A dirty mind is a Joy forever.

This story is a flash fiction challenge written for the Terribleminds; chuck wendig weekly challenge. We were given an image of the new cover of  Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. We were asked to ignore the title and tell the story we saw in that image. We were given roughly a 1000 words. I must admit I’m slightly over…

A dirty mind is a Joy forever.

Well? What do you think of her? Doesn’t she look absolutely gorgeous in that pink mink? I simply had to have her photographed in that. And me in a matching outfit next to her of course. I bought that mink last week for her 6th birthday the day before yesterday. We are having a party for her on Sunday. Don’t worry. I didn’t forgot to invite you. The invite is in the mail. We decided only yesterday to throw her a party. We really weren’t sure at all if we’d celebrate this year. I mean she has been so sickly lately. I wasn’t sure if she could handle a party well. But the last few weeks have been good for her. So I think it’ll be fine to throw her a small birthday party. Besides a little fun never hurt anybody, right?

Is it wrong of me to feel a little bit awkward still about, you know, adopting her? It’s been 5 years now. Don’t get me wrong! I love her to death. But I haven’t been able to let go of the idea that she is somebody else’s biological child. Or maybe it’s because Hugh gave her to me to keep me quiet.

I didn’t tell you?! I’m sorry, I thought I did! Hugh gave her to me to keep me quiet about his affair with the pool boy. Or at least, I think he did. I never actually told him I know. I was holding on to that juicy tidbit for desperate times. You know he can’t afford anybody to know about his real sexual proclivity. Of course I suspected such a thing a good while before that. We never had a wild sex life to begin with, but by then I felt like nothing but a coat hanger in the house. Part of his coming home routine. Well, if only I was actually part of such a routine. Maybe then I wouldn’t have resorted to extra curricular activities myself. On a positive note, I never have to fear getting pregnant by the wrong guy, being as infertile as I am. My ovaries are so barren they’d suck a man dry because of it. Did I just say that?! I’m sorry, the whole thing always gets me so worked up. But you don’t mind, do you? You are my closest friend after all!

Anyway, I’m deviating from the story. One night I get home from a meeting at the Beverly Hills Women’s Club about some charity luncheon. Clarice had been serving the most awful German wine again. Why she keeps insisting on drinking that wine I will never understand. So naturally I head over to the wine cellar to grab a bottle of Pouilly Fumé to rinse that horrific taste out of my mouth with. Well, to get from the front door of the house to the wine cellar in our house, you go through the living room. And, as you know, our living room has big glass doors that you can open to gain access to the garden and the pool. But you can also see the pool house from there. And as I walk passed I notice the doors being opened and instinctively I look outside while I’m walking. That’s when I notice the lights in the pool house being turned on. Which was odd to me, as I didn’t remember any guests staying in the pool house that night. So I turn to walk outside to go and have a look at why the lights were on over there. As I approach the pool house I notice people inside of it. My pace slowed down but I didn’t stop walking over there. I had to see who those people were. I remember realizing first what those people were doing before I realized who was actually doing it. I think I stood there a good full minute just looking inside. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe he could do those things to begin with! But that’s beside the point. There he was, with Rodriguez, our pool boy. Well, he wasn’t our pool boy for very long after that. I saw to that of course.

