Writer’s Log: DarkWinterLit – A Grandmother’s Love

Thanks again to Suzanne (EducationalMentorship.com) for considering another of my stories for inclusion in her blossoming online literary magazine www.DarkWinterLit.com.

“I don’t do that anymore. Please stop asking.” Morna set down her cup and stared at her daughter in-law. Women in the township had come to know that stare, one tempted fate to counter such a stare.

You can read the rest here:
https://www.darkwinterlit.com/post/a-grandmother-s-love-by-dave-cline

Writer’s Log: DarkWinterLit – Trinket Troll

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thanks to Suzanne (EducationalMentorship.com) for considering my story for inclusion in her burgeoning online literary magazine www.DarkWinterLit.com.

Squiccus hums in low, rhythmic tones and the chipmunk’s breathing slows. With gnarled hands, Squiccus pets the disheveled fur down the nape of the creature’s neck; its capture had been—difficult.

You can read the rest here:
https://www.darkwinterlit.com/post/trinket-troll-by-dave-cline


She picked a more neutral image for the story. I hunted one down from Pixabay and include it here so that this post gets an image. You know how it is, posts with images get noticed.

Image by: Pixabay: Adrian Kirby
https://pixabay.com/users/adriankirby-1955500/?utm_content=1223012

Writer’s Log: 2542 Leche de Diablo

Filipe’ motioned me into the faded-wood barn, holding open the side door barely wide enough to allow my belly to pass.

“A little wider, huh? I’m no teenager anymore, skinny from running these hills like we used to.”

Inside, the barn felt cool and musty like all barns do. Light striped in between the shrunken slats and a huddle of pigeons burst from their roost and beat their way out the high loft window. Filipe’ led me along the empty stalls that used to host their families’ six milk cows. When we were young I would hike the steep road to his farm and help with his chores. Milking the cows came with perks, free butter that I would bring home to my family. My father would nod ever so slightly when he saw the brown, ceramic bowl full to the brim. Most times his eyes avoided my side of the table.

Another perk was I got to see Cecilia bustle about on her own duties, her field dress swooshing as she chased the cats from the chickens, her fine legs, the color of sweet milk caramel flashing in the morning sun. When she caught me looking she never frowned, only hitched an eyebrow and smirked with those lips like bruised berries.

“Hoy, Miguel, you lost? Here she is.” Filipe’ leaned over the half-gate of the last stall. “What do you think?”

“What the hell is that?”

“It’s a goat.”

“That is no goat I ever seen in my life.”

Inside, standing near the far wall, munching on what looked like thick green tortillas, was the ugliest goat that ever cursed the steep mountains of Southern Chile. It had long black horns, knobby from growth, that curved around in a loop. Its snout spread like a camel’s. Its tail, long like a cows, twitched in contented idleness. And its body swelled like a hippo’s, udders dangling like octopus legs.

I had to remember to close my mouth. “So this is it, eh? Your discovery?”

“You don’t believe me,” Filipe’ said without guile. “I don’t believe me. But it is true. I will show you.” He fetched a pail and a three-legged stool and approached the beast which turned with docile eyes to regard them. Filipe’ touched its hide, coarse, curly white hair covered its back and when he stroked it, drawing his fingers down the top of its head, it gave a low, half cow-half jaguar. “See, it likes me to scratch it between its horns where it cannot reach.”

Filipe’ let his hand glide down its swollen belly to where he could grasp one of the churro-thick udders. With the bucket strategically placed, he applied both hands at milking the creature. Tinny sounds came from each squirt until I could hear the liquid splash. “That’s plenty. Here, come taste.”

Never a fan of warm milk, I waved him off. “I think not. I have had body temperature leche. It’s sticky and later it smells like cheese in my nose.”

“I think you will like this kind.” Filipe’ rose, fetched a small ladle and dipped. He smelled it like it was wine, the grin on his face crinkling his eyes. He sipped and said ‘ah’ like he would on a hot day with a cold cerveza. “Try it.”

