The Watchtower

It’s been over 50 years since they attacked – yet here I am.  Twelve hours a day I chain smoke an overly expensive, filthy pack of Camel’s.  My laces undone, feet propped up on my controls and my uniform undone to the navel.  It’s easy money considering.  “Keep an eye on the sky” they always said.

This shift seemed particularly long.  I stared at all the books on the floor.  Ruffled pages and dirty from years of finger prints and skin cells.  Boredom came sharply.  I had four hours to kill in this shift, and have to keep busy.

I stood up slowly, arching my back in a jerking twisting motion to hit the knot above my buttocks.  Bent my neck left, then right, popping sounds echoed through the hull.  As I looked around with my hands on my hips pondering what to do, the luminescent sun came through the glass at just the right angle.  I could see skin dancing in the light, dust peering to the rear of the ship.  All my controls haven’t been touched in months – only the ones used for take off and landing.  Frankly, it’s rather disgusting.

As I moved hastily to the back of my ship, my feet began to lose traction.  Looking down confused, I begin to be pulled towards the ceiling.  Artificial gravity is in the green, yet I am being pulled.  The ship dips and yaws towards the sun as I grab anything to try and stabilize myself.  Peering through a port hole, I see space bending before me.

A large flash fills the sky, and I slam back onto the floor belly first.  Shaken and bloodied with my nose dripping I crawl to the pilot seat and pull myself up.  “Fucking scanner is down…” I mutter.

Shadow covers my ship, blocking out the sun.  Peering up I see the large vessel lumbering forward, nose pitched down.

The warship Watchtower is in position.

We’re going to war.

Image taken by me via Space Engine.


Some New Paradise

Laying on my back, I gaze upon the universe in all her brilliant beauty.  Millions of worlds look back at me.  Vibrant hues illuminate the calm island waters.  Starlight bounces playfully off the night-time glow.  A soft breeze rustles grains of sand across the tops of my feet.  A tear crosses my temple, sinking into the sand.  The wind, the likely cause (or so I tell myself).

Staring continually into the midnight black, I see a flicker in the great distance.  A subtle flash brightens the sky momentarily.  It appears as if a star has fallen, and has begun to ascend on this island.

Drifting down to me, as if on a cloud; I wait hastily.

“Is this another?” I wonder.

The object continues its elegant, almost tranquil descent.

Frozen, I cannot move.  I use my eyes to look in the direction of the now landed craft.  Something emerges.  My watery eyes, too blurry to see.

Still frozen.

A calmness follows the being.  As if casting an aura.  It lays down beside me, and gazes into the open wonderment of space.  I try to speak, but cannot.

“I can hear you,” it says.  “What is this place?”

“We take the things that we love, and we build on them.” I reply.

“Are more to come to your world?” It questions.

“This isn’t my world, just how I perceive it.”

Before I can answer more of this creatures questions, or ask my own, a force pulls me upward.  Feels as if a hand has wrapped me in its fist.  My limbs tangle helplessly.

“Stop! I have so many questions!” I shout skyward.

My vision blurs more.  Stars duplicate as the force pulls harder and faster.  Blurred vision and a heavy head overcome me.

“But, my paradise…”

via Daily Prompt: Recreate

Image courtesy Z Design

Music and Memories

Sitting at the 17 bus stop, I squint an eye as my gaze passes over the myriad of hotel windows.  Exhausted from my walk and the gym, I take everything in.  The sun beams brightly against the sharp marble white building.  Most of the windows are open, with a soft breeze blowing through.  A cross breeze pushes the curtains to and fro, clashing against the window pane.  All the while, listening to some new song I heard.  My spine tingles, the hairs on my arm dance.

My bus arrives.  Greeting the driver with a “Good afternoon” I swipe my pass.  Shuffling to the back, removing my sweater and bag, I take a window seat on the left.  I notice the heat on my face, the cars queueing up to park, the homeless man begging for change.  I watch the tourists, taking note of their attire.

The 17 begins to lurch forward.  Crossing the famous city intersection, I take in the astounding, glistening river.  The suns radiance bounces off the calm water like a laser into my eye.  I shut my eyes, breathing in the smell of diesel and old upholstery.  The same song blares on repeat.

A memory is born.

Standing with my chest to the sun, I wiggle my toes between the sand.  Its orange crystals are warm and ticklish.

The cresting waves kick refreshing salted water into the air.  Nothing but orange and blue for miles.  The furthest West you can travel before cruising into the Atlantic.  The hairs on my arm continue to dance, as another fresh tune crosses the synapse.  Neurons fire.

A memory is born.

A 40 degree day.

“It’s too hot to walk that far!” They say.

“Nonsense, good for the soul.  Helps me think,” I reply.

Beating down on me like a volcano, I trek onward towards my destination.  Power lines guide my way, followed by seemingly endless rows of corn fields and rice paddies.

My hand glides softly across the stone bridge, no more than waist-high.  The soundtrack of my life plays.  Years of stress melt.  Nothing else matters.  Only the here, the now.  The soundtrack of my life plays.  A shiver radiates through my body; onward.

A memory is born.

Walking uphill on thousand-year old stones, the wind brushes off my face.  An old hotel, a quiet cafe, the late morning sun and a spring water well.  Fall leaves get kicked up by my old work boots.

We take a breather at the old cafe.  An espresso and tart makes for a wonderful snack.  The old man looks at me, I back at him, and we continue to share tales of the past decade.  All the while, the latest songs that have burrowed into my mind play.

A memory is born.

From the Author: There would be no point showing what songs I was listening to during these moments, as you have no visual minus a few pictures.  Moreover, the style of music may be horrible to you, the reader.  I think that’s part of the wonderment of it.

