Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 67: Uh, Thank You Very Much


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Kimmydon's Choice: Picture 2

Uh, Thank You Very Much

Sarah set the bear on her bed with pride. I looked at it, a little confused.

“Jake gave it to you?” I guessed.

“Yes! Isn’t he sweet, Mom?”

“He’s very ... large,” Peter said, staring at the bear whose feet took nearly half the width of her single bed.

“Yes!” Sarah agreed. “He’s so lovable!” She bounced on the bed and hugged him. “Jake won him at the fair for me. He cost ...” Our fifteen year-old daughter did some math. “Twenty-five dollars.”

“Well, that’s not bad. What game was it?”

“Ring toss,” she said, sitting up. “He’s like my Jam!”

I smiled broadly, remembering the fair Jamie, my best friend, and I won our matching bears, Jam and Bet.

“Except, he’s Jake?” Peter asked, still a little uncomfortable and confused.

“Yes!” Sarah was so excited and happy, every sentence was an exclamation. “My best friend, Jake.” She kissed the top of the floppy bear’s head. “Do you think he’ll be my friend as long as Jamie?” she asked me.

“I don’t know, sweetie. Maybe he’ll be a different kind of friend.” Peter glared at me, obviously not wanting to think about that. Well, he’d better think about it. Our daughter and her friend would at some point.

“Oh.” For the first time since coming home she was subdued, quiet. Then she perked up and ran past Peter out the door. “Sorry, Dad!” she called as she clipped his shoulder in passing.

She returned with Peter’s acoustic guitar. I wasn’t sure I’d ever seen him play it indoors. It was something he indulged when we were camping, when I indulged. She set the guitar in the bear’s lap and stepped back. The toy was large enough that the guitar didn’t look ludicrous in its paws.

“Isn’t he sweet?!”

“I wanna be you’re teddy bear,” Peter sang with twang and I had to laugh.

Sarah’s lip curled in disgust. “That was awful, Daddy. What was that?”

“Elvis,” Peter grumbled, obviously unimpressed with our daughter’s lack of recognition.

“Why don’t you take a picture and send it to Jake, to thank him?” I suggested.

“Great idea. Thank you!” She hugged me, and I chuckled at her exuberance.

Peter and I closed the door as we left. “Can I be your teddy bear?” he asked, waggling eyebrows.

I laughed. “You aren’t fluffy enough to be a teddy. I’ll wear one for you, though,” I replied, pulling from his grip to trot to our bedroom.

“Uh, thank you. Thank you very much,” he said, making me roll my eyes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Miss Beckie Louise Week 67: Glitter Madness!

Miss Beckie Louise

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Miss Beckie Louise's Choice: Picture1

Glitter Madness!

Today is my best friend's birthday party. We're going to hit the town, it's going to be so awesome. I'm spending the day doing normal boring things, while waiting in anticipation for the evening ahead.

Soon enough, the doorbell rings and I quickly answer it, revealing my best friend, decked in her jeans and low cut shoulder top. I usher her into the house and grab the little bag that is sitting on the side, awaiting her.

“Happy Birthday,” I tell her as I hand her the bag.

“Ah, babe, thank you, hun,” she says as she eagerly opens the bag and pulls out the photo frame with a picture of the two of us in there from a previous night out. We both loved the picture, so I knew it was the perfect gift for her.

She puts the picture back in the bag and we head off upstairs to get changed. We laugh and joke around as we do our make up and hair. It isn't too long before we finish and leave the house, heading towards the club.

When we get there, we wait in line for a little bit before showing our ID and paying the entrance fee. The loud music shocked us, like it always does, but as we get used to the music, we have a blast. We drink, dance and flirt like usual.

We stay there until closing time, and as we walked home, Katie pulls out a bottle of glitter and pours some on her hand.

“Get your camera out baby. I wanna try something,” she says and I do as she asks.

“Ready?” I nod. “NOW!”

I click to take the picture as she blows the glitter at me. I look back at the little screen and see the picture. It looks great.

“OMG, that is so cool!”

We get back to my house in the early hours of the morning. Before we go to sleep, I turn round to Katie and ask, “Did you have a good time tonight?”

“Yeah, I did. Thank you, Tiffany,” she replies slurring her words slightly and we both drift off to sleep.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Muse Calliope Week 66: Immortals Should Know Better

Muse Calliope

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Muse Calliope's Choice: Picture 1

Immortals Should Know Better

Trinity should never have agreed to take a job in Prague. She was over three hundred years old; she fucking knew better! Hell, age be damned, even an infant of her people knew better than to go to Prague. And yet, idiot that she was, when Max told her about the, quote, “quick little jaunt” she’d said yes. YES! What the hell had she been thinking? Oh, wait, that’s right - she’s hadn’t been thinking. In fact, now that she thought about it she was pretty sure she hadn’t been sober at the time. And you know what? That was it. That was her story. Years from now, provided she survived that long, when people asked what drove her to even try this, she’d tell them she’d be drunk. If college guys can use that excuse for everything from tattoos to negligent homicide then it should be more than ample enough for this.

Besides, it was a week too late for her to use the PMS defense.

On the bright side, given the location, getting inside was easy as pie; Trinity simply took the tour. Hell, they even had freaking night tours that went as late as ten or eleven or something like that. And, okay, normally the area she needed to get into wouldn’t be open to the public, but because apparently Fate was feeling just a little bit generous, coincidence was working on her side. In other words, it just happened to be the day of remembrance of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic (talk about your mouthfuls), which, as per tradition, just happened to be the first Saturday after October 28, which, once again, just happened to fall on Halloween this year. She’d rejoice further over her good fortune but, given how fickle a bitch Fate was, that was more than likely the only thing that would go right for her and that wasn’t even remotely comforting.


When darkness fell over Prague, it found Trinity leaning on the stone rail of Charles bridge staring down at the waters of the river Vltava. At night, with the sky above a pitch black velvet and the lighting cast in soft yellows and golds, the reflections in the water made the river look like amber to Trinity’s eyes. Given that very same stone, cut into a smooth oval shape, was pressed to the hollow of Trinity’s throat by a silver torc, she felt it gave a rather ironic start to her little endeavour. Perhaps it was even something of a good omen.

Ha. Like that’d happen.

With a sigh, Trinity pushed away from the rail and joined the all-but-continuous stream of tourists heading up towards Prague castle. That was one of the things she hated most about being immortal and waiting the centuries pass. Once upon a time, this castle was a mark of power, a architectural embodiment of its country’s politics and culture and a representation of the Czech people. Now? Now it was one step down from Cinderella’s castle at DisneyWorld, Orlando that just happened to have an interesting past. Yipee. Although, honestly she was fairly certain its fame owed more to its entry in the Guinness Book of World Records than its colourful history. How sad was that?

Sighing, Trinity obligingly followed her tour guide through room after room, down hallway after hallway until she finally managed to slip away. Embarrassing though it was,the best place she found to hide was in a janitor’s closet in classic cliche style. Casting her invisibility spell, she made herself as comfortable as she could - which wasn’t very given the whole in-a-janitor’s-closet thing - and set about waiting, as patiently as she could, for well after closing time.

