Friday, April 5, 2019

GNG pictures a story

The GNG were given the task to write a short story using the words: Beach, Flower, Scale, Paint, Shoe and Pelican

The pelican perched on top of the mast, gently swaying to and forth with the motion of the waves. Nothing seemed to disturb this giant bird. Not the ocean, not the noonday sun and most certainly not the bleached skeleton resting on the crow’s nest. The skeleton lay half out of the lookout spot as if he had tried to warn the others of their impending doom. Its gnarly leather shoe dangled precariously off its foot, slipping slightly as the boat rocked with the ocean’s rhythm. And with one mighty push from the sea the ship lurch forward; the skeleton, shoe and all, plummeted to the painted deck below. 

The sound of his bones cracking was drowned out by the groans that filled the air. The clipper had finally met her match as she ran aground on the beautiful beach. She settled down into the sandy shoreline with one last gasp, knowing her purpose had been fulfilled. The holey black flag fluttered on a dying breeze. It’s mission complete, her crew had arrived in the new land with its lavish scenery of green palm trees and luscious flowers of every color known to man. Unfortunately, the crew would never see the sights. 

Lost at sea, but so close to their prize; pirating was a delicate game of chance. One day the scales of lady luck were in your favor. The next, dead men tell no tales. 

It was at the beach that I had the epiphany:  Life can suck and Life can be beautiful; but the scale at which Life’s qualities are measured weighs grossly dis-proportionately toward the suck side.  Case in point: My couchant dozing atop a spread sand-warped towel was broken, but in the most pleasant way.  A soft breeze, like the exhalation of spirits, caressed my face and hair, lifting me into a drifting, blissful wakefulness.  It was in following the same breeze, though, that I happened to notice my perfect girlfriend was no longer lying on the towel adjacent to mine; she was in fact loitering many meters down the water line with the bleach-toothed, bronze-skinned concessions peddler from the juice stand, wilting churlishly under his puerile overtures like a flower under too much golden sun.  I started to form an address to this in my hazed brain, but was thwarted by a sudden flash of restless leg, and ended up just kicking over my mango slushy and coughing up a repressed stream of curses.  The slushy had been bought from the same Adonis only 30 minutes before; its orange liquid sifted into the yellow sand like his bronzed smile into my memory, with only my whispered curses to remember them both. 

Trying to paint over my frustration with mental white gauche, I decided to just relinquish myself to idle entertainment instead; if Clarissa wanted to gallivant on the shoreline, let her.  She was just going to end up going her own way on things anyway.  That’s what things had boiled down to for us recently.  I stood unsteadily, planning to return to the car to retrieve my portable DVD player.  I would just lose myself in trying to finally complete my list of unfinished movies and bake myself on the sand until we went home.  My train of thought got derailed by the sudden sensation of wet, freezing stickiness as my bare toes slid into the sand clotted puddle of mango juice at the end of my towel.  Thinking how perfect it all was, I snatched my shoes with a free hand, slamming them down on the towel to put them on.  Stepping into them, a desperate muffled crunching, like tiny stiff alien skeletons being mangled vibrated through the sole of my foot and resounded in my ears. 

Tossing back the towel, a frilly fringe laden with mango slush slapped me squarely in the eye just before, with my other, I saw the mutilated box of my DVD copy of Pelican Brief, broken and sad, squashed down into the fruity sand.  Needless to say, the disc inside was halved like a cantaloupe slice at the Adonis’s juice cart.  Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts looked up from their sandy, unmarked grave accusingly, the sense of betrayal evident in their recyclable eyes.  Now I’d never know if they ever get together, or what.  I felt like Mel Gibson in that other movie where he’s trying to convince Julia Roberts that the space shuttle was creating earthquakes for the government and Patrick Stewart kept feeding him all that fucking gravy. 

I couldn’t see Clarissa and that tanned god-guy anymore; I supposed their work here was done.  A cooling breeze like butterfly toots tousled my hair as the sun drew inexorably nearer the shining horizon.  I closed my eyes and sucked my teeth for my suck-ass, beautiful life.

On one side of the scale there was a glass globe with a miniature of a beach and a tiny beach chair with a coquettish appeal. The other side of the scale had a single flower and Candice continued to stare; perplexed by what she soul through the glass window of the store.

That flower can’t be real.  She decided, but the texture appeared to be quiet lifelike. It seemed to be an ordinary pink rose, which was in no way, the same weight as the globe. So what was the trick? She looked up suddenly as if she could feel his eyes upon her. The owner of the store was staring at her with an intense grin.  That image of his gleaming teeth, hinted that her experience of the mystery wasn't unique.  She looked down at the scale and noticed the sign that said not to touch, so because of that, and Mr. creepy grin, she decided not to go in the store to find out.

“He likes the lesson in it.  The base of his voice was alluring, but it still managed to startle her into an awkward hunch.  So it was the paint on his shoes that she noticed first.