But in that moment things became clear for me. Why we lasted this long and why he hadn’t divorced me yet. I was his cover to the outside world. As long as I was playing the good housewife and going to meetings like the Beverly Hills Women’s Club charity luncheon, nobody would suspect anything wrong with our marriage. Well, that’s if you disregard our marriage being childless. So in a way I owe my current lifestyle to Rodriguez, whom I had deported after I caught him with my husband. You see, our marriage was a marriage of convenience arranged by our parents. My dad made me marry Hugh so that his father would be obliged to invest in my father’s company. His father, who probably already knew of Hugh’s sexual proclivity, was all too happy to see him get married to me. Back then I was a nice girl. I looked good and I had a good and sweet reputation. I was well educated, but not too ambitious. Perfect marriage material for the heir to a multimillionaire’s financial empire. But his father wasn’t stupid. He had me sign a prenuptial agreement the day before we were to get married. In that agreement it says that I have no rights to anything in the event we should get divorced if the marriage is childless at that moment. By then I was so enthralled in the idea of getting married to this handsome rich boy, I would have signed my life to the devil himself. In all honesty I can’t blame Hugh of ever being evil to me. But our marriage has never been very warm and fuzzy. Until that night I always believed that was because I wasn’t attractive enough for him. That or the sneaking suspicion that his sexual proclivity lay elsewhere. Sure we had sex. But mostly because it was expected of us. He had an obligation to the world to produce children as well. And one is supposed to produce them with one’s wife off course. So once a month, when I was supposedly the most fertile we had sex. Or we went through the motions of having sex at least. I’m not sure he even actually finished ever time. After a few years of that, and peer pressure from his father and others around us, we went to the doctor to find out why I wasn’t getting pregnant still. That’s when I found out I can’t have children because I basically have no eggs to speak of. After that we didn’t have sex at all anymore. And a year later I found him in the pool house with Rodriguez. And less then a year after that we were adopting Joy. Somehow he must have found out that I found out about him. I picked a girl just to spike him and his father. Hugh tried exactly three words of disagreeing with my choice before letting go of it.

Maybe I should write a thank you note to Rodriguez, to thank him for getting me out of that prenuptial. What do you think?

 

 

 

 

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Nephraim

 After two weeks of walking Jack had gotten as far as somewhere in the desert in east Arizona. He was backpacking on foot along route 66. By now he wished he had decided on leaving in winter rather then in spring, the heat at midday here in the desert was already unbearable. Jack reached for his water flask, unscrewed it and put his lips on the mouth of the flask. And as he flung his head back with the flask on his mouth he quickly noticed a lack of the satisfying sensation of water running in his mouth. Like most people would do, he tried to look inside the flask to reaffirm that he had actually run out of water here in this desolate part of this Arizona desert with the blazing sun on his head. He looked around to see if he could find out where to go for water. Jack couldn’t believe his luck when after a a minute or so of scanning the horizon with his eyes, he actually found a building in the far distance. Without giving it a second thought he picked up his backpack and headed for that building, which he figured would be his best shot for finding drinkable water in the vicinity. After half an hour he reached the building which turned out to be an old diner. Jack thought his luck to be getting better and better.

Image

He opened the glass door and was met with a shabby nineteen sixties interior design. Behind the counter the waitress had her back turned towards him and was talking to the cook; an older man with a beat up face that told him he had seen his fair share of misery in his life. In the far corner away from the entrance there was another man seated at the window. He just stared outside with an empty plate and half a glass of water in front of him. The guy looked incredibly disheveled. Most people Jack met here on route 66 had a weathered look like they had seen the worst from the alien attack 5 years ago. But this guy looked worse than that. This guy looked like he had seen a few circles of hell which few other people might have seen. By a far contrast the guy had the most beautiful vibrant eyes with a bright golden color that made them seem like they had their own internal light. Jack fell in love with those eyes in that second and together with that feeling came the realization, far too late to react cool to the whole thing, that the guy was looking straight at him and he was caught staring, big time. The mysterious guy didn’t move a muscle. He just kept staring back at Jack, which made the whole situation awkward to say the least. Jack finally pulled away his stare and focused his eyes on the waitress.