And to think of all those women wasting their time with things like shopping and, dare she even suggest it, dating.

Now, all she had to do was sneak out while making sure her invisibility spell held and make her way to the Southern wing, find the throne room, summon the ghost as requested, ask the desired questions, record the ghost’s answers and hightail out of there before anyone - anyone - figured out she was there.

Piece of cake. Ha!

Well, at least it was Halloween, night when the veil between worlds was thinnest and all that. She supposed something had to be in her favour, after all. Of course, saying “no” would have put everything in her favour but, you know, hindsight.

With one last sigh, Trinity hefted her bag higher up her shoulder and slowly, carefully made her way down the hall, ears sharp for prowling security guards. Not that she knew where she was going, but with three more hours yet until midnight she had an extra hour or two to devote to getting lost, no problem.

Three hundred fucking years old - she really should have known better that to jinx herself like that.

A/N: To be continued next week!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Burntcore Week 66: Bottle Up a Dream


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Burntcore's Choice: both

Bottle Up a Dream

It was one of those days that you wish you could capture up and bottle, something you could bring out during the cold, bitter winter months to warm you up ... something you could remember forever. My memories and pictures would have to be sufficient, but they are never quite the same.

The last hurrah of summer, before the days started to cool, before the air in the evening took on that bite that smelled like football and the fall. The three of us were lying together in a pile in the park, which was normal for us during the summer. We would sit and talk about boys we knew, our parents, our dreams ... sometimes talking well into the late of the day. We were inseperable.

School started in a week and we were all tittering about the start of our senior year. We made sure we all had at least one class together, despite our different interests. It was comforting, especially considering the changes that were going to occur after we gradauted from high school. All three of us were planning on heading to separate colleges, although not so far apart that we couldn’t visit one another.

o -BUaD-o

We were in our spot in the meadow again, the following summer. We were now all high school graduates. Giggling, we talked about boys yet again, memories from prom, and everything that happened since. This was our last day before we left. All of our things were packed, our parents’ cars loaded with all of the clothes, shoes, and other things that we felt we couldn’t live without in our tiny closet-like dorm rooms.

Not many things had changed between the three of us. We were still the closest of friends. We all swore that college wasn’t going to change that … that we’d always be friends, always be together, and always meet at our spot in the park every summer.

Except for always doesn’t always happen.


I waited. I waited in our spot faithfully waiting. No one showed up. The first two years of college, we still met up in the park … but not last year … and not this year. It really didn’t surprise me. The three of us had grown apart, just as we said we wouldn’t. It wasn’t instantaneous, but it still happened.

We slowly moved in different directions, with different interests and different friends. We grew up ... I always thought we’d grow up together.

Feeling foolish, I folded up my blanket and stuffed it in my bag. I looked around at the other people visiting the park; some were in groups like we used to be. There was even a group of teenaged girls, no older than freshmen, giggling under a tree. I felt a pang deep in my heart over the loss of my childhood friends. I hoped that they wouldn’t lose what I did.

I walked to another part of the park, where a small lake was located. Dropping my bag, I walked along the pier till I reached the end. Carefully, I slipped off my shoes and sat down, dipping my feet in the cool lake water. Leaning back on my hands, I lifted my face to the late afternoon sun and closed my eyes. Perhaps I could bottle up a day like this, without the pain of lost friendships but the peace of what this moment held for me.


My eyes flew open as I heard my named called. I twisted to look behind me to see someone walking down the pier toward me.

He stopped a few feet behind me, nervously rubbing the back of his neck as he looked down at me. “Hey,” Will said softly.

“Hey,” I replied, blushing, surprised to see him. “What are you doing here?”

Will shifted his weight from side to side.

“Um, I came to see you.”

“Me?” I asked incredulously.

“Yeah. Um, can I sit down?”

“Oh, sure.” I scooted over to make a spot for him, which he promptly took. “How did you find me?”

“My family doesn’t live far from here ... and you always talked about this park. I figured I’d find you here.”

“Oh,” I whispered, surprised. “I didn’t realize I talked about the park so much.”

“Eh, maybe not a lot but I noticed.”

I blushed again and stared at the lake.

“Where are your friends that you always meet with?” Will asked looking around.

I shrugged. “I dunno. They didn’t show up I guess. Didn’t show last year either.”

Will leaned over and wrapped his arm around my shoulders, pulling me to him. “I’m sorry, Michelle,” he said softly into my hair.

I felt so comforted by his simple gesture, and something else I hadn’t felt about him before. Something with possibilities ... maybe with a future.

“It’s okay. People change, right?” I said softly.

“Possibly, not always, though.”

I hummed a moment as I thought, and snuggled deeper into his arms. Perhaps this was a dream I wouldn’t have to bottle to keep.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 66: Leave Me Alone


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Kimmydon's Choice: both

Leave Me Alone

Seriously, back off, would you? I’m not trying to be rude, but your nose is just a little too far in my business.

What’s that? You want to know how I compose? Gee, no one’s ever asked me that before. Do you do anything besides annoy people with questions? Write anything original?

Well, then you know how I do it. I take an original idea and hear it. You see it; I hear it. That simple. Music is just the sound of a place and time. Not the noise, the essence. I find that and then replicate it on the keys.

Yes, I can play other instruments. I appreciate flutes, actually. They’re very nice to compose on and let me play around more with keys.

Are you slow? Not keys like a keyboard, musical keys, like D major. Really, don’t waste my time. I’m actually working on something now.

I’d rather not tell you what it is. It’s not even close to finished. I’ll tell you what the dissonant theme is, though. It’s a nosy reporter who’s up in my face. Please, back off and leave me alone.

Mo-om! I’ll do my homework after supper. Would you tell this woman to go away?

Oh, yeah, thanks for the interview. I hope we can do this again sometime.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Miss Beckie Louise Week 66: A Trip to LegoLand

Miss Beckie Louise

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Miss Beckie Louise's Choice: Picture 2

A Trip to Legoland

A/N: I haven't been to legoland so I don't know what its like. However, some terms may be different to those in the US as I do live in the UK and we don't always have the same definition for things. Sorry for the lapse in prompts. I've had a rough week. Hope you enjoy!

I was so excited. I had never been to Legoland Windsor before and I just couldn't wait. It was going to be so much fun! My parents had always wanted to take us, but it was so expensive. So when there was a school trip to Legoland, my parents agreed that it was the perfect time for me to go while keeping some money in their pockets!

I had to get up early. Not that it made much difference, I hadn't slept the night before from sheer excitement.

My parents dropped me off at the local bus station where a coach was waiting to take us. I met the teacher and gave my name before being told to sit on the bus. I sat next to a window so I could watch us ride away.

Before long the coach was full, and a girl I hadn't met before sat next to me.

“Hi, I'm Tom,” I said giving her a small smile.

“Hey, I'm Tiffany.” She gave me a smile and then got a book out of her backpack and opened it. She didn't want to talk to me. I was a little sad about that.

