Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 31 of the 250 Word Prompt

The last day!!  This has been an amazing adventure!!!

"A concert pianist loses her hand in a car accident.'"

Dr. Bradley, tall, dark, handsome, usually bright eyes.  Anya typically felt flustered and faint around him, embarrassed by the constant blush that invaded her cheeks whenever he would look at her and smile.  So many times, he had stood in this same spot, holding her hand - professionally, of course, but it nevertheless caused her to wonder what it would be like to have him hold her hand unprofessionally, romantically.  Now he stood next to her with a stern, serious look, concentrating on carefully removing the gauze that enveloped her hand.  Thoughts of him as anything more than her surgeon were locked away, as fear took over the prominent position in the forefront of her psyche.  

She felt her breathing ratchet up with every revelation of the gauze, until the very tips of her fingers poked through the end.  Dr. Bradley stopped to look at them, touch them, inspect them, and then take a deep breath and continue the process of revealing more of the surgically re-attached hand.  Anya dared to glimpse at her fingers, drawn to the deep purple pooled within the tips, making them unrecognizable as fingers.  She turned her head away, feeling her stomach roll, and the acid within it slosh mercilessly.  

Memories flooded her vision; her first piano lesson, the endless hours of practice, the scholarship to NYU, and the first time she stepped out on stage as a professional concert pianist. A lifetime spent becoming the best was now in jeopardy of being nothing more than a series of recollections of what once was.  It seemed like it had all happened in slow motion, but was over in an instant.  Her foot coming off the brake, hitting the gas, halfway through the intersection, the glint in her periphery, the truck, the force of the collision, the pain, the intense pain, the blood, the screams (had they been hers?), lying on the gurney, looking at the ceiling as the fluorescent lights passed by overhead creating a strobe effect.  The mask coming over her mouth, the long sleep, the longer recovery.  The handsome Dr. Bradley explaining her hand being reattached, the 95% probability of success.  It was surreal.  It was her reality.  

She kept her eyes averted from her future, unable to face the uncertainty of an unwrapped hand.

Day 30 of the 250 Word Prompt

"While looking through his recently deceased grandfather's attic, a young man finds a box containing old newspaper clippings about an as yet unidentified serial rapist."

The attic was musty and hot and smelled old.  Not like old people, so much; that smell seemed to be confined to the lower levels of the 1912 Victorian home of his grandparents.  No, the attic had a stench all its own.  It also had an undeniable mystique.  Allen, named for his recently-deceased grandfather (making him a “second” NOT a “junior,” his mother had stated emphatically) had not been in the dusty, dirty top floor since he was eight-years-old.  During that ill-fated visit, he had made it to the large chest not quite in the center of the room before his grandfather had grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and dragged him back down the narrow staircase.  Allen could still recall with a quickening of his heart rate the wild, blazing eyes of the old man, as he shook the boy, hollering at him, “What the hell do you think you are doing?  You are never – NEVER – to go up into the attic ever again!  Do you understand me?”

Then eight-year-old Allen had just stared at the man, wide-eyed and fearful, only able to nod before twisting out of the old man’s strong grasp and running to the backyard.  Now twenty-year-old Allen, standing in nearly the same spot, shook himself out of his reverie, and placed his hands on the chest, slowly opening it.  The hinges creaked and groaned, not wanting to betray the secrets held inside.  His grandfather had been such a private man; Allen had no idea who he was or what he had been.  Grandpa Allen was an enigma, an island, a virtual nobody – but that was all about to change.

The stale mildew aroma of the trunk assaulted him, and he stood for a moment waiting for it to pass, or for his nose to fully acclimate.  A lone wooden box sat at the bottom of the chest, too small for the large area it inhabited.  Pulling it out, and placing on the floor in front of his knees, Allen lifted the lid and anxiously peered inside.  To his wonderment, a mass of yellow, brittle, historic newspaper clippings filled the container, inviting Allen’s investigation into a world he would soon wish he had not ventured. 
Carefully unfolding the top artifact, Allen’s eyes are instantly drawn to the large heading over the front page news story from May 20, 1954:

Fear Grips Elkwood Neighborhood as Elusive Rapist Claims Another Victim

Allen read the article, flattened it against the dusty floor, and carefully unfolded the next clipping.  His apprehensive scrutiny mirrored the growing anxiety building within him, as his breathing became more pronounced, his heart rate sped slightly, and his mind tried to process the connection between the guarded “first” man and the concealed stories of the past.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 29 of the 250 Word Prompt

"For the love of God, don't tell me that you lost the freaking map."

Celia glanced excitedly over at her boyfriend, Max, trying to keep her increasing excitement in check as Max navigated toward the tiny Italian village.  Max’s face mirrored the anxiety he was feeling, and the level of concentration he was dedicating to the many twists, turns, and random farmer in the road in the sleepy town of not more than 350 people.  

He felt as if he knew the place well, after years and years of listening intently to his grandfather speak of the small village where he had grown up.  So many hours had been spent hanging on the man’s every word as he retold of how he had found the map, buried within the rubble of his neighbor’s farmhouse after the Nazi’s had procured the residence, pilfered it of all its essentials, and then burnt the dwelling to the ground.  No one noticed, or seemed to place any value on, the map that spoke of riches beyond any one king, entombed within the bowels of the earth in the sleepy farming community, where nothing exciting ever happens, and the richest man is the one that still has money left at the end of the month.

Max still had family here, although not many and very distant, but enough that he could call upon them for a room and a meal while he and Celia searched for their future under the guise of touring the Italian countryside.  Max knew enough Italian to get by, taught by his grandfather until his death, and then taking classes in high school and college.  He grinned as he recalled arguing with his advisor about the required language credits for graduation.  Max assumed the requirements were not put in place for exactly this reason, but he was going to thank the board of education, anyway.  Perhaps he would toss them a shilling or two, for good measure.

Settled snuggly in their room on the top floor of cousin- twice-removed Rosalia’s house, Celia flopped onto the bed, and snickered at Max.  “So, when did we get married?”

Max smiled sheepishly at her, “I had to tell them we were married.  They never would have let us stay together otherwise,” Max offered as explanation, peering at her to note her reaction.

“Well, I suggest you start treating me a little better, husband of mine, or I will spill the proverbial beans, and you will be out on your keester,” Celia had a wicked glint in her eye, a subtle humor in her tone, and Max decided to have a little fun with the woman he knew he would someday promise his life and love forever.  

Looking up at her, shocked surprise, laced with undeniable horror, he asked her, “Do you have the map?”

