distraction

For Friday Fictioneers, 100 words

© Ted Strutz

Loading was going according to schedule. The new rigger seemed to be working out alright, slow but conscientious.

As Kevin took one last walk around the load, his phone rang. A moony smile spread across his face at the sound of his new girlfriend’s voice. 

Kevin gave the new guy a thumbs up and they hopped in the truck.They were in the middle of an intersection when Kevin realized he had only checked one side of the load.

He watched helplessly as the entire load careened off the trailer, traffic screeching wildly in every direction. He winced and prayed.

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Thank you to Rochelle at rochellewiseoff.com for the Friday Fictioneers prompt, and Ted Strutz for the photo!

just thinking

I do a lot of thinking. A whole lot of thinking.

Thinking is a critical part of writing. Right from the get-go you have to think about what it is you’re going to write.

Then you have to think about how you want to write the thing, and how you’re going to research it. If you’re researching for your writing, then you have to think about your research. And there’s generally research of some flavor.

I guess it’s quite similar to being a scientist, right?

And then, finally, you get to the actual writing part, in which you find yourself, surprise!, thinking. As in you have to think about how the words go together, and whether you’re using the right words. You have to search for the ones that perfectly convey your intent. Then there’s structure, and grammar, and punctuation, and formatting to think about.

But for all that, sometimes I feel a little guilty about all the thinking I do. As if I’m wasting time. It feels very self-indulgent, not allowed on some level. It is often difficult to give myself permission. In fact, the whole process feels forbidden.

And yet, writing is a little like breathing for me. It’s essential.

And truthfully, it is worthy. Writing changes the world.

It might impact a fleeting moment, or it might alter the course of history. It might touch one person or many. It might make someone laugh, or finally understand something, or help them put their new shelving together, or simply escape for awhile. It might launch a business, sway an election, or reshape society’s path. Even when no one else reads the words, writing has the capacity to change things. 

Whatever the scope turns out to be, it matters.

So, don’t mind me, but I have a little thinking to do.

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dreamless

I walk out to the middle of the field. Like a little kid, I plop down into the cool grass and sprawl out on my back. I just lie there, looking up at the sky. 

It’s one of those super-blue days, and there’s these lines of happy clouds coming across, ensemble, like a choreographed dance troupe. I lazily watch the travel of the clouds, blown along by an insistent wind.

The longer I lie there, the more I feel and hear the wind. It whips wisps of my hair across my face. I can hear the crinkle of the occasional tumbling leaf, remnant of winter, blowing past. 

I glance sideways through the grass and notice the dandelions. I feel kind of sneaky looking through the blades of grass, as if I’m somehow hidden.

But, no, there I am, grown adult, lolling in the grass, just watching the clouds, you know.

I close my eyes for awhile and roll my head back and forth, noticing the strange rainbow I see pass underneath my eyelids. Then I put my palms over my eyes, and I see the most psychedelic blue.

I open my eyes again, and just lie there, sinking down into the grass as my muscles slowly loosen. 

I am in the clouds, dreamless.

How many years has it been since I let myself do this simple, amazing thing?

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air to breathe

Somedays I get a little frantic because it’s like I can’t breathe, there’s just no air to breathe. I want to see the sky, the whole big sky from end to end and no end at all.

Buildings and shadows and numbers, numbers ticking, always ticking, swallowing up all the air until there’s just not enough. Numbers ticking, always ticking. We all play this game of suffocation. There’s not enough air left for me.

I want to run. Somewhere there’s air to breathe. I have to run, run, run, to go where the sky gets big.

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