Why we're here.

A creative writing blog by Shawn M Klimek / Twitter: @shawnmklimek
(All rights reserved)

Friday, October 25, 2019

Back Up

The source of doctor-patient friction
Was the former’s grim prediction
Of the latter’s health decline
Resulting from his crooked spine.

"I’m confident,” the doctor said,
“That by tomorrow, you’ll be dead.”

Quasimodo swallowed spit.
(His back was up an extra bit).

“When the bell tolls in the gloom,”
The hunchback growled, "...ask not for whom,
“But if I ring it, as expected,”
“And then, thank God you stand corrected!”

A poem incorporating 5 random words: bit, confident, decline, friction, stand

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Unbreakable Laws

When Public Enemy Number One
Met Public Friend Five-O,
A startled gurgle turned guffaw
Just as he turned to go.
“Why should I yield to a sheriff’s shield?”
The bum began to brag,
Then opening his overcoat,
Revealed a foreign flag.
“I intend not to let you apprehend
"Me for deeds that you’ve outlawed,”
“Because your laws are not my laws,”
He said, “Your God is not my god.”
The Fed just scratched his head,
Because the thug seemed unaware
The wet cement he’d stopped in
Was quick-drying in the air.
“Some laws cannot be broken,”
Said Five-O. “The God that’s holy,”
“Created the laws of physics.”
...Then he read Miranda...slowly.

poem incorporating 5 random words: apprehend, brag, gurgle, overcoat, yield

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Payday for Rick

Rick squeezed the wrinkled, metal tube,
Extruding a white, worm of lube,

Onto his finest hogs-hair brush;
Then--being careful not to rush,

Yet keeping one eye on the clock,
Forced it into the cube-shaped lock.

Next, using his left fist to clench
The spring-steel, twist-flex torsion wrench

While his right hand began to flick
The pins with his half-diamond pick,

He listened for a whispered click
That meant it was “payday for Rick!”

Alas, despite his dexterous skill
The cube defied his greedy will.

No tools, nor skills nor well-aimed smudge
Could make the rusted lock pins budge

Before time ran out on the clock:
And so, Rick smashed it with a rock.

Challenge: story of fewer than 300 words, including the words “brush”, “cube” and “rock”.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Zoey, Joey & Chloe Find Happiness

Zoey loved zoology, but Joey loved the gym.
He offered no apology—
Just zoned during zoology,
Daydreaming of a treadmill to keep trim.
Though deskwork made her waistline doughy,
And she admired muscles, showy
Strength feats and a slender, sinewed limb,
Zebras meant the world to Zoey,
While they were “just okay” to Joey
(Zebras were still less impressed with him).

Her acred uncle’s northern tracts, according to his will,
To dodge the swindle of death tax,
Should stay unspoiled by plow or axe
As refuge for the arctic yaks until
The Aurora Borealis (glowy,
Eerie, ghostly) gleams through blowy
Blizzards on their cabin on the hill.
And if they do not like it snowy,
He bequeaths it all to Chloe,
Bastard daughter of her step-mom, Jill.

Concluding this chronology needs but one or two more facts:
Zoey loved zoology
And offered no apology
To Joey when she traded him for Yaks.
Broken-hearted, he cried though he
Soon was comforted by Chloe
Whose big thing was Ziggy Stardust tracks.
Now Chloe’s latest thing is Joey.
Both of them work out to Bowie,
So all is well that ends where nothing lacks.

A poem incorporating 5 random words: ACRED, NORTHERN, SWINDLE, ZOEY, ZOOLOGY

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

By A Thread

Strained from staring at the ceiling
‘Til his paint-smudged head was reeling,
Michelangelo said with feeling,
Someone in this crew is stealing!”

At first, all froze—for who would dare
To meet that wild, cerulean glare?
Those eyes like blades that stabbed the air
Above bowed heads (pretending prayer).

“I’ve got grave news,” the master griped
“For the wicked thief who swiped
“My measuring string: I’ll have you striped!
No wonder your people are stereotyped!

“When Raphael (who paints hair well—
“The man deserves his portion),
“Paints cherubs’ wings, he uses strings
“To ensure correct proportion.”

“When Botticelli paints a belly,
“He gives that torso torsion;
“But without twine, he’d cross a line
“To torturous distortion.”

“Look up,” he said, and craned his neck.
“See what your thievery soon shall wreck!
“If you had a string with which to check,
“You’d see my heaven’s going to heck!”

