Wednesday, November 30, 2011

KekahJ Week 80: Different Worlds


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Picture 2

KekahJ's Choice: Picture 2


Different Worlds

The street was crowded, people bustling along oblivious to others around them as they made their way to their various destinations. He watched from the window of his high rise office building, breath visible on the cold glass, eyes slightly unfocused as he stared at the mass of mostly black and gray trench coats huddled against the chill morning. Several umbrellas, unfurled against the gloomy drizzle that had been teasing and threatening all morning, lent a pop of color among the crowd. His hand moved over his jacket pocket and he forced himself not to fish out the small piece of paper that he knew was there. He could almost feel it, but taking it out again wouldn’t help him.

“Mr. Cullen ...” It was Angela, his secretary. He closed his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath before turning away from the window.

“Yes?” he answered, moving toward his desk.

“Here are the reports you requested yesterday.”

“Thank you,” he said, taking the stack of papers from her outstretched hand.

Angela nodded and left, closing his office door behind her. Edward settled into his chair behind his desk and began to look through the reports. After a few minutes he was forced to admit that it was no use. He couldn’t focus. He couldn’t fight it any longer.Digging in his pocket, he grasped the small piece of paper and pulled it out, unfolding it as his hands shook slightly. He read it again for the hundredth time, the words making him smile. She wanted to talk to him.

The words were so like her too. Spontaneous and fun; everything that he wasn’t. He wanted to call her, but he knew that would be impossible for the next few hours. He sighed and turned back to the window. The rain had intensified and now he could see nothing but a sea of multicolored umbrellas bobbing up and down as people hurried to seek refuge from the deluge.

Suddenly he sat up a little straighter in his chair, straining to catch a glimpse of what he thought he’d seen a moment ago. His breath caught and his heart began to beat a little faster as he saw her. It was impossible to mistake her weaving her way through the crowd, sans umbrella, dark, wet hair streaming behind her as she made her way toward his building.

The elation he’d felt was immediately replaced by dread as he realized where she was going. She couldn’t come here, not now. He silently cursed the spontaneity that had made him smile before. As she disappeared beneath him, he sprang to action.

“Angela!” he called.

“Yes, Mr. Cullen?” She rushed in and he realized his voice must have been panicked. He took a deep breath and worked to calm himself. “I need to go out for a while. Please reschedule all my meetings until this afternoon.”

“Yes, sir.” She nodded, then paused to look at him curiously. “Is everything alright?”

He waved her concerns away as he gathered his raincoat and umbrella. “I should be back after lunch,” he said from the doorway.

He spent the elevator ride to the lobby worrying about whether or not he’d missed her. What if she was already on her way up to his office? What would Angela think about this wild child showing up at his office requesting to see the distinguished Mr. Cullen?

His fears were allayed as the doors slid open and he saw her. She stood, hair dripping, waiting for the elevator. When she saw him, her face melted into a huge grin and his heart sang.

“Edward! I was just coming to see you!” she said.

Quickly, Edward stepped off the elevator, grabbing her elbow and spinning her around. She began to protest, but he cut her off. “Wait please. Not here,” he whispered as he steered her back out into the rain.

Once they were on the street, he fumbled with his umbrella, unwilling to sacrifice his carefully arranged hair. She laughed at him and spread her arms wide, spinning and lifting her face to the sky. Umbrella finally opened, he turned to her and sighed.

“Come on, Bella.” They needed to put some distance between themselves and his building. She allowed him to pull her underneath his umbrella and lead her down the street.

“Where are we going?” she asked, giggling as he steered her by the elbow.

“I don’t know, away,” he grumbled, eyes scanning the crowd, anxious to avoid familiar faces.

When they were two blocks away from his building, they ducked under the awning of an empty building and, dropping the umbrella, he finally released her elbow. Rather than moving away from him, she spun on her heel and wrapped her arms around him, her wet hair and clothes dripping onto his heavy overcoat. Her soft lips found his, and in spite of himself, he found himself wrapping his arms around her waist, breathing in the scent of her. Somehow the rain made her smell even more incredible.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, face buried in her neck.

She pulled back and shrugged. “I missed you. Did you get my note?”

He nodded. “Yes, I did. I missed you too, but we’ve got to be more careful. You can’t just
leave notes like that. What if someone else had found it first?”

She rolled her eyes and tossed her still damp hair. “I didn’t sign it. I didn’t even put your name on it. How would anyone have known?”

He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. We have to be more careful.” He repeated.

It was an argument they’d been having ever since they met two months ago. It was
inevitable. They were complete opposites in almost every way, but somehow when they were together, none of their differences seemed to matter. If he was being honest with himself, the fact that she was so carefree and different from himself was one of the things that attracted him to her most.

“Well, what did you want me to do? You hadn’t called me back, and I missed you."

Her lower lip jutted out slightly in a pout she knew he couldn’t resist. He hummed in response and reached, taking her lip between his thumb and forefinger. She giggled at him and he kissed her again.

She peered out at the still gray sky. “It’s stopped raining. We can stop hiding now,” she said, punching him playfully.

He grinned and rolled his eyes before he took her hand and led her back onto the street. This time his umbrella swung loosely by his side. The streets were still crowded, but the further away they moved from his office, the more relaxed he became.

“Where shall we go?” he asked.

Bella shrugged. “Wherever you want. I’m yours till tonight.”

It was a subtle reminder, but it was enough to darken Edward’s mood. He cursed himself silently. How easily he forgot about the real world when he was in her presence. Sensing the shift in his demeanor, Bella squeezed his hand. With a slight start, he came back to her, smiling down at her.

She wasn’t fooled. She stopped and faced him, dropping his hand. “What’s wrong?” she asked, staring at him intently.

He sighed and tried to avoid her eyes. It didn’t work. “It’s nothing,” he muttered.

“It’s not nothing, Edward,” she said quietly. “I know what it is. It’s the same thing that always ruins things when we’re together.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I’m trying,” he said honestly.

“It’s too much,” she said, her voice a whisper and barely audible over the sounds of the busy street.

He shook his head. “No, it’s not. I promise,” he said.

She dropped her gaze to the ground and kicked at a rough patch in the cement, silent for a moment.

He sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets. He hated knowing that he was hurting her, but he wasn’t sure how it could be avoided. After a moment, he continued. “Look, I don’t know if it’s too much. I honestly don’t. But I’ll tell you what I do know. I know that when I’m with you I don’t care about anything else. I know that since I met you I spend my days thinking about you. You make me happy.”

“For now,” she muttered.

He sighed again and ran a hand through his hair in mute frustration, destroying its carefully arranged style. “What do you want me to say?” he finally blurted, voice louder than he intended.

She shook her head. “I can’t change who I am, Edward. You knew who I was when you met me. It’s why you met me,” she said, eyes flashing as she lifted her chin in defiance.

“I know,” Edward murmured. He couldn’t forget that. Although it was all too easy to forget about that part of her life when they were together. It was the time they spent apart that drove him to distraction, wondering where she was, who she was with, whether she was safe. “You can stop anytime, you know,” he said quietly. He knew what her response would be before he said it.

