Dear Diary (A 100-Word Story)

June 1

Something is wrong.
The earth blooms on June 1, every year.
It has always been so, at least since man stopped aging.
Until today.

June 8

The snow piles higher than I’ve ever seen, in any season.
I’ve spent the last eight days shoveling around the place, but the blizzard refuses to abate.

June 20

I climbed atop a pile of crates stacked in the center of the room.
Shoved my way up the chimney.
There are footprints in the snow.

July 2

I’ve loaded all three shotguns.
I drank the last of the elixir.
Now I wait.
I am ready.
Are they?

Daddy (A Guest Post)

Today’s post is another short story by Tomás. I think this is my favorite piece of his fiction that I’ve ever read. I specifically requested that he allow me to publish this one on the blog. So you better fucking like it! I mean. Wait. I’m posting this on someone else’s behalf, so I should probably be nicer. But I haven’t posted in a while, and I’m grumpy. So I had to throw a “fucking” in here. You know how it is.

The point is. Forget I said anything. Cleanse your brainmeat of my nonsense and read. This story gives me chills. Does it give you chills, too?

~

DADDY
by: Tomás

The Brook trout clutched in his hands offered one last twitch. It was dead. Blood oozed out of each gill and dribbled over white knuckles like warm chocolate syrup. Eyes bulged slightly as Joey gently squeezed. Nobody was around, but Joey spoke anyway, it kept him company.

“You sure are neat. You feel all cold and warm and slimy-dry all at once!”

The pines began to sway.

“You keep me safe till Mommy comes back,” he said. “I hope she’s not mad about you, Daddy.”

Daddy didn’t answer, only floated silently.

An afternoon drizzle began to coat the land in grey. Joey cocked his head.

“Sounds like bacon cookin.”

Joey’s gaze followed a bobbing trail of polished sticks and grass out across the ripples of the lake. A walkway to the island.

“Do ya’ think Daddy’ll get to that island?” Joey asked his prize, holding it up to his face. “It’s so far…must be a zillion miles out there.”

The frying in the water grew louder.

The pulsing in his arms began to nag. Joey looked down. The marks looked like those funny bushes on the shore, red and brown and green. He didn’t like those colors. Ms. Hill always told him he couldn’t see colors well anyway. Joey hated that. He hated her.

“Doesn’t matter,” he said. He knew colors, Daddy told him what they were. Daddy used to tell him everything.

“Where are the birds at Daddy? Why aren’t they singing?”

Daddy didn’t answer, just bobbed along the path.

The circular cliffs around the lake started singing. Joey remembered whistling with his toys in the bathtub. “This isn’t a tub,” he said. “It’s a crater. That’s what Daddy called it, Crater Lake.  Crater Tub.” Joey saw the high cliffs turn into white ceramic tub-stuff. The water didn’t quite go to the top, only half way. That’s good. He would’ve got in trouble for wasting bath water. “Too much is a waste,” Daddy always said.

Joey laughed as he jumped out of the lawn chair and started down the path near the lake.  Winding through giant pines, Joey felt like he was in a crowd at Daddy’s work, all legs, no faces. Everyone just too tall to care.

“We better hurry and get inside,” he said to his little friend, “Mommy’ll spank us if we get too wet.”

And Then There Were Flowers

Last week sucked. I mean it sucked so hard, it choked on King Kong’s dong. Believe it or not, this week is a fuckton worse. But this is about last week, not this week’s special brand of misery.

But you know what? I’m finally starting to see that maybe, just maybe, it’s worth it for me to fight through it. It’s worth it for me to not lose sight of my goals and hopes and dreams. Because I deserve happiness, too. (What the fuck did I just say? For real? Yeah, you miserable bitch, take that! We’re not gonna be miserable forever! So fuck you!)

Ahem. And there have been a few very specific people who have been helped me through some of my most recent darkest hours. I don’t want to call out names, in case it would make you uncomfortable. But every fucking one of you know who you are. The emails. The voice recordings. The phone calls. The silly memes. The comforting. The commiseration. And I love y’all for it, I do. Not the I wanna sex you up kinda love (well maybe one of you – maybe). But there are other kinds of love, and I’m feeling this wonderful familial vibe from so many of you. It’s taken me by storm. And you all overwhelm me with your goodness.

