Category Archives: short prose
The leaves shined with their usual early morning slick reflecting the light from a nearby cluster of dying stars. This oily layer would simply roll off and land on the ground to be raked up by his mother in the morning as solid globules of clear jelly like substance. A perfect and wonderful accompaniment to breakfast. The smells from his mothers cooking quickly and rigorously penetrated through the air and attacked Dante’s senses. Stirring a yearning within himself he had to stifle the urge to attack the food being prepared.
He remained on the small cement stair leading into a crippling old barn. A bad infestation of snorquiels rocked the entire building forcing it to have a twisted appearance from the road. Not entirely vile creatures these little guys flew headlong into objects before taking a large bite. They ate anything. They also couldn’t see, so when one got into the barn it couldn’t figure out how to get out. It just continued to fly in circles eating. The constant thud eventually drew more believing there was a feeding frenzy. Eventually ten snorquiels took a toll on the barn. Now Dante sat in front of it on a small cement step. Small green entities grew beside the step and whispered their airy songs to each other in the morning’s light.
Two of Dante’s friends sat beside him contemplating their plans for the evening. Marsha and Egna were excited to be there. Dante was quite the odd man. He was one of very few who never made the trek into the Norchanelin Forrest. It wouldn’t seem like a big thing to anyone from another planet, but this forest granted wisdom to the seeker, yet fear to those who feared. Lime green tonda, much like that of water to us here, to those who sought, or poison to the disbeliever. The forest called to you when it was your time, yet the forest never called Dante. This was a phenomena that was not witnessed often. It was a thrill to be with Dante as he was a one not called.
The three sat there, on the cement slab, outside of the crooked barn, snorquiels long gone, when fireworks began over the roof. It was only morning, yet the sky seemed to be darkened. Brilliant flashes of green and red illuminated what was now a dark sky. Deafening cracks of the fireworks echoed between the buildings. Though fireworks were often something of celebration, there was a certain oddity to these. They stared into the sky in amazement.
Within a moment the fireworks ceased but only as an old fashioned earthly helicopter flew into the scene. It’s spotlight shined on many objects, following this one there was another. The second helicopter had a light as well, but it was directed at the other helicopter. Directly behind that there were others, in fact many. Each had a light affixed to the bottom that was shining directly at another. It was as if there were an airshow today. They flew by quickly, some hovered, others coming within a few feet of the three sitting on the cement slab. The second helicopter soon turned off its light, which the first faded with it. Each helicopter was projecting the next helicopter. They were all holographs. Projections in the sky that held their own intelligence and physical capabilities. It was a scene much unlike any had seen before. It seemed so real.
The sky as a whole soon switched to a fake sky but there was a tall tower, and a large crane with a claw. The picture moved with the claw as it picked up a small box. Red, this box. With a poor lady within, dressed in white, while her brown hair hung low to cover her eyes and shield them from what she may see. A projected and extremely loud female voice soon resonated through their minds as if an internal speaker had begun.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, announcing Code shift twenty one OC.” The claw carries the lady in the red box to the top of the tower. Placing her there, small clasps from the tower secure her position. Still without seeing her eyes the picture zooms on her. “We have your best interests covered.” The voice boomed happily. With that the sky went back to normal. Dante’s mother was looking skyward, amazed. Dante, Marsha, and Egna made eye contact. Eyes wide they couldn’t believe what they saw, but they knew it wasn’t good. An unsettled feeling quickly gripped them.
“Get in the HOUSE!” Dante’s mother screamed. She was shrieking with terror as she ran towards them, flailing her hands.
Screams could be heard. Hoards of screams. A thousand banshee’s were making their way across the land. The three stood and ran toward his mother.
“Get in NOW!” She screamed at them, and grabbed the closest thing that might work as a weapon. “It’s begun!” She shivered in her own words. Fear had gripped the land.
It was a grand hall with large white pillars towering high above to hold the paintings firmly in the sky. Decorated with three thirty foot white angels in the center garden square surrounded by large ceramic snow flakes suspended by silver strands of tinsel. Men in black suits talked amicably in the corner, while women ran about laughing with winter masquerade masks and flowing dresses. I had arrived to this party, full of classmates from high school, with a good friend. He soon diverged and got lost in his world of thoughts and bitterness. I decided it was well time for me to leave. I wasn’t interested in hanging out with people from ten years ago. Going toward the front doors I see a young man dressed in a silver vest, and all in white. He looks at me just as I am to walk by before he lowers his drink, and stops me. Intrinsically handsome I pause to speak briefly to him.
