Crushed Box – A Snippet from a little boy’s life


I was nine years old and my brother Sam was eight. It was a late Sunday afternoon on a warm bright blue sky day in the middle of May. We were both smiling and grinning ear to ear because we had just scored the biggest prize ever in our little lives. A gigantic box, longer in all it’s in dimensions than we were in height, it was a monster. We had just pulled it out of a CARTON ONLY dumpster behind the factory building pretty close to where we lived.

It was to be a grand addition to our makeshift fort we already had built in our backyard from the previous day. We couldn’t believe how lucky we were. We only had a block left to drag it, and it was heavy work. It wasn’t every day something like this came along so we were very determined to get it home.

As my brother and I pushed and prodded the behemoth of a box down the street my little mind was already working furiously to figure how it would be cut and worked into our current structure. I was thinking this was going to be command central for all the adventures for the days to come.

“What’s the box for Felix?” a voice in front of us asked as it approached us barring our progress down the street.

I poked my head from around the box and groaned inwardly.

Three boys stood there directly in our path down the sidewalk, two of them were Anton and Anthony, eight year old identical twins, led by their twelve-year-old big brother named Terence. They were our neighbors about three houses down from us.

I hated them. They took delight in making me and my brother’s life miserable at any turn they could find when they ran across us.

For example, once I had been given a watermelon by my mother’s friend who had grown it in her garden. She had lived down the street some four houses away from our own. (Yep right next to Terence’s). I was walking home with it clutching it in both arms with my little hands wrapped around it tight. My mom loved watermelon she was going to love this nice surprise. Suddenly, I was pushed hard from behind. I stumbled and fell forward watching the watermelon fly from my arms and end up in broken chunks all over the hot summer cement of the sidewalk. I didn’t look back at who had done it. I knew. I ran home crying with their laughter at my back.

Terence approached us and our box with the twins in tow. He was tall for his age and even slightly muscular. His dark skin was darker than mine by ten times as much. I always thought of my mom and how she took her coffee, black with two sugars but no cream when I looked at him. Me, I was cream poured in you might say, because I guess my mom had been white and my dad was black whereas I knew both of Terence’s parents were black. I knew that much back then I guess. My hair was jet black, slightly wavy and cut short against the side of my head while Terence’s dark black hair was braided and pulled tight against his scalp in what most black people called cornrows. The braids trailed down the side of his head and to the back until they came out from his head hanging down to his shoulders. He smiled a friendly smile as he walked over to me but I knew it was fake.

He put a hand gently on the box, and looked up at it appraising it with his eyes.

“It’s ours.” I blurted out, regretting it the moment I said it. Terence didn’t like it when you were defiant.

“It’s our now.” He simply said and came up to me and pushed me out-of-the-way where I fell to the ground hard. He nodded at his two brothers who took it as a sign to rush the box.

I got up and grabbed my brother’s hand and walked quickly away down the street. At the time, I told myself I was protecting my younger brother but inside I knew different. Fear had always been my friend. The farther I was away from them the less scared I became and the angrier I got. Then Terence yelled out to me and my brother asking if we wanted our box back.

We turned back to them thinking just for an instant that he might actually mean it. I took one hesitant step back towards them.

Then they laughed and started to destroy the box. They kicked at it, punched it, and ripped at the joints and corners with their hands, all the while laughing like it was the biggest joke in the world. Finally the box collapsed in on itself with all the beating it had undergone. Terence then climbed on top of it and began to jump up and down crushing with his feet. His brothers joined into until it was just a mangled piece of paperboard on the ground.

All the while this was happening; I stood there holding my younger brother’s hand as he began to cry next to me. A thunder began to roll in me with all the momentum of a giant wave rolling towards the shore. Gathering, gathering, collecting in strength until it would crash.

“You nigger!” I yelled with all the power my little voice could carry. I put behind the word all the hurt I felt, all the anger that had built up over the months, days and weeks of their constant bullying. I put it all into that one word and flung it like a rock straight at him. Some instinct inside told me that this one word would work and I had grabbed it and used it without thought.

“What did you call me?!” he asked. He wasn’t laughing anymore. He looked stunned.

I yelled it again and again. My mind railed the word over and over inside my head.

He didn’t make a move to chase me. He just stood there with his arms at his sides and fists clenched and then calmly but loudly yelled at me. “Tomorrow on the way home from school, I’m gonna get you then!” was all he said. Then he and his brothers simply walked away towards home leaving the crushed box in the middle of the sidewalk.

I walked home scared. I went to sleep scared. I woke up scared. I went to school scared. I sat in class all day scared. Then the bell rang to go home.