“Good day, miss” he said and started walking towards the mysterious eyes. He found himself trying to put as much swagger in his step as he possibly could. In that moment the waitress turned around and looked at him walking by and started laughing loudly at him. Jack instantly knew why she laughed and that destroyed every bit of confidence he had anywhere in his body. As a result his swag turned into a stumble, mostly over his own two feet and a chair which he pretended to be in his way. Jack finished his failing swagger walk with a bumpy landing on the bench at the nearest window booth he could find. He looked up to see if the mysterious guy was looking and he found him still looking straight at him. His weathered face, which displayed an abundance of sadness, suddenly started smiling and that made it light up like heaven itself had opened a door. Jack felt his face turn red and quickly pulled his eyes away from the man. What followed was a rush of emotions like he hadn’t felt since puberty. He was falling head over heels for this guy and there was no way back. That smile had sealed the deal for him and this guy would be in his heart until his heart would be destroyed. The last thing he expected to find on this trip was love. Because the last love of his life was killed in the alien attack.

Suddenly the mysterious guy stood up and started walking towards the door and just when it seemed he would pass by Jack he stopped and looked at Jack again with those mesmerizing and beautiful eyes. He bent over and put his hand flat on the table right in front of Jack while his other hand touched Jack’s face on his right jaw and part of his neck. A quiver traveling through Jack’s body made him weak in the joints and Jack felt lucky that he was already sitting down. Then the guy moved in some more and his lips touched Jack’s lips. Jack didn’t know that a kiss could be like this. So soft and so connected to each other. Everything they needed to know about each other flowed like water back and forth through this kiss. Then the guy pulled away and looked in Jack’s eyes again. The guy seemed to wait patiently for Jack to realize the kiss had ended. Like he knew what Jack was feeling.

“My name is Nephraim. Meet me tonight..”And just like that he stood up straight again and walked on towards the door like the kiss had never happened.

He watched the door close after Nephraim and then let his head hang. That’s when he noticed the map that seemed like it was burned in the table. Jack pulled out his minipad and took a photo of the map.

“Why are you taking pics of our table?” The waitress’s question startled Jack heavily and he almost dropped his minipad. When he looked down again the map had disappeared. No trace left of his entire encounter with the mysterious guy called Nephraim.

Jack felt he had to ask the waitress “Have you ever been kissed like that?.. By a total stranger, I mean.”

The waitress looked at him like she was seeing water burn “What kiss?!”

“Never mind..I’d like a big bottle of water please. And one extra for the road.”


Cracked

My heart is tortured,
cracked.
Fallen pieces
have been put back in.
 
Lying
Screaming
Crying
Dying
 
My heart has been a pit
of things best forgotten.
It has eaten the shit
of all things rotten.
 
It cracked
and some of the fallen pieces
have been put back in.
Some of them I just lost.
None call that a sin.
 
“Hear the story
and say sorry”
is the line
to make it all fine…
 
Lying
Screaming
Crying
Dying
 
My heart cracked,
has been put back together
But some of my pieces,
I just lost.
 
 
by Guido Vermeulen  20-1-2013
 

Lost in Tides

Image

Sometimes I think the wind is gushing

Through my brain because

I cannot keep it together

And like water it spreads

Across lands and oceans and evaporates

Into the air

That gushes through my brain

Rinsing it clean

From all my memories

Of the things that I hold dear

I fear


Gezonken routine

zware voeten sjokken een winkelwagen vooruit

een verplichte glimlach schrikt opzij

de boter is links naast de melk

en de koffie komt daarna

 

Op de radio in de lucht

valt de beurs tepletter

kinderen worden vermist

en priesters zeggen weer geen sorry

voor het misbruik van de habijt

 

zware voeten sjokken een winkelwagen vooruit

een verplichte glimlach schrikt opzij

de boter is links naast  de melk

en de koffie komt daarna

 

In het gangpad verderop staat

een knappe man te kijken

naar waspoeder zo onwennig

maar de soep is rechtsafslaan

wel of niet gaan?