I wrinkled my nose but took the ladle to control it. Holding my breath I sipped and had no choice but to cough at the sensation. “What did you do? Did you sneak it in while I was gawking at your funny goat here?”

“No, no. It comes from her.” Filipe’ took the ladle back and gulped it this time. “Have some more. You will like it as you drink more.”

It tasted like honey and vanilla and much more. I know why my friend thought I would enjoy it. “Let me try again.”

Filipe’ smiled his gap-toothed smile and refilled the ladle. “Go easy, my friend. It will surprise you if you are not careful.”

This time I took a full mouthful and swirled it around. How could this be? I tried to imagine the biological processes but failed to understand. It didn’t matter. I swallowed and drank again. This milk was intoxicating. Literally.

“How much alcohol is in this stuff?”

He dipped the last bit and finished it off. “I think around fifteen percent.”

“Whoo-wee. I can already feel it.” I set my hands to hips and took a deep breath. “Are there others like her?”

“Only one. A male.” Filipe’ hung the bucket on a nail and dropped the ladle within. “He is wild and crazy and he nearly killed me when I captured Borrachita.”

“That’s her name, Borrachita?”

“What else?”

“That green stuff she’s eating, what is it?”

“Cactus.”

“Ah,” I said as she maneuvered her snake-like tongue to retrieve another slab of prickly pear. “We must capture the male. Breed them. But first,” I moved to fetch down the bucket, “introduce me to your ugly friend here and her leche de Diablo.”

(Thanks to George F. who connected the dots and came up with idea that this should be Devil’s milk, not God’s. Thanks George — ‘Mole)

Writer’s Log: 2540 7EZKool

7EZKool thought about poisoning the scruffy gray dog. But then he imagined watching it writhe and foam and flop in the mud of the monsoon and pictured himself chewing the poison, swallowing it, feeling it boil in his belly and decided not yet. He only had poison for one.

7EZKool made sure all the glass pictures fell and cracked before leaving his grandmother’s retirement home that morning when the city sprayed malathion to kill the billions of mosquitos that had infested the flood waters. The one photo of his younger brother he smashed with his elbow.

7EZKool watched a mother of two accidentally drop $40 on her way into the grocery store. He followed her at a distance selecting hickory smoked beef jerky and three sixteen-ounce Monster drinks. When he got to the checkout 7EZKool paid with her $40, popped the top and sipped, listening to the woman sob over the cans of baby formula she could no longer afford.

7EZKool pried open the locked-up plywood doors of the abandoned skating rink, slipped inside and plopped himself in the center of the buckled wooden floor to finish off the last of the Monsters and jerky. When his bladder whined, he stood and pissed in a circle leaving a dust-cleaned ring which he jumped on his way to spend the last of the $40 on some molly.

7EZKool stretched out on the gravel roof of the repair station where his father had hung himself in the block-and-tackle engine-lift chains, marveling at the stars and the satellites and content that he still had two more ecstasy pills in the baggie in his pocket.

7EZKool cursed himself that he hadn’t brought another Monster and decided to climb down the ladder and drink from the outdoor faucet that always leaked giving weeds as tall as his waist a chance to thrive. In his delirium, 7EZKool misjudged his momentum as he swung his leg around to touch a rung.  The ladder tilted sideways, scraping the wall. 7EZKool, gripping the aluminum frame, slid with it. He landed face up, his back plunging down onto the spike of a broken steel signpost.

7EZKool thought about the grey dog, the $40 woman and the last heart-shaped pill he still had in his pocket which he knew someone would find and take it. This person, 7EZKool thought, was welcome to it. He decided that he’d rather smoke weed, eat beef jerky and hang with Rolly and Smudge rather than get all heavy with molly, staring at the universe and thinking about his dad swinging from the clinking chains in the building beside him.