Selected Stories From Rose

“Dancing Is For Fools and Cows”

I suppose that’s been the constant in my life, falling for the wrong girl. The physical rush the tightness of your skin when you see that one perfect person. The delicate dance that leads to a split from all that came before. Neglecting friends and health, family and those pets you somehow collected when the prior lovers waltzed out of your life. All for that singular moment of connection when all seems possible and the future spreads out beneath you like raven hair on silk sheets. Of course mine are cotton bought on sale and washed once a month. Could that be it? My skills in housekeeping are a constant source of amusement for those that choose more than a night’s stay. But really, should it be a deal breaker, the cause of the inevitable split of affections once given so freely and now parceled out as if quarantined under threat of doom?

You’ll have to pardon my hysterics I’m not usually this way. My friends, once I crawl back to them, congratulate me on my narrow escape. ‘The Houdini of Love’ and they toast me at the local bar where we all meet after work. The same faces I’ve missed for months or weeks or days; sometimes hours. I am a constant source of amusement and slight wealth for the one who is victorious in the betting pool. Watching the television slung over the shelves of liquor, exotic labels sweep the senses to proclaim that this was the last one. No more random glances; no more lustful longing for entangled limbs on unwashed sheets. Shot after shot chased with tangy wings and blue cheese, I make progress mending the split in my heart.

Parfum and high heels and lowered eyelashes; I may be drunk, but she issues a challenge and I accept. For if dancing is for fools and cows, at least my constant efforts to find love have taught me many a new step.

By Rose Dewy Knickers, March 17th, 2008

She wore red on Tuesdays, blue on Thursdays and nothing at all on Saturdays. She only dated men with names that started with L and only had sex with men born in a month with three vowels. She sang every Wednesday unless it was odd-numbered. Exercise was every third night as long as it wasn’t dark. She always purchased white cars with tan interiors but never drove faster than forty miles an hour.

She was employed by a boutique and sold designer leather goods. She was very popular with her clientèle because she’d model anything for sale. Except on Mondays when she was off and would cover her body with melted bittersweet chocolate. Every six months she would invite a random group of strangers to greet the sunrise at the beach. She wore her hair long except on Sundays when she played the violin in the park.

Everyone knew of an eccentricity or two, but she never shared the fact that she was normal. She had more fun that way.

By Rose Dewy Knickers, March 14th, 2008

“How much longer Clotho?”
“Are you getting tired?”
“Atropos always gets tired, haven’t you figured that out yet?”
“At least I don’t complain about how short my rod is Lachesis.”
“As if you’ve had a rod recently. I mean look at you Atropos!”
“You’re a fine one to talk Lachesis. You’re the one who suggested this place.”
“Will you two quit your bickering. We don’t have all day you know.”
“Who made you the boss crone Clotho? We have nothing but time. Remember?”
“Lachesis, Atropos, just because we’re the Immortal Fates, doesn’t mean time is on our side.”
“Fine, have it your way, but I need a rest.”
“I hate to agree with Atropos, but she’s right. I did suggest this place, but why are we walking Clotho?”
“Because it’s good for our health.”
“What?”
“It’s good for our health and muscle tone. Plus it works to burn off excess fat. I read about it in the latest issue of Cosmo.”
“I think the heat from the sidewalk has finally addled your brain Clotho. That has to be the dumbest thing you’ve ever said!”
“As opposed to you asking where the chariots for hire were Lachesis?”
“How was I supposed to know that Caesars Palace was a gaming hall and not a temple? This place is obscene! I had no idea when I saw the ad for Las Vegas that it was such a cesspool of greed.”
“If we’re ever going to regain our powers, the threads lead to the place.”
“That may well be our fate Atropos, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.”
“Lachesis, our time is long gone in the history of man. We are no longer entwined with human affairs and our existence is but a shadowed memory. No one even thinks twice about their span of years. Humans believe they are immortal.”
“Well said Clotho, but do you really think we have one last chance?”
“Yes Lachesis I do. Shall we resume our trek?”
“Oh very well. How many more monstrosities do we have to pass?”
“Only a few more Atropos, you’ll like what you see.”
“I doubt that, but lead on Clotho.”
“We should have arrived in one of those carriages, my feet hurt.”
“That’s because you’re not wearing the proper footwear Lachesis.”
“Don’t tell me Clotho, in Cosmo?”
“No, it was in Rolling Stone.”
“I shudder to think what Zeus would have to say about you Clotho.”
“As if he never dallied amongst humans Lachesis. I live in the present and I have to say, it’s enjoyable. Ah! Here we are at last. Behold our future!”
“The Golden Nugget Presents The Crones? This is our future? Have you both gone daft?”
“No Lachesis, we are not both daft. We have a six month contract to perform on Freemont Street.”
“Perform what Atropos? Magic tricks? Juggling? And what kind of name in ‘The Crones’?”
“I like the name, it suits us.”
“No it doesn’t Clotho. How about The Supremes or the Four Seasons?”
“There’s only three of us Lachesis.”
“Don’t get technical with me! You know what I mean. Even I know that crone is derogatory word in this time and place. If you’re so hip to the present Clotho, you’d know that as well.”
“Then what do you think our name should be Lachesis?”
“Well Atropos, since you and Clotho are so enthused about this gig, how about we have a contest?”
“What type of contest do you have in mind?”
“Watch and learn. Hello there. Yes you, out there on your computers. I can see you reading this story. A neat bit of fiction you thought. I understand you don’t believe in us, yet here you are, watching as we weave the thread of your life. Shall I show you your length of years? No? Strange that, you humans haven’t changed after all. Still reading? Good, because my contest is for all of you, all of Rose’s friends. I want you to suggest a name for us. A modern name, something Clotho would like, something snappy and clever. Something befitting our stature as icons. To the winner of this contest, I’ll make sure that Clotho spins a longer thread for you and that Atropos has dull shears when it comes time. Does that sound like good odds to you? After all, we are the house and we always collect in the end.”