We didn't say anything else for the rest of the ride. When we were nearly there, Mrs Edwards stood up and told us that whoever we were sitting next to, they were our partners for the day and to always stay close and not run away from each other — it was the buddy system.

Great, I'm stuck with the girl who doesn't like me, I thought. This day was going to be boring if I was stuck with her.

We turned a corner and I saw the LegoLand sign. I bounced in my seat a little bit, even more excited as we had arrived.

Tiffany laughed at me and said, “Excited?”

I nodded in reply and she giggled once again.

“Good book?” I asked, trying to make conversation. I didn't want things to be bad between us if we had to spend the day together.

“Yeah, it's alright,” she replied.

“What is it?”

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

“My dad's reading that to us at home. I love it; it's so cool. I wish I was a wizard!” I exclaimed.

“Where have you got up to?” she asked. She told me she was nearly at the end, so I wouldn't be spoiling anything for her.

“Oh, I just got up to Lockhart's first lesson. Those damned pixies.”

She giggled once again, and I decided I liked the sound of her laugh. “I love that bit, it's so funny!”

We smiled at each other as Mrs Edwards stood up and told us that we were just arriving. We were told to put anything away and that we would be getting out one row at a time.

It wasn't long before we were all entering the park. Our tickets had been checked and our teachers were leading us inside. We all gasped and aww'd at the park and the things we saw there.

We spent the day looking at the things that were made out of lego pieces and going on the rides. It was so much fun. The best thing there was this statue of a man pulling his chest apart so you could see the heart. It was awesome. I'd love to be able to build something like that.

Tiffany and I got along great during the day. We ate lunch together, even though we could sit with the others and mingle a bit. I didn't want to leave LegoLand, but I remembered something I was told once. “All good things must come to an end.”

I guess they were right.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Muse Calliope Week 65: The Cliché

Muse Calliope

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Muse Calliope's Choice: Picture 1

The Cliché

My name is April Showers, and, yes, I am fully aware just how unfortunate my name is, but it could have been worse. Much worse. I’ve a twin sister, you see, named Kitty, who can control the weather, whereas my gift is a second form – that of a jaguar. We inherited the gifts from our parents and, fortunately, when we were born they guessed wrong on which one of us would manifest which gift. Could you imagine actually being legally named for your power? I mean, sure, it’s great and all for the X-Men to go around being called “Storm” and “Cyclops” and “Wolverine” are all very nice little aliases for comic book heroes but in real life I’ve come to appreciate the fact the bad guys hear “April Showers” and prep themselves for thunder and lightning instead of claws and fangs. Not that I’m a hero, far from it, but the advantage was nice regardless.

Anyways, all of that was just to say my name is April Showers and, um, I guess that I change into a jaguar when I care to. Fortunately for you, not to mention me, that is not the point of this letter. Nope, this little story is about the day I ran away. And, okay, yeah, I’ll admit that this part is totally, irrevocably, completely lame. Not to mention cliché. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I pulled a total Romeo & Juliet and fell in love with the son of my father’s mortal enemy. His name is Callum Daniels, gifted with the ability to communicate with vegetation, and he’s, to put it bluntly, mine. I could go on, blabbering endlessly about how he completes me, how I love him, how we tear each other apart with a glance and build each other anew with a touch, but honestly? I just don’t have the time.

We met when I was fifteen and he was seventeen. He’d found me up a tree. Well, sort of. It was in one of those sprawling meadows that somehow found itself in the middle of a forest. The tree had fallen or bent or something, ending up on its side but still arching several feet over the tall grass, scraggly shrubbery and wild flowers. I remember that I’d gone off to explore the woods and found myself sitting on that tree, my legs dangling off the side as I admired the play of shadow and light on my thighs. I’d been wearing my favourite light denim skort with a black t-shirt and an old floral print vest I’d rescued from some thrift shop. I’d even had on the cutest hat I owned, which had more to do with the fact that I, mighty cat shifter though I be, burn in the sun like you wouldn’t believe. I shudder even now just thinking about it.

Anyways, there I was sitting on my tree when Callum suddenly and with absolutely no warning just seemed to materialize next to me. I screamed and lost my balance, windmilling my arms for the briefest of moments before gravity won the battle and dragged to the ground behind me with a crash. I would have been royally pissed with Callum if while I was slipping from the sporadically barked tree, I hadn’t clutched desperately at his arm and ended up dragging him with me.


We’d had one of those classic awkward moments. I should probably add that, not only is Callum the Romeo to my Juliet, he’s also the Prince Charming to my...actually, I’m drawing a blank here trying to think of a nerdy princess that blabs a lot, but you get the idea. He was captain of the football team, came from a wealthy family, had already been accepted to no less than three Ivy League schools and, yes, had even dated the head cheerleader for most of high school. Me, on the other hand...I had braces and glasses, read books more than I talked to people and got grades so high I’d already been begged by no less than three Ivy League schools to go study with them. It was so cliché it was teetering on the ridiculous.

And there I was, Miss Nerdy, sitting on my sore keister having brought down Callum Daniels, Mr. Golden Boy, to sit on his no doubt equally sore keister right beside me. It was...dreadful. I think I died of mortification right there in that field several times over.

And then Callum started to laugh. “Oh, hell,” he managed to push out between gasped breaths, “I’m sorry, April – I don’t mean to laugh at you. It’s just...this and the look on your face and...I’m sorry. Really, I am.”

I glared at him, but that only served to make him laugh harder so with a sigh I stood and went about brushing myself off while I waited for him to get a hold of himself.

It took twenty minutes. I was mildly insulted.

“Sorry,” he apologized again. “For laughing and for spooking you. Are you alright?”

I had told him I was fine and he asked what I’d been doing in the field. The conversation gets a little vague after that – I mean, I remember it happened and I remember the gist of it, but I don’t remember the details. The end result however was that I agreed to meet with him again the next day in the same field. And the next. And the next. I kept expecting that one day he wouldn’t show up, that one day he’d trick me or mock me or...betray me, but that never happened.

The first time he asked me to go out with him on a real date in a real restaurant where a whole bunch of real life people would see and spread the word from here to Timbuktu I nearly died. I mean, it was like God, Chris Evans and that guy in the new Conan movie asking for a foursome. It was a HUGE deal and so impossibly unlikely. I was certain it was too good to be true, that somehow I’d end up being the butt of some joke. But I turned out to be wrong; with the exception of the aforementioned cheerleader ex-girlfriend of Callum’s, the night was perfect. And when the ex didn’t make an appearance on the second date, that proved to be even better.

Somehow, probably when I wasn’t looking, Callum and I ended up being a couple and we quickly became almost inseparable. The only problem was that my dad and Callum’s were adamantly against our being together. That was five years ago. We ended up going to college together and even now we are both working on Master degrees – his in horticulture, mine in zoology (and, in case you were wondering, yes, my sister got a degree in meteorology). Three weeks ago, Daddy found the last straw when he caught Callum asleep in my room in the middle of the night. To be fair, we’d just fallen asleep working on homework but Daddy didn’t care. He decreed that I would transfer to Europe – or anywhere else an ocean away – to finish my degree. I started crying before he even finished speaking.

