Punk Poetry/Music/Food/Fashion/Travels with Maria

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paradise of Fools

Jon puts the peels from his tangerine in my pocket. That day he’d just come from delivering a colt.  We met each other by a dried-out riverbed and walked it until we found water. Three months pregnant, I felt safe from his charms.

We stare at a lone water lily, and he put his arms around me from behind like he did when we were eighteen and stood at the end of Huntington Pier. I lean into him and feel the same stupid lust. I think, “I should be impervious.” I am thirty and pregnant.

I cannot look him in the eye. I talk about why I’m in California, the Milton conference, the paper about Eve and the serpent. How the serpent licked Eve’s shadow and how she fell for his flattery. How Adam’s uxoriousness deserved punishment from the god’s or god as the case may be.

I am married, I am pregnant, but I am not happy. I know this, but what I lack in marital bliss is compensated by blind loyalty to an ideal. Jon moves boulders that have been dormant for years.  Stuff happens. I fall, but I do not leave my husband for another 5 years. And I end all contact with Jon, even though I’m pretty sure I loved him for a long time.
That day, hours after he left, I reach in my pocket and find the peels like slivers of light shed from a too-bright star.

Photo Credit: Stewart Ferebee, "Girl with Horse"


  1. It has always been at my house. My place I called home for so long. At times I would dread you as if you were the infected with a plague. Then other times you would be Christmas morning there to greet me with warmth and sunshine. Your routine was like old faithful at Yellowstone. Not the biggest one, not the most fancy a modest thing you were. Always humble telling me you were the one for me. At times when a storm would approach you would be scared and hide as if to say take me in. Then the next morning before school I would tell you its ok, put you back in your place and expect you afterschool when I come home. I knew you always had something to say to me either a good deal you came across or the latest gossip at the time. You were solid, tough as nails but with every passing season, year, decade you stood strong and resisted temptation. You were darkness on the outside but hallow inside. You are what everyone has, but to me you were a part of my home I lost. My mail box always there even when I was not.

  2. Gabby Hutchinson
    Eng 22

    People I have hurt

    As I look through my life at all the people I have hurt it seems that the list is as long as the list of the people I know because in all truth I have hurt everyone I know in some way
    That is the risk of knowing someone and truly getting to know them on a deep level
    The problem is we place people on such a high pedestal
    And when they fall it seems to be a much higher fall
    So the question is then, do you take the risk or play it safe and never reach your full potential?

  3. Jeannette Copas
    Eng 22
    2nd prose poem
    Music Box
    To some it may just appear to be an ordinary wooden box. To others it may serve as a simple form of entertainment. To my Grandmother it was a place to store her trinkets. It is brown with a cute picture on the front of a young girl pushing her dog in a stroller. It is smooth like a freshly waxed car. When you open the box a melodious sound fills the air, the song of rock a bye baby plays. The inside is filled with red velvet, that feels like a newborn's blanket that the Mom choose carefully due to it's softness. This music box was given to me, by my grandmother, and I will pass this on to my grandchildren. Hopefully this will stay in my family forever!

  4. Arjan Guevarra

    Past is Past

    The bond we had was so unforgettable that it can not be copied, multiplied, or duplicated. the many times we spent together is what ill always treasure for you brought me up when i was down, you told me the right words to sooth my pain, and you were by my side when i had the flu. but i must step back into reality knowing that, that was the past, the past that we'll never see in the future even if we tried.

  5. Mike Ongy
    Eng 22

    Bad Romance

    Lady Gaga couldn't have said it any better, You and I have started a "Bad romance." From those lovely round brown eyes to your soft spoken melody, that gently plays in my ears as people would call, your voice. I know I shouldn't be having these strong burning feelings towards such beauty and grace as yours but I couldn't stop myself like running through a red light blinded by the sunshine but instead of the sunshine, all I see is you. United we stand, divided we fall, and that's what we did, fell into a deep abyss that you and I can't crawl out of; so romance is what we shared but the ending result was bad, put it together and we get a bad romance.

  6. Jonathan Fordham
    Eng 22

    Move On

    Every one is finally together at the same time under the same roof
    It should be a time to celebrate
    But the stress from the struggles that we go through each day has managed to surface and rear its ugly face its gets completely in the way and brings the worst out of everyone its looking like this friendly get together was a waste
    All of those little finger sandwiches are still on the plate I showed up on time I should have shown up late
    So it seemed like a mistake things would have been great in the past
    I guess some things should Jus stay in the past

  7. Maria Hernandez
    English 22


    June, time for graduations
    Family from all around touch down
    To celebrate the younger generations achievements
    Camera’s ready.
    Ready to capture moments in time
    Smiles, laughter, and cries of joy
    Family stronger when joined as one
    A bond to never be broken
    From the elders to the babies
    Fa’atuai bloodline running through our veins
    Joyful, joyful is what describes my mood
    When we have a family reunion.