“What lesson?”  Candice's response was curious has she met his gaze.  He had kind, warm, brown eyes and a well-groomed beard, that seemed out of place with his paint stained overalls that was dotted with a Pelican logo.

“The scale thing; he does it every time. Kind of, gets a kick out of it and refuses to sell the damn thing.”  Candice watched him as he relieved himself of the burdensome paint cans to extend a hand to her. “Morris.”

“Candice.”  She took his hand. They lingered for a moment before he pulled away.

“The scale thing...?”  She reminded.

“Yeah, he wants you to ask about it and then there's this 20-question episode before you discover that it’s the scale that's rigged.”  Candice laughed, mostly because of the silly dancing fish cafĂ©, Pelican logo with a tagline -- cause you too funky to fish.  She looked up into his eyes again and felt at home with him.

“Thanks for the cliff notes. I knew it had to be something like that. But why...?”   She asked and Morris was encouraged that she was engaged.

“He said that the scale is a reminder that life doesn't play fair and sometimes Nature has a hidden weight stacked against you. No matter how you build against nature; nature will find a way to keep the balance.”

 “That’s nice. He should sell it.” Candice concluded.

“I know!” Morris agreed and added coyly. “Speaking of selling… can I convince you to have a cup of coffee with me?”  Candice smiled.

Mr Adrian

I watched the landscape below as we flew by. From my position, most of the gently rolling hills of the countryside were visible. There were distant meadows dotted with multicolored flowers, making the hills appear as though they were slathered with paint. There were abandoned villas and penthouses of tourist companies that never recieved any tourists. Down below was the shore, where the grass quickly melded into the sandy beaches and the beaches slowly melted into the sea. I adjusted myself in my seat to get a better view of the scenery, craning my neck around the minigun stationed in front of me.

Despite the sound of helicopter blades cutting through the silence, the scene was quite tranquil. There wasn't any activity along the white sands or among the grassy hills. If anyone had been living here, they definitely weren't anymore. The only signs of human life in sight were the aforementioned tourist establishments. As I looked down at the foreign countryside, I noticed my shoe was still coated in a layer of wet sand. I dusted it off with the back of my glove and readjusted myself in the seat again.

Turning my attention back up the eye level, there was our escort vehicle flying alongside. It was the C17-Rhino, an attack helicopter with enough heavy weaponry to keep any and all monsters of up to class 5 off our tail. I would have felt more comfortable being in the gunner seat of one of those, but here I was instead, in the gunner's chair of a standard minigun. I was "fortunate" enough to be onboard the B12-Pelican, a transport copter. The captain assured me that my position on the minigun would be crucial to defending the transport, but judging by our destination, there wouldn't be anything left alive that one minigun can take care of on its own.

Sitting directly behind me was Dr.Chen, the lead researcher assigned to investigate the location in question. Aside from looking a bit motion sick, he didn't seem concerned about being taken so far into dangerous territory. This was either an incredible sense of bravery and purpose, or the fool simply didn't understand the severity of the situation. I had been considering talking to him about it when the communication unit in my headphones was switched on. "Attention," announced the pilot, "we have a visual." I once again craned my neck around the side of the massive weapon in an attempt to see the crash site.

The thing was laying flat on the beach, at least 90 meters long and 60 meters wide. Dr.Chen looked through the passenger-side window and held a confidant smirk, signaling we had found what he was looking for. I on the other hand, could almost hear my heart beating louder from the foreboding sensation that was slowly crawling up my spine. It was as if I couldn't comprehend what I was looking at. My eyes were showing my brain an image that it couldn't process as reality. What lay down on that otherwise beautiful, serene beach was a single scale the size of a basketball court. I couldn't even begin to comprehend the magnitude of watever beast had recently lost the ting, or how close it may still be.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

How much does music influence our writing? The GNG explores music writing.

After listening to some of Margaret Atwood's advice on the GNG's challenge was to rewrite a scene in a fairy tale while music was playing. Each member of the group selected 2 classic storybook titles from a bowl. They were allowed to open the paper to reveal their selection when the music started to play. Each member had 30 mins to write a couple paragraphs of the scene.

DSharp - All The Stars (Cover) Kendrick Lamar & SZA

MiaMain: Peter Pan

"I'm entering into my fourth childhood."

These words hang suspended in air. As out of place in our reality as the belief of the eternal child who uttered them into existence.

This happy thought takes flight in him. Transporting him to a realm of mystical, magical immaturity, where times stands still for one and chases the rest of mercilessly

YvonneWalker: Hansel & Gretel

“I have not eaten in so long. This witch doctor has me on this no sugar diet. I mean, really. No sugar. My house is nothing but sugar,” the witch says out loud. “I don’t even know what this Keto diet is,” she comments looking at the floating tablet. “Mostly meat. That would be wonderful if these huntsmen weren’t clearing out my forest,” she sat with a heavy sigh with only a grumble in reply. “Quiet you,” she scolded her empty belly.

“Hahaha, look at this, Gretel. It’s a giant ass lollipop. I’m going to take a bite,” a voice called from outside the window.