“I was just heading out, buddy,” I say.
“Oh, that’s too bad. I’m here with Liz,” he responded. The look on his face was that of dissatisfaction.
“I love Liz!” His face, eyes, hair, mouth, nose, every detail staining my memory. The sound of the brass band playing muffled into a simple background. The glittering ballroom couldn’t deflect my attention, I was solely interested in him.
“Me too! I’d love it if you’d stay,” he asked. I couldn’t resist. I knew this man was someone I should be talking to.
“Okay,” I now found a reason to stay. “But please excuse me. I’m heading outside to smoke.” As I head out, there are people being searched. A small blue hallway leads to the front door. Small rooms unlit and blackened with the feeling that was quickly approaching loomed off to the side.
“Sir,” An officer motions me over to him.
“Are you serious?” I ask. “I’m only going out for a cigarette, is this gonna happen again when I try to come in?” He’s already felt everywhere and seems like he really wants to check the crotch of my pants. He motions for another man to come over. This man is carrying three small cups.
“Okay sir, we’re going to need your fingerprints, urine sample, blood sample, and semen sample.” While fingerprinting me, the doctor jams a needle into the back of my arm as blood spurts into the small tube. Arms take me into the dark room, where the other two samples are collected. Upon redeeming them I see the man label me as “300.”
Heading out the front doors there are only a few people standing out there. I still feel awkward from being frisked and giving samples. I can’t figure out why they needed these items. Leave it to me for not asking why. I flash my lighter to ignite my cigarette and see the Marines at the camp in drill practice. They march off of the field while the football team begins. Even this is a well orchestrated production. The defensive team on the right gets ready to accept the offense. Through a method of orchestrated grunts the man up front stops, slowly walks to the right while two others a bit further back stand their ground. The offense runs clear into the center of the triangle formed. The three guys turn towards them in an about face fashion to tackle the entire offensive!
Next they quickly assemble and intercept a field goal, by flipping the third high into the hair while he catches the ball. Great production, but I am done with my cigarette so I have to go back in. I am not frisked but I walk back to where I left my friend. He moved into a smaller room which was dimly lit. A table set with banquet food stood along the far wall. It was untouched and had candles scattered about the food.
A smile quickly spreads across my face. I am happy to see that he waited. No longer taking in the crowds about me into thought I walk closer to him. He meets me, we stare into each others eyes. They were blue. Everything about his appearance was wintery. Yet he was warm, dynamic, and severe. He smiles that smile. A smile that says, I can’t believe this is happenening. Slightly taller than I he leans in for a kiss. It was marvelous. It was quick. It was lasting.
I’m now driving my car with a beautiful girl in the passenger seat. We take the exit from the highway. A kid at the center circle managed to block the fountain, so the pressure builds and fills the windshield with water. I scream, while she laughs at me. I hate it, but I love her. We get back to where the ball is. It took a while due to the fact that it was on a military base. We go to walk in but I sit at a fountain. She’s dancing with arms spread wide. She’s making circles, she’s in love. She’s in love with me. I put my head in my hands. I love her too. I see myself sitting there. An image of despair. I come back and look up. Now I am sitting in a fine living room. The young man across from me is a few years older than I. He’s handsome with blue eyes that I know. His hair is darker.
“You can’t do this,” he says to me. He looks concerned. I only look back at him. I turn and the young man from earlier is only looking at me. I look to my left, and she’s looking at me.
“You can’t be in love with my brother and my sister.” The words don’t seem odd or out of place. He continues to talk but I am no longer listening. I’m thinking on our time spent between the two of them. I finally look back at their brother, and he has changed. Now it is a tan man. He has dark hair, glasses, and green eyes. A thin jaw much like his brother’s that I’ve fallen for. It’s the oldest brother.
“You have to choose.” he says. The words get through, but he continues to talk. I am no longer listening because I’m weighing it all. She feels good because I finally feel a sense of normal. She’s beautiful. She want’s the same things that I want.
I think of him. He feel’s right. He, I feel static and electric. I know he truly cares about me, all encompassing. I think back to her. I know that I will only eventually leave her for a man anyway. I’m gay. I get distracted and think about the final Harry Potter movie.