Celia sat up in bed, instantly serious, grasping at the heart pendant around her necklace, as she did whenever she was anxious.  “What!?!  You said you had it!”  She bounced herself over to the edge of the bed, and slid down onto the floor next to Max, assisting in pulling garments out of the suitcase.  “"For the love of God, don't tell me that you lost the freaking map."

The room was quiet, as she finally lifted her head to meet his gaze.  Max sat in front of her with an ear-to-ear grin plastered across his face, waving the discolored carefully folded parchment in front of Celia.

Round One goes to Max.

Day 28 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A woman digging in her garden uncovers a sealed, ancient box."

“What is this?” Barb murmurs to herself, as she pulls the rectangular object out of the hole she just made in her garden.  The burlap, neatly and snuggly encasing the item, is saturated with dark, mineral enriched soil.  As if searching for a price tag, or warning label, Barb turns the object over and over in her hands.  Finding a seam, she gently pulls her glove off with her teeth, worming her fingers through the small hole in the burlap, removing perhaps years – decades? – of dirt, in her quest to uncover the mystery, wrapped safely inside.

Turn after turn of the box, the length of burlap increasing with ever flip, becoming more recognizable as such.  Barb was beginning to believe it was just a cruel tease, and that the bundle of burlap was just that – a bundle of burlap, and nothing more.  The sun was the first to find the gold edge, making it glisten and gleam brightly, catching Barb off guard.  She hastily removed the remainder of the coverings, and revealed a box of gold and silver, the size of a shoe box.  

Barb gazed at it in wonder, unable to take her eyes off the top, which seemed to vacillate between silver and gold.  Upon closer inspection, Barb could see what appeared to be words ebbing and flowing with the change in metals.  It was unlike any writing she had ever seen.  Desperate to gain entry into the cryptic box, Barb pulled at the top without success.  The lid was either stuck, from so many years in its grave, or somehow secured but a secreted latch.  Flipping it this way and that in her hands, Barb searched for any clue to break into the fortified keepsake.  More words appeared across the bottom of the box, in the same undecipherable scroll.

Carefully rewrapping the ancient artifact in the burlap, Barb regains her feet, and makes her way into the house.  She knows of only one person who may be able to tell her what she possesses, and perhaps decipher the strange markings.  Her best friend, and current head of the archaeology department at the university, Mark Merriweather.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 27 of the 250 Word Prompt

"Believing the floating lights in his backyard to be fireflies, a young boy accidentally traps a fairy in a Mason jar."

Simon pressed his five-year-old hands against the glass door, and peered in wonderment at the light show that was occurring in his backyard.  Every night he would stand here at the glass door, wishing he could go out and dance with the fireflies as they moved gracefully around his play set and over his sandbox.  But Momma said, “No, it’s late, and you need to get ready for bed.”  Although how the woman, who was busy drying her hands on the kitchen towel and replacing the dishes into the cupboard, ever thought the young boy would be able to sleep was a mystery to little Simon.

Tonight was different.  Tonight, Momma was in the basement doing laundry, and Daddy was – well, Simon did not really know, but Daddy was NOT in the kitchen.  Simon looked at the plastic container in his hand, the one that came with his “bug box” from Grandpa, and decided that he would get a firefly all his own, and keep him forever in his bedroom.  And he would name him George, after his Grandpa.

Quietly, which is a relative term when you talking about the stealth of a five-year-old, Simon made his way into the backyard; one of the few times he had ventured out without being under the watchful eyes of his mother.  He went to the ladder that stood next to the crow’s nest of the play set, and waited for a firefly to come close.  It took forever, according to Simon, but was really only about four minutes, when suddenly a greenish light appeared next to him.  Simon stood still, a little apprehensive of the bug, and waited as it hovered above the open jar, and ventured inside.

Simon grinned, as he placed the lid quickly on the jar, and turned to run back into the house, up to his room, and pretended to “get ready for bed.”  Once there, he made his first investigation into the jar.  Eyes as huge as saucers, he rubbed them in an effort to clear his focus.  

There, in the jar, was the tiniest body the boy had ever seen that had not been painted in a picture, or in one of the cartoons he watched on TV.  Mesmerized by the fluttering wings, and the sweet face, Simon was unaware of the pleading voice, only heard by children, calling to him.

“Please, let me out,” the imprisoned light begged.

“What are you?” Simon finally asked, as the melodious tones found him, and brought him out of his reverie.

“Why, a fairy, of course.”

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 26 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A teenage boy wakes in a hospital bed finds himself paralyzed from the neck down with no memory of his past."

Why me?!  Why did this happen to me?!

The overly-broad questions seem appropriate to almost every circumstance in the young man’s present situation.  The Young Man.  That is what people had first called him, until the nurses took pity on the pained looked that crossed the young man’s face every time someone used the term as his name.  So they named him Mac, short for MacCallister, which is the river he had been pulled from three weeks ago.

Mac.  The nameless young man  who no one knows.  Not even Mac knows who he is.  His reality centers around these simple, undeniable facts; 17-year-old no-name kid rescued from a raging river after some sort of accident who now sits in a hospital, with legs that will not move, and a brain that refuses to provide relief.  The only thing that is a constant in his life are the many questions that rattle around in his head, causing cavernous-type echoes, that eventually fall silent and unanswered.

Someone had to know him, right?  Someone had to be missing him.  Were his parents out there somewhere trying to find him?  Had they been involved in the same accident, with less favorable outcomes?

Once the questions started coming, they picked up steam, and continued down a track that led nowhere except a deep, dark hole that offered no light, no love, and potentially no future.  

Day 25 of the 250 Word Prompt

"You're secretly in love with your best friend's boyfriend, and you suspect he feels the same way."

The attraction was undeniable.  Allie sat across the booth from her best friend, Fran.  Next to her, both hands on the table, one wrapped snugly around his cup of coffee, was Fran’s boyfriend, Taylor.  Taylor would go through a series of looking up at Allie, and then back down at his coffee.  He seemed miserable; although we all did, for various reasons.

Fran’s mother, who had just started a “trip of a lifetime,” mainly because the woman had been saving up for it for most of her life, had made it to Madrid, the first stop.  The doctors had explained to Fran that her mother had a coronary embolism, which made Fran frown and look at Allie for an explanation.  “Heart attack,” Allie had explained, which caused Fran to grasp at her own heart.  

Allie sipped her coffee and watched as quietly, tears began to fall down Fran’s face, and into her lap.  Allie reached across the table, and lightly squeezed Fran’s ice cold fingers as they lay limp on the hard surface.  Taylor glanced up again at Allie, who just gazed at him for a moment before turning her attention back to Fran.  Taylor placed his arm around his girlfriend, but kept his eyes locked onto Allie.  

