Thursday, September 20, 2018

Mark Wildyr: Marco? Polo!

Mark Wildyr: Marco? Polo!: markwildyr.com, Post #68 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons “Waders” received some nice comments on my personal email address. Strang...

Marco? Polo!


markwildyr.com, Post #68

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
“Waders” received some nice comments on my personal email address. Strange how things work. Page views from the US barely outstripped Spain over the past 30 days with China falling third. But high up there on the list were hits from “Unknown Region.” This raises a question in my mind. Can aliens be reading my posts? You know, otherworldly aliens. If so, know that you’re welcome.

This week, let’s try another trip down memory lane.


*****
MARCO? POLO!

          If you want my advice, don’t ever get tagged as part of a game. I’m Marco Benson, and my best buddy is Robert Polo. Need I say more? Nobody ever tags me as Benson—except the baseball coach. And nobody—but nobody—ever calls him Robert or Rob or Bob or Bobby.
          I believe that if anyone asked my friend if he had a habit, he’d say “Marco.” If asked the same question, I’d come right back with “Polo.” We were not only best buds for life, we were habits. That’s a hard bond to break.
          Somebody nearly did it our senior year. This gal named Sissy Rawls made a serious move on him. Of course, he responded. And it worked out okay for a while because he always got me to double with them with Mary Anne Winchester. We had some fun together, but when I went home after a double, I’d get to reliving things and realize it was Polo who kept the evening going… at least for me.
          Then Sissy started making demands. She wanted him to herself, not as a part of a quartet. So far as I knew Mary Anne was perfectly happy with the way things were. Why did Sissy have to upset the apple cart?
          But upset it, she did. First, she put her foot down about the spring prom. If Mary Anne and I wanted to go, we could do it on our own. Despite my initial disappointment, that didn’t turn out too bad because we hooked up at the dance.
          I felt a little funny when they pulled away in Polo’s old Chevy coupe, but that resolved itself when we ended up parked beside them up on the bluff with half a dozen other cars. They were still there when Mary Anne and I pulled away. I felt a little funny down in my guts as I lay in bed that night wondering if Polo was still up on the bluff with Sissy. Why did I care? I don’t know, but I did.
          The next morning, Polo said Sissy had a conniption fit when we parked beside them last night. My mother’s always having a “conniption” fit, but I couldn’t tell the difference between that and a regular fit. But that’s what my dad always said… and so did Polo. So… conniption fit, it was.
           The school year rocked on, and I mean “rocked” as in a rocking chair. Several times I found myself at functions without my buddy and felt at sea. Occasionally, he made comments that led me to believe he was feeling the same.
          One day at the beginning of November, we found ourselves sitting together in the gym after a workout with nobody else around. Comfort and companionship almost overwhelmed me in the first five minutes as we chattered like old times. Then we fell silent. That was comfortable, too. Used to happen all the time. Finally, Polo sat up straight on the bleacher seat beside me.
          “You know what?”
          “What?”
          “I’m tired of it all.”
          “Tired of what?”
          “Sissy and dates and walking the straight and narrow.”
          “Me, too.”
          He looked straight into my eyes. “Marco, I’m not up for the winter prom.”
          “No?”
          “No. I’m up for you.”
          Wooo!
 *****

Sounds as if a new experience is about to enter Marco's and Polo’s lives. What happens next? I’ll leave that to your imagination… or perhaps remembrance of something similar in your own background.

Amazon permits you to read a short passage of my novels, Cut Hand and Johnny Two-Guns.. I believe the STARbooks-published River Otter, Echoes of the Flute, and Medicine Hair are still up. I would like to get the final book in the Cut Hand Series, Wastelakapi… Beloved, published, but it’ll take some help from readers to get Dreamspinner interested.

My contact information is provided below in case anyone wants to drop me a line:
Website and blog: markwildyr.com
Email: markwildyr@aol.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mark.wildyr
Twitter: @markwildyr

The following are buy links for CUT HAND:


And now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

Until next time.

Mark

New posts at 6:00 a.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Mark Wildyr: Waders

Mark Wildyr: Waders: markwildyr.com, Post #67 Courtesy of Maxpixel.net “Hem and Haw” got a decent number of page views last time, a lot of them from th...

