#MWBB 24 : You Know I’m No Good

She was just one of an endless string of people in my life who never understood why I did what I did. Another in an endless string of people I wounded, disturbed, and left in confusion, tears and pain. That’s who I am. I’m no good.

She asked me on that Sunday in November, “Why? Why did you un-friend everyone from the church?” I’d expected her to ask. And I knew she’d never understand, never figure it out. Just like I knew I could explain what I’d done a million times, and she still wouldn’t understand.

But I tried to explain anyway. I’m stupid that way. Or, perhaps, I’m optimistic that way. Yeah. I’m a stupid optimist. That works.

“I didn’t leave because I don’t like them.”

“Then why did you leave?”

“To protect them.”

“To protect them? Protect them from what?”

“Me.”

I knew what was coming. I knew what would happen. The same thing that always happened. I’d learn to live a lie, behaving as expected in the group, so no one would be disturbed, or upset, by me. That’s how I cope with people. I figure out what they want me to become, how they want me to behave, and I become that. Because that makes them happy. That shuts them up. That gets them to leave me alone, and not say to me, endlessly, “But, you can’t be that way!” I would rip my heart and soul to ribbons to blend in, and keep them safe.

And if I decided to not blend in, behaved as me, who I really am, to say what I believe, live like I believe, well. That would leave everyone in her church asking, “What’s wrong with him?” and “Doesn’t he know he can’t be like that?” and “Doesn’t he know that’s wrong?”

They’d have never accepted my writing, especially when I wrote anything explicit. Men and women having sex is something church people don’t write about. Especially when they’re exploring different aspects of sex, trying things out. That’s disturbing and disruptive to them. Besides, that’s something church people just don’t do, and don’t condone, or accept in others. So, just by exploring things to write, I’d have wound up at odds with every person in her church.

I’d shut down my writing before. I gave my word to God, to life, I wouldn’t shut it down again.

Then there were the people I talked to, associated with, on the Internet. Gay rights supporters. Openly homosexual people, bisexual people, transsexual people. People of different races, colors, creeds, religions. Even self-proclaimed witches, pagans, and atheists. I could certainly talk to such people and not hear about it in church, not be criticized in church, not be told, “We’ll pray for you.”

I tried. I did. I tried to explain everything. Why I left. Why I put myself out of the reach of the people of her church. But she never understood. All she said was what I knew she would say.

“You can’t be that way.”

She never understood I am that way, and can’t be any other way. She never understood I’m broken, and no good. And now, she’s one of the endless list of people I’ve hurt, and left wounded, in my life. A list that grows, endlessly. Because no matter how I try, I can’t explain to anyone why I do what I do, why I am how I am. No one ever understands.

And I can’t live that lie of blending in any more. I can’t tear my heart to ribbons, or crucify my soul. I tried that for three decades. That blending in, and being safe, nearly killed me. Oh, I know. People tell me, “There was nothing wrong with you. You just had your through processes screwed up, that’s all.” They literally can’t understand, my thought processes aren’t screwed up. They’re different.

I’m different.

And in their world, I’m broken. And no good.

660 Words
@LurchMunster


My entry, in all its unedited glory, for week 24 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

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#FinishThatThought : I Know Where The Missing Socks Go

Hands trembling, I opened the door. Opening the dryer door is not a big deal. People open dryers everyday. I’d opened my dryer more times than I could remember. But this time, things were different.

That night, I’d moved a load of whites from the washer to the dryer, turned it on, and went to bed. I’d planned to get up when her alarm went off, reheat the load, and fold it, so she could have clean socks to wear to work.

But she woke me, about midnight. The dryer was still running. “Dear. Something’s wrong.”

Some strange banging sound was coming from the dryer. And with every bang, there was a turbine jet sound. Like some big flame thrower or something was in the dryer.

I got dressed, and staggered downstairs. She’d quit asking why I got dressed in the middle of the night, in our own house, when no one could see me in my underwear. She’d learned, it’s something I do. I’d have grabbed a gun from the closet, ‘cept we don’t own any guns. Probably because I hate guns. Those things are dangerous, you know! We don’t have any baseball bats either, so I didn’t grab one of those.

