You learn more from your mistakes than your successes.
So here I am to try, and to fail, so I can learn.
Paul Fail. For The Win!

08 July 2010

#FridayFlash: Jack and Jill Hook Up

Friday Flash
Jack & Jill Hook Up
©2010 D. Paul Angel

Jill went to the bar feeling old, tired, and fat.  The last few months had taken their toll, and she was hoping for something different.  Just some connection with some reasonably decent guy to re-light her fire and get her out of this rut.  At least that's what my friends all think...

Jack looked in the mirror, popped his collar, unbuttoned just one more button so his gold chain shone, and headed for the door.  Tonight is Jack's time to shine!

They each found their way to Mulligan O'Shamrock's, a borderline bar just on the other side of the gentrification line.  The lighting was just dark enough to make everyone look more attractive, but not so dark as to make you look too close.  Neither had really picked it by chance.  She was already at the bar, sipping on her Appletini when he sat next to her and ordered a Fosters.

They talked.  Hesitatingly at first, but then with a bit more ease.  Well, he's not a complete douchebagYou are the MAN Jack! Whoo! Hottest woman at the bar and YOU are talking to HER! then aloud he added, "I'm sorry I couldn't I hear you."

"I said, 'I should probably be going.'  I have work, you know."

"You wanna join me at Jack's place?"

Oh God, did he just refer to himself in the third person she asked herself, though all she said aloud was "Jack's?"

"You know: me.  Jack," he replied, flashing his best grin.  Don't forget the nod.

What the Hell.  At least I won't hesitate leaving in the morning.


Jack paid for both and left a paltry enough tip that he earned a sneer from the bartender on their way out.  They walked to his flat slow enough that it didn't seem like they were rushing, but fast enough that she wouldn't have time to reconsider.  I am so glad I did the dishes and hung some of those little smelling tree things where no one would notice.

I can't believe I'm going with him.  Although, if he was a serial killer, he would be a Hell of a lot smoother.  And I have always wanted a Jack...

He opened the door and let her.  Good God there must be dozens of those damn little car trees stuffed everywhere.  I wonder what he left out that stunk?  She tried not to look too close after that.  I wonder how many Appletini's she had?  "Tequila?" he asked with a sly dog affect.

Anything.  "Sounds good."  After downing a couple shots of Cuervo, she followed his looks to the bedroom, and soon enough was following.  He caught her eye over his shoulder, stopped, turned, and began kissing her up against the wall.

Whoa... well at least he realizes there's more to my body just boobs.

I can't believe she's letting me feel her up!

Never mind.

She pushed him away, but not too hard.  She pulled at his shirt, got it off, and then maneuvered him towards the bed.  I'm in this far, let's just get this over with.  After varying degrees of success she was finally starting to enjoy things.  It really has been a long time she admitted to herself, allowing her to relax enough to enjoy his attentions.

"Like that, baby?" he whispered huskily in her ear.

Well I was... Sort of... But, Really?

"Shh.  Don't talk."

"Okay.  Yeah.  Quiet.  I like that.  Yeah."

Shut up, Jack.

Shut up, Jack.

His efforts increased and she felt herself atop a precipice just about to plunge into a whirlpool of fiery passion when it just stopped.  That's it?  Godfuckindammit!

"I know what you're thinking," he said, laying down next to her, "but we're not done." She needs a man to take care of her, a real man.

Thank God he noticed!

"Don't worry baby, Jack'll hold you all night."


04 July 2010

FridayFlash: An Immortal Question

Friday Flash
An Immortal Question
©2010 D. Paul Angel

It was a Hansen family tradition.  They'd BBQ behind their old Brownstone, load up their plates, then come inside and watch whoever happened to be playing the O's that day.  Grandpa Tyler was sitting in his chair as a singer wholly unknown to him, some Lady or something, sang the national anthem.

His oldest granddaughter, 15 year old Stephanie, announced in a challenging voice to all present, "Well I think the Star Spangled Banner is simply too violent a song to represent a country that claims to be peaceful.  I think America the Beautiful would be a much better choice.  Don't you Grandpa?"

He met her eyes and considered.  A mere 6 months ago she would be looking to him for validation.  Now she was steeling herself for a challenge.  The tie-die top, torn jeans, and the peace sign belly button piercing had taken root since then however.  (The last had sent his daughter-in-law into apoplectic fury, but, however unmentionable it was, it had remained.)  He wondered if he might have judged her a bit too quickly, afraid of yet another disappointment.  She had a strength and determination far beyond expectations.

"Well Grandpa?" she asked exasperated, "I mean I know you like fought in Vietnam, but wouldn't that mean you've seen how idiotic War is?"

"Give your Grandpa a moment, Steph," said his son, whilst arching an eyebrow at him.  These discussion usually just happened, contemplation was for after.

True, he had served honorably in Vietnam.  They just didn't know he had served before that, too.  He had fought in almost every major action the US had fought, including the Revolutionary War when the US was more of a thought than an actual country.  Before that he had been everything from a Viking raider, to a King's Guard, to a mercenary, to that single wrenching cruise as a Conquistidor.  War saw humans at their very worst.  And he'd seen centuries of it.

For an Immortal, however, it was the easiest way to leave one life and start another.  The physical pain he was immune from had not given a pass to the psychological terrors he had eventually accepted.  Knowing that every woman he had loved would die.  Along with his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids, ad infinitum.  Couple that with survivor's guilt and it was a wonder he hadn't snapped after raiding the Incas with Pizarro.  Some of the guys he fought alongside would make it home.  In fact, most of them did.  But he alone knew that he would.  Always.

So he remembered back to a spot not too far from where he was now.  Is that why I always seem to make it back to Baltimore every century or so? he asked himself.  He remembered the field.  The poorly white-washed fence and the lonely herd of cows methodically chewing their cuds.  The crisp smell of grass that punctuated the field at the start was replaced by a butcher-yards stench at the end.  Unlike the last century of warfare, with bullets constantly whizzing past, the Revolutionary muskets fired either as volleys or in small, isolated clusters.  The bullets then were big enough and slow enough that you could catch sight of them sometimes going to and fro across the field.

What he remember most was the men.  The line of young Americans had started the day almost giddy.  They didn't know about the horror of war.  They thought the British arrogant and stupid for parading around in bright red shirts, not realizing that red shirts also hid any blood spilt.  Most of them suffered enormously that day at the hands of the greater disciplined British.  But thought the individuals suffered, their overall sacrifice for an ideal led to a Nation's birth.  The Grand Experiment.  He'd fought for land, women, cattle, minerals, and Gods.  He'd fought for the noble and the greedy, he'd watched atrocities happen and committed some of his own; but this was the first war he'd ever fought in for an idea.

The War of 1812, in which he'd watched D.C. burn from a Frigate, had been the last direct threat to her soil.  Those were the rockets above Fort McHenry of which Key so eloquently wrote.  It was he felt apt, and told his granddaughter such, leaving aside his reminisces and demons.

She looked at him and considered.  It was a counter-view, but not one steeped in the mysticism of "patriotism," nor merely knee-jerk reaction.  "I will consider it," she said with deeply abiding gravity.

"Good," he replied with a new twinkle in his venerable eye, "I look forward to talking to you about it in much more depth one of these days."