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Short Stories

Friday Fictioneers: Abyss

 

Word Count : 228

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

The following story is based on the photo prompt below  for Friday Fictioneers -hosted by the fabulous  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

I went way over 100 words — sorry! 

roger-bultot-2
Photo prompt courtesy of © Roger Bultot

“I don’t know Charlie; I’m getting a weird vibe from this.”

Ginger twirled a few strands of kinky curls from her expertly primped auburn tinted afro.  A nervous beauty, the sun highlighted her smooth cocoa toned skin. Every inch of her lithe form emanated perfection.

“You’re an oracle Gin; you get weird vibes from everything. We’ll never know what it all means until we cross.”

She shot Charlie a pensive look, then turned to gaze out at the dusky horizon. Her twin shared much of her own traits, all but one of her strange gifts.

His pale silver eyes glinted with expectation, he felt everything, knew all of her thoughts, felt as she felt.   His gift was his burden. He was moved by some inexplicable urge to protect Ginger and was compelled to guide her along this journey. His destiny.

Ginger surveyed the overgrown field, reveling in the feel of the last rays of sunshine caressing her skin before bowing with resignation.

“It’s time. We should go now.”

Fear held no place in their hearts as they approached the miniature shed. The door flew open and an eerie white light beaconed. Hesitantly, the two crossed the short space, pausing briefly to give a fleeting farewell to their earthly realm.  As quickly as the shed had opened it snapped close, hurtling the two into a black abyss of uncertainty.

Gifting Hearts

Genre: Dark Fiction

Word Count: 100

I’m considering submitting a couple pieces to the Reader’s Digest 100  word flash fiction contest, so this is me practicing a bit before jumping into that pool. 

 

I plucked my heart out, handing it to her as I would a precious gift. “Take it,” I whispered.

She clutched at her own chest, horrified by the act.

My voice cracked, “Take it, you’ve taken all of me, my love, take it.”

Her expressive eyes watered, transfixed on the spot where my heart had been.

A barely audible never wanted it slipped from her lips. My heart writhed in pain— crumbled.

“Take it,” I bellowed.

She refused.

Stalking on the brink of madness, I murmured to myself “So this is what a broken heart feels like huh?”

It hurt bad.

Friday Fictioneers: Mystery At The Pond

Word Count : 100

Genre: Mystery

The following story is based on the photo prompt below.

FullSizeRender
Photo prompt courtesy of © Dale Rogerson

Well I think it’s a submarine,” Marietta stooped at the murky water’s edge inspecting the protruding metal more closely.

Chase, a towering sixteen year old, three years her senior, shot her an annoyed look. “Don’t be stupid, it’s just a bunch of old pipes.”

“You really think so Chase? Nothing ever washes up in our pond.”Doubt accented her voice.

“Yes. Now let’s just head home…” His voice trailed off, the water had begun bubbling rapidly and thick vines inched towards Marietta.  She was snatched beneath the water’s surface before she could even scream.

“No!”Dumbstruck he let out an agonized howl.

Wicked (WIP)

There was nothing particularly misleading about her story, still it didn’t add up. She sat with her back straight. Perfectly poised even as her predicament worsened.

Her sultry purr pulled him from his reverie. He had to stay focused. He had to turn away from her flawless petite form, even more appealing was her impeccably made up oval face.
If he didn’t have his wit about him he’d be falling into one hell of shit storm.

“But sir, I am a lady. Surely there is no need for me to lie. How could I have possibly murdered my own husband?” 
 
She sounded sincere enough, except for that smirk—that sly, “I-know-something-that-you-don’t” smirk. It played upon her devilish red lips—coy. Slate grey eyes stared back at him, devoid of the sadness that should be there. Instead her gaze was hard, unyielding and coldly calculating.

“Mrs. Charles, this is no time for games. The evidence points towards guilt– your guilt. I suggest you come clean now. Save us and yourself the hassle. Not that your refusal to confess matters anyway, just know that I will get to the bottom of this. No matter what it takes.”

His hard words hung as heavily as the cloud of tension that filled room.

She giggled. Swirling pricey red wine in an equally pricey goblet as she did.

Her giggles grew erratic matching the pace at which she swirled her wine. So fast. His mind followed suit, his traitorous heart beat intensifying with each rotation. His grasp on the situation spiraled out of control before his eyes.

She stopped, as suddenly as she had started. Cold demeanor intact once more she chimed, “Oh will you now?”

By God she was attractive, goddamit she was beyond it. The quick tightening of his groin yet another indication of how badly he would fail. Shifting uncomfortably, he adjusted his ill-fitted expensive tweed suit in bid to hide his shame. No wonder the poor husband was blind to his own demise, the woman could weave a spell of destruction from her raw sensuality alone.

She eyed him unabashedly, eyes alight with a predator’s wicked going. Her effect was binding. He couldn’t bring himself to move, even as he watched her slide from her perch atop the bar stool, her barely there silk dress showing a peek of delectable pale flesh as she did.

“Mr Tane”, her voice trailed off, “James? Maybe I should just call you James right?” Her question lingered. “Perhaps we can come to some sort of agreement, you know? A little trade off, you help me, I help you.”

He knew he’d already lost this battle of wills, still he clung to his last dwindling bit of professionalism. His calloused hands balled into a fist the moment he felt her long fingers trace along the pointedly noticeable bulge at his front. He now was a man doomed by foolish desire.

She purred with cruel delight and dropped to her knees, “There now darling, I knew we could come to an amicable agreement.”

He was awash with shame, yet utterly helpless against this femme fatale. His days of being a detective had come to an end, she the victor and he the victim.

Friday Fictioneers: Their Final Goodbyes

Word Count: 100

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

The following story is based on the photo prompt below. Enjoy!  🙂 

copyright-ron-pruitt

“Where you gonna go now?”

Ma peered up at him, her face strained with concern. Youth hadn’t been good to her, nor had the years of hardship and loss that defined her existence.

“Dunno. Disappear for a while, you know? Get my shit together then come back.”

She gripped his tattered duffel bag tighter, seeming oblivious to the tears streaking down her face, “And if I’m gone when you come back?”

“Ma don’t do this, alright?”

He turned away before quickly boarding the packed bus, “I’ll always come back.”

