A Stella(r)Story

Credit: www.astrologyforearthrenewal.com

Stella knew for certain that she would never really miss Mick; only the idea of him. She was relieved when his piss stopped showing up on the toilet. He was once a stunner of a man in that rough around the edges sort of way. Compact and short, his presence loomed large whenever he entered a room. She liked his vehement attention at first; his passion for her was electric. Stella was stunned by his voracious appetites and his seemingly unending attention.

Stella wasn’t what you’d call a classic beauty. Kinky ashen curls decorated her cupid-like visage. Petite, with hips that swayed enough to turn heads and breasts that Mick compared to buttercups. He’d come home from work at the pit, shine himself up and lose himself inside her.

The ride was high for years.Two bountiful boys kept them on their toes and further fueled their passion for each other. And like a fast speeding car that encounters one hairpin turn too many, their affair flamed out. Mick’s craving for cards and the accompanying vices soon got the best of him and them.

The arguments and the silences that followed only got more fierce. Money got tight and then nearly nonexistent. He lost himself in the drink now; his once alluring bearing shrunken. He lurked where he once pranced. And then he seemed to just disappear.

Stella rose up. She wasn’t one to snivel nor shrink from a tough situation. Working the lunch crowd gave her a boost; her tips paid the rent and the hard work fueled her rather than leave her wasted. Months went by. The boys grew strong and steady under the tough but loving gaze of their mother. They would not mess around.Their fear of her disappointment outweighing any possible consequences brought by teenage temptations.

She had grown into her own woman. Stella-Bella all the men called her. Each one desperate in their desire for her. But she would have none of it. “Been there. Done that,” she said. Stella was sure that real love would knock on her door eventually.

And in a sheet of downpour on a windy April afternoon, he did. Soaked and battered and need of something warm, Jack slipped out of his drenched jacket and into her life.

Sipping Freedom

Credit: www.nobigdill.com

 

Tori pushed the pedal to the metal as she rounded the curve on the not yet familiar rural road. The predawn air was cool but she had rolled down the top of her jeep anyway. Eager to breathe in the scent of pine and dirt and cleanse herself of last night’s forays and rumblings. She hadn’t any time to shower.  With a nearly two-hour drive back and her kids to get off to school and herself to get off to work,  a shower fell off the list of things to do.

This was the first night she spent at Max’s place. Normally, he would stay at her house when her kids were with their father. But the modest cape on the suburban cul-de-sac was at once gossip central in her neighborhood and at odds with the passionate love affair she had recently begun with Max. She wanted and needed a separation between her life as a mother and a newly single woman.  Lack of privacy seemed the norm once you had children. Neighbors and friends always asking after them and their activities, how they were doing in school. Inevitably, the conversation steered towards you and your interests and activities. That’s what people were after anyway.

She stole a glance at the early spring sky. Sunrise soon. The few clouds a wispy gray and brushstrokes of tangerine. She buried her wish to be free of  the chains of motherhood. She loved her children.  Aslain and Anton were precocious 11-year-old twins who kept her on her toes. Both demanding and entertaining. Full of spunk. Truly replicas of herself at that age and what she continued to be  until her marriage to Eddie sucked her self out of herself.

The ride on this road was the beginning of her new beginning.  An awakening and a reawakening.  She sipped her coffee Max brewed for her as she attempted to dress herself.  For each zip of her fly and buttoning of her shirt, he would be doing the opposite until she finally gave up. They made love one last time while waiting for the coffee to finish.  She knew she was half dressed and still moist and she didn’t care. It tasted good.

She shifted into fifth and roared down the highway.

 

Kellie Elmore offered us the best challenge ever for Free Write Friday.  This piece has been stirring inside me since last fall. And it has been trying to tell itself more so than ever this week.  Just haven’t been able to get the words down. So here’s the start of something I hope!

 

You have a story in you. Everyone does. And I challenge you to take the first step toward telling it. The prompt this week can only come from you. That idea you once had. Or maybe it’s that idea you just had. That story that hasn’t been told that you want to hear, it needs you to bring it to life. And it all begins with one step. That first opening line on that first page of that first chapter. What does it say? That is your prompt.  

Just see how far it takes you. 🙂

Heat Lightning

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Maria doesn’t remember the exact moment she met Danny. Thirty years is a long time to look back on when so much of life has occurred. She remembers it was June and the NBA finals were on. Celtics versus the Lakers. Bird versus Magic. She and a bunch of other twenty-somethings were crowded around someone’s television set in a double-decker apartment.  A Sunday afternoon sunny and warm-the windows open to let the cool breeze inside the second floor living room.