Waders


markwildyr.com, Post #67

Courtesy of Maxpixel.net
“Hem and Haw” got a decent number of page views last time, a lot of them from the Ukraine. Hello to all of you over there and welcome.

This week, let’s try another flash fiction.

*****
WADERS

          I remember the very instant I saw Robby as a man. As he struggled to shore, fighting the current of the shallow river, his long legs encased in rubber waders, it struck me that my young buddy, my hero worshiper was all grown up. I’d known him since birth and lived in the house beside his ever since. His father, ten years my senior, had sort of adopted me after I lost my own to an automobile accident. Weldon Riggs, although devoted to his wife, was right there whenever my widowed mother needed help. But as his accounting business grew, he devoted more and more of his waking hours to it, leaving me to provide companionship to his son… just as he had me. Seemed fair.
          Robby had called me Uncle Mikey ever since I was fifteen-years-old until he reached the age of twelve when he dropped the y, and I became Uncle Mike. I enjoyed his company and adoration as much as his father had doubtless been pleased by mine. While most of my classmates eventually grew distracted by sports and girls and life in general, I took pleasure in introducing Robby to such things. I coached him, mentored him, and loved him as surely as if he were my own brother.
          But things changed during that fishing trip taken in celebration of his eighteenth birthday. As he slogged up onto the shore, he met my gaze and held it for a long moment before dropping his eyes.
          “Damned waders feel like they weigh a ton in the water,” he said, his color a bit higher than usual.
          “You let water get over the top of them, and you’ll know what a ton really feels like.”
          He laughed. “Yeah. Guess so. But they sure keep your feet dry. Not warm, but dry.” He held up a stringer with three decent-sized trout on it. “You hungry, Uncle Mike?”
          The moment passed; the world stabilized on its axis again. I cleaned, and he filleted. Never had pan-fried trout tasted so good. We laughed and teased our way through the meal.
          A thunder shower drove us inside the tent, and we lay atop our respective sleeping bags, listening to the rat-a-tat-tat of raindrops against the canvas. Utter contentment. My mind briefly flitted to the image of him coming out of the water in those heavy waders this afternoon before succumbing to sleep as the Lord’s tears drummed against the tent.
          I woke to find him propped on one elbow studying me. “Whoa? What’s up?”
          “Did you know your eyelids flutter when you sleep?”
          “Everybody’s does at some point. Something about the sleep stage you’re in.”
          His pleasing visage grew solemn. His Adam’s apple moved as he swallowed. “What… what happened this afternoon?”
          “We ate some bitchin’ trout. Wish we could do it every day.”
          “Before that. When I waded up on the shore.”
          I averted my eyes. The storm had passed, but I knew from the gloom that clouds still shrouded the sun. Thunder rolled in the distance. The faint odor of wet grass and sodden pines permeated the tent. In the pregnant silence, I heard water drop from soggy limbs. Some landed on the canvas protecting us with startlingly loud thuds.
          “Don’t tell me it was my imagination, Uncle Mike. I saw something in your look.”
          I closed my eyes and tried to relax muscles I hadn’t realized were tense. “I… I saw you as a man.”
          He lay on his back. His movement brought my eyes open. Some people’s appearance suffer in profile. Not Robby’s. He was so handsome, my heart ached. He licked his lips before speaking. “I’ve always seen you as a man.”
          “Of course, you do. I’ve got ten years on you.”
          “That’s not what I mean.” He turned on his side away from me, exposing his broad, tapered back to my gaze.
          I’m sure I hesitated only a moment, but it seemed like an eon before I turned and spooned against him. When I threw an arm over him, he grasped my hand and moved it where he wanted.
          “Oh… Mike!” he breathed gently.

*****
The imagination runs wild, doesn’t it? But tell me something. If things progressed the way most of us dream it would, did Mike and Robby cement a relationship… or ruin one. It can go either way, you know. Lust sometimes demands what the conscience can’t accept. I know how I think it worked out, do you?

Amazon permits you to read a short passage of my novels, Cut Hand and Johnny Two-Guns.. I also believe the STARbooks-published River Otter, Echoes of the Flute, and Medicine Hair are still up. I sure would like to get the final book in the Cut Hand Series, Wastelakapi… Beloved, published, but it’ll take some help from readers to get Dreamspinner interested.

