Friday Fictioneers – The Eyes Of The Girl

(Author’s note: Y’all probably wondered where I went last week, right? To be straight about it, my job gets very tiring. I have to use my mind a lot, and I don’t always get the best sleep. Last week, we had a lot of things happen at once, and once I got off work, I just slept. I hope that this week is the end of that pattern, but we’ll see. Here’s today’s fictioneers!)

bonfire-anshu

© Anshu Bhojnagarwala

The Eyes Of The Girl

by Miles H. Rost

“And that’s when Larry stood up and said, “Men Without Pants!”, and whipped his off.”

The tales told around the annual university beach bonfire were incredible, as was the amount of liquor consumed.

Thomas sat back, one of the few who didn’t drink at parties. He stared into the roaring fire, content with all that was going on.

He moved his eyes up and immediately were struck by a pair of green eyes staring back through the flames.

First, shock. Then worry. After a blink, recognition.

The eyes approached him, the person behind them giving Thomas a great big hug.

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Friday Fictioneers – Taking This Town (Again?!)

(Author’s note: Hidiho, neighbors! Currently training my replacement in anticipation of a new position coming up. In the meantime, doing my duty with putting a Fictioneers up. This one reuses music that I’ve used before, but I think it’s appropriate. Enjoy!)

ceayr3

© C.E. Ayr

Taking This Town (Again?!?!)

by Miles H. Rost

 Melbourne.

City of culture, finance, and interest.

The 20 students snuck in overnight, flying into Tullamarine Airport, looking like smiling tourists. They walked past immigration, past the taxis, onto the nearest train platform. They smiled as they got on, and in unison, looked out the window.

As the trains eventually pulled into the Southern Cross Yards, each of the students looked towards a blonde haired girl with Chinese features.

“We have been selected for a great future. We are the future of Australia’s education.”

The train slowed to a stop.

“Time to take this town, girls!”

They rushed out the doors, onto unsuspecting businessmen and college registrars.

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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…

5 Steps

5 Steps
a mini-fiction story by Miles H. Rost

 20150809_132610Picture ©Miles H. Rost

5 steps. Two platforms.

That’s all it is. You tell yourself that as you walk around the corner. Looking up in the midnight sky, there it sits. It calls to you, beckons you to cross underneath it’s latticed metal and rusted rails. The area underneath is totally dark. Very few lights behind you, and in front of you, if any at all.

You’ve taken a deep breath, imagined this moment for a long time. The time when you would have to cross underneath this potential death trap. The red staining on the rails, mixed with the gray metal, reminds you of a mouth with teeth full of silvery-gray fillings. Decayed teeth coming down upon the jaw of the ground awaiting the tiny morsel of sustenance that is you.

You’ve put your foot in front of you, the sound of your foot landing on the paving stones echoing down the seemingly long corridor. The sweat on your forehead is starting to rain down lightly upon the bridge of your nose. A bridge, not unlike that of the rails that are threatening to consume you, heart and soul.

Getting up your last milliliter of courage, you quicken your steps and blaze quickly down the brick-lined tunnel of buildings. You look up at the grey and red metal steps, the five steps in between two platforms, those steps that you think will be eating you momentarily. As you pass under, you look forwards to the other side and you see what looks to be freedom.

At last, you reach the corners of the building. You’re made it past the gauntlet, the metal mouth has not eaten you this day. You breathe a sigh of relief as you turn to your right. That is when you realize the horror is just beginning.

You have now stumbled upon a maze of paths, with jungle-like trees in the middle of it, the door of safety that you have to reach so far away. As you look at the next task at hand, the many possibilities of danger flood into your mind like meat into the mouth of a velociraptor, which may be in those trees there.

Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)

by Miles Rost

The day of reckoning had come.

In a gigantic building just off the main drag in downtown Portland, Oregon, nearly 700 people milled around the ground floor. On the 4th floor of the building, it was announced that there would be a major banquet occurring. The announcement of the 15 new dancers of the Portland Ballet would happen at the same time as the banquet.