Suddenly his face burns in my mind once more, but we’re now on a steel bridge. The steel supports rise above and over us as a cage. There are many people here. Everyone is on the ground. Maybe drugged. I look up and see an oversized slithering salamander climbing down towards us. His tail is long and purple. It has a mace on the end. It see’s the girl next to me and like a frog launches it’s tongue at her. She quickly grabs hold of it and rips it out relatively easily. As we begin to look around we notice that there are more coming. We stumble to our feet as they approach. At the other end of the bridge the salamanders are making out great as they eat humans with one latching swipe of their tongue. Dazed, this girl and I stand just as another salamander tries his tongue at her. She grips it, rips it and the salamander falls off the edge of the bridge. Around us more people are drugged but still moving. We run inside, where I happen upon trays and trays of cups labeled. I step back quickly and find the ones labeled “300.” Only taking a second to destroy the fear of what might happen if I steal these, I see my semen and I know that this was not a normal thing. This was some other craziness. The others that gave the same were all out there being destroyed. I grabbed every sample and quickly dumped them down the toilet. I finally run out to my safety, but I wake before I ever make it.
Both Chad and Greg had a full day to think about the night prior. Chad had gone to work only moments before Greg left for work. All day at the office Chad had replayed the night prior. What was Greg getting at? There was no resolve. Instead the idea toiled at his mind. It flipped it, then slapped it, and asked, who’s your daddy! Work was short of miserable.
Getting home in a mood that was quite unlike any that he’d been in before Chad went quickly for more beer. Sitting on the deck he stared seriously into the moon. Trying to sway his mind away from the issue discussed previously he opened yet another beer.
“Can we get past this?” Greg sincerely asked. Chad considered him for a moment. Had he had the day Chad had? Or was this a ploy to get past what was his fault and move on without feeling any guilt, remorse, or emotion.
“We can,” Chad responded intelligently. On his fourth beer by the time Greg got home, the shattered beer bottles nearly spelled out disaster.
“Good. So how was your day?” Greg asked. His manner was that of somebody who had no clue what was going on. Someone that came in on the last part of a joke.
“Miserable.” Chad wanted to let it go. He yearned for this to be something of the past.
“Great!” Greg laughed. He took a swig of his own beer, then swayed his crossed legs momentarily. “So nothing ever changes with you.” He said passive aggressively.
“Nope.” Chad proclaimed,” At least you know I’m dependable.” He looked at Greg grudgingly. How dare he! Thought Chad.
“Yup, miserable as always.” Greg mulled.
“Only because of you.” Chad retorted quickly. It wasn’t the most responsible response. Nor was it really what he was thinking.
“Okay. With that I think I’m going inside.”
“No you’re not!” Chad voiced strongly.
“I think I’m going to sleep on the couch.”
“No you’re not!” Chad said again. This was how it always went. Chad would have feelings, and yet Greg wanted to treat them as if they were inconvenient. He wanted to show that he was strong. He wanted to show that no one had an impact on how he would live his life. “That will only make things worse.”
“I thought you said we could get past this.”
“I did!” Chad’s frustration was building. He had to talk his way through things. He couldn’t just let go of something. Scientific about his method, there always had to be a reason for everything.
“Oh my God, forget it Greg! You’ll never listen to me!”
“Okay, on that I’m going to bed. On the couch.”
“Fine! Do what you will. That’s how you want it anyway!”
“True.” Greg smiled. Although the love of his life was clearly upset, this was a point he had to make. At no point was there ever going to be somebody that told him what to do.
It will never end, Thought Chad. Greg since, stood and went inside. The silence quickly surrounded Chad. It was suffocating. The cigarette he was smoking increased his heart rate, and constricted his chest. The beer he was drinking force thoughts of other options quickly. The blackness soared from the core of his mind into the every part of his being. He sleeps on the couch, he’s dead! thought Chad. The negativity pulsated through the beer he practically chugged. The nauseating feeling, only urged him to drink further. Now anger crept into each extremity, each crevice, and by far every pore. He could hear the couch jostling around. Only beer, alcohol, or other mind altering substance could help him now. Greg had Xanax that he could steal. Going against everything he had argued about in the past, he opened the pill container dumped a single pill out, and consumed it with as much alcohol as could be handled. He soon passed out, calm as could be, at peace.