My contact information is provided below in case anyone wants to drop me a line:
Website and blog: markwildyr.com
Email: markwildyr@aol.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mark.wildyr
Twitter: @markwildyr

The following are buy links for CUT HAND:


And now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

Until next time.

Mark

New posts at 6:00 a.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mark Wildyr: Hem and Haw

Mark Wildyr: Hem and Haw: I seem to be stuck on short fiction, so that’s what we get this week, as well. Hope you enjoy this bit of nonsense. ***** Courte...

Hem and Haw

I seem to be stuck on short fiction, so that’s what we get this week, as well. Hope you enjoy this bit of nonsense.

*****
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Hem and Haw

          I’d known Hem forever. That wasn’t his real name, of course. It was Jimmie. But everyone called him Hem. My name’s Karl, but to our world, I was Haw. We earned those monikers honestly from the time we were kids by constantly playing the old “After you, my dear Alphonse” routine. That started years ago and continues today. To wit: yesterday when we decided we needed a treat from the summer heat, we started our usual humdrum.
          “You wanna go to the diner or the malt shop?” Hem asked.
          “I dunno. You?”
          A shrug. “I dunno. Milkshake would be good.”
          “Malt shop makes them better.”
          “You think so? Diner makes good strawberries.”
         “Yeah,” I came back at him, “but I think chocolate shakes are better at the shop.”
          “Which one do you want?”
          Now it was my time to shrug.
          I’m not exactly sure how, but we ended up at the malt shop with chocolate shakes.


          The day I noticed how Hem's broad shoulders stretched the polo shirt he wore, the way I thought about him changed. But it wasn’t something I could talk about to him or anybody else. If I opened my mouth about that, he’d give me a black eye and never speak to me again. The black eye, I could take. Never speaking to him again… no way. So I held my tongue and being around him became exquisite torture. The only thing worse was not being around him.
          We were equal in age—almost to the same month—but the mirror told me I lagged far behind him in physical development. Life wasn’t fair. First time I reached that conclusion. I guess I lived a sheltered life.


          About six months after my epiphany, we were sitting on the floor in my family’s basement game room with a chessboard between us, concentrating on the game. At least he was. I was admiring anew his shoulders and his pecs beneath the thin shirt and the V of his torso. When he shifted position and spread his legs, I couldn’t help it. My eyes went right to the fly of his walking shorts. I swallowed hard and glanced up. His eyes bored into mine. I’d been flat-out caught eyeing his basket.
          “I been thinking about it, too,” he said.
          My mouth dropped open and my heart rate soared. “A-about what?”
          “Come on, man. I saw where you were looking.”
          “Was not. I mean, you didn’t. I mean—” Sweat trickled down my sides.
          “I’m not blind. You were studying my crotch,” Hem said
          “I… I….” I hawed.
          “That’s okay. I’ve checked out yours a couple of times.”
          “Y-you have?”
          “Sure. You interested?”
          “Maybe. You?”
          “Like I said, been thinking about it. You?”
          I watched his face as I answered. “Sometimes. I mean… yeah, interested. I guess.”
          “Me, too… I guess.”
          “What do we do?” I asked.
          “Dunno. This is new to me.”
          “Me, too. But what do we do now?”
          “Hell, I don’t know. You sure you want to do this?

          “Yeah… I guess.”

*****
Did Jimmie and Karl… uh, Hem and Haw, ever get together? What do recollections from your own past tell you?

Please take a look at my novels, Cut Hand and Johnny Two-Guns. Amazon permits you to read a short passage from the books. I also believe the STARbooks published River Otter, Echoes of the Flute, and Medicine Hair are still up. I sure would like to get the final book in the Cut Hand Series, Wastelakapi… Beloved, published, but it’ll take some help from readers to get Dreamspinner interested.

My contact information is provided below in case anyone wants to drop me a line:
Website and blog: markwildyr.com
Email: markwildyr@aol.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mark.wildyr
Twitter: @markwildyr

The following are buy links for CUT HAND:


And now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

Until next time.

Mark

New posts at 6:00 a.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Mark Wildyr: My Shallow Life

Mark Wildyr: My Shallow Life: markwildyr.com, Post #65 Had quite a few comments on “I’m My Own Man.” Hope the flash fiction piece I wrote for this week generates as ...