Run Faster

runner

Dream a dream of words and sleep,

live a life of hope and deeds.

Pray you won’t waste another day,

Waiting for the grey to fade.

Rise today and raise your wings,

To your fears I say you scream:

This world is mean, at times obscene, at times I seek a sign to see.

I say I say I say to you, the truth of fear is it’s untrue.

There is no thing you cannot do, no dream that can’t be made real too.

No reason to lie to yourself and say “I can’t” or “Well I fell.”

For when we struggle we feel some pain, and in that pain we don’t see gain.

But if you rise and rise again, push through the pain and play pretend –

If you run when you can’t see – you’ll finish first, then believe me.

– Thomas M. Watt

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Epic Night Out: Part 2

Click here for Part 1

geek night

Matt stood with one fist tightly clenched. He’d approached an attractive blonde girl and had begun hitting on her just as her date, who was built like a giant, showed up. While the giant in the leather jacket was waiting to fight to his right, to Matt’s left there was a group of guys pointing and laughing at him. No doubt that group had added some spice to the bar nuts as a prank – Matt’s mouth was now burning so intensely after eating them, he could hardly manage to get words out of his mouth.

Worst of all, Keith – Matt’s even-keeled, comfort-craving friend – was nowhere to be seen. He’d made Matt promise him they’d only have one drink then be out of there.

“What’s the deal?” said the giant. “You hittin’ on my chick?”

Matt looked at the blonde girl as she happily chewed her gum and twirled a lock of hair.

Before he could respond, a few dozen peanuts smacked against his back. The group behind him laughed harder than before.

“You’re,” began Matt. He was trying to insult the giant, but the burning sensation in his throat was killing him. “You’re a-” Matt stopped short again – his strained voice was coming through high-pitched – he felt like a talking mouse.

“I’m a?” said the giant. “I’m a what?”

“You’re,” cough, “a,” cough,”hussey.”

That wasn’t what Matt was trying to say.

“A hussey?” said the giant, followed by a hearty laugh. “That so?”

The giant nodded his head as he took off his jacket, one sleeve at a time. He handed it to the blonde girl.

Another spray of peanuts hit Matt on the back. He turned around to catch the group laughing at him some more. The bottle of hot sauce sat on the table in the middle of them. Matt then turned to the bar – still no sign of Kieth.

Where the fuck did Keith go?

Matt reluctantly turned to face the giant again. He clenched his own fists. As the giant loaded up and Matt braced himself for the brutal ass-kicking he was about to be on the receiving end of, something amazing happened – a beer bottle came flying through the air and shattered against the giant’s head, knocking him out cold and sending him timbering to the ground.

“Whoa,” said Matt. He looked up slowly to find Kieth, standing by the doorway.

“I said one beer! Let’s go!”

Keith bolted out the doorway. Matt turned around to the group that had been laughing at him. They were now stunned and speechless, staring in unison at the giant on the ground. Matt checked on the bottle of fire-strength hot sauce again – it was still in the middle of their table, and the group was completely distracted.

Matt took two quick steps, grabbed the bottle, then squeezed it and sprayed the red stuff into their faces. They screamed and covered themselves. Matt turned around and sprinted toward the doorway.

“Get him!”

Matt noticed the leather jacket in the blonde girl’s lap. He stopped, grabbed it, then went for the doorway again. Before he crossed outside, he turned around, and returned for the blonde.

“Hey,” she said.

Matt grabbed the blonde girl by the hand, then took her with him as he ran for it. He could hear the chairs and tables flipping from the group chasing after him.

To be continued…

Thomas M. Watt

Epic Night Out: Part 1

geek night

It was supposed to be one round of drinks. No girls, no wild night out, no arrests. No shots, no bong hits, no midgets. A drink between two bros who had grown so accustomed to the comfort of their former long-term girlfriends they didn’t know the first thing about what it meant to ‘go out’.

But it wasn’t.

It was more.

A lot more.

Matt took the stool at the end of the bar and Keith followed suit.

“One beer. That’s it,” said Keith.

“I get it dude. You’ll be watching t.v. at your place in no time, don’t even worry about it.

Keith scoffed.

Matt ordered two beers and soon the close friends were sipping light beers as they watched the bloopers reel on the television behind the counter.

“I love these clips,” said Keith.

Matt nodded, took a handful of bar nuts, then tossed them in his mouth. He took a good look around the place as he chewed. About four girls, three of whom were surrounded by ‘pool guys’ and one who was sitting by herself, anxiously looking at her phone. ‘Pool guys’ were those guys who stood around the pool table leaning on the sticks, messing with their hair, and smiling at any girls who walked by in hopes they could get them in a game then impress them with their ‘stick skills’.