“I am just concerned that you don’t want to see the therapist any more.” Chad stated.
“It’s not something I want to do right now.” Greg responded. “I don’t want to do something I forced into in the first place.”
The anger in Chad began to rise. Slowly he could feel the chemicals firing in his mind. The beer helped to slow the process, but added the element of confusion when in such a profound situation. Forced! Never forced. Encouraged! Where was this coming from?
“You were never forced.” Chad said.
Greg responded with a deep exhale and dropped his head to look at Chad. Both men were smoking a cigarette on the deck. A small flame from a tiki torch supplied the light that played trickily among their faces. The air, though cold, was far from the first thought the men thought of.
“Please,” Greg begged. “When’s the last time anything I did was good enough for you?” He placed his hand atop the glass that held the wine he swirled not moments earlier.
“You always do good for me.” Chad responded. He watched the intent of Greg carefully. There had to be a root to the problem. Only seconds earlier they were talking about the issues the landlord might have had with them.
“I haven’t heard anything good.”
“I always tell you.”
“You can’t use words like always, because you don’t always tell me I’m good.”
“Okay,” it was about the only word that Chad could get out. Always was a strong word. There have been a lot of things that have irritated him to the point of vocalizing the dissent. Many things in the past few weeks. But why this? Why would Greg stop going now?
“That’s it?” Greg maundered. The puff he took from the cigarette showed he already changed his mode. This was not going to be about his problems. He heard too much about “his problems“. The smack of his lips, followed with the plume of smoke revealed a side of him Chad knew to carefully walk around. “All of this, for ‘okay‘?” He plunged the cigarette into the ash tray.
Chad considered this side of Greg. It was the menacing side that harbored a small portion of his beloved Partner. It saddled itself comfortably into his psyche. When something was about to be his fault, this would come out.
“Look,” Chad began. Greg sat back taking another drawl of the cigarette. He smiled knowing nothing Chad had to say would be able to affect him now. “All I know is that you weren’t forced, and that…”
“…and that I didn’t know where to go with what you were telling me at the time, so I suggested help.” Chad looked sadly at him. Remembering the conversation that initiated the therapy came a night after witnessing a horrid outburst, followed with a vicious attack. Chad hadn’t suffered any bruises from that night. He was too quick to restrain Greg, however, wondering what would have happened if he didn’t restrain him. It made him think. It made him worry. Greg blamed the entire episode on Depression. Then revealed how the night prior he seriously considered running off the guardrail on the bridge and plummeting to his death. “I don’t do well with that kind of stuff.”
Greg looked concerned for only a moment. “Then you said help, or you leave.”
***** ********** ************** *********************** ********************************
I did. I said it then, and now unfortunately, I may have to say it again. Not forced. Not ever forced. Encouraged.
Thank you for Reading
Caleb A. Mertz
The tables against the wall were only occupied by a single man playing on his laptop. The distance of the search was several miles, though the city was only a few blocks long. I had peered into every sidewalk window that I could. I made myself uncomfortable as I frantically searched for a place to sit with an outlet near by. The laptop doesn’t hold a charge anymore, so being completely wireless is impossible. The people watchers watched as I passed time and time again, going down different roads in my hunt.
I had a complex. I don’t spend much time in a city, so I wanted to experience it the best I could. I wanted to be able to hunch over my story while people passed, greeted, conversed, or glanced at me. I wanted people to see me sitting in a cafe, with the bold font across my screen “CHAPTER ONE.” I finally wound up where I had initially parked in a relatively busy part of Arlington Virginia’s Business District. Starbucks. They’re everywhere, yet I found my home here.
After ordering my venti iced quad caramel macchiato, I began to review my book THE UNEXPECTED. I decided to revamp my writing, after recently having the partial request denied and seeking feedback from a community of writers on webook.com. Something I noticed immediately was my over use of adjectives, sentence structure, and the constant start and stop of irregular sentences. I began breaking them apart. Since the man next to me was on a conference call, and speaking loudly I decided I could actually read the sentences out loud. Oh My Goodness! I rewrote the first sentence three times, the second twice. Then I read the third, and decided I could combine the third with the first. I HAD A BLAST! Next thing I knew I had a completely transformed initial paragraph. Something that portrayed emotion and feeling. What a rush when you can read something written three years ago in a different light. A different tone. A different sense of the beginning of the story. A renewed sense of joy for rewriting.