Allie wondered if the same thoughts were bumping around his head like an errant pinball, set on driving her crazy with the loud pings and buzzes echoing in her ears.  Peering at Taylor, her heart swelled as she noted that he had yet to move his eyes from hers; but at the same time, ice ran through her veins.  She was in love with her best friend’s boyfriend.  And Taylor had made it clear that there was an attraction on the other side.  

It was not expected, and was truly borne out of a friendship of different layers.  They were acquainted first and foremost through Fran, meeting at dinner parties, bars, and had become friendly as they sat and watched Fran flit through throngs of admirers – always the life and love of the event.  Allie and Taylor learned much about each other during these sessions; most apparently that they shared many of the same likes, dislikes, and views on life.

It had been Taylor that first intimated that he felt he and Fran were drifting apart – that they were just too different, and the gap in differences made their relationship unsustainable.  Two weeks ago, Fran had confided to Allie that she was going to break up with Taylor, that she was tired of being “tied-down” to one guy, and needed a break from monogamy.  This was not news to Allie, as Fran went through these life-affirming realizations about every 9 months.  But it had lifted Allie’s spirits, as she entertained thoughts of finally being able to confront the feelings that had slowly developed for Taylor, minus the massive guilt of wanting a relationship with her best friend’s boyfriend.

Then Fran’s mother passed away, and Fran was in need of all the love and support of her best friend, and her boyfriend.  Neither Taylor nor Allie could fault Fran for her selfishness, which was possibly the most unselfish Fran had ever been in her life, as she dealt with the pain of sudden loss.  Taylor had promised Fran he would be there for her during this time, but the statement had been made to Allie, and Allie understood that it was meant as a suspension of anything he had hoped to explore with Allie.  Allie was devastated, and could sense in Taylor’s pained looks, that he felt the same.  But a journey of this nature cannot be started at the expense of another.

So, unspoken, they agreed to wait until Fran was able to coup with her grief before seeking to find solace in each other.  Allie knew in her heart that this part of their voyage would be the longest, most trying of their potential relationship, and would define the three friends for many years to come.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 24 of the 250 Word Prompt

"Look what I found in the dumpster!"

Midnight. 20 degrees; -2 with the wind chill factor.  It’s not just cold – it’s sell-your-soul-to-the-devil-for-some-heat cold.  It is so cold there is an undeniable fear that inhaling will actually freeze the lungs from the inside out.  Jack knew that was how he was going to die.  It would not be from a shootout with a crazed criminal, crashing while chasing a perp in excess of 100 mph, or getting knifed arresting a gang-banger.  No, the 15-year-veteran, Northern Michigan (damn near Canada) police detective was going to inhale too deeply one cold January night, and internally freeze to death.   

He had begun a series of hand-rubbing, jumping in place, and swaying back and forth in an effort to generate a modicum of warmth.  Waiting with his partner, Nick, as they watched the coroner wrap up the initial examination of the dead girl’s body, Jack wished they had swung through 7-11 to grab coffee.  Why, oh why did people have to wait until the middle of the night, when the world is at its coldest, to play “Look what I found in the dumpster!”

But the call had come in to dispatch, and been ferreted out to Jack and Nick.  Jack glanced at the body of the girl, lying naked on the frozen asphalt tundra.  She looked to be no more than 18, but Jack figured she had more life experiences than most women he knew.  The track marks road-mapping up her arm were a clear indication of where this girl had traveled in her young life.  Now, he was going to have to figure out who she was, where she had run away from, and make a visit to her parents.  Just once, Jack wanted to be able to start and end the conversation with, “We found your daughter.”  Unfortunately, the tears of joy quickly turned to pain and grief with the simple conclusion, “We will need you to come down and identify the body.”  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 23 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A disenchanted young man sets out on a cross-country trip in a last-ditch attempt to avoid following in the footsteps of his father."

Kevin pulled the wad of cash he had been saving over the last year from his pocket and started sorting through the crumpled up bills.  He laid out the $135 for the one-way bus ticket to Norman, OK, and the start of his new life.  Or what he hoped was going to be his new life.  Tucked safely into his backpack was the letter from the admissions office at the University of Oklahoma, welcoming him into the Class of 2016.  Neatly folded into the same envelope was the rejection letter from the Athletic Director thanking him for his interest in joining the football program, but effectively taking a pass on the kicker.

The letter of acceptance to the small Washington State college was lying on his desk, where he had left it this morning as he made his way out of the house before dawn.  He was taking only the clothes and few mementos he could carry in his backpack and a large duffel bag.  He wanted nothing else from the house where he had grown up.  He especially wanted nothing from his father – not after the conversations they had been having lately.

And by conversations, Kevin meant his father talking, yelling, spitting, but always demanding that Kevin give up his dream of being a Sooner football player, and “take the bird in hand.”  The conversation always ended with, “It was good enough for your old man – it’s good enough for you!”

That’s were Kevin vehemently disagreed.  He was determined NOT to be like his father.  It made Kevin sad, and more than a little embarrassed, to watch the eye rolls as his father started in about the glory days at the junior college down the street, going into agonizing detail of how he had thrown the winning touchdown in the playoffs.  Everyone had heard it before, so many times that his buddies would mouth the words and mimic his father’s expressions as he gave his soliloquy.  

The bus driver called for people with tickets to Norman to begin boarding.  Nestled into his seat, Kevin checked his watch.  He had two days before try-outs started, and he a singular purpose - to prove the Athletic Director had made a serious error sending him that letter.  If Kevin was going to be relegated to a life of re-living glory days – his glory days were going to be something worth talking about.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 22 of the 250 Word Prompt

Power-writing session!  Officially caught up!  This one is dedicated to my she starts her second semester of college.  

"Fresh out of college, you roll into a new town to start what you think is your dream job."

Amanda placed the key into the lock, and pushed open the door to her new apartment.  Well, it was new to her – but it was actually a renovated 1790 row house in downtown Annapolis.  She was on the top floor, and had negotiated a sweet deal with the landlord (so what, it was her mother that negotiated the deal, but Amanda had given the okay to go ahead with it).  She had wanted to live in one of these apartments since she moving into the area seven years ago.  

The cyclonic start to the year did not look as if it was going to slow down anytime soon.  She had finished up her college career across the bay, grinning at her proud, cheering family across the long grassy quad as she shook hands with the Dean.  During a semester study abroad in England in her sophomore year, she had scored an internship with the BBC.  They were so happy with her work, they offered her a summer job the next year.  As a graduation gift, she had been hired full-time to work on a mini-series about a family that leaves their home in England to find fortune in America during the 1800’s.  

