Freshly Pressed

How To Become An Adult

I lived a mediocre life before I met a cranky old man named Russell. He told me a story that changed everything for me. Then he called me a sissy and told me to go get him some pudding.

The Garden Grove Senior Living Community was a grandparent’s dream. It had a first class staff, pristine landscaping, and a Baskin-Robbins less than a block away. I was afraid it would have an “old people” smell, but as the glass doors slid apart the only smells that greeted me were the fresh flowers throughout the lobby and a faint afterglow of cleaning supplies. (more…)

True Love

My Dearest Love,

The long winter is gone and my heart is slowly returning to life. I am overwhelmed with excitement as our time together draws near. When we are apart, I am only a shell of man. I don’t want you to think that I have chosen you just because no one else would have me. I know what I want and it is you. I just hate that I will never be able to buy you a diamond bigger than the one you already have.

Some people may question our age difference, but their looks will only serve as a reminder that love is blind. I may be quite a bit younger, but I have a wise soul. And my soul could no more pick another than a fish could climb a tree. (more…)

Kryptonite

“I found my kryptonite man.”

Josh looked up to see Adam flop into the chair across the table.

“That would explain a lot. Like why you own tights.”

Adam winced at the well-used jab.

“I told you, those are thermal running pants for the winter!”

The loud response drew a few looks from nearby tables.

“Riiiiiight. Anyway, what is your kryptonite?”

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The War

Thick clouds stretched from one horizon to the other, filtering the sun’s light of all the cheerful colors and casting a gray pallor over the landscape. Trees, having cast off their wardrobe of leaves, sat lifeless throughout the land like monuments of seasons filled with the laughter of children.

Adam stood motionless as he studied the army that stretched out before him. Their forces had surpassed a million by the way they covered the land like paint over a canvas. His shoulders rose slowly with a deep inhale of the stale morning air. Having reached their apex, they dropped suddenly as a silent sigh passed through his barely parted lips.

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Sold

The sun sank slowly until it brushed against the horizon, making the western sky blush deep shades of red. Kate never noticed nature’s modesty. She was focused on the thin line of dirt in the distance as she peered through a small sliver in her crimson curtains that had faded to pink. The cloud of dust that floated lazily in the air soon became a train of horses that swept into town. Word of their arrival would spread through the Velvet Inn quickly. Kate knew that getting ready for the long night ahead of her should be her only priority, but curiosity chained her to the window.

The riders pulled up in front of the hotel, but did not dismount. Most sat still, while a few tapped the butts of the their guns nervously. Their attention seemed focused on the one who had led them into town on a horse as black as midnight. Enough daylight filtered through buildings for her to see that he was the only one not wearing a gun.

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Weeds

Nick leaned against the passenger side window as his mom backed out of the driveway and tried fall back into the world of sleep he had been forced to abandon. His scruffy brown hair was just long enough help block out some of the morning light. If the judge had told him that waking up at 8:30 each Saturday was part of the deal, he might have opted for the jail time instead.

A constant jostle of stops and starts kept the dream world at bay, but thoughts of the day that denied him his sleep filled his mind. His dress shoes squeaked noticeably from lack of use in the quiet of the courtroom. Fear struck him like a sledgehammer to the chest when the bailiff would not let his mom join him in the front. That was the moment he knew the judge was going to treat him like an adult even though he had just turned 17.

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Uncle Andy

“Uncle Andy! Uncle Andy! Tell me it’s not true!”

Maribell’s oak brown hair streamed behind her like the tassels of a girl’s bicycle handle as she ran to him with all her might. Green eyes now floated in seas of pink left by the tears that cut jagged paths down her cheeks.

“What’s wrong princess?” he asked as she came crashing into his arms.

“Daddy says it was all a joke! He said it was because of…”

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In the Dark

“I still think you should reconsider…”

Ian’s voice trailed off as he rubbed the stubble that flecked his chin. Gloria half-expected that her cubicle wall would fall under his enormous weight, but it seemed determined to withstand the pressure. Ian had stopped by her desk on his stalk around the newsroom. It was his jungle.

Not much had had changed about Ian in the 19 years that Gloria had known him. He was wearing plain slacks that matched his brown hair and eyes and a button up shirt that might have been the same ones he had on when she first started. She doubted if the top two buttons had ever been closed and the sleeves had permanent creases where they had been rolled up before lunch each day.
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Breath

A warm breeze twisted above the water leaving tiny ripples in its wake. The lake reflected a blue sky speckled with clouds as if designed by Jackson Pollock. The scene stood unnoticed by the boy as he scoured the shoreline for skipping rocks.

His father trailed behind, watching his son with quiet joy. Long ago he had promised himself that he would not let his son grow up the same way he had. These walks to the lake started with that promise in mind, but had eased into a favorite habit between them.

Enthusiasm for one of the few times he was allowed to throw rocks drove the boy to gather a small mountain of stones. His father eyed the growing stack with thoughts of the sore shoulder he would feel tomorrow. He bent down to sort through the puzzle of rocks looking for just the right piece.

“Dad, do you love me?”

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My Pulitzer Speech

To Those Who Read My Words,

Please forgive me as I set aside my attempt at witty prose and likable characters to share something with you. I understand that this post is breaking a pretty solid pattern and that is inherently dangerous, but I feel as though the message I have for you is worth the risk. It is simply this, THANK YOU.

When I was a little younger I realized a few things about writing. One was that, although I felt like I had a gift to write, that gift was just a seed and it needed many hours of practice to help it bloom into what it was meant to be. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. Another was that I knew I could not get there on my own. I had a deep need to know what others thought and felt when they read my words. I needed to know if I was making a difference. (more…)