  8. Andrei Juezan
    prose #4

    Mad World

    to be or not to be the man she wanted me to be, but partly because she believes my destination
    going nowhere.
    living in a mad world don't go there suffocated breathing nothing because our troubles give us no air.
    but alas from the project buildings drugs and killings nights out portraying villains to get what he wants he commits sins to win
    in this life with a ying to a yang a darkness to a light that influences the mind between what is wrong and what is right.
    the boy grew to become a man the man she wanted him to be no longer frightened because after she lost her life to his sins he became enlightened.

  9. Amanda Batista
    Eng 31

    **Social Bandaids**

    Nighttime. In the bathroom. William Gaskell stared at his reflection. His steel blue eyes were rusted by the memories of a coffin descending--wet soil still alive in his ruddy nose and the well wishes of virtual strangers as worms squirming in his ears. He swallowed and watched his adam’s apple bob. Behind him, the refrigerator hummed, sending its drone into a house whose history was packed in boxes and hidden beneath white sheets.

    Wrapped around the twenty-one-year-old’s chest was a stretchy, skin-colored wrap, usually used for knee injuries. He had worn it every day since he turned thirteen--and it was like a chain that held him down. William quit the swim team because of it. It had broken his mother’s heart.

    The cancer did the rest.

    With delicate hands, he reached up and began to pull the wraps away.

    He thought about his childhood friend, Josh, and how the two had drifted apart in the last two years. He thought about his old swim coach, Mr. Hertz, and how poor a goodbye it was to just shake the man’s hand. He thought about Michelle, and how understanding she had been through all of his doctor visits. The treatments. The mood swings. He bit back a sob as his last phone call to her echoed in his head.

    “...I...I’m not...Will, I don’t get this, I don’t get why you have to DO this!”

    “Shelly, please--“

    “No, no! This isn’t fair! This isn’t--“ She can’t finish. All he hears is her crying.

    “Baby, I’m sorry...”

    The wraps fell away.

    William stared at the ceiling, not ready to look at his reflection. He reached his hands up to tangle in his spiky blonde hair, and the tears streaked past his temples.

    Bills. Bills. Bills. No money, no way of getting it on his own...but he never should have asked the loan shark for help. Ever. With his mother dead, and his dreams of a career in medicine dead, William decided he needed to run, lest he wind up...

    The man slowly tilted his head back down and looked into the mirror. Lifting a hand, he trailed his hand down between the valley of his breasts. All his life, he had been told he was a fish out of water. Now he’d make that a reality. William Gaskell did not leave that bathroom that night.

    Instead, Susie Swordfish emerged.

  10. Dry Land and Wet Dreams

    When Derek Landshow came to, he felt his stomach pressing against his spinal cord, which worried him a great deal. He kept asking himself over and over again, “How am I going to get food to eat?” He was a very smart guy, but in this situation, he was like an infant without a mother. Briskly walking on this strange new island, Derek began traveling towards some coconut trees, but suddenly became furious because he fell into a hole 9 feet tall. “Ahh FUCK, this is not the time for this SHIT!,” he yells out with a disoriented facial expression. Contemplating on what he should do to get out of this predicament; he started snapping fingers, basically anything to activate his mind to formulate an idea. Exhausted and weak, Derek is finally rear-ended by the fatigue of his own body (he passes out for hours).

    The light bulb finally came on (bing). He was going to use a shovel shaped stone, to dig out enough dirt from one side of the hole, in order to make a walking slide up to the top. This was easier said than done. He was definitely cautious about where he dug, and after fifteen hours of digging he finally made some breakthrough. He realized that he did not have to keep piling dirt all the way to the surface, but instead he could just pull himself the rest of the way to the surface, using his upper body strength.

    (Note to class: This is the flash fiction version, but I posted the whole story on “How to write a story.”)

  11. Jeremy I. Provost
    March 2, 2010
    Eng. 22

    My Ride to Cambria….

    We determined that we are ready. My ride smooth and sleek ready to cut through the wind like an arrow. The rubber, thin but firm enough to negotiate the cracks and hug the road’s curves like 2 new lovers. The is shining through the fog cutting through it like a knife to reveal the blue sky, so crisp and pure a reflection of the ocean below just below. I bring my foot up to reveal the cleat that will bind me to my ride. Creating a bond between man and machine that will endure the steep climbs and speedy descents to come. A sharp barrage of “clicks” becomes an unspoken signal to begin our journey together. The cyclists pull onto the road forming a small group, a Pella ton. My ride to Cambria….

    My Ride to Cambria….

