Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Seventh and FINAL Installment!

Here it is, folks! Albeit a day late... So, technically I have failed in my quest to write an installment a day, but I still think that writing 7 pieces in 8 days is a pretty good accomplishment... It's like I kept the Sabbath day holy, except that it wasn't the Sabbath, it was Tuesday... And it wasn't holy, I just went out to see my friends play at the Sub-t and got a little drunk...

Whatever, it doesn't matter at this point! Please look forward to a full, re-worked version of these in the next couple of weeks, and look even more forward to my next project/endeavor, which will be a collaboration of sorts that I will tell you about after you read this...


“You’ll never guess what happened to me…” Shawn said as he walked into the restaurant.”

“Oh, whatever,” Maria brushed off her co-worker. “Like I care, my friend just came in and bled her heart out to me…”

“Fine then” Shawn said in a snooty tone, waiting for Maria to pick up on the fact that he had something juicy.

“Fine!” Maria said through a long sigh, “what happened?”

“She asked me out!” Shawn was giddy, as if he were the winner of some surprise raffle at an elementary school.

“What?!” Maria asked, dumbfounded.

“Amy… The super-attractive woman from the other night who was ‘too old for me…’ She asked me out…”

“What?” Maria repeated herself, genuinely surprised. “You can’t be serious…”

“I’m incredibly serious…” Shawn reassured her. “She came back in after you left…”

“When you closed for me?”

“Which reminds me,” Shawn said nonchalantly, “Thanks for that…”

“Oh my God,” Maria sighed, “You HAVE GOT to be kidding me…”

“No,” Shawn insisted, “I’m serious… She came back in, just like we joked about, and asked me out…”

“And?” Maria asked, ready for juicy details.

“We went out last night…” he said with a shrug, knowing that she would pry for more.

“I can’t believe she just came back in…” Maria shook her head, truly dumbfounded. She stared off in thought for a minute before she looked back at Shawn and said, “I’m amazed…”

“Hey,” he said defensively. “It’s not SO surprising… So, what happened with you friend? Someone was bleeding in here?” He changed the subject.

“Bleeding her heart out… My friend Jeanie was in here complaining about her former lover.”

“Hot-Jeanie who makes clothes?” Shawn casually confirmed.

“Yeah, the one who owns the boutique down the street from here. She saw this guy today who she had a fling with a few months ago, and apparently she’s not over him since he came into her shop earlier…”

“He just showed up unannounced?”

“He was delivering a package,” Maria explained. “He’s the UPS guy…”

“She snogged the UPS guy?” Shawn laughed. “That’s so cliché…”

“Oh whatever,” she sighed. “Who are you to talk? You’re hooking up with random, older women you serve at your tables…”

“I fail to see the negativity here…”

“Fine,” Maria was annoyed. “You’re an idiot. See it now?”

“Nope, I don’t see that either…”

“Shut up,” she laughed. “So what happened with your sexy, older woman? Did you guys ‘snog’ yet?”

“You know, if you ever stopped making fun of or belittling me, Maria, I think I’d probably start to worry about you…” he told her, sounding completely honest. “And the answer is no, we haven’t. It was only one date… BUT, we’re going on another one tomorrow.”

“So, does she have babies and stuff?”

“No kids, never married,” he grinned.

“What’s wrong with her then?” Maria feigned concern. “Venereal disease?”

“No,” Shawn laughed. “Nothing’s wrong with her. She dated this one guy for five years, and hasn’t really met anyone else since they broke up.”

“Why’d they break up? Maybe she’s crazy, or super controlling.”

“Or MAYBE, she found out he was screwing one of her best friends…” Shawn said. “And she found out that it had been going on for almost a year after she caught him.”

“Wow,” Maria let up a little. “That really sucks. Maybe she wasn’t very good in the sack…”

“Okay,” Shawn waved his hand in front of her, “Give it a rest.”

“You’ve got a table,” she nodded over to a couple who had just sat down up by the front door.

“Ooo, I still need to punch in.” Shawn went over to the computer after Maria moved out of the way, clocked in, and then ran his fingers along the collar of his shirt to make sure it was straight. He started to walk over to the table, but stopped and looked back at his co-worker. “Hey, do you have a pen I could borrow?”

“Here,” she picked up the pen that was sitting next to the computer and handed it to him, “Jeanie left this one.”

“Ew, bite marks,” he said as he took it. “Are they from her?”

