Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Let's Make a Deal

Contestant #2 was immobilized with indecision.  As he stood dumbstruck, the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett ran through his head: “My whole world lies waiting behind Door Number Three.”

“Ok, that’s easy”, he thought. “It’s a sign, it must be. I have to pick Door Number Three. But wait a second; I shouldn’t be making any hasty decisions here. I really need the money.  My wife left me in huge debt, I was fired last month, I lost my house and my dog ran away. 

“Yeah, I need to think this through.  Who’s to say Jimmy was speaking to me when he wrote that song? Holy shit, this could be a trick!

“Well ok… if it’s not Door Number Three, then it has to be Door Number One or Two. Jeez, I got a 50-50 chance now, right?  Yeah, now I’m on the right track. 

“So, which one is it, then?  Ok, let’s see. I was born on November 1st, and I’ve never been lucky, so Door Number One can’t be a good idea. And my wife left me on January 2nd, which is a two and, fuck, that seems sorta lucky to me…now that I think about it. I’m goin’ for Door Number 2”

As it turned out, Contestant #2 was right; the grand prize of $25,000 was behind Door Number Two.  It’s funny, though, how things turned out.  That $25,000 wasn’t really enough to cover all his debts, with taxes and all, but somehow, another door opened for him that day. 

After appearing on national television, Contestant #2 was sought out far and wide.  He wrote one of those self-help books, which sold millions of copies:  How to Use Your Natural Analytical Skills to Make Critical Decisions.  

I wrote this for the Week 75 Trifecta Writing Challenge where we are to write a 33-333 word composition using the word “door” in the context of a means of access to, or an opportunity for, success.

 Your comments are appreciated. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Creature of Habit

Boys were calling day and night. The well-endowed sixteen year old was causing her parents angst.   And who knew what she was doing, being a latch-key kid?  Problem solved: Off to the convent. 

I wrote this for the Week 65 Trifextra Writing Challenge where we are to write a 33 word composition using a compound modifier. Bonus: Compound modifiers which preceed the noun they modify are to be hyphenated and only count as one word. 

Your comments are appreciated.   

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

La Corrida de Toros

Plaza de San Marcos
Aguascalientes, Mexico
Photo by Lumdog

The matador de toros, with his ornate, gold embroidered suit enters the ring with his two lesser toreros (subaltemos). The ritual would now begin.  Each torero attempts to attract the bull with his brightly colored cape of pink and gold.  The bull randomly charges, seemingly intent on mauling whoever enters his vision.  The subaltemos take no shame in running from the bull, which allows the lead torero to assess his foe.

The picadors enter on horseback with their lances.  The bull immediately charges the blindfolded horses and a picador gives one or two strikes into the back of the neck. The bull is weakened, but not intimidated.

The torero raises his arms, banderillas in hand, like a conductor holding his baton.  He taunts the bull.  The bull charges and the violent dance begins.  Two banderillas are plunged into the bull. Enraged, foam spews from the bull’s mouth; his desire to gore the torero is sharpened.  The bull charges and the torero is grazed, but not injured.  The bull charges again and again and the dance continues.   

Finally, the torero enters the ring alone, now carrying his red muleta (cape) and a sword and the final steps of the dance take place.  As the end comes near, the torero and bull lock eyes in final ecstasy, each believing he will vanquish the other.   

I wrote this for the Week 74 Trifecta Writing Challenge where we are to write a 33-333 word composition using the word “ecstasy” in the context of a trance.

This was a challenging piece for me to write. I don’t condone cruelty to animals in sport or otherwise, and I was hesitant to see a bullfight. Yet, I was interested in going. Perhaps, I was inspired by my favorite author, Ernest Hemingway, who wanted to be a bullfighter and who wrote so eloquently about bullfighting and by the fact that bullfighting is very much a part of my fiancée’s cultural heritage. 

Indeed, my fiancée and her brother had a good laugh at my expense when I referred to the torero as the “matador”, as it is a word only used by gringos in that context.  Technically, the matador is the senior of the three toreros, but this word is only used in Spanish when one is saying: “matador de toros”, to distinguish the senior torero from the lesser ones. 