“No,” she shook her head vehemently. “I’ll stop on my own terms, not because someone sweeps in to save me. I don’t need saving.”

“Bella...” He trailed off. It was a discussion they’d had a thousand times before. It always ended at the same impasse. “I’m not saving you. I just want better for you.”

“Edward, even if I stopped what would happen? Would we go public? Are you honestly going to tell me that you’d take me into your circle of friends? Introduce me to your work associates?” She paused and studied him for a moment. His jaw clenched spasmodically. She nodded, his silence all the confirmation she needed. “I don’t belong in your world. I never will.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Destynee Week 80: Santa Is Coming, I Promise

Destynee Cullen

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Picture 2

Destiny Cullen’s Choice: Picture 1

Santa Is Coming, I Promise

“Babe, can I talk to you for a second?” Keith called from the dining room.

“I’m just putting Bea down to sleep, give me a minute.” Natalie picked Bea up and carried her to bed.
Bea yawned as her mother helped her put her pink elephant footy pajamas on. It was 9:30 and past her bedtime, making her more sleepy than usual.

“Three Little Pigs,” she said, rubbing her eyes as Natalie tucked her in.

Natalie smiled and kissed her forehead. “Not tonight. I’ll tell it tomorrow night, okay?”

Bea nodded and closed her eyes as Natalie turned on the nightlight, closing the door.

Natalie went to the dining room where Keith had a bunch of envelopes and papers scattered around him and a calculator. He was running his fingers through his hair, a nervous habit of his.

“What’s up?” Natalie wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.

He didn’t even acknowledge her gesture and just sighed, frustrated. “I don’t know what we’re going to do. Look at these. How is our electricity bill so high?”

Natalie took the seat next to him and looked at the number on the calculator. “I don’t know. We have Bea’s nightlight running all night and the light in the bathroom and the kitchen appliances and television; not to mention the heater. I guess that stuff runs up.”

“Does she need that nightlight?” Keith asked curtly.

Natalie looked at him in disbelief. “Honey, she’s four. Of course she needs the nightlight.”

“I don’t remember having a nightlight at that age. I turned out fine.” He pressed, gathering the papers and running the numbers through the calculator again.

Natalie sighed, leaning back. “We’ll figure something out. I’ll take on a job if I have too. I think the shoe store is hiring.”

Keith ignored her, staring at the papers. “We’ll have to take out another loan. God damn it.” He threw the calculator at the wall.

Natalie flinched. “We’ll figure something out, babe. Don’t worry about it. I’ll go look for a job tomorrow.”

“And what about Bea?” He asked angrily. “She can’t stay home by herself! That’s why you quit work in the first place was to take care of our kid.”

“Bea can stay with my sister during the day. Everything will work out, okay? Come on, let’s go to bed.”

Natalie stood up and took his hand, but he pulled away, running his fingers through his hair again.

“I’ll meet you in there later. I’m not tired.”

Natalie stared at him sadly. “We’ll figure it out, Keith. We always do.”

He didn’t hear her, busy with the bills again. She left him in the dining room and went to bed. The room was dark and she didn’t bother turning the light on. She got undressed in the dark and pulled on her nightgown before crawling into the sheets. She fell asleep before Keith came to bed.

The next morning, Natalie woke up with Bea poking her cheek. “Mommy … Mommy … wake up,” she was whispering.

Natalie opened her eyes and smiled, sleepily. “What is it, baby?”

“Is it Christmas yet?” she whispered.

Natalie chuckled, pulling Bea into bed with her. “Not yet, Bea. Do you want to help Mommy decorate today?
We can make the house pretty for when Daddy gets home.”

Bea nodded excitedly. “Yeah and for Santa too.”

Natalia smiled, kissing her cheek and getting up. She stretched and yawned, running her fingers through her hair.

They walked into the kitchen and Natalie lifted Bea into her seat for breakfast. “What shall we have today? Cereal or toast?”

“Toast!” Bea yelled.

“Toast it is.” Natalie put two pieces of bread into the toaster and opened the blinds to let the sun in. Snow was falling outside their window, sticking to the ground below.

While Natalie fixed some jelly toast for Bea, she called her sister. “Good morning, Liz! I’m sorry to call so early. How are you doing?”

“God what time is it?” Her sister yawned. “Jesus, Nat, who gets up at this hour?!”

Natalie smiled. “It’s 9:30, Liz. You should be up by now.”

“9:30 is for losers,” she grumbled.

“Hey I have a huge favor to ask you.” Natalie sighed.

“What’s wrong?”

“It looks like I’m gonna need to find a job soon to pay our bills and I can’t afford to send Bea to daycare and I really only trust her with you …” she faded, hoping Liz would jump up and offer to watch her.

Liz was quiet for the longest time so Natalie finished her sentence.

“I was hoping I could leave her with you during the day while I work.”

“Are you sure that’s smart?” Liz finally said.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t know…I’m not exactly mature and responsible. I can’t cook and I sure as hell can’t clean or keep a child. What does Keith think about it? I know he doesn’t like me watching her.”

“We’re in a tight spot right now, Liz. We don’t have a choice. It’s either get a job or get another loan.”

“Wow I didn’t realize it was that bad, babe. Do you need to borrow some money? I can give you a coup—“

“No, I’m not asking you for money. I’d never do that. I just need someone to watch Bea until we get out of this small money problem.” Natalie sighed, handing Bea her toast and walking into the other room. “I don’t know what we’re going to do about Bea’s Christmas presents … Santa is broke this year. It’s going to break her heart.”

Liz was quiet. “Yeah Nat, I’ll watch her. It’s the least I can do.”

“Thank you so much, Lizzy. I owe you so much.” Natalie expressed gratitude.

They hung up and Natalie ate her own toast, watching Bea silently.

That night, Keith came home, stomping his boots and shrugging off his coat. “Natalie?” he called through the dark house.

He flicked the lights on and gasped.

“Surprise!” Bea yelled with Natalie. They had decorated the house for Christmas. Lights and tinsel were hung everywhere, the stockings by the fireplace and the mistletoe hung above the door.

Natalie walked over to him and kissed him softly. “Surprise, sweetie.”

“Who did all this?” He asked, picking Bea up and tickling her. “Was it you?”

She squealed with delight, kicking her legs out. “We wanted to surprise you!”

“Well I’m surprised alright!” He laughed, setting her down. “Go get ready for bed and I’ll read you a bedtime story, okay?”

She ran off to her bedroom and he looked at Natalie with a frown. “Why did you hang up all this shit?”

Natalie looked confused. “It’s not shit, Keith. It’s decorations for Christmas. Bea wanted to surprise you and Santa with all the decorations. We also made cookies.”

Keith walked over to the wall socket and unplugged the Christmas lights, forcefully. “Did you not see how much we’re paying for electricity? These aren’t helping! And we can’t afford to make cookies. Were you even thinking at all, Natalie?”

Natalie crossed her arms. “You don’t have to be an asshole about it. It’s the holidays. We’re supposed to be happy.”

“I’m not happy! This face is not happy. I don’t think you realize the severity of this situation. Did you even go looking for a job?” He raised his voice.

