And then the whole world shifted

I could have never imagined that we would make it this far. One finger traced his bare back from his shoulder to where the freckles stopped in the middle. I really did love him.

I loved these moments, but I wanted him to be awake. Why did lovemaking make him sleepy and myself so awake? I smiled, remembering our honeymoon when I first discovered this.

 Fingers tracing his arm, my arm I thought. Fingers tracing broad shoulders,these are  my shoulders, I thought. It was just a piece of paper but that piece of paper said that he was mine. And I took joy in claiming him as mine that night with my fingers.

I suddenly wanted to wake him to share my memory, I wanted to hold him and say I loved him as much now as I did then.

It had taken time to get here again.

Years of suspecting he held secrets from me. That had been dismissed and I had moved on and tried to get him to see me again, notice me.

Why do women disappear to their husbands sometimes? I thought. We disappear sometimes, we aren’t interesting enough anymore, we aren’t new.

Well that wasn’t going to happen to me. I worked out, I made an effort, I asked more questions about work or less whatever suited best.

When he stirred in his sleep I noticed my fingers had dug into his skin a little. I slid out of bed, put on my fluffy robe and left him to sleep. The floor was so cold, so I looked for my slippers. One was by the bed the other had gone under it, next to his phone.

It was giving off that annoying beep it made when it was nearly dead. Ugh, he’ll be annoyed if he has a dead phone in the morning, I thought. I grabbed my slipper, threw it on the floor beside the other and slid them both on, I put his silver bullet of a phone into my robe’s pocket.

Beep beeeep it continued there. “Just a second, just a second I hear you,” I muttered. “Oh lord I’m talking to a phone,” I laughed.

I made my way to the kitchen through the dark hallway, I didn’t want to wake anyone.

Beep, beeee beep it sputtered in my pocket. The charger better be in the kitchen, I thought to myself.

Two cats joined me,winding around my legs ready to eat because I was up. “It’s two in the morning dears, that means no breakfast for you, not yet.” And now I’m talking to cats I thought, almost tripping in the kitchen doorway.

Be Be Beeep the phone stuttered. Oh you stupid thing, cut me some slack I thought as I flipped on the light switch near the door.

Yes! His cord is right there on the counter…plugged in which annoys me but at least I won’t have to look for it.

I plugged in the phone mid stutter and watched as the screen flashed awake. There you go are you happy? The cats were getting insistent when I noticed the phone was blinking a message.

Hmm, that’s weird who’d call him so late? It could be an emergency I should probably listen to it in case.

I punched in the pin I knew because he used the same pin for everything, a good thing this time.

“Dave, sweetheart,” said the bubbly voice on the phone, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it- I do hope you found something to do with yourself!” followed by laughter.

And then the whole world shifted.

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The above is purely fictional, any resemblance to real life events are just that, a resemblance. This was written for The Red Dress Club prompt:

 This week’s prompt asked you to begin your piece with the words, “I could never have imagined” and end it with “Then the whole world shifted.” And the post totaled 600 words as required.

The Blizzard

The below came about through The Red Dress Club’s prompt for the week,”This weeks prompt is to imagine you are trapped alone or with others at a single place during a ginormous blizzard or its aftermath.”

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Rachel held the candle up and looked through the pantry shelves again as if food might have miraculously appeared from out of no where. Nope, they were still almost empty. A tug on her skirt caught her attention.

“Momma I’m hungry.” the small voice repeated.

“I gave you some beans, and you haven’t even touched them.” said Rachel.

“I’m tired of eating beans. I want mac-or- roni and cheese.” said Layla doing a little shimmy after each word. Her face was so bright and happy it was killing her.

Usually that would’ve been cute. Now it was just a reminder that no one around her knew the gravity of the situation.

“I told you we don’t have macaroni and cheese. We have beans. And we have rice, but the rice is for supper.” She smiled to herself at the absurdity of it, as if meal planning were even possible when you were limited to two items.

The blizzard had been unexpected. It had started to snow 2 days ago. She remembered standing at the windows with the kids as they cooed and awed each snowflake when it first started. She had even promised that they’d go out in it once the winds died out down. That snowstorm had been consistent and continued into the next morning. And it had left them with around a foot of snow.

They knew more snow was possible but they had never expected the 2 plus feet of snow that had fallen later that night trapping them inside their house. She remembered lying with all of them in her bed as the winds shook the walls of their house. She held each one and promised it would be okay and hoped to herself that it really would be. They got up the next morning to discover that they were pretty much snowed in.

She was angry at herself for not venturing out after the first foot of snow had fallen. She thought it would be best to wait on her husband to get back home and then go from there. They lived so far away from everything and Paul had been out of town on business. Was it even possible for him to get to them now? The chances looked slim at best. And Rachel was housebound with four little ones and dwindling food supplies.