The 80’s Dream

Riding out into the sunset.  I feel the engine beneath me.  The sun pressing against my skin.  The smell of the ocean.  Skies purple.  Waves white, crisp.  Sand golden yellow.

My hand-me-down bomber leathers I got from dad.  My bag hanging precariously off my shoulder.  Gloves dirty, petrol smelling.  Tank full.

You holding on my waist.

Be by my side, forever and always.

Seeing people playing games.  I glanced back at you, a smirk crosses your face.

Riding free, escaping the every day.

I lean back my chair, and stand up.  Standing in front of the mirror, I see a skinny, pimple riddled teen looking back at me.  I sigh, and look towards my desk.

“Maybe one day, that game will be real.”

Be by my side, forever and always.

via Daily Prompt: Solitary

Moving Backwards

I love the feeling and sound of rocks beneath my steel toed boots.  The crunch, the slight dust pick up.  My black jeans scoffed with dust; a hard yesterday.

The lake was hauntingly calm this morning.  The sun barely rising.  Sky blue.  Moon strong.  I brought myself down to a crouch, coffee in hand.  I gave it a soft blow, feeling the steam hit my eyes.  The trees reflected off the water in a perfect mirror image.

The air prickled my dry fall skin.  Reminded me of being on the water with you.  A dad and his son, hitting the lake before dawn.  Looking for that perfect catch.

Mr. Dawning’s boat sat idly by.  Anchored deep.  I could easily put you and I on that boat.  Familiar.

Just a young boy, encumbered by a life jacket he didn’t want to wear.  Looking up to you as a Godly figure.  A man of great respect, a man I loved.

We would sit and talk (you talked, I listened).  At the end of the day when we caught nothing, neither of us had any regrets.

Every cloud in the sky, every place that I hide, tell me that I was wrong to let you go.

Looking back down at the rocks under my boot, I ran my fingers around them.  Picking up a few, filtering them through my fingers.

Am I moving backwards? Maybe with the promise of tomorrow – I can start a new.

via Daily Prompt: Prickle

Stephanie’s Smile

It had been many years since my wife and I took the kids to the state fair.  Although they were still young enough to enjoy it, life had crept up on us.  Time after all is always creeping closer.  This year, we would go and have a great time.

The wife took the eldest and went on some of the larger rides, while I took our youngest, Stephanie, to the carousel.

“The brown horse, Daddy! I want to ride the brown one!” she said ecstatically.

“Okay sweetie, when the ride stops and the man says you can go, make a dash for it!” I instructed.

As I watched this tiny human bounce up and down, smiling from ear to ear, laughing hysterically at nothing – I sat in awe.

I wondered if now, at my age, if I could ever find something in life that would make me feel as my daughter did riding this mechanical horse.  I wondered about the men or women who crafted it.  The precision, the colors, the sanding involved to make each horse and poll rose-pedal smooth.

For most of us, things in life don’t always pan out.  Unfortunately, that’s life.  People often say you can sleep and be miserable, or never sleep and be happy.  What if you don’t want to sleep, but can’t find your passion.  What if you have ever opportunity in the world to find that gift, but it always eludes you.  One can’t help feeling guilty.  One can’t help feeling like they are squandering opportunities, perhaps being viewed as lazy.

My mind continued to race as I watched Stephanie laugh and spin.  I hope something out there is for me, something out there is waiting.  But how do I find it?

My wife returned with our eldest, Patricia, both of them laughing away.  A mother and daughter bond now stronger from the day together.

I put on a happy face, and we walked back to the car.  My head sunk low as I watched my feet move forward, one after the other.

I should be the happiest man in the world, yet I felt trapped and alone.

Where is my carousel?

via Daily Prompt: Carousel

O Diabo

O Diabo (Portuguese) “The Devil”

“Dad, wait!” I wailed.

We were constantly late in the morning. What should be a relaxing moment to begin the day, always began as a running of the bulls.

Dad was tall, he could take longer strides.  Sure, I was tall too (one of the tallest in my class) but I was only 5.  I simply couldn’t keep up with my old man.

That morning was no different.  His trench coat swung through the air like a parachute, smacking me in the face with every step.  His neatly pressed suit grabbed the eyes of onlookers, at least that’s what I thought.  At 6 foot 8, I think people were more impressed that he could find a suit that fit.  It clearly wasn’t tailored.

We ran and ran, my hand me down shoes taking ever more of a beating.  The holes in my socks were causing blisters.

“Dad, pick me up!”

“We’re almost there, you can walk – it’s good for you!”

The station that morning was bustling with activity.  Horns blaring, people shouting, the intercom lady drowning them all as the volume seem to be cranked up to 11.  I always took in all the sights and sounds.  My curious little mind was always fascinated by what I saw.  To be out in the real world.  Experiencing it.  Feeling it.

I sat on the bench as instructed by my father, and read my comic book.  “The Amazing Spider-Man” or “The Avengers”.  I got lost in their escapades.  The colors, the action, the adventure.  I marvelled in the wonderment of such a universe.

As I turned the last page of my comic, I noticed the station had died down.  People had left.  It was almost if it as abandoned.  “How long had I been reading?” I wondered.

At the entrance were 2 tall, strong men.  Dressed in what was described at the time as a “power suit”.  A suit that cost as much as a used car.  At the exit, the same.  Their bodies turned away from me.  I tried to see who they were, but you can’t tell who is who with slicked back, greased hair and a hat.

My eye panned down towards the floor.  I sat staring at my beaten old shoes.  I began to go into shock.

“Where was everyone? Where was my dad?”


I slowly lifted my head, my eyes blurry with tears. As I wiped them away, I saw a small stocky figure standing gloomily over me.

“Michael, my name is Alessandro Giovanni.  You’ll be coming with me.”

via Daily Prompt: Amble