 

zware voeten sjokken een winkelwagen vooruit

een verplichte glimlach schrikt opzij

de boter is links naast de melk

en dan gaat z’n mobiel af

 

De supermarkt verdwijnt

de radio valt stil

zware voeten zinken de vloer in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Grimm Supermarkt

Huub liep op zijn eigen tempo. Meestal sjagerijnig ingehaald door juppies en studenten met weinig tijd voor de wereld om zich heen. In tegenstelling tot veel andere ouderen kon Huub er zich moeilijk aan storen. Hij zag het nut niet om zijn laatste dagen bezig te zijn met kwaad zijn op andere mensen omdat ze niet in het ritme van zijn eigen leven passen. Hij schuifelde op z`n gemak door richting het brood en de groente. Bij het brood waren de maanzaadjes lustig aan het dansen op harde broodjes. Een heuse salsaparty was er gaande! Als hij goed luisterde kon hij de muziek zelfs horen! Jaren geleden zou hij daar helemaal van doordraaien, want maanzaad hoort niet te dansen op het brood! Maar dat gevecht had hij opgegeven na de dood van Annemiek. Daarvoor was zij de enige in zijn leven die hem kon kalmeren in zo`n situatie. Behalve die dag dat de zonnebloemen kwaad werden op hem omdat hij vergeten was ze water te geven. De zonnebloemen wilden maar geen excuus accepteren. Arrogant gilden ze het uit tegen hem! En hij bleef maar water geven en excuses aanbieden. Er was geen kalmeren aan! Zonnebloemen hoorden uberhaupt niet te praten. Laat staan dat ze hem zouden uitschelden! Hij was ten einde raad en wist van gekkigheid niet meer wat te doen! De zonnebloemen gilden en gilden het uit van woede! Hij werd Imageuitgemaakt voor alles wat rot en vuil was. En voordat hij het zelf doorhad, had hij de tuinschaar in zijn handen en begon in het wilde weg te knippen. De stukken zonnebloem vlogen om zijn oren! De zonnebloemen begonnen nog harder te gillen! Maar nu vanwege angst, pure doodsangst! Als speenvarkens gingen ze nu tekeer, terwijl Huub maar bleef knippen en slaan en trekken aan de zonnebloemen. In zijn razernij hoorde hij Annemiek niet achter hem schreeuwen dat hij rustig moest worden. Niets drong tot hem door, behalve het geluid van scharend metaal en gillende zonnebloemen met een gerechtvaardigde doodsangst. Annemiek reikte naar zijn schouders en op dat moment voelde Huub ineens ongewoon veel weerstand tijdens het knippen. Het duurde nog een paar seconden voordat hij doorhad dat Annemiek de oorzaak van de weerstand was. De schaar had haar buik geraakt en Huub wist op dat moment dat hij alles kwijt was. Annemiek was niet alleen de enige in zijn leven die hem kon laten zien wat de werkelijkheid was, wanneer hijzelf dat niet meer zag. Annemiek was zijn werkelijkheid.
Hij werd ontoerekeningsvatbaar verklaard en zat de volgende 25 jaar opgesloten in een TBS kliniek. Maar dat maakte hem geen verschil, hij was zijn wereld verloren omdat de zonnebloemen niet wilden zwijgen.