Sentence flow. Why haven’t I picked up on this before? I have been taking an on-line course of sorts through M.I.T.
(this is the link here) which is helping me read and write a little better. The course is entirely free, and the book cost me maybe five dollars through Amazon.com. Pretty much it’s amazing. Definitely check it out! And here’s to happy (re)writing!!!!
As always comment, critique, but with construction in mind.
Caleb A. Mertz
“Where were you last night?” She asked him. He had walked in with muddy boots in hand. Scratches and dried blood covered his face where the wrinkles of his sun beaten flesh would have laid. The nights were cold if there wasn’t a man around to harvest dead wood from the forest. The cottage in which they lived was near the river they had been tricked into buying three quarters mile of.
“Gold, is in this river,” the man lied to them. A small Pennsylvania river would be plentiful of quartz and coal, but nothing rating as high in value as gold. The man supplied two ounces of his own genuine gold which he had traded the year prior on the trails halfway to California. “I’ve made my wealth,” the man continued sensing the obvious question Gerald was about to ask. “Hell, I’ll even give it to ya’ for a shillings less.”
Gerald Baker was a kind man. One of pure innocence and hard work. Brought up on his family’s farm he learned that you work for every dime you earn and yearn for every dime you don’t. He had worked hard to manage the sum of $100. The land, once said and done would cost him a heft $140 with the $10 the kind man had knocked off. Gerald struggled to do the math but knew he would end up well off.
Greeted by her question he quickly put his muddy boots back outside of the door and walked in with his bare feet showing more blood drying among his toes.
“Good lord. What’s happened to you?” She asked now seeing the site of her pitiful husband walking through the door.
“I made gold.”
She looked at him. She took him in as if he were mad. He had to be mad. You can’t make gold. “What do you mean you made gold?” She asked.
“I captured the man that did this to us, and made him pay. I made him pay. I made him pay.” He repeated to her while he held the cloth over her mouth and nostrils. She continued to struggle, but the blame he had placed on her for the sourness of the deal urged him to continue the smothering. She finally fell still, but he continued his hold, and continued to tell her how the man had paid.
An off season Christmas town was what we were leaving. Similar to the ones my parents would take me to when I was young. Little paths ran to small attractions while a pleasant amount of foot traffic still followed them. The night was an odd night. Gray, a dark gray, rather than a dark blue sky. It supplied a small amount of light enough to guide us through. I had a young lady with me. If I had seen a clear picture of her face at this time I’m sure dirt would have been smeared across it, and a tooth missing. Leaving, I noticed her hair was a grayish brown with a wild frizz to it.
Making a right onto the main drag, a long cement truck with it’s red and yellow caution tape tearing slightly off blocked the way. It stopped and merged halfway into my lane. I sit and take notice to how long the truck actually is just to haul cement. Other cars are beginning to pile up behind me. Their incessant honking forces me to look forward to explain why I can’t go anywhere when I see that there is plenty room for me to get through. I step on the gas to speed along, infuriated with their gestures of insult. About to pass the cement truck, the wheels begin to grow in magnitude indicating it’s getting closer to the side of my car, as he begins to merge into my lane. The road is inclining and steel frames nervously pass the windows to my right, now feeling the intensity of the pinch. nervously. There is a weave lane coming up. The cement truck finally subsides into my mirrors and get into the lane he previously held. I continue to speed, now irritated by the people beeping, and the cement truck almost pushing me off the road. The road curves right, but the steering wheel is blocking my sight. Shifting my seat I try to get a clear view. My co-pilot, though saying nothing, is clearly as scared with my driving as I am with her quietness. I drift into the oncoming traffic lane slightly, yet she still makes no protest. Back on track, I second guess my speeding for only a second. I regain my site by adjusting my seat and begin to speed up again. I merge into the right lane to get off at the next ramp. As we take the exit the steering wheel is in my way once more. The landscape around me begins to blur as we begin to slide off the road in spirals. By the time that I have regained control we are down on a gravel road one hundred yards from the highway, and facing another car that’s up on a lift. There is no one around. It’s desolate, and devoid of any positive emotion. I look at my co-pilot frantically spinning the map to try and figure our exact location.
