Scribble April 10, 2017

The business of writing never ends. Sometimes, writing requires reading, thought, and daydreaming.


Blood covered the sidewalk in front of the doorway. Something had died. But nothing showed up on the tape and the security guards knew nothing about the killing. It happened in the blind space no one talked about. They knew about the limitation of the security camera. It was a fact. The janitor could only imagine the crime as he washed the blood covering the sidewalk. Nearby, a rose bush was wrenched from his pot. A fight? No one knew. Nothing showed up on the tape so it was of no concern.


The sun blinded his face so he closed the curtain. Now the office seemed like a coffin. He looked back at the window but the sunlight shining through the eyelets blinded him again. He would have to wait for the sun to rise further up in the sky. The weekend ended too soon; he still could feel Saturday’s party. The light in his eyes made the headache hurt worse. He took a drink of cool water and closed his eyes. He’d better rest before the day gets too hectic.


My agent called to say I was up for a par. only, I couldn’t admit I was an actor. I was hired as a real person. So, no prepping for the part. I just needed to show up and pretend to be real. Was this acting? I wasn’t sure I could pass as a guy off the street. What if I fell into my training? I decided to go to the mall and see how real people acted. Of course, they weren’t acting; they were being real.


The weeds in the culvert smelled burnt. The smell matched the yellow, dried leaves. A kind of dried, dirty smell with a touch of what burnt toast smelled like in the morning. The rain stopped months ago and the rocks in the dried stream looked hot. A breeze touched some of the dried grass down on the rocks and they seemed to flinch away. A grey lizard darted across the ravine avoiding the rocks. He paused for a second looking back. I tossed a rock at him and he ran away toward the shade.


I leaned against the stick bending it outward as my weight pushed it down farther into the stream bed. I pushed at the rocks below. The four of us sat on the bridge dangling our legs over the stream. The girls giggled and shivered as the breeze reminded them of winter. A spring storm blew through the valley pushing white clouds closer to the mountains. They gathered at the summit and threatened to rain.

I pushed the stick down again balancing myself against it. Until it broke and I dropped off the bridge landing on my nose in the stream.  The cold water rushed around my face and I lay in the water surprised by the accident. My father jumped down to pick me up. I started to cry. My mother held me close in her arms and looked at my forehead. She seemed concerned. I understood her worry later when a giant goose egg rose up above my right eye. The bump lasted more than a week. My sisters took turns touching it. The bruise sent a spark of pain every time one of them touched it. I lost the stick. It floated down the stream to tangle up in the bank below the house. I avoided the stream the rest of the summer.

© 2017, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.

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