“Yeah, Keith. I did. I called a friend of mine at the bank. I got a job. It’s a good paying job too. I was going to tell you, but you’re kinda being a jerk right now.”

“I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, Natalie, you know that! Don’t turn this on me making me sound like the bad guy.”

“It’s almost Christmas! What are we going to do about Bea’s presents? Do you want to tell her Santa isn’t coming this year? I’m trying to make the house happy. Sure, we’re in a shitty rut right now, but I’m making the best of it for Bea! You could do the same, you know!”

They heard a sniffle from the hallway. “Bea?” Keith called, walking over to find her sitting on the floor.
Her lip was pushed out and she looked like she was about to cry.

“Santa isn’t coming?”

Keith picked her up and laid her head against his chest. “No sweetie, Mommy and I are just talking. Of course Santa is coming. Go back to bed, Bea. I’ll be in there in a little bit to tuck you in.”

“Why are you and Mommy fighting?” she whimpered.

Natalie walked over to her and kissed her, wrapping her arm around Keith. “We’re okay, baby. We’re just having a grown up conversation right now. Everything is fine. Go back to your room.”

Keith kissed her again and set her down, watching her walk sadly back to her room. When her door shut, he sighed turning around to face Natalie.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have taken my anger out on you.” He hugged her.

She wrapped her arms around his stomach and buried her face in his shoulder. “I’m sorry too. I just want things to be happy. We don’t need Bea to know about our problems. She’s only four and excited for Christmas to come. We just need to work it out for her. I got the job and Liz promised to take care of Bea for us. Everything will work out fine, I promise.”

He kissed the top of her head. “I love you, Natalie.”

She pulled away and kissed his lips. “The cookies are still warm and gooey from the oven if you want one.”

He sighed, looking longingly at the kitchen. “I better go read that story to Bea before she falls asleep.”

“Let her know everything is fine.” Natalie smiled. “Let her know Santa will be coming this year.”

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jessypt Week 80: Worth the Wait

Jessypt is covering the Monday spot for Miss Beckie Louise for a spell. Please keep Miss Beckie in your thoughts.


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Jessypt's Choice: Picture 2

Worth the Wait

The bus is quiet, everyone lost in their thoughts of where they’ve been, what they’ve seen, and what awaits at home. My stomach twists nervously as the anticipation of seeing you draws closer. I look out the window, the scenery passing in a blur of greens, yellows, and reds before shifting to grey buildings, old houses, and familiar streets.

It’s been months. Eleven long months since I’ve seen you. Felt your skin beneath my fingers. Buried my face in your neck and lost myself in the soft, clean scent of your hair. Wrapped my arms around your waist. Kissed you. God, I’ve missed kissing you.

“Five minutes,” the driver calls, and we all start shifting in our seats, gathering our green bags, and growing even more anxious.

We round the final corner, and there it is. The place where all this started, the place I left you behind with just my ring on your finger and the promise of forever.

I scan the crowd but don’t see you. I try to scoot closer to the window, but my view is being blocked by craning necks and shaved heads.

I just want to see you.

The bus comes to a creaking stop, and I stand up and press my way through. We’re all in the same boat; we’ve all been away from the people we love for too long, but the only thing I can think about is you. Seeing you.

I climb down the steps and sling by duffel over my shoulder and scan the crowd.

Where are you?

All around men are clinging to wives and children, and while I know it’s stupid to feel jealous, I do. I want you. I can’t find you. And it really sucks.

My eyes sweep across the scene in front of me again, and my heart begins to pound and ache and it’s like I can’t breathe. I want to see you so bad. I need you, baby.

Slowly, I start walking toward the exit, thinking maybe you’ll be outside or are just running late. I try not to let my disappointment show as guys pass me, arms wound around their loved ones, laughing and talking happily. I smile and wish them well. They deserve it. We all deserve it.

With a heavy heart and a twist in my stomach, I work my way through the crowd.

“Stephen! Stephen!”

I turn, and God help me, it’s like my breath gets stuck and my chest tightens while everything else in my body goes slack as I hear you calling my name and running toward me. You push and scramble, knocking your way through the crowd and waving your apology, but your eyes never leave mine.

You’re so beautiful. Even more than I remembered.

I drop my bag and start toward you, catching you as you throw yourself in my arms.

There are no words. Just lips, teeth, and hands kissing, nipping, and touching as you slide down so your feet are finally touching the ground.

You are so beautiful. Perfect. I feel like I can’t get enough of you. Your fingers cup my jaw, and my hands wrap around your neck. I stare into your soft brown eyes and feel like my chest is going to explode with happiness.

This is us. Me and you. You and me. Finally.

As your lips brush against mine, softly this time, I close my eyes and relish the completeness of this moment and thank God this war is over, because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to let you go. Not again. Not ever.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kimmydon Week 79: Shhh


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Kimmydonn's Choice: Both



Peter looked like some sort of prince or king behind the wheel of his car. He looked ... distinguished. I couldn’t help but wonder how I looked in the passenger seat. Jackie O? Hardly. I had curly jet black hair, but that was about all I could claim to share with the fashionable first lady. I hoped I didn’t look like some wild child just in from the woods. I had styled my hair, but feeling the wind tear at it as we streaked past city lights, I knew my efforts were wasted.

“Something wrong, Beth?” Peter asked, taking his hand from the gear shift to squeeze mine. Then he let go to settle his hand on my upper thigh, just at the bottom of my skirt. Did he think I wouldn’t notice as his fingers ever so slowly moved upward?

I tapped the back of his hand sharply with my fingers and he pulled it back. It wasn’t the response I was hoping for, but when I looked at him next, his face was flushed and his lips parted. Somehow, and I still couldn’t quite put my finger on how, I’d managed to turn him on. More than I had by showing up in this skirt.

“Not until we get there.”

Jamie had assured me that this club would be perfect for us. It sounded similar to the one we’d gone to before I ended up climbing Peter’s tree, and a little later, in Peter’s house. As we got closer, we found out just how popular it was. We parked almost a block away and hurried to the line outside where Jamie and Mary were waiting.

“You made it,” Jamie sang, hugging me. Her blond hair danced as she did.

“Of course.”

“And you brought Peter,” Mary pointed out. Then she stood on tiptoe to look around and past Peter.


“Just checking Gary isn’t behind you.”

I snorted. Gary worked in the same office as Peter, Mary and me. He and Peter were almost always seen in tandem, and Gary’s jovial antics were most often aimed at me or Mary.

“No, just Peter,” I assured them.

We huddled together for another ten minutes before paying our door fee and finally getting inside. The place was everything Jamie had promised and I was on the floor with my friends like nothing had changed in the last month. Peter held a booth for us while we shook what we had and a little more. As the crowd around us thickened, I pushed my way out and returned to the booth. Peter welcomed me with a kiss.

“Do you have any idea how hot you looked out there?”

I shook my head. “I know how hot I am though.” I wafted my shirt a few times to get a breeze. “I’m going to hit the ladies.’”

“I’ll follow you.” He stood just as Jamie and Mary, both laughing and nearly falling over one another, took our seats. They also grabbed at the drinks Peter had ordered for us.

“We’ll be right back,” I promised.

“Take your time,” Jamie said. “Find a nice double wide stall.”

