Friday Fictioneers – Daddy Hazards

Hey, everyone. I hope you all have a chance to read my latest stories, including “The Runner” and last week’s hit “Changing Tides“. Besides that, all aboard for today’s Friday Fictioneers.

copyright Doug M. MacIlroy

Daddy Hazards

Harlan secured the helmet over his face, tightening it down.

“Alright, it’s in place and the apparatus is operational!”

His wife, Marisa, looked at him nervously.

“Are you sure that you’ll be able to do this correctly?”

“Of course! It’ll be alright. He’ll grow out of this phase, hopefully.”

He slowly sauntered over to the table, and pulled out two pairs of pliers.

“Honey, did you ever think that we’d have to deal with a child who’s poo makes a paper mill smell like a rose garden?”

“Nope, but I didn’t expect to have a child in the first place. Miracles do happen.”

“And I wouldn’t trade it for the world, honey!”

The Runner

The Runner
by Miles
Rost

These streets are my home.

I know each of the houses by heart, knowing the secrets that each of them share with the rest of the world, and those they keep inside. As I lace up my shoes, I notice that Mrs. Coleman in the pink house on the corner is out with her hand-held crane. She’s going to make some apple pies today. Maybe, if things go right after this, I can go back and buy a pie from her.

I put in my earbuds and shoot down the street. The neighborhood I live in is pretty rough, but I think it’s a great place to live if you know how to survive. As I cross over Tremaine Avenue, I run past a blue two-story house where Mr. and Mrs. Parkinson argue about which one will take out the garbage. They love each other, and it’s the small arguments they have which keep them in each other’s arms. Though it only takes me about a second to blaze past their door, I already know that by the time I’m done with my work, they’ll be up in the bedroom doing what couples do best.

Many of the houses I pass in my neighborhood are abandoned, the price paid for an economy that was all eggs in one basket. The city had a thriving cardboard and paperboard mill, and that kept things afloat for nearly 110 years. I can see the former glory of the neighborhood as I cross the next avenue, Waterman Boulevard. It’s a vague memory compared to what I see now, but when I was young, this area was a big one.

After I crossed the street, I passed by Mr. Brody, the postman. He’s been around here longer than I have, and we call him “Dirty Harry”, due to his demeanor and gruff exterior. He is a Korean veteran who is still doing his job at 79. He’s the only one who is willing to actually go around these streets. Not even the drug dealers off Wilkinson Avenue will touch the man. When he goes, there will be no more postal delivery for this area.

I keep running past houses, each one telling a story about the area I live in. I focus on the music in my ears, as I pick up the speed and sprint down the street. I am able to cover 3 blocks in 30 seconds, which gets me closer to the edge of the neighborhood. I slow down and cool down with a slower run over the next two blocks. By the time I reach Townline Road, I can see the empty fields where farmers and vineyards co-mingle like folks at a movie.

I decide to take a moment while figuring out which way to go. I’ve put distance between myself and my home, for sure, and I am not sure which way to go. If I go north up Townline, I go towards more farmland. If I go south on Townline, I will reach the highway. If I continue straight across, I’ll meet up with a hill and eventually a dead end.

I look back behind me, and I can see some movement. Flashlights and chains. Not a good combination in this area. And I know why I can hear them.

I decide to head up the hill, straight ahead. I think if I sprint hard enough a couple times, I can lose them in the trees.

It’s a pain in the butt to try and leave a neighborhood that you’ve lived in all your life. Especially when it’s a prison, run by one of the worst street gangs in the world. But, I think I can get out of this place once and for all, and start my life over again.

Friday Fictioneers – Everything It Touches

Here’s another Friday Fictioneers story for you. Don’t forget to read all of my other stories, including Changing Tides, and one of the more talked about stories “The Beginning of Something New”. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Now: ON with the show.

copyright D Lovering

Everything It Touches

“So, when did that thing get down here, Charlie?”

“Well, Burt, it was about 2 days ago. We all thought Noor was playing a practical joke with her streamers, when it just landed there.”

“Has it done anything we should know?”

“Not from what I can see, but I did smell lemon and ammonia coming from the houses that it touched.”

“Wait…lemons and ammonia?”

“Yeah. Anything you can think of?”

Charlie called up to his house.

“Hey, Meriel, how does the house look?”

“Clean as a whistle, Charlie. Now get up here for supper!”

Charlie shrugged as Burt looked on in wonder.

Changing Tides

Changing Tides
(aka Mayumi’s Story, Part II)
by Miles Rost

The old pangs were just like torture.

The old desires, the old needs, all of them were trying to drop Mayumi in her tracks. And damn if she was going to let it.

