Friday Fictioneers – Upstairs in My House

(Author’s note: Things are getting little better, and I’m likely getting more time to do writing work. You may see an uptick in original work soon. My job isn’t as tiring as it used to be. Enjoy today’s view!)

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© C. E. Ayr

Upstairs In My House

by Miles H. Rost

The scenery was beautiful.

Westgate Bridge was far in the distance, but I could see it’s shadow looming on the water.

The setting sun brought forth it’s bright oranges and reds, a blanket to cover the entirety of Melbourne.

One of the hottest days of the year started moving down into a cooler and comfortable night. The lights of the CityLink, the sounds of Swanston, I could enjoy them all from my own place.

28th floor, looking down over the city. Temporarily. But it was still wonderful. It was a shame to leave it behind.

Such is the squatter’s life.

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Friday Fictioneers – I’m Holding My Own

No news, just Fictioneers:

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© Jan Wayne Fields

I’m Holding My Own

by Miles H. Rost

“Mitch, how long have you been living out here for?”
“Well, Sheena threw me out about two and a half years ago, and I didn’t find this place until the fall. I’d probably say almost two years now.”

The man took a long draught of his brew, looked around at Mitch’s “home”.

“And you like it here?”
“Yeah. I go to work for 8 hours, then come home to nature.”
“What about heat?”
“Sleeping bag, and if necessary, a good woman.”

The man took another long draw from his bottle.

“I have what I need right here. I am quite content.”

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Tradewinds

by Miles Rost

Salt and pepper.

The sands of the beach reminded Dennis of salt and pepper in his shakers at home. The fine and nearly bleached white of the sand mixed in contrast with the deep dark, almost charcoal-like black sand. Strewn in patterns like old growth tree rings, the sand was a testament to the changing of the tides.

Dennis had arrived at the beach a couple hours before sunset. He carefully laid his blanket atop the ebony and ivory sands, and pitched a bright, almost beanie-like umbrella next to him. A small, blue cooler lazed next to his arm, one side of the cooler open and displaying a tub full of nearly clear-blue ice and frosty bottles of his favorite beer. A cold bottle lay cradled in his left arm, like a newborn baby awaiting the full display of golden colored awesomeness inside it’s glass shell.

The hair on Dennis’s apple-shaped head was thinning. The years of work allowed the gray and white to start seeping in, dark wrinkles showing themselves like folds of clothing on his face. His face was leathery and aged, but he still showed the kindness in his eyes that he inherited from many generations of people. Capped off by a pair of dark blue wraparound sunglasses, his deep blue eyes pierced the skies and aimed straight for the sunset in the distance.

He shifted positions on his blanket, the white cotton of his t-shirt moving ever so slightly as he tried to relax.

The time was almost near, and as the warm trade winds came in from off the ocean, he focused on the gigantic orange orb of light and power in the far skies. Like a slow-motion play of a basketball as it approached the basket, the sun creeped towards the horizon. Dennis opened the top of the bottle of beer just as the bottom of the sun reached the horizon. He lifted the bottle upwards and flipped it, letting the light amber colored liquid flow from the bottle, into his mouth and the taste buds that awaited the moment. The sensation of cold quickly spread throughout his body as the sun continued to descend.

He looked out on the bay and saw a variety of different craft that , while playing many hours ago, were now focused on the spectacular display of light. The different colors of boats were no longer seen as the entirety of sky and sun were bathed in a deepening orange. By this time, the sun was already halfway below the horizon.

Dennis flipped the bottle again and took a long pull from it, letting the beer drain into his gullet. As he finished the bottle, he looked out at the sun. All but a sliver were gone. As the sun finally descended, he sat back and watched the last vestiges of sunlight disappear below the horizon. He sighed, knowing that the next one was merely 24 hours away.

