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Pure Michigan Lit

S.M.A.G. Kindness Among Bloggers

S.M.A.G., Norah Colvin, @NorahClovin

Proud Member

The human world stays at home in solidarity during these crazy COVID-19 times and yet, the natural world spins on oblivious of its 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Some want to escape the crazy train (and some do, look — a mothership arrives). Some explore crazy good times, like a ’70s rock concert. Words of comfort, agitation, and rhyme circle around what is crazy.

This week, writers around the world followed the prompt wherever it led. And when crazy is the word, expect the unexpected.

The following stories are based on the April 16, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something crazy.

PART I (10-minute read)

Crazy by Pete Fanning

They say the world has gone mad. But maybe it’s the people who’ve lost their balance. On this giant planet two tiny ants play chase on a stalk of grass, blissfully uninformed. Two butterflies thrash about in silent beauty while a woodpecker calls out with a maniacal laugh. A stream races over the rocks, in a rush to join broader waters. Flowers bloom.

The world we knew months ago has changed, but the trees still bend and whine in the gusts. The squirrels still dash between limbs. And the sun still rises in a spectacular way… if anyone’s looking.

A Stir-Crazy World by Ritu Bhathal

I can’t help but laugh.

When else have we seen people:
Lunge for loo roll?
Fisticuffs over flour?
Battle for bread?
Scuffle over sanitiser?
Persist over pasta?
Tiff over tinned tomatoes?
Dual over dried milk powder?
Brawl over bleach?
Challenge over chicken?

The world is stir-crazy right now.
All we can do is
Sit it out
Walk it out
Watch it out
Read it out
Write it out
Create it out
Cook it out
Eat it out

We’ll come out the other end
Possibly fatter
Maybe thinner
Hopefully more compassionate
Definitely grateful

And able to still raise a smile.

🥕🥕🥕

Crazy by Jaye Marie

Most people would object to being called crazy but I kinda like it, for I have never been what you would call normal.
I knew I was different from a very early age and in a funny way I have always been a little proud of the difference.
I’ll let you into my secret.

Being crazy I can get away with almost anything and no one has ever tried to stop me.
When I went shopping wearing my bunny rabbit onesie, no one was shocked or batted an eyelid.
but when I fixed the fence in the pouring rain…

🥕🥕🥕

Rock Concert by H.R.R. Gorman

We screamed at the stage, the speakers so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves. Through the smoky, cocaine-riddled haze, I spotted the Wilson sisters wailing on their guitars.

“Crazy on you-”

I sang in return, mind spinning, body sweating, blood pulsing, lips grinning. I wasn’t sure where all of my pants had gone, and my wallet was probably surfing through the opposite end of the crowd by now. But it had no money in it anyway, and I lived in such a small town the police didn’t need to see my ID when I got pulled.

“Crazy, crazy on you…”

🥕🥕🥕

Backyard Quandary by Susan Zutautas

Exhausted from a long crazy day at work I needed to take a little time to relax before starting dinner. I grabbed a beer and headed outside to the backyard. The sun was just starting to go down, and I didn’t feel the need to turn on the outside lights. Sitting in my favorite chair sipping my beer I saw the neighbor’s black cat in the distance. Here kitty, kitty, I called again and again until he finally started walking towards me. As he got closer to me, I stopped breathing and froze. Not a cat … a skunk!

🥕🥕🥕

The “CRAZY”s by Michelle Wright

Cringe-worthy
Ringleaders
Arousing
Zany
Yearbook pictures

I joined the “CRAZY”s. We tried to sabotage every photograph. You can find our symbol hidden within most photos. Our demise began with the cat of our art teacher. Mr. Whiskers used his claws to grab hold of the plastic spider I was dangling from my hideout spot. The darn cat kept pulling down while I tried pulling the spider back up. I came to realize how overfed Whiskers had been as he was able to pull me down to face plant on the floor.

We say, “Now the ‘CRAZY’s are no more.”

🥕🥕🥕

Dog Crazy by D. M. Seyfer

After a long night fretting about contagious this and that, my eyes finally sealed for a few hours until barking, yelping, whining. A deliveryman plodded to my door with stacks of boxes in hand. Three dogs bounded to the double-pain window barking and pawing. Umphf! A large brown paw pushed into my gut. What a crappy way to wake up! I shoved him off and curled to avoid another barrage of paws to my body. My small dog’s high pitched warning to stay away continued, and the other two pushed and shoved each other off the cushion with excitement.

