How Much for the Tuba?

You can call this a second string Friday Fictioneers piece, not because it’s worse but because there was no way it was fitting into 100 words.

“How much for the tuba?” I asked.

The clerk told me.

I smiled and let nostalgia glaze my face like a Kristy Kreme donut. “You know, my mom used to play the tuba. She had lungs on her like a pair of steel bagpipes. Growing up ,I thought she could put her lips to an elephant’s trunk and blow him up like a balloon, just like in the cartoons. Once, I put a ball bearing into the bell of her tuba before a performance, just as a prank. She played that whole concert, keeping it hovering in there. It wasn’t until the final note that she launched it up and out. Knocked out the conductor cold.” I chuckled, in a subdued way. “She passed away last year.”

The clerk looked amused and sympathetic at the same time. “Sounds like quite the lady. You know, I don’t normally do this, but I think I can give you a 20% discount on it. For your mom’s sake.”

“Wow, thanks!” I said. “That means a lot to me. I’ll think of her when I play it.”

I paid and arranged for the delivery. Then I strolled outside and down to the next music store. One down, three to go for my brass quartet.

“How much for the trumpet?” I asked when I was inside.

The shopkeeper told me.

I nodded and looked far away. “You know, my old grandpappy used to play the trumpet . . .”


Sword Music – Friday Fictioneers

First of all, I was very happy to see my picture appear here.  I’m curious to see what others make of it. Secondly, I won’t be able to do that much this week, since I’m out of town on a business trip until Sunday. I’ll have Internet and will try to find time to read some.

Copyright David Stewart

Copyright David Stewart

Sword Music

The first note hovered in the air like an orb-weaver hanging from the horn of the moon.

More instruments joined, the energy rising like a waking predator. It ascended, a frenetic dervish, around the musicians, touching the forest of upraised swords. The edges kindled, maddened to fury by the throbbing cacophony of raw power.

The music ceased, except the first lingering, arachnid note. The hungry light of a thousand blades was quenched in their sheaths.

“We desire peace,” the king said, “but you see our weapons. Go tell your people.”

The ambassador wiped his brow. “There will be peace,” he said.


Monster in the Closet

Belfry Rating - Dark

Monster in the Closet

 

 

There is a monster in my closet, waiting to rip my throat out.

I wake up, exhausted. I don’t want to do this again. I just want to get up and leave the room. I look towards the closet and in the deep gloom of the nighttime room, I can barely see that it is open a crack. The monster inside is quiet: you never hear anything until that snort of discharged steamy breath when it charges and it is too late. I close my eyes. I don’t want to die again.

Eight feet from the bed to the door; six to the closet. I should be able to make it but that thing is always too quick for me. I have tried it fast and I have tried it slow but it never matters. Once I even had my hand on the doorknob before I felt pincer-like jaws clamp down on my calves, crushing my tibias and fibulas and pulling me backwards towards its lair underneath my dress shirts. I even remember the hem of that red sweater tickling my face as the creature slashed my stomach and I felt my vital organs tumbling out like sausages from a slit shopping bag. I woke up in bed, thinking of that sweater. It was always too big for me, but I couldn’t give it away since my grandma had given it to me.

I have even tried just waiting. Once, I waited for what seemed like hours, biding my time until the sun rose and burned away the mists of this unending nightmare. But the sun never rose and I waited until my bladder was bursting. I wet the bed and waited some more until I was cold and stinking and frantic. I screamed, “Come get me, you bastard!” and ran for the door.

It came. It got me.

After that, I woke up in bed, in that same eternal half-darkness. I thought I could smell a faint aroma of urine, which scared me almost as much as the monster, but I didn’t know why.

Now, I sit up in bed. No reaction. Slowly, I take one pillow and hold it to my back. I prop the other in front of me and pulling out the thinnest blanket, I tie them to me. I cinch it so tight that I can barely breathe. Slowly, oh so slowly like a sloth on tranquilizers, I lower my foot to the ground.

As soon as I touch carpet, I’m off. There is a roar and a shriek of angry, Stygian breath. My hand is on the handle when I am yanked back. I scream and pull hard. There is a ripping sound and the pillow is torn away. I yank the door open and then I am out, in the dark hallway, running hard for the front door. The monster crashes through the bedroom door behind me and I can hear the wood of the frame splintering. I can’t make it to the door in time. It will be on me in a second. Then, it feels like time slows and just before those ravenous fangs sink into my flesh one more time, I flick on the light switch.

I wake up in bed to my cell phone buzzing angrily. It is my co-worker Larry.

“Hello?”

“Where are you?” Larry asks. “Are you coming to work today?”

“What time is it? How long have I been gone?” I ask. I must sound like a wild man because Larry suddenly sounds disconcerted.

“Settle down. You’re only fifteen minutes late. Are you sick?”

“No, I’ll be there,” I say. I hang up. Daylight is streaming into the room through the slits in the blinds. I look at the closet.

The door is open, just a crack.

There is no sound, but of course, there never is before it charges. But now it’s day. There has never been a cell phone call before. The nightmare must be over.

But I can’t explain why my heart is pounding so hard or why I can’t make myself step onto the carpet. Because as long as I stay on the bed, there is a chance that everything is fine and my closet is empty.

I find myself straining to hear breathing.

I don’t want to die again.

I don’t want to die again.

I don’t want to die—


Green-Walled Tower News: March Edition

I’m restructuring things a little here at the Green-Walled Tower. Not much, but a little. I’m cleaning out the attic and moving things around so they fit better. For one thing, I’m going to go back to concentrating on original fiction. I have tried various other projects here to mix things up but they never did as well as my fiction and I didn’t enjoy them quite as much. Also, I will be concentrating mostly on light, humorous stories. I do anyway, of course, and I will still be writing a variety of stories, including dark ones on occasion.