For half of the dancers, this was a happy occasion for them. For the other half, it meant certain doom as they couldn’t even gain a pound. And for one man, it was an opportunity to not only get a chance at a possible paying gig, but a chance to eat. It would sure beat eating ramen and cream of mushroom soup every night.

Larry Burnell’s admission to the audition was a complete accident. A street person, he was not someone people would think as having any sort of talent. In fact, most people thought of him as a complete bum.

The day before the audition, he was walking from his claimed piece of a sidewalk down 1st Street close to the Morrison Bridge, walking towards the Union Gospel Mission to get a blanket. He saw a red envelope on the ground and looked at it carefully. The name on the envelope was close to his: Lawrence Burnett, and it was addressed to someone at Portland State University. He looked inside and saw his ticket.

He went back to his small camp and rummaged through his stuff, picking up a small harmonica case. He pulled the harmonica out and picked out two $100 bills. It was all he had left, and he was going to use it to try and take advantage of this situation. He went to the local YMCA and took a shower, cleaning himself really well. He even was able to use some floral shampoo that someone left in the showers. After changing into some semi-nice clothes that he used for interviews, he went to a barber to get a shave and a haircut.

He went into the shop looking like a bedraggled 45 year old, and came out looking like a university student. The most important part was complete. He took a dollar and made a call to his mother, who lived in North Portland. While they were estranged, he still  had some stuff there at her place. He asked her if he could come up and pick up a couple items from his boxes. She agreed, and that evening, he had his dancing clothes in his hands and ready to go. He went back down to his pad, and had one of his neighbors watch his stuff for the night. He would return the next night.

He slept at a cheap motel that night, so he could have a great night’s rest. He knew that would be important.

He went to the information desk at the gigantic building that day, refreshed and looking nothing like his bedraggled self the night before.

“Can I help you?” the lady at the counter asked.

“Yes, I am here for the audition.”

“Name?”

“The envelope says Lawrence Burnett. I’m afraid that they got my name wrong.”

“What’s your actual name?”

“Lawrence Burnell.”

After a little shifting, she gave him his numbers, and told him to go to the third floor to wait. He did as they said, and waited. He waited for nearly 3 hours, and his number was finally called.

“Number 699!”

“Right here!”

“Come with me, please.”

He was led to a large ballroom and a long set of tables with 7 judges behind it.

“You are,” the head judge started to say, flipping his chart up, “Lawrence Burnell?”

“That is my name, yes.”

“What do you do for a living.”

“I am a man of the road, most times. I’m a student at this time, though.”

A man of the road?”

A hobo, by name.”

“You….are a….hobo?”

“I hope that I don’t have to repeat myself…”

The head judge just sighed, and put on his best air.

“Are you here for the food, by perchance?”

“Actually, I have been trained in the arts in prior years and I believe that I can do a great job with the Portland Ballet.”

Well, before you can eat, you gotta dance like Fred Astaire.”

“Wouldn’t Mikhail Baryshnikov be more like what I’m going for?”

The other judges bust out laughing at the head judge for such a mixup.

“Can you dance?”

Of course I can dance. You bet I can dance.

The judges gave him the piece of music. It was one that Larry recognized very well, as he danced it in the 1980s with the Sydney Ballet in Australia. Dancing to the song “No Promises” by Icehouse, he did his moves. All of the members of the judging team were shocked that a man of the road would be so good at this.

He ended the performance, and the judges looked stunned. The head judge then cleared his throat.

“Alright, we’ll tally up the score and at the banquet, you’ll find out the results. Please go to the door on your left and proceed to the banquet hall.”

He did, and when he got to the banquet hall, he looked around at the food that was set up. Being one of the last dancers, he got there just as they opened things up. A young lady approached him and smiled.

“Admiring the food aren’t ya?”

Is there water coming from my eyes?”

She laughed, and put out her hand.

“Jenny Carazzo.”

“Larry Burnell.”

He was so astonished by what he saw in the food, he didn’t pay much attention to Jenny.

“Oh my, they got ham. They have turkey. And…is that caviar?!?!”

