Monday, June 30, 2014

Fireflies - Day Nine (Live-Blogging A Story)

Okay, day nine.  Looks like I managed 922 words today before having to run out to meet with Rish for our weekly Dunesteefing.  That puts me at 9,259 altogether.  Here they are, enjoy:


“But look at that thing.  It may skewer you just by accident.” Simi said.
“I’m not going to let it hurt Trevon.”
Simi’s eyes shone with fear, and she grabbed at his shoulder, but Oscar shook he hand off.  He didn’t realize that he had it in him, but he’d never been faced with this kind of a situation, so how could he know?  He hunched over, and crept into the room, taking care to stay as far from the creature as he could manage.  It was only five steps from the door to the crib, and Oscar reached it just in time to shield his baby from a falling wooden wall-hanging of a grey elephant.  He leaned over the crib, and took the elephant on his right shoulder.  It careened down off him, and hung up on the crib’s railing.  It didn’t hurt Oscar much, but it could have done some real damage if it had been allowed to fall on Trevon’s upturned face.
Oscar reached in and snatched the baby out of the crib, and cradled him to his chest.  Simi screamed, and Oscar spun to find the hulking orange monster now standing between him and the door.  It seemed to be heading toward Simi, but Oscar couldn’t tell for certain, given its erratic patterns of movement.  It looked like it might head into the closet, but then it veered suddenly right, and crashed into the doorway behind which Simi was standing.  She screamed again and backed away.
“Oscar!” she yelled to him.  He’d be damned if he was going to leave his wife’s side to save his child only to have his wife hurt because he wasn’t at her side.  He figured he could get in front of the creature if he nutmegged it, after all it was really big, with a lot of space between its legs, but could he slide through there while holding the baby?
He was willing to give it a shot.  For Simi, he was willing to do just about anything.  He backed up a few steps, then ran forward, sliding feet first like a baseball player stealing second base.  The silk pajamas that he had changed into earlier really made it possible.  He slipped along the carpet right between the creature’s legs.  He held Trevon to his chest on his right side, and barely jostled him in the maneuver.  It was almost perfect, but the creature shuffled its feet as Oscar passed beneath it just enough to bring one of its spines within reach of Oscar’s left side.  It jabbed into his arm, and dug a gash as his slide dragged his body across the spine.
He cried out in pain, but didn’t let it disturb his trajectory.  His slide came to a stop when his feet collided with the wall on the other side of the hall.  He quickly struggled to his feet, and handed the now complaining baby to Simi, putting himself between them and the creature.  He turned to face it only to discover that it was gone.  While his back was to it, it had disappeared.
“What the hell, where did it go?” He choked, breathing heavy despite the minimal exertion.  His heart was racing, but mostly from fright and adrenaline.
“It just vanished right after you slid under it.” Simi replied, “Oh my God, Oscar, your arm.”
Oscar looked down, and his eyes bulged.  The back side of his arm was laid open to his eyes.  Blood was dripping heavily onto the carpet, and he could see his muscle sliced cleanly, the flesh white and disturbing to his stomach.  He’d been a rambunctious child growing up, and had sustained dozens of serious injuries, but never had he seen anything like this.  Simi dashed away from him into the bathroom, grabbed a towel, and returned, wrapping it around his wounded arm tightly.
“Come on, get in the car.  We’ve got to get you to the hospital.  We can talk about this crazy shit on the way.”
Oscar squeezed his arm under the towel, trying to press the two halves of his muscle back together.  Luckily, it seemed as though no important arteries had been severed.  It was bleeding, but not profusely.  He followed Simi and Trevon out to the car, shuffling dazedly as he went.  She had the baby in the car seat and the engine running before he even opened the passenger door.
“I’m sorry, Simi,” he said as he sat down, “I’m ruining the interior of your Audi.  I know it’s like your second baby.”
“It doesn’t matter,” she replied, “You’re okay, right?  Are you feeling like you’re going to faint or anything?  Light-headed?”
“No, not yet.  Drive fast, I guess, so that I don’t get there.”
The tires squealed and the engine roared as they tore out of the driveway and onto the blacktop.  It was five minutes to get to 280, then another ten minutes or so before they would make it to Seton Medical Center, but Simi drove the whole way like an IndyCar racer, seemingly determined to cut the trip in half.
“What do we tell them when we get there, Niña?  How did I get this cut?  Because we surely can’t tell them that it was a ten foot orange cactus monster that slashed me.  They’d put us both in the psych ward, and stick Trevon in foster care.”
“You don’t want to tell them that it was Muno who cut you?”
“Who is Muno?” Oscar asked, confused.