Vermillion flush from pale to lush
And Cadmium speckles from his brush,
Enhanced the master’s angry blush,
Evoking terror in the hush.

No witness tattled. No thief confessed.
Were they deaf, defiant, unimpressed?
Or merely distracted with building a nest?
A little bird might tell the rest.

A poem incorporating 5 random words: WRECK, PROPORTION, CEILING, STRING, NEWS

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

After the Offing, aka The Gashleycrumb Culprits

With apologies to the estate and ghost of Edward Gorey:
a poem to complement "After the Outing" aka "The Gashleycrumb Tinies".

A is for Abner, who pushed her in rage.
B is for Bertha who opened the cage.

C is for Charles, who ate off her plate.
D is for Dorothy who grabbed him—too late.

E is for Edith, whose joke was ill-timed.
F is for Forrest, whose bath toy gift slimed.

G is for Gladys, who said she should hide;
H is for Helga, who said “wait outside”.

I is for Isaac, who said she should swim;
J is for Janet, who kept the lights dim.

K is for Kevin, whose trick needs more practice;
L is for Luther, whose cakes taste like cactus;

M is for Martin, whose boat had loose flooring;
N is for Nancy, whose girl games were boring.

O is for Oscar, who ran with sharp tools.
P is for PAT who incited the fools

Q is for Queenie, who watched out of sight;
R is for Reggie, who set her alight.

S is for Steven, who “borrowed” her pills;
T is for Tiffany’s chemistry skills.

U is for Unser, who thought it was funny;
V is for Vickie, who dared him—for money;

W is for William, the snowball fight winner;
X is for Xena, whose pets needed dinner;

Y is for Yasmine, the brickmaker’s daughter;
Z is for Ziggy, who said it was water.

The above artwork and integrated poem are both copyrighted to Edward Gorey

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

50-Word Stories

As high tide retreated, the partial corpse, bloated, bleached and brined, became wedged against the estuary grating, where it was spotted by a pre-dawn jogger. Later, Detective Bronson reviewed the coroner’s report, noting with interest the wound descriptions. No hints were mentioned of an excised tattoo. Bronson sighed with relief.

“What’s in the basket?” Nyla challenged.
“A two-part forgiveness cake,” Corina replied. “Part one is my apology, represented by cake ingredients. Part two will be your forgiveness, represented by a cake!”
“For the amount of forgiveness I intend,” said Nyla withdrawing an egg and taking aim, “this egg is surplus.”

“That’s every pillow! Now, will you shut up?”
“What about that last pillow?”
“That one’s mine.”
“But I’m still uncomfortable. Can you prop it under my head, please?”
“I’ve got a better place for it. If you’re still uncomfortable, just say so. What’s that?  Sorry, I can’t read sign language.”

“Get in quickly, Marjory! I’ll tell you at home!”
“Hold on, Mel! At least let me tell the waiter to put our dessert in a doggy-bag.”
“Leave it!” He urged, adding in a whisper. “I lost my wallet!”
“Lost your wallet!?”
“Shhh! Not so—Damn it! There went our cab.”

For too long, the urge in Byron’s bowels had felt itself unfairly imprisoned. The office didn’t feel private, the subway seemed filthy, and the only toilet at home proved occupied. With saintly patience, the urge waited, until upon hearing the words, “Sorry, mate. We’re out of toilet paper,” it rioted.

The deal-breaker for Jessica was when her date emerged from the men’s room too soon to have washed up. During the escorted walk home later, she still hadn’t decided whether a farewell kiss was less dreadful than a handshake when her allergies sympathetically recommended a wet sneeze into both hands.

“The crown is coming along nicely,” Hilda enthused. “Keep going, Emily. It’s almost out!”
Emily strained and grunted, concluding her achievement with a howl of anguished relief.
“A small miracle!” Hilda exclaimed. “You got out all the tarnish. Now, take a break and then you can tackle Her Majesty’s scepter.”

Mrs. Glenn raised the swollen finger choked blue by her wedding ring.
“I’ve been meaning to have it resized,” she said, grimacing in agony.
Alarmed, Dr. Cliff grabbed disinfectant, anesthetic and a scalpel.
“I can still save the finger,” he said, “but only if you release that bag of chips.”