Last night Callum proposed. Call me crazy, but somehow I doubt a dad who flips out over an accidental sleepover is going to be all that accepting of a wedding, especially to Callum. So we’re running away to elope. I know, I know, but I did warn you this was going to be lame and cliché, didn’t I? I’m finally on the verge of getting my happily ever after, but unlike Romeo and Juliet I’ll actually be able to enjoy mine. Please, please be happy for me. I love him, obviously – why else would I put up with my life turning into one giant cliché? And he loves me. Like the movies say, does anything more than that even really matter?

Curtains close.

The End

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Burntcore Week 65: Road Trip


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Burntcore's Choice: both

Road Trip

This was their big trip, their last hoorah before the adult world made them try to grow up. It was spring break before their senior year of college, and the four friends eagerly piled into Edward’s old Mercedes. It was his pride and joy. His dad bought him a Volvo in high school, but the Mercedes was the first car he ever bought himself. He took care of it obsessively.

It was some surprise but delight to his friends when he offered his beloved vehicle for their road trip. Their excursion would add a lot of miles on an already old car, but he insisted. He loved his car, but this was an important trip, and if the car survived, all the better.

He also hoped he would finally be able to express his feelings for his friend Bella. They had flirted with one another over the years when they met as freshmen, always circling around a relationship. He wanted to tell her now, before it was too late.

Bella sat in the front seat across from him. He was glad he would get to look at her the entire leg of this trip. He just hoped he wouldn’t get too distracted with her so close; Edward knew he would be looking at her as much as he could while he drove.

Emmett and Alice were in the backseat acting like assholes. When someone looked at Emmett, they expected a prankster, but not from tiny Alice. She looked so innocent and angelic ... and was the biggest prankster of the lot of them.

Edward learned a long time ago to always watch his back when Alice was around. He had accidentally naired his hair in the shower, put salt in his cereal, and walked around campus with a penis drawn on his face. All courtesy of Alice.

Bella actually cried when Edward’s hair fell out. He was so pissed but was able to laugh about it now. He was still amazed that he didn’t notice the off-putting smell of the Nair in his shampoo bottle until it was too late. In his defense, he had already washed everything else so the air in the shower was full of the scent of his body wash, effectively masking the smell of the depilatory cream.

He thought something was wrong with him until Bella sniffed his hair, or more like his scalp, when he came out in the living room in a panic. It didn’t even strike him that he was standing there in just a towel in front of the girl he had a crush on ... at least not until much later. Bella immediately identified the smell and her face turned bright red as she ran to her phone and angrily called Alice.

Edward mused that the whole quad heard Bella tear Alice a new one over that prank. He was just glad nothing was wrong with him, although he did miss his hair ... or what was left of it. There were tufts still attached in a few places. Shrugging his shoulders, he went back into the bathroom and used one of his razors to shave off the last bits of his hair.

It took several weeks for Edward to adjust to his new hair style. He was known for his messy head of bright auburn hair and barely recognzied himself in the mirror. Neither did anyone else. Several teachers asked if he was new to the class. The one nice thing was he wasn’t hit on constantly. The lack of hair seemed to make him invisible to most ... all except Bella. That suited him just fine. He would’ve continued to rock the chrome dome, except Bella commented she missed his hair, so he let it grow back in.

Emmett’s pranks tended to be more of a slapstick, physical nature. He liked to play with his food. One morning Edward woke up and shuffled down the steps only to find Emmett in the kitchen trying to make breakfast, at least that’s what Emmett told him. Edward had barely woken up and only had half a cup of coffee down before Emmett started giggling like a two year old and called Edward over.

“Eddie, come look! This is so awesome!?”

With eyes nearly crossed, Edward rose from his perfect spot on the couch and half-stumbled into the kitchen. His pace wasn’t quite fast enough for Emmett who continued to pester him that Edward was going to miss it. Edward had to blink a few times to really take in what he was seeing.

Apparently Emmett decided he was going to make omelets, but he was going to have a little fun first. After cracking a few eggs into a bowl, Emmett had cracked a hole in an additional egg and drew a face on it. He had the egg tipped so the white of the egg started to slide out, making it look like the egg was vomiting into the bowl of eggs. It was pure Emmett, who was laughing his face off at Edward’s perplexed expression.

“Very nice, Emmett,” Edward said as he took a sip of coffee and shook his head.

“Isn’t it cool? The egg drank too much last night and is puking his guts out. I guess he had too many jaegerbombs.”

Edward shook his head again, thinking to himself that his friend clearly had an overactive imagination, and returned to his spot on the couch until he woke up.

Back to the present, Edward hoped that Emmett wouldn’t play with his food too much on trip, although the vomiting egg thing was pretty funny.

Bella smiled at him as he ran his hand through his hair, once again full and shiny. Emmett and Alice were finally getting settled in the backseat, although Edward wondered if he would have to separate them before they reached their first stop.

“They’re like kids, aren’t they?” Bella mused with a snort.

“Yes, scary that one is going to law school in the fall,” Edward added as he pulled out of the parking lot and on their way.

“ROAD TRIP!” Emmett hollered out the window of the car, startling several people who were walking nearby.

Everyone erupted in laughter, setting the mood for their adventure.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 65: Rub-a-dub-dub


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Kimmydon's Choice: Picture 2


Who thought tequila was a good idea? Probably Wes. He was the one who’d gone to Mexico recently. It was good stuff. Smooth. If only it hadn’t landed me in this predicament. Why was Sarah laughing so hard? Why was I sitting in a tub?

“Sarah?” I asked, blinking against the harsh light. “What are you doing?”

There was another flash, and I realized she was taking pictures.

“Oh, Jake, your mom is going to love this,” she said between giggles.

I looked to my left and saw Wes rubbing at his eyes. He looked to be in nearly as bad shape as I was. On my right was Andrew. He had shades. I nearly snatched them off his face, but he threw up an arm to protect them.

“Fuck off, dude,” he slurred.

“Did you guys finish the whole bottle?” Sarah asked, holding her camera steady but away from her face. Great, she was probably taking video now.

“Maybe,” Wes muttered. “I think Andy ate the worm.”

My friend belched suddenly, and I thought I might pass out from the fumes.

“What time is it, Sarah?” I asked, pulling myself out of the tub.

“Seven. You guys looked so cozy in there.” She turned the camera around to show me a different shot. My head was leaned into Wes’ and Andrew’s was on my chest. We did look cozy, if we weren’t all scrunched in a tub.

“How many pictures did you take?” I asked, afraid of the answer.

“Well, this isn’t the first memory card,” she said with a smirk, snatching her camera back.

“Good,” I muttered.

“Good?!” Andrew’s voice was a cross between a squawk and another belch.

“Do you remember what we did last night?” I asked him.

“Uh, yeah, good,” he muttered, thumping out of the bathroom. Springs creaked as he flopped on a bed in another room.