END OF DAY NINE

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Your Mountain Is Waiting

I was at a parade for one of the local town's annual celebration.  They do a children's parade earlier in the week, and then the winning floats get to march in the grand parade on Saturday.  One of the winning floats was "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" themed, so I ran over and took some pictures of it before it got away



I feel like it's my personal theme now, or something.  I've almost memorized it, and there's very few lines in the book that don't resonate with me.  Like this one they painted on the side of the house.


You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  I love seeing others who find this book inspirational too.

Cool stuff.  Your mountain is waiting...so, get on your way.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fireflies - Day Eight (Live-Blogging A Story)

Okay, the USA lost versus Germany, but we still made it through to the next round.  So, I guess that's both bad and good.  Oh well, now that that's passed, I could take a minute or two and get some writing in.  So, here's day eight.  I wrote 639 words, to bring my total on the story to 8,337.  And here they are:


He laid him down in the crib in his room--he’d given up the bassinet a little while ago.  Then he and Simi sat down together to watch some TV.  
There were times that Oscar felt a little dismayed at his new domesticated routine.  They never used to spend evening after evening watching TV.  But now with a little baby around, more often than not that’s what they did.  A year ago, Oscar couldn’t have come up with the names of any of the shows presently on television.  He could have recommended several good restaurants in each part of the city, he could have said which nightclubs had the best scene, he could have related which beaches were the best to sit in front of a campfire at night in a sweatshirt on, but TV he knew nothing about.  Now, he had several shows that he watched weekly.  From the violent, dirty ones on HBO to the cute, romantic comedy ones Simi preferred, and the gritty cop procedurals that were everywhere, he followed them all.  
It was a different life than the one he’d lived, but he still loved it.  Sitting on the couch with Simi snuggled in beside him, head resting on his shoulder was a good place to be.  On occasion, he could even persuade her to get frisky with him on the family room floor.  Not tonight, of course, since they’d already took advantage of Trevon’s Yo Gabba Gabba distraction.  Tonight was an episode of Castle with a glass of wine or two.  A quiet evening.
Only it turned out to be anything but.

V

About forty minutes into the TV show, just as the wine had softened their senses to make them less than on top of it, they heard a crash from upstairs.
“What was that?” Oscar asked.  He wasn’t a big fan of wine, so he’d only drank one glass to Simi’s two.
“Hunh” she muttered.  He realized that she had fallen asleep on his shoulder, and had probably been that way for at least ten minutes.
“There was a crash from upstairs,” he said, “You didn’t hear it?”
“I think I was asleep,” she responded.  Then there was another, louder crash.  “I heard that though,” she said, worry in her eyes.
Oscar extracted himself from under Simi’s draping body, and hustled up the stairs.  Another bang sounded before he reached the top.  It was coming from Trevon’s room.
When he opened the door, he was confronted with a ten foot tall monstrosity.  It looked like a giant orange cucumber with arms and legs...and spines.  The spines jutted from dozens of places on its body, arms, and legs.  They looked dangerously sharp from where Oscar stood, mouth agape, in the doorway.  The thing had one large eye on its head, but appeared to have no other facial features.  
It was thrashing around in the room as if it could see nothing out of its single eye.  Trevon’s baby books, toys, and diaper supplies were littered on the ground, along with the remains of the shelf that some of them had been resting on.  As Oscar watched, dumbfounded, the creature banged a hand on the wall--although it didn’t actually have hands, its armed just sort of rounded off at the end--knocking a picture frame down.
Simi screamed, loud and frightened.  She’d just made it to the top of the stairs behind him.  The creature didn’t even look toward them.  Apparently, it had no ears as well.
The initial shock worn off, or screamed out, she now decided that it was important to be quiet, so she whispered in his ear, “what is that?  What do we do?”
“It’s in there with Trevon, and it’s tearing his room apart.  We have to get him out of there before it hurts him.”