He wouldn’t be coming back. They both knew it this time.

Rafael Boncour

“So what do you suppose I’m here for this time?,” the hollow voice reverberated throughout the quiet room, an avid reminder of his dilemma.

“To destroy me.” He replied. The he, Rafael Bancour. A madman. A madman whose subconscious came out to haunt him ever so often. It was here now. To destroy him completely.

His subconscious, a snake with a quick mouth, was always ready to burden him with the murderous onslaught of “real life”.

“Why, yes my dear old Riff-Raff, you are correct. I am here to destroy you…completely this time, but only if you let me. You won’t struggle too much will you?”

The truth is, his subconscious was a nasty piece. A nasty piece that thought naughty things, did naughty things, and called him naughty names. Riff-Raff was one of those nasty names snake contrived to break him. The thing was, Riff-Raff was not so bad a name for him at all. He was indeed old riff-raff, his entire life an unpleasant mix of failure and disappointments.

“I’ve been waiting for you snake. I’ve been waiting for you to come destroy me….fully this time”.

A wistful smile played upon his sad lips, he lay immobile, refusing to make even the slightest of efforts to get comfortable in that weathered old sea-weed green couch that reeked of rat piss and stale beer. “What an ugly thing,” he thought, “such an unpleasant color to match an even more unpleasant smell.” He refused to move nonetheless.

“Are you afraid of it?” asked the snake.

Should one fear it? The unspoken question lingered.

“Afraid of death?” replied Old Riff-Raff, “no of death I am not afraid, but life I do fear. There is complete control–complete peace in death. In life there is no such thing”.

“Well,” said the snake. “ I have come to give you life. Will it destroy you?”

“ I refuse,” cried Old Riff-Raff. “ I refuse!”

Old Riff-Raff lay immobile still. Tiny slits of light had begun to make their way intrusively across the room as he laid there in his tiny dark space. “How unpleasant,” he thought, “unpleasant and intrusive.” This bright light in his dark space.

He lay there, a sorry victim to the unpleasantness. The unpleasantness of the ugly thing and the nasty smell. He lay victim to his own loss, his own failures, reveling in them as he felt the unwelcome presence of his subconscious subside. It went away quietly, as it always did. But he would be back, snake always came back. As Old Riff-Raff drifted further out into the dark fitful sea of broken dreams, he could hear snake’s whispered promises of, ” I will be back. I will destroy you next time.”

My Dearest Penelope

My dearest Penelope, 

How I miss you. I yearn for your sweet delicate kisses, your feathery touch. You are mine and I am yours. I pray you will respond to my letter. Grant my corroded heart its final wish. How can you not love me?  How can you not! Am I not man enough? Do I not fulfill your innermost desires? Why?Why have you scorned my love? My touch!

I remember you were sweet, your sweet promises of forevermore–tantalizing. Are you not to keep them? Where lies the honor in the woman who does not stay true to her promises? Are you to drive me completely mad? Succubus! You woman of devilish origins! Curse you! Curse your love! I loathe you! .. I loathe your love….yet I cannot bear to go another day without you…my sweet sweet Penelope. 

Will you forgive my transgressions, albeit small they are? clothe me in the aura of your love! Hearken to my cries Penelope! I shall love you forevermore! Forevermore! Eternity shall not break us apart! Neither shall the dark hands of death!

He held his head with left hand, his dulling quill pen hung loosely, yet firmly from his calloused right hand, his movements seem slow, crippled by unseen agony. In an instance he is a different man, his outburst jarring–unexpected. The pen no longer in hand, sailed across the candle lit room, the dim-light creating a menacing shadow against his person. “Forevermore my dear Penelope,”he whispers.

His intended letter forgotten, he strides over to Penelope, her willowy frame lay awkwardly–perfectly poised against a bed of roses, shades of a most violent red, dead. Her lips blue, eyes wide open , transfixed– mesmerized by the indescribable face of death.

He strokes her cold face, tracing warm unsteady fingers across her hard lips, he stops at her neck, caressing gently the very spot where every bit of life had been wrung from her in passion driven fit of madness. “My love what have you done to me?” His anguished cry slices the dark silence of the quiet winter night.

Meeting Daddy

Perhaps he was right, perhaps she didn’t belong here.

“As I’ve said before Lilah, you’re welcome to stay here for now…”

He stopped short, choosing his next words wisely.

“But I do have a family to take care of, a business to run. My own life to live…” He pauses a moment, stroking his clean shaven chin before continuing. “What I really mean Lilah, Is that we have built separate lives, and the one I have for myself right now– you are not part of the equation. I suggest after this is all over you leave. If it’s money you want that is no problem”.

She sat motionless. His words played over and over again in her blank mind. This could not be the man her mother had been so enamored with.  Here she was, age twenty two and three international flights away from home. She thought she’d meet a father for the first time.

“I don’t know what to say”, flustered she toyed with the ten carat gold ring on her finger. “I didn’t quite come here for you money, nor to cause you distress for that matter. I simply came here to meet you–my father”.

She peered up from beneath long lashes, regretting doing so as she met with the repulsive look he shot her.

“Well Lilah, you made a mistake by coming here. It’s too late for me to try being a father to you now”.

His cold response was the slap in the face she’d been dreading. Eyes downcast, her tiny whisper almost inaudible she walked towards the exit.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry for coming here. Goodbye”.

Without a backward glance she slipped out the door, gently locking it behind her. As soon as the lock clicked, a wave of immeasurable sadness washed over her. She dropped to the floor sobbing uncontrollably. The pain of being unloved was all too intense.

Sins and Sorrows

This chapel feels far away enough. Far away enough from my norm.

“Forgive me father, for I have sinned”, my hushed tones bounce off the walls of the tiny confessional.

“It seems as though I’m destined to go down the path of destruction. I’m using again”.

The words trail off—slightly, lingering. I catch the nervous-judgmental cough from the other side of the box. I try hard to control my agitation, but fail miserably.

“Look you greasy bastard, whoever the hell you think you are! I didn’t come to this little crap hole to face your judgment. I came here for penance man, fucking penance. Man look I swear to god…”. Abruptly I come to senses, I remember where I am. Again my voice trails off.