Mary laughed louder and put her head right onto Jamie’s shoulder.

I just shook my head and followed the lead Peter’s hand on my back created. We had to stop and start several times as the crowd milled around the club. Each time Peter was pressed into my back, my pulse picked up, racing. We also passed other couples and their public displays of affection. Some were going a little overboard in my opinion, but as Peter pressed against me once more, I thought maybe it wasn’t far enough.

I didn’t waste time when we broke from the crowd. I grabbed Peter by his shirt and turned him into the wall between the mens and ladies rooms. I practically climbed the wall to get closer to him, over him, rubbing myself on him. His blond curls were in my hands and I tugged hard, pulling his face to mine.

His lips were at least as eager, and he held my ass, fingers kneading as they kept me from falling back to the ground.

“God, Beth,” he murmured. “I want you.”

Something in his words or tone, or maybe a sound from the club around us, something made me hesitate. What was I doing? I’d only had a couple of drinks, so I couldn’t blame the alcohol, but I wasn’t behaving normally. If I had him against a tree outside, somewhere with less people, I could understand doing this, but I was in a dingy club surrounded by people. Someone could have their phone out filming us this very minute.

Peter’s grip on me didn’t lessen when I broke the kiss and pushed away slightly, so I tried slapping the wall beside his head. The smack seemed to get his attention and he set me down.

“You don’t really want this to end up on the intra-office mail, do you?”


I was still so hot. “Come,” I ordered, opening the door to the ladies’ room. A few of the women inside giggled, but didn’t say more. I leaned my back up on the wall and braced on leg on Peter’s thigh. “Here.” I pushed down on his shoulder with one hand and lifted my skirt with the other. The room cleared quickly after that. I was just as happy.

Peter knelt, lifting my leg to his shoulder.

“Good boy,” I murmured, happy he’d taken the suggestion so quickly and easily. He shuddered and groaned slightly before disappearing from view.

My barely there panties were pushed aside and I leaned on the wall as Peter’s tongue flicked and dashed, turning my momentary heat flash into an inferno.

“Fuck,” I cursed quietly. “Right there. Don’t stop.” My hands made their way into his hair again, holding him to me. My head began to thump on the wall in time with his tongue, until I had to push him away, make him stop. “Oh, God,” I murmured, still holding onto him for balance. He stood slowly, stretching his legs and keeping an arm around me. Then his lips crashed to mine and I could taste myself on them. My first reaction was to gag, but, his tongue felt as wonderful in my mouth as below, so the repulsion didn’t last long. I felt like a glob of jelly, held up only by him and likely to slip through his fingers.

The pink haze over everything cleared slowly and I saw a few ladies in the room staring at us. What had I just done? That wasn’t like me.

Pushing from him and the wall I hurried out, headed for our table. Peter snagged my arm. “I really do need the toilet.”

I just nodded and pulled from his grip. I needed to talk to someone and my best friends were sitting at a table only a few yards away.

I stopped dead two feet from the table. Mary was kissing Jamie. And not just an experimental, ‘Hi, I’m drunk and wonder what this would be like.’ They were making out. I started to turn to head back to the washroom, not sure what I should do, when Mary saw me. Jamie tossed her hair out of the way and Mary put a finger to her lips.

I didn’t get any more time to react because Peter was behind me again.

I supposed we all had secrets of some sort. I didn’t know Jamie was bisexual, or Mary. They didn’t know Peter was submissive. In the long run, it didn’t matter. I sat on Peter’s lap while the my friends made out on the dance floor.

And in morning, no one would say a thing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Alby Mangroves Week 79: Jaded

Alby Mangroves

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Alby Mangroves's Choice: Picture 2



I want to climb the metal girders.

I want it to take forever.

I want to carefully judge distances between steel rungs, putting my feet and hands in the right places.

I want the adrenaline to whip my nerves into a frenzied rush.

I want my stomach to drop every time I look down and almost fall.

These things are impossible.

I can climb, but it will be over in an instant, my vampire body precise and swift.

The only thing coursing through my veins will be the venom that drives me.

If I fall, I’ll hurt the earth.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Bronwyn Week 79: Breakfast At Main Street Cafe

Bronwyn Keith

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Bronwyn’s Choice: Picture

Breakfast At Main Street Cafe

This is the continuation of a story that was started:

Bronwyn Keith Week 62: New Beginnings

Bronwyn Week 63: New Beginnings Part 2

Wearing a brand new pair of Wranglers she got from the feed store along with a t-shirt, Aimee walked in to the small Main Street Cafe. She smiled as she looked around the familiar restaurant. Her grandfather would take her to the Cafe for milkshakes. The vinyl covering the booths, and bar stools was the same sixties olive green it was when she was a child.

“Morning. Have a seat where ever you'd like.” A friendly voice called from the kitchen door. A smiling blonde woman with a t-shirt, jeans, and an apron, poked her head out of the kitchen.

“Thanks.” Aimee responded and selected a booth by one of the many windows and sat down. Over the window to the kitchen was a black board with the breakfast specials listed on it. After deciding on the pancakes, Aimee pulled a deck of Bicycle brand of playing cards.

"What can I get ya?" The friendly woman from the back asked as she walked up to the table. Her name tag said her name was Kris. Aimee smiled.

"I'll take the pancake meal and some black coffee please." Aimee said.

"Okay, I'll let Mark know and bring over your coffee." Kris smiled. "By the way, my name is Kris. Just holler if you need somethin."

"Nice to meet you, Kris. I'm Aimee." They smiled at each other before Kris hurried off to put in Aimee's order.

Aimee grabbed the cards and started shuffling them. She always had a deck in her purse. She laid out a game of solitaire, just like her grandmother taught her. While she studied the cards, Kris brought over her coffee.

"I don't think I've seen anyone play a game of solitaire with cards in years."

"I know it's antiquated, but you can't cheat on the computer version." Aimee said smiling at Kris. Kris laughed and turned back to the counter to help one of the customers sitting there. Concentrating on her cards, Aimee didn't hear the bell on the door to announce another customer had come in.

"Is it okay if I sit with you?" A soft, male voice asked. Aimee looked up at the question to see Adam standing next to the table.

"Sure." She said, smiling shyly. "I'm surprised you aren't at the farm."

"A man needs to eat." He said as he slid in to the booth across from her. "And I hoped to see you again before you left town.”

"I've decided to stay a few days. I'm staying at the bed and breakfast." Aimee started gathering the cards, to put them away.

"Adam! Why are you here so early in the day?" Kris asked as she came over to the table, with another cup of coffee for him. "And how do you know our visitor?" Adam stood and gave Kris a hug.

"Hi, Kris. Aimee is old Mr Johnson's grand-daughter. She visited the farm early this morning." He explained as he sat back down. "I also decided that I wanted more than just cereal this morning."

"Well, what do you want?" Kris asked.

"I'll have what ever Aimee ordered." He winked at Aimee after his order, which surprised her. Guys don't flirt with her. They usually avoided her.

"I'll take care of it." Kris said before giving him a knowing smile and walking away.

"So, what do you have planned to do while you are here?" Adam asked as he sat back in the booth looking her over.

