Archive for the ‘Creative Writing Exercises’ Category

Band Practice

May 2, 2018

They hadn’t heard the wind or the patio furniture as it was lifted off the deck, across the yard, and into the fence. They didn’t hear the umbrella pop open fly over and into the neighbor’s pool. Not one of them had heard the old pin oak in the front yard snap in half both sides falling. One nose-diving into Jessica’s car (the neighbor girl) and the other, pulling up square yardage of dirt and tossing sidewalk blocks aside like wafers, crushing the minivan.

They hadn’t heard anything besides the distorted decibels and tightly tuned percussion. Ears plugged with foam and assaulted by deep gainy bass and the ironic rage of pubescence all but closed off from the world outside that garage. In the middle of that garage where the sound from all three instruments collided and created a symbolic blanket of sanctuary.

The last cymbal crash was slowly fading into the sound of heavy rain outside and a low feedback hum. The guitarist noticed water was pouring in under the side door.

“Holy shit.” He said. He could barely hear himself say it as he reached to remove his earplugs.

The other two followed impulsively fingering for their plugs, the bassist with her fancy pro gear version was already finding her case to pack them safely away. The drummer threw is waxy fluorescent green ones towards the trash, missed with both and shrugged it off. They both followed the guitar players eyes to the water rushing in as he said once more to make sure he had said it loud enough.

“Holy fucking shit!”

He added expression and an extra adjective.

Loud thunder roared that instant and the garage shuddered as if an explosion went off just outside. It rattled away into the sound of rain.

They made three-way eye contact. The holy fuck kind. Axes were set aside and throne abandoned. The guitarist didn’t want to walk in the puddle with his overpriced sneakers so he grabbed a broom and reached for the garage door button. The electronic buzz and floppy chain struggled to heave the door open and water immediately poured in.

“Close it, brah. Hurry.” The drummer shouted. The guitarist panicked and jammed the broom handle hard into the opener breaking it from the wall with the door still opening.

“Fuck!” He said.

He looked at the water getting close to his shoes now and questioned his resolve. They were such rad shoes. He delayed. Fuck it, he walked into the water and tried to assemble the opener. He had no idea what to do with it and the garage door was all the way open. His jaw dropped.

The other two turned and joined him in awe. Mouths fully agape. The water filled the floor and reached their equipment as they edged to the precipice of the garage as if anywhere outside it were cursed. There was a pop and a fountain of sparks and the garage lights went black. Outside it was a spooky green and it smelled like mud and natural gas. The streets were covered in glass, branches, pieces of wood, green leaves, pieces of car, a bathtub, some furniture, garbage and water flowing like you could river raft in it. They could feel the air swirl. An entire swath of the block was just gone. Obliterated. Foundation outlines with some pipe shooting out here or there.

The bass player dropped to her knees. “My van! Please, God no!” The other two looked at each other, mouths still wide open and at the same time realized they should be documenting this. They dug for their phones.


The Scene

May 1, 2018

She walked away from the scene as if in slow motion and she wondered if time was fluid with neither endings or beginnings. And she wondered what the difference would be whether or not it was so. Were there people tuned into this concept and deliberately exploiting it?

Under duress, it all seemed like an epiphany – a voice deeper down told her that it sounded stupid. Better to focus and piece together what had happened, she told herself.

She gazed down at her blood covered clothes and hands with adrenaline focused pupils. It belonged to both her and the deceased of this she was sure. The palms of her hands had been sawed into crudely against the jawbones gnarly slapdash teeth as she plunged it into his chest cavity ad nauseam. She turned and gazed again upon the scene.

“I did that?” She asked herself while spinning back around. She vomited on a car.

As she pressed away from the hood she triggered the alarm and it blared in the quiet, late night. Suddenly she felt a sharp stabbing pain in her back as if something were pushing through and into her spinal column. She reached back over her shoulder with one hand and under with the other. No good – it was in that one spot she couldn’t reach. She alternated hands over, under.

Not happening.

She put her right hand on her left elbow and pushed down hard on her more flexible arm. She pushed it until it felt like the socket would pop, just then with the tips of her fingers, she felt a stoney, smooth surface. It wriggled away feverishly at her touch. She pressed down harder on her elbow but there was no way to grip or get leverage.

She couldn’t stop it!

It forced its way further in and she felt it wrap around her spine with a thousand razor-sharp angel hairs. The sound of the car alarm, all sound, was elsewhere.

And, oh the agony. The pasta gripped tighter. She unraveled and stopped struggling, returning her arms down to her sides. She thought she had defeated her assailant, but he was still victimizing her now. Her eyes turned into swirling portals and she could feel her memories being consumed. Deleted.

And that was the last thing she remembered thinking.

Whooop, whooop, mehhhhn, mehhhhn, mehhhhn. The car alarm was inconsolable.

Other Days

February 8, 2017

Tired man waking up in the morning

Some days are a little rougher than other days. Getting out of bed, or waking from a binge watching coma on those other days can be a struggle. It felt mucky there in the swamp of self-pity, a hangover of the soul. His mind was already consumed with each step of each task for the day and beyond, and in-between. Things that needed to be done and those which should have already been.

