If Regret Had a Name: Flash Fiction Results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt May 2nd 2016

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If Regret Had a Name: Flash Fiction

If regret had a name, it would have been Yellow Mustang. What had once been a thing of beauty, a big dream, and a fast ride, had turned into a short-lived occasion crammed in the back seat with nothing to show for it at first but a belly full of baby and a shot-gun wedding.

It could have been better, Audrey supposed. In the first place, she knew better. She was just shy of eighteen, had walked with the Lord since she was seven, but that night, nearly  twenty years ago, she walked right over the cliff of common sense and landed in a matrimony with a guy she’d pined for since she was thirteen but had only known as a person for the better part of three months.

Cade Bradshaw. She called herself in love. She was in something, but it wasn’t love. Not then….

Her daddy and brothers literally rested shotguns on their broad shoulders on the day of their wedding. Cade gave a whole new meaning to the color white, not to mention he was sweating buckets for being forced into marriage because of Audrey being deflowered and now in the family way. The alternative was jail since he was six years older than she was.

Audrey slid up to the car and let her fingers glide across the glistening body. The car was still beautiful. It had given her beautiful things, even if they had come out of a way that only God’s grace could carry.

Yes, she regretted her actions that night. But she knew God had forgiven her. What she regretted now was the loss. Cade was gone and had been for six years.

How does a man live all his life with a pin-prick hole in his heart and nobody notice until it’s too late? She thought if she could take back that night, then she could take back the aching pain of missing him that kept her from letting any other man get too close.

Cade Jr had even begun to fuss with her about it. “It’s time to move on, Mama? Daddy would want you to.”

Pinching her eyes closed, she sighed out Cade’s name. God had given her beauty for her ashes, had blessed her mistake those many years ago and proven His grace by given her a wonderful husband and three children.

But she just couldn’t shake the thought that if that night hadn’t happened she wouldn’t be there now, wishing for Cade’s warmth again.

Truth was she didn’t really  regret her past, she just regretted that Cade had been such a wonder that no man could even come close to filling his shoes. But she was willing to let a good one try. Cade would want her to.

THE END.

* To see the original posting for Monday’s Muse May 2nd, 2016, or to give it a creative writing try, you can do so by following THIS LINK

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

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My Favorite Writes: A Collection Of My Writings

Hello all! Sometime last week I believe, I made mention that I was going to create a tab in my drop down menu, housing a collection of my favorite Short stories and poems that have been given life on this blog.

13764279192ocw6Well I have added my first 5 favorites: Scripturient, Weaver’s Threads, I Dream of You Pt 1: A Poem, Sweetest Whisper: A Poem, In the Silence.

If you follow this LINK, you will be able to take a look and have a read of a handful of the first pieces that I ever wrote on this blog. I will be adding more in the future, but for now, this is a good start.

Thank you all for following the soup!

When The Waters Recede: Short Story Results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt July 27th

His heart seemed to burst with emotion at the sight of the waterline. The flooding had damaged everything in a three mile radius of the river, but the little church, her recent investment, their last chance at hope, stood as a dry beacon of promise, perched on the slopping hillside.  1394205446tbv46

Troyer waded through the almost waist high water, the scent of mud and grass tickled at his nose, but there was something pleasing about the fragrance, something soothing. It reminded him of dew and sunshine and her, in his arms.

His water boots lost their footing as he pushed up the tiny slop towards the church doors. A curse parted his lips with a frustration that seemed to wash away once he dunked his soiled hands in the cool water.

The water. It had damaged so much, left so many in ruin and devastation, but somehow, in that moment with its coolness swirling around the callouses of his hands, right at the foot of the slop to the church he had not wanted to buy, the water felt like a baptism.

It had taken him almost a full year to clime out of the darkness he had fallen into once he said his last goodbye to her, cursing the cancer that had snatched her life away, and shunning God for letting it happen. But now, with the seat of his pants soaking up the mud of the earth and his hands bathing in the waters edge, tadpoles zipping in between his fingers, Troyer felt…new, alive again.

