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Ninja Parlor Tricks

It was a mistake to make a parlor trick of her wall walking, the ninja thought, now people thrilled at the silent sound of her footfall before she dispatch them. They died with delight in their eyes, her employers wouldn’t like that.

Still, the party had been extremely edifying for the ninja. It was nice to be seen and appreciated for a change. “There’s always such a clamor for the world to recognize and appreciate service workers… aren’t I performing a valuable service?” she thought. She slipped under the fence undetected by the dogs and motion sensors.

“But even the service workers unions didn’t recognize ninjas. Aren’t ninjas in your service as well?” she asked this rhetorically of herself in the silence between entering the shed and beheading the gardener.

She sprinted home across ridgepoles and rooftops, anticipating the night ahead of her. Giddy off the thought of being seen and  admired by strangers. She laughed when she thought of ninja service unions and ninja strikes – silently of course, she was a very good ninja, and she was on the clock.

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Empty Except for Daydreams

No one ever bought me a diamond ring, though one did drive across country pulling tiger lilies out of ditches and filled his truck bed with them to be mine.

 

He opened the truck gate and those flowers glowed in the morning sun mightily. He was all salt sweat and tired from days of driving, his weary face beamed in the sun just for me. The birds were singing like they’d been waiting all night to queue up the moment. The storybook beauty of it isn’t lost on me, that morning was right out of a fairy tale.

I wish I could tell you a fairy tale ending, but we weren’t each others’ stories.

Broken hearts will cling to anyone; and my, aren’t I easy to cling to for those that are broken like that. They come to me all raw and vulnerable and I love them, I do… but I know to throw them back. Even a flawless diamond will appear dull and muted if the cut is poor.

And I threw him back, him and his flower bed, all the way back to Carolina. I wish I could tell you it was bittersweet but it’s only that way looking back… Back then nothing stuck and I didn’t want it to, my heart was scared and Teflon, cruel and non-reactive, and his heart wasn’t much better, empty except for daydreams.

Dispersion causes the white light to be separated into multiple colors

I’ve been married twice, and proposed to some times past that; Once I laid in a bed of tiger lilies and pretended for a night that I was a diamond, but I’ve never been offered anything past the daydreams of broken men. I sit with that, my weary face beaming in the sun… the light a diamond reflects is referred to as its ‘fire’ … The remaining rays of light travel into the center of the diamond and bounce off its internal walls.

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Your Protagonist is a Shadow

Your protagonist has a broken wing, your protagonist is dying, your protagonist is idolized by a race that lived in the edges of your shadow.

Your protagonist is shadow, your protagonist eats shadow, your protagonist is a carnival of black auroras. Your protagonist is writers block.

Your protagonist is writing. Your protagonist is flying. Your protagonist is nobody’s hero so just fucking forget the plot already.

Your protagonist is a wolf, your protagonist is a bird, your protagonist lives deep in the wooded glen near all your childhood memories.

Your protagonist hates your mother, your protagonist is your mother, your mother lives on edges of the shadows of your protagonist’s climax.

Your climax is a lie, your climax is rubbish, your protagonist hates your climax, your protagonist is your climax, your protagonist is a lie.

Your protagonist is dead. This story is a broken wing.

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Travis Bean

Travis bean neckHave you ever seen a Travis Bean guitar? It has a solid aluminum neck and center section that runs through the guitar’s body, a T cutout – the pickups are directly mounted to the aluminum – the sound is incredible.  I used to own one, or at least, I lived in the same house with one, lived in a house with my husband, the musician. Tracked it down before ebay, we bought it with our student loan money and extra shifts at the mall.

The day the Travis Bean came, all cream and chrome, I laid it like a prayer, like a new lover, on my side of the bed, anticipating that he’d be so into it and into playing it he’d forget all about me… which was thrilling, because he could play, and he was somebody.

He arrived home that day to my excitement without acknowledgment, without gratitude, without touching me, or my proxy. I slept on the couch. I can’t come up with any other explanation as to why he’d deny this excitement to me or himself other than he was an asshole. He was young and awful: all math, sarcasm, cruelty, control, and logic… but damn, he really could play.

That guitar was beautiful, machined to sound like heaven, heavy and smooth. I liked seeing it in his hands, I liked watching him work it. I wasn’t much, but he and that guitar were my everything. I suppose I was young too: all empty insecurity, filling myself with guilt, enthusiasm, and hero worship.

Eventually I left him, first in a series of leavings that would teach me who I was. You break-up, you grow up. He grew to be a philosophy professor, putting his art and music away, tucking his Travis Bean under his bed with the dust bunnies and old shoes. To be honest, my heart broke a little to hear he’d traded his guitar for tenure. It’s hard to know someone turned away from something they put some much of their heart into, that I put so much of my heart into.

Sometimes I check online auctions, maybe he’s sold that incredibly perfect guitar to someone who plays it, maybe I’ll go see a show and I’ll see my proxy, the Travis Bean in someone’s hands again, there were only a few thousand ever made, and I loved one once.