“What about her?” said Matt. He coughed after he said it, and for the first time noticed his mouth was starting to burn.

Kieth looked over. “What about her?”

“She’s hot.”

“I thought we said no girls.”

“You said no girls.”

Keith groaned and returned to his drink. “She’s waiting for her date to get here. She has no interest in meeting anyone.”

Matt turned to face her. She did look pretty invested in her phone.

“I’m gonna go over there and find out,” Matt said, then coughed. “These bar nuts are fucking hot.”

“I thought we said no girls!”

Matt smiled then pat Keith on the shoulder. “No my friend. You said no girls.”

Matt strode over to the girl as casually as possible. He kept one hand in his jean pocket and tried his best to ignore the intense burning his tongue was starting to feel. When he stopped at her table the blonde girl finally looked up. She eyed him up and down, twirled the curly lock dangling by her ear, then chewed her gum a little more obnoxiously and smirked.

Matt smirked back. An inviting smile was always a good sign.

“Hey beautiful. I noticed you from across the room and wondered,” said Matt, before stopping to cough. “I was wondering if you,” he said, before stopping again. The last few words he barely choked out.

“Yeah?” said the blonde girl. “Wondering if I what?” She raised her eyebrows.

Matt turned to the group of guys to the left of him. They were pointing and laughing at him. On the table in the middle of them sat a bottle of “Wild Dragon’s Flaming Hot Sauce.”

Matt stared back at them, then over to the peanuts on the bar counter, then back to them.

“Who’s this?” Said someone behind him.

A hand grabbed Matt by the shoulder and whirled him around. He looked up to see the giant figure in the leather jacket standing over him.

“I don’t know,” said the blonde girl, as she smacked her gum. “I think he’s hitting on me.”

“That right?” said the giant.

Matt looked over to the end of the bar for Keith – but Kieth was already gone.

“You pussy,” Matt muttered to himself. He gulped painfully, then rolled his fingers into his palm until he had a tightly clenched fist. He winced his eyes close and took one last breath. It was time for action.

To be continued…

– Thomas M. Watt

A Case of the Dirty Dick

red beard

“Stand the fuck up. Time to settle this like men.”

Alex curled up on the couch and sat up, clutching his stomach. He rubbed his weary eyes and lifted the blanket – there was a condom on his limp dick, and it looked dirty.

“I said get up!”

Alex took his first glance at the imposing figure staring down at him – he was shirtless with brutal tattoos, burly, and had that thick, curly red beard only farm boys could grow. A cute dog lie on the ground at his feet, whimpering like a dying pet.

“Huh? Who are you?” said Alex.

“Who am I? Cut the shit. Don’t act like you forgot what you did last night.”

Alex set his hands on his knees, stared at the ground, then burped. In truth, he had absolutely no idea what he did last night to set “farm-boy John” off. He gulped back some throw up, then turned to look up at the big man again.

“Listen dude, I have no idea what-”

BAM. Before he could get another word out, farm-boy John cold-cocked him. The massive fist sent Alex off the couch to a colliding crash through the coffee table. Alex spit a piece of tooth out, then groaned as he stared at the broken wood he now lay on top of. What the fuck did I do?

“Get up!” Farm-boy John lunged to kick Alex in the gut, but Alex rolled away before the toe of his boot could connect. Alex picked up a table leg then shot to his feet, then wobbled briefly before finding his balance.

“Look dude, sorry about your girl. But I swear she must’ve come to me.”

“Girl?” Farm-boy John crossed his arms and started to laugh. “You that dumb to think this has got to do with a girl?”

Alex took another good look at farm-boy John – pasty-white skin, red curly beard, tobacco shreds in his teeth, red curly beard, dirty, calloused hands, red curly beard.

“No, obviously not… I’m sorry for whatever I said to you last night.” “Said to me?! You didn’t say shit to me! This is our first time talking face-to-face you dumb shit!”

“What the fuck did I do then?” said Alex.

“Don’t act like you don’t know.”

“I don’t.”

“Maybe this will help you ‘member.”

Farm-boy John picked up a tall lamp, then began swinging it wildly at Alex. Alex dodged and weaved as he backpedaled. He bumped into the couch, the kitchen table, then some pots and pans. His back was against the wall as the metal clanged on the kitchen floor, and he finally realized what he’d done.