“Hansel, you’d better not do that. We just ate and this looks like someone’s house,” a higher pitched voice replied.

“Yeah, whatever, here is your favorite, a chocolate bar or a shutter. Who cares, it’s delicious,” Hansel called out around a mouth full of sweets.

“What the F--,” the witch said as the ripping sound of her shutter brought her to the window. She took in the scene of two fat blonde children sharing the chocolate shutter; one on each side nibbling away. “You little sh--,” she was about to yell but thought better of it. Instead she grabbed two handfuls of candies and went to the door.

“Oh children, you shouldn’t be eating that dirty old shut—chocolate bar. I have much more inside. Come in, come in”, she beckoned the wide-eyed youngster. 

DAPTales: Rumplestiltskin

It was the third time and her third promise -- the third time doing the impossible. The miller’s daughter glared down at the loom and sighed. Her grasp tightened on her grip of straw as she mentally scolded herself to continue. Impatience with herself grew as she quickly sat and began to loom.  Soon her heart began to beat in time with the momentum of the foot pedals and it felt as though her life-force was pumping into the spindle with each strand of hay.

Just like before, the daydreams began. They swirled in her mind like a smooth elixir of excitement and joy. As she peddled faster her heart continued to match the rhythm and she could feel her daydream solidify into a reality so believable that she could feel the lips of her beautiful prince once more. His lips were as soft as feathers but still, she jumped out of her daydream like a startled rabbit. As the miller’s daughter touched her lips as if trying to prolong the feeling, she glanced down at the miracle at her feet; strands of gold.

Al-Falaq: Cinderella

A stroke of the brush, and another, then another, played out onto the canvas from the wisp of his admiring hand. A portrait emerges, layers of swirled hues clouded with the scent of turpentine, its colors light like a spring noon, pale like drifting clouds, imbued with a breath of happiness, contentment held within like an embraced child. Nothing within it could have implied the true image of its subject; a girl’s bent form, pain hidden in the arched curl of her back, hands worn from the unnumbered days of the same floor, scrubbed right down to the knot of the wood, a face holding only resignation to fate. A withering shadow among the clean but hollowed corners of her tiny world. Nary a hint existed of the bright, soft glowing tones of the painting which supposedly bore her likeness.

Staring into the canvas, glancing askance at her melting form beyond the window pane, inside which he was forbidden to tarry, the young artist’s heart swelled and turning with mixed emotion as he wondered: What might happen, if only you could see yourself as I see you, my dearest Cinderella? 

 Supaman - Miracle feat. Maimouna 

MiaMain: Pinocchio

"I'm just trying to keep it 100."

Standing there, her eyes beckoning me to ignore the obvious lie spreading between us, as she creates a fantastical world of fiction. The taller the tale the more elaborate the entertainment becomes. As she spins, I swear that I can see circus acts around me. At one point, I saw a formally attired insect, apparently awaiting rain, performing on the quickly unraveling thread of logic in this hastily woven falsehood.

I take a deep sigh, look her in the eye and reply, "It's your lie, tell it any way you want, Pinocchio."

YvonneWalker: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

“Would you look at this? Someone come look at this. Oh right, it’s just me here,” the wolf uttered. “Me and this kid; he must be from a broken home or something. I mean this is the third time he has said that I was going to eat him and they just keep running over.”

“Boy, where is the wolf? Where did you see him? We will kill this wolf,” a townsman told the little boy.

“I must have been mistaken, I thought I saw him,” the boy replied.

“Ha, no you didn’t. I am the night. No, wait. I come at night and this kid is messing up my dinner plans,” the wolf mutter laying back down on his hunches. 

DAPTales: Beauty and the Beast

“I say… Fuck the Beast!” Bellowed Gaston as he mounted his horse.

“Do yawl want this creature to run rampant in our villages and eating our bitches?! I say… Fuck the Beast!”

Gaston marched his horse forward and trampled the widow’s newly seeded flower bed. She yelped her outrage, but was quickly ignored and swallowed by the preceding crowd that followed Gaston, determined to do exactly as he suggested – to go fuck the beast.

Al-Falaq: CinderellaPrincess & the Pea

“Not a fan,” the girl said dismissively, sliding off the twelfth mattress upon which she had lain.  The salesman, developing an engrossing sense that the entire substance of his day would soon be consumed completely by this young customer’s brattish attitude, displayed none of his emotion, simply indicating the next offering with a genteel wave of his hand. His inner voice; having less obligation to demurity, grumbled frustratedly, Thisssss Biiiiiitchshshshshshs! 

“Why do they all feel, like, not good?” the girl demanded, with an authentic air of expectation of an answer. Carefully removing the mental projections of his hands from her tender, spoiled-rotten throat before addressing her, the salesman, patient as ever, simply smiled his close-lipped smile and replied, “Even a master craftsman, my dear, may struggle to make in life that piece which could meet the standards of a taste so impeccable.” Dumping her imaginary body in the ditches along the fringes of his mind, he waited for her to find her next failed repose.