Posts tagged ‘heavy’

August 18, 2011

Spot 004: Heavy, Man, Heavy


by Paul de Denus


In the cafeteria, the shooter takes out Mr. Hollis. BAM!…BAMBAM!… a ruler smacking a table and Hollis hits the wall and disappears down, like the floor just opened under him. The guy – it’s Billy Krazik – turns and aims at Jamie Stockwell, sitting there calmly as if he’s in the play or something and he takes two to the head. He rocks a little, then sits still. The fuck moves forward, looking right at me, our eyes lock and he points the gun… I peer down the black hole, see Krazik’s chewed red fingernail twitch slightly to the left as he fires off a barrage of shots. BAM!…BAMBAMBAM!… tables splinter and scatter behind me; there are heavy thumps and screams and I blink uncontrollably, a deranged twist creasing my face.
And then there’s Colby, backpack in hand, crossing the floor. He strides in quick purposeful steps. He looks insane. Parallel to Krazik, light as a ghost, I don’t think he sees it coming.
I’m woven in a cocoon. On the soundless floor, I watch bodies twitch. Heads cover. Krazik’s moved into the hallways. My chest weighs heavy, bubbling pink. Colby has nothing to say, his eyes vacant, surprised. Earlier this morning he boasted he’d brought his old man’s Glock to school… just to show it off you understand. Colby was cool… just playing … but well… Krazik’s crazy and he decided to swipe it and play the heavy… for real. He plays it well.


Note: This week’s heavy theme was suggested by Paul. See Authors page for his bio.



by Joe Gensle


You are in prime physical condition at the tops of your respective games, too-young multi-millionaires with sports acumen born from magical mixes of natural ability, rigorous training, coaching, practice, assuming the risks and suffering the consequences of occupational injuries.
Your work is seasonal, requires separation from stability’s anchors of home and family.
You are one of a team, and you are a team of one.
You’re trapped in the eyes and voices of scrutiny, before millions, with your triumphs analyzed and replayed over and over on cable and the airwaves. Images and descriptors of your failures splash through every hue in the spectrum of public media and social networking ten-fold more times than your triumphs.
Exposure of your bad choices and secreted actions force hasty retreats, elicit false denials, propel you into freefall, crashing you into realities that eviscerate more than fortunes few can ever know.
Your personal wreckage is licked and consumed by hungered flames hard-blown by bellows of ridicule, incinerating you on the pyre of public disdain.
Tiger Woods. Golf legend. Infidel. Liar.
Michael Vick. Football quarterback. Phenom. Animal torturer. Liar. Convict.
You emerge, your receipts stamped “Paid in Full,” but by separate and oppositional currencies.
From ashes, two Phoenixes are embodied. Each rises if unsteadily at first.
One wings away.
In plain view, the other contrives an aura of normalcy but flops and flails, grounded by wings shorn and weighted by demons that neither show or have yet to be exorcised. Ever the good sport.


See Authors page for Joe’s bio.



by Sandra Davies


In the aftermath the bulk of her concern had been for him, not his physical state so much as his mental, regardless that his apologetic truce had been made with the sole intention of negating his self-condemnation.
The apology had been made to her of course, but he knew her well enough to have correctly judged her lack of need for it. Knew too, and had the maturity not to condemn, that a portion of her concern had been for the other man, despite the fact that as perpetrator – did that stem from ‘traitor?’ – he was less deserving, owed only what remained from their shared history.
And so thus occupied she gave no thought to the inner workings of herself.
He did.
Eventually, deliberately delaying so to shorten any agony for her, since he was at least as capable of concern as she, he asked and devastated she discovered ‘yes’.
Six months to wait instead of … eight? Six months and now her concern matched, possibly exceeded, his and, once again because of what they’d had, reached out a little to the other man who, it had to be acknowledged, might yet need to know.
Almost too much concern to be contained despite the compensating increase of her body, prepared to bear anxiety as well as an unborn child of indeterminate paternity.


See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.



by Mike Handley


Facing a date with a masked man who wanted to saw open my sternum and pluck my heart’s strings, my thoughts drifted to who would miss me and why. What would the people on this very short list say about my life, would that I allow a funeral?
Sadly, most would toss out only a few adjectives and nouns: quiet, funny, creative, kind, writer, artist, hunter, loner, picky eater, provider and workaholic. Not a bad list, if anyone’s keeping a ledger, but isn’t just as much known about serial killers?
I might be remembered for some of the stories I’ve told, some I’ve lived, or by the old R&B I adore.
But despite having acquaintances across this and faraway lands, almost none have seen what’s inside my bum heart or in my head. Divulging isn’t my strong suit, but here’s fodder for my eulogy:
I believe love and lovemaking should not be limited by plumbing.
I believe supremacy over a woman’s body should rest solely between her ears.
I believe anyone who abuses a child should face the severest of consequences, and that those who abuse dogs are assholes.
I believe that people who spread their cards and try to persuade me to pick a religion (any religion) need directions back to the carnival.
I believe those who judge a whole race of people by the actions of a few should, when the time comes, be eased into the dank hereafter by the caring brown hands they’ve long feared.


