The Girl with the Yellow Ribbon

I’ve never been much of a fool around women. I am usually very calm and collected when it comes to approaching and articulating words into masterly crafted sentences. But when it came to the girl with the yellow ribbon, I was ineffectual. My mouth had become dry and speechless. My eyes could not land a gaze as they continued to dance away out of fear. My hands trembled at the very scent of her. Each passing movement was a sculpted work of art. Her intelligible grace swept the charm from under my feet. I was a mere duckling in a pond of siblings. She was a swan. I watched patiently throughout the night as each passing observer stopped dead in their tracks in order to lay their grotesque eyes upon her porcelain body. None of them had the courage to speak to her. She possessed a spirit that was beautiful but contained. She seemed lost and confused but always in control. She determined the night’s path. The girl with the yellow ribbon.

Later in the evening, I had forgotten about the girl with the yellow ribbon, which is a feat that not even a magician could conjure up. I had moved my sights onto less feasible accomplishments. I began striking out, my skills had been flushed and I was out of luck. The girl with the yellow ribbon had placed a curse upon me. I decided to disembark and head home. I lit up a cigarette and took a deep drag. The white smoke was chased down my throat by the cool night air. As I began exhaling, she appeared through what seemingly was mist. Her magnificent features struck a chord as she waltzed towards my stricken body. She came within inches of me and whispered into my ear. Her voice was sultry and pure. Her pronunciation slick. She asked for a cigarette. I fumbled the pack in my hands that were slowly melting. I managed to draw a white stick from the packaging and place it between her fingers. She slowly raised her hand to her mouth, never removing her gaze from my eyes. She waited patiently while I watched her. I realized what she was waiting for and pulled the lighter from my pocket. She drew her mouth closer to my hand as I flicked the wheel. A spark and a flame. Her mouth now inches to my hands. The flame struck the paper and combusted immediately. A bond was struck as we shared the flame. She drew back the smoke and backed away. I tried to speak as she exhaled. Words fell out of my mouth without sound. She smiled. Oh did she smile, her lips cracking her perfect skin. Forming a shape so defined. I tried again to speak but it was too late. She began walking away. I reached out for her. She slowly faded into the reappearing mist. I was left standing alone. She was gone. Nothing left but a fragrance. The girl with the yellow ribbon around her neck. The girl with the yellow ribbon.

A Serial Man

It had only been two weeks after new years and Darrell had already broken his new year’s resolution; not kill anyone. He made the promise to himself after seeing his little kill get killed in a horrific car accident. He was driving, unfortunately, when a transfer truck swerved over the double yellow line and collided with the rear panel of his Ford Taurus. The truck sent the car pirouetting towards the ditch before it collided with the guard rail. She died instantly and Darrell came away with a scratch. He couldn’t help but feel responsible for his daughter’s death. He decided that he needed to drastically change his life. Start all over again if possible. But this proved difficult for Darrell when only a fortnight later, he reverted back to his old ways.

Darrell was in his local grocer buying a carton of milk. Darrell loved to drink milk. He never drank carbonated drinks or any type of fruit juice. Always milk. He kept a rotational system in his fridge so that he never ran out. He would have two cartons in his fridge. When one ran out he would throw it out and move onto the next one. He would replace the empty carton with a fresh carton and continue doing this. This way there was always a carton of milk inside his refrigerator. When Darrell picked up the carton of milk, he could hear loud voices coming from the front of the store. Typically raised aggressive voices. He followed the voices and watched as the vendor and his customer argued over the price of beef jerky. Darrell thought this was a silly argument and that it had no value. Darrell approached the men and shook his head. The customer (flailing a piece of jerky) turned to Darrell and tried to involve him in the argument about the insane jerky prices. Darrel gave the man an inquisitive look and continued to shake his head. The customer started to feel the embarrassment creeping up the side of his face and his voice began lowering. He sat the jerky down on the counter and briskly exited the door with his dignity not far behind him. Darrell paid for the milk and left the store. He watched as the man climbed into the cab of his 18-wheeler. Darrell’s eyes flashed red and his face followed suit. He slammed his carton of milk to the ground where it exploded into a mass puddle of white blood. Darrell sprinted over to the truck and pulled the man to the ground. Darrell began pummelling his fists into the man’s face. Sprays of blood burst from his pores and newly opened splits in his cheeks. Darrell kept punching until the man’s eyelids closed over his eyes with bags of blood that forced them closed. With satisfaction, Darrell left the dead man and re-entered the grocery store. He bought a new carton of milk but as he walked to the counter, sirens began stirring the air and blue and red flashes danced over the shelves. The vendor had disappeared from behind the counter. A cop entered the store with his arms stiff and his gun pointing at Darrell. He followed the cop’s orders and was arrested without resisting. Darrell was sentenced to death for the murder of Henry Bright (the customer), Joel Flansky, Felicia Stone, and many others.