Nowadays I lose everything. I lose my train of thought. Crap, I’ve lost my train of thought…I’ve been losing my train of thought lately. My train of wrecked thoughts. Lost it…completely.

I swiftly make the sign of the holy cross and attempt to re-gather my scattered thoughts. I’m convinced my coming here was not a smart idea at all.

“Father I have sinned, I don’t know who else to lay it all to… shit, there’s really no one else….But if you’re listening that’s cool…if you’re not then forget you. It’s a pretty cold, shitty world out here, and I’ve obviously lost my way in it….so here I am seeking penance. Here I am laying my sins and sorrows at your feet”.

Just as I was about to delve into my confession, I hear a scoff?

“Jenn?”

I’m silent in my shock…what?…wait… my thoughts are jumbled again, but could it possibly be?

There’s stirring behind the confessional window.

“Jenn, I know it’s you”, I could hear the resentment in his voice. I focus a little harder on his voice.

“Jenny-bear?”

His voice actually registers this time.

It’s my goddamn dad.

The Death of A Misguided Star

“Don’t be afraid of the stars, they are there to guide us. They are there to guide us away from the darkness, away from loneliness, away from all the things which we might never truly understand.” She said it with such power—such conviction my dear old grandmother.

Her voice rings clearly, cutting across my dark muddled thoughts. An illusion?  Is it?

“Grandmother! I hear you now, I can hear you again. I thought you had gone….I thought you had gone away; tell me more of these stars. I do not want to be afraid anymore. Please grandmother! Teach me the ways of the star, how may I beg it to bring me light? I need guidance”.

Silence. I waited—my breathing sharp– rapid little intakes of air. I was choking on life.

“Grandmother I beg you! Tell me more of the stars, how shall they guide me? I long for home. I long for guidance”. The anguished whispers echoed fiercely.  Resounding they mocked me. All alone my whispers mocked me–darkness mocked me. There was no hope to be found. My star’s light had burnt out. My grandmother’s light had been burnt out.

“Please…grandmother……”.

My forced whisper felt cold on my lips….dead. The last sliver of light slipped away, my eyes closed slowly—the darkness would take me. There was no more hope for a guiding light. No more hope for life.

Depth- Tales From The Subconscious

Self sought to find me by myself again, subconscious.
I suppose we were to finally speak of all the things that had been formerly brushed aside, in that moment, self had decided its voice would be heard –in the perfect stillness of my subconscious.

I said to self, “what have I done to merit this conversation?”

Self solemnly replied, “You are much too hard on yourself, I do not approve.  You are much too forgiving, I do not approve. You are much too loyal, I do not approve. I am self, and I am here to save you from yourself.”

Like others before, this conversation was strange; oddly comforting—nonetheless strange. Again, self had come to save me from myself.

“What must I do?” I inquired of self, “surely you must have known I would seek answers, you ought to have known.  You say you sought me out to save me? Was that not your original intent? How dare you engage me with valiant attempts to “save”, yet you provide no answers? The answers I so desperately seek. What should I make of this self? What madness is this?

Self, reserved, and dubiously valiant again replied, “You are much too hard on yourself, I do not approve.  You are much too forgiving, I do not approve. You are much too loyal, I do not approve. I am self, and I am here to save you from yourself.”

I knew not what to make of this stressful, ill-defined sparring word-match. I sought answers, yet my reward was more unanswered questions. My anger built, built, then climaxed.

In clipped, well pronounced tones I cautiously re-approached my conversation with self.

“Self”, the emphasis was quite noticeable, “I cannot bear you riddles, I cannot stand your dodgy answers, I refuse to be agitated by your vagueness. Are you are here to save me from myself? How so? How will you save me? ”

Again, this monstrosity—self, replied, “You are much too hard on yourself, I do not approve.  You are much too forgiving, I do not approve. You are much too loyal, I do not approve. I am self, and I am here to save you from yourself.”

Self-control abandoned, I approached self ever so menacingly, I sought to get answers from self.  I’m sure it could feel me. It was me, myself, I. Self never budged it stood stock still as I approached, my fury doubling with each misguided step. Time halted—I was at self’s back, my warm breath caressed its nape, my calloused fingers brushed against its neckline. To strangle or not to strangle? –To strangle.

As I wrapped my long cold fingers around its neck, I felt a tug; it always began with a tug, then a swift hard pull. I am pulled back into the depths of my subconscious. Self failed to save me. Self never provided me with the answers I sought. Again self has left me lost in the deep dark subconscious of my self. Depth.

A Bride

A sweet autumn breeze caressed the thin silky ivory robe against her bare skin. She closed her eyes enjoying the sweet touch, reveling in the sheer beauty of the moment, the sweet morning sounds, the giddy feeling, everything. Everything felt so perfect.  She sighed and stepped away from the balcony.  As she moved, she caught a reflection of herself in the large ornate cheval mirror standing in the center of the room.  Momentarily taken aback, she stood there admiring  her own reflection –she looked stunning.  She admired the kinky curls that had been wound into a delicate yet intricate chignon. She admired the soft tendrils that had escaped and now curled into tight kinky wisps at her nape. Her flawless ebony skin glowed, kissed by love.  She admired it all. She was ready.

The jitters that had been there yesterday had left.  All she felt now was happiness and love—an abundance of love. She walked over to the closet and touched her gown again. Her wedding gown, a breath taking Grecian style ivory number. Closing her eyes she ran her fingers over the gown; committing every little detail to memory, every last one.  For a while she stood there overwhelmed–incredibly overwhelmed by what was to be her future. Her future as a wife. A lone tear escaped and made its way down her delicate cheek. She didn’t wipe it away, it too felt right.  It was almost time.  She turned away from the dress and walked over to the middle of the spacious room and stood there.  At that very moment her bridesmaids arrived. All three barged into the room in a giggly flurry, but stopped in their tracks mesmerized by her ebony beauty. Yes she was ready. Ready to be someone’s Mrs. Right.