By Rose Dewy Knickers, March 5th, 2008

“Tails and Taxis”

Three young rats with black felt hats was not a common sight, even for those jaded New Yorkers bustling through Times Square. They were ordinary city rats, wily and plump, but on this afternoon, they had set up in front of the TKTS booth and were actively engaging the queue of weary tourists. The expressions were comical to behold as the bemused crowd tried, without much success, to adopt the sang-froid of the locals. Various children, enchanted with the performing rats, detached themselves with alacrity and plopped down on the pavement in a ragged circle. Their open and delighted smiles alarmed the parents who cajoled their offspring to move away from the dirty rodents.

“Dirty sir? I pray, doth thou speaketh of me? I am a classically trained artist of the boards and through no fault of my own, have been cast into this most dreadful condition.”

Squeals and soft clapping greeted this pronouncement and many of the children edged every closer to the trio of resplendent rats. Howls, grown rapidly distant, could also be heard as harried parents forcibly yanked protesting youngsters out of the crowd. As one child was removed, two more moved into place.

“You there! I say young lady, would you be perchance intrigued by my tale? I have many an exciting adventure to relate.”

The girl in question nervously shrugged and her eyes darted side-to-side before coming to rest on the apparent leader of the rats. He sat upright, propped on his tail, and calmly gazed with clear eyes at the child. When she nodded quickly in agreement, he gracefully doffed his black felt hat and gave a sweeping bow.

“Thanks me lady, you are indeed a pearl beyond price. Boys and girls, lads and lasses, gentlemen and gentlewomen of all ages, gather round and lend me your complete and undivided attention! My name is Joshia Ramshackle and once I was the toast of the continent– not this one mind you– but a land far away and filled with every delectable treat you could possibly imagine.”

Here Joshia the rat paused and put a trembling paw to his face. The painful memories showed in the strain evident on his narrow, pointed snout. A single tear slowly creased his fur and plummeted to the hard concrete. A sigh passed through the throng of children as they commiserated with his plight. The adults by now had abandoned any pretense of aloofness and exchanged astonished glances with total strangers at the sight of their normally misbehaving youngsters sitting completely still and silent.

“I was, if I may be so modest, incredible, amazing, stupendous even. Kings and Queens, Dukes and Earls, every type of nobility swooned at my feet. My playing was beyond reproach and so even reached the wretched poor as I brought light and hope into their miserable existences. I was a pure soul until temptation crossed my path: as it is wont to do in all your lives as well. A cookie here, a chocolate there, a mean word, a blow; you see children, I fell from grace not because of my acting, but because I strayed into greener pastures and now I am reduced to a most meager living.”

So saying, the three young rats with black felt hats turned exuberant cartwheels and spinning faster and faster round and round, suddenly leaped prodigiously over the pigtails and towheads. Blond and brunette, black and red, they swiveled as one and watched as Josiah and his two companions scampered off to the curb. A taxi was waiting, roof light on, and on the side it said; ‘Josiah’s Livery’.