    My ride is smooth and sleek, ready to cut through the wind like an arrow. The rubber, thin but firm enough to negotiate the cracks and hug the road’s curves like 2 new lovers holding and longing for each other. The sun is shining through the fog, cutting through it like a knife to reveal the blue sky, so crisp and pure, its evil twin, the ocean, kicking below showing the teeth like white caps. I bring my foot up to reveal the cleat that will bind me to my ride. Creating a bond between man and machine that will endure the steep climbs and speedy descents to come. A sharp barrage of “clicks” becomes an unspoken signal to begin our journey together. The cyclists pull onto the road forming a small group, a Pella ton. My ride to Cambria….

  12. Matthew Castillo
    English 22
    March 3, 2010

    The Times He Let Love Down

    The time we smoked in my car. Parked in the driveway. Foggy windows and warm sticky air. He said he had to leave early, but I saw who the text message was from.
    The time I sang him a song. I song that I wrote myself. He said that he liked it. That it reminded him of a girl.
    And then there was the time I made him a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. He ate the whole thing, and not a word. Not a thanks. Not even a nod.
    Everytime I tried to say it-- with a bowl, with a song, or with a sandwich-- he always let me down.

  13. Matthew Castillo
    English 22
    March 3, 2010


    He Let Love Down

    We smoked in the car that sat in my driveway. The air was thick, warm and sticky. A faint buzz, a couple of clicks and he had to go. It must have been an important text message.
    I sang him a song (a song that I wrote myself). He said that he liked it. He said it was nice, and that it reminded him of some girl.
    I made him a sandwich: grilled cheese with no crust. I know how much he loves them. He ate the whole thing without saying a word. Not a thanks. Not even a nod.
    I tried to say it in so many ways-- with a bowl, with a song, with a sandwich-- but he always let me down.

  14. Falling Through Barbwire
    first edition and rewrite
    I run my hand along the rusty barbed wire fence pausing long enough to lift my hand and skip the pain of gripping barbs. I turn my hand over and examine the rusty stains that have accumulated in the creases of my fingers. I prepare my self to enter the neon green world of animals so large they cause butterflies and bees to come alive inside my ribcage. Straining against the tightly pulled wire I lift and push and fit my body between the strands of rust with pain held tight to strengthen it. My leg lifts unnaturally high above my head, my back arches low but not enough. I catch a barb and tumble into the home of daunting monsters who sniff me with their curious eyes as I start their motors of flight.

    I'm running my hands along the rusty barbed wire fence, I pause long enough to lift and skip the pain of gripping barbs. There are rusty stains left in the creases of my fingers. I place a well worn boot on the lower wire and push it down as far as it can stretch, then bowing low and lifting with both hands the wire above my head - I pause - to measure my fit. Head first, then arching my back, prepare the rest of me to enter into the neon green world of animals so large they cause butterflies and bees to come alive inside my ribcage. The first leg through lifts unnaturally high above my head and my body tucks lower to the ground - its not enough - a barb catches my shirt and I tumble half caught - then torn - into the muddy green sea of daunting monsters who sniff me with their curious eyes and start their motors of flight. One hand sinks into the mud, face follows, earth spits from my lips and grinds between my teeth. I breath in very slowly as to not allow the muck below my mouth, and blow out quickly expelling. That smell - that familiar smell - it's not the mud I'd hoped it was, it's worse.

  15. Ravenhurst
    Gillian entered the cozy but dimly lit living room and dropped her oversized travel bag on a nearby leather armchair, before going over to stand close to the fireplace, warming her frozen fingers. ”How nice, the housekeeper started a fire for me,” she said softly to herself, sniffing the air. “And is preparing dinner,” she added looking around as a pleasant odor drifted from the direction of the kitchen. She must thank her personally, she decided, starting toward the kitchen. “Hello,” she called out following the aroma into the kitchen. “Thank you so much Frau Helmering, dinner smells delicious,” she complimented, entering the kitchen. A tall broad shouldered man with dark curly hair stood by the ancient looking stove with his back to her. “You’re not the housekeeper,” she remarked, giving his worn denims and checkered woolen shirt clad figure a wary look. “What have you done to her?” He turned to look at her; his dark eyes angry. “The same thing I do to nosy women who barge into my kitchen unannounced,” he retorted angrily.
    She stopped in her track, a little put off at his anger. “I called out, but no one answered,” she returned brusquely, meeting his gaze then allowing her gaze to wander across his deeply tanned face. He was very handsome, with short dark curly hair, deep set dark eyes, straight nose and thin, very firmly set lips.
    “Perhaps you should have called louder,” he snapped, giving her lithe frame a quick appraisal, before turning back to the pot on the stove.
    “I’m sorry,” Gillian apologized, going over to where he stood at the stove. “I didn’t expect anyone but the housekeeper to be here, are you the caretaker?”
    He turned to look her squarely in the face. “Do I look like a caretaker to you?” Gillian met his gaze. You could be a murderer for all I know, she wanted to say but didn’t. Somehow the thought of being in a house thousands of miles away from home with a murderer didn’t appeal to her. “…or a rapist,” he murmured as if reading her mind, a slight smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