“I have no idea,” Maria said, sounding annoyed again. “I haven’t been following the pen around all day…” She shook her head.

“Whatever,” he said, scratching at a piece of paper with the pen. “It doesn’t matter anyways, it’s dead.” He looked up and shrugged before he tossed the pen into the garbage can a few feet away from them. It fell to the bottom alongside empty wine bottles, napkins, and scraps of food, without making a sound.

Shawn walked over to greet his table, and the pen stayed where it was until the garbage can was full, and a busboy took the bag out back to the dumpster, hurling it into the heap of other bags waiting to be picked up.


Thank you all once again for reading! It really has been amazing to hear your comments, and it feels wonderful just to be writing again.

And now, that collaboration I was talking about...

Will there be more fiction? Yes. Will it be in installments again? Yes. Will there be a musical soundtrack to go along with it? Yes. Whaaaaaaa?!?!

That's right. I'm teaming up with my dear friends, Mr. Daniel Swick and Sir Brian Lewis-Jones, to bring you longer and more polished installments (this time on a weekly basis instead of a daily one), which they will write songs to go along with/influence/inspire each one. We are very excited about this project, and you should be too, because Dan and Brian are amazing musicians.



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Sixth Installment!

Holy shit, I'm feeling a little impressed with myself at this point... This is probably the quickest written installment so far, and yet again, I am posting something that is completely unedited. Sorry if it's a little sloppy, but I had to work tonight, and I just pumped this out on the super-fly after I got home. Rest assured, dear reader... I plan on revamping all of this after the last installment is posted tomorrow, and putting together a very well polished, complete story that I will post for your enjoyment on a website somewhere. Thanks again for reading...


Jeanie sighed deeply as she walked into the restaurant down the street from her boutique after she had closed up for the day. She plopped down at the table closest to the door.

"Hey gorgeous,” grinned her friend Maria, approaching the table, “Can I get ya something to drink? Glass of wine?”

“You’d better bring me something fast,” Jeanie was frustrated, “I got something to tell you…”

“Let me be right back then,” Maria sounded a little worried as she rushed off towards the computer, where she rang something in and waited by the bar for a moment.

“You’ll never guess who I saw today,” Jeanie said, reaching out her hand as Maria came back with a glass of red wine.

“Oh baby, that doesn’t sound good… Who was it?”

Jeanie took a long swig from the glass, and then set it down before she said, “Matt the delivery guy…” She couldn’t even look her friend in the eye, she just studied the grain of the wood in the table.

“As in, Matt the sexy delivery guy who used to come into your shop and fool around with you even though he had a girlfriend?” Jeanie nodded. “Like, the same one who used to tell you all of those wonderful things and talk about how great you guys would have it after he left that girlfriend?”

“That’s the one…” Jeanie nodded again. “The last time I saw him was three months ago, and at that time, he treated me like a goddess.”

“And today?” Maria asked, already knowing the answer.

“Today? Today, things were going ‘really well’ with that girlfriend of his…” Jeanie’s face was turning red.

“Damn,” Maria said comfortingly, rubbing her friend’s back. “Babe, you gotta start taking a closer look at these guys you meet…”

“I know!” Jeanie said through a sniffle. “I guess that’s just what I get for fooling around with the delivery guy!” Maria rubbed her back a little harder as her elbows were almost digging into the table.

“Hey, don’t worry about it… You know you can find someone better than him… He’s just a delivery guy, for Christ’s sake…”

“I know he is,” tears were starting to stream from Jeanie’s eyes as she went on, “but he really was great… I’ve never had a guy make me feel so good about myself, even if he only ever did it in the middle of the day, and in the back room of my shop…”

“Shh,” Maria cooed to her friend while she looked around, surveying the restaurant, and was actually happy that no one else had come in yet. “Just relax, Jeanie. No matter how good you THINK he was, he couldn’t have been that great if he isn’t willing to treat you that same way in public… And besides, if he had a girlfriend when he did what he did… What do you think he would’ve done to you?”

“I know you’re right…” Jeanie’s tears were falling onto the wood-grain she was studying. “But it doesn’t make it any easier…”

“Look,” Maria said, “I know it sucks, but you just need to relax, and stop putting so much emphasis on finding the perfect guy.”

“What do you mean?” Jeanie asked, downing her glass of wine.

