This is the Life of a Redhead

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Excerpt: Fat Maria

An except from "Fat Maria", the story I wrote for my fiction workshop.
First draft. Critique welcome.

Tameron’s hands were hot. He juggled the pink sparks, tossing them from one hand to the other, faster and faster and faster until they blurred into a cyclone. He shut his eyes tight, the sparks blinding him, and he concentrated on his hands and the heat and ignored the oohs and aahs, but not quite, because there were thirteen oohs and fifteen aahs, which meant that he would make a fair amount of pesos today. He could use the money to buy a new pair of shoes, because his soles had turned black and no matter how many times he scrubbed them, he could not get his boots to shine again, and there was no longer a lake to wash himself, and over the past few months the river had slackened to a steady trickle because the draught had not let up and…

Ooh. Aah. Aaaaaaaaaaah.

Tameron opened his eyes, squinting, and saw a young boy yelling as he batted pink sparks out of his dirty hair, his mother close behind shaking him vigorously, shaking the sparks off of him. Tameron quickly clasped his hands over his mouth, and promptly screamed as his thick lips burned and blistered. The crowd started hissing and a few even stooped down to Tameron’s feet and snatched back their pesos. Tameron’s eyes widened as he watched his earnings slip away, and he sprung to the ground to gather the rest of his coins, jamming them into a small leather pouch full of bright pink powder, when he saw two perfectly shaped legs only inches from his face, so close that he could see the hairs threatening to sprout from beneath the skin.

“Fix the lake.”

Tameron looked up to see those harsh brown eyes. He gasped, and tried to shout in protest, but his lips ached and his tongue fought with his teeth and he could not get out the words, so he dumbly crouched there lusting over slender Ana’s legs.

“I need to swim across.”

Tameron furiously shook his head.

“My stupid sister won’t stop crying about her wedding, so if you don’t do it for me, do it for her.”

Tameron continued to shake his head.

Ana took a step closer, her ankles nearly kissing Tameron’s cheeks. She lifted her skirt and bent her knees and listened to Tameron pant and sputter. Then she quickly stepped away and placed her legs so close together that her thighs touched.

“I expect it to be clear by midnight.”

Friday, March 5, 2010

Humpback Re-Write

but it's not that different.
Verbal Seduction submission spring '10 (prob. will not get published.)

The Humpback

The men from the Coast Guard shouted obscenities into megaphones as they tried to shoo away the frenzied crowd. The Humpback looked so lost on the shore, his eyes swollen and reflecting the mass of onlookers strutting in their bikinis and swim trunks. His thick skin was bloated, and algae sprouted from his wrinkles, and a hermit crab scuttled across the fluke as if it were Columbus setting foot upon the New World for the first time. Children laughed and screamed when the helicopter arrived, jabbing their fat fingers towards the thick cords that fell clumsily into the sand. The Coast Guard damped blankets and threw them over the Humpback. His watery eyes shrunk to pinpricks as he began to lift up, up, up into the sky. When the Humpback vanished, the people returned to their beach towels and hot dogs, and the scent of sunscreen overcame the salt and the sea.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Had a very unnerving dream last night. . .

Had a very unnerving dream last night. Now the details are fuzzy, but I remember a man chasing me with a camera. He made this growl, a tick, callous, scratchy noise that grated on my ears and penetrated my bones. I never found out why he was following me, but I knew that he wanted to kill me. I tried to hide in my house. I locked myself in my room, and hid under my bed in pitch black. I became paralyzed. He burst in, making that goddamn grinding sound, and I fought every nerve in my body trying to move. My muscles flexed, tightened, released, tightened, released, tightened tightened tight tight tight, released a scream that transcended my dream and broke through my consciousness and swelled about my apartment. I heard that scream echo through the walls and rattle off my vent. I lay in bed staring into the darkness, listening to my scream fade into silence. I half expected my roommate to rush in, or a tender knock at my door, but there was nothing. It was only me, heart-racing, hands shaking, sweat dripping down my brow, lonely and alone.