Sunday, October 27, 2013

Life In The Desert

It's during the darkest hours of the waning moon that I reflect upon the harshness of life in the desert. Tonight, I can feel a cool breeze, the first in many months, and gazing at the stars I know that soon, too soon, I'll see the hungry eyes of coyotes starting at me through the neighbors' bushes while hoping for the easy kill of a stray or maybe house cat left to wander the streets as cats do.
The intense heat has hidden away the wonders leaving only the bravest or stupidest of us to face the sun and wear it's burning mark upon our skin like a stain of red wine on white carpet you can't ever get out, and the night, the night still boiling hot is left to the meanderings of roaches who hackle at us hidden away in our air conditioned homes.
The feel of fall will last a while, leaves already cover the road only dancing as a car speeds past or with a sudden gust of wind that appears out of nowhere. Winter will set upon us as in most places, and while snow flakes never fall the biting chill will always leave us pleading from our knees for the relentless sun of summer.
I don't know why any of us live here. I'm sure I never will. Maybe some are stuck, like I am, waiting for the perfect time when worries and memories are swallowed up like houses built too close to the river's edge when the spring floods arrive. Maybe everyone is seeing a mirage, an oasis, of plentiful fancies just within grasp while the rest of us see this place for what it truly is: unforgiving, relentless, vengeful, bitter and lonely.
No, I don't pray to see the same mirage as they do, but instead for survival and patience of the many years to come and for a bridge to aid my escape so that one day I may find my own true safe haven far away from the demanding realities and unfair justices taught me by this damned desert.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

As many of you know, I've been a little bit ignorant of this blog... unfortunately for both you and I... so in trying to get back into the habit, and because I'm experimenting with something new, I thought you might find this enjoyable.  Currently the writer's group that I attend is learning how to write screenplays. This is a recreation of a short story that was published on Michael Solender's You're Not From Here Are You Blog. Be warned though, formatting may look a little funny, that's because blogger doesn't convert word very well in these situations...

         FADE  IN:

            INT.   BANK   -   DAY

             Tellers are assisting various customers and many are waiting in line while others are
             filling out transaction slips, KRISTIE, a late 20s something with light brown hair and
             average build rummages through her purse for the check she's to deposit and the Fifty she
             needs to break near the transaction island with her daughter MADISON, kindergarten age
             with long blond hair...

                                                   (Tugging on her mother's shirt)
                                    Mom, I'm hungry! Can we go to McDonald's please?

                                                  (Pulls out check to be deposited)
                                    Not now Madison, we have a couple of stops first. Stop
                                    tugging on my shirt!

                                    But mom-

                                                   (Abruptly cuts off Madison)
                                    No Maddie, and if you don't stop you won't get
                                    McDonalds at all.

            Three men dressed in black enter the bank pushing a woman on the ground holding semi automatic rifles. BANK ROBBER #1 seems to be in charge.

                                                                BANK ROBBER #1
                                                   (Calmly walking to the Teller's Counter)
                                    Everybody down on the ground NOW! This is a robbery,
                                    move and you will be SHOT, sneeze and you will be
                                    SHOT, anything stupid AND YOU WILL BE SHOT!

             Whimpers can be heard from around the room as people drop to the marble floor. BANK ROBBER #2 and BANK ROBBER #3 move to cover both exits.


                                                                  BANK ROBBER #1   (CONT'D)

                                                   (Shouting and waiving his gun)

                                    Are we clear?!


            Customers and tellers can be seen nodding, some customers are begging to cry. Bank Robber #1 points his gun at the teller wearing a manager tag.


                                                                  BANK ROBBER #1   (CONT'D)

                                                   (Tosses two duffle bags at a teller)

                                    You, fill up these bags and be quick about it, if the cops

                                    come, we will shoot every person here.


            Manager nods and begins filling the bags provided by Bank Robber #1.



                                                   (Afraid and holding tightly to her mother whispering)

                                    Mom? Are those bad buyers going to hurt us?


            Kristie is lying on the floor, her hand inconspicuously replacing her money back                       into her purse and digging for something else)



                                                   (Smiling reassuringly at Madison)

                                    No Maddie, I won't let them.



                                    How mom? They have really big guns!


            Kristie pulls out her concealed .357 revolver.



                                    Madison, be quiet please.


            Kristie tries to hide herself and Madison behind the transaction island and checks                    her gun again. She counts her bullets, seeing only five. She assesses the gunman from around the corner of the island. A waiting CUSTOMER #1, a 30 something, large built black man with lots of bling jumps up and rushes at Bank Robber 3.


                                                                  CUSTOMER #1

                                                   (Running at Gunman Yells)

                                    Enough of this you bastards!


            Gun shots litter the air, Kristie peaks around the island and sees the would-be hero                  lying in a pool of spreading blood. Cries can be heard mixing with panicking whispers.