And there he was.  Thin and tan with long blonde hair. A friend of Layla’s (technically her boss), Danny was the editor of a small town newspaper where Layla worked as a reporter. Maria met Layla through an old college friend and they in turn, hit it off.  She quickly became a part of Layla’s social circle.

And just as quickly, she fell in with Danny. Their first date together was dinner at his house on the lake. Gnocchi and wine. Maria doesn’t remember how she got there (she had no car in those days) but does recall spending the night. She loved the spontaneity of their relationship. Days at the beach. Beer and steamers at The Barnacle at sunset. Sunday mornings at the lake. Her hair streaked with sun and her skin as brown as a berry. The absolute sheer physical attraction was the energy that fueled their relationship. Maria had no inhibitions with him.  She was quite sure that her sounds of ecstasy reverberated throughout the walls of the house he shared with three others but felt no sense of self-consciousness regarding her new found self-expression. Danny brought out a lustful beast in her that she found hard to contain. Their forays in the sand nearly bordered on public acts of indecency. (Just thinking about it now causes her heart to race and her body to pulse in places only he could touch.)

They fanned the flames of their affair all summer long.  Their bodies were joined more than they were apart, breaking only for soothing swims and meals that seemed to have aphrodisiac effects. Maria’s head and heart and spirit were full of passion. Danny gave her what she needed without demands and she did the same in turn. They talked and laughed but never got in too deep. Maria loved the fact that he was a true gentleman; he treated her kindly and with a reverence reserved for those he deeply admired. Perhaps this is what drew them together. While they surely fucked like animals at times, he never treated her like a stranger or a one-night stand. But he never did tell her that he loved her nor she him.  A strange dichotomy in some ways. But it worked for as long as it could last.

As summer turned to autumn and the nights grew cold, they said good-bye. Maria felt a sad longing for a little while but she never did see or think about him again.  Until tonight. Sitting here with her friends, Maureen and Joanne at a beach front bar. She looks up from her drink to see a man standing next to her. He smiles. Tan, short cut blonde hair with traces of gray. “Maria”, says Maureen, “This is my boss Danny. I have been dying for you two to meet.”

Temporary Darkness

Credit: www.creativetimes.co.uk

 

She stood in line at the cafe’; nearly anonymous in her cloak. Her hands in the front pouch, her movements silent and slight.  She nourishes herself  in the feeling of wanting to be hidden. To shroud herself in the hood of her over sized sweatshirt.  To comfort herself in the October night’s darkness and seek the void.  Mint tea and chocolate were necessary and perhaps a better alternative to a glass of red wine or a shot of tequila. She wasn’t drinking these days anyway. Hadn’t had even a sip of lightning in over a year.

She spent the day being stripped of her dignity. Questions asked.  Barbs and jabs. Silent jeers. Scoffs and sneers from across the table, trapped in that room for hours. It was about as soothing as walking barefoot on gravel. His false accusations and twisting of the truth had her seeing red. Was this once the man who made her heart sing?

She knew it was just another step in the process. Probably the worst or most unlucky bit of the situation. Positively draining.  Self-comfort was necessary. When she placed her order, the sympathetic manager touched her hand and leaned in as if to give her a hug.  She handed her the tea and treat. “It’s on me,” she said. Her eyes brimming and her throat in a grip, she managed to eke out her welled up appreciation.

The hole of blackness still overwhelmed her. But somewhere -not too deep inside herself- were the beginnings of the path toward that pinprick of light.

 

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This week’s prompt from Kellie Elmore was a five word bank. I had started writing a story last night without seeing this week’s prompt ( By 9pm last night I was tucked in listening to The Moth Radio Hour-great storytelling show, by the way!). Her words fit perfectly into what I had drafted. This piece was born of a small trigger; I was removing my hoodie sweatshirt when a flash of memory came flooding back prompting me to get the ideas out of my head before they festered!  The word prompts from Kellie are below:

Red – Mint – Gravel – Sing – Unlucky

Voyage to Nirvana

 

Image Credit: stuffpoint.com

 You find yourself in the lower level of an old ship. A calendar on the wall says  1682. There is a small window, and the view is nothing but open sea and a setting sun. There is a staircase and you can see daylight at the top…

 

Lydia awoke to the sound of vomiting, the stench of urine and shit and the feeling of her body being buffeted against a rough surface. Her mouth was parched as her tongue scraped across her lips in a feeble attempt to quench her thirst. Her eyes searched for information in a near void of blackness. Straight on, a piece of paper crudely slapped upon wooden beams.  In her blurred vision, she could make out four numbers:1682.  As her eyes adjusted to the low lighting, she realized that she was looking at a calendar. August 7, 1682!