END OF DAY EIGHT

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fireflies - Day Seven (Live-Blogging A Story)

Sorry for the delay, everybody.  I was out of town for a little while last week.  I was going to forewarn you about the pending lack of updates on the story, but I've heard it's not a good idea to put an ad onto the internet about how your home will be empty and available to burglarize before you leave on vacation.  So, I kept it to myself, and am telling you now that the danger that someone might look up Anklevich in the phone book to find my address and swoop in to remove all my valuables has passed.

Now, my in-laws are in town, so I gotta entertain them, and pretend to be a dutiful son-in-law.  Also, there's that damn World Cup.  It keep sucking me in.  And the games are happening right at the best time for me to write.  So, lots of excuses, but I'm not giving up. I'm still doing my best to write.

We're back for day seven of this adventure.  Today, I wrote 1,363 words.  Putting me at 7,694 in total.

Oh, I had one thing that I wanted to ask.  Regardless of whether you have anything to say or not, if you are reading the story, will you please comment.  You don't have to say anything about the story, or anything.  Just say hi.  I'm just curious what the reach on it might be.  Some people comment about it here or there on Facebook and the like.  But I'd like to see if we can nail it down.  Anyway, here's today's chunk o' writin':


IV


Trevon grew and progressed at a rapid pace, as babies tend to do.  He learned so much so fast that it always amazed Oscar.  He started rolling more competently.  Front to back, and then back to front.  Then he started rolling to get himself around.  If Simi left his rattle out of his reach, he would roll himself around until he could reach it.  Then he started doing it just for the sheer joy of moving and being in charge of where he was going.  Oscar would lay Trevon on a blanket in the family room, go to the kitchen to make a sandwich, and find him halfway across the room when he got back.

Rolling, progressed to crawling, which was big trouble.  Thirty-five years of freedom to do what he wanted, when he wanted to do it were suddenly over.  Now, Simi and Oscar could never rely on knowing where the baby was.  Going to the kitchen to make a sandwich while watching the 49ers play required that Oscar bring Trevon along with him slung under one arm.  If he didn’t, he returned to an empty room, and had to spend a while searching the house for the fugitive baby, hoping that he hadn’t ended up in mischief or bodily harm.  

