"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And the angels sang out of tune

Three Word Wednesday! Please help me get out of my rut! Today's words are angelic, foster and ruin. Just imagine me saying that in a game show host's voice. Awesome, right?

The top frame of my glasses spun and flashed with the glow of the dancing neon lights above me, like a thin, striped caterpillar was racing across my forehead. I watched it run, the never-ending trail lulling me into an otherwise unjustified daze. If anything I should have been wide-eyed, fearful of danger, whatever animal instincts I had pulsing harder and faster than any of the giant-sized billboards that transfixed me. But it was not so, and I hardly even noticed when she stole my wallet.

She stole my wallet?

The alley was darker, and so was my memory. She led me here, I think. By the time I found her she was already seated comfortably on a chair that had no business being in this part of the city. It glittered obnoxiously amid the various degrees of ruin that surrounded it. I watched her face, waiting for the cue, waiting for her voice to ring out in sweet, angelic beauty. She licked her lips and opened her mouth, and I tensed.

"You're missing something," she said.

I raised an eyebrow. Her voice didn't match her face. She was pretty. That's really the only word for it. Not gorgeous, maybe, but certainly attractive. She was dressed in plain clothes that fit her perfectly - fashion without even a hint of strategy.

But her voice? A woman's, to be sure, but lower, more meaningful. It wasn't high and golden; it wouldn't draw any forest animals from their homes. If it was any color, it was most certainly dark blue - something deep and pulsating, coming in waves like an ocean. Her face didn't tell me anything about an ocean. I was confused.

"What am I missing?" I asked her, acutely aware of what I sounded like. I sounded like a whimpering doberman.

She smiled, baring perfect, white teeth.

"It's not your wallet, that's for sure," she said. She motioned to my back pocket. "It's been right there, all along."

I patted my pocket suspiciously. She was right. She had never stolen my wallet. That's why I didn't notice. But if that was true, what was I doing here?

"It's something to foster your belief, isn't it?" she said, her smile twisting at the corners. "It's something to bring you back to where you need to be."

I stared at her. And then, suddenly, a loud laugh burst forth from my throat. It surprised me, and apparently her as well. Her smile shrank and then disappeared. Her eyes narrowed and settled into an intense focus.


"Oh, nothing," I said, coughing my way to composure. "I just find it interesting that you seem to think you know so much about me." I turned and began to walk out of the alley. "You may need to rethink your approach."

I made it to the very end of the corridor before she spoke again.

"She's gone, isn't she?" she said, her question not even really a question at all. "Just like all the others."

Her tone said it all: I know what you won't admit, what you can't admit. I swallowed hard, clenched my teeth, my nostrils flaring.

"She'll be back," I whispered. "Someone will come back."

I felt her smile return, a grimy surge of satisfaction radiating down the alley.

"It's time to stop waiting," she said. "It's time to take control, to be aggressive. It's time to make the world do what you want it to do."

I turned to retort, in some small way to take her advice, but she was gone. A grizzled homeless man stared up at me from a small nest of cardboard and blankets he had built at the mouth of the alley. His eyes were wide. I nodded carefully at him and walked back to the street. The lights were still flashing, scrambling about on the horizon. I hid my eyes.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Feist, Gatekeeper


  1. I think you have written your own way out of the 'rut'..a vivid story well told..Jae

  2. Thank you, Jae...I certainly hope so!

  3. wow interesting story makes you want more of it.