Web of Flowers: Micro Fiction #Monday’sMuse #AmWriting #Drama

She rode her bike as far into the pasture as the tall plants would allow. Taking a breath, and putting up the kickstand, she let out a scream, praying that she’d gone far enough.

She’d gone far enough in other ways, said too much, allowed her heart to get entangled in webs that no spider would dare dance upon let alone spin. Now she was stuck, just as stuck as the tangle of wildflowers that clogged the spokes of her bicycle wheels.

Panting from the tension that stretched her chest, she knelt down and tore away plug after plug of busted flowers. The scent of their sap saturated her fingers promising to leave a faint reminder of where she’d been and what she’d done.

It would be no different than with the rest of her life; the scent of her actions, the evidence of her trying to pull herself free would always trace her existence.

THE END

*I know, you are probably wondering what is that she has done. The feelers of my mental muse are still seeking answers to that and may have actually found them. But on the other hand, I am not even sure the answer matters. These are my results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt June 5th, 2017. Follow the link to give it a try yourself!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Turn around the Ballroom: #Shortstory #Amwriting #Writing

Turn around the ballroom“Let this be the last time we have this conversation,” Malcolm spoke through clenched teeth. His mother sat gracefully in her wing-back chair, her hair in a perfectly tight coiffure, her mouth and the lines surrounding it even tighter.

She kept her hands loosely folded in her lap. Her face displayed her displeasure, but her hands . . . her hands showed she was not at all truly troubled nor threatened by Malcolm.

Her expression slowly melted into a placid picture of motherly grace. The corners of her red lips rising slowly. Her eyes, however, remained sharp. Her gentleness was not to be misread. She would have the last word and Malcolm would honor it.

“Darling, there is no need for you to behave so distastefully, nor to speak with such harsh tones. Please, do sit. You flutter my nerves when you are so anxious.” She patted the side of her head and her fingers trailed down and traced the line of her pearls as she lied.

She somehow took pleasure in the trouble she caused her son. She couldn’t help it. He looked so much like his father, his real father–Abbot Gray, not the man she had married. He had not let her be happy with him. She hated him.

Reticent, but wanting to show some level of respect for his mother, Malcolm acquiesced, taking the farthest seat in the parlor. Tension settled on his shoulders like a sodden wool blanket. He stretched his neck, his blue eyes staring sharply into his mother’s.

In the beginning, he had not understood all the years of hell she had raised around him. As a small child she had adored him, but when he had turned thirteen, as his voice and body began to give way to the changes brought forth by time, his beloved mother’s soft expressions and gentle touches transformed into cutting gazes, stiff hugs that were few and far between, and harsh words that could raise the dead.

He had begun to look too much like a person she hated. Malcolm thought things would settle and ease if he did whatever she asked of him, and he had. But nothing, nothing had ever pleased her. He had long since ceased the attempt.

Now armed with the knowledge of Abbot Gray, knowledge she had no inkling of him having, he would not dare bend to her whims again. He would not pay for another man’s sins nor his mothers. He would have Elizabeth and no one would keep him from that happiness.

Mother gazed out the window for only a few seconds, but long enough for a glint of satisfaction to spark in her eyes. That shine always came when she aimed to wound him.

“I have already sent word to the girl that there will be no wedding. I told her clearly so as to leave no room for misunderstanding that she was nothing more than a fleeting play, a turn around the ballroom of a man’s desires, and that you had not the heart to tell her the truth.” That is how Abbot Gray had made her feel.

Her jaw muscle ticked. “I received her response just this afternoon.” She let her gaze fall upon Malcolm again, hiding her own inner wound.

Malcolm’s face was stone. “Did you now?” Were the only words he could manage. They seemed to satisfy his mother. Pink crept through her pale color and flooded into her wrinkling cheeks. Her cruel heart had aged her greatly.

“I did. You left me no choice in the matter.”

Malcolm stood again and found his place near the fireplace he stared in to the flames. “Did you take the time to read the response. Mother?”

“No, darling. I waited for you to do so.” Her voice was light as if she were sighing. She was satisfied. “Shall I do so now?”

Malcolm glared hard at the back of her head. He skirted around her chair and stood only a few feet away from her. He wanted to see her expression when she read. His heart drummed against his rig cage as each penned word became married with sound.

