Spot 035: Springing Into Action


by Sandra Davies

I can’t remember what the row was about – usual stuff probably, which encompasses a wide range of possibilities, although one thing I am sure about, it would not have been about money because we never rowed about that. Nor would it have been about the housework I didn’t do, because I never had done it, much, and he knew that when he married me.
Whatever, it had been a row, me storming off, crosser than ever because I am so bloody inarticulate, so slow and cannot think of the right sort of response, that one pertinently killing phrase which would, if it were a script-written play, have reduced him to stunned silence at the undeniable logical rightness of my argument.
Probably, though, it was of the usual “You don’t talk to me!” variety.
Anyway, having (probably) slammed a door or two, having stormed upstairs and gone into my study to take refuge … I came to a halt.
Stood immobile for at least thirty seconds, and then returned downstairs, confident in the outcome of this particular dilemma.
“Steve, there’s a spider …”

See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.



by Bill Lapham

I was Running; and then I wasn’t Running. I wasn’t even Standing.
Somebody rolled me over so I could see the Sky. The Vultures were circling already. I heard Faint Voices, and Loud Static.
I faded to Black. Black black. Laptop Black. Death Black. Middle of the Universe Black. Black Matter Black.
Somebody was dragging me by my Shoulder Straps. Two Guys maybe. I could see my Legs, they were limp. My right Boot hit a Rock. I didn’t feel it. Then I heard a Buzz, a Ring, a Very Loud Hum.
I was laying in the Dirt, looking up at a Robin’s Egg. The Sun burned. Heat on Mercury hot.
I was Capital ‘T’ Thirsty. Real Thirsty. Thirstiest I’ve ever been Thirsty. I had no Saliva, only Dirt And Dust in my Mouth Thirsty. All I could think about was Water Thirsty.
How am I going to get the Brown Blood Stains on my Tunic out?
I gripped my Weapon. “Never let go of your Weapon,” I heard. Over and over and over again. “Never let go of your Weapon; your Weapon is your Life.” Over and again, over.
I was levitating. I heard whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. I was inside a box. Somebody was looking down at me and hollering, Something, I couldn’t hear Him.
It was like being stuck in a Cartoon. A Super Heroes Cartoon. Only I wasn’t the Super Hero. I was the Object of the Super Heroes’ Consideration.
And that couldn’t be good.

See Authors page for Bill’s bio.



by Paul de Denus

A half block up the road, Ben saw the spinning groceries fly haphazardly like some mad juggler attempting an impossible feat, saw the car do a dance floor rumba – left – right – left – rear lights flashing on the fins like the blue fins from those 50’s Chevy commercials. He remembered lying on the fresh-carpeted floors of their empty suburban home, sitting his little sister Kath, as the action of Highway Patrol wailed on the television. The old man was out, abusing a bender somewhere. Staggering home, the abuse would continue. Ben took the brunt of it, protected Kath from most of it.

People stood on the curb. Some cars in the intersection had stopped. Crawling by, Ben glanced at the red lump of crumpled skirt surrounded by oranges and pears and the red head of lettuce. He accelerated away and chased after the fin. Up near the school on Logan, he saw it disappear past the gym complex and swerve into the apartment complex driveway.

His guts tightened, sweat oozed from his pores. There were no wailing police sirens and he pondered pulling over and calling 911. Better still; keep driving.

Ben pulled up behind the fin and got out. The kid staggered out of the car, accompanied by an old friend, Johnny Walker.

“Hey big brother?” Kath slurred. “Somethin’ wrong?”
“Give me the keys, Kath,” Ben said. “I’ll take care of it. I promise I will.”

See Authors page for Paul’s bio.



by Michael D. Brown

Janna wore a mint-green tunic blouse with a sizable neon peplum dressing up the waistband over a tangerine skirt. She had always favored pastels and was glad they were in fashion in this her last free season. She did not believe either of her parents could see she was three months gone. None of the women in her family showed during their early months. Ostensibly, too, all had waited to give birth within respectable time frames. She could not say if any had undergone secret abortions, and doubted that had ever been a thing to consider, for her cousins Brittany, Sara, Analise, or Fanny, with none of whom she was close. She often wished she had a sister, who would of course have to be younger, to talk things over, certainly not for advice, but as a sounding board. She put up with more than enough advice from her supposed friend Dita, who was two years older, and overheard enough of the gossip, true or otherwise, being spread around by that silly, overweight bitch Regan and her acolytes to know that missteps encouraged them beyond what any of them were worth. That was the kind of thing that bothered her more than ill-fitting clothes, but she knew pretty soon she was going to have to come to terms on that front also. It was hard accepting that decisions made this particular spring would be so far-reaching, and how she wished her only concern was what to pick up while shopping.

See Authors page for Michael’s bio.



Illustrations for Spot 035 supplied by Gita M. Smith.


5 Comments to “Spot 035: Springing Into Action”

  1. And how myriad are the ways in which we write! If ever you wanted a sampler of different ways to tell a story this MuDSpots would provide it in spades – and every other of your usual contributors would add another. Bill manages yet another spin on ways to die, the richness of Paul’s writing means I am wallowing in deeper pleasure and thus am harder hit by the punchline and the spot-on inner thoughts of Janna are haunting. Well done indeed!

    Grr … but why the hell does WordPress insist I use them and not my usual Blogger account ?- usual blinkered greediness aiming for world domination?

  2. If you are like me, you are around writers almost constantly on the web, at many writing sites. It’s hard to remember that we are the exception, that millions of people in this country are illiterate in the sense that they don’t read and can’t write much either. You guys keep me going. Breathing. Working. Collectively and individually. Michael, do you know how many men know what a peplum is? Three. You constantly amaze me. Paul does too; never saw that final twist coming. Kath — not little Kath! Sandra’s row probably was of the common “you don’t talk to me” variety, but her story was uncommonly good. It was a portrait of a marriage. Lapham is playing with language in wonderful ways. It would sound conceited of me to say “I watched him grow as a writer” but in a way, I have. Two years ago, I don’t think he would have written this piece, not with the deftness it took to write “Thirstiest I’ve ever been Thirsty. I had no Saliva, only Dirt And Dust in my Mouth Thirsty. All I could think about was Water Thirsty.” Finally, and yes, I will conclude, it was great to see my photos put to good use.

  3. I really enjoyed these. Kudos to you all.

  4. While Sandra’s tale is a request for the springing, and Bill’s has his main character unable to further spring into anything, Paul’s truly exemplifies the theme here. No matter how much pounding some people’s psyches take, they seem to always be ready to respond.
    Thanks folks, for the several ways you expressed the concept.

  5. Oops, forgot to say thanks to Gita for the photos, and for not jumping on me about messing with them. “The quick brown fox…, and all that.”

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