september prompt: momentum

The speed of movement and the stimulus of action, momentum brings us together and pushes us forward. From the motion of our routines to the product of our plans and operations, up the hill or down, back to home or off to new business – let’s talk about the energy, power and strength it takes to propel ourselves forward to our goals and desires.

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The Servant According to Matthew

Written by Jack McCoy

 

He walked for seven years, seven months, and seven days in tattered rags, bulging bloody toenails scraping rock and skratchmark arms having become those of a ragdoll. And he waited, and he waited.

 

Sudden Northbound tracks. Wood planks placed by history-knows-who. Sun rays pierce his blue eyes and he wondered how he became so dirty, so lost. Where am I, he thought. What is this sand? He stared into lost mirages feigning people with animated gestures, voices sounding in head with bazooka boom and glamorous amorphous anonymity, syllable blending word to word until sentences were audible and clear yet stripped bare of meaning.

 

Stark trees without limbs, or leaves, or bark, stood tall and metallic and Matthew walked between. Long aisles of sand burned his eyes as a great wind stripped his body of slivers of skin, his few rags which remained morphing into scattered clothes blowing past to each of the buried souls standing behind him in automaton form. There is no bristling, despite the wind. There is no speech, nor noise, nor clamor of feet in this sandy dune. The birds long stopped chirping and laughter lost its hue.

 

Matthew sleepwalks in color. The reds are deep, traces of racing electrons storming false beliefs into this membrane so he doesn’t stop, so he can’t stop. Legs whirred in motion forward toward whatever is different, that spirituality Matthew’s grandfather spoke of in voicemails he replayed long after his death. He spoke sermons, prayers over the phone speaking of the Great and Infinite and something indescribably Beyond, but Death never came to Matthew, as skin fell slack and jaw lost teeth. As his knees fell deeper into the sand and his bones departed into a fizzled experience, he heard in his last moment something which was infinite. He heard something lasting.

 

As Matthew was about to fall, he heard a voice, clear as those nondescript mirages, as obvious as those voicemails.

 

“I am here. And you are here. Thus we are here. This is my voice, and you are hearing me speak. I’m asking you to rise. I’m begging you, do not fall. There is peace in my finite of forever.”

 

And Matthew rose. And Matthew heard. And he heard because he listened to that voice in his head. He continued to walk for seven more years, seven more months, and seven more days, although he knew not where. His cheeks regained flesh and hue, his jaw of teeth, and his pace lacked the self-destructive clamour it before claimed.

 

Matthew walked, and walked, and walked. And with each breath of fresh air, he smiled.

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Momentous (Ode to Frank) 

Written by Baela Tinsley

 

 

sometimes i feel like

a god but im not

a god or am i

 

what does the pause

between the statement

and the question signify

 

when the headlines read

jazzy & experimental but

mean we dont understand

 

made it out by the skin of

my teeth started feeling

like contraband 

 

nail polish move from

pink to green glimmering

through the truth

 

nail polish flashy

like at night with

the red and blue

 

you can hear the 

outside as it goes

gliding by

 

thats a pretty fast year

on august 28th

9:05

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On Future Failures as Milestones

Written by Tyra Bosnic

 

Iggy Pop rasped along to bellowing, beating drums about his lust for life. Andy Dufresne roamed the hallways of Shawshank Prison, always reminded that he must “get busy living or get busy dying.” Neal Cassidy, usually drunk and sometimes naked, threw his caution and compassion to the wind and screamed, “Go! Go! Go!”

 

I am no stranger to such immediacy. Born with twitching fingers hastily reaching into hazy futures, I have now snarled myself into a present tense that seems to go on forever while also leaving me behind in the dust. I graduate from college—my final educational milestone—on the cusp of summer, and autumn is already catching up behind me. I think I am supposed to refer to myself as an adult now, but there’s been a lapse in my ability to assert such without erupting into giggles over how ridiculous it sounds. This is the year of reminiscing on all past accomplishments, but I am too occupied with my future missteps. In fact, hypothetical failures I’ve paralyzed me in place.

 

Like a toddler parading around in parents’ clothes too big for such a tiny form, I moved through my formative years with a yearning for the wonders of adulthood while I was still too young to know what I was getting myself into. Now, I am nineteen and the big, bad real world is two fleeting semesters away. Now, for the first time, I am at a standstill and it is the world moving too fast for me.

 

My attention keeps getting grabbed by the roughened men and women of past eras who brought the gods of time to their knees. They said, “to hell with it!” and wound back the hands of the clock to meet their schedules. Aging was no longer an obstacle for them. Instead, their growing years became the badges of hundreds of lives lived.

 

I want to look the future in the eye and tell it that it holds no power over me anymore, because all the doubts it has cast are just a symptom of the greater affliction of wanting to live. That is the root of all my problems, after all—the great paradox of a desire to live complicated by the act of living itself. I’ll play life at its own game, then. I’ll contradict myself into the future, and it will be a confusing mess of triumphs and failures entangled in bad luck and happy accidents.

 

There’s more than just barreling into a new era of one’s life, see. If I am going to be anything like those men and women of the past, I have to accept my fears and audacity all at once. I have to confound time before it can do so to me. I will take my fears and hesitance regarding the years to come and run with them on full display. I think, to make it anywhere in life, I have to carry my vices on my back as I trod into the virtues. Soon, the world will not be spinning without me. I will flip it on its axis with my inadequacies the new gravitational pull.

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Thanks to all those who submitted for our September prompt! Take a look at our October prompt, Premonition. Send any questions and submissions to shreddedmag@gmail.com by Friday, Sept. 29 at midnight.