Nope. I made like an idiot, and turned on the lights. You could track me through the house. The light in the bedroom turned on. Then the upstairs hall. The downstairs hall. The utility room. I didn’t see any reason to walk around in the dark. We owned three cats. One was long-haired. And I’d stepped on too many soggy hairballs and too much cat puke soaking into the carpet in the dark. I walked with the lights on.

“Well?” her expectant voice carried from the bedroom, through the house.

“I haven’t looked yet!”

I decided I should turn the dryer off before I open it. When I did, the dryer quit running, but I could still hear that jet turbine sound and the occasional loud bang. To be safe, I unplugged it. Didn’t make a difference. The banging and jet engine continued. So, I reached for the door, hands shaking, and pulled it open.

Inside the dryer was the strangest thing I’d ever seen. I remembered an old song about socks and a dryer. “Where do my socks go, in the middle of the night, when I put them in the dryer,” or something like that. Well, that night, I learned where the socks go.

They get eaten by a black hole. I know. ‘Cause there was one in my dryer, carefully sucking up one sock from each pair of socks it came across. The bang happened each time a sock fell in, and the turbine was the small pair of jets of helium that sucker made when it ate each sock.

“Honey! I know where the missing socks went!”

476 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for week 4 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought flash fiction challenge. It’s a fun challenge. Now, go read all the other entries in week 4.

Colorful Induction

Every since she was a little girl, Gail dreamed of being a fairy. She dreamed of being able to fly with wings of her own. Of leaving a trail of glitter in the sky. Of using her fairy magic to help other girls like her. She looked wistfully out her window every night, spending hours wishing she could fly from house to house, to find other girls like her. Girls without hope. Girls without dreams.

Gail was dying. Each day brought death a step closer. Each day she felt the weakness in her limbs grow, the fluttering of her heart grow more frequent, her breath grow more shallow, her pulse grow slower, and weaker.

She sat in her chair, staring out her window, looking at the clouds, and wished she could be a fairy, and fly in the sky at least once before her time in life reached its end.

That’s when the fairies answered her. Flying through her window. Spreading fairy dust of gold and silver all around the room, and all over her, as they sang a song of flying in the sky.

Gail fell asleep that night, sitting in her chair. “Thank you, fairies,” she declared, “for your lovely song.”

She woke up the next morning, resting on her window sill, beneath the light of the rising sun, her heartbeat regular and strong, the breeze caressing her hair. She sat up on the window sill to discover she wore a dress of rose leaves, held together by strong silk, woven by the spiders. She realized there were no shoes on her feet, and someone had woven tiny blue flowers into her hair.

Gail had to smile, for she knew there were fairy wings upon her back. Shaped like the wings of a butterfly, in sapphire blue and white. Wings all her own.

She remembered the fairies that had visited her that night, with glitter of gold, and silvery white, and the song they sang to her. And she knew somehow the fairies flight, and the glitter of the night were a colorful induction of her wounded, lonely heart into the sisterhood of fairies.

She knew she would fly on fairy wings that night.

#VisDare 30 : Basking

“Have you learned?” Alice’s voice drifted up to me.

I shook my head. She went back to the old man’s home to wait.

The old man said I had to strip everything away to learn, then ordered me to sit on the head of the lion, until I learned.

He told Alice, “He gets nothing. No food. No water. Nothing.”

The old man had said, “Sit”. So I sat. Through two sunsets, and two sunrises. At first, sitting on that giant bronze head hurt. But after a few hours everything went numb.

At moonrise on the third night, I learned. I heard the cats. I saw what they saw. The same for the birds, dogs, mice, rats, foxes, wolves and squirrels. I heard, and saw, everything.

At sunrise, an eagle landed on my shoulder. “Now, you understand,” It was my brothers, the eagles who helped me down.

147 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 22 in the continuing story I’m working on for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

#FlashFriday #34 : Poor Planning

The second relief team was lucky. Their car got stuck a hundred or so feet above the ground. They’d already been rescued.

