Overly Attached

Dear Diary,

Why do I keep torturing myself over Richard?  It’s been a month and I am still hung up on him.  Why can’t I just let it go.  Move on.  Start dating again.  I’m sure he has.  But nooooo.  Here I am in this lonely apartment, remembering every moment we spent here together.  I still sniff the shirt he left behind before going to bed.  It still smells of him.  How pathetic is that?  I go from room to room half expecting him to be there.  It’s like I’m chasing a ghost.  Except I’m the one doing the haunting.  I’m haunting the memory of what once was.  If anything, I’ve become a ghost.  A ghost of the living.  It just hurts so damn much.  Was I that difficult?  I don’t think so.  I just wanted to be with him you know.  Isn’t that what couples are suppose to do – be with each other?  Why did he say he was feeling smothered.  It wasn’t like I was stalking him.  So I surprised him at work to see if he wanted to grab some lunch.  I thought he would appreciate the spontaneity.  But he didn’t.  In fact he was really upset.  I don’t understand why.  And why didn’t he want to come with me to Angela’s party?  I thought we had reached that stage where we  went to friends’ functions together.  Was two weeks together too soon?  I just don’t get it.  Maybe I could call him.  Just to see how it’s going.  Yeah, I’ll call in the morning.  Maybe we could get a coffee.  Thanks Diary, you have always been there for me.  Always so easy to talk to.

Devoted to you, Amy

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This little sojourn into creepiness brought to you by Inspiration Monday.  What can I say, it’s what popped into my head.  I blame the rainy weather.

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

CARDIAC ARREST

FINGERLESS

GHOST OF THE LIVING

WASHING MACHINE

FRIDGE MONSTER

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and then give me the link in the comments below (I’ll also love you more if you link back to me); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at stephanie (at) bekindrewrite (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

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Homeward Bound

 photo path_zpsec0973a4.jpg

Image Credit: islandtime

Morgan pulled her cape tightly around her.  The early morning fog cast the forest in a ghostly grey half-light.  The trees, the path, the flowers, all were devoid of color.  The fairie markings on the trees, though, still stood out bright to her eyes; marking the way to the boat landing, and the skiff that would bear her and her brother across the water.  Even if the markings had been somehow obscured, she would still have known the way.  She had traveled to path from her world to the world of mortal men countless times.

She looked behind her to check on the progress of the wagon carrying her brother.  The two dray ponies had their heads lowered to the wet and the cold of the late autumn morning.  Morgan waited for them to catch up to her so she could check on Arthur.  When she pulled back the blanket, she spied that his face was as ashen as the surroundings.  She checked on a couple of his wounds to see if they had broken open again.  Once she was satisfied, she tucked the blanket back around his neck.  She gave him a quick kiss on the forehead.

“Hang on, little brother.  We’re almost home.”

Morgan stepped to the ponies and also whispered words of encouragement to them.  They perked their heads up and began drawing the wagon again with renewed vigor.

After a little ways farther, the wooded path opened up abruptly to a mist covered lake.  At the boat ramp was the skiff.  The ponies stepped onto the water craft without any hesitation.  This was not their first time riding over the water.  Morgan freed the boat from its moorings and it immediately began to move.  The magic of the island in the middle of the lake was drawing them forward.  Morgan moved to the bow of the craft.  She could see the island as clear as if it were a sunny day, though to the mere mortal eye, it was shrouded in mist.

Avalon.

Home.

And it would be there that she would be able to nurse Arthur back to his full health and strength.

-   -   -   -   -

I am a big fan of Arthurian mythology, especially Morgan Le Fey.  So, when I saw this photo prompt, I immediately saw a place where Morgan and Arthur could be seen traveling.

This bit of writing is courtesy of moi’s Once More With Feeling photo prompt.  What story or feelings does it invoke in you?

Rules:

  • Using the picture below write an entry using the picture as Inspiration.

Suggestions:

  • Write what feelings you get from the image, let your imagination run riot.
  • Write a short story fact or fiction
  • Please keep to 1000 words or less
Posted in Fiction, Once More With Feeling Challenge, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

It’s Morphin Time

Matthew’s wife and two children sat huddled together at the far end of the couch.  He was seated at the near end, leaning forward, trying to understand all the information Special Agent Gibbons was throwing at him.  Witness protection meant that everything about their current lives’ would have to be left behind.  Friends, family, possessions, it would all have to be discarded.

