Short Story

Caught Within A Snowball: God [INCOMPLETE]

Her grandmother dies: one strike.

She almost dies: two strikes.

The prayers are never answered: enough strikes to fill a chalkboard.

Sighing, she takes a swig of her water, a liquid so old that it has actually become distilled. Her mother, a rolly-polly banshee, screeches from the doorway, waving a report card or a rolling paper or a police notice or something equally unimportant. Everything on God’s Earth is unimportant.

“What is this?” her mother yips. “Another one? You’re such a fucking loser. A fucking LOSER, just like your father was.”

She takes another sip and starts counting the lies in Deuteronomy.

“You think you’re so tough! Well, I’ll tell you something, missy–“

More water and some multiplication: the number of lies in one chapter times the total number of that over 1,000,000? Ah, well, she was never good at math to begin with.

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Caught Within A Snowball: Two

They were once the sweetest things: a girl of 5 with pigtails like sheep’s wool, another so tomboyish she wasn’t even called by her first name. The latter grew up all hard-shelled and soft-bellied, but the former became something so unknown to herself that she had nowhere to go.

She met him. She kissed him. She loved him, or so she thought. He was so much to her that all others around her–especially that boyish friend–became obsolete and unimportant. Her life revolved around him, and visa versa.

There came a time when she could no longer remember her own name. Like sand under his shoes, she sifted in to his world forever, and her friends beat on the glass as if it would help something. There was no more time for such things.

She has a face and a pair of eyes, but nothing deep inside her.

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Caught Within A Snowball: Strange Little Girl

She loves rainstorms when there’s only thunder and cats that never purr. Her life is a string of hair-dos and stolen make-up, and even when they appear to combine seamlessly in her photos, you can see the two don’t mix. People look at her and say, “What a strange little girl!”

Her braids are full of bobby pins; they can’t even hang on their own. She feels tied to the floor by every ponytail she plaits, an empty thing amongst the brilliant colors of womanhood. Her claim to fame? Traveling down a road of nothingness...unless dancing a facade counts for something.

The heart in her chest claims she is pure, but she can’t help feeling more than a bit dirty. Chemicals pour through her veins faster than the knowledge can reach her brain. By the time Friday comes, she’s forgotten the formula for chemistry class and remembered every slang term for the newest street drug.

She lives to love, but she lives too little and she loves too much. Every time she falls for another human being, they turn in to monsters and rape her in some way. Mentally, emotionally, physically: there are no boundaries for the boundless ones. She always has a brand new mask to wear, and people look at her and say, “What a pretty little face she has!”

Oh, strange little girl! Where are you going?

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Caught Within A Snowball: Amy

What’s Love go to do with it? Oh, a lot, she supposes, but Love’s a picky little bitch who doesn’t like to rear her head that often...and when she does, she always overstays her welcome.

Love is a waste of good cigarettes. When he calls her to apologize she just takes another drag; when he actually says “i’msorryiloveyou” she exhales. The smoke makes wispy patterns in the air and she even thinks she sees a heart.

“If you loved me,” she begins, and then stops dead. The smoke has faded, but it doesn’t matter. All she can think about is Love, a wicked black-haired woman wearing her favorite red dress. The outfit sags on Love’s malnourished shoulders and he loves it.

“No, just...just go,” she says, and clicks the phone off.

The cigarette feels heavy in her fingers as it hangs between index and middle, though by the time she takes another hit it’s worn down to the filter. Her eyelids close once, twice, three times before she pounds the butt in to the ash tray. The smoke has finally cleared from the room. She sleeps.

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Caught Within A Snowball: My Darling Dear [INCOMPLETE]

Her mother wanted to call her Mary, and she laughs at the thought of it. 15 years not a virgin, 15 years without a savior coming out of herself. She thinks it’s time to quit with the Immaculate Conceptions and start selling condoms for a cheaper price.

Marys are freckle-faced girls with strawberry-and-ribbon imbued halters in their top drawers, girls who giggle over an ice cream cone and a first kiss. She’s sick of ice cream and has never had a first kiss; to her, everything is just repeating, including sweets and kisses.

And so the cycle goes, pushing her around like a Mary on a merry-go-round. Backwards, forwards, any way you want her to go but up, she can go there. With her lipstick piled on heavy, you’d never know she used to wear those fruit-printed dresses with the ribbons at the sides. You’d never realize that she, too, was once a virgin, was once a believer in sanctuary who praised Jesus while eating frozen yogurt.

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Caught Within A Snowball: Mother

He once worked in a novelty shop, a tiny one-room store owned by a tiny one-eyed man with a splintering cane. Though never an antiques fan, he could always appreciate the love and devotion people put in to finding such things, until one day when an acne-plagued teen brought in a “Best Mom!” sculpture. Red ceramic, hand-painted, most likely from the 30s.

He quit before the old man could blink his eye.

He’s never met a mother he didn’t hate. From the pretty young ladies with the baby strollers to the 9-to-5 women in Manolo Blahnik pumps, every single one of them makes him want to scream bloody murder. Even his own mother infuriates him: she boils the macaroni too soft and she never washes his shirts the right way.

When he dreams he thinks of a little boy, two or even three years old, with hair like his and eyes like his and skin like his and a laugh like his. “No mothers need apply, this is a father-and-son thing only, thank you!”

