New Values

 

Tear gas and dirt created a low lying fog too intense for me to read the text messages she was sending. The ping from my daughter’s phone led me to the city park.

Dozens of college kids ran from the entrance’s grassy embankment. The riot police announcedthrough bullhorns.

“Exit the area now, peacefully, or you will be stunned.”

There was little time and no way to explain why a middle-aged man was walking into the fray. My phone vibrated. I answered.

“She’s at the mural next to the stage! She’s by herself!”

My wife’s exclamation meant she’d talked to our daughter. I kept walking toward her location and answered.

“Go to the car! It’s parked next to the burrito place! I’ll scoop her up and meet you there when we get there!”

A policeman caught my eye line and yelled.

“Get out of here!”

Before I could respond, two kids fell in front of him and began screaming in fear they’d be hurt. I kept walking.

The mural area was about fifty yards away. The smoke and debris made vision beyond a few yards impossible. A young girl, maybe 19, bumped into me and said.

“Sorry, sir! Hey, I know you!”

I realized it was my daughter’s freshman year roommate. Terrible with names, I closed my eyes and settled on three possible answers.

“Keeral…”

“It’s me, Cora! I saw her near the stage, a few feet from the big Oak! This is nuts,  so out of control!”

I mouthed the word, “run”, and kept walking. After a few steps I see the tree, tall, old, and sturdy. A set of dainty feet nestled into white and silver sandals peered from the base of the trunk. I could recognize them anywhere including the middle of a college demonstration turned riot.

A riot cop barreled into me with his shield, knocking me several feet forward. My face landed into the fescue, two small pebbles indented my forehead. I started crawling, now only a few feet from her.

“Dad.”

Her tinny, scared voice muzzled by the chaos, struck me. I reached for her hand. We pulled on each other until I was with her next to the tree and inches from the metal stage. I huddled next to her, grabbed her face and pulled it into mine, kissing her forehead, and then wiping away blood from a small cut next to her left eye. Her dirty blond hair fell from a ponytail and framed her frightened round face.

“I’m so sorry, dad. I was trying to be like you, caring about stuff, and all.”

I didn’t want her to see me cry. Her tears were enough. I pulled her into me, like when she much younger, and we rocked back and forth for several seconds.

“It’s okay, honey.”

Then, I noticed the writing on the back of her neck. It was a tattoo, still red-skinned, fresh from application, running down the back of her neck. It was Shakespeare.

Love all

Trust a few

Do wrong to none

She murmured between sobs.

“I’m so sorry. I was going to tell you about the tattoo.”

I smiled, read it again, then kissed her cheek.

“It’s better I found out this way.”

We held our hugs until the calamity died down. Then I whispered in her ear.

“The rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way.”

****blogger’s note****

This is my fictional response to The Speakeasy from Yeah Write http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-challenge-158-open/ with the prompt – “The rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way.” from this movie:

Love In The Time Of Cholera. My piece is also Happy Birthday to both William Shakespeare and Iggy Pop.

100 Word Song – Deep As You Go

I like to blame the Easter Bunny for a lot of things. But this year he didn’t make me pack on pounds with Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, because I didn’t have any. But he did leave us, here at 100 word song, with only 4 entries. Maybe with all of you back home and in a writing mood, we’ll at least double that, this week. We had a new participant, Christine aka @hanolsy from the fantastic writing community Yeah Write http://yeahwrite.me/ and her own award winning blog, a real writer’s paradise http://trudgingthroughfog.wordpress.com/ . If you’re not following, friending, and reading her, you’re missing out. She chose indie pop act October Project. If Peter Paul and Mary had a baby with the Mamas and the Papas and that baby grew up and to have a baby with The Tragically Hip, you’d have October Project. The harmonies are excellent and the lyrics are, too. So, this week’s 100 word song is Deep As You Go by October Project.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/the-twilight-zone/

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/bizarre-love-triangle/

Silas slid spread out crumbled bills across the counter. He pulled his baseball cap down and  stared out the glass door, watching Olive and Zola dance around the Cutlass.