See Authors page for Mike’s bio.



by Gita M. Smith


In 2312, when the biodome over central Mars was finished and sealed, they sent for everyone incarcerated in Parchman, San Quentin, Leavenworth and the supermax daddy of them all, Attica. Putting us to work here, in the Haliburton Martian mines, saved Americans a bazillion taxpayer dollars a year. No one minded that 200 death row prisoners were let out of their cells and put on rocket ships. It was explained to the public that inmates would die out here much faster than on Earth.
The gravity on Mars is something fierce, man. It ups our body weights by 182 percent. No way can our hearts cope with such density for more than a few years. Each step you take on Mars is slow and leaden, as if your leg was dragging a whole other person. I’m young, man, but I can’t even walk a block. Meanwhile, the guards trip around in antigravity suits, light as orioles.
Down inside the titanium mines, Haliburton had to install anti-gravity machines or we’d never get any work done. Titanium is the new miracle mineral, strong as steel when forged but lighter than aluminum.
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the Next Big Thing, brought to you by the murderers and grand theft auto committers and rapists and eye gougers and welfare cheaters of America.
Above ground, we’re just your average army of foot-dragging, bent-over, weighed-down losers. But below ground? Baby, we’re the cheapest, non-union dead men walking in the universe!


See Authors page for Gita’s bio.



by Bill Lapham


Socrates said ‘the unexamined life is not worth living.’ So do most of the old-timers in Alcoholics Anonymous, only they add a few more words. They got these damn Steps (it’s a twelve-step program you know) and one of them demands reflection on all the crap you stirred up during a lifetime of intoxication.
Depending on the sponsor you choose, and the length of your inebriation, the weight of that written examination could be hefty. Good people have written tomes regarding their despicable nature when they’re drunk.
Dale Desjardins had written them too, and tossed them out, and written them again, and tossed them out again. It’s not important to save them, he thought, it’s only important to write them. It’s the examination that matters, not the score.
Anyone willing to embark on such a journey of self-discovery ought to be warned in advance, though. Working on the Steps AA lays out for its members can lead to sobriety, and all the shit that encompasses. Conversely, not working them can leave you dissolute and lonely. Knowing the damn things exist, studying them, working on them, and then ignoring them to return to a life dominated by the chemical fire, will likely consume the consumer in a blaze of self-assured, nihilistic fury.
Or not.
“Fuck it, mate, pour me another; I’m thirsty and I gotta go home soon. Shit, pour one for everybody,” he said, waving his arm unsteadily about the room.


See Authors page for Bill’s bio.



by Nicole E. Hirschi


“Ignorance is bliss, right?” He hissed between clenched teeth. The hand at his throat squeezed tighter, threatening to rob him of his breath entirely. “We made a deal!” He croaked, clawing at the unseen hand holding him high in the air.
“You can’t make a deal with the devil and still expect to go to heaven.” The soul clutching voice mocked. “God won’t have you,” and in a triumphant voice, “you’re mine!”
“You didn’t…uphold…all of your end!” He gasped, struggling to stay conscious even with the spots of black dancing across his vision.
“I never said you would live to see all of your requests granted, not here anyway.” The eerie voice drawled. “You should feel lucky I’ve allowed you to live this long.”
The black now crawling across his mind promised to take away the feelings of hurt and physical pain. Finally giving in, he realized he had played with fire and gotten burned.
With a sickening crunch, the King of Lost Souls smiled with viscous delight. Payment had been received.


Nicole E. Hirschi also known as Coraline J. Thompson writes when time and muse agree. Her short flashes and poetry can be found splashed across the ‘Net and in a few books as well. Read more at



by Amy Hale Auker


There once was a woman who carried many stones. She started carrying them early in life for her father was verbose and talked his way through his adult problems so that she knew of his attraction for his teenage students and how Zoloft made him impotent. Some of the stones she carried were the color of the circles under her mother’s eyes. She carried her husband’s stones since he wasn’t strong enough to heft more than the cherry cigars he was fond of lighting. She carried a baby on each hip, a boy child who struggled to be released, a girl child who both clung and stung. She had a mentor whose wife was a good cook; he offered her fatherly advice and hidden secret smiles that weighed a ton, and she wondered what the good cook would think of those. The next mentor took her skinny dipping under a goddess moon, but even a glass of wine with him was serious business. She carried stones for her sister, her girlfriends, for the lady at the grocery store who sighed as she scanned the produce. Later on she met another man who claimed to be able to carry his own stones, but he called her late at night with the weight of desire in his voice.
One day, the woman dropped all of her stones to the ground, and people said she had gone insane. She stood and danced upon their weight and they turned to jewels beneath her toes.


