The Start of Something*

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*Yeah, so, I got inspired today. This idea may be what I use for NaNoWriMo this year. Still percolating now. Here’s a preview of my thought process of this new character.

You already know the world is just…fucking with us, right?

Know what I mean? Guy comes home with great fucking news that he’s been given a raise, got some promotion, got a bonus or something he didn’t know about. What does his wife tell him? They got some bill that insurance doesn’t cover that basically swallows up the amount of the raise or bonus.

You have a weird fucking dream about some girl you wanted to bang in high school. Two days later, she’s with her kids in front of you in line at the store. This shit always happens and I know for a fucking fact it isn’t just to me.

I’m a writer. I mean, that’s what I tell my mother when she asks how work is going. It’s what i wrote under my name tag at the fucking lame-as-hell reunion I decided to attend a few weeks back. Stories about writers are really getting outta control. Problem is, I have fucking rent due like the rest of the world, and I’m fucking done with mindless bullshit jobs. Just about everything after this paragraph is true.

I told you I’m a writer. That, truthfully, is bullshit. I mean, yes. I’m writing right now, and you might actually be reading it. Before you had the chance to read it, though, I wasn’t a real writer. Like, I mean, italicized Writer. I was waiting tables for a while and trying to write. I took a few classes at some nameless college twenty miles from here and that made me write for a while but I stopped going because, well, I thought I’d learned what I needed to learn.

The Canadian Goose

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The Canadian Goose

Steve Lively

A misty rain splattered the windshield as our speed increased after passing through Middleton, a dying gray town littered with dumpy taverns and liquor stores. Gene was driving us to the lake for his wife’s annual office retreat. My wife, Gene’s daughter Lacey, sat in back with her mother. Gene was a retired biology teacher, which occasionally had its benefits during most of the conversations we had while driving. Every now and then, his bony index finger would suddenly be inches in front of my eyes as he directed my attention to a deer, a hawk, or a particularly rare type of tree. For the final category, I was also informed that I don’t see those around much anymore.
“See that, Ryan?” he asked.
“What?”
“That goose back there beside the road,” he said.
“No.”
“Well, it’ll be there when we come back.”
And the conversation soon turned to something else. Sports, most likely.
By the evening return ride home, the rain had subsided, but I was prepped for the goose this time. “It’ll be on your left. Just past this bridge.”
I didn’t have time to respond before I saw it.
“How does it just stand there?” I asked. The goose was beside the road, probably no more than eight feet from any car or truck that passed by. Any other living thing would have flown or scampered away at the ominous threat of a passing vehicle.
“It’s a Canadian goose,” Gene said. “It’s lost its mate, I’d imagine.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’ll stay there almost indefinitely.” He rubbed his chin. “Its nature is to stand stone still until it’s found its lost mate. I’d imagine the mate was hit back there, seeing how that one’s facing the road.”
A crisp silence fell between us in his white sedan for the next mile, and I saw that Lacey and her mom were asleep in back, but Gene was notorious for changing the mood of the car with a corny joke, an anecdote, or a question. “So, you goin’ to any games this summer?” Gene loved baseball and our shared obsession with the Cubbies superseded over any flaws he might have seen in me.
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