Fairly certain we’re somewhere we shouldn’t be, I grab the map. It isn’t easy to make sense of such a ridiculously drawn map, so I also begin to spin it. Helping with our orientation, I remain confused. A white workers van is coming down the gravel road directly off of the highway. If it had a theme song to play along it would have been deep and baritone. It would have warned of misfortune, and danger. Deep succint notes depicting the heart unsure of it’s surrounding, yet preparing for a flight for life. Knowing we aren’t supposed to be there I throw the car into reverse. At that time my co-pilot jumps from the car and begins to raise the lift the other car is on. I think her intentions are to create a greater area to hide behind, but I see through the flaws immediately. She insists that she stay there, though I warningly wave her back into the safety of the car.
Having faith that she has a plan, I drive down along the road to the fence. Steel structures fly past the left of my car. It’s as if this bridge had been constructed for miles through the same twisting of metallic muscle. Seeing the road ahead, but no way to get there, I search for an alternate. There is one opening that I could park my car in, but there’s no time for careful parking. I jam on the breaks and turn the wheel so that it is hitting rock hard against the turn stop. Successfully my car slides into the appropriate spot, which is relatively covert. The momentum still keeps the car rolling backwards, though slowly. The car itself continues to go. I put the car in drive and begin to give it a little gas to stop from hitting the other cars, yet they connect. Failure in the end. Being cautious I eye the familiar street that runs perpendicular to my car and begin formulating a plan on how to get out. Only moments pass to think on the plan before my co-pilot comes along and inspects the damage on my car. According to her the damage is too much to take with us. I, however set my sights on the vehicle I’d love to drive, and interesting bulky device that will surely get us out of the fencing. A tall red fire truck on wheels, yet with helicopter propellers.
Excitedly we get into the vehicle and bust through the gates. Lights flashing, and propellers playfully spinning we drive fantastically down the highway. Going through underpasses and being seen by everyone now is not such a bad thing. I am, however, holding the remote that only spins the propellers above, where as a buff man with a shaved head, and cut off sleeves drives the truck. His head bobs at the excitement he has to drive his baby, as he seems to be along for the ride. Playing in our new toy we happen upon a cop car that is in the foreground of multiple fire vehicles. Lights going on our vehicle it would be understandable that they would think we were coming to their aid. The police man, though confused by the device they drove, motioned for them to move through the barricade. In a panic the driver of our device turned right, away from the scene that everyone thought we would be going to. A small path with wheel marks, something of what you would find in a park way is what we found ourselves careening down. A forest and a hill to the right, and a small canal to the left, hundreds of feet above the river. It was only a few moments and a few pedestrians later before we bailed the vehicle and took refuge in a small cabin like structure over the canal. The floor boards were separated two to three feet apart. It was important to watch footing while moving about within. Still not sure what the purpose of this place was an odd sense of a past acquaintance of my co-pilot and the truck driver begins to bloom.
Three of us are in this cabin when me and my co-pilot decide it’s time for the driver to get back out into the fire drenching aerodynimc automobile and go to the scene where he was needed. He obliged and left the building. Leaving this room I stop by what looks like a horrid expression of a public bathroom. By no interest to me. I didn’t have to use the restroom at all. Instead a device within me caught on and drifted inside as if in spirit. The driver of our truck full of tatoo’s and fully naked was pleasuring himself in a vicious and tortuous manner. Finally projecting his explanation to the walls for several seconds does he realize there is a young man watching from a stall with a door. The driver reaches his arm around where the unit is usually bolted to the wall, rips the bolts out, and plunges the unsuspecting peeper’s head into the side of the wall multiple times. Blood spatters the wall before I quickly leave and leave my subconciousness in it’s darkness.
Just remembered being out on a trelice and having two groups of people that were embarking on two different sets of obstacles. There was no way to get down from this structure but to climb down four prongs of bamboo to ultimately fall into a river, or monkey bar across to a netting that seems far too uneasy to navigate. I chose the four prongs and plumbeted after what I had assumed as a grown up group of girl scouts.