They would have the opportunity to say some brief farewells, but after that there would be no contact.  There could simply be no opportunity for the mob to find out what happened to the family, and if they maintained contact then the mob would have a way to use that against Matthew and the FBI.

He slowly nodded his head in understanding and acceptance.  Quiet sobs broke out behind him as his wife Clarise, and James and Robert began to comprehend themselves.  Gibbons gave the family a few moments to come to terms with their new reality.  Entering witness protection was never easy, but it was especially difficult when young children were involved.  Through no fault of their own, their lives would be turned upside down.  Gibbons felt bad for them, but he hoped that they were young enough that they would be able to adapt.  After a few moments, everyone seemed to regain some composure.

“You’ll be staying here until we finalize your new identities.”  Gibbons stated.  “Then, once that is done, we will help get you set up in your new hometown.  Unfortunately, you will have to give up your profession.  The mob will be watching for you to reappear in your familiar settings.  We will help with some new training, but mostly it will be up to you.  It will be best to choose jobs that are not high profile.”

James found some courage to speak to the scary looking federal agent.  “Are we going to get new names?”

Gibbons nodded.  “Yes you are.”

“Can we choose what we want?”  James’ courage found more of a foothold.

Gibbons had been asked that question on almost every occasion of changing identity.  Normally the Bureau did not allow its witnesses to choose because invariably the new names had some meaning and link to the old identity.  But he didn’t want to crush the little boy’s hopes.

“What names do you have in mind?” Gibbons asked with his best, conciliatory voice that he spent years perfecting.

James came fully out of his shell.  “I could be Jason, Robert could be Billy, Daddy could be Zack, and Mommy could be Kimberly.”

Those weren’t bad names, Gibbons thought.  But he could see by the slight smiles that were tugging at the corners of Matthew and Clarise’s lips that he was missing something.  Robert pipping up to give his opinion confirmed his suspicion.

“I want to be Tommy,” the youngest child complained.

The two boys started tussling even though their mother was between them.  Matthew grabbed Robert and pulled the boy onto his lap and Clarise got hold of James’ hands and held them in her own.

“Sorry about that,” Clarise apologized.

“That’s perfectly alright,” Gibbons replied.  “Forgive my ignorance, but what is the meaning behind those names?  They seem completely normal.”

Clarise grabbed a DVD case off the coffee table and handed it to Gibbons.  “Those names are from the Power Rangers.  The boys are completely enthralled with them right now.”

Gibbons looked at the cover on the case.  Well, if this family had these super powers, they certainly wouldn’t need his help.  He put the case down.  He appreciated the little boy’s attempt at trying to take control of an out of control situation.

“I’ll see what I can do,” he told the brothers.  This time the warmth in his voice was genuine.

-   -   -   -   -   -

This bit of serious silliness brought to you by Inspiration Monday.  Once again, it seems I blew through the word limit.  Sorry Stephanie.

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

NEW NAMES

LEARNING TO FAIL

UNREAL

SHORT ARM OF THE LAW

WRONG VICTIM

 

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and then give me the link in the comments below (I’ll also love you more if you link back to me); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at stephanie (at) bekindrewrite (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

Posted in Fiction, Inspiration Monday, Writing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Bubbles

 photo cavern_zps952a3632.jpg

Credit: National Geographic

Mike looked out across the expanse of water inside the large cavern.  The filtered light coming in from the cave entrance cast the still water in an eerie green glow.  The only sound inside the chamber was Mike’s own labored breathing after climbing down the moss slicked rocks to the cavern floor.  There wasn’t even the sound of dripping water.  That seems odd, Mike thought.  Where did the water come from?  There was no movement at all along the surface.