“I’m outta here. Thanks for the party, Sarah,” Wes said to my girlfriend, pulling on a pair of jeans as he sauntered out.

“Do you want to see this now?” she asked, holding the small plastic square that I assumed held horrors from the night before.

“No,” I decided, following Andy’s example. After all, what was done was done. I couldn’t change a thing on that stupid card. I might as well be properly prepared when I faced it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miss Beckie Louise Week 65

Miss Beckie Louise

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Miss Beckie Louise's Choice: Picture 2


“We're going to the beach!!!!” my parents screamed at me one morning. I shot out of bed at their screaming. They gave me a twenty minute time limit before we left, and I was told that we would have breakfast on the way.

So with that, I got changed and grabbed my kindle and iPod so I would have something to listen to on the way. We lived a few hours away from the beach and the drive always felt long. I had my bikini under my normal clothes and a spare change of underwear for getting into before coming home.

We clambered into the car and headed towards the beach. I read an ebook which was recommended by a friend — Ember by Carol Oates. It was really good, the feelings came across the page and by the end of the book I was screaming at the author to write a sequel.

The trip didn't last as long as I had grown accustomed to, and we were soon getting out of the car and running towards the beach.

I stopped in my tracks as I stared at the beach. It wasn't the beach we usually went to, this one was small and secluded one and just there. There was a huge rock right by the sea and I claimed it as my sitting spot for the day.

For our time at the beach, I sat and read the ebook, played in the sea and ate ice cream. When it was time for going home, I took a picture of the beach and my rock. It's hanging proudly on my bedroom wall and I look at it daily hoping for another great day at the beach soon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Destinee Week 64: The Ghost at the Tracks

Destiny Cullen

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Destiny Cullen’s Choice: Picture 2

The Ghost at the Tracks

There I was sitting in my usual spot on the train tracks as the sun started to set. Thinking about all my problems and how fucked up my life became once my dad made us move here to this stupid town. Not to mention in the middle of my senior year.

Over the past month, I’ve been letting my resentment get the best of me. I haven’t made any friends, to be honest I don’t think I’ve talked to anyone, even the teachers. All I remember of my days here are sitting at the railroad tracks felling....lost.

“I see you over there, and I’m not afraid of you!”

I turned to see a girl about my age cringing away from me, I could have sworn I saw her cross her fingers at me as we met gazes.

“Why would you be afraid of me? I come here everyday and mind my own business,” I said irritably.

“You mean you don’t know?” she said looking at me dumbly.

I rolled my eyes. “What don’t I know? Am I trespassing? I’ve been coming here for a month and no one has bothered me. That was before you though.”

She cocked her head to the side and I sighed getting fed up.

“I-I’m sorry, I don’t mean to annoy you, but I’m new around here and I was...dared to come to the haunted train tracks.”

I chuckled. “Sorry to disappoint but they aren’t haunted so there isn’t anything to be scared of.”

She laughed and I heard the crunch of the rocks as she came closer. Somehow she made me feel more relaxed and open as she laughed.

“Do you mind if I sit next to you? I don’t want to hurry back. They’ll think I didn’t come in looking for ghosts.”

“Sure, I wouldn’t want a ghost to get you as you run out.” I smiled.

“Hey in my defense, I thought ghosts were supposed to be scary.”

“Let me guess, with rattling chains and moaning?”

She stuck her tongue out at me before laughing. I started to feel more relaxed and more like my old self around her.

“Tell me the ghost story about this place. Does the ghost have a hook and scare off kids who have premarital sex?”

She laughed but looked sad. “It’s actually kind of tragic. This guy was fighting with his family and he came out here to get away.” She stopped and looked at me. “You mind if we walk? I feel kinda restless.”

I nodded and stood up holding my hand out to help her up. She took my hand hesitantly and shivered when they met. She looked away awkwardly and began walking.

“I don’t know if I should tell you the rest of the story.” She whispered of the crunching of our shoes.

“Why not? You’ve got my interest, and I promise not to cry.” I smiled at her and she smiled back but she still looked doubtful.

“It’s just that my Nana always told me that if I ever met someone like you I need to be careful of what I say.”

I pulled my eyebrows together in confusion. “Someone like me?”

Her eyes got wide as she searched for an answer, “Uh...yeah, you know. Um, handsome?”

I narrowed my eyes at her. “You’re telling me that your Nana warned you about telling ghost stories to ‘handsome’ guys?”

She glared at me as I used air quotes. “Fine,” she said, tucking her hair behind her ear. “I’ll tell you but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.”

I nodded, and she sighed before continuing the story. “They said this guy came here angry and depressed. He was walking along the tracks when he found a bottle of whiskey and put it to good use. After trying to cross the tracks his foot got caught and he fell. He was too drunk to pick himself up, so when a train came he-”

A horn blasted loudly in the night and I froze. Suddenly the girl was gone and I was floating above the train yard. I saw the man she was talking about. He looked familiar, a little too familiar. Then the realization hit. It was me.

I was the man laying on the railroad track. I remembered being so furious at my dad that I came here and I found the bottle. I was so plastered that I didn’t even feel the fall. I tried to get my spirit to move my body out of the tracks but the bright light blinded me and I shut my eyes seconds before impact.

“You’re back! You scared me for a second you completely disappeared.”

I opened my eyes to see the girl again. “Am I really dead?” I whispered.

She nodded. “But don’t be sad. You’ll be going home soon. You’ve been haunting this yard for thirty years I think its long over due.”

“Did you really come here on a dare?”

“Uh, about that... your Dad contacted my Nana and she sent me here to help you move on.”

“Is my Dad still alive? Can I go see him?” I was ready to run as fast as I could to the house.

“Hold on,” she put her hands up to stop me. “You’ll see him right now.” She smiled sadly, “I’m sure you’re ready to leave this life of sadness and anger. Plus you’ve kept your Dad waiting long enough, he really misses you.”

I felt a warm light envelope me and closed my eyes. I was starting to slipping away, but before I was completely gone, I whispered, “Thank you.”

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 64: Standards


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Kimmydon's Choice: Picture 1


Lisa blinked her eyes open at the familiar sound of her alarm. Her mother had found her an old fashioned windup one that she could take anywhere. It hadn’t failed her yet.

“Mmm, don’t get up.” Lisa rolled away from the groggy man sharing her bed. Shaking her head to clear it, she wondered just what she had done the night before. “Really, honey, you’re gorgeous. Don’t they make you up? You can lay in bed a little longer.”

Lisa inspected the many tattoos on his arms and chest. How drunk was she? She didn’t usually go for guys like this. Pulling on her top, she recalled a welcoming party that her new co-star, Alex, had insisted she attend. This guy, she really couldn’t recall his name, had been her constant shadow. Well, it had been more than long enough since she’d been laid. Judging by the burn in her thighs, she’d enjoyed him a lot. She fought a groan as she pulled on her boy shorts and jeans.

“Look, you don’t have to rush out, but don’t be here when I get back, got it?” she said tersely. The last thing she wanted was a relationship with this guy. I mean, there was a good lay and there was a boyfriend. She knew the difference.

