Street Vermin

Hilarious post from Russell Gayer. His style is quirky and has me in stitches every time.

What's So Funny?

Have you ever noticed that when a bug hits your windshield they always splatter directly in the center of your field of vision? This “accuracy of aim” occurs far too often to be purely coincidental. I suspect they are graduates from Kamikaze Insect Institute who are intent on delivering their payload where it makes the most impact.

A close friend of mine would always make keen observations like, “It took guts to do that,” or, “I bet he doesn’t have the guts to do it twice.” Another favorite is, “What’s the last thing that passes through a bug’s mind when he hits your windshield?” I’m sure you can guess the answer. If not, bug me about it in the comment section.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our hostess is the renowned author and artist, The Belle of Belton, Shelley Kohlen Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in…

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Flux23

PHOTO PROMPT ©Jill Wisoff

Flux23 dropped to her knees, panting on the rooftop of the skyscraper. In seconds she morphed from a suit-wearing white male into herself. Brown hair and pale skin. A blue scaly patch behind her ear the only tell-tale sign of what she was.

The city lights blurred in front of her. She felt woozy. That little girl caught her unawares, staring at her, then at her father lying in a pool of blood. She threw the gun into an air vent. They’ll catch up to her. She would run anyway. Her life as an assassin for Nation444 was over.

99 words

 

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words of less. Thanks to Jill Wisoff for this week’s prompt!

Every week I intend to write comedy, and everything but comedy finds its way onto the post. This week, it is sci-fi. Shapeshifters. Loosely based on the X-men character, Mystique.

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Mystique – shapeshifter

Not that kind of woman

 

 

Empty bed in the morning

Loneliness sleeps beside me in the space you left behind

Coffee and breakfast for one

Conversation echoes from memories playing like a movie in my mind

 

Sunlight streams through the window

Touching my skin but it leaves me cold and restless

because I keep wondering

How did I get here? Where did it all go wrong?

Throw my coffee down the drain

along

with all thoughts of you

 

I want to give up, call it a day

On this disappointment we call life

Is there someone that can help me?

Help me to get back up

But I’m not that kind of woman

Giving up is not something I’m good at

Maybe it’s enough to keep me going

Going in the dark

 

The nights are way too long

There ain’t enough movies to distract myself from calling you

Fall asleep to the sounds of Hollywood

I slept in your arms hearing you breathe, listening to every heartbeat

 

I want to run back to where I used to belong

Comfortable familiarity like a 90s sitcom

Let it be, I must move on,

better things ahead,

that’s where I belong

 

I wont give up, wont call it a day

On this disappointment we call life

Is there someone that can help me?

Help me to get back up

See I’m not that kind of woman

Giving up is not something I’m good at

Maybe it’s enough to keep me going

Going in the dark

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City of Bridges (The story behind my header image)

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Just one of many connecting bridges in the City of Bridges

 

Not all who wander are lost. And yet sometimes some of us who wander are lost. Lost in the daily grind and the call of the road, the ocean or the mountains is irresistible.

Ironically, travel makes me feel more at home. I am not as well-traveled as other globetrotters, but the places I’ve visited have left a mark on my soul. And I’ve decided to start sharing some of these experiences right here.

I’ve received many questions about the header image of my blog. And yes, it is a picture I took myself. While on a tour in Venice.

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Intriguing little bookshop.

 

I arrived in this Northern Italian city on Trenitalia, a comfortable intercity train, from Torino. If you ever go to Italy, go to Torino. This is my home in Italy. It doesn’t have the tourist sights and magic and commercial business attraction like the other cities. However, nestled on the border of Germany they have a unique culture blended from Germanic-Italian roots, that you won’t find anywhere else. And it is the home of Nutella. Need I say more?

Stepping out of the Santa Lucia train station I was hit by a sense of intense surrealism. Boats, gondolas, ferries right off the station steps took me into another world. I was tempted to stamp my feet on the ground, feel my face to make sure I was really there in person. And not in some kind of insane dream. There are no roads in Venice; I knew that. Yet to see this first hand was fantastic. In other cities, you exit the station onto the tarmac. Here, you just about step into the Grand Canal.

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The Grand Canal near Piazza San Marco

 

During a walking tour of Venice, our group squeezed through the tiniest calles (streets, or alley-like walkways unique to Venice). One particular calle was half a metre wide. I was still pondering the measurements of it when I passed by a doorway. Glancing inside as I walked past it I saw the most intriguing sight.

I was the last in the group so I didn’t stop. The others were not as impressed by this doorway as I was and had marched on ahead spilling out into a spacious courtyard. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I looked back and it called to me. Taking a risk of losing the group and getting lost in Venice, something which happens too easily in that maze of calles, I hurried back to the doorway.

The sight of moulding books, together with wheelbarrows, crates and a car bonnet was so unexpected that it was hypnotic. Also what was with those painted footprints? The postcard rack and table and chairs made it appear to be some kind of shop. But it was deserted. No shopkeeper. No customers. I longed to go inside, explore it and perhaps an eccentric bookshop owner will emerge with whom I could spend the entire afternoon talking. Over cappuccinos. I snapped a few pics, took one last longing look at this mysterious place and went back to the tour group who were already disappearing into another calle.

