intrinsickness

Intrinsick Mag

Launching November 1, 2015 – Intrinsick Magflowchart

INTRINSICK MAG’s goal is to publish one memorable story per week beginning sometime in November 2015, or whenever we can collect enough quality submissions to ensure our unpredictable standards of quality can be upheld.  Our style is humorous, quirky, unusual, unbecoming, uncomfortable, or, best case scenario, a misguided hybrid of all these. Genre is not important, so long as the story is amusing and unforgettable.  Fiction or creative nonfiction, 2000 words or less. Check www.intrinsick.com for guidelines and more info.

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Brantley

Youth had proven very traumatic for Brantley, as it does for most turtles. He had been born in steaming muck beneath a rotting log, hatching from a leathery egg synchronously with thirty-three of his siblings, all of them clambering over one another toward freedom like a riotous mob. He had a sense of direction, some instinctual behavioral tract that kept Brantley moving, scuttling against thirty-three other muddy little turtles. Emerging from beneath the log, Brantley had been greeted by two hungry raccoons scooping the baby turtles up like treasure. They were brutally efficient, missing hardly a turtle, picking the tiny squabbling pucks up in their inquisitive fingers, lifting them to their mouths, cracking open their still fragile shells in their molars, folding them open with both hands and slurping out the insides like oysters on the half shell. One had reached for Brantley, brushing its claws on the back of his shell before instead grabbing another young turtle as it came from behind and tried to scramble over him. Something drew him away, something kept his tiny legs scrabbling like a wind up toy and pulled him to the water as if a guideline had been tied around his neck.

Brantley escaped somehow, but remained forever traumatized by the experience. For years he had nightmares of raccoons cracking him open like a wiggling nut, slurping out his insides and throwing his empty shell to the deer flies. Brantley hardly slept for three years. Most turtles that live to be three years old don’t sleep at all. No time for sleep in the food chain.

Brantley spent the majority of his youth hiding beneath logs, the best place for a young turtle to be. Brantley was quite good at hiding. Exceptional, even for a turtle.

Florida Box Turtle (by “Jonathan Zander (Digon3)” on Wikimedia Commons)

Posted for the DP Weekly Writing Challenge: Flash Fiction

Walking Meditation

Doobie read somewhere about these crazy monks in ancient China, or was it Japan, that used to walk for miles and miles everyday as a practice in meditation and to better appreciate the moment.  For them the act of walking was like a form of prayer, a beautiful, holy and one hundred percent human act. Doobie really thinks they were onto something.

For Doobie, walking helps him think and concentrate on the issues at hand, and forget the issues that are out of hand, but no matter what it helps him get grounded. It’s the rhythm of the footsteps, the frequency of the gait and the coordination of the arm swings, everything about it helps reconnect him. Sometimes Doobie needs to walk for miles before he starts to feel normal again, ten thousand two hundred and seven steps to be exact (and still counting) in a sort of suspended Zen-like stupor, all brought about by a joint of the One Hit Wonder to the head.

He can’t even remember the start of the walk, although he knows it had to have started somewhere, most likely at his house. All of a sudden Doobie found himself enclosed in a soundproof glass museum case, and the whole world seemed so far away. It was right there in front of him but was still about a million miles away. He knew he had to just start walking with blinders on and without a thought about where he might be going. Just walk and walk, trying not to look too lost or too stoned, and hopefully nobody would try to talk to him. But Doobie doesn’t remember any part of the walk except for the ten thousand two hundred and twenty-six steps, and it’s three hours later and he’s on the other side of town.

He decides he must have been following the train tracks because he’s walking along them now, or hopping from tie to tie, counting each footfall. Ten two twenty-nine, ten two thirty. He wonders how long he’s been following the tracks. It’s like he lost consciousness for the past three hours, like he’s been sleepwalking and woke up all the way across town. It was just three hours ago and suddenly it’s now.

But now is as good a place to be in as any.

Ten thousand two hundred and forty.

Ten thousand two hundred and forty-one.

Monks walking in line (by Wagner T. Cassimiro “Aranha”)


Daily Prompt: Time After Time

Memories

All I remember is spinning donuts in the Carl’s Junior parking lot and barfing out the window at 90 miles an hour. All that’s left now is the sour taste of Jack Daniels and bile and a Carl’s Classic. My shoes and socks are missing in action. It feels like my brain is trying to jail break my head with explosives.

I wake up in the drunk tank with a guy named Hank, an addict with needle marks and tattoos on his neck. He keeps looking at me like I might be made of smack. The metal bench and concrete floor feel refrigerated.

Distant boots echo against every hard surface.

Drive so fast (by Just a Prairie Boy)

Brantley

Youth had proven very traumatic for Brantley, as it does for most turtles. He had been born in steaming muck beneath a rotting log, hatching from a leathery egg synchronously with thirty-three of his siblings, all of them clambering over one another toward freedom like a riotous mob. He had a sense of direction, some instinctual behavioral tract that kept Brantley moving, scuttling against thirty-three other muddy little turtles. Emerging from beneath the log, Brantley had been greeted by two hungry raccoons scooping the baby turtles up like treasure. They were brutally efficient, missing hardly a turtle, picking the tiny squabbling pucks up in their inquisitive fingers, lifting them to their mouths, cracking open their still fragile shells in their molars, folding them open with both hands and slurping out the insides like oysters on the half shell. One had reached for Brantley, brushing its claws on the back of his shell before instead grabbing another young turtle as it came from behind and tried to scramble over him. Something drew him away, something kept his tiny legs scrabbling like a wind up toy and pulled him to the water as if a guideline had been tied around his neck.

Brantley escaped somehow, but remained forever traumatized by the experience. For years he had nightmares of raccoons cracking him open like a wiggling nut, slurping out his insides and throwing his empty shell to the deer flies. Brantley hardly slept for three years. Most turtles that live to be three years old don’t sleep at all. No time for sleep in the food chain.

Brantley spent the majority of his youth hiding beneath logs. It was the best place for a young turtle to be. Brantley was quite good at hiding. Exceptional, even for a turtle.

My Muse

There is a crazy lady sitting across the little cafe patio from me. She is laughing and talking to herself, sipping something out of a paper cup that may or may not be coffee. She has headphones on but they are not plugged into anything. She seems to be singing along to her own soundtrack.
Naturally I take my journal out and start to write, her antics having stirred my creative juices into motion. She begins eyeing me suspiciously. She stands up and begins to rearrange all the empty chairs near her. She takes something out of her pocket that looks like a wet t-shirt and begins slapping it on the tables. She is kicking chairs out of the way and slapping the tables as she approaches me, SLAP, SLAP, SLAP. She is still speaking to somebody, perhaps even herself.

What am I writing? she asks, more accusation than question.  I better not be writing about her, she screams.

Of course I write this all down in my notebook, and tell her I am writing a poem about the woman I love.

This seems to satisfy her and she gets a dreamy look in her eyes, like I have just reminded her about something long forgotten. She nods her head and walks away, throwing her paper cup and wet t-shirt in the trash, her untethered earphone cord swinging behind her.

I put my pen down finally, my inspiration gone. The muse has left me behind again.