And he ended up in mischief an awful lot.  He pulled plugs from the wall.  He pulled throw blankets down where Simi had artfully draped them over arms of easy chairs.  He even pulled one set of curtains hard enough to yank the rod out of the wall it was attached to.
Worst was when he managed to pull a bookshelf down on his head when Oscar went to the bathroom without bringing him along.  Not only did all the thick best-seller hardbacks tumble onto his poor little head, so did a heavy bookend statue of a knight.  The knight was holding a lance, and the tip of that lance sliced its way down the back of Trevon’s forehead leaving an alarmingly bloody gash.  Oscar and Simi spent a long Saturday afternoon at the emergency room only to find that the wound wasn’t worthy of stitches.  A nurse applied large Band-aid, just like the ones in a box in their first aid kit at home, to Trevon’s head, and sent them home with an admonition to child-proof their home now that they were no longer childless thirty-somethings that could count on everyone in their home acting and thinking like an adult.
Oscar took the warning to heart, and bought a hundred dollars worth of child-proofing supplies from the local Ace hardware store.  He stopped up unused plugs, moved furniture to cover cords or hid them inside cord keepers, secured furniture to walls, he installed a big glass grill around the fireplace, screwed the bookshelves in and removed all the heavy bookends.  He breathed a sigh of relief after he was done, but was a realist enough to understand that Trevon would surely find the chink in his armor, the one thing he hadn’t thought of, and exploit that.  Because that’s how kids are, at least as far as he remembered.
He wanted the best of everything for Trevon.  Despite his child-proofing efforts, he didn’t want Trevon living in a sterile, soft-sided environment.  He wanted him to play in the dirt, catch bugs, and climb trees like he himself had played when he was a child.  He wanted to keep him away from video games and TV as much as possible, though he knew there was no way to keep him off them one hundred percent.  He got on Simi’s case sometimes, when he came home from work and found Trevon propped up on a bouncy chair or in the playpen watching television.  It was her who had told him that doctors said children shouldn’t be watching TV until age three.  But sometimes a person just needs a break.
Still, he just couldn’t abide some of the crap that was made for kids.  At least Teletubbies had been canceled and disappeared off the airwaves before Trevon saw his first show.  He wouldn’t be part of the generation raised by Tinky-Winky and Po.  But there was still a lot of messed up stuff on TV aimed at kids as young as Trevon still was.
He walked in the door on Thursday, December 12th.  He remembered the date well, because Simi had called his attention to it earlier in the day when she’d texted him saying that it was a special date, the day Trevon first started walking.
He’s walking? Oscar had texted back.
To which she responded, Well, he’s cruising.  That’s what they call it when you walk leaning on the couch and stuff.
That evening, he walked in the door and found Trevon in the playpen in front of the TV watching a show called Yo Gabba Gabba.  He stood transfixed in front of the TV, unable to look away.  Simi saw him there, and said, “Hi, Oscar.”
He didn’t respond.  He couldn’t respond.  He was transfixed.  The sheer awfulness of the television program that was playing for his son had left him completely without words, nearly without thoughts.
“Wha...what the hell is this?” he asked.
“What?” Simi responded, looking around the room to see what had upset him.
“This show?” He said.  “This is the worst thing I have ever seen.”
“Oh come on,” Simi said, “It’s not that bad.  It’s for kids, what do you expect.”
“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” he said again, “Look at Trevon.  Even he thinks it’s stupid.”  Trevon didn’t appear to think anything of the sort.  He was staring raptly at the antics of the creatures on the screen.  “He’s thinking right now that this crap is for little babies, not big boys like him.  This is a fetus show, he’s saying.  This shit is for embryos, man.”
“Very funny,” she said, and wrapped him up in a warm embrace.  “Welcome home, janu.  How was work?”
“Stressful, like yesterday, and the day before...oh, and the day before that, and the--”
“I get it.  I miss you.  You’ve been working too late recently.”
“Sorry, Simi.  It’s been busy.  You’ll be happy about it when you see my paycheck though.”
“Mmmm,” she stroked his chest, “since he’s so into this fetus show, you wanna go in the other room and do what adults do?”
“As long as you don’t mean pay our  taxes, then yes, I’d love to.”
They had to be quick, because Trevon never gave them time alone for long.  Oscar had learned a few tricks to speed things up, and Simi had stopped expecting everything to be ideal since the baby had come along, though, so they managed to satisfy each other before their time ran out.  When they came back in the room, Trevon was into another back-to-back episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, and he was still smiling.
Simi went back to the kitchen to finish up what she had been making for dinner, and Oscar got Trevon out of the play pen and sat him on his lap.  He still watched the show instead of looking at Oscar, but he didn’t mind.  He snuggled him closely, giving him whisker burn with his five o’clock shadow.  
Eventually, the show came to an end, and Simi called them both to the dining room to taste another one of her masterpieces.  Today it was Italian. Today’s creation: Gnocchi Pronto.  Gnocchi with roasted mushrooms, Italian sausage, baby peas, and bacon in a sundried tomato cream sauce.  Simi was one of those people who loved food.  She refused to just whip up some Kraft Mac and Cheese or nuke some chicken nuggets.  Food had to be worth eating for her to put it in her mouth.  She didn’t eat a lot, but she enjoyed every bite to the fullest.  Oscar suspected that she enjoyed making it twice as much as she enjoyed eating it.
Poor Trevon didn’t get any of the gnocchi.  Instead, it was mashed avocados for him.
After dinner, Oscar gave Trevon a bath, read him a book, sang him a nursery rhyme, and rocked him to sleep.

END OF DAY SEVEN

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fireflies - Day Six (Live-Blogging A Story)



I took the weekend off, Sunday was Father's Day after all, and Saturday was...I don't know, a day off.  Sue me.  Anyway, I'm back.  Rish made me promise on air that I would write tonight when I got home, so here it is.  1,058 words.  Not bad for a last minute thing, I'd say. 6,300 altogether.


III


Oscar had missed it, but it was okay, because there was a command performance that night.  An encore just for him.  

