Idol for Writers, writing

Idol for Writers – Week 7


Well, I finally did it. My week seven entry (assigned topic: Utopia) got the most votes out of 24 remaining entries over at [Thebren]LJ Idol. It’s a discarded scene from a discarded subplot of a little something I wrote not long ago. Let that be a lesson to you: Never throw anything away.

~~~~~

Utopia. The place was a psychedelic nightmare: Blinking colored lights flashing out the pounding beat of the drum machines; jagged lasers cutting across the dance floor, in sync with the hiss and whine of synthesizers; and a DJ at the front of the room who thrashed around so freakishly that it made me wonder just what the hell he was on and where I could get some for myself.

Brandon, on the other hand, was in his natural element. The music seemed to fill him, inhabit him, possess him. He was both graceful and funky, like he’d been built to dance. And since it was his birthday, I did my best to put aside my uneasiness for his sake. It wasn’t too difficult, because his enthusiasm was contagious and, more importantly, in such a large crowd it was easy to just blend in. About halfway through the fourth song, I finally started to relax and was actually beginning to enjoy myself.

And that’s when I caught sight of a familiar face: Mandy. She was weaving through the crowd, aimless and vacant; obviously under the influence of something besides the music. She’d stop here and there to give someone a hug or to dance; sometimes alone, but usually with an unsuspecting, but perfectly willing, partner. And, eventually, she made her way over to us.

She pulled on his shirt without a word and forced him to submit to a somewhat intimate embrace. He kept his hands off to the side, well away from her body, and shot me a helpless this-isn’t-my-fault look. I managed to shrug. She was obviously on something, she hadn’t exactly singled him out of the crowd, and he couldn’t help being accosted.

She finally let him go. He had to swallow hard and take a deep breath before he could speak, which made me raise an eyebrow. Then he gestured towards me–without making eye contact–and shouted above the music, “Mandy, I’m here with someone. I’m here with my girlfriend.”

“Yeah, I know.” She turned around and gave me a grin. “Holy shit. Don’t you look hot tonight.”

The only thing I could think of to say to that was, Uh, thanks; but I didn’t get the chance. Because that’s when she let go of him, pulled my face to hers, and kissed me.

It took me a few seconds to even register what was happening, and when I did I couldn’t bring myself to break away. Didn’t even try. Didn’t want to. It was the first time–ever–that I’d been kissed by a woman, and there was so much going on, so much to take in, that it all washed over me one hot, brief wave at a time.

Full, warm, wet, open lips. Slow and soft. Softer hands, so soft, just like petals on my cheek. Flowing silk and breasts, hers pressing and rubbing against mine as she still moved vaguely in time with the music. The strobing lights, throbbing beat and orgasmic howls of a female vocalist made it seem almost surreal, like a hazy, sexy dream that I wished would never end. She slithered her tongue inside my mouth and I tasted the sting of fresh cigarettes. It released a hot fragment of memory, of desire; a whisper of sex and rain, of longing. And so I kissed her back, kissed her forever; needing it, needing her, needing something…had to hold onto it, to keep it with me. But it was already slipping away, leaving me empty…wanting…

She broke away, finally, and whatever it was I was grasping for disappeared with her lips. She smiled, her face flushed and pretty, then ambled mercifully away without a word; left me to stagger in place, dizzy and reeling. Cold. And oddly alone.

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Idol for Writers, writing

Idol for Writers – Week 7


Well, I finally did it. My week seven entry (assigned topic: Utopia) got the most votes out of 24 remaining entries over at [Thebren]LJ Idol. It’s a discarded scene from a discarded subplot of a little something I wrote not long ago. Let that be a lesson to you: Never throw anything away.

~~~~~

Utopia. The place was a psychedelic nightmare: Blinking colored lights flashing out the pounding beat of the drum machines; jagged lasers cutting across the dance floor, in sync with the hiss and whine of synthesizers; and a DJ at the front of the room who thrashed around so freakishly that it made me wonder just what the hell he was on and where I could get some for myself.

Brandon, on the other hand, was in his natural element. The music seemed to fill him, inhabit him, possess him. He was both graceful and funky, like he’d been built to dance. And since it was his birthday, I did my best to put aside my uneasiness for his sake. It wasn’t too difficult, because his enthusiasm was contagious and, more importantly, in such a large crowd it was easy to just blend in. About halfway through the fourth song, I finally started to relax and was actually beginning to enjoy myself.