Amanda had pitched the idea of the family moving to the quaint waterfront town of Annapolis, and to her surprise, the production team had scouted the area and agreed with her.  It seemed odd to her that she could have her dream job in the very town she had grown to love.  She never considered the two dreams were simpatico.

She moved across the apartment to the front window, and smiled as she watched the throngs of tourists pass, and decided that she would wait to unpack, and head down to the cupcake bakery on the first floor to celebrate her good fortune.

Day 21 of the 250 Word Prompt

Rounding third...home is in sight!!

"While vacationing at a dude ranch, a wealthy business tycoon's daughter falls in love with a young cowboy."

She inhaled deeply, and nearly choked, as the smell of manure invaded her nostrils.  She gave her best friend, Becca, a dirty look, one among the many since they had de-planed in Denver and climbed into the almost clean pick-up truck from the ranch just east of Estes Park.  This was all Becca’s fault, and she would never forgive her best friend.

“What is that God-awful smell?!” Kaylie exclaimed as the middle-aged man took her suitcase from the bed of the truck, and lead them into the main building of the “Flying Z Dude Ranch.”

“Why, that is fresh mountain air, Little Lady,” Bob stated emphatically, smiling.  “You may not recognize it without all that smog you are used to in the big city.”

“Smells like shit to me, Bob,” Kaylie replied, as she covered her mouth and nose with her hand.  Becca elbowed her friend in the ribs, and returned the dirty look.  But Bob just chuckled, and shook his head, continuing into the lobby before turning the girls over to a rather short, round woman who introduced herself as Betty.  Becca and Kaylie waited until the woman looked down at her reservation book before they snickered, and simultaneously mouthed, “Betty and Bob.”

Kaylie’s heart was not in Colorado; it was sitting on the beach in Cabo working diligently at reminding her ex-boyfriend of her scantily clad, high end bikini, fake tanned virtues.  Spring Break in the mountains, on a horse had not been high on her list of acceptable alternatives.  But Becca, in cahoots with Kaylie’s father, had worked a deal to keep Kaylie away from Stephan (an “f” sound – not the common “v” sound, thank you very much!).  Of course, Stephan had not seemed to care all that much about Kaylie’s plight, and had even forgotten to text her when he landed in Cabo.  She heard that bitch, Sarah, in the background when she called to make sure he had made it okay.  Kaylie had dreams about pulling out Sarah’s bleach blonde mass of hair by the roots, one painful strand at a time.

“Sam, can you show these two young lady’s to the Ponderosa cabin, please,” Betty called to someone behind the girls, who were now leaning on the high reception desk, suddenly fatigued.

“Yes, ma’am,” a deep voice answered, and Kaylie turned around and nearly gasped in appreciation at the tall, dark, handsome, muscular Adonis that was grabbing her Gucci suitcase, and flashing her a sexy, boyish grin.  As Kaylie walked behind the man, she decided in fairness to her father, she would give Spring Break in the Rockies a fighting chance.

Day 20 of the 250 Word Prompt

I am on a roll....

"After ten minutes, a phone sex professional realizes that she's been talking to her teenage son."

“Really? What are you wearing?” Sybil asked in her most seductive voice, while she updated her Facebook status on her Ipad.  She sat on her bed, door closed, phone connected to the headset lying next to her.  This is where she worked from, so that her fifteen-year-old son did not discover that his latest smartphone upgrade was paid for with the money she made talking dirty to people who had a preauthorized credit card.

“T-shirt and jeans,” the young man’s voice answered, a little shaky and unsure.

“Where are you?” the silky tones inquired.  She hated talking to the young one’s – it made her feel even dirtier than she usually felt about her second job.

“In the basement, sitting on the couch.”

“Are you alone?”  she asked, enticingly, as she straightened her over-sized, pink “Save the Boobies” shirt.

“No, my Mom is upstairs in her room.  She always goes up there after dinner, and talks on the phone.  I think she may have a boyfriend, or something.”  A nervous laugh follows the data dump.

Sybil sits up in the bed, and starts to take closer notice of the voice on the other end.  Fear gripped her, as she looked at the timer on the phone.  She was required to keep him on for no less than five more minutes or she would be written up.  Mustering everything in her, she forced the seductive voice to return, while dreading the next question, but fearing the answer more.

“What is your Mom’s name?” she closed her eyes tightly, praying to whatever god would listen.


She hung up the phone and ran to the bathroom, retching the entire way.

Day 19 of the 250 Word Prompt

Still catching up.....

"Sometimes when I dream, it feels like there's someone else in there with me."

I have never been a “normal” child.  I know this because my mother would tell people as a way of excusing what I can only assume are “weird” statements (yet another term of endearment from my mother).  She would give me those sideways glances, and gnaw at her bottom lip whenever I would talk to her about the conversation I had with the smooth stones in the creek at the back of the property.  Daggers would fly from her eyes when, in response to the question, “and how are you doing, Violet?”  I would begin revealing how my blood had been drained from my body by the aliens who had visited me the previous year, and I was unsure (and a little concerned) about how long I could actually last with alien anti-freeze in my veins.

So, here I sit, outside the psycho doctor’s office (oh, sorry, the psychiatrist).  I had been rushed out of my classroom and down the hall to the principal’s office where I had been subjected to a litany of questions regarding my essay on dreams.  Apparently, when you tell people that a man comes to you in your dreams, and tells you a bunch of secrets about the neighbors, it dictates a visit to the shrink (yes, yes, psychiatrist!).  I fail to see why people have an issue with him swearing me to secrecy – after all, if people in town knew the neighbors where really vampires, there would be an uproar, and maybe a burning at the stake.

So, my mother had been called to come and pick me up post-haste and bring me to the witch doctor to explain myself.  “Well,” I start, “Sometimes when I dream, it feels like there's someone else in there with me." 

Day 18 of the 250 Word Prompt

Playing catch-up...

"A man driving from St. Louis to Kansas City in the middle of a snowstorm spots someone walking along side of the road."

The snow was coming down so hard and fast, it was nearly impossible for Bill to ascertain if he was even on the actual road or not.  Cursing his wife under his breathe (and also his own inability to put his foot down), he continued the trek from St. Louis to his home in Kansas City.  Bill was sure that his son would understand why Bill could not make it to the birthday celebration, but his wife, Emily, had insisted that the eight-year-old would be scarred for life without his father there to help blow out the eight candles on top of the Avengers cake.

