Nirvana

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Nirvana

Ah, that memory: the motel with the bright green carpet and the glamorous sweeping staircase in the lobby – the anticipation of stepping up to the front desk and registering for one of the rooms – the thrill of ascending the staircase, opening the heavy glass door to the open-air second floor walkway, running along the line of identical doors and checking numbers until we shouted out, Here’s our room!

This haven was all ours for the night, a rest stop for our family of four kids and two highway-tired parents, the air-freshener smell wafting out of the pin-neat room as we opened the door and tumbled in – but the next morning, I also remembered, just like every other morning and every other room on this road trip, the place would smell like fried chicken, shoes, shampoo, and vomit (carsickness can keep right on going even after you exit the car, apparently, especially if you eat fried chicken), and Dad would have to check out in a hurry and get us on the road again, wayfarers looking for that next swath of green carpet and curving staircase…
Vacation.
The car. The highways.
Miles and miles
No stoplights
No towns. The blue motel pool
A gleam in our eyes.

(Shadorma 92)
5/1/18

Blackmail

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

 

Blackmail

A stack of small posters lay on Bev’s desk, each one with a picture of a cute little brown and white mutt caught with his mouth open in the middle of a bark. Morgle stopped for a casual look, ready to sneer at another Lost Dog print job, and looked again, ignoring the dog and focusing on two figures in the background, blurry but entirely recognizable and positioned in plain sight right above the phone number; he gave Bev a sharp glance that she returned, both of them knowing they shared the same thoughts:

So you knew about the two of them, too, and if you, and I, and a dog on a poster, we know, then how long until everyone else…?

and

Make up a new flyer with a different picture, but keep the original

and

How much do you think this it’s worth, this secret?
We are not
very nice. We keep
your secrets
top secret
only if we don’t know them.
Don’t let us know them.

(Shadorma 91)
4/25/18

Perspective

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

 

Perspective

I know you’re my only brother, but I’ve taken the last message from the tabloids I ever want to write down, I’ve thrown your clothes out the window and onto the front lawn, and I’ve called an ambulance for our mother who is right now choking on that big bite of public opinion entitled “neighbors and their snide remarks”. I swear, everything you do, it’s either it’s illegal or it’s embarrassing and sometimes both but never neither and – what – what – what is it you’re saying – you’ve assigned half the royalties from your tell-all book to me?

Finally
when you reach fed up
your patience
cut to shreds
chance news at the last minute
brings you in on fumes

(Shadorma 90)
4/24/18

 

Halt

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

 

Halt

Genevieve watched as water seeped under the garage door, the heavy rainstorm proving to be too much for the seal, and experience told her the deceptively timid fingers of water would grow and aggress, eventually spreading across the floor, merging and grasping, to encircle the lawnmower, ruin the bag of grass seed, leave behind rust and mold, spoil the…everything, and there was nothing she could do about it, as usual, except watch and then clean up the mess after the storm.

Suddenly, it was too much, and the feelings – the years of stolid patient fixing-up of the breakdowns of daily life for ungrateful family and friends – overbalanced and avalanched: Go away, Genevieve shouted in a hoarse cracking voice nothing like her usual tentative tones, Go away, stamping her foot so hard on the concrete that it split, Go away, moving forward and shooing her hands at the water in shoulder-dislocating motions, Go away! and the rivulets obeyed, retreating under the door into the rain that continued outside without a let-up – but inside the garage, the floor was dry and clean.

Under the surface
a new answer waits for you
Use your hands to dig.

(Haiku 404)
4/16/18

Contentment

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Contentment
Typical day: I listen to pleasant classical music broadcast from a high-end sound system, sit in an exceptionally comfortable office chair that had all but begged to be the chosen one to support my bottom, associate with intelligent and perceptive colleagues, and tap out numbers on a computer that does nothing all day long but accept my instructions, process them at high speed and spit out ground-breaking data – all for a lucrative paycheck.

Get real, I think as I make my gold Waterman pen do flips in the air, you know you were meant to work in an office with stained carpet, listen to staticky rock and roll blaring out from a radio with a blown speaker, and curse the accounting department while eating a soggy salami sandwich, and you’ll never be happy until you can get out of this living hell and into a broken office chair – and with that I opened my desk drawer, flung the Waterman into it, and pulled out my cherished and only remaining Bic to start revising my resume.

The pen writes.
It is not the pen
but the words
on the page
that matter. Or so you think.
You dislike the pen.

(Shadorma 89)
4/9/18

Confidence

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Confidence

I sat at a table on the patio, straining to make out the daily specials blue-chalked on a tiny board, while small planes from the municipal airport across the highway tottered into the sky or flailed their way to the ground, none of them going opposite to their intentions, thank goodness.

I ordered a Jumbo Jet Burger platter to go, my thoughts turning to the reason I’d chosen this lunch spot: as a true-crime groupie, it was inevitable I’d get the idea to make use of my knowledge, get rid of my worst enemy, open an offshore bank account and fill it up, and leave behind a constricted boring existence – in print and under a pseudonym, sure, but certainly that was enough, and now with my book climbing the best seller lists and sales rolling in, it was time for me to catch that chartered flight now waiting for me across the street, because – well, as I said, I’m only interested in true crimes.

The finger-pointing
beginning tomorrow night
when I am long gone.

(Haiku 401)
4/5/18

Accounting

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Accounting

Ava knew her family well, understood their foibles, envied them the consistency of their rhino-hide imperviousness to good taste, scruples, or intellectual pursuits, admired their solid self-confidence that kept them going even when they were utterly totally out of their depth.

As the family CPA, her job was to move fast and count backwards from ten any time she was consulted on one of their schemes; never to let them know that whatever they asked her to do, she promptly did the opposite; and most of all, keep from them the fact that she had been an Internal Revenue Service employee for the past ten years.

These ledger pages
depending on who you ask
reflect all profits
assets liabilities –
or not. Sure, you can be sure.

(Tanka 106)
3/30/18

Ally

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Ally

Cleo stepped in hard and raised her hands higher as she sparred with her opponent, a medium-sized woman wearing a pink top and black shorts who was punching as if her life depended on it and then some. You are one cosmic lady! she whisper-shouted, leaping forward with an extra-sharp jab just as the figure in front of her did the same, said the same, was the same: the music pounded and the exercise class continued, the two cosmic ladies separated only by the wall mirror, passing a smile back and forth through the glass.

Hey you there
you in that mirror
step up here
Double up
that special way we do things
all things. Together.

(Shadorma 80)
3/27/18