I intended to go back later that day. But Venice being what it is, you cannot navigate it easily. Not all the Calles have name signs, so even a map will not be much help. Tip: Google maps is not much better either. I glimpsed a man reading a map, turning it this way and that, looking at his surroundings, scratching his head. This was a sign which I ignored at my peril.

I did get lost in Venice. Later that afternoon. After the tour ended, I decided to explore, underestimating the complexities of the city walkways. Every courtyard looked the same. Hundreds of bridges and calles everywhere. When I thought I could retrace my steps I found myself on the other side of the city. By the Ponte Rialto bridge.

I panicked. My train back to Torino was leaving in half an hour. Not only that, but in another hour, dusk would fall and I had no desire to feel my way through the dark. Asking for directions didn’t help. Some suggested I take a boat on the Canal back to the station. But I needed to return back to my hotel to collect my backpack. Eventually, I found an old man reading a newspaper on a stool. I thought he was sitting idle, but it turned out he was watching his kiosk a few feet away. He was reluctant to help me get back to the station. I offered him money. He gladly changed his mind.

Already embarrassed at my situation it was even more embarrassing to find I could not keep up with the old man’s strides. Venetians are fit! With long graceful strides that are deceivingly brisk. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t drive to work and instead tramp along the cobbled calles every day to every place you need to go.

Half jogging behind him, shopping bags in hand full of souvenirs and gifts, I burst out in laughter when I finally saw the sign of my hotel. Thanking him in Italian, (it’s amazing what you remember in moments of panic or joy) I had five minutes to get to the station.

I never made it. Trains in Italy run on time. I was hoping for three minutes delay, but no such luck. As I ran into the station, the train pulled away. Forced to buy another ticket, I sat down and appreciated the fact that I had one more hour in this magical city.

Venice has many names. It is called City of Bridges or City of Canals. For me I will always remember it as the City that Humbled Me. Getting lost was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. And now as it’s unique little bookshop image squats happily on the header of my blog, it has taken up a literary space in my heart. Full of wonder, magic, possibilities and mis-guided adventures.

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A woman I met, took this photo of me in front of Basilica Di San Marco (Saint Mark’s Cathedral).

Rendezvous in the woods

PHOTO PROMPT © Karen Rawson

He gazed at the delicate line of her neck, tracing with his eyes along her collar-bone.

“Josh, are you listening?” Carrie cocked her head to one side, blue eyes sparkling, blonde hair flowing with the breeze.

“Huh? What were you saying?” He slipped his hand into his pocket.

“So you always come here?” she looked at the bubbling creek, and bare trees.

“It’s better in the spring.” He tried not to think of the other women.

She shivered. “It’s cold.”

He drew a blade from his pocket. Only the trees heard her screams, but they would never tell.

98 words

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Write a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Karen Rawson for this week’s prompt which inspired me to write my thriller-date-gone-horribly-wrong flash fiction.

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Thoughts of a dying dream

I was born with you, the day of your birth,

in your awakening

Out of those moments of joy bursting with light.

I stood by you, through years of your longing,

in your flagellation

Through those moments of pain echoing with the truth.

 

We have always been one, though you split us in two

Denied me, seeking fulfilment from others besides me.

Embarrassed, you walked away

I saw you look back eyes dark with regret.

You had no sense to know you could never forget.

 

Once in your mid-life, I sent you flowers, a fragrant bouquet

Hoping to remind you of what we had, and all the missed hours.

You read the note, threw it in the bin

Hid in the bedroom and found you could not hide from what was within.

That night, in the yellow of the porch light, you looked up at the stars

wondering, always wondering.

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And here we are, together still at the end of your life.

Yes I’m still here, beside you, within you

And I bloom in your chest, with a lot of regret.

You tell me you’re sorry, you don’t know what happened

I say nothing, just let you speak, hear your voice cracking.

 

The pain in your voice is much for me to bear.

I know I tried to tell you over the years

that for you to truly live, both of us need to have life.

 

But I will die with you, the world never knowing who I am

More tragic than this, is the self you hid from the world.

All I could do was show myself to you

Hoping you would find your courage.

Something you could never do.

 

Oh the life we could have lived!

The possibilities we could have explored!

 

It is harder for me still, to question my own existence

The dream that never could and never will,

be more than a thought in your head

A fledgling hope that never took flight.

Why was I here? It makes no sense.

 

Then I look in your eyes,

moments before the light in them goes out,

and I see the same questions stirring about.

 

****

Inspired by an article I read on the regrets of the dying. Unfulfilled dreams were one of the biggest regrets.

There is something about unfulfilled dreams, hopes and desires that cause us so much pain. Most of it seems to go against logic and reason and it takes courage to follow them.

Undeniably, dreams are a part of who we are. To fulfil them is to fulfil ourselves. To give them life, is to give us a life that feels authentic, and has a buzz to it that makes us feel very much alive.

Need a better title. It is a WIP. Suggestions welcome!

Here’s to your dreams 🙂

 

 

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