25 jaar en busladingen medicijnen later werd hij genezen verklaard en vrijgelaten. Huub zou geen gevaar meer vormen voor de samenleving. Maar wat hij de therapeut niet had verteld was dat bloemen praten, aardappels zichzelf schillen en vissen liever over politiek praten dan het weer omdat het weer altijd wel zo’n beetje hetzelfde is in een vissenkom. En maanzaad danst op zijn brood.
“excuseer meneer?!”  Weer een student die zenuwachtig langs hem en zijn winkelwagen probeerde te komen naar de harde bolletjes met dansend maanzaad. Hij deed een stap opzij en greep een halve bruine knip voor zichzelf.
Even verder zag hij een vlinder vliegen. Een prachtige vlinder met helder blauwe vleugels. Hij volgde de vlinder instinctief het gangpad in richting de jam en de hagelslag. Ondertussen liep er een kleine stoet kabouters tussen de kinderkoekjes vandaan, richting het gangpad met de vuilniszakken voor tuinafval en pokon. Om hem heen schoten de vruchtdragende appelbomen zomaar de grond uit en op de grond groeide nieuw kraakvers lentegras. Aan het einde van het gangpad liep een koe de hoek om. De koe had geen zwarte maar paarse vlekken. Om zijn nek hing een grote gouden bel met daarin gestanst het logo van Friese Vlag. Tussen het gras zag hij gele boterbloemetjes de kop opsteken.  Daar landde de vlinder Imageop een potje honing. Het volgende moment smolt de vlinder zomaar ineens de tekening in op het potje. En precies op dat moment voelde Huub een ijskoude rilling door zijn lijf gaan. Hij keek op van het potje honing en zag alleen nog maar een kale koude gang met melkproducten en smeersels voor op het brood. Toen hij terugkeek naar het potje honing zag hij een tekening met bloemen en helderblauwe vlinders, maar de bloemen bewogen niet in de wind en de vlinders vlogen niet op. Huub nam een diepe zucht en wilde doorlopen, maar zijn benen voelden zwaarder dan normaal. Hij nam nog een teug lucht en dwong zichzelf een stap te zetten. Eindelijk deed zijn been weer wat hij wilde. Hij pakte een potje van de honing met de blauwe vlinders van het schap, zette het potje in zijn wagen en schuifelde verder naar de afdeling met wasmiddelen. Ondertussen zag hij hier en daar nog een stengel in de soep roeren en raakte lichtelijk geirriteerd van een bord dat een weekspecial in de aanbieding had voor hem. Het bord hield niet op met schreeuwen. Zo hard dat hij niets anders meer kon verstaan dan: ” Deze week in de aanbieding! Verse worst van twee euro per tweehonderd gram voor slechts een euro per tweehonderd gram!”
Eindelijk aangekomen bij de wasmiddelen viel hem gelijk een wasverzachter op met daarop een afbeelding van een zonnebloem. Maar niets bewoog, niets groeide zoals normaal nu zou gebeuren. Hij pakte de fles van het schap, draaide langzaam de dop er vanaf en rook eraan. Twee ijskoude handen grepen hem ineens van achter bij de schouders en hij voelde die kou door zijn hele lichaam schieten. Hij moest hoesten en het volgende moment hoorde hij iemand verschrikt naast hem schreeuwen om hulp. Daarop voelde hij een warme vloeistof over zijn kin druipen en hij wist dat het niet goed zat.  De vrouw naast hem was Annemiek. Ze pakte hem bij de hand. “Ga je mee, Huub? Het is voorbij. Alles komt goed nu.”