🥕🥕🥕

An Australian on the road in Tenby (Wales) by Doug Jacquier

At the Buccaneer Pub, inside the walls of the old town, I’m drinking with ancients like myself, pretending to be interested in rugby, while they pretend to be interested in cricket, but neither of us fakes their distrust of the Royals. Although it must be said that the man in the top hat and overalls, feeding his bar-stool-perched water spaniel some crisps and Guinness, is a little less harsh than his mates. He would allow them to take their own lives come the revolution. ‘Your round, convict lad,’ smiles Top Hat, ‘and mine next if the dog thinks you’re funny.”

🥕🥕🥕

Crazy Situations by Hugh W. Roberts

While shielding his eyes from the bright light, his army service time in Iraq made Mike expect an explosion to follow, but nothing materialised.

Opening his eyes, a crazy situation unfolded in front of him. He found himself looking down at himself.

***

Thinking she recognised the warning voice, Sophie couldn’t help but keep her eyes on the crazy situation in front of her.

“Time to die. But who?” yelled the woman.

***

Two floors above, Doug moved his hands away from his face and found he was alone again.

“That’s crazy. People don’t just disappear into thin air,” he insisted.

🥕🥕🥕

In the Mind of Crazy Rhyme by Chelsea Owens

Soft the silence screaming
names she’s standing, sighing

Soft the sickness of the
suffocation singling

Soft the sex they had be-
fore the space between them

‘Fore the years of silence

‘Fore the mental sickness

-Can’t he hear her scream?-

Loud the longing yearning
pushing pulling prompting

Loud the laughing demon
in her head is lying

Loud the lightning-flashes,
loading mem’ries of him

Listing years-of-longing

Listing dreaming-lyings

-Can’t he see her yearn?-

Fly now, fleeting fledgling
first to reach the window

Fly toward feet-led floating
to the hallway’s ending

Fly now, and be free

-Can’t he see she’s free?-

🥕🥕🥕

Gull Mafia by Janet Guy

A seagull perched on a cement post along the railing as I leaned over. A second seagull stood ankle deep in the river over a prone pigeon. The gull snapped here and there along the pigeon’s body, pushing its head below the water. The pigeon’s wings flailed. Was it from the motion of the waves, or was it still alive? I jumped back. The first seagull met my look of horror with cool amber eyes. Was it the lookout or waiting for sloppy seconds? Had I just witnessed a hit by the seagull mafia? “This is crazy,” I whispered.

🥕🥕🥕

Crazy Day by Lisa A. Listwa

It was a Monday kind of Tuesday.

Ellis sat on the bus with hat in his hands and briefcase on his lap as he did on any other normal Tuesday. But this Tuesday was about to get as unnormal as it possibly could.

Ellis waited patiently for his stop. Standing silently when it was his turn, he placed his hat on his head, nodded to the driver, descended the steps, and landed squarely in a bowl of tomato soup.

“Finally! You’ve arrived!” said a well-dressed platypus on a raft.

“Yes.” Ellis blinked in the greenish sunlight.

“Let’s get started.”

🥕🥕🥕

Goin’ Crazy by Cara Stefano

Lock downs started four weeks ago. Visiting Walgreens’s drive through pharmacy has been my social hour. At the grocery store I wore my bank robbin’ get up, feeling sad and scared and foolish and deadly serious all at once. No one laughed at me. My favorite time of day is when the mail truck comes through our development. Taking the trash out is the highlight of my week. I’ve never felt more like I’m on a roller coaster; however, I actually prefer the spin and puke rides. Come and take a spin with me?

🥕🥕🥕

Crazy Eight Hill by Ann Edall-Robson

The cattle liner slowed, dust swirling. Three days earlier, Crazy Eight hill had been a rutted, rain-drenched, slimy road. It had taken every bit of sinew in his arms to maneuver the loaded truck safely to the bottom. Delivering the cattle to the ranch on the other side of the river below was his goal.

This was the third load from as many auctions. His reputation assured the new owner that the heifers would arrive in good shape. Thankful it hadn’t started raining again, he started the tedious eight-mile descent to the hairpin turn onto the bridge.

🥕🥕🥕

A Poet’s Imagination by Saifun Hassam

He would sit by the Sea at dusk. He read aloud from his favorite poems. Possibly the first one was Longfellow’s “The Sound of the Sea” or Poe’s “The City in the Sea.” Later it would have been Frost’s “Neither Out Far Nor In Deep” or Merwin’s “Leviathan” or Stevens’ “The Idea of Order at Key West.”