He bit down hard into his lip stifling his own smile, no, laughter. Watching the color drain as she read the letter, his letter, penned by his own hand, notarized by the Parson, Abbot Gray, who had wed him and his beloved made him want to dance.

Balling the paper with white-knuckled fist, she sneered at her son with blood red eyes, her words somehow choked from her by the string of pearls around her neck.

Malcolm cleared his throat. “It is a pity, Mother that you could not have been there. Elizabeth was a dream in robin’s egg blue. Parson Abbot or should I say, my father, did a wonderful job with the vows. He did ask me to give you his regards.”

THE END

Not too sure where this came from. Vindictive mother’s, absent fathers, lies and revenge…Malcolm and his mother.

*This story was originally writing January 31, 2014, and has been revised.

Agreement: Flash Fiction

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Agreement

He sat his keys down on the table with the same stillness one would take if confronting a wild doe. He wasn’t sure if the slowness of his movements were so much to not make her feel threatened or because he was the one whow had been shocked.

It wasn’t every day a man caught his wife, luggage in hand and heading for the door. She was leaving him.

They stared, wide-eyed at each other until he could no longer stand it. Breaking free from her trance was akin to being stung by a wasp. “Well,” he said past the cottony dryness that had overtaken his mouth. “I suppose this needs no explanation.” He tipped his head towards her luggage. Odd that he would use that phrase to broach the subject at hand. He didn’t understand what was happening and yes he did need an explanation.

The only thought that came to mind was that she was young, too young to be shackled to a dry rooted man like himself. He had her by twelve years, almost thirteen, but life had rolled him so tight with its disappointments that the age gap might as well have been twenty-five.

He didn’t understand her and she certainly didn’t understand him. But he had been good and fair to her. He hadn’t raised his voice, never even thought to raise his hand to her. Truth was, he never really touched her at all. That was the problem with a marriage based upon a contract and not a covenant. Contracts were all about the “if you do, then I will,” clause while a covenant was a full-hearted promise.

They didn’t have that. What they had at that moment was a room thick with tension and now flooding with tears as they streamed down her golden face.

He quickly pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her. She slowly pulled it from his grasp. After several awkward moments of silence and weeping, she finally spoke, “I wanted to be gone before you got home. Maybe I doddled a little knowing I’d run into you,” She looked up at him and sniffled.

Again he felt stung. “Why would you do that? Were you hoping to hurt me?” He didn’t know if he should be angry or just sink even deeper into confusion. Confusion one the battle with the scowl that masked her tear-soaked face.

“You don’t want me here!” She yelled, throwing balling up the handkerchief as if she intended to launch it at him. “We’ve been married six months, you hardly talk to me or even look at me,”

That wasn’t true. He looked at her he just happened to look away before she caught on. He felt his face flush. What man was scared to look at his wife?

She continued, “You don’t even want me here! You don’t want me. I was ho-,” Her voice hitched but she choked down the tears that strangled in her throat. “I was hoping maybe you’d care enough to stop me. Stupid ole’ me!” She sent the kerchief sailing where it landed at his feet.

His heart had suddenly begun to pound quite loudly in his ears. He’d never been a passionate one, living on spontaneous whims, but if he stood there and let her walk out the door-which he did not want her to-he would never be able to repair what was broken.

Rather than scoop up what she’d thrown he scooped her into his arms instead. Romantics would have urged him to kiss her lips soundly by logic ruled out. Instead, he kissed her forehead and seemed to when her for that moment. He felt her rigid frame ease into his and so he continued to hold her.

“It isn’t that I didn’t want you here, or even want you. I do.” She snuggled closer to him. He felt himself smile as his insides warmed. “I just wanted to give you time, allow you the ability to acclimate to our situation and to me. I just wanted to give you time.”

He didn’t know what else to say and was grateful that she was the one to speak. He felt her hand cup his face, forcing him to look at her. “I’ve had enough time,” She said with a finality that made his chest constrict. He waited for her to push away from him and run for the door with her bags in hand, just like she was doing in his imagination. He lost his breath when she settled again in his arms, her cheek against his chest. “I’d like for us to make better use of our time from now on.”

Swallowing down the knot in his throat he nodded his head in agreement and sealed his promise with a kiss. “Agreed.”

