Trina Woke From a Dream

Teagan Geneviene and I collaborated on a Trina story. Teagan sent visual prompts by Michael Whelan and we wrote lines based on the images.

I think Teagan may post the story to her blog. If she does, her version
may be different.

Trina Woke from a dream

Illustration of a victorian girl with fanciful moths
Trina woke from a dream

The Shadow Boy was coming to visit while she languished above a
labyrinth of verdant shrubs.

The Shadow Boy was intrigued when he saw a blond child with a bow
and arrow levitating outside the window of the monorail.

Was the blond child looking for his shadow? Could he catch it with his arrow?

The shadow boy examined the child for clues.

‘He’ had pixie ears and breasts.

This was not his boy.

Trina waved at the shadow boy and motioned for him to join her.

The boy hesitated. Trina wondered why: perhaps because the sun was going down.

The Shadow Boy shouldn’t be afraid of the dark, besides there’s a streetlight.

Trina decided it made no difference.

She still had Madison, but wait, where had Madison got to?

She was chasing a cluster of moths drawn to streetlight.

Madison out chasing moths? This was out of character.

“What’s wrong with you?” Trina asked.

“Nothing!” Madison scowled.

‘You’re chasing moths.”

“ They’re chasing me. Look at these holes!”

And it was true; Madison was full of holes.

(c) Rob Goldstein and Teagan R. Geneviene

 

 

 

Twittering Tales: A Midnight Storm

A Midnight Storm

These dark reflections.

Storm clouds gather on a
midnight tear through
San Francisco.

He wants the storm to last
forever; he wants to be
hidden and faceless: dead
without dying.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2019

162 Characters

This is an entry for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales #135 – 7 May 2019

Twittering Tales Kat Myrman
Weather Phenomenon, Photo by jplenio at Pixabay.com



For Willow.

#writeprompt: Trina and The Android at Saks

Trina first saw the android in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue.

It had golden gears, and a golden brown skin that sold separately.

Trina pulled out her bench and sat with her dolly, Madison.

‘He looks like Father?’ Trina said.

‘Your Father was shinier,’ replied Madison.

“Father twinkled like the moon on a windswept beach.”

Madison cringed and wrinkled her nose.

Trina continued: “Father was on a plane to Hawaii when the hurricanes struck. He went down like a meteor over Cher in Nantucket: poor father.”

“Why Cher in Nantucket?”

“She has the right syllables.”

Trina stood and moved the bench closer to the window.

‘The bot is browner than Father, but I rather like it.”

“Your Father didn’t have abs like that!”

Trina sat Madison on her lap. “How would you know!”

Madison giggled, “That day you left me in the bathroom; I watched
your Father take a bath.”

Trina was shocked and curious “Did you see ‘it’?”

‘What?’

“I guess not.”

“Your Father was hairy; that bot’s not hairy. Your father was old too.”

Trina opened her bag and pulled out a tea set.

Madison looked up in surprise: “Is that an elephant?”

Trina leapt to her feet: “It’s Anjana!” She hugged the elephant’s mighty trunk.

“And you’ve brought mice!

Seven mice dressed like dwarfs gazed up at Trina with quivering noses.

Anjana knelt and the mice scurried onto his back.

The android gazed at them blankly from the window of Saks Fifth Avenue.

“He looks like my Father,” said Trina.

“Where is your Father?” asked Anjana.

“He blew up during the First World War.”

Anjana raised his trunk and flicked a tear from his cheek, “How tragic.”

Madison rolled her eyes, “Some tea, Mr. Elephant?”

*

A week after Trina first spotted the android in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue he was gone.

She stared through her reflection in the window and wondered where he was.

The sky suddenly darkened and the shadow of a little boy stepped into view.

“Did you lose your boy again?” Trina asked.

The shadow boy sat on the sidewalk and sighed, “I lost my Father. He was a fighter pilot behind enemy lines in Atlanta. When Napoleon met his Waterloo; they shot him like a dog.”

Trina nodded sagely, “That’s exactly what happened to my Father.”

Madison scowled and popped a seam.

“Do you think he’ll come back to the window?” The little shadow boy sipped
his tea.

“I think he will.” Trina replied. “Let’s have a cupcake while we wait.

Rob Goldstein 2019

An illustration for a short fantasy inspired by the May #writingPrompt at Myths of the Mirror
Trina and Her Doll, Madison

I wrote this for the monthly #writingprompt from D. Wallace Peach

You can join in here: Myths of the Mirror

 

 

 

 

Trina: ‘In the Land of Tall Thin Shadows’

Trina liked empty cities the best and this is her best memory of New York.

She looked up, the Sun rose, partially eclipsed by a big black Moon.

Trina sat primly on the only bench on Queens Boulevard when she saw the shadow of a little boy skipping rope.

She quickly opened her journal and wrote, ‘In the land of tall thin shadows’

Then she pulled a piece of chalk from her skirts, dropped to her hands and knees, and drew a hopscotch court.