Loose Ends

As soon as I walked into the room, the smell of stale beer and week’s old garbage assaulted my nostrils. I didn’t have to look around to remember the ghastly vomit green wallpaper that peeled off from every edge, nor the splotch of black mold that still sat on the pale grey window sill. I swear it had been there for as long as I could remember. How could I ever forget the forgot the barely concealed hole in the wall?—the one Ma’s ex-lover had punched through in drunken fit of rage. I had to give it to her though; she at least tried to make the dump of an apartment “visually appealing”.

I couldn’t begin to comprehend where the woman had gotten her obvious lack of good taste from. As my eyes scoured the room I inwardly recoiled when I came upon her latest addition, a rather shoddy imitation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which hung limply from the wall barely held in place by an old nail. Every squalid detail of the room had remained etched in my memory. Except for her latest interior decorating fail, nothing had changed. Ah yes, mother was still tacky as ever.

I glanced over to my boyfriend Hadrian, handsome and immaculately dressed. He looked every bit the powerful lawyer he was known to be. His discomfort at being here was visible, yet he forced a smile pretending it was alright. I know him better than that; I know he was itching to leave. I was embarrassed to have him here, yet having him here with me in my broken childhood home gave me a sense of comfort. I quickly turned away from, pretending to study the broken mirror above the hole in the wall. My reflection mocked me. From where I stood, my scrawny, awkward looking former self stared back at me, the ill-fitting hand-me-down floral smock dress she wore hanging loosely off her lanky five foot seven frame. Her eyes held a bright mischievous twinkle.

Even at that age she’d been curious about the world and her place in it. I blinked, the girl in the mirror was replaced by a woman, impeccably dressed–the black body con dress she wore clinging greedily to every bit of her svelte curves. She looked every bit the successful woman she’d become. Her eyes still held that twinkle; but she’d grown to have a strong distrust of the world.

I blinked again, my reverie broken by the creak of the old floor board. I glanced around, this time even more acutely aware of the insignificant details of the dingy apartment, my half brother Tristan included.

“So are you going to take this crap hole or what? Ma willed it to you but I’m sure I need it more than you do”, he regarded me with disdain. “Look at you…you and your do-good boyfriend don’t need this”.

He was right. I was struck by his resentment for me; but I can’t say I was surprised by it. Tristan had always been like that to me. He’d never really played the role of a big brother; he’d never tried to save me when I was being bullied in grade school, never gave advice on how to handle boys, instead he’d laughed and helped spur the torture. I’d never understood why he’d hated me so much back then.

Looking at him now I could tell why. Unkempt dreadlocks splayed across his drawn face, three dirty-blonde strands rested ridiculously above his blood shot eyes. His full lips no longer looked pink, they were instead a sad dark purple and chapped. Tristan looked far more aged than his twenty five years. I saw no reflection of myself in him. I saw none of the ambition, self-worth and drive that had taken me out of this rat-hole.

“Tristan, we really don’t care to have anything to do with you or this place. You’ve already made your case for that”, the clatter of my stilettos echoed as I crossed the small floor space to stand by Hadrian.  “I’m not sure what twisted game Ma was trying to play when she wrote me into this will, I made it quite clear that I’d never come back, but I guess at the end of the day she won. I came back.”

I observed him as he sat there on the thread bare futon. The glint of anger then hurt that flashed across his face once I mentioned her was unmistakable.

“You know, you killed her right?” The room fell dead silent. Just as quickly, the silence was broken by his course laughter, “yes bitch, you killed her! You know she always thought you’d come back for her? I don’t know why but she did!  She always thought you’d come back and take her to your fancy place in Cali…do you know how it crushed her when you didn’t call for birthday? Do you know how hurt she was as she watched you acknowledge everyone who helped you win your election except for her? I bet you didn’t, you’ve always been such a selfish bitch!”

Instinctively I squeezed on Hadrian’s hand; he remained composed and wisely chose to stay out of our sibling confrontation. His words hurt, yet I knew they were true. I did leave this part of my life behind; I did walk away from my mother and brother at age eighteen. It was my mother who’d contributed her meager savings to get me through my first year of University, I’ve always acknowledged that, but the rest was purely me. I worked hard; three shitty waitressing jobs and a slew of scholarships were what I attributed my Bachelors and Masters in Political Science to, not her.

Even as his words scorched my conscience, I was planning my next great escape. “Look Tristan, I don’t want this pile of junk”, with a wave of my hand I motioned to the crappiness around us. “I simply came here to finally close this chapter of my life—for good. Ma is dead, and frankly after I leave here today you’ll be dead to me too”. I could tell he was taken aback by my response, never had I ever stood up for myself against him till now.

“I’d appreciate if you’d not drag things out; I came here to settle this thing. I don’t want any of this, so I’d appreciate if you kept the bitchin’ and moaning to a minimum. You see, Hadrian here my do- good boyfriend is a lawyer and he’s here to make sure we legally tie up all loose ends.”

I was exhilarated by my little outburst, I’d had all these pent up emotions to deal with for years, there’s no way I was going to deal with his guilt trip on top of it.

Hadrian, who’d been standing ready with a manila folder, handed it over to me. I took the pages out and handed them over to Tristan.  I couldn’t hold the contempt from my voice as I passed the papers to him, “Please sign under the highlighted areas so we can get this god awful encounter over and done with. This place is filthy and I can’t stomach being here any longer”.

He snickered and grabbed the papers from my outstretched hands, signing without even reading. How typical of him.

After he’d finish signing he thrust the papers back at me, I daintily handed them over to Hadrian, and he quickly reviewed them and nodded his ok.  I guess that was my cue to lay on the sass.

I clapped, my voice laced with sarcasm I began, “Congratulations asshole, you’re officially the proud owner of this dump and an added bonus, forty five thousand dollars worth of debt, good luck paying it off and have a nice life”. With that I marched out of the room, Hadrian in tow.

I didn’t wait to around to see the look of confusion plastered on his face. I didn’t have to. I didn’t care about anything else; just that I’d finally closed that chapter of my life. I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face as I stepped out into the cool fall air of New England’s south shore. I was finally free. I was ready for my new beginning.

To Cupid With Love

Dear Cupid,

Let me just start by saying your creep and shoot tendencies are quite obnoxious and borderline inappropriate. One simply does not go about shooting unsuspecting humans (or humanoids) with your rusty old “Love Arrow360”. The magic doesn’t happen that way anymore. No cupid, it doesn’t. We are in a new age; try to get down with “the get down”. I do however appreciate your thoughtfulness and will try to overlook your misguided intentions in your quest to find me love.

