writing

Just A Bit Inside

C’mon man. You’ve waited your whole life for this. All the work. All the sweat and sacrifices. All for that trophy. Breathe. Don’t swing at the first pitch. Watch for the release point, pick up the spin, and see what kind of heat this guy brings.

 

“Striiiiiiiiiike!” (more…)

The Stone

“Hey buddy. How was school today?”

Mother’s intuition was not needed to see that something was wrong. After the dishes had been cleared from dinner Jimmy remained at the table with his chin in his hands.

“I’m never gonna do anything great” he mumbled.

Myra dried her hands and walked over to sit next to her troubled twelve year old. She wanted so badly to ruffle his messy brown hair like she had done when he was younger, but knew it would only arouse his ire.

“Why do you say that? I think you’re great right now.”

He let his hands drop and cocked his head to the side. “You only think that because you’re my mom.” (more…)

The Error

“Many young writers will read this hoping to have the same success you have enjoyed as an author. What advice would you give them in their pursuit?”

Adam looked out the window and stared at the ocean without really seeing it. He relived his years as an aspiring author in the span of a few moments. A smile suddenly cracked his lips followed by the laugh of someone enjoying an inside joke. His looked up again and met the eyes of his interviewer.

“Find an error and fix it.”

Confusion spread over the interviewer’s face, but Adam continued before a follow-up question could be asked.

“Come on. I’ll show you.” (more…)

Tug of War

When I was seven years old my family took a trip to see one of my mom’s great aunts that she hadn’t seen since she was a little girl. It was a two thousand mile identity crisis. Unsure about her future, she made a desperate attempt to find out who she was by “getting in touch from where she came from”. The trip would have passed through my life like a specter had it not been for my father’s suggestion that we spend an afternoon at the beach.

I did not understand my father’s enthusiasm for this little adventure, but was grateful for any opportunity to escape my great-great aunt’s cat fortress. As I crested the small hill that obscured the water from where we parked I froze. In my head I had pictured a larger version of the lake we went to with our neighbors back in Nevada. This was not just bigger. It was wholly different.

The water spread out before me like a tangible twin of the sky. This body compelled my attention. I was in the presence of greatness and suddenly felt very small and wholly insignificant. I wanted so badly to touch every piece of it, but the magnificence of what lay before me cast out any doubt that I might be worthy to feel a single drop on my skin.

It took an hour before those feelings began to subside. I would not go within ten feet of the water’s edge. My family laughed and joked that I was afraid. They were right, but it was not the simple fear they assumed me to have.

When I first approached the water, I came with the awe it was worthy of. I closed my eyes and let the waves whisper to my toes. Entering deeper I learned one of the great secrets of my life. Wave after wave drifted toward the shore with the gentle rhythm of a pulse. They could be seen and felt. Anticipated. But the great waters carried another kind of wave.

The sun, the birds, and the air I took for granted were ripped from my life as the undertow grabbed me and pulled me into the darkness. Salt stabbed my eyes as I was tossed to and fro. Fear and awe swirled inside me as the tug of war between the light and the depths commenced. I was ripped free of any hold the light held on me and swallowed in the grasp of the water. Then, having proved it’s might, I was released.

Freedom became something new to me. At first, I didn’t know what to do with it. Then, as my lungs started to burn, I remembered the light. I clawed up from the deep with all my strength and when I broke the surface the air welcomed me as a mother does a lost son. I rested in that embrace, but could not shake the effect of being so completely held by the waters below.

Later, sitting on my towel and staring at where the sky kissed the water, I still felt the tug of war.

Copyright © 2012 Adam Drake

Another Day

The dream world Josias had found refuge in was sent fleeing by the arrival of a sound that did not belong there. His dark eyes slid beneath their lids, the only movement he allowed himself, as he waited to hear what had set off his internal security system. Each muscle in his small body tensed, ready to strike or flee depending on what news his ears delivered.

The light scratching resumed a few meters away. Josias relaxed slightly. It was just a rat and if he was quick enough, it would also be breakfast. He opened his eyes and let them adjust to the pre-dawn darkness. Though he could not see it yet, the crumpling of trash told him the rat was moving closer. (more…)

All I Wanted

I almost killed him. And I could have done it. I’ve got a hundr… sixty pounds on the little twerp. His big blue eyes were locked onto me until I couldn’t take it anymore.

“What are you looking at Thane?”

His little smile was the kind of evil that is so far from good it doesn’t even know that it’s evil.

“Mrs. Owens, your arms jiggle like the Jell-O mom makes for Halloween. I like Jell-O!”

What would the sentence be for killing a five year old? Life in prison certainly, but would they give me the chair? When I pictured the jury filled with women in their thirties I almost convinced myself I could get away with it. But then I remembered that it wasn’t him I wanted to kill. (more…)

Watching

The room seemed to transform from an oasis of air conditioning to a fiery furnace as soon as the words left Senator Corbin’s mouth and by the look on the Chairman’s face, Robert Corbin was one of the three Hebrew boys. The deep oak paneling of the Committee for Commerce, Science, and Transportation meeting room suddenly felt like being trapped in a jail of wood. And the smell of fire was near.

(more…)

The Prison

I pulled the prisoner through the damp hallway ignoring the intermittent cries of pain from my grip that had clamped around her bicep. When her feet began to drag my grip would tighten spurring them into a half-hearted shuffle. Her questioning eyes clung to each empty cell we passed, but I had a special place in mind for this one.

I drug the condemned deeper into the darkness until we reached the last cell. After opening the door I threw her in with all my might. She tumbled like a rag doll and lay unmoving against the back wall that stopped her roll. Her long brown hair covered the bruises that I had left on her face. Only the rise and fall of her tattered black shirt gave an indication of life.

(more…)

Twenty-seven

Note: One of the greatest things an author can hear is “So what happens next?” I was lucky enough to hear this from an amazing author named Anne after publishing a story titled “Most Guys”. (You can find it here.) I gave her an honest answer and said, “I don’t know.” She proposed that maybe we could find out together. So for the past few months we have been playing tag with the lives of Adam and Emma in order to answer that question. The result was a few tears, a few more laughs, and the story below. I invite you all to go over and check out Anne’s writing here on the condition that you don’t abandon me for her superior stories.

I waited nervously by the door, resisting my desire to check the mirror one last time. Adam would arrive at any minute. The details of our last date, our honesty date, played over and over in my mind, but it was the question I hadn’t asked that taunted me. Did he really not care that I was pregnant? How could he not care? (more…)

Middle-man

Author’s Note: Each week I write for you, the reader. Forgive me, but this one is for me.

“This can’t be right…”

As Dave studied the lush landscape through the spots on his windshield he quickly concluded that he had made an error somewhere along the way.

From a young age Dave had come to acknowledge certain facts about his life. He would never be the biggest or strongest. The things that fascinated all the “cool” people held no interest for him. But Dave had two things that very few people could match, an insatiable curiosity that drove him to learn everything he could about subjects that piqued his interest and a deep hatred for being wrong.  This combination was strong enough to key to his rapid rise at Unified Solutions, the top engineering firm in the state, despite his deficiency of social skills. (more…)