  16. George Kurtow
    Eng 22
    Prose poem revision

    We were riding our bikes it was dark there were hardly lights. We laughed because we had so much fun drinking with everyone… getting jaded on the bleachers. Trust me we weren’t creeping down the street we rode fast and hard our heads grinding alcohol in our brains…it was mostly gone… so we departed the night was mostly gone.Then from nowhere everything went wrong, the bike like a loaded slingshot sent him cart wheeling forward. He kissed the vicious sidewalk it was unforgiving. I leaped off my bike to be by his side, the crunch echoed in my mind. I knew I just knew he wasn’t fine. I looked at his face like a doll it had been squeezed in. I yelled “oh mike oh mike I’m calling the ambulance stay still stay still!” The ambulance was coming I saw it pass by I had to leave him for a second to wave them down. They followed me to him. They got there fast thank God the hospital was just a few blocks down. They strapped him down and he told me “take care of my bike”. They left right away I wished him goodbye and I prayed for him so that he would be fine.

    We rode our bikes there were hardly lights it was night. Smiles, delight, we drank with friends, got jaded, we were pretty faded. Alchohol in our brains we almost drank it all the blissful feeling had been reached. We rode fast and hard indeed. Without a warning every next moment went wrong. The bike, a loaded slingshot made him effortlessly flip foreward. He kissed the vicous sidewalk it wasn't a delicate tumble. I leaped off my bike to be by his side. His face had been squeezed in like an angry boy with his sisters baby doll. I yelled in anguish to my friend "Oh Mike oh Mike you need the ambulance stay still stay still!" The ambulance was quick i saw it pass by I had to leave mike for that second to flag them down. Thank God the hospital was just a few blocks down. I lead them to mike and he told me "take care of my bike." As they strapped him down I waved him goodbye, praying to God so that he would be fine.

  17. Lisa Padgett
    English 31
    Flash Fiction


    Danny scurried around the house with no intended purpose as I walked through the door. There was an eerie feeling in the air, something was not right. “What the hell are you doing Danny?” I asked in complete shock, “Are you tweaking again? Come on Danny you told me you were gonna stay off that shit for good.” “Leave me alone. I am not doing anything and you know it,” Danny said as he hustled down the hallway and into his room.

    I snuck down the hallway to see if he was messing with that nasty stuff. I overheard him talking on the phone, “Yeah, I got some new shit, tabs. So far they are doing me well, swing on by.” I rushed to my room to change my clothes. I exited my room the same time Danny exited his. I went into his room and got into his stash, half of one won’t kill me. I have to prove a point.

    Danny let his friend in; I walked into the living room, completely spun out. “Margret, what in the world are YOU doing?” Danny asked with great concern. I just laughed, knowing this was nothing I ever felt before. “Watch her Tito,” Danny said as he push me towards a stranger and left the apartment. Left me there alone, knowing that I have never done anything like this before. Was he coming back? Is this what tweaking is? No thanks, he can keep this shit.

  18. Richard sat quietly eating. He watched the other kids go about their lunch. To his right, the cool kids sat clustered together petting each other’s hair and talking about past episodes of Jersey Shore. His eyes moved to where the goth kids chain smoked and listened to The Cure. Turning around, he laughed at the crazy antics of the skater kids. Still there he sat alone with his brown hair partially hiding his face, his beat up running shoes, brown Lee pants, and his favorite Green Lantern shirt. People generally never sat with Richard because he was different. He wasn’t like most kids; he enjoyed American history, butterflies, earl grey tea, and British television. So there Richard sat, eating his favorite sandwich of pastrami on whole wheat bread with mayonnaise and mustard. If there was one thing he loved it was that sandwich. He looked forward to eating that sandwich everyday. The way the pastrami danced upon his tongue as the mustard and mayonnaise sang backing vocals to the choral of tastes blew his mind. He had the same sandwich almost everyday. But today, today was different. As he took the 13th bite, his hand slipped a little and the sandwich tumbled slowly to the ground. He sat still for a second or two unable to fully understand what happened. Composing himself, he quickly picked up the sandwich and brushed it off, hoping to erase any sins. Thinking none had seen him, Richard took a bite only to hear the shrill cry of Gary the goth yell, “Richard loves floor sandwiches!” T’was just another day in high school for Richard.

