Sharp Wolves Call

Below the hill rested a warren of rabbits, sleepily opening their eyes. Dawn had arrived a few hours before, but the north side residents slept in. Chickadees hopped and chirped around the entrance of the warren. Little ears emerged into the warm daylight. The smell of fresh, wet grass raised the family appetite.

Sharp Wolves Call in the night. It is simultaneously lonesome and collective. These wolves suffer a group think of loneliness that blankets that countryside and frightens the prey. The sound of sharp wolves cross over the hill and faintly echoes under it, disturbing the rabbits.

I came this far to tell you of what became of those rabbits beneath the hill. The cynics believe that the humans came to excavate the hill and build condos on it. Would you believe that the sharp wolves haunted the development? Can the rabbits be heard at the legislative hearings? Perhaps coyotes, raccoons, bats and crows will take over things after we’re gone.

I came this far to tell you that the meek shall inherit the earth.

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Poems From Last Weekend

Numbing the Hand

Warm hands, warm heart
Cold hands, warm heart
Numb hands, numb heart.

The hand that feeds
Is numb to your desires.
The desires of the heart
Are not felt in the outer extremities.

A rose with thorns
Leaves no sting on numb hands.
The companionship of held hands
Numbed.

Numb hands, numb heart.

 

Love Is Something So Divine

Love is something so divine
That it overlooks these numb hands of mine.
No ice melt water or slushy churn
Can halt me from the unflinching burn
Of that passionate halo – Love.

 

In Dreams You Appeared

In dreams you appeared
In flammable seaweed
Walking to shore with a cigarette in hand.

You light your cigarette
Setting yourself and all the shoreline on fire.

You represent the oil spill of my life
Contaminating my essence
Destroying the love that is divine.

Some Things Get Better With Age

“Some things get better with age,” thought the internet tycoon as he stared at the unopened bottle of Ancient Roman wine. He stood backstage awaiting the curtain call of the great revelation. The bottle rested gently on a red satin display under a plastic cube. The spotlights were ready to be turned on and, on the other side of the red curtain, a cameraman was preparing to take footage of the event. To the side of the display, on a small mahogany table, atop a hand sewn silk doily, there was an ornate piece of stemware – a wine glass.

Dressed in an unblemished tuxedo, the tycoon stood and listened to his guests file in and make polite conversation in the grand ballroom of his mansion on the French Riviera. His mind began to wander. He reflected back to the discoveries, first of the sunken ship and then of the wine bottle in the Mediterranean Sea.

For the breadth of human history and pre-history, there has been a fascination with the sea. Mankind has fashioned his watercraft, sailed the sea, and sunk to the bottom of it for thousands of years. Much has been lost in these aquatic catastrophes – gold, gems, pottery and so on. The real prize to the true collector is the preserved perishable items. Finding clothing is rare, but to find an unbroken bottle is exceptional. To find an intact bottle of the famous Roman wine, the wine sung of by the bards and written of by the poets, is absolutely inconceivable and beyond belief.

One the hobbies of the super-rich is deep sea scavenging and salvage. They can afford the diving teams, the latest equipment and the finest toys. Many graduate students and doctors of antiquity are eager to find patronage with these private collectors. However, the internet tycoon employed no one. He was in business for himself as a sole proprietor and amateur treasure hunter.

 

Walking to the backstage window, the internet tycoon looked out to see his parking lot filled with luxury and exotic cars. Young women, with their furs and dapper dates, had made their way to his palace entrance, the last of which were entering now. The internet tycoon continued musing, his mouth watering in anticipation. He reminisced with pride as he thought of his fleet of submersible drones, casting a radar net over the ocean floor. He felt the giddiness again of the discovery of the radar blip in the channel between Corsica and Sardinia. There was the competitive rush of adrenaline when he realized that diving teams from the British Museum and Cambridge were nearing his discovery. He was there first!

He had sent a swarm of drone submarines to the radar blip and turned on the search lights. What a discovery! Such a well preserved Roman wreck! He had to keep them away. As the scuba divers neared the wreckage, the internet tycoon released additional swarms of miniature tactical submarine drones armed with electric shocks, similar to cattle prods. These undersea bees were relentless to the diving team. Helplessly, they tried to swat them away, but the friction of water makes everything happen in slow motion and salt water is a great conductor of electricity. Eventually, the drivers surfaced to lodge a complaint, which was promptly forwarded to the attorneys.

Meanwhile, beneath the sea, the drones carefully searched the Roman wreck. In the cargo hold, its stopper and glassware intact, sat the prize. With extraordinary care, he sent in his extractor subs. The subs carefully removed the bottle and placed it in a pressurized container to eventually return to the surface and be carefully depressurized. After another pass of the wreckage, he took the gold, jewelry and gems. He even took the remainder of an old Roman sword with him, since he had some extra room in one of the containers. He left the remainder of the pottery and junk to the divers that would come back. He even knocked over one of the pots, not of clumsiness, but out of spite, as he recalled his drone submarines.

 

As the red curtain opened, the internet tycoon felt a surge of pride and accomplishment as the display lights came alive to reveal the ancient bottle and its liquid contents. This was his bottle. He owned it. Critics would demand that he hand it over to a museum, let scientists and researchers study it, but it was HIS. What he would do with this wine from antiquity would be the most blasphemous, heinous crime in their eyes and they were powerless to stop him. For this was his bottle, found and salvaged, and he owned it.