Oh Lord, she thought to herself, why didn’t I go to my mother in law’s when she asked us to? She didn’t want us to stay here alone with Paul out of town. But I wanted to prove that I was capable. Who cares about that now? Poor Thelma she must be worried sick, and who knows if she’s even okay?

She tried not to think about it. The power lines were apparently down, that meant no phone, no television, and no lights. It was if civilization had been wiped out from under her. Their house had a fireplace and that had been their main source of light and heat and where they cooked their meals.

Okay, we have a lot of beans, not so much rice; there are hot cocoa packets and chicken bouillon cubes. She thought to herself.

She suddenly felt stupid for using some of them in the beans she had just cooked, chicken bouillon added flavor to the beans and that was all well and nice but she should’ve saved them to make chicken broth.

Always have a well stocked pantry. It used to be her favorite line before she had gotten laid off. Now it was buy what you can to tide you over to next week. Their shopping day was supposed to have been tomorrow when Paul’s check got direct deposited.

“Mama, macaroni, okay?” smiled Layla

“She doesn’t have macaroni, she just said that!” piped up Sophie

“Okay, I want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, no jelly.” said Layla

“There’s no peanut butter or jelly either you stupid head just stinky beans, duh.” Continued Sophie

“I’m not a STUPID HEAD! Momma she called me a stupid head!” screamed Layla

“Okay ya’ll need to stop, now. I know that this sucks. It’s what it is I can’t help it, lets not start with the yelling and name calling okay?” said Rachel

“She said suck!” they both said wide eyed “Suck is a naughty word; suck is a naughty word, suck…”

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.” Cried the babies from the living room

“Do you see what ya’ll do? Stop now! Stop it now! I can’t…..” Rachael burst into tears shocking them both.

What kind of mother was she? She knew this was bad and that she had to be strong but she was so lost. Why had she let him talk her into moving here? She had never even seen snow before and now she stuck in a damn blizzard, alone. Could she go outside now to get more logs? They had almost run out and she knew that just wasn’t an option. Even with the fireplace going they had to wear several layers just to stay warm. What would they do without it?

“Mama, okay?” asked Layla slipping her chubby little hand into her own. The smallness of it gave her strength and made her weak at the same time.

“Right. Yes, I’m fine. Thank you sweetie”, she squeezed Layla’s hand and dried her eyes. “I’m sorry mommy just had a mini melt down. C’mon lets go have our picnic by the fire okay? We can bring all your stuffed bears and we can even share a hot chocolate, how about that? And guess what? Bears love beans it’s their favorite, okay?” she tried to say it cheerfully what else could she do? She would feed the kids and then see if she could force her way out, she’d hope to God that she could find her way back. What else could she do?

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This post is open to constructive criticism.

Rachel’s End

This week’s Red Writing Hood Prompt was “Water gives life. It also takes it away. Write a short piece – fiction or non-fiction – inspired by one or both of these statements.”

A hand slapping her out of her chair with it’s force and element of surprise, her body’s weight hitting cold tile. The taste of blood in her mouth and the beginning of bruises taking shape.

Whenever she felt like she was about to lose her balance, this was the memory that got conjured up.

The memory came again now as the wave crashed against her, almost knocking her down. But she liked to walk out into the ocean as far as she dared and let wave after wave crash over her. She couldn’t swim so perhaps it was a foolish thing to do, but it made her happy.

The wind whipped her hair against her face and she bent down to cup a little sea water to moisten the errant hairs away from her. The water droplets fell into her mouth in drips, filling her with the taste of the sea. Salt and death, pain and blood.

Rachael willed the thoughts to leave her, this was her time her escape while Bud slept off last night’s party for one. Bud was an angry drunk and she should have known better then to mouth off but, well whatever.

She could take hits like a prizefighter, a skill learned early.

Her father had been like that her exes had been too. She was magnet for girl hitters. But dammit why did they always have to hit her in the face? One hit and she went dizzy, her whole head pounded. And she was always stupid enough to jump back up again too. Impulse, blame it on impulse.

The same impulse that led her to men like Bud, men like her father.

“You think you’re so damn smart don’t ya? Mouthy bitch, with those books you’re always reading. You ain’t nothing, you ain’t better then anyone else, Got it? I’ll make you get it, believe that.”

The ocean betrayed her by bringing those words in it’s roar.

I could keep walking into it.

The thought nagged at her.

I could walk into it farther and just see what happened.

Didn’t Virginia Woolf do the same thing? Just walk and walk into the water till it buried her.