Finally, I would like to note that I saw this bullfight in Mexico, but through my research, I learned that the various stages of a bullfight, the roles of the participants and the terminology vary from country to country, so this may not entirely square with your own experiences.

Your comments are appreciated.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Los Colores de Mexico

Vibrant colors abound
From the cobblestones
To the church campanario

Stucco walls
Of oranges, reds and yellows
Punctuated by limestone fountains

Like the abundant shades and tones
The faces of the people
Reflect well being, with nuanced color and hue

Guanajuato, Mexico

I wrote this for the Week 73 Trifecta Writing Challenge where we are to write 33-333 a 33-333 word composition using the word “color” in the context of complexion: the tint characteristic of good health or blush.

Your comments are appreciated. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

The All Too Common Saga of a Young Marriage

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog
They said it wouldn’t last, but it did, for 35 years. I went to law school and you were a flight attendant. You flew to Luxembourg while I studied. On breaks, we went all over Europe. You went to med school and I started my first job. We blissfully raised three kids. As they trickled out the door, we grew apart.  We tried, I guess. Even then, for me, it was “until death do us part”, until you shut me out. I couldn’t handle the charade and made the big move. I was a fool to do your dirty work.

I wrote this for the 100 Word Song writing prompt, which is to write 100 words inspired by Steely Dan’s song, “Dirty Work”. Ironically, this was a song my ex-wife and I loved and we first heard it while we were traveling in Germany.

Your comments are appreciated.     

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Advice: The Untold Truth

Let's face it. Advice is overrated: obvious and unnecessary.  Don't smoke. "Duh". Don't text and drive. "Yeah, thanks Dad; tell me something I can use, like how to get in that girl's pants." 

I wrote this for the week 62 Trifextra Writing Challenge where we are to write exactly 33 words of advice.  I didn't actually follow the rules since I couldn't think about anything useful I would say, which is pretty much what I think about most advice. 

Your comments are appreciated.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Noir Mal: The Long Day

The tall blonde sauntered into my office.  I knew it was going to be a bad day when she asked me to take a case without a retainer.  But this babe had legs like a gazelle and a body that wouldn’t quit; I just couldn’t turn her down.  I poured her a whiskey, straight up, and she spilled her guts. It seems that her husband had been slapping her around, real bad. 

The broad told me that she had lots of dough, so much, that she could open a bakery for the Chinese Army.  She then told me that her husband was connected and that the cops wouldn’t help her.  I said, “So, what am I supposed to do, rub this guy out?”  Sheepishly, the lady said: “Well…whatever you think…and I’ll pay you a lot, and then some, once the job is done.” I didn’t believe her cock and bull story about the money; but her line: “and then some”, intrigued me.

So, I had some friends meet the husband in a bar.  Yeah, we could’ve fit him for a cement kimono, but that’s not my style.  So, my buddies just roughed him up; they were all over him like a cheap suit.  They slipped him a mickey and the next thing he knew, he was on a freighter, bound for…who knows?  I didn’t ask. 

So, I called the dame and there was no answer.  I could’ve guessed she’d skip town.  I strolled to my walk-up on Eighth Avenue.  I walked in; the place was so quiet, it made the morgue seem like Joe’s Bar. I turned on the lights and there she was, wearing nothing but her birthday suit, lying on a pile of thousand dollar bills that would fill Hoover Dam. After we rolled around in the dough, she grabbed a handful of bills, threw them in the air and let them rain down.

Turned out, the husband had quite a stash and it was a good day after all. 

I wrote this for the Week 71 Trifecta Writing Challenge where we are supposed to write a 33-333 word composition using the Urban Dictionary definition of "rain" in the context of bills coming down on someone.

I was inspired to write a Noir-like piece after having read many idioms in last week's Trifextra Writing Challenge and having also played a #hashtag called #failednoir on Twitter.

Your comments are appreciated.