I understand you feel obliged to shoot me with your god awful LA360 whenever the opportunity arises, but please, I beg you stop… for Pete’s sake just stop. I find your ghastly aim tends to create the most unwelcome little inconveniences for me.

Shall I build my case for my whys just a tad bit stronger? Now cupid, it is imperative that you do take a few notes. You know?  Just like, for future reference or whatever.

One, I’m not overly fond of being shot by those horrendous arrows of yours. As you might already know I loathe them, so far I’ve expressed my contempt for them thrice (I suggest you highlight this point in your notes). Frankly, I find your approach to be lacking in chivalry, a tad creepy and a great deal archaic. A quick email expressing your desire to play match maker would be suffice. Again I must stress that we are in a new age and that times have changed.

Cupes, can I call you Cupes? I mean we should be on a nickname basis by now, considering the amount of times you’ve struck me with LA360. You’re quite the persistent little bugger. Might I offer up another quick suggestion? Wait; don’t answer that, that was a rhetorical question. I believe it would be in your best interest, and most certainly mine, for you to enroll in an intermediate archery course, I’m positive you’ll find it helpful. Not to be a bad sport or anything, but you’ve got horrible aim….like really. If that does not work. DO consider creating an online dating site, trust me e-Harmony and Match are living proof that you can do it—and be successful at it too (just think of all the time and arrows you’ll be saving).

Oh and yes, this last one has been a bone I’ve been meaning to pick with you for quite a while.  I found your last few matches to be disastrous, absolutely and utterly disastrous.

Cupes if you’re going to do this thing man, at least try to do it right. Whatever happened to compatibility? You know some days I just don’t think you take your job as seriously as you should. You might want to check with me the next time you try to match me up (preferably before St. Valentine ’s Day 2057), I propose a compatible match for me would be an Idris Elba, a Jensen Ackles or someone along those lines. Is that too much to ask Cupes? Is that really too much?

Now, I hope my kind words find you in good spirits and that you will find the content of my letter helpful. I mean, I would have personally come by to drop it off, but you do have a nasty—possibly incurable little habit of trying to shoot me with things.

Best Regards,

Slaiir

A Twisted Love Affair

“I won’t take no for an answer Tara, surely you must know that by now?”

She withered under his steely gaze.

“James, these things take time, I know you don’t expect me to marry you so soon after Hardy’s death….it’s only been two months, it’s much too soon, people will start to talk.”

“Well, let them talk dammit!” he thundered. “If I wanted to wait any longer I wouldn’t have killed your goddamn husband for you!”

She watched as he paced back and forth across the tiny motel room.  Though he was agitated she knew he’d calm down soon.  She knew exactly how to pull his strings.

James Arlen was powerfully built, he was handsome yet average looking at the same time, he had the sort of face that might stand out in a small crowd yet could be easily forgotten in larger ones.  He had an aristocratic air about him, and was undeniably snobbish, yes—quite snobbish. He always wore his glasses perched upon his nose and would stare at you over the the rims; when he regarded you, you tended to feel as though you were under a microscope.

I remember now how I’d met him.  He’d been  one of the  associates in my husband’s accounting firm for  four years  and had been introduced to me at a Halloween party about two years back.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the night I met James.

As usual Hardy had gotten himself thoroughly drunk and ran off with one of his little interns. He’d truly made a spectacle of himself that night,  he’d staggered up to me, hands linked with that little intern broad’s and slurred, “Don’t wait up for me tonight, I’ve got a place to crash”. Their laughter mocked me even after they’d then stumbled out together. I was left in a room filled with his colleagues, utterly embarrassed, wanting only to get away but still playing the role of the good wife.  I’d smiled and tried to make excuses for his behavior. But I could tell no one was really listening. The poor Tara look that they all gave me was enough to assure me of that. Being the trophy wife had never been what I’d wanted for myself. But that’s the card fate dealt me.

James had been keenly observing Hardy’s going-ons the whole evening; Once Hardy and his little intern had exited the building, he’d casually strolled over.

“Mrs. Bradley, I do believe you need a drink”, I nodded curtly and watched as he signaled the waiter to bring us two cocktails. A moment later he handed me a glass of Cosmopolitan. With unsteady hands, I greedily accepted and finished my drink off in no time. He signaled the waiter for another. I polished off my second with unabashed gusto.  Before we go any further, let me just explain that I’d always been a lightweight, during my college years a glass of red wine had been enough to get me drunk. “Ah, Mrs. Bradley, let me just apologize for your husband’s behavior, I know I may be out of line, but a beautiful woman like yourself deserves to be treated with much more respect.” The edge in his voice was enough to tell me he was serious.

I vaguely recall assuring him that it was fine, and that I was “used to it”. He seemed to have found my response quite annoying, but accepted it anyway.

A while later I’d begun feeling a little woozy and was pathetically unsteady on my feet. He’d been quick to offer me a ride home, and I’d gladly accepted. After all, Hardy did leave me without a ride. The drive to the house was quiet, the tension in the air palpable.

As he’d pulled into the circular driveway, I’d gently brush my small hand against his arm, intending only to thank him for the ride, but he’d caught my hand in his and held it to his chest.

“Tara”, he’d whispered feverishly, “I know that you’re not happy, I can see it in your eyes. The way that Bastard treats you is just not right. I’d do anything for you, I’ll do anything you ask, I just want you…want you to be happy….with me”.

His passionate outburst had caught me off guard. In that moment I wasn’t sure whether it was the liquor or my heart speaking, I whispered “I’ll be with you, I want to be happy….but I want to get rid of Hardy”.

He’d stared at me with such reverence, his reply so sincere “If I have to kill the bastard myself to make you mine…then I will.

From that point on I’d become a master puppeteer, and James was my puppet, audience, and biggest fan all at the same time.  James and I carried on with a two year long affair; an affair that was supposed to die along with Hardy’s death.

Now as I stared at the man who’d cleverly orchestrated my husband’s fatal car accident, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride. He’d done all this for me.