With his head lamp, Mike peered into the unending depths of the cavern lake.  The water was crystal clear; he could see for what seemed like hundreds of feet below the surface.  He stood at the edge of the water, in awe of its pristine nature.  Then, at the very edge of the illuminated depths, Mike discerned something.  There was the barest movement in the lake.  But before too long he could see something begin to rise to the surface.  A cluster of bubbles made its way to the surface; bobbing and dancing as they caught the light from Mike’s headlamp.  Just before they reached the surface, Mike took a few steps back from the water’s edge.

The first thing that came to his mind was a methane leak from somewhere deep in the earth’s crust.  In anticipation of the rotten egg smell, Mike covered his nose with the sleeve of his left forearm.  The bubbles breached the surface, their tiny ripples raced across to the edges of the lake.  After only a few minutes the water was again silent and still.  Mike took his arm away from his face.  There was no tell tale scent of methane in the air, but he did get the feeling that someone had just struck a match then blew it out.

He returned to the water’s edge and renewed his study of its depths.  The light cast its glow down through the depths of the lake.  Mike scanned the rocky outcroppings in the water for any additional movement.  After what seemed an extended amount of time, he finally accepted that the bubbles must have been some sort of outgassing from deep within the earth.

As he turned to leave, though, his mind caught the appearance of a shadow way down beneath the surface.  His breath caught in his throat.  The dark shadow twisted and turned in the far reaches of the water; much too far for his head lamp to fully penetrate.  Mike stood rooted to the spot, mesmerized by the apparition below him.  Slowly, it began to rise.  Mike’s mouth opened as he apprehended the size of the shadow coming nearer.  Again he backed up and even stole a glance to the entrance of the cavern to figure his exit strategy should he need it.

The shadow changed its attitude in the water; instead of meandering to the surface in a horizontal fashion, it became vertical and raced to the top of the lake.  Mike tried to move farther back from the water’s edge, but fear and extreme curiosity kept his feet firmly planted.  His head lamp no longer pierced the water’s depths, but skimmed along the surface so the shadow stayed a mystery to his questioning mind.

At last, the shadow broke the surface of the cavern lake.  A large reptilian snout emerged from the water, its tongue, long with a forked tip flicked from its mouth.  The cavern filled with the unmistakeable smell of sulphur, as the dragon’s body fully breached the surface.  Mike stepped back, stumbled, and sat down hard on the rocky cavern floor.  The dragon spied him, glided to the edge of the lake.  It opened its mouth fully.  The last thing Mike saw was the heat waves coming towards him.

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Inspired by moi’s Once More With Feeling.  What thoughts come to mind when you look at this picture?

Rules:

  • Using the picture below write an entry using the picture as Inspiration.

Suggestions:

  • Write what feelings you get from the image, let your imagination run riot.
  • Write a short story fact or fiction
  • Please keep to 1000 words or less
Posted in Fiction, Once More With Feeling Challenge, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Amor

Love at first sight
Is a fantasy
But attraction
Happens in an instant
Eyes meet
Sparks fly
Between the two
Star crossed lovers
Sometimes it’s brief
A glance from across the room
Never to be seen again
Other times
A prelude to
Lifelong stares
Over morning coffee
And kisses goodnight

-   -   -   -

This bit of inspiration brought to you by  Weekly Writing Challenge – Fifty

No rules. Just stick to the word count — no more, no less than fifty words.

Posted in Poetry, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Aces and Eights

Sam was a sucker for a damsel in distress.  He couldn’t help himself.  There was something about a woman in trouble that made him throw all caution to the wind in order to save her.  It started early when he was just twelve years old.  His best friend’s kid sister came to him with a problem, and when she sobbed out her story, he was rearing to help.  All it took was a quick jab to the nose of the neighborhood bully to put an end to the girl’s torment.  But from that moment on, Sam had found his calling.  All through school the girls knew that if there was a need, Sam would be ready and willing.  And the guys all knew that if Sam became involved it would not end well for them.

After graduation, with a knee that finally gave out so no college prospects, Sam went to work.  Whatever he could find, no job was too menial.  He learned that if he kept his mouth shut, and his eyes open, the streets were a veritable smorgasbord of easy money; not to mention all the opportunities to help a lady.  Which is what happened when SHE walked in.  As usual for a Wednesday afternoon, Sam was at the Aces and Eights, waiting for the phone call that always came at 5:30 pm.  He was in his usual chair, at the far corner of the bar, in the shadows, near the phone so when the call came, Eddie could hand the receiver over to Sam.

