Comments Posted By Belinda Roddie

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stale

The tea was cold, the cake was dry, and the cookies were so stale that I thought about using them as miniature frisbees. Still, I drank and ate my fill, just to appease my Auntie Nancy. She beamed the whole time at the party, even as most of the food was untouched.

The cucumber sandwiches were delicious, though. I had to give her credit for those. I ate about fifteen of those before I remembered to save some for my sister.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 04.07.2019 @ 7:36 pm

conform

I never wanted to conform, but I knew that I absolutely had to fit in. So I wore the same colors as they did, the same make-up as they did. I pulled my hair back so tightly that my follicles screamed in pain, and my forehead shone like an unwanted half-moon. I wear black-rimmed glasses. Carried the same red leatherbound book. And ultimately, I was accepted.

I was part of their family now. “Family.” Pssh. Cult was more like it. But I loved it.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 04.05.2019 @ 4:43 pm

several

Several days later, I finally saw a new prompt emerge from the void. It was a simple prompt – a singular word, in fact. At last, the burden of the drought was over, and I was ready to slake my thirst. I scrambled to my keyboard and let me fingers perform their dance. When it was over, I returned to the rankings, and there I was – still in third place.

“One day,” I told myself, “I will be the OneWord Champion.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 04.02.2019 @ 3:42 pm

bags

“How many bags do you need, sweetie?”

“Oh. Uh…three, I guess?”

She handed me three reusable bags, all green, and I hoisted them into the passenger’s seat before settling into my beaten down sedan and driving to the grocery store. The sheet that my mom had given to me was pretty lengthy – she wanted at least three kinds of beans and several jars of olives. And that was just the beginning of the list.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.25.2019 @ 7:55 pm

ringing

Even hours after the concert was over, my ears were ringing from standing so close to the PA speakers. I tried to sleep, but all I heard were bells. High-pitched bells whistling and clanging into the darkness. Clamorous and cacophonous bells accompanying my heartbeat. Screeching bells reminding me of school days when someone would pull the fire alarm, and we would be let out into the coldness of the soccer field, standing ankle-deep in the dew.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.23.2019 @ 9:57 pm

host

When I grow up, I want to be the host of a late night TV show. I’ll make silly jokes and political quips, and I’ll get to interview my favorite actors. I’ll also listen to my favorite bands and shake their hands, all while I realize that they don’t sound as good live as they do in their recordings. After each show, I’ll get drunk like my dad and pass out in my dressing room, and I’ll pretend that I’m on top of the f***ing world on Twitter.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.22.2019 @ 4:34 pm

teeth

Look at little Marty Moses sitting on the stool in the corner of the saloon, almost sixty years old, and with only ten teeth left. See him suckling away at his stout glass of root beer, lips pressed tightly against the straw before it gives out. Marty Moses likes to smile at the ladies when they pass by, and they all giggle ’cause he’s enduring, and the bubbles from his drink all burst between the gaps in his gaping mouth.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.21.2019 @ 8:29 pm

passenger

Frank is the only passenger on the bus. Frank never bought a ticket. He snuck on when the bus was full and the bus driver was on her smoke break (she forgot to shut the doors). Now he sits with his hands folded haphazardly in his lap. They are like fraying parachutes unable to carry him to safety. The bus driver drives slowly. Her eyes are rimmed with gray shadows. He can see the hue from the rearview mirror.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.19.2019 @ 9:44 pm

tumble

It was just a flip, tuck, and a tumble to get Mick on the other side of the hill, clutching their shotgun to their chest. As they settled into the grass, they could feel the pollen already begin to settle on their body, dusting their thin hair and settling onto their nostrils. They willed themselves not to sneeze – the Summertime Zombie Dream Team would hear them. So Mick gritted their teeth and went to chamber a round.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.18.2019 @ 5:43 pm

haunted

I’m not sure why my wife is so obsessed with haunted houses. She claims she’d love to live in one, but has she never watched horror films? It’s not just all fun and games and ghosts – people die in those damn abodes. But no, she says I’m just a scaredy cat and can’t handle a little “excitement” in my life.

