A Simple Equation

equation for success

Flash Fiction Challenge: Kids Say The Darnderniest Things

This week’s flash fiction challenge for Chuck Wendig’s blog was to write a story that used one or more quotes from his 5 year old son. The list of possible quotes was:

“Can I put goggles on the dog?”

“There is a three-headed flying werewolf in that tree.”

“I can cut down a thousand trees with my teeth.”

“I will defeat it with Kitten Magic.”

“I will slice you into beef!”

“I can still see without a face.”

“You guys don’t make good choices.”

“They said it was a legend, but I know it’s real.”

“I’m gonna ride you like a turkey.”

“I am queen of the goats.”

I was unable to choose one to work with so I went for broke and put them all in the story. . . exactly 1000 words total. I now need to go take some Xanax and meditate and have some quiet me time. . . .hope you enjoy it.

 

Thelma

“Docket number MCH001287539C, the state versus Thelma Addison.” The court clerk chimed in a monotone voice. “Preliminary mental competency hearing related to docket number MCV0023872623 and ordered by the criminal courts, Judge Lewis presiding.” He finished and seated himself and made busy shuffling papers.

Judge Mathis scowled. He hated when the criminal court judges pawned their looney toons off on him. Like they were too busy to handle their own dirty work and he had nothing but time on his docket listing. He furrowed his brow and looked over the documentation. Having given the reports a cursory glance he was ready to start.

“Ok Miss Addison,“ he began.

“Am not!” Shrieked the woman.

The judge looked up, confused. “You are not Mrs. Addison?”

“Yes, your honor, she is. . .” her defense counsel began but she cut him off.

“Am Not!” She shrieked again.

“Yes sir, she. . .” The lawyer tried to over talk her to shut her up.

“Am not! Liar! I am queen of the goats!” She shrieked.

The judge lowered his head in resignation. It was going to be ‘one of those’ days. “The court urges counsel to get control of their client and. . .” The judge was cut short.

“You can’t silence me by wearing a dress! I speak the truth. I speak the truth even when you are wiggling!” The woman shrieked and broke into a cackling laugh.

The judge, the clerk and the defense all bowed their head. Collectively they all, simultaneously and without prior communication, resigned themselves to their fate in dealing with this case.

“Miss Addison!” The judge said in a loud and stern tone. “You will be quiet long enough for these proceedings to be conducted or you will force me to make a summary judgement based on your inability to conduct yourself accordingly. Am I clear?” His eyes were burning with anger. He hated the looney toon cast off days. He wished he could send some back to the all-important Judge Lewis. Maybe he could criminalize cases of dogs crapping on the neighbors grass and send him those. Those would be good pay back.

“Yes your honor.” Thelma said in a small voice that was so calm, everyone was immediately set on edge and suspicious.

Taking advantage of the lucidity the judge continued. “Mrs. Addison, you had a recent run in with a . . .” He scanned the document for the name, “Officer Bowersox and according to the report, assaulted both the officer and his K9 unit Rex.”

The defense counsel tried to speak but Thelma was faster. “No, it is not correct. I acted only in self-defense and defense of the dog.”

The judge gritted his teeth.

“The dog was wincing and I was trying to protect its eyes from the sun and I asked the officer first.” She excitedly explained.

“Asked the officer what?” The judge asked grudgingly, scanning the document.

Thelma looked at her lawyer and he nodded and shrugged, not much else to do but let her go now.

“I asked the officer, ‘Sir, your dog is under cosmic solar attack. Can I put goggles on the dog?” Thelma explained. “And then the officer started yelling and there were colors in the air.” She further explained calmly as though what she was saying would clear up any misconceptions about the incident.

“Colors? Cosmic so. . . .ok.” The judge took a deep breath. “Let me get this straight, you were trying to protect the dog from the sun?” The judge asked, hating his job more and more with each question.

“Yes!” Thelma said with great enthusiasm, he got it! “Yes, someone had to do it!”

I hate my job, I hate my job. The judge chanted in his head. Then, the mantra having calmed him, continued out loud, “Don’t you think that perhaps the police officer could decide on what is best for. . .”

“You guys don’t make good choices.” Thelma snapped.

The judge paused and reflected on the choices in life that had brought him to this point and sighed. “I see.”

“They said it was legend, but I know it’s real!” She said excitedly.

“What is legend?” The judge asked, feeling his control of the court room slowly eroding and finding it hard to actually give a shit about it.

“The cosmic solar war beams!” Thelma shrieked.

“Ok, that’s it!” The judge finally lost all patience with the proceedings.

“There is a three-headed flying werewolf in that tree but I can cut down a thousand trees with my teeth! I told them that! I told them I would keep them safe if they just would stop melting!” Thelma shrieked and began to flail her hands around in wild gestures.

“Bailiff, remove the defendant, I hereby remand you to. . .”

“I will ride you like a turkey!” She shrieked over the judge’s voice.

“The county mental health facility for a 72 hour hold pending a full. . .”

“I will slice you like beef and make you into bacon!” She yelped as the bailiff took hold of her arms from behind.

“Psychiatric . . . bacon is pork. You can’t make bacon from slicing someone into bee. . . never mind. . .Evaluation and review.” The judge was cussing in his mind at being caught up with her ravings.