“Are you really Lisa Campbell?” he asked, rubbing his eyes and grinning, “cause my friends aren’t going to believe me.”

“Good,” she muttered, stepping into her flipflops and yanking open the door to her room. “Thank God, Ford,” she muttered, trotting up to her burly bodygaurd. “Why on earth did you let me bring him back here?”

Ford looked up from his coffee toward the door. “He seemed nice.” He sipped his coffee not smiling or meeting Lisa’s gaze.

Lisa crossed her arms and scowled. “Do you even know who he is?”

Ford snorted. “I know his social security number. I get paid for a reason, remember?”

Lisa chuckled and wrapped her arms around his neck from behind, leaning over him in his chair. “I love you, Ford, but really, my taste in everything, especially boys, is terrible when I’m drunk. You can’t let me bring them home. It ruins the morning.”

He laughed louder. “I love you, too, which is why I let you see the error of your ways when it isn’t a risk.”

Lisa stuck her tongue out at him. “You know, this love thing is tough. How do you manage it?” She smirked.

“That’s what they pay me for.”

Lisa nearly sprayed her coffee. “That makes you sound like a gigolo.”

The night before wandered out of the room in just his pants. “Is it seriously six A.M.?” he asked.

“It seriously is, and as you pointed out, I need to be in makeup in thirty. Don’t steal anything,” she said with a sigh, rising and heading for the door. “Ford knows where you live.” She didn’t even look back, but Ford stepped up to the strange man, puffing out chest and paunch both. “Sixty-three Spruce Boulevard. I think your mom might be interested in what you were doing last night.”

Lisa clicked her tongue. “He lives at home? Seriously, Ford, be my standards, would you?”

Ford closed the door behind her. “I try. You really needed that,” he admitted, seeming out of sorts for the first time that morning.

Lisa sighed. “Apparently I did. You sure I can’t pay you for that, too?” she joked, hopping through the door Ford held open for her.

He swallowed and shifted himself before rounding the car to drive.

Muse Calliope Week 64: The River

Mod note: Sadly, SwedenSara has decided to leave us. Happily, in her place, we have Muse Calliope, ready to jump in. Here's her first PicPrompt!

Muse Calliope

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Muse Calliope's Choice: Picture 1

The River

The water was old, its bed was not. Once it had been but a creek, a trickle lazily curling its way through an open field ringed by forest. Tall grass grew along its banks, shading it from the heat of the sun, keeping it cool and moist in spite of the sun's best efforts to the contrary. Animals of all sorts came and went. More often than not their tongues lapped against its gently running current, taking it into themselves and making it more, making it better. Raccoons, such quaint, polite little creatures, would perch on its shores and wash their food. Birds — most of them small, like finches and sparrows — would sit in its shallow depths and bathe, their feathers ruffling and spiking around them to briefly give them the appearance of hedgehogs. Frogs would hop and leap among the stones littered around and through its waters, and dragonflies and butterflies would dance along its surface, swirling and twirling like blossoms caught in a wind. It wasn't a perfect existence, but it was one that teemed with life, that offered much to watch, much to experience.

And then the humans came.

They came with their stone and steel, with their axes and hammers. They bit into the earth and built their cities. They clawed into the creek's banks and made it larger, made it deeper, made it more. They brought in stone, great giant cubes to line its shores and prop up their city. They stretched its girth to fit their plump little boats and they dug and dug until they'd twisted its length and latched it to the sea so very, very far away. The connection brought with it a rush of new water and the former creek swelled with a sweeping current that washed away so much of what was, what had been, but the water remained, the water remembered.

The years passed, becoming first decades, then centuries. The humans thrived. Their little town of stone and dirt grew to one of better stone and better dirt. The river's banks teemed with life, but it was man's life now. They built, they destroyed, they built again. New inventions came, and old relics were tossed away. Sometimes, the river claimed a life, washing it away with current and waves, but that was rare. The animals were gone now, except for some fish and some sea gulls; even the butterflies and dragonflies kept away. Mostly, it was only the humans and their pets that lined its banks, only the human vessels and occasional fish that swam it waters.

One day, the city burned on one side of its shores, the flames licking at the stone and dirt and ravaging what the humans had built in a single night. The river gave its waters to douse the fire, but too late. Many humans died, but many more had lived and so they built again. Their new city, or half city, rather, since the other shore had survived unscathed, was one of white buildings and black roofs. The humans had tried to keep an element of the old, but mostly they built new and it showed. They built hotels, they built shops, they built it all so other humans would come and see and stay, spending their time and their money for awhile before departing back from whence they came. They paved their streets with prettier stones and lit their buildings with so many lights, cut their white stone with so many windows that the brightness was like the dawn upon the waters. Humans teemed the shores, visiting, living, thriving. And in between, slicing through their city like a velvet ribbon, was the river, always watching, always waiting, always there.

It missed the days of the quiet field and forest; it missed the animals and their play. Birdsong had long ago been replaced by a shifting maelstrom of human music; so many styles, so many instruments, so many voices, all of it clamoring together and pouring forth into the night air. Laughter and shouting, weeping and cursing, the sounds echoed off their stone and sent vibrations through the water — heard but not understood, carried away but never forgotten.

One day, the humans would fall. One day, they'd leave and never come back. One day, the grass and the trees would reclaim the shores. But then, maybe not. Maybe one day something else would happen. Something as different from the human as the humans were to the field. Whatever the future brought, however, the river would be there, watching, waiting, witnessing. Perhaps it would become a sea, as it had become a river. Perhaps it would return to being a creek. It would not matter. It would still be there; all water was one, sooner or later. It would not matter.

The water was old, its bed was not.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Burntcore Week 64: Everlasting Love


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Burntcore's Choice: Picture 2

Everlasting Love

It was the day after, the day after we ran off and did the one thing that our parents feared the most. The silver band around my ring finger reminded me of the choice we made. I couldn’t regret it. I didn’t regret it. There wasn’t anything I knew more than the love that we shared.

Sure, his parents liked me and mine liked him, but liking is one thing. Knowing that your kids ran off and eloped was something else entirely. They all thought we were too young, but it wasn’t like we were in high school anymore. I might have not been old enough to drink yet, but that was only a few months off. Cole just turned twenty-one last month. We were adults in every way, except in our parents’ minds.

Maybe part of their fear stemmed from concern over our education. Cole and I were going to graduate from college in another semester. We knew that our new status wasn’t going to change those plans. We just didn’t want to wait anymore.

Cole rolled over towards me, his eyes blinking as he started to wake. He snaked his arm across my chest, until his hand cupped the side of my face, holding it as he brought his face to mine. I gazed at him, my eyes full of love and happiness.

“Good morning, Mrs. Murphy,” he said softly, his eyes shining.

“Good morning, Mr. Murphy,” I replied, my eyes welling with tears.

“God, this is real, isn’t it?” he asked, caressing the side of my face with his fingers.

“Yes,” I whispered, turning my head into his hand.


“None,” I said firmly.

