Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CWA: Desolate Desert

The sky stretches for miles as the cruise ship hovers over Phoenix, Arizona. You flip through the journal the boy had given you the other day, hoping to find more secrets to this ship. Nothing. You close the journal, place it in your satchel and leave your cabin with the satchel on your hip. The hallway is crapped with families preparing for the next tour. The cruise ship descends so gracefully while you are walking you barely feel anything. You make your way to the deck. Ant like buildings and cars below you grow larger as look over the railing. Phoenix. Are you ready for this?

Phoenix approach by: ddension @

I still don’t understand how you got a ship all the way out here in this porta-potty of a land. If you ask me, you had some extra-terrestrial intervention. No way could a ship get way out here without pyramid building technologies. But that’s just telling tales out of school. And anyway, now that you’re here, it doesn’t really matter how you got to this place. I have a job to do and I intend to do it right.

Welcome to Phoenix, Arizona. The shite hole of the Universe.

First off, it wasn’t my idea to come here. It was Spring’s. That’s my daughter.  That girl can’t stand the cold. Has this notion that snow is bad. Your hamburger truck breaks down in the mountains in the middle of January just once, and cold is evil forever. Of course, she takes after her dead beat dad. The fool wasn’t born in a cabbage patch. He was spewed from a cactus. But I’m not gonna get sidetracked talking about Ernie. That’s a story for another day.

I’m Lanie, by the way and I’ll be your tour guide.  Don’t worry, it’ll be quick. Matlock and my smoke break start in fifteen minutes, and I’m not missing neither.  Guess what I’m trying to say is look quick, get back on the boat, and save your questions for another tour guide.

Over to the left you have some sand. And over to the right you have some sand. Smack in the middle of the sand is…more sand. Way back in the days when everyone was bored someone thought it would be a good idea to put buildings on the sand. Big, shiny, heat collecting buildings. And then someone else decided to live in them. Eventually, a lot of people moved into them. I’m not sure why they haven’t all been cooked like a baked potato in the microwave yet, but trust me, they stay here long enough and that is coming.

Right in the middle of the tallest cluster of buildings is a little bar my daughter likes to go to: The Paradise Pub. I’ve been there and it’s a yard shy of paradise. But what does she know? She’s not worldly like me. She’s never been to a nude beach or a Phish concert. Her idea of an exciting evening is listening to live music at a coffee house. Poopy.
On the outskirts of the city are these things called suburbs. Tiny clusters of cookie cutter houses centered around a Target. It’s creepy really. And against my better judgment, I live in one.
That’s my house over there: the boring one next to the house with purple socks hanging from the trees. I live with my daughter, Spring, and her moron boyfriend Sam. Spring works as an ambassador to Casey the Walking Condom, and Sam reads books and eats potatoes. Spring has twin boys with attention problems. No idea where they got that from. Now where was I?
Oh, yes. I have my own room in the house, but I’m planning on moving out soon. I just need to save up a social security check or two, learn how to drive, and figure out the internet. Then I’m off to Bali or Belize or someplace where I can go topless without getting arrested.
I wish I could say more about this location, but it’s a dump. Spring might argue but as long as I’m tour guide that’s the official stance on Phoenix, Arizona. One, big, heaping dump.
Well, it’s been fun, but Matlock is on. I have to run.
With that I bid you an Arigato, Bon Voyage, and a Buenos Amigos.

Who Is April Aasheim?
April Aasheim  spent her childhood traveling around the Southwestern portion of the United States with her gypsy mother and her 'get rich quick' stepfather. During those formative years she spent time traveling with the carnival, living in an abandoned miner's shack, and learning to read Tarot Cards.
 After spending her early adult years in California, Tennessee, and Arizona, April finally settled down in Portland, Oregon where she has lived for the last decade.
 April is a mother, a wife, and a reluctant homemaker. She has written several short stories, maintains an active blog, and is writing her second novel: The Witches of Dark Root, to be released in early 2013.

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