Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Final Destination

Ceilí crunched a couple more steps through the woodchips in the playground to sit on the bench. A heavy thunderstorm the night before made the woodchips a disgusting murky mess, but Ceilí was too tired to register the grey water seeping into her shoes. Weariness plagued her, but she was unable to give in to sleep, kept awake by the panging desire to write about her encounters. The experiences she'd had that day spun in front of her eyes, threatening her with the prospect of forgetting.
Ceilí rose from the park bench, her shoes squelching as the sunk momentarily deeper into the muck. She pulled a journal from her pocket as she walked towards the sidewalk. As she opened the front cover to go through the journal one more time, a deep rumble cut through the wet morning air. A slight tremor shook the pavement, causing Ceilí to drop her notebook in surprise. Water gurgled from the top of the fountain. Gradually the spurts coalesced into tall columns of water and the dirty fountain assumed some semblance if its former glory.
Those walking nearby turned, amazed, to the bizarre sight. Random windows in Watershed Heights opened and heads popped out to watch the water dance up and down, sparkling dawn light across the street.
As the water lost its sparkling allure, Ceilí's eyes shifted to the small crowd gathering around the corner of the building. A smallish woman in unremarkable clothes was joining the crowd, the same woman who Ceilí had tried to help so long ago. Ceilí jogged a bit and fell in next to the woman. The two walked awkwardly to the crowd and realized that they were gathered around a body. Dressed in a black cloak, possibly a habit, a woman lay crumpled on the sidewalk, blood dried and pooled beside her.
"Wow," Ceilí said.
"Wow," agreed Marjorie, "I've never really seen anything like this."
Then Marjorie made her way back to the fountain, ignoring the groups of people gathering, and began to inspect the plants living there.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Power of Pie

With the end of the school year past, Ceilí slept late, later than she'd slept in years. She woke around... well, the clock was out. In fact, none of the lights were working. Ceilí drew back the curtains and dressed in the glaring noon sun before stumbling outside with a hangover to seek food.
As Ceilí shoved past the stair door out onto the sidewalk, a scent of warm pastry and butter struck her. It took only milliseconds before she recognized the satisfying warmth as pie, and the slight tang that accompanied the smell identified it as pecan pie. Ceilí set off at a jog in search of the smell and arrived back at the diner where she'd begun her previous night. A line was forming, extending past the doors and onto the sidewalk. The lights were off inside the diner as with every building Ceilí passed, lending a mysterious air to the interior of the restaurant.
Ceilí joined the line behind a man she didn't recognize. He started telling the surrounding line his preference of pies, finally resulting in a conclusion that he loved chocolate pecan pies. Ceilí vocally agreed with him and then the both of them returned to silence.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Take Five

It took Ceilí all of 3 minutes to pick out a new outfit from her closet, a powdery blue dress that reached down to her knees with a revealing slit up to her thigh. Normally she found the jeweled neckline too gaudy to wear consciously; fortunately the atmosphere of Deena's Diner allowed such ostentatious attire.
Ceilí forced her feet into a pair of 3 inch black heels and grabbed a clutch hanging from the door of the closet. She wasn't at all surprised when, three steps later, both of the heels snapped simultaneously. Ceilí collapsed onto the floor and dragged the shoes back off before crawling over to the closet and pulling on a traditional pair of black flats.

10 minutes later, a woman wearing a blue dress and black flats and carrying a clutch, all of it mismatched, slipped through the doors into Deena's 28 hour Diner and immediately felt uncomfortable being in public. She forced herself to step up to the bar and sit down on one of the stools. As the hot, heavy smell of fried everything began to soak into her clothes, Ceilí sank her fourth shot and ordered two more along with a hamburger. Across the diner, she saw a young man sit down in a booth already containing a woman and begin to talk to her. Gutsy because of the alcohol, Ceilí abandoned her incoming burger and wove her way across the room, dodging the tables that jumped in front of her, to land in the booth next to the young man and across from the woman. Miraculously, both shots had made their ways over with Ceilí, and in a fit of generosity, she offered one to each of her companions.

"Long day? Mine was. Want shome of deese? I ken get pllently more!"

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Ceilí wandered the streets surrounding Watershed Heights after lunch, an overcooked affair with mushy vegetables and dry chicken from the Vietnamese restaurant on the corner. It didn't sit well in her stomach, hence Ceilí's wandering.

Wandering, and the associated people-watching, made up for the fact that she had given up recording her experiences. Not that giving that up had been easy. The school had practically demanded that she lose that habit after several parents complained about their students feeling uncomfortable. She had grudgingly accepted after the principal, a woman who normally treated Ceilí as a friend, threatened to fire her. The old notebooks were stocked in a filing cabinet in the corner of her apartment. Ceilí still made notes, but as part of the agreement, they were all mental.

