Rain King

Here is another short one. This one houses a character I’ve been wanting to bring into existence. I know what I want his life to look like but cannot figure how he should come into being. It’s difficult to create a character that cannot hold a thought.

If it ever makes it to book form, here is your introduction to him.

Rain is just such a purifying, beautiful occurrence, thought an easy on the eye woman holding an easy on the eye umbrella over her dry head, oh how nature hugs you with its love and leaves everything feeling fresh and new. The man sitting atop a box to her left she pretended to hardly notice would have thought similarly were it not for his ever rebelling mind. In and out like a child flicking a light on and off; a goldfish in a bowl ever entertained with each new direction it turns. For a moment, though, a similar thought flashes behind his eyes in sputtering TV form, his lips flicker a rain soaked smile.
Most passing by divert their attention elsewhere, anywhere else. Its impolite to stare at the poor soul, they think to themselves. The few who cannot override their inconsiderate  urges misinterpret the poor man’s shuttering smile for senility or intentions of a sexual nature. They double their pace, as do those more polite.
The poor man on the box is granted another moment of clarity. His lips quiet and soften. No longer happy, yet his heart is warmed. They mean well, he thinks while he can. They are decent people. Its not their fault.
The poor man’s thoughts trail off like a siren disappearing into the wind and no one around to hear it before, after or since. He tastes metal in his mouth. Briefly he hopes its something he ate last night, or perhaps something foreign in the rain dripping down his nose leaking onto his tongue and not another tooth coming loose. Before he musters the courage to investigate, he forgets about the flavor and his rotting tooth. Nothing replaces his attention, but something does steal all of this attention. The same something that stole his attention as long as he could remember.
The rain continues coming down, lightly but definitely raining. It sucks what little warmth he collects cuddled in the garbage around him and his box, his home. Shivering is the only constant reminder of his environment, the only stability, the only constant finger poking at his back taunting him to remember his plight, to remember his past or present. When he can, he wishes it was not. When his mind allows it, he prays for something else, any other feeling than cold.
No one stops to assist him. Either they feel its not their place and if he needed it he would ask or they fear he will attack them, ask them for money. In the distance somewhere a dog barks. That bark shoots a glimmer of a thought, something he tried to see from the wrong end of a long and dark tunnel. Barking reverberated through that tunnel, through his head. He started to cry but couldn’t remember why; then he forgot he was crying altogether.
He does not know it, but he too is grateful for the rain. How it hugs him with his love, how it hides his tears and incontinence from passersby, how it hides the human part of him that passersby would not be able to ignore.

The Only One

It’s late but I am thus far unwilling to break my procrastination for today. With that in mind, I’m sharing a story I wrote this week for WritersWeekly’s Spring 24 hour Short Story Contest. Rules, regs and other spiffy info can be found at http://www.writersweekly.com/misc/contest.php

Basic gist: 900 words, using a scenario that had to include a woman saying “I’ll see you tomorrow, friend” and the responder saying “No, you won’t”. We didn’t have to use any part of the scenario, just reference it. Oh, and you have 24 hours to write the story from start to finish, polished and all. 
Here’s my awful attempt: 