Jenny seemed to be willing to finish his sentence for him.

They also have long tall glasses of wine up to…YAR!”

She made a big motion with her hands.

He smiled, and asked her if he could join her for the evening’s proceedings. She agreed, and they both filled up on food and drink. They had a great time, while some others were worried about their figures. After a couple hours, the head judge from Larry’s tryout came up to the podium and cleared his throat again.

“We are going to announce the lucky people who will have a position with the Portland Ballet this year. When your name is called, please assemble in a line at the front of the podium.”

5 names were announced, and the winners went up to the front and waved.

“The 6th member of this year’s troupe is Jenny Carazzo.”

Jenny jumped up and gave a hoot. She gave Larry a hug and bolted up to the front. To say that she was happy would have been a great understatement.

8 more members were called, and Larry just kept eating and drinking.

‘The last name on our list is a surprise, as it was someone that we didn’t know had prior experience. We have a former member of the Sydney Ballet in our midst, and I’d like to welcome the last person who will dance for the Portland Ballet this year. Mr. Larry Burnell.”

Larry’s eyes popped out of his head at this, and after swallowing the food that he was eating, he wiped off his mouth and went to the front. He stood next to Jenny as he heard the applause.

Jenny looked at him in shock.

“You actually had to audition, when you were a member of a troupe before?”

“Jenny, that was almost 25 years ago. Another place, another time. I’ve been homeless since ’99. I’m just happy to be able to do this now, and rebuild my life.”

“Me too, Larry. Me too.”

 

Keep Coming Back

by Miles Rost

15.

The number of years since Gary Takamura left high school and went to a new country to get his bachelors. He would eventually get his master’s and then his doctorate. Three universities around the world took him in, and gave him a lesson in education. Yonsei University gave him his Bachelor’s, then National University of Singapore for his master’s, and finally Monash University in Melbourne, Australia for his final doctorate. At 34 years old, he was a social sciences doctor, dealing with statistics, cause and effect, and other such sundries. He had gone very far in his life.

However, in his whole mind, he was unable to leave Rehoboth High School behind. His home for four years in the middle of the Colorado Rockies, Rehoboth was where his greatest triumphs and his shattered dreams all came from. He specifically looked back on one event. Rather, he looked back on a two year event with great warmth and with great heartbreak.

He was reminded, every day, of Becky Franklin. His one and only girlfriend in high school.

15 years had passed since he had left Rehoboth for Korea, and while he was successful in his job, he saw that there was that nagging hole, a hole about the size of a fist, lingering where his heart should have been. He remembered the soft curves of her face that were perfect for his cheek to rub against. He remembered her laugh, and how she would roar at the hint of a bad pun. He remembered her spirit, how she fought for everything in school and succeeded where many had failed before. Finally, he remembered her faith. Unwavering, unshaking, a faith in Christ that he never could understand or imagine.

His memory turned to a night, the last night they were together.

“I received an opportunity. Full ride in South Korea,” he said, with brightness in his eyes.

“But what about us? I thought we were going to head to Oregon, go to the U of O together…” she replied quietly, with disappointment and sadness in her voice.

“That was the plan. A full ride, though. And it’s one of the top schools in Korea,” he said, oblivious to what she was talking about.

“I…see,” she simply responded, dejectedly.

15 years after that night, Gary looked back as he sat in his apartment in Los Angeles. He was successful in just about every venture he had. He should have been happy with where he was and what he was doing.

The hole that was in his heart ached that night. A longing that was indescribable. He felt lost, and so full of regret for the past. He wanted that feeling back. The feeling of bliss, contentment, and simple human contact. He wanted Becky back. As he closed his yearbook, putting it on a glass table near the window where he looked over the LA Basin, he smiled a mournful smile.

“Becky, I just don’t know why I keep coming back to you. I don’t want to get over you, it seems,” he said, out loud to the air, thinking in the most vain of hopes that she might hear his words.

He poured himself a drink, downed it in one shot, and proceeded to his bed. It was going to stay with him, just one more day…