Friday, December 9, 2011

Creative Writing Championship 2011, round 2 entry

This is a 1,000 word story
Genre: Comedy
Location: Flower Shop
Object: Fish

Killing Goldfish

Mr. Brownfield could feel Harold looking at him. Brownfield closed his eyes, took a deep breath and potted the plant how he wanted to do it anyway. The Greenhouse was slow and Brownfield was trying out new things to pass the time. Harold the goldfish just did what he always did, swim in his bowl and shake his head at Brownfield. After the shop was tidied up, Brownfield locked up and headed home without saying a word to Harold.
When Brownfield came in the next morning Mrs. Flowers was sitting at the register, smiling at Harold and sprinkling food into his bowl, blowing kisses at him.
Brownfield said hello to Mrs. Flowers and Harold. He told Mrs. Flowers she looked lovely and gritted his teeth as he told Harold that his bowl looked very clean. He set down his bag and went to look at the Marigold plant he potted the day before, it was on its way to dying already.
It was Friday morning and the shipment was about to come in, carnations and star gazing lilies and pansies for the spring. Mrs. Flowers yelled to Brownfield and he heard the front door bell go off. Brownfield ran up to front and saw only Harold, who snickered at him, probably because the marigold was dying. Brownfield would have to unload and inspect the plants and begin arranging them to be sold off as birthday and anniversary gifts. Mrs. Flowers, his mother-in-law, would want to see everything looking beautiful.
Harold laughed, as if he knew Brownfield was thinking about Flowers and was stressing himself out again. Brownfield went in the back room because he didn’t want Harold to see him cry, like a girl scout who just burnt a batch of brownies and lost her baking badge, again. Brownfield was in the back wiping tears from his eyes with a small bouquet of roses and wondering if he’d ever win Mrs. Flowers approval and if he should get the tips of his hair frosted this weekend to look good for the busy week next week when he heard the front door bell chime, letting him know someone was walking in the store.
Brownfield walked up front and saw a man staring at the sign sitting next to Harold next to the register on the desk up front. The sign said “Welcome to Flowers Greenhouse. This is Harold The Goldfish, please look around and let Harold know if you have any questions.”
The customer looked up at Brownfield as he came to the desk and asked “What kinda crazy flower store is this, with a salesfish?”
“Oh trust me he’s very good,” Brownfield said with a laugh, extending his hand to the customer.
The customer shook Brownfield’s hand and asked for a display of flowers for his wife. Brownfield helped the man pick out a lovely bouquet of pink roses and charged him and waved to him as he left. Harold chuckled.
“Shut up,” Brownfield told Harold. “You couldn’t have made him a Greenhouse Flower Grabber either. Nobody ever signs up for those frequent buyer cards. Mrs. Flowers is crazy. No wait, I didn’t say that. Harold you didn’t hear me say that. I didn’t say that.”
Brownfield took down Mrs. Flowers sign about asking Harold and went in back again to arrange the shipment. He knew that Harold was going to tell Mrs. Flowers what he said. Harold was always whispering to customers when Brownfield was in back. Brownfield knew Harold was telling the customers about his crying and how he only worked in the greenhouse because he was the owner’s son-in-law. But Brownfield couldn’t kill the goldfish. He had tried. Somehow the fish was immune to the poisons Brownfield mixed in with the fish food and he was too slippery to grab so that Brownfield could inject him with a syringe of something. Brownfield couldn’t fit a butcher knife in the fish bowl to slice Harold’s throat. It was impossible to kill him.
Brownfield couldn’t fill the fishes bowl with chlorine or anything, Mrs. Flowers would notice that and she loved the fish. She made Harold salesfish of the month, every month.
Brownfield finished the shipment duties and went up front to lock up the store. He did all the closing duties, inventory, cleaning and balancing the cash register. Harold didn’t do anything.
“This is why I don’t like you Harold,” Brownfield said to him as he Windexed the windows. “You never do anything, no work. You just sit there and judge people and look cute for Mrs. Flowers. One of these days I’ll find a way to kill a fish. You’ll be sorry. You make the working conditions here hell. It’s a very uncomfortable work environment, you know that right?”
Brownfield finished up and told Harold goodnight and locked up the greenhouse. He wanted to go home, read the new issue of Lumberjacks Today Magazine and get to bed early, so he could come in early on a Saturday, have the pansies for the spring sale all organized and set up in the front of the store and impress Mrs. Flowers.
When Brownfield opened up Flowers Greenhouse Saturday morning he didn’t see Harold. His heart stopped for pi seconds and his mouth hung agape. His cock might have grown hard but he’d never admit that. Harold was gone. Brownfield smiled. He’d be salesMAN of the month now. He’d laugh joyfully and run a happy greenhouse without Harold’s oppressive stare covering everything. Brownfield closed the door, dropped his bag. He danced a jig, twirled, closed his eyes and sang out at the top of his lungs “I’m every woman.”
“I wish my daughter had married a woman,” Mrs. Flowers said.
Brownfield opened his eyes and saw Mrs. Flowers walking to the front desk carrying Harold in a larger bejeweled bowl with TOP EMPLOYEE written on it.
With cold disappointment in her voice Mrs. Flowers said “There’s a dying marigold in the back, every son, go throw it away.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Creative Writing Championship 2011, round 1 entry

