Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

(FW) My Side of the Bowl 2

My Side of the Bowl
Part Deux: Below All things

The air hung humid and lactose heavy. Charlie begrudgingly pried his eyes open but only got them halfway; the light was giving him a blinding headache. “Back up! Give ‘em som’ room!”, said a hearty voice from behind. The other O’s shifted their weight on the constant but gentle tide of the milk below. “That was quite tha spill ‘ya took, laddy. Stupid really, but brave I’ll give ya’ that mooch.” His robust accent was gruff but jolly nonetheless. Charlie suspected that his wheat was of Irish origin. “How…how long was I out?” But before light could illuminate his questions, Charlie and those around him were suddenly scooped to the edge of the bowl. He looked over his shoulder just in time to see nearly a dozen of his fellow O’s begin to rise into the air, milk cascading over the rim of a massive stainless steel ship. “Farewell!” They shouted to those below. "The rapture hath declared us - the firstborn, elect above all others!” and then they disappeared into the air above. Zealot-O’s. Always declaring this birthright or claiming that predestination; Charlie was glad that they were finally gone and from the look of it so was everybody else. “Okay” He said shaking the last mothballs from his head. “You can do it Charlie, you’re ready.” This little self affirmation reminded Charlie of a particular Saturday Night Live episode he had once seen and it made him smile confidently.

Everything happened all at once, but at the same time, backwards and forwards and every other kind of “-wards” imaginable, yet it happened all the same.

The spoon-ship is now returning to the sea of O’s, their eyes wide, their mouths agape. It is coming right for him, but something is not right. He is looking at the bottom of the ship as it passes over him and in the convex mirror Charlie sees himself, confused and immobile. The ship dives into the O’s ahead, creating a massive shockwave both liquid and solid in form. He is lifted up and over the porcelain wall, teeters, and then falls. This is not like the fall out of the box. This is something rather alien and though Charlie searches for the word to describe it all (later referring to it as quintessential surrealism) he is at a loss for words, a loss for mind. So, he just falls, and while he does so Charlie decides the blame for all of this undoubtedly must belong to vitamin B6, and he remembers the omen from earlier that day. Then, in the moment before impact Charlie can think of nothing else and settles on a sigh and an inaudible “…figures” before he hits the surface below.

Hours passed. Charlie woke, convinced that this was some form of afterlife and had it not been for the throbbing pain in his side, his faith would have been complete. He was in fact, not dead and this new prison in which he found himself had been his savior; for the heal sole of an athletic shoe is rather elastic and forgiving, at least inasmuch as a falling cheerio can rely on. Gathering his wits, Charlie scanned for an escape route and, finding none, began to move toward the dark tunnel ahead. “What manner of place is this?” postulated Charlie “Where the earth is spongy and gives off a most offensive odor” He had heard of a place called New Mexico from a Pop-Tart at a distribution center, but quickly decided that this probably wasn’t it and considering the lack of credibility amongst fruit filled pastries, it probably didn’t even exist. Wherever he was, Charlie meant to find an exit and return to the bowl as soon as possible.
Ironically, it was the end of the cave that found Charlie before he found it. The all too familiar feeling of uncontrolled descent overcame Charlie for a third time and with his back against the wall a massive white sheathed five headed monstrosity entered the mouth of the cave and advanced on his position. “Back! Back I say!” but his voice could not match the courage of his heart, for it was saturated in dread and would not obey him. Charlie concluded that this was the end. He would be squished into a decrepit bran flake, his crumbs ground into dust. And to his shame, (which he told of to no one in his own account in later years) in the moment before the eyeless soulless creature devoured him, Charlie fainted and was thankful he did.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Side of the Bowl: A Cheerio's Tale (TA)