He and Simi were deep asleep.  Oscar was dreaming that he was eating a bowl of ice cream, only he was also riding a rollercoaster.  It was a stressful dream. He was so worried that he would lose hold of his bowl of ice cream, and it splatter Ben & Jerry’s all over the people in the cars behind him, not to mention possibly braining somebody waiting in line below when the bowl came down to earth.  On top of that, the speed of the rollercoaster was causing the ice cream to melt faster.  Maybe it was the friction or something, Oscar didn’t know, he wasn’t a physicist or anything.  He just knew it was melting, and the longer it took him to wolf down that ice cream, the more soupy drops went flying back onto the people behind him.  

They were starting to complain, some of them vociferously, with F-words and racial epithets.  They were poking him.  Not just from behind, but from all sides.  Even Simi, who was sitting in the seat next to him, with Trevon on her lap, was jabbing at him.  Trevon was on her lap?  Oh my God!
“Hold on tight to him!” he yelled to her, but he was sure she couldn’t hear him over the roaring wind.  She kept poking at him, only securing Trevon with a single hand.  And he had been worried about what might happen if he dropped his ice cream!  The poking grew increasingly annoying, but the terror he felt for Trevon’s safety made it seem insignificant.  Up ahead, he could see that the rollercoaster was headed for a corkscrew section.  There was no way Simi would be able to hold the baby safely through that.  Why had the workers let Simi bring Trevon on the ride on her lap?  And why hadn’t he noticed and said anything?
They hit the corkscrew, and forces jostled Oscar violently from left to right. The ice cream bowl flew from his hands, and the complaints erupted into a frenzy from behind him.  He heard someone scream below him as the bowl smashed into their unprotected head.  The prodding and poking increased.  Then Oscar screamed as Trevon slipped from Simi’s hands and disappeared, howling as the rollercoaster rushed onward without him.
Oscar awoke, gasping.  The dream had been really upsetting, despite the ridiculousness that he instantly recognized upon awakening.  However, the poking and prodding didn’t cease.  That part wasn’t a dream.  That was coming from the throng of shapes drifting lazily through the air in the room.  With the lights out, he couldn’t see them well, but he quickly guessed that they must be the same things that Simi had described to him over the phone that afternoon.  He jumped from the bed, jostling several of the shapes from their flight pattern, and snapped on the light.
Probably one hundred shapes in every shade of the spectrum clogged the airspace of his bedroom.  And, as Simi had told him earlier, they were solid, not made of insubstantial beams or balls of light.  He walked to Simi’s side, feeling as though he were walking through one of those ball pits at a McDonald’s Playplace, only in zero G.  
He knelt by her side, but he couldn’t decide if he should wake her up.  She’d already seen this, and waking her would probably only succeed in stressing her more.  He could see just from the set of her forehead that she wasn’t sleeping peacefully.  Perhaps she was in the midst of a similar dream to his.  And the shapes seemed harmless, just like the rainbows and the fireflies.  They were all soft-sided, rounded things.  Like a bunch of waterballoons jiggling about in the air.
“Ouch, except that one,” he muttered aloud, and turned to see one that had a corner on it.  It was harder that the others too.  This felt more like a hard plastic or metal edge than a jiggly water balloon.  He looked closer at the other shapes around the room, and noticed several more of the hard-sided ones.  Maybe he should wake Simi after all.  If nothing more than to make her mobile enough to avoid the pokey ones if needed.
“Simi,” he whispered, nudging her shoulder and shaking her softly.
Her response was proof that Newton’s law did not apply to her.  Instead of slowly quietly opening her eyes, she sat bolt upright and cried out.  She was instantly shaking and breathing heavily.  She grabbed at Oscar, getting a handful of his hair.  Oscar’s hand snapped up, grabbing her wrist, and keeping her from ripping the hank of hair out at its roots.
“Woah, woah, niña!” He said, “Wake up.  It’s me!”
Her eyes widened, and she relaxed back against the headboard.  “What’s going on, Oscar?  Is it morning?”
“No, look!” He said, and waved his arms toward the shapes.
But they were gone.  In the time that it took to wake Simi, they had vanished.
“Oh, crap.  They were here.  I swear.  It was just like you told me about over the phone.  All the shapes, the colored shapes.”
Simi wasn’t very with it yet, but she did her best to follow along, “You saw them?  They were back?”
“Yeah.  I thought I’d better wake you up, because there were some that were sharp...or pokey, anyway.”
There was a rustling from the bassinet beside them.  Trevon wasn’t crying, but he was awake.  Simi’s rude awakening had probably shocked him awake.  The tears were surely soon to follow.
He squawked, and Simi, like a well-trained animal, immediately turned to him, and brought him forth from the bassinet.  He squawked, and Simi freed her left breast and thrust the nipple into his mouth.  She sat back against the headboard again, and closed her eyes, beyond the reach of Oscar’s words.  There was something about breastfeeding that did that, Oscar didn’t really know.  He’d never read those What To Expect books.  It released a hormone or something like that into a woman’s system that calmed them and, often, put them to sleep.  
He knew he’d get nothing more from her this evening, so he went back to bed, even more troubling dreams haunting his sleep.

