Reality TV Presents: “Just Good Ole Boys”

 

Reality TV Presents: “Just Good Ole Boys”

I knew when I married him that Ry was not the sharpest tool in the chest. What I didn’t know was the extent of the lack of sharpness or the fact that he was, indeed, a tool.

I took his desire to be on a reality tv series about a group of good ole boys in stride, figuring that, while he was cute as all get out, he really knew nothing about being a good ole boy except for his love of cars. Somehow that must have won the hearts, minds, and souls of those “in the know” because he was cast.

In the weeks that followed Ry was glued, almost literally (don’t ask; there was super glue involved), to youtube watching every single fishing, hunting, and gun video that existed.

“I’m gonna be famous, honey, just you wait,” he said. He smiled at me, his big blue eyes shining and that dimple creating a crater in the side of his cheek and I remembered why I married him: because he was cuter than sin. I dug deep and found acceptance of his new found desire for fame. My bad.

I would like to say, “somehow” Ry forgot about the constantly rolling cameras, but there was no “somehow” involved. Ry forgot about ten minutes into their filming and went about life the way he always had. He became an immediate sensation. People loved him. He was a cute, foolish man who frequently needed to be reminded to put on pants. Again, literally.

Which is how I found out about Lily Conrad Shears. Real name.

On that fateful afternoon with the cameras of “Just Good Ole Boys” running, Ry Hulver stepped into the afternoon sunshine draped across Lily Conrad Shears’ front porch in his blue plaid button down and his boxers. He stood there looking around and you half-expected him to break into a chorus of “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” but instead the door opened behind him and Lily Conrad Shears thrust my husband’s blue jeans into his arms and then twiddled her fingers at the camera. She was wearing only a black and red teddy.

I have been assured that there are worse things than finding out via nationally broadcast television that your cuter than sin husband has been boinking an invasive, predatory species. When asked what, the immediate response is death, of course. Which is why the sheriff of Carderiff County is on his way here. But between you and me, I didn’t do it. Oh, I’ll probably tell the sheriff that too, so never mind the between you and me thing. We’ll just catch up later.

end 3/22/20167

S. Darlington

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“I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl”

If thoughts are as bad as deeds, then Leah knows she’s karmically going to a really bad place.

Ever since Tony yelled viciously at the children, making Nellie cry body-racking sobs, she’s considered ways to leave him . . . or kill him.

But he’s constantly around, claiming to work from home. He doesn’t trust her. He thinks she’s going to run off with some man. What man? A bloke at the shop?

He watches her all the time, checks her mobile, even hacked into her email. He labels her best friend, Jane, a lesbo because Jane doesn’t react to his “charms.” Did he have some once? He must have. Once. Or she wouldn’t be here.

“Babe, fry me some mushrooms,” he says.

She almost says “no” because neither she nor the children like them. And, then she remembers the article warning about the deathcap mushrooms.

 

end 3/20/2017

S. Darlington

 

Semantics

My grandpa was a firm believer in words and thoughts. He often said, “If people could think their way out of a paper bag, there would be no wars.”

What paper bags had to do with wars, I never quite knew, but for a very long time I repeated that thought mostly to my classmates who nodded solemnly as if I had spoken great wisdom. Of course, Gar Parker, my nemesis, had to ask: “What’s that mean?”

I hitched myself up to my 4’7” and looked him firmly in his freckled nose and said: “It’s self-evident.”

He laughed. “You don’t know, do you?”

I pushed him. “I do so. It’s about wars and paper bags. I said so, didn’t I?”

He laughed harder and then had the audacity to pull one of my braids. I reared back and hit him with all of my might, which hurt me, probably more than him, although he did go sprawling on his backside and I had the momentary pleasure of seeing the tallest boy in class hunkering down, momentarily, in front of me. I didn’t know what to expect, certainly not the smile that appeared as his hand slid over his cheek.

“You hit hard for a girl,” he said.

Unfortunately for me, Miss Council saw me hit Gar and marched me to the Principal Cartwright’s office.

Later that evening, grandpa said: “Do not conquer your enemies, become one with them.”

The throb in my knuckles made those words sound like very good advice indeed. “He’s not an enemy, grandpa, he’s just a boy.”

Grandpa grinned. “One of those, eh? Now that’s much more work than an enemy.”

“No kidding.”

“But soon you’ll have him eating out of your hand.”

“He’s a boy, not a dog.”

“Semantics, my dear, semantics.”

 

end 3/19/2017

S. Darlington

 

Damages

 

Exchange Student XII

Previous installments of Exchange Student can be found here.

He looks dead.

His face is pale. There’s caked blood under his nose, along the ridge of his upper lip, on his chin. I glance around me before approaching him, surprised that he’s by himself.

