Friday, February 26, 2010

Brotin Tale: Carrying the Weight

It's that time once again, to journey into the twisted minds of Otin and Brian on another Brotin Tale. This month it is my turn to open, and I look forward to seeing where Otin takes this one. Sit back and enjoy...

her head snakes, fists pushed firmly into her hips for emphasis. though muffled by the window where i watch, her voice cuts like a knife into old memories as i feel my head dipping low against my chest, mirroring his.

inhaling deeply, i turn back to my empty classroom, busying myself with gathering papers to take home to grade in front of the television. an inadvertent smile slips across my face, seeing the hot pink flier for the science fair.

so many of my students could care less, yet a few would find this their time to flourish. not blessed with athletic talent, they would turn themselves over to the mind and let their imaginations run free. some would even go on to be teachers. yes, i look forward every year to the surprises they bring me.

tomorrow will be a good day, my finger finds the switch without a thought, leaving behind the weight i felt at the window.

-----
i know i should not, but i indulge myself in a steaming sup of sumatra, black, no fru fru, but i want to be fully engaged as the kids pour in with their projects today. windshield wipers whip back and forth in a frenzy to keep up with the rain, each sip of coffee leaving a hint of steam at the edge of my glasses.

gravel crunches as i pull into the comfortable familiarity of the school parking lot. few cars are here this early, but a shadowy form lingers by the door, my lights play across the front of the building, highlighting tommy holding a heavy cardboard box.

dashing between puddles to avoid getting completely soaked, my key rattles in the door, saving questions for drier confines.

tommy, what are you doing here so early?

just excited, i guess, he mumbles into the box, eyes cast guiltily away from me.

did your mom drop you off?

i brought my project and wanted to show it to you, he avoids my question deftly, offering an easy distraction. after yesterday afternoon, i am sure he needs a break.

go on in the cafeteria and set it up, i will be along shortly, just let me drop my things in the classroom. tommy is a good kid, i have no problem leaving him unsupervised for the few minutes it takes me to return.

wow, what is that? my mind races as the lights and components, briefly wondering where tommy could get such equipment, quickly lost in the wonder of his brilliant device.

its a happiness machine.

a happiness machine...what does it do?

it will fix things, like my family. making them happier...

the first inkling of concern pulls at my conscience, he sees it on my face, his finger flips the switch without a though, leaving behind the weight he felt while i was at the window...

Now go check out Otin for the rest of the story...

65 comments:

otin said...

Once again Brian, you gave me a great springboard! I start the next one!

Titanium said...

Brian, that is... hot. Piping, steaming, boiling, explosively HOT.

Oh, where oh where will Otin go from here?

Tom said...

uh...this could go in so many ways. Terrific beginning!

Tracy said...

Love it, as usual! (pats you on the back) Onward!

Susan said...

If I knew Otin he is going to blow this one out of the water. This was an awesome start Brian. I can't wait to see where it ends up.

The Retired One said...

I won't give away Otin's ending, but once again, guys...just awesome!!!
I love it when you two do this!

subby said...

Interesting, this "happiness machine"...spring-boarding over to otin's :)

Cabo said...

Tommy used to work on the docks...

Love it! Heading to Otin..

Bernie said...

Great, and I popped over to Otin's when I finished reading it. In reality this probably happens too many times which breaks my heart.
..........:-) Hugs

Mama Zen said...

Wow! I'm off to Otin's!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I really like this story and think it's a great springboard for otie --- I can't imagine a happiness will equal a killing, but who knows.

Time for me to find out.

CottageGirl said...

As a teacher of a grade school with the majority of students below the poverty level, your writing brought me to tears.

slommler said...

A creative teacher....love it.
And a happiness machine rocks!!
Great short story
Hugs
SueAnn

Ocean Girl said...

Otin did it!

Great work to both of you. Thank you.

Maha said...

Brian....WoW!
I'm burning to know what's gonna happen, this is just...breath-taking

Maha said...

Brian....WoW!
I'm burning to know what's gonna happen, this is just...breath-taking

Ronda Laveen said...

Dim damn, man, now you're just toyin' with me. Over to "O"'s I go.

lettuce said...

what a great start, excellent

the walking man said...

Simple and complex this is. Opening with a question of who and ending with a question of how. Well done Brian.

Dave King said...

That's a terrific opener. Must find out how it ends. Great blog, too.

Skye said...

Oh, this is sounding really good! Can't wait to read the next part :)

The two of you do a great job of writing stories together!

Barry said...

Terrific beginning. Lets see what Otin does with this one.

Protege said...