The internet tycoon gave his presentation to a packed house. He was broadcasting live across the internet, where the self-righteous trolls spat upon his decadent ways. After an hour of self-aggrandizement, the moment came. He lifted the plastic cube and held the bottle in his hands, displaying it for all to see. Next, he removed the stopper from the millennia-old bottle. He did this with the aid of one of his modern contraptions so as to neither damage the stopper nor the bottle. Finally, he poured.

Thick, black syrup oozed out of the bottle and into the fine crystal stemware. He put the glass to his lips and tasted. As the internet tycoon swished the Roman wine syrup in his mouth and swallowed, he allowed himself to reverie on a life well spent. He closed his eyes, breathed in and held it.

What the audience saw was his collapse on the red felt carpet. Paramedics were called, but he was dead. The cause of death was poisoning. When medical science got ahold of the remainder of the wine, they discovered that it contained an ancient, lethal and forgotten foodborne illness that had also been preserved in the bottle. Centuries of dormancy beneath the sea only heightened its lethal potency. The internet tycoon had been cursed by his own ancient wine.

Fogy Lovers

Author’s Note: This story is a bit of a stretch assignment for me. I rarely venture into erotic fiction, but today’s characters and writing prompts led me in that direction. I’ve italicized the writing prompts so you can follow the glide path of the story. Please judge kindly – Thanks.

You would think that investing your life in a neighborhood or community for 27 years would get you somewhere, but with the recent string of drug arrests made, Vidalia’s home value plummeted. It was time to sell the house and move to a condo, but to even get a reasonable price, the house needed repairs.

Out of the fog, there emerged a balding man with a tool belt and a toolbox. He wasn’t much to look at, so he went largely unnoticed. He performed maintenance at the low income high rise, but with so many tenants returning to prison, he would walk the neighborhood to perform minor repairs on his free time. Vidalia invited him in to discuss the repairs the realtor said were needed on the house.

The smell of lemon cookies floated into the room when Handyman Ralph entered Vidalia’s home. She handed him a sheet of paper with the recommendations from the realtor. She said, “Excuse me” and walked back to the kitchen to check on the cookies. “Have a look around.”

Ralph walked to the bathroom first with his face buried in the sheet. He stood at the threshold and slowly looked around at the out of fashion wallpaper, the cracked tile, the tarnished faucets and the peeling laminate countertop. Next, he shuffled his way downstairs. He glanced at the old water heater and the ancient furnace. He looked at his feet and sighed over the asbestos tile, half hidden under faded carpet. He took another look at the realtor’s requirements and he shook his head.

Vidalia called from upstairs, “Would you like a cookie?”

Handyman Ralph ascended the stairs and sat at her small kitchen table as she poured a cup of hot orange tea and set a plate of warm lemon cookies in front of him.

There was no way to foresee what was coming next. It began innocently enough. Handyman Ralph sat at Vidalia’s table, sipping the hot tea and enjoying a morsel of lemon cookie when she touched his hand. It had been so long since she had a man in the house. She didn’t even realize the hunger until she stood over him, massaging his broad shoulders.

Ralph realized that it wasn’t just the tea heating up the room. He turned. Their eyes met. Then their lips met. Ralph turned his chair. Vidalia leaned in closer.

She touched his chest and moved down. Their lips met again and he closed his eyes. She glided onto his lap and touched the tools on this toolbelt one by one, playing with the Double D inscribed in the leather.

Ralph’s powerful, calloused hands gently grasped her sides, moving higher and higher towards her breasts. Her light sweater was soft to the touch. Together they shared the pubescent passion of feeling love with their clothes on. Her body had softened with age. His body was hardened by his daily toils, as chiseled as the tools around his belt and as unyielding as the tools in his toolbox. She could feel the knowledge inside him. She knew that he carried within him the tricks of the trade and that she only needed him to reach into his toolbox and have him begin his work. She cradled his head in her bosom.

They may have been sharing a dormant passion, but he felt the aged putty in his hands of this forgotten woman from the past. She was the spinster aunt who always arrived alone to family gatherings, which resonated with the lifestyle he had also fallen into. He opened his eyes and saw in her lightly creased face a reflection of himself and a prophesy of his near future. What was it that this balding man and this woman named after an onion were doing?

His hesitancy vanished as he leaned into her face for another kiss. His arms cradled her like a piece of sheet music on a music stand. As the conductor, he raised his baton and began counting off the measures to start the symphony. She felt it and, like the silent air of the concert hall, she was ready to be filled with the beautiful music.

They were interrupted by his phone. Ralph moaned. The phone rang a second time. “Thank God it’s Saturday,” he said sarcastically. Vidalia touched his cheek and whispered into his ear, “I work from home during the week.”

The phone rang a third time and Handyman Ralph reached into his pocket to answer the old Nokia phone. Vidalia stood up and straightened herself after their passionate make out. Ralph continued to receive instructions over the phone. The caller refused to let him hang up the phone to say goodbye to his host. With the dour face that he entered with, Handyman Ralph left, carrying his toolbox in one hand and his phone in the other. Vidalia stood in the doorway and watched him disappear again into the fog from whence he came.

I Was Lost

McScarry_StrikesBack

This story is based upon several writing prompts from the Midtown Writer’s Group that came together to form the story. The prompts are in italics.

I thought I was on the correct floor, but I was lost. The car park was identical for as far as my mind could grasp. I was a child who lost his mommy and it didn’t help that my car was a rental. If I searched my mind hard, I might remember what my car looked like.

I hit the panic button on my key fob as I walked the corridors of P3. I got no response from my car, but at another car there was a knock on the door. It was the tail of a dog beating against the glass. The cocker spaniel didn’t bark. Instead it just smiled, panted and wagged its tail. I walked on: P3? Or was it…

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