I’m tired. It would be easy, like letting the ocean hug me. If I stopped thinking, if I didn’t struggle…would I float or just sink? I want rest.

The suddenness of the wave woke her up a bit. The same sick, falling feeling came to her. What if I struggle? What if it’s the struggling,falling feeling amplified all the way down? And what happens after?

Death scared her, at least she knew what to expect from Bud.

She stood for a bit while the sand under her feet tried the join the retreating wave and another feeling began in her stomach.

What if I just leave? What if I just leave Bud and me here and all of this and just start over?

It wouldn’t be today if that was her choice, she had spent too long in the waves and the town was beginning to stir. People would be joining her soon, any minute perhaps. But she could plan and figure something out… the beginning of a possibility danced in her stomach and she pushed the urge to just give up to the side.

That urge was still strong, it called to her as she watched the next wave rising up to greet her. The unknown was so scary.

It would be her choice.

The Black Mini

I walked into our bedroom to see a manila folder, letters, photographs and old greeting cards scattered all over the carpet.

It was the original of the kit we had to assemble before my husband was allowed to come over and marry me.
And it meant that one of the gremlins had been pulling stuff out of the trunk that I kept in my closet.
“Who has been pulling stuff out of my closet?” I yelled as I bent down to pick everything back up and put it back in the manila folder.

“Whats all that?” asked my husband from the doorway.

“Our get you to America kit.” I answer.

“Shouldn’t that be put up somewhere safe? I mean what if we need it someday?”

“It was put up, in my trunk in the closet with our extra sheets folded on top. I obviously miscalculated our gremlin’s curiosity. Why don’t we keep it in your office from now on?” I say knowing full well that it’s more likely to get lost in there then in our closet.

“No, that’s okay, hey what’s this?” he asks, handing me a small black item that I hadn’t seen before then.

It’s a small black mini skirt and I start laughing as soon as I see it.

“Oh sheesh! Do you remember this? How insane, I didn’t even know I still had this.” I say unfolding and holding it up for inspection.

“What is that from?” he asks, scrunching up his face and possibly wondering if I lead a double life on the side, “You don’t wear stuff like that.”

“No, I don’t but I did wear this once. Great, don’t tell me you don’t remember!” and I stand up draping the skirt over me,” Think of this but with knee long boots.”

“Oh…Oh yeah! I remember. You were wearing that when you came to see me at the hotel the day after my flight in. How funny.”

“Okay, funny is not the word I was hoping for! Wow, what the heck was I thinking! This is teeny. I just wanted you to think I was worth flying over here for I guess.” I say smiling.

I had worn casual clothes to meet him at the airport because I didn’t want him to think I was trying too hard and then worried that I hadn’t tried hard enough the next day. Hence, the short mini and long boots. What had he thought seeing me that morning? I had sat in one of the overstuffed lobby chairs waiting for him, legs crossed looking like a professional of another sort among all the suits that kept passing me by. I had received more then a few looks but they had made me feel unsure and self conscious.

“I bet people thought I was a call girl or something- and it was morning time! How weird. It didn’t help that you asked me to go see your room and what you had brought me in your suitcase.” I say remembering the giant box of Thornton chocolates and the bottle of champagne.

“I didn’t really want you in my room just to show you that.” he said smiling.

“I can’t believe we made out at 9 in the morning! It seems so long ago.”

“Well I couldn’t make out with you in front of your niece when you two picked me up from the airport, could I? And we had been talking online forever.”

“Yeah, we had.” I smiled and I kissed him softly.

He pulled me in and really kissed me. “Hey, you should wear this again sometime….Do you still have those boots?”

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Written for the TRDC prompt. This week it was:

Write a piece – 600 word limit – about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it’s so meaningful to you or your character.

I went in a completely different direction then the one I originally thought of going.

Maria

Maria traced a face in the window’s condensation, every now and then she smudged it out, huffed on the glass and started over. The car door opened and interrupted her.

“Sorry that took so long.” said Sandra. She plopped the white container on the seat, sat down and looked through her purse for the key.

Maria let her go on for a few minutes before clearing her throat,”You left it in the ignition.”

“Ha ! You’re right. I’m so slow today. Are you sure you trust me driving you all the way to Austin?”

“I could’ve taken the bus.” answered Maria watching Sandra open the white box to reveal a dozen fancy donuts.

“Don’t be silly. Okay what’s your poison? I got every pretty little thing they had. I tell you what, try this one it’s their best.” Sandra pulled out a glazed donut dripping with pink icing and covered in red and white sprinkles and held it out with the wax paper square still attached.

“Thanks.” said Maria

“I’m taking a quick bite of this coconut concoction and then we can get out of Dodge, yeah?”