“Wait!” said Alex. Farm-boy John stopped swinging the lamp

. “I remember now,” said Alex, staring down at one of the pots that was filled with a red paste. “I dyed your beard red.”

Farm-boy John spat on the floor. “‘Bout time you remembered.” Alex let out a sigh of relief. “Aw, man! I was worried I did something you were gonna kill me over.” Farm-boy John chuckled for a moment, then in a flash turned deadly serious. “You didn’t die my beard red you dumb fuck. And what you did is the reason I’m gonna kill you.” Alex looked around and gulped. “What… what did I do?” “You see this house?” Alex looked around. “Yeah?” “Recognize it?” “No?” said Alex. “That’s cause you broke in, drank my booze, puked on my floor, then had sex with my bitch.” Farm-boy John broke off the base of the lamp, then aimed the sharp pointed end at Alex’s gut. Alex gulped. “I thought you said no girls were involved?” “You had sex with my dog you sick-fuck.” Farm-boy John thrust forward, again and again, until soon Alex’s stomach was entirely empty.

* * *

Ok I’m not proud of that one, but let’s point out some of the reasons this kept you reading.

1. Starts with and revolves around a question – What did Alex do that made this big stranger want to kill him? The question begins right there with the first line from farm-boy John – “Get up, time to settle this like men.” – Those are fighting words ladies and gentlemen, and when a fight is about to break out we all look over and wonder the exact same thing – what happened?

2. Rising tension – It starts with words, then a punch to the face, then a swinging lamp. In other words, Alex finds himself in more dire trouble as the story progresses. If it were written so that Farm-boy John began the scene holding a loaded gun, then set it back in its holster, tension would be decreasing, which is always a no-no for drama.

3. False ending – I’m new to this, but it’s an area of craft I need to get better at. You know them as twists – you expect one thing to happen, then another thing does. Alex having dyed Farm-boy John’s beard red makes logical sense, because a lot of attention is drawn to that nasty thing throughout the story. It would have been a suitable ending, but never settle for suitable – aim for surprise and gratification.

4. Sorry dog lovers and respectable human beings.

As always, thanks for reading!

– Thomas M. Watt

Trophy Wife

fire-dance

2:00 AM

He put the phone down. Where was she? She was supposed to get home hours ago. He called again – no answer.

Mr. Turnip rolled out of bed. He rubbed the wrinkles out from his eyes, huffed and moved to the closet. He was in his pajamas and slippers. From the closet he grabbed a coat, top hat, and his rifle. The rifle was just precautionary, of course – he had no intention to use it.

Mr. Turnip exited through the front door, got in his Lexus, and pressed the start button. Rather than driving to her sister’s, or her friends, Mr. Turnip traveled to the one place he hoped not to find her – the one place he might need his rifle.

The beach.

She was a young fox. Jessica was her name, but she preferred Jessie. Too young. Too beautiful. Too arrogant.

Mr. Turnip knew she was with him for his money. Most girls got flowers for their first date. Mr. Turnip bought Jessie got a new rack.

The problem with Jessie wasn’t that she was a gold digger. It wasn’t that she was a cheater, either – Mr. Turnip didn’t give a damn about fidelity. He didn’t believe in love, he believed in money.

What was that thing people said? It’s what’s on the inside that counts? Laughable. Mr. Turnip was a man of power, and the only way he could maintain his pristine image was by force and manipulation. And if Jessie was on the beach with them, she’d be putting everything he ever worked for at risk. Mr. Turnip would be the laughingstock around town in no time. He looked at his rifle and gulped.

As he returned his eyes to the road ahead, an unexpected memory resurfaced.

His ex-wife. He thought about the time Scruffy ran away, and they spent the entire night driving through neighborhoods looking for him. Helena was so concerned. Her hand never moved from her mouth, and she must have asked him over a hundred times is he thought they’d really find him.

Mr. Turnip laughed in his Lexus, and a rare smirk formed on his weary face.

He’d been so grumpy that night. He’d been so nasty to her every night. But she always loved him, and she always needed him to comfort her.

Funny, he used to hate that so much. He used to hate how much she needed him. And now he was married to Jessie, who was half Helena’s age, a quarter her IQ, and an eight as dependent. She never needed Mr. Turnip for anything – but when it came to his money, that was a different story.

Mr. Turnip parked right by the train tracks, overlooking the shore. He could see the fire pit a short ways down, and the young people partying around it. Body make-up, palm trees, grass skirts and dancing. That came hand-in-hand with the ectasy, sex, and whatever other kind of trouble they could get in.