“Our parents will flip.”

“They’ll get over it.”

Cole laughed and pulled me close. I ran my hands across his skin, warm from sleep, but soft and firm. He brought my left hand to his lips and kissed my wedding band. As he lowered my hand, I leaned forward and pressed my lips against his.

While this wasn’t our first kiss, it certainly wouldn’t be our last.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Burntcore Week 63: Power of Flight


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Burntcore's Choice: Picture 2

Power of Flight

It was a cool spring evening in Cleveland. The cicadas were chirping but it was hard to here them where we were. My boyfriend and I, a guy I would only end up dating for a few somewhat tulmultous months, were laying on our backs against a large mound of dirt outside of Hopkins Airport, near where the Bomb Squad resturant was.

Neither one of us were sure who owned the property, but this field cleary had been used to dump dirt from excavation projects at one time. Other cars were parked in a graveled area of the field, the occupants with their eyes to the sky like Mike and I were.

Thankfully, Mike had planned this night and had brought a blanket so we weren’t laying direclty on the dirt. It wouldn’t have mattered that much to me anyway. I wasn’t afraid of a little dirt.

My gaze was too entranced watching the planes take off and land. The noise the big 747s, 737s, and other jumbo aircraft made was sometimes earthshattering, but awe inspiring at the same time. It was hard to believe that something as big as those airliners could actually fly.

This was before 9/11 and all the security measures that came afterward. Now you can’t just sit and watch the planes without being arrested or strongly encouraged to move along. Back then with Mike was my first time to watch the activity at the busy international airport, but not my first time to plane watch.

Back when I was younger, before I was in high school, I used to go to a small, local airport on the weekends with my brother and father. My brother was taking flying lessons there and the usual crowd of people at the airport treated us like family. It was a common occurance for the gang to hang out at the airport. Not everyone flew their planes, of the few that actually owned one, but would just hang out and watch tv or lounge outside in the picnic area. Or, go watch the small single or double prop planes come in and take off, something I loved to do. These planes looked like they glided across the air effortlessly.

I don’t know what exactly about airplanes held my fascination, but they did. Perhaps it was mastery of the sky, to be up there among the clouds I yearned to touch, among the birds I yearned to fly near. Whatever the reason, when I grew up, my love of airplanes did not fade.

Which led me to the night in question outside of Hopkins airport, lying on a blanket in the dirt. It was awesome. We laid there and talked inbetween take off and landings. When the planes were coming and going, it was too loud to do anything but stare at the aircraft or each other. I was too shy to do anything outside like we were, and our relationship was really too new for me to want to do much, but it was a great evening.

I would watch those huge, lumbering aircraft and wonder about the people that were inside, where they were going, what kind of lives they had. I dreamed that one day I would be one of those people, flying away like a shooting stars, shooting into the sky.

My relationship with Mike may have had a short lifespan, but my love of airplanes continued, even now. When my husband and I go on vacation, I’m always eager to fly. Him? Not so much. He prefers to stay on the ground. I refuse to travel cross-country in a car. Give me a plane any day, and maybe there is someone else down on the ground, wishing and wondering, as we take off into the sky.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 63: Waking Up


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Kimmydon's Choice: both

Waking Up

The last leaves fell from the trees while I slept. Sitting up slowly, I neither stretch nor scratch. I don’t want to lose any heat I don’t have to. I blink bleary-eyed into the dawn and wonder how I will face another day. Is there any way out of this downward spiral? I lost my wife. I lost our savings. And finally I lost my job.

I idly wonder who’s yard I’m trespassing in today. It takes almost all my determination to get up, but I do. I have to find a new job, before I become so mangy no one will look at me.

There’s a small scream, and I curse quietly, closing my eyes. When I open them, I see the back of a girl in a red coat, running to the house.

I can barely hear the woman on the porch step. “Jessica! What has gotten into you. Oh! Hello!” Jessica’s mother smiles and waves as she calls. Not sure it’s a good idea, I come closer.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten her,” I apologize, smiling at the girl and the woman.

“Where did you come from?” the woman asks, eyeing my heavy clothing, my tangled hair.

“Very sorry,” I murmur, turning to go.

“Wait. Where are you going?”

“I... I need to get... the Employment office...”

The woman nods. “You are off to look for a job. Come in and use our shower. Turn the odds a little more in your favor.” She holds the door open and Jessica races back out again in her red coat. “Jessica! You stay in the yard!” she yells after the girl. “My name is Grace, by the way.”

The gratitude I feel to this stranger, offering me her home, even only for a few minutes, is overwhelming. Would I have done the same? She is well named. “I’m Jim. I can’t thank you enough for this.”

“Nonsense. Just some hot water. My husband was laid off for six months. We almost lost the house. I understand what you’re going through. At least you’re still trying. Getting harder all the time, though, isn’t it? How long since ...?”

“A month,” I admit. “They repossessed the house a month ago. I managed to keep my job for a little while, but the work ran out.”

She follows me into the kitchen and I start to unwind scarf and overcoat, revealing my under coat, jacket... The clothes seem to take forever to remove and some I haven’t removed in a week. She disappears from the kitchen at a trot and comes back with a bath robe.

“Here. Wear this and I’ll wash the lot. I’ll find you something of my husband’s while you’re in the shower.”

“Thank you.” My voice breaks, and she takes further pity on me, wrapping my dirty, smelly body in a warm hug.

“Hush, Jim. Accept and pass it on. That’s all we can do. I had to accept my neighbor’s groceries and babysitting and you have to accept my laundry and shower. It all goes around.”

I hop in the shower, and sigh immediately at the hot water pouring from the head. I haven’t been truly warm in days. Looking at my feet, I cringe at the murky water gathering there as I wash. At least it drains away quickly.

I’m just grabbing the shampoo when the door opens. Through the frosted shower door, I see Grace silently lay clothes on the toilet seat and pick up my filthy underwear. She tiptoes out as quietly.

Wearing clean clothes feels... odd. They’re a little big on me, probably because I’ve lost so much weight, but Grace’s husband is close to my size. I open the bathroom door and my mouth waters.

“Are they ready, Mommy?” Jessica asks from the end of the hall, the kitchen.

“Settle down! They’re still hot. Take off those shoes before you muddy the whole kitchen,” Grace complains.

The smell of what Jessica is waiting for is unmistakable. Cookies. Hot from the oven, sugar and flour and eggs - cookies. As I round the corner, I see the chocolate that I couldn’t quite smell.

“Daddy?” the girl asks in surprise.

Grace jumps slightly at the sight of me, and I shift nervously. “He does look like Daddy, doesn’t he?” she agrees.

“I’m sorry. I’ll stay out of the way...”

“Would you like a cookie?” she asks, indicating the cooling rack on the table. Jessica kneels on a stool to grab one, dropping it immediately to shake her hand and blow on her fingers.

“I told you, they’re still hot,” Grace chides her, hugging her and tickling her ribs. “Please, Jim. Sit, have a glass of milk.” She must see how hungry I am.