It was about a ten to fifteen minute walk from school to my house. Terence was a middle schooler and got out earlier than me nearby in the same neighborhood. I knew he would be waiting for me somewhere along the way home. If I was quick and ran nonstop all the way home, he might not even see me to catch me. So I ran.

I ran past friends in the hall not saying a word, I busted through the double doors of the school and sprinted across the street ignoring the crossing guard who yelled at me saying I was going to be in trouble tomorrow when I came back to school. I thought to myself I’m trying to stay alive today so I can come back to school tomorrow.

I didn’t look to my left I didn’t look to my right. I just ran like a bullet towards home with my target being my front door. I dodged my way around slow-moving kids in my way, at the next street I crossed against the light beating out a car turning the corner earning me a blaring horn in my ear.

Up ahead was the street next to my own. All I had to do was to cross it and then make a quick cut through the parking lot between the restaurant and the Goodwill Store and I was home free. No sign of Terence. Maybe he forgot. Maybe he never intended to show; maybe he was more talk than anything else.

I crossed the street in a run but slowed to a quick walk when I hit the sidewalk and entered the parking lot. I could see my house across the short field from the parking lot. I felt a small cocoon of safety settle over me seeing my home in sight.

Then there he was out of nowhere like he had appeared from thin air; right in from of me at the very edge of the parking lot. He ran at me. I couldn’t move. My mind screamed to run but my body didn’t want to cooperate. He grabbed the top of my shirt near my neck with both hands and shoved me heard against a parked car.

His eyes were wide and brown and they burned into me. I could almost feel the pressure from them pushing against my own.

“Why did you call me that!” he yelled at me pushing me hard again against the car.

“I don’t know I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was mad. I’m sorry.” Tears started to come into my eyes.

He held me against the car just staring into my eyes. Then I saw something different in his than what I had just before. It wasn’t anger or menace. It was pain. Pain showed in his eyes. Deeply. I felt it to my core.

“I’m sorry Terence. I never should have said it. I never will again I promise, I promise. I’m sorry.” and I meant it to. I didn’t say it from fear. I had said it because in the end I truly was sorry. Yes he was a bully, and he treated my bad but he didn’t deserve what I had said. I felt ashamed of myself in that instant with his eyes looking back at me full of pain. I never thought he could feel pain, never thought it could touch him. No, that’s a lie, I told myself in that instant. I knew it could touch him, that’s why I had said it, but I had chosen to ignore what I had done.

I hung my head.

He let me go, hands slowly releasing me to fall down at his sides.

“See that you never do say it again.” he said and walked away.

I stood there in the parking lot for quite a while, not moving, and barely breathing with my head still hanging down staring at the ground.

I found the strength to pick my head up and realized as I made my slow walk home I didn’t know myself at all.

The End

The Dark Tree – A Poem


It swayed and creaked in

the wind.

The black silken crows

gave a queer semblance of

life to the tree,

Its bare branches covered

with a multitude perched like

the clinging of leaves.

It swayed and it creaked

and spoke of its sins,

Dark feathers fluttered,

as if to  fool a passerby’s eye

that life still dwelt in the trees dead limbs.

None made a sound, not a caw

not a screech, no  utterance did they speak;

for you see they had  been given a task long ago,

to bear silent witness to the migration

of lost souls.

For no man,

should ever die alone.

So they perched and they preened

as the body swayed and creaked

on the rope below.

by Philip Wardlow

The me you see… – A Poem


The me you see, is just a pale umbra of whom I’m supposed to be.

I’m just a toad at the wall who can’t make the jump up,

I try and I try and I just bounce off.

It’s a cliff so sheer and high that it’s a trick to defy the eye.

But what I really don’t know is that I’m just a toad in the road

and it’s just a small curb on a street I’ve come up against.

I tell myself one more jump…kerplunk!

My little toad head hurts like hell from all the bashing

against the wall it’s felt.

If I can just find a crack and crawl in and wind my way up.

But that would require luck…fuck

Where the hell am I going to get any of that?

So I’m a toad,

not a frog a princess can kiss.

Sorry no prince underneath  miss

But I will be the prince of toads one day

So fuck the frog I say!

and I look for that crack in the wall,

no matter how small.

Update on My Writing Work…and how I found out what’s really important.


Hello one and all…first I want to thank all my followers  basically for still following me…:).

For the ones I follow I have loved reading your blogposts as well.  You might have noticed that I’m sure when I comment on  a blogpost that peaks my interests.  I’m usually one of the first ones to chime in on something you might have said if it catches my eye.

I have had a pretty sluggish month for posting to my blog.  My writing in general for my short stories for this month has been  sub-par you might say.  I will be wrapping up two short stories to display on here soon that I hope to send off to some publishers as well.  I wanted to also write a few personal anectdoal stories on here as well when time permits along with some Blogger award stuff I’ve been meaning to get to.