By Rose Dewy Knickers, October 4th, 2007

“Back Alley Finds”

“Look, look, looky here. Look what I found. All mine today, yes today I be sitting pretty. You pretty boy today. Yes, sir. I be pretty. Dats what my mama always said to me. You be pretty boy Floyd. Name not Floyd, it be Brick. I be Brick. Oh looky here, my favorite. Half-full too. Let me see now. What we got? Still got foam and sprinkles! Let me taste, let me taste. No! Wait your turn, dis here’s mine! Greedy, dey always greedy. Still warm, yummy. Ohhhh. Dat’s good going down. Love that double latte. Dis is new. Let me see, it says, pull tab to win. Win? Me a winner? Y’all here dat? I can be a winner! Oh Lordy, dat is some kinda funny. Some kinda funny.”

Brick pulls the tab on the now empty coffee cup that he pulled out of the trash dumpster. The bag with the cup also had a partially eaten donut. Chocolate glazed, also Brick’s favorite. A good start to the day and about to get better. Brick pulled the tab to reveal the word ‘WINNER’ and a plume of green smoke in the shape of an ‘S’ filled the dank alley way. A voice spoke from the smoke, “Congratulations! You are a winner! Thanks to the generosity of our corporate sponsors, you are hereby granted three wishes!”

By Rose Dewy Knickers, September 5th, 2007

“Real And Embodied!”

The scene opens with a tracking shot of the girl stumbling along the street wrapped in a blanket and…

“Cut! What the hell is this crap? Who wrote this! Steve! Get over here! Steve, listen to me. This is garbage! What did I tell you all? Monsters, monsters and more monsters! And a blanket!!!! TITS AND ASS TITS AND ASS! Get back to work! And ACTION!”

The scene opens with a close up of the terrified girl, her breasts spilling out of her low cut and torn top. Her shorts are filthy and torn and she’s walking along…

“Cut! WALKING? I want her running, bouncing, jumping! Damn it! ACTION!”

The girl is running along the street and from behind there is a horrifying growl as a mutant and deviant beast leaps off the rooftops. The girl screams! “Help! There’s a strange mutant looking thingy in a rubber suit and I think he’s broken his leg?”

“CUT! What is this? What do mean he’s broken his leg? I can’t believe this! Doris! I need my pills! NOW! Ok people. This just sucks! I’m a famous director. Why am I here? What did I do to deserve this? Will somebody shut him up! It’s just a broken bone! Amateurs, a bunch of freaking amateurs! Who’s the stunt backup? Where’s the backup! Time’s a wasting here. Time is money! MY MONEY! Move it! And ACTION!”

“Help me! Somebody help me! A monster has crept behind me. He wants to eat me. And here I am, helpless and alone. My tight fitting clothes are falling off and showing my heaving breasts and my tight bottom. Help me!”

The mutant monster grabs the nearly naked girl and bites her. His poison goes to work quickly and renders his victim unconscious. The disgusting and slimy beast slings the girl over his shoulder as the camera zooms in on her dangling breasts and exposed cheeks. He lumbers off to his lair where he commits vile and unspeakable acts upon her pale flesh.

“Cut! That was great people! Excellent! Take a break and we’ll reshoot from the top in ten. Go team! And bring that stunt man, the backup, I wanna talk to him.”

The crew scatters while a lackey goes to find the girl and the monster. What he finds horrifies him and he runs screaming back towards the set. Behind him looms the stunt monster, dripping with fresh blood and gnawing on a bone.

The monster roars! “I am Real And Embodied! I am hungry!”

“Great job! You’re fantastic and so realistic! Whatever I’m paying you, I’ll double it! All right! Break over! PLACES! And ACTION! Hey! Monster Man, what are you doing? Hey! Stop that! Let go of me! STOP!!! HELP!!!!”

The Director screams.

Fade To Black

By Rose Dewy Knickers, August 23rd, 2007

“Washed Up”

“You wanted to see me coach?”
“Have a seat Moose,” Coach Frombly said quietly. “I’ve been very happy with the performance of the team this year and you have been a credit to the ‘Phenoms’.”
“So what do you need me to do? Run for more yards?”
“No Moose I don’t. I know this comes as a shock to you, but I’m putting you on the taxi squad effective immediately. I’m sorry son.”
“But why coach? I don’t understand!”
“Come with me Moose, I want to show you something.”
“Where are we going?”
“All these players out here on the practice field have something that you used to have.”
“What’s that coach?”
“A fire Moose. A burning fire to be the best, no matter the cost.”
“And I don’t?”
“Not anymore Moose. Not since you stopped drinking and carousing and screwing girls. Every since you got married and she popped out a little rug rat, you’ve lost that edge. I think you got more years in you Moose, but you’ll have to earn your way back.”
“Thanks for being upfront with me coach. I’ll think it over.”

