In my yoga practice, I try to switch things up to keep it interesting. When I find myself less than mindful or engaged in my practice, I do something to re-inspire myself. I might try a new studio or seek out a different type of yoga. I try to breathe some new life into it by creating change. It works.
This weekend I found myself less than enthusiastic about my blog. I was uninspired. I thought about drumming up a guest blogger or finding a reason to skip a week. Those options felt like a cop out. I needed inspiration. So I went to my fellow bloggers and looked at what they were doing. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for.
My inspiration came in the form of The Tipsy Lit Flash Fiction Contest. Tipsy Lit is a blog that seeks out gritty, raw writing – something very different than what I have been doing here. The challenge to Flash Fiction is that it is short with a 500 word limit. Below you will find my submission, a figurative splash of cold water on the face of my sleepy blog.
The room came slowly into focus as Timothy surfaced from his nod. Seeing the low drop ceiling with creeping stains he remembered he was in Yvette’s sagging bed. To his right, he noticed she had gathered his works on the night table in a neat pile. Last night had been a desperate sweating scramble to get his dope.
Getting up, he was careful not to wake Yvette, whose wet snores ripped through the room. Everything about her repulsed him. Her stick thin, bruised legs and ridiculous choice of crop tops that allowed her bloated mid-section to bunch and jiggle with every move. Her stringy ponytail worn on the side of her head in an effort to appear youthful that only succeeded in making her look demented. The way she clung to his arm, throwing back her head in a throaty laugh that exposed her missing molar and ended in a wheezing cough. And especially the way she would turn her fleshy and worn face to him thrilled and expectant.
Her apartment harbored the aroma of cat pee cloaked in cheap air freshener. There was a cat that lived there but Timothy had yet to see it. It hid under the couch and let out a low growl if anyone came near. A cage in the living room housed two parakeets that constantly squawked and furiously batted their wings. Then there was Butch, an old crooked dog with cataracts and breath like a sewer. When the animal was awake, he shuffled behind Timothy from room to room.
Since they met, Yvette clung to Timothy. She shared her disability checks and rationed out her dope. He came and went as he pleased and she never complained as he drank all her beer. When he showed up on her doorstep at 3 a.m. shaking for a fix, she welcomed him in.
Now he needed to get out of there. Timothy moved into the kitchen where she kept her purse and flipped on the fluorescent light. Squinting in the winking glare he found her wallet and pulled out the bills. Stuffing them in his pocket he reached for the light switch and stopped short.
“Jesus, Butch, I almost stepped on you.” Butch was laying on the kitchen floor panting hard. His water and food bowl were empty. Timothy crouched down, folding his tall bony frame to scratch the old mutt behind the ears. “You thirsty buddy?”
He filled one bowl with fresh water and scooped kibble into the other. While he was at it, he got water and food for the cat and the birds too. He felt for the animals. He couldn’t imagine being trapped like that.
When he was done he moved quietly back into to the bedroom and eased open Yvette’s top dresser drawer. He found the white baggy he was looking for and tucked it in his sneaker. Without looking back, Timothy walked through the fetid rooms fleeing into the fresh pink dawn of the morning.