All tagged flash

"WAKING" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

I woke to the phone screaming at six am. I slapped the fucker off and returned to slumber. Then, not long later, massive trucks moved in on me. Their gargantuan engines, their exhausts shaking the world. It was like some type of demonic sub woofer blasting from inside a cave in the furthest depths of hell. And then, all that noise rising, Rising, RISING, in bandshell uniformity, coming up and entering this world right under my bed, jolting me awake a second time. 

The beast machines soon past and I was able to sleep again in short order. Then the sun got its shit together. Got it goin’ good. The sun decided to radiate my bedroom like a microwave oven. 

I threw the covers off and lay in sticky sweat; so I set a box fan on high and blared it over me. The rushing hum drawing me out of this world and toward the nether one. And in that burrrrrr, that rushing wind, my mind felt relief. There was peace in that air. There was love and the world was a good place. I drifted back down. I drifted back down then my girl moved into me. She moved into me with her cuddliness and her HEAT, and my mind was buoyed up from the depths. 

Patience is not my virtue. Images of fires and explosions and shopping malls at Christmas entered my mind. I calmed myself. Somehow, I calmed myself. I knew my girl meant no harm in what she was doing. So I laid there. I laid and took the heat of the sun and of her body, and I took her love with it, and I sweated through. I endured, and even though my comfort was less, my mind numbed in the heat. I was soon going back down, back to peace, back to oblivion, and as soon as I reached that distant sanctuary, my girl moved. 

She moved her hand on my belly, grabbing a pinch on my fat, waking me out of it. In furry, I grabbed her hand and threw it away from me like it was an empty beer can. There was no thought in the action. It was like slapping a bug away. 

My girl moved more then, rising from the bed, and next, I could hear her stomping around the apartment. Then I couldn’t hear her anymore. I was going down further. Down further and further, past dreams, past anything, maybe to death. I slept for an hour. One perfect hour. 

When I woke, my girl was not in a good mood. She was riled and wrathful and too much time had passed for me to change any of it. 

Some days, you just can’t win.  

"WAKING" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

"ELEPHANT" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

ELEPHANT

 

I remember the circus

and the elephant.

I remember standing in a line

with other children,

and we were silent.

 

We were all pondering

this real monster

so close to us.

 

Frightened.

In awe.

Five at a time,

we rose up

wooden stairs

to a platform.

 

A man would move us in and over then.

Our legs straddling the beast

like a cowboy’s.

 

Cameras flashed.

Smiling mothers goggled.

Their babies so adorable on an elephant.

Then a man would say,

“Let’s go, Lisa”

and the elephant would move.

 

She moseyed

around a large ring

on a dirt floor

in the center

of the circus tent

five children on her back.

 

I waited my turn

(with the other silent and terrified).

I watched the elephant’s long sways,

her colossal legs taking ginger steps 

in slow motion.

 

I watched  those pillars move.

I watched her toenails,

her ears flapping like sails,

that long impossible trunk.

I watched her.

 

I watched her,

and when she was close enough,

I  looked at one of her eyes.

 

I saw her eye

and in her eye

I saw her,

and

in her eye

I saw that she saw me.

 

I saw that she saw me

but saw me

from some depth,

from some place,

some inner world,

I couldn’t imagine.  

 

But when I looked at her,

I saw goodness.

 

I rode in the front

behind a skull

as wide as a coffee table.

Her smell was strong and thick and animal,

and the way she moved…

 

She moved like a rock that changed shape.

She moved like a rock that moved like water.

And when she moved,

she moved around the circle

in the circus tent,

and I was so high in the air.

 

She could have done terrible things to us.

To anyone.

Something that powerful.

She could have done anything.

No one could have stopped it.

But she didn’t.

She was good.

 

She was magnificent.   

"SHOWERING" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

At the gym

I shower.

They don’t have towels.

You've got to bring your own.

 

I've got eight hand towels,

precision folded.

Eight

little

perfect 

baby-blue

squares,

in my gym bag.

 

The water is ice.

Thin

piercing

rays

of anger

slicing me.

 

They don't want people like me here.

They don’t like car bums.

They keep their water heater low.

Gym people don't like homeless people.

But I am a paying customer.

 

I shower like an Olympic sprinter.

Soap!

Scrub!

Shampoooooo!

 

There is an older man at the gym.

He gets there when I do.

He works out when I work out.

After I flip on the water,

he sneaks into the shower room.

He does push ups on the wet tile floor.

He gets down there,

pumps them out,

genitals dangling.

They make slimy,

slapping sounds

as they plop,

then lift

then plop

on the tile.

 

When he's done with those,

he grabs a three-inch pipe

running the ceiling's length.

 

In the nude,

he performs pull ups,

facing me,

watching me.

 

He pulls.

He rises.

He descends.

He watches.

 

I've started showering with my knife.

I place it on the

wall-mounted,

liquid-soap

dispenser.

 

I shower fast,

get out,

shake like a wet,

freezing dog,

then I dry off

using my little hand towel.

 

Physically, I’m clean.   

(written in 2015)

"SHOWERING" Prose by Gabriel Thomas

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