Where the Wild Things Are

It’s funny how music and writing go hand in hand. Actually I thing all forms of art feed and feed into other art. Have you ever been listening to a song and started thinking about a story that goes with it?

Me, it happens all the time … as a matter of fact I think I have 12 stories I have written based on some song on the radio. But this morning it was a little different.  On the way to work like most people I jump through my presets avoiding the commercials.  I am as bad with it as someone channel surfing.  That is unless the DJ of my classic rock station is on my wave length.

 

The sun has barely risen over the top of the horizon just enough to paint a orangey purple haze on everything. It’s chilly, enough that when I automatically put my sunglasses on they fog up. For most people after the hundred-degree day it’s a relief but for me I am pulling out the hoodie I keep in the car. Because unlike most people who were famous kings or tragic heroines I was a snake or lizard in another life and can’t stay warm enough.

The radio is playing some stupid commercial about mattress and my fingers find the button conveniently located on my steering wheel to jump presets. I cycle through the presets but of course the are either more commercials or morning talk shows, which has me shaking my head. Good music for me is like both coffee and alcohol for me. Not replacing either but the best part of both. Energy and pick me up and get me started for the day like coffee or mellow me out at the end of the day so I can let the stupidity of other drivers at the end of the day go unmolested like alcohol. So I am stuck, latterly and figuratively, at a stop light with commercials playing. And to add injury to insult this big ram truck pulls up next to me and the driver is rocking out to Queen’s I want it all.

The light turns green and he speeds away probably singing along with his air drum solo and my vicarious enjoyment has vanished. I immediately begin to scroll again through my presets, which isn’t as terrible as the last time through. But its not great either only one station is actually playing music, so I leave it and wonder if I could catch up to the ram.

No the ram and Queen are long gone and I am stuck with something that was popular in the 90’ by a band I don’t even remember their name. I am thinking about cycling again but for some reason I decide to let it playout and see what the next song was. The tune was catchy and the words grabbed me. I had probably heard the song a hundred times before and not really listened.

The words went this way “I stretched my hand out to the sky, we danced with monsters through the night. Wooooohowooh. Im never going to look back, Woah, never going to give it up, please don’t wake me now.” There of course is more but I am going to save you from the tone deaf blog version

And immoderately my mind went all the way back to fifth grade. I could actually see the pages of the book. There have been times where a song has brought back a memory based on a emotion I was feeling when I listened to the song. But this was different it was kind of like a song summarizing the book. I was triggered of course and found myself humming along to the tune and really paying attention to the words.  When I got to work, I looked up the group, “the American Authors” and the song was “The best Day of My Life”  It should have been named a  retelling of “where the wild things are”

I read about Max for the first time when I was in fourth grade when my teacher read it to us as a class. And then again I checked it out to read it for myself. I was one of those I hadn’t read it if it was read to me. Sometime my arrogance on the stupid stuff baffles me.   So there I am thinking about the book and the song and I go an look up the book.  Did you know it was banned book? WHY?!? Just why? I mean I read some phscyo babble about the fear it instills in children when their main caregiver sends them to bed without their dinner. And then then there was a paragraph about supernatural /magical beasts which has religious connotations.

I of course face palmed myself and could only think of one word HORSESHIT. Really. Sending a child to bed with no dinner is going to traumatize a child? Did they continue to read the book? Max had only been in his room for a couple of hours and his mother gave him dinner afterword. I am sure I was sent to bed with no dinner sometime in my childhood and my parents were not ones that let me get back up to eat later.  And I can’t even tell you one time it happened.  Max was being a spoiled brat and his mom thought some time apart would be good. So she put him in his room. So they are banning the book because a parent actually parented.  If you are worried about the message that going to bed without a meal and then letting them back up in a couple hours is going to traumatize them what about the message you are sending the parent … If you punish the kid society is going to turn on you.  Wait we are already there.

