Free Extreme Fiction


    4:00 A.M.
    I have an alarm, but it's rarely required. It's been decades since I've slept more than three hours at a crack, and more often than not at 4:00 A.M. I'm lying in bed, half asleep, waiting for the alarm to music-on so I can tap it off again almost immediately. I pee, I pour coffee made the day before and heat it up, and I'm off.
    My beloved wife of twenty-five years, Trudy, and I sleep in separate bedrooms. My coffee and I go into my bedroom, and I sit on the edge of my bed. Trudy rigged up an adjustable lamp for me so that I can focus it on the snack tray table that is also my writing table. I write in longhand using mechanical pencils, and I erase what mistakes I find with one of those erasers that look and click along like a mechanical pencil. I listen to the radio as I write, turned low so that under no circumstances could it possibly wake Trudy up. Trudy spent a hundred bucks one Christmas to buy me a SONY-radio-tape-cassette player, and I listen to, maybe, a dozen different radio stations every morning. A couple of rock stations. A contemporary pop station. Two NPR stations. A local news station. No country music, sorry. I listen to a song or two, hear a news item or two, then move on to the next station. Click. Click. Click. That's how my mornings go. Click. Click. Click. Oddly enough, I concentrate best when the classical station is on. I create most of my original material while listening to Beethoven or Bach or Mozart. (Not that I can tell Beethoven from Bach know...) It's music that both flows like river water yet is as intricate as math, music that is not easily recognizable to me but known to the higher levels of my soul. I mean, come on, it's the finest music in the world and the history of the world.