REPORT A PROBLEM
It comes as a bit of a surprise that last year I only completed four batches. I assure you, I thought about starting one every month--then every day until the deadline, the 16th of the next month, a gracious 100words allowance that I habitually exploit.
In those interstitial months, not-writing was either from A.) being too busy to write, or B.) being so un-busy that there wouldn't have been sparks for the pilot light.
And now, I sit, a small puppy constricting my movements. I tell myself that this will be the month I straddle those worlds.
April is a dirty month, possibly one of my least favorite months (I'm looking at you, January). It's just dirty; half-melting snowbanks covered in street grime and trash. It's a stupid placeholder between winter and spring, and it's the month were I annually start looking for jobs in warmer climates.
You give us random 60-degree days spattered between gusty 32's. We're overly appreciative of the warm days, like the overweight girl who's just grateful to have landed a boyfriend, nevermind that he's a douchebag.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, April, I'm breaking up with you.
At around 1600hrs today I had the sudden urge to start a 100words batch. I was at work, so that wasn't really feasible, but let's just say there are a few cleverly worded medical reports out there now.
Now it's 2139, and I'm at a loss. I've been away for a while, and it's hard picking back up again. What ground haven't I covered? What shit is left to be made up? Is the
gone now that I've stopped casually drinking? (Is there such a thing as "formal" drinking? "Business casual" drinking?)
I'm still in that robe, though. Sober.
I've taken to viewing certain interactions in my life through the lens of a
half-rate reality show producer.
How can banal conversation be edited for maximum shock-value?
Can a conversational lull be stretched out to imply a prolonged awkwardness? And will sound-effect crickets be used?
Can an unintended glance be paired with a dyssynchronous random comment to imply boredom, or disdain, where there is none?
Tonight, I had dinner with a friend, and after he (un?)intentionally offends the waitress, I feel the audience at home cringe, and I mentally plan what I will say in the Confessional.
all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail the new king in town all hail...
No matter how many times I've seen the 1989 Tim Burton
, I always "get" something new. Stuff that I glossed over as an 8-year-old now makes sense, with age. Nothing earth shattering, but to wit:
"Lieutenant is there a six foot bat in Gotham City? And if so, is he on the police payroll? And if so, what's he pulling down ... after taxes?"
I had no idea what this meant until I actually had a salary (i.e., "adulthood").
My old, crotchety self, will inevitably look back at young me with a certain level of face-palming.
After a night of Formally Drinking (and a morning/afternoon of a Formal Hangover), I realize I've developed a nasty drunkard habit: asking people if they're psychopaths.
About a year ago, my obsession began, as I stumbled upon (and then actively sought out) books regarding the topic. It was the relative
of the trait that I found most compelling: wolves in sheep's clothing, powerful executives that get away with metaphorical murder.
And my fascination grew, when I realized I had befriended a textbook psychopath. And though at the time I had an inkling, I didn't care, because she was
I won't get into the details as they are far too involved and not the original intent of this 100words.
She was commanding, and scary, and I developed a strange envy. I told her she was an old soul who had picked up some good tricks, and that I was taking notes. She laughed. She was a bad person.
The deftness with which she manipulated situations to her advantage was incredibly appealing to my generally honest, sensitive Piscean nature. And I wasn't sure why this was appealing--it went way beyond wanting to be able to "get my own way".
Years later, after our friendship inevitably imploded, I read a short article that perfectly articulated why I had/have that gross envy, why I still think about her almost daily, why sometimes, in desperation or boredom, I try some of those low-level tricks, just to see if I have what it takes (Spoiler: I don't).
The article was entitled "Do Women Envy Sociopathic Men?" Some of it is reductionist; gender distinctions notwithstanding, the final line was epiphanic:
"For those who feel pressured to people-please and to empathize with virtually everyone, the allure of those who never feel those obligations is powerful indeed."
So despite all this psyche-mining, I have little insight into why I feel compelled to ask friends, when drunk, if they're indeed psychopaths. It's part of a list of Things Seemly Appropriate to Ask Only When Inebriated and The Filter Comes Off. (It's in the same category as, Why Didn't We Ever Hook Up? or I Actually Think Brittany is A Total Cunt, or Do I Look Fat?)
Maybe I feel as if I now have superhuman ability to detect those amongst us (Hint: Asking them outright is usually low-yield). Maybe I'm trying to avoid another entanglement. Or, maybe, frighteningly, I'm not.
It is not clairvoyance but rather procrastination that affords me the unhappy advantage of knowing that, in four days' time by the 100words calendar, something bad will happen.
It will happen in my backyard (nay,
It is not something I can talk about, not now, not this month.
I have no more words for this particular 61-word entry.
