Swallowed Time

Posted: September 8, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
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Today Pegman took us to Hanoi, Vietnam, and the memory of my nineteen-year-old boyfriend getting a low number in the lottery flooded in. Thanks, Karen, for the bittersweet recall of a good man.

Nineteen: Got it all. Good lookin’ girlfriend. Football star. Accepted to a high-end college. Gonna’ be a doctor.
Nineteen: Drew #25 in the Screw-You, You’re-Going-to-Vietnam lottery. Feeling empty. Can’t focus.
Farewell party. Beer. Hugs-n-Kisses. Loud music. Tears. Smell of fear.
Twenty: Celebrated that birthday lugging a 100-pound pack on a 50-mile march. Thanks, U.S. of A.
Twenty: Free ride to jungles loaded with bugs, mud up to my ankles, orange-colored defoliants and villagers carrying hatred in their eyes. Some live. Some don’t.
Twenty-one: Hello, LSD, mescaline, cocaine, heroin. Life is easier now that skulls in the bushes don’t register as anything more than a flash of white tangled in a heaviness of green and stench.
Twenty-two: Few of us mark our birthdays. Just glad to be alive. Or not.
Thanks, LSD, for swallowing time.
Twenty-four: Home. Greeted by strangeness and anger. And a fear I cannot heal.

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Win a doodle!

Posted: September 6, 2018 in Uncategorized
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My friend MIKE ALLEGRA is offering a chance to win a doodle! This is an offer you can’t refuse. Here’s how to do it https://mikeallegra.com/2018/09/06/win-a-doodle-anyone-guys/ GOOD LUCK!!!

Extinction

Posted: August 26, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
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Pegman took us to Resolute, NU, Canada this week. What an interesting place.

Me and my brothers lived along the shores of Qausuittuqall Bay all our lives. When little we tumbled around and over each other like cubs in a pack til our muscles grew stronger than the inside of an iceberg. As men, we tracked polar bears by the light of Nanjuriks’s eyes and killed those big white beasts with our bare hands. Laugh if you want. But it’s true. Tonraq ran beneath their bellies and after one, two, three jabs the bears sighed and fell. Ha! Those beasts didn’t have a chance. What did I do? I, Nukilik, sang the death songs. “We honor you, Nanuq! Thank you for your gifts of meat, fur, fat, and bones. We will use them wisely. We will use them well.” After all, gifts must be acknowledged.

Now, no longer honored, our Nanuq float on disconnected ice sheets, vainly listening for their song.

(Nanurjik – Star, Tonraq – Tiny Man, Nukilik – Strong)

 

Life moves smoothly when our men are gone to sea, hunting and processing whales for five years or more.
Babies arrive during the first year. Then, finally, we’re free from that routine.
Our boys become kind and thoughtful without men chiding Only snivelers cry.
Our girls become beauties without men eyeing them with intent.
And we, the women, follow rules created among us, sans the hindrance of ego and imagined power.
A singular sadness falls on our shoulders when we first spy the whalers returning.
We retire to our homes, remove our husband’s pants and don uncomfortable corsets and dresses.

 

 

Today Pegman took us to Pripyat, Ukraine. Years ago I met a Greek couple who had been affected by the Chernobyl Disaster. Although they were elderly, they were frailer than their age warranted. “Chernobyl,” the husband said, “was a very bad thing.” I’m dedicating this story to them.

 

Oh, such a racket! Men shouting, babies whimpering, feet stomping, horns honking, dogs barking!
The eerie sound of gears grinding to a halt.

“Enough noise to wake the dead,” someone said. But the dead did not wake up.
Thirty-two years later the bodies are no longer counted because after all this time
there is no proof The Disaster caused the aches and pains that drag people toward death then allow them to plunge into darkness.

No proof?

For nine days heat from the fire spilled poison up into the sky where it drifted like a bevy of black angels hiding inside the wind.

How far? Who knows?

Tourists come to view the remains of our town, snap pictures of themselves in front of the decaying Ferris wheel, dust-covered dolls hiding behind gas masks, empty beds, blackened toys.

But no one can take a selfie beside the acrid scent of destruction.

 

I’m cheating and submitting two stories this week because, after today, I’m taking time away from our merry band. I will miss you all and will certainly visit every now and again. Once I have a handle on the revision of my novel, I’ll return ~ with bells on. Lish

things happen down at the water’s edge
petey’s place is always hoppin’ and jumpin’
delia’s boathouse sells beers schnapps tequila on ice
that light through the trees shows where toots and jango deal everything from cocaine to meth
great place to hang if you’re wantin to meet a girl or ten
take money girls like money
yeah yeah it’s quiet now that’s cause it’s past two in the a.m.
but after four the lunatics come out and sing
loud too
sometimes they wear bells sometimes crazy hats and big pants
gotta go to the light
visit toots and jango

 

Having been here many times, I have the advantage of knowing where Ted Strutz took this picture. There’s a great deal of history on this gorgeous island. Here’s a snippet for you to enjoy. I’ve added a link at the end so you can read more about Charles and Cutler. I have no idea if Charles had a wife. But that’s what fiction is for. Right? Thanks, Rochelle, for posting today’s Friday Fictioneer prompt.

“Heavens, Charles. The man shot your pig, not your father nor son.”
“Quiet! The wheels already turn. Just today Captain Pickett proclaimed, ‘We’ll make a Bunker Hill of it.'”
Celia raised an eyebrow.
“Cutler should, must be arrested for destroying British property. My stripes, the creature only ate a potato or two! ”
“The Americans are calling for military action. Do you realize you may be starting a war? Over a pig! Honestly, Charles.”
“In addition! Cutler told me I should have kept his potatoes out of my pig. Atrocious!”
Shaking her head, Celia pulled a ham from the oven.

Information about The Pig War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_War_(1859)