However, for those who don’t want to read scary, dark, or horror stories, I will put up a rating at the beginning to let you know, using my little mascot Belfry.

Belfry Rating - Dark

I won’t put up ratings for others just yet, except one, which is satire. I realize that I can write a pretty convincing satire at times, so if you read something of mine that seems a little too weird to be true (I will always say at the beginning of the post if it’s true, as well), check the end for the rating. It will always be at the end: I don’t want to spoil the show.

Belfry Rating - Satire

As well, I will be coming out with a way to buy some pretty cool Green-Walled Tower merchandise. The official announcement will probably be next week, with a contest to win some neat stuff. Stay tuned.

GWT logo - cropped


Death Don’t Us Part

Death Don't Us Part

Death Don’t Us Part

Life and death never end up like you think. I went to sleep one night, dreamed about being back at college with a lobster for a roommate, then woke up in a coffin. It was comfortable, at least.

I lay there for a bit, wondering why I had had a lobster for a roommate when I heard a tap, tap, tap.

“Who’s there?” I said. What else do you say?

“Is that you, Jamal?” It was my wife Olivia.

“Yeah, I’m in a coffin. Where are you?”

“In one too. I’m next to you.”

“Huh. Do you suppose we’re dead?”

“I suppose.”

There was a pause that could have been a few seconds or a few years.

“Do you think this is because we omitted ‘Til death do us part’ from our vows?” I asked.

“Could be. I never thought of this happening. So, you want to get out of here?”

“Can we?”

“After you, monsieur.”

I tried and a moment later, I found myself in a cemetery at night. A translucent version of Olivia appeared a moment later.

“Have you lost weight?” I asked. She rolled spectral eyes at me.

“You don’t have to be so grave about everything,” I said. That made her laugh.

“You kill me, you know?” she said.

“Not anymore. So, what now?”

She took my hand. “I don’t know, go visit our old haunts?”

“Now look who’s starting.”

We floated off. Together.


In An Alcoholic Home

David Stewart:

I found this a very powerful and honest piece. I’d encourage you to read it, especially if you’ve lived near alcoholism.

Originally posted on athingirldotcom:

stock-photo-fake-dictionary-dictionary-definition-of-the-word-alcoholism-181992131Both my parents were drinkers, and not of the modest variety.

My father died of cirrhosis of the liver at forty, while my mother, with ice tinkling in her glass, terrorized everyone and everything in her path. Even the goldfish were afraid of her.

As a kid growing up with serious drinkers, you never knew what to expect leaving its mark on you as an adult.

Why are you so edgy Susannah….always waiting for the other shoe to drop? A question I’ve been asked my whole life.

Well I’ll tell you, and it took 10 years in a 12 Step program to educate me on why I’m the way I am.

Imagine being raised by wolves, but just not as well.

I’d come home from school every day not sure what I’d find.

Would my mother be blissfully in the kitchen baking, or in my room breaking my 45s over…

View original 531 more words


The Id of Life – Friday Fictioneers

Copyright Rachel Bjerke

Copyright Rachel Bjerke

The Id of Life

The Manners of Life


Reflections Of Life's Journey

Lessons, Joys, Blessings, Friendships, Heartaches, Hardships , Special Moments

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Chris Green

Weird and Wonderful Short Stories

Finding Myself Through Writing

Writing Habits of Elle Knowles - Author

Commendable Soap

"...the manufacture of stories... a business safe and commendable as making soap..." Willa Cather, 1920

BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Inspiring mental health through creative arts and friendly interactions. (Award free blog)

Total Time Waste

A Humor Blog!

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Writing and art

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

Straight up with a twist– my twisted view of the world!

Unmapped Country within Us

Emily Livingstone, Author

The Found Girl

Reading too many books at a time

Silkpurseproductions's Blog

Learning how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BJ Writes

My online repository for works in progress

she is confidence in shadows.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!

obBLOGato

a Photo Blog, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to dear dirty New York

Björn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side

SightsnBytes

A.K.A. Ted White

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

Life in Kawagoe

Japanese daily sight

The Day After

Musings of a Wannabe Photographer

Mondays Finish the Story

This is a flash fiction site where you finish the story!

Sketches By Boze

An ongoing exploration of faith, culture, myth, life, art. An advocate for all who are trapped in nightmares.

San Diego Professional Writer's Group

A San Diego based critique group for professional and aspiring writers

Five Years to Mediocrity

chasing kitties; crashing scooters; and learning spanish, one anxiety attack at a time

athingirldotcom

never judge a girl by her weight

The Discerning Christian

Philosophy, Christianity, Social Justice

€merald Wake ©

❤ The art marked by the Pain ❤

Fiction et al

Navigating the modern business of book publishing

Yarnspinnerr

Just Fiction and other things that seem fictitious.

The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

marina kanavaki

Art Towards a Happy Day [painting - illustration - design]

aishpandey

....(this is not for those who say a no-no to change)

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Fantasy, Sci-fi, and all a child's imagination

Touching Light

The Thoughts and Fiction of H B Slade

Fun with Depression

Online Comedy Magazine

siobhanmcnamara

Writing, publishing, photography, news

"Black Mist and other stories"

I dreamt for stars, gathered stardust in my soul, sprinkling some to earth now, waiting for them to grow up in dream wood.

songbird sings to sun

book in kindle and createspace

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Poems, stories and other creations that make me who I am

castelsarrasin

The work and activities of a writer/bargee

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writer. shopaholic. foodie. beach bum. wanderer.

A Willing Heart

Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay, your people will be my people. Ruth 1:16

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