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Some satire 
03:29pm 31/08/2003
  My last semester in college, I took a class on Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. Yeah, what a combo, eh?

One of our papers could be either an imitation or a parody. This bein' me, I waited for my last paper for the class to exercise that right, and used as a springboard an idea a friend from IRC had given me. The paper nearly made the poor professor explode.

The Fall of the House of EeyoreCollapse )
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'you're not laughing. 
12:39am 28/08/2003
Suppose that one afternoon, you were sitting at the kitchen table staring down at the leftovers of a meal untouched, and the phone rang. And then, supposing your eyes were to dart towards it with an emotion akin to the bastard offspring of terror, and agonized curiosity, it were to continue to ring. Mechanical purring impeccably timed to be just urgent enough to make you think the person on the other side of the line really wanted to talk to you.

Supposing that just as you went to reach for the pale receiver of that mechanical box, visualizing the movement of the telephone settling in your palm as you lifted it to your ear – when it suddenly fell silent; what would be going through your head?

I’ll tell you what was going through mine: you’re a fucking moron. Of course, I must admit that was the same phrase that had been playing pinball inside of my skull for the last six, consecutive months, and that prior to this lengthy run of self-pitying angst, it was a phrase that still tended to pop up quite often. . .

Let me tell you about the kitchen. It wasn’t very big, really, it was quite tiny, in a tiny house that did it’s best to pretend majesty. Faux oak cabinets whose inner lining had peeled away to show the water-damaged particle board and a pathetic collection of mismatched dishware, and while there was a stove, one of the four electric elements worked, and the oven functioned sporadically – choosing the most inopportune times to flare to life and burn dinner. Dishes piled high in the sink, the refrigerator had been transported straight out of the nineteen-seventies; fully equipped with its own miserable montage of a pukey, olive-green colour and rust spots. One tiny window with a tinier translucent spot let in an even tinier beam of early-morning sunlight which shone directly over a stain in the worn linoleum. I couldn’t remember where the stain had come from.

The kitchen smelled like sex and beer.

The kitchen smelled like you.

The smell made my insides shrivel up, and my mind to shut down as the telephone settled to its solitude in its worn out cradle. I couldn’t help reflected with that stereotypical detached apathy that a cradle was something I could see myself wanting right now, but then, you were never one to offer me comforts when I needed them. You were here for a fuck-buddy, and the only time I’d ever see you was when you were strung out on something and reeking of cheap American beer looking for a fast bang in a squeaky bed (or in this case, a squeaky floor).

I couldn’t think of anything else to do at the moment, so I sat myself down at the table again, and picked up the lonely BIC lying on a pad of disheveled loose-leaf where I started to write you another letter.

On that piece of paper, I poured my soul out to you, and went on to take up a few more sheets, single-spaced and printed. You abhorred handwriting, and always got so angry when I used it – I’ve always thought it was because you couldn’t read it, but it may have been because your mother always wrote in script (and we all know how much you adore her). I was just letting the words flow, knowing that I’d never find the courage to stand my ground and hand you the pages before I walked out of your life because you’d always been mine. Biting down on my lower lip in between swigs of some golden-clear tequila I signed it with a tiny heart next to my name, and laid my head to my arms in a state of mental exhaustion. My cunt hurt, and I had bruises up my torso, but there was no one to soothe this agony – well, no one but my old friend José and his glass house.

Two weeks ago, I would likely have carried myself wearily to bed, and cried myself into a dream-filled sleep even more painful, but two weeks ago I was still trying to pretend I thought it was worth the time. I’d since discovered the soothing powers of this cacti-brewed alcohol, and had drowned my sorrows in this pit of oblivious nothingness for thirteen consecutive nights. Two weeks ago I was fifteen years old.

With the bitter taste of tequila on my tongue, and the bitter taste of rejection lingering on my lips I reached across the table for the lighter, idly thinking about how BIC must be a massive company – pens and lighters – who the hell would have thought? Flicking my thumb over the harsh metal of the sparker, I set your letter aflame, and dropped it onto the pile of dirty dishes to wallow in its own filth, and pointlessness.