  19. Megan Parker
    English 31 – Creative Writing
    Week 6 – Short Story
    “So was it as good for you as it was for me, baby?” she purred in my ear. Her perfume and shampoo mixed into a cocktail of heaven for my senses. This woman is my dream.
    “Mmm… it was great, doll, but you already knew that,” I say as slyly as possible. I’m not a very debonair man in my everyday life, but with her, I am. I become some sort of Casa Nova. I say all the right things, make all the right moves, I spend just enough money to keep her coming back.
    “So… where are you taking me for dinner tonight? I have this amazing black dress I’d like to wear for you,” she said in a chipper tone.
    I hesitated, “Where? Uhhh… I thought we’d stay here, enjoy each others’ company. Candle-lit dinner would be nice.”
    “I’m so over room service, George. The bellboy’s a creep. Let’s go out so you can show me off,” she began twirling in front of the mirror, admiring herself. She’s quite the looker – gorgeous brown hair, deep green eyes, olive-toned skin, legs for days, and the greatest rack in Chicago.
    “Miranda, I’ve got an early morning,” I lied, “and you know how I feel about crowds. I prefer it just us two.”
    “God, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say there’s another woman,” Miranda said defensively, “most red blooded men would love to go to dinner with me on their arm, and here you are, hiding me.”
    I loved that she knew she was gorgeous, made me feel like I was doing something right.
    “Of course there’s no other girl, Miranda. Tell you what, next time I’m in town I will take you to dinner wherever you want to go, how’s that sound?”
    Before she could answer, my cellular phone rang.
    “Hello, is this George Wasowski?”
    “Yes, yes it is.”
    “Hello George, this is Mercy Hospital calling, your wife Rachel has been in a car accident.”
    The only accident was me being in that room with Miranda. Luckily, Rachel wasn’t seriously injured, but there’s a good possibility had she not had her seatbelt on, she would have been tossed from the car. Getting a call like that really gets a guy thinking, and putting his priorities in order. That was the last day I saw Miranda.

  20. Julie Garcia
    English 31
    She closed her eyes; she pictured that horrible place that led to a paradise, where her perfect man would be waiting for her like he had promised. Rainy knew that if she shut her eyes the right way, she would be transported into what seemed another dimension. The first time she discovered the magic of her dreams was when she was fourteen years old. That was five years ago. Now the magic had gotten stronger and she could stay in those worlds longer each time. Although time travels faster in her dream worlds, time does not stop in this world. Every time she sleeps it takes longer for her to wake up. Rainy was counting on never waking up in this world. Se hoped to stay there forever.
    She opened her eyes and saw the man waiting for her. He didn’t have a name when she first met him so she called him Andrew. He took hold of her tiny hand and led her through the forest of darkness. They had gone through the forest many times and reached paradise safely. This time he took her through a different path.
    “Where are we going?” she asked confused
    “I want you to meet someone,” He said in an unfamiliar tone.
    Rainy could not help but be afraid but she brushed it off, ashamed that she could be afraid with Andrew by her side. She saw a dark figure and knew. Andrew pushed her into the dark figure. Rainy never woke up.

  21. Treya Winfield
    Eng 32 Creative Writing
    Flash Fiction

    Turning the Other Cheek

    There was a kid in my seventh grade class named Keith. I think Keith thought it was his job to make the rest of us absolutely miserable. From the time we arrived at school until the time we went home, Keith made our lives a living hell. Being chubby, I was an easy target for Keith. One day after learning about the solar system in science, Keith had climbed on top of my desk, inches from my face.
    “Umm, can you please move?” I had timidly asked, hoping he wasn’t about to hit me.
    “I would if I could, John, but you’re so big that your gravitational pull is impossible to escape!”
    Half the class erupted into laughter, the other half silently pitied me. It was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life. That day, I decided that if I ever had the opportunity to embarrass Keith the way he had embarrassed me, I would take it in a heartbeat.
    On a Friday afternoon a month later, both Keith and I were still waiting for our rides in front of the school. Keith’s mother arrived first and in the passenger seat was a man I didn’t recognize. Keith’s mother quickly exited the car and opened the passenger’s side; she grabbed the man’s hand and helped him out of the car. I could instantly tell that the man was severely retarded.
    “Keith, can you take your brother, Kevin, to the bathroom? He really needs to…Oh god!”
    Kevin had wet himself. Keith reddened in embarrassment and glanced at me to see if I was watching. I looked away.
    “Never mind, I’ll take him myself, just wait here. Don’t cry Kevin, mommy’s not mad.” The mother and son rushed into the school.
    Keith and I were silent for a few minutes. He spoke first.
    “You gonna tell everybody on Monday about my retarded brother, so they can laugh at me?”
    It surprised me the words that came out of my mouth. “No, I would never laugh at someone for something that’s not funny.”
    Keith nodded. I felt a strange satisfaction with my decision; I, John, had shown mercy to the boy who gave me hell on a daily basis. After that day, Keith never bothered me or anyone else ever again.

