2018 was a prolific year for creative pieces, just maybe not the strongest in the closing department. While I wanted this to be “The Last of the Cupboard” that will have to wait. These are the scraps, nuggets, bits and pieces, hopefully a few gems throwing in from 2018.

TUF (1.18.18)

Newscaster: yet another mention of the illusive “Unstoppable Fin” in the sixth crime-bust trial of the summer. Are these criminals masking a ghost or is there an “anti-vigilante” in the outer suburbs of Manhattan?

Running (3.22.18)

Running free, running fast

Running off the beaten path

Feet go down soft and light

Carry me further throughout the night. 

Out along the western coast

Out and away from the place I hate the most. 

The dark place, the small space

The ever so slow paced. 

The shrinking in my head space

The following a rhyming pace-paced. 

Running away, running toward

Running an ever circular tour

Ebbs and flows

Coast to coast

Dreading the feeling I feel the most

Throwing on my sneakers and socks

I run over my mind’s roadblocks. 

Tarmack, treadmill, grass or beach

It doesn’t matter what’s under my feet – 

Only that I get to glide throughout my hectic mind 

when it’s finally, finally quiet time

Running free, running fast

Running miles past the tired and sometimes pain

Just to know I have the heart to last

To put my anxiety down for a nap

To build my day free and new

Always remembering to pull my laces through. 

It Begins (5.5.18)

It begins as an itch. A flashback from your free life to your previously imprisoned one. There’s no way to escape it. Your body is your cell. You skin is plastic wrap smothering the possibility of fresh air. You are stuck across time and space. There is no escape from your past or your present – there is no escape from yourself.

“Hiking” But Not… (5.5.18)

She couldn’t quite figure out what was happening, so instead she went for a hike. Maybe not exactly a hike. More of an aggressive walk around a lake, up a hill, down a path, up the beginning of a mountain to a second lake she had planned on walking around. Like all plans, it hadn’t gone just so. Instead she rerouted – off the path she went, starting up the mountain, over rocks, around the corner to a nice plateau. There she sat wondering what defined hiking, anyway? If she couldn’t figure out what was happening in her life, maybe she could at least figure out why her “31 active minutes” of uphill, up-mountain, off the beaten and marked path, through rock and tree clusters wasn’t considered hiking. Not even “real hiking,” it had been said what she did didn’t even register as “hiking” of any level.

For starters she had worn the wrong shoes. After months of treadmill running and the occasional weight training sessions it was automatic to throw on running shoes instead of boots. If it has been summer, or at the very least a dry spring, she would have been fine. But the once a week snow storm for the past 2 months left the path saturated in mud, water, and snow. The walk (note – not hike) around the second lake was a no go. This would provide strong evidence for hiking being made by the shoewear, but last summer she had gone not-hiking with a friend who insisted that her walk was in fact merely that and not a hike, even with the proper footwear.

It seemed nothing that was happening or not happening, like her non-hike, made sense.

Untitled 3 (7.18.18)

The best stories come from late at night. When you’re tired and done with the day. They are the stories we tell to our loved ones about where we were and who we weren’t really with. They are the stories of the homework our teacher lost, or of the test Sara – not I – cheated on. They are the stories changed dramatically by a turn of phrase, semantics, the drop of an “s” on the word “she.”

Robert (8.3.18)

My heart races the fastest when it’s the calmest. My drive crashes hours before I’ll start and complete any project. If I was a robot I would need to be rewired – better yet, I would just be a robort. But I am not a robot. I am a Robert. A Bob occasionally, seldom a Bobby. In most cases people casually skip over having to call me anything. Since no one really talks to me unless they need something it is relatively easy to know when they are talking to me, even when they can’t muster up the two syllables of “Rob” “ert.”

Cracked Bones (9.22.18)

Michael would have prefered to just have his mother drive him to his aunt’s house an hour or so away. Instead his mother wanted him to see things, have experiences, whatever – she really just wanted him out of the house. So, here he was, walking down the hallway toward a plane. A plane where he hoped he wouldn’t have to sit with a stranger. Being an angry beefed up ginger was one thing at school where he had his friends and classmates with better sense than to mess with any of them. Strangers didn’t know better, especially not old ladies with frizzed out, white hair and matching bright pink lips and cheeks. The ladies who thought he was “just so adorable” with such a handsome face and stunning blue eyes. “What a peach,” they’d say as they religiously went in to pinch his cheeks. Strangers mistook him as a jovial ginger snap – filled with joy and holiday cheer. Realistically, if he was thinking of you it was either because you were friends, or he wanted to break your face and shatter your atlas. 

It was his turn to enter the plane. The flight attendant a young blonde, with eyes almost as blue as his, and tits bigger than any he’d seen his entire time at the airport welcomed him onto the plane. For a moment he was so blinded by her smile he didn’t notice how tight the aisle inside the plane had become. One seat on the right, two seats on the left… what was his seat number again? 4D – the window. Balls. With a grumble Jason took his red JanSport off his shoulder and made his way into his seat. Pulling on his green and white striped pants he sat down shoving his backpack underneath the seat in front of him. If anyone was in the seat next to him his mother was going to be getting an angry call the second he landed in Florida. 

His mother thought she was being deceptive, but in reality he knew something wasn’t right. Sending him on a plane to spend the weekend with his aunt before she took the drive back to Maryland was ridiculous. He knew she wanted him out of the house, but he couldn’t quite figure out why. Once a month he would go with her to Dr. Jason Trice’s office for their check-ups. The office manager there, who was also the receptionist, would always have a donut waiting for him. She booked both of their appointments and would be sure to save a donut from Saturday’s office hours for him. Miss Maarten Nanne never once wanted to pinch his cheek or tell him he was adorable, she also insisted that Jason call her Miss Martie or Maarten but never Mrs. Nanne.

