Always Practice Your Imagination. life of an artist
On an ambitious whim I entered a contest for stories that rhyme from a place called NYC Midnight. Eight days to tangle only 600 words from a random assignment. Split into groups, rhymers from all over the world were given a genre, a theme, and an emotion to express in the story. My lucky strike was: Historical Fiction, Wanderlust, and Empty, as parameters.
Above is a picture of a tired pen on a break.
I can't say why I think the notebooks without lines are more useful.
I can say I'm glad I gave this a whirl. It's like a gym membership for the brain, cost me 50 bucks. Thanks for reading.
Mango Peel Roses
Leaving holes as he ran, Curtis Weston was a worldly self-made man. Prospecting for yellow sparkling dust, gold was the cure for his wandering lust. He went up to Dawson, the best boom town, and arrived on the day a circus rolled around.
Anna Birkus was part of that Klondike Circus, her sideshow left folks unsatisfied and curious. A billboard of her wearing just fruit, barely passed with teetotalling groups. The reason her show created a line was that it said, Dancing Exotic Peeler on the sign.
He paid five cents to go to her Tango Show, and soon became romanced. She peeled, cut, ate, and then folded, mango peel roses, by kerosene lamps as she danced!
Abandoning ChilKoot to follow her show, Curtis went in disguise so that Anna wouldn't know, and paid extra for the seat that got the rose. He smelted her a ring but continued with false starts, saved her roses in a folder and pressed them to his heart.
Miss Birkus had invitations in surplus and was protective of her propriety from men who thought she was not high society. She may have said yes, if he he'd just asked it, instead he sent passive aggressive fruit baskets. Never taking credit for her imported limes, he had dined with Anna seventeen times. She didn't mind or didn't realize; she was seeing one man as many, courting Curtis in disguise. Every night they dined: diner ended promptly at nine. Curtis quietly cursed in each town, when they sent in the chaperone clowns.
For all of his wealth, and lands he had plundered, he couldn't dig deep enough to say that he loved her. Not admitting he wasn't Reg, Fred, or Ed, he wooed her with tropical travel stories instead.
But tonight, he would beat those nine o' clock clowns, kneel on the ground, put his disguise to the side and make Anna his bride. After dessert he was ready to blurt that all of her suiters were him, when she leaned in and said,
'You are an inspiration Ted', and gently kissed him near his chin.
This was his chance, and while she'd been kissing, he fumbled for the ring to find it was missing!
Lost was the steam to come clean of his spoof. He needed the ring; it was the proof!
'Will I see you again?" he asked looking down.
"Maybe tomorrow. " Replied Anna, 'We play the port side of town. Thanks for supper. Here are my clowns."
Midday next the Jeweler exclaimed: "This here's a deal! Came in this morning wedged tight in this heel! 'Said she fell at rehearsal, thought it was a sign, set fer' overseas, the Portland left at nine. She mentioned hankerings to see some trees, your luck Sir, she sold this for a dream!'
He glared at the shoe and there on the toe was a perfectly crafted mango peel rose.
Feeling his heart had stopped, he rebought the ring he had dropped.
At the pier in the fog with his book of rinds, Curtis Weston's velveteen mustache drooped on one side. His heart filled with loneliness, knowing he'd lied, he stared out to sea as the ocean changed tides. Anna's shoes stood beside him: yellow ring in his hand, his biggest hole ever was in this gold band. Folding it into his flower peel binder, as the wind changed direction, he decided to find her.