It had been nearly three weeks since her ex-boyfriend was sent packing across the Outback on his motorcycle, with her hoping he’d never return. She examined herself fully to see how she was, and for the first couple of weeks, it seemed to be alright. She was getting by on her work at the radio station, spending lots of time working radio traffic during the week and hitting up the 7-10 shift at Shine FM on the weekends. With one day off on Mondays, it was a nice job to have, especially dealing with all the stuff she had to deal with.

What she didn’t expect was those old pangs coming back. The feelings that she had still stuck around, the residual mess that was left to be cleaned up.

The pangs were slow to creep up on her. Just a little reminder of the way her boyfriend used to hold her, at a time when she was vulnerable; or a little reminder of the gentle kiss that he’d give her while they watched wrestling on TV. Small things like these kept popping into her mind as the days progressed.

It was a Friday afternoon, and as she got home, that she felt the old feeling of loneliness and desire pop back into her life. The indicators were there before, however.

——

12:45PM, Friday

The papers were all stacked up on her desk. Inputs for commercials and liners were ready to be processed. She picked up one of the requests and started to write on the page. As the pen ran across the sheet of wood pulp, her knuckle started to ache. It was a small ache at first. As she processed each request, the ache got worse and her emotions started to run a bit higher. After a half an hour, she sat back and rubbed her hands across her face, ending with one going through her sandy-gray hair.

“Hey, Mayumi. You okay?”

Mayumi looked at her deskmate, Kelsey. A fresh-faced Sydney graduate, buxom and smart, Kelsey seemed to have a second sense to when problems were about to start.

“Yeah, Kel. Ah just have a lot on m’plate. That’s all.”

Kelsey looked at her through strands of her dark chocolate brown hair, and squinted.

“I don’t believe that for a second. In a half an hour, you can get through a stack like that on your desk. You’ve only gotten through half. What’s going on?”

Mayumi sighed, as she continued to process the paperwork.

“Ah’m just still dealing with my ex.”

“I see. Still haven’t been able to let him go, have ya?”

“Ah let him go. It’s just hard to let the memories fade, y’know.”

Kelsey pursed her lips, as she thought carefully. The brunette scratched her hair with a pencil, while she thought.

“It was two weeks ago, right? And how long were you together.”

“Yeah. And we were “together” for over 8 years. High school sweethearts and all that junk.”

“Ow,” Kelsey grimaced, a slight twinge of pain going through her face.

Mayumi sighed and looked at her friend.

“What’s bad is that ah know when my emotions are overwhelming me. The aching in my knuckle tells me.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, ever since ah had this depressive episode back in ’06. Whenever ah have too much emotion, and ah’m about ready to cry or needing to release, it screams at me.”

“Maybe you should take the rest of the day off. I mean, you haven’t taken a day in the year I’ve been here, and you are probably going through some major league withdrawal if it was that bad.”

Mayumi thought about it for a few moments, and looked at her paperwork. She did get part of it done already, but she didn’t want to leave until she finished her work.

Kelsey looked at her again, and sighing audibly, she put her hands out. She told her, without words, ‘Give them to me. You need rest’.

After a few moments of writing the last page on her desk, she gave the stack of papers to her sympathetic comrade and registered her sick leave request with the manager. Getting it approved. she popped into her vehicle and raced home.

—-

She was already into the apartment when she dropped her keys on the floor. She didn’t even notice them, as she stumbled into her ornately decorated bedroom. Falling upon the bed, she grabbed a full length pillow and hugged it tightly. Tears started to flow down her face, dropping it’s salty emotion onto the sleeve of her light silk blouse. She held onto the pillow for dear life, as her mind raced through the emotions that were bombarding her from all direction.

She cried as she recounted the feeling of his touch on her skin, the longing of wanting that touch on her body. The warmth of his hands on each of her shoulders was still firm in her mind.

Mayumi’s mind was in agony as she went through all sorts of memories. She didn’t know what to do with all of them, with all the extra energy that she had without directing so much of it toward her idiot ex. The “good memories” were the ones that caused her the grief she was experiencing, though at times the bad memories came surging upward, forcing a scream into her pillow as she recounted the numerous numbers of abusive barbs.

You’re not worth the time, Yumi.

That was the one that hurt the most for her. It was one of the last things that the idiot said to her the night before he left for parts unknown. 8 long years, and she had her time wasted.

She screamed out curses at his name, at the memories as the tears poured down her face like a mini-waterfall. Her blouse was becoming soaked with her tears, just like the pillow she held onto.

All of the desire that she had, the lust of her heart, the pain and memories, flowed out of her. The pain in her finger throbbed at all the emotion coming from her.