Maria watched Sandra’s bright red lips take a big bite, coconut flakes falling onto her lap. Sandra wrapped her donut back in it’s wax paper and placed it back into the box away from the others. She licked her lips free of the frosting that had settled around them and then licked her fingertips making loud smacking sounds as she did.

Maria’s stomach turned a little as she looked down at her own donut. It was the opposite of what she would’ve picked herself. On the rare occasions she had a donut she always picked a cake donut of some kind, preferably blueberry. She poked her fingernail into the pink frosting and let herself taste it. It tasted how it looked, too sweet and artifical. It was strawberry flavor but twenty times removed from what a real strawberry tasted like.

The car started to life and then coasted out of the nearly empty donut shop, it was still really early.

“Sweetie, this is gonna be an awful long ride if you’re gonna mope the whole time. Go on eat your donut Lord, knows you don’t need to be on a diet!” Sandra chuckled a little.

Maria’s face swung up in defense but she realized that Sandra hadn’t meant anything by it. Maria was in fact in the middle of another diet and always oversensitive about it.

“Thank you for taking me back to my mom. I know I haven’t always been the best niece.”

“Oh honey don’t you worry. I’m just sorry that brother of mine has been such an awful father to you. You should have come to us sooner. You’re thirteen years old, a thirteen year old has no business staying at home alone while her father drinks half the town dry. It makes my blood boil, it really does.” Sandra’s right hand went to the box, located her donut and brought it to her lips once more before returning it again.

“I’ll be okay with my mom now. You don’t have to worry. I’m fine. I should have just stayed with her to begin with.”

Maria brought her own donut to her lips and took a bite. She forced her teeth to chew the thickly glazed donut enough so that she could swallow it. It still felt like it was stuck in her throat when she finally did.

She didn’t want to hurt her aunt’s feelings.

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This was inspired by the TRDC writing prompt pictured above. 🙂

The Mad Hatter

Silly bird, but she did have her strong points; tousled blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and a nice little figure to name a few.

I could still feel her on the places her hands had roamed to before our make out session had been interrupted. Damn annoying that her friend pulled her away like that. It was all fun and games, if a chicky takes me too serious then she probably needs a few lessons on how to read a man anyway. “I am a public service, I offer myself free of charge; one night in paradise with no strings attached.” I chuckled as I remembered my Uni motto and how it had made all the lads cheer.

The door swung open and in walked a fine specimen of lady. She was tall with long brown hair and very fit, the opposite of Blondie who had been petite and curvy; but one wasn’t better then the other. I didn’t have a type, easy to look upon was all I required. One night stands or girls who can be relied on for late night calls is all I wanted.
I watched as she stood in the doorway taking off her coat and placing it on the coat tree that stood nearby. She wore a paisley shirt dress underneath and long black boots, the fetching combo made the most of her long legs.

Lovely, just lovely I thought as I tried to catch her eye. It worked and brought a smile as she walked over and sat herself on a stool next to the one beside me. “Hi.” she offered with another smile.

“Hello, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you here before.”

“In this town how can you tell? It’s huge, I keep making sure to stick around places near the inn or I’m sure I’d end up lost! I’m Dayna by the way.” and she offered her hand.

“I’m Micheal.” I took the hand and shook it, though my first impulse was to kiss it. I couldn’t read her yet. “What brings you to London then? You don’t sound English.”

“You’re right, I’m American. I’m here doing research for my book. I’m loving it here, there’s just so much history. The place I’m staying at it was built in the nineteeth century! But I couldn’t stay in my room one more minute, I was going stir crazy.”she was a little hard to keep up with.

“Wow. Well, that’s interesting.” I smiled.

“I’m sorry, but does that girl at the corner table know you? She keeps looking over here. I can feel her eyes on my skull.” laughed Dayna

I studied the girl for a minute and she blushed bright red and looked away. No, I had never met her, she was just interested in me. I was used to getting looks like that.

“I don’t know her. Can I buy you a drink?” and I scooted my stool a little closer to show my interest in her.

“I’ll have a red wine spritzer. I still have writing to do tonight.” her smile tugged at me. It had been a while since anything tugged at me.

I might have to leave this at just friendly banter and make plans later with the corner girl. She was still looking at me, though I was careful to not show that I could see that. Dayna probably wouldn’t be the type of girl who was easy to forget the next morning which served to disqualify her. I wouldn’t let myself have feelings for another woman, not ever again.

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This was a fictional piece for this week’s TRDC prompt,” This week’s assignment was to think of someone – it could be a fictional character, a public figure, someone you know – who gets under your skin, and write a piece from his or her perspective.” Concrit, as always, is welcome.