“Son, a good woman doesn’t take you down, she builds you up. And two of them? That’s drowning in the ocean.”

Silas looked up at the middle-aged man. His scruffy face and deep brown eyes framed a content grin. Silas responded.

“That nice lady that checked me in was your wife?”

The man nodded his head and handed Silas his receipt. Silas smiled then said, walking away.

“That’s good advice, sir.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always you have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Christine’s pick of Deep As You Go by October Project. Use the medias that are social to advertise you brilliance and tell a friend or 50. The writing prompts community is drying up but we continue to go strong here at 100 word song. And we rhyme, occasionally.

GO

Bizarre Love Triangle

This is a new story episode of my short story, Light of Day, about Silas and Olive, 2 19-year-old Georgia lovers on the run in 1989 Florida.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/lips-like-sugar/

Broken sleep and a morning beer buzz greeted Silas as he rose from the floor the Sarasota, Florida Beacon Motel, room 37. He pushed himself up to a standing position and located the Atlanta Braves baseball cap and dollar store sunglasses Olive brought him from Ft. Myers. He stepped over a snoring Zola and whispered into the ear of Olive who’d commandeered the bed for herself.

“Going out for a few minutes. I love you.”

She didn’t move but a muffled “love you, too” came from her.

Silas walked outside, let the door close behind him in a ginger manner to avoid waking the women, then looked for police. He spied a newspaper stand then dug into the pockets of his jeans until he found a quarter and a dime. Anxiety rolled over him so he pulled the cap down close to his eyes and donned the sunglasses. He paid for the newspaper then found a shaded alley behind the motel’s laundry service. Pulling the sunglasses off with his right hand, the left searched for a story of a body of a man named Bart found in an industrial section of Sarasota, Florida, shot in the neck.

The newspaper article never appeared. Silas ran through scenarios in his head just like Olive had taught him. When he stumbled upon one that made the most sense, he took off the baseball cap and sunglasses and walked back to the room. Olive opened the door as he arrived. She shook her head and pulled him inside, letting the door slam.

“Silas,  what the hell are you doing? Are you trying to screw things up?”

He pulled his arm away and watched the newspaper splay across the floor. He furrowed his brow, then pulled her mouth to his. The kiss was long, deep, and purposeful. Olive smiled when he let her go.

“Not anymore, Liv.  Get your stuff and Zola together then meet me at the car. I’m going to check out of the room. We’re driving to Tampa to deliver you to your first day of work at The Jade. I’ll find a job or some way to earn quick money and we’ll follow our six month plan to run away, together.”

Behind Olive, a groggy Zola pulled herself onto the bed, wrapped her shoulder-length dark red hair into a pony-tail, lit a cigarette and announced.

“I know where we can get money, a lot of it. It’ll take a few days and some planning. But once we get our hands on it, you have to take me with you.”

Silas and Olive stared at each other. He let out a large, audible sigh but before he could respond, Olive jumped on the bed with Zola, hugged her and said.

“Silas, I told you that you’d love Zola.”

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

 

100 Word Song – Lips Like Sugar

kingpfprussiasign

Greetings from King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania. I’m here for work. Don’t worry, thank to my 9-year-old’s jokes, I have plenty of pencils. This is why 100 word is 8 or so hours late. I let Leeroy pick this week and he loves 1980s new wave/alternative acts. He picked Lips Like Sugar by Echo and the Bunnymen, perfect for Easter week. I prefer Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and chocolate, in case you were offering or wondering.

echioandthebunnymen resese'spneautbutteregg

 

For my 100 we go back to the Beacon Hotel in 1989 Florida with our felonious 3, Silas, Olive and Zola, my short story noir, Light of Day. It’s also linked to velvet verbosity’s “recognize” one-word prompt http://www.velvetverbosity.com/blog/2014/4/14/100-words-374-10-delicious-poetry-readings

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/achin-to-be/

The sugar-high conversation darted about the room. Olive giggled between cookie bites  and beer sips while Zola plotted.

“Liv, you’ve got to be at work by 11 in the morning. I’ve got a client at noon.”

