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View Poll Results: Pick Your Favorite Piece!
Having the Balls to Say No by Grace Gabriel 1 25.00%
Breathing in the Ocean by thisangel 0 0%
Simple Together by KBR 0 0%
The Werewolf Ate my Homework by Lmc71775 1 25.00%
My Voice is Not Stilled by Waterpoor 2 50.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:10 AM
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Default MC Voting Thread #2


Please vote for your favorite Members' Choice piece (one vote, one piece).

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  #2  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:11 AM
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Default Having the Balls to Say No - Grace Gabriel

Having The Balls To Say No

I woke to the sound of the kitchen door bursting its catch with the weight of his hefty shoulder. My bedside clock glared 3.45am in pulsing, neurotic red neon. The glowering red digits looked as inflamed as I felt. What the hell was he playing at?

So I lay there. Stiff as a corpse. Alert as a hare. I heard the goose honk of a chair leg scraping on tiles. (He'd probably blundered into it.) A groan. The rubber plunk of a shoe dropping to the floor. Silence. Was he looking for another drink? Would he come looking for me?

I willed him to stay downstairs. I was happy to find him in the morning, blissfully unconscious on the sofa. Usually submersed in scatter cushions and swathes of yesterday's newspaper. I'd fling the windows wide to rid the room of the frowst and fug of him. A night's worth of rank breath and rancid backside emisions. The musk of his solitary exploits. Sometimes I'll pause to admire the still handsome profile - a glistening suspension bridge of drool stringing his slack jowls to the arm of the sofa.

Yes, of course I still love him. But the truth is, in recent years, we don't share a bed anymore. The ageing process has made me more selfish - less tolerant. My room is my last bastion of femininity. I have snowdrift white bedlinen, sunshine dried, lavender scented, and meticulously pressed to a millpond calm. Every inch teased and smoothed to perfection, so it sits like the icing on a wedding cake. A jug of roses on the bedside table. Beautiful old English roses that loll, heavy headed and drowsy from their own soporific scent. He doesn't belong here now. This space has become mine and mine alone. So when I hear his footsteps outside the door, I dread what I think he might be after.

So this was one of those nights. The wince and dry belches of an ancient staircase announced his ascent and tracked his progress. Quick and purposeful. So I rolled on my side and feigned sleep. Sometimes he'll try and bully me. Sometimes he'll just flake out. I felt the bed depress, and my covers were drawn down into the whirlpool of his clumsy embarkation. The sheet was pulled tight and taut across the tops of my thighs, and firmly secured under his paperweight bulk. My body felt like an offered cigarette, slightly plucked from the pack.

He lay quiet for a few minutes. Then the bed started a rythmic rock. His breath was hot and heavy on the back of my neck. Heard him lick his lips. Thump thump thump. Then I felt it. He laid it on my exposed hip bone. Damp and flaccid.

I reared up and snapped the light on. "Out you filthy animal!" I bellowed, removing the peeled rind of chewed tennis ball from my body. Soaked in drool. Steaming from the heat of his mouth. I launched the thing into my bedside locker in disgust. It landed in poll position on a wicker basket full of the same, in various states of decomposition. Now he was buggered. The last one confiscated. "Bed Buster!" I commanded, in a stentorian voice. He bounded off the bed, almost capsizing me. He stood there, backside shimmying to some internal salsa beat. Tail wagging furiously like a wiper blade in monsoon. "I'll play ball with you tomorrow", I told him gently, softened by those brown Labrador eyes, full of devotion. He gave my hand a forgiving lick, then snatched up one of my best shoes and bolted for the door. As he beat his hasty retreat, he let out a plaintive fart with the whinge of a dying firework.

Bastard.
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:14 AM
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Default Breathing in the Ocean - thisangel

Sometimes she sits still, a half-mended sail in her lap, the curved needle trailing a dark spiral of thread against the white, as she tries to remember her mother. Usually when she tries like that, she fails. Not a single image comes to mind; not the shape of a face, not the sound of a voice. It’s only when she doesn’t try – on long summer days, when the waves lap at the sand like thirsty dogs, when the soft breeze carries the breath of salt to the door of her lonley cottage; or in the dark of winter, when the wind roars and worries the stone around her, as she sits by her old woodstove, reading by lamplight – it’s then she gets a glimpse. Not really a memory – more like a dream. A dream almost remembered. The soft sound of a voice in song. A lullaby, it’s haunting melody lingering just beyond the edge of hearing. The scent of her hair, long and dark against pale skin. In memory her mother is luminescent and smiling, but the smile is always sad. The melody always minor key’d.

Of course she knows that it’s probably her own emotion coloring those memories. Her own loss. If they’re even memories at all. Its far more likely they are imaginings, made of ideas stolen from books and films, poems and songs…a patchwork mother for a patchwork girl. She was far too young at the time to really remember. Not even four years old. Everyone says of course she wouldn’t remember. Of course. But still…


It was mid-summer. That much she’s been told, but she thinks she can remember the sand, warmed by the sun, soft against her baby toes, grainy and sparking in her hands as she played on the shore. They weren’t far from the cottage. She’s been told that too, but she thinks she remembers being scooped up in her mothers arms, the rocking comfort of being carried against her hip…wanting to be put down, wanting to play…the pure joy at being set down, being free to mound the mud and sand into castles and walls and smash them down again, free to laugh with delight as the salt water rushed to fill the finger-dug trenches, water spilling around the mounds, in circles and circles again. She left her there, on the beach. Not so much told that as felt it, hearing the whispers whenever someone new asks, or even if they don’t. Of course most everyone around the place knows. It made all the papers. Even over in England. There were search parties and missing posters, boats put out, shouts and torches stabbing the dark water, back and forth, like a hundred shaking lighthouse beams.