As Ceilí sat on a bench in the playground, a female form came trudging from the ashes of the carnival in the parking lot past Watershed Heights. As she crossed the street by the decrepit fountain, a truck came rushing past and nearly struck her. Ceilí hopped up from the bench and stepped toward the woman in a rush, but the woman continued, only mildly phased. The woman made her way towards the Stop 'n' Shop, following the truck. As the woman passed under a streetlight, Ceilí caught sight of her state: grimy, sooty, dark. Ceilí followed the woman. In the parking lot beside the Stop 'n' Shop, Ceilí saw a couple of men in black dragging an ATM into a truck. Failing, rather. Ceilí dragged her cellphone from her pocket and jammed her nervous fingers into the keypad. 9-1-1. Busy.

9-1-1. Busy.

9-1-1. Busy.

Ceilí gave up.

Up in Flames

Ceilí wandered the fair for only 30 minutes before tiring of the monotonous sing-song music and bright colors. Aside from the blatant gaudiness of the entire setup, increased by the hot sun and sticky heat, the disgusting flaws of the fair were becoming apparent. Jagged tears peeked from the fabric walls of the tents, the performers all were dirty or sketchy, and just now, a trailer was going up in flames.
A nun ran about in the chaos caused by the fire, screaming that she was the cause and that she should repent. Ceilí stopped her momentarily, grabbing the nun by the arm. She began questioning the nun about the fiasco, which only lasted until Ceilí cursed once. The nun wrenched free, screaming of the approach of the devil and hellfire.
Ceilí gave up on helping any of the running citizens and joined them herself. She dashed along with the rest of the crowd, fleeing the shed that belched black clouds of smoke.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The radio-alarm clock in the darker corner of the room crackled to life, squawking the morning's weather: pleasantly sunny and warm. Ceilí fell out of bed and stumbled her way into the shower.

Refreshed and feeling much more alive than she had upon waking, Ceilí slipped on a pair of flats and made her way down the stairs, noting that the outer door had ceased its creaking at some point. She postulated the rising temperatures had somehow improved the door's fit.

The weather outside corresponded perfectly with that prophesied by the radio; the sun blazed gold and warmth hit Ceilí like a wave. Not a cloud obstructed the light from the absurdly green grass sprouting in the cracks in the sidewalk.

As Ceilí basked in the comfortable heat, a trickle of lilting music caught her ear and pulled her attention around the corner of Watershed Heights. She followed the unusual, bouncy melody to the (normally abandoned) parking lot across the street north of Watershed. There, bright posters and tents invited her into the carnival that had, rather sketchily, arrived and set itself up in the middle of the night. Ceilí wandered the perimeter, wondering if it was worth checking out and glancing around, hoping no one was watching. She threw one leg over the railing encasing the back of the carnival and climbed over, dragging her other leg over and scraping her shin in the process.

A grimy brown-orange dog followed Ceilí, slipping through the slats of the fence with some effort; it was a little too fat. The dog began pulling at the hem of her skirt and nipped a couple times at her heels. Ceilí didn't appreciate the attention and nudged the dog back towards the fence. Angered by her disinterest, the dog barked several times. Ceilí, worried that someone might be drawn to the fact that she had hopped the fence, gave the dog another, more forceful push, then pushed her way between the creased vinyl tent walls into the carnival proper.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Aghhhhh, life

A third drop splattered on the floor from the jagged crack in the ceiling.
Time to get up.
By the time the fourth drop hit, Ceilí was up with a cup of coffee clutched in her thin fist. That coffee was her lifeline to the world, the only reason she would be able to go to work this morning. She carefully laid a green plaid towel on the puddle of water on the floor and nudged it with her toe.
I'll never get out of here if I have to keep making these repairs myself.
A call to her cellphone caused the nightstand to buzz and hum. A pair of glasses, disturbed by the vibration, walked themselves off the edge and onto the cheap hardwood floors. Ceilí unclasped one hand from the warm coffee and picked up the phone, flipping it open in an awkward jerk.
A minute later, the phone was back on the night stand and Ceilí was back in the reclining armchair that served both as her bed and kitchen table. The principal of the school had been nearly in tears, explaining the situation.
"We lost the entire west hall. The roof gave way and this damned rain flooded the entire place. The desks were floating!" had squawked through the speakers.
All of Ceilí's condolences managed only to result in more tears, so Ceilí gave up.
At least I teach on the east hall.
Outside her apartment, Ceilí pondered the options for the now free day as she walked down to the post boxes to pick up the mail.
9/12/2010- 7:13:06- 3 men are loitering in the lobby. Room 414 is empty again.
Clicking footsteps warned of the arrival of someone important. Ceilí turned and noticed the landlady moving down the hallway at a nice clip.
Ceilí almost had to block the hallway in order to halt the landlady's advance.
A frustrated "Yes?" from the woman.
"The crack in my ceiling is still there, and the rain has made it leak. Heavily. I put in a request a month ago..."
"We're getting right on it," was the absurdly terse response. She seemed to be cringing back from Ceilí. "Now, please, I've got to get back to work," the woman muttered under her breath as she seemed to shrink into the wall in order to pass Ceilí.
"Is there a time I can expect it handled by?"