Dazed and out of sorts, she attempted to arise only to be slammed down by a sudden jolt.  Something was not quite right. She stood up once more only to fall over once again. As she tried one final time to upright herself, a phantom hand grabbed her forearm. “Aye, where you going there, Missy?”  Could it be? Was this her former lover disguised as some sort of rag tag sailor out of a pirate movie? God, he was wretched looking. And then she looked at herself.   A gown of some sort corseted at the chest and waist. She was covered in a heavy shawl and her long flowing hair-did she have hair?- was atop her head hidden beneath a bonnet.

This was too weird. Where the hell was she? That tequila sure was strong last night. How many shots did she drink, anyway? As she looked around, there appeared to be others in the “hole” with her. Men, women, children in various states of sleep as well as health.  Then that smarmy voice called out  again .”Come on lovey, give it over a little.”  One hand was at her breast and the other up her dress. But her foot reached the perfect target just in time for another rolling around the room. He screamed and she found herself up against a set of stairs, her head aching. She looked up. Daylight! Lydia mustered all her strength and crawled on all fours to the top.

“Hey, babe. Sounds like you had a rough night at Club 1682. I made your favorite breakfast and some strong coffee. But first let’s get ourselves in that warm bubble bath made just for two.”

 

 

Thanks once again to Kellie Elmore for the Free Write Friday prompt!

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Hope’s Beginnings

This house has a story…what is it?

Image Credit: We Heart It

“Do you ever wonder what really happened in that house?”, Blake asked. They were sitting in the truck just moments after he and Julie had signed the purchase and sale on the former Stanton family property. Julie had grown up in these hills and was once close to Jeannie Stanton,  a childhood friend who disappeared one fall afternoon in their fifteenth year, never to be heard from again. Jeannie was one of seven children from that rag-ma-tag family where chaos and cracking heads ruled through the dirty deeds of their patriarch, Joe.  Jeannie’s mother was far from quiet herself, known to pull heavily on the tap at Smitty’s, the local bar where she worked serving drinks and other ‘amenities’ to the men from the local coal processing plant- long since closed and cleaned up. No one even knew for sure if all seven of the kids actually were Joe’s. The EPA finally did its job and the old brick campus had been successfully retrofitted and resurrected into  a world-class sound studio.  Famous musicians from across all genres recorded some of their best work in this forgotten corner of the state. Julia and Blake had become big hitters in attracting legendary acts to record and even stay in the area.

Blake, of course, had no idea of what to expect when he first entered Julie’s childhood world. They met in London, both working as sound engineers, honing their talent with the best of them. When Julie’s dad- an engineer and business man himself- bought up some of the old factory buildings from the government, he decided that some of them would work perfectly as recording spaces. Others he turned into research and development spaces. Soon he was attracting fervent interest from scientists keen on learning and creating new avenues into the world of sound.

On a return visit home with Blake last year, he and Julie had come across the abandoned property. Knowing its negative history had not stopped them from envisioning a place that would serve as a haven and respite for kid’s who were victims of abuse and neglect. Too many of the Stanton kids had become lost souls. Now that Julie had the means and connections to turn things around, she set her heart and mind on making it happen.

Just then, a rumbling sound came up from behind them. A fleet of contractor trucks loaded down with heavy equipment came roaring up the rough road. Blake planted  a kiss on Julie’s lips.  “Time to get to work,” she said.

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Another great gift from Kellie Elmore this week!

#FWF Free Write Friday: Image Prompt

by Kellie Elmore

Magdalena

Source: We Heart It

Source: We Heart It

She ambled out into the hush of the city’s streets,the Arctic air at once taking her breath away and filling her lungs with renewed life. The spectacular chill washed away the late night’s pungent plundering. Another evening another man.  Pure bliss coupled with an exacting need to refill that sugar in her bowl.  The dark season only increased her need for the heat of skin on skin. She liked the anonymity of it, never knowing quitewhat to expect even when she was well acquainted with her conquests. The conversation ended as soon as the key unlocked his door. She wasn’t interested in small talk or the intimacy revealed in some random deep conversation. Each encounter was a relief and a revelation, each getting their share and never once feeling used or abused.

She never liked to stay, never enjoyed the tangling of limbs and sheets in the aftermath. Never wanted to greet the day with him. She preferred a quiet exit as he lay soundly sleeping. Nights like this when the world seemed dead asleep were hers and hers alone. She could make first tracks. Listen for the squeaky crunch of her boots on newly fallen snow. Shelter  herself beneath the awning of her umbrella. Alive,silently satiated, but still simmering with anticipation, awaiting the sensual mystery of a subsequent surrendering.

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#FWF Free Write Friday: Time and Place Scenario

by Kellie Elmore

An image prompt that took off down an unexpected path. But hey, isn’t that what free writes are all about?  I am thankful once again to Kellie Elmore for helping me tend to my muse! XO