In sixth-grade pre-algebra, I blushed when Bobby Blackwell explained how 1 + 1 = 3. Now I see his twitchy grin everywhere…like on the stranger who forced his way inside me…or the one I’m waiting on to do the subtraction.
The fireflies were fairies.
The mermaids ruled the bath.
Tea time was with the teddies.
Her voice tinkled when she laughed.
But now the room is silent.
She never stops to pour the tea.
Her imagination stolen,
by time, the master thief.
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I missed all the signs: apathy, coldness, secrecy, guilt. I shut my eyes tight, pretending it wasn’t true, clinging to us like a fool.
When I finally let go, I didn’t need a sign anymore.
But I did have one for you.
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“Lousy, good-for-nothing scarecrow. Blasted crows peckin’ every damn tomato the frost didn’t nab.”
“Ain’t no point in fussin’ if you cain’t do nothin’ ‘bout it.”
“Betcha I can scare ‘em off.”
“I’ll make that there scarecrow look more like you.”
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Gargleblaster #160: Answer the question “Why do birds suddenly appear?” in exactly 42 words.
I’m late! I’m late! Her insides screamed,
as she kissed white rabbits hoping for white knights.
But the glass slipper never fit;
fairy godmother never appeared.
So she walks the plank toward midnight,
a punctual crocodile waiting beneath.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
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Gargleblaster #159: Answer the question “Have all your clocks stopped?” in exactly 42 words.
As the LCD ticked away the time she had left, Joseph took her speckled hand in his.
“You’ve fought a good fight, old friend,” he choked. “But don’t you stay for me.”
“You never did before . . . And now it’s much too late.”
Gargleblaster #158: Answer the question “Tell me something, old friend: Why are you fighting?” in exactly 42 words.
“Do you see her much?” she pecked, returning with tea. “Or is she more like a pretend girlfriend?”
“Yes, mother, I see her,” he responded, teeth clenched.
Every night, he thought. But it was complicated now with the restraining order in place.
Gargleblaster #157: Answer the question “Do you see her much?” in exactly 42 words.
Fresh blood spilled on the ground,
eyes darting all around.
but bodies froze,
as ears rang from the sound.
With tensions running high,
none knowing truth from lie.
The smoking gun—
held by each one—
whispered in the air, “Goodbye.”
Photo credit: Neon Noir Smoking Gun Art Print by Etheloos on Etsy
Gargleblaster #156: Answer the question “Who dunnit?” in exactly 42 words.