Friday, November 27, 2009


Knowing the battle
could be quite deadly,
she put on her body armor,
elbow pads, knee pads,
helmet and steel toed boots.
This wasn’t a rehearsal
or a scouting party,
this was the real deal.
She was prepared
for the worst,
as she knew others would be.
This year Black Friday would be her Bitch.

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.
If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.

Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Every day since his forced retirement he walked the same path. He had come back from the war with anger and guilt. Then he found himself replaced by automation after 34 years with the only thanks he received being a pat on the back and a small union pension.

Even retirement dealt him a fist full of poor cards when his wife of 45 years died before he could allow himself to be happy with his new found time and he was then more alone than he had felt in his entire life. Loneliness and boredom. His love gone. His friends passed or out of touch. He fell deeper into a depression he didn't recognize or know how to overcome. His generation knew nothing of therapy. They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and got on with life, no matter how miserable they were.

His anger at the cruelty of the world left him bitter and resentful. He walked in an attempt to let off the steam, but even this became painful as his once fit and toned body began to feel its age and fail him. Everyday, the same walk with only his animosity and shadow as companions. The walks seemed to leave an impression of his consciousness. His shadow tending to lead the way as his body struggled to keep up. The shadow knew the routine - 'round the casting pond, past the playground and duck pond with a stop at the lone willow next to the bridge over Crystal Springs Creek.

Same route. Same time. Daily. For years. Until he finally fell asleep and never woke up.

He was no longer physically taking his walk. Only his shadow remained to repeat the daily sojourn. A shadow so barely perceptible that only a glimpse out of the corner of one's eye might catch it. The man was gone, the shadow stayed. A ghostly apparition. Was it a lost soul unable to let go of an earthly attachment? Was it simply a shadow locked into the long established pattern looped through the end of eternity - neither ghost nor lost soul, but disembodied shadow doomed to repetition of long completed activities, yet still attached through the depth of negative or positive emotions delivered over the years?


What are these Shadow People?

Last summer Mrs. Monkey Man and I were walking through our local park. As I turned to cross a small bridge over the creek that fed a duck pond, I caught motion out of the corner of my eye. It appeared to be a silhouette of a man wearing a black hat and black overcoat. A closer look revealed.....nothing. No one was there, just a willow tree, motionless in the still afternoon air.

I shivered in the summer heat and shook my head. "What's wrong," asked Mrs. MM. "Nothing," I said. "I thought I saw a man in a black hat and coat, but there was nothing there."

"I saw it, too." she replied.

We had both seen this shadow person. Neither of us had an explanation as to what it was. Where it came from or where it went. It was an eerie experience to say the least. We talked about it later. How was it that we were sensitive to such visions? She had seen them before, so had my son. This was my first. It was at once terrifying and intriguing. Were they all around? Do they protect as a guardian angel? Are they interdimensional? Was it just a shadow?

I may never know. But I do know what I saw and how it made me feel.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Awards are silly....but

Marla from Butts and Ashes recently flicked an award my way (get it, Butts & Ashes...flicked). God, if I have to explain it, it must be crap. Well, that's my sense of humor. A little sick. A little twisted. A little dark. A lot stupid. No apologies because that's just the way I'm wired.

While the award has an insipidly ridiculous illustration that drips with cuteness (I hate cuteness), I accept it in the spirit it was given. Apparently, something in the way I write attracted Marla and led her to think I deserved this award. Perhaps she had already given awards to all of the other blogs she reads and I was the only one left give one to. Or maybe, she felt sorry for me. Regardless, having accepted this award I must now tell Seven things about myself than no one may know.

1. I sang in school (you know - choir) until my Sophomore year in college, when an instructor finally figured out I didn't know how to read music. Hey! I had a great ear and a pretty decent voice.
2. I am a cancer survivor. Okay, anyone who has read my blog over the last few months already knows this, but I like to crowbar it in because it gives me an opportunity to tell anyone who reads this to GO GET A COLONOSCOPY it could save your life.
3. Years ago I actually got paid to write. I was a copywriter and publicity writer for an advertising agency. It is also how I lost my love for writing. Took me almost two decades to realize how much I missed it. Now I write for me - not some client...or you for that matter.
4. I was raised to think that what I did is who I was, so work for me was everything and it dictated my moods and controlled my psyche. It almost cost me my family. Today, I am happy just being me and putting family and friends first. Happiness is an inside job.
5. I have seen shadow people. 'Nuf said. Maybe there's a blog in there somewhere.
6. My dog is a pit bull and he is a wonderful, sweet dog who loves people - at every meal - OK, just kidding about the every meal part. I believe animals are a reflection of their owners and if you teach your dog to be mean, it will be mean - lab, golden, pitty, whatever.
7. I am a huge Oregon State Beavers fan and they play on December 3 against their in-state rival for a chance to go to the Rose Bowl. Send them good thoughts or I'll come and burn down your house. Just kidding. I might whizz in your backyard, but I would never burn down your house. Go Beavs!
So who do I bestow this award upon now? I'm thinking Big JeNN at This is Now. I like her. She rides a Harley, loves her husband and family and has a healthy view of life. There are others I would also consider this for, but I can only choose one.
Thanks again, Marla. This was actually fun. (Except for having to put that flowery GD award logo on my blog. I am so embarrassed. I will have to check myself later to make sure I still have all my man parts.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bad Occupations

He had to
record the color
of each leaf
he bagged.
Being OCD
and doing
yard work
was a shitty combination.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.