And that’s when I caught sight of a familiar face: Mandy. She was weaving through the crowd, aimless and vacant; obviously under the influence of something besides the music. She’d stop here and there to give someone a hug or to dance; sometimes alone, but usually with an unsuspecting, but perfectly willing, partner. And, eventually, she made her way over to us.

She pulled on his shirt without a word and forced him to submit to a somewhat intimate embrace. He kept his hands off to the side, well away from her body, and shot me a helpless this-isn’t-my-fault look. I managed to shrug. She was obviously on something, she hadn’t exactly singled him out of the crowd, and he couldn’t help being accosted.

She finally let him go. He had to swallow hard and take a deep breath before he could speak, which made me raise an eyebrow. Then he gestured towards me–without making eye contact–and shouted above the music, “Mandy, I’m here with someone. I’m here with my girlfriend.”

“Yeah, I know.” She turned around and gave me a grin. “Holy shit. Don’t you look hot tonight.”

The only thing I could think of to say to that was, Uh, thanks; but I didn’t get the chance. Because that’s when she let go of him, pulled my face to hers, and kissed me.

It took me a few seconds to even register what was happening, and when I did I couldn’t bring myself to break away. Didn’t even try. Didn’t want to. It was the first time–ever–that I’d been kissed by a woman, and there was so much going on, so much to take in, that it all washed over me one hot, brief wave at a time.

Full, warm, wet, open lips. Slow and soft. Softer hands, so soft, just like petals on my cheek. Flowing silk and breasts, hers pressing and rubbing against mine as she still moved vaguely in time with the music. The strobing lights, throbbing beat and orgasmic howls of a female vocalist made it seem almost surreal, like a hazy, sexy dream that I wished would never end. She slithered her tongue inside my mouth and I tasted the sting of fresh cigarettes. It released a hot fragment of memory, of desire; a whisper of sex and rain, of longing. And so I kissed her back, kissed her forever; needing it, needing her, needing something…had to hold onto it, to keep it with me. But it was already slipping away, leaving me empty…wanting…

She broke away, finally, and whatever it was I was grasping for disappeared with her lips. She smiled, her face flushed and pretty, then ambled mercifully away without a word; left me to stagger in place, dizzy and reeling. Cold. And oddly alone.

Idol for Writers, writing

Idol For Writers – Week 5


You may (or possibly may not) have noticed that I didn’t post a LJ Idol entry here last week. That’s because I took a ‘skip’ for week four (each writer is allowed two skips.) Work madness + exhaustion + sick kids = Kel didn’t write anything.

However, things being somewhat back to normal, I managed this entry for week five on the assigned topic “My Addictions.” (Three guesses where I was when inspiration struck.)

~~~~~

Steven comes into the store every evening at five-thirty–every evening–for his cigarettes. He’s tried to quit before, more times than I can remember, but he can’t do it. Sometimes I wonder what it is that makes it so difficult for him to give them up for good, what it is about those stinky sticks that’s so appealing? Or is it the being without them that’s so hard to take? The need, the longing, the–

Excuse me, ma’am? Oh, yes. Lotto tickets. How many? That’ll be six dollars.

–emptiness from lacking a Something that should be there, but isn’t? I can see him in my mind, clutching the pack with his strong, thick fingers, tap-tap-tapping it against his rough, calloused palm, pulling open the flip-top box, then finally extracting a single cylinder, almost with a sigh, just like it was–

Sorry sir? Milk? Yes, sir, it’s on sale this week. Three-thirty-five a gallon.

–a lifeline. Just like it was the only good thing he had in his life, a Something he looked forward to every day. Every day at five-thirty. Then he puts it to his full, beautiful lips, slightly parted, just lets it rest there. Because he can’t light it in the store. He takes his lighter out anyway, twirls it in his fingers as he walks out the door with a Goodbye and a See You Tomorrow and–sometimes–he even says my name…

The time, ma’am? Oh, the time is…it’s five-thirty-seven.

Five-thirty-seven?

He’s seven minutes late. Seven minutes late for the Something that makes his life bearable, that helps him cope with his mundane routine, with the ordinary-ness of his existence, through the endless–

Yes, yes, yes! You do have to show me your coupon before I ring up your order!

–crowd of brainless, boring, idiots he has to deal with, day in and day out. With lotto tickets and milk prices and goddamn coupons and–

Twenty-three cents short? No I can’t help you out with that. What do you think this is, a conveninece store or a bank???

–stupid, stupid, fucking STUPID people and I wonder if he’s okay? If he’s he shaking right now, wishing he had the Something with him? Barely able to endure the need, the longing, the emptiness, the…

Ding!

“Oh…hey there Steven. What? You’re late? I hadn’t even noticed.”

Idol for Writers, writing

Idol For Writers – Week 5


You may (or possibly may not) have noticed that I didn’t post a LJ Idol entry here last week. That’s because I took a ‘skip’ for week four (each writer is allowed two skips.) Work madness + exhaustion + sick kids = Kel didn’t write anything.

However, things being somewhat back to normal, I managed this entry for week five on the assigned topic “My Addictions.” (Three guesses where I was when inspiration struck.)