We hadn’t been so lucky. We were 1,100 miles above the ground, on our space elevator ride to the geosynchronous station when it got stuck. Air wasn’t a problem. It came through the cables. The agency radioed, “It’ll take three days to reach you.”

Three days. In an elevator. Without a restroom.

200 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Rebekah Postupak‘s #FlashFriday, Week 34. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #Flash Friday. They are good reading.

#MWBB 23 : Drunken Sailor

Oh, my achin’ head. I knew I shouldn’t have had that entire bottle of Wild I with Ginseng by myself. But after my girl dumped me, and I got fired for calling the boss a fuckin’ bastard, well, I had to do something stupid.

Waking up on a bench in Central Park at three in the morning with two police officers standing by me, one shining this billion candlepower flashlight into my eyes, wasn’t how I wanted to wake up. Especially from the dream I’d been havin’.

Damn,what a dream! I snuck into the boss’s office and pulled his keys out of his desk. He thought they were safely locked in the top right drawer. Didn’t know I could open that drawer with a paperclip. Idiot. So, I stole his Bentley.

I drove the Bentley to my girl’s apartment. I broke in, tied her up, stripped her, and said, “One last fling before I go, sweetheart!” And I did everything she’d never let me do. And I left her tied up, naked, on the floor, with the apartment door wide open.

Hell, I’d stolen a $200,000 Bentley. I was already going to jail. I figured, “Might as well go out with a bang!”

It was a grand dream, dude. I’m tellin’ ya. And it beat the hell out of the day I’d had.

I woke up that morning, to get ready for work, curled to my right, where she was supposed to be, to wrap my arms around her. But that morning, she wasn’t there. She’d left a note on the bed.

“I’m outta here, you selfish bastard!”

I sat there wondering what the fuck I’d done, then got ready for work. I went out for breakfast. ‘Cause don’t ask me how to scramble an egg. Last time I tried that, I set the range on fire. She’d been pissed about that too. “You can’t even boil water, you worthless son-of-a-bitch.” She always fixed breakfast. Made sure I had something to eat. So, with her gone, I had to go eat fast food.

Work had been hell. It always was. Answering the phone 5,000 times. “No mam. I can’t tell you how to setup your firewall on your WEB site. You have to contact our software team, and pay them to do that for you.” “Well, sir. Your e-mail server got hacked, ‘cause you set the password to 123456. That’s life. If you want us to secure it for you, we can, but that’s $75.”

WEB site tech support. Don’t ever do that for a livin’. Geeze, that’s a sucky job.

After the 856th phone call the boss came in, “For the past month, you haven’t been meeting your quota for 50 calls a day. If this keeps up, we’ll have to terminate you.”

I told him the truth. “Hey, I’m answering more phone calls than you can, you fuckin’ bastard.”

Bam! Fired. Just like that.

I went home and posted the Spaceballs video on all the WEB sites I knew about that had passwords like “password”, and “123456”. The one that says, “What kind of a password is that? That sounds like something an idiot puts on his luggage!”

Then, I decided I’d get ripped on the worst wine I could find, and sleep on a park bench in Central Park. Wound up with that bottle of Wild I. Got toasted. Whistled at every girl that walked by. “I’d like me some of that,” and “You lucky bastard!” I said those a lot. The sun went down, and I threw up in the lake. Wild I don’t taste so good coming back.

So, I finished the bottle. Hell, I didn’t have to go to work the next morning, why not?

When the cops woke me, they hauled my ass to jail. “You get one phone call.” I called my ex girl.

“I’m not coming to get you out. You can just sit there to you rot, asshole.” Yep. That was my one phone call.

Women.

I do wonder, though, when the headache that Wild I gave me will finally go away.

685 Words
@LurchMunster


My entry, in all its unedited glory, for week 23 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 16

An old dog came through the door and stretched out on the floor beside the old woman, resting his chin between his paws, and I heard a voice, though no one spoke, “Your grandson, is here, Cynthia.”

The dog pointed its eyes at me, and the voice from nowhere spoke again, “Alice isn’t here yet.”

55 words
@LurchMunster


This is part 16 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week. It’s flat amazing what gifted writers can say in just 55 words.