Friday Fictioneers – Let Me Go Home

(Author’s note: After having 2 and a half of the toughest weeks that I’ve ever had, including fighting off illness and dealing with a crapton of stress that just wouldn’t quit, I’m largely doing okay. Here’s Today’s fictioneers.)

dale-rogerson-pizza

©Dale Rogerson

by Miles H. Rost

The couch was the point of no return.

Harvey sat, his legs curled up underneath, exhaustion seeping from every pore of his body.

It was so bad, he couldn’t eat properly. The gourmet pizza, and bottle of expensive wine, sat barely touched on a counter. He could eat it later, but by that time, the wine might have turned to vinegar.

He sat, staring at the blank wall in front of him, the couch being his place of refuge.

He wanted out of his life, but had to return to the 9 to 5 the next morning.

In his exhaustion, he cried.

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Friday Fictioneers – Dancing On A High Wire

(Author’s note: Dealing with health issues. Should be back up to snuff soon.)

 

© Madison Woods

Dancing On A High Wire

by Miles H. Rost

“This is the craziest idea you ever had,” Martin whispered.

“Well, you wanna get out of this place or what?”

Thor Torgerson didn’t wait for an answer, as he quietly opened the tower door. Deftly, he subdued the two guards and looked down at his pathway.

A long, thin, razor wire fence.

“You want me to walk on that?!” Martin blanched.

“You want your freedom? Wanna get back at the university folk who put you in prison?”

Martin looked at Thor, his desire for revenge getting the better.

“Hell yes.”

“Then let’s get walking.”

Martin grabbed the railing, lowered himself onto the concertina wire…

Friday Fictioneers – Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)

Author’s Note: I want to give a thank you to everyone who has been reading, and especially the new readers that have come over to my blog due to “Unstoppable God / Invincible”. Quite happy with the response. Here’s today’s Friday Fictioneers offering for you all.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)

by Miles H. Rost

“Cold weather astronomy. Nothing like it.”

Bob looked at his colleage, Dr. Benjamin, and smiled.

“Can you imagine seeing all of the different stars that we couldn’t see from even Tierra Del Fuego?”

“I’m glad we took up this chance to do so.” Dr. Benjamin replied, before pausing a moment. He pointed to the sky, tracing a bright object.

“Look at that! It’s a meteor!”

Bob looked up, and his eyes got wide.

“Dr. Benjamin, that’s not a meteor. That’s something totally different. The color pattern is not yellow. It’s bright blue. We have a UFO.”

He pressed the button on his radio, but only heard clicking and static.

 

Hedging Your Bets – Friday Fictioneers

Hey there, everyone. Last week was a killer for me, on many fronts. I couldn’t do half of what I wanted to do. The good news is that I will have time this week to do some major writing, so keep up on it. Here’s today’s fiction:

copyright Melanie Greenwood

Hedging Your Bets

by Miles Rost

“I just put in my notice.”

Mark Jackson had a look on his face that was bliss. His cube-mate, Jesse Blaylock, wasn’t so sure.

“So, you’re going to quit without an exit plan?”

“Absolutely not. I have that plan. I’m going to take the first job that I get, and while I work at that one, I’ll work on my passion.”

Jesse’s eye went up at that.

“And what if you don’t find a job?”

“That’s the beauty of it. They’re always looking for someone. I will do any job, just as long as I don’t have to work at this place.”

“You, sir, have faith. If I don’t get to see you go today, here’s to hoping the maze don’t get ya.”

 

Don’t Answer Me

Don’t Answer Me
by Miles Rost

The screech of a car horn right outside the window barely made Daisy flinch.

In the small ground level apartment, she sat on a bed. With her arms around her legs, she sighed with hesitation. She didn’t look up from her pajama-covered legs, focusing only on all the feelings she held inside of her.

All of the feelings she had bubbled up from the reserves that were stuck in her system over the last week. Combine that with a combination of heat, losing people she loved, and a new job that was incredibly laborious, the cocktail of stress caused her to break.

She pulled her legs closer, feeling the weight of her loneliness and isolation. She wanted to go and meet people, but she was in an isolated area of the city, far from the other people like her. The feeling made her turn inward, thinking of what she lost when she left her old location.

As her long, apple-colored hair touched her knees, she saw her cell phone light up on the counter. The telltale sound of her ringtone chimed through the largely empty apartment.

Don’t answer me
Don’t break the silence, Don’t let me win
Don’t answer me
Stay on your island, Don’t let me in
Run away and hide from everyone
Can you change the things we’ve said and done…

It repeated, one of her favorite songs suddenly turning into her biggest tormentor. She felt a tear fall down her face as the words hit her hard. One right after another, like the start of a waterfall as winter becomes spring. She let it ring, as she felt those emotions build up even more with each tear that fell.