“I mean that you think so much about finding someone who’s going to be everything you’ve ever wanted, that you over-hype anyone who’s above average… Want another?” Maria picked up her friend’s empty glass, and Jeanie nodded.

Maria walked back over to the bar, said something quietly to the bartender, and brought Jeanie back another glass without ringing anything in. “Here you go, babe,” she said, setting the glass down on the table, which Jeanie had wiped dry with her shirt sleeve.


They were quiet for a moment, and Maria sat down on the bench next to her friend while Jeanie drew an imaginary design on the table with the tip of her finger before picking up the glass and taking another drink.

“I think I just need to meet someone brand new, someone fun,” she said after she set her glass down again.

“I think you’re completely right, sweetie,” Maria spoke genuinely. “Someone OUTSIDE our circle of friends…”

“Yeah,” Jeanie said, swirling her wine around in the glass. “You know anyone besides the normal crowd?” She asked with a little too much hope in her voice.

“No…” Maria laughed. “Only the schlubs that work here,” she said, “and I don’t think you’d wanna waste your time with any of them…”

“Well keep your eyes peeled, because I’m definitely on the market…” Jeanie started to tear up again.

“Hey,” Maria started rubbing her friend’s back again. “It could be a lot worse, you know…”

“I know,” Jeanie said. “I just don’t know why it’s been so hard to get over him… I really was feeling just fine until he walked into my shop today carrying that box…” She took another drink from her glass.

“Well, if you really think he’s something special, for some reason… You should tell him, even if things are going ‘SO GREAT’ with his girlfriend…”

“No…” She sniffled again, “I just need to get past it… Like you said, if he did what he did while he had a girlfriend, how would it be if we were actually together?” Jeanie shook her head while her composure was slipping.

“Do you need something to eat, babe?” Maria asked while her friend was almost through her second glass of wine.

“No,” Jeanie said, “I need to get going, actually… I’m supposed to be meeting up with some people later. I just wanted to stop in really quick for a drink…” She downed the rest of her glass.

“Well,” Maria said slowly, “you just had two…”

Jeanie pulled her wallet out of her purse and fished out her credit card. “Here, just run this,” she said as she handed it to Maria.

“Okay, it’s two-for-one today,” she winked before she walked over to the computer to close out her friend’s tab.

“You’re the best, babe,” Jeanie said as Maria set down the credit card slip in front of her.

“Shit, I forgot to bring you a pen…” She started to walk back to the server station, but stopped as her friend spoke.

“Don’t worry,” Jeanie said, “I have one here.” She dug into her purse to produce the pen Matt had left, complete with her bite marks on it. She quickly signed the slip, tipping her friend five dollars for the two glasses of wine she had drank. She set the pen down on the table and stood up to leave. “Thanks, Maria…” she said as she wiped her hands off on her jeans, even though they weren’t dirty.

“No problem, babe. Don’t you want that?” She nodded back to the pen on the table.

“Not at all,” Jeanie said through a laugh, even though she looked like she might cry at any moment. “Matt left it in my shop earlier…”

“Well then,” Maria said with confidence as she walked her friend to the front door, “We’ll just put it to use here. Take care of yourself, will you dear?” She looked concerned.

“I’ll be fine,” Jeanie only half reassured her. “Don’t worry…”

“Okay…” Maria said slowly. “I’ll stop by your shop tomorrow.”

“Thanks babe, you’re the best…”

Maria held open the door for her friend, and didn’t drop it until Jeanie was almost ten feet down the sidewalk.


The LAST INSTALLMENT will be written and posted tomorrow...


Monday, June 2, 2008

The Fifth Installment!

Here it is, people... We're more than halfway down now! Only two more left to write...


Matt woke up a little early in the morning to make Zoe breakfast, and she woke a little later to the smell of pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs.

“Mornin’ babe,” he said as she sleepily walked into the kitchen in her baggy, flannel pants and an old t-shirt.

“Good morning,” she yawned, and sat down at the table. He made a plate and set it down in front of her before making one for himself.

“Got anything exciting going on today?” He asked as he made his own plate and took the other seat across from her.

“Nope,” she replied with a smile. “Just school, and then spending some time with you tonight.”

“Well,” he joked, “lucky you…” Zoe just smiled even bigger and stuck a fork-full of food in her mouth. After breakfast, they both got ready quickly, and left their apartment at the same time.

“Have a good day,” she said as they walked down the stairs.

