83 Extracted Words – The Tease – September 2017

September 2017

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress.

Tumbleweed slouched over the cool, cigarette-burned, pinewood table that was rapidly becoming a salon for his new circle of friends at the Turtle, even those that seemed to continually orbit the minor celebrity, Max Mann. Perhaps the gatherings were because of him. Even in Mann’s absence, it was odd that no one had arrived to celebrate. He wondered where everyone was. Surely, they had heard by now the news of his victory, however unlikely. Perhaps they didn’t believe the news. He hardly did himself.

Scuba Chicken

Our turtle, a red-eared slider named “Chicken”, was outgrowing his home. Over the holiday season, we moved him to a new tank. Now, like so many others, his mortgage status is under water.

Tough turtle.

Red-eared sliders are notoriously aggressive and are becoming a real problem in the mid-west. When released into the wild, for good or malicious intent, they wipe out the native turtle species.

This aggressive nature isn’t reserved for just the wild red-ears. Our own Chicken lets you know who’s the boss every time you walk by his home. He scratches, kicks pebbles and slams his shell against the glass. (see the slide show below)

You probably are wondering how he landed his name. Chicken was given to us as a gift. When our son first saw him he shouted out, “Chicken”. We explained that Chicken was a turtle, but our little boy insisted. “Chicken.” And so that became his name. In some odd way, it’s perfect.

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Hope in the Summer of Five Weddings

Two summers ago we were all filled with tentative hope. It didn’t matter if you were an Obama, McCain or Paul supporter. After eight years of lethal incompetence and absentee leadership, we were all looking forward to a change. Now, amidst deepening unemployment, endless war and yet another disaster in the gulf, it seems hope remains as elusive as it was in 2008. Whether you choose to blame the President or Congress, Republobstructionists or Demowimps, lobbyists or bureaucrats, one thing is for sure – hope is not being incubated inside the beltway. Looking for

A lucky one.

 inspiration from this current crop of politicians is like looking for a walrus in the Gulf of Mexico. (Unless you’re perusing a BP crisis response plan). Between bloated deficits and bloated sea turtles, faith in the future is under siege.

My hope’s castle: marriage.

Between the middle of June and end of July, our aggregate of friends and family have engaged in no less than five weddings. Amidst the flurry of nuptials, we witnessed three friends, a cousin and a daughter join lives with their loves. I was lucky enough to attend most of these ceremonies, each time inspired by the loving couple at the center of the whirl. With bad news hovering over their heads like oil-soaked pelicans, they embraced their collective futures with smiles, laughs and tears of joy. It’s them against the world. After seeing the honesty and depth of their love, the world better watch out.To Chelsea, Karly, Adri, Alex, Todd and all your new spouses, (and  Cami, my wife of nearly sixteen years) thank you for the reminder of what truly gives us hope … the people we love.

A feast of love.