My Side of the Bowl
Inspired by a true story

Today was the day, that much was certain. When it came to record keeping and statistics, there was none more scrupulous than little Charlie, and by his calculations there was more than an 85% probability that today, this cold and dry Saturday morning would be his day. Pouring Day. Many of his brothers and sisters had already made the great journey, being packaged closer to to the top. For the last three weeks every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning (and sometimes Friday night) more and more of his kin had plunged excitedly into a variety of bowls both plastic and porcelain. Now there remained but only a few left at the bottom of the box and Charlie had spent the night making sure he was on top, closest to freedom. Fighting the urge to count away the seconds, he checked his provisions - placing everything in order. Whole grain goodness; check. Honey glazed coating; check. Supplementary vitamins and minerals; check. Everything seemed to be in order, and why shouldn't it be? He had in fact triple and quadruple checked merely minutes before. Once having been certain that he had misplaced vitamin B6 whereby causing a wave of panic and a terrifying image of failed amino acid assembly. Fortunately, it had been tucked in his back pocket and he had long since moved it to a more accessible location. Charlie sighed, absentmindedly checking his watch again. 9:48 A.M. It would be any moment now, he was sure of it, even insistent upon it. Then, a sound. Charlie didn't breathe, didn't even think lest his thoughts muffle the sound again. He waited. THUMP. THUMP. It was getting closer and then, without warning, it stopped. For what seemed like a month, Charlie denied the impulse to inhale, his shell now turning an acute blue. When he thought he could endure no more, the whole box was abruptly tossed from side to side. Charlie fell far and hard only to be catapulted once again upward, and then everything began to slide sideways and blinding light filled the dark void of the box. He was no longer at the vanguard of the O's, in fact, he was certain he had been placed virtually at the end of the line, all of his efforts having proved hopelessly futile. But then, he saw it. Gleaming, clean and concave; it was the bowl, and time seemed to halt at the sight of it. Reinvigorated by its beauty, Charlie schemed a daring plan. Forcing himself onto his side, he launched into a never-ending cartwheel, throwing all sense of caution and apprehension the wind. He would not be denied, not this time, not today. He was building momentum now, more than he had counted on and from the cyclical glimpses of the bowl he could already see that it was clearly filling up, almost to the brink. And then, the box began to change angles, pulling up and away from the bowl. It was now or never. With a final twist, Charlie dove over the edge and began to free fall through the air to the bowl far below. From his vantage point he could see the horror and dismay on the faces of the other O's below, who clearly did not believe that Charlie would hit his mark, but would fly right past the lip of the bowl into nothingness and grout. Charlie however, had not come this far to meet such a dishonorable end. Leaning back against the upward draft, his decent redirected slightly to the left and, bracing for impact, Charlie closed his eyes and landed with a heavy SNAP. Then the world dimmed and voices turned into distant muffles, but just before he lost consciousness, Charlie felt the cool creamy texture of milk washing over, through, and around him. He felt lighter, buoyant on its surface And then everything turned dark, and Charlie collapsed into a dreamless sleep, knowing that before the end came he would be awake to greet it.

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Two Birds, One Pint Chow Mein (RhyAnalysis - kinda)

I don't think 400 unwritten words have ever seemed so intimidating, cumbersome, and grizzly. Even right now you're thinking, "grizzly? WTF would be grizzly about it? and why am I swearing in acronyms all of the sudden? Who am I, Samuel L. Jackson? There's no snakes on this plane, what am I so worked up about?" I wish I had the answers to all your questions faithful reader - but I don't.

Cliche inbound, brace for impact.

I find that as I get older there are a lot of answers to questions (like those listed above) that I don't know.

300 words to go.

I found our discussion in class about style rather interesting as it brought up several issues I have with my - quote unquote Style. Even from my blogs most of what I would consider style is merely me trying to keep myself amused while I complete an assignment (some of which I'm rather proud of, if I do say so myself).

Other times after I've read some fictional work or another I'll see aspects of THAT author sneaking into my head and writing for a finite period and then it dissolves away until I pick up a new work - a new author. Other times my writing seems to be cyclical revolving on a wheel of sarcasm to somber to irreverent - round and round we go. So who has style - or impressive style from what I know? When I was a kid (3rd grade I think) riding home on the bus an older kid always had a stack of Calvin and Hobbes that he would share with me for the 40 minute ride to home. I remember getting to the point where I had read every book so many times that I would open the book, look at the first caption and remember the entire strip - laugh and then move on to the next. I'd be willing to even state that most of my vocabulary probably came from Bill Watterson.
The imagination, dry wit, and satire that accompanied every adventure along side Calvin & Hobbes as they fought mutant killer snow demons or the villainized babysitter or the infamous (in famous? IN FAMOUS?!!) bully Moe always stuck with me and account for how I see and interpret the world around me in a big way. How big I'll neglect to divulge considering that such eccentricities should remain behind shut (and often padlocked) doors. At least, that's been the Adams policy for a good 15 years running now. Although they do sneak out on occasion and run amuck - leaving a trail of confusion, amusement, and stale Doritos in their wake.

So keep a look out, or that next dorito just might be you.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Midnight Haikus

Time has no mercy;
Warden of our matchbox lives;
Burning bridges down.