And then to the other point. Monsters being supernatural or magical. Really?  So every monster under the bed or in the closet is a family dabbling in the black arts. Does Pixar know that they were advertising for Satan?  Max was a kid. His imagination created an place where he could be the monster he pretended to be. He even had his very own monster costume. And to be fair no moms were allowed there. Very childlike, he created a place in his imagination where he was in control and there were no rules, because he was king of the monsters. First of all … no kid wants rules. Hell most adults still buck at rules. And on his island there were no rules.

Second it wasn’t really his imagination it was a dream. He was so mad at being put in his room he laid down and went to sleep. Dreams are just dreams. I don’t know about your but sometimes I have the weirdest dreams for example two days I dreamed my youngest son left my grandson in his cars seat and small airport that was really a school that had animal exhibits in the rooms.

So this entire ramble that seemed to become a rant… that I am trying to turn back into a normal post was about how one thing feeds another. I wonder if the writer of the song was influenced by the book or do they even know that it existed.  Or the son Iron Man when it was written did they know about the comic books being created or just getting traction.

Gone

The daily prompt : Gone

Sometimes against all odds the bad guys win the day. All the white hats are Gone.

Mitchell pulled the small plastic red card from the beeping machine and looked at the thing in puzzlement. He examined the back and could still faintly read the outline of his signature. It looked perfect. The numbers on the front were worn away in the right spots. This had to be his card. Although he didn’t doubt those identity theft people couldn’t fake an exact copy. But the ATM accepted the card so it had to be the genuine one.

Mitchel raised the card to the feeder once more when a very annoyed voice behind him said, “Look old man, would you hurry up. Some of us actually have to work. We do have jobs you know.”

He smiled humorlessly. “I had a job too. It was called saving your ass from the Japs in 42 and the Commmies in the fifties and the Cong in the 60’s and 70’s. I was a front line solider. And when I came back with only one leg the jobs were suddenly gone and there was no work for me.”

He tucked the red card back in the worn leather wallet and looked at the rude woman once more. “What’s more those son of a bitches trying to kill me and end our way of life had better manners than you. I guess common decency is a thing of the past.”

He heard the woman mutter ‘whatever’ as she took his place at the machine. If he wasn’t half the man he was he would have knocked her on her ass and taught her a thing or two about the word whatever. But he was raised in a generation that didn’t hit women. He looked the three other people standing in line and found that they wouldn’t meet his eye.

Choosing not to fight this battle he propelled his wheelchair forward. If he could talk to someone in the bank maybe he would get some answers. This Bank of America didn’t have the sliding doors and when he leaned forward to pull the door he almost fell face forward into the glass. The door was heavier than usual. Again he was at someone’s mercy and would wait until someone came out.

The door swung open and before he could put his hands down on the wheels he felt himself being pushed forward. He turned and looked over his shoulder at the young man who couldn’t be more than sixteen with sandy blond hair hanging around his shoulders.

“Sorry about that I figured we needed to catch it before it closed. Maneuvering a wheelchair is difficult.”

Mitchell just grumbled.

The kid chuckled. “Don’t let them get to you. They were probably embarrassed about the Commies comment. We call them Russians, Japanese and Vietnamese now. It’s more PC.”

Mitchell’s false teeth clicked audibly as his mouth snapped shut in anger. When he found he could talk and tell the boy where he could put his political correctness he found he was alone in the middle of the doorway. He rolled himself forward and saw the twerp standing at the far counter talking to one of the tellers.

He watched the two of them walk in his direction. When the boy drew up next to him he said, “I found someone to help you. I am sure you could have done it yourself but everyone could use some support. My gramps served and grumbles about asking. So don’t sweat it.” The kid started to walk away and said as if a second though, “by the way thanks for your service.”

Just when he thought all manners were gone someone showed him how easy he could be wrong.

“Welcome to Bank of America. I’m Chad the General Manager. Why don’t we go down to the lower window around the corner and I will be glad to assist you?”

Mitchell’s arms trembled as he pushed the wheels on the carpet. The boy could have asked if he needed help before just jumping in and pushing him. But right now he wished the kid was still here. He could use some ump to get on to tiled floor. The manager would stop and wait for him looking at his watch each time but failed to offer to help.