No. She’s making that part up. By then she was safe somewhere with neighbors, wide-eyed and wanting. Maybe she cried. She didn’t remember crying, but she must have. She must have wanted her mother, must have missed her, must have known something was wrong. Children know.


Sometimes she remembers more. Playing in the garden, early morning – sneaking into the shed, out of bounds…and finding something. An old coat? Heavy and dark. The cold smell of salt and sand…seaweed. And something else. The emotions are clearer than the images. Getting found out. A shadow across the door, her mothers hands, reaching…an expected scolding that didn’t happen. Then back to the sun on sand again, an eternal loop. Putting her down to play, happy out, mound building…a kiss on her forehead, a shadow against the sun, salt and seaweed and that something else brushing against her cheek…and gone. Like the castles, taken by the waves. One mad rush against the shore and its all gone.


Sometimes she dreams her. Walking away into the sea, her dark hair flying wild in the wind, that old coat trailing behind like a wake, into the water, under the waves; black and white and green and gray, until all that is left is blue.


Sometimes then, she’ll wake up smiling, not needing to remember, but knowing. Like children know.
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:16 AM
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Default Simple Together - KBR

our chairs are always close
the only space between us
is the quiet of this house

when the day is finally over

we touch beneath the covers
so light you scarce can feel
the hand you know so well
before 'good night' has faded
you slip into a dream

we speak exhausted sighs

and always look askance
to keep from meeting eyes
but the truth is there unspoken

every afternoon

we rock away the time
from our porch we see the wind
moving through the wheat
like a playful ocean god
tossing golden waves

in the setting of the day

orange sunlight streaming through
the fully open windows
shines on wooden floors
dark brown and deeply scarred
with years of steady use

A single low ray

passes through the crystal
of an heirloom decanter
and prisms on the dusty wall
beside an ancient mirror
that no longer gives reflection
all the light that comes this way
is caught and not sent back

today, we stayed indoors

but the wind across the field
is gently rocking in our chairs
already the wind knows
how to rock an empty chair

our chairs are always close

the only space between us
is the quiet of this house
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:17 AM
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Default The Werewolf Ate my Homework - Lmc71775

I’m supposed to write a story on werewolves. Mr. Marks gave us a writing assignment in English class last week and it’s due tomorrow. I guess I could tell them my story—about the wolf I’ve seen in the forest preserves lately—the one that’s been hunting me down every time the moon is full. It would be a scary tale, not like you’d see in the movies where the werewolf falls in love with the pretty girl (and why does she always have to be pretty anyway)?

No it would be scary alright. I would be the one being chased, a heavy set girl with plain looks and forgettable eyes. Maybe that’s what the wolf wants—more meat to bite into, someone who’s going to disappear unknowingly. I doubt it very highly if they would do a search and rescue on a girl like me. I am nothing to write home about.

To tell you the truth, I’m worried. Not that the wolf will kill me, or bite me and then I would become one too, but something else—something far darker than that.

Last night when I was walking home, I felt the urge to take a shortcut with Seth. He was a good guy and all, but I felt safe with him and in case the wolf wanted to eat for the night, I would have a snack for him. I know he doesn’t want to eat me just yet. There’s a purpose he is keeping me alive. Maybe it’s because I bring him people to munch on. Seth was the third person I gave him. Last week it was Jenny Van Meter. She was bothering me in class anyway. You know the types, the ones that think they’re better. So okay she was beautiful and popular. I know, bad choice, right? They’ve already combed the Lincoln Preserves for her. She ain’t there though.

My second choice was Carl. Carl always teased me, so he hada go too. That jerk just wouldn’t shut the hell up when I lured him in the woods. I promised to show him my boobs. That’s how I got him there.

Anyway, yeah…I think I’ll write about the last time the wolf ate. He watched me walk with Seth. Seth was a super tall skinny guy with a shaved head. When the wolf finally broke his neck and started chewing on his leg, he looked at me like “this is what you’re giving me now?” Again he probably figured “where’s the meat.” But he was satisfied none the less.

I watched him crunch down on his bones as the blood squirted out of his thighs. I think he broke into an artery or something cause it was all over the place. I was a little upset he got some of it on my new Skinny jeans. But I waved it off and told him to keep eating. I was able to get it out with Stain Stick.

Getting off the mark, so I suppose I could write about Mr. Wolfy in the woods, but right now he’s barking at the full moon, waiting to go out again. So this paper thing will hafta wait.

I decide to take the leash off the hook in the kitchen, wrap it around the mean scary wolf, and give him a walk. And along the way I see Mr. Marks from across the street getting a coffee. I look at Wolfy and think, mmm maybe I won’t need to do this paper after all.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:19 AM
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Default My Voice is Not Stilled - Waterpoor

Listen!
Once I cursed at jungle vines
as I crawled in Vietnam.
I was the warrior Prince and sang
my song near the DMZ
I met the enemy at CamLo and screamed
at him in fighting rage.
He died silently on an ugly hill
and I died silently beside him.
In the terrible thunder of war
We waited unspeaking of time.

Listen!
Now I laugh with mountain trout
in mirrored pools of Goose Creek.
I sing with summer winds
strumming tops of Bighorn pines.
I whisper springtime meadow secrets
to dancing bees in crocus ballrooms.
I cry tears that fall with leaves of quakin’ asp’.
In the wintertime I speak
the soft swoosh of a child’s sled
on fresh Wyoming snow.
I wait unspeaking of time.
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