all that is beyond

all that is beyond
inspired by twitter prompt: #vss365

The silver dollar danced up and down the stranger’s fingers, tumbled from his knuckles in a brilliant flurry of bright flashes, cutting light and sticky curses.

Max was suddenly sober for the first time in twenty-three months. More even, the feeling of sleepwalking fell off of him as soon as that silver light pierced his eyes.

The presence of the coin dragged him into this bar and slammed him into that seat near the stranger. It put him back into his place. Fifty-four years old, profusely sweating, diabetic, a man without a home or family or a penny to his name – that was his place, the only one he merited. It brought back the insecurity, the impotence, the numbness in his hands and feet, the inadequacy, the being alone. There was tingling in his crotch. He saw the stains on his pants for the first time.
Finally, the coin snapped him into the present heartbeat, like a bungee cord attached to his bum ticker.

Continue reading “all that is beyond”

ONCE UPON A TIME… prompts

These brilliant starters are the work of my favorite electric sheep. Go take look what he is up to. 

  1. a suitcase full of unmarked, non-consecutive bills was under your bed. Shame, it was all Reichsmark and Notgeld, that have been scribbled on with a red sharpie by a preschooler.
  2. … you lived in a womb. Also, you lived in a time pocket and a dimension bubble. And as you‘ve grown, you emerged from all those protections to meet reality head-on.
  3. … humans were fish. There was no other possible explanation. Some were really hard to pin on their promises, some still had gills, slimy skin, scales, and fins.
  4. everyone joined in whether they liked it or not. Yeah, the daily dancing sessions had been tedious, but since the government turned them into mandatory broadway musical performances, it was unbearable.
  5. … most of the people in your life were aliens. Well, if that’s how you gonna put it, sure. But I’ve always preferred the realistic interpretation. Look into the mirror. There was your alien, or more precisely: your humanoid whatever.
  6. … there was only one way this was going to end. “I know… But are gonna do with the goat, the guitar, and the antique jade hairpin?”
  7. … you know that thing you’re most afraid of? Well, it’s right behind you. My mother isn‘t that sneaky anymore. I heard her.
  8. … formaldehyde tasted great in soup. The cookbook was very specific about the use of neurotoxins. Actually, it tasted like death. But in this line of work, there always was strychnine. It got to you faster than the formaldehyde.
  9. … all the left-handed people were lined up and shot. “My my, this year, they’re making a fuss about that flu-shot.”
  10. … at four in the morning on a Tuesday, three strangers sat half-dressed in room 23 in a motel off Highway 10. They pulled on their clothes and left without saying a word. The fourth player never showed up. Well, so much for the First Annual Time-travel-Strip-Poker Event / Competition. After the rating dropped into oblivion, all expenses were recompensated by the Intergalactic Gambling Society.
  11. … a red light was ignored but a head-on was not. So the police got their new protective gear and the order to stand on every busy intersection, to jump every red-light violator.
  12. … no one saw it coming. It counted on that.
  13.  Arnold chased a cat up the stairs, through the attic, onto and off of the roof. That was when he realized two things. Firstly, the cat could fly. Bugger. Secondly, it had a foul mouth as it meowed profanities at him, while he plunged to the ground.
  14.  two stick people went to find water. They walked out of the desert, across plains and hills and plateaus and mountains until, finally, they reached the coast. ‘This used to be all water,’ said one to the other and they set out onto the salt flats. They walked for days and nights. They walked until only one of them breathed. He looked at the full moon. ‘This used to be easier,’ he sighed and took a sip from the bloody flask.
  15. … two sisters took their elderly mother to the mall and left her in a changing room. Nobody took notice of the two identical looking women taking a dusty, handpainted mannequin in outdated clothes into the changing room. Only a cough betrayed the elderly woman walking out in the same clothes, the dummy had.
  16. … the leader of the iguanodons came to Jackie in a dream and implored her to seize control and help the animals escape. When she awoke, Jackie jumped to the window, grabbed the bars and tried to pull them apart. Jackie’s caretaker wondered what was wrong. “What’s gotten into you so suddenly?” He gave her grapes and some bananas to calm her. That usually did the trick for the chimp, but not today.
  17. … your phone watched you while you were sleeping. “It’s the REM-timed buzzer app, Ben. The children are already scared with your deep web horror stories.” I poked the campfire. “What happened to the good old-fashioned demon and possession stories to go with the roasted marshmallows?”
  18. … everybody in the elevator looked at Janet who smiled, turned red and said, ‘Sorry about that.’ “It’s just a hiccup.” She said, but people kept staring at the orbs darting from her head in every direction. “Please ignore it.” Casually, she windmilled with her free hand around her hair, and the orbs sizzled out.