The light from his headlights bounced off a figure moving slowly in the snow, and Bill rubbed his eyes, ensuring he had actually seen correctly.  “What the hell is that all about?  What idiot would be out walking in this storm?”  Bill muttered to himself.  He continued along at his snail’s pace, while glancing in the rear view mirror at the figure lumbering along the shoulder of the road.  The Christian upbringing pounced on him, engulfing him in a deep sense of guilt, and forcing him to slow to a stop.

Opening the passenger side door, the man leaned over and popped his head just inside.  He had a scarf around his face and head, but the man’s nose and upper cheeks, which were exposed, where bright red.  Ice had collected on his eye brows, giving the man a near comical appearance.

“Hop in,” Bill remarked.

“Thanks,” the man offered, as he fell into the seat, and hastily closed the door.

“Where to?” Bill asked, pressing slightly on the accelerator.

“Just up the road a bit,” the man stated rather mysteriously, and Bill glanced at him with a quizzical look.  The man smiled, and offered, “There will be a horrible accident just up here; a car that slid into the back of an 18 wheeler, pinning the driver in the car.  I will need to take him home to meet my Father.”

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dear Dad, From Your Loving Daughter

It occurred to me the other day that I have moved past some of the grief left by the passing of my father.  I was the quintessential Daddy’s Girl, and his death left a huge void in my life, and the lives of my daughter’s.  The realization came while I was watching a movie with my eldest, a self-proclaimed Granddaddy’s Girl, who misses my father nearly as much as I do.

My dad, George, known as Wayne by his family and friends in North Carolina, loved the movie, “Ever After.”  When my daughter put it on as I came into the family room, intending only to stay for a minute, I sat in my chair, and remarked, “This was Papa’s favorite movie.”  It was not news to Amanda – I made this statement every time the movie came on.  Usually, however, it was followed by some deep sigh, or other outward indication of sorrow.

“Sorry,” Amanda said sadly, taking the remote in her hand, preparing to turn the channel so as not to cause me pain.  And that is when the realization hit me.

“No,” I stated, still watching the screen.  “I’m okay.  Let’s watch it.”  I remembered that a couple of weeks earlier, on the actual anniversary of his death, I had not awoken with the usual heaviness that typically accompanies that day.  Instead, I remembered that it was my mother’s birthday – her 70th birthday.  Yes, unfortunately, my father died on my mother’s birthday.  Even though they had been divorced for many, many years, she was the one who was with him as he passed from this life.  It was a huge sacrifice for her – to give up her birthday every year to the memory of watching my dad take his last breathe, while she held his hand.  She did it for him – she did it for me, 1500 miles away and unable to get to my father’s side in time.

Today, January 18th, would have been my father’s 74th birthday.  It is also my third anniversary.  My father did not survive to see me marry the man of my dreams, but the man of my dreams allowed me to honor my father by agreeing to marry me on a day that I split between celebrating my life with him, and the life of my dear father.  Is it any wonder I married him?

So, today, I do celebrate the life of my father.  I wish he were here, but I am no longer angry with him for forcing me to celebrate without him.  Now, I include him among the many thanks I give for the wonderful events that have taken place on this day that have made my life happy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 17 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A teen -- who is regularly abused by her stepfather -- runs away to find her birth father, whom she hasn't seen in years." 

Nicole peers out the second story bedroom window, and sees the two bursts of light from the flashlight, signaling the “all clear.”  Slowly, she opens the window, carefully places her overstuffed backpack onto the roof, and climbs out.  She had practiced this for the last two weeks in anticipation of this night.

Quietly moving to the edge, she tosses her bag into the grass.  Wincing at the loud thud it makes as it lands, she stills herself for a moment, listening intently for her stepfather, Chris’ booming voice asking, “What the hell is going on?”

All is calm, and Nicole breathes a sigh of relief, descending the trellis, taking care to place her feet exactly where she had previously established would hold her weight.  Once at the bottom, she snatches up the backpack, and haphazardly flings it onto her back, darting down the road to the waiting vehicle at the end of the street.

Jumping into the passenger seat, she slams the door shut, as her boyfriend, Trey, puts the car in gear and starts the two day drive east.  It was the first step in her journey to find her father.  Nicole had not seen him in six years, not since her mother had remarried, and they had left their home outside bustling DC to move to BFE Iowa.  Nicole’s mother and Chris had made it so difficult for her to maintain a relationship with her father, and Nicole eventually lost touch with him.  Now, at sixteen, she was determined to find him, and reestablish herself in his life.  

She was sure he would put an end to the “discipline” her stepfather insisted she endure.  His quick temper, and quicker fists, had beaten her down physically and mentally.  At first it had seemed he was truly angry at her; but for the last couple of years, Nicole was convinced that man was just plain angry at everyone and everything.  

Placing her head against the car window, she watches the silhouettes of silos and farmhouses pass by, and imagines how her father will look after all this time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 16 of the 250 Word Prompt

"It seems funny to say something so cliche', but there has to be a reason why we keep meeting like this."

Bailey checked the time on her the dashboard clock.  She had enough time to stop at 7-11 around the corner from her office, and grab her morning iced tea.  It was 7:45, and it was already nearly 80 degrees in downtown Austin.  Pulling into an open spot, she jumped from her Explorer, and headed straight to the coolers.  As she turned around, she nearly ran into the tall, dark, handsome man that had been turning up nearly everywhere she went over the past two weeks.

“Oh, geez, I’m sorry,” she apologized, willing herself not to blush.  While she had seen the man at various times, she had never actually spoken to him.  

Smiling at her, he opened the cooler door, and grabbed the same brand of iced tea as she had just retrieved.  “No, you’re fine,” he replied, and his smoldering, dark brown eyes drew her in, and captivated.  After a moment, she regained her composure, and pulled her eyes from his, with some considerable effort, and turned to walk away.

"It seems funny to say something so cliche', but there has to be a reason why we keep meeting like this,” he called to her, forcing her to stop dead in her tracks.  

“Funny you should say that,” she replied, her voice somewhere between flirtatious and seductive, “I was actually thinking the same thing.”

“So, so do you think we should have lunch sometime, and try to figure it out?”  his eyes sparkled and danced, and seemed to have a direct link to her heart rate, which significantly increased.

“It seems the only way to get to the bottom of this." 

Day 15 of the 250 Word Prompt

"Three neighborhood teens watch quietly as a long black limo rolls to a stop in front of an abandoned house."

“Shhh,” came the command from Jamie, as he stilled himself and began listening intently to the world outside the abandoned house.  “Someone’s coming.”

A comical look came across Billy’s face; terror stricken with the all-too-familiar grin that always appeared at inappropriate moments.  Of course, he had the most to lose if they were caught – he had nipped his father’s favorite scotch from the liquor cabinet for the afternoon “smoke – n – joke” session.