Amy Hale Auker writes and rides on a working cattle outfit in Arizona. She has published one book of creative non-fiction and currently seeks an agent and fiction editor for her novels. Visit her website at



by Bill Floyd


My heart is gonna stop. One day, yes, it’s gonna stop. And I never swam the English Channel or hosted SNL or dug real deep. But I’ve seen some things. I’ve done some things you just wouldn’t believe. I never felt warm flesh go still, but maybe I want to. Maybe something in me wants to. But not tonight, this feels too right. I know where you are because I’ve got what you want. Don’t stop.


Bill Floyd has made some regrettable decisions in the past. He doesn’t regret writing about them.



by Grey Johnson


A crowded presence marks our clock
As if, when the children grew away, the ceiling lowered
And the unneeded cups and bowls formed a silent phalanx
Empty chairs now rush our table
Pressing me aside, to devour what is gone
There is a conspiracy here of memory, and anger
That we fail to face
Performing our solitary maneuvers in the kitchen, the den
So I stand
Alone against a house of factions, facing you
My partner in this box of lonely crime


See Authors page for Grey’s bio.



by Travis Smith


He moved with an uneven stride across the bluff towards the edge that looked out over the sea. To an observer it might seem that each step was a herculean effort, his feet weighed down by years of travel along paths that most will never know. Inside his mind it wasn’t his feet, but rather his heart that pulled him down with a force beyond what gravity should allow. His heart had taken the same unseen paths, sometimes choosing the way, sometimes dreading it, but carried the years in different ways, and there had been a lot of years. A lot of joy, love, pain and loss.
He shuffled to the edge, stopping there to breathe the air. It had the familiar smell and feel that could only be found here at the border between land and sea and air. He knew the power of this air and he could feel it now, seeping into his soul. He looked down at the rocks below, where the water crashed. He could hear the voices echoing up to him, but hidden in a different realm. He breathed in deeply again, Someday, he thought, someday this old body will float out into this magical air….but not today.
He turned and walked back across the bluff, his step lighter and heart no longer heavy, knowing that he had many paths left to travel in his appointed life.


Travis Smith lives in North Carolina where his day job as an ecologist supports his desire to write fiction. More of his work can be found on 6S and T10.



by Michael D. Brown


Rampaging around the room, destroying objects, like a bull elephant in musth, Jorge played his scene until deflated, after which he would weep like a child surveying destruction. Then he would come to Elena and take her in blasphemous thumping, frontwards and back, bringing her to rapture she would not feel throughout the nights of a year. It was the drink, she knew, that brought him to his threshold, but it was also the season. They wanted, for everything, oh, how they wanted.
Four of their children were conceived in this way.
Later, when their situation had not improved and neither saw any route to that possibility, Elena looked forward to her mate’s annual charge, but Jorge had grown weary throughout the years of trying, trying to achieve something lasting, a permanence to prosperity, and their one big encounter occurred with less and less vigor.
Last Christmas, he did not get angry, did not find cause to argue even with her prompting, although they coupled as expected, and in this, Elena, no longer of an age of conception, having abandoned any sense of responsibility and briefly wearing the smugness of satisfaction, as the days passed into the New Year, grew concerned.
Though she will not speak of it to cousin nor sister nor even close friend, she is absolutely certain the next yuletide will be silent. She can feel in her bones, wearied by too much childbearing, she will finally be a widow like most of the women she knows.


See Authors page for Michael’s bio.



by Kristine E. Shmenco


Heavy doesn’t visit me often. It’s usually when I come across your work. The mouse stops scrolling. The keys stop ticking. Open mouthed and soundless is usually how you leave me when it’s heavy. You challenge my brain and it’s wonderful.
Heavy is an appropriate word for something deep. I can’t grasp it all at once so I have to go back and nibble on it later. I find heavy tastes salty but sometimes sweet, never fails to satisfy, and it’s unending on the plate.
Heavy is too heavy for me to write about because I’m afraid to feel it. There. I said it. I’m in the shadow of something bigger than all of us, and none of us will approach it the same way.
She came to work this morning and left an hour later because her brother who has been dying for 100 years will let his light go now. How strange it is to be talking on the phone, typing, thinking about writing, eating a sandwich, laughing with my cube-mates; driving under a slate-gray sky that threatens rain, thinking about how to prepare dinner and how to be patient with the world around me, when I know across town a man is leaving us. Leaving his family. It is time, and I’m not sad for him. But how strange that I *know* his light is leaving us while I’m doing all this… stuff.
Very strange. Very heavy. But not unbearable.


Kristine is married to a patient rust farmer and says she’s working on being a writer who’s still learning the art and diplomacy of commenting to posts. We say she’s far too humble. Her site is mirrorknobdream at wordpress



Illustrations for Spot 004: The petroglyphs are photographs lent to the site by Amy Hale Auker. The rest of the graphics are just mdjb fooling around with rocks.