Oh, how she loved starting her mornings at the fruit stand just outside her gym overlooking the boardwalk. Mornings were so rough these days with problems that wreak havoc in the lives of many middle-aged married women with children too old to care about her predicament, too young not to need her. The fruit wasn’t the draw, she hated fruit. The pleasant salty breeze did not entice her either, it smelled of ocean all over town. No, the eccentric man behind the kiosk was her reason. He was such a kind old man. He brought a smile to the otherwise serious lines chiseled into her cheeks.
As with each morning, the same conversation ensued, with one exception, always one exception.
“Good morning, sir.”
“Good morning, Miss Leslie.”
Leslie let out the faintest sigh, “An especially long night, Miss Leslie?”
“You always know everything, young man.”
“You flatter me.”
“Mmm.”
“Your usual then, given the disquiet in your heart?”
“Much less disquiet now that I’ve seen you, kind sir.”
The old man picks a banana, seemingly at random. They exchange exact change for the ripest banana possible; perfect to the eye and better on the tongue.
Before leaving, she patted the old man’s hand, “I’ll see you tomorrow morning, friend.”
“No, you won’t…”
She walked away with that smiling old eccentric man on her mind. What a kind, funny man, she thought, always the same bizarre farewell from his always smiling face. Leslie’s heart grew fonder of the man at the fruit stand over the years. They shared a certain bond.
She knew everything about him because she asked—unlike all his other customers who just grunted or lost their tempter as he fumbled through their change. She saw something special in him. She had patience for him, compassion. She knew the story of how he went blind as a child when “my drunken father beat the sight out of my brain” as he put it. How sad, she frequently thought. She knew he worked this small fruit stand, relying heavily on customer honesty, because he could not read or write. “Mother home schooled me the way father home schooled her” he told her. When she heard this, her heart broke open.
Leslie cried herself to sleep for many nights.
All these insensitive people that see him everyday, why do they not get to know him like she does?
The next day, paler than usual, Leslie continued her daily ritual of visiting the same fruit stand where the same conversation ensued, with one exception, always one exception.
“I cry for you most nights, kind sir,” as she adjusted her sunglasses coyly, tucked her hair behind her ear instinctively before untucking again in shame.
“Cry not, sweet Leslie,” his smile never faded, “I am a happy blind man who lives every day like it’s his last.”
With this, Leslie’s heart warmed, mended, “You’re such a sweet man. I’m better for knowing you.”
“The feeling is mutual. And, might I add, Miss Leslie, that your new sunglasses do not suit you. You are better than that.”
Leslie’s heart skipped. How could he know, she wondered? Ah, he’s blind, working senses heighten; he must have heard me adjust them. Her legs stiffened, she cowered slightly. The man’s smile didn’t. That smile managed to soften even the discomfort she felt. She smiled. She knew he was on her side. They had a bond.
“I’ll see you tomorrow morning, friend.”
“No, you won’t…”
She slept better that night after her husband calmed. She knew the blind man was happy. This made Leslie happy.
The next day, the same conversation ensued as it had for as long as she could remember, with one exception, always with one exception.
Finally, one particular exception came to the forefront. Desperate for something else to think about to quell the pain in her ribs and between her thighs, Leslie asked, “Every time we meet, you are so kind and we’ve shared so much. You end our conversations with the same awkward farewell implying I will never see you again. Yet every next morning, we meet again on the same corner at the same time. Why, kind old man? Why must you end such pleasantries with ‘No, you won’t’?”
“Because, dearest Leslie, you are blind.”
Dearest Leslie would have giggled if her ribs and conscience would have allowed her, but she cared too much for the blind man to make light of his impairment, especially given their connection.
The blind man continued, “You see me as others see you. You know my story of blindness, why I work here, everything that makes me the blind man you see everyday.”
“This is so true, but why am I blind?”
“Others see your coyness, your bruises and shame. That is not the real you any more than my sight and my childhood is the real me.”
To this Leslie became uncomfortable. Unsure if she felt angry, scared or saddened, she let out a great sigh in hope of garnering something more stable for her mind to balance upon. He did not respond
With what breath her chest provided she said again, “I’ll see you tomorrow morning, friend.”
“No, you won’t…”
And she didn’t.

First Post!

This blog serves two purposes, purposes? Purposi? Purposies? No, that last one sounds like Pansies, and my writing is effeminate enough.

First, this gives me an outlet for procrastination that feels to some degree productive.

Second, NoobWriterBlog serves as a place where I can post the stories and other pieces I write and mention on my Twitter page: Noob_writer. Look me up or just click the link here:

Well, I should go make din din for me and the wifey. Until next time, write it till your hands fall apart!