~~~~~

Steven comes into the store every evening at five-thirty–every evening–for his cigarettes. He’s tried to quit before, more times than I can remember, but he can’t do it. Sometimes I wonder what it is that makes it so difficult for him to give them up for good, what it is about those stinky sticks that’s so appealing? Or is it the being without them that’s so hard to take? The need, the longing, the–

Excuse me, ma’am? Oh, yes. Lotto tickets. How many? That’ll be six dollars.

–emptiness from lacking a Something that should be there, but isn’t? I can see him in my mind, clutching the pack with his strong, thick fingers, tap-tap-tapping it against his rough, calloused palm, pulling open the flip-top box, then finally extracting a single cylinder, almost with a sigh, just like it was–

Sorry sir? Milk? Yes, sir, it’s on sale this week. Three-thirty-five a gallon.

–a lifeline. Just like it was the only good thing he had in his life, a Something he looked forward to every day. Every day at five-thirty. Then he puts it to his full, beautiful lips, slightly parted, just lets it rest there. Because he can’t light it in the store. He takes his lighter out anyway, twirls it in his fingers as he walks out the door with a Goodbye and a See You Tomorrow and–sometimes–he even says my name…

The time, ma’am? Oh, the time is…it’s five-thirty-seven.

Five-thirty-seven?

He’s seven minutes late. Seven minutes late for the Something that makes his life bearable, that helps him cope with his mundane routine, with the ordinary-ness of his existence, through the endless–

Yes, yes, yes! You do have to show me your coupon before I ring up your order!

–crowd of brainless, boring, idiots he has to deal with, day in and day out. With lotto tickets and milk prices and goddamn coupons and–

Twenty-three cents short? No I can’t help you out with that. What do you think this is, a conveninece store or a bank???

–stupid, stupid, fucking STUPID people and I wonder if he’s okay? If he’s he shaking right now, wishing he had the Something with him? Barely able to endure the need, the longing, the emptiness, the…

Ding!

“Oh…hey there Steven. What? You’re late? I hadn’t even noticed.”

Adrift in America, Idol for Writers, Readers And Writers Blog, work, writing

Changes and Reflections


You may (or possibly may not) have noticed that my posting has been rather spotty here over the past month or so. One of the reasons for that is a lack of sleep due to my work schedule (I’ve been averaging about 2-3 hours a day on work days), and the resulting Slush Puppy Brain that results. Starting this weekend that will change. I’ll be working 2nd shift on weekends instead of 3rd shift during the week. In addition to the benefits that come with actually sleeping at night, it should mean a drastic increase in posts here (and comments on my buddy’s blogs). And–fear not!–even though customers typically wear their pants on 2nd shift, I should still see enough weirdness to keep this blog interesting.

In other news, I survived another week at Idol For Writers. This is my take on the assigned topic, Reflections:

~~~~~

An eight-year-old boy saunters down the street, smiling proudly, armed with a powerful new weapon, a gift from his father the evening before.

He slips open the schoolyard gate and surveys the crowd with his sharp, green eyes, so like his daddy’s: Girls skipping rope; boys shooting hoops; teachers chatting amongst themselves, tired and bored. And, sitting by himself, leaning against a solitary tree, reading a book, is his target.

He makes his way over, fists stuffed tightly into his pockets, twitching to keep the grin off his face until just the right moment. He comes to a stop directly in front a pair of white, spotless shoes, rolling the weapon around his tongue, savoring the jagged consonants and tangy vowels. His father’s voice echoes in his ears as he lets loose his grin, pulls the trigger, and fires the word directly into his target’s fragile, tender heart:

“Faggot!”

~~~~~

In other writing news, Chapters 40 and 41 of Waiting For Spring were posted at Readers and Writers Blog on Sunday. Tess is starting to heal…finally. Also new at R&W Blog is Chapters 16 and 17 of Ann M. Pino’s Steal Tomorrow. And Mr. Sid Leavitt has posted an excerpt of his very excellent book, Adrift in America. I’ve blogged about how much I enjoyed reading it before, and I’d like to recommend it to y’all again.