It is extremely difficult to have two people share the writing of a story, but you guys make it work. Let me know when you make it to a book.;)
Have a lovely weekend,
xo
Zuzana

Kulio said...

Oh that is heartbreaking and engaging! I love the "switch" moment...you ignore it at first but then it comes back...

Kim A. said...

I love this cause I was the odd one in high school...I hope it is a happy ending..or at least no one gets blown up or turned into a fly.

namaste

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Oh God. Sometimes I forget what it was like in the midst of my mom and dad's worst nights. Yet I realize how blessed I am that we were never beaten physically and that I have the opportunity now to make a difference with others who have been through the same.

Thank you Brian

Mama Wheaton said...

Have me hooked! Now on to read the rest.

Jill said...

Always enjoy a Brotin Tale...off I go to visit Otin!

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Brian, you did a good job with the set up story here. And I like the keen eye the teacher has.

shakira choong said...

Brian, this is SO GOOD...
Only you can think of a happiness machine.
OMG... this is so awesome.

Great beginning!

hugs
shakira

Magpie said...

It's wonderfully done, but so sad in it's honesty.

Barbara said...

Sad and frightening. Otis always carries it to the dark side. But this time you kind of led him to it.

CatLadyLarew said...

If only it was possible to have a happiness machine... but then, we'd also miss half the fun of finding happiness on our own. Sadly, Otin's half points out the bleakness of some people's lives and why a happiness machine is needed.

buffalodick said...

Nice set up- I'll what otin did with it...

Maggie said...

You guys are such a dynamic duo!

too much happiness, unreal??

Jingle said...

a grand opening secures 50% of success, I marvel at the idea of happy machine, reminds me of a professor of happiness, if everyone is a professor of joy, then the world is better place.

amazing writing!

Brian Miller said...

thanks all...this is a lot of fun actually, never really knowing where the other person is going to take it after you open. i know the fictional pieces are not for everyone, thus it gets a little less crowded around here when i do them. smiles. its like playing in a sandbox as a kid, welcome to my sandbox...

Mighty M said...

Can't wait to go read the rest!!

Cop Mama said...

So intriguing...now I have to know what happens next!

blueviolet said...

Great way to start it off, Brian!

Jaime said...

another great brotin tale.

Raven said...

A great start Brian! I can't wait to see where Otin goes with this.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Hey Brian - what a great start back to reading posts for me. Can't wait to see where Otin takes this.

tattytiara said...

Great start, and we all know Otin can take a great start and take it absolutely anywhere, so I'm heading over for the finale right away!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Back from Otin's. I love this project you two have. You are both such gifted story tellers and this one did not disappoint. The Pollyanna in me is missing my happy ending but this was a great story and sadly all too real.

Lisa said...

It's a sad tale, but as a teacher I know this happens at varying degrees. It's amazing the stories you two create. I am so sad now...sign of a good writer..you make the reader internalize it and feel it as if it is real.

William Manson © 2010 said...

nice Brian, how do u follow that?, great start, well done mate..

Tracey said...

I can't wait to see where Otin takes this story!

Well done, Brian! Thank you!
GEM

Tracie said...

I don't know how you guys keep churning out the good stuff every time. Loved the whole story.

lakeviewer said...

Ugh, lots to ponder here about this kid dropped so early at school with a machine so fantastic...

Kaylen said...

Very cool!!! Such a great opening to the story, I must go read Otin's part!

Unknown Mami said...

Oh boy, I'm off to see how this ends.

♥ Braja said...

Fru fru? I thought I was the only one who said that!

Well done boys ....

Eternally Distracted said...

Great start - I'm kinda scared to see what Otin does with it ;0)

LadyFi said...

Wow! Fabulously descriptive.. without an undertow of darkness... Can't wait to see what's going to happen next!

shakira choong said...

Darling, I am doing a tribute for William,
come and greet him?

http://justmeshakirack.blogspot.com/2010/02/happy-best-day-william.html

hugs
shakira

evalinn said...

What I great idea, I´m going over tehre now!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Oh man, you have set this up so brilliantly - there are so many ways it could go! Off to find out which direction Otin took it! ;)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Okay, I feel a little tingle of concern .... after all, Otin is going to take it from here .....

Shelle said...

great subject...you really got inside that teachers head...are you a teacher?

only a movie said...

Really cool - I could picture the whole thing... off to read Otin.

Marla said...

Brilliant! Off to read Otin....

järnebrand said...

Great start! Off to see Otin. :)

Nessa said...

An astonishing lead. A curious concept.

RnPB: Ch 013 - Clean Up

AmyLK said...

Oh wow! Can't wait to see where this goes.. Off to Otins!