And then there were flowers.

Last Friday, my name was called over the intercom at work. “Stephanie Llaneous, please report to the front desk. Stephanie, please report to the front desk.” Whatever. I figured it was time to pony up another buck for the office powerball pool. When I finally get down there, I round the corner and the women up there are grinning at me. There was a bouquet of flowers up there, and they were for me!

I was befuddled. I mean, who would send me flowers? So I looked at the card, and here’s what it reads:

For a Very Special Friend. Have a Good Day.

The fuck?

I don’t have any Very Special Friends. I mean, not outside of the blogosphere. And even if you know where I work, that isn’t enough. I work in a very specific building, so it had to be someone who knew that. And no one in bloggyville does.

So the mystery begins.

The people I share an office with were lovin’ it. And dying to know, right along with me. So then the questions started: are you seeing anyone we don’t know about? Does someone in the office have a crush on you? Duh. Creepy Carl and Panel Van Paco. But neither of them would buy flowers. They’d just chloroform me and stuff me in their trunks. What about outside the office? Crushes who know where you work? Look, people. No one crushes on The Stephanie, capiche?

The only person I could think of would be my ex who, no matter how many years go by, still wants me back. (It’s a difficult story, y’all, and one I’m not ready to talk about here.) So anyway, I call him up.

It wasn’t me. I wish it was, so you’d know you’re never far from my mind. But it wasn’t me.

Then it was like, “Oh my god, Stephanie! What if it’s a woman?!” So then I actually started getting ideas.

First, there is a woman who works in the room with me, and she’s so sweet and fun and motherly. And she knows a little of the fact that I’ve had a very difficult time of late. No details, just generally speaking. Plus she’s witnessed most of the work bullying and has my back big time. So I asked her, point blank.

Nice Lady, did you send these flowers to me?

No way! I wish I had, but they sure are gorgeous! I promise I’d tell you, but it wasn’t me!

Then it hit me. And my sneaking suspicion turned out to be true. It was a woman, someone I’ve had lots of official dealings with during my time at this company. She sends Christmas cards, Halloween buckets filled to the brim with premium candy, King Cakes, etc. For the whole office throughout the year. And when I moved departments, she would make sure that I’d be included by sending me a separate little card or gift. She always missed me when I moved departments, and I missed working with her. She was a bright spot in my days when I’d work with her or talk with her (but oh my god can that woman drone on and on!).

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had to clean up messes made by some others (not to imply I don’t make my own now and then), so I’ve been working closely with her again. (She’s outside the company, by the way.)

Later that day, last Friday, she sends me an email to thank me for the most recent thing I had prepared for her. And then she asked…”So, any surprises today?” And my suspicion was confirmed. I was in the middle of doing something else for her, and she wanted to make it clear it had nothing to do with the personal pet project she needed help with. But it was to let me know that I’m much appreciated and how much she appreciates my efficiency, kindness, attitude, and on and on. And then she said,

Also, I just had this nagging feeling that you could use a pick-me-up.

Every time something like this happens, I become more and more convinced of the interconnection of spirits and souls or what have you. I know there’s a word for it, but I can’t word right now. (Fuck you, brainhole.)

And then she offered me a job. Which is straight up poaching, because my current supervisor is the one she works directly with here! I’d take it in an instant, but my choices were between two cities I have no interest in residing in. However, their company does have a big location in the Pacific Northwest. So she could totally be an in for me. I’m gearing up to ask her for a reference. But this all requires a separate post.

Anyway.

Thank you, Awesome Flower Woman. Thank you, Kickass Blogger Buddies. Thank you Synchronicity (ohmygod I found the word! I worded!). Thank you Snuffleupagus.

~

This post brought to you by:

Flowers, because they sure do brighten a day.
The Letter S for Synchronicity. And Snuffleupagus, because he was the bestest.
And Fire, for Fires in the Belly and those who put them there.