Cooper moved toward the dirty, broken window in his version of stealth.  To his credit, he avoided knocking over the nearly imperceptible little round table covered in thick layers of age old dust.  “What the hell?  There is a limo outside,” he informed the other two boys, who stare at him in disbelief.  “Oh, crap!  People are coming in!”

The boys hastily put out the contraband cigarettes in the coffee can they had found in the kitchen of the home they currently used as their hangout.  The house had been abandoned for several years, and was rumored, as most old abandoned homes were, to be haunted by an angry past resident, shunned by the community.  The three boys had been coming to the house for years, and had never seen anything but mice and the occasional crow roaming the musty interior hallways.

The boys returned the scotch and nearly empty pack of cigarettes (Jamie would need to pilfer another pack from his mother’s secret stores) under the floor board in the second story bedroom they gathered in after school.  Creeping to the landing, they quickly, and as quietly as 15-year-old boys can be, tried to make it to the back door and their escape across the over grown weeds that defined the backyard.  As soon as they hit the ground floor, the blurred figures approaching the door send the boys scattering like rats to find hiding places.

The front door opens with a cliche squeak, and a short, round man enters, gesturing towards the front parlor.  A well-dressed, tall, thin woman in severely dark sunglasses enters, followed by an equally tall, well-dressed man.  “This location should suit your needs,” Short-round states, as he makes a slight bow in deference.  “I have held other séances here, with excellent results.”

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 14 of the 250 Word Prompt

"During his third night out of town, a man traveling on business discovers a voodoo doll in his hotel room." 

Jack flung himself onto the bed in his hotel room, grabbed the remote from the side table and turned the TV on simply to break up the monotony of silence around him.  For the third day in a row, he had met with customers bombarding him with questions and accusations regarding the recent news report claiming his company’s flu vaccine actually caused a highly resistant strain of the virus in patients that had been injected.
“Damn that fucking swine, Carlisle Older, and his ‘investigative reporting,’” Jack cursed to the ceiling.  This is not how he had planned to spend his first visit to New Orleans.  He wanted food, fun, and frolicking with scantily clad women whom he could talk into returning with him for a night cap of cheap tequila in his one-night-stand pad just off Bourbon Street.  Now, he would be emailing, texting, and calling the home office, unloading a barrage of complaints from doctors, and obtaining guidance on how to handle the next round of inquiries.

Sitting at the round table, his cell phone to his ear, he placed the pen in his mouth as he grabbed the legal pad from his briefcase.  Without realizing it, Jack inadvertently bit down a little too hard, snapping the pen in half, and causing him to spat in out.

“Shit!” he yelled into the phone, much to the surprise of his regional manager on the other end.  Apologizing profusely, Jack began searching through the drawers of the bedside table, looking for the complimentary Bic.  His hand came across a ragged doll, made of some type of burlap, void of any distinguishing characteristics, such as eyes, nose, mouth, or even hair.  Pinned to the front was discolored paper; a handwritten message, or poem, scrawled upon it.  

Jack finished up his phone call, and plopped back down on the bed, peering curiously at the doll that was just slightly larger than his hand.  Fingering the note, he carefully pulled out the pin that held it in place, as he reads aloud:

“You need only state the name, and make your mark upon the doll.  Once the request has been made, the wish will be granted. But Heed These Words: The revenge you seek has consequences past your own thirst for retribution.  Once the choice to go forward has been made, you may never return to this place in time, and you will be forever changed.  Do not become that which you seek to destroy.”
Jack’s eyes glaze over as a salacious, evil smile fills his face.  Without considering the ominous curse he has just proclaimed, he grabs the pin and thrusts it deep into the chest of the doll.

“Carlisle Older,” he states clearly, and the room instantly goes dark.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 13 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A man is given the ability to go back in time and change one event in his life."

“But, how is this even possible?” Frank looked in the mirror, shocked to see the 20-year-old man looking back at him.  He touched his face, looked at his physique in the mirror, and smiled in disbelief.  It had been a very long time since he had been able to see his feet over his large belly; but now it was trim and his muscles taut.

Searching his memory, he recalled being on the bridge, overlooking the raging river, readying himself for his final swan-dive when she had appeared.  She looked so familiar to him, but Frank could not place her face, or the sweet angelic voice that called to him.  She had coaxed him down from the ledge, tenderly holding his hand in hers as he placed his feet on the firm ground along the shoulder of the road.

“Why are you doing this, Frank?” she had asked, her voice a melody he knew from somewhere in his memory.  “Why are you willing to take your own life in this manner?”  Her head tilted to the side, and she had an inquisitive, confused look in the beautifully captivating eyes, filled with a nameless color that Frank had never seen before.

“My life has been wasted,” Frank cried, despair wracking his body.  “Nothing has gone the way I planned it; nothing will change in the future. There is nothing for me.”  

“But what would you change about your life, Frank?  What would you do differently?”  

“I would have never left the party that night; never gotten behind the wheel of the car so drunk, and I would not have taken that innocent woman from her children and husband.”

“Are you so sure?”  The voice was behind him, close to his ear, but Frank could no longer see her face.  “What if it was her time to go?  What if the decisions you made in your life, that you are now regretting, actually came after you made all the decisions you speak of wanting to change?” 

Her breath was on him; enveloping him in sweet, soft warmth.  It was as if a cloud had drifted around him, and was carrying him away to places unknown.  Frank was not scared.  He felt at peace for the first time in a very long time, but could not explain why the feeling penetrated him so deeply.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Day 12 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A teenage girl's dead grandmother starts appearing in her dreams and revealing family secrets."

“Good night, Mom,” Sheila called from the top of the stairs.

“Are you going to bed already?  It is not even 10:00.”  Her mother, Stella, came to the bottom landing and looked up at Sheila, worry etched across her face.  “Are you sick?”

“No,” Sheila answered, keeping her voice even, attempting to assuage her mother’s concern.  “It was just a really busy day at school, and I want to get a good night’s sleep.”

For the past three nights, Sheila’s grandmother, whom she recognized from the framed black and white picture in the family room, entered her dreams, and talked to Sheila about the family history she had never been told.  Vera had passed away when Sheila was just a baby, and Stella rarely spoke of the woman.

But Vera had a lot to say.  Bobby, Stella’s baby brother, had died suddenly in his sleep one night at two years-old.  It had never been explained with any specificity as to exactly what had caused his death, and the coroner finally listed it as “crib death.”  Grandma Vera never accepted that version.  She always wondered why the brown-haired, brown eyed daughter had slipped out of Bobby’s room just minutes before Vera had found the blue-faced, un-breathing boy.  