"I planned on doing some sight seeing, reading, and relaxing." Aimee said as she cupped her coffee cup.

“You are welcome to come out to the farm while you are here.” Adam said as he lifted the cup to his lips. Aimee watched as his full lips touched the mug, remembering the feel of them on her own. Was it only a few hours since he kissed her? It felt like a life time.

“Thank you, Adam. That's very generous of you.”

“Here you go.” Kris interrupted as she brought over two plates with towering piles of pancakes and hash browns.

After a few moments of eating in silence, Aimee looked across the table at Adam, watching his strong jaw work as he ate. He looked up and smiled at her.

“I have an idea.” Adam started after pushing his empty plate tot he edge of the table. “How about you come stay at the farm with me?” Aimee just stared at him, shocked at his offer. After a few moments of trying to figure out what to say, she cleared her throat.

“I don't know, Adam.” Aimee sipped her coffee, to stall. “We really don't know each other and I don't want to impose.”

“It'll be okay. I promise.” Adam said, leaning across the table to lay his hand on top of hers. “You wouldn't be imposing. Besides, I have a few extra bedrooms.” After thinking about it a few minutes, Aimee nodded.

“Okay, but I want to help with the chores. I'm going to earn my keep.” Aimee told him. When he was ready to protest, she held up her hand. “Either that or I'm staying at the bed and breakfast. Deal?” She held her hand out to him.

“Okay, deal.” He agreed grudgingly, shaking her hand. “Shall we go get your stuff?” He stood and tossed a twenty on to the table.

“But I haven't paid.” Aimee protested.

“That will take care of it.” Adam nodded toward the cash on the table. “Let's go.” He held his hand out to her. Aimee stood and placed her hand in his and let him lead her out the door. She didn't know what the next few hours, much less how the next few days would to pan out, but she was glad she had someone to share them with.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Burntcore Week 79: The Future in Toast


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Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Picture 1

The Future in Toast

Marisa woke to the sounds of something frying in her kitchen. The delicious smell of freshly brewed coffee and eggs cooking wafted into her bedroom, making her stomach growl loudly. She rolled out of bed and slipped on her robe before padding out into the kitchen.

Aris stood in his boxers and tshirt in front of the stove, poking at something in the frying with a spatula. She watched him quietly from the doorway, amused as he moved about. He looked down at a piece of paper on the counter, looked back at the frying pan, then back to the paper again. With a nod, he turned and jumped when he saw Marisa.

“Holy crap, baby. You scared the shit out of me!” he exclaimed with a laugh.

Marisa smiled and walked into the kitchen. “Sorry.”

“How long were you standing there?” Aris asked as he opened the fridge and pulled out a jar of jelly and a can of cool whip.

“Only a few minutes. What are you making?”

Aris put the items on the counter next to the paper he had been referring to earlier. “Breakfast.”

“I can see that. What is it?” Marisa asked as she tried to see over his shoulder.

Aris chuckled and spun her around before she could see what was in the pan. “It’s a surprise, silly girl. Go sit down at the table and I’ll bring it over when it’s ready.”

Marisa huffed but had a smile on her face as she sat and waited for her surprise. Aris wasn’t a big fan of cooking so she was curious what he was up to that morning. If she didn’t feel like cooking, his idea of making dinner usually involved picking up the phone.

After a few minutes of watching him work, he turned to her with a nervous smile on his face. “Close your eyes, Marisa.”


“Yes, really. Please?”

She smiled and closed her eyes, angling her face towards him. The quiet thunk and chink of a plate and mug were the only sounds she heard besides him shuffling around the table. The chair next to her groaned as Aris sat down.

“Open your eyes,” he whispered.

“Oh, Aris! This is lovely!” In front of her was a plate of french toast, but not any ordinary french toast. Aris had cut the toast to look like hearts. Each heart had a dollop of jam and a letter written in whipped cream. The toast spelled out “L-O-V-E.”
“I wanted to do something nice for you.” Aris was blushing as he looked at her.

“You certainly did. This looks great. I didn’t realize you knew how to make french toast.”

“I didn’t, really. I had an idea from watching you before plus the recipe I found spelled it out really well.”

Marisa smiled and looked over at his plate, which had all the remainents of her heart shaped toast. It looked like he had a plate of V’s.

“Go ahead, take a bite,” he encourage.

She nodded and cut off the bottom of the L piece. It was delicious. The sweetness of the jam was complemented by the cool creaminess of the whipped cream, all surrounded by the warm, eggy goodness of the french toast. She closed her eyes and savored the taste. This french toast rivaled the kind she normally made. Marisa thought she may have to steal his recipe.

When she opened her eyes, Aris was fiddling with something in his lap nervously.

“Are you okay, Ari?” she asked, reaching out to touch his arm.

“Yeah, sorry.”

Marisa smiled and took another bite. “This is really quite good, Aris. You did a great job.”

He returned her smile, but it still looked strained.

“Are you sure you’re okay? You look like something is bothering you,” she asked again, her voice full of concern.

“Um, yes, just nervous.” Before she could ask him what he was a nervous about, he continued. “Please close your eyes again.”

She did as he asked and closed her eyes. Marisa heard him move near her, not going far but no longer sitting in the chair next to him. She nearly jumped when she felt Aris take her hand.

“Can I open my eyes now?”

“Yes, now.”

Aris was kneeling beside her, holding one of her hands while he held a small black box in his other.

“Aris?” she asked, her voice trembling.

“Marisa, I love you. I have loved you for so long I can’t even remember when I first realized I did. What I do know is that I never want to stop. Please say you want to love me forever too and be my wife. Will you marry me?”

She was floored. They had talked about marriage a few times but nothing ever serious. Marisa honestly didn’t think that Aris was ready for that step yet. She had been fine with that, knowing that they had their entire lives ahead of them still. Apparently he was more ready than she realized.

The question was, was she?

Aris looked up at her, his eyes full of hope and love as he waited for her answer. As the seconds went and she didn’t answer, dread and dispair began to creep into his face. Before he could totally breakdown, she answered.

“Oh, Aris, yes! Yes! Yes, I will marry you! I love you.”

“Oh, thank God!” he sighed, relieved and slipped the ring on her left hand. “You nearly gave me a heart attack there.”

“Sorry, I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to answer!”

Marisa leaned down and kissed him softly, enjoying the weight of her engagement ring on her finger.

“No matter. I’m just glad you did,” he replied, running his hands through her hair.

She smiled and kissed him again. Aris slowly stood up and pulled her up with him, wrapping his arms around her.

“Of course, silly man. How could I deny you?”

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

KekahJ Week 79: Oasis


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Picture 2

KekahJ's Choice: Picture 2



The sun was hot on their backs as they picked their way through the dense foliage. The morning fog that had kept them cool all morning had finally burned up and disappeared. Since then the day had grown steadily warmer until it was now almost sweltering. Now that the sun was out in full force, they found themselves slowly removing the layers of clothing that had shielded them from the early morning chill.

They stopped, breathing heavily as they pulled out their water bottles and took long draws from them, hands on hips as they squinted in the sun. After a few moments they decided to continue, the promise of what lay ahead fueling their steps.