Mijn hart een gatenkaas – My heart a swiss cheese

(English translation to be found  below the dutch version)

 

Mijn hart is een gatenkaas

Bijeen gehouden door een ducttape

Van woede, haat en pijn

En vreemde mensen kijken me aan

En verwachten een zijden gordijn

Over de open wonden

Van gestolen gevoelens.

 

Stukjes van mijn hart

Botweg gestolen

Reden onbekend

Opgezocht en verdwaald

In dikke bossen van leugens

En totale onzin

 

En vreemde mensen kijken me aan

En verwachten een zijden gordijn

Over de open wonden

Van gestolen gevoelens.

 

Stukjes van mijn hart

Verloren aan grijpgrage handen

Van familie en vrienden

Vertrokken met de noorderzon

via ziekte

Dood

En onbegrepen willekeur

 

En vreemde mensen kijken me aan

En verwachten een zijden gordijn

Over de open wonden

Van gestolen gevoelens.

 

 

My heart is a swiss cheese

kept together by a ducttape

of angre, hate and pain.

And strange people look at me

and expect a silk curtain

draped over the open wounds

of stolen feelings.

 

Pieces of my heart

rudly stolen

for reasons unknown.

I’ve looked and got lost

in thick woods of lies

and utter nonsense.

 

And strange people look at me

and expect a silk curtain

draped over the open wounds

of stolen feelings.

 

Pieces of my heart

lost to grabby hands

of family and friends

who disappeared with the flit

through sickness

death

and humanity’s randomness

 

And strange people look at me

and expect a silk curtain

draped over the open wounds

of stolen feelings.

 


Inappropriate strangers; mourning in a small town.

It is hard for me to decribe just how angry I get when strangers approach me about my father’s death. And by strangers I mean people that know of me, but they have yet to have a proper conversation with me. The kind of people that you meet at the grocery store and at work all the time and you feel a need to smile and nod at them just for that reason, but really, you have no clue as to who those people really are. And then my dad dies in this freak accident while he was horsebackriding out in the countryside. Four months later I find myself in line at the register of the local supermarket when one of these strangers feels the need to turn around and actually start talking, or I should say monologing, about my dad’s death to me. So now, all people around me know that my dad died recently and they get these looks on their faces like they don’t really know how to behave anymore. They certainly do not want to get involved in this entirely awkward moment, so they opt to try and avoid any eye-contact with me or the monologuer. This woman just goes on and on about how she, sort of really but not really, grew up with my dad, which was entirely impossible as she was at least a decade younger then him. I just could not stop fake smiling. And all I really wanted to do was bash her head against something just to make the talking stop. It was ruining my one day of the week off by being reminded of this horrible loss in my life, yet again. Meanwhile she kept going, trying to make me believe that there was a connection between us that validated this annoyance from her towards me.

And then the cassier suddenly greets this talking woman, prompting her to shift her entire focus, mid-sentence, back on doing groceries. The talking woman pays and takes off, not even saying goodbye. And just like that, you’re back to being strangers, and I’m left with this miserable memory of my dad’s passing lingering in my head again.

All I wanted of this day was a little bit of peace and quiet, nothing more, nothing less.Instead, I have had to endure another day of being tormented by the memory of my father’s death which in turn remind me of my mom’s death and all related misery that came with both of them.

So I urge all those people who don’t really know me to just keep on smiling and saying absolutely nothing to me. I really do prefer that over the fake condoleances because I am fully aware of the fact that we really don’t have a connection that necessitates, or validates for that matter, any condoleances from you to me and vice versa.

Have a good day and just move the fuck on.

My beloved father Jan Vermeulen † 20th april 2011


Magical dragonflies

I see magical dragonflies
In the smokey puffs of cloud
Illuminated by evening reds and blues

Hues of grey, black
Dancing twirls
They spread out in the sky
Dragontails bewitch my eyes
Show me the winds of faraway

I feel like swimming in between
These puffs of cloud
Swimming after the winds of faraway


The bump in my placemat – One of life’s real little cruelties

There is a bump in the plastic placemat under my keyboard. It’s there because I  put a very hot plate on it once, and the heat from that plate deformed the placemat a little. And so now there is a bump in the placemat. I find myself trying to straighten the mat with my hands all the time. I’ll be spreading one hand out on it as wide as I can, but it’s only moving the bump to the left or right. I’ll get a little frustrated because it’s not working, so I try again with both hands. And I will actually find the bottom of the placemat flat. So I keep my hands there as I look up at my computer screen, and on the way up my eyes catch a glimpse of a bump on the side of the mat! Meanwhile I’m out of hands and I can’t put my head on that bump because  my forehead can’t reach there, so I am sitting here with both hands holding the bottom of my placemat straight, looking at the bump in my placemat , which is successfully escaping to the side and living strong there, for as long as I keep my hands where they are.  Then I get a message on Facebook from a friend and I have to lift my hands to type something back to that friend and the bump moves right back to its comfortable place at the bottom of the placemat, and together with the table the bump actually forms a big ol’ smile. Bump wins…for now!


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