Fiction Excerpts

 

****

when you leave me

in the grave

don’t say goodbye

remember a grave is

only a curtain

for the paradise behind

-Rumi

888-555-WING INFOMERCIAL  

By Holly Raychelle Hughes

Are you tired of over-the-counter nano-technologies and prescription plug-ins that promise to enhance your bio-chemical composition, only to find, they merely create an illusion of connectivity? Interested in permanently evolving without the hassles of microchip infusions and outdated fiber optic cables?  Here at Gleam Pharmaceuticals, we’re all about improving your life the natural way. Our state-of-the-art embryonic cross-hybridized grafting techniques, coupled with our prestigious Harvard-educated medical staff’s knowhow can enhance your physicality by just adding wings.

You heard me right, wings! Don’t be tied to yesterday’s silicon-manufactured enhancements and trans-mutating skin lifts. Gleam Pharmaceuticals has what you always wanted. Wings! One hundred percent natural wings!

Our eagle wings are especially popular with the executive set. The harrier, wedge tail, and bald eagle sets are the epitome of virility, power, and cunning. Designed to carry every owner to new heights, the long black feathers enable even the most ardent acrophobic to gain new perspectives and see the earth from superior vantage points.  What’s more, Gleam Pharmaceuticals can customize acrylic claws for our female executives and matching boots can be added for the well-tailored business person.

Do you like getting dirty? Prefer being in the thick of things? Then our insect line may be your perfect fit. In addition to being bullet proof, puncture proof, and water resistant our scarab sets offer smaller and lighter wings under the exoskeleton with a built-in gas mask and mandibles (legally available to armed forces and police only).

Our cucaracha wings are a favorite among firefighters, construction and sanitation personnel for their indestructibility and natural hazard repellent. And our cricket wings are fashionable with vocalists and percussionists.

If you’re interested in our family plan, we’re currently offering a buy two sets, get the kid’s set half-off special. Is your child the four-legged variety? No problem! We’ve got them covered too!

Our fairy and ladybug wings are top sellers among children, petite adults, and domesticated animals. (Note we cannot sell this variety to anyone taller than five feet two inches when standing on two legs or anyone weighing more than one hundred five pounds). The fairy wings come in a variety of garden colors- Irish Moss Green, Morning Glory Purple and Peony Pink, just to name a few. For a minimal additional cost we can manufacture fairy dust to apply after bath time to keep the wings sparkling and maintain their original holographic glimmer.

For those always-on-the-go folks, we offer twelve species of hummingbird wings. These packages include augmented dietary supplements and foot therapies.  Additionally, all hummingbird nutritional supplements are available online at http://www.GleamPharmaceuticals.com. For the ladies who like to look their best, we offer ostrich wings and peacock tails. (Please note we do not recommend mixing and matching our styles without consultation, since that does throw off one’s balance.)

Once you choose your preferred model our highly trained physiologists and psychologists will measure you, profile your specific needs and desires, and assist you through this life transfiguration. With so many styles of wings to consider, there’s no reason to let this opportunity pass you by!

Each set of wings is lab-tested to ensure genetic compatibility. All of our materials are developed right here at Gleam Pharmaceuticals with the freshest American stem cells available. No foreign facsimiles, pesticides, or hybridized organics are used.  Our secure laboratories and sterile measures ensure symbiotic fusion.

The actual procedure, or alignment, takes a mere three days. On day one, we schedule the operation; day two is rehabilitation; and, on day three, we tailor your clothes to fit your new body and fashion you with an elastic body girdle to hold your wings in place during your remaining recuperation. In addition, Gleam Therapies provides cutting-edge flight simulation to learn not only how to fly, but also how to preen and soar with your new appendages!

Though rare, some side effects may occur. Based on testing, no more than eleven percent and no less than two percent of participants experienced certain side effects. Notify Gleam Pharmaceuticals immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Predilection for raw meat, berries, or insects
  • Amplified need to circle
  • Rare and small occurrences of egg laying
  • Hardening of lips
  • Antenna growth
  • Sudden vertigo
  • Molting of skin and nails
  • Desire to tear pillows apart and nest
  • Obsessive preening
  • Inability to recognize closed windows
  • Compulsion to migrate or flock
  • Dive bombing and aggressive driving
  • Obsessive desire to shake tail feathers when aroused
  • Aerial defecation

DISCLAIMER: The above list is not necessarily inclusive of all side effects and is based solely on Gleam Pharmaceuticals protocol and clinical trials. Gleam Pharmaceuticals accepts no liability for the wrongful use of wings or for any consequences experienced due to illegal or negligent flying procedures. Participants hold Gleam Pharmaceuticals harmless in any and all injuries or accidental deaths associated with or related to falling from heights. Gleam Pharmaceuticals clinical trials have shown risks are as low as possible and are worth all potential benefits. Clients are strongly urged to consult with primary care physician beforehand to determine whether a particular wing type is suitable. Wings are not advised for nitrate users. If you take nitrates and fail to inform Gleam Pharmaceuticals it may result in unforeseen fatal consequences.

