Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gummy Skulls

I decided to add a little more spice into the mix. In addition to using packaged food pictures to inspire me, I'm also going to see if I can incorporate some prompts from this book: 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More.

Prompt #1: Holidays / Halloween - "Explain your most memorable Halloween: from the candy you received, the costume you wore, the environment of your neighborhood (if you trick or treated) and why it has dwarfed all of your other Halloween experiences."

The cardboard wings were heavy and hot on my back, but were painted gold and sparkled like the sun.  My wire halo, shining with gold tinsel, began to tilt and I readjusted it to be centered over my head as a gentle breeze filled with the scent of the nearby eucalyptus trees billowed through my beautiful white dress.  I wondered if it hurt other people's eyes to look at all my wings and halo under the bright Indian Summer sun.  I hoped people were jealous.

Slowly, I began to grow weary, walking in what started to seem like the Halloween parade that would never end.  As the parents oohed and ahhed over the other kindergarteners, suddenly everything began to grow dark.  Rubbing my eyes didn't seem to help and it confused me.  It was noon, and the weather was perfect.  I turned to my best friend Charles who was walking next to me, and I screamed when I saw him.  When we arrived this morning at school together, he was dressed as Spiderman, but now a walking skeleton looked back at me from the growing darkness with hollow eye sockets that seemed to stare into the depths of my very soul.  

The world spun around me and I crumpled to the ground, dirtying my beautiful white dress.  I tried desperately to find a teacher or other students, but all the adults and children that were only moments ago gaily enjoying a carefree day in costumed glory were now replaced by horrifying lumbering skeletons that peered back at me with their unintentional permanent grins as they continued on the parade path.  

Suddenly the skulls were spilling with crimson fluid and the fresh scent of eucalyptus was at once overtaken by a terrifyingly familiar coppery scent.  Charles, who had been walking near me, fell to the ground next to me as blood poured out of his eye sockets and mouth. He reached for me with a bony hand and added sticky red streaks to the dirt on my dress, and I screamed anew.  His horrible jaw opened and closed, but no sound came out but the clacking of his teeth and I shut my eyes and put my hands over my ears.  I began to rock and rock, wishing for it all to go away.  

When I opened my eyes, Charles was kneeling next to me, staring back at me from his Spiderman suit and our teacher was asking me if I was all right.  Tears streaked my face, but the world was bright again and there weren't any skeletons, only costumes and sun and happiness and eucalyptus. I tried to stand up too quickly and ended up smacking Charles' face with the back of my head as he leaned over to get up.  I heard his teeth clack together and he cried out as I fell back to the ground. Blood began to stream slowly from his lip and nose, and it dripped on my dress, and we both began to cry.  Our teacher cleaned us up and my parents took us home early from the parade. My mother asked me what happened, but I said nothing and just shook my head and pressed my face into her stomach as she held me. 

My grandmother was waiting for us in the entryway at the house.  She had a knowing look on her face.  She waited for my parents to take Charles into the other room to give him a snack and she sat me down next to her.  

"You saw something today, didn't you, Caroline?" she asked me gently.  
I nodded. 

"It must have been pretty frightening," she said, putting her arm around me. "I just want you to know, you don't have to be afraid of those visions. They can't hurt you." 

I finally managed to tell her what I saw, the skeletons, Charles, and what happened immediately afterwards.

She tilted her head slightly. "Sometimes visions get mixed up.  Time doesn't always pass the same way in them." 

Seeing my look of fear and concern, she squeezed my arm. "Don't worry," she replied. "Remember what I said. They can't hurt you." 

Several years later, I came down with a strange sickness. I became filled with an unknown terror and it made my stomach keep turning over, and I couldn't stop retching.  I was in bed all day, curled in a ball.  My grandmother came in to look at me, and brushed the hair away from my forehead looking somewhat puzzled.  She closed my bedroom door, but I could hear her turn on the television. 

The reporter's voice was grave. " at Trenton Elementary School has claimed the lives of dozens, but we don't have any solid numbers as of yet. Firefighters are battling the blaze..." 

