Comments Posted By Belinda Roddie

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The lady who approached me in front of the office had a beehive and full pink lips, sticky with the gloss I had seen her apply at her desk. As she offered a limp hand, hooked almost like a talon, for me to shake, I looked at her.

“What’s this?” I asked.

She furrowed her penciled brow at me. “It’s a lady’s handshake. You’re a lady. We shake hands like ladies.”

“Uh uh,” I dissented. “You shake hands with me like a real person. See, a gentleman’s handshake is not gender-specific. You have a firm handshake if you’re authoritative. Professional. Powerful. I don’t care how much estrogen courses through both of our bodies. You give me a real goddamn handshake.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.25.2012 @ 1:32 pm


Plans? Sure she had plans. She had lots of plans. Many of which revolved around a different flavor of ice cream. Not the lonely kind of ice cream eating with a pint-sized carton on the couch watching a chick flick. No. She planned to go to every ice cream branch, franchise, parlor, shop, store, department, truck, van, cab, car, headquarters, laboratory, secret lair, everywhere. She’d try every flavor, everywhere.

“Though I’m pretty sure chocolate will always be my favorite,” she giggled to herself.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.24.2012 @ 9:08 pm


The hinges of the door had gone from silver to brown to deep, deep gray, as the wooden splinters dripped with sap and rain from the night’s storm. A few paces away, where the water did not touch the floor or windows, an old man sat in an easy chair, watching a VHS tape over and over again. It boasted bright colors – blues and whites and yellows – and he smiled as the bride went down the aisle again…and again…and again.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.23.2012 @ 1:02 pm


“She fences.”


I watched her lithe figure as she pulled on her coat. She had just finished drinking her coffee. My friend was eyeing her.

“Yeah,” he said. “She’s a fencer. Almost went to the Olympics, I think.”

“What stopped her?”

He laughed. He had a schoolboy glint in his eye.

“That ever career-stopping concept. What do you think?”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.22.2012 @ 11:25 am


There had scarce been a breath in the room before Lucy threw her highball glass at the man who had just stepped onto the premises, hair combed painfully back and exposing a vividly receding hair glass. The glass – along with its contents – became a shattered mess against the wooden floor, as the man cleared his throat and raised his hands in skepticism.

“Dear,” he said, “it’s a birthday party. And Bob is my friend, too. So do you mind if I can just have a little fun without being physically assaulted?”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.21.2012 @ 5:54 pm


The Statue of Liberty turns red in your line of vision, but no one seems to really pay attention to it. They don’t watch at the prongs of her crown gather blue fire at their tips and burn brightly in an eerily patriotic glow.

You watch as the children wave their tiny American flags and their shoes shake under the vibrations. Explosions on every coastline, ripping color into the peaceful horizon.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.19.2012 @ 12:15 pm


On the runway were three jet planes. One was missing a wing. A pilot sat in one that had run out of fuel. Oil was scarce these days, and no mechanic bothered with the old corporate machines anymore. Everything had their own projectile with added engine and choice of oil or alternative energy product.

The pilot was still wearing his uniform, twisting the braid on his cap. He remembered days with sashaying stewardesses, safety announcements, and blank-eyed passengers. He remembered flying. He remembered power.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.20.2012 @ 11:21 am


They thought I was below them. Inferior. Crazed. Diseased. They sat three tables away from me on purpose as I ate my danish and drank my coffee. They visibly wrinkled their noses as we held hands and kissed. They were all dressed the same, in gray suits and ties, no silver. And when they walked, they left dirt behind from their heels, to remind me I was below the mud itself as well.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.17.2012 @ 12:13 pm


“Don’t go near the moon!” he bellowed, and the horsemen picked up speed. The icicle breath of their stallions stabbed the air and left frosty particles flying like frozen stardust. Constantly swirling upward in a funnel cloud of winter and bitterness.

He watched from his window as the hooves clattered into nothingness, his hands hot against the wooden pane. He did not dare to warn them again. They were too far into the sky.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.16.2012 @ 12:31 pm


“He plays the accordion?”


“He plays the accordion!”