Possibly he drifted off to sleep as the sun set, into skies of misty yellows, red and purple. Was it his imagination? He heard voices from the depths, whispering poems. Perhaps inspiration, a spark of crazy creativity that filled his own poetry.

🥕🥕🥕

Broken Freedom by Dave Madden

Nearly two months had passed since John had punched anyone in the face, and he was about to begin punching himself. The world between his ears had become hectic.

John called his teammate Derrick, “Let’s train in your backyard.”

Finally, Derrick budged.

Of course, light mitt work soon turned into a brutal sparring session, and a straight right hand gave John’s nose a grotesque hook.

“If I go to the hospital, I’ll be fined for leaving my house. This was supposed to be a secret,” John said through a bloody towel.

Derrick said, “I’ll reset it. Ready, one, two…”

🥕🥕🥕

Returning by D. Avery

“Guess we’ll pack up,” said Bill.

Of course hunting was off. Aaron noticed they’d removed the bolt from his rifle. “You guys must think I’m nuts.”

Harry spoke. “Dad’ll know what to do.”

Always ‘Dad’; not ‘my dad’, or ‘our dad’. ‘Dad’. But theirs. Not Aaron’s.

“Guys, let’s go sledding down Bear Hill. Like that time.” He saw the brothers both smile at remembering a long ago weekend at this camp with their dad. And with him. Aaron remembered having a crazy idea then that he could be their brother too, could say the word ‘dad’ capitalized, fully formed.

🥕🥕🥕

C r a z y by Hanna Streng

The dam that had held me captive for so long had finally broken and a roaring river of words had rushed out of me. They had told him everything he never asked to hear, and more still. Now I could feel it ebbing out so I just let out a last, deep sigh of relief.

“You must think I’m crazy.”

“Depends.” He turned to look at me for a moment, as to reveal the slight smile in his eyes. “Convince me you’re not.”

“I’m not.”

At this his smile slowly traveled down to his lips.

“Okay, I believe you.”

🥕🥕🥕

PART II (10-minute read)

Delightfully Daft by JulesPaige

I have a little fairy
she plays on my chandelier
upon her dress is printed a message;

wonder, explore, seek;
“Plunge boldly into the thick of life.” – Goethe
She goes where I cannot…
to the opening between the rocks –
to converse with other fae

Am I crazy to dream
that when she returns… she’ll
share her adventures with me?

I have a little fairy
to remind me to fantasize
about kind dragons
that will slay my dis-ease
of what may lurk in shadowed caverns

though I am beyond
the time to entice magical unicorns…
am I crazy to believe?

🥕🥕🥕

Bitten by Joanne Fisher

“I see there are a couple of marks on your neck.” The Doctor said examining me. He pressed down on one of them and I felt a sharp pain.

“Yes they’re vampire bites.” I told him.

“Vampire bites?”

“A vampire regularly feeds on me. That’s why I’m always lacking energy and prone to anemia.” I informed him.

“I see.” He answered while sitting back down. “You do know vampires don’t exist?”

“Do I sound crazy to you?” I asked him.

“I’m afraid you do.” He replied calmly.

“Okay. Maybe I am crazy.” I conceded. “But what if I’m not?”

🥕🥕🥕

Blank Canvas by Reena Saxena

unlimited imagination
a ton of rebellion
a dash of madness
is lot of inspiration
to defile blankness
with lines and shapes
fill them up with
hues and shades…
of eccentricity

He is now transported to a place where he has to live by rules. Certain acts are to be executed at a certain time, if you don’t want to be chastised by robots.

There is a vacuum inside with no perception, judgement, initiative or intensity.

He has lost everything of value to him. There is an empty canvas on the easel, his colors and tools. What will he paint?

🥕🥕🥕

Crazy Mom by Ruchira Khanna

The alarm wakes me up by 6 am. After freshening up, I pick up my bell and perform a ritual that has given me a nickname, ‘Crazy mom.’

But nothing can derail my enthusiasm about it, since being an advocate of energy medicine, I love to stir up energy into the stagnant particles of my home with this gentle jingle. This shift activates all the molecules that will eventually also liven up the spirits of all the humans living in it.

I call it killing two birds with one stone since the above activity also wakes up my teen.

🥕🥕🥕

Hide-and-Seek by Kerry E.B. Black

June crab-walked under the manicured forsythia bushes surrounding the wrap-around porch, holding her white party dress in an unwieldy bunch before her belly. Sweat straightened her curls and trickled saline into her eyes. Somewhere along here, a tiny door led to a slide she could take into the basement if need be. Of course, then her dress would definitely be ruined, since it used to be the coal cellar, and much of the soot lingered even all these years later – sort of how the “crazy” stuck around her bloodline no matter how hard her relatives tried to dilute it.