Fluffy Bunny Goes to Another Dimension: A Happy Animal Adventure Fun Times Story
By Princess Truffle (as told to Lorraine McGuillicutty)
Re-printed with permission from Magic Cloud Castle Publishers, A Global Imprint of Queendom of Ro Publishing Conglomerate
Chapter One: Fluffy Bunny Has An Idea
Fluffy Bunny has TWELVE brothers and sisters! (Marky, Ricky, Danny, Terry, Mikey, Davey, Timmy, Tommy, Joey, Robby, Johnny and Brian.) Fluffy Bunny is the youngest, and the fluffiest! (Even fluffier than sister Terry, who look in the pond all day at herself and tease her fur higher than the highest bangs of the Eighties!)
So Fluffy Bunny was never called by his birth name, for as long as he can remember. In fact, Fluffy Bunny even forgets what it was!
"You were just so fluffy as a tiny bunny, we gave you that name and it stuck!" said Fluffy Bunny's mum.
Fluffy Bunny was the Farmer's Daughter's favorite of all the bunnies. She would visit Fluffy every morning and pat him on the head, giving him a carrot when all the other brothers and sisters were out playing in the field. Sometimes, she'd even give him a cookie, straight out of the farmhouse oven.
"But not too many cookies!" The Daughter would say. "We don't want you to get TOO fluffy!"
When summer came, and The Daughter didn't have to go to the schoolhouse, she visited Fluffy Bunny more often. Sometimes, when the Farmer wasn't around, she even snuck Fluffy Bunny into the house, and they'd have tea and cookies until The Daughter would fall asleep in the sun, with Fluffy Bunny curled up in the warm nook of her arm.
Fluffy's brothers and sisters didn't often wonder where Fluffy was; he was in the farmhouse, no doubt. They went about their bunny business:
"Silly Fluffy Bunny," they'd titter, "I bet The Daughter has him all dressed up in her Dolly's clothes!"
"He's so fluffy how does he fit into them?" One would ask.
"He has fluff for brains! Doesn't he know he's not a Dolly?"
Fluffy paid no attention to them, for he knew The Daughter loved him best.
But one thing was bothering Fluffy: When she took him to the house, they never left the kitchen. In fact, Fluffy Bunny had never seen The Daugther's room! He imagined a big fluffy bed with blankets and pillows, warm and cozy, safe and sound.
But every time he headed for the stairs to her room, she'd pull him back. "Oh no, Fluffy Bunny!" she'd say. "You can't go up there! There can be no bunnies beyond the kitchen!"
Fluffy bunny was sad. He told his siblings about this, and they laughed at him. "Wow, Fluffy, you sure don't pay attention to your surroundings, do you?"
"Fluffy's been spending all his time in Make Believe world!"
"Farmhouses, nevermind kitchens, are no place for a bunny!"
"You're all jealous!" Fluffy said. "I'll see what's beyond the kitchen, you wait!" And so, Fluffy Bunny had his Big Idea.
,b>Chapter Two: Fluffy Bunny Learns About Theoretical Physics
The next time The Daughter brought him into the kitchen for tea and cookies, Fluffy decided to put his idea to the test. When The Daughter turned her back to attend to the kettle, Fluffy Bunny, hopped as fast as his fluffy legs would allow, in the direction of the stairs. He was at the top before The Daughter even realized he was gone.
"Flu--Fluffy!! Come back!" she yelled.
But Fluffy was in the threshold of Daughter's Bedroom. "Do Not Enter!" signs were all over the door. But it was open...
Fluffy couldn't believe what he saw. Actually, he didn't know WHAT he saw. Big control panels with flashing lights and knobs and buttons. Test tubes with neon liquids that bubbled. Wrenches and saws and screwdrivers.
And a box in the middle of the room. It was labelled "Dimensions, 18 x 15 x 12, Bunny-Compatible."
Fluffy didn't know what it all meant, but it meant he had better get back to the bunny pen!
As The Daughter made his way up the stairs after him, he bolted in the other direction, faster than the speed of light!*
(*Fun fact: 299,792,458 m/s!)
He was panting hard when he reached the pen. His mother and siblings turned their heads abruptly when he slammed the door.
"Fluffy!" she said. "You look frightened! Come here!"
Fluffy was shaking. His siblings piped up: "You were in the farmhouse, weren't you!"
"What did you see? Were you in the kitchen?"
"We knew nothing good would come from this!"
This time, Fluffy thought that his siblings might be right, and that they weren't actually jealous of his friendship.
His mother put her paw on his head. "Perhaps we should get you some warm carrot broth and put you to bed."
He slept fitfully. He had a dream that The Daughter came to him and petted him until all his fur fell off. Then he dreamt he showed up to bunny school with no fur on! Then her dreamt that a tornado took out the farm. There were other bad dreams.
He avoided The Daughter for the rest of the summer, though she would often come around, calling his name. "Here Fluffy Fluffy!" she'd say, bringing cookies with her each time. "I brought your favorite!"