I propped my banjo against my knee and grinned, plucking away at the strings. It was always fun to eavesdrop on the American tourists who thought we all played flute and fiddle. Donal wove the accordion around his hands like a stretching tapestry, playing a melody as colorful as the rainbow.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.15.2012 @ 11:40 am


A spot of ice cream had made a small puddle on the bench beside me. The girl still chewing on the cone paid it no mind. Nor did she pay attention to the brown and green stain on her shirt that was spreading from her chin.

I smiled at her and waved when she caught my eye. But she shuddered and seemed afraid of me. I walked home that night debating whether or not to go to bed early.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.14.2012 @ 2:47 pm


Crisp chips on a golden plate. Ketchup drizzle. Mustard stain. Drop a penny in the bowl by the counter and tell Rita I said hello.

Drink a coffee by the Shannon and think about mussels in a pot with garlic wine sauce. Explore the vacant avenues. A boot print in the mud by the Anglican church. Breathe. Smell. Smile. Remember.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.13.2012 @ 6:27 pm


“It was a stick.”

“It was a concealed weapon.”

“It was a STICK.”

He struggles against the confines of the cuffs, but the belligerent cop has made sure they’re tight. He’s wondering if any blood is running past his wrists anymore.

“I was protecting my little brother.”

“Maybe don’t brandish a knife next time, eh?”


» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.12.2012 @ 12:07 pm


Sparkling apple cider was set in front of me at the counter, and I caught Cecilia’s reflection in the flute glass. She was standing in the corner, talking to Marshall. Her eyes kept wandering.

I took a long sip and shuddered in the sweetness. If I stayed long enough, maybe she would notice me.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.11.2012 @ 11:17 am


The food was bland, and the show Herman was watching on the telly was even blander. I let the flat and took the lift down to the bottom floor, where I saw a girl carrying the laundry in. Her clothes were bland, too. All whites and pastel pinks. I went out for a smoke near the Thames and let the smells knock me backward.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.10.2012 @ 11:42 am


“Savage Garden? I remember them! Their songs were so marvelously sappy.”

We were rummaging through our boxes and towers of CDs before Dad started the garage sale. Rhonda had uncovered several of her Celine Dion disks, while I had found my Backstreet Boy ones. We giggled like schoolgirls again as we searched.

“To think I occasionally still listen to all this,” I laughed.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.09.2012 @ 2:15 pm


Lillies dancing across pads of green and brown. The fall mixing with the spring air. Chimney smoke trapped under a frothy sun.

You exit your office building with your briefcase dripping with coffee. Your co-worker spilled his mug across your lap. You sit by the pond for a bit and let your cheeks grow red in the hybrid of heat and frost. You are alone, and you are happy.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.08.2012 @ 12:26 pm


The oil dripping from the pipe was a bright, bright silver. Not golden brown nor pitch black like muddy tar on a warm asphalt road. We took a bottle of it and brewed it in the bellies of our truck, and the truck ran for months without needing a refill.

Everyone wanted some of this miracle oil, but we didn’t know how it had happened. A fluke in the system or some mishap of nature. But all the same, people wanted it. And they wanted it fast.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.07.2012 @ 12:14 pm


A dozen donuts with red, blue, green, and white frosting sat in a cardboard box on the coffee table when Derek got back from work. He grabbed a maple old-fashioned and let his incisors close in on the sugary dough and hardened sugar, savoring the flavor of the American delicacy. When he was halfway through the donut, he found a note beside the box from his wife, Tracy.

“Enjoy these diabete donuts. They’re a symbol of my looooooove. XOXOXOXO”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.06.2012 @ 11:44 am


Hillary took the speckled apron and draped it over her son’s chest, tying a simple butterfly knot around his back. He held the spatula in one tiny fist and the ladle in the other, grinning from ear to ear.

“Do I look like a cook now, Mommy?” he asked, the gap in his front teeth clearly showing.

Hillary smiled with watery eyes. “You look like a master.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.05.2012 @ 11:54 am


There were thorns growing out of his head instead of horns. Bristly, tipped red and angry. They snagged onto the leaves of low trees and sent shrieking branches toppling down into the dirt. He made no move to trim them.