“Bungee jumping is exciting,” I tell her. “Skydiving is exciting. Ghosts are not my f***ing cup of tea.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.17.2019 @ 11:10 am

survivor

The plane had crashed on a mountain range far to the north, and I thought I was the only survivor. I was wrong. As I dragged my body across the wreckage, my legs fighting against me, I could see a body thrashing against melted metal and alloy. I managed to free the old man from the debris, and as he wept, I held his warm and broken body against my shattered ribs.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.15.2019 @ 9:30 pm

lake

Dennis practically swan dove into the lake, and when he emerged, he was carrying a long-stemmed flower clenched between his teeth. We didn’t know what to make of it. His hair shone like silver in the sparse morning light, and he clambered onto the rocky shore, dropping the plant and panting like a dog.

“Where the hell did you get that flower?”

Dennis grinned. “The mermaid gave it to me!”

His mother laughed. His father did not.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.14.2019 @ 9:18 pm

seaside

As I stared into the void located just above the tall, black bookshelf in my living room, I had to wonder if beyond that little mental wormhole, there was a little seaside town I could visit. I wasn’t a fan of beaches, but I didn’t mind strolling along its shore, avoiding the water and the puddles of jellyfish who had unfortunately been sacrificed during their great voyage. I thought of sitting in a room in a tiny bed and breakfast, drinking tea – with you and only you to talk to.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.13.2019 @ 8:33 pm

invest

Otto had the money to invest in the stock market, but Alan was hungry and wanted lobster tail – and ONLY lobster tail – for the next two weeks. He kept trying to swipe Otto’s dough, but Otto was quick and keen, and he knew exactly how much his best friend was pining for overly pricey seafood. So Otto locked the money up in a chest and delivered it to his uncle, Martin, who invested it in the comic book industry. Otto’s rich now, and Alan is still hungry.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.11.2019 @ 1:27 pm

similar

I know what you’re thinking, and yes – I know we look similar. We may not be related, but the hair is the same hue of red, the eyes the same shape and color. Our freckles settle like dead stars in the same constellations, and I know that freckles are compared to stars so damn often, but that’s what it seems like when we stare at each other – like holding a mirror up against the night sky. We are in the same solar system, swiveling around the same sun.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.08.2019 @ 10:21 pm

birth

The birth of the prince turned the entire kingdom upside down. Of course, this was before she made clear that she was a princess, not a prince, and the king doted on this little baby as if she were a beacon of light radiating from the heavens. As she grew older and became more feminine, it seemed that the king found her glow to be dimming. It was not easy living in that castle.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.07.2019 @ 6:20 pm

sway

Watch how, on the island, everything is green. See how the wind makes all of the palm trees sway. They want us to call this utopia, but the taste of scant fresh water and undercooked fish is not something I’ve adjusted to in all the time we’ve been here. The chief is fat with white hair, and she directs us all to wade up to our knees in the waves of the ocean. She makes us pray that a god I don’t believe in will save us.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.06.2019 @ 11:03 am

jumping

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed. First of all, why are they jumping? And second of all, why are they on the bed? Who let them into the house? Aren’t they supposed to be in a zoo? And why only five of them? They shouldn’t all be little, either; they should be with their mother. She’s probably worried sick, chewing on a banana in a canopy somewhere.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.05.2019 @ 12:40 pm

grim

“How’s she looking, cap?”

Captain Bossam didn’t mince words, nor did she attempt to appear stoic or without feeling. Her eyebrows were creased in a near permanent scar of concern.

“Hate to tell you this, corporal, but…it’s pretty grim. I don’t know how much longer she’ll last.”

Corporal Eisoff stared. This had only been a slight wound in the leg; now it was a dire injury?

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 03.04.2019 @ 11:07 am

established

You and I, we connected on a beyond a molecular level. We established something deep, something broad – like developing new spines under water when the pressure was pushing into our backs just right. We made new shapes out of our tongues, and eventually, we communicated with God. But God was sleeping in the sand on an island north of us, and his skin was charred from the lightning that grew fingers in the summer storm.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.28.2019 @ 9:28 pm

dryer

Willa left her father’s fleece jacket in the dryer overnight, but when she pulled it out the following morning, the fabric was still warm. She held it gently, fingers caressing the flannel pattern, before inhaling and smelling all the familiar smells. The sticky odors of tobacco and cheap whiskey. The aroma of bacon and chive scones that he always got at the café in the morning. Her mother’s perfume. Amazing how much it all lingered.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.27.2019 @ 7:18 pm

paramedic

Joseph wanted to become a paramedic, but he could never pass the fitness test. And trust me, he tried everything – diets, shakes, daily trips to the gym. Pumping iron, running on the elliptical machine, even learning how to kickbox. But no matter how hard he tried, his arms had the consistency of penne pasta.

