Savant by “Meegiemom”
Pa would be mad if he knew I wasn’t studying my lessons while he and Ma are doing the chores. He doesn’t understand they’re so easy that I finish them before I leave the schoolhouse. Ma knows this is the only time I can play the piano, so she keeps Pa busy in the barn longer on nights when I’m supposed to be doing my lessons. This old piano has always been my best friend. Pa says only girls play the piano, so he won’t listen to my music. He doesn’t understand that it’s not the same as the music we sing in church. My music doesn’t have any words. One time Schoolmarm brought her gramophone to school and she played some records for us. She told us “this is classical music.” My music sounds a little bit like that.
When I go to bed I think about the keys on the piano, and which ones will make the sounds I want. With my eyes closed I can see my hands playing those keys and hear the music in my head, even though I’m in bed. In the morning after Pa leaves for the fields, Ma asks me to play for her. Sometimes it makes her cry. I wonder if she’s crying because her boy is a sissy and doesn’t want to hunt and fish like the other boys.
Schoolmarm is teaching me to make marks on paper so I can write the music that she let’s me play on the school piano. It looks pretty funny, five lines with a bunch of black dots on them, but when I look at what I’ve put down I know how to play it again. Schoolmarm said, “It’s called reading music. You have those long fingers because you were born to play. I believe someday you’ll be a famous pianist.” Would Pa listen to me then?
Meegiemom: I’m Jeri Todd, Meegiemom to my writing friends. Last November I took my first creative writing course, and at 79 years of age I’ve finally found my calling. (I’d put an exclamation point there, but I’ve learned to be a bit more frugal with them.)
The Lookout by Anonalana
Butch smacked me when I said I didn’t want to do it, but before he burned my other cheek with the back of his hand, I submitted. “Just watch for the cops,” he yelled. “Even a stupid bitch like you can do THAT. Right?”
So here I stand, listening to some tunes. By now he’s pulling his .38 from his pants.
I hear the .410 fire once. Then again. Butch didn’t hear me call the owner with a heads up. As much as I want to smile I don’t.
Vietnam 1968 by Walterburgle
It just seemed all kinds of wrong.
Matterson looked at this picture every night. I watched him through the cloud of mosquitoes. He caressed her hair, mumbled some sweet nothing, kissed the photo, and tucked it back into a pocket in his fatigues. I never asked him about her. I probably should have. I don’t even know her name.
After he stepped into a spike board, I took the picture from his pocket. There is still a smear of his blood on the back. I don’t look there. I just caress her hair, mumble something sweet, kiss her softly, and put her in my pocket.
Ward Weatherford was a kid, burger flipper, stock boy, auto mechanic, computer programmer, business owner. Now, he is a Husband, Dad, and Author looking for a pen name. Although, it might be too late. You can find more of his ramblings and writing on his blog, Walterburgle – ‘Writing in circles. Because I like being dizzy.’
Grandfather’s Office by JD Evans
Grandfather was a bookkeeper. Not a CPA. Not a financial planner. He simply kept track of the debits and credits for a handful of businesses in town. Bound ledgers with entries carefully drafted in pen, during the heyday of adding machines. Long before computer technology began eating away at his handful of clients. His life.
Each morning he shaved, dressed, ate breakfast, put on his jacket, and left for work, taking the fourteen worn steps to his office on the second floor of his childhood home. He sat at the desk that once was his father’s, and when he was tired he would rest on the couch that once graced his mother’s parlor.
For his birthday, Mandy and I bought a new chair for his office. It was a spiffy modern design, polished chrome frame and padded velour cushions. We thought it would brighten up his spirits. Instead, Grandfather sat in the corner. Staring. As if waiting for the journal entry that would debit his existence.