He slowly packed up his things. Taking the bottle, he put it on the other side of his cooler and shut the lid. He picked up his blanket and folded it into very neat and tidy squares. He walked slowly up the path next to where he sat, and to his waiting car 25 feet away. Once he arrived at his car, he put everything into the trunk and pulled out a tuxedo. Attaching the tuxedo to the rear seat of his car, he got in and backed out. Taking one last look at the horizon, the orange color of the sky was starting to turn reddish and purplish.

He turned on his headlights, and didn’t look back for the rest of the night.

Along The Waterfront

by Miles Rost

The sun was setting in the skies off the coast. The bright yellow of the sun sunk below the horizon, the sky starting to turn a firy orange with twinges of red. There were no clouds in the sky, the winds were calm, and the surf was very mild. It was exactly like a picture, frozen in a moment in time.

Paul Bernal sat top a set of rocks close to the ocean’s edge, looking out at the seas. He had come there for solitude, to calm the raging beast within himself. He looked out at the ocean, and felt the soothing splashing of the waves on rocks farther out. This was his place of refuge from the rest of the world. This is where he was able to do all of the things he needed to do. He was along the waterfront, right where he needed to be.

The rocks he stood on had a roughness that was pronounced. However, one spot seemed to be perfectly cut into the rock pile where it was smooth. The rocks formed two cylinders, which allowed for ease of kneeling when praying. And it was in those grooves that Paul put his legs, and knelt in prayer.

As he prayed, he thought about all that had happened in the day and even days as he prayed, the situations recounted in his mind as he brought all those cares up for prayer. The images from the computer screen that triggered his inner beast were being addressed in prayer, and how much he struggled with images that were more erotic and stimulating. While it had been a few days since the last time, he knew that he had to continue being in prayer and putting forth all the things that he could not keep inside.

He lifted up his troubles at work, dealing with all of the stresses of being a financial aid counselor. Hearing the hard luck stories and not being able to do much didn’t help his psyche at all, and lifting those cares up helped ease the pain that he felt.

For nearly 20 minutes, as the sun continued to descend beyond the horizon and twilight started to show it’s beauty, he continued praying. As he finished his prayers, he stood up on the rocks, and climbed down from them. Landing on the soft sand, he looked down and smiled.

“I’ll be back again, tomorrow. Be ready for me, Lord,” he said, staring out into the darkening skies and ocean. He turned and walked back towards his car, ready to head home and face another night alone.

Can’t Fall Asleep To A Lullaby

by Miles Rost

The Santa Monica Freeway was known for traffic. And especially going into Santa Monica proper, it was always going to have some congestion. For some reason, this Saturday evening had very little traffic. And as Dennis drove down the freeway in his BMW z3 Roadster, he smiled happily at this development.

He passed under La Cienega Boulevard as the sun started to dip in the horizon, and turned on his radio. As per typical, his keen sense of musical timing allowed him the pleasure of listening to one of his songs from his time in college. As the opening strains of America’s 1984 hit, “Can’t Fall Asleep To A Lullaby” started wafting from the four speakers, he looked at the horizon in front of him. It wasn’t totally clear, but he saw the bright orange skyline, an indication that the sun was in the process of setting.

The winds that blasted past the vehicle whipped his hair as he traveled down the freeway.

It’s late at night, I’m all alone
I call you up, hear your voice on the phone
Say that you’re mine, tell me it’s true
Say that my love, is still right for you

He thought about the road ahead, and about how much he loved to drive. This was the way that he decompressed from the daily stresses of his job and from his past. He recounted the things that happened over the past week, and mused about how much they were going to change his life.

‘Cause I can’t fall asleep to a lullaby
And I miss you so much I don’t wanna cry, you are why
I love you, oo-oo-oo, you don’t know

As the chorus of the old song played through, he passed under the 405. By this time, his thoughts moved back to the beautiful orange sky and the sparse number of taillights in front of him. It seemed even this night would not have the cops bothering him on this road. The picture in front of him was exactly like a dream he had in college, and he was going to relish it as much as he could.