THE END

Changing Seasons: Flash Fiction Results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt Feb 1st 2016

Happy Thursday, friends! Here are my results for Monday's Muse Writing Prompt Feb. 1st 2016. To see the original post and even give the prompt a try yourself, click HERE.

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Changing Seasons

She stared at the screen of her phone until it went black, as if that would change what she’d just read.

He still wanted to marry her, after everything that she had done to change his mind. Her stomach seemed to drop just like a heavy stone in shallow water. She didn’t know if how she felt was anger at him for loving so fearcily or sadness for herself for thinking she didn’t deserve it.

It was amazing how wounds and scars, abuses done her by others had made her feel as if her value had slipped, as if her worth was as fleeting as a price sticker in a supermarket; always in danger of having a roll back.

She’d been down this road before with other guys, but amazingly Logan was the only man, the only one able to love her anyway. He’d said so in the text, said he’d tried calling but she just wouldn’t answer. She was actually getting ready to block his number when his text came through.

She felt heat rising up her neck and cheeks, clear into her hairline. Her eyes stung with tears. A mixture of gratitude, elation and absolute fear swirled around her like the dying leaves of fall. She didn’t know how to be loved. The prospect of it gave her so much hope that it made her lungs feel as if they’d explode.

More than anything, she was filled with her own broken love, for Logan. He was the accidental eye that caught. The tender kiss that made her press her lips together even then if to savor its sweetness long gone.

She didn’t know what to say to him. She didn’t know how to make it right.

Her body stiffened ramrod straight, her blurry eyes still staring at the blackened screen. Even still she could see Logan standing behind her. How he’d know where she was was beyond her or maybe she was just oblivious. She’d always loved the park during this season.

She took in a liquid breath and pressed her eyes closed. “How’d you know where I was?”

Silence assaulted her ears, the stillness of it only broken by the sound of shifting leaves. Logan had sat down beside her his arm resting behind her, not touching her, but set at the ready should she desire his embrace.

“I’ve been here the whole time.” His voice rumbled deep in his chest.

Her head turned quickly towards him. She’d been sitting for hours, sending his calls in to voicemail and he’d been there with her. Logan pointed towards the far parking lot before turning back towards her, his gunmetal eyes misting with tears of his own. “I don’t want to lose you.” He whispered, his voice cracking as he continued. “I’m hurt, but I know you are too.” He took her hand in his and laced his fingers with hers. “But that doesn’t mean I am through loving you. Will you let me?”

She found her words lodged her throat, to thick to form any answer. Instead she allowed her movement to be her answer, shifting closer to him and into his embrace, her head pressed into the crook of his neck and shoulder as she cried.

She wanted him to love her as she loved him. It was time to change her seasons.

THE END

Final Hour: Flash Fiction Results For Monday’s Muse Jan. 25 2016

Thursday has come upon us and with it, my results for Monday's Muse. Be sure to check out the original posting with rules should you feel the itch to give this writing prompt a try! You can do so by clicking HERE.

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Final Hour

Nearly twenty two years under his belt with retirement to a nice quiet, cushy, uneventful life, right on the other side of midnight, and this had to happen. He let out a breath of resignation and stared into the dark coffee in his mug.

He’d been working this site for the last six months. He’d already ‘handled’ his mark but had been instructed to stay on the wire until the final hour of his assignment.

The final hour.

“So I hear you’re ready to go on to greener pastures.” The man, a newbie, smiled at him, a cup of coffee in his hand as well. His face held no signs of treachery, but his clean fingers and pale skin gave him away. Did the bastard think he was that stupid?

He gave a quick smirk and sloshed the coffee around in the cup and with a scrutinizing eye watched as tiny specks of oil clung to the sides of the white porcelain. He raised the cup to his face and took a whiff and closer look, careful to keep the stuff from touching his mouth even though he feigned drinking.

Yep, definitely poison. But to be offered a knock off in such a pathetic way bruised his ego almost as much as the curiosity as to who would want him dead in the first place especially when he was going ghost. He was done with this life. He’d started early in years, worked hard and wanted to spend what was left of it being dull and boring.

