Scream at me for your dysfunction

until I go numb, smiling and nodding

at every little thing that you 

say and do

until I fold in half and become

a cog in a machine that you power

by grabbing the switch and turning it

off and on and off and on and off again

tinker with it until you 

somehow manage to get every nut and bolt

aligned down a single line, one plane of existence

exactly how you want them to be

so totally different from how

god made me when she created in an instant

flawed and beautiful

and please, I beg of you, let me know

if and when you ever manage

to get me right 


Note: This is a small excerpt from the unedited prologue of my 2010 NaNo Novel.  Leading up to this segment, the steam powered space ship has taken off, loaded full of supplies and people, to reinforce a newly colonized planet.  Instead, it crash lands on an unknown planet.

Outside a red sky, the color of pomegranates was tucking itself in behind dark sulfer clouds. “We’re going to need to get out of here and find a better shelter for the night, I think.”

“What does the captain say?”  Hyacinth and Jerrey were in a quiet huddle on the side of the wreckage.  

“He’s injured, he sent me back here.  I’m third in command, and I’m in charge of these people’s safety.  We need to get them to somewhere safe.  Is there anyone able that we can send scouting?”

“I’ll go,” Abelia piped up.  “Sorry, I wasn’t trying to listen in.  Just came over to see what I could do to help.”

“You sure you’re up for it?  Maybe one of the men…”

“Yes, Jerrey?”

Both women looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to finish the sentence.  

“They’re in pants,” he said finally.  “Their dress is better suited for the task.”

“I’ll take one of them with me, then.  Give us an hour, we’ll find somewhere safe for the night.”  Abelia was certain of her success.  People’s safety depended on it.  “AXL!” she called out, trying to get her older brother’s attention.  “We need you.” 

excerpt from SNEAK

Note: Sneak is a stage play that I wroten in 2007.  It has 8 characters, plus 1-3 extras.  This is page one of five.

<two people, center stage, standing under streetlight, in front of bench, which has box on it.  Streetlight turns on to start play.  Stage lights are off>

EXTRAS (AD LIB) - Bye… See you tomorrow.. Gotta get home.. Can’t believe it’s so late, etc…  [[if only one extra, just walk off, no lines.]] 

 <extras walk off as percy and kyle meet at bench.  Kyle is carrying a rather large box, somewhat heavy.>

PERCY You got the stuff?

KYLE Yeah.  I got the stuff.  What are you going to do with all of this anyway?  I mean there’s heli…

PERCY Hush!  You never know when somebody will happen by.  Not everything is for everybody’s knowledge.  

KYLE Yeah.  I still want to know.

PERCY Everything reveals itself in time.  Just say nothing.  To anybody.  You got that?

<Constable enters from R>

CONSTABLE What are you kids doing?  <eyes box suspiciously>

PERCY I’m sorry, officer.  My cousin was just bringing over some stuff from the attic that I had in storage

CONSTABLE Is that True?

KYLE Uh..Yeah.. I mean, Yes officer.

CONSTABLE Well, you’re out past curfew.  So take your box, and the two of you need to head home.  

PERCY/KYLE Yes officer!

CONSTABLE Good.  Good.  <exit L>

KYLE Yes.  Yes.  I don’t know what you’re up to, but I’m not sure I want any more to do with it.  <exits R>

PERCY <calling after him>  Don’t worry!  All will reveal itself in time  <exits L> 


moonlight turned milkshakes

and blue-eyed 

blonde American girls

the desire of an

old fashioned dreamer

in Viet Nam 


Note:  This first appeared in Seedpod publishing's micro fiction feed (twitter @seedpodpub) Jan 28, 2011.

Ink-raping the paper, words drip out.

I re-read, discovering a bigger crime.

excerpt from VIGNETTE 

NOTE:  This was written as a possible ending to my 2007 NaNo Novel, Vignette.  It was later rejected in favor of something less mushy.  It appears here unedited.

“Honey, you here?”  Scott dropped his keys on the hall table and went further into their apartment.  The kitchen was clean and eerily empty, television off.  He listened for a minute and heard nothing.  The silence was upsetting.  Jane, he knew, wasn’t the type for a quiet, tidy, apartment like this one was.  He checked the second bedroom.  Her laptop was on the guest bed, closed and, he discovered after feeling it, cool to the touch.  Although she had used it in the last day or so, she hadn’t used it in the last few hours.  

Pull it together, man.  What the hell is wrong with you? He wasn’t sure, but he was certain that something was amiss with Jane.  Their fight the day before had more than proved that to him.  This wasn’t like her to keep…secrets.  Something was bothering her, and instead of Scott being able to jump in and take the roll of comforting, supportive boyfriend, she had pushed him away.  Their massive fight the day before had proved it.  