When asked what his last requests were, Darrell simply asked for a cold glass of milk and a picture of his daughter. They gave him milk.

Gaze Upon a Window

What do you see when you look out the window?
Do you see only two colours?
That of green and grey?
Grass and sky?
Do you see what is real and what is not?
Truth be told or imaginative plots?
Can you see the trees?
The way they mock young soldiers?
Brave and straight?
Or do you watch the cars instead?
Moving fast. Stopping. Starting.
Or in a steady movement rolling towards a destination?
Do you look out from the window?
Or do you shut your eyes and create your own world?
Is the window open or closed?
Do you enjoy the sounds along with the sights?
The leaves acting as chimes when the wind pushes them together.
The crackle they make.
In the winter when the snowflakes fall effortlessly,
And the pitter patter of the horses hooves through the heavy snow.
Or do you prefer a silent view in hope to bring peace?
What do you see when you stare out the window?

Taken

I was only eleven years old when I was snatched from my neighbourhood. That day will never escape me. The shriek of tires as the black van came speeding around the corner. The rush of street hockey had stopped immediately. There wasn’t even enough time to move the net from the road but the van managed to swerve its way passed it. There were screams as kids, my friends, managed to avoid the skilfully driven van. I had only managed to hop onto the sidewalk when the vehicle slammed on the brakes inches from my frail body. The side door opened with force and three men in black garb rushed out and picked me up. They threw me into the van and quickly sped away. Something was put over my head so that my world was plunged into darkness. They placed ear muffs on me so that everything became barely audible. I can still remember the smells to this day; the burning diesel choking my passageways, old sweat baked into the fabric of the mask. It didn’t take long until I passed out. On arrival at my kidnapper’s destination I was taken into a room where the temperature dipped below zero degrees. The mask had become moist around my mouth and nose during the transportation and it had already begun to freeze. It started to scratch my face. Covered in tiny cuts, my eyes could do nothing but tear. I don’t know how long I spent in that freezing room but it seemed like hours. It was beyond an experience I had ever felt before. For the next three days I was locked up. They had taken me to a different room at that point. It wasn’t much of a change. It was damp and the odours were sharp and distasteful. I still had a mask over my head but they had removed the ear muffs. A person only came into the room to feed me. I had bland oatmeal for breakfast, dried mango and potatoes for lunch, and noodles for supper. The man never spoke to me and I never to him.

I was hoping to be released after they took me from the damp room but I was just placed inside another room.  They took the mask off my head and that’s when I started to fear for my life. I was hoping that my parents would rescue me but they were helpless. My kidnappers had never made contact with them. I spent the next month in that room. An old man came in everyday to teach to me. He was friendly and we became close. To me he was my new guardian. They told me to forget about my previous life, my family. I had a new life now. A life full of opportunity. To this day I’m glad for what happened to me, but if there is one thing I regret about joining the CIA as a child operative. It’s that I never got to say goodbye to my family.