The main reason for my lack of posting is that my wife had to have a pretty major surgery which will have a long recovery time of about 6-8 weeks before she’s back to her normal self. ( When she gets back to full health she’ll be hitting me in no time….she likes to abuse me…:)

Anyways, I just thought I should let you know that. I don’t feel I owe an explanation to the souls in cyberspace I just felt like telling you for no particular reason other than that your all a small part of my life.

I also wanted to  express that I do have to thank my wife though for opening my eyes.

Often I stressed out when I felt I wasn’t  being productive enough in my writing. I felt less than if I didn’t meet the personal challenges I set forth for myself in my writing.

As I sat by my wife’s hospital bed  after her long 6hr  ordeal of a surgery I realized that I felt at peace. At peace because this is where I needed to be, where I wanted to be.  The proximity of her and knowing she was alive and starting to heal as she slept was all that I wanted in that moment. I didnt’t feel a compulsion for anything except for her to get better.

She’s home now and slowly getting better. I’m  taking care of her and everything else in life (like writing) seems insignificant.

My writing is important to me but I realized it will never be what she is to me, for you see, she is my muse in everything that I call this life and you have to take care of your muse …especially if your a writer  …right…:).

Thanks again!

Excelsior!

The Science of Speed – A poem


The Science of Speed

3 to 120 Meters Per Second,

the speed at which nerves endings transmit signals through the body.

This body wants to be touched gently by your fingertips;

I have no doubt it would feel like you had never left.

25,000 miles per hour,

the speed it takes to escapes Earth’s gravity.

What would it take to escape my want of you?

186,282 miles per second,

the speed at which light travels.

When that light strikes my eyes how long would it take

for you to realize what’s still behind them?

Time dilation ,

the theory that as your body increases in velocity

time slows down.

I wish to have you near so we could accelerate to the infinite, then

time would slow to nothing and in that final instant

when our speed was at its apex

time would simply stop,

and forever with you would

never end.

I am an Ant


I am an Ant,

and I carry this burden

as I walk the branch.

I come, I go and I carry

my piece of a bright

green leaf.

Why? I do not know,

but there are many of us;

thousands, millions, billions

with this leaf held tight

in our mandibles as we

march day and night.

They walk over me.

I walk over them.

Some build a bridge from their

bodies over a stream so the

rest of us can cross.

Some have perished in their building,

washed away down stream to find a

new course.

The rest of us just keep marching,

with our big green leaf held high,

for we are ants

and know no other life.

Collecting your Thoughts….a writers advice on one GOT TO HAVE IT TOOL as you write.


Tools…

You need Tools to build things, whether it’s a book case,  a bed, or a barn…you need tools for the job.  You can’t hit a nail with your fist. Besides hurting like hell you won’t get anywhere  execpt bloody and perhaps a visit to the  emergency room.

Writing is the same way; certain tools are needed.  For many who write I’m sure that comes as no surprise. Stephen King says he brings his whole tool box from the garage  when he writes because he’ll never know what he’ll need.

For me, words are like gold when I write.  When I’m writing, I’m constantly trying to find that perfect string  of words, that when put together right, form a picture of a place,  character, an emotion,  or an action that grabs hold of the reader’s mind and puts them there right into the story.

Going back to Stephen King, I found that he is one of the masters at doing that. He is very good at looking at something in real life and flipping it to some analogous turn of phrase that you instantly connect to in your mind. I often seek to emulate writers like him and others. I have found one TOOL (method)  gets me close to that type of good writing; being observant about what I see, hear, smell,touch,taste, and then following it up by cataloging that thought down somewhere….anywhere….the memo function on my phone, a notepad, dictation to the phone, a napkin, on my hand (yes I did that once) or even literally telling your signifcant other to remember “this” until I get home  so I can jot it down.

Some thoughts strike like lighting about something you experience and you DON’T want to lose it.  You may not use it in the current story you are working on but you will surely have need of it in the wee hours of the night when you are searching for that one turn of phrase that will bring it all home in that one paragraph that you are  having sooooo much trouble putting to bed.

Words are not cheap so don’t let the gold coins dribble through a hole in your pants pocket to be lost and forgotten.  It’s great to be able to go to a cache of magical words and phrases that  you have saved up and rummage  through it once in awhile and say, hey that would work in this part.

So keep  the gold mine open and productive. I supremely HATE it when I forget something that was the coolest thing ever thought of on the face of this Earth.

Below are few of my “golden” words you might say about every day observations in life.  Some are direct form my own brain, some may be stolen you might say from family members, friends, or even strangers that I heard making their own unique observations that didn’t even know they were being original when they said them.  Don’t worry it’s okay to steal phrases from others; some of the best words and phrases come from an author’s relationships with others (not talking plagerism of course).  Let me know what your thoughts on the tools you use when writing:

Black and white striped sock

looked like the ribcage of a

rat lying in the gutter.

