Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Archive for November 2008

IOU

with 3 comments

by anita marie moscoso

inspired by the Soul Food Cafe Writing Prompt

Catharsis

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Buckbee Parsall took the late train home because he was never really in a hurry to get back Danuta- which is the town he called home nowadays.

He’d fiddle around at his desk, he’d empty the trash for the janitor and sometimes he’d even help the boss reconcile invoices that weren’t even from his department.

Buckbee would do anything to keep himself from having to catch that train.

” What’s the matter Buckbee? ” his Boss would ask ” Things a little rough at the old homestead?”

” It’s Hell boss ” Buckbee would say and his Boss would pat him on the shoulder and he would smile a real smile of understanding and instead of saying a bunch of meaningless drivel he’d just say to lock up when he left.

Every single day of his life ended just like that.

Last Friday Buckbee manged to make the last train (much to his disappointment).

Then like always he took his seat and started to prepare himself for home.

They didn’t use wood and nails and cement and paint when they built Buckbee Parsall’s home – Buckbee’s little house of doom built on Down Turn Drive was constructed from whining and crying and self-pity and hatred and just about every Vice known to man.

If there was something you could do wrong in this life Buckbee’s did it first and best.

At least he was good at something- being rotten and filled with self-loathing to the core didn’t happen over night. Buckbee knew that sort of task requires skill and commitment from an individual.

So after Buckbee took inventory of his life he jumped in and started  swimming in a Sea of Despair right there on dry land. That’s  when Carew Orchard and Rucker Mead took the seats right in front of him.

The woman was Carew and right away she starts talking about how easy it was to convince her Mother- who seemed to have problems remembering who she was from hour to hour- to sign a bunch of blank checks.

” She owes me ” Carew snapped to her companion ” I’m just sorry she won’t remember it was me that robbed her blind at the end of her stupid life.

My Mother had the same hairstyle for over 30 years and she collected ashtrays. That’s it…that was my mother. She didn’t care how much that weird stuff affected me “

Rucker told Carew ” That’s like my wife- that woman never appreciated me. I slaved at that Firm for over 40 years to get the house and the cars and the vacations…and it wasn’t like I didn’t share that with her. So she finds out I have a little life for myself on the side and she falls to pieces and throws herself off a bridge.

 Do you know what happens after she pulls that stunt? I get hate mail from people because when they tried to talk her off the rail they shut the highway down and people were stuck in their cars for hours. She couldn’t just stay home and do herself in like a normal person. But that was my darling wife- selfish to the core. “

Buckbee just about got sick at the sound of those two Olympic Class Whiners when he heard Carew ask Rucker, ” So how far is it to Danuta? “

And then Buckbee did get sick and they stopped the train.

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Buckbee could tell Carew and Rucker didn’t want to really be the ones to help him from one car to the next, but the Conductor was a friend of Buckbee’s and it was such a small favor to do for a guy whose life was a living Hell.

The Conductor collared Carew and Rucker and asked them to help Buckbee to his seat. They looked up into that pale slack face and couldn’t really say no.

So they each took an arm and started to walk Buckbee to the next car.

When they were between cars Buckbee grabbed his mouth and through his slightly parted fingers he hissed, ” I’m going to be sick again…”

As Carew and Rucker jumped back Buckbee slid the side door open and he shoved them both out onto the tracks.

The tracks that ran over bottomless pits  instead of  Earth and tracks that went through lakes of fire instead of tunnels.

Then Buckbee went to his seat and from his briefcase he pulled out a blank invoice that read

Heaven and Hades Inc.

And on one of the lines Buckbee Parsall wrote:

IOU 2. 

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Written by Anita Marie

November 8, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Pythian Challenges

WELCOME TO BOCKSBOHNE

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By Anita Marie Moscoso

Based on The Soul Food Cafe Prompt:

Rear Vision Mirror Memories

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Have you ever been on a road trip, and ended up driving down those dirt roads that lead into the dead empty towns with boarded up fast food places with names like “ Chicken Basket “ or “ Hank’s Hamburger Haven “ and have you noticed  there’s always a gas station with those funny tin signs advertising a brand of cigarettes or beer that no one’s seen on a shelf in over 50 years?

No doubt on these trips you’ve seen the houses too, the odd gray houses sitting up off the road.

You’ve probably even seen curtains hanging in the windows and you weren’t  sure but you think you may have seen someone looking back out at you as you drove by.  Maybe you’ve even seen one of those old time drug stores with the Soda Fountain in the back but you know, you wouldn’t stop there on a bet to check it out because you’ll tell yourself you don’t have the time…you’ve got somewhere to get to.

There, you’ll reassure yourself that sounds good. But that little voice, it’s  the real reason you don’t stop because it’s screaming at you, “ don’t you dare stop! Hey are you listening to me? I don’t care if you run out of gas! You will not stop in this town because if you do you’re going to have to get out and push. Don’t you even think about stopping here, is that clear?”

Then when you hit the other end of “ Main Street” (which will only take about three minutes) and you’re back on that long empty dirt road that some joker of a map maker called “ interstate 101 or Highway 19” you’ll have forgotten you were afraid. 

After a few more minutes that empty little town that scared you half to death will be long behind you and it’ll be like you were never there at all. 

That’s what the town of Bocksbohne is like; once you leave it you’ll never be sure you were really there.

One summer Audley Frame was driving to Seattle and somewhere along Amorita Pass high in the Olympic Mountains she passed through a town called Turnsole (clearly marked on her map) and after a few miles she was on a dirt highway that lead straight into Bocksbohne.

That’s what the white sign with the peeling black letters read. Welcome to Bocksbohne 

It wasn’t suppose to be there according to the map, it had no reason to be there out in the middle of nowhere but it was there all the same and before she knew it Audley Frame was speeding passed a drive in theatre with a rusted swing set and a fallen over carousel under a weather-beaten movie screen. Across the street from the drive in was Chieko’s Drugstore and further up from that was little brick building with a sign in its window.

She slammed on her brakes and was snapped back in her seat by her seatbelt and she hardly noticed the pain because all she saw was the sign. It was a simple sign, the background was flat black and the letters were neon orange and the sign simply said: 

Help Wanted. 

The window was caked with dust and grime and right there in the center of the window screaming in brand new orange neon letters was the word: 

HELP. 

Not HELP WANTED

Now it just said  HELP.

Audley’ s foot came off the brake and she let her car roll forward and she turned to watch the window as her car tried to pull itself away from building.

Now the sign read   “ HELP WANTED INQUIRE WITHIN “.

The letters were blood red and the ink was so fresh it had smudged a little on the filthy glass window.

“ Red Ink” she heard herself say, “ it’s red ink.”

Then her foot found the gas pedal and Audley’ s car roared passed buildings and houses with broken windows and doors that were falling off of their hinges. She ignored the rusty children’s toys abandoned on the sidewalks and she hit a few curbs and before she knew it she was out the other end of Bocksbohne and when she looked into her rearview mirror she saw her dark brown hair had turned white. 

She put her hand to the mirror and turned it down, she had no intentions of using it until Bocksbohne was behind her. 

Far behind her.

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Written by Anita Marie

November 8, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Pythian Challenges