Perhaps I should have followed suit – taken my own ragged tatters and burned until there was nothing left but a weightless ash – drifting through the air with a caustic indifference for the eyes I might momentarily blind, and the hearts I might unintentionally break. You broke my heart, did you know that? Rather, you dissembled the little bit I’d been born with: these moments I sincerely doubt I’ve ever really had a whole one. Apathy is my own worst enemy but the most reliable relationship I’ve ever had. As it was, lacking the courage to take those full steps and obliterate the sting of my existence returned to my seat and contented myself staring out the window – just imagining that somewhere, there was someone who gave a flying fuck and didn’t walk off after shooting a load across my stomach. The easiest way to make yourself feel better is always a blatantly impossible lie, because they always feel so good when you tell them – consider that piece of advice free.

©Erin L. Werle, August 23, 2003.
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09:20pm 23/08/2003
  So I sit in Economics everyday... and come up with these silly things. You would think perhaps that class would not be as boring as some other history classes, right?
You're wrong.

i tell myself i'm improving
things aren't so bad
i have things to be grateful for
so why am i so sad
i am always drowzy and usually grumpy
i'm going insane and the high pitched scream
pierce my ears and reveal my fears
and suddenly it all becomes clear..
maybe i'm not suppose to be here?
but i have no clue what to do
because my worst thoughts are now coming true
im totally alone and although i complain and moan
i know it probably is my fault.
and i should take responsibility
for my lack of capability
to just act not so emotionally unstable
I just want to let it out
and run away to another place
without a trace for anyone to follow.
but these words i have to swallow..
because no one really cares
judging by their blank stares.
the people that are dating eachhother
and want so much of one another
don't even notice the pain and pity
i have for myself.
maybe the pity i have wouldnt be so bad..
if i knew there was someone out there.
i think if only someone else could show me that they do really care..
i would feel so much less impaired.
Challenge: taking a bath. 
09:51pm 03/08/2003
  She rested her hand on her thigh as she bent over the bathtub. With a deft motion of her hands she turned on the tap with one, testing the temperature with the other. Satisfied with its warmth, she reached behind her for the jug of bath gel. She unscrewed the cap, inhaling the softness of sweet pea blossom. The thin liquid languidly poured and spread, rising bubbles in its wake. A layer of white foam crested atop the water. She stepped in, gingerly, then sank to the bottom, bubbles caressing every inch. She emerged sometime later, pajama clad, smiling. Clean.  
First Community Challenge. 
09:51pm 03/08/2003
  This is not mandatory, but I hope you all will give it a try.

The challenge has two parts.
1. Write about a fairly mundane activity, but make it as descriptive as possible...
2. within the limit of 150 words (or less).

Make your paragraph come alive with detail. Please put the mundane activity you are describing in the subject line of your post, after the word "challenge."

I will be posting an example in the next entry.
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01:12am 23/07/2003
  new. name is sandra. this kinda flew out of me, and i dont know what to think of it. i feel like its crap, but i may be too close to it. *shrug* whatever. thanks =)

the first kiss

"darren," he questioned, though more a moan than anything, slowly bringing his hand up to cup my face. i knew what was about to happen, but there was no way in hell i was going to stop it, even though it scared the shit out of me.

slowly, oh so slowly, he began to dip his beautiful head towards mine. some force beyond my field of understanding met him halfway there, drawing our lips closer, but never touching. seconds passed before our lips met, but the rush beforehand was overwhelming, almost more so than the kiss itself.

and we kissed. it wasnt like those kisses you see in the movies, you know, the hurried kiss so they can get it over with to get onto the more heated stuff. he was so gentle and loving. so perfect. it was just like i had always imagined my first kiss with him to be like. his eyes were closed, the most heavenly look was upon his face; a mix between love, fear, and contentment. i smiled goofily, and brought my lips up to meet his again.

seconds passed, moments, days, who knows? but it ended, much to our disappointment, the need for oxygen too great. he looked deeply into my eyes. a look of pure happiness was on his face. he gently stroked my cheek with his hand, running his thumb over the crease between my cheek and nose. it was beautiful. he was beautiful. he leaned his head down, once more, and i closed my eyes waiting for his lips to caress mine again, only to feel his forehead rest against mine. he didnt rush me, force me into anything i wasnt ready for. it was the perfect ending to the perfect kiss, with the perfect guy.

it was the only way i would ever dream my first kiss to go.
10:22am 18/07/2003
mood: devious
Thank you very much for creating this community. I hope you enjoy my first post, a short short story called:


I saw him walking down the sidewalk, headed back in the direction of his apartment. I pulled my head back, pressed myself flat against the wall, and concentrated on keeping my breath slow and even. What did a racing heart mean to me now? I had subjected myself to many moments like this just to reach this point in time.