It wasn’t long before the sweat began to fall, pooling in dark circles at the smalls of their backs and behind their knees. They wiped it from their eyes and pushed forward.

Looking ahead, they searched for any sign of relief, the air rippling in the heat. Stopping again, they emptied their water bottles, finishing the last drops but still wanting more. Now it was even more crucial that they reach their destination.

They continued on, relentless in the pursuit of their goal. Water bottles drained, sweat drenched, and tired, they marched on, slashing through the underbrush.

They had nearly given up, were contemplating turning back, when they stopped and looked at each other, grinning. They sensed it before they saw it. It was as if the whole atmosphere had changed. The heat dissipated, if only by a fraction and, as they broke through one last layer of underbrush they saw it. It was such a welcome sight they almost didn’t believe their eyes.

Suddenly oblivious to their parched tongues and the oppressive heat, they ran towards it. The air was distinctly cooler the closer they got until by the time they reached the water’s edge they had forgotten the heat that had been so all consuming only moments before.

Laughing, they stripped down, unconcerned with where their discarded clothing landed as they tossed it behind them in their haste to reach the water. With one final leap, they plunged into the icy water, the breath forced from their lungs by the impact. Surfacing, they gasped like fish out of water, splashing in the cool, almost icy, water.

Bobbing up and down, they moved through the water, bodies sleek and smooth. They swam to where the water fed into the pool. Underneath the waterfall was a large, flat rock. The surface was worn smooth from the relentless pounding of the water and a shallow bowl had formed. It was the perfect place to sit. If they sat forward they could see all around the entire pool, and if they leaned their heads back, the cool water ran down their necks and backs, causing them to gasp and laugh again.

They swam and splashed until their stomachs reminded them it was time for lunch. Climbing out of the water, they dressed and spread their lunch out on a large flat rock. Before they ate, they climbed up on the smooth rocks to the top of the waterfall where they dipped their water bottles into the cool stream of water that cascaded down to the pool below. They drank and refilled several times, relishing in the taste of the cool, clean water.

As they ate, they stretched out on the rocks, letting the sun dry and warm them again. It was amazing how the sun that had been their enemy only a short time ago now provided welcome light and warmth to their chilled skin.

Neither of them wanted to think about how this would be their last trip here. The last time they’d enjoy this place. After this day both of their lives would change forever. Neither of them knew what the future would bring, the only thing either of them knew for sure was that they had this moment together, this moment in their private oasis to bask in the sun and revel in the sweet, cold water.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jessypt Week 79: Happiness

Jessypt is back, filling in our Monday slot for Miss Beckie Louise who is still under the weather. Send kind thoughts her way so she can join us again soon.

As always, if you want to get involved on the blog, drop me a line. Two pictures, one prompt, your imagination.

Picture 1


“Keep your eyes closed,” he said mischievously as he slowly led her down the trail.

“Where are you taking me, Jay?” Helen asked, laughing and freely following.

“Shhh. No more questions.”

With one hand gently squeezing her arm and the other resting on the small of her back, he deftly moved her through the thick foliage. He couldn’t believe how lucky he’d gotten with the weather. When he’d first thought of the idea, he was sure it would be too cold, but it appeared luck – or love – was on his side. A warm front had pushed through the day before, and it felt like a perfect summer day.

When they came to the clearing he stopped. He brushed his lips against her cheek. “Open your eyes, baby,” he whispered, making her shiver.

Helen’s eyes fluttered opened, and as she took in the scene before her, she gasped.

She looked back and forth between him and the whimsical little tent he’d set up, her mouth opening and closing before she finally managed to speak. “You did all this? For me?” she asked, her voice soft and dream-like.

He nodded and put his arm around her waist, tugging her a little closer, so he could breathe in her sweet scent and commit the moment to memory.


“But… why?” she asked as she twisted around to face him.

He stared into her beautiful blue eyes and smiled. “Because I love you. And because I wanted to do something special for you.”

A huge grin spread across her face, and her baby blues glistened with unshed tears. “I love it,” she squeaked, her voice already an octave higher than usual.

She eagerly disentangled herself from his arms and slowly moved the few steps across the field until she was standing right in front of the tent.

Helen trailed her fingers along the delicate, lacy edges, noting the paper lanterns hanging at the top of the ‘V’. Gingerly, she squatted down, her knees resting on what looked like an old quilt, as she climbed inside.

As she settled down on her stomach, her elbows propping her up and her legs bent at the knees, her eyes sparkled and radiated with happiness. “Come lie down with me, love.”

Jay grinned. He loved watching her childlike wonder, the way her eyes danced as she took everything in and her cheeks flushed the most gorgeous shade of pink when she looked at him. She was his everything, perfect for him in every way.

He walked toward her, content to be drawn in by everything about her.

“Like this?” he asked, once inside, as he nuzzled her neck with his nose.

She nodded, closing her eyes and basking in him and the golden rays of sunshine. The late autumn wind blew, rustling the tall grass all around them.

They stayed like that, talking and laughing, noshing on the fresh fruit and cheese he’d brought earlier. Jay couldn’t keep his hands off her. He loved the feel of her soft, smooth skin beneath his fingertips and the way her fingers tangled with his.

“You’re beautiful,” he said, his eyes blaring earnestly, as he toyed with a loose strand of her hair.

She dipped her head, burying it against the hard muscle of his shoulder, and giggled. He wrapped his arms around her, trailing tender kisses across her shoulder, neck, and jaw.
The sun began to set, and everything felt soft, almost like a Technicolor dream.

His eyes found hers just as she turned to face him. “I love you, Helen,” Jay whispered, completely lost in the way the shadows were dancing across her face.

“Mmmm. Love you, Jay,” she hummed as her lips found his.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 78: Heat Haze


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Picture 2

Kimmydonn's Choice: Both


Heat Haze

With the sun streaming in through the windows, the heat intensifies and the profound need to lay down overcomes me. This summer is unbelievable, heat in waves you can see and feel, creating distortions over everything, like the world is softening and melting.

On my back, in the lightest cotton I own, I try to remember ever feeling anything this overwhelming, all consuming.

It comes back in a blur, similar to the heat haze. Nothing is quite the same color it was before, nothing as sharp, but I remember him. I remember standing on the sand. It was almost as hot then. Only the surf moistening the beach kept it from burning toes. A bell rang, drawing my attention. Then I saw him, on a bicycle, speeding past, his dark hair blown away from his face in a breeze I coveted. He was beautiful, free, and gone. It was only a minute, but it was the first time my heart had raced that way for another person. I knew, if there was any way, I would find him again and make him notice me, make his heart race like mine did.

I was six.

I never saw that young man again, and thankfully, he wasn’t the only one to make my heart flutter, to completely consume my conscious, the way the sweltering heat did today. One such entered the bedroom, freeing me from the clutches of the sun and summer. I could focus on him.

“Babe, why do you have any clothes on.”

He had a point.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Alby Mangroves Week 78: Friday Morning Fix

Alby Mangroves

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Alby Mangroves's Choice: Picture 2

Friday Morning Fix

I love Fridays, ever since his family moved next door.

I dawdle until it’s eight on the dot, then shuffle out, pretending I’m half asleep.