Caleb A. Mertz
July 4th 2010
A wooden floor rests beneath the feet of a porcelain-faced woman. The dress she wears is from the Victorian age. There are frilly ends to every end she has. There is a large plush to the dress that adds to the elegance. Her back is flat against the wall as if she had been practicing her posture. Her white knuckles and extended arms hold tightly to the front of the armrest in her oak dinner chair. She’s holding on because the ship has tilted so far that she’s now on her back. The sharks head, no body attached, is hardly noticeable at first, though its teeth are resting around the entirety of her neck. As I notice this, the teeth sink slowly and nearly effortlessly into her neck, sprouting a dark purple color into her dress that had been so elegant.
The restaurant was brightly colored. The small table I sat at barely fit the four of us. Chad, one of my bosses, looked at me with his dark and serious eyes. His moustache didn’t dare hide any left-overs from his mouth. I could tell from the look in his eyes that he was going to pay. I looked to where the waitress might be, and saw her with his card. If it weren’t for me just knowing it was his, the name would have been written in 100-point font across the front. I quickly stand to my feet and get to her before she begins the process of swiping and validating his card. I look at her as if she’s mad. I had planned on voiding the entirety of the check so that I wouldn’t have to pay for it, when I realize I don’t have my manager’s card on me.
I’m sitting in my mother’s living room, white walls, simplistic, with a boarded up fireplace, and a television on the floor. The television gives off enough light to see that there are clothes strewn about the floor, even though the main lights are off. There on the sofa is my handsome boyfriend curled up presumably sleeping. I call out his name again and again. I soon stand from my chair and approach his location. I can now see that he’s unresponsive and leaning over a toilet. Immediately my senses begin to arouse.
“Are you okay?” I’m asking. “What’s wrong? Babe, are you okay?”
I look up to see that two of his guy friends walk into the room. They are talking, as one sits down on the couch. I stand. When they notice me the one begins to hide a small bottle of something behind him.
“What did he do?” I ask, quickly approaching the one and pulling his arm out from beneath his back. From his hands I grab a bottle of Robitussin.
“What dude? We haven’t robo-tripped in a long time!” The one yells at me. I become infuriated that they would give this to my boyfriend. I point at my boyfriend, but as I look at him he has altered. He is wearing the same white t-shirt, but he’s gained five pounds of body hair, and thirty pounds on his gut. I am disgusted at first. I take him in, then look at his face. But I love him, I rationalize to myself.
Now I stand on a boat at sea. It’s only as wide as an airplane. Something terrible has happened, but I am not made privy to it. I begin to fall, as the front of the ship rises skyward. We’re sinking. As we sink a single sharks head falls down from the front of the ship. Everyone is defying gravity and running from the direction of the shark. It’s clearly vicious since it was separated from its body. I land on what once had been a wall when I watch the head bounce twice next to the porcelain faced woman. She’s wearing a blue dress and looking at me very still. She was trying to deter the shark. It looks at her and moves closer through movements similar to if it’s body were still attached. Suddenly from the severed portion of the head a green cocoon wraps around the lady tightly. Her face changes from that of pure surprise to that of defeat. The shark sets his teeth quickly around her throat before I watch the jaw muscles move to quickly squeeze into her neck sending a flood of blood into the beautiful blouse she had worn.
Caleb A. Mertz
It has certainly been a day! It all started with being verbally accosted by some disgruntled servers, then the computers went down, oh and a $150 bottle of wine was refused and returned! Now what am I supposed to do with it?
Well anyway. I sat here wondering what I could write about today. I have been revising the query letter as of late. I also drove by a completely vacant sky scraper today and thought…” I want to buy that.” I also set my alarm for nine a.m. rather than the traditional 10:30 so that I could hit the gym hard. What does it all have in common?
I was DREAMING!
There are always things that we think about or “day dream” about which can entice us to work harder, smarter, or to leave what we have now and continue on with something else. I mentioned it once before when I brought up the Young Artists Syndrome. But this, then, provoked the best imagination that I have. I will happily share some of the craziest dreams that I have with you all, in a dramatic way, written out in a creative form whether it be loose form, poetry, or short prose. I plan on having fun with it, while you get the chance to see inside of this crazy little head.
I used to have a dream journal, but it’s since has been non-existent. But what a great way to log my dreams by writing them out quickly, then reformatting them to read theatrically! Plus I will always have something to write about because I dream often.
Well, definitely let me know what you think about this, but I will be off to bed to dream up something crazy to write about tomorrow! (p.s. I will ACTUALLY get up early to make the gym and write!)
Caleb A. Mertz