Fictional Tendencies



The American Dream

With January 20, 2017 being the day the new President of the United States of America is sworn into office I thought it would be a good idea to pull this six year old prose out of the closet. Six years ago my friends and I challenged each other with a writing prompt, we came up with ‘The American Dream’ as the prompt. At the time I was deeply engrossed in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Series. Stephen King has been known to have a scary imagination but it’s great as that imagination helped create a wonderful beautifully frightening world in The Dark Tower Series. That world and some creatures in that world helped inspire the world I created in the prose below. I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading.

The American Dream



The sounding wall of advertisements
Smacks you in the face
The sudden urge to purchase the new “miracle” drug overwhelms you,
You’re the embodiment of American Health

Stumbling through the bathroom
You give yourself the once over in the mirror
You smile
(Twinkle; your gums sparkle through your sleepy eyes)

You bathe in the sink/bathtub of your 400 sq. ft. apartment
Overlooking the Nuclear State Park
One winged birds fly around in circles
As the sun, what’s left of it since The Draining Mechanic of 2158 rendered it almost obsolete, rises

You comb your strand of hair
Wax your gums
Eat your ration for the day
And kiss your wife and dog goodbye
(Every male is assigned a wife once he hits puberty and a dog once he becomes a man)

You teleport to your office (which is a city block away from your apartment)
Check in with your Pit Boss
Fill out your time card; in triplicate
And start your 12 hour day

Every 30 minutes an announcement is heard over the loud-speaker

Every 45 minutes a meeting is held to discuss productivity

Every hour a 2 minute break is allowed to check in with your Pit Boss

Every 2.5 hours you’re allowed to dispose of waste

Every 6 hours you’re allowed 15 minutes of relaxation in one of two forms; 1) Government propaganda or 2) Purchasing the newest invention that is guaranteed to make your life better, safer, happier and longer

Every 12 hours you’re allowed to go home with the next days ration

You teleport home
Look out the window at the glowing park
Pet your dog
Take your ‘miracle drug’
Make unemotional love to your wife
Kiss her goodnight

Then plug into your nightly Monkey program that discusses the health of the government

Giving you reassurance that no matter what you do it’s too late

You’re Fucked!

Fictional Tendencies: The Beginning

In 2016 I made a personal goal to read one book a month. Twelve books for the entire year. Easy right? Sometimes yes and sometimes it was a challenge. Some books took hold and I couldn’t set them down while others weren’t what I expected and were taxing to read. It wasn’t that the books were bad, it’s that they didn’t capture my imagination the way that I thought they would. That’s what I get for judging a book by its cover. Either way I was determined to finish what I started. I ended the year with somewhere between twenty and thirty books read, possibly even more than thirty books. I lost count. The last book I read in 2016 was A Perfect Union of Contrary Things written by Sarah Jensen with Maynard James Keenan. I had read an interview with Maynard in Rolling Stone Magazine and it piqued my interest. So I picked up the book and it would seem that it was just the push I was looking for but  more on that later.

Somewhere in the middle of last year I started helping a good friend write reviews for video games. The way I saw it was; I already play video games and voice my opinion on them, I like to write, I enjoy a challenge and believe it or not I became tired of getting free games. I wanted to earn them. So I started Galoots Loot without hesitation and haven’t looked back since. While writing reviews was a learning experience, a fun one at that, it wasn’t the type of writing that satisfied my soul. I needed more. I wanted more.

Friends and I would become inspired by whatever was going on in our lives and we would write some type of prose and share it. Or we would challenge each other with writing prompts and create stories or poems and compare. Sometimes an image, word or phrase would pop into my head and I would write until whatever it is I wrote felt complete. My friends and the family that read what I wrote all seemed to be of the opinion that they liked what I wrote. They said that when they read it, it made them feel as though it was about them. (I compare that feeling to the feeling you get when you’ve been away from church for some time and when you finally decide to go back it seems as though the ‘The Message’ is for you and about you.)

So with some additional writing experience under my belt with Galoots Loot and a boost of confidence with kind words from friends and family I decided to create Fictional Tendencies. My goal in 2017 is to write more. Work on poems and punctuation. I despise punctuation, so many rules. But I want to learn and hone my craft. I want to grow. I want to develop characters and tell a story. Whatever that story is, I’m not sure but I know it’s in my mind somewhere. With all of this decided already we now return to the Maynard James Keenan biography A Perfect Union of Contrary Things.

The day before I created this blog I read the following sentence in A Perfect Union of Contrary Things:

“If you have the means, the knowledge to create something and you don’t, shame on you. If you’re able to be good at your job, to raise a child, to plant a garden, whatever, it’s your responsibility to do it – not only for yourself but for the world.”

This was a great big enjoyable smack to the face. Here it is, the world, destiny, fate, coincidence or possibly God putting this sign right in front of me. I had already decided to proceed with Fictional Tendencies but here was a sign for me to either answer or ignore. I’m deciding to use this quote as that little extra nudge. I’m going to write. Some of whatever I write will probably be worth reading. Maybe even sharing. Most of it might be horrible. I might succeed but most likely I’ll fail before I succeed. Whatever’s in store I’m excited to experience it. I’m ready. I’m going to share and put it all out there. I look forward to constructive criticism. And hopefully you look forward to reading it.

“Life is too short not to create something with every breath we draw.” – Maynard James Keenan



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