Olive crawled to Silas and straddled his lap.

“Okay, Zo. We’ll crash here, hit Bart’s for clothes, then head to Tampa while you pack your stuff. No one will ever recognize we even knew Bart.”

Olive’s sweet kisses annoyed Silas as he mouthed “we need to leave, now”. She glided off his lap and joined Zola next to the bed where they planned their getaway.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from today to write 100 words inspired by Echo and the Bunnymen’s Lips Like Sugar. Use the medias that are social to advertise your brilliance and tell a friend or 50. Happy Passover and Happy Easter.

100 Word Song – I’m Shaking

The one thing you can’t explain to non-writers or people who don’t spend time online is how you can form relationships with like-minded people that don’t live in your neighborhood, shop at your big box store or have a kid on the same little league team as yours. Dawn aka @mooivrouw is a textbook example of this. She writes at The Dawnie Project http://www.thedawnieproject.com/ and is one my closest music freak writer pals. She lives near Chicago and gets to see all the coolest concerts. We share a major love of Jack White and his 14 different musical projects including his 2012 solo album Blunderbuss. Leeroy asked Dawn to pick this week’s 100 word song and she chose Jack’s I’m Shaking from that album.

For my 100, we go back to Silas in that seedy hotel room in Sarasota, Florida.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/100-word-song-flowers/

Silas closed the door. He buried his forehead into fiberglass and watched his hands tremble.
Olive grasped his waist and cooed.
“Everything’s okay, Silas. No one but us know, And trust me, Zola’s not talking.”
Silas pushed her arms away and turned around.
“Really, Liv? She’s living at Bart’s, doing God knows what for him, and I k…..”
Olive jumped within inches of him, placing her left hand over his mouth.
“Bart’s gone and that’s okay. Zola, show him.”

She pulled off her blouse, turned her tall, lithe figure until her back displayed three cigarette burns.

Silas’s entire body shook.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from, NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Jack white’s I’m Shaking. Use the medias that are social to advertise your brilliance and link up with the green Mr. Linky button.

100 Word Song – Flowers

In an attempt to move along the serialized short story, Light of Day, about Silas and Olive, my two 19-year-old lovers on the road in 1989 Florida, I asked Leeroy to pick today’s song and custom it to the tale. He chose Talking Heads 1988 song, (Nothing But) Flowers, a sarcastic number about progress not always being the best thing.

With the unfortunate demise of Trifecta Writing Challenge, I’m hoping a positive by product will be more of you writing for 100 word song. I also joined my friend Christine’s aka @hanolsy ‘s Yeah Write link up, yesterday http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/the-great-gig-in-the-sky/ . Maybe they’ll let Silas and Olive hang out, occasionally.\

It was my wife’s birthday and also April Fools yesterday. I wanted 100 word song to be believed so that’s why it’s happening on a Wednesday. We’ll resume normal Tuesday morning activities next week. That gives you six days to write.

For my 100, we go back to the story, with Silas in the motel.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/the-twilight-zone/

 

Outside the Beacon Motel’s thin walls the rumble of cars driving the highway kept Silas awake. He couldn’t tell if it had been two minutes or two hours since he’d called Olive.

motelroomflowers

A Bible and a vase of flowers stared at him from a nightstand a few feet away. He stretched out on his stomach across the width of the bed and picked up the Bible and a black ink pen. He wrote on the inside cover.

God, Don’t leave me stranded.

Olive and Zola bounded through the door carrying cherry pies, candy bars, chocolate chip cookies and beer.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

You have 6 days from NOW to write 100 words inspired by Talking Heads’ Flowers. Use the medias that are social to advertise your 100 word masterpiece and link up to the green Mr. Linky button below.

 

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

The Twilight Zone

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/100-word-song-woke-up-this-morning/

Hush dominated Silas’ scene. His panting couldn’t complete with the quietude around him. Blood pooled around Bart. Silas swiveled his head to look for passer-bys or the two men who had walked into the warehouse before incident. No one had seen him shoot the gun. He looked at the wound on Bart’s neck but gushing fluid hid the bullet. Silas’ breathing picked up, cutting across his chest like dozens of tiny blades.