Heck, he might even get himself a wife and a kid or two. He was definitely going to get a dog. He’d always wanted one of those.  “Yeah,” He said, pulling the coffee cup away from his face. “I figured it was time to move on, do something that required a little less wear and tear if you get what I mean.”

The man nodded and plowed ahead into several minutes of empty conversation. That was good. It afforded the opportunity to pull the mug up in an attempt to drink and then lower it right before doing so in an attempt to answer every stupid question the amateur was asking. By the time his break was nearly over the coffee was as ice cold as his talkative companion was going to be by the end of that evening.

He glanced down at his watch and sighed. “Man, my break is almost up. Welcome aboard though. It was a pleasure talking to you.” He began to walk away, noting the anxious tick that quivered by the guy’s eye, his gaze lingering on the deadly cup of black.

The guy followed him. Good. That was going to make things much easier. “You didn’t finish your coffee.”  He tried to sound casual, watching as it was dumped onto the ground.

“I don’t like cold coffee. We talked too much and let it turn over. Its alright though.” He took the long way behind the trailer office and into the bathroom. His friend still on his heels.

He pitied the guy as he readied himself for one more job. Nobody wanted to die in the restroom.

He made quick work of him and set him in a storage locker before heading out himself. He’d deal with his body after hours.

Last job? Who was he kidding? Someone had wanted him dead, and he would be a dead man if he didn’t find out who and soon.

His final hour had suddenly turned into a brand new shift.

THE END

Bittersweet: Short Story #Blogbattle Week 45 Keyword “Dive”

Blogbattle Tuesday folks! This week's Keyword: DIVE. My chosen Genre: DRAMA. To read more stories by other Blog Battlers or even to participate yourself, do so by clicking HERE.

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Bittersweet

The place was a real Dive. It smelled of vinegar and stale potatoes with a side of old, soggy cardboard box. Nevertheless it managed to keep a full house.

Claudette didn’t understand it. She didn’t understand any of it. Why he’d chosen such a lousy place to meet or why he’d contacted her of all people in the first place. To bide her time, she scrolled the sticky laminated menu only to settle on a lack luster cup of coffee before it was all said and done. Black coffee was always too deep and dark to really notice anything floating in it. It also gave the not so certain promise she wouldn’t walk away with a case of food poisoning.

She used the blunt end of her writing pen to stir in several packets of sugar, not daring to ask the waitress to return for a spoon. Perish the thought she could actually have a spoon. Sucking the bittersweet liquid from the pen, her eyes looked up and caught his.

Her belly gave a wild flop and her throat constricted. Chocking on saliva the pen dropped from her lips and landed on the sticky tile floor where it was to remain for the rest of its days.

He, Jared, managed to push through the crowd and get to her in time to awkwardly pat her on the back, the uncertain glint in his eye let it be known that he wasn’t certain that he should touch her.

“Thank you,” Claudette managed to squeak out, shifting in her chair. Had she been on the West end of town, she would have made quite a scene. Here, no one seemed to notice…or care.

Jared gave a curt nod before running his hands through his shaggy brown hair. His sliver-gray eyes stared into hers for just a moment before falling away.

Shame.

Claudette couldn’t help but notice that that look of his hadn’t changed after so many years. Truth was he hadn’t seemed to change in the all the years that she hadn’t seen him. Rumors of his hard living were obviously just that. He looked only a few years older than her 23.

They sat in silence for a while. The waiter had not returned even though the crowd seemed to ebb a bit, leaving some much needed breathing room.

“You been doing alright?” Jared finally spoke his head shooting up from its downward position. Staring at the top of his head Claudette felt like she was looking at a chastised child. He had done many things wrong, too many for her to recount or even want to remember. But it was in the past, life had moved forward even though he was still stuck in yesteryear. Maybe guilt had locked him there, physically and mentally. Shame was evident that he hadn’t moved emotionally either.

“I’m doing really well. I graduated last spring. I majored in photography.”

Jared’s eyes widened, a hint of a smile played at the corners of his mouth. “Like me?”

“You made an impression.” She allowed herself to smile even though her insides burned and her heart ached at thinking of the ‘good times’ they had shared. Jared hadn’t given many of those. Addiction was the culprit or maybe it was the fact she just wasn’t enough to make him sober up.

