a cry for help.*

Chin said he didn’t want to get married after all and Mae jumped out a seven-story window, still wearing her wedding dress. One shoe fell down. They were those high heels that wrap around ankles. Weird, right? How did it slip off? This man reached forward, suddenly. She hung in his arms alive while someone took pictures. Ethical question: should you save women from dying against their wishes? Suicide is often rash, even regrettable. Gifts can be returned. Cake, eaten anyway. DJ’s already paid; why not dance? What do we take into our next life? Tough call, I think.

*Who knows if it’s a cry for help. I think she probably meant it. Her expression gives nothing away, which only adds to the horror. Like any sane person who’s seen it, this image affected me and I wanted to write a corresponding story. I read about this writing contest put on by an important magazine. The rules said to write a 30-300 word story where not a single word repeats. The contest has nothing to do with the picture. I mashed the two together, most obscenely, and anyway, I’m not entering this. That’s not the point. Without rules, this thing would have gone all over the place. The above piece is 99 non-repeating words, just like this bitch has 99 problems, but a loveless marriage aint one! LoLoLoL. I’m sorry.


too much time in the woods, maybe.

There was a moss-covered cliff, hundreds of feet high, and directly below that, a deep pond. Someone got the idea to jump off the edge into the water, for the thrill of it. Everyone was sure he would die, but then he didn't. With the first successful jump in mind, a young couple dove after him, and they also lived. A family of four thought for sure it was safe after that. "It's not safe, don't do it," I thought. Hand in hand, they jumped anyway. I watched as two of them tumbled down the side of the cliff to their death. Of the two that missed the cliff, the boy was fine, but his sister hit the water funny and broke her neck. After that came a slow motion montage of jumpers. Some of them bobbed to the surface, smiling. One girl bounced off the side of the cliff twice and then fell into the water with both legs broken. Judging by their clothes, the whole thing took place in the seventies. All the jumpers were beautiful, and, forgive me for saying so, crazy.

Here in the woods I meditate a lot. I’m wondering if that’s what’s causing all of these cinematic dreams. What do you think it means?