If I die tomorrow, you will find me in some other life writing about it. – Ash
I write because I have a voice. A voice deep inside that never stops. It never tires out or falls silent. Always, I’m processing. Processing my existence so far. When I write, I finally can give that voice a platform. Whatever’s inside my head, my heart, those thoughts, my feelings, and all that emotion get tapped into and allows that voice to escape. – Ash
A Catcher-upper – We find Alex standing over his best friend who he discovered once he realized during their foot race, had disappeared. He strolls back to check to see what happened. Here’s a link to the first post in this story series for continuity. Hope you enjoy!
SHE HAS NO PAST, YOU HAVE NO FUTURE # 2
By: Ash Douglas
Alex began to walk slowly back in the direction he had just come from. As he did, he searched ahead scanning the area for his buddy who he could have swore was right behind him. He knew Marcus couldn’t have been playing around with him, he loved racing too much for that. He was extremely competitive and rarely loss at anything. It didn’t matter what they both faced off against. Still scouting for his friend, Alex passed the halfway rock, and as he did, he caught sight of what looked like Marcus’s foot poking out from a bunch of bushes. It seemed his friend might have actually bit the dirt. Had to be something like that. Whatever the reason, Alex was definitely going to have the last laugh now. Except, it was not going to be because he had finally won the race. There was that, but, there was also the fact that Marcus had to come all the way back to help his sorry ass. That’s another victory all of its own. There was a good chance he was hiding in those bushes up there trying to come up with an injury to fake in order to get the race declared a no contest. Realizing as much, Alex picked up his pace. He was not going to waste another second; he could not delay rubbing it in. Only, as he drew closer, he started to notice something didn’t look quite right. Marcus would have definitely begun with the excuses already. He would have sensed Alex by now. Crying “Do over”, or “Help, I tripped”, or his famous “I let you win that one”. Nothing. Instead, when Alex finally made it to his best friend, he was laying in the bushes faceup. He was barely moving. There was zero expression on his face. None at all. No look of pain, no look of shame, no crying, no laughter, no embarrassed excuse face. Nothing. He was completely blank. His eyes blackened, and his chest was moving up and down rapidly. He was taking in large deep breaths. One at a time, and releasing the air as if he were shushing someone for five seconds at a time.
To be continued…
I’m going to get straight to it. This category is something I have been playing around with for a while now. The premise is I will take a photo I’ve found somewhere and draw whatever inspiration I can from it and write a short, maybe long story from it. Plus, I would like to offer the same opportunity to anyone who wants to follow my lead and use both the photo and/or story title as a prompt. I would love to see examples of other forms of inspiration. It doesn’t have to be a story either. It could be anything from a story, a poem, a song, anything your heart desires.
OK, here’s the beginning of this one for me. I have a few chapters done of this prompt, only I was too excited and reacted. I went with the moment and posted. #amwriting
Don’t forget to tell me what you think in the comments, and let’s see where this goes.
SHE HAS NO PAST, YOU HAVE NO FUTURE # 1
By: Ash Douglas
Marcus, get up! Come on. It’s not funny.
We have to go.
Do you realize I needed to be home fifteen minutes ago? Not cool.
You know, I’m going to be in deep shit again.
My Uncle is going to kill me for sure this time.
I write to hold on to time. – Ash
I went for a walk last night and did something I don’t think I have done in a long time, and that was say…out loud, that “I’m Thankful!” Thankful for seeing another gorgeous sunset. Thankful for the crisp cool air that I was breathing, the sounds of birds in the distance, the hilltops, the shoreline, the waves, the paths I was taking, thankful for my family, my friends, and, most importantly, thankful for being there in the moment. You know what happened when I did that? Well, an overwhelming sense of genuine happiness that’s what. I felt awesome, I really did. I could immediately feel a rush of endorphins running through my veins, my pulse raced, and my lungs filled to capacity. It was truly great to be alive.