“Eddie,” I whisper, half-afraid that he will not respond, half-afraid that he will. I take his hand in mine and squeeze. It’s warm to the touch and just that dissolves some tension.

His eyes open. For a moment he frowns as if trying to place me. “Posh. You’re here.”

I smile. “What happened?”

“I got pissed and went for a walk,” he says, a slur in his voice. He closes his eyes again, but his thumb rubs over the knuckles on my hand, letting me know he’s still awake.

I lift his hand to my lips, kiss his fingers.

The curtain opens with a rasp of its rings on the metal rod. A gray-haired man enters, his blue eyes flicking over me with something like disdain.
“Who are you?” he demands.

“I’m Eddie’s friend,” I say.

“Ah, the little American from the show. The controversy,” he says in a clipped accent as if I should understand what this last bit means. “I’m afraid you’ll have to go now. Edward’s on his way to a rehabilitation centre.”

Two male attendants appear as if on cue.

“Father, give me a moment with Posh,” Eddie says.

“Posh,” his father repeats. “No. We have no time. We must get you admitted into the facility. I have an appointment.”

Eddie clutches my hand as if it were a life-preserver. “You’ll visit?”

“Not possible. Only family,” his father says, summarily dismissing me.

Tears sting my eyes as I see the distress crease Eddie’s face. I lean over to kiss him when he grabs me by the upper arms and almost hauls me onto the hospital bed. He smells of beer and vomit and antiseptic.

“Don’t forget me,” he says, his voice urgent, almost panicked.

“That’s enough, Edward,” his father says. He then gestures to the attendants.

I watch them wheel the bed down a long corridor. There’s a strange silence around me, a vacuum. I feel almost afraid to move, as if movement will shatter calm. No one looks at me. I feel as if I am invisible. I fold my arms across my chest, tuck my chin downward, and walk into the permeating chill rain.

Tomorrow at this time I will be on a plane just hours out of Norfolk International Airport. My family will pick me up, be relieved to see that after a semester abroad I am unscathed.

My former crazy has been tamped down with the help of a soul nearly as broken as mine and I will think of him, nearly constantly at first, wondering about his hours and his welfare, wondering if he thinks of me, or if a new smiling visage inspires his heart. And I will daydream that somewhere down the years we will meet, perhaps at the Tonys or the Academy Awards or the BAFTAs. We will be elegant and charming and witty outwardly, but inwardly we will still be two kids, Posh and Eddie, who once fell in love.

 

end 3/18/2017

S. Darlington

Falling

Exchange Student XI

Previous installments of Exchange Student can be found here.

He tries to be gentle. He says he’s never been with a virgin before and, oddly, despite what I’ve seen, I believe him. I want him, but this is not lovely. It is not a gift. It feels sharp and painful, uncomfortable, like being jabbed with scissors.

“I’m sorry, Posh,” he says, his voice a whisper. He strokes my face gently, nuzzles my neck.

The pain ebbs, leaving a throbbing discomfort that I try not to think about. He holds me tightly to him. Our breathing merges as if we have become one. Abstract images of us play through my mind. I imagine never having to leave England, of being here with Eddie, for always. I fall asleep to such dreams.

When I wake, my face is pressed into his neck, legs entwined, his arms locked around me. A soft light filters through the window. It could be anytime from 9 to 3.

I hear the subtle shift in his breathing, know that he too is awake now.

“I could stay this way forever,” he says and then kisses me.

This time I understand why people have sex.

Back at my room, I plod through my homework, my brain only partly engaged. My mind is chaos.

We took a selfie in the back of the taxi and I stare at the image of our faces pressed together. I cannot rid myself of the feeling that this, what we have, is ephemeral. I send the image to my email so that there is a copy. At this moment, the image is the only proof of us.

I receive a text message from my Aunt Judy. She and my Uncle are touring Europe for three weeks and will be stopping in London to take me on a sightseeing trip to Scotland. The Glass Menagerie will be over by then. Classes will have ended. I had thought I would have that one week to be just with him before returning to life without him. There is no way to say no. Opportunity of a lifetime.

I feel time tumbling through my fingers.

 

end 3/10/2017

S. Darlington

 

The Microcosm

hearts

 

I am coming up on a year of blogging. This is amazing to me because, as many of you know, time just slips by and suddenly it’s a year. Where did it go?

When I first started blogging, I thought that it would be a more personal experience, despite my original intention to be a book blogger, because, well, ARCs and books….lots of books. Squishy, squishy insides just thinking about all of the wonderful books I have imbibed. (Can you imbibe a book? You betcha darn tootin’.)

I have veered away from the personal and have let myself explore my writing because, since I was about 9 years old that is what I thought I would do…except for being a forest ranger or an oceanographer (minus the very important ability to swim well). Can I still be a forest ranger? Pretty please….and write…and have a pet raccoon?