When he saw on the news that the river had flooded its banks and swept through the county like wipers against a windshield, Troyer thought he was dying all over again. He had not dared to come back here, look at her vision, feel the pain anew. But he couldn’t resist, not with uncertainty pressing against his shoulder blades. He needed to know that some part of her, some glimmer of her joy was still standing here on earth.

And it was. The white clapboards looked to have been scrubbed clean and doused with a fresh coat of paint from where he sat. Troyer knew better. They had already talked about how much they would have to invest in order to convert the old chapel into a beautiful home. They planned to have started that spring right after their wedding…

Tears stung his eyes and his fist clenched beneath the clear water sending the tadpoles off in a scurry. Troyer pushed himself up from the ground and carefully up the slop of the hill. His heart had crawled up into his throat, dragging up the raw pain that he had worked so hard to swallow down.

No amount of anything had helped in the beginning. Slowly he allowed God to touch his wounds, help him keep breathing.

The keys he pulled from his pocket jingled like bells for all the shaking in his hands. He blew out a breath and turned them in the lock, the movement so much like he was opening up his heart again to see where he had last buried his hope.

Stale air washed around him as the doors creaked open. Dust particles, danced in the beams of sunlight that cut in from the stain glass windows. Everything looked so untouched, neglected but screaming of promise, the same way it had when she had convinced him to buy it with her.

Tears shook his shoulders and caused his eyes to blur. A mixer of pain and joy swirled on the inside of him. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He could almost smell her here.

“Is everything alright?” Avery, her former assistant called from the porch. Troyer swiped the wetness from his eyes and tried not to scowl. He had asked Avery to stay in the truck, but like always she didn’t listen. He couldn’t be mad at her. They had both lost so much when she had died, both of them were searching for hope to move on in their own way. Avery just tended to piggy back off of Troyer’s choices.

“Everything is,” He glanced around the sanctuary and took a deep breath, a smile growing on his face, hope welling up within him. He turned towards Avery. “Everything is going to be fine. I’ll start building as soon as the waters recede.”

THE END FOR NOW…

I hope you enjoyed this peek into Troyer’s world and life. Grief is hard, I didn’t even know he was grieving until I let my fingers kiss the keyboard. I do have a sneaking suspicion that there just might be more then home building in store for Troyer especially with Avery playing his shadow. Love is always in the air for me…at least in my imagination. 

Cheers!

Lucky: A free flow write

Nothing is set in stone…nothing. The words, branded to the forefront of her mind sounded off again with as much volume as the car horns during midday traffic.

Looking upward, having pried her gaze from her feet, she shielded her eyes from the sun and scanned her surroundings. It was…different. Loud, but it was a different place which is what she wanted, needed. And it was…safe.

13838529803evnaSafety had been an elusive dream for most of her life, and yet she found herself chasing after it with the same determination that a starving wolf would a bloody stake.

Remembering the words that had been etched into the pavement, wanting desperately to believe it was a sign and that she for once in her life could simply breathe, she yet again thought the phrase, Nothing is set in stone…nothing. 

Somehow, the word at her feet, “lucky”, would not allow her peace. It was there. It was in stone, set even and although she found some kind of bizarre comfort in her pessimism she had to accept the fact that she was one of the lucky ones.

She had gotten away.

It had cost her much. It had actually cost her everything, but she had no regrets. Others had tried and had failed. Failure wasn’t the worse part. Being found alive at the end of your failure was.

She had heard, not only by word of mouth, but with her own ears. She remembered the screams of those slowly tortured, paying the price for trying to get away.

The scar that snaked down her arm from her elbow to her wrist began to itch and ache as if it were freshly made as the memory of her escape and how close she had come to failing played across the eyes of her mind.

No, nothing was set in stone, but she was indeed on of the lucky ones.

She shook her hand in the air and stepped off of the curb. “Taxi!”