Reckless Abandon (3.12.17 & 11.3.18)

Reckless abandon, a beautiful, poetic phrase to idolize being a careless moron. Love with reckless abandon they say, throw caution to the wind, embrace love – they all say it, but do any of them do it? 

No. They got their partners right where they have them through hours of meticulous planning and revised strategies for playing a game.

But what if you don’t want to play a game? What if you mean exactly what you say? Would people have any interest in each other? Would the marriage cease to exist in places where bethrols and dowries were considered barbaric?

Maybe everyone has their own facades and games they play, regardless of whether or not the feel like they do. It’s very easy to say I’m straightforward and no bullshit, because to me, I am. I also have an incredible internal maze structure built purely on self-control. I will boldly make my sexual intentions clear, and occasionally throw someone a green light to attempt to date me (*DISCLAIMER: for years the green light has only been given when a neon red “Exit” sign is illuminated in the distance of our journey together*). No one has the green light to anything I haven’t pre-approved. Your interest in me will always be built on how I intend for you to perceive me. 

But what happens if someone like me gives way to reckless abandon? 

What happens if I let myself feel something for someone without disclaimers; included, inevitable exits; or self-sabotage? 

It always used to be a hypothetical question, but in the last few months I haven’t written anything other than an article for work. I’ve started and stopped countless short stories for my own collection. It’s not that I’ve been lazy, unfortunately. Somehow in planning the lives of all those included in my life, I ended up getting trapped in my own. My question is no longer hypothetical, it’s the topic of my very own detective novel to see how the fuck I ended up here. 

In the Forest at Twilight – Continued Ending (11.17.18)

Wilona sat at her desk. Her last patient had left. She pulled out a mirror and began to take down her elegant yet professional hair, and smear her makeup. She would make herself look like she went through the physical hell the last year had put her through emotionally. She would call her Council and alert them to her escape. The man that broke her heart and the woman who soiled her name – her captors – would be dead by then. Her life could bloom from the soil soaked in their blood. She could return home and live her life as the Council, her kin, intended her to. She would return to her sacred land free of mortal wounds. She had reclaimed her hope. 

Voicemails (11.27.18)

He didn’t like not answering his phone, but occasionally he just wasn’t available to do so. In those moments he let his voicemail pick up. 

She didn’t like not answering her phone, but occasionally she just wasn’t available to do so. In those moments, she hoped for a voicemail she could listen to as soon as she was free. This was the day her want for voicemails ended.

Sex with Me: A Proposal (11.28.18)

A memo from Michael Evans to Jane Night

Introduction:

As you very well know Ms. Night you are currently in an awful situation. You are involved with a taken man who treats you more like a girl he’s cheating on than the other woman. Typically, it is the girlfriend who deals with the emotional baggage, the many hours alone, and the secondhand gifts where then the other woman can enjoy the fun sex, many hours of secret rendezvous and adventures, and the finest gifts. There is a relatively simple solution for all of this that is of no financial cost to you, only financial gain. The benefits include: nice gifts, free dinners and date night activities, no emotional baggage, and a twice a week commitment. My official proposal is for you free yourself from your current adulterer, and become my sexual companion.

Squirrel Poop (11.28.18)

The bathroom smelled as though a chubby squirrel in the bushy tail end of Fall had entered the ladies room and pooped out a week’s worth of glittery acorns. Rhonda questioned the people who made these bathroom sprays, and whether or not their sense of smell had long since died. 

Devestation (12.3.18)

It was heartbreaking. The feeling of loss radiated through her chest. It pounded through her ears and course through her veins. She hadn’t thought about anything before she did it.

Deadlines (12.29.18)

The ticking was going to drive her mad. She tried to time the tapping of her keys to the clicks of the timer, but to no avail. She knew there was only so much time in any given day and that she had already allotted portions of it to certain things. One block of time was always dedicated to her freelance work. The majority of her time was dedicated to work, her part time job, and making time for her pets. She had one dog, one fish tank, and – assuming it was still alive and in the house somewhere – one cat. The cat liked to spend the majority of its time hiding away. At one point she had had a snake as well, but it had gotten loose and had yet to make it back to its own room. On a regular basis she hoped the cat and the snake didn’t run into each other. 

Outside of her work, the marketing director at a growing firm; her part time work; and her pets she also did freelance writing for anyone who hired her. Restaurant reviews, ghost writing blogs, newspaper stories, anything. If it was to be written, she would write it. This article was due tonight before 6:00 PM. It was currently 4:30 PM. Tina had written two freelance pieces last week to finally be able to get her hair done. Thankfully her hairstylist was able to fit her in today, but that meant that she had no time to waste.

He was a Raiders Fan (12.29.18)

He was a fucking dick. He was actually a bigger dick than the one his maker had endowed him with during his creation. It was as though he wanted to compensate for a problem that couldn’t be proved and didn’t exist. Meaning he couldn’t be happy with being kind of a dick, a slight dick, just a dick, a loveable dick, or even a big dick. No, he had to be a fucking dick. 

He was also a Raiders fan. Not that this impacted his dick behaviors, but it did fit as good as any type of carb with cheese. She was angry at him, not for being a Raiders fan, but for being a dick. If he hadn’t been a dick he would have been perfect. But she had learned the hard way a number of different times that you couldn’t change people, nor could you overlook their glaring flaws.

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