The culmination of the three weeks of stress and all the old feelings had burst forth from it’s prison. As she sank into what would be called a deep sleep, in the last vestige of her consciousness, she saw a vision of an old tree chopped into firewood, and a hole filled with dirt.

Finally, she was facing all those emotions head on. And the healing would begin in earnest.

Friday Fictioneers – Bonk!

copyright Kent Bonham

copyright Kent Bonham

Bonk!

Here I sit, hanging by a wire.

I am waiting for my time to come. No one noticed as I wait above for my moment.

I see the young pop star, fresh out of the factory. Ah, I remember them well. Stock Aitken Waterman-types, now they’re all coming out of the Disney machine.

I’ve been up here for nearly 45 years. Same lights, same everything.

Oh, my time is just about here! I get my chance to do something awesome!

If I can just wiggle a little more, then I’ll be front page news!

SNAP!

“YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

BONK!

Oh yeah, I am evil.

I’m Still Standing

by Miles Rost

Blood trickled down the man’s face, mixing with dirt and grime. The flick of the tongue grabbed onto the liquid and brought it into his mouth.

The taste of it was satisfaction for Stan Bernal.

For 23 years, he worked for a large manufacturing firm in the big city across the river from his hometown. It was a good living, making cardboard and paper boxes for a variety of companies and firms. The job was perfect for the man with only a high school education, with one exception:

Jack Blaine.

Blaine was a co-worker, who took an instant dislike to Stan. Every single day, for 23 years, Stan had to deal with at least one insult coming out of the mechanic. For 22 years and 364.25 days, it was business as usual. Stan would walk in, he’d get hit with two insults from Blaine, and he would go to his post like nothing happened.

July 15th, 2011 was a day that would go down in history at the company.

Stan arrived at work like clockwork. Old habits died hard, as they say. He walked in and awaited the first two barrages of insults from Blaine.

They never came.

Stan, shook by the lack of insults, looked around and walked into the lunchroom. Putting away his lunchbucket in his refrigerated locker, he got his safety equipment on and started moving out to the floor for the start of his day. He asked one of the other boys if Blaine was around. Getting past their remarks about him wanting to be insulted, they indicated that they didn’t see him that morning

The first part of his shift passed with no trouble. He fed the machines the new sheets of rough paperboard, which later became cardboard. The tedium nearly got to him, until he walked over to turn his machine off. As he pressed the button to turn it off, a sudden ka-THUNK brought him back to reality. As did the searing pain in his arm.

His machine had pinched his arm in between two metal plates, and the pain was intensifying with each set of seconds. As he screamed out in pain, others came around to pull his arm out of the jam. He sat down and the medic looked at his arm, declaring that he was lucky and that it was only flesh wounds. He would be going home for the first time in 23 years.

Stan walked to the lunchroom, and was just about to walk in, when he heard a cackling sound around the side of the modular lunchroom. He walked around to investigate, and looked in shock.

Jack Blaine was cackling.

And holding two bolts that were from his machine.

Stan’s face suddenly started boiling red, his eyes went white, and with a mighty cry reminiscent of Adam Sandler’s “waterboy”, he leaped upon the laughing gentleman.

Stan’s leap made his arm go into a pain spasm, but with the amount of adrenalin going through his system, he didn’t feel any of it. He pulled Jack down onto the floor and started raining blows with his good arm.

It looked like it would be a one-way fight until Jack flipped Stan over and into a water cooler. As the machine spilled it’s contents over Stan, Jack rushed over to pick him up. Jack lined up for a punch, and connected with Stan’s face.

Yet, Jack suddenly felt a pressure upon his nether regions, and started screeching in pain.

At the same time as Jack connected with Stan’s face, Stan’s foot crunched Jack’s nuts.

Both men went down, Jack howling in pain and Stan lolling about. The fight was now about time, and how much time it would take for either man to get the initiative.

For a moment, it looked as though Jack would be able to get up and take the lead. However, Stan stumbled over to Jack and smashed his foot into Jack’s face. Repeating his blow a few times, Stan lowered himself down and grabbed Jack’s work shirt. He pulled him up and spat in his face.

He then threw two punches. One connected with Jack’s nose and made a sickening crunch. The other blow landed on the side of Jack’s head. The last punch was the last thing Jack would see for two whole days.  His body became limp, and fell out of Stan’s hands.

“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OVER HERE?!?!” a bellowing sound echoed throughout the warehouse.

Nobody moved, while Stan turned to look at the incoming foreman.

“Stan! What the hell are you doing?”

Stan looked up at the foreman, and gave him the two bolts that were in Jack’s hand.

“Jack tried to kill me. I was about to leave for home, and I heard him laughing about it. I wanted to make sure that I was the last one standing.”