The late afternoon sun was coming in through the opened door.  It’s bright amber light brought to life the cigarette smoke that wafted though the bar.  Smoke from Sam’s and Eddie’s cigarettes as they were the only two in the establishment at this time of day.  As the two men chatted about inconsequential things, a shadow flitted across the doorway.  Sam and Eddie shifted their gaze to the door, but it was already gone, an apparition that barely came between the sun and the interior of the bar.  They returned to their interrupted conversation when it happened again.  This time the ghostly creature hung in the doorway, its vestments caught in the barest of breeze coming off the street.

The head looked right then left as if questioning whether this was the place to take shelter.  In a moment of both trepidation and resolution the apparition stepped forward into the duskiness of the bar.  As she did, her clothing became backlit in the lateness of the day.  The summer garments left very little to the imagination, and both men caught their breath at the figure of the young woman.

She stood briefly in this position as her eyes adjusted to the dimly lit bar.  But as soon as she gained her bearings, she stepped to one of the stools at the face of the bar and sat down.  She stared at herself in the mirror, not in a moment of vanity, but as if she were trying to justify a decision.  She opened her clutch purse and took out a cigarette case and lighter.  Removing a stick from the silver container, she tapped it three times on the bar then brought it to her lips and lit it.  She inhaled deeply and slowly blew the smoke out, mingling it with that of Sam’s and Eddie’s.

Sam came to his senses first, and shoved Eddie in the arm.  Eddie shook his head and moved over to his newest patron.

“What can I getcha?” he asked as he absently rubbed the bar with a rag.

“Gin and Tonic, please,” came the reply.  Her voice was low and raspy, as if she had spent decades in gin joints across the country.

Eddie fixed the libation and set it in front of the woman.  She nodded her head in thanks as she moved her gaze momentarily from the reflection to the bartender.  Sam watched as she took the barest of sips before putting the glass back down. Her right elbow sat lightly on the edge of the bar with the cigarette in her hand.  Her left hand intermittently grazed her glass.  She continued to stare at her reflection, her eyes casting a faraway glance, a silent conversation only she was privy to.  From his vantage point in the shadows, Sam took the opportunity to look at the girl in depth.  Her hair was the deepest brunette, gathered at the nape of her neck in a careless knot.  The loose tendrils curled in the heat and humidity.  Her clothing was of definite quality; a white muslin dress with a shawl that spoke of antiquity.  Bracelets adorned her left wrist; and they were of quality silver, but nothing encircled her neck nor hung from her earlobes.  Every few moments, her left hand left the glass to lightly touch the clutch that lay in her lap.  Sam could tell something of importance was inside and she felt a need to check on its security.

Sam felt himself being drawn into this woman’s affairs.  Helping her could be his greatest triumph or his greatest defeat.  As he dreamily wondered the color of her eyes, and imagined them a vibrant violet, the telephone rang from behind the bar.  Eddie halted his task of polishing the glassware and lifted the receiver.  As soon as he heard the voice at the other end he gave the phone to Sam.

Sam grunted, “Yeah, I’m here,” as he grabbed a napkin from under the bar and pulled a pen out of his shirt pocket.  He repeated a long list of numbers as he wrote them down.  He looked up momentarily to see a couple of young sailors enter the now shaded entrance.  He nodded to Eddie who began watching the duo as he stood near the phone.

The two young men, boys practically, in their dress bell bottoms laughed and tussled each other as they came into the Aces and Eights.  They were fresh off of basic training and ready to take the town by storm.  As their gazes roamed the establishment they finally settled on the young woman.  Both straightened up to their full height.  The one on the left whistled lowly.  They stepped in unison to the girl’s right side.

Sam put a hand over the phone’s mouthpiece and hissed at Eddie.  When he had the bartender’s attention he whispered, “Put two more drinks next to her on this side.”  Eddie’s eyes brightened in understanding and went to prepare the beverages, all the while maintaining a watch on the two newcomers.