Tristan cursed when the replacement battery for his TV remote rolled under the couch. When he reached blindly amongst the crumbs and dust bunnies, he momentarily surprised a cockroach. The battery rolled free as he snatched back his hand, but he’d already lost interest in the horror movie he’d rented.

“We park at the overlook…”
“She’s wary, so I compliment her perfume.”
“'It’s lavender shampoo,’ she says. ‘Intoxicating’ I say, and lean close."
“So, you finally kissed!”
“Wait for it! ‘The windows are fogging’ she says, so, I roll one down. In …flies…a…bee!”
“I run home.”

Intending to live-stream her suicidal plummet from the skyscraper observation deck, Nancy ascended the barricade with one hand on her camera phone. Despite being fat and ungraceful, she reached the top; and despite being unworthy of notice, drew every gaze. Encouraged by these achievements, she took a commemorative selfie instead.

Enroute to the bathroom, Dean found himself suddenly staggering to his left, as though aboard a listing ship. Was he having a stroke? Determined to check his reflection in the bathroom mirror, he was startled to encounter a stranger with a questioning look on their face. Avocado? He inquired, impatiently.

Beside the hole lay an object wrapped in a blue tarp and bound with rope. Realizing it might be a grave, I must have gasped because the digger looked up and our eyes met. My heart pounded. “It’s not what it looks like!” he shouted. Relieved, we both started laughing.

Calibration drift in the starship’s engines meant constant intervention would be required to maintain light speed. This meant either exposing a skeleton crew to lethal radiation, risking mutations by frequently interrupted cryo-sleep, or downgrading to a sub-light engine and surviving as pirates. Captain Fox shook his fist and cursed, “Arrgh!”

“Put away the comic book, Connor,” said Mrs. Kennedy, pointing. “Can you tell me the difference is between a superhero and an ordinary citizen?”
Panicked, Connor looked up at the ceiling, trying to recall a likely platitude.
Mrs. Kennedy ignored the other raised hands.
“That’s right. Superpowers,” she said, telepathically.

Three prisoners walked into a bar.
The bar formed the top frame of their cell doorway and every new prisoner had to learn the hard way to duck when entering and exiting. The guards thought it was funny. So, when this trio finally escaped, they took the bar with them.

“Riding the Milky Way “bus”, Earthlings travel the universe at 1.3 million mph—too slow to ever reach another star. Fortunately, the universe itself spins (a fact more obvious from the outside), and to cross it, one need only briefly disembark. So, pack light,” she said. “It’s dark out there.”

Darla unbuckled her seatbelt, sidled into the aisle and then headed for the economy class lavatory. Another passenger, awoken by the click of her buckle, threw off her blanket and scrambled cruelly into her path. A third passenger then cut off the interloper, who groaned.
“Karma!” Darla thought without thinking.

Once the plane was airborne, Glenda kicked off her shoes, plugged in her earphones and tuned the music dial for easy listening. Finally, she activated the seat recline button beside her and, closing her eyes, leaned way back, confident of spoiling any chance of comfort for the passenger behind her.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Trip the Lights Apocalyptic

The more we suckle at the muse,
The more ideas that crowd our brains.
Before among the best we choose
Some fix to us like bloody stains.
So trip the lights apocalyptic
(If you can’t be deep, be cryptic)

A poem incorporating 5 random words: APOCALYPTIC, AMONG, CROWD, FIX, SUCKLE

Stop The Alien Migrants

Having ever eavesdropped on their alien babbling,
We’ve known to reach the stars was man’s desire,
But long dismissed their science as primitive dabbling
(Compared to ours, akin to taming fire).

If ignorance is bliss, then let’s admit it:
We considered them ripe for conquest, if at all,
But today their scientists declared “We did it!”
And that's why I say it's time we build a wall.

A poem incorporating 5 random words: ALIEN, BABBLING, BLISS, DESIRE, RIPE

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Unread Tome

I know some classic books, like Moby Dick,
Are such my education should include.
But anytime I start a tome that thick,
I always find I’m just not in the mood.

My eyes glaze over, my brain turns to brick;
The inner pages may as well be glued.
I’d rather watch the latest action flick,
About some kick-ass chick with attitude.

But lately, when we lie in bed at night,
I tend to face your faceless hairy dome.
Though lovely, haloed by the nightstand light,
The face I miss is buried in some tome.

Perhaps if I read more we’d talk about it.
The mere thought makes me sleepy, so I doubt it.