In Media Pertubo

Roughly translated as: In the middle of trouble

All of these snippets are started in the middle of things. I hope you enjoy!


There was a roach on the ceiling. She watched it crawl across the acoustic tile, dragging its nasty feet with a barely-heard scratching noise.  The used up feeling, the bottom of the well with no hope and no rescue feeling persisted. However, her hand, bruised and full of needles, twitched toward the call button.



He stared down, between his feet, at the ground eight stories below. Do mezzanines count as floors? He didn’t know. He didn’t particularly care, honestly. Eight floors were more than enough to do the job. Why do all fancy hotels have mezzanines? And where did the name even come from? Ah, distractions, distractions. Too much thinking is what got the Mouse in trouble.



The ormolu clock continued to tick in soft counterpoint to the gentle rain on the windowpanes. It certainly did not care that my life was over. “Everyone?” I whispered. I could feel my lips stretching into a rictus as I attempted to quell the scream in my throat. His own face a mask, the attorney nodded. “There were no survivors.”


Leticia attempted to catch herself but gravity – as the bumper stickers all assert – is indeed a harsh mistress. She pitched forward into the doorframe with a resounding thump. If that had been all, she might have gone on with her day, dignity mostly intact. But mischance was not done with her yet. The impact caused her to stagger backwards into a reading nook. The chairs were the evil kind, with high backs and spindly legs. Her own legs, equally spindly truth be told, tangled with them in a perfect orgy of knobby knees and dusty oak. The crash was horrific.


“And you’re sure they’re headed this way?”

“Yessir. All four thousand of them, full on stampede. They’ll be here in about five minutes. We, uh…we should be going.”


He’d been paddling in the cold for hours, it seemed. His chubby little legs were so tired. His arms had long since gone numb. The shore was still so far away, so far. He opened his mouth to cry and a wavelet slapped past his teeth. Choking terror and salt water filled his mouth and he felt the last vestiges of his hope float away.


The front door slammed so hard that I was sure there would be repercussions from China. Sure enough, a moment later I heard the unmistakable sound of one of my Royal Dalton reproductions hitting the floor. Thank God I had insisted on carpeting. I hurried downstairs to make sure that none of my babies had actually been harmed. If there was just one flaw, just one tiny little scratch, then come this evening, there was going to be a very unhappy sixteen year old girl in this house. She could guarantee it.


Debris from what appeared to be a monster party lay in drifts. Her mouth still dropped open in a silent “Oh” of shock, Saamiya surveyed the room. Bottles glinted in the noon sun from almost every surface. Ashtrays overflowed onto the fine wood floors. She was pretty sure that was a shrimp canapé stuck to the mantel piece. What in the holy hell had happened here, last night?


I am standing in front of my mirror, naked. My eyes travel up and down my frame, searching for differences. I see none. I cup my hands below my navel and try to imagine what I will look like in just a few weeks time.  I flatten my palms and slide them around to my hips. Still slim. The bones still stand sharp under my fingers. My gaze wanders back to the little plastic stick with its little blue cross. What now, I ask my fifteen year old eyes.


Every day it was the same. She would go to the coffee store and wait for a person to abandon their paper. Usually they’d leave it on their table as they left to go about their important lives. She imagined they had important lives because they could waste their money on a cup of coffee and a paper, every day. Heck, the waitresses who slung the coffee didn’t even call themselves waitresses, they were so important. They were batistas or something like that. At any rate, the paper would get left as these people hurried-hurried onto whatever tasks that they had. She wished she had a task. That was why she wanted the paper. She needed to find a task so she could be important and hurry-hurry, too.

3 thoughts on “In Media Pertubo

  1. Thank you! Aren’t those fabulous words? And it seems like they are barely used, anymore.
    Well, with the exception of Saamiya. That is a traditional name. I love how it looks and flows off the tongue. I have a very clear vision of what Saamiya looks like, just from her name.

  2. 4 and 10 were my favorites. I think you should at least tell me what might come before or after. Sadly – I had to look ormolu up. So really – now your site and writing are technically educational.

    Seven is particularly subtle and invocative for me. Starting in the middle and all – I pictured the narrator to be the mother of said 16 year old girl and found it oddly telling that she’d use the word “babies” to describe something that was precious to her – – – that wasn’t also the girl.

    You write full of fabu.
    thank you!

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