Sam tried to hurry up his conversation.  He could tell that the sailors’ attitude to the girl were beginning to turn towards the lewd.  To her credit, she maintained an external composure.  Her only response being that she crushed her cigarette in the ashtray and let her right hand drift down to her purse.  Sam hoped she wouldn’t try to bolt.  If she attempted to flee the two navy boys would simply forestall her at the door, then she would be in real trouble.

Finally, the information that Sam needed was concluded and the telephone call ended.  Eddie placed two fresh gin and tonics on the left side of the girl then went to collect the phone from Sam.  Sam grabbed what was left of his beverage and made a bee line over to his newest damsel in distress.

He put a hand lightly on her shoulder as he spoke in his most charming voice, “Sorry to keep you waiting, darling.  That call took longer than expected.  Hope you haven’t been too lonely.”

While the action had the desired affect on the young sailors, they looked  with some horror upon the large man that just came up out of nowhere; the same could not be said for the woman.  She had jumped imperceptibly because she had not known of his existence, but the look she gave him was anything but appreciation.  Bright golden eyes flashed at him, marking him as another assailant.  The tell tale clicking noise of a gun being cocked filled the bar.  All four men looked at the girl in wonder.  The boys in white made a hasty retreat.  Eddie stepped back to the sink and began washing glasses.  Sam took his hand off her shoulder, but instead of stepping back, he merely slid into the barstool beside her.

“I see my assistance was not required,” he began.  He took one of the newest drinks and downed about half in a couple gulps.  He slid the other towards the girl, who’s own drink was still nearly full.

Sam spied that her right shoulder slightly stiffened before her hand came up from her lap.  A small sigh escaped his lips as he was assured she no longer held the gun.  She took another cigarette from her case and light it.  After taking a couple drags, she finally turned to Sam.

“Is it your nature to butt into every situation?”  she asked as she tapped the cigarette on the ashtray.

“I like to think I’m chivalrous and willing to help out a young lady when the need arises,” he smiled.

“I’m able to care for myself, thank you.”  To punctuate the statement she took her glass and downed a goodly portion of the contents.

“So I heard,” Sam responded.  “Had I known you were so, how should I say, well equipped, I would have never left my vantage point.”

The slightest of smiles pricked at the corners of the young woman’s mouth.  It was quickly replaced by a look of discomfort.  She put out her cigarette, put the case and lighter back in her purse and stood to leave.

“I should never have come in,” she murmured as a farewell.  She took just two steps before she collapsed.

-   -   -   -   -   -

Do you believe in fate?  I’m more of the Sarah Conner school of thought:  “No Fate But What You Make.”

While I have been on hiatus these past two weeks, I have not been lounging on the couch eating bon bons.  Okay, I have once or twice lounged, but there were no chocolatey confections.  I have been trying my best to work on a short story of some significance.  That and working on the property cleaning up after a couple wind storms, getting seeds ready for planting, working on the never ending remodel, and starting a new massive cleanup project based on the recommendations of a gentlemen from our conservation district.  Nothing too strenuous.  So the brilliant Stephanie from Inspiration Monday posts her newest challenge and it magically fits into what I have been writing.  Of course this is a very rough first draft, but I hope it piques your interest.  There is still much more to be written and hopefully polished.

Of course, I completely blew past the word count rule, but I hope you will forgive me.

And if you weren’t already familiar, here are the rules:

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

SILENT CONVERSATION

CANDY FROM A GROWNUP

LET’S PLAY DROP

PINS AND KNITTING NEEDLES

NEW KIND OF MAGIC

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and then give me the link in the comments below (I’ll also love you more if you link back to me); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at stephanie (at) bekindrewrite (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

Posted in Fiction, Inspiration Monday, Writing | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

A Pause For The Cause

break 1

It seems as if my muse has already headed out for spring break.  I’m doing an awful lot of mouse clicking, but not much key tapping.  So I think I’m going to take the hint and unplug myself from this electronic Siren, and go get other things done that I’ve been putting off.  Hopefully, it’ll recharge my creative batteries and I’ll be back with a renewed zest for writing and photography.  While I’m on hiatus I’ll check in on everyone to see what good stuff is going on.  I shouldn’t be gone more that a couple weeks.

Cheers!

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Tagged , , | 3 Comments