Mr. Turnip shut the car off and groaned. He shook his head, picked up his rifle, then exited his Lexus. He had no intention of shooting anyone, of course, but he couldn’t risk allowing the press to catch wind of his wife’s night time activities. And if he didn’t get her home now, she’d be lying on the beach half-naked and drunk when the sun came up.

He carried his rifle with him as he crossed the train tracks and started on the sand. He took his slippers off and walked towards the fire.

The thought of his ex-wife came to him again. She’d died a while back, not too long after their divorce. Many of her friends and family said it was the divorce that made her sick, and his new marriage that caused her death. Mr. Turnip had been able to shake that off with a grunt and some brandy for many, many years.

He saw his trophy wife up ahead. She was dancing with some young shirtless dude with dark hair and a dragon tattoo on his back. Not two seconds later her hands wrapped around his head and Jessie had his tongue in her throat.

Mr. Turnip scoffed and shook his head.

All these years the thought of Helena had been painful – he never liked to admit when he was wrong. But for some reason, on this night, Mr. Turnip felt at peace with his ex-wife. It was like they were together again – like those days when Mr. Turnip was just another working suit, fighting to pay the mortgage and keep up with the Jones’. Like he felt before he made his big payday and changed his life for the better. New car, new friends, new wife.

Mr. Turnip stopped and turned, looking back toward his Lexus.

“I hate that fucking car.”

He laughed after saying it, and when he did he swore he heard Helena laugh with him. Mr. Turnip smiled. If she were with him, if they were together, she would have laughed as well. And he would have bet every new dollar he had on that.

Mr. Turnip returned his attention to the party and moved onward. He gulped. He was nervous, yes, but he needed to get tough and fast. It was the only way Jessie would leave those idiots and come home for some rest.

“Hey,” said Mr. Turnip. “Party’s over, time to come home.”

He kept the rifle aimed at the sand, just so everyone knew he had no intention to use it.

Jessie turned to look at him, smiled big, then came prancing over with one hand behind her back.

She reached him, kissed him, then whispered in his ear.

“You’re right. The party is over.”

Jessie moved away, then swung her arm out from behind her back and into Mr. Turnip’s gut. Before he realized what happened, Mr. Turnip found himself falling over with a knife lodged in his stomach.

His eyes rolled up to see Jessie and the rest of her friends standing over him. The man with the dark hair picked up the rifle, loaded, aimed it –

Then he saw Helena again.

Thomas M. Watt

Try

Falling-depression-34376623-1420-903

Day by day by day by day,

I laze and wait then think and stay.

Time goes by until tomorrow, then comes some more with the same sorrow.

Tired of mundane depression, scared to try and face rejection…

Or regression to this same state, the ground don’t hurt it’s the fall I hate.

Up and up and up I climbed, ’till my hand slipped and then I fly’d.

Near the top, I climbed that high, but that misstep was my last try.

At first I kicked my arms and legs, reaching to grab what I once played.

And as I fell down from the sky, my eyes did struggle to not cry.

After I crashed I settled in, waiting to die, not re-begin.

I stand and think and think some more, dwell a lot on painful sores.

It hurts it hurts it hurts so bad! How can I climb when I can’t stand?

No more God, no more good doing. No more dreams, no more hope spewing. No more prayers for more good graces, no more thanksgiving, He can’t replace her. No more right track lest I go wrong again, no more rising means no descent.

I’ll just lie here until I die, thinking glumly and seeking highs. Drown my brain in lull and sleep, ease my soul with soul-less deeds.

Checkout that ass, give me that food, I’ll take a drink of scotch or booze. Some more tobacco, a cigarette, I’ll fuck that girl who I just met. Or no I’ll break her little heart, do what I can to make her depart.

Hate and hate and hate some more, destroy my body ’till it’s no more. Blind myself with thoughts of doom, end my hope till it’s no use. Joy is those who next come here, faith are those who stand real near.

How comforting it is to know, way up high, I’ll never go. Never climb that high again, never make another friend. Never fall in love with her, never mistake my own dead-end. Never one more situation, that risks the chance of escalation.

No more sadness, no more pain, just endless, constant, life-refrain. Hurt and hate and destroy some more, until with past I’ve evened the score.

But then today I looked around, and realized I’ve been here a while. And if I climb I’ll fall again, maybe ten times more than ten.

But maybe I should get up and try, before another day goes by.

Maybe pain is one example, of what you get from trying ample.

Where’s that ladder? I’ll climb that bitch, then rejoice in heaven, with those who finished.

– Thomas M. Watt