END OF DAY SIX



Friday, June 13, 2014

Fireflies - Day Five (Live-Blogging A Story)

Didn't really feel like writing today, but I forced myself to do it.  It was one of those days, so I didn't get any time to write until late in the evening.  By that time, I just wanted to relax for a while and then go to bed.  Instead, I slaved over a hot keyboard until I came up with these beautiful words for you.  I hope you appreciate all I do for you.

Anyway, enough of that nonsense.  Here's the words.  1,147 of them.  Pretty good for not wanting to write at all, I suppose.


II


Despite the weirdness, life went on.  In the morning, Oscar had to drag himself out of bed and head off to work, even though he was dog tired after staying up so late the night before due to the fireflies.  He turned the water much colder in the shower than he usually did, and he doubled the size of his morning cup of coffee, and managed to sleepwalk through the day.  A few years ago, he would have just snorted a line, and been right back on his game, but Simi had made him promise to leave that behind, and so far, he managed to stay true to that promise.  Caffeine was now his drug of choice, and he supposed that his heart thanked him for it.  After all, it was a much lower strength stimulant.
Oscar was jealous of Simi the whole day through.  He struggled to work his magic, selling stock, making trades, and earning commissions, while Simi was able to stay home with the baby.  Sure, she’d gone through a whole lot of hell to give birth to Trevon, but she got a nice extended vacation as a reward for it.  He was back at work less than a week later, and wasn’t even allowed any chemical help to get through it anymore.  Without cocaine, he barely felt like a stock broker anymore.
At least he still had a wife of above average beauty to come home to.  Hell, above average didn’t even come close to covering it.  She looked like a Bollywood movie star, and as she greeted him in the hallway when he got home that night, he thanked his lucky stars she chose him over all the other options she’d had placed before her.
“Anything weird happen while I was out?” he asked.
“Trevon rolled over, which is huge!  But I’m getting the feeling that’s not what you were asking about.”
Oscar looked down at Trevon, who was hanging off Simi’s torso in a sling, and took his face in his hands, “You rolled over!” he squealed at Trevon, “ I can’t believe it!  You’re getting so big!”  He looked back up at Simi.  “Is that normal or early or what?  When do babies usually start rolling over?”
Simi had read all the What To Expect books--When You’re Expecting, The First Year, The Second Year--so she was like an encyclopedia of knowledge regarding babies and their development.
“Yeah, it’s normal,” she said, “pretty much right on time.”
“Cool,” Oscar said, “So, nothing weird then?  I guess that’s good.”
“Yeah,” she said, “I guess.”
Then they ate dinner, and watched Breaking Bad for a while.
They didn’t know what to think or say about the fireflies and the rainbows.  They didn’t know what to do when they were occurring, and they had even fewer ideas about what to do in their aftermath.  So, they elected to think, say, and do nothing about them.  They did their best to forget that they had ever seen anything like that at all.  For a few days afterward, Oscar asked Simi the same question at the door when he came home, and the answer was always negative, so soon he no longer asked.  It was probably a silly thing to ask anyway, because if something weird had happened, Oscar would surely have known about it before he got home.  It’s not like she had to send word to him by telegram or something.