I’m not.

I’ve been awake since five, thinking about him.

I’m surprised he doesn’t avoid me.

He knows I’ll be here, same time, putting out the trash onto the curb next to his.

Each time, I feel the same butterflies, only it’s getting worse.

I float away from the curb with stupid hearts in my eyes, then spend the day writing haiku about his ... everything.

I wish we could be together, like our trash cans.

Friday, November 18, 2011

MuseCalliope Week 78: A Deal’s A Deal - Trinity Shade

Muse Calliope

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Muse Calliope's Choice: Picture 1


A Deal’s A Deal - Trinity Shade

And that was when the human walked in. Middle-aged and greying, he was dressed in the security uniform with a radio and stun-gun thingy clipped to his belt and a big heavy flashlight grasped in one hand. For a moment, no one moved. The mortal stood there looking from beastkin to vampire to shade and finally settled on the necromancer standing in the middle of an obvious spell circle with the ghost. Naturally, he pressed the alarm button on his radio’s quicker than you could blink and backpedalled out of the room so fast you’d have thought his pants were on fire.

Savannah sighed. “I thought you said security came through here every twenty minutes. That wasn’t twenty minutes; that was like five.”

Croix rubbed at the back of his neck and shrugged sheepishly. “It’s supposed to be every twenty minutes.”

“Perhaps when you erected and then removed the shield it disrupted their routines,” Dumitru suggested. “In any case, it hardly matters now. Lumina mea, if you would hurry?”

Savannah sighed again and turned her focus back to the ghost. Suddenly, she had her hand on the back of his neck and was pulling his face down to her. Before Trinity could blink Savannah had her lips locked on Jester’s and was kissing him, her power flaring around her like a flashing inferno, so bright and intense Trinity could feel it like a strike of lightning. It seemed to last forever but ended all of the sudden. Savannah stumbled back, away from Jester, and was barely caught by Dumitru before she slumped to the ground. The ghost, meanwhile, was no longer a ghost.

He was a wraith – a ghost made corporeal by the power and will of a necromancer. He was also crumpled into an unconscious heap on the ground.

Trinity cursed.

Savannah smiled grimly and carefully got back on her feet, albeit leaning heavily on Dumitru for support. “Alright then, I think we’ve overstayed our welcome. Trinity, you have a choice; stay and take your chances with the nice pitchfork-bearing villagers or come along with us back to...”

“Germany,” Dumitru supplied.

“Germany,” Savannah agreed.

“And the strings?” Somewhere in the castle Trinity could sense Security getting ready, prepping their weapons, donning their armour, mumbling their pep talks. More importantly, she could feel the lights turning on, feel the shadows recede, fade. She was screwed. But she still wanted to know what sort of chains her rescue would have her clapped in, thank you very much.

“I’ll need a favour. Trinity, I must act quickly; creating a wraith isn’t as easy as I made it look and I only have so much power left. Decide. Now.”

Trinity snorted. “Like there’s really any choice to be made; I don’t want to die. Choice made. The end. Let’s go.”

Savannah grinned and clapped her hands excitedly like a little girl. “Oh, yay, a wraith and a shade all in one day. We should come to Prague more often.”

“Let’s not,” Croix suggested, grimacing. “Not a fan of the architecture.”

“Good point. Alright, fasten your seat belt, Trinity, 'cause Kansas is going bye-bye now.”

Don’t let the movies fool you; teleportation is not as fun and easy as Harry Potter, Sabrina and Nightcrawler make it look. Trinity had no idea how it felt for Savannah, but as far as she was concerned it was like riding a too-fast, out-of-control roller coaster while being ripped apart and put back together over and over and over again. And then - BAM! – it was over.

Trinity found herself in a sunken living room of some mansion straight out of that Bond movie – um, Diamonds Are Forever? Maybe? Trinity could never keep them all straight. Savannah staggered up the shallow the steps, across the room to the sliding glass that led out onto the balcony and promptly leaned over the edge to retch. Repeatedly.

“It’s because she used too much energy,” Croix explained matter-of-factly as he moved to lay the newly created wraith on the sectional sofa. “That’s also why the human walked in on us; she had to drop her shield in order to create the wraith.”

“Great,” Trinity said half-heartedly, once again resisting the impulse to roll her eyes. “Well, I’ll just scamper off then, be on my way and all that. Ciao.

“Wait.” Savannah stumbled back inside, leaned against the nearest wall and slid down to sit on the floor, her forehead pressed against her knees. "Argh, I hate magic overload; it's like having the plague and the flu and allergies and twenty other things all at once. So very, very, very not fun. Argh. Oh, and you owe me a favour, Trinity, remember?"

Trinity hadn't forgotten; she'd just been hoping Savannah had. Sighing, she nodded and gestured for Savannah to get one with it; she had other places to be, after all.

"Don't look so frightened, Trin; all I want - all I need - is a mask."

"A mask?"

"Hm, yes, it's white with gold trim and filigree design and emerald accents. Oh, and it has a big red flower at its upper right corner. It doesn't even cover the whole face, just the eyes."

"Uh-huh, and why do you want this mask?"

Savannah shrugged, the picture of innocence. "I had to leave home in a hurry and it got left behind. There’s a quirk to it and I need it back before my stepmother finds it and figures out what it can do.”

“And what can it do?”

“That’s irrelevant. Croix will be going with you, just FYI; he knows where to go and a bunch of other stuff that might prove useful to you. All you have to do is get in, find my mask and bring it back to me. So, we good?”

Trinity was positive there was some catch or secret or something that was going to come back to bite her in the ass. She just KNEW it. But, damn it, a deal’s a deal. “We’re good,” she gritted out.

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

A/N: To be continued next week!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Destynee Week 78: The Swing

Destynee Cullen

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Picture 2

Destiny Cullen’s Choice: Picture 2

The Swing

No one understands what that swing means to me.
No one understands why I can’t let him go.
Nor does anyone see that I’m dying inside and my perfect shell is cracking. Or maybe no one wants to see what is in front of their eyes.

The reality is that he saved my life that day underneath that tree.
But I couldn’t save his.


The summer was nothing notable until Aunt Julian came to show off her new husband. I didn’t hate Aunt Julian, I hated her daughter Meg. I went to hide in the back yard to avoid all the drama.

I heard shoes crunching in the gravel and I sighed. I should’ve known she’d follow me out.

“What are you doing here?” I said while half heartedly pumping my legs on the swing.

“Oh nothing, just showing you what a shitty life you and your mom have.” She smiled at me and it took everything I had not to jump off the swing and punch her. Instead I grabbed the rope tighter in my hands, deciding to ignore her.

“You should just run away like your father. Then your mom would be accepted back into the family and not have to worry about money ever again.”

I didn’t look at her and give her the satisfaction of making me cry. I felt her gaze burning into my skull, but I wasn’t going to give in.

“Or maybe kill yourself, that would be easier so your mom doesn’t have to pretend to love you and call the police to look for you.” She laughed and then turned around and walked back towards the house.