As if he’d read her thoughts he extended his hand toward her, his palm up with a plea. “It wasn’t you, Claudette. I wasn’t good enough, but,” His square jaw ticked, a brooding look upon his face. He was still quite handsome with his rustic lumberjack style. Claudette wondered if he were single. If the woman in his life knew where he was, what she’d say if she saw them together?

Claudette swallowed down a panicked knot. If her mother knew where she was, that she was with Jared, she’d have her grandparents disinherit her. Jared’s presence back then had put everyone through hell. She shook away the fear and placed her hand in his. She still loved him. That would never change. She needed him to know that. The way his other hand enclosed around hers and his eyes turned to water, she was pretty certain he knew.

They lingered for an hour or so catching up, sharing plans. The sun was going down and the streets beginning to fill. “You should probably head back home.” Jared said, standing. Claudette followed suit.

He stared at her as if studying her for the last time, his knuckles caressing her cheek like he used to do. Then he pulled her into a tight hug and kissed her crown. “I love you,” His voice trembled. “You are the best thing to ever happen to me.”

“I love you too.”

Jared finally, but reluctantly pulled away, the cedar scent of his cologne embedded in her clothes and hair. Not even the odors from the diner would melt it away. Her mother would know with whom she’d been, but Claudette didn’t care. She believed he’d changed.

“Maybe we can do lunch sometime soon, how’s that?”

Jared quickly turned from somber to beaming. “I’d like that a lot.”

“Then its a date then. I’ll be in touch.” She said as his smile slipped.

“You know what? I don’t want you to get into any trouble seeing me. Your mom,”

Claudette patted his arm. “Don’t worry about that. She’s still angry, but more than that she still loves you. Fifteen years and she still hasn’t filed, Dad. I’ll call you.” She said, kissing him on the cheek and heading towards home.

THE END

 

What She Said: Flash Fiction Results For Monday’s Muse Jan 11th 2016

Results for Monday's Muse Writing Prompt are in! To see the original post you can do so by following this LINK.

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What She Said

 

Slurping, he sucked in his lips cooling them with his tongue, dropping the spoon back into the bowl with an unintended but dramatic splash. Looking forward, his heart all but stood still. The soup had burned his lips almost as badly as her words just had.

“I-I’m sorry. What did you just say?” He reached for his napkin and methodically dabbed his mouth, his eyes fixed on a nondescript spot on the table as he perked his ears to listen.

“I said I know who you are.”

That’s what he’d thought he’d heard her say. His eyes stared coldly at her back, the white hot glare of the sun from the window made her look as nothing more than a dark silhouette, a demon come calling for payment.

She turned around and faced him, her arms drawn tightly around her middle. Washed in black or not, he could still see the tension in her shoulders. She was afraid…of him. That was good at least.

She said, “Generally what happens when a liar is found out, I have them removed from the premises. There’s a lot of paper work and legal dribble involved. Its usually not pleasant for those who find themselves in your position. The liars that is.” He could feel her eyes staring hard into his.

Odd, for a frightened woman she was very forward. He kept her gaze but allowed himself to take in the sounds from around his office and out side the doors. It would stand to reason that if she truly knew who he was then she would have a small army waiting just outside the door. Odder still, none of the sounds outward were any different from any other day.

“Your name isn’t Wallace Dayworthy. I know of another name but I don’t want to be too presumptuous. What is your name exactly? ” She tilted her head.

He leaned back. If this was a stalling tactic, which he doubted, or a game of cat an mouse, he was definitely drawn in. Fear, questions, knowledge, but her standing right there in the room, not moving, not leaving, knowing or at least believing she knew who he was was extremely attractive to his condition.

“Why?” Was his simple response.

The tension in her shoulders shifted as she pulled her arms from her chest and gripped the window sill until her knuckles were nearly white. “If you are who I know you are, then,”

“Then what?” He had a bit of growl to his voice. It wasn’t intended, but the scent of fear drew him out. She either needed to show her hand or let him leave without any scene being made. It would be bad for everyone if there was a scene. Bloody bad.

“Then I need your help…Tribecca.”

His name, his hidden name, shivered from her lips, laden with desperation. He all but flinched but not just from her calling out his name.

His attention perked with what she’d said. This was a first. Someone needed his help.

The End…I suppose…maybe