Pro Posals

Things are heating up here at Romano’s. He’s getting down on one knee! She’s still focused on the menu. He’s pulling out a ring! 5KT with a beautifully cut diamond heart. Can we zoom in camera one? There we go. Watch that diamond sparkle in the flickering candle light folks.

The violinists came over! She looked up. She’s in tears! Aw, how sweet! Is it a touch down? Oh. Now she’s shaking her head…she’s getting up…she’s fleeing. Oh, that’s harsh. He put the ring away and got up. To follow her? No. He’s sitting back down with his head in his hands. Major fumble…Well, this is awkward. Now to Amber with the weather.

Gone the Way She Went

The air rushes past me. I’m not even afraid. No one will miss me anyway. My life went wrong a long time ago. I got a crappy job at a law firm, lost the love of my life, and married someone who didn’t want to die alone.

Ring! Ring! My stomach turns. Why did I do this? Why did I ever think this was ok?

My mind drifts back to that ringing phone twenty years ago. I picked it up and fell apart. She was dead. I loved her, but she was dead. Suicide. I hung up the phone and slept right there on the kitchen floor that night. Endless nights of sobbing ensued. Then rage. I broke my TV. I couldn’t understand why she would do it…but now I can.

Twenty-seventh floor, twenty-sixth floor, twenty-fifth floor, twenty-fourth floor…I see my wife’s face as she gets that dreaded call. I see her collapsing, screaming, cursing my name. Guilt pulses through me. Will she follow my footsteps?

Twenty-one, twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen…I see my mom crumbling unable to make it to the funeral.

Fifteen…ten…five…I wish I could stop myself. The impact is going to hurt.

Four…three…two…one…I breathe in. Is there life after death?

March 20th

Due to a cold kicking my butt I was unable to publish any posts this week. My sincerest apologies. To make up for this I will publish three posts this weekend. Without further ado:

Something Blue

Am I really about to do this? I look down at my blue bouquet and my sparkling white ball gown wedding dress. I take a steadying breath. I love him, don’t I? No. Well, yes. But I’m in love with my best friend…who married someone else.
My fiancé is everything I need and should want: smart, kind, considerate, loving. But I don’t want him.
Suck it up. I can’t live alone forever and I’ll never find anyone better.
I take the first step down the aisle, and I die inside.

Transcending Triplets

The quacking oboe soars transformed from an ugly duckling to a swan
The squeaking clarinets dissolve into a woodsy, playful melody
The shrieking silver flutes sings a vibrato harmony

Honking brass settle into a moving line
Reedy bass clarinets relax into a supporting line
Hammering Percussionists keep a quiet tempo

Alone they grate through the air in an eternal forte
Together they transcend into music

Bloody Pearls: Mr. Vian's Body

I am Cynthia Bane and I am completely innocent. I have never murdered anyone. I was enjoying the evening festivities, mingling with other guests, and mulling over my advertisement idea for sparkling water when Ed rudely leaned over me to get a drink. I got up to get some air and space. I walked out into the foyer and found Mr. and Mrs. Vian, Pearl and Perry’s parents, arguing ferociously.

Mr. Vian was redder than I have ever seen him. The vein in his temple throbbed dangerously. Mrs. Vian’s face was white with rage. She used to react the strangest way when she was angry. She would pale and knead her hands together with those slim fingers. What I saw in her eyes was a vicious hate. I was afraid for my own life as well as Mr. Vian’s. I skedaddled and kept what I saw to myself.

At around 8:30 as I was powdering my nose in the powder room, Mrs. Vian came to me in tears. Her make-up ran pathetically down her face and I hugged her. What else could I do?

She spilled her guts to me about Mr. Vian’s “business endeavors”. The scoundrel stole money from Ed and she had just found out, poor dear. She wanted me to give her advice and I told her that men will be men and will do as they please. She didn’t take that very well so I made up gibberish about talking to him more. I let her know that whatever Mr. Vian did was not her fault. She didn’t believe me, but she looks a deal better. She reapplied her lipstick and got back out there. That’s the last time I saw her alive.
After my conversation with Mrs. Vian, I went looking for Mr. Vian to kick some sense into him. I got caught up in the party and by the time I found him, he was dead. The first thing I noticed was his polished shoe sticking out from under the frilly couch covers. There was a sticky dark puddle pooling around the couch. I ran to his side and pulled him out. His face…I had never seen a dead body before that moment. I just knew that he was dead.