Moose quietly left the football complex and drove home. The rising sun was burning off the last of the morning mist. He smiled to himself as he said, “Guess I owe you a steak dinner honey. You were right, I will have to go back to driving a taxi for a living.”

By Rose Dewy Knickers, August 15th, 2007

“Honeymoon”

The warm tropical night breeze stirred her nightgown and raised goose bumps on her exposed limbs. She shivered in remembrance of what had just transpired in their master bedroom suite. Standing now on the balcony, she fancied she could hear the gentle surf whispering to her: telling dark secrets and stirring her blood with the rhythmic pulses on the sand.

“All lies,” she spoke tearfully under her breath. “All lies.”

Behind her, her husband of only a day stirred and called out to her softly. She turned and before she went back to her marital bed, she cast her angry thoughts to the night airs.

“You lied to me mother. This has been the best night of my life.”

By Rose Dewy Knickers, August 10th, 2007

“The River Witch”

“How many times do we have to warn you?” Lord Smythe-Gout said with scorn. “The unicorn is a fairytale, a myth, folklore. I’ve been patient, but no longer. These are not rare charms, they are ordinary wood necklaces.” He tore up my hand printed bills and threw them on the floor with dramatic flair.

His stern and harsh features flickered in the flare of the torch. He waved it around at the hoard I had accumulated on my gaily painted river barge. To many of the poor villages I stopped at, it was a marvelous collection, but to the rich nobility, it was a sore point and my humble fare stuck in their gorge.

“But sir, with all due respect, I have done nothing illegal to snare your populace. I simply carve and bore my charms into something the peasants wish to have.”

“Silence you fool! You sail my river, hidden like a spider in her lair and hare the ignorant folk into parting with their worldly goods in return for these fake…”

There was a loud splash as I saw Lord Smythe-Gout soar over the gunwale and land in the murky water. I turned quickly to see Moonbeam retreating back into her stall. She winked as she shook her head, her horn reflecting the faint light. “Unicorns not real!”

By Rose Dewy Knickers, August 6th, 2007

“It’s Policy”

For long cycles of time, the monthly passage of the full moon triggered frenzied activity amongst the local populace. The region was famous throughout the continent for the thrice yearly bountiful yield of crops. The coffers of the merchants and by extension, the government tax collectors, were dependent on the regular influx of bales.

A prolonged series of droughts, interspersed with scant rain events, had caused a steady fall in the quality and quantity of pajamas harvested. First to suffer were the plaids, then the prints, until finally, only the most drab and pale of colors were able to be grown. The Guild in control of distribution refused to see reason and disallowed any artificial means of dying or altering the finished product.

One person though was determined to change the official prohibition against tampering with the natural order. Raucous meetings followed throughout the desperate province but despite strong support from groups across the political spectrum, no changes were forthcoming. Tradition triumphed once more over reason and as the economy collapsed, the Guild was heard to say, “We hear there’s a party at the Minister’s Office. Make sure you wear your fanciest pajamas.”

By Rose Dewy Knickers, August 8th, 2007

“Echoes”

The house stood in isolation on the corner of Paxton and Water Streets. Vacant lots stretched in all directions, weeds struggled to find the sunlight amidst the rubble and trash. The truncated stumps of former shade trees skulked at the curb and huddled in groups around the buckled concrete sidewalks. In the far distance, the harsh light of sunset wrestled with billowing clouds of dust surrounding yellow roaring monsters that tore holes in the earth.

As darkness slunk closer, silence enveloped the desolation. No light, no sound, no movement. Just echoes of past lives. The boarded up windows in the house on the corner looked out on a neighborhood that was once a dream for many. That dream had come true for some, while for others it was an elusive wisp of memory. Twin beams jostled and drew nearer as the faint sound of an engine broke through the dense night air.

The battered truck wheezed to a stop in the middle of the intersection. A loud crack as the dented door swung open, the faded paint on the side spelled out, Robinson’s Repairs. Scuffed work boots made their unsteady way around the potholes and debris that littered the roadway until they stopped in front of the house on the corner. Poofs of dust rose as droplets of salty water feel onto the sidewalk around the boots.

Who was this person that stood here crying in front of the house on the corner? That’s the thing you know, about echoes. We can never hear the echoes that others hear from their past, not because we are deaf, but because the echoes are hidden behind masks.

By Rose Dewy Knickers, 5/19/2007

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