The occurrences were far enough apart, that they always lulled them back into a sense of complacency before dashing it to pieces on the rocks.  So, it was a full three weeks later when Simi called Oscar on his cell phone at midday, hissing, “It’s happening again, Oscar.”
He was on the other line with a client, and he had to jump back over, and make excuses and promise to call back, a very big no no in stock broker-land.  He’d probably lose that client for good, but he didn’t give it a second thought.  His wife was home alone with another...event.  He didn’t know what to call it.
“What’s happening, Simi?” He asked, his voice much more panicked than he expected it would be if he were home with her.
“It’s different again,” she replied, “there’s big, colored shapes floating around the room, and they’re solid this time.  That’s how I first noticed them, one of them bumped into me.”
“Do they seem dangerous this time?” Oscar asked.
“I don’t know.  They’re freaking me out a lot more.  I mean, I can touch them.  They can touch me.  But they’re just floating randomly.  They don’t seem to notice me, or, I mean, they don’t seem like they even could notice me.”
“What about, like, are they getting bigger?  What about smothering?  Could they get too big and smother you?”
“They’re not changing at all.  Just floating around.”
“What about, Trevon.  Where’s Trevon?”  So panicky, he thought, not much of a strong shoulder to lean on.  But he was doing his best to deal with this.
“He’s right here.  I put him down for a nap about twenty minutes ago.  He’s sleeping in the bassinet,” she said.
“So, you’re in the bedroom?  Is there anything out in the hall?”
“I don’t know.  Let me see.”  After a short pause, she said, “no, it looks like all the shapes are in the bedroom.  Is that weird?”
“Simi, what about this isn’t weird?”
“Right.”
Oscar could hear through the phone the sound of a siren approaching.
“Did you call the police?” he asked.
“No,” she responded, “I was going to ask you the same thing, which of course would have been really dumb because when could you have done that?”  Another pause, and then, “It’s a firetruck heading down the street.  I don’t know where it’s going, maybe one of our neighbors had a heart attack or something.  Do you think I should call the poli--”
Suddenly, Oscar could hear Trevon’s wailing cry come bursting it way over the telephone line.
“OH!” Simi gasped.
“What?” Oscar demanded, his heart in his throat.
“They’re gone.  The shapes are gone.  I wonder if the noise scared them away or something.  It woke Trevon up too.”
“Yeah,” Oscar said, “I can hear him.”
“Hey there,” he heard her saying in a soft, high-pitched voice, “It’s all right.  It’s all right.”
Oscar sighed deeply.  He felt as though he’d been holding his breath the entire time he’d been on the phone with Simi.  “So, you’re okay?  They’re gone?”
“Yeah,” she said, struggling to be heard over Trevon’s screams.
“Okay,” he said, “then I better get back to work. I think the boss is looking at me.  Better get back to making money.”
“That’s fine.  I can’t really hear you anyway,” Simi said, nearly drowned out completely by the angry baby who’d had his nap cut way too short.


