceremony for Eduardo and Nina was full of the loving thoughts of friends, details about their lives given from many perspectives, a few tears but even more laughter from remembering the good times.  It was only on the road home that the contrasts in the peaceful happy setting I saw around me and the events of a week before hit me.  The first lines of this poem ran over and over again through my thoughts and I had to pull over by the side of the road and write this poem.  Part of me wonders if it is exploitative to write about this sad event, but I’ve found that many of my writer friends who were friends of Nina and Eduardo have been driven to do the same.  It is as though I no longer know how to think about things unless I do so through my writing or my art.  Somehow, the only way to process a hard truth of life is to make use of it creatively and to try to create a message that makes sense even though the deed never will.

After the Ceremony: Driving Home

The streets are filled

With ice cream and cerveza

and the wildly patterned legs

of senoritas.

It is a day

of sunlight and red flowers

and fuschia flowers and blue.

A slight wind

 strums the swaying branches

of the palms,

but no other sounds

compete with the passing hum

of oncoming traffic streaming

 from the city to our shores,

 seeking safety, quiet,

the gentle lap of water against willow,

hypnotic bobbing of the pelicans

between the undulating liria––

a lazy day away

from the cares of urban life.

I pull to the side of the road to watch

 these visitors to our world.

 Have they not heard or

have they just forgotten

the breaking glass,

the knife, the club,

the red screams

slicing the midnight air?

The ones who were the screamers

 are very quiet now––

part of the calmness

of this afternoon.

Their darkness

is dispersed by sunlight.

Yet all of their fear and pain––

the terror of their leaving––

now gone from them,

is kept like a souvenir

within the hearts of friends

whose turn it is to remember

for a while what we, too,

had forgotten.

Our happy world

lies like a blanket

over a bed made messy

by pain and loss.

It is the world’s bed,

and deny it as we will,

we all have lain in it

and will again.

                                                                              –Judy Dykstra-Brown      February 24, 2014

Letting the Media Replace the Heart

I wrote this on Facebook in response to a friend who thanked me for telling what she called the “true story”:  “I’ve posted some untrue info as well, but then the next day it turned “true” again. We all want to know and yet after awhile it becomes an obsession and we get so caught up in the soundbites that we forget what they are really about. Guess this is our world in microcosm. We need to remember that it all started because we lost two friends. I know there are those much closer to Edward and Nina than I was. I knew her for many years and was in three different writing groups with her where I heard her read her writing, which is sometimes the best way to get to know someone. Edward contacted me to ask if I’d like him to read and comment on my grief book before it went to the printer even though we were just friendly acquaintances. I think it would have been hard for someone even closer to do what I’ve been doing. No one else did and that’s why I have. Somehow, I got caught up in the middle. At any rate, for all of their even closer friends, I hope the hype stops and we turn to more comforting matters. As soon as I have official word from the venue, I’ll post information about the memorial. If you want to do true tribute to Nina, buy her book. That would have made her so happy.”  You can find her book, “The Leprous Veil of Love” on Amazon. She also has stories in a women’s anthology “Agave Marias” which is available in Mexico and online with secondhand book dealers. (This information was requested by someone who read this blog.)

Nina Discombe and Edward Kular’s Deaths

I am so relieved to report that one of the men responsible for my friends’ death has been apprehended and is in jail.  They are presently in pursuit of his brother, who reportedly assisted in the robbery and murder. The American Consul has assured us that our region of Lake Chapala is not on the “Do Not Travel” list and that they consider this to be an isolated incident and not of danger to travelers and residents.  The chief of police assured us that this was a robbery, not a revenge killing, and that Nina and Edward’s deaths were swift and that they did not suffer unduly. The robbers were unaware of their presence in the house and when they discovered their presence, they killed them out of fear of being recognized and caught. We are all so sad about the death of our friends but also anxious that people not panic over this horrible act which echoes so many other violent actions in the world. The poem that I published in my last blog seems to be all the more true at this point.  Nina was a happy person who loved Mexico.  She would be the last to want people to live in fear.  I saw Edward a few days before his death and we had a discussion about his family’s fears about his return to Mexico, given his health issues.  One of the last comments that passed between us was our agreement that it does no good to live in fear–that we must live the lives we want to live for as long as we can.  Edward lived up to this declaration.