The shadow boy stopped skipping rope and came closer.

Trina stood. “Hello,” she curtsied.  “I’m Trina, and you?”

“I am a child of the Universe,” replied the shadow boy.

“I see.” Trina searched the ground for a small stone to use as a marker. “You have a right to be here?”

The shadow boy shook his head, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

Trina laughed: “Did you lose your boy?”

“I think so. Have you seen him?”

“This is my world. No one comes here, not even shadows.”

“I don’t have a right to be here?”

“Strictly speaking, no.”

Trina found a stone and tossed it onto the court.

“What happens when you vanish?” she asked.

“I don’t exist.” The shadow boy replied.

Trina was appalled. “You stop thinking?”

“I think so.”

“How awful!”

“But I always come back when the little boy goes out to play!”

“Always?”

“Yes.”

Trina reached up and hid the Sun behind her big black moon.

Queens Boulevard went black and the shadow boy was gone.

Trina was sad.

She reached into her skirts and found a torch, then she opened her journal and wrote, ‘They sleep without dreams’

An Illustration of the Shadow Boy at play in a Bird Cage in Virtual Reality
The Shadow Boy

‘In the Land of Tall Thin Shadows’ (c) Rob Goldstein, March 2019

‘Shadow Boy’ (C) Rob Goldstein March 2019

Header Image from pixabay

I wrote this for the March Speculative Fiction prompt on Myths of the Mirror. You can join here: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/03/01/march-speculative-fiction-prompt/

 

The Executive

The alarm rang and the radio spat news.

Bonwit Teller opened his eyes to a foggy San Francisco morning.

He threw off the comforter, angrily pulled down the shades, and
crawled back into bed.

The phone rang

“Hi Bonwit, it’s Jerry. This is your wake-up call per your request.”
“Hi Jerry”
“Are you up?”
“Yeh”
“That was a helluva rant you gave last night”
“Which one? I was drunk.”
“About Old Man Lazaro.”

Bonwit sat up.

Jerry continued: “You made Old Man Lazaro look like a jackass.”

Bonwit sighed: “I guess I owe him an apology. I say wicked things
when I’m drunk. Thanks for the wake-up Jerry.”

Market Street looked like an Exodus scene.

“Let my people go,” Bonwit heard a beggar say.

He dropped some cash into the beggars’ cup and hurried into
the underground.

He saw another beggar sitting cross-legged in front of the
ticket machine.

His sign read: “Dying from AIDS. Please help.”

Bonwit dropped some cash into his cup and hurried onto
the platform.

Bonwit was desperate for the train to arrive.

He thought of Old Man Lazaro: his face boyish, yet old, kind, yet cruel.

Bonwit spat on that face and remembered his rage at last night’s dinner.

Lazaro compared Bonwit to a General in a noble army:

“That’s what you are.” Lazaro said. “The sales force is your army. They depend on you for supplies and protection. Your people need you Bonwit.”

“I’m just a fucking travel agent and you’re just an old queen!” Bonwit drunkenly snarled.

Bonwit rose from the station and entered the Pyramid.

Bonwit thought; I am truly a pain in the ass.

As if I don’t know why I’m here

He smiled benevolently at the housekeeper. “Good morning Violet.”

’’Morning Mister Teller.”

“Have I met my obligations to you this week?”

“I got a paycheck if that’s what you mean?”

“I’m so pleased.” Bonwit replied.

He entered his office and rang his secretary: “Mary, will you call the Whiskey Shop and have a bottle of Macallan 1939 delivered to Mr. Lazaro?

“Yes Mr. Teller. Mr. Lazaro is in his office. He wants to meet with you.”

Bonwit entered Lazaro’s office and took a seat.

Lazaro glared at him. “Bonwit, darling! You’re late.”

“I walked this morning.”

Lazaro laughed.  “I’m removing you from the Booth Account. Shirley
complained this morning.”

“About what.”

“She said Baxter’s tickets were late.”

“I had those tickets printed and sent before Shirley ordered them.”

Lazaro shrugged and smiled. “Maybe she has it in for you. Maybe she doesn’t
like old queens.”

Bonwit returned to his office and crossed to the picture window
behind his desk.

He studied the expanse of the Bridge and the shimmering blue
waters below.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2019
‘Behind the Pyramid’ (c) Rob Goldstein

First posted May, 2017-Revised and re-posted January 2019.

 

 

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National Coming Out Day: The Stardust

Gay men are telling their stories for National Coming Out Day.

This is mine

Some context

I was born in South Carolina.

My family lived in a housing project in downtown Charleston.

My Mother was a night shift waitress at a local greasy
spoon: The Coffee Cup.

Unknown to me, she was a ‘Mother’ figure to some of the
younger gay boys who hung out at the gay bar.

In 1967, when I came out at the age of 16, my Mother took me
dancing at the Stardust Lounge, Charleston’s only gay bar.