END OF DAY FIVE

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fireflies - Day Four (Live-Blogging A Story)

Okay, everybody, here's some more story.  Today it was 978 words.  It's the rest of the scene that I started a few days ago.  Overall, the story has reached 4,110 words.  I think it'll be nigh on novella length when I finally finish it.  Which will be fun for everyone, because it will make this event last all the longer.  Anyway, here's the new stuff:


    “Should we call the police or something?” Simi asked, still swatting at the growing balls of light.  They had shifted so that not all of them were growing.  Some were shrinking while others grew, but they all remained insubstantial to touch.
    “What would we say?  There’s balls of light in our bedroom, send someone quick!”
    “I don’t know.  We could lie to them to get them out here, and then show it to them when they arrive or something.”
    “I think you get in trouble for doing that, don’t you?  Isn’t it worse to file a false police report than to just be ignored because you sound crazy?” Oscar said.
    “Ooh, I know.”  Simi dashed back to the nightstand, passing through dozens of glowing white globes.  She snatched her iPhone, and brought it up.  Her flash popped as she snapped a picture.  Then she frowned.  “It looks like crap,” she said, “you can’t really tell what it is.  It’s too dark.”
    “Try the video instead.  That always turns out better in low light,” Oscar suggested.
    She swiped her finger on the screen of her phone a few times, and then it beeped as the video began rolling.  She panned slowly across the room, recording the phenomenon.
    “I don’t know why, but expected it not to show up on video,” she said, “It feels so unreal, like I’m recording a bigfoot sighting or something.”
    “Is that what this is then?” Oscar asked, “Is it some kind of paranormal thing, a...a paranormal...event?”  He was sure there was a better term for it, but it wouldn’t come to him.  “Like an alien abduction or a Loch Ness Monster sighting?  It’s not just in our minds, right?  Because we’re recording it with the phone, so it’s real, right?”
    Simi pressed the stop button, and dropped the phone to her side.  “What if we wake up tomorrow and there’s nothing on the video anymore?”
    “Then I guess we’re crazy.  Or aliens or the C.I.A. is fucking with our minds.  I don’t know, Simi.  I’m not as freaked out as I was when I first saw it, but I’m still pretty freaked out.”
    "What do we do?" She asked, "I mean, we've got to do something, right?"
    "I don't know what we can do.  It's not hurting anything, there's nobody we can call, we can't make it go away ourselves...at least I don't think we can.  I assume that it will go away any minute now, like it did last time."
    Oscar's arms dropped to his side, and he stood there breathing heavy and feeling defeated.  Simi came to him, and nestled into his arms.
    "I guess we just sit here and wait it out?  Wait till it goes away, then?"
    "Okay," he said, and sank to the bed with her.  They scooted over so that their backs were against the headboard, and held each other as they regarded the fireflies warily.
    Unlike the rainbows, however, the fireflies didn't go away quickly.  They stubbornly hung around for more than an hour.
    "Will they ever go away?" Oscar wondered.  "If they don't, that will make it a lot easier to convince the scientists that they were here.  We won't really need the Ghostbusters to help us prove they were really if they never go away."
    Oscar grew tired, Simi nodded off then snapped awake more than once.
    "Help me stay awake, Oscar," She said, "I don't trust these things not to turn evil once I fall asleep."
    "How am I going to do that?" He asked.  "What, you want to play a game of Scrabble or something?"
    She sniffed, "No, I think that would have the opposite effect.  I never liked that game much."
    "I could fondle your private parts," he said, reaching a hand up her nightgown and getting a handful of breast.
    "I don't know if I could do that right now, either.  Being creeped out isn't exactly the right mood for it, you know?"  She didn't push his hand away though.  He didn't know if that was because she was distracted or that she was actually entertaining the idea.  He'd meant it as a joke, because he'd never thought she'd even consider it.  It really was an odd time for it.
    "It'd keep us awake for sure, though, wouldn't it?  I mean who can fall asleep when they're doing that?"
    She didn't say anything, but also didn't swat him away.  Nor did she meet his eyes.  Oscar had a weird feeling that this situation was actually exciting her.  Suddenly, he remembered back in college, how they used to watch a lot of horror movies, and then fucked like bunnies afterwards.  He'd never realized it at the time, but just now it occurred to him that she might be one of those girls who got aroused when she was scared.
    He left his one hand on her breast, and pushed his other hand into her panties.  In no time flat she was screaming in the throes of what was probably the biggest orgasm he could remember her having in months, maybe since before she'd gotten pregnant.
    Just as he pulled his sticky hand away, Trevon started screaming.  Her passion had awoken him.
    "Oh no," she said, pulling her panties back in place and jumping off the bed to grab the baby.
    "Hey, hey, Trevvy, it's okay," she said, pulling him from the bassinet and resting him on her still heaving bosom.
    That's when Oscar noticed that the fireflies were gone.  Had they just disappeared, or had it been somewhere in the middle of their sexual escapade.  He thought he would have noticed, but he couldn't say for sure.
    It was the first time that Oscar started to understand where these apparitions were coming from, but things got much worse before he knew for sure.

END OF DAY FOUR

I'm afraid this story is becoming too dirty.  It's not a dirty story, but I guess I have a dirty mind these days, so I keep going there.  And now I'm live-blogging this story, so I can't cut it out before anyone sees it.  Is this story too dirty?  I mean, comparatively speaking, probably not, but it's got dirtiness in it.  Am I just being too much of a worry wart?  Are any of you thinking that you'd rather not continue reading this story?

I'm sorry if I have a pretty low threshold for becoming embarrassed by my own writing.  I'm just afraid.  Ignore this.  You can respond to it later, when I have finished the story.  In medias res comments will probably derail my progress.