They’re finally together–his son is looking up at him, pupils dilated with happiness–when the big red car pulls up. The scent of a bitch comes from it. He prays that his son will not be tainted, never change, never change!, but the boy’s eyes go blank and he no longer sees a father. Instead, he opens that replicated mouth and says:


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Caught Within A Snowball: Sparked

It doesn’t matter if it fucks you up or not. If it’s a pill or a powder or a strip or any kind of drug he’ll take it, just to say he’s got something to hold on to, just to say he’s living for something. He shot up alkaline once just to say he did it, and even though the end result was a trip to the hospital and puce skin for a week, he brags about it to forget the words around him.

Sometimes at night he can hear them. The shadows of his past bang on his windows, hissing and moaning and vomiting in the bushes. He pulls his hat over his face and hopes they’ll be gone in the morning...they never are. Just another pin prick, love; the shadows will get lost along the way.

People ask him what he wants from it all. Is it the rush? Is it the image? Is it the feeling?

He never answers them. Instead, he pulls his hat down again and wonders how he’ll block the next wave of ghosts, wonders if there’s really love out there or if he’s searching for nothing, wonders if Tylenol and a bit of lemon juice will really give you a memory-chilling buzz.

He’s addicted to everything he touches.

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Caught Within A Snowball: Rattlesnakes

Rattlers are her brothers?in?arms, spiders her greatest fear. They watch, they wait, they do not strike unless they feel the need, and the need comes only with those they love??they will let themselves be trampled and cut by shovels if they have no young or no mate or no friends to call their own.

Her life revolves around snakelike patterns: the way she brushes her hair in straight lines, the way she rewinds her life like a chapter in a paperback novel, the way she always walks with a steady two-step. Her jaw is set hard and her stride is confident, almost eager, but her eyes betray some inner worry and her shoulders slouch like a lopsided grin.

Intelligence has no part in it. Sure, she can tell you what you’re thinking before you’re thinking it and figure out a person with a wink of her eye, but those are useless skills in the eyes of humans.

And so she is not human. She becomes a rattlesnake, a friend of the shaking bean-tails and a selfless creature, rattle shaking in fierce warning while her black eyes moisten with tears. Her fangs show if the nest is disturbed. Otherwise, she will remain resolute: her eyes will never change until you rip them from her skull.

She's oblivious to spiders now.

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05_صورة حقـيقية



- Virtual Image

للمرة الثالثة يعيد ذات المصطلح.

- خلاص عرفناها، صورة متخيلة.


- Always

ألتفت لزميلي:

- لما كل هذا الدوران، والدوران والتكرار!!؟؟

- إنه يحاول أن ينبهك أن الصورة المتكونة (Virtual Image)، يعني ليست حقيقية، ولا يمكننا استظهارها على ستار، أو شاشة.

أنظر إليه، وألعن درسَ المرايا الثقيل، والفيزياء الأثقل في هذا البلاد الباردة. كنت أظن أن الناس في هكذا بلاد تتقارب طلباً للدفء، لكني اكتشفت أنهم يقتربون أكثر أكثر، لقياس قوة التنافر الممكنة. أميل على زميلي:

- قوة التجاذب بين جسمين مشحونين، تتناسب عكسياً مع مربع المسافة بينهمااااا. وطبقا لقانون نوتين الثالث، فإن قوة التنافر تتحقق بذات المعادلة.

يلتفت مبهوتاً:

- آه، أين وجدت هذا القانون؟.. كيف فاتتـني مراجعته، والامتحان بعد أيام؟.

أبتسم، وأنا أرقبه يقلب المذكرة باحثاً عن هذا القانون، ثم يرفع يده:

- آسف سيد (.....)، أين يمكنني أن أجد قانون التجاذب بين الشحنات.

يبتسم الأستاذ:

- آسف سيد (.....)، لكن درس الشحنات غير مقرر.

أكبح ضحكتي، ويغتاظ هو. لكن الصورة متخيلة، والتجاذب بين الشحنات يتناسب عكسياً، وقانون نيوتن الأول يؤكد أن الجسم يظل على حاله ما لم تؤثر عليه قوة تغير من وضعيته. قبل المغادرة أشكر السيد "إسحاق نيوتن" على هذه الإضافات المهمة، وأهمس في أذنه:

- أتعرف، أنا لا أصدق حكاية تفاحتك.


- No body perfect

- Wrong, "No body is perfect"

- Thanks Mr. Slay


هناك ثلاث رسائل جديدة.

آه، هذه منها.



الرسالة طويلة، لقد قالت بالأمس إنها بعثت برسالة تشرح فيها ما حدث معها خلال الأيام الماضية. أبدأ القراءة، أحاول التركيز أكثر، فهي تكتب بالفصحى والعامية وما بينهما حروف موزعة لا يمكنني فهمها. أحاول، أنجح. كنت كلما طلبت منها الاعتناء بلغتها ترد:

- عندما كنت في الثانوية كانت مدرسات اللغة العربية يتحدينني في الإعراب، وكن ينهزمن أمامي.

- والآن؟؟!!؟؟

- أعطني بعض الوقت، وسترى.

_ أعطيتك أربع سنوات.

- ......، أنت تعرف المشاغل و.....

- سأعطيك ضعفها.

- لا أحتاجها !!!!!. وتخرج حاملة حاجياتها.

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