He re-planned it all again, it felt like a giant tome of great enlightenment lay over his body, weighing him down; challenging him and chastising him simultaneously. There was no doubt in his mind that procrastination was the clasp, insecurity the padlock on that book. Opening it was enticing, but avoiding failure was much simpler process.

He closed his eyes and breathed deeply in threw his nose, hefty out from a mouth full of aweful breath. Counting in his head, he promised himself he would pick a number to get up on. 34, 35, 36, 37, get up. 38, 39, get up. Another big breath and he flung the pilled, faded blanket aside and shut up off the mattress on the floor.

Steps for today’s activities played over in his head with minor revisions and complete re-writes.


February 3, 2017


Light scattered across the room, bouncing off bits and pieces of broken glass. The light rippled over the explosion of silent shards as it’s beam searched out something in the darkness. A circle inside a circle crawling slowly across the ransacked room. It undulated over the peaks and valleys of furniture and strewn decorative elements.

Trekking, it happened upon a wall enlivening framed photos left askew, dangling still. It moved upward finding a multitude of linear umbra darting across the crown molding, rising and turning as the radiance swept by. The shadows, folding into thin lines, suddenly began to widen and consume the embellishment whole.

The aureole moved onward clambering playfully upon mutilated houseplants and an untidy record collection. Black shiny splotches here and there reflected back a hello to the gushing beam, “Here I am.” It said. “Look at me,” flashy and obtruding – yet the light moved on confidently to a row of metal drawers all outrageously unfurled; unexciting.

Making a turn like the hook of a “J” but backward, the halo was briefly erratic and all at once frozen in place. A shiny black finger painting was skittering gently in the concentric, slightly wobbling beam. Its message was cryptic, yet defined. Minimalist. Nagging. The light knew it should bore deeper, but had not the fortitude to halt an additional beat.

The light proceeded. It heaved it’s way up and over. Fanatical translucent drapes kicked it around failing to engross the lights interest. It brimmed and unburdened each shape and satiny melancholy on its thoroughfare, thoroughly apathetic.

“POP!” The sound of glass exploding, the light flicked across the razed room of uninteresting chaos, to a new reflection pond of remnant glass, and paused. Now here was something consequential, something relevant. The circles were suddenly sentimental and attentive. They lingered. “Here it is!” they exclaimed.

No Signal

February 2, 2017


The correspondence operations of the underground compound was unattended. All workstations were logged out, but left on. The overhead and ambient lighting were all off. Emergency strip lighting along the floor was a muted orange-yellow and illuminated the undersides of work stations on either side. Two lanes of dual monitor work stations pushed apart by a wide alley that led to a giant screen that spanned all three, filling out the entire wall, with nothing but large white letters in the center of the screen which the smaller screens reiterated – “No Signal.”

The room, carved out of dolomite and sandstone, was arranged as if a nave directed at the chancel and to the right of it a vestry. The comp controllers office all glass outlined in steel, butted up on all sides by the subterranean rock frame. There were no emergency lights visible within. The strip lights down the aisle stuttered as a generator ran out of fuel and another kicked in. When the power fully returned the strips were a bit brighter and the very bottom of the office’s insides were illuminated, the carpet looked shiny with dampness. The rest swallowed up by darkness.

1st Lt, Philipp Stallworth’s eyes were locked on the 10 foot stretch of lit up glass and wet floor. He couldn’t be sure from here, but the carpet just didn’t seem right. He made himself look away, over to his personal station that he swapped with 2nd Lt, Mancuso, twelve hours on, twelve off. He would have never believed while performing his duties under a high level of stress and rigorous expectations, that he would someday find it simpler, almost comforting.

He remembered to breath.

He looked down the endless hallway of rectangularly bored stone and strip lights on his right, then to the left where the strips only made it about 15 yards before their illumination was diffused, fading to pitch black. His heart skipped a beat and he was stuck on his breathing again struggling to maintain balanced timing. Behind he heard the propped open elevator attempting to close, re-positioning to open, waiting patiently only to be rejected upon each consecutive attempt.

Stallworth let in a deep, deep breath and held on to it. Now he was staring at the long vertical handle on the door a yards reach away. He was talking himself into it, or was he talking himself out of it? He closed his eyes and breathed outward, extending his arm along with it. He opened his eyes and as his hand stretched and his grip made initial contact there was a sudden loud pop and the back-up lightening failed.


After the explosion echoed away down the hallway he was there in the dark, the elevator giving up it’s futile battle fell silent; he only heard his breath and the smack of his lips as he swallowed hard. His finger tips were barely on the cold metal, he could feel the weight of the door and electricity tingling through his body pushing up the hair on his arms and the back of his neck. He closed his eyes and wondered what the point of it was there in the void of blackness, but it calmed him down.

He hesitated a bit longer then swung the door open and began feeling his way through the room. There was only one way out of this facility and it was in that vestry, but first he needed to fumble his way past the pews and up to the pulpit.

“Forward is progress,” he thought to himself sliding a foot forward, and colliding with a rolling chair. A breath out… progress.

Just then a clicking, whispering nightmarish cadence fluttered from the front of the room to the rear and the Lieutenant froze in his progress, third workstation down.

He was holding his breath again.

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