Although I do not like to admit it, a little bruising of the heart does the writing good.

Anytime that I can crank out as much as I have in the last two days is a good time.

Yesterday I went to two museums, took many photographs, edited my book, and wrote a short story.  Today, although not as prolific, I still wrote twice and edited my book.

Here is the short for you:


Pajama Pants


“Listen,” the boy whispered low and urgent in the dark night, two beds down from mine in the long narrow room, “all you got to do is wait until he’s asleep, then slide ‘em out from underneath his head, he’ll never wake up.”

“Lonnie,” the other boy whispered back with a low whine in his throat, “I don’t want to, the pants will bite me.”

“Listen up, Bradford, you fucking little pussy, you fucking get those pants from him or I will bite you.”

I held my pajama pants close to me, the soft flannel of cloth folded over cushioning my cheek.  If I squinted I could just see the outline of a black lion mane on the left pocket to my pants in the bit of dim light that the hallway light cast through the frosted windows of the nursery.

The nurses were long gone to bed and we new boys were left to fend for ourselves against the line of bullies that ran the boys house, the nurse at the front turned a blind eye and sat with her broad white back to the nursery windows face buried in a virtual telly mask watching some late night Bollywood soap opera, the noise of it leaking through the shoddy view mask she wore.

My pajama pants were the last of the things that I had left from my dad.  I cradled them close to my face and nestled my nose into faded mane of the black lion printed on my pajamas, he grumbled in a sleepy roar at me, as he felt my nose nestle into his mane.

Lions were not purring cats my daddy told me, “they are roaring cats, Micah, they are not house cats, like Shasha there,” his papa said pointing to the brown tabby house cat warming mama’s lap as she sat rocking in the silent floating shell chair before the flat screen mono fire.  I could not remember my mama’s face anymore, but I could still see the bright gleam of light off the edge of my father’s glasses—he was old-fashioned like that, wearing glasses.

“Don’t forget that, and the lions will always look after you,” his father bent down to button up the top of the flannel around his neck.

“Now, do you want to hear about the black lion of the Southron Lands or do you want to hear about the Green Striped Saber lion of the Mount Lands?”  His father sat down on his bed tucking in the pneumatic quilt around my feet.

“The black lion, daddy, I like that one the best,” I said and opened up my eyes wider to push back against the wave of sleep that was fast unfurling over me.

“Ok, close your eyes,” my father said then he touched the black lion and the roar of the cat grumbled alive and the narrator’s voice started to talk and the walls shimmered and the vast desert dunes flickered onto the walls of his bedroom lit up with the red-gold glow of the setting Southron Land’s sun.

“Once upon a time,” Lonnie sang in a low mean whisper into my ear trying to pull the pants out from underneath my head.  “There was a little baby who cried all the time about how he missed big dumb daddy.”

Lonnie’s cold nails scraped at my fingers trying to get me to let go of the flannel pajama pants.

“No, please, don’t take my pants,” I pushed at his hands.  “Please, you’ll make the lions mad.”

The black lion shifted under me, I could hear his roar lighting up in his throat I tried to shove him down with my ear, but he pushed, he pushed, and he opened his mouth and roared a warning until I had to lift my ear up off the pants for fear of going deaf from the roar being right against my ear drum.

“Please, Lonnie,” I said my eyes starting to water from looking at the black pupils floating in his white face in the dark of the room.

“Shut your pie hole,” Lonnie said and reached under my head to take the pajama pants from me.

Then he screamed and screamed and screamed as the teeth of the black lion shredded his hand and blood flew in thick gouts across my bowed head.

“Lions don’t like to be messed with,” my father said to me, leaning down to kiss my forehead as I slipped into sleep, “you are always safe when you have your pajamas pants, Micah, I promise.”


The End


I have an idea, one that has been a bounce in my head since I got the inspiration for the little story above, it is to do a collection of shorts.

I want to call it “The Atrocious Alphabet”.

I have two stories so far: The Button Boy and Pajama Pants.

You may have figured out that I like alliteration.  I am prone to it in my poems and it just sort of happened that both stories have alliteration in the titles.  They are Science Fiction of a sort.

I will be the first to admit that I have no clue how to write science fiction, I never have before.  Yet, there is something about being here in Paris that pushes me toward it.

There is something unsettling about being in a completely different city with its different language and customs and movements.  There are all sorts of things that I notice and my eye gets pulled this way and that as I try to take it all in.

Today for more time than I care to admit I was studying a man’s tennis shoes across the room from me.  They are what I have heard be called “trainers” it is partially because I have read UK authors that I know the word for them and they look distinctly different from running shoes in the US.

I get to notice all things.

I am a writer.

I eat experiences.

I suck them up.

I watch unabashed.

Unless I am deep into Henry Miller on the Metro.  Which has been the case for the last day and a half, deep into Miller on the Metro.

Miller is a better companion for my journey through the Paris wilds then was Hemingway, although I am grateful for the juxtaposition of the two authors.  Miller is more my style, more to chew on, more fat and gristle and sinew in the writing.

He is lush and exuberant and rich and almost too much, but not quite enough and how is it that he actually can turn a sentence with the word “turd” in it and it sounds just so, perfect and exact.

He smashes you with words, flouts them at you, buries you underneath the descriptions.  I find myself lost in the thighs of a woman he is describing and unbearably smothered in the erotic and then I look up and I have almost missed my Metro stop and some man with startling grey eyes and white blonde close shorn hair, a septum ring in his nose, and black leathers on is staring at me.

My whole body shocked.

I felt overwhelmed with lust.

Then his eyes dropped and the train ground to a halt and I sprung off, stepping out the door before the movement had stopped and up into the throng moving down the tunnel to the next train and the next sentence and the next page.

Miller’s writing reminds me of standing in front of a vast Delacroix oil painting in the Louvre, my whole body feverish with art, I felt every nerve ending on fire, high, I felt high, really high, blown apart with the oil painting and the emotion.

I shivered with art fever.

It did not help that then after as I finally lurched away from that panoramic painting the next moment I am standing below the spread of Winged Victory.

More fever.

More high.

No wonder I can only do two wings of the Louvre in one go.

It is too much.

Miller is too much in a good way.

Paris is too much in a good way.

I am drowned in images and startled into new ways of seeing things and the words come and she said to me tonight, “just keep writing Carmen, don’t stop writing.”

She’s a sculptor, she has said, without reading a wink of the words that I have written, “you are an artist, go create.”

“I have no money, no resources, no hopes.  I am the happiest man alive.  A year ago, six months ago, I thought I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am.”

Thanks, Mister Miller.

I no longer think about it.

I am.




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2 Responses to “Write”

  1. MD Says:

    try reading ray bradbury’s the illustrated man if you want readable, palpable inspiration in science fiction – plus it’s quite a bit up the alley of what you’ve got here: short, enticing stories. xo!

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