Honey, Don't

Word crosses, honey dos, and crosswords litter the kitchen table. But today there is no crisping bacon. Today there is no hint of coffee. Today there is no pajama clad wife humming and flipping bacon just the way I like it. Today there is snow.
As I pass through the kitchen in my plaid pajama pants and hole-ridden slippers, I shiver. There must be ten inches of snow out there. Ten inches too many for a funeral in Saint Louis. I will have to shovel the drive way and kick my old hiccupping pick-up into four wheel drive. Damn, Lucy. If I die for you…
In the laundry room, I trade out my slippers for mud-caked work boots, pull on my winter coat, and go into the garage for my snow shovel. Lucy’s 1957 shiny blue Chevy watches as I yank the shovel off of the wall. Damn car…completely useless in the snow…taking up space…
I punch the garage door opener and the garage door rises into the air groaning in protest. I crunch over the snow and begin laboriously plowing away. My back twists and aches, but I push through.
Once the driveway is cleared I turn my attention to my pick-up. The snow dusts right off only to reveal a thick pane of ice. I chip away at it and by the time I am done the driveway is covered again.
“Luc, I don’t think I’ll make it to the funeral today. Betcha a piece of penny candy that the funeral home is closed.” Of course, penny candy is gone same as Lucy. My tears sting as the frost bites my exposed skin. Using the shovel for support I hobble up my drive way into the garage.
“Luc, I know what you’re thinking.” I wheeze. “Don’t over work yourself. You’re heart isn’t as healthy as it used to be.” I hang the shovel up and grab the key to her precious ’57 Chevy.
The tears roll freely as I shut the garage door and plop myself down on her leather driver’s seat. I put the key in the ignition and turn it. The engine purrs to life and her favorite song, My Girl by The Temptations, comes over the radio. “Luc, my heart can’t beat without you.”

Bloody Pearls: Father's Business Enemy

Cynthia ignored me throughout dinner. I made faces at Perry the whole time trying to get him to laugh.

After the usual four courses, the orchestra struck up a dancing tune and everyone got up to dance. Perry asked me to dance with him and I complied. We hadn’t danced together since we were little at Cynthia’s wedding to some horrid drunkard who created a scene halfway through the reception ending in the shortest marriage I had ever witnessed.
At around 7:30 I was looking for my parents to remind them that they had prepared a speech for 8 o’clock, but they were no where to be found. I went to ask the bartender where they were, but he had no clue. Father’s business rival, Ed spun towards me on his barstool and said that he would look for them and that I should go enjoy the party. Then he chugged a whole glass of Scotch. I had never seen Ed drink before…

Sanitized Testing

The classroom isn’t as full as it used to be. Sure, I haven’t been in a full classroom since Kindergarten, but today there’s three less people than yesterday. Three is a significant number when there’s only seven people. On the first day of senior year there was eleven of us. Now there’s only four and it’s only October. Once the cold settles in we are really in trouble.

Mrs. Sandfield picks up the attendance sheet. She knows all of us by name, but she still insists on treating us like a “normal class” or what was normal before the outbreak. “Gardner?”
“Here,”
“Parsons?”
“Here,”
“Dodson?”

Silence. Mrs. Sandfield chews her bottom lip. Her eyes glance up to Troy Dodson’s empty seat. She crosses his name off and just like that, the last trace of him is gone. “Peters?”
“Here,”
“Tremble?”

Silence. Mrs. Sandfield scratches her pen. “Vance?”

More silence sucking the air out of the room. It doesn’t help that the air conditioner has been broken for months. Mrs. Sandfield marks through Katie Vance’s name. “Weber?”

“Here,” my voice booms obnoxiously loud in the quiet room. Marie Gardner flinches and turns her stink eye on me. You’d think I was yelling at a funeral. She’s a drama queen.

Mrs. Sandfield sets down the list and automatically pulls her sterile smelling hand sanitizer out of her desk drawer. She used to have the fruity kind that girls would shove under their noses when the sweaty soccer team walked by, but the fruity sanitizer is long gone and so is the soccer team.

“Alright, today we are learning the quadratic equation…” Mrs. Sandfield picks up a bright red dry erase marker and starts writing numbers on the board. The internet and phone lines crashed down a few years ago, but the electricity is still running…for now.

As Mrs. Sandfield rambles through notes I count the dry erase markers resting on the board. There’s six of them. I wonder what will happen when they dry out. Maybe Mrs. Sandfield will drag an old chalkboard in if she can find chalk. Maybe by then there won’t be anyone around to teach.

Mrs. Sandfield drags through math, history, and grammar before finally letting us eat lunch. We have to bring our lunch since there’s no one around to cook it. We eat right at our desks since there are only four classes in the entire school. I’m not sure why we don’t just combine into one class, but I guess that’s how the plague spread in the first place. I tried to tell my mom that going to school would get me sick, but she wouldn’t have any of that. Even though half of America is infected, education is still clearly more important.

As I pop jell capsules of fruity artificial flavoring into my mouth, I nearly choke. Five little black spots dot my palm. My heart rate spikes as I clench my hands into a fist. I rub my eyes and look again. The dots glare defiantly up at me. “Can I borrow some hand sanitizer?” I blurt.

Mrs. Sandfield narrows her eyes and holds out her bottle. With a closed fist I stand up and take a step towards her. The world lurches under my feet. I barely feel the cool tile as I hit the ground. I see two Maries swinging out of her desk and jumping over me. Black dots dance in my eyes. “Help,” I croak even though I know they won’t help me. They can’t help me or they’ll get sick. They won’t ever use this room again. It’s contaminated.

The door slams shut behind them. The lock clicks. I can almost see the yellow police tape as the black dots blot out the world.

A First Post: Where Wit Goes to Die

First blog. First post. More intimidating than a glaring blank piece of paper. I see the noose swinging in the breaking dawn. Pinks and soft oranges swirl in the sky like water colors. As I ascend the wobbly wooden steps I gulp down the crisp morning air and nearly choke. The air is too clean. As the crowd gathers a smile tugs at my lips. They didn’t come for me. They came to cheer for death blissfully unaware that they are the sick ones not I.