According to Vera, Sheila’s mother never cried over her little brother’s death.  In fact, Stella had acted like the memorial gathering at the house after the funeral was a party, and had flitted around ensuring everyone was “enjoying themselves.”  Most wrote it off as the misunderstandings of a young girl, but Vera was never able to reconcile the brooding little girl from prior to her brother’s death, and the happy, flamboyant child that existed after Bobby’s passing.   

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 11 of the 250 Word Prompt

"While on a camping trip, a little boy strays from his family and happens upon a carnival in the middle of nowhere."

Bright orange and black wings, lightly fluttering, mesmerized young Daniel.  He reached his 6-year-old hand toward the butterfly as it moved slowly from flower to flower, teasingly out of grasp of the boy.  Daniel followed along the path of the butterflies’ flight, completely unaware he had moved out of range of his mother’s distracted view.  The path grew darker the farther into the trees he ventured, his eyes still locked onto the big wings that glided effortlessly through the air.

The trees opened into a bright field, and Daniel’s attention to the butterfly was instantly replaced by the bright lights swirling around overhead; and bright costumes swirling around his small frame in an exotic dance.  A woman wearing an intoxicatingly vibrant purple skirt, sun yellow blouse, and shimmering scarf around her head, twirled about the young man.  The sound from the tiniest symbols Daniel had imagined existed, tinkled as the gypsy woman clicked her thumbs and fingers together, hypnotizing the youngster.  Daniel began twirling with her, averting his eyes from the symbols to the dress to the smooth skin and dark eyes that captivated him.  

Just as magically as she had appeared, the gypsy disappeared, and the boy was greeted by a rather large, round man, not much taller than Daniel.  He smiled slyly at the boy. Dressed in black pants, blood red jacket, and a hat that added another two feet onto the man’s height, he stood in front of the boy more as a playmate than an adult.  Daniel gazed into the same dark eyes as the gypsy woman, however, they had a glint of mischievousness in them, as the ringmaster lead the boy to a rather large tent.  Daniel peered inside, wary at first, until he caught sight of the most wonderful things he had ever beheld in his vast 6 years of life….

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 10 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A young woman dies in a car accident, and her grief-stricken parents are shocked by what they find while cleaning out her apartment."

“Are you sure about this?” Evelyn asked her husband, Bob, as he turned the key to unlock his daughter’s apartment door.  “We could find a hotel instead, and come back here in the morning.”

“No,” the man sighed heavily, “this is as good as anything.”  Evelyn looked into the tear stained face of the man she had been married to for 27 years, and decided not to fight him on this particular issue.  

They had received the call, and made their way over the bridge from their coastal home to the hospital.  It was a trip no parent should have to make, and they were quiet throughout the 35 minute drive to identify the body of the young woman police believed was their daughter.  Two cars had collided head-on only two blocks from their daughter’s home.  The Sergeant had surmised, due to the couple of bags found in the backseat, the driver had made a quick trip to the grocery store, and was returning home when the accident occurred.

Evelyn and Bob had not seen Mary Anne in over a year. She had made the trek across the long bridge spanning the bay for the sole purpose of asking her father for money from her trust fund.  She had been refused, and had since refused all contact with her parents.   

Evelyn made her way into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, as Bob made his way down the hall to the guest bedroom to drop off the hastily packed overnight bag.  Evelyn heard her husband say something but was unable to comprehend the words over the water running from the kitchen faucet  She turned to place the kettle on the stove top, when she caught sight of Bob out of the corner of her eye, holding something wrapped in a pink blanket.

Bobs face was ashen as he cradled the bundle in the crook of his arm.  Evelyn leaned in for a closer look, and gasped loudly as her eyes peered into the angelic face of a baby girl, fast asleep.

“I think we have a granddaughter,” he revealed, and a slight smile, nearly indiscernible through the tears, crossed his face. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 9 of the 250 Word Prompt

"You're a long way from home, boy."

The sun beat down on Ty, as he made his way along the shoulder of the highway.  He was getting tired, but knew he had to keep moving.   His family was waiting for him to return, and he was determined to get back to them, anyway he could.  Searching for something – anything – that looked familiar, he tried not to dwell on the dryness of his mouth and throat, or how long it had been since he had water to drink.

Cars passed by him, but no one had stopped.  A few slowed to look at him, but quickly moved on as soon as they saw how dirty and disheveled he appeared.  Of course it may have been his behavior, as he would howl, “What are you looking at?”  The sped away and he continued down the road.  He did not want any help.  He trusted no one.

Off in the distance, a dust bowl of sorts was moving toward him.  He slowed his pace, trying to decipher the cause of the advancing plume.  It was not long before he saw the outline of the pick-up truck moving down a now visible dirt road perpendicular to him.  The truck slowed as it reached the intersection, and the driver peered out the side window at Ty.  

Ty passed in front of the vehicle, and kept along his chosen path, waiting for the truck to pull out onto the highway and pass him once more.  Instead, he heard the unmistakable sound of the door opening, as the driver got out and called to him.

“Hey, come here, boy,” the man called as Ty turned to look at him.  Ty was suspicious and stood his ground, preparing for a confrontation.  “Come here,” the man called again, and for some reason, Ty looked into the man’s face and was drawn to him.

Ty ambled over to the man, as he bent over and took the tag hanging around Ty’s neck in his hand.  “You’re a long way from home, boy.”  Ty wagged his tail in acknowledgement, as the man ran his hand over the top of Ty’s head.  “Well, let’s see if we can’t get you back there,” the man offered, as he opened the driver’s side door, moved to the side, and allowed Ty to jump into the front seat of the truck.  As they headed off down the road in search of the German Shepard’s home, Ty hung his head out the window, soaking up the sun’s rays.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 8 of the 250 Word Prompt

"It's always the quiet ones, you know?"

      Becka pulled into the driveway of her mother’s 1950’s rambler style house, turned off the engine, and just sat there for a moment.  She had grown up here, and glancing around her eyes fell on the large oak in the front yard.  Teaching her little brother, James, to climb it had been one of Becka’s crowning achievements, and she so longed for the days when they would make sack lunches, clamber up to the high heavy branches, and gaze at the world (or at least their little sliver of it) from a bird’s point of view.

Becka took a deep breath, opened the car door, and exhaled loudly and completely.  Her mother had been crying for a week straight, and Becka doubted there was an end in sight, at least not in the foreseeable future.  There were arrangements to be made, people to be notified, a casket to be selected, an appropriate eulogy to be given.  Her brother’s death had gained him notoriety in the most heinous way imaginable, leaving his family to deal with the fall-out.

