Crumbs

Photo by Jody McKinney

Becky loved her brother, Ben, but hated how he’d chase guys off from dating her.

“He’s not good for you, Becks. You deserve so much better,” he’d say.

So Becky would look for solace in the kitchen, baking — and eating — cookies and cakes that would drive Ben crazy with their seductive aroma.

“Oh, man, Becks, that smells incredible. Lemme have a piece,” Ben would say.

And Becky would slap his hand, replying, “It’s not ready yet. It needs time before I can make it pretty.”

“But, Becks, it’s pretty enough now.”

“Sorry. And Coach Babbitt will pitch a fit if you can’t make weight this week. Besides, it’s not good for you,” Becky would remind her wrestler brother.

After a match, he’d burst through the door looking for whatever Becky had made. “Did you leave anything for me?” he’d always say. But, inevitably, he’d find Becky had finished most, if not all, of her creation.

In April, Becky started seeing Art Linski. He was looking for some of Becky’s delights, too. Just not the baked kind.

“No, Art, I’m just not ready,” she said.

But Art wasn’t to be denied and violently took what he could.

In an alley the next night, Art Linski looked up with his one good eye at Ben Stenson, and whined through swollen, bloody lips, “I’m sorry. Please, please, no more.”

Then Art heard a girl’s voice from the shadows. “Thanks, Ben. Did you leave anything for me?”

“Just a crumb, babe,” Ben said.

A super-quick flash story in response to this week’s Thursday’s Threads friendly competition on novelist Siobhan Muir’s website.  The story was prompted by, and must include, the phrase, “Did you leave anything for me?” I’d say not too bad a first draft batter of words. Fluffy, bittersweet and ready for a little more to make it pretty.

Role of a Lifetime

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The knife never knew its role
as an abettor, as an enabler,
as the supporting player and
as a criminal after the fact.
The knife just knew the hand
that gave it sparkling life,
that brought it into the light,
after lying benign and hidden
in the darkness and warmth offstage.

The knife recalls the first time.
The clammy hand tentatively
surrounding it too tightly,
shaking slightly. It recalls
the feel of fabric against
its tongue and then the air
rushing by before it returned to
its quiescent chrysalis darkness.

The knife knows this cocoon, where
it grew into the confident actor,
learned the daring dance of sliding
its length against cloth and skin
in the slash. It felt assured
in the grip and thrust where it tasted
the salty heat of ultimate anger.

Tonight, the knife learned for
the first time the feeling
of being alone in the cold,
with no hand to hold, no role
to fill except to lie still
as lemon light lit the bloody stage
where a gun in the first act
went off in the third.

Written like so many in “the old days” of my poet’s life. Awakened around 6:00 AM by a foggy inspiration I don’t recognize until I draw its picture on the page. So often, thesis why I miss the old days