🥕🥕🥕

Plucked by Charli Mills

Hazel plucked an avocado from the tree in Granny Clemmie’s yard and skipped on bare feet down the tarred road toward the canal. It stunk like ripe garbage, which was better than the constant snort of dust back in Oklahoma. California burst with crazy abundance. Model T’s rattled out of fields stacked with fruit crates. Only problem were them busybodies pestering mama about her kids being little malingerers. What was a child but a wild wanderer, laughed mama? Crazy thing, they ended her freedom that day, shipped her back like a burlap of walnuts to the Oklahoma Girls School.

🥕🥕🥕

Brutal Craziness by Faith A. Colburn

Majda Obradovic thought she had left the craziness behind when she escaped Bosnia with only her daughters and her life—and some engraved shell casings. I’d realized before how people make beautiful things out of horrors—my dad had a coffee table made of military brass from the Korean Conflict. I don’t know the calibers of Majda’s shell casings, but I’m in awe of the engravings. Around the base of each casing were fleur de leis, and on the largest, central Sarajevo with its mosque, its synagogue, and its temple, and all the people on the promenade walking together.

🥕🥕🥕

Crazy Expectations by Susan Sleggs

“Hi Michael, it’s Clare.”

“A phone call! What’s up?

“I need your help. How about a road trip?”

“Medical or musical?”

“Medical. Remember when you called me crazy the first time I asked you to get from the floor into your wheelchair on your own?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I have a young lady that added ‘bat s__t’ to the crazy part. She’s fully capable, but won’t even try. I think you’d be able to get through to her. Besides, I want to meet Tessa.”

“You know Tessa’s name?”

“Yeah, from your Mom’s Facebook page.”

“Figures. How soon are we traveling?”

🥕🥕🥕

What Not to Do by John Lane

In February 1988, during my third week of Basic Training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, I fired an M-16. Unfortunately, I kept missing the target. Frustrated, I told the drill sergeant that I had enough. Here is what followed:

“PRIVATE LANE?”

“Yes, Drill Sergeant.”

“YOU WANT TO GO HOME?”

“Yes, Drill Sergeant.”

“GUESS WHAT, PRIVATE LANE?”

“What, Drill Sergeant?”

“YOU’RE NOT GOING HOME!”

“Yes, Drill Sergeant.”

“GET BACK IN THE FORMATION.”

Four the next four weeks, I was the target of every drill sergeant in the company. Four years later, I completed my Army enlistment with an honorable discharge.

🥕🥕🥕

In the Time of COVID-19, Two Guys Remembering the War Measures Act of 1970 by Bill Engleson

‘He was straight as a friggin’ arrow. Can we say that?’

‘Don’t know. Doesn’t really matter. Who’s listening, anyways?’

‘Yeah, well, that’s a whole other story.’

‘I remember the way he was back in high school. Couldn’t get a peep out of him.’

‘It was crazy the way he was. Teenagers are supposed to go a little nuts. Cut loose. Do something wild.’

‘How’d it happen that he suddenly became…?’

‘Deranged?’

‘I was gonna say crackers.’

‘His family did have this anti-government thing.’

‘So un-Canadian.’

‘So were armed troops in the street.’

‘Better get used to it, again eh.’

🥕🥕🥕

Crazy by FloridaBorne

“Crazy gypsy,” I muttered, as the fortune teller babbled nonsense.

“A disease created by China will bring this country to her knees. Killing newborn babies will be an… an… essential… service, but you will not be allowed to purchase an American Flag.”

“I’m living in 1950, not crazy world,” I chuckled.  “This is nuts!”

The gypsy smiled. “Just because I’m crazy doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”

“I fought in the war!  My friends died protecting flag, family, and freedom!  No veteran would allow that to happen!”

She looked into me with sharp blue eyes and said, “But your children will.”

🥕🥕🥕

Argh Chute by Gary Holdway

The deafening roar of the engines grew too far away to be heard over the awesome power of the air. I raced toward the ground at frightening speed, the skin of my face flapping in the wind. I pulled my chute, and everything shuddered and slowed. My lips relaxed back into position across my mouth, I could breath again. It was beautiful, looking out over the horizon, drifting high above the ground like a dandelion carrying a wish.

Once the parachute slowed me down enough I reached for my knife and cut the ropes. I thought It’d be fine!