Trapped

The alarms were buzzing so loud I thought my brain would start to bleed. The sweat was dripping from my cold body and drenched my black coveralls. My vision started to blur, objects had become unclear. I opened my backpack and removed my inhaler. After numerous, vigorous puffs, I started to gain control of my senses. I searched further into my backpack and pulled out a few sticks of dynamite. It was a cheaper alternative than C4 but it was more or less just a scare tactic. I placed the dynamite by the entrance and waited. I could hear voices coming closer. People were still screaming but it was all barely audible over the alarms. I stuck my ear on the steel door and listened. I could hear two men arguing. They stopped. Then the alarm ceased to exist. I could still hear the echoes of the alarm pounding the inside of my skull (no less a scare tactic that they had employed). One of the men came close to the door. He said something like, “Step away from the door and put whatever weapons you have on the ground.” He sounded very serious and I’m sure he was. I yelled back, “If you open this door, explosives will not only rip you and I apart but will also tear down this entire building.” The man did not reply but he did back away from the door. I could hear voices again; one of them raised the other quietened. I started to think about my next step but nothing came to mind. This was a simple job. In and out without any hassles. What went wrong? I began pacing the enclosed room full of deposit boxes and cash piles. I tried to remember my training. This had suddenly become a suicide mission. There was no way I could get out without getting my head blown off. The alarm started up again. The confusion set back in and the cold sweat dripped from my hair down my spine. I picked up the explosives and pulled some twine from my backpack. I tied the dynamite to my chest. There was no other alternative. This was the only way out. I stood by the door and tried to listen to the voices. The alarm had become so strident it had taken over my auditory senses. I couldn’t hear anything. I picked up my backpack and the sacks filled with cash. I slung them over my shoulder and slowly opened the steel barricade that was between me and the men outside. I stepped through the doorway and made contact with the nearest officer. I showed him the detonator and nodded. He acknowledged the signal and put his hands up signalling the other officers to take caution. I spotted a sniper in the back of the building and made a dive for the officer. The sniper took a shot and the bullet splattered against the furthest wall. I grabbed the officer in a choke hold and started yelling commands. Everybody lowered their weapons as I made my way to the exit. As I opened the door, disaster struck. I stepped on my untied lace and tumbled face first into the ground. All the officers watched in dismay. When I hit the ground the main lights burst onto the scene and laughter began snowballing throughout the area. I could only sit there as I watched the chief walk up to me. “Thanks for coming out today, McGivney.” He wore a wry smile as he said this and walked away.

I threw my equipment into my locker with a thunderous crash. I took a few puffs from my inhaler and did my best to withstand the mockery from my colleagues. They never let me live that one down.

The Bakery

Harriet owned a bakery. She did not love or hate her bakery but had a rather complicit emotion towards it. This is why when it burned to the ground she felt like she had lost nothing, and that she had gained nothing either. Unfortunately for Harriet, she was inside the bakery when it decided to burst into tumultuous flames. Harriet was talking to her mother when a young man, medium height walked in. He had a face that could make a baby cry. Harriet quickly dismissed her mother’s inquiry about her lack of love for a man and hung up the phone. She did not trust the man that had just entered her store. Harriet was never the trusting type. When she was four, her father walked out on her and her mother. She felt as if a chunk of her heart had fallen into the pit of her stomach. She felt the same way when this awkward man entered her bakery. The man was selling ornamental soaps. His voice was kind and he spoke in a gentle manner. Harriet had no longer felt threatened by the man inside her bakery. She politely declined his offer for a rose coloured fish that smelled like peppermint leaves. They ended up chatting about his business and her bakery. They were interrupted by a young boy who just entered the store. He was jingling the change in his pocket loudly. The soap selling man recognized his cue and left the bakery. Harriet feeling jovial after her chat walked up to the boy and asked him if she could help him with anything. The boy said he was looking for bread rolls to eat with his mother’s cabbage soup this afternoon. Harriet went out back and pulled some fresh rolls from the oven. The boy selected his favourites and promptly paid. He scurried out of the store and left Harriet to ponder over the events of the day.

Later in the evening Harriet was counting her earnings from the cash register. The coins on her table had started to shake. She ignored it and carried on. The vibrations got worse until the oven racks began bouncing in their respected homes. Harriet knew what was coming and quickly hid under the table. She curled up into a ball and lay on the floor waiting for it to pass. The engines of the planes grew louder and the booms of their bombs drew nearer. Harriet braced herself as a shell dropped from a plane and landed in her display area. The building rocked and the roof collapsed. The Germans had begun their attack in France, although she had not expected it to come so soon. The planes flew overhead; there must have been hundreds of them. Harriet was buried under a pile of rubble and waited for the attack to end. No other bombs dropped on her building but there was a ferocious fire immediately in front of her. She managed to get out alive. She needed to leave Paris and get out of France. It was no longer safe for her. She travelled to the south of France and took a boat across to Africa. Her mother joined her a few weeks later and they both fell in love with a ship captain and a doctor, respectively.