“Hide me away to keep me from seeing but ha! I can still see without a face! I see you. I will beat you with kitten magic! Meow!” She tried to make clawing motions towards the judge but the bailiff held her fast as a second bailiff struggled to put hand cuffs on her.

“Hold on!” The judge called out and the bailiffs stopped. Even Thelma ceased her struggling. “Upon further reflection, take her to Judge Lewis’ courtroom, I am finding her competent to stand trial. She’s all his from here. Let’s take fifteen..” The judge got up and walked from the courtroom without waiting for the clerk to announce anything.

What We Keep, What We Carry and What We Think We Threw Away

a leather bound journalI always thought we were like a puzzle box. Intricate and crafted so as to be a challenge to understand but with a core secret little space inside us that we choose what we carry forward with us through life. I was sure of this as a matter of fact and would tell people this philosophy with confidence that what I was telling them was the absolute truth.

Then I was writing my first novel and things I wrote reminded me of things I had long ago forgotten. Emotions I was crafting into my character resonated within me and brought back echoes of phantoms from pages past. Not actual events but mirrors, shadows of things . . . Feelings and thoughts that I would have sworn I had thrown out years ago.

I was wrong.

Writing has been a catharsis in a way. Not that anything is lost or purged . . . Quite the contrary as a matter of fact. We are not a box to hold life experiences in like tiny bits of treasure hidden away but a notebook of all that has been. We are a notebook with a thousand different starting and stopping points and a multitude of covers and ways to open it from different angles and different sides. We carry it all with us.

Everything stays . . . we move on. Like reading a novel, the words at the start do not vanish as you read, we just turn the page. Life is like that. Except in life’s notebook the chapters can be inline or they can be at complete right angles or opposite sides or anything between. They can even be all of the above and other things we can’t describe. Forwards, backwards, sideways. . . we turn the pages however we want to.

The bad we turn the page on and leave behind. The good we carry forward to the next page with us to continue the narrative. Nothing is thrown away though. Blacken it with ink, color it with bright swirls or paste pictures over it. . .it will still be there. Rip it out and the absence will be there like a negative image. You will know what is there by seeing what is not and in that way, it will be there.

We need not look back at those things we prefer to leave behind and they need not color the next page if we choose to move on but, they are there.

So, I was wrong. We do not choose what we carry with us because it is all in the notebook of our life. Nothing is thrown out, nothing discarded, nothing erased. . . but . . .

We choose what we carry forward to the next page.

 

Dorfing It

frustration

So a long time ago I taught martial arts. I used to tell my students (mostly kids) to not worry about dorfing a kick or punch. Dorfing was my term for screwing up badly. . . everyone dorfs a kick in training but if you focus on the mistake, you never move on and learn from it. This was a lesson I drilled into their heads class after class but, as it turns out, I didn’t really listen to myself.

When I write I agonize on getting the wording just right. I take great pains in the setup and flow of each scene to the point when I can paralyze myself. I see a dorf and I become obsessed with trying to fix it. I become unable to move forward until I perceive it as being just right.

So last night I am writing one of the big action scenes in my novel and, once again, I become fixated on getting it perfect until I realized, I am Uber Dorfing. . . .that is the term for being fixated on one’s dorfing. I realized that I am going to have to rewrite this book another 2 or 3 times at least. If I dangle a participle or trip and insert a double negative, life as I know it will not end. The world will continue to spin and I can, most importantly, fix it later.

It sounds silly I imagine to many, but the ability to forgive my dorfs made the words flow. I didn’t worry if they were perfect words, they were close enough for hand grenades and that is all I can really expect from a first draft.

Just thought I’d share the epiphany.

Strength

digital art and poetry
To define true strength is to disregard power and force and then see what is left…

The Gift

A Locked Box

The man who taught me martial arts once gave me a box. A locked box to be precise but he did not give me the key. He told me that inside the box was something I would love and that would change my life, but I had to wait for 1 year top get the key for my next birthday. In the meantime, I should try and guess what was in the box.

At first I guessed the mundane things one might initially think of . . . money . . . treasure . . . a wide variety of material things. Then, I started to let my mind wander and began to imagine all kinds of fanciful things that might be hidden within the box. Secret and unexplainable things filled my mind . . . it could be anything within the box. There was no way of knowing. It was like some mirror view Schrodinger’s cat . . . it was nothing and anything all at once. Physics and pragmatism gave way to impossible possibilities and I imagined things that I could not even describe.

A year later he kept his word and offered me the key. I declined it. . . I knew what he had given me, I didn’t need to look in the box to see. He had given me dreams. . .

Monday coffee thoughts…

matter of perspective
Monday thought

Something I was thinking about while sipping coffee this morning

Politics and getting out tough stains

infomercial picture

So. . .maybe it is just me but it seems like things have changed. We used to listen to political leaders for speeches that were inspiring, well written, and profound. They were things that school children would later have to memorize in some public speaking class.

Now. . .it kind of reminds me late night infomercials. Every candidate, no matter what party or level of office could, at any point in time, pull out a rotisserie or box of stain busting laundry powder and I would not be surprised at all. I actually would find it oddly comforting because then at least I would know what all the shouting was about. Hell, everyone wants their wash to come out cleaner and their chicken to be roasted to perfection.

Now?

Its just kind of up in the air why everyone on all sides is so angry. At least the other way we get cleaner clothes and a good meal out of it. . .