Suddenly the small knife I always kept with me felt heavy in my pocket. I took it out and tested the tip of the blade against the flesh underneath my thumb. The knife slid against my skin like butter leaving a trail of warm blood trickling down my arm. I poised the blade to my wrist to slice deep and up my arm.

“Please don’t do that.”

I dropped the knife and my head snapped in the direction of the voice.

“Who are you? I wasn’t going to do anything. Why are you even in my backyard? You’re trespassing.”
He just smiled at me, it wasn’t cruel like Meg’s. It was sad and understanding.

“I heard what she said to you. Everyone deserves to live, she had no right to tell you that.”

I glanced down at my wrist where I nicked the side of it when I was surprised. I wrapped my hand around it to stop the blood from coming out.

“You don’t know anything.”

He lifted his arm and twisted his wrist so I could see multiple scars up and down his arms. He smiled again, “I know more than you might think. People will miss you, think about what you’re doing before you do it.” He walked toward me and picked up my knife and handed it to me.

“I know I’d miss you if you left this world.” He turned and walked through the bushes.

I was stunned speechless. I put my knife in my back pocket and went inside. I tried to act like nothing was wrong. I even smiled at Meg which pissed her off, and made me a little happier.

Whenever things got bad and I took out my knife to try to end things that boy with the sad blue eyes came into my thoughts and I couldn’t slide the blade against my skin. I looked for him around town and even at school when it started in the fall but I never saw him again.

That is until I saw his picture in the newspaper.

The obituary picture had him smiling, his blue eyes void of sadness. It made me yearn to know him then, before the sadness clouded his eyes. The obituary told the story of his battle with depression and then cancer struck. He made a heroic effort during chemotherapy but his body could take the treatment anymore.


I have the picture of him from the newspaper nailed to the tree. Flowers grow underneath it every spring and it reminds me of how he saved my life that day. On those bad days I go out to the swing and look at his picture. He’s my inspiration for life. I’ll see him one day when I die and I’ll thank him for those few minutes in my life. Thank him for letting me have a life to thank him for.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 77: Red Rubber Ball


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Picture 2

Kimmydonn's Choice: Picture 2


Red Rubber Ball

I don’t feel any different.
Bounce. Jack.
It’s not like it’s a big deal.
Bounce. Two jacks
Just another day.
Bounce. Three jacks
Nothing to show the world
Bounce. Four jacks
that I could be a mother in nine months
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Alby Mangroves Week 77: Curiosity Killed the Redhead

Alby Mangroves

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Alby Mangroves's Choice: Picture 1


Curiosity Killed the Redhead

The fog is like thin, watery soup, beading on the fur trim of her riding coat.

European winters are so romantic, so melancholy. It’s quite easy to imagine that the local legends are rooted in truth, and that out there, somewhere, creatures older than time roam unchecked.

Adjusting her gloves, Victoria mounts her horse sidesaddle, as befits a lady.

“I wish to tour the property alone,” she informs her valet. “Please tell Mother I’ll return before supper.”

“It’s not safe, milady!”

I do hope you’re right, she thinks, hungry for adventure, starved for fun.

She rides to her frozen fate.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bronwyn Week 77: Life Changes

Bronwyn Keith

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Bronwyn’s Choice: Both


Life Changes

Monica breathed a sigh of relief at seeing the old family cabin. She had driven 5 hours with her tabby, Winston, to figure out what to do with her life. The rustic hundred year old cabin looked just like she remembered from her childhood. When she passed, Monica's grandmother Lois left the cabin to Monica. Lois had always known what the cabin meant to Monica. She got of the car and reached in for Winston. Once he was securely in her arms, she walked up to the front door and unlocked it.

Once the front door was closed, Monica set Winston on the floor and started walking around the cabin. The musty air made it difficult to breathe, but everything was still in it's place. Her fingers trailed along the entry table, leaving streaks in the dust covering the top of it. She walked around the rooms, letting her memories of summers spent in the cabin to wash over her. For as long as she could remember, Monica always looked forward to the summer trips to the cabin. She would spend most of the summer at the cabin with her grandmother and cousin Linda. They would garden, read, and take hikes in the forest. The trio bonded during those summers.

Monica slowly moved up the stairs to the bedroom she would share with Linda. The room wasn't very big and was steepled because of the roof line. But it was their sanctuary. The beds were unchanged since their last visit. Linda's mattress was slightly too big for the sagging frame. She would call it her indoor hammock. The other bed was set up on a frame with drawers. Monica walked over to the bed and sat on it. The two girls would talk long in to the night during those summers. They were best friends. It amazed Monica how much life had changed. She had not talked to Linda since Monica told her she was engaged to a man Linda wanted. That was fifteen years ago. When Monica left Tom because of his cheating, she attempted to contact Linda, but Linda refused to talk to her. With a heavy sigh, Monica stood up and opened up the window. She needed to air out the cabin and bring things in from the car.

Hours later, Monica sat at the small writing desk with her laptop when Winston jumped up on her lap. She absently stroked his head while she read through her writing. Being a professional writer with your life falling down around your ears wasn't the easiest thing. Monica couldn't concentrate on her romance novel. She often wondered if she should change genres because of her disillusionment with love. She lifted Winston on to the desk in front of the laptop and headed to the kitchen for some iced tea.

While pouring the drink, Monica's cell phone rang. Assuming that it was Tom, she ignored the thing. The last thing she needed was to talk to him. When the phone beeped to let her know she had a voice mail, she looked at the phone. The caller had been a Montana number. Monica only knew of one person who lived in Montana, and that person would never be calling her. Curious, Monica played the voice message.

"Hi Monica, it's your cousin Linda. I just talked to your mom and she told me about Tom. I thought you could use someone to talk with."

Monica replayed the message a couple more times, in shock that Linda had reached out to her. Unsure what to do, she walked over the desk. Winston was sound asleep in front of her computer. She knew that she wouldn't get any work done unless she moved him, and she hated to move him. After running her hand down his back, she walked over to the couch and sat down with a book.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Burntcore Week 77: Memories


Picture 1

Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Both


As Alana went through the files in her grandparents’ desk, she found a stack of photographs she had never seen. They were mostly of her, but she couldn’t recall them actually being taken. Her grandparents always seemed to have a camera around when she was growing up, so it really shouldn’t have surprised her.

She must’ve been channelling Madonna when the one photo was taken. She was standing in her living room in a black tank top and black hat, somewhat reminiscent of Desperately Seeking Susan.

Sitting back on her heels, Alana reflected on how young she looked, and how different the world was then. Her grandparents were still alive. She wasn’t hearing things or seeing things. The world was at her feet.

Alana flipped to the next photograph, one that was clearly not her. She turned it over and in her grandmother’s neat handwriting was her mother’s name and a year, the year before Alana was born. Cecilia was standing on a pile of rocks on a beach, overlooking a vast body of water. Alana didn’t think it was the Atlantic Ocean, at least not around Maine.

She wondered if she would be able to track down the location of the picture. Perhaps doing so would allow her to find out more about her parents, about what they were like. Her grandparents had done a good job of telling Alana a lot about them, but there was always more to know.

Holding it close to her face, Alana tried to see if she could tell if Cecilia was wearing a spiral pendant. Disappointed, she couldn’t tell and put the photo down with the others.