In writing The Stardust, I’ve used the accent I had at the time.

Geechee, an African-American dialect spoken on John’s Island,
South Carolina influenced my accent.

I wrote ‘The Stardust’ in 1984 as theatrical piece and used poetic
form to shape the lines.

My goal was for the piece to work as performance on the page.

The Stardust is an excerpt from a monologue named,’ Bobby’.

Portrait of an avatar posed to illustrate a dissociative alternate named Bobby

‘The Stardust’

***

There was only one queer bar in Charleston.

It was off on a musty alley behind the Old Slave Market.

You had to kiss the doorman the first time you went in to prove you
was queer.

There was this narrow strip of stage of stage behind the bar where the boys would dance when the drag queens wasn’t doing a show.

The first time I went to the Stardust Momma brought me so I didn’t have
to kiss no one.

Momma lent me some creamy Peach Cover Girl and a hot pink blouse.

I sipped my Pepsi and watched the queers gawk.

Aretha Franklin was on the jukebox wailing Respect and I
said: “Hey Momma. Let’s dance!”

Well she hauled me up on that stage and we did the dirty dawg.

There was this one dyke named Roxie.

She sometimes worked the door.

She was so butch she could give the kiss test.

When I went to the bar alone she’d let me in; if the cops came I’d have
to hide in the lady’s room or get “discovered” and get throwed
out.

Sometimes the cops came and didn’t do a bar check.

Sometimes the cops came and took money and left;

Sometimes the cops came to watch the ‘dirty little faggots’ play: three
straight white dudes with mean little smiles on their faces.

One night I was cruising the Battery when this cop stopped me and
ordered me into his car.

“Whatcha doin’ out all gussied up?” he asked, “solicitin’?”

“What does that word mean, solicitin’’?” I said. I had just finished
reading
The Little Prince.

“Sellin’ yer ass to the fags!” he replied.

“Oh that ain’t what I’m doin’” I said. “I gotta little Sister at home and Momma
says I gotta set a good example by screwin’ every girl I see!”

Well, he drove me around, tryina get me to say I pushed drugs.

“I bet you’re gonna turn that little Sister of yours into an addict!”

“Oh I wouldn’t do that at all sir! I warn her every day against such wickedness!

God strike me dead if I don’t!”

I guess we wore each other out.

The cop took me home to the projects. “Keep up the good work with yo’ Sistuh!” he sneered.

Illustration for Bobby and Miss Queen of Hearts
Bobby and The Queen of Hearts

At the Stardust a drunk ex‑priest named Mother Rachel did the weddings.

 One guy dressed like the bride and the other wore a tuxedo.

 At the Stardust the Queen of Hearts drag show was the major event.

The drag queens wrecked every dress shop on King Street.

On the big night the butch dykes wore three-piece suits and their women wore gowns.

Mother Rachel was emcee and he’d open every show with a report on how safe the Greyhound Bus Station was to cruise.

“The place is jus’ hoppin’ with Vice!  He said, “So ya’all be careful. OK?”

There was one drag queen named Miss Tillie who always did My Life.

At the end of the song where Shirley Bassey screams,’ This is myyyy liiiiife,’ Miss Tillie ripped off his wig and thew it at the crowd.

Then at the close of the show, everyone in the Stardust joined hands and sang There’s a Place for Us.

Street graffiti that reads 'There should be a Place for us
Street Art by Eclair Bandersnatch

The Stardust and all other artwork (c) Rob Goldstein 2017 – 2018 All Rights Reserved
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Zack: Shoot me for Jesus

7/04/2012

Hey Kev

I thought I’d drop you a few lines since this week makes
five years since we left Iraq.

I know you say you ain’t the same without ur leg but I hope
ur feeling better.

I’ll feel hella better when I throw out these pills for crazies. 

Why does the fuckin’ V.A. give me pills when I say I need food?

Why don’t shrinks know people go crazy from hunger?

My partner died of AIDS last year so I got no one to talk to so I
went to Reno last month.

That was a big mistake, but the ticket was a free one way so I
figured I’d go see family.

My sister wouldn’t let me meet my nephew ‘cause I came out gay.

Her holy roller husband kept sayin’ he’d shoot me for Jesus.

So I spent the rest of my food money for a one way back to Frisco.

My family can kiss my faggot ass!

Oh well, that’s life for crazy fags and stupid war ‘heroes’

I keep hoping you’ll send me a card so I know ur alive.

I’d call but I can’t buy a phone.

I get $300 a month disability and it costs $200 for a week in a
crap hotel, so’s I won’t have a place for the next three weeks,
but please write to that address I sent anyways.

Please.

Love,

Zack

Photograph of graffiti left by homeless people who sleep on Clation Alley in San Francisco
The writings of the homeless men and women who sleep on Clarion Alley in San Francisco

(c) Rob Goldstein 2018