A Little Something

Trying to sort of organize myself creatively speaking, so here is just something small. A pair of haikus inspired by the nice break in weather we’ve been having in Pittsburgh.

:: #Sunset at #RiverviewPark in #Pittsburgh with #deer flocking around the #Observatory.

A photo posted by Katie Pugh (@bohemianonrye) on

The sun still shines down
But it has become friends with
The promise of fall.

The still-green grass grows
Slower now, preparing for
The leaves’ homecoming.

Microfiction: Four Stories About Love

(This was fun! Stay tuned for whatever is coming next!)

There were three people on opposite sides of the park. An expanse of green spread out between them, dotted by picnic baskets, umbrellas, babies taking shaky steps. Above, a blue ocean of sky. They couldn’t see one another well, but they waved all the same.

They made up stories about each other. The old man was a war veteran. The young boy was his grandchild. The two women and the girl were a new family, brought together by love.

The stories were happy ones, and there were some truths in there, but it didn’t matter. It was a perfect day.

The yeti said ‘I love you’ with mushrooms brought to the seashore, and the mermaid always smiled. He would kneel down and she would braid his long, mossy hair with seaweed, and he chased the gulls away when they dove at her shimmering tail.

The mermaid said ‘I want you here with me’ with abalone and clams. He would build fires at night on the beach and dig tidal pools for her to lounge in, and they watched the stars shine and fade.

And even when her breasts sagged and his hair fell out in clumps, they still remained together.

“Please don’t go,” she said to him, through the tears only a seven-year-old in love could show. “Please don’t move. I’ll let you play with all my toys. As much as you want.”

“My parents are making me. We’re going to Alaska. I’ll send you pictures,” he said, as stoic as a nine-year-old can be.

“But you’ll come back, right?” She blew her nose on his sleeve, even though he made a face. “You’ll come back and see me?”

“I think so,” he said, believing the words.

And every month, there was a postcard with a moose in the mailbox.

They lived in the house together, all five of them, and there was always tea and fresh-cut flowers and blankets in the winter. The house smelled like lemon, and when any of them hurt or felt pain, the other four would enclose them in a circle of love.

Of course, there was talk of the strangers in the beautiful house on the hill. About how their love was something to be feared, something to avoid.

But the yellow walls and brown shutters held tight and fast. Inside, the five needed only one another, and they were happy in that knowledge.

Microfiction: Ending and Beginning

“I don’t want a last meal. I want a bath.”

The guard vouched for him. The prisoner was old, what could be the harm? The guard, who had been a young man when he started in death row. The guard, who had grown to know the man who would die for a crime he didn’t commit.

When he took him to the small bathroom, his final act of mercy was unlocking the cabinet of cleaning supplies, dropping the keys down the toilet. The bleach and ammonia would do the rest.

“Thank you,” the prisoner said as he started to breath.

Fie found the ring in the carrot patch. She slipped it into the pocket of her dirty coveralls before going back to the weeding.

Then, it was a bouquet of roses in the cabbage patch, blood red and fragrant as day. She let them sit, save for one, which she placed in her wide-brimmed hat.

As she dug around the sweet potatoes, she found small, foil-wrapped chocolates, dirt clinging to their ribbons. The truffles melted on her tongue.

“I was already yours, you know,” Fie said, kissing the scarecrow’s cheek. “I’m not going anywhere.”

His silent stitched mouth continued smiling.

Microfiction: Program

The doctor made the robot to look exactly like her. It wasn’t perfect – on the contrary, it had all her acne, her gray hairs, her fifty-two scars. Its voice had her gravelly rasp, her eyes the not-quite-color of evergreen. By the time she was done, she could barely stand to see it.

“Now what?” the robot asked.

“Just go be me.”

“To what end?” Its head inclined, curious.

“I want people to think I’m okay. I don’t want them to watch me die.”

The robot nodded.

“Just pretend until you can’t anymore,” she ordered, ushering it out the door.

Microfiction: Squeak

Tippy kept a home for the ghosts of small pets. When the Jehovah’s Witness knocked on her door and saw Boogers the rat run through her ankle, he passed out cold.

She brought him inside, and, shooing away the ethereal birds from the couch, set him down. He woke up to a cup of tea, a biscuit and a surly specter guinea pig named Horace.

“I don’t understand,” he said, as a non-corporeal boa tried to wrap around the sofa leg. “Why…?”

“It’s easy for little lives to be forgotten,” she said. “Someone needs to remind them of their importance.”

Microfiction: Absurdity Squared

The plummet from the twenty-third story was surprisingly short. There was barely time to get accustomed to the rush of wind, limbs sprawling, the upward rush sending Tom topsy-turvy until he hit the ground, the whole journey taking three seconds before impact with the ground.

“Dude. You all right?”

Tom looked up at Finn standing over him. Well, his remains. Now, Tom was standing in the exact same clothes, and they watched his body fade into nothing.

“How many lives do you have left?”

“Five. I picked one up by the Starbucks.”

“Why’d you use one?”

He shrugged. “Slow day.”

“It looks like you’re having a burrito.”

The husband and wife looked up at the sonogram with vacant expressions, and as the doctor moved the wand over her jellied stomach, they could make out the curve of the tortilla wrap, the satisfying elongated roundness.

“The tests show beans, cheese, guacamole…ah, and chicken.”

He squeezed her hand as her eyes filled with tears.

“As you progress, we’re expecting sour cream. Maybe lettuce.”

She ran her hands through her hair, face tightening. The doctor smiled comfortingly.

“Just so long as it’s healthy,” the husband said, and she nodded, relieved laughter bubbling forth.

 

 

 

Microfiction: Four Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, the spare for the heir was betrothed to a terrible prince in an effort to unite the families. The princess begged for it not to be, but they were married in the sweltering heat of August.

On her wedding night, she cut the prince’s throat with a cheese knife and ran into the cursed wood. There, she confronted a coterie of monsters and won their hearts.

Both kingdoms burned in the bright light of her vengeance, and the blood glowed in the streets.

Every monster deserves to pen their own ending.

The fairies sat in the shade of the mushroom, counting seeds and watching the sun rise. The world woke up with the trill of songbirds, and the neighborhood cat stalked after a field mouse, disappearing in a blur of gray in the grass.

The fairies held hands and saw that the leaves were beginning to change, green bleeding out into crimson, earthbrown, mustard. They pulled their vole capes close as the wind changed, and the harvest moon turned a pale white.

When the winter came, they parted on the backs of birds. They promised they would meet again in spring.

Even in the deep snow, the man heard the bear approach, giant paws sinking into the drifts of white. “My cave collapsed,” the bear said. “I have nowhere to go. Let me stay with you this winter.”

“I don’t have much food,” the man said, setting down the axe he used to chop firewood.

“I will not need to eat,” the ageless creature said, dark eyes swimming. “Only a safe haven.”

Against his better judgment, the man opened his door and ushered the great beast in.

There were no wishes granted for this, save warmth and company in his heart.

The Earth fell for the comet, and it watched wistfully as its beautiful tail arced through the darkness of space. “Come closer,” the Earth whispered. “Just for a time.”

The comet laughed and sped away but came back in time. It considered and said, “If I do this thing, I will hurt you. It is inevitable.”

“I do not care,” the Earth said. “Just grant me a moment with you, and it will be worth it.”

The comet’s embrace was one of fire and thunder,  and the Earth smiled even in the face of destruction, its final joy a shattering.