  22. Vanessa Gavina
    March 7, 2010
    Eng 31
    Missing You

    Pitter pat pitter pat. It was close to two thirty in the morning as I had listened to the rain tap against my window. I was exhausted and wanted nothing more but to fall asleep. But it seemed as though the more I tried, the more I was actually making myself stay awake. I had been awake trying to force the thoughts away, but they lingered and stayed prominent as if haunted by the thoughts of him.

    It had been exactly five months, as of today, since we said good-bye. But I remember clearly, as it were yesterday.

    “ Jon, I feel like we are drifting apart, and I love you. I just…...”

    He had done everything in his power to try and save me from what I was about to say next. But it was inevitable, at the time, I felt as if our relationship had run it’s course.

    “I’m not sure if we should stay together.”

    I could not shake the memory of him from my mind. I felt almost robotic as though life carried no meaning other than to survive. Yes, I was still alive, and I carried on with my daily tasks. But all the while, I felt null and void without him.

    This was the right thing, right? So why did I dwell on this both day and night? Oftentimes, I catch myself smelling his old college sweater, the one I had kept months prior to our breakup. The scent of his cologne had long yet faded, but sometimes I felt that if I smelled it long enough, I could smell the faint hint or at least trigger the memory of it. The simple truth was I just could not function without him in my life. A robot. Yes, that is what I had become.

  23. Jose Medina
    Maria Teutsh
    Creative Writing
    Due: 3/7/2010

    Too Good

    I woke up a little earlier than her, as usual. I looked at her sleeping, and I felt guilty. It was that same guilt that plagued me from day one. We met at a boardwalk in Santa Monica. She pursued me, and I entertained her and went out on a date with her. She was everything I was afraid to ask for, and just by looking at her, I knew why I never could. To everyone, including her, I had been the perfect boyfriend. I’d always be willing to listen if she had a problem, I always supported her in all of her endeavors, and on top of that, I was there for her when absolutely no one else was. But she didn’t know me. I knew her, but she didn’t know me.
    My past was full of holes, misconceptions, and manipulation. I’d done few terrible things, but that was made up for in the terrible thoughts that I had. It was enough to drive anyone crazy. I tried not having those thoughts, instead, driving my focus to work-related things or happier times, but no matter how hard I tried, I always failed. One time, I told her about my thoughts, and the conversation was a serious one. She told me that she felt like they were completely natural. Even with that, I couldn’t stand the thought of being with her, if only for the fact that I thought my presence in her life would taint her.
    It wasn’t something I could do on our wedding day, and it wasn’t something I could do on our trip to Mexico, and it wasn’t something I could do anytime else. I needed to do it now. When she woke up, I said “You’re too good for me”.
    “No I’m not.”
    “Yes, you are. And I love you. This is why…we can’t be together.”

  24. Brenda Medina
    English 31
    Flash Fiction

    As I sat there eagerly waiting for the doctor, I couldn't stop thinking of the outcome and began to panic furiously. "Why is she taking so long," I began to wonder, "could it be possible?" I continued to say to myself. Suddenly I began to hear some approaching footsteps , "This is it," I said out load. A few seconds later there was a knock at the door and she opened the door. "Hi Linda, sorry to keep you waiting," Dr. Moor began, " I have your test results and I'm please to say, congratulation." "Congratulations," I replied, "What does that mean?" I asked. "You're pregnant," she replied. "Pregnant, I'm pregnant?" "Yes, your pregnant," she replied. "I thought you would be thrilled to hear that what you thought was cancer growing in your stomach, is a baby," she stated with a concerned look on her face. "Well... yes I'm relived, but that don't make matters any better." I quickly began to startle. "I can barely manage to support myself, how on earth am I going to provide for another person, and to make matters worse, my husband just left me for another woman." I confirmed. "I'm sorry to hear that, but you know you still have your health and a long life a head of you." She replied. "Your right," I replied, "how could I be so selfish."