As I am coming up on my anniversary, I am curious as to whether you want to see more of me or just know me through my writing and my obviously personal book reviews.

I only ask because I never meant to hide myself away as well as I have done in the past few months. On the other hand, expression is always found in all of the words.

If I haven’t said it before and enough, thank you for being there for me as a blogger and a writer. To have you read the poetry and fiction I write and to give me audience is beyond all response. I thank you.

And, yes, the adventures of Mouse will be returning.

Love, Sascha D.

 

A Year

A year ago today

she wrote

hope you are having a really good birthday

hope you are well

lots of love

 

today

I wish she were here

I wish I had known

that people will not always be

that all of the seconds accumulate into minutes and hours and days and years

and that sometimes

they decide to shorten

the moments.

 

I wish I had known

a year ago

that lots of love

would be

the last thing

I heard from her

 

I wish I had known

we can’t hold onto

ones who wish not to stay

 

I wish I had known

words hidden in words

and could decipher meanings

between lines of the simplest echoes

and that wanting and holding

cannot make one stay

end 3/9/2017

S. Darlington

 

It’s not in this world, it’s in the parallel universe, where people are good and say things they mean and are not mean, where you are, wonderful and happy, sipping your rum and coke and your laughter throbs for the ages and you are happy. Beautiful down to your toes, and it is your laughter, your hearty sexy laugh that lives.

Much love always.


 

Mythbuster

grasshopper

PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

Thanks to Rochelle at Friday Fictioneers for hosting. If you’d like to participate, visit here.

For more stories, visit here.


Mythbuster

 

My brother called me “young grasshopper.” He practiced tai chi years before it became a fad. He vanished in 1972, two days before shipping out. Today he would be 68. When I was 21, I drove his ancient VW bug in search of him.

 

These are facts.

He became a roadie for Fleetwood Mac.

He ate donuts with Elvis the eve before Elvis died.

He was the graffitist known as El Doro.

He penned a novel if read backwards includes the lyrics of all Beatles’ songs

He watches Kung Fu and recalls, sometimes with regret, “young grasshopper.”

 

These are myths.

end 3/9/2017 (100 words)

S. Darlington


 

Is This Just Fantasy?

Exchange Student IX

Previous installments of Exchange Student can be found here. or choose the one you may have missed: I, II, III, IVV, VI, VII, VIII.

 

I feel like I have forgotten every single line. The more I reach for them the farther they slip away and all of the words are lost. It’s opening night and I am beyond nervous.

Arthur Murphy rushes through the hall exclaiming, “Guy Ritchie’s out there.”

If possible, my face pales even more as I sit in front of the mirror applying makeup with the assistance of Eddie’s sister, Kate, who evidently is a “wicked” make-up artist.

She squeezes my shoulder. “You’re shaking. Is this your first show?”

“My first in England. My first really big one with a big part. I feel sick,” I say softly, wondering if I will be able to speak my lines without my voice trembling. I suddenly feel like a very little girl in a very big world, a very real world.

“Ah, wait. Eddie’s really good with this,” she says.

Moments later, Eddie raps lightly on the dressing room door and then enters. He’s wearing a dark blue suit. His hair is slicked back and he looks like a more mature version of himself. My heart stutters.

“Look at you,” he says, grinning. He touches my hair softly. “Kate says you’re a bundle of nerves. Don’t know why. You’re the best prepared of all of us.”

“And the prettiest,” he says before glancing in the mirror and fake-preening. “Although, I’m looking quite pretty too.”

My smile wavers.

He pulls me into a gentle hug, mindful not to mess up makeup or clothes or hair. He rocks me. “Once you get out on that stage and the lights are on you and Arthur and Anne start speaking you will shine, Posh. It’s in you. I’ve seen it. You’re prepared and you’re lovely and it’s all going to come together.”

He steps back and surveys my face and then takes my hand.

The way he looks at me in that moment, so unguarded and vulnerable, longing in his eyes that seeps into me, I feel as we have been taken from the same woven fabric, carefully stitched so that we could be fitted again.

He’s stilled most of my nerves, except for the ones that keep me alert, reacting when lines are spoken.

During our scene together, the tenor of the play alters ever so subtly as Eddie and I shift in our roles. The audience has a palpable reaction to him as he regards me, his voice, his gestures impetuous as he firmly says the line before he kisses me. And the kiss is different from all of the other practiced ones, a little longer, a little desperate, a little telling.

When he steps back, the unravelling begins as he says that he has a girl. He’s been going steady. And, I react as if I were truly the lame girl with the man she had a schoolgirl crush on, a brave front as a heart breaks like the glass unicorn.

As the audience begins to clap, I think this is what is meant by thunderous applause. It shatters something inside of me, the peace held together by gossamer strands of spider silk.

 

end 3/8/2017

S. Darlington