He could have used a fine soil and seed, a little fresh water, to kill the thorns and have irises or petunias grow from his crown instead. Instead, he sat on a rock and waited for the thorns to grow from all parts of him. He waited for them to choke him.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.04.2012 @ 3:54 pm


“There’s a skull in the trunk of your car.”

“I know. It’s a vampire skull.”

“…Is that why there’s glitter in the back, too?”

“Pssh, no. That’s Twilight shit. That’s not actually true.”

“Oh. Then what is it?”

“Well, you know how vampires tend to explode into ash when the sun goes down?”

“…So they explode in glitter and you still got the skull?”

“…Yeah, I guess my story isn’t too plausible now, is it?”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.03.2012 @ 11:25 am


Champagne two days after New Year’s Eve? Gladly! Pour it pink. Pour it pink and pour it blue. But of course you can have blue champagne, darling, anything’s possible with food coloring.

The food is simply to die for tonight in the city. Shrimp in lime juice and garlic sauce – oh, my. Oh, let’s not discuss politics or charities, dear. Let us bask in our own delights before I cry myself to sleep after eating a mint.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.02.2012 @ 1:34 pm


A glimmer of hope looks a lot like the flicker of a flashlight above your head, not when you’re trapped in a ditch or hanging off a cliff, but when you’ve nestled your head between your legs and rock back and forth against the porch step where the lantern’s burnt out. And all you want to do when you see that glimmer is run to it hoping it’s the red-faced and rugged cowboys come back with your missing daughter and brother at long last.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 01.01.2012 @ 1:27 pm


The cacti grew in the winter snow. The bears were lumbering in the tundra. Dry grass growing red roses in autumn. Leaves falling in the blazing heat.

I filled a mug with cocoa and sat on the porch, watching the rainbow in the sky melt the frost away. My skin had grown tough and very, very dark. My eyes were dusted silver instead of river blue. This was the way life worked now.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 12.29.2011 @ 12:19 pm


Daniel had packed a dessert for his trip to the desert. He brought along a case of water and a bottle of bourbon. He set up a picnic with no one to eat with. He read a Hemingway book. He fell asleep in the sand.

When he woke up, he had a Rip Van Winkle beard and the desert was now a valley, with clear running streams. And when he drank from it, it tasted like mud and sand and the parched sensation of a dead man.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 12.28.2011 @ 1:32 pm


For dessert, we ate a chocolate pie, loaded with homemade whipped cream. We drank warm milk that frothed up around our lips and then kissed each other’s milk mustaches. We snuggled. We cuddled. We shrieked and we giggled. We were children again, even when in our forties and fifties.

Howard fell asleep that night and didn’t wake up the next morning. But when I saw him sprawled on the couch, he had the smile of a schoolboy. And despite my tears, I couldn’t help smiling, too.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 12.27.2011 @ 6:30 pm


When Lily carved her name into the tree, she felt the pulse of the oaken veins against her hand. It was not a pulse of pain, merely of annoyance. She drooped her eyes toward the matted brown grass, tangled and overgrown like patches of decaying hair.

Beside her, a bird perched itself on a shrub, delicately balancing one leg on a bending limb and leaf. Quiet and withdrawn.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 12.26.2011 @ 12:02 pm


The old man was deaf to madness. He was deaf to sorrow. He was deaf to rage. It was a very selective type of hearing, a type of hearing that one might usually think was more detrimental than helpful. But for the old man, the ability to tune out the hate and despair was something he could use for good. He always smiled. Always laughed. Always kissed his grandchildren beside the dried out Christmas tree, draped in tinsel while remembering the love coloring the ornaments dangling from the frosted boughs.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 12.25.2011 @ 11:45 am


The dog clamped down on the dead man’s ribcage and wouldn’t let go. Frank could clearly see the brittle ivory begin to crack and splinter. He tried to wrestle the canine for the mess of cartilage and drooping muscle tendons, but it wasn’t happening.

His partner, Cameron, very calmly stepped over and whistled softly. The dog’s ears fell back. It dropped the skeletal wrist.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 12.24.2011 @ 12:49 pm

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