“You too, babe. Hey, do you have a pen I could borrow? Someone stole mine yesterday…”

“Sure thing,” she dug through her purse for a moment before pulling out the pen she had gotten the day before, and handed it to him.

“You’re the best,” he told her before they each went to their cars.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm, which Matt enjoyed immensely on his way to pick up his delivery truck. His job was so much more pleasant when the weather was nice, and he was ecstatic that they were finally starting to see some signs of summer. He drove with to work with his windows down.

He drove a pretty regular route, stopping at a lot of the same businesses, and this day wasn’t much different from any other. He did have one slightly irregular stop though, which he wasn’t happy about.

As he walked into the boutique, which specialized in women’s jeans but also did plenty of other clothing, the owner looked up instantly with the chime of the door and looked all too happy to see him.

“Well, if it isn’t Matt the delivery guy?” She said with her hands on her hips.

“Hi Jeanie,” he said over the large box he was carrying that came up to his chin. “How are you?”

“Me?” She asked melodramatically, putting her hands on her chest. “I’m doing fantastic! How are you?”

“Just fine, thanks. Where can I put this for you?” He shifted his weight uncomfortably.

“Would you mind bringing it into the back?” She asked, tossing her hair a bit.

“Not at all,” he sighed as he realized that there wasn’t anyone else in the boutique with her.

“So, we haven’t seen you in a while…” She said as he followed her back into the concrete storeroom, which doubled as her workspace.

“Yeah,” he said, sounding a little frustrated, “I guess no one’s been using UPS the send things to you… Can I set this here?” He nodded towards some other boxes off in the corner.

“Oh, that’s fine.” She watched him intently as he set the box down, and grinned when he walked towards her to have her sign for the package. “So, whatcha been up to lately?” She asked nonchalantly when he handed her the slip she had to sign.

“Not much,” he told her through a sigh, “just working a lot and spending time with my girlfriend…”

“The teacher?” Jeanie asked with a hint of jealousy. “That still going on?”

“Sure is…”

“Gotta pen?” She shook the paper, and reached her hand out before he even responded.

“Yeah,” he avoided eye contact as he took the pen Zoe had given him out of his pocket and handed it to her.

“So,” she said slowly as she signed the paper. "You gotta get right back to work? Or do you wanna hang around for a while?” She waited to give him back the paper and stuck the end of the pen in her mouth.

“I don’t think that’s such a great idea,” he said, finally looking her in the eyes.

“And why not, Matt?” She asked, staring right back at him. After a moment of no response, she frustratingly asked, “Well?”

“Look, I’m sorry Jeanie,” he pleaded. “But things are going really well with Zoe now, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that, okay?”

“Zoe…” She pretended to sound confused, “Is that her name?”

“Come on, Jeanie. Cut the shit…” It was obvious that she was succeeding in making him uncomfortable.

“Well, it’s kinda hard, Matt… Given that it was only about three months ago that you were still fucking me. Remember that? A lot of it happened right here, in this very room.” She put her arms in the air and looked around at each of the walls.

“I know,” he sighed again, “and I said I was sorry…”

“Sorry?” She cut him off. “Sorry for what? Do you regret it?”

“No, Jeanie. I don’t.” He was raising his voice. “But I was going through some shit then, and it probably shouldn’t have happened. And even though it did, it REALLY can’t happen again. Can I have the paper please?”

She thrust the paper she had signed into his chest, but started chewing on the end of his pen again.

“So,” she said, calming down a little. “Are you just gonna be off then? Not to return until months down the road when there’s another package to deliver?”

“I don’t think it would be the best thing for me to just be casually dropping by here, okay?”

“Why? Because of Zoe?”

“I told you things were going really well now…”

“Oh yeah,” she said sarcastically. “I’m really happy for you… For BOTH of you…”

“Whatever…” he said in defeat. “I have to get going, my truck’s in front of the fire hydrant.” He turned around and left the storeroom without waiting for her response.

“Well,” she said, following him back into the boutique, “you’re always welcome to drop by, Matt… Even if you don’t have a package to deliver.”

He stopped with his hand about to open the door and looked back at her like she was crazy. “Thanks Jeanie, but don’t count on it…”

He opened the door, and had one foot on the sidewalk before she hollered after him, “You forgot your pen!”

Matt didn’t even bother to look back at her, or even slow his stride as he said, “Keep it, it’s been in your mouth.”

Jeanie just bit down harder on the plastic as the door fell shut behind him.