The phone rang again, the same lyrics resounding around her head.

Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!, she cried in her head, trying to block out the sound. Finally, after the third time the phone rang, she picked it up.

“Hello?” she said, stifling a sniffle.

“Hey! Daisy! It’s Barb. You okay, child?” her friend Barb replied. A southern belle through and through, and her genteel nature was one of the reasons her and Daisy were able to be good friends.

“I’m living.”

“And I can tell that you’re not doing very well. Your sadness is showing. Care to have a friend to talk to here?”

It was no use. Daisy couldn’t hold it in any longer. Through wracked sobs and screams, she relayed everything she felt at that time. She laid out all the fear, the feelings of isolation, the disappointment, and all of the other feelings. For 30 long minutes, she talked to her, putting it out there for one of her long-time friends.

After a few moments of silence and breathing, Daisy gave a long sigh.

“Felt good to get that out, didn’t it, child?”

“Yeah, it felt good. I just don’t have people down here to deal with, that would share experiences with me.”

“Aw, sugah, do you remember when you met me? Remember how you thought I was a bit weird cause I was from the south?”

Daisy put her palm to her forehead, as she remembered the first thing she said to Barb.

“Anyhow, child, remember something. No matter how far we may be from each other, you can always talk to me. And don’t forget your other friends back here, too. The pastor, Jimmy, and even Pele the gardener are always here to talk with ya.”

Daisy smiled, the first smile she had shown to people in a week. As she kept talking, the tears of pain and sadness, hurt and all other feelings, turned to happiness, relief, and joy. She was very thankful for her friend, and she was incredibly grateful that she was there…even if she was going to be going home soon.

(for David Stewart, one of my great friends who has helped me on one of the biggest transitions I’ve had to deal with. Ever.)

Old and Wise

by Miles Rost

88 years of life gave Emil Jacobson lots of wonderful memories.

He sat in his bed, looking out the window as the dawn started to rise. He couldn’t sleep that night, he knew that he had to write down his thoughts. He was in the last moments of writing his memoirs, “The Long Story of an Ordinary Man”. Emil had many years as a writer, and many years as a father and husband. As he went through his memories, he knew the last things he wanted to write.

To those I’ve left behind in my life, I wanted you to know that you always have shared my deepest thoughts. No matter where I have been in my life, whether it was in the shadows Dongdaemun with my brothers in arms, or in the people around Northridge after the ’94 quake, you follow my life where I go.

He set his pen down again, looking out at the garden below his window. He looked at the pumpkin flowers as they were blooming. He smiled as he saw the autumn winds lightly blowing the leaves on the trees. The tall oak tree that he saw behind the garden was gently swaying its branches in the breeze.

He picked up the cell phone next to his bed and slowly typed a message to someone listed as “Publicist”.

Stop by in a few hours,” he said out loud, with a creaky voice, “The manuscript will be finished. No need for edits. Publish it raw.”

He put down the phone and picked up his pen again. He looked at the brightening sky and smiled. His eyes became bright and glowing.

To those I leave behind, I want you all to know that you’ve always shared my darkest hours, no matter where I’d go. My sons and daughters, you saw me in the darkest of hours. When your mom passed on, when I held that 15 year old girl in my hands as she died in Northridge, when I was hospitalized after my beach house collapsed into the Pacific; you all were there for me, and saw me in the darkness. You lifted me out by just being nearby. For that, I will always be thankful.

He smiled, as he thought of his last sentences. As he thought, his lungs spasmed and he hacked. For a good 10 seconds, he hacked, his old age showing through in each cough.  Even with the coughing, he returned to a smile and he wrote again.

Shadows approached me in this last portion of my life, and I see them surrounding me. My life has been a good one, as I see it now. From being a father and being a news writer, all the way to being the old and wisened man that I am right now, I feel as though I have lived the best life that I could. It is time for the new generation to write their stories, as my generation is finishing. As the final curtain is lifted from my eyes, I can see my life in 20/20 vision. It has been good.

He put his pen down, and breathed lightly on the page. Making sure the ink was dry, he closed the book. He sat back in his bed, pulling the covers up to his chest. As the sun started peeking over the neighbors house and the hills of the small coastal town, he closed his eyes and smiled. He breathed in the air and sighed contently.

He took in one more breath, and the smile from his face slowly started to fade. He grew still and stony. His hands still holding the book on his lap, his body sat like a statue’s.

——-

Emil Jacobson looked down upon his body. He smiled, seeing the completeness of his earthly life for one last moment. He turned his spirit towards the rising dawn and smiled, as he was lifted up above the trees and above the houses. He continued to fly upwards above the earth. With a quickening pace, he flew upwards through clouds and through space. As he flew upwards, the years that were apart of his earthly life started to melt away.