“You’re just a wimp,” his girlfriend said to him when he moped about it one night. She soon became his ex-girlfriend after that.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.25.2019 @ 10:58 am

tempted

I knew I shouldn’t drink the entire bottle of red wine that my mother bought for me in one sitting, and I knew I shouldn’t eat all the chocolates my boyfriend got me in one sitting, either. But I was definitely tempted. I staved off the urges by having my roommate hide the wine and candy somewhere I couldn’t find them. And boy, did he nail the hiding spot perfectly.

“Yeah,” I laughed as he handed me the goods a few days later, “I wouldn’t touch your underwear drawer with a ten foot pole.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.23.2019 @ 9:28 pm

mustard

When I said I didn’t want mustard, I got a burger that was practically smothered in it. Hell, I didn’t even have to pick it up to see how much the stuff ran down the sides. The waiter was pretty indignant about it, even though the chef came out and tore him a new one because he had written “extra extra extra extra mustard” on the order. I don’t know if the little brat got fired, but the replacement burger I got was pretty great. And to prove a point, I stabbed a random mustard bottle a few times with my fork.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.21.2019 @ 4:23 pm

startled

Visibly perturbed, the boy in the yellow jacket and red baseball cap shuffled off to the side of the street, where he sat cross-legged on the curb, rubbing at his eyes repetitively and obsessively. It was safe to say that he wasn’t simply startled by what he had seen, but in fact, he had been quite affected, even disturbed, by what unfolded.

It wasn’t just the car crash, seeing the sedan fold in like fiberglass origami. Or hearing the scream.

It was also seeing the ghosts rise from the wreckage like plumes of cheap cigarette smoke.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.20.2019 @ 12:52 pm

lack

Everyone likes to tell me that I’m brave, and frankly, I’m wondering if they’re just talking to the wrong person. I lack courage, kind of like how a desert lacks water, or space lacks oxygen. I just don’t see myself as heroic or bold or daring at all. In truth, I’d rather just hide away from the world, holding in the folds of book pages and pretending that I don’t exist.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.18.2019 @ 9:59 pm

harness

I wanted my self-esteem. I wanted control back. I wanted to harness all my pent-up anxiety like a horse and save it for later, for something more productive and less damaging. I wanted to actually love my job again, but it was so hard when I was picturing scratch marks all along the walls, and angry words directed right between my eyes, like blunt bullets. They wouldn’t leave a hole or puncture, but they could certainly bruise or dent.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.17.2019 @ 8:52 pm

patch

Jerry and Tabitha had been going through a rough patch, after over seventeen years of marriage. Jerry was unhappy at his job, Tabitha couldn’t stand staying at home, and their efforts at having children, for what seemed like ages, had been fruitless (pun intended. Thanks, Bible). So Tabitha had gone to visit her parents, and Jerry, much to my “surprise,” was crashing at my pad, drinking my beers and playing my video games once he got home from another long shift at the grocery store.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.16.2019 @ 11:20 am

artificial

I am the reproductive offspring of artificial intelligence and a sad mother, who cradled a broken robot in her arms at the end of the world, who kissed its head and wept until the tears filled a small room, who whispered all her secrets to a processor that was no longer processing. I don’t walk; I float. I run code, and I am immortal. I have not seen my mother since I emerged from her womb, fully uploaded.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.14.2019 @ 1:57 pm

metro

3:35 PM. I board the metro at Larson Station. Sit myself between two dilapidated benches because then that way, no one can turn me into a people sandwich. I find my last working earbuds and pop them in, and soon, it’s symphonic metal for the next seven stops.

I’m on this train for a long time. Being a commuter blows.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 02.13.2019 @ 1:57 pm

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