Here I am, part of the crowd
Need you so bad, I’m dreamin’ out loud
Say that you’re mine, tell me it’s true
Say that my love, is still right for you

His thoughts were interrupted by a thought about his charge, the one who he was helping at this time. He knew that she was going to have a rough road ahead of her, and she had so much to work through. He only hoped that he would be able to help her properly, and give her the freedom to do great things for the people of Los Angeles and the Basin.

‘Cause I can’t fall asleep to a lullaby
And I miss you so much I don’t wanna cry, you are why
I love you, oo-oo-oo, you don’t know

The second run of the chorus started to play as he blasted under Cloverfield Boulevard. His favorite part was coming up, and he looked again at the horizon in front of him. The wind in his hair, the beauty of the landscape, all of it brought a grin to his face again. It was, for all he knew, the most awesome experience he had up to this point in time. And he loved it.

The saxophone solo sounded out from the speakers, and he kicked down the accelerator as he approached 14th Street in Santa Monica. He drove his engine as hard as he could until the solo ended. By the time he ended, he was right at the curve where the Santa Monica Freeway became Pacific Coast Highway.

It’s late at night, and I’m all alone
So I call you up, to hear your voice on the phone
Sayin’ your mine, sayin’ it’s true
Please say my love, is still right for you

He slowed down as the roadway became a four-way with very few stoplights. He prayed and hoped that he would be able to continue without stopping. As he progressed up the road, he looked out at the ocean and the beach. The sun was just starting to disappear under the horizon. About 3/4 of it was still above, and he was entranced by it, as he drove. With luck, he was able to keep going as the stoplights all appeared to be green and happy.It seems that his drive was, in fact, a blessed event for him.

‘Cause I can’t fall asleep to a lullaby
And I miss you so much I don’t wanna cry, you are why
I love you, oo-oo-oo, you don’t know

As the last chorus blasted through, he punched the accelerator again and blazed his way up the PCH through Santa Monica. The chorus ended as he streaked a turn onto Chautauqua Boulevard. He went up the hill a little slower this time, and made a turn towards the ocean onto Corona Del Mar. The song just ended as he pulled into his house, and turned off the key. He was home, and the night was absolutely awesome. This was a blessed night, and he would spend the rest of it listening to America’s Greatest Hits, and watching the sky darken from his patio overlooking the ocean.

I Get Weak

by Miles Rost

She didn’t know what exactly prompted her to go to the roof of her apartment building. All that she knew was that she had to get out of that apartment. She was too closed in, too shut in when sitting in that place. She wanted to break free and not have to worry about that situation.

As she looked out onto the city, all of the pain and the stress in her life simply melted away. The view of a darkening sky, the lights of the tall buildings near her own, all of it was simple. It made sense to her. She loved the simple things in her life, though today she had another that was invading her life.

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She thought of a man that she had never met. She felt his presence in his mind when she was in trouble, when she was stressed. She felt him in her mind at that moment, as she was looking over the city.

It was a long time since she had been held by someone, since she had been able to allow her entire being to melt into the heart of another. She wanted to catch that feeling again, especially with all of that stress and hardship she had to endure. She wanted that comfort, that warm blanket feeling of care and love that would be there.
The simple things in her life would help her to continue doing her work, as stressful and sometimes as thankless as it was. Being a teacher was not a bad job by any stretch of the imagination, but she did not know how to deal with the young hellions that were running all over her during the day. She got used to it a bit, but halfway into the new semester, she was being run ragged. She was not ready to teach young ones.

The thought brought her back to the roof, to the beauty of the city skyline. She was brought back to the comfort of her space, and it calmed her. She loved all of it, all of the space outside of where she was. It reminded her that there was more to life than just the work she did and the toughness of her job.

Her mind drifted back again to the unknown man of her visions. The man standing on a hill in a faraway city, doing nothing but making her weak all over without even being there. She wanted to have that feeling, that weak-in-the-knees feeling again. As she stood there, leaning and looking at the rapidly darkening sky and the increasing number of lights turning on, she knew that one day she would be meeting that mysterious man. She would have her dream career as a professor, and she would be able to be wrapped up in the arms of her mysterious man.