                                                                  BANK ROBBER #3

                                                   (Waiving his rifle scans the crowd)

                                    Any of you make a move like he did and you're all fucking

                                    dead! Got that?


            Whimpers of acknowledgement emanate from the victims.



                                                   (Tears streak her face)

                                    Moma, I'm scared!



                                                   (Places fingers to her mouth)

                                    Shhh. It's okay Madison


            Kristie looks down at her gun trying to make a decision.


                                                                  KRISTIE  (CONT'D)

                                    I'll save you, be super quiet now and cover your ears.


            Madison rolls into a ball and covers her ears while Kristie looks around the island again at the three robbers. Bank Robber #1 is still pushing the manager to fill both bags while Bank Robbers 2 and 3 point their guns at the victims and listen for sirens. Kristie points her gun at Bank Robber #3, takes a slow breath and then exhales pulling the trigger. Bank Robber #3 drops to the ground. Bank Robber #2 runs to his side. Kristie can only hear her pounding heart. She aims again at Bank Robber #2, exhales and fires again then shuffles behind the island and looks down at Madison. Dying breaths can be heard from Bank Robber #2. Bank Robber #1 is now panicking and waving his gun making his way towards the exit closest to Kristie with both bags filled with money in one hand. Kristie tries to calm her shaking hands, fires and misses. She takes aim again and shoots Bank Robber #1 in the chest. He crumples to the floor.



                                                   (Touches Madison on the arm)

                                    Madison, it's safe now, come on, lets go.


            Madison slowly gets to her feet, eyes wide at seeing all of the carnage. Customers                   and tellers look at Kristie with relief as she puts her gun back into her purse. Kristie and Madison make their way to Bank Robber #1.


                                                                  KRISTIE  (CONT'D)

                                                   (Picking up duffle bags next to Bank Robber #1)

                                    I'm going outside to call the police; you guys should stay here.


         INT.  BEDROOM  -  NIGHT


            Kristie sits at her dressing table getting ready for bed, the television set to the evening news plays in the background. Madison is asleep on Kristie's bed. Kristie looks at herself in the mirror admiring her new hair cut and color. She glances at Madison, her hair now cut short and dark brown. A press conference comes on the television and Kristie turns to watch.


                                                                  MISC JOURNALIST

                                                   (Waives his hand to have his question answered first)

                                    Can you tell us what you know about the suspect?


                                                                  POLICE SPOKESMAN

                                    I can tell you that our witnesses have all confirmed that the

                                    suspect is a woman, about five feet five inches tall with light                                                                
                                    brown hair and of medium build with a young child who has

                                    long blond hair.


            A stream of Sir's can be heard from every part of the surrounding crowd along with flashes of cameras taking photos.


                                                                  MISC JOURNALIST

                                    You mean to tell us Sir, that this first class robbery was done

                                    by a woman and a little girl?


                                                                  POLICE SPOKESMAN

                                    Based on eye witness accounts, yes, that would be correct.


                                                                  MISC JOURNALIST

                                    Do you know who she might be?


                                                                  POLICE SPOKESMAN

                                    I'm sorry, no further questions at this time.


            Kristie turns back to her mirror and looks at her reflection again.



                                                   (Speaking to her reflection)

                                    First class robbery done by a woman...


            Kristie Sighs


                                                                  KRISTIE  (CONT'D)

                                    Who would have guessed?


                                                                                                               FADE TO BLACK.


                                                                  THE END

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Circle of Time

The rich golden red hues of the sand glitter against the glass as the creator of time tries patiently to pour each granule into the ornately carved hourglass.

He had counted each morsel before pouring it into its capsule to ensure that this new keeper would not die young, nor grow to be too old. He was careful in his endless counting, counting, counting for a millennia of years kept track of by the lower ranking keepers to prevent his thoughts from straying to the past lest he lose count.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, the clocks in the bellies of keepers keep in time with their hearts' beat while their eyes watch and minds record every event of each day.

Satisfied that not a single spec has escaped his wrinkled hand, the eldest keeper sits back in his chair and sighs. He rubs his age forgotten hands and eyes the hourglass as if inspecting it for some initial unseen flaw.

The chair beneath him creaks as he leans forward, taking the timer in hand. The glass's texture smooth like a new born child's skin after arriving into a new world, a new time, and yet the carved exterior of the case surrounding it is rough, gnarled even, and reminds him of battered wood, perfected with time, and still scarred telling of its survival through the long years.

The eldest keeper's thoughts stray to past mistakes and with a huff of his resolve to not make them again, he caps the hourglass.


In the nether reaches of Somewhere, an hourglass drops its last granule of sand, its sole keeper's heart stops mid-beat, eyes close, his mind still recording the end of time.