******************************

Her skin hung on her bones like

 a thin wrinkled suit on a hanger.

********************************

I called them bumbies, half bum,half zombie

because of their slow shuffling jerky walk

down the street in their tattered dirty clothes

**************************************

Somehow I feel I ‘m framed like a picture,

Bounded and contained, my limits  are set

at four corners, my face compressed

tight against the glass.

***************************************

I feel the sharpness of your eyes cut into

me keener than any blade could cut  the thinnest

hair in half.

**********************************

Btw the way did you notice how I picked a Phillips’s Screwdriver for my tool in the  title pic above…get it …because my name is Philip…he he he…..oh well..anyways..that’s my attempt at  very  obscure, very subtle  stupid humor…then I again it’s  not very humorous if I feel like I have to point it out to you guys…:)

Roadkill – My Novella Published to Amazon as an Ebook


There are things that lurk in our world unseen, dark creatures lost in a time and a world so ancient as to be forgotten by the same humans who made dark dealings with them so very long ago.

Now per happenstance, on a dark shrouded road these worlds will collide briefly again….

What would you do if you hit and killed something on the road in a raging blizzard in the middle of the night and that something you killed had a companion which meant to force you to make amends for your actions?

Adrian is the thirty-something already troubled family man who suddenly finds himself in that world.  Adrian soon discovers it doesn’t want him. It wants the thing he holds most dear to his heart. Whom will the thing choose as the price to be paid, Adrian’s lovely wife Elisa, or his young eight year old daughter Sylvia?

Following the ancient laws set forth, a balance must be kept, and Adrian the good family man, must pay the price whether he likes it or not. Will Adrian have it in him to fight to keep his family whole or will he give into his fears and past traumas that have haunted him for years and lose the ones he loves along with perhaps his own life in the process?

*************************************************************************************************************

Roadkill Book above now published on Amazon as an Ebook for the Kindle and sells for $2.99…OR if you are an Amazon Prime Member you can borrow the book for free with no due date until you want something new to read by me or anyone else who sells in the Select Collection series which contain literally thousands of titles.

**************************************************************************************************************

The KDP Select Program through Amazon I think personally is a great idea…it basically sets up a fund or bank if you will to allow self publishers like myself to get exposure and perhaps little mula if the whenever the eBook gets read.  Notice I said read..not bought . Sure some can buy the book but some members can just borrow it for awhile at no cost. The more my book is borrowed compared to what’s in the Fund and what other member’s books in the program are borrowed directly affect what I may receive as a stipend you might say at the end of that monthly period. It’s possible if you have good book to get to more readers and make more money promoting it this way than simply selling it out right. It pays to give it away to some extent you might say….Speaking of giving it away, I do believe I will have five free days made available to me to offer it to anyone as an Ebook  whether your a Prime member or not. I will let you know when that happens. (or you could always buy it before that…hint hint..:) …)

As always I am submitting my work to publishers, and entering contests. I am now just trying to attack this thing I call a dream of mine on another front to get my work out there.(less to make money but that doesn’t hurt either)  Hopefully for those who have or might read my work and found it to your liking. Please pass my name along  to  your friends and family who also might be interested in a good read.

Thanks.

Erotic Yearnings

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Awapara Art

A Place to share My Love for Painting, Life, and my Wandering Mind

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Hiking with snark in the beautiful Pacific Northwest 2011 - 2013

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Reviews, raves, and rants it's all about the books we read

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a clusterfuck of words

World of Horror

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Elan Mudrow

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by Kelly Lewis

Megan Kay's Blog

Linguistic twists dripping from my wanton tongue. WARNING: My words are written to be viewed by a mature eye 18+ please

Daily (w)rite

Author Site for Damyanti Biswas

Erotic Yearnings

Erotic Poetry and Stories

STROKE(d)

journal

TheFeatheredSleep

Tigers not daughters

VIVID LENS VIEW

Let Your Eyes Do The Talking...

Awapara Art

A Place to share My Love for Painting, Life, and my Wandering Mind

All Thoughts Work™ Outdoors

Hiking with snark in the beautiful Pacific Northwest 2011 - 2013

Just read

Reviews, raves, and rants it's all about the books we read

ReclusiveDreams

a clusterfuck of words

World of Horror

A cozy cottage for writers and book lovers

Elan Mudrow

Smidgens

Exclusive Inflictions

by Kelly Lewis

Megan Kay's Blog

Linguistic twists dripping from my wanton tongue. WARNING: My words are written to be viewed by a mature eye 18+ please

Daily (w)rite

Author Site for Damyanti Biswas

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