Opening the side door, Becka stepped into the exact kitchen of her childhood.  Nothing had changed – except everything had changed.  The TV was on, and the news report was going through the endless update of no new information regarding the brutal deaths of two young lovers in their apartment, and the subsequent suicide of the alleged murderer and roommate.  The reporter was standing outside James’ apartment, complete with yellow crime scene tape, interviewing one of the neighbors.

“It’s always the quiet ones, you know?” 

For some odd reason, that statement, out of all the statements Becka had heard over the past week, seemed to sum up James perfectly.  The oddity was that it had come from a complete stranger.  Quiet James; the boy with his nose in a book, who rarely spoke unless spoken to first, had grabbed a butcher knife, screamed some obscenities, and stabbed his two best friends to death before cutting his own wrists and bleeding out.  

The statement kept replaying over and over in Becka’s mind, as she grappled with what she could have done differently, that may have prevented this from ever happening.  The journey to figure that out started today. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 7 of the 250 Word Prompt

"A man believes himself to be possessed when his hand starts writing a message of its own volition."

Harvey was going to enjoy this.  Abby, his impulsive, arrogant granddaughter was standing in front of him, and he knew what she wanted – and he would be damned if he was going to give it to her.  He knew she must be regretting all of the jokes about his smelly farts, the rude comments about the “gross food” he ate, as well as the perhaps aptly proffered, but wholly inappropriate nickname “Snuffleupagus.”  Yes, he had heard them all, and nothing was going to save her from a fate worse than death.  It was time for her to grovel.

She had put off the discussion with the Old Windbag (another unfortunate nickname that he had heard one day after Sunday dinner), but now it was crunch time.  Her mother had stated that the University had been calling and sending emails, reminding Abby that her tuition was due.  Now she was going to have to pucker up and kiss the old man’s ass, and beg for him to – how had her mother termed it? – “assist in the furtherance of her post-secondary education.”  

And the Decrepit Fool just sat there, grinning at her, and she knew this was going to be painful.  His years of experience had finally caught up with her youth and inexperience, and he was going to make this as difficult as possible on her.  He had the money, because he never spent any of it.  

“Grandfather, I need to borrow some money for college,” she poured on the sweetness, and a smile he had not seen since she was 4 years old, and clambering up into his lap to kiss his cheek.  He tried to remember, in that moment, all the cruel behavior she had exhibited toward him over the years since; but remembered only how proud she had been to present him with the Father’s Day card when she was six, where she had misspelled “Grandpop,” adding an extra “o” in the most unlucky of places.

He would not do it!  He would not help this selfish girl.  And as he said these words to himself, and without conscious thought, Harvey reached into the middle desk drawer and pulled out the checkbook.  The unexpected possession that invaded his body at that moment was causing him to have an out-of-body experience.  As if watching the events unfold on the TV screen, he heard a familiar voice croon, “Of course, Dear.  How much do you need?”  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 6 of the 250 Word Prompt

"So are you going to kiss me or should I just call a cab?"

"So are you going to kiss me or should I just call a cab?"

He stood in front of her, dripping wet from the rain, still breathing heavy from his impromptu mile and a half run to her apartment.  She just looked at him, not giving anything away.  He understood her hesitancy; he had been completely inconsistent throughout the year they had known each other.  He had insisted that they were only friends; that he felt nothing for her other than the witty rapport they shared.  He had flaunted other women in front of her, knowing that she had feelings for him, and that it hurt her to see him give to other women – less deserving women – what she wanted for herself.  It was cruel, really, and he hated himself for the way he had treated her, but not enough to change the behavior.  Until now.

She had ended it.  All of it.  She had told him that she could not be in his life, in any way, shape, or form.  Not as a friend, not an acquaintance, not even a name in his contact list.  Nothing.  During a ski trip, where she was just another friend a midst their circle, the realization that she warranted more struck her like lightening, and the spark ignited a path away from him.  

That had been a turning point for him.  The hand that reached into his chest, as he watched her turn her gaze from him, and focus on another man – one who recognized her as a precious jewel – ripped and pulled his heart, and tore it into a thousand pieces, defiling the newly drifted white snow.

It had taken him a month to even get her to answer his text messages, and agree to meet him for coffee.  But he had handled it all wrong; his impatience at his own awakening spilling over into that one meeting.  His arrogance that she would just throw up her arms, and welcome him into them after the months of pushing her away, had enraged her, causing her to pitch a string at expletives at him that he had not seen coming.

And so here he was – his heart on his sleeve, begging her to give him a chance to start over, to make amends, to give her everything that he now knew she deserved more than any other person in the world.  But her eyes were suspicious of him, and his mind went back to the first time he had ever laid eyes on her.  

If only, he cursed himself, if only I had handled it all differently

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 5 of the 250 Word Prompt

"After one too many margaritas, you vow to your two best friends that you'll ask out the next guy who walks by."

“Okay, here's the bet, Paige Baby!  The next guy, no matter who he is, what he looks like, or how many chins he has – you will ask the poor sap out on a date!”  Maddie raises her glass, somewhat shakily, sloshing margarita over her wrist.

“Challenge accepted,” Paige calls out, rather loudly bringing looks from people sitting around them, encouraging another round of giggles from the three women, attempting to toast the agreement.

Thursday night happy hour had morphed into girls night out, as Ruby ordered yet another round of mango margaritas, slurring, “Drain your glasses, ladies!  Round 273 is on its way!”  She was only joking, of course.  Please let her be joking, Paige thought to herself but giggled out loud.  There was no reason to get home at a reasonable hour.  Paige lived alone – she had for the last three months, after her last boyfriend packed his bag, and left.  What the hell was his name?  she giggled again, the alcohol surging through her veins , replacing the blood that normally courses through her. 

Maddie’s eyes grow wide, and her mouth mimics the motion.  Paige and Ruby turn to see what has captured their friend’s attention, as the tall, drop dead gorgeous man with the damn-near-perfect body and masculine, chiseled features passes them, and takes up residency on a stool at the bar.
Ruby and Maddie slowly turn their eyes to Paige, when suddenly, the two women, Paige’s two best friends in the world, broke into fits of howling laughter.  Undeterred, Paige squares her shoulders, takes a deep breath, and downs the remainder of her drink.  Standing, she steadies herself, and makes her way to towards the man, sending up a silent prayer that a barstool is open next to him, as she nearly falls into it.  There is very little chance, in her current inebriated state, coupled with the fact that she rarely talked to men that were so obviously out of her league, that this stunning example of godliness would actually speak to her, let alone acquiesce to going out with her.  

Nothing ventured, nothing gained…