We’re so sure you’ll love our products we’re offering no money down and no payments for one full year! Take advantage of this chance of a lifetime! Act now!

Visit our website at http://www.GleamPharmaceuticals.com or call 888-555-WING! Our operators are hovering by.

 

POETRY:

Fantasy

Blossoms spring off fingertips

dipped in icicles trickling fragrance skyward.

Music blankly sits and stares as

Potatoes make bets

which ones the Goblins eat first.

 Grandma Died on Friday

 Turning away from you,

turning off the light.

Taking off my dark clothes.

Darkness closes in,

inside out and grieving.

Other good news:

A short story of mine titled Wolf, a Modern Tale,  will soon be published in the moonShine Review. Please order your copy of this amazing literary journal. The issue should be out in June. Here’s a link: http://moonshinereview.wordpress.com/

I am anxiously awaiting word on a personal essay that seems to be getting a bit of attention from an anthology series. I hope they accept my submission so I can give a shout out to that as well.

5 MINUTE WRITING EXERCISE- Write about someone you love in 5 minutes, being as descriptive as you can.

PORTRAIT OF AUNT MARILYN

Petite pixie woman with punk spiked hair, designer shoes and dresses dancing like a stripper with her lips pursed and red in the middle of my brothers bar mitzvah, her children’s, a family wedding or gathering with wood slapped and snuggly fit together.

I envy the way she snaps her gum in her back teeth, the way she says my nickname -Suki- direct – it’s important whatever she is about to come out of her moth. She means it- always punctuated by her hair.

She lives in a small midtown Manhattan with her antiques piled up around her, a cocoon of junk no one can touch or take from.  She goes to Brooklyn every weekend to visit Grandma Jean and her hair done.  I’ve seen it in bee hives, twists and piled up- but always covers her ears. She loves elephants, why doesn’t she like her own ears?

“They stick out Suki.” SNAP.

Her hair is thin and teased and colored and doesn’t move until washed a week later. She juts out her lips and inspects it, gently poking at it with a pick like stale jello.

————————————–

more fiction:inspired by a look into mental illness and The Yellow Wallpaper

“I have lived on the lip

of insanity, wanting to know reasons,

knocking on a door. It opens.

I’ve been knocking from the inside.”

Rumi

 

A letter written as a mad woman:

Deb,

Managing this pen on my back is what is keeping me from disappearing all together. I am a total abyss without this lifeline to you. I fear my smallness, my microscopic self would be crushed by the rolling dust leaning my direction so close to smothering me with its girnormity – so dark it is beneath a shadow husk of some other thing. Perhaps a scale of his skin soaked in vodka or chemical perhaps with vibrancy a petals fragility transferred through heat onto paper or your clothes-

Breathe for me dear friend for my lungs are too small to catch breath and my heart too big to fit into my chest. It leaks. My blood is seeping out from my ribs and knees. The body too small to contain what should pulsate. Breathe quicker! Breathe deeper! The ink is smearing- my footprint erase the lines of letters I am trying to write. Can you still see them on the paper? Are the letters broken lines? I am broken. My toes cracked dragging at the end of my foot and the dust a mountain of waste still threatens to consume me with its pain and its reflection masks me- dresses me up like a doll on a shelf fortifying my identity and eradicating my thoughts are blurred manipulated by this shadow that tells me I am supposed to tell you that I miss you and I am fine when I am nothing like china. An ice pick plunging into ham sweet sticky meant.

Where did I hide your letter? The one in which I tell you how it watches me with the eyes of my father and tells me they are my eyes too and my procrastination to mail this means you will not know the danger you are in being such a good friend. Have you cleaned your kitchen today? Stay away from it with its refrigerator jaws and quicksand floor. The dust waits up high to crush you. It will fall coating the countertops and stove and there is no wiping it away. It grows like fungus. Mold spreads a black plague up the walls and into my lungs. Breathe for me Deb.

With sincere love and devotion,

Your friend Holly

Death’s Door

“Remember what being buried was like?” Robert asked.

“Not really, I didn’t come to until you popped my coffin open,” Mary said.

“You were so funny. You shot up, sat bolt upright and asked me for a shot of tequila,” Robert said leaning back and laughing exposing his lower mandible.

“How many times are you going to tell me that story?”

“Until the rest of my flesh rots off and I disappear into the great unknown,” Robert said.

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