  25. Sky cloudy, a chill brushes the leaves on the ground towards me as I walk to my dead end job. Pulling my coat closer to me I look around at my setting. To the left, just the same as what was there two blocks ago. In the front of me, just the long walk ahead; and to the back, the small stretch of sidewalk that seemed to take an hour to get through. But to my right, down through the valley and on a hill was something that caught my eye, but I couldn’t quite make it out. I left early so I had time to make this quick detour.
    Walking through a few scattered trees I finally met this techni-coloured box. It came up to about my knees and was a little wider than my shoulders. The colors flowed sideways, up and down like I was on a trip or something. Red, yellow, green, blue, orange, white, all swimming on the box. When I approached it closer, it turned gray.
    Paranoid of someone watching, I looked around and started to walk away. Looking at my watch I saw that I still had 15 minutes until I had to be at work. Sneaking back to the box I looked around again and bent over it. Preparing my mind for anything and breathing hard, I placed my fingers on the lid...Holding my breath I tried to whip the lid from the box, but my fingers slipped off because the lid didn’t budge and I fell down the hill. Irritated, confused and dirty I walked back to the box to find it had turned a lighter gray with a hint of red. I slowly tried to take the lid off again but it didn’t even loosen. I looked around thinking this was a joke or something like a reality TV show, but now a soul was to be seen.
    Forgetting about work completely, I immersed myself in thought on how to open this stupid box. Wondering what is in it and who put it there. All of a sudden the box turned a charming green. It reminded me of a leprechaun for some reason and I giggled. It then turned a light, calming blue. I felt relaxed and calmed and tried the box again. Prying each side, I tried to loosen any part of it I could. Again nothing budged. I bend down and closely examined the box; it didn’t look attached in any way, no tape or glue...so it must be held from the inside somehow.
    I then felt stupid. Why am I getting upset about a stupid box!! I'm already twenty minutes late for work. I walked back up to the sidewalk but I couldn’t seem to get any farther. I couldn’t just leave it there, what if someone else gets it...He I can just take it with me right?
    I ran back over on the hill happy at my new plan. I bent over to pick it up again. I whipped it up but ended up falling down the hill again. I got confused and irritated again and again the box turned gray with some red. I got real frustrated and angry and the box turned red. I ran up and kicked it but it didn’t even make a dent. It was just sitting there mocking me! I made up my mind. I was going to try and open it one more time. I cleared my mind, gathered my strength, and once more tried to whip the lid from the box. This time the lid did come off, but again I fell down the hill. I got up and stared at the lid in my hand. Oh My God it's really open...I stared back up at the box in awe as I slowly walked towards it.
    Hesitating just as I peered in, still in shock, I took another step right beside it and slowly peeked in. I retracted just in case something shot at me. Making sure it was safe I peeked in again. I slowly reached inside for a slip of paper, the only thing that was in the box. Thoughts raced through my mind of what it could say. Was it a secret code, treasure mad, diary entry of someone famous, the truth of life??? I opened it. Then slowly closed it and placed it back in along with the lid and stared to walk away. I started laughing and didn’t stop all day. I skipped work. I just went home and laughed.

  26. The bedroom seemed especially cold as I stood in the doorway. In front of me was wife of twenty years slumped over on our bed. She was crying. I wanted to run to her and comfort her but here I stood. I was afraid. I felt so cold and my chest felt gripped in a vise. Her eyes were lowered looking down at her lap. Her tears were falling on a picture she had framed just a month ago. It was a snap shot our youngest child had taken just before he drove off to college. We stood at the front door waving goodbye. I liked to joke that it was really a wave welcoming the empty nest. I walked up to her and knelt down. She lifted her head, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. I rested my hands on the picture. She used both hands to wipe her tears. There was so much I need to tell her. Every time I looked into her eyes I felt like we were both twenty again. As the air left my chest the words came with it, “God, I love you.” Her hands came down and passed through mine breaking the glass held by the frame. There was blood. I fell back. As she got up to clean up her cuts she walked through my body like a breeze through a tree and left me there on the floor.

  27. Nathan Brown
    English 32
    Flash Fiction

    "Everybody likes to think they are so fucking special, y'know? Like they're the only ones that have felt the way they feel...like the world revolves around them and their stupid little life."
    Bill had entrapped me into another conversation I wanted no part in. I had no idea what he was drunkenly rambling about this time, but again I remained polite.

    "Tell me about it" I said as I smiled and looked around the bar for an escape route. I didn't actually expect him to tell me about it but of course, he did.

    "It's the movies, man. It's the movies! Allll 'cause of the movies. Everyone wants to think that their life is some epic damn movie and they are the beautiful lead role entrusted to save humanity or some shit. It's those damn movies, man. They got people's heads filled up with some delusions of grand jury!"

    I once again smiled and nodded. How was I going to get out of this one? At my cousin's wedding Bill managed to "entertain" me with his theories on how Al Gore was actually the anti-christ for a mind numbing 2 hours, but I was in no mood for this now, I had to get away. Nonetheless, Bill continued:

    "Truth is you're just like eeevvverybody else! Everyone is just some stupid animal acting on their damn instincts like any animal does. People think that they're so intelligent and mighty 'OH BUT I HAVE FEELINGS!' No. No. No. You stupid fuck. You're not not some beautiful or unique snowflake...you're just another load of shit rotting in a sewer. HA HA! Am I right?"

    Finally I got an idea.
    I hurriedly dug into my jean's front pocket, tore out my cell, and gave an annoyed look at it.
    "Aw, sorry Bill. It's the wife, gotta take this."
    I tried my best to hide the relief in my voice.
    "She was always the nagger! HA HA!" Bill replied as he patted me on the back.

    Sober Bill knew I wasn't married, but Drunk Bill didn't, and for that, I was thankful. I had escaped.

