WordPress Daily Prompt – Grainy

I remember the days,
Like small grains of sand,
In the folds of skin,
I feel them before I see them.

Like fuzzy photographs
Taken in the dark,
With subjects on the move,
I know we were there but can’t quite make out where.

I can feel your memory,
Like a stray hair,
Dancing across my arm,
Just like I’m sure your fingers used to.

Like a sudden chill,
Sliding over my shoulders
And tumbling down my spine,
The way I’m sure your hands once did.

Stop, Drop and Roll

WordPress Daily Prompt – Willy-Nilly

The car slowed as it approached the tower of smoke billowing from the middle of the road.

“Well, look at that.” Donny craned his neck over the steering wheel to follow the smoke into the air. “Fuck.” He jerked his thumb towards the younger man in the passenger seat, “you should get out and check that out.”

“What? Why me?” Jesse pushed back into the old cloth seat as if it could hold him in the car. “Just go around it, we don’t need trouble.”

Donny shook his head slowly, “Nah, there could be supplies.”

“No offense but that shit looks like it’s on fire. If there were supplies they’re gone.” Donny was unswayed.

“It’s just a product of the world man, all this shit goin’ willy-nilly. You’ll be fine, I’ll be right here in the car.”

“I’m not gettin’ out of the car.” Jesse pulled his seatbelt tighter across his hips. “Just go around it.”

Donny took in the scene slowly. “Ok, fine.” With more force than necessary he slammed the car into park and threw the door open before letting it slam behind him with a “bitch.”

“Whatever! Bitch, I’m the one still in the car. I’m not gonna get robbed today.” Jesse watched Donny disappear around the wreckage and into the smoke as he hunkered lower into the old seat.

“Oh shit! Jesse!” Donny reappeared through the smoke with fire trailing from the end of his tattered shirt. “Jesse! Oh fuck!”

“Stop, drop and roll motherfucker!” Jesse wrestled with the clasp on the seatbelt. “Ah, shit! It’s stuck! Donny, stop, drop and roll!”

In the street Donny dropped to his knees and flopped around like a dying fish.

“Roll dumbass! Roll!” Jesse slammed his fist into the seatbelt clasp and felt it whip across his hips as it finally released. “Hold on buddy!”

“Help me!” Donny yelped.

“Ok! Ok! Hold on!”

“I’m burnin’ fucker! I can’t hold on!” Jesse grabbed hands full of sand from the side of the road and began smothering the flames as Donny writhed in the street.

“Roll around dumbass!”


“Fuckin’ roll!” Jesse grabbed Donny’s arm and forced him over and over. “Fuckin’ roll you idiot!”

“Listen fucker! Quit callin’ me stupid!”

“You are stupid! You didn’t know to stop, drop and roll? They teach that shit in preschool!”

Donny pushed his fingers through the freshly burned holes in the bottom of his shirt. “There ain’t no guarantee that shit’s gonna work, this world’s all willy-nilly now.”

“Stop, drop and roll always works. Dumbass.”

Messed Up Broken Down Carousel

WordPress Daily Prompt – Carousel

Round and round we go, like some messed up broken down carousel.

I don’t know what you’re in my face about this time

But I know you’ve never pinned me into the corner like this,

And your eyes have never bulged so far and been so red

As your spittle lands on my cheeks.

“I just don’t understand why no one understands!”

I’m not sure what we don’t understand,

But you’re gripping my arm to keep me from running.

I really just want to escape to my bedroom, shut and lock the door

But I honestly think this will be the time you break it down.

Then suddenly

You’re gone

And it’s over.

Later you’ll give me some lame “I’m sorry but …” and tell me how it was all my fault

And round and round we’ll go,

Like some messed up broken down carousel.

The Interview

WordPress Daily Prompt – Casual

Stay calm, keep it casual.

Despite the mantra playing in my head my heart is hammering away in my throat and my stomach is threatening to send my breakfast back up.

No good, we don’t like it. Toast and eggs! Send it back!

I squeeze my eyes shut and press them until the darkness erupts into a thousand colors. Reds and yellows swirl through halls of blue and purple. I know once I open them the colors will be replaced with dread, total dread written across the faces of everyone else in the room. My face must be contorted in fear too but it’s so normal in this room that no one will spare more than one glance.

A loud buzz rips through the halls. One would expect some emotion but instead everyone remains still, statuesque.