But Fluffy Bunny didn't come out to play.
But one night, as the stars came out...
He heard a noise coming from outside the gate. It couldn't possibly be Daughter, he thought. She only comes out in the morning!
But it was.
This time she was not calling his name. In fact, she wasn't saying anything, and she tiptoed around the pen until he heard a squeeeeeeak....
...She lifted the pen door, and saw Fluffy staring back at her. She put a finger up to her mouth and said, "Shhhhh, Bunny..."
She picked him up, and he was motionless in her hand.
She took him out to the field, where they sat in quiet for a while.
"Did you know," she said finally to Fluffy, "that most of the stars we see, aren't actually alive anymore? That by the time their light reaches our planet, they have already fizzled out?"
Fluffy didn't move.
"So really, when we look at the stars, it's almost like we have traveled back in time."
The girl had a sad look on her face, and Fluffy couldn't help but soften. She was his friend, after all.
"I don't suppose so, you're just a tiny bunny, and I'm just a little girl, and we're both just bags of meat flying through the universe."
"I suppose I should apologize to you, Fluffy, I didn't mean to frighten you by chasing you up the stairs the other day."
Fluffy nudged her hand, as if to say, "Go on."
"It's just... I'm working on some stuff. Some secret stuff. Some secret Theoretical Physics stuff, and I didn't want to tell you about it until I was ready."
He looked up at her with his big brown eyes, and she felt as if he understood.
"You know that you're my best friend. And I see how your bunny siblings laugh at you. I'd like to think I'm your best friend, too."
Chapter Three: The Farmer's Daughter's Grand Experiment.
They talked long into the night that night, long after the dead stars faded away and the earth rotated back around to the side of the sun.
He told her all sorts of things that he didn't quite understand, but he did understand this: That the girl loved him, that he trusted her, and that they were about to go on a great adventure.
"I'm sleepy, Bunny" she said. "I think we should both get some rest, I will see you again in three days' time, if you'd like. I will be ready then."
It was a long three days. Fluffy Bunny didn't tell his family what he was about to do, but he did raise some bunny eyebrows when he cropped his fur down close to his skin.
"What is Fluffy Bunny doing? Why are you cutting your fur?"
"If you cut your fur, what will we call you? You'll be just... 'Bunny'."
"You look like the Farmer's Wife's hairless cat."
Fluffy just shrugged, and his siblings went back to their day with no further questions.
Fluffy looked in the pond at his reflection. Perhaps he will go by "Bunny", after all.
He also trimmed his claws close to the wick and started running the length of the field several times a day. And most importantly, no more cookies.
It was nightfall again when Bunny slipped out of the pen, careful not to wake his family.
He waited under the Grand Oak like the girl had told him, alternating between excitement and trepidation. If everything went according to the girls' plan...
At midnight, the girl came out of the farmhouse. She had eschewed her normal gingham frock in favor of black tights and a wool black cap. She took this off as she approached.
"Looks like we're both no longer Fluffy," she giggled, showing off a tight blonde buzz where once curls upon curls created a Fibonacci sequence upon her head.
Bunny had to laugh at that, and he was instantly at ease.
She crouched down to pick him up. "It's time," she said. Then added: "Don't worry, it will be fun."
They walked toward the house, entered through the kitchen, up the stairs, to her bedroom door, where they were greeted with those giant DO NOT ENTER signs.
She looked at the signs, then at Bunny, and said, "This time, I will make an exception!"
The room was much like it was the first time Bunny had seen it, with one exception: In the middle of the room, there were now two boxes; the one he had seen before, but now a large one reading "Dimensions, 62 x 22 x 16, Human Girl Compatible."
And there were many more wires, strung in and around the boxes. There were so many, and had coursing lights. If Bunny didn't know any better, he would have thought they were Christmas tree lights.
"No time like the present," the girl said, climbing into her box. She pointed to the other, and Bunny got in.
"Ok," she said, "I will count backwards from 100, and then there will be a few beeps and some G-force. I have everything in control, Little Bunny, so never you mind."
Bunny thought of his siblings. He loved them, but he had always been the girl's family.
He thought of the green fields in the summer and the snowy trees in the winter.
He wanted more from the new dimension. Something the current one couldn't give him, something the little girl needed.
Bunny nodded. It was then, that Bunny remembered his true name.
When I was a little girl in the Midwest, I loved watching PBS. Raised on Sesame Street, I graduated to Reading Rainbow, and would spend Saturdays trying to paint along with Bob Ross. These produced shows were often care of WGBH, a PBS station local to the far off land of Boston, a place so incredibly far away in my child's mind, almost to be mythical.
Now I am an inhabitant of said fairy land, and though I am not a Wood Elf, I wish I could bring the magic back, now more than ever, and paint happy little tress to make everything better again.
The Tip Jar