  28. “Mr. Warren, your 10 o’clock is here,” Patty, the receptionist stated. She was always very perky. She was very professional, and she never questioned anything. One of the reasons why Warren kept her around.

    “Thank you Patty,” he replied. “Send her in.”

    Mark Warren had a standing point with Selene Erickson. Wednesday morning. 10 AM. She was never late.

    “Hello there Selene. How are you today?” Warren said, pleasantly. Almost artificially.

    “I’m good, thank you,” Selene quickly responded

    “Wonderful. What can I do for you?” Warren inquired. Once again, his tone was polite.

    “Can we just get to it already?” Selene quickly retorted, visibly annoyed.

    “What are you talking about?”

    “Cut the bullshit, Mark. What happened here last week can’t happen again. I was vulnerable and you took advantage of that.” Selene was becoming more upset with every spoken word.

    “I’ve not the slightest idea what is going on,” Warren said, puzzled.

    “Mark, quit. You know my divorce is close to becoming finalized and I am filing for bankruptcy. You’re my shrink. That’s why I pay you for. Instead, you’ve jumbled my brain and I don’t know what to think!”

    Mark Warren walked over to her and offered his arms, but she refused.

    “I didn’t see anything wrong with consoling one of my clients. After all, my sole duty as a therapist is to lend an unbiased ear and offer some sound advice.” He stated, effortlessly. His polished responses were sending her emotions into a frenzy.

    Selene began to raise her voice, and she said, “You know damn well what we did last week was not advisory, nor was it appropriate! If someone found out about this, God forbid, my husband, it would complicate things in a whole new way. I would lose all my credibility.”

    Again, Warren was composed.

    “Selene, what happens in this office is confidential. You should trust me.”

    “I did trust you! But after last weeks session, I feel our boundaries have been completely disregarded and we no longer have a client-therapist relationship.” Her eyes filled with tears.

    Warren got up and walked over to Selene, looked her directly in her eyes and said, “This is our safe haven. You don’t need to worry about the world here.” He inched closer and for a second, there was a quiet.

    The phone rang, breaking the silence. It was Patty, his receptionist.

    “Mr. Warren, your wife on line 2?”

    “Thank you, Patty.” He said, before turning to Selene.

    “Well, Mrs. Erickson. It has been a pleasure. Next week, same time?”

    Selene dabbed her eyes. Strain in her voice, she replied. “Yes, Dr. Warren. See you next week.”

  29. Clenetta Towner
    English 31

    It all began as we all predicted, she would fall in love with the wrong guy marry, have some kids and live her life out in silent sorrow. What was to come none of us could have foretold. Benicia did find her a man that was completely wrong for her, hell he was wrong for anybody. This man was the shit that you scrap off your shoe at the end of the day, Davon did not work, how he made his money only the public defender down at the court house knows for sure. To sweeten the deal Davon was a wife beater. Now, Benica never confided in me about the exact goings on, but I have been around long enough to know when a woman is being beat or not. I truly think this whole situation was a damn shame for that man to be kicking her ass the way he did and she's the one that ends up sitting on death row. I know what I said, and it is true I do not know for sure that he say beating her but what I do know is Benica would not have bashed his head in with a slug hammer if her wasn't. Now, I am not defending what she did I do think she may have went a little far, she did not have to hit him 37 times. You know what she said when she was asked why she hit him so many times she just smiled and said "I just gave him a like for all the times he hit me" can you believe that? That girl is crazy. But any way this is not my story I just wanted to give you a little back history. You know you can't tell a story without given your two cents. But any way my girl Tory who is a close friend with Benica you know she have been in contact with Benica since she was sentenced. Tory works down at the county hospital in Arlington,Texas, she has been working their for almost 20 years. About 3 years ago Benica got a bright idea to have Tory help her escape from her place in hell. The plain was for Benica to get herself admitted into the hospital, you know that is were all the inmates are taken if they need more medical care then the prison can give. The plains were made and the day came for the great escape, Benica had taken all the broken glass that she had been saving for the past three years and swallowed it. She began to spit up a lot of blood and was rush to the hospital by the time she had gotten there she had bleed to death. Now you know that is a damn shame, so like I had said what had happen to Benica none of us could have foretold.

  30. Repressed Memory

    I was raped when I was nine. For a long time I forgot about it, doctors say I blocked the memory out because it was so traumatizing. But I remember, I remember everything with such precise detail that his stale odor still remains in my hair. How his hands rough with callous violently rubbing up and down my legs, my flat chest, ripping at the blue dress my father had sent from the U.S. The stink of alcohol in his breath still wakes me up some nights, as my subconsciousness plays back that unwanted episode in my sleep. The weight of his body on my fragile figure pressures between my thighs and I wake up screaming like I did back then, a piercing sound that echoed him. And I weep, not because I remember but because I am still alone.

    by Christian Briano