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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quietly Burning Taxi

"Each week, 3WW will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:

Rocco didn't have to die. He could have lived his life quietly within the confines of his neighborhood among his friends and family, without ever involving himself in danger and yes, even death.

That's what Rocco could have done if he were smart. But Rocco had this fire burning in his gut. He had to break out away from the safety of his neighborhood and go exploring where no one else had gone. Or, if they had gone, they didn't come back to tell any tales.

Rocco wanted to believe that no one came back because life was too good where they went, so they saw no point in returning to the fold where they'd just be stifled with the rules all the families imposed upon their members. Don't venture outside the security of hearth and home. Don't try to make friends outside your own kind, and even if you think someone is one of your own kind, don't trust them with your safety. They could just be setting you up for a fall. And never ever stay in one spot too long. That makes it too easy for them to overwhelm you and take away everything you've got.

Rocco thought all those rules and warnings from his elders were silly. They'd simply lost their adventurous spirit; they'd forgotten what it was like to be young and strong and healthy. They couldn't remember a time when they wanted their voices to be heard above the roar of everyone and everything else. They'd forgotten what it was like to really live. That's all Rocco ever intended to do. Really live his life to the fullest and enjoy whatever opportunities came his way.

Which is why one night, when everyone else was catching some zzzzz's, Rocco decided to go on a little adventure beyond the usual barriers and check points set up for his and the community's protection. He thought he might even manage to hitch a ride on a Taxi he'd seen parked in the neighborhood now and then, but tonight the Taxi was nowhere in sight. So it looked like Rocco would have to walk whatever distance he wanted to go which was probably just as well because Taxi drivers didn't want to stop for Rocco's kind. He'd have had to hitch a ride on the bumper if he was really going to take advantage of the distance a Taxi could put between Rocco and his home.

Rocco made it out of the neighborhood without setting off any alarms or bells and whistles. He even made good time getting to the outer perimeter where the boundary lines changed from known to unknown. The time had come when he had to decide if he was truly going through with his exploration or if he'd turn back before it was noticed that he was gone.

For Rocco it was a no brainer. He'd plunge ahead, come what may.

It wasn't long before Rocco came to a complete stand still. Before him, looming high enough that it seemed to touch the sky was an enormous wall of mesh-like material. Rocco could see through it to the other side; he could even poke through the screening at places where it was worn away or torn. But the edges of the screen were very sharp, and Rocco knew if he tried to make it through one of the obvious holes he could be cut to ribbons in no time. Oh, to have come so far and to see his goal only not to be able to reach it because of this wall.

Fortunately Rocco was not one to give up. He traveled the entire length of the screen looking for a place at the bottom where he might get under the wall rather than having to climb through it. Sure enough, right at the end of the screening where it was joined to a metal pole in the ground, there was a gap big enough for Rocco to crawl under and get inside the territory before him.

Rocco had expected he'd have to go through grass or dirt on his travels, but what he encountered on the other side of the screen was more like a green, stubbly, coarse material that slowed him down considerably. Pretty soon Rocco began feeling light headed, and his limbs wouldn't cooperate with the commands from his brain any longer.

And then the unthinkable happened. One of his legs came off right at the hip joint. At first he felt nothing, and he was actually surprised when he glanced behind him and saw his leg lying on the ground a few feet from where he'd stopped to rest. He tried to go back and get it, but the effort was too much for him in his now weakened condition. Still, he did try to go forward at least a little further.

And that's when he came smack up against a hard, black aluminum post. At least Rocco thought it was a post. He wasn't focusing too good anymore and his other leg was feeling a little loose in the socket.

Rocco was now feeling terribly drowsy, so he decided to stay put for a while. He'd just close his eyes and have himself a little nap. He decided that when he woke up he'd make his way back home. Maybe this adventure stuff wasn't all it was cracked up to be. He just doze off for a little while...

Which is how I came to find Rocco, the huge fat ugly cricket resting his feelers against my can of Raid on my sun porch. He was still slightly twitching as I scooped him up on top of a fly swatter and tossed him out the sun porch door.

Gotta remember to pick up another can of Raid at the store this weekend. That stuff really works! Rocco could vouch for that except he's not chirping any longer.


pia said...

Oh I felt sorry for Rocco, but I have a soft spot for Archy & Mehitabal and all cockroaches I don't really have to see

Gay said...

Now that was a surprise! Were you Kafka in another life?

Anita Jobalot (yasmees) said...

OMG Brilliant!! Just Brilliant!

TC said...

I never would have figured it out :) Nice job!