Within what seemed like moments, he stood on a rocky cliff, looking out over a vast ocean. He looked down at himself and saw himself not as the old man that he was, but as a strong built young man.

“Welcome!” he heard someone call from behind. He turned around and looked at another man.

“Is this Paradise?”

The welcoming man looked at him and smiled.

“Emil, welcome to Paradise. Your arrival is the talk of the folk here. Let’s go meet them, eh?”

Emil smiled at Paul, and joined along with him as he walked from the rocky cliff over to other heavenly folk.

He had arrived.

Limelight

by Miles Rost

“Seems like the only thing I get recognized for around here is my screwups.”

To no one in particular, John Barrett uttered words that came from the deepest part of his heart. A bassist for the band Stickyfeet, he was the guy who kept the band going when the lead singer or the two guitarists had their fits and their temper tantrums. Sometimes things went well when they went off the rails. Other times, like this day, he was on the receiving end of blame for lousy concern ticket numbers coming out of the mouth of their manager, Buck Waignwright.

“Hey! You need to keep the other guys up and working. Our ticket sales went through the crapper for the last 4 shows!”

John just rolled his eyes as Buck railed him up and down for not doing the role of being the brother’s keeper.

“It’s not my fault Izzy and Travis get plastered before the concert and can’t keep themselves sitting up. I try to pour the coffee down their throats and keep my basslines neat, but I can’t do everything.”

“Well, maybe you should try just a little bit harder.”

“Or you could hire a roadie whose job would be to keep them from going into the sauce.”

Buck laughed, and coughed, then laughed some more.

“We have 5 dates left for the tour. Once that’s done, we’re going to do some re-evaluating. You better be ready, cause you might just have a place on the chopping block.”

John stood, flipped him off, then left.

He got in his car and drove to his “let off steam” spot, high above the city. He could see the people below, like ants they scurried about.

He sat for a long time, talking to no one in particular, but letting off steam.

“I’ve had to deal with all this crap for nearly 6 years,” he said, to the trees and the shrubs overlooking the city, “It’s easy to say what I did wrong and what I did right. I have never had a chance to truly go out and do something of my own.”

He looked up at the sky, laying on the hood of his car, watching clouds pass by quickly.

Maybe the road is not easy, and maybe the prize is small. But after all these years of waiting, I’m gonna show them all. Somehow, someway, I will be able to show Buck, Izzy, and the rest of them that they need someone else to hold their hands.”

“That’s a pretty big pronouncement, John. How do you think you’ll do it?”

John turned over on the hood. He looked down at a pair of shiny black cowboy boots, a pair of long legs squeezed into a pair of jeans, a flannel shirt tied in the front, showing just enough to get a man interested, and finally a face that he would recognize from a long time back.

“So, how did you find me, Miss Eliza Chapman?”

“I knew this place from a long time ago, when you weren’t much of a bass player and more of an introspective poet.”

“Those days are long gone. Apparently, I’m only support staff now.”

Eliza chuckled.

“So, I guess this means you’re not interested in maybe joining a band as a lead man?”

John’s eyes perked up a bit, though he tried to hide it with indifference.

“Who’s looking?”

“Bright Star just lost their bassist and their lead singer. They need to fill both, but they are looking at changing their styles. I figured that you’re probably getting tired of being Izzy Larkin’s personal belch-boy, so I mentioned your name. They seem like they may be interested.”

John looked at her, and invited her up onto the hood of the car.

“Looking out at the city, what do you see?”

“I see a rich environment of people and potentially awesome shows.”

John smiled, as he looked out.

I can hear the roar of a distant crowd. They are waiting for me, they’re shouting out loud. I want to entertain people, give them the ability to forget their problems for a 2-3 hour show. They can’t do that when I have to clean up after Izzy and the others.”

She looked out as well, and nodded.

“Bright Star fired the lead singer for doing too many drugs. They want a straight edge for this next one.”

John looked at her and smiled.

“You’re the manager for them, right?”

“Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”

“I have 5 dates left to play, then I can be free to do what I want.”

“Gives us time to practice, it looks like. We’re going into the studio in about a month to cut the next record. Think you’d be up for moving some of your songs over?”

“Move? No way. I’ll create some new stuff. After these 5 days, I want a clean start. It’s the finality. Get the deal in writing, and we’ll work.”

“How about a preliminary agreement?”

“In what way?”

“The old fashioned way. Sealed with a kiss.”

John chuckled, until he was rolled over onto by Eliza. And given a big kiss.

“I ain’t gonna change my mind, Eliza. But understand, I’m now in business with you. No relationship stuff.”

Eliza smiled, as she sat up on the edge of the car. John looked out at the city, and smiled.

After all the years of waiting, I’m going to show them all.