TRAFFIC JAM

I come to a complete halt.
Fifteen mile back-up and hours
in arrears.

Raleigh to Buffalo in eleven and a half,
that was the plan; designated and approved.
A noon departure, destined to render us home
near its midnight counterpart. My heart
wasn’t in for the drive, but I strive to follow
an itinerary that felt hollow and vacant.
Down the on-ramp to the highway,
I stay five mph above the limit making up
minutes; false victory in an age old story.
No glory on a Sunday afternoon. I swoon
as I watch the traffic thicken, and it sickens me
to see red brake lights illuminated,
making me irritated and disgusted.
I trusted my GPS to bring us home,
but I come to a complete halt.
Fifteen mile back-up and hours
in arrears. My greatest of fears
is realized. A desperate maneuver
from the center lane to find an exit.
Closer to “come from” than “near home”
we return to the accommodations to wait
for the early morning “night” to restart our flight
to the promise land and a warm familiar bed.
Can’t wait to rest my head. If I can only keep
my eyes from making me fall asleep.
A change of plans; not in my hands.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

IN THE SHADOW OF FEAR

All instinct will scatter like shards of broken glass.
It’s an age old story; a knack you have developed
that will scald your thoughts and leave you ashen,
but still urges your resolve onward. A sound akin
to the whispering of silent sisters will charm your heart,
but you can be assured it will also crush your spirit.

 

THE SUNDAY WHIRL – WORDLE #40

NOT SO SWEET SUCCESS

Fragrances waft, a gentle meander, floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench stumbles in like an inebriate drunkard who had soiled himself and his reputation; a sad mutation of the upstanding bastard he once claimed to be. Sullied was the air when the seal had been broken. No words were spoken with hands clamped across nasal passages and the message purveyed was one they had seen on more occasions then they cared to account. The numbers mount while teams sans smiles and enthusiasm teem in. Within the home left abandoned and presumed vacant when the owner, Mrs. Beedle was lowered to her rest. The best attempts to contact any family proved to be a futile exercise.

A wise man would have considered the case closed, but their noses were reticent to relinquish the odiferous lingering. Gloved hands carefully fingering along the blood stained walls. The silence was interrupted by the calls from the group investigating the back rooms of this devoid domicile. Confident men and women strode toward the sounds, but found themselves reeling in disgust and horror. They were unprepared. Seasoned veterans stood and stared at the heap of former humanity foisted into the plush rocking chair.

There sat the problem. The decayed remains of a woman slumped clumsily into the furniture. The lavender tatter that was draped across her shoulder disintegrated into powdery residue. The scent was a clue. There was a hint of bouquet the closer the Detectives came to the undone body. Hard and callus men were starting To lose composure. The closure sought for this decrepit soul seemed a long time coming.

And then, the humming.

An almost cheerful tune from the direction of the cellar door. What’s more, the accompanying footsteps fell in syncopation on the creaky boards. Guns drawn and a warning shouted. “Come out with your hands showing!” the cliché came. Another unnamed face peeked through to grace the room. A mid-age gentleman, fifty-ish, stepped forward from the doorway. “Aunt Ginny? You have visitors?” he creepily questioned the lifeless chair dweller. The man from the cellar, hands raised; a surrender unsure, came to stand next to the shell of the woman. His Aunt Ginny. Genevieve Beedle.

“How rude, Auntie”, he leered, “You didn’t offer your guests a spot of tea? Allow me.” Soiled hands clutched for the knob on the old stove, amidst protests and commands to desist. Erwin Beedle couldn’t resist being the “congenial” host. At most, he wasn’t going down alone. The range did not ignite as such. It was much more like an explosion.

New teams were dispatched to investigate the scene. The first thing they noticed was the smell. Fragrances waft, a gentle meander floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench of dead and burnt flesh stumbles in like a demented and feeble minded “caregiver”. The surviving officers shiver when the subject is breeched. Erwin finally reached his pinnacle, of course. The cynical brute took half the force with him.

BLACK CAT

A black cat crossed my path.

I saw him lurking there as I entered the room. His wide piercing eyes stared me down as I approached. The tension in the air was palpable. You could see the trepidation in his gaze. I felt the slightest tremble in my hands.

He caught me off guard when he jumped up on the piano and stumbled along the keys making a dreadful noise. I was relieved when he stepped down off away from the piano, giving me the opportunity to take my seat, still under his watchful eye.

Then he smiled that Cheshire cat smile of his. You know the one that stayed with you long after you parted company?

He ducked from sight for a brief moment, that grin still hanging in the air above him, only to re-emerge clutching his horn. Malcolm Jenkins played a smooth trumpet. His riffs were flawless, his passion was off the charts; his soul reached into the depths of hell to slap the devil into paying attention to his muse.

And as I began to tickle the ivories, Malcolm followed my lead, only to abruptly take charge and bring me along for the ride. We jammed until the wee hours of the morning, and when we were done, the devil and I were on a first name basis. Like I said the Dude was smooth.

A black cat crossed my path.

And it was apparent, that cat could blow!