Far too many times in my life have I conceded to the bad things that happen to me. Things that go wrong, things I don’t have. Things I think I need or want. Too many times have I allowed those feelings to consume me. But, almost never do I take the time enough to be thankful for what I do have in my life. At least I don’t catch myself doing it as much as I go off on the negative things and allow them to fester and linger. It seems the negative gets way more stage time. So, last night on that brisk stroll, I must have had some sort of awakening, because as I was taking in all that fresh September air with a slight tinge of salt, I realized how being that way was robbing me of my happiness once again. Robbing me of right now. I hate feeling that way, with a passion. Only, when I start to recognize it, I’m already stuck in a glass prism and can’t escape. I become a functional zombie going through the motions forgetting what matters to me, like doing this, like writing.
Most of you have probably noticed how scarce it’s been around here lately. I even got called out a few weeks ago for it by a fellow blogger. It’s true, my posts have been few and far between and a little empty in a sense. Sure, I had intent and purpose when I posted them, but it’s not the Ash you or I are used to. Let’s be honest, I checked out. Don’t worry, I’ve given myself a good going over for it many times and this entry is my sorry to you. Sorry for ghosting a bit. It’s still a crazy 2020, for me at least. A part of me has become shredded with holes from the emotional bullets of traversing a new ever-changing world. Enduring this pandemic has forced me to fight some sort of battle, new ones for sure, almost everyday. It’s exhausting. Most days, I bring a good fight, but, I’m human as well, there have been days where I just wanted to tap out. Usually, when that happens, the only thing that can snap me out of the funk is writing. So far, it’s pulling me from the clouds of doubt. Keep going, Ash.
OK, about now, you’re most likely wanting me to give you the what’s up? Why so grim? What’s the matter? Earth to Ash, where have you been? Well, let’s see, in the last few months, I have lost my job, had to move residences, had a fire at the new home, Poppy, our dog, had surgery, my mom had a heart issue and literally had surgery yesterday, and about two weeks ago, my spouse and I almost hit a moose while travelling on a pitch dark highway toward home. The latter almost being responsible for Earth to Ash becoming Heaven to Ash. No joke. It was crazy and a moment where you feel like God must have had taken the wheel. Mere seconds and it could had been game over I swear. Moose are extremely common around here on our highways, but in all my years, I have never come so close. It took a couple days to shake it off to be honest. At the same time there’s also a part of me that thinks that event was the shake I needed. To make me realize that at any moment things can go south, and then what? What is all the worrying going to do? Nothing, so stop doing it, Ash. I remember telling myself those very words the next morning walking the dog. I realized the universe speaks to us sometimes, I guess I have to start listening more carefully. And, use my high beams more efficiently.
Now, with that clump of misfortune and morbid dialogue behind me, I want to confirm to you all that I am doing fine. The job, I do have to admit that that one was hard to swallow. It came unexpected and I guess the anxieties stem from the fact that it’s a COVID world out there and I need to find a new job. Though, I’m optimistic and trying my best to take deep breaths in finding my way back to the workforce. The fire. The fire was indeed dramatic. All I remember was coming down stairs half asleep, trying to figure out what was going on and at the same time swiftly grabbing the watercooler bottle by the front door and shaking it violently on the fire in nothing only my underwear. That visual aside and all damages assessed, it was ultimately minimal with a smidge of that was scary. As for Poppy, our dog, she went through a Spay surgery. It was delayed because of COVID and needed to be done. Pun intended. She was super throughout the whole process and she’s back to being the little Popstar she’s always been. The moose thing though, that was a eye-opener, literally! It was sooo close. Listen, no word of a lie, strike me down as I type this. I would say only a few short minutes from the incident, I was legit thinking…that if we did hit a moose, my reaction, if I had one, would be to quickly pull my fiance head down into my crotch. No, mind out of gutter please. The reason being is as when a thousand pound animal such as a moose comes crashing across a very low profile vehicle like ours, someone is destined to be paralyzed or worse, decapitated. If that were to be the case, I’d rather it be me. I know, why were you thinking that, Ash? Morbid thinking much? I have no idea why, it was really dark and I was off in my own head somewhere. But, like I said, ninety seconds later, Boom! Mr. Moose. Running on the highway from the left. I was lucky enough to see the flickering of legs against the light of my head lamps. Saw that, then looked up slightly and Holy Sh*t! MOOSE! God, Nan in heaven, Pop in heaven, I don’t really know who, but someone other than me took that wheel, we avoid. Happened faster than I typed the word moose. It was truly an insane two or three seconds which were went by like extreme slow-motion. It was like God saying, nah, not yet, this guys has more to say. If he ever gets backs to writing that is.