The television clicked off. I heard my grandmother mutter what sounded like a prayer, but somehow I was asleep before she was finished.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Bret's head was large and appeared unruly for his scant body.  His baseball cap, screaming in primary colors offering no affinity to any sort of sports team or brand, only served to highlight the hulking monstrosity of his cranium. His face was plastered with a permanent smile, a smile formed by lips decorated by a smattering of sugar granules that came from his endless supply of candy that he carried around with him.  No one ever wanted any because the sweets were sticky and covered in fingerprints, but being generous of heart, he offered them just the same. 

Bret also liked to tell jokes to people and children's jokes were his favorite.  Knock-knock jokes in particular were his forte.  Despite obvious signs that he was of diminished intelligence, some people still took it upon themselves to make fun of him. 

He happened upon such a group of people one day and thought they looked sad, sitting around on a bench, taking turns taking swigs from something in a paper bag. Boldly, he walked up to them.

"Knock-knock!" Bret said to the group with a proud smile.

One looked up from his drink and held the bottle down away from his mouth. 

"Who's dere?" the man replied.

"Ada!" answered Bret gleefully.

"Ada, who?"

"Ada candy and it was soooo good!" Bret grinned, bits of multicolored candy showing in between his teeth.

"Look at dees one," one ridiculer spoke in a strange accent that Bret didn't recognize.  "Tinks he ees gomeedian. Why you not go back to gomidylan where you muss be from?" he finished, spitting uncouthly, following it up with a hearty laugh. "That ees, unless you has moneys for us?"

Bret frowned. He could tell they were sad inside, and he felt that his joke didn't help, even though he hoped it would. 

"I have no money, but you can have some of my candy," he offered, holding out a gummy handful of sweets. 

The ridiculer stopped laughing, touched by the young boy's braveness and generosity.  He smiled genuinely at Bret. 

"You keep it. Tank you," he said, patting Bret on the back. Bret smiled back, then turned his massive head around and went about his way.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nobody's Reading... Let's Get Crunky!

I can't have more blogs. I just can't. I can't keep up with the ones I have.  But, I don't want to completely abandon the idea that I had for this one, so perhaps I will continue to post the pictures of weird packaged food I find, but will weave in some creative writing that has nothing to do with it... You've been warned. Now let's get crunky... If crunk is crazy drunk, does this mean something slightly different?  Like cranky drunk?  Because I feel like that sometimes...

It was her 28th birthday.  Abigail looked at herself in the mirror. She already had crow's feet.  They nicely complimented the dark circles beneath her eyes.  She scrunched up her eyes and all the lines in her face suddenly looked like some sort of Asian characters to her and she laughed.  Laughed with tears in her eyes and a frown gripping her mouth.

She remembered when she was young.  Young and perfect.  Skin was smooth, unblemished, unlined.  And she wasted all the years.  The lot of them.  She thought there'd be more, that she'd look perfect forever without having to try. She scoffed at all the people spending money on face creams and exercising and eating right.  Her friends were jealous and she could hear their whispers.  Abigail was naturally thin and had beautiful features.  Men loved her and women wanted to be her and Abigail spent every waking hour abusing her body with her so-called admirers, filling it with everything that made her feel amazing and alive. Everything that made her feel like walking death after she finally crashed for a few hours into unconsciousness and awoke again the next miserable morning... or afternoon.  

She fell too fast, too soon and now as she looked at her destroyed visage in the mirror, she saw that her life was in pieces.  She didn't even know who's mirror it was that she was looking into.  

Her life was upside down and she had no idea how to find happiness now.  It felt brittle and crunchy, and she wished it were smooth again.  She wished for the smoothness that substance abuse had brought, but now could no longer maintain.  Feeling the cold porcelain under her fingertips, she pressed her hands into the sink counter, staring down into the dark blackness of the drain.  

"Dumplin'?" a voice drawled from the next room.  Suddenly, Abigail could feel his fingerprints all over her and she shuddered quietly.  

"You comin' back ta bed, girl?" continued the drawling, scratchy voice.  

Abigail shook her head slowly and opened the medicine cabinet that was behind the mirror.  Oddly enough, there was a small bottle of whiskey sitting on the bottom shelf next to a tube of toothpaste.  

At least he has good taste, she thought to herself.  She opened the bottle, took a long draught, and replaced the cap.  Her head felt better, but her mood was still sour.  She wiped her tears on her dirty sleeve and walked back to the bedroom to find out what container the scratchy voice came in.