He was very close, I could hear his footfalls. In a few seconds he would be passing the alley. Then I would step out and...

Then everything would be changed. I would be remade into a phantom.

I could see his expression as he crossed in front of the alley. All I had to do was act. I had pictured many times how his expression would be changed when I made my presence known. But even as my body began to move, my mind held back for a thousandth of a second, a hesitation before casting itself into oblivion.

“Hello.” Hearing a voice no doubt startled him. But this was ordinary. When he turned, and saw who was speaking, then he was startled. Then he was struck, turned to stone with a metaphysical awe at a sight that stripped away all conventions of self.

And I felt it too.
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10:48pm 11/07/2003
  Ever since Delilah was young, she had been different. This blacksheep born into a society of manners and refinement. Yes, she was strange, a messy little girl, black silk ribbons wrapped in lazy circles around the base of her ponytails.

Delilah had grown up odd. Grand parties and long cruises hiding the truth of her monsterous family. The father that beat her, and the mother that was never around to protect her, had she cared.

Delilah was alone, only the black silk of her ribbons to console and comfort her. Her brother was there. Really, he was her only true family. He was openly affectionate with her, buying gifts for his baby sister and telling her she was beautiful. She hated him for it, yet loved him so, but, she couldn't tell him that. She had been hurt to much, and never bothered to hide it. He knew. On a night not to long before her wedding to a man she loathed, she could take no more of her dissapointing and hurtful life.

Then he found her, standing in the darkness of their father's study, the moonlight dripping in through the uncovered window.

She turned to him then, the sound of the grand party muffled by the padded walls of the room. Her hair was disheveled, and her gloves were drooping down her delicate arms. Delilah held fast to the staind kitchen knife in her hand, ignoring the blood that dripped down her face, and her brothers startled cry. All that was left clean was the loose, black silk ribbon tied around her neck.

"What in God's name have you done to your face?!" he demanded, tugging on her arm.

I wanted my outside to look like my inside." she stated simply, barely looking at him.

"But God, Delilah! Why?!" he pulled the bloody knife from his sister's dull grip. Her fingers left the handle of the utensil as though they had never been there before.

"Leave me, Deric." her back to him then. "Go."

And so he did, the knife going with him. He retreated back to the glorious party, knowing what she would do.

She walked forward, and reached into the topmost drawer of her father's desk. Delilah pulled out the old shaving razor, and let the cool steel of it kiss her neck. In one swift motion, she said goodbye to all the pain and sadness, and crushed the razor to her jugular vein, the black silk ribbon falling to the ground, staind slightly.

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Blood & Fire 
01:49pm 11/07/2003
  Copyright © 2003 T E Shepherd

#101 Lost

She slides the rucksack off her shoulders, swinging it down amongst the basalt rocks and boulders scattered across the grey sand. Taking a water bottle from a side pocket she pulls free a stopper and puts the neck to her lips, quenching her thirst with cold, fresh, mountain water. She looks back, down across the valley from where they have come. The Jökulsárglfur canyon stretchs out towards the horizon lik a dark stain on the landscape.

Ben crosses the oak floorboards of his bedroom, packing another couple of t-shirts and thermal tops into his rucksack. In the corner his computer chimes out another task completed. He looks up, across at his desk, covered in paperwork. He crosses the floor reaching for the mouse and studies the computer screen.

Finnur smiles kindly, a broad grin. He offers Helen a mjölkurtex. Helen reaches out for a thick slab of square biscuit gladly. She bites into the hard texture, well-used to it’s dry yet milky taste. She steps back and perches on a rock, taking these minutes to relax. She takes a last look back down the valley at the peak that fades into thick, grey cloud – a last look before they round they cross this ridge, and put the peak behind them.

"I'm sorry. I know how much, you wanted to reach it," Finnur, her tall and slim Icelandic guide, follows the direction of Helen’s eyes, "How many years, have you come here now. Trying?"