Scott took a deep breath and turned around, taking a fairly direct path for their bedroom.  At the last possible second, he sidestepped the ottoman, saving himself from a very Dick Van Dyke-esque fall over the footrest.  “Jane?  You in your room, honey?”

He opened the door to find her curled up against the wall, sitting on the floor.  

“Baby, what’s wrong?”

Her eyes were bloodshot, and it was extremely obvious she had been crying for hours.  

“Jane?”  Scott was more than alarmed.  He was reaching for a phone to call her doctor when she finally spoke.  

“Did you take this picture???  Are you the freak that’s been driving me nutty these past few weeks???”  Somehow, she managed to be almost monotone at the same time she was screaming at him.  There was a noted raise in her voice when she spoke again.  “TELL ME!”

“Jane!”  On impulse he slapped her across the face, a move certainly out of character for him.  Luckily, it seemed to bring Jane back to her senses, although a flood of tears came with them.

After a few minutes of sobbing, she finally reached into her jeans pocket and pulled out an extremely crumpled photograph.  “Did you take this?”

He looked at the photograph for a minute, a wave of recognition passing over his face.  “Where did you find it?”  She started opening her mouth, but he continued.  “Wait a minute.  Is this why you’ve been acting so weird?  Because somebody took a picture of you?”

“I was straightening the store when it fell out of that book.”  She shook her head in the general direction of her bedside table.  

“Stalkers: Disturbing True-Life Stories of Harassment, Jealousy and Obsession,” Scott read out loud.  “Oh, honey!” If it hadn’t been for the look on her face, he would have started laughing immediately.  

“What?”  Jane was clearly frazzled.  Every emotion possible was visible in that one simple word.       

“Honey, this is one of the shots that Lucy took for that art project she was working on.  Don’t you remember her taking them?”

“She did NOT take that picture, Scott.  She took two that were full on and one from the side the same day we went to Judy and Phil’s wedding.  I have copies of them.”

“She took two from the side, one of which didn’t turn out.  She then came back to the store to get another one and you were busy so she gave me the copy to give to you.  I had it in my hand when I came in the store and you asked me to help that really tall guy in the Tennessee State sweatshirt find something.  I forgot all about it until now.  He bumped a display and when I straightened it, the picture must have somehow got inside.”  He reached for Jane, wrapping her in his supportive arms.  “Oh, baby.  I’m so sorry.  Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I thought you’d think I was crazy.”

“Of course I think you’re crazy.  Why else would you love me?”

She put her head on his chest and started sobbing, the burden of the last few weeks lifting from her with every tear.  The pair were silent for quite a while, save a few sobs from Jane and quiet, calming noises from Scott.  

Suddenly, Jane began laughing.  By the time she was done, tears were rolling down her face yet again.  The irony wasn’t lost on her.  “You mean, I’ve been beating myself up for the last couple months for no reason whatsoever?”

“Yeah, Pretty much.”  He kissed the top of her head.  “I wish you would have told me, honey.  This would have all been over in a matter of minutes.  We could have laughed about it well into old age.”

“What makes you think I want to grow old with you?”  She joked, trying to soften the mood and succeeding ever so slightly.

“Oh, my darling Plain Jane.”  Scott slid to the side so he could look at her.  “I was going to give this to you at dinner, but you’ve had enough excitement for now.  Still, today is still our third anniversary, if you haven’t forgotten while you were busy losing it, and I want to do this today.”  He kissed her hand to disguise the deep breath he took, working up the nerve for what he was about to say.  

“Jane, I have loved you for no reason at all, and for every reason there is.  When the guys teased me for showing up late for poker night because I was busy making out with you, I made excuses and told them they had no clue.  When you were too busy with the store to so much as call me, I left you notes every day.  I would go to the ends of the earth for you.”  He stopped again, taking a deep breath and looking into her eyes.  She was listening intently, but she hadn’t yet caught on.  “When I’m old, gray and retired, my kids are gone, the fridge is littered with artwork from the grandkids, tri-folded and mailed home, I want to turn to the old, gray and retired woman next to me and…” Suddenly he opened a box that she hadn’t seen.  “And I want to tell you how much I love you.”

A slow spark flashed into her eyes as she figured out what he was saying to her, and her mouth fell open as she looked at the ring.  “I know it isn’t traditional, but you’re a diamond in the rough… and, um…” He couldn’t find a way to smoothly finish after using such a cheesy statement.  “I just can’t picture a solitaire on your finger.  I thought this was more your style.”

Scott extracted the two-karat Peridot from the jeweler’s box and slid the ring onto her finger.  “Will you marry me?”

Instead of answering, she flung herself onto him, knocking him flat on the floor, and kissed him. 


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