By PDMACpayday loans

Passing Through

The bullet holes in her pack and the shoulder of her jacket told a story I didn’t want to know. Her being so hungry, ravenous you could say, and having dirty hands and matted
down hair you could see she’d been living rough. Had more hair about the face than most women, starting out light on her cheeks and getting redder as it went back. Bright black eyes, not like a regular person. Now you could ask about a tail and find out just how sharp that knife on her belt was. Find out how quick she was too. Damned quick I’d say, from the look of her. With troubles up north some people, especially people who were part something else were making their way south. Keeping to themselves. Being real quiet about it. I’d done that trip a couple or more years back, run across a few other folks who had too. For now, I’ll just buy her two more burgers with fries and be listening when fox-girl wants to talk.

She liked it when I called her Coyote, figured she was from someplace they still told
the Tricksters old stories. She was from no-place on the north west side of nothing, way up in Quebec. She said she hoped her two moms wouldn’t be worried. I thought she meant one thing, but then knew she was meaning was her human mom and her birth mom. There aren’t a lot of people up there. Two dozen trailers maybe, up on a big lake with nothing but forest for miles and miles. Some curious youngsters come out of the woods, and other kids get curious and want to go in. People take in each others children, their kid’s friends. Thats how bonds were made and families grew. I remember it too. Native kids, Quebecois, and forest kids, running like a little tribe. More winters you spend in the trailer more human your ways. Start speaking French and wearing clothes sometimes. Seeing if you liked the people part. Seeing how much you might miss the other.

Coyote was down to a few fries and a glass of ice when she asked if I knew a place she could stay. Better she asked than I offered. “Sure”, I said. “Sure maybe. Most likely you can stay with us awhile. I’ll check with my wife but most likely it’s okay.” Coyote smiled natural now, not afraid to show her teeth. My wife, Claire, got native blood, the daughter of a medicine man, so she recognized me right away when we meet. It was something else, the magic we had back then. Together the two of us pulling from both the earth and sky. She thought it was funny when I asked her to marry me. Man nor boy on that whole damned island was brave enough (or foolish enough) to ask her. We told her folks, and funny thing, they saw it as us being married was about the old ways. Spirit Worlds of man and nature combined. I know Claire misses them. I miss them too, and that way of life.

More than likely the girl staying on with us will be alright, but I’m not fool enough to be bringing home a bottomless pit of a dirty she-fox kid without asking. Couple of months maybe me and Claire be moving on anyway. Maybe out east to the coast, look for a job on a fishing boat. Be spring then and I’ll be going white to brown like I do every year. Leave before anybody starts asking questions. Your hair, your beard, they can go all white and people just think you’re getting old. It don’t work the other way. People start to ask. Yeah, dump the job, screw the boss, screw the rent too and leave. Won’t be first time I’ve been called a weasel.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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The older women give him the evil eye.
He’s draped open mouthed over the most desirable machine in the gym.
It has been twenty minutes. Unmoving he stares into space.
Many now wish to use the machine, finish their work out, and go home.
Men, in various states of awareness, ignore all this.
His upper body moves enough to stare at the athletic behinds of much younger woman.
They dislike him, the older women dislike him even more.
The women and the few men who are not borderline comatose arrive at a consensus.
The man is a fool, beyond oblivious.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Poetry & Essay
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Personality Test

In Sunday’s newspaper there was a test or a quiz. It asked as if it were a bad thing) if you had become your father or someone else. There were several answers to choose from, but I do not remember what they were.

Never became my father, just look like him.
What I became was my uncles. All of them.
My mothers fire and drive, her odd sense of justice.
Her moral code that I live through the shuffled incarnations of
my five uncles. Dead now, everyone one.
The larger than life wildcard, stories full of adventure, who vanished to the west.
The smart and quiet, the resentful one. Self exiled, distant in his anger.
The world traveler! A most accomplished man, who brought home nothing.
Stories he would spin with an elegant ease. So alone in his life.
The youngest one, the damaged fold. Handsome he died so young.
The self proclaimed hero. A bullshitter, so full of himself. People included or
excluded from his ever evolving myth of self at whim.
I stumble through these five daily, like punch-cards shuffled machine quick.
Each with my mothers stubborn optimism, seen through my father’s gentle eyes.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Poetry & Essay
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Denention With Happy Little Trees

“What do you do in art class detention? Do you have to wash out paint brushes, or sharpen pencils, or what?”