Speaking of God, Ahem! Oh my God! I finished a post. I can’t believe I got this entry out of me. It would amaze you how many times I have tried these past few weeks. Now, it’s done and I can’t help but feel even more awesome. See, life is good. Friends, these last couple months have really induced a horrible bout of block which has been extremely tough to break through. Sorry again for not letting you in on my struggles. I hope you understand and I hope you continue to be the ears to my voice. I can’t say enough how much your loyalty means to me. Thanks for continuing to drop by for a read and to catch up on Earth to Ash. I’ve missed this exchange terribly. There’s also blogging friends I want to tip my hat to as well. I need to virtually drop by and say hello too, it’s overdue. There’s so much to celebrate when I think about it. One thing in particular, and a good way to end this post, mentioning my mom’s heart issue, she was successful yesterday with her surgery. So, she’s now on the mend and ready to face the next challenge thrown at her. She’s a real trooper, my mother, she has MS, and because of that, she’s has complications stemming from challenges living with such a horrible disease. Although, there’s nothing that can beat her or keep that woman down, there is too might fight in her, and it’s exactly where I get it from. Life is very good because she’s in it.
Before I go, I want to say one more time how much I appreciate you, all of you. You keep coming back day after day and I’m forever and ever grateful. I hope you’re well, I hope your families are safe, and I hope life is good for you.
Take care everyone, and keep being you!!!
Continue reading “Ash, And I Will Tell!”
Writer’s block is like being bound by self-doubt and gagged with your own crumpled up bits of creativity. But, take my advice, you won’t free the whole story, if you don’t start loosening the first words. – Ash
Life is not what happened back there or what might happen up ahead. Life is like the rhythm of the heart — every breath, every blink of the eye. It is beat by beat, moment by moment. This…is all there is. This…is all we need. – Andy Puddicombe
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike” – John F Kennedy
I teased this a few entries ago and I just made good on it. Well, I did this past Saturday night as I could not wait anymore. I had to do it. Since the lockdown, it’s been a bit of a task to supplement my going to the gym. I’m trying my best to stay physically active with all what’s going on in the world. Both indoors and out. Indoors takes discipline, and I won’t lie, I’ve 5-seconded myself from working out inside a few times. But, outdoors, outdoors should come easy for me, and it is. My success has stemmed from doing the things that I enjoy already like walking, running, and most recently for the first time in years rollerblading. All of that has seemed to keep me content. It’s allowed me to stay active and more importantly it’s gotten me outside in a time where that’s not so easy either. There’s still something missing. Actually, I should say that there was something missing. The Bike Writer’s call was too strong. I was no longer able to suppress it from deep within. So, I jumped online, checked out a few sites and prices. Boom! Bike coming.
i look, turn around, and see your face
then, it falls away like dust
like a living dream
not even yours in the first place
so, I keep walking along staring at the ground
trying harder to recall what’s left of the vision I have of you
only time has started to begin to fade the picture
even though my heart has a good memory
the beats are becoming too far between
those flashes no longer able to bring it back to life
no matter how much I love you
soon, i won’t be able to see you anymore
when you’re way out of focus
and completely lost from my heart