“James, my love, look at me” I walked over to him and affectionately wrapped my hands around his neck. “I know it’s been difficult for you, it’s been the same for me too, but I’ve decided. We can get married now.”

He looked down at me with the most intense gaze, eyes bright with excitement. In that moment I knew I made the right choice. Our twisted little love affair was worth it all.

**Please note all the pieces posted are originals, written by myself or by occasional contributing writers. Contributors will always  be credited properly for their pieces whenever posted. Thank you for understanding! We put our hearts into what we write– we don’t want anyone to take it and pass it off as theirs. **

You Never Send Me Flowers Anymore

“You never send me flowers anymore”, she whispered as she stared through the large floor length paneled window, it was heavily misted and the fog made it difficult to see anything at all, perhaps it was in tune with her feelings. Twirling her curls nervously she waited for his reply.

“I don’t send flowers because I’m busy babe, surely you must understand that?” She stepped away from the window and peered up at him through the most intense brown eyes, then turned back to the window. She sighed, “I mean I do understand …but I just really miss the old days, the old you”.

With two quick steps he was by her side; he gently turned her to directly face him. He had the most earnest expression plastered across his handsome face. His pretense really knew no bounds. Perhaps if she didn’t know better she would have fallen for it again, but nothing he said had any true meaning, at least not anymore.

That’s the thing with Kayen, he’d grown so much in the art of manipulation and simply thought he could just whisper sweet nothings and everything would be ok; What he failed to see is that she’d grown too. Every time he’d broken her heart, she’d grown a little more, less naïve and much more worldly. It’s not like he noticed, he’d always be so focused on making his lies believable that nothing else matter, he failed to realize that she’d stop falling for them.

She plastered on a smile of her own, “It’s ok babe I understand, “gently she traced the prickly edges of his Jaw line, “I love you, of course I understand, but let’s just eat now, dinner’s getting cold”.

She sighed again before motioning to the dinner table. It was laid out with a fine display of red wines and a quite spectacular array of seafood. He smiled a heart stopping smile then swooped down to grace her with a gentle kiss.

“Dinner it is”. Hand in hand they strode over to the dinner table; he pulled out her chair dropping a chaste kiss on her lips before moving to the other side of the grand table to his own chair.

“Babe this meal amazing, you really went all out”, she smiled sweetly. “Anything for you my darling, anything for you”.

She watched as he greedily tucked bite after bite away in swift succession. Even with his less than acceptable table etiquette he still looked handsome. Curse him. She’d miss him, but then she’d forget about him soon enough.

“Here darling, have some wine, at the rate you’re going you’ll probably choke if you don’t slow down.” Clearing his throat, he quickly took the wine glass from her outstretched hand. He downed it with two sift gulps. She observed him keenly over the rim of her own wine glass.

“So how was that babe?” she crooned, “It was delicious wasn’t it?” He opened his mouth to reply but started to sputter, “ba..bab…choking”. Unmoving she watched as he struggled to get air, he was practically blue in the face. She wasn’t what came over her, but seeing him that way made her giggle.

“Na-na-na-na my sweet Kayen, I suppose I should help you”, she smiled mockingly and continued in her sing song voice. “I suppose I should really help you, but I won’t. Isn’t that just cruel of me my darling?” She walked over to him and gently brushed a dark stray lock from his handsome face, terrified grey eyes stared back at her. “It won’t be long now my sweet, it’ll be over soon enough”. As she walked away, her black stilettos clattered against the marble tiles, a countdown in its own right.

“Soon you’ll be gone, no, soon you’ll be dead” she giggled, “And then I shall have you all to myself….forever”.

She did a little pirouette before walking back over to where he now laid doubled over on the floor.“But before you go, I must give you one last kiss.” She raised his head then planted a firm kiss on lips that had begun to turn a dark-purplish blue.

“I love you Kayen, now goodbye, I must go now. But don’t worry I’ll make sure someone finds you…eventually”. A lone tear rolled down her cheek as she laid his head on the cold floor; he was barely breathing, it wouldn’t be long.

She stood quickly, smoothing imagined wrinkles out of her immaculate black shift dress, she tossed her dark curls behind her and took one last look around the lavish dining room then back to him before walking out of the dining room. It was odd that he hadn’t even noticed her suitcases by the door; but then that was Kayen, he never noticed anything outside of what had to do with himself.

She picked up the long black leather gloves that laid across the top of her suitcase and slipped them on, before adding the extravagant ruby ring Kayen had bought on to her slender finger, she smiled, grabbed her two small suit cases then sauntered out.

“Bye Kayen I will miss you.”

Blue Hearts

We’d lay there in the dewy grass all afternoon long; we had a special little spot by a willow tree close to the creek, Widow’s creek. Manny and I had picked it out a long time ago; I think when nine or so were. I remember it so clearly since it was the same day that we’d decided we’d be together forever. We were young love. The creek was our little secret place; no one ever came there because they thought it was “too creepy”. But we liked it, for Manny and I it was perfect.

Hand in hand we’d stare at the sky trading dreams; our occasional peals of laughter the only sounds to break the silence of the lonely little creek. That was the only time during my sixteen years that I could ever remember being young and carefree before my Manny died.

My mama says it’s because I’m “repressing the bad memory”, sometime she likes to think of herself as a Psychology doctor, using all them big words and such. But me and Pa never pay her no mind, we know she’d never made it past high school ‘cause she’d gotten knocked up with me.

It still feels like yesterday. My heart races as I’m pulled back by the vivid memory.

I barreled past the crowd of people gathered outside the yard. By the time I got to Manny’s rickety front porch I was out of breath. I quickly took survey of the fifteen or so onlookers, pft, just the usual neighborhood nosy folk. He must have gotten into trouble again; that stupid Manny, he was always at the center of some mischief.  I was upset and dead set on giving Manny a piece of my mind, ignoring the odd crowd I made my way into the house. “Manito! Stupido, where are you?”, I scanned the small sparsely furnished living area for him. He wasn’t in there.

“Manny! Stop messing around we’re ‘posed to be down by the creek, you’re wasting a perfectly good day!”