THE END

I think I only spent ten minutes on this…It seems whenever I get half way through the phone rings. Anyhow. There were several branches that I considered taking as I wrote this story. It was kind of putting me in the mind of those “create your own adventure novels” from when I was  a kid. You know the ones where you could choose the ending of the story by jumping to either page 96 or 104. Anyhow, part of me still feels like there is a lot more “science” to this bit of “fiction.” Like this character is not even from this world but somewhere else. Maybe she day dreams more, dreams of war, dreams of another planet.

Right now as I punch these keyboard keys I envision a dome on a planet where the sky is a shade trapped between aubergine and grey. The ground is parched and black and the water is something akin to liquid mercury. There is also a ship and a lot of explosions.

Anyhow that is what is in my head but what I have written is what I have written. There is always room for future exploration, right?

actually, now that I think of it. I already know where this story and this character needs to go. So THE END…FOR NOW!

Cheers!

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Molly’s Mantel: A Free Flow Write

“Ingrid, dear, can you throw another long on the fire? My ankles are freezing.” Grandmother, said with a shiver so violent that it nearly shook the dentures right out of her head.

Molly's MantelMolly Henderson, was such a dramatic woman, never missing an opportunity to display her “talent” in theatrics.

Staking the fire with another dry log, Ingrid wondered if her husband’s Grandmother was so over done with her behavior because she was fishing for attention, or was it the many failed attempts at Broadway that made her try to redeem herself?

Stabbing the fire with a poker Ingrid asked, “Is this better, Grandmother?”

Molly, true to character, threw the shawl from her shoulders and leaned back in her old chair, her head to the side and her eyes closed, her tiny mouth hanging open. “I am roasting over here!”

Ingrid rolled her eyes reciting to herself the verses in I Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind, love is not provoked,”

“What’s that dear?” Molly slid open one glassy blue eye and peeked over at Ingrid. “Did you say you would love to have a smoke? Honey, those cancer sticks will kill you if you are not careful. Does Harvey know you have taken to smoking?”

She sat back up and pulled her shawl tightly around herself again, picking up the cup of tea beside her. She took a sip, her face drawn as if she were sucking a lemon before sticking out her tongue and gagging. “Nasty stuff!”

Ingrid set the poker down and prayed again, “Patience, Lord, patience.” Having never noticed the tiny pictures on Molly’s mantel she began to look at them, her eyes narrowing to slits as to bring the images into focus.

She hesitated for only a few short seconds before gingerly picking the row of images up in her hands. There were thirteen of them, painted in tiny gilded frames that looked, from a distance, like a train. Upon closer observation, Ingrid realized that what she had always believed to be a train was really art.

“Who, who made these?” Her voice was breathy with awe. The steady silence that greeted her made her turn around and face Molly.

Molly, for the first time, looked less flighty and fit for the stage, and more grounded. Her expression was that of a woman pulled away, back in time, far gone from the present moment. Even the slant of her face and the way the glow of the fire rounded her cheeks like a lover’s caress seemed to take the years away. She was stunning.

“Grandmother?” Ingrid took a step towards her but did not put the treasure down. “Are you alright?”

Molly smiled, her glassy blue eyes, now watered from tears and not time, smiled up at her. “I painted them, years ago, each little image capturing the tiniest of moments.”

Her hands reached for the images and Ingrid relinquished them to her, before dropping to her knees at her side. Molly said, “I learned back when I was your age, that the tiniest moments, those that seem over wrought with monotony, or seemingly misplaced and misused because of lack of order, are the moments that determine who we become. Each of these moments are like the cars of a train all packed with the “useless” stuff that carries us straight into our destines. They matter you know?”

“Yes,” Ingrid answered as she took the train from her husband’s grandmother’s hands carrying it back to the mantel, letting the wisdom of her moments with Molly sink in. Who was she becoming from this time spent with this older woman?

She startled as she felt a swat at her backside. Turning she saw Molly glaring at her.

“You are blocking the fire and I am freezing over here!”

Setting the images down, Ingrid  laughed at the moment.

THE END.

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