Stay calm, keep it casual.

One of the pristine steel doors slides open. A perfectly manicured assistant taps her foot impatiently.

“Lake.” Her voice falters on my name, I can practically hear her thoughts. I’ve heard them frequently throughout my life.

What kind of name is that?

I shuffle through the lobby towards her as she eyes me with skepticism. I can’t help but notice her pen moving across the paper already.

Nope, don’t count me out yet.

“Room 12. Remember, calm, casual. This is a good experience.” Her robotic instructions do nothing to ease my heart back into my chest or calm my stomach.

The hall is silent except for an occasional muffled sob or giggle. My mind wanders to the kinds of favors that are being traded behind those doors. Surely for a giggle the favor must be great. Despite what the assistant claimed this was not a good experience.

Room 12’s door sat slightly ajar. For some reason it only made my nerves worse. Had the assistant already communicated her notes about me? Were they so sure I would be dispatched that there was no longer any need for formalities?

“Come in.” A low, quiet voice beckoned.

A middle aged man with graying hair and glasses perched on the edge of his nose motioned to a chair in the middle of the room. He made no move to clear the clutter of folders from his desk, instead plucking one from a carton on the floor by his feet and plopping atop the others. His computer pinged relentlessly.

“Lake.” His eyes ran through the pages in the folder.

“My mom named me after …”

“I don’t care.” His eyes finally left the folder and settled on me. “You have a pretty extensive … record here.” My face grew hot.

“I can explain.”

“No, you can’t.”


“I can do better?” It was a lame response said with all the flatness of someone who would never mean it. To my surprise the man almost cracked a smile.

“No, you won’t.” He grabbed a stamp from the corner of his desk and smashed it down on my folder. “But that’s why you get to stay.”

Where the Dreamers Sleep

WordPress Daily Prompt – Symphony

With help from: Random Line Generator

In the streets of harmony the dreamers sleep,
Slowly the city beats,
Giving rise to a symphony,
Forming a low cacophony.
No slow breath can quiet
Though moments of zen can be found,
In the streets of harmony where the dreamers sleep.

I wasn’t expecting that to work out. I went to a random line generator because I wanted to write but I wasn’t really feeling the daily prompt … turns out they worked together quite well. Random line “In the streets of harmony the dreamers sleep,”

In Those Moments of Less Than

WordPress Daily Prompt – Substandard

Actual blog post time!

I hate to actually get a little bit personal in a bloggy way but I’ve been wanting to let this load off my shoulders and this prompt is just perfect for it.

Substandard, shoddy, third-rate, below rate, sub-par, crummy, lousy ….

I’m going to go ahead and put a confession out there: I’m insanely and unnecessarily hard on myself.

I’ve gotten better as the years have gone by but there was a point when it was all or nothing and I frequently just opted for nothing as I figured I would never even dream of achieving “all”.

Even now, when I’ve learned to accept compliments and recognize the things I’ve achieved I have moments where I feel like a complete and total failure.

Last night was a complete and total failure night. I ended up sitting on my bed in tears repeating to myself that I was not a failure.

But I felt like one.

I’m a single mom and my daughter is a preteen with an attitude bigger than life. I’m behind in school work. I don’t understand the homework. My house isn’t clean enough. My younger dog seems to have forgotten his training. My older dog is having none of it and is letting everybody know. My load at work has doubled and my stress has tripled (which has snowballed and led to some of the other things).

By the end of Sunday night it was all I could do to simply hold it together and in the end I couldn’t accomplish that either.

I felt completely substandard.

I think it’s easy, especially these days when we have social media to egg on these perfect images of life, to feel that way.

It’s important to remember that everyone struggles, we all have our moments where we feel less than. It’s how we handle them that counts.

Allowing those moments to take over and consume us will only lead down a path of more doubt, more confusion, more self loathing.

Take it from someone who has been there and done that. It’s not fun.

It sounds ridiculous, I thought so at first too, but when I’m having a moment where I feel like a failure I talk myself up. People laugh, “Oh you talk to yourself! Har har!” Damn straight I do. And you know what? It works.

I repeat some of the things I’ve achieved.

Sometimes they’re the simplest of things: I cooked dinner. We have a place to live and food. I have a job.

But sometimes those simple achievements are the ones I really need to appreciate.