ParagraphPlanet.com 75-word “masterpieces”
Debut: Aug. 5, 2011:
At least I have my sickness. My excuse for how I am. I told her my car was in the shop, surprise guests blitzed in from out of town, I’m low on dough, when a “no” would have sufficed. Awake again to a pillbox of promises, my favorite glass is within reach, with its dimpled sides and fat lip. Always half-empty. My potent tonic arm-wrestling me to the happy hour of my demise.
Featured Aug. 24, 2011:
Payback time. His handlers guide him like a satiny sapphire balloon in Macy’s parade as he plows through the crowd. Lights polka-dot the arena. Bouncing atop his square launch pad, peeling the shiny skin to expose shinier brown, he pivots, snarls, clapping together gloves like giant blistered knuckles, inflaming onlookers. With pursed lips, he smacks his dead mom’s medallion and huffs: “Payback time, Pop, you prick. That fella’s got your sorry puss of a face.”
Featured Oct. 31, 2011:
Deception. He wasn’t born to this game. Having fiddled for hours to be sure she was stone asleep, he skulks into the darkened room, fearing discovery. That innocent, angel face. Clumsily, he slips a hand under … she stirs! Such a clod. Trying again, fumbling the pillow. She jackknifes, stares blankly, “YOU—!” He freezes, guiltily. She settles. Dreading her disappointment, he finally clinches the transaction, praying his 6-year-old won’t remember the tooth fairy had a mustache.
Featured Nov. 21, 2012:
Soft, shimmery green. One winter goldfinch dozes, fulfilled, at the chilled feeder. A breeze lifts a feather filament: Come ride! The brittle bird raises its haunches — a slight, a shrug. A dropping of denial. Along comes an electrified wren, robotically flicking and double-dipping, disturbing the peace. Striped-tail salutes. Brethren! The finch’s bedroom eyes widen: What was I doing? Why am I here? Returning to the seed stash, delicately swiping, wiping his beak, breaking another minuscule fast.
Submitted Jan. 13, 2013:
Same indifference. If only she’d lived to see this day. Not a day for sparklers, tinsel or ribbon curls. An any day. When cloying light pixelates the maple’s sleeves, tacked this and that way against a newborn breeze. When minty vapor unlocks pinched nostrils beside pink-marbled, beefsteak cheeks. A squirrel zip-lines from branch to wire, twitching with half-remembrances, its scrub-brush tail a frozen question mark. An indifferent day to trade for one more baby’s breath.
“Thanks for stopping by,” she interrupted, her words at once greeting and dismissal, like “aloha,” only not as festive. The screen door fluttered to match his bouncing heart. “Could I at least leave this pamph-” The storm door thundered shut. “-let?” Rejection he knew, it accompanied his route like a faithful beagle. This pang was new. “C’mon, next house, Elder Young.” “Un-unh.” “Huh?” “No. No way. I’m done.” His face unzipped a pearly, sinful grin.