This is a 1,000 word story
Genre: Fantasy
Location: A public library
Object: A remote control

A Tooth Fairytale

I pick up the remote and turn on the sports channel, but golf is on so I turn to one of the news channels and a show is starting. I set the remote down as the title “The Sexist Tooth Fairy Union?” flashes across the screen.
The documentary looks low budget, flood lights are berating a table in front of the Non Fiction stacks of books and three tooth fairies sit at the table. They introduce themselves as Bob, Ken and Steve. The voiceover tells me that they are the only three male tooth fairies working today. Although, it doesn’t seem like they will be working much longer. The three have co-authored a book about the sexism and discrimination in the tooth fairy union and Bob says he thought other kinds of fairies needed to be aware of the conditions of tooth fairies.

I admit working as a Hobgoblin I rarely pay attention to the social inadequacies around me. I generally just terrorize and eat and leave. Hobgoblins don’t really work in teams and there’s no union, probably because we could never pull it off, so I don’t think about it much. There were a good amount of girl hobgoblins, sneaky bitches, and most of the actual goblins were women.
Bob says as the only male tooth fairies, and the tallest of all tooth fairies – Steve was more than an inch tall – that he and his crew were always given the same tooth recovery jobs. They had to fly to trailers and places in the southern hemisphere with open windows, cause the tooth fairy union didn’t think they could get in and out of some places as well as the girls. The documentarians zoomed in on Bob as he sat in the library – where the tooth fairies often went to talk shop and check out loose teeth in the area children and now where Bob and Ken and Steve’s book was – and he gritted his teeth and spittle gather on his lip as he seethed about the union. The show then cut to a grainy document, a press release from the tooth fairy union, a statement that all union fairies are treated equally. However, in the accompanying group photo of the union members the male tooth fairies definitely seemed more tan. Which the narrator points out could have been a result of more time in the southern hemisphere, but it also could have been extra vacation time the union says the guys used up.

The narration says the male tooth fairies were on extended leave for personal reasons. A former tooth fairy reveals she heard the males threatened to sue the union and were asked to leave and I don’t know what’s true. Ken’s wife says Ken came home and constantly complained about a feeling that he was being sent to get all the “bad teeth.” Teeth that were large or cracking or infected or otherwise defective always seemed to be waiting for Ken. The union officials told Ken he was receiving assignments like everyone else did, but he began to question that when he ran into Steve at an office party and they traded some workplace stories. Both Ken and Steve look straight into the camera and say that they felt the male tooth fairies were often more frustrated than the women tooth fairies because of they were treated like meat, big boys to go lift heavy stuff and that’s all.
Ken and Steve tracked done Bob in the North Pole office after the workplace party at their office in Shangri-La and the three of them started realizing how they may have been systematically used and discriminated against, the voiceover says. Bob had a blog that he wrote and used his writer skills to put together their story and attract a publishing company and their book “Am I Getting Fucked Here? The Male Tooth fairies Story” came out in less than a year.

The voiceover tells me that there are lots of lawsuits over the book and related issues. Tooth fairy union representatives tell the show that they are sorry anytime a tooth fairy is unhappy and they are unable to resolve the issue. Bob and Ken and Steve tell the interviewer that they are considering freelance tooth fairy and tooth fairy related – parties, Bat Mitzvahs and circus events – options while the lawsuits get worked out by the Court of Wizards.

Narration says that attorneys for both sides say they are confident but not willing to make statements until the wizard court had made rulings. Bob’s mom says she thinks her son and the others have suffered a tremendous amount of stress and embarrassment through the discrimination revelation. However, the narrator reminds us, the guys have also become celebrities and have gotten fan and love letters and money.
That kind of attention would make my job harder, I’d never be able to sneak around and cause mischief with groupies around, I think. I wonder if the tooth fairies over have to abort a tooth pick up or if they ever wake a kid up because the paparazzi is after them? The media and social media is crazy these days after all.
The documentary ends with a shot of Bob and Ken and Steve in front of the library and it’s closed. The narrator tells us that this story is still going on and we will have to see what fate befalls the male tooth fairies. I pick up the remote and click off the TV. It’s time for me to leave this house, I’ve hobgoblinned here enough, moved all the furniture, ate some food, changed around cabinets and watched TV, leaving it on a different channel. I put my stinky socks and shoes back on and get up from the couch.
Cloud houses always feel unstable to me.
I’m going to go now.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Music blog

Don't forget to check out my music blog Rotting Rhythms