“I’m so sorry.”

His apology bounced off the pavement. Silas ran to the driver’s side of the Cutlass, dropped his keys on the ground, picked them up then made another frantic head turn to look for witnesses. He saw none.

Silas cranked the car then made a U-Turn heading back to Ft. Myers. Tears reached the corners of his mouth. He replayed the gunshot in his mind, trying to figure out how the bullet made its way to Bart’s neck. He slapped the steering wheel with his hands and whimpered.

“Damn it! Damn It Damn It! I’m so sorry! Yes! She killed him, Bart! I wanted to go the police and tell them he was blackmailing her but she wouldn’t let me!”

He caught himself from saying more. He could feel Olive’s presence in the car, watching him, disappointed in his sensitivity but cheering his heinous act.

He stopped at a gas station two miles away. He bounded from the car and ran to the payphone. Digging a quarter out of his left front jeans pocket, he called Bart’s house in Ft. Myers. Zola answered.

“Hello?”

Silas couldn’t catch his breath. He thought Zola would figure out what he did, just by him asking for Olive. He slammed the gray receiver back into place and dropped to the floor of the booth and sobbed.

A phone book dangled next to the him. He read the ad on the back.

BEACON MOTEL: $24 ROOMS, CASH ONLY, FREE HBO, 941-5555

He got up and went back to the inside of the car. He remembered the sign for the Beacon Motel when he and Bart had gotten off the exit. It was less than a mile away. He pulled away from the gas station and started planning out loud.

“I’ll hunker down at the motel, call Olive, figure out how to get out of town and start all over.”

The motel’s décor was blue, white and yellow. A moon and stars motif belied a lack of upkeep. He pulled into the backside of the business, got out and counted out the money in his pocket that Bart had given him.

“Fifty-six dollars and thirty-four cents, I can make this work.”

He opened the Beacon’s front door. A bell tinned and a middle-aged woman of maybe fifty-years-old grinned after taking a drag from a Virginia Slims cigarette.

“Hey there, handsome. Need a room or are you lost? We get as much lost as we do business, these days?”

Silas let go of a sheepish smile, pulled a twenty and a five from his money stash then responded.

“No, ma’am. I need a room for the night.”

The woman pulled a ledger book from under the Formica counter and puffed smoke around her words.

“Sign in here, sweetheart. Since you’re paying cash, all I need is a name.”

Silas hesitated, then handed over the money and picked up the black ink pen and wrote what he and Olive talked about for him if they ever changed their names.

Evan Butler

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

100 Word Song – Woke Up This Morning

Today’s 100 word song comes from my writing partner and good friend, Tar Rah aka @Tara_R from http://www.thinspiralnotebook.com . She and I are used to noir and shady characters as we co-wrote the stories about our female killers Millicent and Pauley. I’ve known Tara for nearly 4 years as she was one of the first writers I met after starting my blog. My 100 today is not only a new story episode of Silas and Olive called Light of Day about 2 19-year-old lovers on the run in 1989 Florida but also linked to Velvet Verbosity http://www.velvetverbosity.com ‘s one word prompt “mill”. Tar Rah picked Alabama 3′s Woke Up This Morning. You may recognize it as the theme song from The Sopranos. I went for atmosphere in terms of interpretation. The feel of this matches my 100. Go see Tara and Velvet. They’re amazing writers and better people.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/happiness-is-a-warm-gun/

Silence followed the bang. Silas’ hands shook, dropping the gun next to his legs on the sidewalk. Bart’s body sprawled several feet away, face down, blood oozing from his neck.. 

Silas’ throat constricted. Between quick, cutting breathes, pulled off his t-shirt, using it to wipe down the gun.

Assuming the two men who’d walked inside earlier heard the gunshot, he got up and placed the weapon in Bart’s right hand then ran toward a metal trash can as nausea waved over him.