“Thank you.” I sit in the chair across from Jessica who now has chocolate smeared on her top lip. I smile and she smiles back, revealing more chocolate on her square white teeth.

“Is he our new Daddy?” she asks Grace, who pales and slops the milk she is pouring.

“Jessica! No, he’s Jim, and he needs our help.”

“Oh, okay,” the girl replies, munching her cookie.

“I’m sorry about that,” Grace mumbles.

“Your husband?” I ask, afraid I know the answer.

“Three days back on the job, he was killed. The life insurance was a godsend in some ways, but I’d give every penny to have him back.” Her eyes water, and I long to hug her as she did me, but I’m afraid to — afraid of offending. Instead, I squeeze the hand on the table.

“I know. I lost my wife.” I sigh heavily. “I didn’t have insurance to give even that little help. It’s how I lost the house.”

“Can I have another?” Jessica asks, breaking the tension.

Grace chuckles lowly. “Yes, you can have another. Look, Jim why don’t you come back later tonight for supper with us.”

“I... I couldn’t... I don’t want to...”

“Accept,” she whispers, squeezing my fingers where they curled around around her hand. “Break the cycle,” she murmurs, and closes her eyes. “Please, break the cycle.”

At first, I think she was talking about the spiral I am caught in, but then wonder if she means another.

“I’ll try. Thank you, Grace.”

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bronwyn Week 63: New Beginnings Part 2

Bronwyn Keith

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Bronwyn’s Choice: Picture 2

New Beginnings Part 2

After leaving the house, Aimee walked across the barnyard to the hidden wooden stairs that lead to the road where she parked her car. The stairs meandered up the side of the hill, through the dense forest that surrounded her grandfather's farm. As she walked, her thoughts kept returning to Adam. He wasn't like the other cowboys she knew. He was quiet and caring, especially to a complete stranger.

Adam was taller than Travis. With Adam, she had to look up at him, while Travis was her height. Adam's dark blond hair brushed his shoulders and his hands were calloused for hours of hard labor. Travis would never be caught with long hair or rough hands, he was a metro-sexual to the core. Aimee shook her head. Until Travis, she had never gone for the clean cut city boy, having always preferred guys like her daddy, ones who didn't mind getting dirty or spending time outside. Guys who loved animals and camping.

But Travis swept her off her feet the first time she met him at a singles bar in Los Angeles. He was so charming and sweet. She hadn't dated in a few years when they met and was easily taken in by his Casanova personality. After two years of dating, he finally proposed. Instead of the tears she always imagined she would shed, Aimee had just stared at him in shock. It was at that moment that she realized that she really didn't love him. They had a comfortable life together, sharing a cute little downtown flat, but she didn't want that kind of life forever. She was a country girl at heart.

Aimee stopped on the stairs and looked down the hill toward her grandfather's farm. She shook her head; it was Adam's now. She wanted to go back down that hill to see what would happen between them, but she also knew that it wouldn't be fair to Adam or Travis if she did. After a long look down the hill, she turned and continued to her car.

Once in her car, she grabbed her cell from the glove box. She had needed time alone, and Travis had been calling her non-stop since she left the restaurant, telling him she needed to think about his proposal. She pushed the on button and while she waited for the phone to boot up, she looked out the window at the wooded area, remembering the time she spent there as a child.

Aimee and her parents had lived with her grandparents. Her dad helped grandpa run the ranch while mom and grandma ran the house. Mom would also make quilts that were sold at a local gift shop. Life was wonderful and full of love. Until the night Aimee's mom died.

Aimee's parents went for their weekly horse back ride and picnic. Grandpa had asked them that morning not to go because he had a bad feeling. Usually her parents would listen to grandpa's worries, but not that day. They couldn't wait to be alone for a few hours. The day was like any other; Aimee helped her grandma around the house and then went to the barn to take care of her pony that her grandpa had given her. As the sun started to set, Aimee watched grandpa pace the barn yard waiting for her parents to come home. She was awakened by the commotion in the barn yard when they got back. Her dad carried her mom to their car. Aimee could remember the blood on her mom's face and grandpa yelling her dad. Then her dad sped in to the night, taking her mom to the hospital. Aimee never saw her mom again, and shortly after the funeral, her dad and grandpa had a fight. That was when they left the farm.

For a few years after that, Aimee would go the farm to visit her grandparents during the summer for a few weeks, but it was never the same. Then after her grandma died, she never went to the farm again — until today. It had been fifteen years since she last saw the farm.

The buzzing of her phone pulled her out of her thoughts. She looked at the screen to see ten missed calls and just as many messages. Scrolling through the list, she discovered that not all of the calls were from Travis — a couple were from her best friend, Penny. Aimee hit play on Penny's first message, avoiding the calls from Travis. Penny's voice filled the cabin of the car.

"Hey, sweetie. Travis just called me looking for you. I told him that I talked to you but didn't know where you were. He is really worried about you. Where are you, and why didn't you tell me that he proposed? Call me as soon as you get this message." Aimee had called Penny to let her know that she would be out of touch for a few days, but never told her friend why. Aimee deleted the message and played the next one from Penny.

"It's been over twelve hours since I left my last message. You better be dead in a ditch for making me worry about you and deal with Travis. Call me!" Laughing at Penny's message, Aimee hit delete and dialed Penny's number.

"About damn time you called me!" Penny's anxious voice answered on the first ring. "Where are you?"

"I'm safe and near my grandparents old farm," Aimee told her.

"You drove to Northern Colorado by yourself?" Penny asked. "Are you crazy? That is a sixteen hour drive from here." Aimee knew very well how long the drive from Southern California to Colorado was.

"I needed time to think, and I didn't really know where I was driving to until I got here. I'm going to head into town and get a room at the bed and breakfast. I'll head home tomorrow or the day after," Aimee told Penny, feeling bad that she had worried her friend.

"Do you need me to come and be with you?"

"No, Penny, I'm fine. I just need to get my priorities straight. I'll call you tomorrow once I know what I'm going to do."

"You better. If you don't, I'm coming out there," Penny told her fervently. "You are like my sister, Aimee. I don't want you doing anything stupid."

"I promise I won't, Penny. I'll talk to you in a couple of days." After a brief goodbye, Aimee hung up her phone and stared at the display. Deciding to call Travis after she checked in to the bed and breakfast, she placed the phone the passenger seat. Aimee started up her car, did a u-turn, and followed the road into town.

Like many of the Colorado mountain towns, Rockton Falls was small with a one main road through the center of town — at one end was the grocery store and the other was the feed store. Sprinkled through the middle were the town bar, a small restaurant, an old Victorian style house that was now a bed and breakfast, and a few small gift shops for visiting tourists. Aimee parked her car in front of the house and sat for a few moments before grabbing her purse and heading inside.

Twenty minutes later, she sat on her bed drying her hair, watching her phone as it rang. It was Travis again. She still wasn't ready to listen to his messages or talk to him. She turned off the phone and set it on the night stand. Deciding that she needed to buy some new clothes and food, she put on the clothes she had been wearing and headed to the small clothing store next door.