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A picture is worth 519 words.

Perspective is an infinitely interesting subject considering that every person has a uniquely different one.

With that in mind, I’ve given our writer, DALatta, the task of taking an image and writing us a short fictional story based upon what he “feels” about it. Take a moment to read his words…and then give us some of your own. What is your perspective on this photo?

Oblivious to the wiper squeaking against the dry windshield, Ron ran his car a little too fast for this neighborhood. The service started at 2 and he didn’t want to be one of those who entered the church late only to have everybody turn around and look at him. His daughter had called him, car keys in hand, to remind him that her soccer game was at 9am tomorrow. He had her game schedule on the refrigerator but he normally welcomed her calls. “Okay sweetie, Daddy’s got to go now. I’m going to a funeral. An old friend from college. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He hated cutting her call short but he was already strapped for time.

Pulling into the parking lot, he was surprised at the amount of cars. Bobby certainly was popular, he thought as he strode toward the front door, his shoes taking in moisture from the wet pavement. Moving into the church, he sat in the first available seat, which happened to be next to his college girlfriend, Sylvia. Only a silent acknowledgement at this time as the pastor was ambling toward the dais.

Despite the inviting allure of Sylvia’s perfume, Ron kept his eyes straight ahead but he soon noticed more of his past. In about 5 minutes, he recognized 6 more friends and with each identification came more memories. The most prevalent being an overtly dramatic Scottish accent used by his cronies in times of drunken reverie. The accuracy of the dialect wasn’t as important as the volume and spit that would spew forth when emphasizing words like,”FAULKED” and “ARSEHOLE” and ‘WEE BIT OF A PROBLEM”. A smile crept over his face as the accent moved closer to his tongue and he was about to say something when he was interrupted by a familiar female voice,”It’s so sad, isn’t it?”
“Aye that it is, lass. Aye that it is.” A stifled laugh shot through the church that caught the attention of those close by.

“Oh my God,” she whispered, “I was watching some movie the other day, Braveheart, I think, and I kept thinking of you and Bobby and everybody using that stupid accent.”

The service moved on and they chatted quietly, reacquainting each other to their respective pasts. There was an easiness that floated through the conversation that Ron found comforting, as if 20 plus years of silence had been erased by a ghostly wave of his dead friend’s hand. After the service, the rest of the gang collected in front of the church, shook hands, hugged and introduced the new partners in their lives. The meeting moved to a nearby lounge and as the afternoon turned into the evening, the volume of the laughter increased. The stories, unearthed after decades took on more importance. The tears fell from heart felt melancholy. Even the liquor tasted sweeter as it brought on more stories, like an impending tide.

Eventually the evening had to end. They said their goodbyes and promised to call each other and stay in touch. After giving Sylvia his address, Ron walked to his car thinking about how funerals really were for the living.

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American Vernacular: The series…of cuss words

My father was a gifted and creative man. Gifted with a dark, twisted sarcasm that he wore like a skin and creative in that he could take his immediate and oft frustration and turn it into a jaw-dropping, laugh inducing, Mama cover my ears soliloquy. Yes, these utterances were blue or adult-themed but I cannot remember him ever utilizing an F-bomb to make his point but I do remember a 5 minute monologue delivered to my siblings and I, raving about the miracle of science and the magic of plumbing and how astonishingly simple it was to flush a toilet. I recall the phrase, “beating myself in the head with a hammer made of alcohol”, which became his prophecy and a warning to me. And I’ll never forget his Carpe Diem Opus, “This is a table, this is a lunchbox and that is the front door. Don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out and if you ever need a hand, don’t be afraid to look at the end of your wrist.”

He weaved tales of the feared Crocagator, the meanest animal on the planet, beset with the head of a crocodile on one end and the head of an alligator on the other. When asked how this beast shat, the answer was, “He doesn’t. That’s what makes him so mean.”

A declarative statement would be prefaced with, “By the 24 balls of the 12 apostles…”

A physical mistake would be matched with, “Do you know any tricks that work…”

Somebody with questionable intelligence had “all the brains of a bastard goose.”

When he was behind the wheel he was a man without peer for he invented road rage, long before it ever had a name.  My father has long passed but his verbal legacy lives on. I contend that these phrases, utterances, quips, rants, bon mots are a direct link to all of our personal histories. I would love to hear your own family’s Throat of Arms. I invite you to jot down some of the sayings you heard growing up. It by no means defines you but it certainly adds color to the canvas.

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“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Well, the rumors persists that Ernest Hemingway was sitting around with a bunch of his writer friends when he offered the lads a $10 bet that he could write a complete story in 6 words. Of course the table balked…but they ponied up the money when Hemingway displayed the hand-written napkin that said, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” The story had a beginning, a middle and an end….and the writers had $10 less in their pockets.

There is no verified documentation backing up this story’s validity…but who cares? It makes for a great read and it also sparks the brain’s curiosity.

Ernest Hemingway - One kick-ass dude.

One of the more important roles in bookmaking is that of the editor. An editor takes out all of the mucky-muck nonsense and whittles down the story to the important elements. The editor is the person you blame when you find yourself skimming full paragraphs to get to the meat of the story…because they haven’t done their job properly.

A 6 word story is the ultimate edit. To be complete it must be profound; your brain should make a conclusion and keep you thinking.

With this Collective we are searching for The Ultimate 6 Word Story (ironic, isn’t it, that the title only has 5 words?).

This will be a weekly feature and we welcome any jaw-dropping, mind melding subject ideas. We’re excited to get your brain juices fired up to see what you devise.

So to begin the journey I’m going to go to one of my favorite sites for random queries, stumbleupon.com and click Stumble…and…I’m back.

The homework for this week’s The Ultimate 6 Word Story is:


PHOBIA

Respond via comments. If you want to “vote” for your favorites thumbs up their comments.

ll right people…let’s get this party started.

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