Using his fingertips to mill for the container’s opening, he found it, lifted his head and vomited inside.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As akways you have 7 days from NOW to write 100 words inspired by Alabama 3′s Woke Up This Morning. Use the medias that are social to advertise your brilliance and the green Mr. Linky button below to link up and let me know.

 

 I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/100-word-song-anything/

The weight of the .38 forced itself down Silas’ hip and he could feel it move toward his rear end. He stopped a few feet from the of the warehouse, put his hand on the gun, and adjusted it so he could walk easier. After covering the handle with the bottom of his t-shirt, he realized his jeans were loose. The stress and lack of eating of the past few days had caused him to lose weight. He lagged behind Bart by several feet so he called out.

“Hey, wait up. I don’t think this is going to work.”

Bart opened the door of the building and turned around with a menacing face.

“No time for this second-guessing bullshit, Silas. Just do as I planned and you can go home to your girlfriend with some cash in your pocket.”

Silas remained calm. He’d handled guns several times in his life but only once at the consequence of another person. That incident wasn’t quite two days old.

“No, Bart, it’s not that. I just think we should consider talking them, first. If we can get them to make better ecstasy  for you to sell, then we don’t have to steal their money. They can make you more in the long run.”

Bart had two faces. When he became angry, his lean, angular jaws tightened and his coloring turned from pale to almost dark pink. He lowered his voice and pointed at a telephone book across the street.

“It’s real simple, Silas. You do what I say, right now, or I make a phone call to my house and speed up the love of your life’s transition from girl next door who used her latest boyfriend to kill her old one, into cash cow whore.”

Silas burned inside. He knew Bart had a knife in one of his boots. He pulled the gun from the back of his waist and pointed it at Bart. Swallowing hard and fighting an accelerated heart rate, he snarled through the gun’s site and gripped the trigger with his left index finger. Bart let the large  metal

door clang shut behind him, folded his arms and said.

“Do it. It’ll be the first time you’ve done something without that Georgia trash telling you how.”

Silas’ breathing increased. Sweat from his hands formed a film on the gun and he turned away from Bart to fight back tears. His legs started to quiver and he felt the weight of Bart on his back, shoving him to the ground. He fell on the gun, which hit his sternum. Bart’s fist bounded off his shoulder blades and neck. He screamed.

“Stop, damn it! Stop!”

Bart jumped off of him and yelled.

“You piece of shit coward! She shot that redneck back in Georgia, didn’t she? She’s the one with the balls between you two? I knew it the minute I saw your candy ass in my house!”

Silas rolled off the gun. Staring at Bart from his back, he saw the tall, slender man reach start to reach for it. Without thinking, Silas grabbed the .38, pointed it at Bart and pulled the trigger.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, next month.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

100 Word Song – Anything

I owe Lindsay Lohan an apology. Every time she or some other celebrity check into the hospital for “exhaustion” I make fun of them. I could qualify for a bed, tonight. I traveled back to New York City last night and this morning, worked all day, then collapsed in my hotel room. Thus, 100 word song didn’t get posted in the morning, per usual.

One of 100 word song and My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog’s most loyal readers and writers, Carrie, from The Muse Unleashed http://museunleashed.com/ chose this week’s tune. Her Rachel story has been built through prompts and one day she’ll publish it all together and blow us away. It’s brilliant. Her choice for this week’s song is Hedley’s Anything, an infectious pop ditty.

For my 100, we go back to Silas and Olive on the run in 1989 Florida, my fiction short story tentatively titled Light of Day.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/gigantic/

Bart put up his hand and shouted.

“Stop! Streetlight’s out. If we need to run, this’ll be perfect.”

Silas pulled the Cutlass into an industrial area and turned off the engine. Bart watched two men walk into a warehouse office. Silas noticed a flyer flapping on a telephone pole in the light Florida wind. It settled enough for him to read its advertisement.

Go Back To School. Prepare Yourself For Anything. Florida Technical College. 233-2323

Bart swigged the last of his coffee and opened the door.

“Follow the plan, Silas, and we can do anything with the money we’ll have.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Hedley’s anything. Use the medias that are social to brag about your 100 then link up to the green Mr. Linky below.