When Mitchell finally rounded the corner and wheeled up to the counter he took a moment to rub his gray bent hands together before pulling out his wallet. “I think one of those of those criminals stole my card.”

Chad was only half paying attention the old man was taking so long he could have helped two other customers by now. “Hmm. Oh right. Why do you think that?”

“Cause there’s no money in the account,” Mitchell said trying to hold on to his temper.

If Chad noticed the tone of voice and the irate look on Mitchell’s face he promptly ignored and chose to be patronizing. “Are you sure there was money in there before. Let’s slide the card and look up the account.”

“I know there is money in it; you idiot. I just deposited the insurance check four days ago to burry my Michelle. The funeral home contacted me this morning about not having the service because the check bounced.” He angrily pulled the card through the reader with more force than necessary.

Chad scowled just another lousy customer calling him names. It wasn’t going to be much longer and he kiss this place goodbye. He’d ride off into the sunset and live the life he was supposed to. He just needed to think about that beach dealing with jerks like this. He took a long suffering breath and scanned the column of transactions. And paled slightly.  “Well sir, are you sure you deposited it with our bank? I show no deposits within the last thirty days?”

“What the hell do you mean; No deposits. My disability goes in here on the first of every month. And my Social Security on the third,” Mitchell was so angry his voice was beginning to carry.

Chad looked around and noticed several of the tellers giving him looks mixed between pity and questioning. If he wasn’t careful this would blow up in his face. “Sir please; give me a moment and let me see what the problem is? But you need to calm down.”

“How calm would you be if it was your money. Did you check the card? I told you I thought it was hacked or whatever they call it.”

He looked back at the screen and then at the man standing there. “Sir those deposits are different. Right now I am looking at ATM or manual deposit. Are you sure that you deposited in to this bank and this account?”

Anger wasn’t a strong enough word he was seeing red literally. Hell he was so mad his chest hurt. “Of course it was with this bank. I’ve had an account with you since before you were Bank of America. I’ve been coming to this branch for the last ten years. I have the deposit slip. Its right here in my wallet.”

Those were the words Chad was dreading. He could erase all transactions in the computer but could do nothing about the printed paper. The trash can was full of them because no one looked at them let alone keep them. But this guy, how dare he ruin months of careful skimming. Okay he needed to take some of the blame. He misread Michelle for Mitchell and though it was him who died. No one was going to notice deceased peoples checks bouncing. Everything he worked for was gone.

“Chad. Chad, look at him. I think he’s having a heart attack.”

Chad had to bite the end of his tongue to keep the happiness out of his voice. “I think your right. Call 9 1 1, now. “The old man would be gone and no one would be the wiser. Maybe it was time to cut and run before another close call. Tomorrow he would turn in his resignation by email and be in the wind before the autopsy was completed. If they did autopsies on heart attack victims.

Ovation

The daily prompt is Ovation

I thought I would try my hand at a little historical fiction.  It is small… flash fiction small. My first thought was “standing” but I dug a little deeper into the root of the word and found out it was ‘a lesser victory’ for ancient roman generals.

Without further ado…..Ovation

Her General was coming home. She cared not that his crown was made of Myrtle and not Laurel. Or that he wore the toga of a magistrate and not the gold embroidered robes. And the sheep slaughtered on the alter would cost less of the spoils, than the two white oxen. Let others complain that he was not heralded with trumpets, she preferred the flute players. They reminded her of happier times.

Never mind that his entire legion of soldiers would not travel the victory path with him. No one would dare attack him within the city limits. She would not have to wipe the vermillion power from his face before she could shower him with kisses. She would never tell him that when the Senate denied him a Triumph and gave him an ovation she was the happiest woman in the land.

With Triumphs men tended to get sidetracked with all manors of improper and immoral delights. She wanted no competition for his homecoming. No duties that he must oversee. For she had news from the Auguries. If he lay with her tonight there joining would bring forth a child destined to rule the great Roman Empire. And they would name their son Gaius Julius Caesar.