Helen smiles wryly. "Three. First year I was too young, last, not enough time. And now, the weather! Do you think I’ll ever get there?"

The question is rhetorical. She knows the answer from all those conversations between her Ben and their dad and the affects that climate change and global warming will have on tourism in Iceland. She doesn’t pretend to understand half of what they talk about, the general conclusions do filter through to preoccupy her mind at times like these.

Ben pages through his book, studying the figures, scrawling notes on the backs of printouts, he taps in numbers to his calculator piecing together the sums.

There are half a dozen, plus the two guides, in Helen’s party. Besides herself and the other members of the conservation holiday that is now coming to its conclusion, are two Italian students, and an English couple in their early fifties. Billy, the youngest of her holiday friends, breaks away from the main group to approach Helen. Bless him. At nineteen he really has formed quite an attachment to her over the last fourteen days. In response to his staring eyes, she cocks her head to one side, castng a wry smile at his young face.

"Alright Billy?"

He nods.

"Bit treacherous – that last bit," Helen remembers the steep, sheer sided ridge of volcanic rock earlier that morning, "Worth it though."

Billy nods again, beaming, "Yeah – I guess..."

Silence. Helen’s eyes drift back up the mountain. Like herself, Billy’s disappointment at not reaching the summit is clear. The furthest corner to the national park. One day, she dreams.

Ben watches as the mathematical model integrates the data, mapping the new picture. He’s repeated this process with differing variations for more times than he can remember. Still he finds the redrawing of temperature and precipitation fields plotted against seasonal variations in population as mesmerising as ever.

The trail works its way up the side of the ridge, the rocks changing in colour as they go. Greys give way to earthy brown, and hues of or red, and green. Helen has gone beyond notices the views, the weather is grey and forever closing in on them again. All she wants now is rendezvous with the bus, and go for a shower, in bathe in a hot pool.

Ben curses his computer. He scratches out a hurried calculation, noting down numbers. He cross-references the accuracy of them, and pages through his book. Almost there?
An excellent idea... 
12:03pm 11/07/2003
mood: enthusiastic
...thanks Nicole (torpidity) for setting up this community – I shall post some writing soon...

Please comment 
02:29am 11/07/2003
mood: contemplative
Rosa and Adam met in the window display of "Fredrick's of Hollywood" during the last major LA riot. He had been looking for a camisole his girlfriend had liked on their last visit and found her arranging the mannequins in obscene poses from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." They ended up having sex on the prep table at "Carl's Ribs & Chicken BBQ Shack," after breaking a few more windows and picking up some Christmas presents from other gutted stores. Rosa said the chaos made her hot and thrifty.

The next day Adam broke up with his girlfriend and moved in with Rosa. They've been together almost ten years. Now and then, when the fire engines roar past their apartment or a stray beer bottle smashes through a neighbor's window, they find themselves making frantic love on the kitchen counter, honoring the good things that came out of the LA ashes.
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Hello, fledgling community 
12:38am 11/07/2003
  Distilling a Prophet

Some see a man, some
A shell with cratered eyes.
The rinds in the bottom of the soap dish.

We watch it like
The spider under the kitchen sink -
The awe of something so far removed,
So far right in front of us,
A modesty unnoticed
Unrequited beauty
Under the gravel.
A life in a way
That is the water to our oil.

And then we step on it
Or we smother it
Or crush it with our finger
And breathe the relief
As it spins down,
Away into the drain.

A half-faded, half-torn sign
Fashioned from a refrigerator box
His fingers bleed from the edges
And the flesh hangs in whitened strips
From the shards of a cardboard mirror.

Reading without words –
The pocket that affords no bread
Affords a voice just the same -
In a blinding reflection

"I am your hatred defined."
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test post 
10:24pm 10/07/2003
mood: creative
She had been tracing patterns into the rug with her toe, circles and squares and triangles, over and over again. The myriad threads of purple and white and salmon, interspersed with background grey, held her attention like nothing else would. She needed to hold herself in, swallow the nervousness she felt. He promised he would call her, and she didn't want to sound like a schoolgirl. Frantic energy was bubbling inside, and thus the tracing, to calm herself. With steady eye she stared down the phone. "I can do this. I'll be calm and be myself, and he'll never know I was just sitting here all night."

The phone, however, never rang.
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