The foreman looked at the unconscious form of Jack Blaine and sighed.

“It took 23 years to finally get you two to get your differences ironed out.”

“I’m still standing, boss. Better than I ever did. I feel like a true survivor, though no longer like a little kid.”

“Well, I can guarantee one of you two will not be here on Monday morning. And more than likely, it’ll be him. It all depends on you.”

Stan smiled, looking down at Jack’s still body.

“We’ll do the paperwork now. I’m still standing. I just may need the next couple of days off to recover from the near death I got today.”

The Beginning of Something New (aka “Supernova”)

The Beginning of Something New
(aka
Supernova)
By Miles Rost

New feelings were always so hard to understand.

Coming out of a mentally abusive relationship was not one of the plans that Mayumi Shiomi had in mind for the weekend. She hoped to have done that earlier in the week, so she could heal over the weekend and not have to deal with the crying she would ultimately do at work.

The 22-year old was finally able to say goodbye to the abuse she took. Seeing her old boyfriend leave on his motorcycle for the other side of Australia was a relief for her. Now that the hound was away, “The Fox” was likely ready to play.

She looked at herself in the mirror quickly, but after a few moments looking away from the mirror, she decided to take an inventory.

Ah need to do this, she thought, Since the old baka won’t be back in West Penfield, Ah have to see what’s left.

The large bathroom allowed her the comfort of being able to walk around and not worry about being in an enclosed space. She made sure of that when she bought the new townhouse. With all the room , she would be able to get a good view of what she looked like now.

The young woman looked at herself in the full length mirror, hung delicately on the wall close to the shower. She ran her hand through the short, incredibly light brown hair that she wore. It was a good look on her, seeing as she kept it since the middle of high school. It also helped her when she had to deal with drinking a bit much, as having too much hair would mean vomit smell constantly.

She gazed at her reflection, the face that people called a “Kitsune” face. She didn’t care much for her nickname of “The Fox”, but she was willing to live with it as it did adequately describe her normal, everyday look. At least, what the look used to be before she was involved with the baka. She did have beautifully colored hazel eyes, but they rarely were seen as she had a constant squint to her eyes. It was part of “The Fox” charm that people knew.

She analyzed the rest of her visage, noting that her body still had the curves that she inherited from her Australian mother’s side of the family. She was definitely a beauty, and she knew it. She knew that guys would look at her and immediately fall at her feet, even knowing that her reputation kept pointing to the phrase “Dangerous Curves Ahead”. She did a slight wiggle, and smiled.

Yep, ah still got it!

She drew a breath, as she pulled a chair to her. As she sat down, she looked in the mirror, directly into her own eyes.

The hardest part of her analysis was about to come.

She was fine on the outside, but she needed to take an inventory of her inside. She needed to look at her mind, her spirit, and the wholeness of her being on the inside of the beautiful shell.

“Alright, Mayumi, how’re ya doing?”

She looked at herself as she waited for her spirit to answer, while her heart blazed a thousand words a second describing how good it was that she was free of the bastard that hurt her. She snickered that her heart would be the first one to send off the signals of relief. Her spirit would be the one that she would need to focus on, as her relationship had gone on for very long time.

“Are ya ready to get movin’ on with life?”

Somewhere within her spirit, a peace that was indescribable finally appeared to her. It was like it was saying, “You will be healed, be free.”

Her mind, however, was the one that raced through a million possibilities about why things would go wrong. Her mind, the one part of her being that just would never shut up. It was where the biggest attack on her would come from, and she knew this was a possibility.

She looked at herself in the mirror again, leaning forward in the chair to get a closer look at her face. She knew she didn’t need the baka, but everytime she tried to quit him, she’d always go looking for him again. She never realized that a lot of her problems surrounding him were less about her and more about a part of her past that had since been rectified. She realized this, and said the only thing that she could.

“Lord, ah think it’s time for me to get livin’. Ah need your help to get through this.”

It was the best prayer she could think of, seeing as she was now able to be restored to a condition that would be perfect for her.

She was about to continue analyzing herself when she heard a loud buzzing sound. She forgot about her phone, and the alarm that was set for 5PM. She had two hours to get over to Shine FM, a relatively new radio station broadcasting to the suburbs of Sydney, including West Penfield. The job she held, for such a long time, was one of the saving graces that helped her in the dealings with her baka boyfriend.

“Time for this girl to get herself on the air,” she said to the mirror, putting on a smile that would show that “The Fox” was back on the stalk.

Today was the first day of her new life, a new air of freedom. She would never go back to that baka again, and she would most certainly spend a lot more time on the things that she loved.

“Lookout, world. Ahm back!” She said, giving her reflection a wink.