🥕🥕🥕

Crazy, Plum Crazy by Geoff Le Pard

‘This place is driving me crazy.’

‘You’re doing their driving, Logan.’

‘What?’

‘If you’re doing the driving and it’s making you crazy, then it’s, you know, self-inflicted.’

‘What are you on about, Morgan?’

‘No, listen. Ever since we entered Michigan, you’ve been banging the steering wheel.’

‘That’s because these people are crazy. They overtake on the inside, for pity’s sake.’

‘That’s because they drive on the right.’

‘That’s crazy.’

‘At home the inside is the outside. So here the right is the wrong.’

‘And you fella! Morgan, you’re an idiot.’

‘Thanks.’

‘Don’t change, will you?’

‘Not a chance.’

🥕🥕🥕

A Stir-Crazy World by Ritu Bhathal

I can’t help but laugh.

When else have we seen people:
Lunge for loo roll?
Fisticuffs over flour?
Battle for bread?
Scuffle over sanitiser?
Persist over pasta?
Tiff over tinned tomatoes?
Dual over dried milk powder?
Brawl over bleach?
Challenge over chicken?

The world is stir-crazy right now.
All we can do is
Sit it out
Walk it out
Watch it out
Read it out
Write it out
Create it out
Cook it out
Eat it out

We’ll come out the other end
Possibly fatter
Maybe thinner
Hopefully more compassionate
Definitely grateful

And able to still raise a smile.

🥕🥕🥕

On Thursday Evening by Anne Goodwin

Out they poured from their houses
Paused on their doorsteps
Ready to proclaim
Their support
The ritual way
With their hands.
Primed by the media
The government briefings
The slogans targeted at their hearts,
They knew what was needed,
They’d done it before.
In common cause with their neighbours,
Albeit socially distanced
In their separate booths,
They picked up the pens
They marked their crosses
In the box
For the party that promised
To rid dear Blighty
Of the infection
The virus
The scourge of immigration
Of social justice
Of healthcare free at the point of delivery for all.

🥕🥕🥕

A Matter of Perspective by Jo Hawk

Insanity is measured by degrees, strictly classified by definitions, interpretations, and clever disguises. A tight white coat choked the evaluator, stripping him of his humanity. If he would only release himself from his strait-laced leash, he would see. He scribbled unintelligible notes with invisible ink and labeled my actions a Hail Mary call for help.

Nobody listened to the warnings I screamed loud and clear. Sometimes a hero must first rescue herself, so that night, with the walls closing in, I climbed Signal Mountain and sent my desperate S.O.S.

The mother ship answered, and I escaped this helter-skelter world.

🥕🥕🥕

Attitude Shift by D. Avery

“Pal! There’s a uni-corn wand’rin’ Carrot Ranch!”

“Yer crazy, Kid.”

“It’s fer real. If’n I kin find this uni-corn I’ll… I’ll…”

“Jist what will ya do if’n ya track down thet uni-corn?”

“Reckon I’ll rope it.”

“Uh-huh. Then whut?”

“Reckon I’ll lead it back ta the Ranch. Corral it.”

“Uh-huh. Or git it inta a stall. Think it’d be happy, roped an’ corralled?”

“Not at first. But…”

“But what? You gonna tame it?”

“Yeah. Tame it an’ train it. Till it’s—”

“Docile as any old plug?”

“Um…”

“Some things cain’t never be undone, Kid.”

“I’ll leave it be.”

🥕🥕🥕


20 Comments

  1. A wonderfully crazy selection. Well done everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    Crazy us, as crazy does…

    Do these fantastically crazy stories mean we’re all a bit loopy too?? 🤪

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Somehow this collection strikes me as very sane. Or is that crazy? Either way, it’s well put together.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Norah says:

    That’s quite a collection this week. I think there must be every meaning and nuance possible. Great responses, everyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What a cornucopia of craziness and I supect the best ever group of responses to a prompt. Somehow the current WP craziness means that I missed many of these as they were posted but I am proud to be part of such a talented group of wordsmiths. Special kudos to Pete, Chelsea, Janet, Lisa, Davery, Hanna, Kerry, Charli, Faith and Anne. As an Australian, Lisa’s well-dressed platypus rode high from the monotreme pack.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jim Borden says:

    that Heart concert sounded like it got a little crazy…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ann Edall Robson says:

    A little craziness can keep us going. As always, a wonderful selection of wit and serious comes to the rescue.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lisa L. says:

    What does this collection really say about all of us? 🤪

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A great selection of stories 🙂 so fun to read!

    Like

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