Friday, September 5, 2014

Scene from a Rerview Mirror, my effort at Wordplay Season 2, Episode Two


Scene from a Rearview Mirror

By Kevin S. Mahoney

 

          I didn’t have to stop for him.  My light was off.  I was just a few miles from the shop.  My fare sheet was full enough that I’d be taking a good haul home.  I’d looked the back seat over when I stopped for gas and coffee, and it was free of both puke and dropped cell phones.  The hand-off would have been seamless.

But there was enough light over him to see his shiner.  And there was half a sleeve caught in the edge of his suitcase.  His shocked face shone in the mercury vapor lamp, his stubble casting a shadow down his neck.  I couldn’t tell if he was in trouble or merely running from it before I passed him by.

The light turned red at the corner.  I stopped.  He started towards me.  He wasn’t running, but he wasn’t moving with any dignity either.  The single suitcase pulled him off center, but he squared his shoulders and was trying so hard.  The light changed.

I took my foot off the brake.  I was about to signal left and get out of there, when his hand found the latch on the passenger’s side rear door.  The door opened, but he didn’t pile in like the drunks normally do, he just ducked his head in and tried to find my eyes in the mirror.

“I have money,” he said.  “I just need a ride across town.”

His voice cracked on the word ride.  It wasn’t panic, not quite yet, but I could hear his breath whistling in his throat.  His adrenaline must be pumping pretty hard to make him sound so young.  I waved him into the backseat. 

He slid his suitcase over behind me and sat down.  I turned my signal off and pulled away from the intersection.  I was going to give him a minute to think.  Then, the back window exploded all over us.

          “What the hell is this?!” I said.  I was accelerating, straining to outdistance whoever had it in for him, my eyes switching to the rearview mirror, then back to the road ahead.  There was an intersection in the distance; I made for it, even though I couldn’t see anyone following the car.

          “She said it was mine.  She just dropped it on me over dinner when I noticed she wasn’t drinking.  When I told her I didn’t believe her, she hit me.  Right in the face.  After that, she came at me with the table lamp.  I got her to calm down.  I promised her we’d talk about it in the morning, like adults.  But I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t.  So when she finally started to snore, I got up as quietly as I could and packed what I could get to without making any noise.”

          I didn’t know what to believe.  I guess it didn’t matter.  We were going to an airport, a train station, or maybe a friend’s house.  But we were going to find an ATM first.  There was no way I was paying to replace that window myself.

Miscellany:
  • This is my attempt at exposition as per the video here.  I think Miss Harper's videos are great fun, and while I don't usually do the challenges, I thought I might try this one.  The phrase I based the above on was, "I could have stopped at any time".
  • This piece was written using my Pandora Neil Young Station and Guatemalan coffee.
  • I used both the infodump (the passenger) and incluing (the driver) in this piece.
  • Once again, comments are welcome.  My email is thesagest77@gmail.com and my twitter handle is @TheSagest.  Please forward all praise or gripes.

         

         

Friday, August 8, 2014



 


The Flying Snowman, Mordor, The No Prize, and Hulk’s Teeth
by Kevin S. Mahoney


 


            The much better writer than I, John Scalzi, invented a term for the thing in a fictional work that throws your disbelief out of kilter and takes your head out of a story.  He called it a Flying Snowman.  It’s a neat concept.  He has a great blog post about it here.  He also tweeted something about the Hulk’s teeth being a FS for him in Marvel Comics. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

One of the Missing: Curious Liquids Café


        
        I live in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts.  I have lived in this area, minus a short stint in upstate NY, my entire life.  I have seen a lot change in thirty plus years.  Most of the changes are grand.  Our museums got bigger and better.  We lost our ugly over street highway in favor of a tunnel system and more parks.  Even Fenway Park has made steps towards modernization.  Still, sometimes, I realize I miss some feature of the city that’s long been gone.  When that happens, and I remember to write it up, you’ll get a story about it under this heading.*

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Secrets of the World I've Seen


            There are a million nooks and crannies in the world.  There are caves and alleyways, cubbies and caverns, causeways and cairns.  People see the same sights every day, and become inured to them.  But some of us pay attention, some of the time.  And we learn things about where we live and what’s around.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Blizzard Friendly Post


The Lake of Dissolved Effigies

By Kevin S. Mahoney

            It was one of those things no one thought about, like the lint under the refrigerator, or who cut their barber’s hair.  Thousands were made, every year, in any location that would support the art form.  Generation schooled generation on the process, families united in cold purpose.  Every form was unique.  Each artifact was personalized, sculpted by its creators from their environment.  Each building block was unlike every other one, from the macroscopic to the microscopic level.  Molecules were connected, melding from the warmth of the people, changing according to their whims, each form distinct and temporary.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Dishmas!!


       It’s been a stressful holiday season for me internet.  The shopping/wrapping/shipping cycle was finished about half an hour before the first Christmas Eve party.  In between all the usual time demands, my fiancée and I looked for a new apartment, my sister visited with her kids, both of my parents got the flu (not at the same time) and I forfeited a ton of sleep and time to myself.

          One of the odd consequences of that last thing?  The dishes piled up a couple of times in my sink last week.  This is really unusual for a few reasons.  One, my kitchen is super tiny, so other than coffee and cereal, I rarely cook or eat at home.  Second, I usually wash my dishes the minute I’m through with them.  It takes just a couple of minutes to wash one bowl, cup, and spoon and I like my kitchen a certain way.  But running to different stores, the post office, and a couple of apartment buildings in the same day, makes certain chores take a back seat.

          So twice this week I had twenty minutes of washing up to do, and while I was doing it, I realized I missed it.  I used to live in a giant Victorian house in Brighton with four other people, all on different schedules, all less likely to do dishes than me.  So to make morning coffee (or to just be able to find the space to clean the coffee pot) I routinely did thirty minutes of other people’s washing up every morning.  It bothered me only occasionally (finding a prized glass crushed under the melee of dishes that could have been stacked and stabilized with a moment’s thought will do that) but it was a great mental cleanser.  Every morning I would be up before everyone else, and spend half an hour mining order out of their chaos.  And every morning I would feel a small calm glow of accomplishment from it.  I hadn’t had that buzz or the quiet it stemmed from, in a long time, maybe close to a year.

          So I guess that tiny hidden bit of joy is something I’d like to relate and possibly pass on to you, oh three readers of this blog.  Now that the holiday season is finally waning, ask yourself what fun productive thing you haven’t done in a while.  The moment obligation doesn’t intrude, go do it.  Let me know if you find the same neglected joy I found.  Call that joy my gift to you.  Merry Dishmas, internet, and have a happier New Year.

 

 
Miscellany:

·        As always, I welcome comments to this post or others on this blog.  You can comment here.  If you enjoy tweeting, I’m @TheSagest there, or if you’re old fashioned, you can mail me at TheSagest77@gmail.com.
·        For those of you paying attention (all one of you): no I didn’t work on the book this month.  It’s not that I didn’t have any time at all, although it feels that way.  I’m just prioritizing family, future living conditions, and not collapsing over what is essentially a vanity project.  It’s probably the right thing to do.
·        This post was mulled over the last week, and it was quicker to compose than the others here so far.  I did use my Neil Young station on Pandora to make the writing easier.
 

 
 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Letter to Enter the Haggis

Hey readers (all three of you),
        One of my favorite bands is doing a concept album, songs inspired by stories of fans.  To be considered you have to write them a letter and send it in through the actual post.  I've got a bunch of stories.  I've started with the best one.  This post is just a cut & paste of the letter, more or less.  Read and enjoy it, if you can.