“No, we do those things anyway. It’s like a study hall, only really horrible.”

“So you just sit, or do you have to write the names of the Dutch masters five hundred times or what?”

“Worse, way worse. They make us draw the worst things. Cliche art, completely mind numbing bad. We have to do motel art for one thing. You know, sad clowns and big-eyed kids? They threatened one guy, said
he’d have to do a Velvet Elvis! He got pretty upset, so they let him off with some washed out impressionist seascapes. He was actually shaking!”

“Well what about you? What did you have to do, or don’t you want to talk about it?”

“It was funny. They were real serious and told me I had to draw Snoopy. I knew what they wanted, what they expected. Snoopy on top of his dog house, or Snoopy dancing, you know something like that. So what I did instead was the Snoopy balloon, the one that’s used in the Macy’s Parade every Thanksgiving. All those balloons are stored in New Jersey you know, and only brought into Manhattan for the parade. So what I did was a painting of all the balloon handler clowns trying to get Snoopy into the Holland Tunnel. All these clowns straining away, pushing and shoving on Snoopy’s butt. trying to get him into the tunnel. Every clown had my teacher’s face.”

“Uh-ho…. how did that go over?”

“Good I guess. They gave me a pass for next week to use the 3-D printer in the library. I wonder how big I can make it?”

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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Skill Sets

Juan Carlos didn’t grow up around here. He’s from Guatemala so he knows a lot of stuff we don’t. Stuff like how to keep a nectarine peel in one piece, turn it inside out and make a little nativity creche to hang on the tree. With a Sharpie he made a simple version of the scene inside. That’s so cool!
I closed one eye peeked in to admire his work. There were little shepherds with their sheep, three wise-men with gifts, and a tiny manger. But my girlfriend was Mary and Juan Carlos was Joseph! That’s not cool at all!

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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Missed Connections

You – Three thousand dollar MacLaren stroller and sleeping child.

Me – Six hundred dollar car and someone else’s dog.

The light was changing, I rev’d the engine, you flipped me off,
I blew the horn, your child woke crying, the dog went nuts.

Next time, …… coffee?

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under 55 Words / 50 Words, Micro Fiction
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Bus Station

The TV commercial confused me. There were young beautiful people in fluid choreographed motion. Their dancing was perfectly timed, and eyes always connected with the camera.
While in motion they unzipping pockets on themselves and each other. Cooley smiling goofy smiles, flirty smiles, knowing smiles so confident, and like magic personal electronic devises popped from pockets and spun once, then grew on screen. It is unclear to me what these delightful youngsters are selling until a girl with a million dollar smile holds up some twinkling plastic thing, and teasingly calls out “What’s in your technology pocket?” “Oreos” I shout back in a splutter of crumbs.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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Fall Colors

Coming up from behind it wasn’t until the car was close that I noticed
the figure walking ahead was wearing a saffron robe. A muted curry color
that stood out from the fall foliage more by shape than color. A few miles away is a Buddhist retreat center so he wasn’t entirely out of place on this back road in western Massachusetts. He wore a large backpack. On one side it had a vertical sleeve for his full sized umbrella. I very much wanted to imagine it was a sword.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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50 Caliber

“Have you ever seen a 50 caliber bullet?” he asked.
“I don’t think so” I replied.
“Here, hold it. Feel the energy inside” he said.
Heavy in my hand all I felt was death.
Doug Mathewson

Filed Under 55 Words / 50 Words
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“Bad Dux, Bad Dux, What You Gonna Do”

My job was doing a book cover, and the storyline was about duck street gangs.
The editor said it was an important and very significant part of the story that
the gang ducks “bumped beaks” when the greeted each other and
should be prominent in the illustration.
These were not to be messed with ducks, mean streets suzies and drakes every one.
Gang colors just looked cute, and bumping beaks just looked like kissing.
Fingerless gloves were out, piercings don’t look like much,
and tattooed feathers just did not make sense. Nothing was working.
But tattoos on duck feet look great. Blue and black strong dark geometric patterns. Very tribal, and very cool.
Maybe the author would do a re-write and make them head-hunter ducks someplace in a jungle. The back ground could be lush green , and in the foreground fierce warrior ducks, not to be messed with ducks, hardened survivor suzies and drakes every one.
We’d loose the bumping thing, and give them cool necklaces made of shrunken beaks.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Micro Fiction
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