Friday, March 28, 2014

A Trip to the Bazzar

Image by Ensie & Matthias via Wikimedia Commons

Author’s note: This week, I ran out of story ideas, so I’m substituting this travelogue. Enjoy!

I walk through the bazaar, the air filled with coffee and spices, while stands of every color and shape assault my senses. Silhouettes of femme fatales gyrate on the wall of one tent, pixies and leprechauns play dice in front of another. At an outdoor cafe, a knight sits with a man in a tuxedo and a woman in an aviator helmet sharing coffee and cigarettes. Another man sits alone at another table, casting furtive glances at the trio and whispering into his sleeve.

Normally, I'd hang out at the cafe and see who I'd meet, but today, I'm in need of something quick, a plot driver. Something to take back to the office where my characters are sitting around on set, complaining about their motivations. (Ugh! Characters!)

I stop at a stand painted green where a short bearded man looks up at me expectantly.

“Welcome to Macadoo McGuffin’s, sir! Please come into my humble stall and find the solution to all your plot problems!”

I thank the man and browse around the shelves and barrels. Macadoo hovers around me like a shadow, making comments of the obvious.

I look at a barrel filled with black falcon statuary.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cooking Up Trouble - Part II

By Bettyann Moore

Many times Maggie had heard Porpoise say “They don’t call it the web for nothing,” but didn’t realize what he’d meant until now. After reading and rereading through the recipes and jotting down notes until she felt a bit more comfortable with them, she clicked on a highlighted link for Family Recipes. Then on a link for Pot Pies, which led her to the HappyGrumpyChef. As far as Maggie could tell, the HappyGrumpyChef (such a name!) was just a grandmother in Kansas who liked to cook and put up a recipe Web site. Nonetheless, Maggie spent a long time looking at the woman’s pictures and videos and reading stories about her family. Maggie had been ensnared in the World Wide Web. She didn’t surface until she heard the clomp of John’s boots on the back porch.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cooking Up Trouble - Part I

By Bettyann Moore

Porpoise McAllister was the only boy at Dailyville High who elected to take cooking class instead of auto mechanics in his junior year.

“Always knew you were a freak, McAllister,” Troy Jones, the captain of the football team scoffed.

“Gonna make tiny cakes for tea parties?” a kid in chemistry teased, miming sipping tea with his pinkie in the air.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” Porpoise always answered with a mysterious smile.

The fact of the matter was that there wasn’t much more for Porpoise to learn about vehicle maintenance. He’d been taking apart cars, tractors, mowers and combines on the family farm since he was big enough to hold a wrench – and putting them back together again. When he wasn’t working on the farm, he was working on the things that kept the farm working. The thought of spending part of his time at school doing the same held no thrall. Cooking, though, that was different.

Friday, March 7, 2014

City of Wonders

Photo by By lafleur, via Wikimedia Commons

My name is Michca, and I live in a city of wonders. I live in a flat on the highest floor of my building. It looks down on the mansions, ski lodges, and expensive shops across the river. Some days, I watch the little people ski down the mountains right to the edge of town, and dream that I am a queen surveying my subjects. To either side, identical flats in identical blocks to my own form a kind of castle wall. I wonder sometimes if in the hundreds of families lucky enough to have a view like mine, if there is a girl that thinks she is a queen too.

My cousin came to stay with his worn suitcase and old person’s clothes, reeking of animals and diesel. I wondered if we could find him something else to wear before we went out to meet my friends. He almost looks Roma, his clothes are so worn. The Roma pick through rags and live like peasants. The city makes them live away from us, which is good, because otherwise they would steal from us all the time. Every year, the Americans and British come to give them food and toys at Christmas. Why, I do not know.

We have fine Western clothes, with the names and logos of many American sports teams. My cousin looks like he is from the country, but I look like I could have just come from New York City, or been in a hip-hop music video. Someday I will be a famous model in the magazines and I will live on the other side of the city. My cousin will never be this; he will always be a pig farmer.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Stalker - Part II

Read Part I here.

By Bettyann Moore

It took him a while and he had to use the flashlight in the darkening gloom, but Digg’s heart raced with joy when he saw Bo lying on the porch as he approached the house.

“Hey boy, hey Bo!” Digg hollered. The dog raised his head and Digg could see his tail thumping, but the pit bull didn’t get up. Digg rushed to his side, unsurprised to see a large, bloody gash in the dog’s side.

“Oh, Christ. Oh, God,” Digg moaned. “My poor boy.” He sat down next to the dog and scratched him behind the ears. He poked a tentative finger into the wound, but Bo snarled at him.

“It’s okay, buddy, it’s okay,” Digg soothed. “Fucking lion, fucking cat! Bet you put up a good fight, huh, boy?”

It was 15 miles to the nearest vet and Digg hated doctors of all sorts, but he gathered the dog into his arms as gently as he could and carried him to the truck, which he’d left parked on the culvert. By the time he climbed into the driver’s seat, though, he knew Bo was gone. Digg never cried and he didn’t cry now. He pounded on the steering wheel and screamed for the blood of that big cat. And her brats, too.