I know that I must have looked like a mad woman but it didn’t matter. I wanted to find Manny. I ran upstairs to his intent on going to his room, oblivious to the concerned looks being exchanged by Manny’s mama, his papa, his older brother Tito and the policeman. How odd, I wonder what trouble he’d gotten into for a policeman to be here and why they’re all standing in the hallway. I didn’t understand why they all looked so solemn, or why his mama’s eyes were so red. She looked so old now, and sad, very sad. It looked as though she’d been crying  for a long time.
“Stile, Manito is not here anymore”, she sobbed her thickly accented voice cracking as she  as her words trailed off.

What did she mean, “not here anymore”, I wonder where that stupid boy really did go. Her odd behavior only fueled my need to find him, but now I was nervous, no I don’t think that’s what it was, I was frantic.

“Mannnnyyyyy! Where are you?”, I shouted. Ignoring his mama’s loud sobs, I sprinted down the narrow hallway to his room. I stopped at the door, my heavy breathing almost drowned out by my thunderous heartbeat. I knocked. I never knocked on Manny’s door before; I’d always just barge in. That’s how close we were. He didn’t answer this time though, there was no ear-splitting Bachata blasting from his room, no it was just an eerie silence waiting for me.

I held my breath as I stepped into his room, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. My Manny was slumped over to the side in his bed with one arm hanging limply off the side; three empty pill bottles littered the floor, and his face had a strange purplish-blue shade. I crept over to him, hoping, just hoping that he was only just sleeping; I knew he wasn’t yet still I hoped.

“Manito”, I whispered. I shook him, but he didn’t budge. “Manito wake up!” Tears streamed down my face. “Manny!”, I shook him but still no reply—no movement. I was hysteric, I don’t remember ever feeling this overwhelmed by shock or grief before, I couldn’t handle it. I hugged his cold lifeless form hard, I knew this would be my last time with him, I knew it. The tears flowed; I hugged him and let out a heart wrenching scream. I hugged him, screamed and cried for god knows how long, until I felt strong hands pry me away from him.

They kept telling me “he’s gone”, but my heart refused to process it. He couldn’t be gone, he never told me there was something wrong, he said we’d be together forever. He couldn’t be gone; I just kept screaming and yelling for my Manny.

Well, that’s how I remember it anyway. My mama says ever since that day I haven’t been the same in the head. She says that’s why I’m in this place, that’s why I need to talk to you Mr. Psychology doctor—to help me get right in the head again.

“Isn’t that true Mr. Doctor?” he looked up, nodded curtly and went back to scribbling away in his little note-book. I always wonder when he’ll ever start helping me get right in the head again, all he ever does is ask me silly questions then scribble in his book. I knew it wouldn’t be today, because just like always, our one hour session ended when those people came to bring me back to my room. And you know, once I get there I’ll relive that day every for every single second till my next visit with Mr. Psychologist Doctor. Maybe next time he’ll help me get right in the head. Just maybe next time.

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**Please note all the pieces posted are originals, written by myself or by occasional contributing writers. Contributors will always  be credited properly for their pieces whenever posted. Thank you for understanding! We put our hearts into what we write– we don’t want anyone to take it and pass it off as theirs. **

“Realization”

“You’re just like the rest of us”, she whispered, a lone tear sliding down her face as she did,”Young, wild and lost.”

Cold Spring

The stranger lay there barely breathing she stared at him. She despised him but the feeling she held towards him now was far beyond hate. She stared at him through his hospital room window; he was in a state of helplessness. She tried to understand why she felt no remorse, knowing she was the cause for him being in a coma. She had the upper hand now. The feeling was almost manic. On the inside she felt wildly uninhibited. In her mind she created a never ending list of ways to put him out of his misery. She envisioned pulling the plug to his breathing supply, spitting on him, slapping him across his wonderfully chiseled face with her studded purse and yelling the most unladylike obscenities at his paralyzed frame. She wasn’t even sure why she followed the stranger to the hospital, but she did. Maybe she was crazy, maybe it was her conscience.

March 26th 6:35 PM.

Alone she takes the long walk home. “Home”, she thought; shouldn’t she be delighted to be going home? Unfortunately, she never was. To her, home was something akin to purgatory. It was but a house where all the restless souls reside. As she walked, she slowed her pace and savored the intoxicating smells of early spring. Rarely had she ever taken the time to appreciate nature; she desperately craved a connection with life, people, and the world around her.

The chilly March air danced across her face. A pertinent reminder that she was not allowed to dream. She shook her head and sped up her pace completely oblivious to the man sitting on the front porch watching her intently. She walked across the lawn and up the porch before noticing him.

She was surprised to find him there and he must have picked up on that because he smiled, tipped his hat and greeted her with a brief “howdy ma’am”. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of this stranger yet, so she replied with a replied with a clipped hello. She moved pass him in an attempt to open the front door to get inside, but stopped in her tracks when she felt a large calloused hand on top of hers.

 Enraged she yelled, “What the hell think you think you’re doing?”

 “Aren’t you the feisty lil’ thing …” he drawled.

The stranger spat out each word with enough contempt to silence her beating heart. “You see now miss thang, what I think I’m doing here is protecting this here –my interest”. She racked her brain trying to understand what he meant before she caught a glimpse of the “SOLD” sign, standing conspicuously in the front yard. “Who are you and what are you doing in my home?” she whispered. He leered at her replying,“This here is my property, I paid for it—all of it. Now don’t be shy, if you’re a good little slut I might consider keeping you around.” Her heart raced, she couldn’t believe this was happening. The halfway house was all she knew. What was going to do now? She had no family, no friends, and no money, nowhere to go it seemed nothing in life ever came to her easy. “What do you want fr—? “. Before she could even finish what she had to say, he had her up against the wall, his thick biceps crushing her tiny frame; his hand pressing dangerously hard against her pulse. “You will find out soon enough”, he chuckled. He fished the house-key out of his jacket pocket, opened the door shoved her in then slammed the door. Inside she laid there sprawled out on grimy floor in an inglorious pile.

Before she could even recover from the fall he walked over to her, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her in the direction of the spiral staircase. She didn’t even bother resisting, after all her life had never been the ideal fairy tale, bad things always happened to her. He dragged her up the stairs, as soon as they reached the top he flung her to the floor again; looking down at her pitiful state as though he were admiring his handy work. He used his shoes to nudge her in the stomach before kicking her upside the head; multiple blows rained down on her rib-cage, and she didn’t have much to shield herself so she just curled up into a ball hoping he would stop. It hurt so badly.

“Why are you doing this?” she whimpered. He didn’t answer her; instead he delivered one final blow before leaving her to walk down the narrow hallway. She wondered what he was doing and what he was looking for. She didn’t want to find out, that was for sure. She had to get away before he came back. She slowly eased herself up, wincing at the sheer pain she felt. Using the nearby door handle as leverage, she pulled herself upright and took a step into the hallway. Between all the pain she was feeling and her blurry vision, she wasn’t sure how she was going to make it out, but she had to try. She hobbled down precisely two steps before she felt his presence behind her. “And where do you think you’re going darling?”, he drawled. She didn’t bother answering; she held on to the staircase and slowly stepped down another stair. She had to think fast.

He was furious and she could see his growing anger. He lunged at her, she scooted to other side of the staircase just in time; he collided with the wall, lost his footing, and barreled down the stairs head first. He landed at the bottom in a sickening thud; she heard a cracking sound and saw the pool of blood starting to develop around his head. She made her way down the stairs, panicking a little more with every step she took. Oh my days, what had she done, is he dead? She wasn’t quite sure. She didn’t know what to do but she knew she couldn’t leave him here like this, and she had to get away.

 Heart racing, she scanned the tiny living room and found the telephone in the corner. She hobbled over, grabbed it and with shaky fingers dialed 911. “911, what’s your emergency?” “Hello? I think I just killed a man,” she sobbed. Please…. “Please come quickly, the address is 913 Park Ave.” Before the operator could even respond, she slammed the phone down. She back away from the phone and took one last look at the scene. Through tearful eyes she stumbled out the front door and walked briskly down the street. She could hear the distant sound of sirens approaching. She wasn’t sure if they were coming for her or if they were coming for him; she didn’t care anymore, it didn’t matter, she had gotten out, away from him. She was safe.

Daydreams

“Professor Divine..”, she loved the way the name rolled off her lips. That wasn’t the only thing she loved. In fact, she had a whole list of things she “loved” about Professor Allison Divine. It wasn’t just her charm, no it couldn’t be. She had that classic beauty you’re accustomed to seeing in old western films; her brooding grey eyes set into a flawless heart shaped face, her pouty rose colored lips a beauty to behold. Perhaps it was the the hour glass figure she tried so hard to hide under those unflattering black suits; or maybe it was her waist length raven hair.

Felicia stares up at her ceiling, mind racing a mile a minute. Her heart beats like a thousand congas; powerfully intense, beautiful and loud. “Ugh! Why do I feel this way?” she yells, angrily shoving her blanket aside. She clambers out of bed, and briskly walks to her tiny dorm room closet. She scans the open closet for something to wear, quickly settling on a short red dress paired with her favorite navy blue blazer. She liked this outfit; Allison had once complimented her on the blazer, since then it’s been one of her favorite items of clothing. Once again her mind wanders off to that forbidden place.

She remembers their first encounter just like it was yesterday.

Striding purposefully towards the middle of the lecture hall, Allison Divine was the epitome of confidence. Like the servants of old, Felicia was immediately drawn to this goddess-like being. Professor Divine opened her mouth and out spilled sweet nothings; how could reciting the elements of the periodic table possibly sound so alluring. In a class room three years ago, she Felicia, lost her heart and ultimately every bit of sanity to the woman that now stood before her. She didn’t know why or how it happened, it just did. Remembering always led to much deeper thoughts, thoughts she didn’t want to acknowledge, not today anyway.

Brushing the memory aside, Felicia walked over to the mirror. She peered at her reflection. A pair of expressive brown eyes peered back, the short cut mahogany hair framed her oval face perfectly. By all means she was a looker. So why wasn’t Allison madly in love with her? She didn’t see anything fundamentally wrong with the way she felt, but still found herself wondering if something was indeed “wrong” with her. Unsettled by her thoughts Felicia shook her head; walked back to her bedroom grabbing her toiletries then made her way to the shower. She had been so wrapped up in her thoughts that she lost track of the time , glancing up at her wall clock, she realized she would have to start getting ready for class now or she would be late.

Minutes shy of being tardy; Felicia briskly made her way down the flight of stairs to the front of the class, taking her seat directly in front of the professor. She gazed adoringly at Allison, oh my things she’d like to do this woman. Minutes flew by as Felicia tried her best to focus on the lecture, but to no avail. She never had her wits when it came to Allison. Everything about her was a distraction. She was perfect.

Oblivious to anything else happening around her, Felicia dotingly watched Allison’s every move. She barely took note of the tall handsome blonde gentleman standing in the entrance-way of the lecture hall. She wouldn’t have noticed him at all had she not seen the sheer pleasure Allison got from spotting him standing there. She almost tripped over her damned feet in her haste to get to him. She flung herself into his arms and giggled like a stupid school girl as he whirled her around. Much to Felicia’s dismay everyone else in the lecture hall seemed fixated on her Allison and this man. She couldn’t help wave of jealousy that came over her. Her mind was officially in overdrive. This scene was all wrong.

Why the hell was he looking at her like that? What were they talking about? Why is she smiling at him like that? No, she had to break this up, he can’t have her…..no, he can’t have her Allison. She had to intervene. “Allison!”, Professor Divine glanced around the room till her gazed landed on Felicia. “Yes Felicia? May I help you with something?”Felicia stuttered, “Well, erm…I was having difficulty with this one problem.” Annoyance clearly written all over her face she smiled at Felicia and answered “I will be with you shortly and please do address me as Professor Divine next time, we are not pals.” She turned abruptly and resumed her chit chat with the man.

It felt like minutes had passed and Felicia began to feel more agitated. Who was he and why was she so engrossed in conversation with him? She stared at them grudgingly, conjuring a thousand different ways to get him out the picture, or at least to get her attention. “Stupid moron, how dare he come in here and.…“, Felicia’s thoughts were